Wednesday, December 29, 2010

happy to be bored: hanging out in L&D

I should have known it was too good to be true.

33 weeks with twins and virtually no problems this pregnancy other than mono in the first trimester.

33 weeeks 2 days and we made our first trip to Labor and Delivery after waking up to mild but very regular contractions every 3-4 minutes. Of course it had to be the middle of the night so we waited for my mom to come stay with the kids and then headed in. I got put in triage and was strapped down with 4 moniters, an iv, and some other random things. I was in labor but theye were able to stop it within 4 hours using medication. Depending on how far I progressed, I will be on bedrest either at home or the hospital until shock and awe come. My fetal fibronectin test came back negative. A positive indicates a high probability that birth will happen in the next 2 weeks, a negative result usually indicates birth is a few weeks off. We are still waiting on several more test results and a visit from an ob (mine is on vacation!) before we can even think about being discharged.

They still may be born in the next couple days, but we were able to get in steroid shots for their lungs and determine that they are both 5 ish pounds which is very good size for 33 weeks. Hopefullly they will stay put to 34 weeks, even better to make it 35 or 36.

We are thankful my mom could come and stay with the kids and that my sister and her family are in town. Moo and Ella Bella are eating up the extra attention and cousin playtime and could care less that mommy is not around. It's a bummer for me because I don't get to see my niece and only briefly see my sister and brother-in-law. I think we all agree that it is a very, very small price to pay to keep shock and awe in a little longer.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

sweet blog, how I have missed you!

It's a Christmas miracle! We finally, after 14 months of living at the dump, have internet at home! Where to even start, it's been quite the year.

The dump is considerably less dumpy and the interior is mostly finished.

Moo and Ella Bella are much taller and much, much louder.

And are so much a like they have matching dead front teeth. Ick and agh. Klutsy kids.

We "upgraded" to a "swagger wagon". Lower your head in disgust if you want, but automatic sliding doors are AWESOME.

I have gained a good 40 (ok 50) pounds from this time last year.

My new years resolution is to lose 30 lbs by valentines day.

Should be pretty easy after the TWINS arrive in January (ish). They are still baking @ 32w 4d.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

july 13 2010

July 13, 2010

Today will forever be in my memory vividly.

I am nervous. I had a positive pregnancy test about 5 weeks ago but things just seem off from my pregnancies with Moo and Ella Bella. I feel mostly fine other than battling a nasty cold for the last month. No morning, noon, or night sickness like with the other kids. No bleeding. No well.... anything. Virtually symptomless. Today my ob appt has finally arrived.

My ob teases me about getting "fixed" after this one. I reply the debate is still ongoing whether we want 3 children or 4. We laugh and catch up. The nurse comes in and has me fill out all the obligatory forms. She patiently tries to find a heartbeat with the doppler, scanning back and forth. I lay there staring at the ceiling and ponder the black fingerprints on the fluorescent lights. The nurse can't find a heartbeat. I know not to worry, I am at most 9 weeks and it's so early. I can't help but thinking it was a chemical pregnancy. Been there done that. It is what it is.

My ob comes in and says eh, the ultrasound machine is right here, let's do this. So he starts the ultrasound and a tiny little alien fetus is visible with a teensy heart fluttering away. Ah, relief.

Ob: "Only one, looks great, exactly 9 weeks."

me: "Oh good. I have been having lots of crazy dreams about twins."

A few seconds pass as my OB scans around checking things out. I glance over at the nurse. Her eyes have gotten very big and she lightly gasps. She whispers "Oh my gosh." I turn back to the monitor.

OB: "There is another one. There are two!"

There on the screen are two little babies, mirror images of eachother, filling the screen. IN ME!!!

It was a moment. Overwhelming. Awed. Scary. Amazing. Impossible. WOW.

me: "My husband is definitely going to need a picture of that!"

OB: "Well, I guess your debate is settled!"

More scanning. Still ONLY 2. Phew. Both measuring exactly 9 weeks with strong heartbeats. 2 sacks, probably fraternal (not identical). WOW. It's just astounding. No one in either of our families has twins as far back as anyone can remember. I am shaking, a little from cold, and a little from shock. Having kids has not been easy for us and now, twins? When we least expected it? God, your blessings are abundant!

My OB and I chat about how things will be different than a single pregnancy. I am thankful for a calm doctor with lots of experience. He gives me details, I love details. How delivery might go, what complications might come up, ect. I am sure I will have many more questions.

I continue to shake off and on for the next 3o minutes through all my labs. I am so amazed the lab tech got all 6 vials of blood needed while I shook. She deserves a raise!


I had told a friend I would come by to get some of her homemade laundry detergent after I finished at the doctor. I debated bailing and just going home to tell Hubs but knew I needed to calm down first. So I go into M's house and ol eagle eyes immediately questions the neon armband.

M: "did you just give blood?"

me: "umm yeah."

M: "oh that's so nice of you!"

me: "oh wait, no not like that......"

M: " Are you preggers?"

me: "yes. and completely freaking out."

I dig around in my purse and thrust the strip of ultrasound photos at her.

me: "check out that last photo."


me: " yes, can I please use your restroom and can you please get me a nice cold drink? I would say alcholic but that would be a bad idea."

I am so thankful for M's enthusiasm and encouragement. If anyone can handle 4 under 5, you can. You will rock it. Twins will be awesome. God knows what he is doing. And on and on. She was the perfect first person to tell. I even forgot to pay for my soap (duh!). But it wasn't really about the soap. God knew I would need her wisdom and excitement. I settle down and M and I catch up.


On to tell Hubs. How?

I come in and he is corralling kids and making lunch. Moo starts talking a mile a minute about hiking that morning and Ella bella is climbing all over me. I give him the photos and just wait. He is a little perplexed why I got so many photos of the same thing. And then he sees the last photo. I hold up 2 fingers and nod yes. Two. Plus two, yeah four. Math geniuses here. He is in disbelief honestly thinking the OB performed some photoshop magic to freak him out. And then it hits him, there is no prank going on, THIS is real. We somehow managed to pull of the completely random feat of twins. No fertility drugs. Just, well, there.

Hubs: "Wow. Really? Wow. How? Are you sure? What?"

He went into shock for a few minutes not nearly to the extent I did though. Eh, he lacks all the crazy hormones. It's just amazing, overwhelming, wow.


People's reactions are hysterical. It is just so unexpected.

My Mom just blinked and double checked the double photo and in disbelief asked if they were mine. Indeed they are. Then just shock. My mom told my dad, I actually really don't enjoy telling people I am pregnant, my dad was surprised and thought life would get interesting around our house.

My sister said "Holy crapola! Can I tell Sarah (her sister in law)?" Sure knock yourself out. My sis also implied we should ahem you know take care of things to not have more. Totally going to sister!

My friend R squealed so loud Hubs could here her over the phone across the room. She loves Moo and Ella Bella and was thrilled we would have 2 more.

My friend L cried, happy, surprised tears. She was just so excited and thankful to God for multiple blessings. Multiple "blessings" are still kinda freaking me out. I hope I can convince her to come back to visit the itty bitties.


I have kinda had this inkling it could be twins since the test turned positive. No explanation why, just like I needed to psych myself up for the possibility of 2. My google browser is full of various twin inquiries over the past month. I always have thought I would have boy/girl twins at some point. No idea if that part is true, and we don't know if we will find out.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

the dark ages...

Posting on the ol' blog has been sparse these past months. Apparently, we moved to a bit of an internet black hole. We can get internet here but it will run us about $80 a month for a max speed of 256 whatever. In other words, 3 times what we were paying for 1/4 of the speed. So for now, we have decided to go sans home internet. I have an iphone and hubs has good internet at work. The only flub is I can't blog from home. So, I have to wait till I am in town sans kids to coffee shop it and blog. Blogging is cheap therapy so I don't want to give it up, but it's also not worth spending $1000 a year on. They only other thing I need internet for is updating client galleries. I will be taking down my photography site in about six weeks as well. I don't need it. I am having too much fun remodeling, traveling, and being mom to run a photography business. I'll keep taking photos for friends and family :) but you all get ahold of me through text, fb, phone or email anyways. No point in having a site!

travel adventures: Austin, Texas

day 1: it is literally freezing cold as we head out and I keep waiting for the sun to come out as we drive further south. It refuses and the entire drive is cold and dreary. We have no motivation to get out and explore in the wind and cold so we speed on down to Austin stopping only once for gas and lunch. We stopped at Fazoli's at barely after 11 and I found it quite disturbing that the closer it got to the noon lunch rush the fewer people were in the restaurant. The kids did great, Ella Bella was perfect and Moo was nearly so. We quickly realize the lack of potty's meeting Moo's requirements will be an issue. Back on the road and to our hotel with no problems. On the recommendations of dozens of friends, we head out to Chuy's no. 2. Very good. Would have been so much better if I didn't get a pounding headache in the middle of dinner. But we would definately go back! Perhaps this trip! We head back for the last adventure of the day: bedtime. We hope to get the kids in bed and then watch tv while hey sleep. Yeah... not so much. We are all in bed by 8:30 because Moo can't fall asleep.

day 2: We wake up to freezing rain. What. in. the. world. That's ok... we come from up north and are undeterred by the threat of bad roadways and head out for my biannual pilgrimage to IKEA. Apparently, any bad feelings I have towards IKEA due to our memorable last encounter are healed. We get there as it opens and have the entire store to ourselves. Wonderful. The kids aew having a blast and the heavens must be aligned because even Hubs is feigning enjoyment. We checked out the mini home displays, thoroughly explored and played our way through the kids area, enjoyed $2.49 meatball lunches, shopped, played some more and then left. Because they closed the store! Due to the snow it was empty, we maybe saw 100 employees and patrons in our 2.5 hours in the store. Unheard of for IKEA. We checked out the outlets right next to IKEA and discovered even after they had been open for 4 hours, we were the first patrons several of the stores had! No awesome deals, the best score was some $5 crocs for Ella Bella. We head back to the hotel and both kids fall asleep in the car so we take the scenic interstate route to south austin and back. The roads are dry but schools are all letting out for their first snow day in a decade. I don't think the weather was even close to bad enough that a snow day was needed, but I bet those kids were so excited they were impossible to teach. We hang out in the room and then head to Baby Alcopolco for dinner.... it was quite good but Moo was off the whole meal. Saying he was cold and couldn't eat... We try half price books after dinner and he is so miserable he cries every time his dad is more than 10 feet from him. We bail on the books and take him home. He cries, his teeth chatter and the poor kid is just DONE. A little tylenol and a little veggietales and all is right in the world. Ella Bella went to bed for the night but is now up partying with us watching dirtiest jobs.

day 3:
planned for tomorrow:
state capital building
austin children's museum (free with ss pass)
flagship whole foods market
book people
zilker park train
barton springs aquifer exhibit

Day 3 doesn't quite go as planned. Ella Bella is up screaming, hair pulling and definately not sleeping from 10pm to 3am. Not cool. She finally gives in to sleep and we all sleep in till 9. By the time breakfast is done and everyone is ready to go it's 10. We skip the capital and head for the Austin Children's Museum. It's free with our science spectrum pass :). The kids loved it. I had read many reviews online saying it was claustrophobic and filthy. Not so! Clean, organized and very creative. There are many small spaces because it is designed for children. We spent more than 2 hours exploring. Moo loved the train tower best but really enjoyed it all. Ella Bella loved it all but especially enjoyed the pretend grocery store, cafe, and recycling plant. Admission is a little steep but is free if you are a member of other participating children's and science museums.

After the museum, we headed to the whole foods flagship store at 6th and Lamar. Oh my granola.... It's massive! A dozen eateries throughout the store, a playground on the roof, a parking garage and escalators.... Crazy. We went for lunch and if was very busy. It was easily the kids favorite meal all week... I would love to be able to shop there every week! After whole foods, we went to the book people and REI. Both were kinda disappointing. Well, maybe they were awesome but a tired baby and a preschoolers refusing to potty were wearing me down.

We then went to Zilker Park to ride the Zilker Zypher. Moo man was about to explode from refusal to use any public potty and from the excitement of getting to go on a real train. He loved the train, his smile was huge the whole time. It's inexpensive and runs along the edge of Barton creek and town lake. We will definitely go again when we go back to Austin.

After the train we went to play on the playground and Moo freaked. Crying and shaking, demanding we go home home NOW. He wanted to use his potty no other potty would do. Oh eyeroll. Hubs said let's go and I said no way.... He will refuse to go wherever you take him. Moo hadn't gone in 7-8 hours at this point! So.... I locked him in the car with his potty seat and wouldn't let him leave until he made it happen. 15 minutes of crying ( him) and email checking (me).., success. And a vacation memory made....

We finished out the day with a long walk around Zilker Park and dinner at Kerbey Lane Cafe on Guadalupe street. We learned from the previous days and didn't order the kids anything and it was a more enjoyable experience without trying to get them to eat. I got the hippy burger, tasted good... Not sure about the texture of vegan burgers.

Day 4- everyone slept great! Breakfast, pack up the car, and head to the capital building. Parking was a breeze and the capital was pretty empty. The kids liked it.... However I was on edge. Not a safe place for little kids! Moo really wanted to go to the top of the dome. Ummm. No. The craftsman ship of the capital is just amazing. After growing up in New Mexico with it's early 1980's modern and streamlined capital building it's neat to see these massive old buildings of such detail.

After the capital, we head back to IKEA to pick up a few small things for Gran. There is a neat little playground and shopping area in front of IKEA where we stopped for lunch. Just subs, nothing exciting. Moo starts doing the potty dance and crying for home again so we repeat the potty in the backseat standoff again. This time he refuses to even try and I am livid. So. Done. We leave round rock in a hurry and are so ready to get the grumpy kids home. We stop only once to throw a diaper on mr. Not-gonna-pee-in-a-strange-potty and make it home in 5.5 hours. Hooray.

This was our first vacation without any interaction with extended family since our honeymoon almost SEVEN years ago. Which is CRAZY because we travel quite often. Lessons learned: get a suite with kitchenettes and never underestimate a preschoolers fear of strange potties. We spent HOURS sitting on bathrooms trying to dissuade that fear. Not fun. We didn't get to the State History Museum, the Cathedral of Junk, or any thriftstores. And there is always IKEA. So we will definitely go back to Austin.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

super easy reverse applique

A couple friends have asked for a tutorial on how I made those sweet twin onesies a few weeks back. And I am just now getting around to posting the tutorial! Not having internet at home definitely has a downside! So with out further delay...

Step 1:
Design something to make. My suggestion would be the less experienced you are with sewing knits the simpler you keep it. Also, small letters will not show up well.

Step 2:
Gather your supplies. You will need :
- a sewing machine
- an iron
- straight pins
- scissors
- a t-shirt (or whatever else you want to reveres applique)
- scrap jersey fabric
-freezer paper

Step 3:
Print or draw your design on the non waxey side of the freezer paper. You do not need to reverse the image. Freezer paper should work fine in desk jet printers but DO NOT use it in laser jets. The heat will melt the wax ruining your printer. Iron the design onto the outside of your t-shirt.

Step 4:
Turn your shirt inside out and pin the jersey to the back of your design. Because jersey is kinda tricky, pin more rather than less. If you are doing multiple clolors, you would want to do one color at a time.

Step 5:
Turn your shirt right side out and get is positioned to sew. I used a straight small stitch. You need to use a small stitch length to perforate the freezer paper. Sew directly on top of our just on the outside of all your lines. Backstitch before starting a new letter or shape.

Step 6:
After finishing all the shapes and letters in a given color, turn the shirt inside out and trim excess fabric away from the back. You don't want to trim to close to the edges, maybe about 1/8" plus around all stitches.

Step 7:
Repeat Steps 4, 5, and 6 for any other colors you want to do.

Step 8:
Turn the shirt right side out. Channel your inner gerbil and gently begin pulling off the freezer paper. The small stitches you used to sew the jersey together should have perforated the freezer paper. The paper should come off easily.

Step 9:
Using your smallest, sharpest, most nimble scissors trim away the jersey inside your letters and shapes. Be careful to not cut the layer of fabric underneath. Again, you want to trim close to the stitching but not right on it. 1/16" is as close as you want to get. The jersey will curl at the edges with wear or washing. This is an excellent activity for halfhearted tv watching.

Step 10:
That's it! Now use your new technique to applique all kinds of stuff. I haven't seen freezer paper used in any other tutorial. I like it because it keeps everything neatly aligned and takes the stretch out of the jersey while sewing. I tried tissue paper... horrible. I also tried just tracing on the shirt and that was also a huge pain because of the stretch.

If you find this tutorial useful, please leave a comment and if you feature it on your blog, give me credit :) Sorry girls it took me so long to get this up!

Monday, February 15, 2010

i heart my silly kids

Another post of pics of my little darlings. Can you tell we have been stuck inside a lot this winter? I am ready to welcome spring, warm sunshine, travel adventures and getting back to taking other peoples pictures :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

happy balentines day!

Some people around my house have trouble enunciating certain letters like "v". So happy balentines day! My kids were so thrilled to finally get to eat their heart lollipops. Sweet sticky mess.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

january's leftovers

not leftovers in the fridge, leftovers for the blog. :) A little side of playing at the park, a reheat of hopscotch in the park, and a dessert of jumping on the couch. Followed by a little confetti tossing in front of mount laundry.

Friday, February 12, 2010

crafting from the stash: toddling twin tutu's

I have a dear friend from up 'north who has 2 adorable little twin girls. They are just so precious! I have been mulling over what fun thing I could send her way for her precious little girls so last week when my craft studio was finally operational I whipped up a little valentines love for her cuties. twin tutus, i heart my sister onesies and some legwarmers. Too bad they are in the midst of a MAJOR home renovation (think lifting a 100 year old house off it's foundation) and the house is a little cold for running around like a ballerina. Spring is coming!

I'll be getting a tutorial up on the reverse applique shirts up because I am kicking myself for not trying it earlier. It was frustrating to keep all the letters in place until I raided my kids art drawer....

f r e e d o m to f l y

Thursday, February 11, 2010


There has been a lot of re-_________ going on around our house and lives this past week.

Refreshed, renewed, restored. It is lovely. I'll write more about "re-" in a later post, but this week I really enjoyed this blog post by "this the reverb." I love his site, faith, photography, food, family.... all the "f's" one neat blog.

What do you think? Do you need to be refreshed?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

grandparent love

Hubs parents were here last week to spoil my kids rotten. Just rotten, oh wait we made them rotten... not the grandparents. My children are so incredibly blessed to have 4 grandparents who love and adore them and want to be part of their lives, whether they live an hour away or 11 hours away. So blessed. Grandma Teeny took Moo on a hike through our backyard (seriously) and it was a great adventure for both of them. From climbing through brush, to being followed by suzy cat, being pocked by cactus, and finding a hidden cave.

engagement session in a winter wonderland

It's been wet here. And foggy. And bitterly cold. At least according to my toes. Sunday afternoon was dreary, foggy, drizzling, and just barely above freezing. Not ideal for shooting engagement pictures. The weather delayed them getting to the shoot so it was nearly 5pm and the little light we had to work with was fading fast. But Jacob and Bekkah could care less. We ventured out in the cold and I worked as quickly as possible and they were completely oblivious to it all. In their own little love bubble. I LOVE it when clients are so engaged in each other that my camera is just an afterthought. Jacob left for more training yesterday in California and I hope this little glimpse of him brightens up Bekkahs's day! :) Congrats you two!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


just a super short update before meeting a friend....

We are still without internet at our house and my iphone and my computer still aren't playing nice... so no new photos to blog. Work on the dump continues, only a few boxes remain to unpack and all major life interrupting projects on the inside are done. Hallelujah. My studio (art and design, and photo editing) is finally usable. It took me 3 full morning to night days to get every little button and paper in it's place. I am loving being able to create again, it was a LONG nine months that my craft supplies were in boxes. The best part of my new work space is there is lots of room for me and several friends to work and it is connected to the playroom. I see lots of playdates/craft days in our future!

One of the things I love about our new house is how peaceful it is. I don't think I realized how stressful it was to live under a constant fear of being robbed again and always being on alert. Our new house has plenty of it's own challenges (water in the basement...) but it is calming and it forces you to be aware of nature. I love that. The sunsets are amazing. Something about removing our physical selves from the everyday craziness of living in a city (small city) has been so freeing but also so convicting. Both Hubs and I are deeply mulling over relationships, commitments, lifestyle.

all for now...