Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Home Tour

Today I'm linking up with a few of my favorite bloggers for their Christmas Home Tour series this week! You'll find links to each one at the bottom of this post. Be sure to go check out everyone who is linking up this week to see their beautiful Christmas homes!!

This year, I was prepared to not be as festive as past years simply because I knew I'd have two new babies at home right before the holidays revved up and they would require most of my attention. I skipped all the little details this year and just stuck with our main pieces. 

For the most post part, everything that we did set up / decorate is basically the same as last year. That being said, to see last year's Christmas Home Tour with ALL the bells and whistles pre-baby days, just click here

We kept the outside almost the same as last year with one little change (that I've not photographed yet because it's been nasty the past couple of days). I used the same green wreaths with lime and red mesh on the front windows. 

I ended up hanging old faithful on the front door again this year. It's just too pretty. On the backside of our front door, I've hung this beautiful burlap wreath my cousin Brooke made for us this year. It almost went on the front door, but then we'd never see it. So...inside it goes!

Our entryway table is also still the same...

but we've added two new names to our little family tree! 

Coming on in to the kitchen...

I debated back and forth for several weeks on whether or not to put up my I Love Lucy tree in the kitchen. In fact when we went to go pick up everything at our storage unit, I still wasn't sure. Then, I saw all the pretty pinks and reds sparkling through the clear storage tote and I was a goner. It's just fun tree that makes me happy while I'm cooking!

Totally using last year's picture for this one because I've not been able to hit good daylight hours to take this pic the past week. By the time I remember it's night time or early morning. Anyways, it's the same again this year. Still my favorite Pinterest find ever! 

Just imagine a sink full of bottles and a Baby Brezza next to the sink and have what it looks like this year. 

Last year, I shared our snowman painting that Stephen's Aunt Jan made us. I was planning on taking the print to her to let her add the girls but she surprised me at one of our showers and had made us a brand new print with our little family of four!

I ditched the fancy coffee table centerpiece this year for something new! The Night Before Christmas and the cutest cookie plate for Santa that I found at Hallmark this year. 

I can't wait to see what kind of traditions we start with our girls and these two pieces!

Last year, I wasn't able to find this but lo and behold it showed up sometime mid-Spring so I packed it with my Christmas stuff to be sure I used it this year. This was taken several years ago I just LOVE the expressions on both of our nephews' faces. Priceless. 

Tree time...

I'll admit, I'm seeing other people's trees this year and thinking that maybe I'm getting tired of the green and red I've been doing for several years now. Maybe one day I'll change it up, but for now, we're sticking with what we have. 

p.s. any clutter you see in these pics just disregard...other things take precedence over making sure the magazine basket is straightened up. Know what I'm sayin'! 

The girls have received a few different "My First Christmas" ornaments this year. They are all so special and I cherish each one so much!!

My sister gave me this sweet ornament back in February to honor our first baby who should've been born that month. As much as my heart is overwhelmed with love for our girls, it doesn't replace the hurt and sadness of losing our first baby. Not a day passes that I don't think about our sweet angel. I love that this ornament will be with us each Christmas. 

Our first family ornament!

I can't tell you about ALL the emotions that ran through me the day I hung FOUR stockings up on our mantel. It's still surreal to think about what all has happened in this past year. 

One final shot...let's be honest and share real life...the girls were hanging out on their activity mat when I snapped these pics. 

And what's a post from a twin mom without a little snapshot? 

They are my favorite decorations of this tour! 

Thanks for stopping by! Please take a few moments to visit the bloggers I'm linking up with to see everyone else's beautiful holiday homes! Happy Wednesday friends!!

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Day in the Life: Maternity Leave Edition

Day in the Life posts are among my favorite to write and to read from other bloggers. I wanted to document a day during my maternity leave to look back on years from now to remember how these ordinary but super sweet days unfolded. 

I kept track of last Monday and since technically Monday started after midnight, might as well start sharing when my day really started. 

Yep...2:51am. The girls take a bottle every 4 hours, the way we have them spaced out has them waking once during the night to eat. This usually falls somewhere between the 2 and 3am hour. We have the girls spread out 30  minutes apart which allows me to feed, burp, change diaper and get mostly back to sleep before the next girls starts getting fussy for her bottle. This is key for me during the days while Stephen is at work and during the week nights when I take the middle of the night feeding. 

I've tried a few different ways to go about doing the middle of the night feedings, but this is my preferred method and it has worked the best for each girl. I change their diapers, give them a bottle and get them back to sleep in their room...with only a nightlight as our light, cuddled in the rocker with a fleece blanket and a Lullaby Pandora channel playing on my phone. 

On this night Amelia woke up first to eat and then Mae Parker. After taking care of both girls and getting them back to sleep, I was back in bed in just a little over an hour. 

And then we were back up at 6:30 to do it all over again and start our day! Amelia was my first to wake again. We headed to the kitchen to make bottles...

OH the Baby Brezza....a life saver and miracle worker for multiples mom! 

From 6 to 7, there's a show that comes on the Sprout channel, Little People. It is the cutest little show with wonderful color and cutesy songs. The girls are mesmerized by this show while they drink their bottle. 

Mae Parker woke up a little after 7 and joined our party!

It also just happened to be Cyber Monday so I had to check out a few online deals after the girls went down for naps. We're big fans of Carter's for baby clothes! I was proud of myself and only ordered a couple of could've been so much more!

During the girls' 4 hour feed spacing, they tend to sleep about 2 to 2 and half hours. During those golden moments, I do one of two things. I either do absolutely nothing at all and even fall asleep beside them on the couch or I morph into Super Mom and attack a million chores. On Monday, I chose the Super Mom path. 

Bottle washing...with's intense. We typically wash bottles and bottle parts twice a day. 

The girls tend to nap in the mornings on the couch. The rest of the day they'll snooze in their Rock & Play's. I know the days of them napping on the couch are coming to an end because they'll be rolling over before long, then I'll have to take a few more protective measures than I do now. 

At 9, I sat down for breakfast and to watch Live with Kelly! I grew up watching Regis & Kathie Lee during school breaks, summer break, snow and sick days...and have continued watching all of these years if I was randomly home. I've thoroughly enjoyed the 9am hour during my leave. 

No judgement on "breakfast". Pie is totally acceptable as the occasional breakfast during the holidays!

Someone ended up needing a few extra snuggles...

Speaking of Kathie Lee, I've been catching her on the final hour of the Today Show after Kelly...annnnd a couple of Cyber Monday Nordstrom purchases. 

Alot of our day is repetitive so just know that around 10a and 2p we went through the whole diapers, bottles, burps, blah blah blah...again. 

The laundry is never ending. I knew it would increase...but geeze...I was naive enough to not think it would be THIS much. I do about 2 loads of just girls' stuff every couple of days. If I didn''d be a massive, out of control pile. 

We spend the awake hours of the afternoon reading books. touring the house, practicing our tummy time and lately, staring at the Christmas tree lights. 

Mother of the year, my child is definitely spitting up in this pic. Way to go. 

We received a couple different activity mats, we've been using the above pink one for several weeks and on this day I decided to put together the other one just as a change of scenery for the girls. 

Afternoon naps!!

I don't iron. I mean, I do, but not really. I own two tops that require ironing. I don't even bother to drag out and set up our ironing board...I just throw a towel on table and get it done. So now the girls have little dresses that require's still not my favorite task, but it's a bit more fun to iron cute matching chambray dresses than ironing my own clothes. 

Stephen got home around 3pm, neither of us had eaten lunch so he picked up salads from Blue Coast Burrito on his way home for us. (Gosh I big pink puffy heart love Blue Coast!) We chatted about our day while Mae Parker cuddled up on my chest. She's been a Mama's girl lately...can't say that I mind it. 

Neither of us were very hungry so weren't in any hurry for dinner. Amelia was showing more interest than usual in our Christmas books so we read them through a couple of times. 

Along with Little People, we're also fans of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood....such a cute show. 

We practiced Tummy Time again....


Both girls do well with Tummy Time but bless Mae Parker...she'd sleep all night on her stomach if we'd let her. They propped her on her stomach to sleep during her first couple of weeks at the hospital nursery and she LOVES it. She would just prefer Tummy Time be a special nap time! (P.S. we don't let her sleep on her tummy. Maybe when she gets a bit bigger / older.)

We still weren't too hungry so around 8pm I whipped us up a grilled ham and cheese and tomato soup. Nothing fancy but just enough to hit the spot. 

We started our "bedtime" routine around 9, but at 10 when both girls were still awake we moved them to our room (where they sleep anyway for now) but rocking them in our recliner in a super quiet room...just seems to get them every time. 

We give them baths every other night, this was a non-bath night. Bath night bedtimes seem to go a bit quicker...bath, bottle, bedtime...the perfect trifecta! 

Then just after 10:30 both girls were asleep and I moved them across the room where they sleep for the night. 

For the time being, we were still on a "ban" from public places. But now, the ban has been lifted so we can go and do...only we probably won't. It's getting cold here and the "public" is germy and revving up the flu season. So for now, we'll just enjoy our cozy days at home. 

It's hard to believe that two months has already passed by and I only have a few weeks left at home with our girls before going back to work. Even though there's alot of snuggling involved...being a stay at home mom is WORK. There is always, always, always something to do. Don't get me wrong, there have been days I've longed for adult conversation / interaction and days that I have counted down the minutes until Stephen walked through to the door to say "tag you're it" so that I could get out of the house or just take a long, uninterrupted nap. Overall, it's been a special time that for a long time I wasn't sure if I'd ever get to have for myself. I don't take a second of these days for granted. These are the best days.