Friday, March 31, 2017

Life Lately: March edition

Our little second house on the right hasn't really felt like "home" lately. We've made the best of our situation this month, but man am I looking forward to next week when HOPEFULLY the new floor gets installed, our stuff and furniture gets moved back in and life goes back to normal. CANNOT wait!! 
If anything else, it's taught me one thing...we are not remodel type of people. We need a move in ready home...the end. 

The first weekend of the month, we actually stayed at my parents house the entire weekend because the fans in our house drying out the water damage was just enough to make a sane person go over the edge. Toward mid-month, we spent the night at my sister and brother in law's one night because the smell was so strong. Our nephews were on cloud 9 and I'm pretty sure they'd have us move in permanently tomorrow if they had their way. 


Amelia and Mae Parker celebrated St. Patrick's Day in pretty dresses and learning how not to fall on top of each other...


her face just cracks me up!


On top of our torn apart home, Stephen's mom was gone for almost two weeks on a big trip. This year she went to Israel and Jordan - the pictures she sent us every day were beautiful!


 With Lolli gone, it meant the girls went on "adventures" every day to other friends' and families' houses. I SO loved getting pictures and videos every day from everyone of the fun they were having with our girls! 


They were so good everywhere they went, but my favorite date was a Monday I took off work to stay home with them myself. 


We had the best day playing, visiting my grandparents (whose house is the BEST place to nap...no matter how old you are...if you need a good nap, go to Ma and Pa's house!),  


We finished our day going to the park (which I shared a video on my IG story but forgot to save it for my blog...womp, womp), then came home to swing outside. It was the first day of Spring and by far my favorite day this month! 


Both girls have moved up to larger size clothes. Some things that I've been waiting oh so very patiently for them to wear, they're finally able to! Like these simple be super sweet dresses from Old Navy that we received at a baby shower. I saw them in store myself and ALMOST bought them but talked myself out of it because we had a shower that weekend and sure enough...someone got them for us! 


And Old Navy shoes size 3-6 months fit them perfectly! They wore these ALL day on that Sunday. So sweet!! 


Thanks to our dear friends Joseph and Kristen, the hubs and I were able to enjoy a date night. We kept it extremely low-key with a local BBQ joint, groceries and a couple of errands. Before our banana pudding was brought to the table, I overheard the cashier ask a couple people if they had cash or check and if they had read the sign on the door. I watched a few more minutes before deciding, yep, their card machine isn't working. Stephen left me there to make a run to the nearest ATM seeing as how I used the last check two days prior to pay the water bill and never replaced the empty book with a new one. 


But date night wasn't finished yet, because yes in a small town, you run into your nephews at Books a Million!


Amelia started getting congested again last weekend, so Mae Parker was once again the attention hog at church on Sunday. 


Stephen's mom brought him back a yamaka from Israel. He came in the girls room, picked MP up and headed out the door before I realized what he had done. I will admit I was rocking a sick baby and dying laughing at the same time. 


Luckily, this round of congestion and crud didn't last as long as before and in just a few days Miss Bright Eyes was feeling SO much better! 


With Stephen's mom back in action this week, Camp Lolli resumed on Monday and we all couldn't be happier! We just love our weekday routines...routines make life easier. Routines with twins is critical, essential, a must...all those words! I love getting pictures from her throughout the day too! She works with them SO much!! 


Whereas, we bring them home, and in 5 seconds flat this happens. 


Such is life. 

Wouldn't trade it for the world! 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thursday Confessions

Dropping in a for a few Thursday Confessions!!

|one|

So now I understand those warnings that I’ve always thought are the dumbest thing ever. The “this plastic bag is not intended to be a toy.” “Do not leave plastic bag unattended with children, can cause suffocation.”…blah, blah, blah.

I was changing MP’s diaper RIGHT beside Amelia who had grabbed the stack of Pampers bags I had piled in her crib, because hello Pampers Rewards Points!! So she did this….


My first reaction was WHAT IN THE WORLD CHILD!? Second reaction was, “I’ve gotta take a picture of this!” (#priorities) Third reaction was, “Ugh…I’ve gotta take those away from her and she’s NOT going to like it.”



#truestory

|two|

I will admit, I got a little carried away with Dr. Peppers there for a few weeks (or a couple of months). As in….every single day. I knoooooow. It was bad. I’ve cut back…I get one…maaaybe two a week. I’m doing better, but gosh I love those things.



|three|

I’ve been debating on whether or not I want to take the girls to get their pictures made with an Easter Bunny. I’m leaning towards no, because quite frankly, I think those costumes are terrifying. Does that make me a bad mom? What if in 17 / 18 years we’re going through photos for their Senior Night reception for church and the girls are like, “Mom…we have pictures with Santa…where’s any pictures of us with the Easter Bunny?” What am I supposed to say? Yeeeeaaaah, sorry ‘bout that the Easter Bunny kinda creeps me out so I skipped taking you every year, you never knew the difference.



#decisions

|four|

Stephen and I are faithful Scandal viewers, but we typically watch it a few days after a new episode aired. I won’t spoil last week’s episode in case you haven’t seen it yet…BUT OH MY WORRRRRRRD! At Bunko Monday night a couple of my friends started talking about it and I shut them up quick, HA!  They were insistent we watch it immediately so I snapped and texted them through the episode once we did watch it the next night.



(Which by the way, I’m on Snapchat now. I have NO clue what I’m doing and not even sure I’m doing it right?! Add me and we’ll snapchat together! Unless I decide to get rid of it which has already crossed my mind multiple times. I think my name on there is staffordtwinmom BECAUSE ericaflattstafford was already taken?? REALLY?)

|five|

Stephen and I have a date night planned in Nashville in a couple of weeks to celebrate his birthday! We’re both excited but I don’t think he can wait much longer! We’re going to a new (to Nashville) restaurant, Jeff Ruby’s. He and his family had been to one in Louisville years ago and he’s not stopped talking about it since. Yes, it’s expensive, naturally because it’s a Stafford men favorite. Personally, places like that are not my cup of tea because I just don’t like spending that kind of money on ONE meal, but this is something I know he will enjoy SOO much.


I’m trying to just put it out of mind and enjoy the experience for him. I’ve been saving a little here and there for this particular date / birthday gift and he’s THRILLED. The last couple of years, he’s not really wanted anything gift wise for his birthday, just money, so this year, I thought we’d do this as his gift because I knew he would love it better than any item I could buy in a  store for him. I hope it’s everything he’s hyped it up to be for all of these years, otherwise, we’re dropping a lot of money on a piece of beef when we could increase our formula stockpile!


Ahh Thursday Confessions, you’re always my favorite! Come back tomorrow for our March edition of Life Lately!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Show & Tell: Favorite Photos

Today, I'm joining Andrea to share some of my favorite pictures! (and NO way was this going to be limited to 5...or 10 photos, I just can't!) I'm a picture kind of gal. Back in my teenage years I was known among my friends as our group photographer. No matter, what we did, where we went, I always had my camera and and an extra roll of film. Yes, FILM. There is NO TELLING HOW MUCH money I spent during those years on film and processing. I have albums upon albums filled with memories that I cherish SO much!! 

Then, one day I converted to the digital world, and life became easier...and cheaper on the photography front. 

I think about fun times with friends and family long before marriage and motherhood were involved. I think about Summers, small town traditions, lake days, bonfire nights, sun burns, beachy hair, no schedules. I think about the late nights, the dinners out, the blinds dates, the laughs and OH the laughs! 

I've always been incredibly close to my nephews and cherish the years that I paid for the three of us to have photos made together by a dear friend of mine. 


My grandparents had to be included in this post of favorite pictures. Two photos of my grandpa came to mind instantly. The sweet photo of him with my youngest nephew Colin when he was about 1 and in the last few years, when we were able to arrange for him to meet legendary Atlanta Braves player, David Justice. I mean...just look at that smile! That day was one of my all time favorites! 


Speaking of family...I'm pretty sure I've mentioned on here before how close I am with the cousins on my mom's side of the family. We grew up spending many, many Summer days together at our grandparents and with the exception of 1, we all still live within 30 minutes of each other and see each other often. I can't imagine my life without these girls and Jared...our lone boy cousin until Sammy surprised us all those years later! 


We're family, but they were my first best friends. The memories we've made and the laughter that fills our homes..it's priceless! I can't say enough how much I love them. 


Naturally some wedding photos had to be included! Who can forget this fun shot bidding adieu to my "always a bridesmaid never a bride" years! Yep, that's all 14 dresses I wore before my own walk down the aisle! 


For as long as I'm living, no matter where I may be living, this photo will ALWAYS be a on a wall in my home. Myself, my mom and grandma's hands...the wisdom, influence and love passed down from these two are their biggest gifts to me. 



I love these pics of Stephen and I. From our engagement session, our wedding, our first house, and pregnancy announcement. Such HUGE moments in our life!


I think about our first baby that left us all too soon. The love and support we received from our friends and family was overwhelming. It was our most trying time and saddest part of life so far. We may never have met that baby here in our earthly world, but oh how I cannot wait to scoop that little one up in my arms in heaven one day!! 


Our biggest lesson in faithfulness was revealed when we went from two to a family of four!


 The brief moment I first saw our precious girls is forever etched in my mind and heart. I wouldn't be able to see them for a couple hours later after these photos were taken. Those few seconds I had with them were the moment I knew unconditional love and overwhelming joy and pride!
 I can't think about our girls, without thinking about my uncle Jerrie. He was my dad's only brother, the baby of the family. He and I always had a special bond...he was so excited for us and our upcoming arrival. He and my Dad stopped by our baby shower toward the end of it and my friend Amy snapped a pic of them. Not very long after this, he entered the hospital with Pulmonary Fibrosis. 


He would never the hospital. When the girls were born, we would send him pics every day and my aunt said he looked forward to getting them and looking at them and watching the videos we sent. He passed away a week after the girls were born and were still in the hospital. I think about him at our baby shower, and I think about the photos we sent him of our tee-tiny preemie girls. I've been working on a post about this for several months and hopefully soon, I'll finish it up. It's been a hard one to write. 


I love this picture of our girls with our nephews. It's been the biggest pleasure to watch their interactions and love develop. These four are going to be the best of friends. 


These two photos from the girls' three month session, are among my absolute favorite so far of them. They're just so beautiful. I have these two pics framed and enlarged in my office on a wall in front of my desk so I can gawk at them all day. My heart just explodes!

 But by far, my most favorite picture ever...


Life just doesn't get any better!! 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Day in the Life: Full Time Working Mom edition

Every now and then, I like to document a “Day in the Life” to look back and see how our lives are changing and have stayed the same. I knew I wanted to document a day after I returned to work from my maternity leave, but certainly wasn’t expecting our house to fall apart like it has. (By the way, it’s still a wreck. We’re hoping and praying that it’s completely resolved soon. We’re closer than we’ve been that’s for sure. Cabinets have been put back in, floors have been repaired, everything's dry, new flooring has been picked out, I guess now we’re just waiting on the new flooring to come in and schedule the install. When that happens, all of our big furniture will be moved out and stored for 2-3 days or until the new floor is done and ready for our use. We’ve been making the best of it, staying at my parents’ house on days/nights that our house was just unlivable, trying to keep positive attitudes, but it’s been a month now….and I want my house back.)  Anyways, my motto during all of this has been “life goes on” and it does.

I documented Wednesday, as best as I could remember, #twinmombrain took over for most of the night and I realized at bedtime I hadn’t taken a single pic of anything that night – oh well. (and  yes, I play this “album” on my phone throughout the night for the girls to sleep to…heck, we all sleep to it, ha)



Technically my day started at 3:19a when Amelia started getting fussy in her rock and play next to our bed. It took a while but she finally calmed down and went back to sleep. Then naturally, she started waking up at the same time I needed to get up. (They still sleep in our room in their Rock and Plays…a MUST for any new or expecting parent! We’ve slowly been trying to transition them to their cribs, because, well, they’re almost 6 months old and they’re starting to outgrown the Rock and Plays…it’s just time.)

Usually they’ll sleep just long enough for me to get up around 5am and get myself ready, then I’ll be totally ready to change, feed, etc before leaving for work. Instead, Amelia woke up early, so it was just me and her for about 45 minutes.


We chatted, laughed, changed a diaper, ate a bottle, watched the news and rocked back to sleep for a while so I could get a quick shower.



While I was getting a shower, Stephen got up with Mae Parker, changed and fed her. His mom was still gone on her big two week trip, so we’ve been toting the girls around every day to different family and friends who have so willingly offered to keep them. To help our mornings out these past two weeks, I pack bags and make bottles along with packing my lunch and laying out my clothes the night before so everything is  just ready to grab and go the next morning.


We buckled the girls up in their pj’s and headed across town to my cousin Sarah’s house.


I just love driving through “the old part of town” every day!



Once I unloaded at Sarah and Robert’s their daughter Arabelle was PUMPED to say the least about playing with “her babies” that day!!


I left the girls and got to work later than normal because of A LOT of school traffic in that area that I’m not used to. (And I might throw in Sarah text me before I even got to work telling me both girls were already asleep!) I settled into my cozy little corner of the hospital and got to work on some orders I had left behind from the day before.


 I won’t bore you with 8 hours of what I do for work, but I was in a Kenny Chesney mood yesterday, so non-stop KC on Spotify it was!


My dad came by to visit a lady from our church who was here as a patient and he swung by my office. Just like old times! I miss our daily chats since he retired.


Before long it was lunchtime, and again in preparing as much as I can for a day, I packed up some leftovers the night before. Pot roast, green beans and mac & cheese. It may look like a hot mess but it was a tasty lunch.


Sometime around 1:30, Stephen finished work for the day and picked up the girls. They made a trip to the bank and then headed home. I didn’t leave work until 3:30. I made a quick stop by Aldi for a few things and made it home just in time for the girls next bottles.


 They were getting fussy so we plopped them in their Bumbo seats until we unloaded my car started a load of “sink water” to let their bottles from the day soak, and started new bottles.


After bottle time, Stephen washed all the bottles from the last 24 hours. We typically wash all bottles and bottle parts we’ve used from the previous night and throughout the day between the 4:30pm and bedtime feeding.


While he did that, I packed the girls bags for the next day, made bottles, got my lunch and clothes ready.


Both girls were awake and happy and I took advantage of it! Over the weekend, I had washed the next size up of clothes, and pulled out all the remaining newborn size clothes in their closet and dresser. Needless to say, there were clothes EVERYWHERE in their room. I mean, what’s one more mess in our house right now anyway, right?! I knew I could occupy them long enough with Disney music, toys and sitting beside them to play and talk while I bagged everything up.



My parents also dropped by during this time (the beginning of my photo failures) to pickup a couple things for the next day since they were keeping them yesterday, and then around 6:45 Amelia and Mae Parker went down for a nap.


They slept for about 45 minutes when we decided we were starving and had to eat something.  I was able to put MP down and throw together a leftovers’ smorgasbord dinner. Sometime around 8, Stephen’s mom and dad stopped by. She had just returned home a couple hours earlier from her nearly two week trip to Israel and Jordan…it goes without saying she was READY to see her grandbabies! She gave them both their bedtime bottles, they stayed through bathtime and then left around 9:15 while we were rocking them to sleep. 


(No, this is not the same photo as the previous one, but yes pretty much is. And no, we don’t normally do the same babies. We try to switch them up between us, but sometimes you just grab one and go. It’s survival mode at times.) MP goes to bed at night like a champ and sleeps all night. Amelia usually does too, and with me getting bags ready for the next day, bottles, my lunch and my clothes laid out for the next day..I’m typically ready to go to bed as soon as the girls do. I probably haven’t gone to bed before 9:30 since I was a kid, but hey, no complaints here! Haha


HOWEVER, Amelia had a hard time on this night. Stephen tried twice putting her to bed and both times she wasn’t having it. I tried the third time. She was pitifully whiney, so I gave her some gas drops and patted her back while I held her. She burped two more times and after that settled right down for the night, and so did I…Bedtime Beethoven and all. 


You can see into other Day in the Life posts here, here and here - oh life has changed!