For The Record

While talking with my bestie yesterday she asked a few questions about how/what we did with the boys at “X” age.  I couldn’t remember specifically and I thought I could go back through the blog to figure out when we did something.  I had a similar conversation with myself here.

Well I’m at it again.  I’m not posting/documenting enough these days.

So my babies are little toddlers.  Like, real little toddlers.  When Erin was over with Vivienne, who is two months, the Nuggets were S O big.  I had to go back and look at videos from when they were that age and it seriously made me cry.

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Awwwwww.  Alas, there is no going backwards. But real quick…2014

Christmas 2014

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So my Nuggets are two years and two months old and Christmas is going to RULE this year.

They love to destroy mess with our tree.  In all fairness of “toddlerhood” they aren’t all that bad with the tree.  Weston likes to pull the ornaments off (and throw it back at the tree to see if it’ll stick) and touch the lights.  We’ve had several time-out sessions about trying to unplug/plug the lights in though.  Corbin just touches for the most part.  There are no presents under the tree because neither will leave them alone.  #Understandable.

We visited Santa at the Parks of Arlington Mall and it was fantastic!  Well I thought it was.  The boys were kind of terrified of the sleigh ride experience.  Yep, this little trip was totally worth it because we got to talk to Shrek and Donkey on the Skype -phone, take an interactive flight school, “fly a sleigh”, build a ginger bread cookie and THEN we met Santa.  Totally worth the $11 for the picture.

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At least they’re not sobbing.

Developmentally

They are finally talking! Like putting-multiple-words-together-in-a-sentence kind of talking.  Weston hears everything we say and, like a little echo, says it back to us.  They both try to say anything we ask them to repeat, although it doesn’t always sound like the words.  They are trying though and that’s what is important.  The refer to both of themselves and each other as Wey-wey and Cor-cor.  Not always accurately.

Weston

After Thanksgiving, both boys came home with a cold.  Weston’s turned into a sinus infection so we were at the doctor.  He weighs 29 lbs and is 35.5″ tall.  He wears a 2T/3T, depending on the store.  West knows all of his colors and can almost count to five.  He is developing his independence daily.  Code for: he is in time out more often these days for not listening, hitting or throwing things.  Weston eats okay.  He isn’t into meat much unless it is ground (turkey/beef/chicken) and even then, it’s hit or miss.  He love broccoli with cheese which is a win in my book.  I still sneak veggies were ever I can and they both like almost all fruit.  He loooooooooves snacks.

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Weston is still sleeping well (except when sick) but is having a harder time falling asleep before nap/bedtime.  He’s not crying or getting upset but he takes anywhere for 40 minutes to an hour.  We’ve tried pushing bedtime back but he continues to need that wind down time.  It’s been this way, on and off, for a while now.  I’m not sure but I’m beginning to think that the (sacred) nap time might be too long.

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We also cut the tail off Weston’s monkey last month.  Have I already mentioned that?  What does that mean exactly….?  A friend of mine gave both boys a little monkey that holds on/attached to a lovey (tiny blanket).  Corbin found his thumb early on but Weston discovered the monkey.  He didn’t love on the lovey part but instead would suck on the tail.  He’s done this since we stopped swaddling them.  We would rotate the two monkeys and wash them as much as possible but it was still gross.  Daddy decided it was time to cut it off and I was terrified we’d have a very upset boy.  The Hubs told Weston that he bit it off.  He was slightly confused and would still search for it but he held up pretty well.  I also wonder if this is why he takes so much longer to go to sleep as we took away the way he soothes himself.

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Corbin

Corbin did not have to go to the doctor so the scale at home says he weighs 27.8 pounds and he is approximately the same height as West, so I’m going with about 35″ tall.  He could be the exact same height but it’s like herding cats to get them to stand still and/or next to one another so I don’t know for sure. Corbin is an even picker eater then I thought he could be.  He has pretty much a total aversion to meat unless it’s a hot dog (ugh).  He loves to dip things, is totally into snacks and is crazy about refried beans.  He also looooooves carrots. So thats a plus.

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Corbin is not quite as assertive as Weston but he still lets me know his dissatisfaction.  Usually by sobbing his eyes out, whereas his brother hits/throws/screams.  I have to tell myself constantly to be consistent because it’s SO much harder not to cave when he is SO sad.  The Hubs can barely take it.  He loses his mind a little bit when they get upset.

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Corbin is obsessed with his blankie and sucks his thumb.  I am starting to see the thumb taking a toll on his teeth.  He sucks his left thumb, off to the side of his mouth and the left front too is starting to stick out.  I also sucked my thumb as a kid and my teeth were terrible (I wore braces for 7 years).  I have no idea how we would start to break him of this habit anytime soon.  I think he’s still too little.  He sleeps awesome, with the exception of the occasional bad dream.  He will wake up crying but as soon as you go in, pat him on the back and reassure him that you are there, he goes right back to sleep.

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This weekend we have tickets to ride the North Pole Express in Grapevine and I am beyond excited.  The tickets go on sale in October and they are a hot commodity.  You have to buy them EARLY.  I barely got enough for all of us (Gramma Dee & Scott will be participating in the fun too).  I think I should actually watch the Polar Express movie to know what the whole thing is based around but I know the Nuggets are going to be absolutely delighted that they get to ride a choo-choo. 

This Christmas season we have already had so much fun crafting ornaments, attempts making a gingerbread house, destroying decorating the Christmas tree and shopping.  Let’s not talk about how that last one goes.

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We are truly blessed beyond measure and look forward to teaching the boys more about the reason for the season.

XOXO

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November

Brace yourself. This past month has been out. Of. Control.

And now it’s over and were headed into the home stretch of 2015. WTH…where does time go?

My mom had two spinal surgery procedures at the beginning of November. Her doctor did what many doctors do and told her that she would be up and running in about two weeks. Momo had surgery on a Tuesday, released on Wednesday (crazy right?) and began her recovery. By Saturday she was feeling “pretty good”. I called to check in with my moms several times. On Monday morning the Nugs and I Facetime-d Mo to check up. We were pleasantly surprised to also get to FT Pop-pop…? Pop-pop was supposed to be at work.  Turns out, Momo wasn’t recovering quite as quickly as anticipated and was suffering from “angry” nerve shocks. Mom was on several (like 12) different Rx’s and wasn’t okay to be home alone. Once I hung up, I thought, maybe I could help…?

My daddy is an auto-mechanic and like many “blue collar” careers, they do not get paid a salary and don’t get paid at all when not working. Regardless of how awesome and relevant they are to their field.  So I called up The Hubs and we discussed me and the boys driving down (to Katy, TX) to help out.

And that’s what we did. The week before Thanksgiving.

I’m very grateful that we were even able to offer this level of help to my parents. When I got there, I realized that it was super important that someone be there with my mom and I’m very glad that I went. She was out of it.  Mom’s bff made a ton of food and a nice spreadsheet sorting out all the prescriptions and the times they needed to be taken, which gave me a great head start.  But mom needed more help.

So that’s what I did. Changed bandages, doled out pills, picked up Rx’s, and cooked. Assisted wherever I could.  The Nugs did their best to be good boys and they surpassed any expectation I could have conceived. They were stuck in a house for four days and they were S O good.  

AND they are both teething.  All four incisors are coming in for both of them.  How they were so well behaved is beyond me.  They knew their help was needed too.  

We did sneak out to the park one day that the weather was nice and Momo was napping. #eyelashes.

On Friday, I was set to go home and an unexpected doctor’s visit was needed. My brother helped out by meeting us downtown and drove mom home so I could start the trek back to DFW. Again, the Nuggets schmoozed and flirted with everyone in the doctor’s office with all their cuteness and then promptly passed out for two hours on the way home. Total Angels.

A short stint at home for the weekend, with a trip to our other Gramma’s house for quick visit. 

Little boys and big tractors! All the heart eyes…

  
By Tuesday we were back on the road headed south, as originally planned.

Mom was slowly improving which was very frustrating for her but progress nonetheless. Turkey day went off without a hitch….well one hiccup with the deep fryer but nothing Dad couldn’t fix (with a run to the store to buy a new one).

Pies from scratch, all hands on deck. Don’t mind the zero-make up and devilish smile…I was tired.  My SIL couldn’t keep her eyes open 🙂

Battling mosquitos in 80° weather for Thanksgiving. Its Houston people.

  

Dinner was delish and we were a super thankful family.  Health (for the most part), love, and a new baby on the way…what’s not to be thankful for? Cowboys game was horrendous but let’s not think about that. By the time we were thinking of getting back on the road (AGAIN) my mom was doing much better. Her spunky and dorky personality had begun to shine through.  Again, very grateful for the abundant blessings.

The boys woke up with stuffy heads on Saturday, so we decided to get home. We had a few days to ourselves before it was time for The Hubs to return to work and we used them clean and try to get organized.  Annnd a little bit of fun.

The Sea Life Aquarium in Grapevine surpassed my expectations.  I knew I wanted to take the boys but I wanted to go at at time The Hubs could experience it with us.  B U T   I also wanted to avoid the major crowds.  Which meant we needed to try it out on a week day, while school was in session.  This worked out perfectly.  There were maybe 6-8 other kiddos similar in age to the Nugs and I didn’t have a heart attack trying to keep track of two boys and a stroller all moving in different directions.  It was perfect.  The boys ooo-ed and ahhh-ed at each new exhibit.

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Not being rushed or crowded we moved through in about an hour.  It was perfect.

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We followed up that adventure with one that didn’t go quite as well.  Since the aquarium is located in Grapevine Mills Mall we scooted over to Rain Forest Cafe for lunch.  The put us at a table next to the lion display, which most kids would have thought was super cool. Corbin was terrified.  Josh juggled him and his hamburger before finally asking for the check.  Weston was okay but a little weary.  Maybe next year?

December is loaded with Christmas parties and fun events that we look forward to but I didn’t want to stop to remember what a special and adventurous November for 2015 brought to us.  With trips to Broken Bow, LOTS of yummy food and time with family, I’m beginning to think it might be my favorite month of the year.  We’ll see what December has to say about that.

XOXO

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Broccoli Battles

Its no secret that I’m kind of obsessed about ensuring my Nugs are getting the essential nutrients they need. I’m also not quiet about how often they make me want to pull my hair out because they refused to eat anything that’s actually good for them. With the exception of fruit.  They’ve even decided to boycott grilled chicken. Every other day I feel hopeless.

On Thursday I decided to try one of the (hundred) recipes on Pinterest that I have pinned, wishing that my children will eat good for you foods.

Found one!!!!!!!!

And it contains a vegetable! And they ate it. And actually asked for more!!!

I’ll wait a minute while you get up off the floor. I have proof.

Broccoli cakes. They’re cheesy, crunchy, tasty little things. Super duper easy too.  After I was already in the process of making them, I scanned down and started reading the reviews from the pinned site. Several people posted that they were bland and just plain not good. Since I was already committed I just decided to add a little bit more cheese and a few dashes of garlic powder and they were S O good.


Broccoli Cakes

  • 12 oz chopped frozen broccoli
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs (homemade or store bought)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I sprinkled a tiny bit of salt and a heavy hand of pepper)

Preheat oven to 375°.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. If you skip this step, your crusts will over cook.

Thaw broccoli and give it a rough chop. Yes, even though it’s already chopped. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Using your hands, form small balls and place on baking sheet. Mush them down a bit to create a patty.

Bake for 15 minutes and then pull them out to turn over. Bake an additional 10-12 minutes.  Serve warm.


Yields about 15 cakes.

Original Recipe adapted


These do have a bit of a crunchy outside (which is the BEST) so if your tot isn’t eating crackers or other crunchy foods successfully, this might not be the recipe for your little one. Yet. But it is for you because I ate three of them!

XOXO

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Texas is Hot

This summer had been “mild”. Mostly because our spring was so wet and that rain continued all the way into June. That kept the temps in check more than usual. 

But August has been its typical Texas August where is 105° for several weeks. And though many people will tell you we Texans don’t have four seasons, I disagree. We have a fall, it’s just short and sweet and typically warmer then most location’s fall.

August everywhere else is the “end of summer” and not just because school starts but because September brings cooler weather. Not Texas. I will continue to use my pool until probably October. Then October will bring a series of cold fronts on and off that has us bouncing from 60° to 85° until about January. I don’t complain. That is perfect for me.

What is not perfect for me is 105°. It’s too hot. We skip all outdoor activities unless they involve being submersed in a body of water. On Sunday,  we had a cold front that brought the tempature to 95° and The Hubs wanted to take the boys to play putt-putt golf.  They’re little cheeks were bright red after 20 minutes.

   
    
    
 
I wouldn’t recommend this game at this age. The Hubs and I couldn’t play and the Nugs lost interest immediately and just wanted to run wild. Lucky for us, the course was deserted (“cold front” did nada and it was still too hot) so they could roam freely. 

We went home and submersed ourselves in referenced body of water.

   
If you live in the central DFW area I would totally recommend Golf Center of Arlington. It’s a family owned and operated business with a great driving range and (in the process of being updated) putt-putt course. The environment is awesome there and The Hubs and I both enjoy the location.  

Now, bring on cooler temperatures please!

Xoxo

This Guy

I’ve showed a few pictures of Corbin’s love of his foot, on his tray while he eats. Strange as it is, it’s gotten stranger…

He is now taking his food, rubbing it along the bottom of his foot….

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Inspecting it….then eating it.
   This is hilarious.  To him.

Soooo now I need to wash his hands and feet before each meal?

I read another mommy blog that posted about “floor spice”. To sum it up: My kiddos won’t eat food when it’s on their plate but after it hits the floor, and before I can clean it up, they’re down there gobbling it up.

Now we’ve got foot spice too?  Ewww.

Silliest boys ever.

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Target Cartwheel

What the HECK?!

I just ran to Target on my lunch break to pick up diapers and whatever else grabbed my attention (damn dollar section!).

When I was checking out, I mentioned to the cashier that the Carter’s outfits, that she commented on, were 20% off.  She asked me if I also check Target Cartwheel.

Blank stare.

So she proceeds to open this magical app that NO ONE told me about and scan a barcode to see if there are any extra deals on that item.  None for that item but she did get me an extra 10% off the swim suit cover up I purchased!  I then had her explain to me how it worked exactly and I immediate downloaded it when I got back to the car.

I go to Target at least once a week for diapers, wipes, and whatever else I need.  I bet I spend about $600 a month at Target and no one told me about an app that gets me extra deals.

I repeat, WHAT THE HECK?!!?

I’m quite disappointed in everyone I know, all media I use and the store itself for not telling me about this app.

So I am doing my part to educate all Target lovers.  Go download it.  It’s free.

Currently (since I’ve just spent the last 30 minute going through all 793 deals), these are the following goodies that are relevant to me/us:

  • 15% off Xhilaration Women’s Apparel select styles
  • 5% off Hanes Men’s Socks/Undies
  • 5% off Tampax Pearl
  • 5% off Ziploc items
  • 20% off Stoneyfield YoBaby & YoToddler
  • 10% Sargento String Cheese
  • 10% off Women’s Swim/Cover up

The best part is, if you don’t want to go through all of the deals you can just “create a barcode” and when you ring everything up, if there is another deal in your basket it will automatically discount it.  This is above and beyond any advertised discounts!

I actually don’t want to go through all of the deals because then I start buying things I wouldn’t normally buy just to save $0.80 or whatever.  That’s what happens when I try couponing.  So this is awesome!

So there you go world.  Target Cartwheel app for all.

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Target did not compensate me for this post.  If Target wants to compensate me, please feel free to contact me.

Naps

One thing I never get to do with my boys is nap with them.  I can’t really have it both ways though and I know that.  I can’t have my Nuggets on a sleep schedule which helped teach them to put themselves to sleep for every nap and bedtime AND want to sleep with them on occasion.  That is too confusing.  Plus they would never go for it.

Seriously, neither of the boys have fallen asleep in my arms since they were sick with ear infections at nine months old (while we were on vacation).  I am slightly sad that neither of my babies can fall asleep in my arms but in the long run, its better this way. blog Corbin So I sneak into the their rooms before nap time is over and watch them sleep.  Then when they wake up, all rested and happy, I’m always the first one in the room to watch their sleepy faces wake up. blog West

Being a working mama, I don’t get to witness this enough, so I soak up every minute I can get.

blog corbin1 blog West1 Sweet, sweet faces.

PHOTOG

I’m a super duper amateur mom-tographer. I took most of these pictures with a new lens I received (for Christmas).  It’s my Cannon 85mm f/1.8 and I’m still struggling to learn how to use it.  I had some decent lighting coming in from the window but Weston’s eyes are super dark (when in actuality they’re light blue) and all the photos are pretty grainy.  I also need to pick a Photoshop program to begin learning in detail.  Any recommendations? XOXO

Opinions

Recently, when people ask how old the Nuggets are, we get two responses:

“They’re so big!”

“They’re so small!”

Strange right?  In church a few weeks ago, there was a set of twins sitting behind us (God bless cry rooms) and during the greeting, the parents asked how old the boys were.  Then proceeded to tell us, “they’re SO big”.  The family was of Asian ethnicity and their twins (who were 13 months) were TINY.  In my opinion.

Then I had the boys out running errands and another (man) asked, “what are they, about seven months?”  Nope, already one. “Oh wow, they’re small”.

Who is right?

Neither.

Babies range so drastically that doctor’s try and keep a chart that they consider within range. Does that customize to a mom that is 5’11” or 5’1″?  Not really.  It’s strange to me that everyone has a comment, yet it’s only based on their own experiences.

This is on birth; natural vs epidural vs C-section vs home births. It’s on breastfeeding, when to introduce solids, baby led weaning.  On cloth diapers or disposable.  Opinions are everywhere but that exactly what they are, opinions.

Not fact.  Not the law. Not the bible.

It’s a reminder I have to tell myself often.  “Lindsey, do it whatever way you want, they’re your kids“.  I don’t know if I worry so much about what others think of me, just that I’m doing things and making decisions that are right.

I saw an acquaintance (via social media) giving her 9 month old a French fry.  I was shocked.  How could she?  Why?  Then I thought, who cares?  It’s her baby, it’s not like she gave one of my Nuggets a French fry.  No, I have to stop The Hubs from trying to feed them _____ (fill in the blank with any choking/allergy hazard)!

I don’t want other people telling me how to be a good mom, UNLESS I ASK.  I must practice this myself.

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One Year Olds

I have one year olds.

I’m still getting used to the idea that my dreams came true.

I got pregnant.  I had a baby.  Two, actually.

Now they are one year olds!

I get that time moves quickly.  I’m actually tired of hearing about it. But seriously, how did all this happen?

ONE!

Weston is getting better and better at walking.  Corbin tried to take his first step yesterday.  He’s very nervous.

I honestly thought that they both would be walking more than a month ago.  Very quickly they were crawling and pulling themselves up on things.  This mommy isn’t complaining though.  The Nuggets will both do it, in their own time.  Until then, I might actually be able to keep up with them.  Twins definitely like to travel in opposite directions.

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Something I find very cool about my twins is that they crawl all over each other and it seems like they don’t notice.  Weston will be sitting on Corbin’s arm. He doesn’t get irritated or pushy, he just use the other arm to play.  This must be leftover from sharing the womb.

Best. Friends. For. LIFE.

XOXO – Lindsey

March of Dimes

As my regular readers (hi Mom) are aware, my Nuggets were born at 35 weeks and 6 days. We were just shy of the “safe zone ” for births.

36 weeks.
I don’t know why that’s considered safe or even full term. 
It’s not.
I have a mama friend who’s little guy (singleton) was born riiiight at 36 weeks. She had a very fit pregnancy (think running miles at a time all the way up until she had him) but it, unfortunately lead to an early delivery. Because 36 weeks is not done cooking. They’re still quite rare. Her little guy was syringe fed for months! The Nuggets could not physically eat on their own when they came out. Something that is supposed to be natural and instinctual wasn’t there for them or my friend’s little man. Our babies wouldn’t have survived back in the day.
36 weeks is not okay. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Medical emergency? Okay. Induced because you’re uncomfortable? Not okay.
Off my soap box.
My boys thought they might make their debut at just 27 weeks. Ummmm, no.
Then my cervix thought it could fail me at 28 weeks.
Thank God for all of the technology and medicine that helped prevent either of those senarios from occurring. If at 35w6d my Nuggets spent two weeks in the NICU, I do not want to even imagine what could have gone down at 27 weeks. No thank you.
With all of that said, the Allen clan is walking this weekend in the March for Babies walk to help raise funds for research to help reduce the amount of babies born prematurely and learn more about how to care for babies born too soon. The drugs the administered to me were essential for The Nuggets to remain in utero for almost two more months .
What is mind blowing to me, are the stories of success and survival of 23, 24, 25, 26 week gestation babies. The odds are stacked so far against those babies yet, they survive. And thrive!
I think much of that is due to the years and years of research by March Of Dimes. 
The level 3 (the highest) NICU where the boys were, specializes is treatment of babies as early as 24 weeks! One of the nurses there, Janice (my fav) told me she loved her job (it showed). I told her I could never do it because I wouldn’t be able to deal with the babies that didn’t make it. She had been a NICU nurse for 16 years. She said the ones that do make it are far greater than the ones that don’t. She added, the hardest part of her career was learning that new advancements in research revealed that things they thought were helping, actually we’re hurting. And led to the demise of some babies. 
How do you deal with that? #whyiwalk
Luckily, our NICU stay was short and sweet. The Nuggets weren’t very sick. We saw babies there that were. #whyiwalk.
Caitlin Mennen. A sweet triplet that didn’t make it, part of a family I loved dearly growing up. #whyiwalk
I walked in March for babies last year knowing I was having twins. I wished and hoped I would go as full term as possible and have a natural birth. Things didn’t work out as planned but my boys survived and are happy, healthy, chubby Nuggets. #whyiwalk.

Xoxo -Lindsey