Category Archives: Personal

Today was a Hard Day

Today was hard.

It stretched me.

Today was full of tears.

Mostly theirs, a few of mine.

Today I feel like a bad mom.

Today, I didn’t love the blessing I have to be home with my babies.  Today, I would have given anything to be out, to have time, space, a break.  Today was hard.  The fact that today was hard, the parts that I didn’t enjoy, the admittance that I didn’t have fun — those moments, they than play on my emotions and self doubt and make me feel like I’m a bad mama. Today, I don’t feel like I did great, today I struggled to get to bedtime.  On the verge of tears, running on caffeine.

Most days, I count my every blessing that I have been gifted these two most beautiful little beings.  These two who’ve been entrusted into my care, whom are my little besties, who I get to spend my days with.  Most days, I put them to bed, and would have loved time for more stories and cuddles.

Today wasn’t that day.

Today was the day where they pushed me to my limits, with tears and tantrums. Where I knew I wasn’t patient, which left me feeling weak and helpless.  Today, I longed for 5pm when Phil would come home, only to long for bedtime when they would drift off to sleep and I would have a few minutes to think, reflect.

Except, I don’t like what I’m feeling.  I don’t like that I sit here, broken, sad, feelings of failure, because today I didn’t feel lucky, blessed, happy.  Today I just survived.

In the days of Instagram and Facebook, we all put our best selves forward – the moments that are Pinterest worthy, that might make others jealous, picture perfect moments, smiles and happiness.  Today, didn’t feel that way. Today was hard.

However, right before we put the twins to bed, my mom showed up to help with the last 30 minutes, to love them (and to love me), she could tell by my earlier text that today was hard, so she came.  While she was here, our daughter showed off how she’s just learning to walk, and was so proud – she was happy.  And her little triumph today of steps, that was enough to make me want to try again tomorrow, hopefully tomorrow is better, and if not, the day after that.

Today, I am a worn-out mama. Not picture perfect.  Just real. Just me.

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Twice the fun!

Double Trouble.

Hands Full.

Better you, than me.

Nice that you are done all at once.

Are they natural?

 

Yes… They are double trouble, but it’s also twice the fun!  Seeing the interaction between these two since they day they were born is worth all the trouble.  How they follow each other around.  Want to be touching when they have their bottles, or held hands while they nursed.  How they’ll share their food off their trays, already knowing what the other likes better (and what they can take for themselves).  How they’ll hurt each other, but then try to make it better.

My hands are full.  I currently have my hands full of 45lbs of baby! That IS a lot to carry around. But in fact, my heart is fuller.  The joy I have of interacting with these two is amazing – so see how unique they are yet at similar they are.  It amazing me every day, that I carried two babies within me!!

Better me that you, for sure!  It takes someone special to have twins – you are stretched in ways you never imagined.  But it is something that I would never change (most days!).

I may be all done having children, but I may not.  Just because I had two at once, or the fact that I had one boy and one girl does not equal that my child bearing days are automatically over. They may be, but God may have other plans for our family too.  Time will tell.

Are they natural?  Are yours?  I know what people are eluding to and frankly, it’s none of your business.  These two beauties are ‘natural’ they have heartbeats, and beautiful eyes, strong hands, and chubby feet.  I carried them in my womb for 36weeks, and felt them kick and interact then.  I prayed for them before they were born, and praised God when we learned of them.

Having twins is an adventure like non-other I’ve been on.  The most challenging and amazing thing I have done!  It’s not how I saw my journey into motherhood, but I also didn’t know how amazing this could really be.

So, my heart is full (as are my hands) with double trouble and twice the fun!  Every day I have two hugs to give, to kisses to receive and 4 beautiful eyes to look into and wonder who these precious little people will become.

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Am I enough?

I realized my blog was down when I went to write this.  So I’m finally posting it here, written January 5th.

The twins are 13 months today.

It’s currently 3:09a.m and I have been up for a while, I can’t sleep. I don’t know why.  But tonight my heart feels heavy.  This happens to me from time to time. A sense that I didn’t do enough, hold them enough, love them enough, do things the right way, do enough, have enough independence, ask for enough help, enjoy the little moments enough.  I do know I worry enough.  That needs to stop.  Well maybe it needs to change. I worry too much about what cannot change, I worry about when they were 3 weeks old did I hold them enough (Phil assures me I did), but why waste worry there?  Maybe I should try and put that energy into making sure that tomorrow I sit with them, play with them, and ignore all the other “things” that need to get done, then it will be one day I won’t have to wonder if I did enough, but, I probably still will wonder.

The last 13 months have been the most amazing and most challenging days of my life.  I have sat in awe of these 2 beautiful little people, but also sat in tears wondering how the heck do I do this.  I have sat holding sweet babies never wanting them to grow up or get bigger, but held onto sweet babies, yearning for when they had better head control or would interact just a little bit more.  In the same moments I would love the tender moments of me and them whilst nursing, yet long for when they could use bottles and I could get something done or have more help.  Parenthood, I’m learning, is not easy, nor does it make sense, or always feel right, and I’m not sure you’ll ever feel you did enough, well, maybe you will, but probably not me.

I recently saw my doctor about this, as sometimes I get more anxious about the “what if’s” then I should and she encouraged me to see things from an outside view.  She continued on and shared her perspective.  To her, I gave birth to twins vaginally and that’s amazing! To her, I nursed exclusively for 6 months, and then continued for a year, supplementing with formula as needed (and to her that is amazing).  To her, after dealing with 5 years of infertility, getting pregnant with twins, carrying to 36week + 4, and having a crazy birth, I kept my head in the game and nourished, loved and cared for two beautiful babies.  To her, at every appointment they were thriving and I was doing well (even though we were watching for PPD).  To her, I have excelled in the 1st year with twins – she told me she was in awe of me, and so proud of me.

But to me, I see that I didn’t do those things enough.

I’m working on changing that.  I’m trying to look at the photo of me holding two beautiful wee babies and to see the beauty of that moment and be thankful for photos, rather than being consumed with fears and worries of what I didn’t do.  I’m trying to be ok that I don’t get everything done and just enjoy them.  But also that it’s ok, if I want them to play, or sleep, so I can get things done.  To be okay with wanting to do nothing else but hang out with them.  But also to be okay with wanting to get out alone and have me time.   Trying to find the balance in that.

Tonight one of my dear twin mama friends is up feeding her little ones, and we texted.  I told her my heart is heavy with worry.  She texted just now saying this: “I’m sure you did (do enough)and look at it this way… Are your babies happy? Do they play? Laugh? I’m sure they do! And that means you did it right. You’re an amazing Momma and I look up to you and respect you and what you have done for your kiddos. I have no doubt in my mind that you did enough… I’m certain actually that you went above and beyond for your kids and that you still do and that’s why you continue to wonder if you do enough… Because you care SOoo much and that’s what drives you to always want to do more… But you need to give yourself permission to realize that and just breathe knowing that your babies are happy and they know they are incredibly loved”

So, I need to remember that. And to celebrate the moments we have.

Today, our twinsies are 13 months.  Today I will try and celebrate that.

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Becoming a Mom

I’m sure many of you can relate, you’re young, fall in love, get married and start thinking about what it will look like to become a mom.  I did.  We were married at 21, and after a year of marriage decided we would start trying for our family, surely it would go as planned, and we could be done having our kids by the time we were 30.  We started trying in the summer, so we would have a spring baby, because spring is the time of new beginnings, new life.

Nope.

Not for 5 years.

We couldn’t get pregnant. For no reason at all.  We were in the ambiguous category of “unexplained infertility”. Awesome.  I’m an information person, if there is information, details, diagnosis, I can study it, I can find ways to maybe make things better, or accept what can’t change. But “unexplained”, or “there’s no reason this isn’t happening” was heart breaking.  To all standards, we should be able to have children, but it wasn’t happening.

We prayed, we hoped, we cried.  I talked to so many encouraging people, those who had children, those who struggled with infertility, those were were never able to have children (and some who chose not to).  My world became completed consumed with this. It was exhausting.  It took tolls on my family, friends, community, church, it took the biggest toll on me.

On our last cycle of IUI (intrauterine insemination (commonly referred to as the turkey baster method)), I became pregnant. It was the shock of a life time let me tell you.  This positive test, would be just the beginning of my journey into mommy-hood, and staring to learn who this new person, I would be become.

At 7 weeks, we had the next surprise, that we were expected not one, but two sweet babies! SHOCK! But this was going to be amazing.

I had an incredibly healthy pregnancy, no complications, and at 36wks3days, my water broke, and the next day we welcomed our little man cub, and little lady cub into the world.  In December…. not in the spring.  But that was exactly how it was suppose to be.

The last 10 months have been a whirlwind of change and excitement and tears and long days.  Smiles and laughter and everything in between.  I have learned a lot, on being a parent, on being a completely different parent than what I expected.  I’ve learned a lot of my P-Daddy, and have fallen even more in love with him.  And I’m even more grateful for our family and friends, who have loved on us in more ways than I can count.

I’m excited to share all the things I have found a long the way that have helped make my life easier, and give you a glimpse into my world with twins.  Writing again gives me joy, to do something for me, so stay tuned as I start to figure out where this will all go… until next time

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Wise Friends

I have some amazing friends in my life.  Some whom I’ve been friends with since I was a child, some since a teen, some only as an adult.  Some are my age, some are not.  Some are in my life stage, some are not.  I love the variety of people I am blessed to call friend.

Since getting pregnant, I have had all sorts of emotions and anxieties, this is after all what the goal was, but when it finally happened, it was surreal.  Then it became real, but I still struggled with how to act, feel, what to say, how to do it ‘right’. After all this is what we wanted, even when people would constantly shed light on the “when you’re pregnant….” or “just wait until you have kids….” scenarios, and reminded me over and over to be grateful that I still have freedom.

I was grateful, but that never took away my desire to have children. So, here I am pregnant, with TWINS (which truly was a surprise as they are not that common unless you do IVF and we didn’t) and navigating through how to be in this new phase.

In the same week, I met with 2 of my best girlfriends, and was sharing honestly with them that I was struggling, that I knew this is what I wanted, but felt guilty that I was having a hard time finding the joy in the ever changing situation that would be our life.  They nodded and agreed, we kind and loving, they listened.  After a while of sharing, they both in their own words told me that: Although our conception journey’s were different, mine long, theirs short, that didn’t define what our pregnancy journey’s were like.  Just because I struggled to get pregnant didn’t mean I no longer could be honest about the highs and lows of pregnancy, or motherhood.  The same as just because it was easy for them, didn’t get them the right to complain.  Pregnancy is where we all start new, how we get there is different, but then we are there, all on this same journey.

It was freeing for me to hear.  As I didn’t know how to act going from identifying – well I should say, finding my identity in infertility for all those years, to now being pregnant.  But at least with them I started to be able to find my voice, to celebrate my joys, and to be honest about my lows, I was grateful.

Yesterday, I sat in my OB’s office and talked about my concern with anxiety as birth approaches & risks of post-partum.  She too talked about how those who struggle with infertility are often higher risk because there is this idea that since they had to work harder to get pregnant, that they must do everything right and by themselves.  (I have thought these exact things!) She reminded me that I need help, especially with twins, and that I will have good days and bad.  That these little humans whom I will love and adore, will also cause me tears and grief. But that is becoming a parent.   I left with a calmness, because after all, I can do this.

Not alone, not perfect. But with the support and love of my family and friends.

I shared with her what my friends had said, and she smiled and told me that those 2 are worth their weight in gold, that they are treasures.

I feel the same way.  So, to my dear friends, I love you, and am grateful for you.  These babies are going to be so lucky to have you in their life, and I am forever blessed to call you friends!

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I love the sunshine!

I love sunshine! I really do! Usually, during the warm summer months, you can find me sprawled out on a warm spot of sand at my favourite beach, a book in hand, maybe a Starbucks too, enjoying the warmth of the sun on my skin; playing with the sand between my toes; and finding my way to water to be refreshed for some more sun time!

This year however, that is not my story.

I have heard from many mamas-to-be that during pregnancy its like you have an additional ‘built-in-heater’, it makes sense of course, but I never really understood what it would be like.

Its insane!

I’m so warm – all of the time!

Like right now, as I write this, sitting in front of my fan, I am hot. Bleh, sweat!

These little heaters have cranked the heat in my body (maybe they are cold?!) and with the additional HOT summer we are having, I am cooking.  This year, you can find me at the beach, occasionally, sitting in my chair (because its neither comfortable to lie on my back or my front anymore) under my umbrella (I might let my feet sneak out in the sunshine) and drinking copious amounts of water.  I am swimming more than I usually do as I need to somehow feel refreshed.  Another favourite activity, cold baths, which sound so unappealing, but now, they are a godsend.

I am looking forward to the fall, when I hope that my internal temperature doesn’t feel like I am baking on a hot island, but rather that I feel like I can go for a walk without the possibility of heatstroke or dehydration!

I am grateful I am only 20 weeks along right now, mind you with twins, its more like 26ish.  I send a HUGE shout out to my mama friends who are closer to full term and are cooking.  You can do this! We will survive!

For now, I’ll enjoy the sunshine from inside my A/C house, and anticipate when the fall arrives!

Happy Sunshine to each of you!

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Lego Organization!

It finally happened.

After 7 years.

Phil allowed me to organize his Lego!

This makes me incredibly happy.  When we got married, Phil’s mom shipped out all of his childhood stuff – the most important boxes were filled with the complete series of Hardy Boys in hardcover and Lego, lots and lots of Lego.  When we first got this all it overwhelmed me, we were just settling into our house didn’t have much extra space and it wasn’t high on the list to deal with.  But soon I started getting the itch to organize his Lego.  In my opinion if its at least organized in the boxes, should we need it, it’s easily accessible, if its just chaos and we don’t know what’s what, then it seems like a bit of wasted space.  About 5 years ago I needed some Lego for a class project while finishing my degree, knowing we had a lot at home, I knew I could supply it.  The boxes came out of storage and I sorted out what I needed.  Once I was done, I suggested we could get some storage containers that would better suit Lego and then we could leave it in the house and actually use it from time to time, Phil wasn’t on board, so back to storage it went.

Fast forward to now.  Many of our nieces and nephews and young kids in our life are getting to the age where they love playing with Lego.  A few months ago, I mentioned that Phil has SOOO much Lego <insert big eyes here>, little people were so excited at the mention of that.  So, it was time to start talking about getting the Lego organized that we would be able to let the kids play with it when they were over, but keeping it organized that pieces aren’t lost or chaotic.  (Not only is this Phil’s Lego collection, but some of the pieces belonged to his dad when he was little, so its quite neat!)

I stumbled across a Lego organization blog post on my favorite blog iheart organizing and I knew I found what we were going to do! I showed it to Phil and he was on board, so the sorting began.

Let me tell you, when I was a kid I didn’t have much Lego, loved Duplo, but then moved to PlayMobile, never was into Lego so really have no concept of the quantity that Phil had and how long it really would take.   Phil with a smirky grin on his face brought up all the boxes. I was naive and excited at this point!

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Like I said, I was naive, I had no idea how long this would actually take for me to sort it.  10hrs later I was done, sorted by color, technic, accessories, 1×1 (apparently they are hard to find otherwise), and our peeps.

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Next, I needed to order our shelves from Ikea.  I went with the Trofast system that Jen over at iheart organizing used.  I read quite a few reviews and everyone who used this system for Lego seemed really happy.  So, I added everything to my cart $100 for 2 shelving units & 10 bins…. wait…. shipping was going to be $70, ugh! Now to rethink this.  I put a shout out on Facebook and was grateful when a friend of mine told me about the Ferry Godmother who travels to and from Ikea and will deliver, I contacted her and it was meant to be.  She was shopping on the 17th and would have it here on the 18th – and it cost me $25! YAHOO!

Yesterday my shelves arrived and everything came together!!  Phil made a joke about “Lego rules”, and I decided it was actually kind of funny, so I made a sign that is displayed on the shelves.  Rules are: 1. Phil’s the Boss, 2. Don’t lose the Lego, 3. Refer to rules 1 & 2, & 4. HAVE FUN!

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I was tossed up on whether or not I would label the boxes, but decided to go with Martha Stewart chalkboards and used my chalkmarkers to label them.  I think it turned out great!

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Now it’s time to play with all the Lego – I think kids (big & little) will love this! Let the creativity begin!

 

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Infertility & Us.

Infertility.

A big word, filled with an array of emotions, feeling, ups & downs and ultimately something I never expected to be a part of my life, because lets be honest, it wasn’t going to happen to me, it wasn’t in my plan.

However, it is in our vocabulary and is part of our life and is happening to us right now.  Phil and I have been struggling with infertility for many years now and finally I feel like perhaps I’ll be able to share a bit of our journey.  Maybe it will be more for me to get feelings off my chest, maybe it will shed some light on infertility situations for you who have someone in your life who are dealing with it, or perhaps it will encourage someone in their own journey.  But for today, it helps me to write my thoughts, my struggles and our journey.

Phil and I like any young couple thought as soon as we were ready for a family it would happen, perhaps with a few months of trying but it would be magical and exciting and fit in perfectly with our plan.  I remember thinking which month we would start to try in order to not be pregnant during the summer, or so that I wouldn’t miss big events… because, I of course was in control, right? Wrong.

Eventually I came to the realization that I had to let go and let it happen… my new outlook was sure to work and we would conceive anytime.  All of our friends had no problems getting pregnant, and jokes were made it must be in the water, but for us no matter what water I drank, or how many babies I held, I still, month after month, came up empty, no pregnancy, no baby.

Now, nearly 5 years later (not consecutively but near close) we are in a new place of our journey.   Diagnosed with “unexplained infertility”. Oh, how I wish we had a reason for our infertility it would make it much easier to understand, or better yet ‘fix’ but instead, we continue to have tests and procedures, only to find out everything is as it should be and we are still in a place of unknowns.

Infertility is emotionally, physically and mentally draining. Its exhausting on our marriage, on our relationships with friends and even with family.  It is hard to be in this place for so long and feel like there is no end.  As much as I know people in our life are tired of hearing about the same old same old, infertility talk, we are even more exhausted of that being our reality.  We know we should relax, and just let go – but please understand, that it is much easier said than done.

We are hopeful though. Phil and I believe in a God who is greater than all of this, who can heal and who has a greater plan for our life than even what we could plan.  We still hold onto hope that it include children as our hearts are to have a family.  We believe that 2014 is going to be an amazing year for us, that we will be blessed in amazing ways and will grow and learn and continue to be on this journey.  Even amongst the darkest days in this journey we are grateful for our community – friends and family who have surrounded us with love and support, who have truly connected with us where we are at and help us to look forward even when we feel hopeless.

So, here we are, unexplained infertility.

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My Favorite Things :: Make-Up!

It’s Friday night, and for the first time in a long time, I just want to sit quietly, listen to music, read my favorite blogs, check out my favorite shopping sites, and update my own blog. My mind has been going crazy with ideas of projects, photos, thoughts, but I have not sat down and written in too long. So, here we go.

Last weekend, the boy and I were in Winnipeg visiting his parents. I knew I had to replenish a few of my make-up must haves, and considered doing it before we left, but also knew that Polo Park Mall had a Sephora which is always fun and bonus for me, I had some new make-up I wanted to try and knew I could pick it up there. Off to Sephora I went, replenished my must-haves, picked up a few new treats and off we go.

Tonight I want to share my fave products, my 5-minute(ish) face, and my go-to’s!

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My daily faves include:

smashbox halo hydrating perfecting powder :: smashbox Halo longwear blush :: Bobbi Brown eye shadow pallet in Lilac Rose :: Bobbi Brown Corrector :: Bobbi Brown Concealer :: smashbox camera ready BB cream :: smashbox photo finish primer :: make-up forever mascara

So, it may seem like a lot of products and a little complicated, but its quick easy and looks great and feels light and simple!

Step One: After washing my face, I apply the smashbox primer. This is a big thing for me. Even on days I don’t want to wear any make-up I put this on, it just smooths out pores and gives your skin a little life. But I put it under my make-up and love it for 2 reasons. First, it makes my foundation go on much smoother and last a lot longer, it also helps that I don’t need as much foundation to get the coverage I want. Bonus!

Step Two: Apply BB cream all over face – I love the lightness of a BB Cream, its heavier in coverage than a tinted moisturizer but not as heavy as a foundation.

Step Three: Corrector and Concealer. I just started using Bobbi Brown Corrector & Concealer and am hooked. Her products feel great, go on smooth and have an excellent finish. The corrected is just that, corrects the color (under eyes, blemishes etc) and then you use to the concealer to blend it in to match your complexion.

Step Four: I use the Halo Perfecting Powder all over my face. This is an expensive product, but you hardly need any and it lasts for a long time. It feels very light and gives a beautiful finish.

Step Five: smashbox Halo blush. It goes on amazing, and gives a beautiful color to my cheeks that can be simple and natural or a little more bold and beautiful.

Step Six: Eyes. I have my new eyeshadow pallet by Bobbi Brown with some beautiful neutral colors that can be taken from day to night. They go on smooth last all day, and give me lots of different looks. I often will use a black eyeliner and then always finish my look with mascara. Currently I am trying the make-up forever mascara I got as a sample from Sephora.

Although that may seem like a lot of steps, it really isn’t too many and doesn’t take much time. It can be shortened or lengthened depending on the event, time of day or whatever else might be a factor. But these are my go-to products.

Here’s a photo from other night following this routine!

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Vintage Themed Baby Shower!

I love planning parties!

I so enjoy the planning of the details, putting together decorations, envisioning how it will all go together and then seeing it all come to completion as we set-up! It truly is a passion of mine.  If I had unlimited money and space I would definitely have the sweetest decoration collection and throw parties all the time, but for now, this makes me happy!

My bestfriend had her 2nd baby girl in April, I guessed it was going to be a girl.  So much so, I bought yarn for the baby blanket before she was born – pink yarn! I started planning in my head some ideas, and thanks to Pinterest it all came together.  Together with her sister, we came up with a perfect themed and decoration ideas for the shower.  Vintage!! I love everything vintage, and it was the perfect theme to celebrate baby M.

Now for the fun parts :: Decorations & Food!

First, the food.  We decided to keep it simple, lemonade & water to drink, and then veggies, fruit and some dainties (scones and muffins) to eat. It was perfect, not too heavy, easy to plan, and yummy to eat.  We served most things on glass or white dishes set on a beautiful table that had a simple pink table runner and doilies (the real ones, made by my grandma).

Now, for the decorations.  Bunting banners, chalkboards, doilies, birdcages and mason jars adorned the house transforming it into a lovely looking vintage scene.  We set up a pink and white polka-dot pinwheel at the door to welcome guest in, had fresh flowers all over, and even served our drinks in mason jars.  It was perfect.  Instead of doing games, we had a craft for everyone to participate in: Maisie’s ABC Book.  We asked each guest to fill out a page which contained a letter and then it will be put together as a book for her as a keepsake.

Mom and babe were well loved and celebrated and it was the perfect sunshiney day for a babyshower!

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