Finding Balance



Sunday evening and this is my life right at this moment and I’m in love!  Girls are having so much fun with Daddy, our living room is chaos and I can’t imagine our life before these little ones came along.

I’m savoring my Sunday since I had to spend all day at my office on Friday and Saturday for in-office training for some dental technology that I want to start implementing.  In hindsight, I am so glad that I did the training, but I was not looking forward to the 2-day training as I knew it meant giving up almost two whole days with Jemma and Zoe.  Hubby took last Thursday off from work, so he was home three days with the girls and I have to admit I was envious.  I’m so thankful to have such a hands-on husband, but I wanted to be with everyone at home also!  

Right now I’m trying to find the balance in my life-I love being a Mom but I also love my career.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that I’m very blessed to have a job/career that allows me to have a three and a half day work week, but I can’t help but feel guilty that I don’t feel I give either place 100%.  On the days that I work, I leave before the girls wake-up and get home just in time for a little play time, baths and bedtime.  And I’m always the first to leave my office at the end of the day and often leave chart notes for the following morning.  Sometimes it feels as though the days don’t have enough hours!  I do feel extremely lucky that our daughters are at home with either of their grandmas, but sometimes I feel like I’m missing the little things.  

In the past, I use to try to workout 5-6 days a week, these days sometimes my “workout” is taking the girls for a walk around a nearby lake and I’m perfectly happy with these changes.  I’m not going to go to the gym after work when it would cut into my valuable time with the girls.

Everyday these girls are changing and growing so much.  Tonight they were both sitting on their own and looked like such big girls!





This upcoming weekend Hubby and I are flying down to Arizona for a wedding, Jemma and Zoe are going to spend the weekend at my in-laws.  Here again-finding the balance, I’m sad and anxious to leave the girls for the first time but I’m also looking forward to a weekend with just Hubby.  We haven’t had much time to focus on just us, it will be nice to have a date-weekend!

I’m down to pumping one time a day since Friday and plan to be done this week.  I’ll be happy to not have to spend the time pumping and deal with pumping at work and all of my pump parts, but I do feel sad about it.  I pumped longer than I anticipated I would, but I feel emotional about not continuing to make milk for the girls.  I can only imagine that weaning from nursing would be even more emotional and tough.

How do you find balance?  If you work outside of the home, what is your biggest challenge?  How do you deal with Mom-guilt?  Work-guilt?  How do you make “me” time without feeling like you are being selfish?

***I know this post sounds like a glass-half-empty post and I know that my life is definitely a glass-half-full life.  I just read about this Mom who passed away giving birth to her quadruplets and it broke my heart and scared me at the same time.  And I know many of you are still struggling to conceive and are thinking to yourself that I shouldn’t even be complaining.  Please know that I am trying to find balance but understand that I cannot complain about my struggles.***

Happy Sunday!

xoxo

Seven Months

***This is a long post as I feel there is a lot to catch up on! Feel free to skip ahead to the photos!***

Jemma and Zoe are over a half year old now! My gosh, it’s amazing how much they have changed and grown since they were born in July. They are so interactive, smiley, giggly and just so much fun!

Jemma now has 4 teeth, all on the bottom, she was continually biting her lip and making this face, but now that the teeth are in, she seems to have gotten past the habit. Zoe still only has 2 lower teeth and we don’t see any others popping through yet. We are brushing their teeth every evening after bath time, both girls don’t mind at all. Mama wants to see them get into the brushing habit early, as a dentist, I don’t want them to have to visit me at all except to have their teeth cleaned.

Zoe is rolling back and forth constantly now and log rolls herself all over our living room. She is pushing up on her hands and I think will be crawling in not too long (uh oh!). Jemma, on the other hand, is perfectly content to lie on her back. She is capable of rolling onto her tummy, but prefers to be on her back. I don’t think we need to worry about her moving too soon.

The girls are now thoroughly enjoying solids. We tried the Baby Led Weaning method, but it wasn’t going as well or as easy as we thought, so we’ve focused more on purees and are spoon feeding. We give hand held foods occasionally and will probably go back to the BLW in time. They have pretty much enjoyed everything we’ve given them-applesauce, peaches, peas, squash, sweet potato, prunes, and avocados. We captured a video of Zoe while we were on vacation and she was just ecstatic eating peaches and peas, screaming, giggling, and pumping her little arms up and down. Zoe, unfortunately, has had some issues with constipation. I think with the introduction of solids and us changing them to the next level of formula (with more iron) has contributed, we’ve managed it pretty well with prune juice (mixed into her bottles) and hopefully won’t have to resort to other methods. The girls are definitely having more solid BMs now.

Jemma and Zoe are still continuing to sleep 12 hours a night and aren’t napping all that long during the day. We are trying to transition from three to two naps a day. A late morning nap and an afternoon nap and dropping the mid-day nap. They are still great about sleeping in the car and often times in the stroller if we’re on a longer walk.

We recently took six month photos, of both the girls and of our family. We made sure to schedule a morning session as the girls are happiest in the morning. They did great, Zoe’s smiles were a little easier to get, Jemma was in the middle of her lip biting phase and a bit more pensive. Our photographer Stephanie is awesome! If you live in the Seattle area and are looking for a photographer, we highly recommend her.

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Another big event is that we took the girls to Hawaii right before their seven month birthday. We spent a week in Maui and the girls did great! We rented a condo in the Kaanapali area and were within walking distance to Whaler’s Village. The girls did great on the airplane ride and probably surprised the passengers around us (who were likely scared when they saw us coming). We purchased one extra seat so that we could bring one of the carseats onboard, which freed up our hands from one baby occasionally. We tried to give the girls their bottles on take off and landing and they didn’t seem to have any troubles with their ears. While in Hawaii, we tried to keep them on their same Seattle schedules as much as possible. It meant a lot of condo time for us, and only one day at the beach, but it was great to spend all day with them for a whole week. We miss them so much while we are at work, so getting to spend so much time with them was wonderful! Also, my front office employee’s aunt is a nanny on Maui, so we hired her twice while we were there. One day she came so that Hubby and I could go to the beach and then out to lunch and another evening so that we could go out to dinner. The girls went to the pool twice and had mixed feelings about it. We did have to get a little inventive at the condo, since it had tile floors everywhere but the bedrooms, we pushed the two sofas together to make a large area where the girls could safely roll around and we had to resort to baths in the kitchen sink since Jemma especially hated being in the shower.

Sitting on the sofa of the condo

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Asleep in the couch fort

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Ready for the pool

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Out to one of our favorite breakfast spots-The Gazebo

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Seven Months!

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In highchairs!

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I’m still pumping, down to twice a day which is very manageable. I no longer feel tied to my pump and can go about my day without feeling like I have to pump every few hours. My milk supply has dropped pretty drastically since I went from three to two pumping sessions a day. I plan on dropping to just a single pump a day by the end of this week. Hubby and I are going to a wedding in Arizona the first weekend of March without the girls and I’d like to be done pumping by then. The girls are still getting one breast milk bottle a day and will hopefully continue to do so until they are eight months.

We are enjoying spring like weather here in the Northwest, we are lucky compared to the East Coast getting slammed with snow. We are enjoying walks and some outdoor time.

Happy Sunday!

xoxo

Six Months

Happy New Year! Hope your 2015 is off to a great start! So far, 2015 has been fun and exciting for us. I have to start off by saying that our Seattle Seahawks are heading back to the Super Bowl!!! Not sure if those of you who aren’t Seahawks or Packers fans watched, but we had the most insane win over the Packers in overtime for the NFC Championship. Jemma and Zoe are already big fans! I had to hold Zoe tight while jumping off from the couch and luckily, Jemma was upstairs napping or otherwise Hubby might have tossed her up in the air with all of his excitement.

Our little Seahawk fans

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Jemma’s teeth are almost fully erupted and she likes to bite and chew on things. I can see the slightest hint of Zoe’s lower front teeth and suspect they’ll be poking through soon. Zoe is a little more fussy with her teething than Jemma was. We got the green light from their pediatrician to start solids, their first food was avocado and it was not met with a rave review. I cut the avocado into pieces long enough that they could handle them, the table was a mess, and what little made it to their mouths was soon spit out. The expression on Jemma’s face indicated she was not a fan. Since then they have tried steamed carrots, watermelon, and rice cakes. Food has been more about exploring than eating. I think as their hand coordination gets better, we’ll see more successful self-feeding.

Both girls are rolling from back to front easily, and they have rolled front to back a few times, but not as often. I definitely can’t turn my head while they are on the changing table any longer. Still getting lots of laughs and smiles and also hair and jewelry pulling! Both girls were sharing one exersaucer, so we bought a jumperoo off Craigslist (funny, from another twin family!) and Jemma and Zoe are really enjoying their play time! The girls are continuing to sleep 12 hours a night but naps are still a challenge. Their pediatrician said babies their age usually need about 14 hours a day of sleep, so if 12 of those hours are during the night, naps won’t be very long. It’s a little challenging to get things done around the house with short naps, but I don’t think I’d trade it for a shorter night’s sleep.

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The girls had their six month check-up last week and they are doing well.

Jemma
Weight: 17 pounds 4.5 ounces

Length: 27 inches

Head circumference: 17.52 inches

Zoe
Weight: 15 pounds 10 ounces

Length: 26 inches

Head circumference: 16.73 inches

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This past weekend the girls were both baptized. Family and friends attended the baptism which occurred during the service at church that we normally attend and we all enjoyed brunch afterwards at one of our favorite restaurants. It was a good day all around as it was the same day as the Seahawks win.

We selected life verses for both girls.

For Jemma:
Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

For Zoe:
Deuteronomy 6:5-6

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.

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We have been so blessed!!!!

I’ve tapered down to four pumping sessions a day, my plan was to give the girls breastmilk for six months, so I’ve made it past my goal. I was hoping to be done pumping by the time we go on vacation in early February, but likely will still be pumping 2-3 times a day by then. I’m happy to continue to give them a little bit of breastmilk daily, hoping they continue to be healthy and avoid all the bugs that have been going around.

I catch myself being amazed at how much babies changes from zero to six months! Jemma and Zoe are definitely little people with big personalities!

xoxo

Blessings

Happy Holidays! Hope you had a wonderful holiday and enjoyed time with family and friends. We had a very fun and low key holiday this year (time leading up with Christmas parties, etc. was not as low key!). Like I mentioned in my last post, Christmas is so much more magical viewed through the eyes of children, our little ones are only a little more than five months, so I can only imagine that it will only get more fun in the future.

The Saturday before Christmas we spent the day and evening with my in-laws. We had a lovely dinner and exchanged gifts. Jemma and Zoe were spoiled by their grandparents and aunt and uncle. Lots of clothes, a couple of moving mobiles for their cribs, animal pillows and books. We were planning an evening at the zoo for their Wildlights, but poor, rainy weather changed our plans. On Christmas eve day we headed east to visit my family in central Washington. My Mom just had rotator cuff surgery, so she is recovering and a little immobile. It was the first visit to my home town for the girls, so we had lots of visitors and family friends who were looking forward to meeting Jemma and Zoe for the first time. Once again they were spoiled with gifts from grandparents and friends.

Christmas Day!

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Animal pillows from Auntie and Uncle

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We are making some milestones right now. Jemma has rolled over twice and Zoe is very very close (I told her she is 99% there!) and Jemma is getting her two lower front teeth. She has hardly made a fuss with them coming in, so we were very surprised to see them coming through already. Zoe doesn’t have any teeth poking through yet. Both girls are smiling a ton and laughing a lot, it’s so sweet and so much fun. Walking into their room in the morning is by far the best part of my day!!!! Since the girls are starting to roll around, we have moved them into their own cribs. Last night was their first night apart and they did great. We are consistently sleeping 12 hours a night!!! Baths are happening around 7:30 PM and bottles and bed right after. Most mornings they start to babble around 8-8:30. Napping on the other hand hasn’t been going as well, the last few days the girls have only been napping for about 30 minutes at a time, with the exception of a two and a half hour car ride nap both to and from my home town.

As we approach the end of 2014, I feel like I must truly count all of my blessings. I have a wonderful Hubby who is such an amazing hands-on Dad (who loves his little girls immensely), two beautiful, healthy and happy twin girls, two wonderful grandmas who help us with childcare and love our daughters beyonds words, family who love and support us, jobs we enjoy and give us the flexibility to spend time with Jemma and Zoe, and our own health and happiness.

Thank you to all of you who read my blog and write such supportive and uplifting comments. I am thankful for YOU! As 2015 approaches, I hope and pray that it will be the year that will bring many of you the little ones that you have been longing for. I remember clearly what it feels like to be waiting, hoping, praying, and wondering if and when a miracle baby may come along. Have hope, miracles do happen! I think of each and everyone one of you often.

xoxo

Five Months

Happy Holidays! I cannot believe that next week is Christmas, I still need to finish up some last minute shopping, get stocking stuffers and wrap gifts. Where has the year gone?!

This has been an especially fun Christmas, it’s true that having children brings the magic of the holidays back. Seeing the wonder in a child’s eye is so special. Our little ones aren’t quite aware of what exactly Christmas is, but they do love to stare at our tree, smiling at all of the lights and ornaments.

Thinking back to this time last year makes me smile, thinking of being pregnant after our long journey and feeling the happiness that our last and final round of IVF had worked! There are several friends in real life and in my blogging world that I still am hoping and praying for, hopes that they will soon have a child in their arms. Hope and heartache, sometimes the two are so intertwined.

Jemma and Zoe are five months old and are so much fun! We are getting tons of smiles, lots of belly laughs, and they are full of curiosity.

We went on our first trip on an airplane earlier this month and the girls did awesome. My brother-in-law got married in California, so we had lots of family members along with us and lots of helping hands. Jemma and Zoe slept three of the four take off/landings and hardly made a peep on the airplane. The airport staff and flight crew were accommodating despite seeing us roll up with all of our gear and two babies.

The girls are almost rolling over, love sucking on their hands, cooing/talking a lot, sleeping through the night (almost every night!!!), doing much better with tummy time, reaching for objects and love looking in the mirror at themselves (especially Zoe). They aren’t showing much interest in food yet, we are going to wait until their six month appointment before we consider introducing solids. I’m reading the book Baby Led Weaning and plan on introducing solids using this method rather than spoon feeding. I’ve been almost exclusively pumping my breastmilk and plan to finish pumping around six months. I would love to give the girls breastmilk for longer, but it’s a huge commitment, especially since I’ve been pumping three times at work alone. I’m still getting up one time per night. Unfortunately, I’ve been sick more since giving birth than I have in years, I think my body is run down from the sleep deprivation and the fact that I feel like I’m going non-stop. I’m hoping to feel better when I start getting better sleep at night.

Arrival at airport after a successful flight
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Family photo at the wedding

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Five month photo

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Tummy time!

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Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!

xoxo

Four Months

The holidays are almost here!  I love love love fall, it is my favorite time of year and fall is even more special to me now than it was in the past.  It was about this same time last year that we had our last embryo transfer (a FET) and when, for the first time in my life, I was actually pregnant!

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving last year I had taken a HPT, gotten into the shower and checked it when I got out.  The faintest second pink line was on the test and my heart leap, literally leap and felt like it was in my throat.  I quickly ran over to our bed and woke Hubby up around 5 AM and made him come to the bathroom to see.  After rubbing his eyes and putting on his glasses, Hubby agreed that there was a second line!  I distinctly remember driving to work that day, full of guarded hope and listening to One Republic’s Counting Stars.  That song still holds a special place in my heart.

Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I been, I been prayin’ hard
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars
Yeah, we’ll be counting stars

Having that first positive HPT was a special secret that Hubby and I could share for a little while before we told anyone that our last and final IVF cycle finally worked.

Looking back, my how life has changed since then.  Today, I look at Jemma and Zoe and my heart overflows with love.  To think of two small balls of cells that were once frozen to these beautiful baby girls is nothing short of a miracle.  God is so good!

At four months, Jemma and Zoe are so much fun.  We are constantly getting wide grins, occasional laughs, eyes of wonder, and snuggles.

Both girls still love their baths, love car and stroller rides, putting their hands and fingers in their mouths, love when we sing to them and both are quick to recognize us and their grandmas who take such good care of them when we are away at work.

Jemma especially loves when  you talk to her and loves bouncing on your leg while you sing to her and spell out her name and loves having her head rubbed.

Zoe especially loves when you smile and laugh with her, loves kicking her legs, gives the biggest smiles first thing in the morning and loves when you dance around while holding her.

The girls had their four-month check-up last week and are both doing great.  The doctor said they are definitely healthy and in fact called Jemma a “big baby”.  Hehe!

Jemma

Weight:  14 pounds 12 ounces

Length:  25 inches

Head circumference:  16.65 inches

Zoe

Weight:  13 pounds 2 ounces

Length:  24.5 inches

Head circumference:  15.87 inches

Jemma is a bit bigger than Zoe in all measurements, so we’ll have to see if the trend continues.

We are looking forward to our first trip with the girls, a weekend down to California for my brother-in-law’s wedding and also looking forward to the upcoming holidays.  This year will be unlike any other year of holidays, Jemma and Zoe’s first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first New Year and our first year as parents.

Jemma and Zoe recently were photographed for a children’s clothing catalog, Bunnies by the Bay, here are a couple of the photos:

Jemma

Jemma

Zoe

Zoe

Four Months

Four Months

Cheering on the Seattle Seahawks!

Cheering on the Seattle Seahawks!

Happy Thanksgiving coming up!

xoxo

Three Months

Wow, here we are again! Looks like I’m only getting to the blog once a month. Was really hoping to be here more often. I promise I’ll get back to my kitchen one of these days and post something worthy of sharing, not half baked box brownies, Thai food out of cartons or Trader Joe’s pumpkin bread.

Jemma and Zoe are now three months old and are so so so much fun! It’s amazing how interactive they have gotten in only three months of life. We are now enjoying lots of smiles, “talking”, giggles and their little personalities.

Jemma is our more outgoing, talkative, feisty and loud one. Zoe, on the other hand, is more introverted, quiet, happy to be by herself and curious. Both are just so sweet and the mornings are Hubby and I’s favorite time of day. Both are bright-eyed, smiley, and barely want to have their bottles because they just want to be social and give us lots of interaction.

We are still using the Playtex Drop-In four ounce bottles. Both girls are drinking somewhere between 3.5-6 ounces per feeding. They are getting a combination of pumped breast milk and Hipp Organic Formula, along with a DHA supplement, probiotics, and Vitamin D3 drops (which they love for their berry flavor).

Both girls still love bath time, love when we talk to them, sing to them, spending time on their playmat and their new favorite thing to do is to suck on their hands. They are almost unhappy if they can’t put their fingers/hands in their mouths. They also enjoy walks in their stroller and in the Baby Bjorns.

Jemma does not like tummy time and if she has to wait too long for a bottle. Zoe doesn’t like when she accidentally head butts you, but otherwise, doesn’t complain about too much.

Jemma:
Weight-12 pounds 10 ounces
Length-23.5 inches

Zoe:
Weight-11 pounds 9 ounces
Length-23.5 inches

Hubby and I took this week off of work and were a little worried how the girls would do with their sleep schedules since we would be taking all of the nighttime shifts (no doula this week), and both girls AMAZED us. We gave the girls their last bottle around 8-10 PM, zipped them up into their Woombies and almost every night they only got up one time somewhere between 2:30 and 4:30 AM to eat. The next time they got up was around 6:30-8 AM. We have been very happy parents this week, not only have we been able to spend lots of time with Jemma and Zoe, but we’ve been well rested enough to enjoy every moment. We only have a nighttime doula for a handful of work days, so we are hoping their routine will stick so that our morning routine of getting the girls fed, getting ready and getting to work on time will work out.

We are still loving our PEMS group, all of the couples are great and I hope that we will stay in touch with everyone. This past Saturday we went to lunch with another couple and their twin boys, it’s been fun going through this eventful time with other families.

I’ve caught myself crying happy tears this week, it’s still so hard to believe that I’m a Mom and that Hubby and I are parents to two beautiful and healthy girls. When we look at them, it makes every hard time we went through worth it. I wouldn’t change anything about our journey if it meant not having Jemma and Zoe in this world. We love them so much!

Three Months!

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Jemma and Zoe today after our walk, this picture cracks me up!

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Happy Sunday!

xoxo

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