Monday, April 16, 2018

Mommy Date: The Beginning (Lauryn #1)

Having four kids, and the large age gap that exists between some of them, tends to make me feel guilty about the amount of time I can spend with each of them. It's difficult to entertain each of them when we go out or are on vacation. Very few places can hold all of their attentions equally - and the older they get, the harder it is to keep them happy. So it got me thinking - how can I make sure that I bond with each of my kids in a way that would be fun and beneficial uniquely for them?

I've been thinking about this for sometime now, and the idea was actually spurred from a Bucket List Family video I watched on YouTube. The dad, Garrett, regularly has "Daddy Dates" with his kids where he takes them somewhere special and it's just two of them. Quality one-on-one time. I loved the idea.

So, of course, the "Mommy Date" in my household was born.

I originally thought I would start this with my oldest - having brunch somewhere and shopping around some quaint suburban downtown area - but it just so happened that the availability presented itself a little earlier with my youngest daughter.

Weekends are a time where I run my errands and get my grocery shopping done. Once a month I head to Trader Joe's to pick up some of my favorite staples (the closest Trader Joe's to me is about 30 minutes away, so a monthly trip is more manageable than a weekly trek). Knowing that Lauryn loves food just as much as I do, I thought I'd let her tag along with me. I did not intend to make the trip a morning/afternoon event, but that's exactly how the day panned out.

Lauryn hadn't eaten breakfast before we left, so a donut treat was first on my list. She, of course, picked a chocolate one, and was really well-behaved at Country Donuts - and it was our first solo trip there together.

Trader Joe's was a big hit. I knew Lauryn had some Trader Joe's favorites too (like chocolate cat cookies and alphabet cookies) so I thought she's get a kick out of coming to the store with me. I am blessed to have my mom live with me, so I never have to take the kids grocery shopping with me - which I am so, so grateful for! So, for them, coming to the store with me is a definite treat. I was actually surprised at how engaged she was at the store. She noticed things that I didn't - like umbrellas hanging from the ceiling and a barn with a cow above the dairy section. It was also fun pointing out the different fruits and having her name them. I think we both had more fun there than we thought we would.

On the way to Trader Joe's, we passed a Touch-A-Truck event that I thought I would take her to afterwards, but after she saw the cow above the dairy case at the store all she could talk about was cows and pigs and farms. Serendipitously, I scrolled through my Facebook page and found a nearby Springtime at the Farm event happening that same day. How lucky were we? I knew she'd much prefer that to some John Deere's any day. And boy, did she!

At Primrose Farm in St. Charles she spent a couple of hours chasing chickens, talking to horses, feeding cows, petting goats, planting flowers, and churning butter. I honestly couldn't have planned the day better. They had a baby cow, Peach, who was celebrating its first birthday. Lauryn got to feed it some hay (a dream for her), and Peach proceeded to eat her mitten. Priceless memories!

You can check out the highlight reel from our day below. I'm dabbling more with iMovie so I hope to get better at preserving our memories with videos. If you've never tried video editing, let me tell you that it's A LOT of work! I have so much respect for those YouTubers that post vlogs week after week. It's crazy time consuming!

So my first Mommy Date is in the books, and I can't wait to do this with my other kids too. I still plan to take my oldest out for brunch and shopping, but the weather didn't exactly pan out for us to enjoy the outdoors this weekend. We've had some crazy weather the last few weeks - ranging from 30 degrees to 70 degrees all in the same week! Just waiting for spring to firmly plant her feet on the ground.
Sunday, April 8, 2018

Hello There, Old Friend!

I rediscovered this page a few weeks ago and it made me really sad. I last posted here when the twins were six months old - almost 2 years ago - and I hate that I didn't keep up with it. All the cute things they've done over the last two years, the gorgeous pictures, and the memories we've made were not documented and it just makes me really sad. Plus, in the last few weeks I have revisited this page numerous times, typed in a few sentences, and put the computer back down.

It sucks to say, but life with twins really is super-busy and difficult. I used to write at night, but as the twins took more and more of my energy, I was zapped by the end of every night. There were months that I wouldn't even turn on my computer at home. Months! Which is crazy considering I used to be on the computer every night for years.

I even started a bullet journal to chronicle twin life - a journal that I also abandoned more than a year ago.

Why, why, why???

At the time you think that you'll always remember what they said, how they acted etc, but being a mom of four, I should've known that that was a lie. My oldest is 19 now and I only have a highlight reel going through my brain. Those small moments? All forgotten. Oh how I wish I would've kept up with this blog.

Well, for right now, I'm back. I hope to post updates more frequently, sharing pictures of the kids and just life in general. It's not always fun. It's not always exciting. But it's our normal, regular life, filled with precious memories that I want to document.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Six Month Doctor Appointment

The twins had their six month doctor appointment last week! They haven't been since their four month appointment, so I was interested to see how much they've both grown in the last two months. I know Peytie certainly FEELS so much heavier, I was thinking 25 pounds or something.

I had lots of questions this visit, so it didn't go as fast as the last visit. One big difference this visit was that Peytie was actually happy throughout (except for when he got his shots, of course), and Lauryn was the fussy, crying one this time.

To make a long story short, Lauryn is doing just fine. She's a strong girl who is growing just as she's supposed to. There are some concerns, however, with Peyton. The big one for now is his head size. Not so much because of how big it is (Brayden's was almost the same size at six months, but he also wasn't born premature), but more because of the rate of growth. It's just growing too big, too fast. It could mean a lot of things, or it could mean nothing. I'm trying my hardest not to let my imagination run wild but, naturally, I consulted Google Doc and have driven myself wrought with worry.

Another concern for Peytie is the fact that he still has a little cough. STILL. I feel like he was born with this. Again, could mean something, could mean nothing.

Because of these issues, Peyton will have a head ultrasound on Wednesday, and an appointment with a pediatric ENT the following week. Any and all prayers/pixie duxt/good vibes/or whatever you believe in would be appreciated. My little guy can use all the help he can get (and momma too because I'm really, really sad and worried about it).

Overall we got through the appointment with only a few tears (babies, me, all around) and left the appointment ok. A family selfie was in order.

Their next pediatrician visit is at 9 months!

Lauryn Elizabeth

Weight: 17 lb 10 oz (75th percentile)  Gained 3 lb 3 oz since their four month appointment!

Height: 26.0" (51st percentile)

Head Circumference: 42.5 cm (56th percentile)

Peyton James

Weight: 19 lb 8 oz (82nd percentile) Gained 4 lbs 1 oz since their four month appointment!

Height: 26.0" (19th percentile)

Head Circumference: 45.8 cm (97th percentile)
Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Twins are Six Months Old!

And just like that, it's their half birthday. These little nuggets (well, not so little anymore, I guess) have been with us for a half of a year already and they are now SIX months old!!!

Unfortunately, I had to work on their half birthday, so the pictures I took aren't the best. Early morning light is a little harsh. I was determined to get some pics of the day though.

These two are as different as can be. What she likes, he doesn't, and vice versa.

Lauryn is my active little wannabe gymnast. She is all over the place. Not crawling or anything, but if you put her down somewhere, it's almost guaranteed that she'll be in a few spot/position before long. She loves to "jump" when held in a standing position. Peytie is the complete opposite. Still not turning completely over (he can get halfway), he is content being wherever you put him. As long as he has toys. All of the toys!

They still are not eating any solid foods - doc wanted to hold off until after 6 months, so we'll likely start very soon. Peyton seems to want to eat every 2 and a half hours, so I'm pretty sure he's ready.

I have been reading to them more, still not as much as I'd like, but we've been reading a few books.


This girl is too much! For one, I think she is gorgeous. Those eyes! Still blue, by the way. I hate to hope that they stay because I know I'll just be disappointed. It's just so weird that her eyes are blue and her hair is strawberry blonde. I mean, whose child is she?!?!?!

She is also SUPER active. She will hold on to your hands and bounce and bounce for the longest time. Don't expect this girl to stay in one place for too long. Her curious and adventurous spirit has her constantly looking for what's next. I love the wonder in her eyes when she's out of the house and discovering something new. And also the craziness in her wide eyes when she's not quite sure about something.

Feeding her can still be difficult. She's just not that interested in food. She would rather be doing something or exploring her surroundings than eat. She's still my skinny Minnie! She's mostly wearing 6-9 month clothes now, and 9 month jammies.

Nicknames: Laurie Lou, Pretty Girl, Princess, Princess Peach (new), Princess Peachie, Baby Grill, Finkie Twinkie Girl (a totally made up word my dad used when we were kids and we still use to this day)


This boy is my life. I think that because of his rough start in life (that still continues today), my heart just bursts whenever I'm near this kid. I'll write about their 6 month doctor's appointment later this week and share some new, even scarier, concerns his doctor has, but I'm determined to keep this post light and full of awesome facts about these two cuties. When he is happy, I am elated. I love this chunker so, so much!

Peyton is HUGE. At just six months of age, he is wearing 12 month clothes. And you know those zip-up Carters footie jammies? He can't even wear 18 month ones because his arms are too chunky. Big, big boy.

Peytie is also an extremely lovable and affectionate little guy. He loves to stare at faces while touching you all over. It's like he's trying to rearrange your face. He cuddles, too, which is something Brayden never felt comfortable doing. I could seriously love on him all day.

Nicknames (lots of them): Peytie, Peytie Pie, Peyter, Tater Tot, Peytie P, Peyterater, Handsome Boy, Smiley Boy, Pitter Patter Peyter, Pitter Patter Peyterater, Bub, Bubba, Bubbawub, Bubbawubba, Bubbawoonies (our newest one - Brayden calls him this too)

Baby Milestones

Social and Emotional

Knows familiar faces and begins to know if someone is a stranger
Likes to play with others, especially parents
Responds to other people’s emotions and often seems happy
Likes to look at self in a mirror


Responds to sounds by making sounds
Strings vowels together when babbling (“ah,” “eh,” “oh”) and likes taking turns with parent while making sounds
Responds to own name
Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure
Begins to say consonant sounds (jabbering with “m,” “b”)

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

Looks around at things nearby
Brings things to mouth
Shows curiosity about things and tries to get things that are out of reach
Begins to pass things from one hand to the other

Movement/Physical Development

Rolls over in both directions (front to back, back to front)
Begins to sit without support
When standing, supports weight on legs and might bounce
Rocks back and forth, sometimes crawling backward before moving forward

Lauryn aces all of these, and Peytie does most too - except for the Movement/Physical Development milestones. He can't do any of those. If things don't improve by 7 months, I'll have to make the call to Early Intervention. Let's hope I don't have to.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Grocery Adventures: Kiwano Fruit

Do you ever wander around the grocery store and notice so many things you've never tried before? I do routinely, but have never picked up a foreign-to-me item before. And to be honest, if it wasn't for Brayden, I probably still wouldn't have. That boy has joined me in my quest to be healthier, and he is ALL IN! He works out with me just about everyday. He was also the one who wanted to start this little experiment.

While grocery shopping recently, he asked me what this spiky fruit was. I had no idea so, of course, he probably dubbed me "dumb mommy" and asked if we could try it. It wasn't a bad idea.

I decided to make this an educational experience, as well as a sensory one, so I asked him to describe the fruit to me first (and throughout our little adventure). It was a smooth, orange fruit with spikes (not sharp) all over it.

I had to look up how to eat it on YouTube (isn't it amazing the things we can learn on YouTube?) and it seemed easy enough. You cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the fruit inside. As you can see, the fruit inside is green with A TON of seeds. Very juicy, but it was almost impossible to separate the fruit from the seeds.

Before trying it, I had Brayden smell it and tell me what it smelled like. He said it smelled like it was going to be yummy. Lol

Now for the moment of truth...let's taste this thing!

Um...not exactly what you thought, huh?

My thoughts? It tasted like a cucumber, mixed with banana and kiwi. Definitely sweet, but too hard to eat around the seeds, or remove the seeds. I think you can eat the seeds, but they were too crunchy and did not taste good. I mean, look. How can you remove all those seeds?

Grocery Adventure #1 - not so great, but I am glad we tried it. Can't wait to see what else we find at the grocery store!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Weekly Recap #28

I'm definitely getting into a better groove in the morning with the twins. I'm not as tired in the morning and try to get to bed as early as I can, considering they wake me up at about 4:30am. It sounds awful, but I have gotten used to it over the last few weeks.

I've been looking at the babies lately and noticing how chunky they have both gotten. It's hard to believe that they barely fit into a newborn diaper when they were born. Crazy.

Here's how our week went.


This video I took of Peytie made me LOL. I mentioned before how both babies totally clam up the second they see me come at them with my phone, and Monday was no different. Peytie was just chatting up a storm that morning, but of course the second I grab the phone, he goes quiet. You can tell the times I think he's going to say something and I pan the camera real close to his face...and nothing. Even tickling...nothing. Makes me laugh to remember that morning.

I've been trying to eat healthier lately, but forgot my lunch on Monday. I stopped by Chick-Fil-A and picked up this Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap. Only 340 calories! Well, the Avocado Lime Dressing does add a but more, but I limited how much of that I ate. So, so good!

This kid!

Look who discovered their feet this week. I'm telling you - this boy was fascinated.

Time to workout with my favorite workout partner!

And then we ate Wendy's in the car at 10 o'clock at night. It was a long day. After running around to pick up some LuLaRoe, then stopping at two grocery stores, it was so late before I realized that I hadn't eaten dinner. I had another wrap (which was so gross - never again), but Brayden wanted a Jr. Cheeseburger. YOLO, right?!?!


My morning view! I love getting them dressed in the morning and spending some time with them when they're well-rested after sleeping through the night. Perfect start to my long day.

They both stare at each other now. Peytie stares more than she does though.

And then holding hands. Always holding hands.

They love seeing their Gram in the morning too! (She's the milk lady, after all!)

Then coming home to this gorgeous face. Perfection.


Good morning!!!

Wednesday was also a long-awaited dinner with easily one of my favorite girlfriends. We caught up and laughed and laughed. It was a really fun night. We went to Dog's Paw Brewing in Elgin. It was a first for both of us. I read really good reviews online and had to check them out. Well - they DID NOT disappoint.


Happy feet!!!

The happiest girl.

Effortless beauty.

I took this picture of her blue eyes because I have a feeling that they won't be blue much longer. They're changing a little (I can now see brown tones) and they'll likely be all brown sooner than I would like. I never want to forget how gorgeous and blue her eyes were.


The littles!


Saturday was one of the busiest days I've had in a LONG time. Karate, strawberries, lunch, waterpark, and dinner. The day was all about Brayden.

But first - there was these two!


Sunday started with my SECOND 5K of the year! I ran the Hot to Trot 5K in St. Charles. I'll do a full write-up another day.

Their first side-by-side Bumbo pic!

I've been wanting to read more books to the twins, so I started with these two this week. I didn't want to do a different book everyday, I'll probably stick to 2-3 each week, so I've read these a few times this week. I'll pick new books for next week.

Until next week, friends!