Thursday, October 8, 2015

She's Here

On October 3rd, 2015 Stella Kathryn was born. She weighed 7 pounds 1 ounce and was 21 inches long. Hopefully I'll be able to write down the details her birth story soon and share them. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


I'm glad to say I've finally packed a hospital bag. It was making me anxious that it wasn't ready and that I'd be in labor trying to pack myself a bag and locate things. Last time around we did it around 32 weeks, but this time I was delaying doing it. It took me a little while to get everything together so I decided this time I'd document it a little better. I also packed more stuff for the baby this time because, more than likely, we'll leave the hospital with a baby this time!!

So, here's my stuff. W laughed at me that I labeled everything since some things are pretty obvious, but it didn't look right with only some things labeled to me. Feel free to laugh at me too : ) I know, I'm a dork. 
I forgot to include a copy of my birth plan even though I printed a copy for this purpose. I'll be adding that. If you notice, I have my own hospital gown. I bought the fabric and found a pattern on pinterest but chickened out on making it myself and asked our neighbor (who happens to be a seamstress) to sew it for me. It's kind of a silly thing to have, but I'm hoping it will make me more comfortable. 

And here is the stuff for baby girl. I probably packed too much for clothes, but they're so tiny they don't take up much space. I bought Wubbanub pacifiers for the girls to give to the baby and we've been talking about them and looking at them for weeks. I'm glad to finally have them packed in the bag so they aren't floating around the house anymore. The girls were also really into the swaddle blankets and would carry them around and ask us to wrap their babies up in them. I'm a little worried they'll be covered in dog hair despite being washed recently. 
We're unsure about whether we'll bring any cloth diapers for baby. Last time the girls didn't fit in the newborn cloth diapers for a few weeks so it wasn't an issue. We did notice that when we switched them from disposables to cloth they were fussy for a few days. I'm hoping to avoid that this time, so I may bring a few diapers and a wet bag to start. We certainly won't be exclusively cloth diapering in the hospital, but it might be nice to get her used to them early on. I'm thinking she'll go home in one if nothing else. 

So there you have it. My super exciting post about my hospital bag. I'm feeling much more ready for baby girl!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

36 Weeks

Two Years Old

I can't believe how fast the past two years of my life have flown by. I feel like Lucy and Clara were just born yesterday and we were spending all of our time with them in the NICU. They say your children grow up fast and it really is true. I've watched my little preemies grow into little girls with very different personalities and preferences. Being a mom is the toughest and best job I've ever had. There are days that I'm exhausted and feel like I can't take another minute of them. Then they go to bed and I immediately miss them like crazy.

Happy Second Birthday Sweet Girls. 
They love their hooded towels. 
Looking at baby sister's photo. 
Enjoying cookies with their buddy Jack. 
Hanging out at the playground. 
Fun in the neighbor's pool. 
A day at the beach with my girls. 
One of their preferred ways to ride in the wagon. Who knows. 
Feeding baby goats. 
Boat picnic
Loving our new shirts. Daddy got me these for my birthday. I think the girls will wear these when they meet their baby sister. 
Lounging with mama in bed. 
First ponytails. 
At the beach with Jack. 
Sister love. 
More sister love. We made a "DAD" picture collage for daddy for his birthday. 
First time trying chocolate milk. They didn't put the cups down until it was gone. 
They love their swaddled babies and mama is getting practice swaddling. Win-win
Exactly two years old on their birthday.  Unfortunately Clara was not very cooperative. It's so tough to get them both to cooperate for things like this. I guess that's what being two is all about!

Lucy- You're such an opinionated and spunky little thing. You tend to be the leader and show your sister all kinds of things to do and say. You're talking like crazy and really starting to combine words into simple phrases consistently. You have a huge vocabulary even though a lot of it can be difficult to understand. You have at least 100 different words you use regularly. You love reading books and can fill in so many words in them it amazes me. I had no idea how well you knew so many different books. You've really warmed up to Clara the past few months. You never used to tolerate her touching you or being in your space very well, but suddenly you're loving on her. You give her hugs and kisses spontaneously and will play "get you, get you" with her where you chase and then tickle/hug her. Usually she also falls down in this process, but you both think kidz pretty funny. You also love to help her when she successfully uses the potty. You'll carry a single M&M across three rooms to give to your sister and cheer for her every time you hear her pee. You also love to watch closely and hand out her toilet paper. Even though you've always loved her it's nice to see you being more affectionate towards her. You love your pop-pop more than anyone else. When he's around no one else matters. You love to be carried around by him and he lets you get away with pretty much anything. Your favorite foods are macaroni and cheese, applesauce, waffles, and pirates booty. I've been surprised by your willingness to try and eat different kinds of meats. You're pretty good about trying new things but never really eat a ton of anything. You've peed on the potty a few times and spend every other attempt trying so hard. You really just haven't figured it out yet but I know you will. You love anything having to do with babies and love talking about our baby that's coming. We talk all about the things you will do to help with her and I know you are going to be such a loving and great big sister. This month we got rid of pacifiers and it's been a tough transition for you. You're no longer asking for it or wanting it, but are having a tough time resettling yourself at night or if you wake early from a nap. Our sleep has definitely been reduced. You love running and playing outside. You like to swing high like "super Grover". We push you as high as possible and you giggle and giggle. You love running and have the funniest little run. Your butt wiggles from side to side and you often still keep your arms up in case you need to catch yourself. My MiL jokes that you run like a girl. You finally have enough hair to put into little pony tails and you love to get your hair done. You have quite the mullet, but it's mostly curls in the back. You love Sesame Street and watching T.V. We joke you are your father's daughter as you zone into the T.V any time it's on. You often try to sing along to familiar songs and your little voice is so cute. I can't believe my little girl is two years old. You have taught me how to love and be patient and I can't wait to see what the next year brings us.

With her hand rested on my belly/baby sister. 

Holding a kitten at Grandma Dukes' house. 

Morning cuteness. 

Feeding her baby. She loves the highchair she got for her birthday. She was insisting on using it only in the kitchen.

Clara- You are such a funny little girl. You love to carry around stuffed animals or little items and almost always have your hands full. If we leave the house you have to bring at least one thing every time. You love your stuffed dog, baby dolls, and Sesame Street dolls and often pick them. You love to copy everything your sister does and insist on many things being the same. Your speech has really exploded the past few months. You're saying a ton and starting to combine words like your sister.  You have at least 50-100 different words you use regularly. You love books and will befriend anyone willing to read to you. You have some favorites, but will honestly sit through a stack of ten book and then request more. You're always thinking of your sister and bringing her things. When she gets upset you'll bring her a blanket or favorite toy in an attempt to cheer her up. You love your Grandma Dukes so much and just want to sit on her lap when she comes over. You'll run to the door the second you hear her and are just so content to snuggle and sit with her. You aren't a very adventurous eater and often close your eyes in an attempt to make food disappear from your plate. You refuse to try new things most times. I think you're the type of kid that needs to see or try something twenty times before you're willing to really eat it. You love yogurt with maple syrup, watermelon, grapes, and applesauce. You're pretty hit or miss with food and never seem to eat well when we're out. You are using the potty about 2-3 times a day consistently but still aren't really initiating it consistently. You love the Elmo potty seat that goes on top of the big potty. You won't even sit on the little potty anymore because you think you're a big girl. You are so proud of yourself when you get your treat. You love to wear underwear but don't totally get it yet so we don't use it that often. You tend you get very upset when things aren't the way you want them or should be. If something is out of place or done wrong you are quick to note and complain about it. You love your "pop-pop shoes" (a pair of Keen water shoes that pop pop bought for you) and you insist on wearing them all the time. We have to hide them if we don't want you wearing them 24/7. It's so funny how you are so particular about so many things. You definitely have your preferences for things. You like to play and talk about babies with your sister. I think you are mostly copying her, but you also love to wrap up your baby in a blanket and pretend to feed it a bottle. I know you'll be super helpful with your baby sister. Whenever you see my belly lately you have to exclaim, "baby, baby!" and you snuggle and kiss my belly all the time unprompted. You have such a big heart. Getting rid of pacifiers hasn't been easy for you either. I think the sleep regression just corresponded with the pacifiers and it's more likely due to a language and cognitive burst. You're having a really hard time falling asleep, but last night I watched you do all the hand gestures to wheels on the bus while lying in your crib. I think you brain is just on overdrive and thats making it hard for you to settle at night. If only your chatting in your crib didn't prevent your sister from falling asleep. It would also be nice if you slept past 6:30. I can't deny that I'm missing my good sleeper. You still tend to trip and fall a bit. I think it's just typical toddler stuff, but when you're tired you're all over the place. It's not fun to see you fall and then cry because you're so tired. You're getting so much hair and love to have mama do it. You still don't have enough to do too much, but it's so dark and curly in the back. You definitely got your daddy's colored hair. You love stuffed animals but don't enjoy watching t.v as much as your sister. You lose interest pretty quickly and will find something else to do. I love watching the little girl that you are turning into. You are so smart and friendly with everyone you meet. You have such a big heart and are always thinking of others. You have taught me so much about how to be a good mama.

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Sesame Street Second Birthday

Last weekend we hosted Lucy and Clara's second birthday party at our house. It was a Sesame Street themed party and we all had so much fun. We had about 30 adults and 15 kids for the party and luckily the weather agreed. I had been planning and crafting for a few weeks, so it was exciting to see it all come together.
One of my biggest projects was the pom pom Sesame Street characters. If you click on the picture you can better see all of them. I made each one with construction paper pieces for the faces and tissue paper pom pom balls I bought on Etsy. It was a lot of work but I love how they came out. W helped me hang the streamers and the table had cupcakes and favors also on it. 

My sister helped me make these cupcakes. We originally had a different plan, but I think they came out super cute.  
Another view of the cupcakes. 

For favors I made chocolate covered oreos and stuck an Elmo or Cookie Monster edible decoration on them. I got coloring books from the dollar store and crayons for each child. There were also Sesame Street straws I found at a party store. 

Close up of one of the favors. I also made the tags to look like the Sesame Street sign with each child's name on it. 

I love the wreath I made for the door. This was the drink and appetizer area in our mud room. 

I wish I had taken more pictures of the people and all the kids. There were so many kids in our backyard and all of our play equipment got tons of use. 

 I made Big Bird and Elmo footprints leading up to the house from one direction. 

Cookie Monster footprints in the other direction. 

Their birthday cake I bought from our local Supermarket. The girls love the Big Bird and Elmo cars that came on it. 

Singing them happy birthday. 
Trying to blow out their candles. 

Enjoying some cake. 
She wouldn't even look at me she was loving her cake so much. 
Clara loved her cake too. 
Family photo.

I also made centerpieces that were ABC/123 letters inside a vase with sunflowers. I also used stuffed Sesame Street characters for decoration. I also made contianers for the utensils by hot gluing crayons all around a tin can and then wrapping it in ribbon. I don't think I got good pictures of either of those completed projects.

I can't believe Lucy and Clara are two years old. Two year post coming soon!