Monday, September 23, 2013

Happens to the best of us

postpartem hair happens to the best of us. i knew all about it. i knew that it is more than normal (can something be more than normal??) when a woman is pregnant she does not shed hair the months she is pregnant. it is her bodies natural defense to protect the baby. once the baby comes and her hormones level out (usually once mom is no longer nursing the baby, or greatly decreases her production) she sheds all the hair she would have lost while pregnant plus the 40-100 "normal loss" hairs. its shocking!! its even more shocking when you have very fine and thin stringy hair like me. its completely shocking when most of your loss is around the front hairline, again like me. it was gross. my hair loss started around 7 weeks postpartum. nursing did not go well for me and the twins. i think i have mentioned that before. but if not, in all reality i was pretty upset about it and it really sucked. we are over it now. i cant go back and change any of it. so, around week 7 i was pretty much completely dry and my hair was everywhere! every time i would look down my shirt had a good 10-15 hairs on it. i would pick them off, get up and thrown them away and then realize one or both of the babies was also covered in my lost hair. peter was completely grossed out. and when i say it was mostly in the front, around my hair line, i am not kidding. i looked like i was a middle aged man. i had a receding hairline and a thin patch in the very front. i was super self conscience when my hair was pulled back. well lets fast forward about 4 months. my hair is now coming back. its crazy! of course i now look like i have side burns and "angel hairs" all in the front (especially where my hair parts) and all down my part. in case you havent seen me, or just dont know, i have been growing my hair out since july 2012 including my bangs. my hair is longer than it has been since my wedding! and i have had bangs since middle school! i have enjoyed longer hair...being able to curl it, pull it back, etc. but now i am rethinking that! these little short hairs all over my head sure would blend in better if my hair was shorter and bangs help blend, but i think either way i am going to have awkward hair for a while. good thing i love these babies and they are totally worth sideburns and porcupine hairs! 

here are a few pics for ya!!

last thursday our friend Juliet came over, she is 3 months old. their first play date together!
see those little hairs..yep they are all along my hair line! 
Annabel, Briggs, Claire. briggs is our little buddy (just as big as annabel but a month younger) and came to visit friday. claire is already trying to make the moves!! lol 
sweet annabel! 
crazy claire, i love you! ps. she got 2 teeth in 4 days! 
perfecting her little wave on our way to church saturday night
annabel wasnt sure if she really wanted to leave the house
on our way to the BBQ cook off, claire needed her thumb to tide her over!
the twins and i at the annual COF Texans Tailgate. please excuse my face...i forgot my makeup on the way out the door! ewwww!! 
blessings, ALo

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wide Load

if you see me and the girls out out! we are wide load! well, its really not all that bad, thanks mostly to decent strollers. man, i would be seriously lost without my stroller!! i love it!! if you are expecting twins you have to get the Baby Trend Snap and Go stroller...even if you are not having twins, i think they make this same stroller for singleton moms, just one less space, go get it!!! and no, i am not paid by this company to rave about them, however, should they feel so inclined... :)

this is the exact one i have!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! it is narrow and folds up perfectly and is super light! i could not travel or shop without it!! 

here's the real deal. shopping with my girls is really pretty easy, until it comes to "bigger" shopping trips (i.e. more than the express lane in the grocery store, Sams Club). even going to the mall or outlet mall is usually pretty easy because of the huge basket area at the bottom of the stroller. but shopping becomes a problem with twins when we really need to shop. grocery store carts are not designed for more than one kid and groceries. its either the twins and no groceries in the cart or i come up with a strategy to do both. up until august, the twins and i were getting out a lot more and i would often ask a friend or one of my students to meet me at the of us would push the stroller while the other pushed the shopping cart. but as august and september have rolled through along with the houston heat, i have tried not to take the girls out much (those car seats DO NOT breathe well and my poor girls sweat like their mommy). back up really quick....funniest time shopping was with one of my sweet students at the local HEB (a huge grocery store). she is a freshman this year and was so sweet and super eager to help me out. i picked her up on a super hot day in august, just before school started, to do my grocery shopping. i grabbed a cart and she pushed the stroller. not even 5 feet in the door and people started stopping us about the twins (see my last post). *ps. why do people think its ok to block me/the stroller from moving forward? can you not tell i am on a mission to get out of here? have you really never seen twins before? and please do not attempt to touch my babies, especially after your hands have been all over that grimy cart you are pushing!!! ok, back to the story. by the end of the shopping trip at least a dozen people had stopped us to ask questions and i was pretty annoyed and sweaty (it was august in houston) and i had just loaded over $200 worth of groceries into the car while my helper got the girls in. as we were pulling out she turns and says, "ms. aimee? the next time we come, could i please push the cart instead?" huh?? "sure, why?" (thinking to myself that it is probably faster if i stick with the cart) "well, i love your babies, and its fun to watch them and everything, but everyone kept asking me questions like they were my babies. i felt like i was on 16 and pregnant." lol!! poor girl!! i had wondered why she said asked me 12 times in the store how old the babies were...she wanted to make sure people knew they were mine! just so funny! but this happens to anyone that helps me shop, just ask my friend jess. :)

so today we took our first trip to sams club. and if i need help going to the regular grocery store, i knew there was no way i could tackle sams alone. my newest friend (we have known each other for a while, but just started hanging out) elizabeth has a membership and she goes with her little 2 year old, charlotte, quite a bit. so when she mentioned me tagging along, i jumped on it! thankfully sams has huge carts, but they also have these pallet carts. dont you know i got one of those!! i put both of the girls on there and had just enough room for the rest of what i needed (did you know i am really good at tetris? i can find the perfect spots for things!). so i had two babies and over $330 worth of stuff on this pallet cart. you should have seen the looks we were getting. elizabeth had to lead the way by the end...we seriously had a big, wide load!

i am so greatful to those who have helped me shop! it can be difficult, but the good news is, the girls seem to love it! knock on wood, they do not get upset...maybe its the movement or the stimulation of the passing items, either way, i will take it!

so when you see us out shopping you have two choices...1. move son, get out the way! 2. help a sista out! grab a cart and follow me or help me load my bags...i will gladly take the help. (plus i tend to tip in desserts!! elizabeth and her fam are getting a batch of cupcakes next week!! elizabeth, sorry its not sooner, im kinda busy with the shower!! just let me know your flavor preference!) and even if its not me you see out, if its another mom of twins, at the very least, please do not stop her and ask a bunch of questions. her ice cream melts in her cart just as fast as yours does!

here is a pic of the little ones after our sams run...this is just my stuff, elizabeth had her own cart! charlotte, thanks for being a big helper today and keeping the twins entertained!!

blessings, ALo

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dumb Question

people say there is no such thing as a dumb question. i TOTALLY disagree!!! listen, i have worked with middle school students for a long time. i have worked in the salon world where i have met all kinds of people. but i have met more oblivious/dumb people in the last 6 months than i have in my entire life!!!! i am not trying to be rude and i try even harder not to be sarcastic or insensitive or say all the remarks i really want to say when i have to respond. yes, this is a little bit of a rant post, but this is my life just about every day now, and to be fair, i will only address the three biggest stupid questions.

1. "Oh, one boy and one girl?" "Oh, two boys?"
i am not even kidding you that i think i can count on one hand the people that have have said "oh, two girls?" i mean, the fact that you have to question is crazy. if you have ever seen me and my GIRLS out in public, there should never EVER be a question!! most days they are dressed head to toe in pink/ruffles/flowers or some combination and if they are not i make sure they have their pink blankets AND a bow or headband on. but besides that, their car seats are ALL PINK and have PINK toys hanging from the handle. yes, i know that in todays society, some boys wear pink, but when was the last time you saw a baby boy in a pink car seat with a bow on his head? dumb question!! but i really do try to be polite because i know people do not pay attention.

2. "Oh, are they twins?"
i have seen this several places and i laugh each and every time i see it!!
this may not happen EVERY time we are out, but pretty close and i almost always want to respond with the above answer, but choose instead to give a little smile and say "yes, they are!" then in most cases they respond with dumb question #1 or with what i will write about in #3. but seriously, in how many situations do you see a person pushing a double stroller with two infant car seats (or two children that look VERY similar in age) and it turn out those kids are not twins? maybe when the girls are older i will expect this question to be more appropriate. after all, they probably will not look just like each other, and i may not always dress them alike, and annabel may always be a bit bigger than claire...ok, i get it then. but right now? i mean i am pushing a double stroller that has two identical carseats on it with two babies that are always dressed alike or coordinating. so, yes, they are twins. next... :)

3. let me preface this one...i have really only had this said/happen 3 times in the last 6 months but it is very fresh in my mind because it happened today at church. also...2 out of the 3 times, a man has said it... :) most times people say something about me having my hands full with 2 babies, but here's one for ya...
"oh, twins...probably not much different than one kid." 
are you serious???!!?? i am pretty sure that the one lady who said that has never had a child and the guys, well, seriously...! yes, i have really good babies and not just good for twins, just good babies. even in the midst of teething, they are happy! sure we have our moments of tiredness and frustration and hunger crying, but for the most part, my girls are easy! but, that being said, it is still (i think) much more work than just having one baby. from the get go, growing two babies is more taxing (my BP was an issue with the twins but never once was my BP high when i was pregnant with Charlotte). i was immediately a "high risk pregnancy" because there was two babies. from the beginning its double the stuff...paperwork in the hospital, carseats, bassinets, a double stroller, blankets, pacifiers, bottles...everything. which then leads to double the amount of stuff to take care of (blankets, clothes, pacifiers, etc.), double the laundry, double the bottle making, double the bottle cleaning, DOUBLE THE DIAPERS!!! yeah, someone's butt or nose or drool always needs to be wiped. most days i look around and feel like a baby store threw up in my house...there is stuff every where, but we use it. at some point each day both the bouncy seat and the swing are each in use, the carpet has a quilt with at least one baby in a boppy pillow while i work the other on scooting/crawling, there are two high chairs in the kitchen covered in baby oatmeal but both babies are learning to eat real food (meaning there is more on me and the highchair and the floor than what gets in their mouth). there is always a pile of clean clothes somewhere in my house with an equally big pile of dirty clothes waiting to be washed. even traveling to see family (airplane travel) is literally impossible for me to do without another adult. please hear me say this is not me complaining!!!! i know that each new mom has a lot of new adjustments. i know that we all need to find our new balance of how to make it all happen. but, i do not think that having one baby is just like having two. but when that is said, instead of listing all of the things that makes it different, i will continue to smile, shrug my shoulders and say "i am not sure!". because that really is the truth. maybe its not different. i love both of my girls and i love that my life seems crazy and busy and hard sometimes because i have both of them! i get double the smiles, double the baby gurgles and bubbles, double the morning cuddles and bed time stories, double the fun all around! but, if anyone wants to come clean my house i will let you! ;)

there are plenty of other dumb questions that i have heard...i guess it just keeps me on my toes. :)

and now my friends...its 9:38pm...the babies have been asleep for almost 2 hours, the dish washer is running, the washing machine is running and i worked all three services at church this weekend. im tired so IM GOING TO SLEEP, at 9:38!!!! hahaha!!!

blessings, ALo

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

halfy birthday

happy half birthday to my babies...a day late! :) yesterday was busy...well, so was today, but i am carving out a few min to blog and post a few pics. i can not believe they are already 6 months old!!! everyone said it would fly by, but this is crazy!! even just the last month has gone so quick and each day is full of new things!!

yesterday we celebrated their half birthday by going to the doctor and getting!! i really hate that. i dont understand why they make the parent hold their hands and look at them. its so sad, just plain heartbreaking!! both girls have been a little cranky since yesterday morning, and rightfully so! poor babies!

i love watching my girls figure things out and start trying new things. claire has semi serious separation anxiety with me but other than that, they seem to be doing awesome. one of the best parts of them getting bigger is their awesome sleeping schedule. right now they both take a morning nap, claire takes a mid morning/early afternoon nap, and they both have an afternoon nap. at night we start the bed time routine around seven and they are usually in bed around eight and sleep right at 11 hours!!!! its so awesome! i am usually in big trouble the days they dont stay on schedule...both for naps and for feedings. my girls love schedules. they both love to eat and sleep (esp claire, she might sleep all day if she could!).

we took a trip to michigan for labor day and they both did fantastic traveling. we had a little detour in chicago prolonging our travel time, but they just went with the flow. it was awesome! we are headed to pennsylvania the beginning of october and we are hoping for the same!!

so things are good...wont complain. im too tired to take the time for that!! lol!!

here are their 6 month stats from yesterday's doctor's appointment and a few pics.

*percentages are based on other 6 month old babies (not just girls)
Annabel: weight 17lb 4oz (70%) height 27" (89%) head 17" (75%). she is my big girl! ;)
Claire: weight 14lb 11oz (28%) height 26" (52%) head 17" (75%). jumped up in weight percentage! at least she and annabel can still share headbands/bows :)

naked baies!! 

oh, great! mom is at it again!! 

annabel isnt so sure that toes taste as good as claire says they do!

sweet girl with dimples

something was funny because she is laughing!

mom, dont forget im still hungry

"i know something you dont know!!"

looks like a baby store threw up in my living room!!

thanks to our friends charlotte and elizabeth crook, we have a jumperoo to use!  claire looks so sneaky here!
annabel made sure i knew she was next!
getting ready for their first cereal experience...went pretty well!!

these babies love to eat!!
blessings, ALo

Sunday, September 8, 2013


oh, hello...yes, i know i have been a stranger. im a new mom of twins. well, not that new anymore. the girls will be 6 months tomorrow! but everything that happens is new to me. the last two months have been beyond full! we have traveled, camped, baked, shopped, picked up the home hair business again, volunteered, did an overnight with no babies...we have done so much, everything but blog. but if you follow me on instagram or Facebook then you know all of that already.

this weekend was a big weekend for us. the twins were dedicated to the Lord at church! it was strange. not strange in how things happened, or what happened. strange for me emotionally. i have wanted this day for so long. i have dreamed about this day for years. before charlotte was born, baby dedication days at church were always one of my favorites. i loved seeing the babies and little children fidgeting in their parents arms while the parents and pastor prayed over them. i loved seeing the emotions play out on the moms face as she committed to honor God in her child rearing, to help that child grow in a relationship with the Lord. i loved seeing the daddy stand there so proud of his family, yet so humbled by what God had given their family. then, after charlotte was born and up until my twins were born, i could not sit through a baby dedication service without gripping peter's hand, without crying tears of sadness and jealousy and pain. i would put my head down, not able to even look at the families. one time i faked an illness so as not to sit through a baby dedication. that may sound extreme, but i was hurting...deeply. so, now we have our twin babies here. we signed up for the saturday night service dedication as soon as we heard about it (i had somehow missed the dedication in the spring, on mothers day!). as the weekend was getting closer, and i started planning our schedule/events for the weekend around dedication i couldnt help but start to think about Charlotte (a little more than i do on average). thinking about our time with her. thinking about how we had given her to God from the moment we knew about her, just like we did with the twins. i thought about my dear friends don and marcie solin coming to pray with us as soon as charlotte was born. so saturday i was a little emotional, missing having charlotte there as we got ready for a big day in the life of our family. missed getting to dress her up in a sweet dress to stand in front of a congregation to say that we were blessed because of her. just emotional. i was honest with a few people, so as not to get overwhelmed and then get REALLY emotional. yikes! but then as i stood at the front of the worship center, i felt this peace. it was strangely unexpected. as my friend robin sang a sweet song and pastor mark prayed over our family, i felt a sense that God is still healing us but also peace knowing that my sweet girl will always be a part of our celebrations because she will always be in our thoughts and will always have her special place in our family. as we walked off after the dedication my heart broke seeing familiar tears on a woman's face. here i was, heart full of joy and peace, a feeling of excitement and pride and gratefulness, walking with my two beautiful daughters and husband, but then being stricken with the knowledge and understanding that this young woman was having a hard time being excited for me. i wanted to stop and hug her, tell her that i understand, tell her that God sees those tears. but i didn't, i couldnt. no way! its so strange because i remember when people would do that to me/for me. it doesnt help!! so i prayed for her, for her family. i felt strange feeling both sides...remembering just a year ago being right where she is. i am praying for her now. praying that God gives her the desires of her heart...soon! but i continued to walk out and we celebrated God's faithfulness with friends at dinner after church...we sure do love to eat! :)

so, that was a lot of words for what happened in just one day. :) i am so blessed by my girls. they really are the sweetest babies. yes, we have our moments each day where i wonder if God knew what He was doing giving me two at the same time. we have our times where i actually scream right along with the girls, usually its just the three of us and they arent big enough to tell on me, yet! i have plenty of strange moments...feeling like i live in some type of parallel, is this even real??!!?? but i am assuming most people feel that way when it comes to parenting, or life with children, or just life in general. but through it all, even in the times i really miss charlotte, i feel so blessed to be claire and annabel's mom. i am grateful that God gives me exactly what i need to get through each day. i am humbled by His goodness and i am thankful for His peace!

God, please help me. give me the wisdom i need to raise my children to do Your will. help me to teach them Your ways, not mine. give me the words to encourage them. God, please protect my babies from harm and direct them towards you. i give them to you, today and every day. thank you for blessing me with them. i love you more because of them. God, please help me!

here are a few pics. the gorgeous dresses and bibs came from my very sweet (and very southern, hence the monograms) precious friend, morgan. and the cute socks are from a generous friend in michigan, miss jane! thanks so much ladies for decking my girls out...i am biased but i think they were the best dressed this weekend!! :) here are just a few pictures (i took over 150!!!)

Pastor Mark praying for our babies and family

just waiting in the lobby

annabel was all geared up!

claire was hungry, but made it through

mark and laura have been praying for our family for two years! so blessed by them!!

hard to get a good one of all 4 of us, but we try!

curious sweet

she has started to embrace tummy time

annabel was pretty happy about being at home

oh my.

"claire, mom said to keep your legs down!"

look at those pursed lips of claire's! so many expressions from her! they like to be near each other...holding hands, rubbing feet, bumping heads. its so cute!!


just give me my space and stop taking your clothes off!! :)
blessings, ALo

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

4 months already!!

well, at least i am giving you the monthly updates!! lol.

in the last month it seems the girls have gotten so big! they are growing like crazy! life with twins is becoming much more normal for us. i have the girls on a great schedule...thankfully! i am not sure what i would do otherwise. i am super thankful for my husband who has been more than helpful/supportive/the best dad ever. we haven't done anything too major this month except sit at the pool at few times and we did go to our church middle school camp for a few days. peter went to help set up the tech and sound, so us girls went too...just for the weekend. it was so great being a small part and being with the students for a few days at one of my favorite times in a students'! i love being a mom and it is the most rewarding job in the world, but it is also the hardest and most demanding job. sometimes i miss being able to leave my job and come home and not get up at 3am for a feeding. :) so, being at camp, as a family, even for just a few days was the best of both worlds for me!!

so, we went to the doctor on monday for the girls' 4 month check up. they are hitting all of the milestones, right on track! annabel weighed in at 14lbs 9oz (75th percentile), 25 1/2" long (90th percentile) and her head is 16 1/4" around (75th percentile). she is a little ahead of the game...she is rolling over and cant be swaddled at night anymore. she is super strong and is really good at bearing weight and holding her head up. however, they both HATE tummy time!!! i mean, they pitch royal fits over it!! claire is still my little peanut. she was 12lbs 5oz (10th percentile), 24 1/4" long (50th percentile) and her head is 16" (50th percentile). she is not "standing" as much as annabel, but she is getting pretty good at holding her head up. i was encouraged by the doctor to not "baby her" as much...let her gain her strength. claire is not rolling yet, and still likes to be swaddled when falling asleep. she wriggles out of it pretty good, but they both like to be held tight when falling asleep! my girls are really good sleepers. we have had several nights of not getting up. the 3am feedings are becoming few and far between...thankfully! so, right now, they go down around 10 and get up at 5 to eat then sleep again until between 8 and 9. the last two days were off because they had to have 3 shots...that always really messes with things!! they both LOVE their hands...i mean eating them. they are also really figuring each other out. i love to watch them interact and have "twin time". they still both do great in the car, so we get out as much as we can. the texas summer heat is trying to kick our butts, but we do what we can! :)

each day has moments when i question if i know what i am doing...or if God was crazy in thinking i could be a mom to twins. then i will catch one of the girls smiling, or studying something, or a smirk while dreaming. thats when i stop and take a breath and say a prayer. i pray that i can continue to do my best, that the girls continue to grow and pass those milestones, and thank God for each moment that i have with them. these first 4 months have flown by and the awesome times way out weigh the hard moments! today was a good day...better than yesterday. we got out to run errands, stopped to see a few friends, did some laundry (this is everyday) and even made a batch of cookies. its a good day when you can sit and enjoy an almond joy cookie (recipe at bottom) while the babies nap! :) now off to start dinner!!

before i post the pics...please be praying for my mom. she had to have surgery today to repair her torn Achilles tendon and get rid of a bone spur on her heel. it has been an awful week for her awaiting surgery and now she will have to be in a cast for 3 months. if you know my mom, then you know this has got to be one of the worst things...especially this time of year! mom lives on a beautiful piece of land in michigan (michigan summers are the best!!!), so she wont be enjoying her tennis (which is how she got her injury), her horses, or the pool and lake. so sad!! she also cant drive!!! and lets not forget i have a 15 year old brother at home and she is a single parent...long thee months for both of them now! i so wish i was there to help her!!! love you, mom!! you are so strong and i know you can do this!! xxoo

here are a few pics from today... :) they are so big and starting to look a little more alike!

Annabel Marie


Claire Mackenzie

she gets shy in front of the camera. glad she finally smiled!!

blue eyed babies!!

they love to hold hands, rub feet, anything to touch each other!


"Annabel, do think if i start crying she will stop??"

"Mom, Claire is might need to be done!"

i like big bows and i can not lie!! :)
bigger the bow, better the mom!!! lol
welcome to texas!

blessings, ALo

almond joy cookies, courtesy of my cousin Brooke Southwick

2 cups dark brown sugar (all i had was light, it worked!)
1 cup softened butter
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups AP flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut
1 cup almonds
1 bag chocolate chips

pre heat oven to 325. cream sugar, butter, salt, and soda. add eggs and cream again. mix in the flour and coconut until well blended. mix in the almonds and chips until just incorporated. bake for approx. 15 min or until just golden. these are much better if not too done!!! enjoy with coffee or really cold milk!!