Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

We actually did it! We got everyone to the Pumpkin Patch and we actually survived!

We are really lucky actually, because we live 2 seconds away from a family-run christmas tree, and pumpkin farm!

Most people in our area go to a place called Ashland Berry Farm. It's a great place, but it's huge, there are always large lines, and when you have 3 kids under 2.5 years old, an over-crowded, not stroller friendly place loses its appeal.

Luckily, we found out about Windy Knoll. It's such a cute little farm, and it's not well-known outside of the people who live right around it. It's small, only 2 other families were there when we took our trip, but it's great!!!!

We knew my mom would come along to help, but we unexpectedly had our friend Micah come as well. I'm glad we had the extra hands because we certainly needed them!

We had a great time, got lots of pumpkins, and took the traditional hay ride... hope you enjoy the pictures below!

Happy Fall Y'all :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

LOVE Myths vs. Facts

Came across this, is one of my many twin books and wanted to pass along...

( taken from The Everything Twins, Triplets, and More Book)

1. Multiples usually skip a generation.

2. Fraternal Twins are always a boy and a girl.

3. Twins with two placentas must be fraternal twins.

4. You have to buy two (or three, or more) of everything for your multiple babies.

5. All multiples must be born by cesarean section.

6. Having two kids close in age is the same as having twins.

7. Having twins is twice as hard, and triplets make it three times as hard for parents.

8. Identical twins always look exactly alike.

9. It's impossible to breastfeed multiples.

10. You must have taken fertility drugs if you have twins or more.

My break down of these myths...

1. No scientific evidence multiples skip a generation, so please people STOP asking me this!!! If we really want to get technical, it is possible that fraternal twins are genetic because fraternal twins result in the dropping of 2 eggs. If you're dropping two eggs, you could have hyper-active ovaries, which means you could pass that gene on to a female relative. However, if this is the case, the gene is only on the FEMALE'S side, which means when a man says "Well twins run in my family" you should slap him in the face, because he had nothing to do with it! Identical's, are still a mystery! There is no definitive answer as to why the egg splits!

2. Fraternal twins can be the same sex! They are no different genetically than regular siblings.

3. Identical can have separate placentas, and even separate sacs! It all depends on when the egg was split!

4. Don' t buy two of everything!!!! I'm gonna make a separate post on this!

5. Multiples can be born vaginally! Believe it or not, I know many women who have done it!

6. This is a semi-slap in the face to a mom of twins! Your kids might be 18 months apart, or 15 months, or whatever, but it is NOT the same as having twins! Take my word for it!

7. I wouldn't say it's twice as hard, it's just REALLY hard.

8. The word identical only refers to the fact they came from the same egg, the term has nothing to do with appearance. Environmental factors can play a big role in how identical twins look, especially if they did not share a placenta.

9. You CAN breastfeed your multiples. It's a lot of work, and takes a lot of patience and time, but it can be done!

10. I can't tell you how many people ask me if I did in vitro...complete strangers, mind you! I conceived mine naturally but really unless someone offers up the information, you shouldn't ask!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Butter

It's a Rainy Day here in Richmond, Virginia. I love baking on Rainy Days, and on this rainy day I'm making my second batch of pumpkin butter this season!

Have you ever had pumpkin butter?

It's delicious, and you can use it on anything!

We mainly use it as a "dip". We dip apple slices, graham crackers, ritz crackers..you get the idea.

I've also used a tablespoon of it in my coffee, and of course it's delicious on toast, and cinnamon-raisen bagels....yummmm

More importantly, it's super easy to make, and it makes your house smell like fall!


Pumpkin Butter
3.5 cups pumpkin puree OR 29 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup apple juice OR apple cider
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves

Put all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes, stir frequently. Serve immediately or put in an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Only a month late...

Happy Birthday to my twin baby girls!!!!

They are the Big, ONE!!!

I seriously can't believe it! ONE! What a magical number! I remember the early days, freshly-home from the hospital, feedings every 2 hours around the clock, constantly worried about weight-gain and temperature regulation, my husband and I kept telling ourselves...if we can just make it to their 1st birthday, we are golden!

One, was our magical number. We knew if we could survive the first year, we could survive anything!


In all seriousness though, this year has been a roller-coaster of emotion. Any baby is a reminder that miracles happen in this world, any baby is a gift, a treasure; but when you have twins, it is seriously the coolest thing ever!

I still will look at my husband and say in wonder, "We have twins," like I'm just realizing it! Everywhere we go, people get excited when they see 2 babies dressed just a like. Twins fascinate people, and with the girls being identical, it really is fun to see how different they are, they may look just alike but they truly are individuals.

They have come a long way, and so have we, and so has their big sister. Our happy little family is still happy, and still running smoothly. We definitely still have our "days" but who doesn't.

The twins birthday party really was special. Surrounded by family and friends, and lots of love. So many people came out to celebrate our baby girls, and we couldn't be more thankful :)

Birthday Girls!!! Annabelle is in the purple, Gabby in the pink. Don't you love their outfits??? They are lace rompers I got off etsy! They are so gorgeous!
We didn't have a so-called theme for their birthday, it was just pink and purple everything! When we first brought the babies home from the hospital, we were so worried about sickness because of them being premature and still being so tiny. Our big girl was only 16 months at the time, so she still took a paci (and she still does...don't judge) so we decided to color-code the paci's since all 3 girls loved the soothie brand. Juliette was green, Gabby was pink, and Annabelle was purple. Pink and Purple! The colors have stuck around!

This is Gabby discovering M&M's for the first time!

Sweet Annabelle being silly.

Their high-chairs, with their "1" cupcake balloons (sidenote: space-saver highchairs are totally the way to go)!!

The food table: Veggie Tray, Fruit Tray, Mediterranean Pasta Salad, Sub Sandwiches

The cakes! We did individual cakes, but kept with the pink and purple theme!

Cake bibs!

Family!!! Minus the big girl who was running around hyped up on sugar, trying to open the babies gifts!!!

Cake Time!!!!

The clothes!!!! They are seriously SET for Fall, we have the best friends and family EVER!!!!

So, there it is, a few pics from the festivities! I can't believe how far the girls have come, and I know I'll be saying the same thing a year from now! As much as time seem to stand still in the early days, this year really has flown by.

Geeze! SLOW down father time, will ya?!?!?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thankful for burps...

It's been one of those days.

Hell, it's been one of those days for the last 4 days in a row.

The Twins are teething, and not just normal teething...teething on steroids. Gabby has 3 teeth (that I can see) that are about to cut through, and Annabelle has 4.

It has been hell at our house.

Straight hell.

Ever been around a kid who is teething? Ever been around twins that are teething??

I'm only one person...I can only do so much. It's heart-breaking when both of your babies want you to hold them all day long. Heartbreaking and impossible, because even if I could magically find a way to juggle their combined weight of 40 plus pounds on my hips all day long, I still have an almost 2.5 year old to take care of as well.

Poor Juliette, just wants to play and sing songs, and color and not have her sisters pull her hair or steal her blanket or her mother completely stressed out because she can't handle anymore screaming babies!

Do you know what happens when a toddler doesn't get her way??

She cries.

So, that's 3 screaming children, one "on-the-verge-of-having-a-mental-breakdown" mom, stuck in a house because of the torrential downpour which occurred ALL day, and a partridge in a pear tree is probably somewhere in there as well.

To top it off, when my husband gets home, it's still no relief for mom. I have to head out to the grocery store. Yep. My one moment to myself out of the last 4 days consists of me heading to the dreaded grocery store at rush hour along with everyone else in the city.

Of course the grocery store only has 2 check-out lanes open as well...typical.

I get home...chaos.

3 kids still screaming. So, as I'm putting away groceries while simultaneously getting pj's on the babies, and finally putting them to sleep, I realize that my husband, is on the couch. Sitting. Doing Nothing.


So, while he's catching up on his nightly news, I fix dinner for our toddler, help her eat, while cleaning up the explosion of toys all around the house.

Because let's face reality, a dad's idea of taking care of the children is to throw all of the toys in the middle of the room and let the kids have at it! (can you sense my sarcasm, here)??

Anyways, finally I finish cleaning up dinner and get a moment to sit and catch my breath when, through the monitor, I hear a blood-curdling scream.

Of course, one of the babies is awake! I can not catch a break..this day seriously sucks.

So I huff and I puff as I drag my "seriously-about-to-lose-it" body up the stairs and into the twins bedroom.

It's Annabelle, awake, and looking pitiful. I scoop her up and start rocking her, about two minutes in to rocking, she lets out a huge burp. She almost instantly relaxes and snuggles into my chest with her tiny hand clasping my arm like she doesn't ever want me to put her down. So we just rock, and snuggle.

It was seriously the BEST part of my day. I was so thankful for that tiny little burp that woke her up and allowed me to have a special and rare moment of alone time with my little girl.

As I rocked her, I just thought how silly I was for getting so overwhelmed with this day. It's just a day (or 4) some days are good, some days are bad, some days are horrible. But I have 3 sweet, healthy babies, a beautiful home, and a great husband (when he helps out with the children) I kid, I kid.

Anyways, it reminded me of a quote I came across recently..

"Dear God, thanks for this beautiful life, and forgive me if I don't love it enough"

So true.

So, thank you God, for the good the bad and the horrible...thank you so much!