This has been an incredibly BUSY month for us.  While I feel so blessed to have so many people in my life who are celebrating wonderful happenings, I wish that I could just SLOOOOOOWWW DOWWWWN for a minute and enjoy life and my daughters.  Who, by the way, are getting SO BIG!

October 13, one of my besties, Erin, had a shower for her baby, Olivia, who will be here in just a couple of weeks!  The day was gorgeous, and the girls had their first girls' day out, as daddy stayed home to catch up on zzz's and football.

My beautiful friend Erin with her little Olivia in the oven.
(Don't you just hate how awesome she looks preggers?  Yeah, me too!)

Erin and her hubby, Rich, who nobly stayed for the ENTIRE shower...
Talk about a cock in the hen house!

Then, on October 20, I was lucky enough to help throw my very best friend, Suzanne, a baby sprinkle for her expected bundle of joy, Ryan. It was my first time throwing a sprinkle, and since there haven't been any boys in our group of friends to shower in a very long time, it was extra fun being able to plan all of the little details!  

Ryan will be here in less than 2 weeks!

The proud parents and very excited big sister.

It's all in the details...

Diaper Cake by Yours Truly (with some help from Emma, of course)

To wrap up the month, my sister-in-law married the man of her dreams.  I always love it when two people who were meant to be together tie the knot, and this was NO EXCEPTION.  In fact, I couldn't be happier that Brett is finally my OFFICIAL brother-in-law.  Now we just have to get the girls baptized to make Brett and Heather the OFFICIAL godparents of Jane and Emma.  

This weekend we get to kick our shoes off and relax at a Halloween Housewarming party!  We got the girls the CUTEST costumes, and chose our costumes based on them!  I'll be posting pics on Sunday.

Have a BOO-rific Halloween!  

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Mommy Zombie

With Halloween and the new seasons of The Walking Dead and American Horror Story upon us, I thought that now would be the appropriate time to share with you my Sleep Battle. 

Emma's jammies are from The Gap

I have never been a particularly good sleeper. As a teen, I suffered from a wicked case of insomnia, and I would wake up bruised and battered from a fight I apparently had with the wall when I did happen to finally fall asleep. 

In my early twenties, I discovered that I was an extremely light sleeper, when living with a roommate and a kitten brought about constant fights over nighttime noise levels and a battle of wills between me and Tyson (his tiny meow at the foot of my bed woke me up throughout the night).  

Fast forward to living with Hershey. After 3 years of living on my own in Hackensack, Hershey revealed to me that not only did I kick and thrash violently in my sleep (which explained those teenaged bruises), but I also talked and walked in my sleep. Hershey spent many nighttime hours watching me shuffle around the apartment, talking jibberish and chasing imaginary cats. I wondered how many times I wandered the streets in my pj's in the Hack. 

When we found out that I was pregnant, one of my biggest fears was that I would walk in my sleep once the girls were born. Truth be told, as I got farther along in my pregnancy, I grew to be too big to easily get in and out of bed without assistance (I once laid in bed for 10 minutes screaming Hershey's name to come help me out of bed so that I could pee, until I was reduced to tears because I COULD NOT get myself out of bed and I was afraid I was actually going to pee in the bed). Not only that, but I became so uncomfortable that my good friend Insomnia paid me a visit every night.  I would slowly toss and turn for hours trying to find a way to lay in bed that I wasn't squashing a baby. Yeah. Right. 

Once Jane and Emma arrived, sleep became a distant memory. While the girls were in the NICU, I was getting up every 3 hours to pump for 20 minutes so that I could bring breast milk (aka liquid gold for preemies) to the hospital for them every morning. Many times I slept through my 3 am pumping sesh and woke up in a lot of pain.  There were also times that I was so tired that I dropped an entire bottle of freshly pumped BM that exploded all over me and the glider and everything in a 5 foot radius. On these nights I cried. 

When we brought the girls home my sleeping habits just got worse. I was worried about the girls all of the time, and when someone came over to help out, I couldn't conscionably go to sleep while either of them were crying. And since Hershey was still working, I was on night duty all alone. I would get up with one, go through a 45 minute feeding ritual with her, put her down and get the other one to go through the same thing. After an hour and a half of this, if I was lucky enough to fall right asleep, I would get about an hour and 15 minutes of sleep before I had to start all over again. 

I also was never one to understand when people told me, "When they sleep, you sleep."  I mean, how did these people not live in a pile of sh*t when their kids were born?! When they sleep, I clean, cook, do laundry, shop online, run around in my underwear singing along to Luke Bryan... All of the things that I CANNOT DO while they are awake!!!  So basically, I don't sleep. 

These days, Jane and Emma are on a much better sleeping schedule. We have moved them into their nursery, into their own cribs, and the reflux is all but gone. They still fuss a bit in the night, usually after they have been in bed for about 5 hours. We're working on figuring this whole sleep thing out together. Hershey is snoring by my side as I type, but I have too much energy left in me to sleep right now. And this is my cross to bear. 

There are nights now that I sleep so soundly that I wake up in a cold sweat, afraid that I've slept through some incident in the night that Hershey did not hear since the monitor is next to me. On those nights, I fly from my bed and into the nursery, only to find the twincesses sleeping soundly. I then return to bed so pumped full of adrenaline that I just lay in bed staring at the monitor for an hour, waiting for a finger twitch or a chest movement to tell me they're ok. 

It's the next morning at work that I feel like a walking shell of my former self. Man, do I miss sleep!  I would give anything for one straight, restful 5-6 hour clip of sleep. 

How are nights treating you? How do you deal with sleep deprivation? 

Hope you have lots of fun Halloween festivities planned for the weekend! We will be in Hershey's sister's wedding this weekend in Philadelphia. More on that next week! 

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It's All About the Bumpers, Baby!


I have a problem.  My kids are MANIACS when they sleep.  They somehow manage to get their 13 pound selves all over the crib.

A gracious mommy who follows my Facebook page (link above) suggested that we put the Boppies in the cribs and let Jane and Emma sleep with their butts in the Boppies so that the Boppies hugged them throughout the night.  And IT WORKED.  Like a charm.  They now sleep much more soundly and just about through the night.

Here's the problem.

They have figured out that they can plant their feet on the Boppies and catapult themselves to the top of the crib, which results in them hitting their heads on the crib bars, sleeping with their faces in the bumpers, or turning totally sideways.  

My question is:


We have these.  I don't like them because they are 4 pieces, leaving gaps where the bars of the crib are the thickest.  Plus, when they put their faces up against them, they could suffocate, which is not conducive to MY restful sleep at night.

Since they put their faces up against the sides of the crib, I went out and bought these.  But there's not much padding for when they do their jump n' bump maneuvers in the night.

Now I'm torn between 2 evils:  
Do I let them smack their heads on the bars, or let them suffocate?  
Great choices...

I need your advice!  Please leave it in the comments below.

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Thanks in advance (or TIA as they say in the blogosphere)!!!

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My Kids Know When I'm Doing Something...

Seriously.  No joke.  The exact moment that I decide to do ANYTHING that does not have something to do with them, they know.

I used to laugh when my mother said that I had a sixth sense for when she went into the bathroom.  It was as though I heard the door click shut and immediately had to pee/talk/wash my hands/an emergency.  To this day, when I call my mother's house, my father will answer the phone and when I ask, "Where's Mom?" his response, inevitably, is, "IN THE BATHROOM, where else?"

It's amazing.  

And now I've passed that gift on to Jane and Emma.  Lucky me.

Every time Hershey and I sit down to eat, the screaming begins.  Jane and Emma could be sleeping (literally!) and as soon as the bags with the food in them rustle, they are awake and crying/whining/screaming bloody murder.

Case #1:  Dinner time.  We try to feed the girls right before we eat.  So they eat at 5:00 and at 6:00 we try to put them in their seats or on their activity mats so that we can cook and eat.  And they are FINE!  They have the time of their lives either playing with the swingy things or watching me cook.  Until.....

Please note the angelic look on Jane's face (in the bouncy chair).  And this is just the beginning.  As you can see, Hershey has not even touched his food yet.  Once the fork hits the food, forget it, a no-holds-barred scream-fest ensues.

Case #2:  Snuggle time.  Hershey and I do not get very much time to ourselves anymore.  Our life as WE has been consumed by THEM.  Which is fine, as long as we can sneak moments here and there to still be WE.  However, this morning, at 6:06 a.m. (my alarm went off for 6 full minutes before I woke up, leading me to wonder how many of the girls' cries I may have missed in the night), I sat up and hit the alarm and got up to get bottles ready for the 6 a.m. feeding.  But there was radio silence, so Hershey pulled me back down and said, "Let's snuggle while there's no crying."  I agreed, and LITERALLY as my head touched the pillow, we heard a loud "WAH" come across the monitor.  Just one, short "wah", but enough to tell me that the twincesses were awake and wondering where the heck the alimentum was.  FML.  

I'm not sure if I can take another 33+ years of this... I like to pee in peace.

Have a great week!

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I'm a MOM!!!!!

Every once in a while, a person comes into your life who is meant to be there.  For me, that person is my friend Erin.  Erin and I met in high school, and became friends during a shared Spanish class.  I fell in love with her Daria-esque sense of humor.  Although she was quiet, she was wise beyond her years, and I always admired that about her.  

Over the years, we ran into each other here and there.  We shared a cup of coffee and talked about life when these chance encounters happened.  Three months ago, my husband and I walked into the waiting room of the doctor who performed surgery on Jane on the third day she was alive.  As I hovered over the twins, trying to get them settled, I felt a gentle touch on my arm.  After YEARS of being apart, there stood my old friend Erin. She looked exactly the same, but more at peace (if that was even possible for her).  Her big, brown, kind eyes were staring at me, and I immediately grabbed her and hugged her.  

Every day since, we have shared text messages about mommyhood, marriage, LBG blog posts, and life.  Over Instagram she shared a desire to write, and I immediately jumped on the opportunity to ask her to write a guest post for my blog.  

The following is her post.  It is achingly honest, and I have to admit:  By the end of it, I had tears in my eyes.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did, and that she will do me the honor of writing more posts for me to share in the future.  Hers is most definitely a voice that is meant to be heard.

I remember the exact moment I felt myself become a mother. I was sitting in a tiny bathroom, holding a pregnancy test in my shaking hand. I knew exactly what that stick was going to reveal, but I was in heavy denial. There’s no way, I kept repeating to myself. There’s just no way. But the little digital screen proved me so wrong. It read “pregnant” in miniscule yet terrifying letters. I could not have picked a worse time if I tried. And believe me, I hadn’t been trying. But the screen confirmed what my heart already knew. I was pregnant. I was a mother.

My husband and I were pretty much on the same page about never having kids. We decided we liked living selfishly, coming and going as we pleased. Kids weren’t really on the radar. Besides, we had just saved all of our pennies for the upcoming year. My husband quit his long-standing job, leaving his lucrative career to go back to school. I was going to support us for a while on my (significantly) lesser salary as well as carry our health benefits. All was going according to plan, until his first week of school when I decided to stop procrastinating and buy the pregnancy test. I had been conning myself for a few weeks, denying all of the signs and symptoms. I chalked them up to stress or a recent virus. Anything but the P word.
The moment I knew I really was carrying a baby and not some rare, imaginary tumor, I felt motherhood descend upon me like a slab of stone. There was no turning back. Even if something bad were to happen to this pregnancy, I had just felt myself become a mother. This infinitesimal shift which was as microscopic as it was enormous. Going forward, I was now and would always be a mother.

My pregnancy was smooth physically. I was one of those lucky few who never had morning sickness or even a swollen ankle. Emotionally, I was a wreck. I worried about everything from finances, to going back to work with a newborn at home, to how this little newcomer would affect my marriage. On and on, I frayed my nerves with worry. I cried myself to sleep more nights than I would like to admit. And then I cried some more because I felt so guilty. Wasn't I supposed to be overjoyed? Wasn't I supposed to be glowing with expectant radiance? I felt more like a thundercloud than a ray of sunshine. Heavy, gray, and ready to down pour at a moment’s notice.

My son’s birth was easy also. I labored for about 8 hours total, pretty good for a first-timer. I came away with no tears or cuts that the eye could see and the most perfect little boy I could ever imagine. His skin was untouched, not a mar or a mark to be found. His eyes were bright blue, and he had a blond curl right in the center of his forehead, just like a poem my grandmother used to recite to me. He weighed barely 6 lbs, and when they put him in my arms the first thing I exclaimed was, “He’s so tiny!”

I wish I could say it was love at first sight and all of my anxieties and fears melted away in that moment, but that would not be truthful. I did love the baby. He was the cutest little thing so sweet and dreamy. He slept most of the time while we were in the hospital, and my husband couldn't take his eyes off of him. I stared too. He was fascinating and beautiful. But I was exhausted physically and mentally. I knew he was mine and I was his, but I could not imagine how my life was going to go from here. I felt like I entered the hospital as one person but was leaving as someone totally different. Trouble was, I didn't know who this new person was supposed to be. What was she going to look like, sound like, act like? My future was a complete mystery.

It took time to figure it all out. And if there is one thing I could go back and explain to my former self it is this: it’s okay to take your time! Life after a new baby (especially a “surprise” one), is chaos. It is supposed to be that way. Everyone needs time to adjust including the baby. Take your time. I felt a tremendous amount of pressure to figure everything out right away. I wanted everything to be perfect before I had to return to work, as if we were all static like little dolls living in a plastic house. I want my former self to know that things are continually evolving, always, all the time, whether you have a baby or not. Life after a baby keeps unfolding and changing, rapidly at first. It was a little too rapid for me to keep my balance, but eventually, I found it and things really did get better.

My son and I are inseparable now. He turned one last month, and I feel that all-encompassing love and devotion that I wanted to feel back when he was a newborn. A lot of it has to do with being on a schedule and having some routine back in my life. That helped me to find the balance I was desperately seeking in the early days. And a lot of it has to do with gaining patience, which comes, I think, with experience. Every night I spent feeding him, every diaper change, every tear and giggle has stitched its way around my heart, and I find that I have grown to adapt to the situation. I had to let go of some expectations for perfection, and let me tell you, I had a death grip on those expectations. I had to loosen my grasp and let some air in. I had to reassess what was important to me and why. I found little pathways to do motherhood my own way. I found ways to still be myself and a mother both. And it took time. But I think the best things in life have to be earned.

I like to think that I am back to my old self now, only better. I still look like me, talk like me, act like me. I am wiser, more patient, and more loving. Becoming a mother stopped me in my tracks for a little while, and now I find that it propels me forward and inspires me to reach even greater heights. It’s a feeling I could never have imagined back in that tiny bathroom almost two years ago. It’s a unique, powerful feeling, and for it, I am forever glad.

It's in the Bag!

It's Sunday Funday again, and we are getting ready to watch the Giants, once again.  Hopefully they will get it together today, especially since the girls are such great little cheerleaders!

Two of my best friends are expecting little babies in the next 8 weeks, so as we anxiously await little Ryan and Olivia's arrivals, I wanted to write a post all about the hospital bag.  Although we are hoping Olivia and Ryan will cook until they are 40 weeks old, Erin and Suzanne could technically go any day now!  Remember, Jane and Emma entered our world at 32 weeks...

I used the large tote from Land's End that I have personalized. Any large overnight bag will do. 

Without further ado, here is the complete list of junk that was in my hospital bag (which we took to the hospital twice).

1.  Slipper socks.  They give these to you at the hospital, but they're scratchy and uncomfortable.  These felt soooo good on my swollen feets.

2.  Shampoo and Conditioner.  Again, most hospitals have this, but it feels amazeballs to take that first post delivery shower with your familiar, sweet smelling shampoo.  I just brought travel sizes with me to conserve space.

3.  Face wash/eye make up remover.  I brought the pre-moistened cloths so that I wouldn't have to worry about bending over a sink or getting out of bed!

4.  Moisturizer and body lotion.  Hospitals are extremely dry, especially in the winter months.  Bring your favorite moisturizers with you to make sure you don't come out looking like the Crypt Keeper.

5.  Electronics and chargers.  Camera, cell phone, iPad, laptop.  Whatever electronics you're bringing with you, make sure to grab extra chargers.

6.  One of your own pillows with a colored pillow case.  You will be happy to have a nice, soft, fluffy pillow from home.  The colored pillow case will ensure that housekeeping doesn't sweep it away on you while you're out washing off the ew or visiting your new little bundle of joy.

7.  Comfy nursing bras.  I love the Medela bras, and I am specifically a huge fan of this bra, which I still wear to bed and around the house on weekends.  I know, it's hot.

8.  Going home outfit for baby.  I bought preemie outfits and newborn outfits, just in case.  If you are a high risk pregnancy, I would strongly suggest buying just ONE preemie outfit at first (or one per baby, if you're having higher order multiples).  You can always donate it to the NICU if you don't use it (or even if you do), and it's better to be safe than sorry.

9.  Going home outfit for you.  Something soft with a little bit of give.  I wore home one of my maternity maxi dresses.  You want to stick with flowy or elastic materials, as you'll still be carrying some baby weight when you leave.

10.  Headbands/ponytail ties/barrettes.  You can't wash your hair for a day or two after delivery because you can't take a shower.  Having a way to tie that greasy ball of matted, sweaty hair away from your face will make you feel much better.  The grunge look went out with the 90s, and you don't want your post-delivery pics (which there will be many of) to be a flashback to your Nirvana-loving years.

11.  Tic Tacs.  Just trust me on this one.

12.  Mascara and blush.  You won't want to put on a full face of make up, but it will make you feel better to put on a coat of mascara and some blush when people come to visit (and take more pictures of you).

13.  Toothbrush/toothpaste/mouthwash.  Just bring travel sizes.

14.  Flip flops for the showers, which are communal.  Not only will you not get foot fungus, but you also won't slip and fall on some jerk's wad of conditioner that they failed to wash down the drain.  Getting up off of the floor is not easy after giving birth, and if you want to hold on to what little tiny shred of dignity you have left, you don't want to have to call someone to help your naked self up off of the floor of the shower.

15.  Contact lenses, case, solution, glasses, etc., if you wear them.

16.  Comfy jammies.  My bestie ran to Target and got me the most comfortable nursing top and maternity shorts the day after I gave birth, and I couldn't have been more in love with her than I was at the moment she handed them to me.  Rocking around in a hospital gown for the first day is FINE, but after that you will want more coverage and comfort.

17.  A notebook.  I'm reading from my notebook right now to compile this list.  I have a notebook that I have used for EVERYTHING, from my wedding to this day.  You will want to write down who visited you in the hospital, who sent flowers, and who sent/brought gifts and what they brought so that you can send thank you notes when you get home.

18.  Re-useable bags.  I brought 3-4 with me.  The hospital gives you swag.  You make dirty laundry.  You take formula, choopies, baby wash, etc. off of the baby cart every time it comes in the room.  You need bags to bring all of this crap home in. Fold a few up and throw them in the bottom of your hospital bag.  You'll be happy you did.

19.  Tums.  Colace.  Gas-X.  They should give you this stuff at the hospital, but bring some, just in case.

20.  Panties.  Cheap ones.  Big ones.  It's up to you, I didn't bring them but some women swear by bringing them.  I jammed out in the ones that the hospital gave me, and I was fine with them.  I even brought some home (in my re-useable bags) and used them for a few weeks after.

That's what I brought with me.  Of course, people will be coming and going and you can always get someone to pick something up for you if you forget something. 

If I forgot anything, or if you can think of anything to add to this list, please leave it in the comments below!

Have a great week everyone!