Thursday, December 26, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

jamesey & elle // ten month old little bugs

Sometimes I still stare at them in disbelief.  I have maybe said this before but my favorite part of twin rearing is that I have been given two OPPOSITE children at one time.  Their differences are more apparent every day.  It could not be sweeter.  
James (big Jim, jamesey) continues to be my content little sweetie.  He is tender as they come and bursts into tears at a firm "no."  When Ellen (Elle, belle, Ellie bellie) hears a firm "no" she, for the most part, smirks or gives us a big Ellie grin.  She loves cupboards, shelves, baskets of perfectly folded laundry and attempting to dive into the empty bathtub.  Jamesey loves watching his sisters, playing peek-a-boo, looking at books in my lap and sitting in the bath.  Standing on her own is Ellie's latest.  Scooting backwards is Jamesey's only form of movement.
They both LOVE: their big sister, eating and nursing.  They continue to grow like weeds especially big Jim.  His nickname at birth was so funny when he was a tiny little alien newborn but now is perfectly fitting.  He is a big baby with quite possibly the biggest and best smile I have ever seen.
I forgot to mention the nickname that Reagan coined for Ellen.  Trouble.  "Here comes Trouble" is a popular phrase around here and while she is quite the mischievous little chicken she is also my cuddliest baby and very much a mamas girl.  She still sleeps incredibly and melts our hearts with her determined but sweet nature.  
I am mostly writing this randomness so that I can remember.  This has easily been the fastest year of my life.  Looking forward to our first Christmas in our own little house with our three perfect babies from Jesus...and my sweet brother Ben!  Have a great week y'all.  
And, yes, there are a lot of naked/partially naked pictures lately and I don't really know why since it's -2 out but that's what I've got.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

reagan rosalie turns 3.

It has been over a week since Rea turned 3.  I feel like I am constantly saying this but it's just so true, she FILLS my life with laughter.  I am amazed by her cleverness, sharp memory, hilarious pretend play, long attention span and tender spirit.  I am a little bit scared of how much she reminds me of myself and in awe of the way she adores her dad.

We celebrated all week.  She loved opening mail from so many generous people and decorating our home for her friends party. On her actual birthday we headed to grand forks where auntie Lucy surprised her with her very own DQ ice cream cake.  That Lucy knows the way to Reagan's heart (and mine for that matter).  Y'all know that birthdays and presents are my favorite, but watching my babies grow up and celebrating them is way sweeter.  Every day with them is an undeserved GIFT.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

mid morning snack // still nursing for two.

This is what my typical mid morning snack/second breakfast still looks like 9 months in to nursing the twinnies (praise God).  2-3 eggs fried in tons of butter,  a little bit of fruit and sprouted wheat toast with lots of butter.  Still dreaming about one day being full again.  Things that REALLY have helped me lately (in my non-researched, personal opinion) are:

Real butter, tons of it (as you can see above haha)
Sprouted grains 
Carrots, nuts, dried apricots, hard boiled eggs always available 
Smoothies made with whole milk yogurt 
Oatmeal oatmeal oatmeal 
Coconut Oil 
Cod Liver Oil
And as I have said a million times before: 
ICE CREAM.  Specifically homemade malts made in my ninja blender (knock  off vitamix that works SO well.  Very comparable.  I make all the twins baby food in it as well as daily smoothies/milkshakes.  $60.00 at target.).

Friday, November 8, 2013

clean babies.

My house is very quiet.  My laundry is all clean, folded and put away (SO rare) and my heart is very full.  I miss them so much already but I am soaking up the laughter, sweet times and rest I was given this week.  My kids are also very clean.  Nightly baths were not really happening until my mom arrived.  Mostly because Ellen tries to swim, dive, drink the whole bath and give me a heart attack.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

that's what grandmas are for

Today, my mom put apple slices and peanut butter to shame with Reagan's afternoon snack.  She woke up from her nap to shrimp cocktail...and milk?  Haha.  She loved it!

Friday, November 1, 2013

halloween // dr. suess & a cow

We love Dr. Suess so it was a no brainer as to what we would dress as this year.  You just can't pass up "thing 1" and "thing 2" when you have double babes. 

My husband started the day off by sleeping in and putting on his costume.  It was his 30th birthday!!!!  He walked 8 minutes through the skyway and into his corporate law firm as a cow in a suit. This is one of the MANY reasons why I am so smitten.
Reagan loved dressing up, trick-or-treating with daddy and seeing friends in costume but her favorite part of the day was handing out candy.  Favorite quote of the night: "Mama it's hard to wait for the children!"  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

crock pot French dip sandwiches.

When life gets busy, I turn to my crock pot.  I made this recipe last night and changes it from a 12 hour oven cook time to an easy crock pot meal.  It turned out great.  It also pleased my tired, hardworking, hungry man very much.  Reagan helped me with the entire meal, from the easy prep in the morning to shredding the meat before dinner. I love cooking with my little lady.  Enjoy. 

crock pot french dip sandwiches
2 rump or chuck roasts
4 onions, quartered 
4 carrots
8 cloves of pressed garlic
beef bouillon or stock
Put the roast in the crock pot and fill the pot with water (or stock) until the roast is half-way covered.  Top with big chunks of onions and carrots (you'll remove them later), minced garlic, and a couple cubes or tsp of beef boullion (if you didn't use stock). Set crock pot to low for 6-7 hours.
Drain out amazing juices for the "au juice" into a large bowl and shred up the meat, removing any large pieces of fat.  Toss carrots or eat them...if you like mushy, salty carrots (no thanks)!  Makes 10-12 sandwiches.

Serve with your favorite roll and a ramekin of au juice.  We also added the cooked onions to our sandwiches--delicious!  
recipe adapted from the kitchen of Mary Ahrendt 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

when we first saw double.

It's been a year since I sat on that ultrasound table and saw double.  Two sacks.  Two placentas.  Two little heads and two little bodies.

Most of you all know I tend to have the wrong emotions at the wrong time.  I have big reactions for the little things.  I rarely cry at an appropriate moment.  But today, I'm sappy and I'm nostalgic and I'm celebrating and I bought donuts.  My two little babes!  They are the heart of this family.  They have blessed our entire extended family and friends beyond measure and they are making me more like Jesus at a much more rapid pace than a singleton would.  I'll drink to that!

Cheers to Ellen Grace and James Valutis (formerly known as twin a and twin b).

Here are some sleeping pictures because that is how sappy I am today!!!!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

first summer of three.

When I look back on this past summer I wonder what I will remember.  It was sometimes wild and sometimes very simple.

 It started with two little babies that were needy and pretty demanding... And a two and a half year old that didn't quite understand why twins had showed up at her door.  It began with Joseph's 4 week paternity leave in May, and a visit from my mom in June.

 It ended with two independent 7 month olds, who usually sleep amazing, nurse amazing and fit perfectly in our family.  It ended with an almost 3 year old who's heart is softer, and who wakes up from every sleep wondering where her "Jamesey boy" and "Ellie bellie" are.  It ended with a great routine, confidence in being a mama of three and less piles of clean laundry.

As we venture into fall and our season of outside-all-the-time draws near, I am just so thankful for this sweet summer.  For popsicles on the porch when the twins were still sleeping, for Hudson and Reagan splashing in the "green poo (pool)," for not enough weekends at the lake but sweet time at home with my man, for air conditioning, for Mabel's sweet arrival on a hot august night, for bearable and somewhat peaceful road trips, and for countless trips to countless parks.  We will miss you, summer, but as Reagan keeps saying almost daily, "I can't wait for snow."