Twin Bond

Since finding out I was pregnant with twins, I have found myself extremely curious about twins. From how they are formed, birth, and their lives. My life the past 6 years has been researching about twins and I must say that I learned a lot from reading and raising my baby girls. The biggest concept that I have yet to figure out and still find so interesting is the bond between twins.

My girls from the beginning have been raised as if they are sisters, not just twins. We have never stressed that their different because they are twins. We wanted them to feel like they were individuals and allowed to be their own person, not part of a set. We have dressed the differently, had their own beds, own clothes, and now their own class. They know they are twins but they are also sisters who like to have their individual space. No matter how different their space may be, their twin bond shines through in all situations.

This year has been a real eye-opener on how strong the twin bond is for them. They have certain quirks about them that reveal more than a sister bond, but a twin bond. Here are a few things that we have seen lately with their twin bond.

Matching

They are OBSESSED with matching their clothes, their hair, their shoes. Everything they wear has to be the exact same. If Bailey wears a nightgown, Brooke has to wear a nightgown. If Brooke wears a ponytail, Bailey has to wear a ponytail. There have even been tears if one of them chooses to break the matching obsession with their own outfit.

Doing Things At the Same Time

Both girls want to have their sister right by their side. Each morning, they have to stand side-by-side to brush their teeth. Then they both have to get dressed at the same time. This continues throughout the day with their daily activities. They will not do a task if the other is not there doing it too. I hear many times a day “But I can’t without my sister.” Which is frustrating to mom but it is part of their twin bond. They also have to play together each day. They may parallel play but they have to both be doing the same activities.

Food

Bailey is far less of a picky eater than Brooke. She usually eats everything given to her. Now they want to eat the exact same way. I have to cut sandwiches the same way. They have to have the exact same amount of something on their plate and yes they will count. They have to sit side by side at the table to eat their meal (or tears if someone sits in their spot).

So what does this all matter? It means that no matter how hard we try to let them be separate, to be their own individuals, the more the twin bond shone through. They love their twin, and they will continue to grow that twin bond no matter how apart they are. The bond between twins is for life, whether they are apart or together.

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Friday Moments

Last week I spent the entire week under the weather and unable to take care of my normal duties around the house. I was in need of a lot of help from my mom and husband. I am thankful to say that this week I am back to normal and back into our routine. We jumped back into that normal routine at a running pace. Between Bible studies, homework, and dance class, this week we have been slammed with crazy schedules.

But that was not all the excitement for the week!

Wednesday I got a call from the school nurse about mid-morning. Now I have to be honest I was somewhat expecting a phone call because it was my first day back to doing something I enjoy, so I had this feeling that I was going to be interrupted somehow. The phone call was not one I was prepared for. When she called and told me she had Bailey in the office I was expecting another nose bleed but instead, she said: “Bailey’s hand was smashed in a door at school and I’m not sure if she has broken her finger.” I talked to Bailey a moment later and she told me “Mom, it hurts and I can’t move it.” I’ve never had a broken bone so I instantly began to panic a bit. I honestly didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to take her to the ER but I wasn’t sure where to take her. Thankfully I was blessed by being surrounded by WONDERFUL women who gave me guidance on who to call. They told me to call my pediatrician before I even got to the school and to let them guide me through the process.

I picked up my phone and called immediately as I walked to get Mason out of his group. The pediatrician’s office stayed on the phone with me until I reached the school and had Bailey with me. The nurse had me describe her finger to her and immediately sent in a request for an x-ray at the hospital. We loaded up and rushed over to get the x-ray done. My husband was in the field that morning so he was not able to be with me during this process. This was one of those moments that you desperately need “the village”. I was at the hospital alone with two kids. One needed an x-ray and the other a nap.

Bailey was in good spirits by the time we got her to the x-ray technician but they told me that I couldn’t go in there with her because I had Mason. He couldn’t be exposed so I had to let her go in by herself. Of course, I had no choice so I let them take her behind the x-ray door for the scan. I stood behind the door waiting for her, listening to everything I could and rocking her brother back and forth in the stroller. She did amazing, she was so brave! We left there and called the pediatrician, wanting the results of the x-ray but those did not come for another 2 hours. I’m sure I annoyed the doctor’s office as I kept calling but I wanted answers. It was almost 2 pm when they finally called me back to let me know that her finger was not broken. We were definitely relieved.

On a lighter note…

We FINALLY got my cabinets for my office! I have been waiting on those cabinets for MONTHS! We planned on using cabinets with a butcher block counter top to serve as an L shaped desk in my new office. Cabinets are expensive. We only needed 5 cabinets and everywhere we looked quoted us $4,000+ for just the cabinets! An entire kitchen can be remodeled for that price so obviously, we were not paying for that. We found a guy who was selling the extra cabinets he didn’t use for the remodeling project he was working on and were able to get the cabinets in our budget. So this weekend we are installing the cabinets and next weekend we will be getting our butcher block countertops. I will be working on a post for those soon. So stay tuned for that.

Usborne Books

We are making a strive to get our books into kids hands all over the world. Illiteracy is a huge problem worldwide and our company is pushing to break that problem. To push this I am trying to book as many parties as possible in February and earn my spot as a team leader. If you have any interest in learning more about Usborne Books and the amazing things that we do company-wide, please contact me.

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The Two-Monster

Mason just turned two a few days ago and overnight we met this new member of our family.

He is known as the two-monster. This two-monster’s timing is never at a time when appropriate to deal with this sort of creature but at a time when I’m trying to get my other kids around or we have somewhere to be or even after a long day. Most days start with my sweet two-year-old boy coming out somewhat happy to start the day. Within moments he is transformed into this two-monster, throwing a fit over his milk being in the wrong cup or not being allowed to eat all of the vitamins (his sister’s included), or not having his breakfast ready to go. The two-monster appears with crying and screaming, hitting and throwing. I know in that moment that I’m not dealing with my sweet cuddly boy but his “alter-ego” the two-monster. You have to tread carefully around this creature.

He will strike at any given moment, and sometimes without notice.

Usually, he can be calmed with the appearance of the “right” food or cup. Other times he sticks around sulking and waiting for another moment to cause a scene. Throughout the day he appears around lunch and naptime. Then again at dinner, bath and bedtimes. The two-monster makes his presence known by his screaming and hitting fits for not getting his way. By the end of the day the two-monster is tired, Mason is tired, and so are we.

The two-monster needs to go back to his hiding place and bring my sweet boy back.

 

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This post is making light of the known terrible twos. In reality, Mason isn’t our first one to go through this phase but it’s been a few years and we are making adjustments to handle the undesirable moments. Sometimes dealing with these terrible outbursts is like dealing with a monster. Honestly very little can subdue the fits and you find yourself fighting a losing battle. Either you give in and they get what they want, or you stand strong and refuse to give in, causing another or very long going fit. To be truthful, it depends on the day as to whether or not I’m up for fighting it.

In comparison to the time frame that his sisters went through this phase, Brooke started throwing herself down on the ground in horrible fits around 18 months old. Bailey never went through a terrible two stage but instead waited until almost 3 1/2 before she started her drama stage. We were very fortunate with the twins that they went through the rough times separately.

On The Blog

I’m really behind on the blog and brainstorming new stories. I’ve recently started a new home business, am still remodeling our office, kids in school, and the holidays have gotten the best of my time. I can say that my mom-life has changed a lot in the past 5 months. So I do have a lot to write about and will be sharing more soon.

 

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Mason is Two!

It’s official we are half way through January which means that the first of birthdays has started in our house. My sweet baby boy is no longer a baby but now a two-year-old! I want to cry even saying that. Mason is our last baby so watching him grow up so fast is really emotional for me. I want him to stay that snuggly baby forever! (Minus the sleepless nights)

To celebrate this special boy’s birthday, we had family and friends over the Saturday before his birthday. The theme of his party was Paw Patrol, which is currently his favorite show to watch. He is obsessed with all of his new Paw Patrol toys. I ordered all of his decorations on Amazon (links listed below).

I have a bit of a confession on his party, which makes me feel incredibly guilty. We spent the entire week after Christmas out of town, so my official planning for his birthday was at 3 am after returning home. I felt so guilty that I had not ordered his party decorations, cake, or anything! So at 3 am one night, I sat up ordering everything online. After an hour of ordering anything I could find in the Paw Patrol theme, I was finally able to relax and go back to sleep. I’ve never been that late on getting things picked out for my girls so I hated that I was last minute on Mason’s birthday. I know that he won’t remember his 2nd birthday but I want him to be able to look at pictures and know that we did everything we could to make his birthday party special.

We had a great turn out at the party. And I was incredibly thankful that it was warmer outside! Joel built the kids a new playground and in perfect time so that everyone could play outside my house during the party. 10 kids inside can be a bit loud! The adults were able to visit and watch the kids play. We served hot dogs with all the fun toppings for lunch, followed by cupcakes which had to be Mason’s favorite, chocolate!

His birthday celebration continued onto his actual birthday the following Monday. I have a tradition in my house to make birthday sprinkle pancakes for the kids birthdays. Every birthday they get these special pancakes on their birthday as a special treat. The girls know by know that we are having those pancakes, and made sure that I did make them for their little brother’s birthday too. We played all day and I got in as many baby snuggles as possible. In fact, all Mason wanted to do is snuggle with me. I loved every minute!

That night we had a some cake and sang him happy birthday after dinner. He did not like us singing to him and ran away. Poor baby! He did however enjoy the cake as he picked it up with his hand and shoved it in his mouth. What is a birthday without a little cake mess!

Amazon Order

Paw Patrol Party Decorations

Paw Patrol Banner

Paw Patrol Goody Bag Kit

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Elf Belle Week 4

Our final week with Elf Belle was so much fun! The kids loved spending time with her this holiday season and I can’t wait to share what happened this last week.

Day 21: Reindeer Food

We are only days away from Santa’s big arrival so it’s the perfect time to make Magic Reindeer food for Santa’s reindeer to find you. This year we used a recipe I found on Pinterest with rolled oats and edible glitter. We made this after the kids got home from School on Thursday. This just added to all the excitement of this day. They had school Christmas parties and early release at noon. Such a blast! We saved the reindeer food in Ziploc bags and left them on the counter to put out on Christmas Eve. I would normally make this Christmas Eve but we were going to be out of town the days before and needed to get it done.

Day 22: Safe Trip

This morning we were heading out of town for an early and quick Christmas trip with my family. Elf Belle left a message for the kids asking them to have a safe trip and that she would see them when they got back. I know some people take their Elf when they leave but I did not want to have another thing to pack.

Day 23: Elf Belle’s Prank

Elf Belle played a little prank on the kids. She wrapped all of their clothes in wrapping paper with a note saying, “Sorry I thought these were presents.” To get their clothes for the weekend, they had to unwrap them each day. I had a little label on each showing who’s clothes were who’s and an initial to say it was pajamas, clothes, underwear, socks, etc…

Day 24: Santa Preparation

Elf Belle left a reminder in my car for the kids reminding them that Santa comes tonight and to leave cookies and milk out for him. They couldn’t wait to get back home to leave everything out for him.

Day 25: A Christmas Goodbye

Christmas Eve, Elf Belle leaves with Santa. But before she leaves we ask Santa to lift the magic and allow the kids to hug her goodbye each year. Santa picks her up in his sleigh so her magic can be restored back at the North Pole when they return. The next morning on Christmas she leaves a message for the kids thanking them for their hospitality and telling them she will miss them all year long. They love receiving a note from her each year.

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Christmas 2017

It’s hard to believe that the year has already come and gone. Christmas time is here once again and we are closing out 2017. Christmas time is always a bit chaotic and stressful for me. Honestly it’s been that way my entire life with rotating holidays between parents and where I needed to be for each event.

As an adult it’s a little different because I live far away and have to travel to see family at the holidays. It’s a whole new kind of chaos. Between all the packing and driving with three kids and a dog, it puts a bit of stress on me. Even though it’s stressful, I always enjoy the holidays with family.

This year we went to see my family before Christmas. We made an incredibly fast trip to Houston over a weekend to see my parents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins for the kids. It’s a huge amount of people over 48 hours and so much fun to see them all. Both sides of my family do the holidays a little different, which I love.

We ended our quick trip into Houston on Christmas Eve driving back home in time for Santa to arrive at home. I love spending time with family but it really is nice to have Christmas at our home and a place for Santa to come without a lot of extra planning.

We arrived back home on Christmas Eve about mid afternoon, which allowed us to bake cookies for Santa. I was planning to buy store bought chips ahoy but Bailey insisted Santa deserved homemade cookies. (Well partially home made as it is a prepackaged mix). We baked the cookies, unpacked our car and started the mountain of laundry and errands we had to do that afternoon.

The kids got to enjoy some cookies and hot cocoa as we prepared Santa’s plate that night and then went to bed excited about Santa’s arrival.

The next morning they were all so excited to sneak out and see what Santa brought them under the tree. This year I was very grateful for the personalized Santa bags my step mom had made for the kids the year before. With traveling days before Christmas, we had to have a way to deliver the gifts without them seeing them. This helped a lot in hiding the gifts in my closet days before. Mason’s gift didn’t fit in the bag so we put it on the side.

The kids love Christmas morning and seeing their joy is the best reward for all the exhaustion.

Now that Christmas is over we plan for our upcoming ski trip and the new year. Wishing you all a happy holiday season and a blessed new year! Come back to see what it was like with the girls (and my) first ski trip and Mason turning two.

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Elf Belle Week 3

Two weeks of Elf fun has occurred in our house. We love having Elf Belle join our home during the Christmas season. Each year when she arrives the kids get so excited about the activities to come. Bailey told me at the beginning of this season, that she cannot wait to see what Elf Belle does because she is so silly.

Day 14: Elf Pictures

This week started with some silly fun with Elf Belle putting Santa hats on some of the pictures in our living room. The kids were cracking up that she was so silly with the Santa hats. They ran around the house trying to find all of the pictures and see which ones had Santa hats. Her message today said “I wanted you to all look like me. He He”

Oh that silly Elf Belle.

Day 15: Elf Hammock

This one was a little trickier for me to pull off. For this fun activity, I made an Elf hammock for the Christmas tree. I took a little extra fabric I had, added some elastic to the ends and hooked it on the Christmas tree. I laid Elf Belle into the hammock and had a note about loving the Christmas lights and wanting to relax and enjoy it. The girls thought it was so funny that she had her own hammock.

Day 16: Christmas Movie Night

Elf Belle always brings the tradition of watching a Christmas movie together. Today Elf Belle arrived with a Christmas DVD and a package of popcorn. She requested that we watch a movie together as a family.

Day 17: Elf Sleepover

This was a fun addition to our elf fun. Elf Belle didn’t appear until later in the day when she planned a sleepover with barbies. She had some of my fuzzy socks to use as sleeping bags and a few barbies from the girls collection. This triggered wanting to have a sleepover too, which unfortunately for them it was a school night. They thought it was fun to have Elf Belle want a sleeping bag.

Day 18: Elf Kisses

Another new moment, Elf Belle arrived with a Kissing booth today. She had a note saying that she was sharing her love and that they should too. Surrounding her was a ton of Hershey kisses.

Day 19: Tic Tac Toe

Elf Belle brought her tic tac toe board and suggested another game night as a family. The kids were so excited to have another game night!

 

Day 20: Marshmallow Bath

Every year, Elf Belle arrives in a marshmallow bath with a note saying she wants to sit and relax today. The kids giggle with laughter as they see their elf relaxing in a bowl with marshmallows surrounding her.

 

Come back next week to find out Elf Belle’s final adventures for the 2017 season.

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Elf Belle Week 2

Elf Belle is back and we just finished our second week with her spreading Christmas joy throughout our house. My kids look forward to Elf Belle’s return each year. It’s a fun time full of innocent mischevious acts and family time together. Elf Belle kicked off the second week with some fun games throughout the house.

Elf Day 7: Hide and Seek

This is a family favorite with Elf Belle! She loves to play hide and seek with the kids. This makes Elf Belle very real to the kids because she moves throughout the day, making them constantly look for her. They love being the first one to find her! It was a little harder to pull this one off with them being older and watching everything that happens with the elf. Their school day helped a little in these movements.

Elf Day 8: Christmas Chain

Elf Belle arrived this morning with cut strips of paper and our stapler to create a traditional Christmas countdown chain. We made it really quick this morning before the girls headed off to school. Each day they will take a chain off until they reach Christmas morning. This is such a simple tradition that I remember doing as a child and in my classroom when I was a teacher. The kids love it and it makes a perfect craft activity to do at home.

Elf Day 9: Game Night

Elf Belle arrived with an elf twister board and a stack of our family board games. She suggested a family game night. That night we had

fun with family game night, everyone got a turn at some of our family favorites. We used to do board games more often and really need to get back into the game nights. Mason is starting to get to the age of interest in games with his sisters. It will be fun to have a game night as a family of 5.

 

Elf Day 10: Ball Pit for Elves

This is a new addition to our Elf schemes. Elf Belle arrived this morning in a bowl covered in pom pom balls with a note that said she was enjoying the ball pit. The girls laughed hysterically all day at Elf Belle. They love ball pits and Elf Belle made this day a lot of fun with giggles.

Elf Day 11: Elf Magazine

Elf Belle arrived this morning with her newest edition of Elf Magazine. She was so excited for her new magazine that she relaxed all day reading the magazine. This is a perfect way to set up for a relaxing reading day or a lazy day. I changed her position for reading throughout the day from sitting to laying down.

Elf Day 12: Message from Santa

The kids woke up this morning to find Elf Belle hanging out in their dad’s stocking. She had a message that said that Santa sent a message to them. My computer was open and there was a website that had three videos from Santa talking to each child. If you are interested in doing these videos, check them out at Portable North Pole. I’ve made them for the kids for the past three years and they LOVE them!

 

Elf Day 13: Candy Cane

Elf Belle arrived with her traditional candy cane hunt for the kids. She hid 12 candy canes around the house and the kids had to find all 12. Both of the girls moved their candy canes to the tree after finding them. Mason was a little stinker and busted his open to start eating it at 7:30 in the morning. Yay for the sugar rush so early.

Find out what Elf Belle is up to next week!

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Elf Belle is Back

 

 

 

 

Elf Belle has made her way back to us for this wonderful season. She arrived on Friday, December 1 with her traditional North Pole Breakfast. Elf Belle brought out the Christmas platters for eating breakfast on. She made red and green ornament shaped pancakes and served Christmas sprinkle muffins. The kids loved having Elf Belle back and listening to the Elf on the Shelf story first thing as they enjoyed their breakfast. Bailey kept saying, “I can’t wait to see where she is tomorrow!” Elf Belle will have to be planning some big plans for this season because these girls are really excited for the fun. Mason, however, is not really interested but I’m sure he will in year’s to come.

 

 

 

 Day 2: Elf Belle Brings Letters

Writing letters to Santa is always a fun tradition for my family. I remember writing letters to Santa when I was a kid. Elf Belle brings this joy each year and did again on the second day of her arrival. Since the girls are able to write now, Elf Belle brought Christmas writing paper that they could write their letter to Santa on. Mason got a letter paper as well that Mom had to help write his list. Toys R Us had delivered a catalog that Elf Belle left out for inspiration for the kids. They loved writing letters to Santa and leaving them out for Elf Belle to deliver to Santa for us that night.

 

Day 3: Elf Brings a Present

On this third day of December, Elf Belle brought the kids (and parents) a special family gift. She delivered a Baking kit that came with cookie cutters and a recipe for the kids to bake Christmas cookies. Baking is something that I love so being able to share this love with my kids is so special to me.

Unfortunately, we did not have a good day Sunday so we were unable to bake the cookies. They had trashed their playroom and refused to clean it. This triggered a bit of trouble for them. We had such a rough afternoon that Elf Belle left a little early that day, which they definitely noticed!

 

Elf Day 4:The First Warning/Surprise Item

Day four started with an official warning note from Santa, telling them that he was disappointed in their behavior from the day before. It let them know that Elf Belle returned early to the North Pole with a message of some serious naughty behaviors. They had been busted for not listening to parents, refusing to clean their mess, and being mean to their little brother. Santa reminded them that he was wanting them on the nice list and that they needed to make some major behavior changes. (Yes our afternoon was that bad on Sunday). At the bottom of the note, there was a PS that Elf Belle would only return if they were to make better choices that day.

Elf Belle returned that afternoon with two Santa Cameras on the main Christmas tree and in the kids playroom on their mini tree. She had a note saying that Santa wanted to keep a close eye on them! I tried to recreate these really cute Santa cameras I found on pinterest but it was a bit of a pinterest fail. It will work for this year! The girls noticed the cameras almost immediately, of course they thought they were ornaments (which is true), I had to tell them they were cameras from Santa. This may seem a bit creepy but it seemed to answer the question of “how does Santa know?” that we often hear.

 

Day 5: Bow Wall Climbing

Day four was a bit more silly for Elf Belle. The kids woke up this morning to find Elf Belle climbing the bow wall on the kitchen cabinets. Silly Elf Belle was wanting some “exercise” so she did a little bow climbing. The girls’ thought this was hilarious. They laughed and laughed, telling me they couldn’t wait to tell their friends about Elf Belle.

That afternoon was so cold here, never topping 40. BRRR! We were not ready for that first cold blast. Since we could not do anything else, we finally made the cookies that Elf Belle brought on Sunday. The kids loved having the fun together and enjoying those yummy cookies.

Elf Day 6: Candy Crazed Elf

Elf Belle found some left over m&ms today and went a little candy crazy. The kids found her when they came home from school in the bag of m&ms with a note saying “Don’t mind me…I’m gobbling up this candy!” The laughter that comes from Elf Belle being silly brings great smiles to our faces. I can’t help but laugh with them about Elf Belle’s crazy adventures.

 

Elf Belle has a few more weeks with us. Come back next week to see what adventures she has for our three kids and family.

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Elf on the Shelf Plans

It’s officially December which means that it’s time for Elf Belle to return to our home. I’ve been planning her arrival and list of to dos for a few weeks now and this is what I’ve come up with for this year.

Elf Belle will be arriving on December 1st with her traditional welcome breakfast! We will continue with the traditions of Christmas movie nights, game nights, messages and letters to Santa, the candy cane hunt, and marshmallow bath. My kids love those activities so much so we are keeping those.

This year we are adding a few things with Elf Belle. She will have a kissing booth with hershey kisses, one day she will be candy crazed and be hanging out in the m&m bag. I’m adding a bow climbing wall for her one of the days. She will be bringing a santa camera as well as her hammock for the christmas tree. Elf Belle will have a sleepover with barbies (G rated because Elf Belle is a girl). She will discover a ball pit of fun for giggles and laughs. I’ll also be adding a few friendly pranks from our sweet Elf Belle.

The most important thing that Elf Belle brings each year is the purpose of spending time together. I like to include family activities to celebrate the spirit of Christmas. I can’t wait to share all these ideas and pictures with you this year. Stay tuned to next week when I share the first post of Elf Belle’s return!

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