Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cloth Diaper Addiction

Yes, I admit it - I am in love with cloth diapers. That's right, the material made to soak up Ashton and Aydens pee and keep in the poop, has become an addiction! You laugh, but it could happen to you too. I don't know too many people who cloth diaper and don't go crazy for a new or cute diaper. So, for everyone who feels me on this (or if you are interested in "feeling the love") check out www.yourmamareviews.com. They are doing an All-in-One (AIO) Cloth Diaper Showdown this week. Everyday they are reviewing a different brand and then giving away a new diaper for free! This is one of the things that brings a smile to the face of a stay at home mom!

How can you resist such cute fluff!?!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Baseball Birthday Bash

What a perfect weekend! I couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate my boys' first year of life! All of our families, and a few close friends, came to our house on Saturday to mark this first milestone with us. Grandma and Grandpa Kitsmiller and Aunt Amy joined us Friday night and were a great help getting all the decorations in order on Saturday morning. We had to make some modifications to our decorating plans due to the crazy Oklahoma winds though! The boys took a great nap and were alert and happy at noon as the visitors began arriving. We had a spread of stadium food including hotdogs, bratwursts, nachos, peanuts, sno cones, cotton candy, crackerjacks, lemonade and beer! The boys enjoyed their first grilled hotdog and loved it - they each ate a whole hot dog! After eating and playing some baseball games in the yard, we all gathered in the living room to open the boys' gifts. They really made out! They received a lot of summer clothes and shoes, games, puzzles, balls, Cardinals gear, books, and a Radio Flyer wagon! Now, what we've all been waiting for...the first cake! We have never let the boys have any sweets, we rarely even do juice (very watered down at that!), so this was a real treat! We ordered cupcake cakes decorated like baseballs and the boys received a mini cake to eat. We stripped them down, put them outside in their high chairs and sat the cake down in front of them. Needless to say, they knew exactly what to do and they LOVED the cake, as well as a little ice cream. When Poppa Adams heard we weren't planning to do ice cream he stopped at the store to get some saying "You can't have cake without ice cream!" So, they did! Shoveling fist fulls of cake, icing and ice cream in your mouth can make a pretty big mess so, next we headed to the bathtub! After getting cleaned up, and reaved up with a sugar high, the boys played a little longer and said good bye to all their party goers. After all this excitement they were again ready for a nap. They went right to sleep and stayed that way for nearly two hours, but when they awoke they were SO happy! We had a nice quiet evening together after a day of fun filled excitement!
Thank you to all our friends and family who not only made this day special, but have been there for us for the past year! We love you all!
(I screwed up these pictures so if you want to see them larger go here: http://picasaweb.google.com/dkitzweb/DoubleTheLove?authkey=Gv1sRgCOKf46yc58L_MQ#)

Aunt Amy and Ashton
Grandma and Grandpa Kitsmiller with Ayden
Daddy grilling
Ayden enjoying his first hotdog
Ashton enjoying his first hotdog
Ashton said it was time!
It was all a little overwhelming!
Go Cards!
I wasn't the one taking pictures!


(Shirts made with love by Mama)


Ashton Bath time


Sunday was spent relaxing and recovering!

Daddy put together the new wagon and we took it out for a spin!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday My Loves!

What a year!

So, you are a year old today! As usual, I tired to be a great mom, and I attempted to write a heartfelt, yet humorous poem about the last year. Well, obviously that didn't work out so well. So, you are getting the next best thing, a letter that will hopefully be both heartfelt and humorous!

I always knew I wanted children, but I had no idea it would be like this. No amount of reading books and magazines, watching television programs, babysitting or teaching Pre-K for four years can prepare a person for the reality of being a parent!

No one could have put into words the amount of love I felt for you before you were even born. I don't believe there even is a word to express the love I felt from the moment I first held each of you! The emotions have come like a roller coaster ever since. I was frustrated when you would fall asleep while breastfeeding. I was elated to bring you home and show you the nursery we had put together for you. I have been exhausted from lack of sleep. I have been moved to tears at the sight of a gummy smile or high pitched cackle. I have experienced heartache when forced to leave you in the care of someone else for the day. I now know a pride that I never before knew was within me. I love now like I have never loved before!

I don't think you can truly understand exhaustion until you have been home from the hospital with twins for a week! No matter how prepared you think you are, reality is not the same! As if eating every 3 hours around the clock were not draining enough, I decided to make it worse! We were so scared you would not be eating enough while breastfeeding that most feedings I pumped and bottle fed you what I pumped! This means washing and putting together pump parts every three hours and washing and preparing bottles every three hours. Not to mention the acts of pumping (30minutes) and bottle feeding you (another 30 minutes). By the time I finished this whole routine I only had about 30 minutes before we had to start all over again! I nearly fell over with excitement when at one week of age the pediatrician said it would be okay to go 4 hours between feedings at night! Yay, an extra hour of sleep! Taking care of one baby, much less two is a full time job. This meant I had very little time to cook, clean or have a social life. It took awhile, but I feel like I am doing a little better job balancing it all now.

Unfortunately, breastfeeding was not the way it was made out in the two evening course we attended! Yes, breastfeeding is natural, but it is hard work! Nothing can replace "hands on" experience. Until motherhood I never truly understood the value of my boobs or the amazing things a woman's body can do! I was so determined to do what was best for you in every way, therefore, breastfeeding was a given. We had a rough time getting started, but now it comes so easily for all of us. I enjoy the cuddling time as much as you do! This will be our time for as long as you need it!

I didn't realize how many decisions there would be to make and how much I would mull over, research and question each one of them! It is so important to get everything right the first time because, unfortunately, life is not like the TiVo and there is no rewind button or do over's. I really want to be the best mom you could ask for! I don't claim to have done everything perfect, and if I had to do it over again I would probably do some things differently...Live and learn!

On this first birthday I wish for each of you a lifetime of birthdays as happy as this one. You have brought so much love and joy into our lives in this short year. Your sweet smiles and silly giggles make each day more happy than the next. For now, we can only imagine the bright things your futures hold!

Happy Birthday My Loves,

Ashton Ray 4/22/08

Ashton Ray 4/22/09

Ayden Lee 4/22/08
Ayden Lee 4/22/09

Saturday, April 18, 2009

12 months and counting!

Well, almost!

After our 12 month appointment we took the boys to visit daddy's office. This is Ayden's new "thing"!

Thursday Jeff and I took the boys to their 12 month well baby check up! They are both doing great and have changed so much since their 9 month visit. The boys have caught up to each other in nearly every area now. Both boys are crawling, pulling up, cruising, talking, laughing, eating table food, drinking from sippy cups, growing some hair (finally), and they both are working on their sixth tooth. Ayden is "talking" more than Ashton and Ashton is doing more climbing than Ayden. They both love to stand and walk behind their walker toy (or anything they can push for that matter), but they are not walking on their own just yet. During the last two weeks the level of their interactions has jumped dramatically! They are almost always playing together and laugh at each other a lot. Their favorites are to each stand at one end of the tunnel/slide and laugh at each other and to stand at the music table and bang on it together.

Here are the "stats" from their visit:

weight 19lbs. 12oz (7%)
height 29 1/2in. (50%)
head 18 3/4in (88%)

weight 21lbs. 12oz (40%)
height 29 3/4in (52%)
head 18 1/2in (75%)

Ashton and Ayden got to open their first birthday presents this week! They loved the cute boxes and all the fun toys! Thank you Julia, Larry and Chase!

With this being the "big week" I will have plenty more updates and pictures!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I can now say I am officially free from my pump! I have not used it in a week so it got put away last night. I can't even begin to describe what it feels like to no longer be a slave to my pump after nearly an entire year! If you know about our breastfeeding journey, you know that we had a rocky beginning. I was very committed to being successful so I pumped A LOT in the beginning. When the boys were about two months old they were finally breastfeeding good, so I cut back my pumping significantly. Then, about a month later, I returned to work for a few weeks and again had to pump during the day. Since returning home I have only pumped at night (which was plenty)! We gave the boys bottles at bed time so Jeff could also take part in some feedings. This meant I would have to pump after we put them to bed. I would then pump again a few hours later before I went to bed. Recently we changed our routine so that Jeff would bottle feed one and I breastfed the other (we switched off each night). This did not work out so great so I just started breastfeeding them both. I continued to pump after they went to bed and before I went to bed. I quickly realized this was pointless. I have over 200 ounces of frozen breastmilk that we are not even using and pumping was just increasing this stash. I think I was still a little caught up in "keeping up my supply" and making sure I had a good "freezer stash". Now that they are approaching a year old there really is no need for all this. So, last night I took the long awaited leap of putting away the pump that has been my side kick, my best friend, my worst enemy, my life-saver, my time-consumer, my.....

AHHHH....freedom is good!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pinching Pennies

It was a year ago last week when the doctor informed me that I needed to go home, for good, to rest until my babies arrived. I can't believe it has already been a year - it literally seems like just last week! Since then we have doubled our family size and cut our income in half! I am no mathematician, but I know that does not equal anything good! We have been forced to be smart with our time and money. We have had to sacrifice things we once thought we "needed" and reevaluate what is truly important in life.

About a year ago! Look at that belly - I don't remember it being so...large! This was a baby shower my students and their families had for me.

These are a few of the things we have done to "pinch our pennies":

-We shop for clothes and toys at consignment sales like Just Between Friends and the TMOM's sale.

-The boys wear cloth diapers. This is not only a huge savings for us, but a great contribution to the environment.

-I breastfeed the boys. We have NEVER purchased formula! This alone is saving us up to $15/day!

- I make baby food at home. It is very easy, tastes better and is much cheaper!

- I do as much "home made" stuff as I can, including making babylegs and moby wraps. Babylegs sell for $12 or more each and I make them for $1-2!

babylegs and cloth diapers

- We rarely, to never, go out to eat. I enjoy cooking, it is cheaper, better for us and just plain easier when you have twins!

- We buy in bulk. If you know how Jeff eats then you know that our relationship with Sam's is very important. If our boys take after him, that relationship is only going to blossom!

- We use coupons. They are everywhere! Not just the old fashioned way of clipping from the Sunday paper, but by looking at your favorite retailers sites, signing up for their email list and going to coupon websites.

- Like everyone, we have had to look at our budget and see what could go. Honestly, there wasn't much. The big thing we decided on was our satellite/dvr service. We only watched a few channels other than local and it was costing us a fortune. We were most upset over losing the dvr - ya' know what it's like to get used to a way of life! We did some research and crunched some numbers and decided to switch to Tivo. We now get HD for free (with our old rabbit ears) and Tivo for $13/month. That is a far cry from the $75ish we were paying!

Jeff works extra hard to help makes ends meet also. If it weren't for all his work from home we would not be able to make it! Although I sometimes miss things like getting my nails done and going out to a nice restaurant for dinner and drinks...I would not change anything if it means getting to be home with my boys every day!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ashton and Ayden visit the Easter Bunny!

Visiting the Easter Bunny almost slipped our minds! Luckily it just so happened I needed to make a run to the mall today anyway, so we worked in a visit to see our first Easter Bunny! The boys were very enamored by the large bunny and his fur, tie, glasses...well, everything expect for the girl working the camera! Oh, well! At least mommas' boys looked cute! They did great until I tried to pick a pose and package. I just let them stay on his lap and it didn't take them long to realize I was not still standing nearby! I hurriedly picked out a picture and an overpriced portrait package and rushed to calm my worried boys! They did great once I got them calmed down and back in the stroller. They have really become my little shopping buddies during the last few weeks! (We'll see how long this lasts!)

Happy Easter!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Trying some new things

Last week I was feeling adventurous and decided to try a few new things with the boys.

Tuesday - I got several kitchen utensils and pans and put them on the floor for the boys to check out. As always, at the site of something new, they took off to check them out! They loved chewing on the spoons and spatula (gotta' love teething!) and slowly figured out that they could make a lot of new, loud sounds!
Wednesday - I wanted to expose the boys to new climbing situations. Ashton, as usual, was very excited and saw the new "prop" right away. He climbed up onto the mini mattress and then pulled up onto the edge of the couch, but would not try to get up onto the couch - which was the goal! Ayden, as expected, was not very interested in actually trying this out. He was content just observing. He did get on the mattress after a little while but never pulled up to the couch. So, this new activity was not exactly successful on this first attempt but we will keep at it - I am sure it won't take them long to get it. I am not sure I really want them knowing how to climb up on the couch yet...but, the time will come sooner or later!

Thursday - Time for a sensory activity! I loved to do slimy, gooey, sticky sensory activities with my pre-k classes and plan to continue with my boys! Secretly, I think I get as much joy out of these activities as they do! I made some cold, vanilla pudding and then added green food coloring to it while on their trays. Since the boys rarely sit in their high chairs other than to eat they were a little confused as to what was going on. Ayden was mad that I was not feeding him and Ashton was not going to wait around on a spoon! I showed them how to put their fingers in it and move it all around, but they mainly cared about "moving" it into their mouths. I gave them each a spoon, their new favorite toy, and they finally settled down to enjoy this new sensation. Afterwards, I had two green, sticky babies!

Friday - We had another play date with William and Patrick, at their house this time. The boys had a great time checking out their toys and enjoying the new company! When we left their house we went to the GAP outlet mall and got some new clothes for the boys' one year pictures/family pictures! The boys were so worn out from the play date that they fell asleep in the stroller.

Ashton and William

Getting acquainted!

Saturday - We took the boys across the street to our neighbors house for Cameron's second birthday party. I boys enjoyed their first outdoor swing experience and their first bites of pizza here. I am sure these will be two of their favorite things in the coming years!


Sunday - I decided to make my family a real breakfast. The boys love waffles. but I decided to change it up a little this time and made banana waffles! The boys, Ashton especially, LOVED the banana waffles! They each ate the same amount as their momma!! Sunday afternoon my sister came to visit and the boys had a great time playing with their cousins!

Ashton, Colton, Maddie, Ayden

Ashton and Colton

Ayden taking Maddie's glasses!