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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From my little family to yours!

We have been so blessed this year. So very very blessed. I feel like the luckiest mama alive that I get to spend the holidays this year with my perfect little family.

I hope that this Christmas brings you more happiness than you can your heart can hold.

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. -Isaiah 9:6

All photos courtesy of the wonderful, beautiful, extremely talented Amy of Amy E Photography. Thanks Amy!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Very Bloggy Christmas!

I have a confession for yall.. I LOVE Christmas. LOVE IT. SO when my very dear friend Laura over at Between the Lines announced she would be hosting a Christmas blog swap with one of her friends I signed up right away. I love Christmas. I get a thrill out of picking the perfect gift for someone.

I really like getting presents, too.

And lucky me, I was paired up with the Lil' Woman from Little Woman, Little Home, who happened to be the swap co-host! I had never "met" her before, but she turned out to be so super sweet. And even with a little fiasco, my gift arrived today - just in time to show off my goodies for the link-up!

I've got mail!

All my goodies! Sitting right on top of the box was the softest blanket I have ever felt - I told her I was a fan of cozy things and she totally hit that nail on the head. Also included was a super cute stationary/recipe card/cookie cutter set that I can't wait to use, and an ornament that looks like a slice of pie that is adorable hanging on our tree! (Ahem, the tree that we decorated two weeks ago that I still need to take pictures of. Oops.)

The card that accompanied my gifts was so sweet - don't you think she and her Big Man make the cutest couple? It's their first married Christmas! I remember my first Christmas with Chris, we were still freshly squeezed newlyweds and it was such a special time. I'm so glad I got to be a tiny part of theirs!

Thank you so very much for my gifts, Lil' Woman. I love them so much!

I'm linking up with Lil Woman here and Laura here for all the Bloggy Christmas reveals. Go check them out and see all the fun gifts that were exchanged!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

You Can Google It

Oh, my Blog Friends. I am so sorry you have been neglected.

You see, after the babies came home we had a couple weeks of a kind of bumpy adjustment period, but then we fell into this lovely routine. My babies are were fantastic sleepers. They always had been. Naps on schedule, sleeping through the night early - we were extremely lucky.

And then. THEN.

The four-month sleep regression happened. Ugh, the four-month sleep regression.

It's very common. You can Google it.

(Name that movie!)

(Actually, don't name that movie. I'm kind of embarrassed that I just quoted it on my mommy blog.)

Anywho, yeah. Sleep regression. It actually is very common. I'd heard horror stories about it. It stems from a pretty big brain growth spurt that happens around then - their little synapses are firing and making all kinds of new, fun connections and the poor little babies just can't turn their brains off. And yeah, technically my babies are way past four months BUT their adjusted age is right there so of course we got in on the fun too! Fortunately, their night time sleep wasn't too terribly affected, but their naps. Naps were blown OUT. OF. THE. WATER. We went days - long, cranky, screamy days - without a nap. I tried everything. I rocked. I walked. I threw them in the car and drove around. Sometimes it worked, most times it didn't. So I gave up on napping and I tried to keep them as busy as possible.

So, dear Blog Friends, I'm sorry you have been neglected. But take comfort in the fact that you were not the only ones neglected - my hairdryer, oven, and washing machine count themselves among your ranks as well.

I am happy to report that about three weeks after the naps disappeared, they managed to find their way home again. Which is why I'm able to be making this blog post now :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Anniversary to My Husband

It's been three years since I laced up my white dress, stood in front of God and my friends and my family, and promised to love one person for the rest of my life.

The last three years have been amazing; we have seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

Our wedding was the wedding dreams are made of.

On our first anniversary, we took a cruise to celebrate and on that cruise we decided to try for a baby.

On our second anniversary - after 11 long months of trying - I was almost 7 weeks pregnant and we had just found out we were having twins.

And today, on our third anniversary, I watched Chris kiss our daughter's feet and coax a belly laugh out of our little boy (who is his spitting image).

They could not have been blessed with a better daddy.

I could not have been blessed with a better husband.

Chris, I love you so much. Thank you for building this beautiful life with me.

But the greatest of these is love. -1 Corinthians 13:13

Thursday, November 17, 2011

World Prematurity Day

The babies, on the day they were born

Today is World Prematurity Day. I have so much to celebrate today.

I've been staring at this open blog window all day. I have so many things to say, so many places I could go with this post.

I just don't know where to start.

So I'll just say that I am so very thankful. Did you know that one in EIGHT babies are born too soon? That last year, there were ONE MILLION babies who were born before their time who weren't as lucky as my babies, ONE MILLION babies who were too small, too underdeveloped, one million babies who couldn't be saved. In addition, there were TWELVE MILLION babies who are in the same boat as mine? TWELVE MILLION babies who were born too early, who spent the first days or weeks or months of their lives in plastic boxes, living on borrowed time and prayers. TWELVE MILLION babies who, like mine, are still fighting for their lives.

I am so thankful that I listened to my body, that I spoke up when I felt that something wasn't right. I am so thankful that my midwife was insistent on being aggressive with examining me, and then sending me straight to the hospital when she, too, thought something wasn't right. I'm thankful for the OBs and perinatologists that fought so hard to keep me pregnant, to get us to a place where my babies had a chance. And I am so thankful for the doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists who truly did the work of God's hands and kept my babies alive.

I am so thankful I have babies - tiny, premature, formerly pound-and-a-half miracle babies - to snuggle tonight, on World Prematurity Day.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Give Peas a Chance

See that nasty green goop? That's home-made pea puree. Pretty gross, huh? Although not near as gross as jarred pea puree... that stuff is more of a pukey green than that lovely bright green there.

Confession: I don't really like peas.

It seems that peas are the standard go-to for the first green veggie though, so peas it was for our second choice puree.

Apparently the babies agree with me. Hopefully the "offer five times before they accept it" rule is true! (Sidenote: how does Audrey get SO MUCH MESSIER than Grayson? Crazy girl.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sweet Potato Pie and I Shut My Mouth

The babies had their first taste of food last night! Figuring out the timing of starting purees was kind of complicated (but what isn't with a preemie?)... Conventional wisdom says babies "start solids" at 6 months, but at 6 months my babies were the size of a 2.5 month old. On the other hand, waiting until they were 6 months adjusted would have put them at over 9 months actual, and our neonatologist thought it was unnecessary to wait that long since we (so blessedly) avoided the intestinal problems that can plague preemies. After talking it to death discussing it in depth with ALL of our doctors, we decided to do it sometime between 6 months actual and 6 months adjusted. November puts us smack in the middle of the two, the babies were starting to show some signs of being ready and my sister was here to join the fun so it seemed like the perfect time to jump in :)

We started with sweet potatoes... and I even made our own puree!

Uh mom... what is that stuff?

First bites!

Audrey was kind of a fan

Grayson... not so much.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Toes in the Water

I know, I know... These vacation pictures are about 3 weeks late. I'm a total slacker. I also have two babies who have seemingly forgotten how to nap.

This vacation was everything I had hoped it would be. Introducing my babies to their great-grandmas was such a fun mommy moment, and putting their toes in the water I grew up in was nothing short of magical. (OK, I thought it was magical, they just thought it was cold.)

But you're not here for words. Onto the pictures!

Great grandmas!

Generation pictures! Babies, me, my mom and her mom on top; Babies, me, my dad and his mom on bottom.


Beach babies :)


So much fun :) I can't wait to go back in April!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What We Love: First Three Months Home Edition

It's time for another "What We Love" post! This one is for our first three months at home. The babies came home right at their due date, so these could technically be considered our "newborn" must-haves, since the babies were basically developmentally "new born", even though they were 3-6 months old. (This preemie stuff can be SO confusing, yall)

-Arms Reach Co-Sleeper
We use this as our bassinet and I LOVE it. The Original is actually marketed to be big enough for twins, which is what drew me to this to begin with. I really wanted to have my babies co-bedded when they came home, and this is the perfect size for them to sleep next to each other. I really like how it backs right up to my bed too - makes those middle-of-the-night nursing sessions a little bit easier.

MUST. HAVE. We have one for each baby - A actually has that cute cupcake cover, and G's has cars on it. And man, we use these suckers for EVERYTHING. I actually brought one to the hospital when we were learning to breastfeed, and it is worth it's weight on gold for helping you position a tiny, squirmy baby. Now that they're home, we use them for tummy time, to sit the babies up under their play gym, to prop them when I have to double-fist bottles, lounging around... literally, EVERYTHING. If you don't get anything else, GET A BOPPY.

-Fisher Price My Little Lamb swing
This thing is a sanity saver. Audrey is a nap fighter extraordinaire and this thing can knock her out in no time. I know, I know, it's not the best show of parenting, and I don't use it for every nap, but desperate times call for desperate measures my friends. We have the matching vibrating chair and the two combined have won me many a shower during the day. The only thing I don't like is that it runs on batteries and we are CONSTANTLY buying them. FP makes another swing that you can plug in, and if we had to do it again I would probably go that route. But I am a little neurotic really like things to match and the plug-in swing didn't have a chair that went with it. But I digress.

-"Burp Diapers"
Technically, these are pre-fold cloth diapers. We use them for, uh, just about everything BUT diapering. We call them "burp diapers" because we mostly use them to catch projectile vomit (yay reflux) as burp cloths. They are super super absorbent and they're also pretty cheap (psst, the Babies R Us brand ones are the best) so I don't mind getting them nasty. We go through stacks and stacks of these a day.

-The First Years Gumdrop Pacis
The only pacis my babies got in the hospital were the preemie-sized Soothies ones, but once they got home I really didn't like them because they got in the way of their cannulas. Only problem? THEY WOULDN'T TAKE ANY OTHER PACI. Until I found these. The nipple part is shaped the same as the Soothies but there are notches cut out for their noses. We have them in every color!

-Summer Infant velcro swaddlers
SO MUCH EASIER than any receiving blanket. Plus, Audrey is a certified baby Houdini and can beak out of just about anything. These are genius. We have worn ours out!

What about YOU, new mamas? What did you love for your little loves?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Two Pink Lines: One Year Later

It was exactly one year ago today - Halloween of 2010 - that I woke up with a headache way worse than was warranted by the one glass of wine I had with dinner the night before. It was one year ago today that I looked at a calendar and counted days and thought to myself "hmmm... maybe?" but tried not to get my hopes too up again. It was one year ago that I peed on a little plastic stick and put it down on the sink and got into the shower. It was one year ago today that when I pulled that shower curtain back I could see it from clear across the bathroom. It was one year ago today - Halloween of 2010 - that two pink lines changed my life.

Ok, so maybe it was more like 6 pink lines and one digital 8-letter word. (And maybe, not pictured here are the twelve other tests I took over the course of the next week until I got in to see the doctor). The fact is, those lines were there. And my life was changed.

Those lines held so much promise for me back then, and to look at them now is so bittersweet. We had been trying for 11 long months to get pregnant and those lines were the physical manifestation of 11 months of hope and tears and "good things come to those who wait" and trying (and most of the time failing) to trust in God's good timing. Those lines held dreams of tiny clothes and nursery designs and a swelling belly.

I did not know then that I was had not one, but two sweet little poppy seeds nestled in the depths of my belly. I did not know then that not even five months later I would end up in the hospital, and I did not know then that my sweet babies would be born sixteen weeks before they were supposed to be. I just knew then that I was pregnant and I loved everything about it.

The last year obviously did not go the way I had planned when I first saw that second line. It has, without a doubt, been the hardest year of my life. But it also has, without a doubt, been the very best year of my life.

Just look at us now.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Seven Months!

My not-so-bitty babies,

WHAT?!? How are we already on the downward slide to one? I can't even wrap my mind around it.

We're finally (FINALLY) moving out of that "newborn" stage. Don't get me wrong - I loved the newborn stage, but any preemie mom will tell you that with a preemie baby, the "newborn" stage can feel ETERNAL. Except now you two are hitting milestone after milestone and it feels like someone has pushed the fast-forward button. Slow down! (Apparently mom wants to have her cake and eat it too. I do love cake.)

Oh my Sassy, you're still so tiny - less than 10 pounds - but your personality just gets bigger and bigger. You wail so hard you look like a tomato with eyelashes but as soon as we give you what you want set things right for you, you flash this ridiculous grin. It's killer, and it's going to always get you what you want take you places. You're new thing is standing, you don't ever want to just sit anymore, you're always pushing up on your chunky little legs and looking around like the world looks TOTALLY different from up there. You really are the most awesome little tiny girl.

Grayson, my Smooch. You are the most kissable baby ever. You're just chunky and snuggly and loveable. You're perfectly happy to just be propped up and observing the room; you're such an old soul in a tiny body and I just am waiting for the day when you tell me all your secrets. You make me work hard for your smiles but when you give them they totally make my day! You take your time doing things but then you get them perfect on the first try. You're totally the tortoise to Audrey's hare.

I love you two so much. You're the very best part of my every day.

To the moon and back-
Your Mama

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Day Late and a Dollar Short (AND A WINNER!)

I know, I know... I was supposed to announce my winner yesterday.

I'm sorry!

BUT! I have a really good reason!

We're famous! Our local paper called me at the end of last week - the NICU my babies stayed in is expanding, and they wanted to interview a recent grad as part of their article. And they chose us! I was super super flattered and well, I love our NICU so of course I jumped at the chance. The only problem? I was out of town Thursday-Sunday and they wanted to run the article today. Which means yesterday was a blur of last minute cleaning our messy just-back-in-town house, making myself look presentable, and putting cute clothes on the babies for the paper's photographer to come take our picture. (Alright, alright, and then my sister came over and we tried to make our own weave. That's a whole 'nother story for a whole 'nother day.) Point of the story: yesterday was uber busy, which is why I didn't get to do this post.

But I'm here now!

Comment #13 was from thefloyds10! Yay Savannah!!! Email me (dingle.lee at gmail.com) and we'll get a hat going for sweet Noah :)

I'd like to extend a big huge THANK YOU to everyone who entered and promoted my giveaway! I had a lot of fun and I couldn't have done it without all of you! Annnnd a big HELLO to all my new readers... leave me a comment and tell me a little bit about you!

PS If you'd like to read the article featuring my sweet babies, you can see the whole thing online here!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Later, gator!

Chris is taking me and the babies to Florida to visit my parents for my birthday, so I'll be gone through the weekend. I can't wait to introduce Grayson and Audrey to their great-grandmas and put their little tootsies in the ocean for the first time! This is totally what life is all about :)

***And don't forget about my giveaway! I'll be choosing the winner on Monday when I get home!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Saturday is a Special Day...

It's my birthday!!! And in honor of my birthday, I am so excited to be hosting...

And yall... I am really pumped about this. I've teamed with a longtime, very dear friend of mine and her mom who run a sweet little shop called Nene's Creations.

Nene's Creations makes the cutest hand-crocheted hats. As a homecoming gift, she sent me these ADORABLE owl hats, modeled here by my also adorable (and napfighting) (and therefore also very cranky) babies.

SO CUTE, right? She has all kinds of really fun hats.

Sock Monkey! Dinosaur! Giraffe! I love them all!!!

Ok, and I know what some of you are thinking. "But Jessica," you're thinking. "I don't have a baby. Why would I enter this giveaway?" Well...

Nene's Creations has offered to CUSTOM-MAKE a hat for one of my lucky readers!

That means YOU pick the size, YOU pick the colors, and YOU pick the design. Want an adult sized brown hat with a pink flower? Done. Infant sized purple owl hat? You got it! Adult sized sock monkey? You rock that sock monkey.

All you have to do is be a follower here at Double Everything! Leave me a comment on this entry to let me know you're around :)

-- "Like" Nene's Creations on Facebook here. Leave me a comment and let me know which hat in her photo album is your favorite.

-- Tweet about this giveaway (include a link to this post) and leave me a comment with a link to your Twitter update.
-- Post about this giveaway on your Facebook (again, with a link) and leave me a comment with a link to your Facebook status.

-- (Worth TWO entries!) Grab my snazzy new button and blog about my giveaway! Leave me TWO comments with a link to your blog post.

Leave me one comment for each entry. On Monday, October 24, I'll use random.org to pick one comment to be my lucky winner! GOOD LUCK!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I'm doing my very first ever guest post for the fabulous Laura over at Between the Lines... go check it out!