Pregnancy Causes What?!

Oh Pregnancy! What a crazy roller-coaster ride it can be. There were several things I expected, like weight gain and some nausea, but nothing could have prepared me for the things I experienced that no one warned me about it. I mean, seriously, help a girl out! I knew I would be emotional, crying at commercials and such, but I didn’t realize that it wouldn’t stop at the tears.

1) Sass Overload! Hormones are a crazy thing, am I right?! I remember the scene from “Knocked Up” where they are in the doctor’s office and Seth Rogen gives an honest attack on the hormones! SPOT ON! When I was pregnant with the twins, I worked at a doctor’s. One afternoon, I waddled after a woman out of the office, to her car to retrieve my ink pen that she walked off with. Seriously?! Who does that?

2) The dreaded H word….Hemorrhoids! Yes, I said it. TMI? Of course. But it’s a reality of pregnancy. Modesty pretty much goes out the window during those 9 months. I wouldn’t be being honest if I left this lovely gem out. Luckily, I only dealt with it once with the twins, but I was TERRIFIED! I called my mom crying convinced that I was dying and asking what in the world is going on with my body? Thankfully, she didn’t laugh at me, at least not while we were on the phone. Tucks pads were a lifesaver, along with a lot of negotiating with God.

3) Carpal Tunnel. I had heard of it, but didn’t know that I would end up with it. That annoying numbness and tingling drove me CRAZY! Driving, sleeping, even blow drying my hair would make my entire hand go numb. Thankfully, a sweet co worker gave me her brace to help alleviate the annoyance, but it wasn’t until after the girls were born, that I could feel my hand again.

4) Skin Tags. Yep, I said it. I wish I had been warned. Do I need to elaborate? I think not.

5) Congestion. I was so stopped up with the girls and I occassionally experience it with this pregnancy. As a result of the nasal congestion with the twins, I became a mouth breather. I remember having dinner with my husband and I could feel him staring at me. I didn’t realize but I became that super annoying eater that would eat with her mouth wide open because I couldn’t breath. I’m so glad that isn’t happening this time around. So is my husband.

6) Bleeding Gums. What the heck? Thanks progesterone.

7) Emotional Roller-coaster! The flood gates have opened and the tears are rolling. I knew that I may be a little more emotional, but I was not prepared to cry at the drop of a hat. Game shows were my Achilles heel. I cried like a baby every time someone won a prize. This pregnancy, I have avoided such shows, but I still cry randomly and my ‘tude is on display on the daily!

8) Round ligament pain. I had no clue this was a thing. Sharp, stabbing pains that would make me double over. OMG! The first time I experienced that, I was pretty sure I was dying.

9) Sciatica and groin pain. The pain was so bad towards the end of my twin pregnancy that my sweet, strong husband would have to lift me into our vehicles and carry me from room to room. Did I mention how strong he was?

10) Bloating. I was so bloated with the girls that I couldn’t wear my regular pants by 7 weeks. Granted, I was pregnant with twins, but holy cow! Thank you to who ever invented leggings. Genius!

 

Ok, I get it, looking over this list, I notice that all these things are not things to be excited about, but they are all totally worth it! Growing a human or humans, is the coolest thing EVER! I am one of those annoying women who absolutely love being pregnant, so I can overlook all the craziness that I have experienced throughout the process. I still can’t wrap my mind around the miracle that is carrying a child. Feeling those first sweet flutters to watching my belly roll to see baby B kick baby A in the head during ultrasounds. I try and cherish every single moment of this journey. It’s hard. It’s exhausting. It’s also so worth it.

What are some crazy things that you experienced during pregnancy that you were not prepared for?

Letter To My Daughters

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Dear Daughters,

Where to begin? I have to admit that I was a bit terrified when I found out that I was having girls. It wasn’t that long ago when I was a little girl. Yes, I was once your age. I remember how mean girls could be and I know that hasn’t changed. The whispering, the gossiping, the fair weather friends, the picture perfect girls in the magazines. I remember it all so well. I wanted to right this letter to all of you and give you some advice on growing up in this crazy world, a world that is so different, yet so similar to the one I grew up in .

First of all, BE KIND! I want you to have a good heart and be kind to others, even when they aren’t so kind to you. It can be so easy to stoop to the level of the mean ones, but keep your heads up. People will probably say unkind things to you. Often it is out of jealousy and insecurities. The things people say about you say more about them than it does you. I know that doesn’t make it hurt any less, but never return their negativity with negativity.

You are BEAUTIFUL! Not just on the outside, but the inside as well. Stay that way. You will be bombarded with images. You and your friends will probably want to grow up way too fast. You are only young for so long, please enjoy it and don’t rush it. Your looks do not determine your self worth. I remember looking through magazines and wishing I was tan like this girl, thin like that girl, pretty like the other. Comparison is a dangerous game. I had so many issues with insecurities growing up, well into my late 20’s. It took me so long to truly love myself and with that came a lot of mistakes that I know could have been avoided if I only loved and respected myself. Trust me. Keep your kind hearts and know that your empathy is a wonderful thing.

RESPECT yourself. If you don’t respect yourself, it’s hard to ask someone else to respect you.

USE YOUR MANNERS. Say please and thank you. Sounds simple? Well, it is.

Know that you will make mistakes. It’s okay. Learn from them, move on, and know that your Dad and I will always love you and be there for you.

And lastly, THANK YOU for being YOU! It is such a blessing to be your mom and to see the world through your eyes. You bring so much sunshine to our lives and I can not imagine a world without your little smiles and giggles.

Love,
Mommy

 

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new resolution.”

~ Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter

 

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Cookies and Celebrations

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I love all holidays and birthdays! I love celebrating loved ones on their special days. Today, is Father’s Day. I have been blessed with an awesome Dad and an amazing husband who is the best dad to our little girls. I can’t spend the day with my Dad today, but am spending it with my husband and we are doing whatever he wants. It just so happens to be a rainy, dreary day so we are having a lazy, relaxing day. What better excuse do I need to make warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies??

We are currently doing a dairy restricted diet because one of our daughters has had a pretty rotten eczema outbreak. I thought it would be super easy to eliminate all dairy but I had forgotten about some things like COOKIES! I went to trusty Pinterest to search for a yummy dairy free chocolate chip cookie recipe and found the perfect recipe on “Truffles and Trends” . I was very happy to find dairy free chocolate chips at our local grocery store too and surprisingly, they are SO GOOD! I love dark chocolate. Here’s the link for the chocolate chips for all you Amazon shoppers . I added some peanut butter chips to the recipe too just because. These cookies were everything I wanted and the family approved.

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I’ll Never Be That Mom

I remember having so many opinions prior to becoming a mom. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t one to vocally express those opinions, but they were in my head. I’d share with my mom and my husband, “When I become a mom, I will NEVER….” It’s pretty funny to think back at how much I knew when I clearly knew nothing! Here are the top 5 things I swore I would never do when I became a mom.

  1. Let myself go. There are still times, almost 3 years after the birth of our twin daughters, that I still question the last shower I took. Before I became a mom, I never understood how a human could go days without a shower. Seriously, it’s 5, 10 minutes tops, right?! I know there are some moms that will think I’m totally gross, but I’m just being real. Dry shampoo was invented for a reason and for that person, I am grateful. Baby spit up all over my clothes, no make up, messy hair, no showers…that was my first year of parenthood.
  2. Co-sleeping. This topic drove me crazy! I never wanted our bed to become a family bed. I like sleeping and snuggling with my husband. I swore I would never let our children in our bed consistently. The first 3 months after the twins were born, I slept on the living room couch and had each girl in the room with me in their separate pack n play. I was actually much more comfortable post C-section on the couch and I wanted to make sure my husband could get as much uninterrupted sleep as he could. After that, we moved the pack n plays to our bedroom and then at 6 months, we tried to transition to their cribs in their bedrooms. I assumed this would be a breeze. WRONG! After getting up every hour, sometimes more frequently, I decided to bring one of the girls into our bed. By 1 year, they were both co-sleeping. I justified this and called it survival. I could actually sleep in longer increments, wake to nurse and then go back to sleep. Yes, I am still sleeping with the girls, but that’s a whole different blog.  I remember sleeping with my mom as kid. I can’t remember if I did it consistently every night, but I remember having bad dreams and not wanting to sleep alone. I turned out just fine, relatively speaking.
  3. Breastfeeding past 1 year. This one I wasn’t dead set on, but for a very long time I let other people’s opinions of the topic bother me. I remember sitting at the girls’ 12 month check up and crying because I felt so much pressure to stop. The pediatrician was amazing and said that was a choice to be made between the girls and I. My husband was very supportive of my decision and so I said, I’ll start weaning at 18 months. That age came and went. 2 years came and went. Now, here we are at almost 34 months and one girl is still nursing to sleep. I’m 27.5 weeks pregnant, so I will have her weaned before the baby comes. Breastfeeding is such a personal decision. Whether you choose to do it or not, the time you choose to do so, all are the decision of the mother and child. I have learned that we all do what we believe is best for our families and we should support each other in those decisions.
  4. NO SWEETS except for special occasions. “My child will only eat a cupcake or ice cream at birthday parties or holidays.” Yea…that didn’t happen. I actually try to avoid these types of treats as much as possible but I don’t freak out over some cookies anymore. I really do enjoy finding yummy treats that don’t contain artificial things. I have learned too much about artificial sweeteners to ignore the facts, but I do realize now that treats happen and it’s okay.
  5. NO SCREEN TIME! TVs, tablets, iPhones, oh my…”I will not let my kids watch TV before the age of 3.” Guess what? Mommy finally decided to take a shower or work out and realized sometimes the only way I can get that “me time” was to put on Little Einsteins or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I don’t believe that their little minds are being rotted by 30 minutes of TV here and there.

One of the biggest things that Mommyhood has taught me is to judge less and love more. Being a parent is tough work. You are trying to find what works best for your family. We often feel judged and shamed for things that we do. It’s exhausting. I’ve been shamed and judged for the way I choose to take care of my family before and frankly it sucks. I never want to make another mom or dad feel that way, so I try so hard to spread kindness and encourage others to do the same.

What are some of the things that you said you would never do as a parent? I’d love to hear your opinions!

True Life: I’m a Parent

Let’s talk parenthood. Real. Raw. Parenthood. Thanks to social media, we are bombarded by picture perfect family photos. I’m guilty of this myself. The pretty, posed pictures of happy children and well rested parents all wearing clean, pressed clothes (or fresh from the dryer in our case because who has time for an iron?!).

But, I think it’s important that we are honest with one another. Not every moment is picturesque. Most of the moments in our family are far from it. Laundry piled up. Toys scattered all over the floor. A mom bun with entirely too much dry shampoo because  when was the last time I took a shower??

I’m currently 25 weeks pregnant and I stay at home with soon to be 3 year old twin girls. I’m a hot mess most of the time and God bless my sweet, understanding husband. I’m not the mom who gets up every day, fixes her hair and does her make up, and puts on a nice pair of jeans or dress. I sometimes wish I were, but at the moment that’s just not me. I’m the “wake up, brush my teeth, fix my mom bun and put on a pair of yoga pants because that’s all that fits this body at the moment kind of mom”. And I’m totally okay with that. That’s our reality right now and I refuse to feel bad about it anymore,  nor should you if that’s you too. Nor should you feel bad if you’re the mom that dresses to the nines and doesn’t feel complete without that lipstick. Rock it mama!

This journey that we are all on is tough. It’s like nothing I could have ever imagined prior to becoming a mom. It’s exhausting and sometimes (okay, more like often) stinky, but it is so AMAZING! Being a mom is such a rewarding job. To know that God trusts us with these little lives is truly remarkable and something that I never want to take for granted.

Above, is one of my favorite pictures and it is, to me, a raw example of parenthood. My husband came in to check on us and captured this picture without me noticing. I was exhausted after a long, chaotic day. We finally got everyone settled in bed and I was just about to fall asleep. At 10:00, Sophie decided she needed to potty, so hand in hand we trotted to the bathroom. Seeing her sleepy little face being held by her little hands, modeling her worn out, pregnant mama, melts my heart. This is real life. No posing. Just a sweet moment between mommy and daughter that I will treasure forever. I’ve heard it time and time again, but it’s so true: “the days are long, but the years are short.” So here’s to all you parents, grandparents and guardians that are spending late nights with little people. Let us try and enjoy these moments and give ourselves grace when we need it. We are doing important work and we are in this together.

Going Out In Public With Toddlers

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I have twin daughters that will be 3 in August. I love being a twin mom. I really think that twins are the coolest. Of course, it has come with its share of challenges.

The main challenge that I have noticed is the sharing. They have shared with one another since they were womb mates. They’ve shared a womb, a bed, clothes, shoes, food, attention, etc. I even noticed them sharing the last sucker today. They are pros! However, I’ve always felt guilty that there hasn’t been enough of me to go around. Now, with a new baby sister on the way, I wonder and sometimes worry how they will adapt…

I have decided to spend as much time with just them as I can when the opportunity presents itself. I’m going to take them for treats or to the grocery (their favorite adventure) or to a restaurant for their favorite burger and fries.  Maybe I’ll be brave enough to take them to a park alone! And yes, I waited until they were almost 3 years old to take them to a restaurant by myself. Seriously? Why didn’t I do this before? Because I was totally terrified! What if they have a tantrum? What if they took off running in different directions? What if they escaped my grasp and ran off in a busy parking lot?  What if people judge me? What if I lose my temper and become “that mom”. What if someone makes the dreaded comment after looking at my 2 toddlers and pregnant belly: “Whoa, you have your hands full don’t ya?!” or “Better you than me!”  What if they whisper and stare like we are a circus act? I finally decided to stop worrying about what other people say or might say and just do it.  And you know what,  we are a freakin’ circus act (minus the creepy clowns of course). But it’s our freakin’ circus! And those are our monkeys.

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Why do we let the fear of what other’s (mainly strangers at that) think keep us from doing things?

Why am I letting those possible situations keep me from making memories with this sweet duo before their baby sister arrives?

What a waste of time! So, I have decided to stop worrying about that and take the girls out. Maybe it ends it total chaos. Who cares? We are making memories regardless, right? Do we get stared at? Yes. Do people make comments? Yes. Do people help and open doors? Yes!

Today, we went to Wendy’s for burgers and fries. They did amazing! Then we went to the grocery pharmacy, and since it was an in and out trip, I let them walk since the shopping carts aren’t equipped for more than one child. This one was tricky. I kid you not, there were obstacles EVERYWHERE! Minnie Mouse balloons, a huge cage full of assorted bouncy balls, stuffed animals, toy cars. I thought I walked into a toy store instead of the grocery. (Why do grocery stores have toys?) Each girl was going in a different direction and reaching for everything they could get their fingertips on. I could just see them grabbing one ball and all the others come tumbling out into the aisle! How would I deal with that?! I’m 28 weeks pregnant and knew it was impossible for me to run away with the girls over my shoulders if total chaos broke out. Enter a kind pharmacy tech and the magical dum dum suckers! LIFESAVER! We managed to pick up my prescription and exit the store completely unscathed.

The moral of this story is to just take the kiddos out. Enjoy this season of life. Will there be meltdowns? Of course. Toddlers are the most unpredictable creatures. But sometimes, just sometimes, you will find a kind employee with candy to distract your child just long enough to make it back to the car.

(Disclaimer: I do not encourage taking candy from strangers lol)