Belated Birthday Post (Part 2)

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Nicholas and Ava turned 1 back in June of last year so it has been a while now but I still remember it like it was yesterday. I’ve been thinking about their first birthday a lot lately because it already feels like their second birthday is right around the corner. When I was trying to plan for their birthday party, I found all of the information online helpful but also extremely overwhelming. It seems these days with Pinterest and Instagram, everything looks perfect. Perfect birthday pictures, perfect birthday outfits, perfect birthday parties, and as a perfectionist first time mom I felt so much pressure for everything to be perfect. I eventually had to let go and realize that whatever I did for them would be perfect in its’ own way and as long as the babies enjoyed it, I was happy.

One of the first dilemmas I had was deciding on a gender neutral theme that the babies would like. Their scrapbook cover just happened to be Noah’s Ark and I immediately thought “two by two” would be an adorable theme. Then I saw online other Noah’s Ark parties that were also Rainbow themed and I was sold.

I saw so many cute DIY ideas on Pinterest for first birthday parties and I wanted to do them all but we did not have the time so I picked a few things to do. My favorite thing we did was a photo banner made of black and white pictures of the babies different facial expressions over their first year. It was pretty time consuming, Nick and I stayed up every night working on it after the babies went to sleep.

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I cropped pictures of their faces from our pictures and made them black and white and then printed them and cut them out. We used pink and blue construction paper to make their hats, with sparkly pink and blue paper to make the little balls on the hats. We had a little shape cutter to help make them more quickly and we colored the hats with rainbow colored markers. Then we strung them all together with rainbow ribbon. They really showed the different personalities of the babies and they were a big hit.

Next I saw an idea for making a little book that everyone at the party can sign and write a sweet little note to the babies so I did that. I just ordered a plain white book off of Amazon and then colored on it with markers and taped one of their pictures from when they were first born to the back.

The party itself was the most stressful part, I have never thrown a party before and I’m very lucky that we live with my mother in law and she helped a lot. She handled most of the food we just got a few subs from the deli, made some baked ziti, salad, and had chips and dip and all that. We had to push the party back a week from the original date because Ava had roseola but most everyone could still make it. We just set up a few tables in the back yard and we were lucky enough that a neighbor had a big tent they let us borrow. We bought lots of rainbow decorations from Party City and then went crazy decorating the morning of the party.

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Our cake was beautiful thanks to Nick’s very talented aunt, she made a big cake for everyone and then little cakes specifically for Nicholas and Ava to smash.

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We also did a pretty rainbow made out of fruit. (Pinterest obviously)

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Nicholas and Ava loooved their cake. They were so messy that afterwards we just took them inside and threw them in the bathtub.

All in all, I was really happy with how our party went. A baby’s first birthday is a big deal, but the party isn’t as important as knowing that time is inevitably going to pass and we should spend every second enjoying and loving our little ones because they won’t be little for nearly long enough. Luckily sometimes after a long, fun, cake-filled day, you still get the chance to just hold your little one as they fall asleep in your arms.

Happy belated birthday my loves, the first year of your lives was the best year of mine and every day since has been just as wonderful thanks to you.

Belated First Birthday post (Part 1)

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Okay, so even though this won’t be chronologically perfect for my blog, I absolutely have to do a blog post about Nicholas and Ava turning 1. I’m going to do it in two separate posts because it will be ridiculously long if I put all of it together especially with all the pictures.

As a first time mom, their first birthday was a huge deal to me. I started planning for it somewhere around January and it wasn’t until June. YEAH. But, in perfect rhythm with the way I tend to do things, I was trying to plan it way before I could actually start planning it and then when the time came to actually plan it I felt like it had somehow snuck up on me. In the end, everything got done and we got some great first birthday pictures and they had a wonderful birthday party.

In this post I’m going to talk about their first birthday photo shoot. I went Pinterest crazy with this one. There were a couple of ideas from Pinterest that caught my eye in particular. First of all, I LOVED the birthday chalkboards that tell a couple cute things about your babies. I’m pretty sure you could’ve bought them on Etsy or a couple other places but I just free handed mine based off of some inspiring ideas I saw on Pinterest. Nick just cut and sanded 2 rectangular pieces of wood and then painted chalkboard paint on them and I used chalkboard markers to draw everything. It took me about 2 hours to do each one and I did it all in pencil first and then went over it with chalkboard markers. I just used 5 different colors I got from Michaels (red, blue, green, gold and silver). I was especially proud of how their favorite TV shows turned out, I tried to stick as close to the actual logos as I could. Here’s how the chalkboards turned out-

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There were a lot of cute poses and outfit ideas for first birthday shoots on Pinterest and I thought the baby in a basket idea was adorable. I also loved the idea of balloons and luckily our photographer brought some because we left ours in the car overnight and most of them deflated. Also, we couldn’t afford a really expensive photographer but Nick’s coworker knew an amateur photographer just out of school so she did our photoshoot for only 100 dollars for an hour and then sent us all the pictures and a DVD. She was really wonderful and we went back to her again for our Christmas pictures this year. I bought most of their pink and blue outfits here and there when I saw stuff that looked cute. Nicholas just wore white pants and suspenders with a blue velcro tie. Ava wore a pink and gold tutu with a pink hair bow and some play jewelry.

The other outfits they had on were rainbow colored customized outfits that I got off of Etsy. They each had a onesie with their name on it and I just used Nicholas’ white shorts and Ava had a rainbow tutu and hairband that came with hers. They were just too cute.DSC_1984_Snapseed

My favorite part about our photographer was that she was constantly taking pictures and some of my favorites ended up being the candid ones of the babies being silly or us just playing with them.

The photoshoot was so much fun, the pictures came out beautifully, and we were able to print them from Walgreens and have them sent out to everyone in the family.

Although in these pictures Ava looks like a happy little princess and she was so good during the photoshoot, unfortunately the next day she came down with a fever of 104 that turned out to be roseola.

She was okay after about a week but we had to push their birthday party back to the next weekend. But when your baby is sick you don’t care about anything else, and it all worked out for the best anyway.  So, I hope you liked this blog post and I didn’t bombard you with too many pictures! I’ve been waiting since their first birthday to show everyone all their cute pictures so I might have went a little crazy. Soon I’ll be writing Part 2 of this post and telling you all about the babies’ “two by two” Noah’s ark Rainbow themed birthday party. Once again, I went a little Pinterest crazy with it but how can you not? Anyways, thanks for reading and have a good day mommas!

Family snow day (or 20 minutes)

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It finally snowed for the first time here all Winter! It only snowed a little bit, not even an inch, but I was so excited to bundle the babies up and take them out I jumped at the opportunity. The thing about taking the babies out is that especially in the Winter it usually takes an hour to get them ready and then we’re only outside for like a half hour. But that’s okay, I think it’s worth it because it is truly my favorite thing to see them experience new things. The looks on their faces when they waddled outside were priceless.

They were so bundled up they looked like little sumo wrestlers, and within the first 5 minutes of being outside they had both fallen forward at least once and needed help to stand back up. Still though, they loved it. What’s not to love? Something you can eat or throw at daddy? A toddler’s dream! I have to admit it was also fun for mom and dad, we pulled them around on a little saucer sled and then we each took turns going too.

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Daddy pulling Ava on the saucer while Mommy and Nicholas chase after
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Ava looking back at Daddy
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Nicholas contemplating who to throw his snowball at

All in all we had a great time. The only problem is that their gloves are too big. We got them at Carters with their hats and they’re both 2T, but they’re mittens and it’s just too hard to get their tiny little fingers into the right places. I’ve looked for better gloves for them but haven’t found any. If anyone knows of any that work well for babies their age let me know! It’s been a hectic kind of week getting back into the normal routine since the babies got sick but I’m going to try to get posts up more often! Thank you to anyone reading this and have a wonderful day (:

Fevers and Sleepyheads

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Me and Ava being lazy

Ava came down with a fever Thursday night, it lasted all weekend but she’s doing better now. The good thing I’ve realized about having twins is that usually when one baby is really cranky or not feeling good, the other one is super low maintenance. It’s like they know that you just couldn’t handle it if they were both freaking out at once. But no matter how good one baby is being, all it takes is that one little one needing you 24/7 to completely run you down.

All week Nick and I were doing a clean eating challenge we saw on Buzzfeed. We had tons of kale, acorn squash, kabocha squash, tempeh, and tons of other super healthy stuff we don’t usually eat on a daily basis. We were waking up early everyday to have our breakfast, eating regular healthy snacks every 3 to 4 hours, and getting our workouts in every day. We were PUMPED and ready for the new year. Then Ava got sick. and this was us-

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Nicholas 1 & 2 sleeping

I know that waking up early tomorrow will be the last thing I want to do after this rough weekend so I made breakfasts and lunches for Nick and I ahead of time. For breakfast I made each of us some no cook blueberry oatmeal in a mason jar. I just used rolled oats, almond milk, greek yogurt (tiramisu flavored, yummm), chai seeds, and blueberries. For lunch I made salads with baby spinach leaves, cucumber slices, shredded chicken (leftovers from dinner), edamame, and a homemade vinaigrette made with orange juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. I’ll also probably have a pear either with my lunch or for a snack tomorrow. These are some of my favorite recipes I discovered this week with our clean eating challenge and it should put us back on the right track.

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This weekend I didn’t have two seconds to clean, I made 10 healthy home cooked meals that both babies refused to eat, and Nick and I were lucky if we had a chance to drink our coffee let alone eat 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. Now, usually this would send me right back into eating whatever I can find and making excuses every day but I don’t want to do that anymore. I’m never going to be perfect all the time but I’m learning that it’s okay to give yourself a break. The point is, if something comes up right in the middle of your perfect supermom streak- don’t feel like you failed. Put your cape back on, tell yourself you can do it, and try again.