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“Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go.”
A lot of planning went into the decision to travel with two toddlers to Central Oregon for Christmas, but what would elaborate plans be without bumps along the road? (pun intended, read on).
Let’s start at the beginning. We decided it was best to pay the extra money, and purchase four seats on the aircrafts. There was no way, our 1.5 year olds would sit on our lap for longer then 3 minutes, let alone, 3 hours in flight time. We found a great deal on United, flying from Orange County to Central Oregon, departing December 24 and returning on January 4.
A few months after booking our flight, I received an email that said our itinerary has changed. After logging in to United to view the changes, I realized we went from a 60 minute layover, to a 5-hour layover in San Francisco, on our way North. This was not going to work, so I immediately called the airlines, and had our flights changed to leave Christmas morning. Potential crisis averted!
Bump #2 (pun intended)
Our original plan was to drive the mini van to a friend’s house on Christmas morning, and they would drop us off at the airport and leave the van at their house while we were gone. Two days before Christmas, we were driving to Brea to show the girls some amazing Christmas light displays. A commercial tire was in the car pool lane, and there was no way around it. End result, my car is out of commission and was towed to a repair shop that night.
We talked to our insurance company about a rental car, which we obviously did not need until we would return home from our vacation. They agreed to pay for a shuttle service to pick us up and take us to the airport Christmas morning. About ten minutes before we were supposed to be picked up, we got a call from the shuttle company that our driver had been in a car accident and would be unable to pick us up, but told us they would try to locate another driver.
The shuttle company finally called back and said they would send a taxi to our house, and he would be there in 15 minutes. We asked if they could please make sure the cab was big enough to accommodate two large convertible car seats, two adults and all of our luggage. A few minutes later, our taxi pulled up, and just when we thought we could no longer be surprised anymore, we walk outside to see the Toyota Prius parked in front of our garage. I ended up in the backseat, sitting sideways, on the edge of the middle seat.
We finally made it to the airport and through security. (That will be another post) We got some lunch, which the girls refused to eat, and we took our seats on the airplane. I breathed a sigh of relief, we made it. Sitting on the runway, the captain’s voice came over the loud speaker. He announced that there was a mechanical problem with the aircraft. They will need to have their maintenance team come out to clear the plane for takeoff. It should be about 20 minutes.
Keeping in mind, that we only have an hour layover in San Francisco, I was keeping my fingers crossed that the plane would take off soon. Finally the captain announced that we have good news and bad news. The good news, the plane has been cleared for takeoff on a mechanical level. The bad news, the air traffic controller will not let us off the ground for another 20 minutes, due to traffic regulation.
Saving Grace: Our flight in San Francisco had a minor delay, allowing us enough time to run through the rain, hop on a bus to take us to another terminal, change the girl’s diapers, and jump on the next plane.
Alas, we made it to Central Oregon! We may have had some bumps in the road, but nothing was going to keep us from having our white Christmas.
So, we finally made it and we have had a great visit with our family! I’m not overly excited about the plane trip home, but what would our life be without a little adventure?
Looking forward and staying positive! Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!
I love Christmas and putting up the Christmas tree is one of my favorite things to do around the holidays! I was excited to put up the tree this year, but also a little nervous having twin toddlers see it for the first time and not knowing how they would re-act.
We decided to put the tree and decorations up at night, after the girls went to bed. My reasoning was if they saw us put individual ornaments on, they would know those same ornaments can come off. This reasoning paid off.
Much to my surprise, the tree has been up since Thanksgiving, and the girls are just in awe by it. They have not touched any of the decorations and enjoy looking at the lights! We did play it safe by keeping the bottom half of the tree, toddler friendly, with stuffed animal ornaments that they enjoy pointing out.
Since the girls were not able to participate in the tree decorating this year, I wanted them to have a tree of their own to decorate, so I decided to make them a felt Christmas tree, from an idea I found on Pinterest.
The tree was very easy to make and cost around $5 in materials. I bought a yard of green felt from JoAnn Fabric ($2.99) along with some small rectangle pieces of color felt, which cost .34 cents each.
I cut a big triangle out of the green felt for the tree. For ornaments, I decided to make different shapes since we are working on learning our shapes and colors, but you can make decorative ornaments out of felt too.
The girls are definitely enjoying decorating their own tree!
In addition to the Thankful Tree, we have started another fun, family tradition with the Felt Tree!
Our girls are 17 months old and we have only had professional portraits done once, when they were one month old, so I decided we were long overdue! I was not sure how a photo session would go with two active toddlers, but to my surprise, it went a lot better then expected!
I decided to give JC Penney Portraits a try and scheduled our photo session online. I made sure we got the first appointment in the morning to avoid any unforeseen waiting and scheduled a 9a.m. appointment slot. This was a big key to the success of our session!
The cost was very affordable. In the month of November, sitting fees were waived which saved us $9 per person ($36). We went with the $8 holiday portrait package, which included 1 8×10, 2 5×7, 4 3.5×5, and 16 wallets. After that each additional sheet ordered was only $4!
The photographer was wonderful and worked very fast, which is definitely the only way to go!
Here are some of my favorite portraits from our session:
A big thank you to JC Penney Portraits for making our family portrait day go so smoothly! I look forward to putting some family pictures up on the walls!
In 21 days, my babies will be 1 year old! I cannot even fathom that concept. I remember the first three months, when everyone used to tell me, enjoy it, time will fly by and all I wanted to do was cry. The first three months were very rough and emotional and a lot of work, and at the time, I could not wait for them to walk.
Here I am, 11 months later, with two girls who have just begun to take their first steps and I know walking is just a few steps away (pun intended). Honestly, I am in awe. These past few months have completely flown by and I realize everyone was right!
Once we hit six months, it seemed like we were hitting milestones left and right and before I knew it, my girls were already taking steps away from me. It surely is bitter sweet.
Katelyn’s First Recorded Steps:
Chelsea’s First Recorded Steps:
As always, I always get comments from everyone and their sister, when it comes to my babies on how I should feel. Some people say, “Don’t let them walk,” or “Once they walk, it’s all over,” or “Looks like you’re in trouble now.” As with all comments, I have learned to take them with a grain of salt, because I could not be more excited that the girls are on their way to walking on their own.
Up until now, going to the park, or Disneyland, or shopping, the girls have always been confined to the stroller. Call me crazy, but I do want them to get out and have the opportunity to explore and play. I could not be more excited.
Today, we are starting to take steps consistently from one spot to another around the house and it’s only a matter of time before we are walking in style. This is one milestone that is highly anticipated by many parents, and for me, it is definitely welcome.
Let’s go for a stroll!
I was fortunate to go to the consignor/volunteer pre-sale tonight at the Up Up and Away Kids Consignment Sale, and found some more great bargains!
All together, I saved about 74% off Retail! Not a bad night!!
There are literally 1000′s of items and great bargains available! Make sure you hit the sale when it opens to the public on Wednesday!
The Up Up and Away Kids Consignment Sale has been a huge money-saver for our family! Having twins is double the blessing, but also double the expense. It is amazing how fast babies grow out of clothes, gear, and toys!
During that time, I was one month from delivering my twin girls, and I left the sale with some great bargains!
Changing Table for $27.50
Fisher Price Papasan Cradle Swing for $45 (Retail: $160)
Fisher Price Papasan Bouncer for $20 (Retail: $60)
Bumbo Seat for $10 (Retail: $40)
Evenflo Monitor with Intercom for $15
IKEA Frog Bathroom Organizer for $5
At the last sale in February, I picked up two Playskool Step Start Walk N Ride cars for $10 each. (Retail: $30)
The Up Up and Away Kids Consignment Sale happens four times a year and the next sale is coming up this week! Shop for furniture, strollers, car seats, high chairs, toys, clothing, shoes, play mats, swings, bouncers, games, books, movies, and more!
I spent three hours on Saturday volunteering and was impressed with the high-quality inventory we were checking in! Every item that comes in is inspected for the “used but excellent” quality standards.
This will be my first congisnment sale where I will not only be a shopper but a consignor as well!
The quarterly consignment sale is such an awesome idea, and not only a great way to make a little money by selling items your kids have outgrown, but you can also save up to 90% off of retail prices. If you have kids or know anyone with kids, this is one sale you definitely don’t want to miss! Here are the details for the upcoming sale:
Follow Up Up and Away Kids Consignement on Facebook, to stay up-to-date with all of their upcoming sales. If you are interested in volunteering, or if you are interested in consigning in the next sale, you will receive a pass to enter a private pre-sale, and have first dibs on all of the great bargains!
We are so thankful we found the Up Up and Away Kids Consigment Sale last year and look forward to visiting and consigning with them going forward!
After nine months of pregnancy and anticipation, the babies have finally arrived! When I was pregnant, and ready to pop, friends and family kept telling me the babies are a lot easier to take care of inside the womb, which is definitely true.
Caring for two newborns is an amazing, exhausting, 24/7 job. They are eating every 2-3 hours and when they are not on the same schedule, it is very hard to think about anything that is not baby-related.
Getting out of the house between feedings, napping, and changing diapers, can be a challenge and now that our family has left and our attention is 100% focused on babies, it is very easy to forget to take care of ourselves.
There are days where simply feeding ourselves can become a challenge. When friends and families ask if there is anything they can do to help, one of the best things they can offer is an easy meal for Mommy and Daddy.
Food Tidings is a website designed to help families who may need a little extra help when it comes to planning meals. It is often used for new moms.
MMM uses this website to offer a hospitality service called “Meals for Moms.” Members in the group sign up for different days of the week to bring a meal to a new Mom.
New moms (of multiples) know especially how hard it can be to find time to do anything un-baby related. I’ve already had a few girls come to the house with an easy meal that was ready to eat, pop in the oven, or fresh food from a local restaurant. Their kindness and generosity is so much appreciated!
You do not have to be part of MMM to use Food Tidings. It is easy to go in and set up a schedule. You or someone you know can create an account for your family. You provide the drop-off location, foods you like/dislike, and the dates that the meals would be needed. Your friends and families can login to the schedule, pick an available day to sign up and write in what meal they will bring to your family.
This website has been a blessing and we are so thankful that MMM set us up with an online schedule! I could see how this website would be wonderful for a new mom, someone getting out of the hospital, or for anyone who may just need a little extra help when it comes to meal time!
Dear Friends & Family,
It’s been a whole month since we have been outside of Mommy’s belly and this new world sure is a lot different!
We entered the world on Friday, June 24th. There were so many people wearing strange masks and it sure was cold and bright when we came out. They swaddled us up tight in blankets so we felt like we were back in the womb again. That was very reassuring!
We were so excited to finally meet the voices that have been talking to us for so long! We love our Mommy and Daddy so much! Grandpa & Ava Eisenman and Beth Kane also visited us in the hospital.
After 3 nights in the hospital, and a lot of nurses poking at us every couple of hours, we were very excited to head home on Monday, June 27!
A lot has happened this month. We started out at 5lbs 11oz (Katelyn) and 5lbs 6oz (Chelsea) and at our last appointment we weighed in at 6lbs 6oz and 6lbs 2oz!
Everyone tells us we look a lot alike and Mommy and Daddy think there may be a chance we may be identical twins! If that is true, it will be fun to play tricks on them when we get a little older. I guess only time will tell!
Our first day home was very busy. We kept Mommy and Daddy up a lot. Grandpa and Ava were here for over two weeks to help us settle in, keep Mommy and Daddy well fed, and help with our family naps!
Grandma (Moppy) Walker also spent a week with us this month and helped Mommy & Daddy get some extra rest! Having Grandparents visit is the best!
We have experienced a few baths but we are not sure exactly how we feel about them yet. The warm water does feel good but the initial shock is definitely a surprise!
We have been seen by our doctor three times since we have been home and although Chelsea had to be checked a few times for jaundice, everyone tells Mommy and Daddy that we are two, beautiful, healthy girls!
We have been sleeping in Mommy and Daddy’s room each night where we wake up every two to three hours to eat.
Although we sleep a lot, we are already becoming more alert and aware of our surroundings. We love to stare at the lights in the kitchen, Angels games on TV, and Mommy and Daddy of course!
This month, our favorite toy is our bouncy seat. We love the music and vibrations. It is definitely very soothing after a long day of getting new diapers (about 25 total per day), eating and sleeping!
We already feel so much love from our friends and family! We have had many visitors stop by to see us this month! (Grandpa & Ava Eisenman, Grandma (Moppy) Walker, Sean-Beth-Carson-Addison Kane, Chris Brown, Jessica Smith, Debbie Tesla, Kathy Klarich, Nichole Cherry, Jake Bengochea, Chris & Nickie Gordon)
We have been told to drink our milk so we will get big and strong and we are now drinking 2-3 ounces every 2-3 hours. We are definitely getting stronger because we can hold our head up for a few seconds already!
The new world is great and we have the best Mommy & Daddy in the world! They take such good care of us and are always there when we need them. We love to stare at them until we fall asleep in the comfort of their arms.
We will keep you posted on life as a newborn as we grow older!
Thank you to everyone who has helped out Mommy and Daddy! We love you all very much!
Katelyn & Chelsea
P.S. Stay tuned for our newborn photos! Mommy’s friend and photographer, Lindsey Garrett, of Modchik Photography, photographed us on Friday and Mommy & Daddy are very excited to share them with you! Lindsey is absolutely AMAZING!!! Expect a blog post on the photo shoot from Mommy soon!
Everyone always tells you to cherish every moment with your children because time will sure fly by. It is hard to believe that tomorrow our girls will be four weeks old already!
In the midst of our sleep deprivation, approximately 25 daily diaper changes, and 8-12 feedings per day; the last four weeks seem like a little bit of a blur and our girls are really growing right before our very eyes!
When the girls were born they weighed in at 5lbs 11oz (Katelyn) and 5lbs 6oz (Chelsea). We had an appointment on Tuesday and now the girls are 6lbs 6oz and 6lbs 2oz.
For anyone with twins, we have come up with a
Top 10 list on how to survive the first month with two newborns.
1. Forget what you thought the first month would be like. Just like your birth plan, somehow, some way, it will be different.
2. Encourage the help! Our family has been here for 3 of the first 4 weeks. Let them help with the cooking, cleaning, diapers, late-night feedings, and most of all, let you get some sleep!
3. Sleep when the babies sleep. This is much easier said than done (especially with two)! Again, let the family help and sleep when you can – you will be thankful at the late night feedings that you got the naps in!
4. Don’t forget to eat! As hard as it is, you have to take care of yourself in order to take care of the babies. Have quick snacks around that are easy to grab. Let you family cook big meals that can be frozen and heated up later or let friends drop by to see the babies and bring food to share!
5. Try (operative word here) to get the twins on the same feeding schedule – especially important for late-night feedings. It’s a lot easier to get up 3 times in the middle of the night and feed both of them at the same time (with your spouse) then getting up every hour to feed them separately.
6. Accept that there is no such thing as running a quick errand. Once the twins are changed, fed, burped and ready to sleep, there is a good chance one of them will be ready to wake up again to repeat. You will not get out the door as quickly as you used too.
7. Pack an efficient diaper bag! This may sound silly, but don’t forget the diapers! Bring wipes, burp cloths, blankets, bottles, formula or breast milk, pacifiers, extra onesies, and a changing mat.
8. Set simple daily goals for yourself! My two daily goals are to take a shower and get fresh air – even if that means just going to the mail box.
9. If you are bottle feeding, stay organized. Keep everything you need for formula preparation together. Before bed, prepare the bottles by measuring the water and having the formula ready to go.
10. Remember to enjoy the babies!! The first few days and weeks may be a little rough. You will be tired and sometimes a little stressed. Soak in the joyful parts of the day and cherish every minute you have with them – even the 3 a.m. feedings. The first few months will be gone before you know it!