Thursday, March 28, 2013


I am happy to report that after 1 week I have almost completely abated my anxiety.  It's amazing how good I feel after just a short time at the gym.  I really think exercise was my culprit.  I walked on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, worked out at the gym Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Tuesday, and already I am feeling an increase in energy, stamina, mood, and body confidence.

The mind, body, and spirit are inseparably connected.  I know this, I need to live it.

I have spent my entire life honing in on health, fitness, exercise, body improvement, and being active.  As a mother of 6 I have *definitely* sacrificed some of my healthier habits, I like to think for the "greater good," but it's time the pendulum swing back the other direction.  Too much sacrifice leads to resentment I have found.

I take my herbs religiously and have gone through almost an entire bottle of hops and valerian tincture.  Time to replenish.  I am also developing a relationship with my essential oils.  I "whiff" them throughout the day, and I just love when my kids run up to me in the kitchen and ask for me to put essential oil behind their ears.  Lead by example, right?

We had an uber-productive housecleaning day today.  I made the kids' room look like there are not 6 of them living in it; vacuumed wall to wall, corner to corner,  4 little beds washed and made.  The closet is no longer overflowing.  It was a job but let me tell you it yielded a sweet reward.  Forrest and the kids de-cluttered and organized the living room and office, which is now a place in which I can comfortably relax.  Housekeeping starts next week and I wanted to give my housekeeper a "base" level to maintain until after the babies' birth.

I am starting to feel these guys move around a lot and grow strong, and it is so. much. fun.  I can lift my shirt and see them from the outside.  No stretch marks yet.  I am hoping they won't ruin my record after 6 births.

Just for fun, here's another picture:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Anti-Anxiety Remedies

For whatever reason I've been experiencing an extreme amount of anxiety this pregnancy. Well, I could list a few factors that are most likely contributing: being in a small house, not getting enough sunshine (our street is lined with pine trees,) not exercising (twin pregnancy + surrogacy = extra precaution,) lack of socialization / friends, build up of everyday stressors in being a stay-at-home mom and managing a household of 8.

Some of this I have no control over, so when my anxiety reached an all-time high last week I decided to step up my efforts in combating it.  Since drugs are not an option for me, I turned to every natural remedy I have at my disposal.  Here is what I've found to be effective so far: 

 Essential oils: doTERRA to be exact.  They are the best quality from what I understand.  I just so happen to have a friend in the ward who is a vendor (I have many friends who sell the product, actually, but she is closest,) and I went to her house for some samplings.  She recommended a blend called Serenity, which has lavender, chamomile, vanilla, and sandalwood.  I place it behind my ears and inhale deeply straight out of the bottle.  My other favorite is wild orange.  We call it our "happy oil." :)

My other go-to throughout the day are my herbs in tincture form; valerian and hops.  Valerian is known as "herbal valium" because of its instant calming effect.  Hops aids in relaxation and sleep as well (it's what they make beer out of.)  I put half a dropperful of each in a glass of water and drink 3-6 times a day.  These have been most effective.

Blessed sunshine!  This is probably the #1 culprit right here.  I try to walk down the street and back (about 2 miles) on sunny days, or simply sit out front in my lounge chair.  Makes up for the house being shaded by pine trees all day.  I long for a sunny house in the foothills.

I joined a gym.  It's 24 hours and right down the street from our house.  Today was workout #1, and it felt great.  I figure the belly is going to continue to grow, but nothing wrong with keeping the rest of me in shape!  And when these little guys come out I'll be able to start tanning, which is conveniently right next door to the gym.  I plan on working out for about an hour 3-5 days a week.  I know it will help.


This: meditation.  I have connected with an awesome LDS author who wrote one of my favorite books on natural childbirth from the gospel perspective, and she is teaching a meditation webinar where I am learning many valuable techniques.  I only do about 7 minutes a day, but it's enough to create some "me" time, clear my mind, and focus on the present.  I'm hoping it will become a lifestyle habit.

26 Weeks

26 weeks with the twins!  Feeling them move all the time (like now.)  Feels like I'm in the start of my 3rd trimester.


Outside is this guy's new favorite place to be.  I've allowed him the freedom to come and go through the back door to my deck off the bedroom, and now he wants to go "side!  side!" every day.  It brings him happiness.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

25 Weeks

So here I am at 25 weeks. We had an ultrasound on Tuesday, which lasted an hour and a half. Both twins are measuring between 24 1/2 and 25 1/2 weeks, heart rates were 154 and 158. All looks well. Contrary to what I believed, both babies are not head-down. Baby A, on the left, is in a breech position. Baby B, on the right, is on his way head-down but semi-transverse. Of course it's early on and they have time to change. Ideally we want them both head-down for the birth.

I had a great prenatal with the new midwife yesterday.  At 25 weeks I am measuring 34!  It's no wonder I feel like I am in my 3rd trimester.  In actuality, if these little guys come early, I may only have 11 or 12 weeks to go so I guess it's like the start of my 3rd trimester.  My weight has already exceeded that of my usual 9-month-pregnant weight by 10 lbs.  I'm going to be "more pregnant" than I've ever been. Yep, there will be some work to do afterwards. :)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

24 Weeks Then and Now

So I pulled up this old picture to see if I was much bigger at this stage with the twins compared to my last pregnancy with Anthony, and the difference is not as marked as I thought it would be. What do you think?
23 weeks with Anthony

As big as I feel everyone tells me I am small for twins.  The fun part is now I feel them moving all the time, and their movements are distinct.  I feel their little hands down low, and feet up high.  I definitely feel the one on the right more; he must be anterior.

Two Loads a Day Keeps the Laundry at Bay

It's a Saturday morning and I'm blogging about... laundry.  Because, it feels so good to have it caught up.  I haven't been this on-top of laundry since my postpartum days when all I did was stay home and work around the house.

So, here's my technique: it's as simple as two loads a day.  Each morning, I drag the hamper from my bedroom out into the hallway.  I try to do a quick scour around the house (living room, kids' room, bathrooms, etc.) and collect any laundry that might be lying around then add it to the hamper.  I sort the laundry into lights and darks, throwing one load into the washer as I sort.  Within 30 minutes they're ready to switch.  When the first load is dry, I bring it to my bed and fold it immediately.  When it's sitting there folded it makes it much easier to put the clothes away, opposed to them being piled into the deep recesses of a basket.

By lunch time all the laundry is washed, folded, and put away, and I'm looking at an empty hamper.  Then of course it starts all over again the next morning.  The point is I am no longer overwhelmed by insurmountable amounts of laundry.  I have come to view laundry as the dishes; as a constant chore.  It is never "done" and once or twice a week is not enough.  Two loads a day keeps it manageable.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Yesterday my family came to visit from Washington. We haven't seen them in 3 years. As such, this was their first time meeting Rachel and Anthony. We cooked brunch together- eggs, biscuits, sausage, gravy, and hashbrowns. It was a feast followed by joint clean-up, then an hour later we began dinner- steak, london broil, baked potatoes, french bread, roasted vegetables, and coleslaw. My dad likes to eat!
Kaitlyn wanted to dress pretty for Grandpa.

My dad and I.

Candy and I.

Anthony and Grandpa.

The whole crew- captured everyone smiling!

Grandma and Grandpa with all the kids.

Ashlee and Aunt Sarah.

Noah and Grandpa.

Kaitlyn and Uncle Eric.

Anthony and Uncle Sean.

Noah, Kaitlyn, and Uncle Eric.

Rachel and Grandpa.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Rachel Turns 3!

My "baby" turned 3!! Her choice was a pink buttermilk birthday cake with butter cream frosting. I must admit it turned out pretty delicious and is going to replace my traditional yellow cake recipe.
All smiles all the time!
The many personalities of Rachel.
Voila... we like pink.
The sad thing is she was crying during the singing and blowing out of the candle.  I think she had fallen and gotten hurt.  "Mommy, I don't waaaaaant to," so I had to help her blow it out.  It was kind of sad when it was her moment to be happy.  Oh well, it was only a little part of the evening that hopefully will not be prominent in her memory of her birthday.
Rachel, you are my ray of sunshine.  I woke up on the morning of your birth thinking how yours was the labor I dreaded and feared.  We were blessed with a manageable transition which yielded fruit brighter and happier than I ever could've imagined.  Thank you for bringing so much light into our lives.  Here's to a happy 3rd year for you.

Noah Turns 7

Our sweet Noah bear turned 7. We got him a cake from Whole Foods; berry and mascarpone. It was elaborate and delicious.

He also happened to lose another tooth that week, making for a total of 2 this year.  Here he is showing it off.
And of course he reminded me of the birthday banner.  He wanted to be "unique" by not having his pictures cut out.  I think it turned out cute.
Happy Birthday Noah bear!  You will always hold a special place in our hearts as our first baby born at home, and with a sweet spirit that has not changed over the years.  You truly are a unique character and you bring so much softness and joy to our hearts.  Here's to a great year for you.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Good Advice

This is some good advice I received the other day.

Thankfully the naysayers are few and far between (as in I can only count 2 of them.)  Overall I have been overwhelmed with the amount of love and support I receive from people.  Unfortunately tactless comments are more of a reflection of the person making them. ;)  SQUAWK!

"When we follow the mainstream, we waddle like ducks. We step into line and just follow the person in front of us never really having our own conviction of where we are going and why. When you step outside the line and create a new path to a wonderful experience that only you took the courage to do, others will squawk. Mostly it is because they are too frightened to step out and make a miracle come true or too full of vain wondering what others will think of them if they do... You do not have to defend your right and privilege to be a surrogate. Only that you love what you are doing and stand in your own integrity with it. It is an amazing gift that is bringing two little boys to earth."