Friday, March 29, 2013

Busy Books

Something I often seen and wanted to do, but never accomplished, is to make the kids some busy books or quiet books.  Our church lets the kids stay in the nursery until their 4th birthday, and then they go to other classes.  So…I haven’t really needed it to keep them quiet in church yet.

With twins coming, I know I will often be unable to play, read, and entertain Nolan & Elaine as they have been used to.  I will also be often busy nursing the new babies.  A friend {also expecting} recently shared a Velcro quiet book she made for her little girl.  She was kind enough to share some pages with me.  This saved me a lot of work!  I also printed off several games and paper doll activities from a website she recommended.

Velcro Quiet Books

Velcro Quiet Books
We are trying to learn other letters besides “E” for Elaine’s name, so I was very happy that Cindy had thought to include a page like this in her book!

Velcro Quiet Books
This was a game, but it is good for Elaine to sort by type, and Nolan just sorts by color for now.  I also added a farm animal game board that they can play together {maybe} if mom is busy.

Velcro Quiet Books
This is supposed to be Prince William and Princess Kate, but Elaine just likes it because she is wearing a “married” dress.  There are four different dresses, veils, and bouquets that she can choose from.

Velcro Quiet Books

Velcro Quiet Books
I only did the stoplight and shape/color matching pages for Nolan since Elaine is moving past that stage.

Velcro Quiet Books

One thing I changed from Cindy’s idea was the storage.  I didn’t have enough Velcro to put storage spots on the opposite page.  I just hole-punched a quart sized slider bag, and let the kids store their pieces in a baggie next to each page.  They both know how to open and close the sliders, so it is working well right now.  {Though I do find Nolan’s pieces throughout the house}.

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Nolan kept hijacking Elaine’s paper dolls, so I printed out a boy/girl “paper” doll set for him too.  I gave him primarily boy outfits, but he likes doing what Sister is doing.

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These dolls and outfits were the most time consuming to cut out and adhere to Velcro.  Since there are so many different outfits, I was using a lot of the fuzzy side of the Velcro, but only one set of the rough Velcro on the dolls themselves.  The problem corrected itself when I made Nolan a set.  I reversed the types of Velcro to use up all my pieces.  And now Nolan’s outfits only stick on Nolan’s dolls, and Elaine’s outfits only stick on Elaine’s dolls.  No fighting over whose is whose!

Elaine and Nolan have often been caught playing with their quiet books lately.  It has saved a lot of fights while I am in the shower, too.

Velcro Quiet Books

Velcro Quiet Books

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thankful Thursday: the end is in sight

Monday marked 32 weeks in this pregnancy.  Assuming that our twins are “average”, they should arrive around 35-36 weeks.  That means that in under a month, I will be the mother of four kids ages three and under.  And life will never be the same.

Today I did the laundry because Ben is sick.  It’s a lot of work right now!  Most routine chores have taken on a difficult angle for me.  If I get the lunch dishes done before naptime, we’re doing good.  I don’t even attempt the dinner dishes anymore.  Picking up the toys, scrubbing the bathtub, putting on my socks, are all very hard to accomplish.  I dread the cry coming from the bedroom that means my kids are done with naptime, while I am wishing for another hour…at least

But at the same time – we have made it – almost to the end – with no bed rest.  No major complications.  No medication.  No need to think that I have to schedule a c-section.  God has been very good to us.

Tomorrow I have an OB appointment, and they will perform the last FFN test (to predict pre-term labor).  After this, labor will not be considered pre-term anymore.  Elaine wants to come to the doctor and see Baby Sister on the “TV.”  I think I am going to let her.  She asks more frequently to feel Baby Sister kicking my tummy, too.  It’s funny to hear her giggle.  Nolan is yet clueless about how his life is going to change – very soon.

I’ve finished up almost all of my little projects and preparations.  I packed my hospital bags and printed out instructions for Elaine and Nolan.  Several people have offered to help us take care of them when we head to the hospital – another blessing.

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My dad has found a good van, and we are hoping to secure it tomorrow.  We will see if this is the van God has provided for us or not. If not, I am trusting that the babies will not come just yet until another van surfaces.

I’ve even had some fun with a few extras…like these Orioles onesies for the twins.  They made Ben smile.  I even found a Baltimore Orioles pacifier and paci strap set for our little boy.  {They were all bargains…}

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My camera is still having some issues, though I’ve sent it in for repairs twice.  Good pictures are hard to come by these days.

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Another miracle happened too…Ben made up his mind for sure about Baby Boy’s name.  Glad to have that nailed down!

So while things aren’t exactly normal or easy right now, this pregnancy has been a model pregnancy for multiples, and I am grateful.  I am also so thankful that twins usually arrive early, because eight more weeks of immobility and uncomfortableness seems like an eternity right now…

Homemade Baby Book & Calendar

I have been furiously trying to finish up a myriad of projects in case the twins decide to arrive ahead of schedule.  I showed you the headbands for Baby Girl a few days ago.  Another project I have been working on is a Baby Book/Calendar.  cover

I saw this idea on Pinterest and was inspired to make my own.  However, I didn’t want to just use a spiral notebook – I wanted it to be more polished.

I used my StoryBook Creator software to design pages. I primarily used the “Oh Baby Boy” and “Oh Baby Girl” digital element packages so that the colors and graphics coordinate for everything.

Then I laminated the pages and 3-hole punched everything.  I used binder rings to hold it all together.  This will allow me to add/remove/replace pages as needed.  I also want to include a plastic pocket in the front for the calendar stickers.  I was able to customize everything with Baby Boy and Baby Girl’s names.  {In the pictures, any smudge you see is the removal of names to protect the innocent from criticism of their names before they even arrive}.

Twins' Baby Book

Twins' Baby Book

I printed a basic calendar in Microsoft Word and added a custom header.

Twins' Baby Book

Twins' Baby Book

Twins' Baby Book

Twins' Baby Book

I made a divider for each month through the first birthday.  After laminating, I added a little ribbon tab to the divider with hot glue.  Here are a few of the divider pages.  I alternated each month between a “girly” look and a “boy” theme.

Twins' Baby Book

Twins' Baby Book

Twins' Baby Book

Twins' Baby Book

Twins' Baby Book

In each month I included a sheet for both Baby Boy and Baby Girl to record their new motor skills, likes, and fun memories.  It’s short, but if I can fill the paper out each month, I will at least have some record of their babyhood.  I have been on a lot of different twins/multiples websites & blogs lately.  So many parents lamented that the first year was a blur.  I want to remember something.

Twins' Baby Book

Twins' Baby Book

I am still in the process of finishing the calendar stickers.  I am using my digital scrapbooking software again, and I just copied the various milestones from Elaine’s sticker calendar.  I added a few of my own, too.  I purchased sticker paper from Amazon to print them on when I am finished. 

Baby Boy Calendar Stickers jpg
{click to enlarge}

For the back cover, I just used a verse on some digital paper.

Twins' Baby Book

I have a couple more projects to share in other posts....

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Dress Up Time   Dress Up Time
Nolan was playing dress-up with the winter gear we keep by the front door.

Dress Up Time
He came out wearing Elaine’s stuff…

Dress Up Time  
She needed her sparkly rainboots so she could be a princess…

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My missionary friend, Mrs. Lou Ann Keiser, is a published author!  I just received her new book in the mail.  I completed my missionary internship with the Keiser’s in the Basque province of Spain.

Reading a new magazine
Nolan received his new Highlights Magazine {subscription from Great-Grams} in the mail.  So Elaine sat on the couch and “read” it to him.

Reading a new magazine

The Meads and the Hamiltons
Nolan, Sammy, Elaine, and AnnaBeth.  We came home from church and the Mead’s were there dropping off our neighbor.  We let the kids play a little, and then they all sat down on the steps together.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Baby Headbands

This week Elaine and finished a project for Baby Sister!  We made a small stash of homemade baby headbands to add to the store-bought stash we already have from Baby Elaine.  I used several different tutorials and pins from Pinterest to help me make the decorations.  This is what we ended up with…

Baby Headbands

I used some stretchy lace elastic for the headband.  It was inexpensive and it is soft for Baby Sister’s head.  This idea came from It’s Just Laine.

Baby Headbands

Elaine gets the two big flower headbands on the left.  One of them matches Baby Sister’s headband on the far right.  These three are fabric flowers (tutorial here). The other flowers and bows are made from felt. 

Baby Headbands

I avoided these ones at first because I had to cut several flowers out for each big flower, and they had to be hand sewn.  In the end, they were the easiest of all the headbands that I made, and I think they are the perfect size for a baby.

Baby Headbands

Baby Headbands

I liked the look of these large bows.  I made a couple of different sizes for different sized headbands.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Weekend Funnies

Elaine has been a riot lately…when she hasn’t been sick.  Here’s a few things I’ve laughed at recently.

  • Elaine came out and said, “Sall {her baby doll} is sick.  I’m taking her to the doctor.  Dr. Holly {our doctor is Dr. Mahale} is going to give her a shot and a bandaid and then she will be all better.”  A few minutes later… “We are all done, Mom.  We are riding the train because we don’t have a car today.  Sally is taking a snoozy.”
  • Nolan is playing on the bunk beds.  Elaine climbs up with a cheery, “Hi Nolan.  How’s it goin’ up there?”
  • I had dusted the house to get ready for visitors. Elaine found my duster and wanted to help, so I said she could dust the books. When she finished she said the following:
    “Want me to dust the computer, Mommy?”
    “No, I already did it.”
    “Oh, well, you didn’t do a very good job!”
  • At lunch Elaine asked for me to take the crusts off her sandwich. I said, “No, that’s not necessary.”
    Nolan Playing Trains“Well, Daddy can do it.”
    “Mommy can do it too, but I’m not going to because I don’t think we need to.”
    “Daddy is nice because he takes the crusts off.”
  • I’ve been relieved to see that Nolan does have a streak of boy in him!  Every day this week has started and ended with trains.  On the other hand, he is often caught carrying his trains around in a pink purse. He has finally figured out how to work the magnets to get the train cars to stick together.  When they come apart he lets out a very serious “Uh-oh.  Boke.  Boke.”  {That’s his way of telling me it’s “broke.”}

Nolan Playing Trains

  • Elaine was finally playing nicely with Nolan.  She brought him out of the bedroom by the hand and said, “We are going to Sunday School.  Sit down Nolan.  No!  Over here in your chair.  Don’t get up, okay?  You have to sing this song with me.”

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Twins: 28-30 Weeks

Twins 28-30 Weeksjpg

I had another appointment today.  I feel like I spend a lot of time at the OB office these days.  The good news is that Baby Boy has turned and is no longer breech.  Everything is still progressing very well with no hints of pre-term labor, at least not yet.  My total weight gain is 34 pounds which is great for twins.  I am very tired and easily worn out.  Sometimes feeding the kids and doing the dishes is all I can manage. I mostly feel uncomfortable – no matter what.  Only 6ish more weeks to go!  Still praying for a minivan.  It is the last thing we need in order to be ready.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Blowing Bubbles

He tried so very hard, but he doesn’t have the hang of a “gentle blow” yet.  Mostly he spit, got the wand too close to his face so that he swallowed bubbles, and spilled the bubbles on the sidewalk.

Trying to Blow Bubbles

Trying to Blow Bubbles

Trying to Blow Bubbles

Trying to Blow Bubbles

Trying to Blow Bubbles

But then…he finally succeeded.  And he was so happy!

Trying to Blow Bubbles