The Story of “Stella”

“Stella. Oh, like the beer?” 

“Umm, no.”

Let’s start at the beginning. When I was much younger, probably 5th or 6th grade, I started reading a book my Great-Grandmother, Dorothy Stiff Wyman, wrote, Light Upon the Mountain. At the time, I made it a whole chapter in. I was not a great reader, and the writing was far more advanced than my reading level. My one takeaway from the book at that time was that my Great-Great-Grandmother’s name was beautiful. Stella. I remember thinking one day I would have a daughter, and I would name her Stella.


Fast forward to when we found out we were pregnant. One of the entertaining pass times at the time became coming up with names for our baby (we didn’t know we were having twins at this point). Nick and I would text names back and forth. We loved the name Charlotte, but soon after deciding that would be our girl name, Princess Charlotte was born. With that we were back to the drawing board. 


We went on a trip to visit my parents and on a car ride we were talking names. One of my parents asked if there were any family names we liked. Immediately I remembered the day of opening my Great-Grandma’s book. “Stella!” The second I said it, Nick fell in love and that became our girl name, should we have a girl.


About a month after deciding Stella would be our girl name we went in and found out we were having twins. At that appointment our tech was pretty certain we were having a boy and a girl. I called my Meme later on that day to tell her the exciting news that we were expecting two little ones. We were talking names and when I told her our girl would be Stella, she laughed and told me that Great-Great-Grandma Stella actually had twins! 

My Great-Great-Grandparents on their wedding day

Today I opened my Great-Grandmother’s book that we were given on our wedding day (thank you Aunt Danna), and began reading. I’m reading along, loving every word, when I get to the point Grandma Stella gave birth to not just one baby, but to twins. June 12, 1909. My jaw dropped. My Great-Great-Grandma Stella found out she was having twins the same day as I did 106 years earlier. Thanks to modern medicine, I did not find out on the day of the birth, but something about that is so magical to me. Maybe I have an unusual bond with Grandma Stella. What I wouldn’t give to spend a day hearing stories from her, asking her questions, and letting her meet my daughter who is named after her. 
Great-Grandma Wyman, Meme, Papa, and Great-Grandpa Wyman

I’m so excited to continue reading about my family. Thanks Grandma Wyman for writing this book. We miss you.

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Stella & Grayson: 21 month update

Note: an alternate title for this post could be toddler tangents. I just want to update about a bunch of random things about these two!

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My, oh my! 3 more months and these hooligans will be 2! I can’t believe it. I fully intended on doing an update at 18 months, but life is absolutely crazy (in a mostly good way) so here we are, 21 months.

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These two are my favorite creatures ever. Each day is filled with such a range of emotions (for both them and me). I’m pulling my hair out, they’re pulling my hair out, then they turn around and do the funniest things, and we’re all cracking up together.

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We love our daily dance parties in the living room. Stella definitely takes after me with her dance moves, and Grayson has more of the cool-dude head bob, and Elvis legs going on.

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To date we have watched Moana upwards of 85 times, and still love it every time!

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Stella speaks a language that sounds like a cross between Mandarin and Russian. I catch a few words and sentences here and there, but mostly I just act like I know what she’s saying and take my best guess. We do a lot of “showing mommy what you need.” Grayson has the sweetest low, raspy voice and speaks more like a caveman. He also has some words I can decipher, but again, “show mommy.”

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I laughed at this picture for basically an entire day because Grayson looks like he has a giant hand (it’s Nick’s hand)

For a while Stella was saying something that sounded like, “the body’s in the basement,” and, “dead bodies.”  It was mildly terrifying and we never could figure out what she was talking about. Kids, man…

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Gray and Stelly play pretty well together, but we have had our fair share of biting, hitting, pushing, and pulling hair. The good thing is they trade off attacking each other.  I see this as a huge plus, honestly, because then one kiddo isn’t constantly getting hurt, and they each know what it feels like to have a nasty bite on the arm, leg, and/or face.

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If Stella chokes on water, she pats her own back. Something about her “patting” her own back hits my funny bone.

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Grayson takes after his Daddy and is quite the comedian. After bath time, he will run and jump around on the bed, then throw himself down and close his eyes like he’s asleep. He’ll, then, open his eyes and give the sweetest chirpy laugh.

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He’s not faking sleep in this picture

As seen in a video a while back, Stella has hacked ALL the baby proofing we did. Things are constantly getting thrown away, so I’ve tried to give them the task of throwing things that actually need to be thrown away, away. I do a lot of checking the garbage can before throwing a things away, and pulling things out to wash them.

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Nick created a little nest for Stella so she could watch Moana

As with the garbage can obsession, Grayson also likes to put the clothes in the washer. When there aren’t clothes needing put in, though, he puts toys in. I always check the washer before starting a load, and usually find at least a handful of blocks and books.

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I can’t remember if I said that they were still sleeping in swings in my 12 month update, but they were (oops).  Around 15 months, I was so done with the swings and got them sleeping in their crib. It actually didn’t take nearly as much crying as I had anticipated. Unfortunately, they still wake up a few times a night to nurse, but I’m hoping to wean them soon (more on that later).

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These two LOVE to snuggle which is my favorite. They’re perfect size to cuddle right in next to me and watch a movie (probably Moana). Grayson will sometimes rest his sweet little hand gently on mine. I take in every moment I can of snuggles.

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I have always tried to include Grayson and Stella in chores around the house. I figure if it seems kind of like a game, maybe when they get older it will just be “what we do” and less of “chores.” Their “chores” include, dumping their plates after meals, wiping their table (I come back and clean it up a little more when I can), putting their clothes in the hamper, putting clothes in the washer, taking their shoes off and putting them away, putting their toys away, and random little age appropriate things here and there. I love seeing how proud they are of themselves when they contribute in any way.

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Stella and Grayson are to the age of wanting to put clothes and shoes on as dress up. With this though, comes stretched collars on basically all their shirts (because they think they should wear shirts like skirts), and screams of frustration when they “mermaid” themselves. “Mermaiding” is when they try to put on pants and only use one pant leg for both legs. They do this and get SO frustrated, but they are gradually getting a little better as I help them understand how pants work.

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Grayson helped me make cookies and enjoyed the dough (no eggs included)

Doors are really exciting around here these days.  Grayson thinks every door needs to be closed, so walking to the daycare at our gym is a struggle some days because we walk passed at least 6 doors.  They also like to knock on doors which is really fun when anyone is trying to use the bathroom in our place. The way they knock is hilarious though. They hold their thumb and index finger together and “peck” and the door, or if they’re really trying to get your attention, they pound both hands on the door like maniacs.

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Stella is such a goon! If we squint our eyes and ask, “Stella are your eyes okay?” She squints back with the cutest smirk.

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Getting Grayson really laughing is one of the cutest things ever. The combination of his dimples, the most adorable teeth, and his high pitch squeal is too much.

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Stella points out every scratch, tiny scab, or blemish, and looks very concerned and says, “uh oh.” It’s funny and all, until I’m holding her and she points out any and every blemish on my face. “Thanks girl, I know my face looks like hell right now.”

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One of my favorite things to do is watch them sleep.  We have a video monitor and every night when they fall asleep, I look at them and gush to Nick about how cute they are.  It’s so comforting to me knowing they have each other in the crib to snuggle.
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Stella has been showing a serious interest in going potty on the toilet.  She has gone (both 1 & 2) on the potty! I am not pushing her at all, but letting her be the guide.  Her interest has also triggered Grayson’s interest, so fingers crossed they’ll help each other. I’m basically going to let them potty train themselves and give them support here and there when they need it.


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I have said it before, but I’ll say it again, it is so interesting watching these two grow and become individuals.  I would never expect them to be/act the same, but it’s fascinating to see just how different they actually are. Stella is very social and loves interacting with adults and kids.  Grayson is more into with playing on his own, and loves to make people laugh.  What they both have in common, though, is how genuinely sweet they are.  Maybe it’s because they’re my kids, but I really feel like these two are so gentle and sweet (most the time). To say I feel incredibly grateful is a complete under statement, but I am incredibly grateful for them.

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We got a gym membership at a place I feel really comfortable with the childcare, and it has been life changing! We have a pretty good routine that fits in the gym almost everyday. It’s great because I get some time to focus on me, and they get to play with other kids. It was hard at first for them, but now they know the drill and run in. I love sneaking in after my workout and watching them play before they realize it’s time to go.

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It has been a lot of fun to watch Nick be a dad.  Recently, I have been much better about not needing things done the right way my way, and it has been SO great for our relationship and his relationship with the kids.  It’s amazing what he can get these kids to do, for example, falling asleep on the couch; things they wouldn’t dream of doing for me.

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Stella, Grayson, and their cousin have got to hang out a few times this last 2 weeks and they have loved every second, especially Stella.  She thinks her cousin is the best thing ever, and wants to be just like her.  At one point, her cousin was drinking milk, and Stella went over to her cup later and drank some milk.  Stella HATES milk so it was really funny to watch her try her best to act like she enjoyed it.

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We also went to my parents’ house recently, and Grayson and Stella got to hang out with my niece and nephew.  They all got along so well!  It made my life so much easier having the older ones around because they played with the little ones the entire time.  It’s always so entertaining watching the four of them play.  We can’t wait to go see them again.

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I was really wanting to nurse Stella and Gray until they were 2, but I am SO OVER IT.  I currently have them down to just nursing at night. It got to the point they were constantly whining at me to nurse, and reaching down my shirt.  Having them down to just night nursing has already made my life a lot more enjoyable. They have done really well cutting out the day nursing.  I still make sure to cut out time to snuggle them so we don’t lose that closeness.


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I was just telling a friend today, that I feel like I’m finally not just “surviving” anymore.  I realize there are things that I could have done differently (sleep training, for one) that could have made our lives quite a bit more rested, but like any parents, Nick and I are doing our best.  Next time I’m sure we’ll do some things differently.

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If you made it through, thank you for reading and go you!

Mommy Update

Double Babies

I have gone back and forth whether or not I was going to write a “Mommy Update,” but decided I should because if this can reach one mom going through similar things then it’s worth it.  I feel that talking about this is too important to want to hide my story.

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I struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety.  I am happy to say now that I have taken care of it and feel worlds better, but I would be lying if I said I was 100% better.  Each day still presents new challenges, but getting my postpartum depression under control has made dealing with these challenges much easier.

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Right after the babies were born, I wrote briefly about how I was very emotional.  I’ve also since mentioned how Nick has been wonderful for having put up with me this last year.  I’ve heard of women feeling like they aren’t connected with their baby or babies, but that was not my experience (no judgement if that has been yours).  My experience was feeling almost too connected.  I felt I needed to be the one to take care of every need.  I felt I had to do everything right by them.  I didn’t trust many people to take care of Stella and Grayson.  I felt so overly protective that I pretty much worked myself into the ground.  Not only was I burning the candle at both ends, I was holding a flame to the middle, and I completely exhausted myself.

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Poor Nick saw this happening, but if he said anything I would get so mad.  He suggested date nights, but I refused unless one, of handful of particular people, could watch Grayson and Stella.  I neglected myself and I neglected our marriage.  I did not recognize how bad off I was until around September.

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In September, I reached my breaking point.  I was so exhausted from not having enough sleep since the babies arrived, and having a huge lack of support in town, and I was going crazy.  I had driven myself nuts with expectations of how I needed to take care of the babies; about trying to constantly be a perfect mom, and it brought me to a very low place.  I constantly worried I wasn’t a good enough mother for the babies, and felt very bad about myself as a mom.  I went to their 9 month check up and their doctor said they were doing great, but he was really worried about me.  He could see that I was completely exhausted and that I was the type of person that wouldn’t ask for help.  He was ready to call my mom for me because he knew I needed her.

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Thank God for my parents, they’re the greatest.  My mom was on her way up the very next day to help me with the babies.  To get me some sleep.  I met with my OB and we decide a low dose antidepressant was probably a good choice for at least a little while.  It has been so eye opening to feel like myself again.  Being a little over a year out has given me so much perspective.  I can see how many expectations I placed on my shoulders;  how much anxiety I was giving myself.

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Like I said, I’m not 100% better, but for the most part I feel a whole lot more sane.  When both of the babies are screaming and crying, I no longer feel a deep sense of panic (most of the time).  I feel like I am handling motherhood a lot more gracefully now that I have admitted to myself that I was struggling.  Bad.  I’m incredibly happy that Stella and Grayson are such little firecrackers, full of energy and spunk.  They’re not the easiest babies ever, but they are so wonderful and I’m so thankful I get to be their mom.  I am constantly trying to better myself as their mom, but working to not place too much on my plate.  Motherhood is so incredibly confusing, terrifying, exciting, exhausting, challenging, and hard, but it is the best thing I have ever done in my whole life.  I love it so much, and I’m so happy I’ve been able to take care of myself a little bit more these past few months.

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To all the new moms out there, if you re struggling, please, please, please reach out to someone.  I am more than willing to listen and talk with you if you are in need of a friend to talk to about anything and everything.

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Stella & Grayson: 12 Month Update

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We did it!  We survived the first year with twins!  It was not easy, but we did it, and not to brag, but I think we did pretty well.  We have some of the funniest babies I have ever had the pleasure of being around.  I am continually amazed at how much personality can be packed into such tiny human beings.

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Stella is always giving me these faces of, “I think what you’re doing is funny, but I’m not going to crack a smile.”  Grayson, on the other hand, has no problem awarding silliness with a giant, cheesy grin.  Nick and I find so many things they do genuinely hilarious.  That says a lot because I try hard to make Nick laugh and the majority of the time he gives me a pity laugh (love you, babe!).  I can tell when he finds something truly funny, and the babies bring that out way more than I have ever been able to.  Stella is such a tough little girl.  When she inevitably tumbles off whatever she’s climbing on, she just lays there, arms spread, staring at the ceiling, not crying.  When this happens I laugh and cheer her on, and she claps for herself.  Grayson has the funniest shrill scream when he’s excited about something, like seeing the cat, or being tickled or chased.  Stella and Grayson are our favorite 2 foot tall folk.  They bring such joy to our lives.

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They were so not into their smash cake

It’s amazing to me that just a short year ago, we had two tiny newborns.

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Stella

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Weight: 19 lbs. 8.5 oz.       Length: 2′ 6.12″

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Likes: Playing peek a boo.  I’m pretty sure I had this on the last update as well, but she loves playing peek a boo so much I HAD to add it to this one too.  She giggles like crazy when we pop up from behind anything and make a silly face.  Being held.  Stella is going through an exceptionally clingy phase right now and would love if I could hold her all day, everyday.  She loves being up where she can see everything.  I enjoy the extra snuggles.  Handing things to me.  I am trying to teach the babies (toddlers?) how to share, so they think it’s a fun a game to hand me toys they’re playing with.  Stella means it when she offers things to me, Grayson on the other hand tends to offer, but when I take it he get’s sad. We’re still working on that.  Yelling while the bathtub is filling up.  Every night after dinner, we head straight into bath time.  When I turn on the water, both Stella and Grayson yell, and I join in with them because I think it’s hilarious.  It’s like they want to be louder than the water.  Bath time is a pretty exciting time in the Frazier residence.  Waving goodbye.  When Nick, or really anyone leaves our place, the babies stand at the gate and wave.  It’s pretty much the cutest thing ever.  Climbing on everything.  For their birthday, their Uncle Ben and Auntie Erika got them a learning table.  When we got it put together I said, “Stella will be on top of that thing in 5 minutes.”  Not 2 minutes later I turn and she’s on the table.  She may not be walking yet, but man that girl can climb!  Playing phone.  The days of answering phones and handing them to the babies have begun.  It’s so cute to watch them put the phone up to their ear.

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Dislikes: Being put down.  Like I mentioned before, Stella loves to be held, and when I put her down she definitely objects big time.  I’ve learned to distract her with something new to play with like a spoon or pot lid while I lower her down and set her on the ground.  Crafting.  Stella was not a very willing participant in all the Christmas crafts we made together.  We made so many though, that by the end she decided to just give in and let it happen. Wearing socks and shoes.  Anytime I have socks and shoes on Stella, she makes it her mission to take them off.  I wouldn’t mind if it were the summer, but her piggies are going to get cold!

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Grayson

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Weight: 18 lbs 6.5 oz.      Length: 2′ 5.72″

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Likes: Pointing at people.  Nick taught Grayson how to “E.T.” and now instead of waving, he points.  It’s pretty funny until I’m walking through a store and he’s pointing at every person we pass.  Luckily, he usually has a big grin on his face while he does this so people don’t seem too offended that a kid is pointing at them.  Playing chase.  I spent probably 30 minutes the other night running around chasing the babies and having them chase me.  We were all laughing pretty hard.  The Grinch.  I try to keep screen time to a minimum, but for Christmas movies, I’ve relaxed quite a bit.  One day I put on The Grinch (not the cartoon one) and the babies were SO into it.  I don’t know what it is about the movie, but they love watching it, which is great because I love that movie too.  On their birthday, they woke up super early (like 4:30 am, early) and we snuggled and watched The Grinch.  Using everything as a drum.  Grayson loves to use everything in our place like it’s a drum.  He usually uses his hand to pound on things, but recently he has been using spoons and his play hammer.  Not a problem until he uses Stella as his drum.  Patting his tummy.  Nick and I get quite  kick out of how Grayson pats his tummy.  He seems to actually keep a beat with it too, and his hands move at different beats.  It is one of the cutest things ever to watch him walk around drumming on his belly.  Getting hugs.  Nick told me Grayson put his phone in the correct spot on his learning table the other morning.  Nick was cheering for him and Grayson ran over to get a big hug from daddy.  He does this basically anytime we cheer for him.  It’s so cute because he’ll trot over with a silly, excited grin.  Stepping on paper.  The babies and I made an insane amount of Christmas cards this year, which involved me stamping their feet onto paper.  Now, any time there is a sheet of paper on the ground Grayson walks over a steps his foot on it.  It took me a little while to figure out what he was doing, but when I put it together I had a good chuckle.  I then showed Nick and had another good laugh with him about it.

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Dislikes: Sitting still.  Now that Grayson can walk, he refuses to sit still.  It’s turned into quite a task to dress him.  Not being involved.  Grayson wants to help with everything, and gets pretty upset when he can’t be involved.  He doesn’t understand that pulling things out of the oven, or helping Dad with the hammer or drill is just not safe yet.  Some day buddy, I promise.

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Eating:  I plan to continue nursing both the babies until they want to wean, and that it still going well.  I am thinking I will write about our journey breastfeeding, but who knows when I will get that posted. Stay tuned  though.

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Besides nursing, the babies are pretty good eaters.  Stella tends to like veggies more and Grayson likes whatever protein I give him.  We had meatloaf, broccoli and mashed potatoes the other night and Grayson was stealing Stella’s meatloaf and Stella was stealing Grayson’s broccoli.  They both love pumpkin, and have started to turn a little orange. Overall, I am really impressed with how much they can eat and how they’r pretty willing to try anything.  I know this will more than likely not always be the case, so I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

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Double baby hold: Mastered

Sleeping:  As always, I thought we were making some progress and then sleep became a struggle again.  I have them taking 2 (mostly) solid naps a day, but night sleep still tends to be pretty wakeful.  I cosleep with the babies most the night and it tends to be the best sleep all of us can get.  I am excited for the day when I can sleep in bed with Nick all night again, but try not to stress too much about the sleeping arrangements.  We do what we have to to survive.

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Napping on Auntie Sonj

I can’t believe a whole year has gone by.  Thank you to everyone, near and far, who helped us make it through this last year.  We couldn’t have done it without you.

To Nick, thank you for putting up with me this last year. Thank you for making my dream of being a stay at home mom and wife come true.  You are such a phenomenal dad and husband. I love you.

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To Stella and Grayson, thank you for making dad and me so happy.  You two are the greatest.  We may not be perfect, but know that we are doing our best.  Everything dad and I do is with the intention to make a great life for you two, full of unconditional love and happiness.  We love you more than words can describe.

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Stella & Grayson: 10 & 11 Month Update

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I think I was in denial that the babies turned 10 months. Double digits. I totally avoided doing their 10 month update, so I decided to combine 10 and 11 because somehow we’re already 11 months into this thing. So buckle up.

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Stella and Grayson have been a ton of fun. Their personalities are pretty much the best thing ever.  They are so different, but they are both insanely awesome. Grayson is our goofy little guy who likes to destroy anything and everything he comes in contact with.  He recently ripped one of the blinds off the sliding glass door shades.  Stella on the other hand is goofy in her own way, and so sweet.  She is the more observant of the two. I have a feeling she will learn to walk simply by watching Grayson, and as a result, have far fewer bruises than him.

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I once wrote that it was easier going to other peoples’ houses because it was new scenery for the babies.  I am here to report, that is no longer the case, unless of course where ever we go is baby proofed.  What was once a relaxing event has now turned into following two babies everywhere, and redecorating other peoples houses because our kids get into everything.  Their favorites tend to be, dog water, wires, outlets, and pretty much anything else you wouldn’t want a baby to get into.  We still go places because we think it’s important to socialize them a lot, but it has become a tad more challenging.

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On the socialization front, I would say we can give ourselves a pat on the back (so far).  Our babies seem to be very well adjusted and really enjoy hanging around other people.  There have only been a handful of times Stella or Grayson don’t want to be held by someone else.  For the most part, they are really friendly babies which makes me really happy.

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Stella

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Likes: Dancing. This girl is seriously so funny. She absolutely loves music and dancing.  Her favorite song, the one she and I always dance to, is Roses by The Chainsmokers.   Eating. More on that later though. Waving bye to Daddy. Most mornings the babies and I stand at the ottoman and wave bye to Nick as he goes to work. It is one of those little things that is so simple, but makes me so happy.  Clapping. Just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Melts my heart every time.  Peek-a-boo.  Stella uses any chance she gets to play peek-a-boo.  She uses shirts, blankets, socks, basically anything she thinks can cover her face, and drops it when I say “peek-a-boo” with the biggest grin.  When I play bite her cheeks. This is one of those things that I do as much as possible because I know she won’t let me do it forever.  The giggles that I get from her when I do this are priceless.  Looking at herself in the mirror.  Stella’s favorite person to look at is still herself. She grins at herself, laughs, gives herself high fives, and kisses the mirror. I hope she always has this positive of self image!

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Dislikes: When I close doors or cupboards.  Anytime I close the frig, the cupboards, or doors, Stella has a major breakdown. She whips up real tears and everything.  If I leave the room.  Stella has been going through a major clingy phase, so if I leave the room, or even worse go to the bathroom, she freaks.

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“Helping” me plank

 

Grayson

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Likes: Untying Nick’s shoes. Just about the funniest things ever.  Grayson likes to untie Nick’s shoes as he’s getting ready to leave for work.  Maybe he’s trying to keep his favorite play buddy home.  Pulling things out of drawers. Anytime I put towels away, Grayson makes it his mission to pull everything out and throw it everywhere. I consider it playing and learning, but Nick and I decided to lock a few drawers so we have clean things when we need them.  Walking. This kid is so proud of himself for learning to walk. He is so cute when he walks around.  Sticking his tongue out.  I think his spirit animal is a puppy. When he’s doing most things, walking, crawling, playing, his tongue is hanging out like a little puppy with a big grin. Those dimples.  Opening and closing the bedroom door. Grayson thinks opening and closing the door to their bedroom is the coolest thing ever. Stella thinks it’s pretty amusing too.  The other night, Nick and I were laying on the bed watching them play peek-a-boo with the door. They were both laughing their heads off.  Blowing raspberries on my belly.  Both babies think it is entertaining to make fart noises on my belly. I figure it’s natures way of making me feel okay with the doughy skin that will probably remain there forever.

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I made edible finger paint

Dislikes: When Stella takes a toy from him. Grayson and Stella have started in with the taking things from each other. I mostly just let them figure it out, but I am trying to teach them to not be total dicks to each other because they may be okay with it, but other kids don’t have the same tolerance.  When he accidentally closes the door when the light is off. Poor little guy scares himself so bad when he closes the door.  I run over and open the door and he has a look of genuine fear on his face.  I have since figured out that the foam “G” works well to prevent him shutting himself in.

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Eating: These kids can EAT. Stella will eat basically anything I put in front of her.  Grayson tends to be a little more picky recently, but as soon as I force a bite, he quickly realizes that he actually enjoys whatever it is I have given him.  They’re favorites seem to be blueberries, broccoli, and salmon.  I’ve been making them smoothies and fresh juices, and they also really like those, beets, kale, and all. Oh, and of course, pumpkin everything.  I have an amazing pumpkin waffle recipe that the babies, Nick, and I love!

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“What blueberries?”

They still really enjoy nursing and they come at me with mouths open when I ask if they want to nurse.  They have started to pull my shirt down when they want to nurse, so I always have to be on guard for that when we are out or have company.

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Loving the blueberries

Sleep: Not a lot has changed in this area.  Right when I think we are making some headway, something happens that puts them back to waking a lot.  We have decided to do what works to survive, and hope for the best.   I know that may sound like a terrible plan, but we’re doing what we can, and for now, I am enjoying the sleepy snuggles in the middle of the night.

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He has the BEST bedhead

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Words: I figure I will want to look back and remember what they were saying at certain times, so I’m adding this in.  Currently they know, “Dada,” “Mama,” “Cat,” and “Dog.”  I had no idea they knew the word dog until we went on a walk with my friend and her two dogs.  I always say “dog” when we see them on runs, I just hadn’t realized it stuck.

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Overall, the last 2 months have been my absolute favorite so far.  Everyday seems to bring new cute, fun things they learn, and I can’t believe how much fun we’ve been having.  I would like time to go ahead and slow down a little though, because I’m not ready to have 1 year olds.

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Stella & Grayson: 9 Month Update

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I’m going to be honest, this month was HARD.  There were times I questioned whether I could get through the day or not.  With the intense hard times, though also came intensely happy times.  This month was full of family and friends, which made all the hard times a little easier to get through.

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First time swimming! Stella loved it.

The rate at which these babies are growing up is truly astonishing and slightly terrifying.  Stella now has 7 teeth and Grayson has 3 almost 5.  They are both crawling maniacs and Grayson is walking along the wall and couch, so I assume he will be walking soon.  Stella is pulling herself up to standing, but hasn’t started to skirt around the couch or wall yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

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While Nick’s dad was in town, he helped us baby proof because there is nothing like 2 mobile babies to show you that there are SO many things wrong with the living room. We bought an ottoman for our shoes because I was grossed out by the babies chewing on them any time I took an eye off of them.  The ottoman also acts as a barrier to the entry way.  We got a gate that blocks the only exit from the living room (once they can climb the couch we’re screwed), and we covered the fireplace with a board because the babies loved to get sooty fingerprints everywhere.  We also locked all the doors on our entertainment center, and moved Nick’s XBox because Grayson loved to turn it off and on, and we figured it would eventually mess with the functionality.  It’s hilarious how quickly the babies try to make their grand escape when the gate is not in place.  The second they see it’s open, they cease their opportunity and turn on their turbo speed.  It’s impressive how quick they’ve become.

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Thanks for helping us baby proof!

Stella

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I must say, this picture is a decently accurate depiction of how we all felt about month 9

Likes: Army crawling.  While Stella can get up on her knees to crawl, if she is trying to go fast she sometimes tips forward.  If she sees the need to be extra quick, she resorts to her tried and true army crawl.  And let me tell you, she’s super quick with it.  Grayson.  We catch Stella laughing at something Grayson is doing so much.  It makes me tear up because it’s so sweet that she obviously loves her brother.  Food.  This girl can EAT (she must have gotten that from her mama).  Basically anything I give her she eats.  We haven’t found any off limits foods yet, although she did have a topical reaction to hummus the other night, but we think it’s because there is a lot of lemon juice in it.  Dancing.  Stella is a party animal.  I knew she loved music and jumping around, but then at her Grandpa & Grandma’s wedding, we found out how much she LOVES to dance.  She flails her arms, kicks her legs, and cheers the entire time.  After their wedding she was actually hoarse a few days.  Again, she must take after her mama.  Looking in the mirror.  Stella is hilarious when I let her look t herself in the mirror.  She cheers and smiles at the girl in the mirror and loves to give her high fives.  Our mirrors are perpetually dirty in this household, but I’m completely okay with that.

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She’s a master at “deer in the headlights”

Dislikes: When I take something away from her.  It’s interesting seeing them throw mini fits when I take something from them.  I know it’s likely to only get worse, but I try to just ignore it, as to not feed into that behavior.  Going to sleep.  Every night when I walk out of the room, Stella protests for a few seconds.

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Party Stella out to play!

Grayson

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Between trying to crawl off, and trying to eat his sticker, this was the best picture I could get.

Likes: High fives.  While we were at my parent’s house for our wedding, my dad taught Grayson how to high five.  It was hysterical.  When someone walks into the room, he demands a high five.  Peanut butter.  I could give this kid spoonfuls of PB and he would be in heaven. Walks/Runs.  I have been really good about having a routine with the babies recently and a walk or run is in that routine.  Right around 8 am every morning they know it’s time to get outside and exercise.  It’s one of the most peaceful times of day for these babies, aside from naps.  Pretty girls.  This boy is an ultimate ham.  If there are pretty girls around he really turns up the cuteness.  We’re talking big grin and giggles.  Which means he loved meeting his aunties from NY.  Pulling himself up.  Grayson is never as proud of himself as he is when he pulls himself to standing.  He pulls himself up and looks back with a huge grin to make sure whoever is in the room saw him.  Touching his ears.  This month Grayson started to rub his ears while he’s falling asleep.  I was worried at first because I thought maybe he had an infection, but when we went to the doctor (for an unrelated issue) they checked his ears.  No infection, just a lot of ear wax.  Playing guitar.  If I pull out my guitar to play, Grayson is right there waiting for his turn.

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Dislikes:  If I’m nursing Stella in front of him.  Grayson doesn’t even have to be hungry, but if he sees that I’m nursing Stella he has a complete meltdown.  If he can see me and I’m not entertaining him.  This kind of goes for both babies.  If I’m in the room they really want to be interacting, which is fun, until I need to do something.  I’ve learned to not let them see me while I’m doing anything around the house.  Does this require that I crawl behind the couch in order to avoid them seeing me?  Yes, yes it does.

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Gray being goofy as ever while meeting one of his aunts

Eating: As I mentioned before, the babies really love eating.  I am trying my best to make a bunch of different flavors of food to expose them to new things.  They eat whatever we eat for the most part, but this month they did eat a lot of baby food pouches because we were on the go a lot.  Some things that I was surprised they like (and didn’t hurt their tummies) were coconut curry chicken, and chili.  Both were new to me recipes that were super yummy, and the babies devoured it.

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Grayson and Stella love their cousins

Nursing still continues to be the bulk of their nutrition and will continue to be until about a year, and all is going well on that front.  They are still distracted as ever, but I’m getting used to it.  The other night when both the babies woke up, I went in to nurse them and Grayson sleepily unlatched and was trying to find me.  Instead, he found Stella’s pinky and began to suck it.  He was so confused and there I was trying not to laugh too loud.

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I promise they like it, they’re just too relaxed

Sleep:  I haven’t written much about sleep for the past few posts because it was something I just didn’t even want to talk about.  Around 7 months, we started to get them falling asleep in their crib without us in the room.  It was going really well and they were sleeping a good portion of the night in their crib.  They were down to waking about 3 or 4 times a night, which I could handle.  Then, Grayson learned how to go from laying on his tummy to sitting up.  It wreaked absolute havoc on all the progress we had made, so back to the swings they went.  They were still waking about 3-4 times a night at that point.

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This month, between getting a combined 6 teeth, learning to crawl and stand, and getting off of their normal schedule, their sleep went completely out the window.  There were weeks of nights that I got what felt like 20 minutes of sleep.  They were waking up anywhere from 8-10 times a night.  We tried Tylenol and Motrin, which seemed to take the edge off, but didn’t fix much.  This last week of the month, I was completely exhausted and I felt like giving up.  Because I was so tired, I was highly emotional and easily irritated.  Nick hung out with the babies one morning so I could get some extra sleep, and I tried to nap while they napped, and that really seemed to help.  I’m in a much better place now.  That still doesn’t change the fact that they still aren’t the greatest sleepers though.  For now, I try to remind myself that it will get better eventually…..right?

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A random funny story I want to remember:  One day I was at the store with the babies.  I was at self check and needed help.  The lady came to help me and the normal twin conversation ensued.  Then, she was trying to get the babies to smile.  Grayson was grinning and the lady was happy.  Stella was giving her the “Stella face” and the lady looks at me and very seriously says, “This one is glaring at me.”  I was laughing so hard as we left.

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As hard as this month was, I still have to say, these babies are so much fun and bring so much happiness to Nick and me.  They are full of energy and character, and it’s so much fun watching them change day to day.

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We love you more than anything!

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P.S. Check back soon, I’m going to do a detailed recap of our wedding day.

Stella & Grayson: 8 Month Update

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In true Chelsa fashion this is super late!  I combined their likes and dislikes because it just seemed like a less daunting task to get this all put together and posted.  Enjoy!

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This month was FULL of milestones with the babies. Grayson went from army crawling to full blown on his knees, quick as can be crawling. Stella went from a very elaborate roll and pivot system of moving to crawling. She still uses mostly upper body to get around but is definitely mobile. Stella got her third tooth, and Grayson got his first two!  Both babies are starting to pull themselves up on things. It’s truly amazing to see how they refine their skills each day.

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One night I was on the bed with Stella and Nick walked in right as Stella was yelling “Mamamamamama!” He looked at her and said, “Mama?!” Turned and walked out of the room. It was one of the funnier moments of parenting. Grayson is saying, “Dadada,” so I guess they knew we each needed to have our names be the first words.  It’s so cute hearing them babble so much and starting to form words. We don’t think they know who or what they’re talking about yet, but slowly they’ll realize.

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With mobility comes the most stressful diaper changes. Diapering has gone from cute and playful to nothing short of a NASCAR pitstop. I try my best to use the power of distraction, but toys are only so interesting when they can touch poop or try to roll off the changing table.

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Likes: Grayson loves pulling himself up on things. Unfortunately, he isn’t all that skilled in getting back to the floor so he usually has a few bruises on his forehead.  Grayson also enjoys trying to stand up in the tub.  I have started to use a laundry basket in the tub in order to keep them in a smaller area to avoid disasters, and it has worked really well so far.  Both babies love to pull plugs out.  Baby proofing has started to become necessary.  Stella and Grayson love any toy that is not actually a toy.  They’re completely fascinated with our phones, the remote to the TV, my wallet, the XBOX controllers, and literally anything else we don’t want them to have.  Strawberries.  We went to my cousin’s house for a small get together with a few cousins and their kids.  My cousin’s little girl made it her mission to feed the babies fresh picked strawberries from the garden and the babies loved it!  Instant besties.  Their toothbrushes.  The babies think their toothbrushes are some of the best toys.  I let them “brush” their teeth while I change their diapers and it has been relatively successful in keeping them distracted.  Stella has begun to squirrel away food at the dinner table.  There have been several times Nick has brought Stella to the bath empty handed and the I look and somehow there is broccoli floating in the water.  It only took us a few days to realize she was squirrelling away food in her cheeks.

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Dislikes: When I take things away or move them.  They have entered the stage of expressing their dislike when I move them away from things or take things away.  I figure we’ll be in this stage until they move away for college.  When they want more food, but I give them the wrong thing. “Use your words like a big boy, clone.” Sleep.  Why is it that babies hate sleep?  It’s like they don’t realize sleep is basically the best thing ever.

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Eating: Not much has changed on this front.  They are loving trying new foods and I’m loving it too.  They are still champion nursers, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

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Sleep: What’s that?  Instead, here’s a cute picture of the babies sleeping together.

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This month was so much fun, and I know that every month will just get more and more fun.  I truly thought I would be a mom that loved the newborn stage and miss it so much, but when I see tiny babies now, I don’t miss it at all.  Maybe I just got my fill of squishy newborns because I had two at once.  I like to look at pictures of other peoples’ newborns, but for now, I love all the giggles and interaction we have with our silly pair, and don’t miss the newborn fog.

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