15 weeks

Happy Sunday! We have had a great weekend enjoying the 70 degree weather! For a short time there I honestly thought we might never see temperatures above freezing again.

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It is hard to believe I will be 16 weeks along tomorrow! In just two more weeks we get to find out if we have a little boy or girl cooking!

Although most of my non-maternity pants still fit, this baby is a low-rider, so I have been adding in a few of my maternity pants back into my wardrobe for comfort. Speaking of maternity clothes, I have been on the hunt for a few cute pieces for summer. During my last pregnancy I only purchased a few maternity pieces and tried to get creative the rest of the time. I plan to do the same this round. Having to dress business casual for work can get tricky with a bump some days though.

I recently discovered some affordable and trendy maternity clothes available through Pink Blush Maternity. The cardigan I am wearing is from there. It is actually not a maternity item, so I will definitely be wearing it after the baby arrives. I love the long length and casual style, and the print is fun as well. Pink Blush Maternity was also kind enough to offer one reader a $25 e-certificate. For a chance to win, simply leave a comment below for a chance to win. The winner will be randomly drawn on Friday, April 19th.

Good luck!

*Please note entrants who have won a Pink Blush giveaway in the past 6 months, or have hosted a giveaway in the past 6 months are not eligible to win a gift card again.

Weeks 13 + 14

Time is flying by! Charlie and Sloane are in a crazy/fun/terrible stage right now where they enjoy running through the house with their arms in the air, screaming, and leaving a path of distruction. I believe Charlie was grabbing my ankle crying at me while one of these photos was being taken.

13 Weeks

Lots of people have been asking me if this pregnancy is different. Well, I am still able to wear non- maternity pants. THAT is certainly different! Really I have no complaints. I feel like after having a rocky twin pregnancy it is going to take a lot to bother me.

Peach

For week 13 I made another sweet/savory snack using a peach. I followed this recipe, but I did make a few substituations. I was out of basil, so I used fresh mint. Also, I did not have any champagne vinegar, so I used a pear vinegar instead. It was really good, but I would have rather made peach crisp. I made Christopher promise to stay up late with me the night before Easter to have a baking Extravaganza because we will FINALLY be able to eat sweets again!

14 Weeks

Pear

For week 14 I made a green smoothie. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen the video of Charlie smashing his edamame. The boy is going through a phase where he does not like green vegetables, but luckily the passive agressive part of me is having SO much fun hiding kale in his smoothies. This one contains only the ingredients shown plus ice. I think this is my new favorite smoothie; it was delicious. Charlie drank his AND Sloane’s. Have fun with those diapers tomorrow, Mr. Frankel!

Frankel Party of Five

Hmm. Where to begin? Well, first off, we are pregnant again! The very first thing that crossed my mind when I found was the scene from Christmas Vacation where cousin Eddie shows up to Clark’s house with his family in his RV. Eddie asks Clark if he is surprised to which he replies, “Surprised? Oh Eddie, if I woke up tomorrow morning with my head sewn to the carpet I wouldn’t be more surpised than I am now!” That pretty much sums it up!

I always knew that I wanted three children, and I luckily had convinced Christopher of that as well approximately six months ago. We did, however, initially plan to wait another six months or so before even thinking about number three. What a fun surprise though! Christopher and I tend to be uber-planners, so after the initial shock wore off it was nice to just enjoy the fact that our family is going to be growing again in a few short months!  We are due at the end of September.

While I really did enjoy my pregnancy with the twins, I would not classify it as an easy pregnancy- at least not the last few weeks. As I always say though, I would not change a thing. I am forever grateful that I got to bring our sweet babies home. While our lives are certainly so much more hectic this round, I really do hope that I can enjoy and cherish this pregnancy as much as possible. It is likely going to be our last- unless something really crazy happens- at which point someone will inevitably end up in a mental instituation.

For this pregnancy I thought it would be fun to take weekly photos of the size of the baby based on fruit sizes. For those of you who have never been pregnant there are several apps and websites out there that compare the size of your baby to the size of fruit. This is actually really silly, but it’s also kind of fun. In addition, I decided to challenge myself to try and make a recipe or some type of dish using each piece of fruit; I have this irrational fear that once number three arrives we will all go hungry because there will be no time to leave the house for groceries- let alone cook. As such, I am trying to make as many fun meals as possible while I still can!!

8 Weeks

Raspberry

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I gave up sweets for Lent. Of course I have been craving lots of desserts, but they are off limits for awhile, so I have been eating lots of berries and cream. I promise there are raspberries in this bowl; I was just a moron and put them all at the bottom. I also have been making lots of mint sugar lately- it’s super easy! Recipe can be found here!

10 Weeks

Strawberry

For week 10 I made lightly toasted French bread with cream cheese, fresh basil, strawberries (obviously), and I drizzled a little balsalmic vinegar on top. This is a really good sweet/savory snack!

12 Weeks

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For week 12 I made a citrus smoothie. I threw in an orange, some honey yogurt, lemon juice, and lime juice. I was SO refreshing. I may need to make one. Right now.

Well, there you have it. Our lives were not hectic enough I guess, so hopefully this third baby can keep us busy for awhile!

Toddler Wrangling

Charlie and Sloane will be sixteen months in a few days; time is flying! Both are walking and running and destroying everything in their wake. People often say things like, “I don’t know how you do it with twins. You make it look so easy.” I of course appreciate this compliment, but I honestly know no difference. I have only ever had twins, and outside of a few moments each day when both decide to freak out at the exact same time, having twins has really never seemed that difficult. *Again, we know no different, and we likely have a different perspective after our time in the NICU! Recently, however, now that Charlie and Sloane are becoming curious toddlers and want to explore EVERYTHING, I think I may begin to eat those words. Toddler twins are very different from baby twins!

Going on walks used to be easy. Now, within a few minutes, Sloane starts bucking and pulling at the straps to get out, which means I have to decide between letting her writhe and scream in the stroller or pushing a double stroller  while carrying a 20+ lb. child (who by the way does not want to be held either)!  Eating out is even more difficult. They hate high chairs, and we can only keep them occupied with food for a few minutes at a time before they want to start greeting (i.e. screaming) at other patrons.

On Sunday we walked to a yogurt shop. Luckily, the place was mostly dead, so Sloane got to run around acting as if she owned the place. Charlie was equally happy because, well, he got to eat frozen yogurt with strawberries and granola. Surprisingly, it was a low-key (for the most part) outing, but I should mention my parents visited for the day, so the adult to baby ratio was 4:2. I think they sensed they were totally outnumbered (for once)!

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This is probably the part where you are expecting me to share my tips and tricks for wrangling twin toddlers. If that is the case, this is also the part where you become disappointed. I have discovered the following tips work approximately 63% of the time:

  1. Choose your timing and destination wisely, and ask yourself, “is this really worth it?” in the first place.
  2. Bring treats. Lots of them.    
  3. Toys do not work. Instead, give them your keys, wallet, and anything else that looks completely grown up and not at all kid-friendly.
  4. Laugh and understand that most of the places you go have parents who have been in your shoes at one point.  At the yogurt shop, Sloane appointed herself as the store greeter. When a family of young boys came in with their mother Sloane started squealing and chasing after them. At first I was a little embarrassed, but really no one seemed to mind. The boys thought she was funny, and I am sure the mom was thinking “bless those two poor parents of twins”. I fully plan on milking this as long as possible.

Easter gift ideas for your little Bunnies!

Now that St. Patrick’s Day has passed, Easter is right around the corner. I am so excited to see Charlie and Sloane run around looking for Easter eggs. Realistically they will probably just eat lots grass and dirt, but it’s organic at least, right?

Growing up my parents never gave us candy in our Easter baskets (which, by the way, did absolutely nothing to curb my massive sweet tooth). Instead we got small gifts, books, etc. Here are a few ideas I have for Charlie and Sloane’s Easter baskets this year.

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Crocheted toys :: Bunnies :: Book :: Blankets :: Pajamas

Speaking of Easter, I just had to dig out this photo of our little bunnies from last year. This photo took SO long to take between meltdowns, blowouts, and feedings. We were all exhausted afterward, but it was worth it. I am sure Charlie will agree fifteen years from now….

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St. Patrick’s Day

It’s hard to believe St. Patrick’s Day is already over. Because it fell on a Monday this year I tried to do a few festive things over the weekend (i.e. I made shamrock-shaped foods and dressed my children in green clothing). Something tells me Charlie and Sloane were not as appreciative of their shamrock-shaped spinach and cheese quesadillas as I was.

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On Saturday we ran errands and went to a Lawn and Garden show wearing lots of green and sparkles. Charlie passed on the sparkles, however. Good decision. photo 1

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photo 2On Monday morning before running out the door like a mad woman, I dressed the Little Franks in some festive clothes (and awesome bedhead) and let them play with balloons. The balloons were a cute idea in theory- until Charlie tried to eat one. Then I became a paranoid mother and immediately removed them from the situation.

photo 3Charlie tried to pull a fast one on us and make us think he was old enough for a green beer. Well played, Charlie, but you will have to do better than that.

Can you believe how much these little munchkins have grown!? When they were born I remember seeing newborn babies and thinking they were HUGE compared to mine (2-3 times the size)! I really could not picture them as big babies, but somehow over the last year it’s happened. In a flas I might add!

St. PatricksI hope your St. Patrick’s day was filled with a little luck and a lot of fun!!!

Outdoor Living

Today it was 59 degress (59!!!!!). Tomorrow is supposed to be 64 degrees!! I am pretending that the weatherman is hallicunating about the possibility of snow on Wednesday and am instead focusing on the fact that Spring is right around the corner. I have never been much of a Spring person. Pastels, bunnies, and baby chicks are cute, but when it comes to ranking the seasons, winter and spring are tied for last place as far as I am concerned. After the long, terrible winter we have gone through, however, I am welcoming spring with open arms this year!!!

I have been thinking about our outdoor living space (which is essentially non-existent at this point). We have a large, fenced backyard and amazing patio out front. I am hoping that this summer we actually utilize some of it! Here are a few of the ideas I have:

CapturePlanters :: Pillows :: Sectional :: Fire Table :: Chairs :: Lanterns :: Cage Lights

I plan to eat pretty much every weekend breakfast outside this spring and summer, so a comfy sectional is a must! Also, I have been in love with the heat lamps for ages, but a fire table would be even better. Roasted marshmallows every night! Really at this point I will sit outside on my butt and let the mosquitos have their way with me. Anything for warmer weather!!!!

Snowed in!

We have had some interesting weather around here lately- a one-two punch, if you will. On Sunday morning it started snowing – around 11 inches total. Today the cold temperatures set in: -17 degrees before windchill. Essentially, the entire city shut down. Snow day!

Obviously, we could not be outside today, but yesterday we had fun playing outside and snow blowing the driveway… four times. Charlie and Sloane are not big fans of playing in the snow yet (as in they scream and cry hysterically), but they do love to be outside. We improvised, and they stayed under the covered porch eating puffs in their high chairs. They LOVED it!

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Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 7.24.28 PMI had a lot of questions on Instagram about my boots and their snow suits, so here you go!

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Today the cabin fever started to set in, so we played in our teepee and watched a little Mickey Mouse Clubhouse- reserved to avoid crises!

During the afternoon nap I used one of my favorite face masques; if you have not tried them yet I highly recommend them!

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What are you doing to stay warm (and sane) in this lovely January weather?!

 

Dear 2013

Each year I write a letter to the year (this sentence sounds funny). I like to look back at the last twelve months- you know, reminisce, shed a silly tear or two, throw back a cocktail and what not. You can see my letter from 2010 and 2011. *I missed 2012. Life got in the way with babies in the NICU and all; sorry about your luck, 2012.

Dear 2013,

I am legitimately sad to see you come to an end. I have been around for twenty eight years now, and you have, without question, been my favorite year. Perhaps I am biased; after all, thirteen is my favorite (and lucky) number, but I think it’s more than that.

The funny part about this year is that Christopher and I did not take any fun vacations. I did not take amazing work trips to Asia, South America, or Europe. Actually, other than running out for a (really quick) drink and dessert on our anniversary, we did not even go on a date this year (not one), and I honestly could not care less.

This year we brought our babies home. We watched them grow. We learned how to be parents (which is seriously hard by the way) and more importantly how to really be a team. We became a family. In 2013 I learned what it ACTUALLY means to be grateful (read more about that here).

Each year, when I look back I wonder how our lives could possibly get any more crazy. *I am officially done doing that because each year proves to be crazier than the last, and at this rate I will be blogging from the mental ward next year. Aside from the craziness though, one thing that I have always strongly believed is that I am the only one who will stop myself from doing or being something. After this year of working full time, raising twins, and opening a small business I believe that more than ever.

So, 2013, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for not going by too quickly and for being so magical. Please let 2014 know that it had better bring its A-game. It has awfully big shoes to fill.

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Happy New Year, Friends!

 

 

And so this is Christmas!

fPhew! The last 48 hours have been a whirlwind! We all packed up into the car for four hours on Christmas Eve morning to spend Christmas with Christopher’s family. The car ride was interesting- as in I spent 3 hours and 48 minutes wedged between two car seats, singing Mickey Mouse songs, and passing puffs to the left and right. THEY DID NOT NAP AT ALL IN THE CAR. When did this start?! Either way, we all made it safely to Ohio (which is honestly all that matters).

On Christmas Eve night all of my husband’s extended family came over for dinner. At one point it was a little overwhelming for Sloane, so we headed upstairs for some quiet time. She found her real “twin” in the mirror, and was delighted with her discovery.

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We did manage to get a family photo. I am in LOVE with Charlie’s plaid pants.

On Christmas morning Charlie and Sloane opened a few presents. Really they just like to play with tissue paper at this point, but it was fun watching them play in their new wagon from Christopher’s parents. It was THE PERFECT gift- complete with a canopy and name plate. They are going to be riding in style to the farmers’ market, splash park and most importantly OSU tailgates!

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After all the presents were opened we basically spent the rest of the day in our pajamas lounging and eating. I love seeing Charlie and Charlie together. The one on the left is mine (obviously), and the other is Christopher’s brother. They need matching shirts. Mental note created.

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Even though the twins were a little out of sorts not being in their own home they did enjoy playing in their grandparent’s shower. I think we used up most of the hot water on Christmas day. Oops!!!!

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And by the end of Christmas day Charlie had mastered the art of sleeping with his eyes open. We are all safely back at home, slowly unpacking and organizing. This Christmas was infinitely better than last year (when we spent the day staring at our sick little babies in their incubators), and Christopher and I are already looking forward to next year. It was so great to spend time with Christopher’s family even if it was just a quick trip!

We can’t wait to see Charlie and Sloane walk down the stairs too all of their presents! I have an entire year to plan and think through all of the traditions I want to start with them!

I hope you all had the merriest of Christmases!