2013 in Review

2013…what a year it’s been!
January 2013
Since he was too busy with work over Christmas and couldn’t come out with my mom and sister, my dad flew out in January to help put together the nursery. Jake and my dad worked non-stop, day and night putting up the wainscoting, trim and painting, as per my directions! At 7 months pregnant and on modified bed rest, my contributions to the nursery included sitting on my rocking chair and giving morale support whilst ordering nursery decor from Etsy.
Good thing my dad was here when this pipe in the nursery wall blew! We didn’t even know there was a leak at first until I noticed the kitchen wall downstairs was wet. We had to evacuate to a hotel for a few days while the downstairs walls were torn out and dried. What a mess! At least the leak didn’t ruin the new wood floor Jake had meticulously installed in the nursery.
Despite all the hang-ups from the pipe leak, the nursery turned out so beautifully!
Pretty much everyone in my family contributed some manual labor to creating the twins’ nursery. Jake laid down the floors, painted, installed closet doors/a closet organizer, installed trim, lighting, wainscoting and crown molding (with my dad’s help), my mom restored this old dresser of my grandmother’s to become the centerpiece of the nursery, and my mom and sister helped paint and style the nursery.
February 2013
Baby shower time! My friends threw me a fun shower and my cousin, Allison, took my ideas for an owl-themed shower and went way overboard putting together the cutest shower in the history of twins.
Me at eight months pregnant with Aunt Linda and Aunt Annie. Ugh….just looking at this picture gives me horrible memories of feeling HUGE and UNCOMFORTABLE.
By the end of February and all those showers, I pretty much had enough clothing to open my own baby store.
For about ten days in February, we lived at a hotel while our kitchen was being remodeled downstairs, thanks to that pipe leak back in January. Sensing he was about to be demoted to family dog instead of first child, Bandit showed signs of puppy regression.
March 2013
Our kitchen…literally a week before the twins were born. Talk about nesting!
Making progress…Jake was still installing our new appliances and the tile back-splash the week after the twins were born!
March 11, 2013…the day our lives changed forever. At 36 weeks, I had reached the goal set by our perinatologist and it was time for these identical twinnies to greet the world.
After going in for our scheduled induction, nothing was happening 12 hours after being induced. We went ahead with a c-section and a few minutes later, we met our girls!
Baby A…Samantha Darlene. Born at 12:12 p.m., 6 pounds 9 ounces, 18.5 inches.
Baby B…Amelia Jean. Born at 12:14 p.m., 5 pounds 8 ounces, 17.5 inches.
The rest of March was a blur of feeding, diapering, bathing, dressing, cuddling, swaddling, and learning how in the world to take care of TWO babies who needed and wanted our attention. My mom stayed until the end of March to help with everything during the day so that Jake and I could be rested enough to do the night shift. Every 2.5-3 hours I was breastfeeding the twins, then handing them off to be bottle fed since they weren’t great suckers, and then pumping. By the time we were finished with a round of feeding, we only had maybe an hour and a half until we had to do it all over again.
I have never experienced such sleep deprivation in my life…it was pretty torturous most nights. Jake and I were both so grumpy all the time! I think back to that period of time and wonder how in the world we did it. Thankfully, the twins were growing amazingly well and we had so much help from family and friends to get us through. If there is one thing I learned this month, it was that it takes a village to care for twins! This was also a month of visitors. My family all came out, as well as tons of friends from across the state.
The twins’ first Easter!
April 2013
One word describes this month: SURVIVAL. We were still on the three-hour feeding schedule, and by this point, the adrenaline and excitement of being new parents had worn off, resulting in two extremely irritable and tired parents. Maybe BRUTAL would have been a better term for April.
The girls were opening their eyes more and I loved to see their little expressions. They were particularly amused by our ceiling fan.
I couldn’t have done it without Super Dad! Jake was able to work from home some days, which was fabulous, even though he didn’t get much work done.
We celebrated the girls’ 1 month birthday! We also celebrated my 27th birthday, but I don’t even remember what we did. I was probably so tired that I slept right through it.
Despite the sleep deprivation, it was hard not to fall madly in love with these two little angels.
Amelia’s first smile!
Jake’s mom came into town for a week to give us a much-needed break. She painted an owl mural in our nursery, which the girls and I absolutely love. We also took a little outing to Laguna Beach with her and the twins. After Jake’s mom left, reality started setting in about what it would be like without help,  so we ended up hiring a mother’s helper, (coincidentally named Amelia). She was a lifesaver.
May 2013
Still on an insane three-hour breastfeeding-bottle feeding-pumping schedule. Since the girls still weren’t very proficient at breastfeeding, I stopped nursing them at the end of May and started just pumping/bottle feeding with milk and formula. This gave me back some much-needed energy/time/sanity in my day!
Jake’s sister, Juliette (a mom of TWO sets of twins), came out from Colorado to help with the girls. She made us a month’s worth of freezer meals and was a huge lifesaver! We took a few outings to the beach while she was here.
My first Mother’s Day! My family came into town for the twins’ blessing, which we also had on Mother’s Day. Jake did a fantastic job giving unique blessings for each twin and afterwards, we had a nice brunch with family and friends back at our place. Best Mother’s Day ever!
We celebrated the girls’ 2 month birthday!
Grandma stayed a few extra days in May and we enjoyed an outing at the beach. We were super depressed when she had to leave.
June 2013
The girls practiced tummy time more and more everyday and were getting really strong! While our helper, Amelia, was wonderful, she had to travel a long ways to get to us and couldn’t continue working on a reliable schedule. We ended up finding a local lady, Ana, to come more often, and we just love her! She still comes once a week to this day. Definitely worth the financial sacrifice, even though this will be my Christmas/birthday present for the next twenty years. Even with outside help, taking care of the twins day in and day out was nothing short of exhausting. By the end of the day, I would have both girls cuddling on the bed with me while I tried to keep their tears/screaming at bay until Jake came home to save the day.
The girls’ 3 month birthday!
First Father’s Day!
Such little personalities!
Amelia had this way of staring into your soul.
Jake and I took a little day trip to San Clemente and had a picnic at the beach with the girls.
From the beginning, Amelia was such a silly one. She loved to smile and dance.
Samantha was a little bit more serious.
July 2013
Great-Grandpa came over a few times for some summer barbecues and to help make the twins laugh.
We enjoyed many evening walks and trips to the park.
Our first mini vacation! For the Fourth of July, we went to San Diego and watched the fireworks from out hotel room.  It was a lot easier staying at a hotel with the girls than I had imagined, and the girls seemed to enjoy the change of scenery. The girls even started sleeping through the night, until about 4 a.m. on our trip.
Grandma and Grandpa couldn’t stand not seeing the twins any longer, so they drove here from Utah randomly one weekend! We barbecued and went to the beach in the short time they were here.
Amelia continued to make us laugh with her antics.
We celebrated the girls’ 4 month birthday!
The girls were sitting up more this month.
The girls impressed us with their growing intellectual curiosity.
We celebrated Jake’s 32nd birthday!
I discovered one of the perks of having twins…dressing them up in identical outfits.

 

August 2013

In August, Samantha got a Doc Band helmet to help correct the flat spot on her head which developed as a result of being Baby A and being squished in utero by Amelia. It took a few days to adjust and I was really nervous about how she would take it, but Samantha did amazingly well and didn’t seem to mind.

Jake’s niece, Maddy, visited us all the way from Alaska and was a great helper. It was so much easier going to the beach with a third person to help out!

Baby Olympics! I won, of course.
Many summer evenings were spent at the park.

We celebrated the girls’ 5 month birthday!

The girls’ first trip to Utah! Jake drove us out and then flew back to Cali to go on a scout trip to the High Sierras. The girls enjoyed hanging out with the rest of the family, but missed Daddy so much!

 

Sad Amelia.
Happy Amelia.

 

I learned a lot on our first long road trip with the girls…mainly not to pack as much crap! Keeping them on a schedule was impossible while on vacation, which made for more than a few cranky spells. While the girls had been sleeping through the night for the past month, after our trip, their schedule was out of whack and it took a while to get back to normal.

 

The girls weren’t too impressed with their first time in a kiddie pool.
September 2013
September was HOT, so we took full advantage by bringing the girls to the pool.
We spent a lot of time at the park in September.
Toward the end of September, we started our solid-feeding adventure. For the most part, the girls were very excited to try new foods.
And even more excited to make a mess!
The girls got to hang out with their pal, Maliyah.
More and more independent each day.
We celebrated the girls’ 6 month birthday! The girls had been sitting up on their own for several weeks.

 

October 2013
We celebrated the girls’ 7 month birthday!
Nothing beats going walking with Daddy.
Grandma came into town and with her help, we put together our 1920s-inspired outfits for a Halloween costume party we attended.
Grandpa and Aunt Sarah couldn’t resist staying behind in Utah, so they drove out and we all went to the girls’ first pumpkin patch together.
First Halloween as Thing 1 and Thing 2!
November 2013
The girls began demanding finger foods instead of pureed foods.
Despite the somewhat chillier weather, we still made it to the park every day. It was a lot harder to contain them now that they were crawling (mostly backwards).
Some days were downright summery.
The girls were getting into everything!

 

Samantha and Amelia both started standing and pulling themselves up on furniture and toys.
My days were kept busy playing with the girls and constantly pulling them away from stuff they weren’t supposed to get into.

 

We celebrated their 8 month birthday!
The girls’ second road trip to Utah and their first Thanksgiving!

 

December 2013
The girls had been crawling for a few months already, but in December, they really got quick!
The girls loved pulling themselves up on the stair gate and waving hello.

 

First time on the baby swings.

 

The girls loved all things slide-y.

 

First time in the sand at the beach!
Getting into everything and anything.
Another road trip to Utah and the girls’ first Christmas! Pictures of Christmas Day, celebrating their 9 month birthday and celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary to come…
2013 has been the most crazy, exhausting, eye-opening, difficult and incredible/fantastic year ever! Here’s to an even more amazing 2014!
Lots of love,
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  1. So fun! I loved reading this. Was so exciting to see you!