Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

It's been a busy two days of Halloween at our house.

Each year, I"ve taken Ava/the girls into Ryan's work for Halloween. So this year we went on friday. Ava was SO excited all week to go to Daddy's work AND see Papa on top of it. She kept telling me, "Ava. Daddy's work! See Papa!"

My two Peas in a Pod
Daddy and Kate
I had to laugh and document . . .this sums up pretty well what happens as we go from department to department in the office. . .even when it's not Halloween and we come by for a visit.

My little butterfly adding to her stash of candy.


Making the rounds

I think Ava is already trying to contemplate what piece of candy she can eat next.

Then today we had a busy day too! Right before we got ready to head out for a little trick-or-treating ourselves, Ava was watching outside for any kids. Kate and Olivia think watching anything outside is always fun and so had to join her.

My 3 munchkins.

Bundled up and ready to go in the wagon. I just laughed every time I looked at them. It was like, "Mom, WHAT are you making us do?"

Ava was adament that "AVA DO IT" when it came to pulling the wagon.

So we let her. She pushed it pretty much the entire time we were out with the exception of the last 25 feet going home. She looked at me and said, "Mommy do it. Too heavy."

Time to warm up!

Gpa and Gma Prevo stopped by for a little bit on their way to dinner. Ava was quite excited for the treats and book Grandma had for her.

For the next while, Ava was a fixture at our door. She'd anxiously peer out for each new batch of kids with a ready handful of candy for whoever showed up. If it was up to her, we'd be out of candy in no time. She was quite the helper!

And because we hadn't had quite enough fun for the day, we got to spend the rest of the night with friends. I may be bias, but it's a pretty fun bunch of kids. Won't they love this when we pull it out in 10 - 15 years! : )

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

not to be outdone . . .

Guess who we found making her way upwards this morning?

I guess she figured she didn't want Olivia to outshine her in blog world.
Good Morning!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

life of late

It's been a whirlwind around here so I thought I'd play a little catch up . . .

This past friday night, we got to spend the evening with friends carving and painting pumpkins. While we didn't go home with one of Rebekah's pies as a prize, Ava was still quite proud of the pumpkin she had painted. : )
Having fun . . .
She got quite detailed about it . . .long after most of the kids had painted and gone off to play, Ava was still by her pumpkin, diligently painting stroke after stroke.
It has to be just right. She must get that from me. HA.

My mom came down for a whirlwind 2 days to help my sister and I make 4 bushels of applesauce. With mom in charge, we were done in no time. Mom was trying to get a picture of the girls the morning she left . . .this is the best my camera got.

Ryan and I celebrated 5 years of marriage on the 24th! Time flies when you're having fun . . .or trying to chase after 3 kids 2 and under. :)

SO thankful to have this man in my life.

So I had been planning to do a blog post about how fast Olivia has been getting around with crawling, when Ryan went to go get her from her nap on Saturday and found this.

By Sunday, it was this.
And this.
and this.
Olivia has been quite proud of her accomplishments. I had to chuckle that this kind of sums up her personality. Crawling? Check. Standing? Check. WHAT CAN I DO NEXT MOM!?!?!?! Live is constantly an adventure to be had with this little girl.
The joy of these accomplishments is "doubled" by the fact that she now likes to scurry around the house after me, find me, and try to crawl up me to hold her time after time after time. So truth be told? There are moments I have to "remind" myself to be thankful for such a healthy and busy little girl. She keeps this home hopping but full of joy as she always has a ready giggle!
Kate's "crawling" is getting closer and closer everyday too. I had just gotten used to seeing Olivia pop up in random places while I'm working around the house that it still surprises me when I see that it's Kate. Her crawl is still more of a scoot and at a much more relaxed pace, but I quite love and enjoy this little girl's relaxed pace of life.
I have to marvel at God's purpose in everything as her more laid back nature is often my "excuse" to stop, sit down and snuggle with her. I think He knew I would need it with two other freight trains running around our home! It is so fun to see her personality evolve with Olivia's. They find each other more and more for entertainment and it's become a common sight/sound to see them engrossed in each other and giggling over some untold secret.
The other morning I had put Olivia to put bed for her nap early due to a short night, put Kate in her jumper and gone upstairs to get dressed. I thought it had gotten kind of quiet but didn't think too much about it since Kate is quieter by nature. But as I came down the stairs, this is the sight that greeted me.

I guess Kate needed an early morning nap too?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

so this brings back memories . . .

So when I was little, I used to sing all the time with my cousin Michelle. A friend of mine posted this on facebook and it was so good I had to share. While we never made it to You Tube ; ), there was just something about these 3 that made me think of it . . .plus, it's just fun to share neat things like this. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

so while pumpkin is on my mind . . .

Pumpkin recipes have been on my mind lots lately. And I'm hoping to start my experimenting with some tomorrow.

I know I have lots of fellow "fall junkies" out there and so am curious:

What are some are your favorite, tried and true, pumpkin recipes to make?

I didn't think I'd be the only one wanting to try them. :
Oh - and in case you're wondering, I think these are the first two recipes I'm going to try from the list I posted.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today is Ryan's birthday and while I've always been incredibly proud of who he is - personally, spiritually and professionally - the two of us got to spend his birthday weekend participating in something extra special.

This past friday, Ryan received an Early Career Achievement Award from ISU's College of Business. We spent the day on campus at various events/luncheons/panels before an award ceremony late afternoon.

Dean Johnson hands Ryan his award.

That evening, we attended a reception at President Bowman's home. Sorry, but I couldn't quite bring myself to whip the camera out, hand the camera to Dr. Bowman and say, "Could you take a picture? It's for my blog . . ." : )

Mom and Dad Prevo took the girls friday/saturday, so I got to attend all the events on both days. Thanks Mom and Dad, I was so glad I got to be there for it all. I couldn't have been more proud of my man (and I even think the girls thought they got the better end of the deal!)

On Saturday, we spent the morning at the College of Business's tailgating and then went to ISU's homecoming game. Sitting right behind us were the Homecoming "Prince and Princess." Too cute. I had to take a picture to bring home and show Ava.

I know. Big Ten? . . .it's over-rated. : ) Can I get a cheer for the Missouri Valley Conference!?

We then spent Sunday Night back out at Gpa and Gma's for an early Birthday Party. Must be nice to be little . . .every birthday party is really kind of YOUR birthday party!

Getting ready to blow out the candles.

Sweet Kate - this is where she hung out most of the night.

Oh I love these two.

Our family.

Ryan, I never ceased to be amazed by the many ways God blesses me and our girls with you in our lives. I praise Him for you, your leadership, and the many ways you allow Him to touch others through your heart and life. It's a blessing beyond any tangible award you could ever receive. While I was proud to stand by your side all weekend, it was not only because of the award, but for the man receiving it. Thanks for letting me be yours. Happy Birthday Babe!

For all the pumpkin lovers out there . . .

Feasts your tastebuds on any of these pumpkin recipes at:

Yum. I think I need to go stock up on pumpkin and start baking . . .

Monday, October 12, 2009

Part 3: If I was having twins again: friends and family

After a slight hiatus due to a crazy life, I have returned! : )

By far, the most asked question I hear is: "I know someone who is having twins, how can I best be helpful?"


Maybe you should ask her.

Or her.

Or any one of my other family members, friends and church family that are a huge reason we made it through those first few months and now!

Oh - and Grandpas? . . .you were great too. : )

Ryan and I were beyond blessed by those around us.

Yet everyone who asks, emails, or calls me with "how can I best help someone I know?" wants specifics.

So here goes.

1. Take Initiative.

That probably is the most helpful thing you can do for the life of someone with twins. If you want to help, don't leave the request up to them.

I mean, think about it. How many of us are really good at asking more than a handful of people for help?

Maybe I'm the only one out there like that but I don't think I am.

So when offering to help, take initiative and try to be specific.

"I'd like to bring a meal over, what day next week works for you?"

"I've made a meal I'd love to just drop off today. You can use it tonight or put it in the freezer."

"I'd love to help with the kids, how about I give you a few days and you tell me what works best for you."

"Some friends and I would love to come clean, we're all free on wednesday's, do you have one that works for you?"

While all those requests still allow the individual to consider her own life, it takes away the need for her, during a chaotic and exhausting period of life, to remember, manage and request help.

If you're a good friend, and you know people are going to want to take meals, ask if you can organize meals for her. People can just call or arrange through you when they can take a meal.

It takes away the need to field phone calls, maintain a schedule and just have one more thing to think about.

We were SO blessed by the many meals we were given amidst those beginning months and the fact that I didn't have to think about who was coming or when they were going to be there was so nice.

My friends and family were incredible at all of this.

I don't even think they realized it but they were.

And not having to organize and manage it all was such a blessing.

2. Assume she needs helps sooner than you think (pre-babies) and longer than you think.

I don't know if you remember from an old post, but around 26 weeks, my doctor told me I wasn't allowed to be on my feet much, including in the kitchen.

So meals became a bit of an art at our house.

Yet when you are so aware how much help you will need AFTER babies come, it is hard to ask for help before they arrive (or it was for me anyways).

I have a few friends, who got together on a few different occasions, made up a bunch of meals, and dropped them off on my doorsteps with me never having a clue until I listened to message to look outside my front door.

Those meals were about as meaningful (if not more) as any meals I got after the babies.

They were thoughtful, unexpected and given without fanfare.

But how they blessed me (and Ryan too). : ) Yum.

In that same way, given the constant nature of twins, help with Ava was always appreciated. So after Grandma's started returning a little more to their daily lives, I again was so blessed by the friends who randomly took Ava, stopped by and checked in with how we were doing.

3. Consider the little things.

This is where my mom and Ryan's mom excelled (friends too, but I have to brag on the grandma's).

I can remember, one day when Barb was over helping, that she randomly decided to take Ryan's shirts home and iron them for him.

I think that meant as much to me as it did to Ryan.

Get ready to gasp.

I don't iron Ryan's shirts.


GASP. ; )

I'm awful at it and while I put in a valiant effort in the beginning of our relationship, the poor guy had to retouch his shirts so much that it was just one of the little tasks in our marriage we mutually agreed he would do. : )

So during a time in our life when Ryan was having to do more around the house and we had little to no down time to ourselves, it was HUGE to think there was an hour some night he wouldn't have to spend doing one more thing.

Barb's done that on multiple occasions and it's been a huge blessing.

4. Ask "how" you can help.

This is a question that will have a different answer at different stages of life with twins.

But if you are in the home of someone with new twins, this is a great question to ask on occasion.

Since I was nursing, I didn't always need people up at night with me (once I was nursing them together. Before that if a twin woke up early, I did need help at night).

But having them around in the morning so I could get a nap in was great.

Even just asking what specific things needed to be continually done is so nice to know because when you're in their home, they don't have to manage your schedule as well as the kids.

While I didn't do this, I've heard of people having a list of routine things around the house that needed to be done and as others did them each week, that individual crossed it off.

Then if someone new was in the house another day, they could see what still needed to be done without asking a tired mommy.

Or it even goes back to how I shared there were times I wanted someone to play with Ava so I could sleep, and other times I wanted to be the one playing with Ava.

So once twins are older and you're helping, it can even be "what's most helpful today?"

5. "Remember" them.

Maybe this is silly piece of advice to give.

But you may remember how I shared it was hard for me how shut-in I was those beginning months (we didn't take twins anywhere except for the doctors' the first TWO months)?

Ryan still would go to work or church, but I was pretty much at home.

I didn't have the time (or energy) to spend lots of time emailing or on the phone.

So having friends leave messages or send emails including me in their lives was hugely meaningful - especially when I felt like there wasn't a big burden of response.

I always say facebook and my blog were a saving grace those beginning months.

In two minutes, I could at least quick glance to see a little of what was occurring in my friends' lives and feels a little more "caught up."

I could let a large amount of people know how we were doing as opposed to emailing 20 different people.

See - it's not all bad! : )

We had friends call and ask to bring pizza over some friday night and just stay an hour.

Another friend came over with her kids one morning.

It still helped with Ava but let me feel like I got to spend sometime with a friend and not so isolated.

Now granted, I wouldn't have wanted people over every friday night and every morning : ), but having the ability to look at our schedule, pick the time, and then to have it was so much fun.

It made life feel a little more normal.

6. Consider the couple.

I hope this piece of advice doesn't come off wrong . . .but this is for anyone staying in the home.

The good news?

I get to give this advice from the life of someone who has been blessed by grandmas doing this RIGHT. : )

But when you've had twins, the blessing of lots of help can also be hard at times.

Because it often means that someone else is in your home pretty much 24/7 for a good length of time.

And it's people you like!!

Yet when someone else is always in your home, it can be hard to find personal space for yourself or to feel like a normal couple.

That was hard for me.

It can make it hard to feel in charge of your own home, your own kids or your own life.

It can make it hard to feel room to think.

So first off?

Please don't take it personally if they are ever a little grumpy.

Many times, it isn't necessarily something you could do differently or something you're not doing "right."

I have to chuckle as I get ready to write this, but sometimes it's simply the fact that you are there . . . and we know we're sunk without you.

Kind of goes back to me saying before there's a huge need for a lot of grace! : )

Obviously, when my own mom comes to help, she doesn't go back to her house for a night. She's
here (and we're VERY glad mom!!! : ) ).

Yet one thing my mother has always been fabulous at is being intentional in giving us space.

She'd purposely go get groceries in the evening.

She'd go connect with my sister's family for dinner.

She'd "need" to go shopping (although I strongly believe she was trying to be sweet and give us
some space).

Oh - and sometimes she would go to BED early because she was about as exhausted as us! : )

But what was so nice is that it gave Ryan and I moments where we got to just be a "normal" new mom and dad and take care of the babies ourselves.

There was very few times in early days when Ryan and I could each have a baby, Ava wasn't around needing attention and others weren't around.

So those moments became kind of sacred.

Or even (gasp), we just got to be in the same room, awake, and actually have normal down time together for an hour.

Mom didn't do it every night (and that would of been silly for us to expect her to), but she did do it.

And we appreciated it.

So be considerate of the couple's evenings when you are capable to do so.

I probably could write more . . .but I won't! : )

Most importantly, I pray this post doesn't have an air of expectation to it. People have just asked for specifics and so I tried to provide that.

To this day, I am still humbled by the support, help and love that was shown to us . . .and still is.

So to anyone I've ever missed the opportunity to say so,

Thank you. From the bottom of our hearts.

As always, feel free to comment or email any further questions to

God bless!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Evidently, Ava leads a hard life.

Although if I was two, didn't fall asleep until 10, and was up from 4 - 6:30, I might fall asleep in mommy's doorway too after walking out of my room at 8 in the morning. That 10 foot walk IS exhausting.

On second thought, I couldn't fall asleep until 1, was up from 4 - 6:30 until I had to get back up at 7:30 to feed the twins.

Maybe I should try out HER doorway.