Friday, May 27, 2011

Life - and the first ever GIVEAWAY!

Photos courtesy of The Locket and Jill Marie Photography

I love photographs.  I love black and white images. And I love them all over the place.  This wall has changed and morphed throughout the past five years.  First this wall illustrated the love-story of May 27, 2006 with the artistic and amazing photographs from Gehman Photography.  Best money I ever spent.  About 18 months later, this wall was covered in sweet newborn baby smirks, puckered lips, and bright blue eyes with the longest eye lashes you ever did see.  Now, well, after adding frames to the collage, this wall shows our family in a way I never expected. Three boys. I stare at this wall on the regular, and marvel STILL that we have twins.  That we have three kids. About how much has changed in the past five years.  This is our life. Sleeping babies. Sweet smiles. Eyelashes. This is in the center of our home, which makes sense, since these three are the center of our worlds.

Where is the center of your home? What exhibits "Life" in your family? Announcing My Project Mommyhood's first ever GIVEAWAY! Three ways to enter: Here in the comments, email me at, or on Facebook. Tell me, or show me, where "Life" happens in your home. One winner will be chosen at random via and will receive a yummy gift basket with some of my favorite Method products. Why you ask? Because Method dish soap in Clementine is my new favorite smell... well, next to the smell of babies out of the bath.  You have until Tuesday, May 31st to enter!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Five Years

Five years.  Three kids.  One dog.  Many laughs.  Many cries.  Amazing Memories.  Always 5.27.06. Love, Wifey.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Don't even have a title for this one.

Me: "Logan, you really need eat your lunch a little bit quicker than this".

Logan: "Mommy. I am".

Me: "OK Logan, but seriously, you have been eating for a very long time! Could you please focus on finishing your lunch?".

Logan: "Mommy, I told you months ago that you need to listen to my words!".

I just didn't have a comeback for that.

(Note: the kid takes forever to eat a meal. He loves to eat, and will generally eat anything and clean his plate, but you better block off at least an hour for it.)

Just as I thought he was good and napping, he turns over and says "Mommy, herbivores eat plants, just like giraffes".

Well, there you go.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mother's Day

Mother's Day weekend was calm, and spent the way it should be; being a mama.  My mom came to visit in time for soccer on Thursday, and the rest of the weekend was go-with-the-flow-enjoy-the-kids-and-gelato type of weekend. I love those. 

We had some Cub's fans.
 An excited Parker in a socially-conscious onesie.
 A Mother's Day gift for Grandma.

Some flower picking. 

The first Swimsuit wear of the season.

Some jammie-pant-hats.

A sweet three-year-old ready for brunch. 

A self-portrait with some baby heads. 



Giving a lesson about jars and lids to friends. 
 A cutie by the lake.

Playing at the park.
 Anticipating the slide.

 A Mother's Day gift. 

A beautiful view.
 A mommy and the kids who made her one.
 A smooch. 

A Soccer Player. 

 Farmer's Market, and pink trees.
 A gorgeous weekend. 

Twinkies in a tub.
 Blooming clearance tulips. 

Celebrate Moms, and all that Moms do. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

5 Months Old

The McGowan Wonder-Twins are 5 Months Old! Not sure if you know this, but that is almost 6 Months Old, which is half a year. Half. A. Year. How did this happen? This is going so fast.

My 5 month old twinkies are pretty much spending their days being fabulous. They wake up between 7 and 7:30, normally having to be woken up. Parker still wakes with a smile, while Cooper wakes up wanting a boob immediately, or else! After a morning nursing session, they get dressed for the day, and play for a little while and watch the older kids play. Parker usually falls asleep on the playmat for a short, morning nap, and Cooper is usually shortly following, however, needs a soft bouncy seat or, preferably, mama's lap to take a snooze. Both boys nap periodically throughout the day, and are still nursing on demand. People ask how many ounces they take in a day, and honestly, I cannot even begin to take a guess. I do know that they are both around 14lbs per the very scientific weighing calculations of Daddy stepping on the scale while holding a boy. They both go down for bed between 10pm and 11pm, after their last feeding, and their still consistent 24 k/cal bottle packed with breast milk, human milk fortifier, vitamins, and probiotics. Here's to healthy babies. Parker generally sleeps until morning, but Cooper occasionally wakes between 4 and 6:30 for a quick snack, and goes right back to sleep. I will take it.

Parker loves to roll around, bounce in the Jumperoo, sit up (still assisted), and be held. He loves car rides, smooches, chin tickles, and his big brothers.

Cooper prefers to chill. While he can roll over... he generally doesn't. He loves to snuggle and be held, go on walks, and will sometimes like to jump in the Jumperoo. He loves his paci, sucking on Parker's fist, people looking at him, and his mama.

Both babies have very different personalities, and I truly find it amazing watching them interact. They are beginning to seek each other out - and love to be next to each other on the floor. They almost always hold hands, and this is something that will never get old for me.

In just a few short weeks, these boys will be 6 months old. Something about 6 months old just seems like such a turning point. So much happens between 6 and 12 months, and just being on the opposite side of 6 months will undoubtedly make me weapy. I am looking forward to making their baby food, just as I did with Logan. We will wait until at least 6 months to start, but I believe Parker certainly will be ready. We will start with Avocado and see where we go from there!

The best part about 5 months? Dual baby giggles. Enough said.


Thursday, May 19, 2011


Right now I have a pile of baby in my lap. My babies are getting bigger by the minute and my lap is getting smaller, yet I continue to adapt to be able to juggle babies. Baby juggler ... add that to my resume.

Every afternoon, after the big kids go down for nap, I have my individual snuggle time with Parker and Cooper. One baby naps in the swing, while the other naps on my chest. Switch, and repeat. This is one of my most favorite times of day. I am finally able to relax, and I how lucky I am to lay across this giant chair with a sweet, soft-headed baby breathing deeply and sweetly sleeping on my chest. There really is no better feeling. If you haven't tried it, I suggest you do.

Cooper nuzzles into the crook of arm. He takes a few sucks on his paci, then rests. A few more sucks, and rests. I can feel his deep, long breaths through his restful body. He is gentle and sweet. Parker anchors his hand. He does this no matter where he is, or what he is doing. He grabs a handful of shirt, mama's hair, my nose, or just wedges it under my chin. Once he is snuggled in he rests. His breaths are shallower, but his little lips are slightly opened and his sweet warm breath is just soothing.

Perhaps some think that these naps should be spent in their cribs, and perhaps I will have a hard time transitioning them in the future. This may fully be true, but in this moment; in this mommy-moment of breathing in my babies, I can't imagine trading this for anything.
This leads me to my revelation. I want another baby. I must have lost my mind, but I knew when the twins were about a month old that I wanted another baby. Never even imagining I would have more than two children, I am here, mama of three boys and contemplating a fourth. I just don't feel done. I want to feel a baby kick for the first time again. I want to experience just one more birth. I can't explain it, I just don't feel done.

Can you imagine laundry for 4 kids?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Year

I look back at how much has happened since I wrote this post. Today would be one year since my due date with the baby that we lost. People used to tell me "when you get pregnant again, and have that baby, you will think about how you wouldn't have that baby if you didn't lose the other one". I see the point, obviously, that I wouldn't have Parker and Cooper if I had a baby last May. But really, I can't help but think about that baby. I look at a few of my friends kids who are turning one this month and wonder what my one-year-old would look like. What would he sound like? What would she like to do? What would this past year have been like? Everyone deals with the loss of a pregnancy differently, and at this point, while the raw pain is pretty much gone, the sadness never will be.

One of my biggest prayers answered was to be pregnant by my due date last year. The nine months from losing that pregnancy to having a successful pregnancy were long, and hard, and emotional, and probably one of the worst years of my life. The process of trying-to-conceive really isn't fun. It's really not. Unless you are among those who can get pregnant successfully on the first try, the unkown of the process is enough to drive a person mad - both in the crazy and angry sense of the word. Thee days after my due date last year I woke up with this:

Even after months of trying. Even after fertility treatments. Even after longing and aching for another pregnancy. I was terrified. I wrote this very optimistically, and honestly, I was trying to be as positive as possible, but I was terrified. The thought of losing another baby was excruciating. Never in my dreams or visions of my life could I have imagined what we were in store for. Twins. Two babies. And while my twin boys will be 5 months old tomorrow, I still am in shock and amazement, and total disbelief, at least once per day. I know that seems odd, because, come on, I had two babies, but I still am literally in DISBELIEF that I have TWO BABIES. I just stare at them, shaking my head thinking to myself "I can't believe I have two babies...".

Two babies are so much better than one. I get two sets of eyes looking at me in the morning. I have two little heads resting on my chest before I go to sleep at night. I have four little chubby cheeks, and four little rolly thighs to smooch and nibble on each day. And two sets of giggles.

The past year has been amazing. Being pregnant with two babies was by far the biggest challenge I will ever put my body through, but I did it. And these babies are beautiful, and perfect, and while my life is so chaotic and I really never sit for too long, my prayers were answered. Blessed.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Night in the McGowan house

Me: "I feel like if we just had one baby, we would be bored..."

Brian: "Well, I'd be sitting down".

He's gotta point.

It was dinner time, and I had just gotten back from my first outside run since the babies were born. I am not gonna lie, I almost threw up. But, you have to start back somewhere. So I am still in my running garb and sat at the table next to Logan and this was our conversation:

Logan: "Mommy, did you know that we do not wear jackets in the house?"

Me: "Well, Logan, this is a sweatshirt, not a jacket."

Logan: "Well, Mommy, it looks like a jacket, and we don't wear jackets in this house. If I tell you it's a jacket, it's a jacket, and if I tell you we don't wear jackets in the house you just need to listen to me."

Um... hmmmm...

And just now, I look over and see this:

Monday, May 2, 2011


About 4 minutes ago Parker showed his best rolling skills... Rolled from back to tummy, back to back again, to tummy to back to tummy to back. You follow? Bottom line is this kid knows how to get to where he wants to go. HOW is this going to fast?!

The Twinkies

Back when I was pregnant with the twins, I was thinking ahead to the month of May. May has so much significance for me for so many reasons, and last fall, it just seemed so far away. We still had so much to face and experience. But... here we are, the 2nd of May, and my twins are almost 5 months old. I just can't believe it. I don't often enough have time to sit down and recount all of the changes and growth with my sweet baby boys, or my sweet big boy, but I think more important than documenting is to soak in each minute I can. I breathe in my babes every day. I make sure to say "I love you" more times per day than I can count, and I savor each sweet smile I get from my boys. I wondered how I would have enough time, or love, for 3 kids, but the worry was for nothing. I have so much more to give.

My sweet Parker and Cooper are getting so big. At their 4 Month Well Check-up they were 12lbs 13oz, and 13lbs respectively. More amazingly, they are hitting all the milestones of full-term 4 month olds. Preemie, what?! Way to go, you fighters. They are tracking, holding up their heads, rolling over, shifting and scooting, smiling and laughing, and being all around awesome. Have I mentioned that two babies is so much better than one? It is. It so, totally is.

Parker is spunky, which is why he is called Punky. I am pretty sure he will answer to Punky before he learns his name is Parker. Oops. He has the best laugh, and will smile at anyone who looks at him, even an inanimate stuffed animal. Likewise, he is sensitive, and has the most sad cry ever. So sad, that at his 4 Month Check, the nurse who was trying to weigh him was so heartbroken about his sad cry while being weighed that she couldn't handle it, and actually weighed herself on the large scale, and picked him up and weighed again to find his weight. Um, I do believe the Punky won that round. Parker-1, Nurse-0. Parker has discovered his voice and belts out these massively loud high pitch screeches. He is so happy. He loves to sleep and will just take a nap, mid-play, on the play-mat. Hmmmm... sounds like his Dad. Parker is sleeping about 8-9 hours stretch of sleep at night, and wakes up smiling, happy and ready for the day.

Cooper is still my gentle soul. He is content curled up on my chest, just as he was when he was little. He loves to nurse, nap in my arms, and hold his brother's hand. Cooper has a low-growly giggle that seems to take all his energy, and for that, I am grateful every time I get a giggle out of his tiny body. He loves to "talk" and has this sweet gurgly babble that means so much for me to hear. Like I said, I had a hard time imagining this stage when I was watching them in the NICU, hour after hour, wondering if the "NICU fog" would ever lift. Cooper is a bit more temperamental, and doesn't like to wait for food or snuggles. Otherwise, he is content. They both are, and I realize how lucky we are. These babies make having twins easy. The Coop-man is sleeping about 6-7 hours a night, sometimes a little more, but wakes up usually between 3 and 5am to have a quick snack, and goes right back to sleep. I am cool with this. Both babies are still snuggled in little nest-like bassinets next to my side of the bed and I have no intention of changing that anytime soon.

In April I had one of my biggest parenting challenges - an entire week of single-mom while Brian was out of town for work, immediately followed by a 4 hour car trip with 3 kids. Whew. We survived, and while Brian was gone, I even managed to shower EVERY DAY. Win. Total win. It was rough, and I was more than happy when Brian was home, but somehow I managed to survive all day with my three, plus two daycare kids, and all evening by myself. Thankful for helpful neighbors who gave me a short break one of the evenings so that I wasn't found rocking in a corner somewhere babbling to myself about breast pumps and laundry.

Being a mom of twins is so amazing. I am so grateful to be able to be with them everyday. I know these babies better than anyone, and I truly feel honored to have this role. Nobody else can say that about these three boys of mine, and I feel so much pride in how well they are doing. I love that I can hear a grunt from across the house and know, without a doubt, which baby it was. I know them THAT WELL, and well, it's my job.