Thursday, July 30, 2009

Baby Gear for the Twinnies!

So I have been majorly stressing over many things lately. One of the many things is that we have known we were having twins for a few months now and we are not really preparing for their arrival. By that I mean, yes we have all sorts of baby gear BUT there are some things that we are going to need more than one of. We toyed with the idea of having a "sprinkle" a mini baby shower but I don't want to make my friends and family feel obligated to buy more stuff for us nor do they probably want to sit through another shower-type thing. (For those of you that do want to help us out though, don't worry, I am compiling a list of non-expensive things that we will eventually need). So the last couple of days, we have had some awesome coupons come through for Babies-R-Us so we headed there to finally start pricing and looking (even though I have been doing this online for quite some time). And being that we don't want to spend a fortune on all this stuff, we actually have made out with some pretty good deals! Here are some so far......

The Crib


We obviously already have a crib that Gracie actually currently sleeps in, as it is converted into a toddler bed for the time being. We found this crib today that matches our set and it was on clearance! It is not the same exact crib, Gracie's is big and fancy, but we don't really have the room for that so we went with the matching smaller crib. Like I said, it was on clearance, plus we got 15% off, plus it came with a free Simmons mattress! So we ended up getting them both for around $280! At our mulitples class the other night, parents of twins came to talk to us and most of them had the babies sleeping in thier own cribs by 4 months so we thought we would get it now and be prepared!

Car Seats

I know I already have a car seat from Gracie but I thought it would be cute to have matching car seats for the twins. I know it sounds high-maintance but it sounds cute right? Well, they don't make mine anymore of course. So again, found these awesome Graco car seats, again on clearance. We got 15% of each on top of that and then because we bought 2, we got an additional 10% multiple discount too! Each car seat came to about $90! You can't ask for a better deal than that! Graco is a trusted brand and these got good reviews. The pattern is nice too because it is gender friendly since we don't know what we are having.

The Stroller

I did A LOT of research on double strollers and so did my mom. I looked everywhere I went and searched Craig's List and yard sales websites. I really didn't find much I liked. After test drving some and reading reviews, I decided that this was probably our best bet. This is just a stroller frame, but the car seats snap into it. The frame itself is lightweight and folds up pretty compact. It will be easy to put in the car. It manuevers ok too. The other strollers were either way too heavy or didn't fold up very well and would not fit in the car. We figured that this would last us until they are a year, because they are usually in the infant carriers until then. Next summer we will then buy a double umbrella stroller. We have already been eyeing those up too! Grandma and Grandpa were very generous and purchased this for us with thier 10% off coupon! Thanks guys!

The Pack-n-Play



Wouldn't you know it but our pack and play got recalled last year. And because you had to cut some parts out of it to send back, it wasn't worth keeping so we threw it out. So now we need another one. I also must say that we have way cuter designs now than they did before too. Gracie's was cute but they don't make that one anymore. I found this one today at my new favorite store called Buy Buy Baby. It is brown and orange so again, gender friendly and it has little giraffes all ove it. Why do I like this one? Well of all the play yards out there, this is one of the only ones that has a high changing pad area. This way 2 babies can fit in there and we can still change their diaper. We can keep this downstairs so we don't always have to put them to sleep or change thier diapers upstairs you know, because our house is so huge! I have actually not purchased this yet but made up my mind today, and so did Chuck that we will get this one next week.

The Swing

I don't know if we really need another swing but this one is just so darn cute. It is not a full-size swing like our other one. This one can go with us if we go to other people's house too. I love the colors and the little critters on it, especially the owl. I have a thing for owls. It wasn't expensive. My sister got it with her discount and I had gift cards saved up too. I think it will be practical.

The Bouncy


And again, don't know if we need another bouncy seat, we do have 2, but I figure you can never have too many places to put one of the babies. Plus our house has 3 different levels so we can disperse them around on them. This obvisously matches the swing and again is way cute. It vibrates. Amy got this for me with her discount too. It doesn't play music which made it cheaper than others.

So there you go. Some new baby gear we have purchased. We are going to have one crowded house I tell you! I feel better though knowing that we have begun to get things ready because you never know when then these little wonders will want to make thier appearance!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Family Fun!







Today was the Lakota Family Reunion! This reunion is a big deal because we only have it once every 3 years because there are way too many people to plan and have this event once a year. I think it started back in the 90's. Who is Lakota you ask? Well, Lakota is my Grandma Mueller's maiden name. She had several brothers and sisters and this is a reunion for all of them and there families. My Grandma's "little" contribution to this family was 13 children! Yep, my dad has one big family! Here is a picture of the brothers and sisters that are left today. Some have since passed.




Today, my Grandma has sinced passed and so has her siblings but we carry on the tradition of this reunion. For one, it is "tradition" because we all wear matching shirts. Every reunion is a different color. This year it was yellow. We also wear nametags and display what Lakota we stem from. Everyone brings a dish to pass and the food fills up the inside of an entire pavillion! Seriously, I think we had 4 picnic tables covered with just desserts! There is certainly no shortage of food! There are committees too. There is a cooking, cleanup, kids games, adult games, sign-in, and other committees too. We have horeshoe, beanbag and golf tornaments. Today there was an egg toss and bouncy houses for the little ones. It really is a production. There are also tents with pictures of all the Lakotas and scrapbooks (made by my mom) from reunions past. Today was Gracie's first family reunion! 3 years ago she was in the plans. She had fun eating manily the yummy desserts and of course the bouncy houses! She was such a big girl and went in and jumped all by herself. (without mommy or daddy). She wasn't afraid of the bigger kids and just sort of stayed in her corner and told us how she was going to jump "up high." Then cousin Molly, decided she wanted to help Gracie go through the obstacle course on the other jumpy. Gracie took her hand and went with her. I was surprised because she climbed up the slide all by herself! Chuck usually helps her but he didn't have too! I guess sometimes you just gotta let go. She went down the slide many times. Molly and her must have gone through the obstacle course about a dozen times!









She even let cousins Jeff and Liz hold her!





Another Mueller family tradition is Uncle Jim and his accordian. He has been playing this for as long as I can remember. He plays at all weddings and reunions. Mainly polka is his thing but he also plays the chicken dance and the hokey pokey. (for those of you that were at my wedding, you may recall Uncle Jim). Well, Gracie went over and started dancing with another Gracie (my 2nd cousins daughter who is only a week older). They held hands and danced and of corse being girls, they hugged after. Then my cousin's son Sam, grabbed Gracie and danced with her too! It was the cutest thing. She actually sort of did that polka hop thing you do with your feet. Then Uncle JIm played the chicken dance and of course Gracie knew the motions for that dance so she had a blast!









Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gracie's 2 year pictures!





How cute is my 2 year old?
Check out our new family shots on the side too!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Potty Preparedness!

So starting tomorrow, I am going to start potty training Miss Gracie. For months I have been collecting things and would help and teach me how to accomplish this. I figured summer is the best time since I am off work and there is more time. Unfortunately, we have been busy until this week so we are going to give it a shot. With two more babies on the way, we need to get this girl trained how to help change others diapers and not her own.





Before starting, I decided to buy a book about it. There are a ton of potty training books out there and I didn't want to buy a bunch so I settled on this one. It is good because it comes with all kinds of checklists-the readiness checklist, what you need checklist, procedure checklists, etc. It's got great tips and literally takes you through the process step-by-step. Easy enough for dummies who have no idea what they are doing right?




Now at Easter time, the Easter Bunny left Gracie her potty chair. So the chair has been sitting in the bathroom since like April. The book does recommend that you have the chair out for awhile so your child can get used to sitting on it and playing with it and understanding what it is for. Gracie LOVES this potty chair. She sits on it all the time and knows what it is for. She says "potty" and "poop" and "butt". She knows that when she is done, she need to wipe and throw it in the potty and then use the fake flusher to flush it away. Now she even knows that after that, she has to take the tray out and dump it all in the big potty and flush the big potty! She is so smart! She puts her dolls on it all the time and will sit on there when I use the potty too. She even goes in there, shuts the door, and tells me to "go" so she can do her business! I like the potty because it sings eveytime she does her job. It's easy to clean and has a holder for toilet paper. It also is lighweight and easy to carry around if needed. Gracie knows how to use it so well that she now has a potty just for her babies and she changes their diapers and puts them on the baby potty which is also suggested by the book.








For months, we have also been exposing Gracie to potty training examples. She LOVES Elmo. We have an Elmo book complete with sounds that we read as well as a DVD. The movie is hilarious for me to watch because they tell kids all the different names for poop. I love it!





We also have purchased a toilet seat to put on the big potty. It is cushy but small enough where I think I could tote it around if we are out and about and just not there yet!


And of course, we need the pull-ups training pants! Gracie has figured out how to put on her pants and loves doing it so I think she will like these. She tries to pull her diaper down when she wants to go potty but realizes that they don't do that so she also knows how to peel the stickies back!



So here are my potty training pointers and ideas. I hope this goes well and we don't have too many "accidents." Wish us luck! We'll keep you posted!

Friday, July 17, 2009

House for Sale!




Here it is...the homstead at 16745 Hazelwood Drive is officially for sale. It took lots of time, packing, and stress to get this to work. For months we have been packing and sorting and moving things out. We had massive cleaning done the other day so that this place would be spic and span for pictures. The sign was put up on Tuesday and we signed the paperwork. This house has treated us well but now it's time to move on. It has a finished basement, 3 full baths, 2 bedrooms, kitchen island, patio deck, laundry room, utiltiy room, fireplace, and it is close to walking trails and shopping. You can find out more information if you visit http://www.realtor.com/, one of my favorite websites. The mls # is 07271601. There are a couple of other places also for sale in out little area but hopefully this will work well even though it's a sucky market. I buried St. Joseph and I pray that he helps us! PLEASE TELL EVERYONE AND ANYONE YOU KNOW LOOKING. WE ARE ANXIOUS TO UPGRADE TO A HOUSE. If we don't move before the babies are born, they may be sleeping in drawers!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby!


Today is my husband's 34th birthday! It's hard to believe that he is almost halfway through his 30's already. I guess time flies when you are having fun. I met Chuck back at EIU in 1999, the year I turned 21. Although we didn't start dating until 2000, I knew he was the oen for me. We married in 2004 and here we are 5 years later with one amazing Grace and 2 more bundles of joy on the way! Happy Birthday! Gracie and I love you!
(notice how skeletal my hubby looks in his youth, yep, that's where Miss Gracie gets it)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Happiness in Highland





































This weekend we packed up mama mini and journeyed down to Highland, IL. It has been awhile since we have seen Chuck's side of the family and plus everyone wanted to celebrate Gracie's 2nd birthday and daddy's upcoming 34th birthday! Gracie rode well in the car as she usually does. Thank goodness for DVD players and Rudolph (which is her current obsession). We stayed with Uncle Frog and Aunt Christy. Too bad we missed Drake and Maddie. Gracie had fun playing with her toys though. On Saturday night, everyone came over to Uncle Frog's. We cooked out and got to visit with everyone. Gracie was good about letting others hold her and saying their names. She could even say "Uncle Shmut"! Papa Weiss was excited to see her and had fun playing with his granddaughter. Cousins Sydney and newbie Peyton came to play too. We also watched fireworks put on by Uncle Frog and Uncle Chad. "Colors" as Gracie put it but she didn't last too long outside and watched most of them from inside. She had fun playing with Angel and Sable, the dogs. And of course she got lots of cool presents like a Dora trike from Uncle Frog, some playdough from Uncle Steve and Aunt Barb, some pajamas from Uncle Chad and Aunt Mandi and from Papa she got a gumball machine and a golf game. And no party would be complete without yummy cake and ice cream which Gracie gobbled up with no problem. It was good to see everybody. Cousin Jordin even held Gracie this time too! This will probably be the last time we see them until we have the babies. We don't want to risk driving too far with bedrest probably being right around the corner for me. So next time we pack up mama mini and head to Highland, we will have 3 in tow! Thanks for everything everyone! We had fun and we'll miss you!










Thursday, July 9, 2009

Colorado Company







Everybody loves company and especially when they come all the way from Colorado! Yes, Aunt Judy, Uncle Allen, and Great Grandma, or Gigi, came last week to visit. It's always nice when this clan comes because we don't get to see them much. Gigi did make a trip here this past winter and last summer, Gracie took her first plane ride out there to visit. We had such a great time. We watched Gracie swim, had Gracie's birthday party, went to the Museum of Science and Industry, went shopping, went to the movies, went to the Mueller 4th of July party, and ate at some yummy restaurants like Crispy Waffle, Baci's, Merichka's, Baker's Square and Cracker Barrel. We were so glad they were here to celebrate Gracie's birthday too! That made the day all the more special. Gracie even learned to say everyone's names. Had a hard time with "Judy" though but I bet by the time we see them next, she will have it down pat. She had fun with everybody and even gave out hugs and kisses when we had to say bye-bye. I'm not sure when we will see them next but they may have to journey our way again. I don't think traveling that far with 3 small children will be done for quite some time. Thanks for coming! We miss you! Love you!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Baby Boom!







I went to the doctor's today and got to see the little twinnies on unltrasound. I was pretty nervous going as I have been more cautious with this pregnancy. Thankfully, Babies A and B seem to be doing great! They are growing well and measuring right where they should be. With twins, however, they are measuring a few days apart but that is completely normal. They are around 9-10 inches in length already too! I am in my 20th week as you can tell from the picture of me and that explains why I look huge already. Doctor said everything looks good and that I have "good-sized" babies. He said that if they continuted to grow like they are now, I could deliver 10 pound babies if I went the full 40 weeks which he said I will not. He would like me to get to 36-37 weeks. As of now, I am not on any restrictions. Hopefully, I can make it to October without any sort of bedrest. Although going to the zoo was rough. It wasn't too hot but walking only halfway around the zoo was pretty exhausting for me. I need to be careful and not overdo it. I can barely sit on the floor with Gracie anymore. Partly because no one is at home to help me up. Anyways thought I would share some new pics with you. They did ask if we wanted to know the sexes. I was tempted but looked away while they were going over the private regions. Everyone will just have to wait and be surprised with us! 2 healthy, happy growing babies in my belly! That is truly amazing!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!


Happy 4th of July! Too bad the weather isn't better today. Thank goodness Uncle Jerry had his annual Mueller 4th of July party last weekend so Gracie could wear her red, white, and blue dress. It is too cold today. We were hoping to see some fireworks if the weather clears. We did see some at the party last week though. Gracie thought they were pretty cool, but only from the inside of the house. Hope everyone has a relaxing day!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Anniversary!


Happy Anniversary to my husband and I! It's been 5 wonderful years already. It seems like only yesterday we met at Eastern and I nabbed him with "the plan to get my man!" It worked because here we are today. It's crazy how things work out the way they do. If Chuck had neve have decided to extend his years in college and live with my friend Keith in the exact same apartment building as me, well.......We had some fun and crazy times during those college years. I even got a promise ring my last year there just so I could have a candle ceremony for my sorority. We lived long distance for awhile but still managed to make it work. We have been through many happy times together but also many sad times. He has always been there for me. He is a trooper dealing with me being pregnant yet again and taking on the role of working and super dad. The wedding itself does not seem like it was long ago. Jennifer's Garden was the perfect place to accomodate all our friends and family who were there to celebrate with us. We loved having Elvis as part of our wedding too. Who knew we would here, with one amazing Grace and two more bundles of joy on the way. Who would have ever thought that we would own a minivan either? I look forward to the many more memoires that we can make together! Love you hubby!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Gracie's 2nd Birthday!

























































































































Today was Gracie's 2nd birthday! I still can't believe she is 2! Well today we had a birthday party for Miss Gracie. Noe normally in July, we have hot weather going going on so I told all the kiddies to bring thier swim gear. Well, little did we know that when planning this party, it would only turn out to be in the 60's. Yikes! So we had to come up with a backup plan. We called and ordered a bouncy house the other day. That was a great decision because for one, I kow Gracie LOVES them, and two, it was hit with all the kiddies! I wanted the party to be outside. We had it at Grandma and Grandpa's house. They already have a swingset, a playhouse, a seesaw, a water table, and a picnic table, not to mention a bubble blower and golf set. We also had sidewalk chalk ready to go and a visor making station. All the kids got lunchables to eat and we ate outside on blankets sort of like a picnic. The kids got to play and the adults got to chase after them. Gracie got some really nice presents. Lots of coloring books, clothes, some Sesame Street gear, he rvery own laptop, a camera, and things for her babies including a crib, high chair, swing, and double stroller for those twins that she has! Wow! Lots of stuff! Some of it stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's as we are running out of room. I also got thinking, what if I have two more girls? They won't need any girly toys because Gracie will already have them all! Oh well, we'll worry about that when the time comes. Anyways, Gracie had a Sesame Street themed party (thankfully not Dora, previous blog) complete with Elmo (her fav) cake! She even almost blew out the candles by herself! Mommy helped a little. She was able to tell her guests "thank you" too. All in all, I would say everyone had a great time despite the cooler weather. I'm sure all Gracie's friends, Jackie, Olivia, Jake, Kyle, Addie, Scott, Allie, Meg, and Jared went home and took nice long naps! Gracid did anyways! Happy Birthday Gracie!