Coffee talk

About a month ago, maybe longer now, I started finding the girls on the stairs together having a chat.  They weren’t climbing, just sitting down (normally with a snack) gossiping to each other.  I have only recorded a few of the many, but I thought you guys might like to see.  It’s so special having the two of them, and definitely unlike any other experience seeing them interact everyday…I can’t imagine life any other way!

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We changed our name!

Hi all!  It has been quite a while, which is something I plan on changing.  First change though is the name!  Since we are definitely no longer a family of 3, I thought it was time to update the name (yes, a year late) to reflect that.  The new domain is forEVR and always, which of course is for Everly, Vanessa, and Rondo!  Going to rondotakesbrooklyn.com will still work for a while, but starting in 2017, to keep updated go directly to

FOREVRANDALWAYS.com

I have a bunch of posts from the past 4 months or so I am going to get to in the coming weeks!  Until then here’s V in a box and E in a bag…crazy coconuts!

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❤ J

Traveling with the girls

Well, we did it!  We traveled with the girls! We were both nervous about different aspects of the traveling, but we made it through and they were rock stars.  Our way home was initially delayed an hour, then after boarding we sat on the plane for another 2+ hours.  All I have to say is, thank goodness I was nutty about over-packing because we ending up using everything I packed in our carry on (thank you Vanessa for pooping 3x in an hour).

There were a few moments of fussing but (thankfully) nothing that couldn’t be solved by a toy/cracker/rest.  They slept through takeoff on the way there, Vanessa thought the turbulence was funny, and they seemed to handle the delays and ear popping better than both Jay and I.

I thought I would share our lifesavers on the flight for anyone interested.  We were really lucky they went with the flow and napped, but for those upset moments here are the things that saved us (times 2)…

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  1. Before we had the girls I thought Sophie was pretty ridiculous.  It’s kind of an expensive toy, and it doesn’t do anything but squeak…it looks like something I would buy Rondo for $3.  Well, I was past wrong.  Sophie is the greatest toy ever and whenever someone starts to whine it’s Soph to the rescue.  We have a set in the house and one for on the go…not kidding.  Same goes for their Wubanubs.
  2. These Little Yums wafers are their favorite.  They have a bunch of different flavors (blueberry, kale, banana) and the girls love them all.  They can eat them independently without me having to watch them like a maniac (like when I give them puffs), they get to use their hands which keeps them busy, and they help soothe their gums.  We must have gone through 3 packs each flight.
  3. Jay got me this Kate Spade bag for Christmas.  It has a pocket for everything, comes with a changing mat, and doesn’t look like a diaper bag (I don’t think I could handle walking around with a traditional diaper bag with some horrible pattern on it).
  4. These silly keychains were the star of the show.  My aunt got them for the girls and they hadn’t really played with them until the flight, but man, they were snatching the pink one out of each others hands and chewing it like crazy.  I guess the lesson here is, bring things they haven’t played with before because new is good, and who knows what they are going to love that day!
  5. All hail HBO go with Sesame Street.  There’s nothing more to say on that.
  6. We got these Snap N Go strollers for the airport so we could each handle one baby instead of having the huge double stroller that puts all the work on one person.  They couldn’t have worked out better.  They are super light, fold up so simple, don’t have a million unnecessary bells and whistles, and could easily be checked at the gate with our car seats.  A great purchase.

God speed to everyone traveling with a baby, it’s no joke!

xo -J

Bringing the girls into the world…

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I want to start this off by saying, the girls birth was not magical. I wouldn’t even say seeing them for the first time was (especially since that was at 2am, on drugs, while Jay was in the NICU facetiming me). But I’m getting ahead of myself. Now that we are out of the woods, and all of this feels like a distant memory, I thought I would share our birth story…

We found out we were having twins at my first doctor’s appointment. I was 8 weeks along and there they were, two little black dots. I had no idea what the nurse was showing me, and was in shock for probably a full 2 weeks after. If you google anything about early twin pregnancy (don’t!) it basically says you will be lucky if they make it and one will probably disappear, it’s terrifying. But we made it! I wasn’t sick, I was tired, but otherwise feeling really great. There were some weird pregnancy things going on, but nothing alarming or really that odd.

Since there were two, we had to go into Boston (an hour with traffic) every week for an ultrasound and appointment with the high risk office. This was intense, and each week brought with it a new worry. Everly (Baby 1 at the time) was smaller, significantly. But each week they grew, and even if it was only a little, everyone was growing! Then at week 32, my blood pressure started creeping up, slowly but surely. The doctor sent me home to do a 24 hour urine test starting Tuesday morning.

So here I am, collecting all this pee (gross sorry!), and starting to feel, just, off. When we first found out about there being two, the biggest worry I had was how could my body do it? I couldn’t imagine sustaining one baby let alone two in my body. And at 33 weeks pregnant, HUGE (everything was huge, my legs, ankles, face…everything), I finally was feeling that my body couldn’t do this much longer.

Right, so it is now Wednesday morning, and it is my last collection of the 24 hours around 6am. I go downstairs, do my thing, and come back up to get in bed for a little bit. I sit down in bed and Bam(!), I think my bladder has finally had it with the pressure, but no, after about 10 seconds I realize it’s my water breaking. So of course I scream “JAY!”. I call the doctor, email my boss, call my parents, and we are off to the hospital to see what is going on.

When we get to the hospital, I got checked in and immediately my blood pressure was being monitored…and it was high, and going up. At this point all the doctors (and their teams of students, so many people constantly in my room) weren’t sure if I was even going to deliver that day, and with the girls being only 33 weeks they wanted to keep them in as long as possible. After a move upstairs to L&D, and a quick blood test, they were positive, the babies were coming that day.

I started having contractions (which were horrible, of course) and then at 3:00pm we were on our way to have the c-section. The c-section was probably the easiest part of all of this. You can’t feel a thing, except some bizarre tugging, plus there are doctors all over telling you everything is going great. And then, 3:26 there comes Baby 1, and 3:27 Baby 2. Everyone kept asking us their names and we had no idea still (at this point they were potentially Penelope and Beatrix. for real.).IMG_6536

The girls each had their own team of pediatricians and nurses in the delivery room, and I only saw them for less than 1 second before they were rushed off and down to the NICU. In the meantime, I am getting put back together while trying to figure out names with Jay. I’m so drugged up at this point I have no idea how bad the incisions were about to feel in a few hours.

When we get back to the L&D room, I was put on magnesium to make sure I didn’t have a stroke. My BP was 190/110, and all the doctors were calm but concerned. Anyone who has ever been on magnesium knows what this is like, but it is the absolute worst. It gets worse the longer you are on it, and feels like the most horrible hangover ever. You can’t see straight or focus, your head feels like a million pounds, and nothing is exactly clear that is going on around you. On top of all this there are teams of doctors coming in and out, my bp being constantly monitored, the pain medication they gave me didn’t work (thank god for the nurse who finally got the doctor to give me something different), and worst of all, worse than any pain or fear of what was going on with my body was, I couldn’t see the girls.

Finally sometime in the middle of the night Jay was able to go down to the NICU and facetime me so I could see our, still nameless, babies (the names were finally decided sometime in the middle of the night). And then around 3am, I was brought down to the NICU to see my little babies (only 3lbs) in containers where I could only touch there little hands for a second through a hole.

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The days that followed were equally as intense. My BP wasn’t dropping so I was put on round the clock medications and IVs. I was draining all the fluid from my body (10 liters in 12 hours), I had to pump every 3 hours to send whatever I could get down to the NICU for the girls, and I couldn’t sit/stand/walk for days.

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We did manage to get down to the NICU each day to see the girls, which had its own difficulties. I wanted to be with them so badly, to have them in my room, to breastfeed them like everyone else gets to with their newborns, but none of that was going to be our experience.

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After my hospital stay it wasn’t much easier at home. I had to have visiting nurse service come every day to take my BP. I was re-admitted to the hospital after being home for 4 days for my eclampsia on the same day the girls were scheduled to be transferred to a hospital closer to our new house (yea, we moved 3 weeks before this!). But without fail, Jay and I got up and drove 45 minutes to the NICU to see those girls each and every day.

At this point I was still on a ton of medication…pain meds, 3 blood pressure meds, and meds to drain the fluid. And of course, waking up every 3 hours still to pump. Each day I would have a mini (yea, not mini, massive) breakdown about not having the girls home. Not having them with us was so difficult and went against every single instinct my body was telling me.

The NICU though, was amazing. The care and compassion of the nurses there is an experience that can’t be matched. They walked us through everything, took the best care of our girls, gave us reports every day on the phone before we came in, and constantly made us feel we were doing the best job we could. When the girls were first brought down to the NICU we were told they most likely would be there until their true due date (8/22) which would be almost 2 months later….

But those babie are troopers! After a little over 3 weeks, we had Vanessa home, and a few days later we had Everly (she had to get to 4lbs). Not to say everything was a walk in the park, but having them home with us was so exciting I didn’t mind any of it. The girls were on a 3 hour schedule and since they were so small that meant waking them in the middle of the night (3,6,9,12,3,6,9,12 – all day everyday) to eat.

Meanwhile, my bp was still pretty crazy. I had doctors’ appointments constantly to check it and was on medication until just a few weeks ago! I still have to home monitor, but it is nothing like it was in the beginning, and neither are those babies! When the girls came home, all skin and bones, it was hard to imagine them getting bigger or filling out…and now, 6 months later, we have two growing, thriving, giggly, rolling, happy babies, who are the greatest people I’ve ever met.

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We have pictures of them from the NICU on the fridge that both Jay and I look at in disbelief of who they were when they came into this world, and the circumstances we all found ourselves in. I think the thing I feel most looking at those pictures is thankful. Thankful for Jay who was there for me in ways I couldn’t imagine needing him, thankful for the doctors who took care of not only my girls but me, thankful for our family who was there for both of us, and mostly thankful to see those little faces every day home, healthy, and loved.

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Xo – J

SanFran

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageA few weeks ago we went out in SF for our friends’ wedding, which was so exciting because, of course, we got to see all our friends and they were getting married, but especially exciting for me since I hadn’t ever been to California! We had a great trip exploring with our friends from Brooklyn (and I got to see my friend from home too!).  Though it’s definitely hard to be the only one not allowed to have a drink! We took the red eye back after a day of being hotel-less wandering the city, and I’m pretty sure that’s the last time we ever do that. We were exhausted! Always so much fun to see a new city.

Skin

As the big day comes closer (73 days omg!) I have been obsessing (ugh yes, obsessing) over my skin, face, hair, and body.  For this one day you truly want to be perfect, which of course, doesn’t come naturally for anyone and makes you feel kinda awful.

I’ve had a bit of skin trouble lately on my face, most likely due to stress, and anyone who knows me knows I have had a lot bigger skin trouble in my past everywhere, but lately just some spots on my face that are really troubling me…

Anyways, all this leads to two things:

1. Lisa Eldridge is this amazing make up artist who I am now in love with.  I have watched all her videos and have learned so much about makeup, skincare, and she gives an overall positive vibe to everyone being beautiful, and when you aren’t how to fix it.  Check her out:

http://www.lisaeldridge.com/video/

2. The realization that I am never going to have perfect skin, but that it is going to be ok.  Spending time with my friends last weekend made me realize how unbelievably lucky I am to have such loving people around me all the time, and being surrounded by my own group of beautiful girls who are all so positive made me feel better about myself for this upcoming day where everyone is going to be staring right at me (oh, and Jay too, whoops).

Not a typical post of mine, I know, but this is what’s going on with me today!

xo – J

 

BBQ

Since this winter refuses to go away, I have still been using my crock pot a bunch for warm hearty meals.  This is a new one I made the other week, and we have had it twice since then, it is so delicious, of course easy, and you probably have almost all the ingredients in your cabinet already!

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BBQ CHICKEN CROCK POT

5-6 Chicken Boneless Breasts (frozen or regular)
18 oz bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce (regular flavor)
2 TBS Red Wine Vinegar (could prob use any vinegar but that’s what I had)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar (packed)
1 TSP Red Pepper Flakes (this really does make it spicy)
1/2 TSP Garlic Salt1/2 TSP Onion Powder
Splash of Worcestershire
Sprinkle of Cheddar

DIRECTIONS

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1. Combine all ingredients except chicken and cheddar.  Mix them all up in your crock pot until smooth.

2. Place your chicken in the pot and stir until coated by sauce mixture

3. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours

4. Pull the chicken apart in the crock pot with a fork.  Really pull it so it is super stringy, don’t leave any chunks.

5. Turn on low and let continue to cook pulled apart until you are ready to eat (which could be 10 minutes or 2 hours, the longer the spicier though).

6. Sprinkle the cheddar on top, give it a stir and serve!  So simple, so tasty!

I don’t like bread so I ate mine plain, but Jay ate his on a roll and loved it.  This definitely is a bit salty so making a nice fresh vegetable on the side is perfect!

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xo – J

party in the city where the heat is on

Well, I’m back from Miami, and it’s hard to be home in the cold!  It was such a fantastic trip filled with best friends, an insane amount of drinks, the beautiful ocean, hot weather, delicious food, and so much love.  I honestly don’t know how I got so lucky to have these 7 girls in my life.

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We spent our first day at the beach swimming and tanning, and that night at Story, which is hands down the craziest club I have ever been to!  We met this awesome promoter on the beach who got us in VIP and it’s a bit blurry from there!  (Adie, you are a trooper and my life savor!)

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Friday we were at the beach and then (yay!) everyone was finally all together.

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Saturday was definitely one of my favorite days of all time.  The girls rented a cabana and Fontainebleau for the day, which is the most beautiful hotel I have ever seen.  The cabana was right by one of the pools, there was a pool party, amazing service, celebs, and everything you could possibly think of to have the perfect day in Miami.

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We all had a bit of a freak out when we saw Anne Hathaway.  Normally I can keep my cool,  celebs came in and out of Rolling Stone all the time…and I have been pretty adamant on disliking her, but she was so beautiful in person, and really friendly.  My mind has been changed!

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I have to say the biggest thank you to this little babe above.  Kate, you did the most amazing job organizing and planning this weekend.  It was such a blast!  I love you unconditionally and can’t wait to see you again so soon. xo.

Now, let’s get warm up here Massachusetts, I can’t take this winter much longer.

xo-j

Miami Survival Kit

As this posts, I will be in Miami bachloretting with my girls!  I am so thankful to have such wonderful friends who were willing to take time off work, buy flights (and my flight), and spend time celebrating all together! I love you all so much ❤

I didn’t want to head down without giving them something, even though it is small, I thought I would make a mini survival kit.

 I Included:

Shout Wipes
Ponds Makeup Remover Wipes
Band-Aids
Advil
Gum
Tissues
Fun Matching Sunglasses

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I put all the items in these cute colored bags I bought, rolled them up, and packed them away to give to each of them at the hotel.

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Of course you could do this with makeup bags, and all different items, but I thought it was a cute idea to share, and hopefully comes in handy for each of them throughout our trip.

xo – J