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blair

Turning 37

Posted in Birthday, Personal by
BlairSchluter03

Next week I will turn 37.  THIRTY SEVEN!!  I remember when I was in my late teens/early twenties I would look at women in their late thirties and they all seemed so “put together” and mature.  I’m less than a week away from this age and I still don’t feel like I meet that standard.  I’m lucky if I do my makeup once a week, my hair is normally in a ponytail and if you see me out and about you would wonder if I own anything other than athletic wear or jeans.  I’m definitely not the image of what I had expected myself to be at this age but there are few things I’ve learned in the last few years.

Give yourself GRACE and give that GRACE equally to others.  I need people in my life that will understand my intentions are from a place of love and a sincere desire to help but let’s be real…..

I’m the one who goes to the grocery store with a  list and I still forget the items I need
I’m the one who signs up for Teacher Appreciation at MDO and brings something the VERY LAST DAY OF THE MONTH
I’m the one that buys the online tickets for the movie but gets the VERY FRONT ROW by mistake
I will forget a name five minutes after I’m introduced
I will offer to bring something to a dinner and still forget it until the very last minute
I forget the school project until the night before

I recently had a conversation with a friend about the mom comparison.  It’s real ya’ll.  BUT, only if you let it be real.  Heck, I was doing it as a teenager comparing my future self to a mom I didn’t even know.  I’m almost thirty seven and the older I get the more I own who I am and stop trying to pretend to be someone I’m not.

Do I wish I could be super PTA mom and in the best shape of my life all while preparing home cooked meals every night and remembering everything on my Target list?  Not really.  Because I’m a hot mess half the time and I like who I am.  I’m a fierce friend who may forget a lot but when you need me, there is not a single hesitation to be there.

I’m an open book.  If you sat and talked to me one on one for longer than 5 minutes you may get a lot more information than you wanted.  I blurt things out, say too much and even though it use to embarrass me now I kind of like it.  I’m not politically correct nor do I sugar coat much.

I know I put too much on my plate, it’s a problem.  If anyone knows it, it is me.  And even with all this talk of “saying no” I am STILL overbooking myself and over promising because I LOVE PEOPLE.  I love meeting new people.  I love friendships whether it is with people I’ve known my entire life or someone I just met a couple of days ago.

Yes, life is chaotic.  I have a crazy awesome husband, three kids in all kinds of activities, a church I love to be part of, a thriving photography business, a love for sharing about essential oils and friends I truly enjoy spending time with as often as possible.  So, I’ll take the little sleep and the bags under my eyes because we are given ONE LIFE and who knows just how long it will be here on Earth…..I want to make the most of it.  It is too short to live as anyone other than myself.  It is too short to not give up a little sleep for time with those we love.  It is too short to live without meaningful, loving, authentic relationships.  And the truest and most meaningful relationships are the ones where people can be absolutely, without a doubt vulnerable and completely themselves.

I blinked and I’m thirty seven.  Even though I have high hopes to keep improving and eventually get my six pack back, for now I’m happy with my hot mess self.

Photo Credit: Robby & Savannah

 

December 4, 2017
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Twin Mom Struggles

Posted in Twins by

Today was the first day of 2nd grade.  Our first year to have the boys in separate classes.  I get a lot of strange reactions when I tell people they have always been in the same class.  Most people silently judge and throw out comments about letting them be individuals (as if they aren’t already) or something similar.  You know those lists of things NOT to say in specific situations?  Well, I could come up with quite a few for parents of multiples.

When we first found out we were having twins I was TERRIFIED!  My husband got home and immediately went to our computer (we didn’t even have iPhones yet, can you remember life before instant internet access?) and looked up images of women full-term with twins.  He was so excited but cracking me up with these images of women so big and pregnant.  Then I became even more terrified.  I was growing TWO babies in my belly and I was going to get that big.

I didn’t know anyone with twins.  I had no clue what to do with one baby, much less twins.  I tried to read some books but they were all different and so I just stopped reading all together.  I went with the advice of, “you will figure it out and know what to do.”

They started out sharing one bassinet in the hospital, a co-sleeper next to our bed, then sharing one crib to then sharing a room with individual cribs.  We had an extra spare room but until I saw a need to separate them, they were good together.  They started Mother’s Day Out at 18-months, in the same class.  There was only one 18-month class.  From that point on we kept them together – 3 years for MDO, PreK, Kindergarten and then 1st grade.  They are BEST FRIENDS, not just brothers or twins.

One is more confident and outspoke while the other is a bit more reserved in a classroom setting.  Those characteristics became stronger and more apparent by the middle of 1st grade.  One was speaking more for the other, which made him not confident in asking for help.  It was an issue all year.  We struggled at school and at home.  But, I wasn’t going to split them in the middle of a school year, even if I could.

We knew we were splitting them for 2nd grade.  We have been preparing them all summer for this.  The night before our first day both boys were saying, “I’m so excited!”

We are raising two incredible boys.  They continuously blow me away with their tender hearts and loving spirits.  They are resilient, brave, kind, funny, smart and genuinely care for their friends and family.  And they rocked the first day of school!

BSP_5954

 

P.S. I may or may not have cried most of the day.

August 24, 2017
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Changes

Posted in Fynn, Sutton, Twins by

Our boys have shared everything since birth.  The longest they have been apart was when Sutton had hernia surgery at 2 1/2 or the occasional special dates they get to go on with mom and dad.  They have always loved the same things…..same sports, had the same friends, same games….everything was shared.  They are best friends, which is what we want for them.

Part of the reason they have stayed in the same class at school is for selfish reasons.  They only have class parties and parental involvement in class for so long and I don’t want to be put in the position of having to choose or miss memories with them.  I’ve never seen a major reason to separate them until this year.  They are both incredibly smart and talented.  One may excel in an area while the other excels in another.

But for some reason this year just feels like the year of changes.  We let them pick which sport they wanted to play (if any) this spring and they chose different sports.  Fynn is playing baseball and Sutton is playing soccer.  It is an adjustment in little ways but the most challenging part is our schedules just got HECTIC!  Add in my photography work and we won’t see much “free time” until June.  But they are thrilled and loving it!  It was so strange to go watch only ONE kid play a game.

And tonight is the first night they are sleeping in separate rooms!  It is time to give them their own space and let them flourish as individuals.

I’m just so thankful I get to be their mama to see the men they grow into!

BSP_2108 BSP_2158 BSP_2167 BSP_2203 BSP_2212

March 7, 2017
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October 2014

Posted in Uncategorized by

 

blog1BSP_0893BSP_1027BSP_1137BSP_1155BSP_3292BSP_3326BSP_3344BSP_3444BSP_4012October was full of fun!  We painted pumpkins and went to the pumpkin patch as well as Halloween.  Fynn was Boba Fett and Sutton was Obi Wan Kenobi.  Evie was SuperBaby.  We introduced Evie to her playmat, which she loves!

December 16, 2014
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evelyn’s arrival

Our little lady arrived August 28 at 8:28 p.m.

Her birth was absolutely amazing!  I have been planning on having a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) since the boys were born.  Where we live there aren’t many doctors who will perform VBACs so your choices are limited.  When I was just over 40 weeks I learned my doctor was going out of town, which meant if I went into labor I wouldn’t be guaranteed a VBAC.  So we decided to do a very conservative induction on the 28th.  Jason and I arrived at the hospital by 7:30 a.m. and things were started about 8:30 a.m.  My body kicked into gear pretty fast and I was laboring well.  I had an awesome nurse and Jason helping me and my doula arrived a little later in the day.  By 4:30 p.m. I was 5 cm and at 5:45 p.m. my water broke.

The entire day I kept hearing a voice say “epidural” over and over and I kept blocking it out.  My goal had been to do a natural birth.  But once my water broke the contractions were completely different and that voice got louder and louder.  My doula had me pick a code word, which meant I was serious and wanted the epidural…..I chose “bumblebee tuna” thanks to help from Jason.  The only thing that kept coming to my head was “butterball turkey” so I kept getting frustrated.  I finally gave my code word and by 6:39 p.m. the epidural was in.

At 7:54 p.m. I started pushing and she was born at 8:28 p.m.  I will NEVER EVER forget that moment when they put her on my chest.  It was that moment I had missed out on with my c-section and was the moment I had dreamed about for years.  It was so surreal and literally almost like an out of body experience.

What followed is a complete blur now.  I remember chaos.  Doctors and nurses everywhere.  Panic on some faces.  Me throwing up over and over.  I zoned out and just stared at our baby.

Turns out my placenta was embedded in my uterus – placenta accreta.  My doctor asked if I was done having kids and would be open to a hysterectomy.  No not ready for that.  I JUST GAVE BIRTH!  She performed a D&C and they literally worked for over an hour and got as much as they could.  This is the point I’m so thankful I had the epidural.  If I hadn’t I would have been rushed to the OR and put under.

From what my doula, husband and mother in law told me there was a lot of blood.

They immediately placed Evie on my chest when she was born and I got to enjoy those first moments but once things got hectic I didn’t get to hold her much.  I was so weak and light-headed and throwing up so I was in condition to hold her.

A few hours later they had me wheeled into a different Labor & Delivery room.  They kept me in L&D because I would need closer monitoring but we lucked out and Jason had his own bed.  They had me on a lot of different medications and my recovery was not what I had expected.  The medications made me tired, nauseous and one made me spike a fever.  I ended up getting two blood transfusions due to all the blood I lost.  It was a little chaotic but through it all Evie was great!  She slept, nursed and pooped around the clock.

Until that Saturday.  Jason had returned from grabbing lunch and he was letting me eat so he changed Evie’s diaper and noticed a little blood.  A nurse was in my room taking my vitals and giving me meds so he had her look at it and then from there it seemed like a whirlwind.  Jason went with her into the nursery for an x-ray and they found blood in her belly.  She was quickly admitted to the step-up NICU for monitoring and testing and received multiple blood transfusions as well.

I WAS A MESS!  I was so emotionally and physically exhausted I couldn’t take much more.  Not only was I dealing with the fears of my situation but now we had to worry if our baby was going to be okay.  By Sunday they had moved her to the children’s hospital NICU, which meant Jason had to wheel me all the way over to see her and it was so difficult leaving her each time.

By Tuesday morning we still didn’t have a cause of the bleeding but she hadn’t passed anymore blood since Sunday evening so they FINALLY let her eat.  She was only supposed to nurse 15 minutes and try to limit her intake to 10mL.  The little overachiever continuously took in more than the “allowed” amount.  By Wednesday they were letting her eat as long and as much as she wanted.  She was finally off IVs and her color was coming back.  I went home Monday night but each day I spent the entire day at the hospital with her.  It was so emotionally draining sitting in there all day.  Being surrounded by all those tiny babies and families who were suffering and dealing with way worse scenarios than us.  It was such a reminder to be thankful we had something fixable and not as serious.  I just sat and prayed and prayed for those babies.

By Thursday morning we were being discharged!  And she came home that afternoon and has been such a sweet baby.  She sleeps so well at night, going on 4 hour stretches.  She was weighed on Tuesday of this week and was already back above her birth weight – 8 lbs 6.5 oz.

I’m currently being monitored weekly by my doctor to see how my body reacts with the remaining placenta.  I’m still on medications, which make me tired and a little out of it but I’m adjusting.  I get weekly blood tests and as of now my body is reacting well.  The placenta appears to be dying off slowly, which is great.  I keep trying to cherish each day and each moment but I am ready to fast forward to the day I am back to “normal” and can enjoy this new family of five.

September 18, 2014
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evelyn

Posted in Uncategorized by

The story of Evelyn Ann……

I can’t believe it has been so long since my last post!  With my photography business and the boys and every day life time slipped by.

First, the boys are awesome.  We really are blessed with two amazing kiddos!  They just wrapped up their final year at preschool and will begin preK in August.  We played tball this spring and it was hilarious!  They did exactly what I thought they would……Fynn was focused and determined to play well and learn the game while Sutton just had fun.  We did swim lessons for two weeks, which helped SO MUCH with their swimming abilities.

so…..

Last year Jason and I discussed when we would make the move and schedule an appointment with the fertility doctor.  We had a summer full of fun and decided to make the appointment for September.  With the boys we had to do a fresh IVF cycle and it took months and months to get my body regulated and to even do the procedure but we didn’t know what would take place with a frozen embryo transfer.

It still took months….

But, like always, God had a plan and He is always perfect in His ways.  So, on December 5 we finally got to go in for our transfer.  We were giddy and nervous and super hopeful.  Our little embryo was as perfect as it could be.

We had two weeks to wait for an actual blood test but less than a week went by and I couldn’t wait…..I tested and tested and tested.  Positive!!!!!!!!!!

We were able to tell family and our best friends pretty and then got confirmation with the blood test.  The day before our scheduled ultrasound I started bleeding.  I called Jason crying and I was just terrified of losing this baby.  I wasn’t sure I could handle another loss.

The next day our beautiful baby came to the screen and I finally took a deep breath.  Strong heart beat.  That was all I needed to hear.

A couple of weeks went by and then I had some more bleeding.  My OB finally got me in for another ultrasound and we discovered there was a subchorionic hemorrhage, which isn’t super uncommon and wasn’t horrible but just something to keep an eye on.

Because of the hemorrhage I was at the high risk doctor quite often for ultrasounds.  We got to find out the gender at 16 weeks.  Jason couldn’t come to the appointment so I had the tech put it in an envelope.  The boys and I went straight to Jason’s office from the doctor and we opened it together.

GIRL.

I was SHOCKED!  I was so convinced it was a boy so it has taken some time for it to all sink in.  Fynn reacted with excitement while Sutton’s response was “but I wanted a bbbooooyyyyy!”  At least one was excited.

Everyone was so excited and we constantly get the “you finally get your girl” remarks.  I was just so excited and so blessed to be pregnant.

With monthly visits to the high risk doctor and monthly visits to the regular OB we have had so many confirmations it is a girl and she is a cutie!

The first of June I was informed there were two exposed blood vessels where the cord attaches to the placenta so I would be starting weekly non-stress tests and biophysicals at 32 weeks.  So far so good but ready to have a healthy baby in my arms!

We can’t wait to meet you Evelyn Ann.

July 25, 2014
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Subtle Changes

Posted in Updates by

I’ve noticed lately little things that have changed in both boys.

They no longer call us mama/mommy and daddy.  We have officially switched to mom and dad.  And Kiki and Pappy are becoming Kik (keek) and Pap.

Sutton used to be very emotional when things didn’t go his way.  Not ALL the time but MOST of the time.  It did get draining at times but lately he has been so happy-go-lucky.  And since Fynn nursed and Sutton didn’t I always felt like I developed a bond with Fynn easier.  I remember crying because I felt like I never saw Sutton when they were newborns.  In the past few months I feel as though our bond has grown so much.  He loves to sit by me, snuggle with me and ask me LOTS and LOTS of questions.  He will ask questions over and over until he understands.  When he finally gets it he will say, “OOOOOHHHHH!” with a huge grin.

Sutton is a bit behind on his fine motor skills.  The boy does not enjoy coloring or play doh or drawing with chalk….really anything in that realm of activities.  But I have introduced new games that will help him develop these skills and he seems to be interested…for the time being.

Fynn is OBSESSED with football.  Kid can throw a spiral and catch a running pass.  He could play catch for hours.  Even when I can’t play he will play alone.  And he loves to pick his nose and toot.  Yep, kid loves to toot.  He thinks it is the funniest thing in the entire world and man oh man do they stink.  We keep saying he can only do it at home, outside, in the car and at Kiki’s house.  Fynn is a pleaser and super sensitive.  If he gets in trouble he gets so upset.  Hates for anyone to be unhappy with him.

We just wrapped up our first soccer season.  Sutton didn’t surprise me much.  He did what I expected him to do – run around like the free spirit he is!  Fynn started the season loving practice but when we would scrimmage he freaked out.  We taught him to kick the ball in the goal but never introduced the concept of defense and the other team he would play against.  He sat out the first few weeks but when Uncle Kelly came into town he helped him on the field and since then he was a soccer stud.  He even scored a goal, which with 3 and 4 year olds that is rare.  He loved it!  Next up….t-ball in the spring.

Funny sayings
Fynn: “Pap is about to call me stinky man”
Sutton: “I like to do that, but I don’t like to do that.”
Fynn: “I tooted!”
Fynn: “tomarno” (too-mar-no=tomorrow)

And when referencing anything in the past it was always “last night.”

November 16, 2013
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A big request

Posted in Twins by

You both have been asking for a baby for a few months now and it is the sweetest request I’ve ever heard.

Just today on the way home from school Fynn asked when his baby is coming because it is taking a long long time.  I asked if he wanted a baby brother or baby sister and as usual he said sister.  Then both boys went on and on about how they would rock the baby, give the baby a bottle, a binkie, a baby snack and Fynn said he would share his cars with her.

I love you two so much and I am so lucky to be your mom.

 

October 8, 2013
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In the big bed

Posted in Parenting by

I love my husband.  I love that my husband is the father of our children.

Yesterday Jason told me we should let the boys sleep in our bed just because.  They never get to do that except the 2-3 times they have been sick.  And I love that he reminds me to do things like that.

When I was growing up I never really dreamed of being a mom.  I don’t remember playing “mommy” with dolls but rather remember collecting baseball cards and playing with my brother.  When Jason and I decided to try to have a baby I never really thought about the newborn phase much.  Each year that passed and the desire for a baby became bigger and bigger I dreamed of things that came with motherhood.  I couldn’t wait for our kids to come get in our bed on Saturday mornings and to snuggle and make a big breakfast.  I couldn’t wait to do things with my kids like take them to the park or zoo.  The newborn phase just wasn’t something I thought much about.  I looked forward to sweet, innocent conversations with my kids or to teach them things like painting for the first time.

Life tends to get busy and every parent knows the time to get things done is after bedtime.  As a photographer that is my time to edit and work.  As a mom it’s my time to get laundry done and clean the kitchen.  So, when Jason mentioned letting the boys sleep in our bed I brushed it off and said I had too much to get done.  Fast forward to our bedtime.  I looked at Jason and said, “now I wish we had let them sleep with us.”  What did we do?  Well of course we went and woke up our kids and brought them to our bed.  Sutton slept through the entire thing but Fynn got upset and said, “I wanna sleep in my bed.”  We tried for a few minutes but Fynn was all over the place, even bonking heads with Jason and smacking Sutton in the face.  Both settled down for a little bit and for a brief moment my arm was wrapped around both boys and I could feel their heart beats.  In that moment I stopped and prayed to God.  I thanked him for those two heart beats.  There was a small window of time in our lives where I didn’t know if we would get to be parents or not.  Laying there, feeling each beat of their hearts I thought about those days of worry and fear and sadness.  Looking back I know the timing was all God’s work and He had it SOOOO right!  Those days of tears and frustration all lead to today.  Today I have so much more faith in God’s plan and much more comfort in knowing God has control.  I choose to trust Him.

We were a little bummed the boys didn’t last long in our bed.  What kid doesn’t want to come sleep in the big bed?!

I’m just thankful for a husband who reminds me to stop and do things like this.

September 16, 2013
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Nothing But Happiness

Posted in Uncategorized, Updates by

Life is full of HAPPINESS!  We are so blessed with two boy who are seriously SO MUCH FUN.  They have become so close and sometimes we wonder if it might be a little codependent but who cares..they are 3.

Fynn is somewhat of a “mama’s boy” but he is also so tough and loves things like wrestling with daddy, playing football, jumping on the couch or bed and anything that screams BOY!  He is super sensitive and says the sweetest things to me.  Today when I picked them up from their 2nd day of school this year he said, “I love you mama.”  And we will be driving and he will say, “you’re pretty mama.”  They hear it from their daddy! 🙂
Fynn literally wants to eat all day long and he is still a good sleeper.  I can usually count on him to take a nap.  In the morning he will go over and wake up Sutton and ask, “you have sweet dreams bubba?”  He really does enjoy learning how things work and what things mean.  I get about 300 “why” questions a day.
Fynn could eat mac n’ cheese every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I would let him.  He really loves to color and draw and is getting really good at writing letters and numbers.  Fynn also minds really well and rarely gets in trouble.  When he senses he might get in trouble he pulls out one of his “I love you mama” and smiles with his beautiful blue eyes.  Already working it!

I
always say Sutton is going to sing and dance through life.  He is so full of life and extremely expressive.  He has the attention spam of a typical 3-year-old boy.  He is my emotional, sensitive and outgoing child.  He can make friends with anyone he meets.  On his first day of school he informed me he had a girlfriend and that night he wanted to pray for her.  He has a great imagination!  He can come up with fun, descriptive ways to play with his brother.  He still doesn’t love sleep.  Naps are few and far between.  But, when he does nap it is a LLLLOOONGGG one.  Sutton loves to REALLY describe everything in detail.  And I just want to bottle up his belly laugh and keep it with me forever!  When he is in the right mood he will give you LOTS of hugs and kisses.  When he gives hugs they are the biggest, sweetest hugs you will ever get!  He enjoys reading books and will sit and “read” them forever.  And yes he still loves movies and now really loves iPad games.


To say we enjoy these two would be a major understatement.

The Mamarazzi

 

September 6, 2013
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