it walks.

our wedding

I posted yesterday on the anniversary of our engagement and got a few questions about our wedding and if we were married yet. I guess I've never told the story of how we were married. 

As we know, I was pregnant shortly after we were engaged. I quit my job, packed 2 suitcases and moved my little self to California. We hadn't really planned on a wedding at that point because we'd only been engaged for a couple of months and were still adjusting to a new life in a studio apartment, as an engaged couple, expecting twins.

I quit my job to move and my health benefits also ended 30 days after I left (so I would have been without insurance at the beginning of October 2009). We'd done some research on our other options and the easiest and least expensive solution was for us to be married so I could receive the health benefits under Chikezie's plan. I know it doesn't seem like the most romantic thing, but that's what we needed to do at the time. My health and the boys' health was what was most important and we decided to do what was necessary. And I mean, it's not like we weren't going to get married, we just hadn't planned on doing it so soon.

So on Friday, September 25, 2009 Chikezie stopped home to pick me up over his lunch break so we could head to the Laguna Hills Courthouse and get ourselves hitched. We didn't have any family nearby and needed to be officially married before the 30th for the health benefits to cross over. 

After about 30 minutes in line at the courthouse we had all of our paperwork complete. The woman certified to marry us took us into a little side room where she could perform the ceremony. She counted as the witness so we didn't need anyone else there. She said a few things, we repeated the vows she asked us to, we kissed and done! The whole thing took probably 7 minutes. 

Afterward we went to eat lunch and Chikezie headed back to work, a married man.

I would not have had it any other way. To those with big plans for weddings and a big party, it may seem so unromantic and not special. I think sometimes we get caught up in the whole mess of weddings that we forget the reason it's all happening; two people committing to spend their lives together. I know our family and friends really wish they could have been there to witness it and at times I wish that, too. 

I look back on that day with so much happiness. We didn't take a single picture, we wore shorts and t-shirts, we didn't have to entertain anyone or focus on a single thing but each other. It's a memory that only Chikezie and I share about the day we promised to love each other for better or for worse. I don't know what's more romantic than that. It was just our style. We've always had kind of an understated love. One that just works, that paddles quietly behind the scenes keeping it all together. Our love isn't out there, its not a show for others, it just exists.

We plan on one day in the future having some kind of vow renewal ceremony with a little reception of close friends and family to celebrate our love and new family. But for now, I'm completely happy with being Mrs. Ejiasi, the one who didn't wear a white dress on her wedding day. The one who had two little babies growing in her tummy as she and her first love promised to have true love forever. 


I said yes.

Two years ago today, he asked her to be his wife. 

After 1,677 miles, after 1,330 days together, after 1 break up, after 2 bouts with long distance, after millions of kisses, thousands of hugs and falling deeper and deeper into love...he asked her to marry him.

On Skype.


And then he came home to give her the ring, and that week they made babies. Two of them. At the same time.

The End. 



To read the FULL story of our engagement GO HERE.

Wordless[ish] Wednesday: a new house

Thanks to Summer (from The Crosbie Crew) the boys have a new house to play with. And holy cows they are LOVING it. Especially Julian (in the blue and white stripes). 

Don't you love the jammies? Their room gets cold at night. And I don't care about matching, so this is what we wear to bed :)

He loves playing peek-a-boo through the door.

OH OH OH I LOVE this photo. Look at Julian "running" excitedly toward us!

Isaiah decided to just lay in the doorway for awhile.


I can't get enough of these guys, seriously. 

let's swap, yo


You want to swap ads next month? You'll even get your very own sponsor post. 

(Have no fear current sponsors, for you too shall be carried over to next month and will be getting your own post as well)

Email me, yo.
mamamandolin@gmail.com

feeling good

Life is good, people. Sometimes we just really need a reminder of that. Even on days when the little dramas that seem to totally consume the world of us stay-at-home moms, life is still good. We tend to get caught up in the little stuff when all we do is stay home with our kids. Sometimes it's nice to take a step back and refocus our thoughts. There is a bigger picture. And the fact that we get to stay home with our children every day and have husbands that work their hineys off to make sure we can...MAN! 

SO awesome.

This song makes me feel good. And reminds me of the man who works hard to make our lives good.


You know what else makes me feel good? 

This new red hair of mine. 

I did my best to make some wavy curls based on Stephanie's tutorial over at Polos, Pearls and Pacifiers. It's supposed to be for long hair but I did my best with my short hair. And I added a center part to be all Farrah Fawcetty. I'm actually kind of digging the center part for now. 

favorite photo of June

This is my favorite photo of June. 



The brothers having a picnic under the grandpa tree. This tree is just so awesome in real life-the picture doesn't do it justice. I would love to have a big backyard with a tree like this to dream under. 

Mondays Are Awesome Vol. 3

That's right. Mondays ARE awesome. I'm determined to start your week off on a fun note. This week we're going to get to know the fun side of Chelsey from The Paper Mama. Well, she's always fun, so this is another fun side of her that we haven't seen yet. YESSSSS!

Stats
name/age/location 
Chelsey/28/Oregon



Kids/spouses (or pet) 
Mike, Laureli (aka Ruari) (born December 18th, 2009, Angus the Chihuahua, and Princess and Pistachio the kitties.



What would be your dream job?
Blogging/running my Etsy shop has become my dream job! While I'm not really making a living from blogging/my etsy shop right now... I hope that I can in the future. That's a dream job. Doing what you love!
Name a secret talent.
Hmmm... a secret talent... I really can't think of one. 

Pet peeves...I know you have them.
My biggest pet peeve has always been if someone says they'll do something... and then they don't. BUT, with that said I have been guilty of this too. So, I really just try not to let it bother me. Try. Life happens... we're not perfect. :)

What is one of your bad habits?
It's not so much a habit... but, it does happen all the time. I'm very forgetful! Always have been. I really don't like it... but, I am. I like to tell the same stories over and over. I forget names A LOT. --- so, don't be too upset if I can't remember yours. I forget appointments... etc. Oye.

What is something bad you did when you were a kid?
When I was 5 we went to Michael's (a super craft store) and I noticed that the floor was covered with the fake fabric flowers that had fallen off the stems. So, I figured the store didn't want them anymore since they were broken! I thought the best thing to do was to stuff as many as I could down my overalls. And, I did. When we got home I went to the bathroom to remove them and glory in my new found treasure... my mom walked in and that was it. I was in trouble. Apparently stuffing those flowers down my overalls was stealing. I wasn't helping Michael's clean up their floors. I was a robber. A criminal. I'm still traumatized by this. :)



Best concert you've been to. 
Always always: Dave Mathews Concert in 2002 in the Gorge where I met Mike. I was 19. He was 23. Amazing concert that led to the man I'm married to and have a baby with today. I still can't believe it sometimes. I met a guy in a concert with thousands of people... and we are still together almost 9 years later. Whoa.


What is the best thing about you?
This is a great question. I don't think we as mom's/human beings really compliment ourselves enough. We are beautiful! I think the best thing about me: I'm kind. I have my bad days... but, I truly want to be nice and kind to everyone! I really do. It kills me if I think I hurt anyone's feelings.

Have you met anybody famous? If not, who would you like to meet?
I met one of the Trail Blazers when I was little... don't remember who it was. And, while trying to meet Blink 182... they stopped signing autographs just a few spots ahead of me and I met Len instead. :) You know.... the one hit wonder band: Steal My Sunshine?




And in case you don't:

Name something you love and something you absolutely despise.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE chocolate. Milk chocolate please... no dark. I'll eat chocolate in anything... except I don't like liquid/drink chocolate. Make's me gag a lot.

I really really really do NOT like black licorice or root beer. Yuck. Barf. I can't even stand the smell.

Your drink of choice. (Preferably alcoholic...but if you don't drink that's cool, too)
I'm a wine girl for sure. Wine wine wine. I prefer red... but, I like a nice Sauv Blanc on a warm day with some shrimp... yum... where's my wine?



Do YOU want to be awesome on a Monday? Email me at mamamandolin@gmail.com to participate. You'll get this feature post all to yourself, get to show the world your silly side, and get some prime real estate up on my right side bar for the week you're featured.

Happy Monday, friends.

you guys.

You guys. Seriously? Life is crazy at the moment, hence the reason I haven't been posting as often as usual. And to keep you from being bored of what I'm calling a crazy life, I'll use bullet points to highlight the million things in my brain at the moment. 


  • Since we got rid of pacifiers 2 days ago (this has been our 3rd night w/out a pacifier) the boys go to bed without a peep at night. They only cried the first night! Nap time has been a little trickier (not as long of a nap, taking a long time to get to sleep). But all in all, it was pretty easy!
  • We have so much fun planned for the 4th of July and have visitors coming, there is just so much to do... holy cows it's almost JULY already?? We haven't had any family or friends visit us since last summer. 
  • Today I treated myself to a mani/pedi. I got neon green polish on my toes. Makes me happy. 
  • I'm fairly certain Julian said his first legit word yesterday, "dada". He totally looked right at Chikezie and said Dada. And has been saying it for the past two days now. 
  • ALSO, I think today Isaiah had some kind of walking revelation. All afternoon he was letting go of things and walking half way across the room on his own. I can't begin to tell you how happy I am for this. Y'all know how long I've been waiting for them to start walking. You all tell me that they'll do it in good time. But y'all don't have places to go with 2 boys who aren't walking yet. It just makes EVERYTHING more complicated. They're not little babies anymore. 
  • And, I got my first battle wound of motherhood today. While I was taking things out of the dryer, Julian was ticked off at me trying to close the dryer door and slammed the dryer door against my head. Jerk. If you look closely you'll see a red mark in the middle of my forehead. 

  • Also, I got my eyebrows waxed today. It was very necessary. And the girl who did my eyebrows told me out of nowhere "You are so beautiful." She sounded so genuine, and she's cut my hair before so I know she's a pretty genuine person-it was a nice compliment. I don't know if I've heard that recently. And don't my eyebrows look fab?
  • I desperately need new glasses. These are 2 years old, the prescription 3 years old. I have to really squint to see anything from them. Like right now. I'm blind people.
Ok, time to focus on some Mad Men. 


peace out paci.

It had to happen sometime. And I thought, sooner rather than later. We finally did it. The pacies are gone. They had just started to become an obsession, a manipulation tool and the subject of many baby fights. I decided it was time to free our family from the pacies and hopefully help teach the boys that they can soothe themselves to sleep. That they don't need a pacifier. And that their bear and puppy to cuddle with are enough. 

 I think as parents, sometimes we think no crying baby means we're doing everything right. We stick in a pacifier because it'll make them stop crying instead of getting to the root of why they're really crying or whining in the first place, and teaching them ways to cope without the pacifier. I've learned a lot of diversion tricks during the day to keep our mind off of the pacifier. And I think I've been more in tune with them without the pacifiers during the day. But now we need to be done with them at night, too. Because the pacifier somehow ends up in mouths on days I'm tired or frustrated. I give in and it sets them back. 


I cut the nipple off of the pacifiers and then let the boys see them. Julian was frustrated there wasn't anything to suck on, Isaiah just chewed on the end like normal. After they saw what their pacies had become, I took them away and now we're done. We put the boys to bed after a book last night with their lovies and a kiss goodnight. I was anxious about how the night would go but knew it wasn't about me being a "softie" for them, this is really what is best for them. They may not know it right now, but it is. And I'll be glad I did this now instead of in 6 months.

They cried and cried. Isaiah gave up after about 30 minutes and I couldn't stand to listen to Julian anymore so I went in to cuddle and calm him. After literally 2 minutes in my arms, I felt his head and arms go limp on my shoulders. He was asleep. I rocked him for 5 minutes hoping he'd be in a deeper sleep when I laid him down. But of course he woke up, looking for his paci when I put him down and his cry-clock was reset. He cried for another 30 minutes before falling asleep. In retrospect, I shouldn't have gone in there. I think he would have tired a little quicker if I would have just let him be.  

And they slept all night.

Here is a quick little look at our memories with the pacies over the past year and a half.

Julian after his first bath.

Isaiah cuddling with Uncle Bryce by the fire after a day of swimming and fun outside.

Pacies in the dark and a little scary Long Beach Aquarium.

Pacies helping us brave the scary grass. 

One of the many first fights over a paci.

Paci comforting Isaiah in a car ride to Grandma's on a freezing and snowy Christmas Day in Iowa. After our first long plane trip and very early morning. An exhausted boy.

Crying because the pacies are out of reach under the crib.

Trying to backwardly grab Julian's paci...even though he has his own.

A new stage of paci love comes in; the hoarding stage. Now he needs one in his hand as a back up even though there's on in his mouth.

Paci comforting Julian on a day he didn't feel so well.

And our final picture with a pacifier.

Peace out, Paci. Thanks for all your love and help over the past year and a half but now this relationship has become toxic. And we're too old for you.


***
Update: Now we're working on the first nap with no pacifier. 30 minutes in and both boys are still pissed off. They're just feeding off of each other and yelling. But the thing with twins is, I can't go in now because I'm alone. If I pick one boy up to soothe him, the other will be mad I'm not holding him. And as soon as I put them back down, the crying will start all over. 

It's going to be a loooong day! 



details worth remembering

There are so many little things about how the boys look right now that I don't want to forget. Soon, they'll be bigger boys and will have lost these last little remnants of their new-toddler stage. Every once in awhile I just like capturing these little details. This might be our only time with little boys and I want to drink in as much as I can.

Soft little hands.

Size 18 month shirts that are slowly getting too small.

Dimpled knuckles.

That dang paci.

Rubber band wrists.

Neck rolls. Chubby cheeks. Little chin. And hands that awkwardly wave bye-bye.

Grace Loves the Beatles


15 months

We finally got around to scheduling the well baby check up this month. We always end up a couple weeks late but whatever, they are still 15 months. 


Here's how the boys measure up this month:
Julian
25lb 6.5oz (48th percentile), 33" (90th percentile), Head Circumference: 49 1/2 (95th percentile)

Isaiah
25lb 11.5 oz (50th percentile), 32 1/2" (77th percentile), Head: 49 1/2 (95th percentile)


Essentially they didn't gain much weight from their 12 month check up (not quite 1lb each) but both grew an inch and half. They're a lot more active these days which is why I'm guessing their weight has gone down in the rankings. They also got some shots and I was told they needed therapy again. UGH. 

I called the regional center that does the therapy and got an assessment on the boys over the phone. At first the girl I was talking to wasn't really sure if the boys were qualified for therapy. I'm not sure if they are either. By the end of the conversation she told me she was sending some applications for both of them in the mail and some other person was going to be calling me from the Mission Viejo office to set up our first appointment. I don't know if that means they're going to be doing therapy or not. As long as it's no money out of my pocket and whatever we do will ultimately help the boys develop as they should, I'm for it. 

If in fact they qualified, the pediatrician suggested they do some speech therapy since neither one of the boys are saying any words yet (which I don't think they're really that behind on but if they have something that will help me get them talking when they need to, again, I'm for it.) I think they might also do some physical therapy to help Julian and his foot. Maybe help with his balance so he can really have more confidence with walking. He has the will, his body just isn't cooperating.

Anyways. I survived the appointment with them by myself. Two non walking babies to a doctor appointment is a lot of work. One baby in the Ergo on my back, I carried the other and also a backpack. Their shots sucked, because Isaiah had to watch Julian get them. And Julian moved a little when he got the last one and got a scratch from the needle on his leg. The stupid nurse wouldn't let me hold his other leg (she said she could do it) and he must have used it to push up.

But we're home now. And they'll hopefully nap. Not because they're tired but because I need a little breather. 

tub life

Pocoyo and friends. Bathtub warriors. If you haven't seen this cartoon, you should. It's simple, clean and not at all annoying like a lot of other cartoons. The boys really enjoy it.

Here's Pocoyo in action:

Isaiah, thoroughly enjoying tubby time.

 Wordless[ish] Wednesday link ups:



summer suits

My goal with working out and eating well over the past few months was to confidently post a couple pictures of my swimming suits on the first day of summer. Well, today is the first day of summer! Time to check off a goal! (I'm pre-posting this so I don't chicken out!)

I found these two suits last spring and I felt like a whale in them last year. I'd only had the boys a few months earlier and was about 10lbs heavier than I probably am now. (My scale is gone forever!) I do really like these two suits although it's really hard for me to find a one piece that fits my body. I'm 5'9 but I'm all torso. And my bottom is bigger than my top so if I get a large suit, the bottom is fine and the top is loose. 

I got this suit at Old Navy. It scrunches up around the middle nicely and it's one I wear if I'm with the boys because I don't feel like having a strapless top pulled off in public. (Um, obviously.) I kind of wish it were a different color but I don't mind this I guess. I'm just not much of a purpley person.


And this suit I got at Target. It's one of those that fits the bottom fine but is really loose up top. There is a strap for it....but I'm still trying to locate where that went. It also gets kind of hot in the sun and it's kind of double-layerd which adds to the hotness. But it scrunches at the mid section really well and helps hide a mommy tummy and as always, black is always slimming. I think they actually still sell one like this at Target. 



Now...if we could only get to the beach!  Actually, I'm hoping to get some beach time in over the 4th of July.  What kind of suit are you wearing this summer and where did you find it? I'm always looking for something that fits a little better. 

hello red!

While the boys were napping I got a little wild. I was thinking of going more blonde for the summer but my roots were starting to come through and I didn't want to deal with constant highlighting. So this is where I went:

Color: Natural Dark Auburn. Before and After.

I already had the freckles and red tints to my hair, all I needed was a little boost. 

And now I'm a full-on redhead. And I'm loving it.