The Joys of Motherhood

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Anyone that you talk to about babies will tell you “They grow up so fast!” It is totally true. I have to say that I am enjoying every moment, even the hard ones. Here are some of the joys that I get to experience (times two!):

  • soft hands
  • fast-growing nails
  • sounds while nursing
  • diaper changing adventures
  • smiles just for Mommy and Daddy
  • slow-growing hair
  • pawing my chest while nursing
  • eye twinkles
  • reaching hands up to us
  • brightening up a room when Mommy or Daddy comes in

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#IceBucketChallenge and #BathWaterBucketChallenge

We were challenged by Paul and Merelene Valder to take the Ice Bucket Challenge as a part of our Lot 15 Hokies tailgating group. We have decided to donate to Hospice of the Piedmont in the memory of Tim’s Uncle Dave (and our son David’s namesake). We have challenged our twins Audrey and David (we have something special for them), my brothers Tee and Josh, and the University of Richmond radio station, WDCE.

And then…

Audrey and David were challenged (by us) to take the Ice Bucket Challenge. While it isn’t quite safe for babies to take this challenge, they did take the Bath Water Bucket Challenge. They now challenge their baby cousin Matix and baby friend Baxter to take the Bath Water Bucket Challenge. Please Note: All bath water was WARM!

Review: Cleopatra’s Choice Shea Butter


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As a part of a way to live more naturally, we are trying to eat organic, cook more often, use essential oils (over other drugs). As a part of that, I was interested with trying out Shea butter. We received a tub of Shea butter from Cleopatra’s Choice for us to try and review. You can find the listing on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/b00kqascdg

In my posts, I always like to list some uses of the products I try. Here are some uses that I found:

  • improves many skin conditions: blemishes, wrinkles, eczema, dermatitis
  • treats skin allergies, insect bites, sunburns, frostbites
  • treatments for extreme dry and cracking skin
  • uses as a lip balm
  • put under lipstick to keep it in place
  • mix with a hair conditioner for a deep hair treatment
  • put on feet before you put on socks
  • apply to your belly to reduce stretch marks (before, during, and after pregnancy)
  • use on cuticles
  • rub on insect bites to help relieve itchiness
  • apply to paper cuts to reduce the risk of scar or pain
  • use as a hair sculpture gel
  • use as a carrier oil with your favorite essential oils

So what are my thoughts about this particular Shea butter from Cleopatra’s Choice? It comes in a 1 lb tub-  the same kind of container that you would get a small container of soup from a Chinese restaurant. In that way, I was totally underwhelmed by the packaging. Because of this, when I lifted the top off, I had to be careful not to get Shea butter everywhere. There was a sticker on the top to note that this was the ivory color (instead of the yellow color). It then lists that is is 100% pure and organic, deep absorbing, long lasting hydration, treats dry skin, minor burns, and eczema, does not clog pores or leave skin greasy, has rich amounts of vitamins A and E, helps treat “dreak spots, skin discolorations, stretch marks and blemishes” (spelling mistakes on the packaging?).

After using it, it works just like Shea butter has for me in the past. A little bit goes a LONG way. Will I use it for my go-to moisturizer? Absolutely not. I have never loved the overly-heavy feeling of Shea butter, and I do think that it feels greasy when applied. That being said, I am happy to have it on hand to use for really dry-skin days, as well as a carrier “oil” to mix with my new Young Living Essential Oils.

Although I did not have this brand, I will say that I loved using Shea butter on my stomach during my pregnancy, not that it necessarily helped with stretch marks (which is totally genetic, by the way), but that it reeeeeally helped me on my itchiest days (which were quite often during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters). 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. #adovia

9 Months Old!

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I can hardly believe that we have 9 month old babies! It’s been such a blessing to be their mommy and to see the changes that they have gone through in just this one month!

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Things We Love About Audrey

  • the way we can predict that another tooth is about to pop through because of her pursing her lips and spitting
  • the way that she looks at David when they try a new food to see if they should eat it or spit it out (“Brother, do we likes this? Ok, we like this./Oh yeah, it’s awful.”)
  • how she still gets so excited, pumps her arms, and has the biggest smile on her face
  • her fits of giggles when she sees her brother
  • the way she races (crawling) around the playroom, stopping to sit every now and then to see if David is chasing her.
  • how she will whine in her crib until her brother wakes up (and then they talk until we come to get them)
  • how she will pull herself into a standing position onto just about anything
  • her “yelling” at books when they don’t magically open up
  • her sudden kisses- they don’t happen all the time, but when they do, she grabs your face (or David’s head) and gives you the biggest kiss in the world… Heaven!
  • how she is now in 12 month PJs because of her long body
  • the extreme challenge in changing a diaper or clothes
  • Audrey’s love of her new mini Cabbage Patch Kid Desi

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Things We Love About David

  • after 4 months of teething like a champ, he now has two teeth (7/27 and 7/30)!
  • the way that David army crawls soooo fast
  • how he chases after his sister around the playroom
  • the way he now opens books and flips through the pages
  • how he still loves to be on his back more than anything
  • the graceful way that he goes from a sitting position to crawling
  • his sideways GQ pose- like he wants to sit himself up, but he’s ok just posing
  • how he will whine in his crib until his sister wakes up (and then they talk until we come to get them)
  • his kissing sound show that he wants more food or more kisses (depending on the situation)
  • how he will stick out his tongue and blow raspberries when he is finished eating or drinking his bedtime bottle
  • how he is now in 12 month PJs because of his long body
  • the extreme challenge in changing a diaper or clothes (we thought we had escaped it with him, but it started very recently)
  • how, if you give him 4 pieces of food he will try to put them all in his mouth… and succeed
  • how he talks with his mouth full
  • his gigantic grin that he gives his daddy when he gets home from work

Young Living Essential Oils

Disclaimer: I have not been paid for these statements. All thoughts and opinions are my own. If there are any incorrect statements, I will edit them as soon as I am made aware.


A week ago, I had an online Essential Oils (EO) 101 Party/Class with Angela Bickford, a fellow MOM. I had been talking with her about oils for months, and I was finally ready to bite the bullet and get my Young Living Kit.

What is Young Living?

Young Living is a company that has been in business for many, many years, harvesting and selling essential oils for personal use. One reason that I was drawn to them is their Seed to Seal process (they grow the plants, harvest, and then bottle and sell the oils). I like that it is all with one company without working with middlemen along the way. It is very controlled and YL is extremely careful with their process. Fun fact: 2% of essential oils sold in the US are suitable for medicinal purposes, and YL sells 98% of them! You can find out more about the Seed to Seal process here.

Without bashing other oil companies, here is a problem with some others. Most EO are extracted from the plants using high heat and high pressure with some chemicals. The final product will still have the smell, but it won’t carry the same therapeutic qualities of the oils. There also aren’t any standards in labeling essential oils. It can actually be a diluted oil, but can still (legally) be called 100% Pure Essential Oil. Yikes! Usually, you can spot these by looking at the price. Essential Oils should be more expensive ($15-$150 a bottle) because of the process and rarity in extracting the oils from the plants. While the FDA doesn’t have standards, they have asked Gary Young (the founder of Young Living) to help create standards for essential oil labeling.

How do I use essential oils?

There are 4 main ways to use essential oils: inhale, diffuse, topical application, or ingest. You will want to be careful with each of these options, as some should only be used a certain way. For instance, some oils are considered “hot” oils and should be diluted before applying topically. Some are not safe to ingest. Some can be used in all four ways safely (as long as you have a good, trustworthy oil company). Before using any oils, it is always best to do your research, especially if you take any medications (as some oils react with medications).

How To Use

How can I purchase oils?

You have a few options. You can purchase individual oils at the retail rate. If you have a smaller budget or only want to try an oil or two, this is a good option. Occasionally, some distributors may offer sales, but for the most part, assume that you will be spending the retail rate plus tax and shipping. You can see the products here.

If you just can’t make up your mind about which oils you want, I would HIGHLY encourage you to get one of the kits. There are some options here with the amount and size of the kits, but it will give you the most bang for your buck, because you will also get a wholesale membership as well. As a wholesale member, you will save 24% off of the retail rate of future purchases.

What is the kit?

You have some options here. You can get the starter kits that vary in size and price ($40-$150). The Basic Starter Kit ($40) has mostly sample sizes, as well as some business literature for you (in case you want to sell YL). The Basic Plus Starter Kit ($75) is similar to the Basic Starer Kit, but it also includes a diffuser. The next level (and the one that I chose) is the Premium Starter Kit ($150), because it comes with the samples, literature, and diffuser, but it also includes the Everyday Oils collection, which is 10 different 5 mL of oils (Joy™, Frankincense, Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, Purification, PanAway, Peace & Calming®, Thieves®, and Valor®) . Remember, with these kits, you also can purchase anything you want at the 24% discount.

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If you get the kit, do you need to sell it?

The short answer is “no,” but you can become a distributor if you want, simply because you have bought the kit. After purchasing the kit, there are no requirements to sell anything. To retain your wholesale rate, you just have to spend $50 (at that wholesale rate, remember) within a year.

If you do decide to sell it to make a commission and bonuses, you don’t have to do anything extra to “sign up.” There are some minimums to meet in order to make a commission in a month, however. I am still learning this, so I won’t write too much. I’m actually not interested in this end of it, but I have a great enroller/sponsor (Angela Bickford) who would be more than willing to fill you in on the details. Let me know if you want more information and her contact information.

What oils should I start with?

Obviously, there is a reason why the Everyday Oils collection comes in the Premium Starter Kit.

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It has 10 of the best, most-used oils (and some of my favorites). You can read about them in the online guide.

Benefits and Uses of Lavender Oil

We originally started with lavender oil, because it has so many uses. We used it for teething and calming the babies, but it is really considered the jack-of-all-trades of oils. I wrote a post about using lavender oil that you may find helpful.
Benefits and Uses of Thieves Oil
There are pure oils and then oil blends (a mixture of pure oils). Young Living also sells a blend of oils called Thieves, which is another one that I have been DYING to get my hands on. I am able to get it in my kit, which is awesome. It is to help with all kinds of cleaning and disinfection and heading off of germs.
Benefits and Uses of Purification
Another blend that I’m excited about is Purification (also in the kit), because it is supposed to be great for keeping mosquitos away. It is also something that I want to try for clogged milk ducts.
Another great all-purpose oil is Tea Tree Oil (also called Melaleuca). We have used this in different ways for acne-prone skin (as a spot treatment, face and body wash, and as a daily face mist). We are also going to start using this for all-purpose cleaning as well. You can read about different uses for tea tree/melaleuca oil on this post.
A lot of these are safe for kids as well, which is why we are getting into it- less chemicals around them. There is also a set of KidScent Oil Collection that has sadly been sold out since it was first introduced. These are pre-mixed and diluted and ready for your little ones! As soon as they become available again, I am going to pounce.
Here are some snapshots from ADropAtAThyme.com about the others oils that come in the premium kit, just so you can see all that these basic oils (and blends) can do:
Benefits and Uses of Valor Benefits and Uses of Peppermint OIl Benefits and Uses of Peace and Calming Benefits and Uses of Pan Away Benefits and Uses of Lemon Oil Benefits and Uses of Joy Benefits and Uses of Frankincense
That’s it for the oils that are included in the premium kit. Here are some other snapshots of oils that are not in the premium kit:
Benefits of Melaleuca Benefits of Basil Benefits of Balsam Fir Benefits of Di-Gize

Other Questions

Do you have any other questions? Write them in the comments, and I will add them here and answer them (to the best of my ability).

 

 

Review: Mandala Yoga Massage Balls


Disclaimer: I received the following product for review. This post contains affiliate links.

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Ever since I became pregnant with the twins, I started having shoulder blade and back pain. After a year of off-and-on physical therapy, we discovered that it was probably due to the changes in my body due to the pregnancy (something with my spine slipping out of alignment), and it just keeps getting irritated because of the leaning over, bending, holding, and breastfeeding. An exercise or stretch will help for a time, but sooner or later the pain will come back.

When I had the opportunity to try out the Mandala Yoga Massage Balls, I was excited to give them a test.

Mandala Massage Balls

They came quickly through the mail in a regular package without many directions, so I went to their website to get some information about usage. On the care page, it recommended that you wash them in warm soapy water and then towel dry (a good practice for anything new that comes into your home).

They remind me of lacrosse balls in size, but because they are all rubber, they have a bit more give and squishiness to them, which feels much better for massaging sore muscles.

Unlike other massagers or techniques, you are meant to put the massagers on the pressure point and then let your body weight and gravity take over. You don’t have to roll around (although you certainly can) to have them work effectively. You would ideally stay on the ball for 2-3 minutes to let them really work out the muscle before moving off.

They work because of myofascial release, which is a soft tissue therapy, meant to treat of skeletal muscle pain and immobility. It is also called myofascial trigger point therapy, which is very similar to the massage that I get through physical therapy. As part of my treatment, I was instructed to use a tennis ball to help pinpoint the painful area and put pressure on it. Let me tell you, however, that these work so much better! The flexibility that they have, mixed with the firmness helps to put the right amount of pressure on the pain.

Mandala Tight Hip Flexor

Mandala Foot Pain Release

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For more information, check out the following:


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theyogamassageball

 

Website: http://www.theyogamassageball.com

 

Tips: http://www.theyogamassageball.com/tips/

 

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR MANDALA YOGA MASSAGE BALLS

Thanks again for ordering from Mandala the Yoga Massage Ball.

Upon receiving your new set of Mandala Yoga Massage Balls, we recommend taking a moment to give them a quick wash in warm soapy water and towel dry.

Made of solid vulcanized rubber, Mandala balls are ready to use right of the box.  Giving them a wash, though, will ensure 100% hygiene for personal use. As you continue to use and enjoy your Mandala balls, repeat this easy cleaning process to maintain the highest level of hygiene…another great benefit to using Mandala balls.

If you have any questions about care, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Mandala.

 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Guest Post: Redoing a Vanity for Under $50

I am so excited to share a post written by my sister-in-law, Lauryn. She and her husband (Tim’s brother, Kevin) just bought their first house and have been amazing with their home renovations. I really hope that she will do some more guest posts, as they have done a great job!

Vanity Before-After (1)

Hello fellow blog readers! Dory (my sister-in-law) asked I write a post on my husband’s and my recent DIY of my vanity. We moved into our first home just a couple months ago and I finally have room to have a vanity again! My mom picked this one up at an antique shop in Warrenton, VA, and brought it down once we moved in.

Vanity Before - DoyleDispatch.com

The vanity is in great shape including the huge mirror attached! It sat in our garage for about a month until we decided to try our hand at painting furniture.

What you’ll need for this project:

  • vanity : a gift but was $230
  • two orbital sanders (if you have a helper): borrowed for free
  • medium grit sandpaper: borrowed for free
  • paint: $30 (we overestimated and only used ~$15 worth)
  • brushes: already had
  • stencil of your choice: $12 (but came in a packet with others)
  • paint of your choice (for stenciling): $2
  • painter’s tape: already had
  • foam paint brush: $5
  • drawer pulls (to jazz it up): $67 for 6 pulls

Total for project with vanity: $346

Total for project without vanity (using a piece of furniture on hand): $116

Kevin borrowed his dad’s two orbital sanders and we went to work on the vanity first, turning it over on its sides to make sure we sanded underneath and any hard-to-reach crevices. Several times, for the more intricate or thin parts of the vanity, we went ahead and just used a piece of sand paper (medium for the entire piece).
 Next up came the drawers: these we whizzed through as the finish was only on the front. We went ahead and sanded the sides and the inside lip of the drawers. Once completely sanded we broke out the paint (Saffron Strands by Behr) and went to town. We skipped the primer (it’s included in the paint) and applied two coats. Continuing with the drawers we painted the front, inside lip and sides again with two coats.

Vanity Painted - DoyleDispatch.com

Then I realized just how mustardy yellow it really was and DID NOT like it. (The fluorescent light in the garage didn’t help either). I didn’t think the whole “just-one-color” thing through and found it to be just wayyy to grandma-y (yes, that’s a word) looking with the shape of the vanity and the mustard yellow.

I spoke with my mom that night and explained we sanded and painted the vanity but the color was just too bold and how I was going to sand it again the next day to re-paint it. She suggested white washing the vanity with a cloth just to subdue the color which gave me an idea! I headed to Michael’s the next day to pick out a stencil for the front. I really like the moroccan print lately so I found a stencil with this pattern then headed to Home Depot and picked up a jar of Martha Stewarts Metallic Paint in Thundercloud. I headed home and out to the garage. Kevin and I decided to try something new again, stenciling furniture.

Vanity Supplies - DoyleDispatch.com

Kevin wanted to be very precise with the stenciling so he measured out the center for each drawer then placed one of the shapes in the middle (so the middle of the drawer would have a centered shape). Once all the centers were found, I went ahead and taped the stencil down with some blue painter’s tape and was sure none of the stencil was lifting up off the curved shape of the drawer. Once the area was covered using Martha Stewart’s foam brush, I quickly lifted the stencil and let it dry for a couple seconds while I grabbed the next drawer. This went on for six drawers. Once I was through I grabbed the first drawer I worked on and placed the stencil over just two or three of the stenciling I had done prior in order to line up the shapes and proceeded to cover the remainder of the drawer (which involved repeating this last part 3 times).

DIY Vanity Stencil - DoyleDispatch.com

We moved everything up to our master bedroom once it was fully dry. I still wanted to get pulls for the drawers but hadn’t picked them up yet. A couple weeks and an Anthropologie 20% off sale later, we now have some pretty snazzy drawer pulls on the vanity! It was really easy to install the pulls because we had already found the center of the drawer, all we had to do was find the middle shape and drill away! This removed the risk of not having the pulls lined up once the drawers were stacked, too.

Vanity Completed - DoyleDispatch.com

I hope this encourages anyone who is putting off either painting furniture or stenciling furniture! All you need is a couple afternoons (and an extra pair of hands certainly helps the process go a bit faster)!

Tips:

  • Do not skip the sanding step. It’s time-intensive but worth not having a “gunky/thick” feeling/look to the furniture
  • Skip the primer step since you’re sanding, more than likely you’ll need two coats of paint regardless
  • If possible, use two sets of hands :)
  • Remove the stencil once painted after a couple seconds and move onto the next one drawer. By the time you’re through with each set of stenciling move back to the first drawer as the thin coat of paint dries quickly!
  • Be sure to center the stencil by measuring each drawer so the stencils line up

 

Isn’t the “after” just amazing?! I love how it turned out! Thanks so much, Lauryn, for this great tutorial! Make sure to check out her new blog From NOVA to SWVA! Yay! My blogginess is rubbing off on more family members!

The End of Nursing?

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I made it 9 months breastfeeding twins. I think that that is an amazing statement. It wasn’t without its road bumps, tears, pain, and desire to give up. But I made it 9 months. Occasionally we throw in a bottle of formula, but my babies were almost exclusively breastfed (or drinking pumped breast milk) for 9 months. As I write that, I need to let that sink in.

I wonder, sadly, if I am nearing the end of my breastfeeding journey. Lately, I have been dealing with many bites, pulls, pinches, kicks, hits, clogged ducts, and milk blisters. I enter each nursing session with apprehension. Will this be the time that they bite me until I bleed? Those 4 baby teeth are sharp! I feel like they can sense this hesitancy and it is effecting our session. Instead of cuddling and bonding, I am fighting flailing legs and arms, the twinkle in their eyes right before a chomp, the quick push away when they have finished after only 30 seconds, and the pain of engorged breasts because I wasn’t emptied.

Oh, and no, I can’t pump to empty myself after each nursing session. I have two mobile twins to chase after and play with.

So part of me wants to be done. I made it 9 months.

But it’s not my 12 month goal. There’s something satisfying about making it a full year, right? I mean, I am stubborn, and it would be great to make it 12 months with twins! Plus, not all of the sessions are that bad. Some are still sweet and full of cuddles. I now get that one-on-one attention with each baby. We have developed our own nursing language, full of eye flirts and sounds and Audrey patting me on the back when she’s done (“Good job, Mommy”) and David blowing raspberries to signal his completion. Am I really ready to give this up? Plus, sometimes they will come and attack me and grasp at my chest while we are playing, and then I know that they want to nurse. Can I deny them that?

So I don’t know. I’m ready but I’m not. I’m excited to get back to my normal bras and my wardrobe that hasn’t fit me because of my over-enlarged breasts. I’m ready to feel like I could escape for a full day and not have to pump to relieve myself. I’m ready for this next step in our relationship as mommy and babies. But I’m also loving those last few sweetnesses that we are finding with nursing. I’m so conflicted.

#CampTucker2014

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Each year, my family (the Tucker side) gets together for our annual reunion in Lake Guntersville, Alabama, for “Camp Tucker.” With our ever-growing family, we never know who is going to make an appearance, but we always manage to have lots and lots of fun on the water and with “camp activities.” Enjoy the rundown of this year’s festivities!

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The Trip to Alabama

Most of the time, we have no problem taking the 10-hour drive in one day. With two 8-month-olds, however, we planned on stopping after about 6 or 7 hours to stay the night in a hotel. Once we were about 5 hours in, however, we decided that we wanted to try and make it the whole way, in order to save on money and effort when you have all that baby gear to cart inside a hotel.

We left our house right at the first nap time, which worked out great for our morning last-minute packing. We decided to stop off at our brother- and sister-in-law’s house in Christiansburg for a play/food break, which was about 3 hours into the trip. The last 30 minutes were a little dicey, as Audrey really wanted to get out of the car seat at that point, but we made it. With red eyes, the moment I pulled Audy Bug out of the seat, she immediately started laughing and flirting with us all. David didn’t understand why she was so unhappy in the first place, but he flirted with everyone too.

After that break and family time (along with lunch for all of us), we hit the road again and later stopped at a rest stop about 3 hours later. We climbed a hill to a pavilion where I could nurse in private, the babies could play in the shade in their new pack-and-play (Summer Infant’s Pop n Play), and we could also go to the bathroom.

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We packed our own food, so we didn’t have to stop for ourselves, and that saved us some time. We stopped just once more, when it was close to the normal bedtime. We fed the babies with solids and nursing, and then we put them back in their car seats. As we drove down the road, we recited their bedtime books (that we know by heart), and after a couple tears (“We aren’t really supposed to fall asleep here are we?”), they were out.

We arrived at the lake at about 9:30 PM Lake Time (10:30 Eastern), and we let the babies stay up until my uncle (Uncle Steven/Stinky) and my cousins arrived. They got to meet the twins briefly, and then it was time for bed.

Sleeping Arrangements

For most of the trip, we slept in the same room as the twins, and we realized that that was HARD. We put them to bed and then had to be really quiet when it was our time to go to sleep. Plus, during naps, we couldn’t go into our room at all. This meant that we were really spread out. We had their gear and our clothes in their room, our toiletries in my parents’ bathroom, our shower things in a downstairs bathroom, and my pumping supplies in my parents’ bedroom. For the last two days, once the house quieted down a bit (and some of our campers left), we all moved downstairs to our normal room when we stay there, and we let the babies sleep in the empty room across the hall. This was much better for all 4 of us to sleep.

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The Meals

Camp Tucker is all about eating, and this year was no different.

We went to Huddle House for breakfast 3 different times (only 2 days we didn’t have breakfast there). While there, the twins tried grits for the first time! They weren’t crazy about the texture, but they kept asking for more, despite making “yucky” faces.

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My brother Josh was a rockstar and became our designated highchair holder and carrier, because we brought these chairs with us to all of the restaurants. We loved our new Ciao Baby high chairs!

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While the babies didn’t enjoy this, we also got Char Burgers at least twice (although I could have eaten them for every meal). They are delicious burgers, hot dogs, fries, and milkshakes!

On a trip to Huntsville one day to go to Costco and visit the cemetery where my grandparents are burried, we also stopped at Gibson’s BBQ, where we used to always go with my family growing up. It hasn’t changed much, but the food is great! Here is where David and Audrey got their first taste of BBQ. They loved it, and we had to stop them eventually!

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Many more meals were eaten on our back screened in porch. The weather was perfect!

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Everywhere we went, we had our travel Ciao Baby high chairs, and we got so much positive feedback about them. They really were the perfect travel high chairs to bring along!

The Activities

When we are at the lake, we are always busy moving from activity to activity. Usually it is food, then a trip to Mike’s, then a trip to Lowe’s, then more food, then out on the water, then food, then hanging out on the back porch. This Camp Tucker was similar, except we chose to stay on land because of the babies.

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One of the nights, we always have an “Awards Ceremony” that centers around someone, where they get all kinds of gifts. We don’t know who will be the recipient(s) until we arrive, but then it just make sense. This year, my Aunt Liz was the lucky “winner,” as it was her birthday. Check out the toilet glasses that we found at Mike’s for her!

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As I mentioned before, we took our annual trip to the cemetery where my grandfather and grandmother Papa Bill (William Daniel Tucker, Jr) and Gran Chloe are buried. We visit them each time we come to Alabama, and this was a special trip because we were able to bring the entire next generation. The picture below has 3 William Daniel Tuckers (#2, #4, and #5… We should have taken a picture of my dad as well to get 4 of the WDTs!).

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If you know my dad, you know that he has a thing for flamingos (Does anyone remember this post from last year?). One of the Camp Tucker jobs was to set out all of the metal flamingos (and other birds) and display them. Tim and I had fun finishing this to surprise him.

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Each year, we add to our picture wall. I have had so much fun over the years being the official camp “photographer” and adding a couple of pictures to the wall. Pretty soon we will have to extend it to another wall entirely!

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The big event of Camp Tucker 2014 was decorating the big lure that my dad procured from a local artist. It was previously decorated, but we painted over it and made our own creation. We are pretty fond of it!

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The Other Fun

My dad has a list for each of us when we are at the lake. I was able to complete mine, even though things constantly got added to it!

After everyone left, we were able to take the babies out on the boats, and they actually enjoyed themselves!

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I was also able to sneak away for a jet ski trip with my brother, since I couldn’t go out last year (being pregnant with twins and all). We took a “tour” of the lake like we used to do on the first day that we arrived. Of course, that was when he couldn’t drive a boat by himself and I got to control the speed. It’s a little different when he is 19 and a lot more adventurous than I am!

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Baby Playtime

We were lucky to have very mild weather for an Alabama summer. This meant that we could be outside ALL THE TIME on our back screened-in porch.


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I made these Camp Tucker onesies for the twins, complete with our official logo and motto. They sat in Papa’s chair to take these pictures!

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Right at about the time we went on our trip, Audrey and David really started talking and laughing with each other. While their play may look like it hurts the other one, they don’t mind at all. They laugh and laugh at each other all day long.
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In their 2nd bedroom, the ceiling fan cord hung down, so that when Tim picked up A and D, they loved looking at it. This was about the time that Audrey started saying “va va va” for anything shiny and jewelry-like. This cord was definitely a “va va va va!”

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While at a trip to Walmart, I found this $10 Cabbage Patch Kid dressed up like a dog (looking very much like our Lucy). I quickly got it for Audrey, and once it was cleaned, she proceeded to give it many many kisses. We have now named it Desi (you know, like Lucy and Desi?).

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On our last morning there, we dressed up Audrey and David in the same Snoopy life jackets that all of us had worn as babies. No wonder all of the babies screamed bloody murder when they put them on. They were so tight that we didn’t even bother zipping them up. Thank goodness we had bought our own for this year!

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We also entered the world of the Squiggle Monster during the trip. This was one bedtime where they just would not stay still. Notice how Audrey has thrown herself over David to get to the book.

 

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The Family

We had the largest gathering of campers than in many past years. Although not everyone could make it, we had a lot of people come! I’m sorry I don’t have pictures with everyone in this section. I wasn’t the best Camp Tucker photographer this year!

My under Steven and my Dad (along with his dogs Max and Winston):

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My younger brother Josh (with David and The Lure):

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My nephew Liam:

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And my dad again with the babies. Lots of walking, cuddles, and even a bit of pine needle for David. He’s such a great grandfather!!!

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My Aunty Julie was there (pictured with Audrey) with her husband Erica and son Ethan:
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Sadly not pictured: my cousins Ashley or Ryan, my brother Tee and his girlfriend Megan, or Uncle Lee and Aunt Liz and their two kids.

The Views

There is nothing more relaxing than this lake! 
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The Drive Home

On the way home, we stopped at Kevin and Lauryn’s house again and stayed overnight. The next day, after a leisurely wakeup, we stopped at Virginia Tech for a quick view and to pick up some outfits for football season!
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Top 10 Mom of Multiples Blog!

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