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Life with Twins | Meet Nicole and the Haviland Twins

“Are they twins”, “Double trouble”, “Are they identical”, and my personal favorite “better you than me”. If you’ve guessed by now the answer is, yes I have twins. Women have been birthing twins since the beginning of time, yet every time I wander into Target the kids and I turn into superstars. We’ve heard every comment imaginable, but the above are the most common. What is it about twins that just makes people go nutty? 
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I’m here to share with you the journey we’ve been on over the past year with our twins Vivian and Kipling who just turned one. Life is a crazy adventure with these two, but we couldn’t picture it any other way. 
 

Let me start off by saying life with twins is unexplainable;

The fact that my body created two lives at the same time. At one point I had three hearts inside me, (including my own) and that alone just blows my mind. Twin pregnancy comes with a lot more risks than singleton (what us Twin Mamas refer to Mamas who carry and birth one baby at a time). 

Then after pregnancy comes the high risk of premature birth leading to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit stays.

My twins were born eight weeks early; my daughter spent five weeks in the NICU, and my son spent nine weeks in. Having babies (or a baby) in the NICU is nothing you can ever prepare yourself for. Leaving the hospital without my babies was without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through in my life. It was dreadful waking up each day at home to their empty nursery, and then spending all day at the hospital trying to hold your babies while they have all these wires attached to them, and alarms beeping. If it wasn’t for my husband and my own Mama I don’t think I would have ever made it through those long nine weeks. But after the NICU stay is over, you get to take your little bundles of joy home and then the fun really begins.  

In the beginning I think the most important piece of advice we took from other twin parents was to get the kids on the same schedule.

That meant in the middle of the night if Viv woke up to eat, well then we were waking Kip up to eat too. My husband and I worked out a pretty good system where I would do the middle of the night shifts, and he would do the early morning shifts. But to this day the kids still eat at the same time. If you don’t keep twins on the same schedule you are going to kill yourself waking up every other hour. 
 
Eventually we talked to our pediatrician about their night time feedings and she said it was safe to wean them off. So with her approval and support we sleep trained the kids. (They were around six months old). It was an agonizing three day weekend of using the “cry it out” method, but after the third night they slept the whole night. To this day we put them to bed at 7pm and they wake up at 7am. If they wake up in the night they are able to self soothe themselves back to sleep. If they wake up earlier than 7 they usually just play in their cribs and yell to each other across the room. I completely understand that the CIO method is not for everyone, but we felt like it was the best option for us, and it worked. Everyone in the house gets enough sleep, and it allows my husband and I to have some time to spend together every night after the kids go down. 

Find your tribe; 

I think another thing that has really helped our twins thrive is the fact that we have a small army of support around our little family. My parents and my husbands parents have been instrumental in helping with the twins; anything we need they are always right there to help. My brother lives with us and is always lending a helping hand. (And let me tell you when you have two infants in the house, an extra pair of adult hands goes a long way). Our friends have provided us with advice, love, and shoulders to lean on when things didn’t go as planned. Without all the support from everyone in our lives I don’t think we would of made it. 

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Everyday with these two is an adventure because they get to experience life together. They always have a best friend right beside them. When they were a couple weeks old their favorite thing in the world to do was stare at each other and hold hands. Now that they’re getting older they love playing together, and wrestling. 
 
Sure loading two kids into a car by myself just to run to Target is tiring. Being questioned by strangers about personal details of your life, and annoying questions about twins gets old real quick. Packing for trips for two infants is also another pain in the butt. Then there are the times when they are both having meltdowns at the same time, and you have to choose who to comfort first. It’s also tough to try and not compare them developmentally; because although they are twins, they are still individuals. Having twins comes with unique challenges that families with one child, or children of different ages don’t face. But you know what? Having twins also comes with a unique set of rewards and gratification. We have double the kisses, and double the hugs. We have the joy of watching them interact and grow up right along side each other. We have the pleasure of experiencing every little milestone that children hit not once but twice. And most importantly we have learned to love more than we have ever thought was possible. 
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Life with twins is hard, its tough, it tests you, but it also makes you grow, builds you into a stronger person, and lets you open your heart to double the love
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You can follow Nicole and the lovable, stylish, and quickly growing Haviland twins on Instagram at @havilands_wifey.
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We’re honored to have been able to share Nicole’s story and we’re excited for all of the newness that’s to come on Beauty in the East! Be on the lookout for a new look, new bloggers, and most importantly – fresh new content!
We love meeting powerful women and hearing the different journey that comes with everyone’s unique experience through life and motherhood. If you’d like to share your story – email Krystal and Leigha at LYLASvlog@gmail.com to be featured as a guest blogger.
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My Scary Labor & Delivery Story | LYLAS VIDEO!

My labor & delivery of my first baby was a breeze! I labored for 6 hours, pushed for 45 minutes and had an epidural less than half way through! Pretty much a pregnant woman’s dream, or at least it was for me! So naturally, I assumed my second baby’s labor & delivery would be somewhat similar. Well boy oh boy was I wrong! Apparently Lorenzo had other plans in mind; like trying to make his grand entrance into the world in the Hospital lobby. True story.

Watch Leigha share her terrifying delivery story AND meet the little man himself! Subscribe to our Youtube Channel for weekly postings on all things life and beauty.

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Love ya like a sister,

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What’s In My Hospital Bag | Plus Video!

Just like other first time moms, I had no idea what I was doing when it came to most things baby related. This included packing my hospital bag for my labor and delivery stay. When I tell you I packed enough for a small vacation, your girl ain’t lying! I had to dig through all the extra crap I packed in my family sized suitcase, I mean, bag, just to get to what I really needed; the basic essentials! So using my first mistakes as lessons learned, I now feel like I have exactly what I need in my hospital bag for my 2nd attempt at being a new mommy.

Hospital Bag – For Baby

While in the hospital, baby really isn’t going to need much, besides all the newborn snuggles in the world of course! If your hospital is anything like mine, they provide you with almost everything you need: diapers, wipes, formula, pacifier, blankets, etc.. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t still bring them a few things. I packed two cute swaddle blankets that have a matching hat to wrap baby boy in for his grand announcement photo. (Not that this is necessary, but c’mon, I’m a blogger and have been planning out this picture for weeks now!) I also threw in 3 different footed pj’s in new born size with THE CUTEST prints on them. Although, I know baby will be swaddled the majority of our hospital stay. And I’ll just pick from one of those for his going home outfit!

Hospital Bag – For Mommy

As far as items for momma bear, I tried to pack just the essentials. Well, for the most part anyway. I did throw in some nail polish and basic makeup items, which some may not consider to be an essential right after giving birth, but I am hoping to not look so much like a mommy monster this time around!

Cosmetics

  • Toothbrush & Paste.
  • Shampoo & Conditioner & Body Wash.
  • Body Lotion & Face Lotion.
  • Chapstick! (Extremely important girlfriend!).
  • Hairbrush & Hair Ties/Head Bands & Hair Spray.
  • Deodorant.
  • Prenatal Vitamins (You’re going to want to keep taking these even after you give birth!).
  • Makeup & Nail Polish – I’m a dreamer, okay? 😉

Clothes

  • Going home outfit – take your biggest and most comfortable maxi dress. Trust me on this one.
  • 2 outfits – loose fitting and comfortable. I have roll over yoga shorts that I will keep unrolled up&over my belly, and loose fitting high-waisted capri pants. Both paired with a baggy t-shirt provided by my Fiancé’s side of the closet.
  • Adjustable sports bras. (You’re going to be swollen).
  • Large, unattractive underwear. (If you don’t want to wear the mommy diapers the hospital will provide).
  • Socks.

Snacks

  • Pop-Tarts
  • Special K Bars
  • Fruit Gummies
  • Pretty much anything you typically like to snack on. You know, for when you’re waiting on baby daddy to bring you your gourmet take out!

For your viewing pleasure, I have also filmed all of this exciting information for you and posted it on our YouTube Channel. Yay! You can watch that below <3

Because we have Ellie, our 2 1/2 year old, daddy will be staying at home with her during the nights of my hospital stay. Therefore, he gets nothing in my hospital bag! Ha. I am so excited to bring this baby boy into our lives, and can’t wait to share him with you all! Stay tuned.

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Surviving Pregnancy – Must Have Products & Tips

Let me start this post off by saying, everything I thought I knew about pregnancy was a lie. I mean, isn’t it supposed to be all ice cream cravings and glowing auras? Ha. Biggest lie since the dawn of civilization. And you know what the worst part is? The women of the generations before us have continued these pregnancy myths so well, that when we experience it for the first time ourselves, we feel like we’re lost in this twilight zone as to why this is so hard! Because pregnancy is downright hard. And exhausting. And uncomfortable. And…. okay, I’ll stop talking about myself (j/k, but not really). However, with this being my second pregnancy, I feel confident that I have sorted through all the ‘mommy must have’ fluff and figured out exactly what I need to essentially – Survive Pregnancy.

1. Stretch Marks, Itching, Burning

All those adjectives above are going to be used interchangeably when you talk about your ever-growing belly. And boobs. No one ever mentions the boob part – but they grow and stretch just as much as that baby bump! I’ve tried everything under the sun to rid myself of that itchy feeling, but what I have found that tackles all the stretching issues is – coconut oil!

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Viva’s Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil goes on so well and really gives you that deep moisturizing feeling long after applied. I also love the smell of it – it’s not that overpowering coconut smell like you just stepped off a tropical island (although I wish I had). And depending on how itchy you’re feeling at that moment, you can rub a little or a lot. Now, because it is an oil, it’s going to feel more ‘oily’ versus lotion-y when applied. But I really find this oil helps quench my skins thirst, rather than temporarily soothing it like a lotion does. I have been lucky and have not had any stretch marks with either pregnancy. TIP: I like to shower before bed and apply this all over my belly, boobs, and hips right after. I oil up, throw my Fiancé’s baggy t-shirt on and hit the sheets!

2. Oily Hair

Yup, you can count on pregnancy to change more about your body than just its size. The first change we’ll tackle is excess oil production, specifically in your hair.  I already have fine hair that produces too much oil. (Probably because I wash it so much, but I have to when it gets oily so quickly – see my dilemma?) Anyways, when I am pregnant, my hair goes into overdrive on producing oils for whatever reason; yay me. To combat this I grab my FAVORITE dry shampoo every morning.

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Batiste’s Dry Shampoo is the ONLY dry shampoo that I have ever tried that I have zero complaints about. Ever. And best of all, it’s one of the cheapest I’ve ever tried as well! It sprays out as a light powder and goes on so evenly. It does come out white, which is perfect for my light blonde hair, BUT don’t think they forgot about you non-blonde haired girls! This brand offers many different variations, including one for light brown, dark brown, red, and even different scents. Their website even has a cool product finder tool that helps you locate the best product for you based on your hair color and style preferences. TIP: Part your hair behind one ear, spray product in the part from a foots distance, and then move the part an inch or two up and spray again. Continue this until you have worked your way all the way over your head to the other ear. Rough it up with your fingers, let sit, and then brush it through. Voila!

3. Sweat

Next up on the list of things your body will start to do is – body oder. You know the old saying that pregnant women have such a beautiful glow? Yeah, that’s just light reflecting off of our sweat. We’re not glowing; we’re SWEATING. Whether it’s from the raging hormones pumping through our bodies, the increase in our body’s temperature, or our significant other getting on our last nerve – we just sweat. So first things first, throw out your dainty girly deodorant and get you a tool more fit for the job – Mens deodorant!

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Old Spice’s Bearglove is strong enough to fight off the hormone stink, while also not smelling like your dad’s old date night cologne. I specifically get only this scent though, so I can’t speak about not smelling like your dad with any other. Plus, this one is an antiperspirant and deodorant combo – take that funky smelling armpits! TIP: Apply an even coat to both under…. i’m kidding. It’s deodorant. Do your thang!

4. Sleep – Or Trying To Anyways

Getting a good nights sleep is SO hard when you are pregnant. Especially the further along you are. Your hips are either aching or falling asleep, you have to pee again, or you just flat out cannot get comfortable! For me, a pregnancy pillow has been a LIFE. SAVER. Specifically, this one: The PharMeDoc Full Body Pregnancy Pillow.

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This pillow is large enough that I can wrap it up through my legs and fully encase my body, or stretch it out to have a large opening, you know, for when I roll out of the bed at night. I love how easily the cover comes off and on; it has a long running zipper down the side. I do prefer a slightly firmer pillow and this one meets that preference without being rock hard and heavy. It allows me to rest my head and one leg at an even level, helping distribute my new lovely weight. Also, the price is comparable to all the others on the market, including the well known ‘Snoogle’ pillow. TIP: Make your bed with your pregnancy pillow already under the sheet and blanket. This makes crawling into bed at the end of an exhausting day so much easier!

5. My Secret Weapon – Under Eye Cream

Piggy-backing on the sleep topic above – when you’re not getting enough sleep, your face will definitely show it. For me, that means dark under-eye circles! I get them easily, and I get them fast (again, yay me!). Because I can’t always find time to apply my favorite concealer before running out the door, I like to prevent and lighten these raccoon eyes the best I can. That is where my secret weapon comes in!

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The illuminating eye cream by e.l.f is a game changer. This little baby packs a big punch – infused with jojoba, vitamin E, cucumber AND antioxidants like shea butter and green tea. Hello hydration and goodbye dark circles! The cream glides on your skin and absorbs in perfectly. Tip: Apply this fresh out of the shower as well. Your pores and under eye area will thank you!

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