Topping Twins

Topping Twins

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

your morning cup of moJO

I don't know about you --- but, I feel like I blinked and the summer flashed before my eyes. If you're like me, you may be welcoming the routine back to everyone's daily grind. 🙋

Life with children keeps things interesting. Especially in the mornings (and evenings). Well, anytime in general. :) One of my favorite parts of my mornings is when our 2.5 year old wakes up and exclaims 'good morning!' He then insists on singing 'you are my sunshine' at the top of his lungs and giving hugs and kisses to 'his babies' --- as he likes to call them. It honestly is the best way to start the day. Full of smiles and happiness.

Through the hustle of the morning, it's easy to lose sight of these special moments, memories in the making if you will. It's so easy to just go through the motions and not allow yourself to take it all in.

Go mode.

Raising four kids under 5, we've quickly found some things that help our mornings run a little smoother, so that we can enjoy the little things and not feel so rushed or frustrated in the mornings. Don't get me wrong-- we all have our moments, but if the good outweighs the sometimes overwhelming moments, that is what matters, right?

1. Lay out your clothes and your kids' clothes the night before.
Not sure about you, but I have a 5 year old that thinks she's 15 and insists on being the best dressed child in her class. We spend A LOT of time preparing her outfit for the day --- accessories and all. This really helps eliminate unnecessary stress. I know that when I ask her to get dressed for the day, there will be no arguments or time spent deciding, because we've already spent that time together the night before. Not to mention, having my own clothes out, makes things go quicker. Even Preston enjoys picking his clothes out and surprising us by dressing himself.

2. Shower the night before.
I used to say that I could't wake up in the mornings if I didn't take a shower. THAT was before I had four kids and had to get out the door in the mornings to drop off at three different locations. Now, I find that if I shower at night, I'm able to get around much quicker and it just makes me feel more prepared in the mornings.

3. Meal prep!
I like to spend my weekends preparing our meals for the week. This could be as simple as writing down your menu for the week. OR, take it a step further and make up a few menu items. I like to prepare my overnight oats for the week so that all I have to do is grab it out of the fridge for breakfast in the mornings. I also like to make a "sheet pan" meal that can be divided up for lunches for the week. This makes it super easy for me to grab and go, and prevents eating out.

I'll blog a little more later about more details on meal prep.

4. Pack your bags.
Lunch? Laptop? Kids homework? Forms need signed? Pack it all up the night before. Don't wait for the morning. By preparing yourself for the upcoming day, you're setting yourself up for a calm, stress-free morning. I pack up everyone's bags and have them easily accessible to grab by the garage door (or in the fridge). Then as I am walking out the door, I grab and go!

5. Wake up before your kids.
With littles this can be easier said than done sometimes. However, getting a jump start on the day before little hands and feet are up! Sometimes I treat my mornings like a checklist--- how much can I get done before the kids wake up?! Makeup✔ Teeth Brushed✔ Hair ✔✔✔

A common theme resonates with all of these.

Be prepared.

By spending a little extra time prep time in the evenings getting things ready, your mornings end up being stress-free and enjoyable. Maybe, just maybe, you'll have a few extra minutes to sit and enjoy a cup of (mo)jo and watch your kids play before the day gets going. After all, isn't that how we all want to start our day?

Monday, August 21, 2017

F O U R tips to make your travel run smooth(er)

I have this conversation with my mom almost daily. Life is backwards.

We should really be retired from about 30-50 years of age. While we’re raising our kids. Sometimes, missing milestones we would rather be in person for, as opposed to getting a picture or video on our phone of our sweet littles; taking their first step, being cute, or ornery.

Fortunately, or unfortunately --- it’s 2017. And that just isn’t always possible. I’d love to be a stay-at-home mom. However, I do enjoy working, and the hubby says I need a job too. :)

I’m fortunate to have had a job that allows me to work from home. However, I find myself hopping on a plane every month. As a mom, this could be stressful for some. So today, I’m giving you my top F O U R tips to make your travel experience run smooth.

1   1. Shower the night before.
Waking up bright and early for a 6:30 AM flight is hard enough. I literally shave about 25 minutes off my “getting ready” routine in the morning by doing this. Sleep or shower, wash and dry your hair? I choose sleep. I also lay out my clothes that I plan to wear for the day, as well as my makeup --- making everything easily accessible. If possible, have your suitcase in your car and your laptop bag on the kitchen counter, ready to grab on your way out the door. Anyway you can prepare in advance makes your morning run smoother!

    2. Find the family restroom.
Are you a pumping momma? Find the family restroom. Most airports, unfortunately, do not have special pumping rooms. And those that do, are typically located on the complete opposite end of the airport that I need to be on. Tip – find the family restroom. You can use the changing table to set yourself up, plug your pump/phone, etc. in and it’s typically MUCH cleaner than the floor of a public restroom.

3. Travel light. 
I don’t know about you, but when I get back from wherever I’ve gone, I am just READY to be home. Like, now. Who has time, or wants to spend the time waiting at baggage claim? I swear it adds another 30 minutes to my time from getting home. Master packing exactly what you need, so a carry on is sufficient to your travel. Then, you’re walking off your plane and getting to your car in no time!  -- some tips to travel light? Rewear pants and shoes! This really cuts down on what you need to pack! A lot of times I will only bring the shoes that are on my feet!

4. What happens with dad stays with dad.

I’ve learned that things always go smoothly when I just live and let go. Sometimes, that means the kids may be eating a Happy Meal (or two) while I’m away. You know what? That’s perfectly fine. As long as the kids are safe and happy, THAT is all that matters. In the end, when I let dad do things the way he naturally would, everything seems to run SO.MUCH.BETTER! Although my super type-A self would love to be in control of every situation, I do smile at the fact that my husband is fully capable and totally rocks Mr. Mom from time to time.  

Remember, at the end of the day, you're not in this alone. Whether you're a working momma, a work-from home momma or a stay-at-home momma --- we all at some point or another have to travel from time to time. Relax, and enjoy. Things like FaceTime and camera phones make the time away go faster and a little easier!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Perfectly Perfect

So I'm going to let you in on a little secret, Nick and I are super OCD. For those of you that know us, you're probably laughing, saying, yeahhhhh we know that! No joke! 

When Nick and I learned of Hudson's limb difference last fall, it totally rocked our world. The news completely came out of left field and we definitely were not expecting anything but a completely healthy pregnancy and healthy children. Our 16 week ultrasound would confirm our hopes and just a short three weeks later we would be thrown for a loop. 


That's what the next 18 weeks would consist of. Lots and lots of worry. 

What if something else was wrong?

Could they be wrong with Baby B's diagnosis?

So many questions, thoughts and feelings swarmed our minds from the time Hudson was diagnosed until he was born. 

I can't even begin to tell you just how bad my anxiety was the remainder of my pregnancy. And I would be lying if I didn't say I felt robbed of my pregnancy. I really enjoy being pregnant. Being our final pregnancy, I wanted to enjoy every single second. Every move, kick, sleepless night. I wanted it ALL. I definitely did my best to enjoy it, but I was downright exhausted and this pregnancy definitely took a toll on me emotionally. I've always wanted to be a twin momma, and I constantly worried that this opportunity was going to be taken from me. Again. 

January 24th was seriously a day that I know God and Peyton sat on each side of me, as we brought two beautiful Angels on Earth, into this world. At that instant, I knew that everything, and I mean everything, would be okay. Seeing Hayden and Hudson, I was overcome with emotion and found myself speechless. They were simply perfect. 

Perfectly perfect. 

All of the worry, tears and sleepless nights -- they were completely worth it. Because guess what, it's JUST AN ARM!! Nick and I have been through SO much worse. And, despite our OCD tendencies and longing for perfection, Hudson has given us a knew perspective and definition of perfection. 

Hudson has been diagnosed with right below elbow amputation or R UE congenital limb.

What does this mean? Hudson's right arm simply stopped forming a little past his elbow. He has five small fingers that will remain small. He has both bones that would typically grow in your arm, but they do not have the growth plate to make them grow. His upper arm is the same length as it is on his left side. This is not something that is hereditary. To our knowledge, we have no limb differences in either of our families. And, this is not amniotic banding. It cannot be explained why Hudson's arm formed the way it did. A fluke. 

And that's basically it. He will grow up simply knowing no different. And I have no doubt whatsoever that he will thrive and do amazing things. 

Are Nick and I worried about what other's will think/say about Hudson's arm? Simple answer. Yes. Of course we are. The world can be cruel and unfair. But life is unfair sometimes, and it's how we react to situations that matter most. If we all saw the world through the eyes of a child, I think there would be a lot less hurt and judgement. Hudson was over a month old before Kaylee even noticed his arm. ONE month people!! She's 4.5! And anyone that knows Kaylee, knows you don't get anything past her. One day, Kaylee came up to me and said, 'hey mom -- look at Hudson's arm! Why isn't my arm like that?' Nick and I explained to her that Hudson has a lucky arm and she quickly chimed in 
'well yeah, because God makes us different. We don't want to be the same or we'd all be boring.' Goodness I love that girl. 

We will continue to take Hudson to Children's Mercy for evaluation and physical and occupational therapy. He has the option of being fitted for a prosthetic at six months old. Nick and I aren't sure what our thoughts are on prosthetics and we are letting Hudson and prayer guide us to our decision.

The next chapter of our story has opened and I'm excited to take you all with us on our journey.


Hello there! It's been quite a while. A lot has happened over the past 13 weeks. The twins made their arrival and haven't missed a beat since then! Our family is truly complete, and we couldn't be more thankful or blessed to be living the life that we truly love.

January 24, 2017, Hayden Lane and Hudson Jay made their grand appearance via c-section. This is the first time that my OB has actually been able to deliver any of our children! The moment that Kaylee and Preston met their baby brothers is something that Nick and I will remember forever. Pure joy, excitement and happiness from them both and they couldn't have been any cuter hugging and kissing their brothers, welcoming them with open arms into our family.

Hayden Lane Topping
6 lbs. 9 oz. | 21 inches long

Hudson Jay Topping
5 lbs 12 oz. |19.75 inches long

We have settled in pretty nicely as a family of 6+ and it's hard to image life before the twins. We've managed to establish a pretty great routine and have lots of helping hands from our little helpers, Kaylee and Preston. Hayden and Hudson adore their older brother and sister and often greet them with smiles and coos. By eightish weeks old, they were sleeping through the night and developed a great napping schedule. 

Thank you for all of the kind words, well wishes, meals, gifts and so much more the past several months. We are forever thankful, grateful and blessed to have such amazing family and friends.