Boston Baby Photos Blog » photos by Jessica McDaniel

Monthly Archives: February 2016

Twinsfest, the three month old edition

You know how you get to be part of these online parenting forums and the people there become your friends online and you wonder what it would be like to meet them? Well, when you’re parenting twins (perhaps even more so than singletons?), my sister tells me that the group of people in her “November 2015 twins” Facebook group are just such an incredible resource for her. I remember when I had my first baby how important my online group like this was to me — they were the ones I’d ask just about every age-related question and get so many helpful, relevant answers.

Well when my sister told me she was going to meet a bunch of the other parents and their twins from her online group the other day and would I like to come carry a bucket carseat and hold a baby, how could I refuse? A room full of babies? What makes me happier?

And then (seriously, I am not kidding – I didn’t think of it until) that morning, as I was getting in the car I realized I should bring my camera. Yes! Document this! Of course! Why didn’t I think of this before?

So here are a handful of photos I took on Saturday when these three gorgeous sets of twins and their mamas and helpers met up for appetizers, wine, and a delicious lunch.

Amazing dimples and grins for mamas abounded:

6956

We had six sets of arms and six babies, but sometimes mamas and helpers had to get stuff done, man. (You know, make lunch? Take photos?) That’s the way it is with twins. Sometimes you just need to let them sleep where they land ;). I love this of D next to the wine glass and the half empty bottle!

7038

At one point the boys even had entertainment from this fantastic great-grandma:

7031

Look at this grin!

6975

Oh those twinkling eyes:

7010

Sometimes you’re not totally in the mood to pose for a photo with a crew of your besties, you know? These guys have a lot to learn before they join Taylor Swift’s group of friends and tweet about their #squadgoals while they walk the red carpet together for photos…

7005

Most of the time there were arms enough to cuddle all – and everybody loved it.

6941

6990

It sure was a room full of adorable.

6982

My niece and nephew were totally cool with the bouncy seats while I shot a handful of photos and their mom noshed some dip. Jack would like some of his mom’s dip, though…

6967

Thanks for inviting me to your party, guys! Can’t wait to watch these guys grow up together. More photos next time, I hope!

6996

Completely off topic…

OK, I know this is my work blog, and I use it to show you adorable babies and their chubby wrist rolls and holiday card recommendations and announce minishoots (yes, that’s a link for you enterprising types who are ready to think about my April Public Garden minis – I just announced the date this morning and haven’t sent the email out yet…) But normally this blog is all biz, all the time…

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 2.22.04 PMBut I just need to take a break from all that work stuff (it is a snow day, after all) and tell you what we did this year to our living room. Because I’m bursting about it. It’s so super duper insanely fabulous now that I just want to shout it from the rooftops and tell anyone and everyone they must MUST hire Meghann Van Dorn to help them with their interior design.

I love beautiful spaces, I really do. I see my clients’ gorgeous homes all the time and I salivate, loving all the beautiful design choices they make. And when we did our kitchen renovation a couple of years ago, the incredible Dennis and Matthew DeMello of D. J. DeMello Custom Building and Woodworking did incredible work and I somehow managed to get through that process only asking Meghann for help a handful of times with some critical decisions along the way (quartz surface for the counters, TYVM). Somehow hard surfaces and kitchen/bathroom design decisions felt manageable. But once we decided our living room needed help last year, I felt completely overwhelmed. For some reason matching fabrics and thinking about upholstery and curtains made my palms sweat. I just didn’t feel like I could trust myself with it.

See, we live in Milton, in a cozy little house on an incredible street, but it’s tiny. We’re only four people, though, and though my smaller people get bigger every day, we really don’t need any more house than we have. We know we’re not moving because we love our street and our neighbors so much, but we are always looking for ways to make our small house even more right for us.

For me, I needed to bring more light into the living room. We had these IKEA shelving units along one wall that were super dark:

beforewall

And we needed good seating options for the living room space, so we crowded it a bit with a loveseat that totally didn’t fit and a long rectangular coffee table that I thought fit the space because we loved to play mexican train on it… (even though it made for a good game surface, that didn’t mean it fit the space). The couch was also dark purple from Jordan’s (to hide the inevitable small child mess) and I was reluctant to upgrade it even though Meghann told me it would change everything. Again with the failed before photos, but this should give you a sense of what it looked like:

otherwall

Basically it was crowded and had big comfortable pieces of furniture in it that worked for our lives but didn’t look great.

So when we were able to go ahead with the built-ins Dennis and Matt had proposed (insanely talented amazing contractors/builders, amazing workmanship all around), we also got in touch with Meghann and said – OK, let’s do this thing. Let’s take this space seriously.

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 12.15.11 PMShe started by coming in and taking measurements. We knew we had to keep the piano where it is, and we knew where our built-ins/TV would be, but the rest of the space was up for grabs. We knew we needed the seating to double as a conversation area but also function as TV watching spots.

So she came back to us with a layout – which was amazing because I’d never thought of a circle coffee table in the space, and the idea of adding another chair blew me away. If they were swivels, we realized, they could work in either direction – pointed at the coffee table and couch to talk, or swiveling to watch TV. Brilliant!

Where Meghann excels is this next stage of things. I’ll admit I guffawed at the idea of buying all this new furniture – it seemed crazy, especially after I put some numbers in an excel spreadsheet and thought about what the entire room’s redo would mean. But Meghann took this project on and became what I felt like was my personal Craigslist savant. She convinced me we didn’t need to buy everything new. We just needed to be patient. She was sending me links at all times of the day and night. “How about these light fixtures?” “OK, hop in your car RIGHT NOW and go get this coffee table for $40, it is perfect!” (note: I do love it – it’s great. Might someday upgrade it but for now it’s fabulous.) “If you recover this chair it will be amazing. Look at the lines!” (note: it is, and after her incredible upholsterer guy recovered it with fabric Meghann helped me choose at an insanely cool fabric store, it is one of my favorite pieces of furniture ever) And I’d get texts with photos from her as she wandered TJ Maxx – “Jess, this rug is $100, and it’s soft and thick like you said you wanted. I think you should get over here and feel it in person. I think it might be perfect.” (note: it was) “What about this side table?” (nope) “This one?” (nope) “OK, how about these four I found online?” (YES!!!)

She just took on the project with such zeal – and it was such fun to work with her. I loved that she had strong opinions for me and told me why – I’m easy to convince if someone has good reasons. (For example, we knew we needed more light, and the Grey Owl paint Meghann had recommended for the rest of the space downstairs seemed like a good starting point for brightening things up in there. It’s so much brighter now.)

So I guess I’ll end this and feed my kids some lunch – it’s time for the big reveal. First, I’ll start with Dennis & Matt’s gorgeous perfect built-ins:

IMG_3381

Don’t you just die? So in love with them.

And then here’s the full picture of the whole room. Thank you thank you thank you, Meghann.
IMG_3392

It’s perfect, it’s finished, and I couldn’t have done it with you guys. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And now to finish today’s edit!! #yayforsnowdays