Friday, November 15, 2013

Worst Sleeping Twins in the World

Sometimes I tend to be a tad dramatic and sarcastic...surely our babies are not the WORST sleepers in the world, but they sure are not anywhere near the top of the list.

Here's the deal...we have a solid bedtime routine of dinner, play time while we clean up, baths, bottles and bed. They go to sleep like rockstars. That's not the issue, nor has it ever been. The issue is waking up!

We hit solid patches of sleep from 7:30ish-6ish and I think 'yes! They got it!', but it's followed by a period of wake ups at 12, 3 and 5! Ahhh!!! It always seems to be a reason for waking up. We had the great hand-foot-and-mouth outbreak of 2013 so they were both a mess and took a few days to get back into a solid sleep routine. Fine, I get it. Next up, molars so we have random wake ups. Those pop through and we're on a good routine again. We attempt a vacay in the mountains for a weekend and the babies are forced to share a room (how the heck do people have babies in the same room?!). Ella is having allergies (so we think) and is up screaming, thus waking up her brother. What we thought were allergies is actually a cold and now they both are congested and waking up. Seriously?!

I had a break down at 3:30 this week and said 'let them scream.' This is ridiculous. Ella was up at 12 crying and needed a paci. She was throwing a fit again at 3:30, but a paci/comfort wouldn't cut it. She wanted a bottle. No freaking way. They DO NOT need a bottle at 3:30 in the freaking morning at 14 months. So we let her cry. Of course she woke up her brother, who was then wanting a bottle and refusing to go back to sleep. Again, how in the heck does room sharing work? Ours are down the hall from one another and have sound machines but still manage to wake each other up!

We let them cry, but it didn't stop. There were breaks, but finally at about 4:15 we broke down and fed them a bottle so they would just go back to sleep!

I know sickness and teeth happen and sleep will get interrupted, but it seems like we have too many patches of waking up throughout the night. 

I thought once we went down to one nap a day it would help. Maybe they just weren't tired enough at night? Well, we are on a solid one nap a day schedule and it hasn't made a bit of difference.

I feel like everyone else's babies sleep like little angels for 12 hours straight and ours are the only ones who go through periods of shitty sleep. Please tell me I'm not alone here... Does anyone else have this problem??

I don't know if they should still be getting up around 4-5 to eat, but they do. Not all the time, but a lot of the time. We've tried several things to get them to sleep, including letting them cry. They will cry and cry and wake up the other, so it is just easiest to feed them. They eat a ton of food during the day. Some meals I think they eat more then we do. They are great at eating, so I don't know how I could cram in any more calories. 

They are on the skinny side, so maybe they just have fast metabolisms and can't make it 11-12 hours without eating? Maybe they are just awful sleepers and I am destined to walk around with bags under my eyes? Maybe we're doing something completely wrong?

When I get a solid night of sleep I find taking care of our Duo to be much more pleasant and easier. When I have a few nights of waking up every 2-3 hours (especially when its a night I worked and didn't get to bed until 12 to begin with), I turn into a horrible cranky mom and wife. I just need some damn sleep.

So, what's the answer? Sleep in the basement for a few nights and let them scream their heads off? Keep trucking along and hope the periods of solid sleep take over the crap nights? I don't know if there is something we can do or if this is who they are. I just want to sleep.

Since I am completely making these two sound horrible in this post, here's a cute pic to brighten things up a bit.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


First, I have to say THANK YOU to everyone who wrote in support to me on my last post. I wish I had time to respond to each comment, but for right now I don't. Thank you thank you thank you. It means a lot!!

We signed up on I thought spending $30 in hopes of finding a nanny was a bit ridiculous, but I'm so glad we signed up! We've had 24 people respond to our ad so far. Some were completely crazy, but a lot were legitimately decent people. I wrote back and forth with several people, set up three interviews and we hired one! Yeah! We hired a nanny!! She's coming over tomorrow to hang out with me for a few hours so I can show her the usual routine and get comfortable with the babies. She walked in, sat on the ground and talked to both babies. She's intelligent, energetic and sweet. I'm hopeful that she will work out.

Let me tell you about the first girl that came over. I think we got catfished. She looked NOTHING like her profile pic. She looked rough!!! She barely paid attention to the babies and when Ella puked a little bit the girl said 'yuck.' Yes, yuck. She was across the room from Ella. YUCK?! I wanted to kick her out right then...

Aside from the nanny stuff, I've still had a couple of rough days emotionally and physically. The babies are switching to one nap a day all of a sudden... How to do it has been confusing for everyone and led to crankiness for us all. Last week one wouldn't sleep in the morning and the other wouldn't sleep in the afternoon, so I knew it was time to convert to the one nap a day.

It's been tough...but I think we're all getting used to it. They have been sleeping in until 8ish all of a sudden. They go back down for a nap at 1 after lunch. The nap has been short...only 1-1.5 hours, but I think once they get more comfortable with this routine it will last longer (we're currently 2 hours into the current nap!). One nap a day makes it a lot easier to get out and do things!! I'm definitely liking that! We went to the mall this morning at 10. I returned a few things, did a little shopping and we walked around while I sipped my Star.bucks. It was a lovely little morning. I could get used to that...

So much seems to be changing... EE decided they want to use sippy cups all of a sudden. They are feeding themselves milk throughout the day. Evan prefers a bottle at night because he's usually completely worn out and would rather cuddle and be fed. I thought they'd never take cups, but just like that one day they decided it was time.

Both have also decided they want to feed themselves with a spoon. Typically at meal times, they get veggies, fruit and whatever we are having. Depending on how much they ate, we'll spoon them some yogurt, cottage cheese or a blended fruit/veggie. Lately they have been grabbing for the spoon and feeding themselves with it. Of course they can't load the spoon, but they hand it to us and we load it for them. 

Meal time is a mess... anyone else have this problem? Somehow, they have decided when they are done with something or when they don't like something it should be thrown overboard. We'll tell them no, clear their trays etc. but can't find a way to stop it. We have food on our curtains, walls, floors. We have a dog that we let clean some of it up, but I'm so tired of picking up food from everywhere! I'm thinking about getting something to put under their chairs at mealtime... Is this normal or are my kids messy?

I find myself looking at pictures and often thinking 'a year ago' we were doing this or that.... I'm glad I've taken thousands of photos and videos because I love looking back at them and seeing how far we've come. They seem to be growing up and changing so quickly!! The days are long, but the year has flown by.

Friday, October 25, 2013


For no particular reason, it has just been one of those weeks... (If you are in the trenches, you may not want to read this. I'm going to complain about babies. Yes, I struggled and waited years for them so why am I complaining? I feel guilty...but for my sanity-of which there is very little-I'm doing it.)

It took us a week to get over the great hand-foot-and-mouth disease outbreak of 2013. While we were down and out, the 'to do' list kept getting longer. Normally we can stay on top of all the necessary things that need to be done (for the most part). However, being out for a week just led to everything piling up and I don't have the energy to catch up. Sleep has been shit since they were sick. Ella finally starting sleeping through the night this week. Evan has been touch and go...I think he has a molar coming in so that doesn't help. Have I mentioned how much I HATE teething?

We seem to be transitioning to a one nap a day schedule based on the refusal of naps had by both babies this week. Lately they have been getting up around 7:30-8, going down for a nap around 10:15-10:30, waking up around 12 and going down around 3-3:30 for 45 min-1 hour. I get up with them in the morning and then shower, clean up and start to prepare lunch during their morning nap. When one refuses to nap in the morning, this throws a wrench in things.... I need this break. This ME time. I haven't been getting it and I can't get anything done!!! The next baby refuses to nap in the afternoon so again, I can't get anything done! 

It's especially draining when I have to work in the evening. I need as much time during the day as possible to get things ready for their dinner/ours, get my work stuff together and try to clean up/prep everything for my husband to make it a little easier on him. He comes home around 5:30 and I have to get ready and get out the door by 6:15. So you see, when I've had a baby up with me all day long it's just difficult.

I've mentioned this several times, but in case you missed it, we have no family around. We live in TN and they all live in WI/IA/SD. I know it's our choice. I stand by it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't cause stress. For 13 months now, we've gone out as husband and wife only a handful of times. We never get a break. I never get a break. I stay home with them all the time. I rush off to work 2-3 times a week (I get home around 11:30-12:30 when I work so I get in bed and fall asleep about an hour later). The weekends are spent trying to cram in grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry and all other random to do things because there is no time during the week. I'd like to be able to do more fun family things, but most the time we are exhausted from everything going on and don't get to it. I want to have friends over, but I rarely have the energy to clean and cook. I'm with the babies all weekend long unless I go out grocery shopping or run some other errand. My point is, I am exhausted!!!

I'm seriously behind on mandatory training at one of my jobs (I was told last night to catch up or I wouldn't be able to work there). I need CEU's in order to keep my license for my job and I have ZERO. Yes 0. I have to finish 10 (1 CEU/hour of training) by the end of the year. Five of the hours have to be in person and 5 can be on the internet. I have a dentist appointment and OB appointment that are overdue (how do I go to an appointment when my husband works 8-5 M-F?) 

I feel like I have little support. I'll tell family I'm struggling or having a hard time and I never get helpful responses... We've all been there. Hang in there. It get's better. Doesn't help when you have cranky babies and are tired of treading water. I don't have time to stay in touch with friends. I'm a horrible friend these days. If I can manage a text, email or a 10 minute phone call it's a big deal. I went out for a friend's birthday dinner last week and this was a monumental event! I feel lonely... There have been plenty of days I've convinced myself I'm not cut out for this and dreamed of running away and starting over. I have even applied for a few jobs on my most desperate days.

I am tired. So tired. I need a break. We both do. We all do. In order to be a better mom and wife something has to change... For these reasons, we broke down and paid to sign up on ($30 thanks to a $10 promo code). I posted an ad for a part time nanny position and we've had 22 people apply. Some I wouldn't trust to water a plant (hi there. i have two babies but I can watch yours. they real no thank you!), but some were great candidates. We're interviewing 3 people this weekend and hopefully hiring one and having a back up person as well. I absolutely do not want to pay someone $10-12 an hour to hang out with our kids and I'm leery of leaving them with ANYONE (even family) because I do it better, but I have to get over this... I have a serious 'I can do it all. I'm Wonder Woman' complex I think. I used to be able to do it all. I've always been able to juggle whatever came my way, but for the first time I'm failing at life.

I'm hanging on by a thread. Did I mention I sat in our shower and cried for a good 20 minutes this morning? 

I hope the nanny is the answer. I hope having 3-5 hours a week to myself to get things done will help me feel more refreshed. Getting out once a month to go on a date sounds dreamy. I'm not sure what the answer is, but hopefully this will bring some kind of relief.

Evan is down here with me since he refused to nap this morning and he just knocked over the paper shredder. The FULL paper shredder. As if I didn't have enough to do already. Time to wrap up and get ready for the lunch crowd.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Down with the Sickness

I wrote in my last post that we have yet to contract a sickness of any kind and of course I curesed myself by making this statement. We had a hell of a time dealing with hand-foot-and-mouth disease over the past week. When we do anything, we go all out. Sickness included. We couldn't just have a common cold with some sniffles. Nope. We got diseased!!!

We had photos taken the first week of Oct for their one year pics (I'll post some later. LOVE how they turned out.) The photographer has 3 kids and runs a business out of her house. Yeah, she's busy, I get it. Well, there were toys all over and some not so clean carpet that the babies were roaming on. Evan puts EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING in his mouth (snails, dirt, hoses, woodchips, flowers, etc.-that's just a list from being outside yesterday for 30 min). Of course he was eating a bunch of toys and I tried to stop him, but he's a forse to be reckoned with.

Fast forward to Wednesday and sleep became interrupted for both babies (mainly Evan). Thursday he had a fever of 102.4 and had a rash on his upper legs/butt. I thought it was some kind of nasty diaper rash, but we don't get diaper rash bc of the cloth diapers so I was stumped. Rash got worse. Fever sustained. Baby was cranky. Husband was heading out of town the next day. I knew it was a virus and there was nothing we could do but treat the symptoms, but we went to the doctor anyway. One look at the rash and he was diagnosed with hand-foot-and-mouth disease. It's highly contagious. Ella probably will get it too. 

I about lost my shit Friday when I was here alone with the two of them. Ella was just coming down with the sickness and both were CRANKY! Being stuck at home with two sick cranky kids is extremely trying. Wow. By the time my husband got home that night at 8, I put myself directly to bed because I was cranky and a tad (okay very) bitchy.

No one slept...we were up from 1:30 on. Sometimes just to give meds and comfort. Sometimes with Ella screaming inconsolably. She spiked a temp of 103.5. It was awful. Ella had to sleep on one of us or she wouldn't sleep. It was exhausting. We made it through Saturday and our plans of going to the pumpkin patch were cancelled. By Sat night my husband and I were feeling achy and feverish so we went to bed at 8. Yeah, 8 on a Sat night. Exciting!

Babies were up on and off screaming all night. I started throwing up around 2 and made a few rounds into the bathroom for that experience. We both had sore throats, aches and fevers and felt like hell. Somehow we survived and made it to Sunday. I tried to help out with the babies, but honestly could not do it. Both the hubs and I felt like hell, but he took over taking care of them and I went back to bed. I got up to help get them to bed, but stayed in bed until 2. I don't remember the last time I was so sick I couldn't get out of bed....

Sunday night was more not sleeping....the husband worked from home Mon and Tue because he didn't want to get the whole office ill with this crap. Evan started feeling better by Sunday and Ella was feeling better by Monday. By Tuesday I finally had my happy playful babies back. They wouldn't eat or drink much, wouldn't play, just fussed for 6 days straight. That's enough to send you to a rubber room. 

We all had rashes of varying degrees. Evan's was mostly on his upper legs/butt. Ella's was all over her body (see pic below). Collin had it on his stomach and back. I had blisters on my feet and in between my toes (made walking comfortable). We all had blisters in our mouths/throats. Ouch. No wonder the babies have been on a hunger strike.

What a week.... Sleep deprivation is an awful horrible thing. Thankfully my husband was the rock that got us through this whole thing as usual. I can be such a mess. He is the voice of reason at times. I'm thankful for his calm demeanor. I don't give him nearly enough praise.

First sickness down. I'm sure we got it from the photographer's house. She wrote on FB that her family was sick in bed... Oh well, that's part of this whole growing up thing I guess. We got some amazing photos out of it and we survived.

I'm thankful to have healthy happy babies again. We're moving on to bigger and better things!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Play Ground Rant

Whaaaat?! I'm back already. Yes indeed. I was excited to see comments from you lovely ladies! I'm glad someone is interested in still following along and reading this craziness. I realized how much I missed writing. It's therapeutic for me.

So here's the deal. I try to get out with the babies several times a week to do something. They are a bit young yet for organized activities so we don't do any Little Gym classes or story time at the library stuff. I want to get out and meet more people with young kids, and I have some, but it's still a pain to organize getting together for play dates around nap schedules. For right now, we kind of just do our own thing so I can keep our schedule on schedule. Usually these outings we go on involve spending money...which is not a good habit. I'm trying to do some free stuff instead of trips to Target, Carter's, Hobby Lobby etc. where I always seem to spend at least $20. The park! What a novel idea. There is one less than 5 min from our house (that's driving time. Loading the babies alone takes more than 5 min).

We've been several times and it's always been a great experience. Evan loves to run around and attempt to eat wood chips. Who wouldn't?! Ella likes to walk holding on to my hands. We all hit the swings and slides. Good times.

Well, today something happened. I think I should be initiated into some kind of mom club for having a problem at the park. Here's my park experience today. We stroll up to see three kids running around all about age 5 and under. Perfect. My babies love to watch other kids run around.

As I unload Evan and let him walk around all three kids come up to the stroller. Two of them start talking to Evan. One of them, who we'll call red face snotty nose, starts grabbing at Ella's pacifier, the diaper bag and starts pushing the stroller (while ELLA is still IN IT and I'm walking around trying to keep my eye on Evan). Red face snotty nose is 18 months old according to dad who's standing RIGHT there and doing NOTHING to stop her. I had to put Ella's paci away in an locked space bc I don't know what kind of contagious disease that kid was rocking. Mind you, all the while the dad keeps asking the usual twin questions and makes several comments about how hard it must be to have two etc. No shit it's hard! Now get your sick kid away from us and stop letting her push on my stroller and grab stuff from it....what an idiot.

We moved to a different area to get away from red face snotty nose and her idiot father. Next up was a boy who was friendly enough, but had no parents around. I asked him how old he was and he said he was 6 (obviously not 6) then he said he was 3 and then 4. Who knows...I'm going to guess he was about 3.5 years old. Um. Where are his parents? As Evan was walking around this kid, who we'll call bug bites since his legs were loaded with red bumps, kept walking up to him and trying to direct where he should go. He also kept trying to get my attention to play with him. Um...I have two kids here. WHERE ARE YOUR PARENTS? Oh yeah, they are the spaced out couple sitting WAYYYY over at a picnic table engaging in their own conversation. Nice. So bug bites keeps herding Evan and asking me to push him in the swing over and over and asks to get Ella out of the swing so he can get in it. Annoying! Finally bug bites parents manage to scrape their ass off the picnic table and come over to push their kid on the swing. The dad had to the balls to ask me to move my stroller so he could push his kid super high on the swing. Nice.

We got the hell out of the swing area and went to another part. Some girl who told me she is 5 starts hanging out with us. She's cute and friendly and not annoying. Well, she runs over to a pavilion where her parents are and brings over a handful of chips and keeps trying to feed them to the babies. I was polite and said they don't eat chips, they just ate lunch and aren't hungry etc. It didn't work. This chick was persistent. Chip girl kept trying to shove chips in my kids faces. What the hell?! Can her parents not see this happening and see I'm trying to manage two ONE year olds and I don't need to keep an eye on their 5 year old as well?!

As if keeping chip girl away from Evan and Ella's mouths wasn't enough, red face snotty nose wandered back over and started grabbing at stuff from the stroller again while her dad kept making 'i don't know how you do it with two' comments. I finally loaded up the babies and we went home.
We have a small play gym and swings out back so we played on those instead. 

Some people's kids....
Anyone else have any experiences like this? It's the first time I've had any kind of run in like this, but I know it's not the last.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I'm back baby!!! I've been following along with most of your blogs still, but I just haven't found the time to even comment. I am lame. Most of the time my free time from the babies has been spent doing laundry, cleaning, prepping food for when they wake up, cooking us meals etc. Things have calmed down some and now that they are napping well (sometimes it would take me 30-45 min to get Evan to GO to sleep. By the time I got him down Ella would wake up 15 min later). It's been hard. I could write 37 posts on how difficult of a baby Evan has been...

Yup, one year. Holy shit. My babies are one year old! We have survived a year. It has been the most trying year of my life thus far, but I don't think I'd change much....

Where do I begin? I struggled a lot in the past year....from dealing with reflux, colic, lack of sleep, trying to adjust to being a SAHM who works still on the side, lots of puke (I think our entire house got a once over coat of puke), PPD (I had a worse case of this then I admit to most people. Why am I ashamed of it? I had the baby blues hard core. There I said it), not having family close by to help, and a lot of emotions surrounding our not ideal birthing experience, etc. Sure, it has been difficult, but I could also give a list of positive things as well....

Anyway, I guess this is what kept me away from blogging. I was just trying to survive each day and some days were filled with tears and feeling inadequate and I wanted to hide from myself more than share it with the world. I am in a good place (mostly. Being a mom of twins is an interesting experience), and I miss blogging. I miss writing down what I'm thinking. Maybe someone out there misses reading my take on things too?

We had a first birthday party for Evan and Ella. It was a lot of work to prepare for and took us about a week to recover from, but it was so much fun! We are not throw big parties type of people at all, but we've waited a long time for this and went all out. Both of our parents/EE's grandparents came down from IA/WI and we had about 25 friends here as well. There theme was Oktoberfest and they had leiderhosen and dirndl outfits for the occasion made by my amazing grandma. 

Neither one of the babies have been sick in the past year. At all. I know now they will both have the flu next week since I said that, but of course on their birthday Ella wasn't feeling well. She has a runny nose and was generally cranky. Fun. Of course she wanted to be held by mom or dad only the entire party. They had their one year appointment 2 days later and turns out she was suffering from allergies. We got her some children's clar.itan and she was good as new! Poor Ella...

I could write a lot more, but I'm going to ease my way back into this thing. This post has a lot of words, but doesn't really say much of anything. Ha! I'm rusty at this blogging thing...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Oot and Aboot

Yes! I am still alive!! With the nice weather and family visits, we've just been busy. I always thought I was busy before kids. Ha. What a joke.... Now I am busy!
Yeah! It's spring!! I could never live in a place without changing seasons. I adore the changing seasons. I love waking up to fresh morning air seeping in through an open window with birds chirping. Everything is just coming to life and it's easy to be giddy just because the sun is shining!!

I've been making a point to get out with the babies by myself once a week. We typically go out as a family sometime on the weekend as well. My trips with them could involve going to the mall, Kohls, Target, grocery store, post office etc. Nothing wild and crazy, but just a reason to get out. I take them on walks during the week several times as well.
My first outing with the twins was on Valentine's Day, making them 5 months. Yup, it took me 5 months to work up the courage to leave the house alone with them. Is this normal for other twin moms? I was terrified on that first outing.... Now, it's not a big deal. It may take me a minimum of 30 minutes to pack them up, get myself to look somewhat presentable and get out the door, but it's worth it.

Two funny stories about our outings. First, one day we walked to the grocery store to pick up a few items. I did the self check out thing and lifted out one car seat to put all the items in the bottom of the stroller when I finished checking out. The worker that was standing by the self check out area simply said, 'Wow' and had her mouth partly open as we went by. I'm not sure if that meant wow you are efficient or wow you are crazy to have two babies out by yourself.  Second, I went to a little boutique to pick up some blankets I had embroidered for the babies (they were a gift given to us BEFORE the babies were born and it took me 6 months to bring them in to get embroidered...). The owner is a typical southern chatty lady and we talked for about 15 minutes. One of her first comments to me was 'Your shirt isn't buttoned correctly!' I looked and sure enough I missed a button and it was crooked. I told her I was thrilled to have a clean shirt on...

We've yet to have a serious meltdown by either of the babies while we are out. *knock on wood* I think we're beyond the serious meltdown days anyway. We have these two figured out (for the most part) and know what they need most of the time.

I'm always amazed by the comments I get when I'm out alone. Everyone and their mother wants to come talk to me and look at the babies. I've been asked if twins run in my family more times than I can count. I'm most often told I am truly blessed. I just smile and feel warm inside. We are blessed. There may be difficult days. Days that are endless. Days where I want to crawl into bed. But, there are no more days longing for a family that may never exist. There are days with giggles, smiles and firsts. There are days my heart is full and happy.

A quick update on the babies-we are up to 3 meals a day and the babies love food! I'm still making most of the food. There are some fruits that aren't in season or I don't have time to wash, peel, cook and process so we do the jar thing for those. We're still cloth diapering except for overnight. Cloth diapering is a whole lot more interesting with solid foods, but completely worth it. Evan sleeps through the night form 7p-7a without waking up. Ella still wakes up 1-2 a night to get a paci but she goes right back to sleep. There are more and more nights of her not waking up at all. Both are sitting without any assistance. They both started this on the SAME DAY. Twins are weird. Evan is crawling. He's picking up speed fast. I was terrified of this day, but I LOVE it. He keeps himself entertained and he wears himself out from it. Naps are 3 times a day at 9:30, 12 and 3:30 and last anywhere form 45-1 hour. Sometimes they crash and go down for 1.5 hours. They are happy, smiley and interacting more with each other.

A few pics because everyone loves pics!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sleep Sleep Sleep

Sleep! I crave it and I'm never getting enough of it. I was thinking about it, and it's been about a year since I've had peaceful restful slumber. Wow, that's just depressing...

Here's an update on our twins and sleeping:

NAPPING! Nap Boot Camp was a success!!! We now rock Evan with paci and taggie for a few minutes and put him in his crib. Typically he'll roll to his side and be asleep in a few minutes. Once in a while he still needs his paci placed back in his mouth in the initial 5 minutes of being placed in his crib. But for the most part, he goes right down without a problem. FINALLY!!! He isn't laying in his crib crying for 30 minutes while mom runs around trying not to have a meltdown. Ella continues to be the champion napper. She's tired. You put her in her crib with paci, taggie and light her glow worm. Boom. The girl is out.

We finally have a predictable schedule for these two. I would have never guessed it would take 6 months to get to an actual schedule! Here's how it works: babies wake up around 5-6 for a 5-6 oz bottle and go back to bed. Babies wake up for the day around 8 and have breakfast (usually oatmeal and a fruit). Next is bathing, getting dressed and play time. We do bottles and go down for a nap around 9:30-10. Babies are up by 11 and we do more play time followed by lunch around 11:30. Lunch is typically 2 vegetables. We play more and usually have a small bottle before going down for a nap around 12:30-1 with a wake up time around 2. We have bottles and play. Around 3:30-4 they go down for the last nap of the day. The babies are up by 5 and we have a bottle and wait for dad to come home. We feed them a meal around 5:30-6 that usually consists of a grain (barley, rice or oatmeal) and a fruit or veggie. I have dinner done for us adults at this time as well so we all eat as a family. We clean up dinner and have family play time until the babies get tired (usually about 7). We do bottles and put them to bed around 7:30. We then clean up whatever is left out, throw the cloth diapers in the wash and have a few hours of uninterrupted adult time. I cherish being able to snuggle on the couch and have an adult conversation.

Not in the above schedule is all the cleaning, laundry, diaper changes, meal prepping and random other things I do throughout the day. The days are long and exhausting, but filled with so much love and joy at the same time. They are full and busy, but mostly wonderful.

When we head off to bed we both go look at both of the babies one last time. We stand and gaze at them while we have ridiculous smiles on our faces. We made those two perfect little's still unbelievable to me sometimes.

SLEEPING! Here's the deal. Evan is great at sleeping. He sleeps on  his stomach with his legs crossed and his butt in the air. We both got into bed one night and tried that position...not comfortable! I don't know how he does it, but it works for him! He needs a paci one time a night 2-3 times a week. I think that's fantastic!

Ella Ella Ella....she has been a handful!! We made many unsuccessful attempts at getting her out of her Rock N Play into her crib. Finally around 5 months we decided we needed to suffer through the sleeplessness and get her into the damn crib or she'd be going off to college in a Rock N Play. Many many sleepless nights ensued...she'd be up every 2 hours crying uncontrollably. She'd be thrashing her head and kicking and seemed uncomfortable. This went on for weeks....there were a handful of nights she'd even need a bottle. Neither of the babies have needed a middle of the night bottle since they were about 4.5 months old so this was frustrating!!! Finally, one night around 3 am I had an idea. I crawled into our attic space and grabbed a quilt and we shoved in under her mattress to elevate it like the Rock N Play. Collin said we could try giving her Zantac a bit earlier in the night as well. We did these two things and BAM! The girl is sleeping MUCH better! Maybe she won't need a Rock N Play in her dorm room after all.

She wakes up anywhere from 2-4 times a night needing her pacifier. Sometimes less and sometimes not at all. Apparently the poor girl has horrible reflux and laying flat just doesn't work for her right now....she's not kicking and thrashing her head around anymore. I'm trying to stick with the 'throw the paci in her mouth' game in hopes that she will outgrow that in time as well. I think we're doing pretty well with the sleeping thing. I don't know. If anyone knows how to end the paci game please share. I keep reading all these incredibly annoying people who say 'my baby is such a great sleeper! s/he has slept through the night since 1 month of age.' Ugh...shut up! Parents can be so self righteous and annoying... I don't want to be one of those parents.

We're both feeling well rested most of the time so I guess we're doing something right. Who knows. We just make stuff up as we go.

Evan had a fever today of 101.4 and he was extremely cranky. I think he's teething? I hope he's not getting sick.... we've avoided being sick so far and we are so close to the end of the sick season.... Poor fella was a complete mess.  Fingers crossed...

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Other Side

I did it! I went private. I hope I did it correctly and you're all able to still read! Let me know if you are reading this!! I am really into using exclamation points this morning...

I worked last night and the hospital was hopping! Come on spring...we need you!

I hope you all have a great weekend! Happy Easter :)

I will update sooooon. I have so much to say! Until adorable Easter bunnies! 

**Clearly I did something wrong while trying to make my blog private. I'm going to blame it on being tired... I think I fixed it. Can someone let me know?**

Monday, March 25, 2013


I've talked about this before, but I am pulling the trigger and hopping on over to the private side. I've checked out my traffic sources and I'm not comfortable with some of the hits I've been getting. I don't know how or why I'm getting hits from creepy sites and even porn sites occasionally, but regardless it's time to change things. I don't want to do this, because I always think there could be some random person out there who stumbles across my blog and gets some kind of useful advice from one of my posts. I want to help other people out, but I have to do what's best for my precious babies first. I also will be able to share more pics and info. I hope you will still follow along on our journey!!

Please send me an email at or leave me your email address here and I'll send you the link to my private blog. I plan on switching over this week. Please bare with me as I transition. I haven't posted intentionally because I didn't feel comfortable putting any more info out there until my blog is private.

It's been that's going to change any time soon! The twins turned 6 months old. How a half a year has passed by already, I don't know...
I was busy working and prepping for my in-laws to visit for 5 days (they just left this morning).
Ella has decided she no longer wants to sleep through the night and has made us exhausted. There were a few nights we were up too many times to count...
These babies are growing up way too fast and are in such a fun stage...I keep finding myself thinking about another baby 'someday.' Clearly the sleep deprivation has caused me to lose my mind!

Where the hell is spring?!

Don't forget to come visit my blog still because once I go private it won't show up in your reader feed anymore!

See you on the other side!

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Calming Father Effect

Happy Friday!! I'm contemplating going private with my blog. For a while I was getting lots of spam comments on certain posts so I changed my commenting. Now, I noticed I'm getting hits from a porn site! Ewww!! Why would that happen? Will you still follow me if I go private? I love the support I have gotten on here and I don't want to lose it. If I go private, I will be able to post way more info. I'm always apprehensive about what I'm putting out there right now because you just never know who is reading.

My name is Amber and I am an anti-dentite. I loath the dentist. Having to go to the dentist, even for a routine cleaning, gives me extreme anxiety. It gets to the point that I think about it a lot in the days prior to the appointment and have trouble sleeping the night before. (Do you think I could ask him to prescribe me anti-anxiety meds?) I've had no major medical work done. I only have had cavities. Never even braces or anything like that. Why do I have such a fear? I think my fear stems from the dentist I went to as a kid. He was very critical and would use scare tactics to convince me my teeth would fall out if I didn't floss every day and brush after every meal. I do floss. I do brush. I have nice teeth. I don't know if it's from him or what, but I dislike going.

I had a cleaning this week. Thankfully we have been able to find a dentist in TN that we both like. I am VERY picky about my dentists. I HATE being lectured. The dentist we see has a very dry sense of humor and I guess I do as well, and the one time I had cavities filled by him we were cracking jokes the whole time. Despite liking our dentist (I've tried a lot of dentists out over the years and ditched them all), I still don't like the dentist. I think you get my point by now....time to move on!

My appointment was in the morning so C could stay home with the babies while I was gone. I went in and had my cleaning-NO CAVITIES! and came home. My cleaning was at 9:00 and I was in and out within 30 minutes. Maybe it's just because I live in the South, but I get raving reviews about my teeth these days. It's a bit of a self esteem booster. If you don't feel great about your teeth, move to the South!! I've never gotten so much praise about my teeth..

I got home around 9:45 and Evan was still sleeping. Yes. That's right. He got up around 6 to eat and went back to sleep and was still asleep when I got home at 9:45. Are you kidding me? My husband had Ella up, bathed and dressed. He did some laundry and started our taxes. He said it was 'easy.' Ughhhh!!!

I am fairly certain I swore when I cam home and heard he how easy everything was. C claimed that Evan was still asleep and Ella was all smiles because of his overall calming attitude. Ha!! I swore again at this statement. That man is calming as he does it, I don't know. I wish I could bottle that up and sell it!! 

Some days are a struggle for me... I don't want the babies to have a horrible morning, but it would be nice if they would have been a tad fussy so he could get a taste of what I deal with on a day to day basis. I get frustrated because I struggle some days and I complain to C about it and I often say that 'he doesn't understand' because he's not here all day. I hate using that line 'you don't understand' but I'm not sure how to convey my feelings in another way... He always says he doesn't claim to know how difficult it is and does his best to understand my feelings, but he just doesn't know... Unless you are in the weeds with two babies, I don't think you can really grasp how frustrating the situation can be.

I swear, every time he is alone with the babies, things go smoothly. On one hand, this is great because I feel better about leaving them with him. On the other hand, I would like for him to struggle (just once!) so he could get a better sense of why I have a difficult time some days.  Does this make sense? Am I a bad person for thinking this?

Maybe it is his overall calming disposition or maybe he is just damn lucky. When he left to go to work, Evan woke up instantly and was in a full on demanding mood. Go figure!! I don't know how he does it....

In other news, I'm pulling out of my slump. I scheduled a hair appointment for myself and I'm chopping off my hair! I figured a change is exactly what I needed! I LOVE getting my hair's such a relaxing experience for me. Goodbye shoulder length hair!

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Adventures in Feeding Twins Real Food

I've been a terrible blogger. I've been largely uninspired and in some kind of slump. I'm not sure what the deal is, but I hope I get over this... How long can I blame my crummy moods on hormones? Do we get a pass on this for at least a year? 

I think Ella is teething. That or she is developing colic at 5.5 months of age. She has periods in the afternoon when she will just cry and scream. She is inconsolable. It's awful. Nothing wears on me more than a crying baby (especially when the other baby needs attention/needs to eat at the same time). Tylenol calms her down within 15 minutes, but it's just awful. I've had a few rough days....

Thanks for all your responses on my last post. If that damn manual shows up I will be sure to make and distribute copies! I love the support I have found via blogging. You ladies are awesome! I promise I will catch up on your blogs soon!!

I wrote this, but then thought 'I sound all high and mighty about my choice of food.' This is not my intent. If you are using jars for food you go right ahead! We have a bunch of jars in a cabinet because I don't have time to make food sometimes. This is just what I have chosen to do. Making food for the babies is enjoyable for me and it's what I'm doing. It's good for us. You do whatever is good for you!

The time has come. We have moved on to food. AHHHH! At our 4 month appointment our pediatrician said we could start whenever we felt the babies were ready. I did a lot (I mean A LOT) of research online. For some reason, I felt like I was getting a lot of mixed messages regarding feeding the twins food. Some sources say to wait until 6 months before feeding anything. Others say to follow your babies lead and feed when they are ready. As a follow the rules kinda gal, I found this confusing. Feed them too early and they will be obese adults. Feed them too late and they won't have developed a taste for food and will be picky. What the hell is a mom supposed to do? It didn't help that my husband was on board with whatever I wanted to do. I'm not good at making decisions...

One day we just went for it. That fancy blender we got as a wedding gift 6.5 years ago came out of the basement and we started making food! (Who knew blenders were good for more than just making up a batch of margaritas?! Up until this point, that's all we used the blender for-summer fun!) The babies had gone from taking in about 26-25 oz per day each to pounding down over 40 a few days. We both thought they were eating more, watching us eat and they were ready. At around 4.5 weeks we attempted feeding. We started with rice cereal (not with successful results). I found the Wholesome Baby Food Guide online to be a source I liked so I ordered their book off of Amazon as well. I wanted to make our babies food if possible and they had a no fuss laid back approach to why you should feed your babies certain foods at certain times as well as how to make food and a variety of recipes. I like the information the book provided in terms of feeding (why certain foods are important, how to add spices to their foods, when to try foods etc.)

We ordered high chairs from Target (we went with the Graco DuoDiner 3 in 1-and love it!). I wish we would have ordered the chairs sooner. They love to sit in them (they recline) and play with toys. It's a great way for me to get cooking done. They love to sit in the chairs with toys with music on while I sing and dance around the kitchen making dinner or baby food. They smile (and sometimes laugh) at my dancing-what this says about my dance moves you can figure out for yourself... When the book arrived we jumped on to the feeding train and haven't looked back.

Ella took to eating instantly. She was grabbing for the spoon, opening wide and making little 'mmm' sounds on every bite. Evan was a little more reluctant. He would just take a few bites initially and did not find it to be useful; he found playing with his new meal time bib to be much more entertaining. After about a week, Evan started realizing the stuff we were putting near his mouth was useful and he started to enjoy it as well. They both eat very well and I have yet to find something they have not liked. Evan is always skeptical on the first bite. He slowly swallows and furrows his brows in deep concentration while Ella 'mmm's' and is ready for more! These two could not be more different...

They initially started out only eating about 1-2 tbsp once a day. I fed them after their morning nap. Over a few weeks they have moved on to about 1/2 cup. They are still taking it about 30 oz of formula a day. Since they have gotten the hang of it, we started feeding them in the evening as well. I try to have dinner cooked/nearly ready when my husband gets home and we all sit down to eat. I LOVE it! We bought a new 8 chair dining room table in Dec and I absolutely love sitting down in the dining room to have a family dinner. I have dreamed about this...

Since we started feeding food at dinner, they have had large improvements in sleeping through the night. We now have a great routine down-we sit down to eat around 6-6:30. One of us cleans up while the other unloads the babies onto a blanket in the living room. We have play time for a while then change into PJ's and feed around 7. By 7:30ish they are in bed and sleep until 5-6 (7 if we are lucky). Someone will typically need a paci around 4, but other than that they are sleeeeeping. One Sunday I woke up on my own at 7:48 am. WOKE UP ON MY OWN! WOKE UP without a baby crying! WHOA! Of course I thought they were dead or someone stole them. Anyway, I honestly think the food has helped keep them full and satisfied overnight.

I'm feeding them a fruit or veggie in the morning (usually by 9:30) and they get a grain (barley/oatmeal/brown rice) with a fruit or veggie mixed in during the evening. So far they have had green beans, avocado, squash, sweet potatoes, bananas, pears, applesauce, barley, oatmeal and brown rice as well as combos of them (green veggie monster-avocado, green beans & apple sauce).  I just started adding cinnamon to a few dishes. The book has spices you can add to help develop your babies palate-I love this concept! All of the foods I have made and they didn't take much time (less than 30 minutes for blending, clean up etc). I read during my research that babies who are fed food over jars will be less picky in the long run (we'll see!). It's really not a lot of work to cook a few sweet potatoes, throw them in the blender and freeze them in ice cube trays. The food defrosts quickly and there is a big difference in taste and texture between the jar food and food I make (we've tried a few jars along with way). We're moving on to the next section in the book for foods recommended for 6-8 months and I can't wait to try out new recipes.

I really love feeding the babies. I love cooking myself, so being able to cook for them and watch them eat and enjoy the food is great! It's one of my favorite things so far!

Now I need to get inspired to make it out of this slump. I want to finish the week strong. Was there a meltdown Monday? Yup, sure was.... I'm having a hard time feeling inadequate and feeling like I'm not doing a good enough job. It's impossible to get it all done. Maybe I can figure out how to add more hours into the day. In the meantime there is coffee....

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Newest Napping Nuisance

I should have known that once I typed the story of Evan's boot camp napping story that things would change... 
We conquered this napping stuff. He was snoozing with the best of them. But then he decided to change it up. I have a feeling our family CEO will always be keeping me on our toes...

Here's the deal. Once last week he was eating silly and I knew it was because he was tired so I put him down to nap. Well, he didn't want to nap. After screaming for a while I thought to myself 'he didn't eat much. I bet he's still hungry.' Idiot. (I'm referring to myself as the idtiot just to be clear.) He did in fact eat, but somehow this started some kind of habit. You would have thought I put crack in the bottle or something (promise I didn't) because for the next several days he was hooked. He could pound down 7 ounces and go down for a nap 5 minutes later and he would SCREAM bloody murder until I fed him more. AHHHHH!!!!

I had a meltdown on Monday. Monday around here has been dubbed 'Meltdown Monday' by my significant other. Not good. That man is a saint to put up with me. I need to get it together. For Good. I gave in and kept feeding him. I just wanted him to stop crying and be quite. It was an addiction. I thought 'hey last time he screamed and wouldn't nap he wanted more to eat.' Idiot. I shouldn't have done it.

Well, we had several days of craptastic naps and extra feedings. You may think, who cares if the kid wants to eat a few more ounces before napping? When you have another baby who needs attention and/or needs to eat I don't have time to do double feedings.

I had to suck it up the last few days and let that baby cry. Wow, can he cry. He went for 30 minutes yesterday!! I checked on him with my nap boot camp routine. Today he only cried for 10. I hope we are back on track... It is so hard to watch tears run down his face and I feel awful, but I have to do it. It's for his good. Right? I keep telling myself that so I can stay strong.

I hope this is the last kink and he becomes a decent napper. Yup, I would settle for decent at this point. Just go to sleep man!!! 

Anyone else have a similar experience? Do I have the worst napper in the world? Am I doing the right thing? WHY WON'T HIS MANUAL SHOW UP IN THE MAIL ALREADY!!!

I know why God made that baby extra I could put up with all of his little quirks.

Happy Valentine's Day!

I might be obsessed with taking pictures of these two and editing them on various apps...I may need photo rehab. I may have 1,700+ pics on my iPhone. I just can't help it!!
Here are some of their Valentine's Day pics. My friend, Heidi, made the adorable initial onsies for the babies. My mom bought them the cute outfits. To celebrate, we made cupcakes and a card with their hand prints for their dad. The babies ate green beans. Evan asked where the lobster was. Well, maybe he just gave me a look that said, 'green beans?! You can do better than this!' 
The holidays (any holiday) is extra special because of these two! Happy Valentine's Day to all of you!! I hope it's filled with love!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Adventures in Cloth Diapering Twins

When I tell most people we have chosen to cloth diaper the twins their reaction is one of disbelief and shock. I get asked 'why' a lot. Is is that odd of a choice? I don't think so. Cloth diapering is one of the things in parenting that is all the rage these days. I posted a status on FB looking for advice and was bombarded with advice on cloth diapering.

So, why have we decided to cloth diaper? I have to justify our choice to most people so I may as well start there. We all know cloth diapering is better for the environment (I'm a bit of a tree hugger and honestly felt a twinge of guilt when I saw how many disposable diapers we tossed into the trash), costs less, keeps your baby away from chemicals that are on disposables (less rash, less blowouts etc), and supposedly babies are easier to potty train when in cloth (we'll test that one eventually). With twins you go through a lot, I mean A LOT of diapers. No matter how many large boxes we'd buy, it felt like we were always running to the store to pick up more and dropping $50-75 a pop to stock up on disposables was not ideal.

Now that you have our reasoning, on the fun stuff. That is, if you consider cloth diapering fun... One of our shower gifts from my parents and grandparents was a stash of bum.genius 4.0 diapers. We had previously planned on using g.diapers and had done zero research on bum.genius at this point. My family had asked my sister in law what she used for her son and she used these diapers so that's why they bought us those. She tried out several different types of diapers before settling on one. A lot of people go this route, but if you have twins, you really do not have time to sample all the types... My husband had off two weeks at the end of the year and we were kind of getting the hang of things so we decided to bust out the cloth diapers we got at the shower. I figured with two of us home it would be a good opportunity to try it out. We tried it and never turned back! I was prepared to not like the bum.genius diapers because when I had time to research I really liked the g.diaper system. I'm sure the g.diapers are great, but on our trial run of the bum's they worked really well and we just stuck with them. We purchased 2-4 every week or so to build up our stash and slowly phased on the disposable diapers. Right now we are using 2-4 disposables per day. We use disposable overnight because I'm not sure how the cloth would hold up to 10+ hours of pee. 

Here's our system: We use the diapers throughout the day. Wet diapers go in a tote bin upstairs in a storage area. Diapers with poo need to be cleaned out. I either grab an extra wet wipe or two and peel if off and throw the wet wipe in the small garbage can we have on the garage steps (we use it for disposables as well) or take it in the bathroom and use toilet paper to grab it and flush it away. It all depends on the consistency. It then goes upstairs into the tote.

At the end of the day when we change the babies and put them in a disposable to go to sleep, one of us throws all the diapers from the day in the wash. We run them through on a cold water cycle (no detergent). After the babies are in bed and we're heading to bed, one of us throws in a bit of detergent (you don't use much at all) and runs the diapers through on a hot cycle. In the morning when we get up, we put them in the dryer. The outside shell is supposed to be air dried, but we don't have enough to get by waiting for them to air dry at the moment so I dry them on low. Within about 30 minutes they are dry and ready to go! One of us will get them out and stuff them and we're set to go for the day!

What I don't like: taking out the inserts at the end of the day is kind of gross (they are soaked with pee), when Evan is very active (jumping around in his activity chair) he sometimes wets out, removing poo from a diaper is just not on the top of my list of fun things to do (especially now that we are moving on to solid foods), they are bulky under clothes and not convenient for going out (we do disposables if we are going to be out).

What I like: the bum.genius diapers fit them from 8-35 pounds (the g.diapers came in different sizes so we would have had to buy new shells as they grew), it doesn't take as much effort as I thought (once we got used to them the cloth routine was just part of the day), it's incredibly fantastic to NOT have to go to the store to buy diapers and spend $ every week on them, they are incredibly cute (check out the Einstein diaper we recently picked up! Equations all over and it says I'm a genius, they are more natural and I don't have to worry about diaper rash or blow outs (haven't had either) and we're doing our part to help reduce our carbon foot print.

If you are thinking about cloth diapering, I highly recommend waiting for a few weeks/months before starting it. If we would have started it right away when we brought the babies home, I know we would have gotten overwhelmed and would have quit. It surprisingly is not a lot of work; much less than we both had anticipated.

That's my take on cloth diapering. We kept it simple and it's working. I LOVE it and highly recommend it!