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...