13 month update

Hello 13 months!  We have officially entered toddler hood! Whether you consider the switch from baby to toddler to be their first birthday or when they are walking, we have met both standards. We have two toddlers walking all over this house and finding all kinds of trouble to get into.  Life is crazy in our little house!

Let’s talk for a minute about having two mobile little girls… it is hilarious! Watching those slightly bowed little legs go from taking those first tentative, wobbly steps to now getting from one end of the hallway to the other without a stumble is pretty awesome. Miss Olivia is gaining speed with every passing minute and may be running by noon tomorrow. Okay, maybe a few more weeks but this girl moves fast!  Isabelle is still in the tentative stage but while it may take her longer to cross a room, she does it just fine. My girls are walking and my, how things have changed. There are so many things that I can’t do now that I could only a few weeks ago. …unloading the dishwasher for example, now I am lucky if I get a glass or two out before I have a child, usually Olivia literally climbing into the dishwasher. I swear, they hear that dishwasher open and they come walking at full toddler speed. It takes me all day to unload the dishes unless I remember to do it while they are in their highchairs.  Putting their laundry away is another no can do with toddlers. I put the nicely folded pants into the drawer and turn to the side for the next article of clothing and when I turn back not only is that newly folded pair of pants on the floor but so are about 5 others.  They are just so fast now and no longer stay occupied in one spot with a toy. I tend to let this go on and let them have fun for a few minutes before shoving all of the strewn clothing back into drawers (not folded anymore) and closing their door behind us.  Sadly, I open the door later and remember that even though clothes are shoved back into place, they got into the diapers and book bin while I did so and it looks like a bomb went off.

Onto food…

Olivia is still not bringing food to her mouth or drinking from a sippy cup. She will however, drink her bottle on her own. I’ve tried so many kinds of sippy cups and she will bring them up but try to suck on it like a nipple. At least she will eat when I feed her and we have discovered that she loves dairy…ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, you get the drift. We also discovered that both girls like chicken parm (Isabelle’s without cheese).

Isabelle is a champ and usually feeds herself…and feeds herself and feeds herself. We have to really watch that she doesn’t end up with so much in her mouth that she looks like a chipmunk. This doesn’t help my fear of them choking. This girl is also addicted to puffs and cheerios.

I feel like I am failing when it comes to transitioning to actual meals and eliminating bottles. This week I bit the bullet and gave up our morning bottle. I am mourning the loss of that one because it gave us all time to snuggle and wake up. But if the goal is to be off of formula by Christmas I had to change our schedule. We now go right to breakfast in highchairs around 7:30. Yogurt, cheerios, eggs, toast, pancakes or something similar is usually accompanied by a pureed fruit or chunks of banana. Then we play play play and have a 6 oz milk or soy milk  bottle around 10 for naps. Lunch of leftovers or pb toast, yogurt with a diced veggie around 12 or 1. 4-6 ounce bottle at 3ish –sometimes I do half formula depending on how much they had for lunch. Snack around 3 and dinner at 5 which is usually whatever we are eating . Finally, I do a full formula 8 ounce bottle at bedtime.

So here are my problems,

  • feeling confident that they are getting enough solid food to compensate for a bottle

 

  • knowing what size pieces they can now handle. I am still dicing to pea size. Meals take forever when I literally feed them a chicken tender in pea sized pieces. Help! Why don’t they publish a book about all of this important information? Maybe they do but I am too tired to google it.

 

  • If they won’t drink consistently from their sippy cups, how do I eliminate bottles? Anybody?

Talking? Not really, which I guess is okay because their adjusted age is 11 months…so it’s coming soon I would imagine. They both babble all day long and I love listening to it. They do the mamama, dadadada, blabababa and uh ohhhh  .

Sleeping;

What’s that? Will we ever sleep a full night again? Our current situation is that we all have colds. Isabelle seems to get hit harder with all illnesses and with her coughing and congestion I wasn’t going to do any kind of cry it out with her so guess where she is? In bed with me. And I kind of don’t mind. Our new bed has helped with my hip pain and so staying in one position all night is working out okay. During this time we have let Olivia fuss more without the fear of waking her sister. This has gone well and she usually…I say usually because I am not willing to say or think that this is a done deal….can fall back to sleep.  Isabelle is sleeping great with me but I know we have to transition her back to her crib when she is better and that is going to be challenging to say the least. The poor girl just stands up and wails as soon as she hits the bed no matter how deeply she was sleeping prior. I would just sleep with her but then I feel guilty that I don’t let her sister do the same. Sigh…we will all sleep in our own beds someday, right? For the whole night…right?

Odds and Ends

Isabelle or Belles, or Bellie Boo can clap, wave, high five, blow half of a kiss—by this I mean she got the part where she brings her hand to her face so when I say blow kiss she pretty much just smacks herself in the face. It’s cute. She also loves to smack her belly when is shirtless and is starting to dance. We are working on being gentle, especially with her sister, specifically pulling hair and tackling. I tell her no and she laughs at me and does it harder. I tell her no and move her away to another toy and she races her little behind back to her sister to tackle her again. I’ve got my work cut out for me with her. She loves books, often reading the same one a million times a day, and baths and being naked. There is nothing like naked babies walking around after bath time. Adorable.

 

Olivia, Livy, Livs or Bug is starting to wave hello and goodbye, shakes her head no without really meaning no. She loves to copy Isabelle when she does this so I have double shaking heads. She likes to make fishy faces and make noises with her mouth. She crinkles her nose when she smiles and she is smiling and laughing a whole lot more lately. Olivia loves her stuffed bunny and is starting to climb. Lord, help me. I can see this kid swinging from the ceiling in the coming days. Olivia also loves walking, she is so excited to practice all day long and her face just lights up when you tell her how well she is doing. She does fall at times and does one of two things…hits the ground on all fours and immediately takes off at a lightning speed crawl to her final destination or quickly finds a wall to stand up against and keeps on trucking. Finally, Olivia is a hard core Daddy’s girl right now. If Daddy is home she is glued to him. If Daddy leaves she wails until I distract her with food. She will knock on the door of whatever room he is in and attach herself to his pants leg if he is not playing with her or holding her. Mommy is chopped liver if Daddy is home. It’s not like I take care of you all day and night or anything. Geesh!

So there you have it! Lots going on at 13 months. They are starting to play independently and I love that they enjoy being read to. I definitely see the transition into toddlers happening more and more every day. They are developing such different personalities and preferences. I can’t wait to decorate for Christmas and get our tree all together! Last year they were still too tiny to go. I can’t wait to hang their little mini stockings and see their reaction to all of the lights and ornaments on the tree….behind the gate of course.  Here’s to their second holiday season!

 

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Moms don’t get sick days

Have you seen those commercials, the ones where moms and dads walk into their kids rooms and say they are taking a sick day only to realize that parents don’t get sick days? Yeah… I had that moment today.  I found myself thinking back to the days where I went to work, more specifically, the bank of sick days that I could take for the flu or a cold or some particularly painful cramps. I would request my substitute, send in my lesson plans and crawl under some blankets on the couch for a full day of rest and recuperation. This usually involved some macaroni and cheese, maybe some hot chocolate and Hallmark movies. (Hallmark movies seem to be a recurring theme for me lately) Remember those days?

I was so lucky to not get more than a sniffle last cold and flu season, when my girls were brand new. I managed to fend off many a cold prior to their arrival because I had built up a decent immune system as a teacher. But not this time. Yesterday I started to feel the onset of my first Mommy cold. How is a mommy cold different than a regular cold you might ask? Well for starters, there is no rest, no relaxation, no time to make mac and cheese or hot chocolate and no substitute to call in.  Life goes on and you have no choice but to keep up despite the room spinning around you.

To make matter worse, I was not the only one sick in our house. On Wednesday, Isabelle started coughing. She seems to be more susceptible to colds and respiratory issues than her sister. Her cough quickly became wet and you could hear the congestion in her chest when you weren’t trying to oh so gently wipe her run away nose. My poop girl just needed mommy snuggles that day and I let her take a few more naps than normal. I’m not sure where she caught the germs but Olivia seems to also have been exposed and has developed a cough, though not as bad. I hate when my girls are sick but if I have to find a silver lining it is the snuggles. If I can make them feel better just by comforting them with snuggles, I will do it all day and night…and I do. Isabelle has been sleeping with me since Wednesday. The down side to this? I am destined to get whatever it is they have caught. And so, all three of us are sick.

We all got up this morning and Hubby didn’t think “oh, the wife is sick, I should get the girls changed and fed and let her have a few extra minutes of much needed sleep”. Nope, he thought, “well I don’t get to sleep in so she doesn’t either”. So yeah, I fought the foggy head and sore throat and we all got up.  I fed the girls while he read a magazine and then he asked me when I was making breakfast.  So sore throat and all I made the girls scrambled eggs and toast, Hubby got an omelet, toast and coffee  and finally I got myself some eggs…while he read a magazine…  We then fed the girls as we ate and then I cleaned up…while he…can you finish my sentence yet? Yeah, he read his magazine.  Sigh…. We played and I got them dressed and made sure nobody was running a fever and then it was nap time. So again, I made bottles and fed the girls while Hubby READ A FREAKING MAGAZINE. Luckily  I snuck in a 30 minute nap with the girls on the couch. Could have slept longer. Would have been nice if hubs offered to feed them and let me actually lay down sans kids for a nap. Really, I just don’t think these things even occur to him.  The rest of the day went similarly, with a building headache, I played with the girls, fed them lunch and soothed Miss Olivia who cried every time Daddy came in and went back outside to work on a project because she is a hard core Daddy’s girl and hates when he leaves her.  I didn’t feel one bit guilty when I loaded the ladies up in the truck for our afternoon drive for coffee, and not Dunkin…we went to Starbucks. They are having a buy one get one Holiday drink deal so you better believe I am taking advantage of that one while it lasts. I was nice enough to give Hubby the extra drink while he worked in the cold. But come Monday, the last day of the deal, they are both mine.  We ended the day with me making dinner, cleaning up dinner- finally, a nice hot shower and 2 fussy babies getting ready for bed.

I am currently in bed at 8:30 with a sleeping Belles next to me because she refuses to be put down in her crib. For those of you who co sleep, do you still sleep with your babe in your arm or do you let them just sleep next to you? Can’t wait for the day that they can just crawl in between us and we can all sleep in our own comfortable positions. On the plus side, I haven’t had hip pain since getting our new bed. Now, I think I will finish watching Wonder Woman and maybe do some Amazon Christmas browsing for the girls because all 4 sets of grandparents must be told different things to get.

So lesson learned today… While nobody deserves sick days like moms…Moms don’t get sick days…

Wishing you all a healthy cold and flu season!

Still hoping for sleep

Let me start by saying that I will never again say that my kiddos are sleeping through the night. Every single time I have made this announcement we go back to some serious sleep issues. We currently have one little lady who will scream for hours, just standing in her crib. It takes a good deal of back rubbing and sneaking out of her room while trying to avoid any creaky floorboards. Our other little one likes to wake up at 3 AM and refuse to be put down in her crib. I am so desperate to keep her sister asleep that I take her back to bed with me. Most nights over the past few weeks has ended with both girls in bed with us. This is why the delivery of our new bed today was so exciting! We upgraded from a queen to a king in hopes that we will all fit more comfortably. I foresee many family movie nights and snow day snuggles happening in this bed. We ended up with a pretty firm mattress in hopes that my back and hips won’t hurt as much when I wake up. Fingers crossed.

Since my last post we have also survived our first power outage with the girls. About a week ago, New England got a lovely storm with lots of rain and strong winds. We lost power at about midnight and didn’t get it back for almost 24 hours. Apparently the entire town was without power and I ended up washing all of our bottles and nipples at Hubby’s work. The girls and I strolled around Walmart a few towns over before heading over to my in laws, who also had no power but have a generator and nice toasty fire place. By the time we got home, Hubby had started our wood stove and got the house nice and toasty. We were ready to hunker down with lanterns and flashlights when the power returned. Hopefully that doesn’t happen too often, especially going into winter but living where we do, the odds are not in our favor.

Another piece of big news….we have two walkers! Both girls are toddling around the house and it is adorable! Olivia is definitely catching on a bit faster than her sister, making it across rooms or down the hallway and if she falls down she does so very gracefully. Isabelle takes it pretty slowly, holding her hands out in front of her for balance and often lands pretty hard on her bottom. I am loving this stage and enjoy cheering them on all day long! While neither girl is really saying words, they do the typical mamamama dadadada and babble all day long. It is hysterical the lengthy conversations these girls have in their new language! Both girls shake their heads no, wave and do high fives. Isabelle has started blowing kisses and snuggling her stuffed lamb to her cheek when I say “give it snuggles

We have a fe family functions coming up this month, baptisms, birthdays, Thanksgiving and then it’s onto my favorite time of year! I can’t believe this is going to be our second holiday season with the girls. I need suggestions on good gifts for one year olds! I am going with play food, Little People Farm set, animal magnets for the fridge, things like that. What is everyone else getting or asking Santa for? Since we are on the subject, is anyone else opposed to this whole Elf on the Shelf trend? I am dreading the day my kiddos find out about this! I am never going to remember or have the energy to come up with new “scenes” every night for a stuffed elf…and I hear they have pets now too. Really? Who would do that to parents? At least I have some time before I have to worry about it. You better believe that I am ready for our first Christmas tree hunt with the girls, decorating, Christmas music and even a few snow flakes…just a few! Until the day after Thanksgiving, I have to sneak in Christmas movies on Hallmark when Hubby is working because he has a strict “no Christmas before Thanksgiving” policy! I definitely bought some winter flannel sheets for the new bed today that just so happen to have Santa subtly mixed with the woodland animals and trees,(King size sheet set was only 30 dollars at Target!)  so yeah…Christmas sheets are on the bed, Take that Hubs! (Love you though).  I am now fuilly prepared to snuggle into this new bed for the first night and hopefully get some good rest!

10 Tips for surviving the first year with twins

As we move into our second year with twin little ladies, I think back to all of the blog posts I read while I was pregnant about how to prepare for 2 babies coming into our lives at once. I spent so much time on Pinterest and Google and still I wasn’t prepared for how my world was rocked when I had two little ones to care for. Of course they are utterly adorable and I have spent countless hours staring at them in wonder or laughing at their antics but, man was that first year a doozy! I won’t lie to anyone who is having twins, as much as it is one million percent worth it, it is hard. If you think you know what exhaustion feels like…you don’t have any idea until you have twins. The first 6-8 months they are all encompassing. I had fussy newborns who battled gas and constant spit ups. You may have laid back little loves and if that is the case, count your blessings as it was not our reality. What I had to learn very quickly was how to survive and not only survive but find ways to catch my breath and thrive as a twin mama.

Here are my 10 ways to survive the first year with twins…

  • Get dressed every single day. Even if you are changing out of your pajamas and into yoga pants- putting on fresh clothes will help you to feel human. Plus what you were wearing last night may smell like spit up from those middle of the night feedings.
  • Accept help! Everyone says this one and it’s true! I wasn’t ready to let anyone watch the girls and have me leave the house when they were brand new but having family come over to visit and just chat connected me to the outside world again. Let them hold a baby and get in some one on one snuggles with the other, then switch. Take a shower or walk to the mailbox for some fresh air.
  • When people ask what they can do for you, say food! The thing that helped us the most in those early days were the family members and friends who would bring a meal for us when they came to visit. I remember the day I came home from the hospital without my babies, the last thing I wanted to think about was grocery shopping or cooking. My father in law and his wife delivered deli meats, cheeses, breads and pastries. My parents both delivered lasagnas and cheesecakes and other filling dishes every single time they came by.  Even a friend who I hadn’t seen since college brought by a delightful chicken casserole.  Food was THE BEST thing people did for us.
  • Get on the same page. By this I mean sit down and talk to Hubby or your partner about communication before the babies are born. Understand that you will both be exhausted once they arrive. Exhaustion and frustration are not good ingredients for healthy communication. Talk about how you plan to communicate. We have a safe zone in the car. We can vent and the other can’t get mad. We call it “Tell em why your mad”. Before this, we were fighting constantly. I’m sure it was the exhaustion and stress but it still pushed our relationship to the limit. I think it would have helped if we had discussed this before the exhaustion set in. Talk about how you can support each other. What helps the other feel less stressed?
  • Speaking about being less stressed…Find that one thing that relaxes you and makes you feel like yourself. For me, this was a shower. I talked to Hubby before the babies arrived and told him, if he can do one thing to help me it would be to make sure I get a shower every day.  I need that cleansing for so many reasons. Carrying two babies meant my back hurt all the time. I needed to recover from a C Section, which not only meant incision pain but all of the gory mess that accompanied childbirth,  I was covered in spit up, breast milk and assorted other bodily fluids, hormones were wreaking havoc on my body making it all kinds of gross and my hair was falling out. I needed a shower to physically relax and loosen up all of those muscles but my brain needed the break as well. I could cry if I needed to- and I did- often.  I could bask in the quiet- as long as I didn’t hear those phantom cries and jump out to make sure all was well. Clean hair and shaved legs does wonders for feeling more human…so take a shower!
  • Get some sleep! Often easier said than done. Between pumping, feeding, changing and soothing not one, but 2 it often seems impossible. I wish I had slept more. There were a few times where my mom came over and made me go lay down even if I was too busy listening to see if she needed help with the girls. But just laying in bed quietly was amazing. My Dad and step mom came by and hubby and I both napped. I feel better having 2 sets of hands for two babies. Night time is hard if you don’t have family staying with you which we didn’t. We had shifts where I would sleep for a few hours and he would stay up with the girls and then we would switch. Do what works but do try to get some rest.
  • Get out every day! I still do this and it saves my sanity. I had my preemies home in November and we were stuck in our small ranch 24-7 for weeks. Once my little one was better about regulating her temperature I had to get over the overwhelming task of getting the three of us out of the house. This is why I loved our travel system. Get them ready to go and then just pop em into the bases in the car. I didn’t venture into stores for a bit but I did venture to Starbucks. Every. Single. Day. It was a 35 minute drive each way and as long as the car was moving my babies were quiet. That is an hour of peace plus caffeine. I’ve since had to switch to Dunkin most of the time but I still take the girls out for their afternoon nap. This habit has seriously been my salvation on many a fussy day! I would look forward to our drive all morning long. If they were fussing, I knew we would all get a break even if just for the drive. Even at a year, we went on a drive today just to look at the fall leaves and take a short nap. I try to divide up my tasks so that we have somewhere to go every day. One day we will go buy our formula and supplies, another day we go get gas or go to the bank. It’s what works for me.
  • Do what makes you feel comfortable. Don’t let people bully you or tell you what you need. If you don’t want to let go of your baby when people are visiting, don’t! If there are people you aren’t comfortable having hold or watch your babies while you are out of the room (or sitting right there) you don’t have to! Make sure you talk to Hubby and that you are both on the same page in terms of your comfort level. Your babies are precious and if you had an experience like mine, with fertility issues, an early delivery and NICU stay, you are allowed to be super overprotective. Make sure you both understand what makes you comfortable and discuss how to support the other in making you stay that way.
  • Spend time with your partner. There isn’t much time for that in the beginning, but go to bed at the same time, sit together while you feed babies, hold hands in the car. Stay connected! .

When you are comfortable, go on a date once a month. You will probably just talk about the kids, but have a meal that you don’t have to eat standing at the counter, see a movie from start to finish, go shopping for things other than diapers. Your relationship is important, you need the foundation of your family to be strong. Make your marriage a priority even if it seems easy to focus on more demanding family members.

 

  • Cut yourself some slack. You will doubt everything, question every hiccup or cough and worry like you have never worried before, especially if these twins are your first children. They will be okay if you are 5 minutes late with a bottle or if you have to resort to rock n plays when bassinets aren’t working. They will eventually sleep through the night, even if you don’t do cry it out. If you need to walk outside just for a breather during an epic screaming session, do it. (make sure they are in a safe place of course) Or, if all three of you end up crying together like I did many times, remind yourself that they will be fine. You will be fine. This stage does not last forever.

There will be days where you feel like a rock star Mom and days where you feel like you totally suck at this whole parenting thing. Make sure to tell your other half that they are doing a great job. Tell them you love watching them be a parent.  A year will soon pass, though it doesn’t feel like you will ever get there now, and things will get easier in some regards and more challenging in others. You will somehow forget all the tears and exhaustion and miss those newborn days of snuggles and sleeping babies.

One Year Update

My little one year olds are keeping me pretty busy and yet I feel like I have more balance than I have had in the past year. This could possibly have something to do with the girls actually going to bed by 8 every night and giving me some time to relax and feel somewhat human again.  Maybe now I will have a bit more time to blog and feel more focused on what I want to write about. Maybe I will have time to actually edit a post rather than just write, post and find errors later. If I did much more than a monthly update over the past 12 months, it wasn’t much. There were always things on my mind that I wanted to vent write about- but just didn’t have the focus to put together a coherent post. So moving forward, I need to find a new direction for this blog and I am sure, with my journey in parenting twins, I won’t be at a loss for topics, it’s just a matter of deciding what my purpose is.  So there’s that.

 

One Year Update!

Both girls went for their one year physical the other day and got 4 vaccines each… Chicken Pox, MMR, Hepatitis and the flu vaccine. They also got finger pricks to test for lead poisoning. 4 shots to the thighs and a finger prick made for two bawling babes, a teary mom and a grandma who probably enjoyed the post shot snuggles.  Twin tip: Always bring a second person to doctors appointments, ESPECIALLY ones where shots are being given.

Isabelle:

Height 29.5 inches

Weight 23 pounds 4 ounces

Milestones: Isabelle is crawling everywhere, standing against furniture and letting go to stand on her own, cruising and has taken 3 steps towards Mommy. She also says mamama, and many sound combinations,  shakes her head yes and no (not always meaning yes or no ) points towards objects, plays peek a boo, drinks from a straw sippy cup, eats finger food and is starting to hold her bottle.

Teething My Belles is a trooper with the teething! She has 7 teeth and may get a bit needy in the middle of the night when one is coming through but otherwise, I never know a tooth is coming in until she bites me with it. That hurts!

Personality: Belles is my snuggler. I love it. She is starting to need morning snuggles after her bottle before she is ready to get down and play. She will crawl into my lap and just sit with me, often times she brings her favorite mini book with her.  Belles is really enjoying books lately! She loves all things soft and comfy, often diving into her new giant bean bag that was a birthday gift from my brother and sister in law. That thing is amazing. She is starting to share objects with mom and dad…but not sister. That figures. She is my happy girl, unless you put her down first thing in the morning, always smiling and laughing. She also cracks me up by sleeping with her tush way up in the air and often needs to be woken up in the morning because, like her mom, she prefers to sleep in.

Odds and ends: We are slowly advancing dairy to see if she has outgrown her allergy. Because she still spits up regularly and the Culturell gives her runnier poop, it is really hard to tell if she is reacting to the dairy or if the spits and poop are otherwise explained. One day she can do just fine with yogurt or ice cream and the next day have two poopsplosions and an extra spit up. The doctor said to keep going and if it is a milk allergy we will see something definitive… That makes me a bit nervous but onwards we go.

 

Olivia:

Height: 29 inches

Weight: 19 pounds 9 ounces ( my little peanut!)

Milestones: Olivia crawls at lightning speed- So fast and hard that she has bruises on her knees and my mom got her knee pads for her birthday. She stands against furniture and lets go to stand alone, cruises and walks with her walker toy. Olivia says mamama and dadada as well as lots of other sound combinations. Olivia shakes her head no- but not in response to anything in particular. Laughs at others playing peek a boo.

Personality: Olivia always wakes up happy in the morning and doesn’t like to be still. Her smiles and laughs are becoming more frequent which is amazing! She loves watching animals and is very gentle. Olivia likes to examine and sort objects, especially outside. She wiggles like crazy while changing her diaper or getting dressed and likes to crawl into her laundry basket. Olivia likes to play with toys that she can manipulate like opening and closing a door or book  and that make noise.

Teething: Yikes! Olivia has been a bear for weeks now, not wanting me to put her down and if I do, the screaming and giant tears come out! I am going to attribute this to teething—please let that be what it is! My poor girl has been sucking on her hand for weeks and licking her lips which I think is her way of rubbing her tongue against her gums. Finally, two days after her birthday, her first tooth, on the top, broke through. I have a feeling they are all right below the surface but you can tell it hurts her.

Odds and ends: After consulting with the doctor, we are all slightly concerned that Olivia is not yet attempting to bring food, or toys or anything else for that matter to her mouth.  I just thought she needed more time as she often does things a good month after Isabelle, but the doctor says that she should have started showing this particular skill at the 9/10 month development stage and she is at the tail end of that now and has no interest in doing so.  She will play with her food and toys, has and uses her pincer grasp but just doesn’t bring anything to her mouth. We are giving it one more month before looking into OT. I am trying to help her figure this one out but when I put her hand to her mouth or put her hand on mine as I feed her she fights it. She loves her food and has no problem eating from a spoon or if I feed her pieces of solids. She loves yogurt and whatever is on our plate. Anyone go through anything similar?

 

I saved the sleep discussion for the end because ladies and gentlemen….they are SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT! It has been 3 or 4 days now and while they may fuss at night briefly I have not had to go in until morning. It is glorious! We had to do cry it out again because as much as I wanted to co sleep, doing so with twins was proving to be detrimental to all of our sleep. It is still a work in progress but things are oh so much better!  They will sleep from about 7:30 PM until 7 or 7:30 AM. They will take a 10:00 bottle and nap in their boppys on the couch with me for about an hour, then nap again on our afternoon drive for another hour. They are starting to occasionally fight their morning nap—on those days I put them in the car for a nice long nap at noon.  Next step will be napping without a bottle  as I am starting to change them over to milk, and in their cribs. Wish me luck!

One whole year

I have twin one year olds! All four of us have survived our first 365 days. This past week has brought plenty of nostalgia, teary eyes and hours of staring at my girls with so very much love and awe. I have been playing the daily game of “on this day last year…” There was my baby shower on the 9th, the day I went in for a regular appointment and landed in L&D on the 11th and of course today. I remember this day as the day I woke up and had throngs of nurses and doctors surrounding my hospital bed to see if the dilation had stopped or if we were having babies that day. The student performing the exam simply shook her head and everyone just started moving. Within 30 minutes I was receiving a very painful spinal and holding Hubby’s hand as we waited for their first cries. I remember being strangely calm and confident that they would be okay. First came Isabelle at 9:20 AM, weighing just 3 pounds 10 ounces. Olivia followed at 9:21 weighing 3 pounds 14 ounces. Both girls screamed upon arriving and were whisked off by their teams of angels.

It has not been an easy year. It has been exhausting and full of anxiety and tears . It has put a strain on our marriage.  It has changed my career path as now I am full time Mommy extraordinaire and I don’t think I will go back to teaching even when the time comes to work outside of my home.  This year has brought us to the pediatrician for ear infections and colds and to a GI specialist for a GI bleed due to a milk protein allergy. This year we soothed constantly—and I do mean CONSTANTLY crying babies for months, we took naps with babies on our chests, passed each other pacing the hallway with a girl each, desperately trying to get them to sleep. We co-slept, sleep trained, dealt with sleep regressions and then sleep trained again. We have had a few nights where they actually slept through the night. We have been covered in spit up…so much spit up, been peed and pooped on multiple times and have dealt with  projectile vomit.

We watched our daughters—that still gets me every time- our daughters- experience all of these amazing firsts…first cries, smiles, and laughs. We have watched them figure out how to roll over, sit up, eat real food,  pull my hair, crawl backwards and forwards, cruise, stand alone and tonight, the night after their first birthday, Isabelle took her first 3 steps before falling into my arms. We have also watched them start to interact with each other- smile and laugh at the other, take toys from their sister, follow each other down the hallway, tackle and pull the other’s hair (that is usually Isabelle beating on her sister).

As we move  into their second year, there are a few things that I want to remember about their very first trip around the sun.

I want to remember how it feels to have them sleeping on or next to me, sleepy snuggles where they are draped over my shoulder or tucked up next to me in bed are some of my all-time favorite moments. Those early days where we could nap with them on our chests were pretty heavenly too.

I want to remember their baby laughs and the way their faces light up when they see me first thing in the morning. I want to remember how I was able to soothe them and it honestly feels like a super power. I want to remember the way Olivia crawls so quickly and Isabelle’s funny face when she squishes up her nose.  Olivia also makes some of the best sounds.

Besides all of  truly remarkable moments of the past year, I need to remember our journey to get them- the months where we thought IVF wouldn’t work, the two early losses, the nightly shots and fear that it hadn’t worked yet again. Then the butterflies and excitement when there were two lines…two heartbeats, two little beings on the ultrasounds, kicks and rolls from both sides. I want to remember how grateful I was when we passed each pregnancy milestone and getting used to the idea of two girls. Setting up cribs in a room that I had always thought would make a nice nursery, seeing two car seats in the rearview mirror. This was our journey and there were so many times where I was convinced it wouldn’t work.  Then, once it worked we were faced with a very early delivery and NICU stay. I had to go home without my babies. It was a hard road, but it is a road I am so blessed to been able to have traveled. So with this all in mind over the past year, and especially this past week, I am grateful. I may be sleep deprived and in desperate need of a break- a haircut, maybe a day of hallmark movies under a blanket, some quality time with my husband  and definitely a few hundred hours of extra sleep—I am a mother of two absolute miracles. They have two very different but equally spectacular little souls and personalities that are only glowing more brightly as time goes on. So, Happy first birthday to my two precious gifts- I could not ask for more.

11 months

I am pretty sure I start every monthly update by saying how I can’t believe the girls are as old as they are. This month is no different. The girls turned 11 months old today. In four short weeks a whole year will have passed. I think back to where we were a year ago and we certainly weren’t expecting the twins to arrive in a matter of weeks instead of months, but arrive they did! I will save most of the reflecting for a one year post…or 5 because I am pretty sure I will have a whole lot to say.

But wow, 11 months with our Isabelle and Olivia! In the past month, both girls have learned to crawl and are on the move all day long- often moving in opposite directions. This new development made it vital to invest in a play pen. I bought an 8 panel playpen which can be twisted and turned to fit anywhere, the panels can be removed to make it smaller, which is fantastic! I did end up taking 2 panels out and putting them in the corner of the kitchen to keep them away from the backdoor and basement door.  Babies being on the move has also made it very apparent where we need to further baby proof. Olivia likes to climb and pull up on furniture so her dresser and book case will have to be strapped to the wall. All decorations that were on the floor had to be moved to the basement for now and we have to be extra vigilant about things that end up on the floor because Isabelle puts anything and everything into her mouth.

Both girls have started sitting up and standing up in their cribs at night if they don’t want to go to sleep. Their mattresses will be moving to the lowest setting soon so that there are no babies falling out. We have also been dealing with what must be a sleep regression and holy cow, it is not fun. I was just getting used to sleeping again. We had them sleep trained and had a few glorious weeks of peacefully putting babies into their cribs, saying goodnight and having them drift off to dreamland without a fuss. Then we went to Vermont. Olivia slept great in the pack n play—through the night both nights we were there in fact! Isabelle, my prize winning sleeper decided the pack n play was not her thing and would only sleep in bed with me. Both girls slept well, Daddy slept well…I slept like garbage.  But speaking of our first road trip—it was nice and we fell in love with Vermont! We decided to take a scenic byway on the way up, which was beautiful but also added 3+ hours to our trip. Not so good, especially since the girls slept almost the entire trip. We did happen upon the Vermont Country Store which was so much fun and a nice break. We made it to the very nice condo that my Dad got in Stowe and settled in with the rest of my family. The next day we left the kids (all 4 of them) with my Dad, stepmom and aunt and drove to Burlington for my cousins wedding.  I missed the kids by about 8 and we headed back. We wished the trip was a bit longer so that we could have relaxed and explored a bit more with the girls but we headed back the next morning- stopping at a cider mill for some donuts and skipping Ben and Jerry’s because of the mob scene and sleeping babies. This time we made it back in 3 ½ hours instead of 6 and chalked it up to a successful trip. I can’t wait to start taking more whole family trips as the kids get older.

After returning from Vermont, both girls decided that they no longer wanted to go to bed or stay asleep. They would scream as soon as we put them down, sit up, stand up and scream some more. I just couldn’t do it. We would rock them back to sleep, give them a bottle—anything to get them back to sleep and then we would put them back down as slowly and gently as possible. AS soon as their little heads left our arms the screaming would commence. Isabelle had a particularly difficult time for a good week. She ended up in bed with me several nights a week for the entire night. Olivia occasionally joined us in the early morning hours after a bottle and unsuccessful transfer back to her crib. Hubby and I were exhausted and snappy and not sure what else we could do.  This week has been slightly better except for a few nights where Isabelle will wake up out of nowhere screaming bloody murder. Separation anxiety? Teething? Nightmares? I am not sure but she doesn’t stop screaming even when we are holding her which is not normal for her. She screamed with hubby then with me. We even took her out onto the deck and she still couldn’t calm down. It wasn’t until a bottle was given that she calmed down.  We put her down and she woke up again an hour later, then an hour or so after that. The last time, I don’t think she was even awake, which makes me think bad dreams. She was screaming with her eyes closed the whole time, even when I was talking to her. That has happened twice in the past week and I’m not sure how to help her.  So sleep is not going well. Shouldn’t it be getting better as we approach the year mark?

Those are the major talking points this month.

Isabelle Update:

Teething is in full force!  5 pearly whites have made their way out- her toothy smile is adorable. Her biting is not. She seems to want to only want to sleep with me as her tooth is breaking through. She has both top and both bottom front teeth and now a third on the top.

After at least a month of crawling/scooting backwards on her belly, she has finally figured out the forward crawl and has now moved onto a downward dog pose with both feet and hands on the floor with her butt up in the air. She will pull herself up on the couch, kitchen chairs, activity table…basically everything. There have been a few tumbles and face plants onto the hardwood floors, but nothing major.  Isabelle is also quick to pick things up, by that I mean I will show her something such as clapping and she is a pro by the end of the day. Today I showed her how to high five. Now I put my hand up and say it and she will put her hand up to mine. The only issues we are having besides sleep is how rough she is on her sister. She will grab two fistfuls of her sister’s hair and pull her either to the ground or to her mouth where she will bite/kiss her. She will also grab her shirt to pull herself up with. I tell her No and remove her but I don’t know if she is trying to play or be affectionate or if she is doing it to be mean. I wouldn’t think she would know enough to be intentionally mean and she does pull my hair as well and pull me in for kisses. It has gotten to the point where I can’t put them in the play pen together. I have to put one in the play pen and the other in the pack n play or swing. I feel horrible for Olivia because I know that Isabelle pulls hard and it really hurts.

Isabelle is eating Level 2 and 3 foods and loves her Puffs! She is starting to use her sippy cup and tries to hold her bottle occasionally. We will be trying yogurt with her this week to see if she has outgrown her allergy. Another adorable thing she does is after her nap bottle, she will sit up out of her Boppy with her eyes still closed and fall sideways into my lap. She will sleep with her head in my lap for her entire nap. I have heard that I should be napping them in their cribs but this is the only way I get longer than 30 minutes and they aren’t super crabby. Plus, I enjoy the snuggles and down time with them.

Olivia Update:

Olivia figured out crawling in Vermont and she now crawls all over the house. She will follow me down the hall and climb up the back of my legs while I am cooking dinner. She is everywhere! I have had to become creative with furniture placement and watch her every single second to make sure she is climbing up things that won’t hurt if she falls on them. The TV stand and kitchen chairs have sharper lines, which are my current concerns. She also has a tendency to pull up on her wooden activity table which has toppled onto her and she sometimes forgets to move a hand while crawling and gets stuck in face to the floor positions.  She also had a sleep regression but seems to be doing better these past few nights though she still wakes most nights for an early morning bottle and is occasionally not willing to be put back in her crib. Olivia is laughing and smiling more and is constantly making sounds with her mouth. Her yodeling and trumpet sounds really crack us up.  Little O occasionally wants to hold her bottle but has no interest in her sippy cup or picking up and eating puffs or finger foods though she will try to eat my steak and just tried ice cream. Olivia is rarely seeking snuggles, which bums me out occasionally. She is just too busy for that. While seemingly teething (hands in mouth constantly) she has yet to break a single tooth. Her cradle cap is still there, though covered by her beautiful silky hair that is getting long.

Mommy update:

The start of school made my new position of CEO if this house and SAHM official. It was a strange feeling to see everyone’s back to school posts and not be there but I am loving watching my girls grow. I can’t imagine having to leave them with someone else 5 days a week.  I also started reading a book. I don’t get very far at night before I fall asleep but it’s a start! Even though I am loving the start of fall—Pumpkin spice lattes and the new maple pecan iced coffee at Dunkin, cooler weather that I will actually take the girls for walks in and the beautiful changing of colors all around us, I know that winter is coming. Last winter was brutal and isolating and I can only hope that with the girls now more interactive that it won’t be so lonely. Finally, I am planning the girls birthday party for the weekend before their birthday. First off, their birthday is on Friday the 13th… not that I am superstition but geesh. Secondly, I am trying to get some decent weather so that we can all be outside. I just can’t fit both of our families in our house. We will need an addition or new house eventually with our growing family. I am going with a pumpkin/fall theme—keeping it simple before they can request a theme. This way I can reuse decorations for the season next year. Scarecrows, pumpkins and mums are my basic plan and we are going to do a chili bar and apple cider. Nice and simple. Hubby wants me to take it easy on the spending and I am trying but I still want it to look nicer than our usual fall décor. It is their birthday after all, even if they won’t remember it.

Finally, I am looking forward to them sleeping through the night at some point…this does happen right??? Also, walking will be a fun new adventure that I anticipate happening before Christmas. For now we will continue baby proofing and enjoying some seasonal family outings such as pumpkin picking and maybe a hayride!