Sunday, August 9, 2015

Twinks at 3 months!

Wow twinks!  You are 3 months old!  We have all come a long way in three months that is for sure!  Pretty soon I am going to have to split these posts up and do one for each baby but I think this month I can still combine them.  





Sleeping:  Oh sleeping.  I don't really even want to type it here for fear that I will jinx myself BUT the babies are doing great at sleeping.  Right when they hit 2 months old they finally stretched out a feeding and slept for 5 hours.  They did this for a week and then slept for 6 hours.  Now they are typically sleeping about 7 hours before waking up to eat.  I can't even tell you how happy this makes me.  

During the day they still take quite a few naps.  They play for a little bit after each feeding and then they fall asleep before waking up in an hour or so to eat again.  We are working towards the 3 naps a day but for now they sleep between each feeding still.  

For naps they sleep anywhere in the living room.  Ha!  Each time is different.  Sometimes I put one of them in the swing and one in the rocker.  Sometimes one is on the floor and one is on the couch.  They like variety so this works.  They do both really want to be tummy sleepers and I let them nap like that a few times each day.  


  • Benton-he is a noisy sleeper.  Grunts and groans and sighs all night long.  In the beginning this kept me up all the time.  Now I know his "I am dreaming grunt" versus his "I am about to be awake and super hungry grunt".  He definitely has more wake time during the day.  They play after a feeding for a while and she is the first one to get fussy and ready for sleep.  
  • Emery-I think she would sleep for 10 hours a night if her brother would.  This girl likes her sleep and never makes a peep during the night.  Now that they are sleeping longer  I still have to wake her up when Benton wakes up to eat.  Once awake she's like "I am so hungry hurry it up woman" but I think she would sleep until 8 am.  She naps great during the day and just overall seems to be a more sound sleeper.  


Feeding: The babies are eating 7 times a day.  Once they started sleeping longer they dropped that 8th feeding.  Occasionally they will throw in an extra feeding.  Still just nursing. It feels like I do it all the live long day but I am okay with that.  I tandem nurse about 50% of the time.  During the day sometimes it is easier to feed them separately and it gives me one on one time with them.  
  • Benton-Benton is an efficient nurser.  He latches on, eats and then hops off when he is done.  Sometimes he wants to fall asleep and stay there but not usually.  He is all business.  
  • Emery-Em is a little more laid back.  She eats a bit and then stops and stares at me.  Then she eats a little more and gets sleepy.  Then she eats a little more.  Sometimes I have prod her to stay awake and eat.  She would stay on the boob all day long.  

I remember when we were in the hospital with Emery and I told Lonnie that I so looked forward to the day when I could nurse them and not have to hold their heads.  That day has come!  

I am still pumping.  I usually pump 2-3 times per day.  I have to pump after they sleep a long stretch because, hello, pain.  I also pump before I go to bed and then maybe another time during the day.  I pump during the day some just to keep my supply up.  When they sleep a long stretch and then eat, I can pump 6-8 ounces.  That is getting lower and lower because my body is getting used to the longer sleep but that first night I think I pumped like 12 ounces after they ate.  SO ENGORGED.  During the day I pump about 3-4 ounces total after a feeding...sometimes less.  

Never get tired of the post nursing snuggles!




Lonnie and I were calculating it the other day, and I am producing over 2 liters of milk per day.  Whoa.  When we make them a bottle they drink between 4 1/2 and 5 ounces.  So 4.5 ounces times 7 feedings per day is 31.5 ounces.  Times 2 because 2 babies is 63 ounces.  There are approximately 67 ounces in 2 liters.  On the low end I pump about 10 ounces per day so that is about 73 ounces I am producing each 24 hour period.  Now that is crazy.  I can't tell you how thankful I am that my body is rocking this.  I love being able to feed my babies and I will continue to do this as long as I can.  I have this fear that my supply is just going to tank or that I will get sick or something and lose my milk supply...hence all the pumping.  I am kind of a milk hoarder.  Maybe I will show you my freezer...maybe not.  You might think I am crazy! Ha!  






Diapers:  both babies are in cloth diapers except for their one long stretch at night.  They are still wearing the newborn prefolds.  Benton could definitely move up to the infant size prefolds but I'd like to keep them in the same size diaper if possible.  Sister girl is getting there.  At night they wear a size 1 disposable (again...Benton could definitely rock a size 2 but in the interest of my sanity we would like to keep them in the same size diaper!)  


Clothing:  0-3 month for both.  Benton can fit into some 3-6 month items.  I am clothing obsessed.  Instagram shopping is killing me!  I found a girl that had boy/girl twins about Blakely's age.  She dressed them ADORABLY and she sells their clothes on Insta.  Yeah...I send her mucho dinero.  Since I know one day I won't be able to pick out their clothes (hello, Blakely) I am loving it while I can!  

We always have a picture with big sister too!

Weight: Benton weighs 11 lbs 13 oz so he gained 2 lbs in one month.  He is in the 13th percentile for term babies.  Emery weighs 10 lbs 3 oz so she gained a pound and a half in one month.  She is in the 6th percentile for term babies.  






Height:  They are both 23 inches long.  That puts Benton in the 5th percentile and Em in the  15th percentile.  




Hair Color:  both babies have brown hair with Emery's being darker than Benton's right now.  They have definitely lost quite a bit of hair since birth.  They are both rocking the bald spot on the back of the head and Benton had a little ring of baldness around his head.   Probably because he moves his head back and forth a lot while sleeping.  The hair he does have close to his face is really light and looks blonde in the sunlight.  He looks bald in most pics! 

Eye Color:  As of right now I have 3 blue eyes babies.  Which means my entire family of 5 has blue eyes!  Emery's are a lighter blue and Benton's are a deep blue although in this picture it looks the opposite.  We will see if that changes!  




A few other things I want to remember:

These babies love the bath.  Blakely hated it so this is a nice change.  I try to let them play for a while but it is hard when I still have another baby to bathe!  And sometimes a big ol baby in the big tub waiting to be washed too!  






Emery hates the car seat.  Which should be real fun when we drive to Florida in a couple of weeks.  Yeah....  Honestly it isn't so much that she hates it because if she is awake then she is fine...loves looking around.  But when she gets tired she won't just go to sleep in the car seat.  She freaks out big time.  A pacifier helps and when she finally does fall asleep then she is good but LORDY until then it is a bit stressful.  But I press on because I cannot be cooped up in this house all day every day.  

Benton is getting better with his little tummy issues.  He still has his moments of crying but overall he has more good days than bad days!  He has the cutest little sad face though!  

But let's be honest.  There are still plenty of moments that look more like this picture.....


The babies are so smiley now and I love it.  The mornings are my favorite time because they are both so happy and smile and smile.  They are super close to giggling too.  

again with his sad face bottom left!


Anywhere we go it is like a circus show.  It's like people have never seen twins before!  And then if Blakely is with us people get wide eyed and make all kinds of comments.  All mean well and are nice usually.  I get a lot of "you have your hands full!" or "I don't know how you do it".  One person did ask me if the twins were "natural".  I didn't really know how to respond so I think I just stared at her.  

The babes are getting better at tummy time.  At first they both hated it but mainly Benny




To be fair, he does have quite the big head to hold up ;)






Daily Routine:  I am loving that we are getting into more of a routine.  It isn't perfect yet as the babies want to eat every 2 hours some days to make up for that long stretch of sleep at night.  I am okay with that it just means I can't really leave the house much.  But it is too hot anyway.  Here is a typical feeding schedule.    

7am: feed the babies.  If they fall back asleep I let them sleep, if not then we get up.  
9-930am: feed the babies.  If they've been sleeping then we get up and get dressed here.  
1100-1130am: feed the babies.  Pattern?  They eat frequently in the mornings.  
200pm: feed the babies and hope they make it until 5.  
4-5pm: feed the babies.  
If the babies ate at 4 then I feed them again at 6 and then again at 8.  If they ate at 5 then I wait to feed them until 8.  
8pm: feed the babies downstairs.  swaddle them up and put them in the crib and turn the sound machine on.  Hope they sleep all night!
3-4am: feed the babies.  and then start back over at 7am!


Mommy:  Overall I am adjusting pretty well.  It helps that I am getting more sleep now and that I have help around the house.  I don't know if I could do it without my village.  My house would be in a constant state of chaos and I wouldn't have showered in 3 months that I know for sure!  I do look forward to my wine some evenings!  Blakely has been out of school so I am looking forward to school starting back up and us getting in a regular routine.  I do well with schedules!  It is quite the process to get everyone in the car to go somewhere but I have a system down pretty good.  I want to document it here and see if it gets harder to go places or easier!  

First thing I do once I get the babies loaded into their car seats in the house is remote start the car.  Then I make Blakely get in first because her car seat in on the third row.  I put one baby in on her side in the second row and then the other baby on the other side.  Then I grab my purse and lock the house and we are ready to go.  

When we get somewhere, say the grocery store because that is one of the three places we go I first unload the stroller from the back of the van.  Then I park it on the side of the van opposite Blakely.  I put that baby in the stroller.  Then I drive over to the other side of the van and park.  I unload that baby and put him/her in the stroller.  I get my diaper bag and put it on the stroller.  I unhook Blakely from her car seat and lock the van.  We are ready to go.  It is nice getting Blakely out last because then I don't have to worry about her in the parking lot while I am getting the babies situated.  

When we leave the grocery store I immediately remote start the car (it is insane hot here) and I park the stroller on Blakely's side of the van.  I make her get in and strap herself into her car seat and I put one baby in the car.  Close that door and drive to the other side of the van and put the other baby in the van.  Close that door.  Then I open the back of the van and since I can't push a cart and a stroller all the groceries are under the stroller.  So I bag them up real quick and load the stroller up.  Then I get in and we are ready to leave.  

It is a little hectic but I think I've got it down!  

This was my first trip to the grocery store and I was so damn proud of myself!  

Morning snuggles with all my babies are the best.  


Daddy:  Lonnie is adjusting well too.  I think in the beginning it was hard for him because everything was just so so crazy but now that we are starting to settle into a routine it is getting easier on him.  He can help me more and the babies are not screaming as much.  LOL!  He gets bombarded the second he walks in the door from work.  Bless him.  Blakely wants him to PLAY PLAY PLAY and I want him to watch the babies so I can go to the bathroom or shower.  This picture was one day when I handed the babies off and Blake was jumping up and down begin for him to take her outside to play.  Life is pretty funny right now.  Sometimes we just look at each other and giggle...it's all you can do.  

Blakely:  Blakely is doing great.  I knew she would but I think she is actually exceeding my expectations.  She doesn't really show much jealousy, only on occasion and only when she is really tired.  She loves talking to the babies and helping me with them.  I let her pick out their pajamas every night and she thinks that is awesome.  Ask me in a few months when they are crawling all over her and trying to steal her toys what she think about them!  


Comparisons
I posted this the other day on the FB and got a lot of responses.  What do y'all think?  Most people said Benton and Blakely look alike which is such a change because usually people have said that Emery looks like Blakely.  I think they all look similar but have their own look about them.  This picture is the first time I though Blake and Benny look more alike than Blake and Emmers.  Comparisons are SO MUCH FUN!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Tragedy in my town.

I'm going to write about something today that is very disturbing.  And something that can be very divisive.  I am not writing about it to start arguments or to debate right or wrong.  I am writing about it because it has been on my mind CONSTANTLY since I heard of this tragedy.    I have lost sleep and I have been hugging my babies even tighter.  

Something awful happened in my town one week ago.  Something that is every parent's worst nightmare.  A sweet 18 month old boy lost his precious life.  He was left in a car by his father.  It was over 100 degrees here that day.  Everyone here is reeling, as you can imagine.  

Here is the thing though.  This was not someone who just left their kid in the car ON PURPOSE to run into Wa.lmart real quick.  Or left their son in the car to go to the club.  Or to go gambling.  Or to go get high.  By all means, arrest them and say all the bad things you want about that person.  BUT, this was a very loving father.  An upstanding member of our community.  A family man.  A tragic accident.  He forgot to drop him off at daycare and went right on in to work.  Can you imagine his horror when he realized his mistake?  Can you even?  I think the worst thing in the world would be to lose your child.  But to be the cause of his death?  I don't even have the words.  

Before everyone starts immediately saying things like, "how could you forget your own kid?" and "I could never forget" or "my kid is so loud I would never do that".  Let me just tell you that IT CAN happen to you.  It can happen to any of us.  And it does.  All the time.  We are all vulnerable and that scares the crap out of me.  We all lead busy lives and all it takes is one simple change in your routine, one simple oversight.  And then boom.  Tragedy.  I am not so naive to think that I could "never" do something.  That is a dangerous statement to make.  

I suggest all of you read this article on this very subject.  This could happen to any of us.  It does happen.  A lot.  And to very loving people who would do anything for their children.  This article is difficult to read but parents should read it.  Don't just say "I could never do that" or "that would never happen to me".  Because it happened here and it is just....sad.  Unbelievably sad.  

I'm not posting the article to debate whether this is a crime or not.  Although, for the record, I do not.  But whatever happens to this man in our town, I don't think it matters.  His punishment is done.  He has to live with this.  And that, to me, is unimaginable pain.  

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/fatal-distraction-forgetting-a-child-in-thebackseat-of-a-car-is-a-horrifying-mistake-is-it-a-crime/2014/06/16/8ae0fe3a-f580-11e3-a3a5-42be35962a52_story.html

This is another article on the subject as well.  
http://www.parenting.com/article/tragedy-in-the-backseat-hot-car-deaths

Monday, July 20, 2015

Twinks at two months

On June 27 the twinks turned 2 months old.  They changed so much during this month it baffles me to even compare pictures from the beginning of the month to the end of the month.  Here is a recap.  
Nicknames: these babies have SO many nicknames.  I feel like we rarely call them their actual names.  Blakely calls them Emmy and Benny and has from the very beginning so I'd say those are the most often used.  

Benton: Benny, Benners, Benny boo, tiny man, Ben man, Benny bo, chunk, chunk-a-roo



Emery: Emmy, Ems, Emmers, Rems, Remy, remmy roo, noodle




EATING/BREASTFEEDING:  The babies nurse 8 times a day, every three hours round the clock.  In the middle of the month we introduced a bottle.  They both have done really well and we give them one every day or every other day.  Blakely despised the bottle when she turned three months old so I am hoping by giving them one consistently we can avoid that.  Also, mama needs her wine ;)  I still typically feed them separately unless someone is here to help me tandem feed.  Tandem feeding is getting easier and I have started doing that in the middle of the night by myself.  It is quite the process to get everything and everyone situated but we make it work.  It means more sleep for me if I can do it that way so we are practicing.  Breastfeeding, in general, is getting easier as well.  The babies are getting bigger and are able to hold their heads up better so that helps.  

I still pump after feedings pretty frequently.  My supply is rocking so I pump 3-4 times a day just depending on how things are going so I can have milk for bottles.  I know my supply won't always be so great and I also know that we won't always be home during the day for me to pump so I am doing it now while I can.

I do so love the after nursing snuggles...


SLEEPING:  The babies sleep pretty well.  At least, they sleep when they are supposed to be sleeping.  They just don't really go a long time between feedings so it is short bursts of sleep.  They eat, then they are awake for a little while (sometimes only 15 minutes or so) and then they go to sleep.  We moved them to their cribs this month and they sleep well in there.  At night they just go right back to sleep when I put them in their crib.  The last 2 nights they have gone 5 1/2 hours between a feeding instead of just 3 hours so WOOO HOOO.  Cross all the things that this continues because mama is oh so very tired and really needs some sleep.  

When they wake up to eat in the early morning hours I usually just bring them in the bed with me to nurse because that is easier.  Then they fall right back asleep and I can doze until I hear Blakely come in.  She will snuggle for a little while but then she runs upstairs to see if Lonnie has left for work yet.  We are definitely starting to fall into a routine.  :)



CLOTHING: Benton is out of newborn clothes and in 0-3 month size.  He can still squeeze into a few newborn things if he isn't wearing cloth diapers.  Emery is still in newborn but not for much longer. 

Mama is having a super fun time picking out clothes for the babes.  I have quite a few matching twin things that people gifted to me....




And the rest of the time I coordinate the colors to make them match.  Wayyyyy too much shopping going on up in here.  It is hard to find cute (not hella expensive) coordinating clothes for boy/girl twins.  But I press on ;)

DIAPERS:  We started cloth part time this month.  Actually I'd say we do it about 80% of the time.  I am using newborn prefolds with covers and, surprisingly, I am really liking them.  I only did pockets and all-in-ones with Blakely so this is new for me.  But they are great to hold in the runny poop and the laundry is so very easy since you can throw these in the dryer.  They wear x-small covers and newborn size disposables. 


DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS:  when the babies turned one month old Emery weighed 6 lbs 5 ounces and Benton weighed 6 lbs 9 ounces.  Benton had just passed her up and he just continued on his chunky style the rest of this month.  

On June 2 we went in for a weight check (wanted the babies to gain 7 ounces each)
Emery - 6 lbs 12 oz (gained 7 ounces)
Benton - 7 lbs 6 oz (gained 14 ounces!)

We went back 2 weeks later (June 16) for another weight check (wanted them to gain 14 ounces)
Emery - 7 lbs 12 oz (gained 16 ounces)
Benton - 8 lbs 14 oz (gained 24 ounces)

So you can see that my little tiny man was gaining like crazy and by the end of the month was not my tiny man anymore.  Tear.  At this point I stopped worrying about their weight gain.  Breastfeeding was getting easier and they were obviously gaining good so I didn't need to worry.  I was now ready for them to sleep longer stretches at night!  

On July 1 we went for their 2 month checkup (with shots...boo).  We wanted to see a 15 ounce weight gain.  

Emery - 8 lbs 10 oz (gained 14 ounces)
Benton - 9 lbs 13 oz (gained 15 ounces)

Our doctor was very happy with their weight gain and this was the first time the babies were on the growth and height chart.  Em is in the 5th percentile for both and Benny is in the 10th percentile for both.  He did mention when he was examining Benton at his 2 month appt that he resisted when trying to turn his head to the left.  He wasn't super worried about it but told us to make sure he turns it to the left more frequently to stretch out that neck muscle.  Make him do that while tracking toys, while he is eating and while he is sleeping.  I had noticed that he preferred his right but I thought it was more because I had been making him sleep on his right side due to his reflux.  

At the beginning of this second month, our sweet Benton kinda turned into a crying machine.  It was pretty obvious that he was dealing with some reflux but now he was having some major gas pains.  He would just cry out in pain and then cry some more.  We started him on Za.ntac and I gave hime lots of gas drops to try and help.  I didn't really feel like either did but was too scared to stop the Za.ntac for fear that the crying could get worse!  I broke down and gave him a pacifier to see if that would calm him down.  Occasionally it would but not all the time.  He has good days and bad days.  Usually he is fine during the day but by late afternoon the poor thing is just over it all.  We carry him around and pretty much try anything to make him feel better.  It does seem to be getting a little better the last few days.  


DAILY ROUTINE:  The daily routine is basically the same as last month just with a little more awake time during the day.  I feed them, they stay awake for a little while (never longer than an hour) and then they sleep until the next feeding.  We have started a nighttime routine and I think that is starting to help with the nighttime sleep.  We take them downstair into their room.  I change them into their pajamas with a new diaper.  I nurse them in the glider (which I never do during the day) and then I cuddle them for a bit before swaddling them and putting them in the crib with the sons machine on.  The first couple of night of this they were like OH HELL NO but the last few nights they went right to sleep and slept for 5 1/2 hours so I basically feel like a brand new woman.  


BLAKELY + THE BABES:  Blakely absolutely loves her babies.  She always want to make sure they are ok.  She is the QUEEN of the pacifier.  She is quick to put it back in if they spit it out even when I tell her not to.  She wants to help pick out their clothes and most of the time I let her.  She picks out their jammies every night.  Her favorite thing is when I lay them on the floor and she can cuddle and play with them.  




She likes to hold them and sometimes does really good holding one while I nurse the other one.  She usually has to be watching a show to do this so she will sit still long enough.  



She likes to help with bottle feeding.  I actually thought she would want to help more with this but she has a good few minute and then she is over it.  Ha!  

I am so thankful she is such a sweet girl and always wants to help.  She brings me things if I forget to grab them before nursing.  She will fix me a glass of water if she notices I am out.  She will go get Benny a change of clothes if he spits up.  It is really just the sweetest.  

A FEW THINGS ABOUT THE BABES:

  • They have both started tracking things with their eyes.  I have this bright colored peacock that is black and white on the back and they really follow that thing good.
  • They are both smiling in response to us.  Benton started this first but Emery has done it a couple of times in the last day or two.    
  • They had their first day at the pool.  They slept through the whole thing but they did actually get to go outside that day.  Most days have been way too hot for them to go outside.  


  • Both of my babies really want to be tummy sleepers.  When we do tummy time they just want to lay their head down and go to sleep.  We are working on it ;)

  • Benton is usually awake a little more than Emery.  My girl likes her sleep and I hope it stays that way!  



  • Daddy has the magic tough to make the babies happy.  When I hold them they just want to eat.  


45 seconds later....


Daddy and his girls.  


  • The comments are all over the board when it comes to who looks like who.  Most people say Benton looks like Lonnie and Emery looks a little bit like Blakely.  I did a little 2 month comparison for ya!  I am not sure but I do know that there is something about Em that reminds me of Blakely as a baby.  And Benton squints his eyes when he smiles and that is Lonnie all the way.  
  • Both babies are kinda "ehhh" when it comes to being worn.  I think Emery likes it a little better.  Benton likes to be held just not all wrapped up.  But this was a day that I could NOT get him to stop crying and I finally got him calmed down enough (by bouncing and speed walking) and he fell asleep.  Whew...


  • I can't believe how much they have grown this month.  I look at this picture and Benton looks like a completely different baby.  

  • Emery is our chill baby.  She has her moments but Lonnie and I were talking the other day how she is our easiest baby out of the three.  She is super relaxed and doesn't fuss unless she is hungry or getting sleepy.  Then she will just fall asleep wherever you put her without freaking out.  




  • It's not that Benton is not chill, because he is when he is comfortable.  But a lot of the time he is just uncomfortable and I feel so bad.  Ugh.  He just needs a little help to fall asleep when he gets tired and he likes to walk around.  He just wants a change of scenery if he gets bored.  So if he's been laying looking at the mobile for a while he will let you know when he is over it.  So I spend a lot of time moving him around the house!  




 Happy 2 months sweet babies!!!