Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Monday, October 17, 2011

Raising Readers

As some of you may know I have a degree in Elementary Education. I never intended to be a teacher, it was merely a pit stop on my way to my Masters and Behavior Analyst board certification. As some of you also know the pregnancy and boys have put an indefinite hold on these plans.  Most of the classes that I took in college were somewhat silly in my opinion (I mean really, in Teaching Elementary PE we played red light green light, and in Teaching Elementary math we played with blocks while our teacher read us children's math books). Little did I know I would have twins that I now plan to homeschool! All of those materials and lesson plans are going to come in handy in a few years. One of the classes I actually enjoyed was called Children's Literature. We learned all about creating a language rich environment, and constantly reading to pupils to teach a love for reading.

My mom always read books to me, maybe that's why I like books so much. Also, a dear woman that I highly respect taught me by example how to instill a love of reading in children. She is a kindergarten teacher turned stay at home mom extraordinaire whose children I used to provide ABA for and babysit. Her children, now  almost 7 and 9, (where has the time gone!!!) love books and reading. I always thought when I became a mom I would be the mom that she and my mom were.

And so, a long time ago I started my children's literature collection. I had to buy some books for the class that I mentioned, at thrift shops I picked up favorite titles from my childhood,  every time I bought a home decorating, christian fiction, or cooking book I would also pick up a few sale priced children's books, and whenever I saw a good book for my clients at work I grabbed it and took it to work until they were done with it. My mom was generous enough to let me have some of the books she read to me when I was little (though not the special ones.) Some of the books I remember loving as a child I searched for on Ebay and purchased. Still others reside on my Amazon wishlist.

Needless to say when the boys arrived they had a very full bookshelf full of beloved stories. Everything from Goodnight Moon, to Skippyjon Jones comprised our library. When the boys were in my belly I tried to talk to them, but sometimes I didn't know what to say, so I read to them. When they arrived and had to spend nine days in NICU I took a backpack full of books up to their bedside along with my ipod and some speakers. I would take them to the nursing room and read to them each night, and pray with them- knowing this would be our bedtime routine at home. I spent hours in the uncomfortable chair between their bassinets pumping and softly humming along to the classical music coming from our ipod. There were few things that I could do for them in those early days; the nurses were always insisting that I would bother them and make them burn off more calories, but I felt they needed to know I was there, and so I read and sang to them. When we came home, I didn't know what to do with them when they weren't sleeping! So I read and sang. They seemed to enjoy hearing my voice, often falling asleep as I read chapter books to them.

From the very beginning we had a set bedtime routine. They stayed up all night, so st first we just picked and evening feeding and did our routine, trying as hard as possible to keep it dark and quiet on subsequent feeding until morning (I shudder thinking of those early nights!) Our routine was fairly simple. Bath (usually just a wipedown with a cloth and a diaper change) PJs, and a warm bottle as we listened to praise music. After they finished their bottles I read to them. Sometimes in the early days I read books without pictures or books for older children and some days I just read poetry. After that we would pray, swaddle them and put them in their crib. That's still our routine, pretty much to a t. The only thing that has changed much is the size of the bottles and the types of books.

At around 3 months, when the boys started to show interest in toys I bought them a cloth book. All the book had were large pictures. However, each picture did something. The first page a door opened to show a bear, the second a crab on a string could be pulled out of a bucket, the third, a mirror was in the middle of a sunshine that took up the whole page, the fourth some ribbons shone out of a light house and on the back there was a sailboat that you could pull side to side. I would "read" this to them several times per day, making sure to show them how we turned the page, pointing out details in the pictures and narrating everything. After about a week of reading this book at playtime I noticed they were more interested in their bedtime stories, so I began to choose books with colorful pictures. They loved those. And then around 4 months we started reading primarily board books. We only had about 10 of them and we read them over and over- at playtime and bedtime. They started to try to "help" turn the pages.

At this time I started buying more board books. And we began to read at least ten books per day. The boys loved it! They got more excited over a book than a musical toy. That's the way they still are. They love to turn the pages, and look at the pictures. Often they fight over them. When I read to them it seems they are really listening. I feel that we have gotten a really good start in the literacy department. It is never to early to start reading to your baby, and once you start they won't let you start!!! Children who are read to often learn to read earlier, have larger vocabularies, and go farther in college. So if you haven't yet, begin reading today.






Here is our current list of favorite stories
Goodnight Moon
Blue Hat Green Hat
Tiggers Breakfast
Peekawho
Dear Zoo
Brow Bear Brown Bear What do You See?
But not the Hippopotamus
Spot Loves his Daddy
Guess how Much I love You
Skippyjon Jones Shape up
Happy Hippo Angry Duck
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
Hand Hand Fingers Thumb
Tails



Quick update on things to come.

It's been a busy month, but I have a few posts in the works.

Stay tuned for:

Little Readers,  on our library and teaching a love of reading from birth

9 months (can't believe we're almost there)

Becoming the Mother I want to be (maybe a series, dealing with our TTC struggle, my complicated pregnancy, and my battle with post partum depression/ post traumatic stress)

Any thing else you want to know? I'm needing some ideas so feel free to share.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Eight Months Already!

My big boys turned eight months old on Wednesday. That's 6.5 months adjusted if anyone's keeping up with their preemie development list. But these guys don't look like preemies anymore. It could have something to do with how much they both love to EAT. And eat and eat and eat. They average about 3 9.5 ounce bottles per day, as well as 3 jars of baby food. (that's each!) Although their intake is usually the exact same, obviously there is a weight difference between them. I am not sure what the difference is but I'm guessing it's close to two pounds. You can really feel the difference when you go from holding Alexander to holding Max. Poor boy has Mommy's metabolism. Xander never ever stops moving. The kid is always kicking his feet or flapping his hands, usually keeping beat with any music in the environment. He is so getting the leapfrog music and lights drum for Christmas. Max doesn't do a lot of superfluous movement; the movement that he does gets him somewhere. He has been rolling from back to front and front to back over and over again for a few weeks, but now he lifts his chest and top half of his belly up and scoots in circles. He can go backwards too, although I don't think he knows quite why he goes backwards :-). Alexander began rolling back and forth with control about a week ago. And just today I noticed him practicing his brother's scooting trick. He's been watching Max for weeks (slyly snatching toys as the chub rolls by)  and I guess he was figuring it all out while I thought he was just being lazy. He's gonna be one of those people that takes a while try things, but always gets it right the first time-little perfectionist. Max ,however, is not afraid to try and fail. I love that about him, even if it does mean I have to rescue him from the corner every few minutes after he gets himself stuck there.

They both can sit if they are put into a sitting position, and can sit for a number of minutes with little to no assistance. However, they both have no clue that they are sitting up. So they topple over quite frequently, usually on top of each other. They have yet to bonk heads as they fall, it's probably because I always keep too close of a hand on them. They need to be a little more free to explore. I just don't want to see them hurt,ever. But with all this moving there are bound to be some scrapes and bruises. I just wish they could be my own instead of the boys'.

I think that swaddling them is hindering them from exploring on their own. Yes we still swaddle. Yes, I know we shouldn't. But we can't seem to stop! I try. Really I do. But they won't sleep for longer than 30 minutes at a time unswaddled. And I just haven't come to the point where not swaddling is as important an issue as the family being well-rested. Anyone that stopped swaddling when their babies were infants instead of newborns please speak up and let me know what you did! So far my ideas are weighted blankets or home-made woombies. I'd like an option that requires less sewing. Plus there's the issue of temperature. We keep our house at 68 degrees, and we all like it that way. The boys' room has an entire wall of window, and it gets really hot in there as soon as the sun comes up, so really it's about 75 degrees in their room most of the time. I just don't see an easy solution. Hopefully we figure it out before they turn five. I'm only half kidding.

Overall life with Max and Xander is great. They are such neat little boys. It is amazingly fun to watch them grow and explore. Already they have a relationship like I have never seen before. They totally  play off of each others mood, and sometimes I swear they are speaking in their own language. I can so see them being like those yelling youtube twins in a year. I love seeing them interact with each other. But I admit, sometimes I am a little jealous of their bond. Most moms are the single most important person in their child's life for those first couple of months; but I have been competing since before I met them. We totally have a cool three-way mommy/max/xander bond though, and that's not something everybody gets to experience. This adventure of parenthood is the most exhausting and rewarding thing I have ever done.

So, here's the monthly recap for each of them.





Alexander loves bouncing in his jumperoo. His favorite food this month has been bananas, he "oooohhhms" and "ahhhs" for them as he flaps his hands and stretches his neck towards the spoon. He loves listening to music and playing with his daddy. Occasionally he can be found swiping his brother's pacifier or monopolizing the crawl ball, which is still his favorite toy. Xander's favorite activity is being naked, closely followed by reading books. Today at Target he picked "But Not the Hippopotamus" and greatly enjoyed it when we read it tonight. He also especially likes "hand,hand fingers thumb" and "5 little monkeys jumping on the bed". At Uma's house (my mom) he has a stuffed monkey that he often holds conversations with. He really likes going to Uma's house, because he gets to snuggle with her and wrestle with grandpa. (Mommy can only entertain two boys on her own so much). Alexander enjoys watching Samson play, and happilyanticipates the day when he will be able to crawl after him. Most of the time Xander sleeps well, but lately his bee mini pillow pal that Daddy bought him at Toys R Us last week has been distracting him. Mommy sees him on the monitor turned towards the bee cooing. It is cute, except for at 3 o clock in the morning, when it is not allowed. I love you little Xander Mander. Happy 8 months, my son.




Max loves bouncing in his jumperoo, while squealing in excitement.  His favorite food this month has been yogurt. He is a picky eater, tightly closing his little lips when the spoon comes near if he is unsure of its contents. However, he recognizes the yogurt container and always kicks his feet like crazy when he realizes that's whats on the menu. He loves watching t.v. and rolling around the toy room. He often giggles at his Daddy, who tickles him with his beard. His favorite toy varies from day to day, usually he prefers to play with his binky, getting it stuck to his thumb and chasing it when it rolls away from him. Max's favorite activity is watching tv; he even watches it when it is off, presumably hoping it will magically come on. Today at Target he picked "Happy hippo, Angry Duck" and he kicked his feet in excitment when we read it tonight; he LOVES books.  He likes to go to Uma's house too. He loves his Aunt Allyson and often watches her every move. He gets a kick out of grandpa tickling him and loves "Uma". In fact, he gave her the name. He gets tickled at random things, often laughing at his toys or the dogs. Max has been sleeping a lot better lately. He had been waking up several times in the early evening, but since we switched the schedule he usually sleeps through the night without waking. He likes the panda pillow pal that keeps him company in his bed. I think there might be big pillow pals in store for the boys for their birthday.  I love you my Maximo! Happy 8 months lovebug.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Just another manic Monday

I've been playing around with my background. The robots were just too busy for me. I'm not sure what I'll end up doing, but I don't think the current brown background is what I'll stick with either. How did you get you current layout? Was it easy to achieve?

I've come to the realization that I either need to be a better blogger (post more, add pictures, comment more etc) or give it up and just work on a journal for the boys. I'd really like to continue to blog, but I think it needs to be a bit more well rounded, instead of long wordy updates about the boys. Any suggestions? I'm sure I have some sage twin parenting advice up my sleeve somewhere. I'd love to hear comments or suggestions. Thanks.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hey ya'll (a vlog)

So Samantha over at Where the green grass grows posted a vlog. It's an exercise designed to let your readers decide if you have an accent or not, by asking you to pronounce words that are often said differently depending on the region of the United States you are from. I thought it looked fun, so here it is. I really don't think that I have much of an accent because I have family from Alabama and Pennsylvania, which probably evened my accent out enough. I'd love to see your vlog too, do you have an accent?

Here are the directions:
Say these words:
Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

And answer these questions:
•What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?

•What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?

•What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?

•What do you call gym shoes?

•What do you say to address a group of people?

•What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?

•What do you call your grandparents?

•What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?

•What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?

•What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

video
And here's my video 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A beautiful, hearbreaking story

I came across this video through friends on facebook. A heartbreaking question of choosing life or death when our will to live is gone. Would your choice be different than his? I'd like to say mine would be, but I don't think we can ever know what we would do. 1000 days

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rockstar

I feel like a rockstar when I get the boys to bed by myself, when DJ's at work, and they actually go to sleep. It's the little things in life that make me smile :-)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

seven months

How in the world did this happen? Xander and Max are seven months old (well actually 7.5, I am a bad blogger) One day we were awake around the clock, feeding and snuggling tiny little four pound bundles of baby goodness, and now we're surrounded by giggles, toys, and the immanent reminders that our sweet babies are growing up.

That being said, this is such a fun age. Every day they discover new things. They enjoy meeting new people and dazzling everyone. They are very aware of each other, and sometimes when they think I am not looking I catch them holding hands, or rolling over to get a better look at each other. They also often steal each others toys and pacifiers. Just the other day I walked in to find a forlorn Max and Xander, with his lips pulled up into an impish little grin behind his brother's pacifier. It's easy to know when this has happened, as Max still prefers the avent soothie pacifiers (perfect for sticking his thumb into, so that he can suck his thumb and his pacifier) while Xander favors the playtex binky (upside down is the best way he insists)

I am a little embarrassed to admit that we are still swaddling. It becomes tricky to get them swaddled and find proper materials to do so. the materials for a home-made woombie are sitting on my craft table. I am  really hoping that it may be the transition they need from being tightly swaddled to being free. I am also considering  figuring out a way to make a safe weighted blanket for them. That way they could still get the sensory input (if that indeed is what they need) while being able to keep their hands free. Hopefully I'll get around to these projects very soon.

The boys are eating more solids, and cutting back on formula. In fact, this week they were down to only 3 bottles per day, but I'm not really sure if they are ready for that yet. They love yogurt, bananas and sweet potatoes still. The teething biscuits are also a big hit, especially with Max. Feeding oneself is apparently very fun. They both enjoy stealing spoons during meals.

They continue to stay on a good sleep schedule and enjoy playing when they aren't sleeping. They love reading books, listening to music and watching backyardigans. Max is getting good at rolling over from tummy to back and back to tummy. He can usually get himself to the toys that he wants. Xander is content to lay on his back and wait for his brother to roll by with something he wants.

Life with these two is an adventure, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

6.5 months old

I am really really behind on posting! We didn't have internet for a while, and that put me behind, but really I think it would've happened anyway. Being back at work and being a mom to twins is a lot to juggle. I am so lucky that DJ is so willing to help and is able to be home with the boys while I'm at work. Come October when his classes start back, I'm not even sure what the plan is. I'd love to take the boys to work with me, but I'm not sure that I could focus with them there. We went for a short visit last week when everyone had their babies at the clinic. They seemed to like the environment and noise. I think that staying home so much is getting boring to them. I've been trying to take them out more, even if it is just to walk around Target. They like to look at things, and smile at people. And they get to smile at lots of people.  Twins are a magnet for people to stop, stare and comment on. I can't even imagine what it would be like with high-order multiples. Sometimes people are nice, or inquisitive, but sometimes they are just plain rude. Why would you ask someone how their children were conceived or if they wished they only had one child? I hope people don't continue those kind of questions when they are old enough to understand them. I recently went to my first parents of multiples meeting. Although I am so blessed to have some wise experienced mom friends (shout out to Aunt Tess, we love you!) knowing other moms of twins, and hearing that our experiences are very much alike is pretty darn cool. (Only one other mom had a pregnancy as rough as mine- out of about 10- and only one other mom had a vaginal delivery, and no one else had boy/boy twins, but the trials of having two newborns at once was something everyone understood)

But that is more than enough about mommy, I know what you're really interested in is the boys. So here goes.

Alexander:
You are Mr personality. Your little smile lights up a room, and you seem to make instant friends with everyone. You still hate being on your tummy, and as soon as I put you on your tummy you flip to your back, over and over and over again. You are a superstar eater, your favorite food so far has been chicken noodle soup, which I made with lots of garlic and pepper. It seems fitting that you would like things spicy :-) You are very strong , and love to stand up. You are also quite smart. You can imitate several gross motor movements and even a few sounds. You like to figure out how things work, like the spinning globe on your jumperoo. You love music and books, and enjoy turning the pages for mommy. You are still a little night owl and will keep yourself awake until your eyes are purple. Samson has become your friend, I think you feed him when  Mommy isn't looking.You are more sensitive than your brother, and get your feelings hurt. You also startle easily, and don't like to do daredevil things. Except for hanging upside down. You love to throw yourself backwards and look at the world upside down. Silly silly boy. You are such a joy and it is amazing to see you discover more about your world everyday. Unfortunately you have been sick the last few days and mommy and daddy have been worried. I hope you start feeling better soon.

Max:
You are such the sweetheart. Your newest discovery is your ability to fake cough. You think it is hilarious, and keep yourself entertained by alternating between it and all of your new sounds. You have become quite talkative over the past month, and it is very cute. You love to roll over, and have discovered how to get a hold of toys on your own, including your brother's toys; which makes him mad. You love your feet and are quite agile despite your rotund little self. You are shy, but once you get to know someone your personality really comes through. You have just started to really enjoy solids, and have become quite the bossy eater, yelling whenever the spoon does not make it to your mouth quick enough. You like sweets; bananas, yogurt, sweet potatoes. I bet you'll like ice cream one day. You love to look at books, and will often hold one up on your own and appear to be studying it. You like to be startled and often laugh out loud when you are surprised by something. You love love love tv, and will search to find one in a new room if you hear it. You bounce like a crazy boy in your jumperoo and like to watch Buddy and Samson play. Unless you are hungry you're a very happy easy-going little guy. It is such a joy to be your mommy and help you explore your surroundings.

That's all I have to write for now. New pictures coming soon.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

No internet

Hi bloggy friends! We are sadly without internet. I am trying to keep a list of things that have happened, and when I am able I will be posting everything that is going on. For now though, I will just say that I feel like the most blessed woman in the whole world. My sweet boys are 6 months old today, and being their mom is an amazing amazing experience.

Monday, June 27, 2011

week 21 update (a few days late)

How old? 21 weeks (5 months!!!)

What/ How have we been eating? Much much better this week. At the Wic office today Alexander weighed 13lb 12 oz and Max was 15 lbs!!! You tried blueberries and chicken this week. Sweet potatoes and carrots are still the favorite.

How's sleep? It's been ok, still sleeping through the night with the exception of waking a few times and wanting pacifiers or a pat on the head. Nap today went badly though. Mommy has a fever and has been feeling yucky and think you two might be getting one too.

What are our favorite toys? Both Max and Alexander love anything with lights and music. They like to snuggle the taggie blankets I made them last week, and absolutely adore books. We read 8 in a row today and they were sad when I stopped.

What have we been reading? Speaking of books, we've been reading mostly pooh and tigger board books, five little monkeys jumping on the bead and "frog and toad" before bed. I also carry a baby's first colors book in the diaper bag that both boys are enthralled with.


What have we been watching or listening to? The backyardigans or veggie tales are the favorite to watch lately. I think the backyardigans is really cute. We've been listening mostly to praise baby and nature sounds.

Something funny that we did: You giggly boys are always making me laugh at one thing or another. I think it's super cute when you giggle at your daddy.

Special moments with Alexander: I bought a johnny jump up for you this week. The first time in it you weren't so sure, but the second time you really liked it. You love to stand up, so I knew you would like this toy.  You are really ticklish and laugh so hard every evening when I take your clothes off for bath time. Bath time is one of your favorite parts of the day. You like to splash and splash. Grandpa Johnny entertains you big time, you love being "roughed up" by him. You're such a funny little boy. I love your personality.

Special moments with Max: The johnny jump up I initially bought for xander was actually a big hit with you. You don't really like to stand up, but you liked bouncing in the jump up. On Friday we went out to eat. You stayed awake the whole time. I think that you really wanted a cheeseburger, because you kept giving the waitress death stares. This week you started to want to touch book pages and other things. You have finally figured out the hand eye coordination thing- you can reach out and touch what you want to. You are also getting better at trying to hold your bottle. You are such a sweet sweet boy. I love to snuggle you!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

21 weeks old

Sweet Boys are 21 weeks old now! It's been a busy week. I went back to work this week and missed them every second, but they had lots of fun with Daddy, Grandma and Allyson, and Grandma Rose.

Both Max and Xander have become very generous with the laughs, which are beyond adorable. Daddy is oh-so-funny in their opinion and the can be found giggling at him quite often.

Everything goes into mouths now. Hands, feet, blankets, clothes, toys, books, you name it, they try to eat it. Speaking of eating, they are superstars. They tried plums and butternut squash since I last wrote. Sweet potatoes, bananas, and carrots remain the favorites. And only Mommy-made, they won't tolerate store-bought (little divas).

They often can be found looking at each other, or perhaps attempting to sneak a nibble of one another's ear, hand, etc. Xander really likes his taggie blanket that I made him this week, and his little elephant. Max prefers the sensory ball and his rattle. Hands and feet are the most super-fun of all though.

It seems they change so much every day, and yet, when I sit down, I can't put my finger on specific changes. I guess one day I'll look at them and be like "where did my babies go?"

Xander is really into talking. He calls me "ma ma, maaa maa, MAAAMAAAAAAAAHH" until I acknowledge him. Today I was showing him how to make a rattle toy spin by moving his hand to roll it, and he lifted his other hand and copied me. I know, I know, all mommies say this, but I think my baby really is pretty smart.

Max has been trying to hold his own bottle, unfortunately he always pulls it out rather than putting it in his mouth. He'll get it soon. He went through a few days this week where he was just yelling (talking yelling, not crying) about everything. The last few days he's been more observant and less talkative. TV is his very favorite, he stares at it, even if it's not on, expecting something cool to happen. I only let them watch a few mins per day, but he is always hoping it will come on.

Sometimes they are a little frustrating when they refuse to eat, or puke a ton. But they really are wonderful  babies. They sleep well, and are so happy pretty much all the time. I'm such a lucky mom. :-)

Baby Beach Bums

It's about time. I've been promising pictures for a while.

We took the boys to the beach for their first time a few weeks back.Yes, it is a lot of work to take tiny twins to the beach, but the beach is very special to DJ and I. In some ways it's more sacred to me than any church building. It's impossible not to feel close to God as you look at the beauty that He created. The beach is where DJ and I got engaged, got married, and enjoyed many dates together. I grew up on that beach, playing in the waves, helping my dad fish, chasing crabs along the sand. Some of my fondest memories occured at the beach, and so, I really hoped the boys would like it too.

They did! They really really did. They were in awe of the sky and the waves and the sea. Xander would have jumped in if I let him, while Max was a little more cautious about the waves. I knelt down and stuck their feet in the water, we took pictures together, and just enjoyed the experience. A few days later I took them back with my mom, but it was too much for them. I think it will be a "our little family" outing for this summer, since DJ is the best help I can think of. I can't wait for all the summer memories we will all make together at the beach. I hope the boys grow up loving it as much as I do.

And as promised, delicious baby beach pictures. Can't you just imagine, the sand, baby head, sunscreen smell? Church I tell you.


Sweet beach babies

Mommy and Max

Mommy and MAx

Daddy and sweet boy Max

Daddy and giggly Max

Mommy and Hambone Xander

Mommy and Xander, enjoying God's big world

Daddy and Xander

Xan Man and DJ

family photo

beach bundles in the beach buggy

Max warm and ready to go home

Xander was bummed his beach day was over

Monday, June 13, 2011

Today the twins discovered....

their feet. And what an amazing discovery it was. Max was totally bummed he couldn't quite stretch right to get them in his mouth and Xander thought his toes were quite stunning. Back to work  for real tomorrow. Might have a panic attack over leaving them with babysitters this week, I really think they'll do better with it than me. Our schedule is set, so at least their days will be the same no matter who's here. It's only 3 days. It's only 3 days. It's 3 whole days :-(

My sweet boys are growing so much. I hope I don't miss anything.

Friday, June 10, 2011

20 weeks old

I really am going to upload first beach pictures soon. Really I will. This has been a busy week that has gone by so fast! I can't believe I go back to work for good on Tuesday. We fully enjoyed our last week home together, and I am counting down the days until the week of July 4th, I'll have off that whole week too. We've spent a lot of time getting ready for Aunt Allyson's 13th birthday, which was today. You stayed up way past your bed time and were as grumpy as all get out, but it was nice to celebrate with her. We went to the beach with her and grandma on Monday, also a grumpy day. The schedule is pretty important to stick to!You've been doing a great job with naps and bedtime, but all day is go go go. You both love to practice sitting, and play on the floor. We look at books, listen to music and play with toys. Mommy is very silly and it makes you laugh. You also enjoy hanging out in your bouncers and watching me get housework done, as long as i do so in an entertaining manner. You tried carrots this week and they are Xander's new favorite. Max likes them too, but not as much as sweet potatoes. Apples and peas are not favorites. Chicken and butternut squash are on the agenda for this week. That's about it for this week little men.Hopefully I will do better and get more pictures, videos, and details next week. Love you darlings!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We love carrots!

The boys just tried carrots and they were the biggest hit yet. Two carrot cubes, or the equivalent to two jars of baby food, and most of it was in their mouths not on their bibs. I think they might like the color orange :-) Pumpkin and butternut squash also look the same, I wonder if they'll like them too. Me and DJ both LOVE pumpkin, so I bet they will too. This house gets a little pumpkin crazy around August until Christmas. Pumpkin cake, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin candles, pumpkin candy. Just listing those things make me ready for fall. I missed the entire holiday season last year. I went into the hospital right after Halloween and was bedridden until Jan 21st when the boys came, and then missed Valentines and Easter doing the whole newborn thing. I hope we'll do something fun for fourth of July. I want to make everyday special for the boys, but I really want to be one of those moms who makes every holiday extra fun. I can't wait to celebrate everything with them and make our own family traditions.

But for now, it's summer, and I intend to soak up enough summer fun to last us until next year. We went to the beach a second time on Monday. We were all sandy and exhausted when we got home, but it was fun. Max isn't too fond of the water. Alexander can't get enough of it. I have a feeling next year I will be pulled in two different directions, with Xander saying "Lets swim, lets swim!" and Max yelling "NOOOOOOO" at the top of his lungs. At least this year we can just snuggle on the beach blanket under the shade and enjoys the sights, sounds and smells of the beach. There is no better smell in the world than baby head, covered in sunscreen and smelling like beach. Mmmmmmm.

DJ bought a little kiddy pool for the back porch. We haven't had a chance to get in yet, but I know when we do the boys will have a blast. They love bath time, so a pool with mommy outside will be the bee's knees to them. I bought them some baby floats for the big pool. Hopefully we'll make it to one soon. My mom and sister are supposed to take us swimming soon.

Hard to believe it, but Aunt Allyson is turning 13 on Friday! She is one of the boys very favorite people in the whole world. last year I threw her a slumber party at my house. The next day I remember crying my eyes out that I were never get pregnant, a week later I found out I was pregnant with you sweet boys! What a different year this turned out to be. Maybe Aunt Allyson will throw you a party when you turn 13!

As it stands, we need to make some cupcakes for her. You two enjoy sitting in your highchairs and helping mommy cook, so lets get to it little boys!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

19 weeks old.

And this week mommy is just plain exhausted. Emotionally and physically. I went back to work this week and even though it was only a few hours it broke my heart. This week I'm off but the following week I will start my regular schedule and leaving you with babysitters. The thought totally breaks my heart.

You are growing so much. Sweet potatoes are still your favorite food. You've just started to really love books. I always hoped you would, I started reading to you in NICU. I would bring books and take one of you at a time into the breastfeeding room and just snuggle you and read. You didn't care for the books of course, but since I've read to you every night since then and at playtime too you've gotten plenty of exposure. So now you both look at the pages and smile and love when I turn the pages. It is fun to watch you discover things.

Hands are your favorite toys this week. All week you've both been chewing away. If you can get a hold of each others hands you will chew on them too. Alexander, you tried to eat Max's head this afternoon.

We finally have a good schedule, but I'll post it another day.

On friday, which was the day you turned 19 weeks we took you to the beach for the first time. Pictures and video in a future post.

<3 Mommy

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Food!

So since we've started food things have been interesting around here.

So far they have tried
Homemade
avocados
bananas
Store bought 
rice cereal
bananas

And also store bought bananas with cereal and homemade bananas with cereal.

Xander was into avocados. The both seem to really enjoy my homemade bananas, both alone and with cereal. They did not like the store bought bananas with or without cereal.

I have made and frozen the following puress
plums
figs
blueberries
avocados
bananas
apples
turkey

I still need to make and freeze
zuchini
squash
butternut squash
more apples
pears
apricots
chicken
more avocados
sweet potatoes

I also made
fresh blueberry juice
and prune juice.

I think we are going to be stocked up on things for a while! I changed my commenting format. Hope it makes it easier? If not I will change things back.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I have eaters!!! 18 week update

I know, I know they're only four months old. But for the past couple of weeks I have felt that they were ready. And I was right. They tried avocados on Monday and did great! We did avocados for a few days and tonight they tried bananas. Xander likes the avocados better I think. Max loves the bananas. Like he "screams if you don't give him the spoon quick enough" loves them. Today we are going to try rice cereal. Finally learned how to make them take naps in their own rooms. A) keep them up for hours, maybe take them somewhere and offer lots of stimulation. B) after they are very very worn out feed them. C) swaddle them D) close the windows and turn off lights in the nursery D) enjoy them napping longer than 15 minutes. Our naptime is now from 1:30 ish- 4:40 ish. Yay!

The boys had their four month appointment yesterday. The were about in the 5-10th percentile for everything (except weight, max was 10-25th) Max weighed 12.13 and Xander weighed 12.5. My little guys is catching up with the chubby boy. They still fit in some newborn clothes believe it or not.  They got shots :-( But today they seem no worse for the wear.

Xander

Smiling Xander

Xander, Friend Noah, and MAx

watching a little tv

Max

Xander

Max

Xander

sweet boys

Xander trying tummy time

Max trying tummy time

Max

Xander

smiley Max
It has been a busy week, full of park playdates, new experiences, and new places. I think we are all worn out.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Twin must haves: 2-4 month list

I believe it is time for another "must-have" list of items that I wouldn't want to be without.

First would for sure be swaddling blankets. I know I know, we still swaddle them? YES! If we didn't they would stay up allll night, as it is they sleep 8-10 hours straight. I'll swaddle them as long as they need it. I do give them a chance ever week or two without it to see how they do, and their verdict is always keep swaddling. Because regular receiving blankets dont work for us anymore, we wrap them in  large stretchy blankets, made from some jersey bedsheets fomr our king size bed. Then, they get wrapped in some home-made miracle blankets, made from the same sheets. And after that I just roll them up in one more stretchy blanket that we have been using since they were born. The three layers keep their little arms in, and keep them warm.


Next is Colic Calm. You can buy this product form Amazon, but I also found it at my local CVS. The boys have tummy issues and this stuff fixes them right up, no mater what the tummy trouble. It's all natural and homeopathic. However, it does have vegetable charcoal in it, which can stain clothes and makes their bowel movements really dark.


We still love everything from our last list. Except the breast pump (because we had to switch to formula) Formula is not as much work as exclusively pumping, but it is time consuming. Our favorite formula items are a 2 gallon pitcher and an immersion blender. That way I can mix the formula all in one big batch. Much much better than shaking individual bottles until your arms almost fall off!


Our new favorite bottles are the DR. Browns bottles. Max won't eat from anything else. Xander isn't as picky, so we still use our Avent and playtex dropins. Dr Browns bottles do not travel well. I love the playtex dropins for travel. I just fill a bottle with warm-hot water and then when it is time for them to eat pour in a premeasured amount of formula from our formula dispenser.

Carseats have become my best friends. I used to feed the boys on a boppy, but they don't fit in it together anymore. So I set them in their carseats, which still have infant head rests in them, and *wal-lah* a perfect posture for feeding. I just set them next to each other and feed.  That's not the only reason I love their carseats. The bases make putting them in the van super simple, and fit great with our tandem stroller.

The boys really enjoy playtime, and these mats from Sams are wonderful. We have 16 squares for now, but plan to buy another 16 when the boys get mobile.


The boys bouncers are Fisher Price infant to Toddler rockers. We move them all over the house so the boys can be with us. They love the vibrating feature and also the toy attachments. I also hung links on the toy bar, which the boys like to grab and put in their mouths.

The bonnets I made are perfect for keeping sun out of their little eyes. You can purchase them here. 


The last thing on the list is their room. They LOVE their room, and I think it's pretty awesome too. The pictures are fun to look at. The curtains block out light, and they are very fond of the rocketship pattern. The lava lamp and ipod (stocked with 11 hours of waves and rain sounds) make the perfect soothers. The Motoral  video monitor that is above where the picture was taken from gives us a visual of what's going on. The breathable bumpers and toy bars on the rails of the cribs are also nice features. Since we have so little space, under the cribs are a great place to store boppys and blankets. And our little bookshelf houses a great library of children's books that we enjoy reading together.

So there it is, our list of must haves for months 2-4. What do you HAVE to have for your little one?

17 weeks,!!!!!!!! 4months!!!!!

So Friday was the babies 16 week old anniversary and today they are 4 months old. 4 months. I have 4 month old twins. Life is crazy. And totally wonderful. They are getting too yummy for words, smiling and laughing and talking. They freaking love me. I never knew it was possible to be so loved. It's wonderfully intoxicating. They track my every move and refuse to take naps if I'm anywhere in sight. They just want to hang out and play. Their second favorite person is now definitely daddy. They give him big grins and just talk at him. And they have finally starting interacting with each other more socially. (They have always been very physically oriented to each other, needing to be touching if they are close enough.) But this week they started getting so jealous of each other getting mommy time. And on Wednesday we had them sitting up looking at each other and they actually started to babble back and forth and laugh at each other :-) They are more interested in toys now. They totally love their little chain link things, and this little light up musical radio piano thing. They like to chew on things and grab toys. The best is when they put toys in their mouths. They now hate the car. Especially at stop lights. Driving with them screaming at the top of their lungs is pretty maddening. They tried water for the first time today. Not all that thrilled, but they didn't hate it either. Seemed to help their tummies. I also bought some sippee cup trainers for them. The kind that you can put a bottle nipple on, but has handles and can transition to the more spout like nipple things. I think I'll just let them play with them for a few weeks to get them interested before we  start trying to practice actually drinking from them. And I finally bought the rest of the materials for my beach buggy. It is going to be a lot like a deluxe radio flyer wagon, only with all terrain tires and a way sturdier canopy that detaches to become a beach shade. And the canopy will be water proof. I'm happy with how it's turning out so far. Can't wait to get my babies to the beach. I have a feeling we will be spending a lot of time there this summer :-) I've got to get them used to going out more, they have been HORRIBLE the last three times we've driven anywhere. They try to stay awake to see everything and then get overtired, plus there's the whole hating the car issue. If it's even possible their sleep has gotten better at night. They go to bed around ten. Today I made DJ wake them up at 9:30 am. Hoping we skip that whole "4 month wakeful period" thing. Although, I think I might have it. At night after everyone goes to bed I stay up for hours, and admittedly it is a struggle for me not to go and wake them up to play with them or just hold them. I LOVE spending time with them and there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. I'm sure it will be even worse when I go back to work. Which I am doing, in only a few weeks. Miss my big boys, but I think I'll miss my sweet little boys even more. Only three mornings per week though, so hopefully the separation won't be too bad. Still plenty of time to enjoy the summer with them. It's almost 3, which means it getting close to this mommy's bed time. So I'll close with my goodnight words to the boys (admittedly from SKIPPYJOHN Jones- one of the cutest books ever) "I'll wrap you, and roll you and bundle you tight, and check you for cooties and kiss you goodnight" :-) Goodnight!

Friday, May 13, 2011

16 weeks old!

Xander helping Mom on the computer

The boys looking out the window while I sew

sweet boys modeling mama-made onesies

Xander peeking from beneath his dino bonnet at his cousin

four generations. Me with Max, my grandma, and my mom with Xander
It's been too long since I've posted, but boy has our life been busy!!! I am finally feeling much less depressed so I have been doing the evenings without help much of the time. That leave 3 feeds, two playtimes, bathtime and bedtime to do by myself every night. Most of the time if we stick to our routine everything goes great. They will take a short cat nap or two in between their 3 feeds so I can get things done, like dishes and cleaning up a little. I've even been able to put them in thier bouncies and sew or cook while doing a ridiculous one woman silly singing and making faces show. It's exhausting and they love it. I still just give them baths out of a basin with a wet washcloth 3-4 nights per week and I used to wait until I had help to do tub baths. However, I figured out how to bathe them both in the tub at the same time and it works out quite well for us. I roll up towels like the little head supports in infant carseat and put them at the end of the tub. Then I fill the tub with a few inches of water and bubbles and put them in with their heads on top of their towel pillows. this keeps their ears out of the water and also doesnt allow them to turn their heads to drink the bathwater (something they'd love to do if I would let them) I bath them with a baby soap bar and shampoo and splash them and talk to them, and they eat it up, grinning and talking right back. Until I let the water out of the tub..... I cover them with wet rags so they wont get too cold, but obviously I have to let the water out before I get anyone out. I cant leave a three month old unattended in a tub of water. And then the yelling starts. They HATE getiting out. Pretty sure it's because they don't like being cold. Then it's a mad dash for lotion and jammies and a night bottle, which they SUCK down so fast. And then I read to them, pray with them, swaddle them and put them in bed. They have a lava lamp night light and my ipod set to 11 hours of rain and ocean waves. I tell them goodnight and shut the door. Usually Max stares at the ceiling fan and Xander talks to the curtains for 5 or so minutes before falling asleep (between 10 and 11) and we don't hear from them again (unless Max escapes his swaddle and wakes himself) until 7 or 8 in the morning. They LOVE their room and are so good to go down at night. Very proud of them. Xander is starting to get tow little teeth, which makes him pretty fussy and they are both trying to hold their bottles by themselves (they usually just pull it out of their mouths though) They've just started to really enjoy of few toys. They like to hold onto linkies and watch rattles and little animal chime. They will track the rattles and chimes if I move them. Xander like to chew on the linkies if he can figure out how to get them in his mouth. Poor Max loves to scratch his head. He has bad cradle cap despite my doing everything I can think of. Sometimes when I go check on him, he's unswaddled himself and is scratching at his head. No matter how often I cut his nails he always make himself bleed. And he shakes his arms until those little mittens fly off. Any ideas to discourage this? He only hurts himself at night, like I said when he unswaddles himself. They are beginning to strongly dislike their carseats and if we aren't taking a fast walk, or driving without stopping at stop lights, they will scream about being in them. Quite nervewracking at rush hour. Cloth diapers are still going fine. No diaper rash, but rinsing out poopies is getting old for me. At least they only poop once per day. They eat 5x per day, about 5-6 ounces each time. DJ is going back to school next week, so that will leave me home alone with the boys all day monday-thursday and 12 hours on Saturday and Sunday. I'll miss him but it will be so nice to have him done with school in December. I am returning to work in June. My mom will watch the boys one day, his mom one day and DJ one day. I'm only working 15 hours per week, but it seems like more to me. I am going to miss them so much. Which is why I've decided to do this weekend alone without help. DJ works from 3pm on Friday-11pm on Sunday and so I am a single parent this weekend. So far so good. I love having the boys to myself. I'm trying to enjoiy every moment of "Max, Xander, and Mommy time" I can before I have to return to work. That's our life right now. Sorry for the ridiculously long update. There will be a post VERY soon about a new blog and a link to my etsy site. I will even be hosting a giveaway, so keep reading.