Tuesday, April 30, 2013

First Month Favorites - For Twins!

I started this blog post a while ago, but never got around to finishing it. I can only imagine why! ;)

I loved seeing the "First Month Favorites" on other blogs. This list isn't twin-specific, but these are all items that I found very helpful in the first month.

1. Boppy - We have two, one for each baby. When I occasionally bottle feed the babies to give them their vitamins or whatnot, I put one in each boppy and can hold a bottle for each of them at the same time. While it would be ideal to hold and feed one baby at a time, it's just not doable with another little one in the house. He needs my time too, so the Boppies have been a huge help with feeding time. I also use them occasionally for tummy time and the girls seem to like it.

2.Boppy Lounger - I loved this with Braysen and I still love it with the girls. When I first brought them home, they fit together on it perfectly. Now that they're getting a little bigger and more squirmy I don't use it as much for both of them, but it was perfect in those first few weeks. I still use it, but with just one baby at a time.

3. Baby Connect App - Hands down, the best iPhone baby tracker app I was able to find, especially for multiples. It allows you to track feedings (how much and how long), pumping (how much and how long), diaper changes, growth information, and so much more. It allows you to color code for each baby and you can track their info together or independently. It definitely has helped with keeping up with feedings. Coming home from the NICU, if the babies did not wake up on their own, I was supposed to wake them to eat every 3 hours, and this app allowed me to set an alarm to remind me. It also helped in the early days when I needed to really track input vs. output for my itty bitties and making sure they had enough wet/soiled diapers each day. I also had a friend who used it for her singleton baby and she loved it as well. Another great thing about it is that it can be synced with your iPad or other iPhones so if there is more than one caretaker they all can input information into the tracker

4. Mamaroo - Braysen hated his swing when he was a baby. I was certain at least one of these babies would fall in love with the Mamaroo. As it turns out, they both have. Brynlee was a little more hesitant at first, but now she loves it.  It has been like an extra set of hands for me when I'm trying to cook and have a fussy baby (or 2). It doesn't have the traditional swinging movement, it bounces and sways, much like mommies do when they try to calm down a fussy baby. Now if they only made one big enough to put Braysen in for when he is grumpy and wants to be held. ;)

5. Oxi Clean - I should have bought stock in this company! Braysen rarely had leaky diapers, I think maybe one or two total. These girls were having blowouts at least once or twice a day each, no matter how often I changed them. I just sprayed this on the stains as soon as they happened, let it sit for a minutes, then rubbed the fabric on itself, throw it into the wash, and the stains came right out! I have since changed the brand of diapers we use on them and the leakage has stopped.

6. Carseat Canopy - This has become very useful when I take the girls out in public. Having twins is like your own personal freak show. Any time I take them out and about I am stopped multiple times. A one hour trip to Target turns into a three hour ordeal. Every person that stops me either wants to see them or wants to tell me about every set of twins they have ever known. It's hilarious. Anyway, I put these canopies on the girls' carseats to keep them covered in public and to keep people's hands off my babes! The best part is that they often offer huge discounts if you join their mailing list. You can get the canopy almost for free, but they charge a bit to ship, which is where they get ya. I got both of these for about $40 once I paid to have them embroidered and for shipping.

7. Munchkin Microwave Sterilizer Bags - I cannot believe that I ever boiled things to sterilize them with Braysen. These bags get popped in the microwave and sterilize bottle and pump parts in about a minute and a half! The best part is that each bag can be used as many as 20 times, and there are check boxes on the side of the bag to mark off how many times it's been used. Genius.

8. Swaddle Designs Swaddlers - With Braysen I used Swaddle Me swaddles, but they have been way too big for the girls. I received these swaddles as a shower gift and they are amazing. I don't own any of the Aden + Anais swaddles, but I think they are very similar. They are lightweight enough that I don't worry about putting the babies to bed swaddled when it is 80 degrees in my house. Yes, it's April and it's already that warm. They are also pretty large and fairly thin, so it is easy to get a pretty tight swaddle with them. Berlyn stays swaddled nicely but my little Houdini Brynlee somehow always finds a way to break an arm or two free.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Braysen's 3rd Birthday

Because I was so pregnant this year, the plans for Braysen's birthday were nothing like those for his 1st and 2nd birthday. If you can remember, I really wanted to make it as far past his birthday as possible before the babies were born. I didn't want Braysen to have to share his birthday. I was heartbroken for him when my water broke 2 days before his birthday.

The night before my water broke we talked about what kind of cupcakes he wanted me to make him for his birthday and I stayed up that night to make his robot cupcake toppers. I'm so glad I did! My mom ended up making the cupcakes for him, even though he protested because he remembered me saying that I would make them.

Braysen stayed at my parents' while I was at the hospital, so my mom did some decorating to make his day special. I was so happy when my doctor told me she could discharge me if I wanted, that meant I could spend some time with him on his birthday.


A Farrell's had just opened not too far from us, so that's where we took him. He loved it!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Due Date!

Today was the girls original due date! It's crazy to think that they are almost 6 weeks old. If I was teaching this year, I'd be gearing up to go back to work next week. I can't even imagine!

 Some days I feel like I'm finally getting the hang of this. I've been hesitant to say that because I know as soon as I do that will change. Last week I had my first days alone with all 3 kids. My mom didn't have to go back to work until this week, but I didn't let her hang out around here too much It was her last week of spring break and I'm sure she wanted to relax for some of her break, rather than being at my house. Tony worked the night shift for a few of those nights, so I got the chance to do days on my own, and also the dreaded nights with dinner, baths, and bedtime routines. Scary, I know!

Last week I had a few bad days. I've using the Baby Wise method for the girls. I'll do a post later on that.  With this method, they should be feeding about every 3 hours, having a little bit of awake time, then they get swaddled and laid down to fall asleep on their own. The little ladies were wanting to feed every 2 hours around the clock. They take forever to eat and have to be woken several times each feeding, so after feeding, burping, and changing both babies, and a few minutes of awake time, they were getting hungry again before they even napped. Then they would fall asleep in the middle of the next feeding and not finish, just to be hungry again in less than another. It was awful and I'm pretty sure Braysen hated me.

My sweet Instagram friend (and fellow twin mama and blogger mama) Amber suggested her feeding method, which was to pump and then feed the babies expressed milk in a bottle. she said that it helped her to know exactly how much milk her babes were getting. I feel like we were in a good groove with our tandem feelings and didn't want to risk messing it up with lots of bottle feeds, because if I changed my mind it may been too difficult to go back. What I ended up doing is topping the girls off with an ounce or two of expressed milk in a bottle and they seem satisfied.

The Baby Wise schedule has been working fabulously for us. The girls are waking at 3 hours for almost every feeding and have gone for a few 4 hour stretches at night. Sometimes they need a pacifier to go to sleep, but they are able to put themselves to sleep without it for most naps.

Enough talking, onto some pictures! If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably already seen most of these.
Brynlee trying to suck on Berlyn's hand :)

We were getting ready in my bathroom one day and Braysen was playing in the closet. He came out wearing one of Tony's hats and told me he was ready.


Some days the only way I can find time to get ready is to fill the tub up with tons of bubbles.


My first trip out of the house alone with all 3 kids. Where else would we go but Target! I'm pretty sure Target was Braysen's first shopping experience as a newborn as well. They should feel at home there in no time, as I'm usually there at least twice a week!

The Target trip was Braysen's first store experience not sitting in a shopping cart. He was so good that I let him choose an item from the bakery before we left.  Bribery at it's finest.

And this is the picture I will leave you with. After telling him at least 15-20 times each day and implementing multiple time outs, Braysen finally figured out why he is not allowed to play in the swiveling/rolling computer chair. :(

Monday, April 15, 2013

Catching Up

I have a little catching up to do. Bringing the girls home threw a little wrench into keeping the blog updated, but there are some very important things that happened just before and just after their birth, so I want to make sure I document them.

The first is Braysen learning to ride his bike without training wheels! This video was shot 4 days before his birthday. I never would have imagined that he'd be on two wheels before turning three!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

1 month

The girls were a month old yesterday. But yesterday was a rough one, so we are a day late with our one month pictures.

Both girlies are still very sleepy and spend almost the entire day sleeping. We have very little awake time. Most of it is spent eating. I couldn't believe that they were both awake for these pictures!

I'm currently nursing both girls (tandem feeding). I was also pumping after each feeding and in between some feedings to try to boost my supply, but the girls have decided that they want to feed every two hours these last few days. After feeding my slow eaters, burping, and changing, it takes about an hour. That gives me just one hour before they are ready to eat again, so pumping is out of the question. I have had a few Instagram friends that are also nursing twin mamas give me some different ideas with the way they do things, so I'm going to give those things a shot and see if I can find a solution that works for us. Any suggestions are definitely welcome!

The girls are complete opposites in many ways, like a little yin and yang. They compliment each other perfectly. Both have graduated from preemie clothes into newborn, but it's simply because the preemie clothes are too short. They are skinny minnies and have a hard time keeping newborn pants up, but the preemie pants, onesies, and sleepers are just too short for them. They are still wearing preemie diapers, and many times I have a hard time keeping those from sliding off their itty bitty booties.

The stats:
6 lbs 2 oz (5 lbs at birth)
19 inches (18 inches at birth)

6 lbs 4 oz (4 lbs 15 oz at birth)
19 inches (18 inches at birth)


Being swaddled to sleep
Her paci

Being bothered (for diaper changes, getting dressed, etc)

Brynlee has been nicknamed as "The Diva". This girl knows exactly what she wants and does not hesitate to let you know when she is unhappy. Her cries do not start out as whimpers, but as full-scale screams. It's hilarious.



Snuggling, especially if it's with her sister

I can't think of anything that this child protests against, for now.

Berlyn is my little mellow yellow. She is so easy-going and laid back. Her sister could be screaming up a storm while laying next to her, and Berlyn will sleep right through it, peeking one eye open every once in a while.

Brynlee? Diva? Yep, there's the look that we see on her face for a majority of the day.

HEYYYY sister!

In this picture I feel like you can really tell from their profile how much they look alike. Berlyn has a little bit more chunk than Brynlee, but it makes a huge difference in the way they look. From the side they look a lot alike to me.