Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Jude & Sloane | 3 Months

January 30, 2013

I may have breathed into a brown paper bag when I woke up and remembered our babies are 3-months old today.  I spend my days staring at their sweet faces, trying so hard to find what has changed from the day before.   Something always has.

So pardon me if I cry while writing this post.  I know you won't know if I do or not but I will and I find it 50% embarrassing and 50% wonderful.  We are so lucky.

Eating hasn't changed much in the past month.  When given bottles, Jude takes 5 oz and Sloane takes between 4.5 and 5 oz.  We try to give them their last bottle around 8:30 pm (Jude takes 6 or 6.5 oz and Sloane takes 5.5 oz) and then put them to bed for the night.  What has changed is breastfeeding.  They are both so big that they're getting a little large for the nursing pillow.  I also discovered how much I enjoy breastfeeding one at a time.  They both seem to do better solo as well.  When I'm feeding them at the same time I can't help but think it's a competition because they both end up choking.  I have NO IDEA where their competitive nature comes from.  Ahem.

The other night we weighed the babies the fancy way: step on scale with baby, step on scale without baby, subtract.  Sloane weighed 13 lbs and Jude weighed 15.5 lbs.  They've both doubled their birth weights, which is thrilling for us!  Unfortunately, we had to take Sloane to the ER the next day (more about that below, it was not a big deal) and they weighed her again, more accurately this time: 13 lbs 9 oz! 

I've added this category because it is one of the biggest changes I've seen this month.  They love to play!  When we put them on the playmat they actually grab the little animals and smile.  They both found their hands this month and spend a lot of time with them in their mouths.  Jude strikes what I call a "cheerleader pose" with both hands out in front of him in a V formation.  If only one hand is up, it's always the left.  Something else I've noticed is how much more time they spend awake during the day!  I try to stick to the eat/play/sleep routine and it seems to be working really well.  They let me know when they're ready for bed by getting fussy.  I try to put them in their cribs for naps.  This works 90% of the time for Sloane and 50% of the time for Jude.  He loves taking naps in the MamaRoo and will sleep through anything so I don't worry about him being out in the open.  Sloane, poor girl, wakes up if you breathe too loudly... unless it is her brother screaming 2 inches from her face, then she sleeps just fine.  :)

Sleep has been fantastic the last week or so.  Before that it was hit or miss.  Moving them to their nursery turned out to be more difficult than we imagined.  They were sleeping beautifully in our room but the second we put them in their cribs they started waking up around 2 am ready to eat.  We spent the first week of month 3 sleeping in the guest bedroom next to the nursery but we've been in our room (downstairs) for the last three weeks.  They typically wake around 6 am to eat and then go back to sleep until 9 am.  Once they're awake at 9 am, they take one more nap in the morning and then three naps in the afternoon/evening.

At least once during the day one is awake while the other sleeps.  I LOVE this because I get to spend one-on-one time with each of them.  I was having a pretty severe case of mom guilt each evening because there was always one who didn't receive "enough" attention that day.  It will always stay with me but having this alone time with each of them has caused it to decrease dramatically.

We traveled to Fort Smith again, this time for my friend Brandi's funeral.  Both she and her husband amazed everyone with their grace and faith throughout the last 18 months.  Heaven received one of its finest angels that day.

Dear Jude,
Darling boy.  You have gotten so strong this month!  On top of weighing more than the family cat, you're able to use your arms to hold your head, neck, and shoulders up for quite sometime, all with a huge grin on your face!  You love sucking on your hands (and occasionally thumb--sorry daddy) and love snuggling into our shoulders after you've finished eating.  While you love to be held, you also enjoy spending time on the playmat, quilt, and playing with Mr. Inchworm.  We put you in the bumbo a few times and you seemed quite content!  I also play a game with you when you're on my lap and it led to your first laugh!  You don't laugh often right now but when you do it comes from the bottom of your precious belly.

Buddy, you're a TALKER!  I'd pegged you to be our introvert but you babble more than your mom! It makes me happy, I'm glad to know you got something from me! :)  While I know you aren't really saying words, you do an awfully good "Hi!" impression.  Stops me in my tracks every time.  You wear size 2 diapers and mostly 3-6 month clothing.  Your hair (what is left of it) is getting lighter by the day and your eyes are a bright blue.  When you sleep your arms and legs are completely sprawled out, using every possible inch of your crib!  We're going to buy some breathable bumpers because you've started moving and we've woken up several mornings to your little feet stuck between the bars. It doesn't bother you but it sure bothers me!

While you love attention you don't mind alone time as well.  We've put you to bed multiple times, only to check on you 15 minutes later and see our wide-eyed boy looking around with a smile on his face.  It takes everything in my power not to scoop you up and hold you but I know if I'm patient you'll eventually drift to sleep.

One of the sweetest moments from this past month was you recognizing your sister.  While most assume twins are friends from day 1, they typically don't truly notice one another until four months.  If we put you two next to each other you are constantly holding hands or touching but never look in the other's direction.  On January 20, my mom and I were playing with you two on your quilt and we noticed you were looking right at Sloane, smiling, and talking to her.  I grabbed my phone and took several videos.  Poor baby, she gave you the cold shoulder but it won't be long before you're both chatting away. 

You have my heart, Jude.  I hope we'll always share this special bond and I pray it's always this easy to make you smile.

Dear Sloane,
You have blown me away this month!  Where is the little girl who couldn't be awake without her pacifier?  You are now so content!  You love to look at everything around you, especially people.  And your gaze is so sweet and piercing that those who make eye contact with you can't bare to look away.  You love to sit in our laps but the real fun is watching your legs and arms when you're lying on the quilt.  I have never seen a baby move quite like you!  You really enjoy being held high with your cheek touching mine.  I couldn't love anything more so I happily oblige. 

While your brother is a talker, you are (for the most part) very quiet.  I know you're taking in everything around you but I do enjoy the few babbles you make each day.  I hope this means you have a tender heart and will be a great listener.  The world could use more people like your daddy. 

You are smiling so much these days!  And when you do, it is adorable.  It's a very shy smile: your eyes crinkle, your mouth opens in a huge grin, and then you immediately turn your head to the side to avoid eye contact.  Pictures are virtually impossible because they're always blurry from your quick turn!

You are still wearing 0-3 month clothes but also fit into 3-6 months as well.  We're finishing up the size 1 diapers and then will bump you to size 2.  You don't particularly enjoy tummy time but can lift your head, neck, and shoulders up for a brief time before you decide it's ok to just rest on your belly.  You really enjoyed being in the bumbo so we will probably take advantage of that more in the future!

We had a bit of a scare this week.  You were running a slight temp (100.4) so we took you to your pediatrician who ran a flu test on you.  Since it came back negative and you were under 3 months she sent you to the ER so they could run more tests.  Mimi came over to watch Jude and we took you to Children's Hospital.  You were still smiling so we knew it couldn't be anything terrible.  The ER doc spent exactly 3 minutes looking at you and told us to go home.  Your temp went down and your demeanor went back to the Sloane we know.  We were so relieved!

I just adore you, Sloaney.  You have so many tricks up your sleeve and we all wait in anticipation to see what you'll do next.  Whatever it is, sweet girl, we know it will be magical.

I love you (two) more than I have ever found a way to say to you... (Ben Folds)

 (New tradition: Actually be IN a picture with the twins on their monthly birthdays!)

Life with twins...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What to Buy: Mom Edition

As promised, here are some of my favorite mom must-haves.  A lot of these aren't truly necessary and some could even be considered slightly extravagant.  However, they've been wonderful to me so I felt they were worth sharing.
Undercover Mama Shirt
My friend Leslie told me about these tanks and they are WONDERFUL.  Rather than recreate the wheel, CLICK HERE and read what she has to say about them.  I purchased a black tank and a white tank and wear them all of the time!

Gilligan & O'Malley Women's Nursing Cami
I also purchased a few of these tanks from Target and love them as well.  They're great for layering--I wear mine with cardigans (when I leave the house) and I don't think people can tell they're nursing tops.  I purchased both the grey and the black. 

Medela Pump in Style
Can't say enough great things about this pump.  We also use the bottles that come with it.  I'm not spending a lot of time on this because I'm pretty sure every mom already knows about this guy.
Sidenote: There is no such thing as pumping in style.  What a ridiculous name.
Tip: Don't spend the extra money on the hands-free version.  There are hands-free bras you can purchase or you can do what some of my genius friends did and cut holes in a sports bra.   

Tree Hut Almond & Honey Shea Sugar Body Scrub
A relaxing shower has become an endangered species around these parts.  During the week my showers are insanely fast.  While this is no big deal for some, I am one of those people who LOVES showers.  Michael knows this and encourages me to take my time on the weekends.  Don't mind if I do.  A few weeks ago I stepped into the shower on a lovely Saturday morning and found this jewel.  It's incredible (so is the sweet guy who gave it to me).  Smells great and is gentle enough for those with sensitive skin.
Warning: You must love almonds because the smell is quite strong.  Me?  I can't get enough of it.
Tip: If you're pregnant, start washing your hair every other day.  Once your hair has gotten used to that, go another day without washing.  I now wash my hair twice a week and it's been a huge time-saver.

Baby 411
I started three different baby-related books during my pregnancy and didn't finish any of them.  I found them to not only be overwhelming, but also irrelevant to my situation since I was having twins.  Several friends mentioned this book and I ordered it a week or so before the babies arrived.  I read some of it while I was in the hospital and the rest of it once I got home.  It's a great reference guide, very matter-of-fact and to the point.  When you don't have a lot of time but want to make sure green poop does not mean something is wrong with your baby, this is a great book.
Warning: The book shape/size is ridiculous.  Apparently they spent all of their talent on the writing/research and none of it on the overall packaging.  Oh well.

Amazon Mom
We've been Amazon Prime members for several years.  Amazon Mom is a free membership program that gives you great deals on diapers, wipes, etc.  We did several price comparisons (Babies R Us, Target, and this seems to be the best deal.  We have several items auto-delivered to our doorstep once a month.  Pretty fantastic and I love that we don't have to lug around those huge boxes while we're out shopping!

Starbucks Gift Card
Do I even need to explain?  This was a Christmas gift from my parents.  As of last week Michael and I became a single income family so the Starbucks line item was removed from our budget.  Sometimes, however, you just need to get out of the house, even if it only means going through a Starbucks drive-through so you can get a tall white chocolate mocha and remember what delicious tastes like.  It's been the gift that keeps on giving.  Until it runs out.  And then I will cry.
Tip: Register your gift card and download the Starbucks app.  You get a free drink on your birthday and free drink/food for every 12 drinks purchased.  Hey, every little bit helps! 
Lululemon Astro Pant
Ok, I realize approximately 60 seconds ago I was writing about a strict budget and now I'm talking about one of the most expensive brands out there.  However, these pants were a gift from Michael (in case you haven't noticed, he's a terrific gift-giver) and they are amazing.  Once you become a stay at home mom, your wardrobe (well at least my wardrobe) starts to look a lot like sweatpants and t-shirts.  I walk into J. Crew and see beautiful sweaters and then picture them with spit-up and they lose their luster.  When I put these pants on, birds sing and I swear my hips shrink a few inches.  I feel the same way about Lululemon jackets.  The cut is perfection and the fabric is so nice.  Will I buy a second pair?  Probably not.  Will I wear the crap out of this pair?  Absolutely.


There you have it--hope this helps!  I would love for others to do the same! :)

ps.  My friend Amber also wrote a baby must-have post and I thought it was great!  CLICK HERE to read it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What to Buy: Baby Edition

It is NAPTIME at the Haynes household!  What a lovely time of day.

As I mentioned in my last post, I wanted to share some baby items I've found helpful in the past 12 weeks.  I'll provide links where available!

By the way, if you're having multiples you really need to join a moms of multiples group in your area!  I have purchased several of the items below from other twin moms for a fraction of the price.  It's also a great way to meet people and get great advice!  I'm a member of the North Dallas Mothers of Twins Club.  Every morning they send out a "classifieds" email where members sell their gently used items.  I stalked it during my pregnancy and will do so again once we need more baby items.  Let me know if I can answer any questions about it!

Baby Jogger City Select Stroller
I've talked with several moms of twins and this seems to be the most popular twin stroller.  While it's not the cheapest, I consider it a very fair price due to its customization ability, weight, and ease.  I've also recommended it to my friends who have one baby but plan to have two (or more).  Right now I'm able to attach the two carseats onto the stroller but when the kids are a little bigger I will use the seats provided.  One of the nice things about this stroller (versus a side-by-side) is if we're only taking one child out we don't have an empty seat (or don't need to purchase a single stroller as well).

My Brest Friend Twins Plus Nursing Pillow
I've discussed this item several times but it is probably the number one necessity for breastfeeding moms (well, besides boobs--HA).  The boppy doesn't even come close.  You can also purchase another version of it that is specifically for breastfeeding one baby and the moms who have it love it as well (especially in the beginning).
Aden & Anais Burpy Bibs
Works as a burp cloth and as a bib.  We have six.  I wish we had 20.

Summer Infant SwaddleMe Blankets
Everyone raved about the Aden & Anais swaddle cloths so we bought several.  Unfortunately, our children busted through them every time and it became a very frustrating ordeal for us.  We received a few SwaddleMe blankets and gave them a shot.  Love them.  LOVE THEM.  They're dummy proof and made the middle of the night feedings a breeze.  We still swaddle Sloaney because of her crazy legs and arms--she's now in a size medium.  The size small was perfect for the first two months.

A twin friend told me about the DropCam after we'd ordered the Summer Infant Baby Touch monitor.  We'd yet to open the box since the twins were still sleeping in our room so we gave the DropCam a shot.  It's worked really well for us.  The picture is very crisp, sound is good, and delay is minimal.  The best part?  It's also an app on your phone, iPad, and/or computer so Michael can sign on while he is at work and watch the kiddos sleep or play.  At night we keep the laptop running in our room.  I do have a friend who purchased it and said it lost connection quite easily but we haven't had that issue.  It's also cheaper than most baby monitors! (There is an option to have DVR service, which would be great for those who have a nanny, etc.)

Here's a screen shot from my phone:

4moms mamaRoo
This has been a lifesaver when we're dealing with a fussy baby.  It's the spaceship version of the baby swing.  :)  We fell in love with it because of its small size (when you're buying two of so many things, you notice how much floor space items take up).  It has several different motions, speeds, and sounds.  You can also plug your phone/iPod into it and play your own music.  Also, this is one of the only (expensive) brands that has yet to be added to the monster list of exceptions on Buy Buy Baby's 20% off coupon.  So while it's a little more expensive than most swings (it retails for $250), you can save $50, making it a pretty close contender.

Total Baby App
This app keeps track of EVERYTHING: nursing, feeding, sleeping, bathtime, etc.  I only use it for feeding--I always forget what time they last fed and which side they fed on.  I believe it was $5 and can keep track of multiple children.

Wubbanub Pacifiers
Michael and I came home from the hospital totally against pacifiers.  That lasted one night.  I was also totally against pacifiers with animals stuck to them.  That lasted two weeks.  These pacifiers have been great for us and the babies.  They are so much easier to find (what is it with pacifiers and their ability to disappear?) and the babies have an easier time holding onto them.  I think they are the most overpriced item we've purchased ($16 EACH!) but I would do it again.  Love them.

Dreft Spray Stain Remover
My sister-in-law recommended this and it is magical.  From spit-up to poop, it gets everything out.  We had one instance this weekend where we actually had to wash the item a few times (didn't get everything out the first time) but it now looks brand new.  And in the spray's defense, the item I'm referring to was absolutely covered in... well, you know.

Rock n Play Sleeper
Sloane slept in this for the first two months and really enjoyed it.  We still put her in it when she's not sleeping well in the nursery.  It is very portable and can be placed right by your bed, making life easier for both of you.  I know there was a recent recall due to mold (ew) but my thoughts are if you take care of your stuff it will never be an issue.  So... take care of your stuff.

Munchkin Arm & Hammer Diaper Bags (for the diaper bag)
Tiny. Affordable. Smells great.

Boudreaux's Butt Paste
We've been very lucky in the diaper rash department.  Jude has had it twice and Sloane has had it once.  We've used this stuff and it's cleared up within the day.  Glory.

Hope this helps! Next up... What to Buy: Mom Edition

Oh and here are a few pictures of my two favorite little people (who aren't so little)!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Life With Twins

Holy cow, I'm actually writing before Jude and Sloane's 3-month post.  Who knew it was possible??

I don't have much time so I'll just start writing and if I stop in the middle of a sentence, please forgive me.  I'll pick it up later.  :)

I'm not sure if Instagram led some of you to my blog or my blog led some of you to Instagram, but there are several new followers (hello!!) and a lot of you are expecting twins or just had them (yahooo)!  I've received a few emails asking for tips and must-haves so I thought I'd share a few on here.  Before I do that, however, I wanted to discuss something else.

From the very beginning, Michael and I have been told we make this whole twin thing look easy. People have commented on Facebook that our babies can sleep anywhere, that they both look perfectly put together, and that Michael and I are "naturals."  While these are all flattering comments, I have to remind everyone that Instagram and Facebook (and this blog) are only a part of our lives--the part I choose to share.  I don't take pictures when the kids are screaming their adorable heads off (though I do take videos and share them with friends--hehe).  I cut myself out of pictures when I'm still wearing pajamas and yesterday's makeup at 5p.  I've also made a point to post pictures of Jude and Sloane in outfits our friends and family give them so that is where people get the (silly) idea that they're always dressed up and fresh-faced.  95% of the time they are in their jammies with spit-up on their shirts and milk in their hair.  And so is their mom.  :)

It's messy.  It's beautiful.  It's life. 

Also, I only know life with twins but I have a difficult time believing it's twice as hard.  A lot of women vent to me about their baby situation and then immediately apologize, but whether it's one baby or four, everyone has extremely difficult moments.  Every single day.  My only frustration is when people complain to me about how many diapers they have to change.  That?  Makes me laugh.  :)

What I want is for new moms and future moms to realize social media can be quite deceptive, even when it's not intended.  Do I ever plan to post pictures of Sloane screaming or Jude with spit-up in his ear?  Probably not.  But does it happen?  Every single day. 

I think I'm on borrowed time so I'm going to end this and save the must-have purchases for a future post.  Hopefully that will occur sometime in January.

And ps. I miss you guys. 


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