Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Baby Favorites

So I took a brief (ahem) hiatus from answering your questions but I'm back!  Today I'm sharing some of my favorite things for the twins.  I did a similar post several months ago, which you can read HERE.  I still stand by all of the items, though they've outgrown most of them. :(  On a similar note, please take a moment to look at the pictures of Jude & Sloane at the end of that post.

Someone give me a hug.

OXO Perfect Pull Wipes Dispenser
One of my biggest pet peeves is when I'm changing a dirty diaper and as I'm reaching for one wipe I get six.  This dispenser does a great job of giving you one wipe at a time and is easy to open by simply pushing the lid.  And it's not an eyesore on the changing table. While it doesn't work 100% of the time, it's pretty consistent.  I've found it works better when you push down the weighted interior plate before grabbing a wipe.
I was so pleased with this product that I purchased the OXO on-the-go wipes dispenser for my diaper bag.  I've been pretty disappointed with it.  It's hard to open and does exactly what I despise--multiple wipes at a time. 

OXO Tot Sprout Chairs
As you can tell, we're very fond of the OXO brand and these high chairs are fabulous.  While primary colors are slowly taking over our house, Michael and I really try to find items that don't scream, "THIS IS FOR A BABY!!"  We thought these chairs blended in nicely with our decor.  They are very easy to clean, small enough to fit almost anywhere, and grow with the kids (they can be used until they're five).  The high chairs are not cheap but I still put them on my must-have list.

BabyGanics Bye Bye Dry Eczema Care Cream
Sloane has always struggled with eczema and we'd heard so many wonderful things about California Baby that we stocked up.  Her condition worsened but I never once considered the shampoo/lotion because it was specifically made for sensitive skin.  After everything else failed, we picked up Babyganics Eczema cream and in less than a week her skin improved dramatically.  Did I mention BabyGanics costs a fraction of the price?  Her skin is not perfect but it is so, so much better. 

(This is a perfect example of how every baby is different.  A friend's daughter struggled with eczema and California Baby cleared it right up.  So while we no longer buy the product, others swear by it!)

Leapfrog My Pal Scout & Violet Dogs
This dog is so much fun.  You connect it to the computer and personalize it with your baby's name, favorite color, food, and animal.  You can also select songs and lullabies (they have several Christmas tunes--you better believe we'll be taking advantage of that in a few months)!  Unfortunately, it only allows one name so if you have twins you have to purchase two.  Or pick your favorite twin, up to you.  :)  The kids recognize their names so when I touch Scout's paw and he says, "Good morning, Jude" or Violet's heart and she says, "I'm feeling sleepy, Sloane," their faces light up.

Inchbug Orbit Labels
My friend gave these to us before the babies were born but since they rarely took bottles I didn't use them much.  Now that they're using sippy cups I absolutely love them.  They're dishwasher safe and are perfect for play dates or when we take them to the church nursery. 

Skip Hop Dunck Ducks
Being a new mom (or perhaps just an idiot), I always thought bath toys served no purpose other than prolonging bath time.  However, without toys we spent the majority of the time trying to keep Jude away from the drain and Sloane from crawling out.  And then I realized bath toys are a distraction for the baby so you can actually clean them.  Lesson learned.  These ducks are relatively new to the Haynes family but we love them.  The twins enjoy playing with the ducks and they also serve as a rinse cup for us.  Ironically, they make bath time shorter for us. 
Earth's Best Organic Whole Grain Oatmeal Cereal
This is Jude & Sloane's first meal of the day and they LOVE it.  I've tried it and it's about two steps away from cardboard but they eat it right up.  It's iron fortified, which is nice since breastfed babies tend to lack iron.  It costs about $2.50 at Target and we go through a box a week.  Once they're no longer breastfeeding we will probably find something that's more reasonably priced, but for now I'm really pleased with this.
There you have it!  Now it's your turn.  Jude & Sloane have a 1st birthday coming up--what must-have items do you recommend?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Jude & Sloane | 10 Months

We have officially hit double digits.  Jude & Sloane are looking less like babies and more like toddlers.  My heart can't decide how it wants to handle so many changes in such a short time.  I take dozens of pictures every day, yet there is always a moment I miss that I so badly wish I'd been able to capture.  Being Jude & Sloane's mom has made me tougher and softer than I ever thought possible.  I'll never be able to adequately explain the paradox, but if you've had children you understand.

I am officially terrified of how much we will spend on groceries by the time these two leave for college.  They can eat.  And eat.  And eat.  I tried to cut back a nursing session but they wouldn't have it.  There are days I only nurse four times but typically it's still five.  We also feed them three solids a day.  Eight meals, folks.  The nursing sessions have gotten shorter and shorter so I'm not sure they can be considered true meals... more like snacks.  They are now experts with puffs and are trying more and more solids (chicken, cheese, pancakes, apples, green beans, etc.).  Jude still has some texture issues (hated yogurt and cottage cheese) but Sloane tries and likes just about everything.  It still cracks me up that my 24-pound baby boy is a picky eater.

They're also much better at drinking water from sippy cups.  We purchased a different brand cup and it made a huge difference.  Jude still prefers when I hold the cup for him (sometimes I feel like I should feed him grapes and wave a palm branch in his direction). 

Not much has changed in this department.  They are still waking up early for their first meal and then going back to sleep until 8a.  They nap at 10a and around 2:30p.  The morning nap lasts anywhere from 1.5-2 hours but the afternoon nap varies dramatically.  We put them down to bed between 7-7:30p each night.

Jude & Sloane play the pacifier game and it is not awesome.  Since we don't have bumpers in the cribs it's fairly easy for their pacifiers to fall out.  Silly me thought it was an accident each time until I was watching the monitor one day and saw them each grab their pacifier, stick their arm out of the crib, and drop the pacifier on the floor.  I didn't realize babies could be so manipulative!  Ha!  They've also started talking to each other before they go to sleep. Sometimes it is simply babbling on their stomachs, while other times they both stand up and meet in the middle.  I want to get mad but it's so sweet.  I love the bond they have with one another!

This past month was the first time I thought, "Having twins is really hard."  Now that they're crawling I've been forced to accept I am outnumbered during the day.  They are both SO curious and want to touch everything in sight, eat everything on the floor, and be everywhere at once.  What makes it even more difficult is they are doing all of this in two different directions.

Michael put their wagon together and we've taken several walks up and down the street.  They both love it!  I'm sure the walks will get a little longer when it cools down a bit.  Until then, we keep it pretty short and sweet.  

Both babies are talking all of the time!  While I still don't think they're using specific words, they both say dada, mama, baba, gaga, and yeah (my personal favorite).  Sloane used to have a quiet, raspy voice.  She now has one volume and it is LOUD.  We find it hilarious.  Strangers probably disagree.

Their favorite room is the upstairs bathroom.  I keep the door closed but when I wash my hands they both crawl as fast as they can to the bathtub.  They know that once I'm done washing my hands I'm going to shut the door again so Sloane whines/cries when I start drying my hands.  It's pretty funny.  Several weeks ago we were all together in the bathroom. I picked up Sloane and placed her outside.  When I turned around to grab Jude, Sloane crawled right back in.  I placed Jude outside of the bathroom, turned around and picked up Sloane.  Then Jude crawled right back in. This went on for several minutes before I carried Sloane 20 feet away from the bathroom and then sprinted back for Jude.  I was finally able to get them both out and shut the door.

So yes, when people say, "You have your hands full," I no longer deny it.  Yes, yes I do.  (And I love it.)

We traveled to Oklahoma and spent the weekend with several of our TU friends at Grand Lake!  We also got to meet precious Gwyneth, who is six months younger than the twins.  She's an absolute doll and her parents are naturals.  Leighton had three live baby dolls to play with and she took her job as "baby mentor" quite seriously.  It was so great to see our friends.  While lake weekends look far different than they did five years ago, they're still an absolute blast.

Jude stood up for the first time at the beginning of the month!  It still fascinates me that one day they can't do something, the next day they can, and a week later it's like they've been doing it for years.  He's now cruising and can stand for several seconds without holding onto anything.  I credit his extra wide feet for providing great balance.  :)

Sloane continues to cruise on walls and around furniture.  She has also gotten quite good at using the walker or walking when we hold her fingers.  She occasionally stands without holding onto anything but never more than a second.  I blame her extra narrow feet.  :)

Something new that is not-so-great is their hatred of diaper changes.  I'm not quite sure why but what used to be an easy process has turned into quite the ordeal.  Jude & Sloane both get upset and squirm when we put them on the changing table.   We try to make it as fast as possible but the squirming slows us down.  Here's hoping this is something they get over quickly.

This past month we removed the baby tub and now bathe Jude & Sloane together in the big tub.  Jude is in love with the drain and does everything he can to get as close as possible to it, even if Sloane is in the way.  Bathtime is crazy and (in my opinion) stressful but we just purchased some bath toys that will hopefully keep them occupied while mom and dad take care of business.

August 3 - "Stood up" on knees
August 7 - Stood up!
August 23 - Started cruising

Dear Jude,
This has been a fun month for you!  Now that you can stand you're able to see everything around you and you love it!  You are still so quick to smile and laugh... and your laugh is the best.  You are completely uninhibited, which is a trait I hope you will carry with you always. 

While you're still a mama's boy, your fondness for your dad grows more and more each day.  You love when he throws you in the air or puts you on his shoulders and walks around the house.

You want to explore more and more, which is hard for me because I'm losing my cuddly baby boy.  You will let me hold you but I can tell you'd rather be on the floor with your sister.  However, when I finally let you go you make sure and come back to me often so I can give you a quick hug.

You're wearing 12-18 month clothes, size 4 diapers, size 3.5 shoes (you don't wear shoes but I had you measured because I was simply curious), and have 8 teeth.  Your dad and I have decided it's about time to cut your hair--it covers your ears and is so long in the back.  It's so light, straight, and soft!  Your eyes are a gorgeous blue and you get complimented on them often.

You are still quite sensitive though it's mostly when you're hungry or tired.  You're content as long as one of us is able to hold you, but unfortunately that is not always possible when I am alone with both of you.

It is obvious you are crazy about your sister and watching you two play together warms my heart.  I knew you guys would have a bond but I didn't realize it would be so apparent this early.  It is incredible.

I love you, precious Jude.  Your gap-toothed grin is the sweetest and your hugs make my day complete.



Dear Sloane,
My busy bee!  You are absolutely fearless and I love this about you.  From the moment you wake up until it's time for bed, you are into everything.  At the same time, you are easy-going and can find something that makes you happy in any situation.

You still adore your dad.  When he comes home from work you give him your biggest grin and your eyes completely disappear (you got that adorable trait from him)!  You love when we nibble your fingers and are a big fan of mom's jewelry.  If it's shiny, you want to touch it!

You're still wearing 6-12 month clothes, though some are getting a wee bit snug!  You're in size 3 diapers, size 3 shoes (you don't wear shoes but I had you measured because I was simply curious), and have 2 teeth.  Your hair is still short on top but it is getting so long in the back.  It's brown and quite thick!  Your eyes are a deep blue and are so striking against your dark hair.

Something that has changed this month, which I absolutely adore--you will sit in my lap while I read to you.  You used to make it through two pages before you were crawling off to the next activity.  Now you sit still and really seem to follow along.  Your tiny fingers will point to the pictures and I try to describe each scene in detail.

You love your big brother and play so nicely.  You both love crawling to the bathroom when the door is open and every time you stop halfway so he can catch up.  When it is naptime you are first to "talk" and I only wish I knew what you two were discussing.

I love you, sweet Sloane.  You amaze me every single day.




Love you both so much!
Love - Mom



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