Twin Adventures

Twin girls now rule the house.

Broken Schedule

Finding the best schedule to accommodate two growing girls can be somewhat difficult. We’ve been on a schedule pretty much since the girls were born. It didn’t make too much sense to Anton and I to be completely baby-led because we knew, inevitably, that would lead to them being on different time-lines. Something we certainly didn’t want. Our schedules have worked out pretty well for us. It does seem like we are constantly doing something baby related, but then… we did have twins right?!

After the first few weeks or the first month, we’ve followed a eat-play-sleep routine. Girls wake up, we feed them, we do tummy time or assorted other activities and then nap time. The only real difference throughout the last seven months has been how frequently their feedings are. We’ve gone from somewhat on demand, to about every two hours, to about every three hours. Every three hours has been the standard for the majority of the time; probably four or five months.

At our six month check-up, when we were discussing our feeding schedule, our doctor referred to what we were doing as “grazing”. Which is “one-hundred percent Ok”. I have complete trust in my doctor; he’s been my doctor since the day I was born and has never steered me wrong. So I want it to be on record that what we did was not because I didn’t believe what he had to say. He mentioned grazing, and I took that as meaning that most other six months old are eating less frequently. I decided to take out one of our feedings. Down to four. It seemed to work okay… for a little while.

To make up for the loss of one feeding, we tried to give them an extra 20-30mls per feeding. It seemed that although we were feeding them fewer times throughout the day, they were actually eating less at each meal. Not ideal, but we wanted to stick with it to see if the girls just needed to adjust their intake. The only good things that came out of our change was the extra spare time Anton and I had between feedings, and the girls were taking naps that were a little longer. It quickly went downhill and we found ourselves with cranky babies that were no longer sleeping through the night. In fact, we had a few of the worst nights we’ve had since we brought the babies home. It had been so long since we’d fed them during the night, it didn’t occur to us that they were waking up because they were hungry.

Well, that turned out to be the problem. We decided on Friday to go back to our original schedule. Anton started up with it again on Saturday. And since then.. it has been so much better. Maretta and Shula have both slept every night since then. Not so much crankiness in the evening and their naps during the day are going fine.

Really need to learn to just do what we do, and not worry so much about what the “norm” is. However, saying that, I have ordered some sleep books. I’m hoping it’ll give me some insight into the different methods and if there are any good tips that we haven’t heard of yet. Sleep itself will have to be a whole other post to itself!

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Entertainment at Work

Between the two of us, Anton and I work seven days a week. I take care of Saturdays and Sundays, and Anton is there the rest of the week. It’s nice being able to job-share. Even though I am home with the girls the majority of the time, I miss them like crazy while I’m running the store. Oh, and I miss Anton too…

But, I love the fact that Anton gets to have two “Daddy Days” every week to enjoy some time with the girls. When one of us is at work, we always stay in contact via texting and MSN messenger. Well, today at work I got a really nice treat.

Caution: It involves Anton acting seriously silly!

Anton says (10:24 AM):

“DADDY! I WANT OUT OF HERE!”

Anton says (10:24 AM):

“I know! I’m getting your brunch ready!”

Anton says (10:25 AM):

“I WANT OUT NOWWW!”

“I’m coming! I’m coming!”

Anton says (10:26 AM):

“DAAADDY!”

Anton says (10:27 AM):

“I DON’T WANT TO BE IN A CRIB EITHER!”

“I know! I know! I have to get your sister!”

“I DON’T CARE! I DON’T WANNA!”

Anton says (10:32 AM):

Diapers changed.

“DAAADYYY! I DON’T – WANT – TO BE – IN – A – CRIB!”

Anton says (10:33 AM):

“I’M HUNNNGRY!”

“I know Maretta. I know. It’ll just be a few minutes. I have to change you sister and the bottles are warming.”

Anton says (10:34 AM):

“But… daaadyyy! Why did you put me here?! I’m hungry… mehhh… i’m hungry… (sniff)”

“Daaadyyy! I’m hungry toooo!”

Anton says (10:35 AM):

“I know Shula. As I just explained to your sister: I have to warm your brunch first.”

“But DAAADYYY! AHHH’MMM HUNGRYYY!”

Anton says (10:36 AM):

/sigh

Then both, “MOMMMYYY!?!?!”

“DADDY WON’T FEED US!”

Anton says (10:37 AM):

“HE STUCK IS THIS CAGE AND WON’T LET US OUT!”

“MOMMMMMYYYYYY!!!”

Anton says (10:39 AM):

Into their chairs for feeding.

“EEEAAAGH! WHY ARE YOU PUTTING ME IN THE CHAIR!?!?! I’M HUNNNNNGRY!”

Anton says (10:40 AM):

“I know Maretta! I know! I just wanna swap the laundry!”

“BUT DAAAADYYYYYYY!”

“I know! I know! I’ll be right back!”

“AAAAAAGH!!!!! MOMMMMMYYYYY!”

Anton says (10:41 AM):

“… oh! Shiny!”

Shula, “Oh! Fluffy blanket to suck on!”

Anton says (10:43 AM):

“Donnn’t suck on the blanket, Shula!”

“It’s the dogs blanket!”

/sigh

Anton says (10:43 AM):

“Who’s hungry?!”

Anton says (10:44 AM):

Maretta: “Meh. I found a shiny thing sticking out of the coffee table.”

“And, I found these straps to pull on.”

“Oh! A blanket! I bet that would be good to suck on!”

“Leave the blanket alone, Shula!”

“I WANT IT!”

Anton says (10:45 AM):

“AHHH! AHHHH WANNNNT IIIIT!”

Anton says (10:46 AM):

“oh, a foot”

Anton says (10:47 AM):

“IIII’M HUNNNNGRY!”

“I know Shula. Your sister is first.”

Anton says (10:48 AM):

“MMMM… MMMM… fingers… AHHHH’M HUNNNGRYYY!”

“Oh strap”

Anton says (10:49 AM):

“AAAAHHHHMMMM GONNA EAT THIS!”

“THEN YOU’LL BE SORRY!”

Anton says (10:50 AM):

“Ahrrrgh… mmmmm… cough cough… I don’t need you! I can feed myself!”

“om nom nom”

Anton says (10:51 AM):

“Haaahhh! I ate ma whole bottle daddy! You weren’t watching! Now *I’ma talk to mommy!”

5qrfdcd2f$#E hnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

Samantha says (10:52 AM):

Hi Maretta!!!

Anton says (10:53 AM):

“hi mommy. Daddy’s a butt!”

No! Maretta’s a butt!

“He’s trying to burp me… but I’m not gonna!”

/giggle. I love him.

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Woah.. Seven Months Already?!

Our little girls just turned seven months old a few days ago. I can’t believe it. Instead of counting up towards their six month mark, we’re suddenly counting down to their one year birthday!

According to the all-knowing Baby Center Canada, here’s a list of the milestones we could be expecting the girls to hit in the next month.

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

  • Sits without support: Yes for both. Just in the last little while have we really started working on it. They can both do it for minutes before falling over to the side. After paying closer attention, I’ve realized that this has less to do with balance issues and more to do with distraction. They see something they want and fall in that direction.
  • Drags objects towards herself: Yes! Anything and everything they can get their little paws on! Maretta was trying to plug in and charge herself up using a cell phone charger. They haven’t gotten into anything they aren’t supposed to yet! 😛 Looks like Mommy and Daddy need to childproof a bit!

Emerging Skills (about half of kids can do)

  • Lunges forward or starts crawling: Shula has started scooching backwards, as well as getting up on her hands and knees. It’s not quite a crawl just yet though, she just stands there rocking in place. Maretta lunges forward and has started lifting her legs into a good crawling position, but her source of getting around is still rolling.
  • Jabbers or combines syllables: Yes. I wish they would take a day off from jabbering. It’s cute and all but.. really guys?! All the time?!
  • Starts to experience stranger anxiety: Haven’t really experienced this, but then again we don’t really leave them with other people yet. This may have happened a few months back, when Meemaw babysat for a night. Although that was probably just Maretta teething!

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)

  • Waves goodbye: No.Well, they do when Anton or I make them.. but not of their own free will!
  • Stands while holding onto something: Yes! We put Maretta in the playpen the other day and put her hands onto the edge then let go. And she stood for a good ten or so seconds! Now we do it all the time. In the playpen, the crib, alongside the couch. Fortunately, she can’t get into the standing position on her own yet.
  • Bangs objects together: Not sure if I’ve ever seen it happen, but watching their motor skills, I wouldn’t be surprised if they could.
  • Begins to understand object permanence: I think they are both catching onto this one. They really seem to understand what’s going on when we leave a room.

Skills that Mommy is Proud Of (a category I made up)

  • Shula and Maretta both have two teeth. Bottom fronts for all. And my intuition says that Shula is going to be popping a top tooth through pretty soon.
  • They have both mastered the art of getting Daddy and Mommy soaked during Bath time.
  • They both make the cutest damn faces I have ever seen.

That last category shows how advanced they really are.

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Expectations and Reality

If I could give one piece of advice to soon-to-be-parents-of-twins, it would be… Don’t set your expectations too high! Anton and I are realistic people and we knew right from when we found out I was pregnant that nothing we decided on was set in stone. I watched my mom go through raising six of her own kids, plus all the “extras” and I knew that kids are unpredictable. Because of this (thank you Mommy!) I knew not to get my hopes set on doing things a certain way. Of course knowing this, I still wanted some things to go my way. These were my kids, and I was gonna do things the way I wanted to! Well, and the way Anton wanted to of course!

Looking back on the last almost-seven months, I know that there have been some things that we said we weren’t going to do and some things we wanted to do, but never did. And there were certainly things we set out to do, and did!

The Things We Weren’t Going To Do…

Co-Sleeping: I’m a heavy sleeper, so I was fairly dead-set against co-sleeping. I know a lot of people do it, but I’ve slept through earthquakes, so I wasn’t about to risk rolling onto a baby and waking up in time to notice. And I certainly wasn’t willing to give up my comfy pillows and duvet to make it safe for them! But we did. For the first couple of weeks after we got home, our precious angels would not sleep anywhere but on mommy’s chest. After a few sleepless nights, we gave in. I felt it was mandatory that I was barricaded by pillows and that I slept semi-upright so I never got too comfortable and it was easier for the babies to stay on chest rather than fall to the sides. Poor Anton, because of all the pillows he had the smallest sliver of bed to sleep on. After awhile the girls got used to sleeping in their play yard beside our bed and eventually, in their own cribs in their own room. However, the co-sleeping did not end there. Since then, when the girls have a bad night we bring them in our bed so we can all get some sleep. They no longer sleep on my chest. They sleep between Anton and I. We haven’t gotten rid of our pillows and blankets. I have yet to roll on top of one of them, and I wake up at the slightest sound.

Feed them Solids before six months: We cheated a bit. We fed them at four months. Some experts disagree on this point, but the girls showed interest and most of the signs that you’re supposed to watch for. So, we gave it a go. No expectations on how well they were going to do, but they seemed to enjoy it. At our six-month checkup, Dr. Morum wasn’t terribly impressed. He didn’t seem pissed off, but he was surprised. “No no, you’re not supposed to do that until they’re six months!” Didn’t have much else to say on the matter though…

The Things We Never Did…

Breastfeeding: Before you go any further… they do drink breast milk. I pump and we feed it to them in a bottle. Before they were born, I was totally ready to breastfeed. We even went through the motions of using dolls to figure out how to dual-breastfeed. But it never happened. I think a lot of other people would have been more disappointed, but this was one of the things I knew was a possibility, and I was mentally prepared to face it. The girls didn’t latch and I wasn’t producing. But that’s another story. I know I could easily start them breastfeeding now, if we worked at it a bit, but since I haven’t been doing it for six months, it seems odd to start now.

Travelling: Now, when I say travelling I mean long-distance road trips. Anton and I have done a few road trips to California, because I have family down there (shout out!) and it was important to me that they meet the newest members. We figured when they were still pretty young, maybe two-three months we would go for a road trip. I would smack someone if they told me they were planning on doing that with twins. The longest trip we did when they were that little was to Abbotsford, and that was mentally exhausting.

The Things We Did Do…

Cloth Diapering: We didn’t do cloth right from the beginning because the diapers we had purchased were too big for our tiny babies. But, I did find some second-hand newborn size when they were about a month old and we used those as soon as we got them. We use disposables at night and when we travel, but we’ve always planned out. I’m amazed at how well our cloth diapering plans have worked out.

50/50 Formula and Breast milk: Even with the slight hurdles surrounding my breast milk, we manage to give Shula and Maretta almost exactly 50 percent of each. And we bottle feed everything so Daddy gets to be a part of all meal times. This was not a requirement from Anton, but an “it would be nice”.

Do Things Simply: One of our biggest “wants” right from the beginning was to have a simplistic view on raising the babies. Not too much stuff, and simple stuff. We have simple cribs, and a simple stroller/car seat combo. We have simple high chairs and simple bouncy chairs. We don’t have an excessive amount of toys or clothes. We don’t have a swing for each of the girls, or an activity centre for each one of them. I am always getting rid of stuff that no longer fits or works for us before we get something new.

The moral of my story? One baby or two, first time or experienced parents… try not to set yourself up for disappointment. Sure, have ideas of what you want and how you want to do things but don’t let it bother you too much when it doesn’t work out that way. And be pleasantly surprised when it does work out!

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