Twin Adventures

Twin girls now rule the house.

UPDATE: Eight Month Old Twins

Picks things up with thumb-finger pincer grasp

Definitely! Since writing my last post I’ve actually kept an eye out for the Pincer and it is there. The girls use their pincer grasp for everything. Fiddling with their soothers, picking at the carpet, and most recently, holding little wheat puffs.

And on another note, Shula has now gone from a crawling and laying down position up to a full-on sitting position. All by herself! Anton and I have already seen her “climb” from a crawling position, so we all know what that means… Today or tomorrow we will be lowering the crib mattresses.

Just a small update. I couldn’t get it out of my head that I wasn’t sure about the pincer grasp, but they can both definitely do it!

ANOTHER UPDATE! Shula has now pulled herself into a standing position.. I may have to start a new post though… not sure how many times you can update one post before it may as well be a new one.

3 Comments »

Eight Month Old Twins

Ours girls are eight months old! Boy does time fly.

Fortunately, Anton and I are not the type of parents that are too worried about milestones. Whenever we get reading on the subject, it’s usually just to skip to the “If your baby isn’t doing these things you should talk to your doctor” section. As long as they aren’t so lacking that it’s a problem, we aren’t too concerned. Other parents are doing more than enough worrying for all of us. Because honestly.. have you ever met a thirty-year-old that can’t crawl? I don’t think so.

Putting those thoughts aside, I still like to compile a list every month. Mostly so that our out-of-town family (which means pretty much all family) can know how the girls are doing, without me having to come up with different creative ways to get it across. I love going with Baby Center; since they have the milestones all lined up nicely, and it may be doctorish but I like to arrange these milestones with bullet points.

Says “mama” or “dada” to parents (isn’t specific)

Both our girls babble. “baba” “dada” “mama” “gaga” “googoo”. I’m convinced they still have no idea what they are saying, or what/who they are taking about. So.. yes? no? I’ll let ya know when they can say “Mommy” and “Daddy” and “Jimmie”.

Passes objects from hand to hand

Oh yeah. Our babies have got this one down pat. They pass things from hand to hand, they pass things from their hand to our hand, they pass things from their hand to their twins’ hand. Objects are hard to keep track of these days. “Didn’t Shula just have that soother?!” “Yeah. But Maretta’s got it now!”. It’s not always “passing” though. Both girls have a tendency to “take” things.

Stands while holding onto things

For sure. Meta’s been doing it for awhile now. Meta loooves being praised. We’re always sure to praise when good things happen or the girls accomplish something. So, in turn, she loooves standing. Shula stands as well but she is much more interested in crawling

Crawls

Yes. Shula crawls all the over the place these days. It’s actually getting difficult to contain her. Maretta can crawl as well, although she seems happier to just chill in one place, or roll over.

Points at objects

I haven’t noticed any pointing. Well, pointing that has any meaning behind it. They do twist their hands and fingers into all sorts of configurations, but I’m not sure if any of it is pointing.

Searches for hidden objects

Yes, although this isn’t a game they seem particularly fond of. Unless it’s searching for Mommy or Daddy. With Shula’s crawling ability, she’ll come and look for you. And she’s pretty good at it too. Came and found me in the kitchen this evening while I was running a bath. (Yes, we bathe in the sink these days.)

Pulls self to standing/Cruises

Thank god no! That would mean… we’d have to lower their crib mattresses! They’re only just figuring out how to pull themselves up into a sitting position.

Picks things up with thumb-finger pincer grasp

Uh.. Yes? Possibly no… We don’t have a lot of things in the house that would be “pincer” friendly. Mostly they play with wooden blocks and large stuffed animals. Both of which require a full handed grab. We haven’t really introduced any pincer worthy foods either. Just doing Parent-Fed spoon feeding.

Indicates wants with gesture

Well, when they see a bottle they throw their hands up and open their mouth like a fish. And same when they want their pacifier. Does that count? Hm, actually.. I think those may be their only “wants”.

Miscellaneous Milestones

Teeth. Shula’s got four now. Two top, two bottom. Maretta has three, possibly four. Two bottom and definitely one top, possibly another top.

Personalities. They are showing more and more these days. Maretta is very laid back. She likes to watch and absorb the things going on around her. Shula is a bit of a diva. She gets emotional and has to have things her way. There are some things that go back and forth though. One day it feels like Shula is dominating; taking all the toys, being a bully, etc. But the next day it’s like Maretta is seeking her revenge. So, I wouldn’t say one of the girls is always the “bully” or always the “push over”. Definitely goes back and forth.

So, all in all… I think they are fairly on track with where they should be. They may not have everything down pat just yet, but why rush it? I look forward to bragging about my girls when they are walking and talking, but for now… I’ll just brag about the things they have already accomplished. While I was writing this, I happened to look ahead to the nine month milestones. Ugh. Things are about to get interesting!

2 Comments »

Sleeping with Twins

Sleep.

We all need it. It’s the fuel that drives us forward. Sleeping gives our bodies and minds a chance to recharge and reset. You’re screwed if you don’t get enough sleep.

Enter Twins.

We’re all screwed.

Nah, it’s not that bad.

Let’s start from the beginning.

The first two nights of having twins in our lives were horrible. Anton and I did not sleep, at all, for the first night. The second night we both got scattered sleep. It was crazy. After those first couple of nights we managed. Our angels were up throughout the night as you would expect most newborns to be up. Every couple or few hours to have a change and a feed. We knew this was how it was going to be and had already accepted that we were going to new-parent zombies for a while. Keeping these expectations in mind we were pleasantly surprised.

By the time the girls were three months old they were sleeping through the night. Any time that they happened to wake up all it took was a quick pat on the back and replacing a soother and they were good to go. It didn’t take long for Anton and I to get back into the habit of having a full nights sleep (meaning between five and eight hours). It was nice. We quickly learned that a small dose of Orajel and/or Infant Tylenol was a lifesaver for what may or may not have been teething.

It was like this for a good three or four months and then… something changed…

We decided to try the girls on a somewhat different schedule (Broken Schedule). And they started waking up in the night. And couldn’t seem to be calmed or soothed unless they wound up back in our arms which usually ended up back in our big bed. It wasn’t working for us. I love my babies, but co-sleeping is not for me.

So I bought some books:

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins In my opinion… garbage. There wasn’t much that focused on twins. It seemed to be the original version of the book but with a paragraph about twins every once in a while. I found a lot of what was said to be common sense, or something I’d already figured out. Possibly would have been a better read if I had read it while pregnant, before the girls were around.

Bed Timing Meh. Not worth the money I paid for it. Not a horrible read; will probably come in handy as their sleep patterns change throughout growth spurts and different developmental states.

Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems Haven’t gotten all the way through this one yet, but it seems alright. From my previous bit of research I did while pregnant, I had a feeling I was going to agree with what Dr. Ferber had to say. We use the controlled crying method, which Dr. Ferber stands behind, and it has worked out really well for us.

I was rash. I shouldn’t have bought any books. That’s what a library is for! But, I was fed up with things not working the way I wanted them to (I know, I know…) and I was bound and determined to make things work. And in the process, try to figure out how “baby sleep” works. The great kicker is.. after I bought my books and started reading them, the girls went back to sleeping through the night. I feel a bit like I never even gave the girls a chance to work it out. I dismissed the idea that Anton and I could do it on our own.

Which is ridiculous; because we can. And considering how little I got out of the books, we did. It turns out; the girls weren’t sleeping through the night because we had

A) messed with their schedule. DON’T MESS WITH THE SCHEDULE!

and B) they were both cutting a new tooth.

Why aren’t these things obvious in the heat of the moment? Why is hindsight 20/20?

Mommy’s Tips for a Better Bedtime

  • Small Additions during the Day.

No naps after 5pm. Lots of exercise (tummytime) during the day.

  • Small Additions at Bedtime.

Baby Einstein Lullaby Classics on repeat (all night). heater up to 19°c during the night. soothers (and stand-by soothers). lowered voices and dimmed/minimal lighting.

  • Bedtime Routine.

Ours is: Short walk (five minutes for the dog to pee), bath time (one baby at a time. daddy with one, mommy with the other), quiet play time-NO LOUD PLAY (rolling around the floor while mommy and daddy finish making bottles and get a couple of glasses of water; no more than five minutes), bottles, cuddle time (5-10min. minimal interaction), down in their cribs (we do separate cribs)

It’s not “Crying It Out”. I would highly recommend it. We do fifteen minute intervals. Because we implemented this type of sleep training, we didn’t need to go in and soothe our babies at all tonight. Or the night before. Make sure your support system is going to help you. It’s hard to go at it alone. It helps to be able to tag out and take a breather.

  • MOST IMPORTANT TIP!

It can be a painful ride, but your little ones need to learn to self-soothe. Try your best to put them down while they’re drowsy; not after they’ve fallen asleep. We cheat sometimes. If they fall asleep in our arms, we don’t wake them up just to put them down. But we do try to put them down before they fall asleep.

2 Comments »

Twin Essentials: 0-6 months

We are well past our six month mark. I thought I would look back and see what things really made a difference in our lives. I know a lot of people have a tendency of buying a whole bunch of stuff that is not necessary and I aim to nip that in the bud, one blog reader at a time!

Need to Have 

Graco Quattro Tour Double Stroller Probably the greatest piece of equipment we’ve got. This stroller has been a lifesaver. One of the requirements of our stroller was that it took two car seats at the same time. You would think this would be pretty standard, but it seems that most double strollers out there are meant for an older and a younger child; not two children of the same age. When we go out in the car, it takes less than a minute to put both car seats and the stroller in the car. Super efficient and easy.
Graco SungRide35 Carseat We picked these because they have the highest weight limits for an infant car seat. Depending on how tall our little girls turn out to be, these should last until they are between twelve and eighteen months old. Putting them in the car is also SUPER easy. We’ve installed the bases in our car and it just takes a *snap* and the car seats are in securely.

Somnat Cribs (IKEA) Cribs are a bit of necessity, even if you’re co-sleeping you want a place to put your babies where you know they aren’t going to get into anything. These ones were some of the cheapest cribs we could find, but they seem to be pretty good quality.

Bouncy Chairs We started out by just laying the girls on the coffee table on top of blankets, but they could only last so long before they were getting too big. Then we moved them into their car seats. We stuffed a blanket into each one of the car seats so it wasn’t too much of an angle. Then when the girls were about two months old, we bought bouncy chairs. Our bouncy chairs were nice, although they took up a bit of room and didn’t fold into a smaller size. The girls outgrew them by the time they were seven months old. A great beginner chair. Loved the “sling” style of the chair.

Snugli We were originally going to go with the Baby K’tan Wrap, but it never worked for us. The babies never seemed to like them. So we bought some cheap Snuglis and they are the greatest things ever! We use them every single day on our evening walks. We also used to use them for “up time”, while we were doing chores we’d carry them around so their bodies had a chance to be upright and straightened, but now that they are older we don’t do that as much because we put them down on the floor for “tummy time” instead.






 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice to Have

Eddie Bauer Playard We never used the “extras”. The add-on changing area didn’t get much use, because of the hanging bassinet. It was just as easy to use the bassinet instead of having the changing area attached. We stopped using the music player fairly quickly (batteries didn’t last very long and they are kind of a pain in the ass to change) and we actually only started using the mobile recently. Shula likes to watch it spin. The hanging bassinet was a saving grace. We used it for the girls to sleep in while they were sleeping in our room for the first few weeks. Now that the girls are a little older we use it as a cage.

Sniglar Change Table (IKEA) Our change table is nice, it has storage underneath which is where we put our cloth diapers and pjs. The girls seem to be outgrowing it though. We aren’t too worried because it is a fairly simple design so we think we’ll be able to make use of it somewhere else in the house (extra storage in another room). If we hadn’t have bought the change table, I’m sure we could have made-do with changing them on the floor/couch/coffee table/crib/etc. It did however save both of our backs from giving out!

Didn’t Hit the Mark

Ducky BathTub  We loved the duck, and it only cost $15. It was so cute and it quacked when you pressed its’ nose. Then Christmas time came around. With all the baby gear in our apartment, there isn’t much space to erect a tree, so we put it on the dining room table. Alas, that’s where we would put the Duck Tub to bathe the girls. So we decided to use the sink for the holidays and once the tree was gone we’d go back to our Duck. As it turns out.. bathing in the sink is soo much easier! We don’t have to bend forward and it doesn’t take as much prep time because you don’t have to blow up and fill the bath. However, we did invest in some Grippy Dotsso the girls weren’t slipping and sliding all over the sink. In the case of the Ducky Tub, or any tub for that matter, I’d say pass if you’ve got a regular sized kitchen sink. Works just as well.
Bumbo Chairs A bit of a disappoint for me. I thought the Bumbo chairs would be something great for the girls to sit up in. But, it turns out that they couldn’t really use them until they had enough strength to hold their heads and backs up. By the time they were able to do that, they don’t have any interest in sitting still.  Their muscles have gone from not developed enough to sit in the chairs to being developed enough that all they try and do is get out of the chairs now. So glad I bought mine second hand, because I don’t think they are worth the $65+ that one would spend on a new chair.
Of course, I didn’t mention all the small things that we couldn’t have done without… bottles, bowls, diapers (cloth and disposable).We managed to do a pretty good job of not buying stuff that we didn’t see a *need* for. No exersaucers, no jolly jumpers, etc. etc. Nice and simple, just the way we do everything.
Leave a comment »