Twin Adventures

Twin girls now rule the house.

You Think You’ve Got it…

….and then it all falls apart.

You think, “Have I learnt nothing over the last ten-and-a-half months?!”

Last night was a night like any other. Bedtime routine went smoothly. Both girls were bathed, clothed, fed, and in their beds by eight o’clock. Anton and I retired to the living room to watch a movie. Not a peep from the girls all evening. 11:30 rolls around and Shula wakes up. Soother… check, clean diaper… check, small bottle… check, Orajel and Tylenol… check. I swear we hit every single mark in the book! Nothing worked for our poor baby. After listening to her cry for a while, I decided to lay down with her on the couch. That didn’t help either. She couldn’t seem to get comfortable. Laying together didn’t work, laying on her own didn’t work. She eventually fell asleep in her rocking chair… at 2:30! Ugh.

I like to think this doesn’t happen very often; usually I’ve got it together, a “Supermom” if you will, but last night I felt helpless and little lost.

3 Comments »

Cloth Diapers

After 10 months, I cannot believe that I’ve never written a post about diapering! I think I’ve mentioned once or twice that we cloth diaper, but as it was one of the first things we decided on I really thought it would have been one of the first posts I’d make. Probably a little better off this way, as I’ve got more to write about now than I would’ve had before. And before I get started, I’d like to make it known that we don’t do attachment parenting and we don’t think we’re better than other people because we use cloth diapers. (Well… maybe a little bit!)

In Canada alone, 1.7 billion disposable diapers are used every year. One baby uses approximately 3000 diapers a year; in our case we can double that to about 6000. Our cost for disposable diapers would turn out to be $1600 a year, using the store-brand from our grocery store. About 250,000 tonnes of disposable diapers are sent to landfills in Canada. The cloth vs. disposable debate could go on FOREVER and there are pros and cons to both sides. Our biggest deciding factors were the cost and the amount of disposable diapers sitting in landfills.

Okay, enough facts being shoved down your throat!

Anton and I made the decision to cloth diaper pretty early on. I don’t think the girls were even the size of baseballs before we had decided! Not only would it be another challenge that we’d be able to overcome (because we’re so awesome), we’d also be doing our part for the environment, and it’d be quite cost effective. For our first ten months of cloth diapering, it cost us under $550. For the foreseeable future (until the girls are potty trained) it should only cost us another $200. So, for a total of $750, our girls will be diapered. And that’s not including the small amount of money we’ll get back when we sell our used diapers.

 

 

 

 

We ended up going with Prefolds and Covers. This combo seemed to be the easiest for us. You’ve got a piece of cloth that has an extra absorbent middle sewn in and you fold it into thirds and just place that into a cover. Easy. You can reuse the cover a few times as long as all the mess stays on the prefold. No safety pins needed to hold the cloth together. The covers come with velcro, so they are super easy to put on and take off. There are a ton of different diaper assortments to choose from, so this particular combo may not be right for you.

Because it’s easier for us, we use disposables during the night and when we travel. I don’t want leaks to be the only thing waking my girls up from their sometimes-eight-hour-sleeps. And, I don’t want to be carrying around enough cloth diapering supplies for both girls… not to mention a wet bag filled with all the used diapers. We always have some disposables on hand, just in case we’re feeling lazy or haven’t done laundry. Lately, the girls seem to be between cover sizes so we haven’t been using cloth as much as we’d like. All in all, we end up using cloth about eighty percent of the time.

We bought all of our cloth diapering supplies a month or two before the girls were born (even though we had everything priced out and decided welllll before that!) and were excited for when we’d be able to use everything. We decided to skip the “newborn” size and get the “small” size. Unfortunately, our girls only weighed five and a half pounds and were nowhere near big enough to fit into them. After a few weeks I managed to find some used newborn size. So we really started our cloth diapering journey when the girls were a few weeks old. We recently had to upgrade our diaper size. The girls were soaking the prefolds with one pee, so we needed to next size of absorbancy. We thought we would get away with using the old covers, but the new prefolds did not fit very well and were usually poking out of the back. This time around we went with a slightly different style of cover. This new style is meant to be slimmer and easier for mobile babies to move around in. Buuuuutttt… the cover is a bit too big.

This isn’t a cloth diapering tutorial, so I didn’t really get into all the different kinds of diapering choices. Bummis is a great brand that offers a lot of resources on their website. I’d recommend checking it out if you’re interested in getting started with cloth. We really enjoy cloth diapering and it’s not more or less difficult than doing disosables. Poop goes in the toliet, diapers (prefolds and covers) go into the wash. With twins, it’s one extra load of laundry every day or two. For us, it’s definitely worth the extra bit of washing and folding.

A special thanks to Look around you now! for the inspiration for this post.

2 Comments »

Better Weather Means…

As a kind of Part Two from my last post, I thought I would give an update as to how we’ve been spending our time lately. The girls are much more interactive and are more aware of their actions. These two things make for great and funny interactions, and make it more entertaining to do activities with them. It just so happen that we’ve been having some pretty awesome weather lately, so we’ve been heading outside.

Grass. Freshly mowed, poop-free, green green grass. In the middle of our three-building complex, there is a “club house” with a yard surrounding it. It is the perfect amount of space for the four of us to sit and play in. (Jimmie stays tied up on the concrete, so the grass remains poop-free!) The only unfortunate thing is… the girls don’t seem too fond of grass! It took us a good five minutes to convince Maretta to crawl along the grass, and another few minutes to convince Shula. Most of the time they sat with their hands up by their chest.. “Ewwww! What is that stuff?!” It was cute.

A few days later we went out to a park that was less poop-free then we would have liked. We had thought that the girls would warm up to the grass maybe another round of playtime, but it didn’t seem to change their opinion. They continued to sit with their hands up and remain in one place. Mind you, this grass was also a little brown and had some patches missing. Maybe Shula and Maretta are grass snobs? Only the greenest and freshest will do? If we don’t make it out to the grass (most days) we try and put the girls in their play yard on the balcony. Especially with the nice weather, we want to make sure that they are experiencing as much outdoor and indoor. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve been continuing with our evening walk; which is part of our Bedtime Routine. I’ve never appreciated Daylight Savings Time as much as I have this year. Although we’ve been doing our walk from the beginning, the fall and winter months bring a fairly dark evening. Lately when we head outside the sun is just setting behind the mountains, which is perfect because we can still enjoy daylight but don’t have to worry about too much sun in any eyes. I think that these evening walks every day really give the girls a good feel for what the outdoors are. It also gives them a chance to toughen up. We don’t usually bundle them up very much so they get a chance to experience the elements; wind, rain, snow, sun.

These days I am really looking forward to some first steps. I love taking them out in the stroller, but I am really excited to have all four of us walking around together.

3 Comments »

New Skills

First, I must apologize for not posting in what seems like forever. I don’t find much down time in between dealing with the girls. And, what little down time there is, there’s housework to catch up on and cuddles to be had with my man. I love posting, but when it’s between hanging out with Anton and writing a blog post… well, I think it’s obvious which one wins! To make up for my lack of writing, I’ll make sure to post today and tomorrow! Well.. I’ll try!!

Life is good the last while. The girls are learning new things every day. They’ll be ten months pretty soon… It’s crazy to think that there is only a couple more months before they turn one! They haven’t hit many big milestones lately but they are learning amazing skills. Small, but amazing nonetheless. The first one that comes to mind is their expanding knowledge of words. They don’t say much, but it’s fairly clear that they understand a lot of what Anton and I are saying to them. Here’s a few of the words they know…

  • Clap. You say clap and they clap. A new word and a new action.
  • Shake. I think this is one of the first “action” words they learnt. While holding one of their musical instruments, they’ll shake whatever they’re holding up and down. They looove that it produces a noise.
  • Hungry. When we are ready to feed them, all we have to do is sit down and say “Who’s hungry?!” and both girls come crawling over.

Just over the last few days, we’ve noticed that Maretta can stand all on her own; no support needed. Every once in a while she’ll let go of whatever piece of furniture she’s holding onto and stand unassisted for countable seconds (we’re talking about five or six whole seconds!) before she leans forward to grab on again. This morning we were forcing her to stand on her own and she did pretty well! Both girls show a lot of balance. Even though they are holding onto things while standing, it’s usually just with one hand or even just a finger. No big milestones such as walking or talking but the small things are just as amazing, especially since a lot of what’s been happening lately is brain work. You can really see that they are learning about their environment.

Bedtimes have become WAY easier. There was a period of time where it seemed like we were going backwards and losing control when bedtime came around. But, for about a week now the girls don’t make a peep once we put them down for bed. Most days, we put them down wide awake and we don’t need to go back into their bedroom. It’s great to know that all the work we’ve put into our bedtime routine and doing the same thing over and over and over and over has finally paid off!

As far as the rest of the night goes… /sigh. It’s hit and miss. We have figured out a system for our nights though. When they do wake up in the middle of the night first we’ll go in and do a soother check. Pop a soother back in and see if they settle down. We’ll give that five or so minutes before we head back in and do a diaper/teething check. We’ll change diapers and drug the babies up with Orajel and Tylenol. This doesn’t happen every night so we aren’t worried that they get it too often. Then we’ll head back to our room and see if they settle. If they don’t, after another five minutes, then it’s feeding time. Just small bottles, to tide them over until morning. Once we accepted that sometimes they needed a little more to eat things smoothed out. I think it was a bit hard for us to go back to doing a middle of the night feeding, since we really haven’t had to do that for six or seven months. We also have started keeping track of how our nights go (only for just over a week now). So far, it’s even. Just as many good nights as bad ones. Which make us feel a bit better that it’s not as bad as it seems sometimes!

The girls are still eating mostly formula and breastmilk, with three out of their five meals also including a solid of some kind. We don’t do much “table food”, we mostly stick to purees of varying textures. I’m heavily on the side of jarred food. Mostly for the convenience and if you manage to catch them on special, you can get a jar for 30-60 cents. One jar is one meal for both girls. So, at an average of .50 cents a meal.. can you argue with the cost?! We have started making our own baby food on occasion though. We bought an Oster hand blender and it is working really well for us. With most of the foods we’ve done, we boil or steam the veggies and then blend it up, add some water and maybe a bit of seasoning and it lasts us for a few days. So far we’ve done Carrots, Green Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Bananas, and Butternut Squash. Nothing too exciting, and I think a lot of people would say these are Beginner Stage foods but we aren’t in any rush to get them eating anything other than purees.

That’s a pretty decent update on the girls development. Our routine hasn’t changed much and it probably won’t until their first birthday. Stick around and tomorrow I’ll post another update on the things we’ve been up to.

2 Comments »