Monday, December 31, 2012

Farewell, 2012

What a year! First off, congrats on all of us surviving the Mayan Apocalypse!

Hard to believe that at this point last year I wasn't even pregnant. Talk about big changes! Feeling incredibly lucky to have had such a problem-free pregnancy (up until that last week), and incredibly lucky to have two babies that are starting to sleep in six-hour chunks at night. They really are great kids.

2012 also brought some losses in the family, so we're looking forward to a 2013 with hopefully less of that. Also on our radar:

1. Selling our house
2. Buying a new house
3. Increasing my freelance workload
4. Low-key summer vacation
5. Only one wedding to attend, instead of the nine we've had each of the past two years
6. Enjoying watching our babies grow into little people

I also want to lose the baby weight (haven't even tried yet) plus about twenty pounds. We'll see how that goes...

Friday, December 28, 2012

Teething Already?

As insane as this sounds, I think Periwinkle might be teething already. 
Today she has been super cranky and drooling a lot, and, as she was in my lap crying in full force, I noticed a white spot on her upper right gums. I thought maybe it was formula but I touched it and it did not go away and she started crying harder. Poor kiddo. 
Not Periwinkle, but pretty much what she's looked like most of the day.
I called my mother (of course) and she suggested a cold cloth held on her gums. Periwinkle started sucking on it so I'm not sure if I actually hit the right spot, and then she kept crying. But when I offered her chuchetto (pacifier) she started sucking on that like crazy again and quieted down. She's now quietly swaddled in the pack n play, so hopefully she's feeling better. 
We'll keep an eye on the white spot to see if it sticks around or what. Google leads me to believe three months would be the earliest teething would occur, which, given she's a preemie, would mean she has two months until she should be starting, but who knows? Babies are born with teeth so I guess they could start popping through at any time. 
It figures that I notice this white spot the day after her doctor's appointment...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy Holidays!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and will have a fantastic New Year! We headed up to my parents' house for a few days, which is always great because Grandma and Grandpa love getting up in the middle of the night to feed them and let us get more than three hours of consecutive sleep. Feeling somewhat well rested now, thanks to them!

The babies made out like bandits, and we are so grateful for all the adorable clothes and toys they got, as well as the Ergo carrier that makes Periwinkle conk out in .5 seconds. I've yet to put Indigo in it, but his turn is coming soon. We also got a single Snap N Go stroller for when we want to get individual time with a baby, and a humidifier for the nursery that will hopefully help with dry skin and congestion. I'll let you know how that goes!

The babies also got spoiled rotten, as I don't think they were put down for more than two minutes during the course of the three days. Someone was always holding them and loving on them, especially my grandmother, who has decided to go by GiGi. My grandfather has been dubbed More GiGi, which is a nod to the fact that my younger cousin, as a baby, called me Red and my brother More Red. I felt so popular.

Here are some pictures from our holiday!

Christmas Day Finery

Christmas Eve Eve PJs

Aunt Fuschia and Indigo in his Christmas Eve PJs

Peaceful Periwinkle in her Christmas Eve PJs

Me, and Periwinkle in the Ergo
They had their two-month pediatrician appointment today. How they are nine weeks old already is beyond me. Periwinkle is now 9lbs6oz!! And Indigo is still exactly a pound heavier, at 10lbs6oz. They've pretty much doubled their birth weights, and are both into size 1 diapers. Indigo now weighs about what I weighed when I was born. My poor mother....

Baby girl is 21 inches long to Indigo's 22. She has a head circumference of 36cm, and his is a whopping 39cm, which got a reaction of, "Oh, wow" from the doctor. But both are looking great, as, in the doctor's words, "I can't find a thing wrong with them." So that's good to hear!! Indigo is still a bit congested, but we're hoping the humidifier helps with that.

I am hoping to finally get a post up with official "after" shots of the nursery in the next week, once I organize their new clothes and get the newborn stuff out of there. So crazy to think they've outgrown it all already... thank goodness for Christmas gifts!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


So, along with trying to get them to sleep longer at night (unfortunately we seem to have reverted to 3.5-hour chunks of sleep), I'm also trying to monitor their daytime napping better. Previously, I would just let them doze off in their boppys or on their playmat, but I wasn't tracking how long they were sleeping. Some reading up online has led me to believe that they need more-structured, deeper-sleeping naptimes, which will hopefully translate into longer sleeping periods at night (fingers crossed!). I figure it'll take a week or so to iron it all out, which should be interesting with the holiday coming up...

In short, I think they were getting overtired, especially Periwinkle. So yesterday at the first yawn, up they went into their crib. Indigo wasn't really feeling it, though. He also wasn't feeling the evening nap (between 6 and 7:30), while Periwinkle conked out quite solidly. I'm hoping his lack of napping is why they woke up more frequently at night, but we'll see how it shakes out tonight. I keep optimistically mentally setting their next feeding at four hours, so it's sad when they are crying at three hours. Sometimes we can get away with changing the diaper of the crying baby and getting another 30 minutes or so out of them, but that's not always the issue. Sometimes, one baby is just hungry, and "feed one, feed both."

And now today, Indigo gave the first yawn, so up they went for a nap. It took him about 30 minutes to doze off, but Periwinkle is STILL lying there, burritoed up in her swaddle blanket, looking around the room, cooing, and occasionally trying to break her arms free. I'm thankful she's not screaming, so at least she's having "quiet time." But I'm not looking forward to her behavior later if she does get overtired as a result.

My reading says that the longest babies their age should be awake between naps is 1.5 hours, which is about when I put them down. It also says naps can last 30 minutes to 2 hours. They should be on a cycle of nap, eat, play, nap. Playing can be listening to music, tummy time, having a book read to them, or playing with toys. At this stage of their life, it's usually sitting in the boppy looking around, listening to music, and/or having a book read to them. Yesterday I introduced them to a stuffed animal, which Periwinkle liked to touch and Indigo liked to eat. I'll try to get pictures of that up soon.

Here's a picture of yesterday's boppy time:

This is one of very few times they will be in matching outfits. Periwinkle is in one of Indigo's old outfits he outgrew, and which he happened to have in the 0-3 month size as well. I think they look adorable! Of course, promptly after this photo was taken, Periwinkle spit up on hers so she got an outfit change.

Ah, spit up. Another issue to tackle...

In short, having two babies is hard. You try to get them on the same schedule, but as evidenced by their current "nap," sometimes one baby is tired and the other one isn't, or is at least resistant to napping. In the middle of the night, sometimes one baby is hungry and the other isn't. All we can do is try our best and try not to get too crazy when they don't cooperate.

Good thing they are cute!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Still Happy

So this tighter swaddling seems to be working! The first night they slept four hours before waking up with their hungry cries. I did have to change Indigo at the three hour mark, but then he went back to sleep.

Last night we went 4.5 hours between feedings! Again, I had to change Periwinkle around 3.5 hours but she went back to sleep easily. Last night I did try the Halo sleep sacks I just remembered we had, but Periwinkle was able to free her arms fairly quickly and started crying. Indigo made it to 5am, at which point we discovered he'd peed through his diaper and soaked the sleep sack, so into a Carter's blanket he went, as well. I'll still try the sleep sacks on him, mainly just to use them. I didn't have faith in our ability to swaddle with blankets when I registered for the sleep sacks, but really, we don't need them. Perhaps I can eBay them...

Not my child
And now they are both crying in their boppys, so off I go...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happiest Babies on the Block?

Perhaps you've heard of this video, Happiest Baby on the Block? It claims to teach you the ways to calm your baby and get them to sleep longer via swaddling, shushing, putting them on their side, swinging them, etc. I was convinced it wouldn't do anything for us, as our babies sleep rather well and are generally not criers. If they are crying, changing their diaper or feeding them usually does the trick.

Well, tonight they were both ornery and whiny and generally unhappy. I decided to try the movie's more aggressive swaddling technique, even though our babies have, from day one, fought to keep their arms free. But I pinned their arms down and swaddled them tight, and now they are both lying quietly on their playmat, not struggling to get free, calm and content.

I am really hoping this translates into longer periods of sleep at night. Right now Indigo tends to wake up at the three-hour mark, and so we feed both of them even though Periwinkle is sound asleep. But perhaps with his arms by his side, he won't startle himself awake around the three-hour mark and will maybe make it to four hours? That would be glorious! We've also fed him 5oz instead of 4.5oz at the last two feedings, and he seems to be doing well with that amount. That should help him last longer between feedings, as well.

Here's hoping... I will update you on how they do tonight in my next post!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Baby Must-Haves

It seems you can't visit a blog these days without finding a gift guide. This isn't so much a gift guide as a list of products that, in my short tenure as a mother so far, I've found to be awesome.

1. Dr. Brown's Mixing Pitcher

This thing is great, especially since we have two babies to feed. We mix up 32oz of formula and then just pour into bottles as needed and stick into a bowl of warm water for a minute or two to warm it up. The real benefit is that this pitcher gets rid of clumps of formula and doesn't aerate the formula, helping to reduce bubbles and gas. Win-win!

2. Cloud B Gentle Giraffe Sound Machine

We've been using this white noise machine almost from day one, so I'm not sure how well they'd fall asleep without it, but I'm not going to mess with a good thing. We usually (knocks wood) can put them down sleepy but awake and with the soothing sounds of Mr. Giraffe they are soon off in la-la land. It doesn't always work, but I'm happy with our success rate. Mr. Giraffe is here to stay. Plus he's little and can travel easily! They also make full-size ones and different animal versions.

3. Carter's Velour Sherpa Blanket

We received a few of these as gifts and they soon became our most necessary items. These are perfect to cover baby in the car seat going between car and destination. They are cozy for swaddling, especially as we head into cold weather. Our babies have a much harder time escaping these than thinner blankets. They're also great to toss over baby's lower half when they are lying in the pack and play (supervised, of course, so nothing dangerous happens). And they are great to wrap baby in after bath time to snuggle them and warm them up. They are available in many patterns, and I'm convinced you can't have too many (sometimes baby has an accident and you need to wash it, so it's good to have backups). We have five and I would welcome more in a heartbeat.

4. Boppy Pillow

This pillow is apparently great for breastfeeding moms, but we've found it to be useful for keeping the babies in a somewhat sitting position to mix things up for them. It lets them look around at something other than the ceiling, helps keep their food down after a feeding, and they just look adorable sitting in them!

You can also use them to help with tummy time, and we found it to be the perfect "nest" during our newborn photo shoot.

5. Black and White Books/Toys

Newborns are best able to see high-contrast images, hence the black/red/white is great for them to work at focusing on. Periwinkle took to this book immediately and just stares at the images, wide-eyed and curious. Indigo is getting there, but he'd still rather just look around the room. I also have some black and white toys that they are still a bit too young to play with, so I'd stick with the books.

So there you go. I wouldn't trade any of these items for anything. Well, maybe money, but then I'd just go re-buy these items. I highly recommend you add these to your registry or buy them for someone who is expecting. They might not know they need them, but they do.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Horrible Mother

I took these photos instead of solving the problem. I call this series "Help! I Lost My Pacifier!"

What cements my place as a horrible mother is the fact that I burst into hysterical laughter every time I see the fourth picture. I can't help myself. Poor Indigo.

Here's a picture from later today where he's much more zen:

Mainly he's just pissed off I'm taking pictures again, I think.

And some cute pictures of Periwinkle in two cute outfits I had her in today. I absolutely love the sleep n play in the first shot. I have no idea why, but the way it fits her or something just makes me go "awww" and want to smother her with kisses. Which I don't. Because that would definitely get me horrible mother status. The second outfit is super simple: just a long-sleeved onesie and blue pants Fuschia got her (remember the clothing cupcakes from my baby shower this summer?). But she pulls it off with aplomb.

Both of these pictures were taken right before she broke out into crazy crying. She wasn't a fan of the bouncy seat today, and in the second shot she was just about to lose the pacifier. These kids and their pacifiers...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Starting to Smile

Caught a rather adorable series of photos of Periwinkle last week I just had to share!

We also took them to the mall today. It's my birthday and Blue took the day off, so we took advantage of the likely less crowded mall to go get our ornaments at Hallmark.

We only had three people ooh and ahh over them, so that was nice. I've heard stories of just being bombarded in public with questions about twins.

And now, off to play with my new camera!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Chillin babies

Here they are listening to Josh Groban sing some Christmas tunes. It seems to make them Zen

Hidden Hazards of Parenting

When you're preparing to become a parent (as if you can ever be prepared) the books tell you about getting peed on, getting spit up on, sleepless nights, crying (by both the baby and you), and the epic loads of laundry.

What they don't really warn you about is how often you must wash your hands -- before changing a diaper, after changing a diaper, before feeding baby, before picking up baby, and so on. Or more accurately, what all that handwashing will do to your hands, especially at this time of the year. Warning: it will leave your hands dried out beyond belief, and beyond relief, as your knuckles crack and bleed unless you slather yourself in lotion each and every time. Just ouch. I'm pretty sure I got looks in the pediatrician's waiting room from other parents who were horrified by my hands.

Another thing they don't warn you about is how perilous opening a cannister of formula can be. It all has to do with the freshness seal or whatever you want to call it -- that foil you remove in order to actually get into the cannister.

We use Similac Advance, but this is the only image with the foil seal shown.
That mother is thicker than ordinary foil. And if you don't get it all off in one shot, attempts to remove the rest of it can lead to wicked painful papercuts. No, not papercuts. FOIL cuts. Holy $%!& you have not known papercut pain until you get one from this stuff.

And genius me thought it'd be a good idea to shower without a bandaid and while washing my hair managed to string a hair through the cut which is also HOLY $%!& painful.

So watch out for formula cannisters. They are armed and dangerous.

On a side note, who knew you could spell cannister as canister as well? And now that I've sat here and looked at both spellings, neither looks correct...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

One-Month Well-Baby Visit

Phew. Glad that's out of the way. Due to Blue being called in to work today, I got to take the babies to their one-month well-baby doctor's visit by myself. In the rain. I started organizing and packing things up two hours before I wanted to leave the house. I gave myself thirty minutes to drive five miles. I fed and changed them before leaving the house. And I somehow managed to hold two Chicco Keyfit 30s in one hand/arm while opening doors. I impressed even myself.

I had planned on popping the seats into the stroller, but given the short distance from the car to the door, I opted to just carry them to keep them drier. They still got a little rain shower, but neither seemed to mind enough to wake up or stop sucking on their pacifiers.

However, stripping them down certainly got their attention. It was very exciting to see they'd each grown an inch, so they are both 20 inches long now. Indigo now weighs 8 pounds, up from his birth weight of 5lb4oz and his weight of 6 pounds two weeks ago. Periwinkle has also gained weight, which just makes me so happy after her NICU adventures. She's now a solid 7 pounds, up from 5lb4oz two weeks ago and her birth weight of 5lb1oz. Plus, at one point during her NICU stay she was only slightly above 4.5 pounds. She's now a healthy, growing girl who regularly downs 3+ ounces at a feeding, sometimes even 4 ounces, just like her brother.

She's also a champion burper, strong gripper, and extremely curious girl who looks at everything with such wonder and thoughtfulness. It does a mama's heart good to see her thriving. Indigo continues to sleep like a champ, although his sister is taking after him more and more, which is fantastic. He's also very chatty and doesn't hesitate to let you know if he's uncomfortable or bored, usually with an adorable whine that sounds like a horse's whinny.

I'm considering getting a carrier so I can wear one of them. It would be useful when Periwinkle is spazzing out and I want to hold her while doing laundry or picking up the dining room. It also could have come in handy today, when I could have worn one baby and carried the other in the infant seat. Things to look in to...

I just ordered a new camera, the Canon T3i, with the standard lens and a telephoto lens. I'm excited to become more of a "momtographer" with higher quality shots, although my phone has done a fairly good job so far, wouldn't you say? Half of the cost of the camera is covered by my birthday and Christmas gifts, so it worked out to be a pretty awesome deal for me. I'm psyched for it to get here so I can start playing!

Expect an update on the nursery with some "professional" shots from my new camera of the finished product. I've been postponing it because it means I have to tidy up in there, and now because I want to use my new camera for the shoot.

And now, a better picture showing how alike Periwinkle and I look as babies:

I'm on the left, which is obvious by the 80s couch I'm on. Comfiest couch ever, though!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Month-Day!

Hard to believe it's been a month already, and at the same time it's hard to believe only a month has passed. Our little babies are growing up! They are even wearing snazzy outfits!

Indigo is puzzled by the lack of sleep n play

Periwinkle is comfy in her new clothes.
It's crazy how quickly they are growing and changing. Indigo is losing his hair and now looks like he has male-patterned baldness. I can't remember if it had started up already when they had their newborn photo shoot last Tuesday (cannot wait to see those photos!) but he's adorable with or without hair. They are both eating 3.5oz fairly consistently, every 3.5 hours. A far cry from when we had to coax one ounce into Periwinkle in the NICU. So grateful for how well they are doing! Their one-month checkup is Tuesday and I'm looking forward to seeing how much they weigh. Indigo is out of Preemie diapers and I think Periwinkle is soon to follow. I feel like I'm going to blink and they'll be a year old. For now, I'm just enjoying them, crying jags and all.

And a belated Happy Thanksgiving to you all! We are still swimming in leftovers... and I'm psyched to decorate for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Almost Three Weeks Old!

How did that happen? Even crazier to consider they were supposed to be born today! The best laid plans...

Things continue to go well. Indigo is a rock star sleeper now, not even waking up when his sister cries. Or he'll just lie there and look sideways at her and then back at us as if to say, "What is her problem? Can't you turn it off?"

Periwinkle seems to have a "witching hour" between 11pm and 3am, although last night it was delayed a bit because she was up a lot during the day crying for seemingly no reason at all. I'm wondering if it's gas/stomachache related. She also tends to spit up at some point after eating, whether ten minutes later or two hours. She's eating slightly more than she had been in the NICU, which is what she should be doing, so it's not like we're overfeeding her. We continue to try new things and hope she'll settle into her new routine as she figures out night and day. With the constant noise and light in the NICU, it's no wonder she's a little backwards. We just feel so bad when we can't seem to comfort her in the middle of the night!!

And now, some cuteness:

Kind of holding hands

Indigo isn't sure about the bouncy seat.

Finally sleeping. During the day. My backwards girl.

Monday, November 12, 2012

She's Home!

We sprung Periwinkle from the NICU on Friday afternoon! She still is confused about day and night, but she's doing great otherwise. Just wanted to update everyone! I'll try to do a bit more blogging later this week.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Indigo Says "Hi"

Periwinkle Update: She continues to do well, eating as she should, and no more bradycardia episodes. They mentioned yesterday that she might be able to come home Friday! Fingers and toes crossed!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Spoke Too Soon

Indigo had another rough start to the night last night. I think he had a stomach ache and just wouldn't settle down unless he was in our arms. Of course this was the first night I felt totally exhausted and really just wanted to sleep, and also was the night before Blue headed to the office. Great timing! Finally around 1:30am we changed him for like the third time (nothing there previously) and discovered a lovely present. And of course it was my turn for the diaper change. But luckily he settled down after that. Phew! He just seems to be very hit or miss with the burping, although we're getting better at coaxing it out of him. His sister is much the same way.

And now, how we're going to teach them the alphabet:

Yup, we're nerds
I'm also looking into baby stimulation products, like mobiles and high contrast books. I've read they can be very good for the early weeks when they can't really grasp/play yet. Anyone out there use this type of thing? We've tried showing Indigo black and white photos and he does seem quite fascinated by them.

Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile

by Manhattan Toy

Reversible Infant-Stim Crib Bumper Panel & Book in One

by Genius Baby Toys