In general, my girls are pretty good. They sleep well, they eat well and the play nicely. But, as you know if you’ve been reading my blog, there are times they are not so good. However, I have come to realize they are only “bad” for me. With their babysitters they are always delicious! And, especially, with their grandparents, they can never do anything wrong. Now, I’m not that naive! I know grandparents just can’t see anything wrong even if it is. But, I’m telling you, my girls are complete angels with their grandparents. In fact, the 3 times they have slept out at their grandparents’’ houses, they have eaten better meals than they ever have with me and they have slept longer than they ever have at my house. Literally, I’m talking 13 hours of sleep, from 7pm-8am! Why doesn’t that happen on a daily basis at home? You know what? I don’t need it to be an everyday thing. I don’t want to sound unreasonable. Instead, I have decided that the grandparents have to take the girls once a month, just to give me and Dave a break and to remind us why we love them so much. Done and done – great idea Carrie, if I do say so myself. Happy Hanukkah to me! And happy holidays to everyone else too! Thank you so much for all your support. I’m hoping for great things for you and for my blog in 2012!!
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
So, its 9 pm and I just finished stamping and addressing our new year’s holiday card. That’s right, I said holiday card. I know 2 weeks ago I wrote how trying to get a picture of the girls together for a holiday card was impossible so I gave up. But, then my husband decided yesterday that we should do a card because he wanted his work colleagues to have one. Seriously Dave? It’s already the end of December! I would have had everything ready for this card at least 2 months ago when I originally tried to start planning it. And now, after knowing me for over 13 years and how ridiculously organized I am, you ask me to do a card now? Ridiculous!! But, I did it! One of my babysitters, who I’ve mentioned before, Emma, took some amazing pictures of the girls that I originally declined to use for a card because to be honest, I didn’t love the outfits they were in. Like I’ve said before, one of my favorite parts about having my twin girls is dressing them! Even when it seemed like I was in the twilight zone those first 4 months of their lives, getting them dressed was always my favorite part of every day. So, therefore, their outfits were a major issue for the perfect holiday card picture. But, to give Emma credit where credit is due, the pictures she took did come out beautiful! So, yesterday I used one of her photos on a card that is for new years, made it on Kodak gallery, sent it to be picked up at Target today. I then ordered a stamp for my return address because I didn’t have time to reorder my adorable return address labels with caricatures of the four of us. I also ran to get stamps. Today I went to pick up the cards which weren’t ready when I originally got to Target even though I had received an email saying they would be ready! So, I went back a few hours later, picked them up with a 15% discount for being late and just finished putting them all together. We kept it small this year because of the last minute decision so literally I am just sending a card out to Dave’s work people, our family and our closest of friends. But, tomorrow morning I will put the cards in the mail and it will be done with! I guess I can admit I’m happy we made the card, but next year I am definitely doing it my way, 2 months in advance, and hopefully with complete cooperation from my girls! Yeah right, wishful thinking! Happy, happy holidays everyone!!
Monday, December 19, 2011
I have to start out this week’s blog with a huge shout out to my other amazingly wonderful babysitter, Samantha! She saved my sanity this weekend and I have to give her a big thank you! Dave had to go to Florida for the weekend and while I’m used to taking care of the girls by myself all week, I desperately look forward to the weekends when not only do I have Dave’s help with the girls, but we get to be together as a family. Unfortunately, he had to go this weekend and I knew I was going to be exhausted. But, Samantha came to babysit for 2 hours Saturday morning and again 2 hours Sunday morning and it definitely made a difference in my surviving the weekend alone! So, Samantha, if you’re reading this, THANK YOU!! And for everyone else, if you can afford it, I highly recommend having a babysitter, even for just a few hours a week. It really helps you as a mom replenish, have sometime for yourself and I think, be a better mom.
Anyway, onto this week’s big news…I LOVE having twins! It’s getting so fun! Of course it’s still ridiculously hard, but let me tell you what they do now that makes me just want to eat them up. Ever since the girls were teeny tiny babies, I created a morning ritual where I would go into their room, sing a made-up good morning song, and then tell Zoey that Kayala is her best friend and tell Kayla that Zoey is her best friend. I know there’s the natural twin bond, but I want to make sure the girls know that they come first for each other. I think down the road, especially since girls can be so vicious to each other, Kayla and Zoey will be so thankful for each other. I just figured I might as well reinforce that as early as possible! Anyway, now when I say to Zoey, “Who’s your best friend?” She immediately looks around, finds Kayla, points to her and says what kind of sounds like “Kayla.” And when I ask Kayla, she also looks around, finds Zoey and points to her. She kind of grunts rather than says Zoey’s name, but Zoey is definitely more verbal. Either way, I know who she means. And this is by far, the most delicious thing they have done so far! It makes me think everyone should have twins! And that’s all I have to say today!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I think one of the most amazing things about having twins is that you get to watch two individual people grow up together and notice what kind of effects that has on each of them. Now, granted, my girls are only 15 months old, which is still super young. But, I have already started noticing some fascinating things about them. Really, I’ve noticed one of the defining aspects of being related – similar mannerisms. I’m sure there are things I do or say in a certain way that is “exactly how my mom does it.” But, with twins, it just seems cooler when you see them doing things the same or doing things differently. I feel like especially with fraternal twins, the things they do the same are incredible, since they really are supposed to be different! Here is my list of things I’ve noticed so far that my girls do exactly the same. And to be honest, as I’m writing this, while I think it’s cool, it’s pretty freaky too!
1. Now that both girls are walking, I notice that they walk the same. Both of their backs arch a little and they take the same size steps with each foot. It’s actually hysterical! Besides the fact that Kayla is a little slimmer than Zoey and her hair is lighter, from the back, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell who is who!
2. I made it a point to introduce sippy cups very early. As I’ve mentioned before, my girls hated their bottles. And as tortuous as every feeding was, I tried to remember that bottles would not last forever. However, cups and sipping through straws could. So, I introduced cups super early and the girls got the hang of it pretty quickly if I do say so myself! They totally hold their cups the same way with their fingers in the same place and make the same ridiculously adorable faces as they suck through their straws. It looks like it takes so much effort for them to do it, while at the same time they’re having so much fun with it! And, that expression is exactly the same on both of them!
3. I also think I’ve mentioned that Kayla learned how to shake her head for “no.” Of course as soon as she figured it out, everything became no. And I shouldn’t be surprised that now Zoey has learned not only to shake her head for “no” but that it’s super fun to say no to everything! And they both shake their heads the same, with the same speed and the same distance from side to side. They even have the same smirk on their faces as they shake their heads and the same devilish gleam in their eyes, like they know I want them to say yes, but are refusing to do so! As annoying as this game of “no” is getting, I have to admit when they do it together, it is freaking cute!
4. Each of my girls sleeps with one of those animal blankies. Zoey has piggy and Kayla has duckie. They are both obsessed with their animals and the second we get into their room for naptime or bedtime, they each run to their cribs and reach for their blankies (I don’t let them have them outside of their bedroom). Anyway, they both suck their thumbs (different thumbs though) while holding their blankies in the same exact way. They also rotate their blankies in the same way until they find the tag and seem to prefer to hold onto that part while sucking their thumbs. Again, I know I am in for a world of hurt from orthodontic bills because of the thumb sucking, but watching them snuggle up like that is just too delicious to care about!
So, those are the main mannerisms that I have noticed are similar. Believe me; everything else about the girls is as different as can be! At least, so far it is. Now, I have to give credit where credit is due. One of my friends in my development, Jen, asked me about similar mannerisms the other day while we were all hanging out for football Sunday. I thought it was such a fabulous question and that’s what really made me start thinking about it. Of course my other neighbor Scott had a snide comment, like, “Why don’t you blog about it?” I think he might have been making fun of me a little, but thank you Scott! I actually totally like this blog so there (I’m sticking my tongue out at you!). Seriously, Jen and Scott, thanks for the idea!
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
So, it’s officially after Thanksgiving, into December, which means its’ the holiday season. That also means many people are ordering and mailing out their holiday cards to friends and family very soon. Last year, when the girls were 3.5 months old, we did our first holiday card ever and it was adorable! I had a fabulous picture of the girls lying down on a blanket looking at each other in these super cute Burberry-like shirts. I loved it! It was so much fun taking the picture, ordering the card, getting personalized return address labels, etc. This year, though, it is a completely different story…
Getting a picture for this year’s holiday card has become the bane of my existence. Literally, since October 1, I have been desperately trying to get a great picture of the girls together. I started out trying to get them both looking at me smiling, but trying to get two 13-15 month olds to both look at me and smile seems to be all but impossible! Then I figured I’d settle for a picture of both of them looking at each other like last year’s card. However, Kayla has decided to “run” away from the camera the second I take it out. I used to try to get them to say cheese, but now I sneak a camera out as if I’m in mission impossible and try to snap pictures without the girls totally realizing what I’m doing. But, that doesn’t seem to be working either. I have even employed my fabulous babysitter, Emma, to try to take some pictures for us. Every Tuesday I remind her to use my camera or her phone and try to get a decent picture. Last week she happened to have taken some great pictures of the girls outside, but none of them felt like holiday card material. And, now that Zoey is walking too, it has apparently become a game for my girls to run in opposite directions, away from me, the second the camera comes out. Zoey’s much better about looking at the camera and smiling, but she tends to laugh at Kayla and then follow her lead, just run the other way. Kayla has some kind of sixth sense as to when I’m even thinking of taking a picture! You can see on her face that she’s getting ready to run before the camera is even in my hand!
So, it is with great regret that I have decided NOT to do a holiday card this year. It’s just not fun anymore! I told one of my playgroups the news yesterday and they did not take it well! In fact, Ali tried to prove me a wrong and take pictures of the girls. I hate to say, “I told you so,” but I totally told her so! Zoey sat in a chair and the second Kayla saw the camera she started hysterically crying and going limp in the chair! Me, Jamie, Charlene and Ali all started singing, trying to get Kayla to smile for the camera, and I have to hand it to Zoey, she looked adorable, but Kayla would not stop crying! It reminded me of the professional pictures I had taken of the girls at their first year birthday. We had 100 gorgeous pictures of Zoey smiling and laughing, posing for the camera. We had zero pictures of the girls together, one pretty picture of Kayla but she’s not smiling and then another picture of Kayla in hysterics because that just summed up the experience!
Anyway, Ali, thanks so much for the effort, but I am NOT doing a holiday card this year. And really, all I want for the holidays this year is for my girls to start letting me take pictures of them together again! Well, that’s one thing I want, but I actually have a huge list of other things too! Either way, I hope everyone is starting o enjoy this holiday season!
Monday, November 28, 2011
Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving! We had a great holiday at my sister-in-law’s house, although Kayla threw a fit and refused to eat dinner at the table. But, besides that, it was fabulous! However, the most fun part of the holiday weekend came the next night, Friday night…
My sister-in-law and brother-in-law and my husband and I have always exchanged wedding anniversary gifts with each other. This year, my husband had a great idea! Instead of getting each other gifts, from now on we would take each other’s kids for a sleepover and a free night out! So, my sister and brother-in-law’s anniversary was October 27 and we decided to take our 6 year old nephew and 3 year old niece for a sleepover at our house with the girls Friday night of Thanksgiving weekend.
The kids came over around 5pm and we fed everyone dinner. Then we played in our basement and when it was time for the girls to get their bath and go to bed, we set up our niece and nephew with a TV show. Once the girls were sleeping, we played the WII and around 8:30 our niece actually begged to go to sleep because she was so exhausted! The kids came in our room a few times after we put them to bed before they actually went to sleep with some very funny excuses. For example, the first time they came in, literally 2 minutes after we read books and said good-night, they said they had bad dreams. Dave and I were like, “You couldn’t have had bad dreams, you didn’t even sleep yet!” Then they fought over a stuffed animal, complained they were making mean faces at each other (which of course they wouldn’t know if their eyes were closed and they were really trying to go to sleep), but finally everyone was asleep by 10pm. Dave and I looked at each other and both agreed it was a super fun night and relatively easy. Then, everyone woke up on Saturday!
Oh my Gd, how do people have 4 kids?! Everyone woke up at 6:30 am which is typical for us anyway. But, there’s definitely as big difference between 2 kids and 4 kids! Everyone was great, but my 6 year old nephew was not super into playing with the baby girly toys we have in our basement. Our 3 year old niece was a little easier to please with the girls’ toys, but everyone always wanted to do something different! My sister-in-law came to pick up the kids at 10 am and I felt like I had had a 12 hour day already! Everyone was very delicious and fun, but it was exhausting! People give me a lot of credit for having twins, but I have to give credit to anyone with more than 2 kids!
Now, I will definitely have my niece and nephew sleepover again for sure, as often as they want to. I really did love having them here and I know as the girls get older and closer to their cousins it will be even more fun! But, before the sleepover, Dave was kind of considering having more kids. I think after the sleepover, we’re on the same page – 2 are more than enough!!
Monday, November 21, 2011
Oh my God, Zoey’s walking!!!!!!
Finally, after taking her first steps about a month and a half ago, and after miles and miles of walking holding onto my pinky finger, this weekend Zoey started walking all by herself! I am so ridiculously proud of her and so relieved she made it! I feel like having preemies makes you a little wary of developmental milestones. And, while Kayla has hit every one of them on time, I’m always a little more worried about Zoey. I shouldn’t be because she has hit every milestone also, just about a month-6 weeks behind Kayla. And walking was no different. She literally started walking 5 weeks after Kayla!
Now, the fun really begins. Zoey is definitely still looking like a drunken sailor with her steps, but she keeps taking more and more on her own. I think once she’s a little steadier on her feet, things will get interesting. I will have 2 walking babies!! Of course I am super naive and I’m expecting that they will always go in the same direction with each other and listen to me when I ask them to come to me. I’m sure I am in for a huge reality check! My guess is my girls will be constantly going in opposite directions. At least I’m going to get skinny running after them!
I know this blog is a little short, but I just wanted to share the fabulous news about Zoey with everyone. And Kayla’s still delicious too! Oh, but before I sign off this week, I highly recommend everyone check out a friend of a friend’s amazing blog: www.playingmom.com Dani, the blogger, just won a cool award and gave me a shout out which I so appreciate it! And her blog is awesome!! Anyway, happy thanksgiving everyone and I’ll write again after the holiday.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Before I start venting this week, I need to give a shout out. My close friend Sean reminded me that I forgot to put a very important fact on my lists of why twins could be better or harder, and this one counts for both. At birthday [parties, especially at this age when the girls are too young to totally appreciate it, I get 2 pieces of cake or 2 cupcakes, 2 of whatever dessert is being served. This is fabulous for me and my husband because we each get the yummy treats. But, it could also be bad when I’m trying to lose my baby weight! So, Sean, excellent point, I’m just not sure if it belongs in my “better” list or my “harder” list! Either, way I will admit I have been enjoying this little twins perk lately!
Onto this week. I have been having a few bad days lately. I could blame it on teething because I really do think both of my girls are getting entire mouths of teeth right now. Or, I could blame it on the weird weather – first it’s winter-like, then it almost feels like summer. Maybe for Zoey, she’s frustrated that she’s still not walking on her own. Wait, is she frustrated, or am I just frustrated? Probably both of us! But, in general, I think it’s just the life of having babies. And, it doesn’t matter if you have 1 baby, twins or 10 babies at the same time, there are just going to be bad days and I think it’s important for all us parents out there to remember that. We’re human and sometimes we still wish we could just snuggle up in bed and do nothing, even though we’re supposed to be adults now. This is what’s been happening:
On Monday I had a playgroup in my development with my fabulous mommy friends and everything started out great. The girls were playing in the basement, laughing hysterically at the singing Mickey Mouse doll (which is now on their long Hanukkah list) and having a lot of fun with their friends. We went upstairs to the kitchen to eat lunch and I think what happened next is partially my fault. I didn’t feel like dragging my 2 booster seats with me so I tried to feed the girls their pizza with them sitting on the floor. Big mistake! Kayla was walking all over the place and wouldn’t sit still and then Zoey was crawling and following her. I eventually gave up and tried to put them in a high chair and a booster seat and Zoey started screaming bloody murder! Literally, I have rarely seen her get like this. So, I picked her up and of course, the second Kayla saw me do that, she started crying hysterically. While my friends were trying to help, it got so bad, I actually had to leave. I couldn’t believe the fit they were throwing, bad enough that I actually left, which I can’t remember ever having to do even when the girls were young and had reflux and could be so difficult at times! I was so upset!
Then, on Tuesday, I met a mommy friend for lunch and we went to my favorite place, The Mixed Grill, in Plainview (I am literally there at least twice a week!) Kayla’s new thing is she likes to wiggle her way out of the high chair and stand up. She kept doing it so I took her out and what do you know? As soon as I lifted her up, all Zoey could do was say, “Up, up” and point her hands to the sky. I gave in and took her out and found, myself sitting on the floor of the restaurant trying to contain my 2 girls. Not fun!
Then, this morning, I took the girls on a walk and after about 20 minutes in their stroller, they started getting a little antsy. I took them out and we walked up and down the sidewalks in my development. Well, Kayla walked and Zoey walked with me holding 1 of my fingers. I was ready to bring them inside and I said to Kayla, “Kayla, come inside with Mommy and Zoey.” She looked at me, shook her head no, and proceeded to walk in the other direction. I tried again and the same thing happened. I was floored! I’m proud of her that she understands me and can respond to me, but shaking her head no is definitely the wrong response! Needless to say, after the last few days, I think I need a drink, or maybe 10!
But, I do have to remind myself that as many bad days as I have with my girls, the good days do tend to outweigh the bad. They are just very delicious right now and learning so much every second. For the most part, I can’t stand to be away from them for too long. I can just eat them up. But, not today. Maybe tomorrow and I just have to remind myself that it’s okay to feel this way! Thanks for listening!
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
As promised, here is my list of why having twins is so much harder than having 1 baby at a time:
1. There are 2 of them! Plain and simple, there are 2 babies at the same time, who can’t do anything for themselves!
2. As a first time mom, who decided to stay at home while my husband went to work every day, I was outnumbered from day 1. Thank God I have 2 arms, 1 for each baby! But, to be honest, before the girls could hold their own heads up, 2 arms weren’t all that helpful! I seriously do not understand how moms of triplets do it!
3. Along the same theme that there are 2 babies, there’s also double of everything. Double the poop, double the spit up, double the diaper changes, double the bottles, double the formula, etc. You get the picture!
4. Double everything also means double your time to do things too. In other words, especially in the beginning, everything was always a race against the clock. If both babies were sleeping I was racing to pay the bills before someone woke up. Or, if it was time to eat and 1 baby was calm, I was racing through the first feeding so that I would get to the next feeding before she threw a crying and screaming fit! There just never seems to be enough time with 2 babies!
5. Let’s talk about crying. One baby crying can be so sad or so annoying, depending on the situation! But, imagine having 2 babies screaming their heads off at the same time. Or sometimes, even worse, 1 baby screaming her head off and just as you calm her down, the next one starts screaming her head off. It can get pretty horrible and can make you seriously doubt yourself as a mother. It can feel impossible to be able to soothe both of your babies.
6. Another reason twins are harder is the schedule. I think the #1 piece of advice I got when I was pregnant with twins was that as soon as they’re born I needed to put them on the same schedule. As I’ve mentioned before, that was actually one of the advantages of having the girls in the NICU because they really took care of that for me. Once I had the girls home, I just had to keep it going. But, that’s a lot easier to say than to actually do! I think I got very lucky that my girls, on their own really, went down to nap or sleep at the same time. I made sure to feed them at the same time, or 1 right after the other, even if someone didn’t eat that much at a feeding. And while I agree it is the most important thing about having twins, it’s hard to do!
7. When you have a baby and make mommy friends, everyone talks about their babies. It gets very hard not to compare your baby to everyone else’s. Who’s doing what first or for how long, etc. I think I got pretty good at ignoring that since I had 2 babies and they were preemies. I just kept reminding myself I was in a totally different situation. But, I have found it impossible not to compare my girls to each other. After all, I live with both of them in the same house 24/7. When 1 girl does something, I’m excited, but just waiting for her sister to do it! It can make appreciating some of the milestones a little difficult! But, I know, especially as the girls get older, I want each one to be her own person. I have to stop with the comparing as soon as they’re both walking and talking. At least I hope I can!
8. As happy and excited as I get when the girls reach a milestone, some milestones make things more difficult. I couldn’t wait for the girls to start moving! It definitely made them happier. But, then I had 2 babies crawling in opposite directions! Let’s just say I haven’t been bored in over 14 months! But, at the same time, I love every day they get bigger and better! In fact, now that Kayla’s walking, I can’t wait for Zoey to do it too. I do know that some of my twin mommy friends have found it much harder for a while though.
9. Just like with any siblings, typically, when one of my girls gets sick, it’s just a matter of time until the other 1 gets it. What makes this harder, especially at this stage, is that they can’t tell me what’s wrong or what would make them feel better. I just have 2 sick babies who want all my love and attention and I end up feeling very inadequate that I can’t fully provide enough for either one of them. Being sick sucks and it definitely sucks even more with twins!
10. To sum it up, the most difficult part of having twins is THERE ARE 2 OF THEM AT THE SAME TIME!!!!!!! Just imagine anything you go through with one baby and double it!
Well, that’s my list for now. And I must say, I am pleasantly surprised that I only have 3 extra items than my “good list.” I guess that just goes to show that as impossible as having twins may seem at times, it really is the best thing that has ever happened to me (besides meeting and marrying my husband!). I really wouldn’t change it for anything. I don’t think I’d want to do it again, but I am so happy and so proud to be a mommy of twins!
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Lately, my girls have been absolutely delicious! And to celebrate that I am writing the reasons why having twins is so much better than having 1 baby at a time:
1. You only have to have 1 birthday party per year
2. When you’re in a store and you just can’t decide between 2 of the most adorable outfits, just buy them both! You have 2 babies who need to be dressed so just go for it!
3. If you were planning on just having 2 kids, and you have twins, you never have to think about it again. No more pregnancy, no more baby stage, no more spit up or poop diapers. You’re done!
4. When you have twins, a very special bond forms between you and other multiples of twins. One of my closest friends now who is probably one of the only people who truly understands what I’m going through is my twins friend. Even though she’s back at work now and I’m still home with the girls, we can relate to each other in a way our families and our other friends just can’t. It’s amazing!
5. If you like being the center of attention, having twins is for you! You will get stopped everywhere you go. Literally, I cannot walk down the mall without being stopped a bunch of times for people to marvel at the girls or tell me about someone in their family who has twins. Again, this refers to number 4 on my list, there’s a special bond between people that have twins, even among strangers!
6. There are very cute things to use to decorate when you have twins. For example, my husband just bought me a decal for my car that is a picture of twin girls and says “Got Twins.” We also saw online a sign to hang in their room that says, “Born together, friends forever.” I have a picture frame with the saying, “Two peas in a pod” and it’s the cutest frame I own!
7. I think the best part of having twins, especially same sex twins, is that they have an instant best friend. Even at just 14 months old, you can see how much my girls love each other. They look for each other, they cuddle with each other, and they play peek-a-boo with each other. And from what I hear, it only gets better as they get older. Of course, they’ll fight, but the always have that 1 person they can depend on. They always have a playdate, someone to do anything with. They always have someone to laugh with, cry to and spend life with, in a way I don’t think anyone but twins can truly understand.
Okay, so here’s my list so far. Hopefully I’ll add to it as the girls keep growing. Stay tuned for my next blog which will be my list about why having twins is so much harder than having 1 baby at a time. I think that list might be a little longer!!
Monday, October 24, 2011
Oh my God, Kayla is walking!!
About 3 weeks ago, she took her first steps. I was at my sister-in-law’s house, in her newly finished basement and Kayla stood up on her own which she had been doing for a while. Jaimie said, “Kayla, come to Aunt Jaimie.” Kayla looked at her, looked at me and fully took 3 steps to her Aunt Jaimie! It was amazing! Ever since then, she would take a few steps here or there, but not really take off. I went to this fabulous baby and kid shoe store and would ask every day if I should get her real walking shoes yet, but the answer was always, “No!” I was told to wait until she was taking 7-10 steps consistently. So I waited. And waited. And waited.
In the meantime, because my sister-in-law is my best friend, we do a lot of things together. Since she was finishing her basement, I decided it was time to finish my basement. Of course, we used the same company and as soon as they were ready they started my basement. The only problem with that was that now I was pretty much stuck upstairs in the girls’ room with them any time we were home. Their room is super nice, but kind of small, especially with 2 cribs in it. So, this left little room for Kayla to really practice her walking.
But, finally, my basement was finished this weekend, and Kayla literally took off! She walked across the whole room, multiple times, smiling and laughing the whole time! She is so proud of herself! And, she’s walked out in public too! It’s ridiculously adorable! And, it makes me feel like she’s not such a baby anymore! She’s really getting to be a big girl! And here, I remember being so nervous that as preemies; the girls would be delayed with everything. But, at 13.5 months I fully have a walker!
Zoey, on the other hand, is not there yet. She’s been about a month behind Kayla with most developmental milestones. And she did take her first few steps alone with me and her babysitter, who is like part of my family at this point. Literally she is amazing! She even bought the girls their first pairs of Uggs – Emma’s the best! Anyway, now, Zoey won’t let go of my fingers when she walks. She wants to walk constantly, especially when she sees Kayla walking. But, she won’t let go again, at least not yet. We’ll see when she gets brave enough….That should be a whole new adventure!
Monday, October 17, 2011
Most of what I’ve been blogging about has to do with being a mom of twins, but I hope anyone out there can relate! My next story proves that while 2 babies seem impossible, things can be quite difficult with just 1 baby too!
I went out to lunch with one of my fabulous new mommy friends and we decided to go to a diner. What I’ve noticed is that many diners have sassy seats instead of high chairs. For those of you who don’t know, a sassy seat is a seat that literally attaches to the table. It is actually pretty useful and takes up less space than a highchair I think. When I first used them, I was impressed. But, I waited until the girls were relatively big and could really sit up well in the highchair.
Anyway, my friend and I sat at a table and had 3 sassy seats, one for her son and 2 for my girls. The meal was great, we had a fabulous time talking and all 3 kids were really very well behaved. As we were getting ready to go, I took the girls out of their seats and I put Zoey on the floor and was holding Kayla. My friend unbuckled her son, turned to her bag for a second, and by the time she turned back, noticed her son had slipped down the sassy seat and was basically dangling on the seat towards the floor underneath our table. I threw Kayla on the floor and went under the table to grab him and pull him down to safety while my friend remained very calm above the table. But, just when I thought I had him, his head got stuck between the table and the seat and he started crying. My friend shouted, “Push him back up, push him back up!” So, I started pushing his butt back up so that my friend could grab him that way. Finally, a waiter came over and released the seat so that we pushed it back and got her son up. He was a champ, cried a little and then was totally fine! The two of us stared at each other and then started cracking up! In the meantime my girls were both standing on her stroller, trying to climb their way into it. Needless to say, it was quite an adventurous trip to the diner! My friend kept saying she was the worst mom and I said, “Are you kidding? You handled them beautifully!” Besides, she read my last entry and knew I’ve done worse! Like I said before, the point is 1 baby, 2 babies, 10 babies – something can always go wrong! But, if you stay as calm as you can and know things will be fine, your baby or babies will hopefully stay calm too!
So, it feels like I’ve caught you guys up on the first year of life as a mom of twins. Going forward, I’ll blog at least once a week, but mostly when something happens or I think of something to tell you! Again, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any specific questions, concerns or comments. I really appreciate all the support and look forward to see where twinsplicity will go next. Stay tuned….
Monday, October 10, 2011
So, in the last year there have been some amazing “firsts” and some not so amazing “firsts!” Some of the best and worst moments have definitely been when one or both of my girls did something for the first time. Let’s talk about the good ones first…
While I don’t remember the exact moment as well as I wish I did, the first time the girls smiled and I didn’t think it was gas was a heart melter for sure! But, the 2 “firsts” that were the biggest life changers for me were the first time they both slept through the night and the first time they both sat up by themselves. As for sleeping, I think it’s pretty obvious as to why that made a HUGE difference in my life (and my husband’s!). When we woke up the next morning, we both looked at each other and asked if the other one had heard anything? We just couldn’t believe they actually slept. Of course, then all I could think about that day was if they would do it again that night! And they did! At about 5.5 months, I had 2 babies that slept 12 hours and continue to today (I’m knocking on wood as I type this because I don’t want to jinx anything. I have 2 amazing sleepers and I don’t think I could handle it if that changed!).
Sitting up made a big difference for a few reasons. First of all, once the girls sat up both of them seemed to be relieved of their reflux symptoms. They were spitting up less, which meant not only were they happier, but I could actually wear some of my nice clothes I had been dying to fit back into without the worry of smelling like cheese! And, the sitting up just made everything better! The girls could be entertained for longer periods of time sitting up and playing with toys. I think this is also when they kind of started interacting with each other a little bit. Kayla would have a toy and Zoey would reach over for it. It was amazing to see them together – 2 babies sitting up and playing is truly indicative of the saying “2 is better than 1!” This is when I started believing that!!
Unfortunately, along with these wonderful moments, there were some scary “firsts” too. As I mentioned in my last blog, my mommy friends have saved me over this last year. They also helped give me the confidence that I can totally manage 2 babies. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that I definitely have my limitations as a mother of twins. Let me explain, but please do not think I’m a bad mother!
During the summer, I had a playgroup on Fridays at my pool in my development. A bunch of us got together with the babies to swim and eat lunch. My pool has a baby pool which made it manageable for me to attend with the girls. And of course, my friends were always ready to help if I needed it. Anyway, 1 Friday only my friend Carrie and I could make it so we met at the pool as usual, played, had lunch and went back in the pool. As we were getting ready to get out, I grabbed Kayla and then went to pick Zoey up at the same time to step out of the baby pool. I must have stepped on something as I started getting up and Zoey literally fell out of my arms. She flipped in the air and landed face down in the pool. Carrie grabbed Kayla from me and I grabbed Zoey who cried (thank G-d that meant she was breathing) and I have to say, calmed down pretty quickly. I, on the other hand, thought I had just killed my baby and started freaking out a little! In the meantime, Carrie’s daughter Ava was playing and was totally fine. Carrie was amazing – she kept me calm, helped me get both girls out of the pool and tried to make me laugh about it. I wasn’t totally there yet, but everyone seemed okay. I brought the girls home, called Dave to tell him what I did and watched Zoey like a hawk the rest of the day. Of course Carrie checked in and everything seemed fine. That night Zoey had a bath and seemed perfectly content in the water. (As a former lifeguard and swim instructor I was scared she would now be scared of the water.) The next day Dave and I took the girls back to the pool and Zoey was amazing in the water! She was splashing and laughing and actually stretching out her arms and legs to “swim.” So, while the first time I thought I killed my kid was scary, if Zoey becomes an Olympic swimmer in her future, I would like a little credit for getting her used to the pool (in an unconventional way that I do not recommend)!!
Monday, October 3, 2011
If you can stay home with your baby or babies, I highly recommend making mommy friends! Join classes or groups, do whatever you have to do, but find people you connect with that you can go on this journey with. These friends should be people you can laugh with, cry to, complain to and have fun with! I think besides getting yourself out of the house to stay sane, you also need some comrades going through similar situations with you to stay sane as well. But, please, please, please, try not to compare your babies to each other. You’ll do it anyway, no matter what I say, but try to understand that every baby is different and just because a friend’s baby sits up first, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your baby.
Anyway, the year I was trying to get pregnant and going through fertility treatments, a bunch of my friends got pregnant. Honestly, my first reaction was always that I was so happy for them and I made sure they knew it! But, of course, in private with Dave, I would be a little sad for myself and for us and wonder when it would be our turn. But, when it finally became our turn, the good news was that we already had a bunch of our closest friends who would have babies in the same school grade together! In fact, 2 of my best friends and I had our babies within 2 weeks of each other and my oldest friend in the world had her baby a little more than a month later! This all sounded fabulous except for the fact that all these girls were going back to work after 3 months or lived in Manhattan while I had moved out to Long Island. So, I needed some new mommy friends!
Living in a development was the best thing for me because without even trying, I constantly met young moms with kids. In fact, 3 of the friends I had already made in the development, pre-preggers, all had babies in the same grade. They introduced me to some of their friends with babies the same age and once my girls were born, instant playgroup! All of these friends were on their second or third child at this point and that was amazing for me – they definitely helped keep me more than sane through those first 4 months, have now seen me at my best and my worst, and still want to hang out with me! While all of these moms have 1 baby at a time, they helped me to relax about a lot of things and pushed me to try things with the girls, like real food and high chairs, before I thought I was ready for it! I cannot thank them enough for the friendships we now share and I know we will be friends for a long time to come!
I also joined a group on Long Island, called Mingling Moms. Four luncheons were set up for us with guest speakers and there, I met some wonderful “first time mommy friends!” These women were in the same boat as me, having their first baby and live close by to me, but no one had twins. That was okay though, because we all still understood the sleepless nights together and again, they have seen me at my best and worst and I also have them to thank for my sanity! We made playgroups together, have taken music classes together and are about to start our first Mommy and Me class this week, which I am so excited for! With this amazing group of women, as well as my “second time mommy friends,” Dave and I have found a wonderful social life that has helped me make it through a year with twins (Dave likes their husbands so we have all gotten together as families and as couples many time and I love them!!).
However, I also would not have made it through without my twins mom friend! I joined the Mother of Twins Club on Long Island and definitely felt supported through the online forums. I attended a few functions, like the Annual Fashion Show, but the best thing to come out of the club is the friendship I made with another mom of twins! While all my other mommy friends are phenomenal, this friend really understands what I went through and what I will continue to go through with 2 babies at the same time! We have very similar stories and we both have fraternal girls that are 3 months apart. We met on a blind internet date sort of that my other mommy friends thought I was crazy for doing! In the twins club, I decided to organize a playgroup for twins around the same age and though it would be a good idea to invite total strangers with their twins into my house. A few people said they would come, but cancelled last minute except for this mom. Luckily, she was not a serial killer, and we have formed a wonderful friendship that I hope will continue in the years to come.
I really do have to thank all of the amazing friends I have made over the last year. Like I said, you have truly helped keep me sane and have proved to me that I can do it! THANK YOU!!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
My biggest recommendation is getting out of the house with your baby or babies as soon as possible. This is your life now and you do not want to be trapped inside your house all day every day! It might seem like a burden at first, but the earlier you start doing it, the easier it will become. I literally took the girls on walks every day as soon as they came home from the NICU and as soon as my pediatrician gave me the okay for them to be out in public, I did that too. This is how I did it:
At first it’s relatively easy – the girls were in the infant car seats and those come in and out of your car. So, I would carry the girls in and out of my house in the car seats, snap them into the car and when I was out, like at the mall or wherever, snap them into my stroller. At first when the girls weighed only 4 pounds, I was able to carry both car seats at the same time. As the girls got heavier, I would sometimes put both car seats by my front door, run one into the car and come back for the second one. However, I live in a gated community and my garage is detached from my house so keep that in mind.
In terms of a stroller, they make a double snap and go stroller, but I thought it was too long. Instead I use the Baby Jogger City Select stroller. You can buy car seat adaptors so it acts like an easy snap and go where you just literally snap the car seats into the adaptor and go. It also is the stroller I’m still using now. There is something like 16 different configurations for this stroller. My favorite is that now that the girls are in regular stroller seats, I have them actually facing each other. It’s adorable! And the other great thing about this stroller is since it’s the width of a single stroller (and can be used as a single. One of my best friends has it for 1 baby), it fits through all doors easily. I just back up into doors, holding the door with my butt and sometimes a nice person will offer to hold the door for me! But, when that doesn’t happen, it’s never an issue. On a side note, my twins friend mom has the Double City Mini stroller, which is a side by side stroller, and loves it! Personal preference!
Anyway, I literally kept the girls in the infant car seats as long as possible so that it was easy to take them anywhere and everywhere! I would eat in restaurants with them sleeping in the car seats on their stroller or awake and playing with toys. It made transferring them while they were sleeping easier too. Once they started eating baby food, I would keep them in the car seats to feed them while I was at a restaurant too. At this point, my girls were way too small for high chairs. As they started to get bigger though, I used the booster seats in restaurants all the time. I would just keep them in my trunk and if I had to bring them with me, I would hook one on a stroller hook and put one in the underneath basket. Eventually, the girls got big enough for regular high chairs so that makes it easier because I have to carry less with me.
Now that the girls are in their regular car seats that don’t transfer in and out of the car, things are a little different. I often carry both to my car, one in each arm. I put one in her car seat while I sit the other one down on the floor of the back seat of my car with a toy and my foot blocking her from going anywhere. Or, I’ll put one girl in the car while the other is playing in the house in a safe enclosed area and then run back in for her. Once I get somewhere, I always have to have my stroller with me. One girl goes in and then the other. Although, I’ve gotten very strong so if I’m just meeting friends for lunch, I will carry both in and put them right into high chairs. Being with helpful friends is so important. The people I’ve met through the girls are amazing! But, that’s for my next blog!
In the meantime, let me summarize: Get out of your house! Don’t be scared that you can’t do it with 2 babies because YOU CAN! Pack up your diaper bag and put it in the car before you take the babies out. (FYI, in my diaper bag I have diapers, wipes, change of clothes, toys and snacks.) Leave the babies in the infant car seats as long as possible! Once they get bigger and are eating at restaurants with you, leave 2 booster seats in your trunk. Figure out what works for you – can you carry 2 babies at the same time? Do you have to put 1 in the car and run back for the other? Learn your limitations but live your life!
Monday, September 26, 2011
During the first 4 months, I cried a lot. Literally, I think I cried almost every day. But, I was okay with this because I knew why I was crying. Well, I kind of knew. First of all, after having 2 babies, my hormones were ridiculous! When you’re pregnant with twins, there is obviously just more of everything. So, it makes sense that it might take longer for my body to balance itself out. But, on top of that, I had 2 babies at home. 2 babies! It is just ridiculous no matter what! It’s very overwhelming with 1 baby (according to all my friends who had just 1 baby) and they all said they don’t understand how I did it with 2. And I will say, I absolutely don’t understand how anyone has triplets! At least with twins, I have 2 hands; my husband and I are 2 people so we can each take care of 1. But, 3 at the same time? Wow!
Anyway, I quickly realized that for me, the most overwhelming part of this was the feedings. Anyone I spoke to about twins always told me how important it was to have the girls on the same schedule. When 1 eats, the other eats. When 1 sleeps, the other sleeps. But, with 2 preemie babies that weighed just about 4 pounds each, I could not figure out how to feed them at the exact same time by myself! They were too little to really be comfortable eating in bouncy seats, their car seats or on boppy pillows. I really had to hold each girl when she ate. So, I would change 1 baby and feed her, the whole time praying that the other baby wouldn’t scream her head off waiting for me! Sometimes this worked and sometimes it didn’t. The problem also was that as preemies, feedings took a long time! And in between the feedings, the girls didn’t do much at this stage. They slept, pooped, opened their eyes to look around and have to eat again. Not much reward so far in this job! I felt like I was always feeding someone and I was not super into it! The best part of my day would be when I had a family member over to help! I always scheduled their visits around feedings so someone could feed 1 girl, while I fed the other. If you weren’t willing to help with a feeding, I did not want you to come over!
The good news is, as everyone told me it would, things got easier as the girls got older and bigger. After about 4 months, I finally felt like I could take a deep breath again. I realized that this was my life and I had wanted it really, really, really badly! The girls started sleeping longer stretches at night and I got used to the feedings. They became quicker and the girls could sit in some kind of contraption. This way I could feed them at exactly the same time by myself. For example, I would put them each in a bouncy seat and I would sit in between them holding their bottles up for them. (Unfortunately, my girls never learned to hold their own bottles. To be honest, I never worked really hard with them on that, but it definitely would have made things easier. Instead, I worked on the girls holding and drinking out of cups when the time came and that, they did really well at a pretty early age.) Of course, when 1 needed to burp, I had to stop feeding both of the girls to burp 1 and then the other. And of course, I couldn’t have 2 easy babies, but 2 babies with reflux so that made feeding even harder. And that made my entire wardrobe smell like cheesy vomit! The girls spit up constantly, all day long, and they both did it! Zoey would finish her bottle and 2 hours later, right before she was due for her next bottle, she would still be spitting up. Kayla would do the same thing. It was disgusting! But, we all made it! The reflux and spitting up got better once the girls learned to sit up on their own, which was about 7 months and now, the girls happen to be amazing eaters! But, there’s more on that to come!
As a side note, I want to thank everyone for all their wonderful responses to this blog! I just felt like when I was going through all of this, not many people were talking about it and that would have helped! I know I might be rushing through things and that’s because I want to catch everyone up to real time with what’s happening with the girls now! But, please, do not hesitate to contact me directly with any comments and/or questions about anything I’ve discussed: fertility treatments, twin pregnancy, the birth, etc. I’m here to be as open and honest as possible and would love to help! I’m having so much fun finally putting this all down on paper and I really have to thank you all again for all your support. Stay tuned for the next entry….
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Okay, so, 8 days after the girls were born and Dave and I had spent every minute we could at the hospital with them, Kayla was discharged and came home! We were excited, but nervous as could be! Granted, we had a lot of experience with babies being that my sister-in-law is my best friend and has 2 kids who I live for! I knew how to change a diaper and feed a baby a bottle. And, like I mentioned last time, the NICU was such a blessing in disguise and taught us everything! But, it’s a whole new ball game when it’s actually your baby you’re bring home! In order to help us, we hired a baby nurse who would live with us 24 hours for about 2 weeks and help us take care of the girls and take care of us! But, being that I had the girls early and then they were in the NICU, our baby nurse was not available that first night. So, we tearfully said good-bye to Zoey that day and brought Kayla home.
We had Kayla sleep in a bassinet in our room and she was up every 3 hours. Wow, I never realized how much I liked sleep until I wasn’t able to do it! She was just so little and helpless, it was scary! But, we made it through the first night and then our baby nurse came to literally save the day! We moved Kayla into her crib in her room and the baby nurse slept in the room with her, taking care of her during the night. And, 3 days later Zoey came home too! That was a very exciting day, but it made everything very real for me. All of a sudden, we really had 2 babies!! I still didn’t feel like they were totally mine, but I knew I was responsible for them to say the least!
After 2.5 weeks with a baby nurse, Dave took off a week and a half and we really started getting into a groove with the girls. They were on the same NICU schedule of eating every 3 hours and basically sleeping in between. Then, he had to go back to work. I thought I was such a big shot and said, “No problem, I can totally do this!”
After crying every day for a week, I finally admitted I needed help. Not only was I so overwhelmed by having 2 babies at the same time that could not do anything for themselves, nor tell me what they wanted or needed, but I was also really missing being me! I wanted to go to the gym when I woke up, shower, eat breakfast, go get a manicure, etc. I wanted to do all of the things I used to be able to do without even thinking about it. Now, I was a slave to 2 little aliens who I still didn’t totally believe were mine, and I had a very hard time adjusting! If you ever felt any of these feelings, you’re not alone! In fact, just last night when I was out celebrating a friend’s birthday, I was talking to some of my new mommy friends (who have been one of the best things to happen to me thanks to the girls!) and she was saying she had the exact same feelings. It’s hard adjusting to being a mommy and I don’t think anyone should feel guilty about that!
Anyway, after Dave went back to work and I was on my own for a week, we found a night nurse to come 2-3 nights a week. She was my savior! I got to sleep and try to rejuvenate and eventually, I convinced her to come earlier in the afternoon to give me some time to myself too! I honestly don’t know what I would have done without her! I highly recommend a night nurse if you can afford it (it can cost a small fortune but worth it!)
So, now, I’m getting into my groove with help, the girls are on a schedule, but I’m still crying almost every day. What now?
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
When we originally were told our babies would have to go to the NICU, we really had no idea what that meant. It sounded scary, especially when we understood that meant they weren’t coming home with us. But, it’s not like there are options. The NICU is where the girls had to go, so that’s where they went.
Kayla was born at 3 lbs 13 oz and 17 ¾ inches long. Zoey was born at 3 lbs 14 oz and 17 inches long. No wonder I didn’t need stitches, they were little! And if I’m being totally honest, they looked like aliens! I knew I loved them, but they were just so little, their skin was hanging off their bodies, like when an obese person loses a lot of weight and then doesn’t know what to do with the excess skin. And if I’m really honest, they didn’t feel like mine right away. Maybe that has to do with the fact that they were taken to the NICU and not in my hospital room with me at all, and I did leave the hospital without them. But, it was just all so surreal! I had never wanted anything so badly, and now that I had it, I wasn’t sure I was still living my life! But, I was and so I had to live it!
Both girls were doing very well, scoring 9s on the Apgar scales, which I still am not even sure what that means. Kayla just needed to gain weight to be discharged, but Zoey had a little trouble coordinating breathing and eating or sucking. So, she was on a feeding tube and a breathing tube for a few days. That was very hard to see and it broke my heart. But, it only lasted about 3 days and then she figured it out! Kayla actually also had a little jaundice and had to go under the lights, but again that only lasted a day or 2. About 5 days after the girls were born, Zoey had a drop in her heart rate and had to stay at least 5 days without that happening again before she could be discharged. Plus the fact, that both girls had to weigh 4 pounds before we could take them home. Again, all of this seemed so surreal, but I can talk about it so easily because of how great the NICU turned out to be!
In the meantime, my recovery was great. Except for the first day after I delivered when I felt the side effects of the sodium nitrate form the preeclampsia. That was horrendous! It was like the worst flu you can imagine and I wouldn’t let anyone visit. The next day I was discharged and we started figuring out a schedule to go see the girls.
Let me stop here and talk about the NICU a little more. Like I said before, the thought of it was scary at first. But, I cannot say enough good things about the NICU! The nurses were amazing and taught us everything! They showed us how to take the babies’ temperatures, how to change them, how to feed them, how to hold them. It was like free baby nurses! And the best part was they put the girls on a schedule from minute 1! The girls ate every 3 hours and for any of you pregnant with twins, all you will hear is how keeping them on a schedule, and the SAME schedule at that, is the most important thing! I agree and I have to thank the NICU for making that happen so early on! While we weren’t able to walk away with free diapers or formula like so many of my friends did from the regular hospital nurseries, we walked away knowing our twins were doing well and we learned how to take care of them.
So, Dave and I were home, Kayla and Zoey were in the NICU. They were eating every 3 hours so I tried to go to the hospital at the 11 am feeding and the 2 pm feeding and Dave would try to get to the 5 pm feeding but that almost never happened so we would meet at the hospital to do the 8 pm feeding, read the girls a story and say goodnight. These feedings would sometimes last 45mins-1 hour and each girl would have only eaten about an ounce of formula. Actually, with premature babies in the NICU we talked in CCs, not even whole ounces. At first, if the girls drank 10 CC’s, we were ecstatic! By the time they left they were up to about 50 CC’s, which was almost 2 ounces. I was encouraged to pump and breastfeed, especially because the girls were premature, but I decided not to. I think breastfeeding is a very personal decision and every woman should choose what she feels is right for her. I give a lot of credit to the women of twins out there who do breastfeed. I felt that with 2 babies, it was just not for me. The girls were put on Similac Neosure which is formula special for preemies and has extra iron, and they remained on that formula for the first year of their lives, striving and doing great!
Finally, after 8 days in the NICU, Kayla came home with us and 3 days later, Zoey came home as well. Now what?!