For The Record

While talking with my bestie yesterday she asked a few questions about how/what we did with the boys at “X” age.  I couldn’t remember specifically and I thought I could go back through the blog to figure out when we did something.  I had a similar conversation with myself here.

Well I’m at it again.  I’m not posting/documenting enough these days.

So my babies are little toddlers.  Like, real little toddlers.  When Erin was over with Vivienne, who is two months, the Nuggets were S O big.  I had to go back and look at videos from when they were that age and it seriously made me cry.

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Awwwwww.  Alas, there is no going backwards. But real quick…2014

Christmas 2014

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So my Nuggets are two years and two months old and Christmas is going to RULE this year.

They love to destroy mess with our tree.  In all fairness of “toddlerhood” they aren’t all that bad with the tree.  Weston likes to pull the ornaments off (and throw it back at the tree to see if it’ll stick) and touch the lights.  We’ve had several time-out sessions about trying to unplug/plug the lights in though.  Corbin just touches for the most part.  There are no presents under the tree because neither will leave them alone.  #Understandable.

We visited Santa at the Parks of Arlington Mall and it was fantastic!  Well I thought it was.  The boys were kind of terrified of the sleigh ride experience.  Yep, this little trip was totally worth it because we got to talk to Shrek and Donkey on the Skype -phone, take an interactive flight school, “fly a sleigh”, build a ginger bread cookie and THEN we met Santa.  Totally worth the $11 for the picture.

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At least they’re not sobbing.

Developmentally

They are finally talking! Like putting-multiple-words-together-in-a-sentence kind of talking.  Weston hears everything we say and, like a little echo, says it back to us.  They both try to say anything we ask them to repeat, although it doesn’t always sound like the words.  They are trying though and that’s what is important.  The refer to both of themselves and each other as Wey-wey and Cor-cor.  Not always accurately.

Weston

After Thanksgiving, both boys came home with a cold.  Weston’s turned into a sinus infection so we were at the doctor.  He weighs 29 lbs and is 35.5″ tall.  He wears a 2T/3T, depending on the store.  West knows all of his colors and can almost count to five.  He is developing his independence daily.  Code for: he is in time out more often these days for not listening, hitting or throwing things.  Weston eats okay.  He isn’t into meat much unless it is ground (turkey/beef/chicken) and even then, it’s hit or miss.  He love broccoli with cheese which is a win in my book.  I still sneak veggies were ever I can and they both like almost all fruit.  He loooooooooves snacks.

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Weston is still sleeping well (except when sick) but is having a harder time falling asleep before nap/bedtime.  He’s not crying or getting upset but he takes anywhere for 40 minutes to an hour.  We’ve tried pushing bedtime back but he continues to need that wind down time.  It’s been this way, on and off, for a while now.  I’m not sure but I’m beginning to think that the (sacred) nap time might be too long.

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We also cut the tail off Weston’s monkey last month.  Have I already mentioned that?  What does that mean exactly….?  A friend of mine gave both boys a little monkey that holds on/attached to a lovey (tiny blanket).  Corbin found his thumb early on but Weston discovered the monkey.  He didn’t love on the lovey part but instead would suck on the tail.  He’s done this since we stopped swaddling them.  We would rotate the two monkeys and wash them as much as possible but it was still gross.  Daddy decided it was time to cut it off and I was terrified we’d have a very upset boy.  The Hubs told Weston that he bit it off.  He was slightly confused and would still search for it but he held up pretty well.  I also wonder if this is why he takes so much longer to go to sleep as we took away the way he soothes himself.

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Corbin

Corbin did not have to go to the doctor so the scale at home says he weighs 27.8 pounds and he is approximately the same height as West, so I’m going with about 35″ tall.  He could be the exact same height but it’s like herding cats to get them to stand still and/or next to one another so I don’t know for sure. Corbin is an even picker eater then I thought he could be.  He has pretty much a total aversion to meat unless it’s a hot dog (ugh).  He loves to dip things, is totally into snacks and is crazy about refried beans.  He also looooooves carrots. So thats a plus.

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Corbin is not quite as assertive as Weston but he still lets me know his dissatisfaction.  Usually by sobbing his eyes out, whereas his brother hits/throws/screams.  I have to tell myself constantly to be consistent because it’s SO much harder not to cave when he is SO sad.  The Hubs can barely take it.  He loses his mind a little bit when they get upset.

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Corbin is obsessed with his blankie and sucks his thumb.  I am starting to see the thumb taking a toll on his teeth.  He sucks his left thumb, off to the side of his mouth and the left front too is starting to stick out.  I also sucked my thumb as a kid and my teeth were terrible (I wore braces for 7 years).  I have no idea how we would start to break him of this habit anytime soon.  I think he’s still too little.  He sleeps awesome, with the exception of the occasional bad dream.  He will wake up crying but as soon as you go in, pat him on the back and reassure him that you are there, he goes right back to sleep.

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This weekend we have tickets to ride the North Pole Express in Grapevine and I am beyond excited.  The tickets go on sale in October and they are a hot commodity.  You have to buy them EARLY.  I barely got enough for all of us (Gramma Dee & Scott will be participating in the fun too).  I think I should actually watch the Polar Express movie to know what the whole thing is based around but I know the Nuggets are going to be absolutely delighted that they get to ride a choo-choo. 

This Christmas season we have already had so much fun crafting ornaments, attempts making a gingerbread house, destroying decorating the Christmas tree and shopping.  Let’s not talk about how that last one goes.

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We are truly blessed beyond measure and look forward to teaching the boys more about the reason for the season.

XOXO

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Eighteen

Currently, I’m talking about months. Based on how fast these past eighteen months have flow by, I can’t even imagine how I’ll feel when I’m talking about the Nugs in 18 years. Time flies when you’re having fun.

Why can’t time fly when it’s Monday morning and I’m at work?

This sounds like a broken record: they do not have any new teeth (Wes-8, Cor-6). Is this normal? According to the Google machine, most of the charts show that Wes is on track and Corbin’s lower lateral incisors, which typically come in between 10-16 months, are a bit past due.

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Additional research revealed that it’s all just an estimated timeline. Each child is different, and it’s pretty normal to have drastic variations from the schedule. I’m not worrying about it.

Weston

Everything about Weston makes me laugh. I’m constantly telling anyone around to, “Watch, what he’s doing” or “quick, look at Weston”.   I have to stop myself sometimes because that’s an annoying mom thing. If you watch him closely though, you pick up on things you’d otherwise miss. Like when he reads his Dear Zoo book and turns to the monkey page, he makes the noise “ooo ooo ahh ahh” (what a monkey says). If you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss the cuteness.

It’s not all cuddles and hugs though. Weston gets pretty darn upset with you if he cannot have, fill in the ______. Or if you tell him no, he cannot have the toy that Corbin is desperately trying to hold on to and/or running away with.

Weston is a champion sleeper. Most mornings, I’m waking his sleepy-head up. He has had a few instances of bad dreams, which make him pretty crabby in the AM. He is like his mommy in this instance, he needs his beauty sleep.

This month, West got stung by a wasp. He was sitting by the window with Poppi in the playroom and out of the blue, started crying. I thought he pinched his finger somehow because he was holding his hand and crying really hard. My dad was looking around and found a sluggish wasp on the floor. The Hubs found the nest outside, by the window, under the roof’s eve. The first time I was stung by a wasp, I think I was about 12 and I cried like a BIG baby.  I have also been stung by a yellow jacket twice in adulthood and I still cried like a baby.  We watched for any type of allergic reaction and luckily nothing.  West was a big time trooper.

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Corbin

Corbin is obsessed with books. He likes to go find a wall that he can slide down and sit against with his book. He also loves to sit in your lap to read stories. Even if you’re not in a position to which he can actually sit in your lap, Cor will try to find a way to sit on you.

Corbin is also starting to fight back. He holds much tighter to his toy/item that Weston wants and often runs away. If Weston still manages to get it away from him, he will swing his arms like he is trying to hit him (it’s more out of frustration) or he will try to head butt West. If that doesn’t work he will cry. LOUDLY. Then he will proceed to find a corner, hit his head on the wall, and sit down and cry more until someone saves him.

On the flip side, Corbin is also the master manipulator. I witnessed the following:

  1. Corbin wanted the toy his brother had, so he approached Weston and waved the toy that he (Cor) had in his hand to get Weston’s attention.
  2. Corbin proceeded to throw that toy on the ground when Weston made a move for it.
  3. This caused Weston to drop the toy he was holding (the one Corbin wanted) and go after the item Corbin just enticed him.
  4. Now the toy Corbin wanted is free for him without having to actually fight Weston for it.

MASTER!

He's showing you the teeth he does have!
He’s showing you the teeth he does have!

Neither are consistently calling me Mama but I’ve definitely got them practicing. Weston loves to mimic the tone of your voice so, if I sing Ma-ma at a higher pitch, he echoes me. Corbin’s comes out with a Na-na sound; we’re working on our “mmmmm”.

I’m so glad it’s Friday, I need a solid two days loving on my boys.  1.5 years went by way too quickly but we’re having so much fun.

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XOXO,

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Cry It Out

I read all of the pregnancy books I could get my hands on when I was pregnant.

The most popular one, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” sat on my bookshelf for years.  It was given to me around my wedding since I was hoping to get pregnant quickly thereafter  It was my least favorite book of the genre.  I felt that it was repetitive and really, really broad. Not to mention boring.

My favorite pregnancy book was actually a free one.The Mayo Clinic Guide. It was sent from my insurance when I enrolled in the Healthy Pregnancy program.  I advise all pregnant ladies to enroll.  Almost all major insurance carriers provide a healthy pregnancy program.  You already pay for it with your insurance, so you might as well take advantage of it.  The idea is a healthier pregnancy equals a healthier baby and therefore less cost.  Or at least that is the goal behind the programs.  That’s why preventative services are now a zero or minimal cost.

I digress.

The entire 9 weeks I was on bed rest, I never read a single thing about what to do when the boys actually arrived.  I Googled blogs about twins and birth stories and completely neglected to read anything about what to expect after they came home. Doh! *slaps forehead*

I luckily had help for the first few weeks the boys were home.  Between an awesome husband, mom and aunt, the first month was bearable.  But the boys wanted to be held all of the time.  Even if they were fast asleep. As soon as you put them down, whether it was a crib, swing, bouncy seat, wherever, they would stay there about 20 minutes and then being to wiggle, squirm and make little noises.  Any new mom will tell you the smallest noise from a newborn, will wake you up.

We had these neat co-sleepers that went in the bed but that wasn’t good enough.  Both boys wanted to be held. I was too nervous to co-sleep.  Therefore I didn’t sleep.  Eventually I got over it, and both The Hubs and I held a baby in our arms. For the first two months.  The AAP strongly discourages this practice and I thought I was a terrible mother for doing it but the more I spoke to other mama’s, I realized a lot of us do it.

Amongst others, I began reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child.  A book my old neighbor gave us.  She told The Hubs it was, “a life saver”.

Around the boys’ two month appointment, the pediatrician asked how sleeping was progressing.  I laid out our situation and she recommended we should stop co-sleeping.  She said no one would get good sleep that way and it’s not a practice she supports.  Everyone is different.  Most doctor’s will agree with the AAP too.  The book I mentioned above, said to wait to sleep train until three months after the boys actual due date to being sleep training.  But I was tired.  So we started.

At first, it wasn’t hard.  I started with naps in their cribs and it worked! They were swaddled up and would fuss for 10 minutes or so and then sleep for 40 minutes to an hour.  I was pleased. I could shower!  Then we tried it at night and they both fussed for a while but eventually just fell asleep. And stayed asleep.  It was great!  They still woke to eat but would go back down easily.  Swaddling was key for us.

The hardest part of crying it out, was actually as they got a bit older.  Around five months and again at 6-7 months were probably the most difficult.  We were working through bedtimes and naps and milestones and they would cry.  Usually one or the other.  And it would break my heart. But if you went in to soothe one baby, the other would start screaming too.  And since it was impossible to get one settled, with the other screaming for your attention, it was a lost cause. Plus the CIO recommendations stated over and over again, to be consistent.  That inconsistencies sent the wrong message and they would continue to cry.

I have tears in my eyes as I think back to them crying.  It’s not easy.  At all.  I panicked a lot.  I would get super bitchy towards anyone that was around.  I second guessed myself all the time. I cried.  A LOT.

My mom gave me a hard time, “How can I let my babies cry?”. I would read articles that talk about how stressed out an infant is after a CIO session. Or watch something about baby wearing and how good it is for both mom and child.  But for every negative article, I read a positive.

I stuck with it and now I have two healthy, HAPPY boys.  We made it through the time change unscathed.  Well, if a 3:45 am wake up counts.  But guess what? They woke up and started talking to each other and then went back to sleep, until 6:45 this morning. No crying.

I’d say we did something right.

Cost of Twins?

The world knows having a kid costs money.  A nursery, supplies, toys, diapers, formula (if needed) and more.  So having two kids, at once, is double expensive right?

This is my take on the real costs of having twins.

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1. Hospital costs.  Twins, not all but a large percentage, are born prematurely.  Depending on how early and their health at birth, they can be in the NICU for anywhere from a few days to many weeks.  The cost of having a baby, in a hospital, falls under the mother’s insurance and deductible as “one patient”.  If the babies are moved into the NICU, they become their own individual patients.  So you have the expenses of mom’s stay in the hospital and each baby’s stay.  Weston was in the NICU for 12 days and Corbin for 14 days.  Once the boys became individual patients, we also had to meet the family deductible instead of the individual.  This amounted to a little over $8,000, out of pocket. Not something we took into consideration when we budgeted for doctor’s bills.

2.   Nursery.  This is an obvious one.  Two cribs. Two mattresses. Double the blankets. Double the clothes.  Obviously you don’t have to have two sets of everything but you will need more than what a single baby would require.  Resale shops are a really really great idea.  As you’ve probably noticed, I love my boys to match or coordinate.  That doesn’t count out resale.  Buy shorts, jeans, and shoes gently used and then purchase the tops new and matching.  If that’s your thing.  I cannot get enough of it and I know they’re little personalities will come out eventually and they will want to dress themselves.  Until then, I own the wardrobe.

3. Car seats and strollers.  I didn’t mess around with car seats.  I wanted something with a high safety rating but it also needed to fit a small baby.  Yes, there is a difference.  We used the Chico Key Fit 30 ($189.00 x 2) about $380.  Super high safety clearance and was rated for an infant as small as 5 lbs.  Necessary to bring the Nuggets home.  If you didn’t know, the hospital performs a test to ensure that the baby can sit in a car seat for 90 minutes without any breathing issues.  They must pass this test before they are released.  Strollers are obviously a bit more expense because you need the double.  We’ve spent a stupid amount of money on strollers but you can probably avoid our mistakes.  And avoid American Airlines.

3. Diapers and formula.  Double. Duh.  In the early days, we went through a box of diapers every 5 days, which would amount to approximately $45 a week.  Formula, in the beginning would be harder for me to estimate because I was desperately trying to breastfeed/pump and then supplement. Around three months I dried up totally and they were on formula 100%. At that point, we used approximately three-four containers a week (Enfamil Sensitive) and that was about $90-$100.  Some friends enlightened us to try Target brand and the boys actually seemed to like it better.  Since it was a few dollar cheaper and was a bigger container, that reduced  $75.  Monthly cost of diapers = $180, formula = $300.

4. Toys.  Do you have to have two of everything?  Nope.  Does it make it easier and more convenient? Yep. Especially as they get older.  Certain toys they just like better.  And they both want it.  At the same time.  I did a post on twin must haves here.

5. Child care.  If you are so lucky to be able to stay home please enjoy every second of it.  At first it’s tough and you want to have adult interaction desperately but then they stop needing you every second of every day and it’s easier.  And then, all of a sudden, you want them to want you every second of every day.  We have a nanny that comes to the house and it’s actually less expensive than putting both boys in daycare.  Full time daycare will run you about $205-$300 per child, a week.  Monthly cost of about $2000.

Twins are no doubt more expensive than having one child but if you have two children (even at different times) costs are similar.  But it’s so worth it.

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XOXO – Lindsey

Television + The Nuggets = Nada

I think I have been successful.

The Nuggets don’t watch TV.

It was my goal was to limit their TV to zilch.  I’d say I did pretty well.

They’ve been in the living room with the TV on (especially since football season started) but they aren’t really watching it.  They look at the screen for a minute and then move on to other things. Like climbing the fire-place. Or opening the cabinets. Or their personal fav, trying to turn the blue-cable-box-button on and off 9875768 times.  Especially during a nail-biting moment of the game.

I read a bunch on how TV under the age of two can be detrimental to development.  Of course it’s probably not as a big of a deal as it’s made out to be (as is most things regarding children…why do they try to scare us?).  But I took it to heart.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids under 2 years old not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming.  The first 2 years of life are considered a critical time for brain development. TV and other electronic media can get in the way of exploring, playing, and interacting with parents and others, which encourages learning and healthy physical and social development.  Read more from the AAP here.

I, being the sleep Nazi queen, also read that it can affect their sleep.  SOLD.  No TV if it means it affects good sleep. Because good sleep means happy and healthy and smart babies. The Hubs agreed and supported me.  Was he upset during baseball season? Maybe.

Next, is the fact that I want to actually play and interact with my kids.  As full time working parents, we literally have 30-60 minutes with them in the morning and 90-120 minutes with them after work, during the week.  And a, way too short, 48 hours with them on Saturdays and Sundays.

Example: My nieces and nephews were in town.  We turned on Frozen (never seen it) and I was completely sucked in.  Did the boys watch? Nope.  Did Weston almost fall off the step because I wasn’t paying attention.  Yep.  Quality parenting right there.

To each their own on parenting styles and decisions made for their kiddies.  I am proud of sticking to my guns and actually preventing the boys from being sucking into the boob tube. XOXO Lindsey

Eleven Months

My Nuggets are ELEVEN months old!

OMG!

Where has the time gone!  It has been so much fun and continues to be even more fun every day.

The boys are all over the place.  Their little personalities…especially the sassy parts are really starting to shine through.

Corbin has his two bottom teeth and then a front snaggle tooth…two spaces to the right and he has another random tooth coming in.  It will be an interesting smile to say the least.  He has already starting “expressing his dislike” in things or situations. Whether it be me making him sit down in the tub or the little walker he marches behind getting stuck, he definitely lets you know he’s not happy.  Although he also likes to “hug” by putting his head down on your shoulder and he now gives kisses too.  This mommy loooooves his love.  As I mentioned above, he’s walking behind a toy walker and cruising along furniture but he’s still pretty unsteady by himself.

Weston has a whole bunch of teeth now!  He had two top front come in within a day of each other and then the two to each side came down within a few days.  He was bit grumpy but overall, it hasn’t been a really “rough teething” with either of them.  I honestly thought Weston would have been walking by now but he’s still a super fast crawler.  He does pull up quite quickly and has been seen to stand up solo, but no steps yet.  I’m not worried.

I don’t know their weight or height, our doctor’s appointment is next week. They are wearing 12 month clothes….Updates to follow.

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They are eating all kinds of things.  We noticed Weston’s eczema flared up pretty badly after I introduced yogurt and therefore we are avoiding any dairy for him.  We are working on eating less purred foods and more mushed and/or solid.

I’m excited for what’s to come and sad that this first year has gone by so quickly.  My heart expands with love and pride every day and I’m so lucky to have these boys.

XOXO,