Valentines 2015

Valentines 2015

Monday, August 22, 2011

Top 21 things I've learned in 10 short months

1. That first month with two newborn babies was the craziest, most sleep deprived, hectic, chaotic month of our lives.
We were lucky to get 2-3 hours of sleep a day, and even that was in increments of 30-45 minutes most times. I'm amazed we retained our sanity through that mess!

2. Thank God for NICU nurses!
They got the girls on the same feeding/waking/sleeping schedule during the 8 days they were there. I know that this made our lives A LOT easier once the girls came home.

3. Invest in some nice maternity clothes that you love while you are pregnant (especially pants). Chances are, you will be wearing them again for a while once you deliver.
I'm just now (10 months post birth) no longer wearing ANY maternity clothes. 10 months. Yeah. And let me just take a moment to say how nice it is to shop and buy "normal" clothes again, even if they aren't my pre-pregnancy size just yet.

4. It's true; unless you are a freak of nature (and I envy you freak of natures out there), it will take you at least 9 months to get back to your pre-pregnancy size.
I don't think you ever get your pre-pregnancy body shape back, so I might as well throw that idea out the window (along with my bikini's =)).

5. Breastfeeding and pumping is a MAJOR time committment.
I've done the math; by the time the girls are 12 months old I will have spent the equivalent of 2 months SOLID breastfeeding and pumping milk. 2 MONTHS. 60 full days. WOW. I wouldn't trade breastfeeding my girls for anything in the world, but when I was told I would have to "commit" to it, I didn't think this was exactly what I was signing up for!

6. If you are a mom choosing to breastfeed, invest in some nursing tops and tanks.
I wear nursing tanks every. single. day. (instead of nuring bras) and I love them!. The tanks help to shape your post pregnancy belly a bit too. . .we can all use that, right? =). Nursing tops are perfectly designed to be stretchy and conceal the fact that you are breastfeeding an infant. I found nursing bras to be clunky and uncomfortable and non nursing tops to be a pain since you have to take them off to feed or pump. . .maybe just me. . .

7. I feel it is perfectly acceptable at 3 AM to latch a baby on to your breast and fall back asleep in your lazy boy recliner while feeding.
After all, you have to work the next day, and beauty sleep is most definitely important.

8. You really can learn how to change a poopy diaper in your sleep.
I've had to do it at least 25 times...that I can remember.

9. It's crazy how quickly babies grow out of clothes.
I wish I got a new wardrobe every 2-3 months! This does slow down I'm told. . .we just aren't there yet.

10. Childcare is ridiculously expensive.
For two babies, we are literally making the equivalent of another mortgage payment each month. Another. Mortgage. Payment., complete with escrow and insurance. Are you kidding me?! People weren't lying when they said that disposable income goes out the window once you have kids. Yeah. It really does.

11. We currently go through 85-100 diapers a week. This is down from our original 140 diapers a week when the girls were newborns.
We have gone through approximately 4270 diapers thus far, and about 2200 wipes. Wowza. How soon can I start potty training again?! LOL.

12. Buying two cradle swings was the best investment we made with the girls.
Bri has reflux and she slept in her swing for the first 6 months of her life. Both girls took beautiful 2+ hour naps in their swings. Those swings were the only way that mommy and daddy got any sleep those first couple of months. Well worth the money.

13. I slept on the couch, nearly upright, for the first 8 weeks after the girls came home. Laying flat hurt from the C-section incision. Walking upstairs to my bed hurt even more.
Why don't they tell people about this type of stuff? No one said a word to me! Right after I had the girls they wanted me to walk to the NICU to see them - one floor down on an opposite wing in the hospital. I couldn't walk that far. No way. It hurt a lot. It was harder to walk post c-section for me than it was for me to walk filled with fluid and weighing 232 lbs prior to delivery. I thought it would be easier, not harder! I also thought it would heal in a week or two, and I'd be as good as new! HA.

14. A double stroller that my car seats snapped into made my life SO much easier the first 6 months.
I could snap the girls right into the stroller while still in their car seats and go on my happy way. If they were sleeping they remained sleeping. Sure, my options were limited on which stroller I could get that could accomodate two car seats at the same time, but the ability to leave the house and go somewhere by myself with two tiny babies was well worth more than having the fancy brand name stroller. Ours was a Graco and with the stroller and both car seats it still cost nearly $500. I did mention that babies are expensive, right? And that was only one of the 4 strollers that we have bought to date. . .

15. Boppies are one of the greatest creations ever.
They were awesome to help position babies during breast or bottle feeding. They also work as a support when babies are learning to sit up on their own. We still use our boppies and put the girls in them for their first bottle of the day. And when the girls aren't using them, the pugs think they make a most wonderful dog bed =).

16. Save the nasal aspirators you get from the hosptial when you have a baby.
Those nose suckers ROCK! And you can't buy anything in the stores that are even close to the suction power in one of those suckers. I can't tell you how many times we have had to use that thing - we still use it probably at least once a week - and will continue to use it until the girls become proficient at blowing their noses. Yet another item that is worth it's weight in gold.

17. Making baby food is easier than it sounds!
I've made all of the girls baby food (with the exception of prunes, oatmeal, and yogurt), and even being a working momma who breastfeeds/pumps, I have still been able to make time to do it. All it takes is an oven, a blender, ice cube trays, and 2-3 hours a week. You will save yourself SO much money.

18. The more time you can spend enjoying time with your babies instead of managing them, the happier you'll be.
I've found this to be very true, although it took me quite a while to get there. It is awesome to be able to actually enjoy your children! They can bring such joy to your life!!

19. No two babies are the same. Just because your baby reacted this way to "X" doesn't mean mine will too.
Essentially, just take each piece of advice like a grain of salt. Some advice will apply perfectly to your situation, but other advice won't. Don't be afraid to learn on your own; generally it's just easier to learn from other people's mistakes =).

20. Make time each week to spend time alone with your husband/significant other.
This is so important. You need that time each week away from the kids to reconnect. It doesn't have to be anything fancy - a trip to the grocery store without the kids, a walk around the block, a dance lesson (my personal favorite). It goes a LONG way. I can always tell when we have missed our weekly time away because we get snippy at each other and with the girls. It's not pretty. We have to remember that we were a couple first, and parents second. Without our marital foundation, we can't be the best parents we can be to our girlies!

21. I got SO sick of people telling me to enjoy the freedom and ability to do whatever I wanted and "sleep while I could" before the babies came.
BUT. . .I don't think anyone truly understands what seasoned moms and dads mean by that until their babies arrive. Sleeping past 7 AM is a luxury in our house. And vacations? Not without babies. And even then, who has the disposable income to go on vacations anymore?!

So that's it! There's my list! The top 21 things I have learned in the last 10 months with twins in tow! What did you learn once your baby/babies made their debut? What's missing from my list?

Until next time -

Thursday, August 18, 2011

That's a conundrum!

Who thought that was a good idea?! Livvy is the queen of getting stuck under things and consequently can't figure out how to get out! That girl cracks me up!

LOL...I couldn't resist the quick post! =)

Until next time -

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

10 Months Old!

The girlies turned another month older on Saturday, and are now only 2 months away from being 1 year old! AHHHHH!!!!!

Here's a brief rundown of what's new with our 10 month olds =)

Miss Olivia - aka "Baby A"

Nicknames: Livvy, Liv, Livvy girl, Peanut
Favorite activity: Taking things off of shelves, out of baskets, and off of tables and scattering them on the floor around her. Also, playing with helium inflated balloons. SO cool!
Mobility: She has moved on from rolling to crawling full speed ahead! Man she is fast! She has also learned how to pull herself up on furniture (and people). She tries to take unassisted steps, but has a bad habit of falling on her face (and consequently screaming bloody murder)
Favorite food: Pancakes, peaches, bagels, and pear juice (50/50 with water of course). And whatever else mommy and daddy are eating =)
Personality: Loves people (a daddy trait)! Full of smiles (a mommy trait). Loves to watch what is going on around her. Soaks everything in. Has a bit of a temper, and occasionally bullies her sister, pulls hair, and tries to take her toys. Scared of older men and anyone with gray hair, other than Aunt Denise (LOL).
Favorite Person: Usually Daddy, but Papa Ken will give him a run for his money!
Words: Da-da, hey, yep

Miss Brianna - aka "Baby B"

Nicknames: Bri, Bri baby, Peanut
Favorite activity: Sitting in the front entry way looking outside; closely followed by banging on pots in the kitchen and playing with plastic hangers
Mobility: Crawling everywhere, and easily pulling herself up on furniture or people. She has also been working on cruising the furniture. Watch out world, here comes Bri!
Favorite food: Pancakes are by far her favorite! She also enjoys bagels, sweet potatoes, and DQ vanilla soft serve (shhh - so does Livvy!)
Personality: Reserved. Will smile at you, but has to warm up to you first. Likes to be active and moving (a mommy trait =)). Has a bit of an ornery streak (a daddy trait). Has a knack for getting into whatever she isn't supposed to be getting in to. If you tell her no, she will acknowledge you, then do it anyway, and laugh. I kid you not. Little bugger!
Favorite Person: Usually Mommy, but Aunt Denise is pretty darn cool too!
Words: Da-da, Ma-Ma (although only occasionally on purpose), yep

Holy buckets! I can see them turning from babies into little ladies, right before my very eyes! So bittersweet! I can't believe it is possible to love someone so little SO much! I absolutely don't know what we would do without them. They are definitely the lights of our lives =).

Until next time -

Monday, August 15, 2011

I'm changing pediatricians!

We went in for our 9 month check up a week an a half ago. Anyone care to check my math on that? How old were the girls? If you said less than a week away from 10 months you'd be right!

So am I a slacker mom that doesn't call and make my girls well baby check ups in a decent amount of time to be seen at that actual milestone? HA! Not at all. We call a minimum of 8-12 weeks in advance to try and get in for a well baby check up with my pedi as close to their actual month birthdate as possible. This is the second time it has been nearly a month off. Seriously, who is THAT busy that they can't see their patients on time if they call 2+ months in advance? I don't think I should have to book my appointments out multiple months in advance. Am I being unrealistic?

So that is one reason I am looking at switching pediatiricians. The other? Well, you saw my posts over the last two weeks about momma knowing best and the nurse blowing me off? I'm not a fan of the office staff. The front desk staff are fine, but the nurses are awful! I made the appointment to have Bri seen two weeks ago for a sick visit and we went in - the pediatrician checked for an ear infection - negative. Then she thought maybe she had a UTI so they took a urine sample. Well, we never got a call back with the results from the lab so the nurse told us no news was good news, meaning that apparently Bri didn't have a UTI. Okay, fine. During that visit we also decided to switch Bri's med for her acid reflux again as she's been spitting up and burpy for the last several weeks (boo!), so that was an ongoing issue again.

Following our sick visit Tuesday night/Wednesday morning Bri was up from 1 AM-6AM every 10 MINUTES, screaming blood murder. Nothing would calm her down. I gave her tylenol/advil, fed her, rocked her, changed her, bounced her, sang to her, put her in bed with us, but to no avail.

I called the doctor's office first thing Wednesday morning to ask what I should do - this was not normal and something was obviously going on (even though her physical exam was "perfect" on Tuesday). 6 PM (10 HOURS LATER) the nurse calls me back and tells me that since she has an ear infection (WTF???) that her ear hurts and that is normal, but it should get better over the next 24-48 hours if I just keep giving her the antibiotics.


She was checked for an ear infection, but the pediatrician said she didn't have one. So that wasn't the problem, and she wasn't taking antibiotics. Seriously??? LOOK AT MY CHILD'S CHART BEFORE YOU CALL ME BACK! So she says sorry and says she will call the pediatrician back then call me again. When she calls me back she has nothing new to offer - try giving tylenol and advil and see if that helps. Yeah, my issue though lady is that we have NO IDEA what is wrong with my child and why we are having to medicate her! Whatever.

So, I decide to problem solve on my own. I figure maybe it is her acid reflux and she is having issues with that. I call the pharmacy, and they say they have the script ready to go, we just need to come and pick it up. So we head to Walgreens, only to find out that the pediatrician's office AGAIN dropped the ball and didn't call in the pre-auth so that the insurance would cover the medication. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I was standing right there when the pediatrician put in the note for the nurse to call in the pre auth because she was showing a new physician in the clinic how to do it. So I know it was put into the system. One of her office staff once again forgot to do it. So irritating.

Then last Thursday we had our nearly a month late well baby check up. I talk to the pediatrician very specifically about these issues. She defended her office staff on the medication and said that it can take 6-8 hours for a pre-auth to go through. I stated back that it had been 36 hours and it still hadn't been done. She continued to defend her office staff and said that Walgreens hadn't requested it from them. I personally talked to the insurance company, and they were the ones waiting on the doctor's office. They had what they needed from the pharmacy.
Strike one.

Then I expressed my concerns about Tuesday night/Wednesday morning when Bri was up all night. My pedi told me that she was up and crying because she has developed object permanence and has learned that if she cries that I will come and get her. Further, I should just let her cry it out. Okay lady, strike freaking two. She was SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER. Like not whining, not whimpering, like straight out screaming. For 5 HOURS. And she didn't stop when I was holding her, so she wasn't crying because she wanted her mommy to pick her up.

Then I expressed my concerns that the girls are starting to refuse my milk (or formula, either way) and some days I have a hard time forcing them to drink 12 oz. The absolute minimum that a baby should be drinking at this age is 18 oz. So this looks like a problem right? Apparently not to her. She told me that the girls were fine on weight so unless they started to lose weight that I didn't need to force them to drink the milk.

Um, and I would know if they were losing weight how? I don't have a scale at home to weigh them on. . .and wait, once babies become mobile don't they lose some of their baby weight? So how would I know the difference between healthy and unhealthy weight loss untill it was too late? I wouldn't.

She then questioned me about the girls sleeping arrangements and promptly proceeded to tell me that Bri should not be sleeping in her pack and play in our room with us. And I needed to get her out of our room as soon as possible, like within the next couple of days. Look, I knew that Bri couldn't stay in our room forever, but there are plenty of mommas out there that co-sleep with their infants and would literally laugh at my pedi if she said that to them. And really, what the heck difference does it make to her?? If my child is in my room, that affects her how? It doesn't. I had every intention of moving Bri out of our room and had been waiting for the right time. When *I* was ready. (BTW - I moved her out 5 days ago and haven't looked back - but it wasn't because the pedi told me to - it was a long time coming and I had to be ready - which I finally was)

The pediatrician was very pointed with me on several issues while we were there, and I didn't like it. I also didn't like that she couldn't come up with a reason for Bri's fever for a week, or her crying for 5 hours straight. She has been a constipated baby for months, so I asked her about that and if that could be causing issues and she blew me off.

When she walked out the door at the end of the visit she said "see you at a year". . .I promptly stated back as the door closed "no you won't". . .

Seriously. I'm so switching pedi's. I need one who actually listens to me. I've set up the girls 1 year visit with my old pediatrician (for October 17th - their birthday is October 13th - NICE). I didn't want to bring the girls to him to start with because I thought he would be retiring within the next 10 years and I didn't want to have to move the girls to a different pediatrician at that time. Bad idea! I should have just gone with him to start with because here I am, moving them at 10 months old. Pathetic.

Please be honest and tell me if I am over reacting. I really think that the doctor that I, Si, or the girls are seeing needs to listen to me and address my concerns. And it shouldn't take 2+ months to get a well baby appointment. Seriously! These girls are our life! We couldn't let anything happen to them!!

Hope you all had a most excellent weekend!
Until next time -

Monday, August 8, 2011

"9 month" stats

These are actually the girls 10ish month stats. . .our pediatrician's office can never get us in on time for our visits so we are always past our actual monthly milestone by about a month. Oh well! We dare to be different anyway!

Withought further ado, here are the girls "9 month" (actually 10 month) stats!

Baby A - Miss Olivia
Weight - 22 lbs 4 oz - 90th percentile
Height - 2 ft 4 in - 53rd percentile
Head circumfrence - 18.4 in - 97th percentile

Baby B - Miss Brianna
Weight - 23 lbs 5 oz - 95th percentile
Height - 2 ft 5 in - 84th percentile
Head Circumfrence - 17.5 in - 56th percentile

I've got some big healthy girlies!! Go girlies go! They've even been eating less breastmilk than usual and they are still in the 90th+ percentiles. I just love their little rolls! Notice Livvy's arm rolls?! LOL! I think the chunk is SO cute! =)

In other developmental news, Friday they both decided that the way to get around was to crawl like madwomen and cruise the furniture. HOLY BUCKETS! That happened fast! One day I could do dishes in the kitchen and know that the girls weren't really going anywhere and the next it seems like I couldn't walk away for a second because they would be gone in different directions, eating the dog toys and pulling down tablecloths. AAAHHHH! They are really growing up aren't they? This is when it becomes real - wow - we have two little ladies on our hands!

I have at least two other blog posts in progress - one for my "blog on fire award" (yay award!), and one about switching pediatricians. So stay tuned!!

Until next time!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Maybe a UTI?

So I brought Bri into the pedi today. For more info on why, check out my last post here.

Essentially I wanted to rule out an ear infection...which she doesn't have. YAY. The next most common infection for a baby to have is a UTI, so the pediatrician decided to check for that. Unfortunately in infants the only way to check for a UTI is to get a urine sample, and the only way to get a urine sample is by catheterization. Not the most pleasant thing for a baby. But, it is pretty fast and more uncomfortable than painful. Bri was a trooper!

The initial results in the office showed a low positive result with lymphocytes (white blood cells) in her urine. But, the pediatrician wants to get the culture back from the lab before she starts her on antibiotics. She talked to me about a condition called urinary reflux which she will want to check for via ultrasound if the culture from the lab comes back positive as well. We should know in the next 24-36 hours.

I also talked to the pediatrician about Bri's acid reflux. Bri was originally taking Prilosec (I thought she was taking Prevacid) when she was a month or so old, then was switched (by a accident) to Prevacid at 6 months, then the insurance refused to pay for the Prevacid without a prior authorization so we switched back to Prilosec at 7 or 8 months. Since switching back to Prilosec, Bri has been really burpy and spitty again. The pediatrician thinks that could be part of the reason she is being so fussy and doesn't really want to eat or sleep now. Reflux hurts!! So, we are switching back to the Prevacid since she did so well on that. We should have that tomorrow. On a side note, most babies outgrow reflux at around the 9 month mark. Apparently not Miss Bri. And that's okay. The pediatrician said that 8-11% of babies don't. I am just excited to see if the Prevacid will help my sweet girl start feeling better! I miss my smiley girl!

Thanks for all your feel better wishes for Miss Brianna! She appreciates it even though she can't say it back just yet =). She will, however, give you a high five on command. How sweet is that? =)

Hope you all are having a great day!

Until next time -

Monday, August 1, 2011

Does momma really know best?

I think we all, as parents, question our parenting skills from time to time and occasionally need to be reminded that regardless of what other people may tell us, we are the parents, and we know what is best for our children.

So why am I on my soapbox today?

Bri has been crazy fussy since at least Friday. Like, I can't put her down fussy. Like she doesn't want to play. Low grade fever. Drooling everywhere. Not eating well. Sleeping even worse. Consequently, momma is tired too.

Bri is getting at least her two upper teeth right now. I know this is not a pain free process. I get that. But tylenol is doing NOTHING. Orajel is helping a little, but it requires relatively frequent applications, and I'm not a huge fan of orajel and don't really want to use it. I feel like this has been going on a long time to simply be a new tooth (or two). I personally think she might have an ear infection. I have had 3 other people today tell me the same thing.

I called the pediatrician's office to get their input since they are the "experts". I went through the speal. . .low grade fever, getting two teeth, not eating well, not sleeping well, blah blah blah.

Know what I got? The nurse told me that Bri probably isn't sleeping because it's hot outside. Um, really? Well it's nice and cool inside, AND she was sleeping fine for the rest of the summer, so I highly doubt the heat is the problem. How ridiculous of a statement is that?

Further, she stated that she was "sure" she was fine and could be checked out on Thursday when we were in for our 9 month check up. I asked her if there was anything I should be watching for or how I would know to call back. She told me if Bri stopped eating ENTIRELY or quit sleeping ENTIRELY that I could then call back and make an appointment to be seen, but she didn't think that was going to be necessary. UM, are you serious? You want me to wait until my child is eating no food and is refusing to sleep at all before we come back in? NOT HAPPENING.

So, I promptly called back and scheduled a sick visit for Bri for tomorrow. Isn't this why we pay for health insurance?!?! I would feel absolutely awful if I waited until Thursday, Bri was seen, and she had an ear infection and I made her suffer through it for a week before going in to be checked out. I will pay the 20 bucks for the copay. Come on now.

I will let you know how it turns out. Even if it's nothing, I won't regret going in. I'd rather know than not, you know? And, my momma gut says something is up. I don't know what is up, but this isn't my normal teething Brianna =(.

Where is my happy girl?! I miss her! I hope she feels better soon!

Happy Monday all!

Until next time -