Sunday, July 29, 2012

The 2-Month Checkup

We have a couple of growing boys on our hands!  Both are very healthy and hitting milestones right on time ... which is wonderful news because I've been unsure as to whether or not we need to worry about adjusted v. actual age.  Had they been born two weeks ahead or maybe even just one week, we would never even worry about this question.  I've decided to ignore it altogether.  I'm such a rebel.

PB weighed in at a whopping 13lbs 13oz!  Our little chunka-monk has nearly doubled his birth weight in less than three months - so crazy.  He's also grown four inches and is now 23 3/4".  We have a solid boy on our hands wearing size 6mo onesies and size 2 diapers.  He's smiling more often, holding his head up and steady for long periods of time, standing and bearing weight for up to 15-20 seconds, is starting to practice pushups during tummy time, cooing and gurgling, following objects within his field of vision, is just starting to recognize our voices, and blowing bubbles like crazy.

J is still our little guy weighing in at 9lbs 6oz.  He's grown nearly three inches and measures 21 3/4".  He's only charting in the 5th %tile, but since he's always measured within the same %tile his doctor says he's growing the way he should be.  He's just grown into size 3mo onesies and size 1 diapers - though he still fits into newborn size shorts/pants since he's so long and lean.  He smiles constantly now (he also looks like he's laughing at times, though no sound comes out yet), he's very vocal and coos a lot, he's holding his head up for longer periods of time (though he's not able to hold it steady for very long), standing and bearing weight for up to 10-15 seconds, blowing bubbles, following objects within his field of vision, and recognizes our voices.

Though I knew they were getting shots, I didn't realize they were getting three of them plus an oral vaccine (find the CDC recommended schedule here).  I thought they might have two nurses give the shots at one time, but as it turned out the girl was so quick it didn't matter.  PB spit out half the oral vaccine, though J drank it right up - same happened when I gave them Tylenol before their appointment.  Both boys did cry with the shots, but they settled down right away with sympathy and cuddles from momma.  Thank goodness too.  Momma B was able to take a long break from work, but had to leave right before they got their shots and I was a little nervous about whether I could comfort them both on my own. I was so proud of PB&J!  They were their regular, happy selves afterward.  They did get sleepy much earlier that night, but otherwise weren't affected by their vaccinations at all.  Now perhaps the preemptive Tylenol helped or maybe they're just resilient - could be both, either way it was good.

In other news, I recently found out I am qualified for Paid Family Leave - a program in California which provides an additional six weeks of State Disability Insurance for new parents to bond with their child(ren).  Due to some misinformation I received from my employer's HR department, I was told I would only receive the 6 - 8 weeks of SDI for maternity leave and wasn't eligible for PFL, thus I had already informed my nurse manager that I would be returning to work August 13th.  Thankfully, she approved an extension to my leave of absence and I am now able to stay home with our boys until September 10th - a week shy of their four month birthday!  I cannot tell you how happy this makes me.  I miss working, but I'm not ready to go back - not quite yet.  I'm hoping by four months our schedule will be solid, all the details with their nanny ironed out (whom I finally met Friday and is absolutely fabulous!), and I'll feel more ready for the real world.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Schedule? What Schedule?!

Momma B had to return to the real world on Monday and I've been on my own taking care of PB&J for the last four days.  I miss Momma B!  It's not just her company - though I miss that greatly - but the extra hands.  I knew it would be a transition, but I had a lot of optimism that it would be so easy.  

I think these boys sensed that as well since Monday went so smoothly.  Eating every three hours, napping together, minimal fussiness - it was wonderful!  Each day since has not been so breezy.  Tuesday we did manage to take a walk and yesterday we also were able to go visit a friend for a few hours.  However, past the first meal of the day they are starting to do things on their own time.  PB refuses to nap after his first feeding around 7 while J snoozes away and I'm nodding off having gotten up between 3 - 4 am to feed J and again around 6 as Momma B gets ready for work.  Of course, after they both eat again around 10 PB passes out and J is wide awake and ready to be entertained.  Thus the rest of the day is spent feeding one then another, putting one down when the other gets up, etc.  I'm barely able to eat let alone get anything done around the house!  This afternoon I put them both down at the same time, praying they'd both fall asleep (or just entertain themselves in their cribs) so I could finally take a shower and eat something.  It worked!  Now most things I've read says at 10 weeks it's a little early for a set schedule, but I don't think it's too early to at least start trying for some sort of routine.  For my sanity, it needs to happen!

Nothing more precious than watching these boys sleep!
Now don't get me wrong, I'm extremely thankful we have two wonderful sleepers on our hands.  They both have been sleeping through the night for the last three weeks.  Bedtime has been pretty consistent between 7:30 - 8.  J routinely sleeps at least 8 - 9 hours, getting up between 3:30 - 4:30 am then going back to sleep for another few hours.  PB really blesses us as he's been sleeping 11 - 11 1/2 hrs, getting up at the same time as J between 7 - 7:30!!  They take 3 - 4 naps a day, ranging from 45 minutes - 2 hours at a time.  I know we're very lucky, though I will take some credit as I read a multitude of books and other online resources to figure out what we could do to help them figure out their days and nights and sleep longer stretches at night without having to resort to CIO or any other stressful methods.  So I won't discount any of that.  

I don't want to seem whiny or inconsiderate, as I know how blessed I am to care for these amazing little guys.  They make me happier than I could've ever thought possible.  But I'd love to be able to keep life going and not have everything put on hold because every minute is spent feeding, cleaning, or entertaining babies.  I'd like to shower daily, at least!  

So I'm going to keep on keepin' on.  It's bound to stick one of these days, right?!  

If any of you can relate and have success stories - twins or no twins - I'd love to hear them!  It's motivation and maybe what worked for you can for us too.   

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Real Thing

Nothing has been more exciting and grand than seeing these boys light up and smile, like for reals smile!  It's something we've been looking forward to all these weeks.  Yes there have been glimpses along the way - gassy grins and sleeping smirks - but nothing directed at us or because of anything in particular.  We've sung silly songs, played games, tickled bellies knees and toes, made funny faces, talked in goofy voices, basically made complete fools of ourselves in an attempt to make them smile.  Nothing.  

And then suddenly this week we got not just one, but both our boys to give us those huge, heart-melting gummy grins we've been dying to see.  I have to say it's been one of the best moments of motherhood yet.  I never thought I'd work so hard to get a boy to smile at me in my life!  For these boys, it'll never be work.  I yearn to see those smiles and getting one only encourages me to coax out more.  

PB's big cheeser was just caught today by Momma B.

J's been spreading 'em around all week! 

Everyone says how much PB looks like me and I never saw it completely until I put us next to each other (this was me at about 4 months old).  Yeah there's no denying, he's my mini!

Who can resist a little PB&J photo collage?!  I know I can't.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Down and Dirty

What I've learned in the last eight weeks:

Babies can stink.  They fart - a lot.  I had no idea how much.  And they do not smell good.  You may think they pooped, but nope it was just a loud, smelly fart.  Formula poops smell so much worse than breastmilk poops too. However, both are just as messy.  It can get anywhere and everywhere - a concept that Momma B affectionately calls "shitballs."  (It definitely makes us glad we have boys, I don't want to think of the mess one must deal with on a baby girl.)  And sometimes that smell gets in their clothes though not a drop of poo touched them.  Yes, it's that potent.

Babies can get dirty - without doing a thing.  Lint gathers between their fingers and toes.  Dirt gets underneath their fingernails.  Unseen spit-up forms crusties around their mouths.  They frequently get boogers - long, sticky boogers that are not so easy to get out with those silly snot-suckers.  Eye boogies seem to pop up hourly and need to be cleaned carefully.  Somehow the wax build-up in their ears came as a surprise to me.  This is a daily part of my personal hygiene regimen, why did I never think it would be part of theirs too?!  They get dirt build-up behind their ears that can smell like stinky belly button if not caught soon enough.  (Guess our moms didn't tell us to scrub behind our ears for nothing!)  

Babies can monopolize a conversation.  Who would've ever thought we'd have serious discussions with people about the workings of various brands of diapers - which ones leak - which ones are easiest to remove in the middle of the night?  Or how much spit-up a kid can produce?  Or debate about when spit-up becomes vomit?  Or intensely speculate about what eye color the boys will end up with?  I never wanted to be that boring person that has nothing else to talk about other than their babies.  I like to think I haven't gotten to that point and I try to reserve the majority of my baby talk for certain people within our personal circle, but I'll admit it's a struggle.  These kids are my heart and certainly dominate my life at the moment.  

Sometimes it's hard to realize just how rapidly they grow when we see them constantly, until I happen to look at them in someone else's arms and think to myself when did he get so long?

Sometimes it's hard to know what they need.  There are times they cry, they fuss, their whole head turns red and yet we've covered all their basic needs ... so what else can it be?  This can be enlightening at times, but mostly it's just frustrating.  No book can tell me about our babies.  I wish they could.

Sometimes I've done things I swore I'd never do, but despite the potential safety risks it's the only thing that works at the time.  I've microwaved bottles.  We've slept with both babies between us, covering them up with our own comforter for lack of any other blankets to keep them warm.  I've left them unattended on the changing table while I ran to get diapers or wipes.  

Sometimes exhaustion takes over my whole body and mind and I spend an entire day in a piss poor mood; but somehow I still find it in myself to smile and laugh when one of our little guys is nestled in my arms.  

Sometimes I'm amazed at how much I'm able to get done in a day, but yet feel so overwhelmed because there is still too much left to do.  Sometimes I'm amazed at how little I can get done in a day, but yet feel so productive because that little bit was the most I could do and was the exact thing I needed done.

Every day I learn something new - sometimes good, sometimes bad but always useful.  PB&J are changing and slowly becoming less like newborns and more like infants (though we still have some time before they're officially infants).  We get a smile out of them daily now and we're really looking forward to the day they become more regular and spontaneous.  J is eating with more vigor now, though still more frequently than his brother.  We're ready to start them on a more regular schedule and sleep train them, but they're still too young and their weight difference makes it difficult.  PB has been out of newborn sizes for a few weeks now, but J is starting to outgrow them too.  Somehow this saddens me a little.  Momma B returns to work in just over a week and that saddens me too.  I return to week in just over a month and that saddens me more.  I never thought I'd want to be a SAHM, but right now I wish it were possible.  Though we have a wonderful woman to watch them, I don't want to miss a moment.  It all goes so quickly.

The last eight weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind.  I hope the next eight weeks slow down to at least a strong breeze.  I'm so afraid of forgetting these early days.  I don't want them to get brushed aside as our boys achieve more.  I don't want to forget the heartaches and the bursts of joy as the newness of motherhood starts to wear off.  The last eight weeks have established my definition of myself as "mother," but luckily it's a definition that is capable of evolving.  

This is what happens when we let our boys dress themselves!
I think we have a couple fashion geeks on our hands.  

Okay, we were bored.  ;)

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