Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hail State-Go Dawgs!! (And The Twins Are 6 Weeks Old)

Bailey has really been into football this season for some reason.  Sid and Dad have gone to a couple of games and she was adamant that she wanted to go to a football game.  She quickly picked up on the whole "Go Dawgs/Who Let The Dogs Out/cowbell thing and loved to say it and watch it on TV.  Dad wasn't able to make it back for the game this weekend, which was MSU/LATech.  So Sid told Bailey he'd take her.  When he told her this, he thought the game was at 11:00, but by the end of the week it had been changed to 6:00.  We knew there was no backing out, so we bit the bullet and made plans to go.  Nene and Jerry kept the babies.  ( I must say that since all I've done is eat/breathe/sleep babies (I'm not sure what my over-use of the ( ) and the / is all about) for the past 6 weeks, it felt really odd to be on such an adventure and know that I had left 2/3 of my children behind.)

 Apparently, Mom and Dad pay some good money to somebody because we wheeled right on in a parking lot and parked no further than a half a mile away from our seats.  I only saw about 5 parking spots that would have been closer.  I despise SEC stadiums for the simple fact that I don't know who came up with the idea that a circular up-hill ramp to the upper deck was the way to go, but climbing that thing has never been my idea of fun.  Well, I followed Sid to our seats yesterday thinking "nobody told me we were sitting on the field with the players."  We didn't go up, we went down!  We were on row 13 (I think) of our section, right behind the La Tech players, right in front of the cheerleaders, right next to and in front of the student section, and not too far away from the band.  Bailey was in heaven.

On our stroll into the stadium, we were able to stop and listen to the band play and watch them march in.  I wish I had a picture of Bailey's face when all those cowbells started ringing during and after the fight song.

I took a few pictures before we left and took the rest with the iphone.

She really was in no mood to have her picture made apparently.

I dressed the babies in their MSU stuff and tried to get a few pictures of all of them.  This is the prime reason I'm not wasting my money on professional pictures right now.

This is exactly how it would all turn out!!!!!

And finally, at the game, someone LOVED ringing her pink cowbell (that her daddy made just for her)!  I texted my friend Jennifer, who was sitting on the other side telling her I was having a hard time tolerating the bell.  She texted back and "girl you got to respect the bell."  I let her know that we were beside the student section and there were bells EVERYWHERE!  She texted back and said "oh, they probably don't respect the bell."  haha!  Little did she know I had this little darling ringing one in my ear the whole night.  Look how intent she is.  She loved watching the student section and when those bells would go up, she'd grab her's and when they'd go down, she'd put her's down.  So I'd say she respecting the bell as much as the student body did!!  She danced and she cheered and she clapped.  Oh, she had a great time!

She wouldn't let me take her picture.  She kept saying, "I don't want my picture made."  There was so much going on around her, she just couldn't look!
For some reason, the dinger in her bell kept getting stuck and I thought this was a cute picture of her trying to fix it.

We left at the start of the 3rd quarter, but I think Sid secretly wished we hadn't since the game went into to overtime with State scoring to win the game.  I'll have to admit, for someone who generally doesn't like things like this, we did have an awesome time.  And believe it or not, Ellie and Elissa made it a few hours without me.

Speaking of Ellie and Elissa, they turned 6 weeks old on Friday.  Ya'll know I'm always a few days late posting.  As you now from my last post, we spent their 6 week birthday in Jackson.  I had my follow up, which everything went fine, and the girls had hip ultrasounds to rule out any problems since I carried them breech.  The pediatrician doesn't think there are any problems, but just something routine she likes to do.  We will find out those results on Monday.  I did snap a few pictures, although they aren't very good, right before we left just to have a 6 week picture.

Ellie always looks out the window when she is beside it.  Or I guess she is technically looking at the light since she can't see out the window.

Someone always ends up trying to eat the other one!

Someone always gets fussy!

And Ellie never gets rid of that "what in the heck are we doing here" look. But they are sweet sweet babies!!!!

Saturday, we took an early nap and all 3 girls snuggled up together.

Today has been a day of nothing but sleep, eat, and more sleep.  It's 6:47, the babies are chomping at the bit for their bedtime bottle and Bailey is already sacked out in the bed.  I don't think Sid and I are far behind them.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bailey Still Lives Here & Packing For The Champions

I haven't talked much about Bailey lately, but she is here.  She has had some major adjustments to make, just like Mommy.  I think we are making progress (other than her day at school today in which the director had to call me!!! - not good) but I also think we have a long way to go.  Regardless of the babies being here, Bailey has had some fun lately.

First, she got some prizes in the mail from Terrah, Uncle Will's girlfriend.  Some cute western stuff and a pink housecoat with camo. I must get a picture of that soon, too.  The babies got some cool stuff, too, and we thank Terrah for all that.  But her stuff arrived just in time for the bull riding on Saturday night.  Sid and Poppy T took her and she had a great time.  Didn't she look cute???

 I could just eat her up!!!

A bull rider got hurt and she came home and told me the boy fell off the bull and went to sleep and the ambulance came to get him and she needed to go check on him.  I thought it was sweet that she wanted to check on him, but thankful that she thought he was sleeping and not really "hurt".  Apparently he was really hurt.

Mimi brought her some more cool stuff this trip, one being a pink Hello Kitty back pack.  Are ya'll seeing the pink theme here??  She packed it full for her trip to the bull riding.

On Tuesday, Bailey started gym class.  I meant to enroll her and already have this going before the twins, but I also meant to do alot of things that didn't happen.  Luckily, there was a class for her age still with spots open at a perfect time.  She was so excited to go.

When we asked her what she did, she told us she turned a flip, sat in her spot, got a sticker, and then we came to pick her up.  Her daddy told her that sure was an expensive 45 minutes for a flip and a sticker. haha!!
 She thought her babies her going, too!  They did ride, but they didn't go to gym class.  That's for big girls only!

However, the babies do have a big trip planned for tomorrow.  It's my 6 week check-up with my doctor.  Can ya'll believe it's been 6 weeks already???  I can not! Period.  But the babies are going because they have an appointment to have hip ultrasounds since I carried them breech.  The doctor doesn't think there is anything to be worried about, but something she just likes to check out on all babies carried breach.  I can not even begin to explain the time I put into packing the diaper bag to be away from the house tomorrow for 9-10 hours with two newborns.

First, we have 40 ounces of nursery water.  I just put it in these regular bottles because I don't have a container big enough to hold 40 ounces and did not want to carry the entire gallon. I guess that might have been easier??

Then we have enough formula/rice for each baby to have 3 bottles.  Notice the difference in amounts.  Yeah, that's how we roll.  NOTHING is the same!

And I packed two empty bottles to measure the water in and mix up the formula/rice.

And once it's mixed up, it will be poured into one of these bottles.  I don't know if you've ever used Dr. Brown bottles, but because of the way they are made, when you shake them hard enough to mix formula, it spews.  I guess from the no air/air thing?? Also, I guess instead of taking all those bottles of water I could have just poured the water directly into these bottles for storage.  Notice 3 of the bottles have no nipple.  That's because I have one nipple that Ellie will use.  When the doctor told me to add rice to their bottles, I cut open a bunch of nipples because it was so thick. I soon realized that they were not going to be able to take as much rice as she had suggested and cut it down some, so I thought I put all the cut nipples up.  Last night, Ellie took the best bottle she had ever taken before bed.  I noticed it happened to be one that was cut open a little, so we've used it ever since.  Tricky for sure, but it works for now.

Diapers, hopefully enough.  Two different sizes, because again, that's how we roll.  I was able to move Elissa up to size 1 diapers today, but Ellie isn't quite ready for that yet.

A whole pack of wipes!

A few changes of clothes.

Lots of burp rags.

And what else would I pack all this in??  This super duper diaper bag that Aunt Kylie and Uncle Ben got it.  It's heavy now that it's all packed.

But it all fit and I was so very thankful to have it.

Once I was done packing all this for tomorrow, the thought crossed my mind - Ya'll want me to load up myself, Bailey, two newborns and my husband and come to Alabama???????????

I Got Featured

Sid says I should have been a researcher.

Dad says I should have been a writer.

I still don't know what I should have been. But I do know that these past 6 weeks (tomorrow) have been very surreal.  Lots and lots of emotions and changes, with even more emotions and changes piled on top.  However, with that being said, I can say I ONLY HAD TO GET UP ONE TIME LAST NIGHT !!!!  Keep in mind that was with two babies, but they went to bed about 7:45, I went to bed about 10 and was up with them at 1:20 until about 2:20.  However, for some reason I could not go back to sleep and it was 4 before I finally did.  We were back up about 7:15 doing it all again.  So, now if I can just get that going back to sleep part down, maybe we are on the path to some restful nights.

In the midst of the past 6 weeks, there have been lots of realizations on my part, and I'm sure those around me.  But I took the time to put some of those into writing.  BlogHer saw one of those posts and chose to feature what I wrote.  I was sort of honored and thought it was cool that they thought what I had written was worthy of being shared with millions of other mommy-blogers.

If you visit BlogHer's homepage and scroll down to the bottom right, you will see the title of that post, "What Nobody Tells You About Bringing Twins Home".  That's where I'm featured.  This is the direct link to how they featured me.  (Those are not Elissa and Ellie's feet, but I thought it would have been cool if they had used their real feet.

Here's what one of BlogHer's writers had to say:

[Editor's Note: I know that I wasn't prepared in any way for what it was like to bring home a newborn. Despite what people chose to share, it was nothing like what I expected.'Ssippi Scoop recently wrote a post about what it's like to bring twins home -- which is a must read if you're expecting multiples or planning to help out a friend or relative when they bring their new babies home. It's hard, it's not what you'd expect and she's here to give you some advice. Take it. -Jenna]

Pretty Cool, huh????

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Nap Nanny & A Little More of My Book Writing!

First, how cute is this??? I had just dressed the girls after their morning bottle and they were laying next to each other like, "hey, how's it going???"

Ok,about the Nap Nanny.  I still think it' the best invention ever.  BUT, mom was for some reason doing some looking yesterday on line and found that the original nap nanny has been recalled.  You can google nap nanny recall or email me or leave a comment and I'll find the exact website we were looking at.  The recall happened in July 2010.  The website states that if you purchased your's prior to August, 2010, you can ask for a voucher for a new nap nanny.  It also tells how you know if you have a generation 1 or generation 2 nap nanny.  Basically, the first one has lower side walls and the cover is not secured to the base, making it easy for children to wiggle out of it and fall, and there has been reported death due to this.  The directions also clearly state NOT to use these in the cribs because when they wiggle out, they could get caught between the nap nanny and the edge of the crib and cause injury or death.  Upon inspection, I learned that both of our nap nannies have a made on date stamped on the back fortunately I did not buy the generation 1 recalled nap nanny.  There are other ways to tell what generation you are buying. For instance, there are D-rings on the inside of the base that secures the cover to the base.  I tried to buy these things used off of ebay or Craigslist and so I just wanted to pass this information on.  The biggest thing is it says to use them on the floor, which we do not do right now, so I'm looking at having to make changes to that, too.

And in book writing notes:  This applies to the whole "prepare yourself for 2 babies that are totally different" chapter.  I finally have the flow of both babies bottles right in regards to the formula/rice concoction. Are they the same?? Nope! I have to come up with a system to know which baby's bottle is which.  Baby A, Elissa, has bottles on the first shelf of the fridge.  Baby B, Ellie, well...her's goes on the second shelf. I plan to purchase those labels to go on them soon so that we don't have any real mix up, although I'm sure the girls would let us know.  Namely Ellie, because I think she'd choke with a level 3 nipple right now.  Also, we have finally found the right paci's.  Ellie is not a big paci taker, but she has decided to take the MAM kind.  Elissa has stuck with the NICU green paci.  So, now we keep up with 2 different kinds of pacis.

At least for right now we are taking the same kind of bottle, even though it's 5 parts per bottle, per baby to wash.  Let me do the math, that's 10 parts a feeding.  We are going through about 45 ounces of formula per 24 hours and about a half a can of rice.  I can't even keep with the diapers we are going through.  But I can tell you that this morning, between the HOUR of 10 and 11, we went through FIVE.  You do not want to know the details.

And, finally, here's my AH HA! moment!  You drag yourself up in the middle of the night, or day depending on how sleep deprived you feel, and you get a baby changed, fed, burped, and back to sleep or settled...this takes about 30 minutes and then BAM!! You remember there's yet another baby that you have to change, feed, burp, and get settled.  Every single feeding time takes double the time that it does with only one baby.  Then there's bath time.  Since obviously we are still getting sink baths and not tub baths, I can only bathe one baby at a time.  So again, you get one baby naked, to the sink, hair washed, body washed, out, dried off, diaper on, dressed, and settled.   And the BAM!!  There's another baby to do it all over again.

Nothing takes just a minute to do.  Everything is a process.  Including the adjustment period.  I also discovered something else yesterday.  These babies never cry unless they are hungry or gasy.  It's when they are both hungry and crying at the same time that the work gets tricky.  I'd tell you the position I had to put Ellie in this morning in order to keep her quite and feed Elissa.  But I don't want DHS to visit.  Regardless of how hard I feel this transition has been, I feel we are getting there.  We were all in the bed, asleep by 8:30 last night.  Of course I was up twice with TWO babies after that, but it has gotten easier.  The process does evolve and I've finally come to realize that life is going to be normal again at some point.  Those faces up there make it all worth it.  And although there were moments I wanted to run away and never look back, I wouldn't trade where I am now for a second of anything else.  Just remember:  until you walk these shoes, until you live it, you should not judge.  And I will go to my grave saying that.

In other news, it's game day!!!  Dad, Sid and Calissa are headed to the football game shortly and it's perfect weather.  I'm sort of jealous.  But me, Mom, Bailey, Elissa, and Ellie are hanging out and I hope I get Coffee Bean for supper.  They were closed last night so we went to Penn's and it was a perfect time out.  Short and sweet, the babies slept, the food was good and my sweet Bailey was perfect.  See, a process!!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Twins Are ONE Month Old!!

Unbelievable!!!  I know that technically they were a month old on Monday and today is Wednesday.  I know today is Wednesday because I text Sid and asked him.  So, don't judge.  We've discussed the judging haven't we?  Ok, moving on!!!

I'll go ahead and post the pictures which are from today, so they are 1 month and 2 days old.  They still should have about 2.5 more weeks before the actual due date.  It's simply amazing to think about it in that way.

I tried to get these two pictures side by side, but these were taken the day we came home.  That night actually, at 2 weeks old (15 days) old.  It is amazing to see how much they've changed!!  Ellie is the top picture and Elissa is the bottom picture.

I took all of these today.  Miss Ellie was wide awake and Elissa had already sacked back out.  I feel like I never get a good picture of them together.

Elissa, sweet girl!!

Ellie is quite possible the nosiest baby I've ever seen, to be so small and early.

This is typical of Ellie.  She does have feet, but her favorite position of all time is to keep her legs pulled up.  

I almost got a smile out of her here. Elissa will flat out smile at you, but Ellie really hasn't yet.

Look at my tongue Mimi.  Mama was patient those 10 days while we were treating thrush with that first medicine.  But on the 10th day, this mama didn't hesitate to call the doctor and ask for something else.  They are to take it for 15 days, but after 3 days of treatment, it's already clear.  Why can't we just start with what we KNOW will work instead of trying things that we think might not first?  Guess that's why I'm not the doctor!

See, feet!!!  And she has loonnnggg feet.  I have no idea where she gets these from. Elissa has the longest legs and feet, too.

I posted about our nap nannies the other day and I thought I'd post of picture.  This is Ellie's, but Elissa's looks the same.  It stays in their crib and they sleep there at night and during their 12:00 nap.  Other than that, they are in the den in the bouncy or swing.  I think they would stay in these things all day if I would let them, but I feel like a change of scenery is probably best at times, too!  This picture does not do it's size justice.  These things are massive and the girls have a hard time really fitting in them right now.  I know I'm not suppose to use blankets right now, but I do keep one rolled up on the side so their head doesn't flop over.  And then I sort of tuck them in instead of swaddle them.  Don't judge!! They sleep good like that and that's what is important to me.  They really don't move much right now either. Once they start moving around, I'm sure I'll have to re-evaluate the blanket thing.

While the girls were in the NICU, a very talented night nurse made these name tags (the small yellowish card with their name on it) for their cribs.  What was really cool about ours is that their bedding has birds and butterflies on it, so these matched perfectly.  Their very talented Mimi then took the name cards and made them into these big canvases that are hanging over their cribs.  I love how they turned out.  And I love how it's something special that they will always get to have.  A touch from the NICU and their Mimi!

And while I was at it, and this is the 1 month post and I guess I'm supposed to tell what the girls are doing these days, I took this.  Both are still on the neosure high calorie formula for preemies.  I personally don't think they need it anymore and think they would be better eaters if they weren't eating high calories.  To me, it's sort of like us over eating or something I guess.  I noticed last weekend that Elissa had developed a bit of reflux and I think I posted about it.  I called the doctor and her recommendation was to do 10 ml's per ounce of rice in their bottles for a week to see if that helped.  If not, then we'd try some medications.  They will both more than likely end up on meds for it because Bailey did and still is.  Sid also has terrible reflux.  So I'm sure it's coming.  Anyway, this has been the major source of stress for me this week.  Elissa is currently taking 4 ounces with 20 ml's of rice out of the Dr. Brown level 3 nipple.  She does great with this, but it has cut her eating down to every 4 hours to about every 5-6.  That's double what she came home on plus rice, so I guess this is ok.  Personally, like I said, I'd rather them be on sensitive formula at this point.  Maybe that will be soon.  Ellie, on the other hand, I can't get her rice/flow combo right and she has literally thrown up twice since starting the rice but I think it's because she gets full and keeps eating.  Currently, she either takes between 3-4 ounces of formula with no rice and a level 1 nipple or about 3 ounces with 15 ml's of rice from a level 2 nipple.  Either way, she gets tired about half way through and sucks more than she swallows.  I have to watch her and make sure she isn't dribbling everything after about the first ounce.    And, all of this adds up to two entirely different eating schedules during the night.  I tried to wake Elissa last night after Ellie was up and she just was not hungry and I ended up sounding like she was aspirating on what she did take. I had to get the suction bulb and it was coming out her nose.  TERRIBLE.  She cried real tears and I felt so bad. I was also panicking wondering how we were going to get to the ER with 3 babies.  Fortunately, the suction bulb did the trick and she calmed down.  But, this eating schedule has me up 4 different times between like 12-6.
In other schedule news, they eat about 5 or 6 in the morning and I put them right back to bed.  So when they wake at about 9, I get them up for the day and we eat and hang out and play.  At 12, they go back to their cribs for their nap time.  They usually nap in their beds until around 2:30 or 3:00.  They get up again and eat and by the time we are done with that, Bailey and Sid are home and we just do what we can to get by until bedtime.  Feeding Bailey, spending time with her, letting her spend time with the babies, bath time for Bailey ( I try to bathe the babies during the day when it's just us but eventually want to move to night time bathing for them because they love it and it relaxes them and puts them to sleep.)  It's generally time to eat again about 7:00 and then I put them down for the night.  There is no rhyme or reason to when they will get up during the night.

As for me, this is day number 8 that I've not been out of the house (other than few hours Sunday afternoon that we went to Nene and Jerry's).  Mom and Dad are coming either tonight or tomorrow and I'm thinking maybe Friday I can get out and have some time to clear my head since they will be here and will be loving on these babies anyway.  It's Sid's weekend to work, so he'll likely be in and out all weekend.  He and Dad are going to the MSU game tomorrow night and taking Calissa with them.  They offered to let me go, but I don't see how that would be possible to do something that would take as much energy as going to the game and then coming home and having to be up all night.  So far, no one else has offered to take any night shifts from me other than the one night mom did.  Too bad she can't live here!!!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to post about this and this is something we all want to remember.  If you know me, you know I'm not very domesticated.  Pre-Sid, I was happy with South Beach Diet Bars and Dr. Peppers from the gas station close to my house.  I can cook and I like to cook, but I just haven't done much since meeting Sid because he loves it more than I do.  The problem is, he is a picky picky eater and I didn't want to have to wait on him to get home to get supper started if I had time during the day to start it since I'm here.   So I decided to make a few meals and put them in the fridge so that I could just put them in the oven before Bailey got home.  Part of this mission was to try and get her back on her night time schedule.  She and I were used to eating by 5 and it was getting closer to 6 and 7 every night, and usually included fast food.  I made tacos, chicken enchiladas, chili mac (or a version of it) and chicken Alfredo.  Bailey loves all of those.  And so far it has made the week easier for sure.  I got it all done during nap on Monday.  I hope to be able to do a little of this each week. I can make lots of things, it's just a matter of talking Sid into eating it.  One day, I'm going to throw his fry daddy away and he'll probably divorce me. haha!

We have taken the girls to eat out once since we came home and I'm hoping tonight we can do it again.  My new favorite place in town is the Coffee Bean.  They do homemade chicken nuggets and fries and I'm loving it right now.  Sid won't eat the chili mac, so I figured we eat that tomorrow while he was gone.

That's about all the news from the Whitehead household!!!