Thursday, June 25, 2009

My TWIN TIPS

I have a few minutes to myself and have been meaning to blog about a million things, but moms of twins know- you don't always have time to collect your thoughts! So my blogs from now on may not be very organized- but hey, I am a mom of a 5 yr old and 10month old twins!

Here are some of the things I did to get by with the twins from when they were first born until now....

-Set up pack-n-play in my living room because they sleep and wake so much, it was easier than going up and down and up and down the stairs!

-pre-filled bottles with however many ounces they were drinking and then had a little basket with bottles, a can of formula, spoon to mix each bottle, and a notepad to write down when each baby ate last- TRUST ME, YOU WON'T REMEMBER! :)

-For a while in the beginning I would wash a bunch of bottles by hand because they were going through SO MANY because they ate so many times a day.. so I would wash some by hand so I would have a few ready and then when I had enough dishes for the dishwasher I would just throw them in there- using the Munchkin baskets for washing bottles.. I also kept a medium size plastic container in the sink and thats where I put only the bottles and their parts, just so they don't get all mixed up with regular dishes or so that none of the parts accidentally go down the drain/garbage disposal!! Once they are older and drinking less, its easier because you have many bottles so you don't have to spend time hand washing them... also, once they are eating, you are going through more dishes and have plenty of dishes to wash anyways, especially if you have another child and have run out of paper plates!

-Changing table was also in my living room, with diapers, wipes, onesies, sleepers and blankets- oh, and had a small type square cloth container (like they sell at Target) with burp cloths and bibs- You will need TONS of these when they are little, or else you will be going through even more onesies and outfits then you do already!

-once they were more consistent, I started filling one of those travel containers for powdered formula ahead of time, just to cut down on some time when they are screaming and need a bottle STAT! (thanks to my mom for first starting this!)

-I slept (or tried to) whenever the babies slept, even if it is a few winks, 20 min, whatever, try and do it

-Feed one baby, and then the other.. people always said- feed them at the same time- now as a new mom of twins, this confused me.. I thought- do I REALLY feed them at the SAME EXACT TIME? At first I would feed and hold one so that he would get the cuddle time, then I would wake up the other one- because he would soon wake up anyways! And it was just easier I thought because I would just fall back asleep and the one who didn't eat would then wake up,,.so I saved myself the trouble and just fed him after...

-Once I got more experienced- or just tired of listening to a hungry baby cry while I fed his brother.. I did start feeding them at the EXACT SAME TIME. At first I tried it with one in the travel swing and the other in a bouncy seat.... not very comfy for me... the best way I found to do this was I put a boppy pillow on one side of me, and had the baby lay on it, most times I propped the head of the boppy with another pillow or something under it so the baby was more propped up.. and then I had a boppy on my lap with a baby and I fed them at the same time.. taking turns burping in between..of course they didn't like that always! Once they were getting bigger, it was off the lap and both boppies were on either side of me, I would prop my feet up on something and have pillows under each of my arms because they would get tired and I fed them at the same time... This was a LIFE SAVER! Because they start to get on the same schedule, it was just easier to feed them this way, especially if I was by myself. If there is someone else there that wants to feed them or is not busy, by all means, MAKE THEM feed the baby.. but for me, most times I was by myself, and this got pretty easy. Once they start holding their own bottles-- WOW, life changes dramatically!!! :) I also bought these mini (and I mean TINY) boppy type pillows that look just like round donuts that hold the bottles... at times these worked and sometimes you had to finagle something to keep them propped, but they were good in a pinch and in the car... UNTIL--- THE PODEE BOTTLE!

-Once the babies are good at sucking, you should try the PODEE BOTTLE! It is GREAT! I got one with my first son and thought it was strange and never used it. But with TWINS, it is great!!! Especially when my older son wanted me to play with him and the babies had to eat, I gave them each a podee bottle and plopped them in their bouncy seats and they watched us play wii or whatever it was we were doing! If you don't know what a podee bottle is, it's a regular bottle that has a straw-like tube in the bottle, then a cap type thing on the top of the bottle with another really long straw tube that has a nipple attached to the top and the babies suck on it like a pacifier! It is a MIRACLE! I took these with me to the mall and had the boys in my snap-n-go carriage and they would drink away while I shopped or sat and rested!

-At first I used the cheap gerber bottles because I was stressing about all the BPA free stuff.. so I got the cheap plastic bottles.. but after many washes, I found that the nipples leaked around the ring and it was going everywhere! And when I was half asleep feeding the babies it would take me a while to realize that the baby wasn't really just drinking it fast, it was leaking all over him! I then switched to the VENTAIRE bottles by Playtex, they do have many pieces but I pretty much like them.. after a few months of hanging and drying all the parts and then assembling all the bottles- and running out of space... I thought of this..I got three mini plastic containers, one I put the rings in, another stored the nipples and the last stored the bottom cap and the disks... My life is easier now! I leave the little Munchkin style basket that I wash them in on the counter so they dry and hang the bottles on the drying rack, and then when they are dry (or sometimes I let them dry in their container), I assemble most of the bottom caps with the disk and I just sort them all into their little plastic tubs and I assemble a few bottles... now its so much easier than putting them ALL together when I take them out of the dishwasher because they are wet


-In the beginning, the babies don't do much..you hold them, they sit in a bouncy seat, they sit in a swing, the sleep in a pack-n-play or a crib, or a seat, or a swing... you can try and put them on one of those play mats when they are a little older, maybe around 2-3 months, they will only last a couple minutes at first, but they will grow to love it! I had a soothing bouncy seat and then I had a playful bouncy seat.. after a while I invested in 2 travel swings because they started to like the swing once they were a little older.. they didn't always sleep in the pack-n-play, they slept in any of the things I just mentioned- because its not really like sleeping through the night, they are just taking lots of mini-naps! I would just rotate the boys into different things because I felt like they would get bored! I was the one who was bored (well, you know what I mean)

-Baby Einstein- Baby Beethoven dvd-- THIS IS ANOTHER LIFE SAVER!!!!! It is the best.. my babies loved it, it says to start it around 3 months, I think I didn't get it until they were 4 months- they got it for Christmas. I tried it with my first son and thought he didn't like it, but he was my first and what did I know, he was probably really cranky when I put it in or who knows and then I never tried it again. My twins LOVE THIS DVD! My dad says it puts them in a trance and its like brainwashing- well, whatever it is, this will be your savior for about a half hour- or hit repeat like I often do! It calms them down and sometimes they fall asleep to it too! I have one or two others but they love Baby Beethoven! When they were 9 months I put in a teletubbies dvd and they LOVE this too.. they actually LAUGH OUTLOUD! One of my sons actually used to laugh at the same part in Baby Beethoven each time when the lion puppet would come out.. too cute

-The SNAP-N-GO carriage... is great for when they are in their infant carriers, all you do is open up the snap-n-go double stroller (not a side by side, it is a front to back one) and you just click the infant seat in place. It isn't the easiest to manuever but when you really want to get out of the house, it is perfect.

- The MOMMY HOOK- I wish I had it when I was using the snap-n-go. I got mine at Babies R Us or Toys R us and I have seen them at Bed Bath and Beyond.. it is just a huge hook- like ones they have for fastening harnesses or whatever, I don't know the real name, and you hook it onto your handlebar of your carriage and you can hook all your bags to it, because you won't be able to have a shopping cart when you have your stroller- babies won't fit and its a pain, so I use my mommy hook and some other hooks I got at babies r us and I hook my Re-usable shopping bags onto them and when I shop I put my stuff in there and then I just bring the bag up to the register and empty it out and they scan it and put it back in! :) Wish I had more of these!

-Baby Jogger Classic- City Series Double Stroller-- THE BEST CARRIAGE and WORTH THE MONEY! I didn't want to have to have one for shopping and the car and one for walking and jogging if I get daring! I wanted one, this one FITS THROUGH STORE DOORS! That is a must, or else you will have to buy another carriage. I got mine for $399 free shipping from albee baby website, shop around for deals. The seats recline so easily and it has THE BEST SUNSHADES ever, they REALLY block the sun at multi-positions, the underneath storage is small thats why I have my mommy hook and put my bags on it. I do admit that now that they are getting bigger, I MAY invest in 2 cheap umbrella strollers and get the little connecters that you can just fasten them together with, that will save me so much money and will be easy to use for a quick trip somewhere. It does get tiring lugging two babies in and out of the car and in and out of a carriage.. I usually don't go to more than 2 stores in a trip! Oh, tip for putting the jogging stroller into the car, I roll it RIGHT up to the back of the car where I am going to put it, it has the easiest folding trick ever, two straps on the seats that say FOLD and you pull up on them and lift the carriage at the same time and then I just put it right into the car, semi-heavy but so easy if you have it right next to your car, don't make yourself go walking over to where you need to put it!


-Bouncy seats... once my boys outgrew the regular bouncy seats and swings.. I switched to the infant to toddler rocker- which most could just start out with but I was using what I already had and then bought these from my mother of twins group (look into joining one of these groups, it is the best!)
Anyways, the Infant to Toddler rocker by Fisher Price, they can stay in it much longer - has a higher weight limit..because with two, I find the need to have them sitting at certain times, like when I want them to settle down with a bottle or something! They are great, can be a seat, vibrate, comes with a toy bar (which mine don't use anymore) It doesn't recline too much but it has worked for me! (or them!)

-Booster seat/high chairs- I have the Fisher Price Space Saver seats, I also bought from my mother of twins group. These are GREAT. Much better than the older boosters that attach to the dining room chair. I found my boys were leaning to one side in the other ones and they just weren't comfortable- These recline for when the babies are younger and you can put them in and give them a bottle, it has a tray you can use if you would like. They are just perfect and I wish I had them earlier because this is another way of feeding two babies at once (bottles). The seat is contoured to fit them better and has a seat cushion and everything.

Ok, that's all for now! I will add more at another time, but that is all my brain can handle! Feel free to add questions and I can answer them into the blog with my tip!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Conner on the news :) Fitchburg Zip Trip

I took Conner and the boys out to the Fitchburg Zip Trip with Fox 25 Morning news... take a peek at this video.. you can skip to the second segment with Kim Carrigan and the Dutch Kitchen interview.. watch for a little boy in a red coat ;)



Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's been a while!

I have not blogged in a while...excuses excuses, but I do have plenty to write about. At the moment I am on the teeney tiny laptop which is not easy for me to type on, so this will have to be continued at another time... but I wanted to put a quick update on here to get it going again :)
The babies have their 6 month check up tomorrow (they are about 6 1/2 months, all their check-ups are later now because one fell on X-mas and then we had to wait until after New Years for it).. both boys have colds- coughs and stuffy/runny noses.. Conner had the cough already and his is winding down now.. mine is gearing up and I have sinus issues along with the cough- fun fun. But the poor babies.. hopefully they sleep more tonight.... I need to get to bed because it is 12:47 am and I am sure they will be waking up soon!
So much to do around the house and time is flying by soooo quickly!
I need to become better at blogging more... so thanks to Becky for kicking my butt into gear with suggesting everyone blog about their babies.. instead of creating a new site just for the babies.. I figured this site would just evolve like my life has and readers will see how significantly my life has changed in the last 2 1/2 years! Plus, I can't have too many sites going at once because I will not be able to keep up with them! :)
Thats all for now :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Walk to Remember 2008... We Love You Leah!!






Here are some pictures from our second Walk to Remember in honor of Leah. I can't believe it has been two years. I wish she were here now to be with her brothers.
Love and Miss you Leah Ann Rollo.

Conner Pics Sept.-Oct. 2008



Gavin and Ryan Pictures October 2008


How the Boys got here and an Update

The Boys....it is long, you may need to read it in parts! hahah

I was going in for a regular appointment and my bloodpressure was high for the second week in a row. The last time the doc had me get bloodwork and it came back normal, but this time he sent me upstairs for monitoring of my bloodpressure, bloodwork and a non-stress test on the babies. After being in there for a while my doctor came in and said I failed.. he didn't like the results of my bloodpressure and bloodwork so he was sending me to Worcester. He decided to send me there because I was 36 weeks and if the babies came now and needed the NICU, Leominster didn't have one and he wouldn't want one baby or both to have to be sent to Worcester and then I would be in Leominster and yadda yadda.. So I called Joe, my sister and mom and Liz and everyone was getting things together..and oh ya- the kid I tutored on Mondays was excited I wasn't coming! (He doesn't like math!)

The ambulance came and brought me to Worcester-- (just got a HUGE bill, really, I could've driven myself! Hopefully this will be taken care of because it's ridiculous!) They set me up in a room with no window and a clock that doesn't work.. but it was ok because they said I wasn't staying there and I thought the babies were coming that night or the next day... WRONG! My nurses were nice though. Joe came and brought some stuff, but I didn't have my bag packed so I was missing a few things- like my glasses and contact solution and case! :) My nurse made me some nice replacements and got some hospital saline. Anyways, I had contractions that night but they think it was because I was dehydrated- I didn't think I was but once they gave me fluids the contractions stopped. I went on to have them every morning but they would go away. I was really wishing I was at my own hospital, especially since I was seeing doctors I didn't know- and tons of them and interns and students, I just felt weird. They were also seeming to try and convince me not to have a c-section (because at the time one was breech and one was not, but Ryan kept moving around!) So they were making me feel bad that I didn't want to try a vaginal birth but I was worried about having to have both, having cord accidents or anything.. so they weren't making me feel better. They kept saying how a vaginal birth helps the babies get rid of fluid during labor and c-sections don't and since I was early, they were twins, boys and I had diabetes.. there were many factors. It ended up that I didn't have them that night, my monitoring was looking ok and they wanted to keep the babies cooking as long as possible.
Finally by 11 the next day I had a new room. They kept holding off giving birth, more tests, no eating in case I had to have a c-section...day after day, same story, no answers.. docs would visit in the morning and I wouldn't see them til the next day. I had a lot of great nurses that were very helpful for the most part.. but it was boring. I wasn't allowed to walk around, except for in my room.. woo hoo! I did get to watch a lot of TNT and USA.. and the olympics were on. Joe brought me the dvd player and I watched some movies and shows. Conner would come visit almost every day, he was very well behaved and cute.. he couldn't last more than an hour. Poor Joe with all the driving back and forth. Avery made me a picture to hang up, Am brought me some pics of Conner to hang up, so we taped them to my bed table, it was nice. I had a few visitors while I was waiting to have the babies, mom, dad, Am, Kristin, Joe, Patty, Conner and Andrea came but went to the wrong building :) Dr. Wilson called a couple times to see how I was doing and what was going on, that was very nice of him!
I did a lot of laying in bed, sleeping, ordering room service for my meals- even though sometimes I wasn't allowed to eat until we got more tests back in case I was going to deliver- one night I ate dinner at 11 ! My belly was getting bigger and my cold/cough was getting worse. Every morning I had a non-stress test and every 4 hours they checked my bloodpressure..they were also collecting my pee (fun fun!) and testing it for protein and other things that I don't know what they really are! It was nice to hear the heartbeats and kicking of the boys every morning, very reassuring. I would text message people and talk on the phone a little bit but my carpul tunnel in both hands and arms would hurt after a couple minutes so holding the phone would hurt wicked after a little while (thank goodness it is gone now!). That Thursday they finally gave me an ultrasound after telling me they would, then they wouldn't, and they changed their mind again and decided they would- I was getting them every week in Leominster and was scheduled for a weight check on that Saturday (and the biophysical profiles too). They gave me an u/s but no weight check, just BPP and told me they were both "Frank breech" meaning feet first (I think, my memory is bad now!) anyways, both breech so c-section it was. I also had an vascular u/s on my leg to make sure there were no clots because it hurt a little and was getting REALLY swollen so I was a little worried. They checked out fine, phew.
Finally on that Friday they told me it would be between Saturday and Monday, still all depending on tests and bloodpressure. We got excited and of course figured it would be Saturday since we had promised Conner that Joe would bring him to Chuck E. Cheese's! They came to visit that morning and we found out it wouldn't be Saturday... it ended up being Monday morning.
On Monday morning I met my delivery nurse, Annie.... strange thing is, she was my nurse long ago when I started trying to get pregnant with Conner! She worked with my doctor at his old office! How funny it was to run in to her there, where it wasn't even my original hospital! It made me feel better that there was a familiar face, she was GREAT. Everyone took great care of me.
Joe had to get dressed in a big suit that seemed to be made out of a paper towel and put a funny cap on his head! They got me ready to go into the operating room.. I was getting scared because I have never had a c-section or surgery while I was awake! They gave me a spinal- lasts longer and is stronger than an epidural- I think! It wasn't bad. I was a little freaked when I found out they had to put a cathedar in but it actually ended up being very convinient not having to get out of bed a million times to go to the bathroom! Since my bloodpressure was really high- reason of delivering- when they gave me the spinal and started getting ready my pressure kept dropping.. my ears start to block, I get light headed and feel dizzy like I am going to pass out.. and I get hot.. not fun, very scary! That happened a few times but the nice anesthesiologist was very good and fixed it right away! It was also a little scary because I couldn't feel from right below my neck and down... VERY STRANGE! I had a terrible cough and I had the feeling I needed to cough but I couldn't get the cough out because I couldn't feel my stomach/chest.. so it was weird but after a while my cough feeling went away.
Ryan came out first at 10:49am and weighed 6lbs 2oz and then Gavin came out at 10:50am and weighed 7lbs and 1/2 oz.. I couldn't believe it when I heard them say 7, I was very surprised! Ryan had always been the bigger one in all my ultrasounds, my last one though Gavin was catching up, but it had been over 2 - 2 1/2 weeks since I had a weight check u/s. They were perfect and healthy and did not need the NICU. Then they sewed and stapled me up and wheeled me to a new room. I was VERY out of it the rest of the day, in and out of sleep, numb and drugged! They had to give me a special drug because of the high bloodpressure, an anti-seizure medicine and it makes you all out of it- they gave me that for a day.
I couldn't believe I had two new baby boys... it still seems unreal to me at times.
While in the hospital, Ryan was the one always awake and Gavin was always asleep. Gavin ate fast and burped fast but spit up a bit they said and Ryan spit up a little. Gavin is awake more now that he is home, Ryan is the fussy one and they both were not spitting up really at all until we changed formula, now they spit up a little. Ryan burps really well now and Gavin sometimes is a slacker with his burps- other times he burps just when I pick him up to put him over my shoulder!!
They have changed so much in the 7 weeks we have had them, it is amazing. Ryan is catching up in weight and is only a few ounces smaller than Gavin.. his height needs to catch up but it doesn't seem like a big difference. They both look like Conner in different ways.. it is funny. Ryan's coloring is a little darker and his hair is dark. Gavin has lighter coloring and light hair- and has since gone bald in the middle of his head... like an old man!
Conner is a good big brother and sings twinkle twinkle to them, helps feed them when he feels like it and gives them their pacifiers- again, when he feels like it. He is going to keep on being a great big brother. I can't wait to see how they change and how they grow and look more and more like Conner and see the funny things they do. They are starting to make sounds other than crying now.. Gavin has been smiling for a little while and Ryan has just started to.. I think he is feeling better now, I think the formula bothered him more than Gavin and we also think Ryan has some colic so he is more cranky (but lately Gavin hasn't been so quiet, maybe jealous of the attention Ryan gets when he screams!) We are getting the hang of it. Sometimes I feed them both at once, plop them in the boppy pillows and sit on the couch- it saves a LOT of time... they don't always want to eat at the same time and sometimes Gavin would sleep through the night when Ryan was up every 2-3 hours. It always seems that once you get one settled the other starts to fuss! Or when you change one poopy diaper, then the other goes and poops! One time I had one crying, one spitting up, Conner yelling to me from the bathroom and the phone ringing- all at once!
We are starting to get the hang of getting out of the house with everything.. I had to make two quick trips to the doctors to get a last minute appointment because they both had diarhrea (sp) and the docs were like- can you be here for 2:30? When it was 1:50 and I would have to change their diapers, get myself dressed (no, I am not always in REAL clothes!) and then pack them into the car and drive 20 minutes! We also went to one of my mother of twins New Moms group for moms who have twins 18months and younger... I was an hour late by the time I got there because they decided they HAD to eat before we left.. Gavin would've been ok, but once Ryan wakes up and decides he wants to eat- there is no time.. he will cry until you give him the bottle! But luckily they slept the whole ride to Shirley and almost the whole time during the playgroup and I just fed them before I left.
So for the most part things are going great and the boys are very good.. they have their moments (and so do I) like all new babies and moms of twins do. Sometimes I doze off and the bottle is not actually in their mouth for a minute until I realize I am not awake! I am a little sleep deprived and I can't always "sleep when they sleep" but it is all worth it. Plus- I have a nice lineup of daytime television when I am not doing laundry, washing bottles, cleaning or sleeping! :)
If you haven't been to see us, what are you waiting for!? :)