Friday, June 25, 2010

4 Month Pictures

I really hadn't planned on getting pictures done again until they were 6 months old. However, I heard on the radio that one of our local photographers here was doing mini sessions for flood relief and donating the proceeds. So, how could we not participate? Plus, I have realized that mini sessions are great! They are much cheaper and only 30 minutes long. Sure, you don't get near the amount of pictures taken, but its great with babies b/c their attention span is usually only that long! Thank you to Andi Inc Photography for the pictures! (and yes, I know they are now 5.5 months old, but we just got them back this week!)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my dad, Roy Prater, and to the daddy of my babies, Jake. He is an amazing father and just took to fatherhood like a complete natural who has been doing it for years. He loves his babies more than anything in the world. Thank you for heading up our family and for loving me and our babies immensly!

We were in Chicago for Fathers Day and didn't get home until around 9pm, and of course, they were already in bed asleep. I took these pictures last week and had my mom tape them to their cribs to surprise him. They had also "written him" very sweet cards. He was certainly surprised. He also got a Big Green Egg grill, which he loved as well. Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there!

24 Weeks - Update on the babes

24 Weeks Old!

Boy, I am getting bad at this. What happened to Week 22 updates? Yikes!!! whew!! 24 weeks - seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY??? We are technically 6 months old is week-time. They still have until July the 8th thankfully for their actual birthday. They are getting so big and changing every day. They are such a blessing in my life and I am so thankful and happy that they are here. I heard recently that one of my online friends lost one of her twin boys in May of SIDS. I cried when I found out, and could honestly not imagine what she is going through. They were only three months old. I pray for her and her family and his twin brother. I am seriously the luckiest girl on the planet and just want to kiss my babies constantly and thank God for miracles.

We got back from Chicago and I can say I did quite well. Of course, I missed them terribly, but Jake and I had a wonderful time. It was much needed and very nice to do. Yes, I could travel with my breastmilk, but I did have to check it. I couldn't carry it on (whole other story, and let me say I HATE the security at Midway. The only reason I couldn't is they didn't believe I had actually PUMPED that much milk. Hello....twins???)

Feedings: We used up alot of my frozen milk when I was traveling, so I have been able to replenish a little, but not a whole lot, as I still can't keep up with them! They take about 6 oz each per feeding (times 6 feedings) and I am only pumping around 50 oz per day. It seems like A LOT, but not really! Honestly once I move to the 4 hour schedule and drop the dream feed I will be fine. I have GOT to do this. We are working on it, though! I stopped taking Fenugreek b/c i kept forgetting. So now I am trying to do it again religiously. As you know, they started doing a bit of rice cereal a few weeks ago at their dinner feeding. Well now...(drum roll...) they are now doing actual food! This week we are trying sweet potatoes and pears. and they them both so far. We are doing a tb of sweet potatoes before the cereal at dinner time, and a half-full tb of pears at their mid-morning feed. I am also making my own baby food. Crazy...probably. But its fun and I know exactly what is in it - and I love using my Magic Bullet. So far we have made and frozen green beans, sweet potatoes, avocados, peaches, pears, apples, carrots and squash. Everything was organic except the green beans. We also have bananas, but you just have to mash those. I wanted those to be their "first fruits", but they weren't ripe yet. We are going to do a 4-day cycle with each thing, to make sure their are no allergy issues.

Waketime/Napping: Ok, I was doing really well here again, but we went out of town and yada, yada yada...guess who does great with their naps and which one wants to wake up right at the 45 minute mark?? She WILL eventually go back to sleep, but only after about 30 minutes or so. Jeez....backwards again...We are still at 1.5 hours of waketime, but I am going to try to stretch this to 1 hr, 45 min. We'll see...

Nightime: I am really, really, really wanting to drop the dream feed, but I am so scared of their nightimes. Today Josh got up at 6 ready to go. He is usually my good sleeper. Jules will always get up between 5-6 and start talking, but she usually goes back to sleep. But boy, if you go in there at all, she is ALL SMILES, saying, "oh boy! Its time to get up and play!"

Our Schedule: Still a different/weird schedule as we make our way to a 4 hour schedule...Also, I am going to flip flop our bath and 7:00 feeding, b/c they are just getting too messy with cereal and such, lol. yes, I know these are really tight feedings together, but, again, hopefully we will drop a feeding soon

7:30 (sometimes 7) - wake/feed 6.5 oz for Josh, 6 for Jules
9:00 - nap (hopefully 1.5-2 hours, but that never happens)
10:30 - feed 6.5 for Josh, 6 for Jules, 1 T each of pears
12:00 - nap
2:00 - feed 6.5 oz for Josh, 6 for Jules
3:30 - nap, a horrible one
5:30 - feed 6.5 for Josh, 6 for Jules
6:30/6:45 - 2 T cereal for each, and 1 T sweet potatoes
7:00 - baths
7:30 - story/bedtime
9:20 - dreamfeed

Outing/Events: They love, love love the pool. They seriously can just kick and kick for up to an hour. Then they start getting a little fussy and tired. We also made a trip to the mall - just me and the babes. Wow. It was tough, gotta tell ya. Especially when my main purpose was to try on a dress for this wedding in Chicago. Thank you Macy's for having a dressing room big enough for me, my double stroller, and also have enough room to push it back and forth once they started fussing. Here is pic of Jake and I from the wedding in Chicago!

Diet: ummm...Chicago food...

Milestones: So now Josh AND Jules are officially swaddle-free! Woohoo! They are both all over the crib. Josh is definitely a tummy sleeper, and Jules likes to sleep on her side or on her back. They both now all of a sudden love their lovies (the blankets with the heads, lol), especially Jules. I will let them hold it for a little while, but I don't let them sleep with it. We are now eating more foods, as you read above: First veggie-sweet potatoes, First fruits - pears. They are both so close to crawling Its so funny. They are so mad when they don't go anywhere. We are trying to work with them on sitting up, but that is going to be a while I think. Just last week I think they finally are aware of each other. They will talk to each other, and touch, slap, etc each other and they actually know what is happening! They laugh alot too. Josh is ticklish under his arms and laughs like crazy when you tickle him. Jules isn't ticklish...yet. Jules is just a little busy body. She cannot sit still. She used to love to be held, but now she just wiggles. She wants to kick, roll over, jump, bounce, play, etc. Anything besides sitting still. She is aways sideways in her bumpo, trying to get out of it. Thats why I still love the dreamfeed, because they are SO SLEEPY and just little cuddle bunnies. They are both filling out so much and have lots of little fat rolls. They are my little chunky monkeys!

21-22 Weeks Slideshow

The soothie pacifier saga...

Okay, seriously, are these soothies getting smaller, or are my babies just getting bigger?

We have gone from this...

to this!!

Where are my babies?? LOL
Josh (at two weeks and 5 months):

Jules (at 2 weeks and 5 months):

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

First weekend away....

I can do this, right??? How can I do this is the question. Will they forget me? Forget who I am? Should I record tapes of me singing and talking? Should I make a daily video of myself for them? I jest. Although I am going to LOVE going to Chicago with my hubby. I must admit I am a little afraid. I haven't been away from my babies for anything longer than 6 hours. But I am confident I can do it. I'll just expect my in laws to send my pictures on an hourly babies is all. Then I think I can manage. I am excited, though. We are going up for a dear friend's wedding. He is Indian, and is marrying an Indian, so it is a true Indian wedding, with all kinds of fabulous traditions. I am really excited about it. Poor Jake, though. It's his first Father's Day, and he's pretty upset about missing it. We don't get home until late Sunday. However, I have a surprise for him that will hopefully help make him happy. (I'll share that later). we go. How does a breastfeeding mom of two do a trip out of town you ask? Well, my freezer is stocked full of milk. Also, I am carrying on my old trusty pump. I also have been stocking up on water bottles (washed of course). I decided to go this route over the breast milk storage bags. I find that they develop holes and they DO leak, even though they say they don't. (I have wasted many a bags this way, which made me cuss a lot). I plan on pumping, then putting milk in each water bottle until it fills up. Then either icing them down in the bathroom sink or hopefully will have a fridge in the room. Then I am going to carry it all on board the plane on my trip back. I have one of those grocery freezer bags that supposedly works fabulously. This all seems very confusing and cumbersome, and believe me, it is. And don't even get me started on WHEN I will actually pump. I haven't thought that through yet. Being in a busy city, you don't always go to your hotel quite that often. Have to make exceptions though!!

So,please say a prayer that I will get through this weekend refreshed, enlightened, and back to babies that missed me terribly.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Week 19-20 Slideshow

Pool-time fun

Well, being that we live in the south, I couldn't wait to get these babies in the water. This mama loves her pool time. We are going to forget about the fact that #1: I shant be ever relaxing with a book by the water again, and #2: that this body isn't quite ready for ole swimsuit season yet.

Anyway, we decided to take a chance again at the water. While we were in Knoxville on Memorial Day weekend, the babes got in for maybe two minutes, and screamed the whole time. It was so bizarre. They LOVE baths, so I didn't understand why they were not happy in the water. I just told myself that maybe it was because it was dusk and colder outside, which made it really cold in the water.

Well, we went again last weekend to Old Natchez and tried again - and they loved it!! As soon as we put Josh in his float, he laid back and just started kicking. Jules cried at first, then realized it was just like a big bath and started kicking like crazy. They lasted an hour! Which is very long in baby time. I definitely think I have water bugs!

Here is our first foray into the water:

And our second: (can someone please tell me how I can avoid taking a million pictures every time I get them in a pool? Because I might run out of memory or my camera. Its nearly impossible)

17-18 Week Slideshow

I have really slacked on this. They have been on the slideshow forever, I just can't remember to post it!!

Our first trip to the zoo!!

We went to the zoo for the first time weekend before last (sorry for the lack of posting). My sister, AKA Aunt Ginny always does crazy, nutty things for her birthday. She tried to make it as kid focused as possible (for her, not actual "kids"). One year we all went paint-balling, another we were skating, we've also done a carnival at her house, along with a dunking booth, jugglers, and face painting. And no, she's not 5. This year, my 30 year old sister wanted to have her party at the Knoxville Zoo. So, off we went. The babies had a GREAT time. And by GREAT time I mean that they fell asleep soon after we walked through the zoo gates. Josh stayed put in the stroller for the duration, but Ms. Fussy pants decided she would rather be held the last third of our zoo journey.

Anyway, here we go!

Friday, June 4, 2010

20 Weeks - Update on the Babes

20 Weeks Old!

Lots going on this week! Based on my goals from my last update, we are doing "ok", not perfect by any means, but ok! Since I read ALL THE TIME about babies, I know know we are going through what is called a "Wonder Week". Wonder Weeks are "eight major, predictable, age-linked changes during the first year". We have just gone through the Week 19 of Wonder Weeks. It is really crazy how spot on this research is. Their appetite is off, they are more clingy, more fussy, sleeping/napping may be off, etc. AFTER this leap, though they calm back down. And seriously, its like all of a sudden they are so much smarter babies.

Feedings: Still trying to keep up with them. Fenugreek is helping a little, but not much. I can tell the biggest difference in my morning pumps (7-8 hour stretch). Even though it takes forever, I am getting close to 24 ounces, which is nuts! They are still taking 6-6.5 ounces/bottle. They have started on cereal at night though, which has helped. They love it. Jules is eating rice cereal, while Josh is on oatmeal. (Rice makes his tummy hurt). We are close to introducing more foods shortly. I HATE depleting my frozen milk though. I am like a squirrel storing my nuts with those things.

Waketime/Napping: Ugggg, we have gone backwards here, and slowly progressing forward. I have adjusted their schedule so they are eating every 3.5 hours (moving towards a 4) and so their naps have suffered as we are adjusting their eating and wake times. Plus, we have dropped the fourth nap, which has created some difficulty as well. The first nap is about 1.5 hours, the second is probably 45 minutes, and the third is 30! Yikes!!

Nightime: We are still doing good here. I must say that its harder with two babies. I am DYING to let them CIO during their "middle-of-the-night" stirrings, or their early waking stirrings, but I am so terrified of the waking the other one up, so we are still going in and putting their paci. I really wish I didn't have to do it, but I have no other ideas. So, we are still sleeping 7:30-7:30, with a dreamfeed and a couple of paci moments. Still not too shabby. I think back to those early days and I shudder. I am working on dropping the dreamfeed. I read to move it back every few days as well as decresing the amount. So, we are doing 5 oz at 9:30 (instead of 10) now.

Our Schedule: New schedule! Its been a little hard to get used to.

7:30 (sometimes 7) - feed/wake
9:00 - nap (hopefully 1.5-2 hours, but that never happens)
10:30 - feed (this one is 3 hours still)
12:00 - nap (again, hoping for the best here)
2:00 - feed
3:30 - nap (this one is just horrible)
5:30 - feed
6:30 - baths
7:00 - cereal and "some" bottle
7:30 - bedtime
9:30 - dreamfeed

Outing/Events: We went again to Knoxville for my sister's 30th birthday party. We all went to the zoo for a few hours, then had a big pool party. The babes did great at the zoo. I was afraid of them being too hot, and they were, but were also fine. Jules made it almost to the end and demanded to be held (of course). Josh did great though. They napped some too. I took the MacLaren stroller, not the stupid snap-n-go. They also were in the pool for the first time! They hated it, so literally were only in there for 2 minutes. Not sure that was worth the 30 minutes of "changing into swimsuit, putting on little swimmers diapers, getting pool accessories, in water, out of water, take of little swimmers, dry off, dry swim suit, change diaper, put clothes back on". Better get used to this right?

Diet: Haven't checked in a while. Now that school is out (woohoo) I will be going to the gym more!

Milestones: So many! Josh is officially swaddle-free! Woohoo! However, he now likes to sleep face-down, which terrifies me. We took out his sleep positioner wedge out, because he was scooting down anyway. We also took the bumper out of his crib, but still...As soon as you put him down, he flips right over, which is bizarre to me. He has literally spent the first 19 weeks of his life knowing only to sleep on his back, then-bam - on his tummy. We are now on foods, which is exciting. Just cereal, but I will probably add something more in the next few weeks. Jules all of a sudden is just dying to crawl. She flips back and forth from her tummy to back all the time. She'll be on her tummy and just gets so mad when she doesn't go anywhere. They both push up great on their arms and kick their legs, there is just no movement yet (which I should be thankful for now, LOL) They are really good at sitting up with a little help, so it won't be long before they are doing that too. They are both using the Jumperoo and Exersaucer, even though Jules still can't touch the floor very well. They both just smile and smile and smile, and are truly happy babies.