Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sleep is so overrated...

See - we sleep really well....on someones lap.

On Friday the boys turned 7 weeks old (2 weeks old, adjusted). I am convinced parenting back in the 'olden days' was much easier. Before the days of the influence of the Internet, parenting books, 'studies', and the unavoidable tendency to over analyze EVERYTHING. With that said, I am currently reading two books about sleeping. Books to ensure babies get enough rest and sleep through the night as soon as possible. I desperately want these two little rugrats to be good sleepers. One of the books promotes a well rested family not just a well rested baby. I assume that means sleeping in the chair with a baby all night isn't recommended...

I am hoping the unfinished chapters of the books are more enlightening than the finished chapters. Last night I got up to calm Mason down no fewer than 15 times.  He instantly stopped crying (all 15 times) as soon as he heard my voice and saw my sleepy face. So it wasn't that he was hungry. By the 15th I sensed the pattern that my effort to soothe him was going to last just long enough for me to crawl back into bed under the covers, close my eyes, and sigh. So the 15th time we ended up sleeping together in the chair.

I haven't given up on the books yet...mainly because one of the books says that preemies go through a phase around the 5-8 week mark in which they are just unsettled. I started noticing it the week before last - the week Cara was here. They were not as settled during the day in between naps. Hopefully it gets better soon.

Wish us luck!

Who...us? What'd we do?

Gus - our 15 pound "lap" dog.



Monday, March 30, 2009

New Blankets

Check out our cool new moo-cow blankets! They are part stuffed animal, part blanket, part silky, and super duper soft. Even better they have our names embroidered on them so we don't get them mixed up.

Dad says that Grandpa Denny has real moo-cows and if we are good we get to go see them!!



Do we look BIG? Mom weighed us using the home scale and thinks we are just over 9 pounds! We have now grown out of our "preemie"
and "newborn" sized clothes! Now its on to the big boy sizes..."0-3 month"! Mom thinks that is a little sad but we think it is pretty cool!

For those of you that you that know my mom know that she likes nicknames. We think our dog's name is Gus but the also has about 42 other names so sometimes we're not sure. Anyway, Mom calls us "Starvin Marvin", "Marvy", or "Marvin 1 and Marvin 2" because we LOVE to eat!

Love, Prior & Mason

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Week 7

Prior enjoying some tummy time.

See what I mean? Harder to tell apart!

I wouldn't trade these two for the world BUT I can't help but think about how much easier one baby would be compared to two. I know what Kate (from Jon and Kate plus 8) meant when she said after her twins she 'just wanted to know what it would be like to have one baby'. This afternoon the TV was on the station TLC and a show called "Bringing Home Baby" was on. I wasn't really watching it (OK - I was) but I noticed at the end of the show the mom was sitting up in bed feeding the baby and dad was at the foot of the bed rubbing the moms feet. Is that what it's like to have one!?!? There haven't been many (or any) foot massages in this house.

I continue to believe that you can't spoil babies this age but after 6 straight weeks of being held by grandmas, aunts, etc. I think you can create bad habits. I can't blame them for wanting to be held 24/7. Their tolerance for alone time is quite short. They are also taking turns at being good. This morning Prior was a grouch and this afternoon Mason is the grouch. What part of IDENTICAL are these boys missing?! It is quite the challenge when they are both grumpy but when one is being good it's almost a tease - I feel like I'm so close to being able to get something done! Something "fun" like laundry or a shower.....or cleaning up the "clutter".


Here is where my "wardrobe fund" is now being spent. How long until we can start working on potty training?

The boys turned 6 weeks old last Friday March 20th. Mason wasn't interested in his overalls picture and Mom ran out of energy so this is the extent of the 6 week pictures.


Last week aunt Cara was here all week and was such a big help. She surprised us all and even helped with nightly feedings every night! The boys were successful at their main mission for the week - birth control! Whew!

Monday, March 23, 2009

More pictures...

I know - just what you were thinking these boys needed....more pictures!

3 Peas Photography took some great pictures of the boys on 3/12/09 when the boys were about 5 weeks old. I met the photographer through my "mothers of multiples" support group. She herself has triplets and was wanting to expand her portfolio of multiples so offered us a free photo shoot and I couldn't turn her down. I can't believe how much bigger the boys look in these pictures than the ones that were taken just a few weeks earlier. I'm glad I have some from both "stages". It's amazing how much they are changing already...

Click on the "3 Peas Photography" link above to see the pictures.

Whether it is permanent or just a phase the boys are looking more and more alike these days. Or maybe it's just harder to tell the more and more sleep deprived I become...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lazyboy

Mason and I in the lazyboy chair. Notice Gus in the background getting into trouble...

Yes these boys are lazy....but the topic of this post is actually lazyboy chairs...and more specifically my Grandma's lazyboy chair.

I officially take back everything bad I've ever said and thought about lazyboy chairs. It wasn't their comfort that I ever took into question but more importantly their sense of style. I have always thought...bedroom furniture is for sleeping - not livingroom furniture. If you're that tired why not just go to bed?

I now know the answer to that question. When I was pregnant and on bed rest my dad brought up my grandma's old forest green lazyboy chair. It is worn in, a little creaky, and may actually have some drool stains from when she would fall asleep watching Days of our Lives or a Danielle O'Donnell special taped on VHS.  I miss Grandma (sigh)...Nonetheless - the chair is very comfortable. It allowed me short 'vacations' from my bed because I could lie nearly flat in the chair. It is the sole reason Christmas 2008 wasn't spent in bed. 

After the boys were born the chair was quickly retired to another room in the house with all intentions to go back to Decorah asap. It was replaced by a much more stylish rocking chair and ottoman for feeding the boys. This "stylish" rocking chair does NOT recline and does not even lean back to allow for a few miracle minutes of shut-eye. Why wouldn't rocking chairs do that?!

About 3:00 am a few nights ago my Grandma's green chair was brought back into the livingroom and the stylish chair was pushed to the side. (If I had had the energy I would have pushed it off the deck). The lazyboy chair is now the most desired piece of furniture in the house. Even beats out the bed. The bed is almost like a tease - it is SO comfortable. But babies aren't allowed in the bed. I have had numerous dreams (keep your psychiatric comments to yourself) where I wake up and am paranoid that I brought one of the babies into bed and had fallen asleep and the baby was somewhere under the covers. Anyway - Grandma's chair now allows me to hold a baby that doesn't want to be in his crib and even rest my eyes.

Just like how comfort takes over for fashion in the second half of pregnancy the same holds true for maternity leave. Ben - I promise not to "let myself go"....except maybe as it relates to interior decorating.

PS - here are a few pictures of the boys with their pluggers. Prior is first...Mason second.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Accomplishment

I hope to use this blog to document all of the "firsts" related to the boys. Well, today I have to document one of my first accomplishments! Shocking, I know, but with the help of Julie and Jenny I did accomplish something today. I cleaned out both of our freezers and took "inventory" of what we have for frozen food and meals. So that list is now on the fridge for when I am trying to decide what we are going to eat. It feels so great to have accomplished something. Now I just need to clean out/organize every other closet, drawer, and cupboard in the house. That won't happen.

We've been busy since I last wrote. I said I was about to have my first two days alone last week. I got lucky. I was alone on Tuesday morning and the boys were a little fussy and both wanted to be held at the same time. Kristi came that afternoon and they were little angels from the time she arrived until she left. On Wednesday Malinda came for the entire day and even made us dinner that night. And then on Thursday aunt Angie arrived and stayed to help until Saturday afternoon. On Friday afternoon Julie and Jenny (college friends) came to visit and help out. They brought along SO much food and I ate SO much food! Julie and Jenny left this afternoon and aunt Cara arrives tomorrow.

They boys are doing really well - growing very fast. I would guestimate that they are around 7 1/2 pounds at this point. They LOVE to be held and if I thought it was possible to spoil a newborn I would definitely say they are spoiled! They are awake more and more each day but I still have not mastered the art of comforting two fussy babies at the same time with only two hands. If anyone has any advice I am open to it!! This afternoon Ben said he is surprised at how little he can get done when he's home (he's trying to get the basement finished). I just stared at him...

I'm slacking at the picture taking. I thought 700 pictures in 5 short weeks was a lot - but I managed to forget to take any pictures with any of the above visitors. I guess they will just have to come back soon. (The 700 is not an exaggeration).

I have to write this down so I don't forget it - I've decided one of my favorite sounds in the whole world is listening to the boys eat (which is drinking at this point) but I absolutely love the sounds they make.

Prior cuddled in the pack-n-play

Mason on the changing pad waiting for his turn in the bath.

video
Today Prior was looking at himself in the mirror for the first time on his rainforest activity mat. At first I thought it was so neat that he was looking at himself but then I realized he probably thought he was just looking over at his brother...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Our Due Date


March 10th is a special day...it is the official (40 week) due date of the boys. I remember last summer when March seemed like an eternity away...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Reality is upon us...

Today was a sad day...Grandma Barb and Auntie Gina left us. Gina came up on Saturday night to see the boys, help out and also to take Grandma Barb back home (she had been here for 10 days). We had so much fun and they were so much help! Last night I even got to sleep through my first feeding so that was exciting. I'm not sure I can say I feel any more 'rested' but it was very nice! The boys are also making it four hours in between feedings on occasion.

Help has only been gone a few hours and it seems like the boys are fussier at the same time now where they never were when we had help! Now it's about dinner time and Ben and I are looking at each other wondering who is going to make us dinner?! While we have lots of leftovers and frozen food it doesn't appear that it is going to warm itself up! On top of that...tomorrow will be my first full day alone. Reality is here (at least for two days). On Wednesday night aunt Angie is coming and on Monday aunt Cara is coming.

Today we went back to Dr. VanBeek with Mason for his weekly check-up on his leg. The doctor said it is improving and healing. Later this afternoon we had a home care nurse come to our house to give the boys their first shot of "Synagis" for RSV. RSV is a severe cold and is the number one reason for hospitalization for babies. RSV is serious for full term babies and even more serious for premature babies. Synagis is a very expensive antibody shot that is given to premature babies because their lungs and immune system are underdeveloped. The shots are given monthly during RSV season (October - April) so the boys got a shot today and they'll get another one in April. The nurse comes to the house so the boys don't have to go out and get exposed to germs! The nurse weighed the boys. Prior weighed in at 6 pounds 14 ounces and Mason weighed in at 6 pounds 13 ounces. For the first time Prior out-weighed his younger brother! The boys did very well during the shots (and so did I)! At this point I am very comfortable around needles...

Here are the official "one month" pictures of the boys. We purchased some overalls for the boys in size 12 months and plan to take their picture in them each month until they grow into them. It was pretty funny to see them in the overalls now since they are so small! Thanks to Beth H. for the idea :)



Prior

Mason

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pellet Ice


I have been meaning to write about pellet ice ever since our stay in the hospital. Pellet ice might be one of the finer things in life. I have always drank a lot - whether its water or juice or soda (or beer/wine). Growing up my mom could tell you how many cases of frozen cans of orange juice and lemonade we would go through in any given week. Anyway - whatever I'm drinking, I like it really
really cold. Everyone must remember pellet ice. Mabe's Pizza in Decorah, Iowa had pellet ice back in the good 'ol days. In fact by age 7 I am pretty sure I could drink an entire pitcher of Mountain Dew with pellet ice in a matter of minutes. It tasted like a million dollars. It arguably tasted better than Mountain Dew in a glass bottle.

Well, the hospital where the boys were born had pellet ice. Here I thought pellet ice died along with pop in glass bottles. I was wrong!! What a wonderful surprise. I think I drank enough water with pellet ice during those 12 days in the hospital to make up for those lost years. The pellets are small and easily chewable and the liquid is instantly cold making every drink an amazing experience. 

This prompted me to do some quick research on what it could cost to bring this simple pleasure to my own home. Apparently they are not cheap which is maybe why restaurants (like Mabe's) no longer has a pellet ice maker. They appear to be in the $2-5k range. Why is that? What is the secret? Someday when I have time I want to understand this ingenious technology. If the machines had been any smaller I would probably have tried to fit one into one of the 17 bags of stuff we ended up leaving the hospital with. Better yet - maybe one of Ben's Rupiper uncles can figure out how to get their hands on one for me....According to Ben they know how to "find a good deal".


Friday, March 6, 2009

ONE MONTH OLD!


Prior says..."I'm so hungry I could eat my brother!"

Today the boys turned 1 month old (and four weeks)! I can't believe how fast the time has gone and how lucky we all are that they are doing so well.

We ended up at the doctor today - this whole breastfeeding thing has not been going the greatest (for me at least). I guess it is because Mason was on antibiotics in the hospital. For the boys it is apparently going very well. Prior weighs 6 pounds 8 1/2 ounces and Mason weighs 6 pounds 10 ounces. They are gaining more than an ounce per day which is great. The doctor said anything from 1/2 an ounce to 1 ounce per day is excellent. 

We stopped at Walgreens for a prescription and just my luck - they were selling girl scout cookies. Let me just say that girl scout cookies should be illegal for anyone with an appetite like mine! Especially for someone with a few extra baby pounds to lose!

We are having a wonderful week with Grandma Barb. She has been taking such good care of the boys and spoiling them with lots and lots of cuddle time. She's also been cooking for Ben and I. We had a few close calls with some expired food but she now knows that you must check the expiration date on anything that comes out of our fridge or pantry! It has been a very long time since I have "actively" been in the kitchen and that is starting to show.  Ben would argue that I've never "actively" been in the kitchen!

Today we had a little tummy time on our boppy.  Here is Mason.  

Tummy time for Prior as well.

Look at our cute little toes!!

And our cute little 'outie' belly buttons

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

First Bath

Tonight the boys got their very first bath! (Don't worry Uncle Jason, they had been getting wiped down daily)!!

Mason in the tub.

Mason cuddled in a towel after his first bath.

As you can see Prior liked the tub a little better fully clothed. He was a little fussy when I was putting the tub together and so I set him in there to see how he fit and he instantly fell asleep. I'll have to keep that in mind for the future when I can't get him to calm down!


Prior in the tub. Don't they look alike when they're angry?! Poor Prior had the second bath. Little boys like to pee a lot we won't tell him that his brother peed in the tub during the first bath!

Prior is all clean!

Dad - I know I'm growing fast but I can't hold my head up all by myself yet!!
(Mason)

Precious Prior

PS - I added a few of the "sneek peek" pictures from the photo shoot to Sunday's post and also added a post yesterday. Enjoy!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Our First Outfits



Most of our clothes are sleepers (since we do a lot of that you know) but today we wore our first real outfits! Don't we look handsome? The shirts even have collars! That's good enough for church...just about another month and the doctor will let us go to church!

Today Mason went back to Dr. VanBeek for his leg. It sounds like it is healing - just very slowly. The doctor had to scrape some of the dead skin off the wound to help it heal better. Luckily Dad was along so he could hold Mason's hand while Mom stood in the corner with her fingers in her ears to drown out the crying. Typical first time Mom moment (I hope?!).

Some of you have asked more about what exactly happened to his leg and what an IV infiltration is. After the boys were born they needed IV's for certain medication as well as fluids. Since their veins are small and weak the IV in a hand or foot wouldn't last long and would need to be restarted in a different location. So they had IV's in both hands and feet at different times during their stay in the hospital. An IV infiltration is when the IV fluid or medication leaks out of the vein and essentially irritates or burns the skin from the inside out towards the surface of the skin. It usually happens a little ways away from where the IV was started. For Mason the IV was started on his left foot and the sore is on the inside of his leg just up from his ankle. It is very deep and it's the size of a quarter. I know a quarter doesn't sound very big but on a little guy it's a big portion of his leg. But - he is going to be just fine!! The doctor gave us two layers of dressing that we change twice a day and we will continue to go back to the doctor weekly until it is healed.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Photo Shoot





Today we had a very exciting (and slightly stressful) morning! Christine Welsand with Photography by Christine came over to our house for the boys' first pictures. It was great to have her come to our house so we didn't have to take the boys anywhere. Typically newborn pictures are taken just days after the baby comes home home from the hospital when the baby is still very very sleepy. Ben and I very quickly learned why. The boys didn't want to cooperate very well! They are old enough to know when they are no longer bundled in a blanket safe in Mommy's arms but instead completely naked lying in a cold bowl for a silly picture. We used pacifiers and bottles to try and soothe them and just at the time we'd get one settled and posed the other would get grouchy and flail his long arms and end up punching the other one that was sleeping in the head. I was peed on at least three times and was completely sweating from the heat in our house. When I told Ben Chris wanted us to turn up the heat for the photo shoot he looked at me as if I had just told him I was ready to have more kids. Pre-babies we kept our house pretty cool. I would sleep in layers of clothes. Before I turned up the heat for the photo shoot it was at about 75. I turned it up to 80 degrees. It was SO hot! Anyway - I'm making this sound very dramatic but it was very fun. 3 1/2 short hours later we were finally done and I figured when Chris left she was hoping we wouldn't ask her to do any future photo shoots with the boys! She has sent me a few sneek peek pictures and I am very excited and impressed that she was able to get some great pictures despite the craziness of twins. I will be sharing the link with all of you as soon as it's ready!

Today Grandpa Rude also came up for the day to see the boys. He had not seen them since the first weekend after they were born so he was very excited! They boys LOVE being held and spoiled so they had a great day with Grandpa. Here's a picture of Grandpa and Prior.



And this picture doesn't even need a caption - it's funny all on its own!


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