Healthy Babies, Health Issues

Warning: This post mentions POOP a lot.

A&L are 10 months now.  Their personalities shine through daily.  They are sweet as ever when happy, and exhausting when sick or upset.  We’ve had a whirlwind of a month in the health category.  It all began at their 9 month appointment.

10 months A&L

Baby A

A 10 months

A’s head measured at 19 inches at the 9 month appointment.  When we got home and entered this into our Baby Connect app, I realized that was a 2 inch jump from her previous appointment at 6 months.  The nurse realized this after we left and called to have me schedule a head ultrasound.  The results from the u/s showed benign fluid on the brain.  The DR drops this information on us after telling us the results were normal.  Brain abnormalities, however benign, scare me more than anything, even snakes.  My gram passed away suddenly in 2007 from a brain aneurysm at 65.  My brother-in-law has a severe TBI from a car accident in 2012.  I know a lot about the brain, sometimes more than a few DRs out there.  The DR said benign fluid usually means hydrocephalus, but she does not feel A has this because she has good motor skills and is fairly mobile.  I’m going to pause here to tell you I don’t have full faith in our DR office.  A has had delays in her skills, for example, she still won’t roll over.  She can now sit up on her own and walks around the house in a baby walker, but other than that, she isn’t very mobile.  Remember we went to physical therapy before because we kept trying to get DRs to notice she was delayed?  Yeah, me too.  She really has made great progress over the past few months, but this hydrocephalus could explain her delay in becoming mobile.  We made a follow up appointment with a neurologist, but of course we cannot get in to see them until the 14th of August.  So, we continue to play the waiting game.  Please say a prayer for my baby that she doesn’t have anything seriously wrong that will impact her long term.  Those of you that have followed me for awhile, and those that know me in the real world know that I’ve wanted these babies for a long time.  We had to look to science to help us conceive, via IVF.

A using her ab muscles, nice!

A using her ab muscles, nice!

Nothing to see here!

Nothing to see here!

Baby L

L 10 months

At the 9 month appointment, the nurse practitioner thought she heard a murmur, so she referred us to a cardiologist.  L does in fact have a murmur, a Still’s murmur, which is common in toddlers.  His hemoglobin was lower than average at the 9 month appointment, which could be causing the murmur.  The cardiologist advised we continue to give him iron supplement, and just continue monitoring with our pedi, since the EKG showed everything with his heart to be just fine.  That was a huge relief!

Remember way back when, I thought L had colic?  A little about that can be read hereWell, about a month ago he began not wanting to go into his crib at bedtime, and even when in our bed he would wake crying and toss and turn all night.  During the day he would be very needy.  Twin moms know, there isn’t much time for constant fussiness when you have two at the same developmental stage.  We sort of have this under control now, but just barely.  Around two weeks ago, we went to the pedi because he was so upset one night, even while sleeping in our bed, that we thought we’d need to go to the hospital.  We called the nurse and she gave us some tips because it seemed like he was constipated.  We began using Colic Calm as needed, Hyland’s Colic Tabs, powdered probiotics, increased our prune consumption, and we even had to give him a suppository laxative.  He began pooping again-yeay! But his neediness continued, along with his sleeplessness.  Well, last week he suddenly has blood in his stool. Oh great!  The next diaper was even worse, so I immediately call the pedi and bring him in to be seen.  The NP wasn’t clear about what it could be, she thought bacteria but then she didn’t think it could be blood.  Again, see my frustration with this place?  This was on Thursday.  They took his diaper to send for testing.  We get a call yesterday am-Monday!-telling us it tested positive for c dif.  I ask her what could be the cause of this bacteria spread only by POOP or typically from taking antibiotics.  She isn’t clear, again.  I do some research myself and I am assuming one of these things happened: he rubbed his hand on the toilet while in his walker and then chewed on his hand at some point, which would mean someone who used my toilet has c dif-unlikely; a kid at story time touched it’s own poop and then played with the toys, then L chewed on the toys, and bam-infected.  I honestly have no idea.  I’m annoyed by it for sure.  I’d love to hear from anyone that has had experience with a baby having c dif.  Having a twin with c dif is awesome (sarcasm), because T & I had to sanitize everything just in case and I have to be super Mrs. Clean when I change him poop diaper, etc.  Of course, right before the NP called to tell us he had this, he had had a blow out-ON THE CARPET!  Ah, that was fun to go back and clean three more times, just in case.

Look what I can do now!

Look what I can do now!

So, that’s been my month.  Thankfully the Ergo has come to the rescue in the sleep department.  I rock L in it before bed and within 30 minutes he’s settled and can be put into his crib.

Babywearing for the win, again!

Babywearing for the win, again!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sorry for the long absence to those of you probably worried about me! 🙂

Posted in 6-12 months, Twin Mom Superpowers | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Bond Between Twins

The Bond Between Twins
Many people I meet out and about tell me that the bond between twins is something  special.  I catch glimpses of this bond in our daily activities.  As they grow they are able to interact more; this is the sweetest thing.  I could just watch them for hours.  Technically, I do have to sit and watch them for hours when they are this close, because they still don’t understand the concept of other people’s space and sharing. We’re working on that. 🙂

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Posted in 6-12 months, weekly photo challenge | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Transporting Twins

A&L are 9 months old as of the 25th. This is how I take them out and about with me:

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Two infant car seats in the Snap-N-Go. This has been the best way to transport them for me. But, over the last few months it hasn’t been working as well. L wants more space to move around. A probably does too. Both get really hot and sweaty in those car seats. Plus, the view isn’t that great. They only last about 15 minutes at Starbucks anymore, which is part of my reasoning for blogging less. Oh, and the wheels stink, so maneuvering them as they get bigger is also a challenge. Worst wheels ever.

I’ve been trying to decide how I’ll transport them next. I’m not sure how soon they will reach the max weight/height in the infant seats. When that happens I’ll be forced to change my routine anyway, so I’d rather be proactive and start planning now.

Besides the Snap-N-Go, we have a Graco Quattro Tour Duo, an InStep jogging stroller, and a hand me down Jeep side by side with no sunshade. The Graco isn’t practical at all. We used it once with A&L in the seats. The sun coverage was horrid. The front seat hardly reclines. I’m actually trying to sell it to use the funds towards a new ride. The jogger works great for walks and runs, now that I’ve modified it with a larger sunshade. But using it in places without automatic doors or even at the mall doesn’t work. It’s too wide. I used it at the mall last week and I couldn’t fit into the handicap stall with it. Thankfully my friend was with me so I was able to use the facilities. I’d like to keep this stroller just for walking and running.

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Here’s a better photo of the add on sunshade:

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The Jeep stroller is okay. I haven’t used it yet because somehow the sunshade is gone. When it was given to me, it was included, but now it’s poof-gone. In FL, that just doesn’t work. This one is more of a traveling stroller for airports and such. I’ll probably hang onto it for that purpose.

I had thought I wanted a BOB and that I’d just use it as my out and about stroller too, but I think it’s wider than the InStep. On a recent outing to Buy Buy Baby I test drove a few options in the aisles. Here’s what I found and my thoughts on each.
The Baby Jogger City Mini. I love the style of these. The sun shades are amazing. This ride is decent when it comes to smoothness. It comes in my favorite color, teal. Negatives: the legs don’t get to recline and the leg space just doesn’t seem long enough. They call this “Baby Jogger” but you can’t jog with it. If I’m spending that kind of $ I feel like I need it to be multi functional. This brand does have a jogger, but they didn’t have it in store for me to test. I’m curious to hear your reviews on the jogger if you have one, especially in comparison to a BOB.

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I cannot locate this one online. I think it’s the Baby Jogger brand as well. The wheels are a smooth ride on this one. The smoothest I’ve felt so far. I loved this one, except for the negatives. Negatives include: hardly any leg space for the child in the rear seat, which decreases when front child wants to recline. The front seat reclined a decent amount, but then the child in the back is squished. I envision whoever is in the back kicking the front one. Sounds like a blast. I really like this style double stroller, but I’m finding that it doesn’t allow for adequate seating for two bigger children.

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The BOB. Ahhhhhhhhhh. The one stroller to rule them all. I honestly have to say for the price, this doesn’t do much for me. The only features it has that I like better than my InStep are the sunshades and the wheel lock. I feel like the name is what sells this. I’d love to be proven wrong, so please share your favorite features of your BOB with me.

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I’m planning to start teaching again in August, so I’ll have evenings and weekends with A&L, along with summers of course. Is the cost of a new stroller worth it? What double stroller do you use for your children? If a new stroller isn’t the thing for me, then how do I transport them at stores or restaurants, especially when it’s just me? How do you travel around town with your twins or multiple children? L has great head control and can sit well in a shopping cart or a high chair. A is still working on that. She does okay in a shopping cart, but I haven’t tried her in a public high chair. Not everywhere has shopping carts or high chairs. How do you hang out anywhere with your twins when they can’t walk yet? For example, Starbucks, or the mall.

Thanks for any tips or guidance you can offer. I wish I had known more about strollers before A&L were here. It’s annoying that we have this nice, costly stroller (the Graco) that we won’t be using. I wish that money had been put towards a better one. I hope by sharing this I will help someone else out there avoid choosing a stroller that doesn’t fit their lifestyle. If I had to choose again I would have went with the Chicco car seats and stroller. That stroller frame reminds me of a fancy Snap-N-go, just heavier.

In case you are wanting to suggest babywearing in lieu of a stroller, I love babywearing, but our lifestyle requires a stroller in it as well. More on babywearing in a later post. 🙂

Peace,
K

Posted in 6-12 months | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

38 weeks 2 days

A&L are 38 weeks 2 days old today.  They have been outside the womb for as long as they were inside.  They arrived via c-section at 38 weeks 2 days gestation.  I feel like it’s their birthday.  Here is a comparison pic:

38 weeks  inside outsideI love these two so much.

38 weeks 2 days

38 weeks 2 days

Happy 38.2 babies!

38 weeks 2 days

38 weeks 2 days

Related Post:

Last post before A&L arrive.

Posted in 6-12 months, Milestones | Tagged , | 3 Comments

A Daddy’s Love

Today is Father’s Day, so I’d like to dedicate this post to my husband on his first Father’s Day.

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Our picture collage for Daddy.

My posts are usually about being a twin mom, so I don’t typically focus on my husband’s role as twin dad. T is amazing. I could brag about him for days. I’m not just saying that either, just because I know he reads my posts. 😉 I get so tired from my role as twin mom that sometimes I neglect to express my gratitude for T. Especially when you have twins, it’s nice to have another parent to help out. I can’t imagine day after day putting them both to bed, feeding both, soothing both, bathing, changing, doing their laundry, picking up after them, all by myself. I’m already exhausted and I have help.

T has been working from home, and I’ve been enjoying a few perks with that. My favorite is that he feeds A her morning bottle so I can sleep a little longer. He has also been cooking dinner. T is an amazing cook! Here’s what we had for dinner this weekend:
Cheese smothered, bacon covered meatloaf

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Gigantic burgers with homemade fries

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A&L love their daddy so much! I do too! 🙂

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Posted in 6-12 months, Holidays | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Teething Pains, Part III

We have more teeth in the TwinMomLife household. A’s two bottom front teeth are cutting through as of today.

She was very fussy at story time, so when we left I gave her a teething tablet and sure enough I felt two teeth. Two more tablets later and she was sleeping soundly.

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There are two types of tablets available in our Target store. One is the Hyland brand, the other Orajel brand. I’ve had numerous older relatives give me the advice to use Orajel, but since I’ve read it isn’t a good idea in today’s day I haven’t. So, I figure the brand is trusted, and these tabs are all natural. Win-win. Oh, we also picked The Orajel tabs over Hyland because the Orajel advertises as belladonna free. I didn’t know anything about belladonna, but if one is excluding it I figured there was a reason. While Googling it at Target I found it was associated with opiates. No thanks. Today I found this article which talks about Hyland brand being recalled in 2010.

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Funny story, I just had T go get the Hyland ones before I found that article. For extreme teething emergencies I will try them. L is still so fussy. That’s another post though. I think his fussiness is mostly due to teething pain. The Orajel tablets work for us, but I have to keep using them. I guess that’s better than using Tylenol all the time though.

We’ve been trying essential oils as I mentioned in my last post on teething. They are definitely helping with sleeping-falling asleep and reducing night wakings. I’ve been using Young Living Peace and Calming mixed with coconut oil on their feet, and YL lavender mixed with coconut oil on their jaw (outside, lower cheek). I borrowed them from a friend so I can test them out. I diffuse lavender as well in their bedroom about 30 minutes before bedtime. I just use my Vicks plug in diffuser with unscented diffuser pads from the natural store (Native Sun), and 5-10 drops of lavender on the pad. I use Aura Cacia brand for diffusing because it’s cheaper. I unplug it before I go to bed because those things can get very hot and I tend to worry. I’ve also diffused Thieves blend, and put it on their feet. The great thing about oils is that they smell good, so even if they don’t work, your baby and house will smell lovely. The negative is that they are pricey. I’ll purchase some Peace and Calming, Lavender, and Thieves from YL through my friend and go from there with the oil thing.

Do you use essential oils for teething? If so, please share which and how you use them. Do you use teething tablets? If so, which brand? As always, I’d love to hear what’s working for you when it comes to teething.

Peace,
K

Posted in 6-12 months, Milestones | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Photographing Twins: My Twist on Baby Photography

There are many things I wish I had learned to do earlier in life: cook, sew, study, photograph. I was fortunate to meet a fabulous photographer in my 20s. She taught me many tricks that were easy to master. We took so many awesome selfies, before selfie was even a word. She helped me pick out my first digital camera, a Nikon, similar to her everyday camera. This was pre iPhone of course. Even having a photographer friend, I didn’t take many terrific photos, at least not on purpose. Fast forward to 2012, T and I were in Hawaii, and taking the camera in and out of the case was too tedious for me. That’s when I took this photo with my iPhone:

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It’s beautiful, isn’t it? I was hooked, on Hawaii, and iPhone photography.

Around the time A&L arrived, September 2013, the newest iPhone software allowed for easy, continuous photos with just one touch of the button. Its called burst mode. It’s nearly impossible to get a good newborn or even baby photo on the first try, but using burst mode I can get a good selection. I take A&L’s pic weekly, okay daily, but the weekly ones I use to make a memory collage. The more mobile they become, the more challenging it is to photograph them.

So, where does the Twist
come in, right? Well, a photo shoot can be an absolute mess, but no one looking at my photos has any idea. A&L look like sweet darlings to my Facebook world. The truth is, I’ve twisted your viewpoint, by only showing you my fabulous photos. You don’t have to be an expert photographer to get good photos of your little ones. You just need the tools and patience to twist the scene. My favorite photo apps are:
Diptic (for collages),
Afterlight (for editing),
Instagram (for quick, easy editing),
Colorsplash (for B&W w/ one item being of color)

Edited with Colorsplash:
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This is how my photo shoots mostly look:

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Here’s a twist:

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Looks like they’re so sweet, telling secrets, right?
Well, A was really pulling L’s ear lol:

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Happy Twisting!

Posted in Parenthood, weekly photo challenge | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment