Sunday, January 29, 2012

6 months old

How is that possible? They've been outside babies 70% of the time they were fetuses!! Crazy.

Where are we at 6 months?
so we're sick for our 6 month birthday...

But we are REALLY FLIPPING CUTE most days!

(our home photo shoot trial a couple of weeks ago)
We go to their 6 mo baby well visit on 2/1, so no height/weight stats yet, but I think they're doing amazing.  They're pretty much caught up to their peers (I guess that as many months as weeks early thing is about right)..  In short:

Avery is a barrel of laughs. She's more solid feeling than Quinn, and lends herself well to being "tossed" and flipped around (to the extent you can do these things with a 6 mo old baby).  She seems to enjoy these things a ton, with this big open mouth grin, but she only giggles at the end.  She has a VOICE when she is upset. She still loves to stand in the exersaucer, and is flipping belly to back and starting to sit unsupported.  She's a bit of a ham and loves to flash her gums for strangers.

Quinn is the inquisitive one. She is a lot lighter (feeling anyway) and still squishier. She also loves to stand but really loves the playmat. She can do tummy time forever and is rolling in both directions. She just learned to blow raspberries last week and that is her new favorite thing in the world!  Quinn is a total morning person and all smiles at 6 am. She also may be compassionate - she always stares at Avery when she's crying!

Cloth diaper reviews, part C

disclaimer: these were all purchased with my own money and I receive no compensation for reviews.

Our newest addition: Bum Genius Freetime
In short, I LOVE love love this diaper. I am finding I really love AIOs (my Grovia AIOs (and AI2s), my Swaddlebees Simplexs and these are the first I reach for). I think it is because I am lazy. Stuffing pockets is annoying (though they certainly have a place in a stash, for nights and car trips especially).  This is an awesome diaper design, with the two half attached soakers and the stay dry top. Avery is sensitive, so the stay dry is a plus, and I can hang these diapers in my basement overnight without the low cycle I usually put my AIOs through before hanging to dry. They're generally half dry before I even pull them from my water-sucker washing machine. I picked up half a dozen of these to add to my daycare stash, and may get more as I finish selling off our NB/size 1/stuff I don't love. I am a little concerned about absorbancy for the toddler stage, but I think you could put a small soaker under the flaps, and we can cross that bridge if we ever come to it.  Next time I sell off some stuff we don't use/have outgrown, I might get more of these. I just LOVE how easy they are. Also, so far so good on the aplix for daycare - its sturdy!
Baby of Nerds = HAD to have the Albert print!
Sustainablebabyish fitteds. 

These are all the rage in the Cloth Diaper world for overnight (I might have a slight addiction with reading cloth message boards for new ideas...). Now, I'm not particularly into fitteds. They're expensive, way more on average than pockets, and you still need a cover. I DO still like our Thirsties Size 1s (we've long since outgrown the XSs, and these have a pocket to add absorbancy) for overnight, especially on the peanut, so I was really hopeful about these. I picked up 4 of these used, 2 snapless and 2 OBFs (one small and one medium). Avery, at 13.5 lbs or so, fits into all of them. They're all giant on Quinn and her mini hips.  The snapless are made of this awesome squishy material. I DO Like them. They're really fluffy/huge though, and I'm not a super Snappi-er. The OBFs are just kind of, well, blah. I don't get the obsession (and I'm not about to buy any wool covers). They're so thick and not super soft at all. And she seems to soak them in a half a night. Now, she still drinks a big bottle going to bed and usually one or two more, so maybe that's the issue, but I'm still not really impressed. I wanted these to be a magic solution, but alas, I might sell them next time I get around to selling a bundle of stuff.

I've been meaning to talk about wetbags too, but maybe another day.

Friday, January 27, 2012

more guilt

Avery has her first cold. I'm sure its coming for Quinn, but for now, we only have one snotty baby with a low grade temperature.

Tuesday and Wednesday nights she didn't sleep well. She's never been a champ sleeper, so we are slowly letting her cry and work on self soothing more (we'll probably officially sleep train sometime in March once they're 6 mo adjusted - I think adjusted age is relevant for sleep issues). Thursday she got sent home from daycare for excessive crying.


So now I feel guilty for bitching and moaning most of Wednesday night and Thursday morning about the lack of sleep. Its hard to sleep through that screaming.

Chris picked her up (and Quinn) and brought them to the peditrician. Even though she didn't have a fever, this is weird behavior and we thought maybe it was an ear infection. Two copays later, they have colds.  What's my guilt here? My job isn't work from home friendly at all (besides that I've been there a bit under 6 months), and barring some giant emergency, I'll never be able to be their emergency pick up. I also can't drop off, since I start at 7:30 and work 40 minutes away (Chris is more flexible, for now anyway, and works 20 minutes away). Guilt.

I did let her sleep on me a lot of Thursday night, and am wearing her in the Ergo now. Doesn't totally stop the guilt (mom guilt and wife guilt) that I'll likely do a lot less sick days than Chris since she can work from home with a baby...


It was bound to happen.

This is our house 10% of the time or so... Oh, the noise....
Mom guilt.

It hit me hard for the first time Wednesday night. Avery was cranky and crying on and off. She's touchy at bedtime - going to sleep is SO upsetting, what if you miss something? - so I put her on the floor of the nursery to play while I got Quinn ready for bed (we usually do this together, but I think Chris was in the shower). About an ounce into Quinn's bottle, Avery lost her shit. She flipped onto her back and just started screammingggggg with her arms reaching up. Now, at not quite 6 months, they haven't mastered the "pick me up" move, but this was the closest she's come. She locked eyes with me and just cried pathetically.

Its generally my policy to attend (when we're talking about sleep) to the less upset baby first, get that one settled, then move on.
Quinn isn't a great eater at bedtime anyway, so I wasn't going to interrupt her bottle to pick up Avery, then see if it was even possible (unlikely) to console her while feeding a rather tired Quinn.

So she cried until Quinn finished her 3.5 oz and was happily munching on her hand and soothing herself to sleep.


That "why are you holding her and not meeeeeee" cry was surely the first of many (or the first I've recognized). Maybe it'll get less guilt inducing?

There's more Mom Guilt to come from this week, but I'll have to write about that later today...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


OK, not really. But they are almost 6 months old.
We were REALLY lucky to be able to keep them home until now. Chris was out of work until almost 4 months, and then her mom and my mom split watching the girls during the week. My MIL has returned home to StLouis, so the girls are now going to daycare three days/week (my mom will keep watching them Mon and Tues for a bit longer).

Today is their first day.

After much turmoil and back and forth, we went with a brand new center around the corner for our house. Its fairly average priced for the area (but much more than the bizarrely cheap center we almost went with). The location and hours are terrific, and so far we really like the staff. Hopefully that will keep up :) They're also friendly to our green/frugal tendencies - using breastmilk and cloth diapers - so that's a bonus for us.

Last night I dropped off their sheets, jackets, and about a zillion changes of clothes for them. Then we packed up the diapers, diaper cream, and 90 9 or 10 labeled bottles for the babies. We're used to reusing bottles until empty, so we had to buy more for daycare (we made 4 oz bottles for them, and send 2 2 oz snack bottles in as well. At home we just use 9 oz bottles and let them share until its gone!). SO many more dishes will be awaiting us tonight.  We also got out their outfits in the evening so it was all ready to go in the morning. I leave for work about an hour before Chris will be bringing the babies to "school" so I can't be of much help, so anything to make the transition smoother!!

I have to admit I was pretty super nervous this morning. I left my phone on the counter, so I had to call Chris for an update. Given that there were only 4 infants registered when we signed up 3 weeks ago, and now there is only one space left  in infants, I think we made the right call going right to this center instead of trying to get in in a few months (We were considering trying Cheapo Center for a bit first). Three other new babies started this week! Other than the chaos of several new infants starting at once in a brand new center still working out the kinks in their registration/check in system, it sounded like drop off went ok.

Now to see how things went when I pick them up tonight...


I have a short video that goes with this photo, but its not uploaded. The voice over is "who wants to go swimming??" "SCREAMMMMMINGGG"
Really though, they love screaming swimming. They were just overdue to naps and not super excited to be put into their fleecy coveralls. We usually just use a blanket in the car, but it was about 20 and windy, so we added these. They're thin, no thicker than a fleece jacket (which I am told is OK for a carseat), so I figured it would be ok. Of course, they fell asleep in the car, had fun in the pool, then returned to their carseats for the remainder of their nap (and take out dinner for us, woot!).

We start swim lessons at the end of the month. So big, these girls are.

Friday, January 6, 2012

getting out

We're pretty good about getting out with the babies. Maybe its a function of the renovations we are/have been doing to the house (resulting in 1938472 runs to Lowes and Home Depot), or perhaps its a function of our somewhat limited social life since we don't have a lot of friends here (and we have two babies).

Regardless, we go out at least once a weekend, usually at least once a day if not more. We had a four day weekend for New Years, and over the course of the weekend went (with the babies, there were a couple of other stops too) to Lowes, Home Depot, Ikea, the Y, the park and a friend's house.  They are 5 months old now, but we've always been doing this and its actually a littler harder now than it used to be since sometimes they won't nap while we're out (carseats used to be a SUREFIRE nap). I know (well, I think anyway since we don't have much to compare to) we have fairly easy babies - low reflux, relatively good sleepers (especially Quinn), not particularly screamy if not overtired, no special needs - but I can't help but judge a little when I read on mommy message board how hard it is to get out of the house with a baby (well, one presumably without issues as mentioned above). I actually think its going to be 10 times harder when they're toddlers, can run, and have opinions.

One of my favorite things about the weekend (besides family time in general) is dressing the girls up.  I leave for work before they're awake most days, so its a weird joy to pick them out coordinating outfits (and repack the extras in the bag to go with them...). For another two weeks, they're hanging out with their grandma's during the day.  Their Grammy usually gets them dressed in super cute outfits she puts together from their drawers (or coordinating sleep and plays).

My mom is another story. Yesterday I got home and they were still in their pjs from the night before. On Tuesday she'd watched them at her house, and while I'd repacked the diaper bag with extra tops and pants to coordinate with what they had on, I came home to find them entirely mismatched and wearing stuff she'd dug out of the bottom of the bag (like under the changing pad). Not a big deal in life, but a red shirt and pink pants with a green hoodie? What was wrong with the (more accessible) gray shirt and white sweats (which would have matched the hoodie just fine).  I know this is a first world problem, and not a problem at all, and I'd never complain to her about this, but it still irked me for some reason (maybe because I had spent 3 minutes putting coordinating replacement clothes in the bag?). is a shot of the girls on our walk this Sunday at the park. They fit perfectly in the 3-6 Gymboree hoodies their Grammy got them for Christmas, so I have to assume Gymboree runs a little small. Avery IS a good fit in 3-6 now, but they're mostly (except this) huge on Quinn still :)
staring at the ducks while Mommy flaps the blanket around trying to get them to look at her/the camera.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

who needs sleep?

Our babies were not those miracle babies who sleep through the night at 8 weeks (though I always wonder for those people who brag about that, are they talking medical sleep through the night (STTN) of 5-6 hrs, or legit STTN of reasonable bedtime-reasonable wakeup time?).  The first couple of months with these two was exhausting. Like physically painful, could barely lift the bar at Crossfit exhausting. I imagine it was a level of tired no one without multiples or a VERY bad sleeper can comprehend. I have no idea how anyone can manage triplets+ without a serious amount of full time help.

It HAS gotten better though. Right around the time Chris went back to work (they were 3 mo old, and the date escapes me, but they were around 10 weeks adjusted which  I think is super relevant for sleep issues), they started STTN from the medical perspective on occasion. Who decided 5 hrs was through the night is beyond me. Of course, they never slept for 5 hrs at the SAME time.  For a while, we put them to bed around 7:15, and would feed around 11, 1, 3 and 5, give or take a little bit. Obviously/Thankfully, we are no longer feeding the SAME BABY that much overnight, so we ended up alternating. Someone with a colicky baby once told me that once you sleep four hours in a row, the rest is icing, and I tend to agree. I am very functional with 4 hrs + some icing. Not ideal, but function. Under 4 hrs and I might as well crawl into a hole until I have my IV of diet coke drained.

Recently - very, very recently, like the last 10 days - we've been blessed with legit STTN medically, and are getting so close to a more practical definition. Its not consistent, and some nights we're up a lot.  This is especially true with Avery, who is totally in what the internetz calls the 4 Month Wakeful - she HATES going to sleep and gets pissed off when she falls asleep because WHATIFIMISSSOMETHINGOMG. But, last night Quinn slept from 7 to 3:30 and Avery from 8:30 or 9 (I'm not sure when as I had thrown in the towel and was reading, but  she went to bed after Chris gave her an imprompto bath last night) until 5. Not bad. We could get used to this. Of course, poor Chris is still up overnight to pump...

They won't be 6 months adjusted until the end of February, so that's the earliest we'll think about true sleep training, but I'm crossing my fingers this is a sign of good things to come (and that we can avoid having to sleep train in a serious way).  I will admit we do a light modified Ferber now... We try not to rock them to sleep for practical reasons, so we usually let them fuss for 5 or 10 minutes to see if they can self sooth. Quinn is a champ. In fact, she'll often shreak with exhaustion until in her crib where she'll promptly pass out. Avery...well....if she's not ready for bed and isn't out in 5 or so minutes, so ends up in hysterics. I am a sucker for letting Avery fall asleep on me, as it less painful than the yelling, and I am hoping this also resolves itself a bit before we have to just let her cry it out someday.

bonus points for long + disorganized post.

baby versus food

This is kind of a large pancake, no?

There is another one under it.