Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy Birthday Grandma!

well, we tried.


So after months of Ear Infection Sagas, Avery got tubes last week.

Quinn didn't get them at this time, since she's only had 5 (I think?) EIs, and her issue has been more of not clearing up than dramatic double ear infections.  Avery on the other hand....from that first one last winter, she's been a mess. Almost every ear infection she's gotten has been a double, and they come on so fast and so severely that the doctor of the day almost always says something along the lines of "oh my.". Add that to her amoxcillin allergy, and we've had a lot of maroon poo this year.

After a 6 week course of prophylactic drugs, the ENT pronounced Quinn just fine (7 days after she popped a single EI on said drugs) and Avery "bad, very bad.".  At the time of her appointment, Avery had severe fluid and a mild infection. We were able to book her tubes surgery for 6 days later, at which time she had a raging infection in one year. Its a wonder she's so verbal (and wasn't crying in pain) given her history.

The surgery itself was simple. Chris took her to the hospital for 7 am, and they hung out in the peds outpatient playroom (impressively outfitted with toys), and she went back about 8:45. Avery was in a pretty good mood for being without breakfast or milk since midnight, but of course was pissed about the oxygen mask.  I wasn't there, but she woke from anesthesia in hysterics and eventually showing signs of pain, and had to be dosed with Motrin to go home. I guess slicing into your infected ear drum isn't so comfortable. Another dose of Motrin in the evening, and she was good to go and went back to school the next day!

Due to the infection, we are doing a long course of ear drops, which she fights, then enjoys (I guess they tickle?), but so far so good. Let's cross our fingers this is the end of the EI saga.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

18 months

Our peanuts are 18 months today. Seriously? They're 1.5 years old? You've got to be kidding me.

Our well visit isn't until Thursday, so no stats at the moment, but I think they're about 31" and 19.5 and 21 lbs. According to the online development charts at the CDC and BabyCenter, they're right on track (or a bit ahead), so woot to us (them?).

So what's life with 18 month olds like?

Well, its pretty fun actually. They're entertaining these days, doing silly dances to hear their boots make noise on the floor and following basic commands (who doesn't melt from a hug or kiss when asked?). They're pretty adorable to watch play, and the squeals of laughter when they play peek-a-boo together or chase each other are priceless.  They're a little weird and ask for More when you tickle them, and love to go upside down.
riding along at Home Depot. They can do their own hats, mittens and zippers now (if you start the zipper). Craziness.

They're developing opinions, and we let them pick out their shoes most days (lovvveee boots). Sometimes they don't want us to put them on (or take them off), which is a challenge I predict will grow, but seeing that spark of independence is pretty cool.  They're getting pretty finicky about being in their high chairs, but aren't really ready to eat at their table full time (we ARE trying to get them to eat at the table with us but that goes only slightly better than putting the trays on their chairs). 
dinner at the table

They're still great in the car and stroller.  Sometimes we feel ballsy and go into stores without carts or strollers - this actually works slightly less well than a couple of months ago since they want to walk a lot and are so-so at best at holding hands.

obsessed with buckles.
Their favorite toys are the slide and books. Avery will take a book to you, put it in your hands forcefully, sit in your lap, then make you turn the pages.  Then Quinn comes over and a fight over your lap ensues (usually). 
slide in the basement!!

They really like the tunnel too - fun to poke each other from the outside! They are pretty into puzzles - Quinn especially loves this Melissa and Doug peg sorting thing (Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Pound-A-Peg )- she pairs them up by color which is awesome to watch. They don't have the hang of the hammer yet but do run around with it saying "hammer! hammer!"   They also really enjoy unpacking the pantry in the kitchen, so we've stocked the lower shelves with their dishes.
empty sippies are surprisingly appetising

We also just unpacked a couple of toys from their birthday (Little Tikes Mudpie Kitchen and  Little Tikes Campsite Cookout) which seem to be a hit. The plastic food freaks me out a bit but they seem to know what to do with it. Guess we need a kitchen for their next birthday?? They also really love coloring, but we still have some issues with crayon snacking.
coloring at our table

They have 12 teeth each (4 of which are coming in now for Quinn, and I think Avery is getting close to cracking a canine), and are wearing mostly 12 month clothes.  They need some 18 month for length, especially in the shorter brands like Circo and Jumping Beans.  I put them in 12 mo Carters dresses the other day though and they were more like tunics.... I think we still get away with the 12 month stuff because they don't fill anything out around, but I admit their pants are ankle length at best.  They're also finally growing hair at what seems to be a good clip.  It really took off a couple of months ago. They both have good ponytails now, and I think might need a mullet trim in another month or two...

Quinn with a pony!
More on Thursday after our well visit!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Only child syndrome

Sometimes I think some of our sleep "issues" are twin related. While most of the time they're adorable and do entertain each other etc, we definitely have moments of attention issues.

Just this past week, our new biter Quinn chomped on Avery's cheek vying for a seat in my lap (parents out there, never get mad at daycare over biting. If it can happen in mom's lap, imagine how easy it is with a 3 or 4 to 1 ratio). Fighting over laps is the big issue right now, even when two laps are available, and there is plenty of fighting over toys and books.

I think we are also starting to see the ease of one v one parenting versus two v two. Unlike in rugby (in my opinion, more skilled athletes may disagree) 1v1 with toddlers is quite a bit easier than 2v2 since by themselves there is less screaming and no egging on (can you imagine what this will be like at 2.5 or 3? Hahah). I think we need to start taking them out solo a couple of times a month.

Friday, January 25, 2013

fun at daycare

There's never a perfect childcare arrangement (including, for us, being a Stay at Home Parent, because I'm pretty sure neither of us can hack toddlers full time), but we're 98% happy with our daycare, which is I think a good score and good enough for us.  The girls seems to love it there, get excellent care, sleep pretty well, eat much better than at home, and do fun things we'd never do at home like play with whipped cream.

These photos are from a daily report - we get them via email daily - how cool is that?

They also apparently learned to stack blocks there, which we found out at the ENT's. Who knew?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dinner time

We've been struggling with dinner a bit (well, all meals at home, but its obvious at dinner). The girls are really fighting the trays on their chairs (space-savers) and don't really stay put at their table yet.

Soooo we are trying to transition them to the grown up table. Besides the slightly bigger mess, the main issue is they're really into buckles right now. Quinn in particular freaks out if you buckle her in because then she can't play with it (& sometimes she succeeds in buckling and asks to be in unclipped so she can do it again). Our new plan is to buckle one side, push up to the table, and not leave the room too much :)

Today was pretty successful though, and they even ate a few bites of dinner!!

Twin Registry, Part 4

a short running series on what we actually had.


Get the infant carrier.
Do it.
I know it feels a little frivolous to buy a carseat you'll only use for a few months to a year and a half at most. But do it. There's a few reasons:
  • Picture carrying a floppy baby in and out of the house. Now do it with two. Bring your bag, milk, diapers and sanity. If this doesn't convince you, carry these multiple infant into daycare/grandmas/any other location where you can't consider abandoning one in the car while you bring the other inside. (This alone is a good reason for the carriers)
  • If your kid will be little during the winter, the carrier is clutch - hats and fleeces on the babies and a stack of blankets over them! EASY, and no exposure ever to the cold for the peanuts!
  • Snap and Go stroller. Carseats + this thing make errands and shopping and getting out of the house in general a breeze in the early, sleepy days.
  • A lot of carseats, despite the legal approval down to 5 pounds, just don't fit newborns well. The top harness slots are often just too high. (Our peanuts were technically a bit small for their carriers when they came home, but they were in the car probably twice in the period when they were too small, so it wasn't a big deal, especially as we were able to get the straps nice and snug on them, and the harness was at the right height.
We had Graco Snugride 35s.  

Check different stores, as patterns vary - we have a sweet teal pattern from Buy Buy Baby.  As the girls were almost always in our Subaru, we only had one set of bases (which come with the seat) and just buckled them into our second car if the need arose. If you will frequently use two cars though, spring for the extra base.

You could get away with the smaller ones (22lbs/29inches), but we opted for the big ones as we wanted to use them for as long as possible.  That said, our peanuts would have fit into the little ones until about a year, and still have 2 inches or so left in the 35s (which are rated to 35lbs/32inches). I can't imagine a 35 lb baby in this seat, but it fits our 20ish lb 30ish inch babies nicely.

This summer, we did move to convertible seats in our main car.  It is older and the AC is questionable at best, and the girls were just SWEATING in their infant seats.  Our convertibles have low sides, and they seem a lot more comfortable in them (our infant seats live full time in our new 4 door second car now). I DO NOT recommend making the move before your babies are stable sitters - it is not terribly hard to carry two babies at once who can hold themselves up, but see floppy baby commentary above!!

We opted for the Diono Radians for our family car.  The primary motivation for these is size - they are narrow, and we can fit two carseats and a human into the backseat of our older Forester, which has roughly the same interior space as a late model Corolla (which we also have now! The new Foresters are MUCH larger, if you're reading this and thinking I am nuts).

I LOVE our seats, but unless you drive a giant vehicle, I wouldn't get them for a newborn. You need an angle adjuster to move them to a more upright rear facing angle, and it is too upright for a young baby (until stable sitting age).  They fit fine even in our smaller car though.

Two points to note about these seats: the harness is outgrown at the same time it is outgrown as a booster, so you will probably need a dedicated low back booster if you have a taller kid (also, they must be harnessed in this seat until 50 lbs), and they expire in 8 years as a harnessed seat and 10 as a high back booster.

We have the middle model of the Radians, which come with infant/toddler padding but not the headwings of the top model. The seat is otherwise the same as the RXT.  I've read the headwings can interfere with seatbelt use if used as a booster, and they're much more expensive, so we opted against it.Keep an eye out for sales  - I snagged ours on sale at Kohls (Diono Radian R120 Convertible Booster Car Seat (Google Affiliate Ad) for about $175 each after coupons (no Kohls cash either!).


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

life with twins

So we still have our doorway jumper (Sassy Seat Doorway Jumper, 5 Toys ) hanging - it mostly lives suspended by a hook - but now that they're heavy enough to actually bounce it, they someones ask point and grunt  for it.

Here, you can hear Quinn's displeasure at not being it in at the beginning...

But hey, an infant toy that's still a hit at 17 months? win!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013


We've had our fair share of whining and fit throwing, but I think we've officially entered the tantrum stage, particularly Quinn.

Most of the time she's adorable.
isn't our bathroom adorable too? besides being adorably small (like Quinn), who doesn't love pink tile?
But sometime she's like this.

I need to get it on video (as well as learn to walk away and let her figure out that tantruming won't get her what she wants - which in the last two days has included to play with the recycling, to keep her bathrobe on at bedtime, to keep playing instead of napping, and to get the piece of cookie in my mouth out).

This kid is LOUD. And has the memory of an elephant.
Until further notice, I prefer to think Avery will stick with little fits and not do full, long tantrums.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Twin Registry, Part 3

a short series on all the baby crap...

I love strollers. This is the THING I obsessed over before the babies came. There's so many nice options out there. That said, there just aren't a TON of double strollers, and there's more crappy ones than good ones (there's plenty, but you miss out on options like the Quinny).   

I'll spare you my full rundown on all the models and stick to what we have (but do go look at the pretty pretty Bumblerides. So pretty. Alas, I can't justify another Bob sized stroller. If the Bob came in Seagrass....)

Double Snap and Go.
THIS IS A MUST FOR NEW TWINS. I know it sounds silly. Why do you need a stroller for your carseats? Two reasons:
1) Except for the new Bumbleride (I think), which isn't really an errand running stroller, you can't put two carseats in a double stroller. Some strollers recline enough for a newborn (eg, the City Mini), but...
2) Do you REALLY want to move your sleeping newborns in and out of the carseat, where they're all cozy and ASLEEP every time you go in and out of a store?

This is a purchase you won't regret, trust me. We had Graco infant seats and they snapped right in, but I've heard most seats fit fine.

"Shopping" Stroller
We ended up getting an umbrella as our "everyday" stroller. This is actually our least used stroller, since we just don't shop that much with the girls (have you ever been to a mall with multiple toddlers?) and when we do grocery shop and such, we tend to utilize  the carts at the store. For space reasons, we went with an umbrella style stroller - it is smaller than a pack and play folded, lightweight, and easy to steer. The harness release takes some muscle, but overall I am happy with it.

We started using this one around 4 or 5 months with aftermarket "snugglers" for a little extra support. They liked being out of the carseats and able to look around (it does slow you down though, once you can't just pop them in and out of the bases in the car, run into the store, and return!).

You just can't beat a Bob. We use this stroller ALL the time - daycare pickup (when we walk or run there), short grocery store strips (walking there), the park, etc. I love it so much. Good storage, good sunshades (we have a 2010, the shades on the newer models are even nicer with a stay-put-clicking thing), easy to operate harnesses. Love love love.
The only accessory we have is the handlebar console, which I think is worth the money. I use it for my water bottle, cell and keys.

We don't have the snack trays, and I think they'd be annoying for getting kids in and out (not to mention awfully far from peanut sized toddlers).

My little disclaimer here is if I didn't plan to run with the girls, I probably would have gotten a City Mini in lieu of the Maclaren and the Bob.  It is much bigger folded than the Twin Triumph - given that it is double wide - and unlike the single version, you need two hands to fold it.  However, it steers one handed and is a little smoother of a ride. It is a walking-on-even-ground stroller though, so its use is limited and I am VERY happy with our choices.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

life with twins

peekaboo has only gotten more entertaining as they've gotten older!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Toddler sleep

Shortly after I last wrote about this, we really turned a corner. Right around their 13 month birthday - just as they were both in the 18 pound range - they suddenly started both sleeping through the night with some consistency.  The moral of the story: it'll happen eventually, and just as you can't force your underweight kid to eat, you can't make them sleep.

Now, I'm still tired. We have good weeks and bad weeks. Thing is, while they sleep pretty well as a whole now, and have for months, they don't sleep well when sick (hi, ear infections) or getting a tooth (in the last 8 weeks or so we've sprung 7 molars, three of which are just barely broken through the gum. If you're counting, that means we have 9 teeth left before the two year old molars -which I'm just going to assume will come in around 3, and I like to think of there being 9 left and not 15 - and 3 more to finish breaking through the gums).  On average, I'd say we have nice solid nights sleep around 4-5 nights a week*.

*I should go to bed earlier though, since they still get up at 6:30 on average :) I imagine this would help with the vague sense of ongoing exhaustion.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Travel with Toddlers

In 17 months, the girls have been on four round trips.  I did a short rundown on flying with infants here.

It's gotten harder.

The primary issue is simple - they do more than eat and sleep now. Security was a little easier since they're WAY easier to get out of the stroller at the same time now, and you can set them down on their feet...but the rest? Harder.

The revised version of my pointers:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Parenting fail

When your 17 month old asks for tv.

Maybe we need to cut back on screen time.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Twin Registry, Part 2

a small running series on the stuff we actually had :)


We went with the Graco Laurens. We got them from BRU on sale (well, a set of fabulous grandparents got them). They work, they're pretty small - key, given that the girls' room is about 12x8 - and they convert to toddler beds. Technically they convert to full beds too, but sorry girls, they'll never fit in this house like that.


We did end up getting plastic snap on covers for the front rails since once they learned to stand, they started to gnaw on them. I also bought fleece with intentions of making covers for the sides, but never did, so they look like chipmunks attacked in a couple of spots. Oh well. This is a big reason I am glad we didn't get $$ cribs - babies are like puppies, chewing and peeing on everything.

Changing table

We also have the Graco Lauren changing table.

It is fine, and roomy (we keep all of our cloth diapers on it, plus disposables, wipes, extra wet bags, swim diapers). Weirdly, it has wheels - do people really roll these things around? Due to this, there is an espresso colored stripe down the wall from it moving with rolly babies.  

Pack and Play

We got  a lot of use out of this when they were itty bitty, since they'd nap it it together and we used the changing table a TON in the living room. The detachable laundry basket was also really nice.

We haven't really used it since 3 months or so, but it does live on our enclosed porch and they sometimes ask to go into it to play (weirdos). I might get some balls for it to make it a ball pit soon. I think if our house was laid out differently, we would have used it a lot longer (eg, if we had two floors).

High chairs

We got the space saver high chairs that convert to booster seats. They're good, and the footprint is smaller than most traditional high chairs.
I do wish we'd assembled them before the babies started solids, as I think we could have used them for bottlefeeds since they recline a good deal.  We ended up getting chairs from Ikea for around $20 each to put them on so that we can still have guests sit at our table (as we only had 4 chairs to start).  My only beef is they are too high as boosters to slide under our table  - I don't know if this is normal, or if our table is weirdly low, but our girls are still too small at 17 mo to reach the table without being pushed under.

Also, the pads and straps are food magnets. They are washable and clean up beautifully, but we took them off around 9 or 10 months and haven't replaced them. We may start using the straps if they start trying to climb out regularly.

All that said, if I could do it again, I'd really consider the cheapy Ikea high chairs that stack together, or smaller more booster like seats like this one:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christmas Photos

what, I'm not supposed to bang it like that?

oh, and I'm supposed to sit on my nice wood chairs, not these?

This box isn't a giant toy for us?

slide! slide! I have no need to go to the rest of the Children's Museum!

OK, this slide is cool too...

riding along in my automobile....


adventures in physics

Friday, January 4, 2013


It's really just nuts how they're growing up so fast.

We went to visit family over the holidays, and Grammy got the girls a table for her house. I admit, I was a little skeptical, but it was a HIT.
eating at a table! with plates!!

and coloring. I had NO IDEA how much they enjoyed this...

So we had to get one for at home too.  It's an IKEA set, and not nearly as snazzy as the wood one at Grammy's  (but hey, it'll take more abuse from the babies than hers will, or something like that to justify our cheapness, right?), but it'll work.  It is a SMIDGE taller, and they had a little trouble getting into the chairs at first, but I think they've figured it out!
that's right, eat your snack and face the corner...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A twin registry

A while back, I did a quick post on the supplies we loved for infant twins. I thought I'd share the items we have, since I occasionally get questions and have basically written this post via email a couple of times for pregnant friends! There's kind of a lot of gear (anyone who has registered knows that!) so I'll split this into a couple of posts!

Little Baby Containment Devices
We had two small swings.

This one has a vibrate feature.

This one has a timer and better music.
They were both fine, though I always preferred the snugglier second one. That said, neither of our babies were super into the swing.

We had this bouncer.

They weren't into the vibration and we didn't even use it that much as a bouncer, but they LOVED the lights, especially when they learned to turn them on with the toys.

And two Boppies.

So simple, and they sound like such a waste of money, but we used them a TON. When they were very little we had to prop them up in it with a blanket underneath. These were terrific for feeding both babies at once (once they could hold up their heads and had some torso control), and they took their bottles in them at home for a long time (until they crawled really).

I know Bumbos are popular, but they kind of creep me out. We were handed one down but never used it.