Monday, December 30, 2013

Sitting up! (Kind of)

So the girls can sit up now like big girls. For about three to 30 seconds at least. And then they topple over. :) 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Babies' first Christmas!

My Christmas angels!
We had a great Christmas this year with the girls. Dare I say it... but it's finally starting to get a little easier. I know everyone told me around the six month mark it would, and yes, it is getting easier. At least for the last week it has been!

This was our first year playing Santa. Confession: I wrapped up gifts I bought at the twin sale months ago that they haven't played with yet. And I filled their stockings with toys from the toy bin I bought used from Craigslist/twin sale. Sneaky, sneaky! I did, however, buy that giant pink elephant at Walgreens for $20. What a steal! True to what parents of young babies always say, they loved the wrapping paper best of all.

The past few days have been a whirlwind of various Christmas parties with extended family and lots and lots of food (#weightwatchersfail). The girls did so well. Brooklyn is a little more hesitant being handed over to strangers, but Bailey hams it up and turns on the charm. It was fun watching all the little kids on both sides of the family (second cousins too) run around and open gifts. Christmas is much more entertaining watching them play.

We got so many nice gifts for the girls. Keep a look out for new matching/coordinating outfits! Plus a variety of really fun toys that light up and make noise. Teethers. Monogrammed Disney blankets. Cute stuffed animals. Puppets. Socks. Headbands. Etc!

Video of girls playing with wrapping paper:

Barr/Beckwith second cousins
Gregory/Barr Second Cousins
Mackintosh/Barr second cousins

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sleep regression is done!

Bailey is now sleeping soundly through the night again for the past week. No thanks to any of the many, many tricks I tried. I guess it just had to run its course.

Darren has shoulder surgery last week so things have been a little crazy. But he's doing really well - a lot better than either of us expected - so hopefully he'll be back in the swing of things quickly.

No time for a long post - holiday madness is upon us! Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sleep, Naps and New Foods

The sleep issues continue. We have good nights and bad nights. And good naps and bad naps. I am a big fan of reading various articles and advice on the Internet and I keep getting two messages:

  1. This is totally normal.
  2.  It's time to let them cry it out. (oh how I dread this)

I've made progress the last three nights and I've been able to put both girls, awake, into cribs at night and they've fallen asleep without any rocking. Granted, I stay in the room and replace pacifiers for a few minutes, but they actually do pretty well. I tried the same thing for naps - Brooklyn does fine but Bailey still needs to be rocked sometimes. We are having a problem with the girls only napping for 20 minutes. Usually they will take at least one longer nap (seems to be the same at the babysitter's or at home). I've tried adding additional layers (right now they are sleeping/napping in a onesies, footed sleepers, and fleece sleep sacks without arms swaddled.)

Bailey is still struggling in her crib. For night time, she usually falls asleep in there but then wakes up about twenty minutes later for a pacifier replacement. And then continues waking up every twenty minutes until we switch her to the rock n play. I tried elevating her crib to see that would help but it doesn't seem to make a difference.

I found a really awesome website that's been helpful:

On the advice of this website, I am going to try putting them down and leaving the room instead of sitting in the rocking chair next to them. I think I might bring one of the swings into the nursery too for nap time. Somehow we will conquer this! Because I am tired. Though, Bailey slept from 11 pm till 7 am this morning without one wake up (in the rock n play of course). So she does have nights where there are no problems, and these wonderful nights allow me to catch up on much needed sleep.

They are doing really well with solids and we are up to two feedings a day. I stopped doing rice cereal since Bailey didn't seem to get along with it. Everything else has bee fine. So far they've eaten sweet potatoes, avocado, pears, apples and zucchini. I also made peas and squash for their next foods. I've also been giving them one ounce of apple juice a day which seems to help them poop better.

We took them this weekend to the Botanical Gardens. Which they both loved. Their little baby minds were blown away looking at all the Christmas lights and the plants. Nice little family trip before we enter survival mode after Darren's shoulder surgery on Wednesday.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The mom with the chiseled abs four days post baby controversy

So everyone is in a big huff about the photo posted on Instragram by some fitness blogger who had "chiseled abs" four days post baby.

Full story here:

Yeah, it's unrealistic for most women. But how awesome for her. I would be ecstatic if that's how I looked four days after a baby (um it wasn't. All the meds from the c-section actually made me swell up so bad I looked puffier than I did pregnant! Swollen scary Fred Flintstone feet for a week.) Really, I would be ecstatic to ever have abs like that, let alone after a baby. As long as her baby was healthy and her pregnancy was healthy, kudos to her. Just know that most of us won't have the same results. I trust that women will be smart enough to know they probably will not look like that so soon after delivering.

I think we are all missing the bigger point. Who takes selfies of themselves in bra and underwear and posts it to Instagram????? #annoying #lame

Here is my three days post two babies shot vs. skinny freak girl four day post baby selfie.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

6 month check up, shots and a scary high temp

The girls had their six month check up (and shots) yesterday. They are now weighing/measuring in at 15 lbs 6 oz, 24.75 inches for Brooklyn and 14 lbs 15 oz, 25 inches for Bailey. They are both about 50th percentile for adjusted age/preemie comparison chart (they don't compare them to babies born at term yet). But, their head sizes are in the 85th (Brooklyn) and 75th percentile (Bailey). Apparently big heads run in the Barr family because my nephew Oscar (Darren's sister's kid) is the same way!

They also got a bunch of shots, including the flu shot. Bailey wasn't feeling so great later that night so I gave her Motrin. I took her temp a few hours after giving her Motrin and she was at 101.9! Yikes. I called the doctor, and she said as long as she was still eating some of her bottle and not lethargic just to keep an eye on it. Thankfully she seemed much better this morning. And she only woke up once in the night at 3:30 am. Poor little baby!

Monday, December 2, 2013

An impressive Target purchase

Let me brag about the greatest purchase I've ever made at Target, in terms of saving a ton of money. On Black Friday, they gave me a coupon for 20 percent off an in-store purchase to be used Dec. 1 through Dec. 4. I knew immediately that I would be buying an obscene amount of formula and diapers with said coupon. And on Saturday that is exactly what I did.

I bought two boxes of pampers cruisers size 3 for $34.49 each. Target had a sale where if you purchase two you get a $20 gift card. Then I bought four Enamil formula refill tubes at $35.99 each. Target gave a $10 gift card for the purchase of two, so another $20 in gift cards. Then I had my 20 percent off coupon. Then I had three Enfamil coupons, one for $7, and two for $5 so another $17 off. THEN I used my Target card and this knocked another 5 percent off the total. We bought a few other things (um, it's Target. Of course the cart was filled with all kinds of items) so in all we saved $116 PLUS the $40 gift cards. *Bragging*

I felt a little bit like I was in an episode of Extreme Couponing. Let's look closer at this price break down. I'm excluding taxes here so technically the end cost was slightly more.

Original price 132.8 ounces of formula: $143.96 (about $1.08 per ounce)
After my discounts (not including $20 gift card): $93.26 (about 70 cents per ounce)

Original price: 348 diapers: $68.98 (about 20 cents a diaper)
After my discounts (not including $20 gift card): $51.74 (about 15 cents a diaper)

Dare I say, this is even better than Amazon moms. Too bad all those diapers and formula will only last about a month, ha.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Baby food making

Made a few batches of baby food today using my baby bullet I got at my baby shower.

I love the baby bullet so much. Made three sweet potatoes worth yesterday, and four pears and four avocados today. The freezer is filled with frozen baby food. I bought these storage containers on Amazon, though in hindsight I probably could have just used ice cube trays covered instead. Anyway, after they froze, I popped them out into a giant freezer bag so I could make more batches.

We gave the girls sweet potatoes for the first time yesterday. Bailey literally laughed between every bite, she apparently thought it was hilarious. They seemed to do way better with these than the rice cereal. Going to try to make all fresh baby food instead of buying jar stuff.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sleep! Lots and lots of sleep!

Finally! An awesome sleep night for both babies, at our own house! I put the girls down around 7:45. Both woke up at 8:30 p.m. and I thought, here we go again. But aside from the 8:30 wake up, they slept straight until the morning when we had to WAKE THEM UP at 7:10! Amazing.

Here's what we did:

  • Rice cereal - last night they did an awesome job and ate most of it. Full tummies! 
  • Double layers - on the advice of my mother-in-law who did two layers when she had them overnight last weekend (and they slept through the night without waking up), I put them in cotton footed sleepers with fleece sleep sacks over that. This makes me feel super bad if they were waking up because they were cold, but at least I will try double layers from now on.
  • Noise machine on all night - we had the noise machine on a 45 minute timer but now we are just letting it run all night.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sleep issues continue

The girls FINALLY slept through the night again, at their grandparents' house, ha. We pawned the kids off on Darren's parents so we could have a night out (and some sleep), which was a wonderful and much needed break and a nice night out enjoying a few Christmas Ales. I warned my in-laws ahead of time that Bailey has been waking up at least five times a night (and when she actually sleeps, Brooklyn feels compelled to step in), but of course they both sleep like little angels without waking up once, ten hours for Bailey and eleven for Brooklyn.

I thought, well maybe they have finally passed through this dreaded sleep regression and Sunday night will be a good sleep night for all. FALSE. It was one of Bailey's worst sleep nights to date! She finally refused to go back to sleep at 3:45 am. Sigh.

Here are my theories on why they slept so well at their grandparents' house:
1. They (meaning Brooklyn and Bailey) are messing with us. Let's sleep the whole time over there but not when we are home, it will be funny!
2. They (meaning my in-laws) are messing with us. Maybe the girls really woke up 1,000 times like they have been. (Just kidding about this one.)
3.  Something about their house and the change of environment was conducive to sleep. I've already inquired about room temp and the heat setting is about the same.
4. The rice cereal. The girls got it in their bottle at my in-laws so got all of it down. We've been spoon feeding them and they are only getting some of it down (there's a lot of spitting up).
5. Bailey wanted to spend extra time with her mommy on my birthday (which is today, happy 29 to me).
6. There is no rhyme or reason, because they are babies and sometimes have good sleep nights and sometimes don't.

So I know the answer is probably number six. You can sit here all day (and night, because it's not like we'll be sleeping) and try to figure it out, but they are just babies and it's (hopefully) just a phase. They are so adorable though. That helps.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bailey sleeps, solids and more

After two and a half weeks of Bailey waking up all night long, she finally slept through the night! God bless the creators of rice cereal. I really think that helped.

So you must be thinking, wow you are really refreshed after such a great night of sleep, why are you still chugging coffee and looking like a zombie? That would be because Brooklyn decided she was going to wake up all night long instead. #twinproblems

Actually part of Brooklyn's problem is that she LOVES flipping from her back to her tummy. Every time I went in there, she was on her stomach. Confession, the first time I went in there I was only half awake and could barely see in the dark. I tried to give her a pacifier and couldn't figure out why it wasn't going into her mouth. That's because I was trying to put it into the back of her head. Surprise, tummy down!

Here is a blog post that my coworker Margie (who doesn't have kids, but is a dog mom) sent me after I was complaining talking about Bailey's sleep issues. I really like this post because she discusses how its normal for babies/toddlers to have what she calls "the dark time" where they wake up constantly. She also says she nurses her baby to sleep, which all the experts tell you not to, and doesn't care because it works for her family. This made me feel a little better because I rock the girls to sleep every night and don't let them cry at all in their cribs (both of which experts would tell you I am pretty much destroying my children by not letting them fall asleep on their own or self soothe). This may change down the road but it works for us now, so to hell with the experts. Also, I refuse to labeled as a bad mom for rocking my babies to sleep. I came from the Penny Beckwith (my mom) school of child rearing in which the more hugs, kisses and cuddles the better.

We started the girls on rice cereal on Monday night. They were, of course, totally adorable. Brooklyn seemed to like it more than Bailey. They didn't eat much the first night, spit most of it up, but did a little better Tuesday night. The doctor said not to introduce anymore foods until the six months check up. Then I think I'll do sweet potatoes as the first food. I got a baby bullet to make baby food at my shower and I've been reading up on it and I'm really excited to start that.

Brooklyn's rice cereal adventures:

Bailey's rice cereal adventures:

Nov. 17 was World Prematurity Day. Makes me so happy I was able to carry the girls to 34 weeks after having several labor scares much earlier. And with only 11 days in the NICU, the girls did so great. My cousin's friend's friend recently had a 23 week old baby that weighed just over a pound. You can follow their story here: Warning that the images and stories are super upsetting. He is hanging on for now (according to the blog, I don't know the family) but could always use more prayers.

My 34 weekers:

Monday, November 11, 2013

Care Bears costume, rolling over and sleepy parents

There was another used baby sale (this one hosted by Rocky River Early Childhood PTA) on Saturday. We don't really need anything, but I went for an hour just to check it out (and for a little mom break). Picked up a few clothes in the 6 to 12 month range (including a few pairs of $1 jeans, score) but the real winners of the day were the Care Bears costume for $8 (size 2t to 4t) and the mini George Foreman Play-Doh grill that sizzles when you press down. And don't you worry, I found a second Care Bears costume on ebay for $10 that I bought when I came  home. Compared to the twin sale, I was really overwhelmed because there were way more people there (I go to the twin sale on members only night so its not that crowded) and everything was set up by the seller's table instead of grouping all the same size clothing and items together. The advantage of having the seller tables is that you can bargain down items whereas the twin sale the price listed is what you pay.

In other news, Brooklyn rolled back to front four times on Saturday! She already moves around on the mat like crazy so I predict she crawls early. Also, she does have a tooth coming in. She hasn't had the best last few days because its been bugging her (I assume. Though she has yet to tell me what is bothering her in more concrete terms than "wah wah".) The only caveat of her flipping is that now I can't swaddle her completely when she sleeps. We've been trying to swaddle both girls with arm out (and I'll try both arms out in a few days, and then no swaddle at all after that.) Bailey has had a rough week (or two? time blends together) of sleeping. She keeps waking up every hour to hour and a half (or sometimes more frequently!). She goes back to sleep really fast (usually just a pacifier or a noise machine being turned on) but she just can't stay asleep the whole night for some reason. Which is making both Darren and I very sleepy. Being woken up several times a night even for these quick little interruptions really cramps your REM cycle. So perhaps she is teething too? Now that she has an arm free, she has been jamming her hand into her mouth. No temp or anything at least.

We also went to the fundraiser for the little boy Gavin who is dying from cancer. (his Facebook page:  It was unbelievable sad, though uplifting to see so many people come together for a family. They raised a ton of money  (I heard $20K so that's great). Both the parents and the little boy were there all night (in his Superman cape.) Puts things into perspective for moments when life seems difficult that your world can completely shatter overnight. Complaining about lack of sleep (see above) seems petty when you think about this family. I know how lucky and blessed we are to have two healthy baby girls.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gifts for Gavin Fundraiser

There is a fundraiser for a little boy named Gavin on Saturday night. (Follow his story by liking the Gifts 4 Gavin Facebook page:

The father of the little boy went to Lakewood ( he played football with my brother). I don't actually know the family at all (Lakewood is so big), but the story is heartbreaking.

Gavin is just over a year old and he has a really rare type of cancer that was just discovered in August. They did surgery to remove a brain tumor but the cancer remains. Faced with a 10% survival rate and lots of aggressive treatment, the family opted to bring him home instead. So he's living out the rest of his life with his family (two older siblings and mom and dad) at home.

There's a fundraiser this Saturday from 6 to 10 pm in Rocky River. If you are looking for something to do this weekend, $35 buys you two drink and a meal from Italian Creations. There have raffles and a silent art auction as well. Details:

Shameless self promotion... vote for our girls in the cutest baby contest!

I did it. I entered the girls into an online photo contest. Yep, I'm that mom. Hey, the prize is $1,000 to Kohls. They don't sell diapers or formula but they sell clothes!

So vote via this link:

You can vote once a day if you are so moved.

Monday, November 4, 2013

5 months and growing up

The girls turned five months on Friday. I swear in the last week they have changed so much. Darren was in China for a business trip for four days (even with a lot of help from family, it was so hard without him!) and he said they looked way bigger when he came back. I did an unofficial weigh in on our home scale and Brooklyn is 14.4 and Bailey is 14 lbs. That still puts them around the 25th percentile but they are catching up!
Aside from weight, they have been holding their heads way better too. We've been helping them sit up with the boppy pillows or just holding them that way and now Brooklyn tries to pull herself to a sitting position when you lay her flat. They are both just so curious and noisy and want to know whats going on. Both of them can also put weight on their legs now (obviously while being held!) and we've been flying them around the room on their tummy (super baby) which makes them crack up (see video below). It seems like they are interacting with us a lot more, and they are even looking and smiling at the other baby sometimes. 
Brooklyn definitely has a tooth (I can feel it! Slightly to her right). And I think Bailey might be teething now too because she just started acting like her sister with the drooling and having a little trouble sleeping (Saturday night she woke up every thirty to forty minutes all. night. long. That is so unusual for her!).  

We put them in the jumperoo for the first time and they loved that! It was like sensory overload... music, lights, bouncing and being able to see what's going on. 

They also love the new game of "super baby."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Videos Galore

In an attempt not to over post on Facebook/Instagram (I am really trying, though it probably doesn't seem like it! I only post baby pics twice a week on Facebook, generally. Can I help it that they are so adorable?), I haven't really posted many of the videos I've taken. I am super nervous about losing my phone though (and yeah, I have everything backed up on the icloud but I don't trust it completely) so I wanted to get the videos onto YouTube so I'd have a copy there, too. Just in case my phone breaks, icloud stops working, and the backed up version on my lap top somehow erases.

Anyway, here is the YouTube link to a bunch of videos. It's all baby videos and Darren's band: 

We have yet to upload any videos from our actual video camera. Yep. We are those parents that take hardly any WAY too many photos and videos. It happens!

Monday, October 21, 2013

20 weeks, baby rolling, twin friends

The girls are now 20 weeks old as of Saturday. We hosted a brunch with our new twin club friends. We all get together over booze and food and talk about how much better we are than singleton parents (just kidding). For real about the booze and food though. So we had eight babies (four sets of twins age 3 to 10 months) and ten adults (one set of twins had to stay home b/c they are still on oxygen after a long NICU stay). It will be nuts as we continue our get togethers to see that many kids running around. Actually it was pretty interesting watching the ten month old twins b/c they are mobile and crawling all over the place. A glimpse into our crazy future. :)

On Sunday, Bailey flipped over from tummy to back twice. Not to be outdone, Brooklyn did it twice a few hours later. We also upped their ounces again (hungry babies!). So we are now giving them seven oz in the morning and last feeding and six during the day feedings for a total of 32 ounces. Also, I still think Brooklyn is teething. I swear I can (maybe) see a little tooth poking through her gums. One of the girls at the twin brunch told us that the NICU doctor told her preemies teeth really early. I could not confirm this through a Google search, other than people asking if this was true, so who knows? I guess we'll find out when she either gets a tooth soon or doesn't.

We finally got the girls to nap in their cribs instead of those rock n play sleepers. Woohoo. It's nice to have our living room back instead of tip toeing around for fear or waking them up. Of course, nap time in the cribs means several pacifier replacement trips upstairs but we're getting there. They have also slept TEN hours straight the last few nights. In bed by nine and up at seven. This makes me very happy.

Friday, October 18, 2013

My favorite Asian twin babies

I love photos and videos of these babies so much and I can't even read the captions because they are in Japanese. Confession - I follow random twin parents on Instagram but these are by far my favorite.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My latest obsession... crock pot moms

If you aren't following this page already you need to be:

I am a huge fan of the crock pot (throw everything in and let it cook while you aren't even in the kitchen? Magic.) But I struggle sometimes on knowing what combination of ingredients to put in there. I am also not a fan of any recipe that has too many ingredients or weird ingredients that I don't normally keep in my kitchen (#lazy). So this crock pot moms page on Facebook posts really easy and simple recipes that sound delicious. In fact, I have "Pork Chips Teriyaki and Pineapple" cooking right now. And I bought supplies to make the "cowboy chicken" later this week.

A sample of some of the recipes I've been screen shotting to try:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Toy holding, mini vans and more

A very over due update!

The girls are 19 1/2 weeks and keeping us very busy. They are doing SO WELL!!! 
  • First of all, they are sleeping NINE hours every single night. Which is a dream come true. We put them down for bed around 10 or 10:30 and they sleep till 7 or 7:30. Sometimes we even have to wake them up so we can get them to the baby sitter.
  • We upped their ounces. They now get six ounces in the morning and last feeding of the night, and five ounces during the day time feedings. They also just dropped a day time feeding this week so they are getting five a day instead of six (or instead of the eight we started with). So they eat around 27 ounces a day, give or take. We'll see how they do with that and probably increase to six at every feeding, and maybe seven for the first/last feeding.
  • They've recently started reaching for toys on purpose! Especially Brooklyn. She will lay on her mat and reach up and play with the toys instead of just batting at them. She will also clutch animals to her chest like she is hugging them. She also loves burp rags. Bailey is also doing it, just not as dramatic.
  • Tummy time is getting much better! We started doing tummy time on the boppy pillows which they tolerate much better. Bailey seems a bit better at this (poor babies always being compared to each other).
  • Still waiting for them to roll over (other than the random time Brooklyn did it once at six weeks, which had to be a fluke).
  • They are chatting up a storm. Especially Bailey. She gets VERY loud! It's really cute when they get excited and you can see how hard they are trying to talk to you. 
  • I put away all the 0 to 3 month clothing. So sad! We are officially in 3 to 6 months. And they are now in size two diapers. Growing up!
  • I am probably wrong/crazy, but I wonder if Brooklyn (and possibly Bailey) is teething. She is a drool machine and puts everything into her mouth. Hmm.
  • We bought a mini van. It was bound to happen. In love with it. 2014 Honda Odyssey in metallic silver topez with truffle interior (aka gray). Darren's truck is no more.
  • They are kind of starting to notice each other. Kind of. There is hand holding going on (but they just like to grab things) and they seem to look at each other sometimes. No real interaction just yet.
  • Still won't do day time naps in the cribs. Thank God for rock n play sleepers.
  • We took them swimming for the first time. No reaction, ha. I'm not even sure they realized they were in water really.

In other news, I ran a 5K race this past weekend with Darren and another twin dad. Time of 31:05 with a pace of 10:02 min/mile. So not my best race time ever, but pretty good for having four month old twins! (Darren ran a 7:38 min/mile) There are so many mommy bloggers out there with twins who talk about how quickly they got their post-pregnancy body back after giving birth. I am not one of those. It's been hard. I've been following weight watchers religiously since I gave up on breast feeding around 9 1/2 weeks postpartum. So the weight is coming off, albeit slowly. It's frustrating but obviously worth it. Running is getting easier (although I can only run a couple times a week usually - it's hard to find the time!) There is some muscle memory in my legs and my time is getting better. My first post pregnancy run resulted in a 12:20 min/mile so I've shaved a lot off that in a relatively short amount of time. I can still tell my core muscles are not what they used to be. Maybe some day. My arms, however, bounced back quickly. I think I have more arm strength now than I did at my wedding when I had a Jillian Michaels work out obsession. Holding/rocking/carrying two babies will tone better than any kind of dead lift curl the 30 Day Shred will throw at you.  

Work is getting easier, too. The first few weeks back were kind of weird but I am getting into a rhythm. Our day care/baby sitter routine seems to be working as well. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hash tags for twin posts on Twitter, Instagram

I will continue to add to this as a I find more but here's a good start:
#twins, #twingirls, #twina, #twinb, #twinstragram, #twinning, #multiples, #tph (twin parenthood), #twincess #fraternaltwins #twinsisters, #twinproblems #twinpregnany, #twinbelly, #twin, #twinsofinstagram, #twinmom, #twintuesday, #twinsies

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

eHarmony baby

Periodically I like to send eHarmony an update about our successful match and let them know we'd be willing to be in their commercials. So far no call. Yet. Anyway, I filled out their online update form the other day letting them know we know about our new additions. Afterwards, they asked me to select my free gift. So we got free pink bibs from eHarmony that say "eHarmony baby" on it. Naturally I snapped a photo and tweeted it at their Twitter handle. Below is a screen shot of my shout out from eHarmony via Twitter.

Four months!

Girls are now four months old! Crazy crazy crazy.

They had their four month appointment yesterday. Bailey is weighing in at 11 lbs 14 oz, Brooklyn at 12 lbs 2 oz. Both are 23 inches long. That puts both in the 15th percentile for weight and 5th for height for their age group (and not their adjusted age group but against actual full term babies!). That means my little preemies are starting to catch up to their chronological age. Developmentally they are on target too. Doctor said even if they weren't six weeks early, she wouldn't be concerned about where they are. I am expecting both of them to roll over anytime now, especially Brooklyn who is most definitely the squirmier baby (Bailey is more talkative and smiley, Brooklyn moves around more and can grasp things better. The brains and the athlete my brother says.)

Also the doctor thinks at this point their eyes are going to stay blue. My beautiful blue eyed baby dolls. :)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Second week back at work

Well this is week two for me back at work. I'm working 32 hours with two days in the office (Monday, Wednesday) and two days at home (Thursday, Friday). I still have mixed feelings about it.

I really, really like my job. It was kind of weird being back though. Because of bed rest, my last day in the office was April 10. I worked from home until I delivered and then took 16 weeks of maternity leave. So I felt a little out of my element. We have a high turn over agency/industry so there were a ton of new people in the office, and a bunch of people I had worked on accounts with were gone. Plus we went through a reorganization and I got put on a different team. Still learning which accounts I'll be on - last week was more of a ramp up period. Each day seems to get a little easier.

I think for our family going back to work was the best decision. I of course cried (just a little!) dropping the girls off at the sitter's house last Monday. Today I only felt a little weepy but kept it together. In the long run I know this will better for everyone but leaving your kids all day just sucks. I wish I could clone myself and work and be a stay at home at the same time. Sigh. I do get to play stay at home on Tuesdays though, and I'm working from home two days a week so its really not that bad. I can't imagine how hard going back full time after only six weeks of leave would be. Glad my company offers more flexibility than that.

Nine hours in the crib!

Three nights in a row sleeping nine hours straight in their cribs!!!!!! We started putting them to sleep a little earlier (feeding them around 9 or 9:30, in bed by 9:45 to 10:30 pm) and they've been sleeping soundly till 7 am ish (give or take). We still have them napping in the rock n play sleepers during the day but I am working on getting them to nap in the cribs.

The girls have started drooling like crazy over the last couple days. I was super confused by this because I thought drooling meant teething and they are only 17 weeks (11 adjusted) which would be possible but really, freakishly early for teething. Most babies get their first tooth around seven months. Anyway, apparently babies start drooling much earlier than they teeth. So we still have a while.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chatty babies!

Bailey was chatting it up yesterday (Brooklyn too!). It's so hard to capture on video, but here's one I managed to get:

And yeah, I keep watching this video over and over again at work.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Twin club baby sale

Made out (again) at the wmotc sale. Picked up some stuff for my parents plus a few things we still needed as they get bigger. 

Here's my haul, total cost $475
-two britex convertible car seats (paid $170, retails $400 to $500 new)
-expedition double  jogging stroller (paid $45, retails $200 to $250)
-two bounces seats for sitters ($20.75)
-two bounces seats for grandparents ($30)
-two rock n plays for grandparents (paid $60, $120 new)
-activity mat from grandparents ($8)
-two boppy pillows for grandparents ($30)
-pack and play for sitters ($15)
-baby Bjorn carrier (paid $4, retails for $60 to $70)
-noise machine for grandparents ($3)
-monitor for grandparents ($5)
-crib soother ($8)
-Cinderella DVD ($8)
-10 Mercer Mayer books aka Little Critter ($3.75)
-11 Berenstein Bear books ($4)
-variety of 3 to 9 month clothing 
-various toys including Christmas gifts for nephew Oscar

Monday, September 16, 2013

Babies' first infection

So the girls have been having sore, irritated necks from milk leaking down their chins and getting caught under the fat folds (Previously discussed here). The area has been red and there is white gunk (gross). I've been trying to clean it and keep it dry by putting cornstarch on it (to dry it out) and then slathering it with Aquaphor (the world's greatest baby cure all) but it kept getting worse. I spoke to the nurse today at the girls' pediatrician's office and she said it was a YEAST INFECTION. In their neck fat folds. Apparently this happens to babies all the time. And obese people. Yuck. Anyway, I have to put cream on their necks four times a day and it should clear up quickly.

Also a big thank you to the girls who slept peacefully through the entire episode of Breaking Bad and held off their nine o'clock feeding until ten.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

10 lbs of cuteness

The girls turned 14 weeks old this Saturday (eight weeks adjusted) and are now weighing in at 10.11 (Bailey) and 10.15 (Brooklyn) as of yesterday. 

We've had a really awesome last week of sleep. We've been feeding them between 10 and 11, which means they fall asleep by midnight, and then they are waking up around 7 am. I feel so incredible. That's seven straight hours of sleep for me! (For the most part. Sometimes I have to get up and put a pacifier back in. And we still have occasional nights where they wake up at 4 am demanding to be fed. And to be honest I wake up sometimes worried that something is wrong and have to check on them.) They still have yet to sleep in cribs but we have moved them out of our room. They've been sleeping in the rock n play sleepers in the living room. I know I really need to get them to sleep in the nursery in the cribs but they won't sleep in there for some reason. We'll get there.

14 week old twinsMy maternity leave ends in less than two weeks. It makes me super anxious to think about it. We have an interesting schedule worked out for the next few months - home day care on Mondays (found a place from my brother's friend for $65/day which is awesome), I am not working Tuesday (playing stay at home mom one day a week), Wednesday my sister will take them to my parents' house, Thursday I am working from home and my mother-in-law will be coming over to watch them, Friday I am WFH and taking them to my parents' house for my sister to watch. So at least I am easing into it. I'm not sure if I'll work four or five days a week in January but we'll be sending them to the home day care full time (either four or five days) then. I really liked the woman who operates the home day care (it's her and her husband with up to eight kids) and we know people who send their kids there but I am obviously super nervous about sending them to a stranger. I think it will be good for me to go back to work (I really like my job) but I feel conflicted about leaving my kids. I wish I could somehow work and stay at home simultaneously.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

We've gone public

I finally ventured into public with the girls. Other than walks in the metroparks and the Starbucks/bank drive thrus, we haven't taken them into public yet. So just us girls had a day at Target and it was magical. They fell asleep after about ten minutes so I just walked around. For an hour. I got myself a skinny vanilla latte and hung a basket from the stroller and walked down every aisle. I was relieved/surprised/a little disappointed that no one stopped and asked me lots of twin related questions. I was expecting to be bombarded. Actually the only person who spoke to me was the cash register lady. Apparently Target is a wonderful haven for new moms. 

Let it be known that Target doesn't have Halloween costumes out yet. Also you will be proud and impressed that all I bought was formula. (Okay I also bought shampoo. And mascara.) And if you buy three formula containers of enfamil, Target gives you a ten dollar gift card. Score. 

Things that amused me at Target: 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Three months old and a sleeping miracle

Happy three months to my little angels! They are probably around 9 and 1/2 pounds (weighed 9.1 and 9.13 on Aug 27 with Brooklyn slightly more). We had a rough day yesterday at my parents' house (they have trouble sleeping when we aren't at home) so by the time we got back they were exhausted. Fed them at nine and they were knocked out. Brooklyn woke up for a little bit while we watched Breaking Bad (so good) but then they slept until I heard Bailey crying at 5:50 am! A sleep miracle! I feel wonderful with so much rest. Needed that! And I know they won't be doing this everyday right now but it gives me hope that soon they will be able to. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Baby Wise, sleeping through the night (STTN) and crying it out (CIO)

I've been reading "On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the GIFT of Nighttime Sleep" with the lofty goal of trying to get the twins to sleep through the night (STTN). Right now, they average about five to five and half hours between a feeding at night. So if Darren feeds them at 11:30 pm and puts them down at 12:30 am, they wake up usually around 4:30 am, maybe 5 am. Once they went 6 hours 45 minutes between a feeding which was magical.

Anyway, Baby Wise is supposed to be the Bible of knowledge for getting your infant into a sleep routine with the goal of STTN. It operates on a feed-wake-sleep principle where you break the day into feedings, followed by wake time, followed by nap time. We've been mostly following this anyway, not because of my amazing parenting skills but because that's how they did it in the NICU and that's what the girls are doing naturally. In the book, however, the author insists that babies be put down for a nap in cribs only and cry it out (CIO) for as long as 20 minutes! That seems crazy to me. There is so much conflicting info out there but most people say an infant should not self soothe (meaning no CIO) until they are at least five months old. Also, we've been operating more on the let them fall asleep wherever philosophy, be it rock n' play sleeper, bouncy seat, swing, in someone's arms, the bassinet, boppy pillow, etc.

The entire time I've been reading this book I've been smugly thinking "yeah it's easy when you only have one baby. I bet if the author had twins he would be in a totally different mind set." Well let it be known that Gary Ezzo has TRIPLETS. Which I learned when I read his chapter on getting multiples to bed. Hanging head in defeat. So somehow Gary Ezzo got his triplets to STTN following his system.

So I tried this week to get the girls to nap in their cribs. Massive failure. The first time, I put them down when they were drowsy to see if they would fall asleep on their own. I can't handle the idea of them CIO so of course the second they start crying I just scoop them up and comfort them. I gave up after about twenty minutes and moved them downstairs to the rock n' play sleepers. Today I tried moving them from the rock n' play sleepers after they were dead asleep into their cribs. They stayed asleep for a few minutes after the transition but woke up shortly after and would not go back to sleep. Sigh.

So Gary Ezzo father of triplets, I am still in love with the idea of getting the girls to STTN (he promises seven hours by seven weeks from due date) but not sure how this will play out. The girls are 12 weeks tomorrow (six weeks adjusted) so we have another week to hit his seven hour prediction. Holding out small amounts of hope.

Do babies see...

I Googled "do babies see" the other day and the number one auto suggestion was "do babies see color" followed by "do babies see ghosts." Is it bad that I was actually trying to Google "do babies see ghosts?" ha. Sometimes Brooklyn will look at literally nothing and just crack herself up. Makes me wonder sometimes if relatives that have passed away are making faces at her. Or she's just a baby and easily amused looking at the corner of the couch.

The magical healing powers of Aquaphor

You know in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" how the dad uses Windex to cure every aliment? Well such a cure-all exists for babies and its called Aquaphor. We use it every time we change on a diaper on the girls' butts to prevent diaper rash, on dry skin after a bath, on their poor irritated neck skin from dried formula, etc. It is a must have for any baby care regiment.

The girls' necks have been super red and sore. Between sloppy eating and spitting up, milk keeps getting trapped in their neck folds. I try to wipe it off as often as possible but its really bothering their skin. Darren and I decided we were going to be millionaires and invent a product that would keep milk and formula from leaking onto a baby's neck during feedings only to discover much to our dismay that such products already exist. A few clicks on Amazon, and our feeding bibs will be arriving today. Hoping between the new bibs and applying Aquaphor that the redness clears up.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Free formula for twins - enfamil twins program

We made the official switch from breastfeeding to formula (which has made my life sooo much easier!) but we are learning how expensive formula is! We go through an enfamil can in about a day and a half (cans are about $16.99). One of the other moms in my twin group told me about a program from enfamil for twins. Ask your pediatrician about it! They will send you two free cases (12 cans) which is a huge savings (a little over $200). Our free cases came today: 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

How many burp cloths do you need?

More than you have. I guess it depends on how messy an eater your baby is and how much he/she/they spit up, combined with how often you want to do laundry (um, it feels like every day). For the twins, we had about twelve burp cloths and that was not enough. I just bought eight more on amazon (Gerber flannel kind) that are bigger and more absorbent. Plus you'll probably want to keep an emergency burp cloth in the stroller, diaper bag, car, by the changing table, etc. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Rock n play sleepers

I can't believe I just discovered these last week. Better than swings! They retail for $60 new but I snagged one on Craigslist for $15 and the other I borrowed from my sister in law. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Two months old

Two months old aug 1. Been a bit busy to post! Girls had their two month check up and Brooklyn weighs more than Bailey now (7 lbs .2 oz vs 7 lbs 2.6 oz). Bailey is still taller though. They had to get a variety of shots which they were not a fan of. Both of their faces turned purple with anger in preparation for explosive crying. The nurse had to blow in their mouth to remind them to breathe! 

Now that we are out of the preemie stage, they are staying awake longer and actually interacting. Both girls are doing social smiles (smiling in response to your smile) and cooing. It is very cute! 

Watch Brooklyn: 

Watch playtime:

Pampers vs huggies

Pampers all the way. Personal experience, huggies are no good. You'll regret it when the diaper leaks all over the baby's clothes. Bailey also leaked all over my sister Katie's dress though so that was worth it, ha. 

Babies on play mat

Check out the girls playing on their activity mat with a hilarious ending.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A beer a day keeps the doctor away....

At my six week post baby check up visit, my doctor told me I need to drink more. Words I thought I would never hear from a doctor! Apparently drinking a beer a day increases your milk supply - the darker the better. I am also eating oatmeal everyday and taking motherslove more milk plus, a disgusting herbal mix with fenugreek. Available on amazon:

Stroller Review: Graco Double Quattro Tour Duo Stroller

I bought the Graco Double Quattro Tour Duo Stroller at the moms of multiples sale used, with two Graco Snugride car seats, for $150. It retails new for $229ish without the car seats. So it was an awesome deal. It's not my favorite though.


  • Compatible with Graco car seats. Especially important since the twins were preemie and too small to go into other strollers.
  • Easy enough to maneuver. I had no problems pushing the stroller around the block even after my c-section.
  • Simple to load and unload the car seats.
  • Folds down and folds up without any issues.
  • Adequate storage under the stroller. 
  • Cup holders for mommy drinks. 

  • Bad shade provided for baby in front (furthest away). It's difficult to load the car seats in with the sun shade provided for the front seat. On top of that, even if you get the car seat in, the shade provides little to no shade for the baby riding in front. I've tried a few alternate solutions to alleviate this problem. The first, was clipping an umbrella to the car seat handles with the car seat strap and hair clips. This worked okay as long as there wasn't any wind. I also use blankets but these get hot in the sunmer. I finally broke down and bought a Brica car seat cover for each baby. I like these because the netting around the seat keeps out bugs and well meaning neighbors that will reach into to touch your babies with potentially dirty hands. It also has a sun visor you can pull over. However, it's a bit bulky and can be annoying to use if you need to put a pacifier back into a crying baby's mouth every two minutes because you'll need to unzip it before you can get inside. I also bought a RayShade canopy extender that can go over the small shade provided with the stroller. I actually really like this.  
  • So heavy. I mean so heavy. The stroller weighs 40 lbs before you put in the car seats and babies. Try lifting that in and out of your trunk.
  • So big. Would not fit in the trunk of my Ford Focus. 
Overall, since I bought this used and paid so little, the stroller is fine. But if you are going to spend around $230 for a brand new one, you might want to try something else. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

6 weeks and past the "due date"

Six weeks old yesterday, which was also the twins' due date. They are still sleeping a lot, but getting more alert and staying awake for longer stretches (often in the middle of the night). The last few days they have been in a feeding frenzy. They are only lasting two hours between feedings. Forget about making it fours at night - doesn't happen. I think it's a growth spurt. But they are both doing so well still and continuing to be adorable. :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

New friends!

Had a busy weekend with visitors and our first major out of town trip. 

On Friday Darren's friends from Syracuse, Chris and Emily, brought their five month old daughter, Violet, over for a visit. It's funny to see the size comparison. Makes the girls look so tiny! Violet is 12 lbs so about the size of Brooklyn and Bailey combined. Violet was also super alert, smiling and interactive - makes me excited for times to come (though I love the newborn stage too!)

We also went down to New London for Darren's aunt and uncle's Fourth of July party. I spent most of the six hour visit in a bedroom feeding the babies (they literally fed for ever. Bailey took an hour and 20 minutes for the 6 pm feeding. Her prior personal best was 50 minutes with a typical nursing session being 25 to 30 minutes. Brooklyn also took her time.) but it was still nice to get out of the house. Bailey had a minor break down and cried for an hour straight. I think she was a little over stimulated. Poor baby girl! I had to ride in the back seat of the Focus wedged between the two car seats to keep her calm on the way home. This mostly consisted of putting her pacifier back in when it fell out. After all the excitement yesterday they were pretty sleepy today.

We did get an official cousin picture with Oscar. He just turned two on June 8. He can already say both the girls' names. Not that I am surprised since he can count to thirty and knows all his letters already!

5 weeks

Five weeks (and one day). They were not in a photo taking mood so this is the best I could get. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What you will never learn in childbirth classes

I did not write this, but my cousin Alice sent me this forward in an email (it's also been on Facebook I believe) and I wanted to repost it. Wish I knew the author to give them credit.

Here it is - What you will never learn in childbirth classes:

"We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family." "We're taking a survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.

"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.

I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her.

That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moments hesitation.

I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself.

That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor.

My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks.

I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child.

I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike.

I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time.

I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I finally say. Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings.
Please share this with a Mom that you know or all of your girlfriends who may someday be Moms. May you always have in your arms the one who is in your heart."

~Author unknown

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Professional photos from Bouncing Light Photography

We had professional photos taken by our wedding photographer, Leigh, the owner of Bouncing Light Photography. Photos turned out so well! Leigh is awesome, anyone in need of professional photos in Cleveland should use her.

View full photo gallery here:

Leigh's blog post on our session:

Here are a few of my favorites.

Twin newborn photos. In this one, the girls are laying on a blanket my grandma made. All the Beckwith children, grandchildren and great grandchildren get a custom-made afghan from her. Brooklyn is in the dark purple hat, Bailey in the light pink.
Family photo! Bailey in my left arm, Brooklyn in my right arm. 

Twin newborn photos.
And I love this photo. There is something so heart melting seeing a man with his kids, especially when it's an attractive man that happens to be your husband and he is holding your first and second born.
Dad holding twin newborn girls.