Monday, December 14, 2009

Product Recommendation: Playhut Pop Up Tent & Tunnel

Hanukkah started last Friday and my girls received the BEST gift from their Great-Aunt Sue...a "Playhut" Crawl n' Play Pop Up Tent with Tunnels Now I was skeptical about how exciting a tunnel and tent can be, but for two 13 months old it is the BEST! They spent hours crawling around, chasing each other in and out of the tent, and even getting Mommy & Daddy involved (we can fit in the tent portion). The only drawback is that it's a large toy, but it folds into itself and has a neat little storage case for clean up time. I highly recommend it! Happy Hanukkah!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Talking, Walking and other Developmental Milestones

Many babies who were born prematurely are behind developmentally, and my girls are not the exception. They have done most of their development behind, but are catching up quickly. They still are behind on motor skills (gross and fine), but are beyond their ages for other skills, like communication, self care, feeding, etc. Having twins really lets you have a good view of the developmental growth of children. Emma & Robin are VERY different - personality wise and developmentally. Robin likes to take everything in, and is typically the last to start a new skill, but as soon as she starts it she pretty much has it mastered (she's observing and learning before doing). Emma is the complete opposite - she wants to try everything, and it doesn't matter how many times she fails. A good example of this is crawling - Emma started crawling at 9 months, and spent many hours up on all fours and trying to coordinate the hand/leg movements. Robin had no interest in joining her sister, and was content just sitting and playing. Robin finally started crawling right before she was 11 months old (and right before we went to Disney), and did it just as well as her sister who had months of practice! Words are slowly coming to my children, and of course Emma is chatting away (not that we understand what she's saying). I would have expected her first words to be the "traditional" ones that you would expect a baby to say, like "up", "more", "milk", etc. But no, Emma is particularly fond of "cracker", and it was her first real word. She LOVES crackers, and knows where we keep them, and will point and say the word until she either gets a cracker or is moved from the room. Another word she loves is "car", which she repeats throughout the day. She is good at repeating new words, "door", "dog" "duck" "quack quack", and uses "mama" "Dada" and "Nana" when she wants our attention. Robin will say "mama" "Dada" and "Nana", but that's her limit right now. I know she understands everything that's being said, and I think she's waiting to just blurt out some big sentence! Walking is another skill the Tater Tots are clearly behind on. My goal is for them to be fully walking little munchkins by the time Morgan and Ryan arrive (sometime in either March or April). Both girls can pull themselves up to standing, and can "cruise". Emma is much more adventurous and will stand up from sitting (not holding onto anything) and just stand there (clapping, screeching and smiling). Robin has no desire to do this, and I don't push her. Emma is also starting to walk by holding onto our hands, and has even done pretty well with just one hand. Every night I spend time doing laps around the living room and let her climb up the stairs. She is very determined and would do it for hours, but mommy is tired (and big)!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Crankiness...

Emma has turned into a cranky pants in the afternoon, while Robin is happy as a clam. Over the past week, it goes like this: the girls wake up from their nap, I go upstairs to get them, and Robin is screeching and smiling while Emma starts crying hysterically. At first I thought it was because she was so excited to see me after being away the whole day (that's the hopeful mother in me), but then I realized, she's generally pissed. After diaper changes we head downstairs for a quick snack and playtime. Emma is still crying...Robin is staring at her. The crying continues off and on until bedtime, with bouts of happiness (I think she forgets she's supposed to be in a bad mood). Oh well, another stage. Another new thing that Emma is doing is refusing me when I come home. She'll refuse to come to me, and hide behind Nanny Kristy or cry until Nanny picks her up. At this point, I realize I'm working way too much and need to be home with the kids more. The good thing is...my last day of work is 12/17, and then I'll officially be home. The bad thing is, Nanny Kristy is going to be leaving us and going to work with a new family (luckily it's a work colleague of Jeremy's)...I'm sad on so many levels. video

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Emma's 1st Haircut & Friendlys

If you've seen Emma in the past month or so, you know that her hair is out of control. Everyone has been commenting on how she needs a haircut (duh, you think I don't know), but realistically I did not want to pay someone $20 to make a few snips. On the other side, I know how clumsy and B.I.A.C.S. (bull in a china shop) I am, so I wasn't too keen on doing it myself. I finally broke down and bought a pair of haircutting scissors and decided to take the plunge! After the girls woke up from their nap last night, Kristy put them in their highchairs for a snack and we went to work on Emma. Kristy stood behind her and held her head still, while I brushed her bangs down (they came to her chin), and then started snipping away. The hard part was not to laugh too hard while cutting, and I did end up snipping a little too short, but it looks so much better! After Kristy left, Aunt Jana and I took the girls to Friendlys for dinner (who doesn't love that)! The girls behaved very well (except for the food on the floor and the menus flying), and all of our dining neighbors were enamoured of them.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

I can't believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now we're on a countdown to the festive holidays! Hanukkah is 10 days away, and Christmas is here in 24 days. We will be celebrating Hanukkah with our girls, and their grandparents (and aunts and uncles) will celebrate Christmas with them. I have all of their Hanukkah presents in the basement...now I just need to find the time to wrap them up. Alas, we cannot have a fun celebration without a Tater Tot being sick. Poor Robin was sick from last Wednesday, thru Thanksgiving and finally is on the mend. She has a double ear infection (ouch), and had a high temperature (above 103) for 5 days! Now she's slowly getting better, but now both girls are getting more teeth...so they refuse to eat and are just plain cranky! Hopefully they'll break through soon! I'm hoping that our Hanukkah and Christmas are sick-free, and both girls are able to celebrate and have fun! Itsy Bitsy Emma is now standing on her own...she'll go up from sitting and stand right up (without holding onto anything). I think she's a little nervous, but is very excited (she claps and screeches when she does it). I'm working with Robin on getting her more comfortable standing, but right now she's not interested. Maybe little Miss Emma will take a few steps before Christmas! Jeremy and I have finally decided on names for the next Tater Tots: Morgan Elizabeth and Ryan James. We are super excited for their arrival in the late-winter/early-spring!

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's a GIRL and a BOY!

Friday was a big day for the Tate Family! In the morning we went to my Maternal-Fetal Specialist and Ultrasound appointments, and found out the sexes of the babies! Of course the technician held out to the very end of the ultrasound to do the "big reveal"! I had guessed that Twin A was a Girl and Twin B was a Boy, an I was 100% correct (a mother is always right)! We're so excited to have another daughter and finally get a son! Emma and Robin are way to young to comprehend everything, but I keep telling them that there are babies sleeping in mommy's tummy, and that they're going to have a little sister and a little brother. We're also practicing "loving touches" to mommy's belly and they love the extra bump to climb all over! I also had a regular OB appointment, and all is going well. I'm measuring bigger than I did with the last twin pregnancy, and look like a "normal pregnancy" at 22 weeks (I'm only 18 weeks). From past experience the rest of the pregnancy will have me growing by leaps and bounds...my belly is going to get huge again! Results from the "Tater Tot Twins 2 Baby Name Survey":
Name Votes
Olivia 12
Hannah 11
Jack 7
Avery 7
Gavin 6
Logan 6
Noah 6
Kelsey 6
Andrew 5
Carter 5
Dylan 5
Hudson 5
Ryan 5
Morgan 5
Adam 4
Lillian 4
Shelby 4
Jonah 3
Jordan 3
Elizabeth 2
Samara 2
Dakota 1
Stay tuned to see what names we actually picked for these two little nuggets!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's almost time...

It's almost time to find out the sexes of Tater Tots # 3 & 4. We find out on Friday morning, and I am so excited to finally find out and put a name to these little Tots! If you want to play along with my fun name quiz, click on the following link and submit your feedback: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=1nrETlei_2fO0NvhswnJZ2xw_3d_3d Emma and Robin are getting so big! We had a nice weekend (even though it was raining). Aunt Jana and I took them to Evan's 1st birthday party, and then we got to see Aunt Rozzie and Brayden later that night for dinner. It had been so long since we last saw them, and the girls just love Brayden. He is such a big boy, definitely going to be a football player - he's four months younger than Emma & Robin, but already taller! Emma is practicing standing by herself - I think it surprises her that she can actually do it, and will only do it on her own (no pushing/coaching from Mommy). She has a favorite word, "cracker" and gets so excited when I take the box of goldfish crackers from the cabinet. She's definitely trying to communicate with us more and I think will be real talkative once those words come. Robin is using her fun ride on toys as a walker, and pushing them all over the living room. She has such a fun time, and is so funny! She's not as "talkative", but listens really well. She can follow directions (picks up her milk and binky when asked), and she loves Pitcha so much!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Still Sick....

Ok, I've been sick for two weeks now, and just when I think it's going away I am down for the count. I have decided to suck it up and call for a doctor's appointment today. Unfortunately, I take better care of my children than myself, and do not have a primary care physician. This will be real fun trying to get someone to see me on such short notice...I think I'll pull the "high risk pregnancy" card and see where it gets me. I just can't take another two weeks of snotty noses, hacking coughs, sore throats and headaches. Wish me luck on my personal adventure today!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Goodbye Shawmut & Happy Anniversary

So on Monday, November 9th I was officially "laid off", and my last day of work will be on December 18th. I've been here at Shawmut for almost 4 years, and most of that time has been great, but recently it hasn't been the same. I'm excited for this next big adventure, and am looking forward to staying home with Emma and Robin until the new Tater Tots arrive in April. Then I'll really have my hands full. Yesterday was my wedding anniversary (2 years) with Jeremy. We whooped it up big time, and Aunt Jana babysat, while we had a late dinner at the Capital Grille...we definitely stayed out past our bedtime, and weren't home until after 10pm. The girls loved having Jana and Keith over, and Nana and Great-Granny showed up for a visit too. It was nice having everyone over! Here's a quick update on Emma & Robin: they had their first birthday's last month, and are definitely entering into toddler-hood full storm. They are coming into their own little personalities, and are in their "mommy" stage. By this I mean, if I am in the house, they must be attached to me or they will scream and cry...it's real fun! They are both crawling and "cruising" all over the place, and are understanding us more each day. Emma can repeat certain words "cracker" and "cookie", and is all about "Dada", "Nana" and "Mama". Robin's not into repeating, but says the same words as Emma. Robin is very serious and cautious, while Emma is bubbly and outgoing. I think Robin likes Emma more than Emma like Robin, at this point. Update on the Twins in the Oven: I'm almost 17 weeks pregnant, and look like I'm more than 22 weeks pregnant (and feel it). I haven't gained any weight yet (thank god), but the belly is huge, and there's no hiding it anymore. I've had lots and lots of tests, and all is well. I'm convinced that we're having a Boy and Girl, because their heart rates are different this time around (Emma & Robin's were consistently the same). We find out next Friday, and will keep everyone posted on names.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Emma & Robin Photos

Posted by Picasa

Another Pregnancy...Another Set of Twins

It's been way too long since I've visited my blog...we've been very busy in the past five months. The girls are going to be 1 year old next week, and I'm so excited for their birthday party and baby naming ceremony. We just took our first real family trip to Florida for 9-days. We spent 5-days at Disney World and then 4-days in Ponte Vedra Beach (at the TPC Sawgrass Resort). The girls (and parents) had a blast at Disney and tried to relax once we got to TPC Sawgrass. I'm looking forward to going back once the girls are a bit older and can really enjoy Disney more. I can't wait! We're also coming to terms with the news that I'm pregnant again and expecting twins again. Yes...I still can't believe it, but it's true...there is another set of Tater Tots on the way and they will be here in early Spring! Disney pictures will be posted soon!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Almost 7 Months

Time goes by so fast! Jeremy just returned from a business trip and actually got to give the girls a bath and feed them and put them to bed - I can't remember the last time that happened!
Emma and Robin are practicing their sitting and rolling skills. Emma loves to flip and roll across the room (she's the steam roller). Robin is more content to lay still, but will definitely do it when it's necessary. Both do well sitting supported with the Boppy...I can't wait for them to be able to do it 100% on their own.
Two weeks ago we took the girls to Poughkeepsie for their first trip. They did great on the car ride down...no fussing (yay)! We got to visit lots of friends and spend time with Aunt Sue and Uncle Sam. Aunt Sue made the girls coordinating dresses and sun hats. They are adorable, and we had Sandy Viola take pictures of them in the dresses. The photos came out great...can't wait to share them with everyone.
Only a few more days until Thing 1 & Thing 2 are 7 months old. Wow!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Photos of Emma & Robin

We found out a few weeks ago that Emma & Robin are FRATERNAL twins! Of course I had to gloat...I've been telling the doctors that they were NOT identical since they were first born. Two DNA tests later (the first one was inconclusive), we found out that they're fraternal.
Emma & Robin swaddled up like "Tate Tacos" Robin
Emma
Happy Emma & Robin!

Holy Moly!

Who would have thought that being a working mom to infant twins would take all of my time! I finally got the rug rats to bed and finished a SmartOnes for dinner - now I can catch up on my email (300 new messages), update this blog (it's been almost 2 months), and drink a glass of wine!
The twins are 6-months old now - every day there is something new that they're doing. Emma is a trouble with a capital "T" - she is the mover and shaker...never sitting still! Little Bitty Emma always has a smile on her face and will go to just about anyone. Robin is laid back and just takes it all in. She is cautious about who gets to hold her and loves to touch my face. Both girls know their names and definitely know when Mommy or Daddy is in the room. They are learning to sit up...thank god for the helmets when they fall!
Speaking of helmets - the Tots have been wearing them for about 7 weeks now, and it's amazing how much their head shape has improved! They don't seem to mind wearing them, and get 2 hours of helmet freedom each day. We're hoping that after the appointment with the plastic surgeon this week, they'll get to take them off for good!
This weekend is the going to be our first visit to Poughkeepsie with the twins (actually it's our first visit since we got married). We're so excited to have the girls meet our New York friends and family!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weight Check

The girls had a weight check and Synagist shots on Friday. Emma is still a little nugget, weighing in at 12 lbs., 2 oz. Robin is still the bigger at 12 lbs., 14 oz. I think it's funny that they're almost 5 months old, but still in clothes that are 0-3 months. The 3-6 month clothes are still a little big, but we have so many cute outfits that we need to wear before it warms up.
Tomorrow the girls will be 5 months old...I can't believe it! The past months have gone by so fast, and I feel like it needs to slow down so we can really enjoy the time, but at the same time I can't wait to see how the girls will turn out...what type of people they'll be.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's been a long time...

We have been so busy in the Tate House, that I really haven't had time to update the blog. Here's a quick run down of what's happened in the past month:
  • Emma & Robin started solid foods - we started them on cereal a while back, but included veggies and fruits a few weeks ago. The girls are eating peas, carrots, squash, pears, apples, bananas and peaches...quite a repertoire. Emma definitely loves to eat more than Robin, she finds it fun and gets the food all over the place. Robin has to be in the right mood, or else she refuses to eat.
  • I went back to work on 2/23 - I'm very happy to be back. I'm working 4-days each week (Monday - Thursday) and enjoying every minute I'm at home with the girls. I think being back in the workforce is making me a better mother. We have so much fun when I'm home, and it's working so well.
  • Giggles - Emma & Robin love to laugh and giggle. They like to get tickled and are so funny! They even laugh on their own when we sing and make faces...they just get a kick out of us!
  • Robin has new sounds - she loves to say "Ohh"...she says it constantly and will have "Ohh" conversations with us
  • Emma flips - Emma started to roll over earlier this week. She's rolled from stomach to back and vice versa. Unfortunately she only does it when she's frustrated, and I hate to get her to that point, but it's funny to walk back in the room and see her on a different side. She also scoots on her back. So if you put her one place, it's likely she will be somewhere else when we get back
  • Separate beds - We moved the girls into their own cribs earlier this week. We had a number of bumped heads and lots of kicks recently, so it was time to give them their own space. I was nervous that they would get upset, because I tried it last month and they screamed until I put them back in the same crib. Lucky for us, they LOVED it. They have the space they need to scoot around, and no one to bump into.
  • No more swaddles - We stopped swaddling them at bedtime. Both were getting out of their swaddle blankets and woombies, so we put them into sleep sacks and they are fine. I still use the swaddles when they are upset or overtired, but it's great that they can sleep without it now.
  • Their first overnight hotel stay - last week we stayed overnight at the Marriott in Boston. Jeremy was going to dinner and a basketball game with Uncle Matt, so I took the girls out for dinner with Aunt Jody & Aunt Jana. Uncle Matt was so generous and offered to put us up at the Marriott, so we could take our time and not worry about the trip home. The girls loved it, and got so much attention from the staff. They also behaved very well at Brasserie Jo for dinner.

Last week we went to get measured for their helmets. They behaved so well during the whole process (45 minutes each girl). They had to wear a funny sock on their head, and the Orthotist used a big camera to scan their heads into a computer. The helmets will be made from their scans, and they get them on Friday. We'll take lots of photos before, but not so many during their helmet period (don't want them to get a complex).

We're off to Nana & Papa's for Papa's birthday celebration...can't wait!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Helmet Heads

Yesterday we had our appointment at Children's Hospital in Boston with Dr. Rogers a pediatric plastic surgeon. Our pediatrician had referred us to Dr. Rogers when we started to notice that the girls heads were still a little "off". The doctor measured both girls heads, and examined them thoroughly before offering us two options.
Emma's head is 39 cm in circumference (not a big head), but it is not the correct shape - she has Plagiocephaly...basically there is an indentation on one side of her head. This is due to her being premature and her positioning inside of me.
Robin's head is 38 cm in circumference (even smaller than Emma's), and is flat in the back - she has Brachycephaly. Again this is due to her prematurity and positioning in the womb. Her head is more square, and it is starting to cause some disfiguration of her features (eyes and ears).
The options are:
  1. Do nothing and they will have funny shaped heads - not that big of a deal, but there is the possibility of bulging in the front for Emma...it would not be pretty.
  2. Correct both girls malformations by having them wear helmets. They will probably have to wear them for 4-8 weeks (21 hours/day)

The doctor mentioned that they probably look less and less alike due to their differing malformations if left untreated. With correction, they will start to look more like the identical twins they are. He's pretty confident that both the Brachycephaly and Plagiocephaly will be corrected and they will have nicely shaped heads after the repositioning. So we start the Helmet Heads in a few weeks (he wants to wait until they get to 3 months adjusted age (they were 5 weeks 1 day premature). So we're going to get measured in 2 weeks and they will start the treatment in 3-4 weeks.

I'm giving everyone 1 opportunity to make a joke or make fun of Robin and Emma...but only 1 opportunity...so use yours wisely. Any jokes or jabs after that will not be taken well...we don't want to give them a complex...though this blog will probably do that. I'll try not to take too many pictures during their helmet period.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Day In The Life

Some of my friends that have singleton's (that's 1 baby) and some of my non-parent friends have asked what it's like to take care of twins. Well, I have to say that I don't have experience being a parent of only 1 baby, so I only know how to take care of my girls. There are many happy times, but it's quite stressful and honestly the toughest thing I've ever had to do. One thing that works on my behalf is that I'm pretty organized and have a system in place. If I was disorganized I think I would have lost my mind a long time ago!
A Day In The Life of The Tater Tots
We start the day pretty early - Jeremy gets up at 5:45 am and gets ready for work. He also grabs 2 big bottles (6.5 oz) from the fridge and warms them up. At around 6 am he wakes me up and we wake up the girls for a big bottle. We change them before they eat, and then Jeremy usually feeds Robin and I'll feed Emma in the morning, because Robin eats much faster than Emma. He'll then swaddle her back up and put her back to bed. I'll finish feeding Emma and then put her back to sleep. They'll usually fall back to sleep and stay that way until I wake them later in the morning. Jeremy walks Pitcha and heads off to work in Boston, while I go back to bed for a little extra sleep.
I'll wake up again at 8:00am and take a quick shower, get dressed (usually in sweats or stretch pants...my mom uniform) and then come downstairs to get everything ready for the day. I'll feed Pitcha, wash all of the bottles in the sink, and make a pitcher of formula. I'll fill the bottle warmer (aka the Crock Pot) with water and then make a pot of coffee. I'll usually put in the first load of laundry, and pick up the living room. Around 9:00am I'll go upstairs and wake up the girls. I always put on some fun music (I have an iPod dock and speaker in the nursery) and I'll unswaddle them so they can kick around in the crib. Robin is usually all smiles when she wakes up, but Emma takes a few minutes to stop being crabby...so Robin usually gets changed first. I give each of them a sponge bath and lotion them up before changing their diapers and getting them dressed. I then put them back in the crib so I can put away their clean laundry and pick up the nursery. Then it's time to come downstairs for the day.
I'll bring them down and either put them in the bouncy seats to watch a Baby Einstein video or put them under the activity gym. I then go into the kitchen to make their bottles for the next feeding at 10am (5.5 oz). I've started putting a little cereal into most of their bottles (shhh don't tell the doctor) because I want them to gain a little more weight (since they're still so tiny). I also will pour a cup of coffee and make myself something quick to eat. Once 10am rolls around I get the girls ready for chow time. I set up the feeding with a boppy pillow to my side and put Robin on it and then put Emma in my lap. Once they're in position I put bibs on them, and give Robin her first dose of medicine for reflux (she usually spits it out, but at least I try), and then feed them (see photo to see how this is done). Most people would find it difficult to feed two babies at a time, but it takes so much less time than feeding them separately. Each baby gets burped multiple times, and I can guarantee that one of them will poop during each feeding I do on my own...not sure why they can't wait for Daddy to get home.
After they eat they'll play for a bit (lay on a blanket...lay under the activity gym...chill in their bouncy) and try to take a nap. I let them sleep where ever they fall asleep, since they usually won't nap for a long time. I'll usually check my email and catch up on some recorded TV shows during this time. When they wake up we'll change diapers (I change them both at the same time), and do some sort of activity...swinging, bumbo, activity gym, or tummy time. Then it's time for lunch at 2pm. They'll take another 5.5 oz. bottle with cereal, and then we'll relax after wards. We'll talk to each other, make smiles and do some snuggles. They'll usually be ready for their afternoon nap around 3 or 4 pm. While they sleep I'll finish folding the laundry, figure out what to make for dinner and pick up the living room (again). At 5:30 pm I'll feed them dinner (yet another bottle) and then they'll watch Sesame Street. I'll try to wash their bottles and make another pitcher of formula, and maybe start dinner.
Daddy usually arrives home at 7pm...which is just in the middle of fussy time for Robin. He'll change is clothes and play with the girls (or comfort them) while I make dinner. We'll then eat quickly on tray tables with babes in either our laps or bouncy seats...then it's time for the pre-bed bottles at 8:30 pm. After their final feeding Daddy gets them ready for bed and puts them to sleep (usually around 9:15 pm). He then walks Pitcha and off to bed we go.
To spice up this "fun" schedule, we have visits with Grandma on Mondays and Fridays, visits with Aunt Sue a few afternoons each week; and Twins Playgroup on Friday mornings. There are usually a few appointments scattered throughout the week, and we try to do at least another outing (it's hard to do when the weather is SO cold). Wednesdays and Sundays are bath days...Mommy takes Wednesdays and Daddy flies solo on Sunday!
This is what it's like around our house each day, but it will change starting next week when Kristy the Nanny starts. I'll be counting down the days until it's off to work for me.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hi Ho Hi Ho It's Off To Work I Go...

I'm heading back to work in less than 3-weeks (2/23) and while I'm excited to get back to the grindstone, I'm sad to leave my Peanut & Nugget at home. I have to say that the past 3+ months have been the hardest of my life (no one can ever tell you that raising twins is easy), no work that I've done before has been this difficult AND rewarding. I still can't believe that I carried and gave birth to two little perfect babies, and now I can't believe how fast the time is going and how big their getting (even though they're still the size of a large newborn). When I head back on the 23rd I'm going to be working only 4-days each week and will keep early hours (7-3), so it will give me more time at home with Emma & Robin. We hired a nanny named Kristy, who is amazing and is really good (and calm) with the girls. I feel very good leaving them at home with her while I'm working hard for the money! Jeremy will be making some changes to his schedule, going in about 1/2-hour later than normal (leaving at 7:30 am), so he'll see the Tater Tots off every morning! I'm a little nervous about heading back to Shawmut, due to the economy the company has been forced to make a number of changes and has laid off a good portion of the workforce since I left on October 17th. I know it will be a totally different company to come back to, and I look forward to the new challenges that lay ahead...it will definitely keep me on my toes! Here's the daily report on Emma & Robin - Last night Mommy went out for dinner with Auntie Rozzie and Suzanne, while Daddy stayed home and held down the fort. It was so fun for me, and Aunt Jana & Uncle Keith made a surprise visit and helped Daddy out with the bedtime feeding. I made it back in time for bedtime kisses! The girls went to bed around 8:45 pm and slept until 6am (woke them up for a big bottle) and then slept again until 8:45 am. They are getting to be good sleepers and I'm very impressed with this (and thankful)! I do not miss the middle of the night feedings, but do wish the girls would nap better during the day. I'm trying to get them on a nap schedule, but it's been a little difficult. They don't wan to sleep at the same time every day, so sometimes it's a struggle and they only get in some catnaps. Hopefully Kristy can help us with a better schedule!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Doctors Visit

Today we had a visit to Dr. Sullivan's office for Emma & Robin. Daddy got to come along and meet the doctor, and he helped out with me getting the girls undressed and dressed. Here's a summary of the visit:
  1. Nasty "Front Desk" Lady was not present - they had someone different sitting there (though I could see her hiding in the back). Check in was a breeze!
  2. Robin weighed in at 10 pounds, 3 ounces...only 1 ounce more than she did 3-weeks ago. The doctor called her not gaining weight "failure to thrive" and told us that if she doesn't gain sufficiently by her next visit, we'll have to figure out how to get some more calories into her diet. Right now she's in the 5th-10th percentile for weight.
  3. Emma weighed in at 10 pounds, 5 ounces...she gained a full pound! The big news is that she is finally on the weight charts in the 10th percentile - yay!
  4. Both girls were referred to a specialist at Children's Hospital in Boston for their flat heads...I'm sure they will have to wear helmets.
  5. Emma also has to now have physical therapy for her torticollis (sp?)...in layman's terms her crooked neck.

They go back for their Synagist shots and a weight check on February 10th...we'll keep our fingers crossed that they're gaining weight well at that point!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Enjoying the Silence

Today is Wednesday, which is bath day here at the Tate house (at least for the girls). After they had their 10am feeding, I cranked up the heat and prepared for tub time...it might be fun for the girls, but it really takes a lot out of me. First, Emma had to pee ALL over herself and the changing table as I was getting her ready...so we had to take a break and clean everything up before we even got her into the bath. Both girls are really starting to enjoy this time on Wednesdays and Sundays. When they were smaller, they HATED being naked, so bath time was not a fun time for them (or me)...but now they love being naked and the warm water...plus I put on the iPod and we sing (they screech and I sing)! The only time they cry is when they are done (it's still cold in the house). What I love best is that they usually pass out from all of the excitement afterwards. So...they are sleeping in their bouncy seats in the kitchen, while I'm relaxing on the couch with a cup of coffee - ahhhh!
Here's some advice on how to get your babies to sleep through the night - buy a WOOMBIE at http://www.woombie.com/ . One of the moms in my Twins Group recommended it and presto...Emma & Robin slept through the night the first time they wore it. UNBELIEVABLE!!!! Now we bring them up for their goodnight bottle between 9 & 10 and they sleep until 6am! I think they would sleep longer, but Daddy has to leave for work at 6:30am, so we wake them up for a feeding. After that they usually go back to sleep for 2-3 hours. I LOVE it!!!!
My next mission is to try to get them to sleep through the night in their own cribs. Unfortunately, they LOVE to snuggle together (must remind them of life in mommy) and when I've tried to keep them in their own cribs, they fuss throughout the night. So for now I'll let them co-sleep and just enjoy that I get to sleep for 6-7 hours at a stretch!
Gotta run...the crying has started (again).
PS - The photos of bath time are from when the girls were 3 weeks old.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Some random thoughts for a snowy Sunday... THE PRESIDENT As with any big news event, I've become obsessed with watching the pre-inauguration festivities (while my husband probably wishes I was obsessed with watching the football playoffs). This afternoon I spent the day watching CNN's coverage while Jeremy cleared the inches of snow from our driveway and walk. While our economy really blows, I think this a good time for our girls to come into the world and grow up. We have a new President coming into office, and while I'm not 100% sure we'll have "the change" everyone keeps hoping for, there is a good chance it's gonna happen...I don't think it can get much worse, and I'm 100% sure it will be better than the last 8 years. I hope that we as a global community will start to change the way we think...towards the economy, towards the environment, towards the way we live. This is just my little wish for a better world. FOOTBALL I have to talk football, since I'm sitting here listening to the NFC Championship. Last year we had the opportunity to attend the Superbowl in Arizona, and it looks like this year the Cardinals might go to the Superbowl. My best friend, Rozzie and her family are BIG TIME Cardinals fans, and I'm sure they're jumping for joy right about now. The funny thing is that she's having a baby real soon, and I don't think she's going to be traveling for the game...I have a feeling the rest of the family will be going, but not Rozzie! Don't worry Rozzie...we'll have to do something here in snowy Boston to celebrate! While I'm sad the Patriots didn't make the playoffs, it is nice to see my college (SU) quarterback in the playoffs (and fellow parent of twins) - Donovan McNabb...after a couple of crappy years...this might be his year to go all the way. SNOW I hate snow...I hate being stuck in the house for a week...I hate having to bundle up two babies to go 20 feet to the car...I really hate having to walk the dog (and he hates having to go outside)...I hate shoveling (but now I have an excuse not to help)...I just wonder why we put up with this. If my husband got a job somewhere warm...I'd hop on board that party train and get out of here (fast). BABIES I love my babies (of course)...everyday there is something new to like about them...like a giggle or a big smile. Right now Emma is sitting in her bouncy at my feet and smiling up at me...why? Because I'm me, and she just loves me for being me and nothing else!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Emma & Robin - Update for our friends and family

Chances are, you haven't gotten an update on Emma & Robin, unless you're an active member of the Facebook community (where I upload pictures weekly). Here's where we are at almost 13 weeks (can't believe that they're really almost 3 months old).
Emma Rose is 9 pounds, 5 ounces. When she entered the world back on 10/17/08, she was only 4 pounds, 5 ounces...so she's more than doubled her weight. I call her my little nugget. She is very calm, relaxed and laid back and has the sweetest smile.
Robin Katelyn is 10 pounds, 2 ounces. When she was born she weighed 4 pounds, 7 ounces...she's a very good eater. She's the peanut, and daddy Jer says she's "just like mommy". She is more vocal and has quite the personality!
I was convinced that the girls were not identical, and was told by my OB and their Pediatrician that they were. I finally convinced the Pediatrician to re-look at the pathology reports from my placenta (she was able to tell them apart very easily) and she confirmed that there was only once placenta and the surgeon's report stated that they were in one sack...so that means that they are identical. I still think they look totally different, they'll never be able to fool their Mom!

Formula Woes

Today has been a good day, but it's only 3:45pm...so there are a few more hours that I'm stuck here alone with Emma & Robin...so a meltdown could occur at any moment. I think their meltdowns are definitely related to the formula, so we're trying a new one at the moment. I was feeding them breast milk until a few weeks ago, but I was DONE with being hooked up to a pump 8x/day. My breasts were killing me and I was so miserable. The switch from booby juice to formula was easy, but that's when the "fussiness" started. I guess with one kid you can call it being "fussy"...with two screaming babies, I would call it "hell in stereo". Crying every waking minute wasn't fun (for them or me), and NOTHING I did would make them feel better. Robin was a little worse than Emma...there were definitely moments I wished I left them in the hospital.
Luckily, our pediatrician listened to my cries of "this just isn't right" and had me try a "hypo-allergenic" formula, which has lessened the cries to only a few hours a day. Unfortunately, the switch was excruciating...for them and me! Being a new mom I didn't have experience with changing their food, but I guess I should have used my experience as a pet owner and done it gradually. The first night was pretty shitty...our neighbors probably thought someone was being murdered in the house...screaming babies and a crying mommy. Emma would take a sip, scream at the top of her lungs for 30 seconds, take another sip, spit it out and then scream some more. It took about 1.5 hours to get her to eat 1.5 ounces and then I gave up with her...she'd be hungry soon and then eat. Jeremy didn't have much luck with Robin either, and we put them to bed whimpering (them and us). Our next feeding wasn't much better, but they were hungry and reluctantly took their bottles (crying with each sip and spitting much of it out). Jeremy then had a wonderful idea...mix a little of the new formula with the old formula (he's so smahhht). Once we did that they took the bottles and I've gradually increased the amount of the hypo-allergenic formula daily.
Speaking of formula, I have to complain about:
  1. The smell of formula - the old stuff was very metallic smelling (I'm assuming from the iron); the new stuff smells very glutenous (if that is a word)...I can't stand either...my booby juice was very sweet smelling.
  2. The poops are DISGUSTING - granted they were having poop issues when we first switched (which is part of the reason we're on the "special" formula), but going from "pretzel" smelling poops to downright nasty sewage poops was gross...we need to disinfect the entire bathroom when I'm done changing them...STINKY!

I'm going to keep my fingers crossed and hope that things get better with the formula and poops! I'm also going to hope that insurance will cover the prescription for the formula, since it's over $27/can and we go through 1 can/day...babies are VERY expensive!