In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Parenting Twins - The First Year (Month 5)


The boys turned five months old on Friday!  What a month of "firsts" it has been!  They went to the beach for the first time, tried out the neighborhood pool for the first time and had a stomach virus for the first time.  Ok, some firsts were more pleasant than others, but we were making memories nonetheless.

The babies also started the month off by trying solid foods for the first time.  We started with cereal, then made our way to vegetables and fruits.  One month later, they are pros at eating baby food.  Sweet potatoes and squash are their favorites.  Green beans....not so much.  They are currently eating cereal with a fruit for breakfast and before bed, as well as a vegetable and half of a fruit for lunch and dinner. They took to being spoon-fed really well.  Aaron is a pro with the spoon and will open his mouth up in anticipation for every bite.  I can't shovel the food in fast enough for him.  Ethan is a little more messy with his food.  It seems like he spits out half of what goes in, but he is doing much better now than he was at the beginning of the month. 

Month five was also our first month moving to our cribs full time.  They have officially outgrown the bassinets in our room.  Ethan made the transition to cribs look easy.  From the beginning, he was super easy to put down for bed.  He'd fall asleep on his own within ten minutes.  He also sleeps through the night more than half of the time.  If he does wake up, it's usually only once.  Unfortunately, he never wakes up at the same time as his brother.  All I have to do to get him back to sleep is give him a bottle in his crib.  Because he sleeps so well, he's usually up for his day pretty early in the morning ready to play. Aaron on the other hand, is not the best sleeper.  In general, he fights sleep.   He also wakes up screaming every three to four hours and is not satisfied until I pick him up and put a bottle in his mouth.  He doesn't go back down as easily as his brother.  And because he doesn't sleep as well, he usually isn't ready to wake up as early as his brother.  This also messes with their naps during the day.  By the time Aaron wakes up, Ethan is usually ready for a morning nap.  Because they are not waking up at the same time, they are not wanting to nap at the same time.  It is very rare that I have both babies sleeping at the same time during the day.  I'll be honest. Their sleep patterns this month are killing me.  They are so very different!  As a result, I am not getting much sleep. I have felt more sleep deprived this month than I did when they were newborns.  It was so much easier when they were tiny.  I could wake them up together every three hours to feed and change them and then put them back to sleep at the same time.  Now that they are bigger, they are really showing their individuality.  It's not fair for me to wake up Ethan just because Aaron wakes up, when Ethan is already showing such healthy sleep patterns.  I'm hoping by next month, we'll have seen great improvements on Aaron's sleep patterns.

Developmentally, we also saw a few firsts this month.  Aaron is officially rolling over.  All of a sudden, he has taken a liking to being put on his stomach.  They used to both hate tummy time.  Ethan is still not a fan of being put on his tummy, but Aaron is really starting to enjoy it.  They also grew into their exersaucers this month.  Growing is something that they have been doing like crazy!  Three month clothes are starting to get snug, and I foresee 3-6 month clothes being pulled out in the near future!  At the beginning of the month, the exersauser was still too big.  At the end of the month, they not only fit into them but have figured out how to turn in the seat and play with most of the toys on it.  And just this week, the babies have grown into their jumperoo.  They've not mastered the jumping part, as they are only five months old, but they are fitting into it and enjoying the toys on it.   

Overall, month five has been a big month of changes.  I'd say we are transitioning from young infants to middle infants.  When they were newborns, they just wanted to be held all of the time.  When they were young infants, they started to enjoy swings, bouncy seats and baby gym mats, as they were learning to reach out for things and focus on their surroundings.  Now we are transitioning into the middle infant stage, as they are sleeping less during the day and enjoying more activity and coordination.  Before I know it, they will be in their older infant phase.  I'll need to baby proof the house for that phase, as we will have babies who are crawling, pulling themselves up and preparing to walk.  Time is going so fast!  Their first year will be over before I know it.  I'm doing my best to take in every second of it, no matter how tired I am!  

Week Nineteen






Week Twenty






Week Twenty-one






Week Twenty-two










Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Babies' First Beach Day


We’ve driven up to Lake Michigan every year around my husband’s birthday.  Only a few hours away from home, it’s one of his favorite places to relax. 

We had talked all summer about whether we should skip the beach this year or go as a family of four.  I knew that taking two four month olds to the beach for the first time was going to be a lot of work!  I knew that it could go really well or it could go really bad.  I knew that we could drive all the way up there, and then have to leave if the babies decided to be super fussy that day.  In my head, I thought of all of the things that could go wrong…..and then I thought who cares?!? Either way, we would be making memories.  And memories we certainly did make!

Just preparing everything for a family beach day was a lot of work.  And then there is the three hour drive there and back.  Like anything we do with the babies, I had to come up with a strategy to work around their feeding schedule.  The plan was: wake the babies up for a feed at 6am, let them go back to sleep while Mommy and Daddy got ready, pack the car, get the babies ready for the day, feed the babies at 8:45, leave the house by 9:15, arrive at the beach around 12pm, feed the babies lunch once we got unpacked on the beach, walk around with the babies and let them play, put the babies down for their nap under the umbrella, eat our lunch and soak up some sun, feed the babies at 3, pack up our stuff and head back home, get home around 6pm just in time to feed the babies, give the babies baths and do our evening routine, feed the babies a night time bottle and put them to bed by 9pm.  

Yeah, that was the plan.  Here's what really happened.  One word....CONSTRUCTION.  Yep, there was some unexpected construction about about thirty miles away from the beach, which led to an additional hour of bumper to bumper traffic on the way THERE and on the way BACK!  

Now, my babies love car rides! They love the interstate!  But I kid you not, my fussy Aaron will cry every time we have to stop at a red light or a stop sign.  As soon as the car is moving again, he'll calm right down.  So when I saw the traffic jam ahead, I knew what was gonna happen.  You guessed it!  We had an hour of screaming from both babies on the way THERE and on the way BACK!  Not to mention the traffic jam put our entire feed schedule off.  I had to try to bottle feed two hungry babies in a traffic jam!  It was not an easy task, in case you were wondering.  

One thing is for sure, having a beach day as a married couple and having a beach day as parents of twin babies are completely different! For starters, when it was the two of us, all we packed was a cooler, a beach bag, an umbrella and our beach blanket and chairs.  With the babies, we had to add a whole lot more things to our usual beach gear.   We had to pack the stroller and two car seats, two baby carriers, two bumbos, the babies’ beach bag full of diapers and toys and the babies’ food bag.  Oh and of course we had to pack the babies!  And that’s just packing the car!

Unloading our gear on the beach was another story.  I'm sure we looked ridiculous as hauled two babies and our gear from the parking lot to the sand and down towards the water!  Matt made fun of me, but I had us do a practice run at home, so we knew how many trips we would have to make from the car to the beach.  We figured out we could make it in two trips.  We each had a baby on us in their carrier.  Then I had both beach bags and the babies food bag, while Daddy carried the cooler, umbrella and chairs.  Once we got our spot on beach set up with the babies’ still attached to us, Daddy went back to get the bumbos, while I reapplied sunscreen, changed diapers and prepared bottles.  Not even at the beach five minutes, and we were already worn out!

Secondly, when we had a beach day with just the two of us, we could actually relax on the beach.  I could read a book or take a nap.  Ahhh, yes those were the days!  I could soak up the sun with no worries, while Matt enjoyed the water.  I have no idea when or if we'll ever be able to do that again!  We could eat our lunch in peace and enjoy the picnic we had packed.  There is absolutely none of that now that we are parents!  I can't tell you the last time I sat down to enjoy a meal with out a baby needing me or me wondering when a baby will need me.  Ha! 

From the day we got home from the hospital, our lives have revolved around babies.  The babies come before any of our needs or wants.  I don’t even get naps at home, let alone on a beach with two four month olds.  The water was too cold for the babies, so Matt didn’t get to swim.  I had to stay under the umbrella and hold my fussy Ethan, so there was no soaking up the sun for me.  And we ended up taking our picnic to the park, because Ethan decided the beach wasn’t for him.
 
Another thing we had to consider with the babies was the weather.  Before babies, we just checked to make sure it wasn’t raining.  After babies, the weather couldn’t be too hot, too cold or too windy.  It had to be just right.  This really limited when we could go to the beach.  We ended up going up on a Sunday, because it was the best weather on our three day weekend.  It was sunny and in the 70’s with no wind….perfect weather for dipping the babies’ feet in the water and then letting them play under the umbrella and/or take a nap while Mommy and Daddy enjoyed the sun.

Well, that was the plan anyway.  We had hoped that the babies would enjoy walking with us along the beach…..and we had hoped that they would think dipping their feet in the water was fun….and we had hoped that they would play with their toys in their bumbos under the umbrella….and we had hoped that they would take a nap under the umbrella after they took a bottle and were tired. 

That’s the joy of taking two babies to the beach.  You never know what they are going to do.  If we only took Aaron to the beach, then all of those things that we hoped would happen probably would have happened.  Aaron really liked the beach.  He loves being outside, and the beach was the place for him.  He loved the water and all of the people.  Ethan on the other hand, decided he wanted nothing to do with the beach.  He hated the water.  He cried unless I was cradling him under the umbrella.  We ended up leaving the beach after about an hour, because my usually happy little Ethan wouldn't stop crying!  I figured that people don’t come to the beach to hear a crying baby.  Not wanting to ruin everyone else’s beach day,  we packed up the car and took the babies and our lunch to the park.  Afterwards we took the babies for a walk into town to get some ice cream.  Once Ethan was in his familiar car seat for a walk, he was one happy little fella.  It didn’t take us long to figure out that while Aaron is our little beach bum, Ethan is just not a beach baby.

The babies' first beach day could have gone better.  But ya just never know how it's gonna go until you give it a try.  I'm glad I didn't back out of our family adventure, for fear of it not being worth all of the work.  Their first beach day was indeed worth all of the work!  Seeing Aaron's face when he felt the sand and the water for the first time was totally worth it!  And seeing Ethan's reaction was just as cute, even if it was the exact opposite reaction of his brother.  

We have no regrets about packing up the car and taking this memorable family day trip.  We have no regret's because it was just that....memorable. I love that we were able to make memories as a family.  Sure, I would have rather had those memories been two happy babies doing exactly what I had planned when I had planned to do it.  But let's face it, how realistic is that! The babies' first beach day was just what we expected it to be....it was full of the unexpected!  This is our new life with twins and what a fun life it is!  We're so thankful for our little fellas!  Who knew these two little cuties could bring us such great joy, while at the same time completely wearing us out!  Here's two hoping next year bring just as many fun memories.












Saturday, August 2, 2014

How my life has changed in one year......



It’s been a year since I woke up to what I think may be the most exciting news I’ve ever had.  Yes, after months of trying to pregnant, we finally saw those two pink lines on a pregnancy test one year ago.  My life has changed so much in a year. 

Some changes I’m still getting used to.  Like my body, for example.  I’m not sure that I will ever get used to what my twin pregnancy did to my body.  I was stretched out to the max, and I have the scars to prove it.  But my scars, while they are certainly not beautiful, are a beautiful reminder of what my body was able to do ~ grow two good-size healthy babies inside of me for 37 weeks.


Some changes were expected.  Financial changes can be stressful, but we are managing as we were prepared to go from a two income home to a one income home.  For us, having the babies meant that we chose to significantly decrease the amount of money coming into our bank account each month by me not working outside of the home, and we increased the amount of money being taken out of our bank account each month because babies cost A LOT of money.  This is a change that we expected, and I have no regrets about this decision.  We always budgeted off of Matt’s income alone, but my income was all of the extras.  I’m not gonna lie when I say I miss the extras.  We are adjusting to these financial changes, but being able to take care of my own babies while they are babies is worth not being able to go out to dinner every week or grab a Starbucks whenever I want. It’s worth not being able to take nice vacations or go shopping just because I want something without actually having a need for something.  Yes, it’s a big change, but a change that we can get used to.  I understand not everyone is able to make this choice, so I am thankful that for us it was a choice.  And for us, it was the right decision.


Some changes I could do without. Sleep deprivation would certainly fall into this category.  I don’t think I’ve had a decent night’s sleep since my first trimester.  Having to pee every thirty minutes kept me from sweet sleep for the majority of my pregnancy.  Baby movement kept me up most nights in my third trimester, and contractions the last three weeks of my pregnancy made it almost impossible to sleep.  And then the babies came, and you know how that goes.  Sleep?  What is that?  That’s how I felt about sleep once the babies came.  I didn’t even recognize it.  Even now, I still have not slept through the night, because there has not been a night where both babies have slept straight through.  Oh how I can’t wait for the day I get 7-8 hours of sleep without any interruptions!  How wonderful that will be!


And then there are the changes that will never be the same.  Like how our family of two went to a family of four over night.  I certainly miss being able to get away with the hubs for a romantic weekend whenever we wanted.  A year ago, we were taking our annual Lake Michigan weekend trip and packing only our beach chairs, a cooler and our beach bag.  This year, we are taking the babies along, and you should see all of the gear we are lugging to the beach!  It’s crazy how much more work it is to do anything with babies.  I miss having my husband all to myself and he having me without the babies needing me first.  But, at the same time, this is such a precious time in our lives.  And while our lives revolve around the babies at the moment, life will soon calm down and not be so hectic.  No, life will never be the way it was before we had babies, but life is far more rewarding now that we are responsible for these two little beings that were created out of our love for one another.


Best of all, there are the changes that I don’t think I could live without now that they’ve happened.  These changes include holding my little ones in my arms….nursing them in the middle of the night…..rocking them when they are fussy….kissing their sweet cheeks….and this list goes on and on.  Like the look Aaron gives me when he’s cuddling with me.  He stares right into my eyes, like I’m his one true love and he’s mine.  And I couldn’t imagine life without seeing Ethan’s little smile when I sing to him.  His chubby cheeks and little dimple melt my heart every time.  And how I love to hear my babies jibber jabber amongst one another.  They can carry on a conversation as if they can understand what the other is saying.  Most of all, I can’t imagine not being able to experience the love of a mother.  It is a love like none other.  A love I can not explain.  It has changed me for the better, and in some ways it is now part of what defines me.  I am a lot of things, but I am honored to say that within this past year I have become a mother who loves her two sons more than she could have ever imagined.   

These babies were the answer to our prayers.  Yes, there have been a lot of changes this past year.  Tonight I am reminded of those changes and that change is a good thing;)


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My Story of Surviving Twins with Colic - Ten things I'd say to the mom of a colicky baby......



1) I understand completely, and I feel for you.....
Bringing home a newborn can be exhausting for anyone.  Adjusting to sleep deprivation and meeting the constant need of a newborn can suck the life right out of a person.  Take that times two, and you had our life a few months ago.  Our twins are the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to us, but taking care of them all day on my own completely drains me some days.

2) Nothing could prepare me for colic.......
We found out we were having twins nearly a year ago, and we were overjoyed with the news! Having multiples never frightened me.  I felt very prepared to make the transition to becoming a mommy of twins.  I felt like I already had some preparation for raising multiples from past experiences, and my ability to keep things organized was going to be a plus when it came to managing two babies.  After all, I paid my way through college by working at a daycare.  I spent the first two years working as a floater, primarily floating from the infant, toddler and two year old classrooms.  Back then the ratio for infants was one worker to four babies.  I figured if I could juggle four babies on my own ten years ago, then I could definitely handle being the mom of twins.  By the time I was 20, I was teaching in the three’s room, where the ratio was one teacher to ten children.  I had thirty children in my class, with two assistant teachers.  If I could handle 30 three year olds from 7am-6pm, then I could definitely handle being the mom of twins.  I went on to graduate college and teach 5th and 6th grade for three years.  You’d be surprised how much that age group can test your patience some days.  So if I could handle that, then I could handle being the mom of twins.  I left the classroom to take a nanny position when I was 25.  When I started, the girls were 18mo and 3yrs old.  I was one of their primary caregivers for nearly six years.  From waking them up every morning, to taking them to school, to making sure they were fed breakfast lunch and dinner, to driving them to gymnastics and dance classes….I could handle it.  When it was time to potty train, get rid of the pacifier and administer timeouts…..I could handle it.  From doing their grocery shopping, their laundry and just aiding in their basic home management.....I could handle it. From tantrums to “I Love You’s”....I could handle it.  So if I could handle being a caregiver to two girls for the past five years, I could handle being the mom of twins. I say all of that to say that becoming a mom to two babies wasn’t scary to me.  I felt very prepared for the chaos that was coming into our life.  I was more frightened about being pregnant with twins and giving birth to twins than I was about bringing home twins from the hospital and becoming a mom.  As prepared as I was, nothing could prepare me for what happened when the boys turned two weeks old. Matt had gone back to work and was getting into his routine.  My mother-in-law had gone back home and my mom wasn’t going to be able to come visit us until the boys were one month old.  All of that would have been fine, except that something happened that nothing could have prepared me for.  Nothing, not even all of my childcare experience from the previous ten years could prepare me for what I was going to experience the next six to eight weeks of our lives.  One word…COLIC….our babies were about to enter their colic phase, and it would last for two whole months!

3) Yes, colic sucks.  It sucks even more if you have multiples.
Classic colic is defined as a minimum of three hours of crying for at least three days a week.  Both of my babies easily fit into this category.  Classic colic crying fits usually start and end at the same time each day.  Again, both of my babies fit into this category.  The crying would usually start up in early afternoon, and they would cry until bed time.  And not just regular crying…..I’m talking unsoothable screaming.  You see, when your baby has colic, there is nothing you can do to soothe them.  As a parent, you want to fix everything and you just can’t fix it! Oh yes, I was familiar with “The Happiest Baby on the Block” method of doing things.  When your baby has colic the “Happiest Baby on the Block” method of doing things is just a load of crap!  I’d like to throw that book at someone….that’s what I’d like to do when someone would ask me if I had tried the book’s methods of the famous “Five S’s”: swaddling, side/stomach position, swinging, shushing and sucking.  Because when your baby, or in our case babies, are having what we would soon call “colic meltdowns”, the last thing our babies wanted was to be swaddled up like a cocoon, unable to move their arms and legs.  If we put them on their side or stomach, they would cry even louder, kicking their legs up in the air as they tried to balance on their belly.  And swinging them was a joke.  It didn’t matter if we were swinging them or if we tried using their baby swings, it just didn’t work!  They didn’t like their swings at all until they were three months old.  They only liked car rides, and even that didn't always stop their crying.  Shushing them only annoyed them.  I kid you not, our little Aaron would whack us in the face and push us away when we shushed at him.  And as much as our babies loved their pacifiers, they would often refuse pacifiers when they were having a screaming fit. 

4) There's not much you can do for colic, except wait it out.....
So if none of those things helped our colicky babies, what did help you ask?  I’m about to get real with you here.  Prepare yourself.  Honestly, NOTHING helped!  We just had to wait it out.  I know that if you are reading this and looking for some magical way to handle colic, that’s probably not what you want to hear, but it is true.  Our babies had colic from 2-10 weeks, and there was nothing we could do.  Just like the text books suggest, the colic peaked during weeks 5-7 and then slowly improved.  By the time the boys were three months old, colic was a thing of the past.

5) Colic doesn't last forever.....
The most encouraging thing I can tell a parent who is dealing with colic is that it doesn't last forever.  This too shall pass.  I know you want me to tell you to do something or try something, but honestly, nothing we could do really helped.  All we could do was survive. Colic isn’t a disease. It’s usually a result of something else.  In our case, our pediatrician and we believed that the colic was from the boys having very sensitive tummies.  They had a really hard time with gas in the beginning.  We tried everything for their tummies, and nothing really worked.  I was cautious of my diet when I breastfed them.  We changed their formula to sensitive tummies.  Gas drops weren't very effective.  Over-the-counter “gripe water” didn't do anything.  We finally ordered Woodword’s gripe water from amazon.com.  The dill in it is supposed to help soothe baby tummies.  That was the most effective thing we found, but even that didn't make the colic go away.  I would highly recommend that product though.  For the first few days, we thought it was actually working, but it really didn't make the colic go away. However, we could get a few moments of peace when we gave the babies a dose of it and put a pacifier in their mouth. On the bright side, our babies are four months old now, and while they are occasionally fussy, they are nothing like they were those first two months. 

6) It's ok to walk away and take a break....
In all honesty, the best thing I could do some days was walk away.  If I was home alone, sometimes I just had to put them down safely in their cribs and let them scream for a few moments, while I walked away and cried.  Yes, I had a meltdown of my own a few times.  That’s what happens to you when you hear nothing but constant screaming for hours.  It wears on you, and that's ok. It's nothing to feel bad about.  You see, the biggest difference from my ten years of childcare experience to becoming a mom is that as a mom, I can't clock out at 6pm.  I'm a mom 24/7.  There is a baby constantly needing me, and when that baby has colic, it just multiplies the stress level.  I would live for 5:30 when Daddy came home.  Some days, I would meet him at the garage door and tell him I had to get out of the house for a few minutes, and that he was on his own for a little while.  It was still pretty cold outside when the boys were small, so sometimes that meant me just sitting in my car with the radio turned on while Daddy gave me a little break.  There was no place to escape the crying in the house.  The car was often my refuge.  If it was nice out, I would go out on the front porch for a few minutes and maybe call my mom and vent to her.  Sometimes, it meant that I just needed to drive down the road to the gas station and buy a polar pop.  I rarely drink pop, but some days a pop would taste so good when I was really stressed. My point is, is that you really do need to take a few moments and walk away when it becomes too much.  


7) Never take the frustration out on the baby....
The most important thing is that your frustrations never get taken out on the baby. I get it, colic can make even the most lovable parent feel like they are going crazy.  As miserable as it is being the parent of an unsoothable baby, I kept telling myself it had to be so much worse to be that unsoothable baby.  I tried to empathize with my little ones, wondering what it must be like to be the baby that can't be soothed.

8) If you have a support system, use it.
The nice thing about colic, is that it is usually not twenty-four hours of crying, seven days a week. I’m not minimizing the effects colic can have on a parent.  It might seem like it is 24/7, but there would certainly be some normal days in our house.  There were days where the boys would cry like normal babies, as in they wouldn't cry for hours and hours.  But even when they weren't having a colic meltdown, they were in general, fussy babies those first three months.  The fussiness just became my new normal.  Yes, people asked me all the time if they could do anything to help or if I wanted them to come over and give me a break.  I greatly appreciated those gestures of kindness and gladly accepted the meals and visits from friends, but 1) I could never tell when the babies were going to go into a screaming fit or when I would need a break, and 2) I'm not the kind of person who is going to ask for help.  I will say that if you are comfortable with taking help from support groups like church, neighbors or family, I highly recommend letting them help you.  I know when my mom would come to visit once a month, it was the best three days of the month.  I wish she lived down the street from me....better yet, let's just move her in! When I was on my own, I learned to just do my best to keep the babies happy when I could and survive them when I couldn't.  For me, I found that they were happiest when I was holding both of them in my arms at the same time.  So to keep things as quiet and calm as I could in our home, I could often be found in my bed holding two sleeping babies with a pillow propped up under my arm.  After several weeks, I was so over sitting in bed watching TV and holding babies. I longed for the day when they would enjoy their swings and vibrating chairs, so I could get up and do something without having them attached to me.  


9) They are only tiny once.....  
Now that the boys are a little over four months old, there is a part of me that misses those days.  I don't miss the screaming, but I certainly do miss having two tiny babies fit into my arms in a peaceful slumber of sleep.  On the days that I really wanted to get up and clean my house without having babies need me every moment of the day, I just tried to tell myself they were only going to be tiny for so long, and I would soon have more than enough time to clean my house or run errands for the family.  


10) As tiresome and frustrating as colic is, a baby is worth every bit of it!
Colic is now a thing of the past, and I have to tell you that my babies were worth every bit of the sleepless days and nights.....worth every bit of the hours of crying....worth everyone of my new-mom meltdowns.  Colic or no colic, I love my babies more than anything in the world, and I would relive the first few weeks all over again if I had to.  I wish this post was more encouraging, but this is just my story of surviving twins with colic. I think the only silver lining to having a baby who cries hour after hour is to know that somewhere out there is a woman who would do anything to have a baby like the one (or in our case the ones) you were given, but for whatever reason she hasn't been able to. She's desperate for a baby, even a screaming baby.  May we always be thankful for the gift of motherhood and never take it for granted. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have two screaming babies than not have a baby at all. 


The boys when they were six weeks old.



   

Friday, July 25, 2014

Parenting Twins - The First Year (Month 4)



Growth and Development:
The boys turned four months old on Tuesday!  They had their four month checkup yesterday and are doing great! Ethan is in the 5th percentile in growth and Aaron is in the 15th percentile.  That's a good jump from only being in the 1st percentile at their two month checkup.  They can still wear 0-3 month clothes, but 3 month clothes fit them best.  They quickly outgrew size one diapers.  They were in them for less than a month and are now wearing size two diapers.  Other than growing like weeds, they are very alert and enjoy focusing on their surroundings.  The baby cooing has turned into full baby jibber-jabber!  Aaron really goes to town "talking" to us.  We always knew he was more vocal of the two!  They love it when I lay them on my bed and sing all sorts of children's songs to them.  Aaron will often chime in, as if he is singing right along with me.  While they still have their bouts of crying, they are pretty happy babies at home and can often be found with smiles on their sweet little faces.  Ethan laughed out loud for the first time this week.  Out of nowhere he just started chuckling very loudly while Daddy was talking to him.  It was the cutest thing ever!  Aaron has still not cut his first tooth, even though the doctor told us several weeks ago he was starting to teeth unusually early.  We can still see the white buds and his teeth appear to bother him off and on, depending on the day.  Ethan is also a drooling machine and puts anything he can find in his mouth, especially his hands.  The boys love their baby equipment, which is awesome for Mommy.  The days of holding them all day in my arms while they sleep are long gone, and I am now able to get things done around the house. They love batting at the toys hanging from their baby gyms and grabbing the toys on their bouncy seats.  They also enjoy dozing off in their swings for an afternoon nap.  They're not big fans of tummy time.  They prefer sitting up in their bumbos for play time.  We are very pleased that they are meeting all of the appropriate developmental milestones for four month old babies. 

Weight:
Birth – 5.7 (A) 6 (E)
Home from Hospital– 5 (A) 5.8 (E)
One Month – 6.14 (A) 6.12 (E)
Two Months – 9.4 (A&E) 
11 Weeks - 10.1 (Aaron)
Four Months - 13.13 (A) 12.13 (E)


Feedings:
This month the amount of food the boys eat has increased to four ounces every three hours during the day.  At night we let them wake us up to feed.  They have also started taking rice cereal in their night time bottle this month.  My breast milk supply has dropped.  I never really had much to begin with, so the babies are now only breastfeeding at night and occasionally snacking in between daytime bottles if they seem a little hungry. 


Sleeping:
They are still eating every three hours during the day and napping anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour in between feeds.  Ethan has been sleeping through the night for over a month.  He occasionally wakes up for a feeding, but it is very rare for him.  Aaron has never slept through the night.  He wakes up at least once, if not twice to be fed.  This explains why he is a pound heavier than his brother.  Those extra 4-8 ounces of milk are going straight to his chubby little baby thighs!  For the most part, not waking the babies up to feed them at night works for us.  The only night's when it is challenging is when Ethan wakes up to be fed, because it is never the same time as his brother.  For example Aaron might wake me up 12am, then just as I get back to sleep Ethan will wake me up at 1am, and then Aaron again at 3am, and then they will both be up by 6am ready for their day.......yeah, those night's are no fun!  Most recently, Aaron has decided that he not only wants to wake up to eat, but he wants to wake up to play!  This is so NOT ok with Mommy!  After about three nights of getting maybe three hours of sleep total, I decided that instead of putting the boys down for bed at 7:30-8pm, I was going to change bedtime to 9-10pm.  Matt and I don't go to bed until 10-10:30 anyway, so now if Aaron wakes up it is around 3am instead of 1am, giving Mommy a little extra sleep.  It was really nice to have a couple of hours to ourselves at night when the boys were going down earlier, but I'd rather have a decent night's sleep than have time to myself.

Mommy and Daddy:
Life gets a little easier each month.  It is still difficult to take time for ourselves, but that is to be expected.  We are just in baby mode all the time, and life revolves around their needs.   I  am making time to keep up with managing the home, as well as making time for my blog.  When they are napping, I am accomplishing my weekly to-do-list.  It feels pretty great to be able to get things done for me.  And as silly as it sounds, I enjoy managing my home and keeping up with my blog, so yes those things are for me.  Being the mom of twins is a ton of work, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't completely wear me out most days.....BUT they are so worth every bit of the work!  We love them to pieces!


Week Fourteen










Week Fifteen












Week Sixteen










Week Seventeen







Week Eighteen