Tuesday, August 19, 2014

4 Months

Our 4 month check up with our Pediatrician, Dr Terwelp, was the first time back to the doctor since our 8 week shots!
Dr Terwelp was shocked by how well the girls had grown & kept congratulating me on my job well done keeping these girls well fed!
We are a far cry from only a few weeks ago when our girls were barely on the growth charts to now well over average.  What healthy baby girls we have!

Lyla's 4 Month measurements:

Weight:  14 lb. 11 oz (75%)

Height: 24 3/4 inches (60%)

Head Circ: 43cm (98%) 

Nixon's 4 Month Measurements:

Weight: 13 lb 11 oz (50%)

Height: 23 3/4 inches (30%)

Head Circ: 42cm (85%)

After getting measured we had to have our 4 month shots.  Both girls cried after their 8 week shots, but NOTHING like they cried at their 4 month shots. After 10 full minutes of the girls crying, not to be soothed by nursing or a bottle, the Dr came back in to make sure they were ok. We laughed, embarrassed that we couldn't soothe our little ones but after some cheerful singing, bouncing and general cuddling, both girls quieted down enough for us to put them in their carseats and go home. I think they were just taken off guard by the shots & of course, they HURT!! Thankfully, other than being super tired from all their crying.. no other real symptoms were noticed from the shots. 

A Typical 4 Month Day:

2AM: Lyla wakes up for a bottle. We started using over night diapers, so no more diaper changes at night, just 5-6 oz bottle, burp, rocking and sometimes a little nursing to get her back to sleep.

7AM: Both girls wake up. Trae and I change them out of their diapers & into their day clothes. The girls wake up every morning with huge grins on their faces.  It's so fun to go upstairs to their room, groggy and wishing you were still asleep and seeing their sweet gummy smiles.  It will wake you up faster than any cup of coffee!

Morning smiles
Morning Cuddles
7:30: Feed both girls (I nurse one before feeding her a bottle so I don't have to pump). Girls are eating 6oz bottles.

8:00: Girls play on activity mat or sit in Bumbo seat while I feed dogs/make my breakfast.
Drinking their breakfast while Mama eats hers. A moment of calm in the morning!
Playing together on our play mat
9:00 We play with our toys including the Excersaucer that we are liking more and more each day- Lyla can even get the lights to light up on her own by pressing a button! We also use our "Johnny Jumper" doorway jumper, but use it more as a swing for now as we aren't quite big enough to stand in it yet.

10:00 FUSSY BABIES= Need naps!! I feed the girls a bottle/ nurse one baby before giving her a bottle and I try to get the girls to nap anyway I can which is often one in their bed upstairs and one in the swing downstairs. Lyla is easy.. I give her a pacifier and a cool, dark room and she is pretty happy.. Nixon wants to be held and nursed to go to sleep for nap time. Many days I love this time with her, but there are times I need to get things done around the house!

11:00 When both girls are down, I do my "chores" (Chores= laundry, cleaning bottles, cleaning kitchen, dusting, etc) I rarely get thru with my chores before one or both girls wake up.

12:00 Trae comes home for lunch & watches girls while I shower/ put on day clothes, if I haven't already. READ: yes... I'm usually still in PJ's until Trae can get home. I hope to change this soon!

12:30 I eat lunch while girls sit in Bumbo seats playing.
Nixon feeding herself with the Podee bottle straw- Mama's favorite baby gadget yet!

1:00 Girls eat bottles then play

2:00 Usually this is when Claire comes (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) YAY!!!  I wash bottles & get her settled before running errands

3:00-5:00 I run errands- Grocery, Hot Yoga, Pay Bills, return items, whatever. Going to the grocery alone is amazing. Who would have thought?!

5:00/5:30 I come home, straighten up, help play with girls and start dinner while Claire watches girls.

6:00 Bath time starts & Trae gets home. Claire and I (or Trae and I) bathe both girls, giving them their Prilosec while they sit in the tub since they spit 1/4 of it out and due to its grape flavor, it is sticky and gets on EVERYTHING. Bath, Sleep Diaper, Sleep Suit, Bottle.

7:30-8 Girls are asleep in their Rock n Plays in their Nursery. (we haven't switched them into their cribs full-time because they are still having issues with reflux and because they sleep so well in these. They are getting dangerously close to outgrowing them, so we will need to rip the band aid off soon!)

9:00 Lyla wakes up- needs her pacifier back in her mouth- is good after that.

As you can see, life is getting MUCH easier these days. We have several hours uninterrupted sleep and are SO thankful for it! Nixon is our rockstar sleeper at night and rarely wakes up at all at night anymore, which is so awesome.

Our Summer Nanny, Claire is a GOD send. My sanity is completely restored with a few hours to myself a week to run errands alone and take a few yoga classes.  I look forward to getting my fitness routine back up and running again and Yoga has been a great way to get that started.

The girls and I have started adding neighborhood walks to our routine at least 3 times a week. We have to get out by 9 AM so that our walk isn't too hot, but it's a great time for Mama to get some exercise and baby's to nap/look at trees, etc. We even end up at a park sometimes for a quick swing!
Swinging at the park after one of our morning walks!
We are starting to get out and about a little more here and there. We go to the grocery together for small trips where the girls either sit in their stroller and I load groceries into oversized grocery bags or I wear a baby in a wrap carrier while the other baby sits in an infant carrier in the grocery cart.  (I need to have someone take a picture of me doing this!) 
Another weekly outing is our Tuesday play day at our church: St. Martins. We have good friends that we look forward to seeing every week and we really enjoy the trip!

A typical outing for me includes 10 minutes of sitting in the driveway after I get home, letting girls nap longer
We have a GI appointment in a few weeks at the girls 5 month "birthday" to check to see if we need to switch to a different reflux medication.  I have increased the girls daily prilosec dosage to 4ML/day and while their acid discomfort seems to be alleviated, the quantity they spit up is pretty substantial still.   I had NO idea how much babies "spit up".  I also had no idea "spit up" was really just vomit without a gag reflux. Poor babies.. I can't imagine how unsettling it is for them to experience spitting up as much as they do.  For me, it's just a LOT of laundry for both myself and them.

This month we celebrated July 4th with a neighborhood parade then a trip to Uncle Paul & Aunt Mandy's house where we took our first dip in a pool and LOVED it. It was mine and Trae's first experience with swim diapers & the importance of changing your child IMMEDIATELY if they poop in their swim diaper. (We were glad to have a bathtub to clean Lyla off & family around to help! ha ha!)

Walking in our Neighborhood July 4th "Parade"
Enjoying our July 4th at Uncle Paul & Aunt Mandy's house

Trae and I celebrated our 4th Anniversary with a night out to dinner & drinks at Jeffrey's and Sway while Claire babysat the girls. It was a really nice get away!
Celebrating our 4th Anniversary at Jeffrey's then Sway

We went with Trae to San Antonio where Trae was going to take his Certified Financial Planner exam (CFP).  Since the exam spanned over 2 days the girls and I stayed with my Mom & Dad (Nana & Pop Pop Young) while Trae studied and took his exam.  We went on walks in the park with Nana, played with our new jumper that Nana bought us and took LOTS of naps.  After Trae's exam was over, Nana & Pop-Pop watched the girls overnight & sent Trae and I to the Hilton Hill Country to celebrate our birthdays. What a treat! We had a relaxing night with a lovely dinner, lazy morning & yummy breakfast before heading back to pick up our little girls and head home. 
Nana Young posing after a long walk at a San Antonio park
Nana Young looking at the girls swinging
Great Grandma Jeanne holding Nixon during our San Antonio trip

Lyla & Nixon's personalities are really starting to shine. They both LOVE music, especially when you sing to them. They stop whatever they are doing, look you right in the eyes and smile when you start singing almost anything. I made up a song about the girls "Whose my little Munchkin" that I sing to them 5-6 times throughout the day when I need them to calm down or I just want a smile and it works EVERY time. So fun.

Pretty Girls!
Lyla is patient (unless hungry) and very curious about the dogs and your facial expressions. She seems to like to see your different facial expressions and what they mean. She also loves Mens deep voices or when Mama pretends to have a deep voice.  Lyla can roll over, but has only done it a few times... she doesn't seem very interested in rolling over right now.
Mama and her happy Lyla

Nixon is pretty impatient and wants to be held ALL the time. She also wants to nurse ALL the time, especially while sleeping. She loves to practice standing and smiles almost every time you put her on her feet. I swear this girl wants to just skip the sitting/crawling phase all together!  Nixon can roll from back to tummy and likes to do so!!  Nixon is VERY interested in food. She likes to watch people eat and seems very interested in the chewing process. I think she will be ready to start cereal/oatmeal very soon and I plan to talk to the GI Dr about it.
Nixon proving she doesn't want to sit still anymore by doing backbends off her boppy pillow
Happy Nixon sitting up like a BIG girl- she is so proud of herself when she gets to sit by herself.
Sweet Nixon

Mom's Favorite Things:
Claire- our summer nanny
Hot Yoga
Trips to grocery alone
The 3 hours of quiet time after girls go down/before bedtime with Trae

Babies' Favorite Things:
Neighborhood walks 
Bath Time
Patty Cake
Standing up with assistance

Nixon having fun in her "jumper"
Lyla exploring her Excersaucer
Blowouts = needing to move up a diaper size! Yuck!
Nixon smiling at Uncle Stephen at his & Diana's first visit to Austin

Sunday, July 6, 2014

3 Months

3 Months Old dressed in our Memorial Day outfits!

Every time I take the girls out or I talk to parents, I'm told the same thing: they grow so quickly, cherish this time!  Even just 3 months into their lives, I can attest this is true. With every advance the girls make in growing bigger, sleeping longer, eating more, talking more, I lose a little of what they were only a few weeks earlier.  While, yes- my postpartum emotions still get the best of me and I get teary thinking about those teeny tiny babies all wrapped up in the hospital, I'm so HAPPY and grateful that our little ones are growing so well and are so healthy.  I have worked hard at cherishing every moment with Lyla and Nixon both separately and together and plan to continue doing so as a Stay at home Momma as long as I can.

After I was given my 8 weeks maternity leave from March of Dimes, I chose to resign from my position and instead continue my work through the foundation as a volunteer through our family team : Team Sawyer & Tristan.  While I enjoyed my job immensely and my decision to leave was not an easy one, the reason I joined the foundation as an employee was so I could act as a Mommy everyday to my children that I lost too early.  After many prayers, talks with my sons in heaven, and discussions with Trae, we decided that I would be better being at home as a full time Mommy to Lyla & Nixon and continuing to volunteer to March of Dimes as a family, then leave the girls and continue to work. We believe Sawyer & Tristan would agree, as well.  

We haven't had a Dr. appointment since 8 weeks, when the girls got their shots and I've been too busy/lazy to weigh them at home.. so I don't know how much they weigh- but they are growing SO QUICKLY! I look back at their photos often and can't believe how much they've changed. Now that Nixon's face is filling out more, she is starting to look more like her sister and I'm being asked often if they're identical.  While they look completely different to us, I can see why people ask.

So much has changed from Month 2-Month 3.  They eat more, they sleep more at night, they're awake more at day, they both smile a LOT more and like to interact more.  

Food: Both girls moved from the 4 oz Medela bottles to the 8 oz Dr Brown bottles this month. They are now eating formula and breastmilk throughout the day, appx. 4-6 oz a feeding.  They tend to eat every 3-4 hours.  They are eating Gerber Goodstart Gentle when eating formula.  

Reflux: Both girls still spit up after every feeding. It's exhausting. We go through at least 2 bibs per baby a day and often times 2 outfits per girl/day. On days where I have no plans to get out of the house, I most often stay in lounge clothes (a.k.a. pi's) or Yoga pants because I WILL be spit up on.  We switched the girls from Zantac to Prilosec 2 weeks ago and I think the acid has been alleviated a little.. but we're still in the "wait and see" phase. The medicine won't stop the girls from spitting up, but it is supposed to stop the acid from coming up with the milk and causing any irritation. I don't think I will ever forget the smell of stomach acid in spit up.. it smells nasty and the girls are often uncomfortable because of it. No fun.  We give the girls the medicine while they're in the bathtub since they often spit out some of it and it's super sticky thanks to the grape flavor I had the pharmacy add, thinking it would make the medicine easier to take. Someone please remind me my daughters are babies and don't care that the medicine is GRAPE FLAVORED! (duh)

Sleep: This has progressively gotten much better week after week. I am writing this in week 15 and Nixon has now slept 3 nights in a row for 10-12 hours a piece, no waking up. While I'm aware that this could be a growth spurt.. I'm LOVING that she is getting good rest. We put the girls down IN THEIR CRIBS (we transitioned out of rock-n-plays at 13 weeks) between 8-8:30 and Lyla will usually wake up for a bottle between 2-3, then sleep till 7 while Nixon will sometimes wake up around 6, but other times not until 8! If I could learn to go to sleep by 10, I would be getting some amazing sleep! Read: it's currently midnight as I'm writing this.

Sizing: We are just starting to transition the girls into size 2 diapers. They fit better but we have about 100 size 1 diapers that we already opened and would rather not eat the cost of those, hence the transition. Hey, diapers are expensive!  The girls wear 0-3 clothing.

Typical Day:  
2:30 AM Lyla wakes up in crib crying for bottle. I rock her in glider in nursery while feeding her 6 oz. She takes 4 oz, burps and goes back to sleep in crib.
7 AM Lyla wakes up for day smiling and cooing in monitor. I go get her from crib, change her out of her Merlin sleep suit, change her diaper and put on day clothes. I breastfeed Lyla while watching the news. 
8 AM Lyla goes back to sleep on Boppy Lounger in living room. I eat breakfast.
8:30 AM Nixon wakes up in crib. I change her out of merlin suit, change her diaper and put her in day clothes. She is smiley and happy as I change her. I feed her 6 oz bottle, burp her and put her on boppy lounger.
9:30 AM Nixon falls back asleep, Lyla is still asleep. I wash bottles, clean up from breakfast, drink large glass of water, then gatorade (for milk supply), start laundry, make bed & take quick shower.
10:15 Lyla wakes up cooing and wakes up Nixon. Both girls are fussy. I change diapers & I put them on floor to practice tummy time, rolling over & grabbing. We sing songs and both smile & laugh at patty cake when mom pats them while singing song.  
10:30 Lyla is crying - I give her 4 oz bottle while Nixon plays in pack n play.
10:45 Nixon getting whiney, I give her 4 oz bottle.
11:15 I change diapers then read the girls a book while they fall asleep on boppy loungers
11:45 I clean bottles, clean up house, do laundry, eat lunch with Trae when he comes home for lunch.
12:30 Both girls are awake. I change diapers & we play on Mom's bed while Mom folds laundry. We love staring at the ceiling fan and at our own hands. I pump.
12:45 Girls are hungry- I feed both at same time 5 oz bottles. 
1:00 Quiet time in bedroom after girls eat= nap time!
2:00 Girls wakeup- I change diapers thenI turn on music in bedroom and take turns dancing with the girls. They like the movement, especially when mom turns around in a circle holding them. Big smiles all around.
3:00 Back in the living room we play peek-a-boo, practice standing, practice sitting in bumbo seat and girls entertain themselves. I change diapers.
4:00 Girls hungry- both eat 5 oz bottles ( I nurse one of the babies, usually)
6:00 Lyla is napping, Nixon is fussy but awake. Trae gets home from work.
6:30 Bathtime starts! Nixon bathes first- she loves it! She smiles and kicks her feet cooing and smiling the whole time. I let her soak an extra few minutes then dry her off, clean diaper & give 6 oz formula bottle to start bed time.
6:45 Lyla bathtime. She also LOVES bath time. She smiles and coo's through the whole experience. Dry her off, clean diaper, 6 oz formula bottle.
7:15 We put both girls in their Merlin sleep suits and take upstairs with 2 oz left in bottles. I rock one baby in glider while Trae rocks other baby in his arms. The sound machine is on "waves"
8:00 Lyla is put down first, asleep in crib.
8:30 Nixon takes longer to settle, eating her 2 oz and the rest of her sisters and she goes down in the crib asleep.
8:45 We eat a quick dinner
9:30 I pump/watch TV with Trae
10:30 We go to bed.

Social Outings

We are doing so well at being more social with the girls! We find that as long as we're home in time for bath time to start (6/6:30), we can do just about anything with our little ladies!

This month, we attended our first college sports game when we went to a UT baseball game.  I had some anxiety about bringing the girls since it was very hot outside, but packed up some cold bottles of milk, a full diaper bag of other items we might need and we went on our way!
In the end, we lasted 2 innings inside the stadium.  It was simply too hot and too loud. No bottle, nipple, or pacifier was going to make the girls like the situation when the cheering for the baseball game started. The girls just screamed- they were so scared.  So, we left the game and went to the parking lot where we turned on our air conditioning, fed the girls and chatted with some friends before going to eat lunch out.

Trae had a week long work trip to Dallas this month, so my best friend and college room mate, Heather (who we refer to lovingly as Aunt "la la") and her daughter Haley came in town to visit and help me with the girls. It was such a NICE visit. Heather currently lives in Louisiana, so we don't get to see her as often as we would like. It was so nice to be able to spend some girl time with she and Haley and it sure was helpful to have an extra set of hands to help me with the girls.

Trae's 2nd Fathers Day was great. We went to church, where the girls were perfectly quiet and content during the service. After church, we went and visited the boys in the Chapel, like we do every time we go to church. After church we met our friends Kindra & Jack Poage at Lamberts, Trae's pick for his Father's Day brunch! A yummy treat!  We came home where Trae found his Father's Day gift- a table for his green egg grill.  

Lyla working on her tummy time
Aunt "La La" & Haley came to visit!

We attended our first birthday party for Camdyn Kelso- a superhero theme party!
Super Twins!
Papa loves holding his Super Girls!
Trae receiving his Father's Day gift from the girls & I.
Lyla was not impressed with her bumbo seat the first time we tried.
Meeting Great Grandma Jeanne at Nana Mary's house. 
Celebrating 4 generations!
Nixon is starting to smile & "coo" lots more!
We attended our 1st college baseball game- it was HOT and LOUD! 
Tailgating after our meltdown in the game
Sleepy heads back in Mom & Dad's bed. 
Trying out our excersaucer for the 1st time. Still too little, but we were very interested! 
We LOVE going on walks!
Lyla likes making smiles into the monitor camera at night.

Father's Day Brunch at Lamberts.
We wake up SO happy- it is so much fun to wake up to!
Lyla is the most smiley baby!!
Looks like our big blue eyes are here to stay!