Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Twins are Three Months Old!

I thought Peyton would be my difficult child, but it turns out that Lauryn is giving me a run for my money! Peyter is usually pretty happy, and Lauryn has been the fussy one lately. Either way, whether they are happy, sad, cranky, tired, hungry...whatever, they just light up my world. We've been getting out of the house a little more lately, but it still hasn't gotten any easier. No matter what time I plan to leave the house, we are late to wherever we are going. Ah well, I'm a mom of TWINS! I should totally get a pass.

The funny thing I've been noticing with them lately - well, it's really not funny when I think about it - is that it seems like they wait until THE SECOND you sit down, or get comfortable, before they start crying. Every. Single. Time. When I'm going to bed, for instance, right when I pull the covers over me, someone starts crying. It drives me nuts! They are SO lucky they are cutie pies!


When Lauryn in happy, she is adorable. She loves imitating me sticking my tongue out. She does it too and laughs and laughs. It's SO cute! But when Lauryn isn't happy, she's miserable. She does not like being cradled and fed. She likes us to hold her facing outward so she can look around (or watch TV), and takes the bottle that way too. She arches her back a lot too and I'm concerned she might have acid reflux or something. She has always been a curious one though, and loves checking out her surroundings.

She drinks anywhere between 4 and 6 ounces of formula at each feeding, but she skips meals at night because she can sleep for long stretches of time - sometimes 8-10 hours! Her favorite place to sleep is the swing - that's where she has her longest sleep stretches. If she's in her crib, it's almost guaranteed that she'll wake up at night.

Lauryn is wearing 3-6 month clothes, and sometimes even 9 month jammies.

Nicknames: Laurie Lou, Pretty Girl, Princess, Finkie Twinkie Girl (a totally made up word my dad used when we were kids and we still use to this day)


Peyton is really turning out to be a happy baby. Maybe he just needed a little more time to get used to being outside of the womb, because now that he's over it, he is loving life. Even bath times are awesome - he doesn't cry at all! Lauryn has more of a reaction to baths than Peytie does. Such a difference from last month!

He is drinking 4 ounces at each feeding, and he eats more times each day than Lauryn does (since she'd rather sleep). His favorite place to sleep is in his crib. One of the things that worries me about Peyton is the nightmares he seems to have when he's sleeping. He'll sleep totally calm, and then all of a sudden he is screaming with his arms stretched out to the side. It's an "I'm scared" scream and it scares ME too! Poor little guy.

Peytie is still fitting nicely in 0-3 Month clothes.

Nicknames (lots of them): Peytie, Peytie Pie, Peyter, Tater Tot, Peytie P, Peyterater, Handsome Boy, Smiley Boy, Pitter Patter Peyter, Pitter Patter Peyterater, Bub, Bubba, Bubbawub, Bubbawubba

Baby Milestones

I found some 3-month milestones on Here's what babies should be doing by 3 months:

Movement Milestones
Raises head and chest when lying on stomach
Supports upper body with arms when lying on stomach
Stretches legs out and kicks when lying on stomach or back
Opens and shuts hands
Pushes down on legs when feet are placed on a firm surface
Brings hand to mouth
Takes swipes at dangling objects with hands
Grasps and shakes hand toys

Visual and Hearing Milestones
Watches faces intently
Follows moving objects
Recognizes familiar objects and people at a distance
Starts using hands and eyes in coordination
Smiles at the sound of your voice
Begins to babble
Begins to imitate some sounds
Turns head toward direction of sound

Social and Emotional Milestones
Begins to develop a social smile
Enjoys playing with other people and may cry when playing stops
Becomes more communicative and expressive with face and body
Imitates some movements and facial expressions

Both babies meet most of these milestones, but not all. The only ones they are not doing now are taking swipes at dangling objects and grasps and shakes hand toys. Not bad for this long list of milestones! Hopefully they start holding some toys soon. We'll check back next month!
Sunday, March 27, 2016

Weekly Recap #17

This week was a sad, sad week for me. It was my last week of maternity leave and I'll be headed back to the office first thing tomorrow. Every single thing I did this week was tainted with melancholy as I couldn't get it out of my head that my time at home with my kids was coming to a close - and with no more babies on the horizon ever, it would be the last time I would voluntarily take a full 12 weeks off of work. Sad times, indeed. Dangit - just thinking about it now brings fresh tears to my eyes. Maybe I'll cheer myself up by recapping all the fun we did have this week.

Monday was Awards Night at Cubbies for Brayden! In order for the kids to earn their patch for their vests they had to go over Bible stories and memorize verses each week. Brayden was out for many, many weeks, but we made sure that we kept up with the program so that he could still earn his patches. He did a GREAT job! And he is ALWAYS so excited to get his award.

I also took some pics of my smiley babies (because they are NOT always smiling). And Lauryn totally fooled us in the beginning. She seemed to be the happy one that was usually pretty content. Boy were we WRONG! Peyton is WAY more even-keeled and is generally a happy boy (guess he finally got used to being outside the womb...hehe).

Just call her "Crazy Eyes"! LOL

Anyone who knows me knows that we do NOT always have it easy with Brayden. No, scratch that. We NEVER have it easy with Brayden. Introducing these babies as part of our family is STILL hard on him and he's having a really hard time with them. If they cry, he's upset. If one of us is holding one, he's upset. If we have to feed one, he's upset. And I'm not talking a "sulking" kind of upset either. He is all out, stomping, screaming, slamming doors, you-ruined-my-life upset. Looks like he was ready to join the dog's pack after this meltdown.

Tuesday was also Book Club night! We read Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter (I thought her last name was appropriate in this case). The book was SO GOOD, but Ms. Karin certainly has one sick, sick mind to write this stuff. Some of it was very hard to read. As for the group, we came for the book, but stayed for the FOOD!

Of course I had to get in some pics of the twins that day too. Neither one of them is really into toys just yet. They'll stare at whatever's hanging from their jungle gym, but they're not reaching for anything...yet!

He gives great "side-eye", right?

On Wednesday my dad stopped by for a visit. The scene here is pretty much what you'll see at my house on any given day. Twins just chillin', Brayden watching TV, and the teenager on her phone.

Thursday was finally a day where I didn't have much to do...except snap some pics, of course! Lauryn is forever flashing her "power to the people" pose. For whatever reason, her fists are always clenched.

Told ya - Peytie is proving to be my smiley boy!

I can't get enough of this boy. He is just the cutest!

This beauty gives him a run for his money though. Those eyelashes!!!

I also made this week's recipe on Thursday. I've been a longtime fan of Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, so I made her Puff Pastry Pizzas. The pizzas were...just ok. Which pains me to say because this is the first time that I haven't been wowed by one of her recipes. This one didn't taste BAD, per se, but I just couldn't take the extreme flakiness of the puffed pastry. They sure look purdy tho'.

Friday was a fun day. I took more pics of the babies...duh!

We colored Easter eggs.

My daughter started a new job at the Starbucks inside of our local Target.

And I got to make a total of NINE Easter baskets for my kids, nephews, niece, and seester!

Saturday was a super fun day! Brayden has been looking forward to this day all week. Not only did we have an egg hunt to go to, but we also had a playful birthday party to attend. But first I had to take a pic of the BEST little brother.

Bright and early was the egg hunt put on by our church, Village Church of Bartlett in Bartlett. It's an even we look forward to every year and it's always a great time for the kids. I was happy to see lots of my friends from around my neighborhood too!

Look at all the eggs he found! At church on Sunday, our pastor announced that the event has outgrown the park that it's usually held at, so I'm looking forward to hearing where the new location will be.

Then we had a fun birthday party to attend at the Exploratorium in Skokie. It's such a great place to have a birthday party because the kids get to climb, splash, create, and play in a large space that is closed to the public (when birthday parties have been booked). We were one of two parties in the space at the time so the kids had lots of room to roam around.

I left the babies at home with my mom, so you know I was missing them and had to get in some time with the other babies there.

On Easter Sunday, my family went to church and had lunch at my sister's house. I love spending time with my family. I laugh and laugh and really enjoy the fellowship with them. We are a pretty awesome bunch! Here are my favorite pics of the day.

Brayden woke up SO EXCITED! He was jumping up and down on the mattress saying "He came! He Came!" when he saw the eggs on the floor. I make a trail to his basket that is waiting for him in the hallway. He loves it!

There's the basket!

This girl looked SO PRETTY in her Easter outfit. I think I must've taken a MILLION pictures of the twins on their first Easter!

My niece loved her basket from us!

This was a HUGE moment for Brayden and my niece. He is learning to tolerate - and dare I say LIKE - his baby cousin. The fact that she was standing probably had a whole lot to do with it.

It was a GREAT week!

Weekly Workouts:

Another week, another 7 days that I neglected to workout. I'm back to work next week so I'm hoping to get on track with my eating and exercise next week.

Weekly Goals:
  • Goal #1: Log calories everyday this week. No.
  • Goal #2: Work out 3 times this week. No.
  • Goal #3: Drink at least 6 cups of water every day. And no.
Keeping the same goals for next week again.

Goal #1: Log calories everyday this week. Not only do I need to login, but I need to stay under my calorie goals.

Goal #2: Work out 3 times this week. My ultimate goal is to work out five days a week, but I'm starting off slow with just three times for a few weeks.

Goal #3: Drink at least 6 cups of water every day. I basically drink coffee all day long (I have to keep up with these twins!) Water is so important so I need to make sure I meet my daily goals.

I'll let you know if I completed any next week!
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Things We Love: Aden + Anais Washcloths

Have you ever felt an Aden + Anais product? Their stuff is the softest around. We have LOTS of their swaddle blankets because I felt safe using them because of their breathable material. What I didn't know, was that Aden + Anais also made lots of other products, including washcloths.

I came across their washcloths by complete accident - or complete word of mouth, anyway. A friend was visiting the twins shortly after they were born and made a comment, when looking at their swaddle blankets, on how much she loved their washcloths.

Huh? Aden + Anais made washcloths? That was the first I heard of them. But, not surprising considering how much I love their blankets, I knew I had to try them.

They are made of 100% soft cotton muslin washcloth and my babies love scrub-a-dub-dub-ing with them. They are gentle enough for delicate skin yet durable enough for everyday use, because they stay soft wash after wash (just like their other products). Plus, it has a convenient loop, making it easy to hang the washcloth to dry between uses.

Lauryn loves them so much!

For the record, I have checked out their website and am also officially in love with some crib sheets, changing pad covers, bibs, hooded towels, blankets, car seat, I could do some damage on baby items!

I highly recommend these washcloths (and their swaddle blankets too!). Let me know if you've tried them.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

My Decision to Stop Breastfeeding

Recently, I made the decision to stop breastfeeding.

Now, I don't want to get an earful from hard core lactation Nazis advocates on how "breast is best" and women who don't are lazy, or bad moms. I am all for the promotion of breastfeeding, but unfortunately, it stigmatizes formula feeding at the same time. Let me say it here - for the record - that there is nothing wrong with formula feeding your child. Breastfeed. Formula feed. You do what is best for you and your family. I stopped breastfeeding, but I'm not a bad mom because if it.

Well, truth be told, I never really breastfed the babies (with the exception of one time with Lauryn), but I had been pumping breastmilk since they were born. I was renting an $80 a month breast pump from the hospital in order to get the strongest suck and the most breastmilk that I could. I had issues breastfeeding Brayden, so I knew I would need all the help I could get with these twins. I was determined to make it work this time. I had the very best intentions to breastfeed for as long as I possibly could.

I lasted 10 weeks.

Honestly, I wish I could have gone longer, but it was time. I had to give it up.

I. Was. Miserable.

Basically, I had no life. It's hard enough with one baby, but with twins - I can see why a lot of moms opt not to do it. Between pumping, feeding, and soothing crying babies...I had time for little else before the routine would start all over again. Meanwhile, Brayden is roaming around the house somewhere. Or finding Spongebob on the TV because he totally knows how to work the remote. It's kinda hard to reprimand your kid when you're stuck to a rocking chair for most of the day.

Oh - and have you ever had a blister on your nipple? Oh. My. Word. Holy painful. And that's just with a breast pump. I can't even imagine having those blisters while having a baby nurse at the same time. Why, oh why, does it have to hurt so bad?

There was also the problem of not having enough to pump for a whole feeding. At the twins' one month doctor appointment, the doctor asked how much they were eating. Apparently, 4 ounces is A LOT for that age. But that's what they eat at just about every feeding. That's 8 ounces every 2-3 hours. My body just wasn't havin' it. Those babies literally drained me.

Do I feel guilty about it? A little, not to mention the fact that our life is about to get a whole lot more expensive. I just couldn't do it anymore. It was a happy day when I realized that I had to take care of me so that I can better take care of the babies. And you wanna know what?

I enjoy them so much more.

To be clear - I have never not enjoyed them, of course, but I'm no longer the zombie that I was for the first 10 weeks of their lives. I'm no longer waking up in the middle of the night for no other reason than to pump. I'm as well-rested as I can be with babies that still wake up at night to feed. But rested I am.

And happy. So, so happy.
Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekly Recap #16

Do I ever have a week that's not a busy week? I do love it - and thrive on the craziness - but it does make for one tired mama at the end of the week. Just in time to do it all over again the following week. Lol

Monday was a tough day for me. I started working from home (which I'll do for the next two weeks) before I go back to the office full-time. Just two weeks left. How did we get here so fast? When I was having the babies it seemed like it was so far away, and here we are, 14 days before I'll be back on the train headed downtown. I try not to think about it, because I'll just get depressed, but now that the day is looming I can't NOT think about it, ya know? I did have a lot of emails to start going through though. The number was over 7,000, but I took the pic after I checked some already. Looks like I'll have my work cut out for me these next two weeks.  My days of feeding babies in jammies all day are coming to an end. And I'm sad.

Brayden has his good days with the babies, and he also has really, really bad days. Today, thankfully, was a very good day. Brayden was begging to feed one of the babies, so of course I let him. I love how he says really cute and encouraging things to them while he's feeding. "Come on, drink up, baby." "You're doing great." "Almost done. Good job!" It's the cutest thing.

Brayden also went back to Cubbies at church. Cubbies, for those that don't know, is for preschoolers ans is part of the Awana Clubs children's ministries where kids sing songs and play games, all while learning about Jesus. It's a lot of fun! One of the other kids' moms told me a story a few weeks ago about how her son, Freddy, was asking when Brayden was going to "get better" and return to Cubbies. Freddy thought Brayden "must be REALLY sick" because he hadn't been to Cubbies in weeks (10 weeks to be exact). I thought it was so cute how he was wishing for Brayden to get well enough to come. Someone - other than family - cared about my son. And my heart swelled. And Brayden had a great time back.

Tuesday was a very special day for me. It was my oldest daughter's birthday - and she turned 17!!! We had lots of fun celebrating as a family. First, she wanted to go out to dinner with just me (awww!). I'd like to think it was because she just wanted to hang with her dear ol' (literally) mom, but the real reason was because she knew hat I'd have more money to splurge on her gift if we didn't have to buy dinner for our immediate or extended family. Teenagers!

We went to Bien Trucha in Geneva and had a good time. Despite all the reviews I've read, both the food AND the service left much to be desired and I was very disappointed. Ah well, live and learn. I enjoyed talking with my daughter though, and enjoying some one-on-one time with her on her birthday.

I also made her birthday cake at home - for the first time. We usually pick up a cake at Jewel or Meijer when it is someone's birthday - even when we have a party for them on the weekend with another cake from Sam's Club or something. I decided I wanted to start a new tradition and make everyone's cake for their actual birthday. I should get better at it every year - because I know this year's looked a little weak - but the cake was so good and we all agreed that it was so much better than store bought.

In totally unrelated news, I love the way Payter looks at me! That boy thinks I'm the bee's knees and I feel like the luckiest girl alive to get to be his mom.

Jazz also got a delivery of the most beautiful flowers from my sister. The green balls remind me of Truffula Trees from the Lorax movie. Lol. They are so unique and I love the arrangement. (They're from Floral Excellence in South Elgin.)

Here's my whole gang - minus the hubby who had to be at work.

On Wednesday we did a whole lotta nothing. Which was perfectly ok by me! The twins woke up super happy which was so fun!

When I was looking through my pictures for ones to use in this week's post, I found out what happens when you leave your phone unattended and your 5-year-old knows exactly how to use it (you can use the camera without a PIN). Turns out, you get pictures like this:

And you get weird selfies.

And what good is stealing Mommy's phone without a pic of the bathroom floor?!?! There's about 50 pics just like this too, of various parts of the house. Oh Brayden.

Thursday was another sad day. I drove back to the hospital where the twins were born to return the breast pump I was renting.

It was bittersweet returning to the place where my babies started their life and I was flooded with memories of our time there. I actually teared up when the elevator doors opened and someone got on from the NICU floor.

After I dropped off the pump, Brayden and I headed over to my sister's house for dinner (I totally invited myself because I was in the area. Sistas can do that). While there, something on her table reminded me of I game I love, love playing - MONOPOLY at Jewel! As soon as I left I had to stop at Jewel to do some groceries and get in on the action! Think I bought enough?

I came home to my gorgeous babies waiting for me. BTW - they both love the mobile in the crib and I'm in search of another one (does not have to be the same) for when they start sleeping in their own cribs. So if you have one, let me know!

Friday started off kinda slow and just hanging out with the babies.

I tried for another photoshoot, and this is what I got. Again.

And when Peytie is crying, Brayden is NOT happy. Notice him in the background with his noise-cancelling headphones?

On Friday night I also volunteered to set-up the spring resale for one of the twins clubs I'm a member of. As I mentioned last week, I am ALL ABOUT THE RESALE now, and I love helping getting them ready too. The deals you get at these sales are truly amazing.

I even baked these spring cookies to sell at our bake sale, where the proceeds went directly to another family of multiples in need. (And I'm happy to report that ALL my cookies sold! YAY!)

The next day (Saturday), was the day for the general public to shop the resale but I couldn't volunteer early in the morning because these two kept me up most of the night.

I did come in later though to help with clean-up and tallying up the totals.

I also made this week's recipe, Weight Watchers BLT Pasta Salad, on Saturday. I took this pic Saturday night so it looks super yellow, but the actual salad was not super-yellow, and it was actually super-yummy! I haven't really tried a recipe off my Pinterest boards that I haven't liked, aside from the goat cheese scrambled eggs that I made.

Sunday was Palm Sunday and we spent the morning at church. The kids took the stage at the end to sing a song, but with Brayden's extreme sensitivity to noise, he opted out of the stage time. Instead, we hung out in the hallway with my sister and niece and took a selfie. Naturally, of course!

Lauryn was feeling particularly smiley this afternoon at home.

I could also mention here that I think I have a problem. I am 100% addicted to Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee (from 3pm - 6pm). I will rush out of the house at 5:45pm in order to get there while iced coffees are still $1.00. I have left the house in pajamas to go through the drive-thru. It's bad, people!

In twin news, it dawned on me today that Peytie is drooling an awful lot. Whenever I pick him up he leaves lots of wet marks on my shoulder, and he always has saliva bubbles on his mouth. Can't be teething yet, right? Why else would he be drooling so much?

I also noticed that Lauryn loves to look at the tops of the curtains. She immediately calms down if she notices the curtains while in the middle of a tantrum. That's what she's doing in this picture too. It's the craziest thing. Who would've thought - curtains of all things!

That's it for my gang this week. 'Till next Monday!

Weekly Workouts:

How did this whole week fly by without any workouts?!?!

Weekly Goals:
  • Goal #1: Log calories everyday this week. No.
  • Goal #2: Work out 3 times this week. No.
  • Goal #3: Drink at least 6 cups of water every day. And no.
Keeping the same goals for next week again.

Goal #1: Log calories everyday this week. Not only do I need to login, but I need to stay under my calorie goals.

Goal #2: Work out 3 times this week. My ultimate goal is to work out five days a week, but I'm starting off slow with just three times for a few weeks.

Goal #3: Drink at least 6 cups of water every day. I basically drink coffee all day long (I have to keep up with these twins!) Water is so important so I need to make sure I meet my daily goals.

I'll let you know if I completed any next week!