July 30, 2012

Just a boy and his cat

Ben has always had a fascination with the Lennon, our cat.  When Ben was tiny the cat would curl up with him and Ben would be very gentle.  The first time Ben pulled up was because Lennon was on the couch.  Ben used to crawl after Lennon and do the Ben head butt, which is a gentle head butt and a great show of affection from our little guy.  I thought they would have this very special bond.

Then... Ben became a toddler, I sometimes equate this to Puff the Magic Dragon.  

Lennon will still come up to Ben and rub on him, but his gentle nature it gone.  Now he tries to drag Lennon by her tail, or pull out handfuls of her fur.  Lennon retreats to places he can't reach her now.  Ya know... green scales falling like rain and sadly slipping into the cave and all that stuff.

I am trying diligently to get Ben to gentle with his kitty, but I fear my pleas fall on deaf toddler ears.  Someday Lennon will have her gentle cuddle buddy back, until then we have special high sleeping places set up for our dear cat.  It's funny the impact babies have.  I mean we all go into it knowing life will never be the same, but seriously, I feel like I am mourning for my cat and her confusion of this monster who used to be her cuddle buddy.  I just hold out hope that they will start playing in the months to come, Lennon is a very playful cat.  Hopefully I can teach Ben how to play with her.  You never know what is going to affect you along the long road of raising children.

July 27, 2012

One year Twin update!

So this is a little late, but we finally got to the dr and had their first year check up, which sadly involved 4 shots and having blood drawn.  I'm not sure who hates it more the babies or me.  It was awful!  After comforting from the shots we have to walk across the building and help restrain them while they are getting blood drawn from their arm, not to mention Penny's veins roll.  No fun!!

But I do love to see how much they are growing!  I can't believe it has been a year already.  It seems life times away to think about those two tiny babies I brought home from the hospital and sat up rocking with them, feed them, snuggling them.  Now I am lucky to get a few snuggles while they are playing.

How can you not love that face?
She now weigh 23 pounds.  She is in size 12-18 months.  She is finally getting some hair, hopefully I can put some cute bows in by the end of summer. 
She is walking.  She babble all the time.  She says mama dada nite nite and kitty.  She is working on more everyday.  Her favorite toys are books and baby dolls or stuffed animals. 
She is very passionate!  She knows what she wants and she definitely lets you know.  She is a very happy baby, she laughs and giving kisses. 
She loves to dance to the Laurie Berkner Band.  It is our go to mood improvement tool.

Ben playing at his friend's birthday party.
Ben is 24 and a half pounds, although I swear he feels much heavier!  He is also in 12-18 month clothes.  We are really considering  a first hair cut for Ben.  The top of his hair is long.
He is walking, but he still crawls some of the time.  He does that funny frakenbaby walk.  I love it!  He babbles, but he doesn't talk yet.  His favorite toys are books.  He will sit and look at a book and turn pages and babble like he is reading it, it is so cute!  He also loves this fisher-price elephant that shoots balls out of its nose.  He also loves to rough house with Daddy.
Ben is a more reserved baby.  It takes him a little bit to warm up to people and new places.  He is so cuddley!  He will sit on my lap and cuddle for a long time when he wakes up from nap.
He also loves to dance to the Laurie Berkner Band.  He just kind of bounces and claps, I love it!

Right now I love being woken up to the sounds of them babbling back and forth to each other.  They are so happy in the morning and they just sit there across from each other and jibber.  It's so fun to watch!  They are still doing basically side by side play, but I am really looking forwards to them being able to interact more with each other.  Right now they only play together to take away toys and hit each other.  We are really working on being gentle with each other.

Well stay tuned for the pictures and a blog about the birthday party.
Feel free to follow me by twitter or the facebook page.

July 24, 2012

Let's Go Swimming!

My mom and Will's sister, Emma, came up to visit and we took Penny and Ben Swimming.  It took Ben a minute to get used to the water, but Penny loved it from the get go.  After awhile Ben warmed up to the water, and we had a great time!

Ready to go to the pool!

Penny Swimming with Grandma.

Ben with Aunt Emma.

Penny's a bit more adventurous in the water.

Although she never opens her eyes for pictures...

Swimming wore them out!  We had a good nap that day.

I love days when we get to do fun things like go to the pool!  It is a nice break from the day to day.  They babies really enjoy it, thanks for the help Grandma and Emma!

July 23, 2012

I want to make the world a better place!

Today I am linking up with Growing up Geeky and the Toddle Along Tuesday to discuss dream jobs.

 I've always had big dreams. I got my first degree in theater and I loved it. I have worked for opera, theater camps all different kids of theaters. I love it. But I found where my heart really is when I started doing campaign work. I went back to school and got a degree in political science. I worked in campaigns for awhile. I was president of college democrats and worked on some pretty major campaigns and assistant campaign managed some smaller campaigns. I loved it and I did it for a few years, but even doing it that long made me jaded. I saw a world where money won out no matter how you tried, I was losing my faith in the system. I no longer trusted that the right choices were being made, just that they were being bought. I packed up and became a preschool teacher until I was put on bed rest with the twins.

 Things have changed for me though. After having Ben and Penny my outlook has changed. Although I don't have a desire to work the crazy hours campaigns have, I do kind of want to get back to it. My drive to make the world a better place is back, and that is because I look at them and I want this world to be better for them. I feel like I may not become so easily jaded because how could I just stop trying because I don't like what I find. So although I have no direct goals to go back to campaigning, I do think I eventually will. It's amazing what having babies can to.

So maybe because of this

 I will go back to this

To make this a better place.

July 22, 2012

Nerdiness... It's all in the family.

For those of you who don't know, Will and I met online.  We had been emailing back and forth for awhile, when Star Wars came up.  I told me I was more of a Empire Strikes Back girl myself.  He always jokes that was the moment he knew he loved me.

Nerdiness runs deep.  I'm not sure Ben and Penny have a chance growing up with out it, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  I look forward to Star Wars marathon and Lord of the Ring snow days and reading Harry Potter to the kids at bed time.  Every family has traditions.  We have been setting up some traditions, but there are many others I looking forwards to starting.

Everyone in their Star Wars t-shirts, Ben and Penny say thanks to their God Parents for getting them.
What are some of your family traditions?

July 20, 2012

Do I actually have two little tornadoes?

So the babies are down, I can finally relax.  Wait a minute... no I can't!  The house looks like it had been hit by a tornado... make that 2 tornadoes!

It is amazing the mess 2 toddlers can wreak on an apartment.  The living room is covered in toys and the clean burp rags and diapers they insist on playing with.  The kitchen, well the kitchen makes me want to cry.  Not only do I still have dinner to clean up, but the floor is covered in little magnet letters and tupperware.  I let them play in the tupperware cabinet while I cook, which makes it so I can cook dinner, but double the mess (and also ruins my organized tupperware cabinet!)

So as much as I would like to relax, here I go, to clean the house... really here I go... ok maybe just one more episode of Real Housewives... Then I will clean up after my two little tornadoes!

What a Mess!  But they sure are cute!

Ok, maybe one more episode... then really I'm gonna get off the couch and clean up!

July 18, 2012

Part 4: What I learned from cloth diapering twins, tips and anecdotes

Here we are, at the last post in my cloth diapering series.  I am going to share tips and a few funny stories and address some of the questions.

I started using cloth when they were about 6 weeks.  Keep in mind the twins were premies so the diapers, even the small ones didn't fit for awhile.  Even if the twins were full term I would wait atleast until the meconium (weird newborn poo) is done, and the umbilical cord is gone.  I started with flips (a hybrid prefold system) because some of the pocket diapers seem really really bulky when you have to make them fit a small babe.  I also really used sized diapers for the first month or two.  These were diapers that were small and wouldn't size up, not as much bang for your buck because you only use them a short amount of time, but they fit the best.

Something else to think about while buying diapers is the fact that some babies like to take their diapers off, and velcro makes it easy.  They like the sound and they like being diaperless.  One afternoon I went in to get Ben from nap to find him sans diaper.  Luckily, it's wasn't too messy if you know what I mean, but I wasn't going to take the chance.  So if we are at home (where we usually just have on a t-shirt and diaper) we use snaps, or we put the diaper on backwards.  Just something to think about.

Another way Velcro can come off, getting caught on something else.  Penny Crawled out of her diaper one day when she was still transitioning from army crawl to real crawl.  Penny also took of her diaper the other day and put in in the toy box.  So yeah... think about snaps.

As for how many diapers you need I would say twentyish unless you want to wash them everyday.  I have 33 for my twins.  I wash diapers everyday and 1/2.  I feel like usually have diapers drying and the rest are half dirty half clean.  So I say better safe than sorry because some days laundry can get away from you.  Although if you choose prefolds you can get by on a couple dozen prefolds and a handful of covers.

As for shopping, I get most of my bum genius diapers from the cotton babies website.  That is a great website for all things cloth diapers, they also have all kinds of eco-friendly products.  Also baby boutiques usually have cloth diapers as well.  I have gotten the rest of them at Babyland which is a baby store here where I live.  Green Mountain diapers website also has some great diapers too especially if you go the prefold route.

Here are some other things I do.

I bleach them once a month.
Get a wet bag to keep in your diaper bag for easy changing when you are out and about.
Use doublers for heavy wetters
Change them more often than you would a disposable
Keep diapers handy, every floor of the house
Don't be scared or grossed out, they are easy to use
Appreciate the cute baby tushie!!

So there ya have it.  My views on cloth diapering.  It is not as hard as it sounds.  It is eco-friendly.  I produces the most adorable baby tushies you will ever seen.

If you've missed any of me posts you can see them here

The diaper series
Part 1: Why I chose cloth diapers
Part 2: My favorite brands and why
Part 3: My must have accessories
Part4:  What I learned from cloth diapering twins, tips and anecdotes

July 17, 2012

Part 3. My Must have Cloth Diaper Accesories

So we all know there is a lot more to changing a diaper than just the diaper.  You got the wipes and the ointments and the diaper pails.  There is a lot.  Cloth diapering is no different.  I have tried a few things and here are me favorites from trial and error.

 My First favorite is the diaper sprayer.  This is a simple sprayer that attaches to the back of your toilet.  It's great!  It makes life (and poopy diapers) mush easier.

Here are a few other goodies.  First I tried to use regular wipes because cloth wipes seemed like a pain in the butt.  So basically I would have a pail of diapers to wash and a waste basket full of poopy wipes. Yuck!  So I went to flannel wipes and what we refer to as butt spray.  Simple spray it in the tushie and wipe is off and thow it all in the diaper pail to be washed.  Easy!  Finding ointment to work with cloth diapers can be tricky.  Ben is a baby who gets lots of rashes.  Desitin and Butt Paste seemed to stay on the diaper and mess with the absorbency.  So I did some research.  Bert's Bees baby ointment works great, and it doesn't hurt your diapers.  It is kind of expensive, but it lasts.  I am still on my first tub.  I also have my planet-wise diaper pail liner in the pic.  I mean the pail liner is even cute.  I use Rock n Green for hard water.  At first I was just using whatever I use.  Then I noticed they were starting to stay smelly.   So I hopped back online for a little research and found out hard water can cause this.  I changed to this detergent special made for diapers and I use the one for hard water.  I has totally clear up the smelly issue.  I am a big fan.

My diaper drying system.  The best drying rack there is.  I live in an apartment, so this is a super space saver.  I love it!  It is on our shower rod almost daily.

Ok I thought I needed some baby pictures.  Here are the twins newborn pictures in their cute diapers.  Too many posts with out babies is no good.

Stay tuned for our next installment tomorrow.  I will address some on the things that have come up in comments.  If you have anything to ask please do.  I will try my best to help.  I will also share some tips and funny stories.  Please some back!

The diaper series
Part 1: Why I chose cloth diapers
Part 2: My favorite brands and why
Part 3: My must have accessories
Part4:  What I learned from cloth diapering twins, tips and anecdotes

July 16, 2012

Part 2. My favorite brand of cloth diapers

I have tried many different kinds of diapers. Brands, style, you name it I tried it.  The way I see it there are two ways to look at cloth diapers.  There are pocket diapers and all in ones, then there is prefolds and diaper covers.  I tried them both but pocket diapers and AIO diapers are the way I decided.  Both work great and are very good choices.  The both require same amount of work, but prefolds require a little more time when putting them on the baby and pocket diapers require more a little more time while cleaning.  With prefolds you have to put on the prefold or put it in the diaper before you put it on the baby, but when you are done you can just toss it all in the wash.  Pocket diapers go one just like regular diapers, but you have to take out the insert when you wash it and stuff them when they are done.  Having twins that extra time putting diapers on is a necessity!  They have a sense for when you are dealing with the other ones poopy diaper and either cause havoc out of reach or try to dive right into the diaper.  I would rather deal with more clean up once the are in bed.

There are four main brands I use right now.

Bum Genius is where I started, and really are still my go to brand.  They are a really trim fit and I very rarely have leaking problems.  I've been using these since they were itty bitty and they are still in great shape.  I also like the stay dry lining.  I feel like it wicks the moisture away better than some of the other ones.  They don't always have the cute prints, so when they do I pick them up.  Over all I would say these are my favorite.

Rumparooz!  They are the cutest diapers out there!  They have a ton of good prints and are very absorbent. With the doubler these are great nap time diapers.  Also the extra elastic in the middle is great.  We've had some near blow out in these diapers, but it never happened.  They are a bit more bulk.  I think if they were used when they were little they would have been very bulky.

These are Fuzzibunz.  I like them, but they are not my favorite.  I don't think they are quite as absorbent as the others.  That being said they are still a very good diaper.    They have some cute ones and they are a pretty good price.  I like the snaps, especially with babes who like to undo velcro.

These are Grovia diapers.  I tried them  because I am a sucker for a good print.  At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like them too much.  I didn't think they were very absorbent.  They are organic cotton and the instructions said to wash and dry them 5-6 times before use.  I thought that seemed silly, but actually you should.  They keep getting more and more absorbent.  They are also the trimmest diaper I have.  I wasn't sure about these at first, but really the more I use them, the more I like them.  I plan on picking more up sometime soon.

So there ya have it!  Those are the diapers I use and what I think of them.  Stay tuned for more diaper good next!

The diaper series
Part 1: Why I chose cloth diapers
Part 2: My favorite brands and why
Part 3: My must have accessories
Part4:  What I learned from cloth diapering twins, tips and anecdotes

July 15, 2012

What I've learned from cloth diapering twins. Part 1 Why I chose cloth diapers

Finding out we were having twins what quite a shock.  All the books I read about getting pregnant all say if you think you are ready, make sure you are ready for twins.  What are the odds, right?  Twins?  Their are none in my family, it's not going to happen to us.... well... we all know it did.  This really put a kink in my well thought out post baby life plan.  The biggest one being that I would not be able to afford child care so I was going to have to stay home.  This caused us to reevaluate some many things.  Cloth diapers being on that list.

Now the initial start up of cloth diapers can be daunting.  It is getting better know, their are some cheaper options, but we went middle of the line.  We started with Bum Genius.  We actually got a lot for shower gifts to that helped.  Our initial investment before the babies even came was a couple hundred, and we have slowly added a few more here and there at anywhere for 10 - 25 bucks a pop.  That may sound like a lot, but when you think about it they will last all the way through the twins and whatever children come after them.  And with disposable diapers I received as gifts, I have only bought one box of regular diapers this whole year.  (I do put them in overnight disposable and have bought a few of those).

The other reason I like cloth diapers is how much waste we are not having by using cloth.  During the holidays and when Will broke his leg we were using primarily disposable diapers.  I would empty the diaper pail every other day.  That really adds up!  When we just use one diaper at night I empty it once a week.  What a difference!  I am not the greenest person I know, nor as I am green as I would like to be.  Right now in my life convenience totally wins!  And here's the thing, the diapers I use are completely convenient!  They are an extra couple loads of laundry and that's it!

Here's some of my diaper stash, with two I need a lot!

And I mean look at those diapers!  How cute are those?  There is nothing quite as cute as a baby tushie in a cloth diaper.  They make them so cute!  I think this is the main reason I can not stop buying them (my husband often reminds me that we are doing this to save money).  But really, who doesn't love a cute baby tushie?!

Here is what's coming up in the rest of the series
Part 2  Which brands I like the best and why
Part 3  My must have accessories along with cleaning tips
Part 4  What I've learned from cloth diapering twins.  Tips and funny diaper stories.  (come one, who doesn't love a good diaper mishap?)

Make sure you check back to read the rest of them!

It's going to be a great week in the blogisphere!

I have some great things coming up this week!

I have been working on a cloth diaper series.  I made the decision to cloth diapers for a lot of different reason.  This week I will share those reasons, plus my favorite brands, my must have accessories, and everything I have learned from cloth diapering two babies for the better part of a year.  So if any of you moms out there are thinking about it I'll have plenty of info, and those who have been doing i for awhilet throw in your tips too!

I also am going to be a featured blogger this week on multiples and more.  I am very honored and excited about this.

Also this week I just got a facebook and twitter if you would like to follow this blog on either one of those websites please do!

facebook  and Twitter  Stop by and check it out.

I'm really excited to share these things and we have some new coming changes to the website.  So stay tuned to see what's new!

July 13, 2012

Sweet Moments

Hi guys!  Today I am guest hostess over on Healthy mommy, Healthy baby,  You should go check out the Sweet Saturday link up.

Today I am sharing another sweet story about my favorite time of day.

Lately my favorite time of day has been the moment Will get home for dinner.  The babies are so happy to see him.  He is greeted with squeals and "Da da."  Nothing warms my heart quite like that.  He then gets down on the floor and plays with them while I finish dinner up.  I'm not sure who loves it more Will and the babies or me.  I always knew I married a good guy, but watching him play with them just makes me even more thankful for him.

This picture may be blurry, but I love it.  It epitomizes play and playing with twins.  There are just babies everywhere it feels like.

Will playing airplane with Ben when Penny came to join.

Please come on over here and link up, share something sweet.  A tasty recipe, or if all you have is a sweet story that's fine too!

July 11, 2012

Nothing feels quite as good as a schedule!

So this past week has been crazy! I feel like we haven't spent a solid week at home all summer. Then last week between the 4th of July and the babies birthday we were go go go! It is so nice to get back to normal (aka nap schedule).

 I am so lucky to have babies that fell into such a natural schedule. It did take some work on my part, but I think I would call it consistency more than work. It takes me not planning anything during lunch time and nap time. We go down for nap around 1 everyday for nap and between 630 and 7 for bed every night. I love it. I actually have time to get somethings done and just maybe spend some time with my husband.

 More importantly the babies thrive on the schedule! They want to be on a schedule! They are just babies and they are already figuring out what comes next in the routine. When you throw them a curve ball in that routine and you may not pay for it that moment, but you will pay for it in whines and screams. So this week we have just been taking it easy. We are back on schedule and hanging out around the house. I love it! I love my babies! I love my house! And let's face I love our schedule!

So here are just some pictures of us hanging out at home.

July 8, 2012

What a weekend!

This week end we celebrated Penny and Ben's first birthday.  It was a whirlwind!  Friday was there actual birthday.  Will took the day off, and we all hung out at home trying to make it a very special day and start some birthday traditions.  I think we did a few things that will hopefully stick!

In the morning Will and I both went in to get them out of their cribs singing happy birthday.  They were very happy to see us!

We got them up and brought them into the living room where we had a few things set up for them.  They don't quite get the whole opening presents thing yet....  Maybe next year

This something that I'm sure will be a birthday tradition in our house.  Birthday cake pancakes!  They were delicious!  They recipe calls for a vanilla glaze we didn't make.  I thought that might get a bit to sticky with these two, but they were still good!  They went over well.

When they woke up from nap they got their last present.  Ben was a big fan of this present!  He has a bit of an electronic issue.

We just spent the rest of the day playing with their new toys.  It was really fun just to play with us and have Will home all day.

Unfortunately I also had to spend the rest of my day trying to move their birthday party which was the next day.  We are in a bit of a heat wave here and it was going to be 105 degrees, so our outside cook out I had planned was not going to work.  It took me a while to find another place for it, but I did.  It all turned out great!  I was in a bit of a panic, but it turned out really nice.  I had a friend there taking pictures for me so I didn't have to worry about it so once I get those back I will be sure to share some with you. 

It's Sunday night now, the babies are sleep, the visiting family is gone, and my house is clean (well cleanish).  I am exhausted, but it was a great week end!  I loved visiting with old friends and family.  And celebrated the babies first year and our survival of the first year with twins.

July 5, 2012

One year.... wow...

I can't believe is has been a year!  When I think back to that day last year it seems like a life time ago!  I labored for 14 hours until it stalled and I had my C-section.  I remember the first time is saw them, Penny was screaming and Ben was just taking it all in... not much has changed.  They were so tiny!  They were both 5 lbs 8 oz.  That is a pretty good size for twins, but they were just so tiny.  I kept their preemie diapers just to remind myself how tiny they were.  There were some minor complications.  Ben wouldn't suck and he was losing weight, we almost didn't get to take him home.  Breast feeding was so difficult for me.  Just settling into life with twins was difficult.  I remember how scared I was to give them their first bath.  The first night I was home with them I didn't sleep because I was so afraid I wouldn't wake up... little did I know they have no trouble waking me up!!  I just seems like another life.

My life has moved from feeding bottles to feeding cheerios.  From rocking and soothing to chasing and tickling.  From gentle lullabyes to disney dance parties.  Penny and Ben changed my life the day they were born and have continued change my life everyday since.

Ben, I hope you always keep your curious mind.  I love to sit and watch you figure things out.  You have a sweet natures and a gentle soul.  Your expressive face melts my heart.  You are determined and affectionate.  You do this thing wear if you love something you hold it to your head, and I love the little head bumps you give me when you crawl over to me.  I love you too big guy!

Penny, I hope always stay as passionate about life.  When you smile you smile from the tips of your toes to the top of your head, and when you are upset you are upset at the same level.  I love that about you.  I can tell right now you are going to be a mover and a shaker and a person who gets things done.  I love everyday when you hold you hands out and toddler across the room to me and give me a big kiss.  You are so funny and smart!  You figure out toys and puzzles and I can see your mind working, then when you get it you look up and smile and clap.  You are so proud of yourself, but you are nowhere near as proud as I am of you.  You make me proud and fill my life up so much.  I love you!

I'm so excited to see what this next year brings.  I can't imagine how different my life will be from today, but I know I will love every minute of it with my dynamic duo Penelope and Benjamin.  I love you more than I can every say.

Happy Birthday Babies!!!



July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

It was a hot one this year!!  So we decided not to take the babies to the fireworks, but we did go to a parade.  We also enjoyed a cook out (sadly indoors) with family.  We got home and got the babies in bed, and as I write this I can hear the fireworks going on right now.  Next year they will be two and I can't imagine how much fun it will be to celebrate with them.  I love the 4th of July and I can't wait to pass on family traditions!

Getting ready for the parade!

It's hot!  We are trying to stay hydrated.

Penny loved watching the parade!

Definitely my favorite shot of the day!  What a smile!

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