My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

She just loves her sister

Had both girls on my lap for a few minutes today.  That is until Teeny Tiny grabbed Middie Biddie's hair and gave it a good tug.  There was a bit of a delayed reaction so for a moment I thought I had loosened her grip on the hair fast enough, but then the crying started and confirmed that Teeny Tiny hurt Middie Biddie.

They're at a stage where they really want to explore each other, but doing so means jabs in the eyes, bites on the fingers, and pulls on the hair.  Teeny is so excited to see her sister that her hands stretch out in an excited attempt to grab her whenever she's in sight.  I want to encourage them to enjoy each other and play together, but they just don't have the coordination to control their movements enough to avoid actively hurting each other.  They're still just kind whapping at things and sometimes grabbing.  I'm getting scratched on my cheeks and chin because they like to grab my face.  But I can't really let them do that to each other too much.

It made me sad to see Middie Biddie cry.  I didn't get that hand to loosen up on her hair fast enough.  Just made me feel awful.  And I feel awful when I have to separate them because someone (usually Middie Biddie) is getting a bit beaten up by the explorations of the other.

Kiddo Copia

So here's my new and improved office.  There are still a couple of things to do to make it kid safe, but for the moment, the girls can only scoot an inch or two at a time, usually backwards, so there's no real rush.

There are some cables in the back that need to be covered and the outlet behind the blue thing needs to be covered, but we have plans for those, just haven't gotten to implementing them yet.  The blinds are being replaced by some short curtains that are currently in the nursery and I have some black out curtains to replace the short curtains.  For the time being, the cords for these blinds are gathered up in a tub and hangs from the top bar so the kids can't touch them.  

Going around the room starting from the left.  You can't really see it in the overall picture, but the front corner of the room has a cabinet that now stores things like boppies and baby carriers in the wardrobe portion, and various toys and spare blankets in the drawers.  We're going to bolt it to the wall, but it's pretty secure even free standing.  Those drawers are also difficult to pull out, but it won't be a major danger if the kids manage to get in them.

This is where we've moved the exersaucers.  Now the girls can play in them being able to see the TV.  Hanging above them are kid safe mirrors that won't hurt them if they are ripped off the wall.  The pink thing is a standard baby play gym that they've pretty much outgrown, but I'll keep it there so we can make a crawling tunnel by hanging a blanket over it.

You can see in the big picture, there's an additional exersaucer thingy but instead of sitting in the middle of it, there's a seat that goes around the outside so a kid can practice walking.  One of the ladies in my Moms of Multiples group recommended this toy for twins because you can set one twin in the seat and sit on the other side with the other twin so everyone can play together.  As they get bigger, the seat comes off and it's a standard toddler play table.

The loveseat serves several purposes.  I stuffed my old snoooooooogle under it so the girls can't get under there.  The mattress my brother gave me to go with the crib he gave me (thanks!) has seen better days so we bought a new one for sleeping and tossed the old one on it's side behind the couch to prevent climbing girls from falling behind it, and to prevent crawling girls from getting back there.  The couch also serves to:

1)  Give mama a place to sit comfortably with one while the other is playing.
2)  The girls need some form of furniture to grab onto and practice pulling themselves up, and walking.
3)  There's a whole lot of cables, routers, modems, etc being covered by it.
4)  I can sit on the couch with a girl on my lap to play with the table thingy.
5)  It makes the flimsy lamp very difficult to get to a pull over.

There's also a supply of rags for spit up and a laundry basket.  The gate you see goes from my desk to behind the couch covering all the cables from my computer equipment.

Then out of sight to the far right is my desk so I can continue to work and mama can watch the TV that's in the other room even though the girls can't.

The floor has been finished, but I have the mats down anyway because they have a little bit of traction as the girls are still having trouble getting mobile.  On the wood floor, they were sliding so I'm hoping the mats will make it a little easier.  And, ya know, softer than wood when falling down.

And that's the new Kiddo Copia play room!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thawing milk

Argh!  I write this in hopes that I save somebody a few ounces of milk.

The seams of frozen milk bags sometimes split and you don't know that they've split until the milk has thawed and has spilled all over the place or if you thaw within a container of warm water like I do, water has mixed in with the milk left in the bag.

When thawing milk, put it inside a second ziplock bag so if the frozen milk bag has a hole in it, any leaking milk will leak into the second bag and not be contaminated by anything.

You're welcome.  Damnit.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

No more hand holding

Well, we did it.  We set up a second crib and had the girls sleep by themselves.

They still fit just fine in one crib, but TTT has decided that bedtime is party time and she's rolling and kicking all over the place.  TMB still lies pretty still in her own little corner, just suckin on her wubba, but TTT has been stealing said wubba and is so active that we were afraid TMB would wake up with black eyes if they continued to share space.

TTT whined a little bit as she went to sleep last night.  She wasn't up to her usual bedtime gymnastics, probably because she no long had a sister to try to roll onto or a wubba to steal.  Without her sister there, she just wasn't as motivated to party.

I'm a little sad about splitting them up.  The end of an era.  But a lot of eras are destined to end as they grow up.  I'll need to get over being sad every time an era ends.

We also packed away all the 3m size clothing because they have finally both grown out of it.  Yup, only 8 1/2 months old and already in 3-6m clothing!  *headdesk*

TTT's gymnastics aren't limited to bedtime of course.  Changing her diaper is now quite the ordeal.  She twists and turns and the process can take upwards of 10 or 15 minutes as I try to diaper a moving target.  Yesterday she showed off a new trick and as I was holding a leg in the air, she rolled up onto her shoulder into a modified headstand.  TMB is the opposite.  She just sits there and holds her legs up for me.

We're still waiting to see if this cold that's threatening fully manifests itself.  They took a 2 hour nap today, don't feel like eating very much, and TMB is still having some phlegmy inhales.  So I have reason to believe they're going to get full blown sick over the next day or two, but I've predicted that before and have been wrong.

On a completely unrelated topic, I've been fighting with the insurance company to reimburse me for my breast pump rental.  They told me back in April that it would be fully covered as of August 1st.  Once I attempted to actually get reimbursed, they decided that I was eligible for reimbursement after January 1.  Guess who keeps notes of the conversations she has when she calls insurance companies!!!  I've been requesting that they listen to the recording of that phone call (yes, they can do this) and even though I may have been given the incorrect information, that's the information I was given and they are obligated to honor the promises given.

I found out why my most recent claim appeal was denied and it's the stupidest reason ever.  For any of you who may ever need to file a claim appeal with United Healthcare, here's a little secret.  If the first paragraph does not contain the sentence "This is an appeal" they will automatically deny the appeal regardless of the validity.  So make sure that's your first sentence if you ever need to file an appeal.

Jerks don't know who they be messing with.  I don't give up and walk away.  If I have a legitimate claim, I will continue hounding until it's paid, or until they have spent that money in hourly wages of their representatives dealing with me as I pile follow up phone call on top of follow up phone call.  It's a lot cheaper just to pay the damned claims.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


When are they going to invent the brain camera?  Where you can say "archive the previous ten seconds" and have what you've just seen and heard captured forever?

Pictures and videos never seem to really capture what we remember in life because by the time we realize we're having a moment we want to capture, it's already gone.  And the camera never really sees what you're seeing anyway.

I make an effort to record some of the mundane in life.  Just let the camera roll and see what happens.  If I wait for special things to capture, I'll always be chasing them and never quite getting them.  By capturing the random mundane, I actually get a lot of really good stuff.  I captured my dads hands fiddling with a pencil doing those little magic tricks that appeal to kids.  I won't remember the big moments about my dad, years from now, when he's gone, I'll remember how he was always fidgeting, doing those little magic tricks.  I was recording The Teeny Tiny doing some random babbling and the camera was rolling when her babbling stumbled upon "Da Da" for the first time.

I wasn't recording but I had one of those moments where I wish that brain camera existed.  The girls are going through a development leap.  Their movements are becoming more subtle and intentional.  They were in their high chairs and I looked down for a second to stir their oatmeal and I looked back at them and they both had their heads cocked to the left with an identical coy grin on their faces.  It was the cutest twin thing ever!

Other randomness - the girls might be getting sick.  They haven't really been sick before.  They've shown signs of potentially getting sick, but it's never really manifested.  But my mom is out with a bad virus and she babysat during the contagious period before she knew she was sick.  And the girls have been a little out of sorts the last 2 days, last night waking up at 5:30am needing some daddy snuggles which they haven't done for a long time.  Only time will tell if they're actually getting sick or not.

Yesterday, TTT made sure that the zipper on my shirt was thoroughly explored and contemplated.  They currently find clapping hands hilarious.

The biggest change to my day is that I'm now only pumping 3 times a day.  As a result, my supply has tanked.  I'm getting just under 30oz a day now which for a singleton would be a great supply, but it's not what I'm used to and not enough for 2.  I keep trying to remind myself that just because ounces are something you can count, they do not measure the quality of parenting I'm doing.  I'm now spending much more time with the girls, getting them on the (now clean) floor so they can attempt to crawl instead of spending almost every moment of their waking day in their exersaucers.  Spending less time at the pump is making me a better mommy even if it means sneaking in a few ounces of formula a day instead of a diet of pure breast milk.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Grocery shopping

I attempted grocery shopping with the girls today.  The big problem, we're still using the snap and go stroller which has zero storage space because the car seats block it all.  I used my Mommy Hook to attach two shopping bags to the handle and it kind of worked, but life certainly would have been easier if I had a stroller with accessible storage.

I tried to time things properly.  The girls got up from a nap and I got them fed much faster than usual.  By the time I got them in their car seats, they had only been awake for a half hour.  I thought that would work great, we should be back home and back in the crib for their next nap by the time they had been awake for 2 hours.  And yet I'm sitting here listening to them pitch a fit in their crib even though I put them in there almost a half hour ago.  Either the shopping trip was too stimulating, or not stimulating enough because while they are tired, they don't seem to be going to sleep any time soon.

I'm looking forward to the girls being big enough for a different double stroller.  The snap and go has the advantage of not needing to remove the girls from the car seats in order to get them in there and it fits in the trunk of my itty bitty car, but the disadvantages are starting to outweigh the advantages.  The no storage thing is a problem if I want to do anything other than walk with the girls.  And it's sooooooo long!  If there's not a handicap button to automatically open doors in public places, it's a wrestling match trying to get the door open and get the long stroller through it myself.  Most often someone will hold it open for me, but I don't like having to rely on the kindness of strangers.

But before I can get a more robust stroller, I have to get a new car that a stroller can fit in.  Before I can get a new car, I need to get some money matters taken care of.  Before I can get those money matters taken care of, I need to hear from a bank representative who was supposed to get in touch with me 2 weeks ago.  It seems like everything I do in life now has 5 steps that need to be completed before I can do the thing I actually want to do.

The store seemed to be filled with women who wanted to flirt with the babies.  I'm not sure if I'm obligated to stop and smile and chat with everyone who wants to tell me they're twins.  Really?  I hadn't noticed!  And then the checkout lady commented on how there are so many sets of twins nowadays, like the twin population has exploded!  Isn't that weird?  Uhhhhh, what is the proper response to that?

All in all, we made it through the store fairly unscathed, but my bag of Doritos paid the price.  One of the shopping bags little handle it was hanging from broke and when it landed, it burst open the bag of Doritos.  I bought them anyway and just had them put in a separate bag, but when I got home, wresting a car seat and a bag of groceries, the Doritos got it again as the car seat completely smushed them.  Ugh.  Oh well.  The girls don't seem to be settling down for their nap any time soon so I think I'm going to get them up, feed them again while I snack on my newly purchased Dorito dust and then attempt this nap thing again.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Weaning off the pump

I'm finally committing to weaning off the pump.  For the last 2 months I've been waffling on the subject.  I hate pumpin, but I get upset when I think about running out of breast milk, so even though I say I'm going to go 5 hours between pumps, I seem to hook myself up between 3-4 hours anyway.  I think I've been keeping myself at 4-5 pumps a day because in the back of my mind, I felt like if I really wanted to push my supply back up, I probably could, but dropping down to 3 pumps per day is where my supply will tank beyond the point of no return.

But we've already passed so many of our original goals.  At first, I just wanted to have enough give some to both of them.  Once that was established, I thought it would be awesome if their first 6 weeks was nothing but breast milk.  Ok, we passed that so I figured 3 months, then until they start solids, and now it's a year.  Ya know what?  They won't die if they have a little bit of formula.  I don't have to be all or nothing (I keep telling myself that because by nature I'm an all or nothing kind of person).  Yes, if I pumped my ass off, I probably could supply a full breast milk diet for twins for an entire year.  No, I don't want to spend my entire first year of parenting sitting at my desk with a machine pulling on my boobs while the girls are stuck playing by themselves.

It's time.  Those 4-5 times a day has had diminishing returns with my supply slowly dropping by a couple of ounces per week.  Screw it!  I'll pump when I wake up in the morning, once in the middle of the day, and then before bed at night.  Going about 8 hours in between pumps means I will probably never be in an "oh crap, I need to pump soon!" panic again!  For a week or two, those three pumps should give me approximately the same daily yield but with a lot less work, and then I'll see my daily output drop.

In recent weeks, I've barely been keeping up with their appetite, occasionally thawing a bag here and there from our stash.  Seeing my supply drop a little bit below their needs, we've cracked open a can of formula to make sure they will drink it in case I dry up and we finish off our freezer stash before the year is up.  They don't like it on its own, but if I do a bottle of half breast milk, half formula, they take it just fine.  So I've been mixing up 4-6oz of formula a day and sneaking that into their bottles to reduce the amount of milk I need to thaw.

Now that I'm committing to only pumping 3 times a day, I'm sure my supply is about to completely tank and I'll only be producing about half of what they need every day.  But that's fine.  Between a few ounces of formula and thawing out a bag every day or two, we should be able to give them some breast milk every day until their first birthday.  We'll probably have enough that it will still be a good 75% of their liquid diet until it's time to move on to cows milk.  Perfect?  No.  But pretty damned good.

So the plan is to be at 3 pumps per day for about a month, then drop to 2 for about 2 weeks, and then one, and return the pump I'm renting when the girls turn 10 months.  After that, we mix our frozen stash with formula and see how long it lasts.

I'm trying to be ok with this.  I'll be a better mommy when I can spend more time with the girls without worrying about my damned boobs.  But for the last year and a half, what I do with my body has a direct relation to the girls.  I'm still taking prenatal vitamins, I'll be able to stop those.  If I need anything medically, I won't have to give the doctor the caveat that I'm either pregnant or breastfeeding.  My body just becomes me again instead of being me and the girls.

Discombobulating again

The Middie Biddie
The Teeny Tiny
Quick note - I'm going to stop using the girls names on this blog and use monikers for them like I do with everyone else.  Yeah, there's lots of pictures and I'm already breaking all sorts of privacy boundaries, but as they get older, I'm just more comfortable using monikers instead of names.  So I hereby introduce you to.....

As everyone tells you, just when you get it figured out, the kids switch up the rules again.  I think they're going through a growth/development spurt.  So far, they've been really consistent with being awake for 90 minutes, hitting a wall where they suddenly become crabby or drowsy, then they go down for a nap that lasts 45-60 minutes.  Seriously, we notice the tired cues, say "how long have they been up?", look at our app for that and see that it's exactly 90 minutes.

Well, Sunday I took them out for a family breakfast and they stayed up for about 2 1/2 hours.  I figured they might take a long nap to compensate and then back on our regular schedule.  But they napped for a full 2 1/2 hours!  Not what I was expecting.  And that was their only nap of the day.

Yesterday, I set them down for their afternoon nap and they never went to sleep.  They were showing all the tired cues, they should have fallen asleep, but they just never did.  They kind of hung out together in their crib for about 45 minutes and got fussy.  I tried to soothe them hoping to still get a nap out of them but after another 45 minutes, we gave up.  So they were up from 1pm until about 7:30pm.  Everything just seems a bit out of whack lately and they're going through some sort of changes.

Our baby clothing drawer at the diaper changing station is now stuffed.  We still have our favorite 3 month sized stuff on the left for The Teeny Tiny, size 3-6 month in the middle for both of them, and size 6 month on the right for The Middie Biddie.  We're going through the last of our size 2 diapers, and then I think we'll be onto size 3 for both of them.  Better to have them be too big than too small.  I'm looking forward to Teeny Tiny matching her sisters clothing size again so we can just keep one pile in there for them to share.

They've been showing off new mannerisms and stuff for the last few days too.  The Teeny Tiny can officially roll over from back to front (stealing her sisters wubba during sleep times has been a great motivator for learning this skill).  Middie Biddie has started some new facial expressions, like cocking her head to the side with a coy little grin. She's also mastered the backwards scoot.  Both are started to rock on their hands and knees so as I said in an earlier post, crawling is imminent.

We took them to the pediatrician last week for a check in.  They needed some shots at 8 months and I requested a few minutes to discuss a few things with the doctor.  They are just still so little.  At 8 months, just now growing out of 3 month sized clothing!  They only drink about 18oz of milk every day along with their solid foods and everyone elses kids seem to drink more like 24-30oz.  They also aren't really sitting up and playing independently yet, they really prefer standing in their exersaucers, and I'm seeing other kids who are their adjusted age sitting up and playing with toys for a good amount of time and being fairly mobile.  The doctor said everything is great, they are right where they should be developmentally, their growth chart line is still tracking the way it's supposed to, the amount of milk is just fine, and the diet of solids we're giving them is right on the money of what we're supposed to be doing.  Okey dokey!

We're almost done with the floor in my office/soon to be playroom.  We have one more board to cut and snap into place, and a few pieces of molding to put in and we'll be finished.  Then it's just moving the furniture in, and littering the floor with all sorts of toys!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Learned helplessness

If I were ever to go on Survivor, I'm pretty sure I would be the first one voted off.  While I'm actually a very capable woman, I doubt myself to the point that I hang back on any project and allow others to dictate how I can help or what I should do.  Even though I can see what needs to be done and how to do it, I just have so much doubt that I wait for instruction.

I wasn't raised helping out with things.  I often heard "your father will take care of it" or "let your dad do it".  Anything that required a tool and my mother was afraid I'd hurt myself.  I was told that I was capable and could do anything, but actions speak louder than words, so I got this really mixed message.

In gym class, I learned that if I hang back and let the better players keep the ball, I wouldn't disappoint everyone by missing the goal/basket/whatever.  And it was really important to me not to disappoint people.  I'm so afraid of doing something wrong that I often end up not doing anything at all. 

In offices, I could see easier ways of doing things, but I would always assume that things were done the way they were done for a reason that I just wasn't aware of yet.  A lot of people would think I was copping an attitude because I would ask "Is there a reason we're doing things this way instead of that way?"  It comes across as such a smartass question, but that's not how I mean it.  I honestly assume that others know something that I don't know so I'm asking what that something is.

Then I went to university and studied theater tech.  I learned that most people don't have any secrets that I don't have, they just muddle through as best they can until they eventually get to the result.  I keep relearning this lesson and I'm still surprised every time I relearn it.  I learned that I was actually very capable.  I could do construction just as well as the next person.  I could see how things worked and figure them out.

This turned a lot of things around for me.  I became less scared of everything.  If something was wrong in my apartment, I had the confidence that I could fix it (unless it was electrical, you don't fuck with electrical things).

In recent years, I've backslid into my old scared self.  K is wonderful in that he'll just do things for me and kind of allow me to be helpless.  When there's a project to be done, I'm always afraid of not being aware of one vital piece of information that will screw up the whole thing so I have to google the hell out of everything and end up in an over-informed tizzy still not sure of how to get started.

I've been trying to figure out the flooring in our house for a while now.  In my google tizzy, I've learned about underlay and why it's needed.  Learning about that just freaked me out that there might be something else like that to be considered that I might not know about, so I went on endless searches to find any potential missing pieces of information until we finally bit the bullet and got started.

It's been years since I've handled proper power tools and I've gone back to my nervous self about them even though I actually know how to use them.  I made K show me the chop saw again even though in university it was my favorite tool.  I realized how ridiculous this all is.  I let him take the lead on this project, just like I always do, and kind of sat back doing the minimum required to be helpful with as least amount of risk at making a mistake as I could get away with.

Today, I decided it was time to get out of this pattern.  I met K after university so while he knows intellectually that I'm capable, I don't think he's ever really witnessed it.  So today, while he was at work with no opportunity to watch me make any potential mistakes, I took over the flooring project and got a significant amount of it done while the girls played in their exersaucers.

Sometimes I just need to prove to myself (and K) that I'm not helpless.  I really can do this stuff.  I gotta remember to demonstrate that more often not only for my own good, but so the girls aren't so afraid to do things like I tend to be.  I don't want them to be afraid of mistakes the way that I am.  Making a mistake means you're trying to further your own abilities, and that's always a good thing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Occupation: Mom

A few days ago, I finally used the massage gift certificate that K got me for Christmas.  Have I mentioned that he's awesome?  Consider it mentioned.

On the forms you fill out, it asks for your occupation.  I filled in "mom".

We've started putting in the new flooring in my office.  In so doing, we've decided to move my desk to the corner (right now it kind of sticks out in the middle) so that the room can become mostly a playroom for the girls.  With my desk in the corner, it will be easy to tuck computer cables away and out of baby hands.  We're probably going to move the love seat that currently serves no purpose into this room as well so the girls have a piece of furniture to hold on to for climbing up and walking practice.

One of the drawbacks of doing this is that it will reduce my home office deduction on my taxes.  My office currently takes up about 20% of the square footage of the house.  As a result, 20% of our utilities and stuff are tax deductible.  Well, when this room becomes a playroom, that means only the floor space of my desk and chair can be considered "work space" and it drops to about 5%.

It's time to face facts, I'm a mom.  I do video gigs here and there for pocket change, but my occupation is officially Mom.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Baby food

This is just a random "how we're doing it" post.  I don't know if we're doing it right, or if I have any great wisdom to impart, but I think everyone is curious as to how other moms are doing things, so here's what we're doing to keep our girls fed.

At our 4 month ped appointment, we were given the go ahead to start solids.  We held off until about 5 months, partly because of the whole adjusted age thing, partly because I didn't know quite how to go about it, and partly because I was not looking forward to the baby poo that would result.  We started with the basics, mixing in some oatmeal or rice with breastmilk while they learned how to eat from a spoon.  We eventually started adding peas, sweet potato, applesauce, that kind of thing.  We bought standard jars of baby food, looking for the best prices we could find.  My primary concern at this stage was ensuring that the food was pureed to the proper texture and didn't really trust myself to do that on my own.

At our 6 month ped appointment, we were told we could get more adventurous, increase feedings to 2-3 times per day, introduce meats and such.  So that's what we did.  We tried the pureed meats, still keeping with the single ingredient foods, and they did not like that one bit.  Who can blame them?  Those things smell like cat food and have an icky texture.

We've purchased a Magic Bullet and are starting to make our own purees.  Those jars of baby food are flippin expensive!  I do recommend the bullet, it's so much easier than a standard blender.  And being much smaller, we're more apt to actually use it.  We're doing pretty good at pureeing our own fruits and vegetables, but we haven't quite figured out meats yet.  We'll likely start trying that later this week.

So far, broccoli is the biggest home made hit.  Cauliflower was also well received.  The last time we roasted a chicken, K took the carcass and made a good chicken stock so we've got ice cubes of stock in our freezer.  In order to slowly introduce meaty flavors, I've been melting those cubes and using them as the liquid when I puree vegetables.  When I made up the cauliflower, I took one of the baby food packages of a turkey vegetable blend and mixed that with some of the cauliflower.  Kind of a cheap way to extend the purchased puree.  When I make baby food, I fill up one or two leftover baby food jars and then freeze the rest in ice cube trays.  Once frozen, I transfer the cubes to a plastic bag, label it with what the cubes are and the date they were made.

Other sources of "baby food" - I looked in the baking aisle of the grocery store to find purees of sweet potato and pumpkin.  Double check that they are single ingredient cans.  It's much cheaper to buy a can of that puree than to buy a small jar of the same stuff in the baby food aisle.  I also look at the canned fruits and veggies aisle.  With fruits, it's hard to find something that doesn't have sugar added, but it's there if you look.  We recently did a Costco run and picked up cases of canned corn, pears, peaches, and peas.  We also source the frozen food aisle for bags of frozen veggies.  As much as I'd love to go with fresh, fresh tends to go bad before we get a chance to prepare it or eat it so we don't keep much of it in the house.

Ok, actually feeding the girls.  They start their day with just breastmilk, 6oz each.  After their naps (still at 3 a day), they have a bottle and then solid foods.  The bottles for the rest of the day are 3.5oz.  Any more than that and they leave it to rot in the bottle, and I'm doing my best to get as much milk into them as I can.  Sometimes they get an extra 2oz bottle at bedtime if bedtime rolls around more than an hour since they've last eaten.

My food choices for them are the same as they would be for me.  The morning is oatmeal with a fruit of some sort.  Fresh bananas grind up really well in the manual food mashers we have.  I use a jars worth of fruit and mix it with 2-3 oz of oatmeal.  We've purchased applesauce in bulk.  The girls just eat from a communal bowl and share a spoon.  Yeah, not exactly the most sanitary, but whatever.  I just alternate who gets bites until either the food is gone, or they start giving me dentist face and refuse to eat any more.  Usually they start slowing down and getting distracted when we're down to the last couple of bites.

Then I get more savory as the day goes on.  It's generally a sweet type of vegetable in the afternoon like peas, corn, carrots, or sweet potato.  If I'm using a jarred food, I'll extend it with some rice so I'm only using one jar between the two girls.  I really prefer not to have them go halfway through a jar because then I have to decide if I'm going to stick the rest back in the fridge after it's been contaminated by the spoon, or throw it out.  Usually I decide to stick it in the freezer to give those little bacterias the least amount of time to grow while still saving the food for the next day.

In the evening, I'll give them the most experimental food of the day.  Vegetable beef baby food, chicken noodle, generally some sort of dinneresque concoction, usually purchased though we might start trying to blend our own.  They really like the chicken noodle from Gerber.  Again, I'll just use one jar of that and extend it with a vegetable or some rice.  Cauliflower mixes really well with those savory foods or sometimes they'll have a side of vegetable instead of mixing it in.

She wears her broccoli well
I'm starting to prepare to wean off the pump but we only have a months worth of milk in the freezer.  I'm concerned that if I stop, we'll run out before we can convert them over to cows milk, or if they have some sort of aversion to it, we'll be stuck.  So we're testing formula at the moment.  We cracked open a sample can of formula and at one of the afternoon feedings, we're giving that to them.  We've found that they'll resist if the bottle is pure formula, but if it's half formula, half breastmilk, they'll take it with no problem.  We'll just keep doing that until this can runs out as it allows us to freeze a few more bags of milk in preparation for weaning.  So now we know, when we get to the last 2 weeks worth of breastmilk, if we aren't on cows milk yet, we'll be able to mix in formula and gradually convert them over to it.  It makes me feel a lot better knowing that we won't get stuck with no options should we run out.

So that's how we're doing it.  I'm open to other ideas on how to introduce them to new foods on a budget.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

My babies don't cry

I have to tell you a secret!
For the most part, the girls never cry.

The only crying they do is sometimes they don't want to go to sleep at night and Charlotte will let the tears flow and she will actually cry.  When she's upset about the sleeping situation, her screetch is pretty horrible.  Tina might do a little spurt, but it's kind of pathetic and obviously fake.

They will express a frustration with a bit of a scrunched face whine, or a squeaky grunt of some sort, but they don't get far enough to actually let out any tears.  As a result, I'm building absolutely zero tolerance for it and really have no skills for dealing with it.

When I manage to make it to the weekly family breakfast (doesn't happen very often), Tina will be all big grins at whoever comes near her while she's still in her stroller, but then someone takes her out and this look goes across her face.  Her mouth turns down.  And she starts to cry.  She's such a tease, drawing everyone in with her big smiles and "come pick me up" flirtations and then gets upset when someone takes her up on it.

The instant I see that look, I want her back.  For some strange reason, people resist me and insist that she's fine.  Um, no.  You don't understand, for that look to cross her face and for a tear to begin to form, that's extraordinary behavior for her.  Seriously, the only times I've seen it is at these gatherings and when I've clipped the skin when going for the fingernail.  So I've seen that lip tremble maybe a total of about 3 times in that last 3 months.  Give me back the baby, let me reassure her that things are fine and I promise I'll give her back to you once she's all fine and dandy!  Believe me, I want to eat my breakfast while others entertain the babies just as much as others want to entertain the babies!

For now, this is awesome, but I know it's eventually going to come back and bite me in the butt.  In a few months, I'm sure they'll become crying machines and I'll have developed zero coping skills for it.  Despite everyone telling me that Tina is fine and they can calm her down and stop her from crying, I really don't think they can.  It's being picked up and held by someone she doesn't recognize that's upsetting her to begin with so how is continuing that going to calm her?  Besides, she has about the same amount of coping skills for crying as I have.  If she's allowed to really get going, I'm not sure any of us will be able to pull her back and she might go into complete, irretrievable meltdown.  So I always insist on taking her back and making it stop before it starts.

Is almost no crying common at this age or do I have just have extraordinarily easy babies?  When do the inevitable meltdowns really get going?  I'm getting scared that when they do cry, I'll have no idea how to handle it and I'll just go all flailing all over like I did the first couple of months.