Monday, March 22, 2010

Getting out to enjoy spring

I love, love, love spring! I love to hear the birds singing, to watch the flowers pop up above the brown grass, to see the world turn green with plant life, and to feel the heat of the sun on my skin. Another benefit of spring is that I'm able to get out of the house and take the boys for a walk. It may only be in the 50's, but in WI that seems like a heatwave after the long, cold winter months. I bundle the boys up in warm clothes, cover them in blankets and off we go! These afternoon walks give me something to look forward to each day and make me feel refreshed! The boys seem to enjoy the stroller rides as they nap through them. Today I got brave and walked to a local coffee shop to get a latte and the boys did great!

Getting the boys all bundled up for the walk:

This is a photo of the boys when we returned home from the walk:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Candle burning at both ends

Right before Christmas we put our 3 bedroom historic cape cod house on the market and much to my surprise it sold in less than a month with a bidding war to boot. I had agreed to put in on the market thinking that it wouldn't sell for a few months and knew that we'd pull it off the market once the boys arrived. Both J and I agreed that showing a house with two newborns wouldn't be a good idea, particularly when the house needed to be perfectly staged which would be impossible with baby gear everywhere. Secretly I hoped it wouldn't sell because I didn't want the added stress of packing and moving with the babies, so when it sold so quickly I was quite nervous about what was to come.

Not only did we sell our house, but we were planning to build another one. With new construction comes all sorts of decisions and stresses. When we sold our house we already had the lot picked out, the foundation poured, and well dug, so all we had to do was have the house built. Fortunately we have a great general contractor who's made the process relatively easy. Additionally, we had spent time looking at flooring, counters, light fixtures, faucets, etc before our current house sold, so we were able to make all of those decisions relatively quickly and easily. Selecting the paint colors took me a little longer, but in the end I'm happy with what I chose.

I know it seems like a crazy idea for us to sell our house and build a new one right before twin boys were to arrive. We knew we would be insanely busy packing and moving with two newborns, but it seemed like a better time than when they would be toddlers on the go. Plus, the cost of building supplies are really low right now and the government is giving the $6500 tax credit for repeat home buyers. Our current home is on the small side, so we knew we'd need to move into something bigger once the boys came. Now that they are here with all of their gear it became even more apparent how nice it would be to have a larger home.

Our new house will be completely finished in one week and we'll be completely moved in at that point. Over the past three weeks we've been moving stuff into the basement and garage. Our families, especially my mom, have been an enormous help in packing and moving. By next Saturday all that will be left to move into the new house is furniture, clothing, and the baby gear we use daily. We've more or less packed everything else.

I'm excited to have more space and to have a huge yard for the boys to play in when they are older. The new house sits on an almost 2 acre lot, so they'll be plenty of space for the boys to run around in--I can already see Silas & Liam running and playing in the yard! Additionally, the new house has a large "bonus room" above the 2-car garage, which will be a playroom for the boys. We think it will be the perfect house for our boys to grow up in and can't wait to get settled in.

The outside of the house from two weeks ago:

The boy's playroom before the carpet went in:

My favorite room in the house:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Update on the boys

I apologize for not posting an update sooner, but I'm still adjusting to this new life with little sleep and even less time to myself (not that I'm complaining). I have been reading blogs in between feedings, diaper changes, bottle washing, and loads of laundry, but can't seem to find the energy to comment. I know that's no excuse, so I hope that you understand and accept my apology. Hopefully I'll get into a groove soon.

The boys are doing great and growing well--at the 1 month appointment Liam weighed 6lbs 6oz and Silas weighed 7lbs 3oz. Silas is still struggling with GERD (acid reflux) and had to have his meds adjusted again. Currently he's taking Zantac 2x/day and Prevacid once daily. Because Silas is so uncomfortable at night lying prone we started letting him sleep in the bouncy seat, which has made a world of difference for him at night. He no longer grunts and groans in discomfort all night long. We put one of the bouncy seats in the crib, so when the time comes the transition back to the crib will be easier. I noticed that Liam didn't sleep as well the first few nights that Silas was in the bouncy seat as he was used to his brother being next to him, but now he seems adjusted. Liam is fortunate not to have GERD.

Both boys are relatively easy going babies (knock on wood). They were previously eating every 3 hours, but have recently begun to eat every 1.5-2 hours, which makes for very tired parents! J and I do shifts at night--J does feedings up until 2am and I do the feedings after that. This allows us each a small block of sleep, but I'm on my own during the day as J is back at work. We typically feed the boys in shifts as we've found simultaneous feeding difficult at this point. Sometimes during the day I will prop them in boppies and feed them at the same time, but I find it to be awkward and prefer to feed one baby at a time. Plus, feeding them separately allows us individual cuddle time! Usually one baby will wait patiently for his turn, but this isn't always the case. Silas seems to be a little more patient than Liam, so I usually try to feed Liam first. This also gives me more time to hold Silas upright after his feeding, which is helpful for his GERD.

I quit breast feeding at the hospital because the boys weren't gaining weight (this was a suggestion of the pediatrician), but continued to pump. Unfortunately I was only getting about 2 oz/day with pumping every 2 hours around the clock. When I was putting the boys to the breast I was able to pump a lot more, but as soon as I stopped my supply dropped significantly. The constant pumping to get barely anything was so stressful and I began to resent it, so I quit pumping about 2-3 weeks ago. It just wasn't worth the stress it was causing me not to mention the time away from snuggling my little guys! I cried for an entire day and felt like a horrible mom, but in the end I'm content with the decision. I can't imagine trying to pump every 2 hours now that I'm home alone with the boys. I do feel good about what I was able to do for the boys for the first few weeks of their life and am glad that I took the time and effort to give them some breast milk.

It's cute to see the boys' personalities coming out already. Silas LOVES his pacifier and likes to sleep with it in his mouth, which is fine by us given that sucking on a pacifier is thought to reduce the risk of SIDS. He also loves to be swaddled tight. Liam will use a pacifier periodically, but isn't as attached to it. Liam absolutely despises a dirty diaper and will scream his head off if he has poop in his diaper. It's pretty easy to know when Liam is filling his diaper because he makes what we've affectionately come to refer to as his "poopy face" where he purses his lips and gets a very serious look on his face. If Liam poops while feeding, he starts crying as he's eating his bottle. Silas isn't nearly as sensitive to a dirty diaper. When Silas cries he actually sheds tears, which breaks his mommy's heart, but Liam doesn't tear when he's wailing.

Here's a few recent photos for your viewing pleasure: