Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Sweet Time with Sugar

A couple weeks ago, Tim went on a little vacation to Colorado to celebrate his birthday!  He did some fishing, climbed a 14,000 ft mountain, and spent some quality time with good friends.  I am so thrilled that he was able to go and enjoy a few days in the cooler weather doing the things that he loves to do most.

My mom (aka "Sugar") came to help me with the babies while Tim was gone.  My mom calls the twins her "Sugar Babies."  They love it!

Rhett and Rhys loved having Sugar here with us!  Sugar is a wonderful grandma and loves spending time with the twins.  I love watching her with them.  R & R think she is really good at lots of things.

She is good at giving baths.

Sugar gives Rhys a relaxing bath!

She is good at drying babies off.

Sugar and Rhett

She is good at after bath cuddling.

She is good at reading books.

Sugar and Rhett reading Peek-a-Who?

Sugar and Rhett reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear

She is really, really good at changing diapers.  And really fast.

She is good at giving bottles.

She is good at feeding solids, too.

Sugar feeds Rhys her avocado and oatmeal

love this pic of Rhys looking up at Sugar!

She is good at cuddling.

I am so thankful for my mom!  We had such a great week together!  Not only did she take care of the babies, she also took care of me.  She cleaned, cooked, did laundry, and babysat so I could get out of the house.  Thank you Sugar!  We love you!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Confessions of a Twin Mom

I haven't showered in 3 days.  Please don't judge me.   BT (Before Twins) I showered daily, and sometimes twice a day.  BT I took long, relaxing showers.   Now that the twins are here, I have found that showering is not all that important.  It is optional at this point.  And a luxury.  And a long shower....yeah right.

At least I bathe my kids every day, right?

During bath time tonight, I found sweet potatoes stuck to Rhys' head.  No big deal, you say?  Kids are messy.....especially babies.  Cut yourself some slack, Misty.   Except then I realized that the twins didn't eat sweet potatoes today.

I am wearing the same nursing tank that I wore yesterday.  Because all of the other ones were dirty.  And they are still dirty because I forgot that I started the load of laundry last night, and the wet clothes are still sitting in the washing machine.  Except that now they aren't clean because they smell like old, wet clothes.  So they need to be washed again.

At least I am wearing pants, right?

This is progress.  I should mention that the pants are covered in spit up, dried milk, snot, strawberry pop tart filling, and sweet potatoes (not from today's menu).  There is something else on the pants but I'm not sure what.  Maybe it's best we don't know.

We had cereal for dinner.  AGAIN.  I had taken a roast out of the freezer yesterday because I wanted to "wow" Tim with a delicious dinner tonight.  He deserved it!  He has kindly eaten cereal and grilled cheese sandwiches several times this past month week, and I wanted to make something good.  When I went to get it all ready in the crock pot this morning, I realized that I did not buy the seasoning packets I needed.  No seasoning packets = no roast = cereal for dinner.

At least it was made from 100% whole grains, right?

My house is a wreck.

I have a stack of bills and mail on the counter and it is growing every day.

There are 6 pair of shoes sitting out in the living room at this very moment.

My refrigerator has a weird smell coming from the veggie bin.

I ate pop tarts for breakfast.  And lunch.

I did not do Rhett's therapy with him today.

I am behind on emails and phone calls with friends.  (I love you all and promise I am not ignoring you!)

My sheets need to be washed.

My fern is almost dead. (I know, I know, ferns are impossible to kill.  I don't think I've watered it since before the twins were born)

There is a mountain of laundry in my room, in the nursery, and in the living room.

Both of my diaper pails are full and I keep trying to cram just one more diaper in.  (I am secretly hoping Tim will discover it is full and take the diapers out before I have to.)

I really could go on and on...

I had a comment on my blog a couple weeks ago from someone I don't know.  They commented that I seem to "have it all together" and have a "perfect life."  I definitely don't have it all together, and though my life is not perfect, I am blessed.  I love being a mommy and all that comes with it.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to shower, start my washing machine, and get tomorrow's pop tarts ready.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

3 Millimeters

3 millimeters.....that is how much Rhett's head has grown in just a week!  My kid is a growing dude! 

Before I share about Rhett's appointment today, let me tell you what happened this weekend...

Everything had been going so great with Rhett and his band.  It is as if he didn't even really mind having it on.  We did the skin checks like we were supposed to, cleaned the band and his head each night, and made sure that it was on properly during the day.  Everything was fine....there was a little redness but it always went away within an hour (which is the normal time frame they gave us).  Here is pic of Rhett the first night he wore his helmet.  It was not hurting him....he looks fussy because he was tired and ready to eat and he was annoyed that I was taking pictures, I'm sure!

normal "red spot" on forehead

And then we went to the pediatrician Friday for the twins' 6 month checkup.  We had to take the band off so that the nurse could weigh Rhett.  When Tim took it off, there was a terrible smell.  It seriously filled up the whole room.  Then Tim put Rhett down to get his weight and when he picked him up, there was some yellow goo/slime/oozing-ness left behind on the scale.  I started freaking out and immediately looked at Rhett's head.  It looked awful.  Bright red and dry skin on the forehead and especially across the back.  It scared me and I was very worried.

very red and irritated back of head

 red spot on forehead

 very red and dry skin across the back

 Our pediatrician suggested that we put some hydrocortisone cream on the back of his head and leave the helmet off for 2-3 hours at a time, rather than just the 1 hour that we were told.  I wasn't sure what to do so I called Cranial Technologies.  They told me to leave the band off overnight and check his head in the morning.  So we did just that, and it looked so much better Saturday morning!  We kept an eye on it the rest of the weekend and he did fine.  It was a little red yesterday and so I kept the band off in the evening and all night.

Today we went back to Cranial Technologies in Austin for Rhett's first "growth adjustment."  At each appointment, they look at his head, take measurements, examine the band, and shave the inner layer of foam so that it creates the perfect amount of pressure on his head.  Since he is growing so fast, many changes had to be made today.  That was hard for me to believe since we were just there last Monday!

brave boy Rhett sitting on the exam table

being examined by our wonderful orthotist, Miss G

sitting with daddy during the appointment

His head has already grown 3 millimeters!  Miss G took Rhett's band in the other room to work on it.  While Rhett's band was getting adjusted, we had some play time in our room.  Since the babies had been in their car seats for about 3 hours that morning, they were glad to be able to stretch out and play!

 ready to play!


 the princess

 sharing the one toy mom packed in the diaper bag

 "your head looks nice and round, Rhys"

"help me!"

We typically don't put shoes on the's just one more thing to do.  And since they don't walk yet, do they really need shoes?  Anyway, I was feeling spontaneous this morning and decided to try shoes.  Tim thought Rhett looked so funny in shoes and had to take this next picture.

 chubby feet wearing shoes for the first time

After about 15 minutes of playing, Rhett's band was ready.  Miss G put it back on and checked everything again for us.  She explained that the redness we had experienced was most likely caused by heat rash, as well as his skin getting used to the band.  The adjustments that were made today should also help with the redness and irritation.

getting the new adjusted band back on

Rhett did great today!  And so did Rhys!  They were so sweet, and did great on our long ride to Austin and back.  We will go back again next Tuesday for another adjustment.  A long day, but a good day.
We are so thankful that we are able to get this treatment for Rhett.  Thank you all for your prayers!

worn out baby on the way home....check out his thumb "GIG 'EM"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Time to Eat!

When we had the twins' 4 month checkup, our pediatrician suggested that we start solid foods.  I couldn't believe it!  I felt like I was just getting into a routine and able to nurse them successfully, and he wanted me to do something else?  Plus Rhett was starting physical therapy and it was just too overwhelming to me.  So we waited.  I was thinking we would start around 6-8 months, since technically they don't need any other nutrients aside from breast milk for the first year.  

Then we went back to the pediatrician when the twins were 5 months old, and he really encouraged me to start solids.  He thought it might help with Rhett's spitting up.  (Have I mentioned how much that kid spits up?  I could write an entire blog post about the spit up, but just believe me when I say it is A LOT.)  I didn't really want Rhett to be on medication since he seems happy most of the time.  He is always smiling when the gallons of spit up come pouring out of that tiny body.  I figured it was worth a try.  It was time.

I was completely overwhelmed.  What do I feed them?  How much?  Should I make the food?  Or should I buy it?  Does it need to be organic?  How do you make it?  Do you serve it warm, room temp, or cold?  Do I have to cook?  How will I know if they are getting enough?  What if they are still hungry?  Not hungry?  Yes, I was completely overwhelmed.

And then my mom bought me this book.

It is true that knowledge is power.  Once I skimmed through this book, I thought to myself "I can do this."  This book is awesome!  It has so much information for scared, overwhelmed, first time mommas like me.  It tells you what age your baby needs to be for each type of food, how to prepare each food, and tons of other great info.  It also gives sample recipes and discusses time saving tips for the kitchen....and who couldn't use a little more time, right?

After much debate, we decided to start out with the traditional rice cereal.  I bought the Earth's Best brand because I wanted it to be brown rice and as natural as possible.  We got the Bumbo seats ready, I made the cereal, and Tim got the camera ready to video.

We put Rhys in her Bumbo and she saw the video camera and got scared.  She started crying and was upset before we had even tried to feed her.  So we had to calm her down and then start over.  HA!

The first bite...


So you can see that Rhett did not enjoy his first taste of cereal as much as his sister!  He acted like we were physically trying to harm him!  He cried and cried, so his meal was over.  We gave Rhys a few more bites.  She didn't love it, but did okay.

The next day, we decided to put Rhett in his bouncer seat instead of the Bumbo.  It is still hard for him to hold his own head in the Bumbo and we thought he might enjoy eating more if he was more comfortable.  It really did help!

We fed them the rice cereal for 4 days in a row.  Then we moved on to....


Banana was a big hit!  Rhys really got the hang of eating during the second week.  And, Rhett?  Well, let's just say that he started making progress.  He stopped crying during meals, and I consider that a success.  Rhett still didn't understand the concept of eating.  He thought we were trying to play with him.  Hilarious!

Rhett trying banana for the 1st time...see that little smile?

Rhys enjoying her first taste of banana

After a week of rice cereal and banana, we tried oatmeal cereal.  

They really liked the oatmeal, and still prefer it over the rice cereal.  Since then we have had avocado and sweet potato.  

Each day is getting better and better.  The twins eat a "meal" of solids around 11:30 a.m. and again at 5:00 p.m.  

Rhys caught on to eating quickly and is pretty neat.  She keeps the food in her mouth and swallows it fast.  She grunts between bites as if she is saying "hurry up."  She is definitely a little Miss Piggy and will finish off anything!  Her favorites are oatmeal cereal and banana.  She doesn't love avocado but will eat it.  
I love meal time!

Rhett took a little longer to get the hang of having the spoon in his mouth.  He likes to play with the spoon and tries to knock it out of my hand.  He is not so neat, and has food everywhere!  Today he had it on his helmet and his big toe!  Rhett's favorites are oatmeal cereal and avocado.

I'm learning!

We are all learning, and what a fun time we have had!  When we first started out I had a bowl and spoon for each of them.  I would feed one a bite, then put the spoon down and pick up the other spoon.  What a joke!  That lasted for about one day.  HA! Now....I use one bowl and one spoon.  We share everything....even our germs!  It's a twin's life...

You might think that I am a little bit crazy obsessing so much about my babies and their meals.  And maybe I am.  But when the babies were born I knew that the most important thing I could do for them (besides loving them) was to feed them the healthiest diet possible.  That is why I chose to breastfeed them.  And now that they are eating "real" food....I want to continue to give them the best.  I feel like it is part of my mission as their mother to choose for them what they cannot choose right now.  So maybe I am crazy...but I love my babies and I just want what is best for them.

I am planning on making the twins' baby food.  I know it will be a huge cost-savings for our family, as well as better nutrition for the babies.  I think I convinced Tim that I need a new food processor (our's just broke) and our blender isn't really working that great.  So if you have one you recommend, let me know!

Stay tuned for future updates!

Tunnel to Towers: Remembering 9.11.01

It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years since our country was under attack.  We have been watching a lot of documentaries and personal accounts of what went on that tragic day.  I'm sure you remember just where you were and what you were doing when you found out the news.  What a sad day for America.

Tim and I decided to honor our country's heroes by participating in a 5k in downtown San Antonio.  Tim's company, Gehan Homes, was a corporate sponsor for the event.  A couple of Tim's coworkers and friends joined us.  There was a memorial service before the race began right in front of the Alamo.

The memorial 5k was called Tunnel to Towers.  It was started in memory of a NYC firefighter, Stephen Siller.  
Here is the background information from the race website
On September 11, 2001, Stephen Stiller, having worked all night was off duty when he heard the first plane had hit the Twin Towers.  He returned to Squad 1 to get his gear, then took his final heroic steps to the World Trade Center.  When he drove his truck to Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, it was already closed to traffic.  With sixty pounds of gear strapped to his back, he ran through the tunnel, hoping to meet up with his own company.  Stephen was killed that day, along with 342 other firefighters and 3000 others.  

The Stephen Siller Foundation hosts memorial runs, golf tournaments, and other events to raise money to help support children who have lost a parent in the line of duty.

Here we are getting ready before the race.  Check out our new Bob double jogging stroller!  I love it!  We attached Rhett's car seat to it....and Rhys rode in the regular stroller seat.  Since Rhett doesn't have great control of his head yet, we wanted him to have a little more support.  It won't be long and he will be able to sit right next to his sweet sister!

Rhys getting ready!

Rhett is ready to go!

Before the race started, Amazing Grace was played on bagpipes.  It was very touching.  There was also a moment of silence at the exact moment that the planes hit the World Trade Center.

 Our family before the race

Since Tim's company was a sponsor, a couple of his coworkers joined us for the race.  Good friends Frank, Will, and Uncle Mike all ran the 5k.

 Frank, the twins, and me

our group (minus Tim)
Frank, Will, Rhett, Rhys, me, and Uncle Mike

 the starting line

Time for the race to begin!  There were many firefighters who ran the race, and they all wore their complete set of gear to honor Stephen Siller.  It looked heavy and hot!  Tim and I started in the back so that we wouldn't get in the runners' way with our big ole' stroller!  

just starting out...

There were two firetrucks parked on the street with this giant American flag waving between them.  It was really neat to see.  

The city was also loaned an actual piece of the World Trade Center to have on display during the race.

a piece of the WTC

half way there!

this is hard work!

And we made it!  The twins did great and actually slept most of the way!  I was worried that they might get too hot, but there was a lot of shade along the course route.  Tim and I walked most of the race with the stroller, but we did run a couple of times.  The stroller was so easy to push....I am looking forward to lots of runs this fall when it gets cooler!
 we made it!

our group at the finish line

I am so glad that we were able to be a part of this memorial.  I feel like we were able to honor the memories, and thank our heroes, past and present.