Thursday, August 20, 2015

Confessions of a {SAHM}

You would think that staying at home all day every day, my house would be in immaculate condition and there would always be a hot meal ready. Oh, and why not throw in a fresh batch of cookies right out of the oven! There's no excuse not to have the time for that. Well. Try keeping four small children alive and on top of that, nurturing their minds and teaching them how to be a respectable person. In other words, I need a maid. I still aim for the pristine house and nice home-cooked meals. But it can wait a few years. Then I'll see if it's a reality yet.

  • My boys {frequently} pee through the bars on the railing, outside, onto the stones.
  • I've rinsed out the bowl of the small potty in the sink.
  • My house can go a month between vaccumings.
  • Most days I don't eat real food until 2 PM. {nap time}
  • If I do eat breakfast, it's because I'm super starving and it's usually leftover dinner because that's all I have time for.
  • Sometimes my boys go a week {or more} between baths.
  • I watch one or more Toy Story movies on an average of every three days.
  • My boys eat yogurt for breakfast 90% of the time.
  • I vegetate in front of the t.v. or the computer more than I should when my boys are sleeping.
  • Today I let my two-year-old go bottom-less outside for about an hour.
  • I think I've actually cooked a dinner maybe once or twice a week for the last two months.
  • My three-year-old is excellent at running errands around the house for me.
  • My boys eat peanut butter sandwiches for lunch 95% of the time.
  • I've watched all three Toy Story movies in the same day at least 15 times.
  • My two-year-old {who barely talks} can recognize almost any quotation or beginning of a song from Frozen.
  • I really don't like taking my boys to play on their swing set. It's too far from the house.
  • I start potty training early because I'm lazy.
  • When my baby spits up I don't use a burp cloth. I use my own clothing.
  • Sometimes when I take a shower my t.v. is the babysitter.
  • I seriously love nap time!
  • But even more than that I love my crazy boys, and even though everyone always says it, I really wouldn't change it for the world!

Must-Have Baby Products {Twin Edition}

We've all seen posts for what is really needed for a baby. {My version} You've also seen what not to get. {Also my Version} But, {usually} only if you've had or are about to have twins have you seen a lost of must-haves for twins. Trust me, there are a lot out there. I looked at so many mostly to compare the lists to see what products matched. Some are very similar to my singleton {I'm a twin mom, I'm allowed to use that term now} while others are brand new to this mama.

  1.  Co-sleeper. Some moms have used one before, but I haven't. I used to just use a rocking bassinet. {Which I LOVED} Two weren't going to fit in it, and it rocked when they moved, so one might roll onto the other in his sleep and it just seemed too dangerous. Almost every twin-mommy-blogger recommended one. Not just the mini one, either. The big ol' grand-daddy original. The mini is only rated for 15 pounds. The bigger one can hold up to 30 pounds. We thought maybe we could get away with using the bassinet part of a regular pack 'n play, but those aren't rated for the higher weight either. It is truly worth the investment! We used it for about four months before we moved them to their own rooms. Now it serves as an extra pack 'n play. We found ours on Craigslist, but it took a long time!

     2. Nosefrida. This one is useful no matter how many babies you have. It was wonderful for one, and it was even better for two. As long as you can get over the ick factor. {My husband can't even be in the same room when I use it.} You get much better suction, and your babies are mad at you for a fraction of the time. In fact, when the twins had RSV last winter, it definitely was worth it! I've used it for four children and not once has a booger made it even to the tube. No worries.
     3. Vibrating Seats. These are great for any baby, but it seems that the necessity of a lot of things becomes even more so when there's more than one baby. In the beginning, when we were still trying to figure out how to keep everyone alive, we tried the babies sleeping in these. It just so happened that our babies just didn't like sleeping anywhere in general. But they definitely are great throughout the day. There's just something about the vibrating. I keep the bar of toys off while they're real little, but when they're ready for entertainment, just pop it back on. My ultimate favorite way I used this in the first few months was during my shower. I'd try to sneak in the shower when only one twin was awake. He'd sit in his little chair in the bathroom and I could peek in on him as needed. Very rarely did they cry at this time. Eventually I brought both chairs and both babies in with me. The downside to using these with twins is that they're not as easy {as with one} to just take into the other room. Two trips. But then again, nothing is easy with twins.

4. Rock 'n Play Sleepers. Thank you, Jesus for allowing these to be invented. Best. Invention. Ever. {!!!!!} I don't know how I had two other babies before without using one of these! Seriously! From the time we brought them home, we put them in their "rockers." They are so portable. These bad boys went all over the place with us. Eating dinner? Bring the babies in their rockers. Watching a movie? Bring 'em. Big boys in the playroom? Rockers came along. Giving the big boys a bath? You know it! They finally out-grew them at about 6 months. They'd stiffen out, roll over, and just be too wiggly. But these things were so wonderful. Also, for the newborns, they kind of provided a snuggle-feel. We'd swaddle them and place them in, and they'd be nice and cozy. Love, Love, Love this!! Oh, by the way, the big boys love these, too. They'd sit in them next to each other to watch movies. I always joked that we needed four.

5. Jumpy Seats. My boys love their jumpers. They jump away until their hearts are content. It's real fun when they get in sync with each other. We don't have an optimal doorway to use the Johnny-Jump-up version, so we have the stationary one(s). Even still, at almost 11 months old they LOVE them!


6. Boppy Pillow. I had never really needed to use a pillow during nursing. It wasn't any more comfortable to me. When I had my twins, though, it was a different story. I really wanted to use the Twin Double Z, but really didn't want to pay the $99. (Even though my husband assured me I could get it.) My sister has a handmade children's goods business, so I asked her if she was up for the challenge as my baby gift. She made a look-alike, {she's really good, I might add.} See for yourself. Sometimes a good, old fashioned, regular boppy was easier. I definitely used them more with my twins than my "singletons." {I always feel silly using that term.} And to quote one of my boys' favorite movies, "If you don't have one, get one!" {Toy Story, you know...}

7. Snap 'n Go Stroller. Another lifesaver. It's in the name. Just snap it in and go! I've used this at the doctor's, the mall, or anywhere you don't want to carry two heavy buckets. It's useful for as long as your babies are in those car seats. It is very long, though, and I feel like I'm driving a semi-truck, backwards. It's fine once you get used to it.

Another product that was super handy more this time around was my pump but usually you can get a prescription and insurance will cover it.
Things I didn't need two of are: swings, and bumbo seats. Neither of mine cared for them. Of course that is totally depending on the baby. I know lots of people who swear by them!
What products could you absolutely not live without for your twins?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Exclusively Nursing Twins is not for Everyone - and that's okay!

Like every other crunchy mother, I was determined to nurse my next baby longer than the last. When I found out I was expecting twins, I began to worry about nursing in general. How on EARTH does one nurse two babies?!?! A twin mommy who was a year ahead of me in the game had warned me that her C-section was the blame for not being able to nurse her twins. With this in mind, I was totally prepared. I bought essential oils, made lactation cookies, and everything else imaginable to prepare my body to nurse my babies. I was determined to nurse my babies. I was NOT using formula! So I ended up needing a C-section anyways, but I was ready. In the hospital I was drinking at least a gallon of water a day, eating oatmeal for breakfast, and pumping 'til my heart's content. My little boys didn't quite get the complete hang of nursing in the hospital, but the lactation consultants were hopeful. I would take 45 minutes in every three-hour cycle to {try to} nurse, bottle feed, and pump. Before I left, I was filling those little bottles on each side. They were impressed. My milk came in nicely. My fear was gone. 
Well after a while, we discovered one of the boys had at least three food sensitivities. THREE! I had dealt with one not digesting dairy very nicely, but this was different. I'm a healthy person, so the foods I couldn't have were so not cool. We couldn't have eggs, oats, or coconut. My food restrictions became more than I could bear. That added to being way to busy to remember to drink enough water. It sadly was becoming too much. Still refusing to use store-bought formula, I looked into other options. I knew goat's milk was the most similar in make-up to breast milk. I found the Weston Price recipe, which seemed too much. This was supposed to make my life easier, not more complicated. So I kept searching and found This recipe from Freshly Grown. We ended up using it and loving it. My "under 5th percentile" babies gained weight and thrived! I eventually realized it would've been selfish of me to continue exclusively nursing them. I was at the point where I was only doing it because I can be stubborn and determined. They needed something else. I still nursed a few times a day up until their adjusted age was 6 months (they were 7 months old). I did {and still do} feel sad about not nursing them anymore. It was such a nice cuddle time, but it was just too much with two. I love my twins and all, but twins are no joke, people.

Goat Milk Formula Recipe
(I made this by the quart at first, and eventually three quarts at a time)
32 oz. filtered water
4 scoops (2 Tbsp. each) Powdered Goat Milk
2 tsp. Gelatin Powder
4 Tbsp. Turbinado Sugar
1 tsp. Molasses
2 tsp. Olive Oil
2 tsp. Coconut oil (I replaced this with Kerrygold butter because one couldn't have coconut)
2 tsp. Nutritional Yeast
1/4 tsp. Powdered Probiotics
Vitamin D drops (A few)

I liked to make sure all the ingredients were organic. But obviously that can be up to your own personal preference.

1. Boil 8 oz. of water. (Don't boil the rest.)
2. Add all ingredients in a blender, except probiotics and vitamins.
3. Add last two ingredients, and store in a glass container in the fridge.

It's really super easy. Unless you have twins. Then, sorry, but nothing is easy. Just kidding. I'm sure there's something easy.

Below are direct links of the exact brands I used. The links will take you right to Amazon. {I used to be sacred to click on links like that and purposely would type in "amazon" on another page and search for the exact ingredient because I was terrified of viruses and stuff. I don't know much about computers Lol. I promise these links will take you right to where you need to go without effecting your computer.} Plus, if you use my links, I get referral credit! :)

If you have questions, click on the link with the original recipe. It's more detailed, and set up very nicely.