Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I'm not quite sure that either Anna Claire or Mallory had a clue what was going on this afternoon, but they played right along and had a very happy Halloween with minimal tears! I am so proud of them.

We started out at my parents and the girls took lots of pictures with their cousins. Anna Claire was a butterfly, Mallory was a flower, Dylan was a penguin, Owen was a turtle, and Connor was Jack Sparrow. What a collection of characters! I have never laughed harder. Then it was on to Walter's mom's house to pose for the camera just a little more. Here are only a few of the many shots we took of the girls...

And when it was all said and done...

...Anna Claire and Mallory fell asleep in the car on the way home dreaming of what they want to dress up as next year!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

On the Eve of All Hallows Eve

We are all ready for Halloween tomorrow. The girl's jack-o-lanterns are full of goodies and sitting out for them. Costumes are packed and ready to take with us to my mom and dad's tomorrow. Since the girls will already be at my parent's house tomorrow, we're getting them dressed in their costumes there after I get off from work (Walter will meet us there; he gets off early on Fridays.).

The truth is, for the first couple of years at least, Halloween is nothing more than a photo op. So...Anyone in my family who wants to see Anna Claire and Mallory all dressed up, can come there. We will then go to Walter's mom's house. Anyone in Walter's family who wants to see them in their costumes can visit while we are there. We should be home no later that 7PM!

I wonder how smoothly my plan will actually flow?

Check back in tomorrow night for pictures of the girls dressed in their Halloween finery! And keep your fingers crossed that the girls don't melt down tomorrow night faster than the Halloween candy they won't be eating.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Have you ever seen a bigger pumpkin? Aunt Michelle bought and carved out this pumpkin and took pictures of the babies.

Mallory was not amused. I love my baby, but I couldn't not help a little giggle because I can only imagine she's thinking, "What the heck am I doing sitting in a pumpkin?!"

Anna Claire: "Hey, cool! I'm sitting in a pumpkin!"

I am so thankful Michelle got these shots. I will never find a bigger pumpkin, and the girls will never be small enough to sit inside one again.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween's Coming

YAY! Two more days until Halloween! We can't wait...the girls had to wear their "Babies First Halloween" outfits today to get in the spirit.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy! I've Got Love in My Tummy!

We waited until tonight to attempt feeding the girls by spoon to make sure Anna Claire had adjusted to the Alimentum. I think things went pretty well. Anna Claire couldn't get enough of her rice cereal. I'm not sure how much she actually swallowed, but I couldn't shovel it in fast enough! At first Mallory gagged, but then she took to it pretty well, not quite as enthusiastic as Anna Claire, but I am proud of her, nonetheless! Neither of the girls got nearly as messy as I expected!

I mixed up two tablespoons of rice cereal and used one spoon and one bowl. I can't imagine feeding them out of separate bowls with two spoons! Maybe one day. We fed them about 6:30 which was a little behind schedule, but then we don't really have a schedule yet for "meals." I'm sure we'll work all that out in the days to come. My main concern with feeding them so late was that the girls would not want their 7:30 bottle. I don't know why I was worried. Anna Claire drank four oz. and Mallory drank all six!

I have great video but still haven't learned how to upload it. I promise I will learn this weekend!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'll Never Sleep Again *updated*

Our doctor told us Thursday to keep helping the girls practice rolling from tummy to back to tummy since they could only go from back to side. I am terrified for them to sleep on their tummies and if they end up on their tummies, I want them to be able to roll onto their backs in case they can't breathe. Needless to say, we've practiced a lot this weekend.

Today, I heard Mallory crying about thirty minutes into her nap. When I went to check on her she was on her tummy (!!!) and her poor little leg up to her knee was caught between the crib slats.

I guess all that practicing paid off. Now that she can apparently roll onto her tummy, which I have never actually seen her do, I will never sleep again!

How many times did I just type the word tummy?!

As far as I could tell, neither girl made it onto her tummy last night.

Baptism Invitations

Yesterday I mailed the invitations for the girls' Baptism. I think the invitations are beautiful, but I'm not totally pleased with the font size and spacing - actually the fact that there is no spacing. I guess it's my fault. I was holding a fussy Anna Claire while I was in the Pink Crocodile picking out the invites, and I guess I wasn't clear about exactly what I wanted. I didn't have time to reorder, so we went with what we had.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Random Pictures

I haven't posted pictures in a few days because I am having camera trouble. Here are a few I was able to pull off.

These are the girls poor "little" thighs after their shots Thursday. Anna Claire's chunky little thighs - I count three rolls!

It's hard to count the rolls on Mallory from this angle. I promise, she has four!

Mommy, there are ladybugs on our feet!
This is the closest I've come to getting a shot of both girls smiling...and it's really not that close. I promise they were smiling when my finger pressed the button. I've got to get a camera with a faster shutter speed.

When Daddy's Away, the Girls Will Play

Inspired by Tracy, I took the girls out shopping all by myself today! Walter is golfing, and my mom is in the mountains, so I thought today was the perfect opportunity.

At first I didn't think things were going to work out. It rained buckets ALL day yesterday and was supposed to rain again this morning, but the weather held off! Then, the girls took forever to drink their 10:30 bottles. By the time I was finished feeding Anna Claire. Mallory was sound asleep. Things weren't looking good for our mother-daughter(s) outing and I was actually really disappointed.

I never wake a sleeping baby, so I decided I would just put Mallory in her car seat without waking her up. I was determined we were getting out the house today. That actually worked pretty well especially since I had packed the car during their morning nap. Once in the car, we were headed to Hamrick's until half way down Old Orangeburg the road was closed! So, we had to turn around and take a detour.

We finally made it to Hamrick's (a little behind schedule) and were able to return an outfit I had bought the girls that they grew out of before being able to wear it. Both Anna Claire and Mallory were perfect angels and everyone in the store "oohed" and "aahed" over them. The only bump in the road was when a nice elderly lady tried to talk to Mallory. She burst into tears!

Next, we were on to BRU to return two fleece sleep sacks I think are just going to be too hot right now. Again, the girls were a dream. They couldn't coo and smile enough for all the people they were flirting with! Once we were finished at BRU, we were in a mad dash to get home by the 1:30 feeding. By the time we were in the house and I had bottles in hand, it was 1:34. I'd say we did pretty well! I am quite proud of the girls, and I must add, I am pretty darn proud of myself, too!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Making Sense of it All

*long post*

The girls fared well at the doctor's office today. Here are the facts...

Anna Claire
weight 13 lbs. 3 oz. (25th percentile)
length 25 in. (50th percentile)
head circumference 15 3/4 in. (25th percentile)

weight 13 lbs. 8 oz. (25th percentile)
length 25 1/2 in. (50th-75th percentile)
head circumference 16 3/4 in. (50th percentile)

Both girls did great with their shots. I know it must have hurt terribly but they were real troopers crying for probably less than two minutes each.

I always take in my little notebook with all my questions neatly written, but it's hard to get all the answers down when I am usually holding one of the babies while Walter has the other and remember to ask follow-up questions, so I come out with answers written in chicken scratch! As thorough as I think my questions are, I always get home with even more questions than I started with. I end up sitting at my kitchen table like I am now trying to make sense out of my notes. So, here goes...

She wants us to keep feeding them 6 oz. every three hours BUT add a 10:30 bottle because we will stop concentrating their formula. Instead of five 6 ounce bottles they will get six 6 ounce bottles which actually all works out to the same number of calories per day: 720.

She didn't seem thrilled we had started rice cereal in the bedtime bottles on our own since our last appointment, but I'm not so upset about that. I knew the girls weren't ready to be spoon fed but needed more sustenance, and everybody else was doing it, so we did, too! ;) We're stopping that and will try spoon feeding the girls tonight - a tablespoon each. My twin books all say to feed from one bowl with one spoon, so I guess I'll mix up two tablespoons and see how it goes. This should be fun!

Here's something where I wish I had asked for more clarification. She suggested we feed them their cereal between the 7:30 PM bottle and 10:30 PM bottle. This is not sitting well with me. The girls have been sleeping through the night for months now (with a bump in the road here and there) with a bedtime between 7:30 and 8:00. I was already a little upset about waking them up for another feeding at 10:30, but the idea of keeping them awake between 7:30 and 10:30 to feed them cereal seems out of the question. Maybe we can feed them their cereal between their 4:30 and 7:30 bottles instead??

We're switching Anna Claire to Alimentum to help with her pooping issues. Hopefully she won't need her daily does of prune juice anymore. At least both girls will be on the same formula again, but WOW! is Alimentum expensive!

Once we get the cereal under control we can start introducing fruits and veggies. She said we could either mix them with the cereal when first introducing or alternate bites during feeding. By the time they are six months old, she wants them eating 2 cereal-with-fruit and/or veggie-meals a day.

She also suggested that once we get Anna Claire adjusted to her new formula we could try to start taking the girls off Prevacid. I would be fine with this. To be honest, we got off schedule a few weeks ago and forgot to give the girls their Prevacid and they both didn't seem to notice one bit - and neither did we! I think they may be ready to come off.

Our naps have yet to regulate. The girls almost always take three naps a day; sometimes they miss one, and the lengths vary anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. She didn't seem to think naps were a huge concern since I have such good nighttime sleepers and that, perhaps, this is why their napping is not more regular. She said to expect two short naps and one long nap a day, and as long as they were getting about 15-16 hours of sleep every 24 hours (and they are), they were doing fine.

I was worried about all the wiggling the girls do at night since we elevate the mattresses. She just suggested we keep the mattress flat. We'll try it and see how they do. They have always slept on an incline whether it was on the sleep positioners or in the swings, so I'm worried this will disrupt their sleep in the beginning.

Now that we have the heat on, she suggested we keep the nursery cooler rather than warmer even though the girls are nearing the end of the SIDS danger zone. I had heard on the news that to help prevent SIDS running a fan to keep the air circulating was a good idea, and she agreed.

She said the sleep sacks we've been using since it's been cooler were fine or we could try a pajama blanket. Again, this is one of those things I wrote down in a hurry but didn't ask about. What is a pajama blanket?

Since I'm worried about the girls sleeping on their tummies once they can roll over on their own, she suggested we start practicing with them rolling both from tummy to back and from back to tummy. Right now they can both roll from their backs onto their sides but pretty much get stuck there. All they do on their tummy is pretty much fuss!

Other Bits and Pieces
We have their first flu shot scheduled for December 12 since they must be 6 months old, and the second dose is set for January 13 which is also when they will go back for their 6 month shots even though they will be 7 months old by then - we're off by about a month! Why they cannot just give us the six month shots in December since we'll already be there, I do not understand.

She also said we could begin to see signs of early teething anytime now - increased drooling, wanting to put everything in their mouths...I'd say we were there.

Both girls are right on track with their motor and social skills. YAY!!

So, aside from the girl's having to have shots, I'd say the appointment went pretty well. I just hope we can all adjust to the changes in our feeding routine. I'll keep you posted on that. I'm sure to have some great pictures later tonight of the girls trying to eat from a spoon for the first time!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Shots for Mommy and Babies

All of my fertility injections were subcutaneous, so were my heparin injections - didn't hurt one bit. Today I had my flu shot which was intramuscular and it hurt - a lot. I can hardly lift my right arm it's so sore - and I'm glad I had the nurse give me the shot in my right arm. Though I am right handed, I carry and hold the babies with my left arm - imagine if that was the arm hurting now.

So, I am reminded how bad an intramuscular shot can hurt. And why is that really important right now? The girls get their four month shots tomorrow. I only had one shot today...I can't even think of the pain my poor babies will feel tomorrow. :(

Monday, October 20, 2008

Staying Warm

I ask you - does it get any cuter than this?
It was cold this morning and even though I park my car in the garage and turned on the heat before loading in the girls, it was quite chilly this morning. I was worried the girls would get cold in the two steps I had to take to get them from my parents' driveway into the house - a great excuse for them to wear their precious new winter hats!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bedtime Stories

It's bedtime, which also means it's story time. Here are Anna Claire and Mallory in their jammies ready for their favorite bedtime stories - Guess How Much I Love You and The Going to Bed Book. They love being read to, especially stories that rhyme and have rhythm. I hope they will love reading as much as I do and not take after Walter who doesn't read aything but the sports page!

I'm sure it won't be long before they are reading these books themselves!

One Year Ago Today...

It is nearly impossible for me to believe that a year has passed since we found out we were pregnant. One year ago today around 11:35 AM we got the call from our nurse Andrea that we had been waiting for so long.

I will never forget that phone call. We had gone down for my blood work that morning (no HPT's; I wanted to do this by the book!) and she told us she would call around 11:30 after the patients were gone for the day (it was a Friday and they only see patients for a half day). Knowing that helped me not be so nervous waiting for her call. Walter and I had both taken the day off from work so we could get the call together at home knowing that if it was good news, we would want to celebrate and if it were bad news, well... I'm glad we didn't have to think about that. I had the phone in my hand at 11:30 and, sure enough, about five minutes later the phone rang. It is a blessing I did not have to wait any longer. I am still so thankful she called when she said she would.

After making sure she had me on the phone, I can remember her words exactly: "Are you ready for some good news?" Complete relief was what I felt at that moment. I was happy, excited, overwhelmed, but what I remember most was thinking, "Thank the Lord!!" I do not know what we would have done if the news had not been good. Walter and I had yet to come to an agreement on Plan B. I remember everything else about the phone call, too - her actually saying, "You're pregnant," and telling me that she had also just given good news to another patient. She asked me if Walter was there with me or if I needed to call him. We set up the appointment for my ultrasound. Every little detail is still crystal clear. I even remember while I was crying on the phone with Andrea, Walter standing in front of me not knowing if I had gotten good news or bad news - poor guy!

I'm not sure I can ever explain the mixture of feelings that overtook me - relief, happiness, thankfulness, love - but there were certainly lots of tears! And one year later I am looking at my baby girls feeling so many of those same emotions and so thankful to have my beautiful, healthy, happy daughters.

Warm and Cozy

It got cold last night! When Mallory woke up screaming at 5AM (!!!) this morning her hands were so cold and later when I picked up Anna Claire, so were hers, so we have officially turned on the heater! After breakfast, we sang our morning songs and told stories under the covers of Mommy and Daddy's bed. Don't they look warm and cozy?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Reaching and Grabbing

Both Anna Claire and Mallory have been doing so great reaching for, grabbing, and bringing toys to their mouths. Look at how hard Mallory is trying to get her new favorite toy to her mouth. Both she and Anna Claire absolutely love this little bumble bee teether. The purple wing vibrates, and though they aren't teething (yet), they get the biggest smiles on their faces when they can feel the vibrations against their gums. I took precious video of Mallory's efforts, so as soon as I can learn to upload video, I'll have to post it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cough it Up

Mallory has been coughing today. At first I thought she was playing, that she had learned how to "fake cough," but she's been doing it on and off all day, even to the point that her little eyes get watery. She's asleep now and all is quiet, and she doesn't have a stuffy or runny nose or a fever. I hope she isn't getting sick.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sharing the Love

Yesterday I was so excited to find out I had received this award from Holly. Thanks so much, Holly! I love your blog, too! I am sending this little award right back atcha as well as to my following favorites...
Brandon, Nikole, Jamie, Tracy, Melissa and Nicloe.

The rules say to "share the love" with seven of your favorite blogs, so pass it on...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Like I Have Time...

I'm on Facebook now. Apparently it's the new thing in Summerville, so I just had to sign up. Want to be my friend? ;)

Showing Their Support

Bowden may be out, but the girls still love their tigers!

For papa...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Favorite Things

Four months into parenting twins, we've figured out there are several things we just can't live without. These may not be the "coolest" things, most come from BRU, Target,...but they are must-haves for us!! Just thought I'd share...

Sleeping (these items were a must for establishing our sleep routine)

  • Inclined to Sleep sleep positioners - Even though the girls don't use these anymore, they were a major part of our sleep routine and I'm convinced helped get the girls to sleep through the night. I also had peace of mind knowing the girls heads were elevated in case of spitting up. Now we just elevate the mattresses.
  • Homedics Sound Spa Lullaby - We use the "ocean" setting for white noise anytime the girls are napping or asleep for the night, but we do not use the projection. Both Granny and Grandmom have one, also.
  • Moms-on-Call swaddling blanket (or any flannel blanket at least 40x40 inches) - I read about Moms-on-Call on Holly's blog just as the girls were outgrowing their thermal blankets and I never liked the "straight-jacket style" swaddlers even though we tried them. We don't swaddle anymore, either, but they were the perfect blanket.


  • We love Dr. Brown's BPA-free bottles! We've used just about every Dr. Brown's product they make. I really think the system works - at least for us.
  • Rubbermaid Mixer Mate (small!) This is the perfect container for mixing formula! The measurements on the side are the closest to the water/formula ratio we mix (closer to any formula pitcher I've found, and I've looked at all of them). We have two since the girls are on different formulas. The don't leak no matter how hard you shake them and we sterilize them right along with the bottles. Both of them including lids, fit in our Dr. Brown's sterilizer. Ours have lime green lids!


  • Gerber Terry Burp Cloths - I know what you're thinking - burp cloths and bathing?? I don't use them as burp cloths. The are made of terry cloth and they're thin like the thin baby washcloths and they are about as long as Mallory and Anna Claire from chin to toe. I keep the cloths wet with the warm bath water and keep the girls covered during bathing so they don't get chilled.
  • Bathtub Sponge - Bathing wasn't going so well in the beginning; the girls weren't comfortable in the baby tub with the newborn sling or without it, we tried the bathtub sponge in our tub, but the girls did NOT like bathing flat on their backs. Bath time still wasn't as fun as I knew it could be. Finally, I put the sponge in the baby tub - just the kind of support and stability the girls needed to be able to sit up in the baby tub without slipping and sliding.



  • Biz - I use Dreft for everyday baby laundry, but Biz gets out the three p's best - poop, prune juice, and prevacid!


  • Anything Carters - You can't beat 'em for cuteness, comfort, cost, and quality.

And finally, we absolutey could not have made it without our bouncy seats (ours aren't quite that tacky, but they'e close) and swings! We have two of each - and no floor space in our living room.

What are some of your favorite things? I'm always looking for new baby products to try!

Saturday Morning Smiles

I feel so lucky to have two sweet girls who wake up every morning smiling at me! It makes my day to go into their nursery every morning to be greeted by their beautiful faces.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Little Piggies

The girls are both taking six ounces at each feeding now. Way to go, Anna Claire and Mallory!That's 30 ounces a day! They wake up starving each morning, and wouldn't you if you had gone to bed at 7:30PM not to wake up again until 7:00 AM!? For the 10:30 AM bottle, Anna Claire gets an additional ounce of prune juice, bless her heart, and sometimes she even finishes off all seven ounces! The 1:30 and 4:30 feedings are pretty routine, but for their bedtime feeding around 7:30, the girls get a special treat in their bottles - a tablespoon and a half of rice cereal. YUM! This took some adjusting...

The girls have been on different formulas since they were about four weeks old. Anna Claire drinks Isomil and Mallory drinks Alimentum. DOUBLE YUM! On top of that, we have been concentrating their formula for a few weeks now to increase their caloric intake which thickens it a bit. Anna Claire can still use the level one nipple, but Mallory needs a level two. Now that we have added rice cereal into the mix at bedtime, Anna Claire needs a level three nipple and Mallory actually uses a level four for that feeding! Thank goodness bottles are Walters "job." That's a lot to keep up with!

We go back to the doctor in two weeks and I just know she's going to tell me it's time to break out the spoons and bowls which will also mean high chairs and messy babies (and a messy mommy, no doubt) - something I want to postpone for as long as possible! But for now, my little piggies seem to have settled into their current feeding routine just fine. Until the next growth spurt...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Eight Cells

It is amazing to me when I remember that one year ago today Anna Claire and Mallory were two microscopic eight-cell embryos. On October 9, 2007, those tiny embryos were transferred on day 3 - something so complex and scientific, yet so simple at the same time. When I think about all the wishing and hoping and praying I was doing this time last year, I never could have imagined, no matter how hard I tried, the reality of the two beautiful babies we have now.

Here's a cute booty shot just for fun...
...and another of Mallory giving Anna Claire a kiss on the cheek.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Four Months Old

Friday, October 3, Anna Claire and Mallory were four months old. It is so hard to believe how quickly they are growing and changing. Our retrieval was exactly one year ago today, and now we have two beautiful daughters. It's amazing to look back on how far we've come. The girls are smiling and laughing, "talking," holding up their heads, sitting with support. They each have their own little personalities and have become so interactive. They love for us to sing to them and read them books. And they're becoming so ticklish! I've never had more fun!

Last Month Anna Claire was the smiley one; this month it's Mallory!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It's a First! *updated*

BOTH Anna Claire and Mallory took ALL three of their naps in their cribs today! Yay!! They also drank almost all 30 ounces of their concentrated formula including their bedtime bottle containing the usual rice cereal. Little piggies! What a great day for the girls. I'm a proud mommy!

four month pictures coming tomorrow - to tired to post anymore tonight

The girls have been sleeping through the night but with some slight protesting - waking up, fussing, then settling back to sleep. Last night they slept ALL night long without making a peep! Good day = good night!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

We Made It!

...And by we, I mean me. I made it through my first week back to work. This comment from Michelle really helped! The girls, of course, didn't seem phased at all by Mommy going back to work! They had a blast staying with Granny! Everything went so smoothly for everyone! I couldn't be more thankful.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sleeping Beauties

How sweet are they?

The girls were so tired after playing all day at Granny's they were asleep before we could get them in their cribs and get the nursery ready for bedtime, hence, the lights were still on, so I couldn't resist snapping these pictures of each. The flash didn't even phase them.

Yes, they are now in separate cribs - for about five nights now - and all seems well. We're still working on the 12 AM waking, but hopefully we are almost back to sleeping ALL the way through the night.