Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Getting ready for the Super Bowl in Indy!

As a family, Henry, Holden, Alex and I decided we didn't want to spend the thousands of dollars it would cost to go to the Super Bowl this year. But that doesn't mean we aren't excited about it! Henry and Holden decided to show their spirit by getting dressed in their football finest. (Football shirts courtesy of cousin Jenni, and football socks courtesy of Grandma Amerman!)

 I think Holden decided not to smile in response to the Colts' dismal performance this year. (Or maybe he's sad about Peyton's injury?) Henry decided chewing on a football was kinda fun, and that whatever Grandma was doing in the background to get his attention was worth a smile. :) It's sad how many pictures I take to get a good one; these are the best of the bunch!

My friend Christie wanted to go downtown and check all the Super Bowl activities out, so I'm glad I got to go with her! I mean, how often will we have a Super Bowl in our city? (Maybe more often now, since everyone seemed pretty excited with all the festivities. We can hope!) And, it's pretty amazing that the weather was close to 60 degrees in early February. (I should know, last year I had a snow day on my birthday! What a difference a year makes!) These pictures were taken on her iphone and put in a collage. Pretty awesome!

Anyway, we did a LOT of walking. We saw the zipline over Georgia Street, which looked so fun. I wish they'd leave it up so more locals could get down there and do it! (The line was so, so long, and I think you had to get tickets in advance.) We didn't do the Super Bowl Experience, because it cost too much and would have been a long wait. We got to see some of the decorated Indy Cars with the Giants and Patriots logos on them. Then we walked through the Super Bowl Village area (mostly a lot of snack/beer tents). There weren't any performances going on since we were there in early afternoon, but they have a lot of different live acts scheduled. We saw where they were taping ESPN shows in Pan Am Plaza. I wish we could have stayed to see SportsNation! (And I really want to go back downtown on Friday because they're taping the Today Show there! I'm considering it...I'd have to pay to park and get there REALLY early. So probably not going to work out.) Then we walked over to the circle to see the XLVI letters and get some pictures there. That's where we saw the little trio of violinists in the bottom picture! How cute! Then we walked back to The Huddle, (the spot where Norstrom's used to be in the mall) where they had the souveniers. We couldn't help but get some "official" Super Bowl onesies for our babies, even at the "official" price. Pictures to come of the kids in the onesies! Then we treked over to the stadium to get a few last pictures, and finally headed back to the car where we got to sit in traffic for a while. I'm glad we got to go in the afternoon, since I'm guessing it was only going to get way more crowded as more people headed there after work! I was a little sad I couldn't take the boys, but it would have been too crazy. We did see lots and lots of babies being carried in carriers or in strollers or just walking...but it would make me way too nervous with so many people around. Although it's exciting to think about taking them to activities like this in the future! So even though they won't remember it this year, we'll have the pictures to document it. :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Musings on Sleep

I think a lot about sleep. I like sleep a lot, actually. It all started back when I was pregnant...I slept as much as I could. Naps when I got home from work, staying in bed all day on weekends when I didn't feel good. Then came the lack of started as soon as the boys were born. The boys were born at 10 and 10:30 pm, and by the time Alex and I were back in our room for the night, it was probably 1:30 or 2 am. The nurses have to check on you every hour or so, so forget a good rest there. After that, I was supposed to pump or go feed the boys as often as I could. When they stayed in the hospital, we tried to make it to the 9 pm feeding and then be back again for the 6 am feeding. We tried to enjoy those last few hours of uninterrupted sleep!

When the boys came home, as can be expected, they needed to eat every 3 hours. So I'd be up feeding them on the couch multiple times in the night. They first started sleeping in our room, in the little bassinets my mom got them. After they started spitting up, they started sleeping in their carseats to help keep them inclined. I moved them out to the living room, since I fed them on the couch anyway, and having two babies in our room kept me up even more! To help them get to sleep a little easier at night, we started swaddling them in the swaddle sacks. The round the clock feedings lasted for the first month or two. Alex did his best to help me when he could, but he needed to get some sleep once he went back to work.

We finally moved the boys into one of the cribs, still in the carseats, still swaddled. They loved looking at the mobile, and I started nursing them one at a time in our chair in the nursery. The boys started sleeping longer stretches at night, four or five hours between feedings. Henry especially was still spitting up, so I wondered if we'd ever get out of the carseats! After Christmas, when we had a few days Alex would be home, I finally decided they needed to stop sleeping in the carseats. We still kept them in the same crib, and they were still swaddled at night. At this point, we were getting even longer stretches, sometimes 6 hours, so I hated to mess with some decent sleep! They didn't enjoy sleeping flat at first, but they got used to it in a few days. So, all in all, I wasn't complaining! I was getting a 5 hour stretch of sleep most nights. I didn't really expect them to sleep through, since I think they still need the extra calories from the night feeding. And honestly, I don't mind that one feeding in the middle of the night. They're quiet and cuddly, and I get to hold them for a few minutes as they go back to sleep on me.

Once they were flat in the cribs, they started wiggling around. This became the fun part of going in to see them in the middle of the night or in the morning. We'd lay them down next to each other, then they'd wiggle to some crazy position! It was always cute when they scrunched up next to each other, and then sometimes we'd wonder how they flipped completely around while still in the swaddles! Or they'd break their arms out from the swaddles and be banging into each other as they woke up.

But then things changed again...After the four month shots, the boys seemed extra fussy. They started getting up more frequently instead of less! It was always frustrating for me to go to bed around 10 and not know when I'd have to wake up; it could be 12:00 am or 1:00 am, or sometimes (rarely) they'd sleep until 5:00 am! One night Holden ate at 12:00, Henry ate around 1:00, and they both ate again before 5:00 am! I thought I was going crazy. I started worrying again, wondering if I'd have to start sleep training or start a day time schedule. Or maybe it was just a growth spurt? Either way, it was a difficult few weeks! So last night we tried something different. We finally put Holden in his own crib, and we used the sleep sacks instead of the swaddles. That meant they had their arms free, since Henry is starting to comfort himself by sucking his thumb. And they actually slept until 3:30 again, and after that feeding they slept until after 8 am! I have no idea if the changes we made are related to them sleeping longer, or if they just had a bad week and are back to normal. But I think they're big enough that the separate cribs are here to stay. That way they have all the room to wiggle they want without waking each other! (And we have two mobiles, so no one is deprived of their nature sounds and projector.) I still need to snap a picture of our new arrangements.

So in conclusion, I'm sure I'll be writing and worrying about sleep again in the future. Perhaps the very near future! I'm sure the transition to beds will be an interesting one, since they have a playmate to chat with every night. But hopefully, for now, we're all getting (some) of the sleep we need to function. (Oh, and don't get me started on the day time nap schedule...we're not even close to figuring that one out yet!) I'll end with a quote from a Barenaked Ladies song. It seemed appropriate.

"Who needs sleep, well, you're never going to get it.
Who needs sleep, tell me what's that for.
Who needs sleep, be happy with what you're getting,
There's a guy who's been awake since the Second World War..."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Picture post

Here are some of my favorites from the past month or so that I haven't put up on the blog. Enjoy! :)
What a frowny face, Henry!

Holden the Christmas present

Henry the baby bulldog fan

Wearing some cute Christmas outfits (which they wore once because they shrunk. Don't buy the Babies R Us brand!)

Caught daddy and Henry sleeping
CUTE outfits.



Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ups and downs

Motherhood (and life in general, obviously) has its ups and I was able to see Friday and Saturday. I just have to remember next time I have a bad day that a good one is probably on the way!

Friday was a rough day. The boys were still cranky from getting four month shots. They've been fussy if I put them down, and it's hard to hold both of them and get anything else done! I was trying to get going in the morning after they'd woken all night (Henry at 2 am, Holden at 4 am, Henry at 6 am, Holden up at 8 am...) Alex was sweet enough to clean off my car because he knew I wanted to make it to my support group. I managed to get them both down, Henry in the swing, and Holden in our new jumperoo. I took a quick shower and came back to find that Holden had a poopsplosion...ALL over himself and his clothes. And as I'm trying to clean him up and scrub/spray his clothes (that of course have been worn one time and then pooped on), Henry is starting to fuss. I feed him for a few minutes and scramble around, trying to get all our stuff ready to leave and dry my hair and get them in the carseats and warm up the car. Of course, Henry is screaming from the carseat and I'm still racing around. I thought several times about giving up and staying home, but I do always feel better when I get out of the house and see people! I did make it to group, although I hadn't eaten and had left without a coat for me. (The boys were well bundled and wearing their cute animal hats! Need to get a picture of those.) My dad came over after group to hold Henry so I could eat lunch, and then after he left, Henry started fussing again. I saw then that HE had had a poopsplosion as well. Sigh. So after cleaning him up (and scrubbing another outfit in the sink), I decide he needs a bath. As I'm carrying him in the bathroom and about to put him in the tub, I realize he's peed on me as well!!! Let's just say this was a day I was counting the hours till daddy got home. :) I changed back in to my pajamas and watched the Ellen show with Holden, and after Alex got home, I took a nap!

Saturday was an awesome day! Alex fed the boys at 6:30 am for me, and I was able to stay in bed until 9. They still weren't up, so I was able to get up at a leisurely pace and even eat some oatmeal. Evan, Lauren and Phalo came over to hang out with and hold the boys, so Alex was able to get some things done around the house, and I was able to go shopping! I felt very productive, returning some things to Babies R Us, unexpectedly seeing some friends there with their adorable new baby, returning some things and buying some cute new shirts at Gymboree, and making a quick stop at the library. I got home and hung out with the boys for a bit until my parents arrived to babysit. Right before we left for dinner, I was rewarded with the cutest thing EVER, my dad making Holden laugh! Technology is so amazing...I was able to grab my mom's iphone and get a video. It's so special we get to remember that and share it with everyone! Then Alex and I got to catch up with four of our friends and have dinner at Texas Roadhouse. We got home, I fed the boys, and they went to bed. As I was talking with my friend Laura, I thought I heard the boys...and I thought I heard laughing!! As we walked in the nursery, Henry was laughing, either at his brother or the mobile. Again, SO CUTE! I guess they were just in really good moods yesterday. :) What a great Saturday!

So here's your reward for reading all the way to the end: Here's the video of Holden! Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Four months...and shots

Another month gone by...hard to believe! The boys are getting to be so much fun! Not that we didn't like them before, but it's pretty great to have them smile up at you when you pick them up. We've had some changes and some challenges in the past month. We finally ditched the carseats in the cribs after Christmas, so they're sleeping just in their swaddles. They had a rough few days adjusting to sleeping flat, and it's still tough sometimes because Henry does still spit up. I was gone for four days at my friend's wedding, and I think the combination of me being gone and them still being sick and stuffy messed with our sleep/eat schedule. We're slowly getting back on track. They go down between 8:30 and 9 pm and can sleep until anywhere between 1:30 and 5:30 am, usually closer to 3:30, when they wake up to eat. The boys are in size 2 diapers now, and 3-6 month clothes. Still no major milestones, like rolling over or grabbing at toys, but they are definitely more social. They smile, laugh and "talk" to people holding them and track any movement around them. (I think they're starting to notice Lanore, since she likes to go sniff them, but I'm sure they have no idea what to make of her yet!) 

Our doctor visit was not a fun one. I was hoping the boys would be over 13 pounds, but Holden was 12.13 and Henry was 12.8. Holden is 24 inches long, and Henry 23 1/4 inches. So that puts Holden in the 5 percentile and Henry only in the 3rd. Kind of a bummer, but I've heard that growth can taper off around this time, and I have to remember they were small at birth. And I think we're making that back up now that they're healthier again. I had been dreading the shots, even though our doctor said they were the same as the two month shots. The boys never had a fever, so I never gave them any Tylenol, but they have been so fussy ever since. I wish I had given them something, because I'm guessing their legs hurt from the shots. I guess it could also be a combination of them being more aware of what's going on around them and that they're just bored of sitting around. I can tell they want to sit up or stand on our laps, but they're still too small to play in their exersaucer or jumperoo. This is a picture Alex took of Holden when he fell asleep on my lap while we were waiting before their shots. I thought it was a cute one, I love that he's holding my hand. :) We also found out the boys have eczema, and the doctor prescribed a steroid cream to use. I'm not crazy about it, but I hate that they're constantly scratching their heads or rubbing their heads on us. We try not to give them too many baths or anything that can irritate their skin. Hopefully they'll outgrow it!

And here are the four month shots! Pretty soon they'll be trying to get away from me when we do these. For now, it's fun that they can almost sit up on their own!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

First playdate

I'm so lucky to have a great breastfeeding support group that meets at the hospital really close to us. Through this group that meets on Fridays, I've met a lot of great moms! They've already been a huge source of support, which is something I need a lot of at times! (Ok, fine, all the time.) It's great to have people to talk about your worries with...and it helps me see that we're all going through the same stuff and we all worry about the same issues! We talk a ton about sleep...imagine that, sleep deprived new moms! Anyway, I'm excited for me to have some new friends that I'll hopefully get to know better, and I love that Henry and Holden will have some friends to grow up and play with that are so close in age. The boys seemed to really like going to group on Friday, and just see and hear different people and babies. (Like girls! Since they're probably tired of staring at each other. :)

A few of us decided to meet outside of group, and we had a really nice time. I think we all agreed how good it is to get out of the house for a while. And yes, I realize that the "playdate" is more for the mommies than the babies, but that'll change over time! I snapped a few pictures, one of all the boys (don't know why we didn't get a girl picture!) and one of Holden passed out on the recliner. Apparently it was too much fun! So if our group sticks together for a while, it'll be fun to look back on their first playdate and see how big they've all grown!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year, Henry and Holden!

Dear Henry and Holden,

Not so sure about the new year...
I know you probably don't care much that it's New Year's Eve. You were both asleep by midnight, and probably wondering why I took some pictures of you before you fell asleep. Mommy is having a hard time realizing that the year you were born is over! 2011 will always be a special year for her. It had some tough moments, especially when your great-grandma died in January, and when mommy decided not to go back to work to stay home with you for a year. But for the most part, 2011 was spent getting ready for you two, and getting to know you once you were born! Mommy and daddy found out they were pregnant with you way back in February, and lots of people were so excited you were on the way! The three baby showers thrown for mommy show you were both very loved before you were born. And you arrived in September, and we've spent the last part of 2011 getting to watch you both grow. It's hard to imagine this year is over, but it will be one we always remember. Every time we say your birth date, 9/18/11, we'll think back to this year. And who knows what awesome things you will do in 2012? When this year is over, you'll both be walking, and starting to talk. A few years after that, and you'll be entering school. And looking way ahead, in 2030, you'll be 18 and graduating from high school! So I need to enjoy holding and cuddling you now, before you're both running in different directions. I just wanted to write and say how lucky we are you joined our family in 2011. You are both so sweet and loving, not to mention cute! Your mommy and family can't wait to see what you do in the future. Happy New Year, sweet face boys! Love you.