Thursday, June 26, 2008

Our Twins are Two Months Old Today!

Today the babies are two months old, and they had their two-month check up today. We started seeing a new doctor when the twins were born. Apparently, he is a very popular doctor; he's always booked at least six weeks in advance. He has been in practice for quite some time, I hear, and he is considered to have a more "natural" practice.

I expressed how I was a little apprehensive about toting all four littles with me (even with Delainey's help) to the doctor in a previous post. My sister-in-law called me and offered to watch Kynzie & Max which helped bunches. (Thank you!) Long story short: We went to the appointment Wednesday and found out it was really on Thursday, and since he is a really popular doctor, he was already double-booked on Wednesday. So, we had to go back today. My gracious sister-in-law just laughed at my silly situation, (in a sort of feel sorry for you kind of way, I think) and offered to watch the kids again today!

So, anyway, Dennis weighs 12 lbs, 11 oz and Daniel weighs 12 lbs. They both measure 23.25" in length. Everything else is fine. The Dr. said they don't worry about crossed eyes or lazy eyes until around 4 months, they don't really worry about navel hernias until around 4 years of age, and he didn't think Daniel's desire to be crooked all the time should be worrysome just yet.

Since I am exclusively breastfeeding at this point, I have been a little paranoid about making sure they are each receiving enough nourishment. I think today's appointment took that concern down one more level.

We skipped the shots today, so we all left mostly happy. It did seem that the Dr. broke Dennis' heart when he had to turn his little head away from Mommy. So there were some residual tears and cries there.

I tried to take some cute pictures of the babies last night, but it didn't go so well. Here is one of my favorites though... Daniel is smiling and Dennis is done.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Before and After the Hair Cut

I wish I had taken good 'before' pictures of Delainey's hair. She had her locks loped off last Friday night. I didn't go with her; Scott and Max went along to get their hairs cut as well. Scott called me when she was getting her hair cut, and I thought I was going to cry just hearing about it. I don't know whether I could have handled watching it. I know that is silly, and I didn't even know I felt that way until Scott called me.
Anyway, when I saw it I couldn't believe how much different she looked! She donated her hair to Locks of Love, and one of the ladies at the salon said there should be enough for two wigs from her hair. Wow! I don't know about that, but I do know she had a whole bunch of hair chopped!
Her haircut is so cute. And, it really looks great on her. It makes me think maybe I want a hairstyle like hers. But she begged me not to get mother-daughter 'do's, so I guess I'll wait at least till hers grows out a bit.
Here is the link to her Christmas photo. That is the best one I have of her long hair. She seems to always have it in a ponytail or something in all the other photos I have... so here is a pic of her with a ponytail at a recent family gathering.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday's Top Ten Twin Items of Interest

1) Dennis was ready to go to 3 hour feedings before Daniel which presented a little bit of a dining dilema unitl Daniel caught up a bit in the last day or two... it is easier on mom nursing every 3 hours instead of every 2
2) Tomorrow is their two-month check-up. It will be a bit of a logistical challenge because this doctor's patient rooms do not hold all of us at once...
3) They both are enjoying face-to-face interaction, which is fun
4) They are starting to have more awake time that isn't cry-time
5) Smiles are becoming much more common, which is so rewarding!
6) I have decided that I enjoy dressing them in matching outfits, especially since they are fraternal, and I can tell them apart.
7) Kynzie told me yesterday that she can't tell them apart when I dress them in matching outfits
8) Max calls them both "Dennis 'n' Daniel", I think
9) Scott thinks Daniel might be longer than Dennis now; I think he may have caught up weight-wise
10) Another twin mom told us that we would have to pad our schdeule with extra time for any trip we make to account for all the attention twins generate. We have found this to be true for the most part. Usually, it is fun and enjoyable talking to people about our experiences, and often, hearing from others about their twins.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wait till you hear this weekend update

Let's do a little bit of a weekend update here...

Friday - We received some difficult-to-hear news that had a happy ending. Scott called me Friday early evening and told me his father was in the hospital. He explained that his dad had been changing the oil under the family Suburban when the jack gave out. I even shudder now as I type it out. Fortunately, Dad-in-law was able to go back home a little while later, albeit with several staples and stitches and a great deal of pain.

Saturday - We took some time to clean up the big trash items we've been 'saving' in the garage. We are back to the decluttering, and I am back to trying to implement my favorite home-care system - The House That Cleans Itself. (My favorite part about this book is the idea that if you can't change the habits of the household inhabitants, then you should try to change the household to fit the habits of the inhabitants. What a domestic revolution!) Then, we were pleasantly surprised after dinner with a visit from Dad-in-law! Doing better, but still sore.

Sunday - Pastor Jim's sermon was good this morning, just as usual. I adjourned during the last part to the nursing mother's room. My mom came with me to help hold, burp, change one while I nursed, burped, changed the other... she spoils me! And I am thankful for it. Later, Kynzie suddenly developed a fever, aches, and chills during our visit with Scott's parents after church. After we were back at home and had Kynzie more or less settled, I went to visit my sister, Tacy, and their new baby, Micah. I forgot my camera.

Monday - I had to cancel my already rescheduled dentist appointment due to Kynzie's fever, although she is doing much better today. But God is giving me grace because that tooth isn't bothering me as much as it had been the last two weeks. This evening, Scott purchased a 32" plasma flat screen TV! I think I am going to run downstairs real quick to make sure it is really there (not just his dream I am in) one more time.

We have been so used to our 19" screen TV for years now. So when we sat down to have a look at the picture on this monstrous tellie, it was like we had a movie screen in our home. It certainly isn't the most spiritual of purchases I suppose, but it didn't go on credit! Whoo hooo!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Micah Trey is Here!

My sister and her husband had their baby boy on April 17th (I think)... three weeks early again. He weighed 6 lbs, 13 oz and measured 19 in. I haven't seen him yet, but I am planning a visit tomorrow. Hopefully, I won't forget the camera. Everything went well and I am sooo happy for the whole family!

Friday, June 20, 2008

One of Our Budding Artists

Kynzie has many gifts and talents... holding a writing utensil is not one of them just yet. But she loves to draw on her "arbie-doodle", and it seems to be great practice for her. One evening she came into the living room from playing quietly in her room. She was quite pleased with herself, and this is why:

And, just in case we couldn't be sure about what she'd drawn, she brought her 'model' out for us as well. This is a portrait of Strawberry Shortcake (or Strawberry Cortcake, as Kynzie calls her). You can see the likeness, right? The hat on her head?

The short story behind this is that when she was littler, Scott could entertain her for long stretches of time by drawing things on the Magna-doodle for her. She would pick various characters from her toy collection to bring to him for caricaturization. It was magical to her to watch Daddy replicate Woody or Cinderella with this drawing medium.

And now she has finally decided maybe she can do it too. That is what is super-sweet about it. She never would try it herself until now. I love watching our kids grow and learn new skills. It is a little bittersweet because it does go by so fast, but I wouldn't miss a moment like this for anything this world has to offer.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Losing Weight After Twins (Or "Does 'Twin Skin' Ever Go Away"

Is it possible? I am not sure. I am going to bear it all here folks... no, you aren't going to see any photos of my "twin skin". It's safe. I am going to tell you about my weight. Maybe I will feel more accountable if I tell the world all about it. Or at least maybe someone else out there will feel better if they see I am not doing so well...?

I weighed approximately 126 lbs before my latest pregnancy. I weighed 191 lbs the day before I gave birth to my sweet twins. The day they were born, I weighed myself after delivery - 161 lbs. That is awesome! Last Friday I had my 6 weeks (which was actually postponed to weeks), and I weighed in at 145 lbs, I think.

Now, my goal is to exercise and eat properly while still getting enough calories to continue exclusively nursing my twin boys at this time. Notice there is no weight loss goal in this statement. It happens slowly but surely for me. I just don't know how different it will be this time after twins. I gained the weight differently.

Oh, wait, I just thought of a weight loss goal - I want to be able to wear my wedding rings again. Yes, that would be nice. I really miss wearing them.

So I heard about this program Lose Your Mummy Tummy. Anybody heard of this? Better yet, anybody used it successfully? The 'Mummy' who told me about it couldn't say enough positive about it. I'm curious...

The problem has been that I haven't had an appetite, at least not for anything healthy. I crave sugar and lots of it. I want to eat ice cream, cake, cookies, candy, you name it. This is how I found out I can't eat chocolate because the twins don't do well after that.

But I think I am turning the corner. I think my appetite is coming back around with a little self-discipline and some prayer. I actually felt hungry this morning. I haven't felt hungry since I was pregnant.

And, we are getting back into the routine of going for walks. My sister-in-law is letting us borrow their double stroller so we can go on walks with all four little kiddos in a stroller.

They say twin-skin doesn't go away without, say, a tummy tuck. Since I am not even 2 months post-partum, I think I still hold on to naive hope.

What is 'twin-skin', you ask? Well, it kind of reminds one of a raisin, only maybe a little plumper. It can be viewed a couple of different ways. I like to see it this way: Battle scars of a battle fought well and something to be worn proudly. After all, I would do it all again, and looking at those two babies makes it all worth it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Twin Birth Plan - Sample for a natural hospital birth

(Formatting from Word didn't copy over to here.
Apparently, our birth plan was a little controversial among some of the hospital administration and staff, but God worked it out that all the nurses working with us loved, or at least liked, our birth plan! We had so many people tell us what a blessing it was to be at our birth.
Just as a side note, we did have this birth for these babies, and it was awesome! To God be glory and honor and praise! He is faithful and loving.
And, by the way, my husband, Scott wrote this birth plan originally! Yeah, Scott!
I know that to some, natural birth and hospital don't go together in the same sentence, but it will serve a purpose for some.)

Twin Birth Plan

Name: Scott & Tonya
Midwife or OB: Dr. Tami
Pediatrician: Dr. Douglas
Professional Labor Assistant: Amber
Birth Center or Hospital: Medical Center
Approximate Due Date: 05/08/2008

We are very excited for the birth of our twins. As a couple, we have been educating ourselves on the advantages and techniques of natural child birth. Our goal in doing this is to have a delivery outcome whereby the mother and children are healthy and able to begin their journey together immediately. As a pregnant mother, I (Tonya) have not taken this responsibility lightly. Not only have I read and taken instruction in natural childbirth, I have been preparing my body for what is rightly called “labor”. I have maintained a healthy and well balanced diet full of protein and other essential vitamins and minerals. I have done cardio exercises, as well as practicing various positions. I realize that in order to have a natural child birth, neither I nor my husband can be passive participants.

Our decision to have a natural child birth has led us to the practice of Tammy, D.O. and to Medical Center, a hospital with a good reputation for supporting natural childbirth. We understand that the birth of twins may have a higher risk of complications and again affirm our #1 desire is to have a healthy mother and healthy children. To help you understand our view of what natural childbirth means to us, we have listed below some procedures for mother and children that we believe can affect the outcome of our birth. Please note that in the event of an emergency, our choices may change.

Requests in the event of normal birth
1) To have my husband, Scott, present throughout the labor, birth, and the immediate postpartum period.
2) To have my birth attendant with me throughout the birth.
3) To allow my oldest daughter, Delainey, and my mother, Kathy, to witness the birth
4) To have no routine prep, including shaving and enema
5) To have limited vaginal exams, preferably at my request
6) To have lights dimmed, temperature warm, quiet voices and limited personnel
7) To have no sedatives, tranquilizers, pain medication, or anesthesia
8) To have no routine stimulants to start or speed up labor
9) To have no routine rupture of membranes
10) To have no routine IV; I realize there may be a need to secure an IV site due to a twin pregnancy
11) To have minimal electronic fetal monitoring
12) To bring and use during labor: music to play, olive oil to make compresses to relax perineum, other aids to relieve back pain, my own clothing, and other helps as needed.
13) To be free to walk around during labor – no routine confinement to bed and/or labor room
14) To have access to a birth ball and squatting bar
15) To have the option to modify delivery positions such as side, hands and knees, squatting, or whatever position feels best at the time.
16) To avoid a routine episiotomy
17) To delay cutting of the cords to allow the babies to obtain the maximum blood before cord stops pulsating
18) I would like to nurse each baby as soon as possible.
19) To try turning techniques, if needed, before birth of second baby
20) To allow adequate time for delivery of the placenta – no routine pitocin stimulant or manual removal
21) To have as early a discharge for the three of us as possible, barring complications, as I feel I will be able to rest better at home.
22) If the body temperature of either baby is of concern, the baby(ies) should be placed skin-to-skin with me and a warmed blanket will be spread over us. At no time will the babies be separated from me, or Scott, and placed in a warmer.
23) At no time should our babies be separated from us. All newborn care should be done in the same room with us.
24) We prefer that no eye drops or ointment be used in my babies' eyes.
25) Our babies should not be given any substance by mouth other than my breastmilk or colostrum. At no time should sterile water, glucose water, or formula of any kind be given. The babies will be allowed to nurse on demand, and no rubber nipples or pacifiers should be introduced.
26) We do not wish to have the babies’ blood glucose tested. If their blood sugar level is of concern, more frequent nursing will be encouraged, since maternal colostrum provides a healthier and more stable blood sugar level than processed glucose.
27) No soaps or disinfecting agents will be used to wash the babies, and vernix on their skin will be massaged into the skin rather than removed through washing. We will be responsible for the bathing of our babies.
28) Absolutely no procedure will be performed on our babies without our authorization, and either my husband or myself will be present for any procedure that is performed.
29) We do not wish to have the Vitamin K shot administered. There will be no circumcisions.
30) We do not wish for the PKU test, hearing test or infant immunizations to be administered in the hospital. It will be our responsibility to see that these tests are performed by a pediatrician at a later time.

We realize that this list is extensive, but please view it positively. This is Tonya’s 4th birth and we have become more informed with each succeeding child. We trust in the care that you can offer which is why we have chosen your hospital. We look forward to this experience and this partnership with the very special people on your staff. Thank you.

Monday, June 16, 2008

So, How DO You Nurse (as in Breastfeed) Twins?

You get one of these nursing pillows - EZ-2-Nurse Twin Nusring Pillow. I don't think I could nurse my twins at the same time without this pillow. And I don't know whether I could keep my sanity if I didn't nurse my twins at the same time, at least most of the time. So, this pillow is a sanity-saver for me.

I think there are other similar twin pillows out there, but this is the one I have and use day and night.

With a singleton at night, the baby is in the bed with me and can nurse, and I don't have to get up. But I couldn't figure out how to do that with two. I have read about women who did and even read a short tutorial but still couldn't figure it out.

Speaking of tutorials, I came by this pillow second-hand (it was generously given to me in exchange for my regular Boppy nursing pillow) and didn't get any of the paperwork that may have come with it. But I did find this online tutorial which was immensely helpful.

There is even an inflatable double nursing pillow that I think would be a good investment to take on the road with me.

I also found an online site that sells a pattern to make your own twin nursing pillow. I can't find the link, but when I do, I will add it here.

Then, there are nursing tops & dresses... but maybe that will be another post.

I also want to add this link for others expecting twins. There is some great advice on having twins in three parts. It is geared toward a big family with more children than I have, but I found it so helpful anyway!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

How do you keep your Daughter safe?

So, I got a Facebook account so I could check it out before I decided whether Delainey could get one or not. I just don't get it. What is the point? It seems like a bit of a waste of time to me. Can someone help me understand?

I can't let her go anywhere alone. Not because I don't trust her, but because I can't trust some other people. Last night we went to a mall to check out a store my husband heard about. While we were there, Delainey had to use the facilities, hmm, hmm, you know. So Scott explained how to get to the nearest one and off she went only to return in short order accompanied by a strange fellow.

Some guy had started to follow her, weaving to the other side of the walkway when she weaved, stopping to show interest in some store front suddenly, when she stopped. Delainey wisely and quickly found the first store with more than one person in it and hung a left inside.

She approached the two men behind the counter and announced that she believed she was being followed. One of the gents asked if she would like him to call security. She said no, but could he please walk her back to the store in which her parents were shopping... and he did. Thank you to that store employee and to everyone else who helps out in a situation like that!

This man asked Delainey to point out the perpetrator, and when she did, he said security had already been called on that guy for picking a fight that night.

Now, one might say she could just be paranoid... but I have actually watched this happen twice before in other stores. Once, in Price Chopper, I followed a man because I thought he was following Delainey (who was, once again, going to the bathroom). And she knew he was back there, because she would back-track and stop and go and all that stuff you would do to see whether someone was following you.

So, I watched for a bit, then I made myself more visible so she could see me and head back to me. He went to the front of the store and sat there.

It causes Delainey to feel quite shook up, and it takes me a minute or two to let the anger settle after these situations. Anger at these men who have no regard for anyone other than themselves. I don't understand how someone could be this way. I don't understand how a grown, and sometimes married, man can't keep his eyes off my young daughter's backside when she walks by. She doesn't wear "hey, look at me clothes." But then I try to remember to pray for them... at a safe distance, though.

Delainey is a beautiful girl. She is friendly and not afraid to interact with people. She doesn't walk with her head down or with the countenance of a victim. Does this sort of thing happen to all girls? Or is it just her? And, you know, so many times she has one or both of the little kids with her. Although, in both of the above instances she did not have any kids with her.

Maybe it is the part of town in which we live (and visit when we go the mall). I don't know. I just need to keep training my daughter to be cautious and wise. And continue to cover her in prayer. I thank God continually for allowing me to take care of His precious daughter. I want to do the job well.

Maybe it's time to get a cell phone...

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my Dad and to Scott's Dad and most of all to my husband. This man is a great father. I am blessed to have a man who desires to be so helpful with our children. He looks forward to building bonds with each of his children. He loves me, and he loves them.

He willingly is in charge of bath time. He willingly takes over most evenings after dinner so I can have as much of a break as a momma of twin infants can have. He enjoys feeding each baby as they become old enough to eat solid foods. And I bet you're wondering about diapers. Well, I will tell you that he changed more diapers than I did in the first two weeks of the twins lives.

He has never shied away from a dirty diaper. Although, I did tease him because before we had any babies he said he would only change dirty diapers if he had latex gloves to protect his hands. The gloves never happened, and he has always changed diapers.

To borrow some lyrics from a song I don't even know... what a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man (and mighty handsome, too, even holding Dumbo).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Forgotten Bug Party

I think I already 'blogged' about the Bug Party at the library to which I fogot to take the kids. Kynzie still sadly recalls the day we forgot to go the the Bug Party. Friday evening we went to my mom & dad's to celebrate Kynzie's birthday and give my sister a mini, family baby shower.

We had the bug theme going for Kynzie's part of the evening.

My mom had the kids search their large yard for various bugs and see who had the most at the end of the time allotted. Kynzie paired up with uncle Clayson, and they came out winners in the end. Kynzie kept saying she just couldn't believe she won the bug game on her birthday.

Kynzie had to try four times before she blew out her one (non-trick) candle. I didn't get real elaborate on the cake. Kynzie liked the grass from a previous cake I made, so we just decided bugs on grass would be perfect.

Kynzie put on her ladybug costume, and Max put on his bumblebee costume for the present part of the party.

Kynzie was so delighted with all of her gifts, but here she is after opening up her Baby Alive. She thanked Scott and I over and over for that doll. It was just what she wanted, she said. She didn't even seem to mind that we decided not to get the one that 'poops', thanks to a heads up from my sister-in-law, Kerry. Thanks, Kerry. (Kerry asked me if I really needed another messy diaper to change. Good point.)

She also received an Aquadoodle mat, a Play Wonder frog toss set, a doorway puppet theater, as well as a few other odds and ends. Not that the gifts were odd...

Below is the quilt Mom made for Clayson and Tacy's new baby. It is a spinoff of the Noah's Ark theme she made for their first son, Elijah. Mom also made Tacy's 'shower' cake. We all loved it! All the little plastic shower favor babies on it and sprinkles, too. It was so 'Mom"! Good job, Mom.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Update on the O's

I will try to keep updating the bog with more photos of the kids and the growing twins. Last Saturday, the babies were 6 weeks. I weighed the babies in their diapers. Dennis weighed 11.5 lbs and Daniel weighed 10.5 lbs. That is a full pound each since the previous Friday! I always hope they are getting enough to eat. Scott says they are.

We haven't been taking many photos lately. Our camera is wonderful because it was a free gift. But it isn't so wonderful because it runs out of batteries VERY quickly. It takes forever for the camera to take a photo, so, of course, you miss the photo you meant to get. Someday, I will have a better camera. I used to use 35mm SLR cameras, and in some ways, I miss those. But I love digital! With 5 kids, a better camera seems like a worthwhile investment, right?

Anyway, I sent some photos online to Wal-Mart to be printed. When I went in to pick them up, I had to sign a copyright release saying that I was the owner of one of the photos and that it was okay for Wal-Mart to print the photo. I told them I guess I should be flattered, but I was a little annoyed as well since I was pressed for time.

It was a photo I had taken right in our own living room. I did use my brother's super cool digital SLR camera, but it was way too dark to be from a studio.

I think the twins like the swing; so much so that I am considering purchasing a second swing.

Scott bought me a small deep freeze. I already bought a bunch of different meat on sale and started loading it up. Very exciting! He also bought an Equalizer Heating and A/C Register Booster for one of the living room vents. I have wanted one of these for awhile.

The little kids have spent lots of time outside. They love outside! Kynzie enjoys taking care of her garden. My mom bought her a couple tomato plants, pepper plants and a lemon basil plant for her own garden. She is in green thumb heaven. Here are pics of Kynz when she received her gardening equipment and then her plants, too.

Max loves his sports equipment, and they both thoroughly enjoy riding the various ride-on toys. There is Max's motorcycle (his is blue), the little red scooter, the red push-around buggy, the tricycle, and, the newest edition, Kynzie's new bicycle (I couldn't find that one online).

The babies are quickly growing out of their porta-crib, but Max is not out of his crib yet. He really likes his crib. He has never even tried to climb out of it. He has taken naps a couple of times in his big boy toddler bed, but he doesn't nap as long. And he is a little different than Kynzie; she knew to stay in bed till we came to get her. Him - not so much.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

So much wonder in a four-year-old

Kynzie turned four years old! We spent the evening at Chuck E Cheese. She was so excited. And as a last minute treat, Papa Dan and Grandma Pam and Aunt Kelsie met us there. We didn't tell Kynzie, so she was quite surprised. I forgot to take my camera. Not that it would have worked if I had remembered it anyway... but that is a different story for a different blog post.

Kynzie is so much fun to watch in situations like this. She is so genuinely happy, and she lights up with such delight at each new event. It is refreshing. I love to experience things through my daughter's eyes, and all her senses really. She expresses such wonder, and her curiosity takes her on great learning adventures.

Papa and Grandma gave her a super cool bicycle complete with training wheels and pink tassels on the handlebars after Chuck E Cheese. She still gets these huge eyes and matching grin when she asks if she can go ride her new bike. It is so cute!

Her most recent learning adventures have been about what happens to our pee pee when we flush it, why God made the trees for us (as opposed to the trees just being for birds to build nests), and the life cycle of a butterfly. Growing a garden is always on her mind. She asked me today why I haven't put anything in our garden to grow yet. She said "we (her and Delainey and Max) have been taking care of it for you," as though to say we are waiting on you to plant something.

The best is hearing her say "now we are going to be able to drink my pee pee" after she flushes the toilet every time now. And this is somehow exciting to her! Not the refreshment of drinking water necessarily, but the knowledge she has gained about the water treatment plant process.