Monday, June 30, 2014

First Swim Lesson

We had our very first parent/tot swim lesson on Saturday.  It was so much fun!  Ayden didn't take a very long morning nap before hand so we weren't too sure how he would do, but he did great!  Both of them did!

Hubby and I weren't really sure what to expect.  Neither one of us had ever been to the Aquatic Center before so we didn't know the layout.  We were prepared for him to take Ayden into the men's locker room and me take Rylee.  As it turns out, they have family dressing rooms that worked perfect and fit us all.  The family dressing rooms even have their own showers and toilets.  It will be so much easier when the babies can sit and stand though.  There was only a bench to put them on and we worried about them rolling off. One of us kept a hand on them the whole time.  It was a little challenging to get us all dried, changed, and dressed after the class, but we managed.  We didn't take their car seats in for them to sit in because we thought it would be too much to manage when we were all wet.  

Both Ayden and Rylee seemed to enjoy the water.  They didn't smile and giggle and have a heyday.  They just stayed relaxed and took it all in.  They never made a peep the entire time!  They just looked around and checked everything out.  Being in the water didn't phase them at all.

Once we got the babies loaded up in the car afterward, they fell asleep before we even made it out of the parking lot. Apparently, baby swim lessons are a lot of work!  They crashed and stayed asleep for the next 2 and a half hours!

We had so much fun and can't wait to go back again this next Saturday.  Hubby and I really enjoyed having an activity that we can do together as a family and something that's really good for the babies. 


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

6 Month Birthday!

How is it possible that the babies are half a year old already?  I know that is something that all parents seem to say, but really, time seems to just zip right on by.  It's a strange and very cool thing to watch your babies literally change and grow right before your eyes.  I am in awe of the process, of how they go from an embryo to a fetus to a baby in only 9 months.  And then they go from a newborn infant to this little tiny being with a personality that laughs and talks and cries.  Before we know it, our babies will be toddlers that turn into children to teenagers to adults!  Oh my!

I am so thankful everyday that God has blessed us with these two babies and we get to experience parenthood firsthand.  It's not always easy, but I wouldn't trade our new life for anything.  They were worth the wait.

I plan to write a separate post for each of the babies individually (hopefully soon!), so for now, I will simply share some pictures in honor of Ayden and Rylee's 6 month birthday, which was yesterday.

Mmmm....Rylee tastes pretty good!

My two cutie pies

Representing one of their Daddy's favorite TV shows!  Tony seriously wanted to name them Zack and Kelly.  I had to put my foot down for that one.

They love their puppy that talks and sings to them

Watching the Puppy

Rylee's trying to figure out what Ayden thinks is so funny

As usual, Ayden always has this big beautiful grin and Rylee gives her deadpan look to the camera!  lol

Happy 6 Month Birthday!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Why I Blog

I have written so many blog posts in my head lately.  I wish I had time to actually put them in print, but that just isn't happening right now.  However, this is one I absolutely want to make sure gets posted.

Why do I blog?

My blogging experience began by simply seeking information about the fertility process.  I really enjoyed reading success stories by others that had gone through the same thing.  Finally one day I thought "you know what?  I'd really like to be a part of this blogging community," and I started writing my story.  Then I started getting a few followers and with that, a few comments.  I started reading THEIR blogs.  Before you knew it, I had gained a whole new support system of friends.

I love the interaction.  I love that I truly have made friends.  I actually met fellow Oregonian and blogger Teresa at Where The *Bleep* is Our Stork in real life.  I'm Facebook friends with several others. While going through IF treatments, blogging was a great resource for learning from other's experiences.  Same thing about pregnancy, and now as a twin Momma.  It's not just the shared experiences though.  It's the support. It's the pats on the back saying, "Hey, you're doing a great job," and the hugs when times are tough.

The many comments I received on my last post is the perfect example of why I blog.  I cannot thank you enough for the words of encouragement, show of support, and positive feedback for some suggestions to try with the whole sleep thing.  Many of you delurked to introduce yourself, share your own story, and offer your support and encouragement.  It means so much to me!

I also received an email from Penny in Australia.  Her email brought tears to my eyes because of her support and her sharing her own parenting sleep experience with her two little ones.  I find it incredible when I think about things like my little blog from little ol' Independence, Oregon reaching as far as Australia.  It always boggles my mind that so many of you actually read my blatherings.

You all are amazing.  Even though I don't really "know" you, your friendship means the world to me.  Maybe someday I will actually be able to meet a few more of you in real life.

Thank you all SO very much!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Never Ending Sleep Saga...

Last week, I got a comment on my post regarding Rylee sleeping with me on the couch.  It said this:

"You got to stop taking Rylee out to the couch and snuggling with her to get her back to sleep. She will never learn to sleep alone. The longer you do this the harder it will be to undo. Let her figure out how to go back to sleep on her own. Trust me. Our parents certainly didn't snuggle with us every single night and we survived!!" 
I do realize this is not a great habit that we have gotten ourselves into.  However, I also know that every baby is different.  I know that first hand, considering we have twins!  I also know that there are a number of different sleep training philosophies, and I believe that not one of them is more correct than another because again, every baby is different.  Every PARENT is different also, in what they are able and/or willing to do.
Ayden typically goes to sleep pretty easily.  We put him on his belly, turn on his glow seahorse, and he is usually good to go.  If he fusses, I go in and pet his face, rub his back a little bit, and pat his butt until he calms down.  Then I leave and let him go to sleep from there.  If he fusses again (which is rare), I repeat the soothing techniques.  Occasionally we have a bad night like the one last week, but mostly he sleeps really good.  He does tend to slobber all over everything and sometimes we have to change his sheets if he spits up.  He is definitely a mover and a shaker, going from one end of his crib and sometimes back again, but that just seems to be his way of trying to get comfortable throughout the night and his naps.  As adults, we roll over and reposition.  He just happens to crawl his way across his crib!
With Rylee, she generally goes to bed okay.  We still swaddle her.  Sometimes she will fall asleep while getting her nighttime bottle.  We always hold her upright for awhile whether she is asleep or awake because of her reflux.  Then we put her in her crib, turning on the glow seahorse if she is awake.  Most of the time, she will go to sleep from there.  Sometimes she fusses and we pet her face to calm her down, which she used to love and worked like a charm, but she really doesn't like it so much anymore.  We really don't have much of a problem putting her to bed at all. After about 45 minutes, one time through a sleep cycle, she cries out but then will put herself back to sleep.

Both babies usually hit their wall around 6:30-7:00pm and are ready for bed. They are typically asleep by 7:15-7:30pm, sometimes sooner. Ayden will sleep anywhere from 10-12 hours straight through. Rylee usually lasts her 3 hours in the crib and then if I pick her up when she gets agitated, will sleep through the rest of the night as well. This was working for us and we were all getting sleep.

At least that was the way it WAS going with Rylee, and I was okay with it.  As much as I would like to sleep a full night in my own bed instead of on the couch, I didn't have a problem with our routine because I know it won't last forever.  I was also okay with the way things were going because she was at least going to sleep okay initially and usually went right back to sleep in her crib after her morning bottle.

At first I was able to brush off that comment because things were mostly working for us, but after a few days, I started getting resentful of our situation and having to get up and sleep on the couch with Rylee.  Instead of us all just going back to sleep, I laid on the couch being angry that she won't sleep the full night in her crib.

Then the last two nights happened.  Monday night she woke up around 10:00pm.  I had the brilliant idea of giving her another bottle and then put her back to sleep in her crib.  So that's what we did, and then Tony and I laid in bed and actually said "this is brilliant!  We should have thought of this sooner!"  It was brilliant.  That is until Rylee started crying not 10 minutes later.  In I went to try soothing her.  She wanted NONE of that.  I picked her up, trying to calm her down enough to put her back in her crib, all the while keeping an eye on Ayden and praying he wouldn't wake up.

Rylee wouldn't calm down.  Okaayyyyyyyyy, so I decided to give her another couple ounces of bottle.  Maybe she was still hungry.  When she was done with that, she just cried.  And cried.  And cried some more until she spit up. 

Then she cried some more.  I tried laying down with her, she cried.  I tried putting her in the Rock n' Play, she cried.  I put her on the floor, she cried.  I wasn't about to put her back in her crib and let her cry it out because you know what would happen then?  I would have TWO crying babies awake past midnight, because that's what time it was at that point.  She cried for 3 hours.

I finally got her calmed down enough and she fell asleep with me, on the couch at 12:45am.  Both babies were up at 5:20am ready for their morning bottle.  Of course they didn't want to nap at the same time yesterday either, which would have allowed me to have a nap also.  I was exhausted. 

Then last night happened.  She woke up at 9:30pm.  I thought she smelled poopy, so I had to unswaddle her and check her diaper.  Nope, she just had smelly gas.  Now she was wide awake though, so again, we gave her another bottle with the intention of putting her back down again in her crib.  She's always been able to just go to sleep at least initially in her crib.  It was just staying asleep that was the challenge.  Again, Rylee wanted nothing to do with that brilliant plan.  We let her fuss and cry for awhile.  I soothed her until she was quiet and then left.  Within a very short time, she was crying again and Ayden was starting to wake up.  I scooped her up and took her back out to the living room.  I held her on the coach, not laying down, until she fell asleep so I could put her back in the crib.  She woke up as soon as I laid her down.  Dammit!  I let her cry a little longer, but again she started waking up her brother.  Sigh.  I picked her up and out to the couch we went where we all got sleep for the rest of the night.

This morning I put Rylee back in her crib for morning nap.  She cried of course.  As of last week she didn't usually cry, but now she does.  I let her cry it out while I fed Ayden.  She did fall asleep, but you know what happened as soon as I put Ayden down for his morning nap?  She woke up and cried.  So then both of them were awake.  I let her cry, which eventually led to Ayden crying.  20 minutes later they both finally fell asleep.  It lasted all of a few minutes before Rylee was crying AGAIN! 

I feel jinxed.  We had a pretty good routine going that worked for all of us, but now we don't.  I can only assume that the person that made that comment above doesn't have twins.  I would do things differently if I only had one baby, but I don't.  We aren't set up to put them in separate rooms, so I can't do that either.  I don't really WANT to do that anyway, but we might be forced to put them in separate rooms sooner rather than later.  Right now, I am just super frustrated.  I am mostly frustrated because I felt like I was doing a pretty good job, but now I feel like a failure.  I wasn't worried about sleeping on the couch with Rylee because she at least went to sleep in the her crib so good otherwise.  She's just such a restless sleeper.  Even with me, she gets very agitated in her sleep sometimes.  Now she's not even GOING to sleep very well.

*To Person That Made That Comment, I realized this isn't your fault, but my irrational mind feels very jinxed and judged.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Night Time Shenanigans

I realize I'm pretty lucky that my babies sleep through the night several times per week.  Their record so far is 3 nights in a row of 11-12 hours.  When they do wake up for a feeding, it is usually not until sometime between 4:00-5:00am.

I'm not including Rylee fussing until I pick her up and sleep with her on the couch.  If she goes right back to sleep, I count that as sleeping through the night, even if it is partly in her crib and partly with me.  I will admit I am pretty tired of sleeping on the couch though.  My back is starting to kill me.  I can't wait for the day that I can sleep through a night in my own bed.  Seriously.  It's been over a year now.  Sigh....

Last night was a different story though.  I had to get Rylee a little earlier than normal at 10:00pm.  I think she's been having trouble sleeping because she is so congested.  Ayden woke up at 11:55pm, which means I had to put Rylee down in order to go get him.  And of course that wakes HER up.  I think Ayden woke up last night because he was also full of snot.

I cleaned him up and sucked his boogers, changed his diapers, gave him a bottle and put him back to bed.  Then I did the same for Rylee.  I like to feed them separately at night if I can, because they USUALLY go back to sleep easier that way.  Not.  This.  Time.  I actually think Rylee would have gone to sleep pretty easily, but Ayden was not having any of it.  He whined, he cried, and he snotted all over his bed.  I tried to soothe him.  I tried to let him fuss himself to sleep, but when he hit the sobbing stage, I went in to get him.  Then I decided his crib sheet needed to be changed because it was flat out soaked.  I couldn't let him lay his head down on the cold, wet sheets when he already had a cold.  So I put him on the changing table and buckled him in, with Rylee looking on as I changed his sheet.  Since Ayden was already on the changing table, he decided to go ahead and take a grumpy while he was there.  So I then changed his poopy diaper.  Sigh.

I knew he wasn't going back to sleep any time soon, so I took him back out to the living room and tried snuggling with him out there.  He wasn't into snuggling, so I eventually just made him another bottle.  Rylee went to sleep within seconds once her room was nice and quiet.  Ayden finally fell asleep while finishing his bottle and I was able to lay him back down in his crib.

Two and a half hours later... I need to repeat that.  TWO AND A HALF FRUSTRATING HOURS LATER, finally, at 2:20am he went back to sleep.

I crawled back into bed.  Ahhhhh......  My own bed, my own mattress, my own blankets, with my nice warm husband snoring beside me.  I thought for sure I'd get a few hours in before Rylee stirred again.

Nope.  At 2:30am she started fussing and crying out in her sleep.  If I don't pick her up when this happens, she eventually just wakes up and it's end of story.  She won't go back to sleep.  Back to the couch we went.  Sigh.  Lots of sighs and bad words last night.  Doh!

I thought for sure they would sleep in this morning after being up so long last night.  Wrong again!  Ayden woke up at 6:20am.  Arggggg!!!!  Hubby got him up and changed his diaper, but he had to get ready for work so the rest was on me.  Of course, that meant Rylee then woke up because I had to set her down.

Oh.  My.  Garsh.  I just wanted to sleep.  I just want to sleep now!  I want to cuddle up in my bed under the warm blankets and stay there all day.  Not gonna happen of course.  However, they both happen to be napping right now, so maybe I can sneak in a few minutes....

*Just in case you think badly of Tony for not helping, he has an hour and a half commute to work and back everyday.  He's working to support our family.  In order for him to make that awful commute and earn a living, I do all the night time stuff.  He does most of the bedtime feedings and puts the babies to bed.  He gives me breaks on the weekends.  He most definitely does his part in the Daddy department!

UPDATE:  Not even two minutes after hitting the publish button for this post, the babies are both awake.  Sigh.  Deep breath....  I can make it!