Monday, March 23, 2015

15 Months

Rylee and Ayden are a year and a quarter old today!  It's so cliche to say this, but they are growing so quickly!  They are actually like real little people now.  We have toddlers!  I haven't done monthly pictures or a post since their birthday, so I thought it was time for an update.

Taking pictures of them together is virtually impossible anymore.  Well, I can get pictures.  They typically are just very blurry because I cannot get them BOTH to sit still together for more than a few seconds at a time.  I have to have my phone set to camera and ready to take pictures quick, or they are long gone.  Today, I tried sitting them on the couch together in my attempt to keep them still for a moment.  That didn't work.  I then tried laying them down on the floor together.  That KIND of worked, as long as I played with them a bit by throwing the blanket over their head and playing peek-a-boo long enough for me to put my camera in position to snap a photo.  Imagine this: trying to hold Rylee still on the floor while laying her brother down next to her, then having to hold them both still long enough to quickly pick up my phone before either one of them gets to it first, and take a picture before either of them move.  Impossible.

Truthfully, I do not have the patience to keep trying after a few failed attempts of getting them to be still so I usually give up.  I do think I got a few decent ones today though.  Nothing professional mind you, but at least a few of them aren't blurry!  haha!

Comparison to exactly a year ago

This is what pictures usually look like when I try to get one with both of them together!

But I did manage to capture these:

Trying to get my phone

"Gimme that phone!"

"Never mind!  I'll just pick Rylee's nose instead."

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Daddy Reflections

Tony and I spend a lot of time in awe of the fact that we are actually parents.  It's so amazing to experience watching Ayden and Rylee grow right before our eyes, and seeing them as they learn new things every single day.  We think back to their beginning, which really wasn't that long ago but feels like a lifetime ago, and are astounded at how far they have come.

We were talking the other night about how when they were first born and in the NICU, it was hard to imagine being where we are today.  We are constantly baffled and thrilled when they learn something new, amazed at how far they have come.  Tony's experience when they were born was different than mine. He was the one that was actually with them that first night.  He watched as Ayden struggled to breathe at first and needed a c-pap.  I never actually saw my son with the c-pap on.  I've only seen pictures.  We are fortunate that he only needed it for 4 hours, but during that time, Tony was the most scared he'd ever been in his entire life.  Tony was the one that watched as the babies had IV's and feeding tubes put in, and as they were hooked up to all the wires that attached to monitors that let the doctor's and nurses know if the babies were breathing and their heart was still beating.

Tony was the one that was able to calm Ayden when he was uncomfortable and upset that night, simply by laying a hand on his back.  Tony's finger was the one that Rylee wrapped her little hand around.  He is the one that did kangaroo care with them first.

Ayden and an emotional Daddy


Kangaroo Care with Rylee

I am so proud of everything that Tony did for our babies that first night when I couldn't.  While we were talking about that night almost 15 months ago, Tony admitted to me that he was so scared that night, that he actually prayed that we would get to take at least one of the babies home.  They were so small and fragile, and needing extra attention to survive in the outside world.  He was afraid that they wouldn't make it.  Whenever he thinks about it today, he gets tears in his eyes.

Fortunately for us, for being 7 week preemies, they were actually good sizes and pretty healthy.  We had a relatively short NICU stay of only 19 days.  It was the longest 19 days of our life, while our babies learned to keep their body temperature up and how to suck, swallow, and breathe all at the same time so they could eat.

After waiting 14+ years to have our babies, and then being on hospital bedrest for a week and developing preeclampsia, then having babies in the NICU, it's pretty surreal to see how big and strong and healthy our babies are today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

It's nearly impossible to get a good picture of Ayden and Rylee together anymore.  Let's face it, it's also challenging to get a good one of them by themselves at times!  I did manage to capture a few yesterday, in honor of St. Patrick's Day....

I caught the babies laying around in random spots throughout the day yesterday.  I guess their sleepless night before forced them to take breaks from playing every once in awhile!  I'm glad I'm not the only one that felt like lounging around!  haha!

Kicked back and relaxed!

Doesn't the kitchen floor look comfy?

I guess laying on toys doesn't hurt if you are a baby...

Ayden thought his sister would make a good resting spot

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Never Ending Sleep Saga Continues

I swear the babies have a built in sensor that lets them know when I curl up in bed for the night.  It never fails that within 5 minutes one or the other of them wakes up crying.  Okay, to be fair it's not ALL the time, but it sure does feel like it lately.

Ayden used to sleep through the night.  What happened to my sleeper?  Now he's waking up a few times/week.  Some might say that isn't so bad and I would tend to agree, if he would go BACK to sleep.  However, he cries incessantly if you put him down and he won't go to sleep if you are holding him.  It's a lose lose situation, especially if he wakes up his sister, which is usually the case.

Rylee on the other hand, has always been a bad sleeper.  We had gotten to the point that she was sleeping in her crib until somewhere between 3-5:00am until I had to go get her, but lately its been more like 10:00 or 11:00pm.  Before we moved, I was usually able to put her back down in the pack n play in the spare room.  That hasn't been working here.  I usually end up just sleeping with her in the twin bed, which I do have to say is at least soooo much nicer than sleeping on the couch like we used to do.

Last night, both babies woke up crying at 10:40pm.  I had just curled up for the night.  Sigh.  I went in and got Rylee and Tony got Ayden.  Since it was so early still, I figured I'd just hold Rylee and lay her back down in her crib until they both went back to sleep.  Tony got Ayden back to sleep and Rylee was conked out in my arms.

This is where I messed up....

I put Rylee back down in her crib.  Guess what?  She started crying and woke Ayden back up.  Frustrating!  I crawled back into bed and waited to see if they would go back to sleep.  After 10 minutes of screaming, I went in to get Rylee, held her for a few minutes, and then put her down in the pack n play with instructions for Tony to go get her if she was still crying after 15-20 minutes.  Then I worked to comfort Ayden and get him settled back down.  Of course Rylee kept crying, so eventually Tony went in and held her for awhile before putting her back down.  Then he went to bed.  I waited so that hopefully she would be good and asleep before I put Ayden down.  Nope, as soon as I laid him down, he started crying and then so did she.  Of course.

I got her and crawled in the twin bed, wishful that Ayden would be exhausted and eventually go to sleep.  Rylee went right to sleep.  Ayden did not.

Finally, after 20 minutes, I decided I'd better go in and settle him down.  However, I'm not comfortable leaving Rylee sleeping in the bed by herself.  I'm afraid she'll wake up and fall out of the bed.  I tried to gently move her to the pack n play.  She started crying of course.  I hoped she would go to sleep after a few minutes.  I took Ayden out to the living room and held him for awhile.  Of course, as I mentioned earlier, he doesn't go to sleep like this, but he is at least content and not crying his little heart out.  My hope is always that he will at least eventually go to sleep.  But.... Rylee kept crying.  And crying.  And crying.  For 30 minutes!

I finally tried to put Ayden back down, but he wanted nothing to do with that.  Again, I hoped he would cry for a few minutes and go to sleep.

We repeated this drama for 3 hours.  THREE hours!  And of course my husband was clueless and sleeping away.  I could be bitter about that (okay, let's be honest.  I AM a little bitter about that!), but I also knew he had to get up and work the next day.  Besides that, I also knew that it would not make a bit of difference if he were to be up and helping.  The babies are perfectly fine until you put them back down.  Then they cry and wake the other one up, regardless of where we are in the house.  So, it wouldn't have helped the situation if he were up too.  That would only result in us BOTH being extremely grumpy the next day.

Finally, at 1:30am and after Rylee had been crying in the pack n play for 40 minutes that go round, I gave Ayden some Ibprofin and made the baby switch again.  I layed down with Rylee in the twin bed and prayed (begged) that Ayden would go to sleep.  Rylee was asleep instantly.  After about 5 minutes, Ayden finally was too.  It was 1:50am.

It makes me feel so bad to let one or the other of them cry for so long, but I CAN'T do both of them at once!  It just doesn't work.  They are too big and heavy, and they would never, ever go to sleep!

I know that there are people that think I am doing the wrong thing by giving in and sleeping with Rylee when she wakes up in the middle of the night, but you know what?  If I had just layed down with her to begin with at the start of all this last night, when Tony had gotten Ayden back to sleep and she was asleep in my arms, we ALL would have gotten sleep last night.  This would have lasted 45 minutes instead of just over 3 hours!  As much as I would like to sleep in my own bed with my husband, I would rather just get sleep period, regardless of where.  Besides that, I know the day will come sooner than later that my daughter will not be sleeping with me anymore.  While it's inconvenient and a little annoying that she doesn't sleep through the night by herself very often, I need to just relax and enjoy the extra snuggles while I can.  Plus, then I get to sleep too!

Now, if only Ayden would sleep through the night again....  If they both aren't sleeping through the night, I am in trouble!

Friday, March 13, 2015

One Nap vs. Two

Nap time has been a challenge around here for quite some time now.  I'd say last week was actually a pretty successful nap week, except for the part where they wake up so extremely GRUMPY after their afternoon nap.  Ayden especially.  He wakes up crying, crying, crying, and then that turns into a whine.  A lot of the time though, one or the other refuses a nap altogether.

Yesterday, they both were happily playing together but it was getting pretty late in the day. Finally, at 3:45 I decided I'd better put them down for their afternoon nap or it was going to get too late.  I hated to interrupt them playing because they were so content at that moment, but I also knew that they needed sleep too.  Usually I put them down in the afternoon around 2:30 or 3:00, but we took a long walk with a pit stop at a park to play, so we were a bit behind schedule.

I should have went with my gut instinct and just let them keep playing because they wanted absolutely nothing to do with taking a nap.  At 4:15 I decided to just go in and save them from their I-don't-want-to-nap misery because at that point, if they finally fell asleep I'd just have to go in and wake them up shortly anyway!

Sooooo....... I've decided that it was time to make the switch.  Even if they do end up taking an afternoon nap, it's usually not worth the extreme grumpiness that happens when they wake up from said nap.

Today is our first (purposeful) attempt at taking only one nap a day.  They have been asleep now for almost an hour now.  My fear and resistance of making the switch is that I don't want their one naps to turn into being short, 45-60 minute naps.  I hope that they will transition to taking 2-3 hour naps.  They need the sleep, especially since our night time sleeping has been a struggle lately too, and I need it for my sanity!

We'll see how this goes...

Friday, March 6, 2015

Oregon Sunshine

While so many across the country have been getting ridiculous amounts of snow and cold weather, we are getting an unprecedented amount of sunshine here in Oregon.  I am most definitely not complaining!

I try to take the babies for walks almost every day.  They love to be outside!  We have two parks within walking distance from our house.  One has baby swings which they love to do, but doesn't have as safe of an area for them to run around.  The first time we went to that park, Rylee got her first playground injury by falling and smacking her forehead on one of the metal structures.  She had a bruise for over a week!  The other park has an incredible playground, but has no swings.  However, it does have a large grassy area that I like to go to so the babies can run around freely.  They enjoy checking out the leaves and pulling on the grass.  They also love putting everything in their mouths, so I do a lot of scooping dirt, grass, and leaves out of their mouths too.  Just building up their immunity, right?

Yesterday I attempted taking them outside and doing some weeding.  The majority of the time was spent redirecting them, pulling plants and dirt out of their mouths, and catching them before they tripped over things.  They are pretty decent walkers now, but not so much when the ground is uneven.  I caught Ayden LICKING and trying to eat the hubcap on my car!  Ewwwww.  Our time outside came to a quick end when Rylee tripped and fell on the concrete.  She was okay and her hands weren't even scraped up a little bit, but she was not a happy camper!  When she continued to be cranky, I called it a day and we went back inside for a snack and afternoon naps.  Not a lot of weeding was accomplished, but they got to play in the dirt for their first time ever.

We are supposed to continue getting this gorgeous weather through Monday, so we are going to continue taking advantage of these nice days before the spring rain hits us.