Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Swaddling 101

W: Swaddling is important. Babies love it because it makes them feel safe and secure, much like they felt in the womb. Parents love it because swaddling can soothe a fussy baby in less than thirty seconds.

Everyone wins.

At the hospital, one of the first things that the labor & delivery nurses taught us was how to swaddle the Deuce. The Happiest Baby on the Block author Dr. Karp, who is a big proponent of swaddling, teaches a "down, up, down, up" swaddling method that is similar to the nurses'. But after a week, the nurses' method no longer worked because the Deuce is squirmy, and squirmy infants can kick their way out of their swaddles.

Faced with a squirmy Deuce, I came up with slight variation on the nurses' swaddle, which I'm sharing in a step-by-step how-to guide below.

Walker's Baby Straight Jacket Swaddle

Supplies:
1 Large square receiving blanket (2 ft x 2 ft)
1 baby
1 pair of quick hands

Step 1 - Prepare the blanket
Lay your square blanket on a flat surface and rotate it 45 degrees. Pull down the top corner about 10 inches.

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Step 2 - Center the baby on the blanket
Place the baby (in this case, F, who is wearing his stylish "Metal Kid" onesie) on the blanket with his neck even with the top of the fold.

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Step 3 - Secure arm #1
Tuck the baby's arm under the fold of the blanket and secure.

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Step 4 - Pull #1
Now, take the corner of the blanket and pull it across the baby's body.

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Step 5 - Tuck #1
Now take the corner and tuck firmly, but not too tight, under the baby's butt.

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Step 6 - Secure arm #2
Now take the baby's loosey-goosey arm and secure it by tucking it under the fold.

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Steps 7 & 8 - Pull #2 & Tuck #2
Pull the far corner towards you and tuck it beneath the baby.

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Step 9 - Make a tail
Take the end towards the baby's feet and make a tail.

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Step 10 - Tie a knot
Now, take the tail and tie a nice little knot at the end.

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And you're done!
You have a perfect little baby burrito that is virtually squirm-proof.

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Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 11:39 AM :: (2) comments

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

To be clear...

D: After re-reading my last post, I thought I'd be clear about something... this does not happen often, and quite frankly, hardly ever any more. (The boys have been sleeping 5-6 hours through the night!!) Although the 'daycare worker' mentality seems a bit harsh, it is the only way I can honestly describe one method for dealing with the chaos of infant twins. (It certainly does not mean I don't love and adore them any less!)

One of the main reason we write this blog is to offer sincere, honest feelings and experiences for folks to chew on. Digest it how you may.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 4:50 PM :: (4) comments

True Confession #1

D: Sometimes in the middle of the night, when I'm all alone and tired, I do something I'm not proud of in order to stay calm. I pretend that the boys are not mine.

When they are both crying and I can't get to both of them at the same time, in order to change their diapers/give them their binkies/hold them/give them attention, I pretend that I am running a daycare and they aren't my kids.

That way, I am less emotionally upset about hearing them cry and I work a little faster to get their needs met, with out getting flustered.

Is that wrong?

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 12:16 PM :: (4) comments

Friday, February 23, 2007

Just like dad

W: It's the little things that people don't tell you about that are the most intriguing part of being a new parent. Everyone tells you about the big stuff like sleep routines and that baby boys pee on you. What we've discovered on our own is that babies grunt just like Beavis and Butthead, that they love the new Shins album, and - my favorite - that, before they learn to focus, babies look at you cross-eyed.

I love that they are cross-eyed because - and this is a true story - two years ago one of my classmates pointed out that I read exceptionally close to my face. Sure enough, the next time I picked up book, I checked, and guess what? The book was 8 to 10 inches away from my nose.

So, I went to the eye doctor for an exam. After the tests, the doc came out and gave me the old, "I've got good news, and I've got bad news" line. He went on to explain the good news, "Well, Walker, the good news is that you don't need glasses."

OK, I thought, then what could be the bad news? He went on to explain, "There's a difference between 'focal point' and 'convergence.' You can focus on objects just fine, but your eyes 'converge' closer to your face than your 'focal point.'" Wait, huh?

Suddenly, the implication of his diagnosis dawned on me, but I wanted to hear him say it.

He continued, "W, there isn't a good way say this, but you're 10% cross-eyed in both of your eyes." I'm what?!!! "That's right, you're cross-eyed, and not only that, when you close one eye, you're 20% cross-eyed in the open eye." By this time, I'd almost fallen out of my chair laughing. The doc seemed to appreciate that I took the 'bad news' so well.

So, that's why, when the Deuce gazes at me, bright and cross-eyed, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside - they're taking after their dad, and that feels great.

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Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 7:51 AM :: (1) comments

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Out and about town

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The best thing about our stroller is the capacity it holds underneath the seats. Who knew I could fit an entire shopping trip's worth of groceries in it?!

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 8:46 AM :: (1) comments

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Powder Day

W: I got a call last night from my good friend and #2 snow sports pal, Obie, who he told me that there was 18 inches of new snow on its way. "It is dumping. We must go," he said. And since my mom is in town to hang with the Deuce (hi mom!), I could go. But unfortunately, my #1 snow sports pal is still recovering from delivery, so she couldn't.

This was my first time snowboarding this year, and to be completely honest, I felt wee bit guilty for going up without D. I felt guilty the entire ride to the mountain. And I felt guilty every time I was on a chairlift. And I felt guilty the entire ride back from the mountain. But on the way down, cutting through the silkiest, lightest, loveliest powder of the season? I didn't feel at thing. (Sorry honey!)

What I did feel was daydreamy. In fact it was one of the daydreamiest days I've ever experienced. Maybe it was the powder, but I suspect it was more than that. You see, every where I turned, I saw a dad and his son, or a dad and his daughter, or a dad and his wife and their three kids. And every time I saw a family, I thought of all the fun Dana and I are going to have skiing and snowboarding with the Deuce. Poor Obie had to listen to me the entire time (thanks Obie!) jabber on and on about how much fun we're going to have (I was channelling Clark Griswold from the first Vacation movie).

I tell ya, I am nostalgic for fun that we haven't even had yet! Seriously, I can't wait. Do you think it's safe to snowboard with the Deuce in a Baby Bjorn carrier? hmmm.....

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 11:38 PM :: (0) comments

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Little Gnomes

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Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 10:36 AM :: (0) comments

Friday, February 16, 2007

Lessons Learned

Dana: One piece of advice that I’ve taken to heart is ‘try to get out of the house everyday.’ People, especially new moms, are always amazed to see me out and about with my newborn twins, but I just can’t imagine staying at home with them all day (especially after my 6 week prenatal jail sentence/bed rest).

Yesterday, I went to a new moms group meeting. There were about 16 other new moms and their babies who were less than 12 weeks old. Of course, we were the only trio in attendance. Upon arrival, we were immediately met with several comments from the other new moms such as:

“I am in AWE of you!”

“How do you do it?”, and

“I thought one was bad enough!”

(um - excuse me - did that new mom just say her new sweet baby was ‘bad enough’?!!)

Now, let me be clear…my intentions of participating in a new moms group was to chat with moms who share common parenting concerns, discuss breastfeeding, infant care, sleep patterns, etc. I’m not sure why, but I have a strong desire to feel ‘at one’ with the other moms. This was not what happened.

I admit that sometimes I felt jealous of the other moms while they easily maneuvered their small strollers around the room and casually popped out one breast to feed their child while taking a sip of coffee with their other hand. But for the most part, the lack of solidarity I felt with them was due to the fact that it was just plain weird to have all the other moms treat me like some sort of super human.

Parenting infants is hard. Bottom line. If it weren’t, there wouldn’t be a need for a moms group. Since I have never parented one baby, I don’t know what it’s like. Therefore, it doesn’t seem much harder to parent two at the same time; it’s just different. What people don’t seem to understand is that when they feel that they are flattering me with praise with statements like, “how do you do it?” what I really hear them saying is, “your life must really suck, how do you even get out of bed each morning”.

This may seem sensitive and irrational, but all the unwanted attention at the meeting made me want to pack up my troops and run out in tears.

For example, as all the others were openly breastfeeding, I started to tandem breastfeed my babes too. After they were both latched on, I noticed I was the center of attention. Everyone in the room was staring at me, and some of members of the group inappropriately felt the need applaud! It was humiliating, but I learned valuable lessons.

I not only learned that well-intentioned praise can sting like an insult, I also learned that many of the moms with only one child tend to be more uptight about issues that I am forced to be more relaxed about. I listened as moms went crazy with their over-protective concerns about the smallest things, things that I had been laughing at as they happened to my boys.

Maybe this is the answer to the question of “how I do you do it?” As a new mom of twins, I’m forced to make the hard decisions about what’s important much earlier on. And I’d rather be too busy caring about the important stuff than worrying about what’s not.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 8:38 AM :: (6) comments

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Our Valentine Cherubs!











We couldn't be more in love!

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 8:37 AM :: (3) comments

Finlay and Oliver's First Days

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 7:06 AM :: (2) comments

Monday, February 12, 2007

Asparagus

Walker: Here in Seattle, the beginnings of spring are evident everywhere we look. Our crocuses and daffodils are bravely pushing their way up through the earth, and our camellia tree has brazenly formed its bright pink buds. In another 3 weeks the Deuce will be 6 weeks old, and spring colors will line our neighborhood streets. Dana and I can't wait to explore Seattle's natural beauty this spring with them.

Another wonderful spring event - that we crave - is asparagus season. Shipments of the emperor vegetable arrived from Southern California this week, and as the season progresses, shipments arrive from farms closer and closer to our Northwest home. Then in June, the cycle starts all over again because asparagus has two seasons back-to-back. Yum!

Last night Dana came home from the store with a pound of the beautiful bright green spears, and I poached them in the juice and zest of a Meyer lemon and sea salt. They were delicious.

But as delicious as asparagus is, it is impossible to avoid its curious side effect: the strange and odorous effect on the smell of my pee - it smells funny! This funny fact made me think about Finn and Ollie because they love to pee on me when I change their diapers.

So the question I have is this: If Dana eats asparagus and then breastfeeds the Twins, will their pee smell funny?

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 9:06 AM :: (1) comments

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Two turntables and a...

Walker: 6:45 am and the Deuce is sleeping again after their early morning breakfast. Well...not thier early-early morning 3 am breakfast, which is actually more like a middle of the night snack, but the 6 am meal.

They eat, poop, pee, sleep, cry, and repeat, ususally in that order. They are like little clocks in a way, and are, so far, fairly predictable. They are on the same feeding schedule, which is key because otherwise my life - not to mention Dana's - would be bat-crazy insane. One thing that I can't figure out is how to get them to poop at the same time.

It's been crazy so far, but nothing compared to what people predicted. Some of our friends predicted the end of the world. However, over the past two weeks, I have seen some of the craziness to come. When both are wailing at the same time at 3 am, and I'm not quite sure why, or when one wakes the other one up, and they both won't go back to sleep, that's the fun stuff.

Since I don't have four arms, I need to make a choice when they both cry at the same time. Nurses call it "triage," others call it "baby juggling," Dana calls it "squeakiest wheel," and I call it "two turntables."

Seriously, when they both "go off" I imagine that I'm a DJ at Club Deuce, and Ollie is one turntable and Finn the other. The changing table is the mixing board. As soon as one record is finished on turntable-Ollie, the next record needs to be put on turntable-Finn. And I repeat this dance number until the set is over, and I sit by waiting until the Deuce lets me know it is time for me to dance again.

Uh-oh, Ollie is up...time to dance.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 6:43 AM :: (5) comments

Monday, February 05, 2007

3 hour intervals

Dana: It's amazing how much, or how little, you can get done in a day that is broken into 3 hour intervals. The boys are still doing great, sticking to a fairly predictable 3 hour schedule.
It often looks something like this:

6:00am - The kiddos are ready for their day (and more importantly, their breakfast)

7:00am - They are done eating, burping and have on clean dipies and new outfits for the day.

7:30am - The boys are sleeping and I've just finished pumping about 6 oz. of milk. If there is someone here to help me, I can quickly slip away to the shower and grab a quick bite of breakfast for myself.

9:00am - Usually one or both has woken up a few times by now, but we've managed to entertain and stimulate them until both are hungry again. Time for another round of eating, burping and changing.

10:00am - More pumping.

10:30am - This is when I TRY to get some things done around the house, usually being interrupted by a child who would like my attention or is not quite happy with his swaddle.

11:00am - Bath time. Tons of fun for me, not so much for the kids yet.

During his first bath, Ollie was a bit shocked by the feeling of the water and fought the bath time experience till the end.


Finn on the other hand proved to be our little dolphin and took quite an interest in the whole experience.

12:00pm - Lunch time for the kids. Burp. Change. Swaddle.

1:00pm- Hopefully I can get some lunch as well at this time. Usually around now we have Ollie and Finn in a bouncy chair or swing, fully awake and taking in the sights and sounds around them.


3:00pm - You guessed it...eat, burp, change, swaddle.

4:00pm - If it's not raining, I'll try to get the babies ready for walk around the neighborhood. Last week I made it a mile, and had a leisurely stop off at a coffee shop. They were 10 days old. (Needless to say, I felt pretty proud of myself.)

6:00 - Back to the boob for dinner.

Anyway, you get the idea. I'm sure I will soon learn to get more out of my days, although by then the boys will probably be more demanding of my time as well. I am thoroughly enjoying all the moments we spend together, and would gladly trade my vacuum for a baby that needs holding. (Maybe some day I will learn do to both at the same time!)

Our days usually end with something like this...


Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 10:23 AM :: (4) comments

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Sunday - Go Colts!


Thanks Grandad & Grandma for the Colts gear!

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 9:33 AM :: (1) comments