Thursday, May 29, 2014

Momos in the News

Momo babies are getting lots of attention these days with the birth of 2 adorable girls who were holding hands soon after delivery. I am so happy that more and more people will have more information on hand if they are faced with a mono mono pregnancy. Unfortunately, with mass media comes lots of misinformation. Reading the comments on some of the news stories drives me crazy. But then I see comments of women firing back (women who I know through Facebook groups), and I just laugh. People don't know who they're messing with when they start fighting some of these momo moms, women who fought for months for their children's lives, and will continue fighting for people to receive correct information about our rare twins.

Our boys are doing great. They are growing and thriving beyond our wildest dreams. Every day is such a joy. They are cuddly, sweet, smart, thoughtful, stubborn, and perfect.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Making Baby Food

I had the idea of making my own baby food for awhile. It just seemed pretty simple and I knew it was much healthier and cheaper than buying baby food. When I found out I was having twins, I knew I had to try! My pediatrician also recommended it, even with many of the preservatives taken out of store-bought baby food, nothing beats the nutrients of fresh fruits and veggies.

I saw on a Martha Stewart episode the author of Super Baby Food, Ruth Yaron. She suggested the old-fashioned stainless steel ice cube trays as to not worry about plastic being in the baby food. I also registered for this book, and it has many great tips and recipes. But then if you worry about the metallic, taste, you could get like the Tubberware kind with lids. Ice cube trays work great because it portions out the food in 1 oz. sections, and you can keep track of how much your baby(ies) are eating that way. 

My aunt bought me The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet  by Karin Knight and Tina Ruggiero. I liked how this book described how you should really being making and storing the baby food. 

Breaking it down into basic steps here it is:

I started with peaches. I tried cooking them first to peel the skins off, then dicing and mixing, but I found it easier to peel and dice, then cook. I use an immersion blender as opposed to a blender or food processor because it's less clean up. I add a tiny bit of water while it's cooking and when they're done, I pour it into the ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze. When the food is frozen, I label bags with the contents, and date, and 3 months later so I know when I need to use it up by. 

I did pears next, and it's the same process. I peel, cut, add water, cook 8-10 min, blend with mixer, pour and freeze. 

I've done bananas, this is the one I was told to definitely buy organic, as the skins are so porous, the bananas can hold pesticides. With a banana, I just mush it up and feed it to them without cooking or freezing. 

When you go to feed your baby(ies), I either pull the food out and let it thaw out ahead of time, or I pop it in the microwave. 

I'll try and keep you updated on other recipes I try!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Registering for Twins

I had the hardest time figuring out how to create a baby registry for twins. I researched like a maniac, trying to find different moms' opinions of various baby gear. Everyone has their own views and expectations of things, so it's hard to go by just one person. So here I am, adding my views on the things I registered for. I'm also going to create a list of things I personally, think are important/ unimportant. This will be another list I update as I go along, since we're really just in the beginning months of having our babies home. So this is just the start of it.

My main goals were finding things that were 1) time-saving since I have 2 and 2) easy to use to make things time-saving! I have seen other people I know with babies struggle with high chairs, car seats, and walkers. If it took too long or took the assistance of another person to make it work, I crossed it off my list!

Obvious Things You NEED Tons Of

- diapers/ wipes
- onesies
- burp cloths/ bibs
- bottles
- 2 car seats: I have the Chicco Keyfit 30, it's perfect for preemies because of the weight starts at 4 lbs. Our NICU actually took ours around to other parents because some of the other parents didn't have very good car seats. We also got extra bases for my husband's car so we don't have to worry about detaching the bases.

Must Haves for Twins

- 2 boppy pillows and boppy pillow covers: feeding both babies at once by yourself would be impossible otherwise, and you need extra covers for when the others are being washed

- Co-sleeper: Everyone is going to tell you that you are not supposed to let the twins sleep together, but everyone does it. The co-sleeper is great, it sits right up against the bed, both babies fit in it, and you don't have to get out of bed in the middle of the night. A lot of people complained about the sheets being too tight, just use a pack -n- play sheet and just make sure it's tucked under really well. The positivies definitely outweigh the one negative on this one.

- Rock-n-Play Sleepers: I have 2, both of my babies had reflux, it's normal in preemies, and because of the 'back to sleep' rule, it's becoming more frequent in all babies, this sleeper has been a huge help for their reflux, but I do have complaints about how hard the back of it is. I shoved a bunch of really fluffy blankets behind the cover of it to make it softer. With Nolan being born with a flatter head on one side, I have to be really careful about making it worse.

-2 swings: I saw so many people who said to only register for 1 swing because one baby may not like it. I'm sorry, but just register for 2. I have never known a baby to not like a swing (unless it was a baby who just didn't like being put down in general). My swings were a lifesaver when I first got home, and the boys continue to love them. We have the Fisher Price My Little Snug a Bunny Cradle N Swing.

- Pack-n-play with changing table option or a small changing table/ changing station: We have a changing table in the nursery, but we also have the S1 by Safety 1st Satellite Premier Playard for our living room. It has shelving on the side to hold diapers, wipes, etc.; it has a hamper attached; and it has proven a time saver when I have to change diapers during the day. I wouldn't like having to leave one baby alone (or having to spend the time to put him a swing, bouncy seat, etc.) to change the other one's diaper in the nursery. This could definitely be seen unnecessary to some people, but it's all about saving time to me, plus it will be handy when they are crawling around and I need to plop one in there really quick! ;) The complaints for this one were that there was not enough padding for sleeping (I'm not using it for them to sleep in, and are any of them really soft? I wouldn't want to sleep in any of them!); that the mobile was not attractive (oh well); that the changing table part was lopsided (it's VERY sturdy, which I was more concerned about than it being crooked, my baby does roll to the one side slightly, but he's in there less than a minute and I put him further to the other side so it doesn't happen!); and that the changing pad part isn't removable (but it's wipeable! put a blanket or something underneath of it if you want to wash something!). If you don't have space, I recommend at least keeping a travel changing pad or something nearby to use on the floor so you don't always have to leave the room.

- Strollers- Everyone needs more than one stroller in my opinion. You wouldn't want to take  jogging stroller to the mall or the store and you wouldn't take a small stroller around the block for a bumpy ride. With twins, you are not going to find a stroller that fits car seats other than the Babytrend Snap-n-Go double stroller. I've heard great things about this stroller, and I have it, but it does not fit the Chicco Keyfit 30 car seats like it says it does. I'm in the process of talking to the company about this, but from what I've heard from other people, they (the company) insist that they do fit. So far, I'm getting the same response. Here is the link the company says to watch:

      * OK, after some back-and-forth with the Babytrend people, who insisted that it did fit. She emailed        me the video from 2009, showing that the car seat did fit, then I sent her the one from 2012 proving that it didn't. She told me the guy sent her the video and then he realized he could get it to work- I don't know if this is true or not, this is coming from Babytrend. So anyway, I compared the videos over and over and the one point that I missed out on in the 1st video is that I ASSUMED the groove in the car seat is supposed to sit on the little ledge, of the stroller, but it does not. If you watch the video carefully, the groove is above the ledge an inch or 2.

    I also have the BOB Revolution SE Duallie as my jogging stroller. I LOVE it. It's easy to maneuver, folds easily, it's easy to strap the babies into, and they seem happy in it. People have complained about the weight (it's a double stroller, use your muscles, AND if you have twins- get used to it!). Baby Gizmo offers a great tutorial on how to use the stroller -

   And then I have the Maclaren Twin Triumph stroller to use when I don't take them out in the car seats to go shopping. I've played around with it and am disappointed in how the straps work. I've had 4 members of my family try the straps and snaps that actually keep the baby in the seat, and it's very difficult. My fear is that I am in a parking lot by myself and I'm struggling trying to get my babies in and out of the stroller. We'll see. I like the size and how compact it gets when it folds, so I'm not giving up on it yet. I'll give an update on this once I actually take the babies out in it.
   *Update- I've been using the Maclaren for shopping and love how it maneuvers and fits everywhere. I can push it easily with one hand and the boys have room to move around. But I experienced my expected frustration yesterday in JoAnn Fabrics. Nolan was crying and I couldn't get him out of the damn thing! The buckle would just not snap open and I literally wanted to cut him out! STILL not going to give up though. I hope mine just maybe has a flaw.

* Update 5/29/14- Still using the Maclaren and the BOB and LOOOOOOOVE them, especially the BOB. My boys are around 30 lbs a piece and both strollers are in excellent condition. The BOB is especially great, obviously for running/ walking, but I was able to push it in the sand on the beach with umbrellas and all kinds of other stuff loaded on it!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Reading to My Babies Reminds Me of My Class

I have been reading to Nolan and Brooks more and more lately. My mom saved a ton of books from when I was little and I have started a new collection as well. I've always loved to read, and I hope to pass that love on to my children.

Most of the books are just "baby" books with sounds, colors, textures, and things like that. I had a Peter Rabbit one at Easter that played music and a colleague from school sent me a book about little league, which I read to them recently. But I've found myself using my "teacher voice" now that I'm reading books with more words: I use different voices, I give dramatic pauses, and I point to the pictures.

In doing this, I am thinking more and more about my class still at school and previous classes I've had. One of the greatest parts about being a teacher was to see the joy on a child's face when reading a story to them. No matter what the situation, whether a child was screaming, crying, fighting with another child; whether it was raining, snowing, or gorgeous outside; whether it was Christmas, Halloween, Easter, or Groundhog's Day, there was always a book for the occasion. If a child was crying and didn't want to be consoled, I could quietly get out a book, sit on the floor, and that child would be sitting in my lap 5 minutes later listening to me read.

I had a class that was 90% boys one year, and at Halloween I was reading a book about a little witch. On one of the pages, there was a description of a Halloween party that talked about cobwebs hanging from the ceiling, and a black cat on the stairs...... and a raven on a shelf. Being from Baltimore, and this particular day being purple Friday, I had a little boy (complete with spray painted purple hair to go with his jersey) say, "Hey! I don't see a Raven!" I was confused at first, and then had to hold back my laughter as I had to explain how the 'Baltimore Ravens' actually had to do with the name of a bird. That example of innocence and devotion to sports, and how he related it to a book thrilled me and makes me laugh to this day.

I also had a class that could listen to me read to them all day. I read the longest books to them, and I'd let them lay down on the floor and they just loved it. Snow White, Cinderella, The Lion King, everything. I had a boy one year who acted like he didn't care for me very much. But at Christmas, when I read The Grinch, and I let them all sit around me instead of in front of me, he sat smack up against me and at one point I felt his head on my shoulder. And now I'm so excited I can do it with my boys.

I want to go back and see my class. I'll take the boys with me, but I think I'll wait for the weather to get a little nicer and then hopefully the school will be more germ-less! I can't wait to see my old students. They were so excited for me to have babies. I had such supportive parents and co-workers, too. It made all my struggles that much better.

Monday, April 30, 2012

It's Been Awhile

I know I haven't update in awhile, I'm sorry! Life is very busy now!

The boys are doing fabulously. They continue to gain weight, Nolan is around 10 pounds and Brooks is close to 10. We are letting them sleep 6 hours through the night, and are feeding them every 3 and a half to 4 hours during the day.

We had their 2 month pediatrician visit, and everything has been going well since then. We switched them from Neosure formula, to regular Infant. They didn't respond well to that, so now they are on a Sensitive Stomach formula.

We are also doing assessments with some local programs to help with their development. We don't expect them to be "on track" as a full-term baby would be as far as milestones (sitting up, crawling, walking, etc.), but so far they seem to be doing pretty well. Both Nolan and Brooks are lifting their heads up with some control now!

I've decided to keep the blog going. Since the whole "momo" thing is really behind us now, I've decided to use the blog to keep track of what it is like raising twins. Having multiples is truly a different world than having one baby, and I'm going to use this to track my growing experience with this life, as well hopefully give tips to other parents out there.

Shane and I continually think of how lucky we are. We were just talking about it all last night again. I wonder sometimes how we got through the whole pregnancy. Shane said that he thinks he was deep down inside hoping they weren't momo's.

I, myself, am still in awe of how much love and support we received and continue to receive. People I haven't talked to in years have congratulated me and told me how much they were praying for me. With all the negative attention social media sites get- with the gossip, and the bullying, there are definitely some positive aspects as well. Shane and I were able to share our news and updates with everyone, and people were able to follow us and contact us easily. The outpouring of love from extended family, old friends, and even strangers with similar experiences amazes me. And it really makes you, as a parent, want to surround your children with people who always want the best for them.

And then here comes my negative comment: It also really makes you think of the people you need to weed out of your life. Some people surprised me. But there are people who paid no attention to what was going on during our pregnancy, people who only thought of themselves and petty arguments, and people who still don't seem to care. The miraculous event of these babies being brought into this world should trump all of that, and to some people it doesn't. And that shows me who needs to be in these children's lives, and who doesn't.

Ok, enough of that. After our 2 month doctor visit, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Shane and I have been able to resume normal aspects of our lives again that don't revolve around the babies. Shane has started his vegetable garden in the yard, and I have started my herb garden. We went out one night (for the first time in forever!), I have started working out again, I went shopping for non-baby items one night! (I bought new running shoes, exciting...) and we have been able to have a few days with no visitors, which is nice to have once in awhile. But, I certainly appreciate all the help. My mom comes over often and helps with the babies so I can get some cleaning and laundry done. My aunt makes us dinner once a week and brings it over to us. Shane's father and cousin helped him with his garden this past weekend so he can get it done quicker. Two of my aunts bought us some carryout food-type gift cards so we don't have to worry about cooking all the time. And I've had some friends bring us meals, too. (I love all you guys!)

So I'm going to add some posts on here about twin-type dilemas that I come across. I'll learn as I go!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


There was another article about our boys today. They are getting very popular!

This is just a boring blog about some things going through my head. Sorry...

During the day, I am in such "mommy mode" that I sort of forget all we went through the past few months. As much as I want to spread 'momo' information around, I don't want it to define our lives, especially not Nolan's and Brooks'. But every once in awhile, like when an article comes out,  or there's this balloon that a tech gave me in the high risk unit that is still floating around the house ( 2 months later), that I think back to every day of the pregnancy. What a stressful, miserable, emotional couple of months. But I look at the boys and know I wouldn't do anything differently. 

And then there are the wedding pictures around our house. I look at them and think, "Little did we know...", or "how stupid were we to think all of that stuff was important..." 

Here we are! Before babies! <3

Things I didn't expect: 

There are certain things that I sometimes still feel like I have to do. Most of all, run to the hospital when I wake up in the morning, or call the NICU at night. I feel naked once in awhile without the boys' hospital bracelets on (I think other NICU moms can relate to that). Then there are the things I cringe at the thought of- having the goo put on my stomach for an ultrasound or test, taking my temperature, or even certain commercials I remember hearing when I was having the NST's done! My hands are still so dry and sore from "scrubbing in" to the NICU, I know I still look exhausted from the hospital stay (I sleep better now than I have in months!), and there's a shampoo I can't use anymore because I always showered after my last test at 11pm, and the smell of it makes me tense up and feel stressed. Sometimes I even still feel like I have to save the boys' diapers to be weighed! 

Anyway, we had our wedding photographer take pictures of the boys last Thursday. I can't wait to see them! Easter is Sunday and I can't wait to get them all dressed up and dye Easter eggs, and all the other fun stuff. I had a baby shower last weekend and I'm having another one this weekend. It feels so good to get the nursery together and have a lot of things for the boys!

I couldn't be happier having 2 babies. Yes, I am busy, but I love it. They are such well-behaved babies, too! And yes, everyone says, "just wait...", but I can't wait. I can't wait for the chaos! To see them home, to see them crawling, to see them fighting over toys, to see them walking, eating, crying, all of it, is what I dreamed of when I was being monitored.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Surviving NICU Life as a Parent

The NICU is hard, and that's coming from someone who had it relatively easy in there. There's just no other way about it. The hospital my boys were in had a very nice NICU with a great staff of doctors and nurses. I'm not really sure how to organize my thoughts on everything regarding this experience, so I'm just going to list them as best I can.


- our NICU was very upfront about things from the beginning (i.e. they rarely send babies home on monitors, tubes, etc.) and I was glad about that because it was one less thing I had to question and worry about

- they were very accommodating to parents' needs
    - there was a pump in every room for mom's, as well as a 'pumping room' if you wanted privacy/
       supplied a water and ice machine to keep mommies hydrated :)
    - they made notes on what parents liked to do for their babies- give baths, change diapers, feed, etc.
    - there were 'sleeping rooms' that you could 'hold' for a day to take naps, stay the night, or just go lay          
       down and relax in if you were staying at the hospital for a long amount of time. I used this once,
      when I stayed for a 12 hour shift
    - we were given a direct line to the NICU for updates, and the nurses were excellent in keeping with
       security precautions as far as making sure we were the parents of the children we were asking about
- there were a variety of resources to go to and staff welcomed questions
     - there was social worker who helped look into pediatricians and contacted us with discharge info
     - the doctors who were on staff would always come and see us to see if we had questions
     - nurses never dismissed our questions


- ask questions, no matter how stupid you think they are; the more you understand, the more
  comfortable you are with what different numbers mean, what different tests are for, and what alarms
  are going off!
- dress in layers, I think this unit is typically kept very warm

- put blinders and ear muffs on: don't peek in other rooms, don't try and listen to what is happening to
   other babies, focus on your baby(ies) or you will go crazy