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Friday, December 23, 2011

Exciting Events!!

Over the last 24 hours we have had two very exciting events take place in our family

Miss Riggs after 3 or more weeks of rocking on her hands and knees is finally a crawler. Now we have to get the house baby proofed because once she figures something out there is no stopping her. She was already everywhere so I can't even imaging what she will be able to get into now.

This morning Jackson went for his final head scan for his cranial helmet. After almost 4 month of being a little helmet head our little boy is helmet free with a round little head! We started with his symmetry differential being around 20mm (severe) and today his scan was 5.6mm! The national average for all kids, those who do and don't have helmets, is 6mm. I can't wait to see my sweet boy and kiss his round head. He was such a trooper through the entire process and his mommy and daddy are so very proud of him.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hey Santa!

This weekend we took the twins for their first trip to see Santa. We had battled if we wanted to pay for the pictures-I mean a minimum of $23 is kind of steap-but we knew if we didn't we would regret it in the years to come.

We ventured out to the mall around 11 on Saturday-our plan had been to leave by 9-to join the crazies at the mall. The experience was a little surreal. As we approached the exit off the highway there was no back up of cars. We quickly found a parking place and made our way in. We expected to get to Santa and wait for an hour at least. I had not dressed the twins in their outfits because I felt we would be waiting and did not want them to spoil their clothes. We got to Santa's village and there was only a few people in line. Aaron went over to make sure we were not missing a big line from the other direction. We could not believe this, so we quickly dressed the twins and got in the short line for their first Santa experience. Of course as soon as I got them dressed Riggs spit up her oatmeal on her pretty dress, luckily it wiped off well and she looked perfect for the pictures.


The twins were perfect. We did not get any huge giggly smiles but look at that cuteness. And NO we did not put their hands like this they did this on their own. Melt a Momma's Heart! By the way check out Jackson's shoes-they have tassels.

I loved our Santa he did such a great job holding the babies and thought he looked perfect. We did have a little beard grabber (Riggs) that I think threw him off for a minute especially since both hands were full, but luckily he did not throw them on the floor when that happened.

We were very pleased with our first of many Santa experiences and felt that it was worth every penny!

Baby Food

Two months ago we finally began feeding the twins solid foods. It has been an interesting experience. Riggs took to it pretty quickly and Jackson was a bit slower to the start as I would have guessed. Having a boy and a girl that are the exact same age is really interesting it proves the fact that girls do develop quicker.

Riggs' first attempt with green beans. It was a little tough but she loves them now.

Anyway back to the food. We started off with rice cereal and then quickly went to oatmeal-let's just say I got a taste of the rice one day and it left much to be desired in flavor. As they have gotten better with keeping the food in their mouth we have moved to vegetables. I was unsure in the beginning how I wanted to do this. I went back and forth on if I wanted to make their food I finally decided I would at least try and it has gone really well so far.


To make our food I just steam the veggies (I usually by frozen vegetables to reduce on prep work) and puree in the blender with some water and freeze into cubes. You can use ice cube trays-which I did for my first batch and was left frustrated. I bought these from amazon and love them-it is so easy to get the cubes out and I know exactly how much each one is.


So far this has worked really well for us and does not take very much time. I normally do a batch or two while I am making dinner since I am already in the kitchen making a mess cooking.

So far we have had peas, green beans, butternut squash (fresh & baked), carrots, sweet potatoes, pears, mango, bananas and apple sauce (I buy this premade). The only food concern we have had is with Jackson and sweet potatoes-he got a horrible diaper rash his bottom was raw.

I have not decided how I want to handle meat yet. I know they will need to protein at some point but pureed meat kind of makes my stomach turn.



There are two main reasons we have gone down the path of making their food. First off it saves so much money and with twins every penny counts double. I can get a bag of frozen carrots for about $1.25 and make a tray of food or I could buy 2 containers of premade carrots for $1. Secondly it just seems so much better. Store bought baby food is all the same consistency and just seems kind of gross to me. The homemade is vibrant in color and flavor. There are times though that the store bought is easier so they eat this as a matter of convenience.




This like anything else with parenting is something that is a personal preference. I don't think I am any better of a parent for making their food, nor do I think anyone else is not for buying their babies food-this is just what is working for us. I know I did not go into a lot of specifics but if you have any questions let me know and I can share from what I have experienced thus far. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

8 Months-December 13th, 2011

Well it looks like I have totally neglected our blog over the last month. Life has been busy with two crazy infants, lots has been going on with no time to document. I still need to get pictures but thought I would go ahead and post before I forgot what you did last month!

Last week you turned 8 months old. I am still in disbelief. I love to look back at pictures and see how much you have grown and changed. My teeny tiny babies are so big with so much personality.

We don't have official height and weight stats but if I had to guess I would say Jackson you are around 21 and Riggs 19 pounds. This makes for 2 very heavy carriers. We don't use them often outside of the car but sometimes that is still easiest especially when eating out.

You both have such infectious smiles and laughs you can always make your mommy and daddy smile. You are relatively easy babies-especially you Riggs. Jackson you are a bit more complicated but I blame that on your reflux and helmet. This month was a big month for teeth in our house. Riggs after months of drooling you finally popped through one little tooth on the bottom-snaggletooth! Jackson if there is one thing you have done ahead of schedule this is it. You have 6 teeth now. You like to cut in groups first it was your bottom two a few months ago and now your 4 top teeth. Soon enough you will have enough to eat a steak. Right now you are both eating two meals a day of homemade baby food (I still need to do a post on that). Normally for breakfast it is oatmeal and a fruit and for dinner you have 2 veggies. Riggs like so many other things you are a machine when it comes to eating so efficient and neat. Jackson you are the complete opposite-slow and messy-but everyday you get a little better. You both are wearing size 3 diapers and anywhere from 6-12 month clothes. This month you both became big sitters you both love to sit and play. It is amazing how quickly you went from slumping over to sitting big!

Jackson I feel like this month so many things have clicked for you. You are rolling over and moving so much more. I knew you could do it, but it had to be in your time. You are still not as mobile as you sister but it you want to you can. You still LOVE the jump-a-roo, it is your happy place. You jump all the time...while someone is holding you, on the floor, sitting up, probably even in your sleep. You are do so much better with going to bed. It still takes a little effort on our part but you are doing better. You love to "read" books-you will sit attentively and just laugh and smile at the book. You love to be entertained and have a bit of separation anxiety if you are left in a room alone-not to anyone in particular you just don't like to be alone. You are such a good snuggler and I have to admit there are some nights I don't mind when you cry so we can sit and rock together.

Riggs your personality is huge. You are everywhere. While you are not crawling quite yet if you wan to get somewhere you can. You favorite thing to do is tear the edges off the play-mat. I think you like to use them as a teether because you chew on them all the time. You are so sweet to even pull some off for your brother. We have to watch you closely, the other morning I was in the kitchen with J then came back to you in the living room and you were behind the Christmas tree. While you are such a good baby you don't like to sit still or be quite so you don't make it long in church any more-more weeks than not you end up in the nursery. You have become a great sleeper for naps and at night. However once you started sleeping through the night your brother stopped-boo for mommy and daddy. You are so independent you can play for hours by yourself and you hold your own bottle now, while I am excited for this milestone I miss my cuddle time with you during feedings.

While I have loved every day with both of you, this last month has to be my favorite. So much is clicking and you can do so much more. Mommy and Daddy love to play with you and also to just sit and watch you as you figure out the next big thing. Our life is so amazing because we have both of you in it!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Seven Months-November 13th, 2011

Seven months quickly snuck up on me and here we are over a week late finally documenting all you have done this month.

You both are developing more and more personality every day. You are so different and it is so neat to watch how you each grow and develop on your own schedule. This month we don't have any official stats since it is not a doctor's visit month but you are both growing and becoming such big babies. The other night we got out a preemie outfit and just stood there in wonder of how you were ever that small.


This month we have been working on solid foods. Riggs you picked up on this a lot quicker than Jackson as you have most things but now you are both eating 2 meals a day so far your diet includes green beans, carrots, squash, oatmeal, apple sauce and Riggs you have had sweet potatoes. You are both into 6 month and 6-9 clothes but can still wear some 3-6. You are both long so you seem to outgrow the length first. Jackson you still have a pound or two on your sister which is funny because she tends to eat more than you but I guess she burns more calories since she is more active.


Jackson you have started rolling over or so I have been told. You are not like your sister who when she learned this trick could not be stopped. You can roll over but choose not to must of the times which goes hand in hand with your laid back personality. I however have not see this trick so I just have to trust everyone else. Riggs you are on the move nonstop. We have to watch you or you are into something that you shouldn't be-your new fascination is computer cords. You are not crawling yet but I am sure we will be putting that in your 8 month post.


Jackson you still have two teefers and Riggs yours has not broken through yet but I know it will any day. Jackson you are a bit more needy but we love you just as much. You don't like to be left alone and are a bit of a pill to get to bed. You used to do so well but I think with your reflux flare up last month we are going to have to work on your sleeping habits. Riggsy you are miss independent just like your momma you will go right to bed with no help and you can play for hours by yourself. For the most part you are going to be around 7:30 or 8 and getting up maybe once during the night and sleeping until around 7:30.

Your daddy and I are so blessed by you everyday and love you more and more with each one that passes.

Monday, November 14, 2011

So Proud

Today my husband started a new job. He is on his way to be a CPA! We are so proud of him and can't wait to watch him grow in this new career. He arrived to work at 8am and was almost at his first client by 9am-they did not waste any time putting him to work. I can't wait to hear all about his first day on the job!

Pinning Me Over!

Last week I had two meals that came from pins. They were both really yummy!

The first was Parmesan Chicken Bake. I had pinned this a few weeks ago and had been wanting to try-I love Chicken Parm, it was super tasty and easy to make. We will definitely have this meal again.


                                                                          Source: foodwishes.blogspot.com via Cindy on Pinterest


The next was one that Staci made for our girls night. It was Chicken and Cheese Lasagna Roll Ups. They were a crowd pleaser and one I plan on making for the family at some point.

                                                                                            Source: ivillage.com via Cindy on Pinterest

Have you made anything yummy from Pinterest lately?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Love/Hate Relationship

When the twins were born I had all intentions of breastfeeding or at least trying my best. I knew I had to be flexible in this plan for multiple reasons. When they were born 6 weeks early they were admitted to the NICU which meant this plan had to quickly be altered. Starting the day after they were born I was pumping 8 times a day-every three hours with hopes that this would eventually lead to breastfeeding. Once they came home we continued this process until they were mature enough to latch on properly. Jackson was able to sooner and Riggs did ok as time progressed but it seemed best for us to continue pumping and bottle feeding. This decision had many layers-One daddy could help with feedings this way, Two it was much more efficient for all of us-I could pump and feed both at the same time being doing in about 20 minutes and Three I knew I was returning to work so pumping would be a big part of their feeding no matter what. Over the last few months I have gone from pumping 8 times a day to 6 to 5 and to 4 once I returned to work. As it was harder and harder to find time at work I went down to 3 and then eventually decided to only pump in the mornings and evenings. At 7 months I have decided the effort is no longer worth the amount of milk I was producing. So now I say goodbye to an item I have come to love and hate with equal passion...my pump.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pinterest Baking

With fall in the air there is nothing more I love than baking with pumpkin. Recently I have made two different recipes from Pinterest using pumpkin.

The first was the box cake mix with canned pumpkin. It was super easy to only have to use these two ingredients, the cake was moist and colorful. I thought it was ok. I don't think I will make this again while it was super simple I would prefer to either make a standard box cake or put in a little more effort and make pumpkin bread. 

                                                                       Source: sweet-verbena.blogspot.com via Cindy on Pinterest


My second pinterest baking adventure was Mini Pumpkin Pie Croissants. These were supper yummy and simple. I made these while I was making baby food purees. I will definitely make these again!

               
                                                                            Source: shakentogether.blogspot.com via Cindy on Pinterest


What is your favorite Pinterest find?
































Monday, November 7, 2011

Reflux

Since Jackson was about 2 months old he has struggled with Reflux issues, it has come and gone over time and through this we have learned some information that I thought might be useful to others that have to go through this journey. 

We started Jackson on Zantac at about 2 months seemed to work pretty well and we actually thought he was/had out grown the reflux so we were actually weening him on our own. At around 5.5 months ago it flared up big time so we went back to the doctor and they upped his dosage. We did that for a week and then went back for the 6 month well check and decided he was still having some pain and switched to Prevacid.

Zantac is a liquid he gets 3 times and day and Prevacid is a pill that is dissolved in liquid and he gets once a day. Well after this switch he has been worse than ever. Crying all the time and not taking his bottles well at all. My husband started doing some research and we found out that the two medications work completely different and the Prevacid needed time to really start working. Zantac ultimately makes the acid less acidic so when they do reflux it is not painful. Prevacid actually causes the stomach to produce less acid so hopefully they do not reflux. Since they are different we were able to determine that you can take both at the same time. So now we are giving him the Prevacid and hoping that is the long term solution but also giving him Zantac in the short term until his body adjusts to the medication. In about a week or two we will try and ween the Zantac. We talked to his pediatrician and he said this was a good plan.

A few other things we learned in my husband's research. They build up a tolerance to Zantac pretty quickly also the dose is figured by weight so as they grow their dosage will need to increase. Prevacid is best taken on an empty stomach and not eating right after-so in the middle of 2 feedings. It is broken down by the acid so if there is a lot of milk it will not be as effective.

Once we got J on both meds he was a completely different baby. Smiling and laughing and being completely adorable unlike the little boy who has been crying for the week prior. Please note we did not make any changes to his medications without consulting his pediatrician. We just acted as his advocate by educating ourselves on the medications he was taking and how they worked. Always consult your doctor first.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Story Time

I love this.


I am so lucky to have such a great friend watching my kids while I am at work and what makes it even better she sends me videos and pictures like the one above!

We Have a Bully!

Having twins has been fun to see how different each of their personalities are. Jackson is so laid back and Riggs is feisty and all over the place. Jackson can roll over but chooses not to most of the time Riggs never sits still. With this we have seen Riggs take advantage of the situation. When the are on their play mat she will roll over and take Jackson's toy or even attack him. The boy has two pounds on her and two teeth he has plenty of defense mechanisms but just lays there and lets her do as she wishes. I am sure one day he won't just lay there anymore and little girl better be ready but for now we have a little bully on our hands.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thing 1 & Thing 2

This year for Halloween the twins were Thing 1 and Thing 2. I had originally gotten them a tiger and a duck costume but I kept coming back to the Things. While it might be a little cliche what is more perfect for twins? I loved how their costumes turned out. I got some red onesies and sewed on the appropriate applique for each. Jackson was really easy he just needed some red pants and his blue helmet was the perfect hair. For Riggs I wanted to priss hers up at bit so we went with a giant teal bow, some cute red with white polkadot tights with a red tutu.

We had a full weekend of activities centered around Halloween. On Friday my office had Trick or Treating for the kids. It was fun to bring them in and show them off to everyone. We did learn one very important lesson always take the stroller especially when you will be traipsing through 7 floors in 3 different buildings. Aaron and I were completely exhausted by the end of this adventure.





On Saturday our church had Trunk 'r Treat for our kids and those in the community. I think it was a huge success. We had 38 Trunks and approximately 150-200 little Treaters come through and we know of at least one family that was at church on Sunday that came on Saturday. The kids of all ages had a lot of fun the only down fall was that it was cold and windy. The twins ended up spending a good bit of time inside to stay warm.




On Sunday night was went to our friends church that we used to frequent on Sunday nights and had another round of Trunk or Treat. The twins racked up on some good candy which I guess means mommy and daddy did as well.


The twins and some friends. Last Halloween there was only the Star. What a difference a year makes!
 On Monday we decided the twins had had enough Halloween festivities and we went out to dinner with some friends for pizza.

I think they had a fun first Halloween!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bookstore Date

Friday Aaron and I got out for a much needed date night. Staci was sweet enough to watch the twins so we could get away for a bit. We wanted to do something fun and cheap that would not keep us out late. I started looking at numerous blogs to find ideas and finally decided on a Bookstore Date. I found many great ideas for this and finally decided to use the below list for adventure.

Unfortunately I don't remember which site this came from to give the appropriate credit.  
 We grabbed a quick bite to eat at Chipotle and then headed over to Barnes and Nobles for a little fun.


Here is how our rounds played out...

Round 1:
We both chose the same recipe from the Soby's cookbook-Pork Tenderloin. Soby's is a locale restaurant that has published an amazing cook book, this is one of our favorite places to go when we are looking for a special night out. The pork is both of ours favorites so I was not surprised that was the case.


For the future date night we both picked games, Aaron a book on how to play Poker and I found some fun card games in the center section. I had a hard time finding date idea books so I had to be creative.

For the final event of this round Aaron picked a book that had accountant jokes which was appropriate since he is in the midst of taking the CPA exam and looking for a job as a public accountant. I found a book of jokes about family things-nothing great but we had fun reading through some of them

After round 1 the bookstore started to get a little crowded and also they were putting in a new fixture in the middle of the store so things were very discombobulated. We played a modified round 2.

Round 2:
Picture of a place we would like to visit. I picked Italy. Aaron ran out of time before finding one but he says he was thinking Italy as well.

Children's Book.
Aaron picked Shel Silversteins Light in the Attic I wish we had more time where we could have set and read some of the poems, maybe next time. I picked Go Dog Go. I can't say this was my favorite book as a child but in a recent conversation between us Aaron said he had never heard of it much to my dismay. I did learn something new...I thought this was a Seuss book but learned that is not the case.



After this we decided it was time to head home to rescue Staci and put our little bits to bed. We had fun just hanging out and being silly.

I can't wait to have another date night. What is something fun you  have done on a date before?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

6 Months 10.13.11

I really cannot believe you are 6 months old already. I never thought that these months would go by so fast. We love you more and more everyday but some days I feel time is passing by too quickly and I am not getting to soak up all I want of every stage.


Jackson

You smile is infectious. You cut your eyes and give that toothy grin and we just melt. You have the best laugh in the world, you are such a giggler. You are still content just hanging out. You have not found the need to roll over yet, but I think if you really tried you could. You are so strong-I think you do crunches in your sleep. You absolutely love the jump-a-roo, that is the one place you go crazy! While you are not rolling over you are trying hard to sit. You can do the tri-pod for a minute or two-which according to the doctor is more advanced than rolling. Your two bottom teeth came in this month and they are absolutely adorable, they are also very sharp. You drew blood on Auntie Staci. You are wearing 3-6 month/6 month clothes and size 2 diapers. You are eating 6 ounces every 3 hours. We have not started solids but are doing that with the start of this next month. You are sleeping through the night but are not a great napper. You have had a rough bout with your reflux this month. We had to take you to the doctor before your well visit and you are now taking Prevacid. I am praying so hard this works-it literally breaks my heart to watch you cry in pain. You are starting to be more interested in Riggsy, I hope you two are best friends. You are turning into such a big boy, I look at your face and the little baby is gone, you are so handsome. You have grown a ton over these last two months and are doing so well for being a little preemie.

Here are your 6 month stats:

Weight: 17 pounds 7 ounces 50%
Length: 27.5" 78%
Head Circumference: 17.25" 65%





Riggs

You are our comic relief in life. You are all smiles, we are really going to miss your gummy grin when your teeth come in. You LOVE to talk, I can carry on an entire conversation with you. This month you decided that you really like to eat your clothes and spit, neither of which we were very happy about. You are never still, we lay you down in one place and we come back and you are on the other side of the mat facing a completely different direction. You still move nonstop. You are a wild sleeper, there is always something hanging out of your crib. You are like your momma when you get tired at night you can fall asleep anywhere. You are consistently waking up at 4am but you eat quickly and go right back to sleep. You are eating 6 ounces every 3 hours just like brother. This month you have decided you want to be helpful! Unfortunately it ends up being quite the opposite in many cases-especially feeding time. You are so interesting in everything and everyone-you light up a room with your happy personality. You are trying to figure it all out. Your hand coordination is amazing I love to watch you find something you want and get it. Everything goes in your mouth now. You have been teething for a while but no teeth yet. You drool nonstop. Your clothes are always soak and wet. You are wearing 3-6 month/6 month clothes and size 2 diapers (you probably could still be in size 1-2). You are long and lean, I have noticed some of your dresses are getting a little short on you, daddy does not approve of short dresses-even with bloomers.

Here are your 6 month stats:

Weight: 13 pounds 13 ounces 45%
Length: 27.25" 94%
Head Circumference: 16.5" 42%




Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jumping Jackson

Jackson loves his Jump-A-Roo. We really thought Riggs would be our jumper and she does enjoy it but Jackson goes crazy in it. We love to watch him go crazy-he has some strong quads. This weekend I was able to catch a little bit of his fun on video.

video

There is a funny story that goes along with this night. After Jackson was done jumping it was time for his last bottle and then it was off to bed. As Aaron fed him he noticed that Jackson smelled dirty. He went to change his diaper and there didn't seem to be much there...well as he lifted him to wipe he found more and the higher you lifted him the more you found. I guess while Jackson was going crazy jumping he was also doing his business and had poop up to his neck by the time he was done. Needless to say there was an unexpected bedtime bath that night.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumkintown, Low Country Boil & More

We had a busy weekend full of many fun family activities. We opted not to go to Clemson for homecoming and partake in those festivities but had many other options to make it excited. Be warned this is a post of many many pictures!

Saturday morning started out slow as Aaron went to work for a bit and I stayed home and played with my favorite twins, did laundry and made pumpkin bread.
Riggs on their new play mat.
Dueling Jump-A-Roos!
 Later in f the afternoon the Wiggains came to our house then we headed out to the Pumkintown festival. Yes there is really a town in South Carolina named Pumpkintown.



 It was a cultural experience to say the least. We were not sure what to expect and I think that is a good thing because I cam not sure this is what we would have pictured. There were a few pumpkins but not many. Mostly it was vendors set up at tents selling their goods. There was everything from smocked dress to marshmallow shooters to redneck wine glasses (a mason jar turned into a wine glass-as they lady said it had a lid so no open container!). Oh I should have taken more pictures. In the entertainment area there was square dancing, blue grass and pole climbing. I have never seen more shirts talking about ammo or had more smoke blown in my sweet babes face (I protected them best I could). I have to say may favorite ignorant people making fun of Jackson's helmet. I think it was better that momma was not around and daddy had him when this happened. All in all we still had fun on our outing to Pumpkintown.


After this we headed over to a couple's condo that we go to church with for a low country boil. It was amazing.


They put this on for our home builders group (the 20 and 30 somethings) and we had so much fun-there were about 50 of us in attendance and we put a major hurtin' on the food. Tommy and Melinda were so generous to to provide this for us.



Riggs had a rough night Saturday night and was screaming (I mean screaming) when it was time to go to bed. I am not sure if it was teething or her tummy but I was finally about to get her to settle down but laying her face down on my legs. After doing this she was out in about 5 seconds. I thought this picture was too funny not to post.


Sunday we got and headed to church for a time of praise and worship. We were there a little early so I snapped some pictures of the twins in their class. I love that we have such a great children's program and the babies are able to start learning about Jesus at such a young age.


That afternoon we made a last minute decision to head over to the Clemson Church of Christ annual pig pickin'. This where Aaron and I went to church in college and the first few years after we moved back to SC. It was so great to see so many of our friends and of course to be able to show off the twins to many we have not seen since they were born. The food and fellowship was great and Jackson and Riggs got to ride a real pony.

Delicious Chicken!

Jackson on his pony ride.
Riggs on her pony ride.
Riggs telling Daddy she wants a pony!
The double twin hold is getting a lot harder as they get bigger.
 We had a fun weekend full of many great activities. We are going to rest up this weekend because next is even busier. What did you do this weekend?