Friday, February 5, 2016

Whose Baby?

As I said in my last post, Lucy hasn't been feeling well this week. As a result, we've seen a lot of testing boundaries and not listening. The other night she was hovering over Stella's face and not listening about giving Stella some space. I gave her a warning and started to count. I told her if she didn't give Stella space she was headed to time out. After all, we don't want Stella to get sick too. 

Well, she didn't listen or back up so headed right to time out. As she was sitting there, she cried out "My baby too!" I guess Lucy thought I should do a better job sharing Stella. I love how much she loves her baby. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Mama's Milk

I've been pumping every morning for the past few months to have a little frozen stash. I know I really won't need that milk, but it's nice to know I have it and can rely on it. It also means I rarely have to pump if I miss a feeding here or there. L&C see me pump and help bring me the pieces in the morning. We often talk about "mama's milk". Most nights with dinner the girls get milk to drink. We often offer them the choice of mama's milk or cow's milk. Although Lucy has tried my milk a few times, she never seemed to like it. Clara, on the other hand, loves it. 

Most days I'll only let Clara drink a few ounces since I only pump about 5-7 ounces after feeding Stella in the morning. I want to freeze some of it after all. 

Last week W brought home a low grade cold. As a result, I started pushing the beast milk for Clara. Saturday night Lucy woke up feeling awful. She coughed so hard it made her vomit, her nose was running like a fountain, and she was running a fever. 

Since then I've pretty much been giving Clara all the milk I pump in the morning. And? She still not sick...yet. Haha. 

It is interesting that Clara generally gets sick first between my girls. After all, she was my sicker preemie. She's always sick for a few days before passing it on to Lucy. 

 I'm not saying my milk will keep her from getting sick completely, but I definitely can see a difference. She has a bit of a cough, but no runny nose, fever, or misery like Lucy. 

It's amazing to me that when I've told a few people that Clara likes my milk they think it's weird or gross. Drinking the milk of another species is much weirder if you ask me! She's not nursing, but getting all the benefits. The best part? When Stella doesn't finish a bottle we know it won't go to waste. Instead, Clara happily finishes it. 

Milk with lunch for L &C. Can you tell the difference?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

L & C Update

Lucy and Clara are now 28 months old. For the first two years I was great about doing monthly updates. Once Stella arrived that became more difficult. The thing is, they're still growing and changing so much and I don't want to forget what they were like during this time. 

•Clara has really exploded with her language in the past month or so. She's finally using her words more than gestures or whining and it's wonderful. Everyone is so much happier and less frustrated. She tends to be hard to understand at times. 

•Lucy is also talking more and is regularly coming up with 4 and 5 word sentences on her own. She's pretty easy to understand. 

•The only way to get the girls to go up and down our stairs at home without holding a hand or complaining is to have them pretend to be monkeys. They make loud monkey sounds the entire time. 

•The girls drink so well from open cups now so that's all we use. We also switched to booster seats and we are all eating at the dining room table instead of the kitchen. I'd like to say we don't need bibs anymore, but Clara does. She such a messy eater and often has full sensory experiences with her meals prior to eating them.  

•Lucy is totally potty trained and only wears diapers overnight. Even though she's dry every morning she still prefers to wear one at night. Clara pees on the potty every time but has had a few poop accidents. Not fun :(

•Lucy is very insistent on doing things by herself. She often has to redo something I've just done if she didn't do it independently. It takes her forever to do some things! 

•I feel like a referee quite regularly as the girls fight like good sisters as I like to say. If we get two of something that's the same, they'll find a way to fight over them. If we only get one, they fight. If we get two that are different, they'll fight. You probably get the point. The sweet moments are there, but some days they seem quite few and far between all the fighting. 

•Lucy hasn't been very good in the car since we went to Albany over New Year's Eve. She always has something to complain about and it's not very fun. 

•Clara still loves books and monkeys. She's accumulated at least five different monkey stuffed animals in the past few months. 

•The girls love the baby and anything new we get for her. We recently borrowed a bumbo seat and they're constantly trying to sit in it. They really love the baby so much and will talk to her and make her smile or talk. 

•We finally weaned both girls off of Prevacid for acid reflux. It seemed like it a took a little adjusting, but they're fine. 

•Lucy has both of her two year molars on the bottom and Clara has a half of one on the bottom. My girls  are always slow to get teeth, so of course these will be slow too. 

•Clara has finally figured out how to jump. It took her quite a while and my mom got them a trampoline for Christmas. Lucy would coach her and say, "Two feet Claka, two feet", or "bend knees Claka". It  was so cute and funny. 

•The girls do gymnastics on Tuesdays, music on Wednesdays, and swimming on Fridays. We usually got to the library or story time at least once a week as well. I'm also hoping to check out a MOPS group this week.

•The baby dolls are still by far the favorite toys. They're starting to get into the Duplo blocks they got for Christmas and Lucy is getting pretty good at 24 piece puzzles. They both love doing puzzles. 


•I have no idea where they got it, but all of a sudden they would say, "Two daddy, two daddy" and each say that a few times taking turns going back and forth and then eventually correct to saying "One daddy" a few times. I teased W about what he was telling them when I wasn't around. They've been obsessed with the number two for a while. 

Well, that's the quick and easy summary of what my girls are up to. Does this sound like your two year old?





Thursday, January 14, 2016

Imperfect

I learned to knit this fall. My MiL has always knitted hats for the girls, but I decided I wanted to learn too. I didn't want to wait on her every time one of the girls needed a new hat. 

My first project didn't come out too great as it was too short for Stella to wear as it didn't cover her ears. The second hat I made was for Lucy and it had multi-colored stripes. Problem is, I made the mistake of buying cheap yarn. The hat got so stretched almost immediately and as a result doesn't really stay on. Regardless, she still loves it and wears it often. Clara then begged me to make her one too so I decided to make another striped hat, but this time with nicer yarn. Every day as she saw my progress she'd excitedly say, "Claka hat, Claka hat" (she calls herself Claka). 

The hat has been mostly finished for at least a week now. The thing is, I still haven't totally learned how to or had the time to completely finish it. It doesn't look bad apart from all of the strings hanging down/off of it at the seam where I switched the colors for the stripes. Yet, one of the first things Clara does every morning when she goes downstairs is put on her hat. With a huge smile on her face she proclaims, "mama hat". 

It made me think of every aspect of being their mama. Even if their hats are super stretched out or have strings hanging off of them, they still love and adore them. It makes me realize that at least for now I can do no wrong in their eyes. They love me unconditionally, even if I'm not perfect. 


Monday, January 11, 2016

3 Months Old

Life is flying by and I can't believe little Stella is three months old already (and has been for a week or so as I'm late on this post). With January starting we have lots going on. The holidays were busy, but the days were long without planned activities. Now that it's January we have some more things planned. I look forward to having things to do and getting out of the house and I know the girls do too. I can't imagine just sitting home every day. Pop pop will bring L & C to gymnastics on Tuesdays and they usually go for donuts after. Sometimes I go and sometimes I stay home with Stella or run errands with her. On Wednesdays we are doing music class. My mom will come with us and it's nice and close. The girls love the Music Together classes. On Fridays my mom and MiL have agreed to do swim lessons with the girls. I went last week to show them where everything was but don't plan to go in the future. It's so nice to have so much help and support with the girls.





Stella- I can't believe you're three months old already. Time is passing so fast so I try to enjoy your sweet baby snuggles as much as possible. Some of my favorites times of the day are when it's just the two of us snuggled in bed together. Most mornings you eat and then go back to sleep, giving us some quality snuggle time. You're smiling much more and generally happier and more comfortable. You still don't startle to loud noises but you are starting to turn your head if you hear me or your daddy talking. We went to our first mama baby yoga class yesterday and you were so good. You just watched me contently from the top of my mat. You smile all the time and love your big sisters. You like to watch them play and are always happy when they talk to you or bring you toys to play with. You generally eat every two hours during the day and sleep one nice long stretch at night of about 6 hours. You are up to eat once around 3 or 4, but go right back to sleep. Some nights I fall asleep feeding you and then wake up some time later with you snuggled up sleeping next to me. You currently sleep either in the Dock a Tot in our bed or the rock and play depending on how congested you sound. You drool like crazy and always have your hands in your mouth. Occasionally you gag yourself by shoving your whole hand so far into your mouth, but that seems to be happening less and less. You love to fly above me and will search all over to find my face until you light up and smile. You coo and chat back and forth with us often and are quite the conversationalist!  You love your bath but hate getting out and get so upset every time. You can be difficult for your daddy to calm down and he sometimes gets frustrated by it, especially when I just talk to you and you instantly stop crying. Mama's voice almost always does the trick to calm you down. You love standing up on your feet and are getting better at tummy time. You still like the ring sling but prefer to face out unless you're sleepy. Your eyes are bright blue and your eyelashes are getting thicker and longer. You're wearing mostly 3 month clothing but some 3-6 month pants, especially with cloth diapers. You still aren't sure about your carseat and will occasionally cry while in it. It's super sad and I hope you learn to like it more soon. You love being held facing out and would be content to do that all day long if possible. It's so fun to watch you grow and change every day.




Thursday, January 7, 2016

2015 Year in Review

2015 really was the year of Stella. It's crazy to think she wasn't even conceived at this point last year and now she's already three months old. I spend the majority of 2015 pregnant and then the rest of it with a new squishy little baby. 

In January we found out we were expecting another little baby. It's was truly terrifying given my history of miscarriages and the age of Lucy and Clara.  I still laugh that I told Dr. B that I was pregnant before I told my husband. I came across the video of me telling W the other day and laughed at the shock on his face. I was still nursing and had to stop in order to start medications to sustain the pregnancy. 
We started doing PiYo and not eating any processed foods. 

I took this picture on the day I found out I was pregnant. 

In February we had our first ultrasound and trip to NYC/Long Island with the girls. We saw baby Stella as a teeny tiny embryo and were reassured everything was going well. 
The girls got to play in the snow for the first time. 
My friend nicknamed the baby "Quincy" since my husband is the fourth generation of his name and this is a nickname for the fifth. This nickname stuck for the entire pregnancy. 






In March the girls dropped at nap and started napping only once a day. They also started walking by themselves to the car which made my life so much easier. 
I took another trip to NYC by myself for an ultrasound with Dr. B and the NT scan with my OB. 
We traveled to spend time with my sister and dad for Easter. 



I remember the beginning of April being tough. Between sickness and teething, the girls were super difficult. 
We took a trip to Mexico with my mom and she landed herself in the ICU at the hospital with seizures for most of the trip. Needless to say, it wasn't the relaxing vacation we had hoped for. 
I announced my pregnancy on Facebook. 
I started interviewing other OB's and looking around to switch providers as I really wanted a VBAC. 
A good friend and her twins moved. 



In May we found out we were adding another little girl to our family. 
I took a week-long course to become a certified lactation consultant and we introduced potty training to the girls. I remember feeling a bit disappointed and isolated about the lack of play dates and fun things to do with friends. 

Mothers Day
Our announcement
Memorial Day
In June we started working on the nursery, had our first night away from the girls, and I reached viability. I also hired our doula Jen. 



July brought the failure of my 1 hour glucose test and all the drama that came with it. I was super upset during this time about failing and refused the three hour. Instead I had to test myself four times a day for two weeks. In the end I totally avoided the label, but it was really stressful to me. My "little sister" from the moms of multiples delivered her babies at 34 weeks and we spend a lot of time using her pool while she was in the hospital. Finding out the baby monitor reached to the pool was one of the best things ever. I spent many days lounging in the pool while the girls napped. It was amazing!
More good friends moved. 


One of my favorite pictures of all time



4th of July




I spent most of August planning L & C's Sesame Street themed birthday party. I celebrated my 32nd birthday and decided I wanted to switch back to my old OB. Unfortunately they wouldn't take me back so I was stuck with the new practice. 





In September we celebrated Lucy and Clara's second birthday with a Sesame Street party. Like always I invited way too many people, but luckily the weather was nice so we were able to all be outside.
 We ditched the pacifiers and seriously struggled with sleep issues for quite a few weeks until we finally let the girls cry it out. The sleep issues were seriously stressful with another baby so close to arriving. We missed W's cousin's wedding as the people we were supposed to stay with were sick and instead got sick by going to the state fair.
We went apple picking with friends.
I switched off of Lovenox and packed my hospital bag. 
Chocolate milk at the state fair

On their birthday

Apple picking



Opening presents on their actual birthday



Early October brought Stella into our lives. Her birth was a huge event of the year. I spent a few weeks feeling down and fighting off PPD, but started to feel a little more like myself by the end of the month. The girls were donuts for Halloween and Stella was a little munchkin. I reflected on how grateful I felt to have my three children, despite how crazy life felt.
We had family photos taken by my friend Stacy for the second year in a row and went pumpkin picking as our first big outing as a family of five. 
My favorite from our family photos. 

Mama and Stella





Our first official family photo. 
So little




Carving our pumpkins. 
In November we struggled with Stella's reflux and learned she likely had a hearing loss by repeated failures on hearing screenings. I spent a little time feeling bad about wanting to put my baby on a schedule, but then realized it's important to do what works for each person and family.
We celebrated Thanksgiving at home with my dad and then went to my mom's for another Thanksgiving meal that evening.
 I took Stella's to Albany to have her upper lip tie and posterior tongue ties revised. 

I tell the girls to put toys at her feet because otherwise they'll put them on her head.


Sweaters knitted by Grandma. 




In December we started to get into more of a groove. Stella failed another hearing test and we saw an ENT. We celebrated Christmas at home and the girls got new Cozy Coupe Cars, a ton of clothes, some fun flashlight books, puzzles, baby doll accessories, and a trampoline.
 I felt a bit disappointed by the professionals I hired to help me in my post partum time, but have since changed my expectations.
We went down and cut down our Christmas tree with W's cousin and family.
We were super bummed to miss another family member's wedding on New Year's Eve in NYC, but happy to have three beautiful little girls to snuggle instead.
Stella's reflux was a little more under control and she started to be a more content and happy baby.
We went to a fun Christmas party and my friend who moved in April came for a visit. 
At the Christmas tree farm. 





The past few years I answered the following questions and always enjoy reading back. I'm going to keep the tradition going. 

What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before? 
Experienced labor and contractions
Let my children cry it out after struggling with sleep issues for weeks 
Left the girls overnight 
Learned to knit
Attended our first music concert since having the girls

Did you keep your resolutions and will you make more for this year?
Last year I wanted to be healthier by cutting out sugar and processed foods. We did great at the start and then I got pregnant and the morning sickness kicked in. I spent most of my pregnancy feeling awful and sick, so eating was a real challenge. I'd like to get back to doing this again in order to feel healthier. 

Did anyone close to you give birth?
My neighbor and little sister had her twins at the end of July. 
My fertility buddy Holly finally gave birth to a little girl after seeing Dr. B and way too many loses for anyone.
 My friend Michelle was due after Christmas but didn't have her baby until 2016. 

Did anyone close to you die?
Luckily, no. 

What countries did you visit?
Mexico. We went to the Riviera Maya in April with my mom. She ended up having seizures the first night and spending most of the trip in an ICU. It didn't turn out to be the vacation we felt we so badly needed. 

What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
I would like to have more patience with the girls. I would also like to have a little time for self care as it's nothing something that's easy to find these days, yet so badly needed. 

What dates will be etched upon your memory, and why?
Feb 13- our first ultrasound for Stella with Dr B in Long Island. We booked appointments on Friday the 13th two months in a row.  
September 3- Lucy and Clara's second birthday 
October 1- the day I went into labor
October 3- the day Stella was born 

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Growing and birthing another perfect little girl. Stella is definitely my biggest achievement of the year. I also took a week long course to become a certified lactation consultant. 

What was your biggest failure?
Stella's birth felt a bit like a failure as it didn't go as I had hoped/intended.
When she was first born I also felt like a bit of a failure for wanting to have her on a schedule and not being as flexible as I hoped I would be. In the end I realized that's just the way I parent and it's not necessarily a bad thing. 

Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was pretty sick my entire pregnancy. I was on medications at first to help manage it, but eventually was able to come off of them because they gave me horrible headaches.
I struggled some with feeling down at different times during the year, but nothing too severe. 

What was the best thing you bought?
I can't honestly think of any big purchases we made this year. I think the best thing we bought were the expensive meds that helped me sustain my pregnancy with Stella. During my pregnancy with L& C my insurance covered these same meds. This time not so much. 

Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage, bills, food, car, endless amounts of cute kid things. The only thing I changed about the last sentence from last year is I changed baby to kid. 

What did you get really excited about? 
Getting pregnant spontaneously with Stella and the first time the girls got to meet her. 

What songs will always remind you of 2015?
Stitches by Shawn Mendes

Compared to this time last year are you:
Happier or Sadder? I wouldn't necessarily say sadder, but it's been a challenging and hugely life changing year. I went from having two sweet babies last year to now having two challenging toddlers and a newborn. 
Thinner or Fatter? Fatter : ( being three months post partum doesn't help that. 
Richer or Poorer? Poorer since I didn't work too much.

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Enjoying my pregnancy.

What do you wish you'd done less of? 
Worring about how Stella's birth would go and about little things during my pregnancy. I wish I hadn't put so much energy into switching providers and stressed so much about the gestational diabetes. 

How did you spend Christmas?
We had a lobster dinner with just us on Christmas Eve at home. We spent Christmas morning at home and I made cinnamon buns from scratch for breakfast. W's parents came over to celebrate a little later and we opened presents with them. We went to W's Aunt's house for dinner with about 15 family members. 
We celebrated Christmas with my mom, step dad, and brother a few days earlier with dinner at my mom's house. 
We went to Albany the weekend of New Year's and got a hotel. We celebrated there with my dad, sister, step mom, BiL, and nephew. 

What was your favorite TV program?
Honesty? No idea. I watched The Office for the 100th+ time.

What was your favorite book of the year?
Wish I had gotten to read more. My friends just started up our book club again but I haven't even cracked the ginormous book that I'm supposed to have read in a few weeks.

What were your favorite films of the year?
I finally saw Inside Out and loved it. We saw The Hunger Games in the theatre but didn't love it. 

What's one thing that would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A successful VBAC. 

What kept you sane?
W and my friends. It seems I relate best to other moms who have twins since they seem to understand best the craziness that is life with twins. My in laws have really helped a ton since Stella arrived and are here a few days every week to help out. Without them things would be really difficult as a SAHM to three kids two and under. 

Tell us valuable lessons you learned in 2015:
Just because you plan things and want things to go a certain way doesn't mean they will. Birth is unpredictable. 
Toddlers are tough! Even though words make life with toddlers easier, it can also make it more difficult when they ask for things they can have or demand things.
The post-partum period is tough even without babies in the NICU.

2015 really was a crazy year. Lucy and Clara changed so much during that time. They started really talking and learned to use the potty. The huge surprise that was Stella entered our family and turned things upside down. I'm so grateful for this life that I have and feel so blessed and lucky to have my three beautiful little girls. I'm so amazed by how much life changes every year and I can't wait to look back on this next year to see how different everything is.