Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Life with twins at 1 year!

My baby boys are ONE YEAR OLD! We have officially moved out of the newborn/infant/baby stage and into the terrifying toddler years. [insert an ominous "oooooh" here]  They walk, they babble, they throw epic temper tantrums already! They learn something new everyday and you can almost see their little minds at work figuring things out, sometimes I swear they sit in their cribs during nap time learning new stuff just to freak me out. They also get this devilish little grin when you tell them "no!" and then continue to do what they were doing. Yup, full blown toddlers already. 

I was so scared to try to wean these guys off of bottles and on to real food completely. It didn't seem like they would be ready for it by the time they were a year old. Or maybe it was me that didn't feel ready for it emotionally.  Around 11 - 11 1/2 months old, they did the weaning for me! They started "declining" afternoon bottles and then fighting me to drink their breakfast bottle the following week. At this point we are offering them one bottle before bed and that's it. And, usually, they don't want it... but they have the option to drink it for the time being.

Until we go to the pediatrician in April and get the okay to be done with bottles.

Our Schedule:
7 a.m. - Wake up, 10 ounce sippy cup of whole milk and a handful of Cheerios
9 a.m. - Breakfast
10 a.m. - Nap #1
12 p.m. - Snack
1:30 p.m. - Lunch
3 p.m. - Nap #2... awake by 4:15 at the latest!
5 p.m. - Dinner
7 p.m. - Start bedtime routine. Bath, pajamas, offer a bottle, read a book
7:30 - 7:45 - Everyone asleep!

There is much more flexibility now that we're not tied to bottles - and I have fewer diaper bag necessities to carry with me at all times. Nap time is also more flexible although they still need 2 naps. No way, no how, would we get through the day without 2 naps. I have to limit their total nap time to 3 hours during the day to preserve their nighttime sleep. Oliver sleeps like a rock so I am always having to wake him.
Babies are a complex balancing act! 

Where we are now: 
  • We walk, we run, we ...climb?! AH!
  • We point, throw things, fetch (oops?)  and figure out how to use our toys
  • We feed ourselves... sometimes with silverware!
  • We have quite a vocabulary of babbles, sounds, screams and grunts
  • We can respond to simple commands such as "give" and "where's the kitty?"
  • We have 7 1/2 teeth each! 4 on top and 3 completely broken through on the bottom with a little canine tooth on its way in
  • We clap, wave bye-bye and can help clean up... if we want to.
Here's what we've been up to!

We are legitimate crazy people!

Like, super crazy!

We sucker Dad into giving up piggy backs!

Learning new skills everyday

They're a huge fan of blocks!

And figuring out this gear-spinny-toy

Watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse every morning

My sweet Lizzie Kadeepah!

This just in! I caught Emmy putting lids on bottles!

These kids are hilarious (just like me?) and are getting into more trouble and having more adventures each day. I find myself staring at them for a good long time each day just wondering how they got so big and adult-baby-like so quickly. I'm sad that I'll never be getting these days back but I'm soooo excited to see what kind of fun we can have tomorrow.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tips for Moving with Babies

We recently moved about 25 minutes away. With twin toddlers. Yes, we are crazy and yes, it was a really really really long but well-planned out event. I do not recommend moving with small children if you can at all avoid it, but you know that's not always possible. The boys were 11 months old, walking and eating solid food, with about 4 bottles a day still, so your experience may vary!  Here are a couple of tips I have for you - in case you ever need to go through this.

1. Pack up baby necessities last. We barely touched the boys' nursery until the morning of the move. Unlike adult humans, little humans tend to get grumpy if they don't have their specific crib to sleep in, their specific toy when they want it or enough outfits to last them a week. Adult humans can live out of a suitcase for a week if needed and don't need rails and pacifiers to go to sleep.

2. Set up the baby area first. Make sure their stuff is the first stuff you find and unpack so you're not looking for that one lovey or blankie come bed time, because it will have been a really long day and you will not want to try to find it. Not that your screaming baby will give you time to find it, anyway. Also, set up a baby-proofed safe spot for them first thing so they are not running around sticking fingers in electrical sockets or playing in a toilet. You'll thank me later for this idea, even though it seems like common sense. 

3. Keep their schedule as close to the same as possible. MAKE SURE THEY CAN NAP. We dealt with two overly tired babies because they did not nap well. Bedtime was a disaster. You'll also want to make sure they eat (pre-make a couple of meals that travel well so you're not scrambling trying to come up with food at the last minute!) around the same times they usually do. Don't let them skip a meal because they are too distracted by everything else that's going on.

4. Do as much as you can in one day. Instead of trying to deal with a week of out-of-whack-ness, try to consolidate and do everything you can in one day. Even if that day ends up being 20 hours long. Instead of having overstimulated, exhausted babies fighting bedtime for a week, make it a day or two. You're an adult, you can do it - I believe in you!

5. Enlist help. Like so much help. If you think you have enough help, double it. We called in every favor we could and had about 12 people helping us move in one day. I was in charge of unpacking as the man-folk brought loads of stuff from our old house. I had at least one person assigned to a baby at any given time and then extra people helping wherever and whenever they could. It helps that I have a big family and everyone has a significant other... so... lots of capable hands to do heavy lifting! Now we'll just have to pay back the favors whenever someone else is moving...

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Toddler Meals: Part 1

Follow me on Facebook for more baby/toddler meals ideas!

We're in the process of weaning the boys off of formula since they are almost a year old already! Let me tell you, it's no walk in the park. Making healthy and kid appropriate foods for two babies for 3 meals a day plus a snack is no easy feat... it's about 10 times harder and more time consuming than mixing a bottle. But cooking is one of my passions and as much as I love to cook, I also love to eat. I want these little guys to be the same - well-rounded, not-picky, healthy little eaters.

Lots of people ask me what I feed them and some people seem a bit thrown off by the foods that I offer them. I strongly believe that I should not have to put together a special meal for the boys - they can eat exactly what Andy and I are eating, with a little bit of tweaking sometimes.

I don't eat breakfast so I have to fix them their own little meals for breakfast. Usually peanut butter toast, banana, cereal, yogurt, various fruits, waffles with fruit spread, banana pancakes... the usual breakfast items.

I sometimes don't eat lunch either, so I make large batches of lunch type items to keep in the fridge and pull out small portions as needed. Turkey dogs (quartered), frittatas (omelettes), various steamed vegetables, leftovers, grilled cheese, wraps. My goal is at least one fruit, vegetable, protein and carbohydrate on the plate at any given time. I let the boys decide what they eat and how much of it they eat - I haven't forced anything on them... yet.

Dinner is a toned-down version of whatever Andy and I are eating, whether it is just cut into baby-sized pieces or if I leave out the excessive seasonings (I'm a huge fan of red pepper flakes...)

Here's a couple of pictures of the pint-sized meals these guys have had this week. Disclaimer: I make things in large batches and use for several meals so you will see repeated foods! 

Chopped cauliflower and broccoli, mandarin oranges and blueberries, leftover Italian sausage pasta

Peanut butter toast fingers, omelette fingers (green beans and swiss cheese inside), blueberries and mandarin oranges

Slices of banana and peaches coated in Rice Krispies, omelette fingers

Leftover sweet potato chicken chili, mandarin oranges, sliced cheese, tater tots and omelette

 Pasta salad and pumpkin pie spiced Greek yogurt, that I let the boys feed themselves...

It was super messy and they had to have a mid-day bath afterward but they had fun learning to eat!

Stay tuned for more toddler meals and finger foods ideas --- you'll never know what they'll be eating next! 

(Their absolute favorite food right now is sweet potato fries... they literally eat them so fast I have yet to get a picture of them!)