Saturday, December 4, 2010

We Have Teeth!

Victoria has sprouted her first two teeth at the same time! I was doing my usual check for teeth today and I was so surprised to feel not one but two bumpy ridges on her lower jaw that were not there yesterday!

I'm so ridiculously excited about this!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Yep - that's me...been gone for quite some time. No excuse...just been so busy and with Christmas approaching, been busy trying to get the shopping done.

Since the kids started solid foods, I have committed (or maybe it is that I should BE committed) to making all of their food with as many organic ingredients as I can get my hands on. My Mom will also be traveling during Christmas and will be gone for a month so I have been furiously stock piling food for both the kids and for my DH and I so we won't just eat take out when she's not here.

Still no nanny. Couldn't find someone suitable for our part-time position so we decided to take a break for now. I have the contact information of two nanny agencies where I can hire someone on a casual basis at a moment's notice to help me if I'm having a rough day.

The girls have grown so much and I can't believe how much they have changed over the past few weeks. Both my girls are babbling quite a lot now. It's funny that Caitlyn, my mini-me, said "Mama" first and Victoria, my DH's mini-me, said "Baba" first! It's so sweet to hear them call out...I don't think they associate those sounds with us yet but I like to pretend that they do and I answer them each time so hopefully they will begin to learn that Mama is ME! I think my girls are starting to recognize and respond to their names. When I call them by name, they will turn and look at me which is really cool.

As far as mobility, neither one is crawling yet although they have learned that they can pretty much well roll to wherever they want to go. Victoria can pivot around 360 degrees so she can get where she wants to go pretty fast. Neither one of my girls is sitting up on their own yet - they can balance for a few seconds but then they like to flop backwards into my lap as they think that this whole sitting up thing is a game. No teeth yet.

In terms of sleeping, my girls still go to bed really early - around 5:30pm. Victoria has taken to napping for about an hour and a half to two hours each morning and another hour and 20 minutes in the afternoon. Caitlyn on the other hand likes to nap for around an hour in the morning and just a half hour in the afternoon. Her second nap was very problematic for a long time - she would refuse to take a nap entirely or when she finally did nap, she only did so for 10-15 minutes. I adjusted her bedtime up to 5pm for a few weeks and that seemed to do the trick in that she started taking an afternoon nap again. I was concerned with it being so short at just 30 minutes but she wakes up happy from this nap and she also doesn't get cranky and whiny at 4pm like she used to. So, I have accepted the fact that Caitlyn needs less sleep than Victoria and everyone is happy and well rested.

About 2 weeks ago, we dropped the last night feed. The girls just didn't seem to need it anymore. They slept through a few nights on their own and surprised us and then when we did go in to give them bottles, they didn't seem to want the whole bottle and that just told us that they were not really that hungry. They were getting up more out of habit than out of hunger. So, we stopped cold turkey. The first 2 nights were kind of rough with some extended crying bouts during which we could not allow ourselves to go in, but then after that, they have slept through the night since. There is the occasional complaint here and there but otherwise, we have not done a night feed in 2 weeks! I finally stopped pumping in the middle of the night this week as I continued just in case we needed to do a night feed but I finally let that go as well as I was freezing bags and bags of EBM. It is a relief not to have to get up but it is also kind of sad as well...the girls are growing up!

At their last checkup last month at 8 months (we went in for a weight check only), Victoria was 14lbs 11oz and Caitlyn was 16lbs 10oz. The weight difference has increased to almost 2lbs. Since then, I have been sneaking avocado into as many meals for Victoria as I can to try to fatten her up. I can't feed her egg yolk because last few times I did, she threw up after eating it so no egg yolk for her! I also have started feeding them full fat yogurt and they eat a variety of meats and veggies. Latest fruits they've tried are blueberries, mango and kiwi and they have eaten salmon, beef, chicken and pork. I still nurse them 3 times a day (morning, mid-morning snack and mid-afternoon snack) plus they get a bottle with dinner but I worry about them not getting enough fluids. It's always a delicate balancing act...too much solids, not enough room for fluids and then they get constipated. Too much fluids, not enough room for solids and so they don't stay as full for as long.

My DH and I will be venturing out next week for a date. Our first one since our Anniversary back in September. The girls are sleeping a lot more soundly so we are not as nervous about leaving them with someone who would have to listen to them cry the entire night. My Mom has graciously agreed to babysit for us so we can get out to a 7pm showing of Harry Potter - we're big fans and very excited to see it next week. Imagine - haven't been to a movie in over a year! We never wanted to go out before because the girls would always wake up and cry out periodically in the night. If we put them down for 6pm, we would hear someone at 7pm cry, then again probably at 8:30pm, again at get the idea. Now, they go to sleep around 5:30pm and we don't hear a peep from them until maybe midnight if at all. Sometimes they sleep right through without a sound until around 4am the next morning! In any event, we are starting to venture out again here and there.

So that's about it for now. Anyone want to know anything about what's going on developmentally or otherwise? Ask away...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Canadian Thanksgiving up here and there is a lot that we have been thinking about this weekend. Of course, there are all of the things that we are thankful for that we are thinking about, top of the list the two beautiful baby girls that are sleeping in the room next to this one right now. We've come a long way since last year at this time.

I think a lot about my IF sisters and my friends who helped me through this whole process...I give thanks for your presence in my life and how you all helped me through such a difficult and challenging time in my life. I only wish I could do more for you all because I will always be so grateful for your support.

I haven't forgotten you all. I may not comment on your blogs as much as I used to but I still read them and try to give support as much as I can.

This weekend was nice, not too busy with one family celebration Sunday night. For having two small kids, I think my DH and I do pretty well with entertaining and such. We hosted the dinner and roasted the turkey and did a few side dishes on top of that. It's easier that way to have everyone come to us b/c we are not willing to sacrifice the girls' naps/bedtime to go out. We know the difference between a well rested happy child and a very cranky and tired unhappy child and believe me, two unhappy children are hard to handle so we opt for well rested and happy most days. Besides, it is not forever that they will need such an early bedtime and such structure to their sleeping patterns and we are setting them up for later on in life.

My poor little Caitlyn got a stomach bug today and was vomiting all over me this morning. She lost her entire breakfast all over me and then couldn't keep down all of her lunch. Poor thing. This is the first time she's been sick and we weren't sure what to do and I was concerned that she was going to be dehydrated so we called Telehealth Ontario (a free, government run program which puts you into contact with a registered nurse 24 hours/7 days a week for advice regarding whether to treat at home, go to your doctor or go to the hospital/emergency). They were great and coached us through what to do and what to monitor for. Caitlyn was able to keep down her milk so I nursed her a little more frequently and then put her to bed without any solids. The nurse told me not to give her any solids until she hasn't thrown up for 8 hours, which would have been 10pm tonight and she's not up at that time. So, I'm probably going to have to get up to feed her a little more often tonight as she will likely be a little hungrier so I'd better get to bed.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone - I hope you had a good weekend!

My two baby girls...(Caitlyn on left, Victoria on right)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

10 Years Ago Today

We said "I do" and walked into the sunset of happily ever after.

Until we started to try to have kids.

I think of how far we have come and how we are no longer those innocent, bright eyed kids that ran down the aisle at the church, so eager to start living our life together. We thought that life would be all sunshine and a bed of roses. We had no idea what was in store for us a few years down the road.

We're not so innocent anymore. We're not so naive.

However, my marriage is so much stronger than it was when we started out. Everything that IF put us through has made our marriage rock solid. All that we went through, we suffered through together, each one holding the other one up when we couldn't stand on our own. When IF dealt us blows that we didn't think we could withstand, instead of letting it drive us apart, we grew closer together. We stared into each others eyes and told each other that somehow, someday, it would be okay and that we would get through this.

I don't doubt for a minute that my husband loves me. I don't doubt for a second that he would do anything for me. I don't doubt that together, we can withstand anything life throws at us. I will hold his hand through anything as he will hold mine.

Happy 10th Anniversary Honey - you're the best and I love you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Good Help is Hard to Find These Days

I've been looking for someone to help me on a part-time basis for the last month and a half as my first nanny went back to work on a full-time basis for the family that sponsored her. I knew this was always a temporary arrangement and only for the summer but I think I was kind of hoping I could do it all on my own in the fall and save the money. I've proven to myself in these past few weeks sans nanny that I can do it by myself, but it is really tiring and I have a hard time dealing with the blips in "normal" when someone has a sleepless night or when the time comes, the first illness or a cold or egads, teething. On of my friends gently asked me if saving the money was worth the price of my sanity and she's right. I gotta stop being so cheap and just go out and find someone.

I had started out with very high hopes using the website and I paid the membership fee of $85 to gain access to their listing of nannies but to be honest, I've been pretty disappointed in the quality of the candidates that I have been seeing. I think that if we were looking for a full-time nanny, we would likely be seeing more potential nannies but for what I'm looking for, I don't get that much serious interest.

I am upfront about what we need and I am very clear that this is a part-time position 3 mornings a week but I still get yahoos applying for the job and I get the sense that it is as a backup until they find full-time work and then will leave us. A lot of these nannies contact me, set up an interview and then not show up which is a complete waste of my time and extremely irritating. At the worst point, we had two interviews with two different potential nannies booked Sunday night and Monday night and neither one showed up. ARGH! I actually called the first no show to see if she was okay and if she was still coming and someone else answered the phone. When the twit realized that it was me, suddenly my call was disconnected and the cell phone turned off when I tried to call back. If you're not going to come, at least tell me. As it was, my poor DH was sitting outside with Daisy each night so that if the nanny arrived, Daisy wouldn't bark at the doorbell. Waste of our time - geez.

After suffering through this horrible process, we decided to take a break and are now back looking again but going about this in an entirely different manner.

We've decided to hire one or two Early Childhood Education students from one of the local universities to cover the 15 hours/week I'm looking for help. I've got job postings submitted at three of the universities that have ECE programs and hopefully, we'll see some better, more suitable candidates for our job.

All I know is that I don't want to see any more irresponsible, rude and flaky potential nannies that waste my time. The best part is that the career centers at each of these universities will allow you to do a job posting for FREE. I hope that someone with a good attitude who wants the experience of working with twins will apply for our job. Really, we can't see any worse candidates...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Very "Solid" Start to Solids

As I mentioned in my last post, we started solids a few days ago. I was pretty excited to get to this major milestone and eagerly anticipating seeing my girls develop into foodies just like Mama and Baba. I had visions in my head of offering a spoon full of wholesome, organic fruit or vegetable goodness to my girls and having them joyfully opening up their mouths to eat it (and getting it all in of course without any mess! Hey - it's my fantasy!).

So here's your opportunity to feel a little superior for a moment as I have managed to bungle up this new food introduction pretty good. Due to my overenthusiastic efforts to introduce solids, my poor little Victoria is now constipated. I had to watch her scream and cry through a bowel movement today and wipe the tears from her eyes as she struggled to pass everything that I had been joyfully spooning into her. Now let me qualify - she isn't technically constipated in that her stools are still soft but they are the firmest they have ever been in her lifetime and she really struggles to pass them (sorry TMI).

I have to admit that I didn't have a lot of time to do any reading...I just quickly read through the short section in the What to Expect book (in the first year - not the pregnancy one) and thought "Okay - we'll just feed them a little bit...just until they don't want any more." There was not a lot of information in that particular book and they didn't really include any quantities or how much to give them so I started off with 1tbsp of rice cereal per the package instructions. After the initial shock and resistance to the introduction of solids, my girls showed great interest in having more so I prepared and fed them more and more cereal until they didn't want any more. This translated into 2-3 tbsp of cereal plus about 1/4 of an avocado (the next thing I introduced) mixed in. Then I had a tiny bowl of mashed bananas, maybe about 1 tbsp of that on the side as that was the 3rd thing I was introducing. It was about 3-4 tbsp of food in total which doesn't sound like a lot...but for a 7 month old, I guess it is a lot.

I had read that at this point, the introduction of solids should not replace BF but rather, the aim is to get them used to chewing and moving the food from the front of their mouths to the back and then swallowing it. They aren't supposed to be getting any real nutrition from this food - it's more for "learning and enjoyment" as one book put it (so I read after). I didn't understand how introducing solids could not have an impact on how much milk they were drinking - there is only so much room and if I'm feeding them until they don't want any more, how does that not replace even a small portion of the milk they would have drank? I quickly discovered that with so much solid foods added, they were beginning to not have enough room for milk when I would go to nurse them.

Tonight, after putting the girls to bed, I started consulting Dr. Google and called my sister about how to go about introducing solids properly. Wow did I make a lot of mistakes!

Mistake #1: starting with rice cereal and feeding it to the kids in a large quantity as a base for all of their meals. Did you know that rice cereal (and rice in general) is constipating? I didn't! (It's okay - you can feel superior...I give you permission!) I just thought rice was easy to digest and all of the resources I had consulted prior to today pointed at rice cereal as the first and most obvious choice to introduce solids. Besides, I'm Asian so rice as a first meal seemed like a natural choice.

Mistake #2: feeding the girls such large quantities of the new solid I am introducing. I now know that introducing solids is just that - an introduction to the tune of about 1tsp to 1tbsp *in total* depending on whose opinion you've solicited. Now in my defense, I have this recipe book that I do quite like that provides recipes by age and introduction of solid foods and it talks about a portion size at this stage as being something like a half of an avocado which sounds enormous for a small child IMHO. I thought I was okay by feeding them a portion which is a lot less than half of an avocado but I was still giving them too much. So, tomorrow it's back to just 1tbsp of whatever it is that I'm introducing.

Mistake #3: choosing banana as a first fruit. Did you know that bananas are also constipating in nature?? I didn't (again, here you may feel superior - it's okay, really)! In what little reading I did beforehand, many books recommend starting off with bananas as a first fruit as it is sweet and can be readily mashed to the appropriate consistency. So here I am, merrily feeding my kids not one but two constipating causing foods in their first exposure to solid foods. I obviously have more reading to do about the effect that various foods will have on one's digestive system.

Mistake #4: feeding the girls solids 2x/day. So apparently, when introducing solids, you're supposed to do it just once a day in tiny quantities (i.e. 1tbsp or less) which is how this can be done without any impact to BF at this point.

Mistake #5: introducing solids before BF. Apparently, the way to do it is to introduce solids after breastfeeding to ensure that they don't fill up on solids yet as they aren't supposed to be getting their nutrition from this source at this point. Breast milk should still be the primary source of their calories. I gave them solids before BFing because I wanted them to be hungry and therefore more receptive to new tastes and textures but at this point you're not supposed to do that. Who knew?

So there you have it - in 5 short days I have managed to wreak havoc on my little one's digestive system. My sister recommended a book called The Baby's Table which I will be picking up tomorrow and it includes important information such as serving sizes and frequency of servings along with a sample menu plan. This book will help me to get from introduction up to the full transition to solid foods which is exactly what I'm looking for. This would have been so helpful to have had last week. However, better late than never and I know this is a learning process for the both of us.

So sorry to have constipated you Victoria - I hope you forgive Mama...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What are they up to now?

I thought it would be fun to update you on what Victoria and Caitlyn are doing these days as it is always interesting to see what new things they have learned or recently mastered. They just turned 7 months old and I find that so hard to believe, just like I'm having a hard time believing it is already September! I must say that this is a really fun age where they are more and more interactive, not just with me but with each other which is really cute to watch. Just today, Victoria was looking at Caitlyn and smiling right at her and cooing which I thought was really cute.

First off - we went to the doctor's today for the last of their vaccine shots so we're injection free until 1 year now (phew!). While we were there, of course we took the opportunity to weigh them and Caitlyn was 14lbs 10oz and Victoria was 13lbs 5oz. They're still pretty small and of more concern is that Victoria has not put on as much weight as Caitlyn has and the difference is widening between them. They used to be just a half pound different but now the gap has increased to a full pound and a half difference in their weights. I know that they are different kids but Victoria still should have put on more weight given her length which is still normal. So, we're going to let her keep her night feed and try to make sure she gets an extra bottle that way as Caitlyn normally sleeps through the night unless Victoria wakes her up.

Onto developmental milestones...Victoria has mastered rolling over from back to front in both directions and is actually quite quick and fast at it. She can now flip from front onto her back but does this less than the other move as she prefers to be on her stomach. Caitlyn can now roll over from back to front but she is less inclined to do so as she prefers to be on her back. If I get her started, she'll finish rolling over but she doesn't know how to go back the other way and will get stuck and cry. Neither one of my girls are able to sit in an upright position without assistance however they do hold their heads up when they are pulling up to the sitting position from the ground (rather than letting their heads hang backwards).

They are both laughing and cooing which is absolutely adorable. My Mom was sitting in the back seat of the car with them today, making sure that no one fell asleep on the ride home from the doctor's office and Caitlyn was just giggling away at her antics. It was truly adorable to hear her little giggle - sweet! Victoria also likes to coo really softly, so softly that it sounds a lot like heavy breathing but just way cuter - I call it her "Baby Darth Vadar" imitation and have been trying to capture it on video.

Both of my girls are starting to reach out and grab stuff so we have to be careful when we sit them down in our laps. Victoria is going to be a dentist when she grows up because she just loves to brush her gums. When she sees the toothbrush, her little hand will reach out and grab it and she'll stick it in her mouth and move it back and forth. Sometimes I'll have to pry it out of her hands as she just wants to keep brushing!

Our next big thing is that we're starting solids tomorrow! I'm excited to see what their reaction is to something new although rice cereal doesn't sound that appetizing to me in the least. I guess their taste buds are developing and they are really tasting things very keenly. I gave them some infant Tylenol today just in case they had an adverse reaction to the shot and they both decided that today, they just didn't like the flavour at all. I find that so hard to believe - it's the white grape flavour and it must be sweet but both girls screwed up their faces and frowned. Victoria absolutely hates it and will spit out as much as I manage to get into her mouth. The only thing I can think of is that it is too sweet for their tastes right now. I've tried hiding it in milk but that doesn't go down well either so I'm glad that it appears that they don't really need it this time but I'm stuck if they really do need the medicine and I can't get it in them. Anyway, I'm excited to try solids tomorrow and it will be interesting to see what they like or don't like. Their little faces can't lie at this age and to see the look of absolute enjoyment/disgust is pretty funny.

So that's it for now. Everyone is doing well but I gotta work on fattening up my little Victoria.