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Easter weekend

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By far the best Easter I can remember in a long time, this weekend was full of family, food, and an absurd amount of time spent listening to our babies laugh (they love their grandparents, aunts and cousins).  On Saturday we packed up and headed to my mom and step-dad’s house where we hung out with them and my sister for the day.  We laid in the floor forever watching Linc and Viv soak in time with Grandma and Aunt Cristen.  It was a super relaxing day, and we topped it off with some mexican food for dinner and hanging out in the kitchen making food to take to my grandparent’s on Sunday.

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It was a late night, and I didn’t sleep well once we finally went to bed.  But Sunday morning came early anyway, and it was hard to feel tired once we pulled the babies from their pack-n-plays and cuddled up in the big bed together.  Our family of four.

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The babies were fed and they experienced their first Easter morning – baskets and all.  Of course their favorite part was the basket, the grass and the eggs.  They could have cared less about what was inside them.  Eventually they went down for a short nap before church while the rest of us bustled around getting ready for the service.  We joined my grandparents at their church, which doesn’t happen often enough.  A small, southern Baptist church with a hymnal at every seat, it felt like the perfect place to be on Easter morning.

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I held my sweet baby girl while worshipping our Savior, and I was overcome with thankfulness for all that He has done for me.   I deserve death because of my sinfulness, and not only has He given me life, but also two precious babies, a husband who fits me perfectly and family all around.  I couldn’t ask for more.

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Sunday was a beautiful day, and we spent the afternoon at my grandparent’s house.  A fantastic lunch was had before we gathered around the house catching up…then an epic egg hunt planned by my mom and sister later in the afternoon.  Unfortunately for Vivian, she got paired with her mama, who ended up only snagging two eggs the entire time.  Next year somebody remind that girl to avoid her mama when it comes to egg hunting time.

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All in all, this Easter will go down in the books not only as the twins’ first, but also as the one where I stood in my grandma and grandpa’s kitchen and got all choked up over His awe inspiring love.  I see it now in a different way than I used to.  Not a better way, just different.  The life He has given is so so good.

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thoughts on cloth diapering twins – decisions, decisions.

Before I share our experience with cloth diapers, I want to say that I completely understand that every person is different, and every family is different.  What works well for one, might not work at all for another.  For us, cloth is a no brainer. Not only is it easy, but it’s fun and super cute!  Because cloth has been such a great thing for our family, I wanted to share a little bit about it.   This post is on how we chose cloth, which ones we chose, and how we feel about it now.  I’ll do a follow up on our system for washing plus why we have now chosen to use cloth wipes as well.

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Our favorite diapers – Bum Genius Freetime with snaps

When we first starting trying to get pregnant (about 100 years ago) I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers.  I had heard about people using them, and it just made sense to me.  Cheaper.  Better for the environment.  Softer on baby’s bum.  Because it took awhile for things to happen for us, I had plenty of time to research the ins and outs, and it was a good thing because there is so much to learn and so much information out there!  This post was really helpful to me and helped me solidify what type of diapers I wanted to use.  Looking back, I could have saved a lot of time by just making a trip down to our local cloth diapering store…but I still think researching all the options for myself was really helpful.  Also, the ladies at the store gave me the advice to get multiple different types of diapers so I could see what I liked.  But in the end I did enough research that I knew which ones I would like, so we bought mostly those.  The few we were gifted that were different get pushed to the back of the drawer and used only in emergencies, so I’m really happy we ended up with the one type that is best for us.

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When I tell people that we use cloth diapers one of the first things they say is “with twins?!?”  And my response is always the same “even more so with twins!”  For the first couple of months of Vivian’s life, she was still too tiny even for the newborn sized cloth diapers, so we used disposables.  While I was super excited to get her into cloth, it was good to gain a perspective of what it’s like to use disposables too.  And even with just one baby in disposables, it was unbelievable how many we went through and how much they cost! At first we went through about 12 diapers in a twenty four hour period for Vivi.  A pack of 80 diapers was about $20 and would last us almost a week.  That’s almost $100 per month to diaper just one baby!  So yes, when we found out we were having twins, my thought process went like this: twice the cost, twice the diapers in the landfills, twice the reason to use cloth.  The cloth diapers were a bit of an investment;  at about $20 each our Bum Genius Freetime stash cost around $400 for both babies (These particular cloth diapers will fit the twins until they’re out of diapers.)  But again, knowing we’d be spending $200 a month (I realize this would decrease a bit with time) on diapering the twins with disposables, it’s unreal how financially worth it it is in the end.  Plus, we were able to register at our local store, so a lot of our diapers were given to us or bought with gift cards.

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newborn size

 

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Newborn Bum Genius. They were technically still too big for Vivi at this point, but we’d put her in them just for fun sometimes.

Expecting to have full-term babies, our original plan was to use disposables for the first weeks until the babies fit into the one size diapers.  But once we realized Linc and Viv would likely be 3-4 lbs. when they were born, we decided to buy the newborn sized (xs) Bum Genius, used.  We got a great deal on them and ended up with 20 diapers for about $100.  I was freaked out about buying used at first, but once I saw that they looked brand new all reservations fizzled.  The newborn size didn’t hold up as well as I had hoped because of the velcro closure; they only come in velcro, and after several months of washes they were looking pretty shabby.  This definitely made our decision about whether to go with velcro or snaps for our one size diapers, and I’m so glad we chose snaps.

To be completely candid, once we had all our diapers washed and ready to go, I did have a few fleeting moments where I was a bit nervous about whether I’d be able to handle it.  While I felt pretty confident, I also knew that I’ve never done this mom thing before, so there was a chance it would be a lot more stressful than I expected.  But after being home from the NICU and using the diapers for over a month, I would honestly have said I would do cloth again a hundred times.  While it did and still does take a little extra time out of the day, we don’t have to worry about always having diapers on hand or going to pick them up at the store.  Plus, I hate the way the disposables felt, looked and smelled on Vivi.  And the amount of soiled diapers that went into our trash can every day was disturbing to me. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, disposable diapers create more than 3.5 million tons of waste as around 20 billion diapers are relegated to the landfills each year (source).   Knowing we were contributing to that just didn’t sit well with me.

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 they really do love each other:)

Cloth diapering has been one of the best decisions we’ve made as parents.  Does it take a little extra time to wash, dry and fold?  Sure, probably about 10 total minutes out of the day.  But considering the financial benefits and environmental factors involved, 10 minutes doesn’t seem like much of a sacrifice to me.  I know everyone has different situations and cloth definitely isn’t for everyone, but I’m so passionate about it because it has saved our family so much.  Plus, their fluffy little bottoms are irresistible:)

Still to come – how to make cloth diapering super easy in day-to-day life.  I’ll share more details about how our diapers work, all about our process of disposing of the waste, storage, washing and using cloth wipes (it sounds terrible, but really is easier!).

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a week with aunt cristen

So, I wrote this post 2 weeks ago and never hit publish!  Better late than never…

What a great week it’s been!  Not only did we have two different playdates with friends, but my sister stayed with us for a few days.  When she’s here it feels like we have a live in nanny of sorts, and there are so many times where I stop and wonder how I usually do it by myself.  I guess it’s just one of those things because on a daily basis it doesn’t seem hard.

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It was so nice having her here though.  We spent one day just hanging out around the house and then on Wednesday we went to the zoo.  It was the perfect day to be outside, and the twins enjoyed hanging out with their Aunt Cristen so much.  Linc has been especially smiley lately…everything is funny.

 

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We’ve got a big weekend ahead with a birthday party for my father-in-law that we’re hosting.  I’m really looking forward to it, but there’s so much to do first.  For starters could the cleaning fairy please make a stop by here tomorrow?

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happy nine months, Vivi

Your daddy summed up my thoughts quite nicely this evening when he was holding you by saying “I am just so obsessed with her.”  I could hear that tinge in his voice that told me he was staring into your eyes and was seriously tempted to squeeze the daylights out of you.  I feel that a hundred times a day.  You are breathtakingly beautiful.  Your bright blue eyes and long eyelashes.  Your perfectly smooth skin and sweet little lips.  You are so precious.

 

- from mama’s letter to you

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What you weigh –12 lbs. 6.5oz.

What you eat – Still nursing full time.  You are doing better everyday with your solids.  You still make a face the first time we put pretty much anything in your mouth, including your favorites.  But you’re eating pretty well, and your weight gain shows it!  Your favorite foods are avocado mixed with a little bit of fruit and sweet potatoes.  I have to say – you are pretty picky.  I am taking it on myself to make you and bubba the best eaters possible by introducing as many new foods as I can.  But you are a stubborn little thing (like your mama) and if you don’t like it, you absolutely will not open your mouth.  Your least favorite things seem to be plain yogurt and lentils.  We’ll keep trying new things as much as possible, though, and hopefully with time you’ll start liking more and more.  Right now you are eating solids at lunch and dinner.  We’ll probably start eating breakfast sometime soon.

How you sleep – You are now sleeping from about 8 or 8:30 until 7:30 or 8.  Most days you take 3 naps.  Your naps are usually about and hour to an hour and a half, sometimes longer, sometimes a little shorter.  Your morning nap is usually on the longer side.  We are still swaddling you with one arm out.  This past week you’ve been on a bit of a nap strike.  You’ll sleep in your swing, but you just don’t want to be in your bed.  I think it may have something to do with teething maybe?  Either way, I’m assuming it’s just a phase, and things will be back to normal soon.

What you wear – You’re mostly wearing 3-6 now, with the occasional 0-3 in something that runs big.  The only shoe you wear is your pink converse…they are huge on your little foot, but because they’re hightops and they tie we make them work!

Diaper –  Bum Genius Freetime with one row of snaps left open in the middle.

Favorite activities – playing peek-a-boo, playing with my earrings (and anyone else who is wearing any), chewing on things, taking baths

Least favorite activities: having your face cleaned, being wrapped up in a towel when you get out of the bath, you don’t mind getting strapped into your carseat as much now because we took the thick padding out of it….but you still don’t like it per se.
Big moments in your fifth month of life –  first tooth, first family vacation, first time to the mountains, first big snow (in Colorado), started eating dairy (plain yogurt), slept in your own bed the entire night, started sleeping separately from bubba at night, gave up your dream feed, first trip to the zoo

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happy nine months, baby boy

I literally would be thrilled if you just stayed this age forever…you are so much fun.  Lately, you laugh at anything and everything all the time.  I can give you just the slightest funny look and you will crack up.  When I get you laughing really hard, I look into your eyes and can never believe that you are truly mine.  I’m the luckiest mama in the world!

- from mama’s letter to you

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What you weigh – 14 lbs. 7 oz.

What you eat
  – Still nursing the same amount minus the dream feed.  And you’re still eating solids like a champ!  We still have moments where we wonder if we should cut you off, haha.  You can really put away the food, baby boy.  Some new foods we’ve tried this month are asparagus, prunes, oatmeal, parsnips, leeks and a few others.  You like most things, and will eat at least some of almost anything we give you.  You still really don’t like peas, though.  You are your daddy’s son I supposeJ  We’ve moved up to eating both lunch and dinner now, and we’ll probably add in breakfast sometime soon.  You are so cute when you eat because you get so excited.  You breathe really hard and wave your arms and legs up and down.

How you sleep –You have been a perfect little sleeper this month.  Now that you aren’t having a dream feed anymore, you sleep almost 12 hours at night from about 8:30 ish to 7:30 ish.  You still take three naps, each one being an average of an hour and a half, sometimes shorter sometimes longer.  A week or so ago we had to put you down for the night for the first time unswaddled, and you didn’t skip a beat!  So now we have completely done away with the swaddle, and you seem like such a big boy when you sleep.  We put you down on your tummy as you seem to like it best, but throughout your naps/the night you roll and move all over your crib into all kinds of positions.  CuteJ

What you wear – 3-6 month clothes, some of which are getting a little tight!  You have had a serious growth spurt this month and have gotten noticeably bigger and heavier!  Your feet are also getting bigger, and you can just barely wear a size two.  They’re a little big, but have just enough room for you to grow into them.

Diaper – BumGenius Freetime with one to two rows of snaps left open in the middle.  Your diaper started leaking out the top overnight, and we couldn’t figure out why, so we started putting a hemp insert in at night.  Although, the last couple of nights we didn’t, and you did fine.

Favorite activities –Eating, standing up (with assistance), reaching for things, taking your bath, cuddling with mama or daddy, sitting up, being tickled, reading books, laughing, singing “if you’re happy and you know it”,

Least favorite activities – having your face cleaned and your nose blown.  You despise those two things, but that’s about it!

Big moments in your eighth month of life – first vacation (to Colorado), started eating dairy (plain yogurt), first big snow (in CO), first trip to the mountains, first time to sleep in your own bed all night, quite the dream feed, started sleeping separately from sissy at night, first trip to the zoo

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