Here is a sampling of what’s new and interesting (or not) in the lives of Meri and Alex (and those of us sequestered to care for them).
As of the first of March, Jess is back to work. Which means that the girls were now spending their days at day care. Jess was anxious to get back to work as well as anxious to leave the girls. I was just ready to begin the next phase. Luckily, the lady who we have watching the girls is outstanding. She only watches infants and has help in the form of some Boise State nursing students. She is a twin and had twins, so she knows exactly what we’re going through. “Grandma Pam” we call her. Grandma Pam has scrubbed their cradle cap off. She feeds and holds and generally loves on them. The girls couldn’t be happier.
Of course, they weren’t there 4 days before we get a call that a few other kids there were diagnosed with RSV. Luckily, we dodged that bullet… for now. However, that very next week both of the girls got colds which they then gave to me. Weak sauce. You can just call her “Typhoid Meri” since she was the first to get it and infect us. You know, the only thing worse than getting up at all hours of the night to deal with sick twins? Doing it while sick yourself. I think I have permanent brain damage from the experience. In fact, in the past month, I’ve been sick 2 separate times. I think my body is finally disintegrating.
In fact, there was a time a couple weeks ago when our entire house was sick. Both twins and both parents. We shoulda just napalmed our whole house to keep the disease from spreading.
Feeding Time… and I mean NOW!
We were on a good track here. Notice the past tense “were” there. A couple weeks ago, the girls were pushing 5 or 5½ hours between feedings at night. Well, then some sort of switch was flipped and the girls turned into bottomless pits which we could not keep full. Overnight we went from 5 back down to 2½ or 3 hours between feedings. That first night Meri ate 7 ounces of milk at one feeding. We had to refill her bottle 3 times. For reference, on the day care sheet for the previous Monday, it said she ate a total of 8oz over the 8 hours she was there. So, yeah, a drastic increase.
After 2 days of their new “schedule” Jess was running out of breastmilk. She just couldn’t keep up with their demand. We had already made the switch to full time bottles (no actual breast time for the girls) in an effort to streamline things. We were getting dangerously low on our breastmilk stores since they were now eating 2 or 3 times what they were just a few short days previous. Coupled with Meri’s dairy intolerance we had to talk to the doc to come up with a plan. The doctor put us onto a soy based formula which should work for them. So, for a few days we were mixing formula with breastmilk in an effort to make it a bit more palatable for them. I’m guessing this step was unnecessary since they were eating like a 500lb. guy at an all you can eat buffet. Judging by how they suck it down, they like the formula just fine.
For the record, I’d like to debunk a popular myth that I’ve had repeated to me. “Formula helps keep babies full and they sleep longer than on breastmilk.” Yeah… um… not really. We are now giving the girls formula at night, and it makes no bit of difference in how long they sleep. They are just as hungry at 3 hours on formula as they were on breastmilk. Thanks conventional wisdom for getting my hopes up that I might get to sleep a little more. Screw you.
At least the stress we had with worrying about how much milk we had and how much they were eating is mostly gone. We just stick food in their face until the stop eating.
Unfortunately there have been nights where we end up feeding all night long. Since we don’t do a big formal feeding if we can help it, we just try to top them off individually. Mainly so we don’t have to wake a sleeping baby. Just don’t do it. They’re sleeping. Leave ’em alone. Well, this gets us into the occasional situation where you top one off for 20 minutes, put her down and 10 minutes later the other one is starving and has to eat RIGHT NOW! So, you pull her out and feed her. Put her down and some 30 minutes later the first one is hungry again. Repeat until you want to stab yourself in the neck.
Speaking of which, just a quick mention here. Hey, did you know what soy formula looks like coming out the other end? Neither did I. Now I wish I didn’t. The girls are still on their new “every couple days” pooping schedule, however now when it arrives it’s even scarier. We’re talking a nice sage/olive green. Thick and pasty. And HORRIBLE smelling. In fact, just the other day I was holding Alex after a feeding. We were doing some standing on dad’s lap just for fun. Well, she went from happy smiling to a rather darker expression. She then started to poop and actually started to cry. This all happened in about 20 seconds. I’m assuming the poop was thick enough to cause her bum a bit of discomfort on the way out. Now that is good times.
And for the record, other parents, save your “oh, you don’t know nothing yet… wait til they get to solid food” comments. Yes. Thank you. I get it. The poop will get worse. Quit reminding me… Sorry, I’m cranky.
Big news in the Haberman household, the girls are almost out of newborn sized clothes. They are mostly fitting in the baggy 0-3 month size. Just ignore the fact that they are actually 4 months old…
Due to the fact that we’ve gotten a lot of practice getting the girls out the door every morning heading to day care, we have actually voluntarily ventured out from the house on occasion. A couple of weekends ago, we took them on their first Costco run. They were just fine. They liked looking at the lights overhead and the large stack of colorful merch on the shelves. Of course it was one of our quickest Costco trips on record. Not a lot of time was spent perusing things. Get what we’re getting and get out before all hell breaks loose.
We’ve also been out to family and friends parties with them. It was funny this past weekend we were at some friend’s daughter’s first birthday party. There were a lot of people we didn’t know there. A few offered to hold babies so we could eat. Jess and I didn’t even hesitate to hand them over. Ahh, what twin exhaustion will do to you. “Sure… you can take ’em for a while… no I don’t know you, but at this point I don’t really care.” But, apart from the guacamole that Alex gave me while we were there, they were totally fine and slept well when we got home.
Life is easier in other respects. The girls really do like to smile a lot. They laugh now (sorta). We’re still waiting on the big belly laughs, but that can’t be far away. Alex is a total chatterbox. She will lay there just talking up a storm. I think she likes the sound of her own voice, which probably doesn’t bode well for me in the coming years… Meri will do it from time to time, but Alex does it all the time. She’s a nutcase. Meri, on the other hand has learned to blow raspberries. She loves to spit everywhere and giggle about it. I call her “Rasp-Meri” when she’s doing it.
It’s tough to remember that they used to cry every time we put them on the changing table. They used to cry every time we pulled a shirt on or off of their big ol’ heads. None of that fazes them any more. They even seem to mostly enjoy bath times. It is funny to see them slouched in their bath chair with their big old bellies hanging out. Enjoying the warm water poured over them.
This is what our average weekday is like.
Morning: rousting, feeding, changing, feeding more, clothing, entertaining, dressing ourselves, grooming, packing and heading out the door. Commute in, drop them off at day care, drop Jess off at work, go to work.
Work the day away with the help of 4 or 5 cups of coffee.
Afternoon. Pick up Jess at work and head over to the day care. Get the rundown from Pam on how the girls were today, how much the ate, slept and pooped. Pack them up and hit the road with thousands of other commuters all going the same direction. We’ll usually get home between 5:30 and 6. Then the real work begins. Unpack the girls and all their gear. Get some grub going for them. Feed the dog and start feeding the girls. We get to play with them during and after feedings, however this is usually their witching hour where they are pretty much crabs. At some point in there decide if there is going to be dinner for us or not and act accordingly. Come 8ish the girls finally start slowing down. They get swaddled and lay down to sleep. About then, Jess will sleep as well. Personally, I’m the most awake I am for the entire day at 7-10pm so I don’t go to bed. Plus, the worst part of my day is every time I get out of bed, so I have to limit the number of times I do this. I think every time I wake up, it shaves 90 minutes off my life expectancy, although I can’t prove that. I use this time to shower or watch tv, or play on the xbox for a little while. Roust the girls again sometime between 10-11pm to do another feeding, then finally go to bed. They usually sleep pretty well from 12-3am (usually) but it’s after 3 that we have our issues. We just then try to survive and get as much sleep as possible before 6am rolls around and we do it all over again.
Such is life. Each day greatly resembles the day previous and will probably greatly resemble the day following.
So, there ya go. Our lives in a nutshell. Stay tuned for more updates.
I do have a lot of pictures to post and hopefully I’ll get around to that in the next day or 2. But, like I’ve said, we don’t have a lot of spare time or energy at the moment.