NICU Days….week one

The early NICU days were such a blurr for me, so I re-read their medical files and had NUMEROUS conversations with Scott…and this is what we remember as the early days;)
Saturday-day 1
both boys are stable but kept in plexi-incubators for temp regulation, B needed some Bili lights on and off Aedon didn’t and neither needed oxygen. I was finally able to see them about 12 hours after I delivered. And after my nurses rolled me down to the NICU I was chastised by the nurse for wanting to hold them while they were sleeping I settled into my wheelchair too stubborn to hear “no” and just stared at her. I got to hold my boys for the first time…Throwback ThursdayThrowback Thursday We were told that for now we should only be holding them when they were already awake for feedings, but since I would be at the hospital for at least 4 more days we were there for everything.
Sunday-day 2
we had our first few visitors only immediate family though. Later that night we were told Aedon had an “infection” and that he needed an immediate spinal tap to determine what it was and if it had gone to his spinal fluid. While the nurses pressed we asked for some time, we wanted them to do another culture before a spinal tap. At 11pm they did a spinal tap on Aedon, the mini man didn’t even make a sound about it. They did take another sample to culture.
Monday-day 3
A course of antibiotics is prescribed for both boys and that wins us a 10 day say in the NICU:( Even though both the blood culture and spinal tap came back clean. We actually didn’t know about the 2nd blood culture coming back infection free until we requested their medical records.
Tuesday-day 4
after moving the IV lines all around their little bodies their veins kept collapsing and Doctors finally recommended placing them in their head or doing surgery to place a more permanent line into a major vessel in their arms. I was also released from the hospital. Without my doctor addressing my surgery incision… against my better judgment.
Wednesday-day 5
the NICU had suites that we could stay in so we took the dogs to grandpa Michaels house, which is 20min from the hospital, and gave the cat lots of food. (a good thing because after being out for less than an hour my incision burst)
Thursday-day 6
the boys are finally allowed out of their cubes! they are on swaddled with about 15 layers but still having a little trouble regulating and go back into their plexi-jails but, just for the night.
Friday-day 7
at the end of their first week we are finally allowed to bathe them since they were doing so well regulating and eating(though most is still through the NG tube)BAHAHAH Scott and I will never forget, as soon as Aedon got wet his eyes got all big and his internal DANGER alarm must have gone off because he instantly pooped! By the end of week one they had dropped a little less than a pound each which the doctors said was normal but were eating and doing a lot better than expected, just typical preemie issues.Throwback Thursday

Milwaukee Zoo

Grandpa and Nana came to visit on Saturday and treated us to the zoo! We had the perfect afternoon seeing lots of animals and even getting fresh ice cream. The boys absolutely loved the water misters, I think daddy did too 😉Adventures

But we all had fun there was a nice breeze and lots of shady paths. Plus it really wasn’t that busy since we went at 3pm and they close at 5pm.
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And after the zoo we enjoyed a nice family cookout:)

Pet friendly Kid training?

YEP! You read that right, kid training!
As I’ve mentioned before I am a licensed animal trainer and after my years of doing this one of the biggest peeves has to be people who return pets after having a child. More often than not the reasons are the same “no time” and “pet is a danger to child” we’ll here’s the deal people, you committed to the animal! Don’t get one if you don’t want to spend the time now, in 5 years, 10 years or 15 years. As for behavior train them from the start and you won’t have a problem! Meet our gang…..

We have JACK JACK ATTACK-yes, the baby from The Incredibles
AKA bubba, buggy, smoochi, lovey, nugbug, thumbelina, bubbie, bambino
6.5 y/o male Dogo Argentino
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AKA DUMDUM, pretty-pretty princess, deevdeevs
5y/o female pocket pitty
CGC ESA and hopefully soon TDI

AKA deuce in boots, keetan, beef brisket
2.5 y/o male seal mink mitted ragdoll<3
Daily Life
With a house that’s run like a mini dog daycare sometimes we have plenty of foster dogs or visitors to work with so Howie, Dizzy, Moo & Beano, Cali, Liam, Dexter, Abby, Buster Brown, Tiggy, and Maggie all get honorary mentions for participating in our baby boot camp.

Our difficulties: the boys grab and pull, fall on a sleeping dog(on purpose), push the dog, and take dog toys…right out of their mouth!
Our goals: ok, clearly we have a lot to work on:)
Our Steps:
1) Be realistic! Your kid, unless they are over the age of 3, may have a very hard time understanding dog toy vs. kid toy. So pick em up! Wait until you can explain that dog toys are not for kids. In the mean time work with a trainer on commands that will be helpful to the dog. i.e “gentle” or “leave it” for when the kids are ready to play some games with the dog.
2) set boundaries, for the kids! You need to protect your dog, just like you would your child. So if the kid is being mean to the dog, STOP THEM! Tell them it’s a”no behavior” that they will get time outs, what ever your parenting methods are. Time and again I hear “well the dog bit the kid, dog has to go”…. but parents weren’t watching, or even in the room, or if they were the kid hit the dog, took a toy/food or was provoked. If you can’t watch the kid/dog interaction closely, put the dog away. Period
3)use training opportunities! Daily life means daily reinforcement, and if you know me I’m huge on positive reinforcement. Take the opportunity, and time, to show the kids proper greetings, proper behavior with pets, and about being a responsible pet owner. You will be teaching life long skills they can use just by encouraging and praising for positive interactions! How great is that?!
4) set everyone up for success! This simple premise that people often forget is one of the most important things. Get the dog used to kids early on through socialization and training, even if you don’t have kids, you will be thankful you did!
5) educate yourself and your kid! Dog behavior and body language can be confusing to…well most everyone who doesn’t work with dogs, it’s understandable. But, if you have a pet you should at least learn the basics, communication between you and your pet will benefit greatly, it will keep you safe and it will keep your kids safe. EX: “If the tail is wagging they are always happy to see you” WRONG!!! It depends on the speed, height, placement etc of the dogs tail. If it is high and wagging like a metronome, walk away the dog is very aroused and it could be dangerous to greet.

Still struggling with tough pet issues? meet with a local trainer!

12 Things every twin parent should know…..

#1 you won’t go out of the house for days at a time. Taking two out at once is difficult; especially if you are a new mom, with newborn twins, battling just to stick to a feeding schedule.
#2 you will get MASS amounts of dumb questions….are they twins, which ones older, who’s the problem child, are they identical, are you going to have more? People please understand ITS NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS! I am being nice enough to answer politely so please keep questions to a minimum and let me finish my grocery shopping.
#3 strangers will be rude. They will stop you, they will touch your kids, they will remark on how huge you must have been or how suckey it must be. As if having twins makes you a circus side show? You will learn to let the comments roll off your back and walk away. (But never be afraid to stand up for yourself) ….how bout “if you touch my kid again ill punch you in the throat;)”
#4 you will laugh and you will cry. The highs and lows of twin parenting amazed me that’s for sure! I know they’ve shocked my normally stoic husband into a tizzy a time or two.
#5 you will not have time to “do it while watching the twins” they will take ALL of your attention. Leaving no time for the phone call or the shower you haven’t had in a week. Give in, get a sitter, ask for help, what ever you need. You time is still important.
#6 yes, you do get double the affection and its amazing
#7 just double EVERYTHING! Bills, toys, food, messes, diapers, etc. double it all….just to be safe. This being said in the long run twins are cheaper, some things we don’t have to buy two of(though it saves headaches)and we get twin discounts:)
#8 people who don’t have twins will NOT GET IT. You will laugh when people say 1 baby is “being difficult”… Lady, try 2 screaming like banshees at 3am! Or better yet those who think having 2 kids is “just like having twins”…..YEAH RIGHT![insert chuckle here]
#9 take everything with a grain of salt. For some reason it seems when you have twins people feel you desperately need their advice or input….you don’t. You are the parent do what you feel is best! Of course do your research but make a decision for you and your family.
#10 your life isn’t over. While having twins is a huge time suck, things will get back to your new normal:) it took us about a year before we started getting out again, doing dinner dates and movie nights. Slowly but surely you will feel comfortable leaving them with people you trust can handle their shenanigans and still be willing to take them again;)
#11 tag outs will be your BFF, stolen from a friends parenting techniques, it’s an easy way to take a break when you feel you’ve hit your max. Especially now that the boys are touching everything. I can say “that is a no item” 16x and still they touch it…very angering. So if I need to walk away I say “daddy, I need a tag out” he comes in and I can have a minute:)
#12 make time! Time is the hottest commodity in our house and it can be really difficult to set aside time to work out, read a book, go on a dinner date, but I promise you will never regret it. We take the boys with in our city select for a work out, read during bottles before bed, and scheduled monthly dates.

sweet summertime fun

AdventuresIn an effort to expose the boys to…well…everything, we have been trying some new stuff! First on our list? The Hindu festival at the Hindu Temple of Wisconsin in Pewaukee. And yes we were pretty much the only white people there. But hey, they were all really friendly to us, though they seemed very harsh with each other. We tried some SPICY food (daddy said it was good, I still cant taste anything else though:0)………Meanwhile, in Aedon land….a Tantrum was brewing. About half way through the fest and still almost an hour from their bed time he busted out with all that had been stored for the 16m of his life. Even throwing himself against me! I have NEVER seen a tantrum like this from either boy(even B stared at Aedon in amazement) but then again the boys are more “whiners” than they are “tantrum throwers.” Chalk it up to him being too tired to be out so close to bed time; we packed up and went home. But the boys did get to try some new foods and see some dances!
Adventures We also went to the car show at Frame park! The weather (and the boys attitudes) held out nicely and there were TONS of cars. I did note a lot of El Caminos and 90 something mustangs (insert snort of derision here). Yes, I am a classic car snob, and yes, I think El Caminos look silly and 90 somthings mustangs dont belong at a show ….especially when they are rusting:/ Anyhow, it was nice to see them all out even though many were leaving by 3, since it was technically done.
I just didn't want to go earlier and throw off the boys routine. The boys didn't seem to be as interested in the cars as the were the big burly biker dudes, guess were going to need to talk with them about not staring:0…But I LOVED it we got to see at mint ’53 Bel Air, a few stingrays, an AMX, a few model T’s, and one AMAZINGLY restored 1937 chieftain. Ohh, and the shelby cobra that, though it was a beauty, ran like the guy had it in storage for the last year and a half, not the sound I was hoping for. These are some of the beauties!
Local parks have also become a new fav, and daddy even talked grandpa into going with the other day! They have had many of their first close encounters with other children at parks and playgrounds. It's kind of funny they look at people almost as if they're confused….they all look so different…I wonder some times, do they realize they're Identical? The playgrounds have been especially nice since they can use their climbing skills CONSTRUCTIVELY!Adventures In other news we have gotten settled after the move and the dogs (Jack Jack Attack) have done worse with the move than boys:) but we are now finding their attitudes are atrocious! Even with the smallest thing they bust out crying like they haven’t been fed in months or have a broken limb or something! 3 days into this and we still trying to hold firm on not acknowledge the “bad behavior,” with the hopes that this is just a phase to see if we will give more attention for tantrums. So far, counting, having a calm “talk” with them and ignoring until they stop the behavior have all worked. But, their explosive tempers are starting to unhinge every one…even daddy…and that’s a feat!!! At first we thought it was the teething, as they have been getting them like crazy(8 each), but we came to see it was mostly bids for attention when we were telling them they couldn’t do something. i.e. the remote is a “no item” and they sit on the floor and break into tears. Hopefully it will pass soon! Ps We also got to test out some of our new food creations nana-coco-nutty bars, granola, and even butter stay tuned for reviews:)

Throwback Thursday #5

I continued my regular appointments, which meant ultrasounds every 2 weeks with the MFM and OB monthly, everything went relatively smooth for 3 whole weeks! At 27+1wks Baby A weighed in at 1lb 13oz and Baby B at 1lb 15oz slightly small, but the specialist assured us they were still within normal range for a twin pregnancy but diagnosed me with IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction). What did spark reason for concern was the cervical shortening over the previous weeks, 1.9cm meant that I would have a fFn test done in the next 14 days. Fetal Fibronectin tests can accurately predict with a “negative” result that you will not go into labor within the next 14 days. I later learned that the test was not as accurate for multiples pregnancies…. Well…6 days later at 28wks I went into labor. Scott an I waited almost a full day, but, when the mild contractions turned regular at 10pm, we went in to L&D. The on call doctor seemed to be misinformed because he chose not to stop labor. I spent the next 6 hours with active and regular contractions, until my OB came in at 7am and was consulted. By that time I had dilated to 2cm and was fully effaced, with Baby A breech and Baby B transverse. She ordered IV fluids, Magnesium Sulfate drip and the fFn test….by that evening I was being released under strict bed rest orders(kind of impossible if you know me).
A few day later my test results came back negative, but it didn’t win me freedom from bed rest… I was, however, granted freedom for my baby shower which was planned for the following weekend and my 30wk 4D ultrasound at Babys Debut.
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And Ill admit the images were not as good as our 25 week images. Baby B, with the orange juice the tech recommended to get the boys moving, was moving like mad but Baby A apparently didn’t get the memo. But they were right picture quality had greatly decreased and I was glad to have gotten some from 25 weeks.
Labor at 28 weeks made me realize a few things, I needed a labor plan, I needed to explain my leave at work and from college, and I needed to get baby things! Buying things was easy, telling my boss was a little harder(because I love my dog training job!) and finding a labor plan was HARD! Baby A was breech and Baby B changed all the time; it kind of eliminated the option of natural delivery. So, after talking with my MFM and OB they agreed that anytime after 32 weeks they would not stop labor, and once it started, if Baby A was still breech, a c-section would be done. I added; Scott was the only one to be with me for delivery, I was highly allergic to…well everything…and, NO ONE was allowed to go see the babies before me.
My twin pregnancy tip for today… get a planner! I was able to write down all of my appointments, daily feelings, what happened and now I have it all in one place and its kind of funny to re-read it and remember now:)Throwback Thursday

Daddy’s Birthday

AdventuresWell yesterday was Scotts birthday, not quite 30 yet :o, and we celebrated with a pretty mellow day and Wisconsin State Fair festivities. Scott also got to welcome baby Bennett to the world at 2:32pm! Hopefully well see more than Jon’s snapshot soon at Nicole & Jons blog. As for the fair…can I just say, thank you Milwaukee for constantly dropping the bar of standards. State Fair was about as gross as I remember, but the amount of teens prostituting around, in what I can only assume they think 23 year olds wear, was just disturbing. That coupled by the drunk 40+ year old grungy men that were already HAMMERED at 6pm and oogling said girls…keeping it classy MKE. Aside from the revolting people it was a nice cool evening and not horribly busy. We took the boys to see the animals mostly, ohh and we also had to get a cream puff for Scott and the boys (first ever!!)

In other news Scott is apparently more of a spectacle with the twin stroller than I am! I think its because I have learned not to make eye contact with the little old ladies, for Scott on the other hand, it doesn’t seem to matter. They will come right up and touch, yes TOUCH, the boys! Luckily that’s mostly in grocery stores and when momma bear isn’t around 😉 Anyhow, we did get the stares and AWWWee’s but the fair went off without a hitch. The boys love to people watch, but they also got a kick out of all of the animals

The boys have been very interested in animals lately. Yes, I am loving it! But, we are definitely working on manners around animals…they have been known to sit on the dogs, push them, and even pull the cats hair. So, next week we will be implementing happy dog-baby training…stay tuned to hear how it goes!

Throwback Thursday #4

I went in for the repeat test a few days later and she went ahead and did the “additional tests” at the same time so I wouldn’t need to come back again. I got a call 3 days after, only to hear that the original results were no mistake. She assured me we could discuss more at the next appointment.
The next week passed hellishly slow and I even started crossing off days on the calendar… but the day had come! We had decided early on that Scott and I would go all MFM appointments together so as I laid back to have the viscous snot like gel sprayed all over my midsection, he marveled at all the bio-equipment (he must have mentioned at at least 6 different MFM appointments about creating this “new” ultrasound machine). Soon enough we were underway, and the FIRST question are they momo?! Response: “I really wish I would have seen you earlier to make a better assessment.”-irritating to say the least- He went on to say that the larger you get it in fact gets harder for the specialists to see, that previous to 20 weeks is best for momo twin assessment, and that if a membrane hadn’t been found thus far it was very possibly a mono mono pregnancy. Exactly what we didn’t want to hear. He handed the ultrasound wand back to the nurse and while Scott asked the last of our questions the nurse continued to get the last few measurements she needed. As she pulled the wand away a white fleck moved quickly across Baby A’s face. She immediately put the wand back, concerned that something was wrong my eyes glued to the screen. She dug the wand into my right hip, standing up to put her body weight behind it, wiggled it maybe a cm each way. Then said “GOT IT!” she had found a membrane! Pulling Scott and the MFM out of their conversation…the MFM practically pushed the nurse out of the chair to see the screen. Gazing, he confirmed her view. It was stretched, tissue paper thin, over Baby A’s face.
Throwback Thursday

Just 14 days shy but, I had escaped a 2 month hospital incarceration.
Our boys were Diamniotic-monochorionic SUCH a relief!

*Baby Aedon was 1 lb*

*Baby Broderick was 1 lb 1 oz*

As you can see we had picked first names by 25 weeks. And A&B names were not intentional, just a funny coincidence 🙂

Throwback Thursday

Just shy of 23 weeks and I was again making the 45min drive to see my OB at Summit. We sat down to “discuss” as she had said but the conversation ended as quickly as it began. My options were fairly limited A) terminate to reduce the “risk” to my health B)continue to monitor and handle this after. self-explanatory what we picked 🙂
I was really looking forward to my 25 week 4D ultrasound (with twins its recommended to go in earlier to get better images 25-30 weeks) it kept my mind off of the recent stresses and on the positives. We went to Baby’s Debut and were instantly bombarded with picture after picture. Definitely not complaining because we ended up getting 50 some images, 15 of which were edited, and a half hour video of our 4D ultrasound!

25 weeks ID boys

Throwback Thursday

What I wish I knew BEFORE cloth diapering twins

Daily Life
As most of you know we are currently doing Nakie Days potty training however, when we started, we used diapers…and no, not cloth diapers :0 We started on disposables. Honestly, we didn’t have the money to pay up front for new cloth diapers and since I was new to it all I had no clue there are trades, swaps and sells of all kinds. Needless to say we used what we were given as gifts and used coupons to buy what more we did need for disposables. This stockpile held us over until they were 5 months old. No joke, it was great to not have to diaper shop. By the time we were out we had gotten some Gdiapers to try, as we were told they were a gateway cloth diaper. I looked at the company and I liked that it was a company I could stand behind and feel good about buying from. In addition, we could still use them as a disposable(with the convenience of being flushable)and of course the other perks of cloth:) One problem… we had no idea what to expect, I mean who cloth diapers twins?! Well, we do, and a surprising amount of other twin mommas! Its not for everyone but here’s how we do it!
Our Stash:
We started with 24 inserts/5 covers/5 liners and soon realized that was NOT enough, even with doing laundry daily. Yes, we wash our own. We added 36 more inserts to our stash immediately and over the next 8 months we added 10 more covers and 15 more liners. This meant we only had to wash once every three days. Ours are all Larges, the boys were a little small for them in the beginning but it worked out well and we’ve been able to get more use out of them! Also Gdiapers use a paper like liner against the back of the cloth insert, but if you sew a piece of fabric on the back it works just as well:) Voila…see picture for example:)
Daily Life

Daily Life in cloth
The boys did wonderfully with the transition from disposable to cloth. Their instinctual “dirty alert” with cloth diapering became like clock work every day. It was soon after that we introduced the potty(we’re still in the process of finding the best potty for boys, and I will review them all later). The day we got the potty we decided to time our “potty breaks” for when they normally went. Instant success! Cloth Diapering reinforced the natural tendency for our boys to not like their soiled diapers on their bums. After 6 months of timing their potty needs we rarely had more than one poop mess per day and even those if caught fast enough easily “peel” off the cloth G insert, and flush. Yes, if its really liquid-y it soaks in and is harder to get out, so catch it fast 😉 Through out the day I would keep used G’s in a fabric tote (with a garbage liner in it) in our laundry room. If I was lazy I washed what was in that tote once per 3 days, if I was super mom twice per day. And hey, you don’t even have to wash, there are services in just about every major city that wash cloth diaper inserts for you. Leaks, explosions, and utter disaster? Not here, we had the expected FULL diapers and a mishandling by mommy or daddy that got poo everywhere, but things were always nicely contained with G’s. Boy parts do tend to be a little more… crafty shall we say.. about leaking. But, if you don’t want leaks …its all about a snug fit! My only complaint is about night time/nap time absorbency, we have had to stick with disposables to get the needed protection(that was without a nighttime bottle and ample potty breaks :/) oOHhh just a heads up too, cloth are BIG compared to your disposables so plan on going up a size in clothes. We “lost” a good portion of 6m clothes when we started and jumped right to 9m.
Washing Cloth
Yes this does incur a dollar amount so, remember to figure that in when you decide if its cheaper for you. As I said before, if washing isn’t for you there are services in almost every major city….and my solution to everything…just google it! We wash with homemade detergent and always do 2 wash/rinse cycles. It helps with build-up. If you do have build up you will start to notice a constant odor, possibly diaper rash;all you need to do is strip them. Pretty simple, wash/rinse without detergent over and over(5 cycles for us). We do this every 3/4 months, but keep in mind we have few poops in diapers.

Timbavati Wildlife Park

Adventures Well, the rain clouds settled in about 15 minutes before we were ready to walk out the door this morning…way suckey…getting babies and stroller and bags into the car all with even a sprinkling is irritating enough. But it was even more so when my s**t spilled all over the rain flooded sidewalk. Lovely, but after getting into the car it was smooth sailing up to the Timbavati Safari Park in WI Dells. It ended up being about a 45 minute drive from us, not too bad. And just like we thought the clouds had cleared a bit by the time we arrived and it stayed really cool, perfect weather for us:) Unfortunately the price was quite high for admission (almost 20$ per adult) but at least Scott got in free with that handy military ID of his, and of course the boys are still free for most things! Besides admission being high, the facility was VERY new, they had mostly “teenage” animals, and it was quite small(not worth more than 20$ admission that’s for sure). It was a nice change of pace for summer activities though, and the boys always LOVE all the animals. They did have a very nice assortment of animals for such a small park and the staff were nice about taking pictures. But beware it is still “the dells” this means high traffic, nasty children, people taunting animals, and crabby hot tourists = go on a slow day. It took us about an hour to make it through the whole place, it was a slow day but this is definitely a half day activity. All in all the boys had fun, it kept our interest and the weather held out for us 🙂

Heres what our day looked like!!
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On a side note for those of you doing Nakie Days potty training like us, this is how we do outtings…we bring our little frog potties and once we get the stroller out of the back we set the potties up and take a quick potty break…we DO put their cloth diapers on to go into places. Some people recommend they stay naked under their pants, I just wouldn’t want twin poo in the park, ahh thank you!
*we only bring potties for errands or adventures that will take up 3+hours

In other news here’s a mommy freebie! Sign up for UPS membership (totally free, its a package alert program) and they will send you an email for their promotion and you get to pick a free gift! Scott and I won a 15$ amazon card! There are other prizes too…go check it out!