Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Shaz Parenting Must-Haves

Two blog posts in one week?! I sure am one lucky Mom to have such great babies.

I want to mention and thank the mothers in my new neighborhood that have brought us meals these last few days. In fact, one Mom made a meal schedule to designate a new person to make us a meal. The schedule has set up Mon, Wed and Fri for the next few weeks. How amazing is that?! It is one less thing for me to have to worry about, so I can focus more on Conor and Caden. It's unbelievable and I cannot express my gratitude enough.

I was talking to Chrissy recently and she asked about a few of my favorite baby items - like which swing we had or what types of bottles we used. Some of our friends are pregnant, so she suggested I put together a list of my "new mom must-haves". These items are not specific to twins or anything, I have just found them to be helpful in our everyday lives. Here are the things I couldn't live without as a new mom.
  • I will start out with the obvious - diapers. As simple as that sounds, where do you start??? As a new parent, I had no idea...so I asked around. Jim and I both love "Pampers Swaddlers" (size "N" for newborn - and no, that isn't obvious either. Everyone told us to buy preemie diapers since we were having twins. Boy were they wrong!). We find Pampers fit best around their little skinny legs, and have minimal leaks. We also like the "wet diaper indicator" line that turns from yellow to blue. As Conor and Caden have grown in the last few weeks, their diapers are heavier and wetter -- but at the very beginning, it was tough to know if/when they peed. So yup, PAMPERS. Big fan.

  • Next on the "obvious" list is a crib. I know, everyone wants their little cutie to sleep in a bassinet or in bed with you when they first come home from the hospital, but we didn't opt to do that. We bought and set up both cribs, so they are using the cribs. Granted they are up every 2 to 4 hours at night, but their room is right next door. Seriously? We can walk 10 feet. When we went to their pediatrician appointment, she was very impressed we already had them using their cribs. New parenting points to Shaz and Jim. Oh and we bought the Davinci crib/changing table set, very affordable on Amazon.com (or at target). More decorating info on C & C's nursery can be found here.
Okay, now for the not-so-obvious list of items:
  • Swaddles. Hands down these are the best for nighttime. They come in three different sizes as they grow - so you have a great option for any stage. Another mom of twins recommended getting Conor and Caden on the same schedule and a helpful way for the boys to know the difference between day and night (besides darkening the room, etc) was to add two swaddles before putting them down. So we use these swaddles at night, in addition to an aiden and anais swaddle blanket. Whereas during the day, we just swaddle them in the one blanket. We have found this to be really helpful.

  • Baby-specific baby wash and baby-specific dish soap. We sponge-bathed the twins when they first came home from the hospital, but once Auntie Chrissy came to visit, they graduated to real-life baths in an infant tub. We used Johnson's Head-to-Toe Babywash with the pump - the pump saves having to open/close the bottle. And as for dish soap to clean their bottles, I have been washing them by hand (I know, I am crazy) with this natural scent free dish soap. I really like it, and it allows me to rinse, soak, wash and dry the bottles/nipples fast and they are ready for the next feeding in 3-4 hours.

  • A swing (or two). I was a little hesitant to buy a swing because they take up so much room. I also heard they weren't good for the babies necks (higher risk for torticollis). After some hesitation, I figured having somewhere safe to put Conor or Caden while holding or feeding the other one is a great idea -- you can only plop the other baby in the crib or on the floor for so long til they get super bored with it. One of my colleagues actually gave me his old one before we left LA and I registered for one, so we have two of these swings. We are bringing one down the Cape this summer. We also have the same brand name little bouncer seat, so at least we have two options for now here in DC. Here's Conor and Caden using the bouncer seat and swing.

  • Changing pad liners. This "thanks" goes to Suz. At my baby shower, she told me to get these liners for the changing pad. You spend all this money on the pretty changing pad covers to protect the actual changing pad, that you need a liner to protect that too!! Geez. We opted for these waterproof pads. They work great, and they are easier to wash than your changing pad (or cover).
  • A nursing/feeding pillow. When I first came home from the hospital, I used the boppy pillow and the "my brestfriend nursing pillow" a ton. I was nursing a lot and I needed all the support I could get -- literally. Since then, I have opted to pump and bottlefeed more. Now the boppy pillows aid in a different way. I am able to prop one baby up and feed the other, like this:

Or we use them for napping:



I could go on and on with my must-haves, but maybe I'll do a follow-up post in a few weeks to see if anything has changed. If you are expecting twins or multiples, may I suggest having a little "changing station" on each floor. I used an old box from something we received off Amazon and I filled it with about 20 diapers, wipes, ready-to-feed formula, burp cloths, and a change of clothes. That way, I can stay on the same floor if one is sleeping or if I am cooking for example. 

All in all, the items above allow for me and Jim to watch the Sox and enjoy dinners like this:


All for now!

xo,
Shaz

Monday, June 2, 2014

Happy JUNE!!

I can't believe yesterday was June 1st.

2014 is flying by...it's already half over. That can only mean one thing....our favorite week of the year is right around the corner!!! In fact, just yesterday Jim and I were solidifying our Cape Cod Fourth of July plans.  We head down the Cape each Independence Day with a pretty solid group of friends. We take part in beach festivities, BBQing, fireworks and flunkyball. If you have to ask what flunkyball is...well, here's a quick screenshot from 2012.


This year will be our eighth annual Fourth of July and we couldn't be more excited to share the fun with Conor and Caden. Jimmy and I have said time and time again that we don't want our lifestyle to change or change who we are because we have children. This was some great advice given to me by Kiley a few years ago. She and her husband Ryan were so good about hanging out, going to happy hour, getting mani/pedis and even throwing some epic parties of their own (pig roast, chili cook off, etc). In short, life doesn't have to come to a halt simply because you have a baby - or two. :) It will of course be a bit different this year, but we can have fun in so many different ways. We are just thrilled to see our MA friends and enjoy the "Cape Cod air".

Back to reality for now - here's how I have been spending my days. Last week was my first full week by myself with two kids since my mom and sister have headed back to Boston. Jim really made a solid effort to come home early, and he is even able to work from home on Fridays in case I need a helping hand or if he needs to run out and grab something for me and the boys (usually a Dunkin Donuts decaf iced coffee).


They are becoming more and more alert each day, staying awake for longer periods and of course getting bigger, too! They are so sweet and developing their own personalities. Conor is a bit more demanding when he is hungry, whereas Caden is a bit more laid back. But after feedings, Conor tends to be a bit more independent and Caden is a little fussier. All in all, they are both so fun and adorable. I love them both so much.


Often times they are super stubborn and won't nap during the day. I'm all, "come on guys, you are three weeks old...how are you NOT tired?!". In fact, tomorrow they will be four weeks old.  


Yesterday, the four of us went for a walk around the neighborhood and the pool area. After that, C & C took a quick snooze and Jim and I were able to enjoy a bottle of wine and some cheese/grapes on our deck. It brought me right back to our days in Cali. ;)  Here are the boys enjoying the walk. It was gorgeous out this weekend.


We took this picture this morning. Our room tends to be quite darker during the day which makes it easier for the boys to nap. We all rested in bed and took a little snooze..they are still snoozing as we speak.


Stay tuned for more adventures of Conor and Caden. By the way, I discovered yesterday that A + B = C squared! ;)

xo,
Shaz