An 8 Month Doctor Visit

8 Months Old

Although we weren’t scheduled to have another doctor appointment until 9 months (the last one was at 6.5 months), we like to come in every month (if possible) to get a weight check.

At most of the appointments, David has been measuring at the 3-5%ile, and Audrey has been anywhere from 10-25%ile for weight. Right away, these numbers may seem alarming to some, but as long as they have stayed on the same part of the curve, it has been nothing to worry about.

On Thursday, we took the babies to the pediatrician for our monthly weigh-in. Last month, Audrey weighed 15 lb, and David was 14.5 lb. David had furthermore surpassed Audrey in height and head size! We were so proud of our little man for catching up to his “big” sister (for the 6 months before that, they had been at least a pound apart).

At this 8 month appointment, David weighed in at 16 lb 9.5 oz (10%ile!), and Audrey was 17 lb (~30%ile)! In addition, David was 27″ long, and Audrey was 26.25″. What amazing growth!

PLUS we had a good talk with our pediatrician about solid food. I was so confused about what we could and could not feed them, and he broke it down into terms that were so easy to understand:

  • no honey
  • no cow’s milk to replace breast milk or formula
  • everything else is fair game, as long as it is in easy-to-swallow sizes

So now we can start feeding them whatever we are eating, as long as they can chew gum it and swallow easily. How exciting!

I also had a big question about the amount of food they were eating vs their milk consumption. Whereas at our last discussion about solid food at 4 months,  solids were just “for fun,” he let us know that it’s ok if a lot of their nutrition now comes from these solids instead of milk. Wow! What a change that is!

So now we start with 3 solid meals a day while still keeping our 4 nursing/milk sessions (plus one in the middle of the night). We can keep feeding them as long as they are hungry (dangerous!).

How cool is this? Our babies are now little people!

Smart-Fab Non-Woven Fabric Review

I had heard about Smart-Fab at first through another blog, and I was very interested. So, when I was given the opportunity to try it through Tomoson, I jumped on it.

Here’s a video to show you all of the different uses of it:

 

So, what do I think?

It is a very interesting feeling fabric. It feels almost like the material that is on some classroom materials (not the slippery nylon, but the one with more of a bumpy feel). It is thin, but not too thin to be impractical. If you look closely, you can definitely see the texture of the material, but you can work with it rather well and easily, I like that it doesn’t fray, and I think that the versatility of it is wonderful. I can see us using it for capes and dress-up costumes in the future due to its durability and cost. I received a red, yellow, and green sample roll, but I didn’t have anything specific to make with those colors right now, so an example will come about later. I will say that it looks a little on the cheap side, but for the right uses, it can be great.

To find other ideas, I highly encourage you to check out the Smart Fab Pinterest boards. You can also check out their Facebook page, where they regularly have contests and giveaways. If you want to purchase them, there is a list on their website of retailers, but I would recommend you getting it directly from Amazon via our affiliate link:

Smart-Fab Amazon Shopping

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Help Build a Non-Fiction Library for a Classroom in Need!

DonorsChoose Students.jpg

My good friend Cameron is a 1st grade teacher in North Carolina, and she teaches 22 children in a high-poverty area. Here is something that she says about her school and population:

“My school is 98% free and reduced lunch, mostly Hispanic and African American. The majority of my students come from single working parent homes. While some students show up the first week of school with some school supplies, I provide most of the supplies out of my own pocket. Our county took our stipend supply away this year to pay teacher salaries, so I am leaning hard on DonorsChoose.com for materials this year. With no stipend this year, there will be no money left over for books and games.”

This will be her third year in this school and also her third year in first grade. She is an incredible teacher, and constantly is looking to making these children’s lives better. She knows that they have a limited amount of background knowledge coming into the classroom, and on top of teaching the curriculum, Cameron tries to provide them with knowledge of the outer world beyond their neighborhood as well.

My Students: Do you ever remember your teacher having to stop a lesson and goggle (or find) information or a picture about a topic we were studying in class? No. Me either. But I find this to be a daily part of my teaching because my first graders are not coming to class with the same foundation of knowledge.

I have twenty curious and excited first graders. They come to school every day in the best uniform (collared shirt, khaki type pants) they can. Every day their parents send to school the best child they can send. Unfortunately, that student is not always prepared for the lesson at hand. My students come from a very high poverty neighborhood. Frequently they come to me with very little background knowledge about the world outside of their neighborhood. Often, they have very low reading skills. And more often than not they need help with basic life needs.

My Project:Due to the varying nature of the depth of background knowledge, the requested books will help my students gain or further their understanding of the world outside of their neighborhood. The leveled readers will also allow for students of varying reading levels to go on adventures through nonfiction!

My students love to read! However, my ability to provide my students with varying levels of nonfiction reading is very low. Your donations to my project will help provide my students with real life reading examples on each and everyone of their own reading levels.

My students need leveled readers to provide reading material on their reading level, as well as readers that provide a solid nonfiction reading background foundation.”

As you can see, she is trying to create a nonfiction leveled library so that ALL of her students (no matter what their reading level) can be exposed to nonfiction texts.

When I was in elementary school, my favorite books were the non-fiction books in my classroom library. Because of this, I tried to build this up in my classroom when I was a teacher, but I know how expensive this can be. When Cameron asked me to share this DonorsChoose site to help her with my friends, I knew that I had to do more and share it with the whole blog community!

So, please take a look at her DonorsChoose.com site and look at her request. She has priced out exactly what she needs and the cost. She needs a total cost of $1,207.50 to make this a reality. As of now, she has $30 donated. If you cannot donate, please think about sharing her site with someone who may be able to help.

Thank you so much!

Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation for this post. I just wanted to help out a friend and many children in need of a good classroom library!

 

 

Thank You

Thank You

We have been so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family to help us during these last 8 months (and throughout the pregnancy). I’ve tried to stay up on our thank you notes, but here is our big list.

Thank you for…

  • the meals.
  • the baby-holding.
  • the amazing toys, blankets, gear, etc. to make it possible to survive (and thrive) with two babies at once.
  • the clothes (both maternity and for babies).
  • coming over to visit, because I couldn’t leave the house and needed to see friends and family.
  • supporting our decision to raise our babies in the Jewish faith.
  • liking our Facebook messages, blog posts, Instagram pictures, Twitter tweets, etc. Even that simple “like” is so fantastic to see!
  • following us on Facebook, this blog, Instagram, Twitter…
  • letting us know that it’s ok that every single post is baby-related and that you love seeing and hearing about the twins.
  • asking questions about raising or having twins. I really do like to “teach.”
  • telling us that we are doing a great job and our children are beautiful. We think so too, but we like hearing other people say it!
  • being there to let us vent a little (raising twins is hard).
  • the gift cards. Shopping at Target, Babies R Us, and Amazon happen at least once a week.

8 Months Old!

Audrey and David 8 Months

It is incredible to see the changes that have happened between last month’s update and this month. We have two strong sitters (although David still likes to throw his head back sometimes), a constant crawler, and a new fear of electric motors. We also are having better sleeping habits at night and more adventures in eating solid food! Our little people are growing so much every day, and we love them so much!

Audrey Sitting 8 Months

Audrey 8 Months

Things We Love About Audrey

  • how all of a sudden, she had her second teeth, after just two days of being slightly more cuddly and humming (July 3)
  • the progression of crawling: sit-and-scoot –> sitting-to-lunge forward (and repeat) –> crawling on knees while holding onto our hands –> crawling with breaks to sit up again
  • her constant laughing and shrieks of pleasure
  • sticking out her tongue, sucking on her lips, and humming while working on cutting her 3rd tooth
  • how wide she opens her mouth to eat
  • continually pumping her arms and hitting herself, amidst a fit of giggles
  • how she can pull herself up in her crib, in the playroom, on an adult
  • how instead of using the baby sign language sign for “more” she likes to pound her hand on the table, demanding more (like her brother)
  • her love of Toby and Lucy, and her need to pet them
  • the way she sits up in bed, waiting for us to come get her
  • the way she loves to babble “da da da da da” even if she doesn’t quite mean “daddy” yet!

David Sitting 8 Months

 

David 8 Months

Things We Love About David

  • that David is still working on getting his first two teeth at once (any day now)
  • his strength in sitting
  • how he can move around by going from tummy to back to tummy (and the get anywhere he wants to go)
  • his preference for cuddling instead of sitting or lying by himself
  • his fascination with his reflection in the mirror
  • his hourly gurgles (due to excess saliva while teething)
  • the way he keeps wanting to eat solid food and demands more
  • how instead of using the baby sign language sign for “more” he likes to pound his hand on the table, demanding more
  • although he spits up frequently, he does so happily
  • how he has become wary of motors, especially the vacuum and blender

 

 

Helping New Parents

Helping New Parents

Recently, I came across this article from Twiniversity called “How to Help a New Parent of Twins.” This was a topic that has recently come up time and time again both in talking to Tim about things we wished to have help with and with others. In this list, there are some things that I agree with and some that I don’t. So, here’s MY list of how to help out new parents of twins based on Twiniversity’s list and my thoughts.

1. Feed the Family: Yes, yes, yes, and yes!

Don’t get me wrong, we have LOVED the adorable clothes, blankets, loveys, and other gear from our registry. We have used every single item we have been given. They have been wonderful. But as for HELP for us during those first few days/weeks/months, food has been the #1 “gift.” We aren’t picky (at least during this first little bit). We don’t even need full meals. But to open the freezer and be able to pull something out easily has been amazing. For those friends and family that have done this for us, I want to publicly say THANK YOU! You have no idea how little we want to cook and how wonderful it is to not have to cook or go grocery shopping.

2. Clean Their House: Yes and no.

When we first came home from the hospital, we loved the help from our moms to clean the house and do laundry. It was simply one less thing we had to think about. The only reason that this worked is that, in the months and weeks before Audrey and David arrived, our families took the time to learn how we liked things done. As the months have gone on, however, we have felt like we can do a bit more around the house and we want to do more around the house. To have the extra help with cleaning can make use feel inferior or incapable. Although we have twins, we really are managing ok at this point. If you want to help with cleaning the house, please ask us if that is ok. Find out how we want it done and listen to that. Otherwise, we will go behind your back and redo it… and that doesn’t help us OR you. Better yet, find out if we have a cleaning person that we use and pay to have the house cleaned. We had that given to us as a gift by amazing family members, and you have no idea what a relief that is!

3. Take Care of Their Older Children: Yep!

While we don’t have older children, we do have our dog, Lucy, and our cat, Toby. While the cat is pretty self-sufficient, we can’t say that about the dog. When the babies came home from the hospital, my parents took Lucy to their house to stay for about a week and a half while we transitioned into our new lives. Then, we were able to slowly ease into her being there with day-visits first and then finally we had her back with us 24/7 at about 2.5 weeks after birth. Having older children/animals definitely complicates things, and to have this extra assistance is so wonderful. Eventually, it was really nice to have Lucy back with us, and it has been great that my parents have offered to take her for overnights every now and then. As I mentioned with #2, as we have gotten into a routine, it’s comforting to have her here, and it has been wonderful for the offer, but we also appreciate that they understand when we say “Thank you, but no thank you.” Mom and Dad, if you are reading this, we may take you up on it when we travel down to Alabama this summer or for other short trips coming up (traveling with babies AND having a dog might be challenging…).

4. Help with Late-Night Feedings: Eh, not really

We had our moms stay with us for the first two weeks that we were home from the hospital. They were enormously helpful, from cleaning to laundry to doing the 6:30-9:30 baby shift while we had 3 hours of sleep. They always told us each night: “Come get me in the middle of the night if you need me.” Maybe we were stubborn or gluttons for punishment or it really  wasn’t that bad, but we never got them. We have always done the middle-of-the-night feedings by ourselves. It was simply too much trouble for me to pump and give the milk in a bottle. Now, the one time we did have help with the night feedings was at about 2.5 months when my parents stayed with the babies, we went to a hotel, and we could sleep all night long. It was glorious and we did nothing but talk about the babies the whole time. We missed them so much, that we haven’t done it since then (not even for our anniversary). And you know what, that is ok! But that one night was really nice!

5. Listen to Parents’ Needs: OH YES!

Please listen to the parents. Our needs change as the babies change. What we need on Monday may not be what we need on Tuesday. Listen to us. Ask us. Sometimes we will not know, but ask anyway. If we don’t know and you see a need, ask if it’s ok if you do so-and-so, and then do it. Having twins is hard, but probably harder than anything is the feeling that we aren’t independent anymore, like WE are the children again. We aren’t. We can do it, but it is just easier with help. Thank you so much ahead of time for respecting our need to feel capable to do this. I mean, we did survive a multiples pregnancy and birth! We can do this (there’s a little cheer for the MOMs reading this)!

6. Encouragement: PLEASE!

I really feel like this goes along with Listening to Parents’ Needs. We do NOT need you to tell us how you did XYZ with one baby (unless we ask). We do NOT need negativity of ANY kind (whether it is aimed at us or someone else). We need sincere, honest encouragement. If we choose to breastfeed, be our cheerleader. If we are able to go out with the babies to the mall, tell us how proud you are of us. If we took a shower for 3 days in a row, hire a marching band and start a parade. Please just be an honest encourager for us, no matter the choices we make. Keep your opinions to yourself. No, really, please do that. Don’t tell us how you or your cousin did it, whether she had one baby or 4. Tell US that we are doing it right and well. That’s what we need now more than anything. If we ASK, you can be honest (to a certain extent). Otherwise, keep your mouth shut, please!

 

So what do you think? Are there any tips that you new (or experienced) moms might give to those that want to help you out?

Review: Zipit Baby Clothes

Disclaimer: I received the following products for review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

When I go to dress Audrey and David, I will always pick comfort first. If it’s a hot day, the babies will be in just a onesie (or even just a diaper if we are staying at the house). If it’s cold, they will be in fleece pants and a warm top… even if that means their clothes don’t match. Still, now that we have figured out both babies’ personalities, they have developed a style within these comfortable parameters. Still, we always will choose items that are soft and easy to dress (and undress) before style.

When I heard about Zipit Baby Clothes, I was so intrigued. As their tagline says, “Dressing with zippers means more time for playtime.” I couldn’t agree more! We need quick, easy outfits for “costume changes” and quick dressing. Don’t get me wrong, we love the onesies with the snaps at the crotch, but there is something so easy about a full zip-up outfit.

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

We received a coordinating set of milk and cookie rompers in Zipit’s 6-9 month size, and it compares perfectly with other clothing brands in this size. Even before I could take the rompers out of the box, we had a hit on our hands.

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

Once I was able to wrangle the boxes away from the twins and get out the clothes, I was immediately struck with how soft these clothes are. Seriously, I would like to own this for myself (although I don’t think it would be appropriate to have a picture of cookies on my bottom).

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

 

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

As soon as I went to put these outfits on Audrey and David, I knew these were incredibly well-made. The zipper is so easy to zip up and down, and it completely unzips diagonally, for easy diaper changes. Plus, the details of the zipper are even adorable.

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

I love that there isn’t a tag to scratch the back of the babies’ necks.

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

I also really like the way that there is a top snap to secure the romper in place so that the zipper doesn’t fall down.

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

 

Plus, you can’t get a much cuter tushie (or two).

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com
Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com
Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

One other added perk with these rompers were the lengths of the legs. They hit at just below the knee, which is perfect for the baby that is learning to crawl (like ours are). They won’t scratch up their legs as they work to support themselves on their knees and rock back and forth.

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

 

And with all of this, I will say that the boxes are still more interesting to my peanuts.


Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

Bottom line: As a mom to twins, we are constantly looking for something to easily dress and change our babies, as we often have one child crying while the other is getting our attention. ZipIt clothes are the perfect solution to help us get each baby changed quickly and on to the next! Plus, these adorable coordinating rompers are perfect for the duo like ours, but they still aren’t too matchy-matchy!

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com
Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com
Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

The best thing is that ZipIt clothes have gift sets (carrying case, playsuit, blanket, and top hat), playsuits, dresses, rompers, onesies, pants, gowns, blankets, and hats. To find out more information or to purchase your own ZipIt outfit, you can visit the following:

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

 

 

 

Sponsored: Huggies Plus Products at Costco

Disclaimer: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Huggies® Brand. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Huggies Costco Ambassador

I am so excited to share that I have been chosen to participate in the Huggies Costco Ambassador Program, which is fantastic because it combines two of my favorite things: anything having to do with the twins and buying in bulk. We have actually been fans of Huggies (both their diapers and their wipes) long before this promotion, and we always purchase diapers from Costco (sponsored). Hey, when you are buying for twins, you get anything you can in large quantities. It saves you immense time (and money) later.

We have actually been buying the Huggies Snug and Dry Diapers and the Huggies Natural Care Wipes for many months now, long before I found out about this campaign (one of the reasons that I jumped at the chance to be an ambassador for this). I can’t say enough about these items! Their tagline is “Plus up your care,” and it really is true. The wipes are amazing. They clean everything from constant spit-ups to diapers to peas-up-the-nose. They are thick and soft, yet they have a simple formula and don’t have a strong fragrance or taste (yes, since we are using them on the face so much, I did try it to see what the taste was like). When compared to Huggies Natural Care Wipes, they are thicker and more absorbent to pick up any mess (a “plus” that is only available at Costco). One benefit to buying these wipes in Costco that isn’t always evident is that you will receive a wipe holder AND a travel wipe dispenser with each big box of 1160 wipes. One of the wipe cases is the new Clutch ‘n’ Clean, which I am obsessed with! We use the larger boxes all over our house, as you never know when you will need some wipes and the Clutch ‘n’ Clean containers in our car and while out and about. Seriously, we love these containers (long before this promotion)! That alone is reason to buy these big boxes at Costco!

The Snug and Dry Plus diapers are extra absorbent for day or night wear. I know that many companies (Huggies included) sell a night diaper. After trying night diapers for about a month, my advice, however, is to just use the Snug and Dry Plus diapers in a size larger for nighttime. These particular diapers have a “Leak Lock” system and a “SnugFit” waistband with special grip tabs to better keep the diaper in place. With two major squiggly children, we need as much help from our diapers as possible.

Again, Costco is the only store to sell Huggies Plus products, and as a way to promote this venture between these two companies, we wanted to invite you to try a free sample of Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes, while supplies last. I received a sample of these diapers and wipes, and I loved them. Very absorbent diapers and soft, odor-less smelling wipes. Because our babies have sensitive skin, we don’t like to have anything with scents and dyes, and we feel like we can do that with this brand.

So I highly recommend that you pack those kiddos in the car (or ask Grandma to come over for a couple of minutes), and visit your local Costco warehouse to purchase your exclusive Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes (sponsored).

Costco Members – Click HERE to register for a FREE sample of Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes. Hurry and register now, there will be a limited number of samples each day starting today (July 17) through July 26, 2014, so try back tomorrow if you aren’t able to get a sample today! You must be a Costco member to get a sample and limit 1 sample per household.

Be on the lookout as well, because I will be having some opportunities in the future for you to win a gift card to Costco as well as a coupon code in upcoming blog posts! If you don’t want to miss these chances, make sure to subscribe to get my posts in email.

To connect further to the brands discussed in this post or find information about this campaign, you can access the list below:

Huggies Twitter: @Huggies
Huggies Website
Costco Twitter: @Costco
Huggies Costco Product Page
Campaign Hashtags: #SnugandDryPlus and #MC

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Huggies® Brand. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Introducing Baby Sign Language

Image: http://developachild.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/please-more.png

Image: http://developachild.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/please-more.png

At 4 months old, we started signing Mommy loves you and Daddy loves you, just for fun. At 6 months old, we started signing more when we were eating solids. We have also now introduced milk. Now, they will get excited when we make their hands sign more, which I hope is the first step towards them communicating back to us. We have also introduced gentle and dog. I can’t wait to see them sign back to us!

I definitely encourage you to take a look at this post about another first-time mom and friend of mine (Beth, as mentioned in this post about Barefoot Books) about signing with her little one.

Caprese Crostini

I first became obsessed with this dish at a local restaurant. This would become a weekly Friday ritual to go there after work with some co-workers and order the Caprese Crostini.

Now, I can make it myself!

IMG_2638

Ingredients:
Loaf of French bread (or similar style and shape)
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Sun dried tomatoes
Balsamic glaze

Directions:
1. Cut the bread into thin slices. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 5 minutes until crispy and slightly tan color.

2. Remove the pan from the oven, but keep the oven on.

3. Add 1 slice of the mozzarella to the bread

4. Add 1 sun dried tomato to each bread/cheese bite

5. Cook in the oven again for about 5 minutes.

6. Remove and add balsamic glaze overtop.

7. Serve and enjoy!