Life Lately

Ya’ll, I realize it’s been a while since I’ve been on this thing. I think I still know how to publish a blog post…. We’ll find out won’t we? Life has¬†been so busy! Both good and bad. We’ll start with the bad because I like to leave ya’ll on a positive note (hint: there are two adorable girls included in that note ūüėČ).

2016 came and Kelley got sick. We’ve heard this story before haven’t we? Yes, yes we have, the story was called 2015. A few days after the New Year I started coughing horribly and had a high fever for days. Come to¬†find out I had the flu (and we all got flu shots) and pneumonia. Great. Also, did I mention I have two tiny humans I have to take care of? Mom came down multiple times to help out and C was able to work from home, but then they both got sick, AND the girls got sick. So not only was I still not feeling well, everyone else was sick and trying to take care of sick twins. PLEASE tell me this is not the norm for wintertime with kids, please!!

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Good news, everyone got better…but 5 rounds of antibiotics later, I’m still sick. I’ve had 2 separate bouts of pneumonia, so just when I thought I was getting better…it started all over again. I’ve been seeing a specialist and was put on a long dose of antibiotics to hopefully knock this for good.

So that’s my sob story, sorry but it’s literally consumed us¬†lately. Life still has to go¬†on when you’re a mom, and sick; you still have to show up for the job…like the Nyquil commercial. It’s been rough.

Meanwhile, the girls have been growing like weeds. Seriously. I blinked and they are full on toddlers. They each have such a personality and it’s been a blast to watch. I’ve totally become that mom that just sits around and talks about her kids because they’re doing something new and funny every day.

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With toddlerhood also comes strong wills, attitudes, and the lovely tantrums I’ve heard so much about. I never thought I’d have to start discipline so early, but we absolutely had to. They totally know how to push our buttons and they do it. All. Day.

One of the top questions I get from EVERYONE is if they are walking yet. Almost…they walk holding on to things all the time but only take a few steps on their own. Other big updates, I’ve been weaning the girls as my doctor seems to think my immune system is weakened because of breastfeeding, hence being sick all year. I’m now only nursing them sometimes in the morning when they wake up, which seems to be the hardest feeding for them to drop. They also no longer have a dairy allergy, so they’ve been drinking whole milk and would eat cheese all day long if I let them.

For the most part, we do everything together (I’ve yet to separate them), but their personalities are so different from each other now and it’s so fun to watch. Here are a couple individual updates:

Faith

Our shy, independent one, she will straight up stare down a stranger or anything she’s unsure of. But once she warms up, she’ll entertain herself forever and act like she owns the place. She’s also such a mommas girl, her favorite spot is laying on my left shoulder, sucking her fingers, while gently playing with my hair with the other hand. It’s the sweetest. Her smile and giggle is to die for. I can’t even explain it. It’s like the most genuine thing you’ve ever experienced when this girl is happy. Faith LOVES books, in fact, every time she picks up a book she says “read?” and looks at me¬†as if she’s asking me to read.¬†Other words she says often, momma….all day, dada, uh oh, book, buh bye. If we’re in the car or getting ready to go somewhere she just says buh bye over and over, often the entire way home. Her favorite toy is whatever June is playing with.

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June

This girl is a ham. If she does something and we laugh, she stores it away for next time. It’s like she has a bag of tricks she pulls out whenever she wants to get us to laugh. We call it the June show because everywhere she goes she commands attention. This girl gets out of the car and just starts waving like a beauty queen non stop…to no one, just in case someone didn’t get the memo that she’s arrived. It’s hysterical. She loves to dance, even when no music is playing. She has tons of energy until she doesn’t and then she just crashes. She’ll sit in my lap watching everything as if she’s still a part of the action, both hands behind her head playing with her hair, paci in her mouth…until she’s ready to go again. Her favorite word is “uh oh”, often it’s “uh oh, dada”. She usually says “uh oh” not as in whoops June made a mistake or June dropped something, but usually as in she’s about to do something she’s not supposed to. At least she gives me warning… Other words June says: momma, dada, book, sister. She’ll also try to repeat things I say and gets pretty close most of the time!

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We’ve been outside non stop since it’s been nice out and it’s made for some really fun days. Both girls love getting dirty and to be honest, I really don’t care, as long as they’re having fun. I will say, I’m looking forward to when they can walk so they’re crawling less outside. We’ve ruined several pairs of pants this way! But hey…let them be little!

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Twin Q + A

As you can imagine, we get stopped everywhere we go with the girls,¬†numerous times. Lots of people are¬†curious about twins and have question after question… or they just want to stare at them, and¬†so they ask questions¬†so it doesn’t seem as weird that they’re just staring at our babies. I thought I’d compile the most common questions we’re asked, and my answers. If you read this blog regularly, you probably already know the answers to most of them but just for fun…

IMG_4688Are they twins? Yes….I’m asked this all. day. long. When Charlie and I are together with the girls I like to say “no, one is his and one is mine” and watch their faces while they try to figure it out. Mean. I know.

Are they boys, girls, or a boy and a girl? Girls. The most common guess is a boy and a girl. I want to know which one they think is the boy?

Are they identical? Yes.

Do twins run in your family? No, they don’t. Identical twins don’t usually run in families, that’s fraternal twins. I learned this soon after we found out we were expecting twins because I thought they had to run in your family. Wrong.

How do you tell them apart? They have days when they look really identical but 99% of the time they look so incredibly different to us. Faith has always been a little bigger than June, only by a few ounces, but in the beginning it was a big difference.¬†From behind I can easily tell who is who because Faith’s hair is fuller. June pulls and twists hers so her hair is coming in a little patchy. Most people can tell them apart because¬†June takes a paci, and Faith sucks her fingers. Faith likes to pull a fast one on us by sucking on a paci every once in a while.IMG_4780Do you ever mix them up? I have but not the way you may think. It’s happened on occasion when I’ll pick up June for instance because she needs a new diaper and then when I lay her down I realize that it’s actually¬†Faith, but she is the one who needs a diaper so it doesn’t really matter. I’ve tried dressing them differently to help me out but I can never remember who was wearing what with so many outfit changes per day. It’s actually easier when they’re dressed the same because their differences are more obvious to me.

Did you use fertility treatments? One of the top questions I receive from strangers. We did not, but I don’t know why so many random people ask…as if that’s normal grocery store conversation?? Another way the same question is asked is, “were you surprised?” Yes. Very much so.

Will you have more kids? I wish I knew the answer to this question because I receive it so often. It’s really like asking someone who is in the middle of running a marathon if they’ll run another one.¬†Some days the answer is yes and some days no, we go back and forth all the time.IMG_4767Who is older? Faith, by a minute. And she already acts like it.

What are their personalities like? June is a giggly, social butterfly and can be very sensitive and dramatic. Faith is more reserved and pretty laid back but also likes to push her limits more. They are known to swap personalities though…

Is it hard having twins? Yes.

How do you do it? I have an a m a z i n g husband.

Do they sleep at the same time? That is the goal and most of the time they do.

Do they share a room and did they sleep in the same crib?¬†They share a room but not a crib. I know many twin parents who have their twins share a crib when they’re little, but we didn’t notice a difference in their sleeping whether they were together or separate so we figured it would be one last battle we’d have to fight down the road.IMG_3749Can you tell the difference between their cries? Yes, but it wasn’t always that way. Their cry matches their personality a little more now. June has a higher pitch cry, Faith’s is a little more throaty. Hard to describe, but they probably sound the same to everyone else.

Were they born premature? I was thankfully able to carry them to 38 weeks. Read more about their birth here.

What other questions would you add to this list?

O N E

The girls turned o n e on the 22nd¬†and I’m in complete denial that an entire year has passed since I had these cuties. I’ve been having so much fun looking back at where we were a year ago last Christmas and how much has changed since then. How do you summarize the craziest, best, exhausting, scary, amazing, challenging year of your life? You can’t, and I’ll never be able to. All I can say is that we made it. We survived the first year with twins. It’s supposed to get easier now right? Ha…everyone keeps saying that and I think there’s nothing easy about having twins. B U T…I will say this …I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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Health

We’ve been pretty healthy since hand foot and mouth disease took over our Thanksgiving…and then Christmas came and what would the holidays be without another sickness. This time, the tummy bug for both girls and momma. Thankfully it was only a couple of days, but really, there’s nothing worse than waking up to the sound of your poor baby getting sick. So sad.

We had our one year check up¬†on their birthday, which I will never do again. What mom schedules shots and a 2 hour visit on a birthday? Our visits aren’t usually that long but being before the holidays and several tests required at a first year visit, it took a very long time. Thank God we have amazing girls who are happy just about anywhere if Cheerios are involved.

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They checked out great, growing well and healthy. They’re both still in the 5% for weight and height. June was 17.3lb and Faith was 17.9lb, little girls and probably always will be, but they’re growing at an ideal rate which is the important part.

I got the go ahead to try dairy in my diet to see if it affects the girls so we promptly ordered pizza for dinner that night. Man it was good!! Once we figure out if they can have dairy, we’ll start weaning with adding either whole milk or a supplement like almond or soy. I’m PRAYING that the milk allergy is gone!

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Both girls have their¬†2 bottom teeth, and I absolutely melt every time they smile and I see those little suckers. They’re still teething like crazy, which I’m sure will be ongoing for the next year or so. No sign of any more popping through yet.

Play

We are still dealing with tantrums but I’m pretty sure this will be a constant struggle as we enter toddlerhood (do I have toddlers now? What!?). I’m constantly refereeing. One minute they’re laughing and kissing each other, the next they’re pulling hair and slamming each other onto the only hard toy in the room, that happens to be right below their head. There are so many tears in this house, but somehow we make it to the end of the day with only minor (usually) bumps and scrapes.

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The girls aren’t walking yet but standing all the time, pulling up on anything they can get their hands on…every toy, the sofa, a pillow, dresser, cribs, momma, sister. They also try to climb everything and have zero fear of landing smack¬†on their head. June is walking with her push toy with the biggest smile on her face looking for someone to watch her and cheer. Faith will push it on her knees. Actually, Faith will push anything across the room on her knees, whether it has wheels or not, while making a motorboat noise. It’s pretty adorable.

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June’s favorite thing is music, hands down. The minute she hears a tune she MUST stop what she’s doing and sway or bop up and down. She doesn’t even change her facial expression; it’s as if she’s thinking “music, oh I have to dance now, this is¬†my job”. My parents got them a ukulele¬†and a percussion set for their birthday and they absolutely love it!

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Faith has also started dancing a little bit (if you want to call it that, more like jerk her body every which direction nearly giving herself whiplash). She’s more into books than anything else. The minute she wakes up she crawls straight for the books and inspects each one, turning pages, and “talking” in a monotone voice like she’s reading. It’s so sweet. She’ll also push a book over to me, crawl in my lap, put her fingers in her mouth (yes, she’s still doing that) and “ask” me to read. I MELT.

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Sleep

Ugh. Do we have to talk about this? Yes, because I look back at these posts often to see where we were and when. That and it’s probably one of the top questions people ask me, “how do they sleep?” and “do you get any sleep” which is¬†technically the same question.

Since being sick last month, Faith is back to sleeping through the night. I love her for being such a great sleeper. She makes me feel like we’re doing something right. June wakes up pretty much every night…still, and I love her for that¬†because if I’m being honest, I miss them the minute they go to bed and all I want to do is snuggle their sweet cuddly, tired bodies. June fulfills this need and then some! Once she got over being sick, she went through a nursing strike and would wake up all night starving. Once we got through it, she was so used to eating¬†through the night and still relied on it, so we had to do a bit of sleep training with her and wean her from feeding through the night. Then she was doing great and got a tummy bug so back to waking all night. It’s always something with this girl. As cute as she is in the middle of the night, baby girl needs to sleep, for our sake and hers.

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They’re still going to bed around 6:30pm and they get up around 7/7:30am. They also still take 2 naps, one around 9/9:30 and one around 1/1:30. I thought for a split second that they were trying to go down to 1 nap, which would be pretty early to do that, but then I realized they just didn’t want to nap period. They still very much need their¬†2 naps and they’re now going down pretty well for both.

Eat

Still huge eaters over here (except for when they had the stomach bug which of course clued me into something being wrong). They eat 3 meals a day plus a snack or two…sometimes 4 meals a day. I can’t keep up with them! They shovel anything and everything I put in front of them. I hope this lasts and I don’t have to deal with picky eaters! They love any kind of fruit, except raspberries…they make a weird face, which makes me want to give them to them more because it’s hilarious! I’m so mean, I know. They also still love broccoli, carrots, squash and any other veggie they’ve tried. Protein is kind of tough because they don’t really like meat. They’ll eat it but I think it’s hard for them to eat with only 2 teeth. So they eat a lot of beans, peanut butter, eggs, and I sometimes throw quinoa if they’re having a puree, for protein.

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They’re also still breastfeeding 6 times a day…ya’ll I’m more than ready to start weaning. I still can’t drop a feed without them screaming and following me around, even if I replace it with a meal. They’ve also been even more attached to me lately and I haven’t even started weaning, so they’re clearly not emotionally ready. It will take a while, I know, but we have to start somewhere so I said goodbye to my pump. HALLELUJAH!! For the past year, I had also been pumping before bed to store milk for bottles if they need them. The doctor said to not use bottles (to avoid having to wean from those as well), only sippy cups, and since they won’t drink my milk from a sippy anyway, there’s no point in pumping anymore. Merry Christmas to me!

Other Updates

A question I got a¬†lot was about having a big party for their birthday. For a lot of reasons, we decided not to. The main reason is that our house is too small to even host a small get together indoors and doing something at a rented space is too much for us to take on right now. We don’t want to downplay their birthday or especially get in a habit of letting Christmas overshadow the celebration, but this year we’re just laying low and saving¬†our energy (and money) for larger parties in the coming years when they’re more likely to remember it, and able to handle the attention from lots of people! I totally have mom guilt from this decision, but we know that every time we take on more than we can handle we really regret it.

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We did have our parents over the afternoon of their birthday for presents and cupcakes. They dug into their cupcakes like it was going to be taken away from them if they didn’t eat it fast enough. And then we paid for it that night. They went down fine at bedtime but poor Faithy woke up vomiting a few times (our first sign the stomach bug was visiting our house), which then woke up June. Neither of them would go back down, they were absolutely wired. We tried pack n plays in our room…no dice. They eventually went to sleep in their cribs but it took a long time. It reminded me of their first night at home as newborns when they would just NOT SLEEP and we looked at each other like, “what do we do?”

We just finished our swim lessons at the Y and I’m sure we’ll be signing up for it again in the next few months. They really enjoyed it and I think it’s helped make them more comfortable in the bath as well as being in the water with others, not just mom and dad. They tried on life vests for the first time a couple of weeks ago and I’m huge on making sure they’re comfortable in them. I grew up on a lake and it was a non negotiable to wear them when playing in the water there when I was young, a rule I’ll also enforce with my littles.

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We got a membership to the Children’s Museum of Richmond for the girls’ birthday and we’ve already been at least once a week since. The girls love it there and it’s a nice change of scenery for us, especially on cold rainy days that force us to stay indoors.

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We’ve also been getting together with other kiddos pretty regularly. I’m a member of our area’s Moms of Multiples group and have met some amazing friends through it. I seriously don’t know how I’d make it through this year without them. I tell everyone I know who is pregnant with twins to get involved with their local organization¬†if they have one.

It’s been so much fun recapping and looking back at these monthly updates, but I’m not going to continue them every month going forward. I may do an update on the here or there, but not every month like I did for their first year. Be sure to follow my Instagram @kelleylively and Facebook page for more frequent updates.

Happy Birthday Baby Girls!