Wednesday, March 31, 2010

If You're Happy and You Know It

My Norabird had a super happy day this past week. With a difficult start for her and a whole lot of crying, seeing these big, beautiful smiles make me so incredibly happy.

And of course, Holden is his usual calm, cool self!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy 4 Months!

That's right babies! You are 4 months old today. Mommy is just as surprised at how quickly the time is passing as you are, but it's been the most awesome 4 months of her life!

~Holden and Nora's 4 month appointments are this Thursday, so I will post the stats and updates later in the week--i can't wait to find out how much they have grown!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Movie Monday

It's another double feature, lucky you!

Holden Rattles

My Silly Babies

oh, wait here's one more,

she was pretty cranky, but check out how strong she is!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Outdoor Discoveries

The babies are growing more aware of their surrounding each day, so Nana (my mom's official grandparent name) and I have been taking them outside some this past week to see the flowers and trees, feel the wind on their faces and the grass between our toes. So far the wind is a bit much and Nora especially doesn't like it blowing in her face, and the grass is a bit too pokey for Holden's feet right now. But it's a nice distraction and I love to watch their faces as the experience new things, even if it is something they aren't sure about.
Here's some of our pics from this week!

inspecting the pokey green stuff

no so sure about this!

giving my mommy my best boo-boo lip


Valentines Day???
Sorry babe, i meant to post this, oh about 6 weeks ago. Anyway, this is your tshirt for V-day--romantic, i know! ~LOVE YOU ALWAYS

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pretty Girl

Nanny Katie made Nora this beautiful bow and Mommy thinks it's the cutest thing she has ever seen! Thanks Katie, we love it!

Crafty Me

i know, i know...who has time for this stuff? Since my mom has been here, each night she works on this cross-stitch piece as a way of winding down, and although cross-stitching is SO NOT my thing, i do appreciate the soothing motions of creating a stitch. I personally think cross stitching is too exact for me, i'm more of a free-hander/"eye-it" kind of girl. So anyway, I've been working on this for Holden just a little bit each night while i catch up on my shows and then -voila! last night i finished, whatcha think?

This all stemmed from finding super cute organic onesies (that i just love because they are so soft!) with even cuter designs on them in all these specialty shops, but not being able to afford them. Well okay, technically i COULD pay $18-$25 per onesie, but really, i NEVER WOULD. And anyway, i decided i could make them just as good anyway. So this is my first attempt--i have many more ideas, stay tuned for Nora's first "mommy-made" onesie!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rub-a-Dub Dub, Two Babies in a Tub

We stole an idea from our triplet friends and tried bathtime in the Bumbos. It was fun--a good way to have bath time together...but if you watch the video the babies were a bit skeptical. Enjoy.

a cute post bath photo...we were cuddling while waiting for the changing table

Monday, March 22, 2010

Movie Monday

Here's a couple of twins videos--this week is the first time i have noticed them to acknowledge each other. Although i have yet to catch it on tape, they have made eye contact, smiled and babbled at each other for small amounts of time. This is a huge step from the usual averting of eyes and flat-out getting mad when we put them together!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Babies Babies Everywhere

So, you may or may not be having the same experience as me, but it seems that everyone i know has just recently had a baby or is currently "with child". It's a serious baby boom for sure!

I never got to acknowledge any of these because of my own babies birth but 2 of my very good friends had babies within days of me.

First my friend from college, Lacey, had her son Carter on Nov. 28 and then my friend Hillary had her son Jack on the 29th. I received both of these great pieces of news while I myself was in the hospital and in the beginnings of labor with the twins. Funny thing is, none of us were actually due at the exact time we had our babies, but they all came out together!
Welcome Baby Carter and Congratulations to Jonathan and Lacey!

Congrats to Jake and Hillary! Here they are with Baby Jack's on their first family Christmas. Baby Jack is already a BIG BOY!

About a week and a half ago my long time and best friend from home, Neelie had her first little girl, Dallyn Ruth. Dallyn is about 3 months younger than the babies--which is exactly the age difference between Neels and I--it must be fate that they will best friends too!

Congrats to Jonas and Neelie! Here's Dallyn --in the words of my friends daughter, Bethany, "cold-kickin' it"

Just this past week on St. Patty's Day the 10th grandbaby was born into our family--Mayson Thomas. He spent his first day in the world as simply Baby M--but names are super important and i can understand the need to get it just right! and Mary Beth just an FYI, I think his name is great!
Congrats to Mary Beth and Mike!
Also, I'd like to send a quick shout out to our friends Kim and Jordan on their new fetus. (their term, not mine!) They are due sometime in late September, and although i am sad this will interfere with plans of coming to visit me this fall, i am so very excited for another baby in our group. Love you guys!
The Howell "Fetus"

Mike and I are so excited for all of you guys and can't wait to meet all your new additions! Yay for babies!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Meeting Lily

I took the babies over to Marybeth's house today and our other friend Britta came over with her kids too. Britta has a baby girl who is 3 months older than the twins. Below are some pics of Nora and Lily meeting for the first time. Lily was very interested in Nora and kept trying to hold her hand. Nora was actually looking straight at Lily and even smiled at her--and that's good for Nora because she usually averts her eyes from other babies. Maybe they'll be good play-friends and Lily can show her the "ropes" for crawling, climbing, playing with toys and such!

Nora smiling and "shaking hands" with Lily


Lily can do funny tricks with her tongue and Nora was really trying to figure it out!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nora's Message to Daddy

Please Daddy, Please...can Brother and I have Mo' Mo Blankies like our friends???
We just love them so much!

Cloth Diapers 101: Prefold Diapering

When people first think of cloth diapering, prefolds are what come to mind. They are the oldest type of diaper used...these ARE what our mothers and their mothers and so on used...but i would like to bring up the old adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"!

Prefolds are the rectangular cloth diapers that have three sections, the thickest part being in the middle, for maximum absorbency. With a prefold, it is necessary to use a waterproof cover. Rubber pants have been the go-to cover for years, and i do have some of those because they are so cheap and good to have around. But now, there are LOTS of colorful and printed covers out there that are both cute and very effective at holding in the poop! My favorite covers right now are Thirsties Duo Wraps which have a wonderful leg gusset that doesn't let anything pass through! I am also "eyeing" the blueberry covers because of how cute the prints are, but i don't have any yet!

When changing your baby's dirty diaper it is necessary to use a clean new prefold with each change but a cover can last quite a while. We only change a cover if it has been used all day and of course if it has poo on it. I've had days where i have used the same cover all day and then i've had days where a baby will go through 3 or 4. It's always good to have at least 6 covers per baby.

For some reason prefolds are "scary" to most new moms, but after reading about them and watching how-to videos on you tube, i had to give it a try--and in all honesty, at this point in my babies lives, prefold diapers are my favorite diapering system for every-day use!

Here's a few great things about prefolds to know...

1. They are CHEAP--if you are looking to save money, prefolds are the way to go. For about a 1-2 dollars per diaper you are making a great investment. 24-36 diapers per baby can get you a LONG way. Then you just need a few waterproof covers and you are set!

2. If you are not willing to do your own diaper laundry, prefolds are the way to go. There are diaper services out there that will pick up your dirty diaper laundry, wash them, fold them and then deliver them all nice and clean to your door. All diaper services that i know of ONLY wash prefold diapers--not the fancy kinds.

3. NO MORE PINS! Diaper pins are a thing of the past! Snappis are the new fastening system--and they make the whole process "oh so easy". Snappi's are basically a T-shaped fastener with "teeth" or grippers on each end that grab onto the fabric and hold the diaper in place. Ingenious really, if you ask me--and i have had zero malfunctions with them!

4. BURP CLOTHS--prefolds double as our burp cloths...and i think they are the best burp cloth available. The prefolds are so absorbent, easy to wash and cheap it makes the perfect burp cloth! But just a suggestion, if you decide to go this route, buy extras so you don't run out of diapers!

5. BEST CHOICE FOR EBF BABIES--EBF is "exclusively breast-fed". And i guess this is a matter of opinion, but if you have had any experience with breastfed newborns, you know the poo is very runny. Pair a prefold diaper with a great a Thirsties Duo Wrap, and you have a bullet-proof system for preventing the dreaded "blowout".

The one down-side i found with prefolds was how SOAKED they can get. The first day i used the diapers on Holden he developed a rash. I was really bummed because i had read so much about how cloth diapers help prevent diaper rashes. After some late night research--because i was determined to fix this problem immediately, i found that some babies with really sensitive skin develop rashes from the wet material constantly touching their bums. The solution? --They make very inexpensive fleece liners that you can lay on top of the diaper that repels away the moisture from the skin so that the baby doesn't get wet. I use these liners with both babies although i have never noticed a problem with Nora--but i didn't want to chance it.

I will say that many people do not find this to be a problem, as long as their baby is not getting a rash, moms say that these diapers help their baby know when they are wet and aid in faster potty training. I personally don't know if this is true since i am not there yet...but fleece liners solved my problem and for now i am prefold diaper fan!

I think the secret to successfully using prefolds is just to be patient when takes a few weeks to get the hang of this. You may have to try out a few different folds to find what works for you and your baby--and believe me everyone has there own way to fold a diaper! Squirming babies can be a bit of a challenge when learning, but before long you will get the hang of it and putting on a prefold can be as easy as putting on a disposable!

Here's Holden modeling his first-ever prefold diaper. Now that he has grown they fit even more naturally and don't hang all the way to his knees...He was just a little guy here, at about 6 1/2

prefold diaper fastened with a "snappi"
Thirsties cover over the diaper---easy to use velcro!

My Preppy Skater Boy

Yes I realize this is an oxymoron of sorts --- but it was just so cute i couldn't resist!

This Sunday Holden sported his button down shirt, J-Crew style alligator shorts and then Vans-printed socks! All in green in honor of St. Patty's Day coming soon!

I personally think this little guy could make any outfit adorable! Maybe I'm a little biased?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Movie Monday

She Rolls!!!!!! at least she does when she's mad!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sun Hat or Sombrero?

Nora's newborn sunhat is still WAY too sorta reminded me of a sombrero...whatcha think?

After a few pictures and laughs...don't worry we didn't make her wear the hat! I did find her one today that fits her little head better. We wouldn't want her pretty little head to get a sunburn!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ready for the beach!

well, maybe not yet, but soon!

Thanks Auntie Kim for the hat! Aren't i so so cute?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"you have twins and you use cloth diapers...what??"

Okay, so I hear this A LOT. and i'd like to say upfront this has nothing to do with me trying to be some kind of super mom --i just have a genuine interest in cloth diapers and i really support what they are all about.

Do i judge all disposable ("sposies") diaper using families out there?? heck no. But do i think more families should at least consider alternatives to sposies? Definitely. But really, each family has to do what is right for them--that's what is most important. Raising a baby is difficult enough and there is no need to put added stress on yourself. I am here to say though that using cloth may not be as complicated or "gross" as you may think...they have come a LONG way since the cloth diapers our mothers and grandmothers were using on us!

When i first was researching cloth i began to weigh the benefits of them vs. sposies.

1. There is a definite cost savings. Depending on the type of diaper you use, a family can spend on average $1600-$2000 on sposies per child...times two or three kids...that's a lot of money! Especially when you can reuse your cloth diapers for each child. The more kids you have the more savings you will have. The cost of cloth varies greatly and it all depends on the type of diapers you decide to use. So far on both babies i have spent close to $650 and i have a variety of different kinds. Most of my diapers are one size and will fit up until they are potty trained.

2. Cloth is an environmentally friendly choice! In almost every other aspect of our lives there is so much emphasis on *Recycle , Reuse, and Reduce*--why not put this into practice with your diapers? I could include a very long list of reasons why cloth is better for the environment, but i won't. I will however lead you to this website so you can check out the statistics yourself. I would like to leave you with one stat--The average child will use over 7000 diapers -- each diaper takes an estimated 300-500 years to decompose. That's a LOT of waste. It's something to think about.

I would also like to acknowledge the argument that the use of water and energy to clean cloth is equal to the negative impact that disposables create. I'm not discounting the facts, but I found this article interesting and i like this quote "Disposable diapers will most always likely be very unfriendly to the planet, but there are opportunities for minimizing the impact of reusable cloth diaper usage."

3. they are BETTER for you babies SKIN! --Between all the materials and chemicals used to make a disposable diaper there are studies that show babies are more likely to get diaper rash, have other skin irritations, have asthma-like symptoms and have infertility issues when they are grown. Also---cloth is 100% more comfortable and soft on your babies bum. Any woman out there would have to admit that wearing a maxi pad is terribly uncomfortable...well its really no different for your baby, except they have to wear one 24-7 for 2 years least!

and here are some --not exactly scientific reasons--but still good reasons for cloth!
4. no late night runs for diapers...just throw them in the'll never run out!

5. they will facilitate in faster potty training because a cloth diapered baby can tell when they are wet, unlike disposables.

6. Modern cloth diapers can be so easy to use that diaper changes aren't any more complicated once you get the hang of it.

7. I personally think sposies STINK...i can smell that a baby in disppsables has urinated the minute i get near them...and its even worse with poop. Cloth does NOT smell the same--i rarely smell anything at all!

8. AND....they are SO SUPER CUTE! I jut love seeing my babies colorful fluffy bottoms!

I have a friend who is now considering the use of cloth diapers and the first thing she said to me was how much information there is to sort through...and she is SO RIGHT. Admittedly though with my difficult pregnancy, i had plenty of time to sit on the couch to do a thorough research. I thought instead of just giving her all of my advice via the phone, i would post it on the blog so maybe others would also consider their options as well. So over the next few months i will be posting other cloth blogs with my opinions of diapers i have liked, ones i don't, and laundering tips--i am still learning new things every day, so why not share it with all of you?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Me Too, Me Too!

Holden would just like for everyone to know that he can read too!

And his other big announcement is that he held his own bottle today! I was in an FRG meeting with no camera access :( and was feeding Holden a bottle when he put both hands up and held it himself for about 10 minutes before he got tired...even pulled in and out a few times. I'm not sure if he knew quite what was going on, but he is definitely learning and you could tell by his eyes he knew he was doing something BIG...i can't believe how big my babies are getting!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shout Out

Hey Grandma Cottle, I heard it was your birthday! We haven't had one of those yet...but I think it sounds like fun! I thought and thought, but didn't know what to get you, so i asked brother.
Brother said that a bear would be fun...but then he remembered that sometimes bears are naughty and hard to manage because they are so big...
So we decided on a little doggy instead!

But then Mommy said that you probably wouldn't want a puppy either and although we don't understand why not, we think she's pretty smart, so i guess we'll just say...
Happy Birthday Grandma! Hope you had a great day!