Sunday, May 3, 2015

Brooke & Brecklyn are Three Months Old!

It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to sit down and write. We've had quite a busy month, and I'm hoping to catch up on all of that soon. However, today our sweet little twinbies turned three months old so I want to concentrate on them!

Brooke at three months old . . . getting so big!

Brecklyn at three months old . . . not sure if she wants to smile about it or not :-):

Big sister Brooke is still the bigger sister. She has outgrown almost all of her 0-3 month sized clothing and is wearing 3-6 and 6 month sizes. While we're still squeezing her into a few 0-3 month pieces, she has certainly outgrown all 0-3 month sleepers. She wears a size 1 diaper and size 2 shoe (although they are a bit big). We have about a month's supply of size 1 diapers left, and after they are gone we will start putting Brooke in a size 2. As a side note: We have yet to purchase any diapers for these girls. We are still using the stash that we {mostly} received as gifts (we did buy a few boxes). That's pretty incredible considering the girls are three months old! We are certainly blessed!

Brecklyn seems quite a bit smaller than Brooke, but she really is only about 1 pound lighter and 1/2 inch shorter. She's just not as broad shouldered as her older sister. She still fits in more of her 0-3 month clothing than Brooke does, but can also wear her 3-6 month and 6 month pieces. She is also in a size 1 diaper and size 2 shoe (also still a bit too big). When we move Brooke to a size 2 diaper, Brecklyn will likely stay in size 1s for a while.

The girls are doing great with their schedule! They are good night sleepers which is wonderful! Just last week, they slept from 8:30pm to 5:30am without waking on two different nights! Whoo-hoo! Most nights, they go down around 8:30pm, wake around 3:30am to eat, then sleep until about 7:00am. I'm happy with that! They still sleep swaddled in a pack-n-play in our bedroom, but we will be moving them to their beds soon. *tear*

We recently switched from using Aden & Anais blankets to using Summer Infant swaddles (pictured above). The reason for this is because Brecklyn would work and work to get her arms out of the swaddle and sometimes get it over her face in the process. One night, I heard her fussing around and saw this:

The blanket was pulled pretty tight over her face, so it scared me! This is why we use breathable blankets ONLY! However, they can't get the Summer Infant swaddles over their faces, so that's why we switched.

The girls love sleeping together and sleep best that way. This night, they were snuggled so close to each other that their noses were touching!

During the daytime, Brooke and Brecklyn still nurse about every 3 hours. I've noticed that if they nurse less frequently during the day, then they will want to eat more at night. I have to work hard to keep my supply up, but I am able to exclusively breastfeed them. They are so sweet when they nurse . . . Brecklyn always folds her little arms in front of her. 

And Brooke will often clasp her little hands. I had been tandem nursing them most of the time, but I had surgery about two weeks ago (more on that in another post) and was unable to tandem nurse after surgery. We will start again soon though, as it's much less time consuming and the girls like it.

The girls are SO sweet after they eat. I get lots of smiles when their tummies are full! These photos were taken first thing in the morning after they nursed. Brooke is in the cars sleeper, and Brecklyn is in the pink sleeper.

They take good naps during the day, and I am so thankful for that! They will often nap in the swing or the rock-n-play during the day, but once in a while I will hold them. It's funny to me that I never let Brianna and Brenson nap in the swing or much in my arms, but I don't mind when the girls do. Things are just different when there are TWO babies, and sometimes I'm in survival mode. Napping in the swing or while being held has not affected their nighttime sleep or it wouldn't be happening. This photo was taken on the day they got their two month immunizations. They were both very grumpy that day and just wanted to be held. It made me sad that they were out of sorts, but I loved the snuggles.

We enjoyed some Easter festivities with the girls this month . . . love my little baby bunnies!

Brecklyn tends to cry more than Brooke, but Brooke is louder when she cries. In the photo below, Brecklyn was trying to nap and Brooke was screaming, so Brecklyn put her hand over her face. It was so cute! This has happened several times since and it makes us laugh every time! 

Brecklyn is still our serious girl, so we see this face a lot. She just studies things and takes it all in.

Brooke seems to be more active and squirmy. For the most part, she gives smiles easier than Brecklyn and is a bit more snuggly.

On April 8th, we noticed that Brooke's belly button was very red and inflamed looking. We also noticed that it was seeping a bit and had an odor. We called Dr. F's office the next day, and they wanted us to bring her in. I had to take the appointment time they had open which was at 3:30pm . . . right in the middle of naptime. AND, Chris couldn't get off work in that short of notice, so I had to be a big girl and take ALL of the kids by myself. I was super nervous, but it worked out just fine. The big kids were on their very best behavior, and the babies did okay (there was some crying, but overall it was okay). It turned out that Brooke's belly button had not healed properly down inside, so Dr. F had to put a chemical in it to basically cauterize it. Brooke didn't love the procedure, but she was soon back to her happy little self and her belly button looks great now. I don't have any photos from the actual appointment (I had my hands full!), but this little one was a trooper!

Neither one of the girls has rolled over yet, but Brecklyn has gotten onto her side multiple times. Brooke hasn't really tried, but she loves to scoot around on the floor. In the photo below, she was playing on the playmat (they both still love this) and scooted herself right off.

Brecklyn holds her head up really well and is great at tummy time. She loves to look around!

Brooke doesn't hold her head up quite as well as Brecklyn, and she doesn't even really try during tummy time. She does like the Bumbo, but not for long periods of time yet.

Brecklyn loves the Bumbo and will sit in it for 15 to 20 minutes. This photo was taken the very first time she tried it. I LOVE the look on her face!!!

They will both tolerate the bouncy seat (although Brooke generally does better in it), and they both LOVE the swing. 

Sweet Brecklyn in the bouncy seat



Like I said above, Brooke is our snuggly girl, so she really likes to be "worn". We use a baby K'Tan and really like it! Daddy wore Brooke all around Sam's to get groceries one day, and she did great!

Brooke will take a pacifier sometimes, although she doesn't love it. What she does love is sucking her thumb! However, I don't really want her to be a thumb sucker, so I try not to let her do it. I'm not sure I'm going to win this one, so it's a good thing that I think it's pretty cute :-)


Brecklyn doesn't suck her thumb or fingers (or take a paci), but what she does do is have major diaper blowouts, ha! She tends to only have a dirty diaper about every 3 to 4 days, so when she does it's a MESS. I was holding her on my hip (facing outward) one day when she blew out of her diaper. This was the result:

So, so gross!!! Here is what Brecklyn's leg looked like:
I've asked Dr. F about this (twice), and he says it's normal. Blech.

We think Brecklyn has her own little look, but Brooke definitely looks (and acts) like her big sister, Brianna. Sometimes - when Brooke is wearing Brianna's old clothes - it really takes me back to when Bri was a baby. Here is a side-by-side of Brianna (left) and Brooke:

Besides her facial features, Brooke's hair is a lot like Brianna's was at this age. It's not quite as thick, but it gets wild in a hurry :-). This is a terrible photo of Brooke, but just look at that hair!

I sent this photo to Chris at work one day just because the hair was cracking me up! She does have a small bald spot that's recently developed in the back, but it's nice and full on top.

Poor little Brecklyn is almost bald compared to her sister, so she gets lots of big headbands.

She has a large bald spot in the back and has lost most of the little hair she had on top. She doesn't seem to mind, though!

Along with all the hair, Brooke also has lots of congestion all the time. We have to suction out her nose several times a day, and she also always has lots of goop in her eyes. I'm not sure if this is allergies or something else, but I'm hoping she outgrows it. The congestion makes it hard for her to breathe sometimes, so some nights we have her sleep propped up a bit.

I'm not really a fan of nicknames, but sometimes they just happen. Brianna has given Brecklyn the nickname "Breckles" which I think is pretty cute. She also calls her "Breckleton" sometimes, ha! 

We often call Brooke "Brooke Ellie" and sometimes "Brookie Boo". I kind of hate nicknames like "Brookie Boo" (so cutsie), but it has slipped out a few times. 

A few more things about Brecklyn:

She has decided that smiling for the camera isn't so bad after all. She's easy to photograph because she tends to be still and study things. She likes to be home, in her routine, and doesn't care to be held by anyone other than Momma or Daddy.

She had a bad breakout of baby acne for several weeks, but it has cleared up nicely. Her skin is back to being soft and beautiful. Her eyes are a gray blue color, but getting lighter. She gets the hiccups about 3-4 times a day. She hates the car seat and will cry persistently in the car.

She can be quite the stubborn girl. She hates taking a bottle, but had to while I was having my surgery and for about 24 hours afterwards. She refuses any kind of formula, but will take my milk in a playtex bottle (we tried several kinds of bottles before we found one she would take). However, even then she'll only take about 2 ounces at a time. I've never had a baby that refused the bottle the way she does, and it can be very frustrating! She's been given a bottle about once a day since she was born (since we had to supplement at first), but she just decided one day that she was done with that mess. Sigh. I pray we can help her learn to use her tenacity for good things!


A few more things about Brooke:

Brooke will gulp down a breastmilk bottle in no time, and until about the last week or so didn't mind formula at all either. She is getting pickier about that, though. She seems to be more laid back than Brecklyn, although she has a very loud cry that she's not afraid to use. She spits-up constantly (or so it seems) and will sometimes spit-up through her nose.

Brooke is full of funny expressions, and will often smile with her eyes. She doesn't seem to be overly attached to Momma or Daddy and is pretty happy being held by whoever wants to hold her.She also hates the car seat and will cry persistently in the car. Her eyes are also a gray blue color and getting lighter. 

We love seeing these sweet smiles! This age is so fun!

Brecklyn

Brooke


Happy three months to our precious Brooke and Brecklyn! We love you so much!





Friday, April 3, 2015

Brooke & Brecklyn are Two Months Old!

It has now been two months since our precious Brooke and Brecklyn were born. We sure didn't know what life would be like with newborn twins, but it has been more wonderful than we expected or imagined. While there have certainly been stressful moments, it has been a sweet, sweet time, as well. 

Here is Brooke today, on her two month birthday:

And, here is Miss Brecklyn on her two month birthday:

The girls had their two month check-up today with their pediatrician, Dr. F. Chris went with me, but it was still quite a circus trying to get stats and immunizations and checkups for two babies! We were there for an hour!

Brooke weighs 11 pounds and 15 ounces (81st percentile).

She is 22 and 3/4 inches long (70th percentile). Her head circumference is 38cm (34th percentile). 

Brecklyn weighs 11 pounds and 3 ounces (64th percentile).

She is 22 and 1/2 inches long (64th percentile). Her head circumference is 37.2cm (16th percentile).

They are both growing well! I assumed before they were born that since they are twins, they would be my smallest babies. While they were born smaller than Brianna and Brenson, they are just about the size Brianna was at this age. Here is how their stats compare:

Brianna: 11 pounds 7 ounces, 22.5 inches
Brenson: 14 pounds, 7 ounces, 25.75 inches (The boy was HUGE!)
Brooke: 11 pounds, 15 ounces, 22.75 inches
Brecklyn: 11 pounds, 3 ounces, 22.5 inches

Brooke


Brecklyn

They have both made the switch from newborn sized clothing to 0 to 3 month clothing. Brooke, being bigger, outgrew her newborn clothes at about 5 weeks old, whereas Brecklyn just outgrew newborn sizes about a week ago. We also switched Brooke to size 1 diapers at about 5 weeks old, but waited to graduate Brecklyn to size 1s until she was 7 weeks old. It was a real pain to have them wearing different sizes, but Brooke really needed that larger size! We ended up with the perfect amount of newborn diapers that we had been gifted, and didn't have any leftover. They are both still wearing a newborn sized shoe, although they very rarely wear shoes. With Brianna and Brenson, I always put them in shoes when we left the house. Brooke and Brecklyn are lucky to get shoes for church on Sunday mornings. It's just too much hassle when you have two babies! 

They have several pairs of cute slippers that we wear when we are at home. How cute are these little baby feet in little baby slippers?!?

Sleep is going very well on most nights. The girls go down sometime around 8pm for the night, I dreamfeed them between 10 and 11pm, they wake between 2 and 3am to eat, then wake for the day around 7am. Not every night is perfect, but we have more good nights than bad nights, for sure.

They both still sleep swaddled in the pack-n-play in our bedroom. If one goes to bed before the other, they will often fuss and sleep restlessly until they are together. It's amazing to watch how they will calm right down once they are both in bed.

One day, I was changing Brecklyn's diaper while Brooke was laying in my bed waiting for her turn. They were both fussing, so I laid Brecklyn down next to Brooke. Immediately, they both relaxed and fell asleep. So cute!

Daddy was rocking the girls before bed one night, and I found that they had all fallen asleep. Of course, the girls had to snuggle their heads together :-). 

Brecklyn in mint, Brooke in lavender:

As you can see in these photos, poor Brecklyn has lost a lot of her hair. She's not only lost hair from the top of her head, but she has a large bald spot on the back of her head, as well. Brooke hasn't lost any hair, and she had a lot more hair to begin with! Brenson lost most of his hair and it grew back in very, very blonde. I wonder if Brecklyn's will do the same?

Sweet Brecklyn napping in the rock-n-play:

Lately, we have had some trouble getting the girls to go down for the night (but once they're down, they do great). I think we're letting them sleep too long during the late evening hours. Brecklyn, especially, has trouble settling down to sleep for the night. After our bedtime routine, we'll swaddle her up and this is the look we often get . . . eyes wide open! 

Miss Brooke will sometimes have trouble as well, but not as often.

They are still nursing very well, and I do my best to keep my supply up enough to feed them. I have finally gotten it up enough that they don't require a daily supplement. Brooke still eats fast and furious, making a mess everywhere when she does.

Brooke's messy milk face:

Brecklyn is still a slow and steady eater, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't eat quite as much as Brooke either. I make sure to alternate which side they eat from with each feeding, and when I pump, I generally get 4 ounces from each side. 

Brecklyn likes to fold her little hands together across her chest while she eats, and it's so cute. Brooke tends to flail her arms around until she finds something to grab onto. Sometimes, she'll grab Brecklyn and hang on to her.

Now that springtime has arrived, we've been trying to get out of the house a little more in the evenings. We've taken a few family walks (and of course, the neighbor kids like to join us). 

Brecklyn loves being outside. Just like Brenson, if she's fussy we can take her outside and she'll often calm right down. She'll just smile and smile on our family walks (even if she's sleeping).

Brooke, on the other hand, hasn't really enjoyed our family walks as much. She tends to fuss to get out of the stroller more than smile at us.

On this day, we came outside to watch big sister and big brother play in the yard (Brooke with the pink blanket, Brecklyn in the bouncy seat).

Brecklyn

Brooke

I get a lot of questions about the girls' temperaments. It's hard to say exactly what they are like since we are still learning them, but we have made a few observations so far. 

Brecklyn tends to be fussier in general. She is black and white . . . she's very chill until she's not, and then she's very hard to calm. There have been days where she has cried and cried for an hour or more, and we've wondered if maybe she has colic. We do use Gripe Water some, and it does seem to help.

Brecklyn, Brooke

Brooke seems to have a more even personality. It takes her longer to get worked up about things, but she can certainly get going. I think their cries are very distinct and can tell them apart almost all the time. Brooke has a shriek that she pulls out when she's really mad that will burst your ear drums!

Brecklyn, Brooke

Brecklyn also seems to be a more serious personality. She's very observant and will make eye contact for several minutes at a time.

Brooke is busier. She's always moving and will make eye contact, but not for long. She often furrows her brow when she's observing.

This photo collage is a good example of how Brooke (in white) is always moving. She's just constantly looking around.

Although they are both definitely their own personalities, Brecklyn's behavior (and look) is more similar to Brenson's while Brooke's behavior (and look) is more like Brianna's. This is especially true when they are tired or overstimulated. Brecklyn will fuss loud and strong for a bit and then fall asleep for hours. Brooke will just grunt and softly fuss around, but never really fall into a good, deep sleep. Brecklyn also seems to be very particular and more serious like Brenson.

They both like to lay and play on our playmat. They are beginning to really look at the toys that hang and even swipe at them a bit.

Brooke

Brecklyn

They also both like the swing, although Brooke likes it better. The swing is an essential for me when I'm home alone with all four kids all day long. I'm so thankful to have it!

Brooke in the swing

There is a mobile on the pack-n-play that both babies enjoy, but especially Brecklyn. She's watching the mobile in the photo below.

Brooke and Brecklyn are both starting to smile and coo all the time now. They smile for me a lot and for Brianna a lot, too. Brooke first smiled at me while making eye contact on March 9th. I was so excited, and then Brecklyn did it the very next day on March 10th! I haven't been able to get a photo of Brecklyn smiling with her eyes open because she's unsure of the camera (she seems to be a cautious personality), but I have been able to catch several photos of Brooke smiling. 

Brooke was smiling a bunch one evening, so I got out the camera. I got this look first (ha!) . . .

then a big grin, ha! Love those dimples!

Here's another of Brooke smiling. Her look reminds me so much of Brianna as a baby.

It's often difficult to find the time, but I try to read to the babies for at least a few minutes every day (although admittedly, nothing like I did with Brianna and Brenson). Brianna took these photos for me when I was reading to them one afternoon. 

I hope they'll learn to love books even if they don't get read to as much as their older siblings did (and yes, I feel no small amount of guilt about this, but there's only so much I can do in a day).

I also try to have the babies do tummy time each day. However, Brooke tends to just fall asleep. 

Sleeping soundly instead of doing tummy time:

They love to look in the mirror, so we moved a full length mirror into our living room for them to look in while they do tummy time. This day, Brooke looked in it for about one minute before falling asleep. 

Once in a while, Brooke will stay awake for more than a minute or two. However, Brecklyn was asleep this day (although that's rare).

We are still getting both girls regular chiropractic adjustments. Brecklyn's hip is much better, so she's on a one month maintenance schedule now. 

Brecklyn before her adjustment:


Brooke during her adjustment (sleeping!):


Since the day she was born, Brooke has loved to stick out her tongue. She has a long and pointy tongue, and she "works" it all the time. When she was first born, she rarely had her tongue in her mouth, and though she has outgrown that a lot, we still catch many of photos with her tongue out of her mouth. 



Both girls tend to fuss in the car more than the older Bs ever did. Brianna, especially, never cried in the car. Brooke will generally fuss when we first buckle her in, but calm down fairly quickly. 

Brecklyn will often be calm when we first buckle her in, but get worked up in a hurry.

She will sometimes cry persistently in the car seat, which is a bit stressful to me. On more than one occasion, she has cried herself hoarse in the car :-(.

I try often to get photos of the girls together, but it is a seemingly impossible task right now! I'll have one baby awake and content, 

Brecklyn

but the other baby will be tired.

Brooke

Or fussy! This photo makes me laugh . . . it's pretty indicative of how things go around here!

Brecklyn, Brooke

A few more things about Brecklyn:

She had a bad breakout of baby acne when she was about 4 weeks old. It looks better now, but it gets really red and rashy looking when she gets worked up. I asked Dr. F about it, and he said it should eventually clear up on its own.

She has become VERY picky and fussy about taking a bottle. She absolutely refuses any type of formula, and will only take my milk from a bottle if it is the perfect temperature. We are in the process of trying different bottles to see if that helps because she will be forced to take a bottle when I have surgery in a few weeks. We're hoping to get it worked out by then!

At this age, all of our children tended to have dirty diapers at almost every diaper change. However, in the past few weeks, Brecklyn has started only having a dirty diaper about every 1 1/2 to 2 days. This doesn't seem to bother her at all, but the bad thing is when she finally has a dirty diaper, it is a massively dirty diaper that makes a huge mess! We asked Dr. F about this also, and he said that it's normal for some babies.

The indention in her skull is doing really well, and has popped out a ton already. We're hoping and praying that it will continue to correct itself.

I promise that Brecklyn smiles often in person! She just isn't comfortable when the camera is out.

A few more things about Brooke:

She will take a pacifier to help her go to sleep, although she's still not good at holding it in her mouth on her own. It does help calm her, though. Brecklyn wants nothing to do with a paci.

When Brooke sneezes, she will sneeze 5 or 6 times in a row. It's adorable!

Brooke has constant eye drainage and has since she was born. I clean out her eyes constantly throughout the day. Dr. F said that it is nothing to be concerned with at this time.

These girls have turned our world upside down, but we are loving it! They are such a blessing from God, and we are incredibly thankful for the privilege of being their family!

Happy two months, sweet babies!