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Toddlers and a baby

by Juliemara
02.11.14

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I had high hopes of a cute toddler plus baby maternity series, but my girls are not exactly into siting still, following directions or looking in the same direction happily at the same time. So this is the best I could get. Maybe I will use this as my first of weekly post of toddlers and a baby. Just what I need another project!

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Crib Placement in the Nursery

by Juliemara
05.9.13

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If you don’t have a little one yet you probably haven’t given much though to where in your future nursery you would place the crib. If you are pregnant you probably thought about it for a bit, decided and are happy with your decision. That’s what I did, remember this post from way back when I was deciding where to place the cribs. I took into account things like the air vent, the curtains and blinds and how the two cribs looked in the space. What I did not consider was the loud banging of little feet kicking the wall for fifteen minutes or longer every night. Until this started happening about four months ago I never understood why someone would place the crib in the middle of a room, it’s a pretty unrealistic arrangement is most peoples homes.

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I particularly like the giant windows on at least two sides in this nursery, that is very conducive for a sleeping baby. And why do cribs need a solid back or sides?

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I now understand. If a little one can’t get their tiny feet through the slats of the crib then they can’t kick the wall for fifteen minutes. Mystery solved. Maybe that’s why there are so many new cribs out there like these with solid clear panels.

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Too bad the cost of a peaceful evening is around $3000 with these Lucite beauties. While space is probably most to-be parents biggest factor in crib placement, keep in mind that there will be a lot more to keep in mind down the road. And while we probably won’t get a new crib if and when another baby comes along, nor will we have the luxury of an over sized nursery to place the crib in the middle of, at least I can warn my sweet readers of this lesson learned.

 

 

 

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Something to Gaze at

by Juliemara
06.6.12

I read or heard somewhere along the way that babies “need” something to gaze at in order to calm themselves to go to sleep. Preferably on their right side. really? This must be why mobiles over cribs are so popular.
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Babies spend a lot of time staring at the ceiling, while they are lying on the floor, being held in your arms or lying in their cribs, they are forced to look up. How often do you look up? Check it out. Pretty boring right? There are some really cute painted ceiling ideas on Pinterest,

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but we have popcorn ceilings, so painting the ceiling in a lovely fun pattern was not an option. I wanted to have a few different elements hanging from the ceiling for my babies to look at and discover. The first hanging object I put in their room was their pretty bushed silver chandelier. 20120613-145041.jpg20120613-145051.jpg20120613-145046.jpg
They like it, they would stare at it, especially when the lights were on. The second hanging object is the lamp over the couch in their room. 20120614-165151.jpg20120614-165204.jpg
It started out with a red light bulb, which according to my husband is the easiest color on the eyes.20120614-165315.jpg20120614-165319.jpg
I believe this except for the fact that red is the only color that babies can see therefore are incredibly attracted to it. They would stare at it with eyes wide open. They especially liked it if they could see the actual bulb and the bright filament in the center of it. They never blinked, not once while looking at that red light. Recently I switched it to a regular white bulb and spruced it up by adding some of the left over white eyelet fabric that thier crib skirts are made from.20120613-151413.jpg

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I just cut strips and glue gunned them on. Now I love the lamp.

Next was the cute barn yard animal mobile I bought from gilt for over the changing table.

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It got hung, in the worst spot. So when we got the babies home and went to change a diaper the mobile hit us in the head.

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So away it went to a temporary spot off the side.

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I had this grand plan for a DIY mobile that I invented in my head after being inspired by Nate Burkus and a mobile I found on a nursery design blog.
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I started the project when I was in my second trimester. Then the carpal tunnel set in and there was no way any mobile was getting made any time soon. So I found this cute musical mobile that matched their room well enough for now.20120613-153418.jpg20120613-153423.jpg
It played a sweet little lullaby for about 90 seconds. It was pretty much useless as far as the musical element was concerned but it looked cute and I think the girls enjoyed gazing at it. I would give it a twirl before I left the room, otherwise it hung perfectly still. Eventually I found the time and the energy to complete my DIY mobile project and I created the rest of the yarn orbs needed. 20120613-153550.jpg
Here’s how I did it.
I hung them using thread over the changing table, but they didn’t move at all and I really hated it. 20120613-154103.jpg20120613-154120.jpg20120613-154132.jpg20120613-154150.jpg20120613-154157.jpg20120613-154203.jpg
I wanted an actual mobile that turned over their cribs. So down came the yarn orb solar system and up when the barn yard animals. 20120613-152939.jpg20120613-152951.jpg
The musical mobile is back in it’s box in storage waiting for it’s yard sale debut. It took me several tries to get the balance right to make the mobile actual work. 20120613-155930.jpg20120613-155935.jpg20120613-155939.jpg20120613-155944.jpg20120613-155950.jpg
Although it’s small I like how it looks and I think it’s really an interesting thing for the girls to look at. I hope to one day make another one just like it and connect both of them to a longer hanging stick (my brilliant husbands idea) but these things will all get done in time. I promise I’ll update you when they do.

Do you have a DIY home decor that you are proud of? Share a picture of it in the comments!

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Breast feeding twins

by Juliemara
05.7.12

I knew I wanted to breast feed my babies but I had no idea how that would go. I’ve heard so many horror stories about breast feeding one baby, I couldn’t imagine what trying to feed two would be like. I knew from the beginning that our babies would require being formula fed to some degree but I didn’t really know what that meant, I really didn’t know what anything about babies or twins meant! Long story short, I successfully partially breast feeding my twins for over six months.

Here’s the long version:
In recovery after the babies were born I put one to my breast, I don’t know who it was, I think Talia, but I was so out of it and overwhelmed from my not emergency but super quick c-cection (more about that in my birth story postl) that I don’t really remember much of that first night. The next day the lactation consultant from the hospital came to teach me how to breast feed! She was great, she showed me a comfortable position and how to get situated, how to know if the the baby is in a good position and a schedule to try, which was 10-15 minutes at each feeding, then top them off with a formula bottle because my milk had not yet come in and they needed to eat. During each of my four days in the hospital I breast fed each baby individually. I would breast feed the first then pass her off to who ever was there to help me, then breast feed the second and then I would give that baby a bottle, unless there was someone else there then they would give the bottle and I would go back to sleep. I was so sore and tired, and breastfeeding those first few weeks makes you very tired. Once I got home I continued to breast feed each baby individually then give each a bottle, and then try to pump within an hour, always with the help of someone else. For the first two weeks we had a baby nurse, Pachelle, you can read about her here. After that my husbands mother was staying with us for the next two months and my mom and dad came to visit about five times during those first three months for a few days or weeks. And my aunt, sister and friends were also great helps when it came to feedings, while my husband was at work. When he was home he ALWAYS helped with everything.
Within the first two weeks home Pachelle helped me figure out how to breastfeed both babies at the same time. She has twins herself, they are 25 now. At first I had to use the nipple shields every time, it seamed like I was always washing nipple shields, but they did the trick. Sometimes I had to trick the babies into latching on, even with the shields by pouring a little formula into the nipple part to get them going. Then they were good. They could drink so much that the nipple shield would fill up, get all over their cute little faces and spill all over me when they decided to pull off or fall asleep. When they were a month old we went back to the hospital to meet with the lactation consultant. I was curious to see how much milk they were getting from me. The lactation consultant weighed them before the feeding, then helped me get them latched on correctly, this time without the nipple shield, and then weighed them after. At 1 month old they were getting almost three ounces of milk from me. After this appointment I tried to get them to latch on without the nipple shield at each feeding, they could do it sometimes and other times, no way! Usually they would start out without them, then if they pulled off I would have to use the nipple shield to get them back on. But slowly slowly over the next month they got better at it and eventually didn’t need them at all. Around two months they started doing this thing where they would drink for 2 -4 minutes then stop, I thought they had gotten all they wanted, because also around this time I stopped giving them formula at every feed, I wanted to try to exclusively breastfeed as much as possible. It’s much more time efficient and there are no bottles to clean after. Sometimes they would get hungry just an hour or two later and I would have to give them a bottle anyway, but sometimes they were fine for their usual three hour stretch between feedings. Looking back I realized that by not getting them back on after they pulled off distracted was a mistake and it made my supply decrease.

Breast feeding two babies at once takes a lot of planning and coordination. I watched this you tube video on how to do it while I was pregnant and it was probably the most informative video I have ever seen! I had to get my supplies ready, and set up on the couch. Nursing pillow, two boppys, a burp cloth, water, phone, remote control. Then get each baby in a boppy, sit down and get situated, then put one baby on the nursing pillow, then the other, then get each baby latched on and basically spend the next 15-30 minuted trying to get them to stay on. Burping one baby while trying to keep the other baby latched on was a challenge, but I did it. It was tough and a little frustrating for the baby that was still eating (usually Jordan) and it was hard on my back, I still have knots in my back from months of sitting funny while breastfeeding. When they finish I would usually leave whoever finished first on the pillow until the other one was done, then put one on the boppy , then the other.

At the end of three months I went back to work, at work I pumped during the day. Remember the cozy pumping room at work. Pumping rather than breastfeeding also decreased also my supply and I went from pumping more than six ounces per side at two months to less than three ounces then to less than an ounce. I tried drinking the mothers milk tea, eating the milkin’ cookies, and taking funegreek all of which is suppose to help increase milk supply, but if it did help it was minimal. Around the fifth month I decreased the number of times I pumped during the day from three to one, then shortly after I stopped pumping all together. I would breastfeed the girls in the morning and in the evening. I would decrease the amount of time I breastfeed each day since the girls have started to chew instead of suck, not fun. If we are out and it’s not convenient to breastfeed then I just skip it, by doing so my supply gradually decreased and within a few weeks I stopped completely. I was lucky with how my body responded to breastfeeding, I never got sore or chapped from it, I never got engorged and I never leaked. I do think that using the lanolin every single time and the nipple shields at the beginning helped a lot. I feel really lucky that I got to give my girls breast milk and that they eventually really seamed to enjoy breastfeeding. When I get them on the tandem pillow they open their mouths as wide as they can because they know whats coming, it’s pretty funny and pretty cute. It’s sad that this time is over, but they are getting so good at holding their own bottle,and I want them to grow and learn and become independent because it will make them better people and they will feel proud that they can do things on their own.

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The fun part is officially over

by Juliemara
08.10.11

The first month I didn’t know I was pregnant, I knew it was a possibility but can’t know until four weeks in. Technically Your not even pregnant for the first two weeks that they count as part of the forty weeks. The second and third month I had the morning sickness that lasted all day, feeling that bad was exhausting, my life was centered around eating tolerable foods at the right time. At month four that went away and I felt really good, my feet would hurt by the end of each day. But aside from that I didn’t feel too big and was enjoying the summer and getting started on our home renovation. Well i’m now half way through the sixth month and I no longer feel good. In fact at this very moment I feel sad, scared, sick and in pain. I’m sitting in the ob’s office because I failed the 1 hour glucose tolerance test so now I have to take the three hour test. Which means I have to drink a nasty 100gram sugar drink, which has made me feel like i want to throw up, and get my blood taken four times before noon. I HATE NEEDLES! I know getting your blood taken doesn’t hurt that much but I get anxiety over it, I can’t help it, it’s just nit something I deal well with. And the possibility of having to prick my finger several times a day to check my sugar is just scary and sad to me. I really think that I wouldn’t be crying my eyes out in the dr office this morning if I didn’t also have to deal with the fact that MY HANDS HURT! I have pregnancy induced carpal tunnel syndrome, so I hold an ice pack, wear wrist splints, they help a little, but the only way to get rid if the pain is to get a cortisone shot IN MY HAND, another needle. And last unfun thing for now, because I could go on and on, but I didn’t want to be a whiner complainer pregnant person, but it’s my blog and it makes me feel better, is that I have baby b’s little feetsies digging under my ribs, which is a sharp pain that doesn’t subside unless I do a back bend, which is so easy to do these days.

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