Hello! Hope your 2016 is off to a great start! My year has been off to a busy and somewhat stressful start. There have been a lot of changes in my dental practice. Unfortunately, I had to let one of my staff members go and another retired in December, so I’ve been interviewing candidates and trying to still fill one of the positions. I love the actual dentistry and patient care, but sometimes the practice management and staffing can be overwhelming and stressful. Luckily I have my two little girls to focus on and remind me that there is much more to life than work!
Eighteen months is turning out to be such a fun age and many people have told me that eighteen months is one of their favorite periods in their child’s life. Jemma and Zoe are very interactive and keep us laughing and smiling. They are not saying too many words but clearly understand everything we tell and ask them. They are curious and on the move. Both girls are almost running these days and they find it funny to run away when we need to go change a diaper, get into the bath or into bed.
We finally dropped the nighttime bottle, so the girls are only drinking sippy cups of whole milk with meals. Zoe was pretty much over the nighttime bottle, so it was a fairly easy transition. We tapered the amount of milk we were giving at night and on Christmas Eve, after spending a long evening at my in-laws, we put them in their jammies and brushed their teeth at their place and then drove home and put them to bed. We feared we would wake up to crying and fussing, but it was a quiet, full night of sleep! Our new routine is baths (which we are back to doing individually in a infant/toddler bath since baths together in the tub were resulting in the girls standing up and being unsafe), into pajamas, brush teeth, story and prayers and into bed. We head upstairs for baths at 8 PM and the girls are in their cribs by 8:30 PM. Most nights are still 11-12 hours of sleep.
Jemma and Zoe are continuing to eat a variety of foods. They are a little more picky and may like something one day and not the next, but nothing concerning. We are lucky to not have any allergies or sensitivities to foods as well.
Last week we took them to their eighteen month check-up. The pediatrician said it’s typically the toughest appointment for him, he said at this age kids tend to be very apprehensive and unsure, but he was amazed at how well Zoe and Jemma did. They each had their wellness check as well as their flu vaccine booster, Hib and DTap vaccines.
Weight: 25 pounds, 1 ounce (79th percentile)
Height: 33.3 inches (89th percentile)
Head Circumference: 49.3 centimeters (98th percentile)-she has Mama’s big head!
Weight: 21 pounds 10 ounces (36th percentile)
Height: 32.0 inches (56th percentile)
Head Circumference: 46.3 centimeters (50th percentile)
The doctor commented that Zoe is average for weight, height, head circumference and that Jemma is overall a big kid. Hoping that both will be tall like Daddy! He also said he would like them to be saying 15-20 words by 21-22 months…..no pressure!
Words that we can understand, but aren’t real clear to others:
My heart grows everyday, filled with the love that I have for Jemma and Zoe. The smiles and laughs are more than enough to make a long and stressful day melt away. I hope this post finds all of you off to a great 2016!
Happy New Year! Like I say, time and time again, where has the time gone?! How has 2016 arrived already? I still think 1996 sounds like yesterday and it was 20 years ago!
I hope that 2015 was good to all of you. We are so thankful and grateful for how wonderful a year 2015 was. In years past, the years would come and go and each year would be another one that would go by without a child. Since July of 2014 we have been blessed with not only one child but two and we are over the moon. I often times can’t believe how our lives have changed. For those of you who are still struggling to bring that much hoped for child into your lives, do not lose hope. It is not a distant memory that I felt the longing and heartache for a child.
We spent Christmas here in town with both my parents and my in-laws. The girls received much more than they needed. Loving grandparents, friends, aunts, and uncles were all so generous to the girls this year. I hope in the years to come they will appreciate all that they have.
May 2016 bring all of you hope, joy, happiness, and good health!
Happy Holidays! Are you all set for the Christmas holiday next week? I still have some last minute things to get done-stocking stuffers, gift exchange gifts, figuring out appetizers to bring to my in-laws. I cannot believe that it is Christmas next week!
The twins still are not fully aware of what Christmas is, but it’s definitely more fun than it was last year when they were only 5 months old.
We decorated the house and put the tree up (we still have a artificial tree for now) the weekend after Thanksgiving. I was debating on putting the tree up after the girls went to bed but then decided to put it up while they were awake and started decorating it. Oops, maybe not the best idea, the girls kept pulling the ornaments down and running away with them. I wasn’t so worried about our plastic bulb ornaments, but the hooks were getting lost. So we have a tree that is now decorated on the top half only. The stockings are hung, most presents are wrapped and now we will wait to see what Santa brings (ssshh….a kitchen!).
Nothing has changed with our routine. Girls are still taking a 2-3 hour nap each day and sleeping 11-12 hours at night. We are giving one bottle right before bed but are tapering those down and hopefully will discontinue before the end of the year. Zoe is already losing interest in her bedtime bottle. We are hoping that eliminating the bedtime bottle won’t lead to mid-night waking.
The girls are continuing to be good eaters and still love meat. The girls love satsumas which is great since they are so yummy this time of year!
Words are about the same as they were last month, but they learned to shake their heads “no” and are doing that quite often. I think they sometimes do it even when they want to answer “yes” to a question, so we’re trying to teach them to nod up and down as well. The “no” gestures have become quite entertaining. The girls are also beginning to say “uh-oh” which is also very cute! Both girls are getting to know their animals quite well and like to point to animals in many of their books. Jemma still tends to be our dominant one and can be a little bossy and rough with Zoe. We are trying to teach taking turns and being gentle, but it sometimes falls on deaf ears.
We weighed the girls last week and Jemma is 25.4 pounds and Zoe is 21.6 pounds. The difference is getting a little wider. I have to remind myself, although they are twins, they are fraternal, so they are just sisters born at the same time. Sometimes it’s hard not to always compare.
For Christmas this year, we will be celebrating with both my parents and my in-laws. I’m an only child so I like to include my parents with our family and my in-laws are wonderful and open their home for my parents to join in the Christmas celebration. Hubby has three brothers and two of the three will be in town for the holidays. We will spend Christmas Eve at my in-laws home, will have Christmas morning home with the girls and my parents and then will go back up to my in-laws on Christmas in the late morning for most of the day. We drew names for Christmas for my husbands side of the family, so it made Christmas shopping much easier this year.
Happy Holidays to you! May your holiday be blessed and wonderful. May 2016 bring you joy, health and happiness!
I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving continues to be my favorite holiday of all-one day to be surrounded by loved ones, eating a huge delicious meal and remembering all that we have to be thankful for. Thanksgiving also holds a new special place in my heart since the Wednesday before Thanksgiving two years ago, I saw the second faint pink line that told me I was pregnant for the first time in my life. A pregnancy that had not come without heartache, prayer, and hope. Fast forward to 2015 and I continue to look upon Jemma and Zoe with a full and happy heart.
Jemma and Zoe are now sixteen and a half months, I’m a little late posting. Both girls are walking and Zoe is almost running. Jemma is getting to be steady on her feet and they love to explore. Exploring kitchen drawers full of dishtowels, cupboards full of pots and pans, Mommy’s shoe rack, iPhones, and most recently…..the decorated Christmas tree (they think they’ve hit the jackpot!).
Jemma is a little under 31 inches tall and Zoe just a little shorter at under 30 inches tall. We haven’t had a recently weight check, but I would guess Jemma to be about 3 pounds heavier than Zoe.
Their hair is really starting to grow in, I’ve done a couple of bang trims and I can now put their hair up in pony and pigtails. I must admit, I love having girls.
Both girls are continuing to be good eaters, definitely more opinionated about what they like from day-to-day, but we are lucky that mealtime isn’t the struggle that I know it can be. We definitely have a couple of carnivores-they love meat! Also love eggs, kiwis, avocados, toast, satsuma oranges, and of course, sweets that we share with them. Hubby and I have a very strong affection for sweets. We are still giving a nighttime bottle after baths and before teethbrushing. Jemma has 16 teeth and Zoe 10, soon to be 12 teeth.
The girls are still taking one 2-3 hour nap a day, bath is around 8 PM and bed around 8:30, we are lucky that 11-12 hour nights are still the norm. We had one really rough week that was a combination of colds, traveling and Daylight Savings.
Jemma and Zoe enjoyed their first bubble bath the other night, both were quite apprehensive of the bubbles at first, but now they LOVE bubble baths. Jemma likes to scream and splash and both girls like to eat bubbles and wave around hands covered in them.
Some words are on the horizon: duck, bubble, hi, ma/mom, dada, whoo (owl sound), meow (sort of sounds like meow). I think they are fully aware of what they are saying, but sometimes the words are a little hard to understand.
We spent Thanksgiving in my home town in Central Washington at my parent’s place. They loved having the girls at home and we had lots of visitors who came by to see them. We hadn’t been back since Christmas of last year, so the girls have changed a lot since then.
So hard to believe that we are approaching Christmas, our decorations went up yesterday and it’s fun to see how the girls react to everything. I’m sure their wonder will only grow as they begin to understand the Christmas season and holiday.
I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday weekend and continue to enjoy the holiday season. Safe travels and much love!
Happy Halloween! We are back in Seattle and are missing the sun already. I would say our trip to Hawaii was 95% successful…..we had a tough flight home yesterday. With a 1 PM departure time from Kona (4 PM Seattle time) we missed nap time and were overly tired on the plane. Overly tired for our girls equals meltdowns and craziness. Zoe finally conked out and slept a good 2 hours, however, Jemma kept fighting her tiredness and was not her pleasant self. I think the flight attendants were feeling bad for me-I got offered a free glass of wine, they brought Jemma a cup of ice for entertainment and returned later with crayons and an activity book. It wasn’t until I was rocking her in the aisle for quite a while did she finally sleep for an hour (don’t worry, I was able to sit down with her sleeping!). This time around the girls’ ears were bothering them on descent, Jemma was wailing coming down last night and ended up vomiting all over herself and Hubby. We got home around 10:30 PM and Jemma wasn’t down until 12 midnight, but on the bright side they slept in until 9:45 AM and took a 2 hour nap today.
Now that I’ve primed you with the worst of our trip, I’ll give some highlights and some of our personal tricks for successful travel with two 15 month olds.
Dinner with my in-laws. They were so nice to take the girls a few times so Hubby and I could have some beach time and could go out to dinner.
Our last dinner out, ocean view and a gorgeous sunset!
1. WHAT TO PACK
This is essentially what we arrived at the airport with:
One large suitcase which held clothes, shoes, and toiletries for Hubby and I .
One large suitcase which held clothes, shoes, and toiletries for J & Z. Plus 2 travel high chair seats (these ones are perfect for mounting on a counter or table), additional food (bars/puffs/animal crackers/oatmeal packs/pasta), toys/books, sleep sacks, sound machine, enough diapers to last all or part of your trip (we make a point of packing about half as many diapers as need and then find a Target/Walmart/Box store to purchase more diapers for the remainder of our trip since diapers take up valuable suitcase space), baby wipes, favorite lovies/animals, and for the first time-our baby monitor!
2 carseats with carseat bags. Once we got to the airport, we unhooked our carseats and loaded them up in these bags, these allowed us to carry our large carseats on our backs.
One large suitcase with two Guava Family travel cribs. This was the first time we traveled with travel cribs, in the past we have rented or used pack n’ plays or cribs. These are super lightweight, fold up easily, and are easy to set-up.
Carry-ons with food, milk, water, toys/books, magazines and books for us. Diaper bag with plenty of diapers, extra clothes, wipes, bibs, hand sanitizer, Chlorox wipes.
Stroller-we use the stroller to transport the girls of course, but also use it to haul some of our carry-ons through the airport. We each carry a baby through security-they have to test sippy cups and the stroller and then we gate check the stroller right before getting on the plane.
2. PLANE RIDE
To travel with twins and to sit together on the airplane we had to buy one extra seat. They don’t allow two lap babies in the same row without the extra seat because of the number of oxygen masks. It’s costly, but keeps us together and we could use the space between our two seats as a play area. We are Alaska Visa cardholders which gives us two companion tickets per year.
Pack food-snacks, some finger foods, pouches, milk and water. We packed basically enough food for two meals plus snacks. I placed a small freezer pack in the diaper bag to keep the milk chilled until we needed it. Try to give water or milk during descent to help with ears.
Pack some novel toys and books. Right before we left for our trip we ordered some new finger puppets, Koosh balls and books that the girls had never seen. The novelty keep them entertained on the long flight.
Dress kiddos in warm clothing (we did long footed onesies) since airplanes are drafy and can get chilly. We packed short sleeve onesies to change the girls into after we landed in a warmer climate.
Bring a change of clothes for babies and yourself. As I first mentioned, Hubby got vomited on and luckily he had a sweatshirt on that he could quickly take off. We had a spare set of clothes for Jemma to change into as well. You never know when bodily fluids could warrant a change of clothing!
We rented a two-bedroom, two-bath condo. Jemma and Zoe took the master because it was large enough for their cribs. Hubby and I had a smaller bedroom but it was off the living room and let us have some time to watch TV during naps/evening. We have made it a point to rent a place with a bathtub. The girls have let us know that they are not fans of the shower yet and this way I can get in with them one at a time and make it easier. As I said, we also packed our baby monitor this time, the pool was right next to our condo, so we could go hang out at the pool for a bit while the girls napped during the day. We actually felt like we were on our own vacation during these times!
As a mom of twins I’m kind of a schedule-freak. Ever since J & Z came into this world, Hubby and I, as well as our Moms have all kept the girls on a pretty strict schedule-it just makes each day go more smoothly and predictable. Therefore, while in Hawaii, with a three hour time change, we did our best to keep the girls on their normal schedule. Of course, by week end they were off by about 2 hours. When we started off the week-wake up was at 5:30-6 AM, naps at 10-11 AM, bedtime at 6-7 PM. Since tomorrow is Daylight Savings the hour we lose will actually be to our advantage. We always travel with sleep sacks, sound machine and lovies to make the environment as close to home as possible.
We are extremely blessed to be able to travel and take our girls on vacation. Hubby and I have always enjoyed traveling and although it isn’t nearly as relaxing as it use to be, we LOVE spending a whole week with our girls and look forward to our time away from work. Yes, traveling with little ones can be stressful, but if you plan ahead, take some things in stride, focus on family, keep a schedule as much as possible, it can be a great adventure!
What are some of your tried and true travel tips?
Have a fun and ghostly evening!
Aloha! It’s pitch dark down here in Hawaii and we’ve been up since 4 AM Hawaii time, the girls slept until 7 AM Seattle time, about an hour to an hour and a half earlier than they usually wake. Today may be as long as our travel day yesterday. We are very lucky to be here in Hawaii again and blessed that we made it with all of our gear and two 15 month olds.
Jemma and Zoe are growing and developing so much, they are little people with personalities, opinions, and are full of wonder.
Zoe is now walking all on her own, she went from walking with us holding two hands, to taking a few steps toward us on her own, to walking quickly holding onto one of our hands, to now full-on walking by herself. Jemma still prefers to walk with us holding both of her hands, but is able to stand and take a few steps on her own. I think Zoe is motivating her to try walking, but at the same time, it’s nice to have them at slightly different stages and not running in separate directions.
Jemma and Zoe aren’t saying any comprehensible words yet, but they like to wave hello and goodbye and are good at expressing what they want through squeals and hand gestures. They say “buh” which is as close to “bye” as they get and they do say “duck” but it’s not perfectly clear yet. They continue to say “dada” and “mama” but still not in context to Hubby and I.
Even though they aren’t speaking yet, they definitely understand almost everything we say to them. We can ask if they want a drink or are hungry and they will let us know if they are. They will give hugs, kisses and give each other their lovies when we ask them to give it to Z or J. They know who Maya and Bode (our cats) are and know their nose, eyes, mouth, ears, hands and feet. Jemma points to her features more readily than Zoe does, but Zoe seems to still know what everything is. They love to dance, clap, and laugh!
We haven’t weighed or measured the girls lately. For weight I would guess Jemma is about 23 pounds and Zoe around 20 pounds. I thought we would have a fifteen month well visit, but we don’t have another pediatrician appointment until eighteen months. Jemma currently has 16 teeth and Zoe has 10 teeth. Jemma has everything except her second molars and Zoe has central and lateral incisors up top and canine-to-canine on the bottom. Since the girls still can’t spit out toothpaste foam we are sticking with a fluoride-free paste, they seem to like the strawberry flavored paste by the Honest Company.
Zoe and Jemma have always been the best eaters and have pretty much eaten whatever we have put in front of them. About a month ago they started to get more opinionated about what they like and dislike. Just like other parents have told us, one day they like something and the next they don’t. Both use to LOVE raspberries, but now aren’t too fond of them. They are hit or miss about foods that require a spoon to eat (oatmeal, applesauce, yogurt) and that is a challenge since we give them Rainbow Light Nutristart powder daily in spoonfed foods. Luckily they still eat their protein whether it’s chicken, beef, pork, fish, or eggs. We offer milk in sippy cups at each meal, which are rarely finished and the girls still get a bottle before bed, usually around 6-7 ounces. The one nap a day (2-3 hours) is still going very well and we are lucky to still have them sleeping 11-12 hours a night.
For this trip to Hawaii we brought two large suitcases with clothes for us and the babies and 2 portable highchairs, a large suitcase with two Guava Family travel cribs, 2 carseats inside carseat bags and 3 carryons, including their diaper bag. The girls did surprisingly well on the flight and even slept about 1.5 hours each. My inlaws are here on the Big Island as well and I’m sure they will gladly take the girls so Hubby and I can have a little relaxation time. People continually comment “you sure have your hands full”, which is true, but I am so blessed to have the most hands-on husband and two easy-going babies. As much as our life can be crazy busy-I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
Success! Napping on the flight down to Hawaii.
Dinner at the condo last night.
Happy Saturday! I’m sure I’ll be posting more vacation photos soon.
Happy Fall! My favorite season is upon us, is it just me or has 2015 gone by in a flash?!
We now have a walker! Zoe is taking unassisted steps and my Mom said she even took some steps today from our dining room table to the kitchen without being coaxed to come. Jemma is continuing to cruise along the furniture and likes to walk around holding our hands, but hasn’t taken steps on her own…..yet. I know it’s only a matter of time before I have two little girls running around.
We recently had a week off of work and headed to Seabrook for the Labor Day weekend with three of the other families from our PEMS twin group. We all had an adventurous time getting to Pacific Beach, WA, but were able to relax with some wine and dinner after getting settled in. We shared a house with another family whose twin boys are exactly one month older than Jemma and Zoe. The house was set up perfect for two families. Our family took the basement and the other family took the upstairs, the main floor separated us which had the kitchen and living space. One of the Dad’s from the group took charge and created a meal schedule and it worked out perfectly-each family prepared one meal and everyone pitched in side dishes and drinks. We all had lots of fun going down to the beach, swimming at the pool, eating meals together and laughing. The guys did a Dad’s Night Out and the girls did a Mom’s night out. It was fun to be together with other couples who know exactly the chaos, craziness and fun that having twins entails. We had a wonderful time, but came home completely exhausted. The girls slept in a pack n’ play and travel crib in the TV room right outside our bedroom, being in a new environment they didn’t sleep well and cried a lot of the night. Therefore, Hubby and I didn’t sleep well either. Both girls caught colds from the other little guys in our house and Zoe was not happy about it! Zoe also got carsick on the way down and back, it’s an ongoing battle since we transitioned to the next carseat. We’ll all be happy when we can face-forward in another ten months or so.
Four times the fun! 3 boys and 5 girls
Unfortunately, the cold the girls caught from our Labor Day vacation turned into fevers the following week and Jemma ended up with an ear infection. She had a fever from Sunday until Wednesday and it was my Mom who pointed out that she was tucking her right ear to her right shoulder and also tugging at it. Hubby took her to the pediatrician the same Thursday and it was determined she had an ear infection and had to do a course of antibiotic suspension. She’s doing well now, but it’s no fun having sick babies!
Jemma and Zoe are still eating well. While they were sick they definitely were more picky and didn’t have their usual voracious appetites. Jemma still prefers fruit, especially berries and Zoe still continues to love avocadoes. Zoe has been eating especially well, maybe it’s all the calories she’s burning trying to walk.
Our bath and bedtime routine is still working well and the girls are continuing to take their mid-day nap for two to three hours.
The girls’ hair has been growing and they started getting long pieces in their eyes-with reluctance I trimmed their bangs slightly. I might have gone a little too short on Zoe, but now I can see their eyes.
Maybe a little short?!
We are still anxiously awaiting actual words to come from Jemma and Zoe’s mouths, but it’s clear that they understand what we are saying. We can asked for the “kitty” or “doggy” Duplo toy and they will pick out just what we are asking for. They also will lift up their feet for us to do “This Little Piggy” on their toes. They listen to direction and laugh when we laugh. They also will do a Downward Dog when asked, sometimes a Three Legged Dog for Jemma.
When the girls were three months old, I kept thinking, “I love this stage, I don’t think it can get better than this.” and sure enough I thought that month after month. I am still overwhelmed by how much I love these two little miracles and keep thinking that each moment is beautiful, amazing and so much fun. They are developing their own personalities and it is a blessing to be get to witness all of their developments.
Swinging together at the park
Jemma laying with Daddy while he gets his dental exam from Mommy.
These two melt my heart!!
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