Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Progress on Bed Time

For the longest time, Riley has been our easy girl to put to sleep at night and Addison has fought bed time with every ounce of her being. Riley used to be our one with the bed time issues and to deal with those issues, I would put Riley to sleep by rocking with her and giving her extra mommy time, which I think she needed. Jesse would be the one to dress Addison for bed and deal with putting her to sleep. Somewhere along the way, Addison started refusing to go to sleep. If you tried to put her in her crib awake, she would scream bloody murder and wake up her sister. This was always a stressful situation to have both babies up screaming at bed time when all Jesse and I needed was a little down time.

So as inexperienced parents, we started giving into Addison by allowing her to stay up later and play and get extra mommy and daddy time before she would conk out on the living room floor. We were putting her to bed asleep rather than awake which I know is not smart. This routine continued for months and months.

With Jesse's new work schedule, I am often left to putting both girls to bed by myself so I would put Riley to sleep at 7pm with no issues and then help Addison get comfy and sleepy. Addison was staying up until 8:30 or sometimes 9pm and that was not working in my schedule. I turned out the lights in the front room and would rub her back and just give her individual attention and after a few nights, I was able to put her to sleep "sleepy" but still awake. She would get into her crib and I would get her all comfy with her blanket and BAM, she would go right to sleep. For the past week she has gone to sleep by 7:30 at the latest and the only night she went to sleep by falling asleep before hand was on Jesse's watch. On my watch, Addison will not be allowed to go to sleep in the living room. She needs to know that she goes to sleep in her room. Last night she went to bed at 7pm. She talked to herself for about 5 minutes and then she was out for the entire night.

Now I get that down time at night that I need to recharge my batteries and allow me to watch terrible reality TV to put myself to sleep. Normally I don't watch TV hardly at all but I do love to partake in the bad reality TV once in a while.

I hope this new bed time routine sticks and I can know that another caregiver or babysitter could actually put the girls to sleep and not have a big fight out of the girls. Riley doesn't even need to be rocked to sleep anymore and that makes the whole routine doable for one person, if need be.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Trying to stay productive...

We have so much to do in the house to get it ready to sell. I'm trying to tackle one closet or one part of a room at a time. I am going through everything in that area and putting things in piles of "keep", "sell in the garage sale", "donate", and "throw away". On Saturday after I worked my 4 hours of overtime, came home and got straight to work on the hallway closet. This closet was organized at one point complete with a plastic organizer for all my crafts and gift stuff but over the years, more and more things were piled in there and that closet was busting at the seams.

As I got started, the girls were very happy to help me out. They were cranky up until I started the work and then they were entertained the whole 2 hours it took me to go through everything until they went down for a nap. They were happy to play with Christmas paper rolls, old papers, bows, and any other junk we had piled in there. As much as it slows me down to have them there, it is so funny to watch them. It keeps them entertained, so I might just have my two best helpers around as I work on each room.

I was able to box up everything in that closet and I got several boxes ready for the garage sale. We still don't know when we will have the sale, but the sooner the better. I am thinking maybe the weekend after we come back from Disneyland or maybe the last weekend in September. I need boxes and tables to use for that sale so if any family/friends have things I can use or want to help out in the garage sale, let me know.

The girls had me smiling and laughing all weekend. After a long week of the girls being cranky, I was ready for a little fun with them and they gave that to me both Saturday and Sunday. I will be posting our pictures of fun at 16 months tonight, I hope.

That is our news for now, everyone have a good week.

Friday, August 27, 2010

16 Months

The girls turned 16 months old yesterday. The 26th of every month seems to come faster and faster. Sometimes I barely recognize that the 26th is here and we have made it another month raising twin girls. These girls are the light of my life and I can't even remember what life was like before these sweet girls made their entrance into the world. I think I vaguely remember a little more sleep but I don't remember the fulfilment I have today.

As the time passes, I barely remember what it was like being pregnant. Sometimes when I get a gas bubble, I am reminded of the movement the girls used to do in my womb. I miss those quiet mornings when the girls would wake up and roll around and play together inside of me. The miracle of life amazes me sometimes and I just can't get over how much of a miracle it is to bring children into this world. I am also reminded of how our story could be very different.

Our first scare started at 18 weeks when my cervix began shrinking rapidly and the doctors didn't even know if I would make it to 24 weeks where viability could be an option. I was put into the hospital for a few days to monitor the girls and keep me on strict bed rest. We later learned that a cerclage to keep my cervix closed was not an option and the best way to stay pregnant would be lying horizontal until the girls made their entrance.

I remember feeling so scared and so upset that after all we had been through, we might not get to keep our little girls. I made a vow to myself to do my best with the bed rest and do the job of baking our girls as long as possible. I was released after few days to home bed rest and was told to come back to the hospital around 24 weeks where they would get more aggressive to keep the girls inside my womb. Looking back on this now, I see that the doctors didn't know if I would make it to 24 weeks and at 18 weeks there wasn't much they could do. Well I surprised them all and made it past 24 weeks, and I got to participate in my early baby shower. I remember not wanting to plan on the shower or register for items not knowing if the girls would make it. When we got to 24 weeks my confidence grew and I knew I would have happy healthy girls. I was put in the hospital 2 more times before the girls were born and I did my best to carry them to 32w6d gestation.

Now we have beautiful girls that don't seem to be affected much by their prematurity. Our girls are toddlers now and they walk, attempt to run, and play all over our house. They are growing like weeds and we are excited to take them on their first visit of many to Disneyland in 2 weeks. We are a big Disneyland family and the girls will have many visits over the years to the Happiest Place on Earth.

Mommy loves you girls and I just ask that time slows down just a bit so I can enjoy the last bit of your babyhood.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Picture Post

I have been neglecting the blog by not putting up enough pictures of the girls. Blame it on sickness, being tired, or too much work. I have very little time to sit and download photos and make a blog post the older the girls get. Dare I say that I miss those days when they were younger and slept all day??? A few people have requested some new pictures so to appease the masses here you go:

Riley at the mall:

Addie at the mall:

Riley doing her thing on Facebook

Riley sharing with Addie:



Hanging out with their older cousins, Nate & Nick



Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

I bet you would never believe that a family with twin toddlers is busy but seriously, our days just fly by. Jesse is now the head volleyball coach at his school and this takes him away from the family in the evenings and he often doesn't get home until really late. Jesse is also being forced to take a community college course on literature by the school administration even though he has a masters degree in Education and is state certified to teach English. So this is forcing him to get home late every Monday night in addition to the other days that the volleyball team has practice or games.

I'm working 11 hour shifts Monday - Thursday with a half day on Friday and a half day on Saturday to help jump start our debt repayment plan. We have done well so far by paying off 3 credit cards and we are about to start attacking our line of credit. It feels good to make such great progress but this mama is tired!!! We are also putting our house on the market right before Labor Day and we have some clutter to get through, a garage sale to put together, and a few improvements to finish.

In an effort to keep this mama sane we are looking to hire a mother's helper / Babysitter to help out on a few evenings a week and an occasional weekend day or date night for Jesse and I. I will also be starting my 2nd masters program and I want to take this at the ground campus rather than online so I will be gone 1 night a week for class and Jesse will need help with the girls. We have interviewed one lady so far that has twin experience and preemie experience which is a big plus! She has more experience probably than what we need but she is having trouble finding full time work so she is willing to help us out until she finds some thing full time and even then she may still be able to help us. Her references check out great and the girls seemed to like her. We are interviewing a high school senior this weekend and have a few more interviews to set up.

The girls have never been in the care of a stranger before so this is all new to me and I hope we find the perfect person to be our helper. If anyone local knows anyone that can help us out too, feel free to let us know.

In baby news, Riley is teething her premolars and she is cranky throughout the day and is waking up several times at night which is no fun at all. Addison is sweet as can be and she is taking more steps every day. She works hard with her walker during the day and I bet we will have her walking full time here soon.

So that is the Prather news for now.

Friday, August 13, 2010

They Amaze Me

My children just amaze me. I was rocking Riley to sleep last night (for the second time I might add) and I was surprised to see how big my little girl is getting. It amazes me that they were tiny little babies that fit inside my belly and now they barely fit in my lap. The whole concept of how babies start out as a bunch of cells and turn into the most beautiful people is just amazing. I often wonder if my mom looks at me and thinks “Wow I carried her in my belly, and now look at her”. It is still crazy to think that I had two babies inside me at once and how I was able to deliver them 2 months early, yet they were perfect in every way, just a little small.

I’m trying hard not to take moments for granted. With Riley’s new bout of teething, she is waking up several times through the night and it is easy to get worn out and frustrated but as I was rocking her last night, I was thinking about how I will look back a few years from now and miss those moments. I’m sad knowing that my girls are growing so big that they take up my entire lap instead of just my arms. It is funny when both girls want to be in my lap because it is so hard to juggle both of them. I don’t want these moments to fly by so I am trying to keep a good attitude and to cherish those moments that I can rock my babies to sleep and have them feel secure in my arms.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More Teething?

My sweet Riley who is our good sleeper girl woke up 6 times last night. 4 of those times were between 9:45pm and 12:15am. Riley is our girl to go right to bed after her bath and we normally don't hear much out of her. She may make a small cry during the night but she doesn't get up often.

I'm thinking that she may be teething again because getting up THAT many times last night is not in her nature. After the last time she woke up, she got some Tylenol and she was able to sleep until 6am after that. I'm thinking that we may have to give her a dose of Tylenol before bed if she is working on some of those molars in the back.

This non sleeping thing is not good for the whole family and she ends up waking Addison up as well so we really need to keep her happy and sleeping. And these are the times I wish we had the girls in separate rooms to avoid the other baby waking up. Maybe we will entertain the separate room idea when we move into a bigger house.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Surprise Delivery

The girls and I were playing in the front room and we kept hearing a chirping noise outside. Finally I went outside to see if there was a bird in the tree or something and as soon as I opened the door, I found 3 little cute kittens crying on our front step. It was 110 degrees outside and they were hot and hungry.

Of course I had to bring them in the house and get them fed and now they are hanging out in our laundry room until we can find homes for them. Hopefully we can find a good home for each one and we won't have to bring them to the humane society.

If you know anyone looking for a cute lovable kitten 6-8 weeks old, let me know. They are all litter box trained and are eating both dry and wet cat food. All they need is a loving home.

The girls went nuts when they saw them and have loved playing with them ever since.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Twin Facts

This weekend is twins weekend and the 34th Annual Twins Days Festival kicks off in Twinsburg, OH. I know we can't make it out to this festival any time soon, but I think the girls would love to go to this when they get older to meet other sets of twins and celebrate the fact they are twins and they share that special connection with other 100,000 new twin births every year.

The states with the largest concentration of twin births each year include:
- Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey

Ironically, the states with the lowest number of twin births include
- Arizona, Alaska, and New Mexico

Although fertility drugs play a big role in the incline of twin births nation wide, and we are a part of that statistic. A combination of the fertility drug Clomid and IUI produced our precious fraternal twin girls.

IGBO-ORA Africa has the highest concentration of twin births at 4x the national occurrence of twin births. Researchers think that a diet rich of the Cassava plant is what leads to the high number of twin births.

Pretty nifty stuff!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Things have been very busy lately. I feel as though my days just blend together. Because Jesse and I are so determined to get out of debt, I have been working overtime. Most days I am working 5am to 4pm with a shorter day on Friday. I am planning on working 4 hours on Saturday morning now while Jesse takes care of the girls. This will be about 10 hours of overtime a week which will lead to us paying things off faster. Things are going to be tough for a while but the rewards of being debt free will be even nicer. We have to live like no other now, so we can live like no other later, as Dave Ramsey would say.

Jesse is helping out with increasing our income by becoming the girls Volleyball coach at his school. He will be coming home late most nights so he can run practice and go to games. The stipend for coaching is small but it is something. Is it worth not being home with the girls, we will soon find out. Every little bit of extra income will help so we can really start applying more and more to each debt. So far we have paid off 3 credit cards and we are working on our last small one and then it is on to bigger debts like our credit line and Jesse’s car payment. The last step is the student loans and those will take a while.

This determination is something we have passed on to our girls. We have some strong willed little ladies in our house. We have entered the temper tantrum phase. Most of their tantrums center around being on the couch. They are climbing on everything and their favorite place to be is on the couch. They don’t just stop at the couch, they will crawl on to the end tables and over the back of the couch to the kitchen counter. Seriously, these girls are little monkeys. When we pull them off the couch, they get really upset and throw themselves on the floor kicking and screaming. Riley cried for 30 minutes straight the other day with my mom because she couldn’t be on the couch. They get more and more upset with each other also. They take toys from each other, pull hair, scratch and knock each other down. The sibling rivalry is in full swing in our house and this will take place over and over again as the years go by. Oh..the joys of raising twin girls.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Good bye Good Friend

This pump and I became good friends over the last 15 months. From the day the girls were born, this pump was attached to me at 3 hour intervals. I rented the pump after leaving the hospital. This pump is very efficient and was what I needed to pump enough for twin girls. Many said it would be next to impossible to pump enough to feed the girls breast milk exclusively but I did just that minus just a few oz of formula right before the girls turned 12 months. The Medela Symphony is an efficient little machine and it helped me to make close to 37,000 ounces or 370 gallons of milk over the last 15 months.

The time has come for me to end my relationship with the pump. I thought I would continue a bit longer and make it until the girls turned 18 months but my passion was not in it anymore. My life revolved around pumping times, ounces accumulated, and the packing of pumping supplies. If I could have picked how things would have gone, I would have loved to be able to feed my girls at the breast rather than being an exclusive pumper. I could have stopped pumping at work at this age and allowed the girls to breastfeed and self wean, but that was not our situation. Riley was able to breastfeed but she self weaned at about 8 months. I think the reason for that was because we didn't have as much nursing time with me being a busy working mom and the fact I had to pump to feed Addison so it was much harder to coordinate pumping times with breastfeeding times and in the end I became an exclusive pumper.

I am just about done pumping. I returned the Symphony to the rental place and I am now using the Pump in Style Advanced to express a little milk in order to stay comfortable as my body gets the hint that I am done feeding my girls.

This is a bittersweet end to an era for me. You can say this is the end of the girls' babyhood. I now have toddlers walking around the house and my little babies that needed so much support have grown up a little bit. I'm sad to know that I am no longer providing their nourishment, but I am happy to be free from the restrictions of pumping. I no longer have to pack my pumping bag, clean pump parts, buy pumping supplies, and take time away from my day to pump. The only thing I am going to miss is the quiet time I had at work to pump and read. I probably read about 15-20 books in the last 15 months because I spent so much time pumping and I always had a book in tow.

I will leave you all with my Exclusive Pumping Tips for anyone considering pumping full time:

-You have to establish your supply early. This means pumping every 2-3 hours around the clock for the first 2-3 months. Then you may be able to go around a 4-5 stretch at night but keep to the every 3 hour schedule during the day.

-Pump for at least 20 minutes if not more if you want to have good supply. I would normally pump for about 5 minutes after the milk stops flowing and for me that was around 25-30 minutes per session

- Rent a hospital grade pump like the Symphony even if you plan on buying a personal pump. I used both the Symphony and the Pump in Style Advanced in my pumping journey.

- Drink water like a fish. Drink until you can't stand the thought of more water.

- Eat plenty of calories - You will be surprised at how calories play a major role in milk supply.

- Get your rest when you can. Have your husband or other family members help out with feedings so you can sleep and nap.

- Take herbs like Fenugreek, mothers tea, and more milk plus to increase your supply or to give yourself a boost.

- Use a pumping bra to give yourself the ability to do things with your hands while pumping. I read a lot but I could also fold laundry, hand my girls toys, and work or play on the computer while pumping. This was the one I used and I ended up buying 4 of them to always have a clean one handy. Pumping Bra I would put this on over my regular nursing bra and use a hooter hider if I was pumping in public or when family was around. I also used this bra to pump while driving. I was always looking for ways to save time and pumping while driving gave me more time with my girls. Just make sure you don't get pulled over because the officer may have an issue with this approach. :)

- Try power pumping to increase your supply. This is where you pump for 10-15 minutes then rest for 10 minutes, then pump for 10-15 minutes and then rest for 10 and so on until you have pumped for about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. This will help mimic a growth spurt or cluster feeding session that a baby would do at the breast.

- Find some support. I found a few good online message boards where I could turn and ask questions and get support from other fellow pumping moms.

- And give yourself the ability to quit if you need to. Exclusively pumping is not for everyone and it requires a lot of time and dedication. Don't feel bad if you need to stop but try try try your best to find support.