Monday, November 29, 2010

Nap, Nap or Nap?

Lillie nor Dani have ever been the best nappers. In the past few months, they've definitely gotten better about it, but they are not at all predictable. Sometimes they will sleep for 30 or 45 minutes. Sometimes they will sleep for 90 minutes or nearly two hours. Rarely do they both do this at the same time. Usually, one will want to sleep a long time while the other has decided on a cat nap. Every time I hear a mom talking about what she does when her children nap, I get jealous. I never try to do much when my girls nap because I never know how long they will stay asleep. I've just recently started showering during their morning nap. Before, I would shower at night after they went to sleep, but I don't like night showers, so I've braved the morning nap to get clean.

Now I've got something new brewing: the possible loss of the second nap. Around seven months, the girls started shirking the third nap, so I began the transition to two naps. Now they are nearly ten months, and it seems they are ready to transition again!

Some days, they won't go down for their morning nap and some days they won't go down for their afternoon nap. It's a rare day lately that I get them to take two solid naps. Usually, I get one good nap and one let's-pretend-it's-a-nap in the car or one good nap and no second nap, making for cranky babies who are ready for bed at 5:30! Then, one of them will wake up in the middle of the night screaming, and it takes me a long time to get her settled again. From all my reading on sleep, I've decided this reverted pattern of nighttime sleep is due to the awkward daytime sleep pattern.

Therefore, I finally have accepted they are probably ready to begin the transition to one nap. I'm not ready for it, but I'm ready for something that will help me get through the entire day with a smile of some sort.

Of course, I will have to slowly push it later and later until I get it to that perfect spot, but I don't even know for what "perfect spot" I am aiming! Bedtime is usually between 6:30 and 7. Is bedtime going to have to move to 6 until I figure this whole thing out? If so, does that mean I have to move the nighttime bottle from 6 to 5:30 or possibly 5:45? Is my brain going to explode because I finally thought I'd figured out a good schedule and now I have to change it again? Didn't some fairy godmother who wrote some fantasy-filled book tell me that this would be easier if I got in a routine?!

Do any seasoned mommies have advice for me? I'm getting as cranky as them by the time 4:30 rolls around. Help!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Favorite Pictures of the Week

These aren't from this week, but I was looking at pictures this week, and these two stood out! Lillie is eight months in the first and Dani is nine months in the second.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Weekly What?

I think I would like to do a regular weekly entry. I just have no idea what it should be, so I'm turning to the masses for help.

Vote in the poll below and let me know what you think. You do not have to have a Blogger account to vote!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Seriously, Where Shall We Sit?

Back in August, I began my research of convertible car seats. Now, only a few months away from their first birthday, (as well as their heights nearing the limit on their infant seats) it's time to get serious about new car seats. A few extra contenders have come to play, and a couple of the original contenders have fallen by the wayside.

I should probably explain what I'm looking for in a seat. Every car seat on the market had to pass government standards, so every car seat is safe, but I'm looking for some extra features for extra safety. I want it to be comfortable. There are plenty of economy seats that are perfectly safe, but they have hardly any padding. If I don't want to sit on a cloth-covered piece of plastic, my girls shouldn't have to either. I also want a good headrest. When they fall asleep--and they often do--I don't want little heads bobbing and weaving all over the place. Lastly, something that fits comfortably in our Chevrolet Equinox. When we found out we were having twins, we actually had to buy the Equinox (so long, sweet Saturn L-series) because Tim couldn't drive the car with the car seat behind him. I am in no mood or financial position to buy a Traverse, so let's make sure that seat fits in what we've got.

With that said, here's the new short list:

Graco Nautilus 3-in-1
This is the new front-runner. It's more compact than the other seats. It's got a nice adjustable headrest, and it's side-impact tested with EPS foam throughout. This seat, unlike the rest on the list, is the only seat that cannot be rear-facing. This may prove to be a problem if the girls outgrow their current seats before they turn one. (The law is children must be rear-facing up until one year old AND 20 pounds.)

It works for a child from 20 pounds up to 100. You use the five-point harness for up to 65 pounds. Then it converts to a high back booster for 30-100 pounds or a backless booster for 40-100 pounds. Plus it has a three-position recliner and storage pockets. My girls will be able to use this seat for up to eight years!

If I'm not picky about color, the cheapest I can get it is at Wal-Mart for $138. Even with the twin discount at Babies R Us (an extra 10% off each seat), this is the best deal. Paying around $300 for seats that will get my girls far into grade school doesn't sound too bad to me.

*There's a new Elite version that comes with adjustable headwings. I've only found it at BRU, and it runs about $200.

Safety 1st Complete Air
Honestly, the first reason I started checking out this seat was pure aesthetics. I love, love, love the Flutter pattern available at Babies R Us. In an effort to save money, I would have to stick with the McKenna pattern that comes in at $158.98, also at Babies R Us (plus the twin discount). After I looked past the beauty of the seat, I realized it's very solid, seems comfortable and looks like it will last. Even though this does not become a booster, the girls would still get a good six years of use out of it.

It's a rear-facing seat up until a whopping 40 pounds and forward facing up to 65 pounds. Those cool cushions around the head are filled with air instead of EPS foam. When the seat is involved in a crash, the air cushions your baby's head to lessen impact. It sort of works like an air bag without the inflation. It also has a quick adjust harness that can be adjusted from the front plus a 5-position adjustable headrest.

If you splurge for the LX version, the base comes with recline built-in. It is also the tallest rear-facing seat on the market, so if you have a child with a long torso, this may be the seat for you.

Evenflo Symphony 65

Just like the Graco Nautilus, the 65 has a long, long life. This seat is rated up to 65 pounds with a five-point harness and 100 pounds as a high back booster.

The best deal on the Symphony is a Babies R Us with a price tag of $179.99 for the Circles Pattern.  I'm sure you're wondering why I would put a seat that costs more on the list when my front-runner does the same job for less money. Well, Evenflo seats have some cool ease-of-use features. As a mom of twins, why wouldn't I want something that's easy to use?

The LATCH system is a super simple install that has retractors like your car's seatbelts. All you have to do is attach, push the seat down, and the connectors automatically tighten. Also, the harness requires no rethreading to adjust and the headrest takes one hand to adjust. Simplicity is a nice, nice thing.

Evenflo Titan Elite DLX Convertible
At the low, low price of $89.99 at Target or $99.99 at Babies R Us, it is the best deal I've seen thus far on car seats that meet my criteria.

It boasts a nice cushiony headrest, side impact testing, EPP foam lining for crash protection, and memory foam padding for comfort. Its maximum weight is 50 pounds, so it wouldn't last as long as the other three seats on my list.

You would think this seat would be the one, wouldn't you? How could I pass up such a great deal and still have some nice features? Well, it does have some nice features, but it doesn't have all of the features. Plus, I would have to shell out more money down the road for a booster seat, and if I do some quick math, buying four seats ends up costing me about the same as buying two of the all-in-one seats.

I may have narrowed my search to these four seats, but the real decision will be with Lillie and Dani. We will have to put each girl in the seats to see how they fit. Then we'll have to put each seat in our car to see how it fits. As with diapers and formula and basically everything else related to children, it's an individual decision.

If you want more information on these seats or recommendations from people who've been doing it longer than I have, check out and their blog which has a plethora of car seat reviews.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy on Mommy's Terms

Let me warn you now. I'm about to pull out my soapbox. I don't do it very often, and I definitely wouldn't usually do it on my mommy blog. But today, that box is coming out.

It's about Happy Meals and San Francisco. If you don't know what I'm talking about, pick an article to read here, then come back and finish reading my rant.

I'm pretty politically moderate. I believe in marriage for all consenting adults. I believe helping those who are sick, but I'm not too sure our government should be the ones in charge of it. I also don't think our government should be in charge of telling me what my children should be eating. Now, I understand that the ban on Happy Meals isn't really a ban on Happy Meals. It's a ban on high calorie, high fat, low nutrition meals with a toy. If the meal has fruit or veggies attached, a toy can be brought into the mix. But again, why the hell does there need to be a law for it?

There are plenty of people in this world who should not raise children. Hell, there are plenty of people in this world who shouldn't raise fish. For the most part, though, their are good parents in these here United States, and they can take care of their own children's well being without a bunch of people who probably don't have children eating at McDonald's messing with a meal that kids have been eating for friggin' decades.

There are certain laws that I find necessary. There are laws that help us, as a people, function relatively harmoniously. I am a fan of the no smoking in restaurants and most buildings law. Smoking is a right that we all have, but your smoke will invade my breathable space. Take it outside please. The person next door to me deciding to give their child chicken nuggets and some french fries does not invade my privacy, my well being, or even figure into my day.

I would like to thank San Francisco's mayor for not agreeing with the ludicrous idea.

Now I'll put my soapbox away.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nine Month Report

Nine months. It's just three short months until Lillie and Dani are one year old. This has been the most spectacular (in all meanings of the word) three quarters of a year I've ever experienced.

This past month, my little girls have really starting babbling. There are lots of "dadadada" and "babababa." Dani loves "dat dat dat." Lillie seems to lean towards "gagaga" a lot. Maybe I should stop singing "Bad Romance" to them.

Lillie also mastered pulling up all on her own. She no longer needs help from Mommy to get to the window, the ottoman, the gate or the edge of her crib, but she sometimes asks for it anyway. In fact, they've both become master climbers. Dani has no qualms about crawling right over my legs, Tim's legs, her sister. Lillie doesn't like that last one so much.

They're eating finger foods as well: fruit puffs, cheese and veggie puff sticks, a little French toast, yogurt melts, and a couple of green beans. They've also gotten egg yolks and shredded cheese, both of which they seem to enjoy. We also began three meals a day instead of two. It's not exactly routine yet, but anytime the girls get to eat is a good time for them.

Mommy had her own milestone. Tim went on a business trip, and I put the girls to bed by myself for four straight nights. A couple of the nights were not so awesome, but overall, it wasn't so bad. I'm very thankful to have great friends and family nearby to help me out, so it wasn't a week of lonely Faith with the babies.

The girls also went to their first and second (of many) WKU football games. It was the longest they've been in the car at one time as well as the longest they've had to sit since becoming mobile. The Toppers lost both times, but the girls did really well.

Growth spurts are happening too. They both seem to be growing into and out of clothes faster than usual. They are reaching things they couldn't reach before, and they seem much heavier than just a month ago. Wow. Three quarters of a year... Amazing.

Family Photos

My husband has a degree in photojournalism. I have a degree in film. Needless to say, we like cameras. We take tons and tons of pictures. Alas, this picture (taken Halloween weekend) is the first picture of all four of us since the girls were in the hospital. How sad is that?

I don't even know how it happened. We hang out with friends and family a lot. How is it that no one has snapped a picture of the four of us? I have pictures of me with the girls and Tim with the girls. It's quite odd...and, I must say, a little disappointing. I know that all new parents (and veterans alike) want to make sure to have lots of pictures of their children so they can look back and remember when, but aren't we parents just as important. Our kids will probably be just as interested in seeing what we looked like when they were such and such age.

So I'm putting it out there, I must take more family photos. I do hope to have some formal pictures done after the girls' first birthday, but I have to make sure to take candids as well.

What about you? Do you have a healthy amount of family photos?