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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sleep!


6:00 p.m. is a magical time at the Andros house- it is the time when all children are in bed. This is hours earlier than the average family puts their kids in bed, I know, but it has always been like this for us and we love it. We love it because our kids need 12 hours of sleep at night and in order to get the full 12 hours, they must go to bed by 6:00 p.m. because they are almost always awake by 6:00 a.m. We never have to wake our kids up. I may be the only mother who never has to wake up any of her children for school.

Our sleeping arrangements have changed recen
tly with the addition of the twins. While the arrangements have changed, the time has not (whew). I thrive on the 4+ hours of time Ben and I have alone after the kids go to bed. We get so much done (well... we have the opportunity to get a lot done), get lots of relaxing time and lots of quality time together. We probably don't go out on dates as often as other couples do because we have so much "kid-less time" every single night, for free!

As most of you know, our house is no mansion. We have 3 bedrooms that are none too big. When we first moved into our house, Chloe had a room and the extra room was a guest room/craft room. When Mitchell was born, Chloe moved into the guest room and Mitch got his own room. Right before the twins were born, we knew we had to make some big moves in order to fit 4 children into two small bedrooms. I am not opposed to children sharing bedrooms by any means, but Mitch wasn't even 2 when the babies were born and I just didn't think he was ready to be out of his crib yet. (Maybe it was that I wasn't ready..... no crib means he is no longer contained and he gains freedom while I lose it!!)

10 days before the babies were born, Ben decided it was time to get Mitch out of his crib and try him in a toddler bed. I was not ready for this and kept insisting that we wait, but while I was gone to the General Relief Society broadcast at the end of September, Ben set up his toddler bed in his room and had him sleep in it that night.

The first night was a success! He looked so grown up in his big boy bed. I was still worried about his new found freedom of being able to get out of bed whenever he wanted...

But the first nap was a success, too!

Sharing his bed with Lexi when she was just a few days old.

I'd like to say that he never got out of his bed or never put up a fuss about going to bed in his "new" bed, but that wouldn't be true. We put a child safety door knob cover on the inside of his door so he couldn't get out. He would knock and knock sometimes, but we are very strict about sleeping in our house and if I couldn't get him to stay in his bed (oh, the loss of being able to control that!), he was at least going to stay in his room. We'd find him asleep right in front of the door some nights.

He stayed in his toddler bed for about 6 weeks. He and Chloe stayed at Ben's parents house for 2 weeks after the babies were born and when they got home, I had organized and rearranged the rooms and moved Mitchell's clothes into her room so they could start sharing a room. Sharing a room also meant sharing a bed, since Chloe has a queen bed in her room that we let guests sleep in when they come. We thought we would ease both of them into this by bringing Mitchell's toddler bed into Chloe's room and letting him start there. He wanted nothing to do with that and wanted to sleep in Chloe's bed immediately. We decided to give it a try.


Here they are their first night together in the same room and bed.... another success! Just don't tell Mitchell he's sleeping in a pink bed with flowers....

Again, this transition to having the big kids sleep together has not been without its issues, but for the most part it has gone so much better than I ever thought it would. They actually both sleep in a little later sometimes together (especially when we set their alarm clock back an hour!) and they have fun together. Sure, there are fights and one or both of them get out of bed to tattle, but it has worked out great for the most part. Lucky for us, since there weren't very many other options!

And now in the past 3 months of sharing a room, we have found the two of them asleep in some of the funniest positions.


And as for our other two sleepers.....

The twins slept in our room for the first 3 months of life. I was fine with it for awhile, but by 2 months old, they had both slept 11 hours straight at least once, so I knew they were ready to get on a schedule soon (and I was getting tired of having them in our room). So on New Year's Eve, the twins slept in their own room for the first time, all night. They consistently sleep anywhere from 8-10 hours at a time during the night, wake up to eat, then right back to sleep for another 3-5 hours. They are getting about 14 hours of night sleep, minus a few minutes awake for a quick feeding. They even go to bed at the same time as Chloe and Mitchell- 6 p.m. A magical time in our home, I'm telling you. For the first 3 months, we had been keeping the babies up with us and just putting them to bed when Ben and I went to bed. That worked for awhile- they napped and were pleasant all evening long. But then it got to the point where they were both just fussing and crying all evening and Ben and I spent every evening pacing and bouncing and trying to comfort a baby for hours on end. It was no longer "fun" to have the babies up with us. New Year's Eve I put them to bed right after the big kids were in bed and, magic- they went right to sleep and slept great that night, and haven't looked back since. I now have my evenings back again and, I must admit, I love it!

In the beginning of January, Leah stopped napping during the day and she was a mess. I knew then that it was time to get them on a schedule during the day. For 2 weeks, I stayed home and did not leave the house unless I absolutely had to and became the "Nap Nazi." I was determined to get them both on a schedule and have it be the same schedule. Leah had a hard time with this and for the first week of Operation Nap, she would often cry the entire length of their nap, every nap (which was like 3 naps a day). Nothing else would work with her, so I would let her cry it out and made them both "nap" (be in their crib either awake or asleep) for 2 hours. The only progress she made the first week was she learned to put herself to sleep quickly at the beginning of the nap, and she stretched her "naps" out from 20 minutes to 30 minutes. It was a long and very trying first week. Alexis did very well and was a champ to often sleep through all of Leah's crying.

Finally by the beginning of week 2, both babies took a 2 hour nap together at the same time with no crying. It was a small miracle! The second week was nothing short of amazing- they both slept for 2-3 hours for naps, every nap. They are now my little sleep machines, both day and night and are my best sleepers of all my kids (which is a big award to win, since Chloe and Mitchell were both excellent sleepers and still are).

People still ask me if I am overwhelmed with twins and just how I do it. I tell them, "After they learned how to sleep (and it was a hard process to learn), it has been so manageable." Sleeping babies= happy babies.

Here are my babies on New Year's Day, the morning after their first night in their own room.

Taking their first nap in their room.


I don't know how much longer the two of them will fit in these sleeping positions in one crib, but I'll do it for as long as I can! (Fitting two cribs in their small room is going to be a tight squeeze and I hate cluttered space).



We know the babies are both good and asleep when they are both in touchdown position. If Ben or I go to check on them to see if they are asleep, the only signal we need to show each other is "Touchdown!"

Leah always sleeps on the right side of the crib

Lexi is always on the left

Ahhh..... sleep- no one ever really appreciates it until they are an adult, especially an adult with kids! Mitch has been resisting naps lately and this day he just couldn't make it until bedtime and passed out cold.

Taking a nap with Daddy

This picture turned out blurry, but it is one of my all time favorites. Lexi was sitting with Chloe and fell asleep on her shoulder. Good ol' Lexi- she can fall asleep anywhere.

Our thumb sucker, fast asleep

The girls, right before bedtime in their matching jammies- brown with polka dots. Chloe was so excited to finally have some clothes that matched the babies.

Mitch's pj's didn't match, he just wanted to hold a baby and be in the picture.

Here is a shot of Chloe in our master closet, our "4th bedroom." When guests come, she sleeps in our closet so they can have the queen bed. She is a champ every time doing it and doesn't mind at all. Now that she and Mitch share a bed, it is 2 of them in the closet. (Grandma fell asleep reading Chloe books this night.)

Our "4th bedroom" is currently under construction as we have sprung a leak in our master bathroom that has spread to our closet, where the carpet is ripped up to dry the water damage. More to come on this later, but we hope to get it back in use soon, as we rely on this 4th bedroom often!!

Happy Sleeping!




Tuesday, February 9, 2010

4 months


Our little ladies are 4 months old. We love these beautiful girls more and more each day. I look at them somedays and am still just amazed that there are two of them, and that we were blessed to receive two healthy, beautiful babies at the same time. For every minute of work that they are, there is 5 minutes of joy in return. It may sound cheesy, but it is true. They are such a blessing in our lives and we really can't imagine only having one of them.


We took them to the doctor yesterday for their 4 month check, and the stats are in:

Leah:
12 lbs 6 oz (25%)
24 in (50%)
39 cm head (5-10%)

Lexi:
12 lbs 12 oz (25-50%)
23 in (10%)
41 cm head (50%)

I knew Leah still looked smaller somehow- although they are getting closer in weight, Leah is a whole inch longer!


Mitch, 4 months

And I must add this as side note- our "little" Mitch was a whopping 20 pounds at this age (Chloe was 18 pounds at 4 months). What a difference! He was a little butterball turkey. But when I hold both of the twins together, it all feels about the same as one Mitchell or one Chloe at that age! :)

Here are some updated pictures of what the babies have been up to recently.

Lexi

They love taking turns sitting in the high chair at dinner time- they hate to be left out of things we do as a family.

Leah

Leah

Trying out the Johnny Jump Up- they both quite enjoyed it, but it was short lived. With 2 older siblings, (one of them being 2 years old), it was not a safe activity for the babies to do. Every time I turned around (and even when I was right there watching), one of the kids would be swinging or twisting the babies. Yikes! But they sure looked cute for the 2 days we got to try it.




Leah and Lexi in their Sunday best


Pink Ladies


Rockin' the polka dots and matching head bands


Leah is our best baby for tummy time- she used to dislike it quite a bit, but enjoys it more and more. She never lets her head get anywhere near the carpet and even tucks her feet up behind her. If I was a betting woman, I would bet she will be the first crawler of the two.


Lexi on the other hand is very mellow about tummy time and rarely complains, but usually will not raise her head up off the ground. This picture captured a rare exception. Her head will usually come up briefly, then fall like a ton of bricks.


Lexi looking exceptionally cute

Leah and the adorable grin that I can't get enough of

Bathing Beauty #1: Lexi
Always a champ for bathtime



Bathing Beauty #2: Leah
Is now getting to the point where she doesn't scream everytime she gets in the tub (it still takes her breath away, though...) She may just actually be enjoying this bath! Hooray!


We look forward to the near future of babies who sit up, reach for and play with toys and who continue to sleep so well (they are known for sleeping 8-10 straight hours a lot of nights with a quick feed here and there for a total of 14 hours total night sleep) and starting solid foods, although I can't say I'm anxious for this milestone- it makes for a lot of work!

What me love most about our little Leah- she is very social and loves to talk and coo. She can be crying one second, and then instantly stops and starts cooing without missing a beat. We love listening to her "stories" and conversing with our little social butterfly. Her smile can melt your heart. When she concentrates on something, she does it very intently and seriously. She is very neat and tidy (her mother appreciates this very much) and does not like a dirty diaper. She hates yelling and loud noises and her crocodile tears and broken hearted sobs are a great reminder to our family to be kind and loving.

What we love most about Alexis- I have said this about a thousand times, but the best word to describe Lexi is patient. She is the most patient little sweetheart I have ever met and we all adore that about her. She rarely demands anything and will put up with dirty diapers, is willing to be last for every meal and will fall asleep anywhere at anytime with little to no help. Her open mouthed grins are easy to produce and she is always ready for a good laugh. She is the second part of our peace making team by being so forgiving to all the noise she endures daily but rarely getting upset about it. She sets such a good example to all of us by being so patient and loving and putting up with so much.

We love our little LJ and Lexi!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Thumb Sucking, Part 2

In my last post, I did fail to mention that yes, Mitchell is still sucking his thumb. I blame this partly on genetics- his daddy was a big thumb sucker, and, according to family reports, Ben sucked his thumb well past the acceptable "cute" period (I won't give an age to protect the guilty).

But this video is the reason why Mitchell sucks his thumb. Can you blame him? I'll have to admit that if my thumb tasted like my favorite food (ice cream), you bet I'd be sucking that thumb everyday too....

video


(In case you hadn't guessed, Mitch is obsessed with applesauce- one of his all time favorite foods.)


One more PRO reason to suck your thumb: It tastes like your favorite food!