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Weekend Happenings

This weekend went super quick to the point, per the usual of my two-day weekends. But- although quick, we spent it with fun friends and the sweetest littles on the planet!

Friday night was girls night at the Massey house!  Jordan was at the fire station, so it was just me and my babies to snuggle on the couch- and that we did..

In between the hilarities of this silly little lady.  99% I am laughing out loud at this one, and shes figured it out, too! She seems to do anything to get a rise out of momma, and then laughs about it.  The bottom left picture kills me- almost as if she was showing out sarcastically.
I came home to a couple packages on the porch and much to my surprise they were for me!  It was a perfect start to my weekend!!  I love getting snail mail:) 

Upon opening them I realized they were really for P&J.. but buying/getting things for them make me just as giddy as things for myself these days.  I am excited for the warmer weather and for these girls to be able to fit into these precious little outfits from my sweet friends Ashley and Renae- my girls are SO spoiled!
Saturday afternoon, this momma needed a shower and a good hair washing- so these girls were my bathroom buddies for the time being.  Usually I try and get it in during morning nap when they sleep for 2 1/2 hours, but missed the opportunity early in the day doing other things aroungd the house..

They thought it was hilarious when I would wipe the glass and talk to them from the shower.  Highly entertainable for Parker and Jolie.
Saturday evening we met Sarah and Chris at church, and of course these girls don't sleep as much any more and required to be held during the service and message.  Mickey Mouse and Friends to save the day?  Yes!  Until Jolie started {loudly} conversing with Donald Duck.  Jordan took her into the hallway until she got her wiggles out.
After church we went for Wood Fired Pizza and good conversation {that lasted 3 hours!} We love us some Tucker Time!   The girls particulaly love Sarah and Chris, too!
Sunday marked a very special day for a very special person in our lives:)  Ashley's hubby, Jarrett turned 30!  J and I left the girls at home to come celebrate with some of our favorite people on the planet.

Ashley did it over the top, per the usual for her.  Every detail was perfectly thought out and Jarrett's Beer-B-Q went off without a hitch!  I attempted to snap a few pictures, but they totally don't do it justice.
The food- Burgers and Brats with all the classic BBQ side dishes... and not to forget his beer cake, and the real cake- Nothing Bundt Cakes.  I die!
Me and the Hostess with the Mostest- love her.. and that sangria that I nursed for the entirety of the party. #overayearsinceIvehadarealdrink #buzzedhalfwaythrough #lightweight
 The dreaded singing to the birthday boy.  He made the most of it with a little jig.
Some of the girls and of course my fireman 'mannin' the grill
 My weekend was full and oh-so-fun. 

How was your weekend?



Week In Review 4.26.2013

Oh Friday.  We meet again and how grateful I am to see you.  This week went by quick, and although it was quick- I am 99% postive this weekend will go by even quicker.  It always happens that way, doesn't it? 

Last Saturday I FINALLY went and got my hair done.  It had been since mid-February that I had a cut and color.  My last appointment was scheduled for over a month ago- but I had major mommy-guilt and cancelled it.  Anyone ever have that?  Anyone?  Bueller? 

I couldn't bring myself to leave my girls while I went and spent some time on me.  A total 180 from this time last year- going every 6-8 weeks like clock work.  Not so much anymore.  My poor sylist was dealing with a major mess of a mop- but she cleaned it up nicely and I got some highlights for summer.  Ohhhh, I cannot wait for summer.
I got in some major snuggle time with these too sweet girls over my long weekend.  Sunday we spent the majority of the day hosting Jordan's family at our house..
..and that meant that I got to see this little tiny thing- my neice, Miss Kendall Bree.
Sunday was also a great day for one of my closests friends, Stephanie and her hubby, Rikin.  They welcomed baby Eli Rikin into this world!  She delivered at the same hospital that Jolie has her physical therapy at on Monday afternoons, so we stopped through so I could meet this little man and squeeze my bestest new momma!
Parker and Jolie love them some baby giraffes.  They carry these guys around everywhere!
Wednesday marked one year since I took a pregnancy test.  After 4 years of trying my dream of becoming a mommy came to life.   These two are the light of my world and I LOVE being their momma. 
Coming home from work to see these girls always makes my days sweeter.  Jolie was totally lovin' on her momma- with all her sweet baby kisses!  We call them 'sugars' and it didnt take her long to figure out what that means.  Such a smart girl.

After an overwhelming response to a post I made on Instagram regarding the Cry It Out method of parenting, I've decided that there is no right or wrong way to parent your kids, and I am definitely NOT the expert.  I didn't intend it to be a controversial thing or something to raise eyebrows, because thats not who I am.  Never really one to ruffle anyone's feathers.  It was simply just another picture to share about whats going on in my life at the moment- like I do pretty much on a daily basis.  Most of the comments were very encouraging and supportive, and I was so very thankful for the outpouring love of some of my IG followers, but there were a few posts/comments that were downright hateful and mean.  Even though there were only a handful, I wear my heart on my sleeve and those linger and hurt the most.  I always feel confident in my decisions on how to parent, but of course those few individuals that made a point to tell me what a terrible mother I am to treat my girls in this way and in turn made me question MY decisions on how to raise MY babies because it is what I feel is best.  I was home alone the next night while Jordan was at the fire station and I found myself crying when it was time to put the girls down- questioning if I was doing something wrong or hurtful to my babies- because that is the last thing I would ever want to do.    

Yes, my profile is public and yes, I have a wide and heavy range of followers- so I could only expect to have opinions shared, but my friend and fellow twin momma Meredith said it best when she said:  

The day I became a mom I became a supporter of other moms.  I didn't look at them as competition, I looked at them--at us--as an alliance.  We are a group of women with different backgrounds, different beliefs, and different values, with one very important thing in common: we love our kids.  To me, as long as you love your kid, I'm your biggest supporter....

...Support each other.  Love one another.  And the next time you feel the need to say something negative, smile instead and tell that mom she's doing an amazing job.

I am no expert at motherhood, but I do know what works for me and my family and that is all that matters.  I saw this on Pinterest last night and decided it was totally fitting: 
I may not be Super Mom to you- but I am for sure, without a doubt Super Mom to Jolie and Parker.  An update on my sweet Jolie?  Slept through the night without a peep and did so again last night. 

So proud of her.



Our First Attempt {Rice Cereal}

At our four month check up, Dr. Butler suggested that we start the girls on a little bit of rice cereal.  Not, by any means, to replace a 'milk meal', but in addition to- supplementing at one of their feeding times with just about a tablespoon of rice cereal mixed with about 2 ounces of breastmilk.

When I went to the store to see about getting some rice cereal- I thought this will be an easy quick grab at the end of my trip.  Boy, was I mistaken.  There are about a million options to choose from.  I mean, how many ways can you make rice cereal, for Pete's sake?

Finally, after skimming through all the options and allowing my frozen veggies to start the thawing process, I chose Earth's Best Organic.  The real reason I selected it was not because it was organic, but because of the advertised 'whole grain' on the front of the box.  I'm all about the whole food options vesus the white and plan to give the girls all kinds of whole grains, like oatmeal and barley, but wanted to start with the basics first. 

I was so nervous about starting them on a little bit of the cereal..
  • Were they going to like it?
  • Did I make it right?
  • Is it too hot?
  • Is it too early to give them rice cereal??  
 I called their pediatrician, again, to make sure it was okay to start them with the cereal at 4 1/2 months, and she assured me it was perfectly fine.  Besides, it is great for the motor development that they will need when it is time to transition into other foods.  With two babies to make that transition, I'm all about making it easier. 

Parker Jane was first- and she loved it.. for about 4 bites.  She then got tired of it when she realized she couldn't suck the spoon and get unlimited supply of the goopy stuff.  Her arm flailing and 'get me out of here' looks started and so Daddy scooped her up and off to the bath she went! 
Jolie Grace was next, and she was a little more patient and interested in the spoon to mouth action.  She seemed to like it pretty well!  She kept grabbing the spoon, the bowl, and even started sucking it off of her (way too big for her little belly) bib.  It was precious! 
 Halfway through her bowl.. she decided she hated it.  The look of disgust that covered her face was tears-rolling-down-your-face funny.  I was dying and so was her daddy who was attempting to take pictures. 
She looked like an angry grandpa or something. 

She ended up finishing her bowl, funny scowled faces and all.  It was Jolie's turn to take a bath..

Since their try of rice cereal they've had it three more times, and really love it!  The other night I was feeding them both at the same time while daddy was at the fire station and Parker was making the 'mmmmm' noises.  I was giggling so hard and wishing I had just one more hand to video her funny sounds.  Jolie, again, cleaned her bowl and then wanted to suck the spoon.

A couple things I learned from this first attempt with rice cereal:

Clothes are not neccessary.  I made the mistake of not undressing them prior to their eating.. big mistake.  HUGE.  Cereal. Everywhere.
They've been nakey ever since  :)

Leave it a little thick.  Making the cereal too liquid-y is less appealing to the girls and they get frustrated and fussy to the fact that they can't such the spoon like a nipple.  Leaving the cereal with a little thickness to it is better for our girls.

Offer the breast or bottle before feeding the rice cereal. At 4 1/2 months, these cereal feedings are not to replace breast milk or formula.  Feeding them first before offering the cereal ensures that they are getting a full feeding from you, and not filling up on cereal.  Usually we give them a bath and read a book or play after this cereal 'snack', and then I offer them the breast just before bed to 'top them off'. 

Do it just before bed. Full bellies can mean a full night's rest for baby and momma:)



WIWW: A Bold Pairing

Sometimes I go bold.  Bold with a funky shoe or fun hair accessory.  But then, I get real bold and pair bold onto bold.. and onto bold, again.

Take this outfit, for example.  Don't ask me what I was thinking when I put it together that morning, but it worked in my brain, and again on the hanger.. and I feel like it worked once I tried it on.

I had all but 4 minutes until I needed to walk out the door, so even if this outfit 'didn't work'.. it was going to have to for the next 8 hours or so while I was at work.

Hot fus.. pink (because I can never spell fuscia fusia fuschia correctly on the first go round..) crop pants
  • check. {LOFT} similar
  • Diagonally striped tank
  • check. {The Limited} last season
  • Bubble necklace
  • check. {Amazon}

  • I threw on my favorite go-to jacket (also from LOFT last season) to make the outfit complete.  I felt like a boyfriend cardi didn't do justice to my outfit choice- and the jacket gives my colored crops a professional feel appropriate for work.

    I decided that by the end of the day I really liked the bold pairing of these pieces together.  Totally fun for the Spring season.
    Fast decisions don't always turn out so smoothly- half the time I'm already at my destination when I realized that what I'm wearing isn't as fabulous as it looked in my mind, but this one was a lucky snap shot, courtesy of my half-brain:)



    Helllllooo Friday 4.19.13

    Its been a week.  It started out wonderfully.. hit a {major}slump mid-week, and then back to good times by Thursday. 
    1. Sunday snuggles with my sweet little Polie bear.  I was still remembering her sweet smelling baby head on Monday morning while sitting at my desk at work. 

    2. We got to meet miss Kendall Bree last weekend.  The girls didn't know what to think.  Kendall is little bitty at just under 7 pounds.. and I felt like I was holding a rag doll.  I forget that Jolie (4 pounds, 4 ounces) and Parker (5 pounds, 8 ounces) were both much smaller than Kendall when we brought them home.  Kendall is over 2 pounds heavier than Jolie was! 

    3.  These silly little things make my days brighter.  These days they can't keep their hands off one another. 

    4.  I laughed until I cried watching Jolie attempt to get her tiny toes into her mouth on Tuesday night.  Funny monkey. 

    5. Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning was spent on the bathroom floor.  NOT. FUN.  So, Wednesday was spent on the couch with these baby dolls. 

    6.  Feeling refreshed after a much needed {and extra long} nap on Wednesday afternoon.  I think we three slept for almost 3 hours! 

    7.  She kills me.  'Mom.  Just get me out, okay?'

    8. Thursday I had an evening meeting at work so I decided to go in a little later to break up the day, spending some time on the sofa with my main squeeze and sweet babies.  Jolie's stretches are not as scream-ridden these days, she's getting used to them. BUT- I think her dreamy gaze was due to the fact that Zac Efron was a guest on Kelly and Michael that morning.  Yes, I know, little darling- he. is. beautiful.

    And today is Friday- my regular Friday off and heading into a four day weekend.  Glorious, simply glorious:) 

    Agenda for the day?  Grocery store, lunch date, and shopping with my three favorite people in tow.  Excited to get some summer attire for these babies.

    Happy Weekend!  What are you up to??

    Linking up with The Lauren Elizabeth  



    How Does She {Breastfeed Twins}

    “Breast feeding twins is pretty much impossible so I would get used to using formula for your babies.”
     – pediatrician hospitalist

    On the day of discharge post c-section and the birth of my twin babies, the pediatrician attending to my girls during their stay came by to make his final examination of them before their release.  I had just gotten through tandem feeding my tiny babies and he nonchalantly made this statement to me, leaving me completely speechless.  Really?  Thanks for the support and encouragement, sir. 

    When I was pregnant with my twins many people expressed skepticism that I'd be able to breastfeed both of my babies. I'm one determined Momma though and wanted to do all that I could to make that happen. Our journey hasn't been without some trial and error though so I thought I'd share what I've learned with my girls in the hopes it might help other Moms struggling with the early days of breastfeeding.

    Formula Supplementation
    At birth, my little girls were pretty petite at just 4 pounds, 8 ounces and 5 pounds 14 ounces.  The main focus became making sure they were getting enough and gaining weight.  The smaller baby, Jolie Grace, missed the NICU for her weight by just 49 grams (a just about a tablespoons worth), so I became determined to keep her weight up so that they both could come home with me when I was discharged.  In the beginning while my milk was still coming in and weight was of major concern I supplemented with about 1-2 ounces of formula or if I had pumped enough, breast milk, after each time they ate.  I would nurse for just 15 minutes at a time so that they wouldn’t burn too many calories working to get the milk.  The bottle was much easier of an effort and after 15 minutes at the breast, I would offer the bottle and they would eat just a little more. After the first month the girls improved at feeding, my milk supply became efficient, and my life got so much easier.  It was tough feeding them once, and then feeding them both all over again.
    To some breast feeding mothers, formula isn't ideal, but until you start producing enough milk for your baby or babies, it might just be the only option. That was hard for me to accept, but finally I came to grips that it wasn’t about me at all- it was all about making sure my babies had enough to eat and grow. With this realization my confidence increase and my anxiety levels dropped and I knew they were getting enough and that's all that matters.
    Breastfeeding: Using Your Resources
    If you are having difficulties with breast feeding, my number one pieces of advice- don’t stop offering the breast. The desire is that eventually your little one will get the hang of latching and in hopes to successfully breast feed, the baby needs that familiarity of nursing versus bottle feeding.  That will not only stimulate more milk, but can be practice and encouragement for your little one, too!  I was lucky that neither of my girls had an issue with latching, but I knew what to look for in an incorrect latch and quickly attempted to correct it.  Which brings me to my next tip: Be sure contact your hospital lactation consultant and see about going in for her to help you. From the moment I arrived to recovery I started asking for my lactation consultant.  I was really lucky for the support I had in the hospital from those LC's. At my request they came in every day I was there for at least an hour to help me learn what is a correct latch and what to look for and change if I started having troubles with feeding. They totally prepared me for when I was at home- and I was thankful because, even as prepared as I thought I was, I was still clueless.
    The Pump
    The greatest increase in demand comes from pumping.  I was hooked to that machine 8-10 times every day during the first 6 weeks or so. Because the girls’ mouth were small and were not successful in emptying my breasts during a feeding, I had to make my body think that they were so that the supply and demand theory would kick in and increase production. Eventually my body figured this out and started to produce enough for both girls and I didn't have to supplement with formula any more.  Pumping soon after a feeding will help your body think that you still need more milk and, again, more milk will be produced. There are a ton of theories and ideas out there for how long you are supposed to pump.  I've heard to pump 5 minutes after you notice the 'last drop', some say to pump at least 20-25 minutes and no less, others say just 10-15 minutes is enough. Personally, I would make sure to pump for at least 20 minutes, or until your breast feel soft and empty. Even though pumping so often in the beginning seems terrible, it's not forever. If I am at home, I pump just once a day in the morning after their first feeding.  I can get anywhere between 5-8 oz after feeding them. During my work week I pump three times in my 8 hour day and express about 30 ounces total.  There were times in the beginning that I would cry because I wasn't even getting 1/2 an ounce during a pump session. I worked so hard and couldn't get results to save my life. It's important for your body to believe you 'need' the extra milk and the stimulation from the pumping will promote more milk to be made.
    Increasing & Maintaining Milk Production
    Some things I've tried that didn't do much:
    ·         Mothers Tea- To me it tastes and smells horrible.  I didn't seem much change at all in my milk supply.
    ·         Fenugreek- smells of maple syrup (it is the additive that is actually added to pancake syrup) and I didn't see too much of a change in my milk supply. I was taking 4+ pills a day and decided after finishing a bottle that it wasn't worth it to purchase again.
    What works for me:
    ·         Multi-grain Cheerios. No joke! I eat a bowl of Cheerios every night before bed and notice a huge change in my milk supply for the next day. There are studies that say oatmeal is helpful and since Cheerios are and oat based cereal I can see why it works for me.
    ·         Stay hydrated. I can tell in my milk supply when I don't drink enough throughout the day. I try and drink at least 100mL/day of water alone. Not counting the water I get from fruits, vegetables and other food sources. 
    ·         Eating a balanced diet.  Occasionally, a mother’s calorie or fluid intake can affect milk production.  Excessive dieting can reduce milk supply, but sensible dieting is generally not a problem.  I have read that it’s best not to do anything consciously to lose weight until after the second month. This gives your body enough time to successfully establish a healthy milk supply that is less likely to be adversely affected if your caloric intake is restricted. I had no problem dropping the baby weight, but I wasn’t doing so with effort. 
    o   Breast feeding a singleton baby you need an additional 300-500 calories/day.  Breastfeeding twins  you need upwards of an additional 1,000 calories/day  
    o   There are no foods that you should avoid simply because you are breastfeeding. It is generally recommended that a nursing mother eat whatever she likes, whenever she likes, in the amounts that she likes and continue to do this unless baby has an obvious reaction to a particular food.
    The main thing needed to maintain an ample milk supply is simple –The more often and effectively your baby nurses, the more milk you will have.
    My girls are eating more and more these days. They now eat between 5 and 6 ounces at each feeding. Between the two of them I need to pump almost 40 ounces while I’m at work.  I cannot help but have a twinge of anxiety every time I increase each feeding amount.  I am fearful I won't be able to keep up, but so far I haven't had any problems.
    I expect that there may come a point that I'll have to supplement with formula and I'm okay with that. But, I'll still give them what I can of breast milk.  What matters is that I am giving them what they need whether it be from breast milk or formula.  Either way they are healthy and growing the way they need to.   That’s definitely a success in my book. 



    Wrappin' It Up {4.12.13}

    I must say.. This week was a good one.

    It started on a Monday at home with my littles- we had a really busy day planned.  I was sad Jordan had to be at work, and a little nervous about taking on the busy day ahead all by myself.  I hand't actually done that yet.

    The morning started with therapy for Jolie {and a surprise visit from BB while we were there!  She was running an errand near the rehab hospital and decided to pop in to see if I needed anything.  It turned into such a blessing to have her help with busy body Parker Jane}. 

    Therapy solo (sort of..) was a success!

    Then home for some lunch and cuddle time with my sweeties.
    Later that afternoon was the girls' 4 month check up.  'Check-up' meaning baby shots in baby legs.  Boo. 

    I was really going by myslef this time..

    The girls did great and only cried for a minute.  It is all in the look in their eyes that breaks my heart when they get those shots.  I hate that.  That everning- with some help of Tylenol, Jolie snoozed hard and my mini-me was super clingy.  She burst into tears anytime I put her down and refused to sleep- dadgum shots.  So we laid together on the couch until it was time for bath and bed.  Thankfully these girls slept hard through the night without a problem.  Take that baby shots!
    Tuesday it was back to work for me, but got some wonderful news- I'm and Aunt!!

     My sweet sister-in-law welcomed Kendall Bree into this world at 5:08am on Tuesday morning. 
    6 pounds 10 ounces of happy and healthy.  I couldn't help but tear up everytime I thought about this new baby.  Remembering the amazing experience Jordan and I had just 4 short months ago brought up so many emotions.  To know that Jenna and Adam got to have that same experience of welcoming their little girl into this world on Tuesday morning makes me so happy for them.  I think I cried off and on all day.  
    Happy tears:) 

    We love this cutie already! Doesn't Kendall look just like her daddy??
    Tuesday evening I had some serious helpers in the kitchen.  They are SO facinated by my chopping and mixing in preparation for dinner. 
    Wednesday I sure did miss these cuddle-bugs..
    Jolie looking rather babydoll- like if you ask me.
     Finally the end of my work day and along with that came play time with momma and daddy!  My girls are so silly.  They help me forget that I'm away from them all day.  I have such a fun time when I get home.
    And this girl.. well.. she's decided that when she is done eating she lets me know it by grinding her gums. 
    OUCH.  Don't make that a habit, missy. 

    Look at her. She looks rather pleased with herself, doesn't she?

    Smarty pants.  I have a feeling this is only the beginning. 

    Thursday BB watched the girls while Jordan and I were at work.  Granny and Woogie came in town Wednesday night to see new baby Kendall and decided to spend most of the day with BB and my girls before heading back home to Belton. 

    Bree sent me the sweetest picture of Parker and Granny.  Melts me the love Granny has for these babies, and my babies surely love their {great} Granny, too!

    Today is Friday, and I am SO thankful for the weekend.  This week went by super quick and I'm not complaining!  Looking forward to dinner with sweet friends, meeting baby Kendall, and relaxing at home with my girls.

    Make-up, clean hair, and real clothes are optional.

    Linking up with Lauren @ From My Grey Desk Blog



    WIWW: Nautical Red

    When I grabbed these pants off of the clearance rack at LOFT a couple weeks back I was totally pumped while standing at the register.. They scanned to be only $8.99. 

    Eight Dollars and Change.  Totally my lucky day!  The tag was marked down, but not THAT low.  I was frantic to throw something else in my {pile} of clothes awaiting to make their home in my overstuffed closet.  I had justification because these pants were less than ten bucks. 

    Shortly after my quick spree through LOFT I came to realize this justification of my own is equivalent to that of many of my nutrition clients..

    I'm gonna go ahead and get the larger sized fry because I'm drinking a Diet Coke

    You wouldn't believe the amount of times I've heard that one.  It is not Diet Coke that randomly expands your waistline, my dear.  Its the fat in those fries.

    Either way you justify- I got a pair of earrings in addition to these colored skinnies. 
    It took me just moments to figure out how I would pair this top.. my most favorite spring-y top in polka dots (also from LOFT- last season) .  The red and the navy kind of gives it a nautical feel, no?

    Throw on some sandals or grey TOMS and I'm ready to set sail.
    What I would give to be on a boat right now with my bestest and her hubby.. enjoying a nice bevi while basking in the rays. 

    Someone needs to buy me a boat. 

    Maybe it will be on sale.

    Remember this dress?  Well, its you're lucky day.. eShakti has created a special discount code MSSYSPT exclusively for 3 Ladies & Their Gent readers to get 20% OFF when you shop at eShakti!  Now thats a deal:)  

    The SMALL Print: (*conditions apply) valid thru 04/30/13
    Code has to be entered in the 'Privilege Discount' box.  No Minimum Order Value.  The discount code is not case sensitive.  The code can be used any number of times until the validity period. This code can be clubbed with any other gift coupon or gift card in the same order.  This discount code is not applicable on our Overstock category. Not applicable on previous purchases.



    Parker & Jolie- 4 Months

    4 months.  Wow.

    How in the..?

    The other night while lying in bed Jordan and I were talking about how fast time is flying and how even though we missed the little bitty newborns that we brought home 16 weeks ago we are LOVING how much they have grown and are well into this new stage of infant rather than newborn.  They are so much fun.  Fun is the only way to decribe our time with these little bitties.  They are so talkative and very interested in everything Jordan and I do.  I have heard from other moms that each stage your first child (or children) go through is more fun than the next.  I bet, and assume, that after baby number 2 you come to expect what will happen next, but how blessed am I that I get to enjoy this unknown and 'newness' with each stage not only with my first, but my second as well!

    Both babies continue to wear Size 1 diapers and are quickly growing out of NB size clothes.  They are at a weird 'in-between' stage of clothes right now.  The NB sleepers are a bit to short, but the 3 month size still swallows them up.  My girls are really long, so the sleeves of shirts, sleepers, and onesies are too short, but the short-sleeved onesies fit them like a glove at the moment.  I've bought a lot of their Spring wardrobe in the 3 month size, so hopefully soon they can get some wear out of all the cutie things they have in their closet.   

    We went for our 4 month check up yesterday (4/08/13) afternoon and heres where the girls stand at 4 months, 2 days old:

    Jolie @ 4 months: 
    Weight: 10 
    pounds 3 ounces (<3rd%)
    Height:  23.5 inches (23rd%)
    Head: 40 centimeters (24th%)

    Parker @ 4 months:
    Weight: 11 pounds 14 ounces  (4th%)

    Height:  24 inches (18th%)
    Head: 40.6 centimeters (14th%)

    In the words of Dr. Butler: "There growth is beautifully trending".  Woo!  Although they are still pretty small for their age, even Jolie is one the growth chart now at <3%.  What is important is that they are growing with a consistent trend upward.

    What's New
    The girls have hit many milestones over this past month.  In the 3 & 4 Monthly Favorites post I discussed how a lot of my 'favorites' for the girls carried over into the same month.  At 3 months Parker and Jolie started to interact and carry on with their little voices, but going into their 4th month of life they have both come to have such sweet and silly personalities.  They continue to love their play mat and will not only grab and bat at the hanging toys, but they have come to learn which make noise and how to manipulate them to make noise for their enjoyment.  Sophie the Giraffe is popular as well as any toy that has the crinkle paper inside it.  They love to scratch and squeeze it, hearing the sounds it makes.  They intently study books and absolutely LOVE to watch television.  We occasionally turn on The Disney Channel and the bright colors and movements of the cartoons keeps their attention.  We have recently purchased several Baby Einstein DVDs and plan to see how they react to them sometime soon.  It is amazing the motor skills that have developed in such a short span.  They went from newborn to infant overnight (or so it seems!)

    I am still exclusively breastfeeding the girls every 3-4 hours.  Tandem feeding is easiest, but as they get bigger I feel like it will be more difficult.  I sometimes come off of a feeding session with a tight back because of the way I am having to hold them to nurse.  They are getting bigger and stronger and will push off of the back of the nursing pillow, so sometimes I have to hold them just right to get them to stay put! 

    I have continued the same schedule during my work week and feed them at 4am, 5pm-6pm, and then before bed at 8:30pm-9:30pm. They take bottles for three feedings while I'm at work.   Both girls are now drinking from the larger 8 ounce bottles.  It was a sad day when I boxed up the tiny 4-ouncers!  Jordan had them lined on the counter top one afternoon when I came home from work: "We don't need these anymore.." I knew it was coming, but the realization that these girls are getting bigger and growing like weeds was bittersweet. Parker advanced from the 5 ounces we were giving her and now drinks 6 ounces and Jolie is drinking 5 ounces at each feeding- these girls are eating more and more as the weeks fly by!

    We are going to start rice cereal this week with the girls- not for replacement of a meal, but more for their motor development, so that when we are ready for cereal, fruits, and veggies at 6 months the tongue and motor movements involved in eating solids will come easier to them.  We will do just about a tablespoon of cereal mixed with breast milk and feed it to them with a spoon.  I am eager to see how they do!       

    Sleep has been hit or miss this last month. 

    Crib naps during the day are still going great- their longest nap is mid-morning (about 10am) and they'll sleep for about 2 hours or so.  They go down again for another nap after lunch and this one will be another hour and a half to two hours.  The afternoons naps are shorter- like cat naps- just about an hour or so and the girls start in the crib but usually end in their swings.  For the most part they go back to sleep within about an hour and a half after their last feeding.  They start rubbing their faces with their little hands or snuggling into the crease of my neck.  That really lets me know they are ready for sleep. 

    We transitioned them out of our room about 2 weeks ago and resulted in several nights of up and down for mom and dad.  Most of the time they just needed their paci for assurance.  After becoming used to sleeping so soundly and tight in the boucey seat, sleeping flat on their back has them confused and unsure, but they are getting used to it- and I think the naps in their crib has helped. For right now we are co-bedding them and plan to do so until they start to roll over from back to tummy.  We can space them far enough apart in the crib so that if they wiggle (which they do all night!) they don't bump one another and causing one or both to wake up.

    We have started a different bed time routine in attempt to get them back to sleeping through the night. Normally we bathe them in the morning after the first feeding and then they go down for a nap- sometimes sleeping hard for almost 3 hours!  So, this past week, we decided to switch it up and bathe them after their last feeding at 8:30pm and then immediately swaddle them up and down for bed they go.  It worked!  Well, for the first night. They slept through the night (until 4am when I woke them up to feed them before work.)  But, the rest of the week was rough (emphasis on the ROUGH).  I'm currently running on fumes- 3 hours of sleep isn't enough to make it through a day.  Parker is the sleeper extraordinaire- no problems at all whatsoever getting her to sleep through the night.  She will sleep through Jolie's whines and painful cries that usually start around 1am and last for the rest of the night.

    We came to discover after a week of dealing with no sleep that Jolie's problem is she still has pretty tight neck muscles and becomes uncomfortable after 2 or so hours of sleeping flat on her back.  That and a combination of slight reflux.  We learned from Jolie's physical therapist that when she acts like she is 'throwing a fit' by arching her back almost rolling herself over on her belly (she is swaddled so it makes it extra easy) followed by screeches and cries that this is a sign of reflux in infants.  The girl is attempting to elongate her esophagus.  Which makes total sense.  I remember being in bed while pregnant and waking up in a coughing fit- feeling as if I was going to die or something- because I refluxed the water I drank before bed.  Poor baby girl.  The paci works for all of 4 seconds before she spits it out and cries again.  And when momma finally gives in and I pick her up she is passed out asleep, so I know she isn't hungry or wanting anything more than to be rocked and snuggled- cradling her stiff neck and relieving the reflux.  Desperate of more sleep, Jordan and I have reverted to letting her sleep in the swing (set up in the nursery)- instead of the bouncy seat because that promotes poor tilt of her neck.  Being in the swing we can manipulate her neck and head so that it isn't tilted for 8+ hours at night.  Voila- sleeping through the night again.  We plan to seek suggestions from our pediatrician and the physical therapist, but if the swing works and she is comfortable, it's fine by me until she is cleared as 'cured' from therapy for her torticollis.  We are starting her on some reflux medication a couple times a day to see if this could be the root cause of her discomfort.. I'm thinking it really has to do with her neck.  We shall see.  

    Jolie Grace-

    Your Favorites: Cartoons and Fox 4 weather (seriously), your giraffe Wubanub (even though you would rather hold it and suck a regular paci), reading books, the lights and animals on your activity mat, conversations with momma and daddy, music/singing (You Are My Sunshine), Sleep Sheep, playing Ride the Horsey (Your FAVORITE game with daddy), babbling & giggling, laying on the changing pad, clean diapers, bathtime, afternoon walks, the color red, and physical therapy.

    Your Not-So-Favorites: Neck stretches, athletic tape on your neck, sleeping flat on your back, drinking from a bottle (you'll take it, but would rather be nursed), fighting sleep, loud noises, large crowds of people, losing your paci/Wubanub, the dark.

    Momma is SO proud of you!! This month you have made tremendous leaps and bounds in physical therapy- your neck and strength has improved so much.  You went from having just 30% range of motion to now having 100% ROM!  You go, Jolie Girl! Suzan, your physical therapist, is so impressed and pleased with your progress over these last 8 weeks or so.  You have grown to love her, too.  You smile when you see her and play well while she is working you.  You don't seem to mind therapy as much as you did before, almost as if you have become accustomed to your stretches and exercises.  Such a big girl! 

    Along with your torticollis improvement you have completely come out of your preemie 'shell' and come to life.  You seriously have the sweetest grin that takes over your entire body with excitement.  When you are ready to 'talk', you get a look on your face like "get ready, momma because I have something really good to say!"  There is something about the changing table that brings out your precious voice and coos- almost as if you are extra excited to have a clean/dry diaper.  Over the past couple weeks your 'diaper changing coos' have transitioned to 'all the time' chatter and babbling.  You talk to anyone that will make eye contact with you.  Your voice and demeanor is much different than your sister's- very soft and intricate with every thought out babble you have.

    You have become really laid back and don't mind to be left to play alone.  Usually I tend to Parker first when it comes to diaper changes or bath time because you have developed into this patient little girl.. that is unless you are sleepy or hungry.  Patience goes straight out the window!

    Recently you have started sucking on your bottom lip, denying your favorite paci sometimes.  Even though your bottom lip sucking thing is the cutest on the planet, momma and daddy are trying really hard to break you of this before it becomes a habit!  We don't want our beautiful little girl to have a constant chapped bottom lip. 

    You are very petite- from your tiny little toes to your sweet little hands, ears, and nose.  You have definitely filled out in the cheek department- but you are still little bitty.  NB clothes are continuing to fit you pretty well, but it wont be long at all before we are ready to transition out.  You still have all your stick straight baby penguine hair, although it has thinned out quite a bit.  You have lost is slowly, mainly around the back where you lay to sleep.  Your bed head, especially after a bath, gets me everytime.  Your skin continues to develop into a deep olive color, olive like your momma's.  Your eyes are nearly crystal blue- your daddy and I think you get those bright baby blues from your great grandmother, MeMe.. the amazing woman you are named after.  Seems only fitting, right?

    You have come to love it when we read to you.  You will reach for the book pages and examine the colors and shapes.  You sit quietly and when we are done you look up at me so sweetly as if you are saying 'I want to read another one..'  Momma's favorite thing to do is snuggle with you and play peek-a-boo.  I will cradle you in my arms and you'll 'peek' at me and then bury your face deep in my shirt or crease of my elbow.  I could play that game for hours!   

    On April 3rd, daddy caught your first roll-over on camera!  We knew it wouldn't be long at all before you made this move- so we had the camera close by!  For several days you were teetering on the edge, you just needed to figure out that arm and get it out of the way for you to really make the roll.  You are growing so quick.

    I am always so excited to come home to see you, or wake up to your smiley face.  Even this sleep-deprived momma can't wait to get her hands on you at 2am.  I love you so much sweet girl- you brighten even my most stressful days. 

    Parker Jane-

    Your Favorites: CARTOONS- well, television in general, your monkey Wubanub and any paci, Sleep Sheep, playing and 'eating' your hands, tummy time, music, babbling and smiling, the lights and animals on your activity mat, sleep, afternoon walks, crinkle paper, sitting on the counter in the Bumbo while momma cooks.
    Your Not-So-Favorites: Sitting and playing alone, loud noises, fighting sleep, bathtime (you are coming around slowly, though!), lotion, the dark.

    Words cannot describe the love I have for you, baby girl.  You are seriously a Momma's Girl.  Around the beginning of month 3 you found your hands and became all but silent because those hands were constantly in your mouth.  Me and your daddy did everything we could to keep them away, but alas, your hands were the best tasting thing on the planet.  Over these last couple weeks your voice has returned and its louder than ever!  You are, without a doubt, in love with attention and will do anything to grab it.  Large crowds?  No problem..the bigger the better!  Unlike your sister, you don't mind being passed for person to person- gives you a different face to work your entertainment on repeat.

    Excuse my voice.. weeks of no sleep caused a head cold, but Parker thought it was SO funny!

    You sure do love to play, but not by yourself.  Tummy time is a good time, but only if Jolie or your momma and dad are sitting in front encouraging you.  You like to know whats going on and occasionally it is quite difficult to hold your attention if something else interests you a little bit more.  You recognize your name and find it funny with we 'sing' Parker Jane to you over and over.  You LOVE the television- no matter what is playing on the screen, you are interested to watch.  Morning News in momma's or daddy's lap is the best snuggle time for all of us. 
    While you love to play, you find sleep easy and often so very soundly.  Momma is jealous of your ability to find the most comfortable looking positions to sleep in.  Momma really appreciates your sleeping through the night and being such a good sport through sister's cries through the night.  I promise (I hope..) that those nights will be quiet ones soon enough.    
    Your silly face and constant excitement and happy demeanor makes my day.  When daddy or your BB sends me a picture or video while I'm at work, I can imagine exactly your gestures and facial expressions.  Daddy often says they mirror mine to a 'T', calling you "Little Amber". 

    You have gotten so big and are growing like a weed!  Last night I dressed you in 0-3 months jammies and they fit!  The rolls on your legs go on for days and that bald head of yours is getting some fuzz back.  After bathtime (which is a fight to the finish) it stands up straight all over the place.  It is coming back in with a little curl to it..just like your momma.  Your eyes have become more defined and are gray in color.. again, like your momma.  Did you get anything from daddy?  Yes.. your fair skin.  It is fair and beautiful..with pink undertones.  While daddy often apologizes for it, I find it to be just perfect for my little Parker Jane.

    On April 2nd, while spending the day with your great aunt Veeca, you rolled over for the first time!!  Veeca thought she was recording you, but sadly she didn't get it.  A couple days later, on April 4th, your daddy caught you making the effortless roll onto your back.  

    I laughed until I cried at Jordan's reaction to her roll over. 
    He apparently took his eyes off her to watch something on the television and ended up missing it.. 
    One of momma's favorite thing to do with you is hold you in front of a mirror and watch your expressions while looking at that other baby over there.  You are too cute for words!  Spending my days at home holding you  in my lap and watching your silly faces makes my heart melt over and over again.
    Sweet girl, I cannot imagine my life without your smiling face.  Thinking about all that is to come with my growing bean makes me so excited! 
    When I tell you "I Love You" this is the precious look I get in return. 
    So, I tell you I love you a million times a day.  Because I surely do. 

    Happy 4 months my beautiful littles.  Momma loves you so and looks forward to watching you grow over this next month!

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