Saturday, December 29, 2007

Who needs to eat anyway?

So a couple of posts ago, we wrote about the boys struggles with Acid Reflux. I wish I could say that after our trip to the doctor things got better. Unfortunately, this was not the case. After three different medication changes, we were still up every 2-3 hours with each of the boys. They would wake up crying in pain, despite the fact that they were still sleeping upright in their swings. Our pediatrician referred us to a pediatric gastroenterologist. We finally saw her yesterday.

The good news is that she is a very nice woman who has 17 month old twins so she seemed to really understand where we were coming from. She was also interested in doing the least invasive interventions possible. This means first ruling out allergy-related reflux. The bad news is that this means a REALLY restrictive diet for Kathy. Specifically, she can't eat anything containing milk, soy, wheat, nuts, eggs, or citrus. At the same time, she needs to eat enough food to maintain her calorie intake and milk supply. This means a LOT of meat, rice, and potatoes with some fruit and veggies thrown in. SSSOOOOO if anyone has high calorie recipe and/or snack ideas that meet these specifications, please e-mail us! And wish us luck that soon our babies will be this happy all the time!

Gabe and Elias giggle for joy!

In our efforts to help the boys be more comfortable, we briefly started them on rice cereal mixed with breastmilk. The boys really seemed to enjoy playing with spoons and semi-solid foods.
Elias tries some solids for the first time
What a champ with the spoon!

Gabe after a particularly productive meal with Daddy

Friday, December 28, 2007

First Christmas!

We had a very Merry Christmas at the Goddard house. Kathy's mom came early and helped us to recover from our illness (we all had the super-cold/flu) so we were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for Santa!

Ninah with Santa's Little Helpers

The boys got quite a boon from friends, family and Santa. Their gear is EVERYWHERE now. We need another house just for their stuff...

Elias & Gabe in their mountain of toys
The boys are really into new toys and activities now, so their exersaucers have been getting a TON of miles put on them. :-)
Gabe and Elias hard at work...

In the end, our favorite gifts this year are easy to identify. And we love unwrapping them every chance we get!

Wow, UPS really will ship anything!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holy Stinky Spit-Up, Batman!

So, avid readers of the Goddard Twin Blog may have noticed that we haven't been posting too much lately. The reality is that our posting seems to be directly proportional to the number of hours we have slept in the preceeding days. Lately, there hasn't been much sleep at all around the homestead. Until about 3 weeks ago, we thought we had the perfect sleepy babies. They went down each evening as though by magic -- After a big meal, they would fuss for 30 seconds while Chris swaddled them, but as soon as their heads hit the crib and we turned on their "Ocean Sounds" white noise, they were asleep -- before Chris had finished tucking them in together. We were in this pattern for months... then a few weeks ago, the boys seemed crankier at bedtime -- even though they were clearly tired. We did more rocking and cuddle time before bed...eventually, we started putting them to bed in their bouncer seats, then in their bouncer seats with the vibrating mechanism on...things just kept escalating. The last week things have been really tough.
The boys just couldn't seem to settle at night -- no matter what we did. They were clearly exhausted -- even overtired. We would feed them, walk them, wear them, sing to them, bring them to bed with us. It didn't matter what we did, neither of the boys could settle. We might be able to put them down, but 20 minutes later, they were up and screaming in a way we had never heard before. Eventually, the only way we could get any sleep at all was to swaddle the boys in their swings on high each night. They still woke up every few minutes, but were able to fall back asleep without crying as long as they were in constant motion. During the day, the boys would only sleep for a few minutes at a time. Where they used to each take 2 hour naps, we were lucky to get 20 minute catnaps out of them -- and these would only happen when they were laying on their tummies. Pretty soon we were all asleep on our feet all the time... Images like this became the norm:
Chris & E in a rare moment of common slumber
Kathy kept thinking this was pre-teething pain and talked with the pediatrician's office about potential remedies... We tried them all with no success. Finally, Chris pushed for a pediatrician's appointment. We agreed that the boys seemed like they were in pain and not getting any better. So today we both went to the pediatrician. He immediately told us this was unlikely to be teething, but instead he thought it might be something else in their tummies. I guess we shouldn't have been surprised based on the boys' recent diet:
Gabe and E sit down for Thanksgiving

The pediatrician started asking us questions -- Have we noticed any more spit-up lately? Actually, Gabe seems to spit up after every meal...sometimes out of his nose. Does their breath and/or spit-up smell funny? Yes -- we have been bathing the boys twice as often because we can't seem to get rid of the spoiled-milk-spit-up smell. Do the boys seem to prefer any positions? Yup -- sitting up, standing or tummy-time only. The verdict?!? ACID REFLUX! Usually peaks around 4 months; common symptoms include discomfort laying back, spoiled milk smell, more frequent regergitation (occasionally), lack of weight gain, increased parental concern and a strong feeling that the babies are in pain.

We were SSSSSOOOOO glad we went to the doctor. We now have some samples of baby Previcid and are hopeful that sleep will once again return to the Goddard home...just in time for the Christmas Holiday! We sure are looking forward to it: Gabriel and Elias model their super-cute Christmas attire (Thanks Anna & Aunt Rachel!)

This year we wish for peace on earth...and hopefully it will begin in our house! :-)

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fishy Business

Note to self: Babies + Aquariums = Watery goodness

Chris and I have looked forward to having kiddos for a long time so that we don't have to feel awkward about visiting child-oriented places without a child in tow. For years, we have had a running joke about our imaginary "little Jimmy"s bad behavior -- we'd had to just lock him in the trunk while we toured the zoo/children's museum/kiddie park. The boys are still pretty small to legitimize our attendance at the science museum or Where's Waldo art gallery. The Aquarium, however, is a different story!

In fact, one of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the Long Beach Aquarium. When you think about it, it makes sense. Even though the boys aren't consistently rolling over or reaching for objects, they have the key skills you need for an exciting Aquarium experience: (1.) track colorful objects with your eyes, and (2.) React!

Elias contemplates life under da sea

It is hard to tear my eyes away!

Fish enjoy their observation time in the Baby-arium (while Gabe puts on a good show)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Long Beach Dub-le All Stars


That's right! We packed up 150+ lbs of crap, drove it all an hour to the airport, unloaded it, parked the car, navigated security, rode on a plane, got a rental car, drove to the hotel, went to the beach, went to the aquarium, saw cool cousins, went to Hermosa beach, walked around a ton, went to lots of different restaurants, watched movies, re-packed 130 lbs of crap (we were light a couple of diapers), checked out of the hotel, drove to the airport, unloaded and returned the rental car, checked in, navigated security, rode on a plane, re-loaded the car and drove an hour home...with two infants!!!! In retrospect, I'm pretty sure this qualifies as clinical and legal insanity...or extreme stupidity... but either way, we had a pretty good time doing everything. :-) The boys did great on the plane and in the airport; it was harder for Chris and I to manage all their stuff! It was pretty comical trying to get 2 carseats, the stroller, two diaper bags, and a pump through security while balancing two babies and trying to make sure we had our keys/phones/shoes/jackets/baby carriers/breastmilk out and on the conveyer.

Below is photographic evidence that we acutally pulled this off:

Family photo off Ocean Blvd in Long Beach -- taken by very kind transient guy with dog.

Chris and Gabe's Beach Sunset Self-portrait

Chris and Gabe in front of light house

We decided to splurge on a hotel room for this trip; Kathy was paranoid about germs from a dirty room, etc. It ended up being a TERRIFIC decision. With naps, etc. we ended up spending more time in the hotel room than we have on any other vacation and it was terrific to be in a spacious, clean, aesthetically pleasing room. The boys enjoyed having a "play bed" while we were there with lots of fluffy pillows and room to stretch out!

AAAHHHH! This is the life!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

The boys decided to get dressed up for their first Halloween as a horse (Gabe) and cow (Elias). Check out some pics:

Kathy and the boys in a pumkin patch at the Moms of Multiples Halloween Party

Gabe posing in a pumpkin.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New members of Red Sox Nation

The World Series Champions Boston Red Sox have two new members of their fan club. The boys enjoyed watching the Sox through the playoffs on Dad's lap.

The boys exclaiming "Look at the size of the Coors Field! You can fit all of Fenway in there."

Gabe intently watching J.D. Drews grand slam.
Elias comtemplating "But who should we start for Game 4?"

This was the boys reaction when we told them that the Yankees lost in the first round of the playoffs......again!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Speaker's Fee: 2 Boobs

We don't have any new photos for this week because we were SSSSOOOO busy this weekend! Saturday morning was our local twins club Clothing & Equipment sale. We went early for the member sale and did some hardcore bargain hunting. We left with an exersaucer, a bag of clothes, a BIG set of foam pads, and 2 baby hiking backpacks -- all for a grand total of $108. While we were there, a mom came up to us and said her boys were 2 years older than ours, that she had two boxes of 1 y/o clothes at her house around the corner, and did we want them now? WE SURE DID! And it was a TON of terrific stuff for twins -- all in good shape, or unused. WOW! We literally had the truck loaded to the ceiling with gear by 9am.

We had the boys' NICU reunion Saturday afternoon in town -- so we decided to burn some time rather than try and go home and back into town. We stopped by a coffee shop and window shopped for a while -- then we went to a local zoo for local animals injured and unable to return to the wild. For a small town zoo, it was very cool. They had wolves, coyotes, tigers, bears, and monkeys in addition to racoons, farm animals, birds, squirrels...even ferral and domestic cats! :-) I think the boys enjoyed it -- mom and dad certainly did! After the zoo, we had lunch out and then headed to the reunion. We saw a couple of parents we recognized -- as well as a nurse and our social worker. The boys were total hams with everyone who saw them. They laughed and smiled and flirted so much that everyone wanted their picture. It was pretty emotional to return to the hospital -- even though it was for a happy reason. We felt so proud and blessed to be bringing the boys back so healthy and happy -- it was great to see other kids who were born with low birth weight and had grown into strapping kiddos. At the same time, there were many other children who clearly had long-term physical challenges. We didn't stay long, but were glad we had gone.
On Sunday, Chris went to his company's golf tournament. I (Kathy) took the boys and went to downtown Sacramento for part of the Northern California La Leche League Conference. I went to see one session on Mothers with Multiples and then sat on a panel of moms sharing their experiences with Lactation Consultants and Nurses. For both sessions, the boys sat on their nursing pillow and eat, slept, and talked as appropriate. Being on the panel was AWESOME. There were 5 other moms with twins from age 3-8. It was so affirming to see these competent, fun, and funny women who had all survived raising and breastfeeding twins. And it felt good to hear that "survived" is sometimes the appropriate term. At one point, someone pointed out that every woman on the panel had been in or near tears at some point while describing parts of their birth or nursing experiences... and these were not tears of happiness. Karen Gromada (a twin mommy who literally wrote the LLL book on mother multiples) stood up and said that even though her boys are almost 20 years old and she works with hundreds of mothers, she still has emotional "flashbacks" after talking with new moms. I think the panel had a strong impact on everyone who attended. It definitely had a positive impact for me.

We worked so hard to get the boys to the breast -- and we don't talk about it much with other people now. We did this insane cycle of nursing, bottle-feeding, and pumping every 3 hours around the clock for both babies -- this went on for weeks and weeks -- 11 weeks to be exact. Finally, at the point where we were ready to give up, the boys figured it out. I still look back and can't believe surivived the exhaustion, the hormones, and the sheer overwhelming feeling of it all. But we did it. And we are so proud of it. It was awesome to be at a conference filled with people who understand and recognize what an accomplishment this is. I nursed the boys with pride while talking on the panel!

On that note -- some proud-if-you-don't-like-it,-don't-look nursing photos to show how far we've come:

Nuring in the NICU (Age 2-3 days)

Breastfeeding is a Family Affair (Age 1 week?)

Elias nursing (age 19 weeks)

Gabe tells a secret to his favorite friend... (Age 19 weeks)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Boys Night

This weekend Kathy was invited out to play Bunco at a neighbors house. Chris generously volunteered to put the boys to bed so she could go. After nursing until 7pm, Kathy left Chris and the babies looking forward to an exciting hour of poker-playing and guy talk...

Boys hanging out together

All went well until the 8pm bedtime, when...well...things got a little dicey! And this is what separates the daddies from the mommies. When the going gets tough, the tough Dad gets a camera:

Gabe (right) bemoans his swaddle

Elias realizes a harsh fact of life.

What do you mean, 'Dad's nipples don't work' ?!?!?

It only took 2 hours of this before the boys went to sleep. Fortunately, Kathy won the Bunco purse and is planning to contribute it to the purchase Chris' hearing aide. :-)

Take Me Out To The...Fashion Show?

The Red Sox have officially advanced to the second round of post-season play! Of course, we take full credit for their success - afterall, how could they be expected to win without our vigilant viewing and cheering?? The boys even got dressed in their Sox colors for the first game of the playoffs!

Go Team!
Gabe stands up for the Sox

Elias Sports Slimming Stripes

Having tiny babies is not without its advantages. We have really enjoyed all the time to dress them in their super-cute newborn clothes! They have finally graduated to 3 months and we are raiding the closet. Jill sent us some super-cute outfits when they boys were born and today they showed them off to the neighborhood on our walk and in a photo session.

Show Me Sexy!

Gabe looks fierce in denim overalls and hoodie; Elias plays it cool in cargos and print top.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Tummy time

Ninah sent the boys a new tummytime mat-combination-spinner. It is super-cool -- even sick, the boys really enjoyed their tummy time!

Elias balances over his mirror --
This morning he demonstrated that he will actually spin around until he finds the mirror and can admire himself. :-) What a ham!

Gabe spins around -- he looks like superman!


Well, we have officially had another first -- our first colds! The boys have been sick since about the middle of last week...Of course, Kathy only clued in that the fussiness was actually illness Thursday evening. So we spent the weekend at home -- nursing and recouperating and nursing some more. Breasts are really the ultimate superfood -- helping to make antibodies specific to each baby's needs. Very Cool!

Is this a sick baby, or what???
Gabe does some low-key tummy time

Being sick, the boys had to sleep in their bouncy chairs...

All aboard flight Goddard -- one stop to dreamland!

Ready for an exciting trip

(E is up front)

Sleepy sick Elias on his tummy...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Rollin' With M' Homies

Last weekend, we attended our Bradley class reunion. It was fun to see all of the other healthy babies and mommas. In honor of the event, Chris picked up hoodies and cargo pants for the boys to wear with their Rock Star surfboard t-shirts. :-) They looked super-cute.
All the other babies at Bradley were much bigger than our boys (for obvious reasons.) and all their parents were raving about using their Bumbo chairs. So, of course, we rushed home to try and use ours. The boys are still a little small for them, but we had a fun photo session anyway. :-) The evidence is below...

Yo Holmes, I may have soiled my cargo pants,
I'm still a little gangsta'
Gabe sitting up

Yo-yo-yo, I don't think this chair provides enough lumbar support!

Elias sitting up

Gabriel and Daddy in an eye-to-eye staring contest

Heya Daddio!

Gabe & E fast asleep in their hoodies

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ahhh...the joy of twins -- two of everything. Two happy smiles in the morning, two sets of kicking legs in the bouncy chairs, two sweet looks of love while nursing...and two gassy babies when you are trying to sleep at night. Somehow we have gone from having babies who sleep at the drop of a hat and stay asleep 4-5 hours at a time at night to two babies who don't want to sleep more than 1.5 hours...which pretty much means we are up every hour... what happened? we have no idea. All we know is this is the picture we took at 4am earlier this week:

Sleepy? Who's sleepy?

Despite all this, we have been having a lot of fun with the boys. Chris spent the weekend introducing them to sports -- both the Red Sox and the Patriots! As you can see, the boys really enjoyed this 'guy time.'

Daddy, Elias, & Gabriel
Elias is playing bongos on Gabe's head

Gabe happy to be resting with Chris
The boys are also embarking on a new-found singing career. Here they are being silly with tone-deaf mommy: Gabe & Elias

As you can see here, Elias is also considering a career in mountain climbing: Start with a small hill and work your way up!