Sunday, January 29, 2012

8 Months Old!

Two thirds of a year! My sweet little girls are getting so big!

  • Crawling is imminent for Teagan. She is always on her hands and knees or feet, rocking back and forth. Quinn is starting to do the army crawl. She is an extremely proficient roller though so I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't do much crawling.
  • The girls attended their first New Years Eve party! We debated on going at all because we're pretty strict about bedtime. On that night, we fed the girls and packed them in their car seats in their pjs. They were both asleep on the ride over. Quinn stayed asleep and slept through the entire party. Teagan, on the other hand, woke up just as we were arriving. We tried to get her back to sleep but she would have nothing of it. She wanted to party. 
  • They've tried a ton of different fruits and veggies - butternut squash, sweet potato, apples, pears, banana, avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, mango, beets, green beans, carrots, peas, blueberries...I'm sure there are more. They both love food and are great eaters. They are currently eating two "meals" per day. They still nurse just as often. 
  • Over the Christmas holidays, the girls went through what we believe was a teething period. Their sleep was very affected making for two very exhausted moms. They went from sleeping through the night to waking several times. We had been so good about establishing good sleep habits. All of that went out the window for a 10-day period. While they're back to their good sleeping ways, we still have NO TEETH to show for it all!
  • They are talking and babbling like crazy. As I mentioned in a previous post, they often say, "dadadada." Also included in their repertoire is "bababa," "gaga," "ahhhhh," "mamama"
  • Teagan has stranger anxiety. If people she doesn't know or those who she doesn't see often try to talk to her, she will usually get quite upset and sometimes cry. She is a big "mommy's girl" and will sometimes only want me. Fortunately, Quinn will almost always go with anyone. As a result, she is usually the guinea pig who gets passed around when someone wants to hold a baby :)
  • They have graduated to their "big girl" bath tub. The Fisher Price infant whale tub has seen its last days. They were having far too much fun kicking water all over the bathroom which was hilarious to watch but not so fun to clean up. 
A little smile for Miss Q!

Teagan thinks picture time is hilarious

...apparently it got even funnier!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I don't normally like to post two things in one day, but I saw this tonight and thought it was too cute not to share.

There's two to wash, there's two to dry,
There's two who argue, there's two who cry.
One's in the mud having a ball,
The other holds a crayon, another marked wall.
Some days seem endless, my patience grows thin.
Why was I chosen to be a mother of twins?
The answer comes clear at the end of the day,
As I tuck them in bed and to myself I say,
There's two to kiss, there's two to hug,
And best of all, there's two to love.

Tis The Season...

...for colds and flus.

On Tuesday night, I started feeling a bit under the weather. I went to bed early in the hopes that a good night's sleep would fend off any potential sickness. Unfortunately, I woke up on Wednesday morning still feeling a bit rough. I wasn't sick. I was just not feeling 100%.

As with pregnancy, while breastfeeding, you need to be careful about what you take while sick. In general, I try to deal with illness as naturally as possible. This is what I did yesterday to try and prevent a real illness from coming on:
  • I drank a TON of water - I'm talking a minimum of 3L, in order to flush out the bug.Id
  • I downed 3 cloves of raw garlic (over the course of the day) - Yes, I know that sounds awful but raw garlic is amazing for your body. It is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and immune-boosting, among other things. If the clove is small enough, down it whole. Otherwise, use a garlic press and crush it up. This is what I did. I threw it on the back of my tongue and downed a huge glass of water. 
  • Homemade tea with fresh ginger and fresh lemon (and a touch of honey) - Like garlic, ginger has amazing anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. It is excellent at helping to kill cold viruses and eliminating congestion. Lemon gives your body a great hit of vitamin C when it needs it the most. 
  • Mediherb Echinacea - This powerful herb stimulates the immune system to fight off viruses (and bacteria) naturally. Mediherb makes very high quality herbs. Always follow the dosage instructions on the bottle. 
  • Vitamin C - We all know of vitamin C's ability to help fight infection. Since vitamin C is water-soluble, the body will only absorb about 500-1000mg at any given time. Therefore, taking tons of it is useless. I took 1000mg every two hours yesterday. 
  • Probiotics - Since 80% of the immune system lives in the digestive tract, keeping our gut healthy should be a priority. I take probiotics regularly, as do my babies.
  • Good ol sleep - Nothing beats a good night's sleep!
Fortunately, I woke this morning feeling a million times better. Hopefully my body has fought of the potential cold for the time being. 

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    Adventures In Food (Take III)

    The girls have been eating solids for almost two months now. I feel fortunate to have two very good eaters. They have yet to reject a food. As I mentioned in my previous food post, I've been doing a combination of purees and Baby-Led Eating (Weaning).

    I usually steam their fruits and veggies first. It makes the foods a little bit easier to digest.

    They've tried tons of different fruits and veggies. Most recently, we started green beans. I gave them a few to gnaw on but also made a puree. Per usual, Quinn was all about feeding herself and Teagan was somewhat indifferent.

    If you have young babies yourself, have you tried peas yet?

    Peas on their own are pretty boring, I have to say. A few weeks ago, I pureed peas and tried them myself. I was less than impressed so I understand why the girls were also uninterested. They still ate them though! Anyways, last night, I steamed and pureed peas with some fresh mint. They LOVED them! I also put a few steamed peas on their trays to see if their pincer grasp has developed yet. They grabbed those peas like old pros! I tried to get pictures of it, but it was a bit more challenging.

    There is a pea in between those little fingers:

    We are sticking to fruits and veggies for now. At around the 9-10 month mark, I will introduce some beans and then meat. I'm going to hold off on all grains until closer to the 1 year mark. Based on my reading and research, the early introduction of things like dairy and wheat play a large part in the development of allergies, eczema and frequent colds/flus and other illnesses. 

    And finally...a few weekends ago, while eating a pear, I could feel two eyes staring me down. I decided to share...

    Monday, January 23, 2012

    sneakpeeq Giveaway Winners!

    Thank you to everyone who participated in my sneakpeeq giveaway! I really appreciate the support. I hope you're enjoying sneakpeeq's site and have already bought lots of awesome things. 

    Congratulations to the winners! Here they are:

    Winners of the $25 grand prize gift cards:

    • Spring Whittenburg-Tilyou 
    • Joselyn Tirado Rentas
    • Katrina Healy 

    Winners of the $10 gift cards:
    • Melanie Weissman-Rush 
    • Lynn Aniskiewicz     
    • Hannah Karpman
    • Gerri Chmielorz Johnson 

    A credit has been added to your sneakpeeq account to use whenever you'd like. They have amazing deals so please let me know what you end up getting!

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Would you like some 1,3-Dichloropropene with your dinner?

    1,3-Dichloropropene is a pesticide widely used in the USA on common produce items -- potatoes, beets, onions, carrots, sweet potatoes and peanuts.

    I watched a short YouTube video this morning. A young girl's vine-growing experiment turned into a lesson on toxins. It inspired me to write a post on organics.

    Most of us go to the grocery store to buy our food, not really thinking about where our food came from and how it got there. A few years ago, before I went back to school to become a nutritionist, I was more than skeptical about the 'organic' label. How do I know that those apples are organic and the ones next to it aren't? Yes, there are stickers on them, but how do I know for sure? Organics are, after all, more expensive. I then learned what it takes to become an organic farmer. It's not glamorous. Farmers need to operate as an organic farm for SEVEN years before they can receive the designation. That means that they are receiving no credit for whatsoever for growing their crops without the use of pesticides, herbicides and the like. These people aren't doing it for the money. They are passionate about their farm and take pride in what they're growing (in a very healthy way).

    I do my best to eat foods that only contain ingredients that I've heard of, so things like fludioxonil, iprodione and azinphos methyl don't fall onto that list. These are just a few of the (very) common pesticides found on our non-organic produce. Most of the pesticides on our produce are proven carcinogens (cancer-causing), hormone disruptors, neurotoxins and developmental and reproductive toxins. On the more minor side, they can cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue, foggy brain, confusion etc. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit who provides a ton of research and info on health related topics, has done numerous studies on the pesticides found on/in our produce. The results are staggering. Sweet bell peppers were tested and found to contain 64 different pesticides! Peaches and apples had the highest number of pesticides detected on a single sample. They also put out a now well-known list called "The Dirty Dozen." It is a list of the top 12 most contaminated produce items. I've included the top 10 below, for those who are interested. They also put out a list of the top 12 least contaminated foods. 

    When it comes to keeping healthy, we could go crazy with all of the recommendations that are now out there. There are many things that we can't control (ie. the pollution that we breathe in each day), but there are many things that we can control, including what we put in our bodies. When it comes to buying organic, I don't go too crazy. I rely on the Dirty Dozen list for my produce. I try to buy as local as possible. I like to know where my meat is coming from so I get it from a local butcher. If you're looking to switch to organics, skip the packaged items first. Buy organic meat, dairy and produce when you're able. Find farmers markets as well. As I mentioned, it is quite the undertaking to become an organic farms so some people simply can't afford it. By talking to farmers at the markets, you might find out that they are operating as an organic farm already. 

    Pesticides are harsh enough on an adult body, imagine what they do to a 15-pound baby's body? This is why I've chosen to feed the girls organic produce. Their little bodies need to spend time growing and not dealing with the effects of pesticides. 

    Lastly, if you're still skeptical, buy a package of organic and non-organic strawberries this summer. I guarantee that you'll be able to taste the difference. 

    The top 10 most contaminated produce            The top 10 least contaminated produce

    1. Peach                                                            1. Onion
    2. Apple                                                            2. Avocado           
    3. Sweet bell pepper                                          3. Pineapple
    4. Celery                                                            4. Mango
    5. Nectarine                                                       5. Asparagus
    6. Strawberries                                                6. Kiwi
    7. Cherries                                                       7. Cabbage
    8. Kale                                                            8. Eggplant
    9. Lettuce and spinach                                    9. Papaya
    10. Grapes (imported)                                    10. Watermelon

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    {this moment} Littlest Levi Ad

    A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    Probiotics for Babies

    Probiotics? Some of you might know them well. Others may have never heard of them. I've been giving the girls probiotics since they were 3 weeks old.

    Our digestive tract, specifically the intestines, contains billions of good and bad bacteria. As you can imagine, we want the good bacteria to far outweigh the bad. Due to a variety of symptoms, for many of the clients that I used to see, it became pretty clear, quite quickly that it was the opposite; the bad outweighed the good.

    Babies are born with very immature digestive systems. This is why many babies experience digestive problems, including, gassiness and colic-like symptoms. This is also why parents are told to wait until 6 months to introduce solid foods (at which point, they are still given instructions to introduce foods slowly and in a particular order).

    The girls were very gassy when they were first born. I was planning on giving them probiotics regardless though.

    What are probiotics? Probiotics supply the digestive tract with those good bacteria that I previously mentioned. When it comes to supplements, especially probiotics, quality really matters. I've been giving the girls Genestra's HMF Natogen. This is specifically formulated for young babies. Another reputable company, BioGaia, makes a good infant probiotic. [Note: Probiotics should always be kept in the fridge.] An ongoing 5 year trial by Pharmax LLC shows that newborns and infants who are given probiotics do significantly better than the control group in allergies, asthma, gastrointestinal ailments, and immune system health.

    Why give probiotics to babies?

    • Improves digestive system and possible upsets (gas, reflux, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain,  fussiness).
    • Strengthens the immune system
    • Decreases the risk of developing allergies, including eczema 
    • Helps to minimize the side effects of antibiotics

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Some Days

    Some days, it is all too much. Some days, I feel like super mom. I feel like I need to preface a post like this with...I love my girls very much and wouldn't trade them for anything.

    I just took the Christmas tree to the backyard so it can sit there until garbage day. I have a trail of pine needles through my house. I know that it's been one of those days when I'd much rather sweep, vacuum and steam the floors than hang out with the girls!

    I know that everyone is busy, which includes being stressed or overwhelmed at times. Sometimes the combo of two 7-month olds and two very active (and often dirty) dogs becomes overwhelming. When the girls arrived, I became much better about asking for help. I had no choice. Asking for help isn't a sign of weakness, although I still sometimes feel a hint of that. I still feel like I'm burdening people when I ask for help with the girls, the dogs or the house. I know that this is my issue though. Ah, but changing my way of thinking is easier said than done!

    Some days, the girls go down for their naps easily and are happy and smiley all day long. Some day, they fight sleep like the plague and scream in their cribs, making them cranky for most of the day. Some days flow easily and fly by. Some days drag on and never seem to end. And then there are days when I have one baby who sleeps and is happy and smiley and one who doesn't sleep and is cranky. Those days are the most challenging.

    Today has been one of those 'fight sleep, scream in their cribs' kinda days. Thankfully, the day is almost done and tomorrow will be a new one!

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Slobbery Kisses

    I've been getting weekly updates from Baby Centre since I was pregnant. It's a quick, fun little email that gives me an idea about what the girls might be doing at their age. This week's update made my day.

    Your baby is learning to recognize emotions and moods, and finding new ways to demonstrate those feelings. One wonderful example: You might start getting kisses. They may be drooly and gummy at first, but they'll be just as sweet! When your baby's bored, you may hear a fretful squawk or an attention-getting squeal. 

    The girls have been giving us wet, slobbery kisses for a few weeks now, although we didn't really think that that was what it was. They put everything in their mouths so I honestly thought that included my cheek or chin. It is the cutest thing. They will give us a big hug and then plant a big kiss on our cheeks! It means even more now that I know that they might just know what they're doing!

    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    sneakpeeq Giveaway!

    When it comes to the 2moms2dogs2babies/sneakpeeq giveaway, everybody wins! 

    What is sneakpeeq?

    Online shopping, with short sales, great deals, and new stores daily. Everything has a fixed price, that you can lower further by being more active on sneakpeeq and earning badges. 

    sneakpeeq is giving away 20% off your next purchase just for entering!

    Grand Prize3 winners will be picked to receive a $25 sneakpeeq gift card to use on your favorite food, style and home products.

    5 runners-up prize winners will receive a $10 gift card—that goes a long way in sneakpeeq’s amazingly low-priced boutiques!

    Come see all the things you love but haven’t discovered!

    Enter the giveaway by clicking on this link: and joining sneakpeeq! All winners will be announced on my blog on January 20, 2011!

    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    {this moment} Zucchini Cheeks!

    A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

    This kid loves everything I put in front of her. She's going to be a foodie. I'm excited!

    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    The Milk Coma

    Recently, the girls started falling asleep during their 10am feed. I'm pretty sure they're in the process of transitioning from three naps to two per day. As a result, they do not often nap around 9am anymore. But, once they start eating, they instantly relax and will often fall asleep on the boob.

    New Year's Twin Story

    Happy New Year! I've been meaning to post for the last few days but time escaped me. 2011 was a pretty unbelievable year, highlighted of course by the arrival of Teagan and Quinn in May. On some days, Jenn and I still look at them with amazement. We have TWO babies! They are truly incredible and watching them grow and learn never ceases to amaze me.

    I'm not one for new years resolutions, but I do think that the new year is a great time to reflect on the previous year and think about what we would like for the one to come. 2012 is going to be an exciting one for sure. I'm exciting and nervous for the girls' next few milestones; crawling, standing, walking. They are active rollers right now, so I can't even imagine what it's going to like when they're really on the move!

    So, I remember when I was pregnant, talking about the slim possibility of the twins being born on different days. Well, imagine having twins born in different years! Check out this article!