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Kenley’s Anniversary

Though just slightly under 4 lbs, little Kenley came home to us this day last year.

And here she is today, giving you her best gummy smile:

She is truly a miracle!

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Kamryn’s Anniversary

One year ago today, sweet little Kamryn came home from the NICU.

Here she is one year later:

I’m so lucky to have such a sweet, happy, and healthy girl to take care of.


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Cloth Diaper Review

We’ve just completed our first 24 hours of only cloth diapers and so far it’s a rousing success.  No blowouts or leaks, and dad and grandma are totally on board!

When I started researching cloth diapers while I was pregnant, I was totally overwhelmed. There are so many different types of diapers: all-in ones, one-size, pocket, pre-fold, etc… Once I learned what the differences were then I had to decide which ones I thought we would like the best. How in the world could I imagine that? Additionally, we weren’t sure where we’d be living so I wasn’t sure if I would have a washer and dryer (in which case, Dy-Dee service was going to be the only option). Needless to say, the option of cloth diapers went out the window while the girls were in the NICU so I decided to shelve making any decisions until they came home. Once they came home, I still didn’t know which diapers to buy.  Although cloth diapering will turn out to be cost effective in the long run, the initial investment is expensive so I wanted to make sure I made the right decision. What pressure!!

This is exactly why I decided to participate in the Changing Diapers, Changing Minds program offered by Jillian’s Drawers. First, let me just say that Jillian’s Drawers is such a great store and resource.  If you have any questions about diapering, call or email them. They are so helpful and their customer service is truly outstanding.

The program came with a bunch of different diapers and I used the allotted three weeks to decide which diapers I want to use for Kenley and Kamryn.

Thirsties All-In-One: Right away, I liked this diaper the best. It had a nice trim fit on both girls and seemed to contain pee and poop with no problem.  It even had a pocket for additional protection but it wasn’t necessary to use. One of the drawbacks, however, was that it came in four sizes, so I would have to purchase them four times over the course of the girls’ diapering life. And, over the course of the three weeks I found that it did leak every so often and it took a long time to dry. It started to lose its first place status.

Thirsties Fab Fitted: This is a fitted cloth diaper that you have to use with a diaper cover. It’s a fine diaper, but I’d rather use the all-in-one. They’re cheaper than the all-in-ones, but you still need to have enough covers to use throughout the day. And, again, because they’re Thirsties, they come in four sizes, meaning I’d have to purchase both the diapers and the covers four times.

Kissaluvs: I really like these diapers a lot. They fit great and do a very good job containing everything, plus they are so soft. However, like the Thirsties Fab Fitted, they require a cover. Also, one of the drawbacks is that you have to wash and dry them four times before using them and they take a long time to dry.

bumGenius One-Size Organic All-in-One
: I’m not a fan of this diaper. Again, it takes four washes and dries before you can use them. Then, once you can use them they take forever to dry. If I only used this diaper, I’d need three sets just because the drying time is so ridiculously long. It’s very expensive and bulky and just not the diaper for us. It’s probably fine at containing poops and pees, but so are many other diapers.

Pre-folds: I wanted to like this style because they are so cost-effective. Plus, I’d have the option of choosing Dy-dee service if I liked them.  Although they do a good job at containing waste, the amount of time I have to invest to get them to fit right on the girls is not worth it. Maybe if I only had one baby and had more time to devote to getting it just right, but I don’t.  For me, the Snappi isn’t as easy as everyone seems to think and you still need to use a cover. Finally, they are hugely bulky on my girls, which makes them look funny.

bumGenius One-Size pocket diaper v3.0: I will admit that I didn’t think I’d like these diapers very much; however, they turned out to be a great diaper. Most importantly, I didn’t think I would be fond of the pocket style. After all, who wants to touch a wet liner and then re-insert the liner once they’re dry? Well, me apparently. There’s just no way around touching wet diapers and re-inserting the liner really isn’t a big deal. In fact, the removable liners make for a diaper that washes and dries quite quickly. Additionally, the bumGenius come with two liners (one “newborn” and one larger size), which allows for more flexibility as the girls grow. And finally, because they are one-size, they are more cost-effective. The snaps in the rise keep the diaper somewhat trim on my girls while still allowing room for them to grow. Plus, they seem to hold in poop and pee very well. This is the diaper I decided we would go with permanently. However, I didn’t buy the regular bumGenius 3.0, I bought the fleece version, (which is a limited edition and I can’t even provide the link because they’re all sold out), because I liked the fleece texture of the Thirsties and Kissaluvs diapers. Having used the fleece bG diapers for 24 hours now, I can say that I really like this diaper!

In the end (no pun intended), I decided to keep all of the diapers from the program. Although I decided to buy a twelve pack of the bG one-size, I knew I would need at least eighteen to twenty diapers just to get through one day. I liked the diapers from the program well-enough to keep using them; I even bought an extra diaper cover so I can get more use out of the diapers that need covers. Eventually, the girls will grow out of the newborn and extra-small sizes they’re wearing and I’ll decide if I want to buy more of the bG or try something new.

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Every time

Every time I go out with the girls I am reminded of how lucky and blessed I am.  The double stroller attracts attention to be sure, but even when I’m with just one of them people seem eager to tell me their stories.  I’ve met a woman whose 23-weeker didn’t survive, another whose 4 year old boy had the same birth weight as Kenley’s, but clearly had a lot of physical and mental challenges, and today a woman told me that she’d been pregnant with twins twice and each time only one of the twins survived.

Today they are 14 weeks old and I’m still amazed that my nightmare pregnancy turned out two beautiful and healthy girls.  Yes, taking care of twins is a difficult: it’s exhausting and I make mistakes all the time. But I am truly grateful for these two healthy, vibrant and thriving girls.

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Fragments

Inspired by my friend who does a weekly blog called Fragmented Fridays, I’m going to update you with fragments, rather than try to create a coherent chronology of everything that’s been going on. In no particular order:

  • The ten days between when Kamryn and Kenley came home (8/13-8/23) were some of the most hectic days ever. Having Kamryn at home was wonderful but I still spent many hours at the NICU with Kenley.
  • Tom went back to school and came down with a nasty cold almost immediately.  Both the girls caught it, but luckily it was very mild for them. No fevers to deal with, thankfully!
  • Both girls got their 2 month vaccinations and seemed handle them just fine.
  • We’re still settling into our new house. Lots of boxes still to unpack in the house and the garage.  There were some plumbing troubles (that resulted in one huge mess and one smaller mess), but our awesome landlords had the house repiped last week.  This is the first weekend since both girls have been home that we haven’t had to deal with either a household crisis or illness.
  • Toady was the first day we cooked a meal in our new kitchen–scrambled eggs, turkey bacon and toast!
  • Having twins is a huge challenge and a lot of work. They eat about every 3 hours and it takes about 45-60 minutes to get them both fed and changed. At night they can go about 3.5 to 4 hours, so that’s when am able to get a little bit of sleep. I usually nap for a few hours when my mom is here to help and/or when Tom comes home from work. On the weekends, Tom takes over the night shift so I’m able to get more sleep.
  • Kenley is finally outgrowing her Preemie sized clothes and diapers. At the doctor’s visit on Friday she weighed 5 lbs, 5.4 oz. That was a gain of about 1.5 oz per day since her last visit the Thursday before!  So the doctor lowered her caloric intake from 30 calories per ounce to 24 calories per ounce. I’m a little nervous about this, but she’ll be monitored to make sure she’s still gaining.
  • Kamryn is doing very well, too,  She weighed 6 lbs, 6 oz as of 9/10, so I bet she’s close to or over 7 lbs now!
  • I joined a twin mom group and twice a year they host a clothing exchange, the last one was 9/8. Everyone brings in their baby clothes, volunteers sort them into age groups, and then everyone just takes what they want. I brought in a few preemie things and left with two shopping bags filled with clothes for them.  I won’t have to worry about buying any clothes for them for the next few years with the help of this exchange.
  • I started using cloth diapers this weekend. I’m trying a sampler pack through this great store/website, Jillian’s Drawers. They have a program where you try out a bunch of different styles of cloth diapers for 3 weeks and then you return them for a full refund, minus $10. Right now I’m leaning towards the Thirsties All-In-Ones, but I’m not sure yet. I still have to try the old-fashioned pre-folds and use them all a few more times before I make my final decision.  But with the major blowouts the girls have had this weekend using disposables (and not while in cloth diapers), I’m definitely ready to make the change.  Also, the cost of cloth is so much cheaper in the long run.  One year of disposables for twins will run us about $1800 (!!!), while the most expensive option for cloth for the entire time they will wear diapers is about $1200. A huge savings.
  • I’ve become a big fan of Freepeats.org. You should consider joining them in your area if you have kids.
  • I’m so grateful to the people who have brought us meals during the last few weeks: Mom, Gram and Gramps, Dad and Lizz Andy, and Adana. And most especially my sister who has made us the most delicious lasagna and lentil soup. Thank you everyone!!!
  • Oatie is settling in to the new house and family members as best she can. She doesn’t like the hardwood floors–it’s hard to explain to her that we’ll get rugs eventually. She’s mildly interested in the girls, and way more interested in what’s in their bottles. I actually caught her grabbing a used bib off the couch so she could lick it. Yuck.
  • Curtains.  My next big household goal is to hang curtain rods and curtains. Wish me time and luck!
  • Both girls are so amazing to me still.  I wonder when it will finally seem normal to me to have two healthy babies. It’s still a wonder to me. They’re both very sweet and very good and I’m lucky to have them both.
  • Keep checking my Facebook page for new picture of the girls. That is where I will post all the pictures (and videos, too).

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