Chapter 63: St. Patty's Day 2013

St. Patrick's Day with our sweet girls was a blast to say the least. We enjoyed family, friends, and the tradition of crawfish and green beer. (I don't drink beer.. so a yummy mixed drink was in store for me!) The girls were fabulous. We traveled from Dallas to Alexandria and spent the night with my Nanny. We loved spending time with her and enjoyed a yummy dinner and breakfast. Friday morning we headed to Baton Rouge and stayed until Sunday. The girls did great on our first family road trip and enjoyed being passed from person to person! 
 Twins first time out of TX!

Sean, Mel and Baby Raylyn

I love traditions. I have always enjoyed the traditions that were put into place growing up and I look forward to continuing with traditions as our sweet girls grow. I can't wait to blog about our Easter tradition... 

The Baton Rouge St. Patrick's Day parade has been a family tradition of ours since I was in 1st grade! (I think. I was little!)  We rode in the parade for many years. Instead of riding in the parade and throwing beads, we are now on the front lawn of my Aunt Jill's home screaming for beads. (Her house is on the parade route!) Both experiences are a blast! The girls had a wonderful time, along with Michael and I. What a wonderful weekend! Can't wait for next year.
 I have a million and one pictures of the weekend, but here are just a few! 

Daddy and Hadley

We brought Lynley along!  SISTERS! 


I love my Daddy!!! 

How perfect are these cups? 

Yup- Hadley's middle name is McKee!

Michael and I

Melissa and sweet Baby Raylyn!

 Mom and I

Me, Mom, and Melissa


Layton with Lala- She's very sleepy!

The Boys! 

 The Tennison Family
Hadley Mom Layton Dad

Irish Coffee! Top of the mornin' to ya!

Group Pic... sorry Neil, the photographer cut you out..
Neil, Sean, Mel, Kurt, Melissa, Hadley, Me, Layton, Michael 

My Aunt Joanie's amazing cookies

Neil and I

Cousin picture!! Missing a few- but, what a blast growing up with so many cousins! 

Cousin shot! 

The Gauntt Girls!
Me, Adalyn, Brittany, Anna Grace, and Melissa

Michael and Hadley 

What amazing tree's! 

I love these two- "tutu" much!

Chapter 62: Phases of Life

What is God wanting to show or guide me to do in this phase of my life? 

I think it important for everyone to enjoy the phase of life that they are in currently. As of now, I find myself in a "figure it out" parenting phase of life. How long do the girls nap? {Figure it out.} How long do we swaddle them for? {Figure it out.}  Should we be feeding them veggies? or wait? {Figure it out.} How do we pack for a long overnight trip? {Figure it out.} I am starting to believe that this phase that we are in will continue LONGER than I am expecting. It's parenting, right? 

 I feel that we go through phases in life quite often. I see many of the {figure it out} stages as: high school, college, new jobs, new relationships, old relationships, and the list goes on! I find myself asking, "God, what would you have me do to make a difference in the phase of life that you have me in right now." This statement is so powerful! I feel that the phase that I am in has lasted longer than any other phase. Now, I know that high school and college were each four years, and YES that is and was a long time, yet, I feel that this newborn phase has out lasted and will outlast the past ones! 

As I wait for God to work through me and answer this statement, my prayer is this: 

Heavenly Father: Give me Your perspective.  You are the source of Joy in every life stage. Help me today to not lose my joy in this phase of life.  Open my eyes to see myself in this wonderful place and enjoy (more so than I already am!) Use my hands as yours to make a difference. 

I hope you are able to find the joy in the season of life you are currently in.
 As my Grammie says, "Find Joy in your Journey!" 


Chapter 61: 5 Months Old!

{Five Month Check Up}

Layton Aaron
Weight: 12.5 lbs
Vaccine: None till our 6 month check up!
Feedings: Mom's milk 6-7oz 3 bottles a day- 2 bottles of formula at night.(7pm and 4am)
Clothing: 3-6 month onesies
-You are smiling, talking, and giggling every day.
-You are rolling over from your belly to your back.
-You are sleeping 9 straight hours a night (You go down at 7pm wake to feed at 4am and then sleep till 7am! We have 7pm-7am babies! 
-Size 2 diapers! 
-You love to put things in your mouth! (clothes, toys, hands, bibs etc.)

HAPPY BABY- yes, please! You are so happy and content. You love to giggle and it melts our hearts.  You are such a sweetie! We were excited to try rice cereal and pea's with you, because we know how much you love to eat! You didn't take to it very well at first. But, now you seem to be liking it more. We are excited to give you sweet potatoes and green beans this month. We are trying each veggie a little over a week before switching. You are rolling over- this started just after you turned 4 months old. Sisterly love... oh yes! You and Hadley love to stare at one another. I would love to look into your little brains on what you think about her. You are officially out of 1-3 month onesies and don't mind wearing a bow on your head! PLEASE be a bow baby. I would like love that! We have started swaddling you with one arm out. My goal is by 6 months to have you and Hadley in sleep sacks. So far, you are enjoying your one arm swaddled. I love you so much sweet pea! You are the sweet angel that I have always prayed for! 
I Love You,

Hadley McKee
Weight: 12.5 lbs and LONG!
Vaccine: None till our 6 month check up!
Feedings: Mom's milk 5-6oz 3 bottles a day- 2 bottles of formula at night. (7pm and 4am)
Clothing: 3-6 month onesies
-You are smiling, talking, and giggling every day.
-You are rolling over from your belly to your back.
-You are sleeping 9 straight hours a night (down at 7p,-wake to feed at 4am and then sleep till 7am! We have 7pm-7am babies!
-Size 2 diapers! (yet, Hadley- you could still wear a size 1 if need be! You are still just a skinny little thing! --long and lean--
-You constantly have your little hands in your mouth.

Oh sweet angel! Your voice is the most precious thing on EARTH! You're talking to me as I type this! Your Daddy and I LOVE to hear you talk. It melts our heart. I can't wait to hear you make words! Oh you are so sweet.  When sitting in your sling chair or on the ground you love to lift up your head. It looks like you are doing crunches. I like to think you are working out your abs. You have started rolling over in your sleep. You are going to be a belly sleeper like your Mommy. You sleep so well on your belly! We start you on your back and half way through the night you roll to your side, and then flop over! You are our little talker at night. We will hear you on the monitor and think you are awake. Once we get to the nursery, you are sound asleep. You LOVE to be held and have realized that if you give a little whimper someone may just come and pick you up. Little stinker! It's okay- I love it!  You are a great eater and you and your sister LOVE bath time.  I can't wait until we move you to the tub! That will come soon enough. Until then, I will enjoy you being little. You are the biggest (littlest) gift God could have ever given us!
I Love You,

Little One's:
Each and every day your little personalities come out more and more and we LOVE them. You are both so sweet! Time has really flown... Valentine's Day was fun with each of you! We can't wait to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and Easter.  We love every stage of your little growing selves. Slow down.. there is no rush!  

We know as much as we say, "I love you!", your sweet little coo's are, "I love you, too!"
All our love, 
Mommy and Daddy


Chapter 60: Formula Isn't a bad word.

*Warning- these are my thoughts and feelings. I don't mean or want to offend anyone by how I feel on the topic of breast feeding. Therefore, if you are hard core breast feeding advocate, stop reading or at least take what I say with a grain of salt.
 *PS- breast feeding a singleton is completely different then with twins!* 

Formula is not a bad word.
Breast feeding is hard... Not only can it be painful, but it requires a lot of work! A LOT! When you have two newborns.. double the work is an understatement.  I personally feel that when a women finds out she is pregnant, they just assume that they will breast feed their baby. It's only natural, right?  For me...wrong. It didn't come as natural as I expected. I have always been on both sides of the fence when it comes to breast feeding. It just seems a little weird to me! :) I ask God all of the time, "Why did you make me this way?" I know he has his reasons and I don't doubt them. Now, don't get me wrong. I KNOW that breast milk is best for the girls, giving them the right balance of nutrients that they need, and helps boost their little immune system, therefore, I will continue this journey of pumping for them to have it. Hey... they have gone 5 months without ONE runny nose! Pretty good, huh? 

Tips that were successful for me: 1. Look to your husband and other loved ones for support. 2. Don't be afraid to ask for help. 3. Lactation consultants are the bomb.com.

Why is it that new Mommies are made to feel bad if they are not able to/or cannot produce enough breast milk to continue breast feeding their baby/s?  Does anyone else feel this way? When having twins... you do what you can! Fortunately, I have been blessed with somewhat of a great supply of breast milk. With the girls now drinking 5/6 ounces a feeding they each get 3/4 bottles of breast milk a day and 2 bottles of formula at night. Quite frankly, I am shocked that I producing this much milk. If I had one baby, we would have a freezer full! Oh.. I wish this were the case!  

Breast feeding is hard! Yes, there is an amazing bond that you get to experience with your newborn, but for me it was difficult! Now, my experience is with twins, so with many of you reading, your story is different as you most likely only have one infant. When you have twins your experience may look similar to this. Nurse one, bottle feed (due to not getting both sides of Mommy), REPEAT- feed the other baby, bottle feed. Then.. PUMP!  Wait two hours.. repeat! Tandem nursing would be great (feeding both at the same time) and I do have a friend that is able to do this, but man, I tried... too hard! With nursing there are so many things to think about and figure out as a new mom. There is teaching the baby to latch properly, find the best position for him/her and you, and how to build your milk supply! It's just not as simple as you would think! Add in getting mastitis, constantly cleaning bottles and breast pump parts... oh man!  

I was on the verge of giving up at 3 weeks... the girls weren't latching correctly, I was in pain, I was exhausted! It was at that time that I committed and decided that I was going to keep going, week by week, month by month! My goal was 3 months... and then 4! Now, I am going for 6! My pediatrician has said that 6 months is the key number for breast fed babies. Pumping has been my go to. I hate that little machine, but it is what works for the twins and I.  

Mom's out there- you can do it! But, DO NOT be led to feel guilty for stopping.  If you don't have the supply needed or breast feeding doesn't work for you or your families needs. It is OKAY to stop. It doesn't mean that you are a bad Mom. In fact, it means that you know what is best for YOU and your life as a new little family. 

Formula is NOT a bad word... it isn't! There is nothing wrong with formula.

Enough about milk... PEA's PLEASE! 
The girls tried their very first veggie. PEA's!
Night two was the trick. They started to take in more and have finally figured out how to swallow from a spoon. That was tricky for them. 

Enjoy your veggies...