Friday, October 24, 2008

The First Big Week Home

The family Stiles celebrated one week together at home yesterday. One terrific, sleep-deprived, week. And what can we say about parenting twin infants? It's pretty much summed up by the cliche we hear whenever we're out strolling around with the kids. "Are those twins? Boy, you really got your hands full." Yes, yes we do. This week (and last) we discovered the necessity of baby carriers. These handy inventions allow us to do all kinds of fun things while the babies are attached to us, like wash bottles and feed the other baby, or maybe even allow one of us to shower while the other watches over both sprouts. The bonus is that Milo typically falls asleep within seconds of being in placed in the carrier -- Madeline not so much.

Far more important to our sanity the last couple weeks, we were very fortunate to have Elaine's sister Antina come to help out when Maddy came home, and this week my sister Heather was here to help us get used to managing the duo. Heather has lots of experience in this area since she has a 5 and 2 year-old at home. Heather is also a very good photographer, so you'll notice a marked improvement in the quality of several of the pictures this week.

So what did we do with the week?

We bathed Milo and Maddy too. Turns out that baby-fresh smell lasts only so long before giving way to the odor of sour milk or worse(!). Above: Aunt Heath gets a nice picture of Milo in the tub. You'll have to keep guessing about the circumcision ;)

We visited Muir Woods along with Aunt Heather.

Mom swings into action to resolve a 3-diaper blowout in the Muir Woods parking area -- surely violating several EPA regulations. Maddy decided to see just how prepared we were to deal with the mess. Luckily, we had a couple spare changes of clothes, several extra diapers, wet wipes, a changing pad, ointment, etc. on hand. All were put to use.

On that note, I used to think that parents took far too long getting their kids ready to go out. Come on! How hard could it be? Now I understand. I'm also starting to understand why the minivan exists. No, we have no plans to buy one, but their virtue is more and more clear each time we decide to go some where in the Subaru family truckster.

We took walks around the neighborhood. Heath gets a nice shot of Dad and Milo.

We hung out around the house. Actually, that's pretty much what we did most of the time. Maddy enjoys hanging out in with Momma in her baby carrier above. Thanks again Heath!

Maddy enjoys some comfort time at home with mommy. Notice that Maddy is wearing a bib here. She generally needs to be held this way (i.e., at an incline) for at least 20 minutes after eating or else she'll get terrible reflux and spit up a lot. She usually spits up anyway, but the incline takes a lot of the edge off the resulting mess. Reflux is pretty common to preemies, and her reflux should decrease in time.

Milo doesn't have the same reflux issues that Maddy has, but he does enjoy snuggling and this is his preferred position of rest.

Mommy and Maddy during a tummy time session. We need to be sure to have the kids do several push-up/head-turns every morning to help build their muscle tone. All the time on their back in their NICU crib takes its toll on shoulder development. The babies have a surprising amount of head control though. Both can lift up their noggins and turn them to both sides.

Dad and Aunt Heather hanging out with the babies.

Milo at rest. Check out the shine on that forehead! Definitely Daddy's boy.

Stay tuned to see whether Mom and Dad can make it through next week unassisted.


Tracy said...

Hi Guys!

Glad to hear that life is much easier with the carriers. I wore Evie in the Bjorn and then Ergo until she was about 10 months (when she started crawling) and since then she refused to be worn. But wearing her really helped me get things done around the house, not to mention it was always easier to walk around stores wearing baby rather than trying to navigate with a hulking stroller. Evie also had reflux and wearing her after nursing also helped relieve the pressure and allowed us to go for a walk. Thankfully that went away at 9 months just around the time when she started eating yogurt :)

Tracy said...

Oh! I just remembered about the sour milk smell too. Apparently newborns have VERY deep crevices underneath the chin that milk deposits get trapped and start to smell. We didn't realize this until Kevin's mom pointed it out and man, it was hard getting in there to clean. This cleared itself up around 6 months when Evie started to sit up on her own and lifted her chin more :-D

Heather said...

I had such a wonderful time helping with the babies! I miss them already! Oh, and you guys as well, of course! ;)
They really are great babies! Very sweet and quite cuddly. Give them kisses from me!
Love to all,

janet said...

Hi all. Can't believe you already made it out to Muir stop a paddling trip! The kids look great in the close-up photos. Rob and Elaine look pretty good, too. You both must be experts at the catnap by now. Am at work today and was just thinking that Milo's almost home two weeks now and Maddy almost one month! Time surely does fly. xoxo to Mlo and Maddy from Auntie Janet.
My Take care!

Donna said...

Neither of you have that complete exhaustion look? We must have taught you too well! It's nice to see you are getting out and about and they look soooo wonderful. Keep up the good work! It's nice to know I can check in here and get my Milo and Madeline fix.

Still miss you!