Thursday, August 28, 2008

Homemade Baby Food

YUMMY! I figured since I have all this extra time on my hands...wink, wink...I would take up the art of making baby food. Rice cereal, have you ever seen that stuff? It looks like shreaded paper that you mix w/ formula/BM/water & serve. YUCK! Now, in true mommy form, I did taste it before I started giving it to the babies & for what it looks like coming out of the box, it ain't so bad. Still, it left a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended) & I started to research what it would take to make my own baby food. Now, I have to say that I thought the other foods such as sweet potatoes, bananas, avacados, etc would be what I would be doing BUT I found a wonderful website, www.wholesomebabyfood.com, that has wonderful recipes. No need to buy a book!

Well, I found that site & come to find out, you can make your own rice cereal! Why it is call "cereal" is beyond me b/c all you do is cook rice & feed it to them. Hmmm, could it be b/c it looks like oatmeal & maybe has formula or BM in it? I don't know but either way, I find it silly to say "rice cereal" when it is just "rice". For those of you that are curious how I make it, here is what I do...

*Brown rice (short grain if possible)
*Take uncooked rice & make in to powder. HOW???? I used a coffee bean grinder to do this & it turns the rice in to a fine powder.
*Boil 1 cup of water.
*Add in 1/4 cup of the rice powder.
*Simmer for 10 min, whisking the whole time to prevent clumping.
**Add BM or formula or water to preferred consistency.

I make 2 servings & am hoping it will last 3 days. I serve it warmed up just a bit. WARNING: VERY STICKY! My kiddos get it all over their faces & it is sticky, just like steamed rice at a Chinese restaurant. EWE!!!! The kids seem to love it, more than the instant rice cereal & I feel better about them getting it.

Saturday morning, I am going to try sweet potatoes b/c it is my understanding it is best to introduce a new food in the morning to see if there is any reaction to it. I'll have to let everyone know how it goes. I think Gabi will like it much more than the rice (she isn't too fond of it). I would like to see her start eating more b/c she is downing some serious BM at every feeding 8 oz, sometimes 11 oz!

The breastfeeding is still progressing. I have now switched Ian over to the breast only at the 9am & 1pm feedings. He nurses for about 40-45 min & seems to be satisfied until the next feeding so that is 2 less bottles I have to fix during the day. I am having issues w/ Gabi. Seems as though she wants the milk IMMEDIATELY & it doesn't come out of me fast enough so she screams. I give her a 3 oz bottle to help quench her thirst/hunger but yesterday she screamed every time I tried to latch her on so she ended up not BFing which broke my heart. Today the same thing happened but instead of giving up, I kept trying. Granted, it took 6 oz via bottle but I did get her to latch on for 20 min after that. God only knows how much milk she got...OINK, OINK!

This weekend, I hope to try tandem BFing w/ Gabi & Ian but I am going to need Todd's support to do so. I plan on starting 30 min before a regular feeding so that Gabi isn't starving & hopefully will be easier to work w/. I really, really want to be able to BF both her & Ian during the day & just have to bottle feed Sofi. Don't worry, I still try to latch her on too but she is STUBBORN, just like her mommy! Wish us luck!

Pictures...I have been taking more videos & don't know how to upload them yet so I am going to have to take pics this weekend & post again shortly. I PROMISE!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Meeting our new best friend & being on our own!

I was lucky to be pregnant at the same time as my best friend, Leslie. She & I were due only 3 days apart. Being pregnant together had always been a dream of ours. My only wish is that she had been in Texas rather than New Jersey. Well, she finally came down for a visit this past week & we got to meet each other's baby/ies. It was the best experience. We went from drinkin' wine & staying up late to pumping together in the middle of the night, LOL!

The kids seemed to enjoy each other well enough. In the picture, they are in order from left to right...Sofi, Ryan, Gabi, Ian.

Ryan & Ian sharing the bouncy chair. Aren't they cute?

In other triplet related news, we are back to rice cereal b/c BM & formula is just not holding them over much anymore. They have far exceded my capacity to keep up w/ them so we are back to 1 bottle of formula a day of the 5. I was a bit disappointed but I promised myself that I WOULD NOT beat myself up if I couldn't keep up w/ them. I have a feeling once we starting introducing more solids, they will return to about 24 oz of BM a day which is what I am producing per baby, actually a bit more. This time around, they don't seem really interested in the cereal. We are also giving a bit of prune juice to keep them from getting constipated. Let me tell you, IT WORKS! Hopefully they will take to eating it. OHHHHHH...Ian can actually grab his spoon & guide it to his mouth. It is so darn cute! I'm going to have to take a picture tonight. It is amazing!

We are all on our own again. My 13 yr old mother's helper quit on me w/o even a phone call. Not good but it is ok. Being on our own is nice in many ways. First, I don't have to worry about telling someone what to do & how to do it. Another thing is having someone in my house all the time which is fine in some respects but I like it w/ just the 4 of us. Don't get me wrong, my MIL is going to be coming over & I look forward to that as is my grandmother. Visits a couple of times a week are good & totally different than the same person being w/ you day in & day out. I have come to appreciate our solo moments together.

SOOOOO...how does a mommy do it on her own during the day? It isn't the most thrilling schedule but I make it work. Our feedings are methodical. B/c I am alone & Gabi is the best bottle eater, Ian is the one breastfed at the 9am & 1pm. I put Gabi between me & the back of the couch, prop a bottle & let her get down to business. Then I put her back in her bouncy chair, get Sofi & put her in the same place that Gabi was in. I prop her bottle but she doesn't make it the whole way w/o me having to hold it, especially towards the end. They have gotten to the point where they don't really need to be burped. So long as they get sat up straight, they manage to get the burps out on their own. Mind you, the whole time I am feeding the girls, Ian is on the breast. Sounds tricky but it isn't that bad at all.

Another situation that I had trouble w/ at 1st was how to manage pumping w/ 3 babies that were awake. Well, the 1st pump of the morning I put the babies in the bouncy chairs & let them play there. For the 2nd session, right before the 1pm feeding, I put them on the playmat & let them go as long as they can. Yep, that means I have to sometimes stop the pump, unhook & get a baby b/c they get tired of being under there BUT at least I don't feel guilty that they don't get enough play time. It stretches out the pumping session but I'm ok w/ that.

We have the same schedule, day in & day out. It does vary when I have visitors in the sense that the babies get more time w/ someone to play w/ them. Their nap times stay the same. We nap at 10am & that is also when I get my shower. Then they nap again at 2pm. These past few days, our naps & our night sleeping haven't been very smooth. I'm thinking that these little guys are starting to teeth. I can feel the ridge of Gabi's teeth on the bottom already. I think we are going to try Tylenol tonight to see if it helps get them back on their good sleeping schedule. I can handle interrupted naps.

Here are a few more pics of the kids...

This is Ian holding his bottle all on his own. Notice my hands are not to be found!

This is Sofi in the exersaucer, something we have just started using. I have to stuff 2 blankets in there w/ them b/c it is still a bit big BUT they really enjoy being in it.

All 3 babies on the playmat together while I am pumping.

The follow pics are my attempt at being a photographer...HAHAHA!
Gabi w/ her signature BIG smile!


Sofi w/ a little bit of a smile.

The girls together...who said they were identical? Seriously, I found out that they don't have to look alike to be monozygotic (from the same egg/sperm).

Here is Ianchito & his killer smile! I've been trying to catch it on camera for a while!

Monday, August 11, 2008

2 steps forward, 1 step back

ACK! Rice cereal was a mistake! Not that the kids are suffering...well, ok...they were constipated for 3 days. That isn't fun. Poor Ian was miserable. You could see his little face just wincing when he got little poo cramps. I couldn't imagine! Gabi, although constipated, did not seem to have any problems w/ it & frankly, either would I. Who wants to poo in a diaper anyway? Sofi didn't have any problems what so ever. She's been pooing right along w/ the best of them!

Ok, so I have to share the story. Todd kept on telling the kids they needed to poo. He would give them pep talks & everything. Well, after 3 days, going on the 4th, he got little Ianchito & started to "threaten" him w/ the thermometer up the butt. OUCHIE! He was also trying to teach him how to strain. HAHAHAHA! You should have seen him straining & grunting & then trying to get Ian to imitate him. It was the funniest thing I have ever seen! He kept telling him, "You can do it son! I know you can. Besides, you don't want the thermometer treatment, do you?"

WEEEEELLLLLL...IT WORKED! Yep, Ian pooped right then & there, after almost 4 days of not going, Daddy got him to go. We couldn't believe it! I swear, I wish I had been video taping the damn thing. I'm sure it would have won us a prize. Todd was so proud, having coached his son for the 1st time. What a thing to coach him in!

Some other things that are going on...the kids love to stand up! Sofi wasn't on board until a couple of days ago & now she loves it just as much as the other 2. Also, we are finally successful w/ tummy time. GEEZ! Why didn't anyone say that it was so hard for them? Seriously, you would have thought we were killing them before but now, after little bits here & there (about 3 min in length), they are finally enjoying being on their tummies. Gabi is rolling from front to back, the only 1 of the 3. Personally, I think she will be the 1 that develops 1st in the physical aspects as she was also the 1st to enjoy standing up although I think Sofi will be the 1st to be sitting since she is already pulling herself up. She has also begun to LOVE being under the playmat. All 3 are grabbing & batting at the things that hang down. They have also gotten really good at sitting in the bumbo chair. **A word of advice...get the Bumbos over the Bebe Pods b/c the BBPs are slick & bigger, my trio still can't sit in them but can sit very well in the Bumbos.

Here is Sofi in the Bumbo seat. She loves it!

Ian in the Bumbo & still not too sure about it.

This is the Bebe Pod that I fell in love w/ but is much harder for the kids to stay balanced in.

Just to let you know, it has taken 2 days to get this post together. That is how quickly time goes by. Oh, I also wanted to say that if anyone ever has a question, please feel free to ask in the comments & I will post a reply back to you. Take care!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rice Cereal or not...that is the question!

Well, I'm sure you read in my last post that we were going to hold off on rice cereal b/c of the whole mess factor, etc. I've been pondering whether to give it to the kids or not b/c they are taking in so much milk that Todd thought they were ready for a try. So...yesterday we introduced rice cereal to the trio. We did it w/ a spoon & boy, did we have a great time! Gabi & Ian were right on board & ready to go while Sofi had other thoughts about it. She continued w/ the same attitude today, not really interested what so ever. Ian was opening his mouth & then bringing his fist to his mouth in his attempt to imitate what we do when we eat by bringing the utensil to our mouths. It is the CUTEST THING EVER! I know this is going to get old soon enough but for now, we are enjoying watching our babies growing before our eyes.

Gabi was the 1st to try & all smiles!

Gabi in the middle of her spoonful.

Gabi after.

Ian was also all smiles & ready to go!

Ian during his spoonful.

Ian after his bite.

Sofi right before, not quite the smiles that her brother & sister had.

Sofi during, still not liking the idea much.

Sofi saying, "EWWWWWE!!! I'm not sure I like this."


So far, so good. It is another step in the direction of growing up. I still can't believe they are 4 months old. Where did the time go?

Friday, August 1, 2008

4 Month Check Up

Yesterday the babies had their monthday as Todd has coined it. They are now 4 months old! I can't believe it. Where did the time go? If this is how fast they will grow up, I'm sad. It is going too fast! Along w/ turning 4 mths old, they had their 4 mth check up w/ Dr. Nguyen. Have I mentioned how fantastic she is? We LOVE her! She listens to all my concerns & really give us good medical advice. She has no problem sitting through my gazillion questions either. We are very lucky to have found her!

So let's get the babies' stats out of the way...

Gabi ~ 12lb 13oz, 24 1/8" (25-49th percentile in weight, 50th in height)
Sofi ~ 11lb 13oz, 24" (5th percentile in weight, 50th in height)
Ian ~ 11lb 13oz, 23 1/4" (5th percentile in weight, 5th in height)

She is very happy w/ their stats & is even happier that they are all on breast milk (BM). I do fortify 2 bottles a day w/ about 3/4 of a scoop of formula. They still need the extra calories, especially our 2 littler ones Sofi & Ian. She is very impressed that they are sleeping through the night & doing well on the 4 hr feeding schedule. Which brings up the topic of solids.

When do we get to start solids? We have some guidelines to follow to figure out when is best. She would like the babies to all be between 13-14 lbs so we have a few more weeks to go before that happens. They also should be drinking at least 32 oz of BM which is happening but not consistently. They eat between 28-34 oz depending on whether the are going through a growth spurt. Another thing is that they should be able to support their heads w/o assistance. Now, that isn't sitting w/o assistance b/c they haven't gotten there yet BUT it is necessary for them to be able to control their head movements. So, we have 2 of the 3 pretty much under out belts. Dr. Nguyen said in another 4 wks they should be ready to start rice cereal. Personally, if they are still good w/ drinking BM, then I am not going to do rice cereal until they are 6 mths old. Much easier that way! Besides, feeding 3 babies w/ a spoon...HA! That is going to get messy quickly! I'm diggin' the bottles right now, hardly any mess.

We have hit all the milestones except for rolling over from their tummy to their back. That is more my fault than theirs though. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get them on their tummies & watch all 3? Yeah, then they start to cry b/c they don't like it. So, when it boils down to it, it's mommy that hasn't followed through. Oh well...we aren't perfect by any means.

Now for the important part which I will be posting about again in September right before RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) season which also coincides w/ cold/flu season. We unfortunately had a bout of sickness pass through the house. We don't know how it was introduced but the end result was 3 people getting sick, 1 baby & 2 adults. We learned our lesson, so to speak. There are a few "rules" that will have to be followed in order to have visitors over at any time but especially through RSV season. They are...

1. You must be symptom free to visit. This means no sniffles, no coughing, no fever. It doesn't matter if it is from allergies as most people don't confirm the diagnosis w/ the dr.
2. You must wash your hand w/ soap & warm water THEN use disinfecting foam BEFORE touching babies.
3. Children will be allowed to visit if they are not in daycare or school (weekends are fine) due to the high rate of disease transmission.
4. Do not smoke before coming over to visit or during visitation of our babies.

They are pretty basic rules. The reason is that RSV is VERY DANGEROUS to preemies. If you are interested, below are some sites that explain RSV & what it does to preemie lungs. We DO NOT want to end up in the pediatric ICU this fall/winter season.

www.preemiecare.org/rsv_resourceshtm.htm
www.preemiecare.org/LungsTrees03-4.pdf
www.askdrsears.com/html/8/T084300.asp
www.babylinq.com/index.asp?PageAction=Custom&ID=44

For you picture people, I have a bunch in my camera that I haven't uploaded yet so they will be coming later today or tomorrow...I PROMISE!