Monday, August 19, 2013


In my opinion, baby swings were destined to be filled with two babies.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

blueberries for Reagan.

My parents lake has an amazing blueberry patch hidden in the woods behind their home.  When we took Reagan back there she immediately remembered one of her favorite books, "Blueberries for Sal."  
She said "kerplunk kerplunk" as she dropped her blueberries in her "pail" (plastic cup) and did not want to eat any blueberries until we got home because we needed to "save them for winter."  
She was happily leaping and chatting around the patch and could have stayed there for hours.  She returned with yia yia and papooh to pick more the next day.  I consumed about 3 pints straight off the bush.  Wild blueberries are the perfect texture and taste.
Ellen came along for the adventure while Jamesey slept.  She had her first solid food, the inside of a blueberry, and loved it!  We awoke the next morning to warm blueberry bran muffins made by my amazing mama.  We're en route to Minneapolis now and missing our Michigan adventures.
If you never have read "blueberries for sal" by Robert McCloskey the Dunham crew highly recommends it!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

hands full.

Celebrating six months of our hands being full.  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

twin rearing // the first six months

I am almost 6 months into this gig.  Can you believe it?   I have had several new and expecting twin mamas ask me some questions on how I "do it."  
I am not an expert, probably have made a gillion mistakes, never read a "twins" book, but I come to you HUMBLY with my two cents (it's way too long--sorry non mama readers).  I would also like to say that I have the most sweet, relaxed, easygoing twins but I am pretty sure it's all God, NOT me, and also just the nature of having 3 babies under 3 who don't have a mama constantly doting on them.
1. Find a system that works for you.
I started out nursing twins separately, then tandemly, but because of some latch issues with James started feeding one a bottle and one on a breast around 4 weeks old.  This worked so well for me and still does.  It was less cumbersome than tandem nursing and allowed James to work on his latch over time, without making me sore.  I still pump 3-5times during the day based on the days demands.  I prop one baby up on a pillow with a bottle and nurse the other.  I nurse the babes separately during their early morning feedings since they hardly ever wake simultaneously, almost always feeding James first and then waking Elle (she's my sleeper).  I do this to ensure that I get the most sleep possible.  
2. Eat good food.   
Coconut oil, raw almonds, chia seed, heavy cream, chocolate milk, whole milk yogurt, avocados, oat bran, eggs...all keep me full and keep my milk supply at a sufficient level.  I don't take any vitamins but I do take cod liver oil.  I also keep quite a bit of random trader joes packaged food around (frozen section mozzarella sticks baby) KIND bars for my purse and ice cream, always.
3. Stay open minded.  By gods grace I have somehow been able to provide milk for my babes.   2 months ago I caught the flu and my supply dropped big time for 2 days.  Some of my nursing friends brought over extra pumped milk for me (that's love!).  I have figured out that I make appx 80 oz of milk a day, sometimes more and sometimes less. This is just enough for my babes as they are very content and very chubby.  If they weren't, I would be supplementing with either a goats milk based or store bought formula.  Formula gets a terrible wrap these days, but it provides good nutrition for a baby and if it brings more peace to you, your baby, your family, by all means, use it!  
4.  Swaddle them up!
This is how my twins learned difference between night or day (night=tight swaddle).  Miracle blaket worked like a charm.  We "deswaddled" at 4 months when the twins broke out of their miracle blankets.  We also borrowed a swing which I used for James during some naps.  This was a great tool.  If he woke before his sister in their crib I would put him in the swing where he almost always fell back asleep and they therefore stayed on the same (and better) schedule.  We never used it at night, but do what you gotta do.  
5.  Sleep together.  Eat together.
My twinnies sleep in the same room, allowing them to sleep through almost any noise.  I wake Ellie to nurse now that James does a similar long stretch of sleep at night, but didn't when she slept through night and he still woke up at 1am.  When they were about 4 months and younger I often woke them up from naps or used the swing as mentioned above to keep them on the same schedule.  Now they follow a very close pattern and usually get up within 20 min of each other so I don't have to do that.  Some days they don't follow the same pattern and I have found that on those days it's better for all to just let them do their thing (since they are teething/learning new things at different times etc.) and enjoy the alone time.
6. Accept help.
My mom stayed with me for 5 weeks after my sister in law and mother in law were with me the first week and a half.  This helped the transition so much for Reagan and allowed me to savor my twins, rest and heal.  If you don't have older children, this will be a lot different.  You might not need the extra help, but please take it!  Take the meals (people from our AMAZING church brought us hot meals for 2 months) Take the flowers.  Say "yes you can clean my bathroom" and instead of worrying about having a perfectly picked up house go hold your babies.  Just stare at them.  Take way to many pictures.  It's going to flash before your eyes.  I already hardly remember those foggy yet beautiful newborn days.
7. Trust God.  You were created to be the mama to those twins.  Your baby's strengths are a blessing to you.  Their weaknesses will make you stronger.  Believe that.  Try to turn restlessness into REST.  Take one day at a time.  I definitely don't always do this but God showers me with the peace He promises when I hand my anxieties over to Him.  (Philipians 4:6-7)
Please comment with any further questions.  I would love to discuss any twin subject and pray for your babies specifically.  

Friday, August 9, 2013

waking up with the dunhams.

What our mornings look like lately.
Always greeted by a smile when I go get big Jim.
Rea likes to climb in Ellie's crib and snuggle.
Reagan is the perfect big sister and a great helper to me.  
They look a lot more like twins when they are naked!
We love our quiet, simple mornings.  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

mabel grace.

This week a very special girl was welcomed into our lives, Ms. Mabel Grace.  How awesome is her name??  It means "lovable."  I actually don't know if the meaning made her parents like the name more but I can tell you that she is completely lovable and LOVED by so many.  She is also pretty mushy, like her sweet big brother was, which makes my heart very happy.
Reagan held her for the first time today and I was blessed to cuddle her for the first time just 45 min after she was born, late Monday night.  The nurse that helped Liz through her {natural, kick butt, drug free} labor was randomly the same one who coached me through my labor with the twins!  I loved that lady and so it was absolutely amazing reuniting with her on Monday night, and knowing she had just gone through that same miracle with one of my very best friends.
I have imagined meeting this little soul for months and her arrival has been better than I dreamed.  Can't wait to watch you grow, little mabester.  Our crew loves you so very much.