All The Activities!

Ah, the age of fun. The boys are finally at the age where they’re becoming intereseted in activities. Whether that be tummy time, sit-me-up seats, swings or more. I thought I’d give a review on our favorite activities for our current age. By the way, we’re four months now, the time truly flies when you’re having fun!

Evenflo Splash Mega Exersaucer

What is it?

An exersaucer is an activity seat that provides multiple options for baby to explore. This specific seat rotates 360° so baby can reach all the toys, has springs so baby can jump and the base is rounded so baby can move even more! It’s really a great way for baby to self-entertain and develop fine motor skills while playing with the multiple toys.

Why do we love it?

I personally love this seat for two reasons. First, it’s hands free! I can put Dax or Emrick in it (with support) and they’re able to look at the bright colors and reach for toys. The second reason I love this seat is due to the adaptability. The seat grows and adapts to your growing baby. Starting from four months up till the baby outgrows the chair. It’s really a game changer when we consider costs of all the gear babies acquire of their first year of life.

Where can I buy it?

Evenflo actually discontinued this specific style, but you can still find the mega-saucer in many stores and on Amazon under a different name. The seat is generally $50-90.

Skip Hop Tree Top Friends Play Mat

What is it?

Activity mats are a wonderful thing! Activity mats are usually soft, plush mats with arches that include small toys and some times a tummy time pillow. The one we have is actually a called “Vibrant Village” it has lights in the arches, is black and white and has pops of color. Activity mats are a great way to encourage rolling, scooting and fine motor skills such as kicking and head control.

Why do we love it?

Need a place to “park” a baby, an activity mat is a great place! I generally have the boys on the mat first thing in the morning, first thing in the afternoon and sometimes in the evening. I always place Dax’s feet near the arches, he is a big kicker and when he gets going the toys hanging really move. In turn, this catches his attention and makes him a happy camper. Additionally, if Emrick is laying with him it’s a two for one deal!

Where can I buy it?

Activity mats vary in pricing based on sizes and features. You can buy them on Amazon, at Wal-mart and so many more places!

Fisher Price Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat

What is it?

Sit me up seats are fairly new to me. When my last baby girl was born five years ago, they were non-existent. Now a days, these seats are a supportive seat meant to help baby learn to sit up. It’s a great tool and fun for baby.

Why do we love it?

This is another “parking” station for baby. Need your hands free? Set baby up and while baby gets used to his new views, you’ll be able to wash the dishes. If you get the deluxe version, this also doubles as a great small high chair.

Where can I buy it?

Sit-Me-Up seats are available in a variety of brands and styles from Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target and more!

Fisher Price Infant-to-Toddler Rocker

What is it?

The Infant-to-Toddler Rocker is exactly as it sounds, a rocking chair that can be used from wee little newborns up to a 40-lb toddler. Let’s be honest, my 5 year old can still fit in it! the rocker has various uses and comes with a small toy bar to entertain.

Why do we love it?

This is a mega-rocker! Not only do you have the option to vibrate baby, the rocker comes with a kick stand to make it stationary. Got twins? This is a great way to feed both at the same time! Additionally, if you have bouncing baby boys like us, you’ll find the babies are able to rock themselves, shaking the toy bar and makes it super fun!

Where can I buy it?

As with most things, Amazon, Wal-mart and Target all have their own versions and styles of these chairs.

I certainly hope this helps you decide what activity centers to buy for your little babes!

Xo, Sabrina.

Motivation Monday: Consistency.

Happy Monday! Are you groaning because it’s Monday again? Who said Monday’s have to be so bad? Turn your frowns upside down and let’s talk about your Monday Motivational – Consistency.

Success does not come from what you do occasionally. Success comes from what you do consistently.

Let me tell you what makes my Monday’s great. Want to take a guess? It’s consistency. Whether it is a day off Monday or a work day consistency makes a huge difference for me. My routine for work days includes the following:

  • Wake & Rise 3-330 AM
  • Work Out 330-4 AM
  • Shower/Freshen/Leave – 4-420 AM.

I know that this routine to others is astonishing. Who willingly wakes up at 3 AM? Shall I remind you, I have newborn twins. Getting up and working out is my only “me” time.

My days off are just slightly different. I’m still the first to wake in the home. I need that time to myself.

  • Wake & Rise 5-530 AM
  • Work Out 530-6 AM
  • Wake Girls/Start Laundry/Hot Coffee 6 AM
  • Wake Boys/Begin Day 7 AM

I’m not here to tell you that waking up early is easy. In my mind, that’s a complete lie. There are several days where I just don’t want to get up. However, it’s important to me to have time to myself. It’s important to me to invest in myself in order to have a better day. It’s important to me to be consistent.

There are several ways consistency can improve your day, and I mean every day not just Monday’s. Meal prep is a consistency that makes each day easier. Daily rituals, devotionals and more can make you a happier person.

You see the common theme here right? Now let’s talk about a different version of consistency. “New Year, New Me” – Nah, same year, same me – NEW adventures!

Do not live the same year 75 times and call it a ‘life’.

Robin Sharma

I’ll say it again, same year, same me – NEW adventures. You can still be consistent while living new adventures. Can we be honest here? It’s February already and I have yet to have an adventure. Unless you consider trips to multiple doctors adventures, ha! My goal for February is at least one family adventure, and that scares me. But, even if I take the adventure I will still be consistent in working out, making Monday’s great and enjoying our time off together.

Be consistent in taking time for you. Be consistent in adventuring. Be consistent in living a life worth living. Be consistent in making memories. Whatever you do, just be consistent!

Happy Monday!

Xo, Sabrina.

The Big Update!

I would much rather be sleeping than writing this at the moment, but I promised my readers an update. An integral part of my blog is transparency so, here is our update!

Chiro, GI and Old Pueblo Peds.

The boys are primarily healthy. Unfortunately, we’ve spent the better part of the weekend at multiple appointments. Emrick had been running a low grade fever for the past few days, prompting us to schedule a visit to his pediatrician. Dax had his weekly chiropractic appointment and a visit to his new GI. That made three appointments in one day, and if you know us personally we live pretty far from town. The chiropractor was scheduled in the morning and the other two appointments in the afternoon. This led to an extremely long day!

Dax’s GI appointment went well. We already knew we were on the right track but, we also knew that close to nothing was relieving his pain. The GI was quick to suggest myriad of tests. We want to recheck for pyloric stenosis, check for other genetic issues, check his blood and his newborn screening. Additionally, she wants a new upper GI done. We walked out with orders to get all of this done and a script for a new medicine. Surprise, surprise, our insurance doesn’t cover that med either. In fact, our insurance doesn’t provide coverage for any medicine that the doctor can prescribe for his age and weight. Luckily, the office was quick to submit a pre-authorization with Cigna to get his medicine covered. Hopefully the new med will work!

Emrick’s appointment was primarily for his low grade fever, but while we were there I made sure to bring up a problem he’s had for what seems like his entire life. Emrick’s saliva and spit-up is incredibly sticky. So sticky in fact, that he is unable to clear the spit-up from his mouth. Additionally, his spit-up is almost always curdled to the point of large chunks that he is again, unable to clear. Two things came from Emrick’s appointment. First, he’s got a bilateral ear infection. Poor guy! We’re not sure how long he’s had the infection as he didn’t show many signs or symptoms of an ear infection other than the low grade fever. Second, Emrick is now on a similar formula to Dax. Emrick was given samples of Puramino. I honestly can’t figure out the difference between Puramino and Neocate. The only thing I’ve seen is the Puramino is slightly thicker than the Neocate. However, the question remains if we are able to switch both boys to the same formula. Boy, would that make life easier!

By the way, if you’re looking for a pediatrician, we highly recommend the team at Old Pueblo Pediatrics! We’ve never had a bad experience. We see Dr. Delp for the boys and Andi, Dr. Mansfield for Bree and Caidence and all the NP’s are wonderful. If you have a problem, the docs are quick to look for solutions. Additionally, this team truly cares about you and your family. They listen, recommend and reroute if needed. We couldn’t be happier with our team!

That sums up Wednesday, let’s move on to Thursday.

TMC AfterCare

Ah, the wonderful world of preemies. I say that with little to no sarcasm, preemies are powerful! Yet, preemies come with a slew of potential problems that we’d like to avoid. TMC has created a program to prevent problems, provide therapy and so much more! Let’s talk about it.

TMC AfterCare is a developmentally based program to make sure the NICU graduates stay on track. The program is free of charge and provides services like speech, feeding, physical and other therapies. Each NICU graduate is able to go for two years.

Our first visit for the boys and AfterCare went really well. We had three people involved – a physical therapist, a feeding therapist and a nurse practitioner. They were all friendly and willing to help with the babies by holding, entertaining or whatever they needed. It was a huge relief to know they were helpful!

Dax was up first (ABC order, HA!), starting with lots of questions about how he’s been doing since he’s left NICU. He was the more difficult to explain his, what seems like, endless amounts of problems. The physical therapist started with him first. We measured his head, onyl 5 MM difference, yay! Then she made sure to look at his neck. Dax tends to look a certain direction which has caused a very slight case of torticollis. She showed me how to stretch his neck and shoulder to aid him in relief. We also reviewed ways to quickly adjust his gaze and head positioning. It’s nice to know we can fix this just by doing simple stretches each day. The next part of his review was to take him to the mat. Developmentally, the boys are only two months old instead of three which is what they’d be looked at for the review. Dax was right on track! Post mat time, it was time for the feeding specialist to take over. Unfortunately, Dax ate just before the appointment so she wasn’t able to see him eat. However, she had multiple recommendations for him starting with slowing down his feeds. This has since proven difficult as Dax quickly becomes tired when having to truly work for his food.

Emrick who was peacefully sleeping while Dax was evaluated finally woke from his slumber just in time for his evaluation. We started with Emrick’s head. Emrick does not have a badly misshapen head, however he does have a 10 MM difference. You can see that difference when looking at his head from his back. Luckily, he has about two months before a helmet would even be considered. We’re going to use those two months and do the same stretches as Dax, plus reposition his head to be on the non flat area in attempt to reshape. After his head was measured Emrick was onto the mat to check his developmental skills. Good news, he’s doing fantastic! Emrick surprisingly has full range of motion and is able to lift himself when on tummy time. What a guy! The final portion of the evaluation was feeding. Emrick hadn’t eaten so the feeding therapist fed him while I soothed Dax. She recommended a few things to get his eating to go smoother and to help his tongue tie. We have since switched Emrick to Dr. Brown’s new wide neck bottles and what a HUGE difference in his eating. The question is whether the difference is due to the bottles, the new formula or just a good day. However, with the new bottle he no longer “clicks” his tongue while eating.

Long story short, the boys are doing wonderfully. Dax has been referred to TMC for his final ABR so we can get him his hearing aids and Emrick is going to continue waiting to have his groin fixed. We think we’re finally on the right track for Dax and his reflux too! It’s all exciting, exhausting and ultimately rewarding.

Have twins they said, it’ll be fun they said!

PS – I’m trying to be more active on our Instagram and Facebook pages. Make sure to give us a follow to stay completely up to date on all things Regular Ruiz’s.

Xo, Sabrina.

GERD& Chiropractor’s.

Do you have a happy spitter or a true reflux baby? That’s the question I’ve heard over and over again. If you have a ‘happy spitter’, you simply have a laundry problem. However, if you have a reflux baby you truly have an ‘issue’. Let me preface this with, it is not our first rodeo with reflux. So, let’s get started!

Happy Spitters

Did you know that every baby has some form of reflux? This is due to their underdeveloped GI systems. However, there is a large difference in types of reflux. Most babies are happy spitters. They spit up, sometimes a small amount other times a large amount. The consistent thing about happy spitters is that they’re never in distress due to the spit up. Instead, they happily go about their day. There are no weight gain issues, there is no severe pain and they continue forward.

Reflux

Reflux is a bit more complicated than happy spitters. Reflux involves a larger amount of spit up and possibly has pain associated. Many reflux issues are related to formula intolerances or allergies. Some reflux issues are resolved by a simple switch of formula, from one to another. Additionally, some reflux is resolved by medication such as Zantac. Zantac is a H2 blocker, or a histamine blocker. It’s meant to give relief by blocking naturally occurring histamines to reduce stomach acid.

GERD

GERD stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. GERD is actually a disorder of the lower esophageal sphincter. The sphincter usually controls when food comes into the stomach and it should not allow food to come back out. However, with GERD the sphincter can become loose and allow the stomach acid and contents back into the esophagus. This can cause an extreme burning sensation and other symptoms. GERD can be controlled with medications, diet change and more. However, for infants GERD is much harder to control which sometimes leads to Sandifer’s Syndrome. Sandifer’s Syndrome is a whole body response to pain due to reflux. Sandifer’s makes the infants body stiffen, usually to one side this reflex to pain often looks similar to a seizure. While it can be scary, there are serious side effects from Sandifer’s.

When it comes to our history, like I stated before, this is not our first rodeo. Ten years ago, I went through the same issues with Andi. Andi was not as bad, but she was diagnosed with reflux and Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA). Additionally, she had a soy intolerance. Andi’s reflux was controlled with formula (Neocate) and meds.

On the other hand, Dax is a much more complex case. Dax requires a large amount of care including medications. However, inn the spirit of making sure he is at least pain free we’re willing to try almost anything.

Reflux and Chiro.

In our endless effort to make our guy feel better, we came across chiropractors as a relief for reflux. I read countless articles, including medical journals that showed relief. So began our quest to find the right chiropractor for Dax.

I found a total of two pediatric chiropractors in Tucson. Both yielded good reviews, one better than the other. I found Switzer Family Chiropractor to have more reviews and a more inviting phone call. I scheduled an appointment and awaited anxiously for the day to arrive. That day came on 1/14. Upon arrival, the chiropractor was in the lobby. She hastily greeted me, explained the paperwork and even swung Dax in his carseat to ease his fussiness. I was shocked how gleeful the office felt, plus we were the only ones there! We immediately went back. Dr. Switzer first asked our background. She then set up her table, showed me how much pressure she’d be applying to Dax’s body and asked for permission. Before beginning with the chiro care, she cuddled Dax and made sure he was aware of her. Again, very impressed! The care was minimal, she hit pressure points on his lower back, his legs, his neck and jaw area. She checked for hiatal hernias and worked on his tight spots. You could tell by his responses in crying when it was uncomfortable or soothing. It didn’t take long, maybe twenty minutes max.

After the care, Dax was so hungry so I sat with him and fed him. Dax used to gulp bottles, I mean completley down a bottle in maybe five seconds flat. It caused a huge amount of projectile vomiting. Instead, Dax ate a bottle like a normal baby. WOAH! Huge difference in his eating. Did he still spit up? Heck yeah, but taking almost ten minutes to down a bottle is a huge improvement. As the night went on, we found more positive changes. He was no longer squirmy in our arms. Instead, he was more stretched out and calm. He went to bed easily at 8:30 PM and we did not hear a peep until 3:30 AM the next morning. HELLO SLEEP! We’ve missed you! The chiropractor had three goals for Dax by the end of the session. First, a relief from pain. Second, longer and more comfortable sleep. Third, a more routine pooping schedule. So far, we’ve hit two out of the three! Needless to say, we’ll be returning once a week for continuous relief. We’re so happy for our guy!

Xo, Sabrina.

Huggies: Special Delivery Review +Twins!

It’s about to get real shi*!ty in here. HA! Just kidding, it’s just a diaper review! One thing I’ve learned with twins is that NOTHING is the same as a singleton. I don’t do the same things as I did with any of my girls, I don’t use the same products and I certainly didn’t think about products as much as I do with these guys. Don’t ask me why this is, I truly have no idea. Maybe it’s because they’re the last babies or maybe it’s because there are two of them.

As you can imagine, we go through diapers like wild fire. As much as i’d like to be ‘eco-friendly’ and have either organic or cloth diapers, it’s truly not feasible in our lives at this time. Therefore, we settle for the next best thing – reliability. When your changing two butts an average of 6 times a day, you need to make sure you won’t have blow outs, wet spots and they have to be easy to put on/take off. Additionally, for our little Emrick we have to look at a good fit. Emrick has a lot of free fluid from an abdominal hernia floating in his groin. The free fluid causes him to look very chubby in his groin area and caused rubbing with our other favorite diaper Pamper’s Swaddlers. Emrick is what caused the switch in the first place!

Why Huggies?

Diapers are all similar, they’re all meant to catch pees and poos of our favorite smiling babies. However, there is a clear difference in many diapers. Texture of the diaper, cut of the diaper and features are important as well. For example, does the diaper have a wetness indicator? This is helpful for many new parents.

We recieved samples of Huggies Special Delivery Diapers and clearly saw the difference in the diapers. The cut of the diaper in the leg/groin area was different. Where Pamper’s were straight, Huggies were contoured. Huggies also included an unmatched softness. And for those who care, Huggies has designs. For our family, the contoured area was the defining factor in our decision to switch. Emrick’s legs fit much better in the Huggies diapers!

In order to complete the switch, other factors would surely come into play. We did a trial run with a box of diapers Santa brought for the boys. Were the boys consistently dry despite just peeing? Did we have any concerns about blow outs? Were there any reactions to the diapers themselves? The answer is no. The boys stay dry, we haven’t had any blow outs and there is zero reaction to the diapers. Yay, hypoallergenic!

One factor that we did not look into was price. The average baby at the boy’s age goes through approximately 50 diapers per week, multiply that by two (yay, twins!) and we go through an average of 100 diapers a week and sometimes more. A box of size 1 diapers holds 144 diapers, meaning we need on average a box of diapers every 1.5 weeks. Obviously running out in the middle of the week is not feasible, so we buy a box of diapers every pay day. Thank goodness Zoram and I get paid on alternating weeks!

At Wal-Mart these diapers are $43.88, making each diaper approximately 0.30 cents. This is where we currently purchase from. However, other options include Amazon’s Subscribe and Save. With Amazon, you receive a 5% discount. For four boxes of diapers a month, I would pay approximately $182. However, after 5 deliveries that discount bumps up to 20%. You can see how this might be beneficial.

Do we plan to test other diapers? Yes. The problem is if they don’t work it’s wasted money. It’s hard to spend money when you don’t necessarily have any leeway to spend. Ya catch my drift? We accept donations, HA!

Anywho, overall I do recommend these diapers! I would recommend them for one babies, or two. Especially for those with abdominal or groin hernias!

Xo, Sabrina.