Giving Thanks

Last Thanksgiving kind of didn’t exist for us. The babies were born the day before, so our second day all together was still a hospital blur of pain medication, the tedious process of feeding babies every few hours, and being stupid with exhaustion. I don’t think I even got a shower until the third day. Thanksgiving was not anywhere near the front of my mind, to say the least.

So technically this is not the babies’ first Thanksgiving, but it sure feels like it. This is our first real Thanksgiving as a family of four, in our warm and cozy home in this still-new-to-us city. Really, I am–we are–so (and I hate how cliche it sounds!) blessed.

We have these adorable babies who have been really healthy. They are decent sleepers, by our great luck. Their development and growth has been pretty much right on track. There are grandparents, relatives and friends who love them so much. My husband and I work at being a good parenting partnership, sharing and alternating duties as much as possible, to keep ourselves as sane and healthy as possible.

This summer, we started making conscious efforts to go out to do things together as a family. Sometimes it’s really neat stuff like visiting Mt Hood for a day, but more often it’s a walk in the neighborhood or a trip to the grocery store. It just matters that a) we’re getting out of the house, and b) that we’re all together.

I just can’t believe how lucky I am to have this wonderful family!

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I hope everyone out there has had a lovely day with their own families and friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Twelve Months!! One Year Old!!

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My dear sweet babies,

You are twelve months old–you have been alive for an entire YEAR! You’re a year old! I can’t believe it. No, really–one year olds are practically little kids, but that can’t be you yet! What happened to my tiny babies?? How has it been a year already??

I’ve been thinking a lot about last year at this time, when we hadn’t met you yet, and I didn’t know how to be a mama and I wondered who you would be. Those first few chaotic days/weeks/months when you were so fragile and new, we were so overwhelmed and exhausted with figuring out how to take care of you. Now so very much has changed. I can’t imagine not knowing you! We’ve gotten used to this baby thing, as much as we can. You have personalities that we’ve enjoyed seeing develop. You smile and laugh and hug. And happily, we’re a little more rested than we used to be.

I can’t believe you have been my babies for a whole year. I can’t believe how much you’ve grown and changed, and how much I still love to hold and snuggle you.

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You are wonderfully average in growth–right in the 50th percentile or so for height and weight. I think this is wonderful, considering you were born at 36 weeks weighing about five pounds. You had those tiny, skinny limbs that are now wonderfully chunky and strong. It makes me sad and nostalgic that you’re not so teeny tiny and new anymore, but I’m also so happy and thankful that you’re growing so well, and that you’re such healthy babies. We are so lucky in so many ways.

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Malcolm, you weigh 23 pounds, and you are 30.75 inches tall. Emmett, you weigh 22 pounds, and you are 30 inches tall. I am pretty sure you’ve grown just this past month, because you grew out of some of your 9 month clothes, and you can now reach a lot higher. You can reach the stove knobs, drawer handles, things near the edge of my desk. We need to do a second round of baby-proofing, obviously.

You are standing and cruising all the time. You pull up on anything and everything, and you can solidly stand for a good thirty seconds. (Emmett, you like to clap for yourself when you stand. :)) When we hold your hands, you take off and walk! You will happily do laps around the living room and/or the kitchen. And you get this huge happy smile while you do it, plus your little feet are pitterpattering and it’s all just so incredibly adorable.

AND, you’re starting to take actual steps!! Malcolm, you can do four or five steps before falling down into my arms laughing. Emmett, you can do one or two,Β  but mostly you really like to stand for awhile and then just fall forward giggling. It is so cute. All this walking practice means extra hugs and I can’t help but love that. πŸ™‚

Your first Halloween was this month! I found these monkey costumes at the twins resale and oh my GOODNESS the cuteness killed me!

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Emmett, you have six teeth through and Malcolm, you have eight teeth out! Only your bottom teeth are really showing–the top ones aren’t very far in yet, so you don’t look too grown up quite yet. πŸ™‚

Speaking of grown-up, your cognition is really starting to develop. You both have learned to clap on cue! This may seem kind of silly, but this is the first sign that you understand a spoken word and its physical meaning–and that you know that when we say it, you can do it. It kind of blows my mind, actually. What else do you secretly understand, I wonder?

You also started doing this arm gesture, reaching out to show what you want to be taken to see. Sometimes there is also a grunt to accompany the ‘pointing’. It’s freaking adorable and hilarious. You’re like a tiny emperor instructing us to carry you around to wherever you wish to go.

Interestingly, the thing you both point to the most is pictures. We had some framed photos lying around in the living room and you were super interested in them, always looking at and touching them. So now when there are photos nearby, you smile big and reach for them. Malcolm, you make this one sound all the time when you point at stuff, kind of an “ah-duh”.

This past month we finally started you in daycare two days a week. At first you were totally cool with it, but then in your first week of full days, you both are a mess at dropoff and pickup. It is so sad, you get so upset! And of course it’s pretty much impossible to hold and console you both simultaneously. Poor babies! I hope that next month at daycare gets easier for all of us.

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Our foray into daycare has in turn brought us your first real illnesses. You both got fevers earlier this month, which you’d never had before. It was so pitiful how lethargic and quiet you’d get! You were so snuggly and cuddly, though, which of course your mama loved loved loved. πŸ™‚

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You haaaaaated the syringe of baby Tylenol, but boy was it a miracle-worker. The medicine would perk you right back to your normal selves. Emmett, your fevers lasted more than three days but then thankfully went away. Malcolm, your fevers didn’t last long, but it turned into an ear infection, so you had to take some antibiotics to feel better. Fortunately, we figured out that we could add the medicine to a small bottle so we wouldn’t have to torture you with the syringe.

Speaking of torture…oh, poor Emmett. You have been a sniffly, snorty mess for most of this month, and several times a day we use saline drops and the nosefrida on you. Of course it is the worst thing ever for you and I hate that you think we’re torturing you and how upset you are! I always make sure to give you lots of hugs and kisses afterward so that you still know we love you!

And speaking of hugs and kisses, your Grandma J came for a visit this month! She was so happy to spend a lot of time with you. Unfortunately it was right when you were first getting sick, but at least she got to give you even more extra snuggles.

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You changed up your eating and sleeping routines a bit this month–you sleep later (HALLELUJAH) and you dropped a couple bottle feedings. We introduced cow’s milk, too, which you seem to be handling fine.

Emmett, you really have started playing with us this month. You like us to play hide and seek with you–if we go around a corner and say, “Where’s Emmett? Where are you?” you’ll wait a moment or two, and then crawl into view with this huge happy grin.

Malcolm, you have been working on charging up the stairs. You have some kind of super sense–if the staircase baby gate is open, you crawl toward it super fast and start climbing! And now Emmett does the same thing, so we have to be really careful about closing it and grabbing you before you get to the stairs if we forget to close the gate.

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Your play routines still involve a lot of books (reading them and trying to eat them–when will you stop trying to eat everything??!!), and walking with the horsey back and forth across the living room, and banging any two similar things together. Currently, you like the blocks that rattle and the stacking cup toy from Ikea.

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We put some of the blocks into the end cabinet in the kitchen for you. You’ve figured out how to open the cabinet and loved to take out Daddy’s coffee kcups and shake them. We put some boxes at the front that have blocks instead of the coffee pods so that you won’t be accidentally caffeinated. πŸ™‚ You discovered the joy of loaf pans in one of the other cabinets–you can bang them together and/or bang them with the wooden spoons and make a wonderful racket.

You love to cruise along and open the cabinet doors, and pull with all your might on the cabinets with locks on them. You also adore opening and closing the baby gate into the kitchen, and stepping over the threshold back and forth. Sometimes it’s hard for us to get past you tough little gatekeepers!

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Though you can sort of play together, you are keeping us busier, but it is fun to watch you learning to do all this new stuff. We love you so much and we’re so glad you’re our babies. What an amazing (and tiring) year it’s been together as a new family!

Happy birthday!
love, mama

Life Right Now (Schedule update v8) (11 months)

In a word: Tired. (That’s us, though.)

Around the end of October or so, I guess around when they turned 11 months old, the babies ended up changing their routine in an important way–they basically dropped two feedings. We’ve also changed their sleep routine a little. And naps are in the process of changing too, I think.

They now wake up–rather, we get them up–a little later, around 7 or sometimes 730. This is a nice holdover from the sleep regression (they regularly slept until 730 because they were awake for so long overnight).

They still do their big (7oz) breakfast bottle right away, and then a breakfast of oatmeal and mashed banana around 830. They still go down for a nap around 10, but without another bottle. This week, the morning nap has been 45 minutes or less.

This change came about because twice I just totally forgot about that feeding–I put one or both babies down without remembering to give them a bottle. Mother of the year, right here! But the babies didn’t seem to notice or care. So, it became the routine. I figure if they were hungry, they would let me know and wouldn’t just fall asleep. Plus, I knew that as they are getting older, their liquid intake is supposed to taper off, so I wasn’t worried about them. (Plus, I really try not to stress about how much they eat or drink. It’s crazy-making if you do that, and there’s really no way to force a baby to eat if he doesn’t want to. [Medical issues notwithstanding, obviously.])

Around 12/1230, they have lunch of fruit puree and yogurt (plain whole-fat yogurt mixed with blueberry-banana puree that I make) and maybe some additional fresh fruit in mesh feeders (we were good about doing this over the summer but haven’t done it as much lately). Plus cheerios and puffs as a before/after play snack–a good way to keep them busy as everything else gets set up and then put away.

They’ll want 6ish ounces anywhere between 130 and 230, and then they go down for a nap. The last few months, the nap would start around 2, but lately it’s been starting after 3–some days as late as 4. And since the morning nap has been short this week, the afternoon nap is on the earlier side, and long. But sometimes it’s been flipped, or sometimes the babies switch–one takes a long morning nap, one takes a long afternoon nap. A couple terrible afternoons this past month, one baby has refused the afternoon nap altogether! Those were not fun times and thankfully it’s been a rare occurrence.

This later nap does mean an extended outing timeframe! We haven’t done much interesting stuff yet, but it’s a relief to have a little more wiggle room. However, it does mean that we really need to bring bottles when we go out, because when they get hungry they get HUNGRY and do NOT want to wait to get home!

After the nap, they want a little snack–a couple ounces maybe. (I’ve been trying to work in some (organic, whole) milk for that snack instead of formula, since they’re supposed to be off formula by 12 months or so. We will not hit that deadline, but whatever.) Then they have dinner around 545. They eat veggie puree, meat puree, and again some cheerios and puffs.

Their 8.5oz dinner bottle is now at 7pm. We used to do it by 630 because they would get so crazy cranky. But as they’ve gotten older, we noticed that they will happily play a little longer before getting fussy. We really pushed it the week leading up to the time change, and we’ve been able to stick with it being a little later. I am now being more careful to do it right at 7, though, instead of in a range around 7. I suppose I do that to build routine for all of us, and so they don’t end up staying up too late. After they take as much of the bottle as they can (Malcolm will usually finish his and Emmett will leave a few ounces), they will play a bit, we read them a couple stories, and then at 730 (again, actually *at* the time), we bring them upstairs, for the last of the bottles if needed, a song, and goodnight kisses. They usually settle and quiet almost immediately.

There are still occasional wakings during the night, but most of them are pretty quick to deal with. Generally it just means that we, the adults, aren’t getting super great sleep.

It’s so interesting how our babies have changed and adapted what they want to eat/drink over time. They’re getting hungrier and more demanding at the solid mealtimes. Which is good! (Now we have to start thinking about non-pureed food. Ugh.) But a lot of the bottle routine I think was the babies being used to the routine, rather than hunger. But eventually I can start noticing their actual cues and adjust what we give them. I couldn’t believe that they dropped so much liquid so quickly! That cut down their intake by like a third! And with hardly any transition time.

I know that there are a ton of transitions on the horizon–they’ll drop one of the naps (and the process of that transition must be a nightmare of constant fussiness), they’ll start eating regular food, they’ll start working on feeding themselves, which means the meal messes will increase exponentially. They’ll transition off formula and in theory off bottles entirely. Maybe they’ll start sleeping better again, which would be nice. I think they’ll be walking in the next month or two, which means a whole new level of vigilant supervision and babyproofing. Blergh.

But maybe they’ll start talking too, or at least making clear attempts to communicate, and they’ll be able to do and understand a lot more. I do think that part will be fun and fascinating!

Mostly I just can’t believe that they’ll be a year old next week!! How is that possible?!

Baby Room Makeover!!

Previously: My thoughts on “nurseries” and the first baby room makeover/setup.

The babies have been sleeping in their room for what, six months now? They don’t really spend any time there in daylight. But as they get bigger, and our living room-slash-playroom starts to feel smaller, I started to think about actually getting some fun use out of their bedroom.

Before:

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The dresser was nearly empty. All of their clothes are downstairs next to the changing table, since that’s where we dress and change them.

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The left half of the top shelf is books for the babies. Technically, I’ve had a bunch of those picture books for years already from teaching. All the rest of the books and crap on this bookshelf is mine. Selfishly taking up space in my babies’ room because I don’t know where else to put it.

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Piles. Stuff. Tools. Crap. Also dust. (Babies are not usually underfoot.)

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And now the After:

New decorations!! First of course are the map letters, which I made myself–see all about those here. The long frame in the middle is a few years old. I had some black and white nature photos in there, and it’s been leaning in a corner in our room for like a year. Now it holds pictures of our summer beach trip. This had been sitting in the living room for a couple weeks, waiting to be hung, and the babies LOVE looking at it! They point/tap at themselves and us. I think I need to get more big photos printed up and put them in a baby-safe frame or sleeve so they can play with them. The alphabet print is this lovely Cavallini wrapping paper, and it fits PERFECTLY in this Virserum frame from IKEA. (So that huge framed print cost a total of $25!)

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Adorable prints and wooden growth chart! The 11×14 frames were on clearance at joann.com. The growth chart is from a local toy shop. At Christmas we will get some small kid furniture which will fit here too.

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I found this twin boys reading print on etsy last year. I love pretty much everything about it, so much.

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The personalized best friends print is from Minted. We want our babies to be best friend brothers. πŸ™‚

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This 9-cubby organizer was actually one of the first mental makeovers I made. It’s been in the garage since we moved it out of the living room earlier this year. Since the white dresser wasn’t really being used, I realized it needed to go, and that this piece could be part dresser, part kid-friendly shelving. The fabric drawers contain the extra crib sheets, and some clothes that are still a little big, and a few other random things. The open shelves hold books, toys, and wipes. The Pooh hanging is from Andy’s childhood bedroom. πŸ™‚ Oh, and the curtains are from IKEA. I think they are so cute and happy! They don’t block any light, though, and this room gets all the strong morning light. So I dug out the thick red curtains from our Brooklyn bedroom, and together they do a good job keeping the room nice and dark when needed. Maybe someday I’ll cut the red ones to be the same length as the white ones.

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I framed 8x10s of the babies with each of their grandparents (which is three photos). The fourth one is a placeholder for another photo of us four. I might get (or make!) one of those “FAMILY” artsy signs to put above them. And we can add more photos to either side if we want to! (These are hung up with Command strips, so they can be taken down/moved/put up with ease.) That little shelf/drawer piece is also a placeholder. The tools are in the drawers right now, but I’ll put them into a bin or basket in the linen closet. Later we plan to put a large toy in this space.

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And that’s it!

I am so, so pleased with how everything came together. There’s no theme, it’s not styled just so like all the beautiful Pinterest nurseries, and there’s still a bunch of random crap in the closet. But I think it’s warm, eclectically fun, and friendly.

I love that it’s open, and should stay pretty open even once the larger pieces are added in. I think it will be a fun space for the babies to play and have fun! I want to invent reasons for me to hang out in there and enjoy it myself too. πŸ™‚

Most of the new items were re-purposed, handed down, or on sale–so all together, this makeover really wasn’t even that expensive! And it was easy to complete in just a few days, with the help of my husband and visiting mother-in-law.

Here are the befores (left) and afters (right) one more time, all side by side:

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Modpodge Map Letters

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I am so excited about this project! It turned out pretty much just like I envisioned, and it was easy and really inexpensive. Win-win!

I bought 12″ papier mache letters at Joann. My local store didn’t have the letters I wanted, so I got them online.

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Sometime in the last year or two, I remembered finding some beautiful travel-themed wrapping papers that might look neat framed–Cavallini papers on Paper Source. So I decided to use some of those to decoupage onto the letters. It was tough to decide which ones to use–some of the maps? some of the vintage postcards? I settled on using two of the same, and to use a US map.

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This was the first time I’d ever bought my own jar of Mod Podge! I got two sponge applicators, which didn’t fit inside the jar–duh. Next time I’ll compare the two.Β  πŸ™‚ I chose the Matte finish because I figured up on the wall, the shiny might look weird.

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I had to decide where to place the map for where it would lay on the letters. I wanted mostly land and not a ton of water to show up, so both of the letters ended up being a big chunk of the middle (slightly different chunks, though–I didn’t want them matchy-matchy).

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I cut off some of the far edges to make it easier to work with, but not too much, so that I would have plenty to work with on the sides. Then I made a few cuts to correspond to some of the edges, so I could match it up on the blank side.

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I brushed on a light coat of the Mod Podge.

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I put the gluey side of the letter down on the back of the paper, lined up with the cuts (which was kind of difficult). I made a few more cuts and started folding the paper up and around/over the edges, and Mod Podging them down.

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There were several places where the paper overlapped, so I just cut and folded edges over the others. This was the hardest part–figuring out where to cut and where to fold. I probably should have tested some cuts with plain paper first to see how to get the best coverage. But eh, whatever, I wanted to just get it done, and naptime doesn’t last forever. πŸ™‚

Also, for some emptier places on the sides, I glued down another, separate map piece, so that more of the letter would be covered.

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Then I did a few coats of Mod Podge on the back and then the front, letting each dry.

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I think they turned out quite nicely! (Not perfectly though; some of the edges aren’t smooth or even, and some of the folds/cuts weren’t ideal. But it would be so easy and inexpensive if I ever wanted to re-do them, if I ever decided to be super picky and perfectionist.)

I used a picture hanging hook and nail to put them up on the wall.

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Here they are in situ in the babies’ new and improved room:

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Again, I am so excited! I want to do more Mod Podging now!

Sleep, sleep, sleep

The babies’ sleep regression lasted a little less than three weeks. It was the same kind of regression they had earlier this year (the 4 month sleep regression that hit them around 5.5 months; this 9 month regression hit around 10 months). As far as these things go, it probably wasn’t too awful–an hour to an hour and a half awake in the middle of the night, waking anywhere from 3 to 430. (I hear that a lot of babies wake up every hour or every two hours! I can’t imagine how difficult that is!) We would give them an ounce or more of food as demanded, and after a few days of this, we just brought them downstairs to sit and play quietly in dim light. No point in trying to stand around their room for an hour, and they were not about to play nicely in their cribs–no way, they were to be held, or they were to play.

This would have been easy to alternate between the two of us grownups if there were one baby. But we have two babies who both needed hugging and cuddling, and who both wanted bottles, so we needed two sets of arms to help them. Which meant both of us being awake for half the night (since we are night owls and were going to bed at 12 or 1am) and being super tired all the time. It really hit me after the first week. I felt like a zombie, desperate to get some rest. (But not, apparently, desperate enough to actually go to bed at a decent time. Night owl all the way!)

We/they eventually had a few days of better sleep and so we thought, phew, we’re in the clear. But then for close to a week, there were more wakings again. Not as long, thank goodness, but still being wide awake. We think there was some teething going on–their top teeth are erupting–and maybe some growing. Occasionally only one would be awake; sometimes the other would sleep through, and sometimes the other would wake up and realize he was hungry and wanted to play also.

During this little mini sleep thing, we noticed that they were protesting their room. They would wake up crying, and we would hold them, and if we headed toward the door and set foot over the threshold out of their room–the crying stopped like magic. Step back inside their room, waaaaah. Aha, babies, you won’t outsmart me! 3am is not playtime! Back to sleep you will go! They also did a lot more crying when we put them down for naps, even when they were clearly extremely exhausted and needing to sleep, just lots more crying and protesting that really wasn’t indicative of a problem.

So we began to do a very basic sleep training. Just a 5 minute wait period. We would hug and kiss them, put them down in the crib, give them a pacifier and a lovey, say I love you, and walk out. We would watch the clock and after 5 minutes go back in and lay them back down again without saying much, and leave again. Usually after another 2-3 minutes they would quiet down and go back to sleep. I don’t think I ever needed to go in a second time.

I didn’t keep track of what day we started this, or track the length of the cryings and waiting times. But in less than a week, they didn’t even cry for a full five minutes. And now, after maybe 2ish? less than that? weeks, they cry for less than a minute when we put them down or leave after a waking.

It’s not fun to hear the crying, but it doesn’t break my heart or anything. I know that they need to sleep, that they aren’t hungry or in pain. They just want to be awake and play, even if their little bodies say otherwise. I’m not torturing them, I’m not with-holding affection. They get plenty of snuggles and love from us during their awake hours. We are teaching them some boundaries and how to self-soothe. They need to be able to go to sleep on their own. (Well, I guess you could say that *we* need them to be able to go to sleep on their own. And that’s fair. Mama needs her space. Parents are people too.)

So we are fortunately that this sleep training ‘lite’ is working for us–the babies can help themselves, they can get to sleep and go back to sleep, which means they’re getting good rest and that the parents will be more rested too.

Well…eventually. I guess. We have still not recovered from the regression sleep debt, and the babies still have a wake up or two, short ones, overnight or too early in the morning, and we’re still going to bed too late. Now I’m having trouble going back to sleep after some of these wakings, which means that even when I have the chance to get extra sleep, my mind won’t let me. Torture!

Eleven Months

Dear sweet babies,

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You are eleven months old!

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That means, good lord, you’re going to be a whole YEAR old soon! My mama heart cannot believe it. I will continue to call you my babies even after you start toddling around, and probably far after that as well.

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You are really starting to really become not just bigger babies, but your person elements are starting to peek through, just a little bit. You are taking in so much all the time and always learning and looking. Sometimes it’s a handful as you’re exploring, but it’s also pretty fun. I can’t believe that your official babyhood is almost over.

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Here are the new and interesting things that happened this past month as ten-month-olds:

Well, the biggest event for us, your tired parents, was the 9 month sleep regression finally hitting. Ugghh, you woke up for 1-1.5 hours every night. We would feed you and sometimes just let you play downstairs (with the lights very dim). The only good thing was that, after you went back to sleep, you’d sleep until at least 730 (instead of your typical 630ish waking). Altogether the regression lasted a little less than three weeks, and we are still trying to catch up on sleep.

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A big development is that both of you are pulling up to standing, including in your cribs! You want to be standing all.the.time. You’ll pull yourselves up on the baby gates, on my desk chair, on the exersaucer, on the book bin, even on our pantlegs! Then you also learned how to lower your little selves back down to sitting, nice and gentle. Impressive!

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Now that you’re standing so much, you’ve begun wanting to move, working on practicing walking. You have MAJORLY improved in a really short amount of time! It turns out that the rocking horse that you love to ride also works as a walker. You hold the handles and walk the horsey backward. You are seriously fast now!

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(more videos here)

In other physical news, Malcolm, three new teeth have shown up: your top incisors and a bottom tooth (so you now have 2 1/2 all in a row).

You’ve both also grown a bit–we’ve got you in 12-month jammies. You’re still wearing 9 month onesies, but you wear 9 and 12 month pants.

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We’ve introduced some new foods this month, namely meat! We gave you some chicken-apple puree. That was actually the very first time your little systems experienced any meats at all, since I didn’t eat any while I was pregnant or pumping. Happily you seem to like it!

You’ve also tried some toast. Neither of you were impressed when I first gave it to you. Too funny! Malcolm, you ended up liking it, but Emmett, you are not a fan.

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Your interaction with each other is definitely increasing. You still steal toys and books from each other for a good portion of the day, but we have noticed a lot more fun interactions too. Emmett, you’ve started to give sort-of kisses and hugs to Malcolm! Both of you like to pull each other’s hair, and the interesting thing is that the pull-ee only protests some of the time. Maybe you’re getting used to it? You like to look at each other more and more, and you also like to follow each other to different areas of the living room or kitchen. I can’t believe that soon enough you’ll truly be able to play together.

You’ve also been more snuggly with us, which I think was a side benefit of the sleep regression. For the past month or two, when we tried to hold you, you wanted to buck out of our arms and look or explore elsewhere. But this month I noticed that you clearly wanted to be held more, and that you were happier and quieter in our arms. I think it’s pretty great, because snuggling you is still one of my favorite activities!

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This month you also got little colds–really, just some serious nasal congestion and some sneezing. That was concurrent with the sleep regression, which probably made you both extra unhappy. So much snorting and sniffling! And so much fighting against the NoseFrida! Poor tortured babies.

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Happily, you found some new toys that bring you lots of enthusiasm. I brought out the toy wagon I found at a resale, with the seat/lid. You discovered that you can open and close the lid, and that your plastic blocks can be hidden in there. Lots of fun.

You also started playing with the plastic stacking toy, and BOY do you love those. If you see the rings all stacked up, you are apparently obligated to unstack them.

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A gross ‘toy’ you found this month was our shoes. I don’t know how many times you wandered over to the little rack table thing by the front door and got a shoe edge IN YOUR MOUTH. Gack. You do it all the time! Gross! We need to lock up our footwear, obviously.

But your greatest joy has been the discovery of banging things together. It started with the old plastic measuring cups–you played with (chewed on) them, and then we helped you realize that two of them could be clapped together to make a noise! Later in the month one of you realized that you could grab two of the bottle lids and bang those together. Now you will find any two like things and bang bang bang away happily. Endless entertainment with simple household items–love it!

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Now of course, since both of you love that so much, you will frequently drop and steal the cups or lids from each other. Cue much crying and frustration, until you once again have two similar things to bang together. Sigh.

Emmett, you went through a couple weeks of being super wriggly on the changing table. You wanted to turn around and try to roll away! The strap didn’t even do any good, you could still turn all the way over onto your tummy *under* the strap. It was almost impossible to change your diaper! And then fastening your onesie again…geez, it was a tough time. I did figure out to give you a rattle or some cups to bang and that would usually distract you enough to get you changed. I don’t have a photo of this because I was terrified you’d fall off the changing table!

Malcolm, you started doing this super froggy kick on the changing table. Occasionally it’s out of frustration, but most of the time it’s sheer unbridled enthusiastic energy. It’s really cute and I can’t help smiling back at you when you do it. It does make putting your pants on pretty difficult though.

I can’t believe how much you’re growing and changing. We love you so much and can’t wait to see what happens next!

love, mama