Scenes from Tonight

So the other day Emmett was playing with the empty laundry basket, and I randomly decided to lay him down in the basket and carry him as if he were laundry. And then I gave Malcolm a turn. They thought it was hilarious, I thought it was both hilarious and adorable.

Tonight we did more ‘laundry baby’. Except the cuteness factor went up by about a million. I died of cuteness overload about six times in the space of ten minutes.

Consider this as a hopeful future for everyone in the little-baby trenches, and a reminder of the good times of the toddler years (it’s not all tantrums all the time!). Most of all–for my fellow twin mamas, there is hope!

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The helping each other up thing was completely started by them! They actually refused our help–only wanting brother.

What a random, fun time. I love these guys. 🙂 🙂

Practicing Walking

While we were at the orchard a few weeks ago, Malcolm took my hands and started walking!

(M orchard)

At home, I put him on the horsey and he walked in across the room, slowly and jerkily.

He kept practicing and practicing. He also started cruising along the couch, but only in one direction (to the right). He also started doing high-stepping marches around the activity table, again, only to the right. (When Emmett is at the table with him, Malcolm just kind of plows through him. Poor Emmett.)

One day the nanny and I put Emmett on the horse and Malcolm pushed them both!

Malcolm showing off his awesome walking skills.

Emmett finally decided to try practice walking with the horse too. Here he is in the morning.

And later that same day! He made progress in less than 12 hours that took Malcolm a week or two.

Emmett’s current practice walking:

Milestones: Crawling!

On September 1, this happened: IMG_1244

Both babies were up on all all fours. Within a day or two they figured out how to push backward on their hands, and would back up around the living room/play area. Occasionally one of them would end up under a table. Silly babies. They also got really good at going from all fours to backing up to sitting on their bums.

One week later, Emmett did this:

The following day, Malcolm did this:

Aren’t these the cutest little halting crawls you’ve ever seen? I just couldn’t believe that they were actually crawling! And of course I had to entice them with things they love to grab: my water bottle and my big camera.

Two days later, they were getting a little more coordinated:

Oh, and by now Malcolm had found the stairs.

One week later they were practically pros:

It’s been a month and geez, they motor all over the place.

It’s adorable. It’s also insanely quick. We’ve slowly worked on making the living area safer, but man, they do find their way into everything!

It was really nice for these last few months, when they could sit up and stay in one place, happily playing and hanging out. Now that they are mobile, and increasingly fast, they require a quicker eye and ear. But it is nice that they can explore different toys and things. They still like to be near each other, and will frequently follow each other to a different part of the room. I swear they were playing follow the leader in the kitchen the other day. Of course, this also means that when one finds a fun toy, the other one is close behind to steal it. Sigh.

5 months old!

Dear sweet babies,

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Five months! What!

You are happy, smiley babies. Happy chunky ones too–you’re approximately 15 pounds and close to 25 inches. You’re getting close to the end of 3m clothes.

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Here are some of the things you’ve been up to and learning this month:

You discovered your voice–especially Malcolm. You figured out that you can shriek and yell. It gets really high pitched, too! Very cute. Along with that, you’re starting to giggle more. Love it.

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Your hand movements are quite smooth now. You grab anything near you and bring it to your mouth. You also started to reach out for toys on your exersaucer. You both love to sit in the various contraptions we have–the super seat especially. You’ll just hang out there, and look around, and grin. And play/eat with toys that you can grab.

Another super cute thing you do now is playing with your blankets. You love to grab it and pull it different directions, and especially drape it over your faces. The Taggie blankets are your favorites, but even a burp cloth will do in a pinch. For some reason, putting a blanket over your face will calm you down if you’re upset.

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This month you have begun doing baby sit-ups. You are rarely content to just lie on the boppy anymore! You’re starting to get really strong-you can lift yourselves to like 45 degrees! You love it when we pull you up to sitting. I’ve tried a couple times to actually sit you up and sometimes you can stay up for a second. I have no doubt you will be sitting for real on your own soon.

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You had a big physical accomplishment this month–you both rolled over! I’m not sure if I can say you “learned” to do it, because it was either accidental or random/rare to actually make it all the way over. But both of you did roll a couple times! Interestingly, you both roll to your left.

Emmett, you did it first. Daddy laid you down after a nap and a second later you had flipped over! Just kind of out of nowhere. Malcolm, it took you a couple more days, but you were practicing and trying with a lot of effort–you lift your butt up on one side and bring your foot up, trying to get your lower half to roll over. Your elbow on that side was in your way, though. I helped you practice a few times over a couple days, and finally you rolled all the way over by yourself! Emmett, you tend to use your big head to tilt tilt tilt until you roll over. However, after the first few days of new and excitement, it seems like both of you were over it. You still don’t really roll readily.

The other really cool thing you’ve started doing is turning pages of your board books. One evening after your dinner, I put you both on my lap (which is not easy) and showed you a book. Malcolm, you started twitching in the general direction of the book. So I brought it closer to you and you grabbed the pages. You were able to grasp a single page with your left hand, between palm and thumb, and bring it over to the left. Emmett, you did the same thing the following day. Neither of you have mastered letting go of the page, but to be fair, you’re only five months old. 🙂  Since then, we still “read” books to you both but mostly so you can turn pages. 🙂  Overall, I’m so impressed and proud of both of you!

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A big (emotional) milestone was of course moving to your own room. You transitioned there really easily. We transitioned you to your crib fairly easily too, over the course of a week or so. You continue the same schedule you’ve had for a little while. You’re still sleeping pretty well, with a few wakeups around 2am and 4am.

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You continue to recognize us and light up when you see us. I continue to love hugging you and kissing your big squishy cheeks.

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We love you,

mama

Four Months Old!

My dear sweet babies,

You’re four months old now! I can’t believe it. As usual.

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You’re growing well: you both weigh about 14 1/2 pounds, and you’re both over 24 inches long. That means in four months you’ve just about tripled your size! No wonder–you’re eating 6 ounces every three hours. We just put you in size 3 diapers, which sounds WAY too big, but you should stay in those for awhile. You’re still wearing 3 month clothes, though they’re starting to get more snug.

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Look how big your hands are getting!

You clearly read the Awesome Baby Manual, because on your first night as three month olds, you decided to sleep all night. And it wasn’t a fluke–you’re still going! That’s pretty great for all of us. You’re still in Rock n Plays in our room. One or both of you does start making noise early in the morning, but you’re okay for awhile. For awhile we were getting you up 6-630am, but now you’re going until 7-730. Sometimes you need a little snack in the wee sma’s, but that’s not unreasonable. The best part is that first thing in the morning when we come get you, you see us and give us these big happy smiles. It makes my heart happy.

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You’re just now starting to maybe get into a nap routine–9am, 11am, 2pm, plus more in the afternoon. Most of them don’t last very long–less than an hour. And sometimes only one of you falls asleep. But if we can solidify the routine times I think that will help both of you be happier in the late afternoon/early evening. We’ve been trying to put you down for at least one nap in your co-sleeper so you can get used to sleeping on your back. You’ll need to move to your cribs in the next few months!

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Your hair is changing. Malcolm, yours continues to thin on the top but seems to be growing at the back–you have an old man mullet! Emmett, your hair at the top is still growing, nice and lush. It’s even long enough that most of it sits down now, instead of sticking up. However, you appear to be losing some hair in a ring around the middle of your head.

I think it’s safe to say that the theme of this month was your hands. You’ve really discovered them and started putting them to good use!

First, you started finding fingers to snack on. You’ll nom your whole hand sometimes. We thought at first that it was only a sign of hunger, but now we think it’s just something to do. You’re less interested in pacifiers, so it’s nice that you’re able to soothe yourselves with something always handy (ha!).

Then you started working on coordinating your hand movement to purposefully move toward an object and grab at it. We put you both on an activity mat/gym and you guys have learned to bring your hands up to and around the hanging toys. You concentrate very hard and move pretty slowly. I find this very exciting and fascinating to watch, as you learn that your body can move and that you can control it. Now you like to hold the Winkel toy and the Taggies rattle.

We put you in an exersaucer for the first time a couple weeks ago. You’re still way too small for it; you kind of lean onto the side. Emmett, you only had eyes for the hanging toys and reached for them. Malcolm, you found the buttons that light up and make noise. And right away you figured out how to push them! You sat there focused on moving your fingers and hands to brush and push the buttons! I was amazed.

Beyond the exersaucer, we’ve expanded your toy/contraption collection even more. We finally started using the swing and thankfully you love it and always calm down if you’re fussy. DSC_0995-1

We also rotate you in a bouncer and a rocker. The rocker has a musical hanging toy (it sings If You’re Happy) that makes you smile every time. Lastly, we gave you each a Sophie giraffe, and you already like holding her and trying to chew on her ears.

The other big news is that you both GIGGLED! You finally got that last third of the sound to make it all the way to a sweet little laugh. So far you haven’t done it more than once or twice, so I’m looking forward to hearing a lot more of those happy sounds soon. Here’s Emmett almost-giggling with Daddy:

Here I’m trying to get both of you to giggle.

Speaking of sweet, this month you’ve finally begun noticing each other. We have to physically put one or both of you in the eyeline of the other, but you will look at each other–and smile! It’s kind of strange but also so exciting to see you acknowledge one another. You guys have been separate for so long and this is a reminder that you will soon be buddies and hopefully best friend brothers.

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You make a lot of noise–your coos have really taken off. We can practically have conversations! Mostly you say a sound like, “guh”. It’s really cute. Here’s Malcolm practicing lots of sounds while joyfully kicking:

Here’s Malcolm chatting with Daddy while nomming a hand:

The noise from your, erm, other end has decreased a bit, which is nice. You also don’t really root anymore. Now when you’re hungry, you just start crying.

You’ve had your first real outdoor experiences. We’ve had some beautiful days this month, and a couple times I’ve brought you out to the lawn on a crib pad. Can’t wait for you to be big enough to crawl around the grass and play in the dirt!

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We love you, babies. You’re the best, cutest, most amazing babies ever.

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love, mama

ps: thanks for letting me dress you up for holidays! 🙂

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Hurdles

A few of our recent challenges, along with some semi-related photos/video.

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I think last week we got through the six-week growth spurt! I didn’t know about growth spurts and what they involved until reading about it on my friend Ask Moxie’s knowledgeable site and facebook community. Our growth spurt–or what I assumed was the growth spurt–involved a little more late night fussing, but mostly increased eating. At the 1.30/2am feeding, they would just want more and more. (What does that mean? They kept crying and fussing until we fed them more.) One night Malcolm ate 7 ounces! (Their current ‘normal’ feeding amount is 3.5 to 4 ounces.) This meant that they wouldn’t want to sleep until around 4am. And that ‘fortunately’ coincided with Andy going back to work, so he got hardly any sleep for most of the week. He was miserable.

There were three bad nights of this, and then CUE ANGELS SINGING they had a night of sleeping like they did a couple weeks ago. (They’re so young yet that I wasn’t sure if we should count anything as ‘normal’, but I’m cautiously optimistic about this. It’s been about a week and they’ve been consistent again. Phew!)

The only thing I don’t have any clarity on is whether or not to count the babies as real six-week-olds. See, when babies are born early, one is supposed to adjust for that when anticipating or achieving milestones. Since these two were born at 36 weeks, technically they are four weeks younger gestationally. So that growth spurt could have been the three-week growth spurt. The issue is that they are twins, and aren’t expected to go to the full 40 weeks–biologically I believe they are considered full-term and developed at either 37 or 38 weeks. So do I count them as two weeks younger gestationally? I have a hunch, though, that they’re right on target. Their smiles started around 6 weeks, their digestion changed right at 6 weeks, etc. It really doesn’t matter at this stage because they have growth spurts every 2-3 weeks anyway, and of course actual occurrence and length varies for every baby.

When a baby is hungry, they do this. It’s called rooting (as in searching around for food) and it’s adorable and hilarious.

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They are getting so big! But their feet are still tiny at least.

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Wednesday was my first real day with the babies alone. We have a nanny that comes over Mondays and Fridays. Andy goes to an office space on those days, and has worked at home the other days. That means he’s been able to help with some of the midday feedings when he’s here. But I do want him to be able to be out of the house as much as he can. Three days a week is a fantastic compromise (on his part). Since last week was so sleep-deprived, this was the first week he actually will be gone for three days.

It actually wasn’t too bad. The morning feeding went like it always does, and the noon feeding went pretty smoothly too. In the early afternoon, I wanted to go to the mama’s group meetup so I had the additional challenge of getting both babies ready and out the door on my own.

ME: Ok guys, I’m going upstairs for a minute. Stay here.

BABIES: {pause.} WAHH!

ME, UPSTAIRS: Sigh. {continues getting dressed for a minute. go back downstairs and pick one up. he calms down. after a minute, put that one down and pick the other one up, who calms down.} I’m here! You’re okay!

I put them in their car seats, which usually makes at least one of them annoyed/upset. But this time they stayed calm and quiet. And they both slept the whole time I was at the meetup!

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Yesterday we took the babies for their two month well-baby appointment. This involved the standard weight and height check, and a physical exam. They’ve both gained a good amount of weight and are within two ounces of each other–they’re both just over 10 pounds!

kicking up a storm in the exam room

Then of course came the shots. They’d gotten a couple shots before, so it wasn’t totally new for us. I think they got three pokes and then an oral vaccine too. I felt more emotional about their discomfort this time, which kind of surprised me. I think it’s that it seems like such a painful surprise for them–‘hey, what was that!?’ We held their little hands and shushed them, which helped calm them. They fell asleep in the car, of course, and slept for awhile longer.

In the evening, Emmett started fussing. Soon it escalated to full-on screaming-crying. Louder and more pained than I’d ever heard–his little voice was sort of cracking at the top of his register. Holding and shushing and the pacifier–all which normally quiet him–didn’t work; he kept screaming. I put him in the sling I have (which I’ve started using occasionally lately because I’d forgotten about it until now), and he snuggled up and fell asleep. Poor baby!

After awhile, since he was still fast asleep, I figured I could take him out and take a nap myself. Approximately thirty seconds after I lay down on the couch, he woke up and started screaming again. Sigh. Back in the sling.

He fell back asleep and wasn’t disturbed by me making a smoothie. When it was time to pump, I had to take him out of the sling again. He woke up and started screaming again, but Andy managed to swaddle him and calm him down and he dozed off.

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Serious hair. Emmett dares you to start any funny business.

More photos and video

I finally made the timelapse of my belly!

I added the video to the Belly Grows page, and added a second page to document my post-baby belly (appropriately titled The Belly Shrinks!). I hope this will be even more motivation to get active and back in shape (once I’m physically ready, of course–another three weeks at the least).

Baby B (Malcolm) still gets the hiccups. His whole tiny body trembles at each one.

 

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We found these adorable Christmas fleece footies. They are newborn sized but our guys are still under 6 pounds, so they’re swimming in them a little. 🙂

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Babies’ first time meeting Santa!

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