Wednesday, December 28, 2011

More sharing...

In which, Ella is very, very, sneaky.

Baybay & Baybee: Week 19

19 weeks old!

It seems like a lot happened this week when I look back at all of the pictures. I am glad that I snap so many photos as the days go by because at the end of any given week, I often feel so tired that I can't remember what we did with our days.

First off, the girls had their four-month doctor's visit, so we have some new stats! Maya, the smaller baby at birth, has officially surpassed her sister on the scale, weighing in at 13 lbs., 8 oz. Ella was close behind at 12 lbs., 14 oz. The doctor wasn't worried about either of them as far as weight and everything else checked out fine, too. Even the shots went smoothly, with minimal crying on everyone's part (I am proud of how well I did, especially.)

Fun looking in the mirror while we wait at the doctor's office.

We had a nice walk home from our appointment. The babies fell right asleep and kept us warm.

We had a few visits/visitors this week. Aunt Anne came out to see us on Thursday. We have started to look forward to her monthly visits. She's really good with the babies and it's great fun for us to see her so often!

Aunt Anne returns from a walk with a sleeping Maya.

Tuesday evening, Toby arrived! Brett picked him up at the airport, and we are really looking forward to having Toby here for a few weeks. The last time he visited was just after the babies were born, and we were pretty out of it. This time will be more fun.

Toby and Brett waste no time when it comes to playing games.

As you can see in the picture above, we now have a beautiful Christmas tree in our living room! Brett's parents got us one the same time they got theirs. We collected it on Friday when we took a trip up to Greenfield to see Kathy sing. Her chorus, Clinical Notes, has a lot of fun and sounds really good. They sang their holiday concert and we brought two new audience members (Maya and Ella, of course!) to hear them sing. Both girls were pretty good listeners, even if they did need some attention paid to them, and maybe it helped that they each got a meal during the concert.

Visiting after the show.

I've been having fun with videos lately. As the twins start to notice one another more, it's been very interesting to watch them figure things out. I'm sure this is just a glimps into the many days to come of sharing toys.

Learning how to share... or their first fight?

I am pretty sure the twins are starting to teethe. Their hands are always in their mouths. Maya is doing this thing where she pulls on her gums, snapping her fingers out of her mouth. They are both enjoying chew toys. All these things point to teething, plus I just think they are.

Maybe because of the teething, sleeping hasn't been great this week. It seems like every morning Brett and I try to figure out why things weren't as good as they once were, and how we can possibly make them better. Neither of them is sleeping particularly long stretches, and they both need help many times each night. On the other hand, naps have stayed pretty good. Saturday felt like one long day of naps; it was like we had only one baby because the girls were both taking long naps, but on alternate schedules! It was fun, but a little strange. Here's hoping we get some better sleep in the weeks to come.



Here are some extra pictures from the week!

Little baby, big toy!

"Mama, please, some privacy!"

I was curious how hard it would be to carry both babies at once. The answer: not hard at all, but you need another person to help with the set up.

The babies are still a little bit small for the exersaucer, but we've started putting them in it sometimes anyway and it's fun for a little while.

Cute overalls and kisses!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Baybay & Baybee: Week 18

18 weeks old!

Maya and Ella welcomed their newest cousin into the world this week! Amber gave birth to Trillian Layne Fischler on Sunday, December 11th. She weighed 6 lbs. 9 oz. and has fuzzy blond hair, just like Maya did when she was born. Congratulations, Amber and Scott, and welcome to the family, baby Trillian!

Amber, Trillian and Mama, just a few hours after Trillian was born. Even though we are far away, we've been able to "meet" Trillian through Skype a couple of times. She's very cute!

Sunday was a long and busy day for us. After the news in the morning of Trillian's birth, Brett and I got ready for a day of being out in the world. We had two parties to go to: first a birthday celebration for our friend Mark, and second, a baby shower for our friend Hannah. The events overlapped each other, so all four of us went to Mark's party first, and after about half an hour, Ella and I left Brett and Maya (plus a bottle of milk) at the party and drove up to Keene, NH for the baby shower. (That morning, to decide which baby would come with me and which would stay with Brett, we wrote their names on two pieces of paper and randomly chose.) The car ride up to Keene was about an hour, but it took us a little longer because Ella got hungry. Hannah's baby shower was really fun and Ella was SO happy the entire time. She smiled and talked to everyone who held her. In total, the twins (and their parents) were separated for four and a half hours, and it was a happy reunion when I arrived home, although Ella was very cranky by then.

Ella and her friend Hannah, who will have a baby boy in February.

The twins celebrated their 4-month-birthday this week! It was a nice day outside so we took a walk to the library. It's amazing to me that it has been 4 months already.

On Wednesday, Brett and I had dental appointments. We left the girls with Kathy while we drove up to our dentist's office in Worthington. We saw some really pretty sights, since the night before there had been snow in the hilltowns.

A sample of the pretty sights we saw on our ride into the hills.

Unfortunately, we forgot that we had changed our original appointment times, and Brett missed his cleaning. Oh well. It was a nice drive and good for us to spend some time alone together. The girls were pretty happy when we got home, but Ella had had a little crying fit after she woke up from her nap. Kathy is so great at watching the girls - she always seems to get them to smile, and isn't stressed out by the occasional crying.

Grandma Kathy and Ella spend some quality time together. Ella was much happier after she finished drinking the bottle that Kathy fed her.

Brett still had a bad cough all week which lingered from the cold he had a few weeks ago. He had some rough times because of not feeling well and being extra tired from coughing. It sucks to be sick. I hope he feels better soon.

I went out a couple of times with the babies, which is always an adventure. Selena and I spent some time together walking around town and going grocery shopping. It's different being out and about with both babies and Selena, rather than both babies and Brett. Though we still get the occasional, "Are they twins?!" comment from strangers, people mostly just smile at us while catching a quick glimpse of the babies in passing, probably assuming that we are just two friends out together with our babies. It's kind of refreshing to not have so much attention while I'm out. Plus, it's always nice to spend time with Selena!

Shopping with Selena and sleeping babies.

I have been feeling slightly worried lately about nursing. Both girls started this new thing where they pop on and off the breast when they nurse. Sometimes this is accompanied by a little fussing, and sometimes it seems like they are just doing it for fun. It's been frustrating because I don't understand why it's happening. Is there not enough milk? Too much milk? I decided to go seek some advice from a lactation consultant, to put my mind at ease. On Tuesdays at Cradle, they have a free drop-in time and you can go and ask questions, so I did that this week. Lex Beach, who also happens to be a mother of twin girls was the lactation consultant who I spoke with and she was so helpful! She said that her girls nursed until they were three years old and went through the exact same thing with nursing when they were four months old. She said it's mostly because they are getting more distracted, and as long as they are gaining weight, there is nothing to worry about. I felt so much better after speaking with her. I am continually thankful to live in an area with so many useful resources like this.

The girls have started doing the most adorable thing: when we nurse, they hold hands. It's so sweet to watch.

Every time we turn around and look back again, Ella and Maya seem bigger. Here, they show off their "blank stare" skills.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Baybay & Baybee: Week 17

17 weeks old!

Maya started talking this week! While Ella began babbling away a few weeks ago, Maya had remained quieter. She seemed content to listen and watch. Well, no more! We now have two babble-y babies who love to practice sounds and LOVE when you repeat their sounds back to them. They have different tones that they seem to prefer and though they are practicing most of the same sounds we are usually able to tell them apart, even when they talk at the same time.

Story time!

A new, and pleasant, change this week is that the babies have often been waking up happy from their naps! Instead of cries that have us rushing in to pick them up, we are graced with happy cooing sounds as they babble away, sucking on their hands until we come in, at which point we receive big smiles.

Speaking of naps, they have been going great! Naps have mostly been just for the girls, though we get a couple in ourselves every once and a while. Pretty constantly, the babies take 3-4 naps a day. The first is about an hour and a half after they get up in the morning, and the second around noon, and the third around 3:00. Sometimes they go down for another nap in the evening, but we've had to be careful with that because sometimes they think it's night at that point and have a very hard time waking up. They normally sleep for about 45 minutes, but sometimes it's 2 hours. We've had more 2 hour stretches recently, so maybe that will become the norm in the next few weeks. Now, if we can get them to do that at the same time, that would be amazing.

Night time sleep is a whole different story. Sometimes it's been okay, but often there is a lot of waking up. On Tuesday, Ella slept for 8 hours straight, a new record for her! We didn't do anything differently that we can think of, and hoped it would continue, but the next night, she woke up a bunch, so who knows why it happened.

Resting in bed with us in the early morning after a long night.

Both girls have started laughing. They haven't done it often, but their giggles are absolutely adorable and make me deliriously happy. We were lucky enough to get a short video of Ella one of the first times she laughed!

Ella giggles at her Dada!

A couple fun and noteworthy things that happened this week: A trip out to the winter farmer's market (our first time this season), where we got loads of yummy food, and an adventure (BY MYSELF!) out to town, where I got my hair trimmed for the first time in over a year. It was just to get rid of all the split ends, but it felt great and I came home much happier that day.

Finally big enough for the jogging stroller that Kathy gave us!

They both seemed to enjoy their first ride in the new-to-them stroller. We enjoyed pushing it. It's so easy to maneuver. I foresee many rides in this stroller for the girls in the days to come.

Some tummy time playing with toys.

Tasty fingers!

Tasty toy! Both girls have been enjoying sucking on the wooden rings that their Uncle Guy made for them.

Big enough for a ride on the back! Brett tries out the back carry with the Ergo for the first time. He said it was really comfortable. Ella was tired, but she seemed to enjoy it for a few minutes.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Baybay & Baybee: Week 16

16 weeks old!

Last week we were in Florida with my family; this week we spent Thanksgiving with Brett's family. We ate yummy food, dressed the girls up in their frilly pink and purple dresses (Thanks, Aunt Heidi!), and spent a nice day in Leyden with everyone. The girls got to see their great grandparents again, meet their Great Uncle Ray and Great Aunt and Uncle Marilyn and Adam for the first time.

Brett and Ella playing before the big meal.

Kathy and Maya in the sun.

"Hi,Uncle Guy!"

Maya snuggles with her Great Aunt Marilyn while playing with her Great Grandma Mary's hand.

I tried to get a shot of everyone as we sat down to eat, but it didn't work out so well. It still gives the general idea, though. Such a pretty table and so many lovely people.

Maya liked looking at her great grandma.

The hard part about this week was that Brett and I both got sick and Maya and Ella didn't sleep as well as they had been sleeping. We were both mostly over our colds by the end of the week, but we were totally drained from lack of sleep and our bodies were tired from being sick. The girls, fortunately, didn't seem to catch the cold, at least not fully. They were both a little stuffed up, especially in the evenings, but never had a fever or fussed any more than usual.

Maya found her thumb this week! She doesn't consistently suck on it yet, but I've seen her do it a few times. Ella isn't far behind, though she seems to prefer her thumb and first finger together, rather than just the thumb.

The girls have really started to enjoy games such as, "Up in the air!" (Lift baby up over your head, then back down. Repeat.), and "Boo!" (Look at baby, turn your head to the side, turn back and say, "boo!" Repeat over and over.) Both games get smiles every time, and the occasional laugh.

Not so sure about having their picture taken.

Listening to a story, read by their friend, Jim.

While we were in Florida last week, the girls tried sleeping on a futon on the floor near our bed. It worked out so well that we decided to try the same thing at home. The first night they slept on the futon, in the middle of the night, Maya had somehow scooched her way almost off of the bed so she was sleeping half on the floor. Brett put her back and she hasn't done it since. This arrangement should work for us for a while - at least a few more months, until they start moving around more. I'm not sure what we will do then.

Taking a nap together on their new bed.

Night time sleep has been pretty awful this week. We have a good bedtime routine (naked time playing on the floor, bath, into nightime diapers and sleepsacks, nurse, bed) and they fall asleep right away when we lay them down and give their pacifiers. Usually, they are asleep by 7 p.m., but then the waking up starts. One or both will wake up around 11:30 (if not before) and want to eat. We try to get them both up then, change diapers (or offer a chance to pee because they are often dry) and I will nurse them. They go back to bed, but have been waking up again around 2 a.m., we think because they need to pee again. The rest of the night sometimes goes well after they are changed, but often they wake up a couple more times and around 5 a.m. I will nurse them again. By that time, we are so tried from all the broken up sleep that I will just nurse one baby in bed lying down, and then turn over and nurse the other. All that nursing takes about an hour and I end up not being able to sleep very well because there isn't enough room in our bed with everyone all smooshed together. I really want to get back to the pattern of waking up once to feed during the night that we had going on a few weeks back. That schedule seems so luxurious right now.

Maya, about to roll over. Having rolled often from front to back before, she rolled from her back to her front for the first time this week! She has done it a couple times since, but she has to be in the right mood.

The girls are now fitting into 6-9 month clothes! Some are still a little baggy, but the 3 month clothes are all too tight now. They are getting so big!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

One year ago today...

...I took a pregnancy test and two pink lines appeared. We were going to be parents! Little did we know that in a few short weeks, we would find out that we were expecting twins.

What an adventure it's been so far! Maya and Ella, you make me smile every day.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Baybay & Baybee: Week 15

15 weeks old!

This week, the twins added two more states to their visited list when we traveled to Florida, via Connecticut, to see my family! Our flight from Hartford was very early in the morning on Wednesday and none of us got much sleep that night. We left the house at 4 a.m., parked the car at the airport, went through security and were in the air by 6:45 a.m. Both girls slept in the Moby wraps pretty much the entire three-hour flight!

We were proud of our ability to travel so light: two carry-on bags each, and two babies!

The week spent in the warmth of Florida was a treat. We didn't have to dress the babies in warm clothes, we got to go swimming, plus we enjoyed eating lots of fresh oranges and time spent with family.

No need to turn on the heat this week! We enjoyed warm days and pleasantly cool evenings all week long.

Looking across the lake from the beach.

Baby blue eyes.

Brett thinks that Ella's eyes are going to change from blue to some other color, but that Maya's will stay blue.

Ella's first swim!

Maya's first swim!

All four of us.

Maya and Ella's cousin Atom shows the girls how it's done! Atom is two and a half years old and he LOVES to swim. He's like a little fish in the water.

Papa with both grandbabies.

A walk around the lake.

Toby and his girlfriend Sabrina, playing with the girls.

We went to the Winter Garden farmer's market. While we were there, we ran into another set of twins with their parents. It was fun to chat with them about all things twin.

Maya and I enjoy a ride in the rowboat. Mama did the rowing and took the pictures.

Maya in the sun.

Ella balancing on Papa's hands!

We had a couple good nights for sleep while we were in Florida and a couple not so good nights. We experimented with leaving the girls unswaddled at night a few times. Sometimes it worked and they were able to sleep without waking themselves and sometimes it didn't. We haven't noticed much of a pattern for what helps them sleep better. It seems random when we have a good night.

Amber, Atom and Scott + Brett, Ella, Jenny and Maya.

The whole family together.