Friday, January 27, 2012

Baybay & Baybee: Week 23

23 weeks old!

This was a big week for Maya and Ella: First taste of solid food! We started out with avocado and they both loved eating it! A few days later they had some banana. That was a hit as well. Maya swallowed most of her food both times and Ella mostly licked and sucked at hers, while franticly grabbing at the spoon. We all had fun, but decided after the banana to wait a couple more weeks before continuing with solids regularly. I think sweet potato will be next!

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First tastes of food! Mmm!

On Tuesday we got some snow! It wasn't a lot, just a couple of inches, but I was happy to see it stick to the ground. I was beginning to think that we weren't going to get any more snow for the rest of the winter. Unfortunately, we forgot to dig up our carrots before it snowed. Brett tried anyway, when I wanted a few for making soup that evening, but the ground was frozen solid because it's been cold. Brett was very disappointed because he had successfully harvested a bunch of our carrots just a week or so earlier.

Maya says, "Mama! I'm all ready to go out to play in the snow!"

Hmm... now just were did we plant the carrots...

A carrot! (That's all he was able to dig up.)

On Saturday, Brett and I had our first evening out without babies since they were born. We went to see Cheryl Wheeler sing at the Iron Horse. Her concerts are always a blast, and we enjoyed dinner during the show with Steech, who also came to see her! It was a very successful first evening out without babies, and we are looking forward to doing it again sometime. Thanks so much to Kathy for staying with Maya and Ella while they (mostly) slept.

Sometimes Ella's touches are so gentle...

...and sometimes...

...they're really not.

We had a couple other outings of note this week, including a trip down to the Springfield house all together to work on a couple projects. We also got some very sweet kale at the farmer's market, and ate some yummy cheesecake at Guy's apartment in celebration of his birthday.

All bundled up! We were able to get a few things accomplished in Springfield, even with the babies along--it just took a little longer. In this picture, I am taking a break from chopping up branches that fell into the backyard, and am about to nurse two hungry girls who were content to sit and watch me work for an impressively long time.

Grandma Kathy holds Ella at the Winter Fare Farmer's Market.

Brett and Ella and the sweet kale! This picture was taken by a photographer from CISA. A little while later, Ella was nibbling at the kale and I wish I had gotten a picture of that - so cute!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Feet!

Maya and Ella have both discovered their feet. And Ella has discovered how to screech!


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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Five months old!

Maya and Ella turned five months old on the 10th of January. Here are little descriptions of what they are busy doing as five-month-olds:

Baybay: Even at this early age, Maya shows signs of having favorite toys: the ones that her sister is playing with. She is quick with her hands and her accuracy is progressing every day. Grabbing at her sister's hair, ears, and anyone's face are current favorites. It has become difficult to drink a glass of water while holding Maya, assuming that you want the water to go in your mouth and not on the floor. Though she has rolled over in both directions (from front to back and back to front) in the past, she hasn't shown much interest in rolling these days. Playing with, and chewing on toys is her main pastime, but she seems to get frustrated after a few minutes if she's not in the best of moods. If she is upset or cranky, a look out the window or time spent on the porch calms her down. Bath time is more about the shower curtain than the water, resulting in most of her time in the tub spent in a valiant attempt to grab, pull at, and eat this fascinating object of desire. Behind those long lashes, Maya's eyes are still blue, and they still sparkle when she smiles.

Baybee: Ella has found the first love of her life: the lion on the exersaucer. Like her sister, she also favors toys that someone else is playing with, but seems to have more tolerance and patience for a snatched-by-her-sister-toy, or an out of reach object. In the mornings, or upon waking from a nap, Ella will often play with her doggy, throwing it up in the air over and over while giggling with glee. Faces are fascinating objects to explore and she lives to grab at Brett's beard and nose. When she is sleepy, her touches are soft and sweet, never grabs, but careful caresses of our faces as she looks into our eyes. Ella's eyes, while still deeply beautiful, are not really blue anymore, but not quite anything else yet either. She doesn't really rock the mohawk anymore, because her hair has grown too long, though it still looks crazy and stands up sometimes, sticking out in any direction. For comfort, she has started playing with her own hair and regularly sucks her thumb or fingers. I have tried to explain that sucking a thumb and nursing at the same time DOESN'T WORK, but she is persistent and during feedings she tries and tries to do both simultaneously.

Both girls LOVE when we sing to them. Their favorite songs are the ABC's (especially with ASL signs to go along), Old Jack, by Bill Staines, The City of New Orleans, by Steve Goodman, and Where Have You Been, by Priscilla Herdman. Maya and Ella still hold hands when we nurse and if I start singing to them, they will stop and look up at me with wide eyes and huge smiles. Food and drink are fascinating and we are all looking forward to adventures with solids in the near future. Both love to sit on the BabyBjorn potty (they can almost balance on there by themselves!) and that's where 90% of poops are done these days. Depending on how much energy we put into it, they can (and often do) go hours in the same dry diaper because they are so good at peeing on the potty!

Here is a fun series of photos from their five month birthday!







Monday, January 16, 2012

Baybay & Baybee: Week 22

22 weeks old!

The twins celebrated their five-month birthday this week! Selena and I took them for a walk up to Cup and Top. They both fell asleep on the way home. I have a hard time believing that they are five months old now -- that's almost half a year! Happy birthday, babies.

Sleeping so symmetrically.

A lot of this week was tough, mostly because we were so tired. We haven't gotten enough sleep in too long and it's starting to become very apparent that we need to do something different. Brett and I need to figure out some way to feel more rested. The girls seem totally fine. They take great naps in the day, and at night they get a decent amount of sleep, they just don't seem to be doing it in long chunks. I am pretty sure we haven't gotten more than a 4 hour stretch without a wake-up in a long time. They almost always go right back to sleep after a feeding, diaper change, or pacifier back, but that means that one, or both of us, still has to get up. I, more than Brett, have a difficult time falling back asleep after a wake-up in the night. It's just so hard to feel so tired all the time.

Wearing clothes other than footed onzies for a change!

"What are YOU looking at?"

Happy!

Brett's mom's birthday was on the 7th, so the twins made Grandma Kathy a birthday note and I took some pictures. It was a fun photo shoot, but difficult to get a picture where both girls were looking at the camera because all they wanted to do was eat the note. Here are a couple of the best shots:


Based on the fact that we haven't gotten enough sleep in a long time, we decided that until we start to feel more rested, we are going to focus on two things each day:
1. Keep the house somewhat clean (meaning wash the dishes, pick up and maybe sweep the floors).
2. Keep ourselves somewhat clean (meaning, try to take a shower each day).

If we can stick to that, we figure it's enough. We have high standards and because of that, I think we often try to do way too many things in a day, and as a result end up feeling very overwhelmed, cranky, and like we're not accomplishing anything. Hopefully this will help us feel more relaxed and I bet we will realize that we actually get a lot more done every day than just cleaning up.

Both girls with their Dada.

Sleeping babies are so sweet to hug.

A sweet picture of Maya and Sophie the giraffe.

Ella in the exersaucer. Both girls are still a little small for it, but they seem to love being in there anyway.

Maya hangs out with Uncle Guy.

And last, but not least, here is a fun little video.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Baybay & Baybee: Week 21

21 weeks old!

Leading up to the new year, we had a week full of visitors and visits. On Wednesday, Dave and Katie stopped by while they were in the area for the holidays. It was a windy, chilly day, but we all went for a nice walk anyway. Dave had fun pushing the stroller (and sometimes pulling it backwards to avoid wind in the faces of the little ones).

We are so glad that if finally worked out for Dave and Katie to come visit and meet the twins!

On Thursday, we had a great get-together with the other twin parents and their babies! All 12 of us met for lunch at the Cup and Top cafe in Florence. Amazingly, all of the babies were happy most of the time. They took turns napping and looking around while we talked about them. Before we left, we played a game of "pass the babies around" because all of the parents wanted a chance to hold all the different babies! It was interesting to hold babies just about the same age who weigh more or less than our girls, and to see both the similarities and differences. We are so grateful to have these other amazing parents to share all of this with!

From the left and continuing back around the table we have: Chris with Olivia, Jenny with Maya, Brett with Ella, Benita with Jonah, Sam with Avery, and Kelly with Evelyn.

On Friday, Steech, Bridget, and Asher came up for a short visit! We hadn't seen them since Maya and Ella were a few weeks old, and it was fun to catch up. Asher was fun to watch run around the house, rolling balls around and just exploring. Bridget was kind enough to bring some woven wraps that can be used to carry a baby on your back, and she even let me borrow one!

Steech holds Ella.

Asher and Bridget demonstrate the back carry.

Maya and I try it out!

On New Year's Eve day, our friends Denise and Aaron were in the area for a concert and we met up with them and Selena in town for lunch. We gabbed and walked around for a while before we got tired and went food shopping before going home to put the babies (and ourselves) down for a nap.

Happy New Year!

Maya found a new friend - she adored Denise!

When we got up from our naps, Kathy and Guy came over to kindly cook us dinner! They made some yummy steak and a delicious salad, plus mashed potatoes (the kind with garlic cloves right in with the potatoes). YUM. It was nice to share the last meal of the year with family.

We all went to bed early that evening, and the babies slept well for the first half of the night into the new year!

On Sunday, we drove up to Greenfield for Spartan and Hannah's annual New Year's Day brunch and Yankee Swap. Their amazing house isn't quite done yet, but it was still great to see the progress and imagine the finishing touches.

The twins take a nap in their car seats in the utility room.

A snapshot of the party, looking down into the living room from the stairs.

Toby squished into the middle seat, between the babies, for the ride back home after the brunch. It was such a relaxing ride home for us, with Toby back there to help the babies fall asleep!

Monday morning, Aunt Anne came for a visit. She brought a yummy lunch for all of us and we got to play a game of Qwirkle together. It was nice that she got to see Toby, and, as always, spend time with the babies. Even though she had been here to visit less than a month before, she said it was incredible how much Ella and Maya had changed and grown.

Aunt Anne with Ella (and Sophie the giraffe).

Aunt Anne and me with Maya (and the yummy natural rubber apple, which has been a favorite since its arrival as a gift on Christmas).

Hugs with Selena. (Sophie makes yet another appearance! Can you count how many times she's in the pictures this week?)

Ella and Maya listen to a story that they got for Christmas from their Grandma Kathy. She made them each a little book: The Maya-phabet Book and the Ella-phabet Book. Both have adorably cute pictures of things that illustrate each letter of their first and middle names!
(Hey, look, there's Sophie again!)

Toby left to go back home to Florida on Tuesday. It was so nice to have him here and we miss him already. I enjoyed watching him spend time with the babies and grow more comfortable with them over the two weeks that he was here. In the picture above, (taken on the last day he was here) Toby burps Maya. This was a big step for Toby, who had heretofore staunchly tried to avoid situations that might result in contact with baby bodily fluids.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More pacifier fun!

Ella has started doing this cute "butt in the air" trick, when she wants something just out of her reach.

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Baybay & Baybee: Week 20

20 weeks old!

The twins celebrated their first Christmas this week! We spent the day in Leyden and the girls had fun spending time with their Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Craig. We had a very nice relaxing day with good food, a few presents and some games. The babies took a couple naps and had fun chewing on their new toys. Here are a few pictures taken on Christmas:

Two new stockings this year.

Ella peeks into her stocking.

All cozy upstairs for a nap.

A game of Light Speed.

Brett got some new games!

This picture wasn't taken on Christmas, but was my attempt to get a cute shot of the twins all dressed up with the tree in the background.

All four of us. Photo taken by Toby.

Toby was here visiting all week. He was a great help around the house and lots of fun to have around. We all got to play some games and Toby got to know Maya and Ella better- he even helped change a diaper!

Toby will be here all of next week, too!

A new thing that the twins have started doing is reaching for faces. Ella did it first and a couple days later Maya grabbed my nose. Ella is a little bit gentler than Maya, reaching with slow deliberate movements as she softly explores our cheeks, nose and mouth. Maya tends to reach and grab with purpose. I find this new exploration very endearing.

Maya and Dada play a funny game of "boo!".

Nose kisses!

Both babies had stuffed up noses most of the week and seemed to have dificulty breathing well at night. We propped up their heads with pillows and that seemed to help. Other than the stuffy/runny nose, they don't have any signs of a cold. We wonder if it is related to teething? They are both really into chewing on anything they can fit in their mouths.

Maya, happy after a nap.

So cute!

My babies look so big!

Ella's turn on the potty! Maya had her photo in last weeks update and Ella told me she was jealous.