Monday, August 27, 2012

Baybay & Baybee: Week 52 (8/1-8/7)

52 weeks old!

There were a bunch of visits with friends this week, but unfortunately, I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do (I think having two cameras is throwing me off!) so I will simply mention how nice it was to spend time with people we enjoy. Jim walked over to our house one day and visited for a while. Steech stopped by for a short time on his way back from a hiking trip. Selena was over to play a few times, and one afternoon, Brett, the girls and I ventured upstairs to visit and eat a delicious brunch made by Evan and Merry.

Because it was so hot this week, when we weren't outside in the water, we spent a fair amount of time with the air conditioner on in the living room.

Bath-time outside.

Maya brushes her sisters' hair.

Ella is really interested in putting the puzzle pieces back in the puzzle these days. She tries so hard, and sometimes gets it! When this happens, she throws her hands up, smiles and says what sounds like "tada!"

There is a whole alphabet of foam letters to play with in the tub, but apparently, one of them is better than all the others.

We have been eating a lot of watermelon. Maya and Ella LOVE it so much. They devour whole slices and then won't give up the rind unless we offer an exchange for a new piece. After one particularly watermelon filled day, I made a rule that from now on, watermelon is only to be eaten while sitting at the table, or outside. We'll see how that goes.

Playing peek-a-boo!

We made our first batch of pesto with our very own basil! We hope to make a bunch more over the next few weeks so that we can have a lot in the freezer for the winter.

Laundry basket rides. I got this new dress at a thrift store this week. I really like it. Usually when I go to thrift stores, I end up finding baby toys and clothes, or games for Brett. It was a pleasant surprise to find something that I liked enough to get for myself.

On a grocery shopping trip, we decided to try out this cart. The girls didn't really like it, but they sure looked cute together for the few minutes before we changed to regular carts.

At the end of the week, on Tuesday evening, Brett and I went out on a date. We went out to dinner and then bowling, plus a quick stop for ice cream on the way home. We were gone from about 7:30 until 10:30 while Michaela babysat for the girls.

Even though we didn't leave until after they were asleep, the babies must have known that we were going out. Ella had a hard time going to sleep that night, which hasn't happened in a while, and then both girls woke up about an hour after we left, which also hardly ever happens. They were awake on and off for most of the time we were gone. When we got home, Ella was in the babysitter's arms, tears in her eyes, and very upset. Maya was fussing in her bed.

We were proud of ourselves for making the date happen, but it wasn't the easiest or most relaxing thing I've ever done. Even though part of me knows the babies will be okay and make it through (because I've done a lot of babysitting, too), it just doesn't feel right for us to be out while they are upset. I just don't like it. We will try going out at night again sometime soon. Hopefully next time they will stay asleep and it won't be so hard for us.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

One year!!

Tomorrow, my babies will be one year old!

Maya and Ella, we have watched you change from tiny infants to confident and capable toddlers. You have grown and learned so much in a year. I'm continually thankful that we get to share our lives with you. Your Dada and I are some lucky parents. We can't wait to see what you do in your second year! Happy birthday. We love you.

Baybay & Baybee: Week 51 (7/25-7/31)

51 weeks old!

While cooking breakfast on Wednesday morning, I noticed this beautiful goldfinch on the echinacea. He stayed on the plant for a few minutes, jumping majestically from flower to flower. I loved watching him and it made for a really nice start to the week.

Exciting news: I have a new camera! It's a Canon Rebel and I bought it used from someone who no longer wanted it. A huge thanks to Guy for sending me the Craigslist ad! I have been wanting a DSLR camera for a long time and this was just enough push to get me to take the leap. So far I've enjoyed the camera. My only complaint is that it doesn't take videos (the newer models do) and I do want to get a different lens for it eventually, so that I can take close-up pictures from further away.

Below are a few of the first pictures taken with my new camera!

Maya, just up from a nap, signing "nurse".

Ella.

Jerusalem artichoke flowers.

Thursday morning, Ella and I went to the Smith Collage Arboretum to look at the plants and flowers. Brett and Maya were still napping.

Water droplets on a pretty pink flower.

In the cactus room.

I've always wanted one of these plants. When you touch the leaves, they close up.

Sleep has still been good, but Ella has been waking up a couple times in the night and crying for a few minutes. And on Wednesday night, she had such a hard time getting to sleep. I ended up walking around the block with her in the Ergo, something we haven't done in a few months. She fell asleep that way and I really enjoyed the walk and cuddle time with her. I think her teeth might have been bothering her a little. Also, we had a house guest staying over Monday and Tuesday nights (a Couchsurfer from Canada) so maybe she was a little thrown off by the company. We all still get up very early in the mornings. To give you an idea how early, the girls have been going down for their first nap around 8:30 a.m.

On Tuesday morning, we decided to take a walk up to Florence center and eat breakfast at Cup and Top cafe. They have a great little play area. These lego blocks were a favorite.

The slide was also a hit.

Asleep from the walk home.

Playing in the back yard with the water tub that Kathy brought and left for us has been a big hit lately. Lots of hours of fun for Maya and Ella, plus it's nice for whichever of us is watching them to spend some time out in the garden. It's hard to get any big projects done, but I've been able to pull a few weeds here and there.

Splash, splash, splash!

Cooling off with the rubber duckies in the tub.

Flowers reflected in the water.

Maya.

Ella.

Some of the rain lilies that Mama brought up from her garden in Florida last time she visited are blooming!

It's always good to wear your helmet, pretty much any time.

Queen of the wood chip pile!!

Time to go inside.

Happy that Dada's wearing his helmet.

I made an effort to make meals so that we could all eat together this week. It worked out well and we enjoyed all sitting together for at least one meal a day. I used the slow-cooker a couple of times, and tried to make large quantities of things so we would have leftovers.

The "hummus effect".

You can see why we always give them baths after dinner, right?

Pirate Booty is a favorite snack.

Ella curled up with Purple Doggie. They have both been taking consistently long naps of one to two hours!

Maya after a nap with Pink Doggie. They are both very attached to their doggies.

One Afternoon, Maya, Ella and I strolled over to Maines Field and hung out for a while so that Brett could have some time alone at the house. Earlier in the week, Kathy had taken the girls to this park and they had a blast playing and running around in the grass.

I think this picture looks like a magazine ad. Like something you would see in an L.L. Bean catalog or something. Or, an ad for the stroller.

The game is: Run to the picnic table, run to Mama, repeat.

There are even swings at Maines Field!

Whoosh!

Ella makes it easy to take good pictures.

Our friend Denise was here visiting Northampton (staying with Selena) for the weekend and a few extra days. On Tuesday afternoon, while Brett was working, we all had fun at the Farmer's Market. The girls especially enjoyed eating peaches and listening to the live music.

Denise and Maya have fun trying on Selena's hat.

Me and Ella. (photo by Selena)

Peaches are delicious! (Photo by Selena)

Maya wandered off to say hello to others while we were watching the music. She's usually so shy of people she doesn't know, but sometimes she surprises me!

See you later!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Baybay & Baybee: Week 50 (7/18-7/24)

50 weeks old!

As Maya and Ella get older, I am becoming better at taking time for myself during the days. I don't worry about them as much now if I'm gone for a few hours. It's very freeing to be able to run errands, or go shopping on my own without feeling so much pressure to get back home because the babies might be hungry. They eat three meals a day, plus a few snacks (and they LOVE their food) so I'm not too worried about them getting enough nutrition.

This isn't to say they don't nurse anymore. Maya still nurses many times throughout the day if she gets the chance. (She learned how to sign "nurse" this week!! It's so cute and I can't help but oblige whenever she squeezes her tiny hand into a fist). Ella will nurse for a minute or two multiple times in the day, but is far less interested than her sister. The one time that Ella nurses for an extended period is in the morning. Maya can be a bit dominating (she likes to switch back and forth while nursing and if Ella is in the way she is less than pleased), so I've been trying to find one-on-one time to nurse with Ella. That hasn't made a lot of difference, though. Ella is just not as into it. I think she's so eager to run off and play that it's hard for her to nurse for long.

On one of my adventures out in the world alone, I happened on this amazing tag sale. The sellers were parents of 9-year-old twins and other children as well, and they were getting rid of wonderful wooden toys for incredibly inexpensive prices. The above picture shows a few of my finds. I was SO excited to show everyone when I came home!

This rocking horse was another steal, sitting out with a free sign in someone's yard. The girls like it a lot.

We have two potties now! I got the larger green one at the same tag sale as all the wooden toys. It was only $4.00. It's been great to have two potties. This is one of those things that I have felt would be useful for months, but didn't realize just how much until we got it. No more waiting your turn. When you gotta go, you gotta go!

Ella took 7 steps in a row by herself this week! That is her record so far. She seems so happy when she is walking, but unlike her sister, Ella doesn't seem in a hurry to get around on two feet. She still crawls most of the time. She can stand up super fast, but when she takes steps they are so slow and careful.

We've left the girls with a babysitter a few times recently. This is not easy for me because, especially Maya, cries when we leave and is in a very clingy phase. I'm sure it will get easier to leave the girls with people the more we do it, but right now I am having such a tough time with it. Once they form a bond with their babysitter(s), it will be different I'm sure. Right now, I just worry that when we leave, Maya and Ella will think that we aren't coming home. It gets easier, right?

Michaela poses with Ella, who is sporting cool shades (yet another free-pile snag).

Maya's turn with glasses.

What are big sisters for?

Aunt Anne came for a visit on Thursday. We are excited about possibly taking a trip out to the Cape next month to spend the day with her, Uncle Harold and Aunt Heidi. We could go to the ocean for the first time with the girls!

Aunt Anne reads one of Ella's favorite books.

We also had a couple other visitors this week. My friend Caroline, who I lived with in Watertown for a summer when I was much younger, stopped by for a short visit. It was great for her to meet the babies and for me to catch up with her. The same day, Kathy and Merry (who took pictures of our wedding for us) came over and we all played outside, snacked and chatted. It was a lot of people all in one day for the twins, and they were wound up and clingy for a lot of it. I think it's really good for them to spend time around other people, though, even if they will only cautiously stare at them from the safety of Mama and Dada's arms.

Merry takes some photos of Ella on her rocking horse.

It finally rained! We were all very excited.

Early morning pony ride.

Before bed, we always read this book. (Thanks, Kate and Mark!)

"Look, let me explain this again. I KNOW you usually sit in this seat. But Dada put me here for this meal, so it's MY seat right now. And this is my food. Get it?"

How we nurse these days.

Exploring.

Hiding.

"Hmm, let's see... choices, choices..."

Ready for a quick bike ride to the river to go swimming after I spent the morning working at the Springfield house.

Helmet + shoes + swing.

So cute.