Monday, October 29, 2012

Baybay & Baybee: Week 60 (9/26-10/2)

60 weeks old!

In the beginning of the week the girls and I continued our outings together, visiting the Northampton Parents Center one morning and spending some time at the library the next day. The Parents Center was lots of fun but also a bit overwhelming because it was crowded. There are so many toys to play with, other kids to watch, and songs to sing/dance to at the end. The library trip with also fun, with a story time and then lots of playing with Legos, exploring the little house, and giving the stuffed animals lots of kisses and hugs.

Maya checks out the climbing mats and watches another little girl at the Parents Center.

"Beep, beep, 'scuse me, comin' through!"

Both girls had dry diapers the entire time we were at the Parents Center and used the potties in the big bathroom before we drove home. They really impressed me by waiting in line while other kids used the potties until it was our turn. 

It's still somewhat new that they tell us when they need to use the potty. It's definitely not all the time yet, but it is exciting that they are becoming more aware and telling us some of the time. On Sunday morning Maya woke up at 5:00. I brought her into our bed to cuddle and nurse. After a few minutes, she stopped nursing and signed "water". We got up and she drank some water. Then she signed "potty". We went to the bathroom and her diaper was dry. She peed and pooped in the toilet. She signed "all done" and we went back to the bed and nursed again. After a few minutes, I told her that it was too early to be up for the day and in a minute I was going to put her back in her bed so we could both go back to sleep. And she did! I'm so glad the communication is working both ways.

Sharing the Lego table with a sweet older girl at the library.

Saturday afternoon we spent all together in Greenfield, visiting a few stores and getting some vegetables at the farmer's market. Before heading home, we had a quick lunch with Kathy at the hospital where she works.

Picking out a new toy at Magical Child in Greenfield.

Maya really enjoyed dancing to Katie Sach's live music at the farmer's market.

Lunch with Grandma.

Unfortunately, Maya, Ella and I weren't feeling well by that evening. Our noses were sniffly and I had a scratchy throat. The next morning the three of us definitely had a cold. We must have picked up something during all that fun out and about earlier in the week. It turned out to be a minor cold, mostly just a week of annoyingly snotty noses. Maya and Ella did better with it than I did. They continued as normal, playing happily despite the snots dripping from their noses. I mostly lay on the couch. Luckily, Brett didn't catch what we had and remained healthy. We were sad to not be able to make it to Asher's birthday party on Sunday, but we didn't want to pass along our germs. Hopefully we'll get a chance to see Steech, Bridget and Asher (and meet their new baby girl, Tabitha!!) sometime soon. 

The sign lanugage we've been teaching the girls has started to really pay off. Maya and Ella are picking up signs so quickly now! Their sign for "more" (which they've been using for a while) has become much clearer and both girls, though especially Ella, just seems so pleased when we she signs something and we understand what she wants.

We enjoyed a few leisurely strolls around the block this week. Maya liked touching this milkweed plant growing on the side of the road.

It's hard to give hugs to your sister while eating lunch, but it's fun to try.

Queen of the block bucket! (Our little climber got up there all by herself.)

Ella took a really long nap one day and I took this picture of her when I went in to check if she was awake. 

"Gotta catch 'em all, gotta catch 'em all!"

"Munch, munch, munch!"

 Being cute.

 Being helpful. (And cute.)

 Enjoying the new issue of Adventure Cyclist.

Hugs aren't always mutually appreciated.

Brett took the girls on a few bike rides this week. Most have been fairly short, just up to town or around the block a couple times. It's fun to see Maya and Ella so excited to ride in the trailer. They know the sign for bike and use it frequently to let us know that they would really love to go out for a ride.

Helping Dada hook up the trailer.

Heading out for a ride!

A older man, Jim, at the end of our street unexpectedly lost his wife a few weeks ago. We found out through our neighborhood email list that he might really appreciate some help with yard work, (specifically, leaf raking) because he and his wife used to tackle it together and without her, things were piling up. Since Brett and I both enjoy raking leaves and we don't have any to rake at our house, one afternoon we walked over with a rake and some bags and went to work. The babies helped by being  very cute. Jim came out of his house when we were almost ready to leave and was so friendly and appreciative. It must be so very sad to suddenly be without the person that you've spent most of your life with. Thinking about it makes me appreciate the time spent with my family even more than I usually do, and give Brett even more hugs.

So many leaves!

The girls were fascinated with the rake and really wanted to help.

Ella and Dada.

Cheering me on.

Crunch, crunch, crunch, through the piles!

Sitting in piles of leaves is even more fun than raking.

After a while, this tree stump became more interesting than the leaf piles.

Ella uses her sister for balance.

"There were two on the stump and the little one said 'Move over! Move over!'"

One of my favorite pictures from the leaf raking adventure taken by Brett.

I've been enjoying my camera. I've been experimenting with using manual focus more and more. Here are a couple pictures from an early morning photo shoot.

Cherry tomatoes.



Bonus leaf crunching video!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Baybay & Baybee: Week 59 (9/19-9/25)

59 weeks old!

Brett and I did something this week that we haven't done in over a year -- we went away for the whole day together, without the babies. We were gone from 6:30 in the morning until 9:00 at night. We spent the day at the Newmarket Heritage Festival, teaching juggling! Selena and Kathy stayed with the girls and it was a surprisingly relaxing and positive experience for me. Leading up to the day, I had been so nervous and wasn't sure how I would manage a whole day away from my girls. While I did miss them (A LOT!), I was able to mostly let go, not worry too much, and just be at the festival with Brett.

Here I am showing some kids how the diablo works.

Brett juggling clubs.

This little girl had a blast decorating Brett's hair with the juggling scarves.

It REALLY helped me knowing that the girls were with two of their favorite people. They didn't even cry when we left in the morning. We all got up around 5:30, after snuggles and nursing in bed. Selena came over shortly after that and Brett and I said our goodbyes as the girls were sitting down to breakfast. They gave us hugs and kisses and we left. They knew we were going to be gone for the whole day (we had told them a few times that morning) and they were excited to see Selena and eat their food. The lack of crying when we left helped me relax so much! Selena played with the girls and put them down for their first nap in the morning. Kathy came over while they were still asleep (around 9:00) and spent the rest of the day with them. I left a little milk in bottles and they did drink some of that during the day, but were mostly just happy to play with their Grandma.

Swinging and watching people at Maines Field.

I'm so thankful to Kathy for taking some pictures so that I could see how happy the girls were while we were away!

Maya and Ella like to put this colander on their head and peek through it. It's a funny game we play together and they decided to shared it with their Grandma.

We had an odd mix of warm and chilly days over the week. One sunny afternoon found us outside playing in the garden in short sleeves, while the babies wore nothing. Then the next day we were all bundled up in long sleeves and socks just to go for a walk. I'm not sure I am ready for winter just yet.

Picking tomatoes.

Warm sunshine on little bodies.

I want that one!

Got it!

The babies and I went on a few adventures on our own this week, giving Brett some alone time for a few hours. Brett also took the girls on a couple bike rides and I got to spend some time on my own at home. I realized after doing more of it this week, that it's not as difficult to take both girls out on my own as it used to be. It's still tiring and a lot, but, if we have time and aren't in a rush, outings can be fairly relaxing and fun for all three of us.

On Tuesday, we had a picnic lunch at Childs Park.

And rode on the swings in the YMCA playground!

Ella wasn't sure what she thought about the sand all over the ground.

On Sunday, I took the girls to a play group while Brett stayed home. It was nice out, so we played in the grass outside the Midwifery Center. I brought our fabric tunnel for the babies to crawl through. In this picture, Liz watches as Maya, Lexi, and Ella all try to make their way through the tunnel at the same time!

Ella comes out the other side!

Getting out of the trailer to play at Maines Field with Dada.

Ella shows off her climbing skills.

Maya's turn.

Both girls, though especially Maya, have been fascinated with sitting and standing on things. They try to sit on everything: toy boxes, cups, books, hats, stuffed animals, etc. It's hilarious to watch! Another new thing is that Ella has decided she is in love with cats. She gives them kisses when she sees them in books and shrieks with joy when one happens to wander by while we are outside or looking out the window. Maya yearns to share Ella's love, but she's also afraid of the cats, so clings tightly to us while eyeing the furry creatures whenever they come around.  Also, though most of the pictures this week are of smiling, happy girls, we had our share of crankiness and tears. I think more teeth are coming soon.

Maya is working on being able to sit down on the potty on her own! 

And a more succinct video.

Oh the joy to get to stand on the table!

Ella playing near the window to best be on the lookout for cats that might walk by.

In the boat with helmet.

Bath time bubbles.

Hugs are a somewhat recent and adorable development. They also sometimes give each other kisses.