Written Monday, Feb. 10, 2014
Likes: Grabbing or holding onto things; sticking their fingers/hands in their mouths; chewing on their toys; sitting up; standing up; getting into their car seats; solid food; when Mama and Daddy “dance” and act silly; roughhousing and general silliness.
Favorite things: Satin-trimmed minky blanket for naps.
Dislikes: Being hungry; eating together; being tired.
Lengths: Both girls are about 25 inches long.
Milestones: Both girls finally roll over – and with ease – from their tummies to their backs; they both can get onto their sides from their backs (in fact, they are both sleeping on their sides as I type this), but not all the way onto their tummies. Both girls have mastered supported sitting and supported standing.
The girls have discovered their feet and toes, too, and often pull off their socks or pull their toes into their mouths during diaper changes; they also pull their feet toward their faces, then launch their legs forward.
They have impeccable hand-eye coordination; for example, Elise took her Nuk out of her mouth, changed hands and put it back in.
Elise graced us with her first laugh in late December, and Anna let out a giggle in mid-January. Elise has laughed a little here and there, but Anna has broken out into true fits of laughter a few times.
Eating: A combination of breast milk and formula, plus several solid foods: rice cereal, pears, applesauce, sweet potatoes, bananas, green beans, avocado and carrots.
Wearing: 3-month clothing, although admittedly, many of the sleepers and onesies finally are getting too small, lengthwise; folded cloth diapers during the day with diaper covers and size 0 all-in-one snap-up fleece diapers at night.
Nicknames: Anna Banana (Nanner, for short), Elisey Bean (Beanut, as an alternate), Peanut, Sweet Peanut, Nugget. And when one of them is acting weird, Psycho Peanut.
* * *
First, some updates:
Eating: About 3 weeks ago, as documented in this post, breastfeeding changed. It went from relatively easy to downright complicated and frustrating. Up until then, I used to be able to feed both girls at the same time, and they would nurse for 15 to 20 minutes. But recently, thanks to developmental and now, physical growth spurts, I cannot feed them together for more than a few minutes, and they usually nurse for only a few minutes at a time before they get too fussy and have to be put aside.
Feedings now are about 3 to 3 1/2 hours apart, sometimes longer, though.
In fact, things sort of slid downhill right after their 5-month birthday. They started waking up anytime between 10:30 and 11:30 p.m. and could not be rocked back to sleep, which meant we broke down and fed them; this has continued for the past few weeks. They also stopped being able to get themselves to sleep and now are waking frequently.
(Some of this could be attributed to growth spurts or to illness…but nonetheless, it’s frustrating!)
Up until Sunday morning, naps also continued to be a major source of frustration. The girls were napping only 30 minutes at a time in their cribs, and maybe an hour to an hour and a half if we zonked them out in their car seats. But, as of this weekend, when we started putting them down for naps in their swings, rather than their cribs, they are napping about 2 hours in the morning and around midday and maybe 30 minutes in the early evening.
And now, some thoughts on the twins’ half-birthday…from Daddy!
A lot of folks would tell you that it takes 6 months to feel comfortable in a new job. Having made the move from sports to news 2 1/2 months ago and still feeling like a fish out of water – but less so every day – I’d agree.
Following that logic, there must be an explanation as to why, upon our little girls’ half-birthday Monday, there was no “a-ha!” moment in which we finally felt like we’d figured it out.
First off, we feel like we’ve figured out very little. The girls’ sleep patterns continue to be a Rubik’s cube (see above), and the latest set of Wonder Weeks has made feeding them not unlike going to war, but far more importantly, we can never anticipate the way they’re going to amaze us every day.
Their personalities keep coming to the forefront. They’re becoming more adventurous. More expressive. Their feet are mere millimeters from the floor when they sit in their walkers, cueing visions of peanut races through the kitchen/dining room. (Place your bets now. I’m taking Elise, who I believe will fight dirty. She, after all, is my mini-me.)
So I think I speak for Mama and I when I say we don’t necessarily feel like we’ve got more of a grip on this today than we did 2, 3 or even 4 months ago. (Yes. Those first 2 months were a bear. I’ll admit we’re much more adept now than we were then.)
I think the biggest reason for this steady feeling of surprising comfortability or unforeseen struggle – depending on the hour or day – is that we were mentally training ourselves for this from the moment we got the best news of our lives Dec. 25, 2012. I’d prefer to refer to it as eagerly anticipating, rather than training.
But let’s get the cliché out of the way – after all, virtually every stranger we’ve encountered has volunteered some incarnation of it – they grow up so fast. (The judges also would have accepted the adage “time flies”.) But during one of our recent social gatherings (read: grocery shops) at Walmart, a woman said something that truly rang clear: The days are long, and the years are fast.
I can, in fact, say that this half-year has been fast. But I remember each day being long – whether because we were racking our brains on how to put weight on the girls in the first several weeks, or desperately clinging to their first smiles and first laughs, willing time to slow down so those moments would never pass.