Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Foreseasons Boys: Eleven Months!!

Our sweet boys have hit eleven months.  One more month until their first birthday.  Time has really flown!!  We took their pictures after their bath on their 11 month birthday this past Friday night (I love pictures in jammies).  We all are always in a good mood on Friday nights!

Hard to get pictures with the stickers so Dad had no improvise.  Also, nice photo bomb by Jake.


Walking: Jake started out stronger with the push walker this month.  He pushes that thing everywhere from sun up to sun down all over the house.  He had it to himself at first as Max would just follow on all fours, but soon had to share.  He'll do some standing on his own by letting go of furniture, but no full on steps yet this month (but we've seen steps by the time I'm typing this post - more to come next month)! 

Talking:  Lots of shouting this month by Jake.  Not mad shouting, just shouting like he's trying to say something.  Especially when Max has something he wants, like the push walker.  I think he thinks it's his since he got used to using it first alone.  He'll make lots of shouting noises to me like he's trying to tell on Max.  They both say "da" a lot and repeat it when they are focused on something "da" "da" "da".  Not sure there.  Sometimes Jake will say "ma" "ma" sounds but I don't think it's mommy yet.  We try to practice with both Dada and Mama though.  When Jake gets excited he throws his head back into the air with closed eyes and big grin showing all 6 of his sponge-bob teeth.

Sleeping:  Putting Jake to bed is a cakewalk.  He works hard during the day and is ready for bed at night.  He loves laying his head on his blanket and if we hear him crying out during the night it is usually because he's trying to find that blanket again for his head.  He had some early morning wake-ups this month and it may have been teeth, not sure.  Sleep was a little tough from mid last month to mid this month (see Max below), but I'd say things are getting better.  We've also started letting them cry or play in their cribs in the morning if they wake up too early (like 5:30).  We make them wait it out until 6:00.  Which is still early!  They day starts around here pretty routinely at 6 a.m.!  

Playing:  Jake is pretty good at playing independently and can just sit in the corner looking at and banging all his books.  When he's tired he'll sometimes just lay his head on the carpet and put his arms under his belly or come over for a quick hug, lay his head on your shoulder and then he's off again.  He doesn't get into as much mischief as his brother, he'll still watch from the sidelines and then get involved if it doesn't look too dangerous.  If Jake gets hurt, it's usually at Max's doing, for example, like shutting his hand in the door which has happened a few times....    


Talking:  Max also makes the "da" "da" "da" sound like Jake when he is playing or really focused on something.  He also squeals when he is really excited, like when he's playing with a cell phone or when we come in the morning to get him out of his crib.  Still also does his woodchuck laugh when he's excited too, especially for food and his sippy cup.  Sometimes he'll scream when he's super excited and just wants to be loud.  When he's winding down, finally letting himself relax into sleep, he'll ramble and make lots of noises too.  

Walking:  Max was up on the push walker just a bit after Jake.  He had some spaghetti legs for awhile so it took him longer to get up and then to stay up, but he "did the work" and became a pro in no time.  Zipping around the house, stealing the walker from Jake or running alongside him whenever he could.  And lo and behold, all that persistence paid off because Max took his first steps this month!!  "Go Max Go" is our new catchphrase.  I am so excited for him, especially because he did something first before Jake this time.  He deserves the limelight!  He took his first multiple steps in a row on April 20th, so just a few days prior to turning 11 months.  Days before he would let go of furniture and just be standing on his own and then plop on his butt.  Then one day we came home from work and Ammy said he had taken a couple steps alone.  Then after dinner all of a sudden he was just walking unprodded just a few steps.  Well, Mommy and Daddy got excited and cheered and then I think he scared himself and he tumbled into the busy-box and got a bloody lip.  So it ended in some major tears on his part but mommy and daddy were so proud nonetheless. We even let him play in the bathroom afterwards and bang on the tub, cupboards and take a bath (his favorite room in the house) just to cheer him up and reward him.  He's taken several more steps since then and I think we will have a full on walker soon.  Go Max Go!

Sleeping:  Max was a toughie this past month on sleep and we had a couple weeks with wake-ups during the night.  We started to let him cry it out, but the boy is persistent and this would last for over an hour.  I would usually cave and go in and get him and end up sleeping with him on the couch.  Which is what he wanted.  I learned I was being a sucker and we pushed through the crying and it gradually got better.  We still had wakeups this past week but I'll blame it on a tumble he had (see walking above).  Or teeth.  I always give them the benefit of the doubt and say it's teeth.  And it's true, Max did have that 2nd front tooth come through this month.  I think part of the problem with the nighttime wakings could be we never really put them down "awake".  I know it is something you need to teach babies early on, but they are only babies for so long and it was just much easier to rock them and put them down asleep.  So it took us 10 months to finally try this method, especially for naps.  The crying it out is tough and Max definitely gives us a run for our money.  We still don't have it mastered.

Playing & Other Funnies:  Max still is our busy body and is into everything, everywhere anytime of day (His Godfather, Erik calls him "party boy").  If I leave something out or something open, he is all over it.  He is still the one that gets yelled at the most using his first and last name and is constantly being consoled due to injuries.  He gagged the other day and spit up on the carpet and what came up you ask?....Well, paper he had eaten.  Just like a puppy would.  lol.  Max wants to be constantly entertained so will follow you from room to room if you are trying to do something.  Ammy also says that some days he'll want to play with Jake when Jake just isn't in the mood to be pounced on or get into mischief with him and that this will make Max very upset.  The guy is one of a kind, truly.  

In the following collages you'll notice a theme:  the push walker.  You've probably noticed by now it is the most coveted toy around our house.  They cruise all over the place with it and get up to pretty fast speeds.  It was borrowed to us by my cousin Katie and it sure has gotten a ton of mileage.  Probably the one toy we could have used 2 of.

Emptying things is another favorite pastime.  Taking books off their bookshelf, emptying toys out of their basket, emptying the diapers out of the bin if we've left it open, emptying clothes out of their drawers, laundry basket, whatever they can get their hands on.  Basically if something is put away in its spot, their laser beam vision will zoom in on it and it must be taken out, dumped out, etc.  Sometimes it's a good exercise to just keep them busy by continuously putting toys into something so that they can dump it out.

Other favorites:  The bathroom.  They are fixated on it.  If the door opens, they are running towards it and up on their feet banging on the tub.  Or the toilet.  Or the cabinets.  Or unrolling the toilet paper.  I watched Max one night circling the room in a frenzy from one thing to the next like he was thinking, "I. must. touch. everything before she scoots me out of here".  

Same thing goes for our bedroom.  They run around there in the morning opening all the drawers on our nightstand and just have their mitts on everything!!

Eating:  We are still having four bottles a day at 8, 11, 3 and bedtime.  They are becoming less interested in the bottles during the day.  Or actually I should say that they frantically cry for them when they are being made, but they drink a few ounces and that's it.  I spend the rest of the time chasing them around with it.  So, starting this month we'll begin dropping the ounces during the day which should start to prepare us for when the switch to cow's milk is made after their first birthday.  We are still confused on how all of that will work, but figure we'll learn more at their next Dr. appointment.  

They LOVE getting into their highchairs to eat, especially in the morning when they know the cheerios are coming.  First foods we tried this month were: peanut butter, strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe, raspberries, broccoli, tofu stir fry, jello, corn cakes, waffles, tater tots, mashed potatoes, bread pudding (one sweet with orange & vanilla and one savory with sausage, tomatoes and basil) and a quinoa bake with veggies.  I seriously can't keep the food coming fast enough sometimes and will be rushing around trying to find something to cut up next for them.  Favorites are cheerios, blueberries, any fruit really and any snack like crackers, gerber puffs, goldfish.  Jake eats all the snacks first before anything else, he is our snack guy.  Max will eat everything we put in front of him.  

They still eat with their hands.  Fists really.  I tried plates one day but everything ended up flipped over.  Why does it have to be so messy?!  I need to work out of the house for that reason alone.  The repetitive routine of cleaning their trays, their bibs, their faces, their highchairs, the table, the floor (in that order) 3-4 times a day 7 days a week would put me in the looney bin.  
I'm especially enjoying our Tuesdays and Fridays together.  The extra time with them since going part-time at work has been refreshing.  And still being able to work feels good too.  This past Monday you couldn't have paid me to stay home with them (their behavior and night wakings pretty much kicked our ass last weekend).  So, I'm thankful for that balance.

We've done some fun things this past month.  My favorite is getting back to stroller walks again and we all love our new city-mini stroller.   They sat in the grass for the first time one day and we went through the mail and waited for Daddy to come home from work.  One day we strolled through the village of Tosa with cousin Vance & Daytona and stopped for lunch outside (Noodles for Mommy and Auntie and bottles all around for the boys), then ice cream in the grass outside at Yo-Mama.  We took our first trip to Target just last week.  Other mommies probably find that insane we haven't done that until now?!  On weekends we've gone to the Lakefront to exercise and then visited Whole Foods and Milwaukee Public Market.  Forget shopping at the mall, mommy and daddy enjoy food strolling instead!  We went to Chicago for brunch with Great Grandma and then walking through Lincoln Park Zoo with Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Ryan while he was in town for work.  Also got to Cedarburg to visit Grandma and Grandpa, then walked to the park to go on the swings with Daddy and Grandpa.  

We celebrated our first Easter with brunch at Boerner Botanical Gardens with both Grandparents and Erik, Tara and cousin Vance.  The boys were well behaved.  At one point an older woman came over and asked if they were up for adoption because they were so cute sitting in their highchairs at the table like big boys.  Max ate like it was going out of style, including trying an olive, caper and lox.   All three boys got to sit with the Easter bunny and none of them cried.  

It was this time last year that I was pretty pregnant with the two of them and it was a special day to take pictures outside so we tried to recreate the memory this year with the boys.  

I'll end with some family pics.  We've got Baby Chef below helping Daddy in the kitchen one Sunday.  Still the best Halloween costume ever and I keep it hanging in the kitchen with our aprons.  Both boys are my little cuddle-bugs and are going to stay my babies forever!

And they still love their wrestle time with Daddy.  Jake's wrestling move is called the "Jake Pancake".  This Mommy loves all her boys!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Foreseasons Twins: 10 Months

The boys hit 10 months almost a week ago.  We all spent it at home with a stomach bug.  Having two sick babies and feeling sick yourself was hellish.  I think I'd compare the night we had right up there with those tough newborn days that I would never want to repeat.  Nobody was feeling very photogenic so I didn't get my usual 10 month pictures.  Good news is that this time it only lasted about two days and we are all feeling back to normal.   

So instead I'll start with my two favorite pictures of them this month:

The horsing around and wrestling stage has begun.  

They do love to entertain each other in their highchairs.  

Hopefully the video below is viewable.  Big belly laughs after dinner one night.  It's usually Max who will keep Jake entertained.


EATING:  Like the pic and video above, I won't fool you by pretending mealtime is always a heart melting moment.  It is usually a stressful one actually; trying to keep food in front of them and navigate the meltdowns, watching for signs of just gagging and not choking, trying to keep the food on the tray and not all over their clothes, their hair, the floor, etc.  I love this phase more-so than bottles, but gosh is it messy and sticky!

We like to bang on the highchair, drop the food on the floor, drop our sippy cup on the floor, complain about the food in front of us, complain about being spoon-fed, just plain decide to have a full-on breakdown, try to grab the spoon to feed ourselves, and overall just create a big mess for mommy.  When I'm on my hands and knees wiping up the floor after each meal I tell them that this is why it is rude to purposely drop things on the floor forcing Mommy to clean like this.

During breakfast Chris and I are usually trying to pack our lunches and get ourselves ready for the day and at dinner we are trying to get our meal on the table and be able to eat it in time before the boys get upset and want to get out of their highchairs.  Some days I'm not sure we taste our food, we eat so fast.

Their schedule right now:  The boys eat breakfast around 6:00 every morning.  We've been trying things like blueberry pancakes, toasted bagels with yogurt spread on top, scrambled eggs, cheerios and the old standby rice ceral or oatmeal with yogurt mixed in.  A 6 oz bottle follows around 7:45, then a 7 oz bottle at 11:00.  Some snacks around 1:00ish (although I know its not the best for them, they love all the gerber snacks - puffs, wagon wheels, veggie stix, etc. and any veggie/fruit pouches).  Then a 7 oz bottle around 3:00.  Dinner is usually around 5:30-6:00 when we get home from work.  And then a final 8 oz bottle before bed around 7:00-7:30.  I try to make their food ahead of time to make it easy to serve during the week.  They like variations of quesadillas with cheese, refried beans, sweet potato and smashed black beans.   Corkscrew pasta with parmesan cheese and Mac & cheese.  Roasted sweet potato and peas with parmesan cheese.  Rice pudding, applesauce, deli meat, string cheese, strawberries, blueberries, grapes.  In addition, they take lots of little bites of whatever we are eating.  They are ALWAYS interested in what we are eating and begging like little puppies.  They also LOVE their sippy cups.  They get big smiles and giggle whenever they see we are filling it.  Max will really throw his head back to chug from it.

Max is still the better eater of the two and is becoming our little foodie.  He really will try anything and always seems hungry, sometimes I can't keep up with putting food on his tray.  Jake eats a bit like Chris did when he was younger - one food item at a time.  He'll start with the small items like cheerios and his bagel will sit there untouched and I'll think that he's not going to eat it, but he'll eventually make his way over to the other foods.   They are each holding their own bottles (if not too tired) and we have officially retired the snoogle pillow that I used my entire pregnancy and that they ate in for months.  I admit I got teary-eyed putting it away, but I do love having it out of my living room.

Jake Milestones:  Jake is talking a lot more this month.  Talking just like Max too, it may be their own twin-like trait.  He is starting to walk with the push-walker., he's got such strong legs and can do laps around the circle in the house, but needs steering assistance.  Still climbing up and scaling everything.  His new thing is turning in circles while sitting.  And still always giving everything the old bang test with his left arm.  One day when Chris was watching him while I had taken Max out with me, Jake climbed the stairs.  Supervised of course.  He made it all the way to the top (7 stairs total) with a rest in between.  Such a big boy!  Jake definitely loves calming things like his wubb-a-nubb pacifier, car rides and stroller rides (he always falls asleep), bath-time and bedtime.  He usually goes down like a charm and this past month had pretty good sleeping habits, usually for 10-11 hours (an update that might be different next month.....as people seem to be waking a lot lately....).  Jake is definitely the more sensitive of the two and overall just has a real even-keeled personality,

Max Milestones:  Max is always on the move.  And when he's crawling towards something that excites him, he puts his head down to really haul ass.  It's pretty funny.  He'll walk with the push-walker for a bit, but his legs are still a bit wobbly.  But that doesn't stop him from trying.  Otherwise he'll drop to his knees and push the walker.  If brother is walking with it, he's crawling alongside him trying to get up there too.  He does great at self-feeding and has been using his left hand for a lot.  He seems like a bottomless pit sometimes with the solids, gobbling anything up in front of him.  He was the first one to learn to hold his bottle on his own.  Max is always the last to bed and is the first one up.  As an example, one night Jake had been sleeping for almost an hour and Max was still up.  Not only was he still up, he was up playing.  I watched him wander around the living room, honking the horn on the jumper car, pressing buttons on the busy-box and then digging in the toy box  like a bear in a picnic basket.  The whole house was quiet and here he was still into mischief.  I was laughing so hard telling Chris about it later.  The kid is just so darn funny.   

Like last year we went to the parade downtown to celebrate St. Patricks Day.  I loved being able to take the boys this year and meet all the friends and cousins.   We were all so happy it turned out to be a nice day.  It was one of my favorite things we've done in awhile.  

We had a playdate with the triplets and the cousins.  Last time we saw the triplets was in July when Amy and I were both on maternity leave.  It was like a baby bomb went off in the house and it was fantastic.  I hope to get a lot of playdates in with them over the years and want them to be close friends.  They are only like 12 days apart!  It's great to have a friend navigating the mom of multiples world at the same time and I've certainly leaned on and learned a ton from her.

We enjoy wrestling and horsing around with Daddy, and snuggling with him too.  As most moms and wives do, I love to watch Chris with the boys.  After dinner our ritual is to play around on the floor the last hour or so before bedtime.  Sometimes I just snuggle in next to Chris laying on the floor and we just laugh watching the boys play until they come over and start to climb on us.  While sometimes evening is their witching hour, other times the last 30 mins that they are up is also their funniest hour like they get an extra burst of energy or something.    

PLAYING:  They travel usually as a pair, either getting into mischief together or at least one watches while the other gets into mischief (it's usually Jake watching Max).  One morning they were pretty naughty at breakfast, just lots of whining and crying so I declared breakfast over and let them run around and do anything as long as they were out of my hair for a minute.  Max was in their bedroom doing his usual entertainment of pushing the door back and forth.  Jake was just watching from the hallway.  I hear the sound of hands and feet crawling quickly and slapping across the floor and then a bunch of giggling as the door shuts, then their both behind the door laughing.  They thought they were pretty funny I guess and they were right as it was hard to stay irritated with them after that moment.

They are also fighting over toys.  Ammy one day had to separate them in their cribs as the fighting got to be too much.  One always wants the one toy the other has of course.  Jake had a pretty big scratch one day on his face from Max and then later that day Max had 4 teeth marks on his cheek.  The report from Ammy was there was only one culprit this day.....Jake who didn't know how to share.  

Favorite toys this month are their "busy box", aka the activity table.  And their star rings.  They will crawl all over the house with one in each hand banging on the ground, they love to wave them in their arms, one night Max even fell asleep with one in his hands.  We visited my parents and they had some rings as well in their toy box and we ended up taking a ring home with us.  I lifted Max out of his carseat and there it was, he was sitting on it the whole way home.

WORKING MOM:  After laboring over the decision for several months, as of April 1st, I will be going part-time at work, working 3 days a week.  I had the most perfect maternity leave from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the timing was better than anything I could have asked for.  The memories I have with the boys over that time still can bring tears to my eyes.  The countless stroller walks we took around the neighborhood while listening to music, walks at the lakefront, trips weekly to see the grandparents, playing with cousins Liam & Lily and just watching them grow day after day while we learned our routine.  When I went back to work full-time it was tough and I knew I'd miss those summer days, but I wanted to do it.  I took pride in saying that I was a full-time working mom of twins, I enjoyed dressing up, being back in my office, going to lunches with my husband and overall just the feeling of accomplishment at work.  Leaving everyday wasn't as tough as you hear people talk about.  I never felt like I couldn't get dressed, or couldn't leave them and I never left in tears.  I still don't.

My work days are busy, so busy in fact that if I'm being honest, often I would forget about them.  This would make me feel guilty.  Then they started getting sick this winter and being at work when I felt I should be with them made me feel guilty.  Taking off work to take them to the doctor made me feel guilty.  Hectic mornings and rushing to work and stuck in traffic and late would make me feel guilty.  Driving like a maniac to get home to see them and being stuck in traffic and late for the nanny would make me feel guilty.  With the commute, we are gone 10.5 hours of the day.  The long winter and sickness and the hours started to wear on our nanny and that made me feel guilty.  And then it started to wear on me.  I started to feel that I was missing time with them and if I could just have an extra day at home a week maybe things just wouldn't feel so rushed all the time.

I had Mommy guilt - I hated that a nanny was with the boys over 52 hours a week, I don't even work 50 hours a week and here she was day in and day out.  I wanted to give her a break, but I didn't want to hire anyone else....truth was that I wanted to be that person.  I had Wife guilt - home life felt rushed and stressful often.  I thought if I could be home more maybe that would provide some relief.  I knew I had a husband who would support my decision, but I also hated putting the extra working burden on him if I decided to cut hours.  I had Work guilt - I didn't want to let my co-workers down by stepping back and more importantly I didn't want to let the owners down.  All of this came to a head  around Christmas time (although if you ask Chris he'll say it was two weeks after going back to work..).  So for months I talked about it but was scared to pull the trigger and work up the courage to talk to my bosses.  I worried about them saying no, I worried about this being detrimental to my career, I worried about how much my lifestyle would have to change.  Cutting back hours meant less money and on my bucket list for the boys are family vacations on the beach in Charleston and Disney World and New York to visit their Aunt & Uncle, etc.  And would cutting hours mean I had to start shopping only at garage sales?!  haha.

Weighing all my "guilts" above, in the end it is the boys who I chose, of course, and I had a tearful conversation with my boss.  It went better than I could have imagined and for that I am very grateful and thankful.  No timeline on how long this will last and we'll see how it goes.  For now, I'm really excited as it seems I have the best of both worlds.  I'm hoping that life starts to feel like it's "slowing down" now that I can be at home more and I can be a more present Mommy to the boys.  As well as do more "wife-like" things like have dinner ready for my husband when he gets home, all dressed in pearls and an apron.  Cuz that stuff will happen now, right?!

Finally, I'll end this month's post with a little game.  Can you spot the photo bomb below, aka Mr. Mischief?  Cracks us up.  Cheers to 10 months and new changes!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Foreseasons Twins - 9 Months

Here I am back again to write another update, this time for 9 months already.  Time sure flies.  We are noticing this month that they are both starting to resemble little boys, not babies anymore.

We tried to take their 9 month photo while eating cheerios for the first time last weekend.  And I actually did have them dressed alike here because I rarely do, but it was short-lived as Max then got water all over his shirt.  

During dinner on their actual 9 month birthday

Jake milestones:  

  • His top two teeth are here.  Sleep has been a bit restless this month and I think that is why.  He will cry out in his sleep and when I go in to check on him he is crying, but still restlessly sleeping.  I think either he is experiencing growing pains, teething pains or bad dreams!
  • Clapping!!
  • Jake was the first one to show interest in self-feeding by throwing a bit of a tantrum at the table when I would try to feed him.  So we've started finger foods.  He'll use his fist to feed himself, but isn't real good at hitting his mouth yet.  He is a super messy eater, especially because he bangs on everything, mashing it.
  • He loves eating blueberries in his little nuby masher.  He will suck on it and make all kinds of noises.  At one point I was feeding Max who stopped to look over at him like "what's with all the noise, dude".
  • He gets himself up to standing using everything he can to climb on.  Now he is even just scaling up the wall to get himself to standing.  He will grab for the freezer handle with his toes almost off the ground and has quite a grip when we try to shoo him off.  
  • Scaling the furniture to walk.  We watched him go all the way down the couch on Feb 15th.
  • He is like the fastest crawler ever and will really come barreling.
  • Big Jake is definitely living up to his nickname.  He's just a really "thick and solid" guy.  With such a strong back and tree-trunk legs.  Such a difference in body mass when you hang on to him versus Max.  Definitely growing into our blonde hair, blue eyed little boy!

Five Things Mommy Loves About Jake:
1.  Always smiling
2.  Great snuggle buddy for sleeping
3.  When he sees me while he's playing and will stop to rush over to be picked up or hugged
4.  The way he'll stare or squint his eyes and you know he's taking it all in and computing something in his head
5.  Waving his arms when excited, especially when being picked up out of his highchair or crib.

Max milestones:

  • That second bottom tooth came in quickly after the first one popped through.  They are both coming in kind of crooked which is kinda cute.
  • Max now likes to hold the bottle himself when being fed.  If he's tired enough he'll lay in your lap to be fed, but definitely wants to be the one to hold the bottle.  Other times he's wandering around the living room occasionally stopping to feed himself.  I cringe because it can be messy as he drips it all over, but I'm all for self-feeding.  He'll really throw his head back to drink it too which is pretty funny.  
  • Max loves to eat.  He still likes for me to feed him for the most part and will grunt if I'm not doing it fast enough.  He's also pretty good at feeding himself finger foods, by picking it up with his fist.  He loves his sippy cup too.
  • Max still has those spaghetti arms and is really good at getting what he wants.  
  • He is scaling furniture and walls too.  Tonight he scaled himself around me and then down the couch in order to get a necklace of mine that he kept pulling at when I was wearing it.  When I took it off he didn't let it out of his sight and was determined to get it.  And he did.
  • Max still loves the swaddle when he needs to really relax.  He LOVES his muslin blankets and will roll around with it on the floor, when he finds one.  Daddy is really good at getting him to relax at night with his blanket and fall asleep.
  • Now that Max is completely crawling, his grunting whine has stopped which is wonderful.  He is a fast crawler and gets pretty excited when he is on the move.
  • Max is obsessed with doors this month.  Loves to shut them and bang on them in whatever room we are in.
  • While their weight differs like 1-2 lbs at most, Max is definitely a peanut compared to his brother.  Such a difference in body mass when holding and cuddling with him.  He is our little baby with a big personality and is always entertaining us.

 Five Things Mommy Loves About Max:
1.  That beautiful smile and those almond shaped eyes
2.  Hearing his hands & feet hit the floor and excited panting as he comes to find where I'm at.
3.  His excited crawl over to me to be picked up for a hug when I get home from work.
4.  His busy-body attitude, Max likes to be entertained.  While this is sometimes trying, Mommy can relate so it is an admired quality!
5.  His woodchuck sounding laugh.  Especially when he's excited because he's being fed or gets to grab something new and exciting.

Puppy-Like Habits of My Boys:
  • Chewing on all furniture.  I just noticed Jake's crib has a ton of teeth marks and is missing paint?
  • Stealth-like hearing (like a hunting dog).  Their heads will swivel at even the slightest noise and then they are off to find it.  If Chris makes a noise while getting ready in the morning, they will stop what they are doing to investigate and then sit outside the door to wait for him.
  • Begging for food and staring while you eat.  If I'm on the ground eating a snack, they will literally be crawling on top of me trying to grab it.  I am going to have to start sneaking treats like my sister, Anna has to do!
  • Diving for food when it is served.  If I put a snack such as cheerios on their tray, they will dive forward for it and scoop it up by the handful to try to get it to their mouth.
  • Humping furniture.  Now that they can stand up, their signature move is rocking themselves back and forth as they hang onto anything.  Ok, so not quite humping but that is what it looks like sometimes....
  • Starting to understand time and/or schedules perhaps.  There are things I do in the morning to get ready (put make-up on at kitchen table and letting them play in our room while I get dressed) that signal I'm leaving for the day.  We think they are starting to catch on because they get a little panicked sometimes wanting to be held.  On the day of the snowstorm Ammy said that Jake was literally sitting by the gate whining as it got to be later and later and I still wasn't home.  Almost as if he knew what time I got home everyday and that I was late.  

They really do travel in pairs and it seems like Jake has gotten a little more aggressive this past month, especially looking at the pictures above.  He seemed to be letting Max get away with a lot up until now!

They are into everything and Chris said it well in that it seems like we are just "plugging holes" because each day something else is being taken down, covered up or knocked over.  I finally gave in and we moved the wine rack into the basement,.......into what is supposed to be an office (which has now basically become a storage room).  As we did it Chris said "don't worry it's only temporary, just a couple of years". Oh man.  

We gave them their fast bath together.  We've just always bathed them one by one up until this point and I never even thought of doing it together.  They LOVE the bath.  I actually think its because they love the bathroom for some reason and at bath time they get to be in it because otherwise we shut them out during the day.  The first thing they do is stand up at the tub and bang on it while the water is filling up.  Then they do pretty good in the tub because they like the few toys they have in there.  Max is a big splasher.  Gotta love baby butts!

We struggled with a lot of sickness this month including a 12 day stretch of a stomach virus being passed back and forth.  Including Max getting sick all over Mommy when Daddy was still on a plane coming home from New York for work.  I'll spare all the details, but just paint this picture:  I've got one kid that just puked on me multiple times and another who is tired and wants to be held and fed.  In a shocked stupor thinking: "I don't know what the hell to do first", I just sat on the kitchen floor with Max and me covered in puke and him looking at me bewildered at what just happened and Jake is pawing at me trying to crawl into my lap screaming bloody murder.  After calling Anna for S.O.S. but not getting her, I finally pulled it together, got Jake started feeding (thank god for bottle propping in the snoogle all this time) so that I could change Max and I.  Then I rocked with both of them for the next hour until Chris was home.  This happened the following week, again while Chris wasn't home.  After sanitizing literally everything in our house, I think we've kicked it.  The picture above with Jake on the floor is one of the nights Max puked where I was afraid to put him down and was waiting for Chris to get home to put Jake to bed, but instead he put himself to bed on the floor.  One thing that is nice about those two is they can usually be sympathetic for the other.  If one is upset, the other one usually lets him have the attention and behaves himself.

They definitely love their Mommy and Daddy, of course.  I'd say Jake is a bit of a Mama's boy and Max can easily get into a relaxed groove with Daddy.  They also do great with Ammy, the nanny.  Today she came while I was finishing feeding them and they both had big smiles when they saw that the noises they were hearing was her coming in.  I always tell them their "friend" is here when she comes in and she definitely is their friend.  Max wanted out of his highchair right away and when I put him in the ground he crawled over to her to be picked up.  It warmed my heart to see that (as long as he never chooses to go to her over me, right?).  

Everybody always gets free laundry basket rides on laundry day.  And I had to throw in at least one tantrum picture, right?  
Happy 9 Months, I say this often but some days I still can't believe they are here and they are ours.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Foreseasons Twins: 8 Months

Here we are, eight months.  Our big boys!!

Taking pictures with their number "8" stickers is getting harder and harder as you can see.  Everything piques their curiosity and it must be grabbed, crumpled, whacked, tasted, ripped, you name it.  

Things they love this month are: 
  • Singing "No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed", especially with a deep voice and shaking your finger when you say the "No More Monkeys" part.  They will giggle and giggle.
  • Singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" with a soft voice and the hand movements on their backs.  It is soothing to them, especially Max who will stop crying instantly and start to relax.  
  • Clapping and cheering as encouragement for when they do something good.  They aren't clapping back yet, but are all smiles when you do it.  Still working on patty-cake which makes them laugh, but they haven't figured out the opening your fists part yet.
  • Climbing up on EVERYTHING to get to standing position.
  • Crawling into the bathroom to hang out and look around.  
  • Banging on everything.  The tv stand, their activity table, their jumper car, their high chair trays, the floor....the bang test to everything is pretty equal to the taste test for everything.
  • Helping Mommy empty the dishwasher.  They will seriously come running when they see that thing is open.  
  • They have a newfound love for the pacifier, particularly their wubb-a-nubbs.  Prior to this they weren't really pacifier babies.  Now Jake will dive for it if he sees it.
  • Still have a taste for eating slippers and shoes.
  • Following Mommy everywhere....., even when she tells them to save their energy because she is coming back.  This usually leads to crawling in circles, confusion and whining.  
  • Mommy's attention.  If one is sitting on Mommy's lap on the floor, the other is climbing up on Mommy to get some cuddling too.
  • Special nighttime treats like sugar-free pudding.  They will smack their lips, grunt and practically chase you to get more bites.  They love any bites of real people food and Jake will swing his arms in excitement. 

Things they haven't loved:

  • The Nose Frida snotsucker.  I feel like they've pretty much been sick the entire month of January.  One would show improvement on their cold and then the other one would catch it and then it was pretty much just passed back and forth.  Enter the Nose Frida to clear all those boogies.  I am not grossed out by it in the slightest as I love how effective it is.  However, they both act like it is a torture device and unfortunately I have to pin their arms down to even use it.  Jake will literally be in a sweat after we are done.  
  • Sleeping through the night.  With stuffy noses, coughs and cutting teeth, we've had a lot of sleepless nights around here lately.  On the one hand I have to admit I love the snuggles and them sleeping on my chest at night, but the repeated interrupted sleep each night is tough to go back to after leaving those newborn days behind.  
  • Diaper changes.  I think its the curiosity thing, but they will not sit still for a diaper change anymore.  Changing Jake is like wrestling a moose sometimes. 

Big Things for Jake:
The signature move of Old Blue Eyes this month was swinging his arms.  He'll be sitting and just start flapping his arms out in front of him back and forth.  Not sure what he is trying to do, but it sure is cute.  He'll swing and flap when he's excited because you are going to pick him up, take him out of his high chair or crib, or feed him something fun like his gerber puffs.  If you are carrying him over your shoulder and he's happy he'll bang his arms on your back.  

Speaking of eating, both boys eat solids twice a day and bottles four times a day.  Jake does pretty good, but doesn't eat as much as Max still and he eats real slow.  However, he is learning to pick up food with his fist and to try to get it in his mouth.

You can tell Jake is always learning because he is constantly watching and observing everything.  The way he will stare intently for a long time at a person would be very inappropriate for an adult to do!  Watching him break into a grin or laugh is still the most heartwarming thing ever.

Jake is crawling on all fours and early this month started getting up on his knees and leaning for things.  By the end of the month he is full on lifting himself up and standing against things.  The morning of Jan 17th I went into his room and he was standing up in his crib.  Thank goodness we had recently lowered them!  I couldn't believe it and shouted to Chris to come and see.  What a moment.  

Jake woke up one night, just very upset, super warm and with a fever of over 101 which freaked these first time parents out and led to a call to the Dr in the middle of the night.  I ended up sleeping with him on the couch the entire night because I was so worried.  Later the fever broke and the cold is what came on, but that next day he was just very tired and wanted to only be cuddled and held.  Max must have known his brother needed extra attention as he was extra behaved this day.  That afternoon, Chris was hanging on to both boys who were sleeping against him and Max woke up and leaned over to grab Jake's hand almost to check on his sick brother and make sure he was ok.  Chris said it was the sweetest thing he'd ever seen.

Big Moments for Max:
Max finally got his first tooth!!  After months of teething that little bugger finally popped through.  The second one followed just days behind.  

Max is still doing the army crawl, so gets around by mainly using his upper body and he's fast.  He's getting up on his knees to try it out, but not quite doing the crawl on all fours.  Who knows, maybe he won't and will go straight to walking.  Max definitely wants to walk and we are wondering if maybe he will be a  different person once he is walking.  Maybe less frustrated.  He still did a lot of grunting and whining still this month, but I'm hoping it was the sickness and the teething.  Max had another ear infection we just found out.

The kid is our Curious George and is always cracking us up.  He is into everything and his spaghetti arms can grab anything when you're not looking.  When he gets his eye on something, watch out.  He is determined and is going for it no matter the predicament it puts him in.  He will definitely be the one that suffers more injuries due to his fast nature and curiosity, he is constantly tipping, falling, hitting his head on things.  See evidence below...caught in the act again.  The boy definitely gets yelled at a lot more than his brother.

Max was standing the very next day after Jake was in his crib.  Now I love to come in their room in the mornings and see his cute little face peeking over the crib.  He's also become very attached to the muslin blankets.  Loves to palm them and suck on them to soothe himself for comfort.  

Max saw himself in the mirror of his toy one day and I was able to catch that on camera.  I wonder if he thought, "damn it is true what they say about me, I am Mr. Beautiful".

Max still fights nap time and bedtime to an extent.  I said last night he goes through "5 stages of sleepiness" just like the 5 stages of grief.  There is: sleepiness, then denial, then trying to wiggle around to get free, then crying, then babbling before finally drifting off to sleep.  When you get to the lingered babbling you know he's finally relaxing.

Jake might be the better sleeper, but Max is definitely the better eater.  He loves to eat and is always grunting and flapping his arms for more.   

He loves to scream and talk and is definitely the more aggressive of the two.  He's always going after whatever Jake is and taking it from him.  Perhaps not the worst thing since he is definitely a squirt compared to Jake.  I'll always set Max on the floor and say "You do you, Max" and just watch what he gets into.  He's in a class all his own, that Mr. Beautiful!  

They are starting to play and laugh with each other more and more.  If one is found at the activity table, the other one is usually right next to him banging away or behind him using the other as a ladder to climb up to standing or balance themselves.  They like to go places in pairs usually, so if one is crawling away to the bathroom, the other is not far behind.  Not sure who I would say is the leader.  Maybe Jake since he is the faster crawler.  But Max is definitely no follower either, so hard to say!
Part of our bedtime ritual is "airing out" where they get to run around in their diapers for about 10 minutes before their bath or their jammies.  Here they are with their beloved wubbies.  I called this one "Saturday Night Wubbies" on Instagram.  Times sure have changed.  

 Jake kept standing up here and Max was ready to spot him.  "I got ya brother".  

The boys love their baths and are just now learning to splash and play with toys in the tub.  We bathe them every other night, followed by their Aveeno lavender vanilla lotion, pjs and a bottle.  Big Bang Theory reruns are also a part of the routine during their bottle.  That show signals it's Mommy and Daddy's time to unwind as well.  The boys are usually sleeping by 7:30, Max sometimes later at 8:00 and we appreciate that extra time in the day to decompress.

Love this picture of Max with Chris and Jake with Grandpa Mike because Jake 100% resembles that side of the family in this picture, complete with his Daddy's arched left eyebrow.

I still try to read to the boys when I can, although their attention span isn't as great with so many toys around.  It works better when they are strapped in their highchairs in the morning after breakfast.

We went to the Winter Farmers Market at the Milwaukee Domes and afterwards spent some time walking through the three domes.  I have never been to the Domes in all the years I've lived here, if I've ever been to them at all.  I assume I have, but I don't really remember.  It seemed like some kids were doing a scavenger hunt type of game which would be a great way to keep them interested by locating the different plants, etc.  The Show Dome was an entire train track which was pretty cool.  I kept thinking of Liam during his train stage where he would have just went nuts over it.  

The Winter Farmers Market was absolutely crazy and we got there just for the last hour.  We shared a few things to eat and bought a few things to take home.

It was great to get out of the house after being trapped due to sickness or the weather.  Jake was well behaved and stayed happy in the stroller.  Max had to be worn during the farmers market as he likes to be completely involved in everything.  They were all smiles for a bit and then both passed out.  
Thanks for such a wonderful 8 months, goobers!  You make us so crazy and so happy!!