Friday, May 28, 2010

Two ARE Better Than One!

When I was pregnant, many people loved giving me advice on what to buy and not to buy. I listened to some of it, and much of the rest, I just took with a grain of salt. I do regret taking one piece of advice from a grandmother of twins. She said that I should only buy one of all the big gear because I wouldn't use it and it would take up too much space. I thought that sounded great until I found that my girls LOVE the swing and can stay in it for hours on end. I should have listened to my gut and registered for a second swing, but it didn't happen.

I got by the first few months without a second swing because the girls slept a lot during the day in their cribs. However, in the last month, they have been more awake and want to be up and looking around. I have somehow made it through the last month by putting the second girl in the bouncer, which is great for about 20 minutes, but inevitably, they actually want to be bounced while sitting in it, requiring my foot or hand to bounce them so they won't get fussy. This doesn't sound too hard unless one is trying to cook dinner or get some work done around the house. So, after weeks of indecision, I looked up "travel swings" on craigslist and found a few that weren't too costly.

So, yesterday afternoon, I met a mom who was selling her used travel swing, and now I'm the proud owner of TWO swings, one regular sized and one travel sized. The travel swing doesn't have the power and "umph" of the regular sized swing, but hey, it works and it was cheap, so I can't complain. So far, Caroline has been enjoying her "new" swing and doesn't seem to mind the slower ride!
Claire still prefers her "first class" swing, and often sleeps or hangs out in here for hours! Both of them put their hands under the big pillow most of the time, making it look like they are riding on an airplane with one of those headrests under them!

Now, both girls can hang out together and swing so that Mommy can get some things done around the house! Even if they only use the swings another month or two, it was well worth the money and time to pick up the second swing! Lesson learned: advice is great, but always listen to your own intuition! :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Water Babies!

From the time I remember, I have always LOVED swimming and would spend my summers in our backyard pool. One of the things I looked forward to most when thinking of having kids was taking them swimming! Just getting the girls ready for the pool took much longer than I thought. We had to put on their swim diapers, put on their suits, put on their hats, get the towels, load them in the stroller, and get out the door, only to walk just a few feet to the pool. It was a good 20 minutes before we could head out the door, but, the girls knew we were going to have a fun time and they were very excited!



Thankfully, our townhomes have a really nice lap pool and a baby pool that both hardly get used, so when we go, it's rarely crowded and a perfect place to take the girls. I had been waiting for them to be a little bigger and the weather to be a little warmer to take them in the pool, and finally, yesterday seemed like the perfect day! The large pool was still in the sun a bit, so we sat in the baby pool and were able to hold the girls and bounce them on our legs or swish them through the water.

The girls seemed to like the water, and after a little while, Claire kept tipping her head back, so I decided to see if she wanted to float on her back. Sure enough, as soon as I flipped her on her back, she extended her arms and just relaxed and would fuss if I tried to upright her. She kept closing her eyes or just looking up at the sky, and I couldn't help laughing at this little 4 month old baby who loves to float!

After we packed up and headed back in, the girls instantly fell asleep, and so we'll definitely be going swimming again soon! I did figure out, though, that this is probably not an activity I can manage by myself with the girls at this point. We're still on the lookout for some floats (having bought some that wouldn't inflate!), but if I have to hold them, there is no way I can do that alone. As soon as they can sit up, I'll just inflate our baby pool and put that on our patio for them to use, but we have a little ways to go for that to happen!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A doggone good time!

I tell the girls all the time that they will always have their choice as to what they want to do in life, but having said that, they will learn to love dogs! I mean, why shouldn't they love dogs, and since we'll always have one in our lives, they need to be comfortable around them and learn how amazing a bond can be between a dog and human. I don't want the girls to be scared of dogs (unless they should be for a reason), so we will be around dogs as much as we can! John and Cassie (my sister/brother-in-law) have two Shih Tzus, Maddie and Lucy, who are much younger and interactive than our older dog, Jack, who sometimes comes up to the girls to lick their feet, but he mostly keeps to himself these days.

When we went out to their house to take our four month old pics, their dogs decided to participate in our photo shoot with the girls. I'm not sure if we had invited them, but they went ahead and joined in the fun anyways. So, as we began our photo shoot, Maddie and Lucy really kept jumping on the couch and smelling the girls. This is Claire's first glimpse of Maddie, and she is not too happy about sharing the camera!

Later, she made peace with Maddie and just decided to ignore her. Maddie was hoping to get one final lick of Claire's hand or arm.

Caroline, however, was delighted to have Lucy participate in her photo shoot. The more, the better! She just wanted to make sure Lucy didn't grab her rattle.

We love dogs and Lucy loves us, too! I loved this shot - I think dogs should be used more in photos - nothing cuter than a dog and a baby! Thanks to Uncle John for shooting all of our great pics, and for Aunt CC for holding us and posing us for our pics. We had a doggone good time and we'll be back soon!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Which one is which?

This afternoon we are going to take our four month pictures at John and Cassie's house (my sister and brother-in-law), so I was practicing with the girls a few poses to see how they would turn out. Claire got really into it, even perfecting the whole "arm lean" pose, but Caroline was just working on trying to keep her head up for more than 5 seconds without collapsing back onto the blanket.


Yesterday, the inevitable finally happened. I opened my latest picture order from Kodak Gallery, and as I was leafing through the stack, I paused on a picture, baffled because I couldn't figure out who was in the picture. I finally had to remember where I had placed the bouncer in the room (because I always put Claire on the right), so that helped me solve the puzzle. I wonder if I had this much trouble identifying the girls just one week after taking the picture, what will happen in five years?

My sister and I have decided that they are becoming more identical as each day passes. Last week at lunch, she thought Claire was in the infant seat next to me when it was actually Caroline. She is around the girls a lot, so that was her first time to mix them up, too! A lady at church on Sunday who also has identical girls said that her husband took one of the girls to get her ears pierced at three months so he could tell them apart. I'm not ready to do that yet, but if they continue to look more and more alike, then I may have to think of something! I may just paint one of the girls' toenails or something like that. Or maybe I'll have them wear nametags? Who knows! (For those of you who need a little help, Claire is the first pictured, and Caroline is the second). Maybe I'll start having a look-alike contest and see who can guess which baby it is!


Friday, May 14, 2010

Shakity-Shake

Since the girls have been much more interested in toys and have reached the developmental stage of being able to hold a rattle, I realized after looking through my toy baskets that despite all the fun toys, there was not one simple rattle in the basket. After my weekly tour through Target, I gave in and bought these $2 rattles for the girls. When we got home, I wanted to see how well they would hold them and play with them. Both of them grabbed them easily and shook them a lot; it looked like they were practicing for the mariachi band! Caroline, however, seemed the most interested in the rattle, and kept bringing it to her mouth and shaking it, even hitting herself in the head with it several times.


Claire, on the other hand, kept dropping the rattle and stuffing her fists back into her mouth. I guess it's always the free entertainment that they like best!

I'm glad that the girls have discovered their hands; the entire time they have been home, we have tried off and on to see if they'll take a pacifier, and they just chew on it or let it sit in their mouth. I guess that's a good thing, and the doctor seemed to think that would save us a lot of trouble later, but I just don't think I've ever been around one baby (let alone two!) who do not want or seem to know how to take a pacifier. So, their thumbs seem to be the favorite choice, and this morning, right in the middle of our playtime with the lights blinking and music playing on the activity mat, both girls rolled to their side, stuck their thumbs in their mouths, and started to fall asleep simultaneously. It's so funny to see how many little habits and actions they do at the same time or in the same way. To me, there's nothing more beautiful and precious than watching a sleeping baby, so I love to go in and watch the girls sleep sometimes. Although I risk waking them up, it's worth it to catch a moment like this.




Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Twindividuals

Yesterday, the girls had their 4 month checkup and immunizations, and the big news is that they are back on the same track and weigh EXACTLY the same again! When they were born, they weighed exactly the same, and now Caroline has caught up to Claire and they weigh the same again. They are now a whopping eleven and a half pounds - still in the bottom 5% of their age group. But, that is to be expected since they were preemies. They are now in the bottom 10% of their height, so at least they are catching up a little in that category! They are still wearing 0-3 month clothes size, and they have about another pound or so to gain before they'll be able to wear their 3-6 month size clothing, which is good because I bought all of their summer clothes for hot weather in that size!

I had a feeling that going to the doctor might not work out so well for Claire because she had not napped very well at all the first part of the day. Sure enough, as soon as we got into the examining room, she had a meltdown and cried nearly the entire time, and then screamed once she got her shots. Of course on the way home, she fell fast asleep in her infant seat. In the last week, she has started trying to cram both fists into her mouth as often as possible - I guess we must be starving her over here! I think she is plotting something in this picture.

Caroline was much more calm during the whole exam, and just cried really quickly when she got her shots and then stopped. I was just glad that she didn't contribute to the whole meltdown process yesterday! She's trying to play catch up to her sister and although she weighs the same, she is still about an inch shorter than Claire at this point. They also share the exact same head circumference, but their head shapes are very different, so that's pretty interesting! The doctor said that's due to their placement in the womb.

Finally, last night, I made it to my first "Mothers of Multiples" (KAPOM) meeting in Katy. The group has a range of ladies of all different ages and backgrounds, but all of them share a common bond - we all have multiples, mostly twins! Two or three of the members even have TWO sets of twins! I love my twins, but I sure would prefer that not to happen to me! They have playdates once a month or so, and bigger events centered around holidays, so I'm hoping to get a little more involved with that group and meet some other moms and twins! It was really fun to hear some of the funny stories from the moms with older twins - I can't wait to see what my girls will do very soon!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bouncing Babies

When I was registering for my baby gear, I didn't know if I should get two of everything or not, but I'm glad I ended up asking for two bouncers! I use these a lot, primarily right now for feeding the girls at the same time. When I feed them, I take off the toy bar, place the bouncers side by side, sit Indian style in front of them, and then hold the bottles for them. True to being twins, they usually finish at exactly the same time!
Lately, I've also been using the bouncers for reading to the girls, letting them watch me while I cook or clean, or just using as a way to get them off their backs all the time. When we first brought the girls home from the hospital, we used the bouncers to let them sleep. This picture is from Caroline's first night home from the NICU when she was 11 days old and weighed barely five pounds.
Now look at her! Four months later, doing great, and still loving the bouncer! As long as she's actually bouncing, she loves it, so I'm not sure who's training whom over here. Hmmmm....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Say What?

I have been trying to catch Caroline talking on video, but of course once I turn it on, she just stares at me. Today, I finally was able to get her talking and keep it going once I turned on the camera. I've definitely seen their individual personalities begin to develop more lately - Claire constantly moves her arms and legs, and Caroline constantly moves her mouth!

I'm not sure if Caroline is already preparing for her tryouts for American Idol, but she sure does sound a lot better than some I've heard. She may have a future on Idol; you never know!


video