Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Scooting Right Along!

This afternoon, I was trying to multi-task while the girls were playing on their blanket after they ate. I typically put them on their stomachs for a while until they get tired of that, then I flip them onto their backs so I can give them a toy or talk to them. I got them situated, then headed to our room across the hall to put up some things in a box from our closet. When I left them, they looked like this (notice Claire is holding Caroline's arm - she does that all the time now!):

Not three minutes later, I poked my head back into their room to make sure things were okay, and Claire was definitely not where I had originally left her:

I put both girls back on the blanket in their "starting position," headed back to my room again, and when I came back into their room a third time, I caught Claire leading the way with Caroline just a half-body's length behind. I guess the twins are officially mobile, so now the real fun begins!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cereal: Round One and Two

The moment every mom waits for has finally arrived: cereal time! Our pediatrician recommended that we wait until the girls were almost six months before starting on cereal, so I was excited to see how they would react. Let's just say that our first try was, um, less than successful.

First, I laid out all the bowls and spoons, the bibs, the burp cloths, then got the high chairs ready and mixed up the cereal (much runnier than I thought!) for the girls. I placed the girls in their chairs, and things were going well so far. Caroline seemed very excited to try her cereal and eat at the table like a big girl:

Claire, too, was ready to go and waiting on her chance to eat with a spoon:

This was about as good as it got...Claire did manage to get the hang of the spoon in her mouth, but about 2 minutes after I had the girls in their chairs, Caroline had a meltdown and began crying and screaming. Even though Claire seemed to be enjoying her cereal, watching Caroline get so upset then made Claire upset as well. So, I had two crying and hungry babies, so I just moved them back to their bouncers and resorted back to the bottle.

I figured out that the cereal wasn't the issue; it was sitting in the high chair! For some reason, the girls do not like anything hard on their backs. They will sit on the couch or against me without a problem, but they would NOT sit in these chairs. They kept sliding to the side, so I'm thinking some of it is just that they don't have enough muscle control yet and it's uncomfortable for them.

After reading online that this is all just for practice, I told myself this morning that I just have to try again and maybe use the Bumbos instead. I was nervous about that, too, though because the girls aren't too fond of these either. Paul suggested that we need to have "Bumbo conditioning" and just make them sit in their Bumbos for 30 minutes a day. I'm not sure we'll use that approach, but I did regroup, put the girls in their Bumbos, and tried again.

I am happy to report that round two went much better. Caroline did not lose it today, and kept smiling when I'd give her a little spoonful of cereal. She didn't seem as interested in the spoon or in the idea of eating, but I was happy that at least she let me try to get some in her mouth! Most of the cereal ended up on her chin, but at least she is getting used to the idea!

Claire really lapped up the cereal and was tracking my hand and the spoon and would cry for more when I was feeding Caroline. I think she has the hang of it a little more than Caroline, and I probably got a good 10-15 spoonfuls in before she wanted out of the Bumbo. She also liked wearing it on her chin more than swallowing it, but hey, you gotta take any progress you can!

For now, we'll use the Bumbo until they get a little bigger, and then I guess we'll try the highchair again. We're heading to the dr. in a week anyways, so I'll see what advice he might give then. Until next week, we're keeping at it!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Rain, rain go away

During the spring, I had planned to take the girls swimming as often as possible this summer, but hadn't counted on this being pretty much impossible to manage on my own. Most activities I can manage without help, but swimming is not one of them. They are too small to fit into an inner tube or floatie, so I have to hold them, and it's pretty much impossible to get them (and myself!) both into the water at the same time, let alone hold them both for however long we want to stay in. Details, details...

So, usually Paul and I take them swimming on the weekends, but any chance I have during the week to swim with someone to help me I gladly take. All week long I had made plans with a friend and her 9th grade daughter, Ellie, (whom I taught this past year) to go swimming in her backyard pool over lunch, so after eating lunch, changing the girls into their swim diapers and suits, we ventured outside and gazed up at the dark, looming clouds overhead. Thankfully, we were able to get about 30 minutes of swimming in before the rain came.

We quickly ran inside, pulled on the girls' coverups, and loaded them into their carseats for the trip home so they could nap. Caroline can't believe that we went through all that just to end up back in the car again:
Claire was shocked that her swim party was rained out! The minute we walked in the door, she began laughing when she saw Ellie and loved playing with her. The other day, she laughed and laughed when she saw her friend Cassidy also! I think she will really enjoy being one of the girls!

Caroline has accepted the sad fact that she will have to wait until next week to go swimming with Ellie again. She spent most of the lunch sitting in her car seat and "talking" just as if she were part of the lunch table conversation.

We had a great time, and hopefully next time, we'll avoid the rain and be able to stay in the pool a little longer. This is just the first of many swim play dates to come!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Big Sis, Little Sis

Lately, the girls seem to be more and more aware of each other when they play. People ask me all the time if they know when the other one is missing (like in another room), but I'm not sure yet if they do. Both girls watch me intently while I'm holding the other, or when I'm finishing feeding one while the other has finished, so I know at some level they are aware that there is another baby there. Mostly, they just stare at each other when we are playing. Lately, the closest thing to interacting is mostly done by Claire. Anytime they are on a blanket, especially on their stomachs, she immediately reaches out her hand and starts scratching and grabbing onto Caroline's clothes or her arm. Caroline seems pretty oblivious to it, but every now and then she'll turn and look at Claire (we're still waiting on hair...where is it?):

Claire loves watching Caroline, and many times if Caroline is crying, Claire will reach her hand out and start scratching on Caroline like she's comforting her. Even though they were born the exact same minute, Claire is still the "big sister" and so she's taking her role seriously!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Two Pink Bumbos for Sale

One of my favorite shower gifts for the girls were the Bumbos I received. I had never used these when I used to babysit, but I thought to myself, "What a great invention and how easy to use for feeding or letting a baby sit up on a table or play on the floor or whatever. How convenient!" Most of my friends who have babies said they couldn't live without their Bumbos and that they could set their babies in them and they'd sit for hours. When I registered, I quickly added these to my list, just waiting for the time when the girls would be able to use them.

The first time I placed the girls in their Bumbos, they were probably just barely 3 months old and their little heads kept falling to the side, and after about 10 minutes, they started crying to get out. I chalked it up to their being so little and young, and thought that I'd try again in another week. A week later, same thing happened, so I put the Bumbos in the closet and thought I'd try in a few weeks.

A few weeks later, the girls lasted only about 5 minutes in their Bumbos before arching their backs and crying with their arms in the air. Frustrated, I put the Bumbos back in the closet again!

During the last few weeks, now that they are over 5 months old and can hold their heads up well, I have tried every day to make the Bumbos work. It looks like these will not be in the cards for the Culbertson girls! They will last about 2-4 minutes max, and then they both start arching their backs, tossing their toys, and crying like they are being held down or something. Needless to say, I'm VERY disappointed and now I have two basically brand new Bumbos that look like they won't be getting any use anytime soon.

I happened to snap this picture during the first two minutes the girls were actually enjoying their Bumbos...although Claire (on the right) is already starting to get that tell-tale look on her face that says she wants out!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Five Months Today!

Today is the girls' five month birthday! It's unbelievable that the girls are finally to this stage! I know that from now on, each month will just be more and more fun and interactive as they begin to really start exploring and moving around a lot more.

A few "new" favorites the girls are doing now:

1. Laughing! My new fave...The best was yesterday when I was changing Claire's diaper, I happened to get some of the mess on me. As I was wiping the mess off my arm, she began laughing really hard, and I couldn't believe her timing!

2. Squeezing and grasping onto my neck and shoulder when I hold them...they don't wobble and just sit immobile so much anymore, but give my shoulder a little massage when I'm holding them.

3. Making faces and "phhhbbbttt" noises with their tongues...Claire especially is enthralled with this new trick she's learned and she constantly has saliva dripping down her chin now because all she does is spit!

4. Sitting against my waist when I'm sitting on the floor...this is a great position for reading to them or playing with toys now that they can sit against something more easily. They aren't totally digging their Bumbos yet, but hopefully they will soon!

Today, we visited the doctor for a quick weight check, and Claire is 13 pounds, 6 ounces, and Caroline is 13 pounds, 3 ounces. He was extremely pleased with their weight gain (averaging about 2 pounds per month now), and we start cereal in about 2-3 weeks, so we'll see how that goes! I'm sure I'll be in for lots of laughs then! Better get the mop ready!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Case of the Giggles

During the last two weeks, the girls have begun laughing out loud, and this now ranks as my favorite "new" accomplishment of theirs. I've always been a big giggler and love laughing with my friends and family, so I've been excited that now my girls can join in the fun!

This weekend, Paul's mom (Grandmom) came to visit and meet the girls for the first time, and in between our busy weekend of shopping, cooking, playing, and showing her around Houston, we found some time to relax in the nursery...after a few minutes, Caroline began laughing for quite a while, so I was able to grab the camera and catch some of it. We all started laughing because her giggle was so contagious, and although I'm not sure what caused her to laugh so hard in the first place, I'd do it again in a minute to get her that tickled again!