Saturday, October 30, 2010

Look at Me!

For a while now, Claire has been pushing on me to stand up with her legs and she'll "stand" on us quite a bit now. Today, I decided to see if she could stand holding onto something, and sure enough, she can! She's a little tentative and unsure about this, but she figures she can just skip crawling altogether and move on ahead to standing and walking. She's my little go-getter!

She thinks she can turn around and reach something on the floor, but she's not quite that advanced yet. I told her to give it some time; after all, this is her first time ever to stand alone!

She's pretty proud of herself now! She always juts out her chin when she is determined or persistent.
Meanwhile, little sister cheers from the sidelines...Caroline is perfectly content to just sit there and watch...when we try to hold her up to stand, her legs melt into spaghetti and she seems to have no intentions to put any weight on her legs anytime soon. I guess she can be pulled in a cart when Claire starts walking.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Culbertsons vs. Cold Season

Tuesday night, the day I had dreaded finally came...Paul and I were watching TV downstairs and we heard Claire starting to cry around 10pm. Nothing unusual about that; many times she'll wake up in the night and just need to be burped or held for a minute. We bounded up the stairs so that she wouldn't wake Caroline, and when we peered into her crib, we heard this panting and snorting...OH NO! It was true...poor little Claire was congested and must have picked up a cold...So our schedule that night was:

10pm - hold Claire and put back down
midnight - Claire wakes up again; hold her, put her back down
2am - repeat above step
6am - repeat above step; go ahead and wake up for the day

After calling the doctor, I took her temperature (slightly higher than normal) and was told that all I could really do is use saline drops, elevate her head while sleeping, and use the suction bulb on her. Fortunately, I had all of those already in my possession, so we were good to go. I did make a run to Target to pick up some Vicks Baby Rub so it would open up her nose a bit. (I have two bottles b/c I have to have one for each baby!)

I gave Claire a little medicine for her fever and discomfort, and ended up using our thermometer on her b/c the baby one just blinked once and went out - how dumb is that b/c we had never even used it before! I guess the battery was already dead?

All day on Wednesday, I made sure I washed my hands over and over, and kept Caroline at a distance and was overly careful about keeping everything separate...I kept hoping it would work...but alas, all of my good intentions were for naught...Thursday night, around 10pm, the same drama unfolds in Caroline's crib...she started crying and I go in to pick her up and poor thing couldn't breathe. Unlike Claire, who would go back to sleep after I picked her up and patted her, Caroline just talked and talked in her crib for hours to express her discomfort. Here is last night's schedule:
10pm - hold and comfort Caroline
11pm - she finally falls asleep
midnight - she wakes up again, go in and hold her, stays awake talking for an hour
1:00am - finally goes to sleep, and so does Mommy
1:30am - wakes back up and now will NOT go back to sleep
2:30am - Mommy decided to put Caroline in the bouncer so her head is elevated a bit, but is worried about her sleeping like that, so decides to sleep on the couch right next to her in the gameroom
3:00am - both Caroline and Mommy finally fall asleep
5:00am - Mommy wakes up when Paul wakes up, but goes back to sleep for a short time
7:00am - Caroline wakes up after sleeping for 4 hours in the bouncer
7:01am - Mommy realizes she has a sore throat
So, looks like our first Halloween will be a sick one for all! I think the girls actually have severe allergies and not a cold, but we're keeping our mini-drug store open over here until the symptoms subside.
Caroline did go down for her nap this morning on her elevated mattress, so that's a good sign...

Meanwhile, Claire has been sleeping in the pack and play set up in the guest room so that she wouldn't wake Caroline up and so that Caroline wouldn't wake her up in the middle of the night. Her picture pretty much sums up the Culbertson house right now! Let's just get some sleep and feel better soon!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dewberry Farms 2010

This afternoon, we decided to head out west to a place called Dewberry Farms, a huge farm with lots of games and corn mazes and hay rides and all things fall. I've actually been wanting to go out there for years, but now that the girls are here, we figured it would be a perfect year to go check it out. My sister, Cassie, invited us to join her husband's family out there, so between all of us, we had seven kids, six of them girls (with one more girl on the way!!!).

When we first arrived, the girls weren't too sure about Dewberry Farms - and not too sure about the 90 degree heat in late October. I almost dressed them in jeans so that they would look more like fall, but I'm sure glad I didn't! It was VERY hot and sunny out there, so their little cheeks got rosy right away!
I started panicking about their legs and faces getting sunburned, so Paul tracked down some spray on sunscreen - their legs are freshly greased up in this picture! I'm happy to report that there was NO sunburn today, so that's great!

Here we are waiting in the shade for some of the bigger kids to ride some of the rides. You can see the tractor behind me pulling the haywagon to go look at the pumpkins.

Enjoying Dewberry Farms as a family! This was our first real festival outing with the girls; one of many to come I'm sure!

The girls LOVE other little kids, and Anna Grace (John's niece) quickly made friends with Claire.

Cassie and Caroline having loads of fun waiting in line for the hay ride at Dewberry Farms!
Paul and Claire waiting for their turn on the hayride.

Once we got to the pumpkin patch, the pumpkins were a little more sparse than I had hoped, but we grouped some together for the girls and got some shots anyways. They would NOT look up at us because they were so enthralled with the hay on the ground.

I think the girls could have sat out on that dirt ALL day long and played with the hay. They were completely oblivious to all of us, so I'll keep that in mind later if they get bored with all of their toys inside! All in all, we had a great time at Dewberry Farms, and we look forward to many more years of enjoying the fun there as the girls get older! Nothing like "fall" in Texas!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rub a Dub Dub

Usually we bathe the girls separately in their little baby tub, but last night, I decided to try to bathe them together in the big tub! I made sure Paul was there to back me up in case one (or both) of them decided to go swimming, but it was easier for us to bathe them at the same time and I think they had more fun with the larger area in which to play. Caroline loves being shampooed and can't wait for more bathtime fun!

I just bought that little polar bear and she's supposed to kick around the water, but she just kept sinking. I guess that was $6 down the drain (no pun intended!). Claire got so into her toys that she leaned WAY over and took a facefirst nose dive into the water while they were playing. Thankfully Paul was there to catch her - there is no way one person could do this if both girls went under at the same time. I guess we'll have to wait to bathe them together a little longer until they are VERY stable while sitting in the bathtub. But, no one was worse for the wear and they had fun, so that's all that matters!

Friday, October 15, 2010


The other night, in an attempt to help the girls graduate to eating table food, I tore up some flour tortillas and shredded cheese for them to eat. Both girls initially seemed to like both the cheese and the tortillas (or at least the small amounts that actually got into their mouth vs. on their bib or tray), but they still aren't sure what to do with the food once it's in their mouth.

Claire initially seemed to like the cheese and tortilla, but after a few bites of the cheese, she scrunched up her face and pursed her lips and would not let even one shred into her mouth. Later, about 25 minutes after lunch, I had just finished feeding Claire her bottle, and I thought I saw something in her mouth. All along, I thought she was doing well eating the tortilla until I saw that same piece of the tortilla in her mouth after all that time. I guess she had just let it rest on her tongue and hung onto it even through her bottle!
Caroline was more accepting of pieces of tortilla, and I kept feeding them to her until I realized that she had about 5 pieces in her mouth and was not swallowing them! Once her mouth was full, she took care of that problem and just spit them out.

Overall, the girls have a ways to go before they become the true Tex-Mex lover that their mother is! But, they will soon realize what they are missing and will dig in with mucho gusto!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Paul's Big 30th Birthday!

Here at the Culbertson house, we have been in celebration mode for the last two days! Paul's big 30th birthday was Tuesday, October 12, and we were sooooo excited to make his day special. On Monday night, just Paul and I went out to dinner at the Capital Grille in town, and I found a wonderful babysitter to watch the girls while we got to go out. I had told the hostess over the phone that it was Paul's birthday, so they had decorated the table with confetti, and gave us special treats throughout the dinner, so that made it extra special!

Then, on Tuesday, as soon as Paul went to work, the girls helped me decorate the house with "Happy 30th" streamers, balloons, and was everywhere!
For lunch, we surprised Paul and brought him burgers for lunch. We headed back home to get dinner ready, a special meal of tilapia, sweet potatoes, and green beans. The girls sat down with their hats ready for Daddy to come home and begin the party!

We all dressed up and got ready in the front yard to greet Daddy on his way home from work!

Daddy was excited and surprised! The girls weren't too excited about those hats, and really were more concerned with picking up pine needles than posing for a picture.
Paul requested an Italian Cream Cake, so I made that from scratch for him and it turned out perfectly! It's one of my all-time favorite cakes, too, so I was very excited to make it!

After the girls went to bed, we had cake and opened presents! Paul is excited to dig in to his cake!

Happy 30th Birthday, Paul! Here's to a great new decade and we are so blessed to have you as our husband and father! We love you!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Nine Months' Old Today!

Today, the girls turned nine months! I truly enjoyed their eighth month probably the most, so I'm a little sad that it's now over. They had their 9-month checkup, and Claire is weighing in right at 18 pounds flat, and Caroline has passed her up and weighs 18 lbs, 10 oz. They're around the 45% percentile right now, so that's a big improvement over being in the low 10% for the first months of their lives.

They are not crawling yet, but the doctor just said that this is due to their more "laid-back" personality, and when they feel like they want something, they'll start to move to get it. He said many times twins are slower to crawl; he even sees a 15 month old little boy twin who is barely crawling right now! They definitely have begun reaching for toys a lot more when they're sitting, but their biggest motivation to move is our dog, Jack. He will sit just inches out of their reach, and they will grunt and reach and do all they can to try to touch him. I think he will be their impetus to begin crawling at some point.

They aren't self-feeding yet, but eat a good amount of solids (baby food) and are drinking around 20-24 oz. of milk a day now. They definitely are very aware of each other now and seem to look for each other and constantly reach for each other while eating or playing.

Caroline loves to smile when I get out the camera, and Claire just glares at me now and blinks her eyes a lot because she is expecting the flash.

When the girls were playing, Claire put her arm around Caroline and patted her back a lot this morning. She's always looking out for her sister!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Swinging Around

My most recent find off craigslist were some basically brand new Little Tikes swings for the girls! One bonus we got when we moved into our house is that they left their swingset, which wasn't brand new, but was in good condition. I just removed the bucket swings and saved them for later, and put the Little Tikes swings in their place. With this great weather, I feel like we're going to the park in our own backyard! We've already been using the swings a lot in the last couple of days. I'm so excited that we can play in our backyard and now that the girls have outgrown their indoor swing, they can still swing outdoors!

Claire is ready to go in her new swing! Sometimes she slides down and so I have to readjust her in the swing, but she is loving it and grins a lot when I push her.

Caroline really loves her swing; the first time I pushed her, she grinned and squinted her eyes shut really tight. She giggles a lot when I push her and she just seems so happy to be outside.

Side by side, the girls love to look at each other while they swing and look at all the trees above them. Thankfully, the swingset is totally in the shade, so even in hot weather, we'll be able to get outside and enjoy the swings!