Saturday, November 28, 2009

Still 9 months

Nothing can prepare you for raising twins.

Not that I've raised a singleton, nor higher order multiples. I assume nothing can prepare a person for parenting in general, either. But there is something, there must be something, unique about twins, beyond the obvious.

It's not one baby, and it's not triplets etc. when there are so many babies crawling around you can lose track. It's just two. But it's twice the diapers, twice the giggles, twice the tears, twice the seems to me, as hard as it is, that it is the perfect number. I have two arms for holding them, two hands for two simultanious tasks (because yes, it is possible to change one baby while preparing a bottle for the other), and enough going on that I am never, ever bored.

Today involved some reorganizing of the living room, aka play room, aka Twin Land. Eliana has learned how to open doors, drawers, and pull books off shelves, so our Judaica collection has exchanged places with the kids books. I have a picture of Eli playing with those I took on my phone that I'll post soon.

Shawn's Adam CalicoVision (does anyone want it? PLEASE!?) has finally be moved into storage in the girls' closet and our games have replaced it under the TV stand.

Now that the fish are both dead, and Eliana has already pulled Doug's old tank off the end table, cracking the tank and spilling the stones everywhwere, all olkd fish paraphenelia has been moved much, much higher till we can give the stuff away. So now the end table is lcean, clear, and kid-friendly.

The floor play mat and both bouncy seats have been washed and retired and now live wraped well in plastic bags above the girls' closet till next needed with future children. The swing will be joining them soon enough, though heaven knows where we'll find room for that. I can't WAIT for our building to finally build underground storage rooms, something we're hoping might happen in the next two or three years (probably just in time for us needed all the baby stuff again, but oh well).

Next up is something we've been holding off on but see we really need: a baby gate. The two giant duffle bags full of old clothes to doneate that we have been uisng to barracade off the living room have just about been conquered with their excellent climbing tecniques, so a real gate will be bought this week. They don't seem to have the old, basic wooden ones anymore, instead the basic cheapy ones have a door and everything, which is pretty cool.

Overall I'm glad it hasn't been all that difficult to make our home this kid-friendly. It's obvious there are children in this house, but it's a homey, comforting kind of obvious. The foam puzzle mat that occupies half the living room (BEST investment ever!!!! If you have kids, you really should have this. Not only is it fun, it cusions their falls and saves our asses, quite literally, when we spend the entire day sitting on the floor being crawled on by two very very very active babies) is faded and worn, covered in toys that I try to pack away each day though that doesn't always happen. The shelving unit has plastic bins overflowing with kids toys, unless I didn't, as often happens (see above) manage to get them put away for the day. The clean high chairs stacked by the porch door attest to our comfortable routine of regular feedings (well, it's scholing if any of the food manages to make it into their mouths, considering how much I sweep off the floor every day!). It's especially nice on shabbatm, when they just get whatevr we're having (last night we had minestrone soup and they rather enjoyed the carrots, some pita bread, potatoes, and Eli liked the olives Shawn was eating...and we got a kick out of the panicked face Bracha gave at tasting them. I guess she takes after her Ima in not liking olives). Today we have veggie chollent (yay two pot shabbat!) and they really liked the carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans and tofu.

Anyhow, this really got long. Basically what I wanted to try and share was the incredible feeling of watching two babies experince the world at the same time. Two reactions to every new expirience and taste and best of all, the very very best thing about having twins, is thre built in best friends.

People ask me if they interract. I guess this is what I wanted to get to in the begining of this long, rmabling post. I'm suprised at how often I get this question.

At first I think they didn't realize they were two seperate people. They'd reach out, grab the other's hand, and put it in their own mouth. They'd swipe at each other's faces and crawl over each other in their crib.

But now, wow!!! They'll look for each other and laugh when they found their sister. They'll crawl towards each other, pull on each other's hair/ear/clothing, and babble and screetch at one another. Their favorite game is "steal the plug," where Bracha pulls it out of Eliana's mouth and sucks and chews on it, Eliana grabs it back, and repeat ('plug' is our name for a pacifier. Only Eli uses one).

Being a monther of twins is incredible. Exhausting, frustrating, and exasperating, but absolutely wonderful.

ps-sorry for the typos, spell check isn't working and I'm a terrible speller. But I'm deamn good at making babies!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

9 months

Bracha is babbling!

Eli has been babbling for a while now. No words, just bababababa, mamamamama, dadadadada, nanananana (not mama or dada, though sometimes I think she's trying to say Eliana with the nanas). Bracha, meanwhile, has limited her verbal communication to vowels only. We knew speach delays are not uncommon in twins though I was slightly concerned considering we do have to watch our for neurological and developmental side effects to her PVL. But we have two major appointments coming up in December (the first with her neurologist, the second with the preemie clinic) and I figured we can ask them then if there's a need for concern.

Well, no more fears. Bracha now babababababas like a pro!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

9 months

These children are incredible, they really are.

Now that they're good at sleeping in their own cribs, I find myself taking them to my bed more and more often. It happens in the middle of the night, when they wake but aren't necessarily hungry (these days they'll each wake up maybe twice a night, but only one of those times are they very hungry. Since they're eating a lot less during the day, and are a lot more active than they used to be, and their weight gains have slowed, I don't want to deny them a feeding so they've stuck in the habit of needing a mid-night snack). Rather than stay awake myself as I help sooth them back to sleep (yeah, we're not really into that whole cry-it-out thing, it just doesn't work for us, so more often then not the girls fall asleep in our arms), I just take whomever if being cranky back to bed with me, where we sleep very soundly. I love love love looking at my sleeping daughter's face next to me, waking up to her small, warm body and milky smell. I love wrapping my arm and blanket around her and snuggling in close to her.

Eating is an entertaining daily adventure. They make such a mess but enjoy it so much. Last night we tried coconut sorbet (since these days I'll give them a chance with pretty much anything on my plate) and they both reacted with such frightened, unhappy looks in response to the coldness, it was adorable!

Today we had guests over all afternoon and they got along wonderful with them, but when everyone left I took the girls to my bed to snuggle and they had looks of such utter joy at having private play time with just Ima! They smiled and laughed as I kissed them and blew raspberries on their bellies and made faces and hugged them and rolled around the bed cuddling with them.

My daughters are the light and joy of my life.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

9 months and two days!

Not great quality, I know, but these pictures are from my new camera phone:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Just about 9 months

I write this as Bracha is asleep beside me in the car seat and Eli is asleep while strapped to my chest in the Ergo carrier. Happy awake babies rock, but so do sleeping ones!

This past Shabbat Shawn and I had two of the most peaceful meals imaginable. How did we do it, you ask? Easy, we let the girls in on the fun!

Both girls were in their high chairs and pulled right up to the table (we didn't even bother using the high chair trays). As we ate, so did they. Boy did they eat, and boy did they make a mess!!!

For dinner they each had puffed wheat crackers, a chunk of bagel each, and carrot kugel. For lunch they had the same plus vegetables from Friday night's soup and roasted sweet potatoes. I have no idea how much they actually ate because the food ended up everywhere! Eliana's eyelashes housed pieces of sweet potato, bread crumbs were stuck behind her ears, Bracha had kugel up her nose...I don't know if it was eating so much as finger painting with solids, really, but it was fun, entertaining, and kept them occupied long enough for Shawn and I to have two peaceful meals. Shame it was on Shabbat so there are no pictures. But rest assured, there will be more meals like that in the future.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Very nearly 9 months

Picture post! Enjoy!

Eliana the diva being her fabulous self.

Bracha and abba catching a little nap.

Eliana does her impression of a T-rex.

Bracha says, "I'm adorable, deal with it!"

Birthing class reunion.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nearly 9 months

Here are a few pictures from the last couple of months. The first few are from some entertaining, and very messy, encounters with solids (well, the first picture is pre-mess, but they just looked so darn cute sitting naked in their Ikea high chairs):

Bracha actually happy in a car seat (a very rare occurrence indeed)looking freaking adorable in her Osh Kosh overalls:

And finally, a picture that unfortunately includes a semi-naked hair man, but also his adorable daughter, and they peacefully slept wrapped in each others arms:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Almost 9 months

Okay, so I am sorry it's been so long since my last update. I have tons of pictures and videos to put up here and I will start loading them. Things have been crazy around here. First we took off to Canada for two weeks (the girls were angels on the 12:30 hour flight there, which was, thankfully, an overnight flight. We had bulkhead seats across the isle from each other, a spare seat next to Shawn and two really sweet helpful women next to me. The second flight was a short hour and a half jump from Toronto to NY, and the last was a 10:30 hour daytime flight back home, which was far less pleasant) then we had two weeks of madness as I came down sick and Shawn crammed for exams, and now he's back in school full-time and I'm adding days at work and the girls, well, the girls...

So Eli has her two bottom center teeth, Bracha has one but the other is working it's way out. Bracha full blown crawls while Eliana is very happy to continue doing the military crawl. Eliana sits on her own while Bracha isn't quite there yet, though Bracha has been pulling herself up to standing using the couch, her crib, laundry baskets, whatever is available, and Eli just started doing that last night. So now both of their cribs have been lowered to the lowest setting so they can stand up in there without being able to get out (yet).

Speaking of their cribs, bed time hasn't been easy with all these milestones so we decided to introduce transitional objects. Oh my what a blessing! They each have a "blankey" now (Bracha has a green head scarf and Eli has a small knitted blanket we got from the hospital) and when they're put in bed, assuming they're not dirty or hungry or very wide awake, they just snuggle their faces into their blankeys and go to sleep! Bracha has even, wonder of wonders, started being able to soothe herself with her blankey!!

They're both so amazing. They play together a ton (earlier tonight while Shawn and I were lowering Eliana's crib they were crawling around in the hallway and Eli was blabbering and that made Bracha laugh like crazy. It was incredible!!). Every morning after they've both woken up and been changed, dressed, and fed, I close all the doors in the house except for their bedroom door and let them loose. The kitchen, their bedroom, and the living room are baby proofed so they have free reign of the place. If needed we have two huge suitcases we use to blockade off the living room to keep them in there (pshaw, who needs baby gates) but mostly we let them run wild.

Eliana loved glasses and cell phones (thanks, Doda Esther, thanks a lot. Eli sucked on mine one day and now it will only work with the ear piece attached. And yes, I blame you) so I found old ones of mine of each and now they have them as toys (battery removed, of course).

Bracha finally fits into 3 month old clothing. Eliana fits, but just barely, into 9 month stuff. We can use some 12 month winter stuff for anyone who is looking to buy us gifts, hint hint. And we don't have much of anything at all beyond 12 month, though I have no idea how quickly kids grow at that age since the next size of anything is 18 months.

Let's see, what else. Both girls are just terrific. They have real personalities. They know each other, and Shawn and I, and get very attached at times. They also sometimes have clear preference for one parent or the other. Eating is still a work in progress though we have the most luck with handing them stuff to gum like pita, bread sticks, or baby biscuits. We've tried other soft things for them to gum like boiled carrot sticks but since those don't disintegrate they don't work as well. We have little to no luck with pureed food, they're just not interested in being spoon fed (nor very good at spoon feeding themselves, unless they're trying to feed each other's ears). I think I'm going to try and bake them some sort of veggie bar or just give them something soft like kugel and see how they do with that.

That's about it for now. I'm home all day Monday so assuming they give me a chance I will update with pictures.