Friday, May 29, 2009

For the record book...

This is DEFINITELY Kenna's big week to officially claim she can roll over...and over...and over! She has rolled from front to back probably 20 times in the last 2 days. I keep putting her on her tummy and she immediately rolls to back (I think she thinks it's lots of fun to not have to do tummy time now!). Hooray! It took a while, but she has it mastered!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Pictures

(Baby update in post below...)

Here are some recent favorite pictures! The outdoor ones at the end are from Memorial Day weekend. We went to Big Bear Lake. It was so much fun hiking with them and taking them fishing for the first time! I was so excited to share our favorite activities with them.

5.5 Months!

Time for an update! I keep resolving to get back to my weekly updates and then time slips away. I have so much I want to write about outside of baby updates (about parenting in general and life after infertility) but top priority is baby updates so I can keep track of everything so here we go! I will post pictures in a little bit (today).


Nathan continues to be our little strong man! He is VERY physically active. I desperately wants to crawl but isn't quite old enough. He pushes up on his arms about as far as you can possibly go and scrunches up his knees to try to push. He just hasn't quite coordinated lifting his tummy off the ground in order to get to that next step. He rolls around constantly so I have to watch him at all times. The other day I left him in the middle of the living room floor and went to get something in the kitchen. I came back and it looked like he was gone! But instead he had just rolled all the way over to the corner of the room behind a chair. :) He was lying there smiling at me when I found him! He is such a happy little boy - full of BIG smiles for mommy especially. I can almost always make him smile hugely at any time. A lot of times when he is playing on his own and I'm doing something else I will catch him lying there watching me. As soon as I smile at him and he realizes he's been "caught" watching mama he gets a giant smile and buries his head in his arms like he is embarrassed! It's so adorable. I'm sure babies don't get embarrassed at this age, so we think he just forgets to coordinate his smiles with his strength in pushing up (he is almost always on his tummy now, pushing up on his arms).

We bought an exersaucer sort of thing to help them gain the muscles for sitting up and eventually standing. Nathan struggled with it the first couple of days but now he LOVES it and is sitting really well in it...and standing! It's crazy how you can see the development happening so fast. He plants both feet on the ground solidly now and can literally stand up in it, whereas a couple of weeks ago he hadn't figured out how to put his feet on the ground. I can tell it's made a difference in his balance and back strength too because he can now sit unassisted for a few seconds at a time. And when I hold him standing (not in the saucer) he now stands solidly straight up! This is all new since the saucer, so I'm very excited it's doing something.

Nathan is loving his feet. He lies around holding them and looks very pleased with himself. He is great with his hands too, though I don't think he's got the same fine control that Kenna has yet. He just takes big swats at things and grabs everything he can.

Once in a while we can get him to laugh out loud. We got lots of squeals or little mini-laughs, but full on adult-type laughter is still hard to get. One very random thing we can do to elicit that kind of laugh is say in a very gravely, low voice, "mama's gotta work". I know, it's so random! I don't even remember how it started. I was probably playing around with him one Monday or Tuesday when I work (I work from home) letting him know I couldn't play then and he just thinks it's so funny. I've tried other phrases in the same voice and it doesn't get the same response. :)

It's a good thing we get to start solids in 2 weeks...Nathan ate 15 ounces of formula this morning! HE IS READY! LOL - He is on his tummy next to me and reached over and hit the caps lock right when I typed he is ready!!! I guess he wanted to make that point! He is over 18 pounds and wears mostly 9 month clothes! I'm 5'2/110 pounds and B is 6'2 and thin as a rail...I don't know where Nathan is getting his size from!

Oh, and we have solved Nathan's sleep issue, of getting stuck in the rails and screaming...or rather J solved it. She brought us a mesh bumper and it worked! I'm not afraid of using it since it's breathable, and it keeps him from getting stuck, so we are back to full nights of sleep! Hooray!!


Kenna has had a few big moments in the last week...she's rolled over several times! She is really showing an interest now in more physical activity. She has rolled over in the past a couple of times but it was never something she could "replicate". Last week she rolled from stomach to back three times in a row one morning, and this week she has rolled over a few more times from stomach to back. I think she is getting the hang of it because you can see her trying a lot more now. She is also trying to go back to stomach and spends a lot of time on her side recently, half way there. She rolled over that way once or twice a while ago, but never again. So she is definitely working on the more physical skills now. I'm relieved - I really thought she was never going to do this stuff! She lifts up much better now on her tummy and gets up on her elbows. She doesn't have the arm strength yet to push up on her arms like Nathan but now that she is taking an interest in more movement I think it's going to happen pretty soon. I'm excited to have the saucer for her too because she is interested in it and it's helping her with her upright balance. She won't stay in as long as Nathan because she hasn't figured out how to plant her feet so she has more control. But I can definitely see it helping her already too!

Kenna continues to be extraordinarily aware of everything and everyone around her. You can just see her studying things all the time. While Nathan is rolling around experimenting with his body, Kenna is calmly and intently watching either him or some small part of something in front of her. She has a really deep attention for things and you can practically see the wheels turning in her head. You can often tell what she is thinking - especially when I am holding Nathan and she is staring at me. "What about me? Why are you holding him and not me?" She is so aware of what Nathan is doing and most of the time he is totally unaware of her (though I caught them smiling at each other once and it was so precious!). She is our little deep thinker. :) I can't make her smile on cue the way I can with Nathan, but once I get her going, she gives the cutest, sweetest smiles you've ever seen. Her cheeks are so big and sweet when she smiles! We also laugh about how her cheeks seem like a separate part of her - we ask her, "how are your cheeks today?" :) She is still a snuggle bunny, loving to be held and carried around.

Kenna is over 16 pounds now, but she seems so much more delicate and petite than her brother! He feels like a tank compared to her! She eats 9 ounces per feeding, 4 times per day though, so she is holding her own. She still waits patiently in her crib in the morning for mommy to come in and now Nathan has caught on. It's so pleasant to wake up at 7 on my own, not to crying babies, and come in to find them happy and waiting!

I absolutely love dressing Kenna up with little dresses and hair bands/bows. I will go crazy when she has more hair to play with! Of course I'm biased, but I'm going to come right out and say that she is a beautiful little girl. We still get a constant train of people when we are out commenting on the twins and coming up to see them, etc., and she steals the show most of the time. :)

So that's the latest...they'll be 6 months in a week and half. That is CRAZY!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Five months old!!

Nathan and Kenna are five months old! Can you believe it? I certainly can't. It really is remarkable how fast they grow. It's so trite to say that (and I get tired of hearing it), but yes, it is true. Nathan is 17 pounds and Kenna is 15 pounds. People are always surprised when they ask how old they are and we say 5 months...they usually think they are a couple of months older!

So let's see, what's new? Well, I have to say that things have gotten a little more difficult lately if I'm being honest! I thought as babies got older they needed less attention, but I swear that Nathan and Kenna want more and more attention! It used to be that we would do "stations" during the day...some would involve me, others would involve them playing independently on their mat, etc. But I don't think there are ever times now where they are both happy to play on their own. It's become very tiring!! I get no breaks except during their lunch nap (and of course once they go to bed at 6:30). Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with them, but I also have to continue to get things done around the house and when two babies are constantly wanting attention it's next to impossible!! Mommy is very tired by the end of the day lately! All the little brief breaks I used to get during the day have gone out the window...I literally have swamps of emails I haven't been able to get to, and haven't read blogs in weeks. I know, that's not all that dire, but still, these were little things I used to do during the day when I had some free moments. I'm in the process of readjusting my expectations. :)

I would say the above is true for both of them, but especially for Nathan. He has always been so low maintenance (except at the beginning when we had the feeding problems) but lately he never wants to be in one spot for more than a few minutes. All this really started when he learned to roll from stomach to back a few weeks ago. He won't stay on his back at all now and just constantly is rolling around. When we put him down for bed time he immediately turns over and puts himself on "tummy time". He plays around for a while (meanwhile Kenna is fast asleep, being the champion sleeper she is). Then when he gets tired he goes nuts because he is stuck on his stomach...he has somehow forgotten for the most part how to roll from stomach to back even though he was doing that since he was six weeks old! So he goes crazy in the crib, gets his arms and legs stuck in between rails (we have bumpers off since they are considered a hazard now), and screams until we come in usually 45 minutes after we put him down. We pull him out of the rails and he sleeps on his tummy the rest of the night (that's supposedly OK once they start flipping on their own, and this is how he chooses to sleep every single night now). It's become a little routine for him. Then he sleeps until 4 or 5 am when he wakes up and realizes he is stuck again and we have to move him. Very frustrating seeing as how we have had them sleeping 12 hours a night since they were 7 weeks old thanks to the brilliant schedules in "Contented House with Twins". I got too cozy with our little routine I guess! I move Nathan now half asleep and come back to bed. :) He is just a really active little boy and it's easy to tell he will crawl and walk really early...he is trying to crawl desperately but is just too young. He gets really frustrated because he wants mobility badly! Little Kenna is content to just sit in mommy's lap all day and smile at me. She has still only rolled over twice...they are stereotypical for a boy and a girl I uess!

Our schedule these days is: Wake up at 7 and eat. Nap 9-9:45 then eat. Nap 12-2 then eat. Nap 4:15-4:30 (yes, a cat nap) then eat. Bed at 6:30. Yup, they sleep over 12 hours at night! They both eat about 9 ounces per feeding (4 feedings per day). We'll start solids at 6 months per the pediatrician's recommendation. I can't believe they are almost old enough!

In other news we accomplished our first family trip! We went to Mammoth last weekend (ski area in central California). It's one of our favorite places to go both in winter and in summer. We went with some good friends of ours who also love Mammoth and who have a baby just 3 months younger than Nathan and Kenna. We drove up at night during their bed time and they did great (5 hour drive). They slept in their car seats the whole night and had no problems. The next night we had them at the condo in pack n plays and Kenna was the great sleeper she always is, just like mommy. Nathan, however, woke up at 4 am. I immediately started to panic and two lessons immediately became clear: 1) It is far more stressful to have babies in a location where others are sleeping because you can't just let them cry back to sleep like we would at home. 2) Without our trusty swing that puts either baby back to sleep when needed within minutes, combined with number 1 above, it was a very scary situation. B walked Nathan around for a good hour and he just didn't want to sleep. It threw the whole day off. The next night he woke up even earlier, and it was even less fun in the wee hours of the morning. We are going to a cabin over Memorial Day and no matter how much space the swing takes up in the car, we will have it. :) When all was said and done, all of us were so proud to have made the effort to go...we are all of the mindset that it is really important to not give up on the things you enjoy after having kids just because it's more difficult. It wasn't the most fun trip I've ever had, but now that we know what to expect we can plan better for future trips.

So today is Mother's Day. I really looked forward to going to church this morning since they always celebrate motherhood and I have avoided this service like the plague for the last few years. But truth be told, I felt really weird about it all this morning. Our church had a red carpet toward the entrance with sunflowers for all the moms. I absolutely couldn't bring myself to walk down it and purposely walked in the other side. A red carpet signifies a position of honor or prestige. It's not that I don't think moms deserve that, but it hurt me to think of all the women who do not hold this "position of honor" yet long to desperately. There is no way I felt comfortable blithely walking down the symbolic path of honor knowing that I do not deserve that honor anymore than those women who are waiting still. Pretty much every time I'm out with the twins in public I am told how lucky I am. Over and over people tell me how much they always wanted twins, and how perfect that they are a boy and a girl and how beautiful they are. I am SO incredibly lucky. I am constantly aware of that. You can not decide that you are going to have kids, so anyone who has them IS lucky. Of course most people never have to give it a second thought. But for many of us who do, it will never feel right to be "honored" for something that you realize you can in no way control - Nathan and Kenna are a beautiful, precious gift from God and J and I am just the recipient of that blessing. No red carpet for me, please. I just want two of those sunflowers to put in their nursery, one for each blessing we have received.