Happy Birthday!

Warning: Mushy baby post ahead.

I often try to recreate in my head the feeling I felt when I was wheeled into the NICU after my c-section to see my babies for the first time. I still don’t even know what time it was – being that they were born at 10:06 at night, I assume it was the next morning. B and C were in different NICU rooms, and B’s room was first. We came around the corner, me in my wheelchair, and amidst all the other babies, there was mine. He was handed to me, and I cried. A lot. And then we went to see C, and the same thing happened. Then I asked if we could put them together for a quick picture (thank goodness somewhere in my foggy medicated head I thought to ask for this). Being that no one was hooked up to any tubes, they were okay with it. And this happened:

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I imagine that the feeling I felt, and that I try to feel again in just the same way, is the same feeling a mother gets when she gives birth vaginally – when the baby is put on your chest. Same thing. It’s this insane, overwhelming, deep feeling of mine. It’s like the best Christmas gift ever, the one you’ve been waiting your whole life for. Right there for the taking. I used to try and remember that one moment so often when the babies were little and refluxy and life was tough. And as the months have gone by, I’ve thought of it less and less. But I still remember it, especially today. Today’s their birthday.

What’s scary to me is that the moment – not the memory of it but the feeling that went with it – is harder to feel, the more time that goes by. I’m afraid it will go away permanently one day, and then what? Then I reminisce about the babies’ first birthday? I say to my husband, “Remember the day the twins turned five”? Or even crazier still – the day they graduate high school, or get married..or…etc.

I can’t imagine that there will ever be any better memory, or any better feeling, than when my wheelchair came around that corner. And honestly, I really, really don’t want to forget it, because single-handedly, that moment was the best one of my entire life.

Anyway. The past year has been exhausting, mostly. And it’s had its challenging stages, such as the one we’re in right now. But the lows were never low – nothing with these babies can ever be that bad, because they’re here and they’re our kids.

 

So yes, today was their birthday. We didn’t do anything special – their party is this weekend. But of course, today was the day C decided to (for the first time ever) skip her first nap. Okay. She made it until noon, which is when most kids who take just 1 nap go down, so fine. But she only slept an hour and a half. And then she was a BEAR the rest of the day. So today we worked off C’s schedule. With that said, she was extra sensitive and cried when we gave them their little smash cakes (we didn’t even sing!) and when she opened up her present (a doll – apparently with a scary face). It was just one of those days for her.

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The day started fine, with some silly babies who won’t sit still and give me blurry pictures!

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But C just had an off day, as you can see.

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We enticed both babies to touch their little smash cakes by putting peas on them – and it helped, tho neither ever dug into the cakes. Just gentle pokes! So boring!

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B was into staring at his cake, but not much else. He had two nice naps, so he was in a pleasant mood! After C got upset, we revisited the cake in a different, less pressured way.

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The babies opened up their new dolls and B gave his doll a million kisses and lots of hugs, which was adorable. And on the way home as we expected, C napped.

Happy Birthday, sweet babies.

 

 

From “I’ve got this” to “I have no idea what I’m doing”

Thanks to the commenters and readers of my last post. It sounds like this 11/12 month old stage really can be a doozy and yes, I’m in survival mode again.

Piggy-backing on my thoughts last time, I’m just finding it funny how a few months ago, I really thought I had this 24/7 parenting thing down pat. It’s hard to know if my mental toolbox of ideas has run dry because I have twins, because I’m with them all day, every day, or because I’m not good at replenishing it, and that’s just the kind of mother I am.

But I do know that I’ve started reacting in ways to my babies’ meltdowns that I didn’t think I would – with an almost numb quality. And by babies’ meltdowns, I’m talking about B. Right now C is my golden child (and yes, it’s now switched between them about 4 times since they were born). She reads books, she wants to learn about things, she plays with toys quietly and easily. She has dislikes and opinions, but I know what they are and I set her up for success. I try to do the same for B. He’s biting now. With purpose. He was frustrated today and he bit my leg. And then tonight, my shoulder as he came in from a hug (so not sure this one was about anger). But he bites and it really hurts. And C, she just learned where my teeth are, so now she’s shoving her fingers in B’s mouth to find his teeth and getting bit, hard. And not learning her lesson, and doing it again.

B’s meltdowns come mostly going into the car seat, stroller, or high chair. The changing table I can get past if I sing a rousing rendition of “The wheels on the bus” and hand him some random object he shouldn’t have. But those other times… I find myself not knowing what else I can do, besides wait. Should I do a song and dance routine every time he throws back his body? Maybe if he were my only child and I could concentrate just on him. But I can’t – and so I wait a few seconds, hold him in place, and then he gives up the fight and sits down. And after I hand him the toy he’s dropped on the floor of a public place for the 5th time, because if it’s the only thing that keeps him happy,  I wonder how differently I’m doing things now than I did a few months ago. What I’m seeing is that my patience level isn’t as high as I’d like it to be. I don’t want to run out of patience – once in a while, sure, but not every day. Again, I ask myself if I’m running out of patience because I have twins, because B is at a difficult stage right now, or because I’m just not the kind of mother who has a lot of patience, even though I REALLY want to be that mother. Maybe being at home with the babies 24/7 is the culprit – not that I’m taking that one for granted either, because I’m going back to work full time in September and I don’t regret this decision to stay home even for a minute.

I don’t yell or anything like that –  I’m still overly in love with these babies and I don’t take it for granted. But a few months ago, I used to use a sweet sing-song voice, “Oh, I’m sorry you’re sad. Let’s fix it.” And now it’s, “Mommy is tired and ran out of tricks. Sit down.”

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IMG_6836But he’s just so cute! He’s got a devilish grin and his personality is really taking off.

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The “easy” baby at the moment. Still feisty though, she’s learned “no” from who knows where, but instead says, “Nah” – repeatedly.

 

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As they approach their first birthday, I think every day about their birth and how far we have all come. Life is good, I just wish I had a little more patience.

 

Who said “The first year is the hardest”?

Has anyone else been told that before, besides me? I’ve also heard, “It gets easier.”

When? When exactly does it get easier? I’m pretty sure it’s not the 11th month. If the first year is the hardest, does that mean I’ve got 2.5 weeks to go until hard turns to easy? No? I didn’t think so. Liars.

I am SO behind on blogging. And reading people’s blogs. In fact, I’ve got about 49 unread emails of your blogs to go through, and I don’t delete them because I want to remember to go back and read them, and then I don’t, and they build up. I want to blog. I finally pushed other things out of the way tonight to do it, when there are 5,000 things I need to be doing. But it just feels good, especially because the blogging community is so lovely.

In my last post, I believe I wondered whether or not I’d have crawlers and walkers in my next post. And in fact, I do. This is VERY recent – C just crawled for the first time two days ago, and not to be outdone, B took his first steps by himself yesterday, just one day later. B never crawled, scooted, slid, etc. He went right to walking from sitting down. I have videos of both events – I missed C’s crawling and my husband missed B’s walking, but at least the other parent was present to take the video. And we are very excited for our babies taking these independent steps. It means that B is a happy little guy, not nearly as frustrated as he used to be. And less frustration means less screaming. So that’s a win win right there. C – she was content NOT to crawl (probably explaining why she did it so late), and now she’s just content to crawl if necessary. One thing the baby books don’t tell you though – after a baby learns to crawl or walk, they aren’t exactly GOOD at it.

I guess that’s common sense. A lot of people say things like, “Oh, once my baby learned to walk/crawl he just took off! Get those gates out!” Except – no. That’s not what happened, at least for us. C crawled that one time, and she’s sort of done it two or three times since. B – he DOES want to walk, but he can’t, he sucks at it. Really, really sucks. He falls every two seconds and takes about three steps before he gives up and just lets himself crash. Except I’m there to catch him, of course.

And everyone said, “Don’t wish for your babies to crawl/walk. Enjoy them not moving around on their own while you can.” And I thought they said that because they (whoever “they” are) wanted to soak up the little tiny baby stage and would be sad when that went away. And I disagreed, because my babies were upset and crying due to their lack of independence. But now, now I realize it’s because when they learn how to move, that’s all they want to do, but they’re terrible at it and you have to watch them every second of the day. And this – this is a challenge with more than one baby. How do you do it with two?

If I could lay out the hardest, most challenging months of this past year, they would be birth-4 months to start. Nothing is worse than lack of sleep. You become a disoriented hot mess. I swore back in those days nothing would ever be so tough as that stage then with the lack of sleep and around the clock feedings. That is partially true. Then months 5-9 were an absolute BREEZE. The babies were fun, they laughed, they learned to eat solids, they sat by themselves. And sat. And sat. They played with toys, they were content. I took them out, showed them off, and plunked them down for one million pictures. I felt a little supermom-ish, like I had it all figured out. Which I did, for that stage in their lives. But months 10, and now especially 11, wow. Almost as challenging as when they were born! Yes, they sleep through the night. Thankfully. But it’s back to that time again where I eat my lunch in 5 seconds flat, while juggling one baby on my hip who is reaching for things she can’t have and laying down the other on the floor because he is throwing his head back in an all-out temper tantrum. Another thing you don’t read in baby books – babies start to act like TODDLERS before they are toddlers. My twins love each other; there are many kisses that go around. But when they aren’t laughing and giggling at each other, they’re screaming and fighting. B wants any toy or book C has and when he takes it, C starts screaming. If I give it back to her, or if B misses his target, he starts swinging his arms and throwing a tantrum. When C plays with certain toys, she doesn’t want B anywhere near her and shrieks if he comes close. I have to split them up and sit between them when they play! Is this NORMAL?

As you can tell, I’m finding this stage very draining. They are so adorable, they’re learning every minute and you can see the wheels turning as they process new things. But they can’t be left alone for a minute. Even if they’re safe – if I put them both in a large pack n play in the kitchen to play with some toys, they’re safe, but they’re fighting. And biting. When we’re on the floor in the living room, C wants to stand up at the waterless water table and practice her twerking, and B wants to walk. He won’t sit, he won’t lay down, it’s walk or bust. But of course, he can’t do it on his own and I can’t leave C standing up for long. One of them seems to be upset all the time, and it just rotates, who I can please and who I can’t. And of course, I try to please both as often as possible.

A lot of this comes down to “free play” time. We have a lot of toys and books but the babies do get bored after a while. We all need some structure. So we go out every single day, to play groups or to run errands or visit friends. It really helps cut down on the fighting over toys and it gives the babies new experiences. The downside is that I can’t even try to clean the house, prep dinner, or do laundry. Our house is falling apart. I just had to tell a new friend as we were setting up playdates that my house isn’t….playdate material. She was so forgiving and offered her house instead but really, how completely embarrassing. She wouldn’t judge me for it, but I don’t want a new friend and her little baby coming into my crazy house with all the clutter, the small rooms and the hyper dogs who don’t get enough exercise. And the LACK OF CENTRAL AIR.  I want to be more “put together”, and I want my house to do the same. Neither are happening right now. This twin almost-toddler thing is giving me a run for my money.

So that’s where I’ve been the past few weeks. Survival mode, again.

I won’t keep this post too long, but there have been wonderful, amazing things too. The crawling/walking was huge for both of them. But I’m finding the other, non-physical milestones much more fascinating. They are LEARNING. It’s sign-language time, first of all. They both have one sign, “All done”. I mean, after almost 6 months of doing that one, plus “more” and “eat” – it’s about time they got at least one. But they know it, they do it properly and it’s cute. Then, when they started copying me, I realized, this is prime time for learning. So I’ve tried to do what I can to teach them everything they want to know, and repeat it multiple times.

C has 1.5 words – “Duck” was her first (wasn’t that the same for you, Sparrow?) and “cat”, though it’s more like “dat”. I’m impressed with the “t” though. She and B also do the “d” sound appropriately for dogs. C loves books and cries when you stop reading them. She points, looks at you, wants to know. She can identify and find her toes and her hair, which is pretty cool. She can find my teeth as well. She claps her hands, she makes fish lips, both when asked.  B is fascinated with ceiling fans so I had to quickly make up a sign for fan before I had time to look it up, and after just one day, he’s starting to do it.  He waves, but in the wrong direction, so he’s actually saying “come here” instead of “hi”. He shakes his head no when you do. He put his ear to his shoulder when you do. He’s totally copying everything. He finally learned to feed himself his solids, which cut down on the mealtime screaming. They know nursery rhymes. They point. I count and recite the alphabet constantly – they’re a little young, but you never know what they’re taking in. It really is a fun age and it’s amazing to know that NOW is when the learning really takes off. NOW we have such a big impact on them. I wish that I could spend more time teaching them to meet their individual needs. One year is coming up real quick, and though it’s taken a long time, the milestones are really taking off.

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Tis the season

Okay everyone, finally some progress is being made over in this house. But first, let me direct you towards this totally well-written, completely true blog post that I found via Facebook. Has anyone else seen this? Kristen talks about the “season” when babies are small.  The season when you as a parent don’t have time for a social life, and you don’t connect with your friends like you want to, because your children are at a stage where they need you all the time. And it’s depressing sometimes, and you feel lonely. And you wonder if you’ll ever socialize again and connect with adults. She mentions going to Target just to talk with an adult (done that, and then some. Costco, The Dollar Store, the library…anywhere). But then she talks about the things that your babies are doing that fill that void – laughing with you, singing songs, playing games…it’s just so true. And so well written. So if you’re in need of a reminder why you are the mother of your kids, and why that job is so crucial right in this moment, read that post. It’s that good.

I think those who struggle with infertility know this even more than others – to appreciate the little moments. I have known this, and I try to think about it as often as I can. When B is thrashing his legs around like he’s being stung by 50 bees when in fact I’m only changing his diaper – I think about it. Or when (today) I go to check B’s diaper only to accidentally stick my hand in 5 inches of poop, and then having to lay him on the ground one-handed and pick up C off the couch and onto the ground so she doesn’t fall while I go scrub the poop off my hands and they both scream bloody murder because it happened so fast and they don’t know why I’m running out of the room – I think about it. What do I think about? My happy place is B rubbing his nose on my shirt back and forth when he’s getting sleepy, his closed-mouth kisses and how completely delicious he smells (from the waist up, at least). Or C’s huge grin, her giggles, her satisfaction at looking at a picture of herself and her brother right before she goes down for a nap, and curling her fingers around my shoulder as she snuggles in. I don’t know. I definitely have bad hours, bad sections of my day sometimes (that mid-afternoon time slot is a doozy), and those first few months of the babies’ lives were completely insane, but it makes me emotional even thinking about how someday I will miss this and ache to have it again. Will I miss it that much? Maybe, but for the sake of my happiness I sure hope there’s something my kids are doing that can kind of replace it. I don’t always want to miss something, that’s a depressing way for me to live. But just in case, I do try to think and enjoy and snuggle and sniff.

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Anyway. I just really liked that blog post.

Moving on. Coincidentally, I’ve been kind of anxiously waiting for my babies to reach some physical milestones. And generally the reason is because they are 1) large and 2) frustrated with sitting and playing with toys. They want to get up and dance (twerking was invented by babies, apparently) and reach and stretch. So while we’re not totally there yet, major progress is being made. Here’s their almost-11 month old update:

B: B’s physical development has gone from 0-60 in the last week or so. It came out of nowhere. Now, he’s about 27 pounds or so I’m guessing, no longer content to sit at ALL (I knew that day would come, thank goodness I took so many good pictures while he was still cooperating!) and it started when he wanted to hold onto the pole of C’s jumper-thing.

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And then he wanted to stand up at this toy:

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But then he started getting fussy and I realized it was because he was “stuck”. But he didn’t want to sit down. So I got out the water table and set up a little obstacle course in the living room and to make a long story short – in the span of a week he has suddenly learned how to 1) pull up on the furniture from a sitting position, 2) go completely hands-free for a few seconds and 3) cruise the furniture.

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This new freedom of his makes life certainly more interesting. I ran to the bathroom quickly today while he was sitting on the ground. When I came back 2 minutes later not only did he stand up at the water table but he cruised around the whole thing and was at the end of couch by the time I got there. He can turn around, switch hands and balance decently. As far as I know, the next step for him would be walking. But he doesn’t know how to use one of those push toys, and his steps are not smooth at all when he’s holding our hands. So he’s not ready to actually walk. But wow, the progress was huge. He’s a happier baby already. Interestingly enough, he never crawled. He never even came CLOSE to crawling. And not just a regular, pretty crawl. There was no scooting, no army crawl, no butt crawl – no movement whatsoever. But here we are. I don’t know how long it’ll take him to reach that big milestone, so we’ll see what happens.

He’s still very grumpy during meal times, maybe because of his lack of independence there. But he’s not showing any interest in wanting to hold his own sippy cup or feed himself his finger foods. He plays with them, he swings his hands back and forth and pushes ALL the food onto the floor, all while screaming because I’m not putting the pieces in his mouth fast enough. So I’m not sure where to go on that front. I’m hoping he just takes an interest to it one day. I’m happy he easily transitioned off the bottle though. He’s in 18 month clothes now and I’m not buying anything more in that size. He has 7 teeth that all came in between March and May. And just in the last few days he has gotten the hang of “Soooo big” and finally  - a wave! He’s just copying us of course, but it’s a start. There’s some understanding going on in that head of his. Today I noticed he clapped, but not purposely. But now that I know he can clap, I need to start teaching it. He’s a very strong-willed baby. If he wants something, he goes after it as best as he can, even if it’s the dog’s paws or a toy in C’s mouth. He wants what he wants. If I intervene, he’s not happy about it. So it’s constantly redirect, redirect. He laughs hard, often. He grins to show off his teeth, scrunches his nose, he’s fascinated by his own hands – he’s very funny. He’s funny to watch, when he’s in a good mood.

DSC_0388C keeps showing me that she wants to crawl. In the span of a week about 3 weeks ago, she perfected rolling and ALMOST crawling. She gets onto her stomach from a sitting position, she gets on all fours, she rocks back and forth…but that’s it.

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I’m hoping she figures it out soon. She has been watching her brother, though and in the past few days she wants to stand where he’s standing, she wants to hold onto things. She can’t pull up on furniture and her feet are like cemented into the ground – she has no idea how to move them. But there hasn’t been too much crawling practice recently because she wants to stand like B.

IMG_6166One day, about a week ago, she decided to put food into her mouth once, then twice, and by the next day she was ready to feed herself completely, given the right food. For her, that was chopped string cheese. And she hasn’t looked back. She has the pincer grasp down, she eats off the tips of her fingers – if the food is in her hands, she figures out how to eat it. Slippery banana and avocado – no problem. She has favorites for sure (unlike B who just devours everything) and they are currently banana and avocado, cheese and peas. She happily ate squash for breakfast today, but turned her nose up at plain white potato and wasn’t crazy about the chicken I had dunked in pureed apples and cinnamon for lunch. So great – she’s already being picky. C has also mastered the sippy cup (no straw yet), and can tilt it back and everything. Unfortunately, she only wants to drink water out of it and not her milk. I have a feeling that might not change until they are weaned off formula and her solids become the main event, not the formula.

C is fascinated with her world. She has a new love of books, of faces, of babies, puppies, even the smiling sun on her sunscreen bottle. She points now, at eyes, at mouths. She leans in to give all of these faces a kiss, whether in a book or if it’s a real person. She kisses about 150 times a day. It’s constant. I have caught her “flipping’ through a book, only to find the page with the dog, and she kisses the page and laughs. She could sit happily in my lap and read the same book 80 times without stopping. I imagine she just loves when we talk to her, show her things, point things out. That’s her favorite.

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IMG_6071I love the pointing. She’s extremely social, constantly chattering, giggling, etc. She lets you know when she’s bored or needs a change of activity. She’s basically happy when there are people around. It’s human interactions that really make her who she is right now. Luckily, she loves her brother and they have a ball laughing together. That is, before B claws her face off trying to take her toy.

She’s still a ham for the camera, posing for me, making taking pictures of her very easy. She loves new experiences. She loves to feel the grass, a breeze in her face, a dog’s kisses, etc. She’s a very happy baby, contrary to her newborn days of reflux, when she was a crying nightmare all day long. She’s got her two bottom teeth so far and she’s about 24 pounds, in 12 month clothes.

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I feel like I have toddlers. And really, I almost do. Their first birthday is next month. Totally crazy, but also totally awesome.

That was one long update, people. Next time I write one, maybe I’ll have crawlers/walkers. Who knows?

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A Typical Meal

The twins are making some progress, finally! We’re still not quite there, but they are on the cusp of some very exciting milestones – what looks like walking for B and crawling for C, and a much deeper understanding for both of them. I love reading all the other twin blog updates, so I’ll have my own shortly. Tonight though, it’s all about mealtime.

Right now, mealtimes are one of my least favorite parts of the day with the babies. C has figured out how to feed herself (yay!) but B is a NIGHTMARE, both because he’s restrained in straps that he hates and because he’s constantly starving and I can’t feed him fast enough. This is typical B during meals:

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This is how it goes, three times a day:

B screams when I strap him in. If I can’t get his milk heated up fast enough (i.e. any amount of time period) he screams while that’s happening. I do try to heat it up beforehand but it doesn’t always happen. I give him the cup; I have to hold it for him. He drinks the 8 ounces in less than a minute, sometimes in about 30 seconds. He doesn’t stop to breathe and screams when I take it out of his mouth for a second to catch his breath. When the straw has sucked up the last drop, he screams. I one-hand grab his straw cup of water, to hold him over while I’m feeding C with my other hand. He takes a few sips and realizes it isn’t milk. He calms for about 30 seconds.

B starts screaming again, because he wants his solids. Sometimes I manage to give him some, but otherwise I give him a toy. He throws it, and proceeds to scream. Once C is done with her bottle that I have to hold, which takes her 5,000 years to drink, I put their solids on their tray. B will eat anything and everything, as long as it’s edible. And maybe even if it’s not. He doesn’t dislike any food, though he doesn’t show a preference for anything either. Today, and many days, I put peas, cut up string cheese, and black beans on their trays. C happily puts one piece in her mouth at a time and she’s gotten very good at this over the past week. I shove food in B’s screaming mouth. He immediately calms and hums to himself, happy as a little clam.

But then B swallows and I’m not quick enough, and he screams again. I put more pieces in his mouth, off of his tray. He plays with his food, but he shows as much interest in feeding himself the solids as he does his straw cup of milk – none. He screams in between bites, but laughs and giggles while actually eating. When he’s finally full, he calms for a few minutes.

Then, when he realizes he’s still strapped in his chair, he screams again, until I take him out. Sigh.

Who ever said “it gets easier” with twins? And why can’t my babies hold their own bottles/cups?

And I’m seriously hoping that this isn’t B’s true, extremely demanding personality. He was the EASIEST, calmest baby and now he is so challenging. I just hope this has something to do with the milestones he’s near to reaching and not a sign of the next 18 years of our lives.

*C has found a regular sippy cup with handles that she likes and she drinks water from it. She even tilts it back, so that’s great. Problem is, she won’t drink milk out of it, so meals are out of the question. Only water.

After the scream fest, snuggles with his sister:

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More on the good stuff soon!

A Day in Spaghetti

To continue our sensory play this week, I decided to try an activity with cooked spaghetti. Yes, some might think that’s absolutely nuts, but I’m all about using the senses to discover things in our everyday world. To me, cooked spaghetti was along the same line as a rice table, or dried bean activity…except this was cooked.  I did not make this up, either. There are a million blogs dedicated to toys and play for babies and toddlers. Here were a few places I found inspiration using cooked spaghetti: Here and here. I love the brightly colored rainbow pasta, and I can see how awesome this activity would be for toddlers identifying colors and textures and all that. For my 10 month olds, I used this as my basis when making this activity happen.

I didn’t want there to be too much dye in my pasta, as my babies are still in the stage where everything goes in the mouth. I know it’s called “food coloring” for a reason, but I wanted to limit the amount they may digest. I liked how Bean (in the last link) played with pasta that had a hint of raspberries, to engage the taste and smell senses. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the blueberries I might’ve used (which probably saved me a onesie or two), but I did have some already cut watermelon. So I purchased a box of spaghetti from the dollar store, cooked it up and as it cooled, added a little olive oil to keep it from sticking. I used too much oil. Sticking was not an issue. So for anyone that tries this, just a little oil will work . :)

Then I dumped the juice from the cut watermelon and also chopped up a few pieces just in case the babies wanted to taste the chunks (they love watermelon at the moment). It didn’t really make the pasta smell much, so if I did this again, I’d 1) cut back on the oil and 2) skip the fruit. Plain, white pasta would’ve been just fine! I also made this the night before and it was cool when I put it out for them.

It was a beautiful day out so I considered doing the activity outside, but didn’t want to deal with the bugs. Instead, I put down a clean shower liner on the kitchen floor for easy clean-up, plunked the babies down with a bucket of pasta and let them go to town. And this is what happened:

Tentative at first, they each put a hand in and didn’t really explore too much.

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It didn’t take B long at all to try a taste, though for the most part I don’t believe C ever did. (This might have something to do with the fact that they still don’t feed themselves their finger foods…)

 

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And once he tried it, he liked it. Clearly.

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Yes, somewhere in there B had a mini-meltdown over his bib so I decided the shirt would just be destroyed and so be it – thankfully, it’s totally fine!

C continued to just feel it with her hands, while some fell on her leg.

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One of my dogs, Riley, was having a field day with all the food on the ground and even though I tried to contain her tongue, she slipped a few licks and slurps in.

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They were having a grand time, with C concentrating pretty hard and B just going crazy with delight.

 

 

 

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Then he lifted up the bucket and I knew this activity would end soon. Thanks to the handy shower liner, I just let him go for it.

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Nothing is a mess until you have a box of slimy, cooked pasta on your floor. They weren’t even interested in playing around in it. So after a minute I decided it was time to clean up before the shower liner didn’t do its job anymore and I just grabbed the pasta with my hands and put it back in the fridge, in case we do a repeat in the next few days. While I was cleaning up, I gave them two clean buckets, and I think they would’ve been fine with just those to begin with.

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They slid on the floor so well! Maybe from the oil, maybe not..

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They got up close and personal to finish up.

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And then this happened:

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Resulting in C falling backwards, C screaming, causing B to scream, and that was officially the end of the activity.

Clean-up is a hose to the shower liner (or just throw it out), a wash of the buckets, hands and legs, and that’s it. No pasta on the floor, just some dirty buckets.

Would I do it again? Yes…but I might wait a few months until I think the babies will get even more out of it. I mean, if I’m going to give them a messy activity, I want them to get messy. Step in it, feel it between the toes, that sort of thing. C sitting there picking up one strand at a time…very cute, easy clean-up. But next time I’ll take it outside, maybe color it, maybe not, and again, go easy on the oil.

I still do love these sensory activities and am on the hunt for more, especially for babies. Yogurt as finger paint? I’ll think about it.

Almost there!

It feels like the babies are on the brink of some major milestones. I’m reminded why I need to really enjoy the baby phase (like Muppet’s mom discusses) and so I do try to keep that in mind. I have loved the snuggles, the baby smell, the tiny toes. Yet for me, I love how C deliberately puts her head on my chest and wraps her arms around my neck, whereas when she was an infant, she couldn’t do that. And sure baby skin was even softer and smelled even better when my twins were newborns, but now they laugh and when I say, “Where are the doggies?”, they whip their heads around trying to find a dog and grin. That level of understanding, for me, is where it’s at. And so I feel like with this new understanding taking place between myself and them, they’re getting close to making some serious discoveries.

Foods – Recently I recall not yet making that leap to finger foods and wondering how to go about it when the babies loved their purees so much. Well, C suddenly decided she wouldn’t touch another puree and happily went right to finger foods, no “thicker textures” necessary. I was making my own purees, so they were on the thicker side to begin with, but I never put chunks in them. Now she loves mushy finger foods especially, as most babies do I assume. I’m starting to push the envelope by adding new things with different textures little by little. Chicken is the most recent addition. C is finally starting to try feeding herself. She keeps missing her mouth, or her hand will make it to her mouth but the food will fall. But I’m pleased she continues to try. B – not so much, but then, he was content with purees as well. He’s content to be fed by me, period. He’s made the switch to the straw cup, but won’t hold it himself. C is working on a regular sippy cup with handles – she does drink water from it well, by herself. Thank goodness. But when I put the milk in it and have her attempt it at mealtime – no way. She still wants me to feed her the bottle.

I’m at a bit of a loss right now for new foods to give them that don’t involve a spoon. We still have some protein sources to go, some veggies to go, but if it involves a spoon, they’re out for the time being.

As for movement, again, C is making some major leaps right now. She’s still not crawling but she’s really, really close. Finally – one day about a week ago she decided to roll, at 10.5 months. And roll she does. Rolling even onto her stomach to sleep for naps, which for her is unheard of. Flopping all over the living room floor. Wanting to pull up on things. So, she’s getting there. As for B – when I hear people say, “My baby skipped crawling and went right to walking. He/she only scooted around/army crawled.”, I’m confused because to me – any movement in which child gets from point A to point B I consider crawling, even if it doesn’t look exactly right. So my question is, can a baby COMPLETELY skip crawling/scooting/sliding/army crawling and go straight to walking? Because that’s what B wants to do. He is only happy when standing, he is pulling up more and more, and he’s using my hand to turn himself around (while standing) and take steps toward something he wants. We’ll see. Sometime soon, all these changes will take place. And I’m not RUSHING it…but at the same time, I want these things to happen. B is 3 pounds away from maxing out the weight on my changing table – the boy needs to move on his own. This mommy is ready.

Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve come across some fun little activities for babies in the summer months. As usual, my babies get sick of their toys (or is it just me?) and I try to only bust them out once or twice a day. The rest of the day, for my own sanity, needs to be something different. So this week I’m trying out a few new (but yet so uncomplicated) sensory activities to keep them interested and curious and keep myself from falling asleep on the floor.

So with today’s hot and sticky weather, we had some good fun splashing around outside with some dollar store bins and colored ice cubes.

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It started out all nice, with the babies happily splashing while wearing their hats. Until they realized they were wearing hats (hence the tie in C’s mouth). Then there were double meltdowns, and the options for me were to either end the activity or go without hats. So with sunscreen slathered on, the play continued.

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I found it interesting that B was all into the water today, while C quickly took her bin and dumped the water out, turning it into a drum.

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After that became boring, I brought out the colored ice cubes which happily did not stain any clothing (though they wore some PJ extras just in case). This was a fun fine motor activity and B especially loved it.

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I dumped out the bin after a while and got him some fresh water and ice cubes, making the water really cold, but he didn’t seem to mind.

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C decided to use her bin to try and stand, all the while leaning forward to eat kiss her brother. She doesn’t get that her open mouth means nothing to B, except to maybe smack her with his hand.

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Luckily, the twins like water. This wasn’t our first mini-water activity. In fact, a few days ago after breakfast I kept them in their high chairs and poured some warm water on top of their high chairs, threw a towel down on the floor and let them splash away. I also added a drop of food coloring. That day, C was into it but B less so.

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These little activities remind me of teaching, a lost art that I will be returning to in a few months. Planning an activity, getting the supplies, and executing it. And I like that – it makes the day exciting knowing that I have something planned for the twins to do. On the list for the rest of the week: sensory bags, spaghetti play, and a yogurt/food coloring snack/play…thing. I could never come up with some of these things myself. Thanks, Pinterest.

Meltdown.

Today was just one of those absolutely mentally exhausting days.

But it’s not as if every day is all sunshine and rainbows and then today hit like a supercell thunderstorm – no, the babies must be in a wonder month week or something because it’s been a nice gradual buildup to insanity. Right now it mostly resides with B. He’s SO unbelievably fussy. And by fussy, I mean angry. There’s nothing that he wants, or if there is, I can’t figure it out (other than the remote, my cell phone, the dog bone, his sister’s face, anything he can’t have). He is no longer content to sit. I knew this day would come, as both babies sat for months all nicely and whatnot, but now that they both want to crawl, they don’t want to sit. But they can’t crawl, not yet. And so for B – he’s just so frustrated with his little life. He doesn’t want to be held, but he doesn’t want to sit, practice tummy time, stand, jump – honestly, there’s no telling what he wants. If his sister has a toy he wants and he can’t get it, he smacks his sister in the face repeatedly. (What’s with that??) And every day, I try to get the babies out of the house or do something different, just to appease him and change up the day.

Today just wasn’t one of those days. After he woke up from his second nap (albeit a little early) he did nothing but scream for the next hour, at least. Finally I just decided to feed him early to calm him down, but he was still in hysterics while chugging his milk through his straw cup, subsequently choking, gasping, and projectile spitting it all over himself and me. C decided to join the scream fest when I ripped her out of her crib and ran down the stairs without giving her time to kind of adjust post-nap, because I had to return to the screaming child. And then, giving her no attention, I plunked her down to sit for a while as I worked on B and finally, she had enough of being forgotten. Cue tears. Sad, crocodile tears. I imagine she was wailing, “You forgot meeeeeeee”. I didn’t. I kept thanking her for being so patient and swore it would be her turn soon but for some reason, I don’t think she understood.

I say this must be a wonder week because both of them cry in hysterics multiple times a day. More B than C – he is guaranteed a massive meltdown every single time I 1) change his diaper, 2) put him in the stroller, 3) put him in the high chair, 4) put on his PJs, and 5) put him down for a nap. Let’s say on a daily basis he goes through around 5-7 diapers, 2 walks in the stroller, 3 times in the high chair, plus one PJ routine and two naps. So that’s – 13-15 meltdowns a DAY for Mr. B. The pattern here is laying him down flat and restraining him with straps. Nope, he does not like those things. Thankfully, C is less meltdown-prone but she tends to fuss more often.

And it’s days like these that kind of, sort of, make me want to go back to work. It’s not that I don’t WANT to be with my children (cue guilt for even having to write that), and it’s not like I’m DYING to be at my job (no offense, colleagues) – but going to work would force me out of the drabness that surrounds a stay-at-home parent. And we do get out of the house every day, even if for just a walk. But one hour away and at a playgroup doesn’t change the fact that I’m, by myself, taking care of two babies for around 10 hours a day. That one hour of socialization (or half hour, at the library sing-along), doesn’t change the fact that when we get home, I’m back on super-duty. It’s just so exhausting – starting from 6:00 am when we are all up until they go to bed at 7:00 pm. So going to work would allow me to step out of that realm for most of my day. But see – that’s also the downside of going to work. I don’t WANT to be away from the babies, I just want some breaks in my day.

I give major props to the stay-at-home-parent who is permanently in that position. Do you ever change out of sweatpants? Put on makeup? Work on yourself when you’re staying at home? I can’t seem to do it – we have started a little short jog with the jogging stroller in the mornings, so that’s good for me I guess. I don’t particularly FIT into my old, nicer clothes, so yes, I’ve been in sweatpants for let’s see – oh, about a year and a half.

So it’s a challenge. Today, I didn’t really feel like the parent as much as the nanny – just passing the hours. And that’s sad. Here’s hoping to tomorrow being a better day.

On a happier note, I’m finally planning the babies’ first birthday party and I’m excited about it. There’s absolutely no NEED to have anything lavish, or a theme, or much more than a mid-summer BBQ. However, being at home has allowed me to tap into my creative side and I have thoroughly enjoyed finding a theme. Thank you, Pinterest and Etsy – for exposing me to the vintage ice cream shoppe idea. I am on a mission to do this on a budget, so we’ll see how “vintage” I get, but it’s a big day that’s coming up in only 2 short months. Yikes.

I also received a new camera lens and wow, what a difference. Taking a picture now lets the subject really stand out and pop, as it blurs out the background. Do nannies take pictures for you while you go to work??

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C sees the camera come out and it’s instant smiles and holding poses. Much appreciated. B – not so much. It’s song and dance time until he smiles, or at least looks your way.

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And a few together, because I can’t resist.

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But I don’t even like coffee…

My babies are 10 months old tomorrow! More on that in a minute.

I’ve been feeling very, very tired. I mean, I imagine all parents do, and especially stay-at-home parents, because that which makes you sleepy is what you do all. day. long. And in my case it’s times two. I’m noticing, though, that my sleepiest, downright dysfunctional period is mid to late afternoon, usually between the hours of 3:00 – 5:00 pm. The babies go down for their second nap around 1:45, and it lasts until between 2:30 and 3:00. What I’m doing during that second nap is having a snack, walking around the house pretending to clean, and then sitting down on the couch, connecting myself with the outside world via Facebook and blog reading. Inevitably, the babies are up so quickly, and then it’s that last long stretch before bed.

The past few days, it’s all I can do to not literally curl up on the floor and shut my eyes for five minutes. Yesterday, my sister was over so I was actually able to do just that (but on a couch), but today I was driving. I can’t stop yawning, my eyes get heavy – I’m about ready to pass out. And then the feeling sort of goes away, especially once I’ve eaten dinner. Then I’m immediately recharged and raring to go for the rest of the night.

The thing is, this system isn’t really working anymore. Not for the babies, not for me. What I’m currently doing after that last nap at 3:00 is passing the time, usually with a stroller walk if it’s nice out, followed by bottles at 4:00 and then…and then the babies do a lot of playing by themselves. I’m sitting right there, mind you. But I’m not interacting with them much at all. I’m zoning out, keeping them busy with toys and counting the minutes until my husband gets home to take over for a few minutes while I get bedtime stuff set up.

When my husband gets home around 5:30, I let out this big sigh of relief just knowing that I’m officially “off duty” for a few minutes. And I love being with my kids. But it’s just so nice, and I’ve been “on” since they woke up at 6:00. It’s a long-ass day. And once bedtime and bath stuff are ready to go, my husband does the baths around 6:15, I do PJ’s, it’s bottles and then sleep by 7:00.

This is our current schedule. After the babies go to sleep, we creep down the stairs, wanting to plop it on the couch….and start dinner. By the time we’ve eaten and cleaned up from it, it’s 8:00. By the time the nightly chores of straightening up the house, washing bottles, making formula, preparing solids, washing diapers/folding laundry (if necessary) are done, it’s 9:00/9:30. That’s when I finally get “me” time, which is either a little TV with the hubs or sorting through pictures or blogging. My bedtime isn’t usually until 11:00 and then we’re up at 6:00.

So you see, this current situation I have going for us isn’t working for me, because I’m crashing so hard every single day. I don’t like how I’m just placing the babies down to play and not even doing much with them during that time. I don’t like the feeling of forcing my eyes open. Apparently I need more sleep. But I think I also need to work on preparing dinner BEFORE the babies go to bed, so that after they’re down, we eat right away and clean up quickly. If that happened, everything would shift to an earlier time, including my precious bedtime.

But that’s the problem – I can’t prepare dinner before the babies go to bed. I’m TOO TIRED.

The thing about caffeine for me is that it really works. I don’t really consume caffeine. A little soda or a piece of chocolate at night would have devastating consequences. Even when the babies were newborns, not ONCE did I have caffeine to keep me going. I’ve never needed it. And that’s why, when I do drink it, I’m beyond wired. I don’t like that feeling, so I don’t do it. Also, coffee is gross unless it has all the cream and 83 sugars. Tea is the same. For a treat, I’ll have a decaf sugar-laden coffee from Dunkin Donuts, but as a dessert – without caffeine. Right now, I’m starting to wonder if that’s what I need. Most people drink coffee in the morning, right? They need their caffeine to start their day, to get them going. Well I practically jump out of bed with a spring in my step. I’ve always been a morning person. But that mid-afternoon slot? That’s where my coffee would be.

I don’t know. I really want to stop wasting away the hours of the late afternoon and be productive. Imagine if I made dinner, cleaned the house and played with the babies, all before my husband got home? That would free up my entire evening! It also sounds impossible.

Today the babies and I went on a trip to my school to visit my teacher friends. I’ve been coming around lately to the idea of going back to work. I haven’t worked since April of 2013 when I was put on bedrest at 23 weeks – a long time ago. And even a few months ago, I didn’t feel ready. But now I can envision it. Talking with other adults, going back to teaching (some) subjects that I really like, making a difference again – it does sound appealing. And when we visited today, I was reminded even more so how the topics of curriculum and data are in my not-so-distant future. Hmm, am I happy about that? On a surface level, sure, yeah, it’s good for me. And I have no choice, anyway. But deep down I’m wondering – how will I ever dedicate myself to both my job AND my family? Before my kids, teaching was my around-the-clock job. Once I had kids, they took that slot. It isn’t possible for me to work two 24/7 jobs, so you know, something’s going to have to give. And I doubt it’ll be my babies, short of me not being home anymore. This whole topic just makes me sleepy.

 

In other news, my twins are 10 months old tomorrow (picture overload incoming!). I know people comment how fast the time goes with their own children, like they’ve grown in the blink of an eye. In some ways, yes, I can see that. I can’t really remember my babies being the five pounds that they were. Nor can I really remember a time when they didn’t smile and laugh (I guess those first few months are just a blur). But otherwise, I seriously think I felt every single day up until now. It wasn’t a long time coming, it didn’t go by super fast – but I really felt it. In a good way, too. Every new stage they enter, though, I’ve liked more than the last. It’s a joy to watch them become little people, slowly but surely. And it’s crazy to me to think about how my babies were born completely blank slates. Never having tasted anything, never saw anything, never met anyone. As I’m home with them all day, I have the power to decide what they taste, who they see, what experiences they are introduced to. It’s just kind of crazy and overwhelming. But awesome. And hopefully, most of the time I’m making the “right” choices, the choices that sit well with my husband and I and contribute to the growth of the babies.

B is, as usual, a giant hunk of a baby boy. He was 25 pounds at the 9 month check up a month ago, so I would assume he’s grown some since then. His head is the size of a 4 year old’s (I know because I just bought him a toddler hat that fits perfect), he has giant feet and hands and he eats like a lion. He’s got some great thunder thighs and is a mini Godzilla “walking” around the house. He’s not crawling yet, as I’ve mentioned before, but he loves to “walk” while holding your hands. Loves it – would do it all day if he could, but it hurts my back. He is rolling now and spinning in circles on his stomach. He has officially outgrown the doorway jumper (so sad), as he’s past the weight limit. And it’s not good for him anyway – but man, he loved that thing. He jumped as high as he could, and if I let him, would lift his legs and swing back and forth, allowing his arm to connect with the wall. He’s a very physical boy – when he’s happy and laughing, it makes him jump. It’s funny, when we go to playgroup or the library for songs, C smiles and coos, and B bounces up and down on my legs like it’s nobody’s business. Moving is all he wants to do. I really, really look forward to him crawling, so that I don’t have to carry his large self around as much. He has recently made the transition to a straw cup from the bottle. Just like everything else that my babies have transitioned to, I continue to learn that my babies will transition when they’re ready. And when they’re not ready, no amount of persuasion can make it happen. All of a sudden, he was getting antsy with the bottle. Once he learned how to suck from the straw (using water at first), he was hooked and it was simple after that. We still do the last session in a bottle as he typically falls asleep while drinking, but the other 3 meals are through the straw. I’m not looking back from that bottle. I’m glad to be done with it. Now, if only he would hold the thing himself. As for food, he eats whatever I give him – purees, finger foods (but off my fingers, not his…). He just wants to eat. There isn’t a single food so far that he’s turned away from, so I continue to just throw together whatever I have already made and when they are purees, stir them up together. Today’s purees were carrots, butter beans, pears and avocado all mixed together. He doesn’t care. Boy just wants his food. He also likes finger foods but we’re just starting that – so far he’s eaten banana, avocado, sweet and white potatoes, baked apples and peas. He has 7 teeth, and they all came in in a month’s time with next to NO drool, no fevers, no extreme fussing. Just teeth, thank goodness. Super shy in public and with new people, he’s also very leary of new experiences and appears to scowl for most outings. At home, he’s the life of the party.

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(No, I don’t dress him like that all the time. It was for a professional photo shoot we had done, with the results coming soon..)

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C always seems so petite next to B but she really isn’t. She’s around 23 pounds herself, with another large head. But she’s much thinner than B with small little hands and feet. She just got her first tooth yesterday, the same day B got his 7th. Like B, no fevers, barely any drool and not too fussy – I guess I’m super lucky. In public, she’s all smiles, a total charmer. She loves new experiences and is absolutely fascinated by her world. I don’t even notice anymore, but today at our school visit a coworker commented as C was drinking her bottle that she had her eyes scanning the room the entire time – never once did she zone out. Definitely my child – very aware of her surroundings. I put her in the front of our double stroller because she’s all eyes and ears – taking it all in and squealing with delight. At home, she gets bored much more easily than B. She prefers people, even B, to her toys. She’s the first one to get antsy when they are playing by themselves, because she needs more stimulation than the toys can give her. But carry her around the house, read her a book, just change it up, and she’s happy. I imagine this is why she loves going out of the house so much. She’s so very, very good when I pull out my camera – she knows when to smile, when to keep her gaze in my direction. She’s a little harder to get to transition to new things, but it can be done. We’re just starting the straw cup with her, but for now, she’d prefer a bottle. However, she was the one who told me she was done with purees and ready for finger foods – she suddenly turned up her nose at purees, or after having a few bites, would gag and spit them back up. She absolutely LOVES the mushy finger foods I’ve introduced, with avocado and banana being favorites so far. Of course, like B, she doesn’t eat them off her own fingers but hopefully soon enough. Also not yet crawling, this was the baby who absolutely HATED tummy time from Day 1 and has come a long way. She’s leaning forward from sitting to a tummy position and tolerating it for a few minutes. She’s also spinning and circles while there. She finds people hysterical and laughs with so many types of human interactions. She loves to be thrown in the air, to hang upside down.

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Together, the babies continue to show affection for each other. C continues to kiss everything in sight and now B has learned how to give kisses as well. They also pull each other’s hair and smack each other in the face (purposely) with toys, but they enjoy each other’s company and can be heard laughing to each other, back and forth, while I’m not in the room. I’m totally in love, and totally exhausted. I can’t wait to see what Month 10 has in store for us!

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DIY sensory boards

Thank you to those who commented on my last post about my concerns with the twins being behind in their physical milestones. I know for sure that 1) it will happen in due time, but 2) I could probably help it along a little bit by spending more time trying to get them to crawl and whatnot. I appreciate the ideas and suggestions! I’ve already tried a few things with them, and we’ll see what happens.

In the world of food, well, I’m trying more finger foods – they seem to like them, as long as they are eating them off my fingers, not their own. I also added some new purees in the meantime. I’ve just added butter beans, cantaloupe and pumpkin to their usuals. Butter beans (giant lima beans) have a super creamy texture, so I’m excited to see if the babies like them as much as other creamy foods.

 

In other news, I find a lot of enjoyment in creating things for the babies to use, such as toys. I’ve started an adorable felt letters project but I barely carve out the time to work on it, so when it’s done, I’ll be happy to share. Up until now, I’ve spent just a few minutes of time creating sensory bottles and treasure baskets for the babies. We still use both of those things every day. And then Pinterest gave my husband and I the idea of sensory boards.

My major influence for this project was this.I loved how both the preschooler and the baby got a ton of use out of the same board – going to show that they can get years of use. Here’s another example of simpler textured items, specifically for babies. Anyway, I just thought they were the coolest thing and a great toy that will last for a very long time.

My husband was excited to make it. I don’t know the exact amount of money he spent in all, but we got most of the items at Home Depot, including free carpet samples and dollar items if we could. He did choose to sand and stain the board, but you wouldn’t necessarily have to do that. It took him a few days to complete, so the stain could dry. He made two sensory boards (with items you would find also on a latch board), and here are the finished products:

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So today being their first day of use, we had these boards on the ground lying flat. But my intention, especially as the babies get older and can stand, is to secure them into the wall of the upstairs playroom. I found out today that the board on the right is a little better for the babies at their current age, 9 months, than the board on the left. I mean, I obviously knew the twins couldn’t hook some of those items on the left but they do like to slide and flick whatever they can. It can definitely be used. But I decided to save the second board for a few months from now and just use the board on the right. It’s hard to see, but it’s got the end of a brush, a mirror, a front door knocker, a spinny wheel that I’m sure has a more sophisticated name, a carpet square, a push light, a piece of textured…rubbery thing (a pot holder maybe?) I got at the dollar store, a door stop, and a mini door. That came from C’s desire to open and shut our cabinets, so we bought the knob for $1 and my husband cut a little piece of wood and made it into a mini door for them to open and shut. I thought it went swimmingly well today, and the boards will have many more days and months, and possibly years, of use. And obviously at this age, this is a toy that I need to be sitting with them for them to play with, as these items aren’t exactly toys for the mouth or that sort of thing. As they get older, I won’t be as concerned.

 

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The door stopper was a huge hit, so we might add a second to the board. It makes a great noise and is fun to flick.

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C tries the open and shut method.

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B enjoys the texture of the carpet.

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Just checking out her reflection. I didn’t add the blurry picture of her bending down to kiss herself in the mirror – so cute!

Anyway, I do think this will be even more fun for them when it’s secured to the wall and they’re just a tad bigger. That said, I plan to bring this out on a daily basis, especially during witching hour. :)

 

On a quick, separate DIY note – there was recently a conversation on Belle’s blog about homemade cleaning products. Belle makes a ton of her own cleaning products and I had mentioned my homemade diaper wipes. Well, she sort of inspired me to look further into making my own cleaning wipes. I’m driven by the idea of saving money and using more natural cleaning ingredients I might already have in my own house. Making the diaper wipes is seriously the easiest thing ever, so I decided to give cleaning wipes a try. I got the recipe here, but found it similar in other places as well.

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In my house, we go through cleaning wipes like CRAZY. I use them constantly, for a quick table wash, high chair swipe, counter clean..you name it. And it’s not cheap, even from Target. Every ingredient needed for these wipes was in my house already. My one purchase was this container from the dollar store. I used:

1 cup of water

1 cup of white vinegar

A few squirts of dish soap (blue Dawn seems to be the hit on the internet)

A few drops of essential oil (optional).

Just like with the diaper wipes, I cut a paper towel roll in half, poured the ingredients in the container, shoved the paper towels in there and waited a few minutes. Then, the roll came right out, bringing up the first paper towel with it. I let it soak overnight, and in the morning they were wipes. My thoughts on this first batch – they do smell vinegary. I don’t really like the smell of vinegar. There are ways to surpass this though that I might try, such as using a little less vinegar or adding like a citrus or lavender oil. Or I’ll just suck it up, because I made these wipes for FREE. They seem to clean well too, but because of that smell, I did choose to go over the surfaces I cleaned with a wet rag after, just to take the smell out. It’s not like it’ll smell up your house, but you can smell vinegar.

I’ll mess with it for a few batches and see. I like how I know what’s in them, I like that they’re FREE. And hopefully they clean just as well.