April 30, 2010
For the several months, the girls have been waving goodbye to Daddy as he leaves for work every morning. (They also wave goodbye to books as we finish reading them, to birds as they fly away, to people passing by in restaurants…they’ve gotten pretty good at it.)
They added “Bye-bye” to their farewell a few weeks ago.
On Thursday, Baby B put the two together and declared, with a wave, “Bye-bye, Dada!” I was so proud!
Baby A also got a mention in the baby book this week, but for a different milestone.
The girls have recently learned the sign for “pig” (one finger to the tip of the nose). In mastering this skill, however, Baby A discovered she has nostrils.
At one point I found myself telling her, “’Pig’, not ‘pick’!” And yet, I was still so proud. That's my girl!
1) The girls and I met Aunt Karen for lunch last Friday at a sushi restaurant. We sat at the Japanese table (I’m not sure what it’s actually called…you sit on pillows on a platform about 18” off the ground). I parked the girls’ stroller next to us, and, between the novelty of the table and the funky music over the sound system, they were so entertained. How much fun will it be when they can join us at the table?! I can hardly wait to share in a sushi lunch with my girlies.
2) After supper, Daddy has been clearing the floor of the den and “playing soccer” with the girls. They run around like crazies, chasing their big play ball. Sometimes they kick it, other times they swat it with their hands. I was just listening to the mania on Thursday night, and it sounded like a couple of cackling hyenas…they were having such a blast (as was Daddy, of course!)!
3) I’m officially counting Baby B as having said her first sentence: “Bye-bye, Dada!” WOW!
4) On a note unrelated to #3, Baby B was sitting in my lap looking at a picture book. She was signing the words that she knew as we went along. We turned the page to a close-up picture of a chimp. She didn’t sign “monkey”, but rather she exclaimed declaratively, “Dada!” I know this was just a coincidence, but I literally rolled on the floor laughing.
5) On Wednesday afternoon, Baby B got upset over something as we were playing (I have no idea what…). I pulled her into my lap and said, “Let Mommy give you hugs.” Baby A came over as I was snuggling Baby B, grabbed her outstretched hand, and hugged it. It was one of the sweetest little things I’ve ever seen.
April 28, 2010
I don’t know if it’s common linguistic development for babies to take to one sound with such fervor, but the girls have so far maintained quite a focus on the letter “b”. It’s not uncommon for them to babble “bababababa”, either.
I have developed a habit of making up “songs” for the girls. (It helps break up the seemingly-incessant narration.) So…add my singing to the girls’ “bababababa”, and their new favorite song is the Beach Boys’ Barbara Ann.
It’s catchy, and it’s fun, and it’s a great backdrop for dancing our version of The Twist…but the Beach Boys??? C’mon…I was really trying to gear the girls towards a different genre of music.
I have taken a very calculated approach to exposing the girls to all the greats…James Taylor and Eric Clapton, Bon Jovi and Blues Traveler, Jimmy Buffett and Willy Nelson, Sade and Amos Lee…big band…classical orchestra...to name a few. But the Beach Boys???
Here’s hoping this phase will pass when they incorporate more sounds into their linguistic arsenal.
(My apologies to any Beach Boys fans I am sure to have insulted. I love a good rendition of Surfin’ USA just like the next gal – in the right context – but I would rather that not rank as my girlies’ favorite song. I can only handle such in small doses.)
April 27, 2010
Are you in a MoMs group?
When the girls were born, I really didn’t know anyone with twins. I had briefly met a few families in the prenatal classes at the hospital who were expecting twins, and I knew of a couple of people who already had twins, but I didn’t really have anyone I could call with questions.
I scouted around and made contact with the daughter of a former colleague whose twin boys were born about three months before A and B. Unfortunately Joline lives a couple of hours away, but she was wonderful to talk with over the phone…she answered some housekeeping questions for me (like how in the heck do you feed two babies at once?), and she reassured me that raising twins has been done before, and I can do it, too. :) (Joline has since become a great friend via Facebook and email…she’s still imparting wonderful wisdom, and I love seeing pictures of her kiddos doing things my girls will be able to do in a few months.)
I eventually scouted around some more and made contact with a couple of moms from our prenatal classes through friends of friends. (Call it the Seven Degrees of Twinhood, if you will.) It was super-great to talk to Jenny, whose twins were born one week before A and B, and Danielle, whose twins were born four weeks after A and B. We were able to share in so many “real time” experiences with each other.
A week or so into reconnecting with Jenny and Danielle, I mentioned I had been thinking about starting a local Mothers of Multiples group. Jenny said she had, too, and asked if I wanted to work together on it. And thus, Bowling Green Mothers of Multiples – BGMoMs – was born!
Jenny and I had several planning meetings over coffee at Barnes & Noble, after we got our kiddos in bed. (We did a lot of club planning, but those meetings inevitably turn into “mommy therapy sessions”, too.) We worked with pediatrician and OB offices in the area to get the word out about the group. We had our first meeting in February, an organizational, get-to-know-you meeting, and we were thrilled to have 14 MoMs in attendance!
We’ve had two more meetings since then, and we have over 20 MoMs on our roster to date. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s been so much fun to meet other MoMs. Following our May meeting, we have our first social event planned in June. I can’t wait to see 20+ sets of multiples together!
Having twins is such an amazing blessing, but it also presents some pretty unique challenges. It’s awesome to be able to share in this experience with other MoMs.
April 26, 2010
April 24, 2010
I have posted so much about this topic over the past few weeks that I feel like I should change the name of this blog to “Adventures in Baby Sign Language”. I won’t do that just yet, but it underscores how much fun we’re having with the girls and their new communication skills.
The girls know a lot of signs…useful ones like eat, milk, more, all done, and sleep. And they know a lot of common things in their world of play…book, ball, airplane, as well as a whole list of animals. I haven’t perfected the ability to read their minds yet (much to their chagrin), but I know there must be so many other things they want to say but don’t know the sign.
It’s happened a few times that the girls have been trying reeeeally hard to tell me something. They had a very intense look about them, and they were signing “MORE!!!” as hard as they could go. “More” didn’t make sense in that context (at least to me). It left me trying to guess what they wanted, and they only got more aggressive with their signing, punctuating it with grunts and whines.
As I was trying to figure out what my little Lassie-girls were trying to show me (and I knew that Timmy couldn't have fallen in the well), it made me think about the tendency to speak more loudly, and in a more exaggerated fashion, to someone who doesn’t speak English.
It’s not really that helpful after all. :)
April 23, 2010
1) Baby B got her first haircut on Friday, and Baby A, her third. The girls did relatively well, and Mommy didn’t even cry…although I easily could now, realizing my “babies” look like little girls with their pageboy cuts.
2) We usually go out for a family lunch on Saturdays, but we had a busy weekend planned, and I didn’t think we’d be able to fit it in this week. I somewhat reluctantly suggested we go to dinner on Friday night instead. We hadn’t been to dinner in a long time, as the time between the girls’ dinner (around 4:30) and bedtime (at 7:30) can be a little precarious.
The girls surprised us in a good way this week, though…we had such a wonderful time at our favorite Mexican restaurant. The girls were very entertained by all the commotion, and they behaved as good as gold. Baby A sat facing the door, and she waved at everyone coming in, and told everyone “bye-bye” as they left. We joked that she could be their official Friday-night greeter. If she could have, I feel pretty sure she would have said, “Will work for salsa!”
3) The girls attended their first birthday party on Saturday. They had a great time on the swing set, giggling like mad, and had a blast watching all the older kids play.
4) We had quite the social calendar this week…three days we met a fellow twin mom in the neighborhood for a walk, which actually creates quite the traffic jam in small-town Kentucky. And we met Auntie Shanda for an impromptu lunch on Tuesday. That hit the spot in so many ways.
5) And finally…drum roll please…I’m insanely proud that Baby A has finally decided to use a sippy cup!!! Baby B has yet to follow suit, but I have seen a glimpse of the future, and it’s enough to whet my palate for now.
April 21, 2010
I made myself laugh again earlier this week at the discovery that my “Cousin It” impression stuns the girls enough to make them hold still on their infant scale. I think they’re so shocked over Mommy’s ridiculousness that they pause, wash a silly smile over their faces, and ponder, “What in the world is she doing now?”
As a mom, I have absolutely no shame in singing, dancing, jumping, bouncing…you-name-it…to entertain and amuse my kiddos. I try to exercise a little restraint in public, but I’ve decided I’d rather look a little goofy than have the girls start whining somewhere. Besides, it's kinda fun. :)
And as I think about it now, I should probably enjoy the opportunity to have the girls appreciate my silly side. I know one day, when they hit their middle-school years, they’ll probably find even my most “normal” self an embarrassment.
April 19, 2010
Although I would ultimately like them to have their hair one length (without bangs), I've decided we're going to have to opt for a pageboy cut until they're "responsible enough" to wear a barrette...and further "responsible enough" not to pull each other's barrette out, too. (I think that last one is a "twin thing".) (Oh, and some people might call the pageboy cut a "mullet", but I'm not going to dignify that with a response.) :)
April 17, 2010
In addition to some of the more basic signs, the girls have a solid vocabulary of things around the house…things we see and hear quite often. They love to name animals we see in the backyard and things we spot on our walks.
Of all the signs they know, “airplane” seems to be their favorite. We live near a small airfield, so we have planes flying over several times a day. No matter what the girls are doing…eating, drinking, laughing, crying, or playing…they will immediately stop and stick their little arms out to their sides at the first sound of an airplane. And it’s all the better if we happen to be near the window – or better yet, outside – so we can see the airplane, too!
Their dogged determination at signing “airplane” begs a question in my mind:
In the spirit of “if a tree falls in the forest and no one’s there, does it make a sound”…”if an airplane passes and the babies are in their cribs, maybe settling into or just waking up from a nap, do they stick their arms out?”
…makes me wish we had a video monitor.
April 16, 2010
1) We took the girls for their first ice cream cone on Saturday! (And yes, that’s ice cream cone [singular], as this was one thing we made them share. It was cute and fun and they enjoyed it, but I didn’t want to put them in a sugar coma!)*
2) We laced up the girls’ new kicks and went for a little walk on Saturday night, the four of us, hand in hand. Pure joy.*
3) The weather has been ahhh-mazing (as my friend Jenny likes to say), and the girls and I have gotten out for a walk every day this week. Most of the time we’re moving at a fast clip, but we have to stop and speak to our friends scattered throughout the neighborhood now and again. That usually derails any attempt at setting a new speed record, but it’s so wonderful to live in such a nice community.
4) The girls learned the sign for “monkey” this week. This has made reading Curious George that much more fun!
5) Honestly, we’ve had some trying times this week. In hindsight, I now realize that with Daddy home on Spring Break last week, the girls got a lot of attention…all the time…every day. So this week, when Mommy needed to clean the table after breakfast, for example, pandemonium ensued from the girls’ perceived neglect. :) We’ve had to readjust to “quiet time”, which hasn’t been very “quiet”. :) Even still, I’ve had a few random moments where I just felt so blessed…blessed to have my girls…and blessed to be here with them. Even amid the not-so-quiet time, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
*This is probably the third post in as many days in which I’ve mentioned ice cream and the girls’ new shoes. I don’t mean to drone on, but this is a weekly rap-up of fabulous stuff, and those items just continue to rate in my book!
April 14, 2010
Before the girls were born, I meticulously washed each sweet little gown, every precious dress, and all the tiny pairs of socks, separated into many, many loads, by color. I remember thinking those newborn onesies were so tiny, and then I washed them, and they looked even tinier! Doing the babies’ laundry then was so novel and so much fun…and I felt so organized, folding everything just so.
For the first few weeks after the girls came home from the hospital, even amid the sleepless days and nights, my vigilance remained. I treated the smallest stain, even on burp cloths and wash cloths.
Eventually, as my hands began to dry from the OxiClean, I abandoned the need to treat stains on burp cloths and wash clothes, but my focus remained keen on any and all outfits and bibs.
When the girls were four months old, we began feeding them solids. The laundry evolved from having spit-up stains to giant globs of sweet potatoes and green beans. For the sake of my dry hands, it was at this point that I “invested” in some cheap-o onesies and bibs that I wouldn’t mind getting stained, although I continued to relentlessly pursue stain removal on all outfits. I also discovered that, by washing out the bibs immediately after the food fight (or, uh, meal), they required less treatment.
It was in the baby food phase that my wardrobe had to change, too. After having amassed an impressive collection of yoga pants and tops, I took to wearing the grungiest t-shirts and sweats I could find. The girls’ ability to blow sweet potatoes and green beans could leave quite the “impression”.
Eventually, the girls became pretty proficient with the baby food, and – while I wish I could say I broke them of the habit – at least I learned to somewhat anticipate their food blowing and seek cover accordingly. I began to dress them in outfits again, and I dusted off my yoga pants from the bottom drawer.
As with so many things, when I begin to feel a rhythm in one area, something else changes, upsetting the apple cart, which of course results in saucy apple stains…
Over the past couple of months, the girls have graduated to “big people food”, and a little more recently, to feeding said “big people food” to themselves. And so they’re back to wearing the cheap-o onesies. I’m still in yoga pants, as meatballs don’t lend themselves to “blowing” in the same way that pureed sweet potatoes do.
But I fear that the next chapter in the Tales from the Laundry Room may involve me mending some holes in the knees of my yoga pants. I seem to spend a lot of time these days crawling around on the floor cleaning up thrown (or, uh, inadvertently dropped) spaghetti.
So what’s next? I guess only time – and my washing machine – will tell.
April 11, 2010
On Tuesday, we took the girlies shopping for their first pair of shoes! Baby A took off in her new kicks right away, but Baby B planted her little feet and refused to move, cackling the whole time. After a couple of days of practice, though, both girls are once again making tracks.
On Friday, we (reluctantly) used the infant carriers for the last time, as Daddy installed the girls' convertible car seats. They're riding in style now (still facing backwards),but Mommy will miss the convenience of loading and unloading them in the comfort of the kitchen.
On Saturday, we took the girls for their first ice cream cones! They were at once in love with the sweetness and shocked by the cold. They both cried for more, and then winced when we gave it to them. :) The problem was solved when I gave them some of my chocolate-brownie chunk ice cream. A strategically spooned tiny bite of brownie with an even tinier bit of chocolate ice cream...now that was right up their alleys.
And on Saturday night, we laced up the girls’ shoes and took them outside. We walked, hand in hand, around our circle. The girls had a blast, giggling at the newness; and Mommy and Daddy were in awe, looking at our precious little big girls.
We had a lot of fun with the girlies this week, but there were just so many “big kid things” to take in. I think I might need to plan a little better in the future and space out some of these big steps in the interest of maintaining Mommy’s sanity.
April 10, 2010
Feeding the girls by myself…taking the girls out by myself…taking the girls to the pediatrician by myself…oh, what sweet memories!
This evening I experienced what I guess I’ll describe as a “milestone”. It’s certainly memorable, but it was pretty far from sweet.
After quite a bit of chatter, the girls finally settled down for their afternoon nap. They were still sleeping at 4:30, so I decided to go wake them. I opened the door to their room and saw my precious angels napping so peacefully. But then I noticed something in Baby A’s crib. Had the poor baby gotten sick to her stomach?
I spoke to the girls, and they both started to stir. Baby A sat up quickly as I approached her, and she started to cry a really pitiful, scared cry.
And then the smell hit me.
Baby A had not gotten sick to her stomach. No, she had somehow unzipped her sleeper blanket, taken off her diaper, and made quite a smelly mess…all over her bed, her crib, and all over herself. And she didn’t like it one bit.
I felt like I had no choice but to give her a bath. And I had no other choice but to leave poor Baby B, who by that point was very upset by her sister’s wailing, in her crib.
At the end of the day, Baby A smelled like roses (or at least baby shampoo), Baby B recovered from her “abandonment”, and we got to bed only 10 minutes behind schedule.
My guess is that this is a rite of passage that most parents encounter at some point. I would like to think I can check this off the proverbial list. And just in case Fate happens to read this post, I have no interest in this process getting easier with time.
April 9, 2010
The hubs has been on Spring Break this week, so we’ve had a pretty fabulous few days!
1) We celebrated the girls’ second Easter on Sunday. We got some precious pictures of them exploring their Easter baskets, and we all enjoyed some homemade carrot cake. The girls aren’t quite old enough for Easter candy…which just meant more for me!
2) We took a family trip to Nashville on Tuesday with the “sole” purpose of buying the girls their first pair of shoes. They were so cute – and hilarious! – in their new kicks!
3) While we were in Nashville, we experienced another big first…we ALL ate out for lunch! It was so neat to be able to order the girls’ lunch off the menu. And, having spent years waiting tables, I was very thankful that they kept their mess to a manageable minimum.
4) We ate out for lunch again on Thursday. The girls were quite the attraction at the restaurant as they waved and told all the patrons “Bye-bye!” as they left!
5) With Daddy being home, Mommy has had a little more flexibility. I finally cashed in my birthday gift certificate for a wonderful massage…ahhhhh! I’m refreshed and relaxed and ready to wrangle the girls until Daddy gets out for the summer.
April 7, 2010
I think it's important to support their self esteem...I just hope I'm not creating two adorable little monsters! HA!
April 5, 2010
Since the time the girls were tiny, I’ve been reading to them religiously, in an animated voice, complete with exaggerated facial expressions and hand gestures. I’ve faithfully narrated even the most mundane tasks. “This is a kitchen towel. It has blue checks on it. We fold it first side to side, and then top to bottom. That makes it fit in the drawer!”
For the most part, my audience of two seemed unimpressed. At first they often fell asleep. Then they progressed to staring at me. And then I would sometimes get a smile, and occasionally a chuckle. (“Why does this crazy lady talk about towels all the time?” they were probably joking with each other.) Eventually the girls began crawling around me (or away from me?) as I read. But still, I persevered.
And then, it happened.
One day, a few weeks ago, it seemed like a light bulb came on.
The girls could identify various body parts, and they knew several baby signs…all bits of knowledge I had actively taught them. But when Baby A was walking around with her gown, and I told her, “Put your gown on your head,” she did it! I had never expressly taught the girls “gown” or “head” but she understood!
Every single day holds so much more meaning. It’s so amazing and rewarding to see how much the girls understand and respond to.
And these days I feel a little less goofy…and a little more justified…when I am walking through Target with the girls talking about “all the pretty colors of soda bottles…aren’t they beautiful?”
April 4, 2010
April 2, 2010
1) My girls are loquacious! (For those of you taking notes, that’s just a little throw-back to my 10th grade vocabulary list to say that the girls are TALKING!)
2) The girls have learned several new signs this week, including “bunny rabbit”. It’s as if they’re trying to summon the Easter Bunny himself for some tasty treats.
3) [My apologies upfront for the visual…] I was entertaining the girls with a full-on frog impression (jumping up from a squatting position). Baby A thought it was hilarious (I can’t imagine why?), and she now does her imitation – knee bends from a standing position – every time I say “frog”. I guess I’d better watch myself making up baby signs.
4) The weather is finally warm enough for the girls to shed their winter coats. How sweet it is to see their fat little arms and legs in shorts and t-shirts!
5) The girls and I enjoyed an awesome afternoon on Thursday. We went to lunch downtown and scored a sidewalk table. The girls sat in their stroller, content to people watch, while I read a few pages in my book and had an amazing veggie pizza. The experience gave me a glimpse of things to come…I can’t wait for the three of us to enjoy a veggie pizza together, do a little window shopping, and top off the afternoon with an ice cream!