Are the girls really already 8 months old?!? How is this possible!?!!?! They grow so fast!!!!

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No more Bumbo chairs for meal-time! We’ve graduated to “big girl” high chairs!

So, Whats New This Month?

  • Last month I mentioned that the girls were *finally* rolling from back-to-front, but it was a slow process (up to side, then eventually flipping over). By now, they’re both rolling in all directions at all times when they’re on the floor. It makes doing any tummy time really difficult! : )
  • They’ve started being able to sit for very short periods of time unassisted. I still have to be sitting right next to them with my hands out ready for the catch, but they’re definitely getting stronger. I’d imagine that by next month they’ll have mastered the art of sitting unsupported.
  • They’re also getting closer and closer to being able to crawl. When we do tummy time I’ll put objects on the floor in front of them and cheer them on, encouraging them to retrieve the toys. They can make little lunges forward to grab onto whatever it is they’re trying to retrieve, but it’s not a sustained crawl yet. Also, their tummies are still on the floor so its really more of an army crawl than a “real” crawl. But they’re getting closer. Might take a couple months before they’re really proficient in this area, but we’ve been seeing big improvements!
  • They babble out-of-control. They’re still best at saying “dada” but aren’t yet saying it with intention (i.e., they haven’t yet connected the word “Dada” with the person).
  • They’re sharing attention for longer periods of time. For example, I believe this was the first month where we did the “this little piggy went to market…” game where the girls payed attention all the way until the last little piggy went “wee wee wee all the way home.” In prior months, I’m pretty sure they just lost interest mid-game. It’s so fun to see their reaction to that last little piggy! : )
  • There are also a couple of skills that have just popped up, and I’m not sure quite when. It could be that these skills were mastered a couple months ago and I just didn’t notice, but I do want to document that (1) the babies are able to pass objects from one hand to another easily, without problem (motor development!) and (2) the babies are able to track objects with their eyes when the object is dropped. Younger babies can follow an object with their eyes from left to right/ up and down, but don’t follow the object if it is dropped. But I’ve done little “experiments” and have discovered, for sure, that the babies both follow objects with their eyes when they are dropped. Progress!

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I laid them down to do some bicycle legs and they immediately turned toward each other and started grabbing at each other, smiling, laughing, and babbling all the while!

Likes and Dislikes

The girls are becoming such curious little observers. They’re constantly soaking in their surroundings and I like to think of them as being little scientists. Their “experiments” are things like, “What happens when I drop my toy?” (learning gravity!) or “What happens when  I splash water while I’m in the tub?” (learning fluid mechanics). They are so alert and aware of what is going on around them. I love watching them as they are taking in things around them – its incredible to actually see the learning occur. And as they continue to grow and learn, they are also continuing to be more interactive. They love to laugh at and play with Chris, me, and each other. They have also taken a much greater interest in Rocky. They love petting him (this is still a HIGHLY supervised activity since Rocky is so much bigger than them!), and they laugh at how silly he is. They also love having me read to them and being able to look at the pages of their story books. Our usual setup is that I’ll hold one baby in my lap and have the other sitting next to me (either in Bumbo or bouncy seat) so as I read the book they can both see the pages. They have enough patience that they’ll usually sit through a good handfull of books, so I generally try to switch them out half-way (i.e., switch who I’m holding and who is in the Bumbo).

The only things they really haven’t liked from this month are things associated with being sick. They don’t like getting shots at the doctor (obviously), they don’t like not being able to breathe at night (when laying down), and they really don’t like having their faces wiped or their noses suctioned. I think, in general, they’re like their Dad and they just don’t want to be “messed” with. But having noses suctioned and faces wiped are necessary evils. Hopefully when cold season is over we won’t have to deal with this as much.

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It snowed here last week! I tried to sit the girls down so they could watch the snow falling outside, but all they cared about was talking to each other! : )

Baby Stats

  • Weight: Brooke =  13 lb. 2 oz. Bailey = 13 lb. 6 oz.***This is approximate because we haven’t been weighed at the doctor’s office in over a month, so I got these weights by stepping on the scale while holding each baby separately and subtracting out my weight. Not super accurate, but gives a general idea of approximate weight.
  • Clothing size: We’ve officially “retired” all the 3 month clothes! Now we’re in 6 – 12 month, depending on the style. They’re still mostly wearing 6-9 month clothing, with some 9-12 month clothes sprinkled into the mix.
  • Diaper size: still in size 2, and will be until they’re about 16 lb. or so. Think we’ve probably got at least another month to go!
  • Sleep: Still pretty terrible with all the sickness. They usually go to bed at about 7:30 or 8. Then they wake up (like clockwork!!!) at 10:45 and its usually up several times an hour all through the night until they “officially” wake up at 5:30 or 6am. I feel terrible for them because its not like they’re fussing for no reason! They will actually cry while they’re still half-asleep (with eyes closed!) because they can’t breathe! It’s been a big challenge – usually I get about 2-3 uninterrupted hours of sleep a night (generally in the 3-5am range), but that’s about it. It’s been very exhausting and I cannot wait until they don’t have stuffy noses and can sleep through the night again! In addition to nighttime sleep, they still take 2 naps a day, but they’ve decreased their overall asleep time. They used to have 2 two-hour naps per day, but now their morning nap is usually only an hour and the afternoon nap is between 90 minutes – 2 hours, so overall they’re only sleeping about 2.5-3 hours during the day instead of 4.
  • Food: 4 bottles per day of 6-8oz and 1-2 meals of “solids” per day, though the solids have varied this month. While they’ve been sick they haven’t seemed to want solids as much and have absolutely refused to eat any at several meals, so there have been days where they’ve had no solids at all because they refuse to eat any. At this age its not too concerning because they’re still getting all the nutrients they need from their bottles and the solids are just “extra.” And during times when they’re feeling better they seem to eat better so I think its just a temporary illness-related problem.

My Notes/Observations

The past couple months have been quite challenging. I think we were very lucky with our babies early on. Everyone was shocked when we’d tell them that, at 4 months old, our babies were sleeping through the night!!! We were quite spoiled with our angel-babies and their great sleeping routines! In a way, that’s made the past couple of months even harder because we went from GREAT sleep to NO sleep almost overnight! It took me back to the first few weeks when we brought them home from the NICU…..only now I’m having to also work on top of the sleeplessness.

Being a mother has been one of the most challenging, and yet most rewarding, things I’ve ever done. There are nights where I feel like I’m dying from the sleep deprivation. I’m such a zombie in the morning that I joke with Chris I shouldn’t be allowed to drive because I’m so “impaired” by the lack of sleep that its unsafe! But the babies are always happiest first thing in the morning and, somehow, seeing their joyful smiley faces makes everything better.

I’ve also learned just how strong I really am. There are so many times where I’ve thought that I was at my limit and literally could not do another thing. And then a baby would cry. And I’d have to get up and tend to her. And so I would. Sometimes people will ask, “How can you do it?” and the answer is really, “Because I have to!” There’s no other option! When babies are counting on you, you step up to the plate! And its taught me so much about my own strength and abilities. When I think I’ve reached my limit, I can still dig deep and surprise myself by continuing to push on!

And, relatedly, I’ve also learned the importance of teamwork. Being parents can be really, really hard sometimes. There’s a reason why people say “It takes a village…” Without Chris’ help and companionship, I would have had to move back to Texas long ago. There’s no way I could do it alone! And although its been a big challenge living in a state with no family support, simply having each other to share the responsibilities has been absolutely crucial.

And ultimately, in spite of all the challenges and hardships of the past couple illness-riddled months, these girls are the light(s) of my life! They have such sweet personalities and wonderful dispositions! We’ve been teaching them how to “hug” (putting their arms around our neck) and its one of the happiest moments of my day! I love them more than words can describe and I can’t wait to continue to watch them grow and mature. They’re beautiful and perfect in every way and they’ll always be my little girls!

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Eight months old!!!

IMAG3640Don’t mind the cardboard box. I didn’t even realize how ghetto it looked until posting these photos. We taped up our fireplace because it’s been really drafty over the winter. Might just keep it taped up once the girls start crawling, too, so they don’t try to explore inside! We never use it anyway, but sorry it looks so terrible!

IMAG3643Both girls are in such a grabby phase! Here’s Bailey grabbing Dad’s nose!

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And sometimes they wear themselves out by playing too hard! Here, little Bailey was on her play mat but she rolled over and decided to take a nap. Notice how she’s clutching the side of the play mat. Also, notice the placement of her pacifier. Sweet, silly girl!

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