Sunday, February 28, 2010

Another 3 inches

We lowered the crib mattress once. Adam still reached to grab hold and get on his knees.

We lowered the crib mattress a second time. Yesterday he grabbed the top rail and pulled himself to standing. Then slipped and got his legs a little caught between the bars. No worries. I think he is going to get himself into little spots like that a lot and he fusses for about 2 seconds, squirms out, and moves on.

So last night Shannon lowered it another 3".

I swear every time we lower it his arms grow longer!

The biggest challenge at this point is when I lay them in their crib at bedtime and they are asleep, I am on my utmost tip toes and struggle to lay them down flat. Oh, to be short. I don't mind most of the time!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Similarities




















It's funny when you have kids. People try to guess who they look like. The biggest controversy seems to be with Sara. Sara looks like Shannon. Sara looks like me. Sara looks like Sue (Shannon's mom.) I found this picture in my childhood photo album. What's your vote?

It seems as though there's never any argument about Adam. Everyone says he looks like Shannon. I can see it in their nose even when Shannon holds him. I think it's a little harder to see in a baby picture but his nose is still similar and the shape of his face.

Physical therapy for Adam

It has been such an ordeal getting physical therapy set up for Adam. Ellen with Easter Seals' RDFP told us she wanted Adam to receive ongoing physical therapy twice a month until his next RDFP appointment. Over a week went by because my coordinator at Early Intervention was on vacation. Then she was processing paperwork. After talking with her a third time, I expressed my frustration that it had been 4 weeks since his RDFP appointment and we had no idea what direction we were going. I wanted something set up ASAP.

We had 2 options. The first was to go to a satellite Children's Hospital location in Washington but we weren't sure when they had an opening. The second was to go to a small hospital nearby and see a physical therapist that has evaluated Adam 3 times before - Sheri. That was my preference - to stay with someone we were familiar with and create some consistency. Apparently my Early Intervention coordinator had been trying to reach her but was not getting her calls returned.

I decided to take matters into my own hands and call Sheri myself. I left a message explaining my situation to another person in the department. My coordinator called back an hour later to say she had heard from Sheri and she had an opening last Friday or we could go to the Washington location mid-March. Like I wanted to wait another 3 weeks after all that! Just goes to show that sometimes you have to be the mama to make something happen!

She spent about an hour with him. He cried at first so I was nervous it wouldn't go well not being at home. Strange location in a curtained off hospital area and a person he didn't remember asking him to perform little tests on demand. But we pushed past it. She did quite the battery of exams to test his gross motor skills with his legs, stretched them, and watched him crawl, sit, and stand. She also tested his fine motor skills with picking things up with individual hands and with both hands at the same time from all different angles - out to both sides of him, in front, and multiple overhead angles.

Sheri agrees that she still sees tone in his legs. He also has a little stiffness in his arms when raising them over his head. Both are mild. Rather than just feel with her hands that tone is present, she likes to watch him in action and see if it impedes any of his activities. He has good circular motion with his legs while he is crawling so there is no hindrance there. We have added stretches to do with his legs and arms. The next step will be to get him to stand flat footed rather than on his tip toes. We go back in two weeks.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jordyn visits

Aunt Robyn was down over the weekend and this time she brought Peyton and Morgan's big sister Jordyn. She had missed the past few visits because she is in school now. With Friday off, they made the trip together for a long weekend. We decided Thursday night that it would be "Jordyn decides all weekend". She got to pick what Adam and Sara got to eat, what we were having for meals, and anything else I could think of.

Friday we all went to Adam's first physical therapy appointment (more details later) and in the afternoon Jordyn decided we would stay home while the babies napped so we could play some games. She loved a bath in my big whirlpool bathtub that evening, all stretched out. She could practically swim in it!

Saturday morning we left the kids at home to nap and stopped by Menards and got sidetracked sitting in patio furniture and swings. On the way to Lori's Kitchen Store on the square we went through the car wash because Jordyn said my car was so dirty! It was one of those that you pull in and the brushes move by the car to wash it. Robyn and I were talking about how it makes you feel like the car is moving when it actually isn't. From the back seat we heard Jordyn pipe up - "The car IS moving!" After the kitchen store we went to the secret store. I told Jordyn she could pick 3 things. Of course she wanted to know what store we were going to and would I at least tell her what letter the store started with...C. Maybe it was a cat store. She giggled. Robyn said a car store. You should have seen her eyes light up when we went in the candy store with rows of jars one after another! In the afternoon we dropped her off at The Cookie Shack for a kids baking class. I was excited she got this opportunity because she really loves to help in the kitchen. She had a good time and brought home the yummy fruit of her labor.

Sunday morning we did some things around the house - made some food for the twins, packed away clothes, did laundry. And we also played some more games with Jordyn. It amazes me how big she is getting. It seems like just yesterday that she was a little baby scooting around on my hardwood floor.

Wrestling match

Now that Adam is crawling, he has an unfair advantage when playing with Sara. Most of the time she doesn't mind that he has the upper hand and steals her toys. Every now and then she complains when he climbs on top of her, though.


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Cleaning the new pearly whites

With Adam's new teeth comes added responsibility to take care of them. I don't take very good care of my own teeth so I guess that is one of those things that I would like to do better with my kids. I'm not sure Adam agrees since he is off to a bad habit of grinding them together. It's like nails on a chalkboard when he does it! I dug out the little baby toothbrush and toothpaste he received as a shower gift. The directions indicate to massage baby's gums in a circlular motion with the toothbrush. Yeah, right. I'm not sure if the person who wrote the directions has ever had a child and tried that themselves, especially when said child wants to help!

I thought I would let Sara's teeth come in more before attempting it with her in case they are sore right now. And yes, you heard me correctly. I finally determined today that she has 2 bottom teeth coming in, not just one. I had to lower her bottom lip down with one hand and raise her tongue up with the other! She's so secretive.


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New sneakers

I was organizing clothes upstairs and packing some things away that are too small and found a pair of sneakers that I bought at the Peoria Mothers of Twins sale in the fall. They fit--don't you think they are adorable?

Time to lower the crib mattress

A few days ago while I was nursing Sara, Adam crawled over to the side of the crib, reached up to the top rail, and got up on his knees! Uh-oh...Shannon lowered the crib mattress a notch. Adam can still reach so I guess we need to move it another notch. Unfortunately, Shannon is going to have to build me a ledge to stand on because when they fall asleep and I have to lay them down, I am too short to be able to lay them flat. Better to move the mattress while he can only get to his knees instead of when he can stand and possibly topple over the ledge. I could definitely see that happening to my monkey. The past few days when I pick him up, he wraps his legs around my waist and clamps them together. I think if he let his hands go of my shoulders, he could swing upside down!

Increased food menu

The kids have reached the point where they are getting better with picking up food and putting it in their mouth. They actually are successful the majority of the time. Or if they are close and have a piece sticking out, they just take their little finger and poke it back in. I have frozen some of their favorites in small pieces so we can heat them and use as finger foods for a meal or snacks. And we are branching out and trying new things. Adam still isn't a big fan of mashed potatoes but Sara gobbles them down. On the other hand, Adam thought broccoli was fun both to eat and mush in his hands but Sara not so much. Eggs are a big hit - yolk only and I cook it like an omelette for them to pick up pieces and eat. They also like the plain yogurt with fruit mixed in. It's good to have some expanded breakfast options. Oh, and they had some pancake while Aunt Robyn was visiting. Sara tried some bits of bagel while Adam was still napping. After lunch over the weekend they tried a few hunks of grilled cheese sandwich and we got a lot of yums with that!

I was telling Shannon this morning that we will finish the pureed food in the freezer and then mash some things and freeze more pieces of food. He just looked at me and said 'it's all moving so fast!' I couldn't agree more.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Can you say 'growth spurt'?

For the past 2 weeks the kids have been eating like you wouldn't believe. Some meals twice as much as they had been. I don't know where they fit it all sometimes. I think they were storing up. Then over the weekend we hit about 3 days of phase 2 - MAJOR nap times! They were sleeping longer overnight. Saturday I had to wake them from their morning nap as it was getting close to 1:00 (they usually wake up about 11:30). I laid them back down for their afternoon nap before 3 and had to wake them again when it was pushing 5:30! Naps that usually last 1 1/2 - 2 hours were running 3 or more hours. I should have measured them before and after to see the difference!

Sara's finally toothy

Mark it down - February 17, 2010 and I finally felt Sara's first tooth on the bottom poking through today. We'll see in a few days if it is a stand alone or another one is a little behind like Adam has experienced twice.

The dawn of a whole new era

For the past week, Adam has been pretty much staying put in the living room. But this morning he opened a new can of worms. I got him out of his high chair after breakfast and put him on the blanket in the living room to play while I cleaned up Sara. Next thing I look over and he's crawling toward me into the dining room on the hardwood floor. I put him back on the blanket, turned my back and he was across the room in the dog's toys. I put him back on the blanket, turned my back and he was across the room playing in the CD rack. He's really starting to move and is totally stealth!

I didn't even have time to clean up breakfast while they were awake this morning. Of course he had to spit up yogurt and eggs on the carpet and then play in it and crawl through it. The dog enjoys licking those spots to make sure we cleaned it all up. The real problem is when the cat licks the spots - the roughness of her tongue is starting to fray the carpet! I think she sneaks out when we are in bed and goes to different spots and licks. I wake up the next morning and notice the carpet is starting to look like little land mines of frayed carpet here and there. Guess we'll have to budget for a replacement down the road.

I used to shower in the morning and just put my pajamas back on. Made it easier in case there were any early morning spit ups like Sara this morning all down my pajama pants and on my slippers. Unusual for her. I would pick my clothes while they were playing after breakfast. Now I think I'll have to get dressed so I don't spend too much time in a different room, wondering what Adam is getting into. And we will have to be dusting and swiffing the hardwood every other day to pick up cat and dog hair that likes to cling to sticky hands. Usually after I feed the kids lunch, they play on the blanket and I have some time to make my own lunch. Guess I have to rethink that plan. I am seriously considering a gated play area to keep some sanity to my life. Our main floor is nearly 3000 square feet. We'll start by shutting some doors but if Adam finds the hallway, all bets are off. He is such an explorer right now and I want to be able to at least go to the bathroom with some peace of mind.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sara's got another new trick

This weird little trick showed up a few days ago. You might have to turn up your volume to hear her...sniffing and snorting! She seems to do it when she's bored but mostly as a new expression of excitement. Sara always makes me laugh.


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Dancing Queen

Sara loves the new little musical toys she got from Grandma and Grandpa Mollenhauer. Check out her new skills!


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Grandparents week

The kids had quite the whirlwind of a week last week with both sets of grandparents visiting. Shannon's parents arrived Wednesday around lunch. It took Sara a bit to get warmed up to "new people" but of course Adam was all grins! The kids got a few new gifts for Valentine's Day - a couple musical toys that they really enjoy. And I got a gift, too, as Shannon's dad installed the cabinet handles I purchased with birthday money from my mom in September :). They look fabulous but I think it's going to take some getting used to having a handle to open the drawer rather than reaching for the corner. Shannon's mom and I also went on a major grocery shopping spree to buy food for the kids. We had a marathon of preparation and I think they are set for over a month! I went to work Thursday morning and they had some alone time with the kids. They headed home Friday morning.

My mom arrived Saturday morning for a long weekend. We headed to Kohl's while the kids took their morning nap and I found a bargain deal on a new winter coat. Now I'm all set to play in the snow with the kids. Speaking of new jackets, the kids also received their Valentine's present from my mom - new fleece jackets. Hot pink for Sara and bright orange for Adam. I caught up on some things around the house while mom fed the kids and wore them out with play time. Monday morning I went to work for a few hours while mom watched the kids by herself before she headed home in the afternoon.

Unfortunately, Shannon woke up Monday morning with a cold so he is in quarantine upstairs. It's certainly a challenge managing the house by myself - taking care of the kids, working during nap time, cooking dinner, laundry. I'll be glad when Shannon is feeling better.

A few days down and then my aunt Robyn and her six year-old granddaughter Jordyn are visiting Thursday night - Sunday. Jordyn has missed out on the past couple visits because she is in school now. It will be nice to spend some time with them.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lisa's last day


I make it sound like she's gone forever when I say her "last day." What I mean is that her regular weekly twinsitting adventures have come to a conclusion. Lisa and her husband had been in the states for a year and a half, waiting for God to provide them with a boat so they could be immersed in full-time ministry in a very unique way. Their journey has been quite interesting but God has finally lined things up.

Not too long after the twins were born, Lisa called me a few times to say 'anything you need, just give me a call - my schedule is pretty open.' I'm not really one to just reach out at a moment's notice. So I suggested to Lisa that she pick one day a week that she could consistently help me and I would be sure to have things for her to do. That was early July. The kids were 3 months old and still attached to apnea monitors. Now they laugh and giggle with her, Sara is sitting up so big, and Adam is crawling. And their favorite thing to do is ride the "horsie".

Certainly our journey together was a learning curve. It started out that either Shannon or I was always home to lend another hand. Watching twins can be a handful and a little overwhelming if you aren't used to it. Then I had a few times that I would run to the grocery store for just a bit. By the end of the year, Lisa's comfort level had increased and she was fine to watch the kids by herself while I would go to work part-time for a morning.

Diapers, diapers, and more diapers...spit up, bottles, food, bath time, getting them dressed, rocking them to sleep, learning how to soothe them, and playtime. As if watching the kids wasn't enough of a gift, I got the added bonus that I would leave her a list of things that desperately needed to be done around the house and I would come home and the items would all be crossed off. I think there was even one time that she stayed a little longer after we left for a doctor's appointment so she could finish cleaning my shower! The list was endless - dishes, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms and toilets, laundry (and tons of it!), swiffing the hardwood floor, dusting, preparing our guest quarters for visitors, packing away clothes that were too small for the kids, taking home clothes that were stained and returning them like new.

Not to sound cheesy but Lisa was priceless. I certainly appreciated her during the time she was coming. But I think just a piece of me took her for granted because now that she will be gone, I realize even more what a gift she was.

The kids and I stopped by her house on Friday to deliver a going away present - a small photo album of pictures throughout their 10 months of life. I tried to pick ones that captured their personalities best - playing together, Adam sucking his thumb, time in the exersaucer and jumperoo. And for grins, they enjoyed one more horsie ride!



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Sunday, February 14, 2010

I stand corrected...

Make that

Adam - 4 teeth
Sara - 0 but trying hard!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Adam's mobile!

For weeks we have seen Adam get up on his knees and rock back and forth as he learns balance. About the past week we have seen him take one "step" forward. Tuesday he attempted 3 steps. Yesterday he took off. Even today his balance is better. He crawls, stops, rotates, sits on his butt, lifts one leg up. You can tell the wheels in his mind are spinning - busy boy figuring things out.


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Monday, February 8, 2010

Eating marathon

I think all we did today was eat. Let me rephrase - I think all the kids did was eat.

The morning is fine. But once the afternoon hits, it seems like that is really when they have been getting hungry lately. We finished lunch at 1:00. Fortunately today, I had eaten my own lunch early so I was able to enjoy play time with the kids before we ate our snack at 1:45. Yesterday I didn't give them enough to eat before afternoon nap and had to nurse Adam in order to get him to sleep. Today was a new day. Pieces of nectarine and carrot to practice picking up things and finding their mouth. Sara's not too crazy about chunks of food in her mouth. She just leaves it in her mouth and looks at me like 'what am I supposed to do with this?' Then we moved on to a saltine cracker with no salt on the top. They love those but are easily destroyed. 2 crackers and Sara's hands were still shaking with excited hunger. Some juice and water. Gulp gulp gulp. Half a container of organic banana yogurt I bought for them. 2 yogurt mustaches and it doesn't even seem like they have eaten anything. Teething biscuit. Man those are messy. More water. I felt like I was grabbing anything in site to satisfy them! We finally got cleaned up at 3 - an hour later than they usually nap. 3:30 and they were still awake fussing in the crib. I finally nursed them both and they fell asleep...for 45 minutes.

5:00 and we started dinner.

Holy crap!

Even Sara's fingernails seem to be having a growth spurt.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My first "Mama"

Music to my ears...thanks Adam!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Teeth tally

Adam - 3

Sara - 0...but a whole lot of spit!

I found a top tooth poking through for Adam today. Last time his bottom teeth came he had 2 come in at the same time so we will see in a few days if it happens again with the top teeth.

Thankfully, the teething experience has been smooth sailing so far.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sara's cracking us up

This afternoon Sara went on and on cracking herself up laughing! Every time she would look at the cat just sitting there she would laugh. The cat kept looking around, completely unaware of her influence and oblivious she was the cause of the loud noise Sara was making.


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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

10 months old - really?

Can the home scale really be true? Maybe we should have a do-over!

Weighing in at 16 lb 3 oz...and 16 lb 2.5 oz...


10 months old tonight, my sweet babies. Hard to believe! Where has the time gone?

I love every minute that I'm your mommy.

All things dangly

It shocks me what is going in the kids' mouths these days, especially Sara. Chewed on and sopped with spit. If it looks anything like a tag...or actually is a tag. If it hangs like a string - hooded sweatshirt ties, sweatpant drawstrings, the closing strap on my nursing bra! If it is any part of a toy that dangles - antennas on the lady bug, toes on the frog...the list is endless!

If you listen closely, you can hear her sucking on the string!


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What is in my mouth?

The kids have been enthusiastic about nearly all the food I have given them to try.

apples
bananas
pears
peaches
plums
nectarines
mangos were a little questionable
green beans
peas
avocados
asparagus
carrots
sweet potatoes
spaghetti squash
butternut squash
acorn squash
pumpkin
they didn't like mashed potatoes the first go round

And then I really threw them a curve ball. Cottage cheese. I mashed it up but just had to take photos of their faces as they tried to choke it down. It was so hard not to laugh! With every bite, Adam would look at me as if to say 'mom I don't know what's in my mouth but you have to get it out!'And Sara? 'Seriously, mom, this stuff's nasty!'






Adam gets creative

I thought I had a good idea for Adam to have a little play time in the Bumbo seat while I was getting Sara dressed for the day. He played with the toy for a bit but then changed to looking around for whatever else he could get into within arms reach.

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Over the weekend I discovered that Adam can get out of the Bumbo chair. He was in the chair on the kitchen floor while I was unloading the dishwasher. I looked at him one moment and he was content. I put away a dish and looked back again and he was out of the Bumbo and laying on his tummy on the floor. Stealth. No noise. No grunting. Just a big grin. Then he took the palm of his hand, slapped it on the floor in front of him, and pulled back. He was absolutely fascinated with the loud SSSQQQUUUEEEEAAAAAAKKKKKK it made when his sweaty little hand rubbed on the wood. My boy is hilarious, this much I know!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Classic beginner's error

The kids have been sleeping a little bit differently the past few days. Yesterday they woke at 6am instead of 7, despite going to bed a little later the night before. For those of you that think I'm crazy about them being on a "schedule", you could have set your watch to their wake up time for the past 2 months. Even with naps the past few days they have been sleeping 1 hr instead of their usual 2. So I was processing in my head and thought 'maybe they are hungry.' I mean, if I was growing and was awake for a few hours, I would want a snack, right?

So Adam got up from his nap early this morning and he seemed hungry already. But it wasn't even 11:00. How about a little white grape juice and water? Sippy cups seem to be a play toy for them to learn their banging skills right now. Over the weekend I got out a small cup and tried helping them take some sips out of a regular cup. At least when I hear them swallow I know they are getting some extra fluids. I put Adam on my lap, had a washcloth ready for dribbles, and...he saw the cup, put both hands on it, to his mouth it went and gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp, ahhhhh. I just looked at him as he went for more. I think he grew about a month older right in front of my eyes!

Sara doesn't have it down as well. I think she has seen the cat and dog drink water too often. You tip the glass up to her mouth and then notice that her tongue is on top of the lip of the glass instead of underneath it. I pull it back to try again and she just looks up and smiles at me. So licking and small sips is her thing.

On to the beginner's error. This afternoon I was trying to think of what I had in the house that I could use for a snack since I hadn't gone shopping yet. How about a cracker? I put both of them in a bumbo seat on the dining room floor because I didn't want to mess with high chairs, and attached the little trays. I handed each of them half a cracker and they got so excited! Did you figure out my error? No bibs. What was I thinking? About the time Shannon said 'shouldn't you be getting video of the first time they eat a cracker' there were only soggy remnants left. Adam looked at me wondering 'do you have another one of those?' and gave up waiting as he dove into licking the tray. Both of them glanced around to see if there was any on the floor. Sara found a piece stuck to the side of Adam's chair that she could pick off. So it was a win-win...the kids got a snack and Ivy got a snack when she cleaned up the floor.

I thought I cleaned them up fairly well until I just went in to cover Adam with his blanket and notice he has dried crumbs smeared all over the butt of his pants! I guess next time I'll be a little more prepared!