Wednesday, April 27, 2011

6 Month Update

15 pounds 1 ounce (30th percentile) 
25 3/4 inches (49th percentile)

Harper's laugh is infectious.  It often starts with a sly smile and then develops into a full belly laugh.  She is extremely ticklish and cannot control herself when you blow raspberries on her stomach or neck or get your fingernails near her feet.  When she is well-fed,  she "ooooo's" with perfect Cheerio lips.  She loves pat-a-cake and peekaboo.  She is a very content girl and entertains herself with the tags on her animals and toys.  The rubber goldfish in her bathtub is very frightening at first.  After back-paddling with her hands when she sees it, she decides to eat it or laugh at it instead, but is still frightened and confused when it squirts water at her.  It also took her a few tries to get used to my parents' and sister's dogs.  She screamed in terror when we first put her next to them, but by the end of the day, she was petting them.  Almost every new food is met with hilarious looks of disgust initially, but then she eagerly oooo's for more.  She still hasn't warmed up to avacodos or peas and will not swallow them; she just lets them dribble down her chin.  Bless this child who has pretty consistently slept 7pm-7am since she was 2.5 months old (we had a rough patch, but I think we are over it). Harper makes my heart full! I tried to narrow down our videos to these highlights.  I can't believe how she changed over 3 months!

14 pounds 13 ounces (25th percentile)
26 inches (59th percentile)

This little lady is wants so badly to be mobile!  She is always in motion: lifting her arms and legs off the ground like Superman, doing multiple rolls across the floor, trying to squirm out of the Bumbo seat, and when she is strapped into her bouncy seat or the stroller she kicks and flexes her triceps like in the video below. When placed on the ground, she almost immediately flips to her tummy and looks like she desperately wants to crawl.  The kitchen counter and floors are soaked after her baths because as soon as she hits the water it is her time to make as big a splash as possible.  When she wants out of her crib she starts doing pyramids with her head on the mattress and perfectly straight legs and back.  She is still waking up two or more times a night, but we are working on changing that!  This little lady doesn't go a day without her workout or filling her mama with joy! She frequently lights up the room with this joyous cackle (sorry I can't figure out how to flip this video):

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Prunes and New Outfits

You can probably guess from the title where this post is going.  Today, we met our twin friends who are only 12 days younger than us for lunch at Sun in my Belly (yum!).  It was 75 degrees outside, so we decided to wear our new summer outfits.
Allie and Harper were being bad, so we had to finish the play date in the parking lot.  Florence and Anne Harrell hardly made a peep the whole lunch.
When we got home, Allie and Harper had their first meal of prunes and they loved them. Seriously, I could not shovel it in fast enough and they both started whining when it was all gone.  Harper did have to pause momentarily to make a dirty diaper.  Surprise, surprise, they are prunes!  Then came more surprises: both babies had total blowouts on their new little knickers, and while I was putting Harper down for a nap, Allie managed to roll off the activity mat and blanket underneath it and spit up on our relatively new rug.  It's time to have some carpet cleaner on hand.  Prunes everywhere!

Life with these ladies is good though! They always keep us entertained and I think I may have dental problems from gritting my teeth when I hold them and feel overwhelmed with love for them.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sweet Potatoes and Sleep Update

I'm amazed at how quickly A&H are learning how to eat.  I guess I shouldn't be amazed since they do have Huffaker blood and we Huffakers love to EAT.  Three days ago, it just clicked and they were swallowing most of it and begging for more food, and there is more in the stomachs than on the bibs in the end.  Today they dined on oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and applesauce all mushed up together and I got the first picture of them both with big toothless smiles:

OK, maybe there is a lot on the bib.
I want to report on their sleep, mainly to document this for myself, but also because it is interesting to new moms.  Sleep is the main topic of discussion with new moms.  It is ALL about getting them to sleep through the night, and good long naps are a huge plus.  As a caveat, I have come to believe that it has less to do with what any parent does and more to do with the development of the baby.  Case in point: Harper has been sleeping through the night since she was 2.5 months old and Allie has only done that three total times.  They have the same schedule and bedtime routine.  Moms put too much pressure on themselves to figure out the sleep tricks (and give themselves too much credit if they have a good sleeper).

Anyway, I do think you can do things to help, but who knows what really makes the difference in the end.   These last few weeks have been rather rough.  Harper had a four or five night stretch of waking up around 3am.  This really should be no big deal, but when I was used to just dealing with one baby at night, it can be hard not to be frustrated, especially because I'm past the stage of waking them up to eat at the same time.  So that one additional feeding with Harper, when Allie is waking up twice per night, meant three separate feedings per night.  Not to mention they are both ready for the day to start by 7:15 if not before, so no sleeping in to recover.

I am the mean Cry-It-Out (CIO) lady, or at least I was until my pediatrician told me at 6 months they still need to know that I am there.  I've concluded that my pediatrician never had twins and that her babies must have responded well to back-patting and pacifying.  Usually, mine just get madder when I try to calm them down without picking them up and playing with them.  So I am back to being the CIO lady.  Last night was seriously sad -- they did NOT want to go to sleep -- but tonight they begged to be put down at 6:30.  These people are not predictable.  Or maybe they just wore themselves out fighting the bedtime last night.

For now, it seems that Harper is back to sleeping through the night, and Allie gives me hope because every now and then she will sleep from 7pm to 5 or 6am.  She almost always goes right back down after a feeding, so I can deal with giving her the extra calories she wants in the middle of the night.

By all accounts, Allie and Harper are great nappers, but I am still trying to figure out the most tear-free way to get their ideal amounts of sleep during the day.  This book recommends two, maybe three naps per day.  For a long-time, I put them down within an hour of waking up and they took solid two-hour morning naps.  After a week of crying and short morning naps, I figured out (by browsing the book) that they want to be awake closer to two hours before the morning nap.

Then comes our window to get out of the house.  Dr. Weissbluth does not recommend getting out at this time because he doesn't want babies falling asleep in a car seat or stroller and there is a longer wake time in the afternoon.  Well, Dr. Weisbluth did not take into account the joys of meeting people for lunch, Atlanta traffic in the afternoons, or the fact that staying the house everyday til 3 or 4 pm will drive a woman crazy.  So we run our errands, go to lunch, etc. and get back around 1:30 or 2 for a feeding.  If they did fall asleep in the stroller, I give them a little more awake time after the feeding and then they are down for the afternoon nap for an hour, sometimes two.

Then we play or go on a walk, eat solid food, take a bath (every other day) and start winding down for bed around 6:15, to try and be asleep between 7:00 and 7:30.  If we don't get out around lunch time, and they get an earlier nap, there is room for a third nap in the afternoon if they get fussy.

So, that's what I do all day! If it sounds like I have a system down, I really don't.  This a rough outline of the day and what is working this week.  Oh, and I didn't mention that there are a lot of feedings, 5-6 a day.  But these days they average about 15-20 minutes.  Such a relief since they took 1-1.5 hours the first few months.