Friday, August 31, 2007

Sleeping through the Night

This past week I pulled out the parenting book I read/used with Bentley, and decided that maybe it's time to get these twins on more a schedule so they'll sleep longer at night. We're on Day 3, and they're doing great! Day 1 they slept 7 1/2 hours at night, and last night they slept 8 hours. Maybe I'm just dreaming, but who knows - maybe we can get them to sleep 10 hours? Their EASY (eat/activity/sleep/YOU time!) routine is providing happiness in our home. :-) Now if we can continue to make this happen - that will be the trick.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Resting together

They won't both fit in the bouncer together for long, which is too bad. They're awfully cute . :-)

And yes - Jackson is in the pink blanket and Genevieve is using the blue one. Sometimes these things happen around here! At least they have their own clothing on....

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Genevieve and the bumbo

Genevieve trying out the $5 bumbo:

Genevieve unhappy in the bumbo and Bentley unsure what to do about it:

Genevieve, after deciding green wasn't her color and convincing Mom to buy her a purple bumbo (which I had to pay $20 for on Craig's list - the things we do for fashion!):

Twinks 2 month check up

Jackson and Genevieve had their 2 month check in yesterday. Their Dr. was very impressed with their weight gain, they have made it onto the growth charts!

Genevieve weighed in at 10 lbs 6 oz (50th %) and 22 inches (30%), and Jackson weighed in at 10 lbs 12 oz (25th %) and 21.5 inches (10th %). I think Jackson might have another inch in him if he would ever straighten his neck and back out! At this same age Bentley was at 10 lbs 8 oz and 22 inches, so they're neck and neck with him. Very impressive since they were born 6 weeks early. I can't believe Genevieve is in the 50th % for weight. Yikes, must be that special high calorie preemie formula!

For the physical/intellectual milestones the twins are still behaving more like newborns than 2 month old babies. This is because they will most likely develop skills (like discovering their hands, smiling to interact with us, etc) based on their adjusted age - when they were due, not when they were actually born. At this age Bentley was already giving us huge grins, and cooing and ahhing with us. I can't wait until the twins can interact with us a little more!

The Dr. gave Jackson a prescription for reflux medication, and we'll see if it helps with the incessant arching and screaming. I hope so, the poor kid seems so unhappy half the time... Here'a picture of Genevieve and Jackson showing off their bandaids from their four immunizations each. Ouch!

Do they look alike?

Here's Bentley, at 7 weeks:

Here's Jackson, at 7 weeks:

I think there is a similiarity there!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

It Finally Happened

We all have been waiting for months--over a year, really--for this event to occur. I've seen babies who are five months old happily perform this act, but our grandson had until today utterly refused to do it. We adults have discussed the topic numerous times, shaking our heads in amazement that the wonder child would not do this activity on his own. We've tried now and again over the months to get him to do it, but NO! NO! NO! he refused to indulge us. He liked the status quo.

Then this afternoon the twins were screaming loudly since they wanted their bottles NOW. I put Bentley in the big recliner with one of his favorite blankets. I told him that I'd be back soon. Then I scooped up one of the twins to change a diaper. Bentley was not pleased to see me go off with a baby, but he knows that's how it works sometimes. After changing the baby's diaper, I went in the kitchen and got Bentley's bottle from his mom and took it over to him in the recliner and offered it to him. I was still holding a baby. Bentley took the bottle from me, popped it into his mouth, and held it himself. Yes--Bentley held his own bottle!!! He's never done that for longer than ten seconds before, but this afternoon he quite agreeably held his own bottle for the entire time it took to drink as much as he wanted.

Bentley has finally accepted that the level of care around his home has changed radically and isn't going to improve in the near future. He's a pragmatist--although it took him two months to cave in to the new regime.

Playground Time

We take Bentley to the playground at the local schools or parks quite regularly. We love to watch him climb and slide and run and throw and just have fun. Today we took the twins along, too. This is how they spent their time:

Here is how Bentley spent his time:

Friday, August 24, 2007

An odd bathtime activity

Bentley always enjoys bathtime. A chance to play with water, what's not to like? Lately he's been enjoying the rubber ducky. First he will "drown" the duckie, then "resucitate" the duckie, and then take a moment to admire his work and start the whole process over again. I told him there are easier ways to get a drink of water...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Thank you Grandma & Opa!

Matt's business trip has seemed more like a vacation than a hardship, as Grandma and Opa have taken a twin home with them every night. It's less than half the work when there is just one baby, I do believe! I might have to conspire to send Matt away on a few more trips... ? Just kidding... I think.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The 1st of many hair "dos"

I stumbled across the headbands (and many other tempting hair clips, barrets, and pony tail holders) while in Walmart today and realized Genevieve didn't own any headbands yet. For $2.59 we decided to correct that glaring wardrobe problem. I think it was a good choice!

Teal rocks

Bentley and I coordinated our clothes today, and it wasn't even on purpose... how odd is it that we both own tops in this particular shade? :-)

Baby Bliss on the way

This is a picture of my super duper archer:

Jackson spends half of his waking time arching like crazy, and sometimes crying like crazy too. I think he might have some form of reflux. Above, he arched and scooted himself up in the carseat, and managed to knock the carseat backwards because he was squirming so hard while doing so.

I hate listening to the poor kid scream, he sounds so unhappy... I've researched reflux solutions online, as I'm reluctant to automatically resort to prescription drugs to help. I read about gripe water on an online message board and my Mother tracked it down from that vague reference. She found that gripe water is an herbal solution mix, and she found it marketed under the name of Baby Bliss. The testomonials assure me that this product is amazing. Amazon, as always, was there to help me and all I had to do was hit the one click order button! It's like magic...

Bliss is on the way and we'll see if it lives up to the hype.

Special Order Only...

Today the twins and I had an afternoon of fun together while Bentley spent time with Grandpa and Grandma Altman. First we went to the Double Cuddles support group at Providence with our buddies Patrick, Cassidy, and Amrita. Then we decided to venture out to the big world of Walmart.

This was the first time I was out with the twins both in the double stroller, where it was obvious both babies were with me and that they were twins. They had many admirers at the store, but my favorite was the 3 year old in the shoe section. She told me how pretty my children were, and hung around to oooh and ahhh at them for a while. As her Mother dragged her off I heard her asking "can we buy those here, Mommy?". Her Mother told her babies aren't available from Walmart.

Oddly enough I recall a similiar incident with Bentley about a year ago, when an older couple asked me what aisle they could pick up a cute baby like him on... I told them that he was a special order only item!

Right? Wrong?: Depends on Your Ears

Bentley and I disagree on how to wear sunglasses. Whenever I put sunglasses on him, I put them so that the ear thingies (?!) bend down towards his ear. He prefers to wear them with the bend going up away from his ear--not as irritating perhaps?

Although, he seems to think Nefer should wear them with the ear thingies going down. Of course, Nefer's ears are rather large.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Bang! Clang! Rattle!

Yet another new game with balls has been instituted at our home by the ever clever Bentley. He discovered that if he threw his green rubber ball on to the bottom shelf of the plant stand it made a wonderful sound--bang, clang, rattle! While Bentley found the sound mellifluous, his opa did not. Opa thought it was tinny and noisy and, well, unpleasant. But, being a good opa, he let his grandson continue to throw the ball over and over and over onto the bottom shelf. The shelf is anchored to the wall fortunately, although not because I anticipated it being turned into a musical instrument. (I was afraid Bentley might try to climb it.) I wonder what the plants on the upper shelves think of this activity? If they all start dropping leaves will it be because of the noise or the jarring impact of each throw?

Genevieve's brief workout

Jackson has been consistently rolling over for more than a month and a half, but despite my encouragement Genevieve had shown no interest in the sport - until yesterday! She rolled over from her tummy to her back. I promptly placed her on her tummy again and told her to give it another try before forgetting how it's done, but she'd had enough fun... she prefers her peace and quiet to hard workouts. Just like her Mom!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Bentley & Sesame Street

While I was bathing the twins this morning Bentley managed to find the remote to the T.V. and find the one station that comes in - PBS. He was entranced by his first viewing of Sesame Street when I came across him (see photo below).

That is, I assume it was Sesame Street--talking animals and irritating music? (I was never a big fan.) Thankfully he got up and wandered out of the room after enjoying a few animal crackers. He's not addicted yet! I suppose 18 months without exposure was a pretty good run. :-) I have to go hide the remote now...

We might not go anywhere...

but we sure do look good!

Well, we look good other than those green baby plugs we refused to release from our mouths! Today the twins had baths AND clean clothing. You might be thinking those two things are daily occurences, but in our house it doesn't always happen....

Yesterday as I was happily sorting through my piles of clothing from garage saling, my mother pointed out that I don't really need all the clothes if I don't bother to dress the twins every day. So here they are, bathed and dressed in new outfits for a leisurely Sunday at home. I couldn't quite fathom taking three children to church on my own, maybe I just lack creativity.

Bye Dad!

Matt is off on his first business trip with his new job, enjoying a relaxing birthday in Chicago on Tuesday. I suspect he wasn't entirely dissapointed when he found out the training session was going to be over his birthday? But maybe I don't give him enough credit - I know we'll miss him (he's an extra set of hands, after all!), so perhaps he'll miss us too. Not the screaming though I'm sure... !

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The twins still cry, eat, and sleep

and they do it in that order, with the most frequent activity being listed 1st. I was noticing that most of the recent blog entries are about Bentley. That's because the twins seem to be stuck in a rut - although - Jackson does have 1 new trick. :-) Today he smiled in response to his father's voice, when his Dad came up to him said hello. Here we go again - hopefully not another 100% Daddy's boy?! :-)

Just to prove they still live here, I thought I better provide more photo documentation. Here they are enjoying the latest garage sale bargain. It's been through the washer and the clorax routine already, and they seem intrigued. Well, one of the does. The other seems bored.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Quadruple Trouble?

At a young age these adorable babies seem to already be indicating I'm going to have trouble getting a good shot of all of them together. It's a good thing I have a digital camera, patience, and easy access to all 4 of them - I'll keep at it. :-)

Please note that suddenly Jackson and Genevieve appear to be giants, simply by appearing next to the 5 pounders Patrick and Cassidy. I predict Patrick and Cassidy will start bulking up soon though....

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Thinking Outside the Box

You have to love how young children view the world. Adults have names and purposes for most objects in their world. A chair is for sitting on. A book is for reading. A Tupperware container is for leftovers. We find it hard to see the infinite uses that everyday objects have. Tonight our grandson informed us that the floor lamp (to his way of thinking) made a great ball hoop. We sat and watched him throw balls up into the lamp shade.

Finally we lifted him up so that he could drop balls into the the top of the shade. To our much more limited way of thinking, that made more sense.

Yeah!! I'm anemic...

For the last month my Mother has been telling me that I'm so white I glow. I took it as a compliment, but she intended it as a suggestion that I get my iron levels checked. I finally gave in and did so, and the Dr. called to let me know I'm very anemic. Apparently we're supposed to have 35 - 150 mg/dl of iron in our blood, and I have 16. I'm actually pleased to find out I'm anemic, it means maybe the fact I'm always so tired isn't just because I have 3 babies in the house... there is a light at the end of the tunnel when the iron pills kick in! I had to laugh though when the Dr. asked me if I had noticed that I was tired - of course I noticed, but who wouldn't be with 2 new infants around?!

Monday, August 13, 2007

I Love My Bumbo...

and I'm not about to share.

Bentley has been very loving towards the twins except in a few instances. He does not like it when they use one of his favorite blankets. He will yank it out from under them. And he has decided that the Bumbo seat is his exclusively. (Go figure--it's marketed for babies 6 weeks to 14 months. Of course, you do have to be on the small side to continue fitting into the Bumbo seat after 14 months.)

Bentley's bruiser

Bentley found some gravel in the parking lot at church yesterday. This is his first big scrape, and I wish I could say it happened on someone else's watch instead of mine. He took it very well though and after a few "owwwhs" shook it off and moved on. Poor kid - he was laughing and running at the same time and tripped on his sandals. OUCH! I'm sure there will be more scrapes and bruises in his future but I'm not looking forward to them.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My $5 Find

I escaped the house yesterday to visit Patrick and Cassidy (the new playmates of Jackson and Genevieve have arrived!) at the hospital, and on the way home I stopped by a garage sale. I am thrilled with my $5 bumbo seat, since they retail for $50. One of the intended users of this gorgeous chair (yes, that is a slight stretch - but the chairs are good for neck development!) isn't sure what he thinks of it, but someone else in the house thinks it's okay...

Off to church nursery we go!

In our church children start going to nursery to play when they're 18 months old. Today was Bentley's first time at nursery, and it seemed to go well. He wasn't a fan of snack time, as he doesn't eat much. He didn't interact much with the seven other children, he watched them from a distance. BUT - he was willing to stay in nursery without his parents and play with toys, no screaming at all. The nursery workers were impressed with what a great little guy he was!

Maybe next week he can work on making a friend... :-)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Super Sleeper X 2!

The twins decided to outdo themselves last night. They both ate 4 oz at 9:00, and then to be on the safe side Jackson decided to eat another 1 oz so he'd be fueled for a while. They didn't wake up for 5 1/2 hours, and after eating they slept for another 4 1/2 hours. This is awesome for babies that are just over 9 lbs, I'm VERY impressed with them!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Genevieve: super sleeper

Last night I decided to try out 4 oz bottles on the twins in the hopes that they might sleep a little longer through the night. Genevieve was obliging and downed the bottle with no problem. Jackson's tummy, on the other hand, wasn't quite sure it could handle 4 oz. I had to settle for 3 oz and then an hour later sneak the extra 1 into him. I fed them at 11:00 p.m. (and then Jackson at midnight), and they didn't wake up to eat again until 4:30! That's right, Genevieve is almost able to go 6 hours at night! We'll see if she can repeat this great feat, and if we can convince Jackson to try the bigger bottle too...

And, because we can't have one twin without the other, here is a picture of the second best sleeper we have in the house. :-)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A visit to the park

Bentley goes to the park quite often, so that alone isn't newsworthy. I might even be bold enough to say he goes daily! I, however, do not go to the park - it's always Dad or the Grandparents that go off to play with Bentley. This is mostly because I was huge and pregnant for the majority of this spring and summer, but also because I have a bad hip and don't really enjoy walks.

Today my Mother convinced me to head off to the park with the twins, Bentley, and her. I was to see for myself the amazing athletic prowess of my 18 month old. Needless to say, I was impressed!

However, on the way to the park we passed a big mean ugly and aggressive dog (can you tell I'm not always a dog fan?). The dog started out barking at us from a yard across the street, but after snarling from a distance decided to come across the street at us. We walked (quickly!) down a side street and after a bit the dog retreated to his territory. We made it to the park, enjoyed the sun and Bentley's skills, and I somehow managed to drag myself home again - it was hard work for someone not used to walking!

I'm off to the store to invest in a can of mace (a pistol might be overkill?!)and a pair of Heelies if they make them in adult sizes... :-)

Group nap (albeit brief)

It took Bentley at least 30 seconds to realize that his crib had been infiltrated. Oh well - there was time for 1 quick picture still!

Monday, August 06, 2007

4 days & counting until playmates arrive!

One of my best friends is having boy-girl twins; her due date is 3 weeks after mine was. Very cool, and what were the odds?! Unlike me, however, she's been fortunate (or unfortunate enough, if you asked her right now!) and able to stay pregnant until closer to her due date. Her Dr. promises that she can have the babies this weekend. Jackson and Genevieve are eagerly awaiting their new playmates who will be their best friends. And that's that, we think, whether they like it or not!

We're really looking forward to the pictures. If it's hard to pose 2 babies at once, how on earth can the challenge to pose 4 at once be resisted? Stay tuned for the results...

Stylin' babes

Here are the twins modeling beautiful new hats made for them, and also sporting the ever popular Soothies (baby pacifiers, for those who don't spend enough time around infants!).

Space efficient child

Bentley had his 18 month check up today. Rather than say he's on the small side, although there's nothing wrong with that, I think I will say that for the time being he is continuing to be space efficient. There are advantages to this:

he's awfully awfully cute and adorable
he's easier to cart around
he's certainly cheap to provide food for :-)

He is currently 31 1/4 inches (15%), and 21 lbs 7 oz (5%). Almost exactly 2 lbs and 2 inches up from his 12 month check in, I'm not sure how he arranged that. My Dr., who is King of the Laid Back, assures me that this is okay and he will eat what he needs to. I'm a little irked, however, as he has so many clothes just waiting for him to GROW! At this rate it could be a while before we get to pull out the new boxes of garage sale treasures.

Here he is showing off the band aids from today's immunizations:

Other than no resolution to my ever lingering question of how to force a child to eat more, the appointment went well. Bentley is healthy and developing as he should be, and we're blessed to have such a perfect child!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bentley--Future NBA Star!

As grandparents we are amazed by most every act that Bentley performs, but occasionally his actions are so exceptional that we know that anyone (i.e. not just relatives) would be amazed if they had witnessed the event. Such an event occurred today. Bentley has been into throwing objects for quite a while now. He has an indoor basketball hoop that he practices at--when he's not throwing balls at his parents, grandparents, or siblings (such acts are discouraged, of course). He puts the ball in the hoop quite regularly, so today he decided to take on a new challenge. Throwing two balls simultaneously--one in each hand--at the hoop. And, needless to say (why else would I be writing about the event?) he made it! This child has a future in the NBA--provided he eats enough to grow taller than three feet. Unfortunately we do not have a photo of the event, but we do have photos of him practicing his single shots, so we've posted some of them.

Playing basketball with a softball:

Practicing his dunk:

Bentley not only owns an indoor hoop, but an outdoor one as well. (Aren't garage sales wonderful? All those toys for just a few dollars! And when you are done with them, you sell them at your garage sale and recoup your monetary investment. What a deal.)

So, do you agree that's he's quite talented for a boy who is only 18 months old?