Monday, January 23, 2012

Sensory Overload

As I'm sure you're all tired of hearing, we are in nap transition right now. And since the babies are awake for longer stretches of the day, they tend to need more to do than just play with toys. I mean, God forbid their 1000 toys in the house aren't enough to stimulate their attention!

So, for the past few days, I've been digging up sensory activities to do (albeit in short spurts) to keep them engaged and entertained. Some are winners. Some are total misses.

Water sensory bag

Baby's first play-dough (homemade)

She liked it!

More interested in the spatula than the dough

Finger painting with colored yogurt.

Not interested.

She doesn't understand why he doesn't want to paint!

Makin' a mess with flour

Not interested.
So, I've learned a few things in our days with these sensory activities (and you'll remember we finger-painted on Friday). First, these activities make a HUGE mess. I'm mostly OK with that.

Also, it's best to introduce these activities when the babies are most awake, alert, and in good moods. I think the finger-painting debacle happened because they were overtired.

Lastly, Ben does not like to touch squishy, soft, or wet/mushy things. He had no interest in any of it. Maybe he's a boy who won't like to get dirty?? (Or, more likely, he was confused why I wasn't letting him eat things that I put on his high chair tray).

Nap transition is going .... okay. Today they made it from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. before eating lunch and heading to bed. They're chit chatting in their cribs now, hopefully will fall asleep soon! Then I hope they sleep until 2:30 or later. A momma can dream.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Finger-Painted Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

It was cold here yesterday. Dang cold. We woke up to a frigid 8 below zero and "warmed up" to a tropical 5 degrees above. We're havin' a heatwave. A tropical heatwave.

Since it was so. dang. cold. yesterday - and the heater is still out on the Subaru - we had another stay-at-home day. I've grown accustomed to going here and there (mostly the Y and Target) during the day that I get so restless during the day, all day at home. I think my restlessness transfers to the babies and they get restless.

That, or their determination to skip naps makes them restless. Blah.

At any rate, I knew we needed something different to do to break up our day. Being the brave woman I am, I decided to try finger painting. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll let you judge for yourself how it went.
I added masking tape to canvas to make monograms.

Ready to go!

A messy success! (For Hannah anyway)

Finished Products
After drying, I removed the tape...

And got these works of art!

Displayed in the living room for all to see.


So, it was fun. But it lasted about 4 minutes total. Ben ate a bit of paint, which is why he was so crabby. Hannah appears to be a natural, which is amazing since I have zero art talent.

We're stuck home again today. (The heater is getting fixed!). What's your favorite "stay home" activity for young toddlers? We're getting bored.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The (nap) Times They Are A-Changin'

I thrive on routine & predictability with B&H. I worked really hard from the beginning to figure when they needed/wanted to eat, sleep, play, etc. I tracked their sleeping patterns and figured out a great napping schedule, beginning when they were about 4-5 months old. That schedule has been my life saver for the past 8 or 9 months. Of course there's been tweaks here and there, but for the most part, B&H have been morning and afternoon nappers since last spring. I love it. It gives us *just* enough time to go somewhere when they are awake, and when we get home it's down for a nap they go and I can do whatever I want or need to do. It's the best.

Except for lately.

B&H are almost 14 months old. They're toddling. They're "talking." They're starting to give up their two-nap schedule. It bums me out!

So, like a new mother to newborns, I have got to figure them out all over again. When do they need or want to nap? How long will it be? When will we eat lunch? Will we be able to go anywhere, or will they fall asleep in the car and then not nap at all later? (possibly, the WORST thing that could happen!) Will they still go to bed at the same time? It's all very frustrating to me - the not knowing part!

We're still *trying* for 2 naps, but those days are numbered. I know for sure this time next week, we'll be fervently working on one nap. I just want to relish one more week, for I know the transition will throw everyone for a loop. They'll probably be crabby. I'll probably be crabby. Daddy'll probably be crabby. See a theme here?

My biggest fear is they will get overtired and then won't be able to sleep. I mean, who wants that? I love them, dearly and no matter what. But part of me really does love them a bit more when they look like this:

rather than when they look like this:

Wish us luck! How did you transition your kid(s) to one nap?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hannah the Flying Nun

Many people say Hannah looks like me.
Momma, age 1
Some people (mostly my mother) say she looks like her grandma. (I don't have a baby picture of my mom, but there is a bit of a resemblance).

I always knew she looked like SOMEONE, but I couldn't figure it out until today. I do believe my daughter is channeling Sally Field. See?

The Flying Nun

I think it's her hair. :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The language barrier

We appear to have reached a frustrating (for Momma & babies) stage of babyhood: the "I-Know-What-I-Want-But-I-Don't-Have-The-Words-To-Tell-You" Stage. It's driving me crazy. Times two.

Here's a look at a typical 2 minutes of our mornings lately:

Scene: Living Room, on a cold January day. Babies & Momma have been stuck inside the house for 4 days waiting for Ben's fever to pass. About an hour before naptime.
Hannah reaches for a book. She begins to "read."
Ben quickly scampers over, takes the book and turns his back.
She grabs his hands, wrangles the book away, and turns *her* back.
Momma intervenes: "Ben, Hannah had that book first. Let's give it back to her and you can read this one." She takes the book out of his hands and gives it to Hannah and hands him a nearly-identical book.
Ben: "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! WAAAAAAAAAAHHHH! EEEEEEEEEE!" Begins to pound head on hardwood floor.
Momma picks up babies, puts them in their cribs and retreats to kitchen for another cup of coffee. 
End scene.

And that's just 2 minutes of our day.

I am teaching them some sign language, however basic it becomes for them. Ben excels at it. He can sign "more" and "drink." We're working on "all done." Hannah doesn't show much interest in it. She prefers to scream bloody murder. 

We're using this chart as reference:
 You'll notice there's no baby sign for "Leave me alone and give me back my toy!!"

I'm reassured that this stage of limited communication is short-lived and happens for all babies, no matter if they are singletons or multiples. But something in me things babies who are multiples have a more frustrating time with this than singles. After all, singles who want a book can go to their shelf, box, bin whatever,  get it, look at it, leave it on the floor and come back for it a few minutes later. Multiples leave a toy or book laying around and their twin comes and snatches it away. Bummer.

Just so you don't think I've had the most rotten week and the babies haven't had any fun, here's a look at the cuties snuggling with Cookie, the stuffed bear my dad gave me when I was born. You'll notice they both love Cookie, which I'm sure will lead to some screaming fits later on. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Ben is sick with a fever today - came up yesterday afternoon with a fever of 103; with Tylenol and rest it's hovered around 99-100 today. Since he's sick, we're stuck at home. So, I took the opportunity to use one of my new favorite apps, Instagram. I am so addicted.

I call this collection "Insta-Fever."
Breakfast Date with Bunny

Feed a Fever

Self Portrait

I {Heart} My Brother

Feelin' Better!

Urban Farm
If you don't have Instagram yet, I highly suggest you get it. Next to Pinterest, it's the most addicting app I have on my phone. Love it!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Lucky 13

The babies hit the big 1-3 month old mark yesterday. I can't believe it! It was only one year ago they looked like this:
Jan. 5, 2011 - one month old
It seems like the month between 12 months and 13 months old was a big one for us! The babies are sure "talking" a lot more. They do say a few words, but they do a lot of babbling. They "talk" to each other, to me, to the toys. It sounds like they are having conversations, just with words I don't understand. It's very cute. Most of the time, it sounds like Hannah is bossing Ben around. I guess he might as well get used to it.

There are lots of other new things B&H like to do now, too!

Like dance:

And "talk on the phone":

And read books:

And put toys away:

 And throw mini fits:

And make each other laugh:

And most exciting..... WALK! Yes, Miss Hannie can take quite a few steps now. Atta girl:

Ben better get going soon, or she's going to leave him in the dust. :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

THAT mother

Today in ECFE our discussion turned toward cliches that came true once we had baby(ies). The top answers were "Everything changes," "You fall in love with your baby so much," and "It's worth the work."

Well, last month I wrote an article for my Moms of Multiples newsletter that was about cliches. I called it "I never thought I'd be THAT mother." I feel it's appropriate to reprint the article here. Enjoy!

I never thought I’d be  that mother. You  know the one...

I never thought I’d be the  mother who rolls over and  puts a pillow over her ears  when the baby(ies) are crying  in the middle of the night in  hopes they go back to sleep -  but ends up getting up with  them anyway.

I never thought I’d be the mother who takes her kids out in public with dirty faces and food on their clothes because it’s just too much work to clean them up, knowing they’ll get dirty again anyway.

I never thought I’d be the mother who joined the Y so she’d have two hours of free babysitting per day.

I never thought I'd be the mother who takes her kids out to a restaurant and leaves a GIANT mess for the wait staff to clean up. (But tips generously!)

I never thought I’d be the mother who categorizes her yoga pants into only-wear-at- home, workout, and “dressy.”

I never thought I’d be the mother who put more thought & consideration into buying a stroller and carseats than into buying her own car.

I never thought I’d be the mother who smells her children’s butts in public and announces “Oooh, someone’s stinky!”

I never thought I'd be the mother who unintentionally loses touch with friends after becoming a mom.

I never thought I’d be the mother who figures out the exact dosages and timing of Tylenol and Advil to give during teething in hopes it helps the babies sleep long hours!

I never thought I’d be the mother who carts her crying children all through Target, not because she necessarily needs more Cheerios or a new pair of socks, but because the trip to Target might be the only adult interaction all day.

I never thought I’d be the mother who has piles of laundry in every possible place in the house: in the washer, in the dryer, on the couch, in the living room, strewn across the bed…. And then digs through the piles of clean laundry to find something to wear.

I never thought I'd be the mother who knows where the "good" places to change a baby while about and about are.

I never thought I’d be the mother who warms up cold coffee in the afternoon for a
pick me up.

I never thought I'd be the mother whose Facebook updates are about her children 97% of the time.

I never thought I'd be the mother who turns down playdates, storytimes, and other outings when they take place during naptime.

I never thought I'd be the mother who parking lot lurkers curse because it takes 10 minutes to pack up the kids in the car.

I never thought I'd be the mother who blames the kids when she's 5, 10, 15 minutes late for an appointment, class, playdate, or church.

I never thought I'd be the mother who is awoken to giggles, chirps, squeals and “mamas” at 6:30 a.m. – and is happy about it!

I never thought I’d be the mother whose heart is bursting with love every single day.

And seriously. I never thought I’d be the mother of twins! How lucky I am!

And for your viewing pleasure, some of the messy faces I was talking about:

Now, if you're reading this and you aren't following this blog, do so! And if you are reading this and have a thought about what I wrote, why not write a comment? :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Babies' First Resolutions

Happy New Year!

We live a wild and crazy life over here. We spent babies' second NYE at church. After we got home, they got baths, bottles, and hit the hay. Momma and Daddy indulged in appetizers for supper and fell asleep before 10:00.

However, Hannah, never wanting to miss out, woke up crying at 11:55, so we got to ring in the new year together. I can't think of anyone else who would be better to kiss at midnight! Thankfully, she slept through the rest of the night. Whew!

They spent the day thinking about their first New Year's Resolutions. I can't totally understand their babbles, but I think this is what they were telling me they wanted to accomplish this year:

Hannah - "I want to learn to walk and then run so I can steal all Ben's toys and run away from him!"
Ben - "I want to learn how to peel my own bananas so I can eat them ALL!"

As far as me, I have a few goals for in mind for 2012. First, I need to get this family on a budget. I'm embarrassed to say that we really have no idea how much money we're spending. So, our first step: signing up for to track our expenses for a few months, then see where we can cut back to either save more or funnel more to our mortgage.

I'd also really like to organize this house - paperwork, closets, attic, etc. However, if you know me, you know that is quite the undertaking. I hope to elicit help from my friend Andrea.

I am also going to try menu planning - a week or two in advance with the goal of a month at a time to be my routine by the end of the year. Seems more nights than not I'm scrambling to get something cooked for dinner; would be nice to know ahead of time and not stress about it.

Lastly, this goal is a fun one: I want to crochet a blanket. I've made quite a few dishcloths now... time to move on to a bigger project. I just hope I don't get burnt out. Good thing I have a year to work on it!

Who will make their goals? What are yours???