Friday, January 24, 2014

Erin and Elise turn 4 months old

The babies are so so sweet these days!  They are just full of smiles and laughter.  Our favorite thing to do is to sit and look at them and laugh "back and forth" with them.  If you make a fake laugh, they will laugh back, and it gets louder and stronger until it is a full out belly laugh.  They love to sit and look at each other too.  They spend a lot of time in the jenny jump up or exersaucer when awake. They both drool a lot and are starting to gum things. Both are great tummy to back rollers, and they (esp Erin) try really hard to roll from back to front if you start to help them out a little.  Elise weighs 15 lb. 6 oz (82nd %ile) and is 24.5 inches long (55th %ile).  Erin weighs 15 lb. 3 oz. (79th %ile) and is 24.75 inches long (65th %ile). This is their routine on a daily basis (times are definitely not set in stone):

Between 7am and 8am: Feed them one at a time in bed with me (breastfed--the rest of the day is pumped milk in a bottle).  They hardly even wake up for this feed.

10am Wake and eat

11:30-1 naptime

1:00pm eat (they eat 6-7 oz. each feed)

2:30-4 naptime

4pm eat

 4-6pm awake time

6-7pm nap

7pm eat

Between 9 and 10 pm: Eat again.  Sometimes they take a little cat nap again before this feeding.  And the naps earlier in the day can last up to 3 hrs. sometimes, but not consistently

Between 10pm and 11pm: Asleep for the night (They have only woken up randomly maybe a handful of times at night where I had to feed them during month 3, which I attribute to a growth spurt.  Usually if they do wake up, a pacifier puts them back to sleep).

I am now almost exclusively pumping, which isn't what I had hoped for, but I guess it has its benefits too (being able to have others feed them, ease of feeding both in public places at the same time, etc.) It does take up a lot of my time though since I pump prior to each feeding for 20-30 minutes.  So far, my supply is still great, for which I am thankful.  Ryan complains that all I do is pump, and I feel the same way.  It does give me the opportunity to sit and relax for a bit though!

I feel like I spend more time caring for the babies than for the older girls (which is natural, given that they are babies), but it makes me feel like I am neglecting the older girls.  If I do spend time with the older girls, then I am inevitably neglecting cooking or cleaning, which are also important for survival!  I know everyone says to not worry about cleaning and just enjoy your kids, but realistically, you can only do that to a certain extent or else you might find yourself on an episode of Hoarders.

If you remember my post about what my day looks like, it has smoothed out a lot since them.  Things feel less anxiety-inducing (for the most part).  I have learned to multitask a little better to meet everyone's needs at once, and the babies eating/sleeping is a lot more predictable than it used to be.  Ryan and I feel overwhelmed a lot by the piling up of responsibilities around the house, but I guess that is just our season of life right now.  My dear friend Sarah helps alleviate that load on a weekly basis.  She has been the greatest gift to our family.  She comes on Mondays and Wednesdays for the better part of the day and helps with anything and everything.  All out of the love of her heart!  She also keeps me from going crazy by providing me with friendship and fellowship during the week when I would otherwise be with children only.  Things are hard sometimes, but I have to remind myself to look around and be thankful for all the wonderful blessings around me.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy Birthday to Sophie and Sally!

On December 2nd, Sophie turned four, and on the 28th, Sally turned 3!  The are so big and sweet.  They have become such wonderful big sisters to Erin and Elise.  They love to talk to them, entertain them, bring them things and help me in little ways too.

Sophie at age 4

Sophie is sweet sweet sweet.  She is wearing one of my dresses from when I was little in this picture.  She has a very gentle and quiet disposition.  She loves to do calm quiet activities, and is super easy to have around if she is by herself (otherwise the screaming and fighting may ensue).  She still is a big reader, and her favorite thing to do is to have us read her a book and then immediately read it back to herself on her own.  She is great at communicating with us, but sometimes chooses not to if her emotions are running high.  She sometimes will just cry and cry without wanting to explain what is wrong.  As far as potty training, she is fully trained!  However, sometimes at naptime, she will randomly go #2 in her panties and come tell us.  I can't figure it out, because a lot of time she will actually use the potty without any problem.  She will be starting preschool next week which I think will be great for her.  She is still a little hesitant in social settings and doesn't speak up much (very different from Sally!), so I think this new environment will help her spread her wings a bit.  She will go on Monday and Wednesdays from 8-11:30.  We are very blessed to have access to FREE preschool through Ryan's school district since he is a teacher.  Even though she is four, she still loves her mommy and daddy and will take you up on any offer to cuddle with her.  She is not very independent, and prefers to have us do things for her or help her whenever we are willing.  She has recently taken an interest in all things Jesus/God.  She has lots of questions and sometimes it is hard to give her answers she can understand.  One day she asked if she could go see Jesus, and I told her yes, one day, in heaven after we die.  She then asked, "How do I dive mom?  I want to dive and go see Jesus!"  She loves to read her "Jesus book," which is just a children's Bible.  When my sister was talking to her one day about Jesus, Sophie told my sister, "Jesus is a book."  She is actually sort of right when you think about the Word made flesh!  I am just amazed at Sophie when I look at how far she has come.  Sometimes we forget that she had such a rough start and that it is truly a miracle she is even here!  And doing so well at that!  I was reminded of that miracle the other day when I heard of a couple whose baby was born at 25 weeks, weighing 1 lb. 7 oz., but did not survive.  That is almost the exact same place we found ourselves with Sophie, 25 weeks and 1 lb. 12 oz.  What a blessing that God has allowed Sophie to be a part of our lives!

Sally at age 3
Sally looks just as old or older than Sophie to me in this picture!  Actually, when we are out, people often ask if we have two sets of twins just because S and S look so close in age.  Sally has a bigger than life personality.  She is always on the go and comes up with the cutest things to say.  She loves to introduce herself to strangers and usually proceeds to tell them about something she is wearing as well as introduce her baby sisters.  The other day she said to someone, "They're Erin and Elise, and their my sisters.  They're gonna be best friends!"  She is so outgoing and will make friends with anyone she meets.  She always remember other kids' names really well too.  We met a little girl named Riley over Christmas, and she STILL asks to go see her again even though they only spent a few hours together.  She is very independent and insists on doing everything on her own without any sort of assistance.  She throws fits a lot, and it seems like the smallest things can set her off.  She is very sensitive when people other than Ryan or I reprimand her, and usually runs off crying to find a hiding place if this happens.  She is very affectionate and sweet with all of us.  No one can ever leave the house without getting a hug and kiss from Sally or she has a meltdown.  She loves to play with Sophie, and lately they have been getting along better than they used to.  The other day, she melted my heart when she asked me to play with her.  She followed the question with, "because, you can play with us too mom because you're my best friend too!"  How can you say no to that!?  She is a challenge because she is so strong-willed and defiant, but more than anything she is a bundle of joy and laughter!