Monday, August 25, 2014

11 Months

 Whew! Another month down! I feel like time is going so fast at this point. Since this post is a little late, it's really only three weeks until their first birthday. Wow! Everyone says it gets easier after the first year, we will see!

Still not really sleeping over here. In fact, I'd say sleep is getting worse by simple fact that Amelia has taken to not sleeping well either. I basically haven't slept well in over a year. I'm not even hoping for babies to sleep all night-- I'm just hoping they start only waking once during the night. I will love that when that happens! Naps are total busts. We tried the one nap thing and that was not working at all so we went back to two naps.

Eleanor still only has two teeth. The top ones aren't making any appearances yet. They do make it easier for her to bite off chunks of her food, and that's always entertaining to watch. Her favorite foods are peanut butter toast, squash cubes, melon cubes, banana slices, and zucchini bread. Least favorite foods that get fed to the dog are: peas, green beans, cheese, and avocado. Oh and nursing.

Eleanor is also starting to walk if you hold her hands or she's pushing one of her push toys. She still hasn't made any attempts to step away with out holding on to something, but she does stand unassisted for 10-20 seconds at a time. She'll be walking soon, I just know it!

Overall, Eleanor has just kind of exploded over the last month developmentally. I'm sure I'm forgetting things too. I showed her how to clap and she just did it and hasn't stopped since. Before she would sign milk if I signed it to her, but now she will crawl to me and sign it when she wants to nurse. It's really cute.

Watching Eleanor play is always fun too. She's started stacking smaller toys in big toys, uses toys to make noises, is very interested in standing and cruising furniture. She likes to play with Amelia, but often finds that Amelia wants to wrestle which is not Eleanor's favorite activity.  My favorite thing is when they start cracking each other up. It is the BEST.

Amelia also has two teeth! Her second tooth took awhile to come in but it finally made an appearance last week. I think her top teeth are on their way too because her gums seem a little swollen. She is a very good eater-- basically will eat anything I put in front of her if she's hungry. Her favorites are cheese, melon, peanut butter toast, yogurt, and banana slices.

We also discovered that Amelia loves the pool. We finally took the girls swimming two weeks ago and Amelia just went crazy in the water. Splashing and laughing and kicking. Seriously, I have never seen her so happy before! Eleanor liked it too, but seemed less enthusiastic about the whole experience. The second time we went she had more fun, I think.

 Amelia is almost walking! One night she stepped away from the coffee table and took three steps. She was upset when she did it and she hasn't repeated it since...but I know she will soon! I'm guessing she'll be walking by her birthday.

 Amelia LOVES to play with Eleanor, specifically, she likes to climb all over her. She generally laughs hysterically when they're playing together. It's so funny to watch them interact. Usually Eleanor does something and Amelia just finds it positively HILARIOUS. Those are the moments that are the best. Even if there isn't a lot of sleep there sure is a lot of laughter.

Until today, I was still pumping three times a day for Amelia to get enough milk to give her two bottles per day (so half of her day time feedings). I decided to stop pumping because it was just becoming too much. The girls are more demanding in the sense that I need to feed them three meals a day of solids, I'm nursing Eleanor, I have more messes to clean up because they are into EVERYTHING... but probably the most important reason is because I needed more time to just to take care of me. Pumping for 20-30 minutes at a time was a major reason I felt trapped. I couldn't go anywhere because I needed to pump. I never had time to work out because I needed to pump. I couldn't keep the house clean because I was spending my free time pumping. I pretty much agonized over the decision for a couple weeks before I just stopped today. It's really the best decision to make me a better mommy. I was able to work out today-- I did something just for ME. It was a MAJOR pick me up and just what I needed after a very very difficult weekend.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

10 Months

 This round of photographs was HARD. They're fully mobile and do not like to sit still. Especially Amelia, you would have thought I was torturing her. I didn't get many any good photos of sorry about that. She just was not having it! I got some chuckles out of this set of pics though.

The biggest update is that both girls are fully mobile. They crawl, go from crawling to sitting, pull up to standing, and basically just get into everything. I've had to do about fifty rounds of baby proofing but they still find things to get. They've started pulling stuff off the dining room table. Guess it's time to actually put away the mountain of diapers.... ;)

We're also transitioning to one nap a day. I was fighting epic battles to get naps, most of the time the second nap was a complete bust. I decided everyone would be much happier if we just stopped trying for two naps. Yesterday and today we've only had one nap and it's gone pretty well. Eleanor slept for only an hour, but fell back asleep in my arms for another 45 minutes. Amelia slept for two hours straight through. I'm liking one nap a day. It makes me feel like I can get out and do stuff more. Today we went and picked blue berries and blackberries.

Food wise we're moving away from purees to just regular old table food, which the girls love. They really like feeding themselves whatever we're eating. Current favorites are blackberries, chicken, black beans, apples (that have been boiled), steamed broccoli, peas, and steamed carrots. We've also just now started to add a (small) lunch on most days. So we're up to three meals a day!

Eleanor, as I mentioned before, crawls and pulls up to standing. She even (unfortunately) can climb stairs! As always, Eleanor is the sleepless wonder and this is still one of the primary challenges with her. She usually will go down for a nap for 45 minutes to an hour. I wish it were longer but hey, I can at least get a shower in. Night time is a total crap shoot. Sometimes she's up every 2.5 hours sometimes she sleeps longer but is still usually up at least twice. I do feel a little crazy from the sleep deprivation but I'm confident she will eventually sleep. I just hope it's sooner rather than later.

 As you can kind of see, Eleanor has two teeth! They came in about a week ago within a day of each other. She doesn't let me look in her mouth too much, but I think the top teeth are coming down pretty soon too.
 Oh, Amelia. She just didn't want to sit still! She's fully mobile too. Crawling, pulling up to standing, walking along furniture and will walk if you hold her hands! She's very go go go  until she drops to sleep. Constantly in motion exploring everything!

I have plenty of pictures like this. Sitting was an unhappy time, haha. No teeth for Amelia, but I think she might get them soon. She eats basically anything we put in front of her. Just today she learned how to drop food to the dog. Wonderful life skill to have ;) She sleeps pretty well at night- usually just up once around midnight. This morning she slept from 12:30-8:15! Technically that's sleeping through the night. Her naps are usually an hour and a half long but sometimes as long as 2.5 hours.

As for me, the past couple of weeks have been difficult. Since having the babies, I've struggled off and on with anxiety and probably some depression. A lot of it is related directly to lack of sleep, but I wanted to share a little bit about some of the emotional stuff because I was NOT expecting it and felt alone. I'm not sure if I officially have post partum anxiety or post partum depression, though it would not surprise me if I did, but my struggles caught me off guard because they weren't the classic anxious or depressive thoughts. For me, I just have moments of pure anger, usually set off by something very inconsequential. On more than one occasion I've had to remove myself from baby care for a few minutes to calm down. As I've done a little research, I realize this can be a symptom of PPD instead of classic depressed feelings. I've set up coping mechanisms-- talking to Brad, removing myself from the situation, learning to let go of things... but it usually comes down to something I'm trying to exert control over that cannot be controlled. My anxious thoughts are generally pretty morbid anxious thoughts-- what if I fall down the stairs with the babies? what if they don't wake up from sleeping? what if what if what if! Thankfully these are not all consuming thoughts and generally go hand in hand with days that I've felt pretty angry. I think the two go hand in hand. Usually, my struggles are not all consuming and are completely tied to not sleeping. On nights I get a manageable amount of sleep, no angry or anxious thoughts.

Anyway, I just wanted to put this out there because 1.) it feels good to be honest. Its been HARD these last 10 months and I don't want anyone to think I have my crap together. I don't. haha. 2.) I don't want anyone else to feel like they're the only angry mom out there. It does not make you a bad mother. It makes you normal. I very much encourage anyone who is struggling with these things so much that they're interfering with your everyday life to please not keep it to yourself. Discuss it with your doctor and talk about what your options are. You do not have to feel this way indefinitely.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

9 Months

9 months. I feel a little sad this time around just because my girls are getting so big so fast! In just the last month their development has absolutely EXPLODED. Really in the last two weeks it's exploded. Both girls are crawling, pulling up to knees and sometimes straight legged on low surfaces (like our fireplace), babbling, banging toys together, and beginning to have opinions on things. We've done three rounds of baby proofing, including relocating our TV so that we can hide cords better. This post is going to have a TON of pics because I just can't help myself.


Amelia is actually a half pound heavier than Eleanor now. How funny is that? She's all caught up! Our 9 month check up is tomorrow and I'm sure our doctor is going to be really shocked at the ground she's covered since her last appointment. I still pump for Amelia about half of what she gets during the day. I imagine I'll keep pumping for her until she's a year old when we switch to cow's milk and solids full time. But I won't lie-- it's becoming very tiresome to keep up with the pumping. Mostly because we're in the middle of their 8/9 month sleep regression and wonder week so they're up a lot at night on top of having to get up to pump at night. This too shall pass and I have only three more months until making it to my goal of 1 year. 

Amelia started crawling at the end of May and has been practicing ever since! She's getting pretty fast too! She loves to crawl around and see what Eleanor is up to. I've noticed that Amelia tends to follow Eleanor while Eleanor is off exploring. Amelia pulls up to her knees and goes from crawling to almost all the way sitting. I suspect her fluffy butt is preventing her from sitting all the way. Amelia likes to play and be busy! Very seldom does she just want me to hold her in my lap; too many things to see and do! She does like it when I help her stand and jump though. Amelia smiles and laughs very easily, especially when she gets her belly tickled. 

Amelia LOVES to jump in the jumparoo. She gets that thing going so fast and shrieks and babbles the whole time. It's really amusing to watch and listen to. Amelia also cracks up at Eleanor's antics and spends a lot of time interacting with her sister. Her other favorite toys are cloth wipes to wave around and chew on, bongos similar to these, and the Melissa and Doug caterpillar grasping toy.

Amelia also loves to eat solid foods!  She eats a pretty wide variety of purees, but we're moving more toward chunky purees and table foods. She hasn't quite mastered the pincer grip, and mostly mashes table foods around but I think she eats some of them. She seems to like scrambled eggs a lot as well as watermelon.


While I'm not always able to capture it, Eleanor is very expressive. She makes all sorts of faces and makes sounds in order to get your attention. She likes to talk and have conversations with everyone. While Amelia is a bit more independent, Eleanor likes to have me close by and will sit in my lap for awhile. She's also my little explorer. She climbs up on the fireplace, crawls under every table just to see what's up, chases the dog around...

...which brings me to this picture. Eleanor LOVES the dog. She gets so excited and happy when she sees her. Unfortunately, Louisianna is not what I would call a particularly affectionate dog. She's actually pretty aloof and mostly just runs away when Eleanor comes after her.

 Eleanor started proper crawling a couple of days ago. She still mostly does what I call the snake crawl. She army crawls so smoothly she looks a little like a snake slithering a long. She's FAST at it too. Eleanor also pulls up to her knees on low surfaces and just started attempting to stand. She would be pulling up on other furniture but isn't quite tall enough yet. If I stand her up and put her next to the coffee table she will hold on and try to grab stuff off the table.

Eleanor is a bit more of a picky eater. She likes most smooth purees but is iffy on anything with chunks in it. In just the past couple of days she's started doing better. Her favorite is using her pincer grasp to pick up table foods. She doesn't really care for scrambled eggs, but she ate a lot of baked oatmeal, some sausage pieces, watermelon, and even strawberries. She does really well with table foods so I've been trying to increase the amount of them we give her.

My Favorite Thing

 My favorite thing about twins is watching them play together. It's been very sweet watching a little relationship develop between both girls. Eleanor makes noises at Amelia who cracks up and makes a noise back. Eleanor leads the way (into trouble, usually) and Amelia is happy to go with her on whatever adventure it is. They go back and forth with babbles and coos. It's very cute. Probably one of my favorite things to see.

I've really enjoyed them the past several weeks. I think I can safely say I much prefer this age to newborn stage. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot that I treasured about their newborn-ness but this age is awesome. They're so much more interactive and inquisitive. They are always learning, exploring, trying new things. You can SEE their development in more tangible ways. I just have a lot of fun with them these days.

One of the downers, though, is that we've hit another wonder week. That means hardly anyone is getting any sleep. Have you read about the wonder weeks? We've found these to be very very accurate with our girls. When we hit fussy periods and times of sleeplessness it always aligns with a wonder week and the mastery of new skills. Both girls right now are very awake at night-- last night Eleanor was up FOUR times and refuses to be put down in her crib. It will pass eventually but it always makes me feel better to know I'm not crazy-- my babies are really just developing normally and doing what they should be doing. It's super frustrating in the moment when neither of them will go back down for an hour and a half in the middle of the night, but it's oddly comforting knowing that it will pass and that this is a phase. It's nothing I'm doing or not doing-- it's just time for their little brains to be making new connections with their world. I highly recommend the wonder weeks app. We have it on the iPad and it's been great to have! 

And really quickly... I realize this blog has gotten WAY LONG... I wanted to share this baked oatmeal recipe. A friend of mine baked it for me while Brad was traveling for work. It was so good I had to get the recipe! I could eat it all day. When I made it I left out most of the sugar. I think I used less than 1/4 cup of sugar. I bet you could leave it out entirely and it would still be delicious. Go make it, you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

8 Months

If I've learned anything at all the past 8 months it's this: whenever you think you have a routine down it stops working and you need a new routine. That's how I feel about our nap routines and sleep routines. Haha. In the last month or so Eleanor and Amelia have mastered so many different things. Neither one is crawling just yet, but they are well on their way. Neither one of them have teeth yet either. I don't even think we have many signs that the teeth are anywhere near being ready to poke through. I'm ok with that though. Both girls are doing much better at solids. I'm giving them more and more finger foods. They really like toast sticks, sweet potato sticks, and Eleanor liked (steamed) carrot sticks. Amelia just shoved them in her mouth and choked on them so we had to take them away, haha. They also like puffs. Lots and lots of puffs. In the past couple of days they've basically doubled the amount of food they'll eat in one sitting. Usually I'd give them half of a container of three different types of food. Now they'll go through a whole container of all three between the two of them. As a note: baby food is expensive. ;)

Oh! They're also sitting unassisted! Well, I have to put them in the sitting position, but they will stay there by themselves for a long time.

Eleanor still isn't sleeping wonderfully, but she's getting better about giving us some good stretches. She still wakes up at around 2 and 5 am, sometimes midnight too. She may or may not go straight down too. Usually not. She still requires that we rock her to sleep and seems light years off from putting herself to sleep. I'm not really sure how to proceed with teaching her how to put herself to sleep. Hopefully she'll just do it someday, haha.

Eleanor is also doing a zombie/army crawl. She just started getting up on her knees and rocking, but doesn't seem like she'll start crawling just yet. She still rolls everywhere and is getting fast at getting into stuff. Definitely testing my baby proofing skills! :)

 Probably my favorite thing she has started doing is the baby babbling. She's been making all sorts of shrieks and sounds but recently started making defined "Ba ba ba ba ba"s. It's so cute! She also vies for my attention now and notices if I leave the room. She will make a noise to get my attention and then smile at me. If I leave the room she starts whining until I return. It's also kind of cute.

I apologize for Amelia's pictures. I wasn't happy with how these turned out because she was tired and just wanted to go for a nap. So I tried to take another batch the next day. All seemed well, they were super cute, I was looking at them as I took them. When I put the memory card in my computer they weren't there! I was so sad. :( But I haven't had time to re-do them a third time, so I'm just putting these up. Sorry about that.
 Amelia hasn't crawled yet, but is still getting up on her hands and knees to rock. She also legit army crawls now and is getting very fast at it! She'll be cruising before too long! She's gotten MUCH better with solids and is eating MUCH better. As a result, in one week she gained 12ozs. She's all but caught up to Eleanor-- there is only about four ounces difference between them. How crazy is that?!
 Amelia is also putting herself to sleep about 90% of the time and usually only gets up at night once. There was one week she slept through the night three times in a row! Her naps are usually around two hours long!  I wish I could enjoy that time, but usually I'm dealing with Eleanor. haha.

We are borrowing a jumperoo from some good friends of ours and Amelia LOVES it. She goes crazy in it! Eleanor likes it ok, but Amelia just loves to jump jump jump. She gets that thing going like crazy.

I just liked this picture. They kept trying to take each other's hair bow and eat it. I'm really enjoying this stage they're at. They play with toys, they entertain themselves, but they're also very interactive. They're becoming quite sweet with each other and beginning to interact with each other. Usually Eleanor makes a sound and then Amelia laughs at her. It makes me giggle so much. See this video.

As for me, I was able to go out for a girls night and left the Brad with the babies. It was awesome getting out by myself for a bit. Very refreshing. The hardest part about staying home for me is the lack of social interaction. I'm a social person by nature, so it's hard not having anyone to talk to all day long. It's also hard because i'm kind of tied to the house while they're still napping twice a day. I've also lost 6 lbs since I cut junk food and started being more careful with my calories. I'm happy about that development. :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bonus Entry

So these pics are unrelated to the content of the post. I just couldn't resist some of these pictures from our first beach adventure. Babies on the beach are just stinking adorable. I thought I would infuse this post with some cute.

I want to kick people in the teeth who say "Breastfeeding caused me to lose more weight than I gained my whole pregnancy!" That statement and situation makes me want to spit out obscenities and throw an "it's not fair!" Fit. That was not my reality. At all. Time to be real: I gained 80+ lbs during my pregnancy. I stopped keeping track there toward the end.  I lost 30 of that coming home from the hospital. But then gained back 15. So I'm sitting at roughly 60lbs heavier than I was pre pregnancy and it's not budging. This is why you don't see style files of me any more.

I am gravely embarrassed by my weight. I was lithe, fit, and active pre pregnancy. Now i'm not. Truthfully, I've avoided a lot of social situations because of it. It's a combination of factors but let me assure you the solution isn't simply get active. I started cutting calories and my milk supply dropped. Plus I don't have time to workout. That's not me making up an excuse. I don't have time because two babies requires almost all of my me time. Oh wait, what's me time?

That's my dirty secret right now: I am embarrassed of the way I look. But you know what? I did something amazing. I gained all that weight to keep my babies inside as long as possible. It worked because they were born at reasonable weights and stayed in a lot longer than some twins do. My body did something amazing and is continuing to do something amazing by nourishing those babies. I need to embrace it and learn to love myself again.

I can obviously take care of myself by eating healthy foods, but for right now I'm trying to just be ok with where I'm at. Time for me to start believing what I tell a lot of other women: I am beautiful, strong, and intelligent. And that's independent of the number on the scale.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

7 Months

I won't lie, the last month or so has been hard. I was discussing with Brad what made it so hard, aside from the obvious sleep deprivation. We decided it's because at some point you're expected to resume normal life. "Sorry, I can't do x, y, or z because of the babies" starts becoming a lame excuse. I assure you, though, for twin parents it really is true. Honestly, I would rather be able to show up for Church on occasion but I really can't most weeks. Lots of people can relate to the time it takes to raise one baby, but two at the same time isn't an economy of scale. I just can't get out the door in twice the amount of time it would for one baby. I find it takes at least three times as long because oh, I forgot a bottle! Someone pooped again! I need to brush my teeth but the other one just pooped! So folks, basically what I am saying is that it's hard right now.

 Anyway, on with my update! This one is probably going to be a long one and have lots of photos. Sorry about that.

If you're friends with me on Facebook you may know that I won a  free mini-session with Teal Tree Studios. Our first attempt was a total bust. Babies were sick with colds and just were not having it. We made up for it with some cute ones in the studio. If you're local, I have some discount cards I can give you. Let me tell you what, I was so happy with Tricia! She is really talented and super accommodating, especially since I wasn't even paying for our session. In short, I highly highly highly recommend her and can't say enough nice things about her. :) All of the pictures in this post are her photos.

Sleep: we're not getting a lot of that. Just is what it is. But the new development in the sleep department is that Amelia will put herself to sleep a lot of the time. Eleanor still is a long way from that, but we're all working on it.

Eating: Solids are going well! Amelia is getting better and better and Eleanor is a pro. We've tried all sorts of things squash, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, peaches, peas, green beans (that was not a hit), carrots, oatmeal, and probably others I'm forgetting. I just introduced sippy cups with water in them to start learning. They're still not quite sure what to do with the cups, but sometimes they surprise themselves and get water out. It usually gets spit right back out but maybe they'll drink it some day.

 Eleanor is the main stinker when it comes to sleep. She gave us about a week of good sleep but resumed her patterns of not wanting to be put down to go to sleep. I'm not certain what else to try that we haven't already and I'm pretty sure we're just going to have to wait it out. She's gotta sleep someday, right?

Eleanor is loving her solids. She picks up and eats puffs and eats pretty much anything I give her. Avocado was the big exception. She left it on her tongue and cried until I removed it from her mouth. Apparently she's just not going to like it. That's ok, I don't really like avocado either. Since we started solids, she's been refusing the formula when I offer it after nursing. This is a good thing because it means she's filling up and getting enough calories from nursing and eating solids, which is what I hoped would happen. She still gets a bottle in the middle of the night because she usually wakes up immediately after I've pumped (have I shared that on here? I wake up at 11:30 or 12 to pump for Amelia. It's the only time I have a chance to get more than an ounce or two) and it's just easier to give her a bottle then. Her latest stats are 25 inches long and 14lbs 9ozs.

She's not crawling yet, but she does manage to scoot a little bit when properly motivated to reach out for a toy. She just rolls everywhere though. She might not need to learn to crawl because she can just roll! She's laughing more and more. Apparently we just weren't amusing enough before. She's overall a very happy baby and is always making smiley faces and making noises. My favorite is when she smiles while sticking her tongue out-- it's so cute!

Amelia is much closer to crawling. She does what I call the "zombie throw". She will be reaching for a toy and will launch herself forward by pushing off her feet. She'll figure out crawling soon and then I'll be in big trouble. She's also laughing so much at everything. If you start laughing she will usually join you. She's also making a lot of screeching noises and blows raspberries all of the time. Her latest stats are 24 inches long and 13lbs 10ozs.

A couple of weeks ago both girls caught a cold but Amelia developed a wheeze. After going to ER and basically being told it was no big deal (most unhelpful thing ever), my pediatrician gave us a nebulizer and after a breathing treatments she was much better. It was not fun dealing with sick babies but going almost 7 months without catching something else is such a blessing. I'm not eager to do that again though.

She's been putting herself to sleep for naps the past couple of days. I get the room all ready by turning on the noise machine, pulling the curtains, getting her in her sleep sack and then I give her the bottle. After she finishes it when she's drowsy but still awake I put her in her crib and she takes her lovey and drifts off to sleep. She stays sleeping for at least an hour and a half too. It's great. It'll be even greater when Eleanor decides to join her. 

Overall, I'm really loving this age. They're run to be around most of the time and even in the sleep deprivation we survive. Someone asked me how I do it the other day and honestly, I don't know. I just do. I don't have any other option really. Even though I'm exhausted and even though I wish sometimes there were multiples of me or that I could hire a mother's helper... I get through it and remember that often the good moments are much more often than the bad moments. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

6 Months!

Six months feels like a giant milestone to me. Over the last couple of weeks they've exploded in their development. I started giving them some oatmeal (has not gone over well, but we've only tried twice). We moved the crib out of our room and have begun putting them each in their own crib for sleeping (They started rolling into each other and waking one another up). Just so many things happened over the last several weeks that made me pause and think "Gosh! They're changing so fast!" I've definitely had to remember to stop and appreciate the cute things they do because they're moving on to bigger and better things so fast (and I mean that in a good way!).

Both girls are rolling proficiently in both directions. They're talking more and making more noises. They're rolling to get places and to reach toys. They LOVE to just be laid down on their quilt and having free reign to roll and explore all the toys.

A Word About Sleep Training: Admittedly, the babies are not sleeping as well as I would hope, but it seems to be their pattern when they're growing. With every growth spurt and jump in development they regress in their sleeping, partly because they need to eat more, but partly just because they need help learning to go to sleep. We've started implementing some of the No Cry Sleep Solution, but truth be told the strategies in the book aren't anything I wasn't already doing. It is not an overnight fix to our sleep problems, but I think as they grow and get bigger the night waking will end. Many people have suggested that we just let them cry it out because it worked for them. For us, though, crying it out means one twin is waking the other. Then we have two tired and screaming babies. Not fun. Eleanor especially gets VERY worked up when she's upset and all that does is promote stress in her and is not restful. The No Cry Sleep Solution book is big on creating positive sleep associations, unlike cry it out which promotes the association of "I go to sleep by getting very upset". I, personally, feel that the method is not for us. It does work for others and I'm not saying it's a terrible method of sleep training-- it's just not for us and doesn't fit into my philosophy of parenting. And that's ok. What I've learned about any "method" of parenting is simply that you have to do what fits your personality and style of parenting. For me, that's rocking my babies to sleep still. They're still little. :)

Miss Eleanor Jane took a little longer to master rolling from belly to back, but she has gotten quite proficient. Sometimes she still gets stuck on her tummy, but not usually. She loves to roll to reach and grab toys-- even if Amelia is playing with it! Folks, it starts young.

Sophie the Giraffe is one of Eleanor's favorite toys. She isn't teething quite yet, but she is in the stage where everything goes in her mouth. Sophie seems to be what she grabs first and sticks with the longest. She also likes to play with anything she can shake and make noise with. And her feet. She loves to take her socks off and eat them, or in the absence of socks she eats her whole foot.

Ellie Jane (I'm starting to see her as an Ellie. Before now, I just couldn't call her Ellie. It didn't seem to fit but now she's growing into it!) is 12lbs 9ozs and successfully doubled her birth weight by the 6 month mark. yay! She primarily nurses but gets a couple of small supplemental bottles a day. I'll talk more about feeding when we get to Amelia. Eleanor HATES oatmeal. We tried for her first taste on Saturday morning. Sunday morning at the mere sight of the spoon she started crying. Poor girl. I've traumatized her. ;) We'll keep trying until they learn what to do with it. I'm introducing avocado next weekend.

We finally got Eleanor to laugh! It took a lot of work but she finally chuckled. It wasn't ever something I was concerned about but became a challenge that needed to be accomplished, haha. She finally chuckled at her daddy being silly.

Amelia Claire's big update is probably about how we feed her. Nursing increasingly became a big battle ending in tears for us both, even with the supplemental nursing system. When I accidentally dropped the SNS and shattered the bottle, I decided that I wasn't going to fight her any more. I know all the lactivists say babies don't self wean before a year old...blah blah blah. But you know what? I tried to keep going and it just was not the nurturing relationship breastfeeding is supposed to be. It was a battle. I felt like I was wrestling my baby and she wasn't eating enough to grow. I know my supply issues stem from a shallow latch from her that we could never get corrected and I know I fell into some booby traps in the beginning. But I did everything I could to try to salvage the breastfeeding relationship and we just couldn't. I've rented a hospital grade pump and am able to pump about half of her feedings and the other half is formula. I was very upset about this at first and had some big feelings about continuing to nurse Eleanor and not Amelia, but ultimately this is best for her growth and my sanity. 5.5 months is a pretty good run all things considered.
Miss Amelia is 11lbs 6ozs and has been gaining like a champ since we started bottle feeding her. She also doubled her birth weight, but it was technically a few days after the 6 month mark. But it's close enough I say she doubled. ;) Unfortunately, since we began full time bottles she also spits up a lot and has some significant reflux showing up. We're taking her to a GI specialist in April and in the mean time having an Upper GI test done tomorrow. No one thinks there's anything concerning going on, but just wanting to make sure we've ruled out all possibilities. The spitting up has gotten better over the last few days, so I think we're moving past that soon. Please. Baby puke is gross, haha.
Amelia figured out how to roll both directions first and figured out she can roll to get to places first. She likes to wave all sorts of toys around and is also in the stage of eating everything. She likes Sophie, but her FAVORITE things to play with are cloth wipes and burp cloths. I don't know why. But she loves them.

Amelia has also started napping pretty well. She rarely wakes up and needs to be rocked back to sleep and will sometimes sleep for two hours. I do wake her up after it's been 3 hours since she's eaten but I think soon I can start letting her just sleep. She rarely goes over that three hour mark, so it's not really an issue. I'm so happy that she's started napping. Night sleep, though, is another story. She wakes up every three to four hours, but that's probably due to her 6 month growth spurt.

I feel like this update was so long! So much has happened in the last month. If you want to see more pics of the girls, I share a lot of them on instagram. Follow me: zilydal.