Ira & Roman are four months old today! This month they have transitioned from being two fragile-ish newborns to being two solid, roly-poly babies. Thy are bright-eyed, chatty, smiley, chubby little baby bears and I could not be loving them more!
While I'm still busy with them, I've been getting back into old routines again because they are now content to sit in their bouncy chairs or lay on the play-mat to take in the world. With my newly freed-up hands I can go back to doing things like cooking respectable meals and cleaning the bathroom beyond a quick clorox wipe down. It feels so good! I find satisfaction in cooking and baking and keeping my house; I'm very happy to be back at it again. Arie loves to join me in the kitchen- especially when chocolate chips are involved- so it has been nice for him to get back in there with me too!
The twins are sleeping great. They go to bed around 9pm now and more than half the time one of them will sleep until 6 or 7am! The other half they wake up once, usually right at 3am. Sometimes they both sleep through the night on the same night which means I get to sleep through the night too! The first time I slept through the night since they were born was when we were visiting my parents in early August. My mom told me I should lay down and take a picture with a milestone card just like I did for the boys! Ha! When the boys do get up they usually only need to be nursed and quickly go back to sleep so I feel great these days. Still tired but not exhausted anymore. The difference between getting up once at night versus twice is huge. The once-per-night wake up feels indefinitely sustainable to me with a hot cup of coffee in the morning.
To tell you the truth, a part of me cherishes those times when I can hold one of my babies close in the quiet of the nursery, rocking smoothly in our comfy chair and feeling the rise and fall of his small belly against my own. When I was pregnant another mom told me that she missed those middle-of-the-night nursing sessions. I did not understand her feelings then, but I sure do now. It's such a tender and peaceful time. While I certainly love the nights I sleep through, I don't wish away the ones when I'm up. I know they will end all too soon.
Both boys are deliriously happy in the morning. When they see me coming into the nursery their cries turn to happy shrieks and their little legs start kicking away. After I feed them, they lay on the nursing pillow cooing and smiling up at me. I swear they are almost turning me into a morning person which borders on miraculous.
I've just begun the process of getting them napping in their cribs on a schedule which I'm hoping will fall into place by the time Arie goes back to school after Labor Day. (The nap routine will have to revolve around Arie's school pick up mid-afternoon.) Ira took a two hour nap last week which was the longest daytime stretch either of them has ever done! Usually they do about 40 minutes - an hour. If you'd like to share, I'd love to hear what sort of nap schedule your 4-6 month old is/was doing!
Going to bed, the twins act as different as they look. I can usually put Roman in his crib sleepy but awake and he will just suck on his pacifier and look around until he falls asleep.
Ira, on the other hand, refuses a pacifier and will begin to cry if he even senses you are about to bend over his crib. He has to be very, very sleepy before he will relinquish his determination to stay awake and in Mama's arms. I now know exactly where every sneaky floor board is between his crib and the staircase. I have also reached ninja status in my ability to transfer him from arms to his mattress. Ninja status.
Speaking of ninjas, Roman and Ira are both learning to use their hands. Ira still mostly bats at things and Roman has begun to grasp and feel his toys. It is almost embarrassing how exciting it is for me to watch them exploring their bodies and their worlds. I cannot tell you how many times I have interrupted my husband by saying something like, "OH MY WORD!!!!! ROMAN IS TOUCHING THE MONKEY ON THE PLAY MAT! Look John! Look! Why aren'y you looking John!!!?!? QUICK BEFORE HE MOVES HIS HAND! .... OH YOU MISSED IT! You missed it! You have to look IMMEDIATELY when I tell you! Blerg. Next time look right away."
Ira and Roman are both talking a ton these days! Ira has all sorts of expression in both his voice and his face. He is the most vocal one of the two. I think I am going to have a little chatter box on my hands when he learns to talk. Finally someone for my older chatter box to talk to! Or maybe they will always be trying to talk over one another. I guess we will see!
In either case, I think Roman will be a good listener. He has become a very content baby, happy to look around and take in his world. He has a softer voice, gentle and adorable as well as a burst-y happy shriek that comes out when he's really in a good mood. Between the two of them our house is brimming with happy baby noises! I've found myself singing a lot more lately and I think it's just their contagious joy catching on.
Breastfeeding continues to go well and the babies are growing. After our vacation in late July, Ira refused to take the bottle we had been offering before bed; I felt like pumping for just one bottle for Roman wasn't worth the time I was spending pumping, washing and sterilizing parts, and washing and sterilizing bottles so finally put my pump away! Both babies have been nursing well. Ira is weighing in at 13lbs even while Roman tips the scale at 15lbs 8oz! Ira's weight puts him in the 6th percentile for actual age and the 33rd percentile for adjusted age. Roman is in the 51st percentile for actual age and the 87th for adjusted! My big boy! No wonder I'm so hungry all the time.
One thing of note this month is that I think I'm starting to see the twins' eyes change color. Ira has a brown streak in the top of his right eye while the bottom of Roman's right eye is starting to look a little greenish to me. I've read that baby's eyes can change anytime in the first year. While Roman's eyes may remain blue with just a more greenish hue, my guess would be that the undoubtedly brown streak in Ira's eyes is the beginning of his changing fully brown! With how much he already looks like his big brother Arie it would be fun for them to have the same eye color too! When did your baby's eyes change color?
A few of you have asked for an update on Arie! Arie is six now and continues to be a very happy, kind, and creative little boy. His favorite things to do are art projects and playing with legos. After doing a year of developmental kindergarten last year, he will start a Montessori based kindergarten program in the fall. He is starting to read and has begun to show talents and interest in math. As a toddler he always gravitated to toys that had some kind of a puzzle or mechanical component so I can't say I'm surprised to see how much he likes math. (Although it should be interesting to see how long I can keep up with this interest- helping him with homework and such- since math was always my worst subject in school. Proudly the only second grader to never get a gold star on the math minutes "perfect score" chart.) Combining his interest in math and art I wonder if he will be an engineer when he grows up! My dad started off his career in engineering (before moving to IT) and Arie's face absolutely lit up when Grampi described the way he used to draw pictures of offices and towers and figure out how to build them. It's fun to nurture Arie's interests!
He did two weeks of Science Camp this summer along with a week of swimming lessons and two weeks of vacation. That kept him happy and occupied while I was super busy with the babies. We are closing out summer with quieter days and school will be a welcomed change by the time it gets here! Arie already chose his backpack (royal blue, emphasis on the royal) and matching lunch pail. He is nervous about the first day but since he is returning to the same school I know he will quickly adjust and remember how much he loves it! I'm excited to see how he will learn and grow this year!
Being a big brother seems to have come naturally to Arie. At first he sort of just accepted that the babies were in our lives, but once they started smiling and responding to him he began to love his big brother role a whole lot more. He likes to sing and dance in front of them to make them giggle and smile. When they cry he is the first to check if they want their pacifier or rock their bouncy chairs. He is exceptionally patient with me and John, understanding that the babies' need to nurse or have a diaper change often means he has to wait for our attention. The other day the babies both began to cry while I finished a chore in the kitchen and he offered to take over the housework to I could tend to his brothers because, "the babies need you Mom!" I'm so proud of my thoughtful little boy.
All for now!