Category Archives: Infants

T is for Tedious

In my spare moments when the kids are sleeping, I’m plodding my way through the bins of baby clothes and tagging them for my twin club’s fall sale.  It’s hideously tedious work. Pick up an item, write my name, a description, the size, and a price on the tag… twice.  Cap the marker so I don’t stain my guest bed’s comforter, jab the super-sharp tagging gun into the cloth.  Fold and put in appropriate bin.  REPEAT.  AGAIN. AND AGAIN.  I’ve got two diaper boxes and one big rubbermaid container filled already, it has to be at least 100 individual items so far.

And I still need to go through the preemie-to-3-month box, and then do a sweep through the drawers and closets for the stragglers.  And even that hasn’t started on the larger items like one of the carseats, a Baby Bjorn, two exersaucers, and various assorted other baby stuff around the house.  It’s a little overwhelming, and I’m glad there’s still two more weeks until the sale.

It feels a little gluttonous, sorting through all of these clothes.  The sheer volume is amazing, and it’s sad, bordering on embarrasing, how many things were never worn at all, or only worn once.  So many were gifts from even before the kids were born, and the sizes and seasons just ended up being wrong (tricky to estimate correctly, since Rebecca is always a size “behind”).  But I’m pricing them pretty cheap (most shirts and pants are $1.00), and I hope some other family can get good use out of them.  I’m not exactly going into the sale with the hopes of bringing home big bucks.  I don’t feel the universe owes me some refund when I’m done with the clothes that we bought.  But hey, if I can make a few dollars here and there, why not? It can go towards this year’s fall/winter wardrobe, right?

I’ve come across a few items that have made me a little bit sentimental, but I may yet still stick a tag on ’em and sell them.  They’re cute, I remember the kids wearing them, but why would I keep them?  We’ll see.  I’ll go through the boxes again before the sale just in case there’s some I want to keep at the last minute.

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Filed under Infants, Newborns, Reminiscing, Secret society of twin moms, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff

Twelve-month stats

This morning was our 12-month well-baby appointment.  Thankfully, M was able to come with me, since it involved two shots and a finger stick (plus, you know, two wriggly babies missing their morning nap).  Both are doing well, though neither gained as much weight as I might have guessed (both were up about a pound and a half in 3 months).  Daniel was 21lb14oz and 29.25″ long, which is about 45th percentile for both.  Rebecca was 17lb10oz and 28.5″ long, which is around the 4th or 5th percentile for weight and the 28th for length.  They were otherwise pronounced A-OK by our beloved pediatrician.

Though neither of them are big babies, it’s still amazing to me how much they’ve grown in a year.

Daniel, impossibly small (and we thought he was so big, compared to Rebecca), at one week old.

Daniel, impossibly small (and we thought he was so big, compared to Rebecca), at one week old.

Daniel gained 15 pounds, twelve ounces, since his birth weight, and grew 11-12 inches in length.  He has eight teeth, can almost stand on his own, walks with help, “talks” constantly (just not in English), and waves at everyone (or, possibly, is making the sign for “light”, it’s a little unclear).

My big boy, on the day before his first birthday.

My big boy, on the day before his first birthday.

He loves strawberries and blueberries and bananas and waffles and cheese and tortellini with pesto.  He’ll at least try almost anything, though he’s getting into the unfortunate habit of purposefully dropping stuff over the side of his high chair.  He loves to ride on the red and blue car we got from Snick, or even laugh when he sees his sister get a ride.  He laughs at everyone. People who see him ask me, “is he always this smiley?” Not really, but he puts on a good show! He does not especially like to go down for naps, but sleeps very well overnight and sucks on the corner of the blanket his grandmother made for him.  He loves to shake toys, and insists the dog lick him right in the face.  Though he can still be fussy and whiny at times, he really is just my sweet, sweet boy.

Rebecca gained thirteen pounds, two ounces in the first year,

Teeny tiny Rebecca, 10 days old

Teeny tiny Rebecca, 10 days old

nearly quadrupuling her birthweight, and also grew 11-12 inches.  She has six teeth, the four top all sprouted in the last month.  She is trying hard to stand up without even pulling on something, and is very purposeful in her direction when walking with assistance.  She will turn you to wherever she wants to go.  While pretty independent and even-tempered, she has started to throw honest-to-goodness kicking-and-screaming temper tantrums.  Usually if she wants to walk but you aren’t fast enough to get off the couch and help her.  She chit-chats and shrieks a lot, and I officially deem her first word to be “cracker.”  She even did it spontaneously at the doctor’s office this morning when she saw the snack cup in my purse.  She eats like a bird much of the time, and is wary of new flavors and textures.  She does seem to enjoy my new “Chicken a la Mommy,” though (cut up leftover chicken thrown in the microwave with cheese – my kids are the anti-Kosher).  While at home she can be a total ham and very silly and smiley, she’s not as quick to smile for strangers.  The best word for her, we’ve decided, is “scamp.”  She’s a little scamp.

Rebecca at one year, hanging on the couch with the dog (having stolen her toy, of course).

Rebecca at one year, hanging on the couch with the dog (having stolen her toy, of course).

Or imp, if you prefer.  She’s a much better sleeper than back in the 45-minute-nap days, but still wakes up and cries for a few seconds or a minute or two in the middle of the night.  Can’t tell why, but I’m experimenting with leaving a nightlight on in their very dark room.  When playing, she likes to push things around the room on her knees (diaper surfing was popular while on vacation), and loves nothing more than chasing the dog, stealing her toys, and then offering the toys back to the dog.  She is a very funny girl.  Quite the comedienne.

It really is amazing how much has changed in the last year.  I don’t really stop and think about it that much, or wax poetic about how my life has changed.  Despite this whole blogging thing, that’s not exactly my style.  That was always the case, I suppose, but being a mom of two babies has made me even more pragmatic.  I just roll with things and deal with them, and plan as best I can.

Wait, did I say babies?  Well, they aren’t really babies anymore, are they?  Yikes!  Toddlers!  Sure, they aren’t walking yet, but they sure don’t seem like little infants anymore, either.  Amazing, these two little people who used to just be mouths screaming for more formula.  Though it obviously hasn’t happened overnight, I do think that the one-year point marks a notable shift in parenting, too.  The first year, though there are enormous changes in all areas of development, feels like it has largely been about “taking care” of them.  Making sure they eat and sleep and have clean diapers.  Certainly it’s more fun than just that, but a lot of the things they learn in the first year are so basically fundamental that you don’t sit and say “I’m going to teach you to trust today!”  “Let’s spend an hour working on rolling over!”  There are exceptions, of course, but a lot of these things just seem to happen.

Not so much anymore.  Now it’s time to really teach them things.  Like not throwing food off the high chair, for one. But things like words and walking and counting and games and jokes and rules.  We’ve made it through a lot of the fundamentals (eating, sitting, crawling), now it’s on to bigger and better.

Buckle your seatbelts.  I have a feeling it’s about to get exciting (and scary!).

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Filed under Birthdays, Child Development, Infants, Pediatrician appointments, Toddlers

Trip Recap, Part 4 – The Family Reunion

I swear, this is the last trip recap you’ll hear!  I know, it’s fascinating…. but I wanted to record it for posterity before I completely forget and there’s a million other things to write about.

Anyways, the final weekend of the big trip to the Midwest involved a two-hour drive to sorta-Central Illinois for my dad’s family reunion.  It has happened every year for the last 30+ years, and it only gets bigger.  This year, for instance, there were four kids under 18 months, and that doesn’t even count my new niece, who was not in attendance.  And two of my cousins are pregnant, so there’s a few more for next year.  I believe my cousin Jenny’s five-month-old daughter was the one who put it over the edge, so that generation (my kids’) now outnumbers my own in our family.

The kids did great on the drive. We left at afternoon nap time, and they slept pretty much the entire drive. Yay!  Got there and it was people galore, jumping in the pool, little kids running everywhere, firing up the big grill for dinner. The bugs at night were awful, but because the baby monitor didn’t reach far enough to go hang out with everyone else, M and I were totally lame and went to bed super early.  My aunts and uncles were apparently looking for more wine by 11:30pm…

Daniel (far left) chats it up with three of his 2nd cousins (including the only other set of twins in the family).

Daniel (far left) chats it up with three of his 2nd cousins (including the only other set of twins in the family, who are almost exactly two years older than mine).

Rebecca is just glad Daddy has joined us.

Rebecca is just glad Daddy has joined us. It was a long 10 days away from him.

Saturday morning of reunion weekend is all about games, especially for the kids.  I remember growing up playing Bozo buckets and all variety of things.  This year, the “theme” of the reunion was baseball, and each family group (i.e. my dad and his siblings) was supposed to come up with a game.  They often involve throwing things at someone, or general mess and/or embarrassment.  Good times!  The rest of the day is pretty much a blur of chlorine, cheap beer, Red Vines vs. Twizzlers, and just hanging out with cousins.  The nighttime entertainment is the “Talent(less) Show,” which is mostly a chance for the little kids to get up and do somersaults and sing songs, and for the adults to cheer wildly.  It was after D&R’s bedtime… maybe next year.

The kids rock their White Sox outfits.  (Notice the completed quilts they're sitting on?!)

The kids rock their White Sox outfits. (Notice the completed quilts they're sitting on?!)

because really, how often do you get to throw stuff at your father-in-law's head?

The games: because really, how often do you get to throw stuff at your father-in-law's head?

There are enough people in the family that we've developed an elaborate numbering system so you know how everyone is related. Then we printed them on shirts, just for kicks.  Daniel is 5.1.1 (first child of the first child of the 5th child).

There are enough people in the family that we've developed an elaborate numbering system so you know how everyone is related. Then we printed them on shirts, just for kicks. Daniel is 5.1.1 (first child of the first child of the 5th child).

Rebecca likes her snacks spicy.

Rebecca likes her snacks spicy.

They both liked getting in and out of the pool.

They both liked getting in and out of the pool.

Sunday started with a threat of rain, but nothing could put a damper on the day: it was Daniel & Rebecca’s first birthday!  And so many family members to celebrate with. We got a cake to share with everyone, and made a big old mess before it was time to pack the car and head back to my dad’s house before going to the airport and finally going home after our long trip.  Sadly, our flight was delayed by about an hour, and we didn’t get all the way home until nearly midnight.  But with only minor exceptions, both kids proved stellar travelers, and I count the whole shebang as a big success.

Birthday breakfast, outside but covered in case of rain.

Birthday breakfast, outside but covered in case of rain.

Daddy and his birthday babies!

Daddy and his birthday babies!

Not real sure about this wrapping paper thing...

Not real sure about this wrapping paper thing...

Aww yeah, the messy cake picture.  Rebecca went to town and rubbed it in her hair.  Daniel was surprisingly more cautious.

Aww yeah, the messy cake picture. Rebecca went to town and rubbed it in her hair. Daniel was surprisingly more cautious.

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Filed under Birthdays, Family, Infants, Travel

Trip Recap, Part 3 – back to Grandpa’s house

See the first parts of the story here and here.

The first week of the trip under our belts, we were back at my dad’s house for a few days.  We pretty much crammed in visitors at every opportunity.  I have a lot of family and old friends in the area, and I thought a 12-day trip would make it easy to see them all at a leisurely pace, but not so much.

Wednesday was something of a recovery day, so we didn’t do too much.  We hit the grocery store so I could cook my parents dinner for once, and my dad and stepmom got a kick out of having the kids in the carts.  We made use of the ol’ swim diapers and took a dip in the pool in the afternoon (I wouldn’t want one in my own yard, but it sure was nice to have access to my dad’s!), and then got dressed and went to visit the optometrist.  No, not to get the kids’ eyes checked.  The optometrist around the corner from my dad’s house is a delightful woman who is a friend of the family, as well as a mentor to my stepsister, who is now halfway through optometry school.  Anyways, we had to go say hi.  And then, well, the ice cream shop was right there across the street… ah, why not!

Daniel rocks Grandpa's sunglasses. Bet the prescription felt weird to him...

Daniel rocks Grandpa's sunglasses. Bet the prescription felt weird to him...

Rebecca takes her ice cream very seriously.

Rebecca takes her ice cream very seriously.

Daniel is excited for the next bite!

Daniel is excited for the next bite!

Thursday was go-go-go, see as many people as possible.  We took our early-morning walk to the park and met up with my aunt and cousin (no extra people showed up this time).  After the morning nap, we drove with Gramps to the golf club to meet my stepmom for lunch.  And when we got home, my very good friend from college came over with her 3-year-old son and we all played in the pool.  My kids had a really short afternoon nap, so when the crabbies took over at about 4pm, I set out on a nice long walk – where I ran into another family friend!  Everyone wanted to lay eyes on the kiddos.

Rebecca found a shovel at the park.

Rebecca found a shovel at the park.

Rebecca thinks my stepmom is super funny at our fancy lunch.

Rebecca thinks my stepmom is super funny at our fancy lunch.

Daniel and his big three-year-old buddy.

Daniel and his big three-year-old buddy.

Friday was a great day: M arrived!  Hooray!  We missed him so much, and he was terribly lonely without the kids (and me, I suppose, but mostly the kids!).  His flight came in Friday morning, and we immediately packed everything back into the car, because it was time for one last adventure: the family reunion!

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Filed under Family, Infants, Travel

Trip Recap, Part 1 – Grandpa’s house

[Sucky day update: the city is attempting to repair the broken sewage pipe, or at least making a good show of tearing up the street in front of my driveway. M just informed me that the city just cracked the water line instead of the sewer line, and haven’t even dug in the right place yet. Nice. Kids are still sick and crabby.  Looks like we’re staying at the hotel again tonight, now that we have no running water.]

But now, on to the vacation recap before I forget it all!

Phase 1 of the Great Midwest Trip was a few days at my dad’s house outside of Chicago.  As M has limited vacation days, he couldn’t come with for the whole 12-day adventure. Luckily, my dad jumps at the chance to do anything that involves grandkids, so he flew out Tuesday morning (for a “meeting with the Boston office”), and accompanied us on the flight to O’Hare on Wednesday morning.  It was, as they say out here, wicked early.  But the kids did great, no major meltdowns on the plane.  Hooray!

Upon arrival, we took them to a favorite haunt for lunch, and spent much of the rest of the day just hanging out with my dad and stepmom (and their dog, whom the kids loved).

An aside on “stuff.”  My dad is excited about being a grandparent, and extremely generous.  So he takes great delight in completely outfitting his house as though the grandkids live there, and I’m not going to complain.  The nursery was already set up from our last visit, complete with my dad’s beloved video monitors (having my plain old audio ones freaks him out).  I really hated those things back when the kids were 4.5 months old.  Now, I found them fascinating.  To see them walking around their cribs, or when they wake up from a nap, sitting quietly and chewing on their blankets for a while.  I may actually consider getting them at some point.  Additionally, my dad kindly picked up a double stroller to keep at the house so we didn’t have to bring ours.  He got the Baby Trend Expedition.  I was intrigued, because in general structure it was very similar to my Bob Revolution Duallie, but significantly less expensive.  I was prepared to kick myself for spending an arm and a leg and traveling across half of Massachusetts to get mine.  But my pride in my decision is intact.  The Expedition was great to have, but it was no Bob.  Didn’t push or steer nearly as easily, and while it had a couple of handy features for carrying when folded, it just wasn’t as nice.

Anyways, back to the vaca.

Thursday was a trip downtown to my dad’s office.  It’s his company, and other family employees include my brother, my stepsister’s boyfriend, and three of my cousins.  It was like a pre-family reunion.  Oh, and I worked there for a few summers, too, so plenty of old coworkers stopped by the conference room when they heard there were babies around.

Kiddos with my cousin KC.

Kiddos with my cousin KC.

"Shh, Uncle J, I'm trying to watch Barack's speech on your laptop."

"Shh, Uncle J, I'm trying to watch Barack's speech on your laptop."

My brother and me with the kiddos in the conference room.

My brother and me with the kiddos in the conference room.

Later that day, we hit Grandpa’s pool to mitigate the effects of a crappy/missed afternoon nap.

And suddenly decided that assisted walking is actually really fun!

Friday was a busy day, fitting in as much socializing as possible before we hit the road for Wisconsin.  We met a college friend of mine for lunch, which was great to catch up.  Then, after the PM nap, we met my grandma at the park.  Of course, this being the town where my whole family lives, it didn’t stop there.  My aunt had heard we’d be there, so she pulled up a few minutes later.  Then my dad clearly couldn’t stand to be away from them, so he pulled up on the motorcycle.  Then my sister-in-law rode by on a bike she was returning to my mom’s house (which is a block away), and my brother drove up, since he was on his way to meet us before our big drive. It was a party, clearly.  Anyways, we were at the park for well over an hour, which the kids seemed to enjoy.  But we had to get back to dad’s house for dinner, and then pack it up in the van for the long drive to Wisconsin.  Three adults, two kids, and an old dog with a recurring bladder infection on a six-plus-hour drive in the middle of nowhere.  Wohoo!

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Filed under Family, Infants, Photos, Travel

Chair pictures, the first year

This is at least as much for myself, to see these chair pictures all lined up.  They’re getting harder and harder to take, so I may go to every 3 months or so from now on, but I’m glad I did as much as I did for the first year. I didn’t start taking them until they were 3 months old, unfortunately, but it’s still an amazing progression to see:

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Filed under Child Development, Infants, Photos

Birthday Countdown – Month 12

July 2008

I blink, and the summer is halfway over.  This last month, the kids have become such little people.  Though there are no clear or obvious “words,” there’s a lot of talking going on.  Different sounds, intonations, expressions.  Lots of opinions, lots of thinking and problem-solving.  Opening and closing doors, moving that pesky gate that stands between you and the cable modem.  Climbing the stairs, climbing everything.  Not super interested in walking, but occasionally standing unassisted for a second or two before carefully sitting back down, and crawling as fast as you can to wherever I’ve hidden the TV remote.  Chasing the dog, almost playing tug with her.

Rebecca in the kiddie pool on a hot day

Rebecca in the kiddie pool on a hot day

Daniel tests the water.

Daniel tests the water.

Rebecca cleans up after herself.

Rebecca cleans up after herself.

Daniel tries to bust out of "baby jail."

Daniel tries to bust out of "baby jail."

Oh dear, look what they can do!

Oh dear, look what they can do!

Out to lunch...

Out to lunch...

My little boy, nearly a year old.

My little boy, nearly a year old.

Rebecca vs. Winnie, who gets the toy?

Rebecca vs. Winnie, who gets the toy?

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Filed under Birthdays, Infants, Reminiscing