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Friday, October 28, 2011

Flashback Friday: Halloween 2010

These are pictures from last year before we went to one of Chad's coworkers' Halloween parties.  Chad was a "blind ref" and Chloe, Brady, and I went as a pumpkin!  I think I was about 23 or 24 weeks pregnant with the babies in these pictures.  My, how the times have changed!  Can't wait to post pictures later next week of Chloe and Brady in their Halloween costumes this year!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Food for Thought

We have incorporated several changes into feeding times, and it is exciting to see the new options the babies have in terms of eating.  One big recent change is the addition of our new high chairs

Enjoying our new high chairs!

If you are in the market for a high chair, I would recommend this one.  It isn't too big, rolls around (but also has the option to lock the wheels), has several height settings, a five point harness for safety, easy adjustable trays in both snack and dinner size, and it is a very neutral color.  I would watch the price on Amazon because we looked at Babies R Us ($179) but ended up getting them on Amazon on sale one day for $135!  Also it comes with a booster seat that will last them well into toddlerhood. 

Since we use these high chairs on the 2nd floor during most of the days' feedings, we were able to move the old high chairs (compact space savers) up to the nursery for the first feeding of the day.  This is nice because now that we have chairs up there we can also do a solid at the first feeding (usually yogurt).  

Old high chairs in the nursery now (they even match the wall color!)

Another new thing I have been trying to implement for some time is the baby safe feeder.  This is a product that has a mesh net secured by a handle that allows babies to safely feed themselves.  You can put a variety of frozen or fresh fruits and vegetables in the feeder to allow your baby to begin getting used to the taste and textures of food that is not pureed.  I loved this product in theory, but I had a terrible time trying to get the babies to actually use it.  I tried frozen blueberries (very messy by the way), frozen pineapple, fresh cucumber, fresh apple, and in a moment of desperation, even baby puffs to try and get their interest.  Neither baby had any use for the baby safe feeder except to bang it against their tray.  UNTIL the other day when I decided to try bananas since that is a familiar taste to them.  This was going to be my last ditch effort before giving up.  Well, wouldn't you know it?  Chloe LOVES eating bananas from the baby safe feeder!  She had three helpings yesterday.  I am going to try and find other fruits with a similar texture to try for her next (I am thinking kiwi).  Here is a video of Chloe actually enjoying the baby safe feeder:

Chloe is Bananas for Bananas!

Another new facet to feeding time has been the addition of meats.  This has also been a bit of a struggle.  The babies have definitely not warmed up to meats yet.  They have rejected beef with gravy, chicken noodle soup, and turkey with sweet potatoes.  They make faces and gag when we try to feed them meats.  We did find ONE meat that they love and will eat without any problems, and that is chicken and apples.  This sounds gross to me personally, but I think they are used to the taste of apples and so they accept it.  Again, it just took something familiar mixed with something new in order to get their acquiescence.  So, in terms of meat we are giving them some time to get used to the idea and eating a lot of chicken and apples for now. 

One great thing is that they are getting an amazing variety of fruits and vegetables in the Stage 2 foods, and a lot of these food options are organic and mix whole grains, oats, rice cereal, granola, and oatmeal in with the food.  They have also come out with more varieties of yogurt including apple cinnamon with whole grains (their favorite!) and blueberry with whole grains.  In terms of finger food they love any flavor of puffs and a new thing they enjoy are yogurt melts.  I like these items for finger food because they are designed to melt in their mouths and I don't have to worry about a choking hazard.  

The last new thing we've been working on in terms of eating is learning to drink from a straw.  We have been using these cups and I like them a lot.  We are still working on this, but we had a breakthrough today with Chloe when she sipped from her straw by herself several times today.  I think she has the hang of it!  

Sipping from a straw!

That is pretty much it for today.  One last thing I wanted to mention is that all the pictures (except one) and the video were taken with my new Iphone 4S.  I have never had a smart phone before but I seriously love my new phone and I am so pleased at how easy it is to use to send/receive/take pictures and videos.  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dewberry Farm

Today we took the babies to a second farm to see if we could have better luck picking a pumpkin from a field.  We went to Dewberry Farm and it was a perfect place for a fall pumpkin picking outing!  I imagine next year the babies will have a TON of fun when they can run around and play. 

Here are some of our favorite pictures from today:

  Just an interesting building

A really fun looking bouncy thing

Some kind of fun race track

Really cool looking slide

We are on our way!

My favorite picture of Chad with the babies

Me and the babies

Fun photo ops with Chloe and Chad

Chloe in the flower field

This looks like it could be from 1900 to me!

Now THIS is what I call a pumpkin patch! 

Surrounded by pumpkins!

Probably my favorite picture of the babies and pumpkins

The stroller, not just for babies, but also useful for pumpkin storage!

Goofin' Around

Another attempt at a family picture

We loved Dewberry Farm and I would recommend it to anyone who lived in the area!  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Old MacDonald's Farm

Yesterday we went to a nearby "farm" with the babies and our good friends the Dermody family.  Natalie and Jamie are the parents of boy/girl twins Sam and Abby, who are almost a year and a half old!  We had a lot of fun although Old MacDonald's farm wasn't quite what I was expecting.  I imagined more of a farm in the sense of a big open field with lots of pumpkins to choose from, and this place was more of a petting zoo with a small area for pumpkins.

All of the babies did get to see a lot of animals and we did get quite a few fun pictures!

 Ready to go!

The Dermody Family

The farm had a little pond and a train 

It was hot!  Only in Texas do you go to pick pumpkins in almost 90 degree heat!  

This llama was cracking me up 

Brady and Chad

A cow

The farm had a giant pile of sand for kids to play in, lucky for us that is a few years off

Me and Brady

Our family picture

Probably my favorite picture of the day, Chloe laughing over Chad's shoulder

The Dermody family picture gives me hope that one day everyone will look in the same direction!

The overalls Brady wore were Chad's when he was a baby!  Sporting vintage clothes circa 1982!

Although we didn't pick pumpkins from a field, we had a very fun Saturday with our good friends!  

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Little Talker in her Walker

I often take little videos of the babies during the day when something funny or interesting is happening.  It is a good way to show Chad what goes on while he is at work.  Here is a video of Chloe in the kitchen, talking/gesturing in her walker.  She loves to scoot around in the walker and chatter to herself.  My favorite thing about it is that she always makes such emphatic hand gestures.  That little lady has such a charming personality.  What a precious girl!

As I told Chad, this is a look at one minute of my (usually about 9 hour) day while Chad is at work.   It is a busy, noisy, and sometimes crazy day but I am loving every minute

"Look Mom, I'm helping with the laundry!"

So proud of the shirt she picked out of the clean clothes basket.  If you look closely you can also see her two bottom teeth!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today was my 26th birthday.  It was also the day Chad and I went to my doctor's office and found out we were expecting a boy and a girl!  At the time I thought that was probably the most exciting birthday I would ever have.

Brady aka "Twin A" on 10/11/2010

I think this is Brady, even though it isn't labeled Twin A, because he was the easiest to get a clear profile of.  Chloe always had her hands or legs in a strange position so we hardly ever got to see a good profile of her.

Although last year's birthday was one I will always remember, I realized something today (my 27th birthday).  Now I am so lucky because this year I actually get to spend my birthday with Chad and these amazing babies! 

Here is a video of the babies from today, laughing/talking to one another:

What a difference a year makes, ha ha!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday: Sometimes All We Really DO Need is Love...

Recently while we've been out and about we've received a few comments from strangers about how well behaved and generally happy the babies seem.  They often add that it must be related to the fact that they know they are loved.  Since it has happened several times in different encounters over the past couple of weeks, it has been on my mind.  What a simple idea! 

As parents Chad and I spend a lot of time thinking about how we can improve Brady and Chloe's lives.  We often ask ourselves, should we do things this way or do they need this toy or would it be better if they had more or less of this or that?  Sometimes we get bogged down in the "right way" to do things or we imagine that the babies "have to have" a certain object or they won't be happy.  Of course when you take a step back and examine that idea, you realize how ridiculous that is. 

At this stage, Chloe and Brady will not be any the wiser if they do not have the newest baby gadget, but I know without question they need the unconditional love of their parents.  Of course this is something I never spent a lot of time dwelling on, because the love of a parent for a child is something that is given freely, naturally, and absolutely unconditionally. 

What an awesome concept...the main thing the babies need from us as parents is something that is completely effortless for us to give them...our love!  So I think I am going to try and worry less over whether or not they need x,y, and z and instead give them more hugs and smooches (if that's possible!). 

Brady and Chloe, we love you always, always, always! 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cause and Effect (Video in Post)

As I mentioned in my last post, the babies' playtimes have definitely become more sophisticated.  I recently read that at this age, babies are exploring the relationship of cause and effect.  I have tried to integrate some new toys that facilitate and encourage their exploration. 

After reading some reviews on Amazon, I bought this toy for the babies.  I really like it for several reasons: it doesn't require any batteries, it doesn't light up or make any obnoxious electronic sounds, the gears mix and match with other Playskool "gear" toys, and the babies love the gears.  Up until this point they were only interested in the gears as separate toys and not as a unit with the caterpillar.  If the gears are on the caterpillar and you move him back and forth using the handle, the gears go around and around. 

Today, Chloe discovered how to move the caterpillar back and forth and watch the gears move.  I feel like a crazy person for being so proud of her, but I am!  I guess it is the small things that make the stay at home mother's day a success.  I can just imagine my conversation with Chad now, Chad: "How was your day?",  Me: "Great!  Chloe moved the caterpillar back and forth!"....ha ha! 

Here is a video of Chloe doing this:  (please excuse my shaky videotaping skills, Brady was on my knee)


Have a great Monday everyone! 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Milestone Mania!

I have meant to do a post updating the recent progress the babies have made ever since we got home from our trip.  They are passing milestones faster than I can record them.  For my own record, I better write the ones I can remember down before any more time passes and I forget!  WARNING:  This is long, just scroll to the bottom if you are interested in pictures. 

Eating:  The babies have left stage one foods behind and are now eating solely stage two foods.  This means fruits and vegetables that have more than one ingredient.  They have really been enjoying the variety!  Some examples of foods they eat now are:  Corn and Sweet Potatoes, Banana Orange Medley, Pear Cinnamon and Oatmeal, Apple Mango and Rice Cereal, Mixed Vegetables, Apricot with Mixed Fruit, etc.  We have also introduced yogurt into the babies' diet which they LOVE and eat every morning with breakfast.  We now eat solids three times a day following this pattern: 

6 AM: 6 ounces formula (Chloe) and 8 ounces formula (Brady)
9 AM: 4 ounces formula and yogurt (both babies)
12 PM: 6 ounces formula (both babies)
3 PM: 4 ounces formula and a vegetable (both babies)
6 PM: 6 ounces formula and a fruit mixed with oatmeal or rice cereal (both babies)

We have also switched from level 2 bottle nipples to level 3 bottle nipples for a much faster feeding time!  In terms of snacks we recently introduced juice on occasion in sippy cups and baby puffs.  The babies practice holding their own sippy cup and picking up the puffs to feed themselves. 

Our pediatrician said that they can start to eat pureed meats at 8 months old, so we look forward to introducing chicken, turkey, and beef in a couple of weeks! 

Teething:  Brady broke his first tooth (bottom front) at 6 1/2 months old, a week before our trip, and broke the second bottom front tooth while we were on the trip.  He now has his two bottom front teeth.  Chloe started to break both of her bottom front teeth (at the same time!) at a little over 7 months old.  They are still in the process of coming through, but I believe they will be fully through in another week.  So each baby now has two teeth!  

Talking: Both babies can say their consonant sounds "da", "ma", and "ba".  They have been able to do this for several weeks, not sure exactly when it started.  Chloe is still our chatter box and favors the sound "da da" but she will make varied sounds in general a good portion of the day.  Brady can say all his consonant sounds too but is not as frequent of a talker as Chloe. 

Sitting:  Brady started to sit up on his own in early September when we were on our trip home.  Chloe started to sit up by herself shortly after we returned home.  This has opened up a whole new world for us as well as the babies.  Now they are able to sit on a blanket on the floor and play with their toys on their own.  We were also able to take them out in their stroller strapped in without their carseats!  They now can sit in high chairs at restaurants (no more lugging heavy car seats inside!).  We took them out grocery shopping with them sitting up in the grocery cart for the first time today!  We used to have to take the stroller in with us.  It was a lot of fun for them to be able to sit up and look around at everything and everyone.  We now even do storytime with them sitting up on the bed! 

Playing:  Now that they can sit up, a funny thing has happened at playtime.  The babies play!  Before, playtime was sort of a passive activity for the babies.  They watched me interact with the toys and would occasionally shake a rattle or try to put something in their mouths.  Now, they do not need me to demonstrate how to play, they actively reach for toys and come up with ways to play with them on their own.  It is the most adorable thing to watch as you can see the little lightbulbs going off in their heads, "if I do this, than that happens!". 

Whew!  Glad to finally get that all down!  Congrats to you if you made it this far!  Now for some pictures.

Proudly sitting up in the grocery cart for the first time!

Grocery shopping was a lot easier and fun for everyone without the stroller! 

Enjoying  a Sunday morning stroll to Starbucks sitting up in the stroller (no car seats!)

A fall evening walk in our stroller.  Boy do we like being able to sit up and see everything! 

Just hanging out! 

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