Friday, January 30, 2009

Early Bird

On a typical morning Walter and I get up at 6 AM. I get ready for school/work while he makes the formula and pours bottles. The girls usually start stirring around ten 'til seven at which time we get them up, change them, feed them, and head to Granny and Papa's house. Walter gets himself ready for work once we leave. Our routine runs like clockwork.

But lately...

The girls have been waking up a little earlier than usual. Well, to be truthful Anna Claire has been waking up earlier than usual - between 6:00 and 6:30 AM. In the darkness of the nursery, Anna Claire is happy to coo and "talk" and shriek - not crying, mind you, but playing - until we come and get them at 7 AM. Anna Claire screams at the top of her lungs with a smile on her face. It is so funny - and loud! It's amazing what Mallory can sleep through, but eventually Anna Claire does end up waking her sister. Mallory, too, is happy playing in her crib, waiting for us to come into the nursery at 7:00.

This morning, though, Anna Claire got her foot stuck between the bars of her crib even with her sleep sack on, so her playful screams turned to real screaming. Needless to say, the girls were up - and ready to eat - even though it was only 6:30. While I finished getting ready, Walter had to "simulfeed"...
Someone told me we would only get maybe three months use out of our bouncy seats until the girls grew out of them. At almost eight months old, we still use them EVERY day!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Peek-a-Boo

With all the talk of Mallory's new teeth and her learning to say mama ;-) I thought we needed to brag on Anna Claire a bit. Here she is playing peek-a-boo. I just think it is amazing that she understands how to actually play herself and isn't just amused watching me play. video
How cute is she?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Quiet Weekend

Another cold and rainy weekend was pretty much spent indoors. We did get to take a quick stroll around the block Friday afternoon before the sun began to set and the breeze picked up. After that, it was either too cold or too rainy to have much fun outside this weekend. So, instead Anna Claire and Mallory practiced with their sippy cups...
The girls don't quite understand they have to tip the cup up and pretty much just use them as teethers. Tonight, however, Anna Claire was lying on her back and picked up the sippy cup laying among her toys. After gnawing on it for a few seconds, she must have sucked once or twice and instantly had it figured out. It was all I could do to get the sippy cup away from her.

Anna Claire and Mallory also played in the empty (finally, but nevertheless, not for long) laundry basket...
Playtime in our newly converted pack & play...
No longer needed as a bassinet, the girls now seem to like using it as a play pen. Now that they like to roll around the floor, I can keep them contained for a few minutes if I need to leave the room for a quick second.

One of the girls new favorite past times is to sit next to their toy bins and empty them of their contents. I go behind their backs and put the toys back in and they pull them out again. We do this over and over getting a good twenty minutes of fun out of this activity!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Beautiful Bows

I guess granny and the girls got a little bored waiting for me to get home from work, so granny decided to tie big bows around the girls' heads. This is how they were when I got to mom and dad's house...
Too, too funny!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

First Word

Mallory said mama tonight in the bathtub! The two syllables were perfectly enunciated - crystal clear, not garbled together with other baby-babble.

Ironically, Walter and I were talking at the dinner table tonight about "teaching" the girls to talk. We always practice mama, dada, papa, baba, etc. He was trying to get the girls to say dada as they sat in their high chairs, and I told him that most babies' first "word" is dada and that I was resigned to that fact. And then what does Mallory go and say just a few minutes later during bath time? Mama! Walter was in the bedroom, so he had to admit he heard her. That's my girl!

So, does it count as a "real word" if she wasn't referring to me or even looking at me when she said it? I think it does. ;-)

Bottle Battle

Mallory seems to be losing interest in her bottle. Feeding time has turned into a wrestling match with Mallory twisting and turning, trying to sit up (she's so afraid she's going to miss something!)and pushing her bottle away...We offer her seven ounces and she drinks down to about three ounces left and seems to be done. Sometimes we'll give her a break and try again, but usually she still isn't interested.

We know she needs to drink AT LEAST 24 ounces a day and she is barely making that mark most days and not at all on others. We mix her breakfast and dinner cereal with formula to make sure she is getting another couple ounces, but that hardly makes up the difference some days.

We did visit our pediatrician last week, and she suggested offering her a "filler" bottle of about three ounces between her 11:30 and 3:00 PM bottles if she's gotten off to a bad start with her morning bottles. We try to take away all distractions so playtime doesn't look so attractive. She also suggested Mallory may have finally figured out that the taste of Alimentum is disgusting now that she has a newly acquired taste for pears and peaches and squash and the like. Could my little girl already have acquired such a discerning palate?

We had planned to switch back to Similac Advance next week since we just stopped their prevacid. We didn't want to change too many things at once. Tuesday wasn't a good day at all, so we went ahead and switched formula and yesterday was better - Mallory didn't get off to a great start, but she finished strong. So far today she left two ounces in her 7 AM bottle which is great compared to what she has/has not been drinking.

Hopefully this is just a phase she's going through right now and hopefully she will figure out that regular similac tastes so much better.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Day & Snow Day

Walter's mom kept the girls today, and I made it home for lunch just in time for us all to watch most of President Obama's speech together. I think these are some of my favorite words from his speech:

"...The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness....Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."

While I am certain Anna Claire and Mallory had no clue what was happening on the TV, I do think it's pretty darn cool that one day I will be able to tell them that in their first year we elected out first African American President. I am hopeful about the life they have ahead of them.

And as if that's not exciting enough - it snowed today! Okay, there were maybe five snow flakes, but schools and the district office were closed at 2 PM. You know everything shuts down around here at the first mention of either hurricanes or snow. Anna Claire and Mallory had no idea there was any snow at all and it was way too cold to take them outside to "see" the few flakes that were falling.

Basically, the girls went through this momentous day completely oblivious to all that was happening around them - both historic and weather-related.

Monday, January 19, 2009

So, not much has been going on this long, cold, wet, holiday weekend. It was nice to have the day off today, but we didn't do anything special this weekend except make a trip to BRU for new sippy cups. I didn't like the first ones I bought, so I think we'll try Avent. Mallory was so tired after our day (really about an hour) of shopping, she sacked out before she could finish her bottle.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Can You See Them?

This is the best I can do right now. My camera isn't the best at taking up-close shots, plus it's a little fuzzy just because I've uploaded it and the picture is small, but her two bottom teeth are there, still tiny and not all the way through, but they're getting there.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mickey Mouse Club

Michelle, Brian, and Connor (Dylan stayed with my parents) went to Disney World over Christmas break and brought the girls a souvenir - Minnie Mouse ears!

When I first put the "ears" on the girls they just stared at each other. They could not take their eyes off one another. I laughed so hard at the expressions on their faces... I was finally able to get them to look at the camera, sort of...
...but the hats are so big, they kept slipping down over the girls' eyes.I can't wait to take the girls to Disney World one day; though I imagine it won't be anytime soon. I can't fathom doing diapers and bottles at Disney...although our new van will make traveling much easier!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Don't Talk to Strangers

I was just telling someone the other day that I had read babies begin to get wary of strangers at 6 months old, and Anna Claire and Mallory were just past seven months old and didn't seem scared of strangers at all. Then we went to see the pediatrician today...

They screamed their heads off a good bit of the time we were there - especially Anna Claire - when the nurse weighed and measured them, when Dr. Tillman examined them, if the nurse left the room they calmed down, when she came back they cried again. Dr. Tillman even called Anna Claire's behavior "stranger anxiety." The poor thing absolutely sobbed her heart out.

Or maybe they just knew they were getting three shots today. :-(

Here are the stats...Both girls are 27 inches long. Mallory weighs 17 pounds and Anna Claire weighs 16 pounds, 9 ounces. They are both in the 50th percentile for weight and length. Mallory moves up into the 75th percentile for head circumference. Dr. Tillman said the girls are right where they need to be developmentally as far as "talking," sitting up, rolling over, reaching and grabbing, etc.

We've got the go-ahead to stop their prevacid, and if all goes well for two weeks then we can take them off Alimentum and go back to regular Similac Advance. YAY!!!!! Now we'll be able to make our new car payment. We can also move up to level two fruits, veggies, and meats. YUCK - I mean YUM! We can also begin introducing the girls to sippy cups (which we've kind of already started doing once or twice) and snacks like Cheerios and those little fruit-flavored star puff things (which they've already had once - just once, I promise).

Lots of new things happening on the feeding front. Hopefully all will go well. Both girls are such great eaters; I can't imagine they won't just fall in love with turkey with apples. ;-)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hot Off the Press

Mallory has cut her second tooth in less than a week! Holy Cow! I think she's going to have a mouthful before Anna Claire cuts her first.

The girls have their six month check-up tomorrow even though they are seven months old. We had to get off schedule a bit just to be able to see the pediatrician we like best. I think it's crazy the girl that books appointments will only schedule us for two back-to-back appointments - which are hard to come by - even though we never need all that time.

Check back in tomorrow to see how much the girls have grown.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Wheels

It is so hard to admit this...

Yesterday we bought a mini-van and I LOVE it! So do the girls...

Anna Claire looks a bit worried that Mallory might crank up and take off any second, and Mallory looks a little too excited to be sitting in the driver's seat. ;-)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Can that Actually be Comfortable?

Around the time Mallory got sick, she also began sleeping with her little bottom up in the air. I don't know if there is a correlation, but that's how she seemed to be most comfortable at the time. She has always slept with her little hand up near her forehead. How sweet.
Do you know when they were newborns, I actually tried to pose them this way because it's so darn cute so I could take Anna Claire's and Mallory's pictures while they were napping one day. They wouldn't pull their knees up underneath them for anything. Now, this is one of Mallory's favorite napping positions!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Who Needs a Teething Ring When You've Got a Sister?

Do the photos below look familiar? Remember this?

Since I still haven't been able to find the perfect teether, Mallory has taken things into her own hands. I guess she's desperate...

I never would have guessed Mallory would have cut the first tooth. Anna Claire began teething first and has been in so much more discomfort than Mallory, but I understand it can be harder on some babies than others. That first tooth is certainly there, sharper than I expected and so tiny. It's almost impossible to see both because it is very difficult to get Mallory to open her mouth and move her tongue out of the way and because the tooth itself is so small - only the tip, I guess, has cut through the gum. Hopefully I will be able to get pictures of it soon.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

News Flash

Mallory has her first tooth!

I went to my mom's for lunch and Mallory was unusually fussy. I figured it was her teeth, but she wouldn't let either of us anywhere near her mouth. My mom just called to tell me she was finally able to take a peek, and sure enough, the tooth has cut the surface!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mission: Organization

Over Christmas break we turned the guest bedroom into a playroom for the girls. I had originally thought we would use the FROG as the playroom because it is a huge room, but then I got worried about the stairs. In the end we opted to use the guest room which is smaller but right next door to the nursery. Plus, it got a fresh coat of paint along with the nursery back in March.

Mallory was so into playing with that little shape from her playhouse I could not get her to look at the camera.

My mom has been here the last two days helping me get the whole house reorganized which now includes turning the FROG into a guest room/office. They play room still has a little ways to go. I haven't yet decided what I want to put on the walls and there are some storage bins I want from Target. When I went back to get them they were gone; hopefully they'll get more in soon. All in all, though, the room looks good. It's a great place to keep all the girls new toys, and Anna Claire and Mallory love all the space they have on the floor to play and roll around. And...there's a dog gate, so Tanner and Cody won't be stealing anymore of the girls' toys.

In this picture, Anna Claire has actually scooted herself all the way off the blanket so she is behind the ball crawl toy. That expression on her face is saying, "Yep, I'm stuck -- again." And I guess it's time to get covers on those electrical outlets!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Seven Months Old

Anna Claire and Mallory turned seven months old today. Happy birthday, baby girls. I can't believe they are more than halfway to their first birthday!

Both Anna Claire and Mallory sitting up on their own and are both seriously teething. Anna Claire is rolling all over the place and has learned to play peek-a-boo. Mallory is siting up the best and is so interested in her toys. She just sits and plays and plays. Both girls are pulling their knees up underneath them when they are on their tummies, and Anna Claire is actually rocking back and forth. They are smiling and laughing and "talking" and still sleeping all the way through the night (when teething isn't an issue) and they are getting so big!

Being home with them for the last sixteen days has been wonderful. We have spent every day together and I have loved being home with my girls again, even if only for a short time. I'm sure it will be hard to leave them Monday, and I will be counting down the days until spring break.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Anna Claire and Mallory celebrated their first New Year's Eve at the annual family pig pickin' & oyster roast. Mallory was wide awake and such a cutie (would you look at those lips), but little Anna Claire, who missed her afternoon nap, was a bit of a party pooper - but also still an absolute cutie herself. It got cold as soon as the sun began setting, so the girls were actually only outside for about thirty minutes...and we all missed ringing in the new year by hours. I had the girls home and in bed by 7:30 and I followed shortly. Walter stayed at the party, but was home himself at 10:30. We may never see another ball drop again! Today it was back to Granny and Papa's for hoppin' john, collards, sweet potato casserole and pork roast. Yum! If anyone asked me what my favorite holiday meal was, I wouldn't say Thanksgiving or Christmas or Easter. It would be New Year's Day, by far.

So, 2009 is upon us. What could it possibly have in store for us? Sitting and crawling and walking and talking, the girls' first birthday...and I though 2008 was exciting. I can't wait!

I only have one resolution - to be the best mommy I can be to Anna Claire and Mallory, who thought they sit together to wish everyone a Happy New Year! And I thought it was hard getting them both to smile in the same picture. I can't remember how many times one or both of them tipped over before I could get the two shots below. I never could get them both to look at the camera at the same time!