Sunday, May 31, 2009

All Smiles

Poor Mallory had a rough afternoon, so I just had to post this sweet picture I took a few days ago showing that precious smile - which we didn't see very much of this evening.

Feel better soon hunny bunny.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Water Babies

Anna Claire and Mallory finally got to go swimming in the pool today! They've been in the baby pool, and they've splashed their feet from the top step of my parents' pool, but once the water finally got warm enough, we had a bunch of rainy weekends. Today was our first chance to go swimming and grill out by the pool.

Mallory couldn't have been happier. She was like a little fish kicking and splashing. This girl has no fear!Anna Claire, on the other hand, had to get used to the idea first. Once she did, she could not have been happier.

Playing in the pool made the girls hungry (I've never seen two babies eat so much) and tired (they were asleep before we could get home).

Friday, May 29, 2009

Let's Go Ride a Bike...updated

Ooh, la, la...how adorable would Anna Claire and Mallory look cruising through PFCC in the back of this beauty? Help me WIN IT by simply clicking below, if you please. Seriously, just click on the picture right there...

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

That's ALL you have to do. ;-) Wasn't that easy?

And, if you also want to be entered to win, then be sure to check out all the details. Two winners will be selected July 15. Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Walkin' the Walk

Surprise! Mallory is walking!

Here's the video; background music courtesy of Anna Claire.

video

So, there's no question about it now - she IS walking - though crawling is still her preferred mode of travel.

Moo!

As of today, the girls are drinking 100% whole milk and eating 100% real (not pureed and found in a jar) food!

Ahhh...life is simple-er.

The transition to finger foods was really driven by the girls. They seemed to be losing interest in being spoon fed, so I just started giving them more and more finger foods which they gobble up before the blink of an eye. They are really great at feeding themselves, and they are still happy eating things like yogurt and apple sauce from a spoon, which is good.

The transition from formula to milk was all mommy. At one year, they can switch to milk anyway, and though the girls were doing fine with their formula, I thought, "Hey, why not. They'll be one next week (!), and I'm tired of spending money on formula. I need some cute new sandals for summer."

Since they were drinking milk-based formula, the transition was super-simple. Per our pedi, they were to spend a couple days drinking 1/4 milk to 3/4 formula, then few days of 1/2 and 1/2, then a few days of 3/4 milk to 1/4 formula, then all milk. Well, things were going so well this weekend, we skipped ahead a few days, and the girls don't seem to mind at all.

PS
Check back later this evening for a surprise. :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It rained on and off each day of our long holiday weekend (as a matter of fact, it is raining right now). We weren't able to get out and about much except for a quick trip the girls and I made Sunday between rain showers to get their first birthday bibs. We were able to take a couple strolls around the block and Anna Claire and Mallory got to swing in their swings a few times, but no beach, no pool, and no grilling out for the girls' first rainy Memorial Day weekend. :(

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Head Bangers Having a Ball

In the early mornings, my routine involves giving the dogs water and a treat, letting them out, sitting down to drink my coffee, and listen to the girls coo and sing until I go in to get them at 7am.

At this moment, I can hear someone banging her head into the wall/crib - not out of frustration, mind you, not too hard and not for too long. They do this for fun, giggling the whole time. Is that normal?? (I'm not sure I should have even blogged about that!) Nevertheless, when I hear the head banging beginning, that's generally when I know I'll need to guzzle those last sips and head in to get the girlios.

Which is where I'm off to now!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Financial Freedom

...not exactly, but we are about to save big bucks around here.

This weekend we are transitioning the girls from formula to whole milk. So far, they are doing great and don't seem to be able to detect that a thing has changed. They are down to three bottles a day now, and by the end of the weekend, they will be drinking only whole milk. YAY!

At one point when both Anna Claire and Mallory were drinking alimentum, Walter and I calculated that we were spending $600 a month on formula! What will we do with all that extra cash lying around? Hmmm...the girls do have a very important birthday coming up. ;-)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

If a Tree Falls in the Forest and No One is There to Hear it, Does it Make a Sound?

Yesterday, my mom said Mallory took a step (one step) while I was working, but mommy wasn"t there to witness it. So, does that mean it didn't really happen? That's what I'm going to pretend. ;-)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

There Was a Little Girl, She Had a Little Curl

Mallory wears a bow in her hair almost every day because her hair is getting so long it hangs in her eyes. I just can't decide if I want her to have bangs or not; otherwise, I would go ahead and schedule her first hair appointment.

Yesterday, Anna Claire crawled over to Mallory, pulled the bow out of her hair, and put in on top of her own head. She wants to be able to wear a hair bow like her sister, but her hair just isn't long enough yet - and probably won't be for quite some time.

So cute!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Happy Meal

The girlios are quickly losing interest in all mushy, gloppy foods fed to them on a spoon (all except yogurt, that is). Dinner time has recently become a messy, fussy, catastrophe. Anna Claire and Mallory actually much prefer feeding themselves, so I've been letting them - and they gobble up every last bite. Contrary to what many may believe, meal times have actually become less messy, much quieter, and more filling for all of us because mommy and daddy now get to eat at the same time the girls are eating.
Tonight's menu: green beans, cheese, strawberries, and cheerios (we save the cheerios for last or that's all they'll want). Notice how Mallory has eaten a few bites of everything. Now, notice how Anna Claire has only eaten her cheese. This is exactly how Walter eats - one item at a time, then moving on to the next until all the food is gone. Is that a coincidence?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Book Worm

Mallory loves books - she always has. She likes pulling each and every one off the bookshelf, tossing them around, crawling over them, turning the pages of her board books. And she loves being read to. I can actually read a whole book to her from cover to cover and she doesn't lose interest like Anna Claire often does.

Until recently, she hasn't really minded what is read to her; she has had no preferences. That changed this weekend. I have read the same three books to her all weekend long. She would bring me one of these three books over and over again, and any other book I offered her, she'd toss aside. One of the books is called Bless Me. It's a sweet story, but not my favorite. The pictures aren't great, and there isn't much to point at and talk about. The text is redundant (which I get is the point of many children's books), but this story isn't very imaginative. The other two books are much more enjoyable in my opinion. One of them is a "touch and feel" animal book and the other is a counting book. We have a lot of fun reading these two books - even after the 238,965,651 time.

Th funniest thing began to happen anytime I was reading the counting book to Mallory this weekend (Which was about twenty times. I am not kidding). Whenever I'd get to page 7 (seven balls: beach ball, tennis ball, basketball...) wherever Anna Claire was in the room, reading with us, playing off by herself, she would start saying ball? ball. ball!!! Remember, ball is Anna Claire's first and only (as far as we know) word. I am not kidding - she would do it every time we got to that page!

Both girls are so sweet. I love that Mallory loves books and wants to sit in my lap and let me read to her. I also love that Anna Claire loves to shout her new word, ball, loud and clear. However, after this weekend, I think it's time for Mallory to find some new favorite books, and I think it's time for Anna Claire to learn some new words!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Beach Babies

Anna Claire and Mallory went to the beach for the first time today, and I am so happy to say our trip was a success. We went to Edisto with Aunt Michelle, Uncle Brian, Connor, and Dylan.

We drove over during their morning nap time so they could sleep in the car, which they did. By the time we got there it was time for a quick snack then on to fun in the sun. I put both girls on the blanket first, but Mallory could not get to the sand fast enough! She loved playing with all the buckets and shovels. Anna Claire, though, was happy to "sun bathe" on the blanket. She would let me scoot her to the edge so she could splash in the bucket of water and wriggle her toes in the sand, but the moment I would try to sit her in the sand she would start fussing! Both girls were a little cautious of the water. It was high tide and the waves were really loud, which is all I can attribute it to - that and the fact that it was their first time seeing the ocean. Mallory did eventually stand up and let the waves roll in over her feet, but she would not sit down in the water. Anna Claire wanted nothing at all to do with the water. Even with me holding her, she would start screaming as the waves rolled in. As they rolled out, she would stop. They'd roll back in and she'd scream,.... Needless to say she spent most of her time on the blanket and was happy as a "clam" to do so!
We stayed for lunch - the girls had gritty yogurt, sandy mandarin oranges, and crunchy apple sauce. After about an hour and a half, (which is much longer than I thought they would make it) the girls had had enough. We packed up all our things, made it to the car, got rinsed off and changed into dry clothes, and headed back home. The girls were fast asleep before we got off the island and slept all the way back to Summerville!

A day at the beach will never be what it used to. No more relaxing in the sun, listening to music, getting a tan. Those days are over, replaced by something much more fun... ;-)

I did know that when we left the beach the girls would be covered from head to toe in sand, but I did not know they would become covered from head to toe in sand a mere five minutes after we arrived.

I did know the girls would probably get some sand in their mouths. I didn't know they would ingest most of the eastern seaboard.

I did know I would slather the girls in gobs of sunscreen. I didn't know I would hardly be able to get it all off after we got home, in the bathtub, after lathering them up twice each.

I learned a lot today about taking almost-one-year-old-twins to the beach, and I can't wait for our next trip!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Get to the Point

Mallory is pointing at everything these days. For example, if we ask her, "Where's the tree?" she points at the tree. Turns out she knows the words for so many more things than I ever thought. She may not be able to say the names for these things yet - but she sure can point to them. In this picture she is pointing at the bubbles sitting on top of the chest of drawers. Other times, she points at things, I think, out of curiosity (maybe she's asking what they are in her own way by pointing at them), or maybe she just wants me to notice what she's noticing?? In any case, it is so fascinating to watch them as they learn new things.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Having a Ball!

We have an official first word - ball!

With her new-found love of all things spherical, Anna Claire has learned to say ball and she means it! She speaks it the entire time she is playing with the ball - she holds the ball, rolls the ball, and bounces the ball all the while saying ball! over and over again. Nothing holds her attention now like her favorites which are those she can bounce. Sometimes she gets so excited that while she is holding the ball high above her head it slips from her fingers and drops behind her...which is what's happening in this picture.

Take close look at her lips - she's making the b sound; the word ball is on the tip of her tongue. ;-)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Buy One, Get One Free

Eleven months, two weeks and one day after Anna Claire and Mallory were born, I am still battling through communications with the hospital and insurance company to get claims filed properly. Apparently, Anna Claire's birth was billed incorrectly by Trident, so Blue Cross paid for Mallory, but won't pay for Anna Claire.

Here's how the last eleven months have gone...

I get a huge bill from Trident.
I call them to find out why.
They tell me there was a mistake, to ignore the bill, and that they will contact BCBS.
I call BCBS myself to clarify.
They agree it is a mistake and tell me they will call Trident to get things straight (sometimes they even put me on hold and call Trident then click back over and tell me it is all fixed).
Then I get another huge bill from Trident.

...repeat the above scenario four or five times.

I thought I finally had everything straight with the last communication I had months ago, but tonight we got a call from a collection agency! So, tomorrow morning I will back on the phone trying to clear all this up. UGH!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pomp and Circumstance

Today Cousin Ricky graduated from college! Wow, where does time go? I don't have any actual pictures of him because he was busy being the host of his graduation party, and I was busy chasing after Anna Claire and Mallory. I did, however, get a picture of Mallory's two front teeth. How cute are they? The picture is totally out of focus, but you can still see them... Here's Anna Claire practicing her walking...
The girls had such a good time at the party playing in Aunt Pam and Uncle Rick's backyard. That is, until it started getting late. I had taken the girls' jammies and bottles so we could change them before we left and feed them in the car. Poor Anna Claire had had it; she had a total meltdown before we left. The up side is that both girls drank great bottles in the car and were asleep before we got home.

Friday, May 8, 2009

So Close

The girls are walking...behind their baby strollers. They love pushing their baby dolls all over the house; they just won't let go and take those first steps all by themselves.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

There's a First Time for Everything

Mallory pooped in the bathtub tonight. I have no words to describe it.

Prevacid, Round 2

About three weeks ago, Anna Claire started throwing up after eating dinner - a couple times that week after she was finished eating her finger foods before we even got her out of the high chair. Out of nowhere, she would throw up everything she had just eaten and then happily go along on her way like nothing had happened - she would even want to eat more.

What I noticed upon examination of the evidence (and there was a lot of evidence) was whole pieces of carrot, banana, etc. So, I thought she was probably trying to swallow too-large pieces of food, gagging on it, and throwing it up. Then she started throwing up after lunch and breakfast, still after she had finished her finger foods (theory in tact). Next, she started throwing up after just having eaten jarred food, so my theory about the finger foods was out the window.

With the frequency of these "episodes" increasing, and with no other symptoms and no explanation, I took her to see the pediatrician yesterday. She seems to think Anna Claire has probably been having reflux problems that have gone unnoticed by us, and her esophagus has become irritated over time and that we are now seeing the effects of that reflux. So, she's back on prevacid.

Interestingly enough, we had a little stomach bug run through our family yesterday (for the record, we didn't think we had swine flu, and we're all doing fine today). Both Anna Claire and Mallory suffered the effects of the virus throughout the day, and Anna Claire threw up last night after drinking her bedtime bottle. Poor baby was just falling asleep on my shoulder when she burped once and then everything came up. Since she was on my shoulder half asleep, she ended up with her face covered in yuck and she was not happy about it! I'm not sure if that was due to reflux or the bug we had, but she and Mallory both slept great and are doing fine this morning.

Anna Claire had her first dose of prevacid this morning, and it can take a few days to see improvement, so we'll hope this helps her. If we don't see improvement in two weeks or if things get worse, then we'll be referred to a specialist. Let's hope the prevacid does the trick.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Eleven Months Old

Today Anna Claire and Mallory are eleven months old, and they get more and more amazing every day! Hmmm...let's see what this month has brought us.

The girls continue to be great eaters. So far, they've eaten everything they've ever been given. Last night, for example, they are rutabagas for the first time and loved them. Unbelievable! We are about to change up the feeding schedule a bit. The girls are losing interest in their bottles, so today we've started a plan to consolidate bottle feedings with meals which will hopefully leave us with just one bedtime bottle feeding somewhere between twelve and thirteen months. I'm always worried about changing their feeding schedule, but I've never had a reason to. Everything always seems to work itself out just like it's supposed to.

Both girls are doing great standing up on their own and cruising around their toys and the furniture, but no one has been brave enough to take that first step all by themselves. They will, however, walk behind their baby strollers pushing their baby dolls - sweet.

Of course, the latest news is Mallory's two new top teeth which showed up one right after the other. I got a really good look at them today when she was grinning - so cute! Anna Claire is teething like crazy. Hopefully hers will be here soon.

Sleeping is still going great, and naps are getting longer! Just think, a month ago I thought they were telling me they wanted to drop the morning nap, and then this morning they slept for 1 1/2 hours. I think it's all the playing outside in the hot weather that tires them out!

Bath time has gotten a bit more stressful as both girls want to stand up in the tub all the time. Hopefully this is just a phase and soon I will be able to reason with them. It's really hard to explain to an almost-one-year-old how dangerous it is to stand up in the tub. Sigh.

And, as you may be able to tell, we can forget about taking any posed pictures. The girls are in to everything and have no interest whatsoever is sitting still and smiling for the camera. I had to put them in the crib so they wouldn't get away for these shots. Of course, our elephant friend isn't in the pictures, but they do have precious elephants on their onesies.

I can't believe we have one month until Anna Claire and Mallory's first birthday. Party plans are in full swing. Can't wait until the big day!

Dear Connor,

We had a great time at your t-ball game yesterday! You did an awesome job hitting the ball and running around the bases. We also liked watching you chase after the ball when someone on the other team hit it in your direction.We think you are a really good t-ball player, and we hope we get to come watch you play again soon.

XOXO,
Anna Claire and Mallory

P.S.
We thought Lucy's pink cleats and pink bat were super cute, and we can't wait until we're old enough to play t-ball, too!

...hot and tired, no one would look at the camera!