5 Months Old

George, William
Wow, 5 months old. Each month I'm always surprised that another month has already passed, but I think hitting 5 months is the first real 'Wow, this is going fast'.  They've now grown so fast, it's sad that I can't even remember them being newborn-size. I know everyone always says, 'enjoy it, it goes by so fast', but this month it's really hit me. I was in a way relieved when we got through the first few months. It was survival, but it's sad to think they'll never be that small again. They used to look ridiculous in actual outfits as opposed to pajamas as they were so little, now they're filing out pants and shirts quite nicely. But with growth comes so much fun and this is definitely the most fun yet.

EAT: After all the feeding struggles with William, I'm now in awe at each feeding how easy it is to give William a bottle. Sure, there's the occasional fuss, but usually that's his way of telling us he's done, and he certainly knows when he's finished. Not only does feeding time now take 15-20 minutes total, but I would say sometimes maybe even less than 10, William is now a completely different baby. I have been giving him probiotics at the direction of the GI, and I'm still not convinced that that made the difference, but he eventually just chilled out. It's made my life sooo much easier. I can get George on, William is fussy then waiting for the bottle, but for the most part, he'll eat what he wants, then fuss a little and I'll break to burp both of them, and then try to feed him the rest of the bottle. I'm still keeping track of how much he's eating and he's not a morning eater, but steadily picks up throughout the day and always ends up around the same. George is still doing great, I feel like he's been eating more, I've now offered each side at each feeding which is a change from the first few months, but I continue to be able to pump around the same amount.

I've still struggled to produce enough, though I'm happy that they're getting about 95% breast milk each day. I have literally tried everything to get my supply up just that little bit more -- herbs that work for just about every other woman (it seems) have had zero effect on me. I've tried multiple tips and tricks from lactation consultants and other moms and nothing has made a difference. I finally decided to fill a prescription for a medicine that's supposed to help with supply. Again, people raved about it working for them. I'm 11 days in and haven't noticed any increase. I had a doctors appt yesterday and they bumped up my dosage slightly so we'll see. In some ways I wonder if my supply is what it is and nothing will change it, or if I had been more diligent (and knowledgeable as I don't think I even knew the importance of it) about pumping in the beginning when William wasn't nursing well, if it would had made a difference. I think establishing a good supply in the beginning would have been key so I do have some regrets, but at the end of the day, I'm still happy with what they're getting and who knows if anything I would've done would have made a difference.

SLEEP: We officially said goodbye to Priscilla last Thursday. They had both slept through the night (from about 7:30pm to 7am with a dreamfeed at 10pm) without a peep for Priscilla's last 3 nights, and George had been doing well for the previous 2 weeks too. They've been doing pretty well since she's been gone, but definitely have made a peep. Part of the problem is that they're both rolling over in their cribs (yes we separated them on Saturday night) and while they don't wake up crying, they do wake themselves up, seemingly confused. We haven't been using the monitor as I don't want to be woken up by every little noise, so with their bedroom on the other side of the apartment, we keep their door open and our door open. I think my body knows it's on duty now because I'll wake up at the slightest noise. Usually I'll leave them for a bit and listen to hear if they're going back to sleep, but for the past few nights, it's been sometime between 12:30 and 1:30 that one of them (only one, but they have switched off nights) has woken up and fussed and needed a paci, then they would go back to sleep. But inevitably, one would also wake up around 4:30 or 5 and also need a quick pat before going back to sleep. We've also had a few diapers soak all the way through so I'm sure that's caused them to wake up. Overall, it's been fine and I'm usually back to sleep before waking up at 6am to pump. Then I hear them moving around sometime during the next half hour and they need another few soothes before going back to sleep until 7 or so. So overall, it's not bad, but definitely still needs improvement. We know they're both capable of sleeping all the way through, but I guess the good news is that they don't need to eat at all during the night. The other challenge is that I want to get rid of the pacis within the next few weeks so that may lead to more crying and adjustment. Regardless, I'm still so proud of them as I think their nighttime sleeping is great for this age.

In our own cribs!
As for naps, William is the champion napper. He's a little clock and needs to sleep at set times and for the most part, will do so wherever we are. My challenge is George. I don't think he needs as much sleep and especially this last week since he's rolling over in the crib, he is not happy to take his naps. In fact, every single nap (unless he's been asleep when I put him in bed) has made him really upset. I've tried soothing him, but seeing me upsets him more, so I've had to let him cry. That's been hard too though as he really holds out and for an hourlong nap, sometimes he doesn't even sleep. He did much better today though so I'm hoping he's turning a corner with it. Luckily his crying doesn't wake his brother.

PLAY: They've taken off in the last couple of weeks, both are rolling like crazy, though I think only William is able to go front to back and not just back to front. William is close to sitting up on his own, George isn't quite as steady. Hands are in the mouth constantly, teething has definitely picked up so the teething toys are popular. They both started grabbing their feet just a few days ago. George loves toys and will often have several different ones in his hand. Their coordination is improving too, they're able to grab their paci and get it back in their mouth (though they often get the wrong side in and are upset), William has even mastered rolling over so that his mouth is directly over the paci so he can get it back in. We have little hanging toys on their carseat that they only looked up at until a few days ago, George now gets that you can pull it and it will spin/retract upward again. Both are able to hold and drink from a bottle too, not necessarily every time or for a full feeding, but both can do it. William still prefers one-on-one attention, singing, games and in general being entertained. They're starting to interact more with each other too, they've smiled at each other, definitely grab each other.

To my boys...

I can hold my own bottle!
Wilhelm. It keeps getting better and better, but what a relief to have you eating well and happily. You sleep like a charm too! You're so predictable and my mom friends are always amazed when you start to fuss and I say, 'oh, it's time for his nap', put you in the stroller and you fall asleep. Even 5 months in, there's nothing like a sleeping William. When you're in a good mood, it's great, you're smiley, laughing and if we really get you going, the belly laughs are the best. You still prefer to be held and like one on one attention, singing, playing games, etc. You're slowly playing more on your own, but usually I need to engage you first, shake a toy at you, etc. Just putting you down on the mat isn't going to do it. You're so strong, rolling all over (you love sleeping on your side), like to stand up when we hold you and you're almost sitting on your own too. You feel rock solid, it always amazes me that you and your brother weigh about the same. You still have random evenings where nothing (and no one) can make you happy, but luckily those are rare. Usually if you're fussy, it's because you're tired and luckily you'll go to sleep right away. You're still happiest in the morning. You're a complete chatterbox, whether in the morning or at night when going to bed, you love to make all kinds of noises. I'm so curious to see what will change and what is already set as far as your personality goes.

George Lew-ee, Jorge Luis. My sweet boy. It breaks my heart that you hate your naps so much. I can tell you don't want to miss out on anything and when we're out with friends and you should be taking your nap, I put your brother in the stroller and he goes straight to sleep, but I don't bother with you, you want to take it all in. And I'm happy to have the extra time with you as you can stay in a great mood, you just love watching everything and everyone. You've become a lot more active these past few weeks and now you're rolling like crazy too. You want to be on your tummy in your bed... I think, you constantly roll over, but then get upset once you're there. Not fun, but hopefully you figure it out soon. You're a bit of a toy wh*re. Case in point...

I can put you down on the mat and you're all over your toys. Your favorite is a clanky star with bright rings hanging off of it, a thrift store purchase from Dedee. You roll all over and sometimes I think you're going to crawl away and somehow you get yourself to a toy that's out of your reach. You're so focused when you're playing too. Lately it's been the teething toys that you like most but really you try to put anything into your mouth and are constantly disappointed when you figure out that your favorite star is not soft on the teeth.
You're still my smiley boy but if we work really hard, we may get some laughs, I think we've only heard these maybe 2 or 3 times though. I think my favorite time is taking you from the bed at 10pm and have you sink into my shoulder still asleep. You nurse for longer than normal as I need to keep prompting you but still love the feeling of you in my arms.

No stats for this month, their 6-month check-up will be a little past their half-birthday on Halloween.

Mom update: I'm officially a SAHM (who trolls the mother's group forums and now knows acronyms like StayAtHomeMom). I probably would've gone back to work around last week but maybe 6 weeks ago I really spent some time thinking about what I wanted to do. In the beginning, there were definitely days when I thought I'd have to go back full time, being with two little ones was not easy, but as Dave and I talked about it more, and really because these two will very likely be our only kids, I felt like it was best to take this time to enjoy them when they're so little. We'll see what happens in a few years. It's still a strange feeling that for now, 'this is it'. I feel good about the schedule I've built out and always make an effort to meet up with other people during the day, plus do stuff just for myself, but it's weird to not go to work every day. Still, I feel good about it, especially as they get to be more and more fun. I'm grateful that I have the option to stay home.

I'm not working out quite as much as the timing of the classes is sometimes tough, but I'd say I get in 3-4 workouts a week and am feeling good. I must be back to my pre-baby weight as all my old clothes fit, in fact, even some of my smallest pants that only fit on good days now fit. It's funny though, even after not wearing a lot of these clothes for a long time, I still feel like I have nothing to wear!

What We Ate Wednesday

I love risotto and it's not difficult to make, though it does require attention since constant stirring is necessary, along with slowly adding broth every couple of minutes. I came across this recipe and knew Dave and I would love it and it was a hit. It called for poblano peppers, which I even went to a Mexican grocery store to get, but couldn't find, so pasillas were a great substitute. They had just the right amount of heat, balanced with sweetness from the corn and creaminess from the rice and cheese. The only thing I'd possibly add next time is bacon -- making this vegetarian was already a stretch and while it was delicious, corn and bacon go so well together, I don't think I'd pass it up next time.

Corn Risotto-Stuffed Pasilla Peppers

8 large fresh pasilla peppers
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 Tbs olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups arborio rice
3/4 cup beer, preferably a light Mexican beer (I used a Modelo and it worked fine)
2 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2-3 cobs)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
cayenne pepper and/or paprika to taste

Preheat the broiler and arrange the peppers in a  single layer on a sheet.  Broil, turning every few minutes, until the peppers are charred and blistered all over.  Transfer to a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for 10 minutes.  When the peppers are cool enough to handle, gently rub off the skins, and cut a slit lengthwise in each chile.  Carefully scrape out the seeds and ribs.  Set the peppers aside while you make the risotto.

To make the risotto, heat the stock in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, and bring to a slight simmer.

In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté until it's softened and translucent, 5-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and salt, and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in the rice and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until it's lightly toasted.  Pour in the beer and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan.  Simmer until it's mostly evaporated, 1-2 minutes.

Ladle 1 cup of the warm stock into the rice mixture and simmer until it's been absorbed, stirring frequently.  Add the remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, allowing the stock to be absorbed into the rice before the next addition.  Continue to stir often.

The total cooking time should be 25-30 minutes.  Along with the last addition of the stock, add the corn. The risotto will be a bit thicker than a typical risotto.

Remove risotto from heat and stir in the Monterey Jack cheese and 3 tablespoons of the cilantro. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary, as well as paprika and/or cayenne pepper.

Carefully fill each chile with the risotto.  Arrange the stuffed chiles in a single layer in a baking dish, top with a bit more shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and cheese is bubbling.

Week 21

As we head into our last week with Priscilla, I'm really happy with where things are, well, excluding last night. Last night was off for some reason, George woke up crying around 2:30 and Priscilla finally woke me up at 3:30am to feed him. Not sure what was going on as he's now consistently slept all the way through til 7 or 7:30am for about 2 weeks now. He's been pretty grumpy all day too, but hopefully tonight he'll get back on track. William has been doing great too and for the last 5 or so days, he's been making it through the night too. Sometimes he wakes up at 6am, but will play in his crib for a bit, and he never eats until George eats around 7:15 or 7:30am. He's not a morning eater though, still taking just about 3oz at the first feeding, and often not much more at the second.

Dave needs to put together the second crib as well, since this is how I found them one morning...

We had a pretty good week otherwise. Tuesday we met up with the Stroller Divas at the cafe near our place and met another twin mom with 2-month old boy-girl twins. I added her to my Monday meet-up with the twin mom of 1-year old girls. I'm starting a playground with neighborhood moms with babies around the same ages so we did that on Wednesday.  I'm still trying to get one outing in per day, ideally meeting up with other moms/kids, and then the babies always get out in the afternoon with Lolina or Alieta. Oh, and on Friday, George decided to roll over! He hadn't seemed interested in it much, then did it several times and didn't do it all weekend.

Story time with Alieta

We had a great weekend, on Saturday going to the Ferry Building Farmers Market, but also to the Fire Station Chili Cook-off. Dave and I had always wanted to go to chili cook-off so I'm so happy I saw a flyer promoting this one right near us. We tasted probably 25 different chilis! The boys were great and slept most of the time. Then we had friends over for the boxing fight on Saturday and luckily the babies slept right through it. It was so fun to hang out with everyone. I got a visit in with my brother earlier in the day, and then on Sunday Dave and the babies came with me.

Aunt Liz and George
Even the babies got to say hi to Jon. Unfortunately the weekend ended on a bad note... the 49er game was a disaster. The babies were pretty fussy too, but luckily my mom was coming over to watch the game with me so she got her just in time and was able to give us a break.

What We Ate Wednesday

We're just heading into San Francisco's summer so that should give me time to catch up on a few more corn recipes... Here's another winner.

Shrimp and Roasted Corn Chowder
adapted from Closet Cooking recipe
4 ears corn, kernels cut from the cobs with the cobs reserved
1/2 pound shrimp peeled and deveined with the shells reserved
4 cups chicken broth
3/4 of a Hilshire Farms turkey kielbasa
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/4 cup flour
1 large stewing potato, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup cream
salt (or fish sauce), pepper and cayenne to taste
green onions for garnish
rice, for serving, if desired
Bring the broth, corn cobs and shrimp shells to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid becomes a little cloudy, about 20-30 minutes, strain and discard the solids and set the broth aside.
Meanwhile, cook sausage a large heavy bottom sauce pan over medium heat and set aside on paper towels to drain.
Raise the heat to medium-high, add the corn and let it sit in place until it chars a bit, about 8 minutes, mix it, repeat and set aside.
Reduce the heat back down to medium, add the onion, celery and pepper and saute until tender.
Add the garlic, thyme and paprika and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
Sprinkle on the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the broth, corn, and potato and simmer until the potato is tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Add the cream and shrimp and simmer until the shrimp is cooked, about 2-3 minutes.
Season to taste and stir in the sausage.
Add a scoop of rice to a bowl, then top with chowder and sprinkle with chopped green onions.

Week 20

I've been loving the heat wave here with temps in the high 70s every day. While we've had a really nice summer in general, the last true heat wave was late June, early July so the boys are getting another round in their shorts outfits that are size 0-3. They're definitely filling them out a lot more than they were 2 months ago! In fact, most should probably be retired, but I'm not about to buy new 'summer' clothes now even though we are just starting San Francisco's summer -- September and October.

It was a low-key week, the three of us got out for a lot of walks and playing on the blanket under the trees trying to take advantage of the nice weather. I met with some moms for the first time on Wednesday night as we're going to start a book club to read parenting-type books, then Thursday night Dave and I checked out the Cavalier, a new pub-style restaurant. The boys did pretty well both weekend nights; Friday night there were a few wake-ups, but then they ended up going all the way through, Saturday night was 6am for William, 7am for George. But the biggest news is that George is officially sleeping all the way through the night! It's been about a week that he has stopped waking up for the 5am feeding. For a while, when William woke up, we would wake him up, but a couple of weeks ago, we decided to let him keep sleeping and pretty soon, he went all the way through. William is doing great, but not quite there yet, going until 5 or 5:30am. I'm still waking up around 6am to pump since it yields the most of the day, and gives me a bit of time before nursing George when he wakes up.

I guess I should note that we took away their swaddles a week ago, and they've really transitioned well in just the sleep sacks with their arms free. They're moving around a lot more -- we do still line them up next to each other with their heads slightly angled towards the corners, but this is how George (left) ends up. It's crazy to see how much they've grown since we first brought them home, and I think we're down to the last few weeks with them sharing a crib. Wish we had a zoomed-out photo of the below to show a bit more perspective.

My mom came over on Saturday morning. It was great to see her as we haven't spent much time with her lately as she's spending most of her time at the hospital with my brother. It was nice for her to get out; we walked to the Ferry Building, I stocked up on summer fruits to freeze and use to make them baby food in a few months, then we took them over to the park for a few minutes in the swing.

After their nap, Dave and I took them to the pool for a dip. They both seemed to like it okay. I've never seen so many people at our pool! With the great weather, we decide to head out to the beach on Sunday, knowing that it's so rarely nice out at Ocean Beach. Well, despite the high 70s at our house, it was still socked in with fog over there. We picked up some sandwiches and took a stroll, but didn't really enjoy much of the beach. On the bright side, we made it home in time for the start of the 49ers game and it was a great one! Dave thinks it's quite a sight to have me hooked up to my pump while screaming at the TV :)

Other big news is that William rolled over! I think it was last Monday that Dave and I were playing with them around 7:30am when finally he flipped all the way. He had been rolling from back to side for a while, but finally figured it out. Now every time we put him down on his back, he promptly rolls to his front, which is funny because he hates his tummy. Often he'll start crying on his tummy, though there have been a few times where he's been able to roll from front to back. He doesn't seem to have that down quite yet. George showed no signs of rolling until maybe 2 weeks ago, for about a week he seemed to be rolling to the side, but now he doesn't anymore so we'll see when he decides to.

3- and 4-month Favorites

1. Golden Gate Mothers Group: I joined SF Parents of Multiples before the babies were born and got a lot out of the New and Expecting Moms group in the first few months they were home. With their new schedule, it falls right during their afternoon feed and nap so I no longer go. I found that the website and forums weren't that active though, so despite not wanting to pay another membership fee, I finally gave in and joined GGMG as well. I'm so glad I did. This site is so much more active. Whereas the twins forums get maybe 5 new posts every week, GGMG gets probably 25 new topics posted every hour. It's the perfect time-waster while pumping, but really, it's been great as a new mom to access it for information and I've even posted myself and gotten really good insight. I'm also joining a parenting books book club with women from the group. They also have relationships with a lot of different businesses in the city so a lot of discounts are offered at their partners.
2. JJ Cole Essentials Blanket: This is such an essential! Between the nannies and me, the babies get outside at least once a day, sometimes twice. They're obviously not big enough to 'play' at the park yet, but instead of just going on walks where they're stuck in the stroller, I like to get them out on the grass. George especially loves laying under the trees and looking at the leaves blow in the wind. This is such a great blanket to lay them on. It's waterproof, both top and bottom. I've used it on wet grass plenty of times and it never soaks through and dries quickly even when folded up. It's also been the recipient of many a spit up and wipes away clean. Finally, it serves as a colorful backdrop for photos!
3. Aden + Anais bibs: I don't know why I didn't break these out earlier, but with William's spitting up, I decided I'll try to save his outfits, especially when we go out, by draping a bib which at this point covers most of his front. Often when we're playing it will twist around to look more like a superhero cape than a bib. The material is great, absorbent, cute designs and 3 different snaps so should last awhile even as he gets bigger.
4. Sassy Ring-o-Links: I got 2 of these as a shower gift from another mom and they're such a hit. George absolutely loves looking at them. He's so focused when I hand him the rings and will 'play' with them for an entire stroller ride. When I take him out, he's separated most of the rings!
5. Tiny Love Island Sweet Island Dreams Mobile: I didn't really think about getting a mobile but then Priscilla suggested it as another 'activity' for them during the day. I searched and searched for one that didn't have to be attached to a crib as they're sleeping so well I didn't want to turn their bed into a place for playtime. Finally I just ordered this one and my mom came up with the idea to hook it on one of the crates we use to store their toys. It's secured great and allows me to move it around the room too by just moving the whole crate. This has been a hit too. It's calming for both of them and the perfect activity for around 6:30pm when they're getting cranky. I lay them on a blanket under it (see other photo), or sit them in their bouncer/swing chairs under it.
 6. Skip Hop Activity Mat: I told my friend Maris who got me this, that this gets used literally every day, often all day long. In the early days, it was pretty boring trying to 'play' with them on the mat when they just laid there and stared, but now it's so much fun. I specifically registered for this one as so many mats are hideous over-the-top baby. I liked the design, colors and characters of this one more and they seem to like it. Dave keeps saying that we'll need to get another one as they get bigger, but I'm going to avoid something so bulky encroaching on my living room if I can help it.
7. Sophie the Giraffe Teether: I think every mom must have this, but as they've started teething, it's already getting a lot of use, by George specifically. He's got a good handle on how to hold it and keep it in his mouth, plus his teeth seem to be bothering him more than William right now. William will just hold his.
8. Handmade quilts: I have always loved the idea of quilting, but never got motivated enough to learn. We're so lucky that Dave's parents' close friend Patti has a tradition of making quilts for all the new babies of her friends' kids so we got 2 precious quilts. William and George each get their own with a little note on each.  She made a big point that they're made to be used, washed, etc, so that's what we're doing. They're used every.single.day. They usually make it a few days before enough spit up requires that it be washed and that's when we swap in the other one. They're the perfect size to lay the babies out on. More photos below of the beautiful quilts.
9. Lamaze toys: We have several of these animals and they're definitely favorites with their bright colors, different designs, fabrics and sounds. I find that they're a great size for little hands and I stick on in the stroller or when they're sitting in the bumbo chair so they can hold and pull on. Great quality too.

More of the quilts:

4 Months Old

Dressed to impress at the America's Cup race
It's been an emotional week-plus since my brother got in a horrible bike accident on Saturday, August 24. He's still in ICU at Stanford, but should be moved to the city hopefully today. It's been a lot of ups and downs, but we're hoping for a lot more ups in the coming days, weeks and months. Thanks for all the prayers.

We didn't have the 4-month check-up for the boys until Thursday and with everything else going on, I figured we'd just hold off until then to do the monthly update.  

EAT: Well, I think it's time to say I officially don't breastfeed William. I still tried maybe a handful of times over the last month, but even the 'sneak attack' approach didn't seem to be working. I've come to terms with the fact that it's great he's still getting almost all breast milk, and also that as long as that's a priority for me, I'll have to keep up with the not-so-fun routine of nursing George, feeding William a bottle and then pumping. I'm grateful that as both have been eating more, I've been just about able to keep up supply-wise. Well, I think I may have spoken to soon on this. Since Thursday, my supply has taken a hit. I'm not sure if it's stress-related or what, but I've considered all the other factors and nothing has changed, so I'm hoping it's only temporary and trying to get in extra feedings with George and extra pumping sessions whenever I can. It's helped to have Dave home all weekend.

George is nursing about 10-15 minutes max consistently, and while I was initially worried he wasn't getting enough, I'm now able to only nurse him at our only night feeding (currently about 5:15am) and have him go right back to sleep (as opposed to him needing to be 'topped off' as recently as a few weeks ago). William has also improved in his eating. It still depends on the week/day/feeding, but I would say overall he's better. It's really helped that I've started keeping track of exactly how much he eats. He never eats when he first wakes up, so I no longer offer as it was always a battle. Even when I think he's not taking much, having just 2-3oz at a feeding, by the end of the day he almost always hits 30-32oz which is right on track, so that's given me a lot of peace of mind. Now if he fusses, I try several times, and then stop offering. I know he'll take it later when he's hungry.

SLEEP: It's so crazy to look back at last month and see that they were just making it until 3:30 and then being topped off at 5:15am. Now they're doing great and mostly sleeping through until 5:15am. George has been a solid sleeper almost all month, sleeping straight through, whereas William would wake up once or twice, but still would be held off until whenever George woke up. We knew he wasn't hungry yet. A couple nights ago, William slept through all the way until 5:25am, when George woke up! It could be that he got shots the afternoon before, but still, we're thrilled.

Of course they're not perfectly consistent yet, and just last night we took them out of their swaddles for the first time and now they're just in a sleep sack. Surprisingly, George had a harder time with it, but overall they did okay. Priscilla said it will probably be tough for the first few days with naps, but by the end of the week they should be good. Next step will be the pacis...

As they're now making it until 5 or so, they usually are back asleep by 5:30 or so and sleep until about 7 or 7:30am. Often William wakes up first, but he no longer cries right away. Instead he'll just lay in his bed blowing bubbles and 'talking'. He's in the best mood of the day at this time and luckily Dave has been able to go into work later on some days, so he gets to spend this first hour with them.

Last month we started a stricter nap schedule and it worked well, but we've tweaked it a bit. The good news is that when it's done right, it works like a charm. The bad news is, it doesn't allow for much flexibility, at least in the mornings when I wanted to do my workouts. Here's what their schedule should be:

5:15am eat, back to sleep
7:15ish wake up, play
8am  George eats (William isn't hungry), play
8:45-10ish sleep
10am eat, play
11:30-1ish sleep
1pm eat, play
1:45-4 sleep
4pm eat
4:30-7pm play - usually a catnap in the stoller
7pm eat
7:15ish bedtime
10pm dreamfeed

We do stick to the eating times, but as I have a workout at 9:45am or 10:30am, I've tried to take them, and the last few times haven't worked out at all. Luckily one workout is moving to 9am, so that should be perfect for them to nap in the stroller, then right as we finish, they'll be ready to eat. I like the idea of a schedule, and with two, it's nearly impossible that they'll both survive a deviation, but I've never been a fan of being so strict on a schedule that you can't do things that you want to do, at least sometimes. But for now, they are in such a better mood if they get their proper naps, so it seems to be worth it. I think it will also make a difference once they're sleeping all the way through the night (until 7 or 7:30am instead of 5:15am), as then they'll both be eating right when they wake up.

Again, even looking back at last month, they're doing so much more now. They're grabbing toys, with one hand, two hands on one toy, or two hands on two different toys. It's so much fun to watch. They've also made the connection between their hands and their mouth, I think some of that is teething, but they're also starting to put things in their mouths. They love to look around and we got a mobile to put over their swing/bouncer seats which is the perfect activity for around 6:30pm when they're tired, but can't go to bed quite yet. They're reacting more so it's fun to come up with different games and songs to entertain them. They're also looking more at eat other, grabbing each others hands, etc.

William on the move (and looking guilty)
William hit a milestone yesterday, he rolled from back to front. Both Dave and I saw it. He's been rolling to the side for several weeks, but seemed to get stuck there. Then all of a sudden he did it, and again last night. George isn't quite there, but probably not far behind.

To my boys...

To the Prince. You continue to be a great sleeper and the schedule has worked its magic. You definitely need a lot of sleep, an hour and a half of every three-hour portion of the schedule would be ideal. You're generally straight to sleep, or on the other end of the spectrum, need to 'chat' a while to your brother. Alieta watched you talk and talk to George the other night, as his eyelids kept slipping, you kept chattering away. In the mornings, you usually wake up around 7 or 7:15am and for the mornings I've been in there with you, you're happy as can be, making noises, blowing bubbles (which I have to admit, is not my favorite sound...). The first hour in the morning is the best time of day with you. You're so happy, laughing, smiling, playing.

You're still quite vocal during the day, but not as much crying as the early months. You prefer to be on your side and can roll from back to side, crunching your legs to your chest. Finally yesterday you rolled over and I think you actually don't mind tummy time as much when you get there yourself by rolling over. You still love standing, and sitting too, but you do not like being on your tummy. You'll tolerate it for a few minutes but will then start fussing.

Best milestone of this month is your laughs, sometimes you even snort. Lolina does a 'do-do-do-do-dew' to you that just gets you cracking up and no matter how many times Daddy or I try to imitate, we can't quite get the response. I do get some good laughs trying other things though. You still like bath time, mirrors and getting blow-dried, though now we save that for after baths only.

You do not like loud sounds or more specifically, to be startled. Whether Daddy calls back to me in the other room while feeding you a bottle, or worst of all, if we pull the little retractable bird that hangs from your car seat, you will do your scared shriek. So sad!

Georgie Louis (and for those who haven't heard it, we pronounce it like Louis XIV). You're still my sweet boy, generally happy, although with signs of teething have come more tears than normal. Hands are constantly in your mouth, but you've also made the connection to hold things to chew on. You still love looking around and your eyes are still blue, we'll see if they stay. Lolina predicts you'll be the thinker, and William the 'handsome city boy'. You do get so focused when playing. I now give you little rings to play with when you're in the stroller and you're intently focused and are able to separate most of them by the time I take you out. You still love looking at people too, Aunt Meghan commented on your great eye contact :)

You love being on your tummy, and at your physical therapy appointment on Thursday, Cindy was so impressed with your progress. It takes many babies months and months to get full range of motion, but you're fine in that area and now your tilt is gone too. Your neck is so strong, you can stay on your tummy for a long time and Cindy thinks your head shape (the flatness that was showing early on due to you favoring one side) has even improved. We're so proud of you! Cindy also seems to think you guys will be early walkers... great. You still love to kick your legs and sometimes it looks like you may just start crawling away, definitely not ready for that!

You continue to talk more and give me a big smile whenever I 'gurgle' back at you.

'Long George'
 We call you 'long George' too. You're just 3/4 inch longer than William, but you prefer to be straight which makes you look even longer. William likes to curl up, but sometimes I have to force you to bend your legs as you'd rather be stretched out -- probably because you were so squished for so long in the womb with William taking up more room.You are still my good night sleeper, pretty consistently going about 7 hours. You have made progress with naps, but still fight it unlike your brother who goes straight to sleep. Going to bed at 7:30 only works if you're tired, but not over-tired. There have been a couple nights where we've given in and let you sit on the couch for a little bit longer before putting you back in bed. You love that extra time with mom and dad.

It is getting to be so much fun hanging out with you guys, at least when you're in a good mood, but it really does seem like you're doing something new every day. Even your Aunt Meghan, who saw you on Tuesday and again on Sunday, said you both looked different just a few days later.

4-month stats:
weight:  15lbs 6oz (13lb 12oz  2 months ago), 50th percentile
height: 24.75 inches, 25th percentile
head: 42cm, 75th percentile

weight: 15lbs 3oz (13lb 12oz 2 months ago), 50th percentile
height: 25.5 inches, 50th percentile
head: 41.5cm, 75th percentile

We still have a lot of 0-3 clothes in the drawer, but I am known for making them wear stuff a little bit longer than they should. All the 3-6 clothes are now in there as well and most of those fit pretty well.

I've continued to do my workouts with them, but as the timing of some of the classes is hard with their current schedule, haven't been doing quite as much. I'm feeling better though and while I'm sure I'm still at least a handful of pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight, all my old clothes fit and that feels good.

Apparently hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels around the 4-month mark and one downfall of this is hair-loss. Well basically during pregnancy you don't shed nearly as much as normal so you're holding on to a lot of extra hair, which I guess around 4 months decides to come out. Normally people lose about 100 strands a day, but post-partum, it can be 500+! It seems like even more in my case, but hopefully it's not. A few weeks ago I decided to get it cut shorter, thinking that would somehow help. I always joked with Dave that when the babies came I'd have to get a 'mom haircut', meaning super short. Well, I didn't do anything drastic, but with the amount of hair I'm losing after a shower, somehow it makes it feel a bit better to not have such long hair.