Week 27

The weather is changing! There were several really nice days but we actually had to turn on the heat towards the end of the week. We had such a nice summer, and trust me, it's hard to give up the sunny, warm days, but it's time for a change so the crisp days feel nice. We got a couple of nice walks in with friends, down to the Ferry Building, to the new park and also had a great visit with my brother. He's doing so well! It was nice to take a walk with him, then he and I enjoyed lunch on a bench in Golden Gate Park while the babies slept in the car within eyesight.

Tuesday was a busy day. I led the New and Expecting Moms Twins Group and luckily this time Alieta could come early so I didn't need to bring the babies. I met a new twin mom who lives just a few streets a way and has 8-week old babies. I came home for a feeding, then headed back out to a dentist appointment, met a friend for drinks and then we headed to a special Junior League meeting where Sandra Day O'Connor spoke -- she's quite a spit-fire and was so much fun to listen to. I was telling Dave, I haven't been in a room in so long where everyone was so focused on the speaker... and not their cell phones. Very cool.

We had music class again on Thursday and went to lunch with several of the moms after, then Friday was swim class, the first time with my mom joining. I know it will still be a long time, but I can't wait until they're able to push off on their own! Dave had his big Battle of the Bands at Yahoo and William was dressed to show his support.

It was a pretty low-key weekend. I was volunteering at the SFCAPC Halloween party on Saturday, so Dave was in charge of the babies. Luckily they stuck to their schedule so I think it was pretty straight-forward. Not to mention that we did what I always said we wouldn't -- brought not one, but TWO jumperoos into our home. They love them, which I knew they would. And yes, they are massive, but oh well. But really, we now need to be able to contain them. That's right, they're moving. Well, as of last Thursday, George is crawling. He's doing a worm sort of thing, but it's getting him where he wants to go. Mom isn't exactly thrilled he's reached this milestone so early. That wasn't the only milestone of the week, William got his first tooth! Surprisingly, he hasn't been any crankier than usual though it sounds like the second one on the bottom comes around the same time as the first, so we'll see how he does in coming weeks.

Week 26

Sunday was the boys' half-birthday but as we don't go to the doctor for their 6-month check up until the end of the week (and we haven't weighed them for 2 months!), I'll wait until after that to do their 6-month post.

Last week wasn't terribly exciting, we got out for some of our usual adventures: a walk to the Ferry Building, music class, swim lessons (solo! Thank you to Morgan for stopping by to help me get one out of the pool!). We had a blast going to the new park across from the Ferry Building with Ashley and London.

I had several Jr. League meetings, including a 'New Moms' Training. I think it was more for expectant or brand-new moms, like with babies a month or less, but I've found that it's hard to do a lot of the volunteer events because they're in at least 3-hour blocks of time. Since I try to breastfeed George as I don't get as much if I just pump, these trainings are perfect at 2-hours or less. Dave and I had a great dinner at Gitane, somewhere that's been on my list forever but we finally got there. I feel like we tried just about everything on the Basque menu -- sausage and beans, scallops, jamon iberico, rabbit, duck and of course, beignets.

The weekend was pretty low-key too, our building was holding the annual BBQ and Annie came over for it. So great to finally see her and catch up. Sunday we went to church -- and walked back into the nursery to find William fast asleep in the lady's arms, just where he likes to be. We got some brunch, then is was a win for the 49ers! My mom came over to give us a break that afternoon. Not as much action as the previous weekend, but I think the perfect amount for Dave :)

What We Ate Wednesday

When I was getting my nails done last weekend, I was browsing through Bon Appetit and came across a chickpea and pasta recipe that looked good. I had done that combination before and it's surprisingly good, so I picked up some ground turkey to have on hand for a simple meal like this. I had a Junior League meeting and knew Dave would be home late so I prepped dinner before I headed out and was so happy to come home to it later. Super-easy, just a few ingredients, only one pot, pretty healthy and I could incorporate my favorite fall ingredient, pumpkin. The pasta is cooked in broth so it's rich and flavorful. A definite keeper!

Turkey & Chickpea Pumpkin Pasta

1 package lean ground turkey
1/2 can of pumpkin puree
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp chili powder1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 32-oz box of chicken broth
1 box pasta, campanelle or similar

In a large skillet, brown the turkey over medium-high heat. If there's a lot of fat/liquid, drain most of it off. Stir in the pumpkin puree, seasonings and chickpeas, then add pasta and pour chicken broth until all pasta is covered. Bring to a boil and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Then turn down to low, taste to make sure pasta is al dente and season with salt and pepper. Serve, topping with feta and crushed red pepper if desired.

You could definitely add chopped onion, garlic, even sausage in place of the turkey and ideally some parsley or similar to brighten it up, but for a basic pantry dinner, this was great.

Week 25

George can barely contain his excitement and is jumping up and down!
Last week was a busy week, but it turned out pretty well, especially considering I decided to give up the paci on Monday. A week later, I'm pretty happy with where we're at. The paci is not long gone in a dumpster somewhere but most often hides out in my pocket.

There's definitely a love-hate relationship with the pacifier. It can instantly calm and definitely helps reel in William's screeches when we're out and about. It's also a pain in the butt when you're constantly looking for it, or worst of all, trying to crawl under the crib to find it, in the dark, when it falls out of their mouth during the night, always into the furthest corner that basically requires moving the crib. In the beginning it was even worse. They would be asleep and then inevitably the paci would slip out of their mouth, they'd wake up and cry. I'd get up, put it in their mouth, they'd fall asleep and 5 minutes later, the same thing would happen. Those are the super-early days though. Priscilla weaned them of their pacis during the night a while ago and for the most part, they did fine without them, though they still got them to fall asleep. Once they fell out though (or William is much better at just holding on to his), they were able to sleep through it. Regardless, I still didn't like being so dependent on them, hate having adorable photos but then a paci in the mouth, etc, so when I mentioned it to the pediatrician at the 4-month appointment, she recommended getting rid of them between 5-6 months as they'd be comfortable finding their hands, capable of self-soothing, the benefits associated with pacis as far as SIDS prevention goes are basically fulfilled and apparently it's an easier time as they won't really remember having it.  So I decided to go cold turkey starting Monday and vowed to continue with my regular activities and hold out as long as possible. I'm happy to say we survived all of the following sans paci:

Monday: Lunch at a cafe with my twin mom friend. Although they only lasted 45 minutes before it was time to go on a walk.

Tuesday: Stroller bootcamp. Twin mom group, indoors, 1.5 hours. Luckily I had the help of another mom who came with out her babies.

Wednesday: Playgroup with some twin moms, I sort of blew this as it took a lot longer to get there than I thought and we basically arrived at their morning naptime so they were pretty fussy.

Thursday: Music class

Friday: George's physical therapy and errands. My mom was with me to help though.

I think it would be fairly easy to get rid of the paci if it was just for one baby, but it requires entertaining, redirecting, holding, etc. With two, it's harder to distract both, if they're both upset at the same time, but overall, I survived. I didn't care if people were staring as both babies were crying. Where I did draw the line is if one (William) was really upset and couldn't calm down. There's no reason to have him screaming for 20 minutes so I told the nannies that if that happened, they could give the paci, but try to take it away as soon after as possible. Basically I wanted't to get rid of using the paci for every slight fuss and that seems to have worked. Occasionally William will have major freakout, though he didn't last week, and the 6:30-7pm time is always hard too as they're tired, hungry, etc, plus the nanny is usually giving one a bath while the other is 'playing' by themselves, which they're often not happy about so that's a good time for it too.

So overall, no, the paci is not a complete thing of the past, but it's used much more selectively, if at all, during the day. Sometimes I'll give in if I need them to fall asleep in a hurry or quickly calm down, but I try to take it out quickly. They don't have it to go to sleep at night and I only give it to them during the night if they wake up before 6:30am as the paci is really the only thing that will put them back to sleep for a little bit longer.

I'm glad we still managed to get out for some fun stuff last week. I volunteered to take over as facilitator of the New and Expectant Twin Moms group which is held every-other-Tuesday. I enjoyed going to these casual meet-ups when I was a new mom and had told the facilitator that I'd love to take over down the road. Well they temporarily had to move the meetings for the next two months and it's on the other side of the city from where the lady lives so she had to take a break. I offered to take over during this time and we'll see if I continue or not. It's not an ideal time. I have to feed them there and then they should be napping towards the end, which means they nap for the 10-minute car ride home instead... Anyway, I got so much out of the group early on that I wanted to make sure it continued over the next two months for those new or expecting moms.

I also took over as admin of the Jan-June 2013 twins playgroup as no one was doing anything and I really want to meet other twins/twin moms around the same age. We had our first meet up and 2 other moms and sets of twins came, but I think it will take a bit to really get it going. A lot of moms have gone back to work too so that makes mid-week meet ups harder.

Wednesday night, the girls came over for a casual potluck. I'm really trying to get us back into a once-a-month (at least) dinner. It was great to catch up and the boys stayed asleep so everything turned out great.

We had a lot of fun at music class again and I'm thrilled that George is out of physical therapy for torticollis. The last few sessions have really just been playtime so I asked if it's really necessary for us to keep coming. I'm so happy it turned out to be such a minor setback. She has a chart that shows all sorts of little milestones and both babies are right on track. It seems like George will be crawling fairly soon. I'm still convinced William will hold out and go straight to walking. We'll see.

Saturday we headed to the GGMG Halloween Carnival. I knew it would be for older kids, but I convinced my friend Olivia to come with her husband and twin boys so it was a nice way to get out of the house and dress up the boys in their costumes. We're Goldilocks and the Three Bears! I decided not to go in full costume (no blonde wig!). It was a good time but parking at Golden Gate Park was an absolute nightmare. Then it was home for lunch, a nap and eating again before heading to our second swim lesson. We didn't like the teacher as much, but still had a good time.

Sunday we headed to a new church for the first time. It's something we've wanted to get into for a while and I checked out a few churches when I was pregnant but then bedrest sort of halted that. We had a nice time and I think the boys had fun playing the nursery. After church, we headed back home and met Aunt Meghan for brunch. I let George hold a piece of sourdough toast and he loved it. Not sure if that's an appropriate first food but what little made it down was probably fine.

Week 24

What a great week (and weekend!). We went down to the medical center in Santa Clara on Monday to visit my brother and I'm so happy to report that a week later, he's now home and doing great. He still will going through therapy for a while, but we're beyond thrilled to have him back. Tuesday we made it to bootcamp and while the boys have been hit or miss as far as naps during the class, this was definitely a good day. That evening I met up with some moms in GGMG for our first book club meet up, this time we read NurtureShock. It was heavy on the research which usually isn't my thing, but still very interesting having conducted studies on topics like praise, parents fighting in front of their children, when to talk about race, siblings impact on social interactions, gifted programs in schools and more. It was fun to discuss these ideas with other moms with kids of various ages but really we ended up talking about a lot more than just the book. Oh, and I tested out a new recipe that I brought to my brother and to the book club, smores bars, and they were a hit!

Wednesday I met up with the twin moms I usually see on Monday, we played at the park for a bit and then walked to the Ferry Building for lunch. That evening I had a training at the center I'm volunteering at for Junior League and it was really interesting. Having planned a lot of trainings myself, I was impressed with what they put together, including the always dreaded role-plays but I think everyone is at least a little more ready to handle different situations in the playroom. I'm really looking forward to my first event with the center which is actually tomorrow.

Thursday we headed to music class but my mom got to along so it was a lot easier to do it with just one baby. We all had a lot of fun. That night Dave and I went out to date night at this souffle restaurant I've had on my list for a while. What a disappointment. We were there an hour before our salads arrive, another 45 minutes for our entree souffle. I had a feeling we wouldn't be getting the chocolate souffle and it's good I asked as the waiter said it would be at least another 45 minutes... 3 hours for a simple 3-course dinner?? I know souffles are temperamental and take time, but come on, that's a bit extreme.

Friday Dave's parents came. In the morning I went to a baby-food making class run by two women who started a homemade babyfood delivery service in SF. It was a great class, much better than the Introducing Solids one I took before. I got some great ideas (using Chinese 5-Spice, definitely!). Dave and his parents had fun playing with the babies while I was gone, then we headed out for a walk to the park in the early afternoon. They showed off all their tricks for their grandparents.

Saturday was their first swim lesson, what a blast!! George is a natural and loved every minute. He has kicking down already. William also did great but the lesson was cutting into his lunchtime so he wasn't having as much fun at the end. We sort of dreaded doing a weekend lesson but I definitely need another adult to go with me, but it really worked out. Dave had a great time so I now need to figure out a more convenient weekend time for us to go. That evening Dave's parents came over for dinner which was really nice.

Sunday was a trip to Fish for the famous crab sandwich and then onto Nicasio Valley Pumpkin Patch. It was so hot out, but we still had a nice time, it was a beautiful drive out there and we got some super-cute pics of the babies. The weekend was capped by the 49ers destroying the Texans (I was feeling a bit sorry for Schaub though). All in all, a great week and weekend!

Week 23

We had several big adventures (beyond our typical activities) last week. On Thursday, we went to our first music class at Blue Bear School of Music. I had heard that this class was a bit better for parents, as they didn't just play baby songs but incorporated adult music too. We had a great time! Forty-five minutes seems like it would be too long for them, but they were both so engaged. We play with shakers, wooden sticks, listened to the guitar, piano and ukelele, but their favorite was when they were laying on the ground and the colorful parachute was going up and down over them. It was a bit difficult juggling both babies, but William can just now sit up on his own, although he's not stable enough that I'd just sit him next to me, so hopefully it will be better in coming weeks. I hope Dave can come to a class sometime as I think it would be fun to sit across from each other so we could see the other baby's expressions. One mom stopped me on the way out and said, 'you should have seen their faces, they were so into it!' I definitely want to see that!

Our other big adventure was a trip to the Aquarium. Travelzoo ran a deal for half-priced tickets so we met up with some friends with babies. We were quite a sight!

I figured they wouldn't get too much out of it, but may at least be interested in the colors and movement of the fish. Well, it was a hit! William especially liked it; George fell asleep towards the end.

I had a nice birthday on Friday. My mom came over and helped me with the babies in the morning. We went to the park for a bit, then had lunch at American Grilled Cheese. Then in the afternoon, I took advantage of a great Travelzoo deal, a spa day including a massage, manicure and pedicure. Such a treat! Dave and I celebrated my birthday at Spruce the night before and had the most amazing dinner -- gnocchi with truffles to start for me and scallops for Dave, and pork tenderloin and pork belly for my main and steak and duck-fat-potatoes for Dave. 

We ended it with beignets. Such a fabulous meal! For Friday night, I picked up our favorite take-out, which is really just a great restaurant that you also order out from, ZeroZero. Their mason pizza (with bacon and corn) is to die for. It was definitely a different celebration that years past in places like Hawaii, but it was a perfect celebration to kick off year 32.