7- & 8-Month Favorites

LeapFrog activity table - #1 favorite toy right now and was what got George to pull himself up. I got this one for $10 at a consignment store. Great item to buy secondhand.
Earth's Best Oatmeal - I actually wasn't too excited to start solids with rice cereal so I opted instead for things like avocado and banana. Our pediatrician still said it's important to incorporate in a cereal, for the iron, so now I usually do several cube of fruit with a little oatmeal and water or breastmilk. They finish it every time!
Fisher Price Space Saver high chairs - I did a bunch of research on high chairs and looked at a lot of standard-size high chairs, but kept coming back to these. It seems like they're a favorite of just about every twin mom so finally I decided to go with them. SO glad I did. They take up so little space and they get the job done. Highly recommended and so affordable.
Bjorn bibs - This is another item that is a parent favorite and now I know why. Super-easy to clean and a good lip to catch spills, loose pacis and spoons, etc. They don't fold or roll up so they're best for at home.
Rattle - My mom picked this up at the Academy of Sciences gift shop and it's been one of their all-time favorite toys since. It's the perfect size for small hands -- and small mouths -- the handle is the perfect size for chew on.
Curious George Pat-a-Cake book - My boss sent a big box of books when the babies arrived, which was such a great gift to get. This book was included and it's for sure their favorite book. Every time we take it out, they get a big smile on their face; they love the little puppet George. This even made the trip to Cincinnati with us.
Boon spoons - I didn't try out a range of spoons or anything, but what made me love these, is pretty much from day one of eating solids the boys have been able to grab these and feed themselves.
Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Puppy - this is another favorite, though Dave's mom actually sent this a while ago. They've always liked it, but it's within the last month that they love it. Their face lights up when they touch the dog and it starts talking to them. William even does this funny head bounce back and forth while watching the dog.
Cuisinart hand immersion blender - I went back and forth on how I wanted to prepare baby food, but I've always wanted an immersion blender so I finally bit the bullet. This has worked out great, especially since I've mostly roasted food to puree instead of steaming, which can be done in a combo puree in some of the baby-specific blenders.

8 Months Old

We had a great week last week with plenty of adventures to different parks and a visit to the Exploratorium. Perhaps we had a bit too much fun though as the babies came down with slight fevers on Thursday night; George in particular was super-fussy. Luckily they slept well and George was off just a little until his first nap and then woke up back to normal, but William wasn't doing much better. My mom and I originally thought it was teething, so we went to swim lessons on Friday morning and William had his first meltdown during class. He did okay for part of it, but it was definitely the worst lesson yet. What was odd is that they both had a 2-hour nap that morning (we actually had to wake them up at 10:45 to go to swim class), then they fell back asleep in the car on the way over (another 30 minute nap), then they slept on the way home from class for another 25mins and just an hour later went down for a 2-hour nap.

Anyway, it definitely is more than teething and since then, they seem to have had good days and bad, but I started getting sick on Saturday, having to stay in bed most of Sunday (I honestly don't know how you can take care of your baby on your own when sick, thank God Dave was home). My cold is running its course now, mostly down to a cough and a tired voice. Poor William, who already has congestion problems on a regular basis, now is so stuffed, even when we try to clear his nose, that he can't breath out of his nose while sucking his paci, so he's been waking up at night. Luckily, it's mostly been between 7-10pm, though sometimes multiple times, but amazingly he's still been sleeping well during the night. Poor guy also has a pretty nasty cough. George joins in occasionally but seems to be doing much better overall. Dave has been Super Dad since Sunday, and as it's been 7 days without a nanny (BOTH of our nannies were sick too...), so everyone's excited to see Lolina.

8 months old!

EAT: They're continuing to get more and more efficient at milk feedings, and they're probably starting to eat less too. They're still eating at 7, 10, 1, 4 and 7 and while last month at this time, William was very predictable as to how much he'd take at a given feeding, now it definitely varies. He's still pretty good about taking almost all of the 6.5oz at the first feeding and will usually close to finish the 8oz before going down for the night. Throughout the day though, instead of the standard 6oz, sometimes it's 5, sometimes 3, but usually somewhere in between. George also has times where he's nursing a lot shorter, but seems to be done. Thanks to this natural decrease, but because I'm still pumping after ever feeding, just within the last week, I haven't had to use formula. We'll see if my body balances out and if we're done with it. William still isn't great at holding his bottle -- don't get me wrong, he knows how to, he just gets distracted, wants to play with it, etc, so usually I end up holding it for him. It is nice to have a bit more time in between feeding to be able to get out and do something. An hour used to be the quickest I could get us out the door from feeding time, but now, if I'm really efficient, it's about 40 minutes. I nurse George and feed William at the same time, then have all their clothes and diapers on the floor so that while I pump I can change them and get them dressed.

Solids - I would say that they're doing okay with solids. It's been a little less than two months and while they've tried tons of different things, they really only consistently do well at breakfast, which we serve around 8:15 (they have their first bottle around 7/7:30am). They've had a variety of fruits which I mix a little oatmeal cereal into. They almost always finish and generally get through it without crying. After this meal, they go straight into bed to take a nap. We feed them once more during the day, and have been doing dinner time, testing out different times between 5 and 6pm. They almost always end up crying and sometimes eating okay, othertimes, not eating much at all. I think it's clear they like fruits more and we have tried mixing some of their favorites, like pears, into dinner, but that only sometimes works. I mixed up plenty of tasty options but I know it may take them several times of trying something before tolerating it. It's also nice to know that they're still getting the majority of their nutrients from breastmilk so I'm not stressing about how much they're eating of the solids. I'm more concerned that they're at least exposed to plenty of different flavors now.

Really, what they seem to like best is whatever I'm eating. They'll eat pieces of fish, bites of oatmeal and various other nibbles, but if I offer the same thing pureed up (or even not pureed) later on, they don't go for it.

New foods tried this month: Carrots, Japanese eggplant, cauliflower, cantaloupe, falafal, turkey burger, lamb, cannelleni beans, black beans, tortilla, lavash, pumpkin scone, cheddar grits, tilapia, red lentils, tofu, spinach, raspberries. Some meals from this month:
-Rice and fish
-Pork and carrots
-Chicken tortilla soup
-Black beans, tofu and avocado
-Black beans, squash and pork
-Pasta, butternut squash and spinach

SLEEP: Still doing great here, actually even better. They are going down for the night by 7pm and have been getting better and better about sleeping until 7am. They used to be up and rolling around sometime between 6 and 7am, and occasionally I'll need to get up while pumping to give a paci, but that's rare. Dave, who wakes up with them most mornings, now says it's maybe once a week that they're up at 7, the rest of the week it's later. They've been sick the last few nights, so we have had to go in and give pacis occasionally during the night, but outside of them being sick, we rarely need to do that. I keep thinking that we'll be going down to two naps soon, but they actually slept even better this month, many mornings sleeping for 1.5 hours in the morning, then 30 minutes to an hour while we're out around noon and then at least 2 hours in the afternoon.

PLAY: The babies are playing together more which basically means that they're usually together, playing with the same toy (if it's big enough) or grabbing the smaller toys back and forth. William has become a lot more mobile this past month, getting faster and more confident in crawling around the house. He still has an interesting crawl, or scooch, where the left forearm is used versus the right hand. George has the whole cross-crawl thing down, but still does the army version. We've gotten multiple new toys over the past month and it's the little activity table that seems to be their favorite. Plus, they love this talking dog that Ma sent months ago, and they've always liked, but now their face lights up every time it starts talking. They now have figured out how to 'make things work', getting their toys to make noise or light up. They also know how to turn pages in a book and enjoy touching the textured components of the different books. Still, I'd have to say, it's the things that aren't toys that are most interesting. They both love paper, though now I do need to keep a close eye as they have started chewing it. George is still a bit more adventurous and will go for exactly what he's not supposed to, but William eventually catches on too.

Both have sitting down and although I'm still a bit cautious and want to sit within catching-distance, they're probably to the point where they're pretty secure. Crawling (or creeping), check. Pulling up, not quite. George just yesterday was able to pull himself up on his knees to play with the activity table and then this morning pulled himself up for the first time. I haven't seen William do this yet. They are pretty strong when standing though (holding on to something, when someone has pulled them up), and they really like standing. We were at my parents house yesterday and George was able to crawl up the single step from the family room to the kitchen. We haven't been anywhere that had a step like this but he got it right away. William continues to be really focus, all the time, but when he's tired/cranky/frustrated, he babbles lots of syllables. Still hearing plenty of maamaas and daadaas but I'm not considering that any first word as he's not associating it with either of us. George continues to get more vocal and I have heard syllables here and there, but it's definitely more rare.

To my princes:

William... before you got sick last week, there were about 4 days where you were GREAT! I mean the best you've ever been. Basically you took over George's easy-going personality. I would put you down and you'd crawl around and play on your own as opposed to whining and crying. You were independent and overall, really happy. It was so great and Daddy and I said, maybe everyone was right, maybe it was teething (okay, 8 months of teething, but still). We were really hoping that you were feeling better and this was actually you're real personality. But then you got sick, and I can't blame you, I'm not in a good mood when I'm sick either. What was so ironic is that when you were in your great mood, George was fussy. It's like you knew that you were going to be on your best behavior because your brother needed to be needy for a few days. But anyway, you still aren't feeling great and have a terrible cough so you're not back to 'normal' (whatever that is). I'm so hopeful that we do get another glimpse of that happy boy, he's the best! Regardless, I'm so proud of how much you're moving around now. You're becoming more curious and even leading the way sometimes to explore new areas of the house. You're just as dependent on your paci as ever, but only because you've been sick. For those magical couple of days, you really didn't need it much. You love feet and looking at painted toenails, or shoes with laces. You also love being on your back; back float is your best at at swim lessons, but also around the house, you like to just lay on your back and play with toys. The jumper is still one of your favorites, and you also like the talking dog. The rattle is always popular too.

Georgie, my little explorer. On the one hand, you're so easily distracted (you always have to break from nursing to check on the zippers on the pump bag... multiple times), on the other hand, you can focus on stuff for a lot longer than I'd expect a baby to. We finally got rid of the coffee table, but you loved crawling through it, crawling under the jumpers, back into corners, etc. Your new love this month is doors. You love flinging the French doors separating the dining and living rooms. You're still a fan of screws, zippers, buckles and the like and I can see the wheels turning as you try to figure out how things work. You were so toy-obsessed early on, and you still like toys, but it's the 'real stuff' that you want now: the remove, my phone, paper of any kind and you're much more fascinated by what you find around the house. You also love wheels. At the park, when I take you out of the stroller to crawl around, you generally stick right by the stroller as you're entranced with the wheels. The new travel stroller was a hit until you got stuck under it checking out all the different wheels.
It was so sad to see you sick, you totally weren't yourself, but luckily it was short-lived. Generally, you're still really easy going and independent. I'd say that last month you were a better eater, gobbling down just about anything. This month, not so much.

No doctor's appt until next month, but some other stats:

eyes: brown
hair: brown, and lots of it
teeth: 4

eyes: still can't really tell. Definitely not blue anymore, but not brown either. Mostly they look grey, but look different in different light.
hair: Dave was telling friends that it's a bit red and I thought he was crazy, but in certain light, I now see what he means. Quite the cameleon, sometimes it looks blonde, sometimes brown and othertimes reddish.
teeth: 0

Merry Christmas from Santa's Little Helpers!

I was 50% right. I knew George would just stare, but I figured William would cry...

Time to open our stockings!


Christmas Day in Danville

All {William and George} Want For Christmas Is...

Forget the toys, here's what we really have our eye on:

 So many buttons!

 Cords, tubing, knobs, zippers, straps (George's dream come true)

Shiny and lots of buttons, let me play with it!

Mom is never without this which makes it high on our list too.

Cords AND noisy sticky stuff together? Jackpot!

And of course, an endless supply of pacis!!!!!

What We Ate Wednesday

The boys are doing so much better with eating and actually prefer to eat whatever I'm eating which makes things even more fun. They're both quite the beggars and when I bring my lunch over to eat while playing with them, after they eat at 1pm, they'll come from wherever they are in the room as soon as they spot the bowl. I give them little tastes and they do really well with it. I've made several dishes this week that I've then been able to feed the babies the next night and it's so much fun to do it this way, not to mention it's a lot less work.

We try to do 'Fish Sundays' since we've inevitably had a big breakfast out after church, or some sort of junk food over the weekend. Sunday evenings we don't have any help with the babies, most of the time at least, so it's the toughest night to get dinner made as both Dave and I are involved with the entertaining, feeding, then bathing/bedtime routine. So usually I'm not too adventurous with my fish recipes and just grill something up while some rice is cooking and then steam a vegetable to go along with it. Simple, and good enough, but Dave was pleasantly surprised with this dinner which was so much better than typical Fish Sunday. There weren't any bones in the tilapia so it was easy to crush some up with a fork, and do the same with the rice. The babies enjoyed it too!

Tilapia with Coconut Ginger Fried Rice
based on recipe by Fresh and Foodie

2 5-ounce tilapia filets  
1 cup uncooked rice (I used 3/4c brown jasmine and 1/4c white jasmine)  
2 1/4 cups coconut milk (I used a mix of full fat and light)
1 cup snow peas 
3 tablespoons vegetable oil  
2 tablespoons ginger, finely grated  
2 cloves garlic, minced  
3 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
1/2 cup diced bell pepper (yellow, orange and/or red)   
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped  
2 tablespoons fish sauce  
2 teaspoons Sriracha  
Juice of 1/2 lime

Combine the coconut milk and rice in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Then lower heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Check rice, you may need to add a little bit of water.  While rice is cooking, I used a steamer basket and steamed the snow peas for 2 minutes, then set aside. Once the rice is done cooking, preheat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add vegetable oil and heat until shimmering. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute.  Add the bell pepper and cook until softened, several minutes. Add the coconut rice and cook for four minutes, stirring constantly. Add white parts of scallions and half the cilantro; cook for two minutes. Add the fish sauce; cook for a minute. Add Sriracha, green parts of scallions, snow peas and remaining cilantro. Squeeze the juice of half a lime on top, and stir to combine. Remove from heat.

While rice is cooking (or immediately after), heat a skillet over medium high heat and add a little oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper then add to the pan, cooking for 3-4 minutes per side, though it really depends on the thickness of the fish. Serve fish atop the fried rice.

Week 33

Not too many photos for this week, I have some great ones to share but am waiting til our Christmas cards start arriving before I share them on the blog :)

The babies came to baby sign language class with me last Monday. Usually I leave them with Lolina but figured we could all go and she can take care of William, which he inevitably got fussy and she was able to go outside with him. Later that night, I met up with the ladies in my parenting book club to discuss Positive Discipline. A bit ahead of the babies for now, but was interesting to start thinking about how I want to approach this. I definitely didn't agree with everything in the book (something to the effect of (and definitely not direct quoting) 'if your child hits, instead of telling them not to hit, be present and physically stop them before it happens'. Hmm, I don't see myself doing this. But the book does offer good suggestions of redirecting, teaching and overall being positive instead of 'no! no! no!'.

Tuesday was a busy day with the New and Expectant Moms group. We had another full house, but it was great to see several of the moms approaching 35 weeks. That evening I headed to our Junior League Tuesday night dinner at SFCAPC. Sort of a mini-disaster. The girl in charge of bringing dinner didn't realize that frozen lasagna takes over an hour to bake, so a bunch of us were slicing and microwaving smaller portions to try to get the families fed. Luckily it still worked out.

Wednesday we went to a play date at a friend from baby sign language class' house. It was fun to meet several other moms who are mostly home and their babies were just slightly older. It was sort of tough timing as their babies are on 2 naps a day whereas W&G are still on 3 so they were definitely cranky by the end of it. Thursday was our last music class for the year, I've really enjoying this weekly outing with the babies and am so thankful I was able to manage it on my own with both of them. That evening, Dave and I ate at Stones Throw, a new restaurant over in Russian Hill and it was so good! Mustard and Duck Liver Pate with Pretzel bread (a play on mustard and pretzels), squid ink pasta with seafood, the duck for me and steak for Dave. Everything, including the service, was excellent. Highly recommended! Only complaint is that there is no chocolate on the dessert menu, epic fail. We headed to Swensen's for ice cream after instead.

My favorite part of Saturday was dropping off all of the gifts for our adopt-a-family. Our Christmas tree is now pretty bare of gifts, but that's okay. We don't get to meet the family, but it always feels so good to drop it off, both in the sense that it's a big project to get everything, wrap it, then it takes over your house and it's nice to get it out, but obviously also because you just hope the family has an awesome Christmas.

Sunday we went to the Yahoo! holiday party for kids and the boys got to meet Santa! Photos to come :) But it went surprisingly well! Then we ended the weekend with a little holiday celebration with my dad's side of the family. Oh and of course the Niners' win that morning!

Week 32

Since getting back from Cincinnati, we've just been settling back into our routine at home. We met some other twin moms for a walk around the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park on Wednesday. We came back to 70 degree weather when we got home from Cincinnati, but it quickly dropped off to highs in the low 50s, brrrrr. It was still nice to get outside and chat with the other moms.

On Thursday, Dave took the day off so he could come to music class with us. We had a great time and got a few photos of them with their rhythm sticks, shakers and the big drum. That night we had a pretty good dinner out at our date night.

Friday, we had another fun swim lesson. The boys are really doing well with it and are loving the water. It's fun to let them 'swim' for just a second on their own.

That night I got to go to to dinner with Megan and Nicole, who was in town for the weekend. So much fun to catch up with the old SB roommates, though had to brave a torrential downpour and freezing temps. On Saturday, Dave hung out with the babies while I went to Ashley's baby shower. We had a great time celebrating Ashley's baby boy. I am so excited to meet the little guy and hold a tiny baby again. They really do grow so fast! That evening, Dave and I went to the Yahoo! holiday party which was right near our place.

On Sunday, we headed to church and William made it through in the nursery -- we didn't get a call this time! Definitely making some progress. After church, we met up with my brother and his family at Dolores Park for some lunch and playtime -- it was still freezing but the kids didn't seem to notice. We finished up the weekend with an exciting win for the 49ers over the Seahawks. Yay!!

It's been so fun to have the house all decked out for Christmas but it does make it feel smaller, especially since we've gotten a few larger toys for the boys. It will be nice to get everything organized and put away before we leave for Florida. Countdown is on, only 6 more days of work for Dave!

7 Months Old & Thanksgiving

This month has flown by and when their 7-month birthday came around on November 20, I told Dave, 'already?!'. I think because we didn't have their 6-month check-up until Oct. 31, it made the 7-month-mark come even quicker. Also, while they seem to be doing more and more every day, it was really the sixth month when they learned to do so many new things.

It was a good month, but Monday was a rude awakening back to the real world of me being on my own with them -- it's tough! I was so spoiled when we were in Cincinnati for almost a week. So many extra hands ready and raring to hold the babies (William temporarily forgot, or perhaps refused, to hold his own bottle). I got to pump in peace every single time. I even read a book with all that uninterrupted time! (French Kids Eat Everything is highly recommended by the way). The boys are definitely manageable and I've gotten so used to being alone with them all day, but it was slightly overwhelming to get back into the swing of things; multitasking to an extreme (pumping, getting one dressed and trying to have a conversation with my dad on the phone, didn't really work out too well).

We had such a great visit though, tons of family time and lots of bonding with cousins Zach and Lizzy. The weather was really cold, but honestly didn't affect us to much, besides shifting all our activities to indoors. We visited the aquarium, a conservatory that was decked out for the holidays with trains, ate at all of Dave's favorite spots and his parents hosted an open house on Friday for all their friends and family to meet the babies. The whole trip worked out really well. We settled into a good routine at his parents' house, their same routine as at home, except they were up 9am-9pm ET (so they were just one hour off of California time). It allowed us to sleep in a bit too and definitely made getting back on California time much easier. They slept great despite the new environment, different cribs, etc. Dave's mom had one crib and a portacrib and we put them in the same room and for the most part, they did great. George had trouble a few times going down for a nap or bedtime, like the old days, but overall was great.

It was so nice not to have to lug everything to Cincinnati too. We brought their carseats and they each had a duffle bag that we stuffed into the carseat bag and checked for free. Since we didn't have to bring cribs, a stroller, etc, I didn't skimp on some of the other stuff, bringing a bottle drying rack for example. Slightly bulky, but definitely nice to have once we were there. All of it was a good test run for Florida in January. Biggest change is that Dave is going to get his own diaper bag -- it's just way to hard to fit everything in one bag despite my minimalist efforts. Even bringing an extra shirt for both Dave and I, and an extra outfit for each of them, plus diapers and wipes, takes up most of the bag. Then we have bottles, a couple of toys, my kindle, and you're already looking at an overstuffed bag. Not to mention that we have to dig through the overstuffed bag and pass stuff to the other person. A second bag is definitely a good idea.

Otherwise, the flights were as good as I'd hope. No major crying, a bit of fussing, but even with them being good, it is a lot of work. Neither of us gets a break obviously and you're basically entertaining a baby for the entire flight. Naps were few and far between. There's not a lot of room, it's hard to move around, super uncomfortable, etc., but overall, I'm just so grateful they did as well as they did. Especially considering the afternoon we got home, William was a complete basketcase. Not sure what we would've done if that had been on the flight. Despite the bad afternoon, at least we got to see my sister and her family and catch up with them before they headed back to LA on Sunday.

I can't believe it was last Thanksgiving when we did the big reveal with the families and now our two little turkeys are 7 months old. It so fun to watch them interact more and more each month, get more mobile and now eat solids.

EAT: We dropped the 10pm dreamfeed last month and never looked back. They now eat at 7, 10, 1, 4 and 7 and William is pretty much clockwork in how much he takes at each feeding. He holds his own bottle so now I just put him on the leachco pillow on the floor with his bottle while I nurse George. A feeding takes 10-15 minutes now (what a dream!). I'm still pumping after every feeding for 20 minutes, which is getting more and more difficult.  My supply hasn't increased, but now that I don't feed George at 10pm, but still pump, I'm very close to giving them all breastmilk, sometimes just 2-4oz off. They've been doing solids for about 3 weeks now and have done really well, but their milk intake hasn't decreased yet.

Solids - They've had a variety so far and while William had some trouble in the beginning, he's eating well, though George still can't get enough (most of the time). William will still dramatically gag on any new food, to the point of spitting it back up if it actually makes it down. But I know a lot of that is just adjusting to the new tastes, textures, etc., and doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't like it so I continue to try. So far they've had avocado, banana, sweet potato, butternut squash, peaches, plums, summer squash, nectarines, mango and pear. On Thanksgiving they tried turkey and sweet potatoes that I pureed (George was a fan, William gagged quite a bit), then on Friday we had leftover ham with sweet potatoes, both did better with that. I want to offer them more and more of what Dave and I are having for dinner, just in a more pureed form, so the last two night I've tried some brown rice with snapper. They took it down okay last night but even mixed with sweet potatoes tonight, weren't going for it. We all went out for breakfast after church on Sunday  and it was so fun to feed them little bits of our meals. They seemed to like that but wow, eating out with them is definitely a handful! I'm glad William's eating has improved and can't wait to try more combos with them.

SLEEP: Luckily not to much to report here. They sleep consistently from about 7pm to 6am or so. We don't get them out of bed until about 7am. Some mornings they're moving around right at 6 but will go back to sleep if I give them their pacis, other mornings they sleep straight through until 6:45 or so. I feel so grateful they're doing so well with the sleep. I figured by now that we'd need to go from 3 naps to 2, but William is definitely not ready and luckily George is hanging in there. They still need to go down for a morning nap by about 8:30 or so, for 45mins, sometimes as long as 1.5 hours (rare). Then they nap again around noon (we're usually out for this short nap) and their main nap is 2-4pm.

PLAY: Lots of moving for both of them, although William doesn't care to move around quite as much. He'll usually go just far enough to be able to stretch for what he wants. George is definitely the 'explorer'. I notice that he moves a lot more in our house than he did at Dave's parents', at the park, etc. It's now to the point where I have to keep the bedroom door shut and always need to be aware of where he is. On the otherhand, he still doesn't move too fast. Their new favorite activity is spit-up finger painting, fun! Basically as I'm usually hooked up to my pump, one of them spits up on the other side of the room and I need to somehow get over there to wipe it up before one purposely rubs his arm/hand in it and smears it all over, or crawls through it. They really like their jumpers too and now that they are more mobile, it's nice to have somewhere safe to put them if I need to do something quickly. Surprisingly, they still love the mobile. George has figured out how to turn it on by himself. I do catch them interacting more and more, they're definitely aware of each other, but the most fun is when they 'talk' to each other. There's more grabbing going on now too -- William's luscious locks are a prime target. They like most of the toys we put out for them, switching them out every couple of days, but what they really love is this one rattle. They take it from each other and it must be the perfect weight to hold and size/shape to fit in their mouth to chew on. They also love the gymboree sensory balls, actually this is the one thing that will get William crawling. Their favorite book is this Curious George book that has a stuffed animal/puppet as part of the book.

Latest on the pacis: Cincinnati was a full on paci-fest, which was fine, but William is back to having it most of the day. He's getting his third tooth in and has been super fussy so I feel like it's the least we can do. I try to keep it from George as much as we can (he doesn't have any teeth yet). I'm still not thrilled about how dependent William is on it, or while George is fine with out it, he'll still go out of his way to find one and get it in his mouth.

Both are sitting up pretty well on their own, William is still stronger than George, but seeing as George was completely falling over last month, he's made great progress. I still need to keep a hand nearby them when they're sitting.  They both like to stand and can stand on their own (meaning holding on to something), but haven't pulled themselves up yet. They also don't know how to go from sitting to crawling or vice versa. At least if they do topple over now, they don't usually cry so hopefully they'll figure it out soon. William is still quite verbal and is now doing multiple syllables like maaaaamammmma. He's not saying 'mama' yet but definitely 'talking' a lot. George just does sounds and squawks, no syllables yet. Both have mastered 'downward dog' and plank positions, it's pretty funny to watch.

To my boys...

Wilhelm - You poor thing, you're getting in your third tooth and I know it's giving you a hard time. Sometimes you're fine, but there are other times when you're so fussy, or much worse and inconsolable. You've been waking up early from naps, and I can tell you don't want to wake up yet, but your teeth must be bothering you and you can't sleep. We've resorted to medicine a couple of times to try to help. But just as from day 1, when you're happy, you're really happy and it's the best, but when you're sad, you're really sad.  You have a lovey now, well, we've given you a little blankie since you were unswaddled but I didn't realize until a couple weeks ago that you've taken to it. When we put you in your bed, you pull the blankie close and roll to one side and go straight to sleep. We even brought it with us on the plane to Cincinnati and it did seem to help. Just within the last week you're crawling around more and playing more independently; I'm so proud of you! You love bathtime and loved taking baths at Ma's house. We didn't have our ducky tub but you preferred to just lay on your back anyway. You love doing the back float at swim lessons too; I can't believe how comfortable you are. Eating has been a new adventure, I can't say I'm surprised with how you've taken to it. You don't seem to like new tastes and textures and are quite dramatic with your gagging and coughing, but even within the last few weeks, you've done so much better. I think I'm most excited about your 'talking', though some of your sounds, like the new clicking noise you make, are not my favorite. I wonder what your first word will be...

Jorge - Daddy jokes that he never knew he'd have a Mexican son but I'd say a good 40% of the time, that's what you're called. You're really moving now, you're still doing a creep, but have opposite arm and leg coordinated like real crawling. You're strong and like to play around in plank or downward dog, but haven't taken to actual crawling up on your hands yet. You're still the explorer and crawl under, over and behind things. You love crawling through our death-trap of a coffee table. Enjoy it while you can, our child-friendly ottoman will arrive any day! I was surprised that you didn't crawl off more at Ma's,
but now I see that you're comfortable at our house and will head into the kitchen, dining room or even
into our room, which is off limits. You still love looks at plugs, cords, clips, screws, etc. and both Ma and Dedee have said how amazed they are at the amount of time you can focus on one thing, very un-babylike. You always seem to be trying to figure out how things work. You love food and are quite the eater. There have been a few times when you're fussy with different foods (fish and rice didn't go over so well), but for the most part, you love whatever you're served and grunt to get more of it. Usually the ratio is 2-3 bites for you to every 1 for William, at least in the beginning, then it's all you anyway. The last few days, you've turned into quite the beggar. Many times I eat a snack while playing with you guys on the floor, but lately you've crawled across the room to me
when you see I'm eating something, and will start crawling up on my lap and grunting for a taste. Just today I gave you some tortilla, squash and black beans from my burrito, plus some of my cutie clementine. You just wanted more and more and started crying when it was gone. It so fun to see you enjoy food!

My favorite part of this month is to see you two interacting more and more. When you look at each other and laugh, it's the absolute best. I can't wait for a lot more of that!

What We Ate Wednesday

I finally remembered to take a photo and this one is definitely worth it. I made this for the first time when I was pregnant and now it's one of our favorite soups to have. This one wasn't too spicy so maybe I'll puree it for the babies for their dinner tomorrow!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Based on Pioneer Woman recipe

2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
1 Tablespoon olive oil 
1-1/2 teaspoon cumin 
1 teaspoon chili powder 
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 Tablespoon olive oil 
1 diced onion 
1 diced green bell pepper 
1 diced red bell pepper
1 diced jalapeno 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel Tomatoes And Green Chilies 
32oz low sodium chicken stock 
3 Tablespoons tomato paste 
2 cans (15 Oz. can) black beans, drained 
3 Tablespoons cornmeal Or Masa 
5 whole corn tortillas, cut into uniform strips around 2 to 3 inches

Sliced green onion
Shredded cheese

Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.  Add the chicken breasts to the dutch oven and sear both sides. Remove and rough chop, set aside. (Chicken won't be cooked through but will cook more later).

Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, jalapeno and minced garlic (adding more oil if necessary). Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add chopped chicken and stir.  Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered.  Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 20 minutes, adding more water if soup is too thick for your liking. Check seasonings. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, heat some vegetable oil in a small skillet and cook tortilla strips until crispy (about 30 seconds). Ladle into bowls and add toppings and tortilla strips.