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!

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