10 Months Old

Where is the time going?? I keep thinking back to those tough few months when I was practically wishing time away. It was so much work in the beginning, with little reward, but now that they're so active and changing and doing something new every day, it seems like the months are flying by. I'm starting to plan their 1st birthday party which is really surreal. I keep reminding myself that even though they seem so big, they'll never be this small again.

As pretty much everyone has said, it really does get more and more fun. I feel like we have a lot more freedom now and have really enjoyed the flexibility of being able to eat out with them and not be tied so much to the breast/bottle feeding routine. While that's still a big part of their food intake, it's a blip on the radar as far as time consumed during the day. Not like the early days where all it felt like I was doing was feeding. and pumping.

After the great long weekend, and Dave officially back to work, we got back into our routine a bit more. Some visits to the park and the ferry building, a playdate at a twin mom's house and music class. Friday was just gorgeous out and luckily we got to spend it outside, meeting up with my friend Katie and her daughter Frankie at Alta Plaza Park. Great view of the city and it was so hot out!

On Saturday we headed over the bridge to help celebrate Crusoe's second birthday and Sunday was a another beautiful day so after church we headed to brunch (found a great spot with a garden AND takes reservations, score!) and then to Presidio Heights Playground where they could use the push toys. My favorite video to date.

The weekend was capped off by Annie and I getting a spa day thanks to a Travelzoo deal at Cocoon. Can't Complain!

EAT: They seem to be back on track now with how much they're eating, with William taking around 25oz a day. I would say he finishes his bottles about 80% of the time. As I mentioned, while feedings used to be so time consuming, the milk feedings are so quick and easy now. William is still fairly squirmy and definitely does better if someone is holding him while he holds his bottle, but if he's hungry, he can put down his 4oz pretty quickly. The morning and evening bigger bottles are generally finished without fuss as well. Everything seems to be the same with George, though of course I don't know how much he's getting while nursing. I'm pumping the same amount, sometimes even more, so it leads me to believe that George is taking a bit less too. I haven't had to use any formula since Florida and even then I used barely anyway. And finally, finally, I've started a freezer stash. It feel so nice to not have to worry about how much I'm producing for these last two months of pumping for William. I've also cut down by a few pumping sessions as well which has been soooo nice!

Solids: If you haven't noticed from my multiple food-related posts, I'm loving feeding them solids. Once we moved to finger foods, they did a lot better, though I will say over the past week, William, and George just a little bit, have gotten a bit pickier. They tend to go for the carbs (quesadilla, muffins, pancake) first so I've learned I need to cram those things with the good stuff. At dinner, William holds out for the pear or apple that I include as dessert. William is especially talented in putting multiple things in his mouth at once, mixing it all together and then letting just the stuff he doesn't like slip out of his mouth while he continues with the rest...


As far as what they're eating, I've lost track of 'new' foods. They get a taste of everything we're having. Last weekend, I spent some time online looking for good finger-food recipes and then just picked up some more baby cookbooks at the library. I feel like we're in this in-between phase -- not doing purees anymore and having them eat mostly what we're eating, though I'm trying to make it as finger-friendly as possible. I don't want to be creating a whole repertoire of dinners just for them, but they do so much better when they can feed themselves, so I'm trying to find the right recipes that aid in that.

As far as favorite foods, I would definitely say cheese is at the top of the list, and then fruit, especially at dinner time. They've also really liked pancakes, waffles, muffins, meatballs and quesadillas. Least favorites foods, it's actually hard to think of. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely foods they're not in to, but oddly it varies on the day. They don't love green beans, but if that's the only thing on the tray, they'll eat them. Or, they'll love eating some soup that I'm having, and then when they have it for dinner that night, they want nothing to do with it. William definitely didn't like the spinach gnocchi I made.

Just within the past few days, they seem to be getting the pincher grip which makes picking up food and actually getting it in the mouth even easier.

Now to totally embarrass them... I've heard of so many babies that get really constipated when they start solids -- not mine. It seriously is like the newborn days. As I joke to Dave, 'they're gonna poop us out of house and home!'

Things have been a bit off this month and I think George is the culprit. First of all, they (well, at least George) have been waking up between 5 and 5:10am each morning. We're not getting them up at this time, but without fail, 5-6 days a week, they wake up during this time and one of us has to go in, give them a pat, replace a paci, etc. and they almost always go back to sleep. Some mornings they (George) are moving around when I wake up at 5:40, or at some point before I go back to bed at 6:15. We're not really sure what this is about, but it's not too bad, as most mornings they go back to sleep until at least 6:30. It seems like the days of sleeping all the way through until 7am without a peep are long gone.

But, the big change is that we dropped them from 3 naps to 2. Really that middle-of-the-day nap was always in the car or the stroller, about 20-30 minutes around 12:30. It was getting to the point where they were taking longer and longer to fall asleep for their big afternoon nap, sometimes not going down until 3:00. Since I have the nanny come at 4pm, when they should be waking up from a 2pm nap, I really don't want them going down so late and sleeping sometimes until 5pm. So it was definitely time. They've adjusted pretty well when we're out in the stroller; without reclining their seats or covering them with a blanket, they stay awake just fine. But in the car is another story, especially if they haven't gotten a good morning nap. Which is usually the case. George has been sleeping 30-40 minutes in the morning. Barely enough time for me to pump, clean up breakfast and take a shower. I usually can sneak him out before William wakes up so he can get another 20 minutes or so. I've heard from other moms that it takes time for their bodies to adjust, but ultimately dropping the second nap should make them nap longer in the morning. I think we're about three weeks in and this has only happened a few times. As always with babies, there are so many factors that could be affecting their sleep. George is cutting his third and fourth teeth and had been working on the first two earlier this month, so possibly it's that.
Love pulling the shade so they can look out the window
George has still had a few nights here or there where he's really had trouble going down at night. I think partly it's been because he's slept to late in the afternoon and isn't ready to go to sleep yet. But luckily, for the most part, we've moved past the crying fits that we experienced with him trying to go to bed last month.

Reading last month's post, they were so active, but now they're really all over the place. I wouldn't say they're into everything just quite yet, but they're into a lot of stuff. Their most-favorite thing to do at the moment is to push the wooden cart and walk behind it -- either alone or together. My brother passed this cart along to us on Superbowl Sunday and they both got right up and started walking behind it and haven't stopped since. They haven't figured out how to turn yet, so they just ram into things until we help them. Dave says we need to put in a little track so they can walk continuously :)

They also both love to cruise, which they really started doing this month. William prefers it to crawling, cruising along furniture, and even just along the wall in the long hallway. George is so fast with crawling that he'd rather get down, crawl over and pull himself back up. William has finally graduated from the gimp army crawl and now can crawl up on his hands and knees. When he's lazy and whining, he'll still resort to the drag, but for the most part he's doing a real crawl. George has done a real crawl before but he's so slow when he does it and his cross-crawl army crawl is so fast (he looks like a slithering snake!) that the real crawl is still a rarity. They've both mastered going from sitting to crawling to standing and any combination. They both can crouch down, pick something up, and stand back up, but only when holding on to something.

As far as their favorite toys, the cart is the top toy. Though they play with many other things, this is the main thing the LOVE. That and anything else they can pull up on. They love taking the books on the shelf too. Over and over and over. But they also just love the shelf.

Whereas George used to be the sole explorer, both are off and checking out everything they can find. They love playing with doors, pushing chairs, flicking the strings from the shades (which are securely attached to the wall) and pulling any loose cords they can find. They crawl all over at the park, pulling up and cruising; they love holding onto the ropes. William likes the swings more than George.

Bathtime may be their favorite time of the day though. They 'swim' around on their bellies, screech, splash and love their new trick of brushing their teeth, which is just chewing on the toothbrush. When the tub is drained, all that's left is the remnants of their dinner -- spinach gnocchi night left quite a mess!

They're constantly making sounds, still nothing I'd consider a first word, but both are really vocal. They chat it up, especially when they're in their crib and Dave and I have had some luck getting little videos of them stealing pacis and talking to each other.

They're playing together a lot more too, loving being close to each other, or team work to get to something they probably shouldn't.

To my boys:

William: You were off and running this month! Well, not literally, but you are cruising like crazy and loving every minute of it. It amazes me how far you can make it around the house by side-stepping your way around. I'm so proud of you that you crawl like a big boy now, so grown up! You're much more independent this month, exploring different areas of the apartment; it's been a big change from before. You still are cranky at times, most often right before breakfast, but in general you're so much happier now that you're mobile. Your eating is pretty hilarious. We have to be careful how much we put on your tray as you sit there blindly grabbing and stuffing no matter how much you have in there already. You're a good eater at breakfast, but definitely let us know when you're done, which is a lot sooner than George ever is. Lunch and dinner are hit-or-miss, the way you open your mouth and let the food you don't want just roll off your tongue into your bib is pretty classic. You're such a good sleeper though I think your brother wakes you up and you'd easily sleep longer if you could. You definitely have Daddy's rhythm and are musically-inclined. You'll bop you're head to music, and you've also just learned how to clap. You love peek-a-boo and your deep belly laughs that follow are the absolute best and my favorite part of the day; a close second would be how excited you get when in the swing.

What is going on with your sleep?? I'm not sure if it's the teething or what. (Side note: your new teeth are the cutest thing ever). You haven't really been fussy, you're just seriously cutting down your needed sleep. It seems like you're wide awake at 5am and though usually you go back to sleep, you almost always wake up your brother in the meantime (standing over him making you're noises:) It's so cute when I come out of the bedroom in the morning, you see me and come crawling as fast as you can from wherever you are to get your breakfast. You are so patient. Your brother can't wait 30 seconds for his bottle once Daddy enters your room; you sometimes wait a full hour for me to get up. It brings the biggest smile to your face to push the cart around. It's so cute watching you teeter around, happy as can be. I've let you take a step on your own, but you quickly fall to your knees. I know soon enough you'll be walking on your own. You've really made strides with feeding yourself. You're definitely slow and steady, taking at least 20 minutes for a meal (your brother gets antsy much sooner). You've gotten so good at picking up food and I'm finding less and less in the pocket of your bib. You continue to be the squirmiest worm ever. Diaper changes, getting dressed, or ready for bed all require Olympic athleticism. You're so detail-oriented. You can find a small speck of something on the ground in our apartment, you get it on your finger, study it carefully, and more often than not, eat it. I have to be fast when we're out -- you'll crawl over to the dried piece of orange peel, or my personal least-favorite, a hairball that has been blown to the corner of the playground. My favorite moments with you are when you're nursing and touch my face, or when you giggle. Though I must say, I have to laugh at all the predicaments you've found yourself in over the past month...

You actually broke this and we now dry our clothes in the bedroom
Luckily it's soft ground at the park!
Stuck in the toy basket!
We feel so lucky that Dave got to take 7 weeks of paternity leave over the past few months. It was such a special time for our family, but I think Dave feels closer to the boys than ever, so I asked him to write to them and he jumped at the chance.

Helping Daddy

William: We understand each other. I think you will be a song & dance man, just like me. In the hospital, you slept on my chest at night. When I pick you up, you collapse into me. And, you like to take naps in the nook of my arm. I’ll be sad when you are too big for all that. But, I will still hug you whether you like it or not.

George: You remind me of my Papa. Sweet and gentle, but strong and capable. You amaze me with your cleverness and coordination, always leading the way. I think you will look out for your brother and all your other friends. But maybe, get them into trouble sometimes too, just like Daddy.

Week 41

Last week was Dave's last week on paternity leave, he went back on Friday. I think he was sad to leave them, but we feel so lucky that we were able to spend so much time with him over the past few months.

Monday was a bit overcast and cold, plus I needed to pick up a library book, so we headed to Mission Bay Library. They have a few areas for the babies to play, so it was a perfect indoor activity for a good 30 minutes. And I had my first (or my first super-duh!) mommy-brain moment... I needed to pick up a book they had transferred from another library and had on hold. I got the book, proceeded to check it out using self-checkout and then apparently left the book sitting there. So annoying!

Tuesday we did our standard park-and-Ferry Building day but instead of eating something from one of the stands at the farmers market, we went inside and had the most amazing braised lamb and white bean stew. The babies loved it as much as I did!

Though Dave was busy the beginning of the week, we made the most of having him around and met him for lunch at HRD Cafe, a place we've been wanting to try for a while. It's a Korean cafe that's even been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The place is tiny, so we just did take-out and walked to Buena Vista to eat and then play with the babies. George tried my massive Korean burrito and liked it okay.

Thursday was music class; we got the cutest video of William dancing and playing the piano along with the teacher. It's been so nice to have an extra set of hands at class, though I can do it by myself.

We still can't get in a swim class, but my mom came to family swim with us since Dave was back to work. Megan and I got to go visit Ashley and see baby Preston again, so precious!

What a way for Dave to go back to work -- just one day, and then he had 3 days off! We had a great long weekend, heading to Fish for lunch on Saturday. We even ordered from the kids' menu for the babies -- fish sticks. They liked them, though weren't too into the breading so it involved picking out the fish. Next, we headed to the Bay Area Discovery Museum. The lilypads (like big, padded waterbeds), are so much fun!

Sunday we went to church and the babies loved pushing around the walker toys they had there. Then we headed to Colbri for brunch. We love their dinner, but brunch was just okay. William was not a fan of the mango salsa, or any salsa for that matter, but George handled the medium just fine.

Monday we rode the steam trains in Tilden Park. The boys were just in awe -- not necessarily excited, just taking it all in. We did a short hike afterward, and got great views of the bay and the city, then headed to one of our favorite brunch spots in Berkeley, 900Grayson. Chicken and Waffles for me -- and the babies, they couldn't get enough!

To cap off the weekend, my brother and his family came over and we went swimming and in the hot tub. Such a great weekend!

What We Ate Wednesday

If you haven't noticed, I've gotten a lot more into cooking lately, or at least meal prep. I feel like I'm constantly preparing or cleaning up from a meal, but it's important to me that W&G are exposed to lots of different flavors early on. Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty that William in particularwill let slide back out his tongue and down into his bib, but try, try again.

We went to one of our favorite lunch spots, Fish, on Saturday and after having lunch, we decided to pick up some fish for dinner. They had a beautiful black cod and after searching for recipes, one kept coming up, one I had tasted, and loved, from Nobu. Though it required picking up some sake, I had everything else on hand so it was a really easy, and fast (minus marinading time -- I did one day instead of 2-3) dish. And oh so good.

Miso Black Cod with Garlic Noodles and Baby Bok Choy

Miso Black Cod, Nobu recipe
Baby Bok Choy:
trim bottoms, add to a wok over medium-high heat with several splashes of soy sauce.

Garlic Noodles:
Cook noodles of choice according to the package direction. Udon or an egg noodle are preferred. Heat some oil in a wok, add 3 cloves chopped garlic and noodles, stir for 2 minutes. Done!

There wasn't anything left so the babies didn't get any of this, but I was just at Whole Foods and they had black cod on sale, so I have it marinading for Friday's dinner. They'll get a taste then :)

We Eat | Blueberry Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

I usually give the babies some sort of carb for breakfast along with fruit, yogurt and often an egg. I like using the multi-grain waffles from Trader Joe's and I made some flaxseed pancakes, but I wanted to make a big batch of muffins, some to take to Ashley and some for us to eat ourselves. I came across this recipe that's packed with good stuff and the babies loved them... though I'll warn, they're very messy for self-feeding babies :)

Blueberry, Oatmeal and Flaxseed Muffins
from Food52

2 cups whole wheat flour
5 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
4 teaspoons baking soda 1
 teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups blueberries

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 standard-sized muffin pans with paper liners. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, flaxseed, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.

Add the eggs, oil, buttermilk and 3/4 cup water. Mix until the dry and wet ingredients are just combined, and then fold in the blueberries. Spoon the batter into the muffins cups, filling each cup right up to the top, and bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool completely before serving.

Happy Valentine's Day!

We were sad to send Daddy to work today, but otherwise had a pretty good Valentine's Day. Dedee came over so we could go swimming, then we came home and George chowed down on lunch (William didn't do bad either). They were decked out in their Valentines shirts from Ma -- my favorite is 'I heart the Niners', which William is wearing.

W&G missed out on our special dinner -- steak frites (with homemade fries), asparagus and a nice red Dave's been saving. 


Then for dessert, what Dave requested as his present:

homemade Peanut Butter Pie! recipe here

Beach Pics

I've been wanting to get some more professional photos done, and we figured Florida would be a perfect backdrop, and it turned out to be great timing as far as their milestones. They were both sitting up steadily and had been pulling up to standing for several weeks which allowed us to get a better variety of shots. We almost didn't get to do the shoot since the weather had been cool at sunset (when the photo shoots are done), but we lucked out and got one nice evening that last week before we had to go home. Here are some of my favorites.