What We Ate | June 23-29

First (homemade) family dinner. Toasted Barley Risotto with Spinach and Herb Puree and Grilled Chilean Seabass
Not a terribly exciting week of food for the boys. Dave was out of town Sunday through late Thursday so while I wanted to make sure the boys still ate well, I wasn't making a new dinner each night. I made a big pot of pasta on Monday night and the boys and I ate on that for several days.

Mon: Pasta with lamb and butternut squash, recipe
Tue: Leftover pasta
Wed: Grilled tofu with almond butter, chicken-apple sausage, red quinoa, roasted carrots
Thu: Grilled tofu with almond butter, chicken-apple sausage, quinoa patties, roasted carrots, green beans
Fri: Chicken-apple sausage, chickpea patty, cauliflower patty, green beans
Sat: Toasted barley risotto with spinach and herb puree (recipe), grilled Chilean seabass, shelled edamamae -- first homemade family dinner!
Sun: Lamb Leftover risotto and fish, shelled edamamae, cherry tomatoes

New fruit/dessert:
Pomegranate seeds

New breakfast:
Scrambled eggs with cottage cheese
Crumpet with almond butter
Steel-cut oats with flax, with Q'ia, raspberries, blueberries, cinnamon, yogurt
Healthier banana muffins, recipe (added almonds)

New lunch:
Lamb shawarma in lavash
Grilled cheese and salami sandwich on Dave's Killer Bread 21-grain
Lamb shawarma in lavash


New snacks:
Havarti cheese with Applegate salami
Pomegranate seeds
Banana with almond butter
Smoothies (have become more popular as a snack vs. breakfast)
Trader Joe's Lightly Salted Crunchy Green Beans
Crunchy flax cereal with chia (really small so kind of hard for them to pick up)
Granola - still trying to find one that is more in clusters/easier for them to pick up, but got Ladera Almond-Pecan which seems fairly low in sugar, packed with good stuff and tastes great
Carrot cake bars (recipe)

Carrot cake bars

14 Months Old

Here we are again, another monthly post. It seems like I just (re)wrote the 13-month post, probably because I practically did, writing it late.

It's been a month of being sick. When I was in Mexico around their 13-month birthday, the boys and Dave all got sick with a cold, cough, runny nose, the whole thing. Luckily it didn't get much worse for the boys (Dave did end up with pink eye), but it hung on for almost 2 weeks, even longer for Dave.

I knew there was probably no way I would avoid it and right as the boys got better, I got it. Luckily, not as bad as Dave and it only lasted a few days. So there was about a week where no one was sick and then again last week, the boys came down with runny noses, which have been running nonstop since. I got it a few days later and it's still hanging on.

Runny noses haven't stopped us from getting out and about though. We went to the Exploratorium one weekend with Dave, and had lunch at Pier 23 after. They boys loved the mac and cheese, and ahi tosadas.

We've starting meeting up with some other moms in the neighborhood on Mondays at the nearby park, then head to lunch at Crossroads after. There's a drop-in music classes in the common room at a nearby building we've gone to a few times, though the boys are much more into playing in the kitchen area and under the table so I don't think we'll be returning.

We've also been meeting up with a great group of moms in the Presidio. The kids are all around the same age and on the same schedule, plus there are several other moms with twins. It's a trek across the city, but I haven't come across too many other moms in my same situation in my neighborhood (stay at home, kids same age/same nap schedule, etc.).

The boys and I got to check out the Academy of Sciences with my mom one day - they loved seeing the fish and had fun in the tot room. George was obsessed with this fake apple, so we got him a real one in the cafe after and he gnawed on that thing the rest of the day (still didn't finish much!).

We've also gotten to spend some time with the cousins, meeting up with my mom and Crusoe (and occasionally Tenzing). We met them at the Discovery Museum and Hobitot - and had so much fun! Even with 4 kids, it's much easier with 2 adults and we both just try to keep an eye on everyone and split up when necessary.

So many buttons!

Confused by the afro, comb sticking out and all!

Lunch at the table (no high chairs!) with the cousins
Lilypad fun at the Discovery Museum with Crusoe and Dedee

Fridays are swim lessons with Dedee, always finishing up with a picnic overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge after. These boys have the life...

On any days we don't have anyone to meet, we just hit the Ferry Building and the park. It's been a really good month though, many more days meeting up with others than not.

Highlights from the month:
May 22 Switched all daytime milk to a straw cup, only bottle is at 7pm
June 3 G says 'quack quack' for duck, first distinguishable sound
June 11 W did his first painting at Hobitot in Berkeley
June 12 Held their own ice cream cones with raspberry-mint sorbet from the farmer's market
June 17 Finally had to weed out some of the 6-12 pants for W (though there are some that still fit)

New this month:

Les Deux can...
Climb on the couch (G no problem, W most of the time)
'Swim' for approx. 3 seconds on their own from one person to another (still not kicking or using arms to propel them, so I guess it's more 'float')
Pretty consistently point to their nose, eyes, mouth and hair
Quack like a duck, roar like a lion, moo like a cow and say caw for bird
Use basic signs very consistently - more, food, all done, milk, water
Throw a ball (much better than last month, though still not terribly impressive)
Dribble a soccer ball (Weis better than G and they still sometimes pick up the ball, but they have the idea down)
Follow more directions, you can tell they're understanding more and more

George can...
Open and close his foogo thermos by pushing the button, seems crazy that he figured this out already
Go down the slide by himself, but improved this month by being able to climb up the structure, sit down, turn around on his belly and slide down - all by himself
Bring me the changing pad and a diaper when he wants to be changed (well, he also does this when he doesn't need a new diaper...)

William can...
Blow bubbles from a bubble wand (okay, well, he did this once...)
Blow bubbles in the bathtub or pool
Make many new sounds

EAT: It was a good month for food. I looked back at last month's post and they got a little bit picky, but this month is back on track. I'm not saying they eat everything, but they're really good about trying stuff. And to report back, they now eat grapes! It took about 6 or 7 days straight of serving grapes for them to actually start eating them. They would try them, chew them and spit them out, but now, they eat them about as fast as I can put them down. My trick is to put blueberries in the bottom of a little container, then top with grapes. They inhale the blueberries so at least I get them started with the grapes (they still would eat blueberries over grapes though). Other favorites are cheese, raspberries, bananas, salmon, scrambled eggs and pasta.

They ate a ton this month. Despite eating a lot at meals, they would often give me the 'food' sign in between meals as well. I talked to the pediatrician a couple of weeks ago, about their milk intake and snacks, and confirmed that I do need to be giving them a morning and afternoon snack. I really want to avoid grazing or constant snacking though, but it's been working out pretty well so far by giving them a small snack when they wake up from each of their naps. They almost always take it, but if they don't, then they just wait until the next meal. They always have milk and water too.

Snacktime inside! (they stayed on the blanket like this for 2.5 seconds...)
First snack, green beans! (novelty of snacktime was enticing)
This means I've had to come up with more food ideas, but so far our snacks have been pretty successful, mostly healthy and some of them not too messy. Jessica had some good ideas from what the other little boy she watches eats so I'm hoping to build out a list of 20-30 healthy snacks that I can go to.

As for meals, I'm now doing weekly posts of what they eat that will detail that, but they're still doing good having a balance of protein, carbs, fruits and vegetables at most meals. Smoothies have been a new addition this month, with varying success. They always end up drinking them, but they're definitely not loved as much as a store-bought pouch. I cram a lot of good stuff in them though, so I'm not surprised. The good news is they almost always end up finishing them by the end of the day. They're first offered with breakfast, then if not finished, again at morning snack, finally at the afternoon snack if they still haven't finished. George is still more consistently finishing the smoothies than William, but William eats more solid fruit so it all balances out. William is much more likely to drink his in the afternoon than the morning.

On the topic of milk, this has been totally up and down. While initially they adjusted from bottles to milk in a straw cup fairly well, after about a week, intake seriously dropped, some days with William only taking a few ounces all day (and then he'd take 8oz from a bottle). George would drink more, but not a lot more. Moreover, they didn't want to drink anything when they first woke up and they were used to taking 6oz in a bottle, and for William, that meant immediately. Dave couldn't even change his diaper without him having his milk bottle. It does mean they need breakfast earlier though.

Anyway, after talking to the doctor, she put my mind at ease, saying that they were still having plenty of milk, especially if they were eating other calcium from cheese, yogurt, etc. So while I still kept track, I wasn't as concerned. I switched back to their foogo thermoses last week and they're doing well with them now. There's always the novelty of it that leads to them drinking really well from something for the first few days, but they've continued to do well, taking in 8-10oz during the day, and still having their 6-8oz bottle at night. The doctor told me not to worry about getting rid of the evening bottle just yet.

They continue to do well while eating out, though William has recently gotten really squirmy in restaurant high chairs, trying to stand up, etc. I do manage to eat out with them, even on my own, at least once a week, though I will say the places we go are super casual, outdoor seating, food comes pretty quickly.

Current schedule:

6-6:20 - wake up (W is always up first) offered milk in their straw cup/foogo, sometimes will have some, sometimes not
7am - breakfast
8:30am - nap
10ish - am snack, milk offered again
12pm - lunch, milk offered again and before nap
2pm - nap
4pm - pm snack, milk offered
6pm - dinner
bath, 6-8oz bottle, bed, generally asleep by 7:30, G is usually up later

SLEEP: Just like with eating, things are always changing in this department. For a solid 2 weeks right after they turned 13 months, they were clearly tired by 8:30am, so I would put them down and they'd sleep almost 2 hours, even George. They would still take a 2-hour afternoon nap as well. They've always been consistent with the afternoon nap, but the morning nap varies. Generally an hour is normal, but sometimes it's 40 minutes, other times it's an hour-fifteen. Never almost 2 hours, and not for days on end. It was so nice to have the extra time in the morning, but I kept expecting them to wake up so I feel like I was never that productive.

Currently they're still going down by 8:30 most mornings, but usually they're up by 9:45am. What has been nice is that they're able to stay in their crib and play for a bit longer, both in the morning when they first wake up at 6ish (Dave or I will go back to bed for another 20 minutes while they read), but if they wake up early from their morning nap and I'm not done getting ready, I'll give them some books, open their blinds, and leave them for a bit longer. They like playing in there and it allows me to get everything ready for us to go, a lot quicker than I would be able to with them running around.

The morning wake-up is pretty consistent between 6 and 6:20am. William is always up first; sometimes we'll take him out, mostly if it seems like he won't be able to be quiet in the room (reading, etc). That way George can sleep a bit longer.

The afternoon nap is still solid and they go down for it easily. They're good about going down at night as well, though it's rarely 7pm when they're actually asleep. That only happens if they didn't have good naps earlier. There's no fussing, it's mostly playing, looking out the window, reading, stealing pacis, etc. When I check on them later, I still find them in the most uncomfortable-looking positions.

They sleep well throughout the night and there are minimal wakeups each week, that require a quick paci replacement and then everyone's back to sleep.

Paci update: They really were only using their pacis at naptime and bedtime; we'd take them out of their mouth on the way out of the room and they fell into the routine nicely. It was extremely rare for them to have it otherwise, but I was still ready to be done with them. We're currently going through a week of trimming off the ends so there will be a separate post on the (hopefully) success of that.

PLAY: I think I say this every month, but they really are playing together now. They want to be playing with the same toy, read the same book, etc., but they can also sit with a toy like this garage we have and both actually play with it.

The wagon is still a hit, and they still complain about it when they have to sit in it together. Though they've both figured out how to pull it, they refuse to pull each other around. Both still like pushing things - though are sticking mostly to actual push toys now (the stroller, etc.) as opposed to pushing chairs and other things like they did a few months ago. The also love this truck. They like to do shape sorters, but we only get those out of the ottoman when we're playing one-on-one with them.

Reading is definitely at the top of the list right now. They love any books with flaps to open, buttons to push or best of all, flaps to pull that make things move. Unfortunately they also like to rip these pieces out so we're still working on that. Some new books they're into right now are F is for Farm, Matthew Van Fleet's Dogs and Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

While they're playing together a lot more, with that comes pushing, grabbing, stealing toys away, etc. Mostly George as the aggressor, but every once in a while, William is and George gets so mad! William is generally pretty laid back about it and moves on to something else when George snags it, but I've been trying to intervene to teach them that you can't take something from someone else's hands.

Their newest skill is climbing though luckily they haven't started doing it when I'm not in the room. It's mostly when I put the remote or my phone on the side table that's in the corner of the two couches, then they want to climb up to get it. George can get up much easier and mostly stands looking out the window. William gets frustrated when he can't get up, but once he does, he's over-confident and has started climbing up on the arms, which definitely makes me nervous.

They're climbing any chance they get at the park too, up on steps, on the side of fences, basically anywhere they can get a little leverage. In general, going to the park, especially parks with swings, is getting much more difficult. They're fast; and sometimes I have to decide between leaving William standing on something I know he'll step off of and fall (not far), or chasing G to get him before he runs into the swings. I just asked my twin moms group how they handled the swings at the park with twins, and most replied that after one bonk, their kids learned quickly not to run into the swings. I think mine are still a bit young to learn that, but we may find out unintentionally one of these days...

They're still really into pushing the doll stroller around at the park, play with the soccer ball a fair amount, both are much better in the sand box and we finally got some sand toys of our own. Both boys love to 'play' with other kids at the park too, even much bigger kids. A few weeks ago we were at the Ferry Building park and William was hanging by some older kids, probably 8 years old, who were sitting in the shade under one of the structures. Finally one of the girls said, 'this baby is creeping me out!' :)

They love pointing out trucks - cement-mixers, big rigs, etc., and luckily one goes by one out of every three or four vehicles on the Embarcadero. Last week, they were washing all the windows at our building, which involved a lift in the circular driveway (which they can see from their room/when in their crib). The LOVED watching it go up and down and definitely were late to nap that morning. They also love pointing at helicopters and always perk up when they hear a siren.

They both still love bathtime, although an empty body wash bottle is the hot ticket item and can only be brought out if just one of them is in the tub, otherwise fights break out and tears eventually ensue.
William is crazy-vocal right now; I'm pretty surprised he's not saying any real words yet. I keep saying it will be any day, but then another month passes. I'm not concerned, clearly he's getting a feel for all the sounds so I really do think it will be soon. George is babbling plenty and making all kinds of sounds as well, so you never know. George has been first with the physical stuff, but I think William will be first with talking. George tends to 'talk' more when we're out, constantly pointing to different things and talking. William seems to be taking it all in and is much more vocal at home.

They've picked up so well on the signs I've been using for a few months that I just book-marked another 25 or so to start adding to their 'vocabulary'. The most helpful are ones where they can tell me what they need or want, but I'm also throwing in some like truck, helicopter and some of their other favorite things.

George is really good with fine motor skills, he can figure out how to open things, how to turn the wheel in this book where you insert one finger to do so.

Stats update next month, but I have moved William out of some of his 6-12 month pants... clearly he's growing!

Mom: I'm feeling great, and back to my normal energy level (which plummeted after the boys turned one). Unfortunately I'm staying up later than I should, but still feel good despite waking up early.

I also got back into yoga and am now going several times a week. It all started when the yoga place around the corner offered a June special with classes starting at $5. Always one for a deal, I took the bait. The classes have gone up to $13 each, but still a great deal considering classes there are normally $20. I was surprised how easy it was to fall back into the practice despite about a year and half without.

I've been pretty busy this month, ramping up for the Junior League year. My co-chair and I met several times and divvied out a bunch of stuff we're planning for our first meeting in mid-July. I'm really excited about leading the committee. Christina and I have a lot of good ideas so hopefully they all pan out. It will be a lot of work these first few months especially, but then should be pretty manageable.

I do want to make some changes in the coming month though. While I almost always get into bed at the same time as Dave, I often get wrapped up in doing stuff online. I think the problem is that Dave and I usually sit down to watch a show at 8pm, finishing at 9. Dave gets ready for bed and is on his ipad for a bit, but that time is usually when I have the energy to take care of Junior League stuff or to write a blog post. My goal is to try to take care of this stuff while the boys are napping, which can be tough as I need some down time and that stuff takes more brain power. Ideally I'd only read after 9pm, going to bed by 10pm. I have book club tomorrow and am about 10 pages into the book so hopefully next month will be more successful. Luckily this book club is 90% social and just slightly about the book ;) Book Club Book for June: The Emotional Life of the Toddler; can't share too much about it at this point!

Date night: Our favorite spot of the past month was dinner at Sushi Ran in Sausalito. Sushi was amazing, but everything else was too. The wagyu beef was a standout.

To my boys...

For all the craziness that makes up most of our time together, every once in a while one of you will wake up before the other and we'll pull you out into the other room. We get a small taste of what it would be like to just have one baby. It feels so easy. But of course, this is under ideal conditions. Whenever we think this, the one who is awake is in a great mood, playing independently, quietly. Obviously, even when only one of you is awake, it's not always like this. When you're both awake though, wow, activity skyrockets. Noise, destruction, mess, it all exponentially grows. But of course, we wouldn't have it any other way!

William, you make so many different sounds and love to 'talk'. I am shocked you haven't said a real word yet, and I know I've said this for several months, but I feel it's coming anytime. I can't wait to hear what's going on in your little brain. You're so proud of yourself with your new climbing skills and though you're cautious in many areas, you still don't seem to get that if you just step off of a somewhat big drop (instead of sit down and scoot off), that you're going to fall. I usually try to discreetly break your fall so you don't get hurt, but so you still get the feeling of falling. You're still not getting it and have taken a few falls when I'm not there. Hopefully you'll learn soon. You're so patient with your brother, who is rather rough with you, and are pretty laid back when he snatches your toys away. Hopefully you'll realize soon that he's only interested in them because you have it at that moment. In fact, you're usually doing your own thing and George wants to be doing what you're doing; rarely is it the other way around. Your eating has improved this month, definitely keeping up with your brother. You can shovel in berries like nothing I've seen before. Literally inhale them. You reach over and grab George's pile too, all in one big swoop, but unfortunately for you, he's picked up on it and is reaching back to take yours. I'm so surprised that you don't similarly inhale smoothies; you're always so desperate for breakfast, dramatically hanging your body over your high chair trying to tell me you're ready to eat. You're still quite social, but oddly, most social with much older kids (like 8 year olds). You seemed to be really intrigued by them. Lastly, we can't believe how much your hair has lightened up! Even the swim teacher, who has only know you for a month or so, mentioned it. I had to look back at photos and it really has gotten much lighter. Still distinctly different from George's though, not to mention there's still a lot of it! (You're almost due for your third haircut...)
Dark hair at 6 months

George. It was so surreal to hear your little voice the first time you said 'quack, quack' when we were reading a book with a duck in it. Luckily I was able to video it and Daddy watched it over and over that day before he got home. You're such a little person! You make so many sounds when we're out and about. You love to point at anything and everything and 'tell' me all about it. You love to be chased and your squealing laugh when I come after you is the best. You still have an affinity for holding something in your hand at all times. Currently the obsession is with shoes. You like your boat shoes best (and they fit your wide (to be kind, it's more like 'swollen') feet best) and often carry one in your hand if you're not wearing both. The sunscreen tube is still popular as well, though you've figured out how to open and close it, and how to stick your finger into the hole where sunscreen comes out so I need to find something else to give you. You're so good with the fine motor skills. I was shocked when you figured out how to open and close that thermos - I was on the forums trying to find out how long we'd have milk splattering before you two figured it out and most said it was well past age 2... You're so strong and physically are first to do most things, though we're noticing that your size does prevent you from being nimble. Can't wait to see the stats next month. You feel like a ton of bricks and from the way you eat, I wouldn't be surprised if you weigh as much! Your size can lead you to be a bit rough with your brother, so being gentle is something we continue to work on. You know how to play us though. Jessica heard your brother crying after she put you to bed last week, she peeked in and saw you grabbing a chunk of William's hair. She said, 'George, be gentle' and you immediately released the hair and stroked it instead, surprised that Jessica was standing there. You know how to be gentle and you know not to be rough, but you still push the limits. Your current favorite thing is to read books. You sit on my lap (sometimes pushing W out of it) and bring me book after book, or more often then not, want to read the same book over and over and over. If you're fussing in bed and we come in, you point to the bookshelf trying to get more books in your bed. When you're reading, you're at your calmest. On the flip side (or pretty much the rest of the time), you're independent, so active and fearless. Boy am I in for it...

What We Ate | June 16-22

In an effort to be more concise (hey, I'm trying!), I'll only list out new menu items from the week in addition to listing out what was served for dinner each night.

Grilled chicken breast sandwich on brioche with prosciutto, arugula, tomato and pesto (for Mom and Dad), served with zucchini chips

Mon: Halibut, Israeli couscous mix, asparagus
Tue: Roasted chicken breast, zucchini chips (recipe), couscous mix, corn
Wed: Homemade mac and cheese (adapted from this recipe, previous featured on the blog here), peas
Thu: Homemade mac and cheese, peas (still a hit day 2 :)
Fri: Tofu with almond butter, red quinoa, fried zucchini
Sat: Tofu with almond butter, red quinoa, fried zucchini - not as excited day 2
Sun: Salmon with brown rice and roasted butternut squash

Popsicles! W was a fan, G wasn't so sure.

New fruit/dessert:
  • Figs, cherries - not a huge fan of either, but only tried each once
  • Homemade popsicle; recipe (Dave's mom shared it)

Brunch at the Ferry Building; soft-scrambled eggs with ricotta and cherry tomatoes, sausage, potatoes, toast for the boys; G is so happy because he snuck one of Daddy's fries

Sunday brunch with Mom
New breakfast:
  • Scrambled eggs, black bean and cheese in a tortilla
  • Oatmeal with almond butter, chia seeds, wheat germ, raisins, almonds, yogurt
  • Cantaloupe and cottage cheese
  • Soft-egg scramble with ricotta and cherry tomatoes (at restaurant)
  • Even Healthier Pumpkin Spice Mini Muffins, recipe

Straight for the strawberries

New lunch:
  • 'Chicken salad'-stuffed whole wheat pita - made with leftovers (chicken breast, corn, asparagus, zucchini chips, eggplant hummus) - loved it!

Banana & Oat 'cookies
New snacks:
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Freeze-dried apple slices
  • Mini apples and cheese
  • Pear slices with peanut butter/Greek yogurt dip (recipe)
  • Zucchini/chard/carrot pancakes from Jessica - need to get the recipe, but these were a hit!
  • Banana/oats 'cookies' - added chia seeds, almond butter, raisins, almonds, basic recipe
  • Baguette with Camembert
  • S&W Chili beans 

Smoothies have really been a hodge-podge of whatever fruit needs to be used I. There are always some berries in there, but lately I've been adding carrot juice, whole milk yogurt, avocado, spinach, maybe a peach, nectarine or apricot, perhaps a kiwi. Always add their baby oatmeal (last box!) and probiotics.