Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Circus Has Come to Town

Leah and Elliot are now fully mobile. Not that they are getting up and walking, but they both crawl (or, in Elliot’s case, slither) with agility and some level of grace. They both pull up on anything that they can reach with their hands. Mostly unstable, dangerous and slippery things. They both, Leah particularly, can move sideways along the things they have pulled up on (is that cruising? I think it is). It’s all really quite adorable, but also dangerous. And hilarious.
Elliot on an expedition.

Leah is very casual in her standing. She likes to hold on with one hand while squatting to pick up a toy or just hanging out. It generally works. It almost seems like she is close to standing without support. That girl is strong. She rarely topples over. She stood up for the first time about two weeks ago, so right at 8 months.

Elliot just started pulling up regularly at 8.5 months. He is getting good at it too, but will still take a spill so he needs to be watched pretty closely. He is tough though, so when he falls, he generally laughs it off.

They fight over this toy:

Hard at work.

Both need to play with it at the same time, but they don’t really “share” it so much as shove each other away from it and dominate the whole thing. Sibling rivalry is so cute.

Co-ed naked toy hogging.

Leah wants to climb everything. Particularly the bean bag chair. She throws herself at it over and over again in an attempt to get to the top. Sometimes she is alarmingly successful, but she cannot resist pausing whatever she is doing to smile at the camera.

After the Great Cherry Massacre of 2010.

Leah has two teeth now. Who knew teeth could be so effing cute?

I believe that Ell might be teething as since he seems to sleep better and cry less with Tylenol. Or maybe he just likes pain killers. I hope it’s the former.

In terms of sleep, we’ve had two great nights after a series of not-so-hot ones. I can’t even really remember why they were bad, but I know that I spent a lot of time not in bed. We’ve put Leah in the guest room pack-n-play recently and they definitely do seem to sleep better apart, but we’ll bring her back into the nursery soon because we prefer them together. Maybe we'll do it this weekend if we have a few more good nights in a row. Elliot continues to fight naps for a living. It can take him over 30 minutes to finally fall asleep for a nap (after being wrestled down by me or Lina) and then he is totally out of synch with Leah. Whatever though. They’re cute, so they get away with these shenanigans.

Long on cute, short on photographic quality.

They are doing a great job with eating their solids. At our Passover sedar on Monday, they ate all of the contents of matzoh ball soup right from our bowls. I love feeding them table food. They entertain themselves by plucking cheerios off of their trays while I prepare their meals, which is preferable to make the damned dinner faster, Food Wench. They have enjoyed most of the foods we introduce, though Leah won't stand for chicken.  We haven't yet told her that so many things in life taste like chicken. It is so much fun expanding their little palates and thinking ahead to a bottle-less, formula-less time.

Much of the area is currently underwater due to an epic rainstorm, but we are due for another warm and sunny weekend. I am so thrilled to have made it through the winter and that we are on the cusp of being able to spend most of our time as a family outside. I have a wish list of outdoor toys that I want to acquire over the coming months (water table, sandbox, lawnmower etc) and Craig is working on plans for a new flower garden, complete with Pee Gee hydrangea tree that will be perfect for Leah and Elliot to explore. It’s amazing how thoughts of spring and sun and flowers and birds and grass and tree buds can turn the collective frowns of New Englanders upside down.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring's the Thing

As is likely to happen when it is sunny and 70 degrees in March, the Greiner family had a wonderful weekend. Twins Elliot and Leah heartily enjoyed their first trip to a local playground for some turns on a baby swing. Parents Alexis and Craig equally enjoyed burritos and long walks in the sun. All around, a Satisfying Shift from a Sodden Series of Soggy Saturdays and Sundays inSide.

Both babies are decidedly anti-nap recently (especially Elliot who has decided that sleep is for babies). Very annoying, but I will not let it bring me down because, Hey! Look! Adorable babies in the sun (doused in sunscreen, obvs) (bonus shot of Leah, now with teethies!):

Monday, March 15, 2010

Elephants and Kangaroosies-roosies

It rained all weekend. In fact it’s still raining. Which is not good for my hair. And frankly, what is more important than my hair? I had a hair treatment done this past weekend, because I was looking more and more like Richard Simmons with every passing day. Seriously though, haven’t the Jewish people suffered enough without inflicting the Jew Fro upon us? So I sacrificed an evening to sitting in a nasty salon with my head coated in a solution containing a formaldehyde derivative. Not kidding - I basically embalmed my hair. It now looks less Bob Ross and more silken locks of loveliness, but I don’t think I can ever do it again. The protocol with this particular treatment involves not washing the hair for 72 hours. That’s a damned long time. Especially since I didn’t want the twins touching my head for the entire 72 hour period because of the chemicals that would inevitably leach into their little bodies.  No big deal for my already addled brain, but not for my unblemished babies’ brains (this is all my own psychosis, by the way.  I was not warned to stay away from small children for 3 days or anything).  Oh and I wasn’t allowed to put up my hair either for that period of time. So there’s a challenge – keeping two 8 month olds literally out of my hair while taking care of them full time. And that’s why I can’t do it again. BUT, my hair for the next 5 months or so? Gorge.

This weekend we took the babies to Russo’s, a highly crowded market that caters to the produce-obsessed and I had more than one person call me “brave” for bringing a double snap-n-go in there. I basically cowered in a less insane area while Craig did the shopping. Craig and I had a date night in Boston while Nanny and Papa did the sitting. Fun night, though Boston restaurants continue to be somewhat disappointing. What’s with servers at the nicer restaurants in this town taking themselves so damned seriously? Post for someone else’s blog, I suppose.

Elliot and Leah continue to amaze me on a daily basis. Elliot is a speed demon. I will leave him in the playroom to do something in the kitchen for a minute and he will find me there. He has little interest in playing in the playroom, which is weird because are the plants in the dining room really more interesting than, say, the 450 toys for which huge multinational corporations spent millions of dollars to test and conduct focus groups to ensure that you, Elliot George, and those in your age bracket, will enjoy playing with them? I think we all know the answer to that.

I found this upon returning to get Leah from her crib, where I left her for about 1 minute on Sunday:

Yikes. Think she's proud of herself?  Time to move down the mattresses. She much prefers to stand, than to crawl at this point, though she can crawl. She is happiest when standing. And so cute. And still krazy.

They had their first Cheerios this weekend (well, generic morning O’s - Thanks for nothing, Whole Foods). Leah could pick them up off of the tray and get them into her mouth, whereas Elliot preferred them to be deposited directly into his gaping maw. This is the first step towards feeding independence, right? So maybe someday we won’t be feeding them 7 times a day? Not that nourishing my babies isn’t a beautiful thing, but it sure is a time suck.

The time change hasn’t caused too many problems yet, though getting them to go to sleep in what was essentially daylight last night wasn’t easy. I think we need to invest in room darkening curtains, which will also give Leah curtains to climb, which she will enjoy.

"Mom! Stop embarrassing us!"

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

7-8 Months = Chock Full of Awesome Cuteness

Just what are Leah and Elliot up to these days?

Leah (aka Leah-Peah-Potomus or simply The Potomus)
  • is trying SO hard to crawl correctly. And getting close. She can propel herself forward most of the time, but can’t quite get all four limbs to work in tandem. And it’s frustrating, she wants you to know. She gets around though.
  • is really getting strong. She can pull up if she holds onto my fingers with no help. And I caught her trying to pull herself up in her crib. Almost time to move the mattresses down as she's trying to pull up on everything.
  • is crazy. She goes into “crazy-eyed Leah” mode when she is having fun. She opens her eyes as wide as possible, smiles like The Joker and sticks the tip of her tongue out. It’s awesome.
  • loves animals. We visited some friends with dogs this past weekend. Leah was obsessed. She has never been around a dog before and one of the dogs was licking her face and she couldn’t get enough. We already know she loves Calza, but these dogs were like hairy angels sent from heaven.
  • also loves animals of the stuffed variety. When I attack her with a stuffed hippo, she just about dies of laughter. Holy cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
  • blows raspberries at inopportune times. Like when I have just put a spoonful of pruney oatmeal into her mouth.
 Elliot (aka The Bear or Bearus)
  • is officially mobile. The boy doesn’t stop moving. He slithers around like a snake and he does it with a purpose and a quickness.
  • is charming. And a flirt. In the supermarket yesterday, he yelled “dadadada” until a young woman looked at him. As soon as she did, he flashed a shit eating grin. She about died. How could you not. This boy is a serious charmer.
  • is just so sweet. I had him in the Ergo and he just leaned back and stared at me and smiled. Oy. Stop it boy, you’re gonna kill momma.
  • laughs spontaneously. This started this past weekend. He will just be sitting there, not doing anything of note and start giggling in response to nothing. Have I mentioned that he’s cute?
 This is a really fun stage.


Thinking Out Loud

We finally have a really good schedule of eating and sleeping going. We’ve been working on implementation for a couple months, and have finally settled into a groove. A typical day goes like this:

6:30 Wake up
8:30 1st Bottle (8oz)
9:15 Nap
10:15 Wake and play
11:00 Solids
12:30 2nd Bottle (7-8oz)
1:00 Nap
3:00 Wake and play
3:30 3rd Bottle (6-7oz)
5:20 Mon-Thurs: Pick up mommy at the train
6:00 Solids
6:30 Bath, 4th Bottle (8-9oz), Bed

This has been working out really well for us and I am reluctant to mess with it, but I'm a glutton for punishment, and so am about to screw with it. There has been talk on my MOTs board recently about the daily schedules of twins around Leah and Elliot’s age and the schedules posted have been decidedly different than our schedule. I don’t mind being different, but there are some issues arising from our schedule.  First, Leah is resisting eating enough from her bottles (as she has been doing since the beginning of her time) and that, in turn, makes it nearly impossible for her to sleep through the night of a regular basis. I think if we can get her to eat more (liquids) during the day, we’d have more nights without wake-ups. Second, it's about time to add more solids into the schedule and I don’t want the added meal to cause them to decrease their liquid intake too much further. I don't want to try to move their naps, so it’s just a matter of finagling the feeding schedule. So here is what I am thinking of trying out beginning this Friday when they hit the big 8 months(!):

6:30 Wake up (we don’t seem to have a choice on this)
7:30 1st Bottle (8oz)
8:30 Breakfast (cereal + fruit)
9:15 Nap
10:15 Wake and play
11:30 2nd Bottle
12:30 Lunch (Veggie + Protein + Dessert)
1:30 Nap
3:00 Wake and play
3:30 3rd Bottle
6:00 Dinner (Veggie + Protein + Fruit)
6:30 Bath, 4th Bottle, Bed

This will be a more difficult transition for Leah than for Elliot because she needs a bottle to fall asleep at all times and doesn’t eat well unless she is half asleep in her bedroom. Because of this, I’m not sure how this is going to work. One MOT mentioned that she feeds her babies their bottles while they are eating their solids and that they eat really well that way. Definitely worth a shot. We might need to continue feeding Leah in her room before sleep-times, but this is the final goal.

If anyone that reads this excruciatingly exciting post has any tips or comments, let me know! Gotta love fixing what ain’t broke.

Also, daylight savings time is next weekend (isn’t it?). Just tell me now, are we screwed? I don’t want to change their sleeping times from 7-6:30 to 8-7:30. How can we prevent this? Do we try to put them down a little early and wake them up at (the new) 6:30am (which will feel like 5:30am to Craig and me)? My head hurts even thinking about it. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Lazy Picture Post...

Adorable pajama credit to cousin Annie.  OMG, I am dying.