Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Picky eater

Turtle started out as a very cautious eater. While Tadpole followed her usual "why the hell not?!" approach to eating, Turtle would make a face as if to say "what IS this crap you're putting in my mouth?"

Then he decided he loved food, and he munched down everything we gave him. There was nothing he didn't like, and it was fun to make food for him and see if he liked it, which he usually did (after his first few suspicious bites).

Then he regressed. He started making much worse faces and gagging (more like "If you continue to feed me this disgusting stuff, I will probably die"). He started arching his back and throwing his head back and whining and crying and being just plain miserable. He started refusing to eat.

We discovered that he wouldn't do that with sweet foods - fruit, fruit-flavored yogurt, and sweet potatoes. So I started making sweet potatoes and gradually mixing other foods back in. When he wouldn't eat, I'd get desperate and open a baby food jar of fruit. He started recognizing the "pop!" of the jar and would get excited.

Last night, he refused to eat the sweet potato, carrot, and leek puree that I made. In a stroke of genius (which may prove to not be so genius in the end), I put it in a baby food jar. He ate it all up!

Which just goes to show you ... something. I'm not sure what. Babies are clever and stubborn creatures, and you have to be even more clever to outsmart them sometimes.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

8.5 months

Turtle and Tadpole just turned 8.5 months old! I am packing up their 6-month clothes, many of which haven't fit Turtle in a long time. He is a big guy.

Things around here are settling down these days, it's nice to have some breathing time. Actually, I have a babysitter all week, which is awesome! I also have a huge to-do list (which, strangely enough, does not include blogging). I should be doing the stuff on the to-do list. But every time I get some really free time, I go wild with the possibilities!

While my own life is settling down, it seems like the lives of everyone around me are getting crazier. Including my husband, who is always out at work dinners, or traveling, or busy with something work-related. That's the part that's been a little tough.

Turtle and Tadpole are getting more and more fun every day. People often tell me that it gets better, and it really does. I think it started getting better around 6 months, when they started sitting up. That was great. Turtle would sit there and play with toys. Tadpole starting crawling first, so she had a lot of fun and started getting into everything. No more laptops sitting on the living room floor, Papi!

Sitting up turned into crawling (or vice versa for Tadpole), and playing with more complicated toys, and eventually pulling themselves up on furniture and learning to walk while holding onto our fingers. They're much more self-sufficient now, at least at times. Ironically (although evolutionarily it's a good thing) around the time they become capable of being more independent, they also started becoming more attached. They became afraid of strangers, and they started getting really excited to see us in the morning, after naps, or when we enter a room. It's the sweetest thing ever, if occasionally a little frustrating because we're trying to get something done.

The last two months have been really a major change in their lives and as a result in ours, and I can't say how thankful I am that it really does get better!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

First swim class!

Yes, I'm still here! Crazy busy, but the babies are finally getting a bit better about entertaining themselves from time to time, so I'm catching up on my to-do list and trying to write more often.

To answer Kate's question about CPS, nothing has happened. We haven't heard from anyone at CPS or the police department. I took Tadpole for her follow-up with the orthodpedist, who asked me if they ever did the full-body bone scan (or something like that - to check for evidence of other broken bones? I don't know), and I said that no one had ever mentioned anything like that before. He said he thought it was ridiculous and told them so. And that is that. I hope.

On Wednesday, Turtle and Tadpole had their first swim lesson. At our swim school, babies can start at 5 months. I was a little skeptical of that, but I found out another baby in our mom's group goes and his mom said they both love it, so we went in for a trial class. And it was awesome! I couldn't imagine how we'd spend 30 minutes with two babies who not only can't swim but can't really understand what the hell we're doing or why, but for the most part they had a great time.

Parents get into the water with the babies, so my husband and I both have to be there. We played a few games like throwing bath toys into a floating basket (ours were the youngest and didn't really get it). We sang a bunch of songs with lyrics that involved jumping up and down, spinning around in a circle, kicking, splashing, and so on, and they seemed to really enjoy all of that. We floated them on their backs and ducked them under the water - Turtle didn't care for either of those activities too much, and spent the rest of the class with a vise grip on me, while Tadpole had a fantastic time. We also did a few safety things - sat them on the side of the pool and told them to wait, then told them to come in and pulled them in. Tadpole didn't want to wait! Turtle was too busy chewing on a rubber duck to notice. Last, everyone held a big floating foam board and the babies took turns crawling or walking across it into the water and the arms of a waiting parent - that was really fun!

So a great time was had by all, except possibly Turtle (but I think he had fun). So if you are wondering of an activity to do with your little one, I highly recommend swimming if there are lessons near you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I haven't had time to write an 8-month post. I've been so super-busy, and haven't had help with the babies recently, which is a curse and a blessing together. They're so wonderful and funny and sweet and adorable and exhausting and busy and cranky and so on. I thought I'd write a bit about our daily schedule, as much as we have one.

6:30 am - babies get up, give or take 15 minutes. Turtle used to always get up first, but this week Tadpole has been up first. Whoever gets up first has a little extra cuddle time with Mama. When they are both up, they get their diapers changed and they eat anywhere from 3 to 6 ounces.

6:45-8 am - play time. They have tons of toys, and now they like to walk around holding onto our fingers. They also like their leapfrog musical table, although I am still coveting a play table I saw at a friend's house, which was older and less electronic. A recent favorite game was emptying the sock basket one pair at a time. We read board books (they're gradually getting better and being patient with reading), do a simple wood puzzle (well, they UNdo it), and play with their giant basket of toys.

8am - Papi gets up! We all go in and climb on the bed and wake him up. The babies get over-excited and it's not the most relaxing wake up for Papi. We play and chat in bed for 15 minutes, then move back out to the living room while Papi gets dressed.

8:30 - breakfast. We give the kids baby yogurt every morning - more of a habit than anything else.

9-9:15 - go down for a nap. This lasts from 20 minutes to over an hour, depending on how lucky I am. I use white noise machines since our house is under construction and there is often pounding, drilling, sawing, etc. going on. Poor little guys. I usually have to let Turtle cry it out, as no amount of rocking will get him to sleep. Tadpole needs to be rocked to sleep because she won't go to sleep on her own.

10ish - Both babies are usually up. I change their diapers and get them dressed for the day. This is the fluid part of the day. Sometimes we have plans, such as a mom's group or playdate. When it's nice, we might go for a walk. Or we run errands. Or get ready to go out for lunch. Or Grandma arrives to spend the day. Or we go to Papi's office for pizza on Fridays. Getting ready to get out of the house often takes until 11.

The babies usually nap once or twice starting around 1pm, depending on if we're out and about, or stuck at home. Sometimes I have to put them in their carseats and rock them to sleep because they won't fall asleep in their cribs. Nap time is still a major struggle at our house. The afternoon times are completely random, and they don't always nap together. When I'm at home, I try to synchronize things. Then when they're awake, we play, practice walking around the house, go for walks, or run errands.

The routine resumes again around 6pm.

6-6:20pm - Papi arrives from work, and the babies get really excited. It's very sweet. The one major drawback of staying home all day with them is that they never get THAT excited to see me.

6:30pm - baby dinner time. We eat a variety of things, either a homemade vegetable puree, or if I haven't had time to make something, we eat jarred baby food. Sometimes we mix it up with some fruit or fruit yogurt for dessert. Turtle is on a bit of a strike right now and will only eat sweet foods. I'm attempting to mix other veggies with sweet potato just to get him to eat.

6:45pm - watch music videos on Yes, seriously. We watch a combination of Italian songs with animated videos, the Lion Sleeps Tonight video with the hippo (know what I'm talking about?), some Sesame Street music videos (our favorites are Feist and Jason Mraz), and the Gummy Bear techno song.

7ish pm - if it's a bath night, we usually start baths at this point. If it's not a bath night, we watch a few more videos

7:20pm - start getting ready for bed. Put on night-time diapers, a butt-load (literally) of diaper cream, pajamas, and sleep sacks. Babies get fluoride drops for their teeth.

7:30 pm - we take the babies to their rooms, feed them, and put them in bed. On good nights, they go right to sleep. On ok nights, they cry for less than 10 minutes and fall asleep. On the occasional bad night, they cry and cry, and we try to feed them, soothe them, whatever. They of course always eventually fall asleep, but those bad nights are rough.

They do sometimes sleep through until 6:30, but Tadpole usually wakes up once between 4 and 5:30, and either of them occasionally wake up once anytime between 10 and 3. I could do a whole post on sleep ... maybe I will. Because it's rough, even when it gets better.

And that is my life right now. It's not very exciting, but I'm happy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Quick post - babies are sleeping. First day in a long time without a family member from Italy in the house, and I had to let them cry a bit to fall asleep for their naps, since they're so used to always having someone around to rock them to sleep, but I'm really proud of myself for getting them both down (knock on wood!!!! Stay asleep please, babies!).

They're almost eight months old! It's hard to believe. Stay tuned for an eight-month post.

I tried to get them into a pre-school part time, and they are already full for next year, with one person on the waiting list. I'm starting to try to come up with other alternatives, although my in-laws will be here in April, probably, and then we'll be going to Italy this summer (hopefully), so it might be best to come up with options starting in the fall. In any case, they are still little and they are actually pretty manageable, it's just that there are a lot of things that I need to do that I can't get done.

But that's boring! Let's see a few pictures!

Tadpole and Turtle finding new ways to use the stroller:

Turtle watching the construction workers out the window of our almost-finished remodeled kitchen:

Tadpole hanging out in the snow, sporting her new shades, and acting like a mob boss (notice the potato chips AND the pacifier are both upside-down):