1 Year Update – Oona and Beatrix

We made it!

The girls turned one on May 23rd.  Throughout the day, I couldn’t help but glance at the clock and remember…

7:00 – “This is when we were calling the hospital to see if there was a room for us!”

9:00 – “This is when they broke my water!”

11:00 – “This is when we ate brunch”

13:00 – “This is when I was singing through contractions”

16: 58 – “Oona!”

17:09 – “Beatrix!”

It’s hard to believe how far babies come in the first year.  Those tiny, helpless, beautiful creatures grow into their skin and blossom into these amazing human beings you see sat right in front of you (and then don’t see because they have crawled off quicker than you can blink).

When I lounged, a beached whale in the corner of the couch, I couldn’t help being anxious about having twins.  Handling two newborns at once was overwhelming, much less thinking about two teething babies, two mobile babies, two everything.  The truth is that the first year, though incredibly hard at times, was actually not as overwhelming as I had made it out to be in my head.  Granted, this is more a result of how disastrous my expectations were, rather than how easy it is to have twins, but still.

Tromping up and down a few flights of stairs to the parking garage with a baby in each carseat tucked under my arms was something I wasn’t sure I would be able to do, but I did, and now, suddenly, that phase is over, and the girls are too big for their infant carseats, and I’ve moved on to one in a carrier, and the other on my hip, and suddenly I have a free hand, and it is (extraordinarily) easier.

People have recently been asking more often if things are easier–every time I mention the girls just turned a year old.  The honest answer is: not really.  We got off to an exceptional start, with babies who slept and ate well, and Andreas having three months of paternity leave, and my sister coming to visit for a month.  Some things are easier, but my days are busier, the work is harder, and I’m alone in doing it.  I’m also often asked if they are “easy”, and this question is also hard to answer honestly.  If I think about it, they are generally “easy” babies.  They are good at entertaining themselves (and each other).  They eat SO well–anything and everything, and they sleep well for the most part.  But having twins is inherently not easy, so I feel like I am giving the wrong impression simply smiling and nodding.  So what do I say? “They’re great!”  (True) “They are so fun at this age!” (True) “This is beyond exhausting and super overwhelming!” (Also True)

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But back to that “They are so fun at this age!” That one is definitely true (when they are not teething molars).  The level of silliness in our home has increased drastically lately.  Oona has developed a supremely entertaining false-laugh-between-her-teeth, and Beatrix has learned to growl, and the contrast between her gravelly growl and her sweet cherub face is impossible not to chuckle at.

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Both Beatrix and Oona are finally crawling “properly” which is, in my opinion, one of the most adorable things that babies do.  They have also both learned to climb onto the couch, and are tall enough to reach tables, so we have very few places left to put things that we would like to keep out of their chubby little hands.

Like I mentioned before, the girls eat pretty much everything we put in front of them.  Favorite foods are probably waffles, enchiladas, lasagna, tomatoes (Beatrix), and corn (Oona).  We keep forgetting to give them utensils to practice with, but they definitely enjoy when they do get to try a fork or spoon.  Their birthday cake was, obviously, a big hit.

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Sleeping-wise, they are still on two naps, but I am trying to see if we can’t transition to one.  Personally, I prefer the two-nap schedule, but both girls were waking up between 5-5:45 for *months* and then recently started to have trouble going to sleep as well.  I’m slowly pushing the morning nap later and later, and squeezing in a small afternoon nap to tide them over while we are in transition, and it seems to be going well so far.

I’m still nursing about 4 times a day (morning, night, and before each nap).  I’ve been moving nursing a little earlier for a while, so they don’t directly associate it with falling asleep, so that it will be easier to wean when the time comes, but I don’t mind nursing for naps for a few more months, and then morning and night until they don’t feel like it anymore.  Theo dropped his daytime feedings around a year old, and the rest by 18 months (I think), so I’m not pushing anything.

I feel like Theo deserves a mention here for being the BEST big brother there ever was.  Seriously.  He has never once, in the whole year, spoken a bad word about his sisters.  His patience is never-ending, and (thankfully) he sleeps through any and all screaming, so that’s a plus.  He has done so much better with this transition than anyone else in the family, and I could not be more proud.

So we have passed the one-year milestone.  I’m allowing myself a pat on the back, two high fives, and a victory lap.

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8-month Update – Oona and Beatrix

Yet another update on our twin girls!

In the last update, I mentioned how poorly they had been sleeping (for months).  In early January, I decided one night to night wean, cold turkey.  The girls were eating twice a night (but waking FAR more often), and they were never hungry in the morning.  When I was trying to give a 10 pm feeding, Beatrix was more playing than eating, and Oona bit me as soon as she latched on, and in that moment, I had had enough!  No more!  They clearly were not hungry throughout the night, and I was quite sleep deprived at this point.  The first night, both girls cried a good bit.  We were there for them in any other ways, but I did not nurse them.  The next night, I slept upstairs while Andreas took nighttime duty, and one of the babies slept through, while the other woke once.  By the fourth night, the babies had both slept through the night.

So for us, night weaning was clearly magical.  The girls don’t sleep through every night (we have multiple teeth trying to come into their tiny mouths) but because my boobs are no longer part of the equation, we can take shifts (10-2 and 2-6) which means that there is always the possibility of a good chunk of sleep for each of us, and things are so much better than they were a month ago.  Naps are also pretty great.  We’re on the tail end of transitioning to two naps per day, which works pretty well for our schedule.

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The girls are also doing really well with solids.  They have three to four meals a day–usually some puree or porridge, and then finger foods on the side.  The only things I’ve really noticed a reaction to are broccoli and zucchini, so those are temporarily off the table (literally!) but otherwise they are doing really well with their variety of foods.

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At eight months, Oona had started scooting to reach things nearby.  Both girls had been rolling both directions for a while, and Bea was starting to sit unassisted. They are the very last babies in my mom-group to be doing these things, and I was just teetering on the verge of being a little worried, but I no longer am.  I know babies do things at their own pace–it’s just so hard not to get a little wrapped up in it!

Their personalities are really shining through, and they are two very different little girls!  Beatrix is quite tempermental in general, with not very much patience, and clear favorites as far as toys go.  Oona is a little more easy going, but when she is mad, she is MAD.  She has also been more content lately because she is more free to go get what she wants, whereas Bea can’t quite, so she is rather frustrated.  Oona smiles more easily, but when you can get one from Bea, her whole face lights up at you, and it’s really priceless.

They often reach out for the other, especially when they are sitting in their high chairs, and food and toys are inevitably stolen and traded.  Their interaction is still somewhat limited at this point, they don’t really smile and laugh to/at each other.

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Both of them like to use one finger to examine things, and when I mentioned that to my mom, she laughed, saying I did the same thing as a little kid.

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I’m so looking forward to what the next few months will bring, but also a little bit apprehensive about two mobile babies!!

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