Seven Months

Happy almost Valentine’s Day from the Fitzgerald girls. They are so fun right now!  They are starting to interact more and more. Sometimes that just means that they want to play in the exact same place at the same time.  So it looks like a baby wrestling match and we have to stop them from kicking each other in the head or grabbing each others eyes.  But then they will also make eye contact, gently pat each other on the head or smile at each other.  It’s adorable.

Blake Evangeline

Blakey Boo is weighing in around 17 pounds.

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She can sit up on her own with minimal toppling.  To be fair, we have to get her to the sitting position.  This prompted us to start big girl baths, using little seats in the bathtub instead of individual sink baths.  They both love bath time and I love getting both baths done at the same time.

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She is great at “feely” books.  Her hand shoots straight for the spot on the page with the part she is supposed to feel.  She’s learned how to take off her bib and after she’s done eating, I’ll look over and she’s got it off and is playing with it.

She has a tendency to get her teething rings around her wrists or ankles.  I’m hoping this means she’ll like jewelry.

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Her love of mirrors has grown.  She smiles at herself and leans into the mirror, resting her forehead on it, gazing into her own eyes. They are pretty cute eyes.

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She is discovering her voice.  She can be very talkative and babbles nonstop.  Sometimes you’ll look at her and her mouth is moving away but no sound is coming out.  And other times she lets out high pitched squeals or noises that are basically growls.  She mostly growls when she’s playing and something is out of reach.  She hasn’t made any progress toward crawling, so she will get herself into “super man” position and growl when she wants to move, but can’t.

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She is just so sweet.  It takes a lot to make her upset or cry.  You can always count on a big smile when you come in to get her out of her crib.

Leila Grace

Leila is weighing in around 19 pounds.

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She’s a little army crawler!  She mostly pulls herself with her left arm and can book it around the play mat. Both she and Blake also like to get themselves in the “Mermaid” position.  They balance themselves on one side/elbow, with their feet together up in the air.

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And she is sleep trained!  Which basically means our quality of life has improved 100 times from the last post.  I set aside a week that my mom was in town to sleep train her.  We had our game plan in place and anticipated several sleepless nights.  But Leila  got it down the very. first. night.  I couldn’t believe it.  In the matter of one week she went from crying from 9-11 pm every night (unless I was holding her in a dark room) and needing to be fed twice overnight to sleeping from 7 pm – 6 am.  WHAT?!  If she does wake up, I just pop her pacifier back into her mouth and she falls right back asleep.  And she doesn’t need to be rocked to sleep either.  In fact, she seems to prefer no cuddling and to be put straight into her crib.

I have joked before that Leila was in charge around here.  And through sleep training, it was like I was telling her that I was in charge.  I took control of the situation and we are all so much happier for it.  I’m sure that lesson can (and should) be applied to many future parenting situations.

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She loves books.  She often crawls to our book basket and will also sit and look at books endlessly.  Needless to say, her Grandma (the former Kindergarten teacher) is super proud.

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She is discovering what she can do with her mouth.  But instead of babbling like her sister, she has recently been spitting.  Just pursing her little lips and spitting.  Onto my shoulder, the floor and even her sister’s head once.

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She loves when I play peekaboo with her.  If she’s in her little play saucer, I can hide behind the kitchen cabinets and pop out to surprise her.  She jumps in surprise every single time I pop out and then breaks out into big, baby belly laughs.

We are having so much fun with our girls.

Half a Year!

My babies turned 6 months on my birthday.  I love that we all have “11” birthdays, exactly half a year apart.  This was a big month!  We started solid foods and have introduced oatmeal cereal, applesauce and sweet potatoes so far.  All get a thumbs up, except applesauce does get a “this is sour!” reaction.

They survived their first colds thanks to the snot sucker and plenty of Tylenol.

They are incredibly active and mobile.  They aren’t crawling, but they still seem to move wherever they want to go by rolling and spinning like a top while they are on their tummies.  We rearranged the living room and it’s now baby central with a play mat, bouncers and toys everywhere.  Both girls got multiple limbs stuck in between the bars of their cribs when they started rolling around and spinning in their cribs.

We celebrated their first Christmas and they met their Uncle Justin for the first time.

Leila Grace weighed in at 18 pounds, 2 ounces.

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She is 26.5″ long.

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Within the past week, she has been getting up on all fours and rocking forward and back.  She’s just itching to crawl!  Sometimes she does get forward momentum, but can’t move her arms, resulting in a face plant and her legs up in the air. Between that and how often we find her with her head up against the crib rails, her Daddy nicknamed her Crash.

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She has discovered her feet, as you can see.

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To Leila, there is no greater indignity than seeing a bottle in the room but not being FED the bottle.  You will HEAR about it.  Sleeping is also a challenge.

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She loves to grab my face in her hands and look straight in my eyes.  It’s sweet until she starts scratching.

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She has become such a happy girl as her physical therapy works out her stiff neck muscles.  Between that and her medication regulating her thyroid, she has become so much more content than when she was tiny.  It makes us so glad.  And when she smiles (which is so much more often) she looks like the happiest little elf!

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Blake Evangeline weighs 16 pounds, 7 ounces.

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She is 26″ long.

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The day after Christmas we discovered her first tooth!  Her bottom left tooth was poking through and was the most adorable thing I’d ever seen.  It amazed me how proud I was!  The bottom right tooth followed January 2.

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She has dropped one, and sometimes both, overnight feeds.  The morning that we discovered she had slept 11 hours was a celebration.  Of course, that meant she was up at 6 and Leila slept until 8 – and they were on the exact opposite schedule all day.  It’s just a transitional phase, right?  And in the meantime, lots of coffee for Momma.

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She still dances her little jig with her feet and twirls her feet while she sits in her high chair or boppy.

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When she sees a bowl of food come around the corner of her high chair she gasps with delight.  She gets a big, excited smile before every bite of food.  She is like a little bird that opens up, waiting to be spoon fed.

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She has some pretty amazing motor skills.  She holds her bottle (and even pulls it away for a break and then brings it back in), can put her pacifier in by herself and is really good with all of the new toys they got for Christmas.

When she gets startled, she clutches her hands to her chest.  Peek-a-boo is hilarious, especially since Leila reacts the exact opposite.  If she is startled she throws all of her limbs out wide.

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The girls are such a blessing and challenge. I love being home with them to witness all of their smiles, pouts and constant changes.

Five Months Old

Oh my, this month was such a fun photoshoot!  The girls are adorable in their Christmas outfits!!  I can’t even handle it.

This month they both started rolling over from their backs onto their tummies.  They love when I play music and dance, sing and play with them.  This month our favorite songs are the Pentatonix version of “Little Drummer Boy” and “Do You Hear What I Hear?” (the Whitney Houston version, obviously).  I can really get them laughing.

They both noticed Prince and whenever he walks through the room, there are 2 little sets of eyes tracking his every move.  We have had plenty of Grandma visits and hosted Thanksgiving for both sides of the family.  Their big cousins are very sweet with them, especially Avery.  She was such a willing helper the entire time!  I’m very excited for their first Christmas!

BLAKE EVANGELINE

Nicknames: Missy B, Blakey Boodle, Blakey Boo Bear

img_0413She is a big grabber and also likes to scratch everything her hands touch.  This includes her crib sheet, play mat and the skin on my arm.

img_0412We think she rolled over before Leila.  We missed it because we found her on her belly in her crib.

It seems that she is close to teething.  She is drooling and gnawing on everything.

dsc01487She constantly chews or sucks on her bottom lip.  She is also very ticklish under her chin.  When I clean her neck between baths with a wipe, she dissolves into giggles.

img_0418Blake loves to  flail her arms and dance a jig with her legs.  But for all of that movement, she certainly doesn’t move much.  It’s rather ineffectual and adorable.  Until her sister gets in the way of her kicking legs!

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When she finishes a yawn, it sounds like she’s biting an apple and she looks super satisfied with herself.  She’s sweet, mellow and easily startled by loud or unfamiliar noises.

LEILA GRACE

Nicknames: Missy Loo, Missy Moo, Lei-Loo, Leila Loo Bear

img_0423Leila had to start physical therapy for torticollis (shortened, stiff muscles on one side of the neck).  She is so good and patient.  Her therapist adores her.

img_0428You can be a bit more physical when you play with Leila – she likes to be bounced and tickled. You need to be a bit quieter and gentler with Blake.img_0429Leila is also rolling over from her back. We thought she would roll over first, since she craned her neck to the left so much. We found her on her stomach on the play mat the same morning after finding Blake on her belly in the crib.  So they are neck in neck.

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Babies at this age produce tons of drool, even if they aren’t teething.  Leila has plenty of bubbles coming out of her mouth, which she sometimes spits out intentionally.  Especially after you have just cleaned her chin off. It’s just lovely.
DSC01497.JPGShe’s a sweet girl and wears her emotions on her sleeve.  She isn’t afraid to let you know when she’s happy, tired, or hungry.  She still basically runs the show around here.

These girls are such blessings.  We love them so much, even though parenting is the absolute hardest thing we’ve ever done (we don’t sleep much.) It’s all so worth it.

Four Months Old

This past month has really been a change in the girls.  They are out of the “fourth trimester” and are alert, active little things.  They are sitting up in their Bumbo seats and exersaucers and are able to bat and grab their toys.  Both of them can roll out of tummy time but can’t roll off of their backs yet.

While they don’t really interact with each other per se, they do notice and observe each other.  And they definitely watch me!  I’m the center of their little worlds.  When I walk into a room, I can count on two pretty little faces looking at me, taking their cues from me.  And if I am holding one, the other is almost always watching us.  It is so very hard to split my attention and to “choose” one to comfort first when they both need me equally.  It’s the worst part for me so far.  Feeling like one of my girls is suffering because of a choice I have to make.

They now need to be entertained.  Sometimes I feel like I’m playing with a cat – just dangling something in front of their faces.  While OF COURSE it’s a joy and a privilege, it does get a little monotonous at times.  I’ve been singing nursery rhymes but have to break it up with real person songs too.  There has been plenty of Disney, Needtobreathe and the girls’ favorite is Forever Country (the country song mashup sung by every country music artist ever) and Octopus’ Garden (The Beatles).

We have one overnight feed (around 1 am) and one early morning feed (around 5 am).  I take the overnight and Scott takes the early morning.  They tell me that this will eventually end…

Leila Grace

Nicknames: Leila Loo, Leiloo, Leila Girl, Leila Full of Grace, Little Girl

She is 25 inches long and weighs 15 pounds.dsc01434She has higher highs and lower lows than Blake.  And she can swing from one to the other more easily.

dsc01435But she is always great in a crowd of people! She was all smiles at my sister’s bridal shower and at a company party we attended.  She can certainly turn it on.

I think she’s starting to understand how to get her way (aka manipulate us).  It’s almost disconcerting how fast she’ll stop crying as soon as she sees she’s getting what she wants. Like being brought out of the dark room she should be sleeping in to be with mom and dad watching TV…

dsc01436Her hair is still coming in reddish/strawberry blonde.

dsc01439When she is “talking” to us, Leila always sounds like she’s having a back and forth conversation or asking questions.  She also likes to stick her tongue out a lot.

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Blake

Nicknames: Blakey Boo, Blakey girl, Bright Eyes, Big Eyes, Schnoopsy <– a personal favorite of mine that I use equally amongst my human children and my fur baby, Prince

She is 25 inches long and weighs 13 pounds, 5 ounces.

dsc01427She is a talker! She babbles away and always sounds like she has so much to tell us.  She alternates between high pitched squeals and when she is “talking” in her regular voice, it is a bit throatier.  But she always looks like she is sharing a secret or up to something mischievous when she’s talking.

dsc01424She’s picked up that her sister gets attention with crying and screaming and seems to be trying it out for herself.  It makes me sad because I want her to stay a happy little thing.

dsc01423She is fluttering her eyelashes and flirts with people.  And she is giggling!  Oh my word, the giggles are the best.  If something makes her unhappy she pouts out her bottom lip.  This was my trademark as a baby, surprise surprise.

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That’s all for month four!

 

 

Three Months Old

The girls are now 3 months old!  They officially look like babies not infants or newborns anymore.  And luckily my postpartum hormones are gone, so this doesn’t depress the heck out of me.

They both love ceiling fans and looking in mirrors.  They both really enjoy bath time, which I find very lucky!  I am starting to find a rhythm to our days – we are recognizing sleep patterns (hello long morning naps!) and we have more good overnights than bad.  They also saw each other for the first time!  I don’t think they “recognize” one another, but they did register that they were looking at another face and smiled.

My girl Blake is a happy little thing.  dsc01358

She loves when we blow raspberries on her tummy and giggles at my fake (and real) sneezes.  Scott and Leila have to kick us off of the changing table sometimes because I just keep blowing on her tummy to make her laugh.dsc01353

She is always grabbing something with her hands like her shirt, my hair, her pacifier or her blanket.  We think she will attach to a stuffed animal or lovey when she gets bigger.dsc01356

She likes to have her pacifier while she falls asleep, but it always pops out and rests on her lips when she’s fully asleep.  dsc01357

My mom and best friend had been the only people that said they could see some of me in Blake.  Everyone else said she was a mini-Scott.  Well both of them abandoned me this month and said she’s just looking more and more like Scott.  Right down to certain facial expressions.  dsc01367

Leila-Girl is healthy and growing!  We’ve got her medication under control and she takes it like a champ.  I’m so proud of her.dsc01384

She isn’t always smile-y but when she is, her grin is a huge open mouth smile!  It lights up her whole face. And she is getting cuddlier.  When she’s tired, she likes to snuggle into my shoulder.  I never want that to stop!DSC01338.JPG

She has discovered her hands in a big way.  She often looks like she’s getting ready to fight someone with her clenched little fists up in front of her face in a boxing pose.  DSC01337.JPG

She loves laying on the playmat, batting at the animals overhead.DSC01326.JPG

She is getting close to rolling over.  She likes to turn her head all the way to her left and it looks like her body is just about ready to follow all the way over.  And she’ll roll right out of tummy time if we’ll let her.  It makes me nervous because I like knowing she’ll be right where I left her.  DSC01328.JPG

They are both sweet little loves and we are having so much fun learning their personalities.

Two Months Old

Our babies passed the two month mark last week.  Month two meant that Daddy had to return to work.  It’s been tough but I’ve had so many helpers and have also survived some days entirely on my own.  I have to say I love being a stay at home mom right now.  It’s also helped us settle into a routine.  I always take the 2 am feed, while Scott gets up with them at 5 before he gets ready and heads to work.  I’m sure I’ll look back at this time and wonder how I was awake for 1.5 to 2+ hours every single night.  But we’re managing.  I love coffee.

Leila Grace

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Two months old is treating Leila quite well.  She had been having trouble sleeping during the day until we pulled out the second-hand swing I had almost forgotten about. It works like. a. charm.  Seriously a life changer for me.  She actually sleeps on her own during the day!  Hooray for mommy!

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Sleeping more means she’s happier when she’s awake. Even with her newfound sleep miracle, she still runs things around here.  We are on her schedule, thank you very much!  As her thyroid levels have evened out, she has also started to eat much better, which makes everyone very happy.

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She weighed in at 11 pounds, 13 ounces and is 22.25 inches long at their 2 month appointment.

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Not to brag, but she smiles the most for me.  And it melts my heart.  She especially likes when I sing Miranda Lambert to her.

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Her hair is coming in looking rather ginger.  She gets that from her daddy’s side, where she’ll join a long line of auburn and strawberry blonde beauties.  Her eyes are still blue and her skin is darker than Blake’s.

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Blake Evangeline

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Blake is still so mellow and happy.  She’s slowed down on her eating but is a champion sleeper.

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She weighed in at 11 pounds, 1 ounce and is 22.25 inches long.

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Again, not to brag (I’m totally bragging), but she smiles up a storm for me, especially in the morning.  I try to keep the middle of the night feeds very quiet and quick. I can usually make it through without Blake even really waking up.  But sometimes when I re-swaddle her, she wakes up, catches sight of my face and simply lights up.  A full mouthed smile complete with coos and giggles. It makes those 2 hours I’m up every night seem like a breeze.

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Football season started this month and the girls have seen several Hokie games and Giants games.  Scott swears Blake enjoys watching football with him.  She really is a mini-version of her daddy.  She even runs hot, just like him.  When I get her up from naps, half of the time she’s a sweaty little hot potato, while Leila is perfectly content.

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After losing most of her hair on the top of her head, it’s grown back and is looking rather dark.  Finally, something from me! She has the most adorable cowlick swirl directly in the middle of her forehead.  I need to always remember that so I can always advise her against bangs.  Her eyes are a bright blue and her skin is still perfect porcelain.

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Our lives changed on a dime as soon as we had them and I can barely remember what it was like before.  As much as I want them to stay little forever, I love watching them grow and change every day.  Such an honor to be their momma.

One Month Old

Last Thursday, our girls had their one month birthday!  It’s trite, I know, but HOW did the time fly by so fast? They are already growing out of some newborn clothes and I can’t even handle it emotionally.

They are both over 8 pounds and got a great review at their one month check up.  They are starting to be more alert and are enthralled when I sing to them – I’ve introduced them to Disney’s Greatest Hits and Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Little Miss Blake Evangeline, nicknamed Bright Eyes by her Grandpa, still weighs a few ounces less than her sister.  Her skin is so smooth and as pale as can be.  After a weekend away, Scott came in and asked if Blake had gotten paler.  She is also losing her hair, mostly from the top of her head.

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Is there anything better than baby yawns? I haven’t found it if there is.DSC01202

She still loves to eat and she turns her upper lip red because she eats so voraciously.  When she is done eating, she makes “Grandpa face” – pulling her bottom lip under the top lip.  DSC01204

She needs just a little bit of cuddles and loving to fall asleep.  I don’t mind at all.  Since she had more room during the pregnancy she likes to stretch out, so she’ll lounge in the nook of my arm while I lounge on the couch.  She also needs tons of time to wake up.  She stretches and squirms and stretches some more.  We un-swaddle her and lay her out on her back about 5 minutes before we want to feed her so she can get it out of her system.

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And Miss Leila Grace, nicknamed Little Girl by her Grandpa, still has ALL of the snuffling, snurfling noises and faces to go along with them. DSC01224

On our second day home, we found out she has hypothyroidism.  It was caught super early and she started medication when she was 8 days old.  She’ll likely be on it for her whole life, but it’s very manageable.  It was sad and scary at first, but we have seen her start to eat and sleep better since starting the medication.  She has filled out so nicely and her color/jaundice is improving.  We’re so grateful it was caught early and that she takes her medication like a champ.

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Leila definitely runs the show around here.  Feedings are done on her schedule – we hear about it if we miss her preferred schedule by even a minute! She tends to take her time with feedings, which can be hard for momma and daddy at 3 am.  She’s also introduced us to the joys of diaper rash and gassiness.  But I’m not complaining – she is such a sweet, happy little love.  DSC01213

She loves to cuddle, especially on daddy’s chest.  She spent the whole pregnancy slightly squished by her sister so she still curls up in the fetal position and just lays right on your chest. It’s the best thing ever.DSC01220

We are so in love with our girls.