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.

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.

Bump Pictures – Part 3

Week 31

  • New Jersey Baby Shower!  I had a beautiful shower surrounded by our family and friends.
  • I had the perfect dress to show off the girls/baby bump.  I wouldn’t wear anything that tight in real life, but there’s just a freedom that comes with pregnancy, I guess.
  • We introduced my Midwestern family to my New Jersey home! They approve.  It was so sweet having my and Scott’s family together.  Jersey pizza combined with our midwestern tradition of family dice games? Priceless.

The Jersey pride shall be strong with these two.  I approve because it came with a tutu!DSC_0355

My Aunt Barb made these teddy bears!DSC_0363

The architects of the day – friends that are actually more like family.DSC_0401

Still so grateful at the friend-family I married into when I married Scott.DSC_0389

Family from far and wide.DSC_0382DSC_0378DSC_0364

My mom, a happy grandma-to-be!DSC_0366DSC_0410

Week 32 (Memorial Day Weekend)

  • Got myself down to the beach.  Aaaand left after 10 minutes. Opted for food and ice cream over strong winds and an aching back sitting in the sand.
  • Went clothes shopping for my girls! I just wanted to buy them some clothes too, even though they’ve been so blessed!  Prince approved.
  • I can’t do much these days.  I’m slow. I waddle.  I have to stop for “exhaustion attacks.”  I grab Scott’s arm until my heart stops racing and I have the breath/energy to go on.

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Week 33

  • Scott went to Chicago.  For a bachelor party.  It didn’t seem like a big deal when we decided he could go, back in January.  But I am huge now.  And we have great reports on the girls, but lets be real. I could go any minute!
  • My mom spent the weekend with me, washing baby things, helping me run errands and eating Five Guys with me.  And we found the cutest stuffed animals we hope become the girls’ comfort items.  My favorite stuffed animal, Puff Puff, wasn’t retired until I got married – I’m not even ashamed.  So I’m hoping that Ellie and GiGi do the trick for my girls!

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Week 34

  • First legit experience with Baby Brain.  I straight up missed a doctor’s appointment, left the sunroof open in the rain and forgot an entire (important) conversation with Scott.
  • Got three baby bellies together.  My friends, Lauren and Jessie, are both pregnant right now and are both due (with one baby each) in October.  Try not to compare our bellies too hard.

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Life-long friends, starting the next chapter of life together.  Obviously.DSC01084

Week 35

  • I feel like I’m on display wherever I go. I do my best to not make eye contact with anyone.  Note to all human beings: the only appropriate things to say to pregnant women: “You look wonderful!” “Can I open that door for you/pick up that item on the floor for you?” “Want a cookie?”
  • I’m glad I did ballet because the only way to get anything located below my hips is doing a grand plié.
  • Recently heard the line “Pregnancy is like a time bomb of responsibility” and it perfectly describes my life and state of mind.
  • I can’t WAIT to dress up my little girls!!
  • Craving: ice cold lemonade or peach iced tea and burgers

They will be here SO SOON! Any words of wisdom are appreciated 🙂

My Little Sister is Engaged!

Y’all!  My baby sister is going to GET MARRIED!    13087611_10154134416857433_1666611892021476221_n

Who lets 12 year olds get married? Oh, she’s the same age I was when I got engaged? Right…

Older sister denial aside, Scott and I are so excited to welcome Justin to the family and to watch them build their life together.

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Due to his career in the army, we haven’t been able to spend as much time with Justin as we’d like.  But we always have a blast when do.  It’s great having your sister and her future husband be a couple that you would hang out with every weekend, if you could.  I honestly wish they could be our neighbors.IMG_6197

Scott has been eagerly awaiting a brother-in-law on our side of the family.  IMG_6199

And now he gets one that shares his love for America, for Burtch women and who also pulls off red hair.IMG_5839

Congratulations, Megan and Justin! We love you and can’t wait for the wedding and your beautiful life beyond.  Let’s start planning!!

 

Bump Pictures – Part 1

Life has been a roller coaster over the past 6 months (2-3 years really).  Blogging has slowed way down but I really want to document my pregnancy and this joyful part of our lives.  And I want to share with family/friend/anyone that cares to read this!  So here is my recap of roughly the first half of my pregnancy with my precious twin babies.

Five Weeks

  • My pants still zipped.
  • We hadn’t told ANYONE yet.
  • I had started to feel twinges of nausea and pregnancy symptoms.  But I felt pretty good overall.  I was counting my lucky stars for no morning sickness.
  • No real cravings, other than FOOD.  I kept saying, “I haven’t done anything to warrant being this hungry.”  Scott always gave me a look and said, “You’re growing two humans.”  It just didn’t feel real yet.
  • Frank Beamer’s last home game.  Won in overtime against North Carolina. Go Hokies!DSC00922DSC00923DSC00924

Ten Weeks

  • Last Christmas before we become a family of four!
  • I used a hair tie to hold my pants up (but was anxious to try my newly purchased belly band and Target maternity jeans).
  • Had told both of our families and close friends.
  • Got 3 high fives per touchdown (one for me, one per baby)  during the VT bowl game on 12/26.
  • Exclusively used the “Virginia Tech Mom” and “Virginia Tech Dad” mugs during our stay at my parents house.
  • Got nauseous if I didn’t eat basically once an hour.
  • Felt like I was hungover every morning (this was the extent of my morning sickness – not nausea but tired/dehydrated/hungry).DSC00943

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Eleven Weeks

  • Scott’s 31st Birthday! Celebrated with friends, old and new from near and far.
  • Hosted a New Years Eve gathering.  I prepared by fighting with Scott because I was cranky from a week-long headache (no Advil for pregnant women!?) followed by crying in Scott’s lap because I was so happy.  Scott prepared by hanging out (hiding) in the basement and riding the hormonal waves of his wife.

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Twelve Weeks

  • My 30th Birthday!
  • I squeezed myself into the pretty tulle skirt I bought pre-pregnancy.
  • Still felt hungover every morning.
  • The Bump had popped!
  • Scott and I saw our babies looking like babies (not beans) for the first time at our 12 week ultrasound appointment on my actual birthday.  After a broken ultrasound machine and a rush to the hospital, we got to watch our babies move and kick onscreen for a good 45 minutes!  One was nicknamed “The Kicker” aka The Scott Twin.  The other was much more laid back, aka The Rebecca Twin.  Yes, I am laid back in this equation. 
  • We officially passed into the “safe” zone and made the big announcement to the world (Instagram and Facebook).

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Fourteen Weeks

  • Officially out of the first trimester.
  • Started to feel less hungover each morning.
  • Everybody knew and it was so fun to talk about it. DSC00995

Fifteen – Sixteen Weeks

  • Life started to feel ‘normal’ again.
  • I often commented that I hadn’t realized how bad I felt during the first trimester until now – I felt so much better than I had for the past 3+ months.  But I still think I got it easy overall.
  • Forget to do official pictures with the good camera, but I snapped a little something weekly for mom.
  • Craving=chocolate cake.

Eighteen Weeks

  • Feeling good!
  • Went on 2 mile hike with Scott.  Get shell-shocked at the difference in my 16 week picture and this one.  I believe I said, “Why didn’t anyone tell me!?”
  • Took advantage of the unseasonal warm weather (and my new pink Hunter boots) at the beach.
  • Was getting seriously anxious to start setting up the nursery, but had to wait until we found out what we were having!!
  • At this point, I haven’t worn pants that zip in months. Elastic is my friend and there are usually at least 3 layers of clothing over the belly at any given time.
  • Prince has to make accommodations for the new shape of my lap.
  • Still craving = chocolate cake.

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So there you have it- the first half of my pregnancy!  Back with more soon!