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.

Leila and Blake

Our daughters are here!  They were born Monday, July 11.  Meet Leila Grace and Blake Evangeline.  They are fraternal twins and have had their own personalities and have been easy to tell apart from day one.

Leila Grace was born at 8:41 am.DSC01173

Her name is pronounced Lay-la, like the Eric Clapton song.  We didn’t anticipate the issues with pronunciation we’ve already encountered!  I chose to spell it with an “E” and “I” because I think it’s prettier.  DSC01175

She weighed 6 pounds 8 oz and was 18.75 inches long.DSC01176

She had (and still has) a touch of jaundice and has funny faces and silly noises to spare.   She looks like her daddy’s baby photos but may have mommy’s eyes.  DSC01177

And Miss Blake Evangeline was born at 8:42 am.DSC01184

She weighed 6 pounds even and was 18 inches long.DSC01182

She is a champion eater, has perfect porcelain skin and loves to stretch out.  She had more space in the womb and definitely squished her big sister!DSC01185

Blake looks like her mommy’s baby photos, but she has her daddy’s mouth and her facial expressions look just like her daddy right now.   DSC01186

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 🙂