Sunday, June 7, 2009

The First Year

What an amazing year the first year of life is. There are so many milestones and so many changes. I find myself at constant crossroads one half of me wants them to hurry up and grow up because the older they get the more fun and interactive they are. Not to mention more independent and easier to care for. Then the other half of me gets sad because it all goes by so quickly and they’ll never be this small again. I think it’s especially hard when you know that these will probably be you’re only children and every morning when they wake up they’re already bigger than when you put them to bed. They started out so small that it wasn’t even comfortable to hold them without them being swaddled in a blanket because they were too small to fit in the crook of your arm. Just one year later they look like toddlers. I’ve kept a little notebook of all of the changes the boys have gone through in their first year of life and typed my notes up below:


Our first week at home was filled with weight check appointments, consults with the lactation nurses and lots of first for us as parents. We got to bring the boys home on Sunday June 15th and James had to go back to work the very next day. We had tons for visitors with people bringing us dinners every other night for the first couple weeks. The first couple of nights were rough with the boys waking up wanting to party at 3am. Feeding was also the hardest this first month because we still had to add formula to their milk to increase the calories so no nursing and lots of pumping. We were still having to force feed the boys when they were too tired to eat as well. They ate every 3 hours around the clock which didn’t leave much time for sleep. I started exercising again by hiking the hill several times a week packing the boys in baby slings.

1 Month Old

During this month the boys gained 2lbs each and had lots of firsts. They started to focus on us and their baby gym. They also had their first smiles and their first tears. We took the boys to the Oregon Jamboree and my 10 year class reunion. Mason had surgery for Pyloric Stenosis on July 23rd and seems to be our drama boy, while Brock is more of a self-soother. Both boys still like to be burrito wrapped all the time. This month they got to start wearing Newborn size diapers and clothes and even started using regular size “big boy” newborn bottles.

2 Months Old

On their 2 month birthday they slept for their first 5 hour stretch at night. God Bless them! By the end of the month they slept a 9 hour stretch! They started looking at us, cooing, and finally figured out who mommy is. They also discovered their big boy voices, no more of those cute little newborn cries. At barely two months Mason could roll from his tummy to his back. He did this several times (we have it on video) then didn’t do it again for several months, go figure. They had their first trip to the coast and their first camping trip to Rivers Bend. We tried to leave them unburrito wrapped more during the day and the day before their three month birthday the slept unswaddled for the first time. We love their chubby little legs and Brock got his bangs trimmed for the first time….it would be the first of many hair cuts.

3 Months Old

Lots of drooling and lots of barfing is the story of our lives. Both boys started talking more and would get really excited to see mommy and daddy. We became their favorite toy. They started making Razzing noises, two syllable cooing, and (this is a big one) they discovered their hands! They are also spending more time awake during the day. The boys were now in the 5th percentile for their age and they moved up to 0-3month clothes and size 1 diaper by 12 weeks. They went 6 days in a row sleeping through the night. This was very convenient since I went back to work that same week. October 1st was their first day at daycare.

4 Months Old

Both boys are now 13lbs and can roll from their fronts to their back. They hold and play with toys, can be pulled into a standing position and can sit up in the bumbo chair. Their necks, heads, and torsos have gotten much stronger. Both can hold their heads up well during tummy time. They sleep up to 11 hours at a time……life just keeps getting better. Mason is finally getting hair on the back of his head while Brock got his first “all over” hair cut. They like to watch T.V and they played in the exersaucer for the first time. They laugh, smile and have definite wake and nap times. They still barf a lot. Both boys have discovered each other but they don’t particularly care about it.

5 Months Old

Both boys are still good sleepers. They love to talk and interact with us and they are starting to get more active. They can roll both ways and wiggle in little circles. They also tried rice cereal for the first time and hated it. They aren’t really ready for food yet.

5 ½ Months Old

Rolling, rolling, rolling…..They notice each other more and are grabbing each others hands. They started holding their own binkies and bottles and they can move objects from one hand to the other. They also stopped nursing and started straight formula. We started moving the boys toward two naps a day.

6 Months Old

They now roll and squirm with a purpose. They can wiggle to get toys out of reach. Mason likes to roll under the Christmas tree to play with the branches and seemed close to crawling. Mason likes to pet Brock’s head and Brock hates it. He starts screaming but we tell him the Mason does it because he’s trying to figure out what hair is. Mason rolls a lot more than Brock but Brock sits up well and started to sit up on his own first. The day after Christmas Brock started to sit up on his own and he got both lower central incisors. It’s funny how you can go from tired and angry to excited and happy when you realize that he’s fussy because he’s teething. For some reason you get this huge sense of pride because he’s getting his first tooth and all you want to do is snuggle and love on him. They both found new vocal noises, they are ticklish and the love to laugh at older kids. Brock also passed Mason up in size at his 6 month check up. Up until this point Mason had always been a ½ pound bigger but now Brock was a ½ pound heavier. They are both 16lbs and started eating solid foods. Their new foods included prunes, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, butternut squash, pears, bananas, applesauce, peaches, green beans, and guava (in that order). They now take two 2-3 hour long naps a day.

7 Months Old

Both boys seem close to crawling. They rock on their hands and knees and can even inch forward but still use rolling as their main source of transportation. Both boys still drinking 6-7 bottles a day and eating solid foods three times a day. New foods include spinach, corn, mango, chicken, egg yolk (in noodle form), papaya, oatmeal, potatoes, kiwi, turkey, cherries, and beef (in that order). Brock got another hair cut and both boys make mama, dada sounds.

8 Months Old

Mason finally got his first tooth and Brock is already working on his upper teeth. Luckily both boys are good teethers. They get really runny noses and are a little fussier but nothing major. I started to make a lot of our own baby food just to give the boys some variety and save myself a trip to the store. New foods include raspberries, broccoli and apricots. Mason rocks on his hands and knees a lot and by then end of the month started army crawling…nothing like dragging your whole body on the ground with your elbows. Mason also started to pull himself up on the exersaucer and can go down the stair into the living room. They both discovered the kitchen which seems to be an amazing new world. They both now say mama and dada a lot and like to smack their lips. Brock can also make smacking noises with his tongue and Mason has his silly “hula hips”. They like to take toys away from each other now too. Brock got his first hair cut with the clippers and it looks much blonder when it’s short.

9 Months Old

Gosh where to begin. Mason is now 19 ½lbs and getting his first upper tooth. He now has one upper and one lower (cute huh?). He likes to grind his only two teeth in his mouth. He can also move pretty quickly through the house in army crawl mode. The first time in the kitchen he went straight for the banister and tried to shove his head through the bars. He was very upset to learn that his head wouldn’t fit in the banister. Mason is now very good at going down the stair into the living room. Brock is 20lbs and starting to army crawl now too.

9 ½ Months Old

Both boys are still barfing but maybe slightly less. Brock has now started army crawling. We started giving them rice crackers Mason loves them but Brock hates them. It takes him longer to get use to “chunky food”. They tried sippy cups and absolutely hate them. Both boys are getting even more teeth in. Mason crawled out of his crib into Brock’s crib and surprised mommy when she went in to check on him. He was standing in Brock’s crib jumping up and down while Brock was trying to sleep, just delighted by his own sneakiness. Needless to say we lowered the cribs all the way down to solve this problem. The boys like to pull down the bumpers in their cribs and giggle with each other when they are suppose to be taking naps. They are starting to crawl normal but only for a few steps because it’s faster to army crawl. Both can crawl up a stair to get out of the living room and mommy did her first half marathon with a group of girls from Halsey.

10 Months old

Some new firsts for the boys include Brock starting to finally pull himself up on furniture, both boys getting their fifth tooth and Brock even got a sixth. I got the boys both tooth brushes and we’ve started brushing their teeth every night. Both boys drank out of a tippy cup once but they hated it. We know they can do it now, they just refuse to. Mason started crawling more normal now and he started crawling up the big staircase and you should see the grin on his face. He thinks he’s top dog!

Spring has arrived and we took the boys out to play in the grass for the first time. We were really excited but the boys hated it, especially Mason. He tried to hold both hands and feet up in the air so they wouldn’t touch the grass. We spent Easter with the Raymond side of the family and the boys got to spend time with both great grandmas. The boys are starting to snuggle more with us and they are starting to play more with each other. They also know what “No” means now. Really the only thing that they aren’t allowed to touch is the house plants.

10 ½ Months Old

We are starting more finger foods and we introduced wheat. The boys just haven’t really been ready for them until now. New foods include banana puff crackers, soda crackers, yogurt, cheese, and yogurt puffs. It seems like everyday we can see them grow and learn something new. They are definitely getting more snuggly and they get really excited to see mommy and daddy. It’s interesting to see them starting to get jealous when the other is getting held. They have even started talking to each other and chasing each other around the house. Their personalities are starting to show and the boys are getting hilarious to watch. Brock thinks it’s so funny to pull himself up then fall back onto his butt.

11 Months Old

I can’t believe how much the boys have changed in the last month. It seems like everything is starting to come together for them, from the way they play together to the way that they interact with us. They both started clapping their hands the day they turned 11 months. Auntie Rae happened to be here, so she got to see them do it for the first time. Brock started crawling normal now and he also started to cruise around furniture. Some of their favorite toys right now are then tunnel and the boxes that their new car seats came in. They still know what “no” means but they don’t seem to really care anymore, especially when it comes to Brock and the plants. They’ve started mimicking us too….head shaking, clapping, hands on top of head, and pointing to food. New foods include avocado, bread, and more crackers. They started sitting in booster seats at restaurants and they think it’s pretty cool to eat at the table. They also got to go on their first vacation to Texas in May. It was their first time on an airplane and their first time in a swimming pool. This is where Brock started cruising because he was chasing Colton around the table.

11 ½ Months Old

Gosh they just keep getting sillier and sillier. Their facial expressions crack us up. They giggle all the time and they are speed demons on the stair case. They’re starting to remember people more too because they got really excited when nana and papa came over to visit. We’ve also started to realize how our boys, being twins, differ from other kids we know. First off they seem to have no sense of personal space or ownership. If they want to go somewhere and someone is in their way they just crawl right over the top of them. They roll, stand, and sit right on top of each other. They are also accustomed to just taking what they want when they want it but don’t particularly care if it later gets taken back. They rip toys right out of each others hands and neither seems upset they just find something new to play with. When it comes to larger toys they are good about playing together on it where other kids get upset if you even look at the toy their playing with. People always ask if they play together well and I think James best described them as “traveling together”. They don’t often play together but they move through the house together while playing independently. This makes our lives so much easier because they don’t necessarily care if we’re in the room as long as they can see their brother. This makes it so much easier to get stuff done around the house.

A friend once told me that “all little boys come with a motor” and boy was she right. Every time the boys pick up a toy they make motor noises. Recently they also started dancing and even head banging when they hear music. Mason loves kisses and Brock loves to play with anything that has wheels. The house is now baby proofed as they are masters at opening cupboards and drawers. They make us laugh everyday because they think that they are so sneaky. We bought them their first folding camping chairs and they just preen when they sit in them. You can tell that they think they are such big boys when they climb up in their chairs.

As we approach their first birthday I find myself appreciating the boys more and more. They won’t be little much longer and I fall in love with them a little bit more each day. James and I love watching them learn and discover new things. They seem to change everyday.

1st Birthday !!!!!

To celebrate the boy’s first birthday we had a BBQ two days before the big day. There were lots of family, friends, food and goodness gracious lots of toys! The weather wasn’t perfect but it held off and it was warm enough for everyone to hang out outside. We sang Happy Birthday and gave the boys their cake first….followed by baths. Unfortunately they didn’t much care for their cake. Of course they had thirty-some people staring at them. Mommy would have liked the boys to have gotten a little more into it and messier after all of her hard work but we’ll settle for good attitudes and no melt downs for the evening. After they boys had their cake we got the rest of the BBQ under way. Food followed by, dessert, presents and marshmallow roasting. Thanks to all of our family and friends we had a great evening and the boys LOVE all of their new toys. Who would have thought that two little boys could get so many toys!

I am very fortunate in that I have the perfect work schedule to make me happy. I didn’t go back to work until the boys were almost four months old. Originally I only planned on staying home for three months but being preemies they really needed that extra month with mom. I really enjoyed my four months at home. Pumping and feeding were time consuming but we had a fairly strict schedule which made life so much easier. I have become a firm believer that because of the schedule the boys were put on that they are better eaters, nappers, and sleepers. I was also fortunate to have the summer months off between Rae and Torrie I was able to get out and hike the hill several times a week and run lots of errands. We took the boys shopping and to the farmers market. (No easy task when I had to pump every two hours and feed every three hours.) By the time four months rolled around I was really ready for a change of pace so the timing couldn’t have been better for me to go back to work. It worked out where I could go back only three days a week which is perfect. I’m still at home more than I’m at work but I get my time away too. I really enjoy my work and coworkers are very supportive. I think I would go crazy if I was home seven days a week. When the boys were 8 ½ months old James got laid off. Some times things happen for a reason and I think maybe God was giving him an opportunity to enjoy the boys while they were still small. He’s an amazing father and way more patient than I am. He’s been very involved in their care from day one so it’s easy for me to leave the house and know that everyone is happy and comfortable. He has his own routine with them so it’s not like he’s “babysitting” them. If he needs to go run an errand he just packs them up and goes. The boys really have a strong bond with their daddy.

I just can’t believe that a whole year has gone by already. James and I love being parents and we feel so blessed to have two wonderful, healthy, perfect little boys. They are so different and so much fun in their own ways. We love watching them play together and can’t wait to see what year two has in store for us!

1 comment:

The Wright Family said...

You have done an amazing job keeping track of their growth. Wish I had done better.