Thursday, July 30, 2009

genetics and hand-eating

So as much as these babies look like their daddy, it appears that I have passed on a few little things to my offspring. Including, apparently, the art of sleeping with one's mouth open. It's also nice to know that this "gift" may be genetically linked, so that it's not something I can control...

Apparently the flash on a camera startles sleeping babies--who knew?

And here's the mega-pouty face I got for embarrasing her by taking advantage of such an unflattering photo op. That's her lower lip, by the way--not her tongue!

This picture of Noah makes me giggle. He tends to look sideways a lot, by virtue of having a head that lays better on the sides, and us trying to get him to look straight ahead. But this day he looked especially resentful of our efforts.

And here's a sampling of a skill Noah's been honing since birth: chewing on his hands. It's not the greatest video; sometimes he gets going even more than this. But those times I feel more guilty about videoing him instead of feeding the poor child.

Monday, July 27, 2009

necessity is the mother of compromise. oh yeah--and invention, too.

I read a whole lot of books about babies while I was pregnant. Books about getting pregnant, being pregnant, buying baby stuff, things that can go wrong, things that can go right, having babies, feeding babies, getting them to sleep/wake/eat/get to their college classes on time. Books have been enormously helpful. In fact, I'm still reading books--I keep two or three close at hand in my little nursing niches so that I can grab them whilst my body is immobilized and I remember all the baby-related questions that have cropped up in the previous few hours. And let's not even mention the hours I've spent combing the internet... All this inquiry has taught me such useful tidbits as:

  • What cradle cap is, and how to fix it
  • How to use a vacuum cleaner to put a baby to sleep
  • That breastmilk can taste like garlic
  • That babies apparently like garlic-flavored mommy-nosh
  • How to swaddle a baby so securely they won't get out on their own before kindergarten
  • ...and many other useful things.

When it comes down to it, though, there are times (and plenty of them) when I've just had to stuff the books and magazines under a pillow so their authors won't witness me going absolutely against their advice. Like when we put Lily to sleep in the swing again even though this will apparently ruin the chances that she will ever put herself to sleep before she's 50. And when we don't change Noah for the third time in an hour because he's finally quiet and sleepy, and maaaaybe that squishy sound was really just gas.

Because I am not perfect, and my children apparently did not read all those books to know what they were supposed to do. And sometimes, I just need to bend the rules a little if I'm ever going to find time to sleep. (Or get to that stupid laundry.) And the reasonable part of me figures that Noah and Lily just might grow up happy despite all the compromise.

And now, further evidence in pictures: When two babies are crying and hungry at once, you improvise. A rubber band attached to the mobile of the baby papasan chair can feed a baby.

And when baby equipment keeps taking up all your sleeping spaces, you just sort of make do:

And when they don't make baby seats and helmets small enough, you find other ways:

This is Lily practicing to be Saudi Arabian:

And this is Noah practicing to be asleep. He's gotten so good, it's hard to tell he's only faking.
Seriously, can you even tell he's wide awake?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

two months in

Surely it's been more than two months than the babies were born, right? Surely it's been hundreds and thousands of days of diapers and Boppies and bottles and smiles in the morning. Right? Did I really have a different life two months ago?

I think it's safe to say that we've adjusted to being parents. Not that we know what we're doing all the time, or even half the time... but the idea has definitely had time to sink in. I've had a couple of "aha!" moments where I was looking at one of the babies and all of a sudden it hit me that they were mine. Weird feeling, but very cool.

It's amazing how much they've changed in the past two months, too. Lily has gained three and a half pounds, weighing in yesterday at 8 lbs, 14 oz. And Noah has more than doubled his birth weight, coming in at a whopping 10 lbs, 9 oz! Noah is now at the 11th percentile for his weight, but they're not on the charts yet for length or head circumference... gotta take it one step at a time though, I guess! At least Lily's head is finally big enough for those little stretchy headbands, so people can stop asking me if they are both boys. They are holding their heads up much better, smiling all the time, and making all kinds of noises. Noah gave the nurse a HUGE smile yesterday at the doctor's office... right before she gave him his shots. And Lily is so fun every morning. I un-swaddle her and lay her on the changing table, and she immediately starts kicking, flailing, looking around wide-eyed, and cooing and smiling. It almost makes 5:30 a.m. a bearable hour to be alive.

Two month old bebes, reclining in their Boppies. Lily is looking at me like I'm crazy, probably for putting her little headband on when we weren't going anywhere.

Their head control has also gotten good enough for us to be able to use their Bumbo chairs, which is fun. They like being able to sit up and look around more and more. I love the way Lily has her arm out like she's just reclining. Noah looks like he's having trouble bending in the middle--possibly due to his enormous tummy:

Scott is sticking her tongue out at Lily--she stares at it, but doesn't yet appear to get offended.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

noah's traumatic event and other updates

A few days ago Scott put Noah down to sleep in his crib. He wasn't quite asleep yet, so Scott turned on the "TV"--a flat plastic toy that shines lights and plays music. It's supposed to strap to the side of the crib, but since we move it around a lot, we just let it lean against the side of whatever apparatus the babies are in at the moment. Noah loves the thing--it'll keep him entertained for a long time (at LEAST three minutes). A few minutes later, Scott heard hysterical crying coming from the nursery and went in to find the toy toppled over onto Noah's face, still flashing and playing music. It took the poor kid quite awhile to calm down!

Lily's fussiness has been a lot better lately, thank goodness! We were hunkering down for a few months of solid crying, since she seemed to meet the "official" criteria for having colic and colic generally lasts awhile. Every evening and into the night, we would enter an odyssey of wailing and screaming, courtesy of our little princess. But about a week ago, Lily had a really good night. And then another one the next day. And she's had one every night since. Right now it's 10:30 and she's in bed in the bassinet (not the swing!), sleeping soundly. This is an absolute miracle, in my opinion. I have no idea whether our good luck will continue or not, but it's nice for now!

And now for some pictures. We propped Noah up in the big comfy glider and noticed he was cute, so we took a picture:

And then we piled on Lily, and it was even cuter. It almost seemed as if they were beginning to appreciate each other's company...

...until Noah started trying to latch on to Lily's head. Again. So much for brotherly love.

Here's another gratuitously cute picture of Noah in that baseball cap. It still doesn't fit him, but it's scary how quickly he's almost grown into it, from how huge it was on him a few weeks ago.

And here's Lily, exhibiting her newfound laid-back attitude, since she's sleeping without being swaddled and without her trusty hair dryer blowing. And I'm sorry, but is she not gorgeous??

More evidence of her gorgeousness...

And a wonderful, happy fat baby smile from Mr. Noah to round things out:

Sunday, July 12, 2009


If it's one thing that babies can do, it's scrape life down to the bare essentials (eating, sleeping, pooping). Given the ridiculous amount of time that we spend on these essentials, I have recently been impressed with the importance of maintaining our sense of humor. So to that end, I want to record a couple of very funny moments. At least, I thought they were hysterical. We'll see if all you folks operating on more than 3 consecutive hours of sleep have the same opinion.

Several nights ago, Scott and I were in the living room and a show about adoption was on TV. This couple was trying to adopt an 18-month-old Indian boy who had had a trachaeotomy. Because of the trach, he couldn't talk or make noises. It was the weirdest thing to watch him cry pitifully without making a sound. Scott was on the computer and hadn't been watching, so I said, "Hey look, that boy has a trach, so he doesn't make any noise when he cries!" Without missing a SECOND, Scott looks up and says, "How much does that cost?"

And then last night we were entertaining Lily away from fussiness, and started thinking and talking about how tiny her little organs must be. This led us to contemplate her tiny little girl organs, and the fact that she already has all her eggs. And then we made the jump to thinking about Lily having babies. Scott told her very seriously that she was WAY too young to have babies, that she was simply not mature enough. And it was just so funny, sitting there thinking of Lily, who can't take care of herself enough to even know why she's crying half the time, taking care of her own fussy babies. Baby Lily and her teensy little babies, just sitting there crying together.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Auntie Em and air conditioning

My sister Emily came last week for our birthdays (they are a day apart) and to see the babies. We had a lovely time, especially during the car ride home from the airport, during which Emily sat in the back while Lily screamed for half an hour. She has since decided she may not be ready to have children at the moment. Here we are with our birthday cake, which we absolutely did not make. Sadly, I neglected to take pictures of the Fourth of July cupcakes that we--I mean Emily--actually did make.

I had an interesting birthday, overall. It happened to be one of those days when I couldn't put down a baby long enough to use the restroom, let alone get anything else done. And sometime around noon we realized the air conditioning wasn't working, so we spent the rest of the day having a repairman visit and trying to decide where we would get money for a new a/c system. After Scott had made a dozen phone calls, we realized the air was working again (and it has been, ever since). So it looks like we won't need a new system right away, at least...

In other news, I have begun the long road to getting myself back into shape. Apparently, going nearly a year without breaking a sweat is not the best way to maintain one's physical fitness. I've never been much of an athlete, but I like to be able to run (well, jog at least) 2-3 miles. Once the presence of two parasites was discovered in my abdomen, I was restricted to walking. I planned to keep up with exercise through the pregnancy, but by the end the only sport I could manage was couch-sitting. And then after the c-section I wasn't really supposed to do much exercise for 6 weeks.

And now 6 weeks have passed and I am cleared to work out again. So the other day I went for a "run". I use the term loosely--I wouldn't use it at all, but to say "I dragged my sorry carcass around the block at slightly faster than a walk" isn't very concise. It wasn't my best performance, to say the least. Suffice it to say that, after this "run", I feel as though I've been hit by a truck. Good thing I have my flubby leftover twin-belly to laugh at me in the mirror and motivate me to keep exercising.

And now for pictures! Here's the first baby-smile caught on camera... (it's Lily)

And Noah is sort of's mostly just a trick of the camera, but this is pretty much what his smiles look like. They are smiling more and more every day, which is nice. Apparently we truly have produced two little people and not just two small, needy blobs.

And here's Noah, demonstrating the proper way to slip into a milk coma: (I had to hold his hand there whilst Daddy grabbed the camera)