Today, Miss Brooke and Miss Brecklyn turn five months old! Interestingly, it was exactly one year ago today that we found out we were expecting twins during an exciting yet terrifying ultrasound. My, how life has changed in one short year!
Here is Brooke Ellie this morning with her baby doll. She is growing faster than I thought possible!
And, here is Brecklyn Sarah. She is still a bit smaller than Brooke, but also growing rapidly!
This was the first month that Brecklyn was more interested in her baby doll than in staring at the camera. She was really trying to pick her up!
Brooke is now wearing all 6 month and 6 to 9 month sized clothing.
She wears a size 2 shoe and keeps them on her feet well.
We finally ran out of size 1 diapers and transitioned to size 2 diapers this month. Brooke, for sure, was needing the bigger size.
Brecklyn wears 3 to 6 month, 6 month, and 6 to 9 months sized clothing. She still fits in a few pieces that Brooke has outgrown.
She also wears a size 2 shoe. However, she is not good about wearing shoes, and she will often kick and kick her feet until she gets the shoes off.
We transitioned Brooke to size 2 diapers about a week before we transitioned Brecklyn, but they are both wearing size 2s now.
The girls' sleep patterns have continued to improve. They will sleep through the night about 2 to 3 nights a week. We still swaddle them both for sleep, but Brooke has started to really fight to get out the swaddle. We have just in the past few days started laying her down with her arms out of the swaddle.
They still sleep in the same crib, but it is becoming an issue. Brecklyn wakes in the night more often than Brooke, and she will wiggle and fuss and cry until she wakes Brooke, too. I *think* we have decided to move Brooke to her crib (they both sleep in Brecklyn's crib for now) and see if that will help Brooke sleep through the night more consistently. It makes me sad to think about them not sleeping together, though.
Brooke often sucks her thumb to help her go to sleep, but if we are rocking her, we will make her use the paci. She also prefers to lay on her stomach to sleep, but we always lay her down on her back.
It is very interesting to me how different babies have different sleep needs. Brooke is a higher-sleep-needs baby whereas Brecklyn is lower-sleep-needs. Obviously, they have the same routine, environment, eating schedule, food, etc, but Brooke will often sleep up to an hour later than Brecklyn in the mornings. Brecklyn will also almost always wake from each nap about 20 to 30 minutes before Brooke does. Right now, they wake between 6 and 7 in the morning, take a 1.5ish hour morning nap, a 2.5 to 3.5 hour afternoon nap, and an evening cat nap. They go down for the night between 7:30 and 8:00pm. If Brooke is tired, she will generally go to sleep easily. She doesn't care if she is being held, in the stroller, in her crib, etc . . . she will just go to sleep.
Brecklyn, on the other hand, will fight sleep something fierce if she's not at home (and sometimes, even when she is at home). She does not like to be rocked to sleep or held while she sleeps. She prefers to nap in the swing and sleep at night in her crib swaddled up. One exception to this was during the second week in June when we had VBS at church. It was in the evenings for four nights in a row. The babies were very out of their routine during this time, and Brecklyn would not nap unless I was holding her during that week. I soaked up the snuggles from my girl who doesn't generally like to be held during nap!
I am still nursing both babies, but we rarely tandem nurse anymore. For now, it is difficult to handle both babies while they eat at the same time as they are easily distracted and sometimes very wiggly (but lack fine motor control). I am thankful they are both fast eaters and only nurse 15 to 20 minutes apiece. Brooke will get about 5 bottles per week (most often formula), and Brecklyn has finally started to take a bottle, as well. She can be very picky about her bottle (she much prefers breastmilk over formula and it has to be the perfect temp), but at least she'll take one now! They eat 6 times a day and take about 6 ounces each per feeding.
Both babies love to have a bath. We went out of town to visit my parents for the first time this month, and I bathed the girls in the kitchen sink at my mom's house!
I have a front-to-back double stroller frame that holds the infant car seats, as well as a side-by-side Baby Jogger City Mini Double. The front-to-back is hard to steer and difficult to fold up, but was convenient because I could just take the infant car seats (with babies in them) out of the van and put them straight in the stroller. However, now that the girls are older, it's much easier to use my side-by-side (which I love . . . it's so much easier to steer and fold up). The girls also like this stroller much better, so we now use it almost all of the time.
Happy in the stroller!
One day, we went to Target right before nap time. This turned out to be a terrible idea as both babies just fussed and cried the entire time we were in the store. I hurried to check out, but by the time we left Brecklyn was melting down and in full on cry mode. However, by the time we reached the car, they had both fallen asleep in the stroller :-(.
This month has been full of firsts for the girls. They are now both sitting up on their own! Brooke Ellie sat on her own for the first time on June 26th. She can sit unassisted for about 3 minutes without tumbling over. I tried and tried to get a photo of her sitting, but she refused to look at me :-).
Brecklyn has been trying to sit up since right before she turned four months old. She sat on her own for the first time on June 10th. She is steadier than Brooke and can sit a bit longer.
We also pulled out the ExerSaucer for the girls this month. Brecklyn always wants to stand when she is being held, so we thought she would love this. We were right!
It took Brooke a bit longer to get used to it, but she loves it now, too.
Her favorite thing is to chew and eat on the toys!
Both girls are becoming more and more mobile, but Brooke is especially able to move across the room when she wants to. On June 13th, she started army crawling, and on June 15th she rolled from belly to back. Now, she army crawls and rolls to get to anywhere she wants to go. We still lay her on the playmat, but she doesn't stay there very long.
Brecklyn and Brooke playing together on the playmat:
Brecklyn isn't able to move across the room quite like Brooke, but she seems to be more advanced in her fine motor skills. She is able to look at an object and grab it very easily these days. This includes grabbing at her sister (and this doesn't always turn out well). Brooke is working on grabbing objects too, but she isn't quite there yet.
We stopped using the Rock-n-play this month because neither one of the girls liked it anymore. Brooke would arch her back until she would nearly come out of it, so I returned it to my friend who loaned it to us. One day, I had the girls in the the bouncy seats facing one another. Brecklyn started to fuss, so I picked her up. When I looked back at Brooke (who was not buckled in), she was like this:
Ha! Lesson learned . . . Brooke MUST be buckled in!
Brecklyn continues to be our cautious baby. She is much slower to warm than Brooke. I have so many fewer photos of Brecklyn smiling because she's not sure about the camera and not quite as free with her smiles. She has certainly found her voice this month, and has been "talking" and cooing much more lately. We used to think of her as more quiet than Brooke, but she has recently discovered that she can screech and squeal, so she tends to get pretty loud.
We used to have many days where Brecklyn would cry inconsolably for a period of time. However, as she gets older, she is outgrowing that. She still appreciates her routine, but she is happier in general than she was as a smaller infant.
Although Brecklyn likes to be held, she doesn't necessarily want to cuddle. She wants to sit up and face out so she can see everything going on. She will really focus in on something and observe it, and only likes to be worn in a carrier if she's facing out.
Miss Breckles is typically more serious than Brooke, but she has started to give us a few belly laughs this month. It's such a beautiful sound!
Brooke has also started to really focus on things and observe them. However, she's always on the move, even when being held. It seems like she goes non-stop!
Brooke is also laughing quite a bit these days, and we just love to hear it! She laughs, coos, and "talks" constantly during her awake hours. And, this girl is LOUD. It's amazing how loud she can get when she's "talking".
Brooke loves to snuggle and be held close. She's generally laid back, and doesn't need her schedule or routine quite as much as Brecklyn. She enjoys being worn in a carrier, so we do that fairly often with her.
Brooke's full head of hair continues to get more wild (and more curly) as the weeks pass. One of the first things most people observe when seeing the twins is that Brooke has so much more hair than Brecklyn.
We also hear a lot of comments about how much red she has in her hair. She's all smiles about this, of course :-).
This is her "after ponytail" do! Ha!
Brecklyn's hair has really started to grow in this month. It's very blonde and doesn't seem to be curly. It looks just like Brenson's hair did at this age. She still has quite the bald spot in the back, but the top is filling out nicely.
You can really see her hair growth progress in these photos.
The girls both adore Brianna and always have a smile for her. And the feeling is mutual!
They love Brenson as well, but he just doesn't pay as much attention to them as Brianna does. However, he will gladly hold them now if we ask him to. Progress, ha!
More firsts this month included attending our first VBS (as you can see, they weren't too thrilled about this as it threw their schedule off too much),
the first time to go to the splash pad (I only got photos of Brecklyn as Brooke was fussy),
and the first time sitting in high chairs at a restaurant! As you can see, Brooke was very excited about this!
She was so proud!
Brecklyn - true to form - wasn't sure at first.
But, she warmed up to the idea fairly quickly.
We were grabbing a bite to eat at Arby's when we decided to use high chairs. The girls did great in them during the entire meal!
A few more things about Breckles:
Brianna loves to pick up the babies, but we don't generally allow her to do it. However, one day I allowed Brianna to carry Brecklyn from the living room into the nursery. Imagine my horror when I heard a crash and immediate crying. Brianna had tripped over some stuff in the hallway and fallen with Brecklyn in her arms. Brecklyn was fine - just frightened - and I am pretty sure Brianna cried more than she did. Brianna felt so bad for what happened, and even though no one was hurt, we all learned a valuable lesson!
I mentioned that we took the babies on their first out-of-town trip during this month. It was to visit my parents over Father's Day weekend. We were worried about how Brecklyn would do away from home (since she really appreciates her routine), but we were pleasantly surprised at how well she did! She ate well, slept well, and had plenty of smiles for us.
Brecklyn used to be our girl that only wanted to be held by Mommy or Daddy, but that is slowly changing. She has become much better about allowing others to hold her and even being happy while it happens :-).
A few more things about Brooke Ellie:
Brooke seems to have followed in her Daddy and Brother's footsteps and has very sensitive skin. She had a pretty bad eczema outbreak on her arms, legs, and abdomen during her 4 month check-up at our pediatrician's office. He gave us some recommendations, but my friend, Tia, gave us an all-natural lotion that she makes for her daughter (who has severe eczema). After about 2 weeks of using the lotion, Brooke's eczema completely cleared up! We still use the lotion and her skin is perfect!
Brooke decided this month that she hates the swing. She's never been a big fan of it (like Brecklyn), but she would at least swing happily for 15 or so minutes. Well, no more! She immediately cries if we even start to put her in it. We've never had a baby reject the swing like Brooke has.
Another thing Brooke has really started to hate is the car. When we drove to my parents' house (about 3 hours), she cried off and on the entire way there. Then, when we drove home, she cried almost the entire time. It was a bit stressful and just pitiful. I hated that our normally happy, laid back girl was so miserable!
These two continue to become more fun each month! We love watching them grow and observing all their similarities and differences. They have an incredible bond, and we are just soaking up every minute with them! Happy 5 months, girlies!