Thursday, August 6, 2015

Brooke & Brecklyn are Six Months Old!

A few days ago (we were out of town on the actual day) marked 6 months since we welcomed Brooke and Brecklyn into our arms. We had spent months anticipating their birth, and we were not disappointed! 

Six months ago, these little ladies filled our hearts and our arms. 

How can it be that a half of a year has already gone by? Our home is full of more love than we knew was possible. 

Miss Brooke thinks being 6 months old is pretty special :-).

Brecklyn was also super-excited to celebrate her half birthday!

Brooke currently wears size 6 month and 6 to 9 month clothes. She's even worn a few 12 month pieces. She wears a size 2 shoe, but is very close to outgrowing them. She is wearing a size 2 diaper as well, but as soon as we finish the ones we have she will be moving up to a size 3. 

We had the girls' 6 month appointment with Dr. F yesterday. Brooke weighs 18 pounds and 6 ounces (90th percentile), is 27.25 inches long (94th percentile), and has a head circumference of 16.75 inches (54th percentile). Both babies received their 6 month vaccinations, and Brooke cried for just a minute after the second shot. She has been a little fussy today, but nothing too bad.

Brecklyn is currently wearing size 3 to 6 month, 6 month, and 6 to 9 month clothing. She also wears a size 2 shoe, and they are still fitting well for now. She is in a size 2 diaper and will make the switch to 3s as soon as we run out of 2s, although she could stay in 2s for a while. 

Brecklyn weighs 16 pounds and 9 ounces (63rd percentile), is 27 inches long (90th percentile), and has a head circumference of 16.5 inches (35th percentile). So, she's only 1/4 inch shorter than Brooke, but weighs 1 pound and 13 ounces less! This is the biggest weight difference they've had so far in life. Brecklyn cried really big and for what seemed like a long time after her shots. She has been very clingy and fussy today :-(.

Here is how all four kiddos compare at six months old:

Brianna: 17-1, 26"
Brenson: 19-10, 28.5"
Brooke: 18-6, 27.25"
Brecklyn: 16-9, 27"

Weight-wise, Brianna was right in between Brooke and Brecklyn, but she was a full inch shorter than they are. 

These four are really starting to have fun together. Love them.

I am still nursing both babies. My goal is to nurse them for their entire first year, and so far we are on track to meet that goal! They generally nurse about five times a day, and I believe they take around 6 ounces per nursing session. I am nursing them separately (I've found it just works better for us now that they're older), but we do try very hard to keep them on the same schedule. 

Brooke still takes a bottle well, and generally has about 5 formula bottles a week. She doesn't care who feeds her . . . as long as she's getting fed! Pictured below being fed by Chris's grandma. 

Brecklyn will only take a bottle sometimes, and only from Chris or me. She maybe takes about one formula bottle a week. She was a little too happy to not be getting a bottle from grandma (we didn't even try :-).

This month, we also started the babies on some solid food. The first thing they tried was oatmeal cereal. 

Brooke tends to be very grabby, but she's getting better at letting Mommy feed her.

She was a fan! Brooke has really enjoyed just about everything we've let her try.

Brecklyn was anxious to try the oatmeal,

but wasn't too sure about it once it was in her mouth. This look, ha!

We have since given them several purees (squash, green beans, bananas, apples, pears, sweet potatoes), as well as various foods from our plates (mashed potatoes, squash, sweet potato, green beans, banana, and strawberries). They have both enjoyed pretty much everything they've tried. Brecklyn has rejected the pears the two times we've tried to feed them to her. We'll keep trying. They are also both eating puffs and yogurt melts.

Brooke is a very messy eater, which is no surprise since she is such a messy nurser. 

Brecklyn is much cleaner with her eating. It's so funny to me how their personalities even shine in their eating!

We've made homemade popsicles a few times this summer by blending strawberries, bananas, and pineapple juice. One day, I let each of the the babies have a few licks. Brecklyn wasn't too fond of them (maybe because they were so cold?)

Brooke loved them! You can really see in this photo how she was getting after it, ha!

She was just slurping and slurping on that thing! It was too funny.

We have had a few sleep struggles this month. Brooke started waking 3 and 4 times a night, and we couldn't figure out what was going on with her. Finally, we decided that it was because she was fighting so hard to get out of her swaddle. We would often find her like this:

Or, rolled onto her tummy like this:

We finally decided to just stop using the swaddle, and her sleep has been much improved ever since. She is, for sure, a tummy sleeper and sleeps well that way. She will wake in the night sometimes, but we just let her fuss for a bit until she goes back to sleep. The first few nights that we let her fuss were pretty rough. She would wake Brecklyn, and then we'd have two babies awake and crying. To help with this, we decided that as soon as Brooke began to fuss, we would move Brecklyn into the pack-n-play which was set up in our room. This worked well, and after about 3 nights Brooke stopped fussing so long and so loud (and therefore stopped disturbing Brecklyn). 

Brecklyn is still sleeping swaddled, but I think we'll be weaning her from it soon. She takes shorter naps during the day than Brooke does, but she's also sleeping well at night. Both babies take a shortish morning nap, a longer afternoon nap, a catnap, and go to bed around 8:00pm. We have started to skip the catnap some, and that's working out well. 

Because Brooke and Brecklyn are the little sisters, they get to tag along with us to all sorts of places that Brianna and Brenson never went as babies. We just put them in their stroller, and they are generally pretty content to be along for the ride. I just didn't know how easy or possible it would be to get out and do things this summer, but we've been able to do a lot more than I anticipated. We are thankful for agreeable, sweet little babies!

We take the girls to church with us every service, and they do well for the most part. They have lots of people who enjoy loving on them! Pictured below with our retired preacher Vance (holding Brecklyn), and his wife, Darla (holding Brooke).

Brooke, especially, doesn't mind being passed around (pictured below with Mr. Allen), although Brecklyn is getting to be more friendly about letting others hold her as she gets older.

The girls went to cradle roll for the first time this month. They both did great! We were visiting a church when they went . . . they won't start going at our home church until the beginning of September. They looked so big sitting in those chairs :-(. 

Another first this month was that Brooke wore her hair in pig tails. She didn't really care too much for me fixing her hair, but she didn't bother them once they were in. 

One of the comments that we hear the most about the girls is that their hair is so different. And, it's true! Brooke's hair continues to thicken (especially on top), and has a very auburn tint to it in certain lighting. It also continues to become more and more curly!

It also gets pretty wild depending on the humidity and how freshly washed it is.

Curly hair problems :-):

My Brooke Ellie . . . pretty in pig tails and in blue!

Brecklyn's hair has also thickened significantly this month. It's finally thick enough that it gets wild sometimes, too. Ha!

Wild hair, don't care :-).

Brecklyn's hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes are all very blonde. Her hair is straight and more coarsely textured than Brooke's. 

You can really see how thick it's getting!

However, it's still really thin on the sides.

I love this photo of my sweet little Breckles (it also shows the texture of her hair really well).

Both babies are currently in a phase where everything goes straight to their mouths. This includes toys, clothing, their hands, feet, and even each other! For the most part, they don't mind at all when they're being chewed on by their sister, but Brooke's face in the photo below makes me laugh! Apparently, she didn't want her sister to chew on her thumb!

Brooke really improved at sitting up on her own this month and continues to improve with each passing day.

Brecklyn is still not quite as steady as Brooke, but she is also improving. I'm confident they will both have mastered this skill by next month.

I already posted these photos, but playing in our pool was another first this month. Brooke thought it was so fun!

Brecklyn enjoyed herself as well, though a bit more cautious about it than Brooke.

Brecklyn also rode sitting up in a shopping cart for the first time this month! She was very excited and rode that way throughout the entire shopping trip!

Brooke was too tired to try this, but Brecklyn thought it was great.

Both girls have really started to respond when you call their name. It is so cute how their face lights up when they hear it. Brooke gets called Brooke Ellie, Brooke-Brooke, and occasionally Brookie-boo-boo, while Brecklyn is most often called Breckles, Breckleton, and Sarah (one of her middle names).

Brecklyn had pretty much mastered grabbing things, and Brooke has really caught up to her now. They are both so grabby that it's definitely difficult to eat (or really do anything) with them in your lap. Brooke has gotten bad about grabbing her headband and bows, pulling them off her head, and putting them in her mouth. She will also grab Brecklyn's headbands if she's close enough to reach.

At home, their favorite thing to do is play in the Exersaucer. They love to jump and stand in it. Recently, they've both really started to study and explore the toys attached to it. It's so cute to watch them look, feel, taste, and move the toys.

Car trips with the girls have been pretty miserable until recently. We've taken a few longer trips, and they are doing better at riding in the car. It's still not perfect, but we can see improvement :-). Neither baby loves long trips, but Brooke especially will cry inconsolably.

Books are a favorite with our big kids, and Brooke and Brecklyn are following suite. They love touch and feel books and to turn pages. It makes my heart happy to see my babies love books. They also love being sang to.

A few more things about Brooke:

She loves to razz, screech, and just generally make noise with her mouth. She constantly soaks her shirts with drool, so we change her multiple times throughout the day. Her eyes are a unique greenish, brownish, hazel color . . . very different than the eyes of her siblings. She has the sweetest little curl on the left side of her head that is a perfect ringlet.

Brooke is affectionate, and she loves to snuggle and be held. Her sweetest moments are when she first wakes up from her naps. She will give the softest little coos and often gently touch my face with her hand. It melts my heart! She is just starting to wave hi and bye.

A few more things about Brecklyn:

Just like her older brother, she has one eye that closes a little more than the other when she smiles really big. She will often smile with her mouth closed, but her eyes just twinkle when she does. She hasn't started waving yet, but she will say "hi". She has started reaching her arms out for us to pick her up.

Brecklyn is very ticklish and loves to be tickled! She will just laugh and giggle, and it is the sweetest sound! The girl still loves her swing, although she's really getting too big for it. She gets very excited when we put her in the swing and give her a blanket. She loves to snuggle that blanket!

Brecklyn is a little more accurate at grabbing things than Brooke is, so she will often steal toys from her sister. It starts so young! She has also started crying when we take something away from her. Oh boy!

The last six months with these little darlings has been incredible. Watching them grow is a tremendous privilege, and we thank God for them every day!

Happy half birthday, Brooke and Brecklyn!

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