Thursday, September 3, 2015

Brooke & Brecklyn are Seven Months Old!

My little babies are growing so fast. It's hard for me to even say it because I'm in denial, but they are 7 months old today!

Brecklyn & Brooke

This is my favorite age for taking their monthly growth photos. Smiles come easily, but the babies aren't too wiggly, yet. I'm enjoying it while I can!

Brooke at 7 months old:

Brecklyn at 7 months old:

When the babies were born, Brooke weighed 5 ounces more than Brecklyn and was a half of an inch longer. At their 6 month check-up, they had an almost 2 pound difference in weight while maintaining only a quarter inch difference in height. I think that Brooke is continuing to pull away from Brecklyn in terms of size. She truly feels and looks significantly bigger than her sister!

Brooke wears 6-9 month, 9 month, and 12 month sized clothing. She wears size 3 shoe. 

We moved Brooke into size 3 diapers just after she turned 6 months old. 

Brecklyn is the smallest baby we've had, but she's still pretty average sized.

She is wearing 6-9 month and 9 month sized clothing. She still wears mostly size 2 shoe, although we do put her in 3s sometimes, as well.

We waited for a few weeks after we moved Brooke to move Brecklyn into size 3 diapers. However, it's too hard to keep track of different sizes when Brecklyn also fit into 3s just fine.

I'm still nursing both girls, but they are eating solids a few times a day as well. They generally nurse about 5 times a day, and I'm pretty sure Brooke eats a few ounces more at each time than Brecklyn does. Brecklyn is easily distracted while eating, and we have A LOT of distractions in our house ;-). They both enjoy eating purees and other table food that we give them. We have yet to come across something that they don't like, and we're praying we have two more good eaters!

We get a ton of hand-me-downs from my friend, Kendall, who has twin girls who are 2 years old. We are incredibly grateful for those clothes and have used and used them. However, Kendall's girls are more on the petite side whereas my girls are on the bigger side. Because of this, we've started to run into a problem with my girls not fitting into the appropriate clothes for the season. Thankfully, we're still able to use many of the clothes, but another friend has seen our need and passed a bunch of clothes down to us, as well. This friend has one daughter, so several of the pieces we've received from her have been coordinating pieces in different sizes. That works perfectly for us right now! In the photo below, Brooke is in size 12 month top and skirt while Brecklyn is in size 9 month top and skirt. 

Sleep has continued to be a bit of a struggle this month. I'm pretty sure this is due (at least in part) to teething! There have been a few nights where the girls have slept all night, but more often they get up at least once. Brecklyn tends to be a better night sleeper than Brooke right now, but Brooke definitely naps better during the day. I'm not sure which I prefer? 

Brecklyn doesn't like to be rocked to sleep or held while she sleeps. On the rare occasion that she sleeps in my arms, I always take a photo :-).

Brooke LOVES to be held while she sleeps. She will sometimes use a pacifier to fall asleep, but as soon as she's asleep she pushes it out. Sometimes, she'll reach up and pull it out with her hand!

Both girls are belly sleepers. Brooke will immediately roll to her belly to sleep when we put her in her crib. I used to try to roll her back to her back, but she just rolls right back over to her belly. So, now I just leave her. We do use an Angel Care Monitor which brings me some peace of mind. She also likes to sleep with her little bum in the air . . . the cuteness is too much!

Brecklyn was still using a swaddle to sleep until a few days after she turned 6 months old. However, she would wake in the night and fight and fight to get out of the swaddle, so we just quit using it cold turkey. When she used the swaddle, we would lay her on her back to sleep. She would constantly lift her legs and slam them down in her crib. The more she would do it, the more worked up she would get (instead of relaxing to go to sleep). When we dropped the swaddle, she started rolling to her tummy to sleep. While I don't love that she sleeps on her tummy, that does prevent her from slamming her legs. She still prefers to nap in the swing, and we are still letting her :-).

It's so funny to us how we hear so many different comments about the girls' looks. Some people are surprised they are twins because "They don't look a thing alike!" while others say, "How in the world do you tell them apart?" So many of their features are different, but I think the most obvious difference is their hair. Brooke's hair is curly, wild, and reddish brown. Brecklyn's hair is blonde, straight, and rarely sticks up. Aside from their hair, though, their eyes are also very different. Brecklyn's eyes are a gray blue color and more almond shaped. Brooke has very round eyes that are a unique greenish, brownish, hazel color. Brianna and Brenson were both very blue-eyed at this age, so Brooke is our only non-blue-eyed baby.

Brecklyn's eye color isn't obvious in this photo, but you can see how blonde and straight her hair is. 

Brecklyn's hair continues to really grow and thicken. We're so glad that she's no longer bald!

Last week, Brooke spend several days not feeling well at all. She did run a low-grade fever for a few days, but mainly she had excessive mucous and a runny nose. We learned that Brooke is extremely sensitive when she doesn't feel well. 

We saw this face OFTEN during those few days. Anytime I put her down, or there was a loud noise, or the lights were too bright, etc., she was upset. She is normally such a happy baby that this was a big change!

During this time, we also discovered that she hates it when I growl or roar. While playing with the older kids, I roared like a lion, and Brooke burst into tears. Then, she looked at me like this:

Pout lip and awesome hair!

It was a theme during those few days that she felt so pitiful.

Not too long after turning 6 months old, Brooke started shaking her head no. At first, she would just do it randomly, but more recently she has done it when we ask her questions. It's SO cute, and we just love it!

Brooke also started saying Dada this month! I'll admit, I was a little disappointed that her first word wasn't Mama, but not all that surprised either. She first said Dada on August 17th. Sometimes she just babbles it, but there have been a few times that she has said it directly to Chris. One time, she and Brecklyn were playing on the floor, and Chris picked Brecklyn up but not Brooke. As he walked away, she said, "Dada!" firmly and loudly. Ha!

We've tried to get Brecklyn to shake her head no, but she will just look at us and laugh. However, she started clapping on August 31. She claps constantly now! She claps just like Bren did at this age . . . holding one hand still and moving the other.

Brecklyn started saying "hi" this month. It's just adorable as she will use it when we first walk over to her or pick her up out of her crib. The official first word stats for our kids are two "Dada" (Brianna and Brooke), one "Mama" (Brenson), and one "Hi" (Brecklyn).

On September 2, the girls went to their first cradle roll class at our home church. Brecklyn got upset for just a little bit when I first left her, but quickly calmed down and did great. Brooke did well the whole time.

We also attended our first library story time for babies on September 2nd. At our library, baby story time is at 9:30am, followed by regular story time (for kids ages 3-6) at 10:00am. My plan was to take Bren and the babies to Baby Story Time first, then regular Story Time. I had warned Brenson that if the babies started to fuss then we'd have to leave, and that he might miss his story time. Well, the babies LOVED Baby Story Time (they sat on a blanket, listened intently, smiled, laughed, and Brecklyn clapped), and Bren behaved himself so nicely, as well. For regular story time, I put the babies in their stroller, and they just sat so happily and kicked their legs and watched all the kids while Bren listened to the stories and did his craft. It worked out perfectly!

The girls are SO good to play contentedly. Sometimes, when I'm outside with the big kids, I'll put them on a blanket with some toys and they will just play and play. 

Brooke and Brecklyn love to swing. We spent quite a bit of time at parks this summer, so I would put them together in a baby swing. They thought this was great (you can see our friend, Sadie, in the swing next to them). 

Four little dangling legs . . . so cute!

Brecklyn gets so excited in the swing!

Brooke tends to get very relaxed and even doze off, ha!

When Brenson was a baby, I bought a couple hundred plastic balls. I would put them in the pack-n-play with him, and he'd have a great time. I remembered these balls this month, and busted them out for Brooke and Brecklyn. The girls thought this was great fun!

They love to kick their feet in the balls, pick them up, bang them together, and roll in them. Hours of fun!

I will often sit them on the floor to play with a few toys. They are very steady with their sitting now, and they will play like this for 30 or more minutes.

Of course, they always want the same toy no matter how many toys I have put out for them. Brecklyn tends to be more aggressive than Brooke and will snatch toys right out of Brooke's hands. 

Brooke generally doesn't mind and will just grab another toy.

There have been several times recently where we have witnessed the girls being protective of one another. If one of them is crying, the other will often look at us like, "Do something!" Sometimes, they'll even whimper for their distressed sister. I know I've already posted this photo, but I just love how Brooke was trying to comfort an upset Brecklyn this day!

A few more things about Brooke Ellie:

On August 11, she drank from a straw for the first time. We were at our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner, let her try to drink our water from a straw, and she did it! She also started giving high fives and waving bye-bye this month. 

We almost always call Brooke "Brooke Ellie", but other nicknames include Brookleton, Brookles, and Smelly Ellie (Chris is the only one who calls her this). A few times, I have caught myself calling her "Brooke-y" but I try really hard to not do that! She used to hate riding in the car but does much, much better with it now EXCEPT at night. She HATES riding in the car at night! We've even tried turning on the interior lights for her, but it doesn't matter. She will just cry and cry (saying "nah nah nah nah" like she's griping).

This girl is ALWAYS moving! Her legs kick constantly, and she rolls and scoots to get anywhere she wants to go. She has rolled herself from the living room into our master bedroom, her room, the kitchen, the bathroom, etc. She reminds us of Brianna with how she's just always moving. 

Brooke loves to touch our faces, snuggle, and give kisses. She's very affectionate and loves to be held.  She's very free with her smiles, and is just a happy, happy little girl (when she's feeling well). She's not shy and lets anyone hold her. Her little smile lights up her face and the room.

A few more things about Breckles:

Brecklyn absolutely loves books. It's almost hard to read to her sometimes as she's constantly grabbing for the book, wanting to hold it and turn the pages by herself. She especially loves the Llama, Llama books (just like her brother).

Brecklyn can wave and give high fives, but she won't do it on demand. She is an "on her terms" girl, for sure. She can be very charming when she wants to be, but she reserves that charm for a select few people. 

Brecklyn's nicknames include Breckleton, Breckles, and Breckle McBride. This little lady has a bit of a temper that we see flare fairly often. If we take something away from her, don't pick her up when she wants us to, or move her away from where she wants to be, she cries in a very dramatic, deliberate way. She can be quite headstrong, but also a little shy. Sometimes, when strangers talk to us in public, she will turn her head and hide her face in the stroller, or bury her face in our shoulder.

She doesn't like to be held by many people, but will give sweet smiles as soon as she's back in Momma or Daddy's arms. She loves to be kissed, and has the cutest belly laugh that steals our hearts. 

These girls are such a joy, bringing so much love and so many smiles to our home. They are the perfect addition to our family, and we are soaking up every moment with them. We thank God always for blessing us with Brooke and Brecklyn!

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