Today, our precious Brooke and Brecklyn are 8 months old!
I absolutely LOVE this age as it seems they are discovering new skills and developing every second. However, at the same time my heart hurts with the realization that they are older infants now . . . quickly approaching toddlerhood :-(.
Brooke, at 8 months old!
Brecklyn, at 8 months old!
Brooke is our bigger girl size-wise, and the size difference seems to increase with each passing month. I'm not sure what she weighs exactly, but we did put her on our bathroom scale a few days ago and it said 21 pounds!
She wears size 9 month and 12 month clothes. She especially needs size 12 month in sleepers and onesises, as it seems she's long in the torso like her older siblings. She wears a size 3 shoe.
Brooke is currently still wearing a size 3 diaper, although we will be moving her up to size 4s soon.
Brecklyn is still wearing a few size 6 month pieces, but is mostly in size 9 month clothing. We do put her in some 12 month sized things sometimes just to match Brooke, but they are always a little too big.
She wears a size 3 shoe, but isn't filling them out quite yet. However, her size 2 shoes are all a bit too small, and she fusses if we squeeze her into them.
Brecklyn wears a size 3 diaper, and they fit her well for now.
The photo below is a bit deceiving because Brooke is sitting a little more forward than Brecklyn, but you can definitely see there is a size difference, even though it's not quite as much as it looks in this picture. They are both wearing a 6 to 9 month sized onesie that Brianna wore during her first Halloween (and Brenson actually wore the one with the stripey sleeves, as well). This photo was taken on October 1st when both of the girls were not feeling well. However, I wanted to pull out some festive clothes to welcome the month of October :-).
I am still nursing the girls, and they generally nurse 5 times a day. They will wake between 4 and 5 in the morning and nurse, then go back to sleep for a few hours. After that, they nurse at 8:00am, noon, 3:30pm, and 7:30pm. Nursing has become a bit of a challenge lately as they are very easily distracted and will sometimes flail their limbs or act wild. Brooke bit me several times this past month, and that was VERY painful! Both Brianna and Brenson were fully weaned by the time they were 7 months old, so I've never experienced nursing older infants. We do tandem nurse every once in a while, but not often. Brooke still takes about 5 formula bottles a week, and just this past week Brecklyn took a few formula bottles, as well! Maybe she's finally turned a corner???
Brecklyn always has a tight grip on my shirt while she's eating. She will flail her arm around until she gets a good hold on it.
We also feed them baby food once a day, oatmeal cereal once a day, and some table food when appropriate. They love puffs and yogurt melts, and are both great eaters.
On September 10th, I needed a few minutes to finish making lunch and both babies were very fussy in their high chairs (ready to eat!). I pulled out a couple sippy cups, filled them with water, and gave them to the girls.
I prefer the sippy cups that have a straw, so that's what I gave the girls.
Brecklyn has the ability to drink from a straw, but often gets frustrated with it before she actually drinks anything.
That's what happened this day, so she just chewed on the straw.
Brooke immediately started drinking from it like she had been doing it all along.
See? No big deal :-).
Brecklyn ended up being extremely frustrated, so I gave her a sippy with a soft spout instead.
She refused to hold it herself, but was happy to get some water.
They will both drink from the straw sippy easily now. It does help buy me time when I need it! It's also nice when we eat out that they can both drink from a straw. We will order them their own water, and that saves me from hauling around sippy cups.
On September 8th, Brooke cut her first tooth! She had been sick with a fever and congestion for a few days before this, but I didn't think about her possibly cutting teeth. In the early morning hours of the 8th, she was crying and crying and Chris finally felt her gums. Sure enough . . . her bottom right tooth had just started to poke through! A few days later, on September 11th, she was super fussy for about two hours in the morning (very unusual for her to be fussy during that time of day). We had gone to Miss Shelly's that morning, and another Mom was holding Brooke for me. She said, "I see that Brooke has two teeth. What about Brecklyn? Does she have any?" I said, "Oh, Brooke only has one." to which the other mom replied, "I don't think so! I'm pretty sure I saw two!" Ummmm, I felt like a complete bad mommy/dope because she was right! Brooke's bottom left tooth had cut through that morning. Interestingly, Brooke was the EXACT same age as Brenson was when he cut his first tooth (7 months and 5 days).
Now that Brooke has two teeth, she thinks she can order from the menu at our favorite Mexican restaurant :-).
Neither one of the girls are sleeping through the night all the time yet, though they do sleep through several times a week. This is exactly how Brianna was at this age! However, when Brianna did start sleeping through the night (at a little over 10 months old), she was a GREAT sleeper from that point forward. I'm hopeful that the girls will also be great sleepers eventually. They generally fall asleep while nursing around 7:30pm, and Brecklyn will almost always sleep through until about 5:00am. If one is up during the night, it will generally be Brooke (who will wake around 2:00am). So, while they aren't always sleeping through, it's not like we're up all night with them either (mostly). Brecklyn is our better night sleeper, but she's not a great napper. If she happens to fall asleep in the car, stroller, or in our arms, she pretty much never transfers to her bed.
This day, she fell asleep while nursing. She was very tired and grumpy, so I just held her for the rest of her nap. She rarely naps more than an hour, anyway. I love how she often sleeps with her little hand by her face.
On this day, she decided to take a little nap in the stroller while we were in Wal-mart. I texted this to Chris and said, "Wal-mart was more than Brecklyn could handle today." Yep!
On some days, Chris takes Brianna to school in the morning before he goes to work. Other days, I load up all the kids and take her, and on these days I start getting everyone loaded at about 7:25am. At this time of day, Brooke and Brecklyn are generally just waking up. They are not impressed when I start loading them in the van! Ha!
Brecklyn and Brooke before taking Brianna to school one morning:
The babies LOVE their big siblings! When we go pick Brianna up from school in the afternoon, they always have a big smile for her when she gets in the van. They adore Brenson, too, but are rapidly becoming the "annoying younger sisters" to him. As they are becoming more mobile, they grab his stuff, roll into his room, and sometimes kick him when he's playing on the floor. I'm trying to teach him how to deal with them gently as he gets frustrated quickly and easily with them.
Bathtime is a favorite around here, though the babies rarely play long in the water. We bathe them in the big bathtub with a bath seat, and this works well for us right now. However, because we have four baths to give, we tend to rush through bathtime quickly in the evenings and that means the babies don't get much bath playtime like their older siblings did at this age.
Sometimes (like when we stay at my parents' house), we bathe them in the kitchen sink!
I often have to take the babies with me to run errands or to doctor's appointments where it would be difficult to use our double stroller. In these instances, I will generally "wear" one and carry the other on my hip or put her in an umbrella stroller. Brecklyn loves to be carried in a store or during errands, but she does NOT like to be in a carrier. Brooke, on the other hand, loves to snuggle up in our Ergo, so she is pretty much always the one that gets "worn". At the end of September, Brianna's school had a little carnival, and we didn't know how crowded it would be so we didn't want to mess with the double stroller. Brecklyn rode in our umbrella stroller, and I wore Brooke in our Ergo the entire two hours we were there. They were both as content as could be with this arrangement!
One thing about wearing Brooke that is funny is that her hair is so wild and sticks up so high it sometimes will tickle my chin or face. Ha! Her hair continues to grow, but it's not calming down any :-).
People have asked me if we style it this way on purpose? Ummm, no. It does this all on its own :-).
I'll often put her hair in a little pony right on the top of her head, and when I do she has a little corkscrew curl on the right side of her head that sticks straight out. I love it!
Brecklyn's hair is also continuing to grow and get thicker and thicker. It's now long enough that she has some wild hair days, too! I texted this picture to Chris after a little outing one day. Breckles had fallen asleep in the car and woken with this fabulous hair :-).
We started going to Story Time at our local library every week, and it's been a HUGE hit with the girls! I take them to Baby Story Time, which lasts about 30 minutes. Then, they sit in the stroller during Big Kid Story Time (for Brenson) for another 30ish minutes. So far, they have done GREAT with it!
Brooke and Brecklyn working on a puzzle at the end of Story Time:
I tried to get a photo of my three right before Baby Story Time began, but there were far too many more interesting things to look at other than Mommy!
We have quite a few baby toys from when Brianna and Brenson were younger, and we are slowly pulling them out for the girls. We keep a bin of baby toys in the living room, and the girls love to sit and rifle through it.
Brecklyn digging in the toys:
Brooke *almost* sitting in the toy bin:
Brecklyn trying to pull up on the toy bin:
Neither of the girls are crawling in the traditional sense yet, but it won't be long! They can both get where ever they want to go by rolling, pivoting, and scooching. Brooke, especially, is fast and loves to roll around the entire house. She is also getting up on all fours and rocking quite a bit, so I know crawling is coming soon. I've started having Brenson close their bathroom door, as I've found her in the bathroom multiple times. He also closes his bedroom door to keep her out :-). As I mentioned above, both babies are really starting to get into his things, and he struggles with this a bit.
Brooke making her way into the kitchen to get Brenson's toy:
Brooke just rolled right over to our play kitchen to dig in the toys:
Brecklyn also rolls and scoots to get where she wants to go, but she is more content to play in one place than Brooke is. This is starting to change, though. A few days ago, she rolled into the hallway and got a hold of the new air filter that was in the hall waiting to be installed.
Brooke got herself in the bottom of the Exersaucer . . . doesn't she looked pleased?
The Big Kids are learning quickly that anything left on the floor is fair game for the babies to get. Earlier this month, Brianna had brought home a bookmark from school that she had received as a prize for something. It fell off of our coffee table, and Brooke promptly got a hold of it, put it in her mouth, and nibbled a bite out of the corner. Brianna was quite upset, but I'm hoping this may teach our older kids to keep their things picked up a little better.
Brenson had been watching Sesame Street one morning and left the remote on the floor. Brecklyn couldn't wait to get her hands on it!
Is this a guilty face or what!?! :-)
She was also quite pleased with herself!
The babies are currently in a phase where they just snatch whatever looks interesting to them. Sometimes, they try to take things from Brianna or Brenson, but most often they snatch from each other. In the photo below, Brecklyn (in stripes) had a photo that she had taken out of a book (the one next to her in the photo). Brooke decided she wanted it, so she rolled over and grabbed it right out of Brecklyn's hands. As you can see, Brecklyn was NOT happy about this!
Brecklyn actually tends to be more aggressive than Brooke. Brooke is more laid back in general, so she doesn't cry when Brecklyn steals things from her. However, if Brooke happens to take from Brecklyn like in the photo above, it is DRAMA.
We find the girls rolling all over each other and kicking one another often (Brooke in pink, Brecklyn in navy).
Sometimes, Brecklyn will cry if Brooke is in her space too much, but most of the time it isn't an issue.
They love to grab at one another's heads. Brecklyn is especially bad about pulling hair and grabbing at hair bows, but Brooke does do it some, as well. It's funny to me that I have several photos showing Brooke being more aggressive because that's not generally the case. I guess Brecklyn is sneakier :-).
(Brecklyn in pink, Brooke in teal)
Despite the kicking, snatching, and hair pulling, they love to play alongside each other.
Oftentimes, when we get them up in the mornings, they will smile and kick and act very excited to see each other!
We love watching this bond develop!
They also have a very sweet bond with their older sister. Brianna really misses the babies (and Brenson, too!) during the day, and we see her often down on the floor holding them, playing with them, and reading to them.
Both babies like to touch faces right now, and we're working on teaching them to be gentle because they can get a little rough.
Typical Brecklyn . . . pulling hair!
The girls love to be sang to, and Brianna loves to sing! It's a win all around!
We all enjoy playing outside, so we spent some time doing that this month. I let the Bigs take the babies for their first ride in the PowerWheel. I made them keep it on the low speed, and walked right alongside them as they rode. Breckles thought she was big stuff!
Brooke loved it, too! She was so curious and grabbing at everything during her ride.
Brecklyn still uses the swing daily to help her relax before naptimes and bedtime. Brooke has no use for the swing, and is honestly probably too heavy for it, anyway. Until just a few weeks ago, I was still using the bouncy seat for Brooke (sometimes, I just need a safe place to put her while I deal with another child). One day while I was nursing Brecklyn, Brooke was in the bouncy seat and having a fit because she was ready to eat also. She acted so wild that the lining came off of the frame and she ended up like this:
She wasn't hurt - just startled - but I was thankful that we weren't in the kitchen where there is no padding to cushion her head! The bouncy seat has now been retired.
We have a low drawer in our entertainment center that both Brianna and Brenson would open and play in when they were this age. Well, both Brooke and Brecklyn have discovered the drawer!
Brooke, wondering if it's okay to be in the drawer:
Brecklyn, with her best "I'm caught" look:
A few more things about Miss Brooke Ellie:
This girl LOVES shoes. If there is a shoe anywhere in sight, she will make her way to it as fast as possible. This isn't a problem until she starts putting it in her mouth (yuck). She's very much in a phase where EVERYTHING goes to her mouth. She has even started trying to suck her fingers or thumb while she's nursing. Obviously, this doesn't work well for either of us! Dada is her favorite word and person, and she will cry if he doesn't pick her up almost immediately after getting home from work.
Music speaks to Brooke, and if she hears any kind of music she has started "dancing". We can tell that she just really loves it! She has the sweetest, cheesy grin that she gives when someone smiles at her, and it really shows off those bottom teeth. She just tends to be a happy, smiley little thing, and she rarely cries. One of the few times that she'll cry a lot is when we ride in the car at night. She hates being in the car when it's dark! Pretty much the only time we're out at night is on the way home from Bible study on Wednesday nights, and we've started having Brianna leave her overhead light on so Brooke can see her. This *sometimes* helps keep Brooke calm.
Brooke still loves to snuggle and cuddle, and she will give the most precious little hugs. She often falls asleep for the night while nursing, but if she doesn't, she will self-soothe in her bed. Sometimes she will cry a little while trying to fall asleep, but it's rarely for more than a minute or two. She sleeps on her tummy, and it's so cute when she tucks her little arms underneath her body. She has this hilarious look that she does where she lowers her chin and looks at you through the very top of her eyes. She can wave, clap, and high-five, but her favorite thing is shaking her head "no".
A few more things about Miss Breckle Sarah:
If we lay Breckles on her back to change her diaper or clothes, she will keep her feet and head up off of the surface on which she's laying (like she's planking). She will also open and close her hands (like a backwards wave). She tends to be tense a lot, and we find ourselves telling her to relax often. She doesn't like to snuggle because she is nosey and wants to see what is going on around her. She can be impatient and intense when eating, but she is also very focused.
Brecklyn said "Dada" for the first time on September 25th, but she doesn't say it often. She is a little stingier with her smiles than Brooke is, but she has a giggle that melts our hearts. She is very ticklish and will just giggle and giggle. She hasn't said "Momma" yet, but Momma is her favorite person. She hates to be the last one loaded in the car and will fuss at us like she thinks we're going to leave her.
This girl can pitch quite a fit if we take something away from her that she wants. When she cries, it's always a cry like the world is ending. She LOVES books and giving kisses. She claps constantly . . . sometimes even when she's crying which is hilarious. She can wave bye-bye, high five, and shake her head "no".
These two little ladies are just a JOY in our lives, and we love them so much!