Today, my little twinbies are NINE months old . . . that's 3/4 of a year! The other day, Chris and I were talking about something we needed to get out of the attic for Brooke and Brecklyn (I can't remember exactly what it was), and I said, "HOW are we here already?" This first year is flying by!
Brecklyn and Brooke
Brooke is a super smiley baby, so getting photos of her smiling is easy-peasy. She is happy to be nine months old (more on why her eyes look like they do later in the post)!
Brecklyn is our more serious girl, and I think most photos we have of her reflect that. She was less excited - but still pleased - to be nine months old.
We had the girls' nine month well-check with Dr. F this morning. It wasn't exactly a "well-check" as the girls have both been quite sick recently (more on that below), but we were able to get the latest growth stats on both girls. Brooke currently weighs 21 pounds (84th percentile), is 30 inches long (off the charts high), and has a head circumference of 17.5 inches (65th percentile). She is growing well!
Brecklyn weighs 18 pounds and 2 ounces (38th percentile), is 28.25 inches long (76th percentile), and has a head circumference of 17.25 inches (47th percentile). Her growth curve looks good, as well!
Obviously, we knew that Brooke is bigger overall than Brecklyn. Brooke has always been a bit bigger, but the difference is becoming greater as they get older. I wasn't too surprised that Brooke is almost 3 pounds heavier and 2 inches longer than Brecklyn! Lately, the comment we hear most often when people ask if they are twins is something regarding their size difference.
To compare, here are the growth stats for all four of our children at nine months old:
Brianna: 20 pounds 7 ounces, 28 inches long
Brenson: 22 pounds 10 ounces, 30.75 inches long
Brooke: 21 pounds, 30 inches long
Brecklyn: 18 pounds 2 ounces, 28.25 inches long
Brecklyn is easiest the "skinniest" 9 month old baby we've had. I wasn't too surprised about that, but I was surprised to discover that Brianna was the shortest at this age (by just a bit).
Brooke and Brecklyn are currently wearing size 9 month (mostly Brecklyn) and size 12 month (mostly Brooke) clothes. They both wear a size 3 shoe and a size 3 diaper. We will be moving Brooke up to size 4 very soon.
Bedtime for the babies is between 7:30 and 8:00pm. Generally, they will both fall asleep while nursing, then we'll put them in their beds for the night. Brooke will wake about an hour after being put to bed, and when she does we give her a formula supplement (6 ounces). While my milk production has been fine for the most part, we do struggle during that last feeding of the day. They both take a morning nap and an afternoon nap. Most days, I have to wake them to go pick Brianna up from school, and that is generally after they've been asleep for 1.5 to 2 hours. Brooke sleeps in her bed, but Brecklyn still loves the swing for naps. We also rely on the swing to help her relax in the early evening/late afternoon.
Brecklyn often crosses her little legs at the ankles when she's in the swing :-).
We are trying to break her from napping in the swing, and it's going well so far. When we put up Christmas decorations, the swing will have to come down. We don't plan on putting it back up in January, so we need to learn to live without it sooner rather than later.
Brooke will often fall asleep right as she finishes nursing. I love getting some snuggle time in before I put her in her bed.
Brooke is still great about taking a bottle, but Brecklyn is still working on it. Brecklyn will take a bottle from Chris, and he has found that she takes it best if she's not fully awake. I decided to feed her a bottle of my milk one day, and she would only drink it if she was holding the bottle herself. She did end up finishing the whole thing, though!
In addition to nursing or taking a bottle four times a day (sometimes five), the girls love eating finger foods, baby food, and the food we're eating when appropriate. Brecklyn, especially, would rather eat our food than baby food, and she can get pretty cranky about it! They both prefer vegetable purees over fruits. We are working on getting them to say "yum-yum" when they want a bite as Brecklyn often gets loud and demanding about eating.
Probably the biggest change we've seen this month is that both babies are now full-on crawling! Brooke took her first traditional crawls on October 18. After that, it didn't take her long at all to figure out how to crawl very quickly and get anywhere she wants to go!
Brecklyn wasn't far behind and took her first crawls on November 2nd. When Brooke first started crawling, it took her a little while to crawl very far at a time. Brecklyn, however, just took off across the room the first time she crawled. I wasn't surprised at this as that seems to fit her personality.
I wanted to get some photos of Brecklyn crawling, so I put my phone on the ground to entice her. It worked!
In addition to crawling, Brooke also started pulling up on things this month. This girl keeps me on my toes! Even before she was crawling, she was all over the house and getting into anything she could reach. Now that she's crawling and pulling up, she's a mess!
We have started calling her Babyzilla as nothing is safe from her grabby hands or slobbery mouth.
She enjoys cruising around the coffee table, so we have to be careful to keep it cleaned off. This day, I had left a box of tissues sitting on the table, and Miss Brooke emptied it out for me :-).
Yep, Babyzilla was pretty proud of herself!
Oh, AND she pulled up in her crib for the first time yesterday (November 2nd). Chris immediately dropped her mattress down to the lowest level!
The girls love to sit and play at our play kitchen. They have figured out how to open the door to get to the toys, and will make a huge mess of all the play kitchen things. While I don't particularly love the mess, they will often sit and play at the kitchen for up to 45 minutes, so that's really nice!
I had been wanting a music table for the girls, but didn't want to pay full price for a new one. My friend found this one at a kids sale for me for only seven dollars! We cleaned it up and it's perfect for the girls right now. We didn't initially put the legs on it, but we discovered quickly (after about 2 days) that the babies wanted to stand at it. They love to stand and play!
While it's definitely been interesting (and exhausting!) having two mobile babies in the house, it's also fascinating to watch them interact with one another. They crawl right over each other when they have somewhere to get to, they steal toys out of each others' hands (and then cry about it), and they often snatch bows and headbands off of one another's heads. However, they also have a darling bond, and it's such a privilege watching them together. One example of this is that most of the time when they're riding in the stroller, they will hook their feet together. I took this photo of them as I was walking through Wal-mart one day.
They can also work really well together when they are determined. One day, I had left a package of diapers on the floor in the living room. I didn't intend for them to sit there long, but I learned that it doesn't take long these days for the babies to get into things. The girls worked together, got that package open, and had those diapers spread all around in no time!
One of their favorite things to do is read and look at books. I love this! However, they can empty the bookshelf in their room SO quickly, and I get weary of constantly cleaning up those books!
Caught! Brooke, Brecklyn
They also have a small basket of books between their cribs that they love to dig in.
Oh ya know, just doing a little reading.
Always ready with a smile for Mommy!
One evening - I was getting the girls ready for bed - I got Brooke in her pjs first, put her down, and began to change Brecklyn. In about one minute, Brooke had almost emptied the bookshelf! Sigh.
We have been attending Library Story Time weekly for several months now. On October 28th, we wore our Halloween costumes to Story Time. The babies went as Cabbage Patch Kids, and big brother Brenson was Max from Where the Wild Things Are (for the second year in a row . . . he refused to be anything else). My kids all LOVE Library Story Time. The babies listen attentively and participate as much as they can at their age. They both especially love the music portion of it and will dance and laugh and shake their egg shakers along with the music.
Brooke, Brenson, Brecklyn
The babies continue to adore their older siblings, and Brianna and Brenson are pretty fond of the babies, too. Brooke and Brecklyn LOVE crawling in to Brianna and Brenson's room to see what they can see. We try to keep the door closed to the Big Kid room as there are too many toys that are not safe for the babies in there. However, any time the babies see that door open, they make a beeline for the room.
Brecklyn, Brenson, Brianna, Brooke
I'm not sure what was going on this day, but Babyzilla had pulled her arm out of her sleeve and was crawling through the house with it tucked in her shirt. Ha!
I think I mentioned this last month, but Brecklyn is more content to sit and play in one spot than Brooke is. I pulled out a few "new" toys (things we had packed away) this month, and the girls really enjoyed exploring them.
Brecklyn loves Little People!
We still have the Exersaucer out, but neither of the girls really like it much anymore. I think they just don't like being confined! However, it comes in very handy when I need to nurse one of them and I don't want the other getting into everything. Brooke doesn't love being in it, but she will sometimes play happily.
It cracks me up how her bib (that she wears to catch the constant drool coming out of her mouth) is turned around backwards like a cape, ha!
Brecklyn tends to be a little bit sensitive to noise. Really, I think she's just pretty sensitive in general. She will cry like it's the end of the world if she gets startled or if she topples over or if we take something from her that she doesn't want to give up. Sometimes when she's in the swing, she will put her hands over her ears. It's just one of those cute, quirky Brecklyn things that makes us smile!
The babies really love being outside, and the weather has been amazing lately. It's really just now starting to cool off. We had a play date with several friends a week or so ago, and it ended up being really chilly that morning. The girls looked so cute bundled up in their little hats.
Brecklyn - She tends to be unimpressed with anything out of the ordinary for her. This day was no exception :-).
Brecklyn, Brooke, Momma
We met our friends at the park before the girls had their morning naps, so they got pretty tired while we were there. Brecklyn is conditioned to sleep in her swing, so she fell asleep while swinging at the park! She ended up sleeping in this swing for over an hour!
This was the first time that they've been in these kinds of swings separately. I always put them back to back in swings like these, but they are getting too big for that now :-(.
Brooke was happy to swing for a long time, and eventually she also fell asleep in the swing. She didn't sleep nearly as long, but she was as happy as could be when she woke up. Our friend's one year old daughter also ended up taking a little cat nap in the swing. There was just something about the warm sun, cool air, and gentle motion!
As you can see from just about any picture I post of Brooke ever, her hair is wild and sticks up all the time. However, after wearing a winter hat for three hours the cold day we went to the park, her hair was straight and flat! She looked so different to me with her hair this way (and somehow, even more like baby Brianna!)
I mentioned above that the girls were Cabbage Patch Kids for Halloween. After deciding several months ago that they would dress up as CPKs, I was extremely excited. I LOVED my Cabbage Patch Kids when I was a girl, and still have them all! The first thing I did toward creating the girls' costumes was to print the CPK logo onto transfer paper and iron it onto a shirt for each of them. Brooke was my model after I finished the shirts!
I gave her a pacifier as I thought it would contribute to the look, but she wouldn't suck on it. Neither of the girls take a paci at all.
I finally got her to leave it in her mouth enough for a photo.
Excited to be a Cabbage Patch Kid!
I ordered hats that look like Cabbage Patch Kid hair from Etsy, and those came in the mail a little over a week after I finished the shirts. Brecklyn was kind enough to model the hat for me!
I even put a little blush and a few freckles on her face to complete the look :-).
I'll do an entire post about Halloween, but I want to go ahead and show everyone what the whole costume looked like once it was finished! My sweet Cabbage Patch Kids were a hit, for sure!
I always wanted a set of Cabbage Patch Twins! I LOVED the way it all came together!!!
The above photos were taken on Saturday, October 24th. We went to a Trunk of Treats event the next night (Sunday, October 25th), and the girls got a TON of attention. It was kind of ridiculous as we had FIVE different people (as in people we did NOT know) stop us and ask to take a photo of the girls. Ummmm, that made me kind of nervous, for sure! We had a full week planned with Halloween festivities, but ended up not being able to do part of them. As the week went on, I could tell Brecklyn was not feeling like herself. When I loaded her in the car to go pick up Brianna from school and looked over to find her asleep (with her head up because she was trying to be awake), I knew she was getting sick!
On Friday, October 30th, Brecklyn was exceptionally fussy. She was running a slight fever, and it dawned on me that maybe she was getting a tooth. Sure enough, her bottom left tooth was poking through.
However, as the day went on, she started coughing badly and her fever continued to climb. Her fever reached a little over 103 and her coughing continued all night long, so we decided to take to see our pediatrician on Saturday morning (Halloween). Brenson had also been up all night coughing, so we had him checked out while we were there. Brenson was diagnosed with an ear infection and a cold. Dr. F was pretty concerned with how Brecklyn's breathing sounded in addition to the high fever, so he decided to have her get a chest x-ray. I went with her to a room where they put her in a contraption that was like a clear cylinder for the x-rays. Now, Brecklyn is slow-to-warm and is often especially reserved with new people and in new places. These traits are especially dominant when she doesn't feel good, and she FLIPPED OUT while she was having these x-rays taken. It was horrible. I'm not one to be overly emotional about things, but this situation brought tears to my eyes.
And then? Dr. F confirmed that Brecklyn had pneumonia in her right lung. Those are very scary words to hear about your baby! She slept most of the day on Saturday and continued to have a high fever. She was pretty much lethargic when she was awake :-(.
My sweet, sick baby girl :-(
By Saturday afternoon, all four kiddos were sick with fevers. Brecklyn's was the worst, but Brenson's cough was terrible. Brianna had a fever of about 101, but with no other symptoms. Brooke had the lowest fever, but had terrible eye drainage and a runny nose. This made for a very rough few days in our house!
By Monday (yesterday), Brianna and Brenson were both much improved. Brooke was still battling severe eye drainage, but is as happy as can be! She doesn't know she's sick :-).
Her eyes, however, tell a different story. They are puffy, red, and matted shut when she wakes up from naps or nighttime. However, Brooke is still smiling! How could you not smile with hair like that, haha?!?
Poor, puffy eyes :-(
Brecklyn is also experiencing some eye swelling. Dr. F says it's just part of the virus.
This baby has the blues. I'm SO ready for her to feel better!
One fun side effect of the medication Brecklyn is taking for her pneumonia is that she's had an excessive number of nasty, dirty diapers. And I mean NASTY. I always change their diapers before loading them in the van to pick Brianna up from school. Yesterday, by the time we got back home, Brecklyn had completely blown out of her fresh diaper. It was a MESS. Ugh.
And - of course - she had gotten her hands in it and spread it all over herself and her clothes and her car seat. Incredibly disgusting!
I had to give her a bath as soon as we got home because there was a no way a wipe or two was going to effectively clean that mess! She wasn't happier after her bath, but she sure smelled better! And just look at that wild hair . . . I'm so glad her hair is finally getting long enough to be wild :-).
It's a little bit hard to tell, but you can kind of see how yucky Brooke's eyes are with the drainage in this pic. We are constantly cleaning them out so she can see . . . poor baby :-(.
A few more things about Brecklyn:
She isn't saying too many words except for "hi" and "momma", but she understands a lot. She said momma for the first time on October 9th, and now she says it ALL the time. It's her favorite word, for sure! Momma is also very much her favorite person. None of my children have ever been quite as attached to me as Miss Brecklyn is. She picks up the tiniest little objects with her pincher grasp, and has great control of her hands. Her fine motor skills are more developed than Brooke's, but Brooke has the corner on gross motor skills.
Brecklyn has recently started using her pointer finger to point at various things. She loves to touch my face when she's nursing, and we're working on teaching her to be gentle. Her nails grow crazy fast and need to be clipped about every three days. She will scratch her face at night and sometimes leaves little cuts if her nails aren't clipped down (as seen in these photos). She sleeps on her tummy, and when we lay her down to sleep she will rub and rub and rub her nose on her hand or on her crib sheet until she falls asleep. She loves to pull hair.
Our Breckles is generally very reserved. She doesn't like to be held by many people. She likes her routine and schedule. She cries hard and laughs hard. It's difficult to impress her, but she's very observant and interested in what others are doing. She is headstrong and knows what she wants. She loves kisses, singing, bath time, and peekaboo.
A few more things about Brooke:
Brooke is a talker and is trying to repeat many different words. She babbles all the time, but also says Momma (said it for the first time on October 22), Baba (bottle), Bible, hi, and bye-bye. She rarely gets worked up into a good cry, but when she does she often sounds like she's griping more than crying. She is stronger and bigger than Brecklyn and will use that to her advantage when she wants something Brecklyn has. We are trying to teach her not to snatch toys from her sister, but I can tell that's going to be a long road.
Brooke is very expressive and loves to smile. Playing peekaboo is one of her favorite things, and we do it daily. She loves to crawl into the kitchen and look at her reflection in the dishwasher. She will laugh and coo and talk to herself, and it always makes me laugh. She doesn't mind being held by whomever wants to hold her.
Brooke is also a tummy sleeper, and as soon as we lay her in her crib she will tuck her little arms under her body and stick her booty in the air. She can stand by herself for about 15 seconds. She loves to pull up on something and let go. Because she's been so much more active lately, she sleeps very hard during naps and at night. Kisses aren't really her thing, but she loves snuggles and hugs.
People don't always have positive things to say about having twins, but we think that having two babies at once is incredible and amazing. We can't even put into words the love we have for these baby girls or the joy they bring to our lives. The Lord has truly blessed us!