75th percentile??....

So I have a bad mommy confession to make. We got here to A2 in April, and planned on being into our new house by the girls' birthday. Of course, that didn't happen, and we ended up on hold until July. A lot of things got put off in all of the uncertainty. And my natural tendency to procrastinate kicked in...and the girls never went to their 12 month checkup. Finding a new pediatrician, calling, and making an appointment just never got done. I know, I'm terrible. So I finally, at 16 months, took the girls to their "12 month" checkups. The girls waited pretty nicely for the dr to see us.

Rowan weighed in at 20'3", and Saoirse was 21'11". I was surprised, because it feels like there's more of a difference than that. They both measured 31.25 inches. The surprising thing to me was that their weight is still at about the 25th percentile, but their height is 75th. One thing I never expected to have was tall children. Chris is hoping this means there's hope for a basketball player after all. At least a point guard.
I captured this little bit of video right before the dr came in to examine the girls. They had been playing together pretty nicely, and being patient, and then obviously they got a little frustrated.

The other football season

One of Chris's favorite things in the fall is full field, full length soccer games. Since I've known him, I have spent a lot of time watching his matches, and now that the girls are here he's been anxious for them to be able to come along. Last Sunday we all went as a family. The girls loved being able to run around, get dirty, play with all of the soccer balls sitting on the sidelines while the guys played, and watch Daddy kick the ball around. Of course, Froggie had to come along.

Indian summer

Lately I've been working on figuring out more stuff to do to stay busy with the girls during the day. Now that they're over a year old, less of the day is taken up with the work of just keeping them alive (diapering, feeding, naps). And they're learning so quickly, they need more stimulation. So we started the music class, and I've been checking out playplaces in Ann Arbor. We've tried the mall play area, the library downtown (they have a great kids section), the bookstores in town with kids' sections, some parks.

The other day I decided to get the girls outside to enjoy the last few 80 degree days of the year. So I took a bunch of kitchen stuff out onto the back patio and filled pots with water to play with. It was a pretty big hit. We're going to miss this soon.

Bye week blues

Saoirse says, "Dammit! We're 1 and 2! We lost to Notre Dame! And we're not playing this week, so we don't even have a chance to redeem ourselves."

Little musicians

So this week we went to our first music class all together. I was a little apprehensive about taking both of the babies all by myself. But it went really well. The class is very laid-back about kids walking around rather than sitting calmly, and there's no pressure for them to be participating "properly" so it works out well. Saoirse was still quiet, mostly sat on my lap. She did try to follow along with little movements to the songs a couple times, but she mostly watches. Rowan, on the other hand, loved being able to walk around. She had so much fun, I'm so glad I signed them up. She is so social. At one point the teacher said..."Ok, everybody find someone to cuddle!" Every other kid in the room went back to their mothers. Rowan went and sat on one of the other mom's lap, and she stayed there for the whole song. She sat on a different mother's lap during free play time, and she danced with the teacher during a circle song. I love to see how confident she is that everyone will love her. Everyone seems to, comments about what a charmer she is.

Here's Rowan before class:

Here are the girls together:

Out in the garage on our way to class, Rowan apparently thinks we're going to walk there:

After class we went to Sweetwater again for cocoa and scones. In the afternoon that day we went to campus and played on the Diag. More people for Rowan to try to befriend. What a day!

Eating habits of the toddler

I think I've written before about the fact that the kids eat a lot of things that I don't think the average toddler does. We take them out to eat pretty often, and I almost never order something off the kid menu. Especially since the kid menu is the same everywhere we go. French fries, chicken fingers, grilled cheese, maybe pizza and spaghetti. I'm bored just reading the kids menu. So we order food that's sharable, and the kids eat off our plates. Let's face it, restaurants serve us enough to feed about 6 children, so feeding two really isn't a problem.

Rowan is a picky eater, in her own way. She has very specific preferences, and they're not always about the actual food. Sometimes it's about how it's served to her. Sometimes she needs a piece of meat cut up, for instance. Sometimes she refuses to eat it unless it's whole, and she can chew pieces of it off herself. Sometimes she allows us to feed her, sometimes we have to stab something with a fork and then hand it to her and let her get it in her mouth on her own. She loves bread in any form. She loves fruit, and yogurt.

Saoirse is definitely not picky. She loves all food, except a few green veggies. I haven't decided yet if this wide ranging appreciation means that she's a little foodie in the making...or if it means she has no taste buds at all and she'll just eat anything. We'll see as she gets older.

These pictures were taken the night of the 11th, their 16th month "birthday." Yes, Saoirse is really eating sushi. Rowan, on the other hand, ate a little bit of the white rice and then started finger painting with Chris's soy sauce.


Ok, no time for a real post, I've got little girls in their highchairs. But Saoirse and I went and picked up Rowan this morning, and I'd just like to say, I don't know how I could be away from that sweet little face for 3 whole nights. She is officially the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen!! :)And Saoirse and Rowan were happy to see each other again, they even hugged each other and snuggled their faces together in the McDonald's where we met.

One on one time

So we tried a new experiment this week. Occasionally the girls have gone to visit Grandma and Grandpa for a few days, but this time we decided to let just one girl go. It's tough for the girls to have to share attention all the time...and it's not so easy on the grown-ups either. And who doesn't like getting all the attention to themselves? So G&G flipped a coin, and Rowan won for the first trip. We dropped her off on Sunday, and she'll come home tomorrow. We've missed her, it's strange to be without her for this long. But all in all, it has been a big success. I think it's been really good for all of us, and it's definitely something I want to do again.

First of all, it is WAY easier to take care of one toddler than two. I mean, I know that's obvious. But it's like...25% of the work it is to take care of them both. Since they're small, you still have to watch them all the time of course. But there's so much less conflict. It was shocking to me to realize yesterday afternoon that I hadn't even heard Saoirse cry all day. I got to let her nap, wake, eat..all on her own schedule. Usually we have to compromise for the sake of sanity. We took blocks apart and took them together, over and over. We read books, sang songs. Not that we don't do these things when it's all 3 of us...but it's different. It was so nice to get to focus on her. Last night Chris, Saoirse, and I went out to dinner, and Chris said, "I don't know if she looks cuter today, or if it's just that I'm looking at her more." It's the looking. Really looking. And what I'm seeing is that she is really a sweet, happy, silly girl. Chris said last night, "Well, if you just had one like this, I can totally see why you'd think...oh yeah, let's have another one!"

Of course, the drawback of seeing how sweet and easygoing she is when we're alone is that it makes me feel pretty bad about how our more usual days go. There's so much more crying and conflict. They compete for my attention, for toys..for everything. It frustrates them so much when they can't both be picked up whenever they want, or pick a book to read (at the exact same moment), or play with the [insert toy here]. I was reading an article on child development today that said "...they can't really be expected to wait their turn before kindergarten or 1st grade." Great. That made me feel good. That's the fundamental problem with having twins. Two babies. One parent most of the time. I'm trying to reframe it, be glad that we can have SOME time alone thanks to G&G. It's good because this helps me be more aware during the days when there is conflict that it's more the situation than that they are some very difficult children who are trying to drive me crazy.

Saoirse and I had a fun day today. This morning we started a music class that I will be taking with both of the girls for the next 13 weeks. It's a mixed age group with kids 0-5 (the girls are the youngest in our group) and their moms. Well, one grandma, but mostly moms. We sang songs, did fingerplay, played with some instruments. Saoirse liked it, she was very quiet and observant. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the girls warm up and get more comfortable in class over the coming months. After class Saoirse and I went to Sweetwater cafe to have some hot cocoa and blueberry scone, just us girls. It was a gorgeous fall day, so we sat outside and ate. Then home for a nap, some lunch, and then off to check out a store/playplace that I'd heard about, My Urban Toddler. Very fun, we bought some new little rattly egg things, like a maraca but handheld. Saoirse shook them along with the radio all the way home.

Here we are shopping at Shaman Drum, Mommy's favorite bookstore in the whole wide world. :)

Here's Saoirse all dressed up and ready to go to her first class:

Here she is at Sweetwater:

Tomorrow we're off to get Rowan, we've missed her!

Happy Birthday Daddy!!

A pretty popular question from people when they find out you have twins is "How do you do it?" Since I'm a SAHM, I'm the one who usually fields this question. My answer is usually something like...well, you just do. And that's true, but it's only part of the answer. I know, deep down, that how I do it is that I rely on Chris.
When we were expecting the girls, a lot of burdens ended up falling on him that neither one of us anticipated. I was so tired early on, Chris took over the cleaning, cooking, & shopping. He would work all day, then call me to find out what food sounded like something I could eat that day. And he would drive as far as a half hour out of his way to get it for me, if that's what sounded good. He learned to turn the channel without me even saying anything when a certain commercial came on for a cheesburger with jalapeno peppers came on, because the thought of that burger made me nauseous. He tolerated the way I would go from...hmm, I'm a little hungry to a meltdown within about 5 minutes, and would patiently get me food as quickly as humanly possible. He refilled endless water bottles for me, and pushed me to drink ever more in an attempt to stave off contractions. He sat by me in the hospital, and even offered to spend the night when I had to stay at 26 weeks and was homesick. He did all the baby shopping that I couldn't get done because I was on bedrest, and put everything together and organized everything. And when he went to Babies R Us, he came home with a more expensive swing than the one I had on our list because "Nothing's too good for my girls." He bought breastfeeding supplies without flinching.

And when the girls came, it became clear that all of that during the pregnancy was just a warmup. He got up just as much as I did at night, for the entire first 15 months. 50/50, no questions asked. He never pulled the "I go to work during the day" card. He changed lots and lots of diapers, without ever acting like that was special. He was better than I was at feeding the girls when they were tiny, he had more patience to work with them without getting discouraged when it took them 30 minutes to drink 10 cc's. He sang the Michigan fight song to them every single day that they were in the NICU, and most days since. He established a post-bath routine of singing and dancing around with the babies to music he downloaded and made into a baby playlist on Itunes. He has done more dishes, more laundry, more cleaning up after both Mom and these babies than anyone can see. The first thing he does every night after work is pick up his girls, change his clothes, and head to the park to play until dinnertime. When we talk about the girls growing up, he insists that he never wants them to leave, they can just live here forever. He did far more babywearing than I did, Rowan spent a lot of evenings in the Baby Bjorn in her first 9 months or so. He doesn't complain about the money we spend on little girl's clothes, even though it means he wears 10 year old t-shirts most of the time.

I think the girls are luckier than they will ever know to have Chris for their dad. I, however, know exactly how lucky I am. I couldn't imagine raising kids with anyone else. So today, like every other day, Saoirse, Rowan and I are celebrating, grateful for the day Chris was born.

Last day of summer

I know summer is not really over for a few more weeks, but today is Labor Day, so it's the end of the season. We took the girls to the public pool near our house this afternoon, and it will be the last time until Spring. This is the last day it's open. Today the girls kind of seemed more interested in playing around the pool, rather than actually being in the water. Of course, they don't know how much they're going to miss it for the next 9 months.

Chris and I can't believe that our 2nd summer as parents is ending. Last summer was such a blur of feeding, diapering, crying (mine and the babies), no sleep. It really never felt much like summer at all. This summer was great, though. We hung out at the lake, and at the pool. We played at the park practically every day. We got our very own house. :) The girls turned into outdoor kids, with scrapes on their knees and dirty feet. After the drastic changes between last summer and this one, it's hard to look ahead a year and imagine what next summer will bring. We'll start it with two 2 year olds. We can't wait. :)

No photos from the pool today, because I had the black and white camera with me. But here's one of Rowan from this morning. She's a very busy child.