Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cookie Monsters

This was the first time I ever gave the boys some cookies with a layer of chocolate. They were so happy about it!!

Our transition to sippy cups & whole milk

I received a few questions about Luke & Nolan's transition to sippy cups & whole milk and, honestly, it went very smoothly, but I thought that I'd share how it all came about.

I remember our pediatrician telling me to try and introduce the boys to sippy cups around their 6 month well visit. It was a complete disaster and they showed zero interest in doing more than chewing on it.

I put the sippy cups away and brought them back out when the boys were around 8 months old or so. Still, they weren't interested in anything but chewing on them. I would pull the cup out once a week or so for the next 2 months.

It wasn't until the boys were about 11 1/2 months old that I tried exchanging their afternoon bottle for a sippy cup (they were still on formula - no milk at all). They both drank from the cup - Nolan more so than Luke - but they were still drinking 4 bottles of formula a day.

A few days after the boys turned one, I began mixing some whole milk into their formula bottle to get them used to the taste. We did a ratio of 6oz of formula & 2oz of milk. They didn't have any aversions, so I gradually added more milk to the bottle until that's all that was in there. I know that some doctors say you should not put any milk in the bottle & only use it in the sippy cup, but I don't always follow the "rules."

They were eventually on an entire bottle-full of whole milk but they would sometimes take a sippy cup as a bottle replacement - it just depended on their mood & the day. I never gave up trying to make them take the sippy cup.

I vowed to wait until after vacation to put them entirely on a sippy cup. I wanted them to have the comfort of a bottle while we were in an unfamiliar place because I thought it would help them sleep. We did use the sippy up at the beach or while we were out doing fun things, but they had a bottle in the morning and at night.

When we arrived back home, I gave them a day or two to adjust to being back. Then it was time for the change. When they woke up one morning, I gave them a sippy cup and not their usual bottle. They drank some of it and played while I made their breakfast. After breakfast, I gave them the rest of the cup then put them in their nursery for a nap. I gave them the cup immediately after they woke from their nap. They didn't seem to mind the morning switch, so I thought that I was in for a big fight when it came time to replace their night-time bottle.

I was wrong. After dinner at 5 p.m., I gave them a cup of milk. We played around some then I gave them the cup again at 6:00 in preparation for their 7:30 bedtime. They drank from their cup as they pleased & Justin and I put them in their cribs for bed. No tears. No screaming. Nothing.

We tried again the next day & the following day and when they didn't miss their bottle, I declared it a success!

I know that other babies have a much harder time with the transition, so my only advice is to be patient. Your baby won't drink from a bottle forever - just like I know that my boys won't be sucking on those darn pacifiers forever. It's okay for now and I'll gradually begin letting them have it less & less until they only use it for bed time. It's all a work-in-progress and you can't measure your baby against others because they are all little individuals with their own agendas.

Speaking of pacifiers, I would love to hear what worked for you. Cold-turkey, binky fairy, the old Santa-Switcheroo, poke a hole in the top?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Weekend Recap

Our past weekend can be described with one word: hot. My goodness, this is the hottest summer I can remember in a long time which isn't good for the boys because I won't let them play outside for too long in the heat.

On Friday, the boys & I met Aunt Chica at our favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch and afterwards, while they were napping I cleaned out the kitchen cabinets of all of their "baby" stuff. I ditched the bottles (yea!!) and remaining formula. I put away the itty, bitty baby spoons from which they took their first bites and pulled out some new big boy plates & bowls.

I'm mostly excited about nixing the bottles since I spent 12 months carefully cleaning the Dr. Brown inserts which was just a pain. Since coming home from our vacation, we eliminated bottles and are now strictly on sippy cups of milk and water.

Mom Mom & Poppy came over on Friday to play with Luke & Nolan and put them to sleep while Justin & I went out to dinner and a movie (Salt). I love and appreciate that quality alone time with him!

On Saturday, Justin had a tux-fitting, so I figured that since it was going to be 101 degrees out, I'd take the boys to Marshalls to do a little shopping. I met my favorite shopping buddy (my mom) and lookee what we got....
Kid leashes. That's right; I'm one of those moms.
I learned pretty quickly once they were both walking that they strategically plan their moves and split up on me when we're in public. I can't be in two places at once, ya know?!
Aunt Chica & Uncle Eric came over on Saturday night to hang out so we tested out the backpack/leash. I don't think they minded too much, but we'll see what happens in the future.
We had a late night on Saturday, but woke with the boys at their usual wake-up time of 7:30 then it was off to Mom Mom & Poppy's house for a little swim & family fun until a thunderstorm & high winds put an end to things.
After the boys went to bed on Sunday night, Justin & I weren't too far behind. It was definitely a fun mid-summer weekend!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Video of the boys dancing

It's hard for me to imagine, but since we have arrived home from vacation, I have taken a total of 18 pictures with my camera. 18!!! I usually take 18 in a day. I have some catching up to do being as though the boys turned 13 months last week & we haven't done their monthly chair picture!!

Instead of taking pictures, we have been doing constructive things, like dancing. This video shows the the state of my living room on any given day. It isn't pretty, but it's fun!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tales from the playground

While we were in Virginia, there was one particularly hot but cloudy day, so Justin, my sister and I decided to take the boys to Lynnhaven Mall to do a little shopping. There's a designated children's play area there, so I suggested to Justin that we let the boys have a little bit of play time.

Justin looked at me with his eyebrows raised, "Really? You want to let them in there with big kids running around?"

"Sure," I said. It looked great: all of the moms were sitting in a long row against the wall drinking iced coffees and playing on their iPhones while their little ones blew off some steam. What a nice way to spend an hour! The boys walk perfectly and are very steady, so I saw no harm in letting them play with the other kids.

Justin decided to sit with the stroller while my sister and I went with the boys into the play area.

In a flash, Luke was off. He is definitely the more independent of the two. I decided to follow him while Danielle kept her eyes on Nolan. After several minutes of watching Luke play, I stood off to the side, but could still see him and run to him if he needed me (which he didn't).

The floor there is padded but there is about a two and a half foot ledge down to the actual play area. I witnessed a little girl look over at the adults to see if anyone was watching her, then I watched as she pushed another little girl off of the ledge. I ran over to see if she was okay and to see if her mom would come over. She didn't. After the tears stopped & she assured me that she wasn't hurt, I turned my eyes to the pusher. "She fell," is what she told me. Uh, no she didn't.

I don't know if it is because I'm a first-time mom or if it's because I'm over-protective but I just couldn't believe that little girl pushed another kid off of a ledge. It was very deliberate and mean. It's times like that where I'm glad my boys come in a pair. I also couldn't believe that neither of their girls mom/nanny/whomever didn't come over to intervene. The girl that fell was screaming, it was kind of hard not to hear her.

I went back to playing with my boys and making "raaawwrr" noises at them (they get such a kick out of that!) as I chased them around. They played with the giant octopus and went down the slide countless times. They loved playing with the other children while under my & Danielle's watchful eyes. I don't know what age I'll stop doing this with them, but for the time being, I'm going to try and prevent someone from pushing them around.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

VA Beach Vacation Part II


We had learned our lesson and began giving the boys their regular morning naps hoping that when we reached the beach at 11:30, the boys would be well-rested and happy.
They weren't.
I tried playing on the beach blanket with them; didn't like that either.Daddy & Aunt Danielle tried making a giant castle... Nope. Don't like this either.
Grammie & Grandpa took pity on Justin & I and took the boys back to the condo so that we could enjoy a few hours to ourselves on the beach. LOVE them!!!!
A few hours later, Luke & Nolan returned to the beach in great spirits! They were well-rested, had full bellies and were ready to play in the surf & sand.

My mom had brought them down in onesies thinking that they'd be more comfortable in them as opposed to heavy bathing suits that rubbed between their legs. I think she was right!!

I was so happy to see Nolan having a good time! He actually put his hands in the sand & didn't freak out!Luke really took to the ocean. If we let him go, he would run right for the waves - no fear at all!!

I absolutely cannot be outside without sunglasses. My eyes are always closed. Sure enough, I left my glasses back at the blanket when we decided to do a family picture!
We enjoyed another beach day on Wednesday, and later on that evening, Aunt Danielle stayed in the condo with the boys so that Justin & I could enjoy dinner with my parents. She's the best aunt - the boys are so happy when they are with her!
Busch Gardens day!!! We picked this day because there was like zero chance of rain. That also meant that it was blazing hot and 101 degrees out. Oy. I can not handle the heat they way I used to. Since the boys came along, my body has changed and I just cannot stay out in the sun without a pool or ocean!
There was an Elmo Land in BG which was great for the boys. They are obviously still too small to ride most of the rides, but there were a few that they were able to go on.
Don't ask me how people are able to stand around in these character costumes. I think I'd pass out after 3 minutes. The boys liked the characters, however. Luke really wanted to get a hold of Zoe's bracelets!
Luke & Daddy!
Nolan rode with mommy.
My mom & I left after 4 hours at the park. We just couldn't take the heat any more and wanted to get the boys back to the condo so that we could take them in the pool - which they LOVED!!
It was our last day to enjoy the beach and it wound up being the perfect end to our vacation. The boys were happy (now that we put them in onesies & not bathing suits!) and really enjoyed running around in the surf and playing with other kids.
Luke still loved the water!

On Friday night, we took the boys to the Old Time Photo place for a picture. I think they make cute (pretend!!) gangsters!

We left VA Beach early on Saturday morning and the boys couldn't have had a better ride. We got a flat tire about an hour and a half outside of Philly, but Daddy was able to change it very quickly and we were home in no time!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Beach Vacation - Part I

We survived the 6 hour car ride and arrived in VA Beach to a torrential downpour. None of us minded & the boys were just happy to get out of the carseats. We met up with Grammie, Grandpop & Aunt Danielle and had a lovely dinner in the condo.

Sunday Morning.

My little guys woke up happy and fascinated by their new surroundings. There was a lot of exploring to be done! There was much jubilation when they realized that there weren't any child locks on the kitchen cabinets & that they had full access to the pots & pans! Then we were off to the beach.

If there was one thing I learned this morning, it is to keep the boys on their schedule. We thought we could push their morning nap back & take them to the beach first, but it was a bad idea. They were there for about 10 minutes before the big melt down. Time to go back to the condo for some sleep. Thankfully the condo is beach front!!

Once we took them back after their nap, they were much happier.

Luke loved eating the sand. Mommy didn't enjoy cleaning up sandy poo diapers.Nolan would barely touch the sand with his hands, but he did like the sand toys!
Later that evening, we had a delicious seafood dinner and took a walk with the family!

Monday morning.
We took the boys to the beach again. I have no pictures because Luke threw an hour-long temper tantrum while we were there. He even went as far as to rub his face in the sand. That was fun. We took them to the pool which was much better for Luke. He was actually happy!
We took a surrey ride after dinner which was a lot of fun!
The boys had a pretty good view!
Even if something looked like sand, Luke didn't like it. Take this sandcastle, for instance.
Nolan was as happy as could be!

Luke did, however enjoy the water fountain.

The boys are napping at the moment and I think we'll give the beach a try again today. I'm hoping that they'll eventually fall in love with it like their mommy & daddy are!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One Year Stats

I know that this is a couple of weeks late, but their appointment with the pediatrician wasn't until a week after they turned one. I still can't believe I'm calling them 'one-year-olds', by the way.

Nolan is 30 1/2 inches long and weighs 22 lbs 3 oz.

Luke is 28" long and weighs 19 lbs 12 oz.

They are both on whole milk now. They get 2 bottles a day: breakfast & before bed time. Sippy cups are used for milk the rest of the day. They also use a sippy thermos for water.

On their first birthday, we arrived home from the aquarium and were playing; that's when I noticed that Nolan had 3 teeth popped through up top! They were in addition to his bottom tooth which popped out a few weeks before.

As of today, Luke has 2 top teeth & 2 bottom teeth.

Nolan has 3 up top and one on the bottom.

I don't know why I was so worried about teeth because it has nothing, whatsoever, to do with their development & motor skills such as walking, crawling, talking, etc. The teeth are here and they won't need to wear baby dentures!

They've been walking since: 10 1/2 months for Nolan; 11 1/2 months for Luke. By this point, they can cross a room in about .004 seconds. Kidding of course, but they are quick!

They eat three meals a day plus snacks in between.

Favorite foods include:
strawberry waffles
grilled cheese
pastina & chicken broth
chicken nuggets or tenders
cheddar goldfish
american cheese

They both spit out any fruit I give them. The only fruit that they'll eat is mashed jar fruit.

They have mimicked words we say , but not well. I've heard: "Loo" once from Nolan in reference to Luke after I said 'Luke'. "Ba" in reference to 'ball' when I repeat it over & over.

They will either lift their shirts or look down when asked "Where's your belly?"

They both dance when music is playing - even commercials! Luke especially loves to hear music and bounces or sways along to the beat.

Nolan loves to give "nosey kisses" and rubs his nose against mine when I ask for one.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July Weekend

We kicked off our 4th of July weekend with a quiet Friday night at home with just the four of us. We all needed our rest because we had a very busy weekend ahead of us!

Saturday was our first BBQ which was so much fun because we got to enjoy Grandpop & the band play some awesome music while we swam in the pool and ate delicious food. There were a lot of kids splashing & jumping into the pool, so Grammie & I held the boys the entire time. Luke got to experience his first under-water dip because Grammie slipped while walking into the pool. He was okay - no tears at all!! Such a brave little guy.

On Sunday and Monday, immediately after the morning nap, we drove over to Mom Mom & Poppy's house for more BBQ and swimming. Basically, we spent the entire weekend eating & splashing around in the pool. That's just how we roll around here!

Luke and Nolan soaked up a lot of love and attention from friends and family this 4th of July weekend. Now we are getting ready for our family vacation next week!