Friday, April 26, 2013

Sitting Up

When Periwinkle is in the boppy, she totally tries to sit up. She looks like she's doing crunches. This is brand new today and so cool. So proud of her! Just had to update everyone on her progress.

Indigo continues to be in no rush to move other than thumping his legs like crazy and sometimes ending up on his side, but I have the feeling that one day I'll turn around and he'll be crawling. He's just waiting for the opportune moment, to quote a certain pirate we all know and love.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Letter to Periwinkle at Six Months

Dear Periwinkle,

It's so hard to believe that it's been only six months since you were hooked up to little tubes so you could eat, monitors checking all your vital signs, stuck in the NICU for two weeks while we waited for you to get the all-clear. Now you are thriving, downing 8oz bottles like nothing, eagerly reaching for the cheese and apples we started giving you this week, and talking to anyone who will listen.

Chatting away

I call you my little clone because you look so much like me. It seems your personality is a bit like mine as well--you never shut up! We hear you in the morning, pretty much at 6am on the nose, chatting away, sounding so happy. You also sometimes carry on like this in the middle of the night, and I really wish you'd stop that. You should be sleeping, little lady!

Yummy apples!

You rolled over front to back again, and one night I checked on you to find you on your tummy, so you must have managed rolling back to front. When I put you down you roll to your side, and I can just picture you rolling across the floor soon.

On your side, adoring your brother

You absolutely adore your brother. We separated you for an afternoon, and when we all got back home, you just stared at him, so happy to be back together. I love watching how much you love him. I know he loves you too, but he's trying to be a cool guy, I think.

So happy to be together again

You sit up in the Bumbo seat so well, I think you are not far off from sitting up on your own. You discovered your feet this month, as it's been warm enough to have you without socks. The expression on your face was priceless.

What are those?

You love crinkle books, both to play with and to eat. When we put you in your crib at night you grab onto Sara, your pink bunny, and hug her tight. I often find you still clutching her hours later.

Hanging out with your BFF

You behaved very well during your visit with Grandma and Grandpa, until the day we went to pick you up. You knew we were coming. But I'm glad you trust us enough to show us your moody side, to let us know when you are unhappy or bored. We'll keep trying to figure out how to keep you happy. You definitely cry a lot less than you used to. I think the earlier bedtime and better napping help with that. But whether you are crying or smiling, we love you all the same. Your smile is so addicting. People who see pictures of you smiling can't help but smile themselves. Keep smiling like that and you'll make the world a better, happier place.

All smiles in the morning

You've certainly made my world a brighter place. I can't wait to see what the next six months bring!


Hey, Mom!

A Letter to Indigo at Six Months

Dear Indigo,

Six months. Sometimes it seems like they've flown by, and sometimes I struggle to remember what life what like before you arrived. In either case, they've been a fun six months, full of discovery and smiles. I think that this past month has seen the most change in you. You're sitting up so much better, although not entirely on your own. When you're in the jumperoo, you are actively playing with all the little toys and you can easily jump up and down to make the noises start up. You grab at things without hesitation, including things your sister might be playing with.

You don't complain so much at tummy time and you are SO close to rolling over. We help you sometimes, to show you how it's done, but your arm always seems to be in the way. When we put you down in your crib on your back, you sometimes seem like you're trying to roll onto your tummy, and we find you in funny positions.


You love snuggling with Sam, your bear lovey. Sometimes you gnaw on his ears, sometimes you prefer his blanket bottom, and other times he's tucked under your arm. Lately you've wanted a blanket at night, simply for the weight of it I think, which  makes me nervous. I let you have it until we go to bed, and then I just hope that you don't notice when I take it away. You're not quite old enough to untangle yourself if you get stuck.

You and your sister have taken to chatting in the middle of the night, and I have to admit, it's driving me bonkers. I simply can't sleep through it. I'm hoping it's a phase you'll outgrow soon. You've also taken to yelling just to hear your own voice. Sometimes you'll grab your feet and let out a victory yell. It's awesome.

Testing out your voice

Last week you spent a few days with Grandma and Grandpa while Daddy and I went on a little vacation. We missed you but we knew you were in good hands. You got lots of tummy time, time in the Bumbo seat, and lots of spoiling hugs and kisses. Grandma also bought you new clothes, some of which are in the 9 month size. You are getting so big and tall already! You'll be in 12 month stuff well before your first birthday.

Three month clothes don't fit anymore

We started solid foods this week, although right now you are just exploring and learning about new tastes and textures. You seemed to enjoy the carrots and apples, and were a bit curious about the cheese. Bread was another big hit. I know mealtimes are going to get messier from now on but I am looking forward to it! Soon you'll be able to chew and swallow all these yummy new foods. Having you guys eat what we're eating will certainly help us cook healthier, which will be great too.

Curious about cheese

You're still my chill dude, and you seem to have a great sense of humor. You've outright giggled a few times, which is hilarious. Your smile lights up my day, and Daddy swears you've said, "Daddy." Even I have to admit it sounds like you are... I love when you try to talk, no matter what you are saying.

My snuggle bear

You still kick your legs like crazy, my little Thumper. The other day I was sitting between you two on the couch, and you were both kicking my stomach in excitement for your bottles. I realized Periwinkle was kicking my left side, you my right. Was it really only six months ago that you were kicking those sides from within with scrawny little legs? Now you have chubby baby rolls and I can't even remember why we called you chicken legs.

Your chubby legs

Happy Six Months, Little Man. I can't wait to get to know you better as you continue to discover the world around you!


Plotting. Totally plotting.

Edited to add this photo, just because it cracks me up:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Baby-Led Weaning and Boston Vacation

It has begun. And so far, Indigo and Periwinkle seem intrigued! Last night we presented them with a plate with bread, steamed carrots with salt and pepper, and havarti cheese. Periwinkle dove for the cheese and licked it for a bit, while Indigo enjoyed the carrots most of all. Neither of them seemed interested in the bread.

So I tried just bread tonight, mainly because I was flying solo as Blue was in class, and it was a big hit! Indigo even managed to break a small piece off, suck on it for a while to get it nice and mushy, and with some pursed lips and confused glances, swallowed it. He coughed about ten minutes later but was fine. My biggest worry with this is choking, but as long as they are kept upright while "eating" they do well. I'm excited to try more foods and to get the high chairs from the relative storing them for us to make feeding them easier.

And just so you know, foods are offered AFTER they drink their bottles, so they are not hungry when exploring new foods. This will cut down on frustration as they learn to swallow and allow them to just have fun with it.

On another note, last week we took four days off from the babies (my parents gladly watched them) and went to the Boston area for a vacation. Ha ha. This was long-planned so we stuck with it despite the crazy week Boston was having, and spent a lot of time in the hotel sleeping and making friends with the bartender, and around Lexington and Concord.


Love the colors at the hotel bar

The food was amazing at a few of the places we ate. I highly recommend:

Concord: Helen's Restaurant (fell in love with their tomato avocado melt)

Lexington: Lexx (esp. mac n cheese and white chocolate martini) and Vine Brook Tavern (prime rib was divine).

Mac n cheese with bacon. Nom nom!

Delicious white chocolate martini
We did eventually get to meet up with friends after the amazing law enforcement dudes and dudettes caught the bad guys. It was such a relief to know we were safe to enjoy the city Blue and I both love.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


When I was looking at colleges, I had one main criteria: Boston. I spent four amazing years there and it still feels more like home than NYC ever will even seven years later. I visited Boston several times a year when I was growing up, and am an avid Red Sox fan. Boston is a part of me. And so my heart breaks over yesterday's events.

Marathon Monday was a highlight of the year during my time at Boston College. Students would line Heartbreak Hill, cheering on friends and complete strangers alike. We'd be drinking and eating junk, but our enthusiasm was pure energy. Every year on Marathon Monday, I get a little nostalgic and wish I were there, cheering on the runners, and never more so than yesterday. And if I can swing it, I want to take the day off work next year and go to Heartbreak Hill to stand with today's students and with the city of Boston to say "We are still here." I really want to.

You don't mess with Boston.

The actions of first responders who ran into the blast zone without a second thought, of marathoners who ran to donate blood, of everyday people who turned from spectators into rescuers in an instant, and of residents and business owners who opened their homes and restaurants to make sure that the runners had a place to rest and recover from their grueling run when they weren't allowed to return to their hotels make me so, so proud of my favorite city in the world.

As Mr. Rogers said, "Look for the helpers." No matter what happens, the good guys still outnumber the bad ones, and that is something to be thankful for.

Hang in there, Boston.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Productive Weekend!

As you may know, we're hoping to sell our current house and buy a bigger one. We love our house, with all its faults, but one fault we can't look beyond is the lack of space. It was great for the two of us, would have been livable with one baby, but with two babies who will eventually need their own rooms, it doesn't work. We got engaged in this house, and brought our babies home to this house (eventually), so it'll be bittersweet to move on.

That said, I'm thoroughly enjoying getting the house in shape to sell. I'm not sure Blue is enjoying it quite as much, mainly because he got tasked with ripping apart the kitchen, which he did Saturday with the help of a few awesome buddies.

What a mess. And did I mention no kitchen sink for the next week?

The stoneworks people are coming today to template for our pretty new granite, which will hopefully be installed by the end of next week. Huzzah!

So purty.
Once that is installed I'll be able to better gauge backsplash pattern. If the counter seems really busy I'll go simple, but I did find a mix of stone/glass that I liked, if it'll work with the granite we picked. We shall see. We also got a shiny stainless sink and a sexy new faucet (that doesn't rust everywhere!) with a pulldown nozzle thingy. I'm excited to show you the "after" shots whenever the room is ready.

Meanwhile, during the smashy smashy, these two blissfully napped, although not for terribly long. They're still doing their middle of the night chats, which is a bit frustrating.

Day 101 Project 365

Day 98 Project 365

After they went to bed last night (rarely difficult anymore, which is good), I tackled the hall closet. This closet serves many purposes: bathroom towels, cleaning supplies, random screws and nails, tools, tape, batteries, flashlights, coats, blankets, umbrellas, etc. And the problem was somewhere along the way it turned into a free for all.

Chances of blankets and/or plastic bags falling on you were high.

Need a tool? Good luck!

These spray bottles also often toppled down.

The whole ugly mess

Due to some inspiration from the I Heart Organizing blog, I went to the Container Store yesterday and spent a tidy sum on bins and such to make this space organized and somewhat attractive. I opted for some $2.99 plastic bins for the shelves because, frankly, I can't afford to spend $14.99 on each bin. The ones up top were a bit more expensive because you really do see them when you open the door.

Back of the door
Decided to tap into this underutilized space with some simple stick-on hooks. I found my polka dot umbrella, which I thought I lost two years ago. Yeah, I did: in this closet! Now umbrellas are easy to find on rainy days.

A bin for blankets
 The blankets will no longer leap down onto our heads, as they now rest in this bin on the floor. Much easier to get to and put away! The scary tools, like small saws, are still in the corner, hidden away.

Cleaning stuff
 The spray bottles are now contained in a bin, which I can take out so I have everything at my fingertips when I go on a cleaning spree. The spray bottles looks so nice all in a row!

Lots of bins
I have some work to do still on the main shelves. I split our slew of items into tape/glue, lightbulbs, flashlights/batteries, electrical stuff, painting supplies, and small tools. There are a few blue-topped bins left from our last attempt to organize (which lasted for a little while) and they hold fasteners, nails, and screws. We still have a few random containers of random bits that I need to organize. I might get one of those things with small drawers to organize the nails/screws into, but we'll see. That will take muchos effort. You can see some board games still live in this closet, although ideally they would get moved out somewhere else.

So much nicer
The bin in the middle of the top shelf is our "guest kit" and contains two big towels and two face cloths. I will add a set of sheets as well, but those live in the nursery and the kiddos were sleeping. Now when people come to stay, I can just pop this container down and they have all their linens!

I also managed to condense our towels from three shelves to one by rolling them up. Who knew?

So there you have it. Our newly organized front closet. I still want to do some labels on the bins in some pretty font, and probably will do a nice shelf-liner as well, but this was good progress for a Sunday evening! I'm hoping when people open the door they won't shirk away in terror anymore, but will rather say, "Ah, what a lovely closet that holds so much stuff in an easily accessible way!"

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Weekly Weigh-In

To my supreme shock and amazement, given the number of extra Weight Watchers points I ate this week, I lost 2.4 pounds this week! I will take it, thankyousir.

This week I went on a bit of a motivational rampage, joining My Fitness Pal (which tracks calories, lets you friend people so there's a social aspect, and at the end of every day tells you what you'd weigh in five weeks if you ate like that every day, which is helpful) and a DietBet.

DietBet is pretty cool. Anyone can start a "game" where everyone who joins pays a certain amount of money ($25 in my case), betting that they can lose a certain amount in a certain timeframe (4% in 4 weeks for me). If you "win" you get your money back, plus whatever's left in the pot by all the "losers" who forfeit their money because they did not meet the goal. That's the price you pay. So the pot in the game I'm in, which is run by quad-mom Becca of A Beautiful Ruckus, is nearly $3k. I wouldn't mind a piece of that! And now I'm down 3.4 pounds, so I'm halfway to my goal and it's only been one week!

You might be asking, "But won't people just cheat and lie to get their money back?" Well, DietBet has made this very difficult by requiring you to take a photo of yourself on a scale (in a mirror or taken by another person) and then a close-up of the scale readout. You do this at the beginning and at the end, at the same time of day and wearing similar clothing. The people at DietBet verify the photos and thus your weight. I guess someone COULD swap out who is on the scale for the closeup, but they'd need to find someone close enough to their own weight to be realistic and that just seems like too much work. But I'm sure some people try to scam the system. I, however, am not.

So I'm feeling hopeful that my sheep on my sweater will be free from the tummy rolls before it gets to be summer. Although it feels like summer so far this week, which I'm loving, and I am sad that it's going to cool off this evening. I can't wait for more photos like this one, full of baby fat rolls (which are allowed and encouraged at this point):

He's recently discovered his feet

As has she

Baby legs in the open air! Day 96 of Project 365.

Indigo has discovered his voice and enjoys yelling for fun, as you can see in the above photo. Periwinkle has taken to chatting up a storm around 2am every morning, and sometimes he joins in as well. Hoping it's just a phase because I just can't sleep through it!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Twin Interaction

I just love the age these two are at right now. They are starting to really notice each other. It's obvious that Periwinkle just adores Indigo. She watches his every move and often reaches out for him.

Indigo is a bit more oblivious, or more of a "tough guy," and likes to do things more his own way. Apparently yesterday at daycare they were lying down together and Periwinkle was trying to hold hands and Indigo got upset. They ended up separating them. I felt sad for Peri.

When I got them home I put them down for some tummy time. Periwinkle was SO close to rolling over again. And then Indigo reached out his hand as if offering support and encouragement. It was so sweet! Maybe he just doesn't like to hold hands in public.

Time for a pep talk. Day 90 Project 365.

"You can do it!"

"Mom does he have cooties?"
And then they went to bed at 7:15 because they were both in bad moods due to insufficient naptime at daycare. They slept until 5am and pretty much went right back to sleep. Success! I hate that I barely see them, but we try to take advantage of the hour or so between getting home and bedtime for more active play now, when they used to nap a bit. So we're making it work.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


So last night I decided to try an earlier bedtime. Not too much earlier, just a half hour. But they were both asleep within ten minutes. A miracle!!

I guess they really like waking up after 9 hours though, because they were up at 4:30, chatting away, then crying. We got Indigo to fall back asleep by 5am (I gave him a burp cloth to hold on to and that seemed to work. He likes little blankets, but it wasn't so big or thick that I felt it posed any hazard).

Periwinkle, however, just seemed to get more annoyed. We fed her a 2oz bottle, but that wasn't enough. So Blue made her a 5oz bottle to go along with the little premade one. That did the trick, and she was asleep by 5:40. Phew. I squeezed in another 20 minutes of sleep then got up for the day. I can't be entirely sure, but one of them might have been awake when I left at 6:30.

If waking at 4:30am turns out to be a new thing, assuming the earlier bedtime keeps working, then we might try dreamfeeding them before we go to bed to get them sleeping straight through again. They lose sleep when they wake up and cry and eat, so it's for their own good. And ours.

And now, a photo of them with all of their Easter bunnies!

"What the hell, Mom?"

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

At a Loss

Since probably last Wednesday, Indigo has been a real PITA at bedtime. We do the usual routine: bottle at 7:30, PJs, diaper change, into the sleep sacks, a bit of swaying and singing, then "goodnight."

Minutes later he's crying at the top of his lungs. We give him a few minutes but he doesn't calm down. One of us goes up to pat him, give him back his paci, try to get him to fall asleep. Sometimes we leave the room with him asleep. Ten minutes later, he's awake and crying again. Rinse and repeat.

"Your turn!" has become an all-too-familiar refrain in our house.

One evening, I picked him up during probably his fifth crying fit and he just collapsed against me and was asleep in an instant (which I admit I totally loved). I held him for a few minutes then put him down. Not a minute later, crying.

How could I NOT pick him up when he looks this upset? That lower lip quiver gets me every time.

It all usually stops at 10:30pm, give or take a few minutes.

Blue wants to just  cave (I don't blame him) and not even put them to bed until then, except that then they'd just be napping downstairs because they ARE tired, and Periwinkle usually goes to bed fine unless her naps were horrendous (or like yesterday when she took a four-hour nap at daycare--way too long). I don't want to mess up the progress we've made with her or give up on the healthier early bedtime.

I've heard suggestions ranging from "He's teething, so wait it out" to "Try an earlier bedtime, he might be too overtired by 8pm to go to sleep easily." He does have his hands in his mouth all the time these days, but teething rings don't really seem to help him. Plus he naps fine. Although, he has been more cranky since about the same time last week, so this could be the reasoning behind it. He's had crying fits during the day when he usually pretty much NEVER cries. And maybe at night he knows he won't be getting comforted all night so he cries. Maybe he just misses us during the week because he spends most of his time at daycare so he wants to be held by us (rip my heart out, kiddo).

It was working. We had a good thing going. What the hell happened in the past week?

The good news is that once finally asleep (which often involves him sleeping for 20 minutes, giving one last cry, then falling back to sleep for good) he sleeps all night. We haven't had a real nightwaking or feeding since Saturday, March 23. So that's been awesome.

Suggestions welcome.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Irish Lad

It's kind of crazy, but sometimes Indigo's hair looks reddish. This is particularly visible when I use the Lo-Fi filter in Instagram, which really ups the saturation. Check this out:
Day 86
Also, I hope you all had a happy Easter. These two were rather moody, which goes along with Indigo's recent difficulties falling asleep at night (he's fine for naps but at night, watch out!). We think at least he is teething, perhaps her as well.

Although, Indigo was having a great time with Zio Pippo (Blue's brother. That is what the first niece called him and the name has stuck. "Zio" means "uncle" in Italian and "Pippo" is her version of his name). Indigo was actually laughing! I have to check the video I shot to see if it caught the laugh. It was hilarious.

One of Periwinkle's few calm moments. Happy Easter! Day 87.