Later in the month, Mark takes one of his paternity leave weeks and we take care of the babies on our own for a week. It's a really tough week. On one particularly hard day when I call my mom in San Diego she asks if it's a plea for them to come back earlier. I say, "I'm trying not for it to be..." Thankfully the rest of the month my mom stays with us (and, though I'm not proud to admit it, she does come back a day earlier because of that phone call). My dad makes several visits as well. He announces that since he calls me "Punkin" (as in Pumpkin), he will call Julia "Butternut Squash" and he says that he and Julia have decided that her future daughter will be called "Zucchini."
At the very beginning of March, a "mother's helper" comes over for the first time. I had e-mailed a request for help to a sorority at Santa Clara University and received lots of responses to help out with the babies and light housework. Anjelica (and later, Samantha and Jessica) comes over several times during the week for a few hours a day. It gives my mom and me a much needed recharge.
Grandpa, his Punkin, and his Butternut Squash
James continues to love his activity mat, and now starts grasping the hanging animals... and then doesn't let go. The boy has a strong grip. We were concerned when the twins were born that their heads didn't fill the head supports of their car seats. Now James' head easily fits. The boy has a big head.
James doesn't usually pee while being changed, but during one 24 hour period he does it on four separate occasions! I think he had lulled us into complacency just so he could really get us when he turned on the fountain. At the end of being breastfed, James often smiles a very satisfied eyes-closed-smile and then falls asleep, which cracks us up. The cute mop top of blond hair James had at birth disappears by February, except for long curly reddish blond pieces in the very back. It's reminiscent of the Mayor of Munchkinland.
Which one is James and which is the Mayor of Munchkinland?
The babies started smiling at the end of January, and continue to smile throughout February, especially James. His sweet smiles on the changing table actually make me cry. Julia's smiles are fewer and farther between which - I know this sounds corny - make them something even greater to appreciate, like a shooting star, but by mid-month she's a big smiler. Her crazy smiles are very entertaining.
James is so polite he doesn't cry for his pacifier. He tries to self soothe by eating his fist (all the books say this is good) or lick his pacifier when it's too far away. (This is so pathetic I give it back to him.)
I cut Julia's thumb while cutting the nail. (In my defense nail cutting has to be done and no one else wants to do it.) Mark sees a tiny nail clipping and claims it's the piece of skin I cut off, and then teases me. "No cutting off fingers!" (Mark's rebuttal: No, Mark sees a tiny nail clipping and sees a little chunk of dried skin which exactly matches the shape and size of the scab on Julia's finger where her insane mother maimed her.)
Julia and her panda feet
Which one is Julia and which is Hannibal Lecter?
The twins engage in lots of cooing by the last couple weeks of February. Sometimes the cooing is like words - Julia's vocalization is light and beautiful. James' grunt (which could be mistaken for a beached whale) eventually gives way to a vocalization that's more like talking. Julia has her first laugh on 2/25 and James has his on 2/27, but they're more like squeals (something Julia is very good at).
I finally figured out that to get good pictures I needed to take them by the window in our extra bedroom where there's natural lighting. As of this month there are more posed photos with backdrops (a.k.a. blankets). This one of Julia is one of my first attempts.
Julia loves her duckie towel
Weights and Lengths:
James - 5 lbs., 9 oz.; 17.8"
Julia - 4 lbs., 9 oz.; 18.1"
1/07/10 (1 month)
James - 7 lbs., 2.9 oz.; ~21"
Julia 6 lbs., 4.4 oz.; ~18 1/2"
2/08/10 (2 months)
James - 9 lbs., 0.0 oz; 21 1/4"; head: 14 3/4"
Julia - 7 lbs., 11.5 oz.; 20 1/2"; head: 14 1/4"
3/06/10 (3 months)
James - 11 lbs., 2.6 oz.
Julia - 9 lbs., 8 oz.