Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mostly May (a.k.a. the Sixth Month)

May was, as I call it, "The Month When Everything Went into Their Mouths." Julia discovers her thumb but doesn't use it for long. James likes to hold your hand and then slowly bring it towards his mouth...

Taking photos involves a lot of removing fingers from mouths

Has there ever been a more adorable thumb sucker?

Grandma is here until mid-month (Grandpa joins her twice during her visit as well), and then I'm on my own for a day until Bubby arrives for a week. After she leaves I'm on my own for a week. May marks the first time I'm really on my own with the babies. I know it sounds crazy but I've been blessed to have so much extra help from our parents that, except for a day here and there, I hadn't really been on my own before. (And that isn't to say that it's been easy with two of us here handling twins - often, especially the first few months - it still seemed like we were outnumbered.) I avoided feeding the babies at the same time in the past but I realize my first day on my own that it's the only way to survive. I also try to stay sane by making a playdate for every day (something I still do when on my own). One time while pumping in the morning, I have to sing (and sometimes whistle) for 20 minutes straight to keep the babies from crying. (When I'm caring for the babies by myself, my pumping sessions often end like that.) While on my own, my skin cries uncle from all the bottle washing and I end up with a bad case of eczema that the doctors says I'll have until the babies are out of diapers. Mark and I go on our first dinner out with the babies (to Shana Thai) which goes fairly well since they just sleep. We think, "We should have done this earlier" until Julia starts crying. I also celebrate my first Mother's Day as a Mom. Bubby gives me a sweet charm bracelet and Grandpa James and Julia give me roses.

Grandpa can't get enough of his Jewel

James is fascinated by Bubby

Someone here is doing the babysitting. It's just not necessarily who you'd expect.

On 5/13 James laughs for the first time. He laughs and laughs when I grip his thumbs while he's seated, pull him towards me a few inches and call out "waterski!" (Since his arms are out it resembles waterskiing.) James's laugh is a cross between a hiccup and a clown nose, and makes me cry happy tears. He also giggles and giggles when I play "near/far" with him. (I am inspired by Grover and go in close and say "near!" and move out and say "far!" He particularly likes the suspense when I gradually creep in and say, "Near... near... near... NEAR!!!" He even turns to look when I say the words "near/far" to Julia as though those are words he recognizes.) Bubby reports hearing James giggling in his sleep.

"Major Giggler, reporting for tickle duty, Sir!"
(I bought this outfit a couple years before the babies were born.)

James's new favorite activity is to sit in the living room inside his car seat with the activity arch hooked on. Well, it's his favorite activity until he gets frustrated. On 5/14 he pulls on the ball on the activity bar on his own for the first time to activate the pinwheel. James starts scratching the crib mattress mid-month, and a few weeks later Grandpa "teaches" him to scratch the chenille armchair. Grandpa also teaches James to make a raspberry sound on 5/18. Our mother's helper, Jessica, tells me that James has really strong motor skills for his age. James moves his legs as fast as he can (what I call "swimming") during tummy time but goes nowhere. Near the end of May he moves a tiny bit forward.

"Hey baby this seat next to me's not taken..."

James making the pinwheel spin himself

James used to be my zen baby who was happy with anyone holding him. This month he's suddenly scared of new people! He cries while looking at them but gets over it after a few minutes. Stranger anxiety is supposed to kick in at six months; I guess James is precocious. He also starts crying when he wakes up from a nap, and to go to sleep he gets upset unless he's rocked and given his blankie square. James always seems to have his arms in the air to be picked up. He also rotates a lot in his sleep - one night he did a full 360! (I know because I checked throughout the night - too bad there wasn't a time lapse camera.)

James giving his blond girl toy a good beating. Violence against women can never start too early, right James?

Julia wears shoes - espadrilles in fact - for the first time on her 5 month birthday and immediately starts hitting them together like she wants them off. (It's also so far the last time she's worn shoes.) Julia sounds like a cat in heat when she squeals, and at the beginning of the month Grandma starts having "conversations" with her where Julia "talks" and Grandma responds by saying, "Is that so?" and then Julia continues and so does Grandma. By mid May Julia loves sitting up and seems to be on the verge of crawling when she moves a bit during tummy time. But this isn't really so since she still isn't crawling.)

Julia really loves the vibrating bouncy chair this month. She starts making raspberry sounds at the beginning of May (no doubt taught by Grandpa) and starts sitting up on her own. One day Julia cries in her sleep which breaks my heart. At the beginning of June, Julia is really hard to read at feeding time. She does what we call her "stiff starfish" impression where her limbs go out straight and stiff and she arches her back, pulling her head back too. We don't know what to make of it - the doctor says she's indicating she's not hungry but she only does this the first few minutes of her feeding and then is perfectly content to drink a whole bottle. The "stiff starfish" impression goes away after about a month.

Julia's first (and last?) time wearing shoes

Julia always seems to poop on this outfit. I like to think she's trying to send a message. (Mark: Is this the ninth time you've used this joke? Me: Don't care. Still funny.)

Julia tricks into thinking she might one day crawl

The babies love "grandma roll" where Grandma holds the babies out in front of her with their feet on her chest as she bends forward taking them with her. They visit the grocery store for the first time when Bubby comes to visit. They get Bumbo seats so they can sit up in them; James barely fits with his Michelin Man legs. Much of the reason we get the Bumbos is because we think Julia will love being able to sit up. However, she hates them and tries to escape (as seen in this video) by launching herself backwards in them every chance she gets. By mid May both babies, starting with Julia, are able to hold their necks up when pulled foward. In April and May the babies sleep in Boppy pillows on the sofa at naptime because it's a smoother transition from our arms to Boppy pillows to get them to sleep. By the beginning of June both babies can bear some weight on their feet when put in a standing position. By the beginning of June, James and Julia really enjoy books and both can open up the pop up area of books (as well as hit them). James shows his love for his book Where Is Baby's Belly Button? by kicking a lot when he's excited.

James with Julia in a rare moment of not trying to escape her Bumbo seat

Everyone but Grandma gets to sleep in a Boppy pillow on the couch

I like to kiss the twins' noses and cheeks - they smile and laugh. They also love when I flutter a blanket over their heads or when they're held overhead like they're flying. We (or really, Mark) continue to work on the particulars of acquiring our house and James comes with us to the escrow agency. (He sits at the table like he's a silent - or at least "pacified" - partner.) Mark freaks me out by pretending that he fed James peanut butter. ("You fed him peanut butter?" "Maybe." "That's really bad." "Oh. I didn't then." "Did you or didn't you?!") See what I put up with?

Grandma and her nudie cutie, Julia, flying before bathtime

Julia and James switch outfits for the night


  1. I love these updates! Great smiling photos in this one. And the pictures with the grandparents are wonderful, as usual.

  2. I really didn't always fall asleep. . . .Kathy just works me so hard.

    I love the first photo. I haven't seen it 'til now.