The babies about to entire their new house for the first time. (8 months)
With my parents still visiting quite often, and Mark's mom nearly visiting a portion of every month, I was blessed to have their grandparental help. Comparatively though I also had a lot less help than the first several months, so I had a lot more time on my own with the babies. It was still very time intensive since they weren't always great at playing independently, they didn't always nap at the same time, and until they were 9 months I was still trying to pump during any free time I had. But it definitely got easier over time and grew more manageable. The Exersaucer and Jumperoo were a godsend that I would save for my lunchtime so I could eat in peace.
The babies trying out Jumperoos for the first time at a friend's house. Julia took to the jumping right away while James just wanted to stop and eat. (8 1/2 months)
James became very vocal about his toys being taken away but, since he's bigger, was also a toy bully to Julia. People ask how they interact as twins, and taking toys from each other was their number one interaction at this age (see video), though sometimes they would sit in the Bumbo seats at meal times and babble excitedly to each other (see video). When they both would cruise along the length of the crib or changing table, James would often plow right through her, making her lose her grip and fall.
Babies in Bumbo seats about to eat. (8 1/2 months)
I didn't hear either baby say "Mama" much. I just heard a lot of "Dada." But when they were upset, that's when I would hear "Mamamama."
Both Julia and James loved clapping and as soon as they heard the words "Patty Cake" they knew to clap along. Both babies loved books, and one thing that astounded me was that they'd memorize where to find texture or flip-up parts in each book. In the book, Shapes, it is particularly hard to see where to lift up the boat's sail - even for an adult! - yet, they would immediately lift it up themselves each time. I discovered that James recognized the words "5 Silly Monkeys" (repeated throughout the same-titled book) because he was playing independently while someone read that book to Julia, and all of a sudden when he heard those three words his neck snapped around to see who was reading his favorite book.
Julia bones up on strawberries, sweet potatoes, and sippy cups. (7 1/2 months) (Thanks, Stacy, for the photo!)
We started going on playdates starting at 6 months. That was primarily because we often had moms staying with us before that so I didn't really feel the need to go out, and I was worried about germs around my preemies the first several months. (In retrospect I wish I'd started earlier.) Most often we saw Kashi (fellow Google wife) and her twins Maya and Brandon, Stacy (whom I knew in junior high) and her boy Ronan, and Rachel P. (a pre-preggers friend) whose son Oliver was 5 months older than the twins - a little too much older at this age - so our playdates were at Starbucks.
Ronan and Julia entertain a flirtation upon their first meeting... (6 months)
...but then next time Ronan becomes the world's youngest sexual harasser. (6 1/2 months)
Bermuda Triangle of babies: Ronan (upper left) with James and Julia. (8 months)
Julia and her clothing twin, Maya. (10 1/2 months)
Brandon and James stuck in jail. (10 1/2 months)
Sometimes I think James is a big boy, and then I see Oliver... (7 1/2 months)
And then sometimes I think James's feet are big white anvils and then I see Oliver's semi trucks...
We also played with Rachel R. and former Jeopardy champ April a few times and their older kiddos. One person I saw quite often was Mark's boss' wife, Leslie M., whom I barely knew before I had the twins. Leslie M. loves little ones and works in a day care/preschool, and offered to come over and play with the babies one day. She was great with them, taught me a lot, and we became good friends.
The twins with Rachel R.'s daughters, Raelle and Rivven. Two year old Rivven might need a little more training in holding the bottle at the correct angle. (8 1/2 months)
April's husband Bryan and son Brady entertain/scare Julia. (6 1/2 months)
"Wow - I've never been held by a member of the Fremont School Board before. Maybe he would support my `Naps Are for Wusses' idea." (6 1/2 months)
Not many people charm James right away. April is one of them. (6 1/2 months)
Julia is also a fan. (6 1/2 months)
Julia with Leslie. It's hard to look sleepier with your eyes open. (6 months)