Grace and Hope

Grace and Hope
Wait for God. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always! Pslam 131:3

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Half-sy Birthday!

Today, April 14, marks Aubrey's and Avery's 6 month birthday!!! They are half a year old already: Half-sy Birthday daugthers. We love you to the moon and back. Here are a few picture of the girls today on their 6 month birthday (believe it or not, we got more pictures of Aubrey smiling than Avery today!).

Mom and dad have great news to share...Both girls sleep 11.5 hours at night consistently every night!! Does it get better than that?! I would say not!! We will remain tired for the rest of our lives, but no longer are we in a deep fog that we existed in for the first five months! Speaking of-do you realize that on April 14 the girls are 6 months old already? Where does the time go? Sometimes I think I'm in denial because I like to say--"No really, they are only turning 4 months old" because it makes it feel like time hasn't flown by quite so fast!! So...if anyone finds a way to freeze time, please let me know. I'm in the market for the secret potion!

In other news, we have transitioned to a four hour schedule--another big win for the month!! Now instead of having 4 shorts naps during the day (where it seemed like you could never get anything productive done because the naps were so short), the girls now have 2 long naps and 1 very short nap in the evening. Our schedule for the day is very predictable, because no surprise to anyone, we stick to a schedule. It is what works for us and the girls because I can assure you--when we tweak the schedule, it wrecks havoc on everyone!! Here is a sample schedule of what our days look like:

8am: Wake up and feed
8:30am-9:30am: Play time
9:30am-12noon: Nap time
12noon: Feed
12:30pm-1:30pm: Play time
1:30pm-4:00pm: Nap time
4:00pm: Feed
4:30pm-6:30pm: Play time, bath time, walk
6:30-7/8pm: Attempt an evening nap!
7:30/8pm: Feed (this feed is a little more flexible because they seem to vary when they are hungry).
8:30pm: Bedtime
10pm: Dream feed (A quick topper feed for the night...the girls normally sleep right through it).

This past month has been absolutely a blast. It is so neat watching the girls grow and develop and soak up everything around them. It just amazes me how ONE day can make a difference in their development. One day they are squatting and the next day they are bearing weight on their legs. One day they only grasp their feet and the next day they bring it up to their mouth. One day they roll over only once, the next day they roll over and over and over. One day they are completely stationary and helpless if toys are out of reach and the next day they are able to wriggle their way towards a toy out of their reach. One day they just stare at a toy in front of them and the next day they are hitting it and making it play music nonstop. The list goes on and on....and it is so much fun watching them process the world around them.

This month we celebrated our first St. Patricks Day and our first Easter. Nana, Grandpa, and Uncle Joel were able to visit and celebrate with us for  Easter. Nana made pretty Easter baskets and of course the girls were spoiled by love and toys. We can't wait for many holidays to come where the girls will be able to participate in fun activities that mark each holiday. ask...what are the girls doing this month--Good question!!

Avery Grace: 11 pounds 2.5 ounces (5060 grams)

**Avery is my ray of sunshine. She brings joy to me every minute of every day. She squeals with delight without making a noise, but you can see the excitement roll from her head to her toes. Not only is she sweet and adorable, but she never ceases to amaze us how much she is learning, so quickly.
**Avery likes to talk. Her favorite noise is a "HMMMMMM" noise that she makes, usually when she is sucking on her four fingers. She has decided that sucking on her thumb was not going to cut it, but that an upgrade to four fingers in her mouth was much more the way to go. We frequently hear her talking when she is on her belly, fingers in her mouth, playing with her toys.
**Avery would probably hang out all day if we allowed her to skip her naps because she likes to stay involved in the action. However, she is her father's daughter--waking her up at 8am is bound to be followed by lots and lots of yawning.
**Avery has decided that she is going to put all her calories into growing in length. She is very tall and thin. I always tell her she has dancing legs. Speaking of dancing legs, she will now bear weight on her legs and she continues to absolutely love grabbing onto her feet and bringing them up to her mouth.
**Avery eats anywhere from 4.5-5.5 ounces every 4 hours. We continue to add calories to Avery's bottles to ensure that she has good weight gain from week to week. Avery continues to struggle with reflux and is treated with Prevacid. Avery likes to be swaddled when she is fed--it keeps her busy little body more organized. Avery continues to nurse 2x a day.

**Avery's favorite toy continues to be the gift from Uncle Joel which has a keyboard with lights and sounds. She can play with that toy on her belly for hours and never lose interest! We have two exersacuers. In one of them (with the help of a blanket underneath) she has figured out how to bounce and move from side to side. She sure has a good time and like her momma, that girl never stops moving!
**Avery prefers her tummy pretty much all of the time. No matter how many times you put her on her back, she flips over to her tummy in only a matter of seconds. In her crib she remains in a swaddle me that starts under her arms and keeps her legs contained. She wriggles like a worm on her belly and believe it or not, it gets her places!! Avery has some forward movement these days...very little, but some forward movement. While she intermittently lifts her butt up, her movement is usually due to her long flapper feet that she uses to her advantage to move forward to grab toys out of reach.
*Avery's newest thing that she loves to do is "blowing raspberries." She loves to blow bubbles, make noises with her mouth, and just have a grand ol' time entertaining herself with the simple things in life!
**Avery wears 3 month size clothes but will very soon be wearing 6 month size clothes. She has just recently transitioned from size 1 to size 2 diapers.

Aubrey Hope: 11 pounds 10.5 ounces (5280 grams)

**Aubrey is my "bear-bear." She has gotten this name over time from her great bear hugs and the fact that she has so much love to share. In the mornings I also call her my "morning glory" because, similiar to me, she is an early bird and every morning at 8am she is awake and smiling ready to get the day started.
**Aubrey loves to talk, squeal, laugh, and do pretty much anything that means making noises from her mouth. You name it--whether it be feeding time, play time, or nap time, you can hear Aubrey squealing away, having a whole conversation either with herself, to Avery or to anyone that will listen for that matter! I simply could listen to this for hours. There is no sweeter noise than hearing her happy tunes.
**Aubrey loves a schedule and she keeps us on track just in case we forget. She has an internal alarm clock most days. If it is 9:32am or 1:32pm, she fusses and tells us she needs to go in for a nap. Talk about clockwork!! She loves to play, but also somehow knows that like her momma--naps are a must! (Although naps for me seem to be something of the distant past!). Aubrey frequently calms herself by sucking her thumb, both in the crib and when she is tired during play time.
**Aubrey puts all her calories into adding extra rolls and chins! You got to love a preemie that you can squeeze and give bear hugs to! She definitely is more sturdy than Avery which hopefully will serve her well in sitting up soon.

**Aubrey eats 4.5-6.5 ounces every four hours. Aubrey also gets calories added to her bottles for better weight gain. Similar to her sister, she also continues to struggle with reflux and is treated with Nexium. Aubrey also continues to nurse 2x a day.
**Aubrey's favorite toy is a soft rattle (we have a giraffe and a hippo and she also enjoys her flower rattle too). Without fail, you can give her one of these animal rattles and she will squeal, laugh, raz, and rejoice with all sorts of noise. It is the simple things in life...and she has got it!

**Aubrey has usually preferred being on her back most of the time. I do feel like the added pressure on her belly with tummy time is less comfortable for her and her reflux, but she is starting to enjoy being on her belly more and more recently. She hangs out on the floor with her sister, taking it all in, and literally just allowing Avery to "steal" the toys right in front of her. I'm happy so far that she has been rather patient with Avery. I guess if Avery has to hear her talk all day, the least she can do is share her toys!! Aubrey has some forward movement, more in the form of an "army crawl." While both girls have minimal forward movement, I find it interesting how Aubrey uses her arms to get places and Avery uses her legs and feet to get places.
**Aubrey wears 3 month size clothes but will very soon be wearing 6 month size clothes. She has just recently transitioned from size 1 to size 2 diapers.

Here are a few pictures from this month. I tried to have the pictures span from the beginning of the month to the end of the month (5-6 months old), so you can get an idea how much they have grown in just a few short weeks. You think they are growing before your eyes--imagine how we feel?!

Avery...did you say something?!
Catching a cat nap when in fact I'm supposed to be eating! (I included this picture from the start of the month just so you can compare how much she has changed from the beginning of the month to the end of the month).
Avery studying and learning at a young age.
We are twins right?? Of course we need the same picture!

"Really mom...another picture when I look like this??  I'm not pleased!"

We celebrated our first St. Patrick's Day this month. Thank you Gramma for our bibs and wrist toys.
It starts out young...Avery stealing all the toys.

The girls playing with some of their favorite toys. Avery likes the lights and sounds and Aubrey likes the crinkle noises with her pillow. Notice how Avery is eyeing up Aubrey's toys wondering how she can get her hands on it too!

Playing on the floor and yes, we now interact much more and frequently hold hands if you put us close enough together. Props to momma Carroll for her beautiful quilts.Thank you Pam for the blocks--they LOVE them...especially Avery (can you tell?!)

And yet another time holding hands. Thank you Marsha for these beautiful and cozy we need another reason to snuggle with the girls?! Thank you Courtney for our pretty, soft blankets.
Rub a dub dub.

Last time fitting in these outfits...Aubrey is about to pop!!!!

Thank you Jen for our Easter hats....does Avery have some serious attitude or what?!
Insert video of Aubrey squealing here...yes, Aubrey can be very silly even though her pictures don't seem to capture it.
Easter dresses--Thank you Jan. Here we are back to serious Aubrey.
And there we have it--both girls smiling at the same time!!!
Avery waving hello to everyone and Aubrey wondering if she is going to topple over! Notice her sister has got her arm around her--one goes does the other!

Goofy #1 and Goofy #2!

Family picture...we got 2 out of 4 smiling--not bad!
Girls playing on the floor in Easter bunny outfits from our nanny--at least I got Avery's attention!
Aubrey is having a great time talking and laughing. Once again, Avery has a monopoly on the toys!
Momma and her precious baby girls. Talk about a frumpy Aubrey!
Family visit...and yes it is just about impossible to get everyone to look at the camera...even with a timed picture!
Avery enjoying bathtime.
Nana and Grandpa with the girls.
Uncle Joel feeding Aubrey--they look like they are having a good time!
Playing on our blanket from great-grandmom and nana. Thank you Arlene for our chicadee dolls, we love to hold them.

Both girls finally looking at the camera!
Aubrey carefully plotting her next move and Avery giving her the leeway to take her turn at playing.
Playing on their tummies.
Girls playing with one of their favorite toys (thank you Uncle Joel). Aubrey is a little surprised by yet another picture!


 Time for my favorite pictures of the month.... (Drum roll please!!)
Avery--I love all your funny faces...your expressions are priceless and make my heart laugh!

Aubrey you are such a sweet angel...cozy while you suck your thumb. Thank you Marsha for our flower rattles, we play with them in our cribs while we are supposed to be napping!

Does it get better than this?!