Our little guys are 7 months old! Time has really started to fly by, and we are loving the stage they are in.
Teddy needed a portrait as well, since he turned one the day before the boys turned 7 months
Spending a lot of time in the bumbos as we started solids!
These bibs have been a big hit with these two (and with me, for cleaning purposes). I suspect they like the bibs just as much as the food they eat while wearing them. Micah in particular loves to rub his gums on them. His first tooth is just starting to poke out today, while Jonah has had his bottom two for more than two months!
Hanging out on their soon-to-be bedroom floor at the new house.
When the babies are fussy, I try to remind myself what life is like from their perspective. Everything is huge and above them. They are completely at the mercy of others for everything from food to sleep to entertainment. It's not easy being a baby!
One day before we moved, I took a drive with the boys and just admired the area we would soon be leaving. I really enjoyed living in Springville, and we will miss our neighbors and ward friends! It was nice living in a small city for once--to leave the house to the smell of farms, to have herds of deer frequenting our yard on a regular basis, and not to worry about traffic. We have so many memories in Springville now!
It has been *so* fascinating to watch the boys progress in their hand-eye coordination. When we first got this play gym, they would just stare at the toys hanging above them. After awhile, they began trying to reach for them, later grasping them, and finally pulling them to their mouths. I can't get over how amazing it is to watch them learn new things!
I love reading with the boys, and so far, they love it, too! We read to them every night before putting them down for bed, and they both smile and try to grab for the book as I read. Jonah in particular gets a huge smile on his face when the book comes out, and he will look from the book to us and just smile. My life has been so blessed by a love of books and reading, and I hope to instill that same love in these two.
We invested in a pack of bibs like these ones to catch the drool that seems to constantly stream from these boys' mouths. With two babies, one is always teething, and the sheer volume of drool never ceases to amaze me.
This was the boys' first time in the exersaucer. They were so timid at first, barely daring to place one foot on the floor. Now they love the exersaucers! They spend a good chunk of time in them each day, and it has been great to allow me some time to wash bottles or make a sandwich.
We moved into our new house in Vineyard on June 10th. We love it! The home, the neighbors, the neighborhood--they're all so wonderful! Our area is full of kids playing outside all day, and we plan to stick around here for the long haul.
We especially love the views from our house. Our backyard essentially turns into a large farm, so we have great views that direction. Down the street a bit is a field that won't be developed because it is wetlands--it provides a lovely view of Timpanogos--and there is a little walking trail to boot! We have gone on lots of walks in our neighborhood, especially since our mailbox is in a cluster near the end of the street.
Views from down the street
At the bottom of the street (and eventually to be developed, I assume) is a huge field which, for a couple weeks, was full of these beautiful purple thistles.
The boys are THRILLED to be on a walk in the 95 degree weather ;)
Left: we learned our lesson from walking in the heat and let them go in their diapers the next time.
Right: walking in the summer rain near Utah Lake
Just a half mile from our house is the shoreline trail at Utah Lake. I love it! The views out across the lake are beautiful, and I'm so glad we have such a great option so nearby for walks and runs!
Last week, we went on a walk up Provo Canyon on the Provo River Trail. It was a nice, cloudy day, and the views weren't too shabby, either!
Exploring more of the shoreline trail. The views to the west are beautiful lake and field views, with mountains behind. The view to the east is a sharp contrast, since it's the remnants of the old Geneva Steel with Timp in the background
This picture is so perfectly *Jonah.* He always has to know what the people around him are doing, no matter the gymnastics required. He is so funny about it! He definitely has FOMO.
This was a pretty rough day with lots of screaming, double blowouts, and ridiculously short naps. I felt desperate to change up the direction everything was headed, so I pulled out the bumbos and found that they fit perfectly (if somewhat snuggly) into our sink. So the boys had their first bumbo sink bath. They loved it so much, and it was a blast to watch them enjoy the stream of water, trying to catch it in their hands.
Like most babies, I'm sure, our boys love fans. On this morning, they hung out watching the fan in our bedroom for a good ten minutes, just smiling and talking about it together.
Last year we went to Utah Valley Parade of Homes. I was pregnant and not feeling so hot at the time, but we still enjoyed it. This year, we braved the heat and the crowds with the boys once again. It was really interesting to see all the different design elements, especially given that Brandon works with homes for a job. The boys were really good sports about it!
Wearing one baby in the carrier in two different situations. On the left is how I grocery shop--wearing one with the other in the carseat in the shopping cart. It doesn't leave much room for groceries, so I will be relieved when the boys are stable sitters and can both sit in the actual cart!
Brandon's first Father's Day with the babies earthside. They are so lucky to have him!
Just being happy in their bouncers!
We get LOTS of attention when we're out due to these two guys, and so many people tell me they look identical. I've actually had people try to convince me that they are identical. It's so funny to me because to us, they look (and act) SO very different. Anyone who has spent a chunk of time with them sees their differences, but strangers never fail to let me know they think they're identical.
These rings have played a big role in our house this past month or so. Both boys do this when they sleep in their carseats--holding onto a ring as they snooze. It's so funny to me!
My sister Sarah came out for a week before our reunion, and it was so fun to hang out with her, her husband, and her daughter before they welcome a new little boy to their family in this next couple weeks! We went to this park in Orem--amazing! We will absolutely be taking the boys there on a regular basis once they are old enough to appreciate it a little more. It's the coolest park I've seen--for parents and kids.
A blurry photo of the boys' first big boy bath. They loved splashing around together.
Teddy was pretty neglected the first few months after the boys were born. We didn't have the time or energy to brush him, so when we took him in for a much-needed grooming, they basically had to bic his hair due to all the matting. He looked like a rat, and we were all traumatized by the experience, so we are trying to do better. Brandon still does the lion's share of work when it comes to Teddy, which I appreciate.
Who needs toys when you have wipes containers?! The best toys are the ones you already have laying around your house.
Mid-June to mid-July was a rough time for these guys. First they caught colds (as evidenced by the mucus in the pictures). Then they caught the stomach bug that got passed around at my family reunion. Then they caught a second stomach bug when Brandon's family came to town and stayed with us. They were troopers through it all.
Jonah caught the second stomach bug much more strongly than Micah. It was heartbreaking, to be honest. We don't hear his "in pain" cry very much (basically just when they get shots at the doctor), so hearing him sob as he dry heaved was just AWFUL. He never falls asleep in my arms, but that day, he would throw up, fall asleep, wake up to dry heave and cry, fall back asleep, etc. It was terrible to watch.
The two or three days that the boys were throwing up, we went through SO MANY TOWELS and outfits covered in vomit. I felt so bad for the little guys!
Mornings in bed with these two--anything and everything goes straight to the mouth, of course.
Tummy time was still NOT a happy time at this point (6 months), but now they are both able to roll both directions. Micah hates being on his tummy (except to sleep). Jonah is rolling all over the place as of this week. His personality makes him very motivated to move, and he is so close to crawling--just figuring out how the mechanics of it work. Micah is more laid back at this point which means he isn't as gung-ho about moving about. It's so interesting to see how their personalities affect what milestones they reach in what order.
Practicing sitting up! They can both sit up unassisted now, but they're wobbly enough that they will fall in any direction if we aren't there to help them when needed.
Jonah's sad faces are hilariously heartbreaking! They pop up frequently after a nap if I try to leave the vicinity. Both boys are becoming much more attached and aware of my presence and absence lately.
A rare (aka one-time) occurrence of sleeping during church. Neither of them like to sleep when there are people and things to watch. 9 o clock church is tough to make it to, and obviously it always interferes with naptime, so we have yet to make it to the second or third hours.
If you look closely, you can actually see remnants of soggy cardboard on Jonah's face from the book I let him play with and then realized he was eating. #imanawesomemom
6 month checkup, and all's well! Micah weighed 15 lbs 12 oz, Jonah weighed 15 lbs 1 oz.
Sporting shades for the first time.
Hanging with Teddy. These guys love Teddy--they love when he licks their hands. Not so much when he licks their faces, which he LOVES to do. He has been such a good sport and so patient with the tugging and grasping of hair that happens each day. My one complaint with him is his lack of spatial awareness. Sometimes he will start backing up, not realizing that there are two babies laying on the floor, so I have to watch him carefully around them still. Despite that, I love that the boys will grow up with a dog to hang out with. They already have fun with him.
Our only 4th of July pictures this year--making a feeding stop before heading to one of two family parties. I really wanted the boys to see fireworks, but they were SO ornery that we had to cut the night short and take them home. I was pretty bummed about it. BUT when we got home, we realized that our view from our windows (since it's just farmland behind) was PERFECT to enable us to watch multiple aerial firework shows happening. The boys loved watching the lights and hearing the sounds of the fireworks. It was perfect! I love experiencing things through their eyes.
Ahh, sleep. It has been so very elusive for us. I know that parenting is a different experience for everyone and I shouldn't compare crosses, but I would often hear parents complaining about a 2 month old who was still getting up twice a night, and I would just sigh. We were still going strong with at LEAST 2 night wakings at 6 months with two babies. I reached a second breaking point at 6 months where I felt so sapped and like I was a fraying thread. I couldn't put the boys down for naps or nighttime without Brandon, and if I tried, it would end in all three of us in tears with a failed nap. It was severely impacting Brandon's ability to work and support us as a family, so we tried sleep training again. It hasn't been the smooth sailing experience most parents seem to report, but it is SO much better than it was. We get a couple hours once the boys are down for the night where we can eat dinner or do things for ourselves (like write a blog post). I know sleep training is a SUPER charged topic, but we did what we felt was best and necessary for our family, and I feel so much more able to parent the way I want to now that I'm not dreading each naptime and spending all my time a sleep-deprived wreck. Hooray for sleep!
Two happy boys who make life so much better! Most twin moms say that life with twins doesn't get easier, it just gets different. I completely disagree. Perhaps they are just too far distanced from the newborn phase, but I feel like life is so much better right now with these two (probably coinciding with their better sleeping habits). I'm not sure how I'll feel once they're rambunctious toddlers, but I feel like I'm actually enjoying life with them now, where before, it was so so hard. Obviously there have been SO many sweet and joyful moments every day since their birth, but overall life was so chaotic and hard. There are still definite struggles, but I feel so much less drained now than I used to.
Kisses (and a wake up call) for Daddy
Micah is such a happy chappy!
Exersaucer time. These boys are fully on formula now (except for the odd defrosted bottle from my small frozen stash). It was tough getting Jonah to start on it because he hated it so much. I honestly felt really bad about it because good gracious, formula tastes so gross! I felt bad asking them to eat something I wouldn't want to eat. But pumping was adding so much stress to my day, and as soon as I tried reducing my pumps per day to two, my body was like, "Oh, we're done here!" And I was actually relieved. I'm so grateful I was able to provide them with breastmilk for 6 months, but it has been a blessing to my mental and physical health to be done with pumping.
Hanging out with cousin Jameson who was born 24 hours after them! We had Brandon's family come stay with us for the Keyes Reunion. Holy craziness. We had only been in our house a couple weeks when everyone came--17 people staying at our house--9 of them children under the age of 7. It was kinda chaotic, but we survived!
Some of Jonah's faces
Some of Micah's faces
Trying lemons for the first time--both of them were fans!
We spend a LOT of time on this couch and on the area rug in front of it.
I'm trying to savor the one-on-one moments with both my boys. I want them to always feel that they have unique, individual relationships with their parents. I always say that they are individuals first, twins second.
Two happy times--post bath and post nighttime sleep.
Just this past couple weeks, we've had the boys eat their solids in the highchairs instead of the Bumbos. It's been so fun, and it makes them look so much older to me.
Our kind friend Heather gave us these balls which we've put in a blow-up pool for the boys to play in. They both love it, though they still topple over fairly quickly.
Still getting that whole sitting up thing figured out
Brother time on the blankets Great Grandma Young made for them
This morning, I was watching the two boys play next to each other, and I just had this very strong feeling come over me that I was so grateful that they have each other. I know many twins moms who just bask in the glory of twins, but I have honestly had few moments where I felt, "I'm so glad we had them at the same time." But now I can feel that. I thought of just one of them playing on their own, and it made me so sad. I love that they always have a playmate.
The other day, I had Micah in my lap and Jonah laying right next to me. Jonah started trying to eat Micah's PJ'd feet. Micah got annoyed and started kicking, and it turned into both boys just laughing with each other for a few minutes. Micah would kick his feet to make Jonah laugh which would in turn make Micah laugh. It was such a sweet and funny moment--the first time that they have made each other laugh on purpose with no help from me or Brandon.
When I stopped pumping, it converged with the boys having a stomach bug, the end of the Maxwell Reunion I had been looking forward to for months, and truly HORRIFIC night of barely any sleep. The day we got home from the reunion, I was suddenly a mess. I got my Dad's nostalgia bug, and I thought maybe it was brought on my that. But I just kept crying and crying at weird times, and I felt so hopeless. I felt like I didn't like being a Mom. It was so sudden, and it lasted about three days. It was HARD. I haven't felt anything like that since my mission. Looking back I realize it was probably primarily my body adapting to the changing hormones from weaning, but WHY does noone talk about that?! I know weaning can be an emotional thing because of the end of a special connection with your baby, but what I went through was a whole lot more intense than that. So just an FYI to any nursing moms out there, weaning can bring on some depression. I'm so grateful that it ended as quickly as it started, but it was such a hard couple of days where I felt such a darkness envelop me.
In the spirit of this age of memes, this is probably what people think life with twins is like...
...THIS is an equally accurate representation of life with twins these days, though.
Jonah has recently had a renewed obsession with his hand, and it is the best! I love watching him hold it up and stare at it. It's so adorable!
Their pose when they see the solids come out and they can't get them in their mouths fast enough
We basically spaced Teddy's birthday which is pretty much the story of his life. He's always an afterthought, poor guy. But we tried to give him lots of extra love once we remembered.
The boys' first time trying frozen yogurt. HUGE fans, obviously.
They are both in the stage where ANYTHING that ANYONE is eating consumes their interest completely. They want it so much! Here Jonah is displaying his very good taste by coveting my bacon.
Just being silly in the bumbos!
This was such a huge day for the boys (and for me)! Their first time riding in the cart! It means that grocery shopping is simplified for me quite a bit, and it's so much happier for them, as well!
Also, a double rainbow :)
Weekly progression photos