Monday, June 2, 2008

5 Months (and 3 + weeks)

The babies turned FIVE MONTHS old...wait...they're almost six months old now? Yes I KNOW its been a couple of weeks. The info in this one will be of three weeks ago. The six month post is around the corner and there's already new stuff to talk about for that one! This wont be the usual monthly update. The babies just haven't had the time to dictate their portions of the update to me. They have been having too much fun!

PLEASE forgive the delay. I just got my computer back (remember...it pooped out a couple of weeks ago?). Thank GOD for my husband! He got it back to itself and I am LOVING it! Yes, I have had access to a computer this whole time but its not the same. I didn't have all of my bookmarks. I felt like I was in a foreign place. I couldn't really do much of a post (except for the bitchy rants - YUCK!). I just wasn't feeling it.

Just something about MY computer. Maybe its the soft keys instead of the clickety-clack of Brian's keyboard. Who knows?! But now I feel like I am back! Yes, I am totally dorky but I LOVE my computer!
To give you an example...while we were TTC, instead of keeping a journal I kept an EXCEL SPREADSHEET. YES, I am a total dork.

On top of that, I spent much of the month EXHAUSTED and in a funk. De-railed a bit. Honestly, this has been a rough month for me. Could you tell? LOL.
We had been working on getting them to sleep through the night. But, it was almost easier to just get up and do the 4am feed like we were used to. I would wake them to feed at midnight and then I'd go to bed. I'd then wake up at 4am and feed them they would go right back to sleep until the morning feed (which was 8am at the time). It was predictable. It was the same every time. They'd always go right back to sleep. I could get a couple of stretches of sleep. But when we decided to let them sleep longer, it began the whole 'two steps back' feeling. I became more tired because they were waking ME up and something about being woken up to crying is so much more taxing for me. Yes, I was able to sleep for a longer stretch, but I was more tired! By their five month birthday, they were sleeping about six hours at a time (SO MUCH news to report on this front for the six month post!!!). I was, however, WAY more exhausted. I think that really took its toll. It took a while and I reached a few 'slow spots' with progress, but things have definitely improved! I can't wait to get you up to date in the next update (and in a future post about the whole sleep thing).

For the babies, this past month has been one of EXCITEMENT! The babies are giggling, singing, laughing, babbling...I LOVE it all! Its like a symphony when all three get going. What a beautiful sound! The most beautiful sound, in fact. I LOVE their voices!

So many changes have come this month. To begin...

-The mattress in Alexis's and Zachary's crib (still sharing - with a divider) is no longer propped at a 45 degree angle! They sleep on a flat bed and I swear to you the first night, I was SO AFRAID that they would both be puking in their crib! But the reflux issues have improved signifcantly and there hasn't been too much of that. At least not in their crib. :) YAY babies!

-This one is HUGE...NO MORE SWADDLING & NO MORE PACIFIERS to sleep. We're basically only using pacifiers in the car. What a HUGE difference! No more getting up 375 times a night to replace a paci. That was TOO MUCH! And HOW, you ask, did this happen? Well, I have to admit...it was a surprise result of the next big change...

-I started to put all of them on their tummies to sleep. With BLANKETS, no less. Yes, I KNOW the American Academy of Pedatrics stance on sleep position and the risk of S.I.D.S. That is why, up until recently I have always put them on their backs to sleep. But once they showed some upper body strength I felt comfortable enough to put them on their tummies. Their heads were getting flat - even with all the tummy time - and I KNEW they slept better on their tummies. In fact, they have always slept better on their tummies, since the beginning in the NICU. The difference there is that there were machines that would alarm if they stopped breathing so it wasn't a risk. Can I just tell you, they slept BEAUTIFULLY since putting them on their tummies. Especially Alexis. The VERY FIRST NIGHT she slept without being swaddled and without a paci. If you knew how addicted to the pacifier Alexis was, you would understand what at HUGE deal this is! It was her CRACK. That's right...I just compared my baby daughter's pacifier addiction to a hardcore illegal drug. But its true. I had been dreading the day we would eventually de-tox her. Send her to re-hab, if you will. But, by the grace of God, it was easy. Hallelujah...SOMETHING was easy! Up until now, nothing about this has been easy. But now, my sweet little addict has started to sleep better and longer because she was no longer waking up SCREAMING because of losing her paci. And I was no longer RUNNING in to replace it at all hours. Something about being on her tummy is her new crack, though. She cannot go to sleep unless she is laying on her tummy. That's a whole other post. Anyway, tummy sleeping has changed everything and we've never gone back! Its great!

-I shifted their schedule up to fit with their final shift in wake/sleep time - 7am wake & 7pm sleep. This change showed immediate benefits as their moods improved. Currently we are moving to a 4 hour feeding schedule from our current 3 hour schedule. More details on that in the next (six Month) update!

-They are also grabbing at toys now! Its so cute!!! Floor time is so fun with all the rolling around. I swear, sometimes I think they surprise themselves with their rolling. Like, "how did I get in this position and all the way over here???" Its as if they don't realize at the time that they are actually moving themselves. It cracks me up!

Alexis is still in size 1 diapers and has JUST moved into 3 month clothes. My tiny little pretty preemie is growing and is finally able to wear some of the clothes that I've been waiting to put on her. TOO CUTE! She has become the happiest, giggliest smiley-est baby!


Zachary is still in size 2 diapers and is wearing mostly 6 month clothes. He is growing before my eyes and I can't even believe it! Oh, and at his last appointment he was weighed and as I had suspected he weighed less that we had previously thought. His last weight was 14 lbs 12 oz. and NOT 16 lbs. I knew that wasn't right! I mean Jackson is over 17 lbs and it felt like a much bigger difference than one pound. Mom knows!

Jackson is still in size 3 diapers and wearing 6-9 month clothes. He is GINORMOUS. The squish factor is off the charts!!


Gone are the days of spraying puke (now its just good ol' regular spit-up!), colic and constant screaming. Poor little Alexis. It is SO FAR AWAY NOW. I still don't know how we all survived that. Maybe that is why I am so exhausted now...like my body is finally exhaling.

Overall, the babies are SO HAPPY! It is so wonderful to hear their squeals of delight. NOTHING is better.


Solids are coming next month and I am NOT looking forward to it. Honestly, I am TERRIFIED!!!!!!

Now...lemmie throw some pictures atcha!
In no particular order:



I cannot stop kissing this baby!


Zachary and Sister just going over some paperwork at her desk


Jackson gettin' squished right before his bath. Who IS that crazy woman???

My futile attempts to get all three of them looking at the camera at the same time AND smiling produced only these two pictures. Close enough!



Jackson flirting!


Thinking some serious thoughts...


I LOVE being held by my Daddy!


Dueling Jumperoos?




Zachary and his smoochable smile!



Alexis helping mommy fold some clean laundry.



Brothers working on some important business together


Quality time with Emo (Aunt Pamela)...She's reading him a book about POOP.
Hey ladies!
I am too cute, right?

Pretty in pink


Tummy time!

Zachary smiling at Alexis!


Sooooo Handsome... and drooling!

Irresistible sweet boy





SQUISH!


Alexis talking to Daddy

Alexis LOVES kisses from Daddy :)



Happy Zach...

Lovin the swing!



Looks like trouble!

Hey, Zachary...Betcha can't get me!
Whack!
Who ME?

Geez, Mommy...these guys are SO immature!





Sleepy babies just before their morning nap.
Bumbo buddies!
Hey...


I swear I am NOT TIRED... *YAWN* nevermind!
total surprise!
Zachary and Daddy

Just working on some stuff here at my desk mommy...
Can I help you?

Just chillin' in mommy's lap!

I like my Bumbo


Just laying around (on Daddy's arm)






I PROMISE that next month we'll go back to the babies giving you their updates. They are looking forward to it!

Much Love,
Cindy