Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Third Month: Reflections

My babies are a quarter of a year old.  I can't believe how fast the time goes and how much changes in a mere 31 days!

Things we Learned About Nolan Gerard:
The biggest way that we've gotten to know our oldest son (that is so funny to say, but true ya know) this month is how much he likes to be outdoors.  We knew this before so if he was inconsolable, for example, we would take him on a stroller ride or walk up and down the driveway and it usually helped.  This month, though, this future outdoors men really blossomed.  When at my parents' cottage, we took the boys out to Lake Huron and put their tiny little feet in the water.  Nolan LOVED it.  He was kicking for more.  He sat in the shade fully content and in general just had a calm about him when he was out in nature. 

Nolan also made a lot of progress gripping toys or his binky on his own.

He's become a little lazy, for lack of a better word, during tummy time and uses it as an excuse to put his fingers in his mouth a little easier instead of using tummy time to practice lifting himself up and doing some rolling over.  That's kinda how he is though.  He has a lot of great skills, but does not always want to put in the effort to hone them in.  He wants to be perfect at everything already. 

He is making a lot of noise out loud and still maintains wearing his emotions on his sleeve, well really his face.  He continues to be either really happy or really not, but has made a lot of progress soothing himself when he's upset. 

Finally, Nolan is a drooling machine lately!  I had teeth at three months, so we're all kinda thinking teeth might be in the near future for at least Nolan.

Things we Learned About Judah Matthew:
One of Judah's biggest accomplishment is that he has now rolled over from his back to his stomach.  He's been a pro at the other way around for quite sometime now, but has been doing some rolling over when lying on his back now too.

Judah is still little (only in the 3rd percentile for weight), but continues to grow and grow and grow.  Being two pounds less than your brother will be less and less of anything as they get bigger ;) 

He is making precious coo noises and has been way more smiley this last month than he was before. 

We have found out he does NOT like to be tired and has a hard time dealing with it except to cry and cry and CRY until finally he tires himself out and falls asleep.  He is much more content with going to sleep early on in his tiredness. 

When we were at the cottage the first time, Judah woke up every night needing a little snuggle time with usually both of us.  It seemed like he needed reassurance in this new place that we were all still there.  It was very cute, but tiring ;) 

Judah does not seem to share in his brother's love of the outdoors.  While he loves stroller rides and walks outside, the water was not pleasing to him and even on the cloudiest day, he still acts like it's too bright out. 


Some Firsts:
  • First vacation
  • International travel (cottage is in Canada!)
  • First long car ride (3ish hours to get to cottage)
  • First time in Lake Huron
  • Boys have slept really through the night (until after 7am) twice during this month
  • Our wedding photographer came over and took professional pictures of the boys
Twin Moments:
  • Boys are continuing to notice each other more and more.  Nolan loves to smile at Judah and when they lie next to each other, there is almost always a guarantee of some hand holding.
  • Both boys want to suck on something on their hands, but I'm not sure what it will be yet.  Maybe thumbs?  Either way, they have their hands in their mouth ALL THE TIME now.  In fact, they suck on each other's hands sometimes if they get in the way ;)
  • Nolan gripped a rattle and accidentally flung it and it hit Judah in the eye.  Judah proceeded to cry and had a little cut on his eye for a while.  First of many, many twin injuries to come I'm sure.  The cutest part was the Nolan had a face of concern when it happened. 
  • It's really important to Josh and I that both these boys have their own identity.  I find myself getting a little defensive in my head and want to come to Nolan and Judah's rescue sometimes because people (me included) already make assumptions about the boys and their behavior in three short months.  I will hear or catch myself even starting with "Nolan always does...."  Or "Judah is usually...."  Come on!  They've been alive for 13 weeks!  There is no always or usually anything!  Judah's size gets mentioned a lot and the fact that he's smaller than his brother.  Nolan's personality gets mentioned a lot and the fact that he cries more or seems more upset sometimes than Judah.  We need to be so careful not to always want to compare them even though they are the exact same age.  I know all parents and loved ones wrestle with this once they have more than one child, but I feel like for twins it could be a super touchy subject for the boys as they grow always being compared to one another.  Who did this first and who did that first and who's going to be like this or that.  No one, including Josh or I has bad intentions with this or does any of it on purpose, but it's important to be to always try to keep it in the front of my brain not to stereotype or pigeonhole either one of them as they grow into their own individual person.
Reflections About Being a Mom:
The thing that's been at the forefront of my mind over this last month is going back to work as the school year draws closer.  It is unimaginable to me that I have already been off work since April and even more crazy how close September is becoming.  This month there were a few meetings and such that I attended and it gave me my first glimpse into having to balance career with motherhood.  I truly hated being away from the boys, even if it was only for a few hours, but found it empowering to find myself as something else besides a mom.  It was nice for someone to care about my opinions and ideas in a professional sense.  I have such admiration for all the amazing women and men out there who juggle full time parenting with full time careers.  I feel so lucky to be able to say that I will be able to be a full time parent and a part time teacher this year.  I think that's going to be what will truly be best for me.  As a worry wart, I am already having anxiety for those days where I have to be away from the boys for an entire work day.

I have to give much needed props here to Josh.  There were times, already, where we had to change and finagle his schedule so that I could be a part of some things for work.  That has involved him getting to work incredibly early or staying late.  He amazes me with how hard he works for our family and how willing he is to be a helpful husband and co-parent. 

One of my biggest accomplishments this month was finally taking the time necessary to write a very overdue letter to the U of M Center for Reproductive Medicine announcing the birth of Nolan and Judah and thanking the entire staff for their exceptional service.  The people at that office cared and hoped and shared in all our sorrow and joy during our three year struggle to become parents.  There are infinite examples of times where they went above and beyond to take care of Josh and I as PEOPLE, not just as patients.  I will continue to sing their praises and will recommend anyone to head their way if they have to do fertility treatments like we did. 

Some other small accomplishments is trying to do normal every day things while sporting two infants to take care of.  For example, this month I took my first shower when I was home alone with them. Granted, I put them both in bouncy seats in the bathroom and checked on them many many times, but I still did it.  I also took the boys to school with me several times as I've had to move to a different classroom.  I've been trying to cook and bake (things I've mostly ignored for the weeks previous to now), and I actually went on my very first run in almost a year.  Finally, Josh and I have vacationed with the boys, taking them to my parents' cottage twice this month. 

Every time I try a new thing with them, I am always scared, but once an accomplishment has been had, I feel more confident and comfortable to try it again.  Nolan and Judah continue to surprise me with their adaptability and flexibility.  I feel as though I am probably holding them back from experiences, not the other way around :)   

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