Tuesday, April 22, 2014

11 Month: Reflections

This can't possibly be my last reflection post before they turn ONE?!?! WHAT?!?!

Things We Learned About Nolan Gerard:
Nolan is certainly preparing himself to take his first steps.  A couple of weeks ago, I bought a little walker thing for them to practice and play with.  Nolan was skeptical about it for a day and now pushes that thing all around the house.  He gets so frustrated and mad if he runs into the wall or furniture and can't continue walking with it and the look of pride on his face is just priceless :) 

Nolan is now skilled at doing a few things that we wish he wouldn't: he can open the refrigerator, stand up in his high chair, knock over shelves in our entertainment center, open up the diaper pail, take the lid off, and reach in to find dirty diapers (gross), and climb over the ottoman in their bedroom that I usually use to barricade them away from their book shelf.  This last one ultimately results in him knocking over (or trying to knock over) every book on their shelf.  He LOVES to try to figure any sticky situation out.

Nolan loves to play peak-a-boo, patti cake, and have songs sung to him like the itsy-bitsy spider.

Nolan has an attachment disorder especially with Josh.  Lately, when he leaves for work, especially if I'm already gone, he will cry.  Also, when Josh leaves the room, he will cry.  This has given us a lot of flashes into what life might be like in the next year or two when he really understands that we'll have to leave sometime; it's not going to be pretty.

Things We Learned About Judah Matthew:
Judah under went sleep boot camp this month.  After many nights of Judah waking up in the 4:00s or in the 5:00s and needing to sleep with a parent and taking only 20-40 minute naps and being a tired disaster at night, we decided, like the crazy people we are, to research and figure out a way to help him sleep better.  If he were a singleton, we would've let him struggle a little bit in his crib and work a little more on self-soothing, but when you have a brother sleeping in the crib next to you and you love to crawl over and shake the crib just to wake him up, problem solving has to get a little more creative :) 

One solution we came up with was the nap the boys in separate spaces.  So now, whoever seems more tired and ready to fall asleep first, gets their crib, the second one sleeps in the Pack N Play in the basement.  This has worked really well because they can't wake each other up. 

We also realized that we were giving Judah some sleep associations that probably weren't the best.  When he was much smaller, the only way he seemed to be able to go back to sleep in the night once awoken was if he was nursed by me.  We fixed that sleep association by figuring out that he also really liked to be rocked back to sleep... problem solved (at least we thought).  We then realized that he could not put himself back to sleep on his own because he needed now to be rocked....ooops.  So we spent this month trying to break him of that association and I'm happy to say we were successful.  For about two weeks, I charted every single part of both Nolan and Judah's sleep patterns... what time they went down, if they stirred or woke up during a nap or during the night, if they were able to put themselves back to sleep, and what time they really woke up from a nap or from a night of sleeping.  With this data, Josh and I were able to see that  

Both Judah and Nolan are babbling a lot, but I think Judah is actually starting to know that "Mama" is me and "Dada" is Josh. Although he may not talk as often or as loudly as his brother, he's been seen talking to things like stuffed animals, Prim, and pictures hanging on the wall, which is so cute. 

Judah can successfully get a toy back from Nolan if he really really wants it.  It's nice to see him have some power over Nolan :)

Some Firsts:
4-6-14 and 4-7-14 ~ Nolan and then Judah stood up in their high chair and freaked us both out!

Twin Moments:
The boys have been playing a lot more together.  They follow each other around and can be caught chatting a little, sharing toys, and making each other laugh.  It's precious :)

Reflections About Being a Mom:
This month I've been focused on preparing for our vacation on spring break for St. Augustine, Florida.  I have a good friend getting married in California in July so we thought taking a shorter flight without a time change might be good way to see what traveling might be like.  Josh and I LOVE traveling and are hopeful to be able to show our boys the world, but in order to do that, we've got to pull that first vacation trigger. 

I'm also continuing to do the Bikini Body Mommy 90 Day challenge and have passed the halfway point.  Although I haven't seen much change on the scale, I am certainly in better shape and might be more toned than I've been in my entire life.  It's not easy for working busy parents to work out so the fact that I have been working out six days a week continues to be incredible.  Nolan and Judah (and Josh) have been so supportive.  While I work out, Nolan and Judah laugh, try some of the moves, or  climb on me making it more challenging to do the exercises.  It feels selfish to take up time doing this, but I know in the long run, it's great for me and it will be important for Josh and I to model healthy behaviors. 

Finally, Nolan and Judah's first birthday has been on my mind a lot.  I feel like I just held them in my arms for the first times and now they're trying to walk and talk... WOW.  I know this time will be an emotional one for us with all that we went through and all the happiness we've found being parents. 

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