My Darling Babies,
Happy five months (one day early!). My goodness, where is the time going? Here we are at yet another month-iversary, and while it’s hard to believe that you are close to half a year old already, I can barely recognize you two as the tiny newborns we brought home from the hospital five months ago. You’re really growing up!
I won’t sugarcoat it, this wasn’t our best month. We began the month with your four-month shots, which did not go over very well—you both ran fevers for a couple of days afterward, your thighs swelled up (your legs looked chubby for once!), and you were much fussier than normal. It didn’t help that you both had colds at the time, which extended for about two weeks. You both were stuffy and had a hard time nursing and sleeping. Sully got the worst of the cold, but poor Kali lost her voice. It wasn’t fun for any of us.
To add to this month’s challenges, you’ve decided that you no longer want to be my great sleepers. Each night I swaddle you and put you down in your pillow to sleep around 7:30, and you usually sleep decently for two or three hours. But after that, you are up at least every ninety minutes and often more frequently, and nursing is the only thing that will console you. I usually tandem nurse you at night, but if I’m way too exhausted to stay up with you both, I’ll try nursing you one at a time so I can lie down and try to get some rest—because your mama is SO TIRED! By morning, I usually have one baby on either side of me, and I just roll over to nurse whichever one seems to need me most.
Daytime sleep hasn’t gotten any better. You wake up for the day between 6:30 and 7:30, and you both nap pretty predictably for about 45 minutes around 9:30 (most days that’s when we are walking at the gym, so you nap in the stroller). You also nap for half an hour (sometimes a little longer) in your swings beginning around noon. After that, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen: some days neither of you will sleep at all until bedtime; if we’re lucky, one or both of you might nap for an hour or more in the late afternoon, but it isn’t at all predictable, despite my efforts to get you on a regular schedule.
Between the shots and the colds and the lack of sleep, you both had a pretty grouchy month. When we are holding you, you tend to do okay (thank goodness Daddy can wear one of you while working from home!), but the minute we put you down, you cry. I’ve been wondering if you might be teething: though we don’t see teeth yet, you both drool like CRAZY and always have something in your mouth. It could explain your moodiness . . . . You are especially fussy during our family dinner time (6:00); Daddy and I each hold one of you while we eat, which is a challenge because you tend to be squirmy and screaming. We look forward to more peaceful meal times once you can join us in eating foods (maybe next month!).
While some days it seems like it might be easier to just hunker down at home, we get out almost every day. Unfortunately you don’t like being in your car seats/stroller unless you’re moving, so outings besides walks can be a challenge. When we go to Bible study, we sit in the family room so I can tandem nurse you while listening to the sermon, and on playdates I usually end up wearing one of you and holding the other. As long as you are in my arms, you tend to be okay, but you’re getting so big and so active, I don’t know how much longer we will be able to make that work! When you do have to be in your car seats, I usually give you each a blanket, and fidgeting/sucking on the blankies will often soothe you for a bit.
You both are still breastfeeding champs and we’ve managed to keep you fed and growing without any formula. On the rare occasions when I’m away from you (mostly just Tuesday nights, when Grandma and Grandpa babysit so Daddy and I can go to community group), you take bottles of pumped milk. From what I hear, you suck your bottles down and are even able to hold them on your own!
It’s been fun to introduce you to some new activities this month. We got out the play mat you got for Christmas and you seem to really enjoy it, especially if you are in it together. You also are showing some interest in sitting in your Bumbo chairs: although you don’t last very long in them, you look SO cute sitting side by side. You especially like sitting in your Bumbos in front of the mirror or the television. You are both showing a lot of interest in stuffed animals (which always go immediately in your mouths) and you are big fans of your musical octopus that plays songs when you touch it. We put it in the playpen with the two of you, and you manage to keep it going by touching or rolling over it.
Your big brother remains absolutely obsessed with you. He’s great at helping me calm you down in the car or at home: he talks to you in a baby voice, brings books to read to you or toys for you to play with, and makes up lullabies that he sings to you. He can be a bit too physical, so we have to monitor his cuddle time, but he is constantly asking if he can touch or snuggle with you. He asks to wear his Best Brother shirt nearly every day, and every time we take his picture he shouts, “Best Big Brother!” I just love how proud he is of the two of you, and I’m glad that you have a big brother to look out for you as you grow up.
You are showing more and more interest in each other. You almost always hold hands when you are nursing (that is my favorite thing ever!), and are more interactive with each other when you are hanging out in the crib, play mat, nursing pillow, or Bumbos together. You still don’t set each other off crying, in fact the opposite is true: if one of you is crying, the other tends to be calm (or, at night time, if one of you is fussy the other will sleep through it). It’s only when I get the squeaky wheel settled down that the other twin wakes up or begins to make a fuss. We don’t quite understand why or how this is the case, and I haven’t decided if it’s helpful or frustrating that you don’t usually get upset at the same times.
My Beautiful Joy, You have matured so much these past couple of months. Though this month was rockier than the previous one, you are much more mellow than when you were a newborn.
In general, you are a better sleeper than your brother and much more likely to fall asleep spontaneously. Your are also more likely than your brother to be calm on your own in the play mat or crib and you don’t get fussy as often. However, when you get upset, it escalates quickly and it can be really hard to settle you down, even with nursing.
You continue to be my cuddle bug; in fact, we’ve taken to calling you Cuddly Kali because you just like to be held and snuggle into our arms. You often fool us into thinking you’re asleep when we hold you because you get so calm.
Your smile is so sweet and so lovely, and I love that you are showing it to us more and more. You always grin when I stroke the sides of your face, or when I look you in the eyes and tell you that you are smart, strong, and beautiful. You’re not very chatty, but you will occasionally coo when I talk or sing to you. You just love it when Daddy squeezes you into a ball and calls you “peeeenut!”
You are such a strong girl! You’ve got an amazing grip and can keep your head up when I pull you up to sit. You can even hang in the air from Daddy’s hands, holding on all by yourself. You rolled from your back to your tummy for the first time last week, and once you’re on your tummy you prop yourself up on your elbows—your favorite position.
If we leave the house, we ALWAYS put a bow on you and you don’t seem to mind them at all. They often fall down over your eyes, and most times you don’t even complain, even when the bow is completely blocking your vision. You are learning early that we girls must make sacrifices to look good!
Kidding aside, I just love dressing you up in girly clothes and talking about all the fun girl activities we will do when you get older, but whether you end up being the girliest of girls or the biggest tomboy of them all, my prayer for you is that you will be kind, gracious, and confident—just a few of the qualities I believe are most beautiful and God-honoring in a young lady.
Clothing Size: 0-3 months
Diaper Size: Size 1! (Finally graduated from the newborn diapers.)
Eye Color: brown
Nicknames: Cuddly Kali, Joy, Girly, Girl, Sister, Sister Bear, Lindy, Princess
Likes: snuggling, the glider swing, the play mat, music octopus, stuffed animals, having your face stroked, “peanut game” with Daddy
Milestone: rolling from back to tummy, holding your own bottle
My Handsome Bear, You always keep your mama guessing! Long gone is the calm, easygoing newborn Sully, and in his place is a boy who has very high highs and very low lows. In general, you have been fussier than your sister this month. However, when you are in a good mood, you are the happiest baby I’ve ever met.
You have a huge, goofy grin that is just like your daddy’s when he was a baby (Granda shared some of your dad’s baby pictures, and you look JUST like him!). Your smile comes out when we talk, or when we fly you above our heads (you LOVE that), or when Daddy plays his “peeeenut” game with you, and every morning when I pull you out of your swaddle.
You continue to be pretty chatty, and you have the absolute best baby chuckles. Your laugh is quite possibly my favorite sound in the entire world, it positively melts me.
You are extremely observant and are always turning your head to take in the world around you. (This can make it difficult to wear you in the baby carrier, or to get you to calm down for a nap.) You are VERY squirmy; some part of your body is always moving, whether it’s your hands when you are sitting or on your back, or your feet when you are on your tummy (you really don’t like tummy time and use your feet too push forward, or to turn over to your back). Holding you is a challenge because you are always moving!
You’re still a bit of a bobble head and don’t have the neck control of your sister. You also haven’t rolled from back to tummy yet (but I think that might be because you don’t like being on your tummy, so there’s zero motivation to try). However, your legs are very strong and you like to be held in standing position.
I have a hard time predicting what your personality will be. I suspect you will be very curious, very energetic, and hopefully very joyful. Your dad and I talk often about how your face exudes joy and how we hope that sense of happiness and wonder will never leave you. My prayer for you is that you will be a courageous, compassionate young gentleman who loves God and loves others.
Clothing Size: 0-3 months
Diaper Size: Size 1! (Finally graduated from the newborn diapers.)
Eye Color: still blue!
Nicknames: Smiley Sully, Bear, Sulls, Brother, Brother Bear, Sweet Boy
Likes: sucking your hand, the glider swing, music octopus, stuffed animals, watching the tv, Daddy’s “peeenut” game
Milestone: holding your own bottle
Kalinda and Sullivan, though the long days and sleepless nights have been a challenge this month, I start and end every day thanking God for the honor of being your mom. You are teaching me so much already, and I delight in watching you grow and change each month. Along with your big brother, you are the greatest blessings of my life and I couldn’t possibly love you more.
Love Always and Forever,