Happy Four Months To My Favorite Babies!
Life with you is flying by, and it just keeps getting better! This past month was our fastest month yet, and also our smoothest. While there were no big changes or milestones, Month Four was all about growing and maturing. Perhaps my favorite part of this maturation (besides the fact that you cry a lot less than you used to, and don’t need to nurse as frequently) is that you both seem to recognize Daddy and me and follow us with your eyes whenever we enter the room. It makes my heart sing to think that you are starting to know who we are!
You both are getting a lot bigger (finally out of newborn clothes!), and while you are still very small compared to other babies your age, you look and act like the four-month-olds that you are—which always throws new people for a loop! You have great neck control (Kali more than Sully), like to stand with our assistance, can grip our hands tightly, and are close to being able to hold our fingers to be pulled to sitting. You aren’t sitting on your own yet, but do well propped against the couch or a chair. While you aren’t fully crawling, you both can scootch your way across the crib on your bellies, and you are VERY close to rolling from back to tummy.
Because your big brother has never been a great sleeper, I had no idea that babies really could sleep as well as you do (I think I assumed that parents of “good sleepers” were exaggerating). Our bedtime routine begins around 7:45 or 8:00 (right after doing books and prayers with Charleston): I change and swaddle you both, dim the lights, nurse you for about twenty minutes, then place you in your nursing pillow on our bed. You usually will fuss for a minute or two before falling asleep, and you almost always stay asleep for several hours. Though every night is different, you generally wake up around 2:00 or 3:00 to tandem nurse for twenty minutes, but go back down in your pillow and don’t wake up until around 6:00, which is usually when you are up for the day (occasionally you will cat nap a bit after our 6:00 nursing session).
Daytime sleep is a different story. We haven’t been able to nail down a good naptime schedule, and you both cat nap throughout the morning. Your big nap for the day usually begins around 12:30 and sometimes lasts three or four hours, though more often it’s an hour or two, and sometimes you don’t nap at all. We’ve tried various sleeping arrangements, but usually Kali naps best on her tummy in the crib, and Sully naps well in the swing. We’ve found the mantra “sleep begets sleep” to be true: one good nap leads to another, which usually results in a better night. Unfortunately, our schedules aren’t consistent from day to day, so it’s hard to find a sleep routine that works well for every day.
I absolutely LOVE watching the two of you together. You are becoming more aware of each other, looking at one another when you’re together and noticing when the other one is absent. People often ask if you set each other off crying, but the opposite is true: if one of you is crying, the other calmly observes; it’s only when the squeaky wheel gets attention (and the crying ceases) that twin #2 gets upset. We haven’t been able to figure out if this is because you prefer to be together and are comforting each other, or if the twin not getting attention is jealous; maybe a little bit of both? The other sibling dynamic that I have loved seeing is between you and your big brother. He grows more interested in you every day and is CONSTANTLY asking to touch or hold or snuggle with you. He sings you songs, “reads” picture books to you, and does everything he can to keep you calm and happy. You don’t realize it yet, but you are so very fortunate to be growing up with a big brother who loves you so much and will always look out for you.
You still aren’t showing much interest in toys, though we keep offering you stuffed animals and rattles. You have a pair of rattles that strap onto your wrists, and those intrigue you but don’t provide much entertainment. You both really like the stuffed animals that hang over your swings, it’s so cute to watch you bat at them. And speaking of swings, you are huge fans of those, especially when they are playing music.
This month we’ve gotten out as a family a lot more. We started bringing you to church with us, and it’s going great! Daddy and I each wear or hold one of you, and in four Sundays of doing this, I’ve only had to leave the sanctuary one time for a fussy baby. (I won’t say which one of you was the culprit, but it wasn’t Sully. . . .) We also bring you to community group (same routine, Daddy and I each take one baby), and I bring you everywhere with me—to MOPS, playdates, Bible Study, and occasionally on errands. Thankfully we have lots of mommy friends who are happy to hold one of you if you both get needy at the same time, and I’ve gotten pretty adept at holding both of you at once when I need to. I’ve also gotten much less self-conscious about the stares and strange comments we get from strangers. Most people just want to comment on how cute you are or how “brave” I am to be out with three kids, or share a story about their cousins/neighbors/siblings/kids who are twins. I’ve grown to enjoy these interactions and assure everyone that you are a double blessing and that I am so thankful for our little family circus!
My Beautiful Joy, this month you truly lived up to your nickname! Seemingly overnight, you transitioned from needy and “emotionally turbulent” to calm, smiley, and sweet. You startle easily and can seem a bit shy in new situations, but are also great at self-soothing.
You have the most beautiful smile and show it often. It’s more of a sly grin than Sully’s big goofy one, and it reminds me a lot of how Charleston used to smile—hesitant, but genuine and maybe a tad smug.
You have become quite the chatter box! You sigh and coo constantly; in fact, I frequently wake up in the middle of the night to hear you cooing away! You “talk” whenever you hear me reading aloud or praying, and often during a sermon at Bible study or church. Thankfully nobody seems to mind hearing sweet baby coos interrupting the service!
You are definitely the cuddliest of my three kids. You snuggle into our chests when we hold you, and you often wrap your tiny hand around my arm which absolutely melts me. When you and Sully are both nursing at the same time, you frequently reach out to hold his hand (though he usually pushes you away).
You really like being on your tummy. Though you’ve gotten better at being content on your back, you much prefer your stomach and usually nap in that position, hand in your mouth, sucking away. During official “tummy playtime,” you often push up to your elbows so you can check out what’s going on around you.
This month we received a huge bin of hand-me-down girl clothes from our friend Rainee and her daughter Lydia, who’s a little older than you. It’s been so fun to have plenty of pink outfits, dresses, and bows to dress you up in! I know you’ll likely be a tomboy growing up with two brothers, but I plan to do everything I can to foster your feminine side—and for now, that involves dressing you in the girliest outfits I can!
When I told Charleston that you might like to play differently than him and Sully, he began to brainstorm things to do with you. He talked about letting you play princess and having tea parties together (even though he doesn’t like tea). While there is a lot that scares me about raising a daughter (especially as we look ahead to the tween and teen years), there’s a lot that has me excited, too.
Weight and Length: 9 pounds 2.5 ounces, 21.5 inches
Eye Color: brown Clothing Size: 0-3 months Diaper Size: newborn
Likes: tummy time, sucking your hand, snuggles
Dislikes: hearing Arlo bark, when your bow falls in your eyes
My Handsome Bear, we had a very interesting shift this month: as Sister grew more calm, you became much more needy. It’s been strange to watch my previously mellow boy transition to the fussier twin. You are still fairly easy going, but you are more often the baby who needs my attention, getting upset when you’re in the stroller of if I leave you alone for too long.
Though your moods have been more dynamic, you still have some incredibly happy moments. Your smile is enormous and your face positively lights up when you get into a happy mood. You also are a great chuckler, and trying to make you laugh has become my new favorite passtime. Those baby giggles are simply the best sound in the world.
You are completely obsessed with your hands! Whereas Kali likes to suck her hands, yours are always waving in front of you. We joke that you will be an orchestra conductor because you always having them swinging in front of you like you are directing a symphony.
It’s not just your hands that hold your attention. When we are out, you take in everything you see. You are always turning your head to observe what’s around you, but when something grabs your attention, you fix your steely blue eyes on it and won’t let it out of your sight. I have a feeling you are going to be a very deep thinker like your dad.
You are still scrawnier than Kali, despite the fact that you seem to eat more than her; I have a feeling that’s because you are always moving and burning lots of energy. You are a total wiggle worm and I suspect you will be keeping me on my toes once you become fully mobile!
You LOVE having things in your mouth. You may not suck your hands as much as your sister, but anything else is fare game, whether it’s a stuffed animal or a shirt or Kali’s arm. And because you are a heavy drooler, anything that comes in contact with you is immediately soaked!
Several people have commented that you are your brother’s Mini Me. While your personalities are very different, and your coloring is not at all the same, you do look a LOT like Charleston. I’m so curious to see whether you grow to look more or less like him as you both get older. Whether or not you continue to look the same, I have no doubt you two will be great pals. Charleston is already making plans for the room you two will share!
Weight and Length: 9 pounds 2.5 ounces, 22.5 inches
Eye Color: blue Clothing Size: 0-3 months Diaper Size: newborn
Likes: being in your swing, looking at your hands
Dislikes: having clothes pulled over your head
Kali and Sully, you two are the most amazing blessings that I never would have thought to ask for. Being your mom is a challenge, but also exciting, empowering, and more rewarding than I could have imagined. I love you both so dearly and thank God every day that He chose me to be your mom.
Love Always and Forever,