To My Two Beautiful Blessings,

We did it, you guys, we survived the fourth trimester! You are 25% through your first year, which doesn’t seem possible. As sad as I am to think of how quickly time is flying, I have been working hard at savoring every precious minute of your infancy. I will miss these newborn days, but am thankful for all of the beautiful memories we have created together, and that I have been emotionally and mentally present for all of them.

After a rough second month with you two, this third month was nothing short of magical. I feel like we have turned a corner in the last couple of weeks: you cry SO much less and have frequent moments of wakefulness in which you are calm and happy (whereas in previous months, if you were awake and not eating or being held, you were crying). You both still really like to be held, but it’s nice to feel a *little* less needed all the time.

Until this past week, you seemed totally ambivalent toward one another, but over the past few days it seems like you are starting to become aware of each other. You watch each other carefully when you are together and cry if one of you is getting attention and the other isn’t. Often, one of you will cry, so I will pick up the squeaky wheel and then the other twin immediately switches to crying as well, as though you have a pact that one of you needs to be fussy and it doesn’t really matter which one! 

As frustrating as it can be when it feels like we are playing musical chairs twins, it makes me so happy to know that you recognize each other and that you will ALWAYS have one another. What a gift you each have, and I look forward to seeing how your relationship develops as you get older.

Perhaps the biggest change this month is that you both are consistently sleeping through the night! I’m pinching myself because I know this simply can’t last—after all, your big brother still doesn’t sleep through the night—but we have now had more than a week of nights when you both have slept 7-9 hours AT THE SAME TIME! I usually swaddle and nurse you both around 8:30. You nurse to sleep by 9:00 and I put you down (in your nursing pillow on my bed), where you sleep without a peep until 4 or 5. (This morning Kali slept until 6, and Sully until 7!) I’ve actually been having to get up to pump during the night because you are asleep and I need some relief (plus, when we go that long between feedings, I tend to flood you with milk, which leads to distress for ALL of us). You don’t sleep great after that first long stretch, but we stay in bed and nurse off and on until I get up with big brother around 7:30. Then, after a quick feeding and diaper changes, you generally go down for a cat nap before we start our day around 9. 

While your nights have become pretty predictable, your daytime habits are still all over the place. We haven’t gotten you on a good naptime schedule yet and you generally cat nap throughout the day, without any longer stretches of sleep. The evening hours (between 5 and bedtime) are still especially rough, with both of you awake and fussy through dinner and Charleston’s bedtime. But it’s a small price to pay for those glorious nighttime sleeps! 

Another big change this month is that you are able to go longer between daytime feedings, and I’m often able to soothe you through rocking and bouncing and holding rather than immediately assuming you need to eat. When you do nurse, you are pretty efficient (although neither of you will ever complain about being camped out on my breast when you’re done taking in milk). We rarely do bottles, but when I’m out and Daddy feeds you, he says that you can each down a full five ounces of breastmilk in no time!

Not surprisingly, you are also going through fewer diapers (around 7 per day for each of you), with only about half of those being dirty diapers. It is so nice to not be changing you both every hour. 

Neither of you have ever been big spitter-uppers, having both only spit up a handful of times, and never very much (with Christmas Day being an exception for Sully, who spit up—happily—all morning long). However, you both need to be thoroughly burped after feedings. You also both drool a LOT, and our shirts are frequently soaked after holding you.

I’ve been surprised by how much more alike you are becoming. You look a lot more like each other now that Sully’s face has filled out more, and at nighttime when I can’t see your coloring, I sometimes have trouble telling you apart. Your cries are becoming less distinct, and even your behavior has gotten more similar as Kali has mellowed out and Sully has become a bit more needy. Sully has joined Kali in the major thumb sucking habit (Kali still does it more) and you both have an awesome pouty lip. For a while Kali was my night owl and slept during the day while Sully slept better at night, but your sleep rhythms seem to be syncing up as well. I had expected you to become less similar as you got older, so this has been a very interesting development.

We didn’t go to the doctor this month so I have no idea how much you weigh, but you are close to growing out of your newborn clothes, and it’s getting harder to hold you both at the same time, so I know that you have grown. With this growth has come more head and neck control (Sully is more of a bobblehead than Kali, whose neck is VERY strong) and two pairs of sturdy legs. Your movements are less jerky and more intentional, and you are able to grasp objects and track our movements with your eyes.

Your big brother is still smitten with the two of you and wants to touch and hold you as much as possible. We have to remind him to tone down the energy when he’s around you, but he is fantastic with you both and has never indicated the slightest jealousy or resentment. He is incredibly proud to be “The Best Big Brother” and I am so thankful that you are growing up with him to look up to.

Last week we had ultrasounds done on your hips because apparently breech babies—especially twins—are prone to hip dysplasia. Thankfully your hips both look great, but the ultrasound itself (done at a clinic downtown) was a memorable experience. You looked so tiny on that giant table, being probed with a wand that was almost as long as you are. Sully was fantastic during his testing, sucking away at a pacifier (which you don’t get at home) and staying still for the whole scan. Predictably, Kali provided us with a little more trouble: she was so squirmy that it took three of us to hold her down, and she would not be soothed by a pacifier (she licked off the sugar water and then immediately spit it out).

At the end of the hip scan, the doctor commented on how well we all seemed to be doing and that she was impressed I was able to navigate the appointment for the two of you on my own. She said “I think every mom of twins deserves a reward,” and I told her that the reward is that I GET TWO BABIES! And I absolutely believe that: I wouldn’t trade the experience of parenting twins for anything, and I truly see you—both of you, both at once—as the best reward a mom could ask for.

My Sweet Sullivan, you are turning into one of the happiest, sweetest babies I have ever met. You continue to be observant, always wide-eyed and taking in the world. Each time we carry you into a new room, a look of wonder comes over your face. You don’t make eye contact as much as your sister because you are always busy looking around. But when we can catch your eye, you smile and coo like crazy. You are a chatty boy and we absolutely love it.

You have gotten more needy this month, crying about the same amount as your sister, and this has come as a relief to me: before, you were almost too docile, and I worried that I wasn’t giving you enough attention because you simply didn’t demand it. Now, you are not a difficult baby by any means, but you are revealing that you really do like to be held and talked to and aren’t always okay on your own. No complaints here, as I sure love my Sully snuggles!

Unlike your sister, you are not a fan of tummy time and struggle and kick whenever I put you on your stomach. However, you love being in the glider swing—and prefer it to be at the highest setting! You will camp out there for hours, gliding away and smiling every time we walk by. I wonder what is going through your head in those moments, and imagine that you are thinking all sorts of genius thoughts that one day soon you will have the words to share with us.

When your big brother was a baby, I sang “I Love You Forever” to him every night and it became “our song.” This month I decided that you and Kali needed songs of your own. After some thinking, I settled on “Love Me Tender” for my Sully Bear. You really have made my life complete, fulfilled all my dreams, and I love you so. I will always love you, sweet boy.

NICKNAMES: Sully Bear, Bear, Sulls, Brother, Sully Wully (Grandma’s nickname for you)

EYE COLOR: holding strong with baby blue

FAVORITES: the glider swing

DISLIKES: being on your tummy, having clothes pulled over your head

CLOTHING SIZE: newborn (but newborn clothes are starting to be too short)

MEMORABLE: your poop has been GREEN for the last couple of weeks; we aren’t sure why, but the doctor said it’s nothing to worry about

MILESTONES: consistently smiling and cooing, regularly sleeping through the night

My Beautiful Joy Girl, I say it every month, but I simply can’t get over the fact that I HAVE A DAUGHTER! This month I’ve been thinking a lot about all the fun girly things we will get to do together, like tea parties and getting our nails done and going to see The Nutcracker. You received your first baby doll (handmade by Grandma!) for Christmas, and I am giddy as I imagine you playing dolls and dress up and princess, the things that I haven’t gotten to experience yet having only been a Boy Mom for the last five years! 

The change in your personality this month has been drastic. You no longer scream every time you are in your car seat or stroller, and while you still are a huge fan of being held, you are frequently content doing tummy time on your own (though you do NOT like the swing or being on your back). When you do get worked up, you still get a look of pure terror on your face that absolutely breaks my heart.

You are stingy with your smiles and your coos, but Daddy is often able to get them out of you. You are still a huge Daddy’s Girl: we even had a two-week stretch this month when the only way you would go to sleep at night was on your daddy’s chest, but thankfully we seem to have moved past that stage. I know you and Daddy are both sleeping better now, but I have a feeling he misses his nighttime Kali cuddles.

I had no trouble deciding on a song for you: “You Are My Sunshine” fits so well, especially since your full name means Joyful Sunshine. You add light and love to each day, and though you will never know how much I love you, I will continue pouring my love into you today, and tomorrow, and next year, and for many years to come.

NICKNAMES: Kallie Girl, Kali Joy, Joy, Joy Girl, Girlie, Sister, Lindy (Grandma’s nickname for you)

EYE COLOR: brown (yep, they officially have changed)

FAVORITES: tummy time, sucking your thumb

DISLIKES: sleeping on your back, having clothes pulled over your head, hearing Arlo bark

CLOTHING SIZE: newborn (but you are starting to outgrow your newborn clothes)

MEMORABLE: you always sneeze twice, and then prepare for a third sneeze that turns into a small coo; you get the hiccups after almost every feeding

MILESTONES: consistently smiling and cooing, regularly sleeping through the night

This month involved a lot of firsts for you both, including your first Thanksgiving AND your first Christmas. We took you to church with us on Christmas Eve, Daddy and I each holding one of you through the service, and I can’t recall a happier moment—singing Christmas carols, reflecting on the birth of our savior, reflecting on Mary with her promised baby in her arms while holding two babies of my own. . . it was total bliss. The joy and gratitude I feel over getting to be your mom is utterly indescribable. THANK YOU for being my very favorite Christmas gifts this year.

Love Always and Forever, Your Mom

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