Parker & Jolie- 5 Months

My girls are 5 months!  Well.. 5 months and four days if you want to get technical.  My days/weeks/months are flying and I hardly realized that it was already May 6th.  My sweet girls are growing and changing so quickly.  We were shopping with the girls last weekend and Jordan caught himself looking at Parker and asking me "When did she start this?  Like, yesterday while I was at work?"

We ask each other this question a lot. 

What's New
Everyday there is something different to note about these two.  Jolie has totally turned into this personality filled little person.. with a voice that out speaks her sister to no end.  Who ever thought that a voice like that could come out of a little bit like her.  Parker is as smiley as ever and will spread a grin for anyone that will talk sweetly to her.  Arms and legs go flailing when it is time to eat, and not to forget her random 'HEY' to get your attention if your back it turned to her.  They know exactly what to do to get a response out of their daddy and me- and especially love it when we are so tickled by their actions.  It makes them laugh and ham it up even harder.  They have begun to interact with one another, but nothing more than blank stares and grabbing the hand of the other or perhaps the chewing of a leg (Jolie particularly loves Parker's chunky thighs).  I can't wait for baby jabber during play time.  Jolie recently discovered how to role from back to tummy and will stay there for the majority of the time.  Although Parker hasn't quite mastered the back-to-tummy roll, she it totally interested in watching her sister do it.  I have learned that when they play, Parker has no interest in the hanging toys or lights or music.  All eyes are on Jolie and what she's doing- which mostly consists of slobber/chewing/yelling/yelling/slobber/chewing.  Pretty intriguing, I know. 

No teeth just yet.. that I can tell, but these two drool like crazy and often times momma and dad end up with a face full of slobber after attempting to get some 'sugars'.  They say teeth can be months away once the signs of teething start.. but my goodness with as much as these girls chew and drool I would think that the breakthrough of a tiny pearly white isn't too far off.

This month didn't warrant a check-up, but I called anyway to see about getting in just to get them weighed.. I was super curious to know how much these girls had gained over this past month!  I had a minor case of 'mommy-anxiety' early in the month- worrying if the girls were eating enough, but my mind was put at ease with the numbers on the scale.  Jolie officially landed herself at the 4th percentile for weight at 11 pounds and 14 ounces.  Parker is also at 4th percentile, but weighing a little over 13 pounds.  Still, the girls are about a pound apart as they always have been. 

I have continued with the girls on the same schedule during my work week and nursing them at 4am, 5pm-6pm, and then before bed at 8:30pm-9:30pm. They take bottles for three feedings (8am, 11am, and 2pm) while I'm at work.   Earlier this month, Jordan and I reevaluated how much they were getting at each bottle feeding and how often they finished their bottles versus what is appropriate for age, and how much did they spit up after eating.  You can overfeed a baby on a bottle, and that is the last thing I wanted to do.  So, we ultimately set the girls back about a 1/2 an ounce each and now get between 5 and 5 1/2 ounces at the three feedings while I'm at work.  They are perfectly content and growing so well- so cutting back a little hasn't developed into a problem.  Our pediatrician told us an easy rule of thumb for feeding from a bottle: 5 months, 5 ounces; 6 months, 6 ounces and so on.  Of course, every baby is different, and we may be advancing them to more in the weeks to come, just depending on their need.

At around 4 and a half months the girls decided that they were full and finished after about 10 minutes of nursing.  They did this for a about a week- and that week was the week of hell for me. I thought for sure the girls were through with nursing, losing interest in me completely, and they were starving.  I was an emotional wreck.  I cried multiple times a day thinking the absolute worst- when in reality none of these things were happening.  They just became very effiecent and were in fact full and satisfied after just 10 minutes.  They were also emptying my breasts, therefore getting a full feeding in literally half the time they had been nursing before.  Still a little freaked out {hence the weight check this month} I brought it up to Dr. Bulter and her quick response was "GREAT!"

REALLY?  Okieee then.  They aren't starving.  They do have interest in me.  They are still very much into their momma feeding them.  Thank goodness

At 20 weeks we decided to give rice cereal a whirl- and they loved it! Right now we offer them cereal just before bed, in hopes to help keep them full through the night {this isn't always true to the case- as you'll read below}.  This week we mixed it up with some baby oatmeal and they love it SO much more than the rice cereal.  Looks the same to me, but they eat it much quicker and with ease over the rice cereal- more in their mouth than all over their baby bellies. 

They are eating 1/4 cup of oatmeal mixed with about 4 ounces of breast milk  between the two of them.  Literature says they should be eating at least 1/2 cup each by 6 months of age, but I doubt we will get to that much over this next month, even though last night Jolie was 'mmmhmm'ing' like she was ready for another bite after cleaning the bowl.  I mixed up another 1/4 cup of oatmeal and she all but finished the entire thing, leaving Parker just a few bites (she was totally over the cereal by that point anyway, leaving more for the little bit.)  Jolie is growing like a WEED. Within the next couple weeks we'll be adding in another cereal feeding and start incorporating some veggies.  I plan to experiment and make my own baby food/purees.  I have high hopes that I'll be successful.  I'll start with the orange veggies and then on to the green veggies and then start adding in fruits.  I am weirdly excited for them to start foods- don't ask me why.. I literally wish to stop time because they are growing so quickly.

This is a touchy subject.. Up until this week it has been so rough and inconsistent with little miss Jolie Grace.  She would do great and sleep through the night for about a week and then the next 2 weeks it was a nightmare of only about 3 hours a night for momma and baby.  She would be up every other hour fussing and crying.  We could not figure this child out.  We attempted to let her 'cry it out', and that worked for about 4 days.  She would be fine if momma was holding her, passed out cold.  The moment I would lay her down- no matter how long we had spent in that rocker- she would wake up and cry.  After going through senario after senario in my/our head, we finally asked the pediatrician for advice.  She mentioned that Jolie has spent her entire 5 months of life playing catch up and recently has been in a constant state of growing- meaning she is hungry around the clock!  Even with the addition of cereal to fill her little belly, she is still waking up hungry.  I felt horrible when we finally came to realize that the poor girl is hungry at night.  That first night I offered her to nurse and she acted like she hadn't eaten in 12 hours when really it had only been about four. SO- I now get up with Jolie between 1am and 3 am to give her an extra feeding. she goes right back down and sleeps the rest of the night.  Even though I cringed at the {selfish} thought that I was going to start night feeding again{that the girls dropped themselves around 2 months} it is what she needs right now, and makes for a much easier and rested night for all of us.  If it isn't one thing keeping her up (her tight neck muscles) its another (hunger).  We will get through this eventually.  I actually don't mind nursing her in the night.  It is the only time I am one on one with her because I always tandem feed.  She's quick these days (about 10 minutes) and I'm back in bed in no time. 

Parker- that girl can sleep and she does so well through the night.  At 20 weeks we seperated them into their own cribs and I think it was a good move now that Jolie is waking up at night to eat.  She doesn't even stir when Jolie is howling at 2am.

Right now we have the girls' bedtime between 9-9:30pm, but would like to transition them to a 7-7:30pm bedtime in the next week or so.  Any great tips on how to go about doing this? I'm all ears!  Their naps are pretty consistent and they will sleep about 2 hours a couple times a day and then a cat nap of 45 minutes to an hour around 6:30-7pm.  The ultimate goal is to drop that short nap in the evening and just get them to bed earlier.  Fingers crossed on how this will go.  I love my evenings with them, and setting an earlier bedtime makes for less time that I get to spend with them on my work days, but it also means more rest for mom and babies..as well as time for Jordan and me.  Which is just as important.


Jolie Polie

Your Favorites: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, your giraffe Wubanub and giraffe stuffed animal, reading books, Sophie,  the lights and animals on your activity mat, conversations with momma and daddy, oatmeal, rough housing (Your FAVORITE to play rough with daddy), bathtime (You LOVE bathtime), physical therapy with Suzan, tummy time, playing in the mirror, your feet, afternoon naps, watching momma cook.

Your Not-So-Favorites: Neck stretches, fighting sleep, strangers/large crowds, loud noises, being in your carseat for too long, finding a comfortable position to sleep in, your paci (you would rather suck your thumb!)

What a beauty you are, little girl.  If you would have asked me last month about the leaps and bounds of change you would be making that next month I wouldn't have been close to describing how much personality you have come to develop.

You have found your feet/toes and they are your most favorite 'toy' on this planet.  You can lay in a pile of rattles, stuffed animals, squeaky toys, and light up activity- but be completely content with your little feets.
In fact, you are pretty content with most things.  You will play by yourself for 20-30 minutes, babbling to your toys or playing with your feet.  Last week you finally mastered the back-to-tummy roll and now want nothing to do with laying on your back for play time (or sleeping for that matter).  As soon as we lay you down you are already busy maneuvering your way to your tummy to grab everything within arms reach- and then of course put it in your mouth.   

The once quiet Miss Jolie is now louder than ever- your squeals and projected little voice can be heard from any room in the house.  You always have something to say and over and over again it brings joy to my heart and a smile on my face. You sure know how to get our attention when you want it. 

You LOVE, love, love cereal and know that when you are stripped to your diaper it is time for some oatmeal goodness.  Momma almost needs a shovel to get it in at the rate you would like.  You have the best motor movement and will swallow a bite of cereal without pushing half of it out with your baby tongue.  These days you sleep on your tummy and are now unswaddled and in a sleep sac because of it.  You started to deny your paci and would rather suck your thumb- a true sign that you are getting sleepy and are ready for a nap.  You get most frustrated when you are ready to sleep but can't get comfortable to do so.  Your harmless and playfull jibberish and yells become high pitched screeches and are partnered with a serious scowl. Your Aunty Ashley calls that the Fridge Face- and you are a master at it.     

You recently graduated to bi-monthly physical therapy appointments because your 'tilt' is less than 5% for at least 80 percent of the time.  YOU ROCK, POLIE!  Your head control is crazy good these days and this makes your momma and daddy so happy.  Happy to tears, actually. We hated to hear your cry through neck stretches and sometimes through PT and now, if we talk you through the stretches, you will half smile and make due.  You still don't like them, but the fight against isn't there anymore.

Looking back at your 4 month update, you have changed so much!   You still love to read and are interested in the goings on about you- studying every movement or toy in eye's view. You are definitly a thinker.  

You are still in size 1 diapers, but finally fit well enough into 3 month size clothing- you are still a petite little thing, but your cheeks are totally giving your sister's a run for her money. You are getting too big for your britches, little girl! Momma cannot believe how much you are growing.  It shows by your sleep habits during the day (you love your two hour nap times) and your crazed hunger at night. 
I just adore you, precious.  Love you, Jolie Grace.    

Parker Jane

Your Favorites: CARTOONS-Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is a favorite for sure, your monkey Wubanub and giraffe baby, your paci (can't sleep without it!), Sleep Sheep, playing with your hands and feet, chatting it up with momma, babbling and smiling, the lights and animals on your activity mat, sleep, afternoon walks, crinkle paper, watching momma cook, eating oatmeal, looking/touching the iPhone.

Your Not-So-Favorites: Sitting and playing alone, being in your car seat for too long, tummy time, loud noises, fighting sleep, bathtime (you are coming around slowly, though!), the dark, being left out.

Oh, miss Parker Jane.  What a silly girl you are!  We have so much fun together!  You continue to take a serious liking to your momma.  How this melts my heart so.. you have no idea.  The smile that lights up your face when you hear my voice or see me across the room- it just incredible and so beautiful.  I cannot describe the feeling, but you sure know how to make a momma feel loved.  You are all about being in the middle of the crowd, the center of attention, and involved in whatever is going on around you (I wonder where you get that from..) You cannot stand to be left out.  Strangers often comment on your beautiful smile and chubby cheeks and fall to putty when their words bring out the best grin they've ever seen.  I have a feeling that you'll be using that to your advantage in the years to come.   

Let's hope daddy learns the word "no" in the near future because you've got him wrapped around your tiny baby fingers.  He speaks praises of being a 'girl dad'..and who knew my burley firefightin', bird-huntin' manly man of all men, and YOUR spectacular daddy would be so smitten. 

I totally did.
You have recently come to be one that needs a little extra soothing when it is time for bed.  I think it has something to do with losing the comfort of having your sister in the crib with you.  All it takes is for my hand or daddy's hand to be resting on your head.  You grasp it with your sweet little hand and fall right to sleep in no time.  Can we talk about how precious that is?? I could tell you "I love you" a million times a day.. I'm pretty sure I get close to it anyway.

You're most favorite thing to do it eat, that is for sure.  You start the "Parker Dance" kick kick kicking your legs at lightening speed.  I get such joy out of watching your excitement!  Like Jolie, you LOVE cereal.  You "mmmhmmhmmh" and kick your legs all the way through the meal time.  I actually think you would chow down on anything we offered to you.  You have such interest in watching your dad and I eat.  I'm excited to see how you do with veggies.  I am not so sure you've quite mastered the swallow function yet with the oatmeal.  Half of the spoon I give ends up running down your chin and onto your buddah belly.  Such a messy eater!  But, your daddy and I get a good laugh and love it all the same.

Like sister, you are also in size 1 diapers and fill out the 3 month sized clothes perfectly!  I feel like you are such a big girl, but Dr. Butler assured me that you are still little bitty.. which was comforting because I secretly wish for you to be little forever.  I love the relationship we have.. but I know as you get bigger it will only get better

Parker Jane- you are just too cute for words.  My little beauty queen.  You cannot and will not ever understand the crazy love I have for you, baby girl.

The best five months of my life rest in the pictures of this post.. how am I so blessed for these two to call me 'momma'.  I will never take advantage of these precious gifts my God has given us to raise up. 

5 months old.. coming and going in a blink, but I am so excited for the unknown of whats to come. 

Love you, girls.



Katie said...

they are getting so big!! and are so adorable! making me SO excited for our baby girl! love the picture of jolie and her beautiful eyes!

Jena said...

They just keep getting cuter! When we moved our little ones bed time up, I did it by 5 or 10 minutes a night until we got her where we wanted her and she Adjusted well to that.

Sarah Tucker said...

You are such a gods momma. They love you and J so south and it's so obvious!! Can't wait to watch the babies keep growing. Love them so much!

Sarah Tucker said...

*good *so so much

Amanda said...

Happy 5 Months! I love their sweet smiles!

Lara said...

They have the sweetest smiles! They make me smile just looking at the pictures.

Anonymous said...

So cute! BTW, breast milk content changes with the babies, so there really isn't a need to increase ounces with each month. My 13 month old still only drinks 5 oz at a time :)

Kari Willis said...

These girls are ADORABLE!!!! Believe me...time only gets faster! My girls should be your girls ages, yet they are 27 months...AAAHHH...

My girls became VERY quick eaters as well. Moms on Non-Twins were surprised I was nursing, but honestly, it didn't take any longer to nurse 2 than 1, because we were quick. I think that was God's/Nature's way of giving us a 'break'!!

They are so much fun...Twins are truly the best!!!!

Becca Moss said...

They are the cutest, most precious twins I've ever seen! So cute!

Gillian said...

They are so beautiful and are growing so well!! Just a tip on moving bedtime to an earlier hour -- we did ti slowly (moved it up 20 minutes each day over the course of a week or so) and just kept him VERY distracted during those hours so he wouldn't nod off for a cat nap. It took some exhausting effort, but it worked and eventually he adjusted. Be patient and good luck!

Meredith said...

They are precious! I know it's hard to move their bedtime up but you will love the extra time with your husband. I think it makes you a better mom and wife. :) You're doing a great job, they look so healthy and HAPPY!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny that your baby actually needed you when she was waking up at night!! Poor girl!

Anonymous said...

thanks for share....

Frances Kendrick said...

Your babies are absolutely adorable!!
So, so cute!!

Mandy Dupree said...

Okay first things first, lets state the obvious / I am IN LOVE with your little girls and I am so happy we arranged a marriage for them and Jax.

Okay, now on to business - I cannot believe our babies are over 5 months old? This is NOT okay! At all! I also want to for warn you that if they disappear - it was me. I wish more than ever that we lived closer because these two chicks are too gorgeous for words (they get it from they mama!!). I just love them and I love reading about what all they are doing in comparison to Jax.

I am in awe at their pictures, if I'm being honest I kept getting side tracked by their cuteness and had to keep starting over reading...

<3 M + J

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