Parker & Jolie: 7 Months

This has been quite a month of milestones.  These girls are growing at lightening speed and can someone tell me the magic words to make life slow down a bit? 

On June 14th we hung out with Brittany and she snapped some uber cute pictures of my girls to celebrate their 6 months of life.  Haven't gotten all of them back yet, but can't wait to share when I do! 

Both babies are still in size 1 diapers, although these are getting snug.  The next box of diapers we buy will for sure be size 2.  They are filling out their 3 month clothes pretty well- but the sleepers are getting a little short.  These girls are really long, bit still petite in size.  Most of the 3 month shorts hang off of their little booties (literally) and the tops fit well- so as long as we don’t have to worry with the length issue, we are still in business to wear these clothes a bit longer.  Thank goodness I opted for mostly footless jammies for Texas summer.  

What’s New 
This month has been rockin’ and rollin’ right along for development.  
Jolie never fails to impress Momma and Dad- everyday it seems like she picks up something different.  She is full on crawling (July 8th) and a couple weeks ago in therapy Suzan showed her how to pull up to stand, and the moment we got home she started making the movements to pull up on her own.  Now, as of July 5th, she’s mastered yet another developmental milestone.  Good grief.  

Parker is starting to show interest in moving around more- she will go from a sitting position onto her belly to reach a toy to play with and has yet to get further at this point.  This past weekend she lunged out of my lap and fell face first into a toy, getting her first bruise/bump on her head (July 6th). While she is on her tummy, she will pull up on her hands and thighs and kind of do a rocking motion, not totally on her knees, but close enough.  Even though she isn’t as mobile as sister girl, she is very strong and steady.  She has great core strength and we gave the grocery cart seat a try (June 28th) after she was not keen on being in her car seat for the shopping trip.  She was VERY proud of herself while sitting up in the cart while momma pushed.
Other important dates to make note of:
  • June 15th- Parker and Jolie were invited to their first birthday party- Our friend Landon turned two!
  • June 21st- We spent some time with family in Belton and the girls took their first swim and totally loved it!
  • June 24th- After Jolie started to figure out how to pull up; we decided it was time to lower their cribs.
  • July 3rd- Our first trip to the Fort Worth Zoo!  We also pulled out the ‘big girl seats’ for our stroller for a much more comfortable ride through the park.
The teething monster is officially upon us and let me just say that it hasn’t been bubblegum and giggles in our house over this last month.  Poor Jolie is taking it harder than her sister.  Big ol’ alligator tears and a cry that will break your heart.  I can tell they hurt the worst when she rubs her tongue across them and her little mouth moves in such a way that is so cute, but because I know that her gums are killing her, it makes me so sad for her.  Parker is just fussy and really wants to be held or sitting in your lap.. and the nights- well, we can count on her waking up at least three times.  
All month they have been working so hard on getting those teeth to pop through, and as of Tuesday (July 8th)- finally- you can see that Jolie has not one tooth, but two!  Nothing out of Parker’s little gums just yet, but soon, I’m sure.  We’ve had fevers, crying fits, sleepless nights, trouble eating, and lots of snuggles between the two of them.  I’m thankful for when Daddy is home to help with them.  When I’m solo I wish I could sprout another set of arms to hold both babies at the same time.  I usually can finagle both of them close enough to hold one in each arm (while sitting), but sometimes that’s not good enough.  
Their interaction this month is off the charts precious! 

FINALLY Parker will acknowledge Jolie instead of Jolie screeching and giggling at her with nothing but a blank stare in return.  I absolutely love sitting back and watching them play together this way.  Parker now understands that when Jolie gets close she is most likely going to ‘steal’ something away from her.  We can go through the entire play mat of toys and Jolie will happily snatch each one of them from Parker’s grasp.  Parker now will start to fuss and flap her arms back and forth if Jolie gets too close.  Who knew that kind of sibling interaction started this early?  While they love to play amongst themselves and with each other, they still love for mom and dad to get down on the blanket with them.  These girls definitely love their momma and daddy. 

Introducing new foods to the girls has been.. well..slow.  I’ve been following the guidelines and allowing 3-4 days between new foods and since it has taken the girls some getting used to with the texture and taste of the new veggies, we’ve only tried carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash.  It took almost their entire sixth month for them to be ‘okay’ with the texture of the veggies.  Finally they are eating (and LOVING) all three of these vegetables (it may or may not have something to do with the addition of a little cinnamon) and I think I’m safe to move onto some other fruits and such.  We tried bananas (July 9th) and that was a fail.. doesn’t every baby love bananas? Like the sweet potatoes and carrots, I think it will take a few more times before they’ll accept it.  Butternut squash was a big hit and they scarfed it down without complaint.  Any suggestions for better success with solids, I’m all ears!   

About 3 weeks ago we added in a morning feeding of oatmeal (1/4 cup oats mixed with breast milk for each baby) and slowly the girls started tapering off their milk intake.  We didn’t realize this to be a problem until the girls started waking up 2-3 times at night to eat.  They weren’t hungry during the day because they were filling up on cereal and not eating well enough throughout the day and then starving all through the night.  They would take their first feeding well, and then after oatmeal in the morning, their 2nd and 3rd feeding was hardly anything at all!  So, after talking with the pediatrician she advised to drop that morning feeding for now since breast milk should still be their sole source of nutrition at this point and they were getting way too full to get enough adequately through the day.
After hearing some of the other mom’s experience with their 7 month old and how much they’ve tried and are currently eating.  It kinda bums me out.  Although I KNOW all babies are different and my babies are eating what they will, and are growing just fine, just a mild case of mom anxiety, you know?  I thought this solid food business was going to be a lot easier than it has been.
Prior to dropping that morning feeding, our feeding routine went something like:
4am: breastfeed
7am: 5 ounce bottle (or breastfeed when I’m home)
8am-8:15am: (eaten between the two of them) ½ cup oats mixed with 3 ounces breast milk
10:30am-11am: 5 ounce bottle (or breastfeed when I’m home)
1:30pm: 5 ounce bottle (or breastfeed when I’m home
4:30pm: breastfeed
6:15pm-6:30pm: (eaten between the two of them) 1 cup of oats mixed with 5 ounces breast milk and 3 ounces of veggies
7:30pm: breastfeed 
10:30pm: dream feed (occasional)

The 8am oats have been dropped and the schedule goes as is without it, except we are adding in an occasional dream feed (again!!?) to hopefully get the girls to sleep through the night again.  Between them being mobile, teething, and hungry, our pediatrician also suggested maybe introducing the dream feed again in hopes to encourage them to get back on their normal sleep cycle.  I thought this sleeping thing was supposed to get better as they got older?  The girls dropped their night feedings (on their own) at 2 months and were sleeping through the night (for the most part) by the time I went back to work.  These last couple weeks have been reminiscent of the first weeks after bringing them home- except I have to actually be human and work 8 hours during the day.  I live for any extra minutes of sleep I have in the morning- even if it means going to work with dirty hair.  

At this point we have continued to offer the girls 5 ounces at a time in their bottles as they have yet to finish every single bottle in one day, and until they do that I have no plans to bump them up.  I think we were close to advancing their milk intake until the slight hiccup with the morning oats occurred and now we are back to attempting to get them to finish a bottle again.  We are still in the first week of transitioning backward to a feeding schedule without the morning oats, so hopefully they will be back to their normal selves soon.  I do know that these girls are terribly miserable with their sore gums and it is really uncomfortable to suck a bottle or nurse, so that could be another reason for their lack of appetite this last week or so.  
I have still been able to keep up with the girls to exclusively offer them breast milk (with the new addition of oats and veggies) and I’ve even been able to start to freeze some milk.  I did a little happy jig the first time I filled a 5 ounce freezer bag- I spent 6 months feeling like I could barely provide and now I’m able to provide them 35-40 ounces of milk every day for their bottles and mixing of veggies and oatmeal, plus freeze any extra I pump.  I now have over 100 ounces of frozen milk (120 ounces to be exact) that will come in handy when this momma and dad want to take a trip without the babelets at the end of the summer!

As I go back and read the girls’ 6 month post it makes me envious of the well-rested momma that wrote it.  Sleep is a hot topic of conversation these days..

How are you? Tired.
How did the girls sleep for you last night?  They didn’t.
Did the girls sleep well? No.
..Its 8pm.. do you want to watch a movie/tv show or get ready for bed? Bed

Ok.  So it hasn't been, THAT bad, but it’s been a rough month of several sleepless nights.  Both girls wake up crying and in need of comfort from mom and/or dad.  Jolie wakes up at least once a night with that heartbreaking cry I described earlier.  Her poor little gums.  When the girls were eating through the night (for about a week) I was getting up with them around midnight and again around 3 am.  Here and there the girls will sleep like normal, but as of late I can almost count on them waking up around 12:30a, 2:30a, 3:30a, and then I’m up around 4am to feed them before I go to work.  Awesome.

I know this is a phase and it too shall pass, but for my sake and for these sleepy babies’ sake, we all need more sleep!  Since we have dropped the morning solid feeding their sleeping has gotten better and they’ll make it until around 2am and all it takes is a few rocks or a pat on the back before they are back to sleep.  

Naptime is consistent:  8:30a-9a (they are usually ready to go back down in the morning just about an hour after they wake up) and then again at 2:30pm-3pm (ish).  Those naps are somewhere around 1 ½ to 2 hours and the most important one being that first morning nap.  We usually don’t go anywhere before 10:30am so they can get their nap in or else they are toast.  Sometimes they will cat nap another time mid-day, usually if we are out and about they’ll fall asleep in their car seats, or if they are just really seeming like they want to go down, they will nap for about 45 minutes to an hour or so.  Parker is a routine ‘eye rubber’ and Jolie will resort to sucking her thumb when she’s sleepy and only when she is sleepy.

Parker Jane- 

Your Favorites: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, your monkey Wubanub, your paci (can't sleep without it!), Sleep Sheep, chatting it up with momma, babbling and smiling, any toy that lights up or plays music, sitting up, afternoon walks, crinkle paper, the tags on anything, watching momma blow dry her hair, do makeup, and cook, looking/touching the iPhone, bath time (finally!), swimming.
Food: Oatmeal, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes.  
Your Not-So-Favorites:  Sitting and playing alone, being in your car seat for too long, tummy time, loud noises, fighting sleep, the dark, being left out, getting dressed 
Food: bananas 

Oh girl- you are so happy and have become one of the most chilled out babies I know- well, for the most part.  When you are upset, you are upset.  And everyone knows it!  When you are really mad, I sometimes don't even recognize the cry that comes out of your mouth.  But- on the regular, you are easy-to-please and pretty much a go with the flow type.  You're talking quite a bit and will do use your hands to compliment that chatter coming out of your mouth. I wonder what you are talking about that warrants those hand gestures.  Your facial expressions make me think it is pretty important, so I try to listen intently.. besides, it is over the top precious.  
While you're content with anyone holding/playing with you, you seem to get quite serious, as if you are assessing the situation as a whole.  Eventually you’ll share that goofy grin, but it takes some work!   You do get pretty upset if you think we've forgotten you- especially since you haven’t been feeling well.  You are quite the cuddlebug and it is my favorite time of day to sit and play with you and your sister.  Really.. we are usually watching your sister roll and crawl around the entire living room, while you play quietly in my lap.  If ever I leave your site, the waterworks start and come to a screeching halt the moment I come into eye’s view again.  When you reach out for me to pick you up, I cannot help but squeeze you tight and make sure you know how very much I love you.  Because I do. And I'll tell you every single day- 100 times and then 100 times more.  
You are constantly smiling (or shrieking if you're really happy) and have such a fun disposition when you are in the mood to be silly.  Sister girl loves to rough house with dad, but you are not really into that at all. He tries, but can barely get a grin to come about that 'judgey' face of yours.  You really love to play peek-a-boo, laugh and mimic momma and dad- so much like me it is almost unbelievable.  

When it is time to eat, you get really excited and do the funniest wiggle-dance-shake-arm flapping motions over and over again .. almost like an overexcited puppy dog so happy that his entire body shakes.  Yep, thats my Parker Jane.  During oats and veggies in the evening- the 'mmmm' sound and birdie beak lips when you open your mouth as wide as you can with every bite makes me smile every time.  You love to eat and you let me know it.   

My heart is so full when your dad comments (usually on a daily basis) “she is the spitting image of you.”  Such an incredible compliment in that I think you are hilarious, uber adorable and simply beautiful, my sweet baby girl.


Jolie Grace- 
Your Favorites: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, reading books, Sophie, frozen teether rings, anything that lights up and sings, smiling, conversations with momma and daddy (and now your sister, too!) crawling and exploring, pulling up, rough housing (Your FAVORITE to play rough with daddy), bath time and splashing the water, physical therapy with Suzan, playing in the mirror, swimming, naptime. 
Food: Oatmeal, carrots and butternut squash.  
Your Not-So-Favorites: Neck stretches, fighting sleep, being in your car seat for too long, finding a comfortable position to sleep in, your paci (you would rather suck your thumb!), getting dressed (always a fight these days) 
Food: Bananas, sweet potatoes, but you’ll still eat them with a little cinnamon mixed in!

This month has been a rough one for you my little Polie Bear.  Those bully teeth are coming in and have been making you totally miserable.  But even in between the tears, you always find a way to flash a smile and laugh- lighting up your entire face.  You are so expressive!  Your usually busy bodied self is content for short times in our lap and for those few moments we are smitten.  You give the best cuddles, and when you wrap your arm around our neck when we rock you to sleep.. We almost don’t want to move or talk..or breathe for fear it will shorten our snuggles with you and you’ll be up and on the go, yet again.  You are always getting into something now that you’ve really figured out this crawling thing.  “Where’s Jolie?” is a popular phrase, too.. We can’t seem to turn our back on you for a minute without you disappearing to get into something else.  “Jolie” proofing the house is long overdue.  

Oh my stars, little girl. You impress me every.single.day.  For me to say that you are just amazing is an understatement.  The phrase “you are so much fun” comes out of me and/or your daddy’s mouth at least 3 times a day.  At least.  Always smiling, always laughing, always looking for the attention, but then again, totally content playing in your own little world of toys and tags and anything else you can get your hands into.  You and your dad have the best time rough housing.. I’m usually the referee telling your dad to ‘cool-it’ while you are laughing your head off and rolling in circles around him, instigating the entire thing!  Silly girl!

Finally you have found yourself a playmate of your own size.  For almost 2 months you have been attempting to get Parker’s attention, and finally she’s figured it out.  You look intently at her to get her attention and the moment she locks eyes with you, it’s like no one else exists.  An explosion of giggles and chatter- oh, your momma loves it.  You are very talkative and in between chatter and babbles, you’ll let out a yell that seems like it came from the bottom of your belly.  It definitely reaches everyone’s attention- mostly catching anyone in site off guard. 

This last month you finally lost all your long wispy baby hairs and the hair that has replaced it is baby penguin soft and stands on end- especially after bath.  Momma hates to comb it down after bath time because that hair combined with your ‘Precious Moments’ baby blues- you look so adorable. 

With the rate you are growing we will be picking up the keys to your first car by the end of the year.  Stop growing so quick, my sweetest little.  This momma is so in love with you. 

These letters to you sweet girls are from the bottom of my heart.  I mean it when I say that I cannot imagine my life without you in it.  Although I am biased, me and your sweet daddy are the luckiest parents in the world.. 

Love you with my whole heart sweet girls.
Parker had no interest in taking pictures the first go round..

and.. for a second try at the 7 month pictures..well, here we have what we call a Parker Jane Moment.   Total melt down.

Drama. Queen.
But.. here we go with my happy and super silly girls:)

This picture is the epitome of the two of them.  Perfectly captured their personalities to a 'T'.

Happy 7 Months, little ladies!!



Anonymous said...

Love these posts--makes me feel like I am not alone in the sleep regression department. Our 6 month old rarely finishes a bottle either and now wants to nurse all night. She slept better as a newborn :) Good luck with getting your adorable girls back on track!


Jessica said...

Your girlies are so precious.
Have you tried the amber necklaces for teething?
I finally found this treasure for my 3rd baby and it has been a life saver!

Sadie Cummings said...

loved the post, you are such a good mama! Hang in there while the sweet girls figure out their schedule. My little girl LOOOVES her wubbanub was well and cannot sleep without it! :)

Paige Gibson said...

I have been following your blog since your pregnancy and your girls are just precious. My own daughter is (almost)5 months old (born at 36 weeks), so its nice to check in with you and your girls to see what is around the corner for us.
Someone gave me a interesting teething tip that I'm gonna take a crack at and thought I would share it with you since poor Jolie is having so much trouble. A woman I work with said when her daughter was little, she was told to take a raw egg(in the shell) and put it somewhere in the nursrey where it wouldn't be disturbed. And thats it! She said she never heard a peep out of her daughter when she was cutting a tooth. I googled it and found that it is a secret old wives tale that women swear by.
I now have an egg in a ramekin in the very back of Millie's closet. If it doesn't work, I'm only out the cost of an egg!

Good luck with teething and thanks for sharing your stories!


Darcy Potter said...

Love these girls! I can't believe how big they are getting. Emmy is into the same things and I love seeing how similiar our girls are ;) Give Parker and Jolie kisses and hugs! Darcy

chelsey said...

Love these little ladies! I was at a breastfeeding class last night, and after asking about different holds for twins, the girl in front of me asked me if I read your blog! I, of course, told her I did and that your girls are adorable. :)

Sarah Tucker said...

These two melt me! They are growing so fast and really turning into their own little people. And I am not sure babies can get much cuter. Love them, and you!

Svannah said...

Wow. My little girl just turned 7 months on the 1st and we just had to go into size 4 diapers and she is wearing 6 to 9 month clothes shirts. So funny how every baby is different. Im a little jealous that Jolie is crawling already. My LO Olivia just pulls herself around in an army crawl.

Your babies are so cute. Glad I found your blog.

Amanda the Supergoddess said...

Your girls are precious!

Thank you for this post! You DEFINITELY make me feel like we're not alone. My babies just hit 6 months and their sleeping is worse than when they were newborns... I just cried the other night from being so exhausted, and then we got sick! Boo!


I've been following you for a few months now and I just love your girls!! Not to mention how cute you dress them.. Thank you for writing down all these details.. It really helps me know what I'm going to be dealing with in a few months :)

Meredith said...

Great post! Love reading all about these two and everything they're getting into. :) It just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it?

Jessah @ Dreaming of Dimples said...

Congrats on your miracle babies! They are so beautiful. I'm still in the thick of infertility wondering if I'll ever receive this blessing. Hugs. Your story gives me hope.

Chelsea Covington said...

What cute little girls you have!!!! I love the pic of them on the chair and one is crying! So sisterly!! Already!

Amber said...

Amber they are getting SO big! Wow, what precious little sweethearts you have. I'm sorry about the rough sleep schedule lately...will be praying that God multiplies the few hours you get with supernatural energy! You are doing a GREAT job...thanks for being a blessing and encouragement!

LJo said...

I get giddy when you post these. My little man is a few weeks behind the girls and its so great to see what's around the corner. I'd love to know what your routine is or how you helped the girls become such great mappers. I'm blessed with a good nighttime sleeper ( well let's be real , mostly good haha) but naps are a struggle for us. Thank you for letting us peak inside your world. You are a blessing !

Whitney Arnold said...

I love your girls and seeing all their pictures on Instagram and your blog.

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