Random memories of the Twins 2nd Month of Life…

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Sometime in early December, Baby Colt woke from his sleep ravenously hungry and cried.  A real, loud cry.  This was the first time (around 5 or 6 weeks) that we had ever heard him really cry.  WE WERE OVERJOYED!  From birth he had been weak, sluggish, languid.  But that first cry in early December we thought, “yep.  This boy is going to be just fine.”

Around 6 or 7 weeks, their eyelashes began sprouting.

Also around 6 or 7 weeks, baby Colt became a flirting machine.  If he is awake, he is normally giving you million-dollar smiles and is very conversational.  Baby Bonnie’s smiles are a little harder to earn (stomach pain) but every bit as delightful.

At 1.5 months, Colt was 14 lbs and baby Bonnie was 13 pounds.  I was very happy because I work hard and sleep little to feed them.  Then I got food poisoning.  I didn’t realize what it was until I was very sick and had been nursing the babies all along.  In the following days, the babies had awful vomiting and diarrhea and lost weight.  At 2 months, they weighed just less than they had at 1.5 months.  It was an awful blow for me.  It seems silly, but I work so hard to nurse twins between recurrent mastitis, blebs, very short windows of sleep between night feedings, and constant milk supply issues (almost every day, I wonder if I will have any milk to nurse the following day.)  Anyway, so to hear that they hadn’t gained ANY weight in half a month was very discouraging.

Baby Colt still is an extremely chill kid.  He has a natural schedule that goes like this: he eats, then he smiles and coos at us for a while (when the twins are in the right mood they chortle and sing arias back-n-forth to each other) and then I lay him in his crib and he’ll fuss for a minute or two and then he’s out for the next 1.5-2 hours until I wake him to eat.  However, the babies rarely do the same thing at the same time.  Haha!  Bonnie-belle (the most common nickname for her these days) sleeps very little and wakes easily.  She also has become a very agitated nurser, rarely nursing for more than 2 minutes without going stiff and beet red and screaming.  We’re trying to figure it out and in the meantime I’m pumping.  She takes bottles very well.  She has always been the teeny one and the FIREBALL! She has never given us reason to worry health-wise until just recently.  We took the babies in for routine immunizations at the beginning of January, the doctor sent us to the ER of a larger hospital.  Baby Bonnie had a lot of unpleasant tests and home heart monitoring.  She has premature ventricular contractions.  Sometimes the AV Node sends it’s electrical impulse and sometimes it doesn’t. She is asymptomatic and only requires continued monitoring to make sure the frequency doesn’t increase.  It was a big scare and put things in perspective for us.  We are very relieved that she is going to be fine.

As I write this (January 23rd, 2014) the babies are 2.5 months old.  In their lives thus far, I have been deliciously indulgent as a mom.  I have held them while they sleep. and slept cuddled up with them in my bed.  We’ve had little-to-no schedule. I haven’t gone grocery shopping or to church.  They’ve rarely been more than an arms reach away from me.  I nurse on demand (which I love) and use nursing also to comfort them.  I’ve never let them cry except a handful of times when one twin is waiting for the other twin to finish nursing (and it was awful!)  I rarely get out of my pajamas and wear the same clothes for days.  I eat as much as I want of whatever I want.  (I’ve never dieted or restricted myself with food but right now I am straight-up gluttonous.)  We have dessert every night, sometimes 3 or 4 kinds. Anyway, I wish this life of being centered on my babies and spending my days staring at them could go on and on forever; but for their sake, I know we need to have a bit more of consistency and scheduling.  The most crucial part is sleep training (ie learning to fall asleep on their own, in their own crib) before they get old enough to really fight it.  I don’t like this part…but I love them enough to think a little more long term.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

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One year older and wiser too…

It used to be that before blowing out the candles we sang Happy Birthday (English) and Las Mañanitas (Spanish). Since moving to Seoul, we’ve added 생일 (Korean) and now Kimchi is insisting on Mandarin.

We made a freezer paper shirt for D.

Kimchi was pensive about what to make for his dad. I saw him cutting up cardboard. He made a new laptop since D’s has malfunctioning.

What’s going on?

baby girl

All of their clothes are shrinking…

baby boy

their skinny frog-legs have disappeared…

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MY BABIES ARE GROWING!!

At one month old, Baby Girl weighs 9.5 lbs and Baby Boy weighs 10 lbs.!!!! Baby Boy’s weight gain is especially celebratory considering he started with a feeding tube and could only handle a teaspoon of milk at a time.  In the 3 weeks he’s been nursing, he has gained a pound a week.  Hooray!!

Although they are twins they are very different from each other in developmental age, appearance and personality.  

Developmental Age:

We brought them home from the hospital on November 11th; they were 6 days old.  The day we brought them home was also our first day with Baby Boy.  (Prior to that, he had been in an isolette with machines and wires attached to him.  We could watch him through the glass during visiting hours–a 30 minute window each afternoon.)  Baby boy  had low muscle-tone and lacked reflexes.  He couldn’t suck and swallow to nurse.  His digestive system was immature.  He had no vision and stared right through our faces (I cried several times worrying that he had been blinded by the oxygen concentration in the NICU.)  Whereas, Baby Girl seemed to be half his size but she was an fierce nurser, held her head up, gave us sustained eye contact and even traced movement from the day we met her.

Baby Girl’s Appearance & Personality

She reminds me of a toy baby doll because she has a stiff little body and small features with large glassy eyes.  Her facial features, head size and even bone structure are petite.  She is incredibly beautiful to me.  Between the two babies, she is the squeaky wheel.  She is awesome at exercising her lungs and vocal chords.  She’s very alert.  The kids and I all imitate the face she makes when nursing because it’s hilarious.  (She scrunches up her nose and furrows her eyebrows and narrows her eyes like she’s challenging a toro.)  She does clever things like patting me on the back when I’m burping her.  She has a teeny little rosebud mouth and I usually say “AHHHH” to get her to open her mouth bigger.  Now, she has started saying, “AH AH AH” when she wants to eat.

Baby Boy’s Appearance & Personality

Baby boy is a cuddle bug!  He used to whimper in his sleep when we first brought him home from the NICU.  But the ratio of whimpers to smiles gradually reversed.  Now he gives us lots of big, goofy open-mouthed grins.  When I burp him he roots and ends up giving me wet, sucky kisses on my cheek and neck. My sweet boy.  He is chill as a cucumber.  He rarely cries.  If he’s awake at night, he just lays in crib, wide-eyed looking around.  For anyone, who feels intimidated by babies, this is definitely the one to start with.  Plus, something about holding him is extremely therapeutic.

It’s been a sleepless month as comes with the territory.  It’s also been one of the best months of our lives.

Tofu Talk

before a photo shoot with Skärbarn

[I had seen a mosquito and told the kids to smush it so it wouldn’t bite the babies.] Tofu scrunches up her nose in determination and growls, “Come ‘ere mosquito I’m gonna slap yer face.”

[Praying] “Bless the sun to be happy if it wants to…”

She’s heard me say things to the babies like “Momma’s boy” and “Momma’s Girl” and Tofu’ll rush to the babies side cooing, “Hello my little girl!  How’s Sister’s girl doing?”

“My baby brother can’t breathe yet. Maybe when he’s older.”

Tofu recently began signing her name with my maiden name. It really ruffles her daddy’s feathers.

The babies helped us realize that Tofu is not good at recognizing body language/emotions.  Baby Girl gets stomach pain and will often go red, rigid, grimace and cry out.  Tofu sees that grimace and cheerfully exclaims, “Oh, she’s smiling!!!!”

Tofu’s go-to phrase: “Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy.”

Tofu begged our neighbor for some of their American brand (commisary) yogurt and the neighbor gave her a couple to take home.  She took one bite and promptly decided she disliked cherry flavor and refused to have another bite.  I couldn’t find the yogurts in the fridge and asked her about it. “Um I saw one of the babies throw them all in the trash…”  (She’s really embracing all the benefits of being a big sister. 🙂 )