Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Going Dark

I'm going off-line. I just deactivated my Facebook account and I won't be blogging for at least six weeks, maybe more. I'd tell you why, but it would defeat the purpose of what I'm doing here. Bye for now! :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Twins Update - Eight Months Old

Now that Zoe and Leo are starting to get well after having been sick for so long, they are going through an enormous leap in their development. We have two sitter-uppers!


Zoe is catching up to Leo quite a bit, both in size and developmentally. He is just a tad bigger than she is, but most people think she is bigger because she is more chubby. Leo has completely stopped working on crawling. I'm not sure if that is due to the illness or because he's just been so happy to sit, but it means that they are both doing most of the same things. They love to sit up, they love to stand with a bit of support, and they are crazy for their exersaucer and their hanging bouncer.

Zoe's latest cuteness is that she loves banging things to make loud noises. Give her a hard surface and a hard object and she goes crazy.

Leo's latest cuteness is his way of asking to be picked up. He opens and closes his hands and kind of twists his wrists at the same time.

Zoe virtually stopped eating solids for the past month because of the sickness. It's been very stressful, because she started out so well. But just in the past few days, she is regaining an appetite. She likes chicken and ham. Leo has been eating through it all, and he is starting to look as chubby as Zoe. He likes beef and ham and, well, almost everything.

Spoon-feeding these two is proving to be very difficult. Until recently, they didn't sit well enough to use any kind of chairs but the Bumbos, and I'd find myself using one hand to alternate spoonfuls of food between them, while using the other to kind of hold them in the seats, wipe up spills, and keep them from grabbing all the objects on the table. If Sam is home while I'm trying to do this alone, it's insane: they want to look at her, so unless she stands right in front of them, they will twist around in their seats dangerously. Now they are finally able to sit in the high chair and it is so much easier, but I only have one. I hate to have two huge high chairs in our tiny house, but I don't see any other way. They're just not strong enough for the booster seats you strap on to chairs and I don't want to continue with the Bumbo insanity. I'm heading to Amazon.com as soon as I'm finished with this post.

To my dismay, they are nowhere near ready for finger foods. I want to be done with the spoon feeding as soon as possible, but they are not interested in pieces of food on a tray. They won't even look at it, let alone try to pick it up.

I've been using the jarred baby food almost exclusively because I've been too overwhelmed to cook at all, let alone make my own baby food. But I'll probably get back into that over the next month. It will be good to give them some chunkier foods again, like I did right at the start.

We also tried sippy cups for the first time a few days ago. They each took one sip of formula successfully and then both told me the same thing: "Mommy, I CAN do it, but I definitely don't WANT to. Now give me my damn bottle!" But I know that once they realize that they can hold the cup and feed themselves, they'll change their minds.

And finally, finally, they are moving off of the 3-hour cycle. I can't believe they've been on it for so long. I don't remember it being this way with Sam for more than a few months. Some weeks ago, they gave up the nap after the penultimate feeding at 6pm, staying awake until bedtime around 8:30pm. And now they seem to be moving towards two long naps a day. What a relief! Now I can take them out so much more easily. Yesterday, they came with me to drop Sammy off at school, then we went to the grocery store, and in the afternoon they came with me to pick Sammy up and then for a quick trip to the playground. Poor Sammy has been stuck in the house with us all winter, except for when I've had help. I've had to say "no" to her so much that it hurts, especially when the sun is shining and we can see all the other kids playing outside. But the only way for a single person to transport two babies at the same time is to put them in a stroller, which is an arduous, ten-minute process on the front end and the back end. And when you can only stay somewhere for 20 minutes before you have to get home for a nap, it's hard to get motivated. Longer, less frequent naps also means that my time is less fragmented. Maybe that will help my mind to become less fragmented as well.

I've still not been taking as many photos as I'd like, but the few that I have from this past month are great ones. Two completely different, but equally adorable babies:


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Looking Up

I can't be certain, but I think I might be coming out of the Black Hole of Spring. There was the Black Hole of Winter that lasted about 2 weeks in December, but this one had a much greater mass and kept me miserable for 2.5 months. Leo and Zoe still aren't well - they both have ear infections now - but they are more active and happy again. After my last post we all got Pukinson's Disease with residual congestion, and the three elder Mossoffs were fine for our Hawaii trip, but as soon as we got back it was all doctor's appointments and sleep deprivation for a few days. Last night I slept, which gives me hope.

I'll write about Hawaii later. For now, just a couple of sweet stories.

Sam hasn't been taking good care of her body lately, and I was trying to convince her to perform some health-related task - drinking water, wiping back-to-front, I don't remember - and I used one of my usual tactics: "I'm not trying to boss you around, but this is my job. Do you remember what my job is?"

"It's my job to keep you safe and healthy."

"No, it's NOT your job to keep me safe and healthy!"

"Oh. What do you think my job is?"

"Just to love me."


Zoe and Leo are at one of my favorite stages: they are beginning to play the "hand it back and forth" game. I'll hand one of them a toy, they'll hand it back to me, and so on, for as long as I'm willing to play. Well, they don't really do it yet, but they are starting to, and I'm encouraging it big time. And just now, I can't be totally certain, but I think Zoe just handed Leo a toy. She looked right at him, held it out to him, he grabbed it, and she let go and looked away. I've been enjoying them "fighting" over toys for a while now, but this was new. Adorable!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Twins Update - Seven Months Old

Today, at 2:42 and 3pm, respectively, Leo and Zoe turned seven months old. Two days ago, our dog, Toby, turned seven years old. Two days before that, I turned a multiple of seven years old. (I'll give you a hint: in dog years, Toby is older than I am.)

I haven't taken a seven-month photograph and I probably won't. Leo and Zoe are sick and have been almost continually since early February. I'm sick. Sam and Adam have been sick. I'm just not in the mood. In fact, I've hardly taken any photos at all in the past month.

But some friends came for dinner this weekend and took this great family shot, so we'll just call this the seven-month photograph.

Because of all the sickness, I don't think either Leo or Zoe has progressed as much as they would have while healthy. Leo can sit up a bit better, but if anything, Zoe seems weaker when attempting to sit. Zoe was just entering a vocal phase when this latest cold hit - she was doing these long, loud screams, just playing with her voice - but it didn't really go anywhere. Leo hasn't been babbling as much lately either, and he doesn't try to crawl like he used to. We have less smiles, less giggles, less awake-time than we did a month ago. It's depressing.

They are doing some new things, though. I think they are both trying to mimic us now. I've gotten Zoe to stick her tongue out at me a couple of times. When we play "clap your hands," I can almost hear the gears whirring in Leo's head as he tries to send the signals to his hands to bring them together.

They've been eating solids for most of the month. We've tried a lot of foods and they like most of them. Their favorite is banana and rice cereal mush, and neither of them like squash much. We've been feeding them a lot of beef, which I pureed and froze, but they've also eaten tiny bits of steak right from our plates. It's really hard to spoon feed two babies. Leo wants to grab Zoe's bites and Zoe keeps getting too tired to sit up straight, so a lot of the time I have to kind of hold them in their seats with one hand while spooning with the other. I'll be happy when I can put a bunch of food on their trays and let them shovel it in. It is pretty funny how their eating reflects their personalities. Leo is all bluster, making his grunting "I WANT" noises, grabbing at the spoon, and grabbing at Zoe, but he gets so excited that ends up letting a lot of the food fall out of his mouth. Zoe is slow to get started. With each new food I think, "Oh, she doesn't like this one." But then after about five bites, she decides it is good and gets in a rhythm and ends up eating more than Leo.

They've both spent some time in the jumper thing that hangs in the doorway, but neither one has figured out how to really make it bounce yet. I remember Sam going nuts with that thing, so I'm sure it's just a matter of time.

Zoe is getting really good at rolling. I have to watch her more closely than Leo because she's the one who keeps ending up under the furniture. She can also get around by just kind of slithering, but most of the time she goes in the opposite direction of her intended target. And that's another thing about Zoe: she is goal-directed in her movement, while Leo just wants to move for movement's sake. Zoe sees something and tries to get to it (and often succeeds). Leo just moves and ends up in a new place, which seems to excite him. Leo also loves being jostled and moved around quickly - it makes him laugh. Zoe doesn't care for that as much. It's still easier to get a laugh out of Leo than from Zoe.

The one thing that does make Zoe laugh is Sammy. Zoe worships Sammy. It's almost impossible to feed her if Sam is around because she is so focused on her. Sam does all kinds of wacky things to make Leo and Zoe laugh, and she gets more laughs out of Zoe than the rest of us combined.

Leo sleeps with his butt in the air and his thumb in his mouth, and it's just about the cutest thing I've ever seen. He's already mature enough that this sleeping pose makes me see him as vulnerable and babyish.

This upcoming month, Adam, Sammy, and I are going to Hawaii while my parents take care of the twins for a week. It's a good time to try it - they aren't fully mobile yet, but they have a solid routine and sleep through the night. It's the calm before the storm.

I hope to have more to report next month, and lots more photos.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Little Thing

Sam is now in the "hot lava" phase of childhood development. There seems to be some overlap with the preceding "potty humor" phase, which makes for some interesting stories acted out with her dolls.

The Nugget Barrier

"Hi, Sammy! How was school today?"


"Remember, don't touch the babies until I give you a wipe for your hands."


"Uh-oh, I can't find a wipe. I think I'm out. Sorry, Sam. Can you wait until we get home?"


"Sam, would you like to get some chicken nuggets? I'm hungry."


"Are you feeling okay? I don't think I've ever heard you turn down nuggets."


"Mommy, are we going home?"

"No, I have to stop at the bank to get some cash first."

"But mommy, I want to go home. Mommy, I really want to. I want to go home, I want to go home, waaa waaa waaa."

"Sorry I didn't tell you ahead of time that I needed to go to the bank. Usually I try to let you know what my plans are if I'm going to drag you along, but I really do have to get cash today, and it will just take an extra five minutes. C'mon, usually you like going to the bank, right?"

"Mommy, we can get something at 7-11."

"I know we got something sweet there once, but we can't do that today. If we're going to get something to eat it has to be a drive-through because I don't want to have to take Zoe and Leo out of the car. Sure you don't want to go to McDonald's or something?"


"Sammy, I'm really pretty hungry. You know, if you don't want chicken nuggets, we can go to Chick-Fil-A and you can get that yogurt thing. Do you want that instead?"

"Well, okay. But mommy, will they have wipes there?"

"No, they don't have...oh wait...oh! Sammy, is that why you wanted to go straight home - because you wanted to wash your hands so you could start playing with the babies?"


Leo and Zoe have crossed the chicken nugget barrier on Sam's hierarchy of values.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Half-Day in the Life

It's just past noon. So far, today I have:

  • Changed 5 diapers (Adam did one this morning)

  • Clipped 20 fingernails

  • Showered, dressed, put on make-up and jewelry (!)

  • Received a huge grocery delivery and put it all (well, most) away

  • Eaten a salisbury steak frozen meal for breakfast

  • Looked up a recipe for salisbury steak (it's gotta be better homemade, right?)

  • Administered 4 bottle feedings

  • Spoon-fed 2 baby-food feedings

  • Given 2 sponge baths

  • Changed 2 baby outfits

  • Packed up and labeled a box for return to Amazon, and put it in my trunk

  • Opened a new box from Amazon and put the supplies away

  • Reconciled my bank account and credit card statement

  • Put away baby laundry that had been sitting on the floor in a hamper for the past week

  • Written this blog post

Plans for the rest of the day include:

  • At least one load of laundry

  • Unload dishwasher

  • Load dishwasher

  • Make new batch of formula

  • Lunch for me

  • Sam school pick-up (with babies in-tow)

  • Find some way (that doesn't involve TV) to entertain Sam for the whole, long afternoon while we are stuck in the house with the babies

  • Bath for Sam (I can drag that out for an hour, I hope)

  • Putting Stuff Away

  • Folding 5 loads of laundry

  • Cooking dinner (salmon and long-cooked broccoli tonight, I think--HT: Diana Hsieh)

  • 5 more bottle-feedings (Adam will do one tonight)

  • 3-4 more diaper changes (Adam will do one or two tonight)

  • Watching more of this week's American Idol, maybe even getting through the results show

  • If I'm feeling ambitious, starting my taxes

If it is a normal day, I'll make at least 25 round trips up and down the stairs. (I counted once.) That's the only part I'd change.