Friday, October 29, 2010

Ode to Family

Sean has a knack for making up cute little ditties, a habit that has only been amplified since the boys arrived. Here's a little video example:

This was recorded a month or two ago and I'm shocked at the difference in how Liam and Dash act- they're so much more playful now! I have other videos on vimeo, I think you can click onto them from the end of the video above. Or, I think this is a link to all my videos, too. I don't put a lot of them on the blog because I don't want it bogged down with video. Unless you guys think I should blog them? Eh? Eh?

P.S. My videos don't show up on Google Reader- anyone have a guess why?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Same Diff

You would think that identical twins would develop the exact same way, wouldn't you? But no, they're individuals, they learn to do things in their own time. Take these examples:

  • At the beginning of October, Liam started actively reaching for things while Dash constantly curled up to play with his feet. Then two weeks later, switcheroo- Dash started getting into toys while Liam was all about the tootsies.
  • Dash was the first to roll onto his tummy but didn't do it terribly frequently after that. Once Liam started, he rolled over like gangbusters. Now Dash embraces the joys of bellihood.
  • So far, Liam is trying to master putting his binky into his mouth (often succeeding but more often chomping on the nub on the back) but Dash only attempts occasionally (but more each day).
  • On a related note, a couple weeks ago Liam started yoinking his binky out of his mouth while he was sleeping and just a couple days ago, Dash too began to do the same. It's like their grabby hands have minds of their own because it always always makes them cry. Frustrating! By the way- any ideas on how to combat this? It's hard during the middle of the night when only a binky comforts them but they keep pulling it out. I can't stand on guard duty!
  • Dash has fully embraced the idea of eating rice cereal. Liam? Still gives me the gross-out face and only swallows when he's too distracted to remember to spit it out. I'll give him props though, he's getting a little better.
  • Liam is rather sensitive to loud sounds, which cause him to break out into tears. Culprits so far have been my hand mixer, the power drill, extra loud toilets and hand dryers in public bathrooms, and, most unfortunately, my silly operatic singing. Dash doesn't seem to phased by these things.
But sometimes they're pretty similar:
  • I'm going to be bold and just say it: the boys can sit up! More on this to come (i.e. when I get pictures).
  • They both started noticing each other at about the same time. Then they started reaching for each other's faces. And just the other day they started giggling at each other! I had to mop my melted heart up off the floor.
  • Their napping is getting slightly better/more predictable, something they've developed simultaneously (though many times I'll have to wake one after a while to keep them on a rough schedule). They typically take a longer (1.5 hr-ish) nap, two 30-45 minute naps, and try as I might to stop it, usually another little nap in the early evening. Maybe I should just try putting them to bed super early but I'm terrified that they'll wake up in the middle of the night ready to go for the day.
  • They're both getting ridiculously more cute every day. Seriously, this is getting out of hand.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Remember those play-mats in which the boys like to play? Well, since we have to buy two of everything, we opted for the cheaper play-mats. Do you know why they're cheaper? Because they always end up like this:


They're ridiculously tedious to re-secure and then they pop back out two minutes later. Hmph. What do we think of this?


That's right.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010


Do you remember this little stinker?


She used to be the star of the show, the focus of your little bitty family. She used to be my number one photo subject, like you can see here, here, and here. Then along came her new little brothers, Liam and Dash, and suddenly she had to fight for attention. And she didn't often win.

So how is sweet Pogo adjusting?

It was a little rough for her the first couple months. What were these funny looking, funny smelly, bleating little creatures invading her comfortable home, her comfortable life? She took to hiding or running away from wherever the babies were located. She used to cuddle up next to us, lean into our sides, but now we always had these babies around, so I'm sure she felt lonely. Plus she was still getting used to the new house and yard- before the babies, we'd accompany her outside, but after, we just couldn't do that all the time. More loneliness.

Then there were a few habits of Pogo that we had to, erm, work out together:

Problem A: Dash was crying one day and out of the blue, Pogo started howling. Funny, right? Yeah, that first time, it was funny. But when I have two screaming babies, the last thing I want is a little more volume. She still howls but is better about cutting herself off quickly.

Problem B: She has the habit of rubbing her snout on the carpet while grunting, flopping her ears loudly, and scratching at her collar. This wasn't such a big deal the first few weeks when the babies could sleep through anything, but as they became more sensitive to sound, she'd wake them up all the time. Not what I needed when I was desperate for sleep myself. That problem certainly didn't engender Pogo any sweet feelings from me. It's not such a big deal now that the babies are in their own room sleeping. At least she doesn't yap incessantly like the next-door Chihuahuas who've woken up the babes on many an occassion. Grr.

Problem C: dog hair, oh the dog hair. I am so over checking their pacifiers for hair and chasing Pogo away from their blanketed play areas. At least she's getting better at staying out of their room.

Problem D: This is certainly the worst of the all- right around the time that the babies were born, Pogo... got... fleas. Yes, I'm ridiculously embarrassed about it, but it's humid Houston and that happens with dogs. So for a while we had to keep her far away from everything associated with babies and bathe her every other day while we tried to get rid of the nasty bugs. Believe me, bathing is a rather torturous event for dear Pogo. And she was so itchy, the poor thing (contributing to Problem B). Then there's the fact that the fleas made us not want to be close to her, not want to pet her. So the discomfort she felt from the new babies combined with the annoyance of the bugs and our keeping our distance, I'm sure she felt utterly distraught. But she is flea-free and has been for many months- I am SO glad that's behind us.

I think Pogo's started to warm up to the babies. She doesn't always run from their presence. She'll come and cuddle with us while the babies are near. In fact, as the boys have started reaching for things, she's tolerated an occasional swat at her ear and pat on her fur.

I think the biggest help is the return of her daily walk. As the temperatures began to drop a bit, we started taking stroller rides accompanied by our favorite dog.


She lives for walks. Thank goodness it's finally a little cool in the mornings so I can stand a little outside exercise.


Each day as I put on my swishy pants and start putting the boys in their car seats (that fit into the stroller), Pogo suddenly makes her presence known, just to make sure she's not forgotten. I'm sure I'm quite the sight, pushing a double-long stroller with a dog hanging off my wrist, but we manage. We used to take long meandering walks but the boys kept falling asleep, so now we keep to a nice little half hour stroll. I can tell that these walks have reinvigorated the little hound dog.

But the whole experience has certainly aged her. Pre-babies she seemed pretty spry for her age. But now she's a little slower, not so quick to respond, sometimes has trouble jumping up. I don't know if her age just finally caught up to her or if the "trauma" took a physical toll. Probably both. Still, she just had her birthday on friday and I think she's doing great for an 11-year old!

I think that Pogo will continue to become more comfortable with the boys. They've certainly started to take interest in her. And I'm sure once the boys start eating more grown up food which'll end up on the floor (Pogo's territory), they'll become fast friends.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Family Photos: Caywoods and Us!

My friend Nicole takes pictures. I take pictures. Makes sense to take pictures of each other, right?

Nicole, erm, don't get mad but... I somehow didn't switch my camera to take RAW photos. They're all JPEG. Sorry!

And you still got some nice photos. Here they are!













And here's my favorites of the pictures Nicole took of us! You can see some more at her photo blog. I'm so so so glad to have some family photos, you're rockin', Nicole!





Friday, October 15, 2010


1) Every clock in this house shows a different time. And this happened all of a sudden. A week ago, all clocks were in alignment but somehow there’s now a twenty minute range. It’s like we drifted into a time warp. I never know quite what time it is.


We're in trouble, this little bugger can smile his way out of anything.

2) Sleep training is going alright. We had one night where they slept 7 hours, only waking once and they put themselves back to sleep! But that was followed by a night where Liam woke up crying every hour. But… progress.

3) Near us is a huge Babies R Us right next to a Home Depot. Talk about our own personal money pit!


Tight lipped cutie-pie

4) I recently finished rereading Pride & Prejudice, for the first time since high school. I tell you what, it was way more enjoyable the second go-around. It’s amazing what reading without the expectation of deep analysis did for my enjoyment. Hang on, did I just admit my superficiality? I think I did.

5) We’re getting new phones. Because Sean’s has had terrible audio for almost a year. And my screen busted. See:


The thing is, I’ve no idea how it happened. I just opened it up a few days ago and it was a cracked mess. Mysterious.

6) We went shopping on Monday, just a quick visit to the Gap, and, golly, it was fun. It was the first shopping trip where I actually bought clothes in probably over a year. What is it about new clothes that makes me so giddy?

7) I also did a little online shopping for the boys. That was way fun. I’m going to have to watch myself, 'cause it aint hard to spend a boatload.


I just fell a little more in love with Liam.

8) I love that Liam and Dash are playing with toys more. The fact that I’m not their only source of entertainment has lowered my daily stress level.


"Hang on, I've got to figure this out"


"Got it! Piece of cake!"

9) I adore Sean. He's perfect for me and the boys love him. When he calls, I put the phone up to their ears and they light up. Wicked adorable. Sigh, he's my dreamboat. Mwah!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Warming Up To It

Dash and Liam are getting closer and closer to becoming little crawlers, getting more comfortable on their tum-tums.

It makes it a lot easier to play with their toys, too!

Dash was the first to roll onto his tummy and still does it every now and again, but it's not a big habit. I still have to put him on his belly to practice.

These soft blocks are perfect playthings. Sean keeps calling them "balls"- our boys may have trouble learning shapes...

But they won't have trouble being cute!

Liam started rolling over a couple weeks after Dash and has become a rolling fiend. I rarely set him down without him flipping over.

And he almost exclusively sleeps on his tummy now- he just flips right over when I set him on his back. This of course makes me fret but there's no way I can stop it from happening. I guess he likes to cuddle with his mattress.

And I like to cuddle him!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Panel of Experts: Naps... again

The Battle of Sleep has begun. Sean and I are embracing the ways of the book, On Becoming Baby Wise. It's a strategy for sleep training babies, to get them on a schedule/routine and to get themselves to sleep. This move really comes out of necessity, because we (both babies, Sean, and I) have GOT to get more sleep. I dread the mornings because I'm exhausted from only getting a fews hours of sleep at a time that don't even add up to a full night's rest.

So we're letting them cry. It stinks. Majorly. I know its a means to a very good end- the boys can learn to soothe themselves and we all get better sleep- but it's so hard to not rush in there when they're wailing for mommy and daddy. It's especially hard with the twins because the non-crier will get woken up, so then two babies are screaming. The worst part is making myself leave quickly after I've checked up on them- all I want to do is stroke their faces until they sleep again. But then that'd be working against our goal, wouldn't it?

Marci is the one who first mentioned Baby Wise to me. Marci's family lived in Illinois for a while and we were in Young Women's together. Years later, I came upon her blog. Then I moved to Houston which happened to be where she was living. And she and I finally got together a few days ago. It was funny, since we're blog friends, we already knew exactly what was going on in each other's lives. But it was lovely to meet her son (who showed me how very non-babyproofed our house is) and I think she enjoyed time with a couple cute babies. She's a wonderful mother of three and blogs all the time, you should check it out. Loved meeting with you Marci! Thanks for driving out!

Ok, back to sleeping. So the idea of not rushing to their side at every whimper at night is one of the points of Baby Wise. Another is instilling a schedule of Feed-Wake-Sleep repeat. So they should have their wake time right after they eat and nap after that, until it's time to eat again. Before, I'd let them nap anytime after they ate, so we're working on that.

There's two things I want to discuss:
1) I read in the book that if they wake up crying, it means that they didn't get enough sleep. Is that really the case? Because they always wake up crying from their naps. I'm thinking if I try to get them back to sleep (which involves more bouts of crying) after their typical 35 minute nap will help consolidate them and make them more restorative. Yes?

2) Any tips on "crying it out"? Does it really work? I'm hoping for some miracles in the next couple days.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Needing a quick baby fix, Sean's parents zipped over for a little visit this past weekend. It was spent watching General Conference (Elder Ballard's talk was like the intro of my thesis. Do you think I should look into plagiarism? Kidding)...

...going on walks (those boys love the Bjorns!)...

...and a whole lot of playing!

Let's first feature Grandpa Bradley with his favorite grandkids.

That's a face of absolute glee, isn't it?

Or maybe that is. No matter the case, the boys adore Grandpa.

The party doesn't start until you're playing on the floor!

I think there's some love there.

Now it's Grandma Bradley's turn.

You could tell that she was just itching to get her hands on these babies.

Grandma's a perfect cuddling partner.

(I wanted to put in this picture to show her great hair style)

Party time!

Practicing his standing.

I think there's some love there.

After all that playtime, the boys have been downright bored with me this week. We're all aching for another visit!