Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dear Baby A

My sweet Baby A,
Your sister got her own post, so I thought you deserved one too.  But I waited till a very special day for yours too.  One year ago right now, I was packing up my things to leave work.  After I packed up and made sure the kids were good to go with the substitute, I got in my car and drove to the doctor's office.  Your daddy met me there.  We were SO.EXCITED.  Finally, the day had arrived where we would have them confirm our suspicions- there were 2 boys in there.  We just felt from the beginning you were both boys.  We had our ultrasound and looked away at all the right moments- we were going to be surprised that night with friends.  We saw you two wiggle around like crazy.  I believe you kicked your sister in the head at one point.  And we fell more in love.

That night we opened up the envelopes revealing your genders.  We each drew an envelope and I got yours, my precious Baby A.  I opened it up and smiled.  We knew it.  A boy.  (Incidentally- your daddy opened his and laughed.  A girl!  And he wondered if the one I was holding also said "girl"!) We turned around and sprayed the cans of silly string.  I looked down, delighted to see Baby B was a girl.  And your daddy just glowed with excitement to see he was getting a son.  (Your Papa was so excited too that he finally got a boy after 3 daughters and a granddaughter.)

Precious boy, we knew right away what you would be called.  Your daddy dreamed we would get pregnant and we were to name you Joseph.  So Joseph it was.  And we laughed the other day because Joseph means "god will give"- He was giving us a clue that God would give us even more- a Baby B as well! Your middle name, Nathaniel, means "God gives" or "gift of God".

My sweet little Baby A, you are truly a gift of God.  You are pure sunshine bottled in a wiggly, chubby, edible little body.  I thought your cheeks were big at 2 months.  I had no idea!  I could smush them and kiss them all day long.  Joseph, you wake up smiling and laughing, and you pretty much keep it up all day long.  You make me laugh and cry with how much I delight in you.  You make the best faces- your latest favorites are a cheesy eyes-closed smile, and scrunching up your nose with glaring eyes and sniffing.  Shaking your head "no" is a close third.  You are the BEST big brother.  You are always reaching out a hand to comfort your sister when she's upset.  You put your arm around her, pat her head, and hold her hand (you also pull her hair and steal her pacifier, but mostly you just love her).  You are ALL BOY. You're rough and tumble.  You like to spit and think it's really funny when you burp.  You adore splashing and playing in the water.  You discovered your man-parts the other day in the bath (ugh).  Yuck, but I couldn't help but laugh.  You are fierce and determined.  You will crawl, and maybe even walk, soon because of your determination.  Even through tears you will persevere to reach a toy or your pacifier.

 Mommy was terrified to have a boy.  What do you do with one of those?!  But it took about a millionth of a second for you to totally have your mommy wrapped around your finger.  That first night in the hospital will always be a precious one for me.  It was just you and me, buddy.  We worked hard on learning how to nurse together.  And when you looked up at me with those big, full, aware eyes, and then gently put your teeny tiny hand on my cheek I cried big happy tears.  My goodness, I fell in love with you over and over that night.  You didn't want to sleep unless you were snuggled against my chest, so we snuggled and snoozed and fell in love.

I love you from the top of your head- with your sleek, soft hair- to your big, chubby, dimpled cheeks- to your snowman shaped fingers- to your big, giggly belly- to your precious baby thighs full of wrinkles, rolls, and dimples- all the way down to your fat little feet and wiggly toes.  I love how you pull up with determination, how you still love to snuggle with mommy, how you laugh with delight at each picture in books.  I love your rolling belly laugh, your giant smile, and your zest for life.  Sunshine, my precious son.  YOU. ARE. SUNSHINE.

They say that the firstborn tricks the parents into having more children.  Son, you could trick me into having 10 more babies!  You are just so easy.  So easy-going.  So happy.  Your wild sister, she brings us LIFE in a way that is crazy, zestful, and joyful.  You, son, you bring us LIFE in a way that is simple, uncomplicated, and pure.  You are the ying to her crazy yang.  You are the peanut butter to her jelly.  You bring her balance.  She will love you (and probably not love you too) for that.

My sweet boy.  It's hard to imagine that one day you will have big man hands.  That you will fall in love and a woman will TAKE YOU AWAY from your first love (mommy, of course).  After having a son I understand mother-in-laws a whole lot better.  All I can say is, she'd better treat you right.  Because after all, even when I look at you with your big man hands, you tower in height above me, and you speak in a deep voice, all I will see is your chubby snowman fingers, your tiny body curling up in my lap, and your high pitched squeals of delight.

Little Baby A, I love you so much I feel like I could burst.
My precious Joseph Nathaniel- I pray you would always be "God will give" to people, and also "God's gift" to people.
I love you so very much my sweet son,

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dear Yoga Pants Mommy

Dear Mommy in the Yoga Pants at the Park,
You.  Yes, you.  We make fleeting eye contact and your eyes reveal the secret sisterhood of the "I have on yoga pants but I didn't do yoga today".  Don't be ashamed.  You wrangled a toddler while nursing an infant.  So let's just go ahead and call that what it is- yoga.  There you DID do yoga today.
Before I was a mommy I looked down upon the stay-at-home mommy attire.  I got myself up and ready for work every day. I fixed my hair every (ok almost every) day.  And you don't even go anywhere.  And babies sleep SOOOOOO much.  But I get it now.  There's this progression that you don't even feel until one day you realize, BAM, you look like a stay at home mom.  Here's how it went for me...

Newborn phase:
I was recovering from a c-section and a heart condition and surviving on very little sleep in between taking care of the needs of my precious two babes.  But I took a shower EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  That's what naptime is for, my friends.  I know people who put the monitor in a ziplock so they can feel safe taking a shower while the baby naps.  This is not me, but if that's what you need to do, DO IT.  Take a shower.  You will feel so much better.  However, after taking a shower, I just put on my comfies again.  Because hey, I wasn't sleeping much at night, so whatever relaxing and being comfy I could do during the day was important and justified.  Not to mention I was a milk cow and would literally leak milk out of my breasts all over myself if they weren't covered and padded.  I remember how at the beginning I would always make sure my nipple pads (reusable) would match.  Sure, no one saw them, but I knew I was fashionably slopping up my leakage.  But one day I just stopped caring about matching and just started caring about keeping my shirt dry.  I think that one day was somewhere between the laundry being piled up to my knees and the laundry being piled up to my elbows.

Infant phase:
One day the "What to Expect When You're Expecting" app told me I was no longer the parent of newborns, but they had graduated to infanthood.  This means I, too, was emerging from the haze that is newborn.  I continued to shower every day, but as my babies went to 2 long naps a day I was even able to shower during the morning nap, let my hair dry in between, and then straighten it during the afternoon nap. Some days I put on jeans and a nice(ish) shirt.  Especially on the evenings where I would leave the house.  But quickly we arrived at the bodily fluids phase.  Somehow the babies diapers started getting full and sometimes leaky.  The spit up came regularly (far more regularly than when they were newborns.  How does that make sense?!).  And when they started eating it ALL went out the window.  Pieces of food, smears of baby oatmeal, and slobber mixed food regurgitation...  God forbid they sneeze mid-bite!  So the sloppy clothes started getting put back on post-shower. With the eating came massive amounts of more dishes and really gross diapers.  So out went the afternoon hair straightening and in came dishes and diaper duty in the afternoon.  The people I would tutor in the evenings have known me for 11 years, so they don't care what I look like anyway!  And besides, it no longer makes any sense to look even a little nice.

So here's where I am friends.  But here's what I predict the next stage to be like in most mommies lives:
Babies finally get more adept at eating.  But they still sneeze and snot and throw up and throw food and oh my goodness, they've finished eating but now they NEVER stay still!  And I want to clean up but they are eating my electrical wires.  And digging in the trash.  And licking the unkempt floor.  So I don't have time.

And whew... they are finally older!  They're able to occupy themselves for a few minutes!  I can fix my hair!  Wait before I do that, ummmm, why do I feel nauseated?  When was the last time I had my monthly visitor?  Just in case let me pee on a stick.  What?! Here we go again!!

By the time you get all your kids out of the "you make me unclean at all times" phase, you've looked like a stay at home mommy for so long, it's BECOME you.

Seriously though, I don't think most stay at home mommies set out on this journey and think, "I'd like to look like poo every single day of my life, but my kids will certainly always look cute."  I think it's a slow fade, and one day you realize you haven't worn makeup in 2 weeks and you don't remember the last time you fixed your hair.  You realize that your hairdryer stopped working at Christmas and you still haven't replaced it with a new one.  And you think, I should get a new.... hey, don't we need to buy some diapers?

So you, yoga pants mommy- I'll see your yoga pants and raise you a snot covered sweatshirt.  And do you mind if I borrow your blowdryer one day?  I see you aren't using it.

Snot-covered Sweatshirt Mommy

Sunday, January 18, 2015

My little baby bee

Dear, sweet, drama filled baby B,

We prayed so hard that God would give us the opportunity to be parents. Then the test said "Pregnant" and we were overjoyed. And then the doctor said five little words that changed our lives. "And here's a second sack." Sweet baby B, I've never seen your daddy without words before. But he was speechless. And mommy was shocked too. 

In my tummy you were the feisty one. I could always count on you to give some good kicks for my students to feel. You were a night owl when it came to kicks, and you are still all smiles when you're up late. As I looked down at you today I remembered the hospital. You see, precious girl, you went to the NICU an hour after you were born and mommy didn't see you for a whole day and a half. That meant she had a lot of extra time to fall in love with your brother. And he got mommy all by himself. By the time you came life was a whirlwind. We left the hospital, and started our new crazy existence as a family of four. You had a severe tongue tie, so you couldn't nurse either. That meant mommy continued to have a lot of extra time with brother. And she wondered secretly if she'd ever have the same bond with you as she did your brother. She felt so guilty. 

Baby B, my sweet Kenzie girl, I am here today to tell you that I do. It's not the same as your brother because you are very different little people, but it is equal. People may not realize how much joy you bring us. That's because you always give mommy good material to write about. Some friends of ours have nicknamed you "Candelita". In Spanish this translates as little spitfire. 

My little bit, you do bring us joy. You bring us SO. MUCH. JOY. Your feistiness makes mommy crazy, but it also makes her smile. I love your overjoyed, yet mischievous smile when you wake up early from a nap and I come to get you. I love your face as you concentrate on grabbing a toy, or untying ribbons on your crib, or getting your arm out of your car seat. You are so determined. You took longer to smile, and then to laugh than your brother. But when we get a smile and a laugh from you it's so very rewarding because you make us work for it.  

I think people might feel that I prefer your brother.  But that is absolutely not true. I love every single bit of your crazy.  You are hysterical.  You are joy.  You are life, 100%, full on, and you feel it with every fiber of your being.  I adore your determination (even though sometimes it makes me crazy).  I enjoy your naughtiness, as you pull your brother's paci out of his mouth and put it in yours (even though your own is right there attached to your shirt), as you spend the first part of naptime untying your DOUBLE KNOTTED crib ribbons (how?!), as you pick up food and then toss it on the floor... You are going to be the one I have to correct, while at the same time turning my head around so you can't see my laughter.  

Speaking of untying double knots, sweet Baby B, you are so smart!  You started crying while mommy tutors.  As soon as the girls step in the direction of the room she's in you stop.  Now, that lasted for a few weeks.  And I mean full on, 45 minutes of passionate crying.  But now here is what you do:  you look at the girls and give one good yell, "WAAAAAA!", then turn your head and look at the room where mommy is.  You crazy girl.  It scares me how smart you are.  

My sweet girl, my candelita, cray-cray, Kenzie Boo, Boo Bear-- thank you.  Thank you for bringing life into the house in a way mommy, daddy, and brother cannot.  Thank you for being nothing more and nothing less than absolutely, perfectly YOU.  

We love you so, little bee,

<originally started on November 14, 2014: the anniversary of the day we found out there was a Baby A AND a Baby B>

Saturday, January 17, 2015

How Egypt and babies made me granola

A long time ago when I pictured myself as a mom, I had no idea how much that picture would actually change.  Turns out, when people in middle school made fun of me for moving from the land of fruits, nuts, and flakes (AKA Southern California), that I actually am a bit granola.  However, I did not start that way.

Then I moved to Egypt.

And then I had babies like for real.  

In Egypt I drastically changed.  Perhaps not much physically, but a new Jen returned home 3 short years later.  All of a sudden I became one of those "research shows" kind of girls.  And I started to question the majority.  And I learned to appreciate and seek out news, ideas, and methodologies that are different from the mainstream.  I also learned to be more budget and environmentally conscious without even trying.  

And then I had babies.  And I learned to really question the norm.  To seek out research.  And to question EVERYTHING.  This doesn't mean I'm sitting at home judging those who go along with the mainstream/norm.  This doesn't mean I think my ways are superior to other folks.  This does mean that I've learned to seek out what I truly think is best for ME, for MY children, and for MY family.  


  • I use cloth diapers.  Better for the environment, better for the pocketbook (and with twins, OH MY.  I CANNOT imagine how much we would pay for diapers.) And I've also seen better results for my babies.  The only time they have had diaper rash was in the 10 weeks we used disposables.  I don't know why, but a lot of people say that cloth diapered kids rarely get diaper rash.  We've found this to be true.  People say it can't be done.  It's too much work with twins.  Y'all.  It's another 2 loads of laundry a week.  That's it.  And since we never put away our grown up laundry anymore (can I get an amen from the moms who live out of laundry baskets?!), it really isn't that much work at all.  A few times a week I sacrifice 30 minutes of naptime to stuff the diapers so they're ready.  That's it.  When we did disposables (we waited to do cloth till they were 10 pounds bc I didn't want to buy newborn cloth and I didn't want our one size diapers to leak.  Ew, nb poo leakage.) we were going through about 15-20 diapers a day.  That's an average of 120 diapers a week.  That's 500 diapes a month roughly.  Crazy.  Granted, it's slowed down as they've gotten older and we now only go through about 10-12 plus 2 disposables for night, but still.  That's a lotta cash in my pocket.  
  • I don't do cry-it-out.  I was always, always down with cry-it-out.  "3 days and they'll learn a new pattern."  "The first night they might cry for a few hours, but after that it get's better." "Put some cereal in the bottle and it will help them sleep longer after they do fall asleep." "They need to learn to put themselves back to sleep." I'm telling you, right up until the first night I did cry-it-out, I was TOTALLY down.  My girl is not the easiest baby, and she was a TOUGH newborn.  Sometimes when I look back at pictures I realize I've forgotten just how much that gal used to cry.  But right around the first night of "I've had it these babies need to sleep and she cries too much so she can just lay there and cry until she falls asleep" I found several articles.  One really stuck with me.  It said that even though the baby learns to put him/herself to sleep, studies of the brain show that the babe is quiet, but the brain still shows the same sign of distress.  I was down with cry-it-out if they learned a new skill and moved on.  But if they were still silently distressed, well... I wasn't ok with that.  Now, that doesn't mean I don't let my babies cry ever.  I will give them 5 minutes to try and put themselves to sleep.  And they are rockstars at putting themselves to sleep.  They aren't so good at putting themselves BACK to sleep.  So COULD they/I be sleeping through the night?  Probably.  Are they?  No.  And I'm ok with that.  And since I'm the person that has to get up each night, that's ok.  Chile and I have a saying about different foods we eat or activities we take part in.  We say, "Your body, your choice."  Here I say, "Your baby, your choice."  
  • I do baby led weaning.  I know, it's becoming a new trend, but whatev.  I'm SO proud of my babes and how well they're eating.  BLW doesn't involve stopping bottles/breastfeeding.  It involves the baby eating solids from the beginning and not being spoon-fed (by an adult- I load the spoon and they feed themselves).  Here's my broken record, but research shows (GRIN) that babies who do BLW are less likely to be obese as adults because they learn from the beginning when to stop eating when full.  They are given control of the food that they consume (or don't).  Studies also show that they are less picky eaters in the future because they start with a variety of flavors and textures.  Plus, I just don't want to make the mush and feed it to them.  This doesn't mean I'm off the hook.  I can't put food down and walk away.  I have to stay with them to make sure they don't choke, to communicate with them about food, and to show them (by modeling) how to chew and swallow different foods.  I have to sit and encourage the pincher grasp.  I have to praise when they pick up hard to get foods and actually make it into their mouths.  But I've already seen SO MUCH progress.  They feed themselves.  They are accepting of new flavors/textures.  They've had veggies, fruit, dairy, grains, peanut butter (gasp), and so much more in only a month.  And I'm high-fiving them the whole way!
  • I agree with the APA recommendation of nursing (if you can- no formula shaming here) till a year at least, and "as long as it's mutually agreeable to the parent and child".  No, I don't plan on nursing my babes till they're 3.  If you are, your body your choice.  My body my choice.  No judgement.  But we're going exclusive till 1, then morning and evening till I decide to quit (or 2 max.  My own choice.) Breastfeeding is weird and amazing and I actually kind of like it.  I sustained their little lives for 9 months while I was pregnant and have continued to do so for 7 more.  That makes me proud.  
  • And... <insert BIIIIIIIG head-hanging sheepish grin because of how badly I talked about and was skeptical over this topic> I am dabbling in essential oils.  I'm still a big believer in doctors and medicine and all the good things they can do.  But if I can: 1.  Keep my babies away from chemicals, 2.  Make my own cleaning supplies, mosquito spray, etc. , and 3.  Prevent illness and maybe make it go away faster without prescription drugs, I'll try it.  

So, at the end of this novel I say- you won't always be the kind of parent you imagine yourself to be.  You won't always be the kind of parent you start out being.  It's ok to change your mind.  It's ok to be different.  It's ok to to question the norm.  And it's ok to seek out what's best for YOU and YOUR family.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

7 months!

Dear Joseph and Kenzie,
Today you are 7 months old.  Officially closer to 1 year than you are to birth.  You are really growing and developing personalities! It is so much fun to watch you both become little people.

This month was all about EATING!  You had your first foods on your 6 month birthday.  Mommy is doing baby-led weaning, which just means you eat real food from the beginning (no purees) and you feed yourselves.  You're doing great!  In your first month you had so many different foods- we started with avocado, then you've had broccoli, bell pepper, green beans, peas, yellow squash, apple, pear, blueberries, strawberries, banana, mandarin oranges, pineapple, string cheese, yogurt, toast with peanut butter, eggs (scrambled, hard boiled, and omelets)... that's just what mommy can think of. Kenzie, you love ALL THE FOODS.  Girl, it's like you're always starving.  Your favorite so far is baby oatmeal (which you feed yourself on a pre-loaded spoon- makes for quite a mess!).  Joseph, you LOVE LOVE bananas.  

Above: Trying avocado for the first time; K after feeding herself oatmeal (and enjoying!)

Above Right: Toast with peanut butter for the first time

Above: Trying a frozen Popsicle of yogurt, strawberries, and blueberries blended.  K, you DID NOT LIKE (a first).  J, you were shocked by the cold and tartness, but you love it!

We went to your 6 month doctors appointment.  You are both right on track.  The doctor said you are perfect 6 month olds.  Kenzie, you're still small for your age, but right on the curve for your birthweight and how you were at 2 and 4 months.  Kenz, you are JUST now fitting into 3-6 months really well, though now at 7 months they are starting to get a little short.  You have the world's tiniest feet though.  You wore newborn size shoes at your 6 month photo shoot.  Some 0-3 month shoes/size 1 fit, but some fall off.  J, you are a big boy.  You wear 9 month clothes, and even a few 12 month things (especially cotton PJs).  Both of your very favorite thing at the doctor's office was ripping the paper that covered the exam table.  

 Aunt Bethie got you all a bubble gun for Christmas.  It did not have the affect we anticipated.  J & A were terrified.  K, you loved it.  You're all doing better now though.  

Since we were going to Arkansas for Christmas, and it was supposed to be cold, mommy got you both hats and mittens.  They were not well received (as we saw last month and again here), so we went to have some sensitivity training.  At first they were NOT OK.  But then after walking to the park, the swings made it all better! 

A few days before Christmas we went on a hayride around a neighborhood to look at lights.  You both loved the lights and snuggling with mommy and daddy.  You even happily wore your hats (though it could be because mommy ditched the mittens).  

K, mommy loves to dress you in things she would wear herself.  :) You got some new skinny jeans and had to show them off with your boots.  You do skinny jeans well, my girl.  You hate your boots though.  Sometimes fashion is pain, little one! :)

When packing for Arkansas, mommy decided she'd better try on the Christmas Eve outfits she got you AGES ago.  They were so super cute!  You modeled them well and we sent preview photos to Mimi.  

 On Christmas Eve, we headed out on our first road trip.  You guys were ROCK.STARS.  We left when you woke to eat at 3:45, so we were on the road by 4:15 am.  You slept till breakfast at 8:30.  We stopped and fed you (and ourselves) and got out of the car for an hour or so.  Then we got back in the car and you talked a bit before falling asleep for your morning nap.  You woke about 10 minutes before we arrived at the house.  We could not have timed it better because we had not one tear shed on the way.  On the way back, K you were unhappy for a bit, and J you reached a breaking point about an hour and a half from home.  But all in all you did very well.  I must say, you cried every time we put you in your car seats for the next week though!  

We had a GREAT time in Arkansas with family.  You had never met your Aunt Hannah, Uncle Dustin, cousin Sophia, or Great-Aunt Diane.  You surprised mommy by doing so well with everyone.  You've both been a little clingy (see 6 month separation anxiety), but you did really well with everyone.  We went to a Christmas Eve service at your Papa's old church.  You went in the service with us.  Poor J, you were so scared because the music was really loud.  You both did well though.  Afterwards, we went to Fu Lin.  Chinese on Christmas Eve is something of a tradition in our family because it was always the only thing open after your Papa finished leading all the services.  
Above: At the church before the service

Hanging out at Fu Lin's with Papa

About to open up presents with Sophia and Aunt Erin

Eating Christmas lunch- you enjoyed sweet potato casserole, broccoli and cheese casserole, and green bean casserole.  You both loved them all.  Southern babies love casseroles! :)

No pants post lunch.  I understand the feeling, buddy.

Above: K sitting with Mimi; J sleeping with daddy.  You two did not do so well sleeping in an unfamiliar place, especially you Joseph.  But you LOVED the big bed with Mommy and Daddy.

Playing with Aunt Hannah one morning.

When we got back you would play together for a little while.  J, you roll all over and sister is not immune to your rolls.  

But for almost a week, you all looked like this.  Grandma detox syndrome.  All of you wanted to be held all the time, and when you didn't get full attention- WATCH OUT!  K, you had it the worst.  J, you were mostly affected by your sisters cries.  

 A few other randoms from the month:  Kenzie, you wear all toys like bracelets.  I love your girlieness! 

Joseph, you were the first to ride in the front of the shopping cart.  This is how we spent our New Year's Eve- shopping, then all in bed way before midnight.  

Kenzie, you're just so pretty!  And you sure do love the bath and a hooded towel.  

 Gramzie (Aunt Bethie's mom) got you each a Leap Frog My Pal.  It's baby black magic and calms you both immediately.  It's programmed so say your names, favorite food, and favorite color.  Joseph, you get such a quizzical look when Scout says your name!

Kenzie, Archer is already making moves on you.  Your daddy better watch out!

 Joseph, you love upside-down.  It's your favorite.  

Perhaps the most special moment of all was this one.  Because your daddy's family is in Cuba and they don't have internet access very much, you have never "met" your Abuela or 1 tia, 2 tios, and 1 prima.  But your Tia Manana is studying in Brazil.  You have gotten to Skype with her a lot this month and last.  But the BEST moment was the one below.  Your Abuela is in Venezuela working.  She has been looking for a computer with Skype for more than a month (she's in a small town) so she could "meet" you. She has only seen you in photos.  She hasn't seen your daddy in more than 2 years either.  This was the first time she met you.  It was a teary experience for all the adults. 

Finally, we took your 6 month photos 2 days after you turned 6 months.  They turned out SO GREAT, and mommy has to try hard not to post every single one.  But here are 3 of my very favorites.  You were both so smiley and we were able to capture a little bit of your personalities.

Here are your stats: 

Height- We didn't measure. 
Weight- 19 pounds 13 ounces 
Sleep- We are working on night weaning.  Most of the time you do well, but sometimes you need to be held for 30 minutes to get back to sleep.  We are feeding at 8, 11, and not again till 7 or 7:30.  Can't wait till you actually SLEEP the whole time!
Eat- You like solids, but you still prefer to nurse.  You have quite the independent personality though- mommy is NOT allowed to help you eat.  You want to do it all by yourself.  
Likes- Screaming/laughing, rolling around in your bed, your duckie, your paci, toys that make noise
Dislikes- When you don't get the sleep you need.

Height- We didn't measure. 
Weight- 15 pounds 6 ounces
Sleep- You do well one night and terrible the next night with night weaning.  Sometimes you go back to sleep in a minute.  Sometimes you take HOURS.  But you will not put yourself BACK to sleep. Putting yourself to sleep originally, fine.  But not if you wake in the middle of the night.
Eat- My goodness little girl, YOU LOVE FOOD.   You have cut out those extra bottles, but you eat so much!  Your whole plate of solids disappears in minutes.  
Likes- Playing, your brother, Archer (you LOVE him), mommy, books, clawing and touching everything.
Dislikes- Being on your tummy, mommy walking out of the room.  You are so smart little girl- at tutoring you cry and cry until they start walking toward the room I'm in.  Then you smile (unless they stop walking).  This past week you starting not even crying, just one "Waaa!" and turning your head to look in the direction of the room.  Crazy little girl!

Mommy was disappointed that J drooled all over his shirt in the 5 minutes it took to get everything ready.  But then she realized that drool is life right now, and accepts it as an accurate representation.

Happy 7 months my little ones!  We love you so!!