Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy 4-month birthday, T and E!!

Today Tamsie and Evangelyn are 4 months old, so I thought it would be fun to write them a little letter for them to read someday to remind them of what life is like with them right now.

(Tamsie's on the left and Evie's on the right:)

Dear Tamsie and Evangelyn,

In the past four months, you have already brought such incredible joy to our lives! It's so exciting to watch you grow and develop each day, and we are thrilled to be your parents! :) When we take you out, you are always the center of attention wherever you go, and everyone loves to ask questions about you. Little kids in particular always say something like, "Look, Mom! Babies!!" and it's just so cute. When people ask your age, they're shocked when we tell them you're four months old, because you're still so small - but both of you are getting bigger all the time! As of a couple of weeks ago, Tamsie, you were 8 lbs 6 oz, and Evie, you were 7 lb 10 oz. We can't wait until you get weighed at the pediatrician's office on Wednesday at your 4-month check-up so we can see how big you really are now! You are definitely big enough that your mom's back hurts at the end of each day from picking you up so much! ;)
(this is Tamsie:)
This morning, your dad and I posed you for the picture above in the rocking chair in your nursery. You're wearing the smocked dresses you wore for your pictures that were taken right before you left the hospital. I chose them for your pictures today because I know you won't be able to wear them much longer, since they are Preemie-sized! In general, both of you are wearing Newborn sizes right now, although both of you are getting so long that you will be upgrading to the next size before you know it. The bear in the picture is one of your two bears from your NICU days. Look how much you've grown! The pictures below were taken with the bear in your incubators during the first week of your lives:
Tamsie and bear:
 Evie and bear:

So even though you may look small to many people right now, look how big you really are! Plus, you are right on track growth-wise and developmentally, and for that we are especially thankful.

Your growth has been so steady and gradual that it usually takes me by surprise. For example, feeding you used to take half an hour each time, and we would have the HARDEST time keeping you awake. But now it's a very rare thing for you to start falling asleep while eating and for us to have a hard time waking you up, but I really can't say when or how that happened. Everything keeps getting easier all the time.
(here's Evie:)

As for mealtimes, you are taking about an average of 3.5 to 4 ounces each time we feed you. You eat an alternating diet of NeoSure (formula for preemies with extra calories to help you gain weight) and milk. You are taking Polyvisol vitamins with iron and Prevacid for your reflux. Once a day, Tamsie, you take Amoxicillin to keep you from getting urinary tract infections. We keep up with all of this in a log book on the kitchen table - when you eat, how much you eat, what your diapers are like - so that we can make sure you're growing as you should be. When you're hungry, you can take down a full bottle in 10 or 15 minutes, but when you're sleepy or distracted, it can take 20 or 25. You refuse to take anything room temperature without a huge fuss, so the bottle warmer we bought is by far one of our best investments! You eat every 4 hours. I'm looking forward to the day when I can prop you up in your Boppys and feed both of you your bottles at the same time, but for now I just have to stagger your feed times a little bit when I'm at home by myself during the daytime.
(Tamsie again:)
At night we are not allowed to let you go past five hours without eating, so five hours is the longest you can sleep at one time. We usually have to wake you up to eat - otherwise, you would keep right on sleeping. (We're hoping that the pediatrician gives you the all-clear to sleep through the night when we see him this week!) Friday night I accidentally slept through the alarm I set to wake you up at the five-hour mark, so you slept six and a half hours before you woke us up screaming! When we put you to bed at night, you fall right asleep, but then wake up looking for your pacifier a few times (you LOVE your pacis!). But once you take that next feeding, both of you are OUT. It's amazing. I'm loving getting more sleep now, and I'm sure you are too! Right now, you're still sleeping in our room in your Nap Nannies.
(Evie demonstrating her famous raised-eyebrow-and-Elvis-lip:)
Both of you have gorgeous smiles that you love to flash at us these days. When you wake up in the morning, both of you are very smiley. You used to cry every time I would change your diapers, but now you just smile at me and talk to me. You're both talking a good bit too, saying things like "agoo," "oooo," "uh uh," and "AFLAC." Yes, AFLAC. (That's you, Evie.) (BOTH of you are saying "agoo" right now!) When y'all are in particularly good moods, you try to copy our facial expressions, and you make some pretty funny ones that are all your own. You're even starting to laugh - both of you open your mouths really wide, smile really big,  and say "HAAAAA" when we laugh with you. Both of you are happy babies most of the time, and when you cry, we can usually figure out what the problem is pretty easily.

During playtime you like to play on your mat with the star that plays music and all the dangly toys, which you love to swipe at. You love your bouncy seats, but sometimes you get frustrated because your little arms aren't long enough to hit all the toys - so sometimes your dad or I have to come help you out a little bit. You are also obsessed with your swings, which have mobiles above your heads. Whenever you get a little fussy, all I have to do is put you in your swings and turn on music and the mobiles, and you calm right down... and often fall right asleep! You LOVE the mobiles on your cribs too, and you kick your legs and flap your arms around when you hear music. (Future dancers like Mom, of course! ;) You still have a passion for the ceiling fan, which you love to watch, and you also like to watch TV when it's on. I printed out some black and white pictures for you a few days ago, and you love to sit in your Bumbo seats and study them. I read to you when your attention spans will allow it, but you're not always feeling it just yet. You love it when I sing to you. Tummy time is currently a bit of a struggle (and results in some tears), but you're getting stronger, and both of you have good head and neck control.

We love you so much, and we can't wait to keep watching and loving you as you continue to grow!


P.S. - Here are some funny outtakes from our photo session today! (BTW - now I have a renewed appreciation for baby photographers! They are NOT easy to photograph!)
Note that while it may look like a smile, that is NOT a happy face coming from Tamsie!

My silly girls can always make me smile! :)

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