I really cannot believe it has been a year already. All those sleepless nights and nursing struggles are, mostly, a blur. We are still struggling with sleeping at night, but things are night and day easier than they were one year ago. Things are easier than they were just a few months ago. Each stage has brought new challenges but has also brought a new level of FUN to our lives. It has definitely taken a village this past year. We are so thankful to the grandparents, especially Nana and MaMarcia, who gave up so much of their time and SLEEP to help us over the past 12 months.
We are also so VERY grateful to our sweet friend that helped FEED our babies by giving us her extra breastmilk for free. We kept the babies on mostly breastmilk until just a few days shy of 12 months, thanks for her generosity. My body just could not produce enough milk on its own. By the end, I was only producing about 5 ounces of milk a day. We tried a couple days of formula-only bottles once the breastmilk had been depleted, but Emry Jane refused to drink it. She was actually vomiting up her bottles and everything else she had eaten that day. I started giving the babies a couple ounces of organic whole milk in their sippy cups at meal times at about 11.5 months. After a couple days of vomiting after her formula-only bottles, I started warming up whole milk in Emry Jane’s bottles. She drinks it like a champ. I discussed and OK-ed it with our pediatrician. Until we wean them from bottles completely (plan to start that soon,) this method is totally fine. Eli takes the formula-only bottles and whole milk bottles without any problem, as long as it’s warm. He does not like cold whole milk in his sippy cup. We will continue formula bottles for him until we finish this last container of formula, then we will make the switch to whole milk bottles for him too.
Feeding them “table food” is still going very well. Emry Jane seems to have some issues with texture, like her Mama. She can also be a picky eater day-to-day. She feeds any shredded chicken we give her to Manning but likes small chunks of oven-baked or breaded chicken (right now.) Eli will eat almost anything. He is not a fan of mango at the moment…and we have given up on bananas for both, for the time-being. Unless it is mixed into a BeechNut pureed baby food pouch, they will not eat banana. They really like vanilla yogurt and fruit Cheerios right now. Sweet potatoes and avocados are still favorites. They LOVE watermelon. They are picky about which Puffs they will eat– they do not like the ones with beet mixed in. They only like to drink from their Nuk sippy cups. So far, we have tried water, whole milk, apple juice and 100% juice fruit punch in their cups.
They love each other and already fight over toys 🙂 They willingly share their pacifiers with each other (we are currently on Mary #2 and Montavius #4) and cry with the other is hurt. They are starting to wake each other up at night now, which is NOT fun for Mom and Dad. Emry Jane is the better sleeper, but lately, Eli’s crying has been waking her up at night– prompting both to need a bottle around 3am. Sometimes, I will feed Emry Jane while she is asleep at that time, called dream feeding, just so I do not have to feed her 20 minutes later when she wakes up and decides that she is hungry. They also steal food off of each other’s high chair trays during meal times, which neither seems to mind, and they push each other around on riding toys 🙂 I love watching their little relationship grow.
Our smiley monkey Eli is a smart, observant climber. He moves toys into place to climb onto the ottomans and chairs. He tries to shake the gate open to climb the stairs. Eli is all over the place, all the time! 100 mph when he’s awake, JUST like his big brother Noah! Eli weighs 21 lbs. 3 oz. (48th percentile) and he is 28.5″ tall (only 7th percentile.) I told Tommy we need to start adding “height for Eli” to our nightly prayers, just like Tommy’s parents did for him. Tommy is 6′ but his dad and my dad are only about 5’7″-5’8″. Eli was pretty wiggly during the measurements, so the pediatrician thinks that his height might not be accurate. We’ll check again at 15 months. He’s not a great sleeper, especially at night. He is a FAST crawler and walker. He can walk from one side of the room to the other. I think his record number of steps is 25. He can stand up on his own without holding on to anything. He has six teeth, 4 on top and 2 on the bottom. He says Mama, Dada, do (dog,) ba (ball,) hi, and yes. He shakes his head no if you try to hand or feed him something that he does not want. He can catch and throw a ball (something I am desperately trying to catch on video!)
Emry Jane is our pint-sized princess. She has all the boys in this house wrapped around her finger. I am pretty sure that she already knows it! She would love to spend all of her time with Daddy, except during the night when only Mama will do. She started crying out “Mama, mama” at night a few days before her first birthday. Now, Eli does it too. Talk about pulling on the heart strings! She likes to stand up on her toes. Emry Jane has become quite a fast crawler and can walk 4-5 steps at a time. Sometimes, she tries to walk on her toes, so she falls down after a step or two. She has great balance. She likes to stunt, cradle and cheer– she is quite the little flyer already! She weighs 18 lbs, 6.5 oz. (27th percentile) and she is 27.25″ tall (3rd percentile.) She weighs almost 3 whole pounds less than Eli. She has six teeth, 4 on top and 2 on bottom, just like Eli. She says Mama, Da (Dada,) do (dog) and ba (ball.) She communicates quite a bit through pointing. She likes to point to things that she wants and where she wants you to take her. She stands beside her high chair when it’s close to meal times to let you know that she is hungry. Emry Jane smiles a lot these days but still takes time to warm up to strangers and family that she has not seen in a while.