Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The art of feeding

Our lunch today was tasty and all three of us gobbled it up!

I've said before how sad I was to have to start feeding the girls solids months ago. Not because I wasn't excited about them having new foods and trying different things but because breastfeeding was SO easy that I wasn't looking forward to the extra work! I didn't have to pack anything, never had to worry if they were getting enough and knew that all the nutrients and vitamins were packed in there. They were growing beautifully and obviously were getting everything they needed (delicious chunky thighs and round bellies were proof of that!). They are still breastfed but only a few times a day now.

Initially we introduced solids around 6 months with just rice cereal and oatmeal. The girls weren't that receptive and our Pediatrician said they were growing and gaining weight well and that I could put them off for a while. At 9 months we started feeding them more solids and worked our way up to 3 meals a day of mostly fruit, cereal and pureed veggies. I was always adding spices into the fruits and vegetables because I had read that it helps expand babies palates and makes them less picky later. So far this has proven to be true! The girls love curry, cinnamon and nutmeg. They eat a huge variety of flavors and textures. Whatever is on my plate is what they eat. Their favorites include hummus, banana avocado "pudding", tofu with bananas, pizza (go figure!) and black bean burritos.

Feeding the girls vegetarian is challenging because I need to make sure they're getting everything they need to grow. I know it's the best and healthiest option for them and it's not less challenging for parents who feed meat to make sure their little ones are getting everything they need. Making sure they're eating the right combination of foods to get complete proteins and good fats can be daunting for me at times. Rasa is starting to exert her independence and will throw food instead of eat it or turn her head away from the spoon one minute and gobble up the next one. Adia is funny because even when she takes a bite of something she clearly doesn't like she continues to eat it bite after bite! I've got a pretty relaxed approach to it all assuming that if they're hungry they will eat and that they know much better than I do when they're not hungry anymore. It's worked out well this far as neither girls ever get sick and both are perfect for weight. I remind myself that like everything else it will get easier and my list of essential combinations will become like second nature to me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Little Monkey

After we got home from "school" today I fed the girls yogurt and had a banana waiting for them. The longer it took them to eat the yogurt the more tired and cranky they became. After it was finished I picked up Rasa first and brought her to their room to lay her down for a nap. Adia stayed behind me on the loft. About two minutes later I walked back down the hall to the loft and I see Adia standing quietly (huge red flag) at the couch with her back to me. When she turned around she dropped the banana I had left sitting there. I picked it up off the floor and my hand was slathered in banana mush. Upon further inspection I realized she chewed through the peel and ate half of the banana!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New shoes

Spring is coming and the boots that the girls have been wearing since November are getting to be a little warm. Royce and I went shopping with the girls this weekend and I decided to pick up a couple pairs of shoes for them. They are no big deal, just the crib shoes they've always worn with the leather bottoms. The selection wasn't great but I had Adia in my cart so she picked out two pairs.

When we got the girls home I wanted to let them try the shoes out on the carpet to make sure they weren't too long and that they could walk in them well. I put Rasa's on her first. Right away she pulled up her pant legs to get a better look and smiled. She stood up, walked a few steps, stopped and pulled her pant legs up again to look at and smile at her new shoes. Rasa took off down the hall really fast almost to say "these shoes make me run faster!".

I managed to catch Adia and got her to sit still long enough for me to put her shoes on. She was VERY excited as she sat there looking at them and wiggling her feet. Her smile was literally from ear to ear. She stood up and then stood on her head so she could get a better look at them. She took a few steps but kept falling over because she kept leaning too far forward staring at her new shoes! Finally she sat back down, kicked her legs out in front of herself and wiggled her feet while smiling at both Royce and I. I said, "ADIA do you have new shoes?!" and she looked at them and gave me a huge smile. So proud of her new shoes.

I need to remember revel in the little things! What joy you can get out of something so simple.

The recent what haps

As Rasa and Adia grow and develop right before our eyes it's good for me to stop and take the time to write things down. Every week yields new things and suddenly I find our days and weeks running together quickly as we get involved in more and more activities. We are having SO MUCH FUN!

With the recommendation of Royce's Cousin, Amy, I got the girls involved in Early Childhood Family Education several months ago. It's been a wonderful experience for all of us. The girls adore going to school every week and playing with all of the great toys and activities they have set up just for little ones their age. The Teachers are great and I really enjoy seeing the other Mom's and Dad's each week. It's given the girls a lot of independence that I and the Teachers have noticed. The girls really delight in the singing and dancing that happens in the music circle at the end of each playtime. Some weeks they get to play different instruments too. Rasa especially loves singing and likes to really belt it out after everyone else has stopped. Adia has fun showing off (she has her Dad and Grandpa Oly's personality) and loves playing with the bigger kids.

Friday night ECFE offered a family fun night called Swim and Gym at the local middle school. It was a blast! We all went swimming first and then after played in the two gyms that were set up just for kids four and under. Swimming is always a big hit with the girls and they really had a fun time in the gym too. One of the gyms had cones set up and over a dozen little riding toys and that was their favorite. The girls were so excited about the night that they sang and giggled on the drive home. I didn't think we'd ever get them to sleep.

We didn't bring a camera to Swim and gym because of the hassle of having to keep track of it amongst the load of other things you have to lug with you when you have two little ones.

I'm sure I sound redundant writing of my affection and love for these two little girls but I really can't express it enough. They are so profoundly connected to my heart. I still tear up thanking God for them. We waited so long and wanted both of them so badly that it still overwhelms us looking at them and hugging and kissing them.

The pictures below are of the girls favorite thing of the week: squeezing themselves into boxes and bins. Proof once again that we need not spend so much money on expensive toys when they would rather just play with the boxes!

"We are always too busy for our children; we never give them the time or interest they deserve. We lavish gifts upon them; but the most precious gift - our personal association, which means so much to them - we give grudgingly." -Mark Twain

Friday, February 12, 2010

Just pics


Very dramatic temper tantrum queen

Little animal lover

Every baby's right of passage; playing in laundry baskets

Good ol Rody

Rasa Bea smiling at her sister

Having fun together in their ball hopper

We Are Family

"Families are forever. No matter what happens your family's always going to be there for you" Rosie O'Donnell A Family Is A Family Is A Family

Rasa and Adia have this closeness that's so amazing to me. The girls really enjoy chasing each other (while screaming) and playing tug of water with clean laundry. They love getting into my textile bin and playing with all of the different fabrics and ribbons and just making a huge mess together. They do things to entertain each other like putting things on their heads or throwing toys off of the loft. As soon as one hears the other laugh they both giggle in unison. The sound of the two of them laughing together must affect me chemically because I get a rush of joy like nothing else in the world.

Adia will wake up earlier than Rasa from naps and as soon as she hears Rasa's voice on the baby monitor she will race over to their room with excitement. They still move close to each other in their sleep, something they've done since the day we brought them home. They like to be very close. Adia LOVES making Rasa laugh and will stop at almost nothing to do it.

I always catch Rasa starring at Adia in admiration. Rasa acts more like a big sister. The other day I was changing Adia and Rasa was standing next to me. When I went to grab a wet wipe Rasa grabbed it first and wiped Adia's butt for me! She's going to be my little helper I see.

The girls love watching Royce and I hug or kiss (G rated of course). They smile and watch closely. The two of them kiss and hug constantly. We've had to teach them the meaning of the word "gentle" because Adia likes to slap Rasa on the head and Rasa likes to poke Adia's eyes. When we say "gentle" they stop and hug or kiss. Adia says "Ohohoho" while she's doing it and usually holds on until Rasa has to push her off of her.

The girls don't always get long of course but that's a part of being family. Despite our differences we will stand by each other and love each other. We will always be family. Rasa and Adia will always be sisters and that's why Royce and I will always work hard to teach them how very special each of them is and how very special they are together.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Picasso's got nothin' on these two

Royce and I are both painters although it's been a while since we had the time to do something new. We plan on giving the girls opportunities to learn and get messy and have an appreciation and love of creating. It's been proven that children appreciate the qualities of good art supplies. Nothing is worse than having to use paint that's watery and runny or paper that's thin and can't take a beating. I remember in elementary school being excited for art day only to be let down by cheap supplies that made creating a disappointment. I wanted my red RED, not washed out pink! I wanted my sea of blue a deep and beautiful blue, not a pastel sky blue! Unfortunately since the girls are only a year old I had to go with the horrible Crayola finger paints simply for the non-toxic qualities. Good thing I did because Adia ate her first two handfuls. So much for a discriminating palate! As soon as they get over their infatuation of eating everything that they pick up we will raid my art supply boxes! On a side note I'm pretty sure I could have made better finger paint with corn starch, water and food coloring.

In honor of Grandpa Greg's favorite holiday the girls painted him valentines.

Both girls knew exactly what to do when I dropped a blob of each color on their paper. Rasa was meticulous in her placement and movement of the color on the paper. She was careful and stayed very clean. She was quiet and concentrated. I think I could have kept her focused for an hour easily.

Adia went after the paint with enthusiasm. She ate it, put it on her face, in her hair and slapped the paper with her messy hands! She thoroughly enjoyed herself. I have a feeling if I rolled out a long roll of paper on the floor with paints Adia would probably jump on it and paint with her body!

We had a lot of fun! I'm really looking forward to coming up with more ways to allow the girls to be creative, use their hands and have fun.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Rub-a-dub-dub two toddlers in the tub

Life must be pretty exciting as a toddler. Discovering all sorts of new things everyday and new uses for other things you already knew you had. The girls move nonstop all day everyday. They're both walking and jumping and climbing. I've been writing a lot about the bath tub lately but honestly they are so infatuated with the water I truly believe it's now the highlight of their day. The more comfortable they get in it the more daring they are which is good and bad.

Bath time tonight was exhausting. Adia's discovered the baby girl that looks back and waves at her in the shiny silver tub handle. Worse yet she's discovered the handle that goes across the side of the tub and was using it to do pull ups and flipping herself upside down (you can't make this stuff up people). Rasa has a new found love of the underwater and dives under with gusto while she slips out of Royce's hands over and over, both of us panicking each time that she's going to drown while we're sitting right there! Two toddlers in the tub doesn't equal rub-a-dub-dub. We all get really wet but mostly it's a lot of wrestling and screaming and splashing and giggling. How did my quiet babies turn into such wild children? I blame Royce's genes. Everyone knows I was a perfect child :)

As I type, Adia is jumping next to me on the couch drooling on (and probably ruining) my new cell phone and Rasa is on the floor grinding the left over pizza into my white carpet. I don't know how she got it. I would get up and stop her but I'm too tired. Where is Royce you might ask yourself.....he's on his way up to the liquor store because we need a drink!