Brock and Braden and big sister Sydney have been keeping me very, very busy since I last posted during our headlong dive into sick season. Which was not influenza A, by the way, but a very nasty run-in with the dreaded swine flu. We survived without a visit to the hospital, but Brock got pretty close with fevers over 105 for six days straight and borderline dehydration. We have been relatively well since then, only minor stuff, ear infections, colds, viruses, etc.
Brock and Braden both started crawling around Thanksgiving. Braden has perfect technique and Brock, well, he doesn't. He CAN crawl, he chooses not to. He prefers to army crawl using his left arm to propel himself across the floor. Have I mentioned he is left-handed? He started sucking his left thumb about a week after Braden started sucking his right thumb around five months old. They are both starting to pull up to their knees now, so I know that cruising the furniture will not be long now. We have not had much trouble with stranger anxiety until this week. Most of the time they are simply happy to have someone hold them, not really caring who it is as long as they are not left behind while the brother gets picked up. They are extremely jealous of each other. They cannot, or will not, tolerate not being picked up first. Or fed first. Or given a toy first. Or whatever. They do not get that we will get them next. Right away. Immediately. When do they learn that? Ahhhhh! The worst is when I am getting them in the car and I have to pick one to put in first. I have to listen to the other one scream until I get the first one in the car before I can come back in and get him. I had no idea this whole other world of twins existed before I had twins. I knew they were out there and all, but I just never considered all the nuances involved with having twins.
This time last year I was on bed-rest, making twice weekly trips to L&D to stop labor, just praying to make it to 34 weeks. I never would have guessed I would only make it another two weeks after Christmas before the boys made their debut. I was so grateful that they made it to 34 weeks, but so scared that they were still so very early. After a few weeks in the NICU, and a long winter at home, they really started taking off and now they are actually bigger than their sister was at this age. When they were born six weeks early I felt so much guilt about not being able to carry them inside me any longer and protect them and keep them safe like I was supposed to. I felt like I had failed at my most important job. I couldn't even imagine ever being glad they were born when they were because of the guilt I felt. Boy was I wrong! This Christmas was so much better than it would have been if they were full term babies because they would have been only ten months old and not doing all the cool stuff they're doing now. They can clap and dance and laugh and play. They know how toys work and get excited when they see new ones. They steal toys from each other and make the other one cry. They can play peek-a-boo with each other and you hear them belly-laughing from the other room. They eat suckers and pull hair. They are way done with baby food and scream at you if you don't put food in front of them faster than they can eat it. And with two of them, this can be quite a challenge, let me tell you! I think I have actually lost about three pounds in the last two weeks (during Christmas, no less!) because they are eating more of my food than I am. They love the Christmas tree and the singing stuffed toys from Hallmark. They are on the fence about Santa this year, but I think they both lean towards liking him. They didn't care much for unwrapping their gifts, which was fine, since Sydney was more than willing to step in for them on that one. They don't really like snow because it is cold and wet. And they will both eat any Christmas treat that comes their way.