My babies are 11 months old. I don’t know how this happened. It seems like just yesterday we were praying they would take another 10 mLs through their feeding tube and now I’m peering around the corner at their upcoming birthday, creating their smash cakes!!! Like every other mother, I just want to pull back on the reins of time and freeze frame every moment. Pictures and videos can’t hold a candle to the memories themselves, though I’ve never been so thankful to have them as I am now. My tiny babies are growing up before my eyes!!!
We are trying new foods several times a week (well, when Mama can remember to throw something new at them). To date, they have had a yummy variety of fresh fruits and veggies, legumes, seeds, dairy and spices. I think even Gordon Ramsay might approve. We began with avocado and continued our journey with:
- carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, pumpkin, squash, green beans, eggplant, green peppers, summer squash, broccoli, corn
- prunes, peaches, mangos, bananas, apples, pears, cherries, watermelon, blueberries, canteloupe, kiwi, apricot
- kidney beans, black beans
- olive oil, coconut oil, cinnamon, butter, garlic, salt
- egg yolks
Some days, it’s a fun challenge to create new ways of serving up dishes…others it’s an incredible challenge. It’s a TON of food to prep for each meal but I’m learning some tricks for making life a little more streamlined. Right now we’re working on sippy cups. Since we’ve just started getting comfortable with breastfeeding, in the last few months, I was in NO hurry to introduce sippy cups and possibly confuse them. So we waited. I love that part about parenting – you just do what’s right for YOUR children and not what all “the books” say. We are at varying stages of “getting” the sippy cups. When Emma’s eyes lit up after she got some of the liquid from the cup into her mouth, I had a glimpse of so many future moments of teaching my children and seeing them “get” a concept. I.cannot.wait. Noah just loves to gnaw on the cup and Makenna is on her way to figuring it out. Hey, I’m just happy my little man decided he would go ahead and feed himself on a consistent basis!!! I still spoon feed them about half of each meal to ensure they’re getting a good amount and it doesn’t end up on the floor (and, hey, they don’t know the difference, yet!). But I have, for weeks, put chopped up food items on the little booger’s tray and he absolutely refuses to lift a finger to feed himself…even.though.he.can. Yep. I’ve seen him do it. Several times. But then it seemed like he realized the work involved and would rather sit back and have Mommy feed him. On either side of him, his sisters inhale those same foods. And he cries. Booger! Not anymore, though! Now he’s chasing those banana slices and peas all over his tray! And Mommy says, “Glory, hallelujah!!!”
We recently had our first house guests stay with us for a few days! Joe and Kristen Catoe and 5 month old A.J. came all the way from Maryland to vacay in south Florida, then traveled up to stay with the Fountain Five. I met Kristen years ago – she worked for Sovereign Grace Ministries’ conferencing department and I also was coordinating conferences at Metro Life Church. We have hung out often through the years and they even came down for David and my wedding a few years ago! Anyways, the babies enjoyed having A.J. here and the girls took every opportunity to flirt and do headstands and show off their cute, fat booties. I think Noah showed off a time or two…and threw at least one glorious temper tantrum, right, Kristen? We had a wonderful weekend sitting and talking and drinking lattes and changing babies and discussing parenting goals and marriage struggles and so many other things! For this mama who rarely gets out of the house (and I do mean rarely!), it was a shining weekend of biblical fellowship in a long line of (mostly) monotonous days.
The babies are all hitting milestones at different times. If you have more than one child, you know what it is like to remember back to when Baby’s older sibling did this or that. The temptation with multiples is to constantly group them together. Meaning, when one hits a milestone it’s easy to think they have all hit it! Or, the opposite also holds true: you compare constantly with a living, breathing day-in and day-out example of one sibling who is leaps and bounds ahead of another sibling and yet miles behind that very sibling. Very strange, right? Anyways, they all love saying “mamama” and “dadada.” They’ve been holding onto furniture and walking – but nothing on their own yet. Yayyyyy! I’m not ready for my babies to grow up THAT much, yet. They clap and play “high five.” They love mimicking Mommy and Daddy – or anyone, for that matter! They love to dance to music and recognize their favorite tunes when we sing them in the car. (When we turn the music on in the living room, they all look at the CD player and start dancing – cracks us up!!) With their increased mobility has come an incredible jump in the amount of boo-boos they get. All day long it seems I comfort this one or that one from some toy or sibling’s head upon which they’ve landed. I’ve been learning a whole new set of “cries” for each one of them – is it a big owie cry or a little one?
Teeth have also been a fun experience in this house! I felt like they started teething super early – around three months! – but nothing showed up for quite some time. However, Makenna now has seven teeth and Noah and Emma each have six. These teeth appeared within three months – all 19 of them!!! And I think a couple more are about to come through because everything is being gnawed on again. At the moment I can’t remember who might be the teethers…too hard to keep track. Ha!
Our current “discipline” issue is the ever-dreaded diaper changing time. Changing three wiggly babies as many as seven times EACH every day….well, this can be quite the exhausting task! They have some strength for being babies; wrestling them has become my new workout. I am encouraged, though. I’ve reached out to friends for help on how to begin the training and “discipline” process even at this age. Thankfully, we’ve been able to implement some of these ideas and if you happened to be around during these times, you’d hear “lie still” about a million times.
Overall, though, we are blessed with wonderful, happy, beautiful babies. Of course they each have their moments, daily!, but then so do I! Every day that brings us closer to their first birthday is incredibly sentimental for me and I try so very hard to live in the moment, savoring every smile and every tear I have the privilege to wipe away.