Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another Comparison Post

A while back I did a post with pictures of the babies from when they were in the NICU compared to recent pictures. Well, it's been a while since that post, so Gary and I decided to take out the cute little stuffed animals that Aunt Kimberly and Uncle Zac gave the babies and take some more pictures. We took the new pictures this past Sunday, when the babies turned 7 months old (yes, I said SEVEN months old -- can you believe it?)!!

The stuffed animals in the NICU pictures are the very same ones as in the new pictures. That's how small our babies were -- and how BIG they are now! In the new pictures, you can see a display of some of the babies' new favorite things: putting everything they can in their mouths and throwing themselves backwards. . . .

First up is Piper at 6 days old, followed by Piper at 7 months old:

Then Henry at 6 days old followed by Henry at 7 months old:

And last but not least, Rosemary at 8 days old followed by Rosemary at 7 months old:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Baby Food Doesn't Necessarily Come From a Jar. . . .

I'm not sure where I got this idea, but at some point I decided that I needed to make baby food for the babies. There are three reasons for this: (1) I know what's going in their food; (2) it's cheaper than buying commercial baby food; and (3) babies that eat "homemade" baby food instead of commercial baby food purportedly are less likely to be picky eaters because they've been exposed to real food from the beginning.

So, I bought this book called Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron, and I spend a lot of time on a baby food website learning more. The babies started out with cereal, and have since also had avocados, sweet potatoes, bananas, winter squash, pears, and green beans. Next up is oatmeal, peaches, and peas. So far, the babies haven't absolutely hated anything, though green beans are definitely not a favorite. We have 5 days in between each new food so that we can watch out for food allergies, and so far we haven't had any allergic reactions to the food. I have been very pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make baby food, and to store and serve it.

First, I start out with fresh (organic if possible) foods. . . .

Then I get the food ready to be cooked (if cooking is necessary). It is a testament to how much I love my kids that I actually snapped green beans for them. . . .

Then I cook the food, preferably by baking or steaming (boiling releases too many nutrients into the water).

I think that my winter squash baked up particularly nice. . . .

Then, after everything is cooked and ready to go, I puree it (and as the babies get older, I will make the food more chunky). I've recently found that the best way to get the baby food very smooth is to use a food processor THEN an immersion blender to smooth out little lumps.

After the baby food is the correct consistency, I then spoon it into ice cube trays for freezing. One ice cube is approximately 2 tablespoons, or one ounce, which is a serving size of baby food. Here are green beans and winter squash in ice cube trays:

After the baby food freezes overnight, I pop the cubes out and put them in ziploc bags labeled with the type of food, date I made it, and the date it expires. Most baby food lasts 2 months in the freezer, but some lasts 3 months, and some (like pears) even last a year.

Recently I've been keeping up with how much the baby food I make actually costs us. I made green beans for 8 cents an ounce, and pears for 7 cents an ounce. Peaches were more expensive at around 20 cents an ounce, but that's probably because they are out of season right now. If I had bought Gerber organic baby food, I'd be paying around 30-40 cents an ounce, so we're able to feed all three babies for as much or less than we could feed one baby. Clearly I'm not factoring in my hourly billing rate in making the baby food. . . . It does take time, but it's fun and I think the benefits far outweigh the time investment.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pictures with Mommy and Daddy

Everyone keeps telling us that we don't have enough pictures of the parents with the babies. So, the other day, Gary and I took some time and took pictures of each of us with all three babies (one day we'll get another family portrait of all five of us).

The babies received their Synagis shots on Tuesday, and were weighed right before they got their shots. Here are those weights:

Piper = 14 pounds 3 ounces
Henry = 15 pounds 11 ounces
Rosemary = 12 pounds 4 ounces

I can't believe how big these babies are!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sweet Sisters

Piper's not the only one who enjoys lounging around and watching television. . . .

Piper has now mastered getting out of her chair to the floor, but then doesn't really know why she wanted out of the chair in the first place. . . .

And here's a picture of our two sweet sisters, hanging out and relaxing:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

All Tired Out

The babies are now awake much more than they are asleep (except for at night, thank goodness). At times, they play so hard and get so tired that they just fall asleep wherever they are. As Gary says, we love a sleeping baby, so I've been taking pictures of them whenever they get all tired out. . . .

Here's Piper:


And Rosemary:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Rosemary is a Movie Star!

Last Sunday, Rosemary became our first child to roll over tummy-to-back. A few days later, she perfected the back-to-tummy roll as well. So far, she is the only baby who is consistently rolling at all (though Piper managed 4 tummy-to-back rolls in a row this afternoon). Luckily, Nana gave us a video camera for Christmas and we happened to have it sitting around and captured Rosemary's first roll. I apologize for the commentary, and especially the annoying cheering. Who would have ever thought that rolling over would be so exciting!! (And, I will admit to wearing my pajamas in the video, but I will not tell you what time of day it was.)

Earlier this week, Gary's mom sent us the link to Cute Things Falling Asleep, a blog which, as the name implies, features videos of cute things falling asleep. Then this morning, the blog was featured on the Today Show. Tonight we managed to catch our cute Rosemary falling asleep, which we think is much cuter than anything on that blog. . . .

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Big Growth Spurt

Gary and I have learned that babies truly grow in spurts. I can honestly see a baby in the morning, and that baby will be significantly larger in the evening. For instance, Henry's sleeper will fit when I put him to bed, and it will be too short when I wake him up. It amazes us every time a baby has a growth spurt, and we talk about how crazy it is all the time.

The other day I was in the kitchen (probably loading bottles into the dishwasher) and Gary in the living room feeding a baby when we started that familiar conversation -- how big the babies are getting. It went something like this:

Gary: Wow, Piper's hands are just huge.

Heather: Uh-huh.

Gary: I mean, they seriously look bigger than they did this morning.

Heather: They are growing fast.

Gary: And her head looks bigger, too. Everything about her is just bigger than it was this morning.

Heather: Uh-huh.

And then I walk around the corner from the kitchen to see this:

Now, look closely. What about this isn't right?

I'll tell you just in case you missed it: That baby is not Piper. That baby is Henry. However, since Henry is wearing a pink "Girl Power" bib (that, incidentally, Gary put on him), Gary assumed that Henry was Piper. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Henry has been mistaken for Piper -- and the confusion usually results when Gary puts some pink item on Henry. . . . I guess with three infants we're going to mix them up every now and then!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

She is Her Father's Daughter

When you see these pictures, you just have to wonder what could possibly capture Piper's attention like this?

Seriously, what could she be watching that is so interesting?

What could possibly be so entertaining that she is incapable of keeping up with anything else is going on in the room?

The television. She is her father's daughter. . . . Now I have two household members that won't listen to anything I say. Maybe Piper will also develop Gary's ability to answer all of my questions and carry on a conversation without ever actually knowing anything that I said.