7 Quick Takes - 9 month update!

Friday, August 23, 2013


We had the twins' 9-month appointment today - only a bit over a week late!  Considering I skipped well visits for Cecilia for an entire year (she had one at 6 months and then not again until she was about 20 months...), I'm pretty proud of myself for actually getting it scheduled!  It was going to be a week of well visits - John Paul had his on Tuesday and Cecilia's was scheduled for yesterday but then Andrew had court and there was NO way I was taking all 4 kids to a doctor's appointment by myself!

And now I know that I'm not trying to take both babies by myself again any time soon...  WOW that was hard!  We skipped any immunizations at the end because it was just too much!

Still not out of all of their 9-month clothes, but quite a few outfits have been retired!  I'm hoping we can stick it out through the fall with their summer outfits so I don't have to buy any larger sizes...


Because I know you want their stats, Mary Claire is tipping the scales at 17 lbs 10 oz and Elizabeth is 16 lbs 12 oz.  That's right, Elizabeth is less than a pound away from Mary Claire!!!  Considering Mary Claire has a *much* chunkier frame, is longer, and was 2.5 lbs bigger than Elizabeth back when Elizabeth wasn't gaining weight, this is HUGE!!!  Mary Claire's between the 25th and 50th percentile for weight and up near the top for head circumference, because that's what we breed for.  Elizabeth is between 10th and 25th percentile for weight, which is also huge considering it took forever to even get her ON the growth chart!

See?  Mary Claire no longer totally dwarfs Elizabeth!


They're doing great with milestones, and the doctor was pretty surprised that they're not delayed at all, since twins often are.  They've been crawling and sitting up for quite a while, and they're now good enough at pulling up that they pretty much don't need to be spotted anymore.  HALLELUJAH!!!  Mary Claire has started cruising veeeeeery slowly, Elizabeth hasn't quite figured it out yet.  I'm predicting walking by 11 months, which will be the latest of any of our kids.  Again, HALLELUJAH!!!

Buuuut they're pretty severely anemic.  Our pediatrician is pretty low-key, so the fact that she was worried about this is telling.  Soooo I'm going to cram them full of iron-rich solids for the next few weeks until they have another blood draw (just from their toe, which they totally didn't mind, so I'm not concerned).  Any suggestions?

Corn on the cob is a big favorite, but rather lacking in nutrients...

I think a big part of the iron deficiency is:

1.  I'm pretty much always anemic, so they aren't getting much from me
2.  They weren't born at or after 40 weeks like my other babies, so they didn't have time to get all their iron
3.  We started solids late and are still only feeding one meal a day, at dinner time when they're at their fussiest so they generally don't eat much.

So I'm going to have the babysitter start giving them lunch when I go back to work on Monday and hopefully that'll help!


That's right, summer is over and school is starting!!!  We start about as late as possible, with the first day of school right after Labor Day.  Teacher work days start on Monday and I'll have a full week of inservices, meetings, more meetings, and getting everything ready for the classes I teach.

I know, you probably didn't even realize that I work!  I pretty much never talk about it, but I teach part-time at a local secondary school.  2 girls' choirs (7th and 8th grade) and a music lab for 8th graders, which is mostly piano and guitar.  It's pretty awesome, I LOVE my students and I love teaching music, and it gives me a little break from the kids!  Plus it's not yet financially possible for me *not* to work...


I was trying to get a picture of the twins alone, but then Cecilia joined in (refusing to put on a shirt because she wanted to wear "just my tummy!"), and John Paul couldn't be left out!


John Paul has been spending most of his time writing and drawing these days - for a kid who REFUSED and showed absolutely zero interest for so long, I'm kind of amazed at his progress!

This is the first representational drawing he has EVER attempted:

Above you can see a baby in his mom's tummy, the dad on the far right, and a man named John in between them.  Who is John?  We have no idea.

Then I asked if he wanted to write anything else and he decided to write "Disney Classics" since that's the CD we were listening to...

And for some reason because it was a card, he wanted to write everything vertically on the front...
So...  That's pretty much all we need to do with homeschooling for the rest of the year, right?  I mean, he just turned 4 and is reading somewhere between a 5th and 8th grade level (according to the same reading test we did last year), writing fluently, doing simple math problems, etc...
Okay, I'll leave things off here.  Have an awesome Friday and go check out more takes at Conversion Diary!


  1. COngrats on the completion of your homeschool year (wink wink!)

    Have you ever tried HeMax for yourself? If your iron were up it would no doubt help. It is a time-release iron supplement, by prescription. Iron supplements make me incredibly sick, but this one releases so slowly you don't notice it, also, it has ginormous amounts of iron in it.

  2. Take Floradix yourself for your iron (it really helps and is the best iron supplement), and cook in a cast iron pan. Liver is one of the only cheap meats that you can get organic, so if you can stomach it, make liver pate to feed to your babies.

  3. Aren't all the leafy greens supposed to be super-iron-rich? And the iron they have is supposed to be more easily absorbed than the iron in meat?

    I have low iron, too, even now that I don't lose it every month. Grandmother has always been low in iron, if I remember correctly. So the twins come by it naturally. What about the other two kids?

    When I donate blood, I try to remember to eat prunes and almonds for a week or so in advance. That usually does the trick for me.

    1. You could grind up the prunes and almonds for the babies; it wouldn't take but a minute.

      And look what I found! Which I'm sure you've already found . . . http://www.ironrichfood.org/

  4. I'm interested in the comments since I tend towards low iron as well and Michael's bloodwork showed up with low hemoglobin counts. We use all cast iron and eat lots of iron-y foods but he shies away from meat so I think I'll have to push that a bit more since from what I've read meat is the best, most easily absorbed iron. I hear Floradix mentioned a lot when this topic comes up.

    My older boys were never interested in drawing or coloring when they were littler. I totally expected them to want to color because toddlers are SUPPOSED to want to color, right? So I would try and they just weren't into it. I think it may be a boy thing, though. Now they enjoy it at least a little bit more and it's a nice break for them sometimes (when Luke isn't terrorizing them and trying to get and eat all the crayons...). John Paul is such a character!

  5. I take Blood Builder, which really helped my iron levels, and they make iron drops that you can put in your kid's juice (don't know if they even drink juice?) that should solve the problem. Iron issues are no fun - bruising, exhaustion - just get everyone's up there, and you will feel so much better!

  6. My mom was told to eat cashews before she donated blood. So maybe cashew butter since they shouldn't have nut pieces? And vitamin C helps with absorption, so don't forget that!

  7. Ah #1! "I've got to be in court" is probably my least favorite phrase ever....it just pretty much means that husbands will be gone for an undetermined (and probably too long) amount of time--in our case as late as 10 pm if the judge wants to "push through"--and completely out of contact since there are no phones allowed.....so lame.

    Our last well baby visit was a total disaster with my older boys literally climbing into the windows and attempting to jump off onto the table while I tried to explain to the med student practicing on us that it is totally normal for babies to only poop once a week--he didn't believe me, bless his heart :) I always feel like I've run a marathon after I leave but I am so not wasting my babysitter dollars on doctors appointments!

  8. I'm always super late making our well visits too! I tried to be "on-time" with Judah's one year only to be told they weren't scheduling well visits for a month (after Labor Day) due to the back to school rush. Okie dokie then...this time it wasn't me! ;) The kids are just so darn cute, btw!

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  10. I'm glad your girls are doing well! They look like the picture of health! :)

    I think early milestone achievements run in families. Between the 8 kids in my husband's and my families, no one walked later than 11 months and so far both my kids have walked by 9. I'm afraid people will think I'm bragging, but my theory is that it's a temperament thing more than a talent thing. My kids (and it seems like your kids, too) are just persistent little buggers! I would love to have a laid back kid content to take the world in without tearing it down around them, but no such luck yet!

    We've been exploring iron rich foods here recently. Lucia was slightly anemic at her one-year checkup last week. I get out of breath from walking from the kitchen to the living room so I think I am again, too. So far our favorites are sweet peas (frozen from trader joe's are cheap), snap peas (fresh from Costco) and broccoli. I usually do one of those for lunch and another for dinner paired with an iron-rich meat. Lucia likes soft meat so I'm making a bunch of beef and lamb stews. For breakfast I rotate eggs and beans with fruit on the side and oatmeal with chopped up dried fruit for extra iron (raisins, apricots and peaches are iron-rich). Cheerios (fortified) and yogurt (no iron but the kids love that stuff) are our snacks. It's hard because I try to avoid too much wheat around here due to a mild intolerance on my part, but occasionally pasta shells with meat sauce packs a pretty solid (25% iron) punch. I hope that helps! Let me know if you come across anything else that's a hit with the kids!

  11. Did you work with John Paul to help him master reading and writing so early? Or is he simply a child prodigy? :)

  12. Wow, you're a homeschooling pro! Get it done while they're young, I always say. ;-)

    For iron my go-to is Floradix. It's a liquid and made a HUGE difference for me during pregnancy. I don't think they make a child's version, but upping your own should help with the kids' levels, right?

  13. I love that she wanted to wear just her tummy! Yeah girls! Keep up the good growing!

    3-2-1 Party

  14. Is there any way you could get molasses into the babies? My midwife had me drinking molasses milk during my last pregnancy to boost my iron, and I could feel the difference it made. Breast milk does not contain iron, so eating iron rich foods yourself wouldn't really help.

    1. I actually just got some molasses and am trying to figure out what to do with it! I think it'll work well in oatmeal, and maybe I can mix it in with the nut butters I've been making for them?


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