23 Months Old!

 

Dear sweet babies,

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Twenty-three months old! Ack! You’re getting so big, and capable, and interesting. Here’s what you did and learned as 22 month olds.

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This month has been the last of the beautiful fall weather! We’ve been doing lots of outings and walks to let you burn off energy outdoors. We’re already a little worried about what we’ll do later in the winter when the days are super short.

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You’re still picking up lots of words–even after hearing them just once or twice. You’re also saying three word sentences! Well, occasionally. Malcolm, you’re good at final consonant pronunciations, like “haT” (vs “haa”) and “upp” (vs “uhhh”). Emmett, you can say “Hi doggy” with all the consonant sounds (while Malcolm, you refer to dogs as “woof woof”). It seems like you’re starting to understand categorizing: “heavy rock” “heavy ball”, M identifies things that are there and are not there. Hat/no hat; Up/not up high

You still talk about snacks all the time, even right after meals. Emmett, you say, “sna? sna? sna?” and Malcolm, you say, “mo nak? mo nak?”

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One day I had one of you on the changing table and said, “Pee-yew!” while waving my hand in front of my nose. You both started giggling and asking, “more?” So I kept repeating it and you kept giggling and imitating the sound (eee-yew!) and action. It is pretty funny. You also can sort of say “stinky!” Now whenever we put one of you on the changing table, one or both of you will usually say, “Pee-yew!”

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We brought out a kids table and chairs, and of course you love it. So now you have all meals at the table now, and no more booster seats. We’re trying to get better at keeping you in your chairs instead of wandering around.

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You still love identifying colors, and are getting much better at it. (Yellow is still the most consistently correct color, though.)

This month’s obsessions have been trucks, and rocks. You love seeing and pointing out trucks (of all kinds), and you love looking at rocks, picking them up, saving them, licking them. (Yuck!) (Here you are at a gravel patch–picking up handfuls and putting them on the ground or in the toy truck.)

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Your animal sound repertoire has increased a lot. Hilariously, because you love reading The Grouchy Ladybug, if we ask you what a ladybug says, you say, “Hey you!”

Emmett, you love “counting”, which mostly means you point your finger and say, “two, two, two.” However, you also know how to recognize “two doggy!”

We got you some tricycles at the fall twins resale! You immediately loved them! You insist that we spot you, which hurts our backs. Sometimes you have trouble reaching the pedals, but generally you can definitely ride a bit–maybe soon you’ll be ready to try alone.

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You love music and songs; you dance even more now! And you’re starting to sing a little too. Of course you like singing the alphabet song, especially when reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. You also really like listening to “No more monkeys jumping on the bed” — you have started picking up the hand actions that we do to accompany the words, and can sort of follow along. Same with “If you’re happy and you know it” — you clap, stomp your feet, and say HURRAY!

We went to the beach again, which of course we all loved.

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We also went apple picking! You were very interested and excited to point out the apples and to try to pick some.

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Outings are a little bit easier with one of us adults. You are more likely to play in one spot, sort of together–like looking at/picking up rocks, or kicking a found ball. You’re less likely to run off in different directions, and you *sometimes* will follow directions when we tell you it’s time to come home. (But there are still plenty of tantrums because you never want to stop playing.)

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Your interest and skills in sports are noticeably developing! Both of you kick a soccer ball–Emmett, you can practically dribble, and Malcolm, you like to practice kicking while waiting for your turn to get the ball. Emmett, you’re kind of good at basketball! You can actually throw it and make some shots! We can’t wait to get you into some toddler sports classes.

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Invisible legs: we try to set you down for any reason and you don’t want to be put down, so as you get are brought closer to the floor, you just fold up your legs and try to cling to us so we can’t set you down. Super frustrating! Though we love hugging you, we can’t do it as much as you always like.

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You are little smart alecks too. When we ask you to do something, sometimes you just say, “No.” So then we’ve learned to phrase it not as a request. :) But sometimes you’ll try to fake us out–like when we say, “Okay, let’s leave your pacifier there.” You’ll grin and pretend to take it out, but then jam it back into your mouth. You’ve also figured how to drag your baby adirondack chairs around and use it as a stepstool to reach something you can’t.

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You greet us with “hi” and “hello” when someone comes in or downstairs. You also now like to call out from your room–we hear a little voice saying “hi” or “all done” or “more wa-wer” at night or in the morning. It makes us laugh every time, because your little voices are so cute. You also know your own names, and each other’s too!

You’ve become much more social in general–you now look at strangers while we’re out and about, and you smile at them and say, “hi.” Many people smile and say hi back, and that makes you very happy!

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We got you these potty chairs, but NOT because any of us are anywhere near ready for potty training. I just figure it’s good to make you comfortable seeing them around the house. You like sitting on them. :)

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You’re getting ever more physical. You now love running and jumping on the couch, and climbing on/in things and people. Malcolm, I caught you crawling inside your kitchen cabinet (the one we leave for random bits that you guys can play with), and Emmett, you’ve started climbing on us to balance–you even throw up your hands and say, “I did it!”

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In general, you sweet tiny boys are really fun. Less than a month until you’re two years old…we can’t believe it! We love you!

love, mama

2014 Oregon Coast Daytrips!

Spending the day out in nature or on a little roadtrip is just the kind of thing that PNW’ers are supposed to do. Up to now we’ve only done it sparingly (because, you know, twins…also, we’re lazy sometimes), but after our second great coast overnight this summer, when the dudes had such a good time on the beach, we vowed to *actually* go to the coast more often. And we did! Woo!

We went on a Sunday in September, back to Seaside and Gearhart. The weather was glorious. The beach was beautiful. We played in the sand, and watched the surf. We had dinner at Pig N Pancake, and watched the sunset on Cannon Beach. It was a fantastic day adventure!

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And then we went again the first weekend of October! It was going to be yet another beautiful weekend, and we knew the weather-clock was ticking, so we took advantage. This time we went to Arcadia Beach, which is south of Cannon Beach. It was an incredible day, though beach was very windy. (Gearhart Beach was not at all windy that we recalled, interestingly.) There was a family playing with a football, which attracted the attention of our small, impressionable boys. The family generously let ours play with their soccer ball, and then the boys ended up practically worshipping the older boy, and following/copying every.single.thing he did.

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Then they did some splashing in the little beach stream, and then they noticed the rocks. Looking at/collecting/awe-ing over rocks is one of their current favorite activities. Needless to say, we had to pull them away.

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We had dinner at Pig N Pancake again, and watched the sun set over the Seaside beach.

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It is SO fun to get away for even half a day–it feels like a world away! The littles have an awesome time, and the grownups do too. We relax, explore, eat treats–what’s not to like?

We are so very lucky to live where we do. So many interesting and beautiful places, less than two hours away! I can’t wait to go back to the coast in the spring (and summer, and fall…)!

22 Months

Dear sweet babies,

DSC_1871-001_WEB Happy 22 months! You seem to be having a lot of fun learning and doing so many things. Here’s what you did and learned as 21 month olds:

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You are picking up a lot more words, including: aunty, uncle, hello (both with and without the pronounced L sound), peekaboo (which sounds like bee-boo), bath, doggy, milk, please, snack, and you’re trying to identify colors (though most things are yellow).

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Most impressively to us, you’ve started putting together two-word sentences!  “Mama bike”, “Go, dada”, “More milk”, “Hi, mama/dada/nanny”.

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This month you started “running.” It’s more like a fast shuffle walk, and it’s pretty damn cute. (Though it is less cute when we’re in the grocery store and you get out of the car cart when you’re not supposed to!)

You also get REALLY excited for things, and will often yell out YAY when running for something, like a bath, or an episode of Elmo’s World, or bubbles. When you sit and actually watch Elmo, you are mostly Very Serious. (Although you do start asking “Elmo? Elmo?” when he’s off screen for too long in some of the segments! You really love Elmo!)

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So when I found this Elmo costume at a consignment store, of course I had to get it! You both tried it on but didn’t like the headpiece (though you liked seeing yourselves in it in the mirror). I did take this photo of you, Emmett, and it’s hilarious.

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Water play has been a huge theme this month. You want to play at the kitchen sink, or in the bath, or at the water table outside. You love scooping and pouring water in and out between various places (sometimes those places are the floor…). You get very zen and can pour and pour for a long time. (Unless brother steals a cup or pours on the other one, then there’s crying, and then everyone zens out again.)

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You’re getting better at coloring, and are able to do more of it. I figure that you’re getting lots of good practice at daycare. You really love the window crayons we got you!

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We got you these new buckets. I think I put one on my head to make you laugh and want to play with it…and then you spent the rest of the afternoon wearing them on your own heads! And looking pretty hilariously adorable too. Silly babies!

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You have become a little obsessed with hanging on things. The kitchen island, the changing table, even the baby gates….

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Then you noticed lots of great places to hang at the playground!

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You have gotten a lot more interested in climbing on things in gneral–you’re now big enough to get up onto the couch, and smart enough to drag over a baby chair or the baby couch to use as a stepstool! You like to sit on the armrests to listen/bounce to music.

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Emmett, you in particular love laundry. You shake out the item, and tuck it under your chin, and ‘fold’ it (meaning, you sort of wrap it up into a ball or something). It is so cute! (Sadly, I don’t have any photos or videos yet.)

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We went to the beach twice this month–once to the Sandy River in Oxbow Park, where you carefully waded into the rocky river….

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…and we went to the coast again, for a daytrip! Hurray!

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Lots more fun playing with the sand, and looking at the water. You could probably spend an entire day on the beach!

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No more high chairs–you began requesting your booster seats for eating instead. We don’t know if the high chairs are done for good…they’re still in the kitchen just in case, but I guess we’ll need to move/sell them soon. It will be nice to have some extra space back, but I already miss how the high chairs kept you nicely contained.

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You loved shoes before, but now you love trying to put them on yourselves! You’re not there yet, but I love watching you try (as long as we’re not trying to get out of the house Right Now).

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This is such a huge time for learning for you, and for all of us really. You try our patience sometimes for sure: tantrums, protesting diaper changes, trying to climb up the car seat, not sharing, hitting.  So many things get one or both of you upset, and it’s hard to figure out what is wrong and how we can help. We try to stay as calm as we can, and tell you often that we love you. Very often, you want to be hugged and held while simultaneously wanting to be put down. That leaves us a little confused and exasperated! It can be tough to remember how much your little brains are taking in and doing…but it’s amazing to see how fast you pick up new words and put ideas together. We can almost have very short conversations with you! You can verbalize some of your opinions. You can even follow some directions, especially if it’s in the form of a game! “Mama says, Give brother a hug!”

IMG_7020_WEB And then how can we think you guys are anything but the best little dudes in the world?

We love you so much!

Love, mama

Scenes From Monday Night

Once again, one of the dudes got my wallet out from my purse. They did some of the same thing as the previous day, but were also talking to each other (in gibberish) and dancing and giggling together. I lay on the couch reading my kindle.

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After dinner, they were hanging out in the living room. I said to one, “Chase brother! Go get him!” And it turned into a game of each of them running to one corner, then running back to me and crashing into me with a big hug. Sometimes at nearly the same time. Arms full of toddlers.

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After our evening outing, Emmett saw and requested some crackers. I gave him a few, and he asked for more. I said, “No more crackers.” He could see them on the kitchen counter, though. He gave me a grin, and proceeded to the living room, where he picked up his baby chair, and brought it back to the kitchen. He put it down right under the counter, climbed up, and reached into the bag of crackers. Chewing, he looked over at me with another grin. Little turkey!

Things I Love Thursday: Window Crayons!

On some Thursdays, I’ll share something random that I’m really liking, enjoying, or appreciating. Just a little post to share a little snippet of life right now. I’d love to know if you also like these things, and what you’re randomly into these days!

I read about these on Elise’s instagram or blog and figured our dudes would enjoy it:

Crayola Window Crayons

Crayons for your windows! That is so clever!

We have a big window in our living room, and the babies love looking out of it. We have our DIY Learning Towers so they can stand there by themselves (those dudes get heavy if we’re just standing there holding them!). So I figured–let’s have them stand in the towers and color on the window.

WINNER!!!!!

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They loved it! In fact, they asked to do it again the following day (by pointing at the bin we’d put the crayons in, and saying/signing please). We’re going to try not to do it super often so the novelty doesn’t wear off too quickly.

It’s fairly easy to clean up. I wiped down all the crayon marks easily with a wet cloth (former burp cloth, cloth diaper!), and then used windex to get rid of the big streaks. The crayon marks on the wooden windowsill/trim wiped right off, too.

Some tips: keep this a no-clothes activity. The crayon marks get everywhere. (They seem to wash out just fine, but might as well skip that step!) Also, you may want to invest in two sets at first. They already wore down the tips from this first set quite a bit.

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This is such a great indoor activity, especially heading into the fall and winter! They’re only so-so about coloring with crayons and paper at a table, but they were super gung-ho about coloring on a window! And this is definitely something they’ll be able to use for a long time, since their fine motor skills and drawing skills are only going to keep improving for the next few years.

I’d love to hear from you! Do you have these yet? If you have older kids, do you think they’d like these too?

 

*Amazon links are affiliate

One good thing about me

If I am out with other people at a restaurant and the server asks about dessert, I will always immediately say, “Yes.” Many women hesitate and waver and make excuses and apologies and justifications. Not me–I raise my hand as a proud dessert-haver. No excuses, no guilt. JUST DELICIOUS DESSERT.

So if you’re out with me, you never have to worry about the dessert question, you never have to worry about having a reason. We will have dessert, we will enjoy it, the end.

Life is short, people. Cake does a body good.

Note that this post is tagged with “advice” and “health.” On purpose. :D

PS: After I drafted this, I found this link snippet on Joy the Baker: “Eating: A Manifesto: Hey ladies, we can stop torturing ourselves about the brownie and just eat the brownie.  My goodness the way we torture ourselves.” AMEN.

Before and After Baby Tips

What I’m glad I did before babies were born:

Joined the local twins’ club (the classified section was a huge help; we got to shop early at the club consignment sale; we got to meet other new and expectant twin families in town)

Took photos every week to document my belly growth (see them here!)

Shopped at the big consignment sales (got tons of stuff for a fraction of the price!)

Got a new car (originally we thought we’d wait til about a month after they were born. Thankfully we came to our senses!)

Prenatal chiropractor (I could hardly walk for weeks, with this weird back/hip thing causing me to limp like an elderly person. My OB referred me to a prenatal chiropractor–I had no idea that was a thing! But thank god it is! My chiro was so friendly and she FIXED me!)

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What I wish I had done before babies were born:

Taken more time off (I only ended up with one real day off. There wasn’t much to do even when I was working, so I should have just let myself relax more.)

Gone swimming like everyone told me to (I didn’t have a swimsuit and I couldn’t shave anything. Dumb excuses that I should have worked through and figured out.)

Bought and worn more/better clothes (I had one nice pair of maternity jeans, plus maternity leggings, and a handful of maternity tops. But especially toward the end, I was in a maternity tshirt and sweats, and looking back, I looked so sloppy. I wish I’d enjoyed some more ‘real’ clothes a little more often.)

Prenatal massage (because duh.)

Did less stuff (I should have slept in more often.)

Done professional maternity photos (I couldn’t afford to do both maternity and newborn…but maybe I could have gotten a package deal. Above is one of my DIY maternity photos.)

Journaled more (Because I have the world’s worst memory, and blog posts don’t tell the whole story.)

Taken more regular photos of me and us, out and about with the belly (I wish I’d done more of my whole self, of the both of us. I did make sure to take a bunch on our cross-country road trip!)

 

What I’m glad I did after babies were born:

Had our first few days be just us (I didn’t want anyone else around while we got to know our new babies. I wanted us to be a family and focus on the four of us. No extra noise, no extra personalities, just us. Later on we had visitors and that was wonderful–made even better because of our just-family time at the beginning.)

Did professional studio photos of babies (They were so very tiny. We had no idea. I knew in theory they would change and grow a lot, but man, it happened so fast! We have a storyboard (three 8×10 images on one print) up in our room and we just treasure it. The babies themselves even like looking at it.)

Bought a new bra, undies, and jeans (This was probably my favorite thing I did. Two months post-partum, I went to Target and got some new, non-maternity jeans that actually fit properly. Same with a new bra and underwear. I knew that none of these would fit for very long, but I had been haaaaating wearing all the ill-fitting, loose and baggy everything. I seriously felt like a new person with clothes that fit my current body! Truly, it was amazing, and the cost wasn’t very prohibitive.)

Bought new socks (Just because all my socks are years old and I decided to just treat myself to brand new ones. Plain white ankle cut, 6 in a pack, nothing fancy at all. But soft new socks are such an inexpensive delight!)

Went out for groceries and Target by myself (I started doing this after the first month or so–I would go late at night, like 10 or 11pm. It was so nice to get in the car by myself, and be invisible, with nothing/nobody else to carry. It was a little melancholy, but it was such a relief too.)

Took a shower regularly (it felt great to be clean (and be off the couch), plus it was a good place to cry in private)

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What I wish I had done after babies were born:

Eaten more (It probably would have helped take the edge off a bit–physically and emotionally. I wasn’t actively hungry until about a month post-partum. I knew that I should be eating, but with our ridiculous schedule, I just couldn’t work up the energy enough to care, let alone the energy to find something to eat and the time to eat it. I should have done it, or I should have prepared my husband to make me do it.)

Rested more (after the first week or so, I started moving/lifting more because I felt bad about my husband doing everything. I shouldn’t have, and should have stayed more sedentary when it mattered.)

Had a post-partum doula (It was expensive, my husband had paid paternity leave, my mom visited a few times, and my husband’s parents visited for a week. So I/we had help. But it might have been a little different/better to have a third-party helper come in and help us out too.)

Made a list of chores for visitors to help with (Although really, who cared. I certainly didn’t. I thought that I *should* care if the house was a mess. I’m a terrible grown-up that way.)

Called/emailed people who reached out (I didn’t know how; I didn’t know how to articulate what I was feeling. I couldn’t articulate much. I really appreciated the reaching out and I wish that I had just picked up the phone and done something.)

Had my husband take more photos of me and the babies (I have ONE good photo of me with the babies, when they’re about a week old. [Which I had to ask him to take for me.] None from the hospital. I have lots of phone shots, mostly selfies of low-quality shot in the horrible lighting in our living room. I hate asking people to take pictures of me, because it’s annoying. But I always love to have real-camera shots, and I should have just asked more. I would treasure them. There is no such thing as enough good quality photos of a mama and her baby/babies!)

What about you? What are the best things you did or wished you did before and after you had a baby/babies? Please share in the comments!