Learning More Stuff

Apparently the babies have figured out a new skill–by themselves this time.

Yesterday I grabbed the broom to do a quick kitchen sweep. As I was sweeping, Malcolm was watching me, and then after a moment he went and grabbed the dustpan. He held it pointed on the ground and sort of banged it.

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After I swept up the dirt, I let Malcolm hold the broom. And he started trying to ‘sweep’! He kind of pushed it away and back. A few minutes later, Emmett came in and wanted to play. He grabbed the broom and Malcolm played with the dustpan.

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Then Malcolm got the broom and Emmett was upset, but I gave him the swiffer sweeper pole and he ‘swept’ that around the kitchen.

A few minutes later, something upset Malcolm (maybe the broom wasn’t behaving correctly) and he had the biggest tantrum I’ve seen yet. Flailing and flopping, screaming and moaning. I tried to give him a hug, no no no. Tried to give him his pacifier, no no no.

Then he started reaching for me and then after a tiny hug, reared back away. This went on for a few minutes and then I started singing Wheels on the Bus and soon he calmed down and let me snuggle him.

Phew! Quite the up and down.

I am fascinated and delighted that they have both magically picked up sweeping! I’m a little surprised, because I don’t think I sweep that often, especially not in their view. So maybe they are just observant and wanted to copy me this time. But it’s still pretty fun to see them start to play in new ways. We will definitely have to find them some toddler-sized implements, and get a second broom. One broom + two babies = trouble.

And oh boy, I am not looking forward to more of those tantrums! I know they’re coming and I know they’ll only get bigger as the months go on. Here’s to hoping that they always end in snuggles. :)

Good and bad

So the babies learned a new skill! They can point to/grab body parts–hair, ears, feet, belly, nose. It’s pretty neat and pretty cute. They will also grab our ears, nose, etc–and geez, do they have a strong grip. And sharp baby nails–ouch.

The bad news is that I had to be told about this new skill. My husband told me this morning, after our nanny prompted the babies to do it for him.

Well. This made me feel like the worst mama ever.

First, that *I* haven’t taught them this. Haven’t even been thinking about trying to focus on helping them with something like that. What am I even doing?

Second, that I didn’t even notice they’d learned it. Don’t even know when it happened.

Jeez. I fail, fail, fail.

It’s so dumb, but I really feel disappointed in myself. And that our nanny is a better mother than I am.

 

Things Right Now

I have mentioned the hugging in a couple other posts. But seriously. It is the best thing. Especially when I pick them up at daycare: when they see me, they get this big smile, walk over to me, and put their arms around me.

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Babies have started getting into our trash cans. They know how to open the flappy lid of the kitchen trash, and they like playing with the lever of the diaper pail. Also, they like to put things *in* the diaper pail (the hole in the top–we have a Diaper Champ).

They love yogurt. They will happily lick the Chobani lid, and try to lick the empty container.

Best of all, I once found Malcolm with a yogurt container that he’d just fished out of the trash. Nice.

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They’re walking all the time, no crawling for weeks now. And they’re climbing–up and down stairs; clinging onto the highchair; I saw Emmett climb up and onto a kitchen chair! I can’t believe that my little babies are legitimate toddlers now!IMG_3962_WEB

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They still don’t have any words. I’m not too stressed or worried, because they’re my only babies, so to me they’re normal. But as the months edge up and they still mostly grunt and babble, I will wonder. They do sort of repeat general noises/cadences. Malcolm makes an “uh oh” sound, kind of.

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They finally outgrew their 12 month clothes last month. I didn’t stock up at the fall resale because I had no idea how much they might grow. I quickly cobbled together a little 18-month wardrobe. But…those are already getting a little tight, especially on Malcolm. I go back and forth between “buy more clothes!!!” and “don’t buy anything!!”

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We’ve been trying to expand their food/meal options. So far Malcolm is pretty open to new things, and Emmett is pretty closed-off. But sometimes they hate everything new, which makes me feel all frantic–let’s try this, and this, and how about this? And of course, one day they’ll love something and the next day hate it. It’s pretty funny when they don’t like something–they make an “ewwww” face and then push the food back out of their mouth.  They love to spill things out of their bowls/containers, whether it’s applesauce or peas. Their spoon use is getting really good, but if they get excited or upset, they flap and fling the spoon so the food on it goes flying.

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By January, they were sleeping all the way through the night with zero wakeups. They’d been “sleeping through the night” since about three months old, but with very short crying wakeups for a lost pacifier or whatever. It has been REALLY nice to have quieter nights! Of course they do have wakeups and make more noise when they are sick and/or when we have visitors. Naturally.

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They love getting out of the house. Now that they’re walking, sometimes we let them go into our front yard. But it didn’t take them long to figure out that it extends around the side of the house and then to the street, and they love walking down the street. They most decidedly do NOT like being stopped from where they want to go. So we’ll have to figure out how to contain and corral them this summer. I can’t wait to be able to play in the front yard in the sunshine!

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Emmett loves grabbing the pens off my desk, and pretending to write with them and also chew on them.

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They go through these phases of book favorites, where they will pick up the same book and flip through it over and over, or just look at one page for a long time. So interesting. Generally I don’t think they notice differences between books in our book bin, they just pick one up and want to read it/want us to read it to them.

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They are getting so helpful and attentive! We can ask one of them for help getting something for brother, and he’ll toddle over, get it, and present it. So cute! They also like to do things we don’t like, like banging blocks on the window, or standing up (and doing a jig) on a closed bin. We tell them to stop or to get down, and they just smile. Frustrating!

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They really are figuring so many things out. Like unloading the dishwasher. This week I saw Malcolm ‘brushing’ his hair! (We only do that after baths–their hair is thick and not terribly obedient, so we just let it stay messy most of the time.) And he put my shoes ‘away’. Which we’ve never done obviously or consciously or even mentioned with words–I guess he just sees where the shoes normally hang out. It’s really fascinating and delightful to see their little brains learning things.

Sixteen Months Old

Dear sweet babies,

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Sixteen month old toddlers! So much going on!

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You aren’t talking yet, but you’re definitely growing — we finally put you in 18 month clothes, and they are not loose. Malcolm, you have four molars and a peek of a canine, and Emmett, you have three molars.

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You had your 15 month checkup and you’re doing well. Emmett, you’re 24 lbs and 30.5 inches, and Malcolm, you’re 25.5 lbs and 31.5 inches. While we were there, we had you get a blood draw to test your iron levels and lead levels (living in an older Portland house, I wanted to be sure). It was really hard for you, of course–getting that needle in your arm scared and hurt you! Thankfully, with lots of hugs, you calmed down pretty quickly when it was all done.

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You figured out how to “throw” a ball, and then you go fetch it. :)

You have learned how to be helpful! You like to help us unload the dishwasher, and you help Daddy look for his shoes.

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With all the running around you’re doing, we got you some backpack harnesses, and oh my LORD you are so cute with them on! You also like to hug them because they’re so soft and cuddly. We haven’t had to do much with the ‘leash’ part, but of course you hate that, you want to be freeee.

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Speaking of being free, you love to walk and explore as much as you can. You realized that the front yard goes into the side yard, which goes toward the street. You start happily going and we try to rein you in, and you aren’t having it. You like to visit the front lawn of the house two doors down.

You also really love playgrounds now. You get to walk around and look at stuff, and sometimes you like going on the swings, and you get to go down the slides!

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This month was our first visit to OMSI . The kid area was crowded and noisy, and you both totally kept your cool. You did a lot of looking around and a little bit of playing.

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This month your headshaking “no” has gotten a lot better/more purposeful. AND you learned how to nod yes!

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Generally, you’re still pretty well-behaved. Most of your tantrums revolve around food. Either because you are hungry NOW and where is the food NOW, or because Emmett, you decided that you suddenly HATE THAT FOOD. Malcolm, you pretty much will try and enjoy anything. Both of you love trying food when we’re out. One day we let you try some fries at Little Big Burger, and of course you both loved those.

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You also apparently decided that we’re not smart enough to understand you when you want more milk, and you started going to the fridge or the garage door (the milk jug is downstairs) so we’ll know to go get the milk. And you will go try to get the folded up high chairs!

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We took you to a nearby buffet restaurant. You both ate a lot of new things and loved looking around at all the people! It wasn’t exactly a relaxing dinner out for us, but it was nice to have a bunch of different things to offer you right away, without preparation.

This month, with lots of gentle teaching by the nanny, you’ve gotten good at signing “please” a lot more — you’ll do it for food or milk, and also for help. Like if you want one of the hinging blocks opened, you’ll hand it to one of us and sign “please.” And for you guys, ‘please’ is a back and forth motion across your tummy, it’s pretty cute.

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Here’s my next new favorite thing that you guys do: you find a book, walk over to us, turn around, and sit down in our lap! It is the CUTEST thing and I love love love it. Adorable.

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You do still love reading on your own. Malcolm, your ‘reading’ has gotten very vocal lately.

One random day, Emmett, you figured out how to look at us upside down. Little baby downward dog. So funny and cute!

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You also made up a weird game where you hand me an oven mitt, which I put on, and then you bow your head so I can sort of flap the oven mitt on your hair. I don’t know. It’s really weird and I don’t get it, but you get a kick out of it.

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We’re seeing more of you guys attempting to give hugs and kisses to each other. It’s so sweet. Except that often, one or both of you end up getting pushed down and then you get upset. Uh oh.

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You guys are still the cutest babies, er, toddlers, in town. You’re keeping us on our toes, for sure, but you also make us laugh, and make us “awww”. We love you so much!

love, mama

St Patrick’s Day Photo Series

Every month and every holiday, I take “official” photos of the babies. As they get older, it’s only gotten more difficult. I imagine that there are babies out there who sit still and play with props, but I don’t have any of those anymore. Both of these babies do not want to sit still, and they are too curious about the stuff I put on their heads to keep it on there for more than a second at a time. I don’t even bother doing holiday prop photos of them together anymore; I just do one at a time and make a diptych. (The couch ones do still work with them together, only because they are sort of semi-contained by the couch itself.)

I am no longer able to do photo shoots alone–either my husband or our nanny has to act as prop-placer, wrangler, entertainer. And I figured I should share all the photos I have to take to get something slightly decent. So here is the final St Patrick’s Day photo, with just some of the outtakes. Enjoy the chaos. :)

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Fifteen Months Old

Dear sweet babies,

You are not babies anymore–this month you definitely started acting more like toddlers! So many changes, so much growth. It’s been fascinating, and fun, and a little frustrating. Here’s what you did as 14 month olds:

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You don’t talk yet, but you have been doing a lot of physical development.

First big transition: you finally moved up to the toddler room at daycare! Apparently most babies need a few days to get used to things and feel comfortable in a new place and new teachers. But you guys just went to the new room one day and loved it, and that was it! Thankfully you also started napping much better, which means you are less cranky those evenings.

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You’ve been really into dancing to music. When you hear something fun, you start bopping along. So cute!

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You started signing ‘milk’! We find it super cute. You’re very matter of fact — you sign it to let us know, without getting upset. And then if we wait too long, you sign it while you’re crying. As if you’re saying, “I’m telling you I want milk! Where is it? Give me some milk!”

This month you both suddenly figured out how to climb on and off the horsey and wagon. And then you start bouncing up and down so that we will push you. (I can’t wait for you to be able to push with your feet!) Sometimes brother will come over and push you, though, which is pretty adorable.

You’re no longer obsessed with banging things together. You’ve been playing with blocks for awhile already, but this month, you really started to ‘get it’. You will happily sit, stacking and unstacking, for like twenty minutes! And then you’ll help us put the blocks away in the bin. (Although sometimes you change your mind and start taking them out to play again.)

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Three months after your previous haircuts and you were seriously shaggy, already overdue for another one. You switched attitudes this time–Malcolm, you were okay, and Emmett, you needed some help and extra attention.

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After the haircuts, we had lunch at a cafe. Malcolm, you walked all the way through the cafe and through the parking lot, and you probably would have kept going into the street!

Emmett, when we got home that same day, you just decided to start walking! Maybe you just felt so much lighter and ready to go. :)

So now you are both *really* walking now, all the time. That means we can go on outings and let you roam free!

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A few weeks later, you suddenly learned how to stand up from sitting.

So now that you are fully mobile, you do my new all-time favorite thing: you walk over to us for a hug. Oh my goodness, that is just the best.

You’ve also started playing a game: you walk away, and look back as if to say, “Chase me!” Then we come toward you and you walk away, giggling madly.

Of course you love making up games of all kinds. Hiding/peekaboo is still a big one for you.

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Lots of new things around mealtimes lately. We’ve been giving you a lot of new food so you can eat more solid foods: pancakes, scrambled eggs, toast, some veggies. (You get a little picky with veggies sometimes, so we still give you purees in pouches so that we know you’re getting enough green stuff.) You’re getting more coordinated using your hands and spoons to eat. Malcolm, you are an enthusiastic eater: when you really like what you’re eating, you start bopping your whole little self. Like you’re saying, “Oh yeah, I’m eating, this is great, I’m having fun, give me more!”

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Malcolm, you had your first tantrum. It was morning, and you were playing and having fun. But you needed your diaper changed, and you remained very unhappy about it even when I was done. You kept crying and flailing when I tried to hug and hold you. Then you went over and stood in this ‘corner’. When I tried to talk to you, you very pointedly turned and looked the other way. After a few minutes, I put you on my lap and played with the shape sorter, and as you watched me, you seemed to finally calm down a bit. Oh boy, that was something! I’m not looking forward to the tantrum age, I have to say. We’re trying to help articulate for you when you get upset, since you can’t communicate for yourselves yet. Maybe that will help.

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When one of you does get inconsolable, it turns out that the exersaucer is kind of a magic pill to make you happy again!

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This month there was a huge snowstorm! We took a couple walks out in the snow, and we attempted to let you sit in the snow, but you were not having it. Maybe next winter you’ll be ready to play in it!

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And finally, one weekend we went up to visit some of your grandparents. It was quite the adventure. It’s always great when you get to explore new spaces, and since you are so mobile, everywhere was open for exploration! And this was especially exciting because you learned to climb up and slide down stairs! You LOVED doing that. It entertained you for like an hour at a time.

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You were completely fascinated by Rocky the dog. You stared at him through the doors, and when he was inside, you stared at him and tried to follow him around. You kept reaching out to touch him but also getting scared and pulling your hand back.

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It is so interesting watching you learn so much, and to see you be more and more ‘in the world’. We are all having a lot of fun with your new skills and curiosity. We love you so much!

love, mama

twin mama bloggers

Hey just a quick blog announcement–I finally made a separate list on my sidebar blogroll for twin blogs. So check it out–are you on there? If not, comment with your site so I can add you! Who are your other favorite twin bloggers that I should read?