Twelve Months!! One Year Old!!

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My dear sweet babies,

You are twelve months old–you have been alive for an entire YEAR! You’re a year old! I can’t believe it. No, really–one year olds are practically little kids, but that can’t be you yet! What happened to my tiny babies?? How has it been a year already??

I’ve been thinking a lot about last year at this time, when we hadn’t met you yet, and I didn’t know how to be a mama and I wondered who you would be. Those first few chaotic days/weeks/months when you were so fragile and new, we were so overwhelmed and exhausted with figuring out how to take care of you. Now so very much has changed. I can’t imagine not knowing you! We’ve gotten used to this baby thing, as much as we can. You have personalities that we’ve enjoyed seeing develop. You smile and laugh and hug. And happily, we’re a little more rested than we used to be.

I can’t believe you have been my babies for a whole year. I can’t believe how much you’ve grown and changed, and how much I still love to hold and snuggle you.

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You are wonderfully average in growth–right in the 50th percentile or so for height and weight. I think this is wonderful, considering you were born at 36 weeks weighing about five pounds. You had those tiny, skinny limbs that are now wonderfully chunky and strong. It makes me sad and nostalgic that you’re not so teeny tiny and new anymore, but I’m also so happy and thankful that you’re growing so well, and that you’re such healthy babies. We are so lucky in so many ways.

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Malcolm, you weigh 23 pounds, and you are 30.75 inches tall. Emmett, you weigh 22 pounds, and you are 30 inches tall. I am pretty sure you’ve grown just this past month, because you grew out of some of your 9 month clothes, and you can now reach a lot higher. You can reach the stove knobs, drawer handles, things near the edge of my desk. We need to do a second round of baby-proofing, obviously.

You are standing and cruising all the time. You pull up on anything and everything, and you can solidly stand for a good thirty seconds. (Emmett, you like to clap for yourself when you stand. :)) When we hold your hands, you take off and walk! You will happily do laps around the living room and/or the kitchen. And you get this huge happy smile while you do it, plus your little feet are pitterpattering and it’s all just so incredibly adorable.

AND, you’re starting to take actual steps!! Malcolm, you can do four or five steps before falling down into my arms laughing. Emmett, you can do one or two,Β  but mostly you really like to stand for awhile and then just fall forward giggling. It is so cute. All this walking practice means extra hugs and I can’t help but love that. πŸ™‚

Your first Halloween was this month! I found these monkey costumes at the twins resale and oh my GOODNESS the cuteness killed me!

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Emmett, you have six teeth through and Malcolm, you have eight teeth out! Only your bottom teeth are really showing–the top ones aren’t very far in yet, so you don’t look too grown up quite yet. πŸ™‚

Speaking of grown-up, your cognition is really starting to develop. You both have learned to clap on cue! This may seem kind of silly, but this is the first sign that you understand a spoken word and its physical meaning–and that you know that when we say it, you can do it. It kind of blows my mind, actually. What else do you secretly understand, I wonder?

You also started doing this arm gesture, reaching out to show what you want to be taken to see. Sometimes there is also a grunt to accompany the ‘pointing’. It’s freaking adorable and hilarious. You’re like a tiny emperor instructing us to carry you around to wherever you wish to go.

Interestingly, the thing you both point to the most is pictures. We had some framed photos lying around in the living room and you were super interested in them, always looking at and touching them. So now when there are photos nearby, you smile big and reach for them. Malcolm, you make this one sound all the time when you point at stuff, kind of an “ah-duh”.

This past month we finally started you in daycare two days a week. At first you were totally cool with it, but then in your first week of full days, you both are a mess at dropoff and pickup. It is so sad, you get so upset! And of course it’s pretty much impossible to hold and console you both simultaneously. Poor babies! I hope that next month at daycare gets easier for all of us.

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Our foray into daycare has in turn brought us your first real illnesses. You both got fevers earlier this month, which you’d never had before. It was so pitiful how lethargic and quiet you’d get! You were so snuggly and cuddly, though, which of course your mama loved loved loved. πŸ™‚

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You haaaaaated the syringe of baby Tylenol, but boy was it a miracle-worker. The medicine would perk you right back to your normal selves. Emmett, your fevers lasted more than three days but then thankfully went away. Malcolm, your fevers didn’t last long, but it turned into an ear infection, so you had to take some antibiotics to feel better. Fortunately, we figured out that we could add the medicine to a small bottle so we wouldn’t have to torture you with the syringe.

Speaking of torture…oh, poor Emmett. You have been a sniffly, snorty mess for most of this month, and several times a day we use saline drops and the nosefrida on you. Of course it is the worst thing ever for you and I hate that you think we’re torturing you and how upset you are! I always make sure to give you lots of hugs and kisses afterward so that you still know we love you!

And speaking of hugs and kisses, your Grandma J came for a visit this month! She was so happy to spend a lot of time with you. Unfortunately it was right when you were first getting sick, but at least she got to give you even more extra snuggles.

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You changed up your eating and sleeping routines a bit this month–you sleep later (HALLELUJAH) and you dropped a couple bottle feedings. We introduced cow’s milk, too, which you seem to be handling fine.

Emmett, you really have started playing with us this month. You like us to play hide and seek with you–if we go around a corner and say, “Where’s Emmett? Where are you?” you’ll wait a moment or two, and then crawl into view with this huge happy grin.

Malcolm, you have been working on charging up the stairs. You have some kind of super sense–if the staircase baby gate is open, you crawl toward it super fast and start climbing! And now Emmett does the same thing, so we have to be really careful about closing it and grabbing you before you get to the stairs if we forget to close the gate.

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Your play routines still involve a lot of books (reading them and trying to eat them–when will you stop trying to eat everything??!!), and walking with the horsey back and forth across the living room, and banging any two similar things together. Currently, you like the blocks that rattle and the stacking cup toy from Ikea.

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We put some of the blocks into the end cabinet in the kitchen for you. You’ve figured out how to open the cabinet and loved to take out Daddy’s coffee kcups and shake them. We put some boxes at the front that have blocks instead of the coffee pods so that you won’t be accidentally caffeinated. πŸ™‚ You discovered the joy of loaf pans in one of the other cabinets–you can bang them together and/or bang them with the wooden spoons and make a wonderful racket.

You love to cruise along and open the cabinet doors, and pull with all your might on the cabinets with locks on them. You also adore opening and closing the baby gate into the kitchen, and stepping over the threshold back and forth. Sometimes it’s hard for us to get past you tough little gatekeepers!

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Though you can sort of play together, you are keeping us busier, but it is fun to watch you learning to do all this new stuff. We love you so much and we’re so glad you’re our babies. What an amazing (and tiring) year it’s been together as a new family!

Happy birthday!
love, mama

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