Two Years Old!!

Dear sweet babies,

DSC_8451-001_WEB

Ok ok, you are now officially, definitely, not babies anymore. You are TWO! I am trying not to refer to you as babies as much, at least not in public. I guess I have to just call you ‘boys’ or ‘kids’ now. Sniff.

Emmett, you are 34.5 inches tall and you weight 28 pounds. Malcolm, you are 35.5 inches tall and weight 29 1/2 pounds!

There isn’t much physical development or change this month; it’s all mental/verbal. You are picking up SO MANY WORDS! Almost every time we say something new, you repeat it back. Wow! (This means mama better start watching her potty mouth.)

DSC_8427_WEB

So there are too many new words to count/keep track, but some of the memorable ones are: “laundry”, “sink”, “shoe bin”, “there it goes”, “almost”, “where did it go?” (complete with hand gestures) and “hug” (cue melting mama heart) and “underwater” (there’s a single page in a random magazine that you both became a little obsessed with).  Malcolm, you like to shriek and scream out loud for fun sometimes, and Emmett, you shake your finger and say, “Shh, no scream.” Malcolm, you also like to call after your brother by name (“No, Emmett!”), which is pretty cute. We’ve had pumpkin soup a few times and you guys love it, and the way you say it cracks us up too. 🙂

DSC_8458_WEB

Your singing has increased and improved; you also hum too (especially Emmett, and you generally do some swaying back and forth while you hum and/or sing).

With all the new words you’re picking up, you’re really into repeating–meaning that when you say something, we repeat it back to you. Sometimes we can’t figure it out, and you shake your head and say, “no” and then say it again until we figure it out. [One that gave us a lot of trouble is Malcolm’s rendition of “dark outside.” It sounds like “daaahhk…..ah-lash.” Always with the pause in the middle.] Basically any time you say something, you want us to repeat it/confirm it for you.

Another fun example is when Malcolm tripped and Emmett, like, re-enacted it and told us about it. You pointed to the spot on the couch and then to your own head, and said something like, “ouch.” You did that whole little routine like three thimes.

Week 44 Oct 27-Nov 2_WEB

A huge thing this month has been helping. You bring things to the sink, put clothes in the hamper, hand us things. (One day you were coloring with the window crayons, and then Malcolm, you started cleaning it up!) You also love to say, “Help me” but what you actually mean is, that we let you help us. 🙂 So you want to ‘assist’ with tasks like opening or closing the microwave, or retrieving snacks from the kitchen.

Your daycare teachers LOVE you–they always rave at how helpful you are, and that you always help tidy up and put toys away. They’re also noticing that you’re talking a lot more…I imagine that you may not talk as much there as at home, but it sounds like you’re getting more and more comfortable at daycare to keep opening up.

IMG_8368-5_WEB

You’re also getting better at asking to share things between you, and actually sharing them! There is definitely still drama and tears and mini tantrums, but sometimes one of you asks and the other hands it over!

Speaking of sharing and/or tantrums, a lot of them have been stemming from us making you stop doing something, or handing something to us that you shouldn’t be playing with. And this month, we’ve figured out that if we come at it a different way, the result is totally different. (Well, a lot of times. Ok, sometimes. ) Like one time, Malcolm, you picked up a few coins that were on my desk. And I started to try to get it out of your hands and of course you got upset. So then I said, “Malcolm, put it on the desk please. Can you put it down?” And a moment later, you did. Totally calm and cool with it. Sometimes it’s hard for me to really think and not just react, but seeing what a huge difference it makes is a good reminder to do it the right way. I need to be a good example to you in patience and politeness. And it makes life so much nicer for all of us!

Something that does *not* make life so nice is the increased frequency of “no” and “mine” being said in various situations. Deep breath.

IMG_7956_WEB

One thing that’s blown my mind a bit this month is that you’re demonstrating your memory–that you actually have and use it. (It’s like you’re actual people or something!) You can go pick out a book that we ask for by name! And awhile back, you dropped/threw a couple crayons into a living room floor vent, and every once in awhile you will suddenly go over there and drop down on your tummies to look into the vent, and start shouting, “UH OH! UH OH! UH OH!” over and over again.

In the ultimate twist of modern times, you sometimes have to tell us “NO PHONE” when we’re hanging out with you. :/ (But you do still try to grab at our phones when you see them, and you know how to ‘open’ the phone screen…)

Poor Emmett, you must be having some nightmares or bad dreams this month. Some nights you suddenly wake up crying loudly and inconsolably. None of the normal things help you feel better–you slap away your pacifier, you don’t even want hugs (but of course if we try to put you back into your crib you get more upset again). It’s so sad and pitiful! Usually Daddy is the only one who can finally help you calm down. You point at me to go away. Poor baby!

IMG_8127_WEB

This month you’ve been playing pretend a lot, and it is fascinating! We didn’t really know that you knew how to do that. (You’ve probably done plenty at daycare, I guess.) We finally set up the play kitchen that your grandparents got you late last year, and you played with it ALL DAY the first day. Right away you started pouring water (from what I think is probably supposed to be a coffeepot) and refilling it from the little sink. You hand one of us a cup and pretend to refill it over and over again.

You like to “stir stir stir” the pan on the stove. You’ve heard us play pretend with our phones enough that you can play with the pretend phone too–you started saying, “Ring ring! Hello? Uh huh okay bye.” Super cute!

IMG_7904_WEB

You’ve loved playing with the broom and mop for awhile, but now you’ve combined that with your love of helping, so now you try to sweep into the dustpan and then take it over to the trash can to throw away the trash! And sometimes you even work together, one of you manning the broom, the other with the dustpan. Again–super cute! (This kind of play can be very convenient–one day I let you help with scooping your breakfast oatmeal and some got spilled, so you spent the next fifteen minutes sweeping it up!)

IMG_7902_WEB

A couple months ago we started bringing books in the car with us, in hopes that it would be some good entertainment for you. This month you finally started paying attention to that and now you frequently read while in the car (not to mention that you make specific requests for which books we should bring for you!). You love it so much that you demand the domelight to be on if we’re driving while it’s dark out. I don’t love keeping that light on, but I do love seeing you excited about reading no matter where you are!

DSC_5921-1 Text_WEB

And how could I forget Halloween?! We found some very cute costumes at the resale and then Emmett suddenly came down with a fever on Halloween afternoon. (It later turned out to be hand foot mouth…and Malcolm got it a few days later…that was not my favorite week.) But I took you out, Malcolm. We went to a little neighborhood event and then I took you to a few houses to trick or treat. You were very timid and also confused (not surprising–it’s a pretty odd tradition!), but you seemed to like reaching into the bowls of candy, and you even sort of started saying Trick or Treat. It was really fun! Next year’s Halloween is going to be so crazy, I bet, but this one turned out to be nicely mellow and sweet.

Oh and awesomely, I’ve trained you to know that the pile of half-price candy in your Halloween bucket is a ‘mama snack.’ 🙂 (I can’t imagine that will be the case next year….)

I’ve been a little (a lot) nervous about what two will bring…but the last few months have truly been so fun and interesting. I imagine that we will have some tough times ahead with two 2 year olds, but now I’m feeling better about it–I think we’ll have plenty of good times too. I’m excited to watch you keep learning! You’re really entertaining little dudes!

Just as long as I can still give you big hugs and call you my babies. 🙂

We love you!!

love, mama

Things I Love Thursday: Vintage Quiet Book

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!

In the last year or so, I’ve seen people online talking about quiet books. When they explained it, I was like, I totally had one of those! I loved it!

A quiet book is basically a hands-on-activity book (unlike a book you draw/write/color in), aimed at toddlers/preschoolers. There are tons of ideas and options out there; here are results from Etsy and Pinterest if you want to buy or make your own.

I asked my mom about it recently, and she just found it! Our guys have already played with some of it.

Here is what our vintage quiet book contains, if you want some ideas or inspiration. The pages are a bit stained, and some of the velcro bits need to be repaired or replaced, but in general, it’s in decent shape for being more than thirty years old!

DSC_5866_WEB

DSC_5867_WEB

(There are three mini ladybugs inside.)

DSC_5869_WEB DSC_5870_WEB DSC_5871_WEB DSC_5872_WEB DSC_5873_WEB DSC_5874_WEB DSC_5875_WEB DSC_5876_WEB DSC_5877_WEB

(This page is how I learned to braid!)

DSC_5878_WEB DSC_5879_WEB DSC_5880_WEB DSC_5881_WEB

Did you have a book like this when you were little? Do you have one now for your little one? Would you ever make one?

Things I Love Thursday: Vintage Peg Board Toy

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!

My mom bought me this little wooden peg board toy when I was 3 or 4. I remember it vaguely, sorting and organizing the pegs into rows. I don’t remember ever seeing any other toy like it.

DSC_9355_WEB

Earlier this year, we were visiting my mom, and she had this out! I was excited to see it again, and excited to let my own babies play with it. It’s still in great shape!

This summer I brought it back to our house, and they were really into it. They liked taking all the pieces out and putting them back again. They also liked to throw them, and chew on them, and arrange them on the windowsill.

DSC_0482-09_WEB

What I like is that it’s classic–solid wood construction, the paint is clearly high-quality and long-lasting (it’s over THIRTY YEARS OLD!), and that it’s open-minded play; there are so many things to do with it.

The only issue with this toy is that every single night, I had to go find all the pegs, which often get scattered all around the living room. And sometimes I just have to put them all in order, correctly. (That’s totally normal, right?)

Occasionally one or more will go missing, and then I try not to fret. Because it’s just a toy, but ack! If one is missing, there’s no way to replace it! So far–KNOCK ON WOOD[EN PEGS]–none have actually stayed lost.

DSC_9376_WEB

It’s got a little stamp on the bottom that says TC Timber. I finally looked it up one day, and it’s a former brand that later became Haba–and here it is!  It still exists!!

And look, here’s a fun version, with shapes! Wooden Shape Sorter

DSC_9363_WEB

Our boys are not even two, so hopefully there’s still a couple years of play with it. Maybe this toy could even last to be played with my grandchildren. 🙂 As long as we don’t lose any pieces, of course…