20 Months Old

DSC_9340-002_WEB Dear sweet babies,

Wow, another fun month! You continue to explore and learn and generally be interested in the world. Here’s what you did as 19-month-olds.

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These are the words you know, as of this month: Mama, Dada, no, yeah, uh oh, bye-bye, hi, all done/all gone, yay, ball, basketball, bubble, light, more, outside, fish, car, eyes, nose, trash, bike, baby ( https://flic.kr/p/oaGPq1 ), apple, elbow, bunny (which really sounds like bubbee), up, Elmo, shh, wow, whee, let’s go. You also seem to say or whine, “Whyyyyy” when you’re upset and don’t want to be taken away from something fun, and we think we’ve heard you say, “Mine” too.

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You can do animal sounds on cue too: caw caw, baaaa, roarr (for lion and for dinosaur), woof woof (really more like hoo hoo), ooh-ooh (for monkey)

Now that you say mama and dada, you like to ask about one of us (apparently especially with the nanny). You point upstairs and say, “mama?” Then someone might say, “She’s sleeping” and you go, “Shhh,” with your finger up to your lips (kind of inside your mouth). You’ll do the same if one of you wakes up before brother, and we say, “Brother is still in bed,” you go, “Shhh.”

That also means that when I come downstairs, one or both of you looks over at me and says, “Mama!” in this little happy voice with a smile. Makes my heart happy every time. šŸ™‚

E, you have become the littlest litter patrol.(video: https://flic.kr/p/oaHZUH You were looking at the truck outside that has been working on the yard next door) You notice ANYTHING that might be “trash? trash? trash? trash?” until we both acknowledge and move the offending item. Maybe this means that you will be a very tidy person when you grow up! In the meantime, it’s very cute. (Except when we’re out in public, like at the playground, and there’s no trashcan. Hard to explain to you that we can’t go put it anywhere.)

One day we sang you guys Row Row Row Your Boat, and you LOVED IT. You can actually say “row row” (which is ADORABLE in your little baby voices) and you get a big smile and sometimes we do a ‘rowing’ motion (which is just clasping hands together and moving them back and forth).

You’ve gotten super interested in water play and pouring with cups (video: https://flic.kr/p/oaHYpP ). M, you can line up those little cups and pour them quite accurately from one to the other!

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We let you discover escalators this month. This is an excellent free activity on afternoons when it’s too hot to play outside for long.

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We had a daytrip adventure that included cherry picking! You loved picking the cherries from the trees, and putting them into your buckets. You also wanted to pick up all the cherries off the ground for your buckets.

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Generally buckets are a fun thing for you; you love dumping out your wooden pegs and art flash cards, putting them into a bucket, and repeating.

We showed you this fishing toy that Grandma got for you last year. You’re finally ready to play with it, and you really like it! The ‘fish’ are made of fabric that the velcro fishing pole will ‘catch.’

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Mama and Daddy finally tried and mastered the back carry in the Ergo. All four of us like it better!

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At long last we allowed you on the big slide at one of the nearby playgrounds–with parental help, of course.Ā  https://flic.kr/p/oaH13T

You started having Toddler Opinions about socks this month. We have lots of plain white socks, so it’s not surprising that you started noticing the few more colorful socks in your sock bin, and requesting to wear them! (By holding the socks up to one of us and nodding expectantly. Occasionally pointing to your foot or holding it out for us.) (This also means that–for now–it’s no longer a battle to put shoes on you. Phew!) So I found a few sets of colorful socks online, and you now have a whole array of colors, stars and stripes to choose from! Whee!

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You still love being helpful. You like to help unload groceries; you can put yogurt containers away in the fridge, and E, you like to help ‘sort’ the laundry.

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For a few weeks, you slept late in the mornings–til around 8, instead of 715/730. Then of course, you suddenly started waking up at 615. Mama and Daddy say No, Thank You to that. Too early! Not just for us, either; you were cranky and sleepy all morning when you woke up that early. So we’ve been attempting to tell you that it’s too early, to lay back down, and we’ll back soon to get you. We’ve also started putting a water bottle and a book in your crib with you, so that you can sip and entertain yourselves if you need to. Occasionally we’ll hear you reading a book to yourself when we’re not there–hopefully this becomes a fun, sweet habit. šŸ™‚

You guys are seriously fun and sweet right now in general. We love playing with you and hugging you and telling you that we love you. You are so seriously CUTE and we can’t even take it.

love, mama

19 Months Old

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You are now 19 months old, cruising downhill toward two. But never mind that for now. You’re continuing to get more sophisticated with your knowledge and understanding about everything. It’s really entertaining to see you do so many things–we’re always in awe of how much you know!DSC_6884_WEBDSC_6891_WEB

Your grandparents visited! They had so much fun cuddling and playing with you, and you loved cuddling and playing with them too!

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They got you a kid-sized basketball hoop, and you LOVE IT. Especially you, E-you are still so excited when you see a basketball–you are kind of obsessed!

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M, you are a little obsessed with being on the swings. You will just zone out for like twenty minutes and refuse to get out.

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A few more words this moth: You both started saying “bah-bah” for “basketball.” M, right at the end of the month, you started saying “no” and “yeah.” You also say “more.” E, you started saying “apple” (for applesauce).

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We also went up north for your Aunty’s college graduation. While we were up there, we saw you both hug each other at the same time! (Usually only one of you wants to hug the other.) It was kind of amazing to see your little arms around each other–it made my heart want to explode! But of course it only lasted for half a second before you were off and running again. You guys also loved exploring and hanging out with more relatives, like Uncle Cam, who hadn’t seen you for a year and a half!

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You try to jump. It’s super cute–you bend your knees and then pop back up, with a ta-da kind of look. {VIDEO}

You did your first berry picking! Well, technically, you came with us a couple times last summer, but didn’t do anything. We went to pick strawberries, and you figured it out quickly. You also realized that they are yummy, and ate several right after picking, dirt and all.

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You’ve been loving eating more strawberries and also grapes. Also, you’re a little obsessed with the freeze-dried blueberres/raspberries from Trader Joe’s.

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A recent obsession has been wearing our shoes/walking with our shoes on. It’s really adorable, and you’re actually pretty good at it! Your little feet look so tiny in our giant shoes…I can’t believe that in a few short years, your feet will also be giant. šŸ˜¦Ā  {VIDEO}

And, since you are truly toddlers, you are having more tantrums. Generally for things not going the way you want, which is understandable since you can’t communicate very much or very well. Although, at this stage you don’t always seem to know what you do want…E, one day you refused to be put in your high chair and insisted on having your dinner on the floor. And since then you’ve mostly been happy only if you’re allowed to climb into your high chair by yourself, so we let you do that (with supervision, of course).

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What’s super cool is that you try to comfort each other–one of you will try to rub your brother’s back, or pat his head when he’s upset.

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Happily, you still want and need plenty of cuddles, and reading time on our laps, and you still run to us for hugs. I can totally forget about the tantrums when your little arms are around my neck. šŸ™‚

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We love you so much!

love, mama

18 months old?!

Dear sweet babies,

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Wow, this is such an interesting time. You are getting SO BIG but really, you’re still teeny tiny little people. You are growing and learning and hugging and laughing, and we love it all. Here’s the cool stuff you did as 17 month olds:

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You’re growing well: Et: 25 pounds, 32.5 inches, and M: almost 27 pounds, 33.2 inches.

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Your language has really improved/expanded this month. It’s still mostly gibberish, but you do have some consistent ‘real’ words (only your starting consonants and vowels are clear, so to an outsider, most of these ‘words’ probably don’t sound very obvious at all.):Ā  uh oh, hi, bye, lights, all done, yeah, dog, outside, ball, shhh.Ā  E, you started saying “all done” when you don’t want to be somewhere anymore, like on the changing table. šŸ™‚ You both love saying hi and bye to us–and you’re even starting to smile and wave hi to strangers. Sometimes. {VIDEO} {VIDEO}

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You are both OBSESSED with pushing things. The umbrella stroller and the shopping cart are recent faves. It’s very serious though, like you’re doing a job. You have pushed them all the way to the playground and then all around the playground too–more than half a mile! That’s a really long way for such small dudes. You even love the baby shopping carts at Trader Joe’s, even though they’re a tad too tall for you.

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Additionally, E, this month, a new obsession has emerged: the ball. Any ball, but especially soccer balls. You love them! You want to watch them, hold them, throw them, carry them, you’ve even sort of tried to kick them. {VIDEO}

Of course, since you’re toddlers, you get mad when something doesn’t work or when we take something away from you. You stomp your feet, flap your arms angrily, and do things like lay down on your tummy on the ground, or run to the kitchen wall, or fling yourself onto the sofa. It’s so very dramatic and we try to be as sympathetic as we can…but it’s kind of funny. Don’t be mad. šŸ™‚

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You’ve been really hungry, all the time. Your sign for ‘eat’/’food’/’hungry’ is now to basically slap your whole hand over your mouths, and you do this over and over. If you see anyone else with food, you want it now please.

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Which reminds me, this month there has been a lot less of your ‘please’ signing. I wonder why–I guess it’s our fault. What you’ve started doing instead is pointing or gesturing at something, and nodding vigorously. You see something you want, especially food, and seem to say, “YES, I want that. Yes, that. Yes, give me THAT.”

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Believe it or not, you have MORE TEETH! Your canines have erupted to varying degrees!

M, you’ll give hugs on command, but only to someone who’s not asking you. So Mama can’t ask for a hug, but Daddy can say, “Can you give Mama a hug?” And you’ll get up with a smile and come over for a hug. šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

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M, a nasty ear infection finally cleared up after a second round of antibiotics. Unfortunately you’ve now decided you dislike medicine droppers…you really liked them for awhile there. Bummer. E, the same week M was pronounced clear, you had a burst eardrum from an ear infection! The doc said didn’t look bad so we didn’t need to treat it just yet, and thankfully it did clear up.

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You’re tall enough and smart enough to push the microwave buttons. The ‘start’ button also is an automatic “go for 30 seconds” button, so our microwave has been getting a lot of extra use lately. We need to get better about closing the gate to the kitchen.

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E, you randomly invented this funny mouth noise one day–you put the back of your hand over your mouth and wave it, to make a distorted sound. So random, but funny and cute!

M, you dance a little more lately. You love hearing songs and rhythms and letting your little self move. {VIDEO}

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I’m selfishly happy that you still want a lot of hugs and snuggles. M, you in particular have had several days of needing extra holding and cuddles. We happily oblige!
You also are doing a lot of spontaneous hugging and comfort for each other. Often this turns into the hugger pushing down the huggee with the force of the hug, or the hugger is generally too aggressive or lengthy with the hug, and upsets the huggee.

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Sigh–you’ve figured out that you can CLIMB up your high chairs! (No pictures of this because we grab you as soon as you get up there.) You go through moments of wanting to climb everything. And it’s only going to get worse the bigger and older you get–ack!

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You don’t run yet, but you can walk pretty fast. When you really get into it, one arm swings harder as if you to propel you more. You also sometimes walk or even crawl backward.

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So I guess it’s not surprising that we have officially entered the Skinned Knee Years. I thought we had at least another year before that began. But your little knees have been scraped up pretty much constantly the past couple weeks. Most of the time it doesn’t seem to bother you too much, at least.

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Of course you’ve been fascinated by our phones for months now. But–you’ve really been paying attention, because now you pick it up and put it your ear (well, in the general vicinity) to ‘answer’ it! Facetime with Grandma and Grandpa are extra fun (and extra difficult for us to keep you from accidentally hanging up). IMG_4651_WEB

Your auntie came to visit for a day. She loved hanging out with you, and you loved playing with her too!Ā  Ā Ā  DSC_1679_WEB

This month was our second Mother’s Day! I got all the best presents: a sweet handprint craft, time to sleep in, and a photo of me holding you! DSC_2490-1_WEB

Your patience is pretty short-lived when we’re in new places that you want to explore:Ā  DSC_2499-1_WEB

Your new skills bring so much fun and fascination (and sometimes frustration) to all of us. You understand so much and are so interested in everything.Ā  We love you SO much, and it’s a pure delight to hug you and kiss you every single day.

love, mama

Seventeen Months Old

My dear sweet babies,

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You are seventeen months old! Almost one and a half–farther and farther away from being babies.

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But it continues to be fascinating and adorable to see you develop and grow in so many ways. Here are some of the fun and interesting things you did as 16 month olds.

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First, with the nicer weather and longer days, we’ve been going on walks before and after dinner. It’s a lovely way to pass time while letting you explore our street. You both like going up and down curbs of various heights, and you especially love exploring the driveways of our neighbors. Even better if it’s a hilly one.

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Developmental growth:

Oh my goodness, you began outgrowing 18 month clothes! Especially M. But only in onesies (which we still keep you in for ease) and jammies. So we began expanding your wardrobe a little bit–we figured we had a few more months at least!

M, it’s official. Your first word is “uh oh” (video) You love to repeat it, and you have this funny accent in the final ‘o’ sound.

You also love saying “hi” and waving. E, you also wave and smile in greeting, but don’t say hi yet.

If we say, “where are your shoes?” or “where is your pacifier?” or something, you’ll hold up their hands in the “I don’t know, where is it?” gesture. Hilarious when little toddlers do grown-up gestures!Ā  Happily, we can also say, “Go get me your shoes” and you will!

You can also identify some body parts–you’ll point to nose, mouth/tongue, ears, head/hair, tummy, and toes!

You now go down the playground slides sitting up, instead of on your tummies, and you’re a lot better and smoother at climbing up/walking up the stairs.

Any ball is your new favorite thing. I found this nubbly ball at Target and that intrigued you. Later we found some bigger bouncy balls and you love those too. E, you are a little obsessed with soccer and soccer balls.

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E, you will randomly come up to us and hug our legs. Often when we’re doing something in the kitchen or changing brother. It is the cutest thing and melts my heart! M, you like to kind of run at me and fall in for a big hug with a smile. It is also the cutest thing and melts my heart!

We had some warm weather and we set up the water table for you! Fun times!

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M, you’ve had an ongoing ear infection. Again. We’ve done two rounds of antibiotics and hope that this time it heals you. You’ve been so strong and resilient–often we don’t even know that there’s any infection.

We finally got you some long-overdue haircuts at the end of this month. You both freaked out the entire time, even with one of us holding and snuggling you. Sigh.

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You have many ways that you show your toddler age.

E, you have been a picky and fickle eater for a few months now. We never know if you’ll like something or not–and you’ll basically never want to try anything new. M, you are still game for trying pretty much anything. We tried giving you turkey chili (Daddy makes it in the crockpot) and by god, you both ate it! So we kept going, and E, you like it! Hallelujah!

Tantrums. Oh yes. Not usually huge ones, but if we have to take something away that you like, or we have to stop doing something that you like, you show your displeasure! Loud, annoyed crying with a yelling edge. Lots of angry stomping in place. You’ll kick and flail if we pick you up during one of these fits, and sometimes we have to try to wrestle you into a carseat like that. That is not fun.

When Daddy takes you to daycare in the mornings, you now like to walk, instead of being carried. (Mama still has to carry both of you out when we leave daycare, because otherwise one of you will just walk away in the parking lot.)

One of our favorite new things is that we see you developing empathy for one another! If you see brother is upset, you’ll get him his pacifier or lovey. Occasionally you will just swap or switch pacifiers, and don’t even seem to mind when brother yanks one out of your mouth. Also, we see you sometimes hug or pat if brother is upset.

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You’ve always enjoyed reading books, but now you really want to read the same book five-plus times in a row. You walk over and turn around to sit down in our laps (CUTEST EVER), and then when the book is over, you either hand it to us again, or try to flip it back to the beginning, or just generally make a big whining noise while flailing a little bit.

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You started sweeping. We got you some baby-sized versions, but no, you like the real thing the most.

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You enjoy climbing up our porch Adirondack chairs, so I finally got you some baby Adirondacks, and you immediately loved them. You back your little selves up and sit in the chair like a big person. So cute! Shortly thereafter we officially retired and sold the boppies.

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Since you love looking out the window, and it was getting really difficult to hold one of you up while the other got upset, we had some DIY Learning Towers made for us by a local guy. You immediately figured out how to crawl up and down, and you love being able to watch for squirrels and birds as long as you want, while we love to not have to physically hold you up.

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You discovered puddles this month. Quite by accident. But oh, what fun.

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We’ve done some neat outings this month to keep us all busy. First, there was the tulips.

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Then we went to a twins party at a jumping bounce house play place. M, you were a little overwhelmed (it was very crowded and noisy, so we didn’t blame you at all). E, you were very happy to sit in the main bouncy castle!

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Grandma and I stopped by the Barnes and Noble kids area with you and found this awesome train table. You had so much fun playing with all the little trains and toys! We now keep that as an occasional rainy day activity so we can still get out of the house.

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Finally, we taught you about Easter Eggs. We did a bunch of practice egg-hunting with you the day before Easter, figuring you were too young to get it. But you totally did! You both loved looking around and spotting an egg, and then picking it up. It took a bit to understand the putting-in-basket idea, but you got that too.

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We then took you to a group egg hunt event, where there were a million plastic eggs “hiding” in a public park downtown. You totally found and gathered a few! But then…Mama walked away for a minute and M, you climbed into/fell into one of the little ponds. Poor, poor baby! I scooped you out right away, and you didn’t scream or cry, but you held on to me pretty tight with a very confused and frightened face. Happily you got over it very quickly.

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You guys love playing with things around the house and can entertain yourselves very well with seemingly nothing:Ā  Bubbles /Ā Foam mat squaresĀ  / Curtains

You babies are still pretty much the best. We are loving watching you learn and grow, and we love giving and getting lots of snuggly hugs when you let us. We love you so, so much!

love, mama

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. M, you have four molars and a peek of a canine, and E, you have three molars.

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You had your 15 month checkup and you’re doing well. E, you’re 24 lbs and 30.5 inches, and M, 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. šŸ™‚

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 E, you decided that you suddenly HATE THAT FOOD. M, 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. M, your ‘reading’ has gotten very vocal lately.

One random day, E, 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

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–M, you were okay, and E, you needed some help and extra attention.

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

E, when we got home that same day, you just decided to start walking! Maybe you just felt so much lighter and ready to go. šŸ™‚

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. M, 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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M, 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

Thirteen Months Old!

Dear sweet babies who are technically no longer babies,

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Thirteen months! More than a year! Ack.

That was the best ‘birthday’ photo I got of you guys because you do NOT want to just sit still, at least not on the couch. You’d rather crawl sideways or try to lean OFF the couch. Oh boy–soon you’ll be leaping off of all sorts of things and what will I do. :/

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You both are really growing and developing and changing–it is so neat and fun to watch! Well, it’s mostly fun. M, this month you learned to fake cry! You throw your head back and go WAAAH but there are no tears and once you get what you want you magically are happy again. We’re on to you, little buddy. šŸ™‚

E, you’ve started playing hide-and-seek with stuff. You had already been playing by hiding your whole self around a corner, but this month you started using other things to ‘hide’ your face–like the lid of your shape-sorter. You hold it up to your face, and we say, “Where’s E? Where are you, E?” and then you make us wait, then lower the object, all ta-da, with a giant grin. “There you are!”

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You both have started to “share” toys — you hold it out and then want it right back. However, you only do this with us, not with each other. With each other you just grab your brother’s toy and then your brother gets upset. Sigh.

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When you play with your shape-sorter, you have finally started figuring out how to pick up a block and put it back into the bucket!

You’ve both figured out how to use the spiral toy–M, you can put one of the little balls on the track so it will roll down. E, you have learned to put the froggy in the little elevator thing and press the button to release it!

Your physical development is really coming along. You are little speed demons on the stairs lately (with supervision only, of course), and you’ve started to work on using spoons at meal time! You can grasp the spoon and we’re helping you practice ‘scooping’ food and then putting it in your mouth.Ā  Someday (not terribly soon, but someday all the same) you’ll actually be able to eat by yourselves…

Speaking of food, you both get either hungry enough or you just know our schedule well enough that you get upset when you want to eat! “Give us food already!!”Ā  We recently started giving you Cheerios, which you LOVE, and which act as a perfect appetizer as we finish getting everything else ready. You get meats and veggies at dinner still, but you get picky or ornery about the meat sometimes–you want those veggies! I know that won’t last…Ā Ā Ā Ā  2014-01-11_0007

AND–happy news for our wallets–this month we finished our last can of formula!! Now you have three bottles of organic whole milk throughout the day, in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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M, you randomly learned about the word “dance.” And if we ask you to dance, you close your eyes and bop your head back and forth. It’s adorable and we have NO idea where that came from! Unfortunately, it only lasted a few days, and now you and EĀ  bounce your little baby legs when we asked you to dance. Still cute. šŸ™‚ Here’s a tiny snippet:

E, you started climbing into the book bin! On purpose. Repeatedly. Sometimes you get stuck but sometimes you just kind of hang out and play in there for awhile. Such a silly baby!

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You’ve been working on your walking! M, you’ll take like 7 or 8 steady steps and E, you started taking a few steps here and there too. With both of you, we have you “practice” by sending you back and forth between two of us. What you really love, though, is walking with help–when we grab your hands, you take off! And of course, you still love walking the horsey and wagon back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

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You have been sick most of this month. It’s hard to see you having a tough time, especially since there isn’t much we can do. You had some colds and then you got pinkeye! Happily we got you some drops right away and it seemed to clear up quickly. We finally got a humidifier for your room, which seemed to help with the constant coughing. M, you got really clingy with Daddy this month–maybe related to feeling sick? Who cares, though–baby hugs are the best. šŸ™‚ E, you had a couple episodes of vomiting. We didn’t know what caused it, and you didn’t seem upset by it, thank goodness. It was sad, though, and yeah, a little gross. It must not have been too serious though, because it didn’t last.

We set up the double wagon you got as a first birthday gift and have taken you for a couple walks–you love it! You get to look around even more than in the stroller. And you’re extra cute in there too. šŸ™‚

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We took you to a real pool for the first time this month! It was a party for the twins club, but we didn’t have much chance to talk to the other families. You both took awhile to just take in the big open space–looking around and not paying attention to the water. E, you soon started splashing around happily. M, you were a little more hesitant, until I took you to where there was a little ledge of falling water–you really liked playing with that. I hope that in the next year we all take more family outings to a pool so you can play and enjoy yourselves.

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This month was technically your second Thanksgiving, but it felt like the first. You still had no idea about the holiday, but we sure are thankful to have such sweet, playful, adorable babies!!

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love,

mama

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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M, you weigh 23 pounds, and you are 30.75 inches tall. E, 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. (E, 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!! M, you can do four or five steps before falling down into my arms laughing. E, you can do one or two,Ā  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. šŸ™‚

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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E, you have six teeth through and M, 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. šŸ™‚

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. M, 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. šŸ™‚

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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. E, your fevers lasted more than three days but then thankfully went away. M, 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 E. 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.

E, 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 E****? Where are you?” you’ll wait a moment or two, and then crawl into view with this huge happy grin.

M, 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 E 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. šŸ™‚ 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

Eleven Months

Dear sweet babies,

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You are eleven months old!

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That means, good lord, you’re going to be a whole YEAR old soon! My mama heart cannot believe it. I will continue to call you my babies even after you start toddling around, and probably far after that as well.

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You are really starting to really become not just bigger babies, but your person elements are starting to peek through, just a little bit. You are taking in so much all the time and always learning and looking. Sometimes it’s a handful as you’re exploring, but it’s also pretty fun. I can’t believe that your official babyhood is almost over.

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Here are the new and interesting things that happened this past month as ten-month-olds:

Well, the biggest event for us, your tired parents, was the 9 month sleep regression finally hitting. Ugghh, you woke up for 1-1.5 hours every night. We would feed you and sometimes just let you play downstairs (with the lights very dim). The only good thing was that, after you went back to sleep, you’d sleep until at least 730 (instead of your typical 630ish waking). Altogether the regression lasted a little less than three weeks, and we are still trying to catch up on sleep.

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A big development is that both of you are pulling up to standing, including in your cribs! You want to be standing all.the.time. You’ll pull yourselves up on the baby gates, on my desk chair, on the exersaucer, on the book bin, even on our pantlegs! Then you also learned how to lower your little selves back down to sitting, nice and gentle. Impressive!

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Now that you’re standing so much, you’ve begun wanting to move, working on practicing walking. You have MAJORLY improved in a really short amount of time! It turns out that the rocking horse that you love to ride also works as a walker. You hold the handles and walk the horsey backward. You are seriously fast now!

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(more videos here)

In other physical news, M, three new teeth have shown up: your top incisors and a bottom tooth (so you now have 2 1/2 all in a row).

You’ve both also grown a bit–we’ve got you in 12-month jammies. You’re still wearing 9 month onesies, but you wear 9 and 12 month pants.

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We’ve introduced some new foods this month, namely meat! We gave you some chicken-apple puree. That was actually the very first time your little systems experienced any meats at all, since I didn’t eat any while I was pregnant or pumping. Happily you seem to like it!

You’ve also tried some toast. Neither of you were impressed when I first gave it to you. Too funny! M, you ended up liking it, but E, you are not a fan.

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Your interaction with each other is definitely increasing. You still steal toys and books from each other for a good portion of the day, but we have noticed a lot more fun interactions too. E, you’ve started to give sort-of kisses and hugs to M! Both of you like to pull each other’s hair, and the interesting thing is that the pull-ee only protests some of the time. Maybe you’re getting used to it? You like to look at each other more and more, and you also like to follow each other to different areas of the living room or kitchen. I can’t believe that soon enough you’ll truly be able to play together.

You’ve also been more snuggly with us, which I think was a side benefit of the sleep regression. For the past month or two, when we tried to hold you, you wanted to buck out of our arms and look or explore elsewhere. But this month I noticed that you clearly wanted to be held more, and that you were happier and quieter in our arms. I think it’s pretty great, because snuggling you is still one of my favorite activities!

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This month you also got little colds–really, just some serious nasal congestion and some sneezing. That was concurrent with the sleep regression, which probably made you both extra unhappy. So much snorting and sniffling! And so much fighting against the NoseFrida! Poor tortured babies.

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Happily, you found some new toys that bring you lots of enthusiasm. I brought out the toy wagon I found at a resale, with the seat/lid. You discovered that you can open and close the lid, and that your plastic blocks can be hidden in there. Lots of fun.

You also started playing with the plastic stacking toy, and BOY do you love those. If you see the rings all stacked up, you are apparently obligated to unstack them.

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A gross ‘toy’ you found this month was our shoes. I don’t know how many times you wandered over to the little rack table thing by the front door and got a shoe edge IN YOUR MOUTH. Gack. You do it all the time! Gross! We need to lock up our footwear, obviously.

But your greatest joy has been the discovery of banging things together. It started with the old plastic measuring cups–you played with (chewed on) them, and then we helped you realize that two of them could be clapped together to make a noise! Later in the month one of you realized that you could grab two of the bottle lids and bang those together. Now you will find any two like things and bang bang bang away happily. Endless entertainment with simple household items–love it!

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Now of course, since both of you love that so much, you will frequently drop and steal the cups or lids from each other. Cue much crying and frustration, until you once again have two similar things to bang together. Sigh.

E, you went through a couple weeks of being super wriggly on the changing table. You wanted to turn around and try to roll away! The strap didn’t even do any good, you could still turn all the way over onto your tummy *under* the strap. It was almost impossible to change your diaper! And then fastening your onesie again…geez, it was a tough time. I did figure out to give you a rattle or some cups to bang and that would usually distract you enough to get you changed. I don’t have a photo of this because I was terrified you’d fall off the changing table!

M, you started doing this super froggy kick on the changing table. Occasionally it’s out of frustration, but most of the time it’s sheer unbridled enthusiastic energy. It’s really cute and I can’t help smiling back at you when you do it. It does make putting your pants on pretty difficult though.

I can’t believe how much you’re growing and changing. We love you so much and can’t wait to see what happens next!

love, mama

10 months!

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This has been a big month–you are learning and doing so much! Here’s what you did and learned as nine-month-olds:

E, big news for you this month–you finished wearing your helmet!

Obviously the biggest thing for both of you is that within the space of a week, you learned to get up on all fours, push backward, and then CRAWL! Yes, you are now crawling babies! Oh boy. I think you love being able to move around and explore.

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You’re also really improving your standing. We got you one of those activity tables that makes lots of noise. After the first week of playing with it, you became so much stronger and more stable on your feet. (And you love playing with that stupidly loud table! It is by far the most annoying toy to date.)

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One weekend we noticed that both of you were sitting up in your cribs, and yikes, we didn’t want anyone falling out! So the next day we had to lower the crib mattresses to protect you from yourselves. Kind of a little milestone to have ‘big baby’ cribs now!

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This month you finally graduated from always wanting to chew on your books to actually turning pages! You turn the book to hold it correctly, and you get it right side up about half the time, and you use your little fingers to separate and turn the pages. Oh my goodness, babies, it is just the cutest, sweetest thing.

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(And after you page through the book a few times…then you try to eat the book. šŸ™‚ Several times I have found chunks of paper in someone’s mouth, freshly bitten off a corner. Yuck. Books are for reading, not for eating! Silly babies!)

In general you seem to love books already. We keep all your books in a bin in the living room/play zone, and this month you started bouncing and/or crawling to the book bin, leaning up and over to grab a book, and start reading! I can’t tell you how much I love seeing you be little mini bookworms! You love being read to, and turning the pages for us. I am so excited for all the years of reading we’ll all get to do together. So many stories await you!

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Oh, and I also got you some musical toys this month. Since you enjoyed the piano mat, but it did that annoying baby toy thing where, when you press something, it makes a bunch of noise instead of just one note. Apparently most baby toys do that, even the baby pianos. I just wanted to let you play with an actual keyboard that, when you hit a key, played only that note. I guess that kind of simplicity is asking too much of the current baby toy scene! Anyway, this month I went to Value Village and found one of those little eight key plastic pianos and a bigger, electronic keyboard. Sweet! You were definitely intrigued by the noise you could make, though you seem to enjoy even more turning over the things and banging on the back. Strange.

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Your Grandma brought down her full-size keyboard and WHOA is that intense! You make a lot of noise pressing the keys and pressing all the buttons that change the type of sound. It can get pretty loud, but you really like it. Again, I can’t wait until you’re old enough to know a little more what you’re doing and can play around with music. So much fun we’re going to have! Daddy can play the piano and looks forward to playing with you guys.

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M, you learned to clap this month. You only did it briefly though. E, you sort of learned to wave, but again, only did it briefly. I’m sure we’ll start seeing both of those skills again soon enough.

Lots of feeding-related growth this month. First, after several easy months of feeding you in your Bumbo and Super Seat, you started getting wiggly, so we put you back in your high chairs for feedings. We also moved up to three meals a day of solids (mostly purees). You are doing really well with food and eating!

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You are working on picking things up. E, you are doing well with your pincer grasp, very deliberately picking up a puff with your thumb and forefinger, and bringing it to your mouth. M, you still kind of rake over a puff with your whole hand and stuff it toward your mouth. Not quite as effective as you want it to be, but I’m sure you’ll get there soon enough.

You are FINALLY able (and willing) to hold your own bottles! Hallelujah! This makes feeding time SO much easier. I love it. We also started decreasing (slightly) the amount of formula you’re getting, since you’re getting more solids. In a few months you’ll need to be eating a lot more real food! When we remember to give them to you, you’re doing well with your sippy cups. You are great at picking them up and holding them up, and you mostly hold them the right way. It’s great to have for you in the car seats, since we can just stick them in the cup holders and you can grab them.

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A random super cute thing you started doing is crawling into our laps. When one of us is on the playmat near you, you’ll get closer and sort of pull or push yourself up onto our legs or lap. It is so sweet! You’re not quite coming in to snuggle, but now I am so looking forward to that. God, I still love holding and snuggling with you babies so much! I can’t wait til it’s a little more two-sided. šŸ™‚

This month was the big fall consignment sale season, so I got a few new big toys. One was a little toy horse that rolls and rocks too. It was cheap and I figured in a few months you might like it. Well. That same day I put you on the horse and oh my, you loved it! You figured out how to sit on it, and you quickly figured out how to hold on to the handles, and then you figured out you could push up and ‘stand’ on the footbed. It’s like you’re saying “Giddyup, horsey!” So cute!

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We had our first real family vacation, to the Oregon coast. You dipped your feet into the Pacific Ocean! Hopefully we will return every summer at least once.

It is really fun to watch you learn and develop so much. I know there’s so much going on in your little brains, figuring out your bodies and the world around you. I’m always here to help and to snuggle you. šŸ™‚

love love love,

mama