State of the union.

The twins turned 16 months old on the 16th. 16 months old! That means we’re hurtling towards 18 months! Which means we’re almost to two years! “It goes so fast” has to be the biggest cliche when it comes to having children but IT IS SO TRUE.

This time last year, I was miserable. I was going through the worst of the breastfeeding woes, winter was still hovering around us like a bad dream, I was so lonely, staying home by myself every day, and I questioned every move I made with the babies. It’s hard for me to believe that was only 12 months ago. It’s not as though I’ve figured out all the secrets to child rearing, but it feels a little more intuitive than it did a year ago.

I wanted to kind of record where they are right now — we don’t do this enough. I meant to do it every month. The little phases of their lives come and go so quickly — I know I’m forgetting so much.

On the food front: they eat mostly finger food, or food that we’ve turned into finger food that really shouldn’t be (like spaghetti) by themselves on a routine basis. We give them forks, and Jack, for example, will stab at food with the fork in one hand while he feeds himself with his other hand — I’m figuring that’s good enough for now. They can eat their oatmeal with spoons but it takes FOR. EVER. Jessica lets them do it at lunch during the week and we let them during the weekends but we just don’t have time in the mornings. Last weekend, I left them strapped in their high chairs watching Curious George and left the room, only to come back to find Emme’s bowl on her face while she licked out the last of the oatmeal. She was so covered in it that I couldn’t tell if she had eaten any with her spoon or if she had just licked it all out of the bowl. I am feeling much better about the food we’re feeding them — it’s mostly a combination of homemade dishes (I’m sticking to the favorites that I found like the mac and cheese with ham and the hamburger macaroni casserole) supplemented with some side dishes I found at Whole Foods for dinner and chicken and cheese, or lunch meat and cheese, or organic hot dogs and cheese — can you spot the common ingredient? — for lunch. They’re getting a serving of spinach and anywhere from 2-4 servings of fruit in their smoothies every day. I want to find a way to incorporate more vegetables. They won’t even eat corn, the most delicious vegetable known to man. We’re holding firm on the organic meat and dairy but have relaxed slightly on the organic frozen fruits for their smoothies — seriously, we just couldn’t afford the organic frozen fruit. One bag cost between $4-$5 and would make two days worth of smoothies — and we were using more than one kind of fruit, so it was getting ridiculous. The smoothies were costing between $3 and $4 a day! We’re trying to go organic on the dirty dozen but if a little bit of non-organic fruit slips in, I’m not going to freak out about it. The babies are very good about sharing their food — I do this thing where I smack my lips and look imploringly at their food and they offer me a bite. I did it the other day without realizing that Jack had already eaten everything on his tray — he reached into his mouth and pulled up a wad of chewed up apple to offer me. I politely declined.

On the sleeping front: they generally are down by 7:30 pm and, for about a month now, they have been sleeping until 7 or 7:30. It’s lovely. We rarely have wake ups during the night and if we do, they go immediately back to sleep. They’ve almost totally gone to one nap per day, going down at around 11 am and sleeping for between 2.5 and 3 hours. It’s a little uncanny how synced their naps are at this point.  The only problem right now is that that time between 10 and 11 is a little rough because they’re still transitioning from two to one naps and are pretty exhausted by the time 11 rolls around. Once it gets warm I think it will be so much better because if they’re outside they don’t get as fussy as they do when they’re inside.

On their language skills…well, I’m a little concerned, if I’m being honest. I read that by 18 months they should have between 25 and 50 words. Since that’s only two months away, should I be concerned that mine have TWO WORDS right now? Jack can say Da Da, and we’re pretty sure he’s talking about Justin when he says it. He also says Hi, but unreliably. He talks all the time — he just doesn’t use actual words that are part of the English language. Emme says Da Da, Hi, Okay (really it’s “otay”), and Baa, meaning she wants us to sing Baa Baa Black Sheep. One thing I read (I KNOW, I SHOULD STOP READING) says that it’s more important that they show signs of understanding what we’re saying rather than say words themselves. If that’s true, we’re okay, because they clearly understand a lot of what is being said. They can both point to their belly buttons and others’ belly buttons (or Bee Bos, as inspired by the Sandra Boynton book about belly buttons), can wave hi and bye on command, know when we’re heading for the nursery, kitchen, or outside by my telling them, know what it means to get ready for a Skype call to grandma and grandpa, etc. They’re both very verbal, they’re just not making any sense yet. I’m holding out hope that they’re both going to be the kind of child that just starts talking all of a sudden — that’s how my brother was. He was almost three before he said words, and when he finally spoke, it was with a full sentence.

Their temperaments remain largely consistent. Emme is cheerful most of the time, except when she’s not, and then all hell breaks loose. She can pitch fits that a 14-year-old would be in awe of. But for the most part, she’s easy going and easy to please. She “helps” us with things like getting their high chairs set up and sweeping up afterwards — it’s adorable. She loves music and dances a lot.

Jack continues to be moody — one second, the funniest, sweetest baby you’ve ever seen and the next a holy terror, thrashing about in tears on the floor. If you have to take anything away from him, the result is a five minute temper tantrum. I’ve just gotten into the habit of saying “I’m sorry you’re so upset” and trying to keep all other reactions to his fits off of my face. The weird thing is that when he’s in a good mood, he’s even ten times sweeter than Emme on her best day, and adorably funny and happy.

We went out to eat while Mom was visiting and he was hilarious — making all of these faces and giggling at himself.

It’s fascinating, watching them grow and learn. It all happens so fast.

Shannon - April 18, 2012 - 6:44 pm

Those babies of yours don’t look like babies anymore! 🙁