So we've been a little busy around here. Right after the twin's birthday party (literally the next day), we packed up for a trip to Alabama. Oh Lord. It was an engineering feat (on behalf of my husband) that we were able to fit everything in our smaller-size SUV. By the time we gathered everything we "needed", I seriously was googling new cars because I didn't think there was a prayer in the world everything would all fit. Or if it did, I was probably going to be tied to the roof of the car along with our suitcases.
At any rate, we somehow fit everything - or almost everything. Some precious toys had to be left behind, along with a highchair. In retrospect, the highchair was not a smart thing to leave behind because one highchair for 2 babies just doesn't work. After telling Matt I refused to feed in shifts all week, we broke down and bought the cheapest, most portable one we could find in the lovely town of Daphne, Alabama.
So after "vacationing" (relaxing would not be the word, but at least we were out of the oven that is Houston right now), we finally made it back and have been in recovery mode all week. And of course, as it always happens, we have both had very busy work weeks. Which explains why I have yet to blog about the babies' birthday party, their milestones, and first vacation - or download any pictures. At some point we'll get it done this weekend and I'll get them posted. But for now you just get a lot of words, no pictures.
Ryan - What You are Up To Now That You are a ONE YEAR OLD!!!!!
- You weigh exactly 20lbs (10th percentile), you are 28 inches long (5th percentile - and actually I think this was a little off - I think you are taller than this and they didn't quite stretch you out enough), and your head circumference is 47.6cm (80th percentile - down from the whopping 95th percentile of 3 months ago!). All of these measurements are based on term babies, so really you are doing quite well. I just have a feeling you will have a little growth spurt length-wise in the next year but we'll see.
- You are perfectly healthy according to our doctor and you are hitting all of your developmental milestones - actually both you and your sister are either right at level or even a little ahead, which is a big relief to me. I try not to compare you guys to other kids because I know babies do their thing on their own timetable. And there's a wide window for when you are "supposed" to do stuff. But as a mom, I worry that maybe I am not doing enough to help you get to those milestones. So when Dr. B said y'all were doing great, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.
- I write it every month, but it's so darn true --- you are the happiest kid. Whoa, I can say "kid" now and not baby - how sad is that!?!! But you wake up with a smile and go down with a smile. If we put you down for a nap and you aren't quite ready to shut your eyes yet, you will just play happily in your crib and babble to yourself. The only time you really get cranky is late, late afternoon. It's usually when my exhaustion has reached it's peak and we are all waiting by the baby gate for Daddy to get home. As soon as that car door shuts and the front door opens, you guys take off straight for Daddy. He always says "Ladies first" and kisses Quinn and you just about lose it once it's your turn and he has to put you down to go change his clothes. You just love your Dada.
- Right now you are in all 12 month clothing and even some 18 month sleepers, although they are wayyyy too long for you. Why can't there be a 15 month because that's what you really need? When you are cruising in the morning, I am afraid you are going to trip over all the extra material.
- Your favorite toy is anything your sister is playing with. Sometimes you will find toys on your own, but most of the time you want what she has and vice-versa. You guys love to play with this Leap Frog Cooking Pot and will sit their for hours (ok, minutes) and throw veggies in the pot and stir it up. You also love this learning station that has a front door, door bell, mail slots, shapes, etc. I have no idea what it's called but I constantly hear the ringing of the door bell so I assume it's a hit. But your most favorite "toys" are not really toys at all. They are my cell phone, my keys, my remote control, my blinds, my table. Oh, the endless entertainment that provides you. You are at the stage where you hear "NO" a lot :)
- You cruise everywhere pretty well and will use the push toys occasionally. However, you still much prefer to crawl to get around. We've been working on walking but I can't say that you are that interested. That's ok - as much as I think I want you guys to walk, it's going to really get CRAZY around here when you all are flying around. And I really think it's your personality to just take things slow and think them through before you do anything. Very much like your dad.
- You babble constantly. You have mastered all the requisites, mama, dadda, baba, etc. But now you actually connect that I am Mama and Daddy is "dada". Your favorite new word is "Dax" - which is what you call Max (combination of Dog & Max). You look constantly for Max so you can pet him and if you are lucky and catch him in a good mood, he will actually tolerate your "petting".
- You wave hi and bye like a champ, and you still love to clap. You love anything that will allow you to bang 2 things together. You like noise. You like to scream in excitement. You love music. And you LOVE to look at yourself in the mirror. It cracks me up, because you will just sit on your knees and bounce up and down to the beat and look at yourself and laugh. Maybe a lesson in humility is next?? ha :)
- You love to share. You will share anything. Your soggy, half-eaten cracker, your smushed up green bean, or whatever you can find in your hand at the moment. I love your giving heart, but I'll pass on the cracker, thanks.
- You are a good eater but still prefer bottles. We are working on transitioning to sippy cups now and I have a feeling you will have a tough time letting go of those bottles - especially the nighttime one. You are not really adventurous when it comes to food and it usually takes 3 or 4 times of me offering something for you to try it. But once you've had it multiple times, you will pretty much eat it. You love fruit of any kind, you LOVE corn, pasta, shredded beef and sometimes chicken. You are a huge fan of beans and avocado as well (oh why, oh why are avocados so expensive???) You are starting to shovel less when you eat and use more of the pincher grasp. I personally think your gender has something to do with your table manners :)
- Ryan, you are such a special little boy. So full of joy. I pray that you will always keep that easy-going joyous spirit. I pray that you will always remain thoughtful and considerate before making any sudden moves. I love your sweet, sensitive side that hates to hear the word "No". It looks like I have just crushed your world when I say NO very loudly. You definitely do not like to disappoint us :) I love you, son. We can't wait to see how you continue to grow this next year.
Quinn: What You Are Up To Now That You Are a ONE YEAR OLD!
- Hey sweet girl! You now weigh 17lbs 10oz (less than 5th percentile), you are 27 inches long (less than 5th percentile), and your head is 44.5 cm (30th percentile). What can I say, little one? You are just very difficult to get weight on now that you move all of the time. But your "Quinn curve" looks good - you are pretty consistent - except for this past month when you really didn't gain anything. We're working on it! Lots of fattening foods for you this month!
- You, too, are either at your developmental age or even a little ahead. We always wondered if your heart/oxygen levels would affect your cognitive abilities as you grew, but so far it has not at all! Praise God! Dr. B was very pleased with you and just loves interacting with you at your appointments. He has a soft place in his heart for you, sweet Q.
- You are wearing all 6-9 month or 12 month clothing, depending upon the brand. In a couple of months, I think you will be completely out of those 9 month outfits. You wear a 2/3 diaper but are on the verge of a 3. You have the most precious clothes but it is getting so hot now that I hate to put you in anything other than a onesie or a cotton dress! And you REFUSE to wear bows anymore. This is pretty unfortunate since your hair is still coming in :) So when we go out, I try to dress you in pink and girly colors so I can avoid the ineveitable questions of "oh, you have twin boys??" (Don't be offended, Q. People know not what they ask)
- And child, you are just CRAZY! And when I say "crazy", I mean it in the best possible way. You are everywhere, into everything. You want to be just where the action is. And you.don't.stop.moving.ever. I don't think you even stop moving in your sleep because I consistently find you in the strangest positions in your crib. You love to push everything around. You consistently rearrange my furniture, my chairs, push along any toy, your brother :) You will just lap around the kitchen especially if I am on the computer (working). You constantly cruise and when we were on vacation you took your FIRST STEPS all by yourself. It was just a couple but you did it.
- You definitely have a mind of your own. If you don't want to do it, you just won't. Bottom line. No forcing anything on you. You are still freakishly strong for such a little thing. When you got your shots this week, the nurse couldn't get over how strong and powerful your little legs were. I honestly think you will be ready to go to the Little Gym or gymnastics soon and would just get such a kick out of it. If only Mommy wasn't so worried about germs...but I'm going to do some investigating because you need somewhere to burn off that energy. Your latest thing is climbing on top of everything and standing up (like on your Thomas the Train toy or even a wooden chair at your photo shoot). Yesterday you stood on Thomas by the baby gate in an attempt to commit a "prison break". I caught you just in time. And yes, like your brother, you hear "No" a lot.
- You are such a smart girl. You are a problem solver. If something is in your way, you will figure out how to get it to move. Or you will just barrel through it :) But you are a definite thinker and determined. And you are also extremely social. You will interact with just about anyone and offer big smiles. You giggle a lot and I love that you are so happy. I feel blessed that God provided us with 2 happy children. That is probably the thing we hear the most when we are out and people make comments about you guys. They always say "Are they always so happy???" Yup, pretty much you are unless you are hearing "No" :)
- You are more adventurous on your eating. You will eat anything new that I put in front of you which I love. But you are a slow eater and you prefer one morsel at a time. So you start first and finish last. But that's ok. As long as you are eating. I never know how much you actually end up eating because half is given to the dog when I turn my back. We are working on this. You are doing great with your sippy cup of milk at your meal. For the past few days, you haven't thrown it on the floor and have actually had quite a bit from it. I think you will be as relieved as me to be rid of bottles. You want to be a big girl! Your favorites right now are beans of any kind, fruit (especially bananas), bread with lots of butter, and anything spaghetti-like. You love pasta which is good because we have that a lot around here. What a blessing that you guys are completely on table foods and can eat pretty much what we eat! Oh and Quinn, you are little miss independent... you will not let your daddy nor I feed you one bite from a spoon or even from our hands unless you are super, super hungry. We have gotten to the point where you will just take the food off the spoon and put it in your mouth yourself. Whatever works.
- Like your brother, you have mastered all the normal baby sounds and babble constantly. Your new favorite thing to do is to pick up any sort of toy and put it to your ear and "talk" like you are on the phone. You started doing this while we were on vacation and I just about died. I didn't realize that little eyes were watching me so closely on the phone but now I know I have to be super careful about EVERYTHING :) I do.
- Quinnie, I love you so much. I love how as you've grown, you want to cuddle with Mama more. Sometimes you will actually just lay quietly in my lap for minutes and it's the best feeling ever. I just want to hold onto those moments forever because I know soon enough you will be leaping out of my arms. You are such a special, unique, fun little girl --- and God has great plans for you. That much I know for sure.
What a whirlwind year. I won't even attempt to capture it except to say that even with all of the unique challenges, trials, and tribulations - it has been the best year of my life. I have never been more in love with my husband. To see him become a father has been a true joy. He was just one of those that was absolutely meant to be a daddy. I could not do any of this without him. He is my true partner in all of this and walks with me every step of the way.
And I know I've changed in the past year. For sure, I have become more organized :), more anal (A-type, right?), and in some ways, more serious. The serious part comes for caring for two children who completely depend upon us to make sure they get the best care possible. It's an awesome and HUGE responsibility and sometimes it weighs heavy on my heart.
BUT my heart has also expanded in ways I've never thought possible. I am capable of loving more than I thought I could ever love. I've learned to be less selfish - and truly never realized how selfish I was before these 2 little ones came around. Now, it's babies first, then husband, then me. And I'm ok with that (well, most of the time except on days I haven't gotten my shower!) But my heart is full of joy - and some days I just can't wait for them to wake up because I just want to see their sleepy little faces and take in every second of this "babyhood". (I just can't accept the word "toddler" for them yet)!
Ok, so enough rambling - I've tortured y'all quite enough. Suffice it to say that I feel immeasurably blessed reflecting on this past year. Bring on year 2 :)