Tuesday, April 2, 2013

To Every Thing There is a Season

For the last year, my days have been defined and organized around being the mother of a toddler and an infant. The amount of learning and growth that has taken place under our roof this past year is astonishing. It has been an amazing year. It has been an exhausting year.

I am now the mother of a one year old and a three year old. It's only been a week or so and I am all ready better rested. Happy Birthday Rose and Mack!

Let's start with the stats. The kiddos had their annual appointments together. An ingenious idea, I thought. It turns out that having a naked, excited, babbling three year old in a small exam room makes it really hard to concentrate on or hear anything the doctor is saying. Not to mention a one year old who really wants to open all the drawers within reach, and either slam a finger or screech in frustration that the drawer won't open (because mommy's knee is nailing it shut). But from what I remember these are the numbers:

Mack: 30 inches, 23 pounds.
Rose: 36 inches; 30 pounds.

While birthdays are an obvious milestone for both Mack and Rose since my last post, there have been a lot of other big changes as well. For instance, the night Rose told me she didn't need a diaper anymore. And she was right. And the next night when she told me that she didn't need me to wake her up in the middle of the night to pee. She was right again. It's been weeks without an accident. Bye-bye diapers!

On St. Patrick's Day, with the help of Grandma, Grandpa, Nellie and Tim. Rose and Mack celebrated the Big Bed Swap; in which Rose moved from her crib to a big girl bed and Mack moved from a mini crib into Rose's crib. No problem.

At the end of March, Mack moved from the infant room to the wobbler room at daycare. This means only one nap a day, sitting in chairs at mealtime, using a spoon and sippy cup and a lot more biting, from what I remember. At the end of March, I also finished weaning Mack; much to my dismay (he was totally unfazed).

 Mack is building a vocabulary. I haven't quite figured it all out yet, but he definitely can sign "Milk" with vigorous hand motions and identify a ball (or egg or cantaloupe) as a "bal-bal". He LOVES balls. He loves to throw and catch and cuddle and talk about balls. He gets so excited when he sees them in the backyard out of his window from his changing table. And he gets so frustrated when he can't get to them.

Last Sunday, Mack amazed us all (or at least his mom) and took his first steps in front of a full house at Aunt Debbie and Uncle Peter's Easter dinner. And then he did it again in the next room, to make sure everyone saw.

There are so many fun details to every day that I wish I could write down and share. And I know I'm missing putting down some major events, too. Trevor and I are so lucky that we've been given the opportunity to share our lives with these two amazing kiddos; and that includes the moments when we're all crying at the same time.

Now the fun stuff....

At the park.


Another milestone - Rose's first haircut!


I love it when these two play together. They both love the easel.


At the park, again.


Getting ready to scooter all over the park.


Anticipating the arrival of Grandma and Grandpa.


Guess where? The park!



In case you're wondering, she's turning three.


And Sheepers turned 10 (that's two 5's on the hat).


Love.


And Mack turned one. He wanted the candle, but made do with frosting.


Hello? It's my birthday!


 
 I like my truck. And I really like putting my golf ball inside the back. It's super fun.


A recent favorite activity at the park.



A super special zoo day with Daddy.


We all love spring.




Easter egg hunt!


Da-dee! (Dog).


So proud, then so frustrated!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mendel's Peas

Mack and Rose are so different from each other, that I've accepted it as the truth. Mack will develop differently than Rose. I just expect it. She was my tiny baby. He's humongous. She is a girl who has known what she wanted from the day she was born. He rolls with the punches without breaking his grin. She crawled around seven months. He waited until eight. She loves rules and order and predictability. He barely notices the chaos in his life or whether he's had one nap or two. Or none. She loves protein and snubs carbohydrates. He loves carbohydrates...and protein. Her big belly is firm. His is soft. She learned "that's not a toy" means "that's not a toy" before she could walk. He, instead, hears "that's the most exciting toy in the house." And on and on and on....

Then something happens and I'm reminded how similar they are. Like last Saturday when Mack got his hands on my iPhone. Instead of trying to eat it, he picked it up, looked at it for a second or two, then put it up to his ear. Just like Rose when she was his age. I almost fell over.

He looked so chagrined when nothing spectacular happened. He keeps trying.

Bath time is a favorite for both kiddos. Lately, Mack will stare at the water, pause, then dunk his face. He comes up laughing, sometimes sputtering, and then does it all over again. Rose did this exact same thing - once.

Three days ago Mack started pointing. When Rose comes in the room he extends his index finger as long as it goes and it follows her around the room. Accompanied by a grin, of course. It's as if he's found a way to access a new compartment in his brain. It's such a simple gesture, but such a large step in communication and learning. I can't do it justice.

Neither Rose nor Mack perfected rolling from back to front before learning to crawl. Mack, just like Rose, learned to crawl from a sitting position. And if he somehow ends up on his back, he's stuck like a turtle. It's so odd considering all the advances he's making in other areas.  He's pulling himself up on anything he can find. He has also learned to sit himself back down again - deliberately and slowly. He picks up balls and places them in the right holes. He takes Rose's hollow blocks and makes a rattle by (proudly) placing the smallest one inside a bigger one. He's knows that Sheepers is something special, even if Sheepers is no longer soft or pretty. Any Sheepers sighting elicits a huge smile and a "daaat, daaat!" - and there's no sidetracking him with his own fluffy, clean options.

Here's a clip of our buddy just being Mackers (created using a cool new app).




Here's Mack on one of his first swing rides with a little help from his sister.



(Removing Rose being her awesome swimming self video due to issues from the getting-to-be-not-so-cool new app.)

And her first self-composed song (the cool new app kind of takes over, but you get the idea).



As different as they are in my eyes, they are two peas in a pod. And considering the spectrum of all the children in the world, they are definitely siblings.


 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Leaps and Bounds

 
We're speeding our way into 2013. I can't believe it's already halfway through January. Two big birthdays are fast approaching. I find myself answering the "How old is she?" question with, "She'll be three in March." Instead of, "Two." I'm still counting months with Mack, though. "Ten months" - I said today. I guess I'm a few days ahead of myself.
 
Mack is now a solid crawler. He's not really pulling himself up to stand much, yet, though - once in awhile on an open dishwasher door or the side of the bath tub. He does like to put his hands on the floor or your lap and straighten his legs into a clumsy down-dog type pose. When I hold his hands to encourage a few steps, he seems mostly confused and laughs and plops down on his bum. He loves clapping. It brings a big proud smile to his face every time he remembers he can do it.
 
He's eating almost everything at this point, except nuts, honey and egg whites. I just tried listing his favorite foods, but the list started getting too long. Everything is his favorite. He's a good eater.
 
He's still getting up a few times a night. More when he has a cold or a tooth coming in, which feels like every night. On a good night, he's up once or twice. But that seems to only happen once a week.
 
He's getting to be pretty chatty. We've heard a lot of different sounds, but lately he's really focused on da-da. Here's a video of me trying to encourage some ma-mas.
 

 

Rose is doing great, too. Her verbal skills impress me everyday. It's so fun to watch her pick up new words and phrases and then try them out on her own almost immediately. Right now she's really into the alphabet. "Mommy, what does 'baby' start with?"; "Mommy, what does 'Sheepers' start with?" and on and on. She has accurately picked out some letters on signs randomly while looking out the window in the car. "Mommy, there's a 'T'!" But she only knows a few...I think. Today she told me that "R" was her favorite because Rose starts with an R. Usually, when you ask her what her favorite of anything is, her response is some version of: "All of them!" "Rose, what's your favorite color - red, blue or purple?" "I like red, blue AND purple!"

Here's a video of Rose making some of her first catches. And check out her throwing arm! That's my girl!


And here's a quick clip from swim class last week. She's made huge improvements in the last year - from refusing to get into the bath tub for months to jumping in the pool on her own.


Mack and Rose are both napping right now. But my quiet is about to end any second. I like these moments of time to myself when they sync up their naps so I can catch up on household chores or my own hygiene. But I also love the moments of one-on one I get with each of them on those days when they tag-team nap. Laundry and showers can always wait another day.