21 Months!

This post is a couple of weeks late, but the pictures are from March 31, just a couple of days after the boys turned 21 months. I didn’t have my usual selection of photos because I took them bright and early before we had to head to the airport for our first ever vacation with the boys. But hopefully more on that in a future post!

At 21 months, the boys are so close to talking! They “talk” to each other all the time; it really just sounds like nonsense to me, but is so cute! They do understand a lot and love to make animal noises. They know:

  • Cat
  • Chicken
  • Cow
  • Dog
  • Duck
  • Elephant
  • Lion
  • Monkey
  • Sheep
  • Snake
  • Tiger
  • Wolf

Some of the sounds, like monkey, elephant, cow and duck, they make more consistently and accurately than others, like dog, sheep and wolf. But they absolutely love animals so we love exposing them to different animals. Now that it has finally warmed up a bit, we were able to take advantage of the warm weather and their love of animals by going to the zoo twice this month!

They also know several body parts and will point to them on themselves, each other, or mommy or daddy (depending who we request!):

  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Nose
  • Mouth
  • Hair
  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Belly button

When I ask him to, James will say “mama” and “dada” whereas Philip sticks to the one syllable “mah” and “dah”.

They’ve always had such different personalities but they seem to be getting even more pronounced the older they get. Philip is a steady little guy – his mood is consistently happy and even though he started throwing his temper tantrums before James did, he’s easier to calm down…most of the time. He is also a fiddler; although very active he’s happy to sit and play with his toys for longer periods of time than James. Philip also loves to be “thrown” onto the bed or couch and tickled. James loves to be ticked but he’s as likely to cry when being tossed as he is to laugh.

James is our little fire cracker; although he also a consistently happy little boy, his moods tend to have more highs and lows than Philip. He’s always off to try something new or climb onto something he shouldn’t. In a way he is more independent because he’ll just walk away to do what he wants to, and never wants to hold our hand when out and about, but in other ways he’s even more of a mama’s boy because he takes longer to warm up to new scenarios and people than Philip and will hang back with me while Philip is off exploring and being social. James is also our little hoarder. He loves to collect things and carries as much as he can possibly hold around the house. Whether it’s his wooden animal toys, play food, or his personal favourite – wash cloths – he’ll clutch them tight to him and guard them from Philip, mommy and daddy.

They are both eating well and recently discovered an affinity for broccoli which is great! Philip’s favourite food is yogurt and James’ bananas. But they do eat almost everything, although meat can be hit or miss depending on the day.

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I am so blessed to be the mother of 2 such happy, healthy, loveable, silly and active boys!

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19 Months!

I am a couple of weeks late in posting this one, but the pictures are from January 29 when the boys actually turned 19 months old.

They are such active boys, running everywhere and climbing on everything! We no longer use place mats on the dinner table because they can stand on their tippy toes and grab the place mats, and whatever is on the table comes tumbling down. I really don’t know how they do it because even when we put the mats in the middle of the table, they still seemed to be able to reach it.

They love to chase each other and play a version of ‘tag’ – although I don’t think they realize that is what it is called. They copy each other, especially when doing something like spitting water or milk out of their mouths or wanting to play with a toy the other one has. They give each other hugs and kisses…and sometimes it turns into wrestling (or as much as toddlers can wrestle). They are each others best friend and it is so wonderful to see them growing up together and how much they love each other!

Grandma Hodgins came out to visit for a week in January, so they boys got to stay home with her instead of going to day home for that week, which was a nice change even though we do love our day home. Richard and I took a day off of work while my mom was here and the 5 of us went to the pool around the corner from our house. It had been a few months since we had been swimming and the boys were so happy to be back in the water. They love bath-time so much so loved ‘swimming’ and floating in the water. They even tried jumping into the pool with me or Richard there to catch them.

We took them for their second hair cut this month, and I have to say it was less traumatic (for me) taking them the second time. I didn’t experience any of the same sadness with cutting away their curls – in fact I love their short hair! And they again did so well with their haircut; no tears.

They still aren’t talking, but they certainly make a lot of vocalizations. Their most common noise is ‘ah’ as they point to whatever it is they want and continue repeating ‘ah’ at more frequent intervals until we discover what it is that they want. Temper tantrums are happening a little bit more frequently now when we say no to certain things that they want, but they are usually quick to get over them.

Although they aren’t talking, they are understanding a lot of what we say, and they have started doing a couple of animal sounds consistently. They know that a cow says ‘moo’, a monkey says ‘ah-ah-ah’ and most recently learned that an elephant says ‘psfffff’…although they don’t really have the elephant sound down, they raise their arm above their head to imitate the trunk like Richard and I always do.

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For the pictures, I took them right before bedtime so the boys were pretty tired hence their soothers. I didn’t take nearly as many as I usually do for their month-birthday pictures so included one from a couple of days after Jan 29.

18 Months!

It’s about that time that I can stop referring to the boys’ age in months, and can start telling people their age in years, because they are officially a year-and-a-half! Where did the time go? I see little newborns, or even babies that are 5 or 6 months old and they just look so little…I can barely remember the boys being that little!

At a year-and-a-half, they are now running everywhere, ‘talking’ lots (although it’s all nonsense words right now, but I wonder if they understand each other), and listening. When giving them a bath two weeks ago, I asked Philip to stand up so I could wash him everywhere, and promptly they both stood up! Richard and I were so surprised as that was the first time they listened to that instruction. And since that time, they seem to be understanding and listening to more and more of what we say. They don’t know their colours or shapes or a lot of animals yet, so if there is a toy or something on the ground that we ask them to pick up, unless they can see where we are pointing, they don’t really know what we are talking about, but instructions like “bring the book to mommy” are often followed!

They are both able to stack a 10 cup tower by themselves, but love even more knocking it to the ground! They have a new game where daddy blocks the tower and they try to get around him to knock it over without getting “tackled” and they love it! They’re also able to build pretty big towers with the Mega Blocks that we have.

They interact with each other so much! They will copy each other when one starts to play a new game, and they often seem to want the toy that the other one has. It’s so cute to see them playing together, but sometimes it means that they both start doing something they aren’t supposed to…like dumping out their water bottles, or unraveling the toilet roll, or pulling out all the wipes, or climbing on the desk, or toy kitchen, or…you get the point!

They didn’t get any new teeth this month, they’re existing teeth just became more established. They do love to brush their teeth though! And they are continuing to eat so well; even the day home provider is really impressed with their appetites. They are getting really good with using cutlery and can both eat a full yogurt by themselves, although it creates quite the mess. We’ve been pretty diligent about cutting food into small bite sized pieces for them, but this last month we’ve started to give them larger pieces of food, like a sandwich quarter or apple slice and they take little bites themselves now.

And speaking of their day home, they have adjusted to their new nap schedule which has been amazing! They are no longer grumpy boys by the end of the week, but are their usual happy selves. They are all smiles when I pick them up now; James laughs and runs to me and won’t let me put him down, and Philip just smiles but keeps on playing until we’re ready to go.

They each slept through the night twice (different nights of course), but other than that still wake up 1-3 times a night. That’s okay though, because I’m sure that soon enough I will miss their little cuddles during the night, seeing as time is going so fast with them now!

They both know where their belly button and nose is, although when we ask them to point to their nose, they end up sticking a finger up their nose. They give each other hugs and kisses, and blow raspberries on each others (and mommy and daddy’s) bellies. And they also chase each other and wrestle (well it’s more James wrestling Philip, which is funny because James is about 2 lbs lighter and 1/2″ shorter than Philip). It is so heart-warming to see them grow up together and how close they are already; it has definitely been the most amazing year-and-a-half of my life!

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17 Months!

I will admit that I have been woefully bad with keeping up with this blog over the last several months. We’ve been pretty busy what with Richard starting a new job, moving provinces, me going back to work and the boys starting day home. But, better late than never, here goes my 17 month update about the boys!

Probably the biggest change in the last month was the fact that the boys started attending a day home. It is run by a couple who have been doing this for the last 18 years, and came recommended from a friend whose son goes there. The boys started going on November 5, and it has been a bit of an adjustment to say the least. They moved from 2 naps (around 9am and 2pm) to only 1 nap (12pm)…or at least they should have! They haven’t quite gotten a hang of the napping thing at day home yet, so they are only sleeping for 20 or 30 minutes a day which makes for very grumpy boys by the end of the week. But, Friday they napped for 2 hours at day home, so fingers crossed they will keep that up next week. They have been enjoying day home though; they have some new friends now to play with and they love Nayereh who takes care of them during the day. I think once we can get the nap schedule down, then everything else will also fall into place.

With the adjustment of going to day home, their sleep schedule has changed a bit as well. Instead of going to bed at 7:30/8pm, they are now going to bed at 6:30/7pm, and waking up anywhere between 5-6am, as opposed to between 6 and 7am. They still aren’t sleeping through the night, but they’re only waking up once or twice a night now which is better than the last couple of months.

They love to read! Philip especially has a couple of favourite books (Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb and The Nose Book) that he always picks out and then will back up onto my lap for me to read him the book. He’s usually happy to pick out a book and flip through the (cardboard) pages. James likes reading too, but can usually be found playing with (and throwing) toys.

They are both so busy and love to play hide and seek and chase. In our new place, we gave them the big bedroom and it has a double closet on one side with 4 sliding doors to open. They’re favourite game is running and hiding in the closet and then being chased to their cribs and back again. They definitely aren’t afraid of the dark either because they will shut themselves in the closet a lot too.

They are still such happy boys (minus the grumpiness from not napping) and love to laugh, dance, be twirled and bounced. They are so good at playing with each other (most of the time) and I often find them sharing toys and food and their cups. It is so sweet to see one of them take their snack and feed it to the other one!

They are walking up and down the stairs now, with support from the railing of course. They are so steady on their feet and are starting to run places instead of just walk!

We had quite a bit of snow in November so went sledding several times, which they love! They are also getting more comfortable with walking in the snow in their boots, although it can be tough especially when we get more than a few inches of snow.

The boys love to give high fives, blow kisses, wave hi and bye, and they’ve started ‘cheers-ing’ their cups. Richard and I often play rock, paper, scissors to decide who has to do a chore, and the boys love it and try to play too…but they always pick rock. Philip often says “Nya” (our dog’s name) and “dog”, and both of them love to chat and babble. They are both recognizing things, like when they see a pig in a book they will make their version of an ‘oink’ noise. They also respond some basic instructions, like “dance”, “stompy stompy feet” (which is when they stomp their feet quickly), “kicky kicky feet” (which is when they lay down on their backs and kick their feet), and “sit down” (most often said when they try to stand in the tub). They also listen to “no/don’t touch that”…most of the time.

Last month they also caught a stomach bug, which Richard and I both promptly caught. Luckily no one in the family was at peak-sickness at the same time though, and it completely passed through our house in less than a week.

James now has 9 teeth and Philip still has 8. They are learning to use cutlery now and both boys can basically eat a small container of yogurt unassisted now (although it is extra messy). James is great at picking food up with a fork too…almost better than me actually! Both boys love to eat and eat pretty much everything now (minus the few days after the stomach bug). Some of their favourite foods are roast chicken dinner, carrots, Shepherd’s pie, yogurt, and eggs and toast. Broccoli seems to be the one thing that they consistently turn away.

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Powder Day

Even though it snowed early in October, we didn’t have a sled yet so couldn’t go sledding. We did however get to enjoy playing in the snow; James discovered that he loved to eat the snow, and Philip just wasn’t too sure what to think of it.

Now, we are fully winterized, thanks to snowsuits from Nana and Grandad (Richard’s parents), boots from Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) and hats from Auntie Alex. So, when we got our second round of snowfall a couple of days ago, we didn’t hesitate to hit the slopes for some fresh powder (ok it was a tiny hill covered in just enough snow)!

The boys absolutely loved sledding! James had the biggest smile etched across his face when we went down the hill, and Philip would smile with delight and start trying to climb the hill after we got down (once he got used to walking in the snow).

I think we’ll be doing a lot of sledding this winter!

First Hair Cut

I have been pushing off getting the boys first hair cut for a while now. First, I wanted to wait until they turned one. Then, I wanted to wait until after our move. And then, I just wanted to wait because I loved their long hair; James had the most beautiful long blond curls, and Philip just looked adorable with his long bangs and hair. It may sound silly, but I knew that after I cut their hair they wouldn’t look like little babies anymore; they’d officially be toddlers. Walking, talking (or at least trying to), short-haired little boys.

But, I ran out of excuses to not get their hair cut, and after a few too many “aw what cute little girls!” comments from strangers, I booked them for their first hair cut! I debated doing it myself; my sister cut her son’s hair herself and sent me some how-to videos to watch. But my boys are so squirmy, I didn’t have a low-backed chair that I could strap them into, and James’ hair is so curly I didn’t know how to approach cutting it, so I decided to take them somewhere for their hair cuts.

After a quick Google search, I found Beaners Fun Cuts for Kids. And finally, after months of apprehension and stalling, Richard and I took the boys for their first hair cuts yesterday!

I am so glad that we took them somewhere to get their hair cut instead of me doing it myself. And Beaners was built for kids! They had a ball pit for kids to play in, toys all over the place, and fun cars with steering wheels to strap the boys into for their hair cuts. Both boys got the Fire Truck for their hair cuts.

Philip went first, and after about 10 minutes, one comb steal, zero tears and a lot of interest in what was happening around him, Philip was a short-haired little boy. James went next and it was the same story for him. The staff at Beaners were super friendly and gave us “First Hair Cut” certificates for the boys and we were on our way home (after a quick play in the ball pit again).

Luckily for me, not much as actually changed. The boys still make all of their same noises and facial expressions, they just look more like little boys now instead of babies when doing it. I do miss their long, soft hair, but I do love their new short hair-dos too!

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Happy National Twin Day

In 1819, a pair of twins in Millsville Ohio donated 6 acres of land, on the condition that the town change its name to Twinsburg. In 1976, they started hosting an annual festival for twins, and National Twins Day was born!

I have to say that having twins is so rewarding! It is such an amazing thing to see them interact with each other, whether it is chasing each other around, laughing, hugging, wanting the same toy, or discovering things together. It certainly is hard work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Happy National Twin Day to all of the twins out there!

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And if you don’t have twins, you can keep your eyes open for other family days:

  • National Siblings Day April 10
  • National Brothers Day May 24
  • National Kids Day First Sunday in August
  • National Sisters Day First Sunday in August
  • National Sons and Daughters Day August 11
  • National Middle Child Day August 12