Thursday, January 27, 2011

15 months

*WARNING- lots of pictures

Now that you've been warned... the babies turned 15 months at the beginning of January. Their stats:

Weight: 20 lbs, 7 0z (10-25%)
Height: 29.25 in (10-25%)
Head: 44.75 cm (10-25%)

She is very proportionate in everything!

Weight: 22 lbs (25-50%)
Height: 29.25 in (10-25%)
Head: 45.75 cm (50-75%)

They were measured at the exact same length, but I know it was inaccurate. Leah was screaming when she was measured and the nurse didn't get her foot pulled out all the way. Leah is taller by at least half an inch. Leah now weighs, at 15 months, what Mitchell weighed at 4 months. Whoa baby.

These two babies are at such a fun age. And a funny age. They crack all of us up on a daily basis. Here's a little of what they've been up to lately.

Alexis is obsessed with Mitchell's underwear. She loves to carry a pair around the house and especially loves to put it on her head. We're careful to ensure that it's a clean pair.

Leah loves to find little places to crawl into and hide. I was cleaning out my kitchen drawers one day and took them all out and she would not get out of that hole until I was ready to put the drawers back. Notice the little toy in her hand? She and Lexi love to find random little things and carry them around all day. Their favorite "things" are my measuring cups and spoons. They empty that drawer out multiple times a day. I find teaspoons and tablespoons in the most random places.

Someone opened the fridge one day and didn't close it and Lexi took full advantage of her opportunity to raid it. When I came into the kitchen, I found her with carrots, a clove of garlic, some celery and an empty carton of milk. The babies love whenever someone opens the fridge. If we're not quick to get them out, they have been known to grab the eggs and throw them on the floor.

I'm embarrassed to admit that until this month, I have never brushed the babies' teeth. Their doctor asked me at their 15 month appointment if I had started brushing their teeth yet (he also asked me at their 1 year appointment) and I, shamefully, had to tell him I hadn't. We got right on that. They loved it.

The toothbrush is bigger than Leah's mouth practically.

These little divas are loving them some shoes! I recently pulled out these pink crocs and they adore them. I actually bought these crocs before they were born to be worn last summer (they are size 6-12 months) but last summer, even at 9 months old, they were way too big on them. Now at 15 months they fit perfectly, and with our 50 degree weather here they are working out great.

Lexi signs "Shoes" to me and will even try her hardest to say "shoes" so she can put these bad boys on.

Leah is usually just fine with wearing only one. I think she likes the random way it feels to walk around lopsided. It's very cute.

Unfortunately, Leah has turned into my pickiest eater ever. I say unfortunately because it kind of bothers me. So far with my kids at this age, I just make something, put it on their tray and they eat it. Her appetite has also slowed way down at meal time. She is content to just eat a bite or two, depending on what I give her. I have learned not to give her more than 1 or 2 things at a time, or else she throws everything else on the floor.

The above picture showed her trying some noodles and she knew just what to do with them. Of course, she ate a few bites and when I came to get her out of her seat, I found the rest of the noodles on the floor and stuck on the wall.

As mentioned in a previous post, Leah's favorite thing to do is throw all of her food on the floor, refuse to eat anything else, then get down and walk straight over to Lexi's tray and eat the very thing she refused to eat in her chair.

Not only eat, but devour. I call her my little "Helen Keller." (When Helen Keller was young, she'd go from plate to plate at the dinner table, eating off everyone else's plates with her hands.) Lexi doesn't mind a stolen bite here or there, but she gets very upset when Leah takes the last of her food, or takes away her bowl and spoon, especially if she is still hungry.

Lexi is my grand little eater. I shouldn't use the word little either- she will eat, and eat and eat. She will eat anything and everything. She is so much fun to feed and she is great at clearing out the leftovers from my fridge. Leah won't eat it? No problem- Alexis will!

We were having a particularly cranky day at my house one day last week and I was getting desperate on ways to entertain 2 babies that only wanted to be held, so I looked around and grabbed some bubbles. After seeing the babies' reaction to the bubbles, I scolded myself for not introducing them to this simple wonder earlier. They giggled and chased the bubbles and tried to eat them.

Even better is that Chloe and Mitchell can blow the bubbles for them, leaving me free to snap pictures or work on a project.

Alexis wanted to try to blow them herself. She even got a few bubbles to come out, too!

My absolute favorite thing right now is watching these two play together and rough- house. The above picture shows Leah actually chasing Alexis around the house. It was so funny. The funniest thing was Leah had her arms outstretched as they "ran" (walking as quickly as they could). Both were giggling.

And she caught her! Leah is much rougher with Alexis- she loves to crawl on top of her, grab her from behind and squeeze her or do this "choke style" hold seen above. The kids and I will hear Alexis crying from another room and Leah laughing and we have to run in and break up the fight. 99% of the time it is Leah who initiated it.

But don't be fooled- Lexi does enjoy it quite a bit!

As rough as Leah can be with Alexis, she also loves to give her kisses and snuggle with her. She initiates fights, but she also initiates the most kisses and loves with her sister. You can tell just by watching the two of them together that Leah absolutely adores having a constant play mate.

Alexis loves to sit on our bottom step. This step also doubles as our "time out" spot occasionally, so when we see her sitting there we always ask her if she's in time out. How sad that her favorite hang out spot will one day be her punishment spot... Can you blame her for wanting a place to sit and relax after being sat on or chased by her sister? :)

Both babies love to try and keep up with the big kids and do what they do. Mitchell asked me to tie a dish towel around his neck one day so he could be "Super Bunny" and then went and got another towel for Alexis so she could be "Super Bunny Baby." She loved it.

I'm only a few months late, but here are the babies' 1 year pictures we took back in November.

We only got 2 shots of the girls together that looked presentable, and neither one was as amazing as I was hoping. Do you know what's harder than getting one active baby to cooperate for the camera? Yep, getting two to cooperate.

My favorite shot of Leah- so happy!

The bow being held in by 2 wisps of hair!

Leah- both girls are down to one nap these days and Leah is the shorter napper. An hour is her average. 1.5 hours is great, 2 hours is scarce but a great day when it happens. She's ready for bed by 5:30 p.m. when she only naps an hour, and will sleep until 7:00 the next morning.

She is my little chatter bug- she makes all sorts of made up words and has a handful of real words- "more", "milk", "Daddy", "Mama", "cracker", "Daisy", "Clo"(Chloe), "Uh oh", "Bye bye", "Hi", "Bear Bear", "Up". She has been picking up on the sign language more and does a handful of signs as well.

She is our cuddle bug and loves to curl up on someone's lap (and by someone's lap I mean me or Ben) and lay her head on my shoulder when I ask her to. She is petrified of strangers. She does not like to go to anyone else's house, even if I stay there. She cries anytime we walk into someone else's house and has to sit on my lap for quite some time before she feels comfortable even getting down. She doesn't like strangers coming into our house and staying, either. I babysat for a friend one day who has a little boy about the twins' age and the little boy minded his own business and didn't even touch Leah, but as soon as she spotted him walking in the door, she burst into tears and would not let me put her down all morning. It can take days for her to warm up to extended family too. To be honest, it can be really annoying (this is stranger anxiety at its most extreme) but that's our Leah and we are used to it and we love her. Sometimes in public she will let the most random stranger talk to her and she'll smile and be perfectly fine, but she will let you know if she is scared or unhappy with it by immediately bursting into tears, or leaning her head and body away from the person and moaning or whining. As you can tell, this presents quite a predicament in getting babysitters or asking friends to watch her for doctor appointments. She needs to learn and we do leave her with other people, but I always feel so bad for those that are taking care of her. It is not pleasant for them and I worry the entire time I am gone, at least until I know she's in bed and not crying for the sitter anymore!

Still loves her little yellow Carebear named "Bear Bear." She sleeps with him every night and carries him around during the day whenever he is out of the crib. We couldn't find him one day and when we finally did and she saw him across the room she squealed "Bear Bear!"

Leah has 6 teeth, the most recent 2 being molars. Ouch.

Alexis- she is my amazing napper. Most days she will take a 3 hour nap (2-3 times longer than her sister!). Most of the time she can sleep through Leah's crying when she wakes up earlier at nap time.

Still loves her binky, but she only gets it in bed. I started making her leave it in her bed in December and she didn't like it at first, but now will take it out of her own mouth and drop it in her bed before I get her out. She has done great without it during the day and she has become much more talkative and chatty without it. I hope to wean her off it completely soon. She found a random binky one day in a toy box and when I caught her with it in her mouth I immediately took it away and she was completely devastated and sobbed for quite some time. Ah, yes, we need to wean off it soon.

Knows a few words- "Dada", "Mama," "Shoes", "Snack", "Milk", "More", "Up", "Bear" "Nana (banana) and "Bee Bee"(Binky) and lots of signs. Her cutest sign is "Eat." She signs it perfectly and uses it correctly. It's so cute and very nice that she can come up to me and sign "Eat" when she is hungry. She also signs "More", "Please", "All Done", "Milk", "Shoes", "Daddy".

She has become clingy lately and is going through stranger anxiety as well. She is nowhere near what Leah is, but does not like going to our little MOPS class where I drop her off in a nursery class for 2.5 hours. She cries harder and longer than Leah does there, for whatever reason. But she is much more willing to go sit with someone else or let another person carry her and warms up to relatives immediately. She does great for babysitters, which is a relief to them knowing that just one of the babies will cry nonstop until bedtime instead of both of them.

Lexi has 7 teeth but eats like she has 20.

The babies are often in bed before Ben gets home from work, but on the rare occasion that they are awake when he comes home, they both go "running" to the front door as fast as they can and both squeal loudly "Daddy!" as soon as they see him. They love their daddy.

Time is really slipping away from me now as they continue to get bigger, faster and cuter. Oh, they keep me about as busy as I feel like I can get, but I am loving every hectic minute.

The countdown is on to nursery- just over 2 months to go. It's going to be brutal for them adjusting to nursery, Leah especially, but we're up for the challenge!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Christmas Day!

We were hoping that by setting the kids' clock back an hour and using a little Christmas magic that our kids might sleep in on Christmas morning. And "sleeping in" at our house is 7:00. Alas, all 4 kids were up by 6:30, so our festivities started then. Luckily, 6:30 a.m. doesn't feel all that early when it's Christmas!

We got our traditional picture on the stairs before coming down.

(Boy do I look tired.... it was mostly due to waking up with a horrible cold and headache/impending migraine).

The stockings

A picture of all the gifts, all pretty and wrapped

Santa brought all 4 kids a new, big kitchen to share. Leah and Lexi went straight for it as soon as they got downstairs. They loved it.

Mitchell and Chloe both got umbrellas in their stockings. They are obsessed with umbrellas and we get plenty of rain around here to put them to good use.

Chloe got a Beverly Cleary book set from me and Ben. She and I love reading together, so I thought it would be fun to have some "big girl" books to read together. We have currently finished two of the "Ramona Quimby" books and are loving them. My mom used to read chapter books with me on a regular basis and it is one of my favorite memories of growing up and I'm excited to share this tradition with Chloe.

Mitchell, with help from Leah, opening his Black & Decker tool set. A very cool toy.

Lexi wanted to sit with Aunt Bethany all morning. She is sporting the things Santa brought her. Her and Leah's favorite thing in their stocking was the container of teddy grahams.

One of Leah and Lexi's gifts from us was new, big girl carseats. (Actually, there was only one new one and the other one was Mitch's old carseat). With only one to open and use that day, there was lots of fighting over it. They did not enjoy sharing it. Both wanted to sit in it all by themselves.

Opening gifts was fun for the babies, but it took forever for them to open anything. Good thing they had a very anxious older brother and sister to help.

Our messy living room after all the gifts were opened.

Bethany is holding my favorite gift of the year- a family history scrapbook made by my parents. It has my pedigree chart and my parents' pedigree charts, along with pictures and names of my ancestors. What a priceless gift that I will treasure forever. It was so neat to look through the book at relatives that I have never seen pictures of. It was also fun to see pictures of some of my kids' namesakes, and my namesakes, and see if there was any resemblance between any relatives and any of us. I was named after my great grandma, Maude Carrie Ostwalt. (Whew... I lucked out on getting Carrie, rather than Maude!)

After gifts, I made our traditional cherry breakfast cake for breakfast and we sang happy birthday to Jesus.

This shot shows a typical Leah move. She eats like a bird. Somedays I can only get her to eat 2 or 3 bites at a meal. She will sign "All Done" to me and I'll get her out, and then she'll walk over to Lexi's high chair and start eating off her tray. This is what she did Christmas morning. Funny thing is, they always have the same things on their trays, but apparently Lexi's identical food tastes much better.

The rest of the day was spent lounging, napping, watching movies, eating, and playing with all the new toys. I love Christmas Day. It really is my favorite day of the whole year.
Mitchell's tool bench was everyone's favorite toy. The babies toddled over to it and acted like they had used a drill press and miter saw their entire life. It was hilarious.

Chloe, relaxing with her Leapster Explorer game

Mitchell also got a new carseat- a big boy one. He was excited to try it out later in the afternoon.

Not only did the babies get new, big girl carseats, they also got to sit forward facing for the first time ever. They have been in their infant car seats until now. My other two kids grew out of their infant carrier seats at 5 months old. For these two to still be in them at 14 months was an Andros record.

They seemed pretty pleased to be forward facing- a completely new view, and it is nicer that when I need to hand them a snack while we are driving that I can easily hand it to them without reaching over their carriers. I did have mixed feelings about being done with their infant carriers- they have kind of been a lifesaver with twins. Costco is the only store with carts that buckle two kids, so every where else I went I had to put one baby in the back of the cart in their carseat. And in the carrier seats, getting them in and out of the car was easy- no unbuckling to rebuckle in a cart. Fast and easy. But... they were getting awfully heavy to carry more than 3 steps in those seats. The two of them together were over 40 pounds. My daily workout, really.

Chloe got the game Connect 4 from Mitchell for Christmas and everyone had a great time playing it all day.

The day flew by much too quickly. It's always a let down for me when the day is over, because it's 365 more days until Christmas Day again.

We were super sad to see Aunt Bethany leave the day after Christmas- we just loved having her and the visit went by much too quickly. She spoiled all the kids with her attention. Thanks for coming to visit, Beth.

What a fun Christmas it was with these two little buggers. I have said this before- Christmas with kids is the best!

Here are the twins last Christmas- boy how they've grown and changed! Christmas with a tiny baby is so sweet, but Christmas with toddlers is really fun. They didn't understand anything that was going on, but they were so happy all day to just toddle around, play with wrapping paper and check out everyone's toys.

Funny side story: On the way to drop off Bethany at the airport Sunday evening, I gave the twins suckers to keep them occupied for the ride. Leah started crying on the way home and I couldn't find her sucker anywhere. When we got her out of her car seat at home, we found the sucker... oops.

We had such a wonderful Christmas. Now that Christmas is over, I can't wait for summer!