Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Middle Child

One thing I never worried about when I found out I was having twins (and I worried about just about everything else) was Bridget's place in the family. She was only thirteen months old when she accompanied me to that fateful ultrasound, but I already knew she'd be a glass-half-full middle child. Wants to rule the roost? Order the twins around. Feels like tagging along? Older brothers are happy to include you. (Although often she rules the roost in both directions, let's be honest.)

And sometimes now I feel I have to force myself NOT to give Bridget too much attention, because at this moment in time, tougher naps notwithstanding*, she is my first girl baby at my favorite age and she is SCRUMPTIOUS.

Recently Bridge has been reversing "who/what" (and their related pronouns) and "for/with." Not just confusing them, but reversing them consistently. At the train station the other day, she saw someone she (at least thought she) recognized--a stranger to us--and shouted "I REMEMBER THAT! I REMEMBER THAT!" while pointing excitedly at the woman. I thought it would be overkill to explain to this politely smiling stranger that she constantly asks "What's that?" referring to people and "Who's that?" referring to inanimate objects...!

And the for/with swap kills me--she'll say "Bridgie come a-runnin' for Mama?" meaning she wants to do my run with me, or "Daddy open my cup, drink last bits with Bridgie?" meaning she wants him to unscrew the lid of her straw sippy for her. It's delightful.

Here is Bridget modeling some of her summer duds (FINALLY!), all hand-me-downs from various generous relatives and family friends. When I say modeling, I mean modeling:

*Two days so far of success with: snack right before nap, milk and a story in her room right after the green light goes off on her alarm clock, then snack downstairs while she continues to wake up. Today if all goes well, I can start calling it a pattern per Ceci's three-day paradigm!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Bridget's Naps: Age Two

A while ago, we had to move Bridget's nap from one or one-thirty to two; this way, we had a better chance of getting her to sleep a full two hours, and if she woke up earlier than that, at least it was not a huge gap between wake-up at 3:30 and bedtime.

It worked great for a while, but recently she's started to wake up in a bit of a sullen mood...and it goes downhill from there. As a baby, Bridget always woke up in a good mood, so this is startling in its total toddler-style intensity.

I've been trying to feed her immediately after her nap, but it's often not soon enough, aka, a straw in her mouth the second her eyes open. Today she did what we've warned her about on multiple occasions "if you keep making yourself cry": she threw up a little, after she [WARNING: GROSSNESS TO FOLLOW] gagged on her own snot.

So the next step to head off this behavior, which we suspect is related to low blood sugar, is to feed her just before nap--something with a little peanut butter or cheese so her levels don't spike or plummet while she sleeps. Hopefully it brings our girl a little closer to her typical sunny mood in the afternoon:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Six Months of Noon Twins!

I posted the first picture to let everyone know that Hadley does, in fact, cry (as does her twin bro)--but as you can also see, she cheers up pretty rapidly:

Anderson's stats: 
Length:  28 inches (95th %ile)
Weight: 18 lbs. (60th %ile)
Head: Planetary
Eyes: Still blue, but they look like Finn's at this age, so it's a good bet they'll go dark hazel in a year or two
Hair: Darker than Will's blonde, lighter than Finn's brown, redder than Bridget's sandy color
Teeth: Nowhere to be found
Feet: Sasquatch would be alarmed
Favorite activities: Drooling, cycling his legs, cooing, shoving Hadley's hands and feet into his mouth, watching his big brothers and sister race around, rolling all around his crib, practicing his sitting, playing peekaboo
Predominant mood: "Heeeeeeey, man, how've you beeeeeeeeen?"

Hadley's stats:
Height: 26.75 inches (87th %ile)
Weight: 17.5 pounds (82nd %ile)
Head: Orbiting around Anderson's
Hair: Punk-rock tufts of dark-brown-transitioning-to-dark-blonde (at least on top)
Eyes: Green--will she be the one and only Noon to inherit Dave's eye color? Stay tuned!
Teeth: Still just rocking her bottom two
Feet: Surprisingly dainty
Favorite activities: Gumming stuff, babbling, grabbing Anders' limbs, smiling for the camera, jumping in the jumperoo, rolling out of tummy time, using her heels to scoot on her back, making eye contact with ANYBODY EVER
Predominant mood: "Hi! Is that a camera? Hi! Cheeeeese! Hi there! Are you looking at me? Are we TALKING? HI HI HI HI HI! I'm over here! HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!"

And now for an absurd amount of pictures that are only slightly different from each other, 
but also so cute that I couldn't possibly choose favorites:

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Will Report: 5 1/2 Years Old

[This is the first and last time I'll ever be able to say: I have five kids, ranging from five-point-five months to five-point-five years, so I had to write it just once.]

We toured Will's elementary school yesterday and it was a BLAST. He was the poster child for kindergarten orientation: skipping through the halls, calling out to preschool friends who are one grade ahead of him, lecturing current kindergarteners about his preschool circle time routine authoritatively...

Will is still very much our little engineer (perhaps mechanical instead of electrical?):

He loves basketball and soccer AND his cheering section:

His reading has gotten amazing; he can read Magic Treehouse books to us with no help from grownups anymore. The whole watching-a-human-learn-to-read process has been incredible to me, and Dave and I sometimes turn to each other and whisper, "Did he just read 'chrysallis'? Did he just sound out 'disbelief'?" That last example is a true one, but it's also perfect to describe how we feel about this milestone: disbelief--and a lot of pride, mixed in with some happiness that it has been something that comes naturally to Will. I'm sure it won't be as easy for all our kids, and it's nice that they'll have not only parents but also (more importantly?) an older brother to coach them.

One day, Will decided to make a Magic Treehouse museum and construct dioramas of each book he'd read so far:

He has a wonderful imagination and loves to tell us stories about the buildings he creates:

Here's a sort of missile/marble cannon type thing that he made when I wasn't paying attention:

I love the description of this water/land/space plane: "Sometimes it leaks."

A helicopter he made, again with zero help or input from an adult, after painstakingly cutting up separate pieces of paper to make the propeller and...landing gear? I don't even know what the base of a helicopter is called! Clearly these are Dave's genes.

When I pick him up, he laughs and says, "You can hardly lift me anymore, right?" 

He gives me the report from the backseat of the car: "Anders is sleeping but Hads isn't. Oh! Nope, now Hadley's eyes are closed too."

I told him the other day how proud I was that he was the kind of person who could figure out what he wanted--in this case, to become better friends with some boys in his school--and then try for it and (again, in this case) achieve it. "A lot of people can't use words to describe what they want, and I love that you can talk about what you're trying to do." He's still so competitive, takes losses hard, so it won't be easy for him to rebound when hard work doesn't pay off--but I think he'll still work hard the next time, and that's a quality I truly admire in my little man.

We took the training wheels off his bike a few weeks ago and I pushed him through the initial phases of learning to ride: the balancing, then the braking, then the pedaling, and finally the pushing off, pedaling and braking. He kept getting frustrated and shouting about how he COULDN'T DO IT, so I steeled myself and said "Every time you shout about not being able to do it or how much you hate it--anything negative--I'm going to make you practice it five more times." This vow made him more furious, but he knew I'd follow through, so he'd grunt as he got back on the bike, pedaled again, scowling while Finn and Bridget biked and scooted in other corners of the parking lot. And when he got the hang of each phase, I'd jump and cheer and high-five him, and then we'd move on to the next skill. It was not fun, really, but it was still wonderful, if that makes any sense. I think he'd say the same.

When we were headed to our tour yesterday, I told Will I had butterflies in my stomach because I was so excited to see what his school would be like next year. "Mom, I have WOLVES in my stomach!" he said, laughing. It's going to be a big year for him and for the rest of us!