March 20, 2015 · filed under twins

2 years and 4 months

I’m long overdue for an update on many things, but I’ll start with the boys. Things have changed SO MUCH since they turned two. They talk in full sentences now and we walk to school together three mornings per week.

Finally going back to school after a week of sickness. These guys just kill me with the cuteness and the hair.

Teddy and Holden are like two little Energizer bunnies. They are at their happiest when we are outside walking, exploring, or playing. They love the playground, sandboxes, nature hikes, tee-ball and soccer, and playing “I Spy” with things we see outside. Their motto is “I do it BY MYSELF” and that applies to everything.

"I do it ALL BY MYSELF!" -age 2(x2)

At home they love puzzles (and can do up to 48 pieces!), drawing/coloring, playing with cars and trucks, watching Daniel Tiger, reading books, pretending to be doctors, and navigating obstacle courses.

They can count to about 12 reliably, though sometimes they start at 7 and end at 4 so who really knows. They still love to point out letters that they see. Teddy told me the other day when he saw a stop sign, “S – T – O – P spells Teddy!” The ego is quite strong. : )

I'm being serenaded. *swoon*

They love to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and in fact it was the first long thing both of them memorized. I often wake up in the morning to the sound of them both reciting the words over the monitor. Lately they’ve been learning Wheels on the Bus and love to go through all the verses with me. They love the Pete the Cat book called “I love my White Shoes” and they try to read the pages before I can.

The biggest change is that T & H started (part-time) preschool the first week in February. The first two weeks were hard. Holden cried for the whole three hours for about 5 days, and he was just so emotionally drained from it that he developed a weird blinking habit that really stressed me out. The good news is that as soon as he adjusted to school, he stopped crying, and he stopped blinking. He has been happy ever since. Teddy was a champ at going to school and being an extrovert from Day 1, but for all the effort it took him to hold it together at school, he would LOSE IT as soon as he came home. We’ve had so many (so so so many) meltdowns, tantrums, etc. I know his little brain is just going through so much development and change and all of this is right on time for age two but OHMYGOODNESS some days are rough.

Pretty sure I'll never get a good photo of them together ever again

Other low points have been the neverending sickness that has lingered since preschool started. We’ve been to the doctor at least 5 times (once I went two days in a row), the hospital ER once, they’ve been on two full rounds of antibiotics each, and THEY ARE STILL COUGHING and full of snot. It’s no joke. I am so ready for a stronger immune system to kick in.

Firsts from the past few months:
Meeting Santa (Teddy loved it!)
Sledding
Walking to school (backpacks and all, I die)
Gymnastics class
Teddy requesting his own coffee in the morning
Holden’s first trip to the ER (he was fine)
Learned how to say their first-middle-last names and it’s adorable

Funny things they’ve said:

Teddy’s first sentences were about boogers: “wipe booger off Teddy” and “Teddy eat booger yeah” (gross)

Holden called polka dots “moons”

Teddy went through a minor rice pudding obsession. If you asked him any question, the answer was rice pudding. One night I heard Teddy talking in his sleep over the monitor. He just kept saying, “Rice pudding…Santa cookies” ?!

One of the cutest things they say is “I’ll be right back!” before they leave the room

Teddy once told me: “Tummy hurts. Baby in tummy.”

Teddy’s ornery streak sounds like this: Me: “Please hold your cup with two hands.” Him: “NO! Three hands!”

Then Teddy says things like: “Daddy drink bourbon all gone” “Teddy busy right now” “Teddy makes Mommy happy”

Holden: “Knock Knock” Me: “Who’s there?” Holden: “Just Holden” (plus the cutest grin you’ve ever seen)

Safety first

My favorite thing about Holden right now is that he still wants to cuddle and be rocked to sleep. He is a sensitive little guy who really loves to be close to us. My favorite thing about Teddy is listening to him say new and funny things every day. He has started to experiment with using more abstract words like “everything” and “nothing” and it’s really fun to listen to how his brain works. I also love it when they play nicely together, and share and show kindness to each other. I hope that they will always feel lucky to have a twin brother.

My boys & me

Previously: two years • 22 months •  20 months • 1.5 years •  sixteen months • fourteen months • one year • nine months • eight months • seven months • six months • twenty weeks • four months • twelve weeks • two months • one month • three weeks • two weeks


January 18, 2015 · filed under kid stuff

our favorite books (age 1.5 to 2)

I thought I’d share a list of H & T’s favorite books from the past six months or so. I have to give credit to Janssen for at least half of these — her instagram feed is full of great toddler book suggestions. I think I found a few of these from Design Mom, too. I’d love it if you would share your favorite books for this age range. We sometimes get duds from the library so I always love a good recommendation.

In no particular order…

bearsnoreson

1. The Bear Snores On

This was the first “long” book the boys really loved. (By long I mean, not a Sandra Boynton board book, if that makes sense.) They love to point out the different animals — mouse, gopher, mole, wren, raven, and more.

mttigergoeswild

2. Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

I can’t get enough of the lovely illustrations in this book. The boys love to “ROAR” along with the tiger. And the message about feeling free to be yourself is pretty sweet.

thewoods

3. The Woods

I don’t love this book as much as some others, but the twins LOVE it. It’s a solid bedtime book.

clangclang

4. Clang Clang, Beep Beep

This book was a gift from a slightly older 2-year-old who obviously has good taste in books. It’s short on words, but filled with lots of sounds (car horns beeping, alarm clocks ringing, etc). It’s been great especially for our late talking boy.

Iwantmyhatback

5. I Want My Hat Back

This book makes *me* chuckle at the punchline. I’m not sure the boys actually get the joke, but they love the animals and the repetition.

curiousgeorge

6. Curious George

This book has got it all — kidnapping, a monkey smoking a pipe, escaping prison, etc. The story is on the longer side for this age, but it keeps their attention. I recommend the original — I haven’t found any of the other ones in the C.G. series to be as enthralling for them.

haveyouseenmydragon

7. Have You Seen My Dragon?

One of our current favorites. I think it’s a book that will grow with your kids. At this age, mine love to find the dragon on each page. When they’re a little older I think they will like to participate in the counting of items. Super awesome illustrations and a definite must for any kid who lives in or visits NYC.

missspiderteaparty

8. Miss Spider’s Tea Party

This book is out of print but I bet you could find it at your library. I like reading it because it’s a long poem. The boys are always happy to listen and they love the bright and bold pictures. Our copy is falling apart because it’s been read so many times.

thewaybackhome

9. The Way Back Home

I wasn’t sure which Oliver Jeffers book to include. We also really like Stuck, and I love his new Alphabet book. His books are super quirky but I find them quite lovable. Great for kids (or parents) who love silly things or have big imaginations.

jumpingjack

10. Jumping Jack

This book led to one of Teddy’s first (and ridiculously adorable) sentences: “Roger Trotter glasses fall off!” (I guess you had to be there…) This book is different from the rest, in a good way.

sevensillyeaters

11. The Seven Silly Eaters

This is also a new one, but the boys love to listen to us read it to them (it’s not short) and love to point out funny things in the detailed drawings.

~~~

Okay, I’m stopping myself at 11. I hope you enjoy a few of these!


January 14, 2015 · filed under twins

a little update on preschool

Last week was a bit of a rough re-entry after a super long holiday break. By Tuesday evening I declared defeat. The children had gotten the best of me and I was going to go back to work full time and would send them to boarding school! (Possibly an over-reaction…) Then on Thursday my beloved babysitter told me the good/bad news that she got a full time job offer. It’s great for her and has been her goal for the last year, but super sad for me because she is great with the boys and has a completely flexible schedule.

I let that news sink in for about 2.2 seconds and then I kicked it into high gear to find some more childcare because the idea of being with the boys without a break, AND trying to get work done was just…nope. I asked my peeps on twitter their opinions about babysitter vs preschool and the unanimous answer was preschool, especially now that they are two.

There are a zillion preschools around here but also about two zillion toddlers so I thought the process would be a bit daunting, especially in the middle of the school year. I started by calling the preschool my nephew went to for two years. The director told me that she happened to have two openings (out of 15 spots total) for 2-year-olds on MWF mornings and would we like them?

Andrew and I considered the offer over the weekend and enrolled the boys on Monday. How’s that for solving a problem (and getting really lucky) in just 5 days?! They boys will start the first week of February and will go three mornings per week for three hours. Oh, and did I mention I can see this preschool from my front yard and that we can walk there? Yep.

This will probably be a big transition for Teddy and Holden. They’ve only ever had caregivers come to our house (and only two have been non-family members). Now we will have to get up, dressed, fed, and out the door on time, with snacks and water bottles and whatever else you’re supposed to bring with you. So really what I’m saying is it’s going to be a hard transition on me, too.

It’s time though. They are ready and I am ready, and I hope it won’t take long for them to adjust. If you all have any tips about things that help with preschool transition, I’d love to hear them! Also if you have any favorite lunch boxes or other supplies, or ideas for how to deal with the germs that are likely to overtake our whole family for the next several months, please do share.

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