Monday, February 25, 2013

16 months day in the life...

We've been lucky so far to have two ground dwellers but that is all changing as of yesterday. Sam figured out that he can pull himself up onto things. Dining rooms chairs and stacked diaper boxes are the items of choice right now. He's up on the chair whacking at the laptop the minute I turn my back. And in no time he's going to discover that tables are a very short step up from the chairs and that couches and coffee tables make good launching pads for his pratfalls. He's already figured out that 'falling' from the chair onto his hands and knees makes a loud noise. He loves loud noises....as long as he's making them.
And whatever physical skill Sam figures out, Rachel is not too far behind. She's now copying his pratfalls, although hers are a delicate, lady version with all the drama and none of the thump. She throws her hands in the air, spends a long time pretending she's losing her balance and then relatively slowly falls to her knees and sometimes her hands with a big grin.
She's already seemed jealous of Sam's ability to gain altitude so it's just a matter of time till she's climbing too.
I'm scared!
Mealtime are also going to get out of hand very soon. During lunch today for the first time Rachel managed to put spoon into bowl, scoop up some food and then transfer it to her mouth. I was very impressed and praised her highly. However, in the course of the meal she also put the bowl on her head, got food on her spoon and flicked it across to Sam and started dueling spoons with Sam. Sam doesn't have the same control or interest over where his spoon goes. As long as he has some food on it and can  make impressive messes on his tray and wipe it on his head, he's happy. Things are very messy these days at meal time.
Today I saw a rare example of Rachel being in an exceedingly good mood while wrestling with Sam. They were both trying to sit or stand on top of a package of diapers on the floor and Sam was pushing Rachel off but instead of bursting into tears and whining about it she found it hilarious. They wrestled and Sam stood on the package, then Rachel got to sit but got bowled off again when Sam tackled her, and all the while she was giggling up a storm. I actually don't know if Sam was being very good natured about it; he was not laughing. He wanted to be king of the diapers.... and he wasn't backing down. He was willing to take turns, however, while Rachel seemed like she wanted to sit on them and not leave until someone made her. Regardless, the whole thing was very entertaining to watch.

On the language front...
We still have no words from Rachel but her babbling is becoming clearer with more distinct syllables and consonants.
Sam has a few words but his babbling could be a language of it's own, each string of sounds could be words and sentences it's so complex and clear.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Attention Attention

The kids are both dealing with colds. They're better then worse, then one is better and the other worse. It generally takes Sam quite a bit longer to recover than Rachel and she's noticing the difference in attention.... even if she didn't want it before.
When she had the cold we had to fight to wipe her runny nose. She was very good at whipping her face back and forth so you couldn't get a solid wipe. Now we're not chasing her to do that. Now we're saying, Sam come here, let me get your nose. And as we finish with Sam, there is Rachel coming up to have her 'turn', her little nose poked forward like an offering.  ummmm hmmm.

Andrew was away very unexpectedly for a family emergency. He's back now but for 6 loooong tryyying days I was a single parent. Good grief was it hard. It was impossible for me to meet their needs for attention and their behaviour often seemed to spiral out of control. One day in particular was NOT good. They were generally miserable all day, cranky, needy, lashing out at each other and at me. Rachel seemed to cry the entire day. I was reduced to tears mid-day as well. They slept poorly while he was away and were generally a lot more needy....and the second their sibling got attention, the world was ending because they weren't. It was completely exhausting dealing with that much emotion every minute of the day.

I had help for the bedtime routine 3 of the 6 nights. When I didn't I managed alone, making up for the lack of help by keeping things contained to one room at a time and prepping everything in advanced. One night Rachel had an accident in the tub as I was diapering Sam. So I quickly scooped her out and as I was drying her, Sam got into the penaten. I turned around to find diaper cream smeared all over the fancy vent cover, the floor, the drawers, Sam's hand, foot and face. My immediate response was, 'Aaaw Maaaan!' Sam quickly repeated it, aw maaan, and the moment was saved from being totally frustrating. Another night Rachel wailed in her crib and would not fall asleep so we ended up facetiming with Daddy. She kept looking around to see behind the phone as if she could find him back there. After that brief chat she went straight to sleep without a single wimper.

Andrew says they grew up a lot over the week. Sam is starting to repeat words and he has a lot of new sound combinations. They're sturdier on their feet. They seem so much more aware of what is happening around them. They have more hair apparently.

Yes, they may be more grown up but their need for us is perhaps even more apparent at this stage. There is no replacement for Daddy, not even Mommy.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Live Action

I finally spent some time getting videos on youtube and I figure I should link to them here for posterity if nothing else.

Sam and Rachel often get a little crazy, whiny, obnoxious before bed. When we were looking to kill a few minutes before bathtime, Andrew came up with a little idea and it's now a favourite. They're quiet, they're happy, they aren't attacking each other... of course the carpet takes a beating but what else is new.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k9MY8d7xRs

I'm sure every mother loves kissing their children.... but I loooove kissing Sam. His laugh just squeezes my heart.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY0A04NY1TE

Almost every day there is a period of time when the kids are interacting in a positive way. Sometimes it seems like this only lasts a minute and the rest of the day they are ignoring each other, competeing with each other, or trying to kill each other. I want to remember the good times like these. Rachel was rolling around in Andrew's sweater and Sam was up for some fun.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhYPWcgBIRc

How they make me smile.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chairs for Two

For almost 6 months now I've been agonizing over buying the kids some little chairs. A friend of mine has one, a mini rocking recliner, that her boys absolutely love. The 3 year old loves it, her 15-month-old loves it.... it cost $60.
When I saw how much they enjoyed it and how fascinated Sam and Rachel (then 11 months) enjoyed it, I was interested in buying one. Okay make that two.
However, when I went to look at them the only style they had was a new version, which came with a little footstool and, of course, cost more.
I really rolled my eyes at the idea of spending $99 on a child's chair. But I nearly gagged at the idea of buying two for $200.
This is the kind of totally unnecessary expenditure that I NEVER make. Ever.
But the idea had taken hold and it wouldn't leave my mind.
Oh, how cute they'd be! Oh, how they would stop jumping on the big furniture that they can fall off of. They'd use them for years! They'd sit in their little chairs and watch TV and morning cartoons someday! If I only bought one, they'd fight over it constantly! The longer I wait, the less use we'd get out of them.
So I did it.
Ignore my scary smile and just look at the joy on those faces.

I spent a stupid amount of money on two adorable chairs and footstools and this is the result. They LOOOVE them.
Here is the live action of them seeing the chairs for the first time. A friend of ours is the one talking in the background, Daddy was manning the camera.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=5DMd0vxVyHQ