21 months old today!

So much is going on I’m not sure where to start. I know immediately after I post this, I’ll think of other stuff I left out. I guess that’s what happens from 18-21 months. A lot!

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I must apologize in advance for the long post. Sorry if I bore you half to death. 
If all you want is to look at photos, feel free to scroll directly to the bottom.

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I know I say this every time but the peanuts just keep getting better with every month. The last three months have been amazingly fun. They are really becoming their own little people full of wants, needs, quirks, attitudes, emotions, personalities, acceptance, control, and love. It kills me every time they hug or kiss each other without being asked to, or when I sneak up on them and they’re reading together in a chair or pointing to each other’s body parts and laughing hysterically. It kills me every time I catch them fighting over something as silly as a car when we have tons of cars to play with. Fighting (or shall I say biting by Ellisa’s standards) over toys, hitting each other, kicking each other, running into each other, etc… has already begun but I must say it’s far and few between and easily managed with distractions.What’s difficult for ME is when they’re having a blast doing something messy and allowing them to continue. I hate the mess (mostly cleaning it) but I understand how good it is for their development. Yogurt covered bodies, melted ice ALL over the kitchen, dirt EVERYWHERE in the garage are a few of these examples.

I myself have had a hard time the last three months because Ellisa’s napping is so inconsistent and almost nonexistent. Mamma needs some time to herself in the afternoon and I’m lucky to get in an hour. “To myself” meaning cleaning dishes, doing laundry, brushing my teeth, picking up toys, and if I’m lucky blogging. Sticking to a schedule (a must for a mom of twins) in order to keep the kids and myself well rested has been my biggest challenge the last 3 months. I think being a SAHM makes this even harder. I don’t have to wake up for work or get the kids ready for daycare, so instead, I let them sleep until they naturally wake up. I probably shouldn’t do that but I just can’t make myself roll out of bed. Really, I can’t. Have I mentioned I am NOT a morning person? So every day is a bit different depending when they wake up. I always put them down 5 hours after waking for their nap, and for Hudson, that works well. But Ellisa usually talks for 1.5 hours and then I’ll either get her up without her nap–when Hudson wakes–or if she happens to fall asleep, I’ll let her sleep a good hour before waking her. Some days she’ll finally nod off after 1 hr of talking and then sleep 2.5+ hours. How can I keep them on a schedule with that going on?! I probably shouldn’t let her do that but I feel like if she needs sleep, she needs sleep. Some days she sleeps 11 hrs total and some days she sleeps 14. My guess is she averages enough and that’s all that matters. I’ve set my expectations lower once again, and that’s made all the difference in my attitude. Now, if I get a good one hour break, I’m happy! Okay, enough about napping.

I should add that they sleep great at night! They both fuss about 5 minutes when I put them down but once asleep, they’ll sleep 12 straight hours without waking up once. Every now and then I’ll hear Ellisa wake up between 2-4 am but usually she’ll cry a bit and go right back to sleep. Of course my first thought is, “shunt malfunction?”

My babies can talk!
It’s so amazing to actually talk to the peanuts now. Both of them have 100+ expressive words, they understand almost everything I say, and if willing will do 2-step commands (pick up the trash and throw it away). Yes! Hudson is trying hard to make serious conversations with me and I highly encourage it by asking him lots of questions. Sometimes I think we’re having a good conversation when all of a sudden he’ll say a non-related word and I realize we’re just talking nonsense. Regardless, it’s still fun and I can tell he’s learning a lot from it. You really can watch his brain working. Ellisa is my word repeater. She will try to say almost any word I ask her to. She’ll even go through her numbers with me up to 12 and I swear she said “alligator” the other day (that’s 4 syllables people) with almost perfect diction. Neither Hudson nor Ellisa have started proper 2-word sentences but they’re both super close. Instead they might say, “more more more…pretzel” instead of “more pretzel more pretzel.” Hudson has said up to 4 words to communicate something, just not in a sentence. It’s hard to believe in a years time we’ll be able to have “meaningful” conversations.

We love to read.
Maybe even to a fault. I honestly think having the kids sit in my lap while I read to them is one of the best activities for all of us. It’s so adorable how they wiggle in the chair with me or fight over my lap. And watching their faces get excited about a voice I’m using or seeing their favorite pages/animals is joy beyond belief. What amazes me is how fast their brains have worked and changed the last 3 months. When reading books, I used to ask them, “Where is the monkey?” They would find it and point to it. Now I’m asking not only, “What is that?” but also “What sound does it make?” or “What is it doing?” or “What color is it?” To my surprise, they answer most of my simple questions. I vowed to have children that loved to read and so far I have to give myself a pat on the back. Reading books is by far their favorite thing to do (indoors of course).

Let’s play.
What have we been doing the last 3 months? Avoiding the heat. I’m hating the heat this year (even more so than when I was pregnant) so I’m taking the kids outside less than I would like. No more morning walks and forget about going out in the afternoon unless we’re at the pool. Thanks goodness I’ve got Aunt Courtney here to help me watch the kids at the pool. We try to go to a park twice a week in the mornings and we’re probably going to the pool twice a week too (we just started the pool in the last month). Charles is really good about getting out on the weekends so we get a lot of outside time then too. While we’re inside sheltered from the sun we usually hang out around the house. I have no desire to go to Gymboree-like places but I hope to go to the Children’s Museum frequently this summer. I’m considering starting a walking group that meets at the mall once a week. Lame?

Rough housing has become quite a thing over here. The kids even call it “house.” Charles started this a couple months ago and they just love it! We all go upstairs in our bedroom when daddy comes home from work and they get, quite literally, thrown on the bed. Charles read an article on rough housing and I have to say, Ellisa has especially improved her movement, getting down from the bed, and overall muscle tone in a short amount of time. We noticed a difference in less than 2 weeks. I think this should be regular therapy for all children.

Play dates have become a regular thing so we’ve been seeing some of the same kiddos for quite awhile now. Four sets of twins and a good group of preemie moms that meet up too. One day we had 12 kids and 5 adults!

Family stuff.
Most Saturday’s the four of us go to the Farmer’s Market but with the heat coming on strong, that will most likely soon end until the fall. We let the kids run around and dance to the live music while eating tamales and tacos. It’s a good time for all. Sometimes we’ll even walk to Whole Foods and have lunch. Their rooftop playscape is great.

Grandpa Walsh added a swing for Ellisa and a sandbox for both kids in his backyard. The love to go out there and play and I love that they have a place to play outside when we visit. Grandpa’s done so much for those two!

I’ve asked each of my parents to start coming in once every other week for a half day to give me some time alone. It’s been working really well so far and I LOVE and NEED that time. It’s amazing what you can get done in 2-4 hours without distractions. I can’t be more thankful for my family! They have been amazing.

Splish and splash.
It took Hudson a few pool days and a couple trips to splash pads before he felt comfortable in the water, but he’s pretty much ready now. However, he prefers eating his home-made pop(sicle), spraying the hose, and throwing his pool toys into the pool. If Charles is with him, they’ll rough house in the pool really well. Hudson just adores his daddy. Ellisa has no interest in the pool or splash pads yet. She likes bath time (won’t sit or lay down) but has no real interest in any other water activity. If I slowly work her into it, she’ll eventually let me hold her in the pool, but after a minute she’s signing “all done” and saying “done.” I hope she’s swimming like a fish by the end of the summer. I’m positive Hudson will be.

Eat your veggies.
Not likely. Eating is still a bit of a struggle. Again, I’ve lowered my expectations here. Hudson eats pretty well and since he’s gaining appropriate weight, I let him eat as much or little as he likes. He loves his carbs and doesn’t really touch his veggies. He’s been into meat lately and will ask for ham specifically. Ellisa probably eats half the amount Hudson does. She is 4-5 lbs lighter so I don’t expect her to eat as much as him, but she’s definitely not eating as much as I would like. I trust she knows how much she needs to eat. She also prefers carbs to anything else but she’s more open to her fruits and veggies. They both seem to like anything new and fresh. Leftovers don’t go over well. Something they may have inherited from Papa Walsh. I’m trying to stick with healthy foods and being a good role model by eating healthy around them (this isn’t working that well) but now it’s taking a lot for me simply to feed and clean up after them. It’s highly discouraging when you spend the time to cook a nice meal and then instead of eating it, they throw it all over the place. I’m looking forward to the day when we can all sit down and finish our plates without a mess. When does this happen?

What we’ve done the last three months:
• Uncle Frank came to visit
The Purmas came to visit
Memorial Day Long Weekend (and sickness)
First Pet Family Fish
Texas State Trip
Shunt Revision
Lots of Play Dates
• Farmer’s Market
• Splash Pads
First Roadtrip to Houston (this was actually the end of March)

Goals to work toward in the next 3 months: This list is really for me and something to reflect on around their 2nd birthday. Am I being unrealistic here?
• Numbers (saying 1-3)
• Colors (naming 2-3 colors unprompted)
• Taking shoes off
• Eating with silverware
• Brushing teeth
• Get comfortable with the potty
• Washing hands before ALL meals
• Getting Ellisa comfortable with water (pool/splash pads)
• Set up bilingual education for 2-3 years old
• More structured music time
• Keep up with Sign Language

HUDSON: The Solemn Judge

Hudson Made 13 Robots!

Hudson Made 13 Robots!

Let’s start with Hudson this time. Hudson takes my breath away daily. Is that cheesy? He has become the most caring, sweet, demanding, adventurous, inquisitive, impulsive, little boy.

His attention to his toys has grown in leaps and bounds. He creates “bots” with his MegaBlocks and hands them to me one at a time. We go over what each one’s power is. Most of them breathe fire at this point. He’ll play this game with me for 30+ minutes. He’ll also sit with his books or his electronic interactive toys for 30+ minutes. He recently got a baby doll stroller and he loves to put his toys in it and push them around. He really likes to sit in it himself and have Ellisa push him, but he’s too heavy for her.

He can walk and run outside for days on end. At parks he likes climbing up the playscape and going down the slides. He can lift himself up on the balance bar and jump off. I’m pretty impressed with that one. He’s just recently started to enjoy swinging as before he would freak out if I put him in a swing.

His attitude has actually calmed down some. I think my ignoring him has worked. I have to admit I love it when he makes his cry–which is really just a fake scream–looks at me, and realizes I’m not going to fall for it. Sometimes I’ll even scream back the same way and instead of him being upset, he’ll laugh at me. This one is great when it works.

Favorite Things:
Fish, Turtles, Being Outside, Reading, Cars and Construction Vehicles, Mega Blocks (he loves to make robots), Avocados, Cheeries, Butter, Pretzels, Pops(popsicles by the pool), Kipper the Dog (video), Bugs

Least Favorite Things:
The Blender (screams bloody murder), Going to Bed, Coming Inside, Veggies

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ELLISA: The Entertainer

Ellisa Can Put on Her Own Sunglasses

Ellisa Can Put on Her Own Sunglasses

Ellisa has become my cautious, happy-go-lucky, extrovert. She is so full of personality and life everyone that meets her loves her. She gives looks like no other and can make the most sinister smile. Leave it to Ellisa to brighten your day. Plus, she loves giving kisses now too. Her kiss sound is priceless. I even caught her kissing the stereo today because in my mind she loves the music it was providing. She’s just so darn cute!

She’s finally grown some hair. Not a ton, but enough that I can put a pigtail on top. It really helps to make her look like a girl. Just like a girl she absolutely adores shoes and she’s finally into wearing bows. First thing in the morning she wants her shoes and bow on. She doesn’t really care what she wears since I don’t give her options but her and Hudson like to point out what is on each other’s clothes.

She has started to pretend play which I am thrilled about. Giving her baby milk and food, talking on the phone, playing with cars are all things she didn’t do 3 months ago. Her attention to games, puzzles, and problem solving is still minimal and something we are working on. I’m beginning to think her fine motor skills may play a part in this but I’m looking into that. We’ll see. She still loves her books and being outside.

She’s becoming quite the spitfire. I can tell she’s going to be liked by all but you won’t want to get on her bad side. She puts up a good fight to get her way and her cry is so pathetic I give in more than I should. She’ll look up at me, arms lifted and say, “hoed-chew.” Which really means, “Will you hold me?” I love this because I always ask her  “Do you want me to hold you?” hence her phrase. How cute is that? I don’t have to ask anymore.

Unfortunately, we had 2 trips to ER with her first shunt revision. I’m glad the first one is out-of-the-way but I’m praying we don’t go in for another revisions for years–if not decades–to come. What a horrible thing for such a young child to go through.

Favorite Things:
Swinging at the Park, Putting on Shoes, Wearing Bows, Babies, Books, Ice, Pretzels, Pop(sicles) Our Cats, Robots (Nao), Bubbles, Drawing, Music and Dancing, Blankie, The Word “No”

Least Favorite Things:
Pool-Being splashed by water, Anything in Her Face, Sharing, Diaper Changes

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3 more months and they’ll be 2 years old. I can’t believe it!

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5 Responses to “21 months old today!”
  1. jessann24335 says:

    This is such great information, you are a great blogging momma! Your pictures are wonderful, there are so many good ones that I can’t even begin to comment on which ones are my favorites. Keep up the good work!

  2. pforpeanuts says:

    Ellisa had a follow-up today with Dr. Louis our Pediatrician since we’re monitoring her weight closely and here’s her stats. I can’t believe how much she’s grown in height! If only her weight and head would catch up too.
    Weight: 21.6 lbs, 15% (2% down from 18 months)
    Height: 32.5″, 45% (25% up from 18 months)
    Head Circumference: 43.3 cm, <2% (same)

  3. Joseph Baca says:

    Great photos! Keep em coming.

  4. Sarah says:

    Love this post! Love their progress and the adorable photos. I would LOVE to visit again!

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