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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Time for "Two"

I don't do it often enough so allow me to take this opportunity to record what is going on right now with our TWO, TWO year olds!

Elijah-  One thing is clear, he is a quick learner, a mind like a steel trap.  I would not be surprised to find out one day that this kid has a photographic memory.  We have books that he can basically read to me, and while a lot of this is due to repetition, there are some that I swear we don't read often enough or simply have too many words for him to know so well!  He's smart as a whip and very much like his Daddy in the way he zones in and focuses on one. thing. at. a. time.  Sometimes I have to work my way around this- like acknowledging the thing that has his attention so firmly before I can get him to move on to the next thing.  For example, if he sees a green car and wants me to know about it, he will say it over and over and over and over well past when the car is out of sight and until I say back to him "yes, a green car!"  Another option is to break his line of sight and make him look at me, instead of in the direction of the green car that is no longer there, but even then I may just get a louder "Green Car!" shouted in my face...He's nothing if not insistent.  Also like his daddy is the way he sleeps.  While he struggles to fall asleep some places (not like Daddy), he also seems to pass out in the strangest positions and often mid-activity.  While it's been awhile since we found him on the floor, when he first figured out how to get out of his crib he would often turn off his white noise and lay next to the door so he could peer out and listen to us as he fell asleep.  Also like Andy is WHEN he sleeps best- given a choice he is an early riser and a long napper.  While he's struggled with sleep off and on throughout the last two years this has really always been a pattern once he settles into a good sleep routine.  In fact it was part of the reason the two can no longer share a room- Evelyn would much rather sleep in late in the morning and take a shorter nap while Elijah would prefer to wake up early and nap longer.  It ended up with both of them being consistently short on sleep so for now, seperate rooms is a must for our little twinners.
Now that he has a big boy haircut, I hardly recognize the little curly-haired munchkin from pictures past, though he's still skinny as a rail and only getting taller.  He's in a big boy bed- has been for several months, and loves to ask us to "lay by you" at night, which actually means "lay by me" and sing songs/read books for a few minutes before he goes to sleep.  His favorite is "Pooh," but Mommy also insists on singing "Jesus Loves Me" and he's usually game for that one as well.  He is always excited to see "Puppy," his little beanie-baby-like dog, and MUST have at least 2 but preferably 3 or 4 "boos" (binkies) to sleep with.  Before I leave the room I ask him if I should make his airplanes go (his airplane mobile) and I know he'll go right to sleep if he says yes.
Favorite foods are...hit and miss.  He will always eat toast, yogurt, pizza, and usually bananas.  Cereal w/ milk is a current fave, but even those classic kids foods like hot dogs and chicken nuggets are awesome one day and completely repulsive the next.  I am thankful for Carnation Instant Breakfast and children's vitamins right now, as both things, in moderation, give him some of the nutrition I'm afraid he misses in his chosen diet.  I'm also thankful that subtle forms of bribery and just good old fashioned discipline are beginning to work.  I can get him to try things by withholding favorite foods until he does, or telling him that he can be "all done WHEN" he eats whatever it is I'm trying to coax down his throat.
At the moment we oscillate between loving baths and being terrified that bath toys are going to drown or disappear.  He is obsessed with cars/trucks/trains, animals of all kinds, balloons, bikes, and above all- Mickey Mouse.  Favorite books are "Old Hat, New Hat," "Gossie," (I LOVE hearing him say "gosling."), "Peedie," and "Shake a Leg."  With each book comes specific things he must point out or say during each reading (I'm afraid he may have some of mama's OCD ;)  He is such a joy to us, always ready with hugs and kisses, quick to please, and even though he's our early riser, he is generally content to watch cartoons and let whichever parent is up with him snooze on the couch while getting great Elijah cuddles. 

Evelyn- While her brother is quick to dissolve into tears and terrible sadness, this girl can hold her own in a battle of wills.  She makes us work for our kisses, withholding them until she gets sad faces all around.  Her tantrums are epic (I'm not sure I'll ever forget the 15-minute-long episodes we've seen over too-tight footy pajamas and her 2-year checkup), but she can turn around and melt our hearts with a well-placed "wuv you" and huge, gap-toothed grin.
This girl pretty much embodies a love of life.  She's a thrill-seeker- loving playing "Dip!" with Daddy (when she suddenly throws herself backward and Daddy catches her before she hits the floor...oye), and "Cowboy" on our knees.  She'd swing and slide at the playground all day if she could and often runs in circles with excitement when people she loves (or has just met) stop by for a visit.
It must be said that she LOVES her Papa, getting a huge smile and yelling his name anytime she gets a glimpse of his picture or he drops by to visit (sorry Nana and Grandma, this girl just loves her some Papa!).  But she is also a Daddy's girl through and through.  When Andy returns home from work late at night he always goes in her room to get a quick kiss and "ni-night Daddy" before she drifts back  to sleep, and she often goes to bed asking for a kiss from Daddy when he is not home at bedtime.
She has a hard time sitting still and shows how many calories she must burn by being a fantastic eater.  While she isn't a kid who will eat everything, she is willing to try just about anything and for the most part seems to enjoy what she tries.  Her favorites are fruit snacks, pretzels, hot dogs, mac n cheese, soup, and french fries, and she's the perfect yin to Eli's yang as she loves the ice cream while he loves the cake.  One of her cutest quirks is getting oh-so-excited when the song "Happy Birthday" is sung that she runs around looking for candles to blow out.  Even scented jar candles will do, she simply sees it as a must.
Her best phrase at the moment is "Evie got it" which means: "leave me alone I'm going to do it myself."  I know she learned this from me as I often tell the kids: "Mama's got it"-awesome grammer, I know- when they try to do something themselves that I'd rather they let me do for them (like zipping up coats, putting on shoes, or turning every light switch in the house on and off).  In the speech department she has always been a bit behind Elijah but is quickly catching up.  In the last couple of months she's learned new words in spades and while he is putting together sentences with 4-5 words she is not far behind with 3-4.  She has a bit of a lisp that I'm sure will go away soon but is exaggerated by how pitch-perfect Elijah is with his pronunciation.  However, I really love hearing her raspy little baby words for things, particularly when she calls an orange an "onch."  Good grief it is too stinkin' cute.  By far my favorite sentence she uses frequently is "tay-too mama" (thank you mama), which she uses for everything from a meal placed in front of her to a change of diaper, to getting her hair combed, or even buckled into her seat...I love how thankful this girl is!
Evelyn's favorite books are still flip books, she loves to sing the ABC's, and while in the past she's never been big on playing with toys she is starting to finally show some interest in---baby dolls!  I've never seen her play with one real toy for so long and I must say I am SO thankful.  She pushes them around in her stroller, wraps and rewraps them in everything from a washcloth to an old t-shirt, feeds them bottles, and walks around with them up on her shoulder, patting their backs saying "shhh."  She also loves it when I help her "wock" (rock) them, and has a fascination with watching real moms nurse their babies (sigh...I'm just waiting for the day she starts feeding her own baby dolls this way;).  She's a great little caretaker with a tender heart, even for all her busy, fearless, bruiser ways.
She melts our hearts (and all our defenses) every day...we LOVE this sweet little girl!