16 Months Old



Another month already. They're still growing and changing every day, but I think the development is harder to quantify this month. They're getting stronger, more agile and their fine motor skills are improving as well. For example, toys where they were only able to do one part of it last month, they're now able to figure out a few more of the pieces. They're also getting more expressive, though still only with a few words, they can get their point across. George was whining and pointed to his toes/shoe to tell me his foot was stuck and not flat in the shoe.

We've had some good changes (solidified one nap) and some bad (William is now biting), but we're working through everything and as anyone with babies knows, just as you get something figured out, everything changes again anyway.

In general, it's been a good month though. Lot's of social outings in the neighborhood and it seems like we've been busy every day. They still love to go to MyGym and we've even been going a lot of Saturday mornings as well since it's unlimited classes during the summer. William is doing awesome with swim lessons (G is doing great too). They've really enjoyed going to church as well since all summer they get to meet down in the basement so they're actually in the same room as the big kids.




We've mostly been sticking close to home, especially on the days that I'm alone with them (and no one else is in the car to help me keep them awake) as they adjust to the single nap. At this point they're doing well and we can probably start venturing further afar, but it's been a fun month of meeting up with more moms in the neighborhood at the nearby parks.


Highlights from the month:
July 26: W said 'Mama'; third haircut for W, second for G, first Coldstone
July 27: G top-left molar came through
July 28: W walks unassisted on the wall at the park, even with a push toy
July 29: G said 'Up'
July 31: G another molar coming through; can sign 'up'
Aug 1: W swam with arms and legs
Aug 3: W&G rode 2-wheel bikes
Aug 9: W said 'hot'
Aug 18: W climbed up slide at Ferry Building park



New this month:

Les Deux Can...
Say a few words
Survive on a single nap
Successfully get food on a fork and spoon and into their mouth (at least some of the time)

George can...
Get all the shapes in the two-sided sorter, even figuring out when he needs to turn it to the other side to find the right hole
Climb into the stroller himself (he sits in the lower seat)
Find the matching shoe (in a drawer of about 15 pairs!) if one shoe is already out

William can...
Climb up the slide
Open his milk thermos


EAT: With all the molars coming in, eating has surprisingly still been pretty good, though there were definitely highs and lows -- all week William has been eating like a champ, and just yesterday George sat in the high chair for a least 15 minutes after W got down slowly finishing everything on his tray. With those binges, there have also been several nights where G hasn't eaten anything at all. Sometimes he's holding out for cottage cheese/yogurt and fruit (which they get at the end of dinner), other times he hasn't even wanted that. I'm okay with this, especially since they're still getting a bottle of milk before bed, and also since it doesn't seem to have affected their sleep.



They seem to be over most carbs at breakfast - bagels, slider buns, waffles, etc. They're not into these, however will eat the leftovers for snack at 9am. Odd. We're doing a lot of eggs and trying to add spinach and cottage cheese for more nutrition. Smoothies are still a hit and the oatmeal bake was a big winner and so easy to make.

No major changes with lunch or dinner. They're still eating cottage cheese like it's going out of style and W can't get enough fruit. They still do really well with fish; W seems to have gotten over string cheese and G mostly eats both his and W's. They're really good about eating their vegetables when I give them for snacktime (and that's all that's offered) or when given first at dinner and they're hungry.  Still not much love for broccoli though. No major changes with milk; they're drinking well and drinking a lot of water too. G is wet just about every morning despite a larger overnight diaper, so we're starting to limit what he has in the evenings and trying to get him to take more earlier in the day.


They're getting much better with forks and spoons and seem to be really satisfied and proud of themselves when they are successful. With that, G has started dropping food on the floor occasionally at dinner, which results in being immediately taken down so that he can clean up the mess. Though he's not happy, he's always done it. Then he can go back in his seat and eat again if he wants (he always wants to). Jessica has had luck by giving very small portions so there's not much to get rid of.

Oh, and I should mention that they're totally over their Bay view for meals, so at lunch, I turn them around to the very exciting construction-site view :)


SLEEP: Looking back at where we were last month, I'll say that we've definitely made progress. They're officially on one nap and have been since about the beginning of the month. Once we went for it, it wasn't that bad at all. Well, as far as keeping them up all morning. There were a few days in the beginning where W was clearly very tired around 11:45 or so, so I would put him down, and put G down 30-45 minutes later. This only lasted a few days though, and before I knew it, they were both able to make it until 1pm. What's amazing is that most days, G is still not tired at 1pm. For the most part, I've put them down at the same time and W falls asleep as soon as G will let him, but it can take G up to 45 minutes (not all of that whining though) to fall asleep.



The bigger problem has been that almost every single day this month, at least one of them, and often both of them, wake up once during the nap, really upset. Like bad-dream screaming. On good days, they don't wake each other up and I can pat the awake one back to sleep. On bad days, they're both awake after sleeping an hour and half...

I'm guessing that their bodies are still adjusting to one nap and still figuring out that when they wake up and they're still tired, they need to go back to sleep. A few times I've tried to just leave them to get themselves back to sleep, but unfortunately every time that's lead to them waking the other one up.

Nap length has been a range. On good days, even with the wake ups, they sleep 2.5 or so hours, but again, on those bad days, it can be at least an hour less than that.

Just within the last week or so, they're sleeping in a little later, waking up between 6:15 and 6:30 (sometimes even a little later!) instead of just before 6. Every little bit helps! On nights when they didn't get a good nap, they do fall asleep more easily. In general though, G has had a very tough month of falling asleep. He has some separation anxiety which definitely leads to crying. All the molars coming in this month could also have had an effect on things. Though there have been a few nights where they wake up crying and need a few pats, it's always been before Dave and I have gone to bed. We're so grateful those middle-of-the-night paci replacements are done with and they are able to sleep soundly all night.


Schedule
6:15-6:30 up
7am breakfast
out of the house for an activity by 9am (they're climbing the walls otherwise!)
9am snack
either home by noon for lunch, or eat lunch out and home by 12:45
1pm down for nap, usually asleep by 1:20
(varies by the day, but aiming towards 3:30 -- or later -- wake up)
3:30/4 snack
6pm dinner
bath, bottle, stories
7pm in bed
Usually asleep by 7:30ish

Though they're doing well with their single nap and making it until 1pm, I've still kept close to home over the past few weeks and only stayed out until 12:45 if we were in the stroller as opposed to the car. I don't want to risk them falling asleep in the car so close to naptime, so on days we drive somewhere, I always make sure to get home by lunch and they get a pouch to tide them over (and keep them awake) until we get home.

PLAY: They continue to play more and more together but the big change over the last month is that William is now biting back when George comes in and snatches one of his toys or tries to push him out of the way of using something. George has been doing this for a while, and we've been showing him that everyone gets a turn and he needs to wait his turn. Half the time W will just give up and play with something else, but the other half, he'll use his teeth. I've talked to other twin parents about this and it seems pretty common. He has no words to express his frustration. The good news is that everyone I talked to said even if one of their twins was a big biter, they only ever bit their twin, never another child. That's a relief. How embarrassing otherwise!


Our current system is to remove William from the situation and say things like, 'Teeth are not for biting', 'Ouch, biting hurts', 'Mommy is not happy when you bite'. This has seemed to make no difference, to be honest. Sometimes he laughs, mostly he just smiles. We've gotten the Teeth are Not for Biting book and G seems to get it much more and shakes his finger at W. The other problem though, is that G is always the instigator, so it's dealing with that too. Really the current solution is to keep a really close eye on them as I pretty much know when a bite is coming on. They're either wresting, or what looks like hugging, or G is getting in William's space to take a toy. Regardless, not fun and not sure how else to handle. A lot of parents I've talked to about it said they just eventually grow out of it (usually within 6 months).

Besides the biting, there are plenty of times that they play well together. Their current favorite toys are still the garage and the truck, we also got a farm for them to play with and a new vacuum. Push and pull toys are still favorites. A few more things have come which they seem to like, but we'll see next month which have been hits. It's so funny, we've invested in some wood toys and I would say in just about every situation, they prefer the plastic version 100x more.

A notable change in play this month has been that they really like putting toys in things (cars inside the garage, legos in a bucket, etc.). They're slowly getting more into stacking cups too.


They still like books, but mostly at bed or naptime (when they of course want to read as many books as possible). Climbing is still a favorite and W has started climbing on the bookcase (luckily it's bolted to the wall) and trying to get up into their highchairs to look out at the construction site. And on that note, they still love trucks, diggers, cranes, cement mixers, etc., and there's plenty to see in our neighborhood.

It's so fun to take them to the park now, well, depending on the park. But the little toddler park by our house is perfect as I can let them do their thing with little interception. If they decide to start walking the wall, I always go over there as their footing isn't always great. And if there are big kids running around, sometimes I need to keep a closer eye that they're not pushing the merry-go-round too fast when the boys try to get on, but other than that, I can sit back! Definitely a new feeling.

Lovin' the fountain at Crossroads and getting all wet
We bring lots of toys to the park and the boys are good about sharing. They're not particularly attached to any of their toys so they're fine with someone else picking it up and using it. George can sit in the sandbox for long periods of time -- maybe 30 minutes, pouring sand in and out of a bucket. William does well in the sand too, but usually likes to be sitting with other kids.


They're getting more into cars and like to drive their cars along the wall. We always bring the stroller and either the frog push toy or the dog pull toy and they still enjoy using those.

At bigger parks, they're both confident going down the slide on the bum and have no fear in doing so. We're working on moving out of the way when they're done, which is less than successful. It's hard because I need to be on the play structures with them as there are openings that I'm not confident they'll stay away from. So one goes down the slide and I'm still at the top with the other, encouraging the one at the bottom to move away. Often after multiple requests, I just send the other one down and figure maybe they'll learn by getting run into enough -- it's not like they're going fast enough to cause any damage.

George has really been liking the swings, much more so than William so that can be a challenge too. It's easiest for me to have them both swinging, otherwise I need to keep one from running into the swings while the other is swinging.



We're in the middle of doing a big switch of all their toys. We've sorted out all the 'baby' toys or toys they really don't play with anymore and have started selling and donating. We've taken a few things down to storage and bought few new things within the past few days, which all seem to be a hit so far. We've gotten much better about rotating toys and I think it really makes a difference. Toys they barely touched are favorites again when we bring them up after a long break.

Overall, I'd say that they play together well a lot of the time, but that they're also very independent, both from me and each other. This isn't something I've noted in particular, but that other moms who know them have pointed out as their singleton kids around the same age are more clingy. The boys are rarely together at the park and don't even seem to be concerned with where I am.  At MyGym they'll often play on their own and then come back around to me for a hug. I will say that there are definitely times of separation anxiety -- they'll cry when I leave or when Jessica takes them out in the afternoons. Not always, but lately it's been often. Especially at nap and bedtime for George as well.


TALK: I'm terrible at keeping track of actual words because I'm so strict about what's an actual word versus babbling, but George continues to make progress in this department. William seems to have regressed a bit. We're sure he was saying Mama and Dada but haven't heard it lately. Anyway, here's a list of the ones I'm confident in.
G: Mama, Dada, No, Bubu (bubbles), Up, Papa (he seems to say this around my dad, but not 100% sure on this one yet), Hi, Duck
W: Mama, Dada, No, Hot

I've still be lagging on using more signs with them but I did stress 'up' this month and they both have it down (as well as George actually saying it now).

They continue to understand more and more. George especially is great with the word picture books. He can point out many of the pictures on the page when I say the word. It always surprises me when I tell them to do something using new words, places, etc., and they know how to do it.

STATS:
No full stats until 18 months, but William is fitting a lot better in the 12-18 month pants and definitely looks taller. It's so funny, because I think W is pretty average size, it's just the G is SO big that it makes W look petite. G is already growing out of some of the 12-18 clothes, and we definitely need to adjust the Amazon prime diaper order for next month -- as Dave says, the size 3 diapers look like a bikini on G. He doesn't leak so I've tried to stretch it as long as I can. I'm not looking forward to using 2 different size daytime diapers, and I don't really want to move W up as he still has plenty of room in the 3s. We'll see how it goes next month.

Both have 12 teeth now that their molars are in, or at least partway in.

MOM: Well I'm slowly making progress on my goal to cut out nighttime computer use and going to sleep a little earlier. Dave and I started The Killing this month so have been really into watching that each night. Most nights we just watch one episode (although we're so close to the end now that we've been trying to squeeze in 2 a night!), so we finish up a little after 9pm and I've been good about reading instead of doing computer stuff. I'm reading Into Thin Air about the Everest disaster although I got so wrapped up in it the last few nights that I've been staying up past 11. Still, somehow it doesn't seem as bad to stay up late reading versus being on the computer. Anyway, slowly making improvement there.

Otherwise, it's been a packed month with lots of getting out. The Junior League SFCAPC stuff has still been really busy, meetings, phone calls and lots of planning in my down time. Our first training yesterday went really well and it was fun to be a part of it (and Dad and the boys had a fun morning on their own).

I've been able to keep up with bootcamp once per week and the boys do okay. They're generally fine for the first 15 or so minutes, then I give them a snack which buys me another 10-15. They might make it slightly longer but by 9:35 or so, I have to put them in the park to play. It actually works out pretty well as there are usually only 2 or 3 kids there and often it's this one grandma/nanny who is there and she likes to keep an eye on them. We'll see how long I can maintain. Between that, swimming and yoga, I'm working out on average 5 days a week.

It was a fun month socially as I got to spend time with almost all of my close friends.  Annie and I used our Cocoon deal for Massage-Mani-Pedi, then dinner at Red Dog which was really good. We finally got down to Meg's place at Santana Row and had a really fun night catching up and Ashley and I got to talk even more on the ride back to the city. I even got to see Jenn who was in town! We hung out with her husband and all our boys at the Ferry Building park, then lunch at Gott's. Despite the freezing Fogust weather, we had a great time. Then she and I got to catch up just the two of us for lunch in Danville. So nice to see each other in person. I also got out for drinks with several other friends in the city.

We had bookclub this month, though no one was too into the book A Good Enough Parent. Just a bit dense and sort of 'in an ideal world' type of suggestions. Not too relateable. We meet again next month and Jenn has read the book we're going with and had good things to say so let's hope for a winner.

My twin toddler support group was this month as well and it looks like we'll be moving it to every-other-month instead of just quarterly so I'm looking forward to that. Got some tips on the biting situation.

Date night highlight: Frances is pretty well-known in the city and definitely hard to get into, but luckily I had a special occasion in mind (10th anniversary of dating) so it was easy to plan that far in advance. We had eaten there years ago, but it was so fun to go back. The food is innovative and delicious. I wrote more about it here.



What's up for the coming month? A trip, yes! We're heading down to San Luis Obispbo to visit Chip and Julie and their two kids in the middle of September. Starting last night, we're also weaning them off of their nighttime (and only) bottle. At my twin parents support group, another mom suggested giving them several ounces in a bottle and the rest in their thermos. That way if they want more after the bottle, then can have more, but it's from the thermos. It went pretty well... William was not happy when he finished that first 3 ounces, but eventually he and George drank just about all of their milk from their thermos too. I think we could leave it another month or two, but I decided that I'd rather do it far enough before our Hawaii trip that if there are any shifts in sleep, they'll be fully adjusted by the time our moms are on nighttime duty.

To my boys...


It's been such a fun month watching you grow, or more specifically, your understanding, and response, which is now starting to become verbal.

Socially, I'm so happy with how you share all the toys we bring to the park and how creative you are when you want to get one of your own toys back. You wave at the right times, especially when leaving or returning and you see the security guard, especially your favorite Boniface.

You two seem to be having more fun now too, lots of laughing, wrestling, hugging and general activity. George, you need to ease up on the bully-factor and give your brother a break. He's taking his frustration out through biting, though you don't seem to make the connection. Watch out though, I think he's going through a growth spurt so you may be meeting your match sooner than you'd like.

William Elliot...

I can already tell you're going to be just like you're dad and be the kid who enthusiastically raises his hand in front of the whole church when the pastor asks a question (yes, your dad did that and gave the best answer ever. :) I don't know if it's because you're a twin that you're used to being more independent, but where many kids are scared to leave their mom's side, you're the first to run up to be a demonstrator of that day's practice skill with Teacher Camille at MyGym. You're always front and center at storytime too, as well as at music class. You're quite the entertainer, when Camille was reading a story with a bear puppet, you ran up to it and hugged it to your face for like 10 seconds (with every mom in the room going 'awwwwww'). I actually had to pull you away as it was that long...



You clearly get energy from being around other kids. Sometimes you'll just sit near them and start playing, but often it's direct play too. You made friends with an older boy, maybe 4, at the park the other day and you both were just laughing as you were imitating each other. What's funny is that when he left with his parents, they all were speaking another language, clearly tourists. Didn't make a difference to you, you didn't need words anyway! Oh, and one afternoon when you were at the park with Jessica, the motorcycle cop came by and you were thrilled to sit with him, something your brother definitely wasn't interested in.



You've become more of a ham this month and I actually am getting more and more photos of you looking at the camera, and even better, smiling (something that's next to impossible with your brother).

I get so much pleasure from watching you swim. Not only because I'm so proud of how awesome you're doing, but more because you absolutely LOVE it. I can barely hold on to you, just just jump out of my arms, face first. I can't wait for all the fun we're going to have in Florida over Christmas.

Peek-a-boo is still one of your favorite games, whether it's through the holes in the play structure at the park, behind sun tents at Off the Grid, or under your blankie when you drape it over your head. You're also still obsessed with push and pull toys and anything you can ride on. You'll hijack any scooter or bike that pulls into the park, yet you're not really into the one we have at home.

You're so good on your feet, I couldn't believe it when you climbed all the way to the top of the slide like it was no big deal. It's so fun to give you more independence as you're getting more and more able. I can tell you're growing. You've been eating like crazy, you just 'look' bigger/taller and you're actually filling out (the length) in your pants more.

You really are the sweetest boy and just about everyone can tell that the moment you flash your smile.










George Louis...

You are such a creature of routine and are so into the details. This month especially showed how much you've been paying attention. You go into the drawer in the console table where we keep our keys, and when you're ready to go out, you get the keys out (sometimes the car key too) and hold it up to the door handle. We don't need a key to get out, but still, you're definitely on the right track. At the toddler park by our house, the latch on the gate is broken. The gate closes tightly, and then someone fashioned a looped rope to hang over to keep it closed. You love to play with the gate and will open it and close it for people, but after closing the gate, you'll hold up the rope for me to put up as you can't reach it.

You're still obsessed with shoes, but now when I tell you to pick out your shoes for the day, you only choose these brown ones, your 'driving shoes' as we call them. One day you even wanted to wear them for your nap (they were new at the time, so why not). Luckily they came back on sale on Zulily and I bought them in the next few sizes just to be safe... This shoe choice also means that you get dressed preppier than your brother most of the time. Your other favorites are your rain boots, which haven't made their debut outside the house yet, though I heard it's going to be a wet winter..


How many shoes can I hold

You're so independent but will find yourself loosely playing with others when you become interested enough in what they're doing. You've become an expert with 'the trade', though the older kids have caught on. If someone has something you want, you'll find something similar, take over to them, hold it out until they inevitably grab it, and then take what they have -- the item you originally wanted. I would say this works on the 2.5, maybe 3-year-old crowd and below. You're still a bit confused when the bigger kids take what you offer but then just keep holding it out for you to take back.

You really like the swings now and will stay in for quite a while. You'll also play in the sand for at least half an hour, pouring sand into a bucket with your favorite shovel. Your new favorite thing to do is pour sand over your head, which I've been fine with since you wear a hat almost every day. Except for those few days when it was cold and you ended up looking like this....



Your speech has kicked in this month and you have a handful of words. 'No' still seems to be your favorite, with or without the finger-shaking, but both Daddy and I have heard you during nap and at night whining and say 'no, no no' in your sleep. I can't wait til you learn 'Yes!'. I've been trying to use it more often and been even more careful about my use of the word 'no'.

You're very particular about things and get visibly bothered if something breaks, spills, etc. You love to help me -- whether it's wiping up spilled milk, getting out the diaper stuff from the basket in the living room, or your new favorite, throwing away your own diapers. I can tell how proud you are to do these simple tasks. Though we've had a few instances of throwing food on the floor, you are pretty accepting of your punishment of cleaning up the spilled food, ironically often eating it.

You eat your raspberries by sticking your pointer or middle finger in the top, so they're almost like a hat on your fingers. You get such a kick every time you get one on and lift it to your mouth.

Your independence has also shown up in you taking things into your own hands. We had barely been at the park 10 minutes (and you had already had breakfast AND a snack that morning), when you started digging into the snack bag. I told you to go play, and continued watching William. Well, I turn around, you've gotten yourself a snack, climbed up on the bench of the picnic table and were patiently waiting for me to come open the container of blueberries. Not sure what I'll do when you learn how to do that yourself. You often go get your water when you're thirsty and are very thoughtful and bring William's to him as well. You also still love getting drinks from the water fountain.

For as much as William seems to be the cuddly one, you are a lot more touchy feely with him, often giving him hugs for no reason at all.

I still can't get over how long you can make it during the day without a nap. Your ideal naptime would probably be after 2pm and William's would probably be closer to noon, but we're able to split the difference, giving each of you some alone time with Mommy or Daddy before or after your nap. You fight sleeping like crazy though and the crying turns into whining turns into moaning until you're finally asleep.

You continue to surprise me every day with what you're capable of. I love seeing all your preferences starting to come out... even if it means you wear the same pair of shoes 7 days week :)









No comments