21 Months Old


Well I find it kind of funny that I held off writing about Florida until the 21-month post since so much of their 21st month was spent there, but now we've been back for a month (3 weeks when I actually started writing this) and Florida seems like a long time ago. And I'm just getting to the post now.

So much has happened in the last month. We left December 17 for Florida and spent three days in Orlando before driving on to Naples. It was such a contrast to last year. Don't get me wrong, last year was still a good trip, but this age was just so much more fun. Last year they were still taking three naps a day, I was still breastfeeding George six times a day and pumping after every feed for William. They were crawling and standing and putting everything in their mouths. We stayed at the beach, which is what we wanted, but the house wasn't the best fit for the little ones and was far from Dave's parents' condo.

Lots of fun at Disneyworld, Animal Kingdom and Epcot Center

This year was a 180. Though they probably would've done a lot better at the beach this year versus last, we opted for a condo, a nice complex that was (technically) walking distance to downtown (but still a bit far for everyday walks). It was nice, new, had everything we needed. Last year was mismatched chipped dishes and fraying towels, this year we stayed in what felt like a home as opposed to a rental. It was a great spot for families with a (tiny) playground and a zero-entry pool (pool toys provided), lazy river and separate adult pools, including a lap pool I took advantage of just about every-other-day. And it was a 15-minute drive from Dave's parents, so much better, so we ended up seeing them just about every day.


Love our cousin Lizzy!

Now factor in the boys' age and schedule and things were just so much better. They were waking up around 7 or so (they had adjusted to FL time by this point), so after breakfast, Dave would usually take them for a walk in their red cars while I got stuff ready for the day. Then off on an adventure we'd go, getting back by 1pm or so for them to nap. Then we usually headed to the awesome Cambier Park downtown to play a bit before dinner. Though there were obviously moments where they were pure toddlers and could drive you crazy, in general they're at such a fun age. They can actually play at the beach and have a blast. They love to swim and had so much fun jumping off the edge from standing, unassisted, into the pool (a first for each of them). Because they only nap once a day now, it was easier to go on adventures and meet up with Dave's family. They also eat pretty well versus last year where we had to deal with baby-type foods. We didn't take them out for dinner once, but we don't do that here either. Lunch is our thing and we had plenty of lunches out.

Trip to the zoo
Watch out!

Oh, and did I mention the weather?? 

Plane travel isn't easy at this age, but I think we did as well as we could. Travel Favorites here.

On Christmas Eve we met Ma and Grandpa at their favorite Skillets for breakfast, then headed to a great park to run around and eventually get in the water. The boys had a blast. The next day we went over to their house for brunch and presents and then they came over for Christmas dinner of fresh Florida fish.

Trying to get a photo of them both looking, always easy ;)


Back in SF - gift that Papa made!

We celebrated New Years at home with Prime steak, lobster tail, crab legs and Champagne. No complaints!

Everything really worked out so well. We had several awesome beach days, so much fun playing with the cousins, had great food, watched the sunset and mom even sometimes got a break. I did get to read a Nicholas Sparks books, along with a cold cider on the lanai, all is good!

Highlights from the Month:
Dec 20 First Skyline Chili -- they were fans though there were some nasty diapers the next day ;)
Dec 23 First Bike ride - rode in a seat on our bikes along the waterfront and up to a park. (G threw a tantrum over not being able to squeeze out the rest of the sunscreen and screamed for the 45 minute ride home)
Dec 24 Starting to say a lot more 2-3 word sentences
Dec 28 First FUN beach day since they were eating all the sand last year!
Jan 17 Both went down huge slide at Lake Mountain Park

New this month
Les Deux can...
Jump into the pool from standing, all by themselves
Say (probably) 300+ words
Climb up tall ladders and slide down tall slides all by themselves
Identify many letters and numbers on signs, etc.
Play soccer, G even passed the ball to play with another kid
Swim about 4 ft, though G has had a tough month at swim class
Climb to the top of the rock at Presidio Height Playground (no exactly thrilled about this)
Go up and down the stairs really well. While we don't plan on taking the stair gate down anytime, I really don't worry about them falling down.

W can...
Ride his scooter like a pro
Eat with chopsticks (sort of)

G can...
Well, just maybe he said 'I love you' back to me one night. It wasn't super clear, but it still sounded so nice.
Poop in the potty (okay, this happened once, and I think it was by mistake)

First donut hole!
EAT: I'm happy to say that we've gotten back on track in this department. No, they're still not fans of vegetables for the most part, but I've been able to cook more even though the kitchen is not finished so they're eating more homemade meals which is a start. It's still hit or miss, plus they've had a bad cold for like two weeks and there were several nights they didn't eat dinner at all. I wasn't worried though as they continued to eat fairly well throughout the day.

William definitely does best at breakfast and the new obsession is oatmeal. The way they say it is hilarious. No one but us would understand but we definitely know what they're saying. William could probably eat three pouches by himself alone, if it's the kind Daddy makes which just has water. If it's Mom's version, thickened with chia seeds, granola, berries and Greek yogurt, he could probably still do a single packet and all the extras by himself. Add a banana, other fruit and sometimes scrambled eggs, and he's off to a good start. Though... eggs seem to be on the outs. Just in the last week or so, they're not really into them anymore. It's not that they refuse them, they just nibble.

The routine has been for Dave to get up with them and I usually get up at the same time to shower and get ready for the day. They've finished breakfast and are downstairs when it's time for me to take over so Dave can get in the shower so usually I bring my breakfast downstairs to eat. Quickly a chorus of 'bite', 'my bite', 'bite please' follows so I've learned to bring double the food down so they can eat half. On days when Dave is home from work, like the weekends, he'll take them out to get a coffee for himself and a scone or something for their snack.

Lunch they've been doing really well and I feel like I've gotten into a rut since I'm cooking just the basics and no extras like muffins, snack bars, breakfast bakes, etc. In general, their appetite at lunch as been great (despite being sick)

Other food notes from the month:
  • William is doing a bit better with meat and will sometimes taste the different lunch meats I bring for lunch (G eats about 95% though). He seems to eat meat if it's mixed into the dish at dinner as well.
  • They still love bananas and are now particular about whether or not it's in the peel. Usually W wants it out and G wants it in. And they always want 'two nanis' so I just break their one piece into two and they're luckily happy.
  • They love pouches (thankfully as they're not getting many veggies otherwise!)
  • Tofu and eggs are finally on the decline. They'll still eat, but not enthusiastically like before.
  • The recent obsession with nuts is still going pretty strong.
  • Though it seems like W&G eat about the same amount (especially considering how much W loads up at breakfast), G is the slower eater and just about always finishes W's food so I'm realizing he is eating a bit more than W.
  • W still likes to eat from my salad at dinner, though G now wants in too, but just picks the cheese out.
  • They both love medicine and ask for it nightly since they were sick (not that we give in)
  • We also gave them a spoonful of honey when they had a cough and now George especially will randomly ask for 'honn-neee' 

    Eating out has been more difficult too, though we continue to do it. Really it's just a race against the clock. I think most of our meals we're in and out in 25 minutes or less, just avoiding a meltdown. Dave and I have learned to eat really fast, ask for the check when the food arrives and be ready to get up and go.

    They both do really well with silverware now, as well as drinking out of glasses. They wear bibs at breakfast and dinner but don't have nearly as many spills. I just realized I lost their travel/daytime bibs and clearly haven't missed them all month. Now I'm not saying they're neat by any means. Their face and hands are always a mess, but as far as dropping food, they've gotten a lot better. George does prefer to eat with his hands though.

    SLEEP: Ah. A constant up and down. So if you remember, we left off in a pretty bad place before we headed to Florida. The move did not sit well with George especially, but both were waking up at night and it was pretty bad. They adjusted to Florida time pretty quickly and did well for the first few nights, then by the time we got to the condo, they were waking up at night again. We discovered blotchy red patches on both of their sheets so determined they were both teething pretty badly. This continued, with wake ups during nap as well, William sleeping on Daddy sometimes, lots of medicine, and it did settle down for the rest of our trip, thankfully.

    Then back to SF. Ugh, as expected, we got a wake up call at 4am the morning after we got home... 7am Florida time. For the most part, Dave and I were a little jet-lagged too, so it wasn't too bad. Well, that first day was really hard as we had a family event out in Danville so the boys just slept on the way, but ended up only sleeping an hour. That night was brutal, keeping them up til 7pm, but it did help. They made it until 5:15am the next morning and then surprised us by sleeping until 7am the following morning. So needed for everyone. There was a back and forth of early mornings here and there, but mostly they've been sleeping until 6:30 pretty consistently. Then this past week, though past the timing of this blog post, they've been sleeping past 7am. SO nice. It might have to do with a bad cold they have, but I always try to explain this to other moms. It's nearly impossible for them to BOTH sleep this late. Inevitably one wakes up and will wake up the other since it's close enough to their regular wake up time. There's nothing better than waking up without an alarm or a baby whining for you so it's been nice to get a few of those days.

    Onto naps. Those also have been all over the board. Teething affected naps in Florida as well and it was really hit or miss if they'd both get a solid nap. When we got home, they've done better. In fact, recent memory is that both are taking good, long naps the majority of the days. Like going down around 1pm for W and sleeping past 4pm. G going down around 1:30 and sleeping til 4pm or later. The last couple of days G has thrown me for a loop and when I put him in there at 1:30 after W is asleep, he's clearly WIDE awake, loud, jumping around. It took him until 3pm to fall asleep 2 days ago. Yesterday I finally took him out and said he could lay, not play, on my bed while I did some work, and he was asleep within minutes. Just now he woke up W after being so loud but luckily it sounds like they both went to sleep. I'm not sure if he's getting more sleep than he needs at night so he's not as tired during the day, but I waited until 2:15 to put him in there today, figuring the extra play time may wear him out. Who knows.

    A couple of tough days of sleep for George
    Can't believe he fell asleep sitting up on the couch

    Bedtime has been fine for W, as usual, and when we got back from Florida, was pretty good for G too, especially since we got these nightlights. But the last week G has been whining, asking for 'one more hug', etc., etc.

    6:15-6:45ish up (sometimes even past 7am!)
    7:00 breakfast (right when they wake up)
     out of the house for an activity by 9/9:30am
    9am snack
    Eat lunch out almost every day, by noon, sometimes want more after getting home
    1:00 or so W down for a nap (reads for 5 mins if that, averaging 3 hours)
    1:30-2ish G down for a nap (sleeping on average 2-2.5 hours)
    4pm snack
    6pm dinner
    bath, stories
    7-7:20pm in bed
    Usually asleep by 8

    When G gets mad at bedtime, he throws all his books and animals into W's bed

    PLAY: It's incredible what a difference I've seen in the boys. They're so independent now. Sure, they like you to be around, and if you're on your computer or phone, they'll be all over you, but in general they're able to play so much more by themselves and with each other. I'd definitely still consider it parallel play, but they are playing together more.

    Luckily the biting has died down tremendously and we're still working with W to stand up for himself and use his words to tell G no, he's playing with something, etc. But on his own, he's starting to fight back, which isn't always for the best. He now will push G back and while it's still rare, both have hit. The main problem is that G has become extremely bossy this month, telling W what to do, what not to do, etc. Something else we're trying to manage.

    But back to the positives, they really can sit on the floor and play by themselves well, though the time of day makes a difference. If we get back from our morning outing early enough, they have time to play before going upstairs for a book and bedtime for W. This is usually when they play best, and often leads to a later naptime because I don't want to disturb them. It's even better when G and I come back downstairs after we put W down. G gets another 30-45 minutes since he's not tired yet and he'll sit there zooming cars, connecting trains, etc.

    They make various truck sounds and other related noises and then all kinds of other noise and non-words too. It's been fun to see them use their toy sets more and more. They got some nice Plan transportation sets for Christmas and have really enjoyed playing with all the pieces. Dave did a big toy sort, we got rid of a bunch of their older toys that they had mostly outgrown and then stored others away so there's not so much to choose from. I think it's helped as they really do play with everything out. I haven't quite figured out the process for swapping in new toys every week or so though. They still love diggers and construction sites but the obsession with all the Bob the Builder trucks was rather short lived. They still play with them, but no more than any of the other trucks.

    They're much more into puzzles this month, actually figuring out where to put the pieces, they still like the shape sorters and their love their 'game' -- flash cards that Dave got with pictures and words. I wasn't so into this, but they actually love it and know random words like 'yield' and 'school crossing'. They really do look at it as a game which I guess is all that matters.

    Now they actually help clean up, at least sort of, but a big improvement from last month. George likes cleaning more and knows just where everything goes. William mostly sits there and watches.

    They continue to love reading books, but mostly before nap and bedtime now. The favorites rotate -- for a couple weeks there, I thought I'd go crazy if I had to read about Elmo teaching Albie to use the potty one more time. They love that book.

    Outside. Now that we have a backyard, they're in heaven. They're always asking to go 'outside'. Mostly we oblige, but every morning I want to get out and do something, not sit around in the backyard. I'll ask if they want to go to a park and they say no, but usually I entice them with a snack or something and they're always happy when we get there. Our backyard is rather slanted, which was tricky the first few weeks, but now they've got the hang of it so I can mostly just sit back and keep an eye on them. It's been nice to get their ride-on toys, scooters, etc., out of the way, but still in a place where they can get a lot of use. We have the little tikes red car, which G has claimed for himself and won't let anyone else get near. Luckily Crusoe gave us his old little tikes red truck so W uses that one. The backyard will have work started on it in mid-March and we're hoping to have it done by their birthday and I think we'll get even more use out of it then.

    What's been most surprising this month is how independent they are at parks and places like the Discovery Museum. I can let them do just about everything on their own and not get nervous. Even large play structure they're capable of handling. They know not to go near the edge, etc. William occasionally makes me nervous as he'll lean near an open edge smirking yet I'm more confident in his abilities to navigate more technical playgrounds. We've had fun checking out a bunch of new playgrounds in our neighborhood and on this side of town and luckily I've been able to manage them at each one just fine. They're so good at climbing now and can scurry up tall ladders and go down big slides, which I have to admit, makes me a little bit nervous.

    Though I still need to be watching them even if they're in a sandbox, it's only because they may snatch a toy or something similar.

    TALK: I've long stopped counting the words; there are days it feels like they know all words. There are plenty of new words they say every day. And then all the other times when they or I get frustrated when they don't know a word or I can't understand them. They're repeating like crazy. They both can say 'George' and even 'Georgie' so well now. William is still 'Wawee'. Water is still 'wawee'. But many of the other words have improved. 'Nani' for example, George has been able to say 'banana' for a couple of times, but often reverts back to at least 'nana'. They both still have trouble saying 'truck' when the word is by itself. They say 'shuck'. But for something like 'garbage truck', they say it correctly.

    Though it seems that W knows all the words G does, I'm not sure if that's actually the case. Regardless, they both speak a lot in my opinion (total random estimate would be 300-350). I think G says more words when he's 'talking', whereas W talks constantly, but a lot of it is still gibberish. Regardless, it's so much fun to hear their words developing and the words they pick up. Luckily Dave and I don't cuss because I think we're getting to the point where we'd need to worry. Just today while driving, I said, 'Jeez, what are you doing?? Jeez!' to another driver and hear G in the back saying 'Geez! Geez!'

    Notes in the talking department:
    • When G wants something W has, he'll sign and say 'Wawee all done, Wawee all done'
    • They finally are saying yes (!!). They would just nod for the longest time, or W had a grunt he'd do that I knew was yes. For the past few weeks, when I'd ask a question and they wouldn't give me a verbal answer, I'd say, 'yes or no?', G started saying 'yes' and now W has picked up on it too.
    • As far as prominent words or phrases go, we've evolved from 'No!!!!' when they first started talking to 'Miiiinnnne!!!' to 'My Daddy' (endlessly heard when they were especially clingy to Dave around the move and while in Florida. Luckily this has really died down), to 'I self' (G is now getting myself) and finally for G, 'No, Wawee, no'. William also loves to say 'hi!' over and over again.
    • They both can say 2- and 3-word sentences, fairly easily when repeated from what we say, but can piece things together on their own. A few weeks ago my mom was surprised when she first heard one from George, 'Digger live park' about a toy that stays at the park.
    • They get a lot of the sounds associated with letters, whether from books, hearing it from their laptops, or when we ask leading questions.
    • They rarely use sign language, except for 'thank you' which they really still can't say. Other than that, it's to really emphasize something. W will whine and say 'please nuts, please nuts' and then rub his chest to emphasize that he's saying please.

    POTTY: Hmm, I'm so on the fence about what to do here. On the one hand I'd like to capitalize on W's interest and get him potty trained if he really is ready. On the other hand, I've been warned that it's a pain to have to always find bathrooms, etc. I ordered underwear and the boys have been really excited about it. They've worn it a few times and W has pooped in it both times within 15 minutes and G has peed in it both times (though he had it on much longer and I wasn't really doing much to remind him to go). We also had 2 episodes when G pooped on the floor when he was diaperless (oh so fun!). I wouldn't say we've started, just wanted to see how they'd take to the underwear. They both are telling us much more frequently when their need their diaper changed.

    W continues to pee on the potty, but still not very consistently and usually only when I ask if they want to use the potty, and even then, only sometimes. I don't think he's pooped on the potty since we've been home. G had one day when he started to poop in his diaper, I asked him if he wanted to sit on the potty, he said yes, put him on, finally got some out (perhaps it was what was already out. So TMI I know), said he was done, put a diaper on and he finished in the diaper. Progress? Hmm, not so sure.

    I'm leaning towards giving it a try the long weekend in February. But I think I'd do no underwear. Clearly W feels comfortable enough to do it in the underwear so bare-bottomed may be the way to go. Honestly, our furniture is starting to arrive in the next few weeks, which means we'll put the new rugs down. I'd love to have done our 3-day method before changing out the old for the new ;)

    G in Sep
    I honestly don't have high hopes for G to be successful at this point, but I figure there's a chance he may tag along for the ride with W. If not, I've heard from plenty of other twin moms who said they trained theirs separately since one was ready before the other.

    Stats: I just made their 2-YEAR check-up appointment and that's when we'll get the full update, but I just measured them on their closet growth charts (so not the most accurate) and G is 35 inches and W is 32 inches. One noticeable change worth noting, G is not longer a total blondie. It's sort of like what happened with W, we didn't realize how dark his hair was previously, until it had lightened up. I never remembered G's hair being SO blonde but looking back at the photos, it's pretty crazy how it's changed. I think it's still blonde, but definitely darkening up.

    MOM: It's been a whirlwind month, but Florida was actually a good break in a way. There were still things for the house I was keeping up with, but I was able to reduce my computer usage/constant research by at least a little bit. We got the remainder of the furniture needed ordered just around the new year and I've continued to check things off the list.  I won't go into the laundry list of examples of two steps forward, one step back, but have to share at least one. Ordered a great rug for our bedroom, on sale, it arrived, matched our new bedding great. All is good. Until Dave comes into the kitchen and tells me the closet doors don't open over the rug, they only half open. Which many people would probably tolerate, but not Dave, and certainly not something I'd choose. So what are the options? Cut the rug? Unlikely. Cut the Doors? Of course it's a thick 3/4 inch rug so I was hoping to avoid that. In the end, it was a simple fix for the handy man to trim the doors and everything looks great. Unfortunately I've had too many of these things happen when you finally think you've checked something off the list and ugh. Something's gone wrong.

    It really helped that things had died down with Junior League and my other volunteering and moms groups over the holidays and I could just focus on the stuff for the house, and the family, of course.

    Now that we're back, it's been great to settle in a bit more, get in a routine in our new neighborhood, check out new parks. Not to mention get things organized in the house. We still have a ways to go, but can see the light at the end of the tunnel and are so excited to get there.

    I haven't worked out (besides some swims in Florida and pushing the 100+ lbs of stroller + babies up the hills in my new 'hood) but we just joined the Jewish Community Center which is conveniently located just a block an a half from our house. People come from all over the city for swim lessons, the workout facility, etc., that this place has to offer so we got a family membership. Dave and I have started taking classes and will do some personal training. They have family swim times so it will be nice to have a place to swim with the boys. They have a spa, pilates reformer, yoga, lap pool, etc., so we're really hoping it will work out. Oh and did I mention childcare? Not that I plan on using it much, but it's a great option if Jessica is sick and I need a break. I can get a workout in and they can have fun in the little playroom.

    I definitely see a lot coming together in the next month which feels so good.

    Date night: Dave and I have been getting out on Thursday nights and lucked into a (must've been just canceled) reservation at The Progress last Thursday. I was actually logging in to hopefully get a res for 30 days from that day as that's when they open res and they fill up immediately. I couldn't believe it when there was one -- for a prime 7:30 time -- for that next night. It's right next to State Bird Provisions and I think is the sister restaurant so you can imagine the hype. It was a family style tasting-type of menu and all really good, very creative. So glad we were able to go.

    Dave and I also had an excellent dinner on our last night in Naples, just the two of us. Meredith's in the plaza at Naples Bay Resort offered a tasting menu for something like $65 bucks or so, and we couldn't believe how great everything turned out. (Except for, oddly, the grouper which Naples is known for). I hadn't read much about the restaurant and didn't even know it was a tasting menu when we arrived, but it really was excellent and I'd highly recommend.

    Looking forward to...
    Everything coming together! The cabinets are in place and being primed as we speak. The kitchen *should* be done by next Friday, but already I can see what it will be like and I really like it. I'm also looking forward to several great dinner reservations we have in the coming weeks. And just in general, getting more settled into the routine of our new neighborhood and home.

    To my boys...

    Each month really does get better and better. Your vocabulary grew by leaps and bounds again this month and it's so much fun to hear all the words coming out of your mouth. There are fewer frustrations as you learn to communicate more and more. I feel like that's also led to more understanding on your part. I'm trying to offer more choices and you both seem to like that, especially when you're able to verbally say what you want. Some of my favorite talking moments of the month were when we got home from Florida late on a Saturday night and we walked inside and you both said, 'home, home'. You barely knew our new place from anything else so it surprised me but made me feel so happy that you already feel that way. The other was at swim class -- they do the 'If You're Happy and You Know It' song and one of the rounds is '...shout hurray! HURRAY!' Both of you learned this word and it's the cutest thing when you should 'HURRAY!' and pump your arms in the air.

    You're both also blowing me away by the new things you're able to do on your own. You've entered the 'I do' and 'myself' phrase and I'm trying to go with it. Your preferences continue to develop, like in the past month, you both prefer the wrapper or banana peel to be pulled down, but not taken off. All hell will break loose otherwise.

    You've become more competitive with Mom and Dad's space and attention. If Dad picks one up to be carried, the other freaks out screaming 'carry!!', but then the original one will should 'No, (name)!' We try to say things like, 'there's room for two' or 'Mommy has two boys' but now we're getting a lot of 'No, two bees (boys)'.

    I love having little people to hang out with -- you're definitely not bumps on a log anymore! Your personalities continue to evolve and it's so much fun to see. You both do best with routine, but we had so much fun being out of our element in Florida. You loved looking for the kitties outside the condo and Smokey would even let you pet him sometimes. (Side note: I taught William to ask Dave for a kitty :) While there's still plenty of bickering, you guys can be so sweet to each other too. You always give kisses (usually by making kissing sounds from across the room) when it's time for William's nap. There have also been numerous instances when one of you has been very upset that the other one is not awake; William started balling when I said we couldn't go wake G up from his nap yet. Finally, I have to end with the sweetest: you both love saying 'hug' and 'more hug?' which I'm fully aware may be a stalling technique (G is particularly good at it), but I still love when you ask for 'one more hug?'. Always.

    William, you really came out of your shell this month and started putting up a bit of a fight to your brother (and one that thankfully didn't involve teeth). I'm not condoning hitting or pushing, but I like that you're fighting for something when you really want it instead of just letting George have it. You really are so sweet, but I don't like seeing you get pushed around. On the other hand, I don't want to keep pushing it when most of the time you really don't care about the toy and just move on to something else. I'm so proud of you that you've been able to get a few words out in these situations -- you talk plenty, but these instances have always been hard for you to verbalize anything to George and you're definitely making progress.
    ...You love your teething medicine and ‘candies’ (teething tablets)
    ...You're so attached to your buddies, 2 buddies in fact (blankies) and Shabby (Sammy, stuffed dog), yet you're so generous too. There have been times when G has been really sad and you've given him a buddy. No surprise that G wants one, if not both of your buddies just because you like them.
    ...You love talking on the phone and I have the best video of you having a lengthy conversation, walking all over just like Daddy does when he's on the phone.
    ...You love saying 'Hi!' 'Bye' (usually at the appropriate times), but really are obsessed with it
    ...I can't believe it took 21 months but you've finally started asking to be picked up/carried ('k-kee)
    ...You've been eating so much this month, in fact, shortly after a meal you'll start doing the sign for food and say 'eat, eat'. There have been numerous times where I'd had to give you a banana right before putting you in bed because you've been begging for it as if you hadn't eaten all day.
    ...There's this look you give, almost a smirk, but more flirty. It's a smile and those eyes. The ladies better watch out.
    ...You're a wanderer, which makes me a bit nervous as I give you more freedom. I let you out of the wagon at Discovery Museum and you took off for the hills. You also love to hide, which doesn't help but I've been lucky and haven't lost you yet.
    ...You continue to make friends, especially with older girls. I have my eye out for Ashlyn to become your neighborhood babysitter in a few years when she hits double-digits. She absolutely loves going around Laurel Hill Playground with you, helping you get your jacket on, etc.
    ...Whereas G had a tough time with church this past month, you say, 'go to church?' with excitement.
    ...We went to Mountain Lake Park last weekend and brought the scooters and we must've talked to at least 5 people who were blown away by how good you are on the scooter. I don't know if it's just because you're so small, so it looks that much more impressive, but you really do have it down.
    ...At the same park, you had no fear, and went down this HUGE slide. I won't lie, it made me a bit nervous, so much so that I didn't get a pic of you coming down, only one of Daddy and G going down together.
    ...You are such a Daddy's boy, though nothing's changed there.

    Oh George. You've always been a bit of a bully to William but this month you turned into the boss. It started in Florida when you kept telling W 'no' when he tried to touch the knobs on Mom and Dad's bathtub. Now it's heard multiple times throughout the day, 'No, Wawee, no', whether it's that you want the snack all for yourself, so you position yourself between W and me, saying it, it's telling him when he's doing something that you want to do, or the worst is when you want a toy that he has, you start grabbing it from him and say (and sign) 'Wawee all done, all done'. Dad and I are trying to remind you not to boss W around. Lucky for you, there are so many things about you that make me smile.
    ...You love to carry as much as you can at once, often pinning things under your chin and armpits
    ...You love giving and getting hugs and this month you took it to the next level by always asking for 'one more hug'. You loved giving hugs to Ma and Grandpa in Florida too.
    ...You had a tough month with separation anxiety and tough sleep due to teething and all the change with the move. What shocked me is that you wanted to be rocked to sleep -- you've never liked that, even as a baby. You lay your head on me and every night for probably a week, we had to rock you, sometimes to the point of being asleep, before putting you to bed. You always know what you want and would point to the rocking chair and say 'seat' (as in 'sit').
    ...You've also had a hard time being left at church, one time requiring Dad to stay with you for the majority of the service
    ...You've moved beyond the basic colors and are now identifying ones like silver and white. You also love counting... you get to two pretty quickly but then it's just a jumble which usually includes five :)
    ...You love, and ask for, diaper 'keem' (cream)
    ...You are very particular, which we've always known, but you always like to have things just a certain way, your way. You know the door at the base of the stairs should be closed and you have to close it every time.
    ...When W wanted some of your banana, you picked off the tiniest speck imaginable and gave it to him. Not sure if that's really sharing ;)
    ...You're constantly aggravating W in the car by draping your legs over him and his car seat.
    ...Once again, nothing slips by you. You desperately wanted a sip of my cider so when I was done, without you seeing, I poured a little water in it and offered it to you. You got so mad and said, 'No water!'
    ...When W peed on the potty one time, you jumped up and shouted, ‘Hurray for Waweee!!!’ and clapped your hands
    ...You like to put your finger on each book along the shelf as you decide what to read
    ...You talk in the third person, 'Georgie ride car', 'Georgie eat snack'. While I think we were good about avoiding baby talk, I haven't been great about avoiding, 'Mommy...'


    After Linda gets to spend a lot of time with the boys, I love to have her write a little note to them too.

    "To my sweet California grandsons,   We had an awesome time in sunny Florida this year!  Lots of swimming in the pool and at the beach, lots of smiles , lots of choo-choo train playtime and best of all lots of hugs and kisses!   You both have gotten so big and you can do so much on your own.  I am impressed with the way you get into the car seat by yourself and climb up on the chair when it is time for dinner.  You both are very good at using a fork and spoon to eat dinner and you both LOVE to wear your hats.  It is so much fun to watch you play together...sometimes sharing toys and sometimes playing independently but in the same area.  And of course I LOVE to watch you run and swim.  What a change from last year!  You both just jump off the edge of the pool and swim...and the shower routine at the pool or the beach is too much fun to watch.     You are both very agile and seem to love the playground equipment.  Swinging, climbing, running and always on the lookout for an older playmate to run and play with...and your cousins Lizzy and Zach loved playing with you as well.   It is so much fun to see the world through your eyes.  Taking in the wonder of the world and appearing very secure with every adventure, but at the same time checking for mommy and "my" daddy...making sure they are in the vicinity.  The world is  a happy place when you are checking out all it has to offer.  One day we went outside to check out all the birds in the sky...your little faces turned up to the sky...pointing at all the birds...laughing and running in the grass to watch them.  Some of the neighbors complain about these birds, but to you they were a source of excitement and awe.  I hope you always find joy in the little adventures of life.   It was a wonderful vacation and I miss you so much, but April will roll around soon enough and I will see you for your 2nd birthday! Thanks for making our Christmas and New Year the best ever!  

    To George:   You are truly a smart boy and your big smiles are magical.  You amaze me with your knowledge of numbers and letters.  You analyze everything...like the sliding glass door.  It was no trouble for you watch me open the door one time and then figure out how to pull on the handle and use you other hand for leverage to push the big sliding glass door open.  Good job George! You are such a big boy.  I cannot carry you for very long...but you are very independent and seldom needed my assistance.  I love to watch you in the water at the Fleischman Park,  running from spray to spray...laughing and showing off those big muscles in your back! You loved the choo-choo and the cars.  We actually played a long time with them.  You have a great imagination and I watched you play pretend games with those toys and your construction toys.   We had so much fun at the beach.  You played in the surf and sand with Ma digging a hole for our "pool" and then splashing in it  till the water disappeared.  That is one of my best beach days ever! Thank you for your special hugs and kisses.  You are a beautiful boy  and Ma loves you very much.  

    To William:   You remind me so much of your daddy.  Those big eyes and that big smile just melt my heart!  You are a very smart boy and I can see the conversations developing in your little head .  I love when you call Ma on the phone and we chat in your special little language.  I think I even got a few Facetime calls from you when you accidently had dad's phone! You are such a good climber...climbing to the top on all the playground equipment and sliding down with no fear.   Good job William!  You are such a daredevil in the water.  Jumping off the edge is no problem...and you loved the Lazy Miami and especially the "bubbles" in the waterfall.  Your little eyes would light up and you hands would shake to show us how excited you were. One night when Lizzy and Zach were here, you all decided to play in the bedroom and I cold hear the laughs and the giggles.  What a fun night for all of us watching you play and laugh with abandon! Bath time is still a treat and watching you and George play in the tub is great!  And getting hugs when you are all snuggly in your jammies ready for bed...that's the best! Thank you for you special smiles and kisses.  You are a beautiful boy  and Ma loves you very much!"