20 Months Old

Better late than never as we're well on our way to 21 months. As so much of my post will keeping coming back to, this wasn't the typical month. Lots of change and as much as I tried to maintain the routine, outside factors impacted points in the schedule like naps and eating.

'Papa' with all 6 of his grandsons and his granddaughter
Thanksgiving was a great week as I'm not sure Dave had to go into the office once. Then the week of the move went by in a flash. I'm so grateful for all the help I got from my mom and dad. Sadly, I haven't taken the boys out in our new neighborhood once. How weird is that?? We kept up with our other activities like MyGym, art class and swim lessons and any other days or free time after that, my mom really took them out or played with them at home so I could run errands, have appointments or get other work done for the house. We also had extra help from Jessica and Dave was great about getting them out. Now that he drinks coffee, it's always a good excuse to take them for a walk!

Driving a truck through paint!

Trying to get one photo with the Christmas shirts...impossible!

We did get out on a few adventures, 'Snow Day' at the Discovery Museum, a rainy day at the Exploratorium and the Carousel Lighting at Yerba Buena and even the Zoo with Elizabeth and their cousins. We also made it out to the first SOMA Toddler Playgroup holiday event which was so much fun. The boys are at a great age for this type of thing, even if they are just running all over, they now can do it with other kids. Dave wasn't thrilled about spending our first Saturday in our new house going back to our old neighborhood but I'm really glad we did. We also got to celebrate our friends' Avery and Benjamin's second birthday at a park in our new 'hood.

Fun at the Exploratorium

Riding the train at Discovery Museum
Train at Discovery Museum

Watching the choo choos at the Exploratorium

Tot room at the Academy
Train at the zoo with our cousins

We LOVE our cousins!!

 We also got to celebrate our friends' Avery and Benjamin's second birthday at a park in our new 'hood.

It's been a busy month, and in many ways, a tough month, but it's fun to see that we still worked in a lot of fun. Oh, and I'm including it in a separate post, but I guess their second trip to Disneyworld just snuck into this month. Here's a sneak peak.


Highlights from the month:
Nov. 23 - W climbed out of his crib before nap and got a big shiner on his eye
Dec. 2 - Learned how to dip chocolate chip cookies in milk
Dec. 3 - Last night at Brannan St.
Dec. 4 - Moved to our new house!
Dec. 9 - W's first girlfriend :) Kisses to a little girl at MyGym
Dec. 18 - Second visit to Disneyworld

New this month:

Les Deux can...
Twirl their pasta
Say approx. 175+ words including string several words together
Say each others names (well, versions of them, Wawee for William - also their word for water) and Judge for George
Stomp and jump in puddles (and got lots of practice this past month!)
Go up and down stairs pretty well (but at our new house we still make them slide down on their bottoms)

W can...
Climb up the whole rock wall at Recess
Eat salad
Point to colors, can say the name of most of them
Run so fast

G can...
Identify and say all his colors
Point out several numbers and starting to count
Point to several letters including G
'Read' certain words on signs like 'stop' and 'no'
Say his name

EAT: As my last post mentioned, food has definitely been a bit off this past month. Starting with the move and then having no access to the kitchen (besides the microwave) in the new place, their diet hasn't been nearly as good as I'd liked. We've eaten out a lot and luckily they continue to do okay. I don't say well because it's not like they can just sit there and feed off of all the little snacks I bring until their actual meal arrives. They're harder to keep calm, but we haven't really had terrible experiences either. And especially the last month, we've eaten out A LOT. Our standards could be lower than other people's, but overall I feel like we have to keep doing it and hopefully they'll figure out how to behave at a restaurant and eat what's served.

This month they really improved in joining the norms of eating -- they are getting much better with using silverware and mostly choose to use it over their hands and there's no need for plastic or 'kids' plates or cups, they do well with regular stuff. We're using bibs less and less, rarely when we go out and really I just make them wear them when they're drinking their milk out of a glass but even now very little is ending up in the bib.

Unfortunately, an area that has worsened is in their food preferences. They used to be pretty flexible. Sure, they wouldn't choose a green bean over a cheese stick, but they would usually eat the green beans (peas, etc.). Now it's a joke. I serve veggies with dinner and they never touch them. Luckily they still love pouches because especially this past month, that's been the main source of vegetables. They also aren't as open to trying stuff, even if it's something they've had previously, sometimes they just decide they don't like it anymore. My go-to tofu has even been on the decline (though they do still eat it). Cottage cheese is still enjoyed, but not nearly as big of a hit as it was. Yogurt is on the outs.

After-church treat

It's really boiled down to this:
  • William is our little bear and could live on berries and nuts (the new hit of the month; 'Dada's nuts' since only he eats them).
  • George takes after me and will load up on as much cheese and meat, of varying types, as he can. He's taken to Daddy's nuts as well.
  • Bananas have always been popular but lately it's been a one-each type of thing in the morning, usually going through at least one more banana later in the day.
  • Scrambled eggs are gobbled down nearly every morning, more than one egg each.
  • They love ice cream.
  • French fries dominate all (who can blame them?)
  • William has oddly taken to eating salads, or at least at the beginning of their 20th month he did for a solid week straight. Now he just picks the cheese out, but it was impressive for at least a few days.
As far as how much they're eating, it's been up and down. Some mornings, it seems like they eat at 7 and by 8:15 they're hungry for a snack (despite eating an insane amount at breakfast). Lunch is generally good too, but dinner is when their pickiest and don't eat very well.

SLEEP: Ugh. I knew saying it would curse me. So at the end of November, I remember having several conversations with different people about the boys' sleep and basically I summed it up that while we've had challenges with naps due to teething, sickness and whatever else, once they slept through the night, they consistently did. I could probably count on one hand how many times they had woken up where we had to go in and soothe them. As I mentioned, naps seemed to change by the day, week or month though.

Anyway, sure enough, the move definitely threw things off. Very tough bedtimes, but worst of all, inevitable wakeups, usually around midnight or 1am. And these weren't the type that you could go in and give them a few pats to get back to sleep. No, this was hystarical fits that would wake up the other one (which rarely happens at nighttime). They seemed inconsolable and it would often take an hour to get them back down. George especially seemed to have terrible separation anxiety. Add to it that oftentimes only Dave was allowed to soothe him. It was so frustrating, both because in general it seemed nearly impossible to calm them down to a point of reason, and then worse when they both only wanted Daddy.

We were only in our place for about 10 nights before leaving and I'd say at least half of those included these episodes (our poor neighbors!), especially towards the end of it. Luckily they seem to have gotten back on track, though I think Dave and I are both a bit nervous about returning to the new house and seeing how they adjust. We got nightlights as George doesn't like the lights off at night (though oddly they both like playing in dark closets...) but at least the first few nights we tried them, they didn't seem to help.

Though outside of the 20-month post and into the 21-monther, they both are getting their 2-year molars in, or at least starting to, so within a few days of each other they both had several very tough nights when they were clearly in pain. In fact, there were several mornings when their white sheets where stained with reddish drool. We don't see any signs of the teeth so this could be a long process.

All of the above has affected their naps so there have been days when G hasn't napped at all at the new house. Overall it's been very tough and I'm hoping after the initial adjustment of the time difference, we can get everyone back on a good schedule.

6:15-6:45ish up
7:00 breakfast (and still often second breakfast)
out of the house for an activity by 9am
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 5-20 mins, averaging 2 hours)
1:30-2ish G down for a nap (sleeping on average 1.5 hours)
4pm snack
6pm dinner
bath, stories
7-7:20pm in bed
Usually asleep by 8

PLAY: I hate to start on a negative, but going hand-in-hand with playing has been plenty of fighting. George seems to want whatever William has and will either snatch it and make William really frustrated or W just gives up and goes to something else, which I'm not exactly thrilled with either.

The top toy of the month was a very specific Bob the Builder Scoop toy. The boys had gotten really into Bob through the show Dave played them and a book we have and I asked my older sister if she had any of the stuff as they're oddly hard to find. Luckily my sister had a ton of stuff and brought it to Thanksgiving and the boys were in heaven. Well, that is until only one of the Scoops (the excavator) had an actual moveable scoop. (Why they all don't is beyond me). Of course the boys felt duped when they ended up with one that they could 'open' (as they would request about a million times). So what else to do but to go on ebay and evaluate every scoop on there to find the exact match. For about $45...

They're not quite as excited by construction sites now, maybe because we're not across the street from that big one anymore, but they still are hugely into diggers and playing with them. We got two new ride-on toys (really it started with one which they sent the wrong one but then they liked that one so we just kept that and the replacement). These have been huge hits and will be featured on their Favorites list soon.
Major fights when we only had one ride-on digger

Stickers are a new hit this month too. We had some leftover from when I took them to Olive Garden for lunch a few months ago and Dave has been giving them each one on their hand every morning while changing their diaper. They love them.

They're just starting to get more into trains now, especially since we rode several trains over the past month that they've loved. They still just call them 'choo choos'. They're also very into cars and trucks and I've gotten out more of them from the stash I bought at the consignment sale a few months back.

They're getting to the age where they're connecting with characters and some of their favorites who they know by name are Bob, Pooh and Elmo. They also know Santa quite well as there was a singing Santa someone had in their front yard in our neighborhood that Jessica would take them by each night.

Reading is always a hit and their favorites at home before we left for Florida were Bob the Builder and Pooh. We got a bunch new books from Ma to take back though they'll probably be put away for a bit since they were our only options while in Florida.

Between the move, the tantrums associated with all the change and the travel, they've gotten more shows than normal this past month. George still likes Baby Einstein best but other than that, Dave has been showing Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Bob the Builder (seeing a theme here??). I don't know which one, but Dave tells me one of these is great as the episodes are super-short, like 3 minutes, so 'one show' isn't a big deal. I'd still like to get them off of asking for TV so much but add it to the list of things I'm hoping will change as we continue to adjust to the new house.

W&G love to help me, G probably more than W but are becoming more and more capable of actually doing stuff now, albeit probably not up to my standards.

It's crazy how independent they are getting and maybe I feel that way because I had the luxury of another set of hands for much of December, but they're very capable at the park now. Though someone is always close by, I trust them a lot more on high structures, even ones with openings. They're much more sure-footed and don't make me nervous like they once did...though I'm sure they'll find new tricks soon enough to have that kick back in. It just seems very different now that they're not just mobile, but capable, that I don't have to put them in a stroller for everything. Obviously with two I'll have to do that a lot longer than those with one toddler just because I can't have them running off in different directions, but at least I can get them out of the car in the garage and into the house somewhat easily. Even a few months ago that would've been much more complicated.

Biting update: Unfortunately this is still happening. Though William speaks about as much as George does, when G takes something from him or otherwise frustrates him, he doesn't seem to be able to handle it through words. He doesn't even scream 'Miiiinnne!!!!' anymore. We're usually right there encouraging words and discouraging using teeth, and close enough to stop him if he does look like he's going to bite, but it's still a challenge and there have been bites here and there.

TALK: I've officially stopped keeping track. It just got to the point where they were repeating so many words or using new words every day that it just wasn't possible. I think they were somewhere around 120-130 words last month and now I'd guess they're somewhere in the 180-200 range. It's hard to know for sure. They're starting to string words together with a lot of 'Momma shoes' or 'Dada nuts', 'my car' or 'no more milk'. Also lots of colors combined with words like 'red car' or 'blue balloon'. G especially is getting better at saying please and 'more please' seems to always come out. I constantly have to remind W and usually he just signs it (if anything) though he does know how to say the word. They only sign 'thank you', I think G has said it a few times. George is much better at this. They tend to sign 'again' as well, though they're now saying a version of the word with the sign.

Though they have many words, that doesn't necessarily mean that they're widely understood. Both of them tend to get the last letter wrong. For example, 'bups' instead of 'books'. So I'll say 'books, with a k'. And George will say back, 'bups, k'. Hopefully that's a start...

POTTY: I had such high hopes with the strong start in November but the move has definitely shaken things up in this department. G has not gone once at the new house. W has, but not every day, several times, like he was before. I want to see how they do the first few weeks back in the new house and then decide if we'll take a 3-day weekend in January or February to try it.

They're both showing more signs of being ready though. Both are getting more and more annoyed with diaper changes and saying 'no diaper'. They'll often (but definitely not always) tell us when they have a poop.

Stats: No major updates this month.

MOM: Wow, what a month. I've totally reset my body and don't go to bed until midnight and now am not even tired until that point. I'm spending WAY too much time on the computer. Researching stuff for the house. I just want to be done with it but this is just the beginning. So much stuff to get or to decide on, but I have made some progress. Unfortunately some of the bigger furniture pieces take 3 months to arrive so it will still be a while until everything is set up.

I've also just felt a bit off about everything this month. I'm not organized and all set up yet and my attention isn't focused on the boys and they know it. We've got the workers upstairs, sometimes multiple people in the small downstairs, the boys are eating cheddar bunnies at 8am. I have various appointments and am spending less time with the boys and using my mom and dad even more to help me get some of this stuff done. It's all just a bit chaotic. Things will definitely improve when we can use the kitchen again and will continue to improve as we get everything set up.

Eating has obviously been off and exercise (until this Naples trip -- yay, I was able to swim laps multiple times!) has been non-existent. It's just survival right now and once I get more done on the house, I'll be able to figure out my workout plan for the future.

Luckily it was a pretty low-key month as far as all my volunteering stuff goes so I was able to keep up with the minimum. Other stuff like book club took a holiday break too.

Date night highlight: Between Thanksgiving and the move, we didn't make it out as often as we normally do on Thursday nights, but I'd say an impromptu date at Garaje in our old neighborhood -- somewhere that had been on our list for a while and we finally made it to the night before the packers came -- was a fun one from the past month. It's supposedly the best burger in SOMA, which we didn't agree with, but still a fun place and good food.

Looking forward to:
...getting settled, or at least a bit more settled
...getting the kitchen finished (hopefully by first week of February)

To my boys...

What a crazy month! I was so preoccupied with the move and not nearly as diligent about noting down each night the funny things you did or said from the day and now several weeks past your 20-month birthday and time in Florida has further distanced some of those memories. But there's still plenty to note. You're both talking so much it's crazy. Sure, not all words are easily understood, but you're making progress each day and it's so fun to hear. You've both had some complications stemming from the move but I'm hoping we get that straightened out soon. Both of you continue to be obsessed with Daddy and that has only gotten worse since you've gotten unlimited time with him in Florida. Much more to come in the Florida post. There has been more trouble over sharing this month and more fighting in general. Hopefully we can rein it in soon. There are plenty of sweet moments though, random hugs (usually George initiating) and the sweet kisses they give to each other before W goes in for his nap. I'm also loving how into accessories you are now, though sometimes you complain 'tight, tight' when I put the bow ties on (I promise, they aren't too tight), you both prefer to wear hats and will demand them if they're not offered to you before going out.


...It's funny that just last month I called you the little model and talked about how photogenic you were. Well, you still are, but you've changed and don't ham it up for photos at all anymore. You just sit there with a dopey face, a long face, or no expression at all. It's nearly impossible to get you smiling at the camera, though in all honesty, I guess we're always happy just to get you looking at the camera and not twisting away or crying.
...You continue to amaze me each month with your physical skills, this month scurrying up various rock walls, walls, ladders and the like. It's no big thing, you just start climbing and quickly make it to the top with confidence. You're so good that you rarely make me nervous, even when trying new things.
...You love older kids, whether you find someone to follow at the park, or when playing with your bigger cousins. You just fall in line and become one of the group. Often you're engaging them to run around with you, play, etc.
...You have so many sounds coming out of your mouth, beyond the words you're trying to form, you can have a full conversation with a garble of syllables.
...Even beyond the climbing, you're such a daredevil. You're now enjoying jumping and are slowly testing out new ways to practice your jumping.
...It was so funny to watch you devour Dedee's salad, the Daddy's salad, over several night, that I finally started making you your own.
...You've had a lot of cranky days lately with long crying fits. Hoping these settle down soon.
...I originally got the gray fedora for G to try to have another option besides his blue and brown one, but you quickly claimed it and it's become your favorite.
...You do the cutest 'bye bye' hands at MyGym during the bye bye song. You also say Hi and Bye (at the appropriate times) in the funniest way. A long 'Hiiiii' and you'll continue to do it coming into a new room and saying 'Hiiiii Daddyyyyyy!'


...Just as I called W the photogenic one last month, you've totally surprised us! At the Christmas card photo shoot, you were the one flashing smiles and so engaged with the photographer. Now you've learned to smile for the camera and say 'cheese' (though sometimes it becomes to big of a grin), though of course just because you know how to do it doesn't mean you always do.
...You've become a bit more of a bully this month, adding pushing and shoving to your repertoire. You continue to yank things away from W and unfortunately for him, he puts up with it a lot of the time. You're so much bigger and stronger (not to mention much more determined) that we're still learning the best way to handle that strength.
...You are such a big boy. You're starting to break my back when I have to lift and carry you around.
...Though you don't eat everything, you eat so much at most meals that it still amazes us. Your 24-month clothes are quickly getting snug.
...As mentioned, you are so determined and very smart. It's difficult to fool you and distraction rarely works. What's started to work is asking you if you want to do it yourself or if you want me to do it for you, in instances when you're putting up a fight to do something. Many times you'll want to do it yourself so you'll do it.
...You had a very tough time with the move. You had a full-on tantrum where I finally had to just force your body into the carseat when we were leaving the Brannan to meet the movers at the new place. I'm not sure how much you understood but you were definitely thrown off. You also experienced major separation anxiety, wanting only me when Dedee or Jessica were around and mostly Daddy when I was around. We had to stay in the church nursery with you for a good 15 minutes before we could finally leave you which never happens. Leaving the room at bedtime or for naps was very difficult on you as well.
...In combination with the above, you cuddled a lot more than normal over the past month. You actually fell asleep on us multiple times and pretty much since you were a newborn, you won't even lay your head on us normally.
...Though we would've said W was the more cuddly one, he's actually pulled back a bit and now you're the one that gives plentiful uninitiated hugs. They're the absolute best!
...You continue to amaze us with how smart you are (like only parents can say ;) Though it will be on the 21-month post as it just happened a few days ago, you counted to 5! You keep doing things like this where we're like, huh, when did you learn that??
...You absolutely love numbers and always want to stop to touch license plates, signs, etc., that have numbers. Though often you'll say 'numbers!' for letters so you still have a ways to go.
...You pick up on things very quickly, especially fine motor skills (gross motors take more practice for you, but you're usually able to get that too after a few tries). I showed you how to twirl your pasta onto a fork, handed you your fork back and you immediately picked it up and did it.
...On day you said you had to use the potty, so you went in, sat down, crossed your feet, opened your book and pushed the door closed, for privacy I guess :)


Despite many trials this month, you guys are more and more fun each month. Can't wait for what's to come in 2015!

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