Friday, September 28, 2018

Lucy and Ellory- Nineteen Months.

Nineteen months is here! It's been a fun month with a zoo trip in Des Moines, indoor pool visit, several visits to Pumpkinland, library programs starting again, and walks/park trips! Days are busy, but this is such a fun stage. It's more manageable than at the beginning, easier to get out and do things, and so fun to watch them experience and enjoy things.

Stats/Doctor visits: Thankfully they've been pretty healthy! They both had a minor cold this month, but it really wasn't bad at all. We took Ellory in again just to make sure her ears were okay (after two ear infections back to back), but they said they were fine. They have their 18 month check next week.

Teeth: Ellory got her top left canine on 9/4 (13th tooth) and her top right canine on 9/9 (14th tooth).

Feeding: Nothing new- they love to eat! Sometimes it still funny to us how much more they eat than Norah. Ellory's favorite foods are noodles, pizza, blackberries, watermelon, grapes, cheese, and crackers. Lucy's are harder to identify because she likes everything! They are identifying more often now when they are hungry or thirsty. They eat three good meals a day, and usually have a small bedtime snack. Occasionally they will have an afternoon snack if they are really hungry. They are doing great with the hard tip sippy cup. Lucy sometimes wants to get up and eat while sitting on Kley's lap, but usually they sit really well in their high chairs. A favorite new food for both us hummus.

Diapers/Clothes: Wearing 18 month and 18-24 month clothes, but are starting to be snug, and wearing size 4 diapers.

Sleeping: Yay for sleep! Lucy and Ellory are excellent at sleeping through the night and we are so thankful. Lucy is almost always the first one to fall asleep. Occasionally Lucy will wake up earlier, but Ellory is usually the last to sleep and first to rise. Even when awake, they are almost always content just playing/babbling to themselves in their cribs. They go to bed now at 8:30 and sleep until about 8:30 and it's so awesome. They used to go to bed pretty late when they were younger, but we've moved bedtime up a bit (because Norah is going to preschool now, and it also helps with getting to morning activities easier) and it's gone well. They nap from 1-about 3:30.

Words: Hearing them talk is so much fun! They are understanding and picking things up at such rapid rates. Ellory is very verbal and says quite a bit. She also throws more tantrums when she can't communicate what she wants, we think. My favorite words that she says are hungry, okie dokey, pizza, and I love you- she says them all in such a cute way. Lucy is the biggest daddy's girl and her favorite word is definitely dada. She is growing and saying more words too, but is a bit more of a babbler. They both say Norah in the cutest way too. Recent favorite words for both are animal sounds- moo, neigh, baa, oink, woof, meow, roar, quack, and hee-haw.

Developments: Words have been such a fun development. Hearing them speak more is so fun and so special to see their wants and personalities come out. They can grasp so much and can follow directions. Lucy says uh-oh every time she hears any noise- an incoming text, oven beep, microwave ding, etc. She's also very polite and loves to say thank you. They are picking up more sounds too, like the sound of the rain or lawn mower. It's exciting to see their empathy develop, and to watch them be concerned if some one is crying. They love to pretend their babies are crying and they will hold them and say “shh, shh, shh” and it's so adorable. They are understanding the beginning concepts of saying sorry. They are pretty good at cleaning up, when they want to be, but they know where things go and the routine of the day. They are pretty good at matching or connecting things, building towers, identifying things, etc.

Favorites: Lucy really likes to help unload the dishwasher, swing, push Norah's scooter, and be by dad. Ellory really likes animal books and animals in person, lawn mower toy, sand box, and holding something soft (like a blanket, stuffed animal, or she loves the scarf in our instrument box). Both really enjoy playing outside, going for walks and the park, baths, milk, reading books, eating, going down the basement, baby dolls, going in Norah's room, and coloring. Norah is also a favorite, as they walk around looking for her when she's at preschool. We love you girls so much!

I tried for awhile, and these are the best pictures I could get!


Monday, September 24, 2018

Pigtails and pumpkins.

While these aren't major events, they are exceptionally noteworthy to me because it's the small things, these types of things, that I want to treasure and never forget. Family is such a precious blessing. 

Lucy and Ellory had their first pigtails! So adorable. 

It probably won't be happening very often though, since they act like I am ripping their hair out when I try to put a pony in. I will prevail with one everyday simply to keep it out of their face, but three can be reserved for special times. :)

We also painted pumpkins! Norah was so excited to come with me (while Kley took Lucy and Ellory to their music class- he's a great dad!) to pick them out and we had to immediately paint them after. Doing yearly traditions are some of my favorite things! It was neat to watch Norah carefully inspecting the pumpkins, searching for the best ones, and asked if she could have a little white one just for her room. How could I say no? 

Lucy and Ellory did quite well for not having much experience with paint. They loved it! Except for the moment when Lucy stuck her hand in it, panicked, and wiped it on her face, getting some in her mouth. Ha. 

Want to know my important lesson for craft success? Set yourself up for it beforehand. Hence the nude painting (and bath right after), plates underneath, washable paint, abundant wipes, etc. It makes the experience more fun for everyone!

Happy Fall and happy memory making! It's fun to look back on each season to see how much your kids grow in a year! Check out Lucy and Ellory in their cute pumpkin outfits last year!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

We love weekends.

We had such a fun weekend! My friend/roommate from college, Brittany, came to visit us, so we had fun spending time with her and showing her our city. It's so fun to show people the beautiful, unique place we live. Since it's such a small town, there are definitely some aspects that are very lacking compared to big cities, but that also means that we have some neat things that big cities can't offer. The quietness, ability to walk to so many places, and the fun local things are so neat! Our town really is great. 

We had a great time going to the park, on walks, to Pumpkinland (our local pumpkin patch/farm), Pizza Ranch, and to the indoor pool. We also frequented a few local stores and the coffee shop. We did more activities than we usually would do in one weekend because Brittany was here, but that's what makes having friends come so fun! The girls loved it. Also, a Pizza Ranch worker commented on how well and how much Lucy and Ellory were eating. I think it's hilarious and so adorable how seriously they take their buffet. Just like Kley. We don't go their often, so we go big when we do. :)

The girls really enjoyed the pool! Ellory has gotten so much braver throughout the summer at going down slides (both at the regular park and pool), and getting more comfortable in the water. We only made it to the pool a few times, because there's no way I feel comfortable taking them all by myself, so they didn't get as much water exposure as I would have ideally liked, but I could tell they got better with the few times we did make it! Lucy is so adventurous- she loves the water and has no fear with getting completely wet. 

Norah is such a great big sister! She is so kind to them sometimes it makes my heart swell. 

The three of them combined went down this little slide about 50 times. It was a hit!

My love language is quality time, so I really love family pictures capturing those moments!

Brittany, thanks for coming to visit us and for being a great friend!

I love Lucy's face in this picture, like she's thinking, "Why are you here and not my dad?"

Having twins is still a lot of work, but the first year was definitely harder. To all twin parents in the first year- you are amazing, He will equip you with the strength you need, and you will make it through! Boy, I feel like we are in such a sweet stage. They are so fun. Getting out of the house and doing activities feels so much more manageable than it used to.

Thankful for such good weekends like this one. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

And she's off!

Norah is officially a preschooler! It doesn't feel like it should be time to say that, as it feels like we just took her home from the hospital, but yet it is. She expressed mixed reviews of excitement and nervousness leading up to it, but she did so well. There were no tears (for her anyways- I shed some once I got home!) and she was very brave. We talked about how it was okay to feel nervous and lots of people feel that when they do something new/different/scary, but we prayed for bravery over her and that it would be a smooth transition. The first day went great! She came home happy and excited. She seemed very proud and said she used her manners and her teacher told her she did a good job. She said that she played in the kitchen, the farm room, with baby dolls, colored, ate goldfish, read a Clifford book, and played a game with happy and sad cards and they had to put thumbs up or thumbs down if it was kind or not. Pretty good details I thought!

Norah, you are the sweetest girl and I am so very thankful to be your mom. As I dropped you off, I felt a comforting yet challenging reminder that you are ultimately His, not mine. What a gift you are to me and Daddy. Being your mom is a great joy. As you start to spread your wings a little, I pray that you would go out and be kind and share His love. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Pumpkinland 2018.

We love Pumpkinland! It's a local pumpkin farm close to where we live, and we frequent it often during the fall. The opening (September 1st), always seems to signal the beginning of Fall to me. So fun! They had a countdown to the opening on Facebook where the posted a different picture of something on the farm each day, and Norah enjoyed following along. It's one of her favorite places! They have a corn maze (an adult one and a kids one), pumpkin fields, store with fall items, animal area (with ducks, goats, donkeys, chicks, geese, and a turtle!), a big horse swing, and a play area. 

We happened to run into our good friends from church too, which was fun! The kids had such a good time playing together. So sweet to watch! They loved wheeling these small wheelbarrows around and filling them with tiny pumpkins.

So fun to have seasonal traditions! Love taking our picture by the signs each year. My sister Kayla got to come along too, yay!

 I love this picture so much!

The play area is a huge hit. They played there so content for so long!

Ellory loved the ducks/geese. She watched them for a long time and jumped up and down in excitement yelling, "Quack quack!" when they made a lot of noise. She is an animal lover!

Norah has been in a big collecting phase. She loves to put anything into bags, purses, buckets, etc. I'm much more willing to let her do it outside so she can collect whatever she wants without messing anything up :) It keeps her occupied for a really long time!

Lucy and Ellory loved these little play sets! Look at Ellory laughing at Lucy! So cute.

After Lucy played for a long time, she finally realized there were animals!

Norah and her good friends, Josie and Savannah, had a great time together. They played so sweetly!

 Checking out the donkeys. Norah and Lucy stayed back, but Ellory walked right up.

Lucy is such a daddy's girl.

Norah loves the horse swing!

Can't believe Norah is almost 4 and starting preschool so soon!

The best of the group shots. You take what you can get, right? Thankful for a fun morning together!

Here's our visits in the last years: Pumpkinland 2015, Pumpkinland 2016Pumpkinland 2017. They change so much from year to year!