Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Two by Two

I guess this is the month of twos. I have a two-month-old and a toddler who is two months away from being two years old. My kiddies are pretty darn amazing (believe me, I know how blessed I am) and are doing quite well at their respective ages.

The Two-Month Old

Elissa is such a sweetheart. She's so smiley (especially in the morning!), doesn't cry too much, and there's just something about her that's soft and sweet. She's definitely a social bug like her brother -- if she has someone nearby paying her attention, she's ecstatic. She's also laid back though. When her brother demands attention from the only adult around, she's (usually) perfectly content just playing on her activity mat by herself. She's a bit independent and quite a bit adaptable.

Loving: Swaddles, her activity mat (and giggling at her reflection in the mirror), her stuffed giraffe, and her brother. She absolutely adores Brayden. Every time he's around, she's all smiles. Thankfully, he seems quite interested in her as well. He loves trying to help - to swaddle her, to change her diaper, to tuck her in. He actually tries to imitate just about everything Lauren or I do with her (as is evidenced below)...

Learning: To find her own schedule. She's been very adaptable so far - we're already on a pretty good daily routine with three regular naps. The end of the night gets a bit shaky, but overall, she's doing amazing adapting so quickly to a regular rhythm.
Struggling With: Her car seat (she despises that thing!) and staying asleep once she goes down for naps. Once I put her in her crib, she usually wakes up once or twice (and needs to be soothed back down) before getting a solid, long block of rest. And although she does very well at night (usually only waking up once or twice), occasionally she'll wake up a third time -- a time so close to her morning wake up that it's too early to start the day but fairly difficult to get her to go back down.

Staring at her brother

The (Almost) Two-Year Old

Man, this kid is just larger than life. He is active, curious, observant and joyful beyond belief. He loves to laugh, loves running around and just has to be doing something. He's had quite the developmental spurt recently and is suddenly talking more and more. He's putting together simple two-word sentences (he loves saying "thank you Mommy" when I give him something or "night night Daddy"). He says "bye bye" to his sister on his own when he leaves the room (so adorable!) and is just such a hilarious and sweet little boy.

He loves drawing shapes and saying what they are. For some reason, his favorite is the oval. He'll draw it over and over again and say the word repeatedly.

Loving: Art of any kind! This kind has quite the creative streak. He absolutely eats up any kind of artistic endeavor and is constantly asking me to draw, color or paint. He also loves being outdoors - and usually cries when we finally have to come in. Like his canine sister, he has quite the affinity for chasing squirrels. Other current favorite things include: reading, dancing, playing with his train and applesauce.
Learning: Brayden is just insatiable when it comes to learning. He already knows all of his shapes, colors, and alphabet letters and loves identifying them in the world (he constantly points to colors and shapes around him and identifies them). He knows numbers one through ten and understands the concept of counting (when I ask him to tell me how many dogs there are or to bring me three books, he typically can). Because this kid just wants to use his noggin, I had to move on to something else. So I bought a placemat of the United States and am teaching him the states. He already can point to a handful of them accurately, and is trying to say the names of states (though Michigan is the only one he's remotely good at -- which is more a product of the university than this last week of learning). Since I'm not sure what I'm going to do next with him, I'm glad there are so many states. It should keep him busy for a little while. :)
Struggling With: The word "no." Not a big surprise for his age, but for being so joyful, this kid knows how to throw a fit. And it's that cry -- that anguished, pained, "the-world-is-over" cry that just echoes throughout the house. He's also having a bit of difficulty keeping busy when I'm nursing or trying to soothe Elissa to sleep. He just isn't a fan of not getting the attention he wants.

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