Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ch ch changes...turn and face the strain

We're about a week away from the 15 month mark and the changes are a plenty! For instance did anyone else live in complete oblivion that their one year old tots would have another nice long year before any of the terrible two behavior would set in? Well let me enlighten you to something nobody warned this mama about: shortly after junior starts walking he/she gets a taste of something very sweet called INDEPENDENCE and wants what he/she wants when he/she wants it and won't take mean Mommy's NO for an answer! Oy! Make that a double OY! Having one toddler is hard, having two is twice as hard.

Rasa and Adia have very different temperaments. Rasa is a cautious girl who relies on routine and touch to make her world feel cozy, safe and secure. Adia is "easy" and goes with the flow. It takes a lot to make her unhappy and she has a lot of energy. Both girls are filled with personality which is great and I of course love them both dearly and equally. Both temperaments have their advantages. Adia is flexible and easier with change. She's more welcoming of new people and new situations which is wonderful and when she's showing off for strangers it's hilarious. Cautious toddlers like Rasa have been shown to grow up being responsible and thoughtful teenagers who are less likely to use drugs or practice other unsafe behaviors. Just what every Mom hopes for! She's snuggly and super affectionate and I love having a cuddle bug.

Even with opposite temperaments both girls are extremely competitive. I believe that comes with the territory with twins. The girls race to be the first up the stairs, the first for me to pick up, the first to eat, drink, the first to whatever toy is the most popular. This would all be fine and dandy but I spend a lot of time comforting the second place runner up and while it's big behavior for such little girls I know they'll work it out as they grow.

When I had the girls I felt immediately that I knew exactly what to do. I never felt inexperienced, even though I was, or insecure about my decisions when it came to them. I knew instinctively how to care for them and meet both of their needs even at the same time. I carried a quiet confidence that made me feel like this was what I was put on earth to do!

With all that being said fast forward to now. Friday as I was pushing the girls to the park in one of our double strollers I was looking down at them as they were kicking their feet, laughing and singing in unison (which they do all the time, adorable I might add). Suddenly I realized something that I never had before; I have no idea what I'm doing. Is it because things changed suddenly and my once happy babies who took delight in crawling a few feet away from me only to turn around and crawl back into my arms are now running away and mad as hell when I have to catch up to them only to tell them NO they can't go there? Or is it because when they see a new thing that they positively MUST have and this mean lady behind them has to pry it out of their white fisted little hands? Or possibly because every time they think they are away and free this controlling woman snatches their freedom right up from under them and pulls them away kicking and screaming? Maybe.

I think when our kids are literally growing right before our eyes and we're present, I mean really present in each day, it's easy to continue to go with the flow until something smacks you in the face (hopefully not Jr.) and says, "hey wait lets reevaluate things here". The first year is so much about nurturing our babies so they can literally survive. We tend to them around the clock with milk, touch, security and love. All of the sudden you get the hang of it and bam! it's time to change gears. Toddlers have the same basic needs but their brains are so much more complex and they're really little people now with their own wants, opinions, likes and dislikes. It really is possible to respect and nurture those feelings even when they're the same ones that are making things difficult.

Well I'm in the process of switching gears! It's a beautiful thing to watch your kids grow and change right before your eyes and even the most challenging days always end the same way in our house; with snuggles, smiles, hugs, kisses and peace as we all dose off to sleep with the promise of the new day with new hope, new dreams and adventures.

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's a Masterpiece Not a Mess

The girls and I have been outside every afternoon for the past couple weeks enjoying the new found freedom us Minnesotans dream about all winter. They love going outside so much that almost immediately in the morning they're handing me their shoes and coats. We got so spoiled with the early spring and warm temps that yesterday when the highs were only expected to reach 35 degrees I was scrambling to remember what we did inside all winter to avoid boredom!

After reading through a pile of books, chasing Lucy around the living room and jumping and wrestling on the bed I decided to break out the crayons. We ended up coloring for a lot longer than I anticipated. Attention spans of toddlers seem to be about one minute for each year old they are. They really enjoyed coloring and it's been a while since we've done it. Adia especially enjoyed eating the crayons. Rasa had a few as well. Did you know crayola's turn into a paint type substance when chewed and drooled on? At least I had enough sense to buy washable crayons. I haven't quite figured out how to get it off the wood floor or the fireplace glass however.

quiet, artists at work

Which color tastes best?? Oh, all of them I see.

Our masterpiece...

After we were finished I hung the picture on the wall in the playroom at the girls level. They were pretty excited about it walking back to it every so often to smile and pat it with pride as if to say, I did this!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Adia, No!

Me: "Adia, No"
Adia: (dangling a half eaten apple through the loft railing) "No!" shaking her head.
Me: "Adia, No no, don't drop your apple"
Adia shaking her head "No!" drops apple.
Me: "Adia!"
Adia: "NO!"

Friday, March 19, 2010

Welcome Spring!

With spring comes new beginnings! I love the change of seasons in Minnesota. Some complain about the bitter cold and long winters but what else would make spring so sweet?!

I can only imagine the new beginnings coming to my family this spring. The girls are little people who know exactly what they want and are now able to get it for themselves. I watch them move around a room and they're so busy these days, reaching, touching, walking, running, climbing up and climbing under.

They're exerting their independence and enjoying their new found powers to say yes and better yet, to say NO! I have a feeling Royce and I are going to continue to hide smiles as we put on our poker faces, after all, no means no....well unless your a toddler because then no means no, or maybe, or actually yes! Everything they do is cute although not always appropriate but we use a gentle approach to directing them in the in the right direction as we continue down the path of trying to raise humane humans. Lord help us!

In honor of spring Rasa has sprouted curls! Now we have two curly girls. At least I'll know how to fix their hair!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Going Green

The girls and I woke up a little late today. I knew the weather was supposed to be beautiful outside so I decided to try and put them down for their first naps a little early to get a head start on lunch. We've run into the toddler feeding "issues" already and suddenly the meals that used to end with empty plates or bowls now consist of a bite or two if we're lucky. One of Adia and Rasa's old favorites was avocado and banana "pudding" when they were spoon fed. Since the past two days they've refused lunch I thought maybe this old standby might just work to tantalize their appetites. We haven't had it for a while and my avocado's were ripe so I decided to offer it to them with some crackers to dip. All that's in the "pudding" is a very ripe banana (they're much sweeter that way) and a nice ripe avocado, throw it into your food processor and tada it's light green pudding. Don't stick your nose up, it's wonderful! It's sweet, creamy and loaded with awesome fats and potassium. Plus babies love the stuff (and so do grownups!).

I don't know how much the girls actually ate but by the time lunch was over the girls, the highchairs, the floor and Lucy were all covered in it. My plan to hurry up so we could spend more time outside backfired as baths were now an order! Back to finger foods.

We gave up on bibs a very long time ago. It's much more fun to eat in the buff anyway. How else can you paint your body with sauce, cheese, hummus and pudding?!