Thursday, August 30, 2012

18 month old twins!

The twins are 18 months old!  This is a huge milestone because it means that on Sundays at church they can now go to nursery!  This makes for a very happy Mommy and Daddy - maybe we'll actually start getting something out of church again.

Here was my attempt of getting a picture of both kids together with the elephant.  They wouldn't stay still and then Jacob realized I was taking some pictures and felt like he needed to join in.  (Which is actually amazing the Jacob wanted to sit with his brothers - that just about never happens).
If only Jeremy were facing us instead of trying to moon us

I did get a pretty good picture of each twin individually though.

Joel - 18 months old

Jeremy - 18 months old
I just realized though that I never did a post for the twins at 15 months old, but I did get some elephant pictures.
Jeremy - 15 months old
Joel - 15 months old
So far Joel has 10 teeth - the 4 front on the top and bottom as well as a top molar on each side.  He is also nice and swollen from those bottom molars.  Jeremy has 9 teeth - he has the 4 front on the top, but on the bottom he only has 3 in front.  He actually got his top molars in before Joel, but Joel has gotten all the other teeth through before Jeremy.

Joel started walking about a week or so after the twins' birthday, but it took Jeremy a few more months.  When Joel started walking, it seemed that he only bobbled around for a few days and then he was off.  It took Jeremy weeks of a step here and a few steps there before he finally started walking around 16 months old.  It is lots of fun to see them chasing each other.

Joel has become quite the chatterbox.  He has a few words - bye-bye, up, down (at least that is what he is trying to say), drink, uh-oh; but he can babble tons and he really thinks he is telling me something important.  It sounds something like "wassa was dabba dabba".  So far Jeremy only says bye-bye.  Because of our experience with Jacob this is pretty worrisome, but the fact that he has a word puts his language a year or so ahead of Jacob's development.  Jeremy will sometimes babble, but not anywhere to the extent that Joel does.

Jeremy is our little cuddle bear.  He loves to give us hugs and sometimes he will just keep hugging for a few minutes.  Joel likes to hug to, but maybe for only a second and then he is just trying to climb all over us.
Jeremy hugging on Daddy
Both of the twins really like emptying all the placemats and napkins out of the drawers of the buffet in our dining room.  It drives me crazy because I don't have anywhere else to store all of these items.  And since the buffet is an antique, we aren't going to be installing any child locks on it.  If you come by my house, plan to see Halloween, Christmas and everyday placemats and napkins all over the floor in the dining room.

Joel really likes to put things into cabinets.  Pretty much anything he can find that will fit into the inch and a half gap left by our child locks will end up in our lower kitchen cabinets.  I've learned that if I can't find something, I better look through all the cabinets.  Sometimes he gets frustrated if he is trying to put something into a cabinet and it doesn't fit through the opening.
I see a car, a stuffed animal, a book, a puzzle piece, play plate and bowl as well as some trash in my kitchen cabinet that really don't belong

We took down all the gates and were allowing the babies to go upstairs and play whenever they wanted.  But we started having a problem with them emptying all the books from our huge bookcase in the gameroom.  Then they started throwing the books down the stairs.  We couldn't figure out a way to let them play up there but block off the bookshelf and we don't have anywhere else to put the bookshelf.  Then I realized - hey good thing we keep all this junk and never get rid of it - we have a TV stand with a big heavy TV on it that we have been needing to get rid of and hadn't gotten around to it.  We put it in front of the bookshelf and put a baby gate between the TV stand and the bookshelf so that they can't get to any of the books.  Problem solved.  Except that this TV stand is pretty much in the way.  

Then Jeremy decided that since he couldn't get to the books to throw them down the stairs, he would just throw toys down the stairs.  I started getting really tired of piles of toys that belong upstairs ending up at the bottom of the stairs.  But, I also started worrying that some of the toys are going to end up broken.  And Joel decided that Jeremy's game of "throw all the toys down the stairs" was a great game so he started doing it too.  It got to where they never play with toys up there, they just throw them down the stairs.  So now they are not allowed to play up there.  I hope that this is short-lived and that soon I can allow them to play up there again.

Sadly, the twins haven't had their 18 month check-up yet so I have no stats.  I guess I should get that scheduled.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cupcakes anyone?

Anyone who knows me knows that I enjoy baking.  (Sadly I also enjoying eating baked goods).  I really like to make cupcakes because they are easy to give away - a few here, a few there and a few for us.  I think it works really well that way.  I watched a video online on how easy it is to decorate cupcakes and I even placed a bulk order for cupcakes boxes to make it easier to gift them to people.

I've tried out a lot of recipes that I really like and a few that I'm not such a big fan of.  But here are a handful of the ones I've made.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting
 I gave these to all Jacob's teachers for Teacher Appreciation:
Applesauce cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting
 Made these for all Jacob's teachers for Meet the Teacher:
Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (blackboard cupcakes)
I think my favorites so far were double chocolate pumpkin cupcakes with pumpkin spice buttercream frosting (so, so good).  Thanks to Pinterest for being able to find all these yummy new recipes (although the scale doesn't thank you).

Sunday, August 19, 2012

So ready!!

Jacob really liked smiling for the camera here

School starts back up again for Jacob a week from tomorrow.  I think this is going to be the longest week ever!!!

Luckily, we have survived the summer.  Meaning both Jacob and I (and the twins).  I admit - there were times I wasn't sure we would make it.

Does that sound terrible?  Curious to know why?

Jacob does not follow rules or obey in almost anyway whatsoever.  He is quite stubborn and when he gets in his mind that he wants to do something he is quite determined.  If it is something I have told him not to do (like play in the sink, try to go outside in the pouring rain, etc.) I end up having to physically restrain him to make him stop whatever it is.  Many of these times he fights me by hitting me or worse - banging his head into my head or face.  Ouch!

Jacob has more words and can repeat a lot of words that we say.  This is awesome.  But the bad part is that he doesn't say most things correctly so many times it is super hard to understand what he is saying.  His speech is still approximately a year and a half behind.  He is also at a stage where he identifies things that he sees and quotes books or movies, but he doesn't really tell us anything.  He'll tell me if he wants milk to drink but he can't seem to answer the questions "What do you want to eat?", "What do you want to wear?".  And since he is approaching 4 years old, he definitely has opinions so he gets upset with us frequently when we don't know what he wants.

When he doesn't like something, we usually can't get him to use words at all.  Instead he reverts back to grunting, whining, moaning.  It is super frustrating.  I frequently have to tell him, "You have to use words.  I don't know what you want when you do that."  It doesn't seem to help, but I hope that one day it does.

Jacob doesn't seem to understand consequences.  He doesn't seem to understand sequencing - this has to happen and then this can happen.  The speech therapist we just started working with says this is easy to teach.  Hopefully that means that she's going to show me how we can teach this to Jacob.

It is super difficult for me to deal with the "special" problems we encounter with Jacob.  I know that being a mom is hard.  But being a mom of a special needs child sometimes seems like more than I can handle.  I'm not a very patient person so I feel like I spend a lot of time trying to not completely lose it.  I think that other moms who I personally know that have children with similar issues to Jacob handle their children and the struggles way better than I do.  And sometimes I need an outlet and I cave and put something on facebook about the struggles I'm having.  I know I shouldn't because I get a lot of comments back from people that aren't helpful.  I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings - I know people are trying to be helpful, but if you haven't had a child with problems like Jacob's then you really have no idea.

Again - I know all moms struggle at times.  

But I want to get to a point where struggling isn't the way of life.  I want to get to the point where we have as many good days as we have bad.  Currently we have numerous bad days and every now and then we have a good day.

I'm excited for school to start back up again because I know that they are doing things for Jacob that I can't do for him.  I'm excited for school to start back up again because it gives us a much needed break from each other for a few hours a day.

I don't want people to get the wrong idea.  I love my son.  And he is super smart.  I wish he didn't have the struggles that he has.

Last year at this time Jacob was just starting to say a few words.  I hope that in a year from now I'm able to say that Jacob is speaking in sentences and that we can understand him a lot better.