Ohmygoodness. It’s just sososo hard to believe that my babies are 18 months old! The time has flowwwwwwn by; they’ve changed so much…and in just 18 months! From 3lbs 12 oz to 22 pounders, my little M&Ms have transformed seemingly overnight.
Friday we had our 18 month well-visit (I really only make these because I like hearing “good job, mama” every once in a while from a professional…there’s my confession =). Each one is right on track for children their age born full-term! This is just amazing to us and we never cease to be amazed that God has brought them so far. They spent the first 7 weeks of their life growing outside of the womb-home they were “supposed” to be still living in. This spells challenges for so many preemies!
The nurses are in love with them and pop out of offices and lean over desks to watch us “herd the cats” down the hallways. I think it usually only takes one nurse to take care of a family, but usually we have several offering to help the nurse and hanging around so they can watch them. It’s really cute. =) We love our pediatrician’s office (they are very comfortable with a non-vax/delayed-vax schedule and never push anything on us! Oh, and did I mention we NEVER have to wait?!?!). And Dr. Rich loves these babies. They are so patient while he’s “looking for Nemo” in their ears or nose and squishing bellies. =)
Baby Girl is in the 32% for girls her age and is in the 6% for her height (heehee, my little shorty…I don’t know where her next growth spurt is!). She is our comic relief, super silly and funny. The faces she makes and the ways she mimics us just keep us laughing! One of her favorite things to do for a laugh is to walk around with her arms out and her eyes scrunched…she really tries to walk with her eyes closed and of course bumps into something and falls down.
She’s very dramatic (I have no idea where she comes by this!) and is keeping us on our toes with helping her to learn and choose other ways to respond when frustrated, hurt or angry.
Makenna says and signs about 50 words/phrases (the usual is 10-20 at 18 months!!). She never stops talking and is usually conversing with a sibling, something out the window or a block. Her poor husband. =) One of her new favorite words is saying “more.” She’s signed it for forever but loves being able to say it. So everything is “mo.” And “help.” She needs help for everything. Even when it’s a sibling asking for the help.
Little monster is in the 23% for boys his age and in the 26% for his height (thanks, dada!). He continues to be our little flirt and loves showing off his belly button. Someday that will be a no, but right now it’s sooooo cute. =) He is super clumsy and is always tripping on those long legs of his. He doesn’t look where he’s going and just crashes! He loves sitting on the little firetruck and saying “bye-bye” to me before he heads off to…the dining room. Noah is also our little head-banger and frequently uses the wall as a drum and his bald head as the drumstick. Then the girls join him. When the pictures come crashing off the walls he’s usually scared stiff and screaming. Which reminds me…I need to go de-picture the rest of the room!
Noah loves bouncy balls with a passion. In fact, when we were at the ped’s on Friday he was getting into everything. I put him on my lap and asked where the ball was. I got about 8 seconds of him quietly and intently searching for the non-existent ball. Hey, I’ll take it!!!
He also loves blocks and apples (not necessarily in that order). As soon as he sees someone on the ottoman, he immediately asks for “hut” (help) to get up on it. Watching them all take turns standing and looking expectantly at me for my stern instruction for them to “sit down on your bottom!” is hilarious…if you’re not me. =)
Our sweet girl is 47% for weight and 56% for height! She’s the biggest – towering 2″ over Makenna and has a solid pound on her!!! She’s a shoe size bigger than Makenna and a pant size bigger, too! When I found out I had two girls, I never thought I’d be buying two different sizes for them! Crazy, huh?! She’s not letting Makenna get the win for silliness, though! She laughs so hard at what the other two do – banging their heads or tickling a sibling’s tummy….the belly-laugh, face-red kind of laughing.
Emma is still our snuggle bug. It’s amazing how much this girl loves naps and comfort. She loves a tag on just about anything and will hold onto it and suck her little fingers… all.day.long. Eventually we’ll work on that. Just not yet. Because I can’t. When it’s time for bedtime, she runs past us and towards the nursery as we try to herd the other two on – I’ve never seen a baby this excited for sleep! =)
She almost had us convinced that moose and bears say “ow-ow-owwwwww” like wolves do. They have stuffed animals (one of each of these) and she decided they all said the same thing. I’ve finally taught her what a bear says…but moose? Anybody got any ideas?!
In the middle of nursing, she stops to kiss me…about five times! After the kiss she has to tell me something super important. It’s actually really fascinating because I can see the wheels turning in her head as she moves her mouth, jaw, tongue and face to get the sounds out! So we have a little convo and then she remembers she’s hungry and starts nursing again! I think I’ll remember these times for the rest of my life. ❤
This is always one of the most popular questions. “Are you still breastfeeding?” Why, yes, yes I am! I couldn’t believe I made it to the milestone of one year and now I’m thrilled to have been able to breastfeed for 18 months! I lovelovelove our current routine and they do, as well. Breastfeeding is incredibly good for the babies, even at this age, so I have no particular end date in sight. It is still time-consuming and truly a sacrifice…but what isn’t about motherhood? And eventually they will decide they are “ah-on” (all done) for good. But until that day, we’ll keep going.
Honestly, I poured so much effort, sweat, blood, tears and time into teaching three 3 month olds how to breastfeed and get my body to make enough milk that I really cannot even comprehend stopping now when it’s so easy!!! Oh, and it’s incredible for shredding pounds! Jillian Michaels ain’t got nuthin’ on nursing toddlers! More on that later, though…
Potty-training and Eating
Nope. No potty-training yet. But those girls sure know what they’re doing in those diapers! Noah – I have no expectations for him. I figure he’s all boy and I’ve heard it will be quite some time. However, all three do have a “poopin’ spot!” And we still change between 16-20 diapers a day. I wish there was a diaper changing Guinness Book of World Records contest because, dude: we could throw down some diapers! My hubby still continues to be a champion and changes a multitude of them!
Eating. Just typing that makes my heart quiver. These children might eat my leg if I salted it. Ok, not really. But they eat a lot. A typical breakfast is three eggs and four or five bananas – split three ways. Dinner is usually a breast of chicken, two cups of green beans and a half an apple – split three ways. Thrown in there is also lunch of equally epic proportions and a snack…as well as nursing!! Mamas of HOMs reading this, plan for your grocery budget to nearly double by the time they’re eating solids a few times a day….I won’t scare you with where it’s at now, though. Just concentrate on keeping those babies in one more day…thaaaat’s it! ::breathe::
Challenges and Loves
My current challenge is discipline for three toddlers. With three same-aged toddlers all picking up one or another’s behavior, we go from baby to the next with correction. When we complete the circle, the first is often at it again. Consistency is tough at any time in parenting, but when their short memories see another sibling doing something that looks fun? :sigh: Oh, and a constant biter. How do I keep the other two away from the biter? I can’t. How do I tell them to not do this or that because it provokes? I can’t. How do I remove them from the situation (i.e. children’s ministry)? I can’t – their same-age sibs are always there. So I’m trying to learn to recognize the “pre-bite” sounds. I always know if I’m too late by a gasp, a pause, and a high-pitched scream…from the bitten. :double…no, make that a triple sigh: Yes, yes, yes they won’t go to college biting, I know. But in the meantime, babies have bruises and teethmarks. Sooooo sad.
In my good days, the challenges are merely challenges. In my bad days…they’re impossibilities. And they seem to gang up on me for those days. (Doesn’t it always seem this way?!?!) I mean, motherhood is supposed to be hard work. Most moms say it’s the hardest job they’ve ever done. And I’m ok with it being hard. Really! I love a good challenge. What I don’t love is the “defeatest” feeling that creeps in after one-too-many challenges gone awry. But I am learning to recognize that this is often due to my “goals being blocked” as my hubby would say. And then that problem is more easily fixed – my goals need to be adjusted. So yesterday was a get-nothing-done-day but instead an intervene-and-comfort-when-too-late-and-just-get-food-ready-and-diapers-changed kind of day. No projects done. No cleaning. No task list taken care of. But that’s life and my life with three babies right now. And I love it. And most importantly, my hubby is grateful I’m caring for them and, I believe, God is honored by my tossing task lists out the window in order to care for my babies. So, I’m off – off to play puppies and crawl through tunnels and keep dinner from burning and biters from biting! =)
What do you do when you get overwhelmed with the demands of kiddos?