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18 Month Update

09 Apr

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.

Getting ready to show Dr. Rich how tall we are!

Getting ready to show Dr. Rich how tall we are!

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. =)

Makenna

Mommy's little models <3

Mommy’s little models ❤

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.

Noah

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!

Our fave place to sit...or stand!

Our fave place to sit…or stand!

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. =)

Emma

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.

Cruzin in the RadioFlyer with our shadez on!

Cruzin in the RadioFlyer with our shadez on!

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. ❤

Breastfeeding

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?

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15 responses to “18 Month Update

  1. Melinda

    April 9, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Too cute! I loved the video at the end…and everything else as well. It’s great to read the updates and see what new joys and what new challenges have arrived. When I get overwhelmed it is 90% of the time because of my to-do lists. When the kids are acting crazy and breaking things and biting and . . . it is also usually because I’m not paying enough attention to them and they think they can get away with more. The love and attention lacks so the discipline seems to be less affective and we all become quite overwhelmed very quickly.

    Thank the Lord that he is faithful and in his still small voice quickly reminds me to look up from my to-dos and remember what is of greatest importance. Loving God and Loving me neighbor (ie: my kiddos). We will be praying for you as you dive deeper into these toddler years. May God give you much wisdom in each and every situation and above all may we trust HIM to be the one to change hearts.

    ~Mindy

    Ps Our church is doing a bible study with the first 6 weeks focused on marriage and the second 6 weeks focused on parenting…we just finished week 2 of parenting and it has been incredibly encouraging and helpful! If you’re interested here is a link: http://palmvista.org/#/sermons-media/other-audio (just click on B45 Marriage & Parenting).

     
    • Jennifer Fountain

      April 9, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      Awww, hi!!! 🙂 What a great perspective! I hadn’t thought about this! Today I spent more time with them and they really did respond so much better. Huh. 🙂 I can’t wait to check out those messages!!!!

      We miss you guys!!

       
      • Melinda

        April 9, 2013 at 11:10 pm

        Miss you too! Maybe we can travel up some time and see what it would be like with 5 crazy munchkins all getting together 😉

        Until then just know that I so enjoy reading your blog and learning/being challenged in many different ways. You are an amazing writter and I am thankful for the precious time you set aside to keep us updated and informed in all that you’re learning.

        ¡Vamos a la placa!

         
      • Jennifer Fountain

        April 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm

        Yesyesyes! 🙂 That would be so fun! 🙂 And thank you for the encouragement! I love hearing how our corner affects others. 🙂

         
  2. Shelley Hubbard Webster

    April 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    You are doing such a good job with them 🙂 I don’t know if you want any suggesstions on the biting issue, but I’ve picked up a couple of “skills” to nix the biting. You like “challenges”? Let me know and I’ll fill you in(Brady didn’t bite BUT I taught 2 year olds for 4 years….nuff said).

     
    • Jennifer Fountain

      April 9, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      Aw, thank you! And I would LOVE to hear your suggestions! Ohmygoodness!!! Do tell! 🙂

       
  3. Susan

    April 9, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Wow Jennifer, you have such a better handle on parenting than I did with just one . . almost 25 years ago. Yes, he survived! I am so glad that David is your balance, as my husband is mine. Bringing me back to reality, often. Once day they will “arise and call you blessed” (Proverbs 31:28a). Until then I think you see the same thought in the way they look at you, while nursing, or hugging, or kissing . . . 🙂 GOD BLESS YOU!!

     
    • Jennifer Fountain

      April 9, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      So encouraging, Susan! We have been well taught and I’m so grateful for all we’ve learned already! 🙂 Thank you for reminding me of the reward to come. 🙂 Hope y’all are doing well!!!

       
  4. Talitha

    April 9, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Oo’d and Ah’d all rhe way through. I enjoy these blogs so much

     
    • Jennifer Fountain

      April 9, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      I’m SO glad! You are always in mind as I write and share pics! ❤ Miss you!

       
  5. Shelley Hubbard Webster

    April 9, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Oh good! I hope what I tell ya helps.
    Always address the “victim” and not the biter bully. When the bite happens immediately pick up said victim and coddle with your back turned away from the biter. Make it a “big deal”, this shows the biter no attention he/she might be seeking and teaching instead empathy and support. Keep it up…..it works. If the biter is out for blood, remove Naus Feratu to “time out” in his/her bed right after they have claimed their victim. Keep it up, they will learn consequences for their behavior. Also reward right after you see them acting out kindness. Positive reinforcement baby!!! It’s definitely challenging…..have fun!!! 🙂

     
    • Shelley Hubbard Webster

      April 10, 2013 at 8:31 am

      Ugh, I see a bunch of grammatical errors…..hate that!!

       
    • Jennifer Fountain

      April 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Ohhhh! Ok. I have been torn about that because if I don’t get to the victim, then they’re left screaming in pain. Verrry interesting! I’ll try that…right after naptime. 😀 Thank you!!!!

       
  6. Angelica

    April 10, 2013 at 12:46 am

    I’m so with you on our goals being adjusted… If I set out to just feed, change diapers and play, those days are great, but when I want to get things done, all of our moods are affected in negative way. If only laundry would fold itself! And 50 words at 18 mo. Is just amazing!

     
    • Jennifer Fountain

      April 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      Laaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuundry! Yes, it should fold itself! :o) And keep in mind that those are sounds, signs and words that make up their 50. :o)

       

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