Sunday, April 14, 2013

Happy 18-Month Birthday, T and E!!!

Here are T and E with their Granddaddy on their 18-month birthday! I realize that E was coming down from a tumultuous meltdown over sore gums, but this is the best one of them I have together from their actual day.
 Dear Tamsie and Evangelyn,
At some point this past month, I looked at you two and decided that you are definitely much more little girls than you are babies! I mean, look how LONG you look in your pictures these days! Look at your beautiful little-girl faces! Look at the fact that your hair is long enough for me to need to pull out of your way on a daily basis now! You have two speeds right now: BUSYBUSYBUSY and asleep. That's it. There's no cuddling with you, no lazing around. You are on the go nonstop!
T and E find cardboard paper towel rolls endlessly amusing right now. Here Chris helps Tamsie get hers on her arm.
- Praise the Lord, you both received stellar reports at your 18-month check-up Friday afternoon! In fact, your sweet doctor literally did praise the Lord at how healthy you are after entering the world with such a dramatic start. Everything you're doing is right on target (or even ahead of schedule), and he's even happy with your sizes. I was a little nervous going into the appointment, because I don't feel like you're anywhere near the size you ought to be, but he reassured me that you are PERFECT. Here are your stats:
Those are jingle socks on their feet. They rediscovered them sometime last week and just giggle and giggle when they wear them.
 - Both of you are 30.5" long, which (I think) puts you in the 25th percentile for babies who were born on your birthday. (Keep in mind these are percentiles for other babies who are currently 18 months, NOT for babies your developmental age, which makes it all the more impressive!) Evie, you weigh 18 lbs 11 oz, so you're in the 7th percentile there, and Tamsie, you weigh 19 lbs 4 oz, placing you in the 10th percentile. I can't remember the size of your heads, but T has made it to the 70th percentile and E to the 75th percentile on head size!!

Playing with paper towel rolls and bubbles with Daddy (often pronounced Datty by these two)
 - I can't even count the number of words you're saying. You repeat everything we say, just like parrots. (Aww, the mention of parrots makes me miss our dear sweet Ava bird!!! I miss that guy so much!)
Serious Evie (which she pronounces Ebie). Please note my other child is standing in her chair -- something we discourage around here, but with two it's very hard to enforce their compliance in this matter!
 - You llooovvee singing! Current favorites are "Jesus Loves Me," the alphabet song, "Itsy Bitsy Spider," "Skin-a-ma-rink".... and plenty of other songs you make up!
If you command her to smile, this is what you get. T is also getting in on the smiling thing. 
- You still LOVE books, and I hope you always will! I try to limit your access only to board books, but once again, as you can see in plenty of these pictures, that's hard to do. Therefore, I spend a decent chunk of time each week taping torn books back together again.
T is pointing to something serious here. 
- As always, you entertain each other constantly. One of your favorite things to do right now is to get each other to say things. E in particular likes to say to T, "Say, 'Aba aba aba babababa tasht.'" Then T dutifully says her version of "Aba aba aba babababa tasht." And then laughter erupts.
T giving her fake smile, moments before she fell off her chair and landed on her head and got SO MAD at me, even though I had been ordering her to sit down all the while!
 - You also love blowing raspberries at each other to make each other giggle.
T (who often refers to herself as TT) and NICU bear/E's hand on other NICU bear
- You are usually pretty sweet to each other. You even hug and kiss each other on command now, which is SO ADORABLE to watch but impossible to photograph! However, you can make each other very mad sometimes. E was caught grabbing T's arms and pushing her away last week, which did not go over well. Of course. Apparently E has yet to learn that you don't mess with T.
Inspecting that NICU bear.
- I have started letting you spend time in your pack 'n' play each day, after being convinced that this will be good for you. Now ideally we would have two pack 'n' plays, and we're planning on obtaining another one at the next consignment sale we can get to, but for now you have a jumbo-sized twin pack 'n' play, so I don't feel too bad for you. E loves this time, and T hates it.
E goes to get T's bear...
... and then gives it to her! How sweet! This kind of thing happens a lot these days.
- The most major new development this month is that you have gotten very good at communicating your wants and needs to us. That is a glorious new development indeed -- a HUGE step up from the days of wringing our hands as we wondered what on earth was the matter whenever you cried.
AHHH I love these two so much!!!!!!!!
 - Both of you said your first sentences (besides "I love you") this month. E's was either "brush your hair," "hold you" (which of course actually means "hold me"), or "Are you sleepy?" - which she said to T as T was putting her head down on her high chair tray earlier this week. I'm honestly not sure which of these came first, as they all came about at roughly the same time. T's was slightly less glamorous, and yet very helpful for potty-training purposes: "I poo poo!" She REALLY enjoys belting this one out a lot more than I wish she would. She announced this very loudly at a restaurant this past week... argh!!!!!

T spots a book and goes for it! 
- Teething continues, and that's all I'll say about that.
E reads with her Granddaddy
 - You're climbing onto EVERYTHING you physically can!
E in a box -- one of her favorite places to be!
- You are good at throwing tantrums when you feel the need arises. And I'm out of my element... trying to learn as much about handling this as I can!
T's automatic camera face. Please notice the Band-Aid on the knee that she skinned at the playground -- this is the first time she's been able to leave a Band-Aid on without peeling it off! 
 - You're just the sweetest girls EVER! :)
Evie loves riding her vacuum like a horsey... except it doesn't move. She and Tams have been known to battle over who gets to sit in this oh-so-desirable spot in the playroom.

When people ask how to tell them apart, I often say that, in general, you can count on E having crazier hair than T. Here is a fabulous case in point. One day she woke up with a giant curl on one side of her head.
Close-up of curl

I think she was getting annoyed that I was in her face getting photos, but here is the giant curl. It stayed with her until she took her next bath.

The girls are all the time bringing me hats and asking me to put them on their heads. They don't always match, but the girls don't care!

T and her telephone. She never puts it up to her ear, but talks into it like this!

E LOVES her blocks! T just mainly loves destroying whatever E builds and/or kicking them around as she walks through them.

Playing together

T was obsessed with the lights (pronounced "yights") at Chipotle. She and E looooved the kids' meal there!

E models her milk coma and milk goatee at Chipotle

Running around the deck

T's hearty laugh

Silly girls!

Book time

They love books with flaps. They also love destroying books with flaps.

Pictures at the doctor's office are nearly impossible to get these days! Mom still comes along to help me out, as you can see. This was at their 18-month check-up, of course!

They're getting better at using utensils, as T demonstrates...

... and as E demonstrates. I was out when Chris started feeding them dinner, and when I came home I realized they had been stripped down to their diapers only! This, friends, is the way their dad prefers to feed them.

The girls went to the Rendezvous yesterday for the first time ever, and they highly recommend it!! My parents treated us all to lunch. 

Afterward we took them to their first-ever Rock and Romp on Mud Island. They loved the wading pools!

So did their daddy!

E's first chance to get to wear her swimsuit!

Wet curls
T in her swimsuit
We rode the monorail and enjoyed the views of the city.
It is so good to be back in Memphis! We love our city!!
Girls, I feel like I say this each month, but you seriously get more and more fun each day. You are learning so much, and I love watching you make your discoveries! Spending time with you is more fun and more rewarding than I can even describe. I love you, and I thank the Lord you're my girls!
Love always,

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