Monday, February 9, 2015

where we are

I used to do such a great job of updating our "stats" every once in a while. I am terrible at baby books, but since I print this blog once a year I felt that I was still keeping up. But now it's been over five months since my last post regarding what any child is currently into. Yikes!

Barnes and Frances will be 3.5 at the end of the is that possible?!?! They are such "big kids" now. They are truly such a joy to be around (most of the time, at least). They are both great helpers with Shep and with themselves...they dress themselves fully, can help retrieve anything that they can reach, and are usually ready and willing to lend a hand. They are so imaginative and fun--playtime never stops at our house. Some of our favorite games right now are restaurant, baby doll, legos, grocery store, school and doctor.

They are each other's best friend...they say that their favorite friend at school is their twin. Honestly, they would be lost without each other. They still love art time, wanting a project every day. It's amazing, though, as I have seen these daily art times pay off in incredible ways. They can both cut straight lines and are so much more attentive to the projects we do now. They both love iPads and phones, especially taking or looking at pictures or watching you tube. And speaking of pictures, they adore looking through old photos of themselves. I read recently that seeing pictures of themselves makes kids feel loved and secure, and I think that at least for our twins that is true.

They both tell me they have a baby in their belly right now and that they have to go to appointments at the doctor to get their baby checked. They like to write their appointments down on their calendars from dad's work. It's basically adorable.

Barnes is so strong and so smart. He can reason so's really hard to trick him these days. He can be so very rough and tumble, but then gives the very best hugs. He loves for you to pick him up so that he can wrap his arms and legs all the way around you. It's one of my favorite feelings. Barnes is a wonderful helper...he especially enjoys helping let the dogs in and out, which is so very sweet. He loves playing with Shep but gets irritated with him quite quickly too. But he never wants Shep left out. Barnes is constantly surprising me with his vocabulary and he tells the funniest stories. He still loves his stuffed animals (his friends), rotating between a few favorite flavors of the day. He is very picky about his clothing, still wearing pretty much only graphic tees. He is a complete character and adds so much fun to our family.

Frances is so intelligent and has such a nurturing side. No matter what we are playing, she is also playing baby doll at the same time. Either her baby or her Minnie Mouse are constantly with her...she feeds them, changes them, drives them around on her car, takes them to school. She is quite the little mama! And she will come in and say they need their daddy, meaning Barnes...too precious. Frances is tough--with B and Shep around she has to be--but she is also so very tender. She gets her feelings hurt so easily...if she thinks you might possibly get onto her, she starts crying. And it's not manipulation...she truly gets sad. Frances is a giver. She would rather give another kid a turn or a toy or whatever than cause someone to be sad (usually). I love this about her, but it's interesting to watch this develop while also teaching her that it's okay to stick up for herself. She loves to dance and be wild and silly, and loves to be naked. She is such an amazing big sister.

Shepherd is almost 17 months old and is a complete crazy man. We call him Godzilla because he has a tendency to destroy things. Really, he wants to play whatever the big kids are playing, but ends up just kind of tearing things apart. Shep wants so badly to keep up with B&F. He copies them and tries to be just like them, which is often quite dangerous. He was getting to be quite independent, but lately has been more of a mommy/daddy's boy. He loves to give hugs and has started giving wet, sloppy kisses as well, which we adore. Shep is so very strong. He has few physical limitations anymore....which makes containing him and keeping him safe hard. He is also brave. He tries to jump off things all the time, which usually ends with a bump.

Shep has the most contagious smile. He smiles with his whole round face, and you can't help but smile back, no matter how crazy he is being. He is communicating so well. He has so many words (probably over 30), and will try to say absolutely anything. We don't always understand him, but he definitely gets his point across. And he loves to nod right now. He can nod yes or no, and he does them so emphatically. Y'all, it's the cutest thing. He loves it when we all sing, and his favorite songs are Itsy Bitsy Spider and Pat-a-cake. He does the motions for the spider song as soon as anyone mentions music. He can't get enough. He also can't get enough snacks. This kid could eat all day long. His favorites are applesauce squeeze packs and raisins. I have never seen a person devour raisins like Shep. He is a tiny delight, trying at times but full of fun.

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