A few months ago I wrote a post about the personalities of each twin. I plan to keep doing this from time to time to reflect on how the twins' personalities have changed or stayed the same. Amazingly enough, in only two short months their personalities have certainly changed. It's all so fascinating to watch unfold!
With River, it seemed the first 6 to 8 weeks was tough for him. He was frequently upset and would act like you were sawing his legs off when changing his diaper. He was quite jumpy and startled easily. He cried over just about anything. We joked that we could envision a ski trip years from now where he'd be at the top of the mountain crying that he was too cold and didn't want to go down the hill. LOL. The kind of kid sobbing "where's my inhaler!" every five minutes. (Of course we said this jokingly but with love).
Well here we are two months later and Riv has really changed! He is the happiest, sweetest little man. The little ray of sunshine smiles at us from the moment he wakes up until we say goodnight. And it's a smile that melts your heart like ice cream on a hot day! And to top it off, he's starting to giggle now! OMG I can't take it!! Something tells us he's going to be a real charmer. He's super lovey and affectionate and will fall asleep with his arms wrapped around anyone he feels safe with.
His eyes keep on getting bluer by the day. They have lightened up so much and are definitely not the slate gray that all babies have when they're born. I didn't think the color changed this quickly so I'm not sure what to expect if they will stay like this or continue getting lighter. Guess we'll find out!
He's also been chatting up a storm lately! He babbles at us back and forth like we're having a conversation! His oohs and aahs are getting longer and more complex. It's so cool to hear! He'll even start talking when we read to him in the daytime. :-D
One thing we can say about River is that he's a total mama's boy! Like to the point that it's funny. Case in point, we'll be going on our walk around the neighborhood and if G is pushing the stroller and I'm walking next to it Riv will stare deadpan at my face the entire time without looking around it anything else. It's almost as if he thinks if he turns his head I'll disappear. If someone is holding him and I walk into the room, once he hears my voice he's doing everything he can to turn his head around so he can see me. It's actually pretty flattering. I won't lie, I love it and just eat it up!
River recently has figured out how to flip himself over from his tummy to his back. He works at it a bit and finally throws his leg far enough that he rolls over! And he has mastered the art of batting at hanging toys like Animal from the Muppets. When he's in the mood he'll go to town hitting two toys at once while doing his favorite current activity, pushing things with his legs. In that case he pushes on one of squishy bars that arch around the top of the activity mat. He does it on me all the time when he's in a Boppy pillow next to me on the couch. I recently started facing the twins toward each other in them so they can push on each other's legs!
He does still cry when something is wrong, but not without reason like before with getting his diaper changed. I can actually decipher what's wrong by the different cries he has. He gets whiny when he's overtired; he gets progressively louder when he's hungry; he goes from zero to hysterical when he's hurting; and if he gets scared (shots, etc...) he let's out a short scream then goes silent and holds his breath while turning beat red. Yeah that's fun! :-/
But I feel a strong connection with him. Like we've built a bond. He trusts me with his life. And that's ultimately what G and I think changed him. Everything was so new to him at first and he was terrified. Now he knows the drill. He knows his needs will always be met by Mommy and Daddy and we shower him with love and affection. He feels secure. And we feel so good as parents to have fostered that sense of security. We work hard at it and love every second of it!
On to Riley girl. She has changed a lot as well. Where we initially pegged her as carefree, smiley and content we now see a more mysterious and curious side of her. She looks at things wide-eyed and full of wonder and never shows any sign of being afraid of her surroundings. She's too busy being fascinated with everything. She loves being outside and looking at nature. Every day we sit out back with them when G gets home and she stares up at the trees and the sky. So much so that she arches her back and pushes on us until she can look straight up. And she just stares and stares, eyes wide as saucers in awe.
Sometimes we can make her smile by dancing around, making silly noises, kissing her all over. But sometimes she won't crack even the slightest grin at our playfulness but then look up at the fan directly behind us and smile big. It's both funny and frustrating at the same time! She has a feistiness about her that shines through and leads us to believe she's going to be a sassy little girl! She's on the quiet side and doesn't cry much, but when she wants something she definitely lets us know! She pretty much only has two types of cries. One is when she's REALLY upset she'll let out these blood curdling screams that could shatter glass. (Again think getting shots). The other is more of a yelp than a cry. Because it's not sobbing, it sounds more like she's yelling "hey" progressively louder until you go to her. In a way she seems to already be somewhat of an introvert if that's possible. Seeing things from her like silent tears, not babbling much, rarely crying out and even clawing at her face when she's upset rather than vocalizing it gives that impression but of course it's too early to know for sure.
Riley is definitely daddy's girl. While there are times that she's specifically looking to me for comfort, a lot of the time she follows G with her eyes when he's waking around the house. But she adored him before she was even born, as she would kick like crazy whenever he'd get home from work and talk to my belly. We also wonder if our first kangaroo care session had anything to do with their particular attachments to each of us. I kangaroo'd Riv first and G had Riley. Interesting theory for sure...
She has a tendency to try and stare at the TV. I don't have it on all day, but Pandora is usually playing through Apple TV (I play diff genres of music every day for them) and it rotates random nature pictures on the screen while it's playing. She will do everything to crane her neck and stare at it so I'm constantly moving and turning her so she can't look. With all the recent studies out there that have found TV before the age of 3 -especially within the first year- causing brain damage, we are very cognizant of shielding them from it. But she loves anything with lights (including lights!) so naturally she's drawn to it. I'm going to start throwing a blanket over the TV during the day so I can still play music and not have to continually shift her around.
Little Miss Fiesty still scratching up her face even after I cut her nails! So we've been putting mittens on her at night and sometimes during the day unless we are holding her. Hopefully she'll stop that soon! I know she hates the mittens. She also has been constantly eating her hands lately! And not when she's hungry, we're talking anytime. Like a crazed cannibal desperate for a snack! She'll frantically try to shove her entire hand in her mouth, while flailing about like a fish out of water that ate a bag of cocaine! I've talked to other mommies with babies the same age that say their little one is doing the same, it's just weird that she's doing it and not River. Perhaps he'll be a vegetarian just like mommy? ;-)
Riley likes sitting on our laps facing outward so she can see everything but still feel protected by us. She is usually more intrigued by her surroundings than the people around her. Perhaps she'll be an explorer of sorts! When she is sleepy she gets a lot more lovey and will fall asleep face-to-chest on us and I savor every second of it, as it doesn't happen as frequently as I'd like. In those moments I don't want to move; I just want to feel her cuddled up to me as long as possible while it lasts.
Riley recently has a new friend. Sophie the giraffe, which is a popular nontoxic teething toy (and we have a book about Sophie that goes with it!!). Since she has been drooling and chewing on her hands lately - Riley, not Sophie! ;-) - I thought I might as well give it to her now just in case it's a sign she's on her way to teething (although 3 months corrected would be really early) and much to my surprise she loves it! It squeaks when you squeeze it, and every time it makes her smile. She's been holding it tucked under her arm and has been figuring out how to maneuver it near her mouth to suck/chew on it. It's pretty fun to watch her try!
Every day we try to give them as many developmental opportunities as possible. Currently their daily activities consist of tummy time, looking in a hand-held mirror, playing with hanging toys on their activity mats, having stories with big pictures read to them, some time with wrist rattles on, trips outside, having mommy sing songs & dance and be silly with them (aka "The Mommy Show" LOL), time in the Boppy pillows facing each other to push their legs on one another, and lately we've been trying to teach them how to hold things like hand rattles- which they are starting to hold for about 30 seconds to a minute at a time. So they are definitely in an active learning environment! I'm sure it's just going to keep getting more fun and exciting as they grow and change and are able to do even more!