13 Months Update

It has been a crazy few weeks for development here at the Hayman house!

Since their birthday this is all that's happened...

River is doing an excellent job mimicking adults. I've been steadily working with him on some fine-motor actions and it's finally paying off! It started with clapping his hands, which is now one of his go-to moves. When he claps we say, "yay" and he lights up with the biggest smile. If we say, "high five" and hold up our hand he brings his palm to ours and laughs. Even if we hold our hand up from across the room he'll hold his up right back. It's pretty amazing! He has also learned to "find Mommy's nose" and as of a few days ago he figured out how to wave. (Although he hasn't linked that to goodbye quite yet, so for now he just randomly waves from time to time). As a bonus when I ask for a hug he throws his arms around my neck, which of course makes me melt into a puddle. <3 He definitely values praise. Every time he does one of these little parlor tricks he turns and looks at us as if to get approval. It's so endearing. 

While River is not officially saying any words, he does communicate effectively. He says, "Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah" when he's unhappy with something, growls if we take something away and squeals with delight when he's amused. He also babbles to himself when he's playing independently, which is quite entertaining!

Riv is exponentially more mobile lately. He started scooting for the first time only a few weeks ago and not too long after that he started crawling! He still tends to revert back to bunny hopping on his butt so we have to continually put him in the crawling position to correct him. Whenever I do I say, "crawl," and sure enough as of this week he has learned that command! Now when he starts to scoot on his butt I say, "crawl" and he gets down and starts crawling! It is truly astonishing how quickly they can learn something. He's still getting the hang of being on hands and knees, but is definitely leaps and bounds further along than he was only a few short weeks ago.

While River is still working to catch up on his gross motor skills he is zooming ahead with fine motor. He is showing signs that he loves puzzle-type toys and activities that require concentration. For example, he LOVES playing with the ball ramp and knows how to put the ball in the top hole and smack it down so it rolls down the ramp. He does it over and over like a pro! He is also getting good at the shape sorter, which his physical therapist says is pretty impressive for his age! Go Riv! He can do the cylinder and square and we are currently working on the triangle. :-)

Riley is making progress as well. She had started to switch from scooting to crawling on her hands and knees and within a few days she was crawling like a champ! Now she's like a little bolt of lightening moving through the house. Actually, we call her "Hurricane Riley" because every room she goes in she leaves a mess! Her newest thing is emptying baskets, bins and anything else she can get her hands on. It's pretty much reverse cleaning! (Like I didn't have enough work to do, LOL).  She's also really good at pulling herself up to stand (and does so on everything she can, including us!). 

When it comes to language, Riley is saying "mama" when she's around me and "dada" when she's with G. She has also added a few new words to her repertoire, although she doesn't say them frequently. As with everything else it is when she feels so inclined to say them. She has said "River" on multiple occasions and has repeated "Pop-Pop," "dressed," "red," hello" "pants" and a few other words recently. It's funny though, out of the blue she'll repeat a word back almost perfectly, but only once! Then she'll just keep babbling. It's as if it just slips out and she doesn't know how to do it again. The words she says most are "ooh" "whoa" and "wow." At first we weren't sure where she was getting it from, but then we realized it was from us! Every time we show them something new we say, "oooh look at that, wow. Whoa how cool" and things of that nature. Well sure enough she knows exactly when to say it because now when we show them something new she does the same thing! Case in point, last week when we took her to see some Christmas lights outside she said, "whoa.... wow wow wow." How sweet! It just melts our hearts. There is no doubt she's definitely trying to learn to say words. When we talk to her she'll curiously put her hands on our mouths while we're speaking and move her mouth at the same time (almost like a goldfish LOL), clearly trying to figure out how we're making the sounds. She's so inquisitive. I have a feeling she'll be the first one to talk. And if she's anything like Mommy she'll be a little chatterbox! She definitely wants to do what the adults do. She always wants to drink water with a straw (she can do it with a regular one!) and whenever someone laughs she immediately starts "ha ha ha ha-ing" right back. She's not sure what's funny, but she wants to join in!

Riley still has an affinity for books and favors them over any toy, hands down. When playing independently she's often flipping through the pages of a book, carefully studying the pictures and fully engaged. Lately she has been pulling out EVERY book and then casually starts flipping through all of them while laying on her tummy. It's too cute!! She even went so far as to crawl down to our home office room and pulled all our grown-up books off the shelves to flip through. I think it's safe to say we have a little book worm on our hands! 

Her love for music is also flourishing. When she's not enthralled in a book she is playing with one of her instruments (her current fav being a dog-shaped guitar that plays music and also guitar chords when you strum it!). She crawls over to it, hits the buttons to play songs and dances to the beat. Lately she's waving her arms and hands in the air. It looks like she's trying to cast a spell! LOL It wasn't until I started singing Itsy Bitsy Spider again (I do sign language along with it) that I realized the arm motions she is doing is the sign for "rain." As soon as I start singing the song she starts in on the arm gestures. Too cute!! Waiting for the day when she starts signing some of the other gestures I do with them. (I currently do "eat" "more" "milk" and "all done," as you are only supposed to do a few at a time until they can do it back, then you can add more). 

Riley's hair has been growing like crazy, but only on the top of her head! So rather than have her sporting the Elvis pompadour look, she's been rocking some pigtails lately and looking rather adorable!

The twins have an unspoken language that only they understand. I've watched them switch bottles on countless occasions without making a peep. They climb over each other and swap toys all the time and neither seem to be phased by it. But rest assured no one else could get away with that! One thing we've been having fun doing with them is getting them all wound up. It doesn't always happen, the timing (and their moods) has to be just right. But when it does it is HILARIOUS! The other night I would inch toward River saying "chug a chug a chug a chug a" and then say, "choo choo" and tickle him and he'd laugh and squeal with delight, each time screeching louder. Riley was staring at us like she was missing out so I did it to her from across the room, not even touching her when I "choo choo'd" and she started shrieking with excitement, too! The two of them acted like they were so excited they couldn't contain themselves. It was hilarious! They get like that when it's time for bed, too. It's like they need to get out that last bit of energy before shutting it off for the night. 

Another new development is how they are getting around in their cribs. Now that they are more mobile it sometimes takes a little longer to initially fall asleep. They sit up and chatter or pull themselves up to a stand. At first we would go in there and adjust them but that soon became an ongoing game of whack-a-mole... we'd get one down and the other pops up and so on! So now we just let them stand up and giggle and before long they both lay down and go to sleep.

We've toyed with the idea of switching them to Montessori floor beds if they start trying to climb out of the cribs or they become dangerous. We'd just have to clear their room of pretty much everything to ensure they'd be safe, but we'll cross that bridge if and when we come to it.

They are still sleeping straight through the night- around 11 hours (thankfully!) and napping once or twice a day, although not for very long. It's always a mad dash to get as much housework and cooking done as I possibly can but it's never enough time!

Well, that's all for now. Looking forward to holiday fun with the twins this month!

If you'd like to see a short little montage video of some of the new skills the twins have mastered last month, click here.