18 Months Update

Happy 18 months to the twins!! I can't believe they are a year and a half already! And while they are still developmentally at around 15 months, they are making leaps and bounds with each passing week. It's truly amazing how quickly they are learning things these days. From social skills to manners and communication, they are turning into little people!

We've had some fun times lately. For one, we've been taking them to a few local splash pads to play in the water and we've started swimming lessons (I'll be writing a separate post about that stuff!). But I'm thrilled we are getting them comfortable with being in the water at such a young age. Especially since A. We live in FL and B. They were born into a waterskiing family (Daddy's side... but Mommy has been learning these past few years!). And while it is crazy Africa hot in Florida, going to the pool and splash pad gives us something fun to do outdoors without melting into a puddle. ("what a world, what a world"). G's parents came down for a visit from northern New York (not upstate... way further up than that!), specifically to help me with the swimming lessons. It was really nice spending time with them and having the extra help is always a major bonus. G and I actually got to go out on a date, visit with some friends and go to the movies. All the simple things you take for granted before you have kids. We've been missing that stuff a bit (not that we'd trade our life for anything in the world) but it did us good to get out a few nights. :-)

   Riv loves his Grandpa

   Storytime with Grandma

   Swimming Lessons

Big smiles with Grandma

   Family photo at the Citrus Tower
    Date Night for Mommy & Daddy!

    It was a drive-by pouching! LOL

Anyway, as for the twins' development this month I'm proud to say they are officially out of their high chairs! (sniffle...)
We got them a cute little table from Ikea and for the past month they have been sitting at their for all their meals. Riley stays at the table the whole time (hey, she takes food very seriously) and uses a real glass plate, however, River gets up multiple times during a meal and is not quite ready for plates. He tends to use them as a Frisbee. But he's learning and doing better all the time.

Another noteworthy change is their new-found explosion of language skills. While before they were understanding more each day, now they are expressing themselves in many ways. For one, they are trying really hard lately to repeat words. Especially Riley. Communication is definitely her strong suit, but that's nothing new. She's just continually getting better at it. She's back to saying "baby" a lot, along with "mama" and "River" being the words she says the most. Funny they both can say "River" but neither can say "Riley." In fact, we are a bit concerned Riley thinks her name is " Good Girl," as when we point to her and say her name that is what she says rather than repeating "Riley." So we are working with her on that (and trying our best not to say "Good Girl" anymore because CLEARLY we were saying it too much! LOL). Here are the new words she has added to her vocabulary this month:

17 Months:      18 Months:(in addition to 17m)     
Mama                Brother (brubba)
Dada                 Grandma (gamma)
River ("Ribba")   MiMi - other grandma
Baby                  Hi
Duck                  Eye
Good Girl
Bubble (bubbo)

While River is a little behind her in saying words, he does say a few words (Mama, Dada, River, Duck and his new words this month are "baby" and "Grandpa" - which he says as "Gampaa" or "Pa"). This doesn't surprise us because he sure does love his Grandpa and was looking for him all the time while they were staying with us. 

One of the most exciting language skills they have learned this month is sign language. I have been working with them on a few basic signs this past year and they are finally doing them back! Riley is now signing "eat," "more," "please," "all done," and "help". According to the ASL baby-signing books I've read, you are only supposed to introduce new words once they've mastered two or three so I am just now adding some more to the mix for her. Riv can do "all done," "eat" and "more," which is a really big deal for him (since Riley is more of the talker between the two). The amazing thing is how they aren't just doing the signs to mimic us, they use them independently to communicate! For example, if I am feeding them a snack they will toddle over to me and sign "more" when they'd like more snack and then sign "all done" when they don't want any more. It blows us away! It's really great that they are able to communicate their needs before they are able to really talk. I would definitely recommend to anyone with a baby/toddler to incorporate sign language while communicating with their little ones!

The amount of words and phrases they are understanding is growing by the day. It's honestly too much for me to write, but some examples include: wipe the table, push in your chair, wash your hair, sit at your table, push in the drawer, play on the keyboard and so much more (of course always saying "please" when asking to cultivate a respectful environment). And oh. em. gee. they are now both blowing kisses, giving lots of hugs and doing Eskimo kisses with us... and each other! (You KNOW I'll have to get that on video ASAP!). In addition, Riley is giving real kisses as well and says, "muah!" when she does it. I think my head is going to explode from cuteness overload!
In other news, River has to undergo surgery on his eye June 5th for a blocked tear duct. They will push a super thin rod through the inner corner of his eye and open up a small balloon to create a passageway. I am not happy about it, but it is a necessary evil. His eye is always oozing and is sometimes completely stuck shut in the mornings. I really don't like the idea of him being under anesthesia but it's our only option. It is only a 20 minute procedure and has a quick recovery time, however, there is also a risk it doesn't work and they have to try a different type of surgery. Fingers and toes crossed it goes as planned. Poor little guy. :-(

That's about all for now. But I've got a few more posts coming soon. Until then...

To see the 18 Months Montage click here.

Amazing Underwater Pics of the Twins

We had a special surprise at one of our swimming lessons! The owner of the company was there, as he chose our class (they apparently choose one per session) to do underwater pictures! He had this huge contraption he took in the water to capture pics of the babies as they went under water! The photos turned out AMAZING!! Riv's hair looks SO red! And check out Miss Riley the swim queen blowing bubbles under water! So incredibly thrilled to have these special keepsakes! :-D

So glad I had River wear his Shark Beach rash guard, it goes perfectly with the pics! 

They made one of his black and white as well...