We'll go even further in the coming year.
Happy New Year from all of us to all of you.
Happy New Year from all of us to all of you.
Here we are about age 2. Cu-ute!
Of course, I didn't always see it as my good fortune that I shared my birthday, and pretty much everything else with my twin. Luckily, age brings wisdom and understanding, too!
Cathy is four minutes older than me, and we were different from the second we were born: She with a head full of dark hair and me with a few gingery wisps. She with an easygoing nature and me a colicky baby.
We are in many ways polar opposites. She's as quiet as I am talkative, as reserved as I am outgoing. Cathy is a registered nurse who works with severely disabled kids, most of whom can't communicate at all. And I spent my pre-SAHM days working in communications and PR. We wouldn't do each other's jobs for all the tea in China.
Our differences extended all the way to our birthday cake preferences. I always requested chocolate devils food with chocolate frosting and Cathy always wanted angel food cake with no frosting. (Let's not read too much into that, shall we?)
So every year my mom baked two birthday cakes. Five days after Christmas. When the last thing anyone wanted (other then the birthday girls!) was another sweet thing in the house. I never thought much about it at the time, but now I appreciate that she went to the trouble of making sure we each had our own cake and it was exactly what we wanted.
Doesn't every birthday girl and boy deserve that? Even if they share their birthday? I think so.
Though for right now no one has a cake preference, so cupcakes will probably do the trick for the first couple of years. I know the boys will be delighted with the birthday cupcakes we'll all be sharing after supper tonight. But as they get older, I fully intend to bake three cakes, just as I would if the boys didn't share a birthday.
I am glad that my triplets are fraternal, since that's my own experience as a multiple. Most people don't even believe that Cathy and I are sisters, let alone twins. It was an advantage to not look alike, because we never had trouble being seen as individuals, instead of as "the twins." I think my boys will find the same is true for them.
I'm sure I'll make just as many mistakes with my boys as any mom, despite being a multiple myself, but it does give me a little extra insight. I watch my boys play together and remember playing with Cathy in the same ways from early, early on. And I know firsthand the importance of individual pictures, getting your own birthday cake and gift, and not being always lumped together.
I also know that not taking my kids to the grocery store because it's too much work won't scar them for life. Somehow they will figure that out despite being deprived of grocery store trips as a toddler. I did. And I know that I should expend my effort and energy (and some things we do require massive amounts of both!) for the things they need and the trips that will create lifelong memories, not the mundane.
I know that growing up with someone who shares ALL of your childhood experiences, from playing with Barbie dolls to going on family vacations, is a unique experience and creates a special bond.
Cathy is probably the only other person in the world who remembers that we had one lone male Ken doll, who had only one arm by the time we inherited him, and possessed just one outfit: a Tarzan-esque leopard skin. We never bothered to get him other clothes. I'm not sure why. Without her I'd be alone in that weird memory.
I also know that it can feel restricting to share so much at times, because sometimes it seems that nothing belongs solely to you. We shared a room (good), toys and books (often not so good), classes in high school (good and bad), friends (also good and bad). But we got to do our own things, too, though we just shared our experiences with each other as soon as we were together again.
But every year on my birthday, I am reminded that despite all the times I bemoaned that I HAD to share with Cathy, I am very lucky because I GOT to share so much with her. Tarzan Ken dolls and all.
Happy birthday, sis. Remember, we're not another year older, but another year brighter!
I don't know who was more delighted when we finally released the toys from their plastic prisons -- us or the kids. Judging from the squeals of delight, I'm pretty sure it was us.
But sadly our victory celebration was cut short by three little words: "Some assembly required."
Sam shows off his baby.
Hugs for the baby!
Could he be any cuter? I think not.
Now John and Mavis are two of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet, and I am certain that they would have politely and graciously ignored the mess. But I'm sure glad I didn't have to leave them on my doorstep while I threw dirty dishes into my closet.
Shortly after I prepared tea for our guests, I heard Jeff on the stairs. I met him in the hallway. He had heard our voices and had a look of absolute horror on his face."John and Mavis are here," I said.
Everyone loves the water, so we had a blast with the kids. Sam freaked out when we first got there, but I think it was the noise, not the water, that bothered him.
Amelia - Love those "wobble goggles!"
Amelia and Daddy read to the brothers last year.
Amelia, Daddy and the boys: Isaac, Sam and Alex ~ Dec. 2009
At 3/12, Amelia is proving to be a very imaginative girl. She still has her imaginary kitty, and somewhere along the line we added an imaginary puppy, too. They are not around as much as they used to be, though, and learned to behave pretty well after I threatened to mail kitty to Grandma Alice if it wasn't good.
Amelia loves to play tea party and dress up and, of course, cook. We play a lot of hide-and-seek these days, but Amelia always hides in the same spot--the cupboard next to the stove. At least that makes it easy for her mom and dad!
The girl has got more words than I can begin to count, and it's funny to hear her repeat grownup things we say. Things like: "You have to be responsible," and "What's wrong, sweet pea?" (when she's talking to her brothers), and "Be careful, that's fragile." It's less funny to hear her repeat other grownup things we say, but a good reminder that she's always listening.
Amelia is a very good big sister, and enjoys her brothers now that they can play together better. She loves to get "in the cage" with the boys and play tag or throw the balls around. She does NOT love it when they pull her hair, and recently told us she didn't like one of her brothers, who shall remain anonymous, because he pulled her hair. After we talked, she decided she still loved him even when she didn't like him.
Jokes are new on the scene with Amelia. She's busy trying to figure out what a joke is, and is starting to get it when we tell a joke. Grandma Alice sent her a Christmas ornament that says, "Dear Santa, Leave the gifts. Take my brothers."
Amelia was immediately upset. "Mom! I don't want him to take my brothers!" After I explained it was a joke, she got it, but still checked in with me later to make sure Santa wouldn't take her brothers. She points out the ornament to everyone who comes to the house and informs them that it's just a joke.
Amelia recognizes most of her letters and is good at counting. She loves to be creative, especially if she can cut something with her scissors. We've had many a talk about how we only use scissors to cut paper or things mom or dad give us. I realize that I'm only forestalling the inevitable. Wonder which boy she'll get first.
Sam was the first to master walking backwards, and is starting to sign more frequently now that he's figured out it's a way to get more food and milk. He was the first to use some of the signs in a different context than we taught them. For example, we taught them "more" using food, but Sam started signing "more" to get us to play more.
Our curly redhead is a real sweetheart, but he does show his temper from time to time. He stomps his feet and wails, especially when one of his brothers takes a toy away or won't give him a toy he wants. Lately he's even laid down dramatically on the floor to wail.
He offsets his fits by giving kisses and doing "noggins," which Jeff taught all the boys. It's supposed to be a gentle touching of the foreheads, but look out. Sometimes it's more like a head butt, especially from Sam.
While he's usually the first to wail, Sam is always the first to laugh. He's got a belly laugh that makes us laugh whenever we hear it, which is often! If you've been following the blog for a while, you've seen the videos of Sam giggling on the swing (which he still loves), laughing while playing ball with Daddy, and in fits of hysteria over his sister's sneezing antics. If you haven't seen the videos, pick one and watch it. They are sure to brighten your day.
Sam and Isaac are both pretty good nighttime sleepers, but Sam is almost always the first guy up from any nap. I think he enjoys being an only child for a little while. He's still a joy to get out of the crib. Usually he's a happy camper at wake-up time, but even if he's hollering to get your attention he almost always stops and gives you a big grin the second you walk into the room.
Isaac is still the smallest of the three boys, but luckily he's also the fastest. He is fearless, and while they all climb, Isaac is the biggest climber. Before he was a year old he figured out how to hook his toes in the openings and scale the plastic play yard we used outside this summer. When we turn the boys loose in the kitchen we have to get all the chairs up tight to the kitchen table, or Isaac will be standing on it before we blink.
A pretty even-tempered boy, Isaac is the most likely to walk away if one of his brothers takes his toy. It's not always the case, but more often than for Sam or Alex. Often he moves on to something else and watches for his chance to get his toy back when his brothers finish with it.
Isaac is always paying attention. He loves to figure things out, from toys to the Diaper Champ, nothing is safe from exploration with Isaac around. He is destined to be our escape artist, I'm afraid, as he always watches the buckling and unbuckling process very carefully.
Isaac loves music, and will often dance when he hears a song, even if it's just a commercial. He's got some great moves, though Jeff says he dances like George Jefferson (for those of you old enough to remember The Jeffersons sitcom). Maybe his moves will improve as he gets older.
The Peter Pan crow is still with us, though we don't hear it as much as we used to. And Isaac remains the most attached to his blankie. He's not as interested in the paci, but that blankie is already a necessity for sleeping.
Isaac was the first to give kisses, and gives the best baby hugs. Anytime you pick him up he wraps his arms around your neck and holds on tight. He also was the first, and so far the only boy, to get a haircut. Don't worry, we made sure he got a baby cut and doesn't look like a big boy.
This boy's a charmer. He is the biggest flirt of the group, and doesn't know a stranger. He is forever mugging for the camera. And he's notorious for giving us a big smile and shaking his head as we tell him "No." It's both cute and worrisome at the same time.
Alex probably has the most words, though all of the boys are talking. We don't know exactly when everyone started. The three of them "talk" to each other and in general make a lot of noise, so it's been a little tough to pick up on those first words. I'm pretty sure everyone's first word came right around Halloween and was "uh-oh." Let's try not to read too much into that, OK? No one says "mama" or "dada" yet. Though that's not for lack of effort on our part!
Alex's vocabulary includes uh-oh, more, done, tickle, bye-bye, ball, go, banana, shhh and some others I'm sure we haven't caught yet. His proficiency at talking just furthers our early theory that he's going to be the one who tries to talk the three of them out of trouble.
No question that Alex is the loudest of the boys, BY FAR. Everything he does is loud. When he's upset he wails. When he's excited he screams. When he's talking it's almost always as loud as he can. When he laughs he laughs out loud. No little giggles for this boy. That's probably why one of his words is "shhh," complete with the finger to the lips. He hears it often enough!
For as charming as he can be, Alex is a bit of a bully. He takes toys from his brothers, and thinks nothing of tackling one of them. He thinks it's great fun, but Sam and Isaac don't always agree. Since he doesn't know his own strength, he can be pretty rough on whoever he's playing with, all the while squealing with delight.
Alex still loves his food. Blueberries are still the biggest hit with him, but he also loves cheese, bananas, peas, mandarin oranges and pasta with red sauce. And he's the biggest pacifier fan. Alex would have that thing in his mouth 24/7 if we'd let him. He protests very loudly when we take it out and leave it in his bed.Ever since his rough stretch of not sleeping back in June, Alex has been getting physical therapy and craniosacral therapy about every two weeks. What a world of difference! He still wakes up once or twice almost every night, but now it's almost always because he's lost the paci. So a quick visit to the nursery usually does the trick. He still gets exiled to crib in the family room from time to time, because when he hollers it's so loud!
I understand how hard your job must be -- all the shopping and wrapping, the millions of children asking nonstop for things, the deadlines. But I have been a very good girl this year, so please do your best to surprise me with a gift from my list.
Merry Christmas and thanks,
Mama to Amelia (3 1/2) and Sam, Isaac and Alex (14 months)
This post is part of Writer's Workshop. Hosted by Mama Kat.
Real tears and everything!
The end result was just right. Brooke cleaned him up, but left him still looking like my baby.
Too bad she couldn't do anything about those cowlicks he inherited from his mother!
Amelia and her beauty parlor clients: Isaac, Alex and SamI, of course, grabbed the camera instead of discouraging her. A couple bows in their hair won't hurt them. And, the boys will undoubtedly want Amelia to do a few things she doesn't much like down the road.
Sam shows his curly locks.
Isaac strikes a pose.
Alex takes it all in stride.Someday when Amelia's brothers make her do something she doesn't want to do, we'll pull out these pictures and tell her that turnabout it fair play!