I hear this a lot: "Oh! Twins? Oh wow, but they don't look anything alike! Well I guess they are two different people." And I hear it from complete strangers everywhere I go. So yes, strange people, I do have to separate daughters who are separate people, and this is apparent to me (and anyone else who spends 30 seconds with them) even at their young age. They turn 18 months on Thursday and I can't even believe how time has gone by so quickly. They grow so much each day--I could talk about my maternal sentiments for ever and ever. But instead of going on and on possibly forcing myself into a fit of joyous tears that I've so often made fun of my mother for doing ("mom, are you crying again?", I'll share tidbits about my daughters and try to scratch the surface of what I love about them.
I would say that Olivia is typically my cuddle bug, barring illness in either one of them (that's when they both get extra snugly), but this past week, maybe 10 days or so, it has been Sophie who has claimed that role.
Here, we are cuddling on the couch watching an episode of VeggieTales. Up until this past week, this photo could have existed by me simply picking her up, placing her in my lap, and getting out my phone to snap a quick picture. Except that this photo didn't compose itself that way. Much to my delight, Sophie crawled closer to me, laid her head down in my lap and looked up at me and smiled. I couldn't resist nabbing a hug and when I was done, she sat up and leaned on me, grabbed her blankie and snuggled up. *melt* During our snuggle session I was able to just hold her and be still for a moment. I caught whiffs of her hair, which smells like baby shampoo or yogurt depending on whether she's had a bath yet or not. I was taken back to when she was a newborn and how I'd sit and hold her and soak up that new baby smell...which is something like baby shampoo mixed with old breast milk, and is still somehow the best scent I've ever experienced. It really hit me how much she has grown since then. Here she is, mobile on her own, physically able to snuggle up with mommy by choice. And my heart loves that she chose to do that.
Here she is laying with her head in my lap
I could sit here all day long with her. How is it that she fits so perfectly?
Here's a shot from the front--still in mommy's lap, and she looks so settled
A snuggle with her blankie--and she looks just like her Granny (my mom) when she was this age
I get lots of comments about her beautiful long, fine, light hair, and I think it's gorgeous--such a contrast from my darker, coarser mane.
I just want to keep her this age forever and ever.
I've mentioned in other posts that Olivia has been fighting bedtime and sleep. This has been going on for about 6 weeks, and we've tried everything. One of the things that we've been working on is a better, more indicative bedtime routine. Part of that routine is having the girls brush their teeth after they've had their jammies put on. Sophie has 12 teeth that I've counted, 6 on top and 6 on bottom, and I believe Olivia has 10 at this point although I think I see some more at the top on their way through. Right now, brushing their teeth consists of putting water on a very soft-bristled toothbrush and letting them essentially chew on it for about 3 minutes. These toothbrushes were a stocking-stuffer gift from Nana and Pop-Pop (Sean's parents) this past Christmas, and came with tubes of fluoride-free toothpaste. I've held off on that part since they're already so adamant and demanding about getting their toothbrushes as it is...I'll introduce the sweet stuff later.
Speaking of sweet stuff, get a load of these cheeks! And that chinny-chin-chin. It's a constant struggle to restrain myself from kissing their faces all the time, and I'm honestly quite horrible at executing that restraint. Olivia gets the green toothbrush, just as she gets green whenever there's a color distinction being made between the girls.
Sophie gets the purple toothbrush (and everything else) because that's just the fun-loving type of girl she is.
Part of what I've realized during my quality time with them this week is how independent and capable they are. No mom, I'm not surprised and yes I know where they get it from, but it's just so amazing to see it actually happening. I come from a long line of independent and headstrong women so I've always known that my children (at least one of them) would take after me in that regard. But, instead of being a displeasing quality, like I had feared for most of my life, I find it endearing, amazing, and so much fun to watch. They take so much pride in doing things on their own, like brushing their teeth or drinking from a straw. It's very rewarding to see their happiness.
The last tidbit I'll share about this week with my girls is about Olivia. Lately, her toy of choice has been her baby-doll. She doesn't ask for it by name, but if I ask her to "show me" she can always point and grunt her way to wherever it is, and as soon as I see it and as, "is it your baby that you want?", she kicks her legs and giggles and squirms until its in her arms.
And then she does this with it:
She's not as snugly with mommy as she has been in weeks past, but she is definitely snugly with her baby doll. When she first gets her baby in the morning, she'll usually say "meme bay-me" which I used to think was "give me baby", but after having a few conversations with her, I now think that she is saying "mommy's baby". I think that she is pretending to be mommy with her baby, so I ask her, "what does mommy do with baby?" and she immediately kisses her doll with a big, open-mouthed smack. I say, "that's right! Lots of kisses!" and then I usually attack her with a storm of my own, which makes her giggle and snuggle her baby closer. She's still my baby (and yes mom, always will be) but I have a feeling she'll be an amazing mommy for real someday. But I'm in no hurry to get to that point yet--I think I'll keep her at this stage for just a while more while I still can.
I'm sorry that Matt is missing out on all of this while he's out of town, but hopefully they'll still feel snugly and independent after he's home too. All I know is that I'm very grateful for the opportunity to be able to stay home with them during the day to witness these subtle, yet astounding changes in them firsthand.
p.s. I know Olivia has "piggies" in her hair in all of her pictures lately, but she really does ask for them to be done, and I think they're just about the cutest thing I've ever seen.