Monday, March 11, 2013

Transitions and Challenges at 2 1/2 years

I am amazed at our toddlers' ability to vividly bring out all of my emotions. Irritation, love, exasperation, happiness, frustration, affection... all within a few minutes of each other! A few transitions/challenges we've been working on:
Our little family. (Adam in white, Matthew in blue)
Naptime: Take it or leave it? Adam & Matthew usually nap about 2 hours. Occasionally as little as 1 1/2 hrs, and rarely as long as 3 hours. However they have been going to sleep close to 9pm, which we feel is a little late. They wake up around 7am, which is about right, and we are so blessed that they almost never wake up at night! When they skip their nap though, they are ready to go to sleep about 2 hours sooner, at 7pm instead of 9pm. Of course Alan especially loves this, because he doesn't get the benefit of the naptime during the day, but he definitely gets the benefit of more quiet time at night! Also the boys almost seem happier when they skip their nap; they wake up very, very grumpy after almost every nap. So even though they seem a little young to stop nap times, we are a little on the fence about what to do. I suppose it is nice to have options, because they seem able to go back and forth. Sometimes Mommy just needs that quiet time during the day though, so I suspect I will continue with nap times for a while :)

Potty Training: The boys have been peeing and pooping in the potty for close to 6 months now, but for most of that time, they mainly wore diapers, and I was just introducing them to the potty. A few months ago I moved on to not "naked training," where I let the boys "get used to" their bodily functions around the house. (No pants/diapers around the house.) They learned quickly, and were just about fully "naked trained" in a few days. Of course this was exciting to me, but we would still put them in diapers every time we left the house, and anytime I tried underwear, they had accidents, so that was frustrating. A few weeks ago though, around 2 1/2 years, I decided to just go for it. I gave up trying to find 5 days where I didn't go anywhere, because I go crazy not going anywhere. So we just decided to go diaper-free everywhere, including trips out of the hous. (With underwear & pants of course... no naked booties in public. Although this mommy thinks they are adorable!) To my surprise they did great! We made sure to give them lots of trips to the public restrooms... and wow.. taking two 2 year olds into a public restroom stall is really not the most fun thing ever. Lots of "don't touch that!" and "Don't open the door!" and "Don't touch that either!" Usually while my hands are full with the other toddler. They are still not perfect in public though, especially when they are having a lot of fun, like at the zoo. Adam definitely is doing better than Matthew, but he has always shown more readiness. They are doing so well overall though, that we are continuing with our journey. We still do diapers for nap time and bedtime though. I tried going diaper free at nap time, and they almost always had accidents, no matter how long it had been since I gave them anything to drink, or how soon before falling asleep they had gone potty. They just pee while sleeping, so we will tackle that later.

"Terrible Two's": I have been so hesitant to say or even think this term. However I finally said it out loud during a trip to the zoo last week. Everything seemed like a power struggle, "Stay right beside me" "Stay with mommy" "Don't touch that." "Sit down." "Follow mommy." "Get in your wagon." "Be nice to your brother." "Go potty." "Give Matthew a turn." "Give Adam a turn." It can get exhausting, and I am feeling the reality of twins (going through the same stages at the same time) again. I feel this is the hardest stage since infancy. I have developed my "Mommy voice" better, the one where the boys know I mean business. (Not that they always care I mean business, but at least they know :P)

Of course, my heart just melts when they give me these expressions:

Matthew in blue, Adam in yellow.

Love all 3 of my handsome men :)

Entertaining the Little Ones: We have been spending more time indoors during my pregnancy, just because I have been more tired. My second trimester was pretty awesome as far as energy, but I can feel myself becoming more tired again (I am almost 27 weeks), and some days I just don't have the energy to pack up the boys and go somewhere. Which really is the best way to keep these little guys entertained. (The other way is to turn on the TV, but I want to keep that in moderation). So I turned to Pinterest to help me! 2 good projects I found were playdough and finger-paints:
The boys really enjoy playing with the homemade playdough. It brings a different sense of happiness when your kids are playing happily with something you made yourself :)
Finger painting was probably their favorite of the two. But a little more high-maintenance for mommy since I have to make it every time and clean it up. But it's worth it to watch them create :) Lately they have been asking for it after they are done with bath time, so I need to remember to do this activity first, then give the bath :) Here's a link to the "recipe" for the paint.
They can also (at times) spend almost an hour just playing in the bathtub, which is awesome. They also love taking baths with mommy & daddy.
They are challenging my parenting more than ever, but they are also showing me more love than ever as well. I just soak up the toddler laughs, hugs, kisses and cuddles. They are my absolute favorite <3 p="">

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