I am now officially one step closer to having myself committed than I was one month ago.
There's been some good that's happened this month. Both babies have adjusted wonderfully to life in the gym's daycare, which has really made my life so much easier. Nicholas just walks right in and takes off to play with the several zillion toys they have available, and while Luci tends to hang back with me while I get their stuff settled, she eventually chills out too. The staff has told me that they've been happy and playing after I've left, whereas just 4-6 weeks ago, they would be screaming off and on the entire time, and several times so uncontrollably that I've been paged mid-run to pick them up and take them home.
So, this is definitely +1 for the twins, and I'm really proud of them.
Both Luci and Nicholas now follow directions somewhat well. If I ask them to pick some toys up, fetch me a missing sippy cup, or bring me a book, they will do so. Luci is especially compliant in this area. Neither twin likes tv, which I find surprising, because if I remember correctly, Isabella was about this age when she was very interested in Sesame Street. The tv is not on often here, but when it is, they couldn't care less about what's on, and frankly, I wish they did. It would be nice to use the tv as a calming mechanism during one of their frequent tantrums.
Their language skills continue to grow, and while Nicholas still has the edge on Luci (he speaks many more words, and puts together two-and-three-word combinations), she has more words than she had last month.
At their 18-month appointment, their pediatrician said that Nicholas is "very verbally advanced" for his age after hearing him chatter away in the exam room, since she doesn't look for combination sentences until age two. She said Luci's language development is exactly where it should be, which was good to hear. And Luci does say, "All gone" so I know she's heading in the right direction.
Here are their 18-month stats:
Weight: 2o lbs, 2.5 oz (less than 5th percentile)
Length: 29 inches (less than 5th percentile)Nicholas
Weight: 22 lbs, 13.5 oz (10th percentile)
Length: 30.5 inches (less than 5th percentile)
Head Circumference: Gigantic. Dude has a head in the 93rd percentile
During their appointment, I finally brought up their seemingly non-stop crying and screaming, because it's gotten so bad that I've honestly begun to think that there's something wrong with them. I told their doctor that they begin crying usually less than 10 minutes after they get up in the morning, seemingly for no reason at all, and that despite living in a house overloaded with toys, their most favorite activity is to follow me from room to room screaming and crying. No amount of holding or cuddling is enough for them, because the second I put them down, they're right back at it. This is what I see at my feet literally dozens of times a day.
She asked me if they stop crying when I'm holding them. I said yes. She completed their exams to ensure that there was nothing physically wrong with them and potentially causing them pain, and then she told me that she suspects they are simply very high-needs children, which, of course, I've known since I took them home from the NICU. She said it's okay to put them down, reassure them that everything is okay, and continue with whatever it was I was doing when the outbursts happened. Obviously, I already knew this and do this, but apparently she must have thought that I went about my daily tasks carrying 40+ pounds of baby everywhere.
And then she said, "The most important thing with babies like this is that you're getting a break from them. Are you?"
I take them to the gym for about 1.5 hours, 2-3 times a week. My grandma and great aunt come over once or twice a week for an hour or two, but given their ages (80+), I cannot leave them alone with the kiddos for very long. These constitute my "breaks" during the week. On the weekends, which is when I get the bulk of my work done, the hubs generally takes over twin care, but I'm hardly relaxing on the back deck with a margarita and Us Weekly.
So, a break? Not really.
Luci is my helper. I can count on her to help me pick up or take things into different rooms. She has also begin taking great naps, and snoozing until a reasonable hour in the morning. Of course, she spent the first 15 months of her life screaming through the night and waking up at the crack of dawn, so she owes me.
Luci now calls Isabella "Bel-LA" (with a big emphasis on the "la"). She calls Nicholas, "Dude," which I find hilarious, because along with "Nico," this has been his nickname since he was just a few months old. It's also interesting, because a few months ago, Nicholas starting calling Isabella, "Ba-Ba," so they don't call her by the same variation of her name.
She still has just 1.5 teeth. Fortunately, her doctor is not concerned. But seriously, 1.5 teeth at 19 months old?
She's developed a big interest in baby dolls, carries them all over the house, and loves feeding a bottle to Isabella's small baby doll, which is the perfect size for her hands. She's still majorly attached to her stuffed bunny named Bonnie, but whom she calls Baby, and insists on taking the bunny downstairs with her every morning.
In addition to her appearance, which is very different from her brother and sister and from her parents, there's another part of Luci which leads me to question her lineage. She is a ridiculously slow eater. The hubs and I? We eat quickly. Nicholas? Scarfs his meals down in about 30 seconds flat. Isabella is on the slow side as well, but compared to Luci, even Isabella is speedy. We all finish our dinners, and Luci is not even halfway through hers.
My dear, this is not how we roll in this family.
Nicholas is my talker, just as Isabella was at his age. He's constantly pointing to something, and saying, "Oh, burds!," "Oh, car!," etc. He is 100% boy in every single way. He loves shoving gigantic dining room chairs and the ottoman in my office all over the house. He is prying open drawers, attempting to get into the bathroom to play in the toilet, or hurl himself off the arms of the couch every chance he gets. He even smells like a boy, a scent very different from both Isabella and Luci.
He is never full. He is always asking for "more" of everything, and literally screams for his food while sitting in his highchair waiting for me to bring his meals to him. Apparently, this non-stop hunger is a boy thing? I don't know.
Nicholas has now transitioned to calling me "mommy" (rather than "mama") about half of the time now. He still wants me to hold him all day long. While both babies are high-needs, Nicholas is much more likely to follow me around the house screaming. I love him, but ohmygod, sometimes I wish we had a soundproof room I could stick him in until he learns to chill the hell out.
We hang out on the porch a lot now. The babies seem to like it, and Isabella loves it when we eat lunch out there. I'm so happy the warmer weather is here.