Twins | FOUR & FOUR and a HALF

Well, somehow I missed doing an actual FOURTH birthday post for my twinkies. I know I posted some birthday photos, but I never followed up with their letters. So this post is for FOUR and FOUR and a HALF.

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My Jonah Bear.  What a creature you are! Jonah bear, your incredible brain shines just about as bright as your little smirk. We are constantly amazed at your ability to process and think. You definitely excel more mentally vs physically. You simply don’t have as much interest in the physical stuff. Instead of out learning to ride a bike, you are wandering around the neighborhood collecting interesting leaves, observing their smells and shapes and colors and sorting them by various attributes. You walk to the beat of your own drummer most of the time. You are just as likely to play alone as with other people. Your current favorite game is making “clay.” Which means you get the pavement wet, rub the chalk vigorously to create new colors, and then gather all the damp crumbles of chalk into a ball of “clay.” I love the way you explore things. You love using all your senses. Anything with water is a definite Jonah-favorite!

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I feel like most days you hardly eat a thing Jonah. You will occasionally have a hearty meal, but most of the time you simply aren’t that hungry, although you are getting better at trying new foods. As a result, you are still a little skinny mini, although your face stays nice and round! You are taller than your twin, and currently wearing 4T and some 5T. Right about the time you turned 4, you up and decided to potty train. And within a few days, bam, you were day AND night trained. We figured we just needed to wait until you decided you were ready!

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As I mentioned above, you have an affinity for all things nature. Flowers, plants, leaves, trees, anything that grows. You notice them and remember them, and love to learn all about them. You’ve also taught yourself how to read. You can sound out any simple 3-5 letter word and are reading simple phonics books on your own. You also have a natural affinity to addition, and we have begun some informal learning on that. Although you are just 4, we are going to begin Kinder curriculum for you in the fall when we go back to school. I typically like to wait, and let kids be little and play for longer, but you LOVE doing school, and so we will do some simple reading and math. (In addition to our whole family morning time during which we study many other subjects.)

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As you will see in your interview below, you adore you Zippy the turtle and your baby Zippy (with a clip on it), they are your favorite things and go with you nearly everywhere. You still adore your flower blanket that I made and sleep fully under the covers. You are currently obsessed with jokes (everyone is, really!), and you are good at memorizing the one you ask “Alexa” the Amazon Echo to tell us.

twinkies and jean-21For the most part, your frustration outbursts and tendencies to want to act out physically are lessening. You are quick to apologize now, and handle anger in more productive ways. You are also handling new places better, and you love the Sunday School teacher at the new church we are attending.

You told us the other night that you just love being Jonah bear, and Jonah bear, we love having you.

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And now- in his words, his favorite-
color: blue, and purple and all the colors in the rainbow
food: All the foods in the whole wide world. I love celery.
thing to do: Play outside and smell the flowers and make chalk colors.
book: Math problems
song: ABCs
toy: Zippy and baby Zippy
friend: Joelle
show: “PBS kids, all of those shows.
place to go: :To the park and play in the hot when I drink lots of water.”
thing to do: play with baby Zippy.twinkies and jean-8

My sweet twinkies.

 

twinkies and jean-22Now for Joelle-phant. My little mini-mama. You remind me so much of myself. So much sweetness and yet so much spice. Overall, you are a people-pleaser and you LOVE doing things for other people. But when you get mad, wooo-weee, you can get so angry, my dear. But we can take it, it’s always safe to express your emotions here.

twinkies and jean-9If I had to sum up four for you in one word, it would be Jarvis. He is your best friend, your near constant companion, your hero, your playmate, your fight-buddy, your everything. I know you wish constantly that you were as big as him. But even though you are a tiny thing, that barely wears 4T clothes, you can do just about everything he can, physically. There’s no tree too tall for you to clamber up after him, no rock to rough to hike up, no muddy spot too slippery, nothing that will keep you from keeping up with your big brother. And on that note, you’ve made a big transition since you turned four. You not only learned how to use the Strider bike (a balance bike with no pedals), but you also learned to ride  a big two wheel bike last week- with no training wheels! We picked it up at the second-hand store one afternoon, I took off the training wheels, and within 15 minutes you were riding around like a pro! Your current favorite thing is to ride around in the cul-de-sac, and you love that you can ride to the park and go on bike rides with daddy and Jarvis. Girl, when you put your mind to it, nothing can stop you.

twinkies and jean-10Now, while physically you pick things up at the drop of a pin, mentally things are a bit slower for you usually. However lately, you have been surprising me with your logic reasoning, memorization skills (you rock our morning time bible verses!), and your budding math skills. You make valiant efforts to sound out words, but do still need some practice on letter recognition and sounds. You’ve shown me lately that you have an understanding of the fundamentals of addition. So starting in the fall, we will be starting you on a slower paced pre-k/k curriculum, as you simply LOVE worksheets.

twinkies and jean-11You are still my most adventurous eater and will try anything, although you don’t eat as much volume-wise. You like foods the others don’t and enjoy helping out a lot. You are almost always willing to help someone out. However you are rather protective of any toy you consider “yours.” You are a little dancer and make up fabulous songs during bedtime. You now insist on only sleeping pj bottoms as you claim you get “too hot,” although this usually results in mama or daddy having to come in and put your blanket on during the middle of the night! twinkies and jean-12

Oh sweet Joelle, thank you for being quick with your smile and loving to others. I promise to never stop praying over your precious heart at night, especially for all those “monsters, bad guys, lions, tigers, alligators, and ghost-es” that you are afraid of. twinkies and jean-13

And now, in her words, her favorite:
color: pink
food: “All of the kinds of foods, but not porridge with berries in it, but porridge without berries. I would eat peanut butter and jelly right now and everything else.”
thing to do: play Star Wars legos with Jarvis
book: my Ladybug Girl book
song: “All the songs in the world. I like to sing Lullaby.”
toy: my bunny and all my cheerers (?)
friend: Jarvis….. (pause) and Jonah and Jean. All three of them are my friends.
show: Octonauts
place to go: to Chick fil A
thing to do: play outside and ride my bike

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Twins | 3.5 years

I’m behind. Like nearly a month behind. So here’s a quick update on my sweet twinkies at 3.5 years.

First off- three can be summed up in one word, EMOTIONAL. That’s always the case with three. So many big feelings and emotions and so much learning to do to handle them. Although I would argue we are always like this- even as adults! But I digress…

Joelle-phant.

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This child is so much like her mama. In the good ways and not so good ways! She has a great capacity to care for other people. She has recently developed a strong dislike of following instructions though. She likes the word “no.” Just testing her boundaries. She and Jarvis have been thick as thieves lately, so much alike, she just follows right along with him. At the end of her pre-k class, her teacher said that she always knew she could look at the class and be sure to see Joelle smiling big and bouncing. She also said that she often asked Joelle to be the first to try something new, as she was always brave and ready to try anything. She is rather fearless!

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Her preferred method of transportation is a running skip. She’s completely potty-trained and dresses/cares for herself- very independent. Joelle is still my most adventurous eater, but doesn’t eat as much volume-wise. She adores milk and daddy’s salsa. She is still bitty. Like crazy-tiny. She wears 3T, but only because Jean needed the 2T. There’s no way 3T pants will fit her in the fall! People never fail to think she and Jean are the twins when we go out. Their matching hairstyles don’t help that.

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My favorite thing about Joelle right now is this sweet little thumbs up she does. She sticks her thumb out so straight, sticks out her whole arm, and squint-winks one eye with a big old crooked smile. She wants you to do the same and touch your thumb to hers. I love it.

And now- in her words, her favorite-
color: pink
food: cheesy pasta
thing to do: dance a funny dance
book: a library book like Batman
song: Jesus Loves Me
toy: Jeanie’s leap computer
friend: Jarvis
show: Octonauts

Jonah-bear:

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Oh bear. This sweet boy is one big ball of emotions. Jonah takes everything pretty hard, any correction or injury or perceived slight. But that’s because he so truly wants to connect, deeply with people. He’s this little independent kid- most often playing by himself, exploring or experimenting. Jonah’s brain is simply fascinating. He will work and work and work to figure out how something works. He is more likely to notice something different or new than the rest of us.

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This especially includes anything in nature. He loves all living things, but flowers have a special place in his heart. He is quickly learning the names of all sorts of plants and can readily identify them. Even surprising mama often when I have no clue what something is. He does however usually pick the flowers, which we still haven’t realized eventually kills them. But I often have a bedraggled bouquet from him sitting on the counter in a little jar of water.

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Jonah has begun to sound out simple words on his own and has shown a love of breaking down words and sentences. His brain really loves to work out puzzles. He is still the tallest at his age of all my kids, but a skinny little thing. He is still on goat dairy. He is now wearing mostly 4T clothes, mostly because his torso and legs are long, his waist is tiny. Jonah isn’t ready to potty train yet, so we aren’t pushing it. He will be ready when he is.

My favorite thing about Jonah is his habit of sticking his hands in his mouth when he is upset. I don’t actually like that he sticks his hands in his mouth, yuck, but the comfort seeking is sweet. I also love the way he puckers his little lips out for a kiss! All slobbery and all sweet!

And now- in his words, his favorite-
color: blue
food: bananas
thing to do: dance
book: Comet book from Grandma Pam
song: ABCs
toy: Jeanie’s leap computer
friend: Joelle
show: Octonauts

twins | three

For some reason, I always feel the need to add a belly picture of the twins right before they were born on their birthday posts. Perhaps to remind myself of how 5lb 9oz and 6lb 11oz of baby felt, ha!

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Oh my twinks. How you have grown! I just love watching you two grow up right alongside each other. Such opposites, and yet, such twinkies.

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Jonah, you are still our big bear- although a skinny little bear! I still think you will be our tallest child, and I still think your sweet round face looks just like my dad’s! You defiantly have his smirk! You have this soft, stick straight dark hair, perhaps the darkest. Unlike the others who have a lot more texture to their hair, yours is always silky smooth on it’s self. But that doesn’t mean it lays down, haha!!! You have this crazy double, almost triple cowlick in the back that always results in hair having to lays crosswise across itself and stick straight up. Honestly, it makes me smile everytime I look at it. I just love your hair in this long, shaggy bob, it suits you somehow. You are in all 3T clothes, and seem to have the longest legs! Eating wise, we call you the hare.  Guaranteed Jonah will be done before anyone else!! Sometimes, you will take two bites and not eat a thing the rest of the day, happily playing. Other times, you clear your plate before I can blink and move on to the next activity! You are the most inconsistent about volume of food, but always the fastest! You have the sweetest little voice that is so unique! Daddy loves to ask you to say silly things like “scoop the goop.”

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Joelle, or my little relle-phant. You such a bitty thing- although heaven forbid someone tell you that you are little- it will be met with a resounding- “No! I’m a big girl!” No amount of explanation will serve to tell you that you have a big girl heart and personality in a teeny little body. Your hair is finally starting to grow back in after Jarvis chopped it all off for you, although you are still sporting the bangs I love so much. You pretty much want to wear it down all the time now, no baby pigtails for you! We moved you up to 3T, but only because Jeanie needed the 2T for her giant belly! They are all way too long on your little legs, but lately you have been into dressing up. Picking out princess skirts and twirling. It’s so different having a little girl with two brothers close by- it seems you tend to lean towards the more “boy-like” things- probably simply from exposure! Although you are plenty girly in lots of ways. I do love though, that your little limbs are still holding onto a little bit of that baby chub, the roundness of a little one. Jonah is such a skinny-mini, and it’s such a funny contrast to see the difference in your hands, feet, legs, and arms. You will literally try everything and are my bravest eater. You eat at the pace of a turtle, and don’t eat as much volume as the other three, but you do eat more variety!

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Emotionally, this two-year old year has been quite the change! Jonah, you had a rather rough summer- with a lot of getting into absolutely everything. But there has been some maturity over the last few months, and it seems for the most part you are better at managing your “trouble radar.” But for both of you, anything not going your way can be pretty upsetting. Joelle, you have a terrific scream that is both shrill and raw. Jonah, you can sob like no other, and have the strongest little pinching hands. But I have noticed, in the past month, that you both are developing the capability to calm yourself down, and a little quicker than before, at least some of the time! You both love to run crying off to your room, especially if you aren’t happy with something mama or daddy said, but you both are able to come out calm when you are ready now. This is such a huge improvement, and just another sign of your ever-growing minds and heart.

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In addition to calming yourselves down better, you both have become more cognizant of when others are upset and are more willing to offer help and comfort. It doesn’t always happen, and often you might have been the reason that person is upset, but more and more I see little glimpses of the compassion I pray for you as adults. black and white-10

It’s fairly easy to say that your favorite person, Joelle, is Jarvis. You absolutely idolize him. However, you play so well with both your other siblings as well! You love that Jean is your only sister and you are her only sister. I can already see the sister bond forming. You are like a little mama with her. And of course, your twin, he has a special place in your heart. You are most likely to fight with him, but also most likely to cause trouble with him! What it must be like to be with someone nearly all the time, every day, day in and day out. The twin relationship is so different, and so fascinating to watch. Mentally, it can take you a bit more time to catch onto a subject or idea, you make up for any of that with a desire to please! You try your absolute hardest and are rather observant.

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Jonah, your favorite person is probably yourself, haha! But no really, as much as you love your siblings, you march to your own beat. Often time it ends up being you against the others in some imaginary game- but to your delight!  I love how much you love being different. With your own little games and ideas, I can see your brain turning. Yet, you still seek out your siblings and depending on the moods are often playing with Joelle- although Jean tends to want to do whatever you are doing (since your brains are so alike!) and that usually ends with some disagreement. Personally, I think you and Jarvis just love pestering one another, and you both will seek out chances to get the other one’s goat!! Although you do happily play along side each other if the activity is right- especially reading! Jonah, I can never believe what you remember and retain. Knowledge and learning are definitely a strong point for you. And something you absolutely love. I see a direct impact on your behavior with how much you have been challenged mentally lately. Something is always brewing up there. black and white-11

And I want to end with a few of your favorites!

Joelle:

  • your baby doll
  • snuggles and tickles
  • horsey rides
  • broccoli and green beans
  • anything with peanut butter
  • going on the potty (you are about 50% potty trained- we haven’t pushed it!)
  • books
  • napping in the big bed (guest bedroom)
  • coloring neatly
  • playdough
  • song: “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”

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Jonah:

  • letters, all types, magnetic, printed, any letters or numbers!
  • cheesy pasta and ketchup
  • goats milk
  • cheeeese
  • raisins and pretzels
  • books
  • your leap pad
  • your blanket and animals (currently your whale- though your puppy was first place for most of the last year)
  • playdough
  • finding things on the counter
  • coloring on walls
  • the camera- you come running as soon as I grab it
  • red diapers (we haven’t figured this one out)
  • your little peg Jonah from aunt & uncle
  • the color “paddles” you got for Christmas and changing the color of things through them.
  • song: “Agency D3” previously, “How Much is That Puppy In the Window”black and white-26

mom’s morning out | milestones

 

I have a bunch of posts in the making… several half written. But for now, I just wanted to pop in and share a few pictures of the kiddos. They are enrolled in a once-a-week Mom’s Morning Out at the church where I attend MOPS. It’s four hours for one morning a week, and they get to play, do some art, learn about God, and eat lunch! There’s just something super exciting about eating out of a lunchbox I guess- they all said that was their favorite part!

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They were THRILLED to start, and thoroughly enjoyed it. No tears or hesitation at all on their part. In fact I had to interrupt their play to get kisses goodbye. There’s certainly no lack of independence in this household. The only tears were from Jean when I made her leave with me. She thinks she is a triplet- no doubt. As evidenced by her photo bomb below when I asked the kids to smile.

Also, please ignore the state of dishabille the youngest is in. I managed to get the big three dressed, fed, loaded up with backpacks and lunches, AND have time for pictures. The baby was fed, but sported bed-head and dirty pajamas for drop-off. And I don’t even care. Overall that’s a successful morning!

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 My goal in sending them isn’t academic- although I’m sure they will learn with such caring teachers, but really it’s just good to have a little break from each other. One of the reasons I am so excited about homeschooling is more time together, rather than just a few hours in the evenings, so it’s a bit funny to be so excited about four hours once a week, but it’s good for all of us- something a bit different to look forward to! So it’s just Jean and I for a few hours, which is nice for errands and such.preschool-5

Especially since Daddy is missing for a while for some training. Just me, the ankle biters, and the animals! (Plus one very edgy guard dog and my gun- in case anyone gets any ideas, haha!)