February 26, 2014

18 Month Update

The months from 12-18 were hard. They were exhausting and at times very trying. And as we rounded the corner of 18 months there was a little hope that we will not always find ourselves with four babies on top of us. The first year was exhausting too but it was a different kind of exhausting than it has been the last 6 months. During those first 12 months we were tired from lack of sleep and everything was very task orientated. We knew exactly when feedings would be and then for the most part we had time until the next feeding to get things done, rest and/or play with the big kids. Since August our babies have wanted to not be classified as babies and want to be toddlers but they haven't had the means to be toddlers yet. They were mobile but limited, they wanted to communicate but really only knew how to laugh, cry & scream, they have wanted to play with toys but only if it meant playing them on mom and dad's lap without anyone else invading their space. There were many days we wanted to call 'uncle' and there may have been more bathroom breaks for mom and dad where we could hide for just a couple of minutes.

Waiting for someone to come rescue them from the upstairs.
Something has happened though over the last month. Our toddlers have started to actually become a little more independent which is awesome. Three of them can now crawl up the stairs and if given enough time the same three can crawl down them (this is a very slow process at this point but the big thing is they can do it). It is so nice to only have to make one trip up or down the stairs instead of making 2 trips carrying 50lbs of baby with each trip. Three kids are walking which has been amazing. I can unload everyone from the car at the same time and they all can get into the house by themselves except for 1 who can do it by crawling but boy does this put holes in the knees of pants. All four can eat with a fork and plate and we are finding less and less food on the floor which means less time spent mopping after every single meal. When we say it is time to brush their teeth they all head to the bathroom by themselves which means teeth brushing happens twice a day and is not such a pain like it was before. They are signing more or using sounds/words and we can actually understand what someone is telling us. We have a long ways to go before they are fully communicating with us but it is a start. If you have every been around a toddler who is trying to tell you what they want and you can't figure it out you know how loud the toddler gets as they continue to point and makes noises until you do figure it out. Just imagine one kid doing it and then multiply it by 4 and you can see how just a couple words is a big deal. The babies took 2 naps a day until about 17.5 months when we transitioned to 1 nap. For about 3 months we battled naps. Some where ready for 1 nap while some still needed 2. Some days we thought all were ready to try the transition only for it to fail miserably with 4 over tired kids by 9:00 in the morning a couple days later. We wanted to do things as a family in the morning but if we messed up the nap schedule it just caused for a rough afternoon because the 2nd nap was often boycotted because they were so exhausted. Finally we transitioned to a 30 minute quiet time in cribs in the morning and then an earlier afternoon nap about a month ago and it has been wonderful. We have much happier kids and a 3 hour middle of the day nap is never something a parent complains about. And I think the one thing that has made all the difference over the last month is that all 4 babies are able to play without a mom or dad's lap. They now are enjoying playing with each other, a big brother or sister. They now imitate sounds while playing such as the vroom of a car. They love being mommy's to their babies. The spend many hours everyday climbing on everything which they find  hilarious. Even playing with the light switch is great fun in our house. By being able to play a little more independently we are seeing each of their personalities come out which is so much fun. After 18 months we continue to learn more and more about each of our babies as individuals.

Isabella (22lbs 3oz, 30.75in)
You make your mom and dad laugh with the way you act all shy around new people and even sometimes your own family. If you are mad or uncertain you will hide your face and then look out the corner of your eyes to watch the person who you do not want looking at you. If you catch them looking you quickly hide your face again. We laugh because you have the cutest little grin on your face the whole time and we know it is a game you play. About three weeks ago you got up from your afternoon nap and decided you were going to be a walker. You haven't stopped walking since and you skipped the whole wobbly stage of walking. Its as if you wanted to wait until you knew you could do it perfectly. You do have a major fear of crawling the stairs though. You get to the second step and you can not get yourself to go any higher. We do know you can do it though because you did it without a problem one day with Natalie. You love pushing the baby stroller around the house even if there is no baby in it. You are known to be the one to throw the food on the floor but only do it when we are not looking. I am interested to see how your personality develops over the next couple of months because you are by far our most serious baby.


You give out the best kisses!
I feel in love with your dimple while you were still in the nicu.

This is how we allow a kid to finish eating when the others have finished otherwise there would be 3 little birdies eating all of her food.

Tate (26lbs, 33.5in)
You kid are solid. Somewhere along the lines you forgot you were born 9 weeks early. the majority of the day you have a smile on your face and are a very happy kid. You love to eat and often have thirds and fourths at meals. You are the earliest riser of the bunch and we often hear you start talking at 6 in the morning. Most days you play happily in your crib but you let us know when you have had enough. The first thing you want to do is eat in the morning and as soon as your diaper has been changed you go find your sisters water bottles on their beds and help yourself to them. You then wait at the gate to go downstairs. You are the first to start many unwanted skills such as opening doors and climbing anything you can (think tables and ladders up to the top bunks). You are happiest outside and will often open the doors and go out to play without asking. You become a wet noodle when we try to carry you back inside. You love spending time in the bathrooms and we often find you with a toothbrush in hand or fully clothed in an empty bath tub. You love wrestling but don't know your own strength. You remind me so much of your older brother and I would love to have another little boy with his deposition in life.


Rocking his baby
When one sees a bucket there is only one thing to do, get into it somehow.



Kenzie (17lbs 3oz, 29.75in)
You remain such a little peanut. Some days I just wish you would pack on a little fat and then other days I just love how petite you are. We know you can walk because you love walking between mom and dad but you have chosen to continue crawling. I am ready for you to walk because we have started spending more and more time outside and it drives me crazy having you crawl around on the garage floor! Even though you don't walk you do everything else your brothers do and are never far behind when they are causing trouble. You have a great smile. You are found dancing whenever music comes on. When you want mom and dad to pick you up you sit at our feet reach your arms up and use your word for 'up'. I say 99% of the time we are unable to resist you. You have worked your way into mom and dads heart and know just which strings to pull to get your way.

Peanut was not feeling good.
One of the best thing about having multiples is the way they interact with one another. I love how Rylan is watching how Kenzie turns on the camera.

One of their favorite games is when we say 'oh baby is going night night'. They lay down and pretend they are sleeping.

Rylan (21lbs 7oz, 32in)
You continue to be the goof but now you are getting an attitude to go along with all of your shenanigans. You throw a really good tantrum for a 18 month old. When you don't get your way you walk out of the room, sit down with your legs in front of you and start kicking them up and down. I have to say it is pretty darn cute. You also give mom and dad 'the look' whenever you get into trouble. You wrinkle up your nose, look down with your eyes while raising your eyebrows. We can't help but laugh when you do this. You continue to be the master toy stealer. It never fails that another baby will start playing with a toy you have had no interest in and you go over and try taking as if they stole it from you. This does get old because the other kids no longer just give in, they now fight you for the toy. You were our first walker and have been at it for a good 2 months. You are now perfecting the skill of running. You are our first kid to fall in love with a blanket. Currently it is not a particular blanket but just one that is soft. You will go grab your pacifier and blanket from your crib and walk around upstairs. We always know when you are tired or ready for bed because we find you and your blankie together. You remind me of Michael from Peter Pan whenever I see you with your blanket trailing behind you because Michael always had his teddy bear. You are also one of the best snugglers because you literally melt into us. There is nothing better than having you crawl in my lap for a quick hug in the middle of your toy stealing!

He was not impressed that I had snuck in and taken Tate out after nap while he was still sleeping. Such a look he gives his Momma.
One word: BROTHERS

I am 100% positive that this toy was in someone else's hand 10 seconds prior.

Trying to see how long they could stand on the couch before I told them to sit down.

This is the first time I have had my baby(ies) be 18 months and not be expecting another munchkin. It is hard knowing my babies are growing up and I will not have another baby to fill that 'baby' spot in our family. At the same time it is nice to know we will never have to plan for 2 naps again, we almost have all of our kids walking, and the days of telling everyone to climb in the car by themselves is getting closer. I do know that the last six months were the toughest yet emotionally and I have loved the new stage we are currently going into. I have gone through the terrible twos with 3 other kids so I am far from believing that this next stage is all roses but for the moment I am going to enjoy the time we have until my toddlers figure out what the terrible two's mean.  

 Moments like this happen multiple times a day around here in one form or another.
Tate thinking Kenzie on the ground means she wants to rough house.
He just doesn't understand he is 10lbs heavier than her.

He feels bad because he realizes he made her cry...
but only for a seconds because then he starts laughing.
And as a brother he goes in to get her while she is down,
or just to comfort her.

A little video of four 18 month olds (& one 3 year old) after lunch.

2 comments:

  1. Ahhhh, such is our crazy busy life with quads! Love the pics of the kiddos crawling on each other, we've had a lot of that lately. Logan was patting Trystan on the back the other day while she was laying on the ground. So we are learning to be a little sweeter :)

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  2. I love how your kids operate just like ours! I agree, it is a difficult age and I know it will get even more crazy in the 2's and dreaded 3's (at least for me), but darn these kids are just so cute, even when they crawl over each other and throw tantrums. Great post!

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