Kai and Sierra are growing like weeds. They just had their 18 month checkup - both got a clean bill of health. Kai is up to 25 lbs 2 oz (he gained a little over a pound since July) and is 32 1/2" tall (he is an 1 3/4" taller than he was in July). Sierra is a little more petite. She weighs 21 lbs 10 oz (a little more than a pound heavier since July) and is 31 1/2" tall (an 1 1/2" taller since July). They are tall enough now to open the doors so we've activated the locks (they haven't figured those out yet).
They are still good eaters (eat all food groups - still love fruit the best), still take 2 naps and sleep through the night. We really feel fortunate - I don't know if we're doing something right or we're just lucky - maybe somewhere in the middle!
Here are a few development highlights:
Kai and Sierra both still use sign language but we're working on the verbal as well. Sierra repeats several words (not that everyone would understand what she's saying if you're not around her all the time). Some words come out as clear as day (Go, Bite, Nana [for banana]) while others are just the first few syllables (e.g., "du" for duck).
Kai doesn't try to say as many words, although he does refer to most food items as "Cheese." One of his favorites is to grunt and do the sign for please (rubbing stomach) and point towards the kitchen (for us to follow him in there). He then points to the bananas on the top of the microwave and rapidly rubs his stomach, while saying "Cheese." He also likes to copy us when calling Sierra from the other room (sounds more like a squeal to get her to come). .
Basically, between the signs and words we've been able to communicate (and if we don't understand what they want, we've been able to successfully divert their attention to another item).
They both recognize body parts when you ask them where they are (nose, ear, mouth, belly button). When Sierra shows you her nose the finger goes right up it - very nice in public (of course we don't dare say anything because it turns into a game).
They do a great job at bringing over things when you ask them (shoes, a book etc.). They also love looking at all the pictures of family and friends on the walls. They love being picked up and walk from picture to picture. They're getting pretty good at picking out who is who when you ask them (and they love seeing pictures of themselves - to the point of squealing).
They still love books. They will pull various books off of their bookshelf and either bring them over to be read or just sit on the floor and flip through themselves. We're had to move the "pop-up" books to a higher shelf because we were finding the parts in various places around the house and Mom was tired of taping them back together - so they're used with supervision now (we're learning as we're going). We've try crayons periodically which always end up in the mouth (of course as soon as you tell one to take the crayon out of their mouth, the other one hears and put theirs in their mouth) but we are seeing some scribbling in between which is good.
They love playing with cars and balls and anything that makes noise. Kai will push Sierra in her car on the back porch (we have to watch because he gets going pretty fast and then crashes into things). We also spend alot of time at the nearby parks (we can walk or ride a bike to them). It's great since they've been walking - they run around and explore.
Music and videos are a big hit. They like to dance to their videos (this involves spinning around - sometimes to the point of getting dizzy and falling down). Sesame Street is by far the favorite these days - especially Elmo. If the video goes off, Kai and Sierra promptly come "tell you" to start it (they'll point at the TV and use the sign for More and Please). They like it when we sing to them. Once the song is over, they usually applaud for us and then use the sign for More so we sing another song (we're enjoying it since at no other point in life have people applauded for our great singing voices and asked for an encore - ha ha).
First Charity Event
Kai and Sierra walked in their first charity event on Saturday, October 1st - the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. Several people from Censeo Corporation (our company) walked. Marty organized it and also had shirts made up. Kai and Sierra even got their own shirts.
Up to this point, we've had some competition for our affection and stints of taking toys from each other but the "picking" has developed more this month. They still get along the majority of the time, but they occasionally like to antagonize each other especially when one is already predisposed to having a meltdown (i.e., Kai's cranky, so Sierra takes the opportunity to put her fingers in his ear or pull at his hair or shoes. Or when Sierra is playing with her toy (and seems to be in a "be by myself mood") and Kai decides he needs his and hers so he can listen to her scream. Their doctor advises to let them be and work it out themselves - good advice so we don't end up being a referee in every situation. It's hard to not intervene but we're trying to let them "fight it out" on their own. Sierra usually ends up screaming and then starts laughing and then Kai laughs with her and they move on to something else.
First Crank Call
Kai likes to walk around with the phone and pretend to call numbers. Well this week, he dialed 911. Ligia was home with them and got the call back from the 911 operator. They had to send the Sheriff out to check things out. He's a little young to make apologize or write a letter yet so we're thinking of just keeping the phone out of reach... I'm not sure the mathematical odds of him dialing that particular series of numbers but who would have thought at 18 months, he'd be a crank caller (although we should have been tipped off when he had Jim's cell phone and was able to dial Carla's and record a 15 min conversation in voicemail...) Hopefully, there isn't a charge on our phone bill this month.
Here are some pics from the month: