The twins attend their wellcheck appointment on their birthday and scream the whole time. The doctor acts like this is unusual. (Um, they’re somewhere new and being poked and prodded by a stranger.) James has had a rash next to his mouth off and on since he was 13 months old. I had been told it was a pacifier drool reaction (and took away pacifiers but he still had it), and a dermatologist even prescribed a hard core steroid ointment which James hated having me apply. One day it occurs to my mom and me that James tends to get this rash after he eats certain foods with citric acid (something I was allergic to as a baby), particularly tomato sauce, because they’re more likely to come in contact with his face. We see a new dermatologist and he agrees with me and has me simply apply Aquaphor to his face as a barrier before he eats. And voila! it finally goes away.
In February Julia gets laryngitis and it’s sad hearing her rasp, “Mommy!” Mark is funny trying to get her to say “Jack, a boat!” like at the end of Titanic.
In December the kids jump (or try to) for the first time. Julia is really excited. While chatting on Skype, Bubby gets the twins to jump with her Tigger puppet. It’s the first time James has jumped on anything other than the crib mattress (jumping on the crib mattress is also something he loves). While at a Las Madres playdate at Todd’s, the kids take turns standing on a baby stool and jumping off. The other kids actually jump. Julia on the other hand simply steps off, looks jubilant, and excitedly runs to me for a hug, and then does it again and again. (I melt from the cuteness.) James gets on the stool and springs his body straight up... without ever actually leaving the ground.
|Bubby keeps James safe while he engages in one of his favorite pastimes - bed jumping.|
James and Julia really like the book, Shake a Leg!, which instructs them to do different physical actions. For knock your knees, James knocks each one like it’s a door.
The kids continue to attend Gymboree classes. The instructors tell the parents to let the kids dance with Gymbo instead of having us move them, and our kids do great, especially James, at moving to the music. Julia loves hugging Gymbo (the puppet mascot) and she hugs him, grins, runs back to me, and runs back to Gymbo for more.
|Julia kisses Gymbo.|
In January the twins use mini shopping carts for the first time at Whole Foods, and they are so much fun to watch. They add anything they find to their carts including Punjabi lentils and protein energy boost, and we end up returning most of their finds. James spies cherry tomatoes, exclaims, “apples!” and grabs a container (and a few roll out). On future trips to Whole Foods they get super excited when they hear where they’re going. In fact, when I take James ouf of his car seat he tries to run inside to get his shopping cart while holding my hand. Meanwhile Julia talks non-stop: “Grocery store! Shopping cart! Buy food! Julia grocery store! James grocery store! Mommy grocery store! Daddy grocery store!”
|James kept picking random food off the shelf at Whole Foods, and Bubby ended up buying some of it because it looked tasty.|
The kids play with Play-Doh for the first time while sitting in their high chairs. After I make a big deal about how they shouldn’t eat it, of course they then joke that they’re going to eat it. James thinks Play-Doh is HILARIOUS to roll around and then drop on his tray. (See this video and another.) The new tunnel is so exciting that they immediately go through both ends at once. Later Mark puts it over the twins and they love it.
|James and Julia share the tunnel.|
|"I am Daddy-O-Tron. Beep. Bloop. I require Pretzel Crisps for fuel. If I cannot have Pretzel Crisps, I will eat this humanoid girl."|
I put dried beans in containers for them to fill and spill and Julia uses the scoop to fling them everywhere. (See video.) They also conduct physics experiments by taking lemons from our tree off the ground and dropping them down the slide. We put a big box in the family room and James and Julia love playing in it. Mark closes them in it and they LOVE hiding inside and popping out. And they’re totally happy just lying inside it, too.
Gaga sings Row Your Boat in the box with James and Julia.
The twins play hide and seek for the first time with Gaga. They’re good at finding but when they hide they run away for 10 seconds and then happily shriek while they run back to us. Papa has James walk up his chest and face. James loves it. When I play 1-2-3 Hug with them, half the time Julia likes to do a fake-out hug where she almost runs all the way to me and then laughs and turns around and runs back. She also does that when she’s excited when my parents arrive after time away. The twins also like running between my legs and James likes to pull my legs apart and then push them together, saying “open,” “close.”
Papa takes a foot to the face playing "Up, Up, Up" with Julia.
James and Julia enjoy taking walks around the neighborhood. They like saying “bye bye” to things they see. One day while addressing some purple flowers, Julia calls out, “Bye bye purple!” Mark likes to take them on a ⅔ mile walk he calls “The Circuit” which is the big circle of Preston-Grant-Levin-Preston. Papa points out house numbers on their walks and Julia often remembers them several weeks later. The twins have many landmarks in the neighborhood and they know the way to get to most of them: the apple tree around the corner on Preston, their friends Josh and Sam’s house, the big blue mailbox on Levin, and the ivy in front of neighbor Ernie’s house (that they insist on touching when in the stroller) where Preston meets Grant.