Aurora (3.75 years):
Aurora is a sweetheart and a challenge. She's got a will of iron and once she has it in her mind to do something one way, she won't listen to reason until she's tried it her way. But she's also beginning to ask all sorts of wonderful questions and create fun stories for us. I often feel overwhelmed with her. If we can manage to direct and shape her, then she's going to go places when she grows up.
She loves playing alone. She's happy if she has a set of toys and no one to mess with them (which is a problem with Quinn running around). She does prefer to have people around watching her, so she doesn't want to be completely alone, but she prefers to not have people messing with her elaborate worlds. We try to make sure she can go in her room to play if she needs to get away from Quinn, but she rarely takes advantage of that because she likes having us around.
Her memory is amazing. She remembers things from even a year ago (when she wasn't even three) and talks about them. Two specific memories are when she spent the day with her/our special friends while Quinn was born and the Halloween party we had with those same friends. Certainly, we've helped her remember, but the important things that she remembers are things we either didn't know or haven't emphasized in those memories.
She loves, loves, loves stories. She's only just beginning to tell her own, but if we would read her stories all day, she would be happy. She loves looking at books by herself and that's the only time she actually sits still. Her own story-telling is more of pretend play right now. She does build elaborate stories in which she is an active part. Some days she's a princess, other days she's a fairy, other days...she's a bad guy. Those days with the last one are not good days. *sigh*
She is very, very energetic and is still learning how strong she is. Poor Quinn often gets a bit banged up due to her enthusiasm in play. I feel like I tell her 10 times a day that if Quinn is making unhappy noises, that she needs to back off because that's how he says "stop!" Eventually she'll get it. But she's also the one who starts the giggling chase games that Quinn so loves. She adores playing with Quinn but gets frustrated that he's not quite big enough to do what she wants to do. She also would love for him to be her willing slave, but Quinn has other ideas. Hehe.
She's recently been experimenting with calling Wil and me "Dad" and "Mom." I'm definitely not ready for her to drop the "mommy" so we struck a deal with her: when she can read me (and Wil) a story book all by herself, then she can call us "mom" and "dad." She has to be reminded of this, but she seems happy with it. She also sometimes calls Wil "dear" (that's what I call him a lot) and Wil finally told her, "I'm not going to answer you when you call me that. I'm daddy!"
A recent fascination of hers is hearing stories of "before there was _______." We've had stories about before there were cars, windows, curtains, parking lots, light bulbs, computers, and books. Often we focus on how the specific item she's asking about came to be, so these are more of invention stories. It's a lot more fun than telling her the same princess story or Thomas the tank engine story over and over and over again.
Quinn (almost 14 months):
Quinn might just be at the perfect age. The only complaint I have
about him is his sleep and we're seeing slow improvement in that area.
He giggles easily, plays simple games, loves to tease and get a reaction
from whoever will play along, and his interests are becoming apparent.
He's right on the edge of talking and thinks that we can understand him. He babbles off these long sentences (or tirades) and expects us to understand him. Sometimes we can, but it's only because he's getting the syllables right, not the sounds.
He LOVES music. "Music" or "sing" is one of the signs he has picked up really quickly. When he hears music start, he'll stop what he's doing and start bouncing up and down--his "dancing." In recent days, I have heard him hum and almost sing actual tunes, though none of them are any real songs. He loves it when we sing with him and sometimes will ask to sing by grabbing my hand and humming.
He's finally understanding the give-and-take of simple games. He understands that if he throws a ball, someone will throw it back to him. Then if he chases it and throws it back, it will happen again. He also loves being chased and just yesterday figured out that he can chase someone else. Another favorite game is wrestling, though as the littlest, he doesn't come out too well if he tries to do it with Aurora. But with mommy and daddy he has a grand time because we let him knock us over. :)
One of the cutest things he does is smack some kisses whenever he hears "I love you." SO SWEET. Now he's started doing it when he hears "kiss", too. The other day as we were all waking up, Wil gave me a kiss as he got out of bed. Quinn saw him, crawled over to me, and gave me a kiss on my cheek too. That made my mommy heart very happy. Wil laughed because Quinn has started trying to imitate him and, maybe, compete with him for mommy's attention. If Wil hugs and kisses me, then Quinn has to, too. If Wil and I are cuddling on the couch, Quinn has to crawl up between us. I don't think there's any jealousy there, but Quinn definitely wants to do what daddy does. :)
Another interesting thing we've observed is that Quinn notices where things go and will often put them back. We were out on a walk one day and he stopped to examine something on the ground. He moved a small stick out of the way to look at the item. When he was done, he put the stick back in the same spot. Just this morning, he decided he was done playing with a toy and took it back to the toy closet all by himself. Then he asked me to open the door and put it back in it's spot! I LOVE this. :D
Finally, Quinn seems to be understanding a lot more of how things work. If he sees us putting on his shoes, he'll run and get his. If he wants to go outside, he'll pick up his shoes and stand at the door. If he's fighting us over putting his pants on before we do go out, he'll calm down and cooperate if we explain that we're putting his pants on so we can go outside.
That's all for now!