The girls are continuing to shoot through the roof on growth. Heidi is learning skills left and right and is getting so much better at mimicking sounds. The other day she was asking for something to eat. She started out by fussing but knows that, through lots of me saying, "No, that's not how we ask" that that isn't the best way to get something. So she walked over to the cupboard where the raisins and other snack foods are kept, and she signed "more, please" and pointed up at the cupboard. I said, "Would you like a snack?" and she replied "Nak!" Her speech is slower coming than Sophia's was, but on the flip side of the coin I feel as though her comprehension of speech is greater. When I tell her to close cupboards or ask if she'd like to close the door on the dishwasher (one of her favorite things to do), she always knows what I'm asking her. She can also be remarkably good at ignoring things that she doesn't want to hear. She is also very playful. After bath time, we'll go into the bedroom to change into a diaper and pajamas and I'll say "Come here, Heidi" and she'll take one look at me, smile, and run her naked little buns down the hallway, laughing the whole way. She very much enjoys the chasing game right now.
Heidi is also getting insistent on using utensils. I think primarily because she sees everybody else using them. She gets frustrated if I forget to get her a fork and she will look at me and ask "please" until I figure it out. She's getting pretty good at using it, too. She can also use a spoon pretty well for eating cereal with milk, or eating yogurt.
I think Heidi will soon be backing off from two naps to one nap. She has done this a couple of times when I am home with the girls and she tends to do fairly well. On those days, she goes to bed a little earlier (around 7 or 7:30 instead of 8 or 8:30). But I think we're moving that direction.
She officially has two back top molars in. It was a long and difficult process getting them in, with some reduced sleeping and lots of stuffy nose, but it seems like those have settled for now! She did wake up screaming around 11 p.m. last night, and I went into the room and helped her lay back down, and just held my hand against her cheek for a little bit. She snuggled right back down into her crib and fell asleep; I'm not sure what woke her up but she was crying and half-asleep when I went in there...just needed a little comfort.
She is great at animal sounds. She mostly loves to make the froggy sound (which sounds like "babbit, babbit"), but she also loves barking when she sees dogs, or making piggy noises (which sound almost like a throat clearing sound). She has an outfit with the frog on the shirt and she would go around pointing at her shirt and saying ribbit. Way too cute.
Heidi is also a great reader. She absolutely loves books and reading. Her favorites are All Year Long (a Pooh Bear book), Goodnight Moon, an Animal Alphabet book (with sliding pictures of the animals; she loves the frog), a Sofia the First book about a talent show, and Doggies by Sandra Boynton (which is a counting book and all the dogs have different barks, so I have been practicing my barks). She will grab a book and hand it to me, turn herself around and sit right down on my lap and wait for me to read. Sophia loves reading as well. She loves Olivia books and Knuffle Bunny books by Mo Willems, but her new favorite is Dogger, which I absolutely adore. Very sweet little book about a boy losing his stuffed dog and his older sister helping him get it back.
Sophia is remarkably bold. Sometimes she shies away from the unknown but the last couple of times we have been in the Mall of America there have been characters from kids shows dressed up and she has run right up to them eagerly for hugs and pictures. She is also my brave girl when it comes to bugs, though someday this job may be handed over to younger sister, because Heidi is just fearless. This is more of a 50/50, but she's braver than I am. She has killed spiders for me before. If they hold generally still, it is not an issue. She gets a little more nervous when they start crawling towards her... when that happens, all bets are off. I was sent a picture from Sherri recently where Sophia was holding a caterpillar. I was surprised, but Sherri mentioned that the caterpillar was dropped a few times when it moved. She does like holding ladybugs too.
She loves to be a help with her little sister. Sophia likes to teach Heidi things and help her out with things like caring for dolls and bears. She also takes care of her Baby Anna very well. The other night Anna joined us at the dinner table and she was making sure that the baby had food and drink as well so she could care for her during dinner. Of course, sometimes she forgets to eat in the process so at times Baby Anna has had to be removed from the table so that Sophia would eat as well, but she usually does both (feeding herself and the doll) pretty well.
I think Sophia may be about ready to be done with her afternoon nap. She has been staying up very late at night, and I think this may be in part to taking long naps during the day. She also does okay (on some days) when she goes without a nap. I think we may have to cut down the nap time to a shorter time, at least.
This morning was adorable. Typically Chris leaves for work around 6:00 a.m., before I wake the girls up, but today he had his chaplain training/meeting that he does at a local VA every 2 or 3 Fridays, so he didn't leave until around 6:30. Sophia was thrilled to see Chris this morning, and ran and jumped into his arms to give him a hug. I had gotten her dressed before she saw Chris and was getting Heidi's jacket on when Sophia came out from saying goodbye to Daddy to get her jacket on. Her little long sleeve t-shirt had been tucked into her leggings. Thinking I had accidentally pulled her leggings up over her shirt when I was getting her dressed, I reached over to pull her shirt out from her leggings. She cried "No!!" and asked me to stop untucking her shirt. She explained to me, "I want it tucked in like Daddy's shirt is tucked in". Oh my. How adorable. So Sophie was dropped off at daycare this morning with a t-shirt tucked into leggings. And she made it look good, too.
I think there is a good chance that Sophia will be artistic in some way. I don't know what that will be... music, singing, drawing, painting, designing... but something. She likes things to be beautiful, and likes to create. The other day we were walking out of the grocery store together, and they had some giant pumpkins out for decor. She ran over to the pumpkins and plopped herself down on one and said "Take my picture, Mommy!" without any suggestion from me to do so.
Both girls slept in until just after 9 a.m. on my Tuesday off this week. Either this is an effect of winter or they are both going through a growth spurt. I think the growth spurt is more likely, but they've been in a constant one since they were born. I just love these girls so very much.