The other day around 12:30 in the morning we hear Olivia start screaming and crying so Steve heads into her room. She’s standing on the bed and starts saying “Monster” when he enters the room. Cutest. Thing. Ever. Apparently she thought there was a monster under the bed after reading goodnight goon.
The girls are two years old! They have blossomed into little girls and are no longer babies. We’re still calling them “baby sisters” but they can hold their own against their big brothers. In fact, the girls are almost as big as Nathan. They are even wearing some of the same pajamas. It’s been tough sorting laundry.
There are very few things that are similar about the girls personalities but they get along so well. Even their body types are completely different… they both are so beautiful. We’re trying to encourage them to be best friends but being around anyone 24/7 can lead to some fighting.
- Favorite color: they both LOVE purple. It happens to be Paty’s favorite color and now Anthony’s favorite color as well. It’s good we live in Baltimore given the Ravens.
- We got rid of the cribs about a month ago. We took the family to Montana for vacation and when we got back the girls wanted nothing to do with their cribs. They started crawling out of them and we lowered them all the way to the ground. Something the boys never really got into unless we encouraged them to climb. But the girls were dangerously climbing out and flopping to the floor to the point where we felt it was safer to move them into big girl beds. Emily took to the new beds really well but Olivia has been struggling.
- All the gates have been taken out of the lower level. We left the two on the stairs to keep them from going up and down on their own but they can easily go by themselves.
- They are both talking so good. We can understand almost everything they say. They are using 2 or 3 word sentences like “big truck” “purple shoes”.
- We can finally put their hair into pony tails and braids!
- They know English and Portugeuse! When Paty speaks to them they understand her and even know a few words themselves like “Barriga” – belly, “Uva” – grapes, “tantao” – too much, and of course “eu te amo” – I love you. They definitely know more words than I do so this post isn’t doing it justice!
- They are obsessed with shoes! If they could wear 5 pairs at a time they would.
- They both love their brothers but at the same time they’re a little scared of them. Anthony always pulls them close to the table at dinner in their highchairs so they’re sitting right next to him. But sometimes if he even looks at them they scream and point at him and say “Ant-a-knee, stop!”.
- Both girls are becoming very independent. They like to get into their highchairs themselves and insist on buckling themselves in. They like to put on their own socks and shoes and even clothes. They brush their teeth and comb their own hair.
- Height: 36 1/2 inches 97%
- Weight: 26 lbs – 50th percentile
- Favorite song: Twinkle Twinkle. She sings it all the time. We’ll be randomly all sitting in the car and she’ll burst into song.
- Olivia is so stubborn. She gets that from me. When she sees something she wants, nothing will stand in her way until she gets it. It can be frustrating at times but I love her persistence.
- Speaking of persistence and independence, Olivia has self potty trained. She has kept it dry for about a month now. We’re struggling a bit with #2 but I’m so proud of her. She’ll sit on the toilet and then say “yay” when she pees. She is so proud of herself.
- Olivia has not slept well in her new big girl bed. She fights going to sleep and when she finally does she wakes up around 1 am and screams uncontrollably for an hour to an hour and a half. It. is. painful. Last night I slept next to her so the rest of the house could go to sleep and didn’t sleep from 1:30 – 6:30. The doctor recommended giving her melatonin before bedtime and Benadryl if she wakes up in the middle of the night. We need to do something because lack of sleep is hard to sustain.
- Favorite things to point out: “hellicaca” (helicopters), “wow-wow” (dog) or “star” or “panda”
- Height: 38 inches > 97%
- Weight: 29 lbs (70 – 75th percentile)
- Favorite toy: Her purple stuffed teddy bear. “teddy” goes everywhere Emily goes. She loves to strap him into chairs and the stroller.
- Favorite color: purple
- Emily is still wearing diapers but she’ll go in the potty when encouraged. I told Paty I’m never buying a single diaper again so once we’re out she’ll be potty trained. We’ve got about 3 months of diapers left though so hopefully she’s potty trained before Paty leaves.
- Emily is the sweetest child. Our pediatrician told us to be careful about saying things like that in front of the other kids but it really is so true. She is so caring and helpful. She follows behind me closing closets and cabinets, she picks up after everyone, and she listens really well. She goes to bed in her big girl bed and still takes naps without much pushback. I know this can’t last forever but I’m enjoying having some calm in the chaos.
- Emily has the best evil laugh and toothy smile. She’s also got a cute little freckle/mole on her face that is an adorable beautiful mark.
- Emily is a goofball. She loves to make other people laugh.
- Emily is an amazing jumper. She’s a natural on the trampoline.
- She is so loving. Check out the picture of her and Paty’s panda bear above. As I mentioned before she’s always treating stuffed animals like they were living creatures and gives everyone the best hugs.
Things have been really hard. Having four kids under five is tough. Especially with Olivia’s lack of sleep it’s taking a tole on us. There is more fighting and shouting and short tempers directed at the boys. I appreciate going back to work each week as it reminds me how much I miss the kids and I tend to be nicer to them. The pediatrician says we should be out of the woods in about 2 years. My mom is coming to visit soon and I’m so ready for some help. Our house is a disaster. We spend the entire weekends following around after the kids cleaning up their current messes to the point where we never get to the old messes. On the weekdays when we finally get the kids in bed I have grand plans to clean the house but I can’t get up from mental and physical exhaustion. I did end up hiring Paty’s friend Sarah to help as a “mother’s helper” here and there to clean for an hour. That has been a life saver! I got rid of our cleaners because it was way too stressful. The 4 hours of cleaning before they got here so they could wipe down the cabinets quick was not worth the anxiety.
I got a new job at work which I’m loving. I’m learning a ton about running a company and more around the business side of decisions. I love a challenge and appreciate the new skills it’s bringing but I’m putting in a lot of hours which makes it tough keeping the household running. Steve promised us we’d be out of Baltimore before the kids started kindergarten and now it looks like that’s not going to happen. So on top of everything else we’re dealing with the stress of what to do with the kids once school starts. Having been a public school kid myself I find it outrageous to pay for school when free school is perfectly fine. So there is added household stress from figuring out what we’re going to do. I’d like to either buy a house in Austin and move out there with the kids in the fall to save on taxes plus get them into one of the best schools in the country or buy a new house in Baltimore that is in a decent school district. Steve wants to keep things as is and pay for Kindergarten. Ideally he’d just finish a paper and still apply this fall to get us out of Baltimore and onto the next adventure. I’m ready.
We only have Paty through the end of the year and then she has to go back to Brazil. We’re going to miss her soooo much. I’m not looking forward to the devastation our girls are going to feel when we say goodbye. I’m sure they don’t remember life without her and they absolutely love her. Our whole family is going to be crushed. We are, however, looking forward to welcoming Maria to our family! Maria is from Columbia and we knew instantly she’d fit in with our crazy crew.
It is hard to keep up with the blog. I’ve been wanting to convert it into a book like I did for the boys when they were little but it takes months especially with my backlog. Luckily my instagrams are automatically posted to the blog… I need to hire a professional memory assistant who follows us around documenting our lives. …if only we were famous. 😉
Olivia walked/shuffled eleven steps yesterday. The trick (which Steve uncovered) is to give her something to hold and then get really excited and ask her to come to you backing up a little at a time away from her.
zero teeth two days ago for Olivia. Then yesterday one poked through on the bottom, and today the one next to it came through.
One of my favorite things about Olivia is how she plays with her hands. Sometimes when I catch her eye and she smiles she puts her hands together and plays with them. It is so endearing.
It’s hard to believe these two little sweethearts have only been in our lives for 3 months. Time is flying by. They really are the sweetest babies.
They are both wearing size 2 diapers, although they are a little big on both of them. Emily and Olivia both hate having a poopy diaper. If there is anything in their diapers they are sure to let us know about it. They both have beautiful smiles. My favorite thing to do these days is get them to crack a smile. They love being talked to, even by their big brothers. Their eyes are gorgeous and both seem to be a similar shade of blue. We moved the girls upstairs and my office downstairs. My mom got the girls these cute little butterflies and we attached them to the ceiling fan. They love to sit in their cribs and watch as the butterflies “fly” above them. Both girls still love to be held and snuggle in little little monkeys. Emily and Olivia are both amazing eaters… and efficient. They’re already taking less than 10 minutes a feeding and then they’re done.
- Emily has been doing awesome sleeping. She made it over a week sleeping 7+ hours each night. We decided to let her sleep instead of waking her up with Olivia wanted to eat because Olivia has been sick and we were curious how long Emily could go.
- In the mornings she can be found talking to herself with sweet gurgles waiting patiently in her crib for someone to come and get her.
- Emily is always wide eyed and looking around, afraid to miss a thing.
- Her eyes!! She has the biggest blue eyes just like her brother Anthony.
- They are both getting very strong. Emily seems to like tummy time more than Olivia and can hold her head up pretty high.
- Emily loves to eat. Which typically means she overeats and spits up whatever her stomach can’t hold. Then she gives us the biggest content smile.
- Olivia is still waking up every 3 hours at night to feed. She has been pretty sick though so half the time I’m not sure if she’s hungry or if she’s just having trouble breathing through her coughing fits.
- Olivia likes quiet. She’ll get really upset and stop eating on me if her brothers are making too much noise around her. Sometimes I’ll have to take her to a quiet dark room and escape the chaos to get her to finish eating.
- Have I mentioned how cute her half grin is that she got from me?!?
- Her eyelashes!!
- She has the cutest little belly button. It looks like it’s an almost outtie. Reminds me of an @ sign.
- We are getting an au pair! We are so excited that Patricia Freitas de Lima Matos will be joining our family starting in January. She gets to the United States on the 4th but has a training session and won’t get to our place until the 8th. We’ve done a few Skype video calls with her so far and know she is going to fit in nicely with our family.
- My mom leaves on Wednesday to head back to Montana to get my dad. Then the two of them are driving across the country back to Baltimore to spend the holidays with us. We’re lucky we’ll get to celebrate both of their birthdays as well. We can’t wait to see Grandpa and I’m sure Grandma is excited as well.
- My maternity leave is going by way too fast. I have to go back to work the 4th of January. Our old nanny, Ann, offered to help me out that first week until our au pair starts the following week.
- We have definitely gotten into a routine. Steve has been waking up early with the boys and taking them to school and then coming home to swap cars so that we have the minivan. Then around noon we swing by the school to grab the boys and feed them lunch and try to get them down for a nap around 1. It usually takes them until around 2 to finally fall asleep (probably doesn’t help that they’re in the same room talking to each other). Then we usually have someone come over to help between 3 and 3:30 in the afternoon when the boys wake up until 6pm. The girls are still in the infant phase of sleeping on demand but they are getting to where they take a long nap in the morning and another one in the afternoon.
- We had a few guests this month including Aunt Leslie, Uncle Lonnie, and Katie. It was amazing having 6 extra arms to watch and play with all the kiddos. We definitely miss them. Nathan is still asking “Where is Katie and her friends in the basement?”.