I LOVE this age. Despite my frequent complaints and a few bumps in the road, this age is so far the funnest, cutest yet. I was talking with an acquaintance at a friend's one-year-old's birthday party. The acquaintance has a 3.5-year-old and a baby, around 5-6 months, and I was reminiscing about that age and talking about how much I like the current age, even though I miss the little baby stages. The kids are SO much fun now, playing with everything, exploring, smiling, laughing, trying to talk.
We talked about how when they are babies, for a while you are just waiting for the big milestones and for things to get easier. You're waiting for them to start sleeping better, and then sleeping through the night, and then sitting up, playing with toys, crawling, walking. Saying a few words. And then suddenly they're little people, and they're so interactive and funny. They don't talk enough to talk back, and although they throw tantrums they're usually easy to distract or wait out, and then they're happy again.
Tadpole is still a little fireball. During circle time at our weekly playgroup, she does not sit quietly with me, oh no, definitely not! She runs around in circles inside the circle, clapping, shouting, laughing, waving at everyone, and everyone laughs at her. She gets so hyper sometimes! She's started fighting back against Turtle, and one of her favorite things to do now is smack him on the head, usually while he's stealing one of her toys. She is still a happy little bug, smiling at everyone! Her vocabulary isn't expanding too much, she sticks with "hi", "bye-bye", and a few other things that I can't tell what she's saying. She still only does a few animal sounds, but she often says something that sounds like "Hawaii". One of these days I"ll figure it out.
Turtle has had a vocabulary explosion! He learned new animal sounds every day, and often repeats words that we say in both English and Italian. He started saying something that sounded like "babbo" and after a few days we realized it was "bottle". He babbles constantly, and thinks we should understand everything he says. Also, he can work the ipad. As in, he can turn it on, swipe it to unlock it, and pick what he wants to do. Often what he wants to do is watch Sh.au.n the Sheep. He can start ne.tfl.ix, select Shaun, and start playing it. He can also start up most of the toddler games he likes. We have to keep it hidden, which we don't always remember to do, or else he has a meltdown if we don't let him play with it.
This will be the first Christmas that they're aware of what's going on, and I'm excited about it. I'm making them felt stockings (we were in Italy last year, so I didn't even worry about stockings). I'll post a pic later today or tomorrow. We'll probably get a small fake tree to put on the table this year, so I don't have to worry about them getting to it, and I plan to decorate the mantle and put a wreath on the door, and that's about it. We're thinking of getting them tricycles, plus a couple other small gifts like blocks. And my brother and his family will be here for Christmas! My brother hasn't even met my kids yet, and I haven't seen his two older kids in a couple years (they're 3 and 5, so they've changed a LOT). We saw his wife and their 18-month-old back in the spring, but the little guy will have changed a lot, too. I'm SO excited to get all the American cousins together for the first time!
Like I said, I'll post a few pics sometime in the next 24 hours, including a magical one of my husband's town in Italy that his father took during the fall sheep festival!