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Shifting and Sorting

Another week... rhythms are beginning to emerge, though I'm sure they'll be replaced by new ones after another week or two has passed. I guess it's hard to stick with anything for very long when you're so tiny.

I finished Tobin's hat last week, and he was very cooperative about modeling it. A Patch of Blue Sky (let us chase it!) worked up quickly and adorably, using a very small amount of Knit the Sky leftovers. I still have enough to make him a matching pair of dark blue legwarmers, which is my next planned project after I finish mine.

Speaking of Knit the Sky... it finally dried, and I got the ends seamed. I tried it on and because of the silk in the "clouds" it's heavy enough that it hangs nicely as a straight scarf (instead of a loop) so I just closed each end off flat. It was a really fun project, and one that I'd like to repeat at some future point (just not for awhile).

Brooklyn is gaining interest in Tobin, and tries valiantly to help me with him. If he cries, she runs into his room to get a diaper (which is usually the cause of his upsetness), and if she sees him without a blanket, she'll find one and bring it. I want to encourage her desire to be of assistance, so I commend her even if it isn't entirely helpful and try to give her tasks that she can do.

Along with a renewed effort to get her interested in eating with a spoon (she can, she'd just prefer to eat with her fingers), I lowered her highchair so that she's actually sitting at the table instead of two feet back, with her own tray. Other than the fact that she can get out of it this way (I left the room briefly and came back to find her sitting in the middle of the kitchen table, trying to take a picture of Tobin with my phone) I think it's going to work well. In order to make clean up a little easier, I've been taping down a sheet of waxed paper before each meal - afterwards, she enjoys ripping it up, then collecting the pieces and ferrying them to the trash one by one.

One of her Christmas gifts (from my Mum) was a roll of butcher paper and a box of lovely square crayons. We've been taping the paper onto the kitchen floor (since tots tend to draw with their whole arm and this keeps that from being a problem). The linoleum is textured, but she enjoyed making "rubbings" of it - it's a good activity for that awkward span of time between the afternoon nap and Daddy getting home/dinner, when all of the books have been read and all of the toys cease to be engaging.

Another ingenious thing Mum brought, when she and my grandparents visited over the weekend, was a small clear plastic bottle filled with straws - Brooklyn spent an hour pouring them out and putting them back in. It was too easy with her right hand, so she practiced doing it left-handed for awhile, and the next day she asked where it was. "Straws?"

It was nice getting to see my grandparents for a few hours, since we missed seeing them at Christmas. Brooklyn was (as mentioned) enamored with the activity Mum brought, Tobin slept sweetly and was happy to be held, and I enjoyed talking to grown ups. Once Tobin gets a little more settled on his sleeping habits, we'll have to make a trip to Fayetteville - traveling with four will be an adventure!

I've decided that for the foreseeable future, I'm going to set a goal of accomplishing one Thing each week (that's a reasonable goal, but it is a goal because not having something to aim for is demoralizing to me). Last week I accomplished a couple of things (see, and that way if I get more done, it's exciting!) - publishing the pattern for Tobin's hat, and replying to a couple of letters that I've had sitting in my basket for entirely too long (one since November, the other since early December). This is the part where I get tired... just before routines can really be established, and at the end of my ability to function on a few broken hours of sleep a night (especially since they seem to have a conspiracy wherein one wakes up as soon as the other takes a nap), so I think the one-goal system sounds like a sane one.

Even without established routines, Tobin has become a more integrated part of our lives. When I get Brooklyn in the mornings, she asks about him. "Tobin?" and she waves at him when I sit her down for breakfast. Adam and I are relearning all of the things that we can do together-while-holding-a-baby (there's been a lot of Battleship played, and several movies watched). And if I can't sleep, at least he's a cute little guy to snuggle with while I'm staying up.

Life with two under two is an adventure - ideas for 18 month old appropriate activities (that preferably use things that we're likely to already have, since I still haven't worked up the nerve to take them both anywhere by myself) would be appreciated!


Kayla said…
The straws are an excellent amusement! (Why didn't I think of that?) You've mentioned previously that Brooklyn enjoys rearranging the magnets on the fridge... As you come up with tasks she can help with or toys with which to play, I recommend writing them down and placing the list where you can easily reference it. (Personal experience talking there... Sometimes I just can't think clearly in the moment about what Buddy can do)
Here's a post I wrote when Buddy was 17 months old. Maybe it will help get your gears turning -- though you already do many of the items on the list. There's a resource section at the end, too.

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