If you're around Jude & Sloane for five minutes, it's pretty clear how different they are. Jude is very friendly but a little reserved. Sloane is in your face and desires (and usually gets) the attention of everyone in the room. They are proof you can raise two children the exact same way and they are still complete opposites. God created their unique personalities long before I was their mom, and I'm just here to make sure each personality has a chance to shine.
So let's do that, shall we?
Jude continues to be all boy. He cannot keep his hands to himself - he must touch, push, carry, or pull everything in site. If the object is immobile, he will jump off of it, crawl under it, or flip over it. He has zero fear and terrifies me at least 15 times a day. Fortunately, he is strong and not clumsy, so he almost always lands on his feet and rarely gets hurt.
When he is not wreaking havoc, he is sitting in your lap with his arms and legs wrapped tightly around you, kissing your face constantly. He loves to cuddle ("cuckle") and murmurs, "Love you, mama" with his face buried in my neck.
Jude is the most polite 2.5-year-old I know. He says "Thank you," "No thank you," "You're welcome," and "Excuse me" (when he burps). What makes this so bizarre is he's still behind in speech but his manners are impeccable.
Jude can count to 10, knows all of his colors and shapes (struggles saying triangle and rectangle but recognizes them), and several letters. I have never really pushed any of this on them but am trying to be a little more intentional with "learning time" each day. I am a HUGE believer in letting them be little, but I also don't want them to be behind (whatever that means) due to too much time playing with their toys.
Speaking of, he loves the choo choo, blocks, babies (real ones - not dolls), and books. He still loves to crawl in our laps with a book and knows the last word of every page of every book we own. Though he doesn't talk nearly as much as his sister, I know he's got a lot going on in that sweet head of his.
Jude does not love to listen. He has zero ability to multi-task so if he's busy doing something, getting his attention can be quite difficult. And if it's something he doesn't want to do, he will throw quite the tantrum.
Some of his favorite things to do are play/pester his sister (he absolutely adores her and asks "Where's Schloane?" the second she leaves the room), eat green peppers & blueberries, watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, do absolutely anything outside, and sing/dance.
He's about 34 lbs, 37.5" tall, wears a size 8.5 shoe and 3T clothes. He has definitely slimmed down but is still a big boy. We attempted potty training last week and he picked it up quickly but never tells us when he needs to go. As long as we're constantly taking him he's great, but it's pretty exhausting staying on top of it. We're not quite sure if we'll continue with the training or switch him back to diapers for a bit.
Just typing her name makes me smile - Sloane is such a hoot. She is still such a charismatic little girl and is always in search of something fun to do. She is outgoing and energetic - I pray she uses these traits in the best possible way.
Sloane wants to be a part of the action and will do whatever it takes to keep up. She has full blown conversations with me, even if they're still half words/half jabber. I think she just wants to sound like her mama, who can talk for days. She's expressive and uses big hand gestures to convey her thoughts.
She has become very independent and likes to do things for herself. She puts on her own shoes and hair bows. We potty trained her in one (ONE!) day and a week later she doesn't even tell us when she needs to go. She quietly excuses herself, walks to the bathroom to do her business, and then walks out with a big smile on her face. She's amazing.
Sloane is very opinionated so she will let you (and the world) know if she doesn't want to do something. She furrows her brow, crosses her arms, and loudly says "Nooooo!" Neither Jude nor Sloane hold a grudge for long, but they both have tempers. She's also quite the actress, which is a nice way of saying she can lie with the best of them. She ended up in the ER last week due to some breathing issues and was laughing/chatting with Michael. I walked in the hospital room and she immediately gave me the most pathetic face while saying, "Mama, I siiiiiick."
In the last few days, she refers to herself as "Me, Sloane" instead of simply "Me." I'll be honest, when she no longer calls herself "Me" I will hide in my closet and cry. I just think it's the cutest.
Sloane can count to 12, knows her colors and shapes, and quite a few letters. She likes to sing several songs, though it's still the right words mixed with random Sloaney speak.
She thinks the world of her brother and her grandparents. She loves pink and purple and twirling, as well as blocks, choo choos, and playing outside. She is the girliest of girls but can also be quite the tomboy.
Sloane is about 31 lbs, 37.5" tall, and wears a size 8 shoe and 3T clothes (though 2T still fits). Her arms and legs are so long and she still has quite the belly. Her hair continues to grow at a snail's pace, but I've gotten so used to my pixie girl that it's impossible to imagine her with a bob (my second favorite little girl haircut). ;)
It's hard to write about these precious kiddos because I can never think of the right words to describe how special they are. I just reread the above and I only captured a tiny speck of what makes them so incredible. Don't get me wrong - we have disaster days and moments that make me wonder how I'll ever get through the afternoon, but the joy they bring us is immeasurable.
I've also made a real effort to live life a little more like them. To wake up each day thinking it's the best day ever. As I'm teaching them their ABCs, they're teaching me to forgive quickly, hug tightly, and love unconditionally. For only being two, they seem to have a handle on what really matters. Grateful I get to spend my days learning from the best.