Monday, October 21, 2013

Fair Day!

This year, our day at the State Fair was the most fun I think I've ever had. Last year, the kids were only 6 months old, and to be honest, I think I spent the entire time looking for changing tables or nursing stations, and it was just sort of a fog of baby-ness. The year before, I was very newly pregnant and determined to fight through the ickiness and heat, and came home and was sick all night.

This year, I was a little iffy about going - I woke up with the beginnings of a migraine, and if it had been any warmer, I probably would have stayed home. But the forecast called for a crisp fall day, so I thought I might just be able to get away with being outside for a while. Sure enough, the beautiful weather blew my achiness away, and the kids started out the morning with pink noses and the excitement of riding the train to the fair.

My uncle and aunt met us at the entrance, which was a fun surprise - we haven't spent much time with them lately, so it was fun to get to hang out with them.

The DART Rail station is right outside the car-show buildings, so we went through one of those on the way to our first food stop (waffle-fried chocolate covered strawberries). The kids enjoyed pretending to drive (aka pushing all the buttons) and pretending to be chauffeured (aka bossing her cousin around).

Sadly, as much as Eleanor wanted to try a corn dog last year, she discovered she didn't really like them. Steven, on the other hand, was a huge fan as soon as I added a little ketchup. I took out the stick so he could tackle it on his own.

We wandered through a big greenhouse on the Midway to look at the trains, and came across a little area with free pumpkin decorating for the kids. They had fun with that, and while they were working on their masterpieces, a 10-foot-tall walking, talking TREE came up and said hi. Eleanor was mesmerized. When we left the greenhouse, we were getting ready to go on the big carousel when the kids discovered that the big "rocks" in front of the greenhouse were made of foam, so they spent a while bouncing on those before we got in line for the carousel.

My mom had Steven, while I had Eleanor - she wasn't really sure what was going on, and when the carousel started moving, she thought it was fun, then a little scary, then fun again. They liked watching for Grandpa and Uncle Dane and Aunt Abbey waving outside.

I figured they'd be getting tired and ready to head out, but they were cheerful and happy still, so we changed clothes (casualties of pumpkin-decorating sharpies and ketchup) and kept going to the petting zoo. Eleanor went NUTS for the baby goats.

It was very crowded, but she waited patiently to pet one, and another little girl let her hold some food to tempt one over.

We regrouped with the family after the petting zoo, and while we were doing that, the kids dozed off. Right as they were both really settling, we walked past the big concert stage, where a band was playing a pretty hard-driving, bass-heavy song. Mom turned around and said, "Good luck getting past here with them still asleep..." and right as she said it, they switched to a very soft hymn, which they continued playing until we were well past.

We figured that was a good end to a really sweet, fun day at the fair.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Twins at 18 Months

So. A year and a half.

We spent the day before the kids' half-birthday at a reunion carnival that their NICU puts on each year. It was such a neat time to think back on how far they've come, and to see the other happy kids that have come through similar experiences, tossing beanbags and eating cotton candy. 

I was thinking about personality today. People ask a lot about what each of them is "like" - how they're different, what their personalities are like. I have a very hard time answering - to me, they're completely distinct little people, but not in ways that are easy to categorize. They both chatter like magpies, in an identical mix of babble and real words (and frequently I realize that something I thought was babble is actually a real word I just wasn't understanding); they're both increasingly adventurous (but still pretty cautious) when it comes to climbing around playgrounds; they're both starting to pay a lot of attention to music and dancing and singing; they spend a lot of time involved in games that involve a lot of laughing and a lot of improvising.

The "twin" thing is something that fascinates me every day. Obviously, I have no personal frame of reference for it, and I'm really enjoying learning about it firsthand. I wonder how it's going to play out in the rest of their lives. They're not completely joined at the hip - in fact, in some ways, I think they're more independent than a singleton their age might be, because they always have the confidence that the other is still there, somewhere. 

It's like they're little planets that orbit around each other. Maybe they're not always together, maybe they can't always see each other, but their unseen, unspoken gravity always brings them back together, if only in passing.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what the next six months will bring. Health-wise, they're amazing - definitely caught up on the growth charts and both tall for their age - and they're both just the sweetest people you could know.

It's certainly been a week of milestones! 10 years married, 18 months parents. Somehow it still feels like just the beginning, and I couldn't be happier about that.