Veggie Time

 The other evening my mom was over playing with us while Chad was at church.  After some time of playing dress up…


and trying on hats…

 and riding our horse (with more hats)…

We were ready for dinner.

We like to play some games during dinner.  Our favorite game is called, “Whose milk is that?” whereby we ask the girls, “Whose milk is that?” and they identify it as “Mommy’s milk” or “Daddy’s milk” or “Tessa’s milk” or “Nor Nor’s Milk”.  It’s fun and we go around and around the table.  Since Grammy was sitting with us that night, we were able to practice “Grammy” which is just starting to sounds like “Gra”, but we’re working on it.  They also like to tell each person when they are “all done! all done!”

We made up a variation of this game called, “Boy, is this milk delicious” whereby a person takes a swig of their milk and they follow it with a loud and refreshing “AHHHHHH!!!” sound.  Everyone got multiple turns.  As I noticed that the girls were not eating their carrots, I decided to take this game one step further.  So, I took a carrot off of Tessa’s plate and made a big deal rubbing my tummy and saying, “Mmm Mmm DELICIOUS!”.   Then I pointed at Grammy–her turn!  “Mmm Mmm DELICIOUS!” she said.  Then I pointed at Tessa, who is not adverse to vegetables but chooses normally not to eat so many of them, and she popped one in her mouth and smiled, rubbed her tummy and said, “mmm mmm”.  Not totally convincing, but she DID eat a carrot.  Then, it was Nora’s turn, who also enthusiastically popped a carrot into her mouth.

Her face dropped.  Half gagging on the disgustingness that is a carrot, she thrust the half chews bits back out of her mouth with her tongue as Grammy and I roared with laughter and shrieked, “Don’t laugh! Don’t laugh!”

That kid genuinely does not like carrots.

Oh well.  Sorry baby.


Yes.  We are still here.  This blog is still alive.  It has just been crazy. Too crazy.  And the thoughts and the memories slip away and things change before I can post them…So, let’s get back on track. 

The girls turned 18-months-old on Valentine’s Day.  I love that.  It just seems so fitting that the two people who have their arms wrapped tightly around my heart have a 1/2 birthday on V-Day.  They are so sweet.

Right around Valentine’s Day we had a LOT of people asking us how many words they say.  As if I have the time (or the thought) to sit down and COUNT their vocabulary.  So, I started counting and here’s what we came up with as of 18 months.  And, in full disclosure, the girls have always seemed to progress through milestones at the same time or within a week or so apart.  Variances are otherwise noted herein (god–do I sound like a lawyer or what?).

I divided their vocabulary into three categories: words they can actually say, signs that they can make and animal noises (or object sounds).  I’m sure I missed some, but here’s the bulk in no particular order:


Toe (this is their favorite song thanks to Cassie and Mackenzie!), Snow (they scream with enthusiam as it falls and falls and falls out our window), No (no comment) , Yes (mostly nodding, but they do say it when prompted), Nora (Both girls can say “Nora”, although Tessa has it down to an art-form.  Tess says, “Nora” ALL THE TIME.  She clearly knows that it’s her sister’s name, but she also uses it arbitrarily in other contexts.  It’s odd.  Nora can also say her name, but she calls herself, “Nor Nor”.   I think that’s adorable…)

Tessa (Again, both girls can say this although sometimes it sounds like “Da Da”, so you have to pay attention.  For awhile it sounded like Tessa was calling herself “NoraTet-Ta”, but I think I figured it out.  It’s goes like this:

Me: Tessa, what’s her name? [pointing at Nora]

Tessa: Norrr-A.

Me: Good.  What’s YOUR name? [pointing at Tessa]

Tessa: NoraTeta.

Me: No, you’re Tessa.

Tessa: No-you’re-Teta.

Get it?  NoraTeta and No-you’re-Teta.  I thought she was confused that her name was Nora also so I kept correcting her telling her “no, you’re Tessa,” so she’d repeat me saying “No-you’re Tessa”.  Oh geez.)…Now she just says “Tet-Ta”.

Shoes (sounds like “chews”), Barbara, Da-da, Ma-ma (although it’s usually in triplicate “Ma Ma Ma”)…


Baby (OBSESSED WITH THE BABIES LATELY), Elmo (with variations of Mo and Melmo), Big Bird (although they can only say Elmo and Big Bird, the can identify every single Sesame Street character by pointing.  We have these old books that have all the old characters and they know and LOVE all of them), Down, More, Oranges (Tessa only once said this, and she totally over enunciated it–which was hilarious), Ball, Pa (for paci), Go (they repeat this a million times when Grammy comes over because they think they get to “go” somewhere with Grammy), Bye bye, Balloon (although it sounds more like “Baoon”), Cracker (with a “gra-crack-car” being a variation on graham cracker), Pa Pa (for Papi Jerry), Cheese (for the food and the smile)…


Go dog go (their all-time favorite book thanks to Alex and Jacob), Zebra (Tessa only), Nite nite (mostly Nora), Coat (with a silent “t” for coat),  Water (really, wa-wa)…


 Dora (Tessa says this clearly and distinctly from “Nora”, and I think Nora calls her more like “Doe”).


Cat (all time favorite animal), Dog, Duck, Cow, Sheep, Snake, Rooster (this one is hilarious “ca-ca-doogle-do”), Witch (they’ve got a cackle down), Horse


Bear/tiger, Fish face (fishes make faces, not sounds, sillies!), Elephant (we got a hand gesture down for the nose on this, too)…


 Owl, Frog (we do a side-to-side tongue thing, not “ribbit” because that’s what our books says), Monkey (with arm-pit scratching effects), Cookie monster (we can put away cookies like that dude), Seal (arf! arf!), Car, Burr (cold), Airplane (with sign), Microwave (boop boop boop boop boop! as they play on their toy microwave in their toy kitchen–also a variation on elevator buttons–I desperately wish I had a picture of them playing with their microwave).


Milk, Eat, Cookie (we get a little sound with this, “cuk”, but not really a word), All done (we do say “ah dun” with this), Dirty (so cute), More (ok, we say this CLEARLY, but it is a prominent sign), Diaper, Bath (Nora says “Ba” with this), Bed (Nora now says “nite nite”), Hug, Baby (we can say this, but we furiously sign for it, too), Sick, Help, Airplane, Book, Cold, Car, Please (we can say “peas”), Thank you, Clap (for good job), Brushing teeth, Wipe-nose (we scrunch up our nose and blow)…

Share (I made this sign up because we need a sign for it).

So, it was a pretty good vocabulary of words/signs/sounds for 18 months… 

But since February 14th, we’ve really seen an explosion of annunciations of new words.  They can repeat a lot of words when asked.  New words that they’ve never said before.  More than I can list.  Some require prompting, some are spontaneous.  It’s incredible to see them on the verge of something new, something exciting, something liberating.  I was really pleased with the signs that they knew before they were verbal.  I remember seeing the relief in Tessa’s face when she signed “milk” the first time and I handed her the cup of milk.  It was this expression of “Oh, lady, you totally know what I want.  Eureka!”  The animal sounds starting coming along and I would just make their sounds into sentences.  Nora would “meow” and I’d say, “Do you see a kitty-cat?  Kitty-cats say ‘meow.’ ” And then the words started to flow.

It’s fun.  And I’m so proud of them.  The next ride is about to begin…