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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Questions and answers (part 1)

Thanks for all the great questions. The girls are napping right now, so I'll start typing away at the answers and get as far as I can before they wake up or my wrists get sore. Here's the first question: Q: You haven't commented in a while how the girls are different and similar. It is now possible, at least for me, to tell them apart (their smiles are different and a few other things that help me) but I have been curious if they have different or similar interests and things they like to do. Not developmental similarities and differences but how they distinguish themselves from one another. A: Alrighty here are a few random things, off the top of my head, I'll try to focus most on the differences, because I don't usually write about those: * COLORS: Ree likes a wide variety of colors and changes her preferences frequently — blue, purple, yellow, and white are today's favorites. Tomorrow will probably be different. Ro likes pink — period — it is absolutely her favorite color and always has been. ReeDrawing* CREATIVE STUFF: When Ree draws lately, she's likely to draw a specific object and tell me what the object is and draw a whole bunch of items to go along with it. The other day she made a drawing and said "This is China" then pointed to a particular part of the drawing and said "This is the Great Wall." Ro is obsessed with drawing dots lately. She likes to draw a big circle on a piece of paper and then spend 30 minutes filling in the circle with as many different-colored dots as she can make. She also likes to fill an entire piece of paper with really dark blobs of color. When she's done you can't even see the original color of the paper. RoDrawingBoth girls love anything artsy or crafty and can spend an hour (or more) playing at the art table. Ro has a real creative streak when it comes to problem solving. I've actually asked her advice the last few times I needed to buy presents for people and she came up with great suggestions, ones that I followed! Swim, swim, swimming* SWIMMING: Ree really likes to swim and play in the pool but is much more cautious than her sister. She wants to jump in from the side (over and over and over) as long as she knows you'll catch her, and sometimes she wants her water wings for a little extra bravery. If anyone (like, say, a twin sister) pushes her head under the water she freaks out. Ro LOVES to swim this year. She is like a little fish bobbing around in the water, jumping in from IMG_0551the side, submerging her whole head, and grinning the whole time. The girls have been so excited to go to the pool every day this week (it's been freaky hot) that I sucked it up and went bathing suit shopping so I could go in with them every time (insert huge applause and sympathy here, please!). * SLEEPING: Ree almost never falls asleep in the car, proclaiming loudly (and truthfully) that she prefers to sleep in her own bed. She likes to get a lot of sleep, usually takes a longer nap than her sister, falls asleep earlier at night, and sleeps later in the morning. Ro can't ride in the car for very long without falling asleep, and once she starts to nod off there is absolutely nothing you can do to keep her awake. Oh, and the girls have different sleep positions, too. Ro sleeps on her stomach, surrounded by so many "friends" (stuffed animals) that she only has a few inches of mattress to herself, while Ree sleeps on her back with arms flung wide and only one or two stuffed animals haphazardly tossed on the edge of the bed. * FOOD: Ro loves shrimp. She can't get enough and usually filches them from her sister (who is pretty indifferent to almost all protein). Both girls are obsessed with gum and all kinds of fruit, especially pineapple. We always have sugarless gum in a few different flavors, and a stick of gum or a piece of fruit is the highest bribe we can offer right now. They also die for artichoke dipped in "nah-naise." TubaDad won't eat the stuff (says it's too much work for too little food) but the girls and I could eat artichoke all day long. Mmmmmm. * VOICES: Ree's voice is higher. Ro's is a little deeper and sometimes kind of gravelly. When I'm driving the car I can always tell who's talking to me or singing without even looking. Ree sometimes switches to an annoying high-pitched "baby voice" lately, mostly when she's around TubaDad, so we're working on that right now. * RUNNING: Ro is always on the run lately. I swear she's going to be a marathon runner -- that girl can run really fast for the longest stretches. Her favorite running partner right now is my dad. She gets a huge grin on her face, grabs his hand, and off they go. I can't keep up, not even close. Ree does a funny little hop-run combo — she kind of looks like Tigger bouncing down the path. Both runs are adorable and I have no earthly idea why I've never videotaped them. (must remedy immediately) * HAIR: The girls like different hairstyles -- given the choice Ro will almost ask for braids, and Ree will ask for one big ponytail in the back. Their hair is a little different, by the way, Ro's is a bit thicker (I don't think it's noticeable to anyone but their hairdresser), and Ree's is a bit wilder and always comes loose from a ponytail or whatever style I put it in. Come to think of it, Ree's hair was wilder even when she was a baby. Does anyone remember me saying back on our China trip that you could tell them apart because no matter what I did Ree had "wild hedgehog hair" by the end of the day? Heh. * RULES: Ro is a rule-follower. If you ask her to do something, she does it happily. If you ask her to clean up, she finishes what she was doing and then she cleans. Ree, well, not so much. She would rather do anything in the world than clean up, and if she knows she's supposed to do something she will often do the opposite just to be mischievous. Whooeeee the girl is stubborn, almost as stubborn as I, which is saying A LOT. ;-) Both girls love to help. It doesn't matter what I'm doing, they're happiest if they're involved. DSC_4690* SCHOOL: Both girls like doing school-type things at home. They really get into all the learning activity books we get them, and pick up on new things amazingly fast (like counting syllables and adding and subtracting small numbers). Ro has a longer attention span for challenging activities and will often want to keep on going long after Ree has closed her book and moved on. Ability-wise they seem similar, so I wonder if Ree just gets bored? Ree likes going to preschool more than Ro, although both girls say they'd rather stay at home with me. Ree is more confident and outgoing at school than Ro, and when they're split into separate groups at preschool Ree does fine while Ro kind of pines for her sister. * DIRT: Both girls LOVE anything where they can get messy. Sand. dirt, paint, water, you name it. The dirtier and messier they are, the happier they are. * WHO'S IN CHARGE: Ree is kind of the little director when it comes to playtime. She invents all sorts of wild games and gets Ro to follow her lead (actually she ropes in any kid that's nearby, and they all seem play along). I don't mean to give the impression that Ro is passive, I think Ree just comes up with great ideas and Ro genuinely has fun playing along. However, Ro is actually more aggressive and she is also braver in new situations right now (they switch back and forth on this every few months). Ro will go on every single ride at an amusement park, Ree will hang back on a few, and Ro doesn't mind trying new things even if she has to do it by herself. The girls love climbing walls, all kinds all heights* GYMNASTICS: Both girls like gymnastics, but they seem to excel at different things. Ree is really good at balance-type things (she's like a little cat) and Ro is great at strength things (she can pull herself up on the bar and do a flip all by herself). Neither one can concentrate worth a damn when her sister's around, so they're in separate classes right now. Sigh... * LOVEYNESS: Ree is a little more affectionate right now. She's the first one to say I love you and always gives incredibly exuberant hugs and lots of them (yay!). She's a sweetie to everyone, but is a daddy's girl at heart and lights up even more when he comes home. She loves to make people laugh, and she's so dang funny. Ro is incredibly loyal to everyone she loves and is sweet, sensitive, and tender. She doesn't like change (like her mama). When you get a hug from Ro she nearly squeezes the stuffing out of you — it is The Best. She is a mama's girl and always has been, and I can do no wrong in her eyes (little sweetie). Ro is also really dang funny. Both girls love to laugh, and they crack each other up. It's a good combo. Oh crap, they're both awake after an insanely short nap (booooo!), so I guess I'm only going to get to answer one question. Sorry the list was so random (and long), I thought I'd have way more time and could edit/rewrite it. More Q&A later.


  1. That's so cute! Were their personalities like that at all in China?

  2. I didn't know the girls were in gymnastics. Is this gymboree that they used to be in, or is it a gymnastics class they are in now?

  3. Anonymous4/22/2009

    Thank you...from the one who asked the question.

  4. The girls seem so happy and well-adjusted. We are expecting a referral any time now and RQ has had a great post about attatchment.
    If it's not to personal, what issues have the girls had and what type of things did/do you guys do to promote binding?

  5. So cool! Love to hear all about your girlies and picture them doing some of the things you've talked about.

    Miss you all like CRAZY!!!!!

  6. Anonymous4/23/2009

    Reading about coloring reminded me of something I used to do that Ro might enjoy: I would color a full page in with crayons in multi-colors, then do another layer over that (we were taught plain black, but anything would work as long as it's dark enough to cover). Then you use a paperclip or other object to scrape off the top layer and make designs. I thought it was fun.

  7. Anonymous4/24/2009

    All your posts are great, but this one is REALLY special. (Perhaps one to save and share with them at milestone event when they're older...) Thanks for your blog -- the love shines through.