It’s not a very glamorous word, but it seems like such an important one. Progress. We can’t really help it, actually. And the kids, man, they are beyond it if that’s possible. I almost feel like my humble writings, even combined with all the photos and video, barely do their amazing lives justice. Not to mention their vast and rapid development. It overwhelms me really, but then I remember that even the most basic of accounts speaks volumes years down the road, and we can already see this at this early stage of the game.

Keana is simply a delight. From the instant she wakes up until she falls quickly asleep, she is essentially a ray of light. She has definitely been trying out her defiance, coupled with sneers and powerful growling expressions, but we know it’s natural and it rarely lasts. She’ll ignore what we say until we force the issue but it’s actually really good to see her healthy questioning and the strength that’s behind it. I think it will serve her well later in life. She’s also excelling in school and gets along with everybody, even the kids in other classes. I’m still surprised when other teachers and parents know her and greet her on the way to school. Keana is definitely our social butterfly.

Tonight was special too. She was chosen by all the kindergarten teachers to present a piece of what she’s learned in school. There were three kindergarteners and three first graders. Here’s what she read from her animal journal:

We’ve worried a little about how much the kids are expected to learn in kindergarten, but Keana has really done well with it and seems to really enjoy the power that comes with reading and writing.

The epitome of progress though is Aliya. She has the unfair advantage of being baby, but she changes every day. After she began sitting up, it wasn’t long until she started to crawl, and she first crawled just a week ago. Sure, it’s still mostly a scoot crawl, but it’s surprising how far she can get in just a short amount of time. We’ve really had to watch out for all those older kid tiny toys, as well as anything else a baby shouldn’t be ingesting.

Aliya is very curious about everything and loves taking the magnet off the fridge and putting them back on, as well as banging things together to make sound. She may be our little percussionist. She’s always been a thump-a-foot, and a game we like playing recently is when I’m changing her diaper, I pretty to defend myself as she kicks wildly at my arms and face; kind of like a faux-karate match. Laughs and squeals and loves it, and so do I. She continues to be quite flirty with everyone really, waving hello and goodbye, and her super-smile is irresistible. I also love how she squeals really high when she’s excited to see someone she knows.

As for food, Aliya is eating much of what we eat with the exception of cheese, cow milk products, bread and that sort of thing. She loves turkey, peas, zucchini, gnawing on chicken bones, and these puff cereal things made for little babies. I like to line little bites up in a row on her tray and she just mows right through it.

We also started Aliya sleeping on her own, in her own room, about two weeks ago. She fusses for 5-10 minutes and then sleeps through the night. It is really amazing having our evenings to ourselves again. Sure she was adorable to hold while she slept peacefully, but it was time. She’s still not used to napping yet, fussing for 5-10 minutes and falling asleep, but not sleeping for more than an hour and is noticeably tired throughout he day. So that’s still being worked out. This is the earliest we’ve started the sleep training though, so we’re in slightly uncharted territory.

Finally The Maij…our fierce little Maia. She is hilarious. She is adorable. She is quick as a whip. And she is mad as hell sometimes. Her will will not bend or brake, and though it’s quite challenging now, I know it will be a strength someday. It seems she’s been having a hard time eating lately. We think she may be too tired at the end of the day to focus on it, or maybe she’s just going through some developmental thing that affects her intake. She’s growing fast and we’re trying not to make issues out of it, but it certainly has been challenging. And of course, bedtime and sleeping has been a challenge too, just as it was with Keana when she was three. We ditched the bunk beds and are having Keana and Maia sleep in the queen together. So far, they are able to go to sleep together most of the time, but Maia often pitches a fit in the middle of the night and Keana comes to sleep with me and Maia falls back asleep with Sarah. We would let her cry it out, but she’s so damn loud and persistent, that she keeps everyone awake. So we’re feeling our way through this one at the moment.

And that’s just a snapshot but I’m operating from the perspective that something, anything, is better than nothing.