They are quite different.
She is also our most sensitive family member, specifically when it comes to interpersonal relationships and space. When she reads a book with someone, she prefers to be sitting on their lap. Sitting alongside them is too disconnected, so snuggling is required in that setting. She gets most upset by being left alone, either in time out to cry (she ramps it up!) or if a friend just doesn't want to play. And while this lends itself to overreaction and drama (wearing us out), it also means that she can be extremely kind and sweet, because people really matter to her. She loves sitting with me, talking about how the baby is growing, feeling my belly for kicks. If she catches me funny with her elbow or knee, she is very quick with a "Sorry, Mama. Are you okay?" If we have an idea of something kind to do for someone else, she gets really excited to make them happy. She is also very helpful and is getting good at various chores like making her bed and Cora's, cleaning up her room, and even washing some (non-breakable) dishes. She loves helping us cook, but hasn't gotten to the point of being very useful yet. It takes her FOREVER to grate cheese. She seems most eager to learn how to crack eggs...not sure why.
She began ballet at the beginning of September and absolutely loves it. Just ask her about her "leagatargets" (leotards) and she'll talk your ear off. Ballet days are our best days because she is just waiting to be told to get ready. I can basically require anything 'before you can get dressed for ballet', and she will do it. Not that I abuse that. She's always been a little clumsy, but I can honestly say she has been a little more graceful, with less wipeouts in recent weeks. It's cute when she decides she needs to stretch or practice, and Cora joins in. Very sweet to see them giggling together, bent over on the floor or up on tiptoes (Cora tries, at least).
Being fancy is another favorite thing. Speaking of doing things big, this girl would actually choose to wear a dress with pantyhose and sandals (we don't have anything fancier), jewelry, hair done up in a big bow or with a crown, and lip gloss, carrying a purse...every day if we would let her. Her crown is now broken (stepped on too many times...it kept shrinking until there wasn't anything left), and she tried hard to convince me that she NEEDED another one so she could be fancy because nothing else would work as well. *Sigh* We're not sure where she got this. : )
She is very interested in reading, and tries to sound out words, though she guesses half the time. Her memory is unreal, recently referencing "the time she learned the word SHAKE because it was like her name but with a K". This happened a year ago on furlough in the car when she read it off of a Sonic cup sitting in the cupholder.
Overall, her grandiose approach to daily life can be exhausting, but she is just wonderful, exactly as she is.
Cora has always been our calmer and happier child. I thought she might be the laid-back one. However, as she grows and develops, it seems I may have been mistaken. For one, she still isn't talking much, as far as real words go, but she does babble with inflection like she really thinks she's using words. So when we don't understand, she gets frustrated. She also gets upset when something is either taken away or not provided as a toy, like a cell phone or pen. She has developed a banshee-like screech to let us know she is unhappy about that. Besides this, though, she is still the more easy-going of the two and knows how to work her charming little smile and head-tilt to wrap herself around little fingers everywhere. But this doesn't mean she just takes it easy. Rather, she may turn out to be our little clown. She makes silly faces to make Shaye laugh. She fake sneezes to get us to say Bless You and laughs. She falls down on the floor as a joke, giggling. She pretends to be asleep, complete with "snoring". She loves being tickled, and will voluntarily raise her arms to make it even easier. She laughs freely. Still very happy, but not so much the calm one, with a defiant streak for now. Fitting, her favorite song is "If you're happy and you know it".
She is also an odd balance of shy and outgoing. Strangers are met with blank stares and the thumb in the mouth (yep, still going with that - right thumb in the mouth, left index finger touching her bellybutton). But friends, especially Manuela, Anna and Sakari, to name a few, get big smiles, excited squeals and hurrying toward them to be picked up.
Even though she's not talking much, she understands most of what we say. I can direct her to go get her cup out of her room, and she heads straight in there. She answers our questions about what to eat or what book to read. She says more and more words every day, and Shaye likes helping her practice to make them clearer. She'll attempt anything we ask, but only about half of what we try comes close right now.
She loves reading books, even by herself, and is easily occupied for long stretches of time flipping through them. One of her favorites is Amelia Bedelia, who she calls something along the lines of "belabelabela". Not too far off. The Bible storybook is another favorite, and she often points out a "duck" (any bird). Unlike Shaye, when she read with someone, she usually prefers to sit beside them rather than in their lap.
She still eats more than her older sister, though she is odd in her preferences. By this I mean she prefers tomato slices, grapes and watermelon to peanut butter and bread. Yogurt is fun to eat, but she's unconcerned about getting every last bite. French fries are just okay, but corn is a hit. She won't eat goldfish, but give her a bowl of atomatada (Peruvian dish with beef, tomatoes, onion and rice), and she'll have it down before you finish yours. She swiped Shaye's Coke one day and liked it, so she often reaches for our cups, but she refuses to have a juice box if she can't hold it herself. She crunched into a coffee bean one day by chance (I didn't think she'd like it, so I let her have it), and now comes begging for them whenever she hears the coffee grinder start up.
I'm sure I'm forgetting to mention all kinds of little things they do that make them even more unique. (Pregnancy does this to a mom's brain, you know.) But even as they keep us on our toes and stretch us to new limits, they really are such blessings and, when we remember, very fun to watch as they grow and become their own little people.