May 30, 2010

Adventures Continued...

Today we had a wonderful reunion with some friends from seminary. We headed to Ohio and spent the afternoon with 3 other couples and their kids. I cannot completely express how wonderful it was to spend time with these friends. When we first met them only 1 of the children was born. During our time together at seminary, 2 more came along. It was amazing to sit there with them today and see those 3 children running around and playing together (seeming so grown up!) with 5 more added to the mix! It was also a little incredible to collectively share our joys, hopes, and struggles in life and ministry - the ministry we dreamed about and attempted to prepare for together at seminary.
This post would be VERY long if I attempted to describe all of the mini-adventures of our reunion, so I will just give a few bullet points :)
  • The twins discovering their dog - uncontrollable giggles!
  • Seeing LJ & JJ who we have watched grow throughout the years.
  • Discovering how close we are to our friends - hopefully we'll see them much sooner and more often!
  • Ry-guy falling and bumping his head - his biggest gash yet. Thank goodness one of our friends is a nurse (which kept mommy calm), and they had a nice supply on band-aids (since this wasn't the only blood we saw...when you get 8 kids 5 & under together, boo-boos are bound to happen!).
  • Allie stuffing her mouth so full of watermelon that she looked like a chipmunk!
  • Lucas playing various games with the older kids - and them calling him "Uncle" Lucas!
  • The twins wanting so desperately to play with the big kids.
  • Ryan building towers with the blocks.
  • Allie knocking down every block tower.
  • Good conversation with dear friends - even if it was in disjointed snippets between chasing children, kissing boo-boos, redirecting, playing, etc.
  • Laughing children - there's nothing better!

It was a wonderful day, and tomorrow we're on to our next adventure - a visit to Nana!

May 28, 2010

Adventures

In our house, every day is an adventure - full of surprises. I expect that is the case in any home with multiple toddlers (or children of any age, for that matter). Today was a little exceptional though.

The day started normal - laundry, dishes, the babies going for a run with daddy, 4 poopy diapers before 9 am - exhausting, but nothing out of the norm. We were really looking forward to the day because today our church is having a pie sale! We were going to spend the day baking some of the pies in our oven, and then go to the sale to lure people in with the twins' adorableness :)

Now, we have been fighting a persistent diaper rash/yeast infection. The twins have actually been on prescription cream for a little over a week. I have been letting them "air out" (a.k.a. go without a diaper as much as possible), but was getting tired of cleaning up puddles (or worse) on my floors. So, I decided to take the babies outside. I needed to keep them contained, I wanted as much privacy as possible (we aren't running a peep show here!), so I decided we would play on the deck. Worried about splinters in delicate areas, I covered the deck as best I could with blankets. The babies enjoyed a fabulous 2 hours diaper free! Unfortunately, when I went to put on their diapers I discovered that Ryan managed to find one of the uncovered areas, and had a splinter in a very, um, sensitive spot. With the help of daddy, a bottle, some tweezers, and his favorite song I managed to remove the splinter with surprisingly little fuss! Perhaps I missed a calling as a surgeon!

And then it was time to get Allie dressed. I had thrown some pajama shorts on her while I was taking care of Ryan, but planned on her wearing one of her sundresses for the day. When I went to change her she threw an absolute fit! She grabbed the shorts from me and hugged them to her chest while screaming her complaints. Then she threw them (and all the clothes she could get her hands on) at the wall! I eventually ended up putting the shorts back on (I mean, wanting to be MORE covered up is a good thing, right? I should encourage that desire!). I just didn't realize that she would not only develop a fashion sense this early, but also assert it so forcefully. I can't imagine the future clashes over clothing, but if today was any indication, they will be doozies!

Somewhere during these unexpected, but minor, dramas, I had run to the kitchen for something. I noticed it smelled smoky, figured a pie had bubbled over, and turned on the hood fan. A few minutes later, I had to run back and noticed the smoky smell was worse. I looked at the oven and saw smoke pouring out of it (no joke. It looked like something from tv!). I opened the oven and saw a small fire! Apparently, the pie had bubbled over a while back, and the goo had charred and then started on fire! I removed the pies, put out the fire (by smothering it with a grill spatula), cleaned the oven (Lucas walked in just in time to watch the kiddos so I could do this), and threw in another batch of pies :)

This was all before the afternoon nap, and I had assumed that the day's drama would be over. Then I tried changing Ryan's diaper after naptime and he started screaming the second I touched his poor, rashy bottom and didn't stop for 20 minutes! The pediatrician's solution? Equal parts of Nystatin, Liquid Malox, and Desitin to be put on their bottoms at every diaper change. And before putting it on: washing their bottoms with a warm washcloth and drying them with a hair dryer (and wouldn't you know it, my hair dryer died earlier this week!) So, Lucas is off to find me a hair dryer and I'm off to mix up a batch of wonder cream :)

Ultimately, the adventures keep life interesting. And then there are times when I get to do things (like play peekaboo - the new favorite thing around here) with the babies, and I couldn't care what crazy, stressful things happen during the day (like fires in the oven...) because when you get to spend the day with kids this cute, it's all good :)

P.S. I originally tried uploading a really cute video of them playing peekaboo, but blogger apparently couldn't handle that much cuteness. So, instead here are pictures of how we ended our day - with a really fun run through our new beach ball sprinkler!!

May 24, 2010

More Catchup

How is it possible that It's taken me so long for an update AGAIN? More apologies. I really don't know where the time has gone lately! We're going to be busy for the next couple of weeks...but the good news is that our adventures should provide fun stories and pictures for posts in the near future! In the meantime here are a few collages to fill you in on how we've been spending our time :)

Now that the weather is warm, and the sun is finally out, we've been spending a lot of our time outside. Allie likes walking all over and exploring the wide open space - especially that outside of our yard! Ryan likes rolling down the little hill, or sitting under a tree and playing with leaves. We've even had a picnic on our picnic table! They did much better than I thought they would, and it was nice to not have to worry about cleanup!

We also broke out our new pool! Allie loved it, and didn't leave until I took her out! Ryan...he prefered playing in the dirt (after he was already wet), and crawling around in the grass. The only time he really enjoyed the water was when daddy sprayed his toes with the hose!

And yes...I am one of those obsessive moms who has a full body swimsuit with built-in SPF. In my defense, I'm having trouble finding sunscreen that doesn't give them rashes, and their skin is so fair it would burn in minutes! Plus, the swimsuits have a built in swim diaper (saves money on disposable ones!). They did end up being baggier on them than I expected...but that could mean that I get two summers out of them!

May 17, 2010

Catchup

My apologies to the grandparents (and greats!) for not updating sooner, but we had a full week of crummy weather, during which the twins had runny noses, and the combination didn't lend itself to many adventures or pictures. BUT, we had a break in the weather this weekend, and took full advantage of the sunshine by having a playdate at the park with one of our new friends!
(You should be able to click on the collages to get a closer look!)
And since we haven't done it in a while, here are a few of our favorite things!

Books: The Complete Works of Shakespeare & The combined Lord of the Rings Trilogy (or at least this is what mommy assumes as these are the most frequently pulled off the bookshelf!)

Pressing Buttons - specifically to open & close the garage door. But they have been known turn on the tv & surround sound, call grandparents, set off the car alarm & start the van by pressing the remote starter (we don't actually know how long it was running because no one was playing with the keys when it was discovered)!

Newly Acquired Skill: Obviously walking, although we are working on RUNNING!!!

Way of Asserting Ourselves: Pulling each other around. Allie doesn't want Ryan to play with a toy - she grabs his shirt and yanks him back. Ryan wants Allie out of the doorway so he can shut the door - he yanks her by the dress into the room (true stories)!

Animal: DOG. Ryan gets so giddy whenever there is a dog of any size around that he literally rolls on the floor laughing, and Allie screams with delight!

Place to Go: The Playground - swings, grass, water, big kids to watch, and the occassional dog to pet. Who could ask for more?

Foods: Chicken Quesadillas, Daddy's pancakes, oranges, peas (Ryan eats them by the handful), & watermellon (Allie eats it faster than I can cut!).

Fancy new trick: crawling backwards - they've both just started doing this, and it's really funny to watch!

Cartoon Character: Mickey Mouse. One day, out of desperation when I had sick and cranky babies, I found Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on Demand and turned it on for them. They started giggling the second he appeared on the screen (which surprised me because they had NEVER seen him before!). I have found that just showing his picture immediately diffuses cranky and/or crying babies!

Ryan is big on closing doors (and opening them when you knock and deciding wether or not you are allowed in), playing with any ball, climbing (lately into the dishwasher), being outdoors, and trying his hardest to repeat anything you say. Possible future careers: Bouncer or doorman, professional athlete, wilderness expert & guide, or communications specialist.

Allie is big on singing, dancing, and movement of any sort. She loves music (and keeps musical toys playing almost constantly), and she is scarily skilled at remembering which toys play the same music, lining them up together, and pressing the buttons so they all play the same song at the same time. Possible future careers: Anything performance oriented (dancer, musician, actress), fitness instructor, dj, professional organizer.

My days are busy and full of joy. Every day they learn something new and I am just trying to keep up!

May 10, 2010

If at First You Don't Succeed...

Try, try again...and again...and again...and, well, you get the picture (or the movie!


video

May 06, 2010

The Little Things

The twins are at an incredibly adorable age and stage. I'm absolutely loving it! But, I wish I had a better way to record all of the funny and cute things they do every day. The little things that don't, in and of themselves, merit a full blog post, but that I still want to remember. Things like:
This morning when I was blowing on something to cool it down and Ryan copied me and started blowing on it too!

The other evening Ryan wouldn't eat. Knowing the power of distraction, I suggested we take them outside...
Yesterday when Allie spent an entire track meet walking back and forth in front of the bleachers and UP AND DOWN the ramp! Without forgetting to stop at the stroller of her new friend every time she walked by!

Yesterday when I looked down to see the twins wrestling - Ryan pulling on Allie's shirt to hold her back, and Allie literally tackling Ryan once she got free - while they both giggled uncontrollably!

Ryan dancing in the doctor's office.

Allie spending an entire afternoon practicing doing a funny skip step in a circle - so she can dance in delight.

Ryan starting out walking a few steps, but unable to control the impulse to hop instead.
It worked!

The babies learning how to remove a rubber stopper from underneath a door (thus requiring mommy to figure out a new defense to keep them from squishing each other in doorways - which they do...often...)

The words Ryan mimics daily - like trying to say "Logi" and "Pasta." He is my little mockingbird, and tried to mimic everything we say.

Allie saying "Ball." She waited for the right moment, did it 2 more times because she appreciated my level of shock & awe, and then has refused to say it ever since!

Ryan practically hurling himself into the bathtub (he's an excellent climber and I think it is a distinct possibility that he could get in without help) to get his favorite tubby toys - his tubby basketballs.

Allie discovering grass...and spending 20 minutes pulling it leaf by leaf.

How they clap whenever they like the food they're eating. And how they often clap after every bite of oatmeal in the morning!

Then we gave them rides in their wagon. Click on the small pictures below to see up close how much they enjoyed the rides!
Allie reading a book - turning page by page, babbling something new for each page with different inflections, sounding just like mommy & daddy!

Ryan toddling all over the back yard while holding my hand. He kept squealing in delight while exploring all the nooks & crannies...and then we discovered he had hives when we got inside (not sure what he's allergic to out there, but definitely something!)

I know there are more, but they've already left my brain (temporarily I hope!). Maybe I need to start a journal...nothing big (because I could never keep it going), but daily recording a few of the cute things they've done that day. Just so I can remember. Because I adore these little things, but there are so many that they push the previous ones out of my brain. I'm having so much fun, and enjoying this age so much, and I just don't want to forget a single little detail!

May 04, 2010

Snapshots

Here are a few pictures from the last couple days:
Ry-guy finally has enough hair for crazy bedhead!!

Allie lookin' like she's ready for her first sock hop!

Dipping our feet into our lake for the first time. We were at the beach just off of the nearby playground. I have waterbabies! They both loved it (so much that I have a lot of sandy feet & clothing to wash!).

Allie has been perfecting her walking skills. She can now stand up and start in the middle of a room, turn corners, and dance in a circle. By the end of today she was refusing to crawl, and if she fell she popped right back up and kept walking. Ry-guy wants to try it too, but is still a bit unsure. We'll see how long it takes (I'm in no hurry!).

May 03, 2010

Naptime at the Zoo

Saturday was a day full of adventures. It started with a trip to cousin Cuppycake's house where all 3 cousins cruised around the house with their matching Walk 'n' Rides!
They're off!!
Traffic jam

Then we went with Uncle Logi, Aunt Min, Cuppycake, Nana, & Cuppycake's cousin M. To the Potter Park Zoo! Cuppycake was at the zoo with ALL of her current cousins from both sides!

Unfortunately, it must have been naptime because many (it seemed like most!) of the animals were sleeping...
Amur Tiger

Bactrian Camel

Llama, Llama Red Pajama! (yes, we started reciting the lines from the book when we saw the llamas. What can I say? It's a favorite around here!)

European Rabbit

Magellanic Penguins

(I was most dissappointed that these were sleeping - in those little caves. I love penguins SO much and was looking forward to seeing them...)

African Lion

Thankfully not ALL of the animals were sleeping.

(they were eating and the babies were fans)

Goat

(these were VERY awake, and just about anywhere you went in the zoo there was a peacock making noise or strutting its stuff. Several were roaming around and one came right by the stroller! The peacocks were definitely a highlight)

We also got to pet some ponies, see an otter put on a show, feed the ducks, ooh & ah over some fish (the twinners love when you do a fishy face!), and see many other animals (awake & asleep).

One of my favorite moments was when we were outside and a tiger was pacing near the fence (there were like 3 fences between us and him). Every time he went out of sight, Ryan would reach out his hands and try to call him back! Ry-guy is definitely an animal lover!

Exhausted after seeing most of the zoo

Potter Park Zoo is a fabulous zoo (especially for little ones) because you can see the entire zoo in one afternoon (it took us around 2 hours, but we also went quickly through some exhibits because the animals were sleeping...) which is great for little ones with short attention spans. I also think the zoo would be especially fabulous if we can go during a time when the animals are awake!

The favorite animal of the day?

Jack

Everything he did made the babies giggle, and they were desperate to touch, pet, and play with him! It was so adorable (Ryan especially would laugh so hard he would fall over, he loved Jack so much!)

We went back to Logi, Min, & Cuppycake's and the day took an unexpected turn that changed our lives forever. Take a look...

video

Overall, it was a fun and exciting day. The beginning of what I hope will be many more zoo adventures!

Our first trip to the Zoo!!