June 29, 2010

Training Together

As I mentioned before, I have started training for a mini-triathalon at the end of August. I first became interested in doing the triathalon when our friends did theirs back when we were in seminary. I watched them train (more accurately, I usually watched their little girl while they trained!), and listened to their stories when they had finished, and I was SO impressed. I wondered if I would ever be able to do something that physically challenging, and I knew that if I had the opportunity I would try. More recently, I realized one day that I was in terrible shape. I really want my children to grow up in an environment where a healthy lifestyle (eating right and exercising) is natural, rather than something you have to force yourself to do. I knew that if I didn't set an example by working to get in shape, that desire would never be a reality. So, I started swimming in the morning with a couple that was training for a triathalon. Their excitement and diligence in training started to get me thinking again about the possibility, but I knew I would never be in shape for theirs.

Then Lucas found the MINI-triathalon - 300 yd. swim, 6 mi. bike ride, and 3 mi. run. I knew that this was a far more reasonable goal, and something that I felt I could more realistically achieve in the time I had. Not only that, but it's fairly close! So I recruited a friend, and started training!
Mommy's goggles are a big hit!

I am only in week 3 of official training, but I'm starting to really enjoy it! This week has been the first week where I have seen real signs of progress and improvement - swimming 100 yards past the distance I need to swim for the race without stopping (the biggest challenge was having to swim through an underwater forest of weeds...it lasts for a good 10 yards and you have to go way out to avoid it - farther than it would be worth. It was creepy, but I made it!) and jogging 2.5 mi. of my 4 mi. loop and jogging almost the entire second mile in one stretch (I was so excited when I did it that I almost started crying!). The jogging has been the most difficult part. Because I have issues with my joints, I haven't done any form of running in years. BUT, with each knee supported in a brace it isn't so bad. And I have noticed that the more in shape I get, the less my knees bother me!

I include the twins on as much of my training as possible. Partly because I have discovered that running and biking without them feels SO much easier when I have been running and biking with them! Mostly because even though they will not remember this, I want them to get used to (and enjoy!) this kind of family outing. I don't want it to be out of the ordinary to go jogging with me or Lucas. I want this to be the kind of thing we keep up and do as a family!
The twins and I finishing up my best run yet! Notice I look much more excited than they do...

The more I train, the more excited I get about the whole thing. While I haven't done the triathalon YET (which means I have no clue how much it will actually kill me), having this goal has drastically changed the way I approach exercise. I actually find myself thinking about possibly doing a longer triathalon in the future...

Garage Saling

This past weekend our lake community had their annual community yard sale. Lucas and I had been planning for months to go around to as many sales as possible. Partly to get some great deals, but mostly to meet as many people in the community as possible.

The twins really had a blast. They enjoyed seeing lots of new places, running around in new yards, and playing with new toys (most of which I will confess we did not buy...). The twins were also a big hit at the garage sales! We discovered that a lot of people recognized us as the people they often see with the "2 cute babies!"

I was excited to find SO many great deals! Such as 2 airplane swings for a total of $1 (confession - 1 was free), a slide/swing combo for $10, numerous books (including many of my childhood favorites) each roughly 25 cents, and a Step 2 play place (in amazing shape and perfect for their age and size) for $75!!! All in all I got tons of toys, books, clothes, and outdoor fun items (of which we previously had almost nothing) for less than $100!!! I call that a success! Lucas found some great deals as well including a leaf blower and a fire pit ($10 each).

Most of all, we accomplished the goal of meeting new neighbors! Lucas and I both felt like our lake community suddenly became a more familiar place. Houses are no longer just buildings, they now contain familiar faces (in which there are people whose names we hopefully can remember!). Now that we have met more people all around the lake, our walks, bike rides, and jogs will, most likely, be filled with more conversations (as opposed to nods and waves). It definitely made us feel more at home to meet more of the people in our community.
Look for pictures of us having fun with our new toys!!!

June 28, 2010

One Dark & Stormy Night...

We've had an unusual amount of serious storms this summer. 3 times we've been in tornado warnings...although the first 2 we didn't know because we couldn't hear the sirens! On Wednesday evening, Lucas happened to be on the phone with someone who apparently lives closer to the sirens beccause he heard them over the phone!
Growing up in NE, I'm not unfamiliar with the sound of the siren. In NE, the siren means "get to the basement NOW," I wasn't sure if it was the same in MI (mostly because their sirens often can't be heard!), but decided the responsible thing was to take the babies to the basement rather than wait and find out!

They were cranky at first (they rarely wake up happy), but quickly settled into the adventure of the situation! They got to sit in their special Winnie the Poo chairs (thanks Lala!!), and watch as much Baby Einstein as they wanted! Good times :) Even more good news...because of all the excitement that night we all slept in the next morning! Yay!

June 26, 2010

Our Day Without Daddy

When we lived in MA, there were always a few (and frequently most of the) days of the week where Lucas left shortly (as in minutes) after the babies woke up and got home after they were in bed (usually hours). Since we've moved here that hasn't happened...until this past week when Lucas took the youth group to Cedar Point. Let's just say that the twins and I (no longer accustomed to days without daddy) felt his absence. But we did our best to have a great day, and here is what we did.

We did not like saying goodbye to daddy, and so we cried. A lot. Until mommy warmed up some of daddy's pancake for us. Then we were much happier.

Mommy said our diapers had rashes, and let us play in the water without them. We had lots of fun - especially when she tied towels around us and let us run around in them. That was funny!

Mommy dressed us in our Nebraska t-shirts (since there was no one there to object...). Go Huskers!

We had lots of fun playing chase with each other...

...reading books...

...running around...

...rolling on the floor...
...and being silly!

Mommy decided to go for a run (although we walked an awful lot...), so we took off. About halfway we saw our friends (Miss Catherine, Mr. Chris, and E) coming toward us on bikes! We stopped at the playground by E's house and played in the water! We really enjoyed splashing with Miss Catherine. Then we ran around the park and Ry-guy tried out the merry-go-round with Mr. Chris. It was a lot of fun!

We were sad when we had to leave, but it was getting close to bedtime. We got home, took showers, and went to bed.

We really missed Daddy, but managed to have a wonderful day!

June 23, 2010

Weekend Recap

We had a wonderfully busy weekend, full of friends & fun!

It started Friday with a visit from our dear friends from college and their 2 girls - The Cuties! I'm just so dissappointed that I didn't get more pictures...
Cutie Face playing with the twins

I love this progression of pictures as we were trying to set up the camera and timer!

J & Cutie Face
J, Cutie Face, Lucas, and an unhappy Ry-guy
The whole gang! J, Cutie Face, A, Cutie Cakes, Me, Allie, Lucas, Ryan.

My children are obviously thrilled to be taking this picture!

We had to get this picture since these two have something very special in common!

Friday night, a couple in our church gave us the amazing gift of free babysitting! We ended up getting together with a couple across the lake who have become new friends. We enjoyed a nice dinner and a fun night of games. But the real excitement of the evening was a sudden, strong storm. At first we were confident that it was a sudden storm blowing through, then we started to get a little worried (and I called our babysitters who reassured me everything was under conrtol), then the storm blew over and we discovered that the wind was so strong it knocked over their wooden swing set & fort! We discovered over the next few days that the storm uprooted trees, damaged houses, knocked out power for days, and overturned a semi!

On Saturday we had some new friends (one of whom is training for the mini-tri with me!) over for pancakes after the girls did an early morning swim. Sadly, this is the only picture I got. We forgot to run the dishawasher the night before, and had no clean plates. So we had to use our Disney kiddie plates & our china! Only the best for our guests!

The rest of Saturday we had free and enjoyed playing and relaxing at home.

Since peekaboo is big right now, this is a common sight at our house. Two little ghosties running around, bumping into things, until you've asked where they are enough times that they are ready to reveal their hiding spot!

Sunday, as we all know, was Father's Day. Unfortunately, the teething twinners were cranky & daddy felt under the weather. So, I didn't get the adorable father/kiddos pictures I had planned. These are the only 2 decent ones I got the entire day :(
Daddy reading his gift (we have a "tradition" of giving him a book to read with the twins.
Ryan kissing Daddy's card. The twinners picked out a puppy dog card, and Ryan was in love. He took it from Daddy & carried it around giving it hugs and kisses!
And now we are officially caught up!

June 22, 2010

At the Circus!

While at Wendy's with Kelsey, we discovered they were giving away free kids tickets to Circus Pages. We grabbed some just in case we might want to go (and some extras because we knew we would want to go with someone else). Later that week I contacted Aunt Min to see if Cuppycake (and parents) might like to go to the circus with us and the answer was yes! Here our some pictures from the cousins' first time visiting the Big Top.
Visiting the elephants before the show. The twins loved being so close. Mommy loved it more...

Hanging out before the show. 3 kiddos, 3 parents. What will we do when we're outnumbered?
Not the best picture, I know. But it was very difficult to get a decent one with Allie so intent on STUFFING her face so full she couldn't smile!

Notice every kiddo had a snack!

I didn't need 2 pictures of the cousins hanging out before the circus, but the first one is the only one where part of Allie's face was turned toward the camera, and I love that I caught Cuppycake playing with the hair bow of the girl in front of her in the second pic!

The circus had a lot of animals: lions & tigers, camels, elephants, ponies, dogs. Ryan loved all the animals and would reach out and wave to them!

Isn't she cute?!

She isn't small because we were so far away. This trapeze artist is small because she's 7! In fact, a number of the circus performers were children. It is a family business and EVERYONE in the family got involved - from trapeze to motorcycles to hula hooping (she managed to keep 75 going!) to filling in for their ringmaster dad when he was performing - those kids did a little bit of everything!

Harper & Allie got bored with the show so we let them run around behind the bleachers.
Ultimately, they were a little young to fully enjoy the circus (which I knew, but still thought it would be fun to try). We didn't stay for the end. The motorcycles came out and the noise freaked Allie out. We had to go outside and then she cried every time I tried to go back in...but we made some fun memories, and had a blast with Cousin Cuppycake & Aunt Min!

For the Record

While it won't be the most exciting post, I want to make sure that I record this information somewhere (because it IS interesting to me), so that I can fill in their baby books someday...
We had their 15 month checkup and here are the stats:
weight: 20 lbs. 1 oz. - 10th percentile
height: 32 in. - 85th percentile
She's a string bean. Excitement on the visit: when Allie screamed and threw herself around during the...regular checkup (listening to chest, ears, etc.). The girl does not like to be touched! Good new is that she was deemed perfectly healthy and in-line developmentally!
weight: 22lbs. 7 oz. - 19th percentile
height: 30 3/4 in. - 33rd percentile
He's much more evenly proportioned. Although, I'm sure if he knew his sister was taller than he is, he would be upset! Ryan not only sat quietly throughout his entire exam, but he smiled and giggled at the doctor! Oh, my children have such different personalities! Ryan was also deemed healthy and developmentally on target.
The doctor also gave some insight on the dastardly diaper rash. She says it's so persistent because they have sensitive skin! She said it was probably initially a problem of a chemical change because of change of diaper (boo on Pampers!), and then the already sensitive skin was continually irritated by foods or outside irritants. At least I have a little more knowledge to help me fight the war! And while the shots were not their favorite thing, they did enjoy pushing the doctor's rolling stool all around the exam room, and climbing up and down the exam table step!

June 17, 2010


The twins' first time swimming in our lake!
Bonus: their swimsuits from last year still fit!!
As mentioned before, we had a busy week last week. Also thrown into the mix was the celebration of Lucas and my 6th anniversary (of which we have no pictures because Lucas didn't think we would make exciting subjects), and my birthday!!
On our anniversary, we enlisted one of the members of our church to come and listen to the monitor after the babies went to bed. They almost never wake up, and it is even more rare for both of them to wake up, so I gave her instructions just in case. We went to Ann Arbor (which was lovely because it felt, just a little, like we were in Boston again!) and had yummy Indian food, bought books at Borders, and capped the night off with ice cream! I didn't call until we were on our way home (shocking!) at which point I discovered that they had BOTH awakened and given our poor sitter a run for her money. But she had them asleep by the time I called, and they slept perfectly the rest of the night! Go figure...
The other thing I started on our anniversary? I started to officially train for a mini-triathalon!!! I've been swimming in the morning with a couple training for a half triathalon (.5 mi. swim, 14 mi. bike ride, and 2.5 mi. run). While I felt I would take the swim much more seriously if I were training, I knew that was too much for me to aim for with only a month to train! Then Lucas found a shorter one! It is a 300 yd. swim, 6 mi. bike ride, and 3 mi. run. I can already do the swim distance & the bike distance, but running is going to be a huge challenge. I'll keep you posted!
My birthday was a quiet day (which is nice!). Lucas let me sleep in. We had monkey bread for breakfast (MY birthday tradition). We had a playdate in the afternoon. And then Lucas made his homemade pizza and got me ice cream for dinner. And what did we do in the evening to cap off the day? I feel asleep around 8:45 and Lucas cleaned up! Apparently, training for a triathalon was more tiring than I realized! Some highlights from the day: Ryan running to me just to give me a hug (the first time he's ever done that! I usually have to steal them). Allie playing peekaboo all day, but only with her pink blankies! Ryan learning to take off his diaper, and me finding him bare bottomed with a wet spot on the floor! Allie playing peekaboo for everyone in the family - i.e. pulling the blanket off no matter who was hiding. Ryan dumping an entire box (3/4 full) on the floor in the living room! Allie "reading" a book to mommy. Both Ryan and Allie discovering that they think it's fun to fall off things!
The cheerio mess - AFTER many had been eaten and spread all over the living room...

June 09, 2010

A Day at the Miller Water Park

Sorry for the lack of new postings. We had a rough week last week. Not only were we trying to go down to 1 nap a day (fail), but I was getting up every morning at 5:45 am to go swimming (so tired), and we were doing serious battle with a persistent diaper rash (oh the screaming!). I just didn't have the energy to blog before I collapsed into bed. This week has been much better. We went back to 2 naps (so happy!), I'm only swimming 2-3 mornings a week (I LOVE sleep), and, while the diaper rash war still rages, we appear to be winning! The Pedi suggested that I let them go diaper free as much as possible, so I did my best to keep them in areas that would be easy to clean. Here are some pictures of our homemade water park :)
(p.s. I'm not usually one to post nakey pictures, but they literally spent the majority of their time sans clothes, so that's all I have...)

We pretended the tub was an indoor pool, and spent lots of time playing in there.

They also got to play in mommy & daddy's bathroom. We have a walkout shower, so I opened one door, turned on the shower, and let them choose between playing in the bathroom or the water.

The toilet paper roll was an exciting toy...

Ry-guy tried climbing in the cabinet under the sink...

And his sister promptly tried shutting him in (she did shut him in the closet later in the week...)

Playing with the hand-held shower sprayer was fun.

Allie cleaned her tummy.

Ryan cleaned his fish.

A few times we let them play on the tile in the kitchen & dining room.

Ryan like playing with the salad bowls (all washed before we used them again!)

Allie opened as many cabinets and drawers as she was able.

On the nice days we spent a lot of time outside in our pool.

They are fans of splashing from outside the pool rather than getting in...

Here you can see them throwing their toys out of the play yard.

Here you can see their distress when they no longer had any toys in the play yard.

Here you can see their response when I mimicked them crying over the toys!

We had very few casualties - Ry-guy did manage to pee INSIDE of my hutch where I keep my nice dishes, and Allie left a poo pile in the hallway (that we didn't discover until they had been down for naps for a little while, although I thought I smelled something!). And, it was so effective at clearing up the diaper rash that I didn't even care!