Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What a Day!

Today was a fun, sun filled day with the boys at Busch Gardens.  We met a few twinkie friends bright and early.  It was a perfect day for being outside in the sunshine. It was great to have a day with full sun, and no humidity, which despite the crazy cold winter weather, I know is still coming.  The boys were well behaved, even with the hundreds of people out and about for spring break, and our longer than usual adventure.  The boys did not get home to nap until about 3pm.  Gus slept until 5:15 when I started to wake him up, and Raleigh slept until 5:30ish when Gus and I were able to finally wake him up.  Luckily they were still asleep well before 8 tonight.  They were quite happy to have an extra half hour with Daddy anyway.
boys with gorillas gus nose to nose with tiger
raleigh growlling like a lion
The best part was when we got to the new Sesame Street play area and the boys were off and running, with no fear.  It is a little scary as a mom, running after two little people surrounded by what felt like a hundred million people at times, but it was so awesome to see them assert their independence and be carefree boys!  They climbed the entire play set and even made it to what I call the rat maze.  They worked their way through a bunch of obstacles and were well on their way to climbing into the abyss, where I could no longer see them, but a kind older girl helped me ask them down by gently grabbing their hands and guiding them back to the ground.  Whew, we made it out alive, and caught up with our other twinkie friends safely playing in the sand pit below the maze.  My favorite shot of the maze was just of their legs.  Awesome!
boys are suddenly fearless!!!! (9) boys are suddenly fearless!!!! (7)
wire time...and tackle lorelei! (5) wire time...and tackle lorelei! (6) wire time...and tackle lorelei! (7) where the day got crazy - new sesame street area! where the day got crazy - new sesame street area! (7) wire time...and tackle lorelei!  wire time...and tackle lorelei! (3)
The not so awesome part of the day occurred by the orangutans.  The kids were all playing nice, and suddenly, Augustus started bawling.  Yup, Hannibal struck.  Raleigh seriously bit the heck out of Gus’ cheek.  Didn’t I just say that this phase was over???  We played the photos on the TV when Daddy got home tonight and when the boys saw the slide for the orangutans Gus started yelling “bite, bite.”  I was not looking at the pictures, so I did not know what he was talking about, maybe phantom red ants, but no, that was not it, I looked up and saw a picture of the exact spot where the “incident” occurred.  He then strung together, “Raleigh, bite, not nice.”  That is right buddy!  Not nice, indeed. Poor pumpkin!  Below is a picture of Gus showing the lady who was controlling the carrousel his bite.  He also blew her a kiss, what a flirt!
gus post bite on cride (2)gus flirts with worker at BG
Here are a few more pictures of our 2nd birthday photo shoot done by Little Lane Photography.  Still not fully in love with them, but it is not the photographer’s fault, just really bad luck with the wind. 
rals and gus - favorite shots! augustus gnr - on the tracks, looking funny, but adorable happy fam! mom, rals, gus, daddy Raleigh holds a flower!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fire Engines and More Favorite Things!

The boys had a great visit with their pediatrician last week.  Both, however, have lost weight again.  It is due to all the runny mucus and teeth!  They are still very healthy boys.  Raleigh weighed in at just over 26 pounds, and is 35 1/4 inches.  Augustus weighs just a little more and is a bit taller, 28lbs, 35 3/4".

The boys enjoyed a surprise visit to the fire station this morning, and check this out!!!  This was the first time they got to use the hose; what big boys! This was after getting to see Grandpa Pickles for breakfast.  They were so happy to see him after his time in Wisconsin and Illinois.  I missed him too, especially his awesome cooking.  The boys were treated with French toast and everything.


We have been busy with more birthday celebrations.  The weather has gone from cold, to warm, to hot, to rainy in all of a span of a few days.  Today is beautiful, but cool.  Tomorrow is supposed to be gorgeous so we have big plans with friends enjoying the outdoors - more to follow later I am sure. Here are a few snapshots of the last week or so.  Enjoy!

Raleigh is blowing raspberries on Augustus’ belly, while Daddy supervises.  So happy!raleigh blowing bubbles on gus' belly!Boys eating cake at their besties birthday party.  They used the little kangaroos as spoons to get the frosting off first.gnr and cake!  The boys inspect a ladybug. Raleigh was in such a frumpy mood until we found that bug!ralsandgus with the lady bug! (2)

rals and gus firing the fireman's hose! (3) 
rals and gus firing the fireman's hose! (11)
Update on Favorite Things!

  • Boo-boos.  If the boys hurt someone, or see someone hurt, they pat that person’s back and say “alright?”  It is precious to see.  They also rub each other’s back with their wash cloths in the shower.  Such good brothers…most of the time!
  • More sentence attempts.  Raleigh in particular.  He does not string words together perfectly, but he will say, "Raleigh eat" or "Gussy sit down."   This new found conversation ability has also blossomed into a bit of bossiness.  Hmm, where does he get his skills in leadership from?  That is what I am calling it anyway;)
  • Map abilities.  Both boys can point out Australia, and say that Poppy lives there (sorry Nanny and Peta). Augustus can get Florida right about 99% of the time too and say "Daddy."  Raleigh is trying, but for whatever reason, usually ends up somewhere in Eastern Europe.
  • Spitting and biting are a phase of the past. Only in rare moments are the boys spitting their water from their sippy cups, or biting each other.  This is while working through some serious two-year molars, so I am impressed. I hope I did not just jinx us!  They have also stopped throwing food on a regular basis when they are done eating.  However, new phases as they age.  Now they are in a bit of a whiny phase. I am not sure if that is just because we have been mostly cooped up for two days due to rain and cold, windy weather, or what.  It also could be partly because of the teething.  Raleigh has his whole hand in his mouth at any down moment. 
  • Improvising language barriers. When the boys cannot say a word, but they want to tell us something, they can usually make it happen.  For example, they got a new recycling truck for their birthday, and both boys cannot say "garbage" or "recycling" but they can make the noise I do when I want to indicate, "yuck, don't touch that."  It sounds something like "hckkkk" or like you are coughing up phlem!  So they say "hckkkk truck" for their garbage truck. Pretty ingenious if you ask me.  They continue to improve and add words, but pronunciation is still off.  The pediatrician was not worried, she said that can be off until they are four before we should get concerned. 

Here are some shots of the boys with the cows again.  Unfortunately, we had an incident with fire ants as we got ready to go…so I don’t think they’ll be up for any trips to the cows soon.  Augustus got big on the leg.  He now points to the boo-boo and says “ant, ant, bite, boo-boo, moo, cows, mommy.”  All together, like he is saying, the damn ants bit me, it hurt, it was by the cows and  it is mommy’s fault.  I hate ants.  I have to add that in because even before this incident the boys would march and say “ant, ant.”  Not because we sang “The Ants Go Marching” or because of any Dave Matthews Band song, either.  It is because they see me yell, “ANT” and stomp them.  Parenting at its best!

IMG_0678IMG_0641  IMG_0647

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Augustus and Raleigh!

GnR - Birthday 2010

Today is the boys’ actual birthday.  Wow, two years already?!?!?!  Where does time go?  I remember the day my water broke so well. Running around with my head cut off trying to get ready before Matthew got home from work.  I still managed to shower, clean up the “water” that my cats were trying to lick up, yup, you read that right, and running next door to tell my friend Ann that there was a great turkey dinner ready on the stove, she and her family could enjoy it!  I had just been put on bed rest the night before.  So glad I got to enjoy one day of R&R at home;) My poor mother left me about 20 minutes earlier after spending the whole day cooking and doting like only a mother can.  Only to turn around and race back like a mad woman. 

I can also remember being in the hospital two years ago and laughing every time a doctor came in telling me we’d get to Thursday – four days later – before the babies would arrive.  Ha!  What did they know? Those boys were willful even in the womb.  They decided it was time to come out and no amount of magnesium or any combination of drugs was going to slow them down.  I had contractions, about 6 an hour, since I made it to the hospital, At about 10 in the morning, about 15 hours after arriving, I said I felt like I had to push.  When the doctors finally checked me and I was seven and a half centimeters dilated already.  Then they rushed me to the OR and got going.  They had already cut me open before Matthew even got in the room.  Another one of my favorite, most embarrassing moments is when I was on the table, before the doctors came in, and one of the nurses yelled “she’s not shaved, yet.”  OMG – could have died, but she meant fully shaved, a must for the C-section, I guess…she did not mean that I was not properly “groomed!” 

Alrighty, on that note, back to the boys.  They have had a great day. They even slept in…almost making Daddy late for work!  We had planned on Skyping with the Grandies in Oz and Auntie Peta of course too, so Matthew had put all the presents out in the boys’ playroom so we could just bring them down and let them enjoy it while the Grandies watched.  The big wheels were a big hit, thank you Nannie and Poppy.  However, we bought the boys two trucks, a fire truck and a recycling truck, and the recycling truck is the biggest hit.  Really?  They call it the “hcckkk” truck.  You know, like yuck, ick, hcckk, for garbage.  They have always imitated my noise for garbage.  As in, ick, don’t touch that, it is dirty, garbage. Now all garbage trucks are “hcckk” trucks.  Got to love them! The other funny part was when Raleigh finally got to play with the truck – Augustus was fully attached to it for a good 30 minutes – he immediately looked at me and made his fingers into a sign for scissors, and said “man, out.”  He knew he was locked in there, and wanted me to cut him out.  Really?  Smarty-farty.  So, I took the twist tie off the man so he could take him out.  Happy days. 


happy birthday sign with boys

After our tile man left today – yup, finally pulled up the shower floor and found that the tile mesh backing had never set – we headed to the post office to pick up the packages from Nannie, Poppy and Peta.  I hauled them in their wagon because I knew I could not hold their hands and the packages.  Very smart on my part because, GEEZ, those were some heavy packages!  The boys loved every second of all the attention they got in the post office, let me tell you!  I tried to bribe the boys through lunch before giving them their presents – sorry Daddy, we could not wait for you…these boys are present crazy right now.  The bribing did not work for Gus. Raleigh – he ate a bit more, but the excitement got to him too.  They love all the goodies in their bag, and the cutest part was when Gus bit into the chocolate bunny rabbit head.  Right through the foil.  He has never even had one of those before, but somehow he knew he could eat it!  Then when he got to Peta’s package, he said CHOCOLATE and tried to eat through that package too…oy!  Here is a short video of him opening the present, you have got to check out the look when I say Gus bit the bunny head! 

Thankfully, they still fell asleep quickly, with sugar in their systems and pounding from construction on a new house right behind their bedroom.  Whew!!!!

Tomorrow we head to the pediatrician for their two year well visit.  I cannot wait to see how tall and big these boys really are!  I know they both have not had much of an appetite lately, and Rals had already lost a pound or more over his last bought of sickness, so hopefully he will have gained some back.  I hope these last few two-year molars come through quicker than the first one since that is causing them a lot of discomfort!  Plus, it seems like they are to the phase where they are too busy to eat!  Well, off to enjoy another hot cup of coffee before the boys wake up.  Much love to the family and friends we are especially missing on this special day!  Hugs and kisses from us to you!

Love, Gus, Raleigh, Brooke and Matthew

Monday, March 22, 2010

We Survived Birthday Weekend!!

The party was great, naps this weekend, not so much.  Today, we planned on staying some and laying low so the boys could be in bed early.  Well, that worked, although it still took Raleigh 45 minutes to fall asleep.  I hope this is just a byproduct of Daylights Saving, sugar, and added excitement, and not a trend for turning two years old!
On Sunday the boys opened up their birthday presents.  Well, the ones from their party at least.  The books the boys got were all amazing. Additionally, one of our friends actually made the boys some t-shirts and bags.  Both had their names on them. The shirts have trains and the bags have a kangaroo on Raleigh’s and Augustus’ has a koala.  How cute!!!  if you are on Facebook, check out her stuff on Sugar Magnolia.
gus and his train shirt and bag - of course rals had to watch closely!!! (2) rals with kim's book - happened to open to his fave - the rhino!
Today, the boys actually wanted to come inside to play with their new books; the Usborne Wind-Up Train and Airplane books in particular.  Wow, how cool are those!?!?!?  Thanks Christian and Zachary for picking these amazing books out!!!  There is a train and airplane that winds up, thus the name, clever, huh?  The toy then fits into a track within the book and goes around all over the page.  There are so many things for the boys to look for – their favorite thing to do while “reading.”
gnr with sylvie's books - love
We are holding off on our presents until Thursday, their actual birthday.  Matthew could not hold off giving the boys one present though. The basketball hoop.  Raleigh enjoys it. Augustus would rather mow the grass! 

IMG_1246 raleigh - big cheese! (2) rals slam! gus - lawnmower man! gus big cheese! (2)
We know Nonnie gave the boys their presents early since she had planned to go by Uncle Buck, aka, my brother, for a while.  We also have plans to open Nannie and Poppy’s birthday presents for the boys Thursday morning via Skype with them.  After a marathon of present opening we headed to the Airfest with friends, including one in the military, so we had no lines!  Yay!  Plus, the boys got to hand with their BFF Conner.  It was great to see the boys check out the planes and all the crazy military toys.  I think Matthew was the biggest kid in the candy store though! Then the rain came and we headed home.  Which was a good thing because the boys were tired.  Of course, Raleigh fell asleep for all of five minutes in the car, so that was the end of his naptime!  Oy.
We did take the boys to Publix yesterday, despite their tiredness, and I found the coolest plastic plates to try out with the boys.   Here is another fun product review;)  The boys are really great at eating out of bowls and cups, but plates are a challenge.  They constantly want to pick it up, go figure.  So, I saw these cafeteria type plates and had to get one for each
of the boys. I was uber-excited to try them out at lunch today. I am happy to report we did much better than the usual plate attempts.  Plus they were only $1.50 or something like that.  The boys even managed to eat a bit of a grilled ham and cheese sandwich…something they usually reserve only for Grandpa Pickles.  I love the compartments, and as you can see by the clap from Gus, they liked it too!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

All Aboard the Two-Two Train!!! Big Birthday Party!!!

As you can see from the last post, March is all about birthdays for us. It is cool that we've been able to get to an actual birthday party or two recently, before the boys' big day so they understood it better.  They are able to say "happy" very well, and Raleigh was able to wish Poppy a "happy birthday" in full via voicemail, but they really just enjoy saying "happy" more than anything.  Every time they see a cake, they say "happy" in a precious sing-song way. 

Well, today was their big party.  It was great fun, and was so awesome to see so many of our friends come in and join in the celebration. We are talking 29 kids!!!! We missed Nanny, Poppy, and Grandpa Pickles though:( Of course we missed the aunties and uncles as well, even those special aunties and uncles, meaning Kristy and Heath.  The boys were happiest when everyone sang them happy birthday; individually of course, and Raleigh went first this year after Augustus had his song and cake first last year.  Then, at the very end of the party, Gus and Rals went crazy in the water fountain, or as we say in Wisconsin, "bubbler."  Their very best twinkie friends, E and C were there to join in on the antics, with their Daddy egging them on too, but only Conner was really into it with the boys.  I think that was my favorite part of the day!  The giggles out of those three boys were enough to melt anyone's heart.

The day could not have been better; well, I guess if the boys had napped better, it would have been easier on the crankies this afternoon. Not to mention it took some serious work to get Raleigh asleep by 8pm tonight!  Oy!  Good thing birthdays only come once a year, except of course, their real birthday is next week!  Here are a few pictures of the day.  I really tried to relax and kick back instead of taking 1,000 pictures.  We are looking forward to other pictures our friends who were all over taking pictures, especially Miss S.  She was kind enough to come and take pictures even with her three babies at home.  Lastly, the day was so crazy, the boys still did not open their presents.  I just could not dream of tearing the kids away from the beautiful day and play time, so we took everything home wrapped.  Then it was so beautiful this afternoon that we let the boys play outside all afternoon with Conner.  Good times!  I am crossing my fingers that they sleep well despite being overtired!

Thanks again to all our wonderful friends who made today really special.  I know they will not remember the day, but hopefully we have some good stories to pass on to them.  We also collected toiletries for The Ronald McDonald House again this year. Once again, our friends are so generous to help support a non-profit near and dear to our hearts!

We also had the boys' pictures taken last week by a new photographer since our usual photographer extraordinaire was running a race on the boys birthday party day.   The photographer's business is called Little Lane Photography.  She did a great job and came up with some interesting places to get some train-esque shots.  We only got a few sneak peek pictures in time for their party, but we love what we see so far. Unfortunately, the wind and weather were not as cooperative as today, so they boys look a bit miserable and not their shiny-happy selves in the pictures thus far.  Nonetheless, these two are pretty magical if you ask me!  Enjoy!

The Boys' First Month!