Thursday, April 29, 2010

I am in L-O-V-E

I baked today.  An event in itself, but here is the kicker – it was GOOD!!!!

The recipe is from the Joy of Baking website.  Their pumpkin cupcakes are to die for, seriously.  Wow, good.  I think the cupcakes on their own would make an excellent muffin, but add the cheesecake frosting and it is delish!!!  I don’t feel like the muffin/cupcake part would be all that bad for us, there is only one cup of sugar in the recipe, but that frosting, yum, but not so good for you.  

 pumpkin muffin beforepumpkin muffin with cream cheese frosting!!!

In other news, we have been busy all week, but today we are taking a break.  Thus, the baking and I even vacuumed the downstairs before lunch time!  Now, if I can make this update quick I can clean the bathrooms and start the laundry. Jealous, aren’t you?  We have hit the zoo, the pool, and Busch Gardens this week.  The boys were extremely well behaved, especially considering I really have not had a voice for most of the week.  The only questionable behavior was at lunch yesterday when they dumped their entire pasta and peas cup on the table.  They were not big eaters yesterday, so I just let it go. We did have a blast with our besties yesterday though.  The boys were extremely brave and tried a few new rides out.  They started on the train and it was so cute to watch the four friends go into the train car of their choice.  Raleigh picked the first car, and acted as the engineer, and Gus picked the caboose, and E & C rode in the car right in front of Gus.  The next ride was the airplanes.  Again, we let the kiddos choose where they wanted to sit and this time C & Augustus rode in a plane, and Rals and his girlfriend chose the one behind them.  Gus and Rals both went into the front of the plane.  I really start to feel like I have little people when they do these new things!  No more babies:(  Augustus even figured out how to bring the plane up in the air, so C got a great ride!  Rals and E were happy to ride low.  The ride was crazy fast, so they still got quite a ride. 

Next they tried the motorcycles.  They are not tall enough to sit in the front of the cycle, but I think they had fun nonetheless. Although, their faces were not quite as enthusiastic as on other rides, but Gus did let a “weeeee” out when he rode down a small hill on the ride. 

After the rides were over we had a ball exploring the animal sections.  We did not even make it to the Sesame Street area!  The boys got to get up close and personal with a two-toed sloth.  I cannot tell you how lucky these kids are!  Busch Gardens truly provides an up close and personal animal experience.  Our local zoo always wins the Parent’s best zoo award, but we tend to think it is not as friendly for toddlers and multiples, but Busch is amazing.  Now that they have the stroller parking it is even better for us MoMs.  We happened to run into three or four sets of twins too.  None of whom are part of our club.  Miss Nat Nat and I did our best pitch to two moms, both who have fifteen month old boys.  Aw, I remember that age.  I totally love this age better, but I find myself saying that all the time!!!

Like I mentioned earlier, today is a stay-at-home day.  We did however, make it outside to play a bit.  As soon as I put their shoes on, they start saying “bye-bye” and “Ellie, Conner, Miss Nat Nat.”  ALL the time, everyday.  I remember when it used to be “Nonnie and bye-bye.”  I guess friends are moving up in importance! 

Today, I witnessed the cutest thing. I totally reaffirms our decision to have me stay-at-home with the boys.   I would not change things for anything, but some days are, well, hard! These small moments just make me super happy. Raleigh walked over to Augustus, showed him his boo-boo and said “boo-boo.”  Gus immediately walked over to his doctor’s kit, opened it up and broke out the boo-boo cream.  He then put it on Raleigh’s boo-boo.  Then, the total twin side came out when he said boo-boo again, and put some on his hand.  I laugh every time they mirror each other when one gets hurt.  Of course, it is not as bad as the original one, but they will pretend to fall, or hit their knee, etc.  I don’t laugh as much when they want to be in time out just because their brother does!

After our trip to the pool this week, the boys were playing independently, but then Raleigh ran over to Gus and said “ooh, ooh” and pointed in the sweetest way as to say, you should go here.  His “ooh ooh” was for the monkey bars; get it, ooh-ohh, ahh-ahh, like a monkey!  Love it!!!  Communication development just intrigues me so much!!!

Back to the pool, the boys are amazing swimmers. I want to get them back to a refresher course with our favorite instructor, but I am starting to think they may not need it.  They are fearless, and remember how to hold their breath, turn over, float, etc.  Raleigh was hilarious with Nonnie in the pool.  He kept going under and just opening his eyes, and then would tell Nonnie to do it too, just wanting to watch her do it too.  Augustus does not stop once he is in the pool.  He just thinks he can swim the entire length of the pool.  Here is a short video of Rals swimming back and forth to the stairs.

rals swims to stairs swimmign with nons and pickles gus so happy in teh pool  rals more underwater play!

They are totally into imaginary play right now. In particular, pirates.  They will turn just about anything into a boat.  Our friend Conner brought over swords today too, so now they can play real pirates. Here is a picture of them in their picnic table “boat,” Gus with a sword, and Rals on the lookout!

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The boys have a ridiculously good memory.  We can be driving somewhere and they will know where we are going well before we get there just by looking at their surroundings.  They did NOT inherit this from me!!!  Today, Raleigh saw the shirts I brought down for them to wear and said “Nanny & Poppy.” They are the shirts Nanny and Poppy bought them in Key West.  Whoa!  Kind of freaky.  It happens all the time though!  They are wicked smart!!!

In other good news, they just broke ground on another house, the one right behind us.  This leaves just one more lot on the street behind us.  Yay, we can hope for some more peace and quiet sooner, rather than later!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Do We Look Different?

Keeping with the boys' interests and age, the blog is going through a revamp.  Yup, this mama has too much time on her hands!  Right, you believe me I am sure.  Just trying to keep myself up to date with technology for when I do actually go back to a paying job.  I am not in school for the first time in over10 years or something crazy like that, so a girl has to keep up with these things in other ways.  Fun for me, drag for others. 

Funny stories:

The boys tried corn on the cob for the first time last night. Augustus was amazing to watch.  He is just like Grandpa Pickles in the corn eating department - think typewriter eating.  Wow!  He was so proud of himself that he looked at all of us watching him and started clapping. 

I taught the boys how to say the word "gross."  Raleigh loves to say it.  He says "beer is gross" really well.  I told him kitty poo poo was gross and he immediately told me that "beer is gross" too.  Now if I could stop him from calling wine apple juice...

Gus started seriously putting words and thoughts together just today.  Overnight, right?  He saw someone walking a baby in a stroller and said "baby walk."  At dinner I sat on the ladder - weird, I know - and he said "mommy sit down ladder." 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Teddy Bear Tea and Other Fun Stuff!

Today, the boys attended their first tea party.  Yup, you heard me right, the boys attended their first tea party.  If you know me, you know I am not all into the gender rules, boys wear blue, girls wear pink, and all, so it was great fun to be part of the tea party fun with all our friends!  The moms of multiples group we are part of put it on as part of our spring celebration. What an amazing idea: dress the kids in their finest clothes, bring their favorite teddy bears, and art work, and leave the rest up to the mom’s group planning leaders.  The china was borrowed or purchased at Goodwill, blankets were brought to let the kids spread out with their tea, and the high tea of cheese sandwiches, jelly sandwiches with cookies, scones and fruit was available for the kids.  Peach iced tea and pink lemonade refreshed us all and cucumber sandwiches held over the parents…along with a few cookies and scones;)  The bonus was that the moms group decided to help my own mom’s newest business venture and hire her and her partner to cater the event.  They hope to be helping hold tea parties around the area soon and having their own tea room eventually too!  If you are interested, email them at crystalsteaandbonbons@gmail.com. The scones were blissful for sure, and the ice tea and lemonade were quite the treat for most of the kiddos who usually don’t get to taste such fancy drinks!  High tea at two years old is pretty fancy. How great is it that kids of all ages were able to enjoy the beautiful spring day as well?  Perfect!  The best part, the boys got to hang out with their friends, learn about tea, and the best is that they fell asleep like legends both at naptime and bedtime from all the fresh air!!!

   tea cups

mommy with gnr at the tea partygus proud of his tea pour gnr checking the pour out rals drinking tea - look at the eyes!    teddy bear tea!

Yesterday, the boys had their first popsicle of “summer” – how cute are these boys???  Love that Gus took C’s hat…his old one, and it sooooooooooo does not even begin to cover his noggin!

boys of summer - first popsicle of the season! (5)

The zoo was calling our name after we made it to the evaluation by the state bright and early one morning this week.  This was the evaluation to see if the boys were eligible for assistance with their speech.  We were worried that Augustus in particular, was a bit delayed with his pronunciation and ability to express his thoughts in more than one word, but the evaluation found the boys are doing just fine in all areas: gross/fine motor skills, self-help/adaptive skills, social/emotional, academic/cognitive and receptive and expressive communication.  That is a relief!  However, we can contact them again if the do not continue improve with their word conjugation. It is amazing how much they are continuing to put together each and every day.  My advice to other moms out there, or parents, is to chill a bit if you are concerned about “delays” that are not really completely apparent.  Everyone has their own time to blossom.  The boys were born at 33 weeks and sometimes it is good to remind myself that this is a fact, despite their complete amazing selves, they may take a bit more time than their peers. I don’t like to compare the boys to their peers, but sometimes it is just plain tough not too.  Speaking of peers, check out the besties holding hands below.  Almost all looking at the camera, but best of all facing forward…how many pics do we have of their backs?IMG_4287

gnr with c&e (2)  Gus the bird man – still loves to hold the birds on the stick and feed them!gus picks up a bird to feed!

Earlier in the week we made pizza with Nonnie.  The boys were super helpful!  Their favorite part was making the sauce and then giving both Nonnie and me a taste.  Yummo!!!

taste testing! gnr help make pizza (2)

Then, we visited the cows.  A few of them ate whole wheat waffles, a few just came over to try to lick my camera, and us!  Currently, we have some overripe bananas and left over bread crusts from the tea sandwiches, so we will have to go back soon.

Here is a glimpse of what has become a daily ritual in our house, as mentioned in the last post.  Wow!  At least they are getting better at putting their toys away.  I guess it is good to take inventory every once and a while as well!

fun times - all the buckets empty! 

That pretty much sums up our week.  Fun times indeed, peppered with a few more bites – UGH!  If anyone has any tips I am all ears…

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fountain Play

Starbucks was offering free coffee to anyone who brought in their own mug on tax day, so of course we had to take a walk to get mommy some coffee.  The boys were happy to get a drink of chocolate milk while I drank my coffee.  On the way back we had some fun in the fountain.  The boys love water, any kind, so the fountain offers them a place to play and me to laugh at how much fun they can have with a little fountain!

 cheers bro - only chocolate milk! fountain - could anything be more fun (4) fountain fun - rals big smile!progression of fun times! my favorite!!!!fountain fun - gus great smile  progression of fun times! (4) progression of fun times! (6) fountain - could anything be more fun

Gus has started saying “mmm hmm” after almost everything he says, with a little head shake up and down.  For example, he’ll say “truck,” and I say “truck” back to him and he says “mmm hmm.”   It is the cutest thing ever.  He is so proud of himself doing it too.  It either is he is really happy that he is communicating or that he knows he is doing something really clever and wants to make sure we know it.  So adorable!!!

We’re still dealing with fighting, a lot of fighting.  They just seem to be on each other’s nerves a ton lately.  Raleigh continues to egg Gus on, and for the most part Gus just cries about it.  However, Gus finally got fed up with Raleigh’s biting antics and bit Raleigh twice last week.  I think it all stems from their two-year molars that are still working their way out.  One of my MoM friends recommend something that I had not really thought about – putting a toy they are fighting over into timeout, instead of just the boys.  I like that! 

Such little helpers!  They love to help Matthew in the garden, and have made a habit of watering our hanging baskets every night when Daddy comes home.  They are getting really good at putting their toys away, by category too – they have a bit of Daddy’s OCD;)  This is a good thing, because they also love to dump all their toys out of their bins…

We have discovered Handy Manny.  The boys really have been limited on their television, and usually we only do it when we are getting food ready for 15-20 minutes at a time if it is a really crazy day.  However, we usually wake up and watch Blue’s Clues while Mommy & Daddy take turns showering.  Well, we found Handy Manny this past week; which fits right into their love of anything Spanish, and boy, do they love Manny.  Tools are another favorite thing - they love to help drill, screw drive, hammer, etc. 

Wednesday we go for the boys speech evaluation.  They had an in home evaluation a few weeks ago and they found that they were slightly delayed in communication.  The main thing that we are concerned with is pronunciation – which they won’t provide speech help with – but they are also delayed with putting their words together into sentences.  Of course, right after their evaluation Raleigh really started putting his thoughts together.  Augustus is getting there too.  We are so happy with all their progress; it is so fun to hear what they are thinking! 

 

After a very tiring weekend for me, I am thankful for naptime and my husband. I had a great party with my friends on Friday night.  What a blast.  How cool is it that the boys brought about so many cool friends, all connected by twins!  Thanks ladies for an amazing time:)

IMG_4057 IMG_3976

Monday, April 12, 2010

What We’ve Been Up To; You Just Know You’re Dying to Know!

We are focusing on a slow down after being in a frenzy to get out and enjoy some beautiful weather after a winter of cold, cold, cold.  The weather is still nice, and we are spending plenty of time outside in our neighborhood and the parks around our house, but we need to slow down and take it easy for a little while. 
Here are a few snapshots of the past week.  The boys had fun at the zoo and even made it to Nonnie’s pool a few times.  We had a great time with some of our friends on Saturday in particular at the park and pool, but I did not take my camera.  Wow, shocker!!!  I had my hands full enough, though.  Augustus and Raleigh have kicked up their daredevil gear and are all out anywhere they go now. At the park Saturday, both boys took a flying leap to the “bobo” bars – that is Spanglish for monkey bars – and would yell, “swing” as they hung on and swung on the first bar.  Augustus also shocked the you-know-what out of me and climbed the entire ladder type contraption at the park too!  I know they are super strong and have the strength to do more than most two year olds, but it is like their fear has completely left the building.

Happy Anniversary to us!  Nine years, wow, time flies when you are having fun!!!
  happy anniversary and a smile from mattyhappy anniversary! (2)
NONNIE WITH GNR FROG FRIENDrals rocks too  gus rocks out
Baby rhino!
baby rhino (3)
Bug watching!  Favorite sport;)
bug watchers (2)
 rals swims with nonnie snack time at the pool (3) gus - mini matt in action turtle!rals swims back to nons
 raleigh starting to have more fun with paint (2) gus goes all out
Favorite Things:
Raleigh says “Raleigh do” or “Raleigh do it” about 1,000 times a day.  Just great to see him want some more independence and string some words together. 
Augustus has been more verbal too.  However, he is also in a big rut with his whining; particularly due to Raleigh’s bossy tendencies.  Any time Raleigh pesters him, Gus just starts to whine or cry. Unfortunately, with Raleigh’s personality, this just eggs him on!  I hope Gus finds his voice soon!  Nonetheless, Gus is still the bulldozer.  I just laugh any time he just tries to push through or dictate what Matthew and I do by just positioning us into whatever he wants. 
Gardening boys.  They are super helpful and love to spend time with Daddy in the garden. Oh, and Nonnie too.  Mom, not so much, it is  just not my thing. Although, when Daddy pointed out a spider from the garden and I screamed over it, they were both in tears.  Lots of help from me…
Potty training update.  They are interested in their undies, and we are moving towards training soon. Today was a great day because Raleigh said “poo poo potty” and then went straight to the potty and did a big poo poo.  Gus will go pee pee on the potty any time I ask him and he has to go, but really has not shown interest in the poo part.  Hopefully by next month they are ready. I want to start when it is warm out and we can do some of the training outside.  Sounds so redneck, right????
Swimming is coming back to them.  When we went to the pool Saturday, it was my first time being on my own with them in the pool and man, they were like fish.  Augustus in particular was all out.  He barely wanted to keep his head above water.  Again, fear has left the building!  It is great to see. I cannot wait for the water to be warm enough for us to stay a little longer without the boys’ lips turning blue! 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter; What a Fun Filled, Exhausting Weekend!

We hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, particularly today, Easter.  The boys had a packed weekend. Matthew said it best when I said I felt like I needed a weekend, and am more tired tonight despite Matthew enjoying a three day weekend with us.  He said I was the one who wanted to go all out all weekend. Oh yeah, that’s right!  I even had a crazy idea that maybe we should go to Busch Gardens this morning.  Whoa. I would not have even been able to see by tonight.  We spend a little while at the beach on Friday.  That was great.  We stayed close to home instead of going all the way to the Gulf.  It was still nice.  I was not expecting the boys to actually go in the water, so they did not have swim suits, but after a short stint at the park area they were all about climbing in the sand and splashing in the water.  Then that afternoon we hit the local Y and enjoyed their splash area.  It was great, the boys cried if we tried to get them out of the splash area, even if it was just to warm up in the big pool, but the actual splash part of the pool was ridiculously COLD!!!  The boys were almost purple by the time we got them dressed to go.

gus - my fave - tongue and all! gus - tongue still out, still happy and going gus finds a shell, he calls it a snail! (7) water babies! (2)water babies!  boys  helping each other up, again and again checking out the airplane (2) gnr at the park (2) great brothers and friends

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Saturday we spent the morning doing some shopping.  The boys were pretty cooperative until we got to Home Depot to.   buy some new plants.  Then they were over it.  This was even with a little stop at the park in between shopping trips while Daddy put away the groceries.  This is one good thing of having SO many parks within a mile or two of our house.  We could not blame the boys for being over the shopping, so we went home and made a big lunch for them.  They woofed it down!  Then after naptime, we went to Nonnie’s pool and park.  The boys were ecstatic!  They are so excited when they see me in my swim suit!  They are truly water babies.  Raleigh did amazing in the pool floating and flipping over to swim under water.  Gus was not as excited.  He kept looking at me and either shaking his head or finger at me to indicate, “no Mommy!”  He still had a ball walking and splashing in the pool.  Hilarious thing is that Daddy met us at Nonnie’s for dinner and had a beer.  We tried to do the whole “beer = cocoa” like we did for my nephew Alexander, but when we said, Daddy’s having cocoa, Raleigh stopped us and said, “no, that’s BE-EEEER!”  That was the first time he ever said beer, and it was so darn cute!  I think I about peed my pants. I don’t think we’ll be able to pull anything over on Rals. 

pool time after a long winter! (4) pool time after a long winter! (2)

This morning we laid low and the boys were quite happy to play with their indoor toys.  They stayed inside until Daddy started planting the new plants outside.  Then, they were all about helping Dad.  Raleigh was able to play mini-firefighter with the hose and promptly turned around and sprayed me instead of the newly planted flowers.  After naps the boys were surprised with an egg hunt in our front yard.  The quickly found their baskets, which included their first pairs of undies.  Raleigh found the packet that had Nickelodeon characters on them and yelled “Go, Diego, Go” for a few minutes!  Augustus got the Sesame Street pack, and when we tried them on tonight, he promptly put a pair on his head.  What a frat boy!  They had fun with the egg hunt, but next year I think it will be more fun because they will understand the bunny thing more.  We did okay with Santa because we went to visit him at the mall, and it was hard to miss all the Christmas decorations.  We did not do too much for Easter this year, so maybe next year they will get it more.  I know, I know, Easter is more than a bunny holiday…

raleigh before...me after! (2) helping Dad with the plants helping Dad with the plants (2) gus riding raleigh as a horse!

mommy and the boys - not going to get a pic with just us! chocolate, they are not silly chocolate, they are not silly (2) Easter 2010 eggs egg hunt in the gardens (6) egg hunt in the gardens (7) first packs of undies! good brothers!

happy easter hami's picnik

Other things we are seeing, is that the boys must be going through a growth spurt.  They have had massive appetites – which could also be from increased activity with the awesome weather we’ve had, but they also have been tripping over their feet a few times a day.  Unfortunately, that means many, many skinned knees!  They continue to show greater communication abilities.  On the way home last night, we played their Laurie Berkner cd and they were both singing different songs, and wanting their song to play. Augustus was singing his favorite, “Moon, Moon, Moon” and Rals was singing “I’m a Mess.” It was Raleigh’s first time singing (except his rendition of the birthday song) and now thinks it is the best song ever!!!!

The Boys' First Month!