Category Archives: Birthdays

Fourteen months

Wow!  14 months old!  Honest-to-goodness toddlers, that’s for sure.  Daniel is getting a bit better at walking every day, though still mostly crawls.  Rebecca was trying to imitate more words yesterday, and attempted to both sign and say “duck,” which I must say she did pretty well!  Mini-tantrums and skipped naps aside, this is a pretty darn fun age.  They know how to play with more complex toys, they bring me books to read.  Language comprehension is improving, and they definitely know what “sit down, please” means.  Even if they don’t always want to do it, of course.

Anyways, to mark 14 months, we attempted the chair pictures again.  They turned out OK, pretty cute, but also blurry from all of the moving around.  I maintain that about 8 months or so was the best time for those chair pictures. But regardless, here they are, on the morning of their 14-month birthday (clapping, of course, because it got them to sit for another few seconds).  As my friend Bev said the other day, there’s really nothing cuter than footie pajamas.  Another reason I love the cooler weather!

Advertisements

8 Comments

Filed under Birthdays, Photos, Toddlers

Our House (in the middle of our yard)

Alright, so I know you all remember the saga of the birthday present my mom wanted to get for the kids, right? Well, she would not be swayed, and was dead-set on this being their present.  So she finally ordered it online, shipping charges be damned, and it arrived about a week or so ago.  Yesterday, good friends of ours came over with their kids to help us set it up.

It’s quite a multi-purposed structure.  On the inside is what appears to be a store, complete with cash register, safe, and security camera. I guess they’re worried someone is going to try to rob the plastic playhouse?

The outside is totally schizophrenic.  The front facade is red brick, with a bell on top, and you have the choice of decals to decide if it’s a school house or a fire house (M, without hesitation, said it was a fire house).  (I only realized after the fact that there was another set of decals in French – missed opportunity!)  Also, um, the two men involved just started putting it together before reading the instructions.  Hence, M inside the tiny house with a screwdriver, after the fact.

One side of the exterior is a gas station, which includes (oddly) a phone.  A phone that just hangs on the side of the structure, but isn’t actually connected. A cordless fake phone. On the outside of an outdoor play structure. We pretty much lost it within an hour.  (In the picture, it should be to the right of Daniel… but it’s probably in the bushes somewhere.  Maybe the security camera caught it?)

The opposite side is a market, complete with an ATM.  And an arrow, directing cars… is it a drive-thru and I somehow missed that?  And the back…  Opposite the “fire house” facade?  A basketball hoop. And possibly a soccer net. And numbers, presumably for a game that I’m not actually familiar with.

It’s odd, it’s as though someone thought of every imaginary play space and just threw it all into one structure.  But hey, who am I to complain?  It’s cute, and hopefully the kids will enjoy it for any number of years. Thanks, Mom! There’s still some debate as to where exactly in the yard it will live, but we’ll figure it out.  Just in time for winter, probably…

Oh, and in true toddler form, the box it came in was equally well-loved as a toy by our fellow twins and playmates.  Thanks to Rebecca and family for coming over to assemble and play!

8 Comments

Filed under Birthdays, Home, Stuff, stuff, and more stuff, Toddlers

I just don’t want it that badly

Oy, what an afternoon.

So, obviously the kiddos had a birthday recently.  My mom wanted to get them a good present, and decided on this outdoor playhouse.  Looks like fun, durable, good for a number of years.  Great gift.

Except, she lives 1,000 miles away from us.  So, she figured she’d order it online and have it shipped.

Except, shipping was anywhere from $80 to $150.  So, she figured she’d buy it from Sears and have me pick it up at the store.

Except, they were all out of stock because it’s the end of the season.  So, she finally found it at a Toys R Us in Manchester, New Hampshire.  About 45 minutes from my house.  I said I could drive up there this afternoon post-nap, so she called the store and had them set one aside.  Of course, it’s not like they could have sent it to a store closer to me, and of course they wouldn’t let her pay over the phone.  So, off I go, 45 minutes with the kids in the car to buy the present my mom wants to get them.  Fine.

Except, maybe two exits onto the highway and traffic is all but stopped.  At 3:45 in the afternoon, nowhere near the city.  And Rebecca is hungry/thirsty but refusing her sippy cup of milk.  And Daniel is throwing crackers on the floor.  So they’re both screaming.  I’m regretting the trip already, and I’ve only been on the road 15 minutes. I’m considering just turning around and calling my mom and telling her to think of some other gift.  But I call M, who checks the traffic report, and it looks like it should clear up.  Fine, whatever, I’m already on the road.  After an hour, we finally make it to the Toys R Us in New Hampshire.

Except, the woman at the service desk keeps calling the guy to check the customer hold room, and he’s not picking up the intercom.  And they can’t for the life of them figure out how to spell or say my last name.  Fine, whatever.  25 minutes later (oh, and the kids are no longer in their carseats, but now in the stroller… not a whole lot happier), he finally wheels out this enormous box and I pay for it, and he helps me out to the car.

Except, as we walk up to my van, we both know it.  The box just isn’t going to fit.  Even with the seats down, even if I didn’t have the kids with me (it was tempting to just leave them there and come back later), it was too big.  He asks me if I have a truck (um, no), or if I want him to try to strap it to the top of the car (um, I’m 40 miles from home, I’m not driving back on local roads at 25 miles per hour).  I thank him for his effort, but apologize and say I have to walk back into the store and return it, less than five minutes after I bought it.  It was all I could do not to burst into tears.  The kids beat me to it.

Everyone back in the car, time to go home.  I called my mom to let her know what happened, and she started talking about my uncle’s truck and waiting until it comes back in stock at Christmas time.  I’m not sure why she’s so attached to this play house, but frankly, I could give a shit.  If it shows up on my doorstep, great.  We’ll love it.  But there’s no way in hell I’m crossing state lines for it again.

We finally arrived back home, more than two hours after we left.  The kids had been strapped into either their carseat or their stroller the whole time.  I think they were just relieved to climb around the kitchen while I got them some dinner.

Thanks, mom, but maybe next time just get them a DVD or something.

11 Comments

Filed under Birthdays, Family, Not good times, Toddlers

Twelve-month stats

This morning was our 12-month well-baby appointment.  Thankfully, M was able to come with me, since it involved two shots and a finger stick (plus, you know, two wriggly babies missing their morning nap).  Both are doing well, though neither gained as much weight as I might have guessed (both were up about a pound and a half in 3 months).  Daniel was 21lb14oz and 29.25″ long, which is about 45th percentile for both.  Rebecca was 17lb10oz and 28.5″ long, which is around the 4th or 5th percentile for weight and the 28th for length.  They were otherwise pronounced A-OK by our beloved pediatrician.

Though neither of them are big babies, it’s still amazing to me how much they’ve grown in a year.

Daniel, impossibly small (and we thought he was so big, compared to Rebecca), at one week old.

Daniel, impossibly small (and we thought he was so big, compared to Rebecca), at one week old.

Daniel gained 15 pounds, twelve ounces, since his birth weight, and grew 11-12 inches in length.  He has eight teeth, can almost stand on his own, walks with help, “talks” constantly (just not in English), and waves at everyone (or, possibly, is making the sign for “light”, it’s a little unclear).

My big boy, on the day before his first birthday.

My big boy, on the day before his first birthday.

He loves strawberries and blueberries and bananas and waffles and cheese and tortellini with pesto.  He’ll at least try almost anything, though he’s getting into the unfortunate habit of purposefully dropping stuff over the side of his high chair.  He loves to ride on the red and blue car we got from Snick, or even laugh when he sees his sister get a ride.  He laughs at everyone. People who see him ask me, “is he always this smiley?” Not really, but he puts on a good show! He does not especially like to go down for naps, but sleeps very well overnight and sucks on the corner of the blanket his grandmother made for him.  He loves to shake toys, and insists the dog lick him right in the face.  Though he can still be fussy and whiny at times, he really is just my sweet, sweet boy.

Rebecca gained thirteen pounds, two ounces in the first year,

Teeny tiny Rebecca, 10 days old

Teeny tiny Rebecca, 10 days old

nearly quadrupuling her birthweight, and also grew 11-12 inches.  She has six teeth, the four top all sprouted in the last month.  She is trying hard to stand up without even pulling on something, and is very purposeful in her direction when walking with assistance.  She will turn you to wherever she wants to go.  While pretty independent and even-tempered, she has started to throw honest-to-goodness kicking-and-screaming temper tantrums.  Usually if she wants to walk but you aren’t fast enough to get off the couch and help her.  She chit-chats and shrieks a lot, and I officially deem her first word to be “cracker.”  She even did it spontaneously at the doctor’s office this morning when she saw the snack cup in my purse.  She eats like a bird much of the time, and is wary of new flavors and textures.  She does seem to enjoy my new “Chicken a la Mommy,” though (cut up leftover chicken thrown in the microwave with cheese – my kids are the anti-Kosher).  While at home she can be a total ham and very silly and smiley, she’s not as quick to smile for strangers.  The best word for her, we’ve decided, is “scamp.”  She’s a little scamp.

Rebecca at one year, hanging on the couch with the dog (having stolen her toy, of course).

Rebecca at one year, hanging on the couch with the dog (having stolen her toy, of course).

Or imp, if you prefer.  She’s a much better sleeper than back in the 45-minute-nap days, but still wakes up and cries for a few seconds or a minute or two in the middle of the night.  Can’t tell why, but I’m experimenting with leaving a nightlight on in their very dark room.  When playing, she likes to push things around the room on her knees (diaper surfing was popular while on vacation), and loves nothing more than chasing the dog, stealing her toys, and then offering the toys back to the dog.  She is a very funny girl.  Quite the comedienne.

It really is amazing how much has changed in the last year.  I don’t really stop and think about it that much, or wax poetic about how my life has changed.  Despite this whole blogging thing, that’s not exactly my style.  That was always the case, I suppose, but being a mom of two babies has made me even more pragmatic.  I just roll with things and deal with them, and plan as best I can.

Wait, did I say babies?  Well, they aren’t really babies anymore, are they?  Yikes!  Toddlers!  Sure, they aren’t walking yet, but they sure don’t seem like little infants anymore, either.  Amazing, these two little people who used to just be mouths screaming for more formula.  Though it obviously hasn’t happened overnight, I do think that the one-year point marks a notable shift in parenting, too.  The first year, though there are enormous changes in all areas of development, feels like it has largely been about “taking care” of them.  Making sure they eat and sleep and have clean diapers.  Certainly it’s more fun than just that, but a lot of the things they learn in the first year are so basically fundamental that you don’t sit and say “I’m going to teach you to trust today!”  “Let’s spend an hour working on rolling over!”  There are exceptions, of course, but a lot of these things just seem to happen.

Not so much anymore.  Now it’s time to really teach them things.  Like not throwing food off the high chair, for one. But things like words and walking and counting and games and jokes and rules.  We’ve made it through a lot of the fundamentals (eating, sitting, crawling), now it’s on to bigger and better.

Buckle your seatbelts.  I have a feeling it’s about to get exciting (and scary!).

3 Comments

Filed under Birthdays, Child Development, Infants, Pediatrician appointments, Toddlers

Trip Recap, Part 4 – The Family Reunion

I swear, this is the last trip recap you’ll hear!  I know, it’s fascinating…. but I wanted to record it for posterity before I completely forget and there’s a million other things to write about.

Anyways, the final weekend of the big trip to the Midwest involved a two-hour drive to sorta-Central Illinois for my dad’s family reunion.  It has happened every year for the last 30+ years, and it only gets bigger.  This year, for instance, there were four kids under 18 months, and that doesn’t even count my new niece, who was not in attendance.  And two of my cousins are pregnant, so there’s a few more for next year.  I believe my cousin Jenny’s five-month-old daughter was the one who put it over the edge, so that generation (my kids’) now outnumbers my own in our family.

The kids did great on the drive. We left at afternoon nap time, and they slept pretty much the entire drive. Yay!  Got there and it was people galore, jumping in the pool, little kids running everywhere, firing up the big grill for dinner. The bugs at night were awful, but because the baby monitor didn’t reach far enough to go hang out with everyone else, M and I were totally lame and went to bed super early.  My aunts and uncles were apparently looking for more wine by 11:30pm…

Daniel (far left) chats it up with three of his 2nd cousins (including the only other set of twins in the family).

Daniel (far left) chats it up with three of his 2nd cousins (including the only other set of twins in the family, who are almost exactly two years older than mine).

Rebecca is just glad Daddy has joined us.

Rebecca is just glad Daddy has joined us. It was a long 10 days away from him.

Saturday morning of reunion weekend is all about games, especially for the kids.  I remember growing up playing Bozo buckets and all variety of things.  This year, the “theme” of the reunion was baseball, and each family group (i.e. my dad and his siblings) was supposed to come up with a game.  They often involve throwing things at someone, or general mess and/or embarrassment.  Good times!  The rest of the day is pretty much a blur of chlorine, cheap beer, Red Vines vs. Twizzlers, and just hanging out with cousins.  The nighttime entertainment is the “Talent(less) Show,” which is mostly a chance for the little kids to get up and do somersaults and sing songs, and for the adults to cheer wildly.  It was after D&R’s bedtime… maybe next year.

The kids rock their White Sox outfits.  (Notice the completed quilts they're sitting on?!)

The kids rock their White Sox outfits. (Notice the completed quilts they're sitting on?!)

because really, how often do you get to throw stuff at your father-in-law's head?

The games: because really, how often do you get to throw stuff at your father-in-law's head?

There are enough people in the family that we've developed an elaborate numbering system so you know how everyone is related. Then we printed them on shirts, just for kicks.  Daniel is 5.1.1 (first child of the first child of the 5th child).

There are enough people in the family that we've developed an elaborate numbering system so you know how everyone is related. Then we printed them on shirts, just for kicks. Daniel is 5.1.1 (first child of the first child of the 5th child).

Rebecca likes her snacks spicy.

Rebecca likes her snacks spicy.

They both liked getting in and out of the pool.

They both liked getting in and out of the pool.

Sunday started with a threat of rain, but nothing could put a damper on the day: it was Daniel & Rebecca’s first birthday!  And so many family members to celebrate with. We got a cake to share with everyone, and made a big old mess before it was time to pack the car and head back to my dad’s house before going to the airport and finally going home after our long trip.  Sadly, our flight was delayed by about an hour, and we didn’t get all the way home until nearly midnight.  But with only minor exceptions, both kids proved stellar travelers, and I count the whole shebang as a big success.

Birthday breakfast, outside but covered in case of rain.

Birthday breakfast, outside but covered in case of rain.

Daddy and his birthday babies!

Daddy and his birthday babies!

Not real sure about this wrapping paper thing...

Not real sure about this wrapping paper thing...

Aww yeah, the messy cake picture.  Rebecca went to town and rubbed it in her hair.  Daniel was surprisingly more cautious.

Aww yeah, the messy cake picture. Rebecca went to town and rubbed it in her hair. Daniel was surprisingly more cautious.

6 Comments

Filed under Birthdays, Family, Infants, Travel

Happy Birthday!

One whole year old today!

On our way home from vacation tonight, will recap all this week!

photo

12 Comments

Filed under Birthdays

Birthday Countdown – Month 12

July 2008

I blink, and the summer is halfway over.  This last month, the kids have become such little people.  Though there are no clear or obvious “words,” there’s a lot of talking going on.  Different sounds, intonations, expressions.  Lots of opinions, lots of thinking and problem-solving.  Opening and closing doors, moving that pesky gate that stands between you and the cable modem.  Climbing the stairs, climbing everything.  Not super interested in walking, but occasionally standing unassisted for a second or two before carefully sitting back down, and crawling as fast as you can to wherever I’ve hidden the TV remote.  Chasing the dog, almost playing tug with her.

Rebecca in the kiddie pool on a hot day

Rebecca in the kiddie pool on a hot day

Daniel tests the water.

Daniel tests the water.

Rebecca cleans up after herself.

Rebecca cleans up after herself.

Daniel tries to bust out of "baby jail."

Daniel tries to bust out of "baby jail."

Oh dear, look what they can do!

Oh dear, look what they can do!

Out to lunch...

Out to lunch...

My little boy, nearly a year old.

My little boy, nearly a year old.

Rebecca vs. Winnie, who gets the toy?

Rebecca vs. Winnie, who gets the toy?

2 Comments

Filed under Birthdays, Infants, Reminiscing