Thursday, September 30, 2010

What if they were sextuplets?

That's what I think to myself when I look at these pics.  Yesterday I had two twin mom friends over.  You've all met both of them: E and her boys A and G star in my blog quite often, and M and her girls H and B appeared just last week.  Every now and then I get the unction to have a half dozen babies squeezed into my house so that after they leave I think, my goodness, my house is so spacious and huge!

The four boys are totally diggin' having two girls over!

Ready to roll!

 The two guys in orange are E's boys: G in front, A in back.  M is front and center (again with the binky - still cutting that molar and pretty crabby) and my little ham and cheese in the back, N.  H is pretty in pink and B is binky girl in the back (sorry if I got them mixed up, M!)

What's amazing is that my guys are totally cool with having friends over.  Toys that were boring yesterday are fun today when someone else shows interest!  They share their toys and their food.  N was munching on half an apple and gave it to G, who clearly had never had an apple halved like that.  N, my sweet boy, then tried to put the whole thing in G's mouth, you know, to show him how to take a bite!  Of course, he swiped one of G's ravioli's in trade...but we're working on it.

On a side note, N has also learned how to hug!  On his own, he approached his brother and wrapped his arms around him yesterday!  It was so sweet, I would have cried, except M thought he was being attacked and got very upset, crying.  So I laughed instead, and tried to explain that N was hugging him.  N tried it again today, but M just walked away, N following him a bit like Frankenstein.  We'll keep trying.  I can't wait to snag a pic of the two of them hugging it out.

So what if they were sextuplets?  I could handle it for two hours, maybe, like yesterday, but the truth is, I'm happy with just twins.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall Fun

Last weekend, we returned to our favorite local apple orchard with Grandma A in tow.  The boys liked the hay ride so much the first time, we did it again!  Despite the fact that the point of the hayride is to take the riders to the farthest part of the orchard, let them off to pick apples, then take them back, they didn't mind that we stayed on board for the round trip.
That's the best shot we could get.  Poor little M has been cutting molar #4 since he woke up Sunday morning, the day this was taken.  Unfortunately, it's Wednesday morning and it's still not through!  As you might imagine, it's been a tough week for all of us because you're only as strong as your weakest link.  
Being in an orchard, we took the opportunity to teach boys where apples come from and picked a few honeycrisp.  N loved it!  Keep an eye on that apple in his hand and watch how much he eats!

I want one of these, Grandma!

N navigates the maze with his half-eaten apple.
Daddy and Mommy were having fun in the maze, but it's clearly now
time to go home.

I'm guessing we'll have at least one more visit because the pumpkins are just coming in - the few they have are in the crates on the left.  We hope to get another cute fall shot of the boys frolicking in the pumpkins with their football.  Here's hoping!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Birthday Weekend Fun

Around here, we celebrate birthdays when we are together, which is not usually on the actual day.  So, Happy Birthday to Me today, but we celebrated all weekend long!  Grandma A was here, so we took advantage of her asked her kindly to babysit so Hubs and I could have a sleepover party at a nice hotel downtown.  It was a much welcome and needed little getaway.  Thanks, Grandma!

Before that, we took her out to our (and her!) favorite restaurant, Punch Pizza (do you see a pattern?) before she was put under house arrest and the boys had their sleepover.  I'd put pictures here, but again, they are on hubs' brilliantphone which is, again, not here, but there, with him on a business trip.  So here's a Punch Pizza Picture you haven't seen.  It's Aunt L, who LOVES Punch, and replied to Grandma's message that we were there with a picture of her dinner that night: Lean Cuisine.  Haha!  Silly Aunt L!
While we were up in the cities, we stopped by Trader Joe's, a neat organic grocery store that has lots of fun treats.  Here are the boys shopping for flowers in their own mini carts:
This is a funny one!  The parking garage at Trader Joe's was painted all cute, and we wanted to send Aunt L another funny pic, so we took this next to a big red flower and the parking sign.  But check out that CHEESY grin on N!  What a HAM!

Sunday was our fun celebratory birthday day, so we fixed up a "fancy" dinner for us.  Remember when the boys got to pet one day old chicks back in July, when M got his hair cut for the first time?
You're gonna be my dinner, someday, chick.
Well, the "chicks" were ready and K(who did another phenomenal job on my hair!) had two plucked and frozen chickens for me when I got to the salon.  I've never roasted a whole chicken before, but with some help from Grandma A and my Good Housekeeping "Bible," I did it - I even cut off its neck!  It was quite delicious, too, if I must say so myself.  Here's N with what could very well be the chick in the above pic!
We baked a birthday cake with homemade chocolate frosting, which I ate for breakfast today.  Yum.  The boys and I are taking it easy today, recovering from the exciting weekend (more apple orchard pictures to come!) and M's fever.  Poor little guy really has a hard time cutting those molars.  Hopefully it'll be through today and we'll be up and at 'em tomorrow.

Thank you for all the wonderful birthday wishes I've already received today via calls, texts, cards, and facebook messages.  It's already been a great birthday and I think 33 will be my best year yet!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Take Your Grandma To School Day

Apparently, the third week of school is Take Your Grandma to School Day!  The grandmas were sweet, sharing what antics their (only) twin grandkids do.  Grandma A shared during the "parent education" time that she was amazed at how the boys follow directions.  And it's true!  I haven't mentioned it here because...well, I'm with them every day and it seems a tiny bit less amazing, especially when the brilliant children in question are throwing grilled cheesed on the (carpeted) floor. 

But they do  follow simple directions. 
When I say, "It's time to eat," they run to their high chairs. 
When I say, "It's time for night night," they run to the gate at the bottom of the stairs.
When I say, "Daddy's home!" they run to the gate at the top of the stairs.
When I say, "Don't throw that grilled cheese on the floor!" they do it anyway.

After us parents and grandparents got educated, we all sat together for circle time and played with the shakers for the "Shaky, Shaky" song.   Then, today's storytime was better than last week's because Grandma was there to wrestle one little fella.  I've decided my "goal" for this class (because we have to state one!) is to sit in the circle during storytime.  (We have to sell Butter Braids for a school fundraiser, too (!) so uh, if you're in the market for Butter Braids, I'm your woman.  Thus begins my stellar career of hawking my kids' fundraisers on all my friends and family.  How many more years of this?) 
N shaky shakin' it

Grandma A and M read a story during circle time
Mommy and N shaky shakin'
Our girlfriends H and B with their Mommy and Grandma

My MVMOM friend M and her 18 month old daughters are in our class.  School's more fun for us adults when our friends are there, too!  And SHE brought her mother in law to school today, too!  Here are the girls shaky shakin' their eggs.
N's favorite part of school is gym...and snack.  

Heavens, my boys are such BOYS already.  They LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the gym time and CRY if I make them share their favorite Little Tykes vehichle, the pickup truck.  Wow, it's like they're middle school already, loving snack and gym, not liking reading. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sale! Sale! Sale!

Eagan Community Center is the place to be on Saturday!  MVMOM is hosting their biannual Used Clothing and Equipment Sale.  I love, love, love this sale and cannot wait to shop it all morning and cashier all afternoon.  The whole gym will be filled to the brim with all kids of kids stuff, much of it in twins matching or coordinating colors!  What kind of stuff can you buy?  Well, here are a few things I picked up at the spring sale:
Swimsuits, hats, and sunglasses!
 Crazy Cozy Coupe!
Super Fun Water Table!
Matching Green Baby Crocs!

There won't be any "summer" stuff at this sale, but it will be filled with winter and holiday stuff, including the most treasured of all items....Halloween costumes!  

Hope to see you there!

Rainy Day Fun

N has discovered the cabinets.  He likes to unload the contents of the little cabinet next to the dishwasher, climb in, and giggle.  I say, "Where's N?" and he opens the door, sticks his head out, and giggles.
 Because he was spending so much time in there, and it's dark, I handed him the GlowWorm toy to keep him company.  Now when I'm working in the kitchen, I can't see my son, but I know where he is because I hear the GlowWorm's lullabyes and N's sweet giggling coming from down below.

M is fascinated with my iphone.  I try to keep it on the kitchen counter so he can't reach it, but occassionally he's able to find it.  He puts it up to his ear and asks, "Hi?  Hi?  Hi?"  Then he sees me see him and scurries away, looking for a place to hide with his treasure.
Now, when he hears it ring, he looks at me and says, "Hi?"  But when I try to let him "talk" to the person on the other end, he can't NOT press the big red button that says, "end call!"

It's been raining almost 20 hours now, but we'll have a good time today.  The cabinets and the iphone are in working order.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Amazing Apple Orchard

I love that even though the boys are over a year old, we still have plenty of "firsts" to go!  On Saturday, we attended an MVMOM event, an orchard outing, and the boys took their first hayride.  And it keeps getting better: first, the orchard was just a couple miles away, and second, HONEYCRISP APPLES ARE IN SEASON!

(Forgive me, but there are a few reasons I love fall, and this is one of them.  Be prepared for some more excited blog posts because two more are coming up in the next week: my birthday and The Amazing Race premier.)

If you have never eaten a honeycrisp apple, you just haven't lived.  You absolutely MUST find an orchard or grocery store near you that carries them and buy them up because the season is only a few weeks long...during which my birthday occurs and the Amazing Race premiers.  Does life get better?

Yes!  We took the boys on their First Ever Hayride! (Okay, I know I'm a little excited, but I had a lot of coffee and a great morning with some fab women at Mom's Group, AND the boys are sleeping and the sun is shining!)

Back to the hayride!

Here we are, gettin' ready to go...
This one is my favorite, taken just a second before the tractor took off, M kicked off a Croc, and Mr. J., the man next to me, jumped off the wagon to retrieve it!  The boys did seem to enjoy the ride, something I conclude by the fact they basically didn't try to jump off our laps.

There was also a "maze" for the kids to explore and M and N did what I expect them to do the rest of their lives: divide and conquer!  Daddy had the camera and M duties, so we got these cute shots of M exploring the labyrinth:

Follow me!

Look, a plane!

Yeah, planes have nothing to do with the orchard, but the boys point and call out every time they see one.  Which is All. The. Time.

Great fun was had by all and we'll go back again because we'll need some more honeycrisp and some adorable pumpkin/football shots when they're in.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Busy Boys

I've heard many, many people describe my boys as "busy."  Seeing as how they're my first children, it's "normal" to me.

But at one point during our second day of "school" this morning, N had corn meal up his nose, play doh in his mouth, and a bump on his forehead.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

How to "Enjoy Your Flight" with Twins

How do you do it? People ask me.  
You just do, I say.
Anyone with kids knows that traveling, whether by plane, train, or automobile, just isn't the same as it used to be.  I've learned a few things, some by trial and error, some by fabulous tips gleaned from other moms, about flying with twins.  I've shared some that pertain to babies in the past: click here to read one entry, but now that the boys are one and mobile, we've had to learn some new tricks.

  1. Okay, this isn't new, but it is the photo you've been waiting for:   Hubs and I carrying the boys' Sunshine Radian carseats.  We have a love-hate relationship with them.  We LOVE that we can get them on the plane rather easily (everything is relative, folks) so that the boys sit in their own seats.  We HATE that they are so dang heavy and cumbersome going through security.  Those suckers are 27 lbs. each, heavier than the boys are!  But totally worth it once we're on the plane.  See how happy we are?
 2. Next, BE PREPARED.  I was a Girl Scout, Hubs was a Boy Scout (okay, for one day, but it counts, right?), so we were ready for twins!  Hardly.  But there are few items I've come to make sure are always with us.  Study the next pic carefully:  

M is STRAPPED DOWN!  He has NO CLUE there is floor because we carried him to the seat, buckled him into the aisle seat while we buckled the car seat in, then buckled him into the torture device car seat.  Oh, wait, I got so excited, I forgot where I was going with this one.  Okay, first, the sippy cup.  Don't leave home without it!  This one is full of blue Gatorade (don't ask) which went through security just fine.  TSA lady waved her magic wand to make sure it wasn't explosive and it was all good.  Second, the Munchkin snack trap.  My fab sis gave these to the boys for their birthday and they are LIFESAVERS.  Just fill them with Kix, Teddy Grahams, Mini Nilla Wafers, yogurt bites (pictured here) or whatnot and you're good to go.  Third, binky on a leash, which is the little orange thing being shoved into the snack trap.  All hail the binky leash!  Fourth, the bib.  Otherwise your spendy carseats will be covered in yogurt bite goo.

3. Travel Bag.  I must give credit where credit is due.  Grandma A made the boys their own bag for the ride.  I've known I wanted to do this, but thought I'd need it when they're older, like two, but I was wrong.  Wrong, wrong!  This flight went SO MUCH SMOOTHER than the previous three that we've taken in the last month and this bag is why. 
N still hasn't seen the contents of the bag yet, so he's wondering what's up.  They were entertained kicking the bag for awhile (it's a lunchbox backpack!  So cute!) until the novelty wore off.  Inside was a book, two cars, a rubbery bouncy gooey toy and aforementioned snacks.  Thank you Grandma!  The bags are re-packed and put away for our next flight.  Woo hoo!

4. Last resort entertainment.  The snacks and the bag will last most of the flight (if it's 1 1/2 hours long, like ours) but you still need a couple tricks up your sleeve.  That's where the overhead light becomes a fabulous source of entertainment - on/giggle/off/giggle/on/giggle/off/ get the picture.  Same with the window - up/giggle/down/giggle/up/giggle/down/giggle.  You can bust out Peekaboo Barn on your *brilliantphone* if you're at cruising altitude, but on this flight we're only there for 30 minutes otherwise we seem to be ascending or descending.  But my all-time favorite last resort entertainment? Skymall Magazine!
Hundreds of pages for your one-year-old's ripping pleasure!  

Thanks for choosing Twin Engines Airlines.  Enjoy your flight.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bayne's Babies

What's better than cider donuts and caramel apples in the fall?  Only playing with the boys on the orchard's kiddie land!  While I was "out" (see yesterday's post), Hubs' parents watched the boys and took them to Bayne's Apple Valley Farm for treats and playtime.  Can you tell they had fun?
M doesn't seem too crazy about the bee he caught!
Piles of pumpkins for my pint size pee wees.
Say cheese!
No Way.
They love follow the leader!
Thanks, Grandpa and Grandma!  Is it time for cider donuts yet?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You're Not a New Mom Anymore When...

1. You drop your kids off at Grandma's and don't call for the entire 8 hours you're gone.  Not. Once. 

2. While you're gone, you shop for a new pair of jeans because you FINALLY "get it:" you're not gonna fit into those pre-pregnancy jeans. EVER.  Even if you could zip them, your twin tummy (sorta like muffin-top,, like a JUMBO muffin) would be flappin' over the top.  So you try on a pair of "tummy control" "mom-jeans" that you swore ten years ago you'd never wear over your. dead. body.  And then....LOVE them. 

3. Then go to the bra section because -you got it- the pre-pregnancy bras are never gonna happen, either, and the little cute one you bought to reward yourself for 10 months of breastfeeding twins ain't cuttin' it, either, and wind up with a taupe-colored-full-coverage-over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder that you ALSO said you'd never wear over your own dead body...and then...LOVE it.

4. Your handsome hubs of 8 years tells you how great you look in aforementioned "mom" jeans and "lady" bra and you fall in love with him all over again because you really did win the hubby lottery.

5. Then proceed to drop off the fellas at the church nursery, one of them with a snotty nose,  then walk away swiftly without a concern.

That's when you know you've graduated from New Mom.  Into what?  I'm not sure, but I'm there.  And I love it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

First Day of School

vocab words:
ECFE: Early Childhood Family Education, classes offered to families by local school districts in MN
MVMOM: Minnesota Valley Mothers of Multiples, a club to which I belong and LOVE

Today was the first day of our ECFE "Managing Multiples" class and the boys had a BLAST!  I can tell that I'm going to enjoy it, too, because several of my MVMOM friends enrolled their kiddos.  Starting next week, our class time will be half separated, meaning the parents get their "education" separately from the kids (to which I am greatly looking forward).  This week, we were all together, learning the ropes.

I had every intention of taking dozens of photos to show you how adorable their classroom is, how cute they were all dressed up in their jeans and T-shirts, and how much fun they were having with the other kids, all of which is true.

But another truth is that the boys were SO BUSY investigating every item and taking each toy apart, not to mention one who dirtied his diaper not once but twice, I only snapped two pics during the 5 minutes they were still: snacktime.

Well, they're not exactly the "first day of school" pictures I was hoping for, but they do show me something about the fellas.  When there are a dozen other kids sitting at the table, NOT going anywhere, but focusing on those animal crackers, LO and BEHOLD, my kids can, too!  Ah, the power of group conformity.

They're the smallest in the class and have a lot to learn, but I also see that the skills they do have serve them well.  See, while they wouldn't sit still on my lap for reading time, (they won't at home, either) they had absolutely no qualms about jumping into the mix and playing with the other kids, big and small.  I'm not at all worried about separating next week!  N is SO curious, twice when I looked around, I couldn't find him!  The first time, he'd gone back into the classroom (we were in the gym) to watch the fascinating bulldozers laying pavement in the parking lot, and the second, he'd found the dark bathroom and shut himself in - but he DID need a change, so that's pretty smart, right? 

Overall, I think it was a successful, albeit exhausting (but what day isn't?) first day of school.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Loving Labor Day

We stayed at home over Labor Day weekend, having fun with the boys.  As you saw yesterday, we took them to the zoo, where we watched TWO bears swim back and forth in front of us, just inches from our faces.  N was not impressed, and seemed to be thinking, "I'd rather go home and play with my cozy coupes." 

We did spend some time outdoors playing with their cars, which the boys love more and more.  They're still not going forward, but they LOVE getting behind the car and pushing it, or scootching backward.  M will pitter patter his feet on the ground if you push his car forward.  Do you think they love these things or what?
This next picture doesn't look like much, so I have to explain.  M and N figured out how to go down the stairs at our house, backward on their bellies.  They're really getting good at it!  Apparently, M's depth perception isn't too great because when he was walking near this crack in the drive, he got down on his knees, scootched over it backward!, then got back up and kept walking!  I haven't laughed that hard since my Cake Wrecks entry!
The boys are becoming rather possessive as well.  I think the car in the above photo is the current favorite - it seems to be easier to get behind and push, I assume that's why.  Anyhow, when one boys gets tired of the other car, he'll try to push his brother out of this one.  Here, N jumped over the opposite side because M was guarding the door, and tried to take off on his brother.  M is complaining of N being a bully.  I'm beginning to see what my future holds.
Of course, we took a trip up the cities on a warm day to walk around their beautiful lakes and visit Punch Pizza.  See that little pizza in the upper left?  That's a "bambini," and the boys not only ate that themselves, they ate focaccia and a big bunch of grapes I'd brought.  I cannot imagine what it will be like trying to feed them in 13 years.

It was nice to have a long weekend at home with Hubs, and to get together with some old and new friends for a picnic - of which we have no pics!  Every now and then, we have so much fun, we completely forget to take shots.  I can just tell you that the boys played well in the pack and play with their girlfriend, G, but wanted out when they realized that people were having fun outside of it.  They loved walking through the park, picking up garbage, playing with other picnicker's toys, running away from us toward the water, and giving the parents-to-be in attendance a real scare!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bear? Where?

M: Hey, bro, there's a bear!
N: Where?
M: Right there!  Now there are two bears!
N: You're totally lying!  I don't see any bears here!
M: Good thing we're not camping, bro.