Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rest in Peace, Snap and Go

We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of our dearly departed Snap and Go stroller.

You take to the grave the secrets of your youth, coming to us in your golden years through the mystery and magic of Craigslist. Your straps were frayed, your bolts were rusted, and your frame was scratched. It would have been easy to pass you by, but we knew there was still love in your heart for a few more strolls.Snap and Go's first trip to MI in August 2009 - walking with Grandma A and the guys through her neighborhood.

Thank you for your faithfulness, Snap and Go. You wheeled our babies around many an airport, scrunched yourself down flat through dozens of magnetometers, and endured the cold cargo bin while we flew in our cozy coach class seats. What an adventurous soul you were!

Nathan and Matthew ride in Snap and Go at MSP, October 2009, trip to MI.

Steve pushes Snap and Go along the beach near the Four Seasons in Kona, HI, November 2009.
Me, Nathan, Matthew, and Snap and Go on Maho Beach in St. Maartin, December 2009.

The time has come to say good-bye. We wish we could have sent you to have more adventures with another family now that we have outgrown the blue Snugride carseats, but alas, you are no longer safe for babies since your accident being gate-checked in St. Maartin.

We loved you, Snap and Go. May you rest in peace.






Friday, January 29, 2010

Take Your Twins to Work Day

Conditions were perfect yesterday for the boys to visit Daddy at work: Mom had makeup on, the boys were happy, Daddy was actually IN his office, and we were driving right by it on our way to a playdate. All of those things happen about as often as Haley's Comet appearing in the night sky, so we stopped to visit Daddy and his co-workers.


Mmm...airplanes are good to eat!How many handsome fellas does it take to write up one of Daddy's reports?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Little Explorers

Each day the boys develop new skills and talents that were not there the day before. It is simply amazing to watch as they grow. Often Steve will comment on how much they seem to have changed or grown when he has been out of town for a few days or more. Here is one such example of Matthew on the move; well sort of. He managed to wiggle and army crawl and where he ends up, you just have to watch and see.



Enjoy our first video post! video

8 Months and a Punch Pizza

Yesterday, the boys turned 8 months old.  They are really getting a move on! 

Both boys are doing the "army crawl" all over the place.  I was working in the kitchen yesterday while they were playing in the living room (I can see them as we have an open floor plan) and they both scooched their little bodies around the big island and LOVED the kitchen floor!  I'm guessing their bellies slide better on it - and there are more interesting things there to pick up and put in their mouths.  The loved slapping their hands down on the linoleum...SLAP!  SLAP! SLAP! SLAP!  and playing with my toes.  Now I really have two little ankle-biters!  And I REALLY have to start sweeping that kitchen floor more often!

We got a coupon for free Punch Pizza and decided to celebrate their 8 month birthday with pizza last night.  Okay, I know they can't have pizza yet, but any excuse is a good excuse to go to Punch's.  It's our very favorite restaurant in the Twin Cities area and I haven't been there since Memorial Day weekend.  I know, because my last Punch pizza was two days before the boys were born, and I've been missing it ever since. 

So we packed them up, along with their tasty dinner of homemade applesauce and bananas, and headed up to Minneapolis for our FREE Neapolitan pizza.  This stuff is manna from heaven!  Except I would NEVER complain about it if I had to eat it every day - okay, I might complain about getting fat, but never about having to eat the most delicious pizza on earth.  I mean it!  It tastes just like the pizzas we ate in Italy and that's because these are authentic Neapolitan pizzas...okay, I need to finish this story, but if you're in the Twin Cities and you want the best pizzas on earth, go to Punch.

The place was CROWDED and we had to wait for a table, but the boys just knew that this was uber-important to us, so they were good.  Okay, they were asleep. It was all worth the wait, the feeding of the aforementioned baby food in tight quarters, the rushed order, to get this:


Ahh....heavenly!

Oh, yeah, my readers want to see babies, so here's me and the boys posing.  


Well, it's me and the side of Matthew's head and Nathan. These were taken with hubby's phone, because OF COURSE I forgot the camera.  My memory has been failing me lately, but fortunately I haven't forgotten the boys anywhere!

FYI, we paid for their angelic restaurant behavior with howls of discontent all the way home.  They didn't seem to understand that they'd still get their pizza-flavored breastmilk in the morning.  So I had to promise them pizzas of their own on our next trip.

Happy 8 months, fellas!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Question of the Week: Names




Today I'm going to participate in Multiples and More's Question of the Week: How Did You Name Your Multiples? It was originally posted Thursday, October 8, 2009, when the boys were just 4 months old.  Enjoy! 

What's in a name?

Naming our boys was a very difficult task for us.  In fact, we easily chose 2 girls' names when we discovered we were expecting twins, but couldn't find even one boy's name that we liked.  I joked (but suspected) that we'd have boys because we couldn't think of a single name, so we tabled the discussion and 'named' them Righty and Lefty.  Sure enough, at our 20 week ultrasound, we learned that we were carrying two boys!  That was in February.  We spent the next three months thinking, talking, and praying about their names.  It's a big deal, and difficult when you, meaning me, have a long list of names you WON'T name your children: a) no ex-boyfriends b)no irritating students c)no first names already in the families d)nothing trendy.  We sat on the couch one night and flipped through a baby names book, each of us making a list of names that we liked.  When we were finished, we compared our lists and kept the names that we'd both noted.  There were about 6 names we'd both written down that met the above criteria.  Then we checked our names on the Social Security website, to see how popular the names were for babies last year.  Nathan's name came in at #66.  We decided that there probably won't be as many Nathans in his life to share his name as Matthew might have (his was #6), so that was another plus.  And we just liked the sound of it.  Oh, and it had to be Biblical, too.  See how hard we made it?

The middle name was easy: we'd already decided to use great-grandfathers' names for both boys.  We couldn't very well name one of them after Steve and the other after me!  So Nathan got John, his paternal great-grandfather's name, simply because we didn't want to give Matthew half of the Gospels!

After we'd chosen the names, I discovered that Nathan is VERY popular!  In my MVMOM's subgroup, Moms and Muffins, consisting of JUST the pregnant women and moms with babies under age 1, there are THREE other Nathans that I know of!  And a dear old friend with whom I've made contact again has a two-year old Nathan as well.  Wow! 

Today is the day I just couldn't believe my eyes, though.  On the Today Show, they featured a couple who gave birth to identical triplet boys on Sept. 30.  They were making a big deal about it because it was the couple's third anniversary, 3 boys, on the 30th, and the odds of having identical triplets are about one in two million (not three?). I was amazed for a different reason: the boys are named MATTHEW, NATHAN, and Michael!  Wonder how long it took them to come up with those names?

And what about Matthew Wilfred?  Since we'd decided to name them after their great-grandfathers, and we wanted to use my grandpa Perry's name, we could choose Wilfred or Perry.  I like the name Perry.  In fact, I know my other siblings do, too, but no one has used it yet.  I just didn't want Matthew to spend the rest of his life explaining that he's NOT named after the Friends actor Matthew Perry!  So that's how they became Matthew Wilfred and Nathan John.
Others have asked how we knew to name which one.  We started trying out the names when we talked to them in my belly.  For whatever reason, Lefty became Matthew quickly.  Righty, who eventually became Nathan, tried out several names for awhile.  Nothing quite fit until we tried out Nathan.

I suppose there are other ways to do it.  My friend A decided to let her husband name their girl twin and she named their boy, but he told her he was going to name her Cinnamon or Sparkle.  So my poor friend A was drugged beyond belief in the operating room and says the doctors held up her girl and asked what her name was, and A said, "Cinnamon Sparkle!"  Thank goodness her daddy came to rescue with a more respectable name just then! And thank goodness it wasn't MY husband who came up with that idea!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Frankenmuth Friday Fun!

Dear Daddy,
Today we went to Frankenmuth for the first time with Mommy, Aunt L, Grandma A, and Uncle D.  Mommy says you and she used to have dates here.  It was really fun!


Zehnder's is famous for their chicken dinners, but Mommy wouldn't let us have any today.  She said we could have the mashed potatoes, and they were yummy!


 
Then we went shopping at Zehnder's gift shop...Uncle D found the BIGGEST donut we've ever seen!  But we were all full, so we didn't get it.  Mommy probably wouldn't let us have it, anyway.


Matthew helped Mommy pick out a pineapple cookie cutter...we're going to have a Hawaiian-themed birthday party!


Mommy's sure got her hands full!

Pretty flowers...pretty Auntie!
Both of us were getting REALLY sleepy, so Mommy said next time we can go to Bronner's and see the Christmas trees.  You know how much we love knocking ornaments off, so we can't wait to do that!

We love you Daddy, and can't wait to see you!  Matthew and Nathan


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dear Daddy,

Last night,
I pooped.
I dusted grandma's slippery floor with my belly. 
I splashed grandma and got her real wet in the bathtub.
I thought it was all very funny!
Love, Nathan

Dear Daddy,
Last night,
I pooped.
I dusted grandma's slippery floor with my belly.
I accidentally splashed myself in the bathtub.
And none of it was funny at all!
Love, Matthew


I love dusting!

I'll race you to the kitchen!

Matthew wins!

Matthew does have a sense of humor...he likes to drive in the buff!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Wing and a Prayer

"Dear God, please send a nice grandmotherly-type person to help me out tonight," I prayed as I packed myself and the boys for my first solo flight with them. 

Hubby was called to do an important out-of-town business trip and I was going to be alone with the boys for 5 nights.  Not that I couldn't handle it, because I have plenty of friends who are willing to come and lend a hand, but we'd already promised the grandparents a visit at the end of January, and I had no excuse not to take them except: I WOULD HAVE TO FLY ALONE.  WITH TWINS.  BY MYSELF.  TWO BABIES!  AM I FREAKING CRAZY?  Oh, we already established that.  Yes, I am.

E, her twins A and G, myself and my twins, Matthew and Nathan, all piled into her minivan.  If I'd had my camera, I'd have taken a picture of 4 almost-eight-month-old-boys bundled up in her vehicle.  Very cute...and amazing, when I started to think about it. 

So they dropped us off and I set into the airport.  Since I obviously wasn't going to ask someone to take a picture of us for the blog because a) no camera, and b) that would make me look even MORE ridiculous, you have to imagine it: me pushing a double stroller with two babies in carseats with one hand, wearing a GIGANTIC diaper-backpack and pulling a suitcase with the other. 

After checking the bag, I suited up outside of security gate 5: hooked up the Snugli, unfastened Nathan, fastened him into the Snugli, put the backpack back on and pushed Matthew in the stroller through the line.  Took off shoes, belt, backpack, removed babas from mini-cooler so TSA could check for explosives (this is the most ridiculous part, in my opinion!) all while wearing one very smiley baby.  Finally, the Nice Customer Service Agent who'd checked our luggage saw me in line and asked if I needed help, so I said YES!  And the grumpy businessman behind me looked a little less grumpy- but hello?  You're in the "family" line!  

      "jymh fdj,hvfjkbtgjkv c,j., vcjmm,vj,hghjhdfmkdjk vjk"  Nathan said to him (he's helping me type this).  He was smiling when he said it, though, so I'm sure it was, "See, I'm so cute and such a good boy!"  And thank goodness!  Nice CSA Lady unbuckled Matthew while I piled all the aforementioned stuff, both carseats AND the stroller onto the magnetometer (hubby taught me that word!).  Nice CSA Lady volunteered to carry Matthew through, so I passed through the beeper, rummaged for my shoes, then turned to see her convincing the TSA why she shoud go through because they're not letting her.  ARGH!  The TSA won't let me go back through to GET MY BABY!  I had a brief moment of panic, until finally she unloaded her phone, belt, and hair clip to get through.  Sheesh!

Fortunately, the episode lasted only a couple of minutes. I thanked Nice CSA Lady over and over, then headed to Starbucks, got my two giant cups half filled with hot water, boarded the tram, and a fellow tram traveller said, "They're drinking coffee already?" to which I replied, "Not yet, I'm drinking them two at a time!"  Har, har...still have my sense of humor, I observed, so I might make it. 

Finally, we reached A9 (which you may or may not know is just about the furthest gate from check-in), I started warming the babas in the hot Starbucks water, and a nice-looking couple came to sit down near us.  We started chatting, and when K mentioned that they were going back to MY HOMETOWN after seeing their ONLY GRANDDAUGHTER in CA for two weeks, I realized MY PRAYER HAD BEEN ANSWERED!  I mean, what grandma would turn down this opportunity?

"Would you like to feed Nathan his bottle?"  I asked, and K's eyes lit up like a Christmas tree!   (Cue Halleluja chorus) 

Happy hungry Nathan didn't think twice about taking his baba from K, while I wrestled with finicky Matthew, who lately likes to take his babas standing up, like a little calf.  K was in her grandma glory, entertaining Nathan and Matthew in the gate area.  Her husband, M, seemed to enjoy watching his wife walk Nathan round and round the gate, looking at people and airplanes.  They offered to help me onto the plane and M helped me disassemble the stroller and carseat onto the cart in the gate-check area.  K carried a baby and handed him over, retreating to her seat rows behind us.

A few minutes after the door was closed, but before the plane started to move, I felt a tap on my shoulder.  It was K, offering her assistance during the flight!  She'd moved forward when she saw the row behind me was empty.  It was a good thing she did, too, because Nathan decided he wasn't going to go to sleep without a nightcap, so she sat with Matthew and got her turn to entertain him while I nursed Nathan in the empty row, just one of many bizarre locations I've nursed my boys.

That's it.  Nathan fell asleep in my arms, Matthew fussed, charmed his way out of the carseat, played, and fell asleep in K's arms.  I don't mind.  I was happy to have K and M sent to me last night, and glad to let Matthew get a little snuggle he otherwise wouldn't have had. 

K and M, I hope you read this and know that you were an answer to prayer.  Thank you for sharing your kindness and grandparently love with us, proving that there is plenty of goodness in the world ahead for my little boys!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Naptime

Here's what I found when I went to check on them during their nap the other day:
 
Matthew kicks the rainforest waterfall on...and off...and on...and off...and on...and off...


Nathan's sweet little just-woke-up face

Can bro-bro come over and play?


 Thanks, Mom!


Friday, January 15, 2010

Spring Training

No, it's not spring here, although we're experiencing a bit of a thaw with temps in the 30's.  Matthew and Nathan are going to be famous baseball players, so we've started spring training!

First, sitting practice (you know, like batting practice?).  Gotta learn how to warm the bench gracefully, without falling off because your head is too big.

So far, so good...careful Nathan!


Go team, go!


Put me in, coach, I'm ready to play!


Last night, we were working on speed.  It takes lots of running practice to get around those bases quickly, so we cleared the floor put the boys at one end with Daddy.  We raced them to the other end of the sheet.  On your marks, get set, go!



Nathan takes the lead!  Actually, immediately after this pic, he turned around and headed toward the curtain and Matthew became extremely interested in the edge of the exersaucer (to the left of the picture).


Maybe we'll wait till next year for T-ball.
The end.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wacky Wednesday


Peek-a-boo!
 
Look, I'm a mummy!


Hey, I'm inspecting here!


What's that?


Mom!  Don't take so many pictures!


Read this one, Mom!


I'm so innocent.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One Beautiful Reason to Love Minnesota

Hoarfrost.
If you live in the Midwest, I know you've seen it before.  The whole world looks as if it's been dipped in sugar overnight.  I ran outside to snap a few photos in our neighborhood before the sun melted it away.


 
According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, hoarfrost is defined as: 
Hoarfrost A deposit of interlocking ice crystals (hoar crystals) formed by direct sublimation on objects, usually those of small diameter freely exposed to the air, such as tree branches, plant stems and leaf edges, wires, poles, etc., which surface is sufficiently cooled, mostly by nocturnal radiation, to cause the direct sublimation of the water vapor contained in the ambient air. 


I define it as the most beautiful part of winter.
 
The only tree in our "yard" was covered, too.


When we left this morning, the hoarfrost in the park across the road was sparkling in the sun.




Monday, January 11, 2010

Cabin Fever

Whew!  It's finally getting 'warm' here in Minnesota, meaning above zero, so I feel like I can take the boys out.

Last week, I just about cracked, not leaving the house.  Seriously, we went to church on Sunday, and Wednesday night, I told hubby, "I'm going grocery shopping after they go to bed!"  We didn't even need groceries!  I bought them anyway, so we're stocked up pretty well. 

I had a one-hour reprieve on Thursday to meet two dear friends but didn't leave again until Saturday afternoon.  During naptimes, I had some time to think.  Here's what I thought:

I HAVE TO GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE!

Don't get me wrong, I love my house.  Really, I do, and I'm so happy to own a warm, cozy house.  And I love staying home with my sons in it.  That's the honest-to-goodness truth, too.  I couldn't imagine getting up, dressing in work clothes, drinking coffee during the commute....wait a minute, that's exactly what I'm imagining!  Except not work clothes, just clothes that are not sweats, and not commuting, just actually pulling out of the driveway.  And I've decided that I'm back on the wagon - thank you, God, for creating coffee!

So, the boys and I have crafted a plan to get all of us out of the house.  It will benefit them because they will have other people to look at besides me during the day, and as an added bonus, I'll wear makeup and comb my hair on those days!  It will benefit me because there is only so much I can do to entertain them in our living room/playground, and as an added bonus, there will be big people to talk to!

We're signing up for Thursday morning E.C.F.E. (Early Childhood Family Education) classes which will start in February.  On Saturday, we visited the "ECFE welcomes your baby" event and got to check out their teacher and classroom.  Nathan was laughing and giggling all the way through singing time, and Curious Matthew was checking out the baby girl next to us, patting her head.  What a flirt!

Tomorrow we're going to River Valley Church to be a part of the Tuesday morning mom's group.  It will be their first time in the nursery, so we'll see how that goes.  We've decided that it's time to take them to the nursery, since Saturday night service was the Nathan and Matthew Show in the back row.  They didn't cry - they just flirted, laughed and played with everyone around us.  Sheesh.

Today we visited our local library for storytime, and I couldn't believe my eyes, but the boys actually PAID ATTENTION to the reader!  Okay, it wasn't the whole time, but both boys watched the ladies reading aloud at the front of the room for several moments.  I was pretty excited about that, especially because we stayed in the back (partly because of the GIGANTIC stroller I had with me, and partly for a quick-haha-escape if necessary)!

And, I'm still getting together with my friend E and her twin boys every week that we can, so that should keep us busy this winter.  I'll post some pictures of our events when I get some.  In the meantime, here's a cute pic of the guys you haven't seen yet:

Nathan, Daddy and Matthew playing with Christmas toys.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Thank You, GiGi!

I couldn't resisit taking some adorable pictures of the boys this morning in their teddy bear pj's, Christmas gifts from GiGi and Great-Grandpa P. 

Matthew thinks snow is cool!


Wish we could go play in it!
Then I remembered GiGi and Great-Grandpa P also bought them teddy bears for their dedication and GiGi made them afghans for our baby shower, so before nap this morning, I snapped these shots of the boys in their cribs.  Here's the surprise: if you open this pic and zoom in close, you can see Nathan's third tooth, which came in Wednesday, and the nub of his fourth tooth, freshly cut this morning!!



Matthew is curious about EVERYTHING, even the stitching on his teddy bear!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Baby Curves is now a Playground

My regular readers will remember when I blogged in October about turning my living room into Baby Curves.  The training circuit isn't working anymore since the bouncy chairs and swing have been retired.  No, we are on to bigger and better things: our living room has been transformed into a PLAYGROUND!

If you look closely, you'll see the play mat on the left, which they are still loving, and out of the picture are the Jumparoo and the Exersaucer, big favorites.  See, the green bedsheet simulates the green grass of a playground (they won't see that for some time!) and there are noisy, exciting toys in the middle.  We even have a sitting practice area!  They are improving their sitting abilities daily, but I put them in the big blue nursing pillow (it's covered in a yellow blanket here) so they bonk their heads on that instead of the floor.  The sitting area is used as a reading area and nursing area, too, so that's why you see the green Boppy and the Children's Bible near the couch.  (About that big blue nursing pillow: LOVED it for many months, but its glory days are over, being repurposed into a sitting pillow.  The guys push and shove each other off the breast now, poking each other in the eye.  I know I told you they do that before, but now it's beyond belief and I have to nurse them individually.)  This is where we spend our days. 

I'm kind of getting cabin fever and we've been home less than a week!  So I'm looking into some E.C.F.E. classes and will probably be visiting the library for storytime soon.  It's way to cold to go out just for the sake of going out, but I rationalize it's okay if we have a specific destination!

Keeping our feet warm with lambskin booties! My cutie pies kept them on for half the day, which is a huge improvement over regular socks!


Nathan's already loving playing with balls


Must play ball!


Hold laundry, babies, toys, you name it!