Crisp Autumn Eve 3 Column from TCBOTB

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sick Again, But On The Mend....

Oh boy - it's been a while again. Actually had to go read the previous post to see where I left off. Well.... we got over the colds I mentioned last time (all three of us) about mid week that week. But they came back again mid last week and hit us all pretty hard. But the good news is that I think we're all on the upswing again and the boys are champs about it. No eating issues this time (also no temps - so that helped) just lots of messy noses and drooling in Oscar's case.
Well, I will start out with our trip down to the cities we took on Tuesday Feb 10th. We had our first ECFE class (new session) that morning from 10:30 am - noon (much better timing than last class which was 8:30-10am - the boys don't even get up by 8:30am usually)... AND both the boys are in the same class this time too. Looks like a fun bunch and most the kids are about their age too. They both were a little skittish at first as they hadn't been to ECFE in a month between the sessions... and all the new people. But Oscar warmed up and next thing I knew he was out of sight and found him playing in the little play house with another little girl. MacKay was more hesitant and didn't like being too far from me the entire time. Would eventually venture out to check things out, but if I moved from where he last remembered I was it was back to tears again for him. Got some serious separation anxiety we're dealing with again - but this will all be good for him. After ECFE we had lunch with Auntie Jolene in town (something we hope to do most days we have ECFE since the timing works perfectly).... and then headed down to the cities for what was intended to be a quick visit. The reason for our trip - My friend Heidi's son's (James) 3rd birthday party at Adventure Park in Ham Lake. They boys had never been to a place like this before (sort of like an indoor amusement park for kids with slides, and tunnels etc) and I thought it would be a blast for them - plus I would get to see my friends and their kids again - major bonus for me. Got to see and visit with so many people: Heidi and her family (Chuck, James, Avery) Ellie and her two girls Grace and Hailey, and the Nepote family (Monica, Tristan, Ava and Preslee). Overall the boys had a good time hanging out in the toddler area, tho MacKay was still periodically suffering from his anxiety and a little freaked out - but on occasion found a way past it to have a good time. We did find something that BOTH the boys love... and that was the slide. Mainly they loved climbing up it, but Oscar enjoyed the ride down too. It was just a little slide... and Oscar quickly learned he couldn't crawl up it (would slip) but found that if he bear walked, using his feet he could get up to the top most of the time. Oscar also loved this HUGE spotted ball (there were tons of balls, all different sizes in there) that was bigger than he was. Was constantly rolling that thing around........ tho MacKay was TERRIFIED of that thing. If it came ANYWHERE near where he was he started freaking out. Weird. I also heaved the boys up through the "big boy" area and took them down the big slide they had there. MacKay SCREAMED the entire time (a scream I have never heard before) so I am going to venture to say he DID NOT like that particular slide or experience...... but Oscar was SQUEALING with laughter every time I brought him down. We'll definitely have to do that again sometime.
We stayed with Gma Chris down in the cities and she got her fill of the boys and was so amazed at the things they are doing now - both naughty and nice :) She was especially impressed how both the boys seem to know how to put their shirts on with no guidance. Sure we put it on over their head... but aside from that they know to wing their arms underneath and threw the arm holes individually. They also will throw a foot up to you when you are putting their socks on and say "Gimme your foot". Probably more a case of repetition since we do it daily.... but still, pretty amazing to me. Gma was also amused at the boys' temper tantrums they throw now - nothing too intense... but just how they will cry when they don't get their way and will throw themselves on the floor. We just ignore it and it stops pretty quickly.... but it is SO hard to hold back the laughter as it is pretty comical. The boys also figured out this ball toy a Gma Chris's. They figured out where to put the balls (top) and how to mash them through the holes so they would go through the maze and end up at the bottom - then would know to pick them up and do it all over again. They are learning so much and it is so funny to watch them work over stuff like that. They also "get" stairs fully now too. Up has been a breeze for a long time, tho now they are starting to go straight to their feet when crawling up vs always using their knees...... but they now know that when they are at the top they turn around (backwards) and work their way down the stairs that way (vs the face first belly slide that Oscar always wanted to do, and MacKay trying to do it standing holding onto the rails). They got LOTS of "stairs" practice during our visit.
We had some visitors during our stay too at Gma Chris's too. Thursday afternoon I ran out with the boys and met Ellie and her girls (Grace and Hailey) at McDonald's for some lunch. The boys did well tho they were so distracted by all the commotion in the play area that they didn't really eat.... and what Oscar did eat of his chicken nuggets he choked on - so hard that he was crying. Poor little guy. But it was a nice visit and Ellie is just so wonderful and supportive. She always has this way of making me feel like I am doing a good job with my boys. Then Heidi came over on Friday night since we didn't really get to visit with the chaos at Adventure Park. Was so good to catch up with her - she is such a dear and special friend - always there for me and genuinely loves spending time with my boys. She is so good with them. Even when they are stand offish she seems to know what to do to make them come around. Must be that teacher thing about her. And Saturday morning Susan Commers came over with her three boys: Gavin (1st grade), Graham (Kgarten next year) and Griffin/Finn (2 years). It was AMAZING.... her boys (and mine too) played SO well together, so well behaved, so.... QUIET even. We even got to talk and visit which is RARE with that many kids, let alone rammy boys. We were all just taken aback by it. Was great to see her too - since I missed her at Adventure Park (Finn was under the weather). This is the same Susie that makes those wonderful hats (plugging again - she is so talented and I was SO glad she made time to come over and visit cuz I miss her so. Thanks Susie.
I must say we had some good little eaters during our visit, cuz Gma made up a couple of dinners while we were down there that the boys DEVOURED. They LOVE beef (rump) roast and gravy. So much so that they needed a bath immediately after. :) MacKay was growling and snarling at us cuz we weren't getting food on his tray fast enough - he just CRAMMED in the beef and gravy and green beans. Oscar tried it all and did okay with it but he was more leaning towards demolishing the mashed potatoes and gravy. Watching them you would have thought I never feed them - I don't even know if MacKay took a breath. So we threw them in Gma's HUGE jacuzzi tub right after dinner.... they didn't know what to think of that with the high walls and such - didn't enjoy their first experience in there. But a couple days later we threw them in again and they loved splashing around as normal. We decided to stay down (originally was planning on only staying down through Thursday morning) through the weekend and waited for Daddy to come down Friday after meeting with the tax guy. And Friday night Gma Chris made bologna and raw fries (basically sliced potatoes fried in LOTS of butter). Again, another dinner they loved - even the Captain Ken's baked beans :) Sunday morning we got all packed up and drove up to Annandale to visit Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean for a while before heading back up to Brainerd. Was great to see them again and catch up - I so wish we lived closer so we could do things like this more often. But if we moved, whatever would I do without my wonderful sister in law Jolene and her family? Just torn on that one :)
Let's see, some details about each of the boys..... let's start with MacKay, who got his FIRST MOLAR last week. YAY! He's been working on that one for a while but it finally popped out. He loves when you check it - tho he fights you, but giggles when you make a big deal about it. He and Oscar still giggle their hinies off when we smell their feet (which MacKay's actually do stink sometimes) and say "PEW" or "You got Stinky Feet". And now MacKay will actually grab his feet if you come at him asking if he has "stinky Feet"..... he will smile and reach down for his feet almost to hand them to you to smell. Smart as a tack that one. Speaking of smart... couldn't believe it but just yesterday I woke the boys from their nap and MacKay, as per usual, didn't want to get up. So I sat with Oscar and read this laughing book with him (button that makes laughing noises)... which perked MacKay up. He watched from a distance from his crib while I sat and read it to Oscar then put it away. And wouldn't you know it, when I took MacKay out a couple minutes later he B-Lined it over to the EXACT place I put that book in the bookcase and dug it (I say dug cuz they are crammed in there pretty tight) out of there and went running out of the room with it. Very observant lil dood. During our stay in the cities, MacKay wouldn't part with the phone toy that Gma Chris had... and even knew to take the phone and put it up to the side of his head. I won't say that it was always turned the right way, but it was in the right area at least.... and he was saying things as if to be talking it in. And if we would make ringing sounds or say "Hello" he would pick it up and put it to his ear. MacKay has also perfected his "Roly Poly" move.... Gma Chris taught this to him months ago, would roll her arms around each other (like you do in PattyCake) and say "Roly Poly Roly Poly"... but MacKay's version was more like arms just flailing to the sides. Now he actually rolls his arms around each other and the look on his face (so proud) is priceless.
Onto Oscar (geez - this is getting long, but what is new right?). Poor little Oscar got hit the hardest with the cold they got this last time - so much so that his filtrum (area between nose and upper lip) and his cheeks got so chafed/chapped that it was actually bleeding. He always gets hit the worst by these sinus things,... yet MacKay gets hit differently, moreso with the drainage and coughing. Of course with the cold, the drooling came back.... tho could be related to teething again cuz he's now got one of his canine/cuspids and working on a couple more. That boy has a mouthful of teeth I tell ya. Oscar has just been in really good spirits lately too - he constantly loves just even being smiled at. He's so easy, just look at him and smile and he gives you the biggest grin back - not an inch of his face isn't joining in on the smile either. And he loves running full boar at you from far away and lunging into you for a big bear hug. He's running so fast that he almost looks out of control. And what a climber this boy is.... constantly climbing whether it be couches, tables, chairs, slides..... and so naughty about it lately too. Can't keep him off of stuff. Thinking we should get him something for the house (definitely for outside this summer) that he CAN climb on so that we can redirect him to that when he starts upon the furniture. He actually almost fell into the toy chest the other day and was teetering back and forth with his feet kicking in the air unable to figure out how to rectify his predicament. And Oscar has an additional temper tantrum tactic he uses now too - stomping. He'll stand at the gates or even in the middle of the room whining and stomping his feet to get attention. Again, so hard not to laugh.... He also has started walking on his tip toes. We caught him doing it down in the cities for a few steps, like he had discovered he had toes or something. And periodically he will still do it but will be only on one foot with the other flat. Just all about experimenting I suppose. More foot related things...... we played a game of kick ball the other night. I kicked a ball at his feet and he actually kicked it back - this went on for quite a few minutes before he got bored and picked it up and ran off.
Updates on us..... well, I am now in the 2nd trimester (about 16 weeks right now).... and we have our ultrasound in about 3 weeks. Can't believe it is just right around the corner. Very excited to see what we have in there. Still trying to figure out which option I want to go with for birth..... as I was told I don't HAVE to do a Csection again if I would rather go natural. But, the whole idea of being able to schedule this (I've become a bit of an organizational control freak) is really appealing to me. Would just feel better knowing the boys were in good hands and everything was planned out vs mad chaos at a moments notice. More to come on that when I talk to my OB about it at our next appt next month.
I think this is long enough now, so I will sign off...... LOTS of pictures as it has been a while.
Had to put these pictures in of the boys with Angus - their bud. Still amazed at the things they can do to him (invade his space, poke him, prod him, lay on him etc) and not get a rise out of him. Even here, MacKay is playing in his mouth.... geez.

Adventure Park pictures:
MacKay was more about the smaller balls - he even dunked one in the basketball hoop...... while Oscar was more about the balls that were bigger than he was (and terrified MacKay)

The boys on the slide sometimes getting a little help from Gma Chris (and Oscar enjoying the ride down and getting right back up for more)

LOVE THIS..... MacKay and Oscar constantly interact while eating. Here Oscar is reaching for a GREEN Apple Jack on MacKay's tray (notice he has a ton of orange ones on his - but he likes the green ones - CRAZY)..... and what does MacKay do? He picks it up for him and hands it over to his brother - gotta treasure these sweet moments.

Some giggly boys (laughing at their stinky feet)... followed by Oscar attacking MacKay with a big sloppy kiss.

Naughty boys caught in the act. Oscar loves getting up in the chair and looking outside - and look at that look on MacKay's face .... no shame there. And one of MacKay's temper tantrums caught on film. First picture = crying ..... Second picture = throwing himself to the floor

MacKay and Oscar in Gma's big jacuzzi tub enjoying a bath after smearing their beef roast dinner all over themselves.

Some random pictures of MacKay:
MacKay with the telephone toy he wouldn't part with (and holding it up to his ear)..... and cuddling in with a big teddy bear and his favorite doggy toy (with the satiny ears he likes to rub on his upper lip).

Why buy toys? The boys were obsessed with playing with utensils, buckets, tupperware and cleaning products. Here's MacKay "cleaning" the kitchen floor with a scrub brush...... and his new favorite thing to do, put an ice cream pail on his head and walk around - he also likes the way his voice sounds when he talks into it.

Lastly I love this picture... MacKay just crawled up onto the couch and surrounded himself with these books and paged through them. They love books lately - but most the time don't have the patience to sit through a whole reading.

Some random Oscar pictures:
He loves his xylophone (likes to chew on the mallet most the time) and they both love their new toy.... a Rubik's cube. They even know how to spin the layers.

Just a couple of goofy pictures of Oscar..... making a crazy face in his high chair (obviously wanting to get out), and sporting his new dinosaur PJs - yet the ensemble wouldn't be complete without something hanging out of his mouth. This kid has ALWAYS got something in his mouth - he is so oral and loves to chew.

Lastly, love this picture of Oscar chillin' on his favorite chair of Gma's..... just leaning back so casual-like.

Come on back again soon....

Sunday, February 1, 2009

15 months.......and Sick Boys Again.....

It's been a while since the last post and a lot has been going on.... where to start. Currently the boys are about a week into some sort of cold bug. Started out with fevers and on MacKay first, and a couple days later Oscar started up too and so did the coughing and amazing amounts of mucous drainage. WOW... we can hardly keep up with it. Their appetites took a major hit this time too..... MacKay didn't eat anything solid (except for maybe a spoonful of yogurt or peas we were able to sneak in once a day) for almost 3 days straight. All he wanted was his milk - and believe me, he DOWNED that. And just last night before I went to bed I went to check up on the boys and smelled something quite rancid..... turned out Oscar had vomitted a bit. So we quickly got him and his bed changed and got him back to sleep. I don't think it is flu stuff, just probably an upset stomach and related to the coughing to the point of gagging that they do (just like mommy). Aside from that, they seem to be much better today and are actually eating something - which usually is a sign that we are on the upswing. So let's hope that is the case.
Let's start with MacKay.... I have been keeping notebooks on the two of them, so I am referring to them since my last post was OVER 2 weeks ago. So here are some of the hightlights of things that have happened since 1/12.... We've noticed that the boys seem drawn to certain toys and especially certain Little People figurines. They have 3-4 different LP sets so they have a lot of animals and figurines to choose from.... but it seems that MacKay ALWAYS has one of the lions (there are two different ones)... and Oscar ALWAYS has one of the leopards (there are 3 different ones). They will actually pick them out and walk around with them for long periods while playing with other things. Interesting. MacKay, tho naughty at times, seems to really understand us when we are telling him "No" and disciplining him. Not saying he complies ALL the time... but he does for the most part. We tell him to "get Down" from the couch or the coffee table and he usually does it. MacKay also understands how to "play nice". For a while there he was being a little rough with Oscar and Angus (I don't think intentionally all the time though)... so I showed him how to touch more gently and taught him "play night". Now whenever I say "play nice" he immediately pets either Oscar or Angus or gives them a big hug (sweet) ... AND has started saying "Baah Biise" when he is "petting" either one of them. Smart little guy there. Though he still uses biting as his weapon.... just the other week he bit Oscar for stealing a toy from him.... even left a mark (on Oscar's chin). I've also noticed MacKay LOVES satin. He has a Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Puppy that he got from Gma Bonnie and Gpa Dean for Xmas last year that he LOVES to walk around with.... mainly cuz the under side of the dog's floppy ears is satin and he likes to rub that against his mouth/lips. He also has this doggie blanket thing that we keep in his crib as a bedttime toy where the underside of the blanket is all satin.... we constantly find him holding that and rubbing the satin side on his face and mouth. Funny enough, my brother was the same way..... he had a teddy bear that he couldn't live without when he was young... turned out it wasn't the teddy bear, but the ribbon (his "ibbon") tied around the bear's neck that he loved - he did the same thing, rubbed it against his lip. He still is quite the aper/mimick too..... last weekend while Gma Chris was up visiting and feeding them dinner, I blew my nose and was using a tissue to clean out my nose... only to look over and see MacKay staring right back at me with his finger stuck WAY up his nose. I guess we need to watch ourselves now... :)
Let's see.... what can I dig up on Oscar? Oscar is still loving to share and bring things to you...which works well for us when he is playing with something he shouldn't - a simple "Oscar, can I see that" works well and he brings it right to us. He also has been saying what sounds like "Thanks you" when he gives something to us - I think because we are always saying that to him when he does that. Though his version sounds more like "Ta-To". Other than that though.... Oscar has become the much more naughty of the two. He is constantly testing us and though I think he understands what he can and cannot play with, he continues to go for the stuff that will get him in trouble and doesn't listen when we ask him to stop (for the most part). He's CONSTANTLY climbing up on the couch and coffee table, playing with the TV plug outlet and surge protector etc. And has started throwing temper tantrums when we discipline him when he won't listen. He's actually got a new cry now too.... before his crying was more like whimpering and whining. Now he screams when he cries and makes a big to do about it. And lately has become very needy about that and will cry at EVERYTHING. He will trip and fall (not hurt) and cry and carry on like he just cut open his head, if MacKay takes a toy he throws a tantrum as if the world just ended. Unnnnghh. But you can't help but love that sweet little face... especially when every time he cries like that he wants to be consoled by a big hug (which I love to give and receive)... but I'm trying not to coddle too much, eventually he needs to learn that not everything needs to be so dramatic :) He's also understanding a lot too... for a few weeks there every night at bedtime after we would say "Good night Oscar, I Love you" he would stick out his bottom lip and whine - knowing that it meant we were going to leave him and it was time for him to go to bed. Oscar had a first just last weekend while the Hehir's were visiting (and Gma Chris was up helping while Daddy was on his fishing trip).... he did his first summersault, though not entirely intentional. Both the boys love to look between their legs when they are getting up into a standing position ... basically they are bent all the way over and like to view the world upside down between their legs. Well... Oscar kept inching his feet closer and closer to where his head/hands were and eventually was folded like a taco and toppled over and did a summersault. He had the most shocked look on his face lying there looking up at the ceiling and all of us cheering and clapping.
Some general stuff about both the boys...... They both love to empty out the new toy box we got for them the first chance they get. Our living room is a disaster area within minutes of their arrival. They just dump out the bins and tear everything out of the main compartment. Trying to teach them how to put things away, but the minute you try to clean up they come over and grab the stuff you are putting away. They have, on occasion, followed suit and helped in putting things into a bin.... but pretty quickly want to dump it out again like it is a game. I can't wait for the day that I can say "OK, time to clean up" and they actually know what I am talking about and comply..... what age will that be again? :) They also do a lot of playing together still.... chasing each other and hiding and jumping out at each other, hugging, fighting over toys here and there. I really think having two of them has it's benefits, and this is definitely one of them. They have a buddy for life in each other. Just last weekend we moved the boys into wearing their new 2T PJs. Mainly cuz the 18 month ones are just not long enough for them... and the PJs I have in the next size (24 months) are short sleeved. So I skipped ahead to some 2T ones that are long sleeved.... and they fit. Sure they were a little baggy but they fit a ton better than the 18 month ones. They are just getting so big.... and too fast. Other than that they still wear 18 month clothes for the most part... tho a lot of 24 month shirts. And I think in the next month or two we'll have to move to their 24 month pants. We brought the boys into the Dr. for their 15 month check (and shots) on Thursday but they were both under the weather so we held off on the booster shots ..... but as always they were within a pound of each other. MacKay at 24lbs 9oz.... and Oscar at 25lbs 9oz..... same height, same head circumference too. Other than their bad eating habits due to illness.... they've tried some new foods too like tater tots and battered fish tenders which they gobbled up. And I've been watching this for a while to see if anyting changed with it..... but we're pretty certain that Oscar is going to be a lefty and MacKay a righty. When eating MacKay uses his right hand primarilly.... and Oscar is the complete opposite using his left hand. Even during play, they might use their other hand to pick something up, but quickly pass it over to their dominant hand. Apparently left handedness is common in twins - has to do with the excess hormones the mother is producing etc. But then again, Gpa Dean is a south paw too - so it could be hereditary.
Not much else to write about (you guys are probably wanting me to shut up by now and post some pictures anyway). We're excited though, cuz tonight the Hehir's are coming over to watch the super bowl with us... and the boys ALWAYS love to see their Auntie Jolene and the rest of the gang. Last time they were over Uncle John and Brandon emptied out the bins/drawers to their toy chest and sat the boys in them and pushed them around in them... even setting up races between the two of them. They loved that so much that after John and Brandon got tired and stopped, MacKay threw a fit and kept bringing one of the bins over to John to do it again. So maybe we'll set that up again tonight since they liked that so much.
Well, here's the pictures. Will try not to go so long between posts again.... hard to keep track of all the stuff that goes on when I do that.
First off, HAD to share this...... this is the hat that my good friend Susie made for me. I received it about a week ago and have already worn it numerous times. I LOVE IT. I am just going to keep plugging her handy work - she is so talented and creative. (

Here are the boys dressed in the outfits that their Gma Diane got for them for Xmas this year. I love comfy sweat pants like these .. and the hooded sweatshirts just top the outfit off. (check out the pic of them fighting over the ball.... love the headline on the TV in the background)

The boys LOVE to interact when eating. They laugh at each other all the time, even share food (put stuff on each other's trays) and hold hands. Snapped a couple pictures of them doing that.

Just had to put this in here too - Chris is just a big kid at heart. He LOVES the boys' new piano and xylaphone from Gma and Gpa Hoglund.... they both even came with color coded sheet music so he has been learning new songs. I even taught him how to play "The First Noel" on them at Xmas time. Here he is plucking away at them..... now if only he would let the boys play with their toys.

Like I said earlier..... MacKay LOVES satin. Here he is with his Laugh n Learn puppy with the satin ears.... notice how he is rubbing it against his mouth.

The boys playing on their teeter totter they got from Gma Chris for Xmas (THANKS A LOT MOM, for bringing that up here - like we needed yet another huge toy to take up space) :) No really, the boys love it. They can use it alone (sit in the middle) or together (one at each end) and they really get the gist of leaning forward and back to get it to rock.

MacKay and Oscar racing around (courtesy of Uncle John and Brandon) in their toy box bins. GREAT, now they have yet another reason to dump those out....

Here is Oscar and Seth on the teeter totter. Seth is the neighbor boy who comes over a couple times a week when he rides the bus, until his parents get off work and pick him up. He's SUCH a nice kid... and great to have around cuz he arrives right when the boys wake from their nap and they LOVE Seth.... infact when Seth has to leave MacKay cries every time.

Random pictures: Not one of Oscar's better looks, but just HAD to show you what we are dealing with lately. He is SO drooly - partly due to the illness lately, but also cuz of teething. Oscar recently got all 4 of his 1st molars... and is working on one of his front bottom teeth as well. But we have to change his shirt about 3x a day due to drool - he gets himself just DRENCHED within about an hour of being changed. And this is just a sweet picture of MacKay in one of his new size 2T PJs playing with his favorite ball.

Check back again in a week or two..... hope you enjoyed.