Crisp Autumn Eve 3 Column from TCBOTB

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Almost 18 months, climbing out of crib, and much much more....

Yes, much much more. This is going to be another long one, so bear with me... or skip to the pictures like most of you do anyway :) It's been over two weeks since my last post an OH so much has happened. It seems they change and develop new skills daily. Thank god for my little journals I keep on them, otherwise I wouldn't be able to keep up with all the changes. Hoping that once little Evelyn arrives (if she is, indeed, a girl) that I have the time (and energy) to keep this journaling up for all three of them - seems like a full time job sometimes. But anyway, on with the many updates...
First and foremost, one of our biggest milestones to mention..... Oscar has shown that he can (and will) climb out of both his PNP (during our visit to Gma Chris's on 3/29) and his crib (starting ~4/5). It started with the Pack n Play at Gma Chris's when he was frustrated that we weren't picking him out fast enough... swung his right leg up over the side and pulled himself up quite a bit, would have just needed a bit more "ooomff" and he would have had it but he gave up. Still enough to freak me out that he figured that out. Then just a few days later, back at home he started trying to swing his right leg up and over the side of his crib... finally got it up onto (and over) it on 4/5 but didn't go any further... that is until Thursday 4/9 when I heard Oscar crying (over monitor) in his room while I was getting breakfast ready in the kitchen - they usually just play in their crib for about 5-10 minutes while I get the house (gates) and their breakfast prepared. Looked on the video monitor and didn't see him in the crib... ran in there to find him TEETERING on the edge of the side rail with half his body out (right side), and half in.... yet with his left foot also hooked around the outside of the side rail. Almost as if he wanted to get out, but once he got up there and looked at the long drop on the other side he freaked out. Now he is doing that ALL the time if we don't go get him out as SOON as we go in there. He's content to sit in there and play if he wakes before we go in there, but once you walk in.... he wants out and starts climbing. We're toying with all our options on how to handle this - crib tent to keep him in, drop the side rail (or just take it off) and make a toddler bed out of his crib, put some pillows or a mattress below and let him continue to climb out but fall onto something soft. Everyone keeps telling me that once they switched to toddler beds or took the side off the crib that their kids just magically stayed in bed - sorry, I know I am cynical but I don't think for a second that he will stay in there. Once asleep... sure. But he'll get out the first chance he gets when we lay him down or when he wakes up. So we definitely need a gate for their bedroom door to at least contain them in there if they do get up. Luckily MacKay hasn't figured this out, though he has watched Oscar do this MANY times. Guess I should be happy I am dealing with this stressful situation NOW vs. 4 months down the road when we have a newborn on our hands to worry about as well. UNNNNGHH - my boys are growing up FAR too fast .....
Other general news about both of the boys and the rest of the family.... The boys turned 17 months on March 30th... almost a year and a half has gone by (and we've survived). We also moved them to size 24 month jeans/pants. Their 18 month ones fit perfectly as far as length goes... but they were getting awfully tight in the waist, butt and thighs. 24 months fit well, but are SO long and need to be cuffed up pretty high - I imagine they will be in this size for a while now. They both are now sleeping with pillows at nap time and for the first part of bedtime at night (I take them out when we go to bed). They really aren't using them a ton, surprisingly Oscar is the one who does use them if at all.... thought MacKay would LOVE having a pillow in his crib as he throws himself on all the other ones we have out in the living room... but he is rarely ever on it when he falls asleep. They both are starting to eat things by taking their own bites, vs us cutting them up into pieces - bananas, cheese, chicken fries... and most recently, today they ate bites off of Auntie Jolene's Quarter Pounder - and MacKay was taking BIG bites too. They both are getting really good at pointing out things on their/our faces (and even Angus') like nose, eyes, mouth and ears when we ask them to. They aren't 100% but they love to do it and take pride when they get it right. MacKay and Oscar are also getting SO much better at putting things where they belong - currently we are focusing on their sippy cups (in preparation for REAL cups (no lids)). They are putting their milk/sippy's in the holder/section on their high chair tray (for this they get "knuckles" - something I am teaching them so that next time they see my friend Susan Chelte, they will be able to give her "knuckles" - vs high five), and we have snack time at the coffee table after nap time and the boys keep their bowls (with crackers, snacks) on the table and put their sippy cups on the table too. When they drop their sippy's on the floor I can usually get them to pick them up and put them back on the table - Oscar is much better at this and will even pick up MacKay's for him if I ask. And they are helping clean up their toys before bedtime (and nap time) every day. Oscar is the more helpful of the two (I think he likes to please us) and will bring things that we point out, and generally just brings everything over to the toy box for me to put away - he even hoists stuff back in there too. They also seem to be talking to each other a lot lately - lots of babble... but it seems they understand each other. I have heard of this "twin talk" before, I guess it is something to watch as they can get too used to it and won't communicate in normal human speak - but it also is great to see them communicating with each other which is important as well. MacKay and Oscar are both completely enthralled with flushing the toilets in our house lately too - the minute they found that shiny lever, they haven't stopped flushing. They are so good at their ECFE classes as well - so ambitious and social with the other kids. They even willingly go to the bathroom area when it is time to wash their hands for snack time, and they know what to do at the sink (with a little guidance with the soap of course) :) They love the gym area at ECFE and are SO busy in there, climbing and walking up the incline boards and jumping off at the end.
The boys have made some new friends too (Mommy too). We met another fellow mother of twins recently through our MOMs group. They live just down the road from us and since meeting up about a week or two ago, we get together almost every day to go for a walk with our boys. Her name is Shawna and she has ~7 month old fraternal twin boys: Jackson and Wyatt. Sometimes they even come in and hang out for a while afterwards and all the boys play together so nicely. MacKay and Oscar are so gentle with them (though I have to constantly watch them so they don't point out their eyes - or should I say poke them in the eyes .... what is it with kids and eyes?). And Wyatt and Jackson seem to have a blast with MacKay and Oscar as well. Me, I just enjoy having some adult interaction :) We also have hosted two MOMs play groups here at our house in the last 2 weeks.... it went so well the first time that I have offered to have it weekly at my house every Wednesday morning. The first time we had Shawna (my walking buddy) and her boys over as well as another MOMs member and her 3 year old identical twin boys (another Shawna, and Evan and Ethan). Just this morning we had another one, Shawna, Jackson and Wyatt were here as well as another member and her 16 month old fraternal twin boys: Bekka, Justin and Jacob. So good for the boys to interact with so many different kids - and different ages. So proud of how well they do sharing their toys and playing with others - tho MacKay was a bit emotional today. But there were quite a few moments where the boys were all playing and laughing at each other (and Angus - he was a hit). And we've been trying lots of new foods lately.....meatloaf (Gma's Chris's), hard salami slices, salmon (a no-go), Schwan's Fish Nuggets (a favorite), steak, steamed broccoli/cauliflower (another no-go), Vanilla Ego Waffles (another favorite), bratwurst, Puff Corn, Lil Debbie Snack Cakes (from Easter basket), pink lemonade (to which MacKay said "Yummy" after his first sip), grilled chicken, Cheese Burger (mentioned earlier), and they LOVED eating off of our Dairy Queen treats the other night.
MacKay and Oscar have had a lot of time with family lately too. We took a trip down to the cities in late March to stay with Gma Chris (she watched the boys while we went to the Auto Show and met up for dinner with Steve Wadman). We spent a Saturday (during a time we were supposed to have a house showing - cancelled on us last minute) over at the Hehir's (Jolene, Kelly and Brandon), boys were quite busy over there checking out the new terrain. On Good Friday Kelly Hehir spent the day with us (no school) and the Vagts boys (Seth and Gavin) came over for a few hours that morning too (while DeeDee did some grocery shopping)..... our house was chaos, but good chaos. All the kiddos were having a blast playing together - it went quite well (not that I am ready to have 5 children in my house full time or anything though). Then later that night, Jolene came over to watch the boys so I could take Chris out for his birthday dinner at Iven's on the Bay (Chris turned 33 on 4/9). That very next morning after breakfast we threw the kids in the car and headed down to Annandale to celebrate Easter with the Hoglund/Ledwein family. Oscar took a while to warm up (which is odd, usually it is MacKay who does that) but they had a blast playing with their cousins, finding Easter eggs downstairs, and running around outside - it was such a gorgeous day out we just had to set them free outside - and they loved it. Now they can't get enough of it and constantly want to run in opposite directions the minute I get them out the door :) We also bought a little baby doll (we call her "Baby Evie") to help the boys get used to the new arrival and used to seeing us holding a baby. We let them hold her as well as they are dying to hug her... in fact MacKay is just obsessed with her, loves to hug her and sit with me and hold her... even gently put her down on a pillow while he decided to go play with something else for a minute. Oscar is interested for a few minutes and wants to give his love to her as well, but then gets bored and runs off :)
MacKay has had some milestones these past few weeks. He now has 11th teeth - the most recent one being one of his top 1st molars. He has some new words too: Owie, Mo-Mo? (more), All Done, and I swear he tried to say "Oscar" (Ah-ga) the other day when I was calling Oscar's name repeatedly. MacKay loves to close things... which has become quite helpful at certain times, especially when he gets in cupboards I don't want him in. He's also VERY close to getting the concept of "knuckles" - closed fisted version of a high 5. If I offer up my knuckles he will make a fist but hits my fist with more of a hammering motion vs. punching out to meet fists. But he's getting there ... he'll be ready for you next time we see you Chelte. His new favorite toys are the vacuum (Commers, what is it with boys and wanting to help us clean?) and his Smart-E bear he got from Gma Bonnie/Gpa Dean for Xmas - it plays songs, plays games, tells stories etc. His favorite is "Five Little Monkeys" which he dances to while hugging his bear - so adorable. And recently he got a Melissa n' Dough Plush Tool Set (Easter present from Gma Bonnie/Gpa Dean) that he won't put down.... why? Cuz the parts that would be the "metal" pieces on the tools (saw, drill, screwdriver etc) are all silver satin..... he just rubs those on his upper lip almost all day long. MacKay loves to do and is getting very good at "Patty Cake" .... not only does he know many of the actions, but he also knows the right time to do each of them ---- claps hands entire time, rolls arms during "Roll it", pats his thighs during "Pat it", and most recently draws on his own chest when we do the "And mark it with a B" part. He also has learned how to get onto (and walk on) his tippy toes lately - something Daddy is just ecstatic about :) And MacKay's hugs lately... they are to DIE for. He hugs so nice and tight, wraps his arms right around your neck/back of your head and really gives you a good squeeze.... I swear he gets this from his Daddy and his great Uncle Jerry Doerr. He's very experimental with stairs and inclines now too - instead of always crawling up, every once in a while you catch him holding onto something (banister, edge, wall) and will walk up. He even walked up almost an entire flight of stairs at the Hoglund/Ledwein's this past weekend. And lastly, MacKay has developed some new ways to let us know when he is angry or frustrated with us - very bad temper lately (tho he doesn't show it that often).... 1.) grabs at you/your face and pulls or scratches 2.) crouches down a little, "puts up his dukes" (with arms and elbows tight against chest), opens and closes his fists quickly, and makes horrid faces and noises to show he is angry - oooohhhh. :) 3.) and this one sorta cracks me up, like he is trying to do his own version of sign language.... he takes his open hand/palm and puts it up to or over his own face, then pulls it out quickly into a fish as if scratching or tearing off his face... and then "throws" it at you. WEIRD! But he's getting his point across - we just try not to laugh....
Oscar.... as said earlier, is our little escapee. He's going to give me a heart attack I swear. And this little boy almost has a full mouth of teeth now. He's popped two more since last post, bringing him up to 16 (out of 20 total baby teeth). Only thing left are his four 2nd molars. Oscar is a big "thrower" lately too - balls, toys etc.... and starting to use his right hand more. Before he tended towards his left hand, but more often he is using is right. He has a new game he likes to play with us too.... we call it "Jumping", and whenever we mention it, he goes over and gets the lid to the toy box and puts it on the ground. Then steps onto it and walks up to the highest part (the part that has the lip/edge on it) and does this whole "build up" noise (oooooooOOOOOOOOHHHHHH!!!) and then when he steps off he says "Boom". Oscar's favorite toys lately are either his xylophone, or anything that MacKay has :) - he's become a bit of a bully lately and loves to steal things from MacKay. We let them fight/work it out until the teeth or claws come out.... he's such a stinker lately (and here we always said MacKay was the devilish one..) Lately Oscar has a fetish with cars. Especially the ones that will take off when you pull them backwards... he's recently figured that whole thing out and loves to make them roll off the coffee table. Oscar has also found a hilarious (to him) past time in pushing on his Trix cereal pieces to make them shoot out and off his tray.... he gets into the worst fits of laughter about this one.
Well that is about it with the boys. Not much new here with us.... still waiting for our house to sell. Have had a few more showings, but no bites yet. And our next appt (for Evie) isn't until May1st, where I hope I can talk my doctor into doing a low grade ultrasound to validate she is, indeed, a girl... just still apprehensive to do anything until I am 100% :)
Here are the pictures - did anyone even read the stuff above?
Silly pictures of the boys.... and a couple to show how their new 24 month jeans are fitting.... HUGE cuffs at the bottom, but they fit so much better. The other two pictures are of MacKay with his Smart-E bear, dancing to "Five Little Monkeys" for probably the 532nd time..... and Oscar doing his best impression of Daddy, reading the paper at breakfast.

MacKay and Oscar handling, and biting off mouthfuls, of their own food now (vs us having to cut it up all the time). Have to watch MacKay has he has this desire to cram the entire thing (whatever it may be) in his mouth at once..... but so nice to not have to cut everything up for them now.

Caught at snack time sitting around the coffee table with their little bowls (they LOVE puff corn at snack time - they just hoover it up) and milks.

I'm reminded of my friend Susan Commers who always says "When you find your children in a precarious situation.... you quickly have to decide, do I rectify it or grab the camera?" She and I both tend to grab the camera. So here we have it, some quickly snapped pictures of Oscar, our little crib climber. The first picture was taken when he first figured it out and was just getting his leg swung over the side. The last two were caught just the other day of how he gets to the point of teetering on the side rail of the crib .... note how he even gets to the point of getting his other/inside leg out as well.

MacKay and Oscar running around outside at Gma Bonnie/Gpa Deans (Easter celebration) and enjoying the fabulous weather we're having. I should note, wearing their shirts they got from Dean and Bonnie for Xmas this year (first time) and their puffy vests from the Hillmann family (Kelly Jo, Joel, Sophia, Jack and Stella). They had a blast being chased... AND chasing Daddy around as well

The boys finally getting to use their Little People motorized cars outside (got for birthday late last fall). They actually can get them to go (button on steering wheel) pretty well. MacKay caught on quickly and was buzzing all around running into trees, hitting the house and getting stuck here and there.... meanwhile Oscar was more inclined to push the button intermittantly, so not a very smooth driver there :) But they had fun

MacKay and Oscar looking "cool" in their new sunglasses they got for Easter. Oscar's nose is so broad and flat that they slip off so easilly... and MacKay takes them off and tries to put them back on, but his aim is off as he always targets his neck (vs eyes/face).

Chris told me the boys are going to kill me for even taking these photos (let alone sharing them for the world to see) when they are older.... but I thought this was so sweet. They both love hugging Baby Evie (doll) and holding her. And a classic picture of MacKay with one of his new plush tools, rubbing the satin part against his upper lip. The softer side to boys.....

Lastly - a picture I just snapped this morning of 4 of the 6 boys at our play group. MacKay, Jacob, Justin and Oscar are hovering around Angus's kennel (he was locked up at first - gets too excited when guests arrive) giggling and trying to let the dog out. I still need to get a picture of lil Jackson and Wyatt (who were busy playing in our two exersaucers) to share... they are SO adorable, but I get to see them multiple times a week, so I'll have more chances coming up.

Well I think that is it for now. I know it was long... but I hope you enjoyed it. Bub Bye for now (this is where the boys would start waving) and hope to see you back here again soon.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Chris's Birthday - Quick Post...

This is just going to be a quick post to share something the boys worked very hard on today for their Daddy's Birthday - come back and visit soon as I have MUCH to share about the boys (including the fact that we are now battling one of our boys climbing out of their crib already - I'm going to have a heart attack I swear).... and a lot more fun pictures. But for now - thought I would share some pictures and scanned images of MacKay and Oscar making Birthday cards for their Daddy.

That's about it for this quick post.... come back soon for a full update (and the pictures of course) :)