Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our Progress at the Grocery Store

Luke is gettting excited about the steering wheel!
Liam is not so sure about this.
Watching Baby Einstein with Dad and Adi (the dog)
Liam loves to be on his belly

I have wondered several times what I would do if Liam weighed the same thing as Luke. Luke is around 20 lbs and Liam is around 16 lbs. While four pounds may not sound like a lot, it makes a big difference when you are carrying babies around for any period of time.

In the past month and a half or so, Luke has been sitting up very well so I have been letting him ride in the front of the grocery cart and he does much much better than when he has to sit in his car seat looking up at the ceiling the entire time. Luke is very outgoing and loves talking to people, looking around, and laughs throughout our trips to the store (when he is sitting in the cart). Prior to this, he was getting very anxious, bored, and often quite cranky. Liam, on the other hand, has always been in the Bjorn carrier on my chest. He is lighter so it is easier for me to carry him and he has enjoyed the Bjorn carrier since he was around six weeks old. But, I have often wondered what I will do when the Liam outgrows the Bjorn carrier because most grocery carts only have room for one child unless you put them in the basket of the cart. Some stores have carts and things designed for two older children, but they are still a little young for that. Considering that I really don't like going to the grocery store anymore than I have to, we need all the room possible in the basket so there is not room for a baby nor do I think we could keep Liam from getting into everything in the basket!

Well, we tried a new store this week and both boys were able to ride in the cart. Luke loved it! He loved the steering wheel, sitting next to his brother, etc....Liam, on the other hand, was a little skeptical. In case you can't see his lack of excitement in the picture, we had to abandon the experiment midway through the store and put Liam in the Bjorn carrier which I thankfully decided to put in the basket. I think we still have a little time before both boys will be riding in the cart together. I remembered when I got to the checkout of this grocery store why I typically do not go there. They do not bag your groceries. Bagging groceries with a Bjorn carrier on your chest and a baby in the grocery basket that is trying to eat the grocery list is not the easiest thing to do. I actually had the nicest lady and mother of three boys that are now grown who offered to assist me in bagging my groceries. Very nice of her and I greatly appreciated the help!

We are looking forward to the Labor Day Weekend and John's time off for a few days. The weather here is still so nice and we hope to take advantage of some time together. Enjoy your Holiday!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Our Adventure to the Zoo

Near the Giraffe Exhibit
Dad holding the boys at the Giraffes
Mom and Liam getting ready for the Carousel-can you see his excitement?
Riding the Carousel

We made our first trip to the Zoo this weekend. The Como Zoo and Conservatory is located in St. Paul and is actually FREE, which we thought was great considering we were not even sure the boys would be interested in the zoo. Although we thought we had the trip organized with the basics including extra food and drinks, stroller, diapers, a day with great cooler weather, etc...we missed one small detail. The Zoo is located within a few miles of the Minnesota State Fair, which we have learned is very popular. Needless to say, parking was a nightmare and we drove around for over an hour looking for a place to park. We were fortunate because we planned the driving part of the trip around the time that the boys nap so they were asleep for "most" of the time. "Most" of the time meaning they woke up right at the end of our hunt for a parking place and they were screaming mad and hungry. Just as we were about to bag the whole idea, we found a place to park that was not 5 miles away from the zoo. The boys seemed to enjoy the animals and were particularly interested in the ducks and seals. We rode on a carousel that was the most exciting part of the trip. They were surprised by it initially, but enjoyed the music and spinning around in circles.

Liam has discovered his legs recently and now loves to jump up and down in the bouncy chair and exersaucer. Luke has been jumping for awhile now, but Liam would typically just sit and twirl around. It is quite funny to watch him do his little dance around the floor.

We hope you had a nice weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Importance of Play

New Toys!
Luke with Liam in Background
Liam Playing the Drum (a gift from the Maymirs)
Luke with new Sesame Street Toy
Liam helping mom fold clothes

I am reading a book called the privilege of parenting that I have found to be very interesting so I thought I would share a few things. In this book, the author suggests that we can do two things to help restore the "art of fine parenting". One, we should remember that parenting is a privilege. By remembering that parenting is a privilege, we also understand that parenting is arguably the most important responsibility one will ever have in life. He states that parenthood is a "complex, interactive process," and unfortunately you can't immediately know how well you are doing. The second thing we should do to restore the art of fine parenting is to rediscover the importance of play. The reason for this is that play is integral to a child's discovery of the world. Play through mimicry, exploration, fantasy, and practice are how a child makes sense of the world and its resources.

In light of the importance of Play, the boys got some new toys recently. They are moving beyond rattles for entertainment and enjoy the things that light up, make noises, sing songs, etc...(the stuff that can drive me crazy by the end of the day). I am posting a couple of pictures of the boys with their newest toys. We have several pillows surrounding us on the floor because we are pretty good at sitting up, but we are not great. Thankfully, they seem to be pretty resilent after they topple over because it is hard to keep two babies upright at all times!

Liam has proven to be part monkey, just like we already thought he was. The other day he managed to get out of his bouncy chair despite the fact that he was strapped in. I turned around and found him laying on the floor with his blanket and stuffed dog. He somehow managed to get out of the chair and bring his dog and blanket with him. It looks like we won't be using the bouncy chairs very much anymore!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Swimming, Baby Cakes, and Our First Party

Checking out the Present for our first birthday party at the neighbors house
Liam and Mom
Happy Brothers!
Fun in the Pool
Luke Enjoying Baby Cakes (i.e. Pancakes)
Mmmm Good
Checking out the Napkins while waiting on a bath after pancakes

Luke and Liam did several new things this weekend and enjoyed all of them. The boys were invited to their first birthday party for a neighborhood friend that turned one year old over the weekend and they enjoyed their first taste of cake and ice cream! They loved it, of course, and won't be missing out on ice cream with John and I as parents. Although this was not the first time they have been swimming, we did put up the plastic pool on the deck and they both enjoyed the water. Liam loves to chill out in the water and just look around while Luke kicks his feet and splashes the entire time-pretty characteristic of their personalities at this point. Another fun thing we typically do on Sundays is make pancakes. The boys love to eat pancakes and are finally learning to pick up the little pieces and put them in their mouths. The whole ordeal makes a pretty big mess, but they are a lot of fun to watch. The dog, of course, was in charge of the floor clean up so we had a little help in that area.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Curly Hair and Sleeping Angels

Liam Playing in the Bouncy Swing (still no hair!)
Mom's Curls in Preschool
Luke has a few curls coming in

Liam napping on his belly
Luke napping

Although Liam is still pretty bald, Luke has been getting a little bit of hair. He has some little curls on top just like Mom had as a child. While my hair is not as curly as it used to be, it was quite curly as a child. I tried to get a pictures of Luke's little curls, but they are a little hard to see. I will post a picture of myself in preschool where you can somewhat see the curls.
The boys are also getting bigger to the point that we can't put them in the same crib to sleep anymore. This was particularly hard for John to accept, but it was pretty clear that they were not going to sleep if they were not separated! Luke is a very light sleeper and is woken quite easily so we put them in separate rooms to nap during the day. Liam, on the other hand, is a good sleeper but has to have his little "lovey" which is a little stuffed dog or bunny. We have a couple different things as he has not really developed a preference yet. Luke loves to yank things out of his brother's hand (i.e. the lovey) so the set up in one crib was not working well. The boys are also using their swaddle blankets as a blanket now rather than being swaddled with them. As people who visited us can attest, we used the swaddle blankets all the time until recently. I took two pictures of the boys napping today. Liam has just started sleeping on his belly and Luke likes to spread out.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Happy 7 Month Birthday Liam and Luke!!

Fun in the Grass
Monkey Liam
Playing with Dad
Luke (left) and Liam (right)
Helping Mom open her Birthday gifts
Trying out the new Swings
The best part about the swings!
Liam-always checking things out, no time for sleep!
The boys are 7 months old on August 11, 2008 and growing so fast. We had a very nice weekend and enjoyed lots of time outside. John gave me some swings for the boys for my birthday and they love them. Luke even managed to fall asleep while swinging last night which is quite an accomplishment considering nights tend to be a little fussy for us. The boys slept completely through the night without a single peep on my birthday giving me a very nice birthday gift.
We are enjoying the Olympics as well. I love to watch gymnastics, track and field, the marathon, and women's cycling. John has enjoyed swimming, cycling, and the running events as well. My personal favorite is all the stories associated with how the athletes achieved their goals.
We hope you all had a nice weekend!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Our First Babysitters

Our First Babysitters-The Maymirs
Luke enjoying the swing
Liam trying to figure the swing out

Twice the Babies and Quadruple the Babysitters....The boys had their first babysitters (outside of our family) last night. Our good friends the Maymirs offered to keep the boys so John and I could go out to dinner. It was great timing since it ended up being a dinner to celebrate my birthday as well (08.8.08). The Maymir family graciously entertained Luke and Liam for a couple of hours so that we could escape for dinner and a few errands. We had a wonderful time and appreciate their kindness.
As an aside, I can remember several years ago when my birthday occurred on 08.08.88 and just in case anyone is 2011, the boys will have a birthday date of 01.11.11.

The boys also went to the park for the first time yesterday and enjoyed the swings and beautiful MN weather. Luke especially seemed to enjoy the idea of swinging. Liam warmed up to it, but was a little concerned at first. Liam always has to check things out for awhile before he starts to "enjoy" it.

We hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bathtime & Beer

Getting Ready for Bathtime
Liam (left) and Luke (right)-Liam tends to float a little in his Bumbo because he is so light!
Liam (he still has some food on his face)
Here is Dad with some of his home brew

Don't worry, our bathtime had nothing to do with beer but we probably got your attention anyway! We are quickly outgrowing our kitchen sink so today mom gave us both baths in the big bathtub and we played with our bath toys. We like the water a lot, especially when it is not too cold.
For Father's Day, we gave Dad a home brewing kit. He promised mom two things: 1) He would not make a huge mess in the process because he could do most of the brewing either in the basement or garage and 2) When the boys get older, he can brew root beer with them so mom will have several hours to herself! Well, we popped open the first stout the other night and it turned out quite nicely. John was very proud of his brewing accomplishments.
We hope everyone is having a nice week and staying cool. Minnesota has summers that would make people in the south long to move up north. We are so fortunate not to have all the miserable heat and humidity.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Being Silly and Our First Storytime

The boys and I went to our first storytime at the library this morning. This class was geared towards children between the ages of 0 and 24 months so you can imagine the atmosphere. It was quite funny to me. There were kids screaming, laughing, running, jumping, clapping, etc...It was constant activity. The boys were pretty much in awe and spent the first 10 minutes or so just staring at everything around them. They liked the music and enjoyed the books. We met another mother of 18 month old twin boys. The first question I typically ask is-"Does it get any easier as they get older?" The response is always "yes, it gets easier in most areas and harder in others, but always rewarding and fun."

I am also posting a few pictures of the boys being silly while they were playing today as well as a picture of our pottery that we made on vacation. We have each of the boy's footprints and a train in the middle. We often refer to them as the "LL Train" because it often feels as if we have been run over by a train at the end of a long day. John and I are definitely not overly artistic, but painting the pottery was actually pretty fun. We appreciated the extra help from Aunt Ann and our cousin Caitlin to entertain the boys while John and I painted.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Happy August!

Ready or not, here we come!!! The boys are really looking like they are going to be a lot more mobile pretty soon. John and I thought it was hard to keep up with them right now, much less when they are running in opposite directions. They are both very close to sitting up and trying to scoot a little on the floor when trying to reach a toy. They are rolling over more consistently from stomach to back and then back to stomach.

The boys also had a pediatrician's appointment this week. Luke is still quite a few pounds heavier than Liam. Liam continues to be leaner than his brother, but within normal for his own growth curve. Both boys are well within the normal growth curve without any adjustments for the fact that they were premature.

Luke: 19 lbs 10 ounces

26 3/4 inches long

45.8 cm head circumference

Liam: 15 lbs

25 inches long

44 cm head circumference

Have a wonderful Weekend!