Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Big One

Digging and Shoveling and Digging and Shoveling
The Igloo
Silly Boys
Liam is giving the snowman a big hug
The snowman we built with our neighbor
Eating Ice off the tree
Trying to reach the Ice
We finally got the big snow that was invariably going to happen at some point this winter. It snowed around 6-8 inches on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, it began as freezing rain and then changed over to snow which made for a terrible morning commute. The snow began early in the morning on Wednesday and was falling fast at about 2 inches an hour. It was a wet, heavy, spring type snow that was zero fun to shovel but great for building snowmen. The boys all loved it and we spent several hours outside playing in the snow. We are still hoping that spring arrives early this year. We cannot complain too much about the snow since it has been very minimal this year.
I am borrowing the poem below from another blog. I thought it was very encouraging and keeps things in perspective with lots of little ones!
Oh give me patience when wee hands
Tug at me with their small demands.
And give me gentle and smiling eyes.
Keep my lips from hasty replies.
And let not weariness, confusion or noise
Obscure my vision of life's fleeting joys.
So when, in years to come my house is still
No bitter memories its rooms may fill.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

February Snow

Lots of fun in the snow=Tired Boys and great Naps! This is Luke's typical sleeping position.
Liam is showing me his "carrot nose" for a snowman
AJ took his gloves off no less than 10 times while we were outside. Wonder why he was crying at the end and saying he was cold?
Aiden sledding down the "hill"
Luke is making snow blocks with the dump truck. This kept him busy for nearly the entire time we were outside.
We are finally getting some snow and we have received more snow in past week or so than we have had all season. We are still way behind from last year. Luke and Liam seem to think the snow is going to melt quickly so they are always asking to go out and play in the snow. I keep reminding them that it will be there tomorrow but we did make it outside to play several times this week when it was just a little warmer and Aiden would enjoy it just a little more.
Here is one funny thing from this week. Sometime last year, I started doing bit of a reward system for Luke and Liam for good behavior. We purchased some little wooden boxes and several fluffy balls in various colors at Michael's. We painted the boxes and put their names on them and they were allowed to put one colored ball in their box for various types of good behavior. For example, if they shared something with their brother without having to be asked, then I would tell them they could have a ball in their box. Or, if they helped pick up toys or waited patiently somewhere, then they might get a ball in their box. After the box was full, they would receive a small treat of some sort whether it be playing a special game, reading a book, or a piece of candy. Conversely, they could also lose a ball for bad behavior. Well, we have not really kept up with actually putting balls in the boxes anymore, but everytime the boys do something they perceive as "good", they ask for a ball in their box. Even Aiden, who really has no clue what this system is about, says "I have ball in my box?" all the time. The other day Liam was sent to timeout while we were at the swimming pool. After sitting quietly for 4 minutes in timeout, John told him that he did well sitting quietly in timeout and he could get in the pool. Liam turned and said, "Dad, can I have a ball in my box for sitting nicely in timeout?" Um...NO, I think not.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Working Hard at Play

Another warmer than average day this "winter" in Minnesota
Check out Luke's position on the floor. Just five minutes earlier, this was John's position when he was repairing our washing machine.
The bad news: the washing machine broke this week. The good news: John repaired it and all the laundry is done!
Aiden spends a lot of time each day playing with these little cars. They are one of the first toys he looks for in the morning when he wakes up.
On the floor with his cars
More repairs to do, but first let's organize the tools (at least that is what I would do)
Luke is feeding Aiden some of his pizza at lunch
Three little mowers
Very little remains of our snow this year
The boys are often so "hard at work" while they are playing. They shout orders, follow directions, work and negotiate together, and can often entertain each other for hours. Aiden will generally lose interest after awhile or he won't be able to keep up with this brothers, but Luke and Liam work together so well. They will fill dumptrucks full of toys and haul them from one end of the house to the other and then back again. They run races with their cars around the kitchen and make such loud noises that it feels like we are at a racetrack or something. It is very fun to watch. This week our washing machine broke and all three boys enjoyed watching John (on several occasions) try to figure out the problem. They went upstairs to gather their goggles, tools, measuring tape, screwdrivers, etc...and waited with excitement for John to ask them to hold something or shine the flashlight.
We are continuing to have mild weather though I hear rumors of snow in our future. We enjoyed several afternoons outdoors this week playing in the yard and even riding bikes in February. That was something we only dreamed of doing at this time last year.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A week in February

"Aiden, show me your eyes." This is what Aiden does when we ask him to show us his eyes.
Three Stooges: The boys at the gymnastics open gym
Aiden on the ladder at gymnastics
Does Aiden's shirt above look familiar? Thanks to my cousin Julie for these shirts when AJ was born! This picture was taken in February 2010.
It was pretty much business as usual for us this week. The weather is still quite cold with a few mild days here and there and relatively little or no snow! I have enjoyed the lack of snow this year, though I think the boys have missed playing in it. It has been nice to be outside occasionally without bitter cold temperatures. We are still doing some of our weekly indoor activities including the gymnastics open gym in the pictures above. This is a favorite of all three boys and a great way to do some jumping, climing, running, and screaming for a couple hours. We have really changed a lot over the years we have been going to open gym. The boys are now able to get up on most of the equipment and actually use it rather than crawling on the floor or playing in the water fountain. Another favorite activity of all three boys right now is swimming. We started some afternoon swimming lessons for Luke and Liam in late October and I am amazed at how well they are doing. Aiden enjoys the time with Mom and Dad playing in the water during the lessons and then we all grab a quick bite to eat before heading home for the evening. The boys love it and look forward to it each week. They are now jumping off the side of the pool and going down to get dive sticks in 5 feet of water or so. I don't have any pictures from swimming as it pretty much involves both John and I to watch everyone in the water, but it is one of our favorite activities right now and has been a great thing to do over the winter months. Have a great week!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Big Race

This picture doesn't need a lot of explanation. Looks like AJ got a hold of a marker.
Super hero capes at a birthday party!!
Warming up for the big races. Luke, Liam, and Aiden are all wearing maroon shirts and black pants (bottom of picture)
Standing with the Tortise
Ready to Run!
On the track with the Rabbit (Hare)
Aj running (we all know he is really good at this!)
Holding up their numbers
Over the weekend, all three boys participated in their first running race. The University of Minnesota and the company John works for sponsored a Twin Cities Kids indoor track race. The boys each ran 3-4 laps around the track and every participant received a medal for finishing. The boys thought it was awesome especially with all the races that John and I have run and the medals that they love to play with. They also enjoyed the mascots, music, and the fun (yet very chaotic) atomosphere. When we asked Luke what he wanted to do for dinner later that evening after the race, he asked if we were going to a "race party" just like we do after many of the marathons John and I have completed.
We have also attended numerous birthday parties over the last three months for many of our twin friends. When I joined a Multiples group at the time when Luke and Liam were born, we were paired with other moms of multiples that also had children around the same age (within 3-4 months of our age). We have kept in touch with these moms over the years and have done many playdates together. Some of the moms have since moved from the area, but there are a few we still keep in touch with as much as possible. We had one party this weekend where one of the mom made super hero capes for all the kids! Lots of work!! I am posting a picture from the party. Its hard to see, but we are all wearing our capes.