Tuesday, August 23, 2011

book worm!

Asher reading with daddy
All of a sudden, Asher has started to love books!  We have always had books around, but up until recently, they mostly got treated as chew toys or were ignored completely.  Now Asher will pick up a book and bring it to us, and sit in our laps while we read to him.  His favorite books are "Goodnight, Moon" (especially the page with the 3 little bears sitting in chairs), "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?" (his favorite page is the purple cat), "I Love You, Little One" (as seen above), and "The Poky Little Puppy."  It is a pleasure to read to him, have him pick things out on the page, and I will make animal noises and he will try to imitate me making them.  Eric and I are big readers, so what a relief that our children are starting to love books, too!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

day trip to DC

Hmmm.  I didn't realize til seeing this picture that Dad and I were also twins!
Today we (Eric, the boys, my parents, and I) took a day trip to DC to see my dad's parents.  I have to say, it was pretty exhausting!  We left right after breakfast, and after dealing with traffic, made it to DC in time for lunch.

The boys were not interested in eating, except when Asher bit Benjamin's finger, which made Benjamin cry.  Eric and my dad ended up walking up and down the sidewalk with them while the rest of us scarfed down our lunches.  I would say conversation was minimal, at best.

My grandparents' apartment was far from childproof, but the boys managed to find a broom and a dustbuster to play with.  This meant following them everywhere, because they would swing the broom around and come very close to knocking over things like lamps and breakable tchotchkes.  

Fortunately we had swim diapers in the car, and there was a pool at the apartment complex.  Eric and I took the boys for a swim- there was a little kiddie pool, so we didn't have to get in.  I did get completely wet, though, between the splashing and holding wet children.  But the weather was perfect and the boys had a good time playing, waving hello to every person lounging by the pool, and making mad dashes for the big pool.  

Then we got in the car and headed home- so we probably spent about 6 hours driving and 2.5 hours in DC, but we hadn't been since my grandmother's party in November, and my grandfather's health is not wonderful.  We're not sure how long my grandparents will be around, so every visit counts.  I think my grandparents were tired just watching us take care of the kids, because they made a few comments about how efficient I seemed to be, and how much energy I must spend taking care of them.

For a treat, we stopped at a little creamery in Delaware on our way home.  The ice cream was so good!  There was a seeing-eye dog there (he was off-duty) and Asher was in love with him.  Asher was petting him, hugging him, crouched down with his arms around the dog and his cheek on the dog's back.  It was really adorable. I hope the boys never ask me for a dog- as much as I can enjoy another person's dog, I don't think I could handle a high-maintenance pet in addition to twins.  Neither boy really ate ice cream (how can my children not want ice cream?), but they enjoyed the break and time out of their car seats.  

We got home and gave the boys a late dinner, then to bed with them.  Other than a bike ride in the morning for Eric, we have no plans tomorrow- just the way the weekend should be!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

a bear escaped!

watching tv. what good is a brother if you can't sit on him?
We always separate the boys at nap times, since Asher tends to nap and Benjamin tends to not-nap.  We have Asher in the pack n play in the guest room, since it is at the top of the stairs and he is a deeper sleeper, and will sleep through whatever noise and things are happening down stairs.  Even though there is no monitor in there, I hear him when he wakes up because he tends to kick around in the pack n play, or open the dresser drawers.  When I go up to get him, he is usually standing or sitting in the pack n play, and gives me his huge snaggle-tooth smile.

This morning I went to get him, and I opened the door to the guest room, peeked in to see the pack n play... empty.  I pushed the door open a little more, and there stood my little Asher Bear, smiling proudly because he had escaped his cage!  Apparently now that he has discovered this new skill, he is all done sleeping in the pack n play, and only wants to climb out.  This is a problem, because we are leaving shortly for a vacation, and we planned for him to sleep in the pack n play!
practicing his karate kicks
We had a pretty good weekend- we went to the zoo with Meema on Saturday (and forgot to take the camera, dopes), went swimming, and Eric and I went out for a fancy grown-up dinner on Saturday night.  It rained on Sunday, so we went to Ikea.  After afternoon naps, and after the rain had stopped, we went to the playground and had it all to ourselves.  The boys were slipping around a little, and Benjamin thought a wobbly Asher was the funniest thing he had ever seen.  Every time Asher wobbled, Benjamin laughed hysterically, his big, adorable belly laugh.  They get more physically adept and brave every time we go!

I think Meema is planning to treat them to a gymboree membership.  As fall approaches and we have fewer outdoor activities, we will need an indoor place for them to get their energy out, so hopefully that will be the answer for us.

And happy birthday (tomorrow), Memere!  We miss you!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Our day-to-day, week-to-week routine has stayed the same for a while now.  I don't know that anyone cares about it, but I wanted to record it for myself.  Things work well, and the time seems to fly by.

Our general daily schedule is:
The boys wake up sometime around (or before) 7. If they are up before 7, we leave them in their room and they make noise at each other and I hopefully sleep through it.

At 7, we get up and the boys nurse.  We used to nurse and snuggle in bed, but the boys are too active for that now, so we usually nurse down stairs.  Sometimes Eric puts on PBS for them, but they don't seem to care or pay attention to the TV.

If the weather is good and we don't have physical therapy for Asher, we often go for walks or jogs before breakfast.  We will walk with our neighbor and her daughter and dog, or jog just the 3 of us.  While it wouldn't be my preference to jog before I eat anything, it is sometimes the only time of day that's cool enough to do it.  The guys don't seem to mind it either.  I love the fresh air and watching the wind in their hair as I jog.

Breakfast is usually around 8 am.  Their breakfasts are french toast (Saturdays), pancakes (some Thursdays), toaster waffles, peanut butter toast with jam, or cream cheese and jam on cinnamon-raisin bread.  Then they have fruit and milk.

After breakfast, we all play a little, and then naps start around 9.  Asher is always ready to nap, and goes right down.  Some mornings Benjamin will go to sleep right away, some mornings he will make noise for 45 minutes to an hour and then fall asleep, and some mornings he doesn't sleep at all.

If Benjamin isn't asleep by about 10, I'll get him up.  If it's a weekend, or Eric is home, we sometimes run errands.  Otherwise he can play by himself, or we'll play together until Asher wakes up, which happens around 10:30 or 11.

Once Asher is up, we often do something.  On the weekends or a Monday we might go have lunch and a swim by the pool with Eric (weekend) or Meema (Monday), sometimes Asher has occupational therapy at noon on Mondays, or we will run errands or see friends.

Lunch is around noon.  The boys eat leftovers from the night before, or peanut butter and jelly, or mac and cheese, or something easy!  With lunch they have a vegetable, a fruit, and milk.  Asher loves his vegetables, there are a lot of meals where he might reject everything but the green vegetables!

If Benjamin has not napped in the morning and we go out, he often falls asleep in the car on the way home.  Once we're home, Asher goes down sometime by 2 pm.

They are usually up from afternoon naps by 4 pm, and then we sometimes have a neighborhood play date, or Eric will finish work early and we'll go swimming before dinner.  I work two nights a week, and those nights the boys often go to the playground with Grandpa, who helps put them to bed on Tuesdays, or our friend Alyssa, who helps out on Wednesdays.

Thursdays always feel like the start to the weekend.  When I get home from work around 5, the boys rush up to me and give me hugs and kisses, and I am always so happy to see them.  Asher usually wants to nurse a few times after I get home.  By the time the boys have stopped clinging to me, it's time for dinner!  Most Thursdays we eat with the boys, since we've had dinner after they're in bed the past two nights.

Dinner is usually leftovers, or Eric makes delicious cheesy omelets for them, and then they have more vegetables and fruits.  Sometimes they will have dessert, like a graham cracker or animal crackers, or very occasionally, ice cream.

After dinner, it is bed time.  The boys love to climb the stairs themselves, and then they have a bath, get lotioned up, and into pj's.  Asher has stopped nursing before bed, but Benjamin will nurse, and then they are in their cribs to fall asleep.  They are usually in bed by 7:30, but we've had a few late nights recently after going out for ice cream or dinner at someone else's house.

Once they're down, Eric and I will often watch one of the few shows we can agree on, or read, or go on the internet and just have quiet time.  Usually Eric and I eat dessert to reward ourselves for surviving another day as parents of toddler twins.  Then Eric and I are in bed by 10:30 to try to get our rest before we wake up and do it all over again!

Between working 3 days a week and having busy weekends with family and friends, the weeks pass quickly.   I cannot believe that our summer is almost over!  In 2 weeks we leave for our family vacation on Cape Cod, and when that is over, so is the summer.  Our routine won't change, other than that our days of swimming at my aunt and uncle's pool will dwindle, and we will have to shift to indoor activities.  I am thinking of signing the boys up for gymnastics in the fall and swimming lessons in the winter, just so we can keep busy and not go crazy cooped up in the house.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

first pair of sneakers

Asher's shoe on the left, Benamin's on the right. On Eric's ipad.
Today the boys, my mom, and I went to the mall to buy the boys some new shoes.  I really wanted sandals, since somehow, in the past two weeks, they outgrew the ones I got them in the spring.  They grow so fast! I hadn't even realized how quickly it happened.  The other night, while I was working, Asher ended up in a pair of smaller pajamas, and they were like capris on him!  It turns out I missed the boat on sandals, and so we got sneakers that they can wear the next few months (I guess until they need snow boats, another upcoming purchase!).

Asher's shoe is a size 6.5 and Benjamin's is a 6. Their first steps in their big boy shoes were kind of tentative and wobbly, but then they took off!  It was definitely bittersweet for me; I am both excited that I have such good walkers (runners), and having trouble reconciling the little boys running up and down the hall of the mall with the little babies who used to sleep in my arms.

Here is what else is new with us- Benjamin has a bit of a fascination with cleaning.  He loves vacuums, brooms, and dustpans.  Here are some pictures of him with his favorite not-toys:
"I want YOU to clean this living room!"
"Did you say this spot needed some extra attention?"
The picture of Benjamin wiping the floor happened after the boys knocked my water cup off the table.  There was a big puddle on the floor, and I ran to get towels to mop it up.  When I got back to the living room, Asher was on his hands and knees with his face on the floor slurping up the water.  Benjamin was sitting next to him, laughing hysterically, and then trying to do it himself.  So there the 3 of us were, on our hands and knees, the two of them slurping and laughing, and me mopping madly to try to stop them from drinking floor-water.

The boys are in a phase of imitating everything we do.  Today I made a fish-face at Asher, which he tried to imitate by flapping his mouth open and closed.  I had him do it for my mom tonight, and she turned to look at him while trying to get something out of her teeth, and Asher instantly switched to imitating her by sticking his finger in his mouth.  This morning Eric had them both doing downward dog with him.

They also like sticking out their tongues at us if we stick ours out at them:
Looking at this picture of Asher, I think his torticollis is definitely improving.

Here is a picture of what started as a very sweet, brotherly hug. By the time I got back with the camera, this is what we had:
Asher is hysterical.
We have been lucky, these past few weeks, to get to see lots of old friends and family as they pass through town.  Last night we had dinner with friends of ours who live in Amherst- my friend from high school in Texas and her husband and 4 year-old daughter.  It is amazing to think how much our lives have changed since we met in 1994 in biology class.  Back then we were two nerdy high school girls who had never had boyfriends.  Now we're grown women, with each with a doctorate, husband, and child(ren).  I am sure we could never have imagined ourselves where we are now!