Sunday, April 29, 2012

about the boys

Friday night- they wanted their own yarmulkes

I want to say there is not much new here.  I am long overdue in posting about their 2 year well-visit, but I lost the sheet with their heights and weights!  Here is what I remember:
Benjamin: 28 lbs, 8 oz; 34 inches tall
Asher: 28 lbs, 4 oz; 35 inches tall
I think their weights are incorrect, because I think Asher weighs more than Benjamin, but who knows.

We start gymnastics on Tuesday, and I am really excited.  The boys seem to be natural monkeys.  They love to throw the cushions off the couch and play in them.  Asher likes to throw himself off the couch on to them.  As a birthday gift they got a small trampoline, and Asher will just go nuts jumping on it.  I think they will really take to gymnastics.
Benjamin loves to wear shoes.  Two different shoes.  On the wrong feet.

Both boys have such personalities!  Benjamin has been throwing more fits lately, and Asher's been whining more.  Asher has a new "Nooooo" and a new "ohhhhh" that are very whiny, and make it sound like I am offering him a nap on a bed of burning coals rather than a slice of apple.  Benjamin's fits are to either look around and find something to throw, or run to the nearest wall/door, lie on the floor in front of it, and kick it with both legs.

They are napping much better than they were a month ago.  A month ago I thought maybe we were done for- but now they are back on track and napping 2-3 hours every afternoon.  This makes such a huge difference in my life and productivity!  I love them, but I also love when I have a few moments of quiet.
Asher and his friend Trouble.  Trouble tolerates his affections. Barely.

Asher is still waking up at ungodly hours.  I think I have just reset my own clock, for the most part.  I am in bed around 10 each night, and then I am ready for a 5:30 or 6 o'clock wake-up.  Some mornings I go downstairs with him and fall asleep for a little on the couch, but other mornings I am awake and attempt to be productive.  On weekends, Eric and I take turns letting each other "sleep in" (7:30 or 8, ha!).  It has made some things easier- when people ask if I am available for an appointment at 7:45 of 8, I can say yes!

They still don't have huge vocabularies, but they are vocalizing more.  Asher has started speech therapy, and she pointed out a number of strengths- sounds they have, that they initiate talking, that they comprehend so much.  It is reassuring to hear that, but still difficult to have them lagging behind so many of their friends.

Speaking of friends, they definitely seem to be getting more attached to their play mates.  And each other. They are very interactive in playing with each other-- they play peek-a-boo, chase, and imitate all kinds of physical behaviors.  We are at the point where I feel like it is easier to have 2 than 1, especially when I look at all of our friends who are expecting their 2nd.  At this stage, the boys can play and entertain each other and are much less dependent on me.  I know that with friends, their little ones get jealous when their parents show attention to another child.

Asher is such a goofball.  Tonight my mom had a cold and was blowing her nose, so Asher started blowing raspberries to imitate her.  Then he was overjoyed when we offered him a Kleenex so that he could pretend to blow his nose with that.  He definitely likes to get us all laughing with his antics.

Benjamin is very independent.  If he is up and Asher is still asleep, he is happy to play with his toys (particularly anything that is a truck or a car) and ignore me completely.  He will also sit awake in his pack n play at nap time and look at books until he is ready to go to sleep.  Asher requires a little more attention and maintenance.

That is what is happening here.  I will try to take pictures of our first gymnastics class, but they might discourage it, so we'll see.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Girls' trip to New York City

This weekend I went to New York all by myself!  I went to see my two best friends from college and have some time with just the girls.  It had been years since we did it.

I know it is trite, but it felt like no time had passed.  Even though our lives have kept us busy, and we had a lot to catch up on, and it felt as if we were back in college (Kind of. There were a lot of things I used to do in college that I don't do anymore. Plus I was in bed around 10:30 which never, ever happened in college).

We walked all over town, taking rests here and there because Alissa is 25 weeks pregnant.  But still, she has a lot of stamina!  I went to the Upper East Side, Soho, the West Village, and very briefly, the Meatpacking District.

On Sunday, Amanda and I hosted brunch at her apartment.  Two other friends from college joined us and we sat, talked, and laughed until I decided I should go back to my family.

I had such a wonderful visit.  I missed the boys, but not desperately.  I got a good night's sleep, which I really enjoyed.  It was nice to be "me" again, and not "mommy."  Although I love being a mother, it was nice for me to remember that I am my own person.  And particularly with my friends who are not yet married, and don't have children of their own, it was very easy to talk about non-child topics.

I think I'll be ready for another girls' weekend sooner rather than later!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

date night

On Monday night Eric and I had our first date night, just the two of us, in a long time.  We went out to celebrate our two birthdays, and Eric's parents took care of the boys.  We both put our phones away and ignored them completely and were able to just talk and enjoy each other's company.  It was wonderful!  Now we're wondering why it took us so long to have a date night... and how soon we'll be doing it again.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Today we celebrated the boys' second birthday with a party at Smith Memorial Playground in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia.  There was so much to do and so much fun to be had.  

Here is Benjamin, modeling the lion t-shirt Meema made him:

Asher modeling the bear t-shirt that Meema made him:

Curly blond-hair Bear with the cutest little nose:

There was a beautiful park outside the house, but Benjamin only wanted to play with trains inside:

Asher stealing Mommy's water:

Asher and Daddy having hugs:

The boys got birthday crowns to wear.  Here they are, waiting for their cupcakes:

Our family picture for the year:

The party scene:

Mommy feeding Benjamin some fruit:

The leftovers- the balloons were supposed to be favors but were all tangled, so we just brought them home again.
As usual, I made way too much food.  Here is what I learned:
-Don't make 60 cupcakes and frost them yourself.  They were very delicious, but way more work than if I had just made two cakes and frosted them.
-People like fruit.
-I made lots of little sandwiches, and they weren't nearly as popular as the tomato pie friends of ours brought from a local Italian market.  Next time I will just get tomato pie!
-Don't make cake pops. Bakerella makes them look good and easy, but I'm not her.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Passover 2012

We spent the weekend in Wellesley, Massachusetts at my cousin's house.  He is married, and he and his wife have 4 children.  They generously and graciously invited us to stay the whole weekend at their house. I want to say that with their 4, my 2 barely added to the chaos... but I am not completely sure that was true!

In general, our trip went very well.  We stopped for lunch in Norwalk, Connecticut on our way up, and got to Wellesley around 3:30.  We started our seders around 5 both nights, so we didn't have time to do much more than play at our cousins' house that afternoon.  The boys loved it there, there were so many toys and so much to do!  Asher is clearly taken with older kids and will follow them around and play with them.  Benjamin is taken with cars and trucks.  He spent a very long time playing with toy dump trucks and diggers in the dirt.
Asher with the Big Kids

For the seder on Friday night there were 20 of us.  My cousin and his family, our family plus my parents and sister, my aunt and uncle, my mom's parents and Pierrette, and my mom's cousin and her family.  The boys were exhausted and refused to sit in their chairs as well as refused to eat any traditional food.  Gefilte fish- ew.  Matzo- ew.  Matzo ball- sounds good because it has the word "ball" in it, but apparently hugely disappointing.  We ended up getting them ready for bed and asleep by 7:15, at which point we could enjoy the rest of the evening.
The older end of the table
The younger end of the table
"I'll tell you what I think of your Passover 'food.'"
"More chicken, please!"
I think Asher may be having a bit of a growth spurt.  For a while he was eating very little, but ever since recovering from his stomach virus, he has eaten twice as much as before, or more.  We go to the doctor in the morning for their two year well-visit so we'll see if he is gaining weight- he was 27 pounds when he was sick 3 weeks ago.

Saturday started with brunch at my sister's, which was lovely. We went on a walk afterward, and then headed back to Wellesley in the hopes that the boys would nap.  Benjamin fell asleep in the car and went right down to nap at the house.  Asher- not so much.  Eventually I gave up.  It was really disheartening, the boys slept pretty terribly (as they often do at home), and their cousin, who is almost 4, slept 12+ hours a night and took 3-4 hour naps.  I was so jealous.  And tired.

The second seder was slightly smaller, but the boys were feeling more patient.  They still wouldn't eat any of the Passover food, but ate some other things and played with their cousins.  Here is Benjamin in his frog hat when we talked about the ten plagues:
We left after breakfast this morning, and stopped for lunch in New Canaan on our way home.  We had lunch with an old friend of mine from college, who had seen my post on Facebook on our way up.  I hadn't posted to Facebook in an eternity but decided to on our trip, and it was a good decision!  My college friend and his wife made us a lovely picnic, we went to a playground and our children played while we had lunch.  The playing helped the boys get back in the car, but their patience only lasted until we hit a big traffic jam on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Now we're home. I am not sure how we will make it through Passover, since the boys' favorite foods are crackers, toast, cereal, and cookies.  Today they asked for cracker and when I handed them some matzo they cried.  Not like a toddler throwing a tantrum cry, but a very disappointed, "I can't believe you are calling that piece of crap a 'cracker'" cry.  Asher happily accepts pieces of matzo with peanut butter on them, but then proceeds to lick all the peanut butter off, leaving behind soggy matzo.  They may live off eggs, cheese, and raisins this week!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

odds and ends

*Today, after refusing to wear hats all winter, Benjamin decided he wanted to wear his frog hat.  He wore it all day.  He couldn't have been cuter!  Here he is eating breakfast at Aunt Jane and Uncle Ed's house this morning:

*Both boys think naps are for babies, and they don't need them now that they're two years old.  They have been going down for babysitters, but not for me.  Today I managed to convince them to nap, hurray!  But I miss my huge chunk of quiet time in the afternoon.
A nap... half was in bed, and the other half on the couch.

*I would not be surprised if Asher decides to be a vegetarian.  He doesn't seem to like meat at all, but he loves cheese, vegetables, pasta, beans-- basically anything that isn't meat.  Benjamin is a fairly adventurous eater, and tonight at dinner (we went out for Vietnamese), he tried duck and shrimp and loved them.  He seems to think everything tastes better if it is eaten off my fork or chop sticks.  Asher is definitely more picky; he will try things and make a face and spit it out.  But I always compliment him for trying!

*I'm trying to "train" for my 10-mile run on May 6.  Some weeks are better than others.  When everyone was sick, we didn't get out at all.  Usually I do about two 2-3 mile runs with the boys in their jog stroller, and then on the weekends I go for a longer run on my own.  Today I ran 6 miles at an average pace of 10 minutes/mile- this is really good for me!  Both Eric and I are proud that I'm actually doing this.

*Asher is extremely attached to me.  He seems to be getting more attached as time goes by.  He loves to sit on my lap and curl up and suck his thumb.  I love our snuggles, but I feel guilty that Benjamin gets fewer snuggles, since he's less demanding.

*You can really see their personalities emerging.  Benjamin is independent, and likes to do things on his own (or at least try to!).  He is great with his spoon and fork, he likes to snap the buckles on his booster seat and try to do them on his car seat.  He is happy to play with his toys, quietly.  Asher has less patience than Benjamin, and will throw a toy if he gets frustrated.  Asher also has a good sense of humor and likes to entertain us.  He also seems to "get" humor, and will laugh at things on TV or in real life.
Goof-asuarus Rex

*We're working on several projects in our house.  Eric's parents are coming to visit on the 13th, and Eric and his dad are going to put a powder room in on our first floor.  Of course, they are putting it in where we once had a closet, so now we don't have anywhere to put our coats and jackets... so that will entail yet another project at some point.

*I'm planning the menu for the boys' birthday party.  I'm sure I will make way too much food out of fear that there won't be enough... it's in my genes!