Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Foreseasons Twins: 3rd Quarter (19, 20 & 21 Months)

Anyone out there?!  I'm back for the next update on the boys.  This update is for their 19, 20 and 21 months which took place around Thanksgiving to end of February.  Life is certainly getting busier, both at home and at work.  Our biggest accomplishment this time around:  Getting rid of the wubbies!  We scheduled to kick the habit cold turkey on Jan 1st and while the first nap time was pretty tough, the boys once again surprised us and were able to give up the wubbies without much fuss.

19 Months
(BMO Bank Lobby at Xmas Time)


20 Months
(with Nanny "Ra Ra's" puppies)


21 Months
(Messing around at home just before bedtime)

The first collage below are some of my favorites from this go round.  From left to right:  First Free Fridays at the Art Museum, craft time on New Years Eve, just looking cute at home and frozen yogurt at the mall.  Three of the pictures were taken by Sarah which goes to show how much fun stuff they do!  

I'll add that the boys were TV stars in Feb as the picture on the top left was submitted to WTMJ's Morning Blend show by my Mom and it was chosen as a Photo of the Day.  Pretty Exciting to see their cute butts and hear their names on TV!  
We managed to do some fun things as a family like attend the kickoff to Xmas in the Third Ward complete with fireworks, a couple of visits to Santa (both not well received), pancake breakfast on Xmas Eve at Georgie Porgies,  Jelly Belly Factory Tour, Winters Farmers Market & the Domes for the Train Expo.  

Celebrating the holidays with the boys was everything I dreamed it would be and more. We loved trying new traditions and I'm looking forward to when they will actually be able to understand and enjoy it more in years to come.  I had to hold back tears at the Xmas in the Third Ward event during  the carolers and leading up to the tree lighting.  Something about Xmas music always makes me want to burst into happy tears.  

Some Holiday Treasure Moments (3 more fun photo moments taken by Sarah):

Xmas Eve with our Cousins


The Max:
Max's biggest news is probably that recall memory of his which is really surprising us lately.  He loves to read books and he has a Paw Patrol "seek and find" book that he quickly memorized where everything is.  He likes to point to the items and wants you to say what it is and then will go straight to where the match item is, not even scanning the page to find it, he just remembers where it is located.  He's pretty good with finding anything in any book.  His language is developing a bit faster than Jake.  Words that he says often are:  Dada, Mama, Jake, Ra Ra (Sarah), Go, Boo, Cheese, Car, Apple, Bunny, Blue.  He'll repeat a lot of words when you say them and truly seems like he understands everything you are saying.  He has also learned to nod his head "yes".  He'll sometimes walk around just nodding his head. 

The boy LOVES singing, dancing, watching nursery rhymes on the iPad (that he recently broke) and Paw Patrol.  He'll stand and bounce and start to mimic the songs he wants you to sing, practically jonesing for you to sing so he can dance.  His favorite has got to be Happy & You Know It.  Also loves Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes, Itsy Bitsy and Wheels on the Bus.  Both boys really have the moves down to all the songs, but Max really takes the cake with the excitement.  

He's got some favorite comfort items right now which are the play food from his kitchen and he likes to hoard them.  The grapes are his favorite and he will walk around with them, sleep with them and in the morning bring them to the breakfast table.  For a surprise at night I'll stick the grapes and some of his other favorites (cheeseburger, banana or play phone) on his pillow before bed.  When he gets upset in the middle of the night, I'll go in and he's still clutching that damn fruit through his tears.  Ha!  His definite favorite comfort item is his turtle muslin blanket.  I do not think he could sleep without that.  Max is affectionate and is a great hugger and loves to give kisses right on the lips.  If you offer your cheek, he'll move around to get your lips.

The funniest thing he does currently is probably making the "cold" motion where he will shiver and purse his lips.  Still trying to get it on video.  He also will bop around when he is eating something he likes.  Or just bop around the house in general.  The guy is so damn funny.  Truly my baby bunny.

Jake (aka Snacks McGee)
I noticed after I did the collage above that Jake is literally eating in all but two of the photos and in one of those he is sleeping.  The dude fiercely loves his snacks, so "more" is probably his most used word.  Next is probably Dada, Mama, Ra Ra, Spoon, Bus, Car, Go, Kitty, Boo.

The best thing Jake does is probably independent play.  He could gather up his cars, or little people or books and just stack them in and out of things, moving them one place to the other and keep himself entertained for awhile (as long as brother didn't try to intrude).  He is also a bit of a hoarder with whatever he is playing with at the moment.  He'll walk around with either two of his guys, or two cars in each hand and he will protect the heck out of it to make sure Max doesn't even come close to getting it.

Jake likes to mimic counting and will point to things and make the sound of my voice when I'm counting 1, 2, 3.  He doesn't quite count but you know that is what he is mimicking.  He loves to watch you count things out for him.  He is a quick learner too and I know he understands a lot of what we are saying even if he isn't quite saying as much.  

Jake loves his Mama, but is also a Dada's boy I would say.  He's always saying Dada and looking for Dada and waiting for him to come home from work so he can run up to him for a hug.  

Jake is pretty strong and is in great shape (see lots of running below).  We like to call him beefcake.  He can surprisingly lift pretty heavy things and then walk carrying them.  The other night he was walking around in just jeans with no shirt and then wrestling Max down to the ground.  He looked like quite the tough guy, someone you don't want to mess with!  Although he is still our sensitive guy, our little nervous nelly sometimes.  Any kind of raised voice will make him tower usually and you'll have to say to him "I'm not mad at you" to make him feel better. The guy also has a angry side to him too.  I think he's starting to test us with temper tantrums and will have moments where he will throw himself on the ground if he doesn't like something.  But the guy is still my best cuddle bug and is my favorite to sleep with, always cuddling in on my chest.  Also a sweetie when he cocks his head to the side and says "hi".

I'd say the funniest thing Jake does is that he runs everywhere.  Like seriously everywhere.  He's got a great stride and it's so cute how he holds his arms up when he runs too.  Maybe he will be a marathon runner.

Hopefully they will always think having a twin brother is fun!

Their typical schedule is bedtime around 7:30 and they wake like clockwork by 6:00 every morning.  Wake ups during the night have been pretty frequent unfortunately these last few months....I'll attribute it to different times for teeth, ear infections, colds, other sicknesses and separation anxiety.  They take an afternoon nap for an average of 2 hours everyday.  Sometimes a car morning snooze on the way to something too.  They are out and about with Sarah every day when she is here and with me when I am off, always doing fun stuff like story times, museums, indoor playgrounds, playdates with friends, etc.  The boys love to get out of the house, it seems that by 9:00 every morning they are bored and whining to leave.  I'm so happy they get to experience so many things.


Max finally got his first haircut.  Yes, we cut those precious curls.  The date was Jan 31, 2016 and he was 20 months.  The final straw was that strangers would refer to him as a "girl" when we were out and about.  He would also cry in the bath every time it got washed so I think it was just getting too long for him.  Here is is before with his crazy "Igor Mad Scientist" hair just after waking from a nap:



During & After.  He did great and while I thought maybe I would cry, I didn't.  Like they say, Mom comes last and I was so focused on how he was feeling the whole time and making sure he was comfortable that I never even thought about my own feelings.  Besides some tears in the beginning, he did great and just watched his precious nursery rhyme videos on my phone the whole time.  And the haircut is friggin adorable!  I absolutely love it.


We enjoyed lots of time with family and its great to have everyone within pretty close proximity which means we can see grandparents, cousins and aunts and uncles a lot.  We spent Thanksgiving in Cedarburg with both grandparents, had a library play date with the cousins, had the cousins over for a play date (while Mommy & Daddy were on a work trip), visited the art museum, visited the domes, celebrated Grandma & Grandpa's birthday and played at Kids in Motion a couple of times.  We are starting to tell that Jake really adores his big cousin Liam!

The boys favorite things to do together are jumping, hugging, playing patty cake, ring around the rosie and chasing each other.  I also think they could challenge anyone to a nursery rhyme contest complete with the actions, as well as a name that animal and its sound contest.  They really know and love their songs & animals!  

Our Little BFFs



Saturday, January 23, 2016

Day In The Life - Foreseasons Twins

I decided to participate in another Day In The Life "DITL" linkup hosted by Julia at My Life In Transition.  I like that its a way to memorialize life right now.  The last DITL post I did was in July here.  The boys were almost 13.5 years old then.  

The Stats:
The date is Friday, January 22nd.  It is my day off.  I am still working three days a week.
The boys are 20 months old (in 2 days). 
Chris is 39 years old, I am 38.

Since pics don't start for a bit, here they are being straight up goobers at some point throughout our day.  Jake eating his cookie at the bakery and Max barking like Clifford the dog in his hands at the library.


3:15ish a.m. - We both awaken to Max crying.  I try to let it go but it starts to go into full blown mode.  I think Chris must think I'm going to let it keep going, so he heads downstairs for the spare bedroom.  I don't work in the morning so I'm on duty.  I decide to check on him as he seems pretty upset and I can see he is now standing in the crib.  Something has spooked him as he cries louder when I try to lay him back down, so I pick him up and hug and soothe him just standing next to his crib.  He lets out this relieved little cry that he usually does when you go to rescue him.  He seems sleepy within a few minutes so I lay him back down and reset him with his favorite blanket and he shuts his eyes and seems to go back to sleep.  I rub his back for a bit and then I'm out.  He's in the midst of getting four teeth so my guess is maybe that's it.

I'm back in bed and it is 3:22, so not too long has passed.  Although now I feel wide awake (always happens on nights where I don't work the next day), so since Chris is downstairs I look at my phone for awhile as that always makes me sleepy.  I hear Jake cry out sometime around 3:50 but he goes back to sleep.  

4:35ish a.m. - Jake is crying again.  I'm still up....I think.  Or maybe I've fallen back asleep for a bit, I really can't tell.  I let him go on and he calms down.  I remember that I said to Chris the day before that it seems like the boys have been sleeping better since we got rid of those wubbies they relied on so much.  I think to myself that I definitely jinxed us by saying that.  Although Chris didn't agree with me when I said it anyways, so must have been wishful thinking.

6:07 a.m. - Wake up to Jake wailing a bit.  Decide to get up right away as maybe if I'm quick enough he won't wake Max.  I'd love to just bring him back in bed with me to snuggle a bit.  And that's always easier to do with just one.  I tiptoe in but Jake is back asleep.  So I head back to bed, although I know I'm up for the day.

6:25 a.m. - Max is up and shouting out.  I tiptoe in and get him as Jake is still sleeping and I bring him back to bed with me to snuggle.  Of course, Mr. Mischief is moving all around, so I decide to turn on the TV for some distraction hoping he would relax.  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is just starting.  Max sits still for about 5 mins and then is back to reaching for everything in our headboard.

6:45 a.m. - Jake is up and shouting out.  Probably looking for brother.  Neither boy likes it when they wake and the other is gone already.  They'll usually run out to find the other and be pointing like "here he is, thank goodness!".  Jake gets into bed with us and he cuddles right in, leaning back to enjoy the show and wake up a bit.  Jake is definitely my mama's boy.  It is short lived though as eventually both are up trying to jump on the bed and rummaging through stuff.

7:00 a.m. - Daddy comes upstairs and we head out to the kitchen for breakfast.  Boys are having slow cooker oatmeal with raisins, topped with strawberry chobani yogurt, toasted coconut and blackberries.  Damn, right?  Also, microwaveable sausage links (our new go-to in the morning).  I think its a breakfast fit for kings and yet they still manage to complain and whine sometimes.  Jake's favorite thing right now is probably yogurt, so he is always grumpy to get in his seat and eat right away when we are trying to get it ready.  Kind of like his Dad, he is cranky when he is hungry!  

Side bar:  The boys don't always wear matching pajamas!

Now that they are eating, I make Chris' lunch since he hopped right in the shower (although he is usually the one to make breakfast and the lunches), but this morning is a late start.   Then I unload the dishwasher and make myself coffee.  The morning routine on a non-work day is SOOOO much better than on a work day.  The morning prep before work is one reason I wanted to go part-time.  I still have no idea how I worked full time and fed them bottles every morning before work.  Nowadays, they can just wake up so whiny and then we are rushing to get them in their chairs to eat to get them to calm down. And sometimes halfway through eating they decide to get pissed off about what we served them and start crying.  So there is a small window in between them eating for me to try to get ready and do my other morning chores as they always get upset if I leave the room.  Soon after, they are crying to get out of their chairs cuz they are done and then its time to clean up: washing the trays, bibs, chairs, their face & hands and then usually the floor under them.  On the opposite end of what I said above, the clean up routine alone is why I still have to work.  In and out of high chairs and being clean up crew multiple times a day is too much for me.  If I'm being completely honest, meal time just isn't the most pleasant at the moment and as big foodies it was one of the things we were looking forward to with having kids was cooking and eating as a family.  Hopefully in due time.  

So back to this morning, I get about 5 minutes along and Max is crying to get out of his high chair, so he is done.  I'm still emptying the dishwasher (his favorite pastime), so he is naturally grabbing for everything.  I give him a large bowl and he walks around putting it on his head for awhile.  Jake lingers eating, especially since I've given him some of his precious cheerios as the last course.  

Around 7:30, Daddy leaves and we watch from the window.  Our plans for the day are to meet the cousins at Greendale Library for the open play from 9:30 to 11:30.  I've been debating all morning if I can swing a run to the grocery store before we meet.  But I'm not sure if I can handle it and not sure if the boys can handle it.  The in and out of the car seats in our winter gear is just so daunting sometimes.  Especially because lately the boys aren't the most cooperative when it comes to getting in their seats.  



I decide to get ready and see how time fares as to what we will do.  The boys of course follow me into my room instead of playing with all their toys in the living room.  I set them on our bed and turn on PBS.  Daniel the Tiger is starting soon.  Yes, more TV.  Whatever helps me to get things accomplished and keep from yelling in frustration because they are at my feet.  Once I'm ready, I start to get the boys ready.  I try to follow the same routine that Sarah does with them each morning.  We've been using DoTerra essential oils, so I put lavender for calming on their back and OnGuard to prevent sickness on their feet.  I decide to dress them in preppier clothes since we'll take a lot of pictures today.  Then brush teeth and hair.  They love to "brush" their own teeth.  And also love to put lotion on their hands.


It is about 8:30 by the time we are ready, so definitely skipping the grocery store.  I give them a small snack of cheerios and some milk.  I try to fill them up this morning since I'm not packing a lunch to eat while we are out like we usually do.  They've managed to make a mess of the house of course.  Hey, but whatever keeps them entertained.

We take a few selfies and then off to the library.  Car says 9:07 and my clock is 5 mins fast so we are on time.  We are meeting Anna and cousins Liam and Lily and Tara and Vance hopefully.  As usual, Jake falls asleep in the car for about 10 minutes of the ride.  All car rides consist of listening to kid stations on Pandora radio.  I never thought I would say that.  Music and dancing and jumping is a favorite for these two, just like every other kid.  Today it is 'Five Monkeys' radio and all our favorite jams are played during the ride; Twinkle Twinkle, Wheels on Bus, Happy & You Know It and Five Monkeys.  Another one that plays is Skidamarink.  I told Chris once when we heard this song while riding in the mini van that every time I hear it I am reminded that my carefree life before children is getting further and further behind me.  Haha.

We stay at the library from 9:30 to 11:30.  I've got my eye on all four kids for most of the time so that Anna can get her haircut next door.  It was a pretty easy gig as Liam and Lily are well behaved, but also chaotic trying to keep an eye on all four of them.  Especially my two.  Well, make that especially Max (at least today he didn't get yelled at like last week when the librarian actually had to tell him to get off the furniture).  Liam gets most behaved, followed by Lily, followed by Max (even if he was running everywhere) and then Jake who just seemed moody and got super grumpy by the end.  The library is in a little village, so we walked to a secondhand clothing store where I bought some jammies that looked barely worn and then to National Bakery for cookies.  My guys were getting hard to handle (as in running everywhere and touching everything they shouldn't) and it was close to naps, so we called it a day and headed home.  (cousin Vance never made it sadly - his busy mommy got hung up with work)
The boys fell asleep in the car as I knew they would (which is why I filled them up this morning as now we've missed lunch), so when we get home I very carefully transfer them to their cribs.  And thankfully they stay sleeping.  This hasn't happened for me the last few times I've tried it and we've ended up with car naps that ruin afternoon naps, which means that Mommy never gets a break during the day.  I breathe a sigh of relief that they stay asleep.

It's 12:45 when I sit down with the computer to check work emails.  Nap time usually consists of  either responding to work emails, household chores or prepping food for the week.  I've said this before I think, but I have NEVER taken a nap when I've been home with the boys during the week.  Even during those newborn days once I was on my own.  Sundays maybe, but that's about it.  It just makes me feel guilty and it probably shouldn't.  Anyways, Max cries out in the first hour, but I let it go and he goes back to sleep.  I go in and reset both their blankets and they seem down for the count.  Thank goodness.  I end up doing some work for about an hour and eat some leftover italian chickpea soup we made for lunch.

At about 1:40 Jake is up and crying and it's escalating.  I go in and he just seems uncomfortable and I noticed his nose was running at the library along with him being so irritable, so I decide to give him some tylenol in case something is coming on.  I also think he is getting the same teeth as Max.  He goes back to sleep, but only because I sit in the recliner in the room where he can see me.  I eventually leave, fix myself a chai tea and start this blog.

2:40 p.m. - Max is up.  I grab him and Jake is still sleeping.  So that's about a 2 hr 20 min nap for him which makes me happy.  I set him up on the floor with milk and some pear and his YouTube nursery rhymes.  It seems they always wake up grumpy, so my go-to is the nursery rhymes and snack while they finish waking up.  Max is fixated for the time being.  Here is Max's crazy hair.  We call it his "Igor Mad Scientist" hair.  A haircut is coming soon.....poor boy has been getting referred to as a girl a lot in public lately.  


3:00 p.m. - Jake is up, he slept like 2 hrs 40 mins.  I say to Max, "let's go in and get brother".  Max follows me into their room and when he gets in there he points at Jake and says "Jaa".  I take that to mean he was saying Jake (and he's actually said it again since then).  Jake seems relieved to see him too.  Like I said the other one gets pretty perturbed if they wake and brother is missing.  I set Jake up with the same snack and they watch the nursery rhymes on the iPad together.  For the next two hours we switch back and forth between playing, reading, running around, jumping, hide & seek (or Mom just runs and hides and jumps out at them) and watching nursery rhymes.  The boys get in a fight over two of the thirty little people we have and Jake has a tantrum and tosses everything.  I tell him he better be picking it all up.  I start reading to Max and I notice that he actually is picking it all up.  Good boy, Jake.  He definitely recognizes when he is in trouble.


5:15 p.m - I start the oven for dinner.  Just frozen veggie burgers (but locally handmade) that I bought at the winter farmers market and french fries.  Real gourmet, I know.  Who are these people??  Fridays used to consist of dinner and drinks downtown somewhere!  Haha.  The boys and I start to eat around 5:45 and Chris comes home as we are finishing up.  I'm embarrassed to say the boys' meal was even worse - lil' smokies, string cheese and french fries (our homemade meal planning usually gets us thru Thursday, hence why I wanted to get to the store today).  Then a few jelly bellies for dessert bought from our tour of the factory a few weekends ago.  Jake can smell when we open the bag of candy, I swear.  He's right there immediately saying "more, more".  Dude is a snack junkie.


Dinner is over and cleaned up around 6:15 and then it's playtime until bedtime.  Tonight it is a mixture of books, climbing furniture, opening & shutting doors, bike riding/standing, playing with their kitchen & food and overall just running back and forth between their bedroom and the living room.  Max's big thing is to say "bye" 50 times over and over and shut the doors.  Chris and I usually take turns at this point of the night entertaining them while the other relaxes (usually on their phone).  


They  love books and I love that they love reading.  Dog books or really any animal books are their faves along with any pretending or silliness when reading.  

The boys have gotten so good at pointing things out in their word books.  Especially Max.  


Max repeated back the word "blue" and then must have shocked himself because he laughed and laughed and then kept repeating it.  Jake then would throw his head back and laugh and laugh with him.  (He is sometimes Max's little copycat, for now I think Max may be the leader.)  He was so impressed with himself that every other color we pointed to was "blue" which would make him keep laughing.  Even the next day he brought the book out and said "blue" to me looking for a reaction.  


Best family picture I could get:

We were having such a good time reading and laughing towards the end of the night that it was 8:00 by the time the boys went to bed.  I put some "Breathe" oil in their diffuser as they both just seemed a little stuffier.  They went down without a peep.  So, I sat down to work on this blog and Chris relaxed with some Netflix.  

10:00 p.m. - I do my nightly turndown service by making sure everyone is tucked in and comfy.  Then I shower and the time when I get in bed is 10:22.  I check my usuals on my phone for a bit (FB, Instagram, Cozi calendar) and then fall asleep somewhere around 10:45 I think.

Max's Injury & Mischief Meter for the day:
  • Decides to stand on his bike & reach up on the counter to grab something (another favorite pastime).  He falls and cries.
  • Shortly thereafter he's playing with all the safety knobs on the stove.  Gets yelled at.   
  • Getting down from our bed on his belly he gets stuck halfway and is hanging there, crying cuz he can't tell how close he is to the ground and doesn't want to drop.  He does this twice today.
  • Falls over getting into the toy basket and then tips over once sitting in toy basket.
  • Multiple falls at the library over toys on the ground and not watching where he is walking.
  • Multiple falls at library when running away and missing the step into the next section. Again not watching what he is doing.
  • Falling off a chair at the library.
  • Climbing up on top of the craft table at the library.
  • Reaching his hand in kitchen drawers (top pull out drawers) and pulling out different items.  One time it was a metal spatula that he banged on the walls and laughed when I told him repeatedly to stop.  Another time it was a roll of masking tape that he ran away with and then ripped a whole bunch off, crinkling and wasting it.  
  • Number of names Max may have been called today:  hmm, maybe 10?  I know "jag bag" was one of them.  Whoopsie.  I can't help it, he just gets into so much mischief and doesn't listen.  Part of it might be because I yell and call him these names while also laughing because even though what he is doing is making me mad, sometimes the kid is just so damn funny too.  Even Anna was laughing but also a bit appalled at the name calling I think.  Lol.
And like I say every night once the boys are down, "well that's Friday".  

Thanks for reading!!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Foreseasons Twins: One Year, the Second Quarter

Time to write out the quarterly post on the Foreseasons Twins.  a/k/a #foreseasonsboys

Time has really flown!  18 Months old and they are like miniature people now, aren't they?!

16 Months

17 Months

18 Months

The Jakester - our Doggie lover

Jake is still pretty much our gentle one.  In that he doesn't instigate much trouble.  He'll usually follow along the sidelines and watch Max first and then maybe get involved.  He is great at playing  independently and can keep himself busy for awhile.  If he is up while Max is napping, he is in all his glory and will just play and play all by himself without having to have brother steal anything away.  It's quite peaceful when it's just Jake!  He's also pretty sensitive so you don't have to yell at him much to get him to stop doing anything and if you yell at him, he usually starts to whimper or cry. We will have to remind him sometimes that we aren't mad at him, but rather just don't want him to get hurt.  

But Jake is not puppies and sunshine everyday as he is also entering his tantrum stage.  If he doesn't get something he wants or gets something taken away he will stomp his legs or get on the floor and thrash his legs.  He is also not the best at sharing.  Partly this is because Max's curiosity gets the best of him and whatever Jake is playing with interests him so he either takes it or joins in and that really gets Jake riled up.  If we are reading a book, Jake will slowly start to push Max off my lap or out of the way so that he isn't reading with us or if he's playing with toys he will hoard everything so that Max cannot join in or take it.  We call him the "hoarder" as he will hoard all his snacks or toys to make them last or to keep them away from Max.

Jake pretty much says and signs the same words as Max below, only he didn't start really talking until just this past month. The word he says the most is "more".  As in more snacks and more treats.  The guys seriously loves his snacks and has become quite a picky eater unless it is snack related.  Remember how I had images of us cooking all this food for the boys?  Well their favorites are currently deli turkey, string cheese, little smokies, frozen sweet potato fries and Kraft Mac & Cheese.  Homemade stuff just sits on their tray unless it comes with ketchup it seems.  

The boys still sleep in synch and go to bed around 7:30 every night. They are still up early to make the donuts by 6:00 every morning. Sometimes earlier. Sleep hasn't been that great for us these past months, we've had a bit of a regression. With bad colds, double ear infections and then molars and who knows what else - we've had lots of wake ups in the middle of the night and early morning wake ups.  One still doesn't wake the other, but they definitely take turns waking.

At Jake's 18 month appointment he was 32.25 inches and a little over 22 lbs.  40% for height and 20% for weight.  Killer blue eyes and a big smile to boot.

Disclaimer notice also:  We do not have a dog.  This is the Nanny's new puppy.  The boys LOVE doggies.  But no, we do not have a dog.  Yet.  Lol.


 Maximilian
The Max is still mischievous. Spaghetti arms everywhere. He can reach and climb up onto anything. Favorites are opening and shutting doors and then repeating "hi" or "bye" over 50 times. He will take a bag or my purse and put it on his arm and wave "bye" like he is going to work.  Still obsessed with the bathroom - like sticking his hand in the toilet and wiping the water on the ground and then running away because he knows I'm going to yell.  Besides hi and bye, Max also says more, car, ball, mine, dada, book, thank you, bike and then he will sign more, please and help.  Jake can do the same.  The credit for the signing goes to our Nanny, Sarah.

I think Max is more of our affectionate guy.  He will give big hugs, kisses and is always bringing brother his cup or his wubbie.  He'll also hug brother or grab his hand if we ask him too.  Today I snapped their picture and he literally gave Jake a hug and said "cheese".  Ha!!  He's not as sensitive as Jake, but his feelings definitely can get hurt when Jake will push him out of the way.  I said above he takes stuff from Jake, but I do not think it is to be spiteful.  He just thinks that is what twins do, perhaps?  What's yours is mine and what's mine is yours.  Haha.  Max is our naughtier one and still gets yelled at more than Jake and it phases him maybe 50% of the time.  However he will do stuff now and watch to see what kind of a rise it's going to get from us.  Making monkey noises was one of the first animals Max would imitate and today I had to tell him that he was not a monkey as I caught him hanging on the shower door and the dishwasher handles.  He has been known to also hang on the stove handle.  He is the main reason for a lot of our baby proofing.....

At Max's 18 month appointment he was 31.5 inches and a little over 23 lbs.  In the 15th percentile for height and 30% for height.  With almond shaped dark eyes and a greedy little chipmunk laugh to boot.

Max had his first surgery in that he had a three week double ear infection that wouldn't go away and we were finally able to get tubes put in. Boy, was that emotional for us as parents to see him sedated and wheeled away for surgery.  My tears sure felt silly while I looked around the waiting room at sick children and parents who had much more to worry about.  Thank God for healthy children thus far in life! Max came out of everything like a champ and so far no problem with his ears. He even got a hearing test and no problems there. So I suppose that means he really can hear us when we scold him, he just chooses not to listen?!

Sharing photos of the two of them goofing together is always a must.  They still love to stand in, on top of, or sit in everything (even if they both don't fit).  

They love running (they don't walk but rather run everywhere), reading, dancing and listening to music.  Right now "No Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" and ABC's are their favorite jams.  But really they jump up and start to dance for any music.  Max will bop and Jake will turn in circles.  They both learned to turn on the radio on my alarm clock so now they always go in and press the button and then start dancing to whatever is on 103.7.  They will hand us the "No More Monkeys" book to read while they dance up to 10-15 times a day.  The toddler station Pandora radio gets played a lot.

The picture below for story time is heart melting.  This is on one of their adventures with Sarah.  They never sit this good for me in public.....  They love raking and shoveling outside too.  This will hopefully pay off dividends in the future.  Another favorite....snack time.  They love their snacks; goldfish, pretzels, grahams, cheerios, raisins, apples, oranges and grapes.   They will take their bowls and cups and sit right at their snack table (for a little while anyways).  

We took some family photos back in October (Sarah Carter Studio). Max made sure the camera got all his best angles. Jake was a bit more hesitant. In fact, we were happy to get just one of him smiling as it was looking pretty slim there for a bit.

We've seen a change of seasons from sweating on our wagon rides and swimming at Hoyt Pool, to pumpkin patches and leaves, to hats & mittens and our first time in snow.

Big Jake got his first haircut. He had some tears but overall did pretty good since he got a sucker. He looked so different afterwards!!! I still can't bring myself to cut Max's sweet curls.

We celebrated our 8 year anniversary with an overnight in Chicago. Auntie Tara, Uncle Erik and Cousin Vance watched the boys. We loved getting out and it was my first overnight since they were born. The boys (well Max really) didn't sleep well so Auntie Tara didn't get much sleep which is a change for her since cousin Vance is like the best sleeper ever.  We were grateful.

Other family pics are from Harvest Fest at State Fair Park (a must to attend every year and it's free!), Betty Brinn Museum and Cousin Vance's first birthday.

We started swim lessons.  The boys were already pretty used to the water from the summer, so they never cried or hesitated to get in the pool.  But they sure would shiver from the cold water, so they would mainly stay curled up in a ball on our chests or in the water when they were supposed to be kicking.  Swim lessons were at a local high school and started at 8:00 in the morning, so it was a big commitment for 10 Saturdays.  We made 8 lessons so faired pretty well.  Grandpa helped with lessons one day while Daddy was traveling for work, so Grandma was able to take pictures.  Otherwise Chris and I always had to be in the water and never would have gotten any.  Overall I'd say the boys didn't learn too much as still wouldn't blow bubbles or kick in the water.  Lol.  They mainly just liked the songs we sang and the ducks that they would give out.  Max is below hoarding the ducks.

We had an awesome family day at Apple Holler on a day where Chris took off work. So enjoyable and memorable. We rode the tractor out to the orchards and the boys enjoyed eating the apples while we picked them. Especially Max. He carried his apple around for over an hour. He does the same thing at home now. He will eat the thing down to the seeds.
Apple Holler has a lots of things for kids, including animals.  The boys are big animal lovers.

We went to Betty Brinn Museum for Grandma's Bday back when it was still hot out. In fact this day was extremely hot! Loved this museum too. Especially the bus and the Sendiks grocery sections. Definitely want to get back there.

We try to do lots of adventures with the cousins. Below we are at Big Backyard for a play date, Godsell Farm with the Aunties, Harvest Fest with the cousins and Grandma and Grandpa too and a playdate at the triplets house.

We visited Mommy and Daddy's work and lobbied for raises on their behalf.  Here we are in our meeting with Frank, Mr. Business himself.  He has just retired and is the man responsible for much of Mommy and Daddy's success.   



The boys have attended the zoo on many occasions.  Sarah takes them on SO MANY adventures.  They are very lucky.  We are very lucky.  They will go to story time at Barnes and Noble, different libraries, different playgrounds (indoor and outdoor) and the zoo.  One week they were at the zoo three times between both her and I (Racine and Milwaukee Zoo).  Racine Zoo is my absolute favorite.  Another local gem I found was a family farm called Jo-Don farms.  Getting out of the house and burning off energy is needed for these two, for all of us really, otherwise boredom and wandering whining sets in.  The boys stay busy and are constantly learning during the week which is wonderful.

We celebrated Halloween at Tara's house and went to her neighborhood trick or treat.  The boys actually only scored 5 pieces of candy since they were in the stroller the whole time.  With Max's curls and Jake's new haircut, it was Chris' idea to have them be a cop and a hippie.  I found Jake's costume on Amazon and had Max's costume made through Etsy.  Vance was a wizard and Liam was Mario.  We were missing the Princess Lily since she was sick.  The picture below just cracks me up!



The biggest news that doesn't really involve the boys directly, but yet it will in the future, is that my parents are officially residents of Milwaukee county.  After a long road of searching, they finally sold their home and recently moved into their new home.  It is a big change for people in their 60's and we are all so proud of them.  Here we all are in front of what we called "home" for 30 years.  Bittersweet indeed, but it will be so wonderful to have them in our city finally!


I'm sure I'll be back with an update after the holidays.  We've got lots of things on the docket to make it memorable and we will be hosting both Xmas Eve with my family and Xmas Day with Chris' family.  Happy Holidays Dear Readers!!