Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Foreseasons Twins - 9 Months

Here I am back again to write another update, this time for 9 months already.  Time sure flies.  We are noticing this month that they are both starting to resemble little boys, not babies anymore.

We tried to take their 9 month photo while eating cheerios for the first time last weekend.  And I actually did have them dressed alike here because I rarely do, but it was short-lived as Max then got water all over his shirt.  

During dinner on their actual 9 month birthday

Jake milestones:  

  • His top two teeth are here.  Sleep has been a bit restless this month and I think that is why.  He will cry out in his sleep and when I go in to check on him he is crying, but still restlessly sleeping.  I think either he is experiencing growing pains, teething pains or bad dreams!
  • Clapping!!
  • Jake was the first one to show interest in self-feeding by throwing a bit of a tantrum at the table when I would try to feed him.  So we've started finger foods.  He'll use his fist to feed himself, but isn't real good at hitting his mouth yet.  He is a super messy eater, especially because he bangs on everything, mashing it.
  • He loves eating blueberries in his little nuby masher.  He will suck on it and make all kinds of noises.  At one point I was feeding Max who stopped to look over at him like "what's with all the noise, dude".
  • He gets himself up to standing using everything he can to climb on.  Now he is even just scaling up the wall to get himself to standing.  He will grab for the freezer handle with his toes almost off the ground and has quite a grip when we try to shoo him off.  
  • Scaling the furniture to walk.  We watched him go all the way down the couch on Feb 15th.
  • He is like the fastest crawler ever and will really come barreling.
  • Big Jake is definitely living up to his nickname.  He's just a really "thick and solid" guy.  With such a strong back and tree-trunk legs.  Such a difference in body mass when you hang on to him versus Max.  Definitely growing into our blonde hair, blue eyed little boy!

Five Things Mommy Loves About Jake:
1.  Always smiling
2.  Great snuggle buddy for sleeping
3.  When he sees me while he's playing and will stop to rush over to be picked up or hugged
4.  The way he'll stare or squint his eyes and you know he's taking it all in and computing something in his head
5.  Waving his arms when excited, especially when being picked up out of his highchair or crib.

Max milestones:

  • That second bottom tooth came in quickly after the first one popped through.  They are both coming in kind of crooked which is kinda cute.
  • Max now likes to hold the bottle himself when being fed.  If he's tired enough he'll lay in your lap to be fed, but definitely wants to be the one to hold the bottle.  Other times he's wandering around the living room occasionally stopping to feed himself.  I cringe because it can be messy as he drips it all over, but I'm all for self-feeding.  He'll really throw his head back to drink it too which is pretty funny.  
  • Max loves to eat.  He still likes for me to feed him for the most part and will grunt if I'm not doing it fast enough.  He's also pretty good at feeding himself finger foods, by picking it up with his fist.  He loves his sippy cup too.
  • Max still has those spaghetti arms and is really good at getting what he wants.  
  • He is scaling furniture and walls too.  Tonight he scaled himself around me and then down the couch in order to get a necklace of mine that he kept pulling at when I was wearing it.  When I took it off he didn't let it out of his sight and was determined to get it.  And he did.
  • Max still loves the swaddle when he needs to really relax.  He LOVES his muslin blankets and will roll around with it on the floor, when he finds one.  Daddy is really good at getting him to relax at night with his blanket and fall asleep.
  • Now that Max is completely crawling, his grunting whine has stopped which is wonderful.  He is a fast crawler and gets pretty excited when he is on the move.
  • Max is obsessed with doors this month.  Loves to shut them and bang on them in whatever room we are in.
  • While their weight differs like 1-2 lbs at most, Max is definitely a peanut compared to his brother.  Such a difference in body mass when holding and cuddling with him.  He is our little baby with a big personality and is always entertaining us.

 Five Things Mommy Loves About Max:
1.  That beautiful smile and those almond shaped eyes
2.  Hearing his hands & feet hit the floor and excited panting as he comes to find where I'm at.
3.  His excited crawl over to me to be picked up for a hug when I get home from work.
4.  His busy-body attitude, Max likes to be entertained.  While this is sometimes trying, Mommy can relate so it is an admired quality!
5.  His woodchuck sounding laugh.  Especially when he's excited because he's being fed or gets to grab something new and exciting.

Puppy-Like Habits of My Boys:
  • Chewing on all furniture.  I just noticed Jake's crib has a ton of teeth marks and is missing paint?
  • Stealth-like hearing (like a hunting dog).  Their heads will swivel at even the slightest noise and then they are off to find it.  If Chris makes a noise while getting ready in the morning, they will stop what they are doing to investigate and then sit outside the door to wait for him.
  • Begging for food and staring while you eat.  If I'm on the ground eating a snack, they will literally be crawling on top of me trying to grab it.  I am going to have to start sneaking treats like my sister, Anna has to do!
  • Diving for food when it is served.  If I put a snack such as cheerios on their tray, they will dive forward for it and scoop it up by the handful to try to get it to their mouth.
  • Humping furniture.  Now that they can stand up, their signature move is rocking themselves back and forth as they hang onto anything.  Ok, so not quite humping but that is what it looks like sometimes....
  • Starting to understand time and/or schedules perhaps.  There are things I do in the morning to get ready (put make-up on at kitchen table and letting them play in our room while I get dressed) that signal I'm leaving for the day.  We think they are starting to catch on because they get a little panicked sometimes wanting to be held.  On the day of the snowstorm Ammy said that Jake was literally sitting by the gate whining as it got to be later and later and I still wasn't home.  Almost as if he knew what time I got home everyday and that I was late.  

They really do travel in pairs and it seems like Jake has gotten a little more aggressive this past month, especially looking at the pictures above.  He seemed to be letting Max get away with a lot up until now!

They are into everything and Chris said it well in that it seems like we are just "plugging holes" because each day something else is being taken down, covered up or knocked over.  I finally gave in and we moved the wine rack into the basement,.......into what is supposed to be an office (which has now basically become a storage room).  As we did it Chris said "don't worry it's only temporary, just a couple of years". Oh man.  

We gave them their fast bath together.  We've just always bathed them one by one up until this point and I never even thought of doing it together.  They LOVE the bath.  I actually think its because they love the bathroom for some reason and at bath time they get to be in it because otherwise we shut them out during the day.  The first thing they do is stand up at the tub and bang on it while the water is filling up.  Then they do pretty good in the tub because they like the few toys they have in there.  Max is a big splasher.  Gotta love baby butts!

We struggled with a lot of sickness this month including a 12 day stretch of a stomach virus being passed back and forth.  Including Max getting sick all over Mommy when Daddy was still on a plane coming home from New York for work.  I'll spare all the details, but just paint this picture:  I've got one kid that just puked on me multiple times and another who is tired and wants to be held and fed.  In a shocked stupor thinking: "I don't know what the hell to do first", I just sat on the kitchen floor with Max and me covered in puke and him looking at me bewildered at what just happened and Jake is pawing at me trying to crawl into my lap screaming bloody murder.  After calling Anna for S.O.S. but not getting her, I finally pulled it together, got Jake started feeding (thank god for bottle propping in the snoogle all this time) so that I could change Max and I.  Then I rocked with both of them for the next hour until Chris was home.  This happened the following week, again while Chris wasn't home.  After sanitizing literally everything in our house, I think we've kicked it.  The picture above with Jake on the floor is one of the nights Max puked where I was afraid to put him down and was waiting for Chris to get home to put Jake to bed, but instead he put himself to bed on the floor.  One thing that is nice about those two is they can usually be sympathetic for the other.  If one is upset, the other one usually lets him have the attention and behaves himself.

They definitely love their Mommy and Daddy, of course.  I'd say Jake is a bit of a Mama's boy and Max can easily get into a relaxed groove with Daddy.  They also do great with Ammy, the nanny.  Today she came while I was finishing feeding them and they both had big smiles when they saw that the noises they were hearing was her coming in.  I always tell them their "friend" is here when she comes in and she definitely is their friend.  Max wanted out of his highchair right away and when I put him in the ground he crawled over to her to be picked up.  It warmed my heart to see that (as long as he never chooses to go to her over me, right?).  

Everybody always gets free laundry basket rides on laundry day.  And I had to throw in at least one tantrum picture, right?  
Happy 9 Months, I say this often but some days I still can't believe they are here and they are ours.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Foreseasons Twins: 8 Months

Here we are, eight months.  Our big boys!!

Taking pictures with their number "8" stickers is getting harder and harder as you can see.  Everything piques their curiosity and it must be grabbed, crumpled, whacked, tasted, ripped, you name it.  

Things they love this month are: 
  • Singing "No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed", especially with a deep voice and shaking your finger when you say the "No More Monkeys" part.  They will giggle and giggle.
  • Singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" with a soft voice and the hand movements on their backs.  It is soothing to them, especially Max who will stop crying instantly and start to relax.  
  • Clapping and cheering as encouragement for when they do something good.  They aren't clapping back yet, but are all smiles when you do it.  Still working on patty-cake which makes them laugh, but they haven't figured out the opening your fists part yet.
  • Climbing up on EVERYTHING to get to standing position.
  • Crawling into the bathroom to hang out and look around.  
  • Banging on everything.  The tv stand, their activity table, their jumper car, their high chair trays, the floor....the bang test to everything is pretty equal to the taste test for everything.
  • Helping Mommy empty the dishwasher.  They will seriously come running when they see that thing is open.  
  • They have a newfound love for the pacifier, particularly their wubb-a-nubbs.  Prior to this they weren't really pacifier babies.  Now Jake will dive for it if he sees it.
  • Still have a taste for eating slippers and shoes.
  • Following Mommy everywhere....., even when she tells them to save their energy because she is coming back.  This usually leads to crawling in circles, confusion and whining.  
  • Mommy's attention.  If one is sitting on Mommy's lap on the floor, the other is climbing up on Mommy to get some cuddling too.
  • Special nighttime treats like sugar-free pudding.  They will smack their lips, grunt and practically chase you to get more bites.  They love any bites of real people food and Jake will swing his arms in excitement. 

Things they haven't loved:

  • The Nose Frida snotsucker.  I feel like they've pretty much been sick the entire month of January.  One would show improvement on their cold and then the other one would catch it and then it was pretty much just passed back and forth.  Enter the Nose Frida to clear all those boogies.  I am not grossed out by it in the slightest as I love how effective it is.  However, they both act like it is a torture device and unfortunately I have to pin their arms down to even use it.  Jake will literally be in a sweat after we are done.  
  • Sleeping through the night.  With stuffy noses, coughs and cutting teeth, we've had a lot of sleepless nights around here lately.  On the one hand I have to admit I love the snuggles and them sleeping on my chest at night, but the repeated interrupted sleep each night is tough to go back to after leaving those newborn days behind.  
  • Diaper changes.  I think its the curiosity thing, but they will not sit still for a diaper change anymore.  Changing Jake is like wrestling a moose sometimes. 

Big Things for Jake:
The signature move of Old Blue Eyes this month was swinging his arms.  He'll be sitting and just start flapping his arms out in front of him back and forth.  Not sure what he is trying to do, but it sure is cute.  He'll swing and flap when he's excited because you are going to pick him up, take him out of his high chair or crib, or feed him something fun like his gerber puffs.  If you are carrying him over your shoulder and he's happy he'll bang his arms on your back.  

Speaking of eating, both boys eat solids twice a day and bottles four times a day.  Jake does pretty good, but doesn't eat as much as Max still and he eats real slow.  However, he is learning to pick up food with his fist and to try to get it in his mouth.

You can tell Jake is always learning because he is constantly watching and observing everything.  The way he will stare intently for a long time at a person would be very inappropriate for an adult to do!  Watching him break into a grin or laugh is still the most heartwarming thing ever.

Jake is crawling on all fours and early this month started getting up on his knees and leaning for things.  By the end of the month he is full on lifting himself up and standing against things.  The morning of Jan 17th I went into his room and he was standing up in his crib.  Thank goodness we had recently lowered them!  I couldn't believe it and shouted to Chris to come and see.  What a moment.  

Jake woke up one night, just very upset, super warm and with a fever of over 101 which freaked these first time parents out and led to a call to the Dr in the middle of the night.  I ended up sleeping with him on the couch the entire night because I was so worried.  Later the fever broke and the cold is what came on, but that next day he was just very tired and wanted to only be cuddled and held.  Max must have known his brother needed extra attention as he was extra behaved this day.  That afternoon, Chris was hanging on to both boys who were sleeping against him and Max woke up and leaned over to grab Jake's hand almost to check on his sick brother and make sure he was ok.  Chris said it was the sweetest thing he'd ever seen.

Big Moments for Max:
Max finally got his first tooth!!  After months of teething that little bugger finally popped through.  The second one followed just days behind.  

Max is still doing the army crawl, so gets around by mainly using his upper body and he's fast.  He's getting up on his knees to try it out, but not quite doing the crawl on all fours.  Who knows, maybe he won't and will go straight to walking.  Max definitely wants to walk and we are wondering if maybe he will be a  different person once he is walking.  Maybe less frustrated.  He still did a lot of grunting and whining still this month, but I'm hoping it was the sickness and the teething.  Max had another ear infection we just found out.

The kid is our Curious George and is always cracking us up.  He is into everything and his spaghetti arms can grab anything when you're not looking.  When he gets his eye on something, watch out.  He is determined and is going for it no matter the predicament it puts him in.  He will definitely be the one that suffers more injuries due to his fast nature and curiosity, he is constantly tipping, falling, hitting his head on things.  See evidence below...caught in the act again.  The boy definitely gets yelled at a lot more than his brother.

Max was standing the very next day after Jake was in his crib.  Now I love to come in their room in the mornings and see his cute little face peeking over the crib.  He's also become very attached to the muslin blankets.  Loves to palm them and suck on them to soothe himself for comfort.  

Max saw himself in the mirror of his toy one day and I was able to catch that on camera.  I wonder if he thought, "damn it is true what they say about me, I am Mr. Beautiful".

Max still fights nap time and bedtime to an extent.  I said last night he goes through "5 stages of sleepiness" just like the 5 stages of grief.  There is: sleepiness, then denial, then trying to wiggle around to get free, then crying, then babbling before finally drifting off to sleep.  When you get to the lingered babbling you know he's finally relaxing.

Jake might be the better sleeper, but Max is definitely the better eater.  He loves to eat and is always grunting and flapping his arms for more.   

He loves to scream and talk and is definitely the more aggressive of the two.  He's always going after whatever Jake is and taking it from him.  Perhaps not the worst thing since he is definitely a squirt compared to Jake.  I'll always set Max on the floor and say "You do you, Max" and just watch what he gets into.  He's in a class all his own, that Mr. Beautiful!  

They are starting to play and laugh with each other more and more.  If one is found at the activity table, the other one is usually right next to him banging away or behind him using the other as a ladder to climb up to standing or balance themselves.  They like to go places in pairs usually, so if one is crawling away to the bathroom, the other is not far behind.  Not sure who I would say is the leader.  Maybe Jake since he is the faster crawler.  But Max is definitely no follower either, so hard to say!
Part of our bedtime ritual is "airing out" where they get to run around in their diapers for about 10 minutes before their bath or their jammies.  Here they are with their beloved wubbies.  I called this one "Saturday Night Wubbies" on Instagram.  Times sure have changed.  

 Jake kept standing up here and Max was ready to spot him.  "I got ya brother".  

The boys love their baths and are just now learning to splash and play with toys in the tub.  We bathe them every other night, followed by their Aveeno lavender vanilla lotion, pjs and a bottle.  Big Bang Theory reruns are also a part of the routine during their bottle.  That show signals it's Mommy and Daddy's time to unwind as well.  The boys are usually sleeping by 7:30, Max sometimes later at 8:00 and we appreciate that extra time in the day to decompress.

Love this picture of Max with Chris and Jake with Grandpa Mike because Jake 100% resembles that side of the family in this picture, complete with his Daddy's arched left eyebrow.

I still try to read to the boys when I can, although their attention span isn't as great with so many toys around.  It works better when they are strapped in their highchairs in the morning after breakfast.

We went to the Winter Farmers Market at the Milwaukee Domes and afterwards spent some time walking through the three domes.  I have never been to the Domes in all the years I've lived here, if I've ever been to them at all.  I assume I have, but I don't really remember.  It seemed like some kids were doing a scavenger hunt type of game which would be a great way to keep them interested by locating the different plants, etc.  The Show Dome was an entire train track which was pretty cool.  I kept thinking of Liam during his train stage where he would have just went nuts over it.  

The Winter Farmers Market was absolutely crazy and we got there just for the last hour.  We shared a few things to eat and bought a few things to take home.

It was great to get out of the house after being trapped due to sickness or the weather.  Jake was well behaved and stayed happy in the stroller.  Max had to be worn during the farmers market as he likes to be completely involved in everything.  They were all smiles for a bit and then both passed out.  
Thanks for such a wonderful 8 months, goobers!  You make us so crazy and so happy!!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Christmas 2014

A quick recap of our Christmas this year.  If you've read my recaps in prior years, Xmas Eve was always at my parents house.  We would have stuffed tenderloin, lobster and in some years dinner by candlelight.  Followed by an overflow of gifts, wine, Baileys and usually tears opening heartfelt gifts.  Each year just got better and better and my parents always outdid themselves making it memorable.
With so many babies this year we decided out with the old and in with the new, so to speak.  So, Xmas Eve was celebrated at our house.  This way all the kids could sleep in their own beds and Liam and Lily would be at their house in the morning for Santa.  

We did gifts in the afternoon and did the tenderloin dinner minus the lobster and candlelight.  It was more like grab a spot and quick eat (I hate not having a formal dining room!).  There was still wine and Baileys and tears with the heartfelt gifts, so a lot changed, but a lot stayed the same.  Chris and I loved hosting and will continue to look forward to it every year.  

Christmas day we headed to Chris' parents house in the morning.  We did some gifts upon arrival, then had brunch:  Door County cherry stuffed french toast & cheesy potatoes.  More gifts.  Then more gifts.  Still more gifts.  Grandma and Grandpa spoil these boys, you see.  Followed by naps for all but Grandma. 

Ryan and Veronica were celebrating with her family in Poland, so it was the six of us.  We were able to Face-time with them which was great.  I like how Chris captured it in pictures below.

Daddy and Max outside for a quick photo shoot. 

Dinner was salad, cheesy garlic bread and lasagna.  With red velvet cake for dessert.  Here are the boys waiting to be served.  The stuffed french toast and cake were also picture-worthy.

Too much fun and wine for Max.

Jake and Max are very loved, but no more so than by these first-time grandparents.  

We are very lucky to have such wonderful family.  Looking forward to seeing how our holidays change and grow through the years.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Foreseasons Twins - 7 Months

Our fellas turned 7 months on Christmas Eve.  Their first Christmas will be a whole post within itself that I hope will closely follow this 7 month update.  Too many pictures to try and fit into this post.  The holidays with these two were extra special, of course.

To begin, we did manage to take their monthly photo among the chaos on Xmas Eve.  They look adorable in their stocking caps and outfits courtesy of my Mom.  We do love our ties and bow-ties around here.  

About Jake:  Lots of milestone for Big Jake (Daddy's nickname) this month.  He has two bottom teeth now and I suspect another one coming as he is exhibiting some more teething symptoms.  He does great at sitting up for longer periods of time, his posture is actually quite impressive with such a nice straight back.  He is starting to take off with crawling.  We thought he would crawl first, but he seemed to be at a standstill while Max decided to take off around the house.  However, Jake is all about the form and I think he was taking his time to perfect his crawl.  He is now starting to get up on his knees and crawl a few paces on all fours, kind of slow and methodical.  While his brother Max is a mover and a shaker, Jake is a thinker.  Before crawling out onto the hard kitchen floor, he will stop at the edge and assess the situation, deciding maybe the hard floor won't feel so good on the knees.  He is also a big fan of the "downward dog" yoga pose as often up on his toes pondering his next move.

Jake is still our home body and likes to be in his comfort zone in his quiet home.  I think he breathes a sigh of relief when he wakes up in his "magic chair" and we are back at home.  Jake loves his car-seat and is out 30 seconds into the car ride.  We call their car-seats magic chairs because whenever they are in them they wake up in a different place.  He is starting to look and cry out for me more and I'm hoping that he is just extra sensitive because of the teething and we are not entering the separation anxiety stage.  

Jake loves to smile, laugh and shriek.  A new favorite is blowing raspberries and spitting all over the place.  He's still a big fan of the drool too.  He's good at independent play and will just quietly entertain himself as long as he isn't too tired.  He does pretty good with eating solids, although still thrusting his tongue a bit with the food which makes for a messy meal.  He seems to like most anything we feed him though which is nice.  We did have a major meltdown over peaches one day, but I think he was just tired.  He goes down pretty good for naps and will also sleep a good amount of time.  We can usually count on him to nap up to two hours in the morning unlike his brother.  He's down without a peep at night between 7 and 7:30 and up around 5:30-6:00 each day (although it's been 4:30ish this week, but I think it's the teeth).  

Other things Jake loves:  Daddy tickling him or rubbing his feet on his stubbly face.  Always makes Jake laugh and laugh.  His feet are definitely his tickle spot as will also laugh when I wash them in the tub.

I had a tender moment with Jake earlier this month that I hope I always remember.  Just before bedtime I was rocking him in the nursery after his bottle and when we relax like this I'll always rest my forehead on their foreheads.  This time Jake leaned in and put his forehead against mine and just stared at me face to face, eyes to eyes.  I gave him a kiss on the lips and he let out this quiet, happy giggle.  It made me tear up and laugh at the same time which only made him laugh more and then we were both in the dark giggling.  Now that's the good stuff!

Love the pic below of Jake with Cheez-It crumbs on his face and him peering over the pack and play after a nap on Thanksgiving.  

About Max:  Mr. Beautiful is truly one of a kind and we tell him that all the time.  He is constantly making us laugh whether its the predicaments his gets himself into with all his curiosity, his babble talking, his busy, flailing arms or that beautiful smile of his. 

Remember how I said Max is a mover and a shaker above, well Max is crawling all over the place.  Into the kitchen, into the recycling bag that sits on the floor, into the basket of magazines, into the wine rack, into anything, anywhere that sparks his attention and he's not supposed to be.  His crawl is all upper body and he is fast.  However, he'll just go without thinking and then when he's in the middle of the hard kitchen floor he'll decide then that its too much and then cry out for help.  He especially loves to look down the stairs at us through the gate.  It is the funniest thing to see his little face looking through.  Max is also perfecting his downward dog pose and keeps getting up on his toes, trying to work on getting on all fours I think.  For now, it's more of an army crawl.  Max also does great at sitting up (his favorite position to watch t.v).  No teeth yet for Mr. Max, but the teething symptoms are definitely there.

Max is a crazy talker.  Lots of "goo-goo-ga-ga" sounds, rolling r's, shrieking, high pitched happy sounds and just overall babbling.  Especially in his high chair in the morning.  He's also a big grunter.  Grunts when he's working hard, when he's complaining or when I'm feeding Jake and he wants me to know it's his turn.    

Max isn't the best at independent play, he wants attention that guy.  He's always crawling over to where you are wanting to be entertained or held.  He is definitely the "whiner" in the house.  Sorry Max, we love you but that is the phase you are in right now.  Hard to get much done sometimes as Max always wants to be entertained.  I asked for a back carrier for Xmas for this reason.  I wore him the other day for 2 hours getting stuff done around the house that I would have never finished otherwise.  He loved every minute and not a peep out of him.  He loves to watch everything.  Our little Curious George.  

Max kills it with the solids and does so good.  Hardly messy and takes the biggest bites, making noises for more.  We always steal some out of Jake's bowl to keep feeding him since he is slower.  We said we don't feel bad about that since Max is the smaller of the two.  haha.  Max fights naps like the dickens and we are beginning to enter the tough love stage.  I'll have to sometimes put him in the sleeper hold to get him to let himself succumb to the sleepiness and he will cry every time even when his eyes are dropping from being so tired.  He woke up over the weekend when I put him in his crib and we let him cry it out, something I haven't been able to do yet with him as always go to his rescue.  But his 20 minute cat naps have got to be extended.  Well, he gave it the good fight for 40 minutes but eventually put himself to sleep.  Chris told me that now I know what it was like the first few years of dating me........some would say I was a bit of a party girl and always wanted to go out and stay up late?

Max loves back and shoulder massages, itsy bitsy spider with the hand movement on his back (it instantly calms him and makes him smile).  Airplane rides and tickle fests with Daddy, really anything wild and goofy with Daddy.  

I also had a memorable Mommy moment with Max this past week when I came home from work and up our stairs.  Max was on the floor and when he heard my voice he turned and when he saw me he just started shouting out and crawling towards me to get to the gate so I could pick him up.  Ammy always tells me how happy they are when Chris and I are around, but this was the first time I've seen that big of a reaction.  Chris always gives the boys a goodbye touch or a kiss in the morning and one day Ammy said that Max just went nuts after he did it.  Flailing around and smiling so happy.  

Here is curious george on the right below, in the recycling.  Something about bags that this guy just goes nuts for.  I also like him on the kitchen floor in his diaper with his Dennis the Menace hair sticking up.
Lots of fun things were done this past month.  They celebrated their first Thanksgiving at Cedarburg Grandparents' house (no idea what they'll end up calling each grandparent so we will go with that for now).  Who out-did themselves as usual with delicious food and the boys were right at home sitting in their high chairs, eating out of their dishes and wearing their first turkey day outfits that Grandma bought for them.  Very loved little guys for sure.  They had sweet potatoes and tried turkey and cranberries.  A memorable day which kicked off our holiday season.

"Let's Do This"

The boys didn't go with us to get our tree this year, we figured they were too young and it would be too difficult, so instead Auntie Anna and Lily babysat and we took Liam with us.  It was fun to pull Liam in the sled and pick out our tree.  He has gone with us for 3 years.  We can't wait for the boys to join us next year.  I decorated it the same day and at night we took some pics to use for the front of our Christmas card.  It took several shots (like 25ish), but they could not have turned out any cuter.  Here are a few of my faves.  I mean get outta town with those smiles, right!?

We took this picture for my Mom to use as her Christmas card.  All five grand-kids.  Looking at this photo from left to right makes my smile get bigger and bigger going from kiddo to kiddo.  So cool and amazing to have each of them in all our lives.  

That day we had a fun play date with coffee and donuts at Great Aunt Debbie's house.  The kids all got to play with their second cousin, Elsie.  Getting a picture was a pretty sweaty moment with all the kids and several adults trying to get their attention.  This picture cracks me up actually.  I think the kids were over the pictures by then.

We decorated cookies with the Aunties and the cousins the weekend before Christmas.  More chaos ensued and we did spend a good amount of time trying to console tired and hungry children, but we did manage to make four different kinds of treats.  Next year's goal is easy recipes.  Look at Vance's smile!!

More about the boys:  Both boys are Nosy Nellies and are always turning and following any noise in the house.  If I am walking around the house doing my chores, they will both follow me in any direction I go which means they will often be scooting and turning around in circles just like little puppies.  Other things they do that remind me of little puppies is that they love to eat shoes, especially our slippers; whether we are wearing them or not.  Sometimes you can look down and one of them will be at your feet, mouth open, gnawing at your shoe.  In the picture below, they were very fussy and ready for a bottle, so while I made it I gave them each one of my slippers to play with.  Instant happiness.  Don't they look like little boys instead of babies?!

As far as schedules go, the boys are eating solids at least twice a day and bottles four times a day.  We dropped a bottle feeding this month.  They eat oatmeal/fruit upon waking, about 6:30 each day.  I still feed them everyday before work.  It makes for a rushed morning, but gives me quality time with them to start my day and if we can squeeze in some stories after, even better (some may ask how I have time for that and the answer....I shower at night to save time!).  Bottles will follow around 8:00ish, 11:00ish and 3:30ish.  Maybe solids in between the afternoon bottles if they seem hungry.  They'll have more solids around 5:30 as it's the easiest way for us to cook dinner.  One feeds and one cooks and then hopefully they are full and content to play in their high chairs while we eat.  Their favorite is roasted sweet potatoes.  Chris roasted parsnips for them one week that I couldn't even eat, but they liked it.  Then they will have a final bottle before bed around 7:00.  

Nap schedules are still a crapshoot.  They'll go down for a morning nap usually two hours after waking and the morning bottle.  Maybe another one around noon and a late afternoon nap.  All scattered and sporadic.  They seem to nap better for Ammy during the day than with me.  Some days their fussy and napping "report card" isn't the best.  After six days off work with them this week, I've realized what a saint Ammy is and how blessed we are to have her.  Let's just say I know I need to be a working Mom in one way or another to keep my sanity and get out of the house.  Or maybe it's just that winter can be such a bust with cabin-fever.  I did get out of the house with Jake this weekend for a walk in our neighborhood.  Gosh, I miss those walks.  My favorite memories of maternity leave are all the walks we took.  

For the most part they do pretty good playing with each other.  We always laugh when we look out in the living room at them and one is on the other's back and the other one doesn't seem to mind.  Sometimes they agitate each other, but for the most part they like to smile, laugh and explore together.  Their favorite t.v. show is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Mommy's is Curious George.  We still love to read and Mommy loves collecting books for them, but she hates it when they crinkle the pages....board books are more their style these days I guess!

We ventured to our first restaurant with them earlier this month. Believe it or not it took us this long to get the courage, (which means a lot of meals at home unlike our formal lifestyle).  We tried this Mexican restaurant close to our house and did the early bird special.  At first we were the only people in the place, making it pretty stress-free.  Jake got an "A" as he stayed in his car-seat just playing.  Max got a "B" as he was instantly whining to get out of his car-seat, but he was real happy eating and playing in his high chair afterwards.

They enjoyed a ride around the living room in the laundry basket one Sunday morning, a cute little moment that makes me smile to think about and the kind of moment I used to dream about when I thought about having children.  

They also love playing in their activity gym, swatting, batting and trying to eat things.  Their favorite toys so far are the old remote we let them play with and the play cell phones they got for Xmas.  Overall they like to explore anything within their reach and the first test is always the "taste-test".  
Each month does truly get better, even with it's challenges.  We love you two little goobers!