Friday, May 31, 2013

Train Ride

We went to the Durham Museum of Life + Science.  That day, they decided to ride in a seat with each other instead of me.  They are growing up so fast.  *sigh*  I can't believe that they are old enough to do this.

My Riding Buddy

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cheap Labor

Now if I can just teach them to change each other's diapers and mow the lawn...

(In my defense, it was actually her idea to wash the car.  I have no idea where she came up with this, because we don't wash our cars.  She must have seen it on a cartoon or something.)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Big Kid Beds

Well, the big kid beds seem to be going very well so far.  Miles and Vivienne have their bedroom with two twin beds in it.  At night, they both sleep in their room together.  Our (formerly?) exercise room has another twin bed that Miles naps in, because it quickly became apparent that they would never actually nap in the same room without being contained by cribs.  I guess having a playmate while you're trying to sleep during the day is just a little too tempting. 

I knew that the kids needed to make this transition when I was on the treadmill one day.  I had put the kids down for their naps and was sneaking in a workout.  I started to feel like someone was watching me.  Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw someone standing behind me, but I decided it was my mind playing tricks on me.  When I turned my head, I saw Miles standing there with his thumb in his mouth and his lovey in his hand.  He had climbed out of his crib and was just standing beside me on the treadmill.  Of course, this completely took me by surprise and I nearly jumped out of my skin.  Clearly Miles was done sleeping in his crib.

When we first switched them to big beds, nighttime went relatively well, but naps were a nightmare (no pun intended).  Miles would get out of his bed again and again and again and run out of the room.  I tried putting him back in bed over and over and over without showing him any signs of frustration or anger (so that I wouldn't encourage him to keep playing this game with me).  After doing this around 20 times, I would usually reach my breaking point and spank him.  I hate spanking, but after I spanked him, he usually stayed in his room. 

One day I went in to check on him after he fell asleep.  He was slumbering there with his thumb hanging out of his mouth, trusty Pooh Bear by his side, and I could still see the mark of my hand on the back of his leg from the swat.  It made my heart sink.  My goal is to not spank my kids (or at least to create a nap routine that doesn't rely on spanking for a successful nap), and I felt like I was failing him.

A couple weeks ago, my parents let us borrow a tall baby gate, and that has been a godsend.  I'm certain that Miles could scale that gate if he wanted to, but it creates enough of a barrier that he just shuts the door and climbs back in bed.  Every now and then, he will open the door a few times before finally going to sleep, but this seems to be the exception and not the rule.  I am so relieved to have a nap time routine that doesn't end in a spanking each day.

Vivienne has pretty much been a dream (pun intended) in her big girl bed.  She is the complete opposite of Miles.  She will not get out of that bed on her own after naps.  When she wakes up, she calls for me and I come sweep her out of her bed.  I have tried explaining to her that she can just hop down, but I actually really enjoy greeting her with a smile and some warm arms to hold her tight after her nap.  I know that these moments are numbered.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Daddy's Eat Pizza

Miles:  "Daddy's go to work."  (He puts the "s" on the "Daddy" instead of saying "goes.")

Me:  "Yes, he did."

Miles:  "Daddy's eat pizza?" 

When we visit Daddy at lunch, they get to eat pizza and ride the elevators.  We're pretty sure that they think Jason just eats pizza and rides the elevators all day.

I'm pretty sure Daddy doesn't eat much pizza, Buddy.  But he sure misses you when he's gone.

Monday, May 27, 2013

"No, Not Either."

For the most part, Miles and Vivienne use English properly.  Sure, they shorten sentences, like "I go now" and "Miles go to sleep" (instead of "I go to sleep.").  But lately, Vivienne has been on this kick with using the word "either".  If you ask her if her diaper is wet, she will reply,"No, not either."  If you ask her if she wants to go to the store, she will say,"No, not either."  She incorrectly uses the word "either" quite a few times a day.  I have no idea why she picked this up, but I'm guessing that our "either" will just disappear one day and we will forget that it ever came to stay for a while.

Fox Beach Trip 2013

We just spent a week at Holden Beach with Jason's parents and his sister's family.  We rented the same house that we rented last year, which is a great fit for us.  It is right on the beach with our own private beach access.  It has sand and water and that's about all we need.

This was Evelyn's 3rd time at the beach.  We took her twice last year (Holden Beach and then Panama City).  This trip was our first opportunity to meet our new nephew, Dylan, who is about a month older than Evelyn.  It was fun to have the little ones all together.

Jason suggested that we make this an unplugged vacation, so we pretty much stayed off our cell phones, computers, televisions and other devices.  At first it was a little hard not to watch TV, but I found myself spending more time with the kids, taking walks on the beach and reading books, and that is definitely time much better spent.  After we got back, Jason and I talked a bit about what we learned and how to balance our lives a little better away from our electronics.

I took about 700 photos at the beach, and I am not in a single one of them.  Believe it or not, these are just my favorite photos from our great trip.

I always love this guy's reaction when he sees the beach for the first time.

This little lady wasn't so sure about the water at first, but she quickly warmed up to the sand (and discovered that it is not good for eating).

Fat, fat, fat baby legs... I could just eat 'em up.

This is our sweet nephew, Dylan, enjoying his bottle on the sand.

The big kids were much more interested in playing in the sand than they were last year.  We dug lots and lots of holes and built mountains and tunnels and buried ourselves.  I think I will probably be washing sand out of clothes and towels for a few more weeks.

Dylan enjoyed quite a few outdoor naps in the great weather.

This has to be one of my favorite photos from the trip.  It looks like he caught that shark.

My beautiful girl in the sunshine.

Grandpa played music for the kids on his iPad, and they loved it.  It made for some really great snuggle time.

We chased some seagulls.

Jason's parents even enjoyed some time in the surf with their "little ones" (who are now in their thirties).

We had great weather - just a few storms here and there, but they quickly cleared out.  One day, we took the kids to the aquarium.  Another day, we played with play-doh.  Grandpa designed some pretty nifty cars.

The very last thing we did on our last day was to feed the seagulls.  Of course, Miles and Vivienne loved this.  Dylan also found it particularly entertaining.

It was a wonderful trip, and we're already looking forward to our next adventure at the beach.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

We Have a Crawler!

It's official.  We have a crawler now.  Evelyn has become the master roller over the past few months.  Once she perfected her pivot, she could pretty much roll to any spot she desired, besides going up stairs. 

On Saturday morning, we saw her first really clear crawl (a couple of crawl "steps" back to back).  By Saturday afternoon, she was crawling 4 or 5 feet to a new toy or the basket of books (real deal, up on the hands and knees crawling). 

I am both excited about this new development and nervous.  Up to this point, I could center her in the room with some toys and I knew that she wasn't going to go too incredibly far.  This allowed me to get ready quickly in the morning or do quick chores in another room without having to watch her like a hawk.  Now I may have lost some of that freedom, but it's worth it for her to have more freedom herself. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Summer is Here!

Yesterday, we took our first trip to the neighborhood pool.  This was Evelyn's first time in a swimming pool, but she really seemed to enjoy floating around in her float.  The water was very, very cold, so we didn't stay long.  Miles and Vivienne were initially somewhat wary of the water and nervous.  But within about 5 minutes, they had warmed up and were swimming all over the pool and jumping in from the sides.  We were glad to see them find comfort in the water so quickly.  Right now, we still have them using puddle jumpers, but we're hoping to have them out of them by the end of the summer.  It is hard for me when I don't have lots of extra hands, because I want to keep a very close eye on the kids if they aren't using flotation devices.

Miles' teeth were chattering almost from the beginning, because the water was so frigid.  But he still went into a deep state of mourning when we had to leave the pool.  We'll swim a lot more this year, Buddy.  Just you wait.