Monday, September 28, 2009

Me at 19 weeks Pregnant with baby #4

Recently, there was a request for a pregnancy update and picture of my preggo belly. I will be going in for my 20 week ultrasound on Oct. 7th where they will tell us the gender of baby (if he/she is cooperative that is) and also will do all the other measurements and normal 20 week stuff. I am looking forward to being able to answer the question "Is it a boy or a girl?" from the many interested folk. Up to now, I have been imagining the baby to be a boy so that if it is a girl I will be surprised and if a boy I won't be disappointed. Everyone of course has been asking us, "Are you hoping for girl?" and we have honestly been trying to be as neutral as possible rather than getting our hopes up. Soooo, all that to say, I am REALLY hoping baby will be cooperative and we can know one way or the other.

As for the pregnancy, I have been doing well. I went through the typical 1st trimester bouts of morning sickness and survived and now seem to be on to the 2nd trimester stuff. Of all my pregnancies though, David has classified this one as the most "emotional" thus far. That is to say that I randomly burst into tears for no apparent reason more often and as I am crying I don't know why I am so upset. Good old hormones! This pregnancy has been SO much easier than with the twins and for that I am very thankful. This time the 2nd trimester is more fun, whereas with the twins I was really struggling even at this stage of the game with lots of pain and other ailments. All of my appointments thus far have been good and all signs have been positive for the little baby inside. We do have an ultrasound picture from 13 weeks (to be sure there weren't 2 in there again), but I haven't managed to get that picture scanned yet...perhaps I will do that soon. In fact, the appointments have been rather anticlimatic as I go in, get weighed, belly measured, baby's heartbeat found and then I am off. I think to myself, "That's it???" With the twins, we always did an ultrasound at every visit and went through quite a bit more examining and such, so it is funny to go back to this normality now!

Look for a post after Oct. 7th and I will hopefully be able to make an announcement and will post the 1st and 2nd ultrasound pictures then together!

Friday, September 25, 2009

CUTE = Carpenter boys...Ladies Look Out!!

This is our sweet Josiah boy with his Lego fair entry again. We went back to the fair with my mom one day so she could see his reaction to his creation too. She wanted to take a picture with her camera, but she discovered her battery was dead when she tried to get the shot. She changed her battery, but the moment was gone and he wouldn't pose again, so I thankfully I had my camera ready and took another image for her.

Josiah really enjoys this ride. He went on it last year too and I think it may have been on the same color airplane too, but I would have to check back on last year's post to be sure. He looks so handsome and confident as a pilot, don't you think? We went again to the fair today with just our family as David hadn't been yet. I mistakenly (my fault as David thought it wasn't the best idea) took Josiah in to the "Al's Brain" exhibit. This was an interactive 3D movie deal that talked about the human brain as narrated by Al Yankovich. I was told that it "wasn't scary," by someone who doesn't have children and I should made that connection before taking him in (lesson learned). The intro movie was like one of those old black and white 50's science reels that had a very matter of fact narrator and said things like, "Don't eat ice cream because it gives you brain freeze, and the only way to fix it is to set your head on fire," and it showed a picture of a woman screaming with her hair on fire (totally fake looking, but scary apparently to Josiah). There was more to it than that which I found somewhat inapparopriate for kids as well and afterwards Josiah was begging to leave. David took him out and I went on to the actual 3D movie part with the babies. That was much worse as far as the gross factor was concerned and surely would have given our poor pumpkinhead some horrid nightmares for days to come. As it was, he has now resolved never to eat ice cream for fear of brain freeze. We have explained to him over and over about what is "real" and what is "not real," but I think that developmentally it is really hard for him to discern the difference. He has had other problems with this too, not just with this brain exhibit. He is a very sensitive soul we have found and so have to screen various things more carefully for him in the future!

Our sweet little Caleb boy puts his fingers in his mouth like this from time to time, usually when he is telling us he is hungry. He loves to mimic anyone he sees with large motor skills we have found. Daddy was dancing with his hands waving above his head and Caleb followed suit. He has been trying to say more words too. He hasn't clearly said his name yet, but he said "K, K" for Caleb and then pointed to himself and said, "Baby." He has said "Echo" also and very regulary says, "Daddy" whenever Daddy comes in the room.

When you click on this and get a larger image, you can see Caleb's gorgeous hazel/brown eyes. He is our first non-blue-eyed child...very unique! I call him my cuddly bug too because he loves to sit with me in the mornings with the blanket on our laps. The other day he got onto Josiah's bed and laid down with his head on the pillow and all Josiah's teddy bears around him and stayed there awake for about a half an hour while I was teaching lessons. It was too cute!

Daniel is showing his sheer joy as he plays on the swing here, and if you enlarge this photo you can see his gorgeous blue eyes. He is able to say his name now as well as "Echo" our dog's name and he has been using sign language and can say the words "please" and "thank you" now. He says "BO" for book and brings books to me to read quite frequently.

Here again is our sweet little Daniel boy. His answer to almost every question we ask him is, "NO," with a rapid shake of his head, but every once in a while I get a nod for yes or some other answer when I ask things of him. He seems to be our wordsmith at the moment, but as we have found the development of the twins seems to flip flop off and on, so I expect Caleb to say some more words here soon also. A while back we took the twins to the developmental specialists at Mary Bridge (a free program for babies who were in the NICU for a time) and they had recommended a full speech evaluation for the boys because at the time of the visit (20 months, adjusted age 18 months) they determined that they were understanding language, but not showing much expressive language. We debated whether or not to go through with the hour eval for both boys, and they would have also needed hearing tests again (to establish a baseline that they do not have hearing problems), but due to the fact that typically boys speak later anyway and twins more so, we decided we would wait a little longer and not go through all that testing this early on. If after a year they are still having some expressive language delay, then I think we will proceed with the evaluation for them.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Visit with Great Aunt Gen

Today we had the pleasure of taking the family to see my Great Aunt Gen in Seattle. We have been trying to get together for some time, but due to illness and various other circumstances have been unable do it. Thankfully, we were all well (except David who stayed home) and were able to accept Aunt Gen's invitation to come and have a meal with her. Patty was also there to help her serve (the wife of my mom's cousin) the lunch. It has been a while since I have had such a treat to sit down to a table set with china and fine things! I even had my own little tea set as you see pictured here, which was fun. I would also like to note that Caleb is in his portable high chair AWAY from the pretty table. He is our messy eater and I figured he would be the one who would need that tray to be his messy self. Daniel sat in a high chair that my parents brought and we just put a placemat down on the table to protect the table cloth. I should have done the same for Josiah though because as you see on the right he got some of the lasagna sauce on the tablecloth. Hopefully it will come out!!

After lunch, we went into Aunt Gen's backyard and let the kiddos explore a little. She has these couch/swings that they enjoyed playing on and found many other things to look at. Josiah even found a snail on the stairs at some point and we saw a squirrel picking up acorns and taking them up into the large tree in her yard. I was able to get a nice picture of my parents with the boys as you see here too. Can we say, "Christmas card?" That would be a nice one I think!
I once again TRIED to get a nice shot of just ME and the boys, but my plan always seems to fail. Here, the picture isn't too bad, but the sun is shining just on my mouth and almost all of Josiah's face. close, yet so far away! I tried moving us elsewhere, but those pictures are funnier yet with the twins wriggling out of my arms, not enough light, hands in people's faces, etc. I guess this is what I get for trying to pose 3 boys and myself?

Josiah is talking to Aunt Gen here, though I can't remember what he was saying. I was very pleased though that he ate the meal that was given to him at the table without complaining or asking for something else and that afterward when I told him to say, "Thank you," to Aunt Gen that he did so. He was very polite and sweet! Yeah! When I asked him what his favorite part about the visit was later he said, "The ice cream and cookies!"

Caleb put on a little show for Aunt Gen playing with this homemade clown that she had there. He was making the clown dance and he even danced himself at one point too. He was running from one chair to the next and when he got in the swing he made a little "swinging noise" at it went back and forth. He is quite the little entertainer!

Daniel had a grand time exploring many of the rooms upstairs and he espeically liked the room with the TV. Here there is a picture of Aunt Gen and some other people, and he sat there talking to the picture for a while and pointing at the people in it. He also spun the globe that was sitting behind the picture and at one point grabbed her TV remote and walked over to the TV pushing the buttons and I suppose was hoping to turn the TV on, but was unsuccessful.
Overall, it was a pleasant time and though I spent most of it chasing after little ones and their curious hands, I did also get to chat with Aunt Gen here and there and enjoyed a wonderful meal also. Thank you Aunt Gen and Patty for hosting us and we hope to do it again sometime!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Opening Day at the Puyallup Fair

I found out that if you came to the fair before noon on the first day we could get in free, so I thought that would be a perfect opportunity to go and save at least SOME of our money. Of course, there is still parking and food costs, but not having to pay the entrance fee is nice. When we went to go see Josiah's Lego creation entry, we discovered that he got a ribbon for it! He got a craftsmanship ribbon! I tried to look up exactly what that meant and couldn't find a specific description, but my assumption is that it just meant that his idea was rather original for his class. He was in the 5 and under group and this was his very first entry! He was so proud!

Here is a close-up of the fish plane. He told me that it flies in the air and swims in the water too. The tail moves back and forth like a fish and the orange parts are the wings.

The twins were in the stroller almost the entire time, but when we visited with Grandpa they got out for a little bit and were free to move. When we put them back in the stroller to do some more walking around, Caleb decided to strike this pose for a while. I determined that this was his way of doing a dramatic flop in the stroller and he was crying for a little bit, but when we started to laugh at him, he just laid there for fun I guess. He looks like he is having a little talk with God here I think. Daniel has a funny look on his face too, and is of course eating as you can see. Caleb was in the back earlier and left some scraps, so Daniel is doing a little house cleaning back there.

While waiting for Grandpa to find us, we went over by the dancing puppets. The lady selling them let Caleb pet one and he promptly hugged the puppet. It was so cute! He really likes to show love to people we have found and apparently he really loved this little puppet! He also got a real kick out of all the dogs in the dog barn. He kept squealing and yelling, "Dog, dog" or "Doggy" when he saw them.

We finally found Grandpa and he needed to rest a bit (his foot hurts real bad when he walks too much) and so we sat down on the benches before one of the shows was to start. I knew the kids wouldn't sit for the show, but we sat with Grandpa a bit and visited with him. The twins got to get out of the stroller and explore this little area a bit and they enjoyed talking to the people around them and interacting with Grandpa as well. Daniel spent a while playing with the stroller, pushing it, buckling the buckles, etc. Once again he loves to figure out how things work.

I TRIED to get a picture with at least two of my boys as you see here, but the subjects aren't super cooperative. Caleb was trying to get away from me and Josiah wasn't interested in giving a sweet smile. Sigh...oh well!

As you can see here though, when posing with Sharel (who was there to help me with the boys) he was glad to give a nice cheesy grin. We came to the fair around 9am and left at 1pm and when we left, Josiah tried to go back in and started to cry that we were leaving. He wanted to know why we didn't take his fish plane with us and in general just wanted to stay there. It was clear he was really tired and he did fall asleep in the car on the way home and then we transferred him to his bed for a nice nap. All three of the boys in fact are napping now, hence I am able to do a blog post in the middle of the day! Overall, it was a lot of fun! We have some video of Josiah looking at his Lego creation too and if I can get David to work with the video for me at some point, I will try to get it posted on the blog. We will definitely go back another time I am sure before the fair ends. I am glad we went early today though as there weren't that many people there and it was easy to get around. The crowds started to pick up as we left and it was getting really hot by that point, so I was glad to be heading home!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Apples, Pirate Ships, & Cars

This is a rare moment I was able to capture on film. All three boys sitting somewhere doing the same thing. I would like to point out though as you can see here that right after this picture, Daniel was off doing something else! The twins love to gnaw on apples and when they are especially finicky, I will just give them an apple and it calms them down.

Josiah likes to overturn the small picnic table on the porch and calls it his "pirate ship." Today, he was finding treasure to put in the ship and was making up stories about it sinking and such. He enjoyed having the brothers join him in the pirate ship and told me that he was the captain!

This is a precious picture of a very typical Caleb expression. If you enlarge the shot, you will see his innocent little look in full form. Caleb loves to copy his brothers and parents in most any action. When Josiah dances, he dances. And I might add that Caleb's dancing is something to see...he gives quite a show when he wants to! We just turn on the music and he moves and grooves! I say to him in the morning, "Good morning," and he tries to say it, but says, "Nor-ning" instead. His stand by words now are: hi, hello, norning, uh-oh, no-no, yea (for yes), bunbob (spongebob), bye-bye, ram-ma (Grandma), and many animals sounds. His funniest animal sound is when he does a cat. Rather than a "meow" sort of sound he does this "Wowr" sort of sound instead. It sounds more like a sick cat and makes me laugh every time. Caleb is also our king of DRAMA! He is very quiet most of the time, but when he finds something he wants to play with and it gets taken away he does his characteristic flop on the floor with his ear-splitting scream to let everyone know how bad it really is!! Sometimes he flops onto something hard (though I try to make sure things are out of his way when he gets mad) and that makes him even madder of course and now he screams that he REALLY IS justified to be mad. One day when David was leaving the room, Josiah told him, "Say goodbye to the drama Daddy," meaning of course saying goodbye to Caleb. That gave us all a good laugh!

Daniel was fascinated by the camera I was holding and I am sure wanted to get his hands on it! His latest thing is he likes to say the word, "No." I will ask any sort of question and he will shake his head very emphatically and say, "NO" with a very long "O." Sometimes he will nod his head yes in response to things, but he really loves to say "No." Some other of his stand by words now also are: clock, noodle, Daddy, all done or all clean, uh-oh, hi, hello, bye-bye, and he does a lot of animal sounds too. His classic animal sound is a pig and he doesn't snort, but rather does this gutteral throat thing that sounds like a pig. Daniel is still our "geek in training" and figures out most any piece of technology or baby gadget that comes his way. He is also proficient in eating with a spoon now and hardly gets himself that messy even with things like yogurt and oatmeal! I am pleased with that for sure!!

This is a shot of when Daniel came and posed for me after he saw the camera. He is a real camera ham as you can see!

Josiah has become quite a chatter box lately. Here he and Daddy are posing with their car hats. David will periocially put something that doesn't belong on his head and inform Josiah that it is his new hat. Josiah promptly tells him with a laugh, "That's silly...that's not a hat Daddy!" This is great fun for Josiah! One day he came up to me and said, "What has a head, but no body?" His answer? "A quarter!!" I found out later that the actual joke (told by Sharel our babysitter) was "What has a head and a tail, but no body?" with the answer, "A coin." As per usual though, Josiah likes to put his own spin on things. Lately, we have been sharing with him more about Jesus and spiritual things and though things are sinking in, he isn't quite grasping it all yet, which is totally fine. I was telling him about heaven and hell one day and at one point he asked me, "Are their robbers in Tell? (hell)" (And yes, he calls it "tell" for whatever reason and I keep trying to correct him). A couple of funny notions he has about "tell" are that there are huge, ENORMOUS balls that fall down and crush you, there are swords that cut off your feet (but I was informed that only grown ups can use sharp knives), there are also trees with mouth-es (mouths) that try to eat you. I ask him, "Do you want to go there?" He says, "'s a BAD, BAD place." (Glad we got that part settled!) Then I asked him, "How do we get to heaven?" He has replied with a ouple of fun answers: 1) "go up" 2) "in a taxi". He does know the real answer and can tell me, but he isn't yet ready and/or doesn't grasp the idea of accepting Jesus as his Savior yet. I have prayed that he won't accept UNTIL he understands! I think that is important that he really gets it! We are just planting seeds now, praying and asking God to give us wisdom to guide him. I have told him MANY times (with tears) how I really want him to be in heaven with me some day! He is a very compassionate little boy and usually gives me a hug in these times. For those of you out there who would pray for his salvation, David & I would be very grateful! We think he would be a mighty man of God with his leadership skills and personality, and pray that he will be a light to others someday!!

Visiting Grandma's Classroom

Before school officially started this year, I went to visit my mom at her classroom with the boys. She likes to have them come from time to time and we parade them around to the various teachers who might be in the building as well as the office staff. Grandma is very proud of her grandsons and I get a lot of, "It is so great to see them....we feel like we know them already," from many of the folks there. It is clear that Grandma tells a lot of Carpenter boy stories in her lunchroom I think!
Grandma let the boys experiment with many of the instruments in the classroom. Caleb was like a kid in a candy story moving back and forth from one instrument to the other, not wanting to miss out on any possible sound he could make. Daniel would get fixated on one or another instrument for a little longer, perhaps figuring out how it worked! He tried to take the bars off this bass xylophone many times and unfortunately bent one of the nails that hold it in place (you are supposed to lift them straight up when taking them off, but babies don't know this). Despite my efforts to make sure nothing got broken, we had two mishaps, the second of which is described below.

As you can see, Daniel and Caleb both were enjoying making music on this bass xylophone!

These wind chimes were a little worse for wear after we left. Josiah tried his own hand at making noise when he dropped it from a rather high height and two of the chimes fell off. There are little plastic things holding them in place. Thankfully, both of the "mishaps" were easily fixable and Grandma was already making a trip to Ted Brown that day anyway and got the parts to fix them. This is another example though of Daniel trying to figure out how this instrument worked.
Going to the music room was a bit hit for sure and something we will have to do again some time! :) Thanks for letting us come Grandma!

TPOM Ice Cream Social

Every year, the group I belong to (Tacoma Parents of Multiples or TPOM for short) hosts a "summer fun" kind of event to get the members to come out and see each other with all their kiddos. This year, we had an ice cream social and brought Ben and Jerry's in to serve us some ice cream while our kids played at the Fircrest Totlot. It is a really nice fenced park with a sandbox and the normal playground equipment for the kids. There are lots of shade trees too and some picnic tables for eating as well. I just loved this shot of Josiah eating his ice cream. This picture really shows off his gorgeous blue eyes!

This swing is technically meant for one, but I thought it would be cute to squeeze the twins in it together since they both wanted to swing at once anyway. They barely fit, but had a fun time swinging as you can see.

Here are the boys having their lunch. You can see that Daniel has his trusty pacifier nearby in case of emergencies as well.

Later on after the ice cream, Daddy and Josiah rested on this bench and Josiah brought over most all the vehicles he could find from the sandbox to play with while sitting with Daddy.

The twins are enjoying a ride in the little car on a spring toy here. It was a bit of a challenge to get them both in the car and looking at me at the same time I might add!

Josiah especially enjoyed playing in the sandbox and his friend Lief was there too (bottom right). They had these fixtures there that were actual diggers for the sandbox too, which was really cool. I think someone from our group brought all the sand toys though, as I doubt they just leave them there for the general public to play with.
Overall, it was fun to visit with the other twin moms and dads and see all their little ones. I have many more pictures of many of the families that came, but here I am just sharing the pictures of our family.