Friday, October 30, 2009

Sick Week and Twins in Toddler Beds

Due to the fact that I had to cancel lessons this whole week because our family was sick, we thought it would be a good time to try and move the twins from cribs to toddler beds, since we had that extra time to work with them. The getting them to nap part has been a REAL challenge, but we have won the battle...albeit a long, hard one each day in that they have slept a little for their naps. I have had to be REALLY creative at babyproofing their room as well and many of my plans have backfired. I run a fan in their room at night as well as a radiant heater and also have a monitor plugged in, and so I had to find a way to have these all running and not provide a hazard for them. My solution was to put the fan in the non-converted crib and plug the heater (this sits in the corner behind all the heavy stuff) and monitor into the surge protector that also stays in the crib. I thought I was pretty clever here, but they figured out how to move the crib and unplug the surge protector, so I had to move on to plan B. I then put the heavy dresser in front of the crib to block them from moving it and though that distracted them from the plug, they then discovered they could move the dresser around and pull all their clothes out....ugh! So then I put two bins of heavy books on one side, so they couldn't push the dresser out anymore. This created a stairstep for them to climb onto the dresser and then into the old crib with all the cords and stuff. Sheesh! These kiddos are making me work! So then I got even more crafty and took the crib side from the converted crib that we pulled off and tied it to the top of the non-converted crib with lots of rope. This created a make-shift roof to block them from getting in the crib. This worked, however, this morning we found both of them in quite an interesting state. Apparently, this roof served as a baby trap as they had climbed up the stair steps again and decided to venture out onto the crib side roof and both of them got their legs stuck in the crib slats. Ahhhhh!!! So David's solution for tomorrow was to put another bin on the stack to make it so they couldn't climb the bins any longer. We will see if this works. The good news is that at night, we don't have near the problems and they do sleep in their beds at night as pictured above (Daniel) and below (Caleb).
Daddy has been here this week (as he had to stay home due to his company's policy since the family was sick), so he has been helping transition the boys to taking their naps in their "new to them" toddler beds. After a few times of showing them where they need to be and correcting their behaviors away from climbing and running around the room, they eventually settle down and sleep (though it sometimes takes an hour and half). Caleb usually only sleeps for an hour or so, and Daniel sleeps longer if Caleb doesn't wake him up at some point.

As for our sickie week, it was quite a doozie. On Monday, Caleb had a fever and wasn't eating well and based on not having my babysitters available (as their mom didn't want them here for a few days) I had to cancel all week not really knowing what the week would hold. As it turned out though, it was for the best as we really needed the time to get better as a family. On Tuesday, Caleb seemed much better and Daniel and Josiah were fine too until the afternoon when they started throwing up. After many loads of laundry and lots of comfort given, they were done being sick, though were very weakened. On Wednesday, everyone was rather grumpy, but didn't have any visible symptoms. On Thursday, I thought we were well and night I started throwing up....yuck. On Friday, David took an official sick day (rather than working from home like he does quite often) and took over my duties as I was wiped out this morning from being up all night with a sick tummy. I have been taking it easy today and I think I am OK. Hopefully, David won't get this bug as it is no fun! The picture above was the first day that Caleb was sick and Josiah was laying with him there giving him some comfort. So sweet!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pairs at the Patch

Today we took our annual trip to the "Pairs at the Patch" event for the Tacoma Parents of Multiples group that we belong to. We went to the Peninsula Gardens again in Gig Harbor, due to the fact that it is in a greenhouse and is relatively warmer for the folks with little babies and such. Many of the children came dressed up in costumes, which was fun to see. They had this pirate ship there (like last year) for the kids to play in as well.

And also as before, they had a little hay maze to go through and here you see Daddy chasing Josiah in the maze. Daddy kept threatening to "beat him" to the end of the maze and Josiah CLEARLY did not want to be beaten!

The twins enjoyed the maze too, but right before this shot was taken Caleb stopped to turn around and Daniel kept walking and they had a head bonk. You can see that Daniel is unphased by the bonking, but that Caleb is expressing his usual drama over the incident.

I was able to capture this sweet little Caleb boy with fistfuls of hay as he was preparing to enter the maze again. He also had fun trying to sweep the hay into piles on the floor of the little play area. He ended up with a little hay in his back pocket, which made him look like a little farmer.

Daniel is looking up at the giant purple spider that was positioned above the hay bales. Both he and Caleb pointed this out to us right away when we arrived.

They had a little coloring station too, and both the twins stayed to color for a surprisingly long amount of time. Caleb started to eat the crayons though and that was the end of that. They also had fun going around to the hay bales and knocking the pumpkins off onto the floor. Apparently, the pumpkins were supposed to be on the floor according to the twins. We picked up many a pumpkin throughout the event for sure.

Josiah went on a hayride again this year as well and enjoyed taking a tour of the pumpkin patch with some of the other children from the group. I had fun visiting with a lot of the other twin mommies as well and took many more pictures as I am the newsletter editor for the group and need lots of pictures for that purpose. We had a good turn out and it was an enjoyable event for sure!

Josiah's Confession of Faith

On the evening of October 13th, I spent a long time reading to Josiah many of the stories from his Awana book. We were reading in my bedroom (where David was working on his computer) because the twins needed to sleep and were crying due to no more bottle (for Caleb) and no more pacifier (for Daniel), and so we were keeping the living room quiet for them. As we read, we talked about many different spiritual things and have been sharing things with him whenever the opportunity arises over the last year or so. I have told him about how we all "do bad things" (sin) and that even if we do only one bad thing that it proves we are in need of a Savior, as no amount of good deeds can ever negate the bad we also do in the eyes of a holy God. I then have shared with him how without Jesus in our lives to cover that sin, that we can't go to heaven someday. I think at first he thought that if he accepted Jesus in his heart that he would go to heaven right then and there, but we obviously clairified that point for him.

When our neighbor across the street died (an older man), we had lots of talks about the fact that everyone's spirit lives forever, but it is up to us when we are living to chose where that will be (heaven or hell). Josiah had a lot of questions about hell, which many times he calls "tell" for some reason and asked me things like, "Are there giant basketballs that come down and smash you?" or "Do they have knives that cut off your feet?" (and he was quick to inform me that only adults can use knives). I stressed that this is a bad place and not one that he would want to go to someday and clearly he got the point and said he did not want to go there.

I have been presenting the gospel message to him for some time, but have always said, "If you want to accept Jesus in your heart, just ask Mommy or Daddy and we can help you." For a long time he would answer, "I will do it when I am older...when I'm five." I informed him that he can do it at any age and that Daddy accepted Jesus when he was four too. He is one to ponder things for a while though and we didn't pressure him to do it if he didn't want to. I have been praying in fact that he wouldn't accept Jesus until he really wanted to and asked us specifically.

So after reading to him these Awana stories, I asked Josish to explain to Daddy some of the concepts we were learning, one of which was why we would want to have Jesus in our hearts. Josiah told Daddy, "To know Him and to go to heaven!" Daddy then added, "And also because we don't want to go to hell." Right after this Josiah said, "Daddy will you ask Jesus into my heart?" Daddy told him that he had to ask Jesus into his heart, but that we could pray with him. We then all gathered by our bed and kneeled down and Daddy had Josiah repeat a short confession of faith. Afterwards he was so joyful and sweet. I have noticed that he seems to be better at retaining spiritual truths now and that he is able to memorize verses for Awana much easier as well. Before, I sensed a real spiritual battle for his soul and now it seems there is more of a peace in his spirit of which I am thankful.

I am well aware that a four year old can't fully understand all the truths of the gospel of Christ, but it does say that we are to come to Him as little children and he is that. Also, it is clear that he is afraid (healthy fear) of going to hell and the Bible says, "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." I will pray that this is a seed that grows and grows as he gets older. When he understands more, we will talk about baptism and encourage him to get baptized as well. It was a very sweet moment with our oldest pumpkinhead and one I will not soon forget. In the morning, when Daddy talked to Josiah he said, "Mommy cried a lot last night when she put me to bed." And indeed I did! :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Visit from Grandpa & Grandma Carpenter

We were very blessed to have David's parents come visit our family for a short stay this last week. They came for about three days to our place, then took a trip to the beach, and then came back for another day and half. When they first arrived, Daniel ran to Grandpa like he was a regular visitor and wanted Grandpa to hold him. It was very sweet! Caleb kept running back and forth to make Grandma laugh and all three boys put on a dancing show for them when David turned on some music. You can see Caleb doing his typical hopping on one foot and clapping dance. The grandparents got a big kick out of their dancing routine.
Grandma and Grandpa brought some gifts for the kiddos, one of which was this "Cars" look and find book that Josiah really loved right away!

Grandpa got in on the reading act too many a time, and here Daniel and Josiah are enjoying a book about Diggers.

Here is Josiah when he first got his new "Cars" book. He is quite pleased as you can see!

Daniel & Caleb got some little toys too. A little tigger key chain and a book that you can put pictures in of family members. We will fill it with some of the photos from this visit at some point I am sure! After the trip to the beach, Grandma came back with lots more loot for the little ones including many more books and Veggie Tales videos as well as a cute little sleeper for the new little girl on the way.

Grandpa did many fun boy activities with the little guys and here he is in the fort they made by hanging a blanket over two chairs. They all loved the fort and even more so because Grandpa was in it with them! Grandpa also played Legos, tickled, and tossed the boys around much to their delight!

Grandma was especially helpful to me during the stay and she did a lot of reading books with the boys and patting little heads, as well as teaching life lessons and helping keep peace between the brothers (though that task admittedly is rather daunting at times). Caleb had just woken up from a nap here and stayed in this position letting Grandpa pat his head for a long time! Josiah wanted in on the fun too and sat next to her.

Grandpa got the three boys on the floor for a tickle fest and as you can see Caleb is already trying to get away.

Josiah informed me that this was his racecar and he was wearing his helmet for safety! I had to throw this one in here as it was just too cute.

One of the last days the grandparents were here, all the big boys went out to wash the cars. Josiah loved helping out as you can see!

Here he is again helping Grandpa Carpenter wash the back of the SUV. We were very thankful that they took the time to come out and the kiddos certainly cherished spending lots of quality time with them as well! We heard today that they made it home safe, though are quite exhausted from traveling. We plan to set up a way to talk to them over the computer via a video feed, so that the boys can see them from time to time more often. Overall, it was so neat how immediately the boys took to their Grandpa & Grandma Carpenter! We hope to see them again as soon as it is possible!

We are going to have a GIRL!!

As promised, I managed to scan in the ultrasounds of our baby girl from 13 weeks (above) and from 20 weeks (below). The above shot is one of the 3-D images she gave us and though it is still a bit hazy, it gives much more detail than the traditional ultrasound that you see below. She tried to get a good face shot of her at the 20 week appointment in the 3-D, but baby girlie kept burrowing her head into the placenta and the tech couldn't get a clear shot. The ultrasound tech DID however, get a very clear picture to prove she was a girl! She said to us when she had the still picture up, "Do you see any parts you recognize?" To which I answered, " it a girl?" And she said that she is 99.9999% sure it was a girl and wrote "very, very girlie!!!!!!!" on the ultrasound picture. For the sake of our daughter though, I will not post that photo here. She will thank me later I am sure! I told the tech when I was walking into get the ultrasound that I was imagining the baby to be a boy, so that I wouldn't be disappointed, but that if it was a girl I might give a little yelp. After she told me, I teared up a bit and she handed me a tissue. David's eyes glistened also and I could tell he was very moved. Daddy will have a little princess now!

The ultrasound tech also loves to write messages to our family on the picture and gave us enough copies for the little ones to have one of their own to keep. I haven't given them out yet though as the babies really don't understand and would likely tear them up first thing. This picture is of course a nice profile of our little darling. And as you can see her face is in the placenta (top blob in the photo) and there is a nice shot of her spine here as well. All the measurements, heartbeat and stuff that the tech checks at the 20 week visit were all normal. Her heartbeat was 145bpm. I can't remember how fast the boys were, but I think the twins were faster as I recall. We will get another ultrasound done I think at around 36 weeks, so we may get a better chance at getting a face shot at that time. The tech also told us that for now baby girl is head down, but that "it is like a jacuzzi in there now," so this position could change at any time. She was moving a lot as we watched her on the screen and I have been noticing more and more movements as the weeks progress. As previously mentioned, this pregnancy has been much easier on me than the twins and it compares more to Josiah's pregnancy, yet there have been many differences as well. I am VERY thankful for a normal-ish go of it this time though as the twin pregnancy was rough!