Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bathroom Redecoration--AKA Comet Tower

Why you may ask have I chosen to decorate my bathroom in such a manner? I will give you 4 guesses and the first two do not count! Why yes, in a matter of about 5 minutes (when they were supposed to be washing their hands) the twins unwrapped many rolls of toilet paper and found the Comet that was hidden way in the back of the cupboard behind the rolls of toilet paper (which has been there without incident forever) and proceeded to make the mess you now see here. Meanwhile, I am eating my breakfast, and not hearing any shrieking peals of laughter or silence, I was not yet alerted to the fact that there was a mess being made. I was cued into the disaster when Caleb ran out saying, "Mommy, Uh-OH" and was covered with a powdered substance of some kind. At first I thought perhaps it was baby powder, and then quickly ran to check and discovered this lovely creation.

Needless to say the twins were escorted promptly into their room to remain there until the mess was cleaned up. It was SO toxic in the bathroom, I could hardly breathe and started coughing immediately. I grabbed a mask to wear (I thankfully had one lying around) and got to work. I had to sweep up all the Comet and put it all in the bathtub. The bathtub got quite a scrubbing that day! As I was doing that, my mom came into the bathroom (they were there early to take the boat over the mountains and the truck and boat were parked at our house) and she said, "What happened here?" Yup....I let her guess too! She told my Dad, "Do you need to go to the bathroom Paul...if so, there has been an 'incident'!" Ahhhh....yes, an incident indeed. Well, after they left, I cleaned the floors and then had to get the vacuum out to vacuum the Comet they tracked on the carpet outside the bathroom as well.

Did I mention yet we have lovingly named them "The Troublesome Trucks?" I think "Twin Tornadoes" has a great ring to it to, wouldn't you say?

And today just as a bonus, I put out some gel pens and notepads that I got for them for Christmas that I found (I had put them away....wonder why?) and for a while they were using them properly. As I was getting dinner ready they started to unscrew the tops and Caleb thought it was a wonderful idea to bite on the tube of ink. I heard him gagging and looked over to see a purple, sparkly mouth and tongue. I rushed him to the bathroom and washed all the ink out of his mouth with water and cleaned off the table afterward. Honestly....where do they come up with these things?

I have learned...when you THINK you have everything child-proofed and figured out, twins have a way of finding the chinks in your defenses in the least likely of places. We have often joked that we could hire our children out as professional child-proofing checkers. They would do a thorough job I assure you! And lastly, I say...you have to laugh at these things and we do. However, when you think of me...say a prayer as I really do need it!

Naomi Update!

Our sweet little Naomi is nearing her 17th month here on July 25th and her personality is showing more and more as she grows. She loves to cuddle with her blankie in the morning and won't leave her bed without one when I come and get her. She doesn't cry when she wakes up, she will just be sitting in her bed wrapped in a blanket with her pacifier as quiet as can be, but will pop right up when she sees me come in. I usually hold her for a bit and then bring her to her high chair to eat breakfast, and this particular morning she wanted her blankie wrapped around her while she sat waiting for her breakfast to be served.

She absolutely LOVES animals and she frequently plays with Echo and goes and tries to hug her or sit on her. Echo is not fond of being a pony though and usually gets up when she does that. Echo has a scowl on her face here, but most of the time she was licking Naomi as they were playing. Naomi barks at dogs by bobbing her head and saying, "Ooo, ooo, ooo!" Here is a link to a video of her eating an apple.

When I ask her questions now, she will respond with a yes or a no. For her "no" she shakes her head vigorously and says, "Uh-uh!" And for for "yes" she will either smile and head in the direction of what she wants or will say, "Yea." She will say nothing but "Ma-Ma" now when we try to get her to say "Da-da" and when we take her away from something she wants she puts on her grumpy face! It is a pouty lip with some very serious eyebrows to go with it! Needless to say, I am not convinced and can usually get grumpy baby to smile again pretty quickly.

She is a very sensitive little soul too as evidenced by the time she threw her plate on the floor and both David and I said, "NO!" and she got a big pouty lip and turned her head away from us and then started to cry and turn red. When I leave for a bit, she will roam the house saying, "Ba-Ba" or "Ma-Ma" and will keep looking around for me. She points to most everything and says, "Umm-BAH?" She frequently brings us books which she calls "BA" also and wants me to read to her. When she sees a baby face or an animal she makes a sound like "Gula-gula-gula-gula" with a big smile. She points to various parts on her face when we name them and especially loves to point to noses.

She gets picked on by her brothers and lets them know WHAT FOR when it happens! She comes to Mommy for comfort and protection from her mean old big brothers. They are learning how to treat a lady and sometimes don't always cut the mustard by princess standards you see!

She LOVES her mashed potatoes and when she saw them on her plate the other day I heard her say, "YEAH" and she smiled really big. She is on a meat strike currently for whatever reason, so we will see if she will get off that at some point again. She is finally getting more teeth and at current count I think she has around 11? Still not all in yet, and that is a guess actually as I can't get her to keep her mouth open long enough to see them all. She has big teeth like me though I have noticed.

We love our little princess and I have had a blast getting to know what having a little girl is like. Such fun! So different!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

New Bed Set!

Well, for the first time since we have been married, we got a bed frame and some furniture to match in our bedroom...at least on my side for now. My mom got me a dresser and a side table and then later as an anniversary/VERY early Christmas gift, a bed frame that matched them (and a side table for David that I still need to put together). The side table and dresser came together fairly easily (which I built on different days than the bed frame), though I made a couple of mistakes on each and then there was the bed frame. (Cue scary music and an evil witch's laugh) Du-du-DUH!!

Sooo, it was supposed to be a surprise for David when he got home one evening, and I envisioned having it all made when he came home from work. Ummmm--NOT! As usual, I underestimated the project and not only did it take longer, but there were some major problems that had to be overcome. I found that near one of the last steps, I put the headboard together wrong (the sides were flip flopped) and so I had to take apart a good deal of it to fix the problem. Afterward, it was fairly easy to put the frame together and then with some help from David managed to get the Sleep Number device that hooked to the bed under the frame and made the bed ready for sleep that evening. And then (cue more scary music) Du-du-DUH...AGAIN!

I laid on the bed and....KER-PLUNK....the bed fell through the frame. So the IKEA peeps at the store told us that we did not need slats because we had a box spring for our mattress. Well, actually we have twin foundations it turns out (I forgot) and because of that, the weight was distributed differently and consequently we DID need slats. Thankfully my mom was still here at the time, and she made the trek back to IKEA to pick up slats.

Needless to say, by this time my arms were sore from wrestling with the bed, I was disappointed because the bed wasn't ready when David came home, and now I had to take the heavy mattress and foundations back off the bed in preparation for when the slats came home. I was glad to find out that putting the slats on was as easy as just laying them down, but the hard part then was to find a way to sneak the Sleep Number device under the mattress, under the foundation and now also UNDER the slats. It was hard work even with two people, but we managed to "get 'er done" and finally as my aching biceps were crying out for rest, I finally got to enjoy the bed!

The final product looks really nice though and it is nice to have them. Thanks Mom!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Vacation Bible School 2011

This was our last Vacation Bible School experience at Bethany Baptist Church (or as far as we know for now anyway) and it was a good one. I helped to lead music for the kids (we had around 380 this year) each day in the morning and at the end of each day and also helped out here and there where needed as well. I had this horrible cold though the whole week, so it was only by God's grace that I was able to lead the music! This picture was from the last day when they got bouncy houses for the kids and had jump ropes and hula hoops outside to play with. Josiah was enjoying trying out the jump rope.

He was jumping without shoes 'cause they asked them to take them off for the bouncy houses and he just decided to jump rope without them also. He seemed to be able to swing the rope backwards better than forwards though for whatever reason.

One of the gals at the church, Mrs. Erickson, was there to help out kids who had special needs or just needed an extra amount of TLC for the week and Josiah was one of her buddies on a few of the days there. He absolutely LOVED hanging out with Mrs. Erickson and told me all about their adventures together at the end of each VBS day. I was so thankful for her willingness to love on Josiah and it really made his week.

The twins got to go to a mini-VBS that was set up only for the volunteers kids and they also had a great time. Daniel loved seeing his "teacher" everyday and both of them kept asking to go to "PBS," which is what Josiah used to call "VBS" too when he was little. The twins got to come upstairs for the music part that I did and each day when I asked them their favorite part they said, "The music!" The counter to this though was when I asked Josiah his favorite part he said, "NOT the music!" Later he said to me, "The music is nice Mommy, but I don't want to sing." I asked him why and told him he had a beautiful voice and he said, "I only sing when I want to." Naomi got to stay in the nursery the whole time and during my breaks I would come down and play with her a bit and she loved that. The ladies said she was very active and loved to do lots of different things in the nursery. One of the days, she hurt her lip on a chair that she fell on, but all was well!

The twins had one room for active play where they had this rocking boat and a little bounce house and some other things and then a room for arts and crafts and stories and just free play. Their teacher, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, is there on the left singing, "Row, row, row your boat" and Caleb is enjoying his boat ride.

They set up a water table there in the back of the room and Daniel is there playing. One of the days I peeked in and Daniel and another boy were drinking the water from the water toy cups at the table. From what I understand, the twins did a great job in class. They had a lot of 2 and 3 year-olds in that class, I think around 19, so it was quite a group! They had lots of helpers though too, so that was good. Mrs. Kirkpatrick was pretty worn out though at the end of the week she told me! It was nice they had this for the volunteers kids because the twins and Naomi had a great week too!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Beach Vacation #2

After our time playing on the beach, we went back to the house we were renting for the weekend and made heated up some frozen pizzas in the oven and had lunch with my Mom and Dad and then set off to get a seat for the 4th of July parade, which just happened to be a couple of blocks from the house we were staying in. Trying to get four children to pose is of course near impossible, but this is as close as I could get to them all looking at me!

I tried again in vain to get my Mom to take a picture (mainly to prove that I DO go on these vacations too) and Josiah decided that he was going to be difficult and not allow himself to be photographed. The kids really enjoyed the parade and Grandma bought them some M & M's to enjoy as they watched. Naomi fell asleep half-way through the parade though in her little stroller and we strolled her home that way too.

She got to saying, "Ooo, AHH" over and over again with very pronounced vowels and Caleb joined in with her and I caught Caleb in an "AH" and Naomi in an "Ooo." Fun to see them interacting. Caleb is the best at doing "baby things" with Naomi, but he is also the one who will suddenly turn and randomly hit her or push her down too, so I have to watch carefully. Here is a video clip of this same photograph.

There was this big fire truck that was mainly a water truck with huge wheels that came by on the parade route that then parked across the street from where we were at the end. The driver allowed the twins to sit in the wheel well for a photo opportunity. We got one of Josiah sitting in the other wheel too!

After all the kiddos had a nap, we journeyed over to Long Beach where my parents were staying and roamed around that area for a bit. There is this nice little area where we stopped and let the kids look at the pretty flowers and such while we were waiting for the rest of our party to meet up with us. Naomi blends in well here with her pretty flower dress and Daddy is lifting Daniel up in the background.

Naomi gets her turn to be lifted up by Daddy, but this kind of activity doesn't prove to be girl-approved for long as she started to fuss and want down pretty quick after Daddy started swinging her up and down. Girls have things to do when there are flowers around Daddy!

There was this little "Mother Goose" show at a stage that was set up downtown and we caught the tail end of it where Mother Goose was letting the kids pet her bunny. When Caleb sidled up to her, she saw his black eye (which he got falling off a chair about a week prior) and remarked, "Did you and your brother get in a fight?" and he said, "Yeah!" Not far from the truth, but not actually the truth in this case.

Then we went to pay a visit to the Carousel as Naomi had never been on one before. I strapped the twins onto their ponies of choice and then got Naomi on a pony of her own. Before the Carousel started to move, she was pushing on his mane and bobbing back and forth to try and get him to go. We have a youtube clip of that here if you would like to see it! In that same video, you will see Josiah on the pony next to her as well. After we had dinner, we all headed to Grandpa and Grandma's hotel and went swimming in the pool there. It was Naomi's first encounter in a pool and she wasn't too happy to be in the water. She clung to me for dear life the whole time and was super sleepy and so we didn't stay too long in the pool. All the kiddos wore life jackets, and with three adults in the water, it worked out nicely.

When we got home from our trip the next day our "I'm not tired" Josiah was crashed out on our chair with his new boat that he got from Grandma. This about sums up what a vacation is like with four kiddos under the age of six! We needed a vacation from the vacation! They always have a hard time adjusting to new sleeping arrangements and new routines, and so it is a challenge for all of us, but we made some fun memories for sure!

Beach Vacation #1

This year for the 4th, we make the trek down to Ocean Park for a little vacation at the beach. My brother and his wife and his in-laws were camping nearby, and so we also got to go to dinner with Katie & Brent on Brent's b-day as well. It was hard to coordinate seeing him much more than that though as they had their own plans with his in-laws too and the kids had their own issues that made things difficult, but we did spend a lot of time with Grandpa and Grandma while there for sure! This was the morning of the 4th and it was SOOOOO cold on the beach! It appears warm-ish, but I assure you it was not! Josiah didn't have a coat (lame me forgot to bring it) and when we asked him (noting his beet red arms from the cold wind), "Are you cold?" He emphatically stated, "I can handle it!" And he did! He was loving exploring the beach as he always does!

Naomi wasn't too keen on the cold and the wind and the sand, but she toddled around in it a little bit. You can see how windy it was by observing her little hair leaning in the wind. Here is a clip of her walking around at the beach.

Josiah is pausing here for a moment as he was digging in the sand making a sand castle. I think it might be appropriate to say that he is as "happy as a clam" here. Though come to think of it, I am not sure I have ever seen a happy clam before!

Daniel was most definitely NOT as happy to be braving the elements today and Daddy said that when he took the boys closer to the ocean waves he was lagging behind and complaining of the cold the most. I asked him here if he was cold and he gave me his best grumpy face to show that he was. Contrast this face with...

CALEB...who as you see here is elated, joyful and in his element! David said he was ever ready to jump in and do whatever Daddy was doing and loved running around looking at all the beach things.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Isaac's B-day Party

My dear friend Melissa's son, Isaac, had his 9th birthday party and we were again blessed to be able to celebrate with them. Isaac had an Army theme for his party and his relatives all gave him some great gear for camping and hiking. It was also a nice sunny day for his party and so the kids got in some water play here as well. After they got pretty wet, they came in for some cake and Melissa was telling us about how much she loved Isaac and about how he has always had a servant's heart and puts other people first. And he does!

They played a pass the balloon game and when the music stopped whoever was left with the balloon was out. Also if you broke the balloon you were out too. The kids were laughing so hard during the game and just loved playing.

Then they had a water balloon fight. Isaac's Dad, Bill, put a line of balloons on one side of the yard and had the kids line up on the other and let the younger kids run to the line first and then sent the older kids and then they could grab one balloon and take their shot. Of course, Isaac's uncles did things like dump large buckets of water on those that dared come near and so it was fun to watch.

Here they all are running for their balloons!

Isaac's Uncle Joe got him pretty good here as you can see! He was loving it though for sure! It was bittersweet to be here knowing that we will not be here for his party next year. We love you Ciccone's and will miss you! As a side note, it turns out that they will be living in our old house in Milton so...we KNOW where you live! Happy birthday to Isaac and blessings to you guys!