Monday, June 20, 2011

Just a few videos and pictures







As many of you know, our backyard activities are filled with many fun and safe options. Cough cough. Okay, maybe not so safe, but they are FUN! Each summer we manage o turn our backyard into our very own splash park. Here is a video of the kids latest "water slide". ( And a picture from Shell road beach the other morning :) Enjoy!


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Monday, June 13, 2011

BIRTHDAYS BIRTHDAYS!









































4 and 5?!?!?!? Are you kidding me? I can hardly believe that the boys are four and five already. We had an awesome birthday party on Sunday. The boys had no idea what we were doing other than that it was water-themed. We rented a large blow up water slide and had various water activities/pools/sprinkler set up throughout the yard. The adults sat back under the shade and got to watch all of the festivities. It was actually a perfect day! If I had more energy right now I would go into more detail, but I am absolutely 100% SPENT!! I'm at work today and we honestly have been on the go all day and had a brush fire. So after the birthday party and today and I am just ready to curl under the covers!!! But enjoy the pictures and the children's palpable enthusiasm to receiving their new bikes ( can you sense the sarcasm ? ) . Happy Birthday to my perfect Maddox and Jaxon. I love you both so much and I am so proud of you two.




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Saturday, June 4, 2011

End of the School Year....Booo :P





























Well, it's nearing the end of the school year. In fact next Friday will be the kiddos last day! I have been thoroughly appreciative of my "free time" in the mornings, but now it's back to work haha. The kids have done so well this school year. Per Maddox's teacher he has really come out of his shell since the beginning of the year ( which for those of you that know Maddox well may come as a surprise, but yes, he is quite reserved at school. ) . Jaxon has continued to be a great friend and helper in his classroom. He has a new best friend whose name is Jason. Jason is apparently "the deal" because Jaxon insists on doing everything like Jason. He even has me style his hair like Jason in the morning! Ty and Olivia have progressed SO much since starting with their little class. Olivia is talking up a storm. Of course mimicking everything, but also telling us her needs. She is definitely putting sentences together and socially excelling as well. I am so proud of little Ty. Yes, he has had a difficult time with his biting, kicking, hitting, spitting and other random tantrums, but the teacher really has positive things to say about him. She is very patient and understanding with him and he has shown so much improvement. He is finally starting to use more words and grasping onto imitation. I can't believe the difference from just two months ago. Both of the twins seem to love school. I have yet to have a day where I leave them and they care!


Maddox had his little VPK ( Voluntary pre-kindergarten....FREE... ) graduation on Thursday. Jaxon's class and Maddox's class both had performances. I included the videos. I just missed it, but it was too funny. When Jaxon's class was coming up to the front to perform, Jaxon yells out to Arik in the back of the church, " HI DADDY!!!" Everyone laughed. When you watch Jaxon's video he is the one 2nd from the left. Maddox sang a song too. I was very impressed because he actually sang! ( come to find out his teacher had specifically bribed him with a cupcake!! ) Then of course Maddox receiving his certificate.



Arik and I were recently presented with a very generous offer to keep the children in Good Shepherd Lutheran. We feel very confident in our decision and are looking forward to the kids having a great education in a comfortable Christian environment that will allow them to grow as individuals and receive more one on one attention. We are so grateful for this opportunity!



And finally , the last big news is of course Jaxon had his cast removed. Ahhhhhh ( sigh of relief ). He did so well. I've included the videos. I had to take separate videos because of length. He is so excited to have his cast off. He told me the next morning, " Mom, I am so happy to have my cast off:) " They asked me if I wanted to save it. Ummm, no thank you. That thing smells like rotten eggs! Well, not if you ask Jaxon. He thought it smelled like chocolate!


Oh, also on a side note. Yesterday Ty used the potty all day. He started at school and I kept his diaper off the whole afternoon. I don't think he knows yet to tell me he has to go, but every time I prompted him he ran into the potty and would go no problem!! Yay:) Livi still has a ways to go. It's more of a novelty at this point for her.


That's all for now! Enjoy the videos. The cast take off should be in order from top to bottom left to right:)




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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Peter Pan and a week off!

















































































I have had this past week off work. My goal is to complete at least one thing a day throughout the house. I have now made a list of things that I would like to get as I move from one room to another. Such as a new curtain rod for the boys room to a giant cork board to hang the kids artwork in the playroom. That way I don't have to get everything at once and it seems to be a little less overwhelming when I write it all down.


I did finish sorting through the clothes again. "Winter clothes" put away and summer tee's out again. Out with the small and in the new. Gosh, it's crazy I feel like I was just taking out the "winter clothes"! Of course their is that little bit of sadness as I pack up clothes to be given away, the things that no longer will fit Ty and Olivia. I also cleaned my junk drawer!! I had vowed never to touch that drawer as I feel like one area of my house could be disorganized. But, when I have to waste 15 minutes cutting thread and untangling cords just to get Maddox a set of earphones to use....I figured it was time. So now it still holds random items they are just sorted into baggies or organized in an old silverware holder. You know, it's actually kind of nice!


Another big thing I accomplished this week was filling out and completing the kids registration papers for the next school year. Between retrieving immunization records, registering for VPK and paperwork for a new school, it proved to be very time consuming! Maddox is now officially enrolled in Phillipi Shores elementary the school that is the next road over from us. We had a big decision to make as to where we were going to send the kids to elementary school. Good Shepherd Lutheran where the kids have been attending ( Maddox from the time he was 2 ) has been well, so good to us! Arik and I are both advocates for the children remaining in a faith based school and the idea of a small campus was appealing, but ultimately we felt like Phillipi Shores was the best decision for our needs and will give the kiddos excellent opportunities. Every time we drive by Phillipi I always say, "Maaaaddox........." and he replies in a exasperated tone, " I KNOW! I KNOW! That is my new school.....Why do you tell me that every time?!?" I figure gradual introduction will be the best way because it it so much bigger and different than his little world that he has been accustomed to the past several years.


Speaking of school, just briefly...Ty has proven to be our "problem child" . He has already had two reports sent home about him biting other kids. Darn it! I didn't realize how helpless you feel having a "biter". He has also had his share of hitting other kids and the occasional defiant tantrums. Thankfully he has a great teacher who is very patient with him. She has expressed to me many times that he is a sweetheart and that she can tell he is just verbally frustrated and his behavior is his only coping mechanism. She is working with him and assures me that he will be just fine! I did however at the prompting of our Pediatrician take Ty Ty to have his speech evaluated. I can tell that he is struggling. Let me preface by saying, Ty has zero problem understanding us. In fact he can follow very specific directions and appears to be quite smart. At the same time he has shown very little desire to communicate verbally. His vocabulary only consists of about 5 comprehensible words and a few more sounds that have connected meanings. We had our first appointment this past week and he did very well. It took him a while to warm up to the therapist, but he eventually decided to "play along". It was so funny, she set a small teddy bear in front of him along with a cup a bowl and a spoon. She told him that the teddy bear was thirsty and would he please give the bear a drink? Ty gave her a vacant expression as to say, ' what is this ridiculous play that you give me to do?' and then he proceeded to whack the cup off the table with the back of his hand staring at her blankly all the while. I suggested that she bring out a treat incentive for him. She brought out a container of fruit loops and showed him that every time he successfully completed a "task" he would be rewarded with a fruit loop. He immediately started to join in with her play! Overall she said receptively Ty is right on track. Clearly he was verbally delayed which we already knew, but by observing him she was able to better zoom in on where to focus when working with him. Ty was placed on a waiting list and we will hopefully be able to start with him over the summer. In the meantime she gave us some helpful ways Arik and I can work with him at home. I am really anxious to help Ty out because I know that it will ease so much of his frustration once he starts to talk.


And on the complete other end of the spectrum Olivia's speech has exploded. She will sing her ABC's with us and has several phrases she says now. She also mimics everything...ev-er-y -thing we say. She has remained a drama queen and loves attention. She adores new shoes...haha. I told her love em while you can because when your feet get to be as big as mommies your options will be limited!


I took the boys to their first play Thursday night. A local high school was putting on a kid friendly interactive play of Peter Pan. They were GREAT!! I really thing they enjoyed the new experience even if they didn't get into the audience interaction parts. Jaxon laughed out loud quite a few times! After the play all of the characters were mingling outside. Jaxon was only interested in taking a picture with Peter Pan and Maddox wanted nothing to do with any of them. He said he was too shy. I can't wait to take them to another play. It's nice to do something different with them every now and then!


By the way, Jaxon gets his cast removed May 31st. Woo-Hoo!! I can't wait and I think he is equally as anxious. Although he did tell me he was going to cry when they cut his cast off b/c he is going to miss it. ...I sure won't and it's not on my arm!!!


Until next time:)



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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ty's New Bed!!!




































































































I was driving to pick up the boys from school which is about 15 min away from our house. I remembered that I received a text that Ty's crib had arrived at Walmart. I figured rather than make two trips I would save my gas and have Arik meet me at Walmart to pick up the crib. In order for me to get it I would also have had to of taken all the car seats out and leave the kids at home with Arik to fit the box in the back of my car.


I called Arik and he agreed to meet me. We rendezvous in the parking lot and Arik decides he will wait in the car with the kids while I run in "real quick". As I trade him spots he says to me, "Please hurry." I assume it was because given a choice, he would rather not have to wait in a car, cramped with restless kiddos.



I run in the store and head towards the Customer Service desk. I wait....and wait ........and wait. Sheesh!!! 4 clerks and it was still taking forever for my turn. Finally I hear that I am being called forward. I quickly tell her that I am here to pick up a bed I ordered online. She looks at me and points WAAAAAYYYYYY to the rear of the store and explains that, "Oh, yes....you will need to go the the Site to store pick-up counter." GRRRRRRR. Of course....who knew.



So I make my way to the back of the store and once again I wait.......and wait .........and wait. There is only one man in front of me, but there is also only one ....very.......slow........employee helping him. Predictably, I get a text from Arik, you almost done? I contemplate responding. Avoidance may be easier in this case! Finally! It's my turn.




Thank goodness there are no pick-up dilemmas. The employee asks me to wait again while he runs and grabs it. I get another text from Arik while I'm waiting, Why don't you come out with the kids so I can pull the car up and load it up? As I am responding back to him I hear the employee coming back out. He looks at me and says , " Do you want me to get a cart for this?"



I stare in horror at the little box in his hands! " Is that everything?!" I exclaim. "Yep." He glances over the receipt to make sure he grabbed the right box. I kid you not the box was so thin and so small that I seriously feared walking outside with it and facing Arik. Here he made the trip to pick up the box that "wouldn't fit in my car" and endured waiting in the car for at least 20 min all so I could walk out with a box the would easily fit in my front seat.



I erased the text I was going to send to him and instead wrote, You don't have to do that. Then I bravely....okay not so bravely....made my way out to the car where Arik was impatiently waiting. On my way out I graciously bought him a Dr. Pepper thinking that it may ease the blow.

Hmm, not so much! If you could have seen his face as I walked up carrying the box in one hand!




Thankfully when we got home even after all that, he sat down to take the time to assemble Ty's crib. Just when he thought that he was on his last two pieces he realized that he had put the side panels in upside down, so he had to unscrew a lot of what he had already done and do it again. Poor guy, the bed turned into such a headache for him!!! But he finished it!



Ty initially was not thrilled. He stood at it furiously pointing at the mattress and letting out a dissatisfied cry. I guess he thought the mattress being on the floor was as good as it was going to get. He started yanking the covers off the bed in an attempt to get the mattress off of the bed. I thought, Oh no, this isn't going to work! But then a light bulb went off. I yelled, " Hey Olivia!!! Come here!" Seconds later Olivia came hauling into the room screaming, "BED BED TY BED!!" Seeing her climb onto "his" bed was all it took! As you can see from the pictures Ty immediately resorted to torturing Olivia by standing and sitting on her. ( Livi gets him back you see though) Then he started acting silly and excited as he grabbed his pillow with his teeth and held it for me to see. He would then stand precariously on the edge of the bed and look at me with daring eyes, "Jump?" He asked. Then he leaned over "jumping" off the side.


So the bed ended up being a success. Bedtime was no problem and he slept until 6:45. Overall I am very happy and I think he is too! However, don't look to see any 'Livi new bed' posts any time soon. I'm hoping we can crib her for at least another year! haha....now that is going to be a nightmare when that day comes!!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Just an Update






















































































































































































I'm trying to write my updates on the days that I work. I have a little more time to sit in the quiet and write then. Now that I have the laptop it is MUCH easier for me to transfer my pictures from my phone to the laptop and upload them onto the blog site. With our old computer it would take 15 minutes just to get the pictures up!



We hit a big milestone this past week......Ty is officially out of his crib! It all started about three weeks ago. He started coming out of his room after I would lay him down. I would hear a thud as he scaled down the side of his crib and a few seconds later the door would slowly creak, followed by the thud thud thud of his little footsteps as he made his way to wherever I was. He would look up at m, blanket in one arm, sippy and "dog" in the other arm. There would be no objection from him as I swooped him back up and returned him to his crib. He would obligingly lay his head back on his pillow and forcefully shut his eyes , knowing that as soon as I shut the door he would give it a few minutes and try again. And try again he would. I'd say this would happen a good two to three times until he'd eventually give in and succumb to the sleep. Unfortunately this wasn't where the problem was. Along with his new bedtime routine, he figured that Arik and I needed a new morning routine. So every morning for about 3 weeks he would bee line it to our room at 5 am and hop into bed with us. Now this wouldn't be so bad if he went back to sleep, but he seemed to have other plans. The jaunt from his room to ours must have cleared the fog from his mind and got the blood flowing enough that he felt as though we should get up with him. We started putting his sippy next to our bed and he would grab that first and occasionally doze off for a little while longer, but before we knew it he'd be poking at us or climbing all----over--us insisting that we wake up. I would give, usually around 6:15 and make my way to the living room to start our day.





I decided that I'd had enough and even though they had tested the waters of climbing out before, this time it appeared there would be no turning back. ( At least for Ty, fingers crossed Olivia doesn't get any crazy ideas! ) I ordered him a cute little wooden toddler bed and put his crib on Craigslist.




As of Friday we officially sold the crib. As Arik was taking it down I realized that I should probably be a little more sentimental about letting it go. After all it was the crib we had used for each of the boys, but I just didn't seem to have the time to feel any sadness. Arik didn't understand why I bought a toddler bed for Ty since our purpose of buying the triple bunk bed was so Ty would eventually be able to use the trundle portion. I told him I just felt like Ty still was too young and associated the trundle as being a play bed. I felt if he had a bed that he knew was for sleeping the transition may be easier. At least to use until he is about 3 or 4. Arik then asked where Ty was going to sleep that night since he now only had a mattress as the toddler bed hadn't arrived yet.........Good question:)




I ended up just putting soft covers on the mattress and making him a cozy little spot where his crib used to be. And guess what!? He LOVED it. He was so proud and excited for his new " big boy" sleeping area. Jaxon and I tucked him in that night and , knock on wood , he didn't budge from bed. He fell right asleep! And ....wait for it.......he slept until 6:45!!!!!! Woo-hoo!! Now I have been at work all weekend and haven't had a chance to ask Arik how last night went, but hopefully it was just as good:) As soon as I get pics of the bed I will be sure to post them.





And otherwise not a whole lot to report. Jaxon had his firt follow-up x-ray and everything is healing beautifully! Olivia had a Doctor's appt Friday because she was on day three of severe diarrhea. The Doctor ordered a stool sample, however, in order to obtain that I was to line her diaper with saran wrap and collect the sample after a bowel movement. Now of course this would become Arik's task as I am at work all weekend and somehow I just don't see that happening haha. So hopefully when I come home on Monday the "bug" will be gone. Because to be quite honest I'm not too thrilled about doing that either!




Maddox is good. He has a little stink mouth on him lately that I am not happy about. He is in the copycat phase. He even applies it to when he is being reprimanded by copying what I say to him. Errrrr, that gets my blood boiling. Or if I say, "Maddox!!! We are leaving the park. Load up!" He will respond in a high-pitched voice, " Yaayyyyyyyy, I LOVE leaving the park." This takes various forms, yay I love not having friends over, yay I love not playing video games, yay I love turning off my t.v. shows. You get the point. But I think I've finally found something that works. He "likes" timeout in his room or "quiet time" in his room, but change the name to "restriction" in his room and he BEGS me not to. It's not that the time spent in there is any different he just associates restriction with something much worse than timeout. So I have been testing using that out and it seems to be working. Hopefully my sweet little Maddox comes back soon because I feel him slipping a little more into too old syndrome very quickly!




























That's about all for now. I posted some videos of my little ham Jaxon. He loves taking pictures and videos of himself. He was looking at his school picture yesterday and said, "Mom, I love me." I laughed and said, "I love you too."































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Saturday, April 23, 2011

What Happened to the Time?
















Over the past 5-6 years I have received numerous tidbits of advice on parenting and childhood. Simply put, the advice I hear most frequently is , "Treasure the moments." And to be quite truthful I do and at times I don't. How could I honestly say that I treasure 2 hours of crying/fighting/whining/cleaning and more crying! That would be unreasonable. But I do attempt to see a bigger picture than just those blocks of time. Cherishing the looks, the sayings, the kind gestures that are occasionally exchanged, the moments they achieve something for the first time, their faces while they are peacefully sleeping. The moments that hit me when I think, 'these children are mine.......' High school memories a blurb and the single life a universe away, flash forward to parenthood. The moment my life began. And here I am almost 5 years later.








I constantly question myself, 'Am I doing things right? More importantly, 'Am I doing things wrong?' Then I quickly scold myself because by the time I think I have it figured out I realize I have wasted precious time concerning myself with things that don't matter. Are my children healthy and happy? I can confidently say yes. So I must be doing things right, right?








Even in knowing this, I can't help but feel guilt about one thing I know I have done wrong. By the time I knew what was happening it was too late to stop. Having children close together most certainly has its advantages, however, your daily life pace increases ten fold. Maddox was one year and 7 days old when Jaxon Carl came into this world. It didn't take me long to realize that I simply didn't have the time to do the things that I was able to do with Maddox during his first year. No monthly pictures, no scrap booking , no documenting of any sort. Nothing.








Recently a friend sent me a picture of Jaxon being held by a clown. I don't remember the day, where we were at or who we were with. I found myself struggling to pull memories of Jaxon as a baby. It was not that long ago. I believe I was in survival mode and just didn't know it or want to acknowledge it. Now don't get me wrong, I am and have been in survival mode for a long time. The difference is I know it now, I have worked harder to recognize it and I truly have made a effort to document more with the expansion of our family. Hence the blog.








Some nights I lay next to Jaxon while he is sleeping and can't help the overwhelmingly sad feeling that rushes over me. He has gotten so big and is so independent. He rarely needs or searches for my affection and I blame myself for being caught in the whirlwind of the past few years. I apologize to him and find it hard to leave his side some nights. I put his hand in mine and trace the outline of his little fingers struggling to remember the way they were as a pudgy baby, but careful to hold onto how they are now.








I've said it before, I welcome the progress, growing, changes and birthdays my children go through, but I can't and won't forget the days that I am going through now. These are not only the times I want to treasure, but most importantly,... the memories.