Saturday, September 29, 2007

Birthday Vacation (kid-free post!)

No, you didn't miss either of our birthdays. For my birthday in May, Dani gave me tickets to an A's-Indians game in September. After months of waiting (and very actual trip planning!), we dropped Claire and Jacob off at my parents', and went for a weekend of fun (and peace).

First stop was Jeffersonville, at the outlet malls. After spending some time finding some deals (including 75% off at Old Navy, where I got 4 t-shirts and Dani got a hat all for $10), we went to the Amish Country, northeast of Columbus. We visited a cheese factory (Heini's Cheese) and tried a whole bunch of cheese. We took a walk around Berlin Ohio and enjoyed a change of pace, then ate dinner at an Amish-style restaurant, and stayed at Hotel Millersburg, built in 1847. I'm sure James Polk slept in the same bed we had - it was not all that comfortable!

On the way out of Amish Country, we happened upon a couple really cool sites. I first commandeered this rig along the highway. Pretty sweet, huh?
And we stopped by Tom Dick & Harry Alley. We unfortunately did not meet Tom, Dick, or Harry.
We then went mountainbiking in Mohican State Park. It was a great ride through the trees and the hills. I took a good spill onto a log and Dani didn't like the first uphill mile, but it really was a good ride. I miss mountain biking!

We then drove to Cleveland, changed, and went to Jacobs Field. We arrived in time for batting practice. We congregated with a handful of A's faithful to watch practice and get autographs (for which I was observer - I just don't get the obsession!).

There was a big crowd in anticipation of Cleveland clinching the AL Central, but I got to see an A's win. It was a lot of fun, I hope the A's play the Reds in the world series next year so I can see another game next year (I know, keep dreaming).

(The Hat Dani's wearing, $2.25 at Old Navy - Nice, huh?)

We stayed at a Hyatt in downtown Cleveland. It's a very cool hotel. Here's a picture:

We had a great time! I'm not sure what the best part was, the cheese, the mountain biking, the baseball, or the 2 straight nights without kiddos!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

1st Haircut

Dani's friend Billie came to visit for a weekend, and since she cuts hair, Billie gave our kids a haircut. They needed it! Claire's hair was always in her face, and Jacob looked like he had a comb-over because of how long his hair was.
To get them to hold still, Dani put in a movie... that helped a little.
Don't they look cute? Claire's hair looks especially cute when you can see the back of it because it curls a little (especially after naps).
And Jacob looks like a like a little man now!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Classic snapshots!

Claire and Jacob play together well. They also have a way of bugging one another. You might be able to guess which was happening in the picture below. Dani heard Claire's howls and, instead of running to the rescue, she ran to the camera and captured the moment.
Jacob is quite the reader now. He loves pointing at the animals, cars, balls, and babies. If we're sitting on the floor, Jacob will find a book, throw it at us, and will plop himself down on our lap. And as soon as he's done with one book, he'll reach for another.
Eating has become an adventure - a messy one! And I'm not sure it's getting much better
Claire loves her bear! When we give it to her at night, she gives it a kiss. It is really cute!
Claire loves playing with straps. A few weeks ago, we were watching our friends' 4 year old and 18-month old boys, and the house basically turned into a racetrack for everyone but Claire. Claire sat in her chair and played with the straps in the booster for a long time!

Sunday, September 02, 2007


We went camping a few weeks ago at Hocking Hills (near Columbus) and had a memorable experience. Claire and Jacob loved being outside; they especially loved trying to get to the campfire, and wandering down the little road near our campsite (which, fortunately, was pretty far from any other campsites). Claire loved sitting on Taylor and Andrew's tent and playing with sticks and rocks. It seems whenever we go to a place with sticks, Claire finds a couple to carry around with her.

I'll admit we weren't exactly roughing it - we brought 2 portable cribs for our tent and a booster seat for meals. But, we did sleep outside... for some of the night. Some time in the middle of the night, a dirt bike went for a spin close to our campsite, waking both of our children up and scaring them badly enough that they would not go back to their cribs. Claire sat with Dani for a long time and Jacob slept on me long enough to leave a pool of drool from my belly button to the top of my shoulder (yuck - if that's not roughing it, I don't know what is!). Dani ended up in the van with 2 little kids strapped in their seats watching Baby Einstein for a couple of hours!

The next day was a lot better and we took a couple short hikes. The first was to 'Cedar Falls' which had no running water. "Boring," said Andrew, so we went to Old Fart's Cave (much more exciting, in just the name!). It was pretty cool - I could have sworn they were running a day care there with all the unattended little kids running around! It may be a little while before we try camping again!

A good question

Yesterday at Babies 'R' Us, a mother of twin 5-month olds asked, "Does it get any easier as they get older?" It is a question that we are asked often.

Meal-times are less frequent, fortunately. They are typically very messy now and very loud as Jacob, with mouth full, yells for more food. They take turns being picky eaters. They can often eat what we are eating, which makes meals easier to prepare, plus we no longer have to worry about milk allergies!

They can entertain themselves for longer stretches now, although with mobility comes the capability to take toys and hit. The tantrums are full-body tantrums and can be heard from the mailbox, but are getting to be more predictable, so we can try to head them off. It works occasionally, but there are many that are unavoidable!

For us, sleeping was the big problem until they were 8-9 months old. Now, we put them to bed at 8:00, they talk to each other, laugh, squeal, bang on walls, jump in their cribs, and play with their bears until 9-9:30, which is great because it means that they sleep until 8. They are also very good nappers, and need the 2 naps they get.

I think that overall, it may a little easier raising twin toddlers than twin infants (at least right now!), but it is definitely more fun and entertaining, and I feel like it is more rewarding as they are learning to communicate. Jacob and Claire have very different personalities, and it's been fun to see them develop. We certainly have a good time at the Jensen household!