Monday, December 31, 2012

We made it to 2013!

The week after Christmas wasn't the easiest week for us.  The day after, both babies started having the stomach flu and threw up.  That would happen Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.  Jacob and Claire would also get sick on Friday.  Dani's started feeling sick Saturday, and it lasted through the middle of Monday, and she still wasn't feeling well for another few days after.  Jared didn't get much of the stomach flu, but had a cold and lost his voice completely on Sunday, and it wasn't back until mid-day Monday.  Needless to say, we're glad we're through it!

Because the babies were having a hard time keeping their food down, we needed to make sure they were getting enough liquid.  They LOVE milk, but obviously, that doesn't work to give to them while they have the stomach flu.  Liam decided to be picky about the fluids he drank, so we ended up trying all the following:  
Pedialyte (he didn't like that)
Apple Juice (didn't like that either)
Water (only drank that once)
Gatorade (nope)
Gatorade popsicles (nope)
Gatorade slush (he took that twice)
Watered-down apple sauce (that was a winner a couple times)
Sprite (only if it was spoon fed)
Water in a baby bottle (he was okay with that a few times - I had to take a picture of our nearly 18-month-old drinking from a bottle)
Chicken broth from canned chicken noodle soup (that one he liked)

Kate is generally a pleasant little baby, but she has a short fuse and will go from happy to angry in a flash.  One thing that causes her to get mad is to be hungry.  Since she was sick for so long, she had a long time of being hungry, and it seemed to heighten her mad moments.  She started hitting her head hard on her crib, and caused a big knot to form in the middle of her forehead.  I'm amazed at how much energy both babies would use in throwing a fit when they had so little energy because of their sicknesses!  Dani has now tied the baby bumper to the top of Kate's crib so Kate won't hurt herself!

When Dani was sick on Sunday, Claire brought Dani something to help her be happy - it's a flower and a cupcake, and a hose to keep the flower watered.  Ha!

We didn't really leave the house (or change out of pajamas) between Christmas and New Years (other than Jared going to work two days), but we were happy to be feeling better by New Years Eve.  We celebrated (at 9:00) with Martinelli's, watching the Time's Square ball drop, and calling Nana and Papa.

2012 has been a fun and eventful year.  We've gotten to see loved ones and experience exciting events.  It has been fun to watch the rapid learning and growth of our children.  We look forward to a 2013 filled with more learning, fun, and excitement!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Her own unique style

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day

We wrapped Jacob and Claire's door on Christmas Eve (and re-wrapped it after Claire came bursting through, sobbing at 2 AM with a sore ear), so the first thing we remember of Christmas morning was the sound of our kids tearing through the wrapping paper at 8am.  We were able to stall another 20 minutes (to let the babies sleep) before we headed downstairs.

Santa brought Liam a shape sorter bucket, which he immediately started playing with.  Santa brought Kate a stuffed doggy, and it was love at first site!  She has slept with it ever since.

Jacob got some Nerf guns from Santa (not 8 like he requested, just 2), and Claire got some beads and painting beads.  Below, Claire models some new rain boots ("Yay, rain boots that FIT!").  After presents were opened, Jacob and Jared worked on putting together a Star Wars Lego space ship.

We spent a couple hours between 9:15-11:15 trying to soothe a crying Kate.  For the first time in Kate's life, we lit a fire in the fireplace, but failed to tell Kate not to touch, and she burned her thumb.  The burn was made worse by the fact that Kate was tired because we had woken her up early and because she hadn't eaten (and is quite cranky when hungry).  Fortunately, the Bowles had an ointment they brought over.  Between that, a Priesthood blessing, and Tangled, Kate got calmed.  It was certainly not the way we envisioned spending Christmas.  Jacob and Claire were very patient while not opening presents for so long.  We put the babies to bed after talking with Andrew on his mission in Texas, and resumed opening presents.  Babies didn't finish opening their presents until 3:30!

The presents that got the most play time were Claire's perler beads and Jacob's Lego Star Wars Wii game.  Claire and Jacob made a bunch of different creations (especially during the time we were trying to soothe Kate).  We eventually built a barricade around the TV because Jacob and Claire were jumping up onto the ottoman and getting so close to the TV.  Even with the barricade, we had to continually remind them to not get too close.  It was funny to watch them.

Liam spent quite a bit of time chasing around Dani's birthday balloons.  He liked letting them float up to the ceiling, and would immediately start calling out, "uh oh!" over and over until they were retrieved for him.

Kate loved wearing her shiny new shoes.  It was a bit of a challenge for her to keep them on her feet because they were too big for her, so Jared stuffed some tissue paper in the shoes to help.

Claire got a huge stack of books for Christmas.  She got a 15-book set of Beverly Cleary books and 5 other books from Santa and Amber.  I'm sure she'll have them read in no time!

Kate got a baby and a stroller from Nana.  She immediately put her baby into the stroller and took her for a walk.  She also liked to give her baby a book and a drink for her walk.  Liam also likes taking baby for a walk (normally because Kate is doing it).

Liam really liked Jared's new helmet.  He called it a ball.

I'm not sure what look Claire was going for here, with the gloves and the chocolate-covered ornament.

Kate and Liam thought it was pretty funny to be sitting on the coffee table while Dani opened her birthday presents.

We ended the day with babies listening to Grandma Vicki read a bedtime story to us (yes, the Santa is still inflated).

Happy 30th Birthday!!!

Dani turned 30 this Christmas!!!  We surprised her with a dinner with friends a couple nights before her birthday.  It was there that we decided Dani was not turning 30, but becoming "experienced."

Dani got a new cookbook for Christmas (she was allowed to open it early) and made an awesome raspberry white chocolate cheescake.  Given the amounts of sweets and desserts we had, we decided to make that her birthday cake.  Claire helped her blow out the candles.

Family albums from the Twincredibles blog were one of the highlights.  It has been fun to revisit what our family and kids were doing over the past years.

I'm sure that this coming 30 years will be every bit as awesome as the last 30 have been!

Monday, December 24, 2012

An attempt at a picture of 4 kids in their new Christmas Pajamas

After the kids opened up their new Christmas Pajamas, we figured we would try getting a picture of all 4 in their new Christmas outfits, knowing full well the likelihood of getting a great picture would be next to zero.  Below is a little taste of what those 5 minutes or so were like.  Given there are 10 pictures, I've made them all small - click on them to enlarge.

Liam started by not wanting to be part of the group.  Jared held him until everyone else was set, then quickly put him onto Jacob's lap.  At this point, we had 2 cameras going to try to catch a moment.

Liam was successful at his escape, so we snapped a picture or two with Liam off to the side.  Eventually, we coaxed Liam close enough to the group that he would be in the picture.

We wound up snapping 20+ pictures of this, with hopes of catching 1 moment where all 4 were smiling and looking at the camera.  Looking at the camera was hard for Liam.  Smiling was hard for Kate.  Looking was hard for Jacob.  And Claire was being Claire, quite excited to show off her missing teeth!

Liam would occasionally wander off, and we'd try to get him to come back and look at the tree, then look at us.  We eventually resorted to trying to get the kids to all yell, "WOAH" at the same time, which is one of Liam's favorite words, and is why his face is tensed up in the bottom picture.  

The winner, by default... the one where all 8 eyes were facing the camera.  I'm not sure I'm ready to enter this one into a 'cutest kids' competition.

Almost Christmas!

We took a few pictures of everyone wearing their Christmas sunday outfits.  Notice how happy babies and parents are - we continue to be grateful for our nursery leader who have welcomed our not-yet-18-month-old twins into nursery.  Everyone comes home from church feeling much better these days!

Kate and Liam were happy to help take pictures... as long as they were standing on the furniture.

I love the toothless smiles we get from Jacob and Claire.

Jacob and Kate are little buddies.

On Christmas Eve, kiddos and Jared played Scotland Yard (a.k.a. "Catch Mr. X).  Kiddos were proud of themselves because they caught Jared both times, and because it is a 10+ age game.

We went to the McKnights home for Christmas Eve, together with the Stewarts.  Dinner was like eating at a buffet - there was pizza, a 20-pound turkey, and a 9-pound prime rib (easy to guess who brought the beef).  We also brought some roasted brussel sprouts and cauliflower and a dessert.

Jared led the choir of the bells using a lightsaber to point at all the notes.  Everyone had fun playing their bells.

The nativity was quite ornate, complete with an angel, shepherds, wise men, and a donkey.  We used the new head dresses and wise men's box from Jersualem in the production.  Not pictured is baby Jesus (Liam played the part for 10 seconds), who ran off.  That made me wonder what toddler Jesus was like.

The kids all opened their pajamas (pictures of all 4 of them together on another post).  Liam was especially excited to have his box.

Lucky to have one another

Dani caught this fun moment of Jacob and Claire enjoying a book together.  They're still small enough to both fit in one of our chairs in the family room.

Jacob is feeling very confident in his reading these days - he enjoys reading to the babies.  Thank goodness for good shutter speed - this moment didn't last long!

Jacob and Liam have both been really interested in cars recently.  Jacob likes to line them up and have races with them, and Liam mostly likes to carry them around, but recently he's learning (from his big brother) how to drive them around.

Fast shutter speed isn't needed to catch Liam making a mess.  He likes to take things out find matching lids (which fortunately there are still some matching lids!), and put them together.  Once they're together too tight, he comes and finds a parent to take them apart, bleating, "uh oh."  He could pretty much live in the tupperware cupboards.

Okay, he tried that... and didn't like it at all!  We were sitting in the family room and heard him crying, then walked to where the mess was and couldn't find him, until we looked in the second shelf of the cupboard!

We didn't throw away those crazy balloon antlers we made at the Ugly Sweater Party, and one night, Claire and Jacob got them out.  When they started swinging them at each other like swords on top of their heads, then charging at each other like rams, I started thinking of how I would explain to triage and the doctor at the ER how my kids wound up with stitches in their foreheads!

Kate was thoroughly amused, and allowed them to stay on her head for a few minutes.  Liam took his off right away .

These kids really enjoy being around one another.  We hear a lot of laughter from these funny kids.