Saturday, June 29, 2013

Visiting the Raabs on the way to Cody

We took a trip to Cody for the 4th of July.  That meant that we had a long drive to get there.  The kids were so excited to get going that they hung out in the car for over a half hour before we left.  I don't think they realized just how many hours we would be doing in the car on this trip!

On the way, we got to spend an evening and a night with the Raabs.  It was so much fun to see them and have our kids re-connect!

The babies loved playing on the trampoline

and so did pretty much everyone else.

Before we left, the kids put on a trampoline show for the parents.  They brought chairs outside for us to watch.  There were lots of tricks, including a coordinated exit.

The next day to Cody was mostly uneventful, other than the obligatory motion sickness that happens every trip to or from Cody.  We had to remind the kids in the back seat to look up so they didn't get sick.

Dani packed lots of activities for babies and kiddos.  Claire spent lots of time reading books, the Star Wars fan deck, and doing her word searches.  Jacob played Leapster, asked if he could play Leapster, and did a little bit of the variety of activities.

We also brought and listened to an audiobook. Kate decided she didn't want to listen to the audiobook, and she made sure Dani knew it.

Kate and Liam went through a lot of different activities.  Many times, Liam would be content playing with something, and Kate would decide she needed a snack or a treat, and when we finally gave her one, Liam also got to benefit from Kate's "negotiating."  It's great to be a twin.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A picnic in the closet

Dani is spending this week packing for the trip to Cody, so everyone's spending some extra time inside.  Kate and Liam followed Dani into our closet (where many of the toys we've put away are stashed), and they found the food and had a little picnic.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Eating with Twins

Eating with almost 2-year-olds is quite the experience.  Sometimes, they are very picky (especially Kate), and then sometimes they'll eat almost anything.  They also have some funny eating peculiarities. For example:

One day, Kate got her hands on a little clementine.  She carried it around for a few minutes, and eventually wanted to eat it.  So she started eating it, peel and all!

Liam likes to dip things in sauce, even if it doesn't go together.  Here's a picture of Liam dipping his strawberries in barbecue sauce!!!

While picking strawberries, Liam and Kate discovered they could eat while picking (or they could raid Dani's basket while she picked).  Liam would shovel strawberries, stems and leaves and all, into his mouth.

One day, Kate didn't want to eat her dinner.  She finally decided it would be better if she just stuck her face in it, kind of like the "momma's little piggy" scene in Christmas Story.

Another thing that Kate does is she likes to take 1 bite out of her food, then put it back.  A few times we've caught her doing this:
- Picking strawberries
- At one of Jacob's baseball games, she took a stack of about 5 Ritz crackers, took 1 bite, then put them back in the bag
- eating a cheese stick for a snack - she takes 1 bite and gives the rest to Liam.

They love to use their silverware by themselves and normally wind up as big messes, but we love it.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A's game in Seattle!

We went up to Seattle and visited the Space Needle, riding the monorail to and from the park, and spent some time walking around and taking pictures.  It was a beautiful day, so we got some picturesque shots.

We left Kate and Liam at home and enjoyed some time with the big kids.

We got to the game early so we could watch batting practice.  There were a number of balls hit in our general direction, but we didn't get a ball... until a random person walked up and asked Jacob if he would like a ball.  Jacob was thrilled!

We had some great seats behind the A's dugout

and got some great views of the stadium as the sun was setting.

We sampled some of Safeco Field's cuisine, including some delicious (and extremely garlicky) garlic fries.  Dani had Thai food, which didn't seem like ballpark food to the purist in the family.

Dani took some selfies of her and Claire and Jacob

Jared taught the kids to keep score by hand, and they stayed with it pretty well through the game.

It was a great birthday present!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Visiting the Nickels

The night we arrived, we originally planned on going into Tacoma for dinner, but due to a bee sting (right between Loche's eyes!), we decided to stay a little closer and ended up going to dinner at Bayview Golf Course, which will be home to the 2015 US Open.

Goofing off with Adam and Marnie after dinner

It is a beautiful course!  A panorama of the sun setting over the Puget Sound overlooking the golf course from the restaurant we ate at.

Claire slept in our room the first night.  Here's how we found her.  She snored loud enough that we made sure that she slept in the other room the second night!

The next day, we went to a park overlooking the golf course and to another park to watch Spencer's baseball game.  It was a gorgeous day to be outside.

Liam enjoyed playing with the big kids and walked around with a sword much of the day.

Marnie bought a pool and filled it up in the back yard for the kids to play in.  The water was super cold, so they didn't stay in long, but they were certainly in and out of the pool lots of times.

We hadn't come prepared for the pool, so Claire borrowed a shirt and swim suit from Lache and jumped right into the fun. 

It was a fun trip to see our friends!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Shingles... Really???

About 15 months ago, Dani came down with shingles while she was nursing Kate and Liam.  As a result, the babies each wound up getting chicken pox.

This week, Dani noticed a rash on the side of Kate's head, just behind her ear that looked suspiciously like shingles.  As Dani brought Kate into the doctor's office, everyone, including the after-hours doctor, the appointment desk, the nurse who checked them in, and the doctor she visited said, "Shingles is extremely rare in children this age," but sure enough, it was shingles.

Fortunately, it didn't seem to hurt Kate at all and she was out of the contagious period within a week.

Monday, June 17, 2013

For Estevan

Jacob's baseball team had a powerful experience this season when one of the boys on the team, who was suffering from cancer and had been for many months, took a quick turn for the worse.  One Saturday, he clearly wasn't as strong as he had been previous games as he collapsed a couple times while in the field.  One of the most touching moments of the entire season happened in his last at bat when every boy stood at the fence cheering his name.  It was probably the loudest I can remember them cheering the entire season.

A couple days later, we learned he had been hospitalized and had returned home from the hospital on hospice care.  Ryker, who is our home teacher and is the boys' amazing coach, quickly organized a teem meeting at the church where the boys decorated cards and organized to go visit Estevan.  They brought a bunch of things to give him, including an Iron Man mask and a wrestling title belt.

When we went in, Estevan was not able to walk and was carried into the living room.  Estevan was on pain medication and was tired, but he was clearly fighting to be alert and with the team.  He wasn't able to speak, but he gave everyone five, pointed at his hat to have his dad put it on, and looked like his spirits were brightened by the presence of his team.  His parents were also touched by the thoughtfulness of Ryker and the boys.  Estevan passed away a few hours later that night.

The next game, the team met and dedicated the season to Estevan.  Their hats have the Wilsonville baseball symbol on them, which looks like a W.  Ryker took a white pen and wrote an "E" next to it.  He explained to the boys that WE were a team and WE would dedicate our season to Estevan.  That game, the boys went out and played their best game of the season.  It was pretty inspirational and emotional to the kids and the parents.

Additionally, they were given the Iron Man mask by Estevan's parents.  They all signed it, and it hung next to their dugout for the rest of the season.  Every time a boy went up to bat, they touched the mask. They then took practice swings at a base they spray painted with an E.  After one game later in the season, Ryker gave a game ball to Estevan, which one of the boys took and placed on his grave.

At the end of the season, Estevan's parents came to the year-end tournament.  The team took time be with them and say hi.  They told them that they had dedicated their season to Estevan.  Estevan's parents thanked Ryker for the ball on his grave and for the support they felt from the team.

It was an incredible season to be part of.  And it was all For Estevan.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Loving Those Shoes

A month or two ago, I wrote this post on about how obsessed with shoes Kate and Liam are.  That obsession has continued.  The video shows Liam in his favorite shoes.

For good measure, here are a couple more wearing around Dani's wedges.

Father's Day

I am lucky to be the father of 4 AWESOME kids who I love and who love me, too!!!  

One of the best presents I got was a little book from my kids all about their daddy.  As I was reading it, Kate was getting a particularly big kick out of the answers (hers especially).

Liam, meanwhile, was chilling on the couch with his snack and his remote control.

Lots of the answers in the book centered around having fun, telling jokes, and joking around (my kids think I'm hilarious).  Jacob appreciated our time talking.  Claire appreciated that I am a priesthood holder.

Here are some of my other favorite answers:

I love Dad because:
He sometimes forces us to go outside (Claire)
He talks with me (Jacob)

Daddy's favorite hobby:
Mommy (Jacob)
Playing with the Authors (Claire)
Ribbit (Kate)
Bye Daddy! (Liam)

After opening the other presents (or holding the presents on my lap as my babies opened them) and Kate noticed that the last present was gone, she went running as fast as possible into the kitchen, exclaiming, "CAKE!!!"  She's got it all figured out.