Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Happy Part of Our Weekend

The boys are slowly recovering. Friday and Saturday were the worst days and while they are still not 100% (or even close...) they are on the mend.

As I mentioned in the last post, I was unsure if I was going to make it to the wedding at all. Once I decided to go, I had to pack up two sick toddlers (along with pjs, medicines, comfort items etc.) and give Grammy and Grandpa about 500 instructions. I burst into tears on the way to the beach. I was sleep deprived, worried I was going to be late, and conflicted about leaving my boys. HOWEVER, once I got to the beach everything fell into place. I got a great parking space (which is a BIG deal!) and sat down about 5 minutes before the ceremony began. It was just perfect. The weather was beautiful and it was truly a night of celebration. (I'll be adding more photos in a few days since my mad rush out the door did not include extra batteries for my camera. I'll be stealing photos from Brian's parents this weekend!)

Here is the happy couple... Mr. and Mrs. Taylor!

Kirsten got dressed at the beach with Brian and his family. When the ceremony began she turned to me and whispered "I better get out my hankie in case I cry." I almost burst out laughing.

Kirsten and Aunt Chris had a great time together. I'm just so disappointed that Chris and Tyler didn't get a chance to visit with the twins. They are coming back for Thanksgiving... but I don't think that's soon enough (HINT, HINT Chris!)

Kirsten had a touch of "Flower Girl Envy" (okay... it was a lot more than a touch!)... but Amber made her feel very special. Kirsten was DYING to get a picture with the bride who is now "officially Aunt Amber".

We took a walk on the beach at sunset (well, Brian and I walked... Kirsten and Uncle Jeff did cartwheels) and managed to get a nice photo of the healthy members of our family.

Brian and I even got to spend a few minutes together without anyone climbing on us!

Brian made a great toast at the reception, Kirsten danced until almost midnight, and got to lead the conga line. It was a very fun, beautiful wedding. The weather was PERFECT and my babies slept most of the night so I was able to relax. More photos to come!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Poor Babies

My poor boys just can't catch a break. We had a very, very, very busy weekend... it was supposed to be filled with family and fun. It was NOT supposed to be filled with fevers, trips to the doctor, and hours of screaming.

Greg and Amber got married this weekend. The wedding was perfect and beautiful. Greg was beaming... Amber was gorgeous I'll be posting all the details and pictures soon.

Friday night Brian and I went out to the beach for the Rehearsal Dinner. My parents stayed home with our kids to put everyone to bed on time. (We wanted them in prime condition for the big day... Ha!) Both boys had runny noses during the week and Danny was a little cranky on Friday but we were so busy that I didn't really have time to worry. When we got home at 11:30 my parents were on the couch with a SCREAMING Danny. He was beyond upset. We gave him some Motrin, took him outside, and calmed him down for a moment (by letting him sit in the sink playing with water at midnight... whatever it takes!). I sent Brian to bed a little after midnight because it seemed like there was no reason for us both to be up. It was the LONGEST night I've had since the boys were born... and I've had some LONG nights.

Danny slept from 4:15 am until a little before 7 am. He screamed for every other moment of the night. Nothing helped... I tried snacks, bottles, songs, Elmo, baths... it seemed like each attempt made him more upset. He really wanted to be with Matt so I made the mistake of taking him down to his room around 2 am thinking he might fall asleep with his brother. That decision had me juggling THREE cranky kids for almost an hour.

Our pediatrician has office hours from 9 until noon on Saturday. At 7:45 I called my mom (and woke her up... sorry) to have her bring Kirsten to church for the family First Communion Retreat. Brian stayed with Matt and I took Danny to the office at 8:30 and we waited outside for the nurses to arrive.

My poor boy was diagnosed with Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease. This is a virus that is known for very high fevers (we were told to expect fevers of 103 - 104) along with blisters on the child's hands, feet, and in their mouths. So far poor Danny only has them in his mouth and on his wrist. Matt doesn't have any blisters (yet) but has had a fever since yesterday afternoon.

I don't think there is anything worse than seeing your child in pain. I would do anything to trade places with my sweet boy. Listening to him scream "Mama! Help Mama!" for hours was the most heartbreaking experience. Luckily he's doing better. Both boys are LOADED up on medicines... but it is helping.

My parents convinced me to go to the wedding for a little while. I felt terrible leaving my boys, but I didn't want to miss Greg's big moment either. Grammy and Grandpa were able to get the boys to sleep so (while we called every half hour) we were able to enjoy the wedding. We're praying that they continue to improve and that things don't get worse... I just don't know how much more any of us can handle. As always, we are so blessed to have so much help when we need it most. I know this post is way too long and way too detailed... but it's a bit cathartic and I'm very, very, very tired :)

Since You Asked...

This is a GREAT week to get a LOT of free stuff at Walgreens. I made my first (of many) trips for the week. I spent $5.67 out of pocket and went home with $87 of merchandise and $7 in Rapid Rewards for my next trip... can't beat that!I know that several of you are joining me in my couponing obession. This would be a great week to start out at Walgreens.

I wanted to let you know about 2 sites you may want to check out this week. Good or Free Deals does the best job of laying out all the freebies you can collect this week! You may also want to head over to $5 Dinners. There is a new series on this blog that is set up like a couponing class. It does a fabulous job of helping newbies figure out the logistics of couponing. Good luck and Happy Saving!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

From the Mouthes of Babes

Sometimes I think my kids are hysterical. I'm sure no one thinks they are as funny as I do (...part of my job as Mommy). However, some of this stuff is just too good to keep to myself!

In the last few days the boys have come up with a few laugh out loud moments.
- You saw the Potty Post right? Well, the seat has pictures of Big Bird, Elmo, and Cookie Monster on it. Before sitting down Danny addresses each character with very specific instructions. "Bird, No bite." "Elmo, No bite." "Cookie, No bite Cookie!!" I have no idea what made him do this the first time... now he probably does it because it makes me fall over laughing every time :)

- The boys both LOVE to play with Brian's harmonica. It goes missing quite frequently. We found it in the ball pit this week and the boys are playing with it all the time! Danny blows into it and then shoves it to my mouth saying "Wanna try?". Probably funny only to me but I think it's soooooo cute. Especially because it goes on and on and on and on. He blows one note then asks "Wanna try?". I giggle and blow, he grabs it back, and we repeat.

-In the bathtub tonight Danny was pouring water from his plastic Easter eggs (doesn't everyone use them as bath toys?) into a large cup. Each time he got the water into the cup successfully he'd declare "Oh Baby!" in the FUNNIEST . voice. I called out to Brian asking if he'd heard that and Brian said he must have gotten that from my dad. I asked Danny "Does Grandpa say that?" He laughed and said, "Yea... Grandpa... Oh Baby! Oh Baby, Grandpa!" (Again it went on and on and on.... and I laughed and laughed and laughed.)

- And my sweet Matt hasn't made me laugh out loud but he's made my heart smile. Matt now says "Bless you!" when I sneeze, "'Scooze Me!" when he burps, and "Love you!" (My favorite, favorite, favorite phrase).

The Potty Post

It's been a big week around here! As I wrote about earlier the boys are now out of their cribs; but that wasn't the only milestone we reached this week! BOTH boys successfully used the potty for the first time too!

Do you think Matthew could be any more proud? (I know this picture is blurry but it's SO cute!)

We really aren't "potty training" yet, but we're gearing up for it. The boys have been very aware of when they need to be changed for awhile now. They've been very interested in the potty and all it's mystery. So last week we got an Elmo potty seat and began letting the boys sit on it a few times a day. Their "success" was mostly luck... but they are SO PROUD. It's really cute. I figure we'll just go with this right now and see where it leads. Maybe this summer we'll try to figure out how to use the potty on purpose :)

Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-Dum

Sometimes having twins is REALLY funny.
After Matt bumped his head and needed an ice pack Danny began rubbing his head with one hand while the other hand was outstretched for HIS ice pack... Gotta keep everything even around here!

Operation "Big Boy Beds"

...The original title of this post was "Operation 'Big Boy Beds' Sucks"... but things are slowly getting a little better. As I've mentioned before, my monkeys have been climbing in and out of their cribs for awhile now. Monday I was forced to actually take the cribs apart. Climbing in and out no longer posed a challenge and too many "tricks" were being performed. For safety reasons I had to take the cribs apart which I really, really, really did not want to do.

You can see that Matt is very proud of his new bed.

This is what their new setup looks like. I'm on my third set of bedside safety rails. I keep buying the wrong kind for this type of bed. I finally have some that we think will work and Brian is working on putting them together (no small task!). For the time being, we're relying on foam mats and giant stuffed animals to protect the boys from the tile floor.

I feel like Matt is probably ready for his "big boy bed" but Danny is NOT. Danny gets out of his bed constantly. Sometimes he climbs in bed with Matt, sometimes he runs around the room (either playing or crying), and sometimes he decides to redecorate. This is the room after a 20 minute "rest".

The first night none of us slept AT ALL. Last night the boys woke up twice but went back to sleep quickly. It's been a LONG week. We've had 4:45 am wake up times, 3 am renditions of "Old MacDonald", and a lot of falling out of bed. There are no more naps. None. I miss sleep so much. However, each night seems to get a little better... so maybe we'll get a full night's sleep again someday. (HEY! A girl can dream!)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

We had a great Easter! We started the day at 9:30 mass where the boys actually behaved!! (Well... pretty much). Actually, I guess Kirsten and I "started" the day when she woke up at 12:45 am because the Easter Bunny "woke her up". There was no getting her back to sleep... so at 1:47 I took her out to the living room to look at her basket and try to calm down. We got back to sleep somewhere in the 2:30 am range... then we got up for the day at 7am. We took SO many pictures today that I'm having a hard time sorting through them... this may have something to do with the early wake-up times... So I'm just going to post my two favorites from the day.

Here is our family before church this morning

Danny loving Easter!

We woke up this morning to Easter baskets and another egg hunt. Matt danced to all the music during church while Danny ate 500 raisins. After church we had my parents, Brian's parents, Brian's brother, and my Aunt and Uncle over for lunch. There was ANOTHER egg hunt, MORE Easter baskets, and lots of fun!

Jellybean Fling!

Yesterday we went to our first Egg Hunt of the season... the Junior League Jellybean Fling. It was so nice... Pictures with the Easter Bunny, egg hunts (divided up by age), Radio Disney music, great food, and perfect weather!

Me and my three sweet bunnies!

Kirsten... posing and hunting for eggs... such a multi-tasker!

The boys grasped the concept of the egg hunt VERY quickly!

On Halloween Brian and I joked that the boys liked to eat each piece of candy as they received it. It is no different with eggs! It was as if they had been challenged to empty each egg before putting it in their baskets. Notice the other kids running around in the background while my boys are eating their candy!

Can you tell that Kirsten is holding eggs under her chin because her bucket is full? Oh! The basket/bucket situation was pretty funny too. Kirsten chose to bring her "bunny basket" that Aunt Maureen and Ryan brought her last year. I picked up some sand pails for the boys to use because I figured they'd get to use them again. Kirsten switched her bunny for a pail in the first two minutes of the hunt because the bunny wasn't "big enough for all the eggs!". That's my girl!

Here is Kirsten with two of the quad-ru-pa-lets. My friend Jenna has the SWEETEST quads you can imagine. Kirsten talks about them all the time and it is so sweet because she slows the word down into a million syllables.

My friends Nicole and Charlotte were at the hunt with their kiddos too. I was disappointed that we didn't get to visit with them much. We were very busy with our little ones in the beginning and then the boys hit the "no nap/sugar high wall". This is what that looks like.

Overall it was still a great day! We should have our bunny picture soon... I'll update when it comes!

April Beach Wedding: Take One!

Last weekend my cousin Allison was married on Clearwater Beach. This is the exact same venue that Brian's brother Greg will be married at on April 26! Brian and I had a wonderful time eating, dancing, drinking (maybe a little too much... oops!), and hangin' out with the Ward family.

This is our Ward family photo from the big day!

We laughed with Brian's family that this would be a "trial run" for Greg's wedding... It was also a trial run for my dress :) This dress will be making quite a few appearances this April!

...And here is a picture of Allison and Eric (aka Mr. and Mrs. Galley).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Beautiful Beach Day

Last week I packed up the kids and met my friend Tiffany and her two little cuties at the beach. The water is still very cold but we had perfect weather and a beautiful day!

Here is Matt, Isaac, and Danny... my boys will find SOMETHING to climb on no matter where we are! Isaac turned 1 last month but is the same size as Matt and Danny. (He even outweighs them by 2 or three pounds). We were asked if the boys were triplets... can you imagine?

Here is Tiffany and Isaac. Isn't this a great picture?

Here is Kirsten and Dylan. These two have had a lot of practice posing. Can you tell?

Here is Happy Matty. Matt LOVED the water. He was so happy and splashed in the freezing cold water the whole morning. It was really stressing Danny out. Danny did NOT like the cold water and was so upset that Matt wouldn't get out.

This little puddle was Danny's fun water experience for the day :)

Kirsten and Dylan had a lot of fun running around playing with dump trucks in the sand.

Chubby Isaac enjoying his snack. I LOVE his chubby little rolls. It makes me so sad that he is thinning out. Tiffany keep feeding that boy!!!

This is our entire crew. It's really hard to believe they are all ours! We had a great time and can't wait to go back again!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Better Him Then Me!

Last night I ran out to the store after all the kids were in bed. When I came home Brian was laughing telling me I wouldn't believe what had happened. Both boys went to sleep nicely. After about 30 minutes Danny started crying really hard. Brian went down to see what was wrong. His diaper was dry and he didn't want a drink or his blanket. He was very upset and couldn't be consoled. Brian went to Matt's crib to check on him and HE WASN'T THERE.

So Brian starts to look for him and can't find him. This is apparently why Danny was so upset. The boys cannot open the door to their room. (The knob is too high AND the door sticks.) So, Brian said he wasn't worried... just confused. I would have been screaming like a maniac. I know I would have been hysterical.

After a few (long) moments Brian found him snuggled down between these two giant puppies in the corner of the room.
The puppies fill up a corner of their room and are very close together... He was pretty much under the puppies sound asleep. Danny went to sleep as soon as he saw Matt was okay. I'm REALLY glad that Brian was the one who had to experience this... now if it happens again I'll know where to look and (maybe) won't start screaming right away.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Best Sister AND the Best Cousin

Kirsten is beyond excited to have a new baby cousin. Last Saturday morning Maureen called to tell us she was at the hospital and Luke was on the way. I squealed on the phone and then turned to Kirsten to tell her the good news. I continued to talk to my sister for a few minutes. When I hung up I called to Kirsten (in her room) to see what she was doing. She was getting dressed and putting on her shoes to "go see the baby!". So sweet. She was VERY disappointed when I told her: 1.) It would still be several hours until Luke arrived 2.) Children weren't allowed in the hospital 3.) I would be taking her to Orlando later in the week. Poor girl... talk about a let down!

Well, Thursday I got to keep my promise and take Kirsten to meet her new cousin. Kirsten, Grammy, and I took a "girl's day" and drove to Orlando to visit Maureen, Ryan, and Luke. Ironically, both my mom and I only slept for 2 hours on Wednesday night. Under any other circumstances that would have set us up for a terrible day... but there is way too much joy around this little guy's arrival for a little sleep deprivation to get in the way!

Kirsten is TOTALLY in love with her new cousin!

Kirsten and Luke posing for their pictures. (Take note of his chubby little arms... is there anything cuter??)

Kirsten feeding Luke (I have to give credit to Maureen and Ryan for being very relaxed first time parents. They called while we were still in the car to figure out our arrival time so they could schedule Kirsten for one of Luke's feedings.)

Kirsten and Luke with sleepy smiles... Sure at only 5 days old I'm sure you'll say it's just gas making him smile... but I think it's Kirsten's great snuggle!

At about 7:00 Kirsten and Luke were both worn out. They snuggled up together and called it a night!

...Earlier in the day I did a little photo shoot with Luke. My friend Tiffany does monthly pictures with her boys. She has pictures of her "little" Issac on the same blanket every month for his first year. I just don't know why I didn't do more of that kind of stuff with my boys! I'm kicking myself now... so I'll do it with Little Luke! Here are his April Pictures... 5 days old (Next month I'll take a straight picture... sorry Maureen!)

This little peanut is the most precious thing I've ever seen. He is SO perfect. No wonder Kirsten is so in love... such an angel!

My Daniel,

You, my sweetness, are a very determined little boy! I think this will be a wonderful character attribute 99% of the time. The 1% of the time it is not quite as positive has been very evident this month :) "NO!" is your favorite new word. You say it about 500 times a day. Sometimes it is very cute when I ask you a question and you answer with such assurance ("Danny are you ready for a diaper?" "No."). It's not as cute when you repeat it at the top of your lungs when I'm trying to talk to you. You will only eat a banana offered to you in the peel and you refuse to eat raisins that are not given to you in your own little box.

You have come up with quite a few really funny things this month. You are CRAZY for cheese. You say "Cheese Please!" at least a dozen times a day... and it's never enough! Last week you found a yellow Post-It pad. You squealed with delight and declared "CHEESE!". You carried it around with you for the rest of the day pretending to eat it. So cute!

As I've mentioned before, you and your brother are quite the climbers. I saw shirts recently that say "I have my own stunt double" that I need to buy for you two! When you are getting ready to flip or jump you say (in a very excited voice) "Five... Six... GO!!!!" and then proceed to do something very dangerous that you are not allowed to do.

We've began "prepping" for potty training. This mostly involves a lot of "potty talk". You are terrified of sitting on the potty and REFUSE to get up there... but you love to cheer for anyone else who uses the bathroom. You'll come running across the house screaming "YEA!!!! Pee Pee!" if you hear the toilet flush.

Your language skills are just amazing. You are speaking very clearly recently and using lots of 3 word sentences. You are starting to pretend and you really seem to enjoy antagonizing your brother. You love slides, birds, and shoes. You still pull your left eyelid (very hard) when you are sleepy. You are smart and sweet and I love you with all my heart.

I love you always,

Dear Matt,

My sweet, silly boy. You are so expressive. I find it so funny that such a tiny little person can have such strong feelings about things! You've had the "charming" look down for quite awhile now. You can flash your dimples and million dollar smile and melt hearts in an instant (and you seem to know it too!). This month you introduced your "disappointed" and "hurt feelings" expressions. Your little eyebrows furrow down so low and your little lip sticks out so far! You hang your head and cross your arms (and you still melt hearts... just in a different way). Luckily you are happy most of the time. Your biggest frustration these days is when we don't understand what you are trying to say. You either get very, very sad or throw a HUGE tantrum. This is as frustrating for me as I'm sure it is for you!

One area where you don't have any frustration (but I still have quite a bit!) is your motor development. You are so strong, so fast, and a freakishly good climber. There is nothing you can't climb. Seriously. I've yet to see you "stumped" by any piece of playground equipment or furniture. You are able to climb up and down stairs now. You've been climbing out of your crib for quite some time. This month you mastered climbing back in (not that you choose to do that very often...) Recently I put you and Danny down in your cribs and you were both MAD. You were both screaming and crying (very overtired). In the middle of your tantrum you stopped and said "bye" to Danny as you jumped out and ran across the room crying again. Daddy and I watched this on the video monitor in amazement. Danny was NOT amused. Now you climb out of your crib and go knock on the door when you want me to come get you... cute at 7 am... not as cute at 4 am.

You like to play ball but have a very hard time with the concept of "catch". You like to play fetch by yourself. You throw the ball, then run after it... repeat. You like the idea of playing with someone, but you don't ever trust that you'll actually get the ball back... so you won't let anyone else touch the ball.

We were at the park about 2 weeks ago and you and Danny were having a great time on the slide. There was a boy there who was about 3 years old who sat right in front of the slide you were using. You and Danny both tried to get around him but he would not move. After a moment I asked him to move and he refused, standing up and putting out his arms to completely block the slide. Danny tried to get past again and the boy growled at him. Without missing a beat you rushed forward and stuck your little finger in his face and yelled "YOU! NICE! NICE!" The boys mother (finally) came over laughing and said, "That's right, listen to that baby and be nice." The boy was at least a foot taller than you and easily doubled your weight. I loved the way you weren't the least bit intimidated. It was awesome!

You love to look at pictures and name everyone you see, you are OBSESSED with Elmo, and you love to tickle your brother and sister. You know all your body parts and enjoy nursery rhymes. You laugh at me when I look mad and hug me when I look sad. You are growing and changing everyday. I love you so much!

Dear Kirsten,

Well, my sweet girl, you lost another tooth this month. You were thrilled and I want to laugh each time I look at your "jack 'o lantern smile". This month you have been very busy with Brownies, gymnastics, and violin lessons.

You are still the best big sister around. You love to teach the boys things and you are so proud when they copy you. Danny has perfected his somersaults and is your little gymnast in training. Your brothers have been experimenting with temper tantrums lately and it is killing you! A couple of weeks ago the boys threw all their Cheerios on the floor. I showed them how to pick them up but they refused. I wouldn't allow them to do anything else until they cleaned up and they had HUGE tantrums. First you tried to show them what to do, then you tried to give them incentives and cheer them on. After twenty minutes of screaming and crying you asked me "Can't I please just do it for them??". It was so hard for you to watch them upset and not be able to "fix" it. When they finally cleaned up you clapped and cheered SO LOUD.

You are doing great in school and get "greens" almost everyday. It's still hard for you to stay calm in the early evenings but you're working on it. I recently told you you needed to come help me with something and you told me "I just want to be a big girl and make my own decisions. I don't mean decisions like 'eat candy everyday' just decisions like 'keep reading and not go help you right now'... cuz I AM a big girl you know!" ...It was VERY hard not to laugh but you were very serious. Another moment I don't want to forget occurred at the beginning of March. You tripped on something in the twins' room and were looking for some sympathy. You were limping around and telling me (with fake tears) that your leg was "broken". A few minutes later I opened the back door to let the boys go out to play... you ran past me and I caught you saying "oh no... not if your leg is broken sweetie". You gave me QUITE the look and declared "That is just an expression! Of course my leg is not really broken!".

You wrote your teacher, Mrs. Booker, a letter last week. I REALLY wanted to make a copy of it... but you had it sealed up long before I had a chance. I wish I could remember how you spelled each word.. it was SO cute. The letter read:
Dear Mrs. Booker,
You are the best teacher in the world because you clean up our whole classroom everyday when the kids go home. That is so nice of you! It's like when my mom has to stay up until 9:30 because my brothers mess up our whole house. Did your kids do that when they were 1 or 2?
Your Favorite Student Kirsten Taylor

A couple of months ago you asked, very seriously, when you brothers were going to "learn English". As they've been learning to talk I do a lot of interpreting for you (i.e "Did you hear him say 'Sissy'?" "He said 'Thank you'!"). It was as if you thought their poor articulation was actually Chinese. (SO CUTE!) This month you finally agree that is "sounds like they are starting to learn English".

I think you may be the most joyful person I've ever met. You take true delight in the simplest things. You went to an ice skating birthday party this month. There were little metal "guides" for the children to use to help you get the feel of the ice and keep from falling down. You went around the rink twice to get used to it. I expected you to dump the guide after that... boy was I wrong! You figured out that you could skate VERY VERY fast when you didn't have to worry about falling. You started racing around the rink and then began doing tricks as if you were in the Olympics. It was hysterical! You still can't keep a secret (it's just TOO exciting for you!) and you gave the birthday girl half a dozen "hints" about her gift in the first five minutes of the party :) You sing in the shower, wear VERY sparkly shoes everywhere you go, and never stop moving!

I love you more everyday. I truly do love you with all my heart, sweet girl.