Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What's New in Twin-dom?

January has been a cold month here and a slower one in terms of extra activities. We have certainly enjoyed the additional at-home playtime. Jaden and Cody are getting more fun to interact with each day! 

Jaden, Mommy, Cody

The extra time indoors, however, has meant that Mommy needs to be a bit more creative in coming up with ways to fill our days. You're never too young to start taking piano lessons, are you?




Mommy recently joined Pinterest and found a few at-home infant activities to try. She wishes she could say that the ones we've tried so far have been fun, engaging, and successful...

First, we tried wrapping a ball with tape (sticky-side out) so the boys could experiment with the new texture.




While the boys DID seem to enjoy exploring the ball with their hands, they also seemed to equally enjoy exploring it with their mouths (as shown by Cody below). Since we weren't sure that tape residue was the best new food to add to their repertoire, we thought it was best to move on to a new activity.


Our next activity was pulling scarves out of a tissue box. Since the boys love peek-a-boo games, this activity had great potential!


Neither pulling on the scarves nor watching Mommy pull out the scarves was nearly as exciting as chewing on the tissue box, however, so this activity was soon abandoned as well.


Mommy's not ready to give up yet, though. We'll keep on trying other activities and potentially try these previous ones again when the boys are a bit older. If nothing else, it's something new to occupy our time!

Developmentally, the boys have been making a lot of progress in their readiness to crawl. They both love getting into the crawling position and have even started pedaling their feet. They don't quite know what to do with their hands yet, though, so their motion is either backwards, falling flat, or stationary leg propelling. It's likely only a short matter of time until they take off. We're not sure whether we should be excited or scared...

Jaden

Cody

The other thing that our boys have been doing a LOT of is laughing! Sometimes, as Cody demonstrates in the video below, a simple mirror is all it takes to get the giggles going.


Most of the time, the giggles are brought on by one another. In this instance, Mommy had put both twins into the same crib so she could get the bath supplies ready. Neither boy seemed to mind the wait.


Another day, Jaden had a diaper blowout, so Mommy left the room to get him a new outfit. The boys had no problem keeping themselves entertained in her absence!



The last video shows a VERY common occurrence between our boys... Guess we need to review the 7th Commandment a bit more in our household! 




Monday, January 14, 2013

Seven Months Old

You're Seven Months, Cody & Jaden!


Yes, these are the beautiful smiles that melt our hearts each day! It's hard to believe that 7 months ago, the only images we had of these sweet boys were fuzzy, colorless ultrasounds. How remarkable it has been to watch our boys develop-- from small "blobs" with arm buds to the smiling, energetic little boys pictured above. The gift of life truly is a miracle! We feel humbled that God has gifted us with these two small blessings to hold and love and nurture every day. Here are some of our highlights from Month Seven:

SLEEPING HABITS
  • GREAT while at home; not so positive while on vacation
  • Have 1-2 nightly wakings, but can usually put themselves back to sleep within a few minutes
  • Move around a LOT in their crib; like snuggling themselves against the side of their cribs
  • Flip themselves over instantly after being laid down on their back
  • Favorite sleeping position-- sticking rear end up with knees and arms tucked under their bodies


EATING HABITS
  • Started solid foods, though very slowly for Jaden's sake
  • Tried & enjoyed rice cereal, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes
  • Cody is a fast, energetic eater who opens his mouth eagerly for food.
  • Jaden seems to think more carefully about what he's eating and uses his tongue to play with the food.
  • Still nursing & bottle-feeding 5-6 times per day
  • Had many adventurous nursing sessions while on vacation! (It's not easy nursing 2 boys at once in airports, churches, rental vans, and other people's homes-- especially when your specialty twin nursing pillow doesn't fit in your luggage!)
  • Weaned off all nighttime feedings

PLAYTIME
  • Eager "walkers"-- Love to hold on to an adult's hands and take steps around the room (Mommy & Daddy often tire out before they do!)
  • More confident sitters, though still occasionally topple backwards
  • Love their musical toys best
  • Enjoy listening to Baby Praise videos


BOTH BOYS



(Cody on L in all 3 above)

(Jaden on L)
  • Both have cute smiles with 2 bottom front teeth
  • Love sucking on their first and second fingers
  • Enjoy pulling on the strings on Daddy & Mommy's sweatshirts
  • Rarely allow Daddy & Mommy to eat a meal without holding a twin
  • Consequently, they love sticking their fingers in our food!
  • Not big cuddlers-- would much rather move!
  • Giggle heartily when being tickled, bounced, or when playing peek-a-boo
  • Never like being strapped in carseats, but calm down instantly when put into the car
  • Love being read to... and then chewing on the books

OUR CODY-BOY







  • Currently 15 lbs. 10 oz.
  • Loves to "sing" himself to sleep with quiet cooing
  • Loves to stick his finger in the hole of his Soothie pacifier
  • Occasionally falls asleep with his index finger sticking straight out (even if pacifier is no longer in!)
  • Still our goofy, smiley, energetic twin



OUR LITTLE JADEN-MAN








  • Currently 16 lbs.
  • Had a very content month with many nose-crinkling, heart-warming smiles
  • Blew raspberries for the first time
  • VERY squirmy on the changing table
  • More willing to play happily independently and sit still for longer

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Family Wedding Road Trip

The last portion of our Christmas travels included a road trip to Minnesota. Jason's cousin Sandra was getting married in the Twin Cities, and Jason's dad was officiating at the ceremony. Other than wanting to celebrate with Sandra & her husband-to-be, Lonny, we figured the trip would be a good opportunity for the boys to meet some extended family, too.

We were especially excited to introduce Jaden and Cody to their great-grandma Schleicher. Here is the four-generation picture.


Jaden enjoyed some cuddle-time with his great-grandma. Great-Grandma Schleicher hasn't lost her touch with little ones!


Jaden then met Great-Uncle Doug and Great-Aunt Mary from Michigan...


...while Cody seemed quite pleased to hang out with Great-Aunt Jane from Oregon.


The sisters, Jane and Mary, reminded Cody and Jaden that it's a good idea for siblings to get along!


At the wedding, Jason and his 2 brothers Matt and Jonathan served as ushers.


Don't they get spruced up nicely? Their sister Beth sang 2 lovely songs (even as she struggled with a cold, poor thing!) for the ceremony. What a good-looking crew!


During the rehearsal, wedding day photos, and pre-service preparations, all the kiddos enjoyed hanging out in the narthex and the nursery. Ian found a great way to make Cody laugh by reminding him how many teeth he has: "You have two teeth!" (Saying this phrase to Cody will still make him giggle!)


Chelsea was a great help to Amy & Kim in watching the 4 boys during all this down time.



Here is the beautiful bride, Sandra.


Jaden and Cody enjoyed their first wedding reception, as they were held by Mommy & Daddy for most of it. 


Grandma gave us a bit of a break, though, and volunteered to walk Cody around the room so we could eat. You can see Cody's favorite self-soothing method-- sticking his own finger into his pacifier. These soothies are the only kinds of pacifier the boys will take!


Great-Grandma Schleicher poses for a picture with 4 of her five children: Mary, Jane, Carol (mother of the bride) and John.


Here are the siblings with their spouses (Doug & Mary, Don & Jane, Carol & Doug, Carol & John), along with Great-Grandma Schleicher and the happy new couple: Sandra and Lonny.


Our immediate Schleicher crew gathered for a nice Christmas picture, too.


Our final stop in all of our Christmas travels was Rochester, MN. We stayed at Beth & Andy's house and attended Reedemer on Sunday, the church where Dad Schleicher had previously served. The congregation's members enjoyed seeing all 4 of the Schleicher grandsons, and we appreciated catching up with many people as well. Two of our favorite people to see were Lynette and Lynora Miller-- twin sisters! We love taking twin-to-twin pictures! :) They were very loving towards our little guys.

Lynora & Cody, Lynette & Jaden

So, although our journeys across the Midwest this Christmas were full lots of luggage, relocating from place to place, and busy days, we were blessed with good roads, safe flights, fun company, and (best of all!) little boys who like to travel!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Our First Christmas: Part 2

Our last post focused on all the people we spent time with during our Christmas travels. Now, we'll talk about what we did. Some of our activities included...

TAKING LOTS OF PICTURES 
With 3 cute babies, a fun-loving dog, and a precious 3-year-old running around, it seemed like someone was always snapping a picture. Cody (first) and Jaden posed happily for their "My First Christmas" photos.



OPENING PRESENTS
At the Schleicher household, presents are traditionally opened on Christmas Eve. This year, some of the gift opening spilled over to Christmas Day as well. (We added several more present openers to the mix, so the process took a bit more time!)




The family was so generous in giving to Jaden & Cody. Thanks for all the kind gifts, everyone!


"RUNNING" RACES
Cody and Jaden's newly discovered love of walking has inspired a bit of competition with Mommy and Daddy.

Jaden and Daddy started off with a great lead.


Cody, however, made up a lot of ground at the halfway turnaround. Perhaps he was motivated by Aunt Beth's nearby encouragement.


Cody (at least this time) won the victory!


RESTING WITH DADDY & MOMMY
All the walking and racing caused our two little guys to be tuckered out! We certainly didn't mind the extra cuddle time.
Daddy & Cody

Mommy & Jaden

PLAYING GAMES
After the little ones went to bed, the adults would break out the board games. Here we are learning a new game, Samurai. Since we chose to play in teams by couples, we enjoyed laughing at one another as we'd whisper strategies behind our Chinese screens.


And, of course, we had to play our family favorite, Stone Age.


Well... most of us played, anyway. Jason focused on cheering for his beloved Lions instead. Does it ever feel like you're the only fan left, Jason?



Mom Schleicher set out a counter full of delicious treats each night. There was definitely no shortage of snack food in this household! Thanks for all the yummy goodies!


TWIN TIME
Jaden and Cody show off their new sock monkey hats, handmade by a member of Grandma and Grandpa's church. The hats' tassels became quite the fun toy in themselves!


Each visit, Uncle Andy makes sure to bring along his Twins jersey for an appropriate Twins shot.

Jaden, Cody

The boys have certainly grown since their last in-the-jersey photo! Uncle Andy took this one in July, when the boys were only a month old. What a difference!

Cody, Jaden

HANGING OUT WITH FAMILY FRIENDS
This trip, we were privileged to see Mom Schleicher's good friend from Chicago, Beth Young. She also lovingly held and played with Cody and Jaden.



Beth would make a funny duck sound for the boys that instantly brought a laugh! For the adults, Beth brought with her all kinds of tasty homemade goodies. Yum! We ALL loved Beth's visit!


EATING DINNER TOGETHER
What a treat to have a table full of loved ones! As you can see, at least 3 people had to get pretty good at balancing a baby while eating during most meals. We ate such yummy food-- thanks for all the tasty meals, Mom Schleicher!



HAVING SISTER TIME
What fun it is for Amy to have her sister Kim on both sides of the family! Not many sisters can claim that! We enjoy having the privilege of being together for every family gathering.


PLAYING WITH ACE
We were so impressed with Ace's calm presence around 3 small babies. We never had to worry about him! Ace's most popular playmate was usually Ian, but here, Jason gets some good 1-on-1 doggie time.


BONDING WITH OUR NEPHEWS
Jason, experienced with holding 2 babies simultaneously, tries to calm little Ryan while holding Cody, too.


Amy enjoyed reading to Ian. He LOVES books and sits so patiently as he listens to any story. Ian's a bit more interactive than the twins, too!


Amy also enjoyed giggling with Ryan. Jason and Amy both remarked frequently how STILL Ryan was in our arms! He's such a calm and content baby!



CELEBRATING JESUS' BIRTH
Of course, the primary reason for our Christmas celebration is the coming of our Savior. We thank God for the gift of His Son, Jesus. It is because of this Gift that we have forgiveness and the promise of life eternal. We praise God for this Christmas joy!

After church, we took time for some family photos.

Mommy & Jaden, Daddy & Cody

Christmas just isn't quite complete without a poinsettia picture! :)


This was the best shot we could get of the 4 youngest Schleicher boys.


 It was a blessing to worship together with our whole extended family.


We praise the Lord for His many gifts, including our precious family. It was a joy to be with you all! Thanks for giving Jaden and Cody such a memorable 1st Christmas!