Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall Festivities

It may not quite yet be "the most wonderful time of the year" that is referred to in the popular Christmas song, but in our household, we're pretty big fans of fall. We love the changing leaves, the cooler temperatures, and (for Daddy, of course) the fall football. :) Now that we have little boys in our family, we can add a few more fall favorites to our list. Here are some of the recent fall activities we've done in our community:

Harvest Fest
This local event was similar to our downtown summer farmers' market-- food vendors, local farmers' crops, and a variety of crafters' ware. The morning of the Harvest Fest was VERY chilly, so we all bundled up.



Don't you love the beautiful fall colors?


We were mostly just "window" shoppers at the event this year but decided we had to try one unique kind of food. We stopped at a crepe stand and bought a crepe filled with... ready?.... bananas, strawberries, cream cheese, and Nutella. Yum!


The boys were such big fans that we probably should've ordered two! What a festive morning!


THE PUMPKIN PATCH
The fall season didn't quite feel complete until we picked out our annual pumpkins. This year, we ventured out to a pumpkin patch to pick some of our own. The day we went, unlike the Harvest Fest, was a gorgeous, warm day. The actual pumpkin field was a bit of a walk from the farmer's barn, so we gave the boys a ride in the pumpkin cart.


Whoa, a ride without seatbelts! The boys hardly knew what to think. :)


We only made it in the cart a few more feet after this picture was taken. Both boys wanted to walk on their own.


Upon arriving to the actual pumpkin patch, both boys eagerly ran around the field, tripped on a few vines, and touched as many pumpkins as they could.


Jaden tried picking up the pumpkins butquickly became frustrated when he realized they were a bit too heavy for him.


Cody was perfectly content just pounding away on the large pumpkins.


The field was HUGE!


Finally, it was time to pick out our pumpkins for-keeps. We searched high and low...


After finally finding a few perfectly-sized pumpkins, Cody helped Daddy cut them off the vine.


Meanwhile, Jaden created his own sort of pumpkin chair.


We loved the fact that we could leave our jackets and gloves behind. God gave us a beautiful day!


In the end, we decided upon 4 pumpkins-- a Daddy-sized, a Mommy-sized, and a set of twin baby pumpkins. The boys had no problem at all staying in the cart on the way back. Can you imagine why?


We were thankful for the warm temperatures and the enjoyable family memories at the pumpkin farm on this day. And now, our porch is fall-complete! :)


REVERSE TRICK-OR-TREATING
Amy's Mothers of Multiples Club annually sponsors a reverse trick-or-treating event. We were excited to join in for our first time this year. All the sets of twins don their Halloween costumes. After a few adjustments to the stripes (to allow the shirt to squeeze over our boys' large heads!), our little jailbirds were ready to go.


About 10 sets of twins and their parents met at a local assisted living facility. There, we walked up to the residents and handed out candy to them (hence, the reverse aspect). First, we visited with all the ladies who were sitting in the lobby. 


Then, we split up into 3 groups and knocked on doors down various hallways to greet additional residents. After receiving candy from us, this kind woman was eager to show us her pet kitty. At nearly every door following this stop, a little twin girl along with us would ask, "Where's your kitty?" :)


We were proud of Jaden and Cody's willingness to hand off the candy we gave them.


Both boys caught on fairly quickly to the concept of giving away their treats. (Obviously they didn't quite understand the tastiness of what they were holding!)


One of the sets of twins in our group was another identical twin pair-- 2 year old girls dressed as astronauts. They were very good at waving good-bye to all the residents and telling them to "have a good day."


We definitely put a lot of smiles on these residents' faces during our visit!


What a great idea for an event! We look forward to attending again in the future and reminding our kiddos that Halloween doesn't have to be all about receiving.


Despite what this picture shows, our boys really did seem to have a good time at this trick-or-treat event. We were trying to end with a cute outdoor costume picture, but that'll have to happen another day! :) After trying to take the picture, we realized that Cody was sitting in a wet spot on the lawn. Oops, sorry, buddy!


We've enjoyed creating some new fall memories with our little family of 4. It truly is a wonderful time of the year! :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Never a Dull Moment

As you can imagine, our home is always full of noise, action, and activity. When the boys are awake, the saying is certainly true: "there is never a dull moment" around our house!

These pictures and videos will give you an idea of some of the latest action with the Schleicher boys. Sometimes the action involves learning new skills. Here Jaden and then Cody demonstrate their ability to feed themselves yogurt.



Both boys have gotten even better at identifying various parts of their body. As you can see in the first video, Cody isn't always willing to slow down long enough to participate.


This second video, however, captures both boys in full ID action...with a surprise ending. :)



Other times, the action around our home is full of games the boys have devised on their own. This appears to be a silly, noisy sort of "Follow the Leader."


And lastly, at times the activity at our home is merely love in action. :)


Even with all the noise, action, and activity, this fact will never change---
We love you so much, our sweet little boys!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

16 Months Old

During the month of September, Jaden and Cody's sixteenth month of life, the most common remarks we heard about them were regarding three things-- their hair, their height, and their distinguish-ability. 

Their hair certainly is growing thicker, making the light blond color much more noticeable. On several occasions, we've had others refer to the boys as our "little towheads." :) As far as their height, we found out just how much they had grown at their doctor's appt. early in the month. Instead of floating around the 20th or 30th percentile as they typically had been since birth, they now are at the 60th and 70th percentile of height. Wow! And finally, we're having more and more people tell us that they can tell the boys apart, or at least notice more obvious differences in the two of them. This makes us happy and encouraged that our boys are more likely to grow up as unique individuals despite their twin-ness!

Jaden, Cody
Cody & Jaden, enjoying a mid-morning snack

Climbing down the stairs!

Goofy playtime -- Yes, they both climbed in on their own.
Cody & Jaden- dressed in their finest for church

We're still working on the good posture portion! :)

Snacktime at Grammy & Papa's
An update on the boys' 16-month habits:

SLEEPING
  • continue to wake up 3-4 times per night (bummer...)
  • eventually get into bed with Mommy and Daddy around 5:30 or 6:00 and stay asleep until 6:30 or 7:00 (hooray!)
  • still eager to take 2 daily naps on most days this month (another hooray!)
EATING
  • making progress with independent spoon-feeding
  • still hearty eaters, willing to try most things
  • developed infuriating habit of sticking their fingers WAY into the back of their mouths and gagging themselves when they're done eating (actually made themselves throw up 3 times! We're hoping this nasty habit is short-lived!)
  • consistent about grabbing food with their right hands
LANGUAGE
  • very interested in hearing a variety of words
  • will often point to objects and say a phrase sounding strangely like "is that?"
  • especially curious about lights and Mommy & Daddy's glasses
  • love to babble in their own "language," often with a high-pitched tone when they get excited
PLAYTIME
  • absolute favorite toys are anything with wheels (especially their push-riders & Cozy Coupe)
  • often seen sliding other objects (baskets, books, various non-wheeled toys) across the floor, too
  • loved helping Mommy gather the fallen apples from our tree into baskets
  • enjoy playing peek-a-boo around the tree in the backyard (it makes a perfect "V" through which they can peer at each other)
  • newest favorite game-- purposely bumping their heads into one another
NEW SKILLS
  • throwing objects, mostly balls or shoes (thankfully for those watching, the boys' aim is usually straight down)


JADEN MICHAEL








  • cut 4th molar (tooth #12)
  • had his first wasp sting while helping gather apples :(
  • endured LOTS of brother-bites this month (including 5 in one day!), often has red tooth marks on his arm-- poor kiddo!
  • hates to be reprimanded & often starts crying whenever Mommy or Daddy speaks with a raised voice
  • gives "hugs" by diving head-first into our lap


CODY ANDREW






showing off his big molars!


  • cut teeth #13 and 14 (top incisor teeth)
  • very ticklish on the bottom of his feet
  • quite an avid biter this month 
  • gives firm, enthusiastic hugs around Daddy and Mommy's neck

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Out on the Town in ABQ: Part 2

Our Albuquerque outings continue...

Outing #5 -- The Rio Grande Zoo
We picked a gorgeous day to attend Albuquerque's zoo! In fact, upon arriving at the zoo we decided that the weather was so warm, the boys would be more comfortable in shorts. So, after a quick parking lot change and then a special gate unlocking at the zoo's entrance (our stroller was too wide to fit through the normal gates!), we were ready for our day at the zoo. 

One of our first stops was the giraffe exhibit. Jaden and Cody had never seen a real giraffe before.


Can you sense their excitement? :)


We loved seeing how the zoo workers stuck leafy branches into the fence, giving the giraffes the feel of a real tree, and allowing visitors to get a close-up view of the animals.


The boys got a little more animated once we took them out of the stroller. Cody happily laughed and pointed at the new creatures.


Grammy and Cody led the way to the next exhibit---


Elephants!


We got to see this guy play with the water fountain, step on it, and eventually take a drink.


Some animals, like this peacock, we got to view REALLY up close!


The zebras were another big highlight.


We're not sure what Jaden and Cody enjoyed more at this particular stop-- looking at the zebras or having the chance to run up and down the nearby sidewalk!


Next, Grammy helped Jaden get a better view of the rhinos.



And finally, saving the best for last, we ended with the gorillas and the monkeys. It was obvious that these two guys were excited to see us.



Jaden and Cody weren't so sure what to think of this up-close encounter.



Quite likely, the boys' highlight of the entire day was playing on this wooden bridge. The shaky feel of the bridge made the boys laugh and laugh! At first, they would hold onto the netting alongside the bridge as they walked, but soon both boys bravely ran straight down. Talk about two little risk-takers! Two stumbles, a set of scraped knees, and a bump on the head later... we decided it was time to go home. :) All in all, we enjoyed our wonderful day at the zoo!


Outing #6-- The Aquarium & Botanical Gardens
This outing was extra special because we got to visit with both Grammy AND Papa as well as dear ole "Auntie" Tyler (Amy's good childhood friend). The only one of the group that had ever been to the aquarium was Grammy, so it was a treat for all of us to see the various exhibits here.

The floor-to-ceiling tanks gave Cody and Jaden so much to see--


like these bizarre fish,


and a whole tank of jellyfish.


Cody and Jaden's favorite spot was sitting atop this large (not real) starfish. They loved the bumpy texture, and, of course, being out of the stroller is always a plus!


Jaden and Cody proudly sport the cute onesies given to them by Auntie Tyler on their birthday.


We practically felt like we were underwater with all the sea creatures in some of these exhibits!



Papa shows Cody the sharks,


while nearby, Mommy and Jaden marvel at their close proximity to these large, frightening fish!


Outside the aquarium, we walked through the botanical gardens, toured a butterfly pavilion,



captured a sighting of a famous NM roadrunner, 


and toured the Children's Fantasy Garden. In this crazy center, we walked through a large pumpkin (complete with a squishy floor and a netting full of seeds hanging over our heads), saw ants as large as us, and let the boys have a heyday inside these carrots!


Isn't it great how children can create so much joy from the smallest things?



Thanks, Tyler, for accompanying us to the aquarium. It was so good to see you! And thanks, Grammy and Papa, for giving your little grandkids such a variety of new experiences. These outings made our trip extra memorable!