Monday, April 15, 2013

A GRAND Visit

What a special treat it was recently to have Grandpa and Grandma Schleicher visit our home! Grandma and Grandpa sure know how to spoil their grandchildren, as they showered Jaden & Cody with lots of attention and love. Our family treasured every moment of their visit. We filled our days with a variety of activities, mostly doing the things that the boys love best...

Grandpa & Grandma read lots of stories-- before naptimes, bedtime, or even just for playtime (often to give Mommy or Daddy a break!). Jaden & Cody listened intently and loved relaxing on their grandparents' comfortable laps.




Of course, the days were filled with lots of playtime! Grandpa and Grandma didn't hesitate to join the boys right down on the floor.

Grandpa & Jaden

Grandma & Cody

Grandpa made some silly faces sometimes which made both boys giggle.

Grandpa & Cody

Grandpa & Jaden

Grandma liked helping the boys practice their walking... 

Grandma & Cody

...and then cuddling with them afterwards!


God even blessed us with some sunny days so that we could spend some time outside.



The wind was a bit chilly at times, though, so Grandpa walked the boys backwards, as protection from the cold. Thanks, Grandpa!


For the boys, the highlight of every walk is a stop at the neighborhood park. Grandma & Grandpa and Cody & Jaden probably could've enjoyed fun at the park all afternoon! The boys loved having new swing-pushers.


As you can tell, during their visit Grandpa and Grandma were involved in all aspects of caring for their grandsons. Here, Cody and Jaden receive some gourmet food (I think it's applesauce...) from their grandparents.


Grandpa and Grandma even treated our whole family to a dinner out. We enjoyed a tasty local steak place together. The boys don't have a lot of experience with restaurant-dining yet, but they did quite well!



And finally, Grandma and Grandpa were so generous to leave behind some fun gifts. Cody and Jaden enjoyed the fuzzy feel of their soft new Easter bunnies from Grandma.


And after playing downstairs with the boys, Grandpa decided that one push-rider toy wasn't enough for the twins. (Our first push-rider was a Christmas gift from Grammy & Papa. Mommy & Daddy assured them that the boys would be fine with just ONE toy. We figured that two push-riders would only bring crashes and tears... but didn't count on the tears and fighting that, yes, already comes at 10 months when both boys desperately want the same toy!) We all agreed that the peace would be worth a small "car crash" here and there... :) Grandpa and Grandma shopped for the new toy and found a cute Cars push-rider. Grandpa assembled it and taught the boys how to get started...


...how to steer...


... and how to get out of traffic jams! :)


The boys were so eager to try out their new toy and progressively got faster and faster behind the "wheel."

Cody

Jaden

The boys love that they no longer have to share their favorite toy. And what an adventure it is watching them both race around the room together! Best of all, we love that we have a set of toys that reminds Cody and Jaden of all four grandparents!


What a fun-filled visit! Grandpa & Grandma, we thank you for your attentive natures, your thoughtful gifts, your playful spirits, your helpful hands, and your hearts of love. What a joy it was to have you here. Thank you for visiting us. We all love you and miss you already!




Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Our Everyday Twins

Most of the time these days, I catch myself only pulling out the camera to take pictures of new events and milestones or special occasions. Lately, I've been trying to remind myself to capture some of the boys' everyday occurrences. Their daily habits and mannerisms become so commonplace to Jason and me, and yet we don't want to forget them because they make up such a unique part of who our boys are. 

So... here is a random collection of pictures and videos of our boys at home.

Our family recently enjoyed a beautiful Montana day by playing with bubbles (thank you to the Boll family and to the Hansons for the bubble gifts!). Notice Cody itching his leg in both shots. Our poor little guy has issues with eczema/sensitive skin, so it's not uncommon for him to be scratching at his leg or chest. We have to be vigilant with the lotion and the doctor-prescribed ointments for this little fella. On this day, the bubbles were a great distraction!




One of our boys' favorite places to play lately is behind the door in Mommy & Daddy's bedroom. They LOVE closing the door and then climbing up to see themselves in the mirror. Yes, occasionally the fun (especially for Jaden below) involves biting on the mirror frame or even licking the mirror itself.





For naptimes and bedtime, we follow the same routine every day: put the boys in their sleep-sacks, read them books, say a prayer, and rock them in the glider while singing a couple songs. Then, we lay the boys down in their side-by-side cribs. No matter how tired our boys are during this process (rubbing their eyes, squirming, or closing their eyes entirely), as soon as we lay them down, they almost always bounce right up. Even wearing their sleep sacks, they will instantly crawl towards each other, stand up, and start giggling or babbling back and forth. Thankfully, our boys have learned to put themselves to sleep, so after a few minutes of this noisy playtime, the silence DOES eventually come!


Ah, yes, and then there is the daily playtime... or perhaps the more appropriate term is destruction time. It's amazing how quickly the boys can turn a tidy room into a tornado-strewn zone. Mommy is particularly ready for the day when her little destroyers can help with the clean up process, too!


Now that our entryway contains a soft foam padding on the floor, this area has become a favorite hangout. We especially love how Jaden and Cody seem to enjoy playing near each other and often end up giggling back and forth.

video

More giggles as we are getting ready for a walk...

video

A number of times we have referenced Cody's "speeches." His best performances are given in front of our bedroom mirror, following bottle-time. Our little orator regularly makes us smile with his animated hand motions and his intense grunts and babbles.

video

Often while eating in their high chairs, our twins will reach over and try to grab at one another. Sometimes they will even laugh back and forth with mouths full of food. On this particular day, Jaden tried to take the role of the Pacifying Twin.

video

And finally, our walking boys are showing great improvement. Within the past week, both Jaden and Cody have let go of furniture and started walking on their own accord. It's still quite a shock for Daddy & Mommy to turn around from something and see the boys upright, independently toddling across the room. Not surprisingly, the increase in walking has meant an increase in falling, which has greatly heightened the number of bonks, bruises, and even fat lips we've seen lately! In general, though, a walking boy equals a happy boy in our household. Here, Jaden demonstrates his walking skill.


video






Monday, April 8, 2013

Crossing the 10-Month Mark

At 10 months old, it's amazing to see the changes in our little guys. They are no longer the small, helpless, immobile infants we brought home from the hospital. They've had a month of seemingly perpetual motion. It's also been their happiest month yet-- a very enjoyable (and yet busy!) combination for Mommy & Daddy. We thank the Lord every day for the gift of these little boys, and we're so proud of how far they've come in the last 10 months.

Cody & Jaden

Here are some of their monthly highlights:

SLEEPING HABITS
  • 2 daily naps (approximately 1 hour each)
  • Sleep through the night (until 5 or 5:30) most nights, then rest with Mommy or Daddy until a more reasonable wake-up time :)
  • Both boys instantly pull themselves to a standing position after being laid down
  • Love babbling back and forth in their cribs
  • Always fall asleep on their tummies, often with their legs tucked underneath them

EATING HABITS
  • 3 daily meals consisting of a combination of grain cereal, fruit or veggie puree, often with a shredded meat mixed in
  • Experimented with various finger foods (favorites are bread, cheese, and puffs)
  • Jaden got the hang of self-feeding, though he is very selective about what he picks up!
  • Cody usually just picks up his food and drops it on the ground. He finally was successful at self-feeding at the very end of the month.
  • Still nurse 5 times daily

PLAYTIME FAVORITES
  • Pulling ALL the books of their bookshelf (an activity done 2-3 times/day)
  • Using their push-rider toy downstairs
  • Looking at themselves in the mirror on the back of Mommy & Daddy's bedroom door
  • Cruising along the furniture
  • Falling off the front landing step onto our foam padding
  • Crawling quickly to the bathroom whenever the light is turned on
  • Playing with plastic lids in the kitchen
  • Riding in the swings at the playground


Jaden & Cody


Jaden & Cody


Jaden & Cody in their Easter finest!

BOTH BOYS
  • Took first steps this month!
  • Energetic crawlers
  • Often use each other to pull to a standing position, resulting in both boys toppling over
  • LOTS of drool this month, due to multiple incoming teeth
  • Hardly use pacifiers at all throughout the day or at night anymore-- hooray!
  • Love lift-the-flap books
  • Enjoy being tickled, being read to, and having their teeth brushed


CODY ANDREW




See all the teeth up top?? AND the drool? :)




  • Weighs in at 19 lbs. 9.5 oz. (almost caught up with Jaden)
  • Had first ear infection, and is now sleeping MUCH better after his antibiotics
  • Officially got 3 new teeth up top (for a total of 6)
  • Learned how to clap
  • Enjoys making a bubbling noise with his lips
  • Still gives wonderful "speeches" with dramatic arm movements
  • Walked independently across the room at the end of the month



JADEN MICHAEL








  • Weighs in at 19 lbs. 11 oz.
  • Cut all 4 teeth up top this month
  • Can sip water out of Mommy or Daddy's cup
  • Loves babbling new syllables like "ma, ma, ma" and "ba, ba, ba"
  • Hates to be wiped up after meals
  • Has started biting his crib, ruining the finish in several places (We have since ordered crib rail guards to protect the crib and his teeth!)
  • First to come crawling after Mommy to find her if she leaves the room

We love our 10-month-olds!


Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Baby Bracketology Poem (by a proud Daddy)

Just one year ago, my bracket was BUSTED!
No more, I did say, can my picks be trusted.
In 2013, my infants will try
to help keep the Madness from making me cry.
I'll come up with ways to let them make picks,
at only nine months, they won't need fancy tricks.
I'll use random objects and some of their toys,
yes, our twins will become bracketology boys!

So Selection Sunday came and went,
my mind had already used time well spent,
planning a system all around our home,
now, we add pictures to go with my pome (get it?!).

One matchup choice used pacifiers they suck,
Jaden chose Butler over the nell from Buck.





Duke versus Albany, which tower would fall?
They thought the Blue Devils would be too tall.


Cody got to choose between Mommy's home state
or the smart guys from Harvard who like to debate.


He went with the Lobos which made Mommy grin,
But Harvard shocked the world and came out with the win.


Our boys really like their musical table,
they play and hold on, though it's not super stable.
Aztecs and Sooners, which button pushed first?
Of their upsets chosen, this was not their worst.
Their biggest Cinderella was a different 7/10
they chose Cincy to win three times, and then again!


Syracuse was their only #4 to advance
out of the first round in this Big Dance.


That left a choice, and Cody grabbed five.
But Syracuse is still doing the Final Four jive!


Below is the first of two videos,
this was an Elite 8 choice that clearly shows,
Jaden choosing Georgetown, a big bball school.
One single team, though, made America drool:
Florida Gulf Coast and their alley-oop dunk,
made our boys' chosen champion leave with a clunk.

video

This shows a fun way I had them decide,
but what do you do when a prediction is tied?

video

I named our boys' bracket "Helping Daddy"
since last year my own picks drove me batty!
They only picked six right in the sweet 16,
yet they chose some upsets no one could have seen!
LaSalle beating Ole Miss to get to the second weekend?
They had it right--I thought they had gone off the deep end!

One thing I have learned, though, about this tourney,
the brackets are fun, but the true journey
is watching close games and enjoying time together,
waiting for springtime and all its nice weather.
My boys have "helped Daddy", but have done so much more.
They've cheered our favorite team into the Final Four!

What is Jaden thinking?  While I have no clue...
The Schleichers in Montana are all yelling, "GO BLUE!"