Thursday, January 29, 2015

Little Picassos

Brace yourselves for the cuteness...

But let's back up.  I'd seen this idea all over the internets, and thought: awesome!  Babies' first art project!  I bought the paint and saved it up for a day when I'd really need it.  That day came last week, when Tyson was super busy, culminating in a day where he was gone not only all day, but also all evening, leaving me alone for all naps, all meals, and all of bedtime.  (Dun dun dunnnnn!!!)  Time to break out the big guns.

I put the paint up during their afternoon nap.  (Not that this really needs a "tutorial", but I filled freezer bags with some washable kids paint, and taped them to the patio door with clear packing tape.  Originally I just taped down the top and bottom, but they kept picking at the edges, so now all four sides of each bag are taped down.)

Brooklyn woke up first, and got some extra playtime in because Caden napped for two hours (!!!) that day.  (Whose baby are you, and what did you do with my Caden?!?)

I brought her downstairs and she immediately grinned and pointed to the patio door.

But then I put her down in front of it and she was all...


She crawled back to mama, being just a liiiiiittle unsure of these bags of bright colors invading her space...

But then...

Maybe I will go investigate...

Lol.  Nope.  And she laid in front of the door for awhile.

(Meanwhile my inner monologue is all "Touch it!  Just touch the bags!  You're going to love it!  Come on, I've been planning on this for weeks!")

Before finally gathering up the courage... touch one of the bags...

...with one little finger.

Leading to the discovery that, hey!  This is pretty cool, after all!

(She had to touch every bag with a solitary pointer finger first, before she would deign to touch them with her entire hand.)

Serious artist is serious.

(Experimenting with other body parts.  Umm...lip prints?)

Finally, Caden woke up.  And I thought, "Surely he will love this immediately.  He has no impulse control whatsoever and always barrels head-first into everything!"

Nope, he sat in front of the door for awhile, too.  Apparently in awe of Brooklyn and all her new found artistic skillz.

But, soon enough, he got into it, too.

"Heh, this is pretty cool."

It kept them entertained for awhile, and for the rest of the day they would go off and play and return to the patio door to do some more painting.  The bags are still hanging up, and continue to hold their attention periodically.

This one is definitely a win.  And now I can't wait until the day that I can set them loose with some "real" art supplies...just as soon as they stop putting everything in their mouths. And I cover everything we own in a layer of plastic.  Or maybe we'll just use them outside. But THEN...look out, world.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Post Weekend

These two kind of like each other.

(I think they were laughing at seeing the other wearing a hood...)

"Hey Caden, whatcha thinkin?"

"Twins stuffs."

We keep a couple of old comforters rolled up over some power cords in the living room, (ye olde out of sight out of mind trick), with the bonus feature of, hey, if you also drape them over the jumper...

...instant fort.

Brooklyn likes to crawl in and lounge back against the blankets, while looking around and grinning.  It looks like all she's missing is a cocktail cup of juice with an umbrella sticking out the top.

Good moms take pictures.  Great moms would have noticed their second child smiling in the background, and would have avoided chopping off their head so that they were included in the picture, too.


Weekend food adventures:

Cottage cheese isn't so bad, after all.

(I tried cottage cheese with them awhile ago, and they instantly spit it out.  Since now, if I were to let them, they would inhale an entire block of any other type of cheese in one sitting, I decided to try cottage cheese again.  Pros: they loved it, no cutting up cheese into small, baby-friendly pieces.  Cons: the cheese-y, liquid-y, curd-y mess...)

I also let them try a fresh-baked, chocolate chip cookie...

Luckily by this point, it was almost bath time.

And, a significant milestone in any child's life...

...first Chipotle!  Really, Chipotle is all of their favorite things.  Chicken, cheese, veggies (corn salsa, green peppers, and onions)...also rice, though we didn't let them have that since it creates enough of a mess in our OWN house, and I wasn't going to inflict that upon the poor employees.  Going to Chipotle also seemed like a miracle, since we went there after church.  And then after Chipotle we went to the store for another errand.  These are the days I dreamed of back when they were still nursing round the clock.  We're living the dream, here, people.


Babies first beer!  Wait, just kidding, that's mine.  Tyson and I got out for a few hours on Saturday and got to sit at a restaurant where we were able to, get this, take our own damn time.  The waitress had to come back twice to get our food order because we were in no rush deciding what to eat (though we were busy slurping down beer and noshing on some delicious cheese curds) (Yay Wisconsin!).  And there was no cleaning up afterwards.  We even waited (slightly) for a table and had to entertain no one but ourselves!  Ah, the miracle of babysitters.  (Thanks to our friends who put up with block tower after block tower, snack time, and, from the sounds of it, some epic baby stair olympics.)


(Sometimes the best pictures are blurry pictures.)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Going to the Store (One Baby vs. Two)

I went to the store with one baby on Thursday.

It was amazing.  I was so free.  You can carry one baby to and from the car with ease!  She fits in a normal cart!  This diaper bag is so light!  It reminded me of the first time I went out with only one baby.  I think they were about six months old when I took Caden, and only Caden, for a doctors appointment.  Then (get ready, here's the climax): we went two whole other places afterwards.  That's a total of three errands!  Which at the time, seemed like nothing short of a Christmas miracle.  At that time, it was a huge achievement to take these guys ONE place together.  These experiences, among others, have left me with some observations on what takes place when going out with one baby, vs. two...


Before Leaving the House:
  • Pack diaper bag with a few diapers, one cup of snacks, one set of clothes, one blanket, one hat, one pacifier, and a couple of toys.
  • Locate baby.  Change their diaper.
  • Pick baby up.
Leaving the House:
  • Baby still in hand, grab diaper bag, slip on shoes, walk out door.
  • Strap baby in carseat, give toy to baby so they are entertained.
  • Get self in car.  Leave.
Arriving at Store:
  • Get self out of car.  Grab diaper bag.
  • If cold, put hat on baby.  Unstrap baby from carseat.
  • Carry baby into store.
At the Store:
  • Strap baby into shopping cart.
  • Shop.
  • Give baby distractions as needed-toys or a cracker-though usually walking around the store and seeing all of the people and items is exciting enough.
  • Check out.
Leaving the Store:
  • Put bags in car.  Take baby out and return cart.
  • Strap baby in carseat, give toy to baby so they are entertained.
  • Get self in car.  Leave.


Before Leaving the House:
  • Pack diaper bag with a lot of diapers, two cups of snacks, two sets of clothes (which coordinate, of course), two blankets, two hats, two pacifiers, and a whole crapton of toys.
  • Locate baby one.  Change baby one's  diaper.  Put baby one down, probably in crib.  They will probably dislike this.
  • Locate baby two.  Change baby two's diaper.
  • Pick baby two up.  Pick baby one up with other arm.
Leaving the House:
  • Put both babies down so you can put on your own shoes. Grab diaper bag.  Call for husband's help to carry a baby down the stairs to the car because you live on the second floor of an apartment with no elevator, idiot.
  • Strap baby one in carseat, give toy to baby so they are entertained.
  • Strap baby two in carseat, give toy to baby so they are entertained.
  • Swap toys, because they each want what the other one is playing with, even though they are probably identical toys.
  • Get self in car.  Leave.
Arriving at Store:
  • Get self out of car.  Grab diaper bag.
  • Go to back of car and wrestle with double stroller.  Put diaper bag in stroller and hope nobody walks by and steals it while you are unloading babies, since your wallet and, more importantly, baby distraction items are inside.  
  • If cold, put hat on baby one.  Release carseat from carseat base and secure to stroller.
  • Walk to the other side of the car.
  • If cold, put hat on baby two.  Release carseat from carseat base and secure to stroller.
  • Try to push the stroller before remembering that you need to release the wheel lock.  Release the wheel lock.  Roll into store.
At the Store:
  • Pull off to the side once you enter.  Give each baby a distraction object and/or snack.
  • Shop.
  • Get interrupted from shopping by having to retrieve various distraction objects that your babies (or ahem, baby, *cough, Caden, cough* throw off the edge of the stroller.
  • Also get interrupted from shopping by having people ask, "Are they twins?" and other deep philosophical questions, such as, "But why does she have more hair?" and "Can they read each other's minds?".
  • Don't get as much shopping done as you would like, since the fabric bottom of the stroller basket is already sagging and almost touching the ground.
  • Check out.
  • Get engaged in a conversation with your cashier, as well as other store cashiers and patrons in the vicinity, over the fact that yes, they are twins.
  • Answer various questions about twins.
  • Politely extricate yourself from the conversation so you can leave (unless the cashier is so engrossed by the fact that, yes, they are twins, that she literally blocks your exit from the checkout lane, which yes this has actually happened to me before).
Leaving the Store:
  • Put bags in car.  
  • Remove baby one from stroller, put in car, give toy to baby so they are entertained.
  • Remove baby two from stroller, put in car, give toy to baby so they are entertained.
  • Yes, they probably want the toy the other baby has.  Deal with situation.
  • Wrestle stroller back into car.
  • Get self in car.  Leave.
El fin.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


This girl...

First off, you can call her "Vampira" since, well...

Top two side teeth before top two middle teeth.  It is HIL-ARRR-IOUS-looking.  

She nods her head "yes" all the time.  I think she does it when she sees something she wants or likes, though it's hard to tell, since she's done it pretty constantly for the past month or so.

On Monday, all of a sudden, (which seems to be the way babies do things around here.  No sign that anything out of the ordinary is coming, and then...boom!  Climbing stairs! Crawling!  Eating ALL the food!  Understanding the English language!), I noticed her shaking her head "no" when I said the word. 

Though she's a little rusty on the actual concept.  Sure, she'll shake her head from side to side when she hears me tell her (or Caden) "no", but then goes and does exactly what I was telling her not to anyway.  Yesterday I watched her crawl towards the blinds, which she knows she is not supposed to touch, and as she got closer she started shaking her head "no" with a big grin.  So...yeah.

The blinds are really the forbidden fruit d'jour lately.  She'll crawl right up next to them, and then just sit there, facing out, with a big grin on her face.  Like, "Yeah...I'm not doing anything wrong here, lady.  Just chillin next to the blinds."  (Caden on the other hand, will often barrel right on through at this point, and she'll laugh and grin as I tell him not to touch and haul him away, like, "Yup, he did it!  Not me!  I'm still innocently sitting here!") Yesterday she had been sitting there for awhile, with her back to the blinds, big grin on her face, when I looked over and saw her little arm behind her head, with all its little fingers caressing the blinds behind her.  The little sneak.

Yup, this grin, right here:

One of her favorite things lately is to cuddle: wrap her all up in a blanket and take the whole bundle up in your arms and she hugs and snuggles and strokes the blanket.  If you say, "Hug?" she'll give you a hug.  That is she'll lay her head down on your nearest body part (shoulder, lap, knee cap...she's not picky) and snuggle up while you hug her.

I think this cuddle streak is also what led her to climb up into the basket of laundry, fresh out of the dryer right before her bath the other day...

(Whenever she's naked lately, she also likes to stroke and pat and pinch the fat on her belly, which is hilarious.)

(Not pictured: right after this, when I didn't notice that she was balanced somewhat precariously on a heap of laundry that had bunched together in the middle of the basket, and she fell spectacularly backwards, taking basket and clean laundry over with her.)

She's also EXPLODED in her "vocabulary" lately, babbling on and on and on with strings of sounds, one right after the other, just nonstop.

And then she'll crawl on over, pull herself up by my legs or pitch herself back onto her little knees, and stretch out both arms to the very tippy-tip-tops of her fingers, her eyes as wide as they will go, just imploring me to pick her up.

And so I do.

"Hug?  Brooklyn, give mama hug?"  And she does.  Until she sees Caden doing something that is much more intriguing (getting into the blinds, perhaps?), and she squirms on down and off, back in action again.