Friday, May 30, 2008

Gettin' Lucky...

in Kentucky??? Yep...I'm in KY! I decided to drive out here since both of my sisters are in town. I felt left out :( The boys and I packed up and headed out at 5 this morning. We pulled into my parent's driveway at 4! NOT BAD!!! They are awesome travelers. Brandon is having a hard time falling asleep, but that's normal. New place, new smells, pack n play...tend to make one of them a little uneasy. We'll be here for about a week or so. Have a great week everyone!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

We hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day filled with family, friends, and FOOD!

Brandon has some crazy hair, so I decided to spike it last night with some gel. He wouldn't let me take a picture of him from behind, but you get the idea of what his hair looked like!

I'm going to start getting into the habit of going outside to play right after breakfast. The weather here gets really hot in the afternoon, but my kiddos LOVE to be outside. Now that Connor is walking pretty well, I'm trying to spend more time out there. I stole my neighbor's slide for a few minutes and let the boys play with it. Brandon spent his entire morning trying to eat dirt. Yum.

Connor is saying, Mommy...I have grass stains on my shorts!

Brandon looks like a yard worker! I can picture him digging in Eric's parent's garden when we visit them later this fall. He, once again, tried to eat the dirt.
It wasn't long before they discovered the road, so I packed them up and took them on a walk. We made it home just in time for their morning nap, and I headed outside to clean up the fence line, pull weeds, weed-whack, and earn a few cuts on my hands...good times. After lunch I put a blanket over their slide to create a fort. They loved it! This was one of the things I loved to do when I was little. Bridget and I would make a fort in the basement under the stairs and pretend to run away...haha

Connor hasn't stopped playing with this slide since Friday. He has bruises up and down his arms and legs from falling off of it, climbing on it, sliding down it, etc.

Here's a little video of them playing together in Fort Danko. I must apologize for the little snort I make while I was laughing at them. If you watch, you can see Connor holding the blanket up for Brandon so he can get under it with sweet. I love my boys!

Brandon stood without holding onto anything for a few seconds today and was VERY excited about it. Hopefully he'll be walking within the next couple of weeks. I'm working with him a lot more than I did with Connor. We're also working on body parts and more words. Connor says a lot of his own language like doggie, bye bye, rock, bath, ball, papaya, more, mama, dada, Beine (my neighbor's dog's name). I think that's pretty good. He looks at the dogs and says "daga" I know that means doggie. Bath and ball sound a lot alike, but I can point to the ball and say, what is that, and he'll answer BA. I'll say it's time for our bath and he crawls to the bathroom and says BA. We're working on it. Brandon is making this new sound and it's really funny. It sounds like he's saying deedle deedle deedle. They're a constant work in progress.

After dinner we went for another walk with my friend Melissa and her 2 daughters. They live just a few neighborhoods over from us. It was nice to have some adult conversation. We came home and tackled some much needed baths before reading some books. Before I could let the dogs in to eat dinner, the boys were down for the count. We had another busy day, but it was a really nice one.

Guess the Danko...#5...I think

You know the drill. I think this is a super easy one!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Long Day = Long Post

We were out the door by 830 this morning! The boys went to Mother's Day Out, and I ran a ton of errands. Those errands included a lot of SPOILING of my boys, but they really need things to do inside the house. This is them totally passed out after I picked them up from MDO. It was a really nice day out, so I put the windows down and let them sleep in the car a little while I took my purchases inside. They stayed in the car for about 20 minutes until I woke them up.

They were in for a BIG surprise when they walked (crawled) in the door. I found one of these little club house thingys at the used store and couldn't pass it up. I've been watching craigs list for something like this, but most of them have been used outside and aren't in very good condition. Plus, they wanted the same amount that I paid for this one and it looks brand new! The lady at the consignment store said it came from a lady who ran an in home day care. It was a GREAT buy for me!!!
This look on Brandon's face is what giving them special gifts is all about. They played with this slide all day long...and I mean it...all day!

I attached Mr. Giraffe to the slide so they could slide into a tunnel...Connor loved it! Brandon is laughing in this picture...that's not a crying face!!
Connor just pushed his way by Brandon..exCUSE me brother!

The boys enjoyed PB & J and some fresh papaya for lunch. I kept saying papaya when I put more on their tray, and Connor kept getting closer and closer to saying it. He uses really convincing inflection in his voice when he talks. Even B came really close to saying it...

The OT suggested I start introducing the boys to markers, crayons, etc. Theresa gave me some of the Crayola markers for babies, and I bought them the Crayola Stampers at Wally World today. They didn't quite understand the idea, and Connor was more interested in ripping the paper off his tray, but I bet Picasso did the same thing!

This picture...which is blurry...sorry...was a stamp that Connor made ALL BY HIMSELF! GO BUDDY! It's amazing what I think is a HUGE accomplishment. Now I can add "budding artist" to that list!
You can see his little stamp mark again on this page. I should have saved the paper ( and I'm surprised I didn't) but it's long gone under dirty diapers and raw chicken wrapping :(
I think Brandon looks like a man in this picture and not a baby! :( They are growing up SO fast.
B is getting some teeth...BIG TIME! His top front teeth have broken through and the side ones are almost there! The easiest way to get a picture of their mouth is to TICKLE TICKLE TICKLE!!!

The other purchase I made today was this SPIDERMAN couch! They both loved the Disney Princess one that Katie and Angelica had, and I thought this would be something they would use. Brandon didn't waste any time sitting on it, laying on it, and standing on it. He told me he's looking for Daddy out in the backyard...
and so is Connor!

Brinks came out and added a sensor to the new sliding door today so our house is now fully secure again. The boys took a nap, and I snuck in a 45 minute snooze. Then I grilled Bettina and I some BBQ chicken and a piece of honey mustard chicken for the kids along with some squash, zucchini, and onions for dinner. Then we all headed to Kmart to return some sandals, Lowes to pick up a swatch of paint for Ryan to come and touch up some bad spots, picked up the Explorer from Ford and headed back home. The boys played so well tonight that I let them stay up an extra 20 minutes. I hope they sleep in tomorrow!!! I did 3 loads of laundry, mopped all the hard floors, and cleaned up the kitchen. I'm totally pooped today! The boys kept me on my feet all day, but I loved every minute of it! We don't have any plans tomorrow and I don't plan on going sleeping in would be awesome. The joggling stroller is in the back of the Explorer, so I haven't been able to get out with the boys. I'm hoping to go for a nice long run/walk tomorrow morning.

I hope everyone has a safe holiday weekend, and congratulations to my cousins Lisa and Renae for graduating from high school. They are both having parties this weekend and I wish I could be there :(

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Playdate Day

Hanging out on the box!

We had a play date today with another set of twin girls who are 13 months old. The father of the girls was the JAG officer that helped Eric settle some issues we had with Ford a year ago. I ran into him and the girls at Target a few weeks ago and we exchanged numbers. His wife, Alexa, called me yesterday and invited me to a swim play date! There are 3 other kids that come, and they were all born within a few months of each other. It was so nice to have some adult conversation and let the boys play with other kids their age.

Since it was a pool party, I pulled out their swim trunks and shirts! They look like surfer dudes!

Here are all the kids...Brandon, Connor, Ivette, Angelica, and Katie. The twin girls are fraternal, but I can't tell them apart at all!!!


The other good thing about going to someone else's house is to check out their toys and see what the boys may like to play with. Brandon was totally enthralled with the Disney Princess futon couch. He sat on it with his arm over the back and chilled. All he needed was a remote control, a bowl of popcorn and a beer and he's ready to go!!!!
Connor really liked this little dinosaur. He would put the balls in the different holes and wait for them to come out!
They both really liked the kitchen set. They opened and closed all the doors, ran the blender, and removed the sink...many times!

A big thanks to Alexa for hosting a play date. It was nice to meet everyone and share stories about what our kids are doing developmentally and to share little secrets!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Goofy Kids

The boys still amaze me every time they either learn something new, or do something for the first time. I normally have my tupperware cabinet closed, but I gave in and let them play with the bowls while I cleaned up the rest of the kitchen. I don't like it when they are under my feet and throwing the bowls around, but I really needed to get the kitchen cleaned and the only way to accomplish that was to let them do something I normally don't!

Brandon wasted NO time emptying the cabinet...then he tried to sit his little booty in it!
Connor's new obsessions are the dog dishes. They are electric dog feeders...and are AWESOME! We bought these so we could leave for a day or 2 (pre-kids) and not have to board the dogs. Connor likes to push the buttons to make it dispense food at midnight...not sure how he figured that out! He's also started putting his little booty in the actual dish part. He's really big on "sitting" in or on things now.

B & C interact more and more everyday. They are almost becoming inseparable! They tend to like each other TOO much at nap time, so I had to rearrange their room. There was too much pacie stealing, blanket swiping, arm pulling, giggling, and teddy bear throwing going on when it was time for them to SLEEP. There's nothing I love more than NAP TIME so I can get some things done. I'm going to be very sad when I have to go down to 1 nap per day :( Here's what their room looks like now and then a few pics of them with bed head!

Connor is walking almost all the time now. Brandon has started doing the elephant crawl..where he crawls on his hands and feet instead of hands and knees. I bet he'll start walking in the next month or so.

Brandon likes to push the walking toy backwards
Baby squat...SO CUTE! He has mastered the art of bending over to pick up a toy and then standing back up, squatting, and going from a sitting position to standing position without pulling himself up. He'll be running before long.

Developmental Appointment

They boys had another developmental appointment this morning and did great! They did a hearing test on Connor and he totally ACED IT!!!! They didn't do one on B since he just had one 2 weeks ago, but want to follow up on him in at least 6 months to make sure the tubes stay open.

Connor is 25 lbs 7.5 oz! BIG BOY! They didn't chart his growth since they were very short handed today, but I doubt it's changed since their 15 month check up a few weeks ago. Developmentally, he's almost caught up to his actual age. Speech is on track and he ROCKED OUT on the motor skills activities. It's amazing what they can do!

Brandon is 20 lbs 2 oz, and still gaining!!! That's a 2 oz gain from last Monday. He's definitely behind on his speech so we're heading down the speech therapy path. Unfortunately, Tricare won't pay for it until they are 24 months old. However, the OT found a loop hole! She's going to submit him to a program offered through the county, and Tricare will pay for that! He might not be accepted since he is making sounds, but not progressing the way he should. If that's the case, there is a speech therapy program offered on Ft. Bragg, but it's only once a month and he needs a little more consistency. She gave me things to do with him to encourage him. For example, I talk to them like they are little adults. She wants me to use fewer words when I talk to him and use mainly a verb and a noun. Normally I would say, "Ok boys, it's time for your bath and then we'll brush our teeth and go to bed." Now I need to say, Bath time....that's it! She said I might be talking to them too much. I told her that I didn't have anyone else at home to talk to, and she just laughed! I'm still amazed with the activities they completed today! She gave them a peg and told them to put it in the little hole...and they both did it! It was a small hole!!!

Overall, Connor is quickly closing the gap between his adjusted age and actual age. Brandon is progressing nicely on his motor skills, but lacking a little on his verbal skills. His hearing issues could be partly to blame. I have all of his appointments and stats documented in the hopes that if speech therapy came up, I would be prepared. The OT was amazed at their over all personalities and how calm and laid back they were during their appointment. She was also amazed when I said they are like that most of the time. They are truly a blessing. I couldn't have gone through this deployment with 2 difficult children. Instead I was given 2 handsome little boys who love to goof off and have fun with life!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Connor's First X Ray

Well, we went to the dentist this morning and Connor was AWESOME! We played lots of peek a boo to get him to open his mouth. The first x ray all you see is my finger, and the second one is of his actual teeth. We didn't get any pictures of the roots or the buds of his permanent teeth, but everything seems to be OK. I just need to watch for the tooth to change color and/or an abscess on his gums above the tooth. Dr. Watson said he would rather see a chipped tooth than one pushed backwards. I'm not worried about his tooth, but I'm aware of what I symptoms I need to watch for!

I ran by the office to drop off work and pick up some more. While I was there, I faxed in the information to enroll the munchkins in the dental insurance....just in case!!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Just some pictures

Here is my latest attempt at a picture of me and the boys. Anyone who has toddlers understands how UNcooperative they can be when it comes to posed pictures. My kids will perform and ham it up for any candid shot, but trying to get them to sit still and all of us looking at the camera at the same time takes a small miracle! Connor looks like he just lost his best friend and Brandon looks like he's saying...OH HECK NO LADY!!! I DON'T THINK SO!!!The boys LOVE to climb on things. Here's a series of pictures from them trying to BOTH get on the diaper box...

Connor "Brother...I'm going to push you off"

Brandon "I have every right to be on the box as you do"


Connor - "There...hehehehe I pushed you off"

Brandon "Bummer...I'm going to try again"

Here's a video of what they did after I took these pictures...

I love the little grunts they make when they are trying SO hard to climb on the box and then push it across the floor. They are both very serious when they play with their toys!

Brandon climbed his way into their toy box and got really upset about it. I thought he was stuck inside the box, but his little armpit was getting crushed by the side of the box. Oops...sorry buddy! That didn't keep him from doing it again though!
Here's another little video of Connor walking. He's getting better and better at it! He likes to walk from the house to the car when we go BYE BYE. I have to hold his hand or else he goes in a different direction than the car!

Where's Daddy When You Need Him?????

Well, we had our first "accident" last night. Connor slipped in the bathtub and chipped his front tooth. I was just getting ready to lift him out of the tub and he either slipped or lost his balance and hit his mouth on the edge of the tub. Instant tears, blood, and tooth particles!!! The bleeding stopped pretty quickly and so did his tears, but there's a definite chip in his front tooth. He immediately drank from him cup, so I figured there wasn't any pain or nerve damage. The cold milk would have given him a shot of serious pain if he exposed a nerve. I called my friend Theresa since her hubby is a dentist with Eric. Thankfully, Scott isn't deployed! He said it was probably fine and not to worry. I ran into them at the commissary today! Scott looked at it and still doesn't think there's a problem, but it's definitely worth getting x rayed. I'm so disappointed!!! Eric and I both have really beautiful teeth (yes I'm bragging a little) and it's disappointing to see his chip. I guess it gives him character! The chip isn't super noticeable, but it looks like 2 of his teeth are pushed up and back from where they normally are. We don't have the boys enrolled in dental insurance yet. If you have toddlers and have the opportunity to get dental insurance on them...DO IT!!! I filled out the form and am going to fax it in tomorrow with a copy of my Power of Attorney, but the coverage won't start until June 1. I've been trying to get a picture of his "character chip", but he won't let me. We'll see what Dr. Watson says tomorrow...hopefully he can get us in!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Walkin' Man

Here's a little video of Connor walking...

Brandon will walk with his walking toys and holding onto my hands all day, but as soon as you let go...he falls. He THINKS he can keep going, but his legs seem to give out on him. He'll walk while holding onto just one of my fingers, so he's getting there.

Both boys learned how to say UH OH! So cute! They expanded their diet to include honey grahams (no HFCS) and roasted red pepper hummus! Hummus is loaded in protein and has such a great flavor to it...well...I think so! It really kicked up their turkey sandwich at lunch today. I try to sneak in some extra protein whenever I can!

Monday, May 12, 2008

WHOA Busy day

Today was a crazy busy day...

630 - get up, shower, get ready and leave to be at Lowes by 7am to resolve problem with the blinds. Here is what happened. I special ordered the cordless Levolor blinds to fit the windows. I could have purchased blinds in the store and had them cut for 1/2 the price, but would rather pay more and have them manufactured specifically for my windows. What did they send me...CUT BLINDS! They sent the exact same blinds I could have gotten in the store. The manager had no problem refunding me all of my money and charging me only what they would have cost me in the store. for things like that!!! I ended up having them cut even more to be able to mount them inside the window box instead of outside. I love them!

After Lowes, I ran to Utley & Knowles to pick up and drop off the billing work that I do from home. I came home, mom already had the boys down for their nap, and I tackled the billing.

1130am - The boys woke up and I fed them lunch. Brandon and I left to go to his doctor's appointment for a recheck on his lung issues. Connor stayed home with Grandma! Brandon's O2 saturation was normal, he got his vaccination and...HE GAINED 1/2 POUND!!! He gained enough for me to turn his car seat back around!!! The doc thinks B has asthma so we're watching him and I have plenty of medication to administer as needed.

230 - Ran to the lighting store to pick up some stupid "special bulbs" for the ceiling fans. The government is regulating bulbs now and have come up with these special ones for ceiling fans. Lowes and Home Depot aren't carrying them yet. Arg.

330 - Was home in time to feed the boys a snack and put them down for their afternoon nap. During their nap, I pooped!

This whole time, Zack and James were at the house finishing up little things. Like the threshold to the carpet...

The deck gate...
And the deck steps.

They put up the blinds for me, fixed an outlet, replaced some more rotten wood around our gutters, and cleaned up the yard. The painters will be out on Wednesday to fix the paint problems, and I think that's about it! The room looks amazing and I'm totally happy with it.

I talked to Ryan, the head guy, about their plans for the rest of the week and for some business cards. My neighbor, who has 7 month old twin girls, wants to add on now too!!! I think I scored them some major business! Also, Ryan asked me to help them with an upcoming radio cool is that!?!?!?!?! He thinks I have a good radio voice and wants me to do a little talkin' for him!

This process has been rough and I have no plans to do any kind of remodeling any time soon, but I'm very happy with the end result. I think we got a lot for our money and it has already made this house much more livable for our growing family.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Addition Progress Update

Contrary to what the following pictures show, the room isn't complete just yet. There is a nice LONG laundry list of things still to be done. However, I had it up to HERE with living in such an unsafe and cramped way. Mom and I cleaned the windows, floor, walls etc and I started moving the furniture in. Some of it has been stored on Eric's side of the bed since about August and the rest of it has been in the existing family room and kitchen. I no longer have a coffee table in my bedroom (it's in the family room), no more toys in the kitchen, and I have my old family room back. They need to repaint a few of the walls since they did not listen to my instructions on what colors went where, an outlet isn't working, door needs caulking, deck steps need a banister, family room has some paint issues...blah blah blah.

The furniture you see in the room now is all that is going in there. There's still plenty of room for the boys to play and for adults to converse. All of their toys are organized and disinfected. Apparently, I have some OCD issues! ALL and I mean ALL of their toys are in the white cubical shelves...LOVE THOSE. There probably won't be any more construction postings since I'm totally and 100% sick and tired of talking about it and taking pictures of it. The things left aren't picture worthy. Oh yeah, we had a major issue with the blinds...that's why they aren't up. Once I get it straightened out with Lowes, I promise to take a picture so you all can see.

This is a picture of the very first time they played in their new room!