Web Site: http://thelorigans.com
Posts by pat:
- Our first night in KC, Ella and Jack put on quite a show. Ella was crawling around screeching, and they took turns chasing each other around the living room. It was great watching them play with each other and have so much fun.
- For this trip (and for our trip to Houston later this month), we got some small travel beds for the kids to use. They are basically little baby tents that we can zip the babies in at night and for naps. We were a little worried about whether or not the munchkins would be OK in their new beds, but after one night they did just fine. The best part was the effect of the static electricity on their hair. Ella’s stood straight up and Jack’s curls flattened out.
- Jack is really focused on figuring out how things work. He spent about 45 minutes one night studying a magnetic door on one of my mom’s small cabinets. Every 10 minutes or so he would run off, but then he would turn around and go study the latch for a while again. He was also interested in how doors bounce off door stops. He may end up being an engineer like his dad. Of course, he also spent 20 minutes throwing Tupperware all over the kitchen so I guess he takes after his mom, too.
- Out in Lockwood, Jack and Ella had lots of fun swinging in their new swings. They also had a great time playing in their wagon. Ella started to get a little cocky and tried to ride the wagon with no hands, but after a few bumps she lost a little bit of her courage and went back to her death grip.
- Thanksgiving was great as always. Jack ate a bit of everything, but Ella was only really interested in the cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes. They both LOVED the pumpkin pie, especially the whipped cream.
- The twins got to meet a whole new set of cousins. Jeff, Val, Lindsay, Jennifer, Josh, AJ, and Chris came down to King City a couple of days after Thanksgiving. It was great to see them, and Ella and Jack had a lot of fun.
- Hard to believe the babies are already 11-months old, but they’re closing in on one-year pretty quickly. Less than a month to go. Hard to believe it’s already been a year.
- The kiddos are still standing and crawling, but aren’t quite walking yet. Ella can stand up on her own (without pulling herself up on something), but has only done it a couple of times. She can stand on her own for about 30 seconds to a minute and she’s even taken a random step here and there, but she’s hasn’t quite figured out the whole walking thing yet. Jack is still happy to crawl around and pull himself up, but he’s getting pretty close to balancing on his own.
- Jack finally got another two teeth in, so he’s up to four now. Ella is still at 8.
- Shae’s still working on her photography and has a couple of shoots lined up, including one tomorrow.
Well, the kids finished out their first batch of swimming lessons. It looks like it won’t be their last time taking “pike” swimming lessons though, since their teacher recommended both repeat. In summary: they don’t use their arms enough. Also, she didn’t say it, but Jack is not very comfortable in the water. Ella seems extremely comfortable; so much so she keeps trying to take some home in her ears.
After keeping notes for the first lesson, I decided for the last two to use Twitter to “live tweet” their last lessons. I hadn’t actually tweeted since 2010, so I figured it was time. Here is a reposting of my tweets, or you can click on the titles to go view them in all their Twitter glory.
5:18: It’s swim lesson time! Time for my live tweeting!
5:21: Teach is getting them used to water by floating and saying “motorboat, motorboat”. Wonder if she does that for her man
5:23: J is totally kicking on the kickboard. And smiling. There goes E, kicking like a rockstar! I think she also just copped a feel
5:25: I’m not gonna say the other kids aren’t as good as ours, I’m just saying you can tell which two kids haven’t missed a lesson.
5:28: I think E and the other girl may throw down over who gets to go first. I wouldn’t mess with E in the pool. She’ll drown you.
5:29: (from Lunchbox) Anyone know where the people are? I’m hungry. Anyone?
5:31: The other kids are doing stuff. Boring. Back to mine!
5:34: Right before I got here, the other boy was running and wiped out. J laughed at him. Loudly. That’s my boy.
5:39: I’m pretty sure E is trying to get water in her ears so she can slam her head into the couch to get it out. WTF!?!
5:37: Teach just told J she’ll “hold on to the noodle” if he does the arms. Son, it’s not every day a girl offers to hold your noodle
5:41: Teach just let the other girl go first. Death stare from E. Other girl may mysteriously find herself under water soon.
5:43: It’s jump time!!!
5:46: Jumps done. My kids’ “jumps” were closer to falls, but they both jumped and went under. Class done. Last class is Thursday.
5:49: All done. (pic of cold kids)
5:41: (from Lunchbox) Seriously…Humans? Food? Anyone?
5:08: Time for kiddos last pike swim lesson.
5:19: Teach just asked if they wanna work on jumping in or motorboating. I know what my vote would be.
5:20: Teach recommended both kids take pike again. Both need to work on paddling. Boo!
5:22: Green light/red light time. E thinks red light means kick harder. I think she’s been riding in mom’s car too much.
5:26: E rocking the kickboard (pic of Ella kickboarding)
5:27: Scoop arms. Teach just asked E to show the other kid how to do it.
5:42: Both kids did good barrel rolls. Unfortunately, they were supposed to stay on their stomachs.
5:43: I may have to agree w Teach. Kids swim like they last both arms in an ice cream truck incident.
5:50: Jumps! Ella totally cut in front of the other girl. (the video starts up right after she cut in line)
I know it’s been a while between updates (again), but today was the kiddos first swim lesson and I couldn’t resist the chance to write up a recap of the event. Shae and I signed the kids up for the swim class a while back, and have been getting them ready for it ever since. Yesterday, we finally told them that today they would get to go swim and they were really excited (especially Ella). I took off of work a little early so I could tag along and witness the fun.
As excited as Ella and Jack seemed to go swimming, I kept thinking back to our trip Sedona last summer and Ella’s “swimming”. If you don’t remember (and don’t want to re-read the entire trip recap), Ella kept telling us how much she wanted to swim, and then started crying and refused to budge the second her toes touched the water. As soon as we got back to our room, she’d tell us how she “swam! and kicked! and splashed!”. Sure you did baby girl, sure you did. As excited as Ella said she was, I couldn’t shake the feeling we were going to have a repeat. Sitting there waiting for the earlier class to end, both kids (especially E) got really quiet and seemed a little nervous. Uh oh.
Anyway, as I was watching all of this I decided to keep a list of notes as things were happening. Here’s my recap (100% accurate with no embellishment, of course):
5:00: Sitting in the bleachers waiting for the previous classes to finish. Both kids are very quiet. As nice as it is to have some silence, they must be nervous. I just hope we don’t have a meltdown or a nervous poop once it’s their turn. Oh crap (literally), at this point I guess I’m rooting for a meltdown. I do not want to be a parent of the kid that shits in the pool.
5:10: We watched the kids in the earlier class do a little “wall crawl” where they had to hang on and pretend their hands were covered in glue. A little while later, they all got out, ran to the edge of the pool, and took turns jumping into the teaher’s arms. I watched all of that thinking, “it’ll be pretty cool in a few classes when our kids get to jump in, too.”
5:15: The teacher who had been leading the earlier class we watched just called Jackson and Ella. It’s go time. Of course, both of our kids run around confused by who to go to. Apparently “girl in red” isn’t descriptive. At least the other girl in their class seemed confused too.
5:17: Here we go! After some quick introductions the kids hurry over and climb into the pool. After being told to sit on one of the steps, they both do a half-crouch/half-sit thing that looks like they’re squatting to poop. Oh shit! NO! Please don’t poop. Please don’t poop…
5:20: Whew! No poop! Way to go kids! Keep it up. Now that we made it past that, it’s time to swim. Ella gets to go first. This should be good. C’mon, baby girl, no crying. There she goes, out in the water. No breakdown! She’s blowing bubbles and everything. She likes it, and she’s smiling.
Ok, now it’s Jack’s turn. Let’s make it two-for-two. Yes! We have bubbles!
Now it’s the other girl. She isn’t ours, so let’s just say she didn’t drown and move on. Fine, she can have a quick summary: our kids blew better bubbles.
5:22: The teacher just asked our kids a few questions. Both of them just stare at her and give a confused nod. Come on guys, you can say “yes’. Try it. Well, I have no idea what the kids just agreed to but apparently the nods were a good enough answer.
We have kicking! And bubbles. My kids rock bubbles.
5:24: Jazz hands! I don’t know how this applies to swimming, but kiddos did awesome.
5:25: The teacher just grabbed something from the side of the pool. What could it be? It’s kick board time! Yes! This should be fun. The other girl got to first this time, and she did pretty good; I hope my kids took notes.
Ella’s turn, she did awesome on the kick board. Jack did great too, but he needed a little more help. Both kids are still smiling though.
5:27: More kicking. The kids have the hang of this and are having a blast. Ella just did her excited tongue hanging out thing. She is the Michael Jordan of pike swim lessons.
In other news, we’re about 10 minutes in and we haven’t had any sort of crying or meltdown yet. I don’t want to jinx it, so let’s just move on.
5:28: The teacher just asked if they knew how to do something, and both of my kids raised their hand. They have no clue what she’s asking, they’re little liars. The teacher believed them and asked them to show her, and of course they had no clue what to do. Busted!
Oh! Arm swimming! They do know this one. The teacher just tried to trick them by asking them if she was doing it the right way (she wasn’t). E wasn’t fooled, she’s been doing the arm motions and pretending to swim since before last summer’s Sedona trip. You’re going to have to do better than that if you want to get a trick question by her. I’ve found “what did you do today” usually stumps her.
Ella just had this exchange with the teacher:
Teacher: “Make scoop arms. Like ice cream. Do you like ice cream?”
Ella: ”I like strawberry!”
She wasn’t offering you ice cream Ella, just focus on swimming.
5:29: Right after Shae says, “Our kids are doing way better than the other kid” Jack does a face plant in the water. Way to jinx it, mom. After getting over the shock of having his face in the water, he’s back to arm swimming. Good recovery!
5:30: Now it’s time to do some “swimming”. Basically, the teacher holds them up and helps them as they kick and swim out to pick up a toy. Jack goes first, and he’s great at the arms but needs to kick more. He must get that from me. Ella rocked this part. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering she’s been practicing in the bathtub for months.
Now it’s the other kid’s turn. Yup, she’s still there. Ok, enough of her. Let’s get back to Jack and Ella.
While the other kids does her “swimming”, Ella is practicing her strokes. Good work, E. Way to get in some extra work. Jack is getting cold and spent his little break shivering. Still no crying though, so that’s good.
5:33: The teacher just told them they’re going to do some “crab walking”, whatever the hell that is. This must be complicated, there is a lot of talking going on. This is a lot of instructions. Better focus kids, I don’t want any drowning.
5:35 ”Crab walking” is apparently what I called wall walking. Both kids are doing great and holding on. I guess they paid attention better than I did. After the wall walking, the kids take turns going out with the teacher and doing a little back float (with some help of course). Jack was pretty nervous, but he did a great job. Ella didn’t quite understand the idea of letting yourself float and kept arching her back up. She loved the part when she got tossed up in the air though. She wanted more.
It just occurred to me that this is the same stuff we watched the kids in the earlier class do. That means our kids are going to get to jump into the pool at the end. That seems pretty advanced for the first class, but they’re doing great so far so let’s see how this goes.
5:37: More wall walking. Is it jump time yet?? Nope. Now that I realized they’re going to jump in, I just want to see how they do.
5:38: The teacher just told the kids to do “peanut butter jelly hands”. My kids eat PB&J sandwiches all the time, so they should rock this, but they only do OK. I think Ella was disappointed she didn’t get a sandwich when she did it right. Jack probably argued that he only wanted jelly. After they master the “peanut butter jelly hands”, they do some more swimming-with-help. They are getting pretty good at this stuff.
5:40: Jack is freezing, but is still having fun (between shivers). He’s still the best in the class at bubble blowing. After the bubble blowing, it’s time to pick their favorite toy and blow bubbles while they pick it up. If Ella doesn’t pick pink I’ll jump in. The teacher asked if the other girl wanted to go first, and E tried to jump in and take her spot. She seemed genuinely surprised to find out it isn’t her turn.
Now it’s E’s turn. She picked the pink toy. Shocker.
5:42: Ella has the shivers now, too. Jack is doing great blowing bubbles again, he’s a bubble’s rockstar. He picked the blue toy, another huge surprise.
5:43: Is it jump time yet? Nope. Come on! Well, at least we got to witness another fun exchange between the teacher and our kids:
Teacher: “Have you ever been to ocean before?”
Both kids: “Yeah”
They don’t remember the ocean! They’re just saying yes because they want to seem cool! Liars!
I’m not sure what game they’re playing now, but when asked what animal she saw Ella said she saw a turtle (or at least that’s what the teacher interpreted). Jack saw something, but I didn’t hear what. Knowing him, it was probably a panda. When it was the other kid’s turn (yeah, she’s still around) she said she saw a turtle, too. Ella called turtle, kid! You can’t copy her! Get your own animal! The teacher let this go, but I think she should’ve had to pick a new animal.
5:45: Jump time? Jump time!!! Yes! This is the one I want to see. C’mon kids, let’s rock the jump. Basically, the kids line up along the edge of the pool and then jump into the teacher’s arms and get to splash around a bit. The other kid went first and did good. Ella was hesitant, but she jumped in pretty well. Jack, well, he needed a little help jumping in but he got nice and wet.
5:46: That’s it, the kids’ first swim class is done. Time to dry them off and get them warmed up. As we were wrapping them up in towels, the teacher came over and filled us in on Jack’s quote of the day (during the wall walking instruction):
Teacher: “What happens if you let go of the wall?”
Jack: “You die!”
I think he’s got it. Can’t wait until the next class.
This is a little overdue, but Shae and I realized we never wrote up a post about our adventures in potty training. My take on the experience is probably much different from Shae’s, but I’m writing this post so you’ll just have to make do with my version.
About a month before their third birthday, we made a quick trip up to Disneyland with the kiddos. Since we didn’t want to deal with running to the bathroom the whole time we were there “we” (aka Shae) decided that we’d start the potty training the day after we got back. For about a week before the trip, we kept telling the kids that after we went to see Mickey we weren’t going to have diapers anymore. I’m pretty sure all they heard was “Mickey blah blah Mickey”, but they were warned.
Anyway, the day after our trip to visit Mickey the potty training started. I have to admit that I wasn’t overly optimistic. I didn’t think the kids were quite ready (they weren’t giving us any indication when they had to go), and I wasn’t sure about the method we were using (no pull-ups, basically the kids running around naked/in underwear all day). However, Shae had decided the kids were going to house broken by their third birthday, so I voiced my concerns but then got on board.
The first couple of days were pretty rough, especially on Shae. The kids were not comfortable using their potties, and would hold it until they were in pain. Even the offer of marshmallows wasn’t enough to entice them to go. We basically spent the weekend with both kids sitting on their potties in the living room crying while Shae and I begged them to JUST GO ALREADY!!! It got to the point where they would hold it until nap or bed time so they could go in their diapers. Eventually they started to figure it out, and by Sunday night they were already figuring out ways to get as many marshmallows (or “maws”) out of us as possible.
Well, after two days of the fun I decided that I’d had enough and ran away. I gave everyone hugs and kisses, told Shae I expected both kids potty trained by the time I got home, and hopped on a plane to DC. Shae will tell you that there was a lot of work, but I’m pretty sure that the kids woke up Monday morning pretty much potty trained. When I got home, both kids were using their potties and earning their “maws”: 2 for pee pee, 4 for poo poo (and believe me, they told us exactly how many they expected). They were still wearing diapers for their naps and at night, but other than that they were doing pretty good. We had to cut back their marshmallow rewards (to 1 and 2) because they were going through our supply too fast. About three or four days later, I had to go out of town again and when I got home the kids were using the real toilet. Again, I’m sure Shae would say she had something to do with that but I’m pretty sure the kids just figured it out on their own.
I can’t tell you how nice it was to go to Costco and not have to buy diapers. I really had no choice but to buy more beer to fill up the extra space in the cart. The kids are both doing great, and outside of the occasional nighttime accident after one of them drinks too much juice with dinner there have been almost no problems. The biggest issue we have is that now nap and bedtime have become times for the “Potty Game” where the kids take turns getting out of bed and using the bathroom. It’s extremely annoying, but a small price to pay for no longer having to buy diapers.
Sorry for the lack of updates lately. It’s been crazy around here with work and the kids. Also, there just hasn’t been anything exciting to share lately. The kids are doing great, but there’s not much new to report. They eat, they poop (and then rip their diapers off), they run around, and they don’t talk (I’m sure once they start we’ll regret ever asking them to start, but come on already guys). Well, last weekend we finally had something worth writing about: Ella and Jack’s first trip to Disneyland.
Back in June, Shae and I pawned the kids off on Shae’s parents and took an overnight trip up to Disneyland. It was definitely great to get a break from the kids for a couple of days and have some fun, but we also kind of wished they had been there too. Well, as luck would have it, our tickets were good for three days so we still had one day left to use with the twins. We decided that July 30th was the day our kids would get to meet Mickey (more on that later). We even lucked out and picked a weekend that Erica would be visiting San Diego that weekend, so we had someone to go with us and help us take care of the kids.
As we started to get close to the day of our trip, we started getting excited, especially Shae. That, of course, led to lots of Internet surfing to get advice on dealing with toddlers at Disneyland. There were all kinds of tips, but the “best” one was to get some luggage tags and attach them to the kids with names, parents, and phone numbers. So the morning of the trip each kid got a huge, orange luggage tag hooked to their belt loops to wear around all day. Of course, the first thing they did was chew on them. Good thing Shae got the chewable tags (they should really market them that way).
Once the kids were tagged, we loaded everyone up in the car (Erica rode between the car seats), and headed to Disneyland. Our drive was pretty uneventful, and we got parked and unloaded without incident. Our first “ride” was the tram from the parking garage to the park entrance. As would be the case on pretty much every ride, neither kid was very comfortable on the tram; Jack cried, and Ella was just kind of uneasy. After a few minutes of riding, we got to the entrance, rented our strollers, and introduced the kids to Disneyland.
First thing on the agenda once we got to Disneyland was to get Jack and Ella all pimped out in Disney gear. Erica got them some Mickey and Minnie shirts, and I picked up some “1st Visit” buttons from City Hall. Once the kiddos were properly dressed, it was time to get them on some rides. We decided their first ride should be Pirates of the Caribbean (and by “decided” I mean that was the first ride we came to that we thought would be OK for them), so we got everyone loaded up on a boat and began the fun. Everyone did OK for a while, but after a couple of minutes Jack was not sure about the dark. By the time we got to the canon shots, Jack was really not a fan of Pirates. He did OK, but was definitely scared. Ella did better, but she wasn’t exactly excited either. Oh well, at least I had a good time.
Since the kids put up with Pirates, we decided we should take them over to Fantasyland and take them on some rides they might enjoy a little more (after the adults took a couple of rides on Big Thunder Mountain of course, can’t let the kids have all the fun). The first ride we came across over in Fantasyland with a short line was the Snow White ride, so even though we thought Jack might be scared again we jumped right in line. Both kids actually did very well on the ride, and I think Ella even had a little fun.
We figured after two “scary” rides, the kids deserved something nice and calm. The carousel seemed like a perfect fit. Everything was going fine on the carousel up until the thing started to move. Ella and Jack both did OK at first, but once the horses started going up and down they were not happy. Ella calmed down pretty quick, but Jack could not wait for the ride to end. He was very brave and didn’t start crying/screaming, but he didn’t jump back in line to ride again.
Since the kids didn’t seem to be enjoying the rides, we decided it was a good time to head over to Toon Town to meet Mickey. Before heading over to visit Mickey we made a stop at Goofy’s house. The kids had a great time playing around at the house. They ran around in the front yard, played the piano, and Jack played with the cabinets inside for at least 10 minutes. It was great to watch them just have fun and play. As much fun as they were having, eventually it was time to go visit Mickey. I remember going to Disneyland and seeing Mickey and Minnie walking around. Now, you have to go over to their houses if you want to see them. After walking all over Mickey’s house and waiting in two separate staging areas, it was finally time for Ella and Jackson to meet the mouse.
I think things would have been a lot different (read: better) if we weren’t the first family in our little grouping, but of course we were. The way things are setup, you go through two staging areas, and then finally into the room where Mickey is. As you walk in, they line you up on the side and it’s very clear where you’re supposed to pose and stand to take a picture. Well, at least that’s the case if you aren’t first in your group. We walked into the room to see Mickey standing on one side, a photographer on the other, and a cast member instructing everyone else to line up. We had no idea what we were supposed to do, so Erica grabbed her camera and stood by the photographer while Shae and I took the kids and headed toward Mickey. You’d think that watching Mickey’s Playhouse every day would have prepared the kiddos for their meeting, but you’d be wrong. As we approached, both kids started screaming. Jack threw himself as far away from the mouse as he could get while still holding on to Shae, while Ella ripped free from me and ran screaming toward Erica. I couldn’t wait to see the picture, and I was not disappointed. I think my favorite part is Mickey’s huge grin and Shae yelling for Ella.
After deciding they weren’t big fans of rides or Mickey, the kids decided to get back to something they are good at: napping. About five minutes after we got them back in their strollers, both kids were passed out. Jack even fell asleep with his hand in his snack cup. While the little ones slept, Erica and I went over to the Haunted House. As we were standing in line, we saw a boy of about eight being carried by his mom and looking terrified. Up ahead, his sister was running off on her own and her dad had to pull her back by her ponytail. Erica and I joked that we were looking at the future of my kids: Jack terrified and clinging to mom and Ella off running ahead of dad. Of course, no sooner did we say something that I heard the dad call the boy “Jack”. A while later as we were getting off the ride we saw the family again. This time it was bright enough that we could read the name on the back of the boys ears-hat. Sure enough, it said “Jackson”. I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure I looked into my future.
When Erica and I got back to Shae and the kiddos, Jack and Ella were just waking up so it seemed like a good time to go get them some mouse ears. We picked out the classic hats (pink for Ella, obviously) and Shae got their names embroidered while Erica and I watched the kiddos. Don’t worry, the kids looked very cute in their ears. Like there was any doubt.
We made another trip back to Toon Town to play on Donald’s boat (which the kids loved), grabbed some ice cream, and then it was time to call it a day. The kids did great, but they were pooped. It took about 10 minutes in the car before they were both out. They slept the entire way home and we had to force them to stay awake long enough to eat dinner when we got home.
That’s about it for our first trip to Disneyland. The kids were really good and the trip was a lot of fun. My favorite part of the trip was watching the kids have fun playing at Goofy and Donald’s houses. It was great watching them have so much fun. I’d have to say their meeting with Mickey was a close second. The kids get in free until they’re three, so I’m sure we’ll have another trip or two in the next year or so.
Today was Shae’s 30th birthday. The kiddos thought they should make her day extra special. Here’s the email I received from her this morning:
Well, our first nap attempt is not going well. First, Jack took off all his clothes, including his shirt. Then he took off his diaper and threw poop everywhere. Then, he peed all over the floor again. He is gross. This was followed by Ella falling out of her crib again. This time there was no help from brother.
Well, at least her day wasn’t boring. Happy birthday babe! Welcome to your 30′s.
It was pretty crazy around here, but we made it through another Christmas with the kiddos. Since we’ve been so bad about updating lately, I guess I’m going to have to cram all of our Christmas happenings into one post. Here are the highlights of Jackson and Ella’s 2nd Christmas.
The Babies Meet Santa
A few weeks before Christmas Shae’s mom group had a Christmas party, complete with Santa Claus. The munchkins were having a great time playing with other kids, at least until Mr. Claus showed up. The combination of nap time and all of the other kids crying at Santa set of Ella and Jack. Shae made sure to get a picture of them with Santa, but it looks like something straight out of “A Christmas Story”.
After waiting for the weather to turn rainy, it was time for us to go find and cut down our Christmas tree (seriously, I’m starting to think it’s impossible for us to get a tree unless it’s raining on us). To make things even more fun, Ella was sick and cranky. We found our perfect tree pretty quickly, but of course we had to check the rest of the lot just to make sure. Once Shae was sure our tree was the best one, we relocated it (no easy task) and I got to work sawing. Jack tried to help me, but he was much better and running around in the mud than actually cutting down the tree.
Once we had our tree, things were pretty uneventful until the parents (Shae’s parents and my mom) came into town. We had a pretty nice time with the ‘rents. We got some Christmas shopping in, and Shae and I were able to get out of the house and go see Avatar one night. We were both so impressed by the movie that our parents went to see it the next night. They loved it, too. Other than that, things were pretty slow.
Christmas Eve with the kids was a lot of fun. It was nice that they could actually sit at the table with us during dinner. They really liked the ham and potatoes (almost as much as Lunchbox loved all the bites they threw on the ground). After dinner, we put out some cookies for Santa (yum), read “The Night Before Christmas”, and then we put the munchkins down so Santa could bring them their presents.
Christmas morning was interesting this year. The kids were really into the wrapping paper and packaging, but they aren’t quite old enough to really get into the present craziness. They were excited by all of the new goodies, but the boxes are still their favorite.
After the present opening excitement, a nap for the kiddos, and some crepes for breakfast we headed over to Mission Trails Park to go on a Christmas hike. It was a Christmas present for Mr. Box and a good reason for Shae to use her new camera. It was a beautiful day in San Diego, and we had a great stroll.
About halfway through the walk, we decided to let Jack and Ella get out of the stroller and stretch their legs. They both had some fun toddling around, until another walker went by. As soon as Ella saw this random guy go past us, she got excited and started “running” after him (as close as she can get to a run). We had to chase her down and catch her or who knows how far she would have run. Something tells me we’re going to have to teach her all about “Stranger Danger” pretty soon.
We spent Christmas night packing for our trip to Texas and getting ready for our plane ride with two toddlers. More about that trip (and LB’s trip to the kennel) in our next post (hopefully tomorrow). Until then, here are some pictures.
Sorry for the lack of updates lately. Things have been crazy around here, but I’ll do my best to recap the last month or so. I’ve been traveling a lot for work the past few weeks (I was in DC the weeks before and after Thanksgiving, and I’ll be heading back again in January), and Shae has been busy editing photos almost every night the past month or so.
Jack and Ella’s second Halloween was not very exciting. They still aren’t old enough to go Trick-or-Treat-ing, so we pretty much just hung out around the house and handed out candy. Our porch light is burned out, so even after putting up some Halloween lights around the window it was a pretty quiet evening. I have a feeling next year will be pretty exciting.
I can’t speak for the rest of the clan, but Thanksgiving (and the weeks before and after) was exhausting for me. I fell into taking over a project that requires a lot of travel to Washington, DC, and between trips to DC and our trip to King City/Lockwood I spent about 12 hours in San Diego from November 18th to December 3rd . Somewhere in there, we had a nice trip up to KC/Lockwood for Thanksgiving.
I’m not sure if it was having some extra room to move around or if they just got tired of crawling, but about 5 minutes after we got to King City the kiddos were walking all over the place. They had been doing a little walking at home, but nothing like this. After a couple of hours it was pretty clear we had full blown toddlers. That’s right, Ella and Jack toddle. They spent most of the trip walking and crawling around and getting into all kinds of stuff they shouldn’t. This whole walking thing is going to be super. I’m in a lazy mood, so rather than a full recap here’s some highlights.
That’s about it for now. We’ll try to be better about providing updates, but it’s still pretty crazy around here.
A couple of Snowballs with candles wasn’t going to cut it for the twins’ first birthday, so Saturday was their big party. Shae found a park with pirate ship slides and a “sprayground”, so obviously we had a winner (Hilton Head Park). Shae’s parents and my mom came into town for the party and helped get everything ready for Saturday. It would be great to say that everything went smoothly, but what fun would that be? We all managed to wake up early on Saturday and get ready to head over to the park, but that was about where the smoothness ended.
Because we couldn’t reserve Hilton Head Park for our party, Tom (Shae’s dad), myself, and Lunchbox (wearing his best pirate bandana) headed over to the park about three hours early to grab a gazebo (hopefully) or at least a few tables (if all the gazebos were full). As we pulled up to the park, it became apparent we had a problem: all of the gazebos and tables were reserved. There were at least five other birthday parties going on at the park that day. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who thought this was a good place to have a party. It was too late to change locations at this point, so I set up a lawn chair in the middle of a nice open area and Mr. Box and I sat down and reserved our space while Tom headed back to the house to pick up a table, some chairs, and our BBQ.
Since we didn’t get a gazebo, Shae and my mom tried to track down a canopy to provide some shade (while I sat in the sun and got a nice sunburn). I called Costco to find out if they had any canopies, but was told “canopies are a summer item, it’s winter.” Pointing out that we live in San Diego and it was 80 degrees outside didn’t help. Eventually, Shae and my mom tracked down a canopy, and while waiting for them to get to the park Shae’s parents and I watched a guy next to us try to set up his canopy. I really can’t do the scene justice, but basically every time he tried to put one side of the canopy together the legs on the other side fell off . The fact that he his shorts were falling off and he was sporting a Hall of Fame plumber’s crack pushed the entertainment value even higher. This went on for about 30 minutes until he finally got the canopy up. We were a little disappointed that the show was over until our neighbor pulled out another canopy and started all over. Somehow, he learned nothing from his problems with the first canopy and was just as entertaining the second time. (Hours later, after several beers in an alcohol-free park, canopy-man would take his frustration out on the guy who was supposed to help him set up. That was fun too.)
Anyway, Shae and my mom showed up with the canopy and the cake and we got everything ready for the parrrty (get it..because it’s pirate themed…Arrr!). Once everything was set up, things went pretty well. We fired up the BBQ, people started trickling in, and the babies turned on the cuteness (not that they can ever turn it off). Before long, we were chatting and chowing down on dogs and burgers.
Once everyone (including the kiddos) was done with lunch, it was time for the cake. We thought that Jack and Ella had fun with their birthday Snowballs, but that was nothing compared to the mess they made with their birthday cake. They loved their cake, so of course they took turns smearing it all over each other and making a nice mess.
After taking the birthday babies over to play on the swings (their first time, they loved it), it was time to open some presents. The little ones got lots of great stuff, but their favorite part was the wrapping paper. It’s only a matter of time before Jack and Lunchbox start fighting over cardboard boxes.
It’s hard to believe we made it through the party without anything too disastrous happening, but we did. We had a lot of fun, and I hope everyone else did too. I’m sure the next birthday party will be even crazier since both kids will surely be running in different directions. We can’t wait.
Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been a year since Jack and Ella were born. A year ago today I was sitting in a hospital room with two tiny babies and a drugged up wife. The past year has been crazy, but it’s also been a lot of fun.
It’s dificult to know for sure, but I think both of the kiddos have taken their first steps. I’m not sure where the line is between a controlled fall into the couch and actual steps, but I’m pretty sure Jack and Ella have both crossed it. Ella even occassionally takes a couple of steps without falling down, but only when she’s not paying attention.
On a similar note, it’s getting harder to define Jack’s first word. Lately, he’s been looking at me and saying “Da!” but I just can’t bring myself to count that as his first word. He’s been making “Da”, “Mum”, and “Ba” sounds for quite a while. Just because I’ve trained him to say “Da” more than the other sounds (much to Shae’s annoyance) doesn’t mean I can count it as his first word. If he wants credit for talking he can throw out something like “Hey, pops please give me some pasta for dinner”. I’ll accept that.
The kiddos will be getting their birthday cake at their party on Saturday, but we had to give them something for their actual birthday. Here are a few pictures of Jack and Ella enjoying their birthday Snowballs.
Sorry (again) for the long delay between posts. Things are going pretty good, but not a lot has changed in the past month or so. A quick update on how things are going:
That’s about it for now. Hopefully we’ll have some new pictures and stories soon.