Thursday, April 30, 2009

15 months

Our boys turned 15 months old today (it took me a while to finish this post so it's published a little late). I thought I'd make a post about what they're up to these days. Let me tell you, they sure keep us busier than ever! I know I always comment on how busy we are thinking it can't possibly get any crazier and then it does. Last week was probably the hardest week I've had being by myself since they were born, I'll get to that later but lets start with the positive.

We've mastered walking so now we're moving on to talking. It so exciting to hear them say new words and make new sounds. Lucas is a little ahead of Jacob in the vocal department which is really fun since Jacob was always first in mobility development. Lucas is so good at copying sounds. Both boys are making car sounds and airplane sounds, they say "shhhhhh" when they hear something that they want to listen for (bird in the chimney, cars outside etc), they say "Uh-oh" when they drop something and they say "usch" when there's a mess. A few other words they say are, Night night, ball, mat (food), mamma (mommy) and pappa (daddy). Lucas also makes some animal sounds like lion and tiger roars and dog "voff voff" sounds. I also think he says Jakie "jay" or "jayjay" but I'm a little confused about this because sometimes it seems he calls himself "jayjay" too.

Some of their favorite things are balls, a fisher-price dog, their Pooh Bear ride on car, the fridge farm, airplanes, cars, trucks, anything with wheels actually, pot lids from the kitchen and other random things from the cabinets. And lets not forget about their books, they love reading! And they're getting a lot better about not chewing on them, yay!
Jacob has one major favorite right now and it's a big ball that's Lily's. We make her keep it in her room because it's so big that when Jakie walks around with it he can't see where he's going and he bumps into things and steps on things and consequently gets hurt. But he loves that ball so much and would probably play with it all day long if we let him.
They also love to be outside in the backyard and mainly plays with our "outside" balls when we're out. They still like to swing but are not content for as long a time as they used to because they want to move around.

Now to the hard part. They're starting to show jealousy, mainly jealousy for mommy or daddy's attention. This is hard when I'm by myself, especially at nursing time. Sometimes the boy going second will entertain himself while waiting his turn but more often lately he will stand close, crying and whining while I try to distract. It usually sounds something like this "Where's the ball Jakie? Go get the ball. Good boy!" then "Do you see any birds? Do you hear any airplanes? Where's the car? Where's the dog?" etc... a little exhausting. Then we add some separation anxiety that still lingers, Jakie has gotten better lately but Lucas has become worse than Jakie used to be. Some days I can't even stand up from the couch or turn my back to them because they think I'm leaving and will cry on top of their lungs. And any time one cries the other chimes in because if brother is crying there must be something scary going on.
Sharing is another tough part. Some toys are very popular and if one plays with something the other one wants he will go up and grab it. The first boy starts to cry upon which the other one also starts to cry even though he was the one stealing from his brother.
And last week I brought out the Pooh Bear ride on car, a friend gave it to me a long time ago but our hard wood floors have been way to slippery for it so we put it away. This was very exciting thought the boys. This is a big toy, big enough to share but Lucas decided he did not want to share at all. As soon as Jakie came close to it he would quickly roll it away from him, Jakie would follow, Lukie would move again until Jakie would start to cry. Luckily the novelty of the Pooh Bear car has worn off so now it's not more popular than their other favorites which makes it a little easier to take turns.
So the hard part last week was lots and lots of crying and frustration.

Despite the challenges at this age I love it! They are so curious about things and make new discoveries daily. The other day for example they discovered that the pot lids they love to play with not only makes a lovely banging sound when you throw them on the floor but they can also be used as a mirror.

Here's some pictures of our cute and funny little guys.

Lucas running around the kitchen.

Lukie smiling for the camera.

Jakie has found a different way to play with the exersaucer.


The boys with the Pooh Bear car.

Jakie looking at his reflection in the pot lid.

Lucas making funny faces.

Big sisters taking Jakie on a ride.

Maddie reading to Lucas.

Our four kids reading.

Hey you dumb pigs!

Cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the Dallas area and there are several more suspected cases. Some of these are as close as 20 minutes from us. Some schools have closed but not ours. We do not have any confirmed cases in our county, yet. Our school district have cancelled all field trips and competitions that are outside of the school district or that includes students from other districts. They have also increased custodial staffing to enhance infection control measures. They are closely watching students for illness and it's very possible the school will close if any cases are detected in our county.
There's a lot of media coverage on this, of course, and people are very concerned although some people feel it's been hyped up too much. I'm personally very worried and will not be taking the kids to any public/crowded places until we get this under control.

So, let me explain the title of this post. I had watched the news off and on all day yesterday for the latest updates and was feeling pretty worried and sad as I was eating my dinner ( by myself since the kids had already eaten ). Maddie took out some of her school work that she had brought home from school to show me. The first paper she handed me was an Author Study and it said "Making mental images with pigs". Here's a photo of it. Her picture shows two pigs in a kitchen and a girl walks in and says "Hey you dumb pigs". I thought it was really funny considering what's going on right now.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My big helpers

After I put the boys to bed this evening (early since they didn't take an afternoon nap) and got some food out for the girls I went outside to cut the grass. It's been raining for several days but tonight it was such a beautiful evening and the grass desperately needed to get cut. I left Maddie and Lily in charge of listening to the boys on the monitor. As I was almost done Maddie came out and signaling that one of the boys were crying. I decided to call it done and went inside only to find that buddy had gone back to sleep. But when I came inside I had a big surprise waiting. Maddie and Lily had cleaned the whole kitchen and family room! They put away the food, put the dishes in the dishwasher, wiped the table, swept the floor, cleaned up the toys and I don't know what else but it was a lot they had done especially considering Lily and I baked cookies this afternoon and had left a little bit of a mess (Maddie was playing at Taylors house). They were so proud of themselves and said happily that now I can go to bed early instead of staying up cleaning. So sweet!
After this I went back outside to rake up some of the grass because there were piles of it since the grass was so tall. The girls followed and helped me bag the piles, they were in such helpful moods they were even fighting over piles ;). I was so proud of them. Lily even told me that they will clean the kitchen every time I cut the grass but she said I'd probably forget she told me that and then I'd be surprised again ;). I love my girls!

Back in a crib

Lucas is sleeping in a crib again! This is Maddie and Lily's old crib from Ikea.
This was right after we put the crib together, still standing in the family room. Lucas is the one chewing on the rails in the beginning and he's the one smiling and laughing at the camera at the end.

The first night he slept in it he slept all night! I know I made a post a couple of months ago about them sleeping better, well that didn't last long but it's getting better now. Jacob has been sleeping through the night for about a week now. Lucas has done it once or twice in the past week so I'm hopeful he'll follow suit.
As you can see in the video Lucas is already trying his teeth on the rails but this crib is actually holding up really well.

Friday, April 24, 2009

We talk a lot.

We like to walk backwards too.

We like balls

This is a fairly common occurrence at our house....what can I say, aren't they cute ;).
If you listen closely you can hear Lucas say "ba, ba, yeah, yeah"  (ball, ball, yeah, yeah) at 13 seconds into the video and 1 minute 16 seconds into it he says "ba, ba" (ball,ball) again.

The beginning of summer

This afternoon Michael and the girls went to the pool for the first time this year. Even though it's not officially summer yet I think it's safe to say the summer temperatures are here to stay.

They say the water was pretty comfortable, just a little cool when first getting in.

It's been really hot all week, mid to upper 80's (30C +). Believe it or not but we have still not turned our AC on. By sun down it's been about 80-84 degrees inside but after opening up the windows for a while and by keeping the ceiling fans on we've been able to get the house to a comfortable temperature for the night. We have our spring AC maintenance scheduled for monday and would like to keep it off until then but we'll see if we make it through the weekend ;).

Lily and her friend Toni cooling off with the water hose.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another school project for Maddie

This week Maddie had to do a "recycle critter" for school. She had to use at least two recyclable items and she had to write a little about her critter and what she used to make it. She made a Dachshund using a soda bottle, a water bottle, egg carton pieces, a couple of old socks and a few other craft items. She even made a dog bed from an old cereal box and a food bowl from an old snack cup. It turned out very nicely. Here she is presenting her critter.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My birthday

On Sunday April 12th I turned 30 years old. I can't believe I'm in my thirties! I don't feel any older and I'm actually really excited to enter this new chapter of my life. Michael was working on my actual birthday but my sister and her friend was here and helped celebrate. Maddie and Lily woke up early that morning and they woke up Emelie and Janina so they could decorate the kitchen and then come and wake me up and give me the gifts they had gotten for me. Michael had taken them to the mall the week before and each of them had picked out a special something. Maddie had bought me a pretty silver necklace and earrings while Lily had picked out a nice gold necklace with gemstones. They had also picked out some very sweet birthday cards. It was very special! 

Flowers that Maddie and Lily had picked out.

The kitchen after they decorated it.

Maddie and Lily.

My cake that Maddie and Lily helped decorate.

When Michael came home from work we celebrated again with a fondue dinner and gifts from Michael. He got me an Ipod, perfume and earrings. Oh, and I can't forget about my early birthday gift that i got a few months very own Macbook, love it! And Emelie and Janina bought me a cute top from Guess, thank you girls! I also got a beautiful gold necklace that used to be my grandmothers, very special! Thanks everyone!

Last night my swedish girlfriends took me and two other girls out for dinner to celebrate our birthdays. ├ůsa turned 40 two days after my birthday and Ann-Sofie turns 40 at the end of the month. We went to a really nice restaurant, they all paid for our meals and they had also gotten together and bought gifts for us. I got a $100 gift certificate to a spa, along with a gift bag with shower gel and lotion. They are so sweet!

Some of my friends at the restaurant.

Ann-Sofie opening her gift.

Marie and me.

Today I went and got my hair cut. I had planned to do this the week before my birthday but never got around to it. My hair was so bad I desperately needed to get it cut and I also wanted a big change so I cut it short! I'm so happy with how it turned out, it feels great!

Me last night.

Me today. It's shorter in the back and so cute, love it!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cheerios on the floor

The other day Lucas got a box of cheerios out of the pantry, he managed to turn it upside down and some cheerios fell out....this is what happened.
Lucas is the one stuffing his face while Jacob is taking it a little slower.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Play group, yard sale, birthday

I have so many things I want to blog about and no time to do it. It's been a busy week as usual ;).
On wednesday I took the boys to our first play group for this year with the Swedes. I'm so excited because we have several new moms in our group that have children around the same age as our boys. That includes a set of twin girls, Alexandra and Rebecka, that are just 1 month younger than the boys...but way bigger so you'd think they were older. There's another girl, Lana, who just turned 1 this week and then there's a little boy born the same day as the boys that we have yet to meet. 

Michael came home last night and we were up until 2 am preparing for the yard sale we had today. Our homeowners association only allows us to have yard sales twice a year (on set dates) due to the traffic it brings into the neighborhood so we really wanted to do it. Unfortunately it rained this morning but it was mainly light so we set up anyway. We did sell a few things and made a little bit of money, so did Maddie and Lily by selling some old toys.
However, these girls somehow manages to get a lot of free things at yard sales and they brought home more stuff than they actually got rid of. Some people had gathered at our community pool and set up their things and the kids and I walked up there to check it out while Michael worked our sale. At the pool we were approached by our homeowners association president who asked the girls if they wanted some barbies. His daughter was trying to sell a big case and he gave us $10 and asked if we would pretend to buy it from her. The little girl was so happy when we bought her case and Maddie and Lily were excited over more free stuff ;). They had already gotten a lot of things from another neighbor.

Tonight we celebrated my birthday again since Michael was working last Sunday. We had fondue for dinner and finished off with chocolate fondue for dessert...yum. I will make another post about my birthday tomorrow or maybe Monday.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Playing outside

The boys refused to take a nap this afternoon so after 40 minutes of playing in their cribs I got them up and we went out in the backyard. Here's a short video clip, pictures will follow soon.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Back to normal

Everyone is finally feeling better. My sore throat only lasted 2 days, Lily's fever was gone the same day it started and Lucas and Jacob are also feeling better. Jacob's rash got worse on Saturday, he was pinkish all over...tummy,back,legs,face and neck. It didn't seem to bother him much but you could tell he wasn't feeling 100%. Today the rash is almost gone and he seems more or less like his normal self.

My pinkish little boy.
 It's a little hard to see the rash in the picture, the rest of his body was worse.

We're also back to our regular routines as my sister and her friend left today, the boys and I dropped them off at the airport this afternoon. The house feels very empty and quiet tonight. We had a really good time with them here and I hope they had fun as well....despite our somewhat chaotic life ;). We miss you Emelie and Janina! 

Friday, April 10, 2009

Under the weather

Jakie's fever is finally down. After several days of running a temperature between 102-103+ degrees (39-40C) I took him to the general practitioner nurse yesterday morning. His ears looked clear but apparently his throat was pretty red. The nurse thought he might have Herpangina which is the same virus as hand, foot and mouth without the rash. Personally I think it's a nonspecific viral illness considering Lucas is also sick but his symptoms are a little different. Add to this the fact that today Jacob has a rash on his back and tummy. And this morning around 4 am Lily woke up with a fever. We gave her motrin which made her throw up, a little later she wanted water which made her throw up again. After a shower she went back to bed and slept until noon. 
I also woke up not feeling great, I have a sore throat. 
Summary; Lucas has a runny nose, Jacob has a low grade fever,a rash,no appetite and generally not feeling great, Lily has a fever and is not feeling well and I have a sore throat. Probably the same virus for all of us causing different symptoms. Yuck!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Update on the kids

My third post tonight.

Jacob has not been feeling well at all today. He's had a pretty high fever (102F) and a runny nose. We finally got him to take some ibuprofen in the afternoon and he was able to eat some dinner and went to bed at his normal bedtime. He just woke up (10pm) feeling very hot and we gave him a second dose of fever reducer. We're prepared for a long night.

Lucas is also a little under the weather with a runny nose and maybe a low grade fever but seems to be feeling pretty ok compared to Jacob.

Michael took Maddie to get her x-ray done after school, it went well. We'll be hearing from our Dr. after she gets the results from the radiologist.

I think that's it for tonight. Now we're going to play a Wii bowling tournament!

Our trip to Downtown Dallas

In pictures...

Janina and Emelie in the parking lot.

This is where JFK was shot, X marks the spot.

The Texas school book depository and 6th floor museum.

Emelie and Janina on the grassy knoll.


Emelie and Janina in front of the courthouse.

West End.

Emelie and Janina outside a western store in West End.


Here are some pictures from our shopping trips.

This one is hilarious ( see the slogan above their heads ).

Waiting in line at Marshalls.

Outside Pacsun, we spent a long time in this store ;).

At target late at night.

Leaving target.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Busy busy day

No exaggeration!
After breakfast Emelie, Janina and I took off for the outlet mall in Allen. 3+ hours of shopping! We came back home in time for the girls to be picked up at school. I ate a quick lunch/afternoon snack before taking the girls for their annual checkup at the pediatrician. Both girls are doing well. Maddie has a referral to get an x-ray of her adenoids due to her long time ongoing congestion that is causing her several discomforts. Her pediatrician may (very likely) recommend taking her adenoids out and wants to see how enlarged they are.
Back home we gave the boys a bath, put them to bed and got started on dinner. After dinner I had to go grocery shopping and Emelie and Janina came along. First we went to Target and then we made a quick stop at Kroger.
We just made it back home in time for Jacob to wake up with a fever and not feeling well. We gave him some Tylenol and after nursing a little bit he was back to sleep.
More cleaning, a shower and finally a quick blog post before I go to bed...the time is 12:30am and I'm exhausted. No time for pictures tonight.
Tomorrow will be another busy day...a trip to Downtown Dallas, a physical therapy appointment for Jacob (hopefully he will be feeling better or we may have to cancel) and x-rays for Maddie.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Our weekend.

It's been a busy week and I haven't had time to post as much as I would like, there's only so many hours in a day ;).
Yesterday Emelie, Janina and I went shopping...Old Navy, Marshalls, Tjmaxx and Target. We all ended up with something. Later in the afternoon we went to our neighborhood annual Easter Celebration. The girls really looked forward to the egg hunt. 

Lily and Maddie waiting for the egg hunt to begin.

The kids picking eggs.

Maddie and Lily checking out their catch.

Emelie and Janina.

After the egg hunt we went to the playground by Maddie and Lily's school. The boys love to run around and explore outside.

At the playground.



Me and Lucas.

Dinner outside, it was a gorgeous evening.

Today I drove Emelie and Janina to Six flags where they spent most of the day, I picked them up later  in the afternoon. They had a good time and enjoyed riding most of the rollercoasters. Tomorrow we have another day of shopping planned.