Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pics of the birthday boys

Opening gifts in the morning.

Lukie love.

Sweet Jakie loves having his own flashlight.

Lucas loves his new ride.

Jakie on his new ride.

Yummy cake.

Jakie wants more cake.

Sticky hands and face.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Turning 2!

Jacob and Lucas turned 2 years old today. Here's an update on what our 2 year olds are up to these days. Pics from their birthday will be posted tomorrow.

Lucas is our very independent and busy little man. A fearless explorer, full of curiosity and a temper to match. He loves to run, jump and climb on things. He likes to play peek-a-boo, ride around on his rocket, stack blocks and read books. He's a great eater, it's amazing how much a little boy like him can eat. Lately he's learned how to undress himself so pant's and socks come off easily, tops most often get stuck somewhere around the neck and onesie's he hasn't figured out yet....thank goodness!

Jacob is our cuddly little snuggle boy. So sweet but a little too clingy at times. He wants to be close to mommy or daddy (preferably daddy if he's home) at all times and would be perfectly happy if we could just carry him around all day long. He loves to run and jump and climb just like his brother. He loves to play peek-a-boo, stack blocks, read books and draw on his magnadoodle. He's a great singer and loves to sing. "Twinkle twinkle", a version of "Happy Birthday" that they sing at Maddie and Lily's school or "Rain, rain, go away" are usually the songs of choice and it will melt your heart. I love it when he just out of nowhere starts singing "Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy" in the melody of Happy Birthday. Or like this morning before we got the boys up we could hear him sing "turkey, turkey, turkey, turkey...." in the melody of "Twinkle, twinkle, little star". He loves deli turkey and must have been hungry ;).

The boys are developmentally so similar and have pretty much the same likes so the rest goes for both of them....

They have developed a passion for the moon, the planets and the sun. This got started from a picture they have in their room of our solar system and a stuffed moon that used to hang in their window. They always point out the moon and/or the sun in pictures and any time we're outside. Michael started taking them outside every night before going to bed to see if they can see the moon, it doesn't matter how cold it is, and the boys love it. Maybe we have future Astronomers in the family (hopefully not Astronauts ;) ).
Another passion is letters and numbers. They can identify about 3/4's of the letters in the alphabet. This is not something that we started intentionally. From the beginning it started with the wooden letters (their names) on the wall in their room, we used to take them down to use as a distraction at diaper change. After doing this a couple of times they started asking for them and they quickly learned the names of the letters. This lead to them constantly pointing to letters and asking "what's that?" and here we are. Now they always asks us to draw letters (or moons and suns) on their magnadoodles. We also found some of Maddie and Lily's alphabet flashcards that they love to play with. They also know most of the numbers 1-10 but can only count in order to 3, going beyond that usually sounds something like "1,2,3,2,3,2" it! They often do a countdown to things when they play, like on the trampoline they go "1,2,3" and then they jump or riding their rollercoaster or slide "1,2,3, go".
They have started to put together 2 and 3 word sentences like "brush teeth", "Love you!"or "to the rescue!". "To the rescue" is a game that Maddie and Lily play with the boys where they throw stuffed animals in the air and holler "To the rescue", the boys love it.
They can say all our names in the family although Jacob is most often "Dattas" which was how they first said Lucas, Lucas is now "Jacas", Maddie is "Meddie or Mendie", Lily is "Jiji" and then "mamma" and "pappa" of course.

They still love trucks, airplanes and balls and they are masters at spotting them everywhere we go. They enjoy washing the dishes ( 2 chairs by the sink is a great way to keep them occupied while cooking dinner, but very wet ), help cooking, doing laundry and other chores. They follow directions pretty well....when they feel like it ;). But I'm occasionally tempted to get rid of all our chairs in the house because they will move them around to climb up on things, to get to the sink, the water dispenser on the refrigerator, the fish bowls, the counters or to the sofa so they can use it and climb over the armrest and go around and around.
They sure keep us on our feet. Thank God for "Baby Einstein" and our laptops because when we really need to get something done they end up in their high chairs with a movie.

We feel so lucky and thankful to have these two little boys in our family. We're looking forward to another year of fun and adventures!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Party pics

As promised, here are some pics from Maddie's birthday party this afternoon. She had a great time bowling and playing games with her friends.

Maddie and her friends waiting for the party attendant to set up the bowling lanes.

Maddie and Toni

Time for pizza and cake

A happy Maddie getting ready to open her gifts after the party.

Maddie with her gifts. Her friends got her some really nice things!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Our week so far

We started off the week (Monday) by going to Toys'r'us to shop birthday gifts for the kids. Maddie and Lily were in school and the boys came along. I love this age when we can actually bring the boys and let them see their gifts and they will still be happy and surprised on their birthday. We ended our shopping trip with treating ourselves to lunch at Fadi's, one of our favorite restaurants that we actually haven't been to since before the boys were born.
While the boys napped that afternoon Michael and I worked on staining the fence, we haven't been able to finish earlier due to the cold and wet weather we've had. Unfortunately someone had parked a car right outside our fence so we had to leave a section for another day or the car would have gotten sprayed with stain.
That evening Lily performed at the PTA meeting (see previous post). It didn't start until 7 PM so I ended up staying home, putting the boys to bed, while Michael and Maddie went along to watch and video record for me to see later.

Tuesday morning I had a dermatologist appointment. We spent the day doing errands and cleaning. After Maddie and Lily got home from school we made Lenten buns (semlor). This is a Swedish tradition that dates back to when Sweden was still a Catholic country. At that time the practice was to fast for 40 days before Easter. Before beginning the fast people would indulge in a few extra treats, including these wheat buns filled with almond paste and topped with whipped cream. Today you can find these buns in pretty much all the bakeries in Sweden between New Years day and Easter and they are delicious. We've only made them a couple of times in all the years we've been living in the US, I don't know why we haven't made them more often because they are pretty easy to make. They turned out really good despite substituting oat milk and no dairy/no soy margarine for the milk and butter.

That evening I went out with some friends from my mother of multiples group. We had a late dinner at an Irish Pub close by, some only had drinks. It was fun.

Wednesday we did more work around the house. Michael finished staining the fence. We had a pest control company stop by for an inspection since we have a problem with ants in the yard and parts of the house. We have fire ants getting into the boys bedroom....not good!
After dinner the girls and I went ice skating and on our way home we stopped at the grocery store and ordered a cake for Maddie's birthday party.

Today (Thursday) Jacob had his renal ultrasound. He did so good, laid perfectly still for a good 10 minutes while the technician did the scan. Not a single tear was shed! After he was done both him and Lucas got a Puffalump (a large stuffed animal resembling the heffalumps in Winnie the Pooh). It may be a week or so before we get the results, I will post an update then.

Maddie's party is tomorrow and it looks like most if not all the people she invited will be able to come, we're at a count of 11 girls right now not counting Maddie and Lily (she invited 12 friends). Pictures will be posted tomorrow night.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lily performing

Here's a clip from Lily's performance at the PTA meeting on Monday.
Lily is wearing the straw hat with the red bandanna.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Busy week ahead

Three birthdays coming up! The boys turn 2 on Saturday....I can't believe it! And Maddie turns 9 on Tuesday Feb. 2nd. We're having a Birthday party for Maddie on Friday afternoon at the same Bowling alley/entertainment place that Lily had hers last fall. Lot's of preparations to do, shopping for birthday gifts, ordering a cake for Maddie's party, baking a cake for the boys etc etc.
Lily's performing with her class at tomorrow nights PTA meeting. Jacob has his ultrasound on Thursday. And as always we have a long "to do list" for the week.
Michael has 8 days off from work which will be really nice.
Pictures from the parties and updates on the kids will be posted later this week.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lots of pictures

Since I haven't been in a blogging mood lately (too busy with other things I guess) I thought I would at least post some recent pictures. Here goes....

A good friend of ours gave the boys a kitchen, her daughter had received a new one for Christmas and no longer wanted this one. The boys really enjoy playing with it.

Taking down the Christmas lights.

Jakie liked to wrap the lights around himself, here he is clapping and saying "yaaaaay".

Sweet Lukie!

Michael and Jake.

Jakie: "what's this?" (Acorn).

Perfect size puddle ;).


Watching Caillou after a shower.

A lovely Sunday afternoon.


Watching a couple of ducks.

Ice cream!


Lily playing with the boys and their new kitchen.

Ok....I need your opinions! I'm posting this picture to show you how long their hair has gotten, especially Lucas. It's adorable and I love the curls but... The other day I took Lucas to storytime at the library for some one on one time. Afterwards we went to look at books and play in the toddler area, we found some friends and started talking. The other mother looks at Lucas and asks "How old is she?" He was wearing dark blue jeans, a blue and brown striped top and brown shoes so he certainly wasn't dressed must be the hair. Is it time to get it cut???

Here's what he looks like from behind. If I pull on the curls they almost touch his shoulders. So what do you think?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Setting records

It's been cold in Texas....way too cold! This weekend we had 13 degrees (-10C, with windchills of -18C), this is the coldest it's been in 14 years and only 1 degree away from breaking the record low set in 1977. Ponds and streams have frozen and there's been a lot of problems with water pipes breaking around the area but it's finally warming up to more normal temperatures.

We're also setting records on being sick. We've never been sick this much in one winter season ever and the season is not even over. Right now we're going on 9 days with the stomach flu in the house. Maddie got sick first last Sunday. Lucas got sick Monday night, Jacob Tuesday night, all were fine Wednesday and then Thursday night all 4 kids were sick. Michael and I slept for about 2 hours in between changing beds, doing laundry, bathing kids and mopping vomit. Jakie got it worst and was throwing up (dry heaving mostly) about every 20 minutes between 11 pm and 3 am. Poor baby was so miserable and begging for water but couldn't even keep ice chips down. By Saturday they were all fine. Saturday night I'm sick and then Sunday morning Lily and Maddie are at it again. And last night it was Jakie's turn again. It's been misery! I can't wait for all of us to get well and for spring to come around.
I better get back to my mountain of laundry to fold.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

We got answers!

Today we finally had our long awaited visit with the pediatric orthopedic surgeon for Jacob. For those who don't know Jacob has an uneven back since birth. We first noticed it when he was a few months old because he would curve his body in a C shape when laying on his back or lean his body to the right when sitting or being held. It was believed that his unevenness was caused by low muscle tone on the right side of his lower back and he was enrolled in ECI (early childhood intervention) for physical therapy. The unevenness became less noticeable as he started to walk but it was still apparent if you looked closely when shirtless. Despite the physical therapy his back never seemed to change much after that point and his therapist suggested we'd try to get into this particular children's orthopedic hospital to have him examined by a specialist. This hospital operates on donations and is completely free of charge, it's Physicians are considered leaders in the field of pediatric orthopedics. To get in to this hospital we had to get a referral from our pediatrician and send in a long and detailed application to be approved by the hospital board. A few months ago we received notice that the board had approved Jacob and we were given an appointment time.

We spent most of our afternoon at the hospital and after talking medical history, getting examined by nurses and taking x-rays we got to see the orthopedic surgeon. And finally someone was able to give us a diagnosis. Jacob has a condition called "block vertabrae", a spine anomaly also referred to as a "failure of segmentation". This means that two of his vertebrae's (for him in the Lumbar spine) fused together in the earliest stages of pregnancy. As of right now this is not causing any problems for him and it hopefully never will. Unfortunately there is a small risk that as he grows this fused vertebrae could start to grow in an angle, developing a curvature of his spine and if that were to happen he will need surgery. Our surgeon estimate the risk of this happening to 10-20%. This condition will make Jacob a regular patient of this orthopedic surgeon. To begin with she wants to see him every 6 months but as he gets just a little older and his growth slows down it'll most likely be once a year. We also need to get an ultrasound of his kidneys which is just a precaution due to the fact that this type of deformity happens at the same time that the kidneys are formed in utero. This ultrasound will need to be done on an empty stomach so they were not able to do it today. We will call them tomorrow to set up an appointment for this but as it's not an urgent matter we can do it any time it's convenient for us so we will have it scheduled for a day when Michael is in town.

We are happy to finally have some answers and relieved that the prognosis is looking pretty good.

Here are some pictures from today.

Playing in the waiting lounge.

They had a very nice aquarium in the lounge with some big fish.

Jacob playing while waiting for the Dr.

Lucas had fun with this old toy, reminds me of something I had when I was little.

Me and Jacob in the exam room waiting for the Dr.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it's 2010 already! Last year went by so quickly.
New Years Eve was pretty much a reflection of the year gone by, very busy but fun. Michael had to go to work early on New Years day so we celebrated "quietly" at home. We spent the day cleaning, doing laundry, running a few errands including some last minute shopping for the fondue we had that night and preparing and freezing some meals to get me through the next week. That night we had fondue for dinner followed by chocolate fondue for dessert and then we watched the New Years entertainment on TV. The girls stayed up with us to ring in the new year and then we all went to bed.

The girls are back in school but started off the year with a sick day. Maddie woke up Sunday night with a tummy ache and throwing up and the next morning both girls were feeling so so. They recovered quickly and were back to school on Tuesday. But the bug moved to Lucas who threw up Monday night and then again tonight after dinner. This winter has been rough for us and we're certainly hoping for a better second half of the season.

Maddie and Lily ringing in the New Year.

Maddie and Lily (with flash).

Michael made me add this picture that Lily took of us ;).