Monday, September 27, 2010

This morning

Jakie was first in.


The magnet boards quickly caught Jakie's eye but after he grabbed as
many letters as he could he turned his attention to the train table.

Lucas and Lily

Lucas grabbed as many trains as he could while Jakie started out playing with the letters on the tracks.

Then he traded them for trains.

Lucas up front.

Lucas drove the trains on daddy.

They played for 1.5 hours before even having breakfast.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A surprise for the little ones

Tomorrow morning there will be two very excited little boys in this house. Their playroom got a makeover this evening after they went to bed. For a few weeks now we've been wanting the get their playroom more organized and useful, lately it's been more of a storage area for a toys and not a very inviting space. First off we decided to remove the guest bed. No worries though, it's in the garage and it will be put back in there anytime we are honored with guests. Since it only gets used for about 2 weeks out of the year it's just no point in having it taking up so much space in there and it's so easy (10 minutes) to assemble and disassemble. So after that we cleaned out some old "babyish" toys, rearranged the room a little and got everything organized. The big surprise, however, is a train table that we found on Craigslist this afternoon. We got the whole package, the table, the tracks, the trains and all the accessories for half of what it would cost us new. It's only about a year old and still in really good shape, what a deal! Oh, and the track even makes sounds as you play!

Michael and the girls went to pick it up before dinner but we left it in the car until the boys went to bed. Even Maddie and Lily were excited to play with the set up and helped arrange all the trains, people, trees and signs etc.
We can't wait to see the boys reaction tomorrow morning.

The before shot, earlier today. Not very exciting.

After

A different angle.

Yet another angle. The pink kitchen got to stay for when the boys girlfriends come over. I just wish Audrey and Jenna lived a little closer and could come play too ;).

The train table! The tracks have double sticky tape on them so they actually stay in place. It came like this but you could rearrange them if you really wanted to.

I got these magnet boards at Ikea to give them an area for all their ABC's magnets.

This is very special to me. I use to have this picture on the wall when I was little, it's a cloth mural. The scene is from a classic Swedish childrens book, "The wonderful adventures of Nils" by Selma Lagerlöf.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Balloons

This weekend it was time for the annual Balloon festival. Since moving to Texas we've been every year but the year Lucas and Jacob were born, that made this the 4th time.
It was very hot outside but that didn't stop us. It got a little more comfortable as the sun set but even at 10 pm when we left it was very warm and sticky.

We met up with our friends Brenda and Fredrik and their 3 girls. We had a really good time. The girls always enjoy this tradition and had fun playing with their friends. The boys were in awe with just about everything. The fireworks may have been the highlight of the day.

Unfortunately the battery in our camera died pretty early in the evening so some of these were taken with my phone and hence the poor quality.


7 kids between our 2 families makes for a large group.



Jakie


Lucas, Michael, Jacob




Lucas

Jakie






The dads with all the kids, playing with rocket balloons and making balloon animals.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A great kid!

The second week of school Maddie was given a Character referral from her teacher Mrs. M.

When earning a character referral the students receives a special note from the teacher and is sent to the office to receive a reward and a letter to bring home to the parents. This is a pretty big thing, not something that is handed out very frequently. Maddie was the first one in class to receive one.
The note from the teacher said:

Thank you for always doing the right thing and being an awesome role model in our class.

At the office she was able to pick from different rewards and she picked a silly band (shaped rubber band bracelet for those of you who are not familiar with silly bandz).

Here's the letter she brought home.


We're so proud of her! She's an amazing girl!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Update on the boys

I had the best intentions of doing this post back when the boys turned 2.5, July 30th. In fact, there are 2 half done posts sitting here that never got finished and I have decided to just start a new one.
Where to begin......?

Lucas: Independent, stubborn, observant, funny and loud would be a few words to describe him. He's the first one to wake up in the morning. He's stopped taking naps and plays in his crib while Jakie sleeps. He's started to use the potty (the big toilet with a potty seat on) and is so proud of himself when he goes. Any time we take off his diaper he wants to go "kissa" (pee pee) and that sometimes means just sitting there waiting for 15 minutes while he makes paperballs of toilet paper. We're not officially potty training yet but are of course encouraging when he shows interest.

Jacob: Strong-willed, sensitive, funny, shy and cuddly. Still naps most days. Not as enthusiastic as Lucas about using the potty but will sit on it if we ask. He's pretty shy around other people, including other kids. At the playground he takes a little while to warm up to other kids and when he does it means playing on his own while ignoring and trying to avoid others and making sure mommy or daddy is close by.

They both love, love, love the alphabet and numbers. I've never met any 2 year olds so obsessed with something! I mean, letters and numbers in some shape or form is all they play with all day long. I'm talking, magnets, puzzle pieces, flash cards etc. If they play with play doh they use their letter magnets to make imprints in the dough. If we're coloring they ask us to write the letters and numbers for them. They sing the ABC song all day long, lining up letters on the couch, the table or putting them on anything that the magnets stick to. If we go outside they bring the letters in a bucket. They put them in the bushes, they stick them on the metal fence at the playground. I could go on and on but you get the idea. Occasionally they find something else to play with, balloons are popular for example, but it's not that often.
They can identify all the letters and numbers from 0-9 in order. I'm wondering if I should pursue this more and see if we can teach them to read, I just don't know where to start.
They also love playing with our iphones, usually they go on youtube and watch ABC and number songs. We also have a phonics game they play. Under supervision of course. Jakie is really savvy with it. He can navigate it back and forth and knows exactly where to find his songs and games. Lucas is a little more limited and needs more help which also tends to lead to a lot of frustration on his end. Letting them play with our phones also leads to ring tones being changed, volume turned off, messages being sent and an occasional phone call to someone in the contact list (usually last number called which is almost always home or Michael). Jakie loves the iphone so much he will go search for it, first place to look is mommy's purse. If he can't find it he'll come give you the puppy dog look and says "fonen tack" (telefonen, tack - telephone, please) and that's hard to resist.
Both boys are excellent eaters. They love most fruits and vegetables. Their favorites are avocado, onions (raw and fried), mushrooms, cucumber, tomato, broccoli, strawberries, grapes and mandarins. They love any meat too. Not big on breakfast however. When they wake up they want a cup of rice milk but nothing to eat. An hour or two later they'll eat a little bit but not much. Lately we've been able to give them some dairy and soy, we try not to overload on it but they have been able to enjoy an occasional ice cream and some other dairy containing foods. They love ice cream and popsicles! Pretzels is their favorite snack, they always get a bag of pretzels on Saturdays when Maddie and Lily skates and it's gotten to the point where they expect pretzels any time we're at the ice skating rink. Luckily they have pretzels at the vending machine there for those times I forget because they are not happy when I do.

We've also reached another big milestone. The boys stopped nursing 2 weeks ago! It's hard to believe I managed to nurse twins for 2.5 years and I'm very proud of that accomplishment. Weaning went better beyond my expectations. The boys had no problems at all and only asked for it once when Lily accidentally said the word out loud.

They talk a lot these days. Still have some communication issues though, like learning to use their words instead of screaming when they need help or something goes wrong. And they still like to repeat our questions instead of answering with a yes or no. And we better watch what we say these days. "Söbannat" (förbannat-darn it) has become a fairly common word nowadays, most of the time they say it to make us laugh. I'm pretty sure they don't know what context to use the word in but it's funny. "Tusan då" is another one (pretty much the same meaning), this one they do know the context of.

They sure are a handful most days but so incredibly sweet and adorable.


Lucas at the pool. This summer we've really enjoyed swimming together as a family
and the boys have turned into little fish.


Jakie enjoying an ice cream cone at Dickies bbq.


Lucas


They kept saying "fire, fire" as they pulled up the chairs to the stove the other day.
Time to get some child proof knob covers I think.


I took the boys to a new playground this morning. Little playhouses, a caboose and a maze
all fenced in for little kids to play.


The buttons on this ATM didn't work. Very frustrating thought Jakie.


Taking a little break while trying to get out of the maze.