Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cole and Gwen's First Homework Assignment

The kids worked diligently on their All About Me posters for preschool.  

Happy Cleaner

Gwen helped Daddy clean carrots from the garden for nearly an hour.  She was super excited to use her pink sponge (her favorite color) and happily scrubbed and washed and of course chatted with Daddy while working.

Melt My Heart Tuesday

Yeah, I'm a few days late for Melt My Heart Monday but I keep meaning to write about some of the cute, quirky things my three kiddos have been up to recently. And heck, maybe i'll return to this list tomorrow when i'm in all of the chaos and need a small reminder of how cute they all are ;)

Cole melts my heart when he snuggles up to me and asks me to read to him.  He has also been interested in math recently.  Tonight I sat on the couch with him for about 15 minutes working on subtraction.  When i had to stop our math lesson to put Reid to bed, Cole put his head on my lap and told me he wasn't going to let me go.  I love spending individual time with him!  We've been having a blast at swimming lessons on Sundays.  Cole has become an expert at blowing bubbles and has even been going under a little when he jumps to me.  He also loves taking a shower after the lesson.  I always assumed that he would freak out in the shower but he seems to love it.  Also, he enjoys playing Chutes and Ladders.  He can amuse himself for hours with library books especially ones about trains, diggers, race cars, and dinosaurs. He has a lot of energy and enjoys running around the backyard playing monster.  He is very interested in interacting with his baby brother which usually ends up with Reid crying but Cole is a great apologizer.  In fact, he is known for apologizing as he is doing something to his brother or sister.  He is still obsessed with his comforter and despite many washes and a haircut or two it is still pretty disgusting but I don't have the heart to take away his favorite lovey.  When you ask him who is best friend is he responds "comforter". Cole's teachers say that he is the most enthusiastic student in the class and often jumps up and down with his hands by his mouth with excitement when they switch activities. This does not melt my heart but I think it is too funny not to share-- when cole needs to poop he strips down because he claims that clothing hinders his pooping.  We not refer to him as the "naked pooper".  On a similar note, he has been blessing us with puddles at the base of the toilet recently.  After asking him sevearl times what was going on he finally told me: "Mommy, I try to get my pee pee through the trap door".  I think the trap door is the toilet seat...

Gwen is a sweet little girl.  She talks a mile a minute and right when i'm ready to tell her i need a break from the "mommy, mommy, mommy", she will say:  "Mommy, i love you" and melt my heart.  She is a little mommy and a girly girl these days.  She is very into being a princess and playing with her dolls.  She has an infant carseat next to her carseat in the van where she leaves her baby for me to care for while she is at school. During quiet time (she rarely naps these days) she sets up all kinds of parties for her babies and her stuffed animals.  She talks to them as if she is their mommy and is known for stealing baby items for her babies.  The other day i was sorting out some infant clothing to give to a friend and I knew it was over when Gwen spotted a few cute baby girl hats, outfits and headbands.  After several minutes of negotiation, she ended up with two outfits, a few headbands and a couple of hats for Matilda, her favorite doll.  Gwen is very helpful around the house.  A few weeks ago she helped Daddy wash carrots from our garden for nearly an hour and she is over the moon excited when we ask her to wash the kitchen table. Gwen is into fashion and switches her outfit at least twice a day.  During quiet time she usually tries on a few outfits and almost always decides to wear a dress or a skirt for the remainder of the day.  At times she also wants to choose outfits for her brothers and even tries to color coordinate the boys so that they match each other.

At 13 months Reid melts my heart when he gets a book and then backs his little bottom up to sit on my lap.  I remember when i worked in daycare how special i felt when the kids used to back up to sit on my lap and it is 1,001 times more fun experiencing this with my own child.  Reid is interested in animals and continues to run around the house yelling "duck" and "dog" on a daily basis.  He knows a few animal noises (ie. tries to tweet, quack, baaa, and says "uh eh" (monkey) and "pffffffft" (elephant) and loves looking at animals in books.  He looks up for airplanes and enjoys pushing toy cars/trains/trucks/diggers around and making car noises.  The other day when we were waiting to pick Cole and Gwen up at school he spotted a pond across the parking lot.  He immediately started making fish mouth noises and run to the pond.  It amazes me that at 13 months he knew that there could be fish in a pond.  Recently he has not been putting little things in his mouth.  Instead he picks up pieces of food, fuzzies, tissues etc. and brings them to me saying "uh oh".  Last night Andy and i got a big kick out of him when Andy asked him to clean up the floor after dinner.  Reid picked each bit of food off the floor and put it in the trash can.  I have no idea how he learned this skill but I figure it cant' hurt consider the house usually looks like a bomb went off!  Oh and the "uh oh" game also applies to when he sees something that is off.  For example, if he sees the pantry door left ajar or the gate left open he stands by it yelling "uh oh".  Last night I told Reid that it was time for bed.  He immediately ran to get his dog and started going towards the steps.  Reid loves to toddle around in our backyard by himself.  He enjoys playing at the sand table.  he usually grabs the wooden spoon and stirs sand in the different jars and pots.  Sometimes he places the pots and diggers on the patio or in the grass.  He can entertain himself for a little while while Gwen and Cole run around.  When music is on he bops around around I swear he is learning how to jump.  His feet actually leave the ground!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Rodale Apple Festival 2012

On Saturday, September 22, 2012, we headed down the road to the Organic Apple Festival.  This is the third year that we have attended and each year it gets much bigger than the last.  We got there when it opened but did not have much luck finding eatable apples.  Daddy quickly decided that it was not worth the search for an organic apple pie so we decided to enjoy the activities and food instead.  

 On the tractor tour of the farm.  I thought it was a 10 minute tour the previous year and therefore left all of our food and drinks in the stroller.  About 20 minutes into the tour, Reid spotted a box of Natures Promise teddy bears that a lady sitting across from us had for her 1 year old son and Reid threw a fit.  Thankfully the lady was very kind and fed my child many teddy bears to keep him content for the remainder of the 40 MINUTE ride!

 Reid enjoyed hugging the construction cone and once again carrying around the largest/most awkward object he could get his hands on!

Elmwood Park Zoo

On Friday, September 21, 2012, we met up with Cristina and her little guy, Max, for a morning of fun at the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, PA.  It was a beautiful morning to spend with our dear friends.  Cole and Gwen had fun exploring with Max and Reid did very well in his stroller and toddling around.  Reid was especially excited about the ducks and swans.
 Don't ask...
 The kids were bummed that the butterfly exhibit was closed but did find amusement in posing for butterfly pics.

The crew :)

My Big Kids

 We recently discovered window markers.  I spotted these at the store a few months ago but was just now brave enough to let the kids try them.  We started out small by just allowing them to use one marker to draw but they have been great listeners and knock on wood so far we do not have any lasting marks on our curtains, walls or floor so they have since moved on to using the entire pack.

Cole has been going through a phase where he is "scared of his room".  I have tried to understand what exactly scares him but have yet to figure it out.  I honestly think that it is just developmentally appropriate at this age to be scared of the dark.  Cole has a sweet sister who often sleeps in his room on the spare bed to help comfort him but one night he found comfort in sleeping on the dining room floor.  Can you tell he enjoys puzzles?  He hands were still holding a couple of pieces when he finally fell asleep!

Emergency Preparedness Day 2012

Right after school started, Gwen got her first cold.  Daddy decided to stay home with her while I took the boys to check out this free event.  

 Cole starting the fireman obstacle course
 Climbing through the window
 Squirting the fire hose (for a few seconds before he started crying because his finger was squished in there somehow)
 My boys :)
 Watching the clown show.
We received (and declined) many free gifts at the event but the winner by far was Reid's red target frisbee.

Right around the time of this event was when Pap Pap was visiting and within minutes of him leaving I got a message from Nana saying that she was heading to the hospital for chest pain.  Thankfully everything turned out fine.  Nana spent one night in the hospital for observation and the doctor said that she was probably having artery spasms.

A Day in the Life of Reidy

 "There's a shoe in the toliet, dear Liza, Dear Liza.  A Shoe in the toliet, dear Liza, a SHOE!"  The story goes something like this--- Cole goes into the powder room to go to the bathroom and announces that there is a shoe in the toliet.  That about sums things up.  I'm 100% certain that little REidy is the culprit.  He moved on from ducks to trying to say "shoes" and "socks" and is obsessed with carrying them around.  He knows exactly where his shoes are when I ask him to get them and the other day he heard me say:  "Cole, where is your other sock? (Yes, Cole has a new habit of removing one of his socks when he is upstairs for quiet time) and Reid went to the clothes basket to try to find Cole another sock.

 The vacuum is a favorite toy these days.
Reid is a great eater.  When he gave up nursing, he became very interested in table food.  These days he eats  what we eat and gets very angry if I won't hand him exactly what he has in mind.  For example, tonight I was trying to hold him off on eating for a few minutes until daddy got home but he decided that he wanted small graham crackers.  First i caught him looking through the diaper bag for some and then he was screaming at the pantry door.  This kid has a temper and definitely lets his feelings be known!

1st Day of 4 Year Old Preschool

On Monday, September 10, 2012, Cole and Gwen went to preschool at First Presbyterian Church for the first time.  The week prior I took them for a meet and greet with their teachers, Mrs. Bacon and Mrs. Lynch.  I did some housekeeping stuff with Mrs. Lynch while Mrs. Bacon did an informal assessment of the kids and I was told that they did a great job.  The kids and I talked a lot about the first day of school that week in anticipation of the big day.  I honestly was not very worried about them.  One of the many perks to having twins is that I knew that they would have each other.  If one was feeling sad or scared, the other would comfort him/her.  If one needed something but did not want to speak up, the other would do it.  Going into the whole thing, I thought Cole might get a little upset the first day BUT as we stood outside the classroom door waiting for the teachers to welcome everyone, i could tell that both kids were a little nervous.  When i saw Gwen's nerves, I got a little scared that if she freaked out, Cole would melt down as well.  Thankfully, when the moment arrived, they both kissed me goodbye and walked through the door hand in hand and I actually managed to get a picture of that special moment :)  When I went to pick them up, they ran out and were very excited to tell me about their first day of school.  

Dressed and ready to go!

 All loaded up in the car.  Notice how Gwen's doll, Matilda, rides in her infant carseat and even has a headrest and blankets.
 Waiting to to into their classroom
They walked in holding hands :)

So far we are very happy with their experiences at 1st Pres.  It has been difficult for me to go from knowing what they do every second of every day to not knowing but they are slowly starting to tell me more details about their time at school.  Their teachers say that they are both doing very well even though they are the youngest in their class.  Every once a while Mrs. Bacon or Mrs. Lynch will tell me a quirky little story about one of them which makes me think that they have both taken the time to get to know Gwen and Cole individually.  Here are the stories:  1.  One day when i was dropping them off both teachers came out to tell me about an incident that had occurred the prior day.  Mrs. Lynch said explained that after snack they can choose which color carpet square to sit on for storytime.  I wanted to stop her there because i totally knew what had happened (Yes, Gwen finished first and ran over to sit on the green carpet square because she knew it would upset Cole).  Of course their teachers said that this had happened but both seemed to think i was crazy when i said that she had done it on purpose to get a rise out of Cole.  Really?  Do they not think that she knows exactly how to push Cole's buttons.  2.  One day Mrs. Bacon came to the door to tell me that she loves Cole's enthusiasm.  She said that whenever they are changing activities, he is the first one there and bubbling with excitement about what they are going to do next.  Also, she noted that he puts his hands up to his face and jumps up and down with excitement.  Yup, that's my Cole :)

He's a Toddler!

I held off for a long time but am now calling little Reid a "toddler".  In fact around his birthday he began to walk well and soon after started all out running.  It must have something to do with wanting to keep up with his big brother and big sister...or wanting to run away from them so they leave him alone, i suppose.  I can just see the pride on Reid's face when he can participate in activities that Gwen and Cole do.  Towards the end of the summer he started toddling around the backyard and loved being able to go where he wanted and play with all of the big kid toys.  I often wonder how many hours he sat in his swing, on a blanket or in his stroller outside just wishing he could run and play with Gwen and Cole.  

 Reid discovered how to hold the button down on the drill to make it rotate and light up.  One would think that a toy this size would be difficult for a toddler to hang onto but REid seems to enjoy the challenge.
 I have developed a theory that toddlers only like to carry the largest or most awkward toys/objects they can get their hands on.  Reid can often be found dragging this big thing of blocks around the house....
 ...and when he falls he just throws them back into the bucket and starts all over again!
 Another case in point-- he found this pool noodle in the laundry room that i was planning to use to craft with the big kids.  I can't tell you how many hours he spent lugging the thing around.  Yes, i was afraid that he was going to knock a glass off of the table.  Yes, i was a little worried that he was going to fall and get hurt.  BUT seeing the joy on his face while doing something so simple was so much fun.

 Here's the little guy showing off his driving skills.  He worked hard to get himself into the car and i remember   looking over to see his little bottom up in the air several times before he succeeded.
Proud little man!