Thursday, July 30, 2009

Maddie & Izzie


A rare photo of Maddie and Izzie sitting close together and both looking at the camera. Mom took this, this morning while she was watching the girls. I had to make an hour long phone call to the president of PAMOM, Tina, to go over proof reading the August issue of the newsletter. We normally do the call after all kids are in bed, but this go around morning was the only time that worked. Thanks for watching the girls mom!

Harry Potter at the Studio Movie Grill


Maddie and Izzie eating dinner.


Maddie being silly with Popo.


Popo reading Izzie and Maddie a book.

Last night was Date Night for John and I. We don't schedule out our date nights, but we do try to have one at least once a month, more if possible. It's so awesome that we have so many family members near by that allow us to go out without having to hire a babysitter. Plus the girls love spending time with their grandparents. Last night, Mom and Chris (Nanna and Popo) came to watch the girls so John and I could go to the Studio Movie Grill in Plano to watch the latest Harry Potter movie. We had a good time, and I think the movie was pretty good.

When I got home, Mom told me to look at the camera. So I did. She had taken a ton of photos of the girls during the evening. Which I love! It's so cool to see how they are when I'm not around. It seems like that they had a pretty good evening without Momma and Daddy!



Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Playing in Momma & Daddy's Room


Maddie with her pretty necklaces.


Izzie with Daddy's hat.


Playing with the new toy in Momma and Daddy's room.

This morning I woke up not feeling well. Leftovers from the tummy bug I had this weekend I suppose. Needless to say, being a Mommy, you don't get the day off. So while I would have loved to have spent the morning in bed my alarm clock (that is set to the twin toddler station) went off bright and early at 7:30 am. I dragged myself out of bed and determinedly put in my contacts and put on my shoes. I'm still in my pj's (It's now 3:30pm) but I figured those two things would make me feel somewhat like I was joining the human race for the day.

My bright eyed beautiful girls were again in high spirits today. We all had a yummy breakfast of cinnamon waffles, apples and O's, after which we did some coloring, puzzles and other quiet activities that didn't require much movement on my part. I was sad to have to cancel my playdate for the day, but on the off chance I was still contagious, I knew the other moms would appreciate my effort. As the activities continued, the clock, it seems didn't. I mean surely after breakfast, coloring, puzzles, baby dolls, 30 minutes of Elmo and 10 books it should be at least mid morning, right?

Since it wasn't anywhere near time for lunch and I needed a FUN thing to do next, I pulled out the all time special FUN thing. We went upstairs to play in Momma and Daddy's room. In my bottom right hand dresser drawer I've always kept a handful of toys for the girls. Today was even more exciting because I added a new toy! We spent 45 minutes playing on my floor with the special toys, looking out the window at the cows & horses (at the farm behind our house) and just cuddling in a pile of pillows and the time flew by in a blink of an eye. What started as a mundane morning, soon turned into a special time with me and my girls.

Oh, and I am feeling much better now!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Grand Adventures at Firewheel Mall


Izzie and Maddie


Peek-a-boo is big the past few days. (Maddie and Izzie)


'GO! GO! GO!, STOP! STOP! STOP!' (Maddie and Izzie)


Izzie

What I am about to tell you, may not seem like a grand adventure to some. Probably to most of you it isn't even that exciting. But here it is anyway: Maddie, Izzie and I went into a store by ourselves without a stroller.

I'll back up a bit. The past few days between tummy viruses and rain, we haven't spent much time outside. I was starting to get cabin fever. I really wanted to get out of the house with the girls and spent a little time outside. Not to mention that John has has a busy couple of days at work and so an hour of quiet time at home I'm sure was appreciated. So, we headed to Firewheel Mall which has a cute little playground that I love. One, it is small. Two, it is completely enclosed with a gate that latches. Three, it has a foamy surface so even though it has been raining, there is no mud. I let the girls run around for a bit and we played some 'GO! GO! GO!, STOP! STOP! STOP!' a new favorite game.

I really wanted to go check out Carter's a kids clothing store. They run some great sales sometimes and the girls are almost bursting out of the 18 month clothes. I debated getting the stroller, but the girls have been really great about listening to me lately and I wanted to go with the trust. I ask them if they are ready to leave the park so we could go see the water. (To get to the store, we had to cross a bridge over a little man made stream.) We left the park, walked across the green space, over the bridge (stopping to admire the water) and across the parking lot and into the store. At first they stood right next to me, holding my hand or my leg. Then they slowly got brave and wandered a bit, but still within 3-4 feet of me. Maddie tried to go across the store once, but came right back when I called her. I let them play with the toy at the check out counter for a few minutes. I actually DID get to look at the clothes and the girls had a blast. They liked touching all the clothes. They didn't try to pull anything off the hangers or cause any destruction of any kind.

As I was leaving I saw a display of Melissa & Doug toys. (I LOVE Melissa & Doug.) I was just talking to my Mom earlier about wanting to get them a new puzzle and there they were 30% off! I bought the girls 2 new puzzles and we headed back out the door. We walked across the parking lot, over the bridge, and to the BIG fountain at the other end of the park. Then to get back to the car I told the girls that they could let go of my hand and RUN across the huge green field. They had a blast with that.

We got to the car and I was so proud of all three of us. Me for raising my girls in a manner where I can trust them without having to rely on strollers all the time. And for not having to resort to using a leash. The world opens up for us a bit by bit the more we take on new challenges. I was proud of Maddie and Izzie for having a great time and for listening to me so that we can do more things like this in the future. Like I said before, it might not be a grand adventure to everyone, but to me and my two 19 month old twins, it was a huge step.

Peek-a-boo!!


Izzie


Maddie & Izzie


Peek-a-Boo!


Maddie loves you!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Separating Twins


After lunch Maddie asked to brush her teeth.


Izzie wanted to brush her too of course!


Ever since they could first walk, I've had them put up their milk after each meal. I leave space on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. It's their "chore." I'll graduate to them handing me their plates and putting them in the sink/dishwasher one of these days.


I was modeling to Maddie how to read to her bunny. Encouraging some of that independent play and imagination. She put him in the chair and started reading the book to him!


Then both Maddie and Izzie grabbed their bunny/teddy and put them in the high chair and cradle. Here is Maddie showing Bunny the microphone. I'm not sure if Bunny was supposed to sing into it or eat it??

This has been a really good day. John worked from home because he was being cautious and didn't want to infect the rest of the office with this dreadful stomach bug. We didn't have any symptoms of it today, but just in case we were still contagious, he decided to play it safe. It was nice having him around, I got to see a lot of his work. He was super busy with phone calls and emails and such so I didn't really get to talk to him much. I think he said he answered 85 emails today, not to mention the conference calls he was on throughout the day. The girls were in super moods too. I was worried about keeping them quiet while John was working, but they were in such cheery spirits it wasn't difficult at all.

One thing that was terrific about today was the balance of independent play and mommy play. I really like to encourage the girls to play by themselves and have started telling them that, "Momma has to work for a few minutes, you need to go play by yourself." I try for a 15 minute increment and sometimes I'm surprised with a 30-45 minute window! After they play by themselves I make sure we do something super fun together, whether it is go outside, play blocks together, read a book, etc. I tell them "Thank you for playing by yourself, now it's time to play with Momma!" Some days this all goes very well (like today) and somedays I'm lucky if I get one 15 minute "work" time.

After naptime, I realized I needed to run to Walgreens for an item I was out of. I didn't really want to take both girls because it was raining, and John and I had talked recently about taking one girl out at a time again. I figured a quick trip to Walgreens would be a good experiment. The hard part is trying to decide who to take without making a big deal out of it. I chose Maddie for this trip. Then she woke up from nap crying a storm. I almost changed my mind and took Izzie, but didn't want to over analyze the situation. Maddie calmed down and we said bye to Izzie and Daddy. I told Izzie she got to spend some special time with Daddy. He was going to read a book to her or color or some such activity.

Maddie was terrific at the store. I let her walk with me instead of carrying her or putting her in a cart. She held my hand through the entire store and was looking around in absolute wonder. At the checkout the lady told me how cute she was and she got so shy! They are so used to people talking to/at them and it normally doesn't faze them. But she didn't have sissy with her and she got so shy with the attention. Very interesting. When we got back to the car, she asked me where Izzie was and I told her she was with Daddy.

When I got home I asked John how it went with Izzie. (When the girls were really tiny I'd take one at a time, but they weren't really aware of each other back then.) One look at Izzie and I don't think I can ever separate my girls ever, ever again. She looked like her best friend had died. I'm not exaggerating. The look on her face made my heart hurt. I asked John what happened. He said he tried to do something with her, but she just sat in his lap with this look on her face the whole time. I've never seen Izzie look like this, it was the saddest expression I have ever seen. No tears or anything, just this long sad face. I just hugged her for five minutes after we got home. She was so quiet the rest of the evening.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Survived the Stomach Bug

Well, John and I survived the stomach bug. We aren't 100% yet, considering how little we've eaten in the past 24 hours and we got quiet dehydrated. I was very impressed how we tag-teamed today and made it through. We took shifts, every hour this morning, one of us would go on "break" and take a nap upstairs and the other would stay down with the girls. Last night my mom said that she would watch the girls this morning if we weren't feeling well, but then I got a message from her in the middle of the night that she had it too. So we were on our own and we did a great job. Now, we are starting to feel a bit human again. Food isn't looking evil and water is actually good.

Thankfully the girls were in high spirits today. They still wanted a lot of attention, didn't do much independent play today, but I think that was because they were picking up on how we were feeling. I haven't brought out the camera in the past two days (I know shocking... that's how bad I was feeling!) but here are some pictures from a year ago and earlier this month:

Since I take pictures almost every day, sometimes it's fun to look back and see a picture from exactly a year ago. This is July 26, 2008. Izzie and Maddie, we were at Mema's house. What a difference a year makes!


This was July 7, 2009. John and I took the girls to Brooklyns Pizza for dinner. I decided to put their hair up in ponytails. This is their first full ponytail. They looked so cute!! (Maddie, Izzie)


7/23/2008 Maddie was bringing me bows to put in her hair. I love this expression on her face!

We are missing the family in Wisconsin, but have heard that everyone made the trip safely. We are thinking of you guys and hope you have a terrific vacation. I want to hear all about it and see a ton of pictures!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Twin Language

I wanted to share a moment of sharing. (By the way, I'm not feeling so grea this evening so if I don't make any sense that is why, but I wanted to write this down!)

In the last few days the girls are using so many words. They are communicating left and right. Again this is a mixture of signing and actual spoken words. Today a little before naptime, Maddie had on three necklaces. The Mardi Gras beads type. Izzie saw that Maddie had all of them and she wanted one. So she did what most toddlers would do, she grabbed for it. I told her, "No, that's Maddie's right now but you can ask her if she will share with you" (While doing the share sign.)

And she did! She turned to Maddie and signed Share. Maddie very carefully removed one of the three necklaces and handed it to Izzie. I told Izzie to say thank you (sign). And she did. Then Maddie decided she wasn't so happy sharing afterall and tried to grab the necklace back. I told Maddie she needed to wait (sign) and that it was Izzie's turn with the pretty necklace. She thought about it, did the wait sign herself and went off to go play with something else. It was a very neat interaction because it was an almost full, real converstation between the girls. They are understanding so much each and every day!

I wasn't sure if I belived in Twin Language or Twin Talk until I had twins of my own. I'm not sure if they actually make up a language of if they just intuitavily know what each other is saying. Ever since they were really little (10 months maybe?) they would point to something, jabber and then the other girl would look and start laughing. Who knows what they were talking about? Now, I see them jabber at each other and then the other girl will go get something (such as her sister's sippy cup or stuffed animal) and bring it back to her. They aren't speaking English but they know what each other wants. It is pretty amazing to watch. They do get frustrated when they jabber to me and I don't understand!

(This post was started last night and finished this morning, I didn't want to go back and change all the tenses, so that is why it might be confusing.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Put 'em to work


Izzie and Maddie sweeping the kitchen.


Izzie is doing some multi-tasking. Sweeping and vacuuming at the same time, the girl has some skills!


Izzie on the potty reading a Bathroom Reader.


Maddie is pretending right now.

This morning was one of those, if you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all mornings. I feel bad because the girls weren't being bad. I they just weren't feeling well. Whether it's left over from being sick the other day, or more teething, you could tell in their eyes they just didn't feel good. They were whiny, clingy and just not a joy to be around. Somehow, miraculously we made it to naptime. They took a pretty good nap so I had hopes for this evening. We shall see. Right now they are sweeping my kitchen. I bought them a cute little dirt devil vacuum cleaner, but they seem to like the broom better.

The other thing is I think I unofficially, officially started potty training today. Izzie has been saying poo poo all morning. So we've gone to the bathroom and tried a couple of times. About 10 minutes after we give up (after sitting on the potty for 10 minutes) she goes poop in the diaper. But she is getting the idea. Maddie is interested mostly because sissy is. Even though she is the one who peed in the potty about a week ago, I think it was just a fluke. As of right now, I'm not going "hard core" potty training. I'm not doing any serious method. That may change, but right now, I'm not up for it. If they pee in the potty, great, if not, right now I don't care. I prefer that they don't pee on my carpet and that's about it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Snapshots


Maddie making some eggs on the couch this morning.


I love this smile & the hair flip!


Izzie pulled the blanket over herself and looked adorable.


Toes sticking out.


Always time for a game of peek-a-boo!

After a rough night with three sheet changes( one for Maddie and two for Izzie, the girls are feeling much better. I gave them a breakfast of cheerios, diced apple in a fruit cup and water. They did fine with that so for lunch we progressed to a peanut butter sandwich and banana. Now they are in there playing puzzles.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Maddie is not feeling well

This evening Jackie and Tom stopped by to visit before they head to Wisconsin for two weeks. (They leave on Saturday.) Originally we were going to go too, but decided it was best for us to be home right now. John's job has had a lot of changes this past month and it's not the time for vacation. We're going to hopefully be able to plan another vacation for September. We are sad to not be going to Wisconsin for the family reunion, but think that in the end it is the best decision for now. So anyway, Jackie and Tom wanted to see the girls (and us, I'm sure...) one more time before hitting the road with Grandma, Julie, Chris, Sammy and Sabrina. Dana, Cody and Lucy are going to be flying to meet them.

I made a very yummy shepherd's pie for dinner and a yummy banana bread for dessert. We were hanging around visiting and just playing with the girls. Maddie kept saying 'poo-poo' but didn't have any to show for it. So I figured she must be having some tummy troubles or was constipated. Overall she wasn't acting too differently than usual though. I got dinner all ready and sat Maddie down to eat. She immediately got sick. She was white as a sheet. Poor thing. We got her cleaned up and she sat with us at dinner and ate 2 bites of toast. After dinner we let the girls watch Elmo. I got her to eat a few bites of applesauce. We took them up to bed at normal time and gave them a bath. I think there was too much jostling because we'd barely put her in the crib and she was sick again. She's been asleep for an hour and half now, so hopefully she will sleep through the night. My poor little baby. She sure didn't look good tonight.

It's one of those long mornings


Izzie and Maddie drawing on the driveway with chalk.


Maddie and Izzie in their mini-coup shopping cart.

The girls woke up early this morning and Izzie is teething. Perhaps that is what woke her up? I'm not sure, but she's been a grouch. I'm so thankful that for the most part I usually only have one cranky girl at a time. They seem to sense that Mom can only handle so much. So, Maddie has been a sweet pea this morning. I used up the last drop of milk at breakfast so I loaded up the girls and we went to Kroger this morning. I usually do my shopping at Target, but I like Kroger too, and I heard they had really cool carts that I wanted to check out. (As a side note: Before kids, I could care less about the cart at any store. Now half of the reason for going to any particular store at any time is dependent on what cart they have!)

The girls loved the mini-coup cart. They each had their own steering wheel and their own horns. Plus they had straps! I also have to give this cart high marks for maneuverability! Target has carts with two seaters (that are boring and the girls kick each other) and they are hard to move. If I use those carts I don't have to do an upper body workout at the gym that day. These carts while I would say "spin on a dime" sure can move (for their size.) Anyway, we were back home by 9:30. I usually leave the house by 9:30 to do my activity for the morning, not return at that time.

Luckily the weather is beautiful today. We gathered up our water and our sidewalk chalk and drew pictures on the driveway. The girls are officially pros at identifying and saying: Circle, Square, Oval, Triangle, Star and Heart. I'm not sure what age they should be able to do shapes but I think 19 months is pretty impressive. I love the way Maddie says circle. It sounds more like Kirk-le. Chalk drawing lasted about 20 minutes and now (after giving Izzie something for her poor gums) are playing happily for a few minutes.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Spring Cleaning


Izzie playing with styrofoam boxes they found at Nanna's house. )Thanks Mom for taking a few pictures of the girls!)


Maddie and Izzie


Maddie and Izzie

Well, yes, we are in the middle of the summer. But my house needed a good spring cleaning. Forgotten corners needed dusting, back rooms needed vaccuuming, a few piles of laundry needed sorting, the stove needed some major elbow work. That sort of thing. The type of cleaning that isn't easy to do with the help of two enthusiastic toddlers following you around. So, I called my mom last night and asked if she'd like to spend the morning with Maddie and Izzie. She said, "Sure no problem." That was last night. This morning when I called to say I was on my way over she said she changed her mind. But I wasn't going to let her off the hook! (She was just kidding anyway.)

So, I dropped them off at 9 am and then jetted back to my house. I then proceeded to spend the next three and half hours cleaning my house. The sad thing is I could probably have spent an extra two. I didn't get to my art room or the office. (I'm ignoring the garage, it would take a week or more to make a dent in it.) Oh and what used to be the game room and is now the "Out Grown Baby Storage-Sorting Area." But I have plans for that, they are in the works. But, the downstairs is sparkly, the master bed and bath are gleaming. The girls room is tidy. I think I did a pretty good job and I'm exhausted. Now if only I could maintain it...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Organizing Digital Photos

I like to be organized. Am I that good at it? Perhaps not. Sometimes at night I dream that I'm "Martha Stewart" organized. If I won the lottery, one of the first things I would buy would be the services of a professional organizer and every single organization gadget/bin/device on the market. I get silly happy thinking this. I have dreamed of a playroom that would make Pottery Barn jealous. In reality, I'm doing good to know where a pair of scissors are when I need them. There is a screwdriver in every room of my house I think. Yes, I even have dreams that one day, my garage will rival Bob Villa.

One place that I am successful at this whole organized thing is in my computer files. I think I finally found a system that works for storing all of my photos. I used to take 5-10 photos a month. For a special event, I might take an extra 20 or so that month. I never used to worry about photo orginzation. Since having the twins, I take on average 400-500 digital images a month. I kid you not. My girls can not complain that there is not enough captured memories of them. From day one, I freaked out. I was having identical girls. I did NOT want them to grow up with a complex "That Mommy took pictures and then couldn't tell us apart in the photos". I needed a SYSTEM. So far my system has not let me down. I was asked tonight what it was, so I'll share.

I have a folder on my desktop called PHOTOS. In that folder are folders labeled 2007, 2008 and 2009. (Like I said, before twins, no need to organize, one day I'll perhaps catch up on the old photos) In each of those folders there is a folder for each month. I label the months 01-09, 02-09, 03-09 ect. The Zero in front of months 1-9 are important. Don't label them Jan, Feb, Mar. I can hit "Sort by: Name" and my folders will march themselves in order. IF you use the Jan, Feb method you will have: April, Aug, Dec. Which isn't nice. If you use the numbers and don't put the Zero you get 10, 11 and 12 first. Believe me.

So then you click in the 01-09 folder and you have all of the photos for that month. I label each and every single photo that comes off of my camera. This takes discipline, but then remember, I have the well being of my girls future in mind here. I don't want them in therapy staring at a photo and not knowing if it is them or their sister. I label each photo TheYearTheMonthTheDay_ThePeopleLeftToRight. If there is more than one picture that day that has the same people in it (pretty much happens every single day) then it's TheYarTheMonthTheDay-ThePeopleLeftToRight (#). Even though you have the pictures in month and year folders, it is still important to put the year with them, because that way if you send it to someone or it gets separated you will have all the information about that photo. Putting the year first allows you to sort by year if you ever have more than one year's photos together in a folder. If you don't take as many photos as I do, the day isn't as important.

Example for today (July 20, 2009) would look like this: 090720_MaddieIzzie or 090720_MaddieIzzie (2)

This comes in handy for that Sort feature. Sort by name and my photos all line up nice and neatly. It makes it so easy to find a photo that I'm looking for. I rarely describe what is going on in the photo (that is what this daily blog is about; that I'm turning into a book.) So, to summerize: PHOTOS > 2009 > 01-09 > 090124_AmandaMaddieIzzie (4) is what a path would like on my computer. I sure hope this helps anyone who is desperately trying to figure out what to do with all the photos they have. Now if only my real desktop was a neat as my virtual one!

Nothin' but Net


I did not show the girls this hoop, the must have watched an older kid do it, but I looked over and both girls were shooting baskets like pros. (Izzie)


Izzie had no reservations about going after her ball when it rolled under a bounce house!


Izzie and Maddie


Maddie


Maddie.

I have to start off by mentioning that my girls are now 19 months old today. Yes, I know, I promised John I would stop counting months after 18 months, but how can I? They are my babies! Just think when they are 19 yrs and I say, "OH... today they are 228 months old today!" I might get some strange looks, so I guess somewhere between 19 months and 19 years I'll stop counting in months.

At 19 months they have such a big vocab that I can't even count how many words they are saying. Izzie loves Elmo, puzzles and reading. Maddie's favorite things right now are: dress-up, blocks and reading too. They like dancing and they still eat like champs. Although, one day they may love a food and the next day they say, "no." They are signing up a storm. They are learning signs as fast as I'm teaching them (and learning them myself!) They love to give each other kisses and hugs. They look out for each other. If one girl is thirsty, she goes and gives her sister her water before she goes and drinks her own. Every single day I think they grow and grow!

This morning I met a couple of friends at Bounce U another indoor bounce house place. This one is for a bit older kids than Pump It Up, Jr. but the girls still had fun. We only lasted about an hour and then I could see they were getting very worn out. Since the place was almost right across the street from Grandma and Grandpa's house, I gave them a call to see if they wanted a short visit. Grandma was out, but Grandpa said, come on over! We played and had lunch for an hour and then headed home for naptime.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Finger Painting

Today was a nice, laid back Sunday. The girls, Mom and I went to Chili's for lunch. They did great and Mom and I got a good visit in. I remember taking them out to eat used to be a mini-production. Now though, it's really no big deal at all. Maddie was cute because she wanted to taste everything off of my and Nanna's plate. Even the Queso. Which she did not like. She put it to her tongue, and then promptly made a funny face giving the chip back to Nana. Our only incident was when we were leaving and she tried to eat a cracker off the floor. When we told her no, it was dirty, she cried. Luckily we were headed out the door anyway at that point!

After naptime, I decided to get the finger paint out for the girls again. They really enjoyed it this time! The activity still only lasted about 10 minutes before they were bored, which almost makes it feel like it isn't worth the mess but I know deep down it is! Maddie who lately has not wanted her fingers dirty was saying, "WOW, WOW, WOW!" over and over as she was thoroughly squishing paint and rubbing it into the paper. They even got that they weren't supposed to eat it. Well, that is until I turned my back for a few minutes. Izzie didn't try to eat it, she was mearly scratching her nose. Maddie, I'm not sure. It was more like she was painting a beard. Either way, both girls really had fun painting.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Baby Signs

I can't say enough good things about teaching your children Baby Signs. I firmly believe that you should use a program that is based in ASL (American Sign Language) because if you are going to teach a second language, it should be a real language! (There are some 'baby sign' programs that make up signs that only you and your child would recognize.)

Anyway, what brings this up tonight is I got to thinking about how well Maddie and Izzie can (usually) communicate what they want/need to us now at 17 months. They are very vocal, so the people out there who think teaching sign language will delay spoken language are wrong. It does cut down on temper tantrums (although we do still have some.) For instance, Izzie says the "Ha" sound for Hat, Heart and Hot. She also knows the signs for Hat and Hot. (I keep meaning to look up heart!) If it wasn't for the fact that she can sign two of the three I would never have figured out that she wanted me to draw her a heart one day. (Minor temper tantrum averted!) Another example, both girls call their diapers "bops" I think from the P sound in diaPer. Anyway, one day Izzie came up to me and said, "bop" while signing diaper. I checked and sure enough, she had a dirty diaper. I would have thought she was just jabbering if it hadn't been for the sign.

They do say complete words very clearly too, but think about it, they only have 6 teeth. They physically CANNOT say certain sounds and yet they know what those words ARE. How frustrating for the child that wants to communicate but physically can't! Sometimes they sign "wrong" but as the parent you sign correctly and they eventually master the muscle control to make the sign correctly. (By the way, for those contemplating teaching their kids sign, it is a slow process in the beginning. We started with MILK at 6 mo. They signed it for the first time at 10 mo. They only signed about 3 words by age 12 mo. Now though they are picking up new signs as fast as we can teach them!)

Tonight, I think signing saved us from what could have potentially been a pretty rough evening. Like I mentioned earlier, we went out in our sandbox for oh, one minute, before I realized it was more of a swamp than a sandbox. I didn't even notice that Izzie had sat in the sand. We played in the pool, but they mostly walked around, I don't think they sat in the water. Fast forward an hour or so. Izzie has a dirty diaper. John being the most terrific husband and father that he is, went to change dirty diaper. He cleaned her up, but didn't notice the fine grains of sand is some of her more girly areas. (Don't forget, he is a boy.) He scooped her up and put her on the ground. She came running to me and signed "HURT" while pointing to her diaper. So I immediatly ask John if she had a diaper rash. He said he didn't notice one. But here is Izzie pointing to her diaper and then signing "hurt" over and over again. So, I check things out. Sure enough (being a girl myself) I notice fine grains of sand in areas that you DON'T want sand. Yep. Hurt, Itch, Uncomfortable... just a few words to describe what poor BooBoo (our nickname for her when she's upset) was feeling.

And to think. I was going to skip baths tonight. We wouldn't have looked as closely at her diaper if she wasn't signing HURT. We would have put her to bed and she would have cried. We might have thought, oh it was such a busy day, she's over tired. Perhaps eventually something would have clicked. I can't tell what might have been. I do know what was. We took a fun bath, got all nice and clean and went straight to bed without even a whimper.

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Baby Signs???

Party times Four

We were invited to Casey's Quadruplet's 1 1/2 year old birthday party. For their first birthday party, they weren't allowed to have many people over because it was RSV season and her kids were born premature and still at risk for getting very sick. Casey wanted to have a big party though. So, the 1 1/2 year party was thrown. It was perfect. She had a mini-pool set up and some sprinklers, a water table, bubbles and other fun activties. It was very casual and the kids just got to run around and do whatever interested them at the moment. She even had sno-cones from Bahama Bucks. The girls were pretty shy, but they did play in the pool for a little while. They loved eating my and John's sno-cones. We didn't end up staying the entire lenght of the party because they got super clingy after about an hour and wanted us to hold them. They are getting way to heavy to hold for extended amounts of time, so we decided it was time to head home. I said my good byes (setting up some playdates for next week as I headed out.)

Once we got home, since they were still in their suits, I was going to let them play in the sandbox and our mini-pool for a bit before dinner. Well, our sandbox needs a bit of help. It isn't draining properly and it is more like quick sand than play sand. The girls did NOT like quicksand (and really, who can blame them??) So we quickly changed plans and did swimming only. That was fun and lasted 30-40 minutes until dinnertime. Now they are running around the house with towels on their heads, a favorite game of theirs.

Daddy, Maddie and Izzie sharing a sno-cone.


Maddie and Izzie playing in the mini-pool at Casey's house.


Maddie and Izzie watching bubbles.


This is the best (not saying much) picture of the girls with the Birthday Quads (The four kids in the middle of the shot) I tried sneaking around to the front of the group to get a better picture, but it didn't work out.


Maddie on the way home.


Maddie chillin in the chaise lounge back home.


Izzie clapping.


Izzie riding her bike.


A cute picture of Ripley.