Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

We spent Thanksgiving at Ben's parents this year in Tri-Cities. It was a great weekend away and just what we needed- lots of relaxing and time with family.

Chloe helped set the table for Thanksgiving dinner.

The twins played with Aunt Bethany while dinner was being cooked.

We tried grabbing a quick family photo before dinner was ready. Mitchell had fun trying out different faces- not one of them was a normal smile. Thanks, bud. Leah was totally zoned out.

Here are the two magnificent cooks- they worked all morning and afternoon to make a delicious dinner for 23 people. 23! Very impressive and very delicious.
Leah refused to try anything on her plate and Lexi stayed in her chair for at least 45 minutes, trying almost everything I put on her plate.

My little Turkey's- they each got a little candy/cookie turkey before bed and it was the best part of their day.

After dinner, it was time for some much needed relaxation for all (especially the two hard working cooks). Chloe and Stella played Uno attack.

With 2 iPads floating around, there was lots of entertainment for all.

Evie and Papa took a nap.

Later in the evening, some of us played "Thanksgiving Bingo." It was a hit! There were prizes for the winners of each round. That was my favorite part of the evening.

Later in the evening, the men played some Xbox. I'm pretty sure that's what the pilgrims did after the First Thanksgiving, too...

The rest of the weekend was filled with lots of time with cousins, lots of shopping, and an incredible amount of yummy food.

The boys, cuddling together watching a movie.

The girls had no trouble keeping themselves entertained with games and made up activities. They all found hats and thought that was hilarious.

The next day, Stella and Chloe played beauty shop and styled all the younger girls' hair. Lexi was super excited about her hair style.

The boys watched movies, jumped on the couches and played Angry Birds on their mothers' cell phones.

A great weekend with great food and even better company. What a wonderful family we belong to! Happy Thanksgiving! (Time to warm up the treadmill...)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Indians

One little...

Two little...

3 little Indians

4 little Indian Andros'.

Mitch made an Indian vest, headband and necklace at preschool, and all of my little Indians loved taking turns wearing it. We are all looking forward to Thanksgiving tomorrow- lots of yummy food, fun with cousins and family and LOTS of relaxing. (Can you say pumpkin cheesecake??)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Double Trouble at 2

An update on the twins is long over due. I failed to do one at 18 months and I'm really kicking myself that I didn't- there are so many memories that I wanted to remember about new things they were doing and now I have forgotten a lot of them.

One of the cutest things the babies used to do as they started to talk (that I don't want to forget) was they both called each other "Leah." Leah is much easier to say than Alexis or even Lexi, so Leah called Lexi "Leah" and Lexi also referred to herself as "Leah" when asked what her name was. When asked where Lexi was, Lexi always knew her own name, she just couldn't say it for quite some time. It was quite hilarious and a very cute stage they went through.

The terrible two's with twins have brought new light to the phrase "Double Trouble." These two sure are either naughty naughty or loads of fun. All toddlers can cause trouble, but these two are much naughtier and mischievous than my older kids, by far. It must be that it is more fun to do things you know you shouldn't when you have a partner in crime. Some of their favorite naughty things to do are:

Write on their bodies.

This is just the tip of the ice berg- many times, if they are just in diapers, they will write on their bodies from head to toe. And then cry when I try and scrub the pen off (which does not come readily off, by the way).

They LOVE to take off their clothes and diapers. My other kid NEVER did this. Ever. I find at least one of them naked at least once or twice a day. Being naked and not potty trained means I also find potty accidents on the carpet as well, not to mention in their beds, their favorite place to strip.

They love to color on the walls, and carpet. Chloe and Mitch did this once or twice each, total, but these little beasts have done it countless times. I have been lucky when it's washable marker and come right off, but their latest creation is still on the wall, in 3 different places (and it's NOT coming off. Those walls are on my list to repaint soon).

Starting in September, they got in the habit of playing instead of napping. They are both in separate cribs (and thanks to a crib tent they can't climb out), but that doesn't stop them from entertaining each other across the room. They would jump and holler and giggle and play (and take off their clothes and diapers) for 2 hours or more, instead of sleep. This made for cranky babies in the evening and a cranky mom. I was desperate (and not about to give up on naps) so I recently moved Leah into our closet for naptime and now they are both back to taking 2-3 hour naps everyday. Amazing.

They are obsessed with lotions and creams and will sneak into them whenever they can and smear them all over their faces. It's usually not so bad until they do it with Desitin and toothpaste. Of course they aren't careful and the Desitin and toothpaste get spread on every other surface within arms reach and trust me, Desitin does not come out of any surface without a fight.

Some of the cute things they are doing these days: (it's not all naughtiness!):

When they were born, I rarely bought 2 of anything the same, except clothes. They shared everything they had and were totally fine with. As soon as they hit 2, they got very competitive and quickly learned the phrase "mine." Of things we didn't have 2 of the same, they noticed and would fight over who gets it. It has taught sharing on a whole new level, which is great, but there is definitely some things that would be easier to have 2 of.

At a class I go to, we have what's called a "Share and Care" table where all the moms can bring items they no longer want (that you would otherwise take to Goodwill or sell) and then you can take anything of anyone else's that you need/want. A few months ago I found these 2 pairs of pajamas that were both the twins' size. They were cute (and free) and they really needed pj's so I grabbed them and didn't think twice. When it came time to put them on the girls for bed the first night, they both immediately fell in love with the snow man pair and only wanted that one. A cat fight started immediately. We are now "sharing" these pajamas- Leah gets the snowman one night, then it's Lexi's turn the next night. At the beginning, whosever turn it was to NOT get the snowman would cry and the other one would cheer "My turn, snowman!" They would even go around the house during the day anticipating their turn with the snowman pair that night. It would really sting when the snowman winner for the night would turn to the other one and defiantly say "MY TURN, snowman). Now Lexi, our little peace maker, has decided to be excited about whatever pair it is she gets to wear. "My turn, kitty!" Leah still only wants to the snowman, if she had a choice, but another good lesson in sharing is happening. (But never again will they get different pajamas! Drama, I tell you). The same thing happened with two different Halloween books I bought them for their birthday. We had to share those books every other night for quite some time. (Guess who will be getting the EXACT same things for Christmas this year??)

They are talking like crazy. There really isn't anything they can't say and our favorite thing to do is ask them to say something and listen to them say it. I love that they can communicate so well with us and tell us what they need.

They are in the "I do it" stage. They insist on climbing in their own seats in the car and helping to buckle. If I'm in a hurry (which feels like always in the car) and try and do it for them, we have 2 total meltdowns. They have to buckle themselves in their high chair, until they finally realize they can't and then later ask for help.

They LOVE books and would listen to book after book after book if we had all day. They have their favorite books memorized and will say it with me when I read.

They also both love to sing and it's so cute to hear them sing songs they are being taught in Nursery. We sing a song (or 4) before bed every night and it's the best part of my day. Their current favorite songs are "Twinkle Twinkle little star," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," "Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam," and "Heavenly Father Loves." Leah is also our little soloist. She goes around the house and sings made up songs constantly. Sweetest little sound, that is.

They have learned the sneaky art of blaming each other for things they actually did. When I smell something ripe in the air, I ask "Who has a stinky diaper?" Often time, they will both tell me it was the other one. I found a ripped up, broken book one day and asked "Who ripped this book?" (I saw Leah rip it earlier) and Leah replied "Lexi broke it." This is only bound to get worse as they get older, right? Oh dear... Pretty funny right now, though.

As they phased out of the stage of both calling each other Leah, they went into pronouncing Lexi's name "Lecki." It also sounds a lot like "Lucky", so Lexi has picked up yet another nickname and is now "Lucky," "Luck", "Lucky Duck" and "Luckster." We love nicknames at our house. Which is also why we call the twins by their middle names when we feel like it and Leah now doubles as "Jane" or Janie girl" and Lexi as "Grace" and "Gracie girl." When they call each other Janie and Gracie, it's hilarious. Ben wonders how our children even know their names when they each have 20.

One of the most fun parts of having twins is the built in playmate. I LOVE that. It's so fun to see these girls play together and entertain (or cause trouble with) each other.

It's so fun to watch them make up their own fun, together.

See? Who says twins need 2 of everything? It's more fun to find ways to share a toy made for one!

This summer, we spent lots of time outside in our cul de sac riding bikes. These wiggle cars are the best $20 I've ever spent. This provided hours of entertainment a day for the twins (and my other kids).
When Mitch learned to ride a big boy bike this summer, he was done with his glide bike (which was the reason he never needed training wheels) so the twins "shared" it. They loved it!

Leah's turn!

These girls are the best sleepers. Leah used to be a short napper, but ever since I separated them for naps, she has become a fantastic napper again. Lexi has always been an amazing napper, and they both are champs at bedtime. They go to bed at 6 p.m. and wake up between 7 and 7:30 the next morning. I go in and check on them every night before I go to bed and if they wake up (I like to stroke their faces and hair), they have no problem going right back to sleep. They will sometimes stand up and give me a hug, then lay right back down with no problem.

These two are true Andros'! They love Costco, just like any Andros. They know the route we drive to get there and right before we turn into the parking lot (before the store is visible) they start yelling "Costco! Costco!"

When we eat at Costco, (which is super often, too often probably), their favorite food is the frozen yogurt. I always get them vanilla so they can't stain their clothes with the chocolate.

Speaking of eating- sometime during the summer, they started preferring to eat at the big table like big girls. They still use their high chairs at dinner time every night, but it IS easier to have them climb up and down from the table by themselves instead of spending so much time buckling and unbuckling both of them. And have I ever mentioned how messy of an eater Lexi is? Oh my! It's probably due to how quickly she eats- there just isn't time to be nice and neat when you can down an entire bowl of food in 1.5 minutes. Leah, on the other hand, is so clean and tidy when she eats. She has less stained clothes and mostly no mess to clean up when she's done eating. I love it. She really knows the way to my heart.

They love cereal- their current favorite kinds are raisin bran (they call it "raisin cereal"), cinnamon life and chocolate cheerios. They sometimes eat it for multiple meals a day. Fast & easy- why not?

The girls are at the stage in life where they are excited to help do things. Lexi saw me getting ready to take the garbage out one day and helped me drag it outside.

They are big helpers when asked. I love that I can say "Will you go throw this in the garbage?" And they happily do it. I will enjoy this stage while I can.

The helpful stage also comes with an extremely competitive stage. This competitiveness comes from my side of the family (Ben reminds me of this weekly). There are some things that they can't always do at the same time and praying is one of them. They started praying this summer and it is adorable, really, but with it came fighting. Both of them want to pray at every prayer and if they don't get a turn to pray, they pout and whine and say "I pray, my turn pray" during the prayer given by someone else. On their turn to pray, they very sweetly say what words we tell them too, and Leah has even said an entire prayer alone. If it's the twins turn to pray, we do let both of them pray, one at a time or it gets ugly. If we let Lexi pray first, Leah gets very mad and will often still be upset about it during her turn to pray, and then she says a very pouty prayer to let us know she is not pleased with going second.

I made the mistake months ago by saying at bedtime "Who wants to read their book first?" They were being slow and I was trying to hurry them along, but this backfired, as they both screamed to be first and cried when they weren't first. I later learned to trick them by saying "Leah is first, then Lexi is first" and they bought it, even though one of them still really isn't first. They use the "I first!" phrase a lot throughout the day.

They are smart girls- they know which bed is their own, which car seat is theirs, which sippy cups, which baby dolls and which shoes (if they are different colors). If one of them takes the other's stuff, a loud "HEY- THAT'S MINE" can be heard throughout the house.

This summer, the girls started to get more efficient at playing on playgrounds alone. I am a mom that likes to sit at the park and watch my kids play and relax or read a book, and am so happy when my kids are old enough to play without help or me constantly being by their side. This fall, on nice days, they are able to do almost anything at the park by themselves and it's fabulous.

They love playing the piano, too.

For all of their naughtiness, they sure can be sweet as pie. When they share with each other without being asked, it is so sweet. And they have learned how a hug and kiss can make anything better, and they use each other for that. They have also learned that they can hit, bite or steal a toy from each other and if they just say "Sorry" and give a hug and kiss, then it's acceptable. They'll learn...

Somedays I have 2 little monkeys. They love to crawl on things and especially hang from anything they can.

They loved our little outdoor picnic table this summer and many a lunch and snack were eaten out there.

Some days they hate being touched by each other in the car and other days they hold hands for the car ride. So sweet to turn around and see the hand holding.

Blackberries grow like crazy around here and we went berry picking a few times this summer. The babies insisted on each carrying their own bucket and then would just eat the berries as fast as they could pick them.

Their Nana gave them each a baby doll for their first birthday (in their respective colors of pink and purple) and they love these babies. Leah is very attached to hers and has to have it to sleep with every nap and bedtime, and often brings it in the car with us. Lexi sleeps with hers most of the time too, but is ok without it. Grandma made them little blankets to go with them this summer and they love swaddling their babies and carrying them around.

With 2 very pronounced mullets, we discovered that both girls have enough hair now to make adorable pony tails with.

October 2011

The girls were in very good moods one evening and really hamming it up for the camera, so I decided to get a picture reenacting a pose from the spring of 2010 when they were 8 months old and just finally having mastered sitting up.

June 2010

The twins LOVE Chloe. Love. Love. Love.

Chloe is so fun. She will read to them for 30-45 minutes at a time (especially if it means she can stay up past her bedtime to do it) and has recently started giving them piggy back rides, which they love. Sometimes if they get hurt or are sad, they will request Chloe over me. Leah one time wanted Chloe over me and screamed out, "My Chloe, my Chloe!" Chloe plays school with them and house. They must have learned how to play pretend from Chloe because one day I heard the babies playing together and they kept calling each other "Allie," a pretend name Chloe uses for one or both of them when they play house. It was hilarious. The babies kept coming up to each other saying "Bye Allie" and then hugging and kissing each other.

The girls have learned how to copy cat good and bad behavior from all of us. Here they were copying Chloe's gymnastic moves.

They quickly caught on to making faces one night at the dinner table and then were too silly and distracted to finish dinner.

Sporting Chloe's glasses.

They love saying "Watch Mom" and "Watch Dad" when they think they are doing something clever or cute (they also learned this from their older siblings0. We love watching them grow and can't wait to see what the future holds for these little twin girls. I'm pretty sure it will come with lots of "My turns," "I firsts" and I do its!"