Thursday, August 28, 2008

Party with Uncle Sam & Aunt Gill

(Note: A loooong post to follow . . . )

Monday night: Birthday party for Uncle Sam and Aunt Gill (Jenny's brother and sis-in-law), visiting from Parker, CO! Cold Stone cake for all--and presents for Chance and Grace from S & G.Party Girl Grace (see VIDEO below of her trying to reach the hat on her back and Chance tackling her)

Cake! (Daddy is taking the picture, btw. He flew to Kansas--for work--early the next morning.) Chance with his new car, his concentration requiring tongue to stick out of mouth. Grace reading her new book beside her new polar bear--and repeating her new word "zebra."Grace giving Aunt Gill kisses. Chance driving his new car on Uncle Sam, who's worn out from all the partying.

On Tuesday morning: a trip to the SC Aquarium. The outdoor Saltmarsh Aviary gave us a cool look at regional turtles, fish, and birds (yes, that's a real bird).
Grace playing on one of the two boats (for kids). (We have no idea who the kid behind her is.)Grace and Aunt Gill beside the eel in the Great Tank.
Mommy loves the sea turtles.

Tuesday afternoon: After naptime, a trip to Patriots Point and the USS Yorktown in Mt. Pleasant. Because S & G would be staying downtown for 2 nights without a car (their romantic mini-vacation!), Mommy thought she would drive them over the Ravenel bridge to see a sight she and the twins hadn't seen. None of us thought about the fact that the aircraft carrier wouldn't be air conditioned. It must've been 100 degrees inside (it was at least 85 degrees outside), and we sought out whatever air conditioning we could find in the theater and the Medal of Honor Museum. Still, the ship amazed us, and naturally, Chance appreciated (understatement) the airplanes.

Grace and Chance in the dentist's chair below deck. Aunt Gill attempts to give Gracie's teeth a much-needed cleaning. Uncle Sam took Chance into the cockpit, to his utter glee.
Chance with his Aunt Gill: The ocean breezes on deck were a welcomed relief from the heat below.

Mommy carrying two tired and hot 16-mo-olds.

Chance snacking while sitting in the hollowed out engine of a jet (see photo below).

Tuesday night: If you can believe it, we dined at Bubba Gump Shrimp for dinner, Gracie trying crab meat for the first time, the twins worn out after a fantastic day, though we missed Daddy's rendition of "I love you, Jenny."

VIDEOS below

Boo boos (Yes, Mommy records everything)

Chance's first real boo-boo happened last weekend when we took the twins to push their "cars" in the parking lot by the pool. (See VIDEO below of Chance pushing the stroller instead--it's bigger than his "car," don't cha know.) Running as fast as possible with his "car," Chance suddenly slipped and scraped his knee, making it bloody and icky, which is only partly visible in this picture because it has been cleaned and rubbed with Neosporin. He didn't cry but stopped playing a couple of times to touch his knee and grimace.

Mommy has had some difficulty keeping bandaids on him, so yesterday, she bought "Extra Large Tough-Strips Waterproof with super-stick adhesive to stay on longer" (aka Duct Tape) . . . he still pulled it off. So last night, Mommy put on Neosporin and TWO of the Tough-Strips. Mommy couldn't get the bandaids off today . . . they're really stuck on his skin. Guess we'll leave 'em on till bathtime tonight!

FYI: Gracie's first real boo-boo happened in July at Grandpa's house. Mommy was pulling her in a plastic wagon on the driveway, and when she shifted her weight while Mommy pulled, she toppled backward and scraped up her back . . . you can still see tiny remnants of that one today. :(

Gracie taking a rest from pushing her "car"; she thought it was fun to sit by the curb next to Mommy or Daddy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Daddy said it would happen . . .

Daddy said it would happen . . . the twins writing on the walls/furniture/etc. This morning, Gracie asked for a "pen" because she saw one and has loved to "write" for a couple of months now. (At Grammy Sharon's in July, she saw paper and pens and, without anyone previously showing her where they were or how to use them, grabbed both and began to scribble.)

Mommy gave her crayons and paper this morning, and she drew for a few minutes. While Mommy was cleaning up breakfast, Chance took a couple of crayons and decided to draw on the window ledge in the guest room. We thought Gracie would be the first, but alas . . . Notice his tattoos--an airplane/jet and a monster truck--awesome, dude! Well, hi, Mommy . . . um . . .

Are you looking at this? I can explain . . .

It's my beeauuuty-ful drawing, Mommy! Don't you agree?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Misc. Cuteness

Oh, the cuteness . . . and Happy 14th Anniversary to Mommy and Daddy today!
Chance with the new airplane toy he received from Grandma and Grandpa Boespflug this week. Did you also notice he's wearing his car shirt and has an airplane book in front of him and bus beside him . . . boy bliss.

Before bedtime, playtime with Daddy on the back porch.

Gracie often picks up adult reading materials instead of her kids books (e.g., the newspaper, Mommy's novels) and seemingly reads it aloud with "sham cha gog boo" or something similar. (Grandpa: Note that the headline on the back says "Republicans on the Rise"!)

Mommy and her beach babes: Aunt Manda took this when all 5 of us went to the beach about 2 weeks ago. (Proof that we took these twins to the beach!)

Diggin' in the sand with Daddy and Aunt Manda.

Gracie with her "lunchbox" on her way to "work"; if you listen carefully, you can hear her say "work" several times. (Daddy prompted this play-acting a couple of weeks ago, and Gracie loved it.)

Today, Chance was sleepy before naptime and rested on Nestle, a common occurrence in our home.

Gracie being silly at lunchtime last week.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Animal Planet Expo

This morning's Animal Planet Expo at the fairgrounds felt like a sauna, but it was completely FREE. We only stood in the pre-opening line for a few minutes, and so many people brought their dogs (we didn't) that the twins were very entertained, esp. Gracie who loves animals. BTW, it travels around the country, but only Memphis and Charleston in the deep south (see link).

Gracie squealed over the kitties that were up for adoption--and even liked the large inflated kitty--but she again disliked the large dressed-up figure, a bear this time. I guess it is genetic, to answer Daddy's question, because Mommy has always disliked dressed-up critters, particularly if their faces are covered.

We stood in line for tattoos, but Chance wanted an airplane instead of an animal. The sweet lady complied. Gracie, on the other hand, did not want the lady to paint on her arm at all!

Chance shows off his muscles. Actually, Mommy took Chance's shirt off because he was getting soooo hot.

Chance, still obsessed with airplanes, wakes from his naps asking to see one.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Life Begins with Twins

During their 15th month, Chance and Grace clearly began to follow simple directions. For example, when Mommy said, "I need a diaper," Chance walked from the living room, down the hall to his bedroom, opened the cabinet door, pulled out a few diapers, and brought them back, saying "diaper." Mommy screamed in delight and praised the joy right into that boy. Does anyone know how dumbfounding such a development is to a Mommy of Twins?! Sure, they'd followed a request before, but only randomly and not as evidently . . .

Last month, Mommy was often reminded of the limitations of having twins this age. A neighborhood Mommy (not of twins, of a 4-yr-old and a 2-yr-old) said she and her kids frequent the neighborhood pool, but then she paused and said, "I guess you don't go to the pool with your twins by yourself." No, Mommy doesn't. Who would keep both babies from jumping/falling in the water at once? At Susan's shower in NY, a guest commented, "I guess you can't go in the front yard with your twins." No, our house is within 50 feet of the neighborhood street and twins go in opposite directions. When previously enrolling in Kindermusik and The Little Gym, Mommy had been disheartened that she couldn't take BOTH of her babies to classes (or to any number of places) because they require(d) 1-1 ratios, and Mommy confesses to a bit of envy when watching other moms take their single babies places without having to think about doubling the effort or dividing the attention.

But our twins are beginning to listen and follow instructions. Become little adults. Someday Mommy will miss babyhood, but right now, the budding freedom for Mommy is too intoxicating . . . and watching them grow into the people they will become is next to godly. Thankfully, though, God is in charge, not this tired Mommy who spent last week nursing babies with stomach viruses, holding both at once, soothing them while they screamed from stomach cramps, cleaning up the "messes" of angry tummies, etc.

They're charmers, these twins, in part just because they're twins. Mommy and Daddy still seem to be entertained by the comments strangers in public make. It usually starts with, "Are those twins?!" But last week, a lady in Wal-Mart asked, "Are they fertile or identical?" (Mommy asked her to repeat the question, so yes, she really did say "fertile.") And today, a lady in the UPS store (where they're oh-so-helpful with the twins!) oooh'd and ahhh'd over the twins, raved about how blessed we are to have twins (yes, we agree), and then gave both of them a dollar bill as a "love offering."

My dear friend Valerie reminded me more than once--when I was pregnant and feeling icky and shocked at the idea of TWINS--"Kids are fun." (Thank you so much, Val.) Yes, they are. How grateful I am that God poured His Grace upon us, giving us this Chance to parent our beautiful twins.

Together forever. (In the midst of a busy afternoon at Grandpa's, Gracie saw Chance sitting beside the couch eating bread, so she joined him, after which he delightedly smiled at her.)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Activities with The Aunt

Lots of activities when Aunt Manda came to visit: The Children's Museum (membership courtesy of the family--thanks, y'all!), the beach (2x), Wannamaker Park's sprinklers, dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co (in honor of Chance, whom Gracie still calls "Bubba"), etc.

Unfortunately, we also went to the twins' 15-month check-ups/shots (on 7-29). Stats show the babies are still "small," though the doc finds nothing amiss. (When Mommy worriedly asked at the last visit "Is it okay that Gracie is only 5th percentile?" the pediatrician said nonchalantly, "Somebody has to be 5th." Okay, no more worrying.)

*About 3rd percentile for weight: Gracie, 18.5 lbs. and Chance, 19.7 lbs
*About 5-10th per. for height: Gracie, 28.5 in. and Chance, 29.5 in.
(The pediatrician said to just write "big head" after Chance's head circumference because he's in the 50th per. "Lots of brains!" she said. Aunt Manda just calls him "top heavy.")

Playing in the water area at the musuem

"The lighting is just so problematic," Gracie complains as she paints her first masterpiece at the museum, unaware of the accidental "kiss" she also put on her forehead.

Chance says, "I can beat that, Gracie!"

The final art hangs proudly on the refrigerator at home (disgustingly proud parents, eh?).
In the castle at the Children's Museum
At the very fun Wannamaker sprinkler area--see VIDEOS of the kids in the water (that's Gracie in the swim diaper with her back to the camera)--Chance enjoyed "running" up and down a small hill too.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The NY Trip

Our blog has been a bit quiet lately, but our house has not! Aunt Manda just left (Mommy is sad!); the next blog post will show some pics of her visit. But first . . . because of all our trips through airports this summer, Chance (and Grace, but mostly Chance) is obsessed with airplanes. These videos show their Airplane Mania while in the Charlotte airport (on the way to NY). BTW, back at home . . . in a desperate gesture . .. . Mommy decided to look for airplane videos on YouTube and found plenty--not-so-smart for someone who tries to edit on a computer. (Whenever Mommy sits down at her laptop, the twins chant "airplane!" . . . sigh . . . )

In NY, the twins loved to ride in Grandma and Grandpa Boespflug's golf cart to look for bunnies on the executive golf course in the mornings and evenings. Grandpa even let Chance "drive"--oh my! (Mommy didn't get any pics because she was always holding a twin while riding in the cart). Grandma also took us to opening day at the Saratoga Racetrack, where we played games for kids (and won the pinwheel in the photo), watched the horses, and met up with our friends the Bills. Mommy "grew up" going to this track, placing minute bets and rarely winning but enjoying the thrill nonetheless, so this trip felt reminiscent.

On another day, we went again to Saratoga to feed the ducks and ride the merry-go-round (but it was closed).

Grandpa gave Chance a ride; note that both of them are wearing motorcycle shirts (motorcycles are only second to airplanes on Chance's list, thanks to Grandpa's Harley).

Uncle Matt treated everyone to Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Cousin Shayne held a cone that she ate all by herself--without dropping it! Mommy didn't even let the twins try that for fear that the costly but yummy treat would end up on the ground too quickly! (Back at home today, the twins ate miniature cones from Bruster's by themselves!)

The kiddos watched the ducks with Uncle Matt.

At Uncle Matt and Aunt Jess's, Shayne and Gracie gave each other kisses.

Mommy and Gracie played in Shayne's princess castle.

Grandpa read lots of books to the twins.

Aunt Susan came from Rochester for her wedding shower, thrown by Grandma and Susan's two best friends. While Mommy, Grandma, Aunt Jess, and Aunt Manda attended the shower on Wed. evening, Grandpa and Uncle Matt babysit the kiddos at Shayne's house, brave men that they are!

Aunt Susan at her shower (Aunt Jessica in the background). What a treat that Mommy could attend the shower so far away (thank you, Grandma and Grandpa!). We can't wait to attend Bob and Susan's actual wedding in October!!