Thursday, October 29, 2009

Then and Now

The boys turned 18 months old last week...can you believe it?! It is true what they say about time flying when you are having fun! Almost a year ago I started my blogging journey, the boys were just over 6 months old and I wrote a little about each of them. I decided to do a side by side comparison of "then and now" to see how much they have changed in a year and celebrate this half-birthday!
Ashton Ray:

From December 12, 2008
"Ashton is what I call a "perfect multiples baby". He goes with the flow and not much seems to bother him. He is very content to play on the floor rolling around by himself. He is very interested in touching everything around him. Ashton loves to show his dimply smile and to cuddle! We call him "our little football" because he is always curled up, when he sleeps and when he is being held. Ashton loves bath time! He nearly closes his eyes and doesn't make a peep the entire time. Ashton loves to smile, giggle, and be read and sung to. "Ashton Love" is also a little sensitive! Sometimes he gets upset when he is disturbed, especially when he is eating - that is serious business! This is happening more often since I nurse them at the same time and they are getting pretty big now! Ashton is a great long as he has his pacifier."

October 30, 2009
For the most part Ashton is still pretty "go with the flow", but he is probably more needy now than he was then! He can be content for quite awhile playing by himself, but when he wants mommy...he makes his needs/wants known! Ashton still loves bath time, but now of course, he takes a bath sitting up in the big tub full of water and toys. He still smiles, giggles, and loves to be read and sung to. We still will often call him "Ashton Love" and he is still very sensitive. Not so much when it comes to eating, but nearly everything else! He hates to be held, unless it is his choice. He hates to be restrained in any way really(holding him, holding his hands, etc.). Ashton is still a great sleeper at both nap and bedtime. He naps for 2-3 hours in the afternoon and sleeps 12 or more hours at night. He would probably sleep longer if Ayden did not wake him! He hasn't had a pacifier since January either. Ashton really needs his sleep and has struggled a little with the switch to one nap a day at 16 months. If we go somewhere in the car he nearly always falls asleep. These little "cat naps" really help him.
We often call Ashton "Our Little Engineer" because he always seems to be trying to figure out how things work. He is very inquisitive and loves to explore and check out new places/things. Ashton loves to eat! His favorite is waffles (preferably banana waffles)! Ashton is currently going through a major separation anxiety phase! It has been going on for about 6 weeks now. He is much better now when we are at home, but I can't say the same about when we are around other people! I think our whole family thinks Ashton doesn't like them now! I know this is not the case, and this phase will end soon, just as Ayden's did. Ashton is usually the silent leader type. Ayden will just follow Ashton around the house or to a different area to play. This roll does often switch though, especially when it comes to actions/tasks. Ayden is often the leader and Ashton the follower when it comes to doing something new like clapping, climbing on the couch, opening doors, etc.
Ashton has become very attached to a soft blue blanket given to us as a baby gift. Anytime it was on the living room floor he would lay down on it, snuggling and rolling around. When we went to St. Louis a few weeks ago we decided to fold it up and lay it in the bottom of the pack and play in hopes that it would help him sleep better while away from home. Now, he has to have it in his crib for naps and at bedtime! He will often pull it out of his crib and come into the living room with his blanket trailing behind him, lay the blanket down and pounce on top of it! It is very sweet! Ashton is getting sensitive about wearing wet/dirty diapers recently. If he is wearing a velcro diaper he will take it off as soon as he needs to be changed. One night he took it off before he was quite "finished" and we had quite a surprise in our hallway! Ashton loves to dance to any type of music. Until recently he only danced while sitting, now he dances standing up and gets a little more of his body into it. Just today he was dancing to the sound of the toilet flushing!
At the park
On the blanket

Ayden Lee

From December 12, 2008
Ayden is what I like to refer to as a "perfect singleton baby". He does not realize, nor care, that he is not the only baby mommy and daddy have to take care of! He is very vocal and always lets me know what he wants, how he wants it and when he wants it! Ayden loves to be with mommy, forget playing with Ashton! We have called Ayden "high needs" for a long time, but recently he has been a little less needy. The boys could not be more different, the Lord knew we could only handle one Ayden! Ayden was a very serious (because I don't want to call it sad) baby for a long time. He rarely smiled and fussed a lot. We have recently had a major turn around and now he has become a big ham and smiles all the time. Ayden loves bath time and has recently began smiling up at me really big as soon as I turn the water off. I think this is because he knows his nightly massage is coming next! My "Ayden Baby" loves to chew! He puts everything in his mouth, mommy and daddy's fingers are among his favs! Although he was born smaller Ayden is now my "Chunky Monkey". He started waking up to eat 1,2,3 + times/night at about 5 months old. When we went to their 6 months checkup I guessed he would weigh one pound more than Ashton. Sure enough, 1lb 2 oz up on his brother! Ayden loves to play silly games and be read and sang to. Ayden HAS to have his sleep! Once we get him to sleep (which has been a problem lately) he is a good sleeper!

October 30, 2009
Oh, wow! How Ayden has changed! He was starting to change about the time the previous blog was written, but he just continued to keep changing! Ayden use to be my "high needs" baby, but he is now a very calm and laid back toddler! He rarely cries - guess he got that all out of his system between months 2-6! :) Ayden is still VERY vocal and let's me know his needs, but he also just loves to talk and jabber away! Although Ayden is still very much a "mama's boy", he will gladly go to other friends and family members and flash his big happy smile! Ayden will also gladly play with Ashton now. It follows Ashton around just waiting to see what they will get into next! When something silly happens Ayden always looks to Ashton for his reaction. Ayden still loves bath and massage time. This message is much shorter these days and is now done sitting up since they hang off the changing table now! Ayden is still, and will always be, my "Ayden Baby".
Ayden is no longer allowed to chew on fingers since he has a mouth full of 16 sharp teeth! He is much better about not putting things in this mouth, although I have fished out crayon and playdough from his mouth in the past two weeks! He does love to put food in his mouth as well! Ayden loves to eat! His favorites are fruits, any kind of fruit really. He can sometimes be picky about any skin, dryness, or the color green! All this eating has increased his weight to more than 3 pounds over his brother. It really isn't so much that he is my "chunky monkey" anymore, he and Ashton just have totally different body types/shapes.
Ayden also loves to be sang and read to. He will often hum along when we sing songs, and the way he is talking it won't be long before he is singing to us instead! Ayden also loves music and dancing. Ayden use to just sit and bounce to the music, but recently he has began to dance while standing as well. He will dance to any rhythm, even that of the running washing machine! Ayden is still a great sleeper, but no longer needs his sleep like in the past. We can drive around all day in the car and he will stay awake until his actual nap time. He usually naps for 1.5 to 2.5 hours and about 12 hours at night.
Ayden has been pretty successful at part time potty learning during the last month. He has yet to tell us when he needs to go, but he will go about 1/4 - 1/2 of the time when we put him on the potty. We aren't pushing him and will wait until we get settled into a new home to really work on it. Ayden is very generous with his kisses, the open mouth kind of course! He is such a snuggler and loves to sit in our over sized glider seat beside me when we read stories before nap. Ayden isn't a big fan of playgrounds/parks just yet. He is getting better, but until recently he wanted me to hold him the entire time we would be at a park. The swing was the only thing we would play on!
Lovin' on Papa
Reading and snuggling with daddy
Our day at 18 months:

The boys usually wake up around 8ish. They nurse and get a clean diaper before I fix them breakfast. After breakfast we get dressed. We then either run errands, go to playdates or play at home. If we play at home they are likely to be playing with their books 75% of the time! They LOVE their books! We read stories all day. Sometimes just part of a story since they are going through a phase where they want to take off with whatever book I am reading. Their favorite books right now are Goodnight Moon and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Both books were bought new but you couldn't tell that now! They also have recently started playing with more cars. They roll them along and sometimes even make car noises too! We eat lunch about 12:30 and the boys take a nap about 1pm. During this time I work, clean, blog, pack, etc. They wake between 3 and 4pm. They nurse and eat a snack before playing. We play with toys, color, playdough,...Daddy usually gets home about 5:30pm and we eat about 6pm. After dinner we all play on the floor. Baths are at 7:15 and are followed by jammies, nursing, and lots of smoochies from mama and daddy! They are in bed around 8pm. Then mommy and daddy spend about an hour relaxing on the couch, talking about our days and watching some mindless programing TiVO'ed from the tv. Then we get up to get some real work done around the house or on our computers. We usually go to bed between 11pm and 12am. Hopefully when we move we can start some new habits, one being going to bed earlier!
Playdate with our twin friends
Typical day at our home library
Boxcar rids from mommy
Ashton and Ayden are separate individuals and are growing and learning at their own pace. We love watching them develop their own unique personalities with all the smiles, fights and tantrums that involves! We are fortunate that they are entertained by books, toys, each other and mommy and daddy. We don't put television programs on for them and don't attempt to use the television as a distraction or a babysitter. I can see where there are times that it might be easier, but that just makes me think more creatively! Our baby boys have come so far and we love to reminisce about when they were babies and also to look forward and dream about their futures.

Happy Half-Birthday Ashton and Ayden!
Thank you for being such perfect blessings in our lives!
We love you!
Mommy and Daddy

On the road again!

The Three Amigos - Ayden, Chase, Ashton

We love to play with coasters!

Ashton wasn't feelin' the pictures so he sat this one out!

We had hardly gotten home from St. Louis when we repacked our bags for a much needed mini vacation in Branson last weekend! Jeff's parents had been planning to go to the Dick Clark's '57 Heaven car auction and when Jeff heard about it he wanted to go as well. We decided to just make it a family event and Jeff's sister from St. Louis came as well as his sister in KC, along with her husband and son. We all had a great time staying in a large 3 bedroom condo. Jeff and his dad spent all day Saturday at the museums auction while the rest of us shopped at the outlet mall! I came home with some great clothing deals and Jeff and his dad come home with some "projects"! The museum was also auctioning off all their memorable, so they bought two OLD pedal cars and some kind of a train. They seem to be really excited about this new challenge! Sunday came too quickly and we had to drive home in the rain (again)!

St. Louis or Bust!

The weekend of October 10th-11th we went to St. Louis to "celebrate our anniversary" - or so we told Jeff's parents! Actually we were going there to attend a surprise 30th anniversary party for them! They were very surprised and the party was a great success! Since we were already going to be in St. Louis Jeff scheduled an interview on Friday with a company he had applied with. He was unsure as to how the interview went and was then disappointed to find out that it may be a week before he would hear anything. So, we were excited when early the next week Jeff received a job offer to be a software engineer for Fanball in St. Louis, MO. He had to give his notice right away to his current job since he will be starting November 2nd! As you can imagine things have been pretty crazy around our house! We have been searching for boxes, getting the clutter out of our house to "stage it", got the house listed with a realtor last week, and we are now continuing to pack up our house full of possessions! This is all happening sooo quickly, but we know that this is what is best for our family for the future.

I was too busy to get many pictures! Other's took family pictures at the party so when I get a copy I will post them as well! And we did get to go out for a night on the town after we put the boys to bed on Saturday! It was so nice to go on a date with my wonderful husband!

Grandpa and his boys!
Ashton and Daddy (post interview)
Ayden and Grandpa

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A childhood staple...

The childhood's year's would just not be complete without hours of enjoyment with one's hands in PLAYDOUGH! As a child I loved playdough and my grandma was always willing to make a homemade batch for us. As a pre-K teacher I have enjoyed making lots of playdough for my students as well...snowdough, chocolatedough, apple-cinnamon dough, kool-aid dough...I love it all!

Ashton and Ayden got their first taste (quite literally :)) of the fun in playdough last week! We were given some playdough several months ago and decided we would get it out for them to explore! They were both very interested in this new sensation! Ayden really wanted to taste it...when he did get some in his mouth he put it on the roof of his mouth and sucked on it! Daddy and I joined in the fun to show them everything this new "toy" could do - who can resist getting their hands in some playdough!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Potty Time!

That's right! Ayden peed in the potty tonight! We bought a new potty last weekend to start working on potty learning. We have no gross expectations of the boys using the potty full time anytime soon (although we won't complain if that happens! ;-) ) They both show different signs that they are ready to at least be introduced to the concept. Ayden is known for peeing on the floor both before and after bath, and any other time he goes without a diaper for more than about 10 seconds - not exaggerating! He is also very obvious about pooping, so we are going to really make an effort to get him to the potty when we see the signs. Ashton seems to be showing some signs of control over his bladder. He often wakes from nap dry and when we go out he pees very little, if at all. Sometimes Ashton will also try to take his diaper off when it is wet or dirty. Sometimes he does it even when it is dry, but normally it is wet when he does this.
ETA: OK, so maybe this was no fluke!?! Day 2 Ayden again peed in the potty! Day 3 Ashton and Ayden both peed in the potty! Yayyyy!
ETA: Day 4 Ayden was dry from the time we took off his overnight diaper until we put him down for nap at 1pm! He peed in the potty 3 times during the day. Ashton peed once too! Day 5 Ayden peed three times again! Day 6 Adyen peed on the potty twice!

Yesterday Jeff and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary! Jeff stopped by The Cheesecake Factory to pick us up dinner and, of course, cheesecake! It was soooo good! After the boys went to bed we split a slice of wild blueberry white chocolate cheesecake! It was to die for! He got two pieces, so tonight we split a piece of peanut butter fudge cheesecake! It was very rich! My wonderful husband got me not only the traditional 3 year anniversary gift of leather, but also the modern gift of crystal! I am one lucky girl! What a great 3 years we have had so far! We have been blessed in so many ways and I look forward to celebrating many, many more anniversaries with you, honey! I love you!

(Sorry about the poor quality! This was a badly scanned picture!)