Saturday, March 27, 2010


We met up with Cindi, Ian and Miles at a park in Bellevue this morning and boy am I glad I packed spare clothes. Ian and Jack went exploring and discovered a mud hole. Avery and Miles followed behind and all four kids got filthy!! The first video you can hear my gasp as Avery sits in the mud, but then I realize you're only 2 once. That's when you're supposed to play in the mud!! Luckily Cindi agrees so we watched and laughed as they got filthier and filthier.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Next will be the roof...I fear.

I moved Jack and Avery's table into the family room today so that we could all hang out together while I made lunch, plus I can't have them playing with crayons unattended in their play room. They have a very hard time keeping the crayons on the paper, or even on the table for that matter. The table was still in the family room at the end of the day. I was trying to encourage them upstairs for their baths. It's usually a 20 minute process before I can get them up the stairs. The video misses the first jump where the footrest was in the down position (much more dramatic). Enjoy!! The big jump is in the first minute and the rest is just them playing around.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Talking toddlers...

We played outside this morning since the sun was shining. It was wet and cold, but all the better according to Jack and Avery. Jack had to cruise the garden first, then show off his balance beam talents. Avery was not feeling like being outside so she kept going to the back door for me to open it. She finally took her coat off and dropped it on the grass, then sat down and took her shoes off. So, guess what, we went inside!!

After lunch Avery was telling me she was sleepy and she wanted to go upstairs. I bated her a little bit to get her to say the things I wanted her to. I didn't realize it until it started coming out of her mouth, but I call Jack, "Bud" and "Buddy" sometimes. She has picked up on it and says it a lot now. I was so entertained watching her try to have a conversation with him. He was totally ignoring her even though he was really tired, too. He was just shutting her out. What's not on tape is that she finally got to him and he ended up in tears. She is a master at pushing buttons.

The last video was taken yesterday. The cat has finally decided to brave it and come downstairs during the day. She has hidden upstairs since Ally arrived because Ally loves her to death. Anyway, I got kitty treats out for them to give her. Jack dumped the bag upside-down all over the floor and they fed her from there. The sun was shining on the camera screen which reflected this weird image on the wall behind me. It did look a little bit like a fish. Anyway, Avery's expressions and words cracked me up. She first says, "spider!", then makes the fish noise, then decides, "I don't like it". I love her facial expressions, soooo dramatic!!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Those were Jack's words after he regained his composer this morning. He was moving his little wooden chair all over the place and tripped over it and it dropped on his toe. I know how badly it hurts when I drop things on my toes so I can imagine it was painful.

He recovered a bit, then went and kicked one of his balls and remembered what he'd done. Needless to say, our morning didn't go as I envisioned it would.

Avery, who makes me smile every day, had to "fall down" and get an owie on her toe, too. Everything Jack does, Avery has to do and vice-a-versa. Jack got a boo-boo buddy out of the freezer so " boo buddy, too!". Jack got a picture of his toe so "Sissy...pitch-chut toe, too!". Mommy held Jack so, "Mommy hold Sissy, too!"

Hopefully the afternoon will go better and we'll make it to the library even if we missed story time.

Jack's foot with a bruised big toe

Avery's toe that is perfectly unharmed, just feeling left out!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Loved Ones...

This article in our local paper titled, "Visits with loved ones can be time well spent", resonated with me and I wanted to share it. I just returned from visiting my 92 year old grandma who is recovering from an illness, and maybe that's why I noticed this column in the local paper. I can think of so many people I know who can relate to what this woman writes.

Friday, March 19, 2010


It was freezing when we woke up this morning but quickly warmed up with the sun shining. Jack, Avery and I headed outside to play a bit before lunch.

The only time today that Jack went down the slide when he was actually touching the slide!!

He seems to like to test himself all the time. I've walked this little wall holding his hand a couple of times in the past month. I looked up today and he was all the way to the end all by himself...

ready, set, jump!!


Today his preferred method of going down the slide was to jump from the top and land at the bottom on the grass. Lucky for him he reached the grass every time, and landed on his feet rather than his butt.
When he landed this one Avery looked back at me and rubbed her head and said, "Ow, Ow" quietly. I asked if she got a bonk and Jack looked up at me and patted his knee and said, "knee". Apparently Avery's head broke his fall...tough girl.
Aves rolling a dog's ball down the slide.
Making a basket!!
Discovering a little water in the ball holder on the hoop. Also discovering that if you add dirt to it, you get mud!!
Dumping all the dirt out of the pot that Nana just filled up the other day...
Dumping it out isn't good enough; you must also stomp it into the grass.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes!!!

Any holiday is reason to eat cupcakes!! Jack and Avery just view the cupcake as a platform for the frosting. They rarely eat much of the actual cupcake and when they do, I think it's probably by mistake.

Nana adding more "frosting" to Jack's cupcake. It's actually whipping cream that's being added.
Avery with a mouth FULL of whipping cream. That's one happy girl!

More whipped cream please, Nana!!
I'm all out of frosting over here...
Me, too!!
This is the BEST dessert!!
Goin' in for the kill.
Cupcake coma.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New haircuts the day after and toddler mischief

We were hanging out having a quiet day so I got the camera out. I got a ton of pictures of Jack because when I ask him to look at me or smile, he does. When I ask Avery to look at me, she deliberately does not. I got one picture where she looked at me and this is it.

The rest look like this. She's thinking, "I hear you and I'm two so I will do it on my terms"

Jack not yet being quite as defiant, but I'm fully expecting that he will follow suit!

Hanging out with Katie. Katie looks a little worried....and she probably should be. I have actually trimmed his hair a bit more since this photo was taken. I felt like the sides were too long so I braved it (you'd be proud, Angie!!) and took scissors to him. I'll have to post updated pictures of his cut when I get some taken.

Cute little haircut....still not looking at the camera on purpose.

While I can't complain much about the mischief these two get into, they do have me at my wit's end at times. I have a twin-mom friend whose two boys have her at the end of her rope (creative diaper art all over themselves and their cribs/walls/bedding during naps 3 separate times in a matter of a week) and she keeps things in perspective for me!!

This little antic was kind of funny to me and now that I've retrieved all the lost items I'm much happier.

So here's the story:

We were cleaning up toys the other night before heading upstairs for baths and bed and I couldn't find some of the parts to their drawing board. Their boards come with 4 water-filled pens each.
I located all the pens for one board, but only one pen for the other board. I had remembered Avery walking around with a handful of pens in her hand a few moments earlier so I asked her, "what did you do with the pens?" and I handed her the one I had found. She took it from me and went off looking for them (so I stupidly thought). I finished picking up and turned around to retrieve the pens from her and she didn't have them, nor did she have the one I JUST handed her. I asked her again what she did with them and she babbled something unintelligible. Now, pre-kids I would have obsessed until I found them, but I forced myself to take them upstairs and bathe them and put them to bed. And as is true lately, I promptly forgot about it until the next morning. The next morning I started the hunt. There are only so many places where she could have put them and I know most of her spots: the kitchen drawers, behind the gate in front of the tv, her babies' bed, the toy bins... Not in any of those spots. Then it clicked. We moved the basketball hoop right after their birthday party. The basketball hoop was strategically placed over the gas turn-on valve in the floor because Jack kept dropping things into the hole. How soon we forget. I peaked in the hole and sure enough there were all 4 pens. I just wish I had seen her do it. She had to have been so proud of herself for getting away with it.
When I told my dad about it, he went out and bought me this nifty little flexible metal thing with a plunger on one end and a grabber device on the other. I located Court's spelunker light and went to work. It worked like a charm and I got them all out. Jack and Avery were oh so interested in these new-found tools. Now I need to come up with a way to block the hole so they can't get to it. That's going to be a challenge.
The dreaded hole - right in the middle of their toys.

Jack trying out the new toy from Bapa
Let's see what else is down there!!

Not liking the spelunker light...too confining for Jack.

Avery checking out the light
She's thinking she looks pretty cool wearing it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Another haircut!!

It almost ended up a bust, but we got lucky. We arrived at the salon only to find out that the stylist was stuck in traffic and would need to reschedule for an hour later. That would have put us too close to nap time and I wasn't willing to risk it. When Avery gets over-tired she turns into a wild, crazy, unrecognizable little creature without any reasoning ability. It's really a dangerous thing and something I try to avoid!! I was standing around with the kids and Auntie Steffie contemplating my options. They have Easter bunny pictures tomorrow so I was trying to figure out if I should try to take them somwhere else as a drop-in (but where), do I try to trim their hair myself (crazy), what do I do??? While I was standing around like an idiot the lady came back to me and said her client cancelled just then so she could fit us in. Hurray!! And for the inconvenience of it all she said they wouldn't charge me for the cuts, double hurray!!

After the cuts. Avery looked adorable with the bows in her hair. Jack's curls came back with a vengeance!!

Aren't I cute?
All done with the cut and waiting for the stylist to spray the sparkles on her hair...that was the highlight for Avery.

As her haircut was beginning, Stef spotted how cute her little pink shoes looked in the little pink car.

Videos from the event:

Riding in the car after haircuts. At the end you can see that Jack has a hard time giving up control of the steering wheel!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cheese, Jumping and Diaper Duty!!

Some random videos from the last week....

Jack and Avery were being goofy the other day (same day as the picture of Avery with her arm around Jack). They wanted to say cheese and give silly smiles to the camera which is what they did.

Today, Nana and Bapa were out. All schedules and rules go out the window which is just fine when the ratio is 3 adults to 2 kids. Avery went down for her nap while Jack continued to play. He was having a blast and enjoying the undivided attention from his grandparents....and of course, jumping.

Avery has become interested in her baby dolls lately. She likes to feed them, hold them, rock them, and change their diapers. In this video she insisted on putting one of her diapers on her baby doll then quickly realized that the baby's original diaper would fit much better. She lost her patience after a bit then decided that the baby doll needed a kiss from Katie. Katie didn't agree and quickly removed herself from the situation.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Update on Jack

First, a silly picture of Avery and Jack. They were being goofy and saying cheese for every picture. I asked them to stand together and asked Avery to put her arm around Jack and she did!! Funny kids!

I know a lot of people are interested to know what we've learned about Jack's tests regarding pediatric/juvenile arthritis. I finally received a call back from the doctor's office this afternoon. Jack had a few blood tests done, a CBC (which I think stands for Complete Blood Count) where they were looking at his white cell count to rule out leukemia and something called a c-reactive protein which is an indicator of inflammation. All of his levels across the board were normal. Big sigh of relief. The other test is called an ANA (Anti-Nuclear Antibody) which specifically tests for inflammatory response. That came back within normal range as well. Phew!! They still want us to take him to a rheumatologist for a once-over to make sure that all is well. He clearly did something to his knee because he continues to limp on it after playing hard. I do recall an evening several months ago where he was leaping off the couch onto pillows. One particular landing missed the pillows and it was a hard landing. He had a difficult time getting up and was teary-eyed and limped over to me. I think that may have caused some sort of damage and maybe he keeps aggravating it with his need to jump all the time and on all surfaces (no matter how high).

This video is an example of his hopping. He got a cool remote control car from Auntie Stef and Mike and was so excited by it... More birthday videos and pictures to come in a later post.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

2 Year Appt

Avery and Jack had their 2 year check-up today and it ended up being a little bit more traumatic than we anticipated. We figured they'd get shots, but that's all we were prepared for.

We've been noticing lately that when Jack plays really hard and has been jumping a lot that he ends up limping for the next day or two. It has happened often enough that I wanted to check with the pediatrician. She asked a bunch of questions and looked Jack over then said she wanted to rule out pediatric/juvenile arthritis. Ugh. My heart twisted into a knot when I heard that. Anyway, Dr. Ryan wanted blood samples to test some levels (no clue what they are, she said so but I didn't retain it). We'll hear back on the results tomorrow, but she wants us to take him to a specialist as well.

Jack was not happy to be at the doctor's office to begin with. He had a fit/meltdown when asked to step on the scale and stand in front of the height measurement thing on the wall. Granted, both ways of measuring were new to them, but I was surprised that he got that upset. Avery kept saying, "Jackie sad". Avery was a trooper the whole way, I wonder if she felt like she needed to stay brave for Jackie (or maybe for her parents' sake!).

After the fit he threw with the scale and measuring, when the doctor said "blood draw", I was thinking we were in for it. I took him into the room that looked rather formal. He clung onto me so tightly I had to pry his little legs from my waist. I got him onto the table on his back and he immediately tried to squirm off the table while screaming at the top of his lungs. Anyone who knows Jack knows that he has a set of lungs so his screams are loud!! I told him he needed to be still and he quit fighting. It only required the nurse doing the blood draw and one other to hold his arm still. The nurse said that she was surprised how well he did given how loud he was screaming to begin with. Before she shut the door for the procedure she said to another nurse, "If you hear a lot of screaming, please come in and help us." He did very well and was so relieved when it was over. Through sobs he said, "All done".

Court said that she and Avery could hear him in the other room and all Avery would say is, "Jackie sad" and I imagine she was doing the sign for sad which is tracing tears on your face with your finger. She is such a good sister.

As for the stats:

Jack - 35 1/5" and 90th %ile
Avery - 34" and 75th %ile

Jack - 29 lbs and 75th %ile
Avery - 27 lbs and 75th %ile

Jack - 16.2 and 50th %ile
Avery - 16.5 and 75th %ile

They are meeting all of their developmental milestones and even doing some things ahead of schedule.

Development Progress (ie what they should be doing):
  • Runs! Walks up and down stairs holding rail or hand.
  • Scribbles with crayons, creates "pictures"
  • Kicks or throws a ball willingly - enjoys playing "with" someone else
  • Combines words and points to pictures, "Where's the cat"?
  • Temper tantrums are to be expected (this one makes me laugh - I swear someone tells them at precisely 2 years old that they are supposed to do this)
Some of the suggested activities for now are:
  • Limit choices to two. Makes child think he/she is in charge (also requires words)
  • Rough-house playing - playing "dress-up" with clothing, hats and accessories
  • Enjoys "helping" around the house
  • Dressing lessons - use the preschool maneuver to get coat on
  • Sing - Dance
  • Look at pictures - "who/what is that?"
  • Talk about observations
  • Encourage use of contrast adjectives (big/little, fast/slow, high/low) - play with language
  • Get down on the floor and play with your child

Other items I found interesting:

  • Avoid food battles. Provide 3 meals and 3 snacks. Eating jags or decreased intake some days is normal. Eats balanced diet over 2-6 weeks. Limit juice
  • Avoid chokable items such as nuts, chunks of fruit, veggies, meats
  • Sleeping may be in big bed by now (anytime from 2-4 years is okay)
  • Distraction is the best discipline. Do not expect sharing. Limit setting is okay.

And here is a video of them playing in the office waiting to see the doctor.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Video Montage by Auntie Steffie

A great video done by Auntie Steffie! Thank you, Auntie!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Birthday!

My how you've changed...Happy Birthday to my forever babies. I love you!!

Just a week or so old...

First birthday party!!
Birthday cupcakes and balloons tonight (party to follow this weekend)!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A gift arrived in the mail...

It's hard to believe, but Avery and Jack turn 2 tomorrow (March 2nd). I could go on and on about how hard it is for me to wrap my head around that fact. While I feel like I've known them my entire life, I also cannot believe they were born 2 years ago. It's gone by so quickly. Every day has been an amazing experience. I feel privileged to be their mother and I am so thankful and honored and humbled by it.

The reason for the post is that a present arrived via UPS today. Avery and Jack spotted the box and were beside themselves. They couldn't wait for me to open it. It was a birthday gift from Auntie Brenda and Uncle Lloyd (who Jack refers to as Lolo).

Jack and Avery say thank you, Uncle Lloyd and Auntie Brenda!! It will provide hours of fun, I'm sure.