Wednesday, February 28, 2007

February 28, 2007

It's hard to believe our sons have been home for over a month now. Wow! Time does go by so fast. They are both doing very well, eating heartily, putting on weight, learning new things every day. It is amazing to watch them in action.

In this picture, Benjamin is on the left and Nicholas is on the right. My grandmother gave them the cute little short overalls and the red, white and blue onesies.

Close up of Nick. His newest thing is that he will go to the fridge and look at me when he wants a drink from his sippy cup. He also goes to his high chair when he wants something to eat and he knows where the snack food is kept. He will stare at that cabinet when he wants something from there.

And here is a close up of Benjamin. He has come so far developmentally in the past month, it is amazing. He walks long distances now, across a couple of large rooms and around the kitchen island. He is much better at maintaining his balance, although he still falls once in a while and he still holds his hands above his head. Basically, walking is still an effort for him and he crawls when he wants to get somewhere really fast. But he is walking so much more now and it is obvious that he enjoys it and is proud of himself when he walks longer distances.

He is also doing really well at self feeding now. The newest thing I have started is giving them some cheerios on their high chair tray in the morning, with their milk, while I finish preparing their oatmeal with applesauce and vitamins mixed in.

Some of their favorite menu items include: green beans, peas, broccoli, corn, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, wheat bread with pb & j, cream Cheese, tuna salad or just butter, beef or chicken hot dogs cut up very small, any kind of pasta, mac & cheese, bananas, strawberries, jello, scrambled eggs, cheese omelettes, yogurt with fruit (their regular morning snack), oatmeal with applesauce mixed in, pretty much any kind of casserole, chicken, salmon. I'm sure I'm leaving some things out but those are some of our regulars.

Every weekday morning, they have the oatmeal with applesauce and their vitamins mixed in for breakfast and then they have yogurt with fruit for mid-morning snack. For lunch we mix it up and they have something different each day, including pasta, hot dog or another type of meat, or some type of sandwich, plus a green veggie of some sort. For mid-afternoon snack they frequently have Phili Cream Cheese on toast with some sort of fruit. Sometimes we will also share a banana before or after snack time. For dinner, they normally eat what we eat these days.

Now for the sad picture of the day. This is Ben with the new shiner that he got yesterday evening. Last night he was standing next to this round end table, which is between two chairs in our living room. He is just tall enough that he can just see over this table; I think it comes to probably just below his nose when he is standing next to it. I did not see it happen but he either bent over or fell and hit his cheek bone just next to his eye on the edge of the table. It actually cut him on this cheek and immediately started swelling. Poor little guy. He woke up with a black eye this morning, although he doesn't seem to notice it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

February 21, 2007

We went for a walk along the river and we stopped to let the boys try ice cream for the first time. Nicholas pulled back as soon as it touched his tongue. They are still not used cold stuff. He tried it again and the chocolate won him over.

Funny picture..."It's all gone??!"

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

February 20, 2007

Here is Nicholas, holding my sneaker. It's only size 7.5 but it looks huge next to him! He really likes shoe strings or anything soft to hold while he is sucking his thumb. He didn't do this for very long though. I'm sure the shoe was a bit heavy for him.

Do you like the socks and sandals:)? This is my solution to cold feet on our wood floors. They slip and fall too easily with just socks, even with the little grippers on the bottom. Their feet get too hot in their winter shoes and their summer sneakers don't fit yet. I may have to buy a smaller pair of sneakers for Ben. When I got the sandals, I realized that his feet are quite a bit smaller than Nick's.

Here is Ben, feeding himself a cracker. This was a big step for us. He is still not able to use his pincer grasp very well, although he does better with his left hand than his right, or so it seems. He is making an effort to feed himself at times though and we are happy to see this.

One of my favorite pics of Ben, learning to walk. He is really doing well with it. This is the way he walks, hands up in the air and a huge grin on his face. Very cute.

Notice his fingers on his left hand are crossed. He does this a lot. It is so cute!

A picture of Nick, sleeping on the living room couch, when he was still recovering from his bout of pneumonia. He's all better now and finished with his medication.

This is the same day Nick was sleeping on the couch and Ben was playing in the living room, wishing Nick would wake up. I thought this was too funny. He will sometimes lift one foot off the floor, so he can lean into the toy basket further. He actually fell in head first once and it was hysterical (he was not hurt). My mom and sister were here to see that and we all had a good chuckle.

Ben, palming the ball. He was excited when he realized that he could do this.

Monday, February 19, 2007

February 19, 2007

Yes, today is our anniversary. My husband and I were married 2 years ago today and it was a very special day and a beautiful wedding. We have had a busy two years: we moved from Texas to Oklahoma, my husband changed jobs, I quit my job to be a stay at home wife and mother, we sold a house and bought a new house and, of course, we adopted our two little sons. It has been a wonderful two years and I would not change a thing. We are very blessed indeed.

The boys are both doing wonderfully. I have a few pics I have taken and wanted to put them up today but I have not had time to upload them. Maybe tomorrow.

Benjamin is still working on trying to feed himself. Today, he fed himself a cracker. I took a picture of it and will post it with other pics later. He will also pull his sippy cup up for a drink, although he will only use one hand, so he needs some help if the cup is not full.  His walking continues to improve and he can take 8 to 10 steps on his own and can turn a little better on his own also. He is trying to walk between pieces of furniture and other objects, on his own, more and more. He is a bit more quiet than Nick, although he goes through periods of time where he is chattering a lot. If he is trying to say actual words, I have not heard any that I recognize yet, other than mama and dada.

Nick's vocabulary increases a bit each day. His newest words are banana and tractor. He chatters a lot and will frequently try to repeat words, when we are trying to get him to say a word.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

February 18, 2007

We made it to church today, all four of us. This was the first time the boys and I have been since we returned from Russia. It was so nice to be back in church and it was great to see everyone and introduce our sons to so many people who had prayed for us.

We took the boys to their classroom and met the folks who take care of the children in their room. I stayed with them, while my husband went to our Bible study class. They both got down to play fairly quickly. I was sitting on the floor with them for a while. I still thought they would stay pretty close by but they got busy playing and were not too concerned about me. Around the middle of the hour, I gave them each a snack and changed diapers and then they were off playing again. Towards the end of the hour, Nick came to me several times to be held and rocked. He was getting tired. He is still recovering from his bout with pneumonia so he still tires a bit easier than normal.

My husband came back, after our Bible study class was over. We had planned to take them to the "crying" room, as there is a TV in there where parents can still watch and listen to the sermon. However, the boys were doing so well, we decided to go ahead and go to the church service and leave them in their room. They have pagers so we took one, just in case. I'm not sure I would have left them otherwise. We never received a page, which was great. It was wonderful to be back in service and it was especially nice to be at church with our kids.

Afterwards, we went back to their room to get them. As soon as Nick saw me, his little face puckered up and he started to cry. It was kind of funny because they said he had been fine and had played the entire hour we were gone and that was the first time he had cried. Ben was being rocked by one of the caregivers. Both boys were so tired that they crashed as soon as they were in the car. We picked up some carry-out food on our way home and fed them as soon as we got home and then put them down for naps.

Overall, a good first Sunday back at church with the boys.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

February 13, 2007

Here is a picture of Benjamin walking, with hands held high above his head and a big grin on his face. This is pretty much how he looks every time he tries to walk on his own. He is very excited with his progress, as are we.

Nicholas - was sitting against the window, playing with a toy for 10 or 15 minutes, until I started taking pictures. He was starting to move toward me in this shot and was very interested in seeing the camera. I made the mistake of showing them their pictures, after taking shots one day, so now that are overly interested in the camera and I have to sneak around with it.

Benjamin walked from where I was on the couch to the window/door and then started touching his brother and, at times, trying to hit him. Some normal fun time at our house:).

Nicholas was very interested in Benjamin's overalls

Benjamin, turning to look at me after I told him "no hitting" and "be nice"...."who, me??".

Benjamin "touching" Nick's face.

I just noticed that these pics are all out of order but I'm too tired to fix them.

Benjamin handed Nicholas the panda teddy bear. Nicholas loves soft, stuffed animals.

Ben, retrieving the panda teddy bear from the toy basket and throwing/handing it to Nick.

Nick, getting a toy from the toy basket. This is the toy that he spent 10 or 15 minutes playing with, just before I took that picture of him you can see how these pics are very much out of order...but cute nonetheless, yes?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

February 11, 2007

Yesterday evening, my husband and I were both in the living room, playing with the boys.  I was sitting on the couch and Ben was standing next to me, holding on. All of a sudden, he put both of his hands above his head and took off walking across the living room, with a huge grin on his face. My husband and I were both surprised because it was really the first time that he attempted to walk more than 2 or 3 steps without help. He can now take 7 or 8 steps on his own, although he normally ends up picking up speed along the way, which causes him to fall. It is very funny to watch him though because he always puts both arms straight up.

They love to be with us. If I am doing something in the kitchen, they will normally drag toys into the kitchen to be near me. So I normally try to put kitchen work on hold until they are napping and I spend my time with them when they are awake.

Being a parent is a wonderful blessing. Being a mom is a beautiful thing. I really do love it and I love them so much more every day. Time to go get them up from nap.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

February 4, 2007 Part 3

So, each child has ended up with a bloody, swollen lip in the short amount of time they have been home with us. What's up with that. Is that a boy thing?

Today Nick was walking around the kitchen, happy as can be, and then he stubbed his toe on one of the high chairs and fell flat on his face. His forehead, between and just above his eyes, was red for a little while but, worst of all, his upper lip was busted open ( mostly on the inside) and bleeding quite a bit. Dr. Dad took a look at it, which did not make Nick happy at all, and tried to slow down the bleeding a bit. Turned out he was fine, although he did sport a fat lip for most of the day. It was looking much better this evening.

A few days ago, something similar happened to Ben, although it was his bottom lip that was busted and it was not quite as bad as Nick's. Ben also ended up with a cracked upper lip, from the dry heat I guess, although we do have a humidifier running in their room.

One of the funniest things we have seen so far: this evening, Nick was walking around the living room, saw his shadow and it scared him so badly he went running to daddy, half crying. He kept going back to see it again though and became less and less scared each time. It was pretty funny.

During nap time today, I heard one of the boys JUST starting to whine a little, over the baby monitor. I was waiting to see if he would go back to sleep or not. Just a minute later I heard "meow meow" over the baby monitor and could hear one of the boys jabbering. I went upstairs and sneaked into their bedroom through the other bedroom and the connecting Jack-n-Jill bath, so I could see what Dancer the cat was doing in their room. He was lying in the middle of the floor, looking at them in their cribs and meowing at them. They were both in their cribs, one standing and one sitting, watching him. Nick was sitting and kind of half crying/whining and I think he had been awakened by Dancer the cat. Ben was standing and fully enjoying the cat show. Hmmmm, I wonder how often the cat has been in there, hanging out with them and keeping them awake. That was the first time I had heard him on the baby monitor though.

Today, Nick said (or tried to say) bye bye, while waving, when dad left to go run errands. He also tried to say baby, although it sounded much the same as bye bye, which really sounds more like ba ba. Ben listens very intently when we try to teach him new words, although he does not try to say them much. He does wave bye bye and my husband and I both think he can probably say a lot more words than he lets on.

February 4, 2007 Part 2

 Dancer keeps a close eye out from the top of the chair. They sometimes move things around in such a way that Dancer would like to play too.

Yesterday evening, I was holding Nick because he had been hitting Ben. Nick does not like to be held against his will so he was crying. Dancer came over twice, jumped up on the chair next to Nick and was trying to touch his nose to Nick's face. Dancer always shows concern when he hears someone crying.

The competition is already beginning. The husband and I will be sitting in the living room and one of the boys goes over to one of us.  The other one will go too and they kind of try to push each other away.

If I tell them "no" about something, that is the thing they immediately want to do again and again. I have seen Nick do this when I am preparing them something to eat in the kitchen and can't pick him up. He will play with the wooden blinds, open drawers that he knows he should not open and hit his brother, all within 5 minutes,and usually while looking directly at me, to see if I am going to stop him.

This is Ben, looking at a book. They both know what "book" is now and Nick has tried to say it. They love books and will bring them to us often for us to read to them, although they don't always stick around for us to finish.

And here is Ben, rocking in the chair. Nick and Ben both like this little chair. Nick can get into it by himself and will sometimes stand up in it so I have to watch him. Ben needs help getting in and out, but not for long. He is coming right along on his walking and I know he will be walking without help soon.

February 4, 2007

This is Nicholas with our cat Dancer. I can't figure out why Dancer sticks around for this kind of torture but he does, at least once or twice a day. For some reason, he really likes Nicholas and Nicholas loves to bounce around on Dancer and pull his tail. Nick tried to bite Dancer's tail this morning. It is really funny to watch, although also a little painful, because I am always worried that he might hurt Dancer or that Dancer might lose his patience and try to scratch Nick. I have seen several babies bounce around on Dancer over the years though and I have yet to see him scratch one of them, so maybe I needn't worry about it so much.

Our other cat, on the other hand, will not let them get any where near her. She was trying to sleep in her basket in the kitchen the other day and Nick decided to try to pet her or, more likely, pound on her (I didn't see it) and she must have been somewhat unfriendly because he started crying. I could not find any scratches on him so she must not have been too mean to him.  We try to really watch them when Zoe is around and usually Zoe is really good about staying up where they can't reach her. Dancer, on the other hand, is really part dog and loves to be in the floor with them.

When I lived in Houston, I lived in a townhouse with a front courtyard that had an iron gate that would squeak when opened. Whenever anyone came in the gate, Dancer would immediately run to the kitchen growling and he would stand up on his hind legs and look out the kitchen window. So I have known for a long time now that he is an unusual cat. His behavior with the boys just confirms it again. I wonder how many of his nine lives he is going to use up with these little guys.

Friday, February 02, 2007

February 2, 2007

These little guys sure play hard when they are awake. More and more, they will bring us books and want us to read to them. These are the little board books, with very few words per page. Frequently they do not stick around until we are finished with the 5 or 6 pages in a book. They are normally off to find another one. Nicholas can definitely say "kitty" and "kitty cat" and I think Benjamin can say it too. Nicholas is the type of kid who will repeat words a lot. He is quite the talker/babbler.

Benjamin babbles a lot during certain times of the day but a lot of the time he is more quiet. He is the type of child who will say a word and you think you heard him say it, but then he does not repeat it and days later you start wondering if he really said it. My mom and sister were here the other day and B was playing with this little zoo-train thing that says "All Aboard!". All three of us looked at each other in surprise because it sure sounded like Ben said "all aboard" just after the zoo-train said it. It was funny. I have yet to hear him say it again though. I think I have heard him say kitty and mama too. I know I have heard Nick say those words and I think he has also tried to say book.

It's fun to try to teach them words. They will watch your mouth very closely, sitting there with their mouth open, and I can see their tongue start to move a little every once in a while, as if they are trying to figure out how to move it just right to make the word.

Ben tries to hit us or himself in the face or hit anything else nearby, when he is mad. Basically, anytime we tell him no about something, he loses his temper and throws a little temper tantrum, which includes hitting whoever or whatever is nearby, including himself.

Nick also throws temper tantrums, although he does not try to hit anyone. He used to throw himself back but after hitting his head on the hardwood floors a couple of times, he has stopped doing that. Now he will gently lay his head down on the floor and then throw his little fit.

They both absolutely love playing in the bathtub and have ever since we have had them with us.