Tuesday, May 29, 2007

May 29, 2007

On and off, on and off the step. Ben is still working on the most efficient way to do this.

The only issue is that they both want to play with the switch at the same time and then someone ends up falling off of the first step and crying a bit.

And this is not necessarily the most efficient way to do it....still learning.

On and off, on and off go the lights.

Look at me mom! Look what I can do!

And then I wipe my hands all over the wall. For some reason, he likes the feel of the wall, so he rubs his hands around on it.

Aren't I cute??

Ben, what does a monkey say? Ooo ooo ooo ooo! They know lots of animal sounds now. They also have learned how to put almost every shape into the more complex shape sorter that we have. It has ten different shapes, some are very similar and some only fit in one direction so it has been a bit of a challenge for them. I am amazed at how quickly they have learned it though. They love to do it again and again.

My turn!

And now, I will pose for pictures!

Our little Nick is definitely a people person. He loves hanging out with people and is not as likely as Ben to go play by himself and keep himself entertained. He is also a little flirt, always waving and smiling at people when we are out and about. He would get upset if a stranger wanted to hold him but he is very happy to smile and wave and put on a little cute performance for them from a distance.

And he never sits still for a minute. Busy is his middle name. I predict he will have a great sense of humor and will love to laugh (he already does). He also may be a little less likely to want to dig into his studies:). On the other hand, we think Ben is just the opposite. He enjoys hanging out with us for a while but also likes time to play on his own. If we have been out and around people for a while, such as at my mom or sister's house, when we get home Ben will go play by himself for a while. Ben loves to sit and look at books by himself and wants to be read to A LOT. Nick may let you read a couple of pages but will start turning pages too fast or will take off with the book. It is too funny how different they are.

He is so quick, it is a challenge to get good pics of him. He runs everywhere he goes. Ben has recently started running also, so they are keeping me very busy these days.

I love watching them learn new things and they are such quick learners. They are a lot of fun.

Friday, May 25, 2007

May 25, 2007

So far I have found very few foods the boys don't like. I have not found any veggie that they don't like. Some favorites are green beans, peas, sugar snap peas, broccoli (they can't get enough of this!), sweet potatoes, potatoes and corn. They love their veggies soooo much that I frequently have to hold back the veggies until they are almost done with their protein dish, otherwise they only want to eat their veggie. They would rather eat veggies than PB&J sandwiches. Unfortunately, I am somewhat of a picky eater so that limits us, although I do serve the boys several things that I don't care for and that they love, such as tuna fish sandwiches.

The only fruit I have found that they didn't care for that much was pears. They especially love apples, bananas, grapes (peeled and cut in half) and strawberries. They are normally very good eaters, although they both have times when they don't eat much and I just shrug and know that they will eat when they are hungry. They normally make up for it at the next meal. There have been several times when I thought they didn't care for something I served and then they ate it up at a later meal. Sometimes, they are just not that hungry, but most times they are and they eat very well. They have so many meals and snacks (and they continue to gain weight) so I know they are getting enough to eat. I fixed pork chops the other night and they couldn't get enough of them. They also love a couple of my chicken casseroles, chicken pot pies, cheese pizza, turkey and cheese sandwiches (heated) and egg salad sandwiches (heated with melted cheese on top). My husband and I really like salmon and normally eat it at least once a week and the boys love it too. They also love mac & cheese and pasta with chicken.

So far, I have really not found anything that they just really would not eat.  These are some of their favorites. I am always looking for other ideas to introduce so, if you have any great recipes, please send them to me.

This evening we were having baked salmon and broccoli and the boys could not get enough of the broccoli. When Nick saw that dad was getting more from the pan, he signed for more, very urgently. I was spooning it out of the pan and he kept asking for more the entire time until we ran out. And this was after he had already asked for seconds of the salmon. Ben asked for seconds also. It was pretty funny. I told my husband I would have liked to get that on video but I didn't want my food to get cold....I mean colder.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

May 23, 2007

Funny boys: When I touch myself and say "momma", they will touch themselves the same way and say "momma". When we are looking at the zoo book and I point to the llama and say "llama", they both say "momma".

They have so many words now that I have lost track of them. Recently, when we were having our morning snack, I asked if they wanted anything else. Nick said "nana", which I took to mean he wanted a banana. I asked if he wanted a banana and they both started repeating "nana" a couple of times and reaching towards the bananas. So I got a banana and we all ate it together.

They currently ask for what they want by pointing and/or grunting or reaching towards what they want and Nick will sign for "more" also. Ben was "pointing" to certain foods in his dish, with his nose when he wanted to eat that particular food.  He would, over and over again, almost put his nose into his food, blocking his entire plate with his head to point to the food he wanted to eat next. Very funny little boy.

They both know the majority of the parts of their body now. It is really amazing how quickly they learn things. A couple of days ago, I showed Nick how to pull the ball-shaped shape sorter apart and shake it to make the shapes fall out. This morning I saw him doing it by himself and I was really surprised that he remembered how and that he was strong enough and coordinated enough to do it.

From everything I have read, it seems clear to me they are very on track for their ages in all areas of development now, which is pretty amazing.  My brother-in-law commented the other day that, had he not know the history of the boys, he would have thought that had been with us since birth.

We went to my sister's house yesterday and spent the day visiting with her, my mom and my niece and nephew. The boys had a great time and they really loved rolling around on the floor with my nephew. He is just finishing seventh grade and he is really good with them and they both just love him to death. The neat thing was what my nephew told my sister after the last time we visited. When he was little, like our little guys, he always loved playing with his older, male cousin. He couldn't wait for his cousin to arrive at our family events and would hang on him and rough-house with him the whole time. My nephew told my sister that he now gets to be to our boys what his cousin was to him when he was little. It was really sweet.

Some cute pics:

Nick with his "buddy". We bought this little giraffe at a grocery store in Volgograd. He sleeps with it every night and at nap time. It is the perfect size for him. Sometimes Ben will walk around with his thumb in his mouth while holding Nick's little buddy. It is funny because Ben is not a thumb sucker at all and does not really care about a buddy or lovey or anything else. I bought him a little buddy, a small stuffed kitty that looks a lot like this giraffe actually (same color and just a little smaller). We hand it to him every night when he goes "night night" and he promptly smiles and throws it out of his crib, no matter how many times we pick it up and give it back to him.

Ben and Nick playing in the library room of our house. We had work men taking out two large windows in our living room so I had to move all of the toys into another room and we camped out there for the day.

I taught Nick how to climb onto the rocking horse by himself. He loves to rock it as high as he can, surprise surprise. Ben is a bit more cautious on it. Nick has also learned how to climb up on the couch by himself now. Fun times have begun!

I thought it was funny how Nick put his legs up around the horses neck. I think he is just a little too short for them to reach downwards.

Do you think he enjoys himself??

After wearing my ball cap at the zoo the other day, Nick now has this thing for caps.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

May 17, 2007 Part 2

Yesterday afternoon I took the boys to the zoo and we had a ball.

First stop was the elephant exhibit and, WOW!, they were right there in front of us, nose to nose, on the other side of a huge plate glass window. The boys loved it. Two huge elephants were eating hay right in front of us.

The next really neat thing was the lion exhibit. When we first walked up, the female lion was standing just inside of the door to their cave looking very regal. She came out to the watering hole to get a drink and then she came straight towards us, to the edge of their area next to where the pit starts, and laid down. At some point the large, male lion came to the cave door and roared really loudly. I roared back at him pretty loudly and he roared again. We did this quite a few times and Nick joined in with roaring with me a few times too. Finally I stopped and the lion kept going a few more times and then stopped. His roars echoed within the cave so we could hear it really well. It was magnificent! And it's really neat because I had been pointing out a lion to the boys in one of their books and asking them what a lion says and then I would roar. Now they really get it.

Then, we went to see the bears. There was this huge grizzly bear and he was playing with this large red ball. He put it above his head and let it roll down his back. Then he swatted it into his big pool of water and jumped in after it. Eventually he swatted it out of the water and tried to get it but it went over the edge, into the pit and he lost it. He took off running towards his cave and went inside. He came back out and walked around a little, looking for something else to play with. Both boys were entranced the entire time we watched him.

We saw a beautiful peacock, which was making these wonderful calls that we mimicked and we saw kangaroos and many other interesting animals, including an amazing, up close view of the rhinos that was pretty awesome. The sea lions were sleeping, basking in the sun on a rock. Nick kept waving at them and saying "night night". Adorable.

Our last stop was to see the chimps, which was really neat too. There were three of them sitting together and one mama had a three month old baby that she was holding. At one point, these three came right up to the glass. There was a lot of paper and stuff in the exhibit because they had celebrated a birthday and left the stuff in there for them to play with. One of them had picked up a streamer and carried it with him to the window. He rolled up a piece of it and was chewing on it. He rolled up another piece and stuffed it in his nose and then he blew it out. It was quite funny. They had these fake rocks on our side of the glass, allowing the kids to climb higher and closer to the glass and all three of these chimps and the baby were right on the other side, within a few inches of the glass. The boys love it!

I have been to a lot of nice zoos but this had to be the most up close and personal zoo visit I have ever had. We really had a lot of fun and I was like a little kid, running while pushing the stroller from exhibit to exhibit and holding the kids up so they could see really well. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, me or them!

May 17, 2007

"Hello? Hello?"  The ball phone.

"Hello?? Hello??"  The block phone.

"Hello?? Hello??"  The ball phone again.

The different faces of Nick:

Content. Enjoying the thumb and lovey.

Not content:).
Yesterday he was throwing a fit about something in the kitchen. I moved where I could not see him. Then he got up and moved over to where I could see him again, sat down and started throwing his fit again. I moved into the living room and, again, could not see him. He moved into the living room where I could see him again and started again.  I asked him if he wanted to sit in the "chair". He shook his head no and stopped.

 When he starts to throw a fit and he sits down on the hardwood floor and then lays down very carefully before really starting to throw his fit. He learned very quickly that it hurts to hit your head on the floor.

Being silly.  Thankfully, his fits normally don't last long and he is usually more like this. He is a funny kid with a great sense of humor. He cracks me and Ben up at times.

Ben, playing with the pig and the barn.

Ben loves loves loves people to read to him and gets upset if he brings a book to you and you don't pick him up and read it to him immediately.

 There are times when I am working in the kitchen and I see him sitting and looking at books, turning pages and talking to himself. He will do this for quite a while.

It is so interesting to see their little personalities develop and emerge. I love it. You just never know what surprise you are in for each day. Life is definitely an adventure with these two little guys.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

May 10, 2007

It's a rainy day. Let's all play "tent".   Push and pull toys through the tent/tunnel. Round and round they go, and sometimes mom too!

This was fun! Let's do it again on another rainy day.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

May 9, 2007

18 month check up was this week, although Nick is closer to 17 months old and Ben recently turned 19 months old.

Nick, actually closer to 17 months old.

Ben, recently turned 19 months old.

They have grown so much that they are barely fitting into their 18 month sized one-piece outfits now.

They are very into giving kisses now.

 When we put them to bed the other night, we were saying "night night" to them and Nick said "nii nii" back to us several times; another first.

One afternoon, Ben wanted me to pick him up while I was working in the kitchen. I could not pick him up right away so he sat down and started crying. Nick came in, looked at me, then at Ben. He walked over and sat down on the floor right next to Ben. He had brought a toy pig and a toy sheep with him and he started bouncing the toy pig across the floor in front of Ben. Then he sat it down in front of Ben. By this time, Ben had stopped crying and he picked up the toy pig and started bouncing it around like Nick had done. Then, Nick leaned over and gave Ben a kiss. And my heart melted all over the floor right there.

They have each grown over 2 inches in 3 months in three months.

Nick was only around the 3rd percentile for height and weight three months ago. He is now in the 25th percentile for weight and 50th for height.

These are my favorite PJ's. I think they look so cute in them.


This was "baby" dedication day at church.

They understand most of what we say to them these days and they repeat so many words, I have lost count of them all.

  One of yesterday's new words was "brother". Most of them are words that only a parent would understand right now though.