Monday, December 31, 2007

December 31, 2007

We have had a splendid Christmas season this year. On Christmas Eve, we went to my brother's house, along with all of our relatives. We had quite a house full and my sister-in-law went all out on a buffet style meal. There was so much food and such a large variety of food that it was hard to sample it all. It was wonderful seeing all of the family and the boys had a great time.

My sister-in-law had planned a very nice and touching toast, before which she read from the Bible. My niece read the story of the birth of Jesus from the Bible and then it was time to open gifts. Our two sons received so many more gifts than we had ever imagined. They barely all fit in the car but the dad was creative and was able to fit it all in.

We stayed home on Christmas day. The boys took their time opening their gifts and they played with each one as long as they wanted before we moved on to the next one. It was a very sweet time for us all.

Each day, at different times, I would start thinking back to what we were all doing last year. It warmed my heart to see where we all are this year. This truly has been the best Christmas ever for me. I think it is the first Christmas that I really did not have anything on my list, other than wanting to have a special first Christmas with the boys and my husband. My Christmas wish came true and I am very blessed:).

The boys received so many lovely gifts and they have been having a wonderful time with them since Christmas. The nice thing is that they received a good variety of things; some things for now, some for summer and some when they are a bit older, later in 2008. So, although they received a lot of gifts, it doesn't seem that they were inundated, since several of them cannot be used right away.

Two of my nieces came to visit for a few days. One was here from Thursday evening through Saturday evening and the other from Friday morning through this morning. The boys really enjoyed the time spent with their cousins and my husband and I even got out alone to go to a movie one afternoon. The girls were a big help to us and it was nice having them here. They are both seniors in high school, so they are staying very very busy this year.

We have been battling some kind of rash on Nick's face for almost a week now. Finally, today, it seems that we are starting to see some improvement. He has not complained about it or scratched or anything but it must have been uncomfortable for him, since it was very hot to the touch up until today. We tried everything and finally resorted to having to put him on an antibiotic. We are also still applying steroid creme so we are not sure which one is now helping...maybe both. Other than that, we are doing great. The boys are not getting sick nearly as much this winter as they did last winter. They have been to church countless Sundays without catching anything, which is wonderful.

The husband is staying very busy with his house projects, as always:). As I type this, he is cleaning the carpets in his office and has already finished the upstairs carpets before the boys went down for their nap. It is going to be wonderful to finally have clean carpets in this house. We meant to clean them right after we moved in and never got around to it.

Hopefully I can get back into the groove and start posting regularly again. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

December 24, 2007

Things here are going very well. All shopping was completed a couple of days ago. Lots of wrapping was underway yesterday and is almost completed. Today we will head out to my brother's house to celebrate Christmas with my family. Tomorrow we will stay home and enjoy our first Christmas as a family.

Yesterday evening we decided to open our stockings, since there will be lots of presents today and tomorrow. The boys were so excited, as the dad got the stockings down. Nick was almost jumping up and down. We all sat on the floor and the boys had a great time dumping their stockings, opening a couple of small wrapped gifts and playing with the little toys (matchbox trucks, dollar store cell phone-big hit, dollar store tops for spinning, small wooden puzzles, a few pieces of candy and a candy cane). I almost cried at the beginning of all of this, thinking about what we were all doing last year.

Soon after, I went back to my baking in the kitchen and the dad played with the boys in the living room floor in front of the beautiful Christmas tree, while the Christmas music played in the background. I looked out over the living room from my baking in the kitchen and was overwhelmed with the blessings God has given us. It was truly a blessed and magical evening for me.

I have everything I could ever want for Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

December 20, 2007

In retrospect, I now realize that things have gotten easier, more pleasant, more fun than ever over the past several months. The first six months that the boys were home were sometimes difficult for me. It has nothing to do with them, as they are doing great and they are typical, very sweet little boys and I adore them:). But it took me a while to get used to having less personal time and being able to enjoy that kind of life. It has also taken a while to get used to being so tired at the end of the day...there is simply no comparison with when I worked full time. I was mentally tired and also tired of being stressed out at times but I was not physically tired as I am now...on a regular basis:).

I was visiting with a young mom of twins today though and she told me that she is very tired at the end of the day also. That made me feel much better, as I had always kind of chalked it up to fact that I am an older mom (I'm 44, going on 45 in Feb.). So, I am glad to know that it is fairly normal for other mom's too, especially those with multiple toddlers.

There are still times when I crave more personal time but that is more the case when I have been spending more time around more people (more than my husband and children) and have had less alone time. But, let's face it. What mom doesn't hope for longer nap times, for a bit of extra downtime in the day:).

All in all, things are very happy around here these days. I enjoy my time with the boys and relish each day, as I am often thinking ahead and knowing that these times when they are little are so short....especially short for those of us who adopted our children and did not have the first year or more with them. They are incredible little people and I am truly blessed to have them in my life, as well as my wonderful, thoughtful husband.

In other news, I actually finished decorating our house and tree today:). Surprise surprise! I had previously decided that I was perfectly happy to leave it partially decorated, as there would be less for the boys to take apart:). But, for some reason, I was feeling very festive today. I guess the Christmas spirit has caught up with me, now that the hubbub of the ice storm is over.

My mom went back to her house yesterday. They finally fix her power line and restored her power on Tuesday. I was sad to see her leave and I know the boys have missed her.

My sister came to get her yesterday and, after the boys went to bed, she and I went to Garden Ridge to do a bit of Christmas shopping. While we were at Garden Ridge, my sister picked up a very pretty tray with roses all over it and said, "Oh how pretty. I think I'll get this for mom". Our mom loves roses. I picked one up and looked at it and said, with a very straight face, "This IS very pretty. I think I will get one for her too". My sister gave me the funniest 'are you nuts!?' look that I have ever seen and I busted out laughing. She is such a kidder and practical joker. I couldn't resist. We both laughed about it for a while and then laughed about it again today when I told her that I told my husband about it last night. Her son heard her laughing and wanted to know what was so funny. She told him and he didn't think it was very funny so maybe it was one of those things that you just had to be there. We thought it was pretty funny.

We had a play date yesterday that we all enjoyed very much. Today we also had a short play date with twin girls. It was also fun but shorter. It has been nice to have some company over though and we really need to do it more often. The boys clearly enjoy it, although Ben tends to be a bit shy at first, wants me to hold him a lot at first and generally touches base with me often, which is not his normal behavior. It is very interesting because it is a totally new side of him that we have not seen before.

On Saturday we are planning to meet others at mom's house and start cleaning up the mess of very large branches and mangled trees in her yard. I have heard that it will be cold and we have a 40% chance of rain so we may have to reschedule, although I hate to leave her yard looking like this for very long.

Tomorrow is the husband's last day of work for a couple of weeks:). That will be nice for all of us. I need to buy some hot chocolate and pick up some fire wood.

I still have not finished my Christmas shopping and I have yet to wrap one present. So much for being done before Thanksgiving:). You know what I'll be doing over the next few days.

Monday, December 17, 2007

December 17, 2007

My mom's house is still without power and she has been staying with us since Friday. My sister is coming to get her tomorrow, since she has a doctor's appointment on Wednesday and we are really hoping her power will be back on sometime tomorrow. We are planning to gather at her house on Saturday for Project Clean-Up-Mom's-Yard, from all of the branches and ruined trees that now litter her yard.
I am going to be sad to see her leave tomorrow. I have so enjoyed having her here and the boys have really enjoyed it too. I hope she will come and stay more often in the future. We all really got on well together and she is just so easy to be with. She loves to read (as do I) and she also enjoys watching and hearing about the news and the elections so we have had a lot to discuss. We have also discussed the boys, of course, and I have enjoyed seeing her interact with them so much over the past couple of days. I think she has enjoyed her time with them too.

As they were preparing to go up to bed tonight, Nick quickly ran over to "MaMa" to give her a good night kiss. Ben followed close behind. As they walked up the stairs, they were saying "night night MaMa", over and over. It was very sweet. They really enjoy her and she loves to read to them, talk to them and play with them. She is also very good at distracting them, when they have a bee in their bonnet about something they cannot have or do, and she is good about redirecting them and helping them find interest in other things, when needed. I know she is anxious to get back to her own house but I really wish she could stay longer. I am so very thankful to have her for my mom and the boys are blessed to have her as their grandmother.

Oh yes. One other thing to note before I sign off. Nick said his first full sentence the other day. It was, "Zoe, get down." (Zoe is the cat and she was on the table.) He said it several times and he also has said "kitty, get down" several times. He seems to enjoy telling the cats what to do these days. It is cute.

Time for bed. I'm sorry I have not been posting much lately. I am just really caught up in researching the candidates and I am also enjoying visiting and hanging out with my mom:).

Thursday, December 13, 2007

December 13, 2007

This has to be a quickie but I did want to give a quick update on what's going on here in Oklahoma. I took a drive out the other day to go to an appointment and, had I known how bad the situation was in that part of town, I would not have gone.

It really looks like a tornado came through, at least from the perspective of seeing all of the tree limbs, some very large, and some trees down all over the place. It is really hard to believe your eyes and the pictures on the news do not do it justice....not even close.

My mom got tired of being cold and finally went to my sister's house on Tuesday. I was not able to reach anyone yesterday so I don't know if her power is back on yet or not. As of Tuesday, the assisted living home where my grandmother lives was without power so she was at my uncle's house and my dad and brothers were still without power also. I have heard on the news that the number without power today is much lower so hopefully I will hear something from my family today.

For a couple of days, we had to throw together whatever hodge podge of food we happened to have in the house for meals, as the grocery stores near us were without power. We have since found stores that never lost power and still have a good selection of everything, so the only current impact to us remains the stop lights that are still not working, although they are slowly getting those back up and working also.

During one of our hodge podge meals, we were eating some hot dogs, green beans and brown beans and ham (doesn't that sound just yummy:)!. I am not a fan of mustard but my husband is and, when the boys saw him eating it, they wanted some too. They are amazing. The assume that anything we eat MUST be good and they want to try everything. Much to my surprise, they loved the mustard and kept wanting "more, more". I have yet to find anything that won't eat...they seem to like anything and everything, although there are a few things they like more than others.

That's all for now. The troops are getting restless and the dad is in his office working, as the power at his clinic is still out.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

December 11, 2007

I really must start writing down the cute things the boys are saying these days. Otherwise, by the time I get around to posting about it, I forget. I know there were some that I found very cute and funny but have forgotten so I must do better but here are a couple of the latest things.

I was working in the kitchen on Saturday and the dad was working in his home office, as the boys played in his office. I overheard the dad say "oh shoot", soon followed by the boys saying "oh, shoot", "daddy?, oh, shoot", "daddy, oh, shoot" and the dad laughing in the background. They were both saying it repeatedly. I smiled and *again* thought of how children are so easily influenced by what we do and say.

Yesterday, Nick said "more milk please" without prompting. I think that was our first three word sentence without prompting.

The boys will now say "me?, me?", when they see (for instance) that I am getting ready to go upstairs for something and they want to go with me. Yesterday I started telling them to say "I go?" instead of me. They repeated it over and over, as they are apt to do now days to learn.

After we put the boys in their cribs for the night, we normally rub their backs for a short time and talk softly to them, before we leave their room. Nick has started saying "back, back", anytime he wants us to rub his back...and also when he puts a book or toy back on the shelf, but that's another story. He also likes to rub his Ya Ya's back, which is cute. Last night they were taking turns lying on the floor on a little blanket and rubbing each other's back. It was very cute. They have now gotten to where they like having a small blanket in their crib when they go to sleep. They especially like it when we put Ya Ya and Bear under the blanket and they will say (Nick) "night night Ya Ya", (Ben) "night night Bear", over and over.

One of their favorite things to say now is "oatmeal?". They say it all the time. They used to say it more like "meetmo" but have recently learned to say it correctly. Their pronunciation is improving rapidly these days. They are using an open cup for all meals and snacks now and I think that is helping a lot. We have only had maybe three big spills, so they are doing pretty well with it. I found some really good, clear, plastic cups at the dollar store. We only use sippy cups for on-the-go drinking and also for water-between-meals drinking. I always leave two sippy cups of ice water on the kitchen counter for them so they can get it anytime they want. They actually drink it quite often too, which is great.

Yesterday evening, I left my glass of ice water on the table after dinner and Nick climbed into my chair and started drinking from it. He was excited to get to drink from a big person's glass, rather than the small cups they normally use. It is nice because we are now getting to a point where they know enough not to knock over a glass, if it is left sitting on an end table or something.

I think I forgot to mention that Ben is getting his 2 year molars in now...all four of them. Nick does not seem to be getting his yet, although I am sure we will start to see signs of them soon.

The boys can eat pretty much anything we eat now days so it is becoming almost impossible to hide our intake of any type of junk food from them (she says, sheepishly:). This is probably a good thing as I think we were allowing too much of it to seep into our home and we (I) need to cut back a bit. My two vices are potato chips and peanut M&M's. I have now reverted back to eating an apple for my mid-morning snack (I used to eat healthier than I have been lately).

We took a short drive yesterday, late afternoon, with the intention of going out for some groceries. There were so many traffic lights out, causing the traffic to back up considerably, that we changed our destination and headed to a closer grocery store. It was closed due to lack of power so we headed home but then ended up going to one that is even closer. It was open but was running on generators. They had put all of their meat away, probably in a cooler that ran on the generator. There was hardly any milk left and it was not very cold, so we did not buy it. We ended up buying a few things and then heading back home.

On our drive, we saw many tree limbs down and some trees split in half or completely fallen over due to the ice, even though we live further south of the really bad icing. We also noticed many neighborhoods very close to us where people are without power. We heard on the news last night that the power company spent yesterday trying to get power back up to the water treatment plant and the hospitals. We had been asked to conserve on water but I did not find this out until last night and had already done several loads of laundry and ran the dishwasher yesterday. Fortunately, we also heard this morning that they had the water treatment plant and hospitals back up and were going to start working on neighborhoods today. My husband's place of employment is still without power so he is home again today.

My mom, dad and two brothers' homes are still without power, although my dad and one of my brothers heat with propane so they still have heat. My mom's house does not have heat but she and my other brother, who lives with her, are staying there under lots of covers for now. My sister lives close to them so they can go to her house if they want but they have chosen to stay for now.

The temperature has warmed up a bit and it is raining today. I think the majority of the ice is suppose to melt pretty fast today so hopefully things will improve rapidly, although we have heard on the news that some people may be without power for at week. My dad's house was without power for two weeks during the bad ice storm last year. I think we were in Russia during that one but our house still had power. Those underground power lines are a good thing.

We took the boys outside for a short walk around yesterday morning. They enjoyed it and probably would have stayed out much longer, had we let them. Unfortunately, we don't have mittens that fit them and their little hands were wet and turning red quickly so we didn't stay out for very long, much to their dismay. They cried when we made them come inside. We are all getting a bit tired of being housebound for so long....but we are very very thankful that we have a warm house to be bound into:).

Gotta go, the munchkins are awake and chatting to each other:).

Monday, December 10, 2007

December 10, 2007 Part 2

Yep, we have ice...and lots of it. But we don't have nearly as much as the folks northeast of us have. At my mom's house, my dad's house, my sister's house and my two brothers' houses they do not have electricity. My mom said that they could hear the large branches on the trees cracking during the night and there are large branches down all over her yard. She said it looks like a war zone. So far, we don't have any branches down at our house, although the trees are really being pulled downward by all of that ice.

This is from a Japanese Maple tree that sits just outside of our living room window. Over the past week or so, I have been admiring the beautiful red leaves. They have a very unique, but still very pretty, look now. It is a beautiful tree. I am hoping that it is not damaged by all of the ice.

In other news, here are some pictures of the boys, doing some of the activities I have talked about recently: playing with colored water, moving it from one side of the dish to the other with sponges and medicine droppers and playing with buttons, sorting them into ice trays.

December 10, 2007

Ice ice everywhere! Everything is covered in ice and it is very pretty. Fortunately, we still have power, although there are around 80-some thousand without it in our city right now.

My husband recently left for work and just called to let me know how it was going. He said the streets were not very icy, most likely because the ground is still somewhat warmer than the air. The temp here is in the high 20's now. However, he is seeing many major intersections where the lights are either completely out or they are blinking red. Fortunately, there is not much traffic out.

We stayed in all day yesterday because it looked pretty bad. The boys and I will likely stay in all day today also. I might dress them up warmly and let them play outside for a little while. I think they would probably enjoy it, for a short time anyway. We'll see.

I have been spending a good deal of time on coming up with a more intentional plan for homeschooling preschoolers. I found a good website that has a free preschool curriculum and I am modifying it a bit. It includes introducing a number, shape/color, letter, vocab word and theme to the children each week. Each day of the week you introduce one new thing and it stays up on "My Learning Poster" for a week. So the poster has each of these things on it and you change out each one on a different day of the week.

I am keeping the number, shape, color and letter but am working on exchanging the theme and vocab word with a Bible verse and character trait. We cover vocab words and theme's in our everyday life and all the reading we do and I think the Bible verse and character trait is more important at this point. I have everything ready except the character trait and Bible verse part and I am working on gathering those. I have also been gathering some reading lists for preschoolers and I went to a local used bookstore on Saturday and bought some of the books. They didn't have as many of them as I had hoped they would but I did get four books for seven dollars, which was not bad. There are a couple of books that recommend good books that I want to get but they did not have them at this used store, which was not surprising. I will likely purchase those from Amazon and then keep checking back at the used bookstore for the children's books that I want.

Hopefully I will have everything that I need by the end of the year and can start a more intentional preschool approach in January. I plan on doing little bits here and there throughout the day and making it casual, fun and game-like and not so much sit down, school-like.

Yesterday I was playing a matching-card game with the boys and they really enjoyed it and did very well with it. They kept saying "again" every time we finished but then they would be less and less engaged with each game so we finally stopped, much to their dismay. That's a funny thing about two year olds, I guess. They don't want to stop doing something fun, even if they are no longer really interested in it or paying any attention to it.

Well, the husband just called again. He made it safely to work with no issues but there is no electricity there so he is now headed back home. His boss was there at the same time, discovering the same situation. He gets an A for effort but it will be nice to have him home again today.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

December 8, 2007

I need to start writing down the cute things the boys are saying again. There are more and more of them each day and they are so cute.

Ben's favorite thing to say now is "oooowwww". He says this all the time and with great feeling, even if he is not hurt. I even hear him saying it over the baby monitor, when he is trying to fall asleep in his crib.

Nick still talks all the time. I was in the laundry room, while the boys were having their snack, and I overheard Nick saying to Ben, "brother, big truck!, brother, big truck!". He had heard a big truck driving by and I wasn't in the room but he had to tell someone about it. Ben did not seem to acknowledge this news though.

I was kind of tired the other afternoon and, without thinking about it, I took a deep breath and let it out noticeably. Nick was sitting at the kitchen island, eating a snack and he immediately copied my deep breath. When I laughed, he had to do it a couple more times.

Other things they are saying lately are:

"milk please" and "more milk please"
"read please"
"very big truck!"
"Christmas tree!" (every time we see anything remotely resembling pine needles, including hanging decorations in stores)
"there!" (something I say at times, when I finish a task with them)
"now!" (also something I say at times, when I finish a task...they are quite the mimics)
If Nick is the one saying these things, every thing he says is preceded by "mommy?". He'll say "mommy?, there!" and then give me a big smile. So cute. He talks ALL the time....quite the chatter box.

A favorite book of our sons' is a large book containing multiple Golden Book classics. One story is about how Martha and Bobby help Mommy around the house. It has a picture of the two children, taking off their PJ's. When the boys see this, they say "uh oh" because I am always telling them not to take their PJ's off, since I don't want them to get cold during the night.

And, did I mention that I found a football, baseball (the soft, little kid kind) and a tractor stuffed into the back of the tree the other day? I don't know how they did that but I think they were throwing things at the tree at one point. Ben was hitting it with his hammer yesterday. There are just all kinds of things to do to a tree that are all good fun and fair game for two little two year old boys.
In other news, I went to the dentist yesterday morning, for the first time in two years (since we moved to Oklahoma). It has been many many years since I have missed a six month check up before this, so two years is a long time for me. I was really dreading it.

My appointment was for 9:00am. I thought, since it was an early appointment, that it would be pretty quick. My husband had planned to go to work late, so he could stay with the boys. He was planning to meet me at the dentist office and trade cars with me, so he could go straight on to work.

They finally called my name at around 9:30. They took me back to the teeth cleaning area and took XRays and then said "'wait here; it will be a few minutes". They finally started cleaning my teeth at around 9:50, finished at around 10:10 and the dentist finally came to check my teeth at around 10:30. He spent all of about 5 minutes and told me my teeth looked great, which was the good news of the day....and also that the teeth cleaner lady told me that I obviously took very good care of my teeth:). That was an answered prayer.

In the meantime, my husband was waiting in the waiting room with our sons. Fortunately they have a good section for kids, so the boys were happy. But my husband thought he would not even get the kids out of the car, that I would be finished and we would just trade cars, so he did not bring the diaper bag. Both of the boys had poopy diapers. The boys are not at a point yet where they really care about poopy diapers and they don't care to be interrupted in their play for a diaper change but I felt bad for the two other people in the waiting room.

Needless to say (although I will say it) I was not very happy with this dentist and was ready to walk out several times. I probably would have if it hadn't been for the inconvenience to my husband of rescheduling and him missing work again. It really gets me when dentists and doctors do this kind of thing. It's one thing if you have an afternoon appointment and they had an emergency during the day that made them fall behind. It's quite another thing when you are one of the earlier appointments of the day and it is obvious that this is just the way they do business.

The thing is that I really did like the dentist. He was a really nice, friendly guy. If it was just me being inconvenienced and I didn't have to worry about my husband and the boys, I would just plan to take a good book the next time and I would be quite happy, knowing what to expect. At least we will be more prepared for what to expect the next time, if we continue to go to this dentist.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

December 4, 2007

I have not been very into posting lately, for some reason. We are staying busy, as usual. We are in the (long) process of putting up our tree. We bought it on Saturday and the boys were very excited about the whole thing. We also put the lights on it that day but that was as far as we got. Yesterday I put some decorations on the top part of the tree, but that's as far as I got. I was planning to try to work on it today but have not gotten around to it yet. So, it is a slow process this year, for some reason:). It sure smells good though and it is a very pretty tree, so that's nice.

We have been running errands every day, so today is the first day we have actually stayed home all day in quite some time....although the day is not over yet and we may yet go out to run an errand this afternoon. Our Parents as Teachers lady came over today and played with some really nice puzzles with the boys. I enjoy visiting with her a lot and she always brings some handouts with great ideas and information. The boys enjoy her too, which is good, since that is why she comes:).

Yesterday we went to a teacher's supply store and it was incredible. I will definitely be a regular at that shop in the future. They had some great educational toys that you would not find at a regular toy store. I will be shopping for birthday and Christmas presents there in the future. It's great to find fun toys for kids that are also educational. They pretty much had all of the Melissa and Doug toys there too. We have bought quite a few of their toys so it's nice to know they are considered educational. I kind of thought they were but it was good to see them being sold at this type of store. The down side is that it is very hard to leave the store without spending a good deal of money, because everything looks great. And it's also difficult to decide on which things to spend your money. Other than that, it's great!

When we were getting ready to go out for our errands yesterday, I was tying my shoes and, without thinking about it, started to tie them into double bows:). I cracked up laughing and the boys were looking at me like I was crazy. I guess I have tied a lot of double bows in the past 11 months, and very happily so.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

December 1, 2007

So, we left the boys last night at the church where my MOPS group meets, as they were having a "kid's night out" from 6:30 to 9:30 so that parents could go Christmas shopping or just out to dinner or something. We went to dinner with some friends, who also left their two boys there.

We had all agreed that we wanted to get back as early as possible, since our children normally go to bed around 8:00. We didn't realize that we would have such a hard time finding a place to eat where we did not have to wait an hour to be seated, so that was an issue. It was very frustrating.

When we first moved here, we were surprised to find this out about our new little city....that if you want to go to a decent place for dinner on Friday or Saturday night, you will have to wait for an hour or more to be seated. My husband and I started going out earlier or, mostly (especially after the boys came home), quit going out altogether. We had kind of forgotten about this when we went to dinner last night. Even if we had remember it, we probably would not have thought it would be an issue, since we were having dinner in a neighboring, smaller city. Who would have guessed that they have the same issue that our city has?

We ended up waiting for 30 minutes at the third place that we tried. The first place had an hour wait; the second place had a 50 minute wait. By the time we waited the 30 minutes (closer to 40 probably), we might have been seated at one of the first two places. Oh well.

We ended up having a nice dinner and really enjoyed visiting with our friends. That was nice.

Unfortunately, it was just before 9:30 when we picked up the boys, which was not so nice. Actually, they seemed tired but, other than that, they were fine. They weren't crying or throwing fits or anything. We all went straight to bed when we got home (it was past my bedtime too:).

But today?! Today was another story altogether. I woke up just before 8:00am, which was nice. That's the first time I have slept past 4:45am in a while and it felt good and was much needed. The boys woke up around 8:30 and were little cranky pants from the moment they got out of their cribs. I took them to the grocery store and they did OK but, for the most part, they were whining and crying about something for the majority of the time they were awake this morning. We put them down early for their nap and they were both screaming and crying by then and did not even want us to rub backs or comfort them. Nick settled down quickly, after we left the room, but Ben continued to cry so we went back in to rub backs and talk softly and they both went to sleep quickly after that. I am hoping they take a very long nap and wake up in a better mood.

I definitely prefer the baby sitter method better, where she comes to our house to play with the boys and we go out for an early date and are home in time to play with them for a bit and then follow our normal routine to put them to bed that night. It was much easier for all of us.

I feel very bad when the boys have not had enough sleep because of a decision I have made and then they are in a horrible mood and are misbehaving much more than normal. I know if we stay on their routine and they get the sleep they need, they are much happier kids and I feel that it's really not fair to them when we do something like we did last night. I don't think we will be doing that again anytime soon.

In other news, I took the boys to the library for the first time on Friday. I made a big mistake though. I didn't spend enough time explaining to them how to behave in a library. Nick was bouncing off of the walls, acting more as if he were at the park part of the time. Both boys were pulling books out and looking at them for two seconds before pulling out more. It was not a good situation and we didn't stay long. It's really the first time I have taken them anywhere and felt they were somewhat out of control.  They are normally in a cart or their stroller when we are in stores so perhaps they were simply excited about their freedom in a new child-friendly place.. We will have to work on that.

We have tons of books at our house, many of which they have not even read yet. My sister kept a bunch of children's books from her two kids and gave them to us so we have not been lacking in the book department, thankfully. This is why we have not gone to the library before now. I may wait until the boys are closer to 2.5 years of age before trying it again. They change so quickly and understand so much more in just a few months, at this age.

We are planning to go buy our Christmas tree this afternoon, after the boys wake up. I am looking forward to putting up the tree with them. Although it will be more challenging, I want them to have the experience of getting to help decorate. I sure hope they are in a better mood by then though:).