Thursday, September 17, 2015

17 Month Update

First of all, how is it already September?  My last post was in July!  The summer flew by, and while I'm at it, this whole year is flying by.  My babies are growing into little boys--I need to keep up on here!  I will try to post on the summer, but for now, I need to update on the boys and their growth and development.

I didn't think I would continue updates on the boys after 1 year, but I realized that I'll want to look back in the future and see what the boys were up to at different points of development.  Let me tell you... so much has changed even in the past 5 months since their birthday!

Weight = 22 lbs 9 oz 
Height = 31 ins

The biggest update for Benji is that he has finally learned how to walk around 15 months!  It took him longer than Zachary to get the walking thing down, but now he's just like any other toddler, toddling around.  At first he walked around for several weeks with his hands out like Frankenstein, and he had a lot more head bumps and forehead slams...but now he's a pro.

One day in July or August, I gave the boys each a kitchen tool to play with and to entertain them while I was baking or cooking, and all of a sudden, Benji's whisk was a golf club.  He hasn't looked back.  It's golf all day, everyday.  Anything can be a club and anything can be a ball, but his club of choice is either that original whisk or one of Daddy's real clubs.  Seriously.  He is honestly so good for being 16 (almost 17) months old.  We ended up getting both boys a kid set of clubs (and so did my mom for her house), and they both have tons of fun hitting balls around the house, outside, and on the driving range.  Benji has very good hand-eye coordination and will be very precise about where he places the ball and how he hits it.  We're really enjoying this new passion of his!  (More on what Zachary likes below.)

We describe Benji's personality as "jolly".  He is generally pretty happy and easily pleased.  That is not to say that we haven't started to see a non-jolly side come out at times...  He is still pretty focused on what he wants, and if someone takes a toy or is using a toy that he has his mind set on or is in his way, he can raise a stink!  He is having trouble with hitting when he is upset, so we are working on that :(  But overall, he is very smiley, friendly, and happy.  He is still a daddy's boy and loves it when Andy gets home.  The reason why he has learned golf is because he watches Andy putt in our backyard and also enjoys watching golf on tv with Andy.

Benji talks a lot, but not as much as his brother.  He often goes off on long tangents, and he sounds like he's speaking Arabic!  Haha.  Lots of throat and guttural sounds.  As far as real words, he says:

mama, dada, daddy, baby, ball, golf club, golf ball, happy, uh oh, hi, bye, pee pee, poo poo, apple, wawa (water), outside, shoe, pop (popsicle), cheese

Weight = 22 lbs
Height = 30.5 ins

Oh boy, this boy is all boy!  He is the stereotypical little boy--running around, yelling, gets dirty, throws things, eats sand, eats rocks, eats dirt...  :)  Oh, Zachy.  He absolutely loves to be on the go--but he prefers to do it on his own two feet (not in the car or in the stroller or in the shopping cart).  His favorite thing to do is go outside and be free.  He is the main reason we hit up the neighborhood playground almost daily.  Although he doesn't prefer to be in the carseat or stroller, etc, he is still usually good about staying in until it's time to get out.  When we go outside in the backyard to play, Benji is golfing and Zachary is finding dirt and sticks.  I just love it.  I don't like things to get dirty, but I just love to watch him play.  He drives me crazy sometimes when he eats dirt and/or sand and/or cigarette butts, but he is a little boy and learning.  He has started to run, too.  He's just on the move!

He has a sweet side, too.  He is my little Mama's Boy.  Sometimes he comes up behind me and hugs my legs.  When I leave the room, unless he is seriously preoccupied, he will protest my absence loudly.  He is such a good sharer.  He loves to find things that Benji likes or things that belong to Andy and bring it to them.  When Benji takes a toy from him, Zachary usually brushes it off and finds something else.  He is also a big goofball and loves to laugh.  He has a big gap in his front teeth and does this big goofy smile when he's trying to be funny.  Zachy also likes to dance.  We often play the Kids & Family iTunes radio station, and he is the one doing a jig... his signature move is a combo between the running man and a booty shake.  Too cute.  He is also very good at following simple commands.

When it comes to his golf game, Zachary is more into picking the balls up and throwing them.  Whenever he throws a ball, he yells, "ball!"  And the club?  It's more like a bat to Zachy.  Hehe.

Words he says:  mama, dada, daddy, happy, ball, golf ball, golf club, apple, baby, hi, bye, buh bye, head, wow, whoa, peepee, poopoo, car, mine, my, more, wawa (water), outside, shoe, pop (popsicle), cheese

They are good eaters, though they don't eat a ton.  It's hit or miss with meats, but overall I feel they have a well-rounded diet.  They still love berries, bananas, and cheese.  We do PB&J every once in awhile, more on Sundays, and they enjoy that.  A new love is raisins.  Zachary loved my beef enchiladas last week!  Avacados are a hit.  Scrambled eggs are almost every morning.  We LOVE yogurt.  They have also started eating cereal sometimes.  I let it soak in the milk for several minutes so it's soft.  They've only had Honey Bunches of Oats so far, and they enjoyed it.

7:15 - wake up, drink some milk (Benji takes 6 oz, Zachary will take 2-3...he doesn't drink very much milk)
7:30ish - breakfast
8 - playtime at home or walk to the playground
9-10:30 - usually when we run errands or do a fun outing like storytime at the library, splashpad, or meet up with a friend.  If not, then we watch BabyFirst TV and play at home.
11/11:30 - lunchtime
11:45/12 - naptime
2-3 wake up and have a snack
5:30 - Dinner
6 - Dancetime and familytime
7:15/30 - Bedtime routine

Something new we've added to our daily routine-- brushing our teeth at night!  It's been a struggle, but they're getting better at letting us actually brush them.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

13 Month Photo Shoot

All the way at the beginning of June (this summer is flying by!), our friends Matt and Cassie and their little almost-two-year-old girl Sammy visited.  We had so much fun having another family in our home!  Matt is Andy's childhood best friend.  They actually moved to Boston the summer we moved to Tempe... ironic.  Cassie is an amazingly talented family photographer in Boston, and she graciously did a photo sesh for us before they left.  I am just thrilled by how these pictures turned out.  I love the way she edits them and brings the light in so bright and soft.  The boys were overall pretty happy.  Zachary had just started picking up the pace with his walking, so she captured some of his busyness in the photos.
Thank you, Cassie!!




Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Day in the Life

Well, I have two 13-month olds now!  Time is flying by.  The boys are becoming more vocal and mobile.  They both say "Mama" and "Dada/Daddy".  Both have said "Hi" a few times.  Benji has said "Happy" and "Puppy" (I think).  Zachary is walking 6 or 7 steps at a time and getting better day by day. Benji is now standing on his own.

Our days are tons of fun... as well as a lot of work!  We're at the point now that we need an outing everyday or they go a little stir-crazy.  Just going into our backyard on the swings isn't enough anymore!  We're heading into the summer now, any everyday I'm anticipating the scorching heat that comes with Arizona summers, but it has been pleasantly mild and even, dare-I-say, cool!  So the weather has been a life-saver as we can still visit parks without it getting too hot.

I always love reading day in the life posts from other moms, so I'm going to write about a typical day of ours.  I'll be glad to look back on it, too.  This is a day that goes off without a hitch ;)

5:00 am My alarm goes off.  I snooze until about 5:20.  (I know, bad)
5:25 am Let Penny out to go potty (oh, we have a puppy...) and get her situated and occupied
5:30-45 am Make coffee and get set up for my quiet time
6:30 am Start to hear laughing or talking and sometimes crying
7:00 am Get the boys up!  One of my favorite times of the day.  We sing "Good Morning" from Singing in the Rain and "Rise and shine, and give God the glory! glory!"  fun times
7:15 am Sippy cups of milk and play a little bit
7:15/20 am Breakfast!  fruit, toaster waffle and jam or syrup, turkey sausage, and yogurt are all options
7:30 am Play time in the living room and get dressed
8:00 am We go for a walk in the wagon around the neighborhood and usually end up at the park in the swings!
9:00 am Naptime
10:30/11 am Wake up and have water (sometimes a sippy of milk) and a little snack and play or run errands
12/12:15 pm Lunchtime!
12:30-2 pm More errands or an outing to the park or Marmee's house
2:00 pm Naptime
3:30 pm Wake up and have water and a little snack (yogurt or applesauce or puffs)
3:30-5 pm Playtime
5:00 pm Dinner time!
6:30 pm Sippy cup of milk, get in pj's
7:00 pm Bedtime stories, sometimes a dance party :)  then bedtime!
7:00 pm onward Andy and I clean up, make/have dinner, relax, and go to bed by 9

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Twins' First Birthday Party

These little guys, and Benji and Zachy's love for them, 
were the inspiration for their animal-themed birthday party!


We invited all of our "party animal" friends using this template we bought from an Etsy seller:

Our invitations encouraged kids to come in animal costume, and let me tell you--every single one did!  Even the 2 newborn babies we had!  There were a bunny, a frog, 2 leopards, a giraffe, a penguin, 3 lions, a turtle, a kitty, and a fox sighted that day.  Our buddies were the zoo keepers, keeping all the animals in line!  

Poor Zachary got his first gastro stomach bug on the boys' actual birthday, and Benji had a cold, so they weren't as perky and happy as they usually are, but we had such a fun day.  I spent hours planning and preparing the decor and food, and overall it was a really wonderful party.  I just felt overwhelmed with gratitude and awe that we have two one year olds to celebrate.  There were probably 30 people there... my family was in town and all of our close friends who could make it were there.  So many people came around us to pray and believe for these little guys to come into our lives, so we wanted to invite everyone to celebrate with us this great milestone!  Here are some pictures from the day... I delegate pics to my friend Courtney because my iPhone was too full!  She did a great job.


I made these little burlap banners for their highchairs.  The streamers in the background were meant to be a streamer wall but there was too much of a breeze and they wouldn't stay put!  Thanks, Auntie, for hanging them up :)

 Me and my red-cheeked one year old!

You can't really see these signs, but I wrote out info about each boy... what he likes, what he can say and do, what makes him happy, and their stats.  The middle poster are a bunch of pictures formed into a "1".  Benji still loves to look at it during mealtimes.  So cute.


John Wesley, the turtle!


The water table was a hit!

There were plenty of my funfetti and chocolate cupcakes for the crowd. 

One of my favorite parts of the party was when my friend Shalyn, a music therapist, played a few animal songs for the kids!  I wanted music time as an activity, and it was a hit!

Did I mention how fun it was to have Auntie there??

Now, onto the cake smash!
I made a healthy-ish cake for the boys.  It was more like a whole wheat banana bread cake with very lightly sweetened cream cheese frosting.  They honestly had never had anything sweet, so I didn't want to hit them with a whole cake full of sugar!
Benji's cake had fondant elephant ears on it, and Zachary's cake had fondant bear ears.  The idea was to make them look like animal heads.  

You can tell with these photos that Benji is a much cleaner eater than Zachary... which is the case during most mealtimes, as well.  

That's a wrap!