Friday, May 6, 2011

Some Catching Up to Do

So much for trying to write on a weekly basis!  So much has gone on since my last little post in November. 

Let's see,  in November we went to Kalahari Indoor Waterpark with my parents, Debbie and Leonard, sister, Amy, her husband, Zach and my niece Riley.  It was quite an interesting adventure and probably would have been more fun if Connor wasn't getting sick that weekend (which we all got right after) and I got into it with another mother because I stopped her kid from plowing down mine on the toddler waterslides. Plus it was just so crowded it would have been better to go on weekday instead of a Saturday like we did.

Thanksgiving was nice, we had two because of work schedules and second families. One the weekend before and then dinner at Amy's on the actual holiday. We tried taking a family photo but Connor didn't want to cooperate. 

We had several Christmas events. Christmas parties, a breakfast with Santa whom the kids refused to see and gingerbread house making. That last one was pretty fun.  It was at our church Lakewood United Methodist.  The kids did pretty well sticking candies on the houses.

Making Ginderbread houses

The only photo with Santa we got this year

Christmas itself was very, very fun.  The kids got into the presents and they looked adorable all dressed up.  Connor was a speedy unwrapper, opening one and then ready for the next tearing of paper.  Chloe took her time and got interested in each gift as she opened it. They both did very well behavior-wise for the busy season.

All dressed up for Christmas Eve

New Year's we spent at home.  Connor and Chloe both stayed up to midnight and banged pots outside. They took an extra long nap and had a late dinner so they could stay up.  That day it had been unseasonably warm (like almost 70) and we had gone to the park and played outside. Cleveland is like that because the week after that I took them outside to play in the snow!

New Year's Eve Day

A week later

In February another girl cousin was born, Adeline Kennedy.

March 3rd was Connor and Chloe's second birthday! I can hardly believe they are growing so fast! On their birthday the four of us went to Chuck E Cheese and had pizza for lunch and played games.  With their tickets they got a little Princess Aurora and a Buzz Lightyear figures which they actually really loved.  That weekend we went to Amazone, and indoor playground for their party.  Chloe got her first Barbies to play with and Connor a wooden train set and everyone chipped in for giftcards to get them a swingset which they also love!



New swingset

The week of their birthday, Connor figured out how to climb into Chloe's crib so it didn't take long for Chloe to figure out how to get into Connor's.  So we had to convert their cribs into daybeds with rails on them.  The first few weeks were tough with naps especially, but I think now we've gotten back into our routine.  Plus the more playing outside does help make them more tired for naps!

Now the yucky season is finally breaking away into spring.  We were lucky to only have some colds and no major illnesses this year.  Our big thing was dealing with Connor's weight gain, or lack thereof.  We had visited the GI doctor a few times, and also the cardo doctor to see if there was an underlying problem that was keeping Connor from gaining weight, but healthwise everything is fine, he's just built like his Daddy was, skinny, and likes to refuse to eat at times. (I think mostly because he can.)

We've also got lots more baby cousins on the way!  Three more are coming.  One is due soon in May, another is due the beginning of August and one in November! The Smith/Morris family sure is growing!

The big thing for me now is those "terrible twos" which I am trying to deal with as well as I can. But I think I'll save that rant for another post! I'm just hoping with the weather turning nicer that we can get out more and that will help everyone breath easier and be happier! 

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I have to admit I was a little pumped for Halloween this year.  Last year Connor and Chloe did dress up, and looked cute as could be but they were barely sitting up on their own.  This year they are walking and talking and able to do so much more.

Last year

At first I thought I might not get a fun Halloween.  Back in September I went to TJ Maxx to look at costumes.  $20 for warm, great-looking costumes was an awesome deal.  I was planning on having Connor be a lion and Chloe a monkey since they loved making the noises and acting like the animals.  I pick up the lion costume and show it to Connor and he grabs it right away and roars.  Chloe, however, wanted nothing to do with it.  She kept telling me "no" when I asked her if she wanted to be a monkey or try it on.  I couldn't even get it on her, really, to see if it fit.  Connor, however, loved his costume.

In the store

So I went back to the rack and looked at other ideas.  Finally, we settled on a duck costume, because she was less scared of it, and I told her it was like Ming-Ming from the Wonder Pets. But later I tried to get her to wear it at home, and she flipped out.  I even had Connor (the good sport he is) try it on to show her there was nothing to afraid of. No go that night.

Connor in the duck costume

A week or so later, Brian and my mother-in-law were able to get her in it, so I kept my fingers crossed that all would be well come Halloween. I figured we'd keep getting it out so she could play with it and get used to it.

A duck for Halloween

My mother-in-law made them little capes and a hat for Chloe to be Ming-Ming. (Connor was a guest Wonder Pet, as the three pets are a guinea pig, a turtle and a duckling.) And after all that hesitation, Chloe ended up loving her costume!  They wore it to Brian's work party on Friday, Saturday for Boo At the Zoo and Sunday morning for pictures and Sunday night for trick or treat.  And then they wore them a bit on Monday morning when they saw me move them.

They really worked it at Brian's work. Then my mother-in-law and me made their wagon into the Flyboat which was a big hit at Boo at the Zoo.  They colored their own little pumpkins that they picked from the pumpkin patch earlier in October. And they really understood the concept of trick or treating from being with their older cousins, although Connor was less enthusiastic after a few houses.

Chloe as Ming-Ming


The Wondet Pets

In Flyboat
At Daddy's(Brian) work


Before trick or treating

So it turned out to be a great Halloween!  I can't believe it's already over and Christmas is fast approaching already!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Amazing Connor and Chloe...

It's really amazing to watch children as they grow.  And it happens so fast! When I watch Connor and Chloe play now and then think back at what they were doing this time last year, it really boggles my mind.

This time last year, they weren't even eight months old yet and had just begun sitting up and crawling.  They held and shook and sometimes threw toys, and I was excited that they could hold their own bottles for a short while. They made sounds that resembled "Ma" and "Da" and definitely had begun to recognize who we were if asked by turning to look at us.  They had chubby baby cheeks and Chloe had almost no hair still as Connor's was getting long and messy. They were still babies, even thought they were learning new things every day.

Fast forward to today.  They are running (not just walking) through the front yard. They play with cars (with noises too!), and their Little People.  Name an animal and they will make the sound. The new words coming out of their mouths are endless especially with Chloe. (So we better be careful about what we say around them!)  They put the shaped puzzles together with no trouble.  They sit and look at books like they are really reading them and watch "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" and "Wonder Pets" with real interest.  They eat what we eat, know the signs for "more", "please", "thank you" and "milk" (and say most of those words aloud too), and sometimes help clean up.

It just amazes me how much they are learning, how well they are doing and also how different they are. Not only can you totally tell that Connor is definitely a boy and Chloe is a girl by the way they act (totally self-learned, we never intentionally treated them differently), but how different their personalities are too.  Chloe likes to play with dolls.  She watches what I do with Valerie, my three month old niece, and she copies a lot of my actions.  Connor plays with the dolls and stuffed animals sometimes, too, but not nearly as much or as well as Chloe does. Connor likes his cars.  He also likes pushing/pulling things around the house or yard.  Chloe does this too, but again, not nearly as much as Connor.  Chloe says so many different words I've lost count and she says alot of them really well.  She even pronounces the "k' in words like "book", "milk", "Mickey", and "Monkey".  Show her a picture and she can name all our relatives.  Connor will recognize everyone, but only says "mama" and "dada" and occasionally "sis" for names.  He's been trying though.

Connor is a really good helper.  Ask him to get something in the other room and as long as he can find it, he will.  He's the first one to help pick up books and put them back on the shelf and will take toys back into his playroom to be put away.  Chloe sometimes needs more coaxing. Connor, at least right now, is a better listener than Chloe about most things.  I'm pretty sure she understands what I'm saying and is just ignoring me sometimes, which will make for interesting teenage years. (Yikes!) Although Chloe is much more outgoing.  She is a social butterfly and has no problem joining in playgroups.  Connor will play, too, but needs to warm up.  A few months again, there was a big difference where Connor refused to leave our sides in big groups, even with kids he knew. But he's gotten better with that as he's gotten older.

Chloe, although more social, seems to get more scared of things, such as costumed characters and big animals, while Connor is braver.  Last year Connor sat on Santa's lap like he was is best bud, while Chloe freaked out. But then neither would sit on Easter Bunny's lap this year even after standing in line watching other kids do it. I just wonder if we'll get a Santa picture this year.

They have their similiarites, too. They both love baths.  Mention the word and they are two excited monkeys rushing for the bathroom. They are both really good sleepers, which I am thankful for everytime I read twin board posts.  They understand when it's naptime and will crawl up the stairs, even if Chloe sometimes needs a little push to move faster, and understand when it's time to go to bed at night. They only wake rarely at night, sometimes just with a nighmare I think, or if one's a little congested they might have a harder night, but usually it's only one or two nights a week, if even that.

They also play together more now, chase and wrestling are new favorites right now.  But they will play contently in the same room doing different things. Admitedly, they fight over toys, get jealous over me (a lot more when Valerie is over, I've noticed) and hit and push each other sometimes, but just like any siblings would do. But they definitely play better with other kids then an only child their age would.  

I am glad they have their differences, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  Most of what I've read about twins emphasizes that you should encourage their individuality.  I think I have it a bit easier since they are boy and girl, but at least they have a head start on it already. And I will continue to encourage it, just as I will encourage how much they are learning and growing everyday.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Blustery Day on Forest Ave.

Having toddlers usually means a lot of bumps, bruises, scratches and scrapes. But it is still amazing the sorts of accidents that can happen. 

Last Friday it was very nice but very windy while the three of us played in the backyard.  Connor would stand in the driveway and go "whoa, whoa, whoa!" when a big gust blew past him.  Their toy car and shopping carts would roll on their own.

In the backyard we have a makeshift swing set. Just an A-frame with a canopy on top and two toddler swings attached.

Connor was walking past the swings drinking his juice when a big gust of wind came along and blew the swing set over.  He was literally lifted up in the air and thrown back.  Whether it was the wind, the swing set or both I'll never know.  It was like a cartoon or movie when someone is thrown back from a blast or something!

At this time I was actually walking towards the back to give Chloe, (who was by the house or boat), her juice. But it happened so fast I couldn't get over there until after Connor and the swings were both on the ground.  Connor came up with a bloody lip--he had bit through his lip pretty good.  I hugged him and said a few times, "I know that was scary, but you're all right."  I think I may have been saying it for myself just as much as for him!  Luckily all he had was the busted lip, although at first I thought it would never stop bleeding! I even called my Dad to see if I should take him to the ER, but I gave him a popsicle and it slowed down until it finally stopped.  He had calmed down (by the time the popsicle came, of course!) and soon we went in and ate lunch and took a good nap.

For a few days he's had a fat lip, and it's getting better now. I'm very thankful that's all he got out of it, but I don't think I'll ever get the image out of my head of him flying back through the air!

...At least until the next accident happens!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Then and Now

So five years ago if you would have told me I'd be a stay-at-home mom with two toddlers, I would had said No Way! At 30 I was still dead set against having children of my own.  I swore they weren't for me.  I was sure I wasn't going to change my mind and was afraid my husband would leave me to find someone who would have his children.  He told me over and over again that wasn't true.  He was waiting for me to change my mind.  Good thing he did!

I used to joke and say my biological clock was broken because I never got the "oh I want a baby" urge.  In fact, even though I am the eldest of three sisters, and used to babysit, I was pretty uncomfortable around kids at that time.  (I think it was the overwhelming feeling that everyone was going to be pressuring me to have one next.) Anyway, I guess it was broken and then fixed itself, because late March 2007 I suddenly wanted to have a baby.

I had been having a rough time emotionally.  My one sister just had a baby boy in December and my other sister was pregnant with my soon-to-be niece.  I thought I was going to begin feeling pressure from my in-laws soon about my own family plans.  But then I realized that I was missing something.  And that something was a family of my own. 

It was an email picture that my mom sent me at work that actually triggered it. She sent a picture of a baby with a big smile and wrote something like "doesn't this look like Ben(my new nephew)"?  I wrote back thinking it was my sister but in fact it was a picture of me.  Something snapped and the gears starting rolling.  If I don't have any kids, I won't get to have that.  The cute pics, the smiles, etc.

So I went home with a full head and did the only thing I could do.  I made a pro and con list.  Then when my husband came home I told him what I wanted.  Of course he was thrilled!  Later when I worried that I was just succumbing to peer pressure, he reassured me that he could definitely see it in my eyes that it was what I truly wanted.

So I did the good pre-mother thing and went to the doctor for check-ups and then we started "trying." I figured I'd go off my pills and in three to five months we'd get pregnant.

Well, a year later and nothing.  I went back to my OB and we started some simple tests.  I stopped taking vitamin C (too acidic) and started taking Robitussin of all things.  After a few months of that and still nothing we did a low dose of Clomid for one month and then, in July 2008, it happened!

Now, all this time, we never told anyone we were trying.  I swore my husband to secrecy, although I think he broke his promise, but since it took so long, the surprise factor still worked.  And what a surprise it was!

Needless to say, everyone was thrilled.  Although it was the third grandchild on my side, it was the first biological one on my husband's.  Everyone hummed with excitement, including me!

I had a pretty easy time, to be truthful.  I was lucky and didn't get any sickness, although I lost a little weight in the beginning, but I was being very careful about what I was eating so I wouldn't get sick.  My first few appointments went well, although she said I was measuring a bit bigger, she only found one heartbeat.  So I didn't have an ultrasound until Nov 3 when I was 19 weeks along.

Several different people told me it was twins.  So I guess it wasn't as big as a surprise as it would have been when the tech told us.  Twins!  A boy and a girl!


Fast forward a few more months and on Tuesday, March 3, 2009, Chloe and Connor were born at 36 weeks.  A little small but no NICU time and we all went home at the end of the week. Since then it's been a fun ride.  I decided not to go back to work and recently just begun watching my newborn niece a few days a week.

                                                 First born

A few weeks ago

Not only did I change my mind to have a baby, but got lucky with two!  And recently I've been itching for another (which could possibly be twins--again!).

Now that I've got all that out, I can start writing this blog about my adventures as a stay-at-home mom of twin toddlers.  The last year and half has been very busy, and it still is busy, but I'm going to try to make time to write at least a few times a week. 

So sit back, and enjoy the ride with me!