Monday, July 27, 2009

Giggles 'n' grooves

Here are some videos from the last few days that will hopefully make everyone smile!


While Brett is a pretty happy go lucky boy it is rare to hear him actually laugh. He often will open his mouth as if to laugh but no sound comes out (and he looks like a Muppet). His speech therapist says it is likely because of a lack of core strength and that he can't push the air out of his diaphragm like we can to make a laughing sound - but in the last week we captured these videos (the strangest things make him laugh but we'll do just about anything to hear it!).

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The video below is a Wednesday "caught on tape." Auntie Kerry and Auntie Nancy hang with the boys while Tate and I are at work. Apparently this game is hilarious! Of course when they throw things down the stairs when I'm home I just say - all gone. I guess that's why aunties are so much fun! (Peyton in dark blue Jackson in light blue)

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The next is Grammy goofing with her shoes with Jackson (in green) and Peyton

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Lastly this is Jackson (in red) and Peyton having a dance party with Auntie Kerry, Auntie Nancy and Grammy

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

First official overnight

On Monday night Brett, Jackson & Peyton had their first official sleepover at Grandma and Granddad's - without me and Tate. I have to admit I felt a mix of sadness and excitement when I pulled out of their driveway alone Monday afternoon. I spent the afternoon helping Kerry and Nancy pack a van to bring to US Cellular Field for a big tailgate fundraiser to raise money for Prostate Cancer Foundation (a college friend of Nancy's lost her father to the illness last year). After work Tate met us there and we watched the Sox narrowly beat the Devil Rays and then had the first uninterupted night sleep in a long time. Brett still doesn't regularly sleep through the night but, of course that wasn't the case at Grandma and Granddads - he slept from 7 p.m. to almost 5:30 a.m.!!!

Grandma reported everyone behaved well and slept well and they were all happy as could be when I went to get them the next day.
So, although my philosophy is typically What Happens At Grandma and Granddads stays at Grandma and Granddads - they were nice enough to share some photos so we could document their first sleepover. Here's a peek at their fun:

Thank you Grandma, Granddad and Auntie Rhonda!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Brett Day

On days when I have help I try to take one of the boys at a time with me on errands. Nothing exciting except they LOVE it. They love to go new places and we all enjoy the one-on-one time. So Brett had a doctor's appointment Friday (yes I'm a bit behind on my blogging). It was an appointment Tate and I both wanted to be at so Grandma and Granddad took Jackson and Peyton for the day and from after breakfast until dinner time it was Brett Day. While I wish it didn't have to include a doctor's appointment he didn't seem to mind - after all he had Mommy AND Daddy all to himself and he loved the attention.

After the appointment we went to the lunch buffet at Home Run Inn Pizza. I offered Brett some garlic bread and some cheese pizza and this is the reaction I got:
Obviously he doesn't take after his mom - I could make pizza and garlic its own food group!
The three of us spent time playing - there was no one to swipe the toys from Brett - which was kind of nice, but also made us all miss his brothers.
Afterward we ran to the store to buy a little friend a birthday gift and by the time we got home Brett (and apparently Tate) were wiped out.
This was the perfect end to Brett day!

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Boys and their books

Since Brett takes a little longer to eat Jackson and Peyton are usually in the playroom while I finish with Brett in the kitchen. Every once in awhile it gets really quiet and I think - 'Oh gosh what are they into now?' and have to pop up and check. But lately every time I've checked they each have a book in front of them and are "reading".

Here's a photo I snuck of them the last time they were doing this:

For a book lover like me I cannot tell you how happy I get when I see this. I love to read. It has always been one of my favorite things to do. When I was told I would be on bed rest with the boys I was searching for a bright side and realized I would have endless hours to read. Awesome right? Well it didn't exactly work out that way. For some reason I didn't have the focus to get into a book. I had stacks next to my bed. Some things I'd been meaning to get to, books lent to me by Tate's aunt in Tennessee and passed along by my Mom. Every now and then I would crack one open but was never able to get past a first chapter. So that was a bummer. But instead I read lots of magazines and books about pregnancy and parenting - mostly little snippets here and there. Most of the time I would read them out loud. I hoped the boys would enjoy reading and wanted to give them a heads start! I know they are still young, but they LOVE their books. We have one shelf in the playroom at their level so they can pull down what they want to read or just pull them all down (about 1,000 times a day). But many times throughout the day one of them will bring me a book and sit on my lap and turn the pages and point to pictures. Brett loves books, especially the touch and feel kind that have things like hair on the lion's mane for him to touch. Peyton is recently into a couple I Spy books where there are objects you have to find and Jackson favors a little board book called Mighty Movers that has all kinds of vehicles pictured and labeled inside. They all love their Big Truck Book, several animal books and a cute book called That's Not My Dinosaur!
We've read Good Night Moon to them as part of their bedtime routine since they were a few months old and while Tate and I are a little tired of it and can recite it without looking - the boys love it and Peyton will take the book and turn the pages and can say words from many of the pages - moon, cow, kitten, bears. I know it is awhile until they are actually reading, but I hope this continues. Of course I worry one of these times it will be really quiet and I'll just think to myself - 'They're probably just reading' - and later find them into something I never could have imagined!
Here are some more photos of them reading:
Peyton shows Jackson the I Spy
Daddy reading to Peyton, Brett & Jackson

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Toddler time

This Friday afternoon we had a play date with our cousins - Caroline and Sophie! We get together as a larger family fairly often, but this time it was just me, my sister Amy, her husband Jackie and the children. Amy has been very good about bringing the girls to visit since they live more than an hour away and this was our first non occasion visit to their house. Caroline is 2 1/2 and Sophie is 18 months and the boys are now 14 months. When the boys were born the age difference seemed huge. Caroline was walking and talking and Sophie was sitting up and our little guys were so tiny. But now the gap seems so much smaller. With 4 out of the 5 walking and everybody doing some talking it is so fun to see them interact!

The boys and I had a blast. Here are some photos from our visit.
Auntie Amy feeds Brett with help from Caroline (holding bottle) and Sophie (Peyton is supervising in the background)
Brett and Sophie playing together
Caroline, nostalgic for her baby days, wanted a turn in the saucer - Peyton thought that was so funny! He also enjoyed batting at her adorable pony tails.
Sophie makes sure everyone is ready for our walk. With a triple stroller full of boys and a double with two girls we got a lot of attention!
Jackson loves to sit in chairs and this seemed to be a big hit a miniature version of an overstuffed chair - he must have climbed in and out a dozen times!
Uncle Jackie played the piano for Brett - he LOVES music and the piano calmed him so much! I said maybe we need a piano, but then realized we would need a player too!
Before we hit the road Uncle Jackie got out his guitar and sang some favorites. Peyton wasn't too sure about the guitar and crawled down a few seconds later but enjoyed listening and clapping from the floor.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fourth of July Flashback

While much of their first few months of the boys' life is a real blur to me, for some reason, July 4, 2008 is a pretty vivid memory. I remember trying to get pictures of the boys and only Jackson would stay awake. I remember David and Maureen holding the boys for a feeding and being so nervous they were doing it wrong! And I remember that Aunt Peggi and Tate's mom (aka Grandma) took over all the overnight feedings so Tate and I could enjoy the fireworks and get a good night's sleep!

This year we toyed with the idea of bringing the boys to the fireworks, but by 7:30 p.m. they were pretty much done (bed time is 7). So they didn't make it this year. They enjoyed seeing everyone at our BBQ and although it rained all day long it stopped in time to cook out and enjoy the fireworks!
Here are pictures or their first Fourth and this year - amazing how quickly they change!
Brett
Jackson
Peyton

Friday, July 3, 2009

Taking it to a whole new level

We are officially and confidently 2/3 walking and boy does it change things! Suddenly they are able to pull things off the kitchen table, counters, reach the top of the stove not to mention how fast they are!

Jackson and Peyton were taking about 3 or 4 cautious steps at a time around the week of June 8 then, all of a sudden, they just decided to get up and start walking June 20. Peyton started and by the end of that day Jackson was doing the same. I waited to post until I got some video and they were a little steadier on their feet. Now they are almost running. They carry things around while walking and - as you'll see - always head in two different directions!
(Jackson in blue, Peyton in green)

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Brett is also doing well and his independent sitting continues to improve. Below is some video of him sitting and playing with a toy - by himself! This is huge for Brett and is the result of a lot of hard work on his part, the part of his therapists and loving family members who continue to work with and encourage him. Yes, he is chewing the toy - he is also teething - but it shows how much better his balance and strength are getting. Stay tuned, I plan to do a post about Brett and his therapy in the next couple of weeks!
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