One year ago today, after 95 days in the NICU, we took Charlie home! I still remember walking out of the NICU and all the nurses standing behind the desk and waving to us. (Of course, Joe and I were back the next day to visit Lily, but Charlie had been sprung!) So we're declaring today Charlie Day! Right now he's celebrating by pulling all the toys out of his toy bucket and throwing them at his sister - sounds like a party, right?
Saying goodbye to two of his favorite nurses, Sue and Mary.
On Sunday, Joe and I took Charlie and Lily to pick their first pumpkins. We chose a popular local orchard to visit and had a great time!
Look at all those pumpkins! Lily carefully examined all of the already-picked pumpkins to see if one would suit her needs. Charlie thought they all looked good!Charlie was so happy the entire trip, and spent a lot of time grinning and waving at people as we pulled him and Lily in their wagon. He especially liked when one of the hay rides drove past and he could wave at all the riders. At the pumpkin patch, each baby chose a pumpkin to pick. Charlie liked this one best.
Lily got some help from Daddy locating the perfect one.
Everyone was happy with their selections!
We didn't make it over to the apple picking orchard, but the main farm had a little grove of apple trees that we checked out.
Lily deemed the apples delicious.
The orchard is famous around here for their apple cider donuts, so we couldn't leave without picking some up. It was a tasty end to the day!
(I warned you all last month that our nice, posed monthly pictures had come to an end. Please see proof above.) Charlie and Lily turned 15 months old today, and celebrated with a trip to the pediatrician for a check-up and some shots. They did great and are growing so fast! Charlie weighed in at 21 lbs 8 oz and is 29 1/2" long, and Lily tipped the scales at 21 lbs 12 oz and is also 29 1/2" long. We are SO happy with their progress! Happy 15 months!
This week Charlie and Lily learned about the letters A and B. I decided to alternate theme weeks with weeks that focus on the alphabet, so we kicked it off at the beginning with A and B. We read "Annie Ant Don't Cry" and "Busy Little Bee" and sang "Apples and Bananas."
For this week's art project, Charlie and Lily made apple prints. I sliced an apple in half and dipped each half in paint, then Charlie and Lily helped me press the apples onto paper to make their prints.
Since Charlie and Lily love balls, I knew we'd need to focus on them a bit for the letter B. My friend Colleen gave the babies a tent and tunnel that came with 100 balls for their birthday. I haven't set the tent up yet, but I grabbed the balls to use this week. I started by bringing their water table inside and filling it with balls, but they weren't all too excited by that. So I dumped all the balls in the pack n' play and put Charlie and Lily inside for a makeshift ball pit. That was a much bigger success.
We learned a bit about apples - the babies examined apples before tasting them.
Lily couldn't even wait for me to slice it. Since he still has no teeth, Charlie settled for sucking on his apple slice. And finally - balloons! This afternoon Joe blew up a bunch of balloons for Charlie and Lily to play with. It was a fun ending to "A and B Week!"
Anyone who knows me or who is a regular reader of this blog knows that since giving birth to my micro-preemies, I've become a hard-core germaphobe. Hand sanitizer is my best friend, and I carry Clorox wipes with me everywhere. And I do NOT like people touching Charlie and Lily. Even our immediate family and closest friends know there is a "hands off" policy until they've washed their hands and used hand sanitizer. As for strangers, I really hate nothing more than people I've never met trying to touch my babies. While I have no problem pulling the stroller away and saying, "Please don't touch them" when someone reaches down, I prefer to be able to avoid the situation all together. So I was thrilled when I won these adorable Germie Stoppers from LilStein Styles from a giveaway on Multiples and More. They arrived yesterday - just in time to get them on Charlie and Lily's stroller before RSV season begins!
Before I was a parent, there were a lot of things I swore I'd never let my kids do. One of those things was eat junk food. I vowed that they wouldn't have sweets until they were at least 2, and even then it would only be special occasions. And chocolate, well they wouldn't have that until they were much older.
As anyone with children knows, reality has a way of changing all those plans you have before your kids are born. And one of my first rules to be broken was the "no sweets" one. When Annaleigh was sick, Joe and I spent many of her last few hours thinking of all the things our beautiful baby girl would never get to experience. Trips to the ocean, rides on the ferris wheel, her first day of school, her first kiss, the taste of chocolate. When Annaleigh left this world, Joe and I both sort of vowed to ourselves that we would never let Charlie and Lily miss out on anything. Life is way too short to wait to for things, and way too short not to enjoy each and every second you can! So now, a few times a week, Charlie and Lily get treats - a Dunkin Donuts munchkin, a few spoonfuls of ice cream, or, tonight, their first (pumpkin) chocolate cookie.
Just look at these faces. Some rules are totally made to be broken :)
Today Charlie, Lily, Joe and I took a trip to Lebanon, PA to celebrate the 1st birthday of my best friend Colleen's youngest son, Danny. (Her son Jonathon is 4 1/2 and daughter Caitlin is almost 3.) Since Lebanon is about 2 hours from our house, we don't get to see Colleen and her family as often as we'd like, so we were super excited to be making the trip for Danny's party. Charlie and Lily had a fantastic time at the party. They loved tossing balloons around with Danny, and Lily bonded with Caitlin. They snacked on soft pretzels and watched Danny go to town on his birthday cake. It was a such a fun day!
"We heard there was cake..."
Danny wanted to try out his new chair, and Charlie wanted to steal the ribbon.
Lily with her new BFF, Caitlin.
It's Danny's party, but Lily will cry if she wants to.
Presents are exciting!
Check out the amazing cake and sugar cookies, made by Ashley of The Cookie Sheet Bakery. Here's a boy who knows what to do with a birthday cake!
A quick pic with Mommy and Daddy before getting a very necessary bath.
For three years in college I worked as a teacher's assistant in the toddler room of the wonderful Goddard School in West Long Branch, NJ. I was recently thinking back on my time in the toddler room and all the fun and educational activities we used to do with the kids, and I realized that I wanted to share some of those experiences with Charlie and Lily. So I decided that I would put my toddler room experience to good use and set about creating learning weeks for Charlie and Lily. Each week will have a theme, and we'll do activities based around that theme. Nothing major or complicated - we'll read a book, sing a song, do a super simple craft, etc. - over the course of a week. I figured that this would help me come up with some new things to do with Charlie and Lily, rather than just play with the same toys over and over, and hopefully they'll pick something up along the way!
So I started this past week with the theme of the farm. During the week we read our touch-and-feel farm book and sang "Old MacDonald." We watched the Baby Einstein DVD Baby MacDonald and made pigs out of paper plates. I brought out the Little People Farm that Charlie and Lily had received for their birthday and we played with that, and I opened up a farm puzzle for them to check out.
We all had a lot of fun this past week, and I'm excited for all the learning weeks to come. I plan to take pictures each week so I can share what we're learning :)
Lily admiring her very first art project (the babies helped me press the nose and ears onto the paper plate).
Note to self: Don't attempt photos when Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on. Checking out the Little People Farm