Thursday, December 30, 2010

safety bug!

Safety Bug: protecting the world for unlocked baby gates!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

18 month stats

Yesterday Charlie and Lily had their 18 month well visit with the pediatrician and we are incredibly happy with their stats! All of these percentiles are for their actual, not adjusted, age.

Weight: 23lbs 3 oz (16th percentile)
Height: 30 1/2" (8th percentile)

Weight: 23lbs 14oz (44th percentile)
Height: 31" (31st percentile)

We are so, so proud of them both. To think that just 18 short months ago they were weighing in at 1lb 13oz and 1lb 8 oz and today they are right where they should be.

The rest of the appointment went well. The pediatrician said he would like to see Charlie have a few more words (right now he says about 3). We have another NICU follow-up in April so I plan to wait until we see the speech therapist there to see what she says before I look into any kind of intervention. I have a feeling he'll catch up soon.

We took a few good pictures today of Charlie and Lily being goofy. This was before their nap and they had been totally cranky, but all of a sudden they got this second wind and started being so silly.

These pants don't fit Lily anymore, but apparently they are really fun to play with.
Chef Charlie bringing a punch of pepper from the play kitchen.We took down our Christmas tree today, and now Charlie and Lily have this awesome play area in our living room. I love it, and they seem to too!

Monday, December 27, 2010

18 months!

Happy 18 months, Charlie and Lily! I can't believe you are half-way to 2! Where does the time go?!?!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

And what a Christmas is was! Joe and I still can't get over how totally amazing Christmas is when you have children to share it with. We had just as good a time as Charlie and Lily, and trust me, they had a good time!
Christmas Eve kicked off with a surprise visit from Santa! He brought Charlie and Lily a special gift (a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse play set) and visited for awhile.
After their nap, it was time to head to Auntie Linda's for her annual Christmas Eve celebration. But before we could go, Charlie and Lily had to put on their special Christmas shirts :)

On our way to Linda's we stopped at the cemetery and brought Charlie and Lily out to visit Annaleigh. Lily looked right at the headstone, waved and said "Hi!" We were overwhelmed by the amount of thoughtful gifts that have been left for Annaleigh by our wonderful family. Evergreen trees, Christmas ornaments, and a beautiful glass bottle of origami stars made by cousin Michael. We are always touched to see how many people still think of our sweet baby girl.

Entertaining the family at Linda's.
Charlie and Lily got lots of great Santa gifts at Linda's, and had a blast visiting with everyone. They slipped into their Santa pj's before we left and good thing - they were sound asleep and ready for bed by the time we got home.

On Christmas morning, Charlie and Lily awoke to a little pile of presents from Santa.
New toys are a great thing to wake up to!
Santa also left them a special letter that Lily couldn't wait to read.
Then it was time to chill in their new chairs and wait for their guests to arrive. Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle John and Aunt Bec all came over to exchange gifts - and there were a LOT of gifts, mostly for two lucky toddlers. There were so many, in fact, that Charlie needed to take a break and relax with Anut Bec for awhile.
And once her perked up, it was on to more presents and some fun with Uncle John.
And there was no lull to be had! As soon as Charlie and Lily were done opening their gifts, Crackers, Granddad, Aunt Jill and Uncle Aaron arrived with more gifts! Crackers brought a play kitchen, and Charlie and Lily were very happy to see it (and her!).Once all the gifts were open, Charlie and Lily took a much needed nap before heading out to Nana's house.
There they received even MORE gifts and had fun visiting with Aunt Diane, Uncle John (a different Uncle John!) and cousin Adam. Hamming it up with Aunt Jill.
After that we had just one more stop to make - over to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Christmas dinner. There another round of gifts awaited Charlie and Lily. Spoiled babies! They played with some new toys and enjoyed some Christmas desserts. One of the highlights of our day was watching Charlie stroll over to the dessert table, reach up to snag a chocolate chip cookie, then walk away casually munching on it.
The night ended like this:
And I'm just going to leave it at that. (Sorry John, you had to know this pic would get posted...)

We had a fantastic, fantastic Christmas. Charlie and Lily spent today exploring all their new toys and recovering from the excitement. This afternoon a blizzard hit our area, so we're hoping that tomorrow we can take them outside in the brand new toboggans they received from Grandma and Grandpa.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Merry Christmas to everyone. Thank you for sticking around for another year with our family. Wishing you and yours a healthy and happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Is it Christmas yet?!?

Because we are so ready!
Charlie and Lily kicked off the week with a pre-holiday party at Aunt Rhea's house. This was the first time they've even left the house in over a week thanks to the bitter cold and germy crowds in public places, so they enjoyed dressing up and bundling up for a change of scenery.
Joe dressed up too, in honor of his school's Ugly Sweater Day. (Sorry, babe, I had to post this!) On Tuesday Charlie and Lily made ornaments for the tree. I stole this craft from my friend Gretchen, but Gretchen was smarter than me and used stickers with her kids. I, on the other hand, used these sequins and spent a good deal of time fishing them out of Charlie's mouth. (Speaking of Gretchen, she just started her own online cloth diaper store. If you are a cloth diaperer or know someone who is, check out Twinkie Tush!)
Charlie and Lily have also been enjoying some holiday videos. While they're still a little young to appreciate any of the classics, they have been loving Elmo's Happy Holidays. Here's Lily introducing it to Grandpa Fred.
Other than that, we've been trying to keep busy and pass the time until Christmas. We've been playing in the basement playroom - and trying to pull the foam guard off the support pole, as Lily's demonstrating here.
We've also been working on letting Charlie and Lily practice with utensils. They do pretty well with yogurt.
And yesterday we got a visit from a neighborhood kitty who desperately wanted to come inside. We named him "Jingles" and gave him some food, and he amused Charlie and Lily for close to an hour. We're hoping he stops back again soon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Getting ready for Christmas (and Wild Animals Week)

We've been living in our new townhouse for a week and a day, and we really love it. We're all settled in and have been able to spend some time getting ready for Christmas. Joe and I originally said we weren't going to get a big tree this year and were just going to use a little table top one instead. However, once we were in the new house we saw that we had room for a big tree and decided to go for it. We bought a fake one this year to make things a little easier, and we have it all set up and decorated in our living room. We put our Super Yard around it to keep it safe from two certain toddlers and we've been enjoying it all day long. Charlie and Lily really like looking at it, and they enjoy hanging on the gate and throwing their toys at the tree. Sometimes they reach in and "decorate" the branches with their toys. The other day I a found a little toy frog nestled in among the regular ornaments.
Grandma Anne recently went shopping in New York and bought Charlie and Lily a whole bunch of fun holiday clothes. She also brought them these reindeer ears, but Lily wasn't interesting in modeling them.
Grandma Anne was happy to show her how it was done though.
I also managed to get out some of our Christmas decorations. Charlie and Lily love, love, love these two singing snowmen. When I turn them on they both race over and smile, dance and clap along with the music. The snowmen are currently passing Elmo as the favorite form of entertainment in the house.
"What?!? The snowmen stopped singing and we got bored. This is totally not our fault."
Preparing for Christmas can be very stressful, so Charlie and Lily make sure to take time to relax each day with a little spot of tea.
This week we also got back on track with our lessons. We learned about wild animals by reading Tommy Teddy Meets the Wild Animals and singing "The Elephant." We ate animal crackers, practiced animal sounds and worked on identifying animals. Charlie and Lily also watched Baby Einstein World Animal Adventure, although they didn't enjoy it nearly as much as they enjoy their favorites, Head to Toes and Baby MacDonald. For art we made paper plate lions. I know they look a little like suns, but I think they're still cute! Charlie and Lily have gotten very good with the glue stick, and know how to push the glued paper down all by themselves. Let's see...what else? I feel like I haven't given a good baby update in awhile. Both Charlie and Lily are full-fledged walkers now, which is awesome. I love seeing them walking all around the house. And I love that when I say, "Come give me a hug!" they run over with their arms outstretched! Lily is starting to grasp the concept of gender. She picks up the farmer-shaped puzzle piece and the Little People prince and calls them "Dadda" and refers to the Little People princess as the "Mama." This morning I asked her where the doggie was and she she flipped to the page in the animal picture book with the dog on it. Charlie has a few more words now - he says "Dadda" and "ball," and the other day he said "Pop-Pop" to Grandpa Fred! He is awesome at stacking blocks and is really good with the shape sorter too. They are getting so big and so smart. I can't believe that in less than two weeks they'll be 18 months old!

PS: We need to say a heartfelt thank you to the secret Santa who sent us an awesome gift in the mail. It came unsigned with no return address, so we don't know who to thank, but if you happen to be a blog reader, please know how grateful we are :) Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

We're home :)

Our move is complete and we're busy getting settled in our new home. Everything went super smoothly on moving day. Thanks to Grandpa Fred for helping us haul dresser drawers to the new house, and to Uncle John for taking apart and reassembling the cribs, hanging the blinds and putting up the video monitors (and for everything else he probably did that I didn't even see.) And thanks to Crackers for watching Charlie and Lily on moving day. Keeping two babies amused in a house that is slowly being emptied is not an easy task. We also need to say a big thanks to Grandma Anne for coming over to baby-sit Friday so that Joe and I could unpack. We're happy to report that we have almost everything unpacked and organized, and we even managed to get out some Christmas decorations and put up a tree. We should be able to relax and enjoy the holidays in our new home, and we can't wait!

Charlie and Lily love their new basement play room.
Moving is fun!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

We're Moving!

On Thursday, Joe, Charlie, Lily and I will be leaving our house in Hamilton and moving to a townhouse in East Windsor. We decided to sell our house and move to a rental for a few years in order to save money while I'm a stay-at-home mom. We're also excited to have a "fresh" start somewhere. While we liked our house, we had some rough times while living here and it will be nice to live in a place where we can feel like we have a clean slate. So away we go! We'll be busy this week with the move, but we'll post again next week with some pictures in our new place! Wish us luck :)