Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Super Mario and Princess Peach!

Mario Kart!

Mario found the star!
Charlie and Lily had a great time celebrating Halloween this year! They went "trick-or-treating" at Grandma and Grandpa and Crackers's houses and scored some great goodies. For dinner they enjoyed "mummy dogs" with french fries, and pumpkin cookies courtesy of Aunt Patty. We also spent the entire week focusing on Halloween. We read Where is Baby's Pumpkin? and Biscuit's Pet and Play Halloween, which was one of Charlie and Lily's all-time favorites. They both loved touching the soft black cat on the first page. We also sang "Five Little Pumpkins" which was a big hit.
For craft, Charlie and Lily made paper jack-o-lanterns. Charlie's is the one with just one tooth ;)
I also showed the babies how to make ghosts out of lollipops. They both get a kick out of anyone shouting, "Boo!"
We rounded out the week by going for a walk to look at Halloween decorations, baking and eating some Halloween Funfetti cookies, and watching Spookley the Square Pumpkin on the Disney Channel :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

16 months!

And look - the best picture of the two of them together that I've managed in months ;)
This is Lily's "crazy stalker" look. It's usually reserved for Daddy sightings, so I'm not sure what she's looking at in this picture since Joe was at work, but it's still funny!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

E and F Week

This week we focused on the letters E and F. We read Ten Friendly Fireflies, and it was a huge hit with Charlie because all the little fireflies light up when you press a button. Charlie just loves things with lights.
We also examined the texture of feathers. The babies loved when I brushed the feathers up against their faces, but they were a little hesitant to pick them up themselves.
And when I did get one in their hands, they tried to eat it.
But the cats really enjoyed the feather activity. They were swarming around the whole time, and ended up running off with a bunch of our feathers.
For our art project we stuck with the feathers and Charlie and Lily helped me glue them to pictures of a bird.
We also sang "Do Your Ears Hang Low" and worked on indentifying our ears. Over the course of the week Charlie and Lily got very good at pointing to their ears when we asked where they are. (And if you're wondering why Charlie and Lily are usually in their pajamas in the pictures that go with these learning week posts, it's because I usually do our activities early in the morning when the babies have the best attention span. I do get them dressed after breakfast, I swear!)

In other news, we've been working hard in general on getting the babies to identify objects and body parts, on the recommendation of the occupational therapist we saw at St. Peter's, and they are both doing really well! They can now easily go and get a ball, the baby doll, their cups, etc. when asked. Both know where their ears are, as I mentioned, and Lily can also identify her nose and belly. We also spend a lot of time looking at picture books and telling the babies what the pictures are - dog, cat, train, apple, etc. We're also working on songs with hand motions, and Charlie and Lily now jump right in to the do the spider movement during "The Itsy Bitsy Spider."
They've also started picking up some more words! Lily says "night night" now, which is super cute. Today we had some visitors in our house who went upstairs, where the nursery is, and when Lily saw them going up she said, "Night night!" which is what I always say when I'm bringing her upstairs to bed. Love it! Charlie's only word is "Dadda" right now, but we noticed today that he's starting to make some more sounds so we're hoping that words aren't far behind. He has started clapping all the time recently, and this afternoon he lifted his feet up when Joe was putting his shoes on to make the process easier. He also FINALLY got his first tooth! Yay!

Charlie and Lily also had a visit from Uncle John this past week. They had a lot of fun showing him all the new toys they've acquired since he's last been over.
And finally, I thought this picture is so cute! On Friday Lily and I were dressed in matching outfits, although I didn't realize it until John pointed it out when he was over. But really, who wouldn't take fashion advice from Miss Lily?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I love Taylor Swift's new song, "Mine," because the chorus never fails to make me think of Charlie and Lily. Every time Taylor sings the line, "You are the best thing that's ever been mine," my mind flashes to moments like these :)

Lily loving her baby. We say, "Lily, where's the baby?" and she goes right over to it to pick up and gives it hugs.
Recently the alphabet play mat has become the snack of choice. Have U ever tried it?
The babies love their morning banana, and Lily can even say "banana" now! She has the cutest little voice.
All smiles at play time.
Both babies are SO close to walking. Any day now...
Lily loves to mimic the things we do. Here I was sticking my tongue out at her and she was doing the same to me.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Shapes Week

This week Charlie and Lily learned about shapes. We started the week by reading the Sesame Street book Abby's First Book of Shapes. Then Charlie and Lily worked on putting together their talking shapes puzzle.
They also practiced putting the shapes in their shape sorter. (We have a more manly version of this toy as well, but Charlie isn't afraid to like pink.)
We used shapes to make houses for an art project, and watched Baby Einstein Discovering Shapes.
"Hooray! I'm a shapes super star!"
On a totally unrelated note, Lily cracked us up the other day and I had to share. I was in the kitchen cleaning up lunch and I heard Lily start freaking out in the living room. I looked in and saw that she had pulled her sleep sack off the pack n' play, where it had been hanging, and had managed to get her head stuck in it. She was crawling around in a panic with the sack on her head, totally stuck. Of course, I hurried to help her get free...but not before I took a few pictures first ;)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

C and D Week, plus a visit to St. Peter's

This past week was a very busy one for Charlie and Lily. We learned all about the letters "C" and "D," plus we visited our friends at St. Peter's! Charlie and Lily had their 1 year adjusted NICU follow-up on Wednesday, and it went great! The babies were seen by a speech therapist, an occupational therapist and a physical therapist. Each therapist had a bunch of different tests for Charlie and Lily to assess their development. We're happy to say that Charlie and Lily scored right on target for their adjusted age in all the categories! We are so proud of our little super stars! The speech therapist said that she would like us to work more on helping the babies learn to identify objects and mimic sounds more, so we're aiming for big improvements in those areas when we go back in April.

The only slight concern came from the physical therapist regarding Charlie's fingers. The pinkie fingers on both of his hands are pretty drastically curved - the bottom part of the fingers are straight, but after the knuckle the top of the fingers curve towards his hand, almost like a shepherd's crook. Joe and I have both known about this since Charlie was born, but honestly never gave it much thought. The PT was concerned though that as Charlie grows the curving of his fingers could get worse and hinder proper use of his hands, so she thought we should bring him to a pediatric orthopedist for a consult. That appointment is set for November 2, so we'll let you know what they say.

After the appointment we stopped up at the NICU to visit with some of our favorite nurses. Charlie's beloved Nurse Carolyn was on duty and came out to give snuggles to both babies, and Lily's buddy Nurse Linda was there to catch up with the Bug. We also got to see Nurse Tina, who was Annaleigh's primary, and a few of our other old friends. We so love visiting the NICU - even as time goes by it still feels like home there in so many ways.

Now, back to C and D Week! :)

To kick off the week we read Ten Rubber Duckies and If You Give a Cat a Cupcake, and sang "Five Little Ducks." We also took a walk around the neighborhood and looked for cats and dogs.

"Hey Roy, stop hogging the duck book and read this one. It's about YOU!"
Charlie and Lily felt cotton balls, and then helped me glue them to giant letter "C"s.

We also made decorated donuts by shaking sprinkles onto paper donuts. The babies really liked shaking the sprinkles...
...until I tried to get a picture and sprinkles somehow ended up all over the kitchen floor.
We also made some cupcakes to end the week. The babies' original due date was October 5, 2009, so they hit 1 year adjusted this past Tuesday. We decided that they needed some cake to celebrate this milestone, so we went with cupcakes to keep with our theme.

Lily went to town on the cake. See, Nurse Julia? Vanilla cake IS her favorite! ;)
But Charlie is a frosting man!

Mmmmm! (Charlie is actually giving a fairly decent shot of his right pinkie finger here - you can see how it curves in at the top.)
"Learning is fun - and delicious!"

Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy homecoming, Lily!

One year ago today, after 99 days in the NICU, we brought Lily home! I had said from the beginning that I hoped to have both babies home before their due date and before we hit 100 days, and wouldn't you know that Miss Lily made it home just one day shy of both! It was so exhilarating to be taking her home and knowing that our twice daily visits to the NICU were over. It was also bittersweet, as it was sad to leave the nurses and doctors at St. Peter's who had become like our second family, and a little scary - we were now responsible for TWO babies?!?! But it such a wonderful feeling to be at home that afternoon with both Charlie and Lily there, just the way it was meant to be!

Lily in her car seat, ready to go home. See how excited she was?
Lily checking out her new digs.
Lily's first night at home, snuggling up with her brother.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Autumn Week

This week's theme was "Autumn." Unfortunately, we had really poor weather here - super muggy and very rainy - so it hindered some of our planned activities. (No one wants to pick up soggy acorns.) Plus, our trees haven't gotten the "it's Fall" memo yet, so the leaves are still green. Nevertheless, we soldiered on with Autumn Week!

We read the book We Love Fall, sang "Five Little Leaves" and "Five Little Squirrels," and took advantage of the one non-rainy day we had to go on a walk and look for squirrels.

Charlie and Lily helped me attach craft-store leaves to paper plates to make leaf wreaths. This craft proved to be a little tricky, as Charlie kept shoving the leaves in his mouth whenever I wasn't looking. After fishing several soggy leaves from his mouth, I may have gone ahead and finished his wreath for him ;)

We also made one of my personal favorite treats - pumpkin bread!
Charlie and Lily tasted the pumpkin puree before we added it to the batter, and they also took a whiff of cinnamon. They watched me crack the eggs and they each gave the batter a stir before we poured it into the pans.
They enjoyed their creation for afternoon snack. We had a little pumpkin bread picnic.
And then I remembered why I never serve snacks on plates.
To end the week, we all went to our favorite local farmer's market to pick up some mums and other fall decorations. Charlie and Lily do love their pumpkins!