Thursday, March 31, 2011

How far we've come....

Looking at the two happy toddlers that Charlie and Lily have become sometimes makes it easy to forget how they began their lives. Today they are healthy and energetic, smart and active. But less than two years ago, both were figthing for their lives in the NICU. Weighing less than 2 lbs each they needed help to breathe, eat and just survive.

Those days are never far from my or Joe's mind. Which is why we're once again supporting the March of Dimes at the 2011 March for Babies. Team Three Cheers for Babies is marching on April 30. Already many friends and family members have signed up to join us - thank you! If you live nearby and would like to join our team, please SIGN UP HERE. If you can't march but would like to MAKE A DONATION, we would greatly appreciate it. We fight, so babies don't have to.

Lily, a few hours after birth. Charlie at a few days old. Our beautiful Annaleigh, June 27, 2009 - August 22, 2009.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

21 months!

Happy 21 months, Charlie and Lily! I am simply amazed at how much they've been growing and learning recently. They know a ton of animal sounds, are saying so many new words, are doing so many new things...they impress me every single day. :) On a side note, I just got back yesterday from a trip to Savannah, GA. I went for a national get-together of an amazing group of mothers of multiples who I know from an online community. These women have been such an incredible support system for me for the past two years and it was wonderful to finally meet so many of them in person. Plus, I had a fantastic, relaxing vacation. Joe did the best job at home with Charlie and Lily - I don't think they even realized I was gone! So thank you to my great husband for giving me the chance to get away, and thank you to Crackers for your baby-sitting help and John for getting me to the airport. I can't wait to do it again next year!

Just a few of the great ladies I spent the trip with - all moms of twins or triplets!
Savannah was so beautiful! And warm - around 80 degrees while I was there! A nice change from the 30 degree temps we're having in NJ.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

W and X Week

This week Charlie and Lily learned about the letters W and X. I'll admit that I had a hard time coming up with lesson plans for these letters. Luckily, the week fell at the same time as St. Patrick's Day so I sort of added that to the mix to bulk things up a bit. We read a book called Wally the Whale and made watermelon W's. I had plans for us to make an X art project, but we had two amazing days of warm sunny weather this week and spent all our free time outside at the playground, which Charlie and Lily love.For St. Patrick's Day we read a poem called Five Little Shamrocks and used our little paper shamrocks as visual aids. On Thursday we celebrated St. Patrick's Day with some Irish soda bread. Yum! Lily loved it immediately and didn't even realize that she was eating raisins.
Charlie was a little suspicious of the bread at first, but as soon as he tasted it he was cramming the entire slice in his mouth.

Crackers came over and led Charlie and Lily in their own little St. Patrick's Day parade.Joe invented a game that he calls "choo choo," in which Charlie and Lily sit on his legs and he bounces them up and down. Charlie and Lily LOVE this game, and it is definitely helping Joe build up his leg muscles.

I have no lessons planned for this upcoming week, because I'm going away! I'm heading to Savannah, GA with some amazing fellow moms of multiples for a few days. Joe is going to be in charge at home while I'm gone, but I have no worries. I think they'll be just fine :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Our little leprechauns wish you the luck o' the Irish today!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ocean Week

This week Charlie and Lily learned about the ocean. Joe kicked the week off for them by bringing them home a giant balloon shaped like a fish, which he dubbed "Funky Fish." Lily LOVES Funky Fish - the first time she saw it she laughed her head off. We read Good Night Ocean, sang "Baby Beluga" and watched Baby Neptune. I also got out the jellyfish lamp that my father bought Charlie and Lily for Christmas. He has a giant fish tank that they like watching when we're over their house, so my dad thought they'd like a fake tank. The lights change color and the jellyfish "swim" around. They were both fascinated with it. Especially Charlie.
Which is how, after only 5 minutes, he somehow managed to knock it to the ground and break it. That's what I get for underestimating his determination to reach things that I thought were OUT of reach.
For a special snack, we made Goldfish trail mix. We added cupcake-flavored Goldfish (holy yum!), Cheerios, Craisins and some white chocolate chips to a Tupperware container, then Charlie and Lily took turns shaking the container to mix their snack. They thought this part was lots of fun.
Mmmm! This snack proved to be educational as well as tasty, since it helped me learn that Lily does not like Craisins. Not in her trail mix, not in her mouth and not even on her tray, since she pelted me with them instead of eating them :/
For art, Charlie and Lily glued pieces of tissue paper to paper plates to make fish. And keeping with the theme, we also watched a few episodes of Bubble Guppies. Charlie and Lily LOVE Bubble Guppies! Lily even mimics the theme song by singing "Bu bu bu bu!" She has great rhythm.
This morning Joe made a run to Dunkin Donuts for us, and got donuts for Charlie and Lily. They each had half a donut after their banana and scrambled egg. Lily spent a good 20 minutes on her donut. First she licked off all the frosting, then she nibbled the donut until it was gone.
And in his typical fashion, Charlie jammed as much as possible in his mouth at once and was finished in about two minutes.
Also this week, to celebrate the start of Mardi Gras, we made masks with construction paper and feathers.
Charlie wants you to know that they do not taste as good as they look.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Going to the chapel (er, nursing home)

On Saturday, February 26th Aunt Linda and her long-time fiance Mike said "I do!" The location of the wedding was a little uncoventional - I don't think any of the guests had ever been to a wedding in a nursing home before! But Linda's parents (Charlie and Lily's great-grandparents, Lucy and Freddie) are residents of the nursing home, and Linda and Mike chose to have their wedding there to make it as convenient and comfortable for Lucy and Freddie to attend. Charlie and Lily were excited to not only be attending their very first wedding, but also to be a part of it! Charlie was the ring bearer and Lily was a flower girl. Both were so good during the ceremony and reception. They loved running up and down the halls of the nursing home, visiting with the patients, and of course they loved the wedding cake! Here are some pictures from the day, courtesy of my up-and-coming photographer friend, Lauren.

Charlie heading down the aisle wtih the rings (tied to the teddy bear).
Lily wasn't quite sure how to feel about her flower girl debut.
Aunt Linda, ready to be given away by her sons Mike and Matt.
Uncle Mike, waiting for his bride.
The new Mr. and Mrs.
Chilling out after a job well done.Aunt Linda and her nephews...
..and her nieces.
Lily and Ava (Mike's granddaughter), her co-flower girl.
Rebecca caught the bouquet! Charlie and Lily are ready to once again offer their services for any future weddings... ;)
Cheers! Congratulations, Linda and Mike. We love you!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

U and V Week

This week Charlie and Lily learned about the letters U and V. We read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which Joe claims is a bit of a stretch to fit the theme, but it's such a cute book and the "very" DOES start with a V. Hmph. As we near the end of the alphabet, it's getting harder to find things to match up with the letters, which is why we had no song this week. But we did work on identifying the names of vegetables and played with they toy vacuum. Lily really likes the vacuum, and whenever I say we need to clean she goes and grabs it! (This week's lesson also called to my attention the fact that I had no real idea how to spell vacuum. Two a's? Two c's? Hello, spell check!)
Charlie and Lily also turned some Us into umbrellas. I had plans to made some Vs into vases as well, and that project started by having them color and stamp some paper. I was so pleased with how well they did coloring and stamping all on their own that I just hung their pictures on the fridge and scrapped the vases ;) I think I've mentioned before that Charlie and Lily are very picky with food. They definitely have some texture issues - anything rubbery or slimy is unacceptable. They won't eat most fresh fruits or veggies (we buy them freeze dried) and spit out pasta the second it hits their tongue. They've also refused pizza in the past, I think because of the mozzarella cheese. The other night Joe and I got takeout for dinner so I decided to try pizza with Charlie and Lily again. I got them a slice of Sicilian, thinking that the thicker crust would counteract the texture of the mozzarella, and it worked. They loved their pizza!
One of Charlie and Lily's new favorite activities is pushing their play kitchen around the room. Joe and I will often return to the room to find the doorway blocked.
The other morning Lily randomly woke up before Charlie (this almost never happens). She enjoyed the time with Roy, chilling on the couch watching Sesame Street.
On Wednesday we had some excitement. Since we moved into our townhouse in December our bathtub has been draining super slow. We told our landlady and on Wednesday she brought a plumber over to look at it. The plumber decided to snake the drain, saying (famous last words) "There's a chance the pipes could break, but that almost never happens." So...guess what happened? Our pipes broke! I was feeding Charlie and Lily lunch when water started seeping through our dining room ceiling. Yikes! They had to cut through the ceiling to replace the pipe and now the entire ceiling needs to be torn down and put back up because of the water damage. All I can say is thank goodness we rent and don't have to pay to fix this mess!