Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Back at 2009

I wanted to do this after seeing a few other online friends do a year in review post. I went back through all of my posts this year and tried to pick out 1 post from each month. I am not good at picking only 2 because so many things have gone on in 2009....


January: First Real Haircuts
The Beach & Sick Boys

February: Family Update
Adding Fat & Using a Fork

March: We Are Home Owners

April: We Moved

May: Zak's Best Friend Robby
First Boat Ride

June: Baseball Game

July: 4th of July

August: Happy 2nd Birthday Boys!

September: Vacation Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6

October: Sad News
Pumpkin Patch

November: Options...Thinking Ahead

December: Long Eventful Day
Ben Shoveled?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Trains, Planes, and....Couches?

I want to start with some pictures of the dogs....

Yesterday morning the boys were so excited to see the GeoTrax train set up in the living room once they made it downstairs. They did very good at taking turns with the controller. After a little while their turns did start to get shorter and shorter which then turned into crying and fighting over who got it! I was very proud of how well they shared at first though.

Last night I made a trip to Toys R Us and bought them the GeoTrax airport using their gift cards from Seth & May. When I got home Ryder took the box from me immediately and handed it to Ben. Ben got it set up with lots of help from the boys of course.
And now for the couch part of the post. Ryder is in LOVE with the fold out couch they got from my grandparents. Every time he sees it he will run to it, fold it out, lay down and say "ny-nite". The couch also became part of playtime with the train.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Clean-Up

Saturday morning the boys slept until close to 8am which is always nice! Once we had breakfast and got dressed we all headed to Target and WalMart to see what deals they had going on. We were able to get a bunch of wrapping paper which was on clearance. This year I pretty much went through all of the wrapping paper we had so it was time to stock up again. We also went to CVS looking for another water fountain similar to the one Ben got me (we both really like them). We then headed home and while the boys took a nap I went to Rite Aid to see what they had on sale. I found a flameless candle set that matches our new water fountains, a set of picture coasters for a gift for somebody next year (I already know who it is for), and a train to go around our Christmas tree next year (this is on sale for $15). That evening Ben went out for a friend's birthday and ended up spending the night at their house because the bar hopping went into the early morning hours.

Sunday morning we decided to go out for another family trip. This time we went to Barnes & Noble (to get a How To book for my new photo software), Toys R Us (to get some storage bins that were on sale), and WalMart. At WalMart we got 4 green Rubbermaid bins to pack away all of the Christmas stuff in along with a Rubbermaid made for storing artificial trees. When we got home everybody took a nap. Once the boys were in bed Ben and I packed away ALL of the Christmas decorations into their new bins. We also packed up all of the boys' Christmas toys which will come back out at Thanksgiving next year. I got this idea from Colleen because I love how excited her kids get when they Christmas toy bin appears each year and we all know the boys have plenty of other toys! We then took all of their new toys to the playroom and completely re-arranged it. After that we set up the GeoTrax train in the living room where the Christmas tree has been. One last thing we did (around midnight) was break down all of the boxes and put them all out for recycling. We had about 6 large diaper boxes filled with other boxes that had been broken down!

Now time for some pictures...

Batman loves the boys' couch
We didn't plan ahead for our trip to WalMart
The boys had lots of stuff on their laps and all over the car
New storage bins in the playroom
TV was moved
Bookcase, train table, kitchen, and table set in new location
New basketball game on door
New storage for puzzles, tools, and Mr.Potato Head stuff
Robin with her new toy
Ben went back to work today. Unfortunately, there was a death in the family (Rich's father) over the weekend. The viewings are Tuesday & Wednesday with the funeral on Thursday. Today Ben will be talking to his boss to see what time he can get off for the funeral. He is hoping to get Wednesday & Thursday off, but we will see what happens once he talks to his boss. He already has Friday off as a holiday.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas

Hopefully everybody had a great Christmas just as we did! It was a long day filled with lots of family and fun. Once again I took way too many pictures to post on here so I created a Christmas 2009 photo album for you to enjoy. Throughout the post you will see some links which are just certain pictures that are in this album. You can either click on the link to go straight to that particular picture or click the album link to see all of the pictures.

Our day started with waking up around 7am. We brought the boys downstairs to the living room where all of the gifts were out under (and around) the tree. Zak had a blast, once again, unwrapping gifts while Ryder was doing well opening the gifts in bags. But when they opened up a bag from my mom (Grammy as they call her) it all went south (for us at least). They fell in love with this ball popper thing and refused to open any more gifts! Finally, Ben was able to take the ball thingy and hide them so we could get their attention back on the gifts that needed to be unwrapped. After about 80% of the gifts were opened they lost interest in the unwrapping and wanted to play with their new toys. Ben and I "helped" them unwrap the last few gifts and then started the task of taking their toys out of the boxes for them to play with. (Kids toys are so HARD to get out of the boxes, it is crazy!!)

Some of the gifts they unwrapped here at home included Harley Davidson scooters, Barney stuffed animals (from Santa), train set (from my mom), Busy Gears (from Grandma Mary in FL), electronic drum, DVD player (from my mom), Mr. Potato Head (from Saba Tim & Grandma Peg in NH), military play set, Nerf guns, and various movies from Saba Tim & Grandma Peg. Of course, they got tons of other gifts which I am not going to name one by one!

After the boys were able to play with their new toys for a bit we got in the car and headed into Annapolis for the day. We got to Colleen's house around noon. Madelyn and Chelley were there when we got to the house so we gave them gifts that Maddie got to open and then they headed home for nap time. Then the boys got to open gifts from Colleen and the kids (airport set, power saw, power screwdriver). Along with gifts from Natalie and Roy which included scarfs (Natty made herself), basketball game, and Paul Frank shirts (I love them!). After all of the gifts were open the boys enjoyed playing with Jamison and Josephine for a while. Then we left their house and headed to Chelley's apartment so the boys could open gifts from her. Zak opened the gifts while Ryder played with all of Madelyn's toys! Chelley was very excited about one of her gifts to the boys, but had my scared because she wanted them to open it before we went to our grandparent's house. Well, this gift was a foam sword and shield set. The boys LOVE it and I am fearing what damage they will do with it!

We got to my grandparent's house around 4:30pm and had dinner with them along with my aunt, uncle, and cousin. During dinner the boys started to misbehave, but we were expecting it since it had been a LONG day. After finishing dinner we went to the basement to open gifts from them. As soon as the boys walked down the stairs they spotted one of the gifts from my grandparents which was all set up and ready to play with....Neo Tracks cars. The boys had a blast with this, but Ben & John had a few times they needed to move the couch to find the run away cars! They also got a GeoTrax train and a fold-out couch. My aunt and uncle give them some clothes (very cute), Play-Doh, and some trucks. Ryder enjoyed playing with the big train set up around the tree which turned into a lot of work for my grandfather since it was knocked off the track frequently. Around 8pm we started to load the car up and head home since it is about an hour drive.

We got home a little after 9pm. The boys had fallen asleep in the car, but stayed asleep while we brought them into the house and put them in their beds. It was a very long day, but we had fun and the boys got TONS of new toys!

Christmas Eve

The morning of Christmas Eve we had a pretty lazy day. Around 1:30pm we left the house and headed over to Tracy & Dave's house to exchange gifts with them. Zak had a blast unwrapping the movies (Barney, Mickey Mouse, Handy Manny) and even tried to start unwrapping other gifts that were under their tree! After spending some time at their house we left and headed to Rich & Laura's house to do a gift exchange with them also.

As soon as we got to Rich & Laura's house (Nana & Poppy as the boys call them) the boys started to open gifts. Once again, Zak was having a blast ripping the paper off. Ryder was much slower and liked to pull tiny pieces of paper off, but he would eventually get things unwrapped. The boys were excited to get their gifts out of the boxes so they could play with them. Some of the gifts they got were a camera, remote control fire truck, big bag of Mega Blocks, toy piano, and toy guitar. They also got lots of candy in their stockings. After we opened gifts I left to meet Tracy and Chelley at church for mass while the boys and Ben stayed at the house. When I got back from church the boys were upstairs laying in bed watching TV with Laura. Around 8:15pm or so we changed them into their Christmas pj's and headed home.

The boys fell asleep in the car and stayed asleep while we carried them into the house and put them in bed. Ben and I then put out all of the presents we had at the house and filled the stockings. It was a late night, but we had fun with everybody!

I took way too many pictures to post on here so I created a Christmas Eve 2009 photo album here...enjoy!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rat Poison & Black Eye...What Else?

Last night we had a very scary event happen that made for a long night. After the boys went to bed Ben and I went to the basement to wrap gifts. The dogs came with us because they always want to be where we are. Ben reminded me there was a tray of rat poison behind the futon so we had to keep an eye on the dogs which was easy because they just laid on the futon with us. After a while Ben went upstairs to take a shower and both dogs went with him. I went into the laundry room to switch laundry into the dryer and move gifts around. After that I sat back down and started wrapping some more. I heard a weird noise and realized it was Batman doing something under the futon. I yelled his name and he came running out licking his lips. He had been eating the rat poison!! I ran upstairs to get Ben and he looked at the tray only to find out Batman had eaten about half of the tray! I started to freak out and worry because I have only heard of horrible stories with dogs eating rat poison. We searched online and found the local ER vet and I immediately took Batman over there. They took him in the back and immediately gave him an injection to induce vomiting. After a while the vet came in to talk to me. She said he vomited up quite a bit of the poison, but since we had no way of telling exactly how much he ate she was also going to give him charcoal. Then she said he would be sent on home Vitamin K for 1 month to help prevent or reverse any bleeding. Rat poison is bad for animals because in about 36-48 hours it causes them to bleed internally and eventually die if not treated immediately. The vet said since we brought Batman in within 45 minutes of him eating the poison they were able to get most (if not all) of it out of his system and started on the Vitamin K so he should be OK. I was so relieved! I finally got home with Batman around 1am, but had trouble sleeping because I could only think about the worst and continually checked on him throughout the night. Needless to say, Ben picked up the rat poison and threw it out (even the un-used trays) and it will no longer be in our house. No matter how careful you are something bad can always happen! Today Batman is acting like himself and no signs of issues, but we will keep a close eye on him as well as give him the tablets twice a day for 1 month.

After a restless night with little sleep I got up and got our day started around 7:30am. Harford County schools had a 2-hour delay so Ryder's speech session and group session were cancelled for the day. I decided the boys and I would make a trip to WalMart just to get us out of the house for a little bit. I was surprised how calm WalMart was and there was no wait at the check-out. I found a nativity set, some tissue paper, and window clings that I bought. We then headed home.

Once we got home the boys had a snack and started to run around and play. Ryder was running from the kitchen into the living room and tripped. I reached to catch him, but was not quick enough and he hit the metal futon frame. After holding him and cuddling for a few minutes the crying stopped and all was good again. About 10 minutes later I noticed the giant black & blue knot on the corner of his eye. It has been growing in size the last 30 minutes, but seems to have stopped now. He doesn't seem to mind it until I try to mess with it. I tried to get some pictures, but none of them really turned out well and showed what he actually looks like in real-life. Here are a few of my attempts....

It seems like the pictures were either too bright or too dark or he was moving too much. These pictures make it look like nothing is really there, but there is a big bump on the corner of his eye by the eye brow. Hopefully it will get better soon and it doesn't get too swollen!
I am beginning to feel like I need to put these boys into a bubble for the rest of their toddler years!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Long Eventful Day

Ben's alarm went off at 5am this morning because he needed to leave for work earlier than normal. Well, apparently he was not completely awake when he headed down the stairs. I was still upstairs and heard the loud crash and realized Ben had fallen down the stairs! I admit that I did laugh, but I got up to make sure he was OK. He is still sore tonight from his fall.

Then later in the morning I was playing with the boys in their playroom for a while, but then I had do get some chores done. I left their playroom and put some dishes into the dishwasher, put laundry in the washer, and checked in on Facebook. Then I went back upstairs to the playroom and this is what I found....

**Once again ignore the weird sounds you hear, I can't seem to figure out what happens to the actual sound from the videos. This is taken on my cell phone. The sound works when I put it on Facebook though**

video

I had to take the easel away from them because they wouldn't stop turning it into a slide. I have to say that I did freak out when I saw them doing this because just the other day an online friend of mine (who has boy/girl twins the same age as the boys) posted that her daughter had broken her collarbone while playing with this exact same easel!

I thought that was the bad thing for the day, but I was very wrong in thinking that. They did eat lunch very well which is a very nice change from our normal day. However, they made it very clear to me that they did not plan to nap. After a few times of reminding them to not jump in bed or pull the blinds down (which they did pull down and break!) I gave in and took them into the playroom. I played with them for a while doing puzzles, building with blocks and playing basketball. I then left the room to go to the bathroom, put some dishes in the dishwasher, and switch laundry from the washer into the dryer. As I was heading down the basement stairs I heard a LOUD crash! I went running back up to the playroom and opened the door....

Ryder had figured out a way to climb on top of the dresser and apparently knocked the TV off onto the floor. The TV was still plugged in and attached to the cable wire, but just barely. I unplugged it and unscrewed the cable because they were pulling really hard across the room. After I saw that both boys were safe and unharmed I had to laugh to myself about this. No, it is not funny at all because they could have gotten injured, but if I didn't laugh I would have lost my patience with them! I made sure Ryder knew this was a very bad thing.
A side note...I try to find the good in everything (sometimes this is VERY difficult!)...Ryder was saying "help" when I walked into the room! This means he was initiating speech and asking for something which is very uncommon for him and something we are working on very hard.
A closer look at the TV....
Once Ben got home he looked over the TV and found that it still worked to play movies, but the cable connection did get broken so it no longer works for just playing TV shows.
These boys sure do keep my on my feet all day long! Ben (and several others) keep reminding me they are 2 years old and things happen.
On a good note, we received a box of gifts from Tim & Peg in NH. I opened it up and found a few surprises that were not wrapped, but the rest I left in the box for Christmas Day. I have been working on getting everything wrapped and still have a good amount left to do. For some reason I am just not feeling the holiday spirit this year. I am not sure if it is because we now live an hour away from family and friends so I have not been able to stop in and bake cookies and do other holiday activities, if it is the financial strain we are having, or the fact that this is our first Christmas without Mum Mum. There could be lots of factors playing into this, but I wish I could feel more of the holiday spirit!
We have our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day plans pretty much figured out at this point. Christmas Eve we plan to go and see Tracy and Dave around 2:30pm for a bit before Dave heads to work. Then we will head over to Rich & Laura's for a while. I will leave the boys & Ben there and go to meet Tracy at the 6pm Christmas Eve Mass at OLF. Once that is over I will go back to pick up the boys and head home. Christmas morning we will do our family gifts and open gifts from out of town family. We will then head to Colleen's around lunchtime to hang out for a while. After that we will then go over to my grandparent's house to have dinner and do gifts with them along with my aunt & uncle. And then we will head home to go to bed. It will be a long 2 days, but we will see lots of family and friends.

A Mom's Night Before Christmas

A fellow twin momma posted this poem in our online forum. I thought it was really cute. Enjoy!

A Mom's Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas,
when all thru the abode
Only one creature was stirring,
& she was cleaning the commode.

The children were finally sleeping,
all snug in their beds,
while visions of IPODS & Barbie
flipped through their heads.

The dad was snoring
in front of the TV,
with a half-constructed bicycle
propped up on his knee.

So only the mom
heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
which caused her to sigh,
"Now what is the matter?"

With toilet bowl brush
Still clutched in her hand,
She descended the stairs,
& saw the old man.

He was covered with ashes & soot,
which fell with a shrug.
"Oh great," muttered the mom,
"Now I have to clean the rug."

"Ho Ho Ho!" cried Santa,
"I'm glad you're awake."
"Your gift was especially
difficult to make."

"Thanks, Santa, but all I want
is time alone."
"Exactly!" he chuckled,
So, I've made you a clone."

"A clone?" she muttered.
"What good is that?"
"Run along, Santa,
I've no time for chit chat."

Then out walked the clone
The mother's twin,
Same hair, same eyes,
same double chin.

"She'll cook, she'll dust,
she'll mop every mess.
You'll relax, take it easy,
have some time to rest."

"Fantastic!" the mom cheered.
"My dream has come true!"
"I'll shop, I'll read,
I'll sleep a night through!"

From the room above,
the youngest did fret.
"Mommy?! Come quickly,
I'm scared & I'm wet."

The clone replied,
"I'm coming, sweetheart."
"Hey," the mom smiled,
"She sure knows her part."

The clone changed the small one
& hummed her tune,
as she bundled the child
in a blanket cocoon.

"You're the best mommy ever.
I really love you."
The clone smiled & sighed,
"And I love you, too."

The mom frowned & said,
"Sorry, Santa, no deal."
That's my child's LOVE
she is trying to steal."

Smiling wisely Santa said,
"To me it is clear,
Only one loving mother
is needed here."

The mom kissed her child &
tucked her in bed.
"Thank You, Santa,
for clearing my head.

I sometimes forget,
it won't be very long,
when they'll be too old
for my cradle & song."

The clock on the mantle
Began to chime.
Santa whispered to the clone,
"It works every time."

With the clone by his side
Santa said "Goodnight.
Merry Christmas, dear Mom,
You will be all right."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Art Projects & the Roads

Every few days I have been trying to do an art project with the boys. They love stickers recently so we have been doing a lot of the foam sticker projects.

Wreaths

Zak's Ornament

Ryder's Ornament

Ryder's Snowman
(Supposed to be door hangers, but they put them on the tree)

Zak's Snowman

Today Ben called to tell me the main roads were good. They were icy early this morning, but are much better now that it is melting. But our neighborhood roads are not so good still. We have not had a plow come yet so our roads are packed snow with ice on top. Ben informed me that I probably wouldn't be venturing out anytime soon because he knows my hesitation with driving on roads that are still all white/icy. I have always had a fear of driving on roads that are covered in ice/snow, but after my accident in high school on the ice I am even more cautious. Here are some pictures of the roads I can see from our house (I love the zoom on my new camera!).

I am waiting to see what happens with schools the next 2 days. My mom reminded me today that we always wondered why Harford County seemed to be closed forever after having snow. Well, now that I live here I can say it is because they see no need to plow the roads. I have heard from people in Anne Arundel County that the roads are all clear there.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Digging Out & Visitors

This morning Ben went outside to start digging us out! He worked with some of the other neighbors to get our court dug out from all of the snow. There were 2 neighbors with snow blowers which helped a ton.

A fun fact I learned today....in Maryland the average yearly snow is about 19.7 inches...this storm dropped between 15-24 inches!


This is how much snow we got in the afternoon yesterday
(Ben had already shoveled once)
Our Christmas cards we have gotten
Around lunchtime we took the boys outside to play in the snow. They wanted to go out all morning, but we waited until Rich, Laura & Haleigh came over.
Ryder is standing up in the snow
Zak found it much easier to crawl because he didn't fall into the snow
Haleigh all bundled up
Zak trying to walk
Group Picture
The boys sitting on top of the snow in the front yard
Zak
Before going out into the snow we tried to get some pictures of the 3 kids while inside. As usual, Zak wanted nothing to do with Haleigh. He has nothing against her (or any baby), but he HATES when I am holding the baby. He started to throw temper tantrums and was not happy at all. Ryder, on the other hand, likes babies and doesn't seem to mind too much if I am holding them or not.
Group Picture
Ryder playing with Haleigh
Haleigh
Haleigh & Batman
Zak in the middle of a tantrum
(just about to hit the ground)
Our attempt to get Zak to sit with Haleigh
Ryder hugging Haleigh
Ben got our car dug out and moved it in front of his truck so he could clear out our parking spot. Then he went to turn on his work truck and move it, but it wouldn't start! He tried to jump start it with our car, but that didn't work. Then when Rich got here he hooked up their car to try and jump start the truck. After about 45 minutes the truck finally started. When Ben moved it he found that all of the water from melting snow in our court is puddling under his truck. It is already icy under his truck so he is not looking forward to getting the truck moved in the morning. He is hoping it will start in the morning also!