Wednesday, December 30, 2009

my heart.

Sometimes I don't do a good job of being grateful on a moment to moment basis. Overall I am grateful for what I have in my life- but on days when babies are sick, toddler hasn't napped, I am short on sleep, and then Jon comes in the house an hour late, I forget how thankful I really am. In fact I probably sound extremely selfish. And I struggle to remain calm and in control. Perfection hasn't been my strong suit. But I am a work in progress. I could elaborate on this further, but I'll get to my point.

This Christmas I wasn't feeling particularly needy for anything. I don't know if it's because I feel such satisfaction over my family right now- or because my birthday was just a month ago, or I was so happy with what I was giving this year, but I couldn't think of anything that I really would want. I LOVED what we gave Caed, and I was so happy I was getting to see my mom, grandmother, aunt, and sister and her hubby. I also loved that I gave Jon his first tickets to an NFL game. I arranged with his brother and he flew in to go with him!

Jon was planning something for me. I didn't know what it could be because I didn't know of anything I wanted! I was thinking if I had mentioned anything and I really couldn't think of anything. I mean, maybe some kitchen something here or there, or some new clothes- but it was obvious that he wasn't planning on getting me a crock pot or a new pair of jeans. The gifts were arriving by mail, and he had to go out and go to physical stores too. What could this be? I had happened upon a new CD that he got me, when he left it on top of the stereo. (it's up high and I typically don't look up there, but I had misplaced the checkbook and was searching everywhere!) So I only knew I was getting the new Switchfoot CD.

Christmas Eve he wrapped my gifts while i was putting the kids to bed. I came downstairs and there was a stack of 5 small-ish gifts. Tied together.

Christmas morning I was overjoyed to be with the family! The babies slept in, so we really got to watch Caed open his gifts. For those that are curious, we give each kid 3 gifts. Representing the three gifts the wise men brought to Jesus. Caed knows this. He gets three gifts- and all from mom and dad. Since he's been exposed to Santa, he thinks, and we direct his thinking, that Santa only fills our stockings. So if I have something outside the three gifts I want to give him and it's small, I'll stick it in the stocking- but I find it really helps me be intentional about the gifts we buy him- and we don't go overboard since we keep to the three gifts. I got this idea from another former roommate of mine, shauna. I don't know if she still does it- but that's where I got the idea for the three gifts. We bought Caed a small Wall-E figure, a Mack truck from the movie Cars, and a Woodland House Playmobil set (with a thousand small, cool pieces).

Jon then had me open my gifts- in order they were stacked. Gift 1- an Ipod nano. we had talked about me getting one before, but we always say it doesn't make sense right now with small children. I am not typically putting headphones in my ears at any point in the day. I need to hear them. But I LOVED the gift! Gift 2- TWO cd's! The switchfoot album I came across, and a Live Toby Mac album. Both are christian artists. LOVE it. Gift 3- a clothes box (yes!) a pair of workout pants and an arm band for the nano. How sweet. He wants to help me get back to running! Gift 4- another clothes box! Yes! Some more workout clothes and what is my METS key chain doing in there...with three cards attached to it....? A gym membership for me, with the kids enrolled in the childcare there!!! HOLY COW!! WOW. I was speechless. See- a gym membership with childcare is one of the only ways I could see me being able to get back into shape. I recently asked a friend if I could run with her, but she runs marathons...I am not in the shape to start back up with running with her. I need some warm up runs. And I don't think that I can leave early enough in the morning before the babies wake up. I just need some extra time with childcare. Gift 5- a beautiful book of historic Paris maps. Inside Jon wrote "Lauren, Thought you could use these to study up on the Paris Marathon course. Love you, Jonathan"

Grateful. I get tears in my eyes even as I write it again.

the gifts were more then the money spent on them. It was such a demonstration of Jon supporting a dream of mine. He cares for me, and the desires of my heart. Even when I show some ugly behavior and I am not the best person I should be- he still shows me how much he just knows my heart.

I want to run the Paris Marathon in 2011. That means I have to know by about Oct. 2010 if I can commit to it. That means I need to start working on it. Jon is supportive. It means a big trip but he wants me to follow through on it. I am so filled with gratitude to have him as my husband that for this week, and hopefully at least the next couple of weeks I can work on remembering this. No, really- to have this tangible thoughtfulness will be a reminder on those evenings I want to be short on patience and frustrated with him arriving home at the kids' bedtimes instead of at dinnertime. And hopefully getting some workouts will help alleviate some stress and tension too. :)

Again- I am so thankful. Thankful that when I was a junior in high school and still had my braces on (a total of 7 years, thank you!) and dyed my hair "red" (read: orange) he still decided to like me. That even though 5 years later he thought I might be a good girlfriend and I did not,he still pursued me. And when we dated those 5 years later while I was still in college, I finally knew we would get married. And even though we had COMPLETELY different upbringings, we had our faith as our common ground and it's kept us together and in love from then on. Thank you sweetheart! I am so thankful for you and how well you know me and what's on my heart!!

I just wanted to Blog this so that I share the good that happens when I maybe let the bad leak out too.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A week long visit!

One of my former college roommates, Heidi Lyn, came for a visit at the beginning of November. We had such a great time. It was funny after the fact, to think about having a friend staying with her one year old daughter (and hubby came for the weekend) in my basement for a week. I felt like I was 16, and got to have a sleepover! They live in Seattle, so the trip was a welcomed one! The last time we saw them was when we went cabin camping in the Seattle area a little over two years ago.

I can't imagine traveling on a plane with three kids 3 and under- so I'm glad they came here for the trip. Their daughter Petra is so sweet. Having 4 kids in the house didn't mean lots of pictures, or well composed ones. So I have the few here....

On Saturday HL and Dan went on a morning date and headed downtown to see some sights, and then in the afternoon we all visited the American History Museum. Again on the metro with all three kids! It was so nice to have them here....we love getting to spend time with Petra too.

We stopped to eat with all the kids before we got to the museum- can you imagine finding space for 4 kids and 4 adults? It's tricky. Sometimes you have to fight for space!

Caed wasn't all that agreeable for the dads and kids picture...

While HL was here I took the kids on their first metro ride ever. We did it one day when Caed had to go to school, so it was my first trip with all three too! what fun and chaos we had. Finding all the elevators to get in and out of the metro...hysterical. And after we dropped Caed off at school we skipped nap and headed to the building museum in the cold rain! I can't believe it rained the whole week they were here...such is life- and well they are from Seattle, so they know they won't melt...

And the wrong angle gets such a bad view of the weight I need to still loose!! Oh well, worth posting anyway...

We miss you guys!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

snow, I'll wash my hair with snow...

My grandmother (yes, you Nana) always tells me that you don't have to take more then one picture of your house in the snow, because it will always look the same. I agree, but can't stop wanting to get pictures of all the beautiful clean white snow...

Here are some shots of the snow we got today...what a fun day! Jon took Caed out to sled in the morning, and I took him out in the late afternoon...and Caed had a great time trying to walk through it all. It tired him out too!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

8 months

I still haven't blogged my meager pictures from my former roommate's visit. I'll still get to it.

Here's a quick, albeit late, shot of the twins at 8 mo. We were super sick last week coming home after thanksgiving. The kind of sickness you want every 10 years. (how did we just have a terrible sickness less then 2 years ago? It was so terrible, I won't forget that one!) Anyway, I was impressed I got them both mostly similing.

and here's how they interact lately:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am so thankful for my life and how rich it is. the Lord has truly blessed me.

Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving! I am sure to have some cute photos. (besides I have the cutest ones from when HL and Petra were here..I still need to post those.)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Look who's moving...

let's just say I'm glad Theron doesn't want to move too. Note to self to make sure children don't slip under furniture now. And you can be assured that Caed did pull his Kitty out of Aldan's hands without replacing it with another toy.

Have I mentioned how much i love this kid? He's a cutie.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Last week

Last week one of my college roomies came for a visit! HL and her 1 yr. old daughter Petra. It was so much fun to have a friend stay with us for a whole week- I feel like I should have been 12- we stayed up late every night, and played hard all day. There were 4 kids in the house! (more on that later)

Aldan got three more teeth- all on top, and all at once. Aldan is now getting himself on his knees and he's scooting around a bit on the floor when he's on his stomach - moving backwards...the steps before moving forward...I think all he wants to do is practice moving. He's not happy just sitting and LOVES when you stand him up. When I try to sit him down he won't bend his knees and insists on standing.

Theron isn't doing much more then what he was. He loves to sit and play and shake and find toys in the bins next to him. It's so funny, but I watched him try to grab a toy that got too far out in front of him, and then he sat back up, and leaned the bin of toys over that was next to him, looked at it for a few seconds and then grabbed something. He was intentional about what he wanted to play with...i loved it. He loves books, and will sit there the end of reading the shortened board book version of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Theron gets a big smile. It's like he knows it's crazy all the letters fell out of the tree. He's loving our routine more and more.

Caed is understanding the family dynamic more all the time. It's harder to describe his development because it's a little more complex then crawling and laughing for the first time. He is doing really well and I am really intent on growing his relationship with his brothers these days. He tells us quite frequently that he Loves Us. And it's so sweet, but it really seems like he's saying it because he's grasping more and more how unconditional our love for him is. He'll say it after I discipline him too, which to me is so sweet. I have the oppurtunity to tell him how much I love him after I've had to do something I didn't want to! He likes school a lot and playing with his good friend Aliyah. We are thankful that he is able to develop friendships within our church. Hopefully wherever he ends up going to school next year these relationships will help bridge the transition.

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving. I know Caed gets the holidays more, and it will be fun to have two more babes to celebrate the holidays with. it will be especially nice to be able to see Jon's family and have them see the boys too.

Pictures to come....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

They say it's your Birthday...

Today is Mickey Mouse's Birthday!
It also happens to be shared with me. Caed and Jon baked a cake for me last night, and Jon's coming home early to cook dinner. (Shrimp fra Diablo) This morning Jon and Caed gave me my cards and birthday presents. Jon is taking me out to eat in Baltimore on Saturday to a dinner theater that is showing Irving Berlin's White Christmas! I am so excited about this because I LOVE that movie! I watch it during the holiday season and sing "sisters" with my sisters! The funny thing is just the other day I was singing my rendition with the words "brothers"! Jon said he thought I had come across the gift and that's why I was singing it- but I hadn't! He know me!
They also got me a gift card to McDonalds. Funny, huh? It's because I stop there all the time in the drive through to get one of their special coffees. Jon calls it my Starbucks. We don't have any other drive through coffee places as available as McDonalds....the funny thing is, I have one right around the corner from my house- but they don't make the special Cafe drinks there! I have to be intentional about going to one further's probably good for me. Jon is also getting me a new phone- it's one I've wanted since the spring. I am REALLY excited about this. And the other gift to me today is that at 8am, I went to get the twins, and they were still sleeping!! so they slept until 8:45! A nice slow morning around here!
I am truly blessed!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fun Stuff

Well it's been a good week. The babies continue to grow and grow! It's so funny being out and about and people notice that I have two babies...kind of hesitant to ask me if their twins. I'm usually out without Caed- running my errands after I've dropped Caed at school on Tuesday and Thursdays. I've decided that going home to get them both down for naps is just too much work. I'd rather get out and do stuff, come home (or somewhere) and nurse the babies and head down to pick up Caed. I try to always mention that I have him too though- it seems sad to me to not mention him, my big boy!!

We bathe someone every night except Friday nights. That's the night I make a no bath night. then usually Caed gets cleaned on Saturday mornings, and the babies on Saturday night. Then that kind of creates a backlog on washing come Sunday, because we've got small group Sunday evenings, so no one gets washed again, and then I like to give Caed a bath the nights before he goes to school. So Babies don't get washed again until Tuesday evening. I guess I could bathe them Mondays at some point in the day, I just never feel up to it.

The twins eat twice a day, although i bounce back and forth with a third feeding. Right now I do a "lunch" and a "dinner" breakfast seems hard to add with getting Caed out to school- but I may try to commit to it. I don't know. I guess soon enough I'll be able to throw them pieces of things and they can get a morning "snack". It takes some time though to get them both settled to eat, and then clean and change two. Theron eats pretty neatly, but with Aldan sucking his thumb, he tends to get it everywhere because he likes to suck his thumb after every bite! So you can imagine what that means for everywhere!!

They sleep mostly well. We've got them into a nice routine of three books and a song and you lay them down and walk out. I used to put Theron down first because he fusses some before falling asleep, but then I realized he fusses more when he sees the door open and shut when you come in with Aldan. So I've started putting Aldan down first.

That goes pretty well. They don't seem to really effect each other with crying. They do some when they are naturally close to being done with their nap- but it's okay. The situation works. This has always been a dread of mine, having to get two babies to sleep in the same room. Again, my friend Michelle encouraged me that they do get used to it, and it won't bother the other. So half the battle was in my own mind. Once I settled that out, then it seemed that they could do it!

Aldan (above) is a sweet sleeper. He's all cuddly, and loves his lovey. he cuddles the thing right up next to his face like he read some book about how to be the cutest baby ever while sleeping.

Theron is a good sleeper too, definitely more like Caed. It's fun to have the two be so distinctly different. We are so thankful for our kids. There aren't any pictures of Caed because I don't have any different ones then I've posted lately. These photos of the babies are from about a month ago.
Aldan is getting three more teeth! He's not been all that agreeable, and extremely drooly. Just helping him getting through this time, I wish they'd just pop through, they are so close- and I think that's what makes all the pain.

lying around

if you leave something on the ground that is soft by any means, this is what happens..

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween costumes

Not the most flattering photos....But the whole situation to get them out and dressed was quite a lot of work....and then to make sure they didn't cry the whole time...I just got the photos I could. And they were well behaved...

theron- our chili pepper

Aldan- Our Peapod

Caed- Our cowboy

Sunday, November 1, 2009

7 months

Has a whole 7 months gone by? Whew! I can't believe it. They are so much fun, and so much work! Took them to the pediatrician on Friday for their 7 mo. appt. Theron, on the right (in the red) is 23 lbs (they don't do length at this appt) and Aldan is 21 lbs. Funny they are exact weights, but yes, they were!
I have been feeding them lots and they have started to self feed Cheerios and other baby "puffs". They are sitting well, still a little tippy though. Theron babbles A LOT. They are smiling more at people other than us. They both have two bottom teeth.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

keeping busy

we are keeping busy, but who isn't? This past weekend was a rarity for me- I was busy every night! Friday I got together with some mom friends from Caed's school for games. Such fun! we actually only played one game, and then didn't finish because we started talking and enjoying nice. Didn't get home until 1am! Then Saturday morning, Jon and the twins let me sleep in until 9am! wow! The twins were in their bed until then! Then we had a fun Saturday evening at friend's of ours home. They have three older kids, and moved to a new house. We had a great time hanging with them- I lived with them when their 2nd kid was a baby and it was the last place I lived as a single woman! Then Sunday I helped a good friend of mine with a wedding she was photographing. Such fun, and HARD work! Yes, it is- all the gear to lug around, and different places to walk and get pictures at, she is a hard worker, and must be in good shape! I am feeling it still today! It was 8+ hours out of the house too, while Jon and auntie April took care of the kids and house. Jon did such a great job and was such a trooper! He had a good day too!

So that left yesterday as a little recuperation day. We took it easy and I did some cooking to catch up on all the food that was near to going bad. I made some meals and some food for the babies. I honestly didn't think I was going to make food for the babies this time around, but it's just too easy not to. Seriously. If we have a veggie or fruit I see we aren't going to get to, I steam it up, puree it in my food processor (with some/all of the liquid from steaming) and pour it into ice cube trays. So simple for me. I sometimes look online at different combinations people use, and then use that to guide my making as well. One company has some good combos, Happy Baby. They use Black Beans and Quinoa which i like adding to my babies food, so good for them! (i haven't added it to the twins yet because they are only 7 mo. old, I'll do it when they get a little older...)
This week we've got an extra Halloween dress up day for class on Thursday. So I really needed to make a decision about Caed's costume. I thought I was going to have him wear his Mr. Incredibles costume that I bought at Target last year, a couple days after Halloween for a steal, but he doesn't want to wear it. He's told me multiple times he wants to be a cowboy. I haven't reminded him he was one last year, so I don't know why he's choosing it again. But I decided to go for it, and today after dropping him off at school I went up to the thrift store and found a pair of cowboy boots. He didn't wear a pair last year, so I thought it might be a nice addition. I was proud of myself for doing it with the babies, and it was raining! We also went by the grocery store and picked a couple of things- another big step for me. I think I've only taken all three once with me, and I've taken the twins alone a couple of times. The more I do it, the easier it gets. I just try to be fast.
Well we've got the H1N1 flu mist to get today (Caed and I) and I'm a bit nervous. Hopefully we don't get sick because of it...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Jan's Photos of the twins

I met with my friend Jan (who took our announcement photos) yesterday at the National Cathedral. She took some gorgeous shots of the twins (6 1/2 mo.). Love them, and I can't tell you how hard the boys were to work with...wouldn't laugh or smile, were wobbly with their sitting, and they were SUPER drooly. And Aldan was super dazed looking- and I still love the photos she got. I'm super impressed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

camping photo album

So there were a few more pictures that I wanted to post, just a few more then I thought...but that's okay. I wanted to make sure i got the pictures of inside our tent was quite the set up. The tent seemed to shrink as we started putting the stuff in- i remember jon and andrew harassing their parents for having such a large tent...and now we need it. we also used an air mattress for the first, i love that thing! It makes sleeping so much better, we don't need to 'rough it' anymore- it's not like we're backpacking. gone are the days of all our gear being small and compact.

here's our family, the morning we left...(no showers and after packing up!)

The Jester's:

the whole gang!

Sleeping arrangements- our bed (air mattress, thank you!) see the blue pillow off to the right with the white blankets in the center? That's where Theron slept the second night...first night was mistakenly in our bed.

caed and pack and play. caed rolls off his bed roll and pillow and still somehow stays asleep on the rocks under the tent. Good thing he's three! We put blankets all around the pack and play because it was COLD! And it help minimize distractions. Alden slept like Rado- out!
here's caed (he still hadn't woken up)

investigating under the picnic table

at the tables. The two other families we went with set up the sites the day before we got there. It was smart. We had three sites, two of which were together, and one across the road. So they set up a tent across the road, and all the cooking was done there. Then the two tables were joined together and we ate one of the other sites across the road. It was smart because it kept the kids away from the fire and all the cooking when it was happening. we had 9 nine kids, so keeping them safe was important!

One of our meals, Mac and Cheese (yuM!)

BBQ Chicken (tons of it!)

Here's the cooking site- across where the minivan is, is where we ate, and our site is to the left.

the kids playing with bubbles:

Here are the Sandberg's: