Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New photos for November and December

We've got some great new pictures in the new Nov - Dec 2007 Family photo album, including a trip to Underwater World at the Mall of America, playing in class at ECFE (Early Childhood and Family Ed), preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and getting out during the first big snowfall of the season.

We also went to Joe's company Holiday Party on December 1 at the fabulous Varsity Theater in Minneapolis. It was a 70's disco theme party, complete with a great, well-known local cover band called Boogie Wonderland, and it was a ton of fun. Most of the crowd, including Joe and me, dressed the part in all its cheesy glory, and everyone got out on the dance floor - or even on stage (yep, that is me on stage with Heather, the wife of one of Joe's coworkers). The pictures are a bit grainy/fuzzy given the lighting in the room, but the Dow Jones Holiday Party album will give you an idea of the fun that was had by all.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Back to the crib

After about a week of letting the boys run like manics and a week of sitting in the room for up to an hour at a time to get them to fall asleep, we decided the boys just aren't ready for beds yet and put the crib fronts back on. Now we're having fun playing the "put the baby back in the bed" game, complete with the "let's hide from Mommy to see if she can find us" bonus game. It's taken as much as 2+ hours to get them to go to sleep, but I think in the long run, this is the right thing. We sure can't wait until they get the idea that they're supposed to stay in though!

Some new pics in the Sept-Oct 2007 album include another example of the mess the boys made when they should have been napping, a special breakfast made by Debbie and Cole, and dressing up as Pooh (Zach) and Eeyore (Alex, of course!) for Halloween.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Yikes, that didn't take long...

Just four days after Zach started to figure out how to get out of the crib, we had to take the front of the cribs off to turn them into toddler beds. We just couldn't get Zach to stay in, and Alex was quickly catching on too.

With that, all of their good sleeping habits seem to have gone right out the window. They've been having a blast running around (and running into things until we put their nightlight back on), climbing, and pulling everything out of every drawer possible. After they broke a dresser drawer and pulled down a radio and some books from the top of the dresser, we've put locks on the drawers and moved a bunch of things out of the room.

When they finally do fall asleep, it tends to be on the floor where they happen to pass out from exhaustion from all the fun.

Pictures of the toddler bed milestone and the following day's naptime have been added to the Sept - Oct 2007 album. Enjoy! :-)

They're having a ton of fun, but we can't wait until the novelty wears off and they start to actually sleep again...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Uh oh, we're in trouble now!

Zach has figured out how to climb out of his crib. Debbie heard some noise in the boys' room at the end of naptime, when suddenly the door opened! He did it again yesterday evening with a big thump on the floor when I was trying to get Alex back down at bedtime and this morning with a really controlled climb out of the crib once I went it to get them. So much for having a place where we know they can be contained. :-)

Latest photos

Here are the photos we've added from the last month or so:

Karen's day at the MN State Fair with Mom and Dad B: Family July-Aug 2007 album
A new Family album - Sept-Oct 2007 - which includes fun with hats, shoes, brooms/vacuums, shades, magnets, climbing and noisy kitchen stuff
New pics in the 2007 Friends album from the birthday party of one of Karen's college roommates

Saturday, August 25, 2007

18 month checkup

OK, so I'm posting this just a bit late, but Zach and Alex had their 18 month checkup on 8/1. They are healthy and doing well, although they have apparently inherited their father's body type since they grew in height but not much in weight. Alex measured at 32.5 inches tall (60th percentile) and 20 lb 11 oz (0 percentile). Zach is also 32.5 inches tall but is a little lighter at 20 lb 2.6 oz. The doctor was OK with the weight because their height and development are doing so well (in fact, they demonstrated their climbing abilities for her right in the room).

They are learning new words and new things almost every day. Both can walk halfway up the stairs with the help of the balusters before they crawl the rest of the way. I'll have a pic up on the site soon that shows Zach nearly climbing into his crib. They have learned to say "all done" when done with a bath and can imitate many farm animals. They've become big fans of watching bee-ball (baseball) and wheel (Wheel of Fortune). They still love to read and can often grab a certain book that you ask them to get. They are now starting to figure out how to open doors (uh oh!) It's truly amazing how quickly they learn.

Check out the latest photos in the July-Aug 2007 Family album.

A family vacation to the Dells

We spent a week at the Wisconsin Dells at the end of July with Karen's parents at the end of July. Sadly, Cole couldn't join us for this trip, but we had a great time.

We spent a lot of time relaxing in the condo at the resort, which was something all the grownups needed. The resort, Wilderness on the Lake, was really nice. They had some nice water play areas there, although the boys - particularly Zach - weren't too sure about it because they didn't like the spraying water. Alex warmed up to it after a while and really had a good time.

While they weren't too excited about the water, the boys loved the trains at the Riverside and Great Northern Railway, a organization that both Joe and Dad B belong to, and the deer park, a Dells institution where you can walk among and feed deer. They also had a blast at Paul Bunyan's, a family-style restaurant where we celebrated Dad B's birthday. Here Zach and Alex had corn on the cob and fried chicken on the bone for the first time - they really liked that and did really well. Zach finished one cob of corn and made a good dent on another!

Joe and I also got a little time alone and played a couple of fun rounds of mini golf.

Check out the Dells 2007 album in the Vacation album for all the great pics.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The latest photos

The latest additions to the July-Aug 2007 album include fun at a park with Debbie, a new deck (yeah!), and a weekend of fun that included Z & A's first ride on a merry-go-round at Belle Plaine's BBQ Days and riding a Hopkins fire truck in the Raspberry Festival parade (the little guys were in heaven with all those big fire trucks, and Cole seemed so proud to be able to show them to his little brothers).

Sunday, July 15, 2007

More pictures

We celebrated July 4th with Karen's parents and Robert and Kwo Ue. When Joe and Bobby are together, it's a given that "boom booms" are involved. The pictures can be seen in the 2007 Friends album. Also in the album are pictures of Karen's friend Azure and her new baby Erica - what a little sweetie!

In the Family album, new pictures have been added to the July-Aug album. Included are pictures of the boys cooling off on a hot day and a trip to the zoo, joined by Robert and Kwo Ue, where we saw the bird show, the newly renovated Minnesota Trail, and other fun exhibits. The album also has its usual assortment of cute kid pics.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

New photos

We've been taking a ton of pictures lately, so I've had a bunch to sort through and clean up. Here's the latest - enjoy!

The May-June album has lots of playful pictures - the twins playing with their food, all three boys playing with a tent Z & A got for their birthday, Cole playing baseball, Z & A playing in the water, a trip to the Children's Museum with Debbie where the three boys had lots of fun playing, and Z & A playing with new tractors (they love all things with wheels, and "tractor" is a new favorite word for them).

A separate Father's Day album features pictures from Father's Day weekend where we honored Joe and Grandpa Bob for being great dads.

And a start to the July-Aug album, where we played around on a relaxed Sunday.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

May photos

We've added pictures to the May - June 2007 Family photo album including a few trips to the zoo (the boys LOVE to look at animals!). We even found a hobby zoo in Wisconsin on our drive back home from a family wedding; it was next to a gas station/general store and featured a few small animals - even a donkey named Eeyore, a favorite of Alex's.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

New pics from April posted

About a month's worth of pictures have been added to the March-April 2007 family album. They cover a day at the zoo, playtime, some tasty treats, and some brotherly battles for position.

They had their 15 month checkup recently and continue to do great. Zach is 30.5 inches long and weighs 19 lb 6 oz, and Alex is 30.5 inches long and weighs 20 lb 2 oz. They had their last set of shots before kindergarten, for which I am very grateful.

Monday, April 30, 2007

A family trip out west

At the beginning of the month, we took the three boys out to visit Grandma Pam, Auntie Katie, and Auntie Mary Ann in LA and Grandma Marilyn, Grandfather Dan, Great-Grandfather, and Auntie Amy in Tucson.

It was an interesting trip to say the least. I would highly recommend avoiding traveling with 2 small children when they are sick, teething, and overtired. Alex cried for about half the flight out to LA and a good part of the car ride out to Tucson. Both got treated for ear infections about halfway through the trip. We switched hotels after trying to put the boys down to sleep the first night in LA because of water problems and the need for a suite so we had a place to go when putting the little guys down (lucky for Cole, he stayed with Grandma Pam), and then they were up every couple hours. We took the boys on drives up the 605 to get them to take naps.

From a travel perspective, it was the trip from hell. But honestly, it was a fantastic trip. Cole had a great time going to the beach with Auntie Katie and Auntie Mary Ann - he found a huge shell there, the kind you rarely find on the beach. He played lots of great games and pool with Grandma Marilyn, Grandfather Dan, and Great-Grandfather. And Zach and Alex were able to meet Grandma Pam, Auntie Katie, Great-Grandfather, and Auntie Amy for the very first time. For as many challenges there were, it was worth every second of that to spend it with family.

Check out the photos from the trip in the LA and Tucson 2007 album in the Vacation album.

Friday, March 30, 2007

New pictures posted

Over 40 pictures have been added to the Mar-Apr 2007 family album.  Included are pictures of Zach and Alex learning to use spoons. a cookie-making session with Daddy, and playtime at the park.  Oh, the fun of exploration!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

March album started

The March-April 2007 album has been started as the pictures just keep on rollin'.  There are pictures from my birthday, pictures of new foods for the boys, and pictures of kids hard at play.  Still on the camera but due up on the site soon are ones for the boys playing with Cole's keyboard and having a favorite book - Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? -  read to them.  One of their favorite things to do now is have stories read to them.  They'll hand you a book and climb right into your lap.  How cool is that?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

A great birthday present

Alex gave his mama a great birthday present today - he took his first steps!  He's been walking really well with assistance for a while, but today was the first day he really had the courage to take a few steps without hanging on to anything.  That's enough to make a mama cry tears of pride.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Birthday pictures and more

We had a low-key celebration for Cole's birthday, but I think he had a lot of fun.  The weekend took on a "game" theme.  He was able to join Joe at the monthly poker game, which absolutely thrilled him.  He did quite well - he's turning in to quite the poker player, especially now that he gets the poker face concept. The next day, we met Grandma Pat and Grandpa Bob for lunch at a Chinese buffet that Cole really likes.  Zach and Alex got to try all sorts of new foods - the wontons were big hits with them.  Then we all went back to the house for presents (lots more games) and cake. Check out the pics in the Cole's 12th Birthday album.

I've also added a bunch more photos to the "misc" Jan-Feb 2007 album (previously known as the Jan-Mar album until we filled up 20 pages in two months!).  I haven't had a chance to put captions on the newest ones yet (maybe this weekend), so if you check the album out in the next couple days, be sure to check back so you don't miss my witty commentary.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Happy Birthday, Cole!

Cole is turning the ripe-old age of 12 today, one more year closer to being an actual teenager.  All we can say to that is, wow, time goes by fast!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

1 year checkup, birthday pics and more

The boys had their 1-year checkup yesterday, and they are doing great.  They are both now 29" tall.  Zach is the skinnier one of the two at 18 lb 12 oz, and Alex weighed 19 lb 15 oz.  Neither gained much weight since last time, but they are far more active now and don't have as much baby fat.  A few bouts with colds haven't helped their weight either, but the doctor is happy with their progress.

Both of them have teeth coming in on the top.  Alex has one that is out all the way and has a second one breaking through.  Zach again is getting two teeth at once.

We all had a great time at the boys' first birthday party.  Thank you so much to all of you who were able to come celebrate with us!  Z & A had lots of fun with their cake.  Alex picked up the whole thing and tried to fit it into his mouth, while Zach made a mess and ate the pieces.  Pics from the party have been added to the First Birthday album.

There are also new photos in the general Jan-Feb 2007 album, including Z & A playing with their birthday present from us (a Little People garage) and trying some new foods, and Cole playing with his early birthday present - a Nintendo Wii (I have to admit - it's a lot of fun!).

Monday, February 5, 2007

Zach's first steps!

Quite a few guests got to witness some of Zach's first steps at the boys' first birthday party last weekend.  Sadly, Mama and Daddy didn't get to see it.  (Figures...).  However, he did take a couple steps towards me yesterday when checking out the master bathroom (ah, the joys of exploration), and both of us watched him take a couple steps to Daddy when getting ready for bed this evening.

While Alex learned to crawl much later than Zach did, he's made huge gains to catch up to his "older" brother at a faster rate.  He can pull himself to a stand, cruise along the couch, and crawl right up the stairs.  Z & A just love to chase each other around the house, so I would imagine that as Zach toddles around more, Alex will be close behind him.

Wow, they grow up fast.  Pics from the party will be posted soon.

Monday, January 29, 2007

One amazing year

Happy birthday to our little gifts from heaven!  It's so hard to believe how much they've grown and changed - and changed us - in just one year's time.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Christmas photos and other stuff

As predicted, the Vandermarks and Belouseks went a little crazy with the cameras at Christmas.  It didn't help that we had three cameras going at various points.  We actually had about 600 photos between the three!  I did manage to whittle it down to a much more reasonable number - still a lot, but when you consider what I started with, I think I did pretty good. Check them out in the Christmas 2006 album.

Zach and Alex had a lot of fun with all the new things to see and play with.  And we all had fun celebrating that first Christmas with them.  However, I have to say that for the first time ever, I was happy to take the tree down this year.  The boys were just fascinated with it, always wanting to put the branches, ornaments, and lights right into their mouths.

Other new photos have been posted in the newly-created Jan-Feb 2007 album and a couple cute ones from the last days of 2006 (my favorite is the one of Alex sleeping on Eeyore).