Saturday, June 30, 2012

We've got two one-year-olds!!!

WHAT?!? How did that happen?

This is how I picture them when someone asks me about them:
 And then slowly they just KEPT growing...

 And then finally, they turned ONE. WHAT????!
I will do my normal monthly update, but I just couldn't help but post these trips down memory lane!

I am so irritated that I can't get the photo below to be the same size as the one above. Oh well.
Isn't it crazy how time flies?!?
Hubby had to work, but Connor and I sang them happy birthday in the morning!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Show Us Your Life: Twins and a Toddler Room

When we had the twins, we knew we needed to move Connor from the nursery instead of trying to convert his old room into a big boy room. We started completely over in his room and we had such fun. He picked out a monkey theme and then my mother-in-law and I set out to find the perfect line of monkey stuff to go in it.

Here is a picture standing from the door. 
And here's one from the closet:
And looking in from the door towards the other wall.
When we found out we were having twins, we immediately had visions of nurseries. And then when we found out they were boy/girl twins, we began scouring the internet for photos. I just looked the other day and found so many more photos for inspiration. But at the time we were looking, all we could find were movie star's ones.

We went with a soft turquiouse (I know it doesn't look it in the photos) and a baby pink.
Here's the view from the closet:
Here are there sides of the room (on opposite walls):
And then some of the details of their rooms:
We just recently made this for Izzy's side of her room:
I hope you enjoyed the tour of our rooms. If you're new here, stay and look around!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Connor's Swim and Update on Twins

Oh my. The water was ridiculously cold at Connor's swim lesson yesterday. He actually ended 15 minutes early - which is crazy considering his lessons are 30 minutes. We're just going to add the time to another lesson.

Above: The bottom row is what Aiden, Isabella, and I did while Connor, Daddy, and Miss Erica swam!

I spoke with an ALTA Intake Counselor last week and went over everything with the twins. I gave her a complete history from the time they were baking in my belly to now. She listened, took notes, and then explained the process to me. She didn't think they'd qualify - given that they have to show 1/3 + one month (for prematurity) delays. I was happy in a lot of ways because she seemed to think that their delays, while still delays, were in the typical range. She explained that a service coordinator would call me in order to begin the referral process.

Finally, yesterday I spoke with a service coordinator. She explained that she had reviewed their records and was most concerned about Aiden. She said that normally she would come out and have them evaluated in order to do a sort of pre-screening, but given the information I had provided, she felt confident that she needed to have a "team" from Easter Seals come out to do a "full evaluation" and that if Aiden and Isabella qualified she would begin to line up therapies in our home each week. Whoa. I was totally caught of guard by this.

I have such mixed emotions. First of all, I know that even if they qualify, it doesn't mean that they can't completely catch up. I totally understand that early intervention is key and it's why I did this process to begin with. I'm a teacher and I totally get that different kids develop differently. But in some ways, having them qualify will mean something more definitive. It means that my fears are no longer just the worries of a crazy mom - but those of a trained professional. That is a little nerve-wracking.

I do, however, totally believe in the power of prayer and positive thinking. So if you have anything left in you to pray for my family and specifically my Aiden and Isabella, I would be forever grateful.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Our Weekend

The other day we were feeding the babies and Aiden got baby food in his hair. We gave him a quick impromptu bath in the sink. All three of my kids LOVE the water (unless they're getting a swimming lesson...ha!).
 We have a Disneyland Countdown going in our kitchen right now! This was the first day I put it up. But it's getting shorter and no longer touching the counter. I don't know how much Connor understands what it is that we're counting down, but he likes taking off a link each morning and tells me we're going to Cars Land (not sure he knows what this is). We're so excited!
 It's virtually impossible for me to get a photo with the kids now. They are wiggle worms to the max!
 On pinterest I saw this idea to put pipe cleaners in a strainer to work on fine motor. Connor had a lot of fun, and now I'm going to try to get him to weave the pipe cleaners.
 The babies just liked pulling the pipe cleaners out.
 Connor always comes home with the cutest projects from school, but this one was just so cute. See the popsicle stick with a head? It's a river otter! When I said it was a river otter, Connor kept trying to correct me to tell me it's an animal. So funny! He kept asking me if I saw the sticks in the water. He was so proud that he actually asked me to take a photo!
 On Sunday we went to pick out paint colors. Do you see how excited Isabella is? Yeah; I was excited too until Mr. Howard only wanted to look at beiges. Grrrrrrr.
Such a fun weekend

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fifth Wedding Anniversary

Get ready for Mr. and Mrs. Howard overload.

Our fifth wedding anniversary (WOOO-HOOO) is coming up on July 14th. Since we are in the season of young kids right now and have three kids with birthdays in an eight day window, we had to think carefully about when we were going to celebrate our anniversary. Of course we also needed to find a babysitter. We had originally (long before we knew we'd have twins) planned on doing a big anniversary trip for our 5 year. That wasn't really a possibility with such little ones - so we tried to find something a bit unique and super fun that we could do that would be significantly closer to home.

I found this amazing idea of a semi-local activity. There is this company in Santa Rosa (near Napa Valley) called Safari West that puts on an actual African Safari. They have 400 acres with over 700 animals from Africa, including the island of Madagascar, which represent omnivores, herbivores, and carnivores. The birds species are native to Africa, South America, Papua New Guinea, and even the United States. It was a 3 and half hour tour that was partially done walking and then done in an open air safari jeep. It was so much fun!!

My sister came over at lunch time to watch the kids and stayed at the house until midnight.

And we drove to Napa!
 And, of course, took a picture with the Napa Valley sign!
We were SOO bummed because we had no idea that the Old Faithful Geyser was in Calistoga where we were. It goes off every 30 minutes and we had an hour until we had to be on our tour. And of course they closed before we were supposed to be done. Next time we will definitely, DEFINITELY need to go see it.

We immediately saw the flamingos (do you see the giraffe in the background?)
 Here we are on top of the jeep!
The jeeps were so cool! As soon as we got home, the hubby looked them up to see how much it would cost to buy one. So funny.
Below: (Clockwise from left) Mr. Howard, Cheetah, Hubby with jeep, the jeep (we sat on top over the driver), Me with the jeep, A tree we saw that was over 650 years old. Crazy.
 Pictures clockwise from left: Colobus Monkey and her three-month-old baby, wildlife, bongo antelope, what our jeep looked like, a lake, the hubby and me in front of the jeep, zebra, and Masai Giraffe.
 This gives you perspective. This was where we sat on the jeep!
 And this is how close we were to the animals! Crazy!! The only animals we couldn't get super close to were the cheetahs.
One animal that totally surprised me: White Rhinoceros. It was seriously as big as the jeep. SO crazy! Our guide told us that they're like big puppy dogs. They like to be scratched.

Some interesting facts from the safari: cape buffalo are SUPER smart. They told the story of two hunters who tried to kill two buffalo, shot one, and missed. The hunters hurried away. They were laughing about how they were able to escape (super rare) and went to bed. That night the cape buffalo found them at camp and killed them. They didn't touch or hurt a single other person in the camp. Watch the YouTube video Battle at Kruger to see the cape buffalo take on 4-5 lions! Pretty crazy (and graphic, beware).

We ended by going out to eat at Bosko's Trattoria. We had Lemon Baked Artichoke with Grilled Lemon Aioli, Garlic Foccacia Bread, Chicken Piccata, Angelo Pizza (with Italian sausage and mushrooms), chocolate hazelnut torte (I'll tell you the story about this in a minute), and beer. It was SO good. SOO good. We were just super shocked at how everything closed so early. There were a few restaurants that had closed at 7:30...on a Saturday night. Seriously?!?


The story with the torte. On our honeymoon in Jamaica every restaurant had torte (it was pretty much the only dessert we could consistently order) and so for seven nights we ordered and shared tortes...chocolate tortes, raspberry tortes, torte, torte, torte. We joked that we weren't going to eat torte for the rest of our lives. But when we saw it on the menu for our anniversary we knew it was the perfect choice.

How we spent our first anniversary

And my sister did so well with the kids while we were gone. She's AMAZING! These were the photos she sent us to prove they were having fun!! =)

Thank you Katie! Thank you! Thank you!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fifty-One Weeks Old

We are 5 days away from Aiden and Isabella turning ONE. I know, I know, it's cliche. But wow. How did it go so quickly?

They are still in 3-6 month and 6 month clothes. I just bought Aiden about six 9-month onesies and they're about an inch too big. I still put them in the bigger sized clothes because I only have so many of the smaller sized clothes. They're just going to petite for a while.

Petite, but quite fun and wild! 

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