Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Is this normal or is Madison advanced? ;-)

Is it normal that a 2.5 year old can draw a circle without even being taught how?  

Monday, September 28, 2009

more videos

Maddie has known her shapes and how to count for a while now but I hadn't gotten it recorded yet. This was just tonight.

My wild children

I love it when they horse around with each other. The lovely sheets on the cribs are our last ditch effort to keep in their cribs. It's classy. You're jealous. Admit it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New balance bike

A while ago a heard about balance bikes. I was so convinced that this method of learning to ride a bike is the best way that I wanted to run out and buy them.

For those that think I'm nuts read this...

"KinderBike is an innovative training and balance bike for children between the ages of 2 and 5 years. It teaches young children the art of balance at a very young age and, in doing so, instills confidence through the development of critical motor skills. Since the trainers have no pedals or training wheels, children use their feet to push themselves around and glide. As a result, they learn balance quickly without the false sense of stability attributed to training wheels. Experts agree that training wheels hinder a child’s ability to learn balance. Rather, KinderBike adapted the popular training method prevalent in Europe, where the average age for learning to ride a bike is just 2 years of age!"

This is a video of a 23 month old riding one. You have to look at it.

Since the cheapest balance bike you can buy is $90 and we need two I turned to craigslist. I found one for now and went to pick it up on Friday.

So far they both love it and unfortunately fight over it.

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They haven't quite realized that they can glide on it but I'm sure that just happens automatically.

Alyssa came for a visit

The other day Kristen came down to return something they had borrowed. Mike was a dork and told her she had to bring it down even though we were going to see them the next day. But anyway we had an nice time hanging out. My neighbor had come up to visit who's a few years older than Raffe so they had a great time together and Jackson was just following them around everywhere. Then they were all hitting each other with wiffle ball bats (in fun). Jackson was beating the crap out of them.

While they were here I wanted to get some new photos of Alyssa. Look at those blue eyes! At 9 weeks old she is already smiling and weighs almost 12 pounds!!!

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This is Maddie's new trike but of course since it's new they are fighting over it. Jackson's trike is useless now.
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At one point Maddie fell down the porch stairs head first and got that little scrape on her nose. The large lump on her forehead is from a mosquito.
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These are my neighbor's flowers next to our driveway. This photo is straight out of the camera! No editing whatsoever.
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My funny Maddie

The other day I walked into the kitchen to find Maddie "napping" on the floor with her dolls. She even has one of the doll's binkies in her mouth.

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A little while later she came in looking like this. Oh my goodness.
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Apple picking at Brooksby

My mom and I took the kids to Brooksby the other day. It was nice because we were pretty much the only people there although it was really hot!

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Sampling the apples
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They just can't resist a motor vehicle of any type
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My mom and I were sweaty messes since it was so hot and we were carrying them at times because they were so whiney and didn't want to walk. Next time I'll bring the stroller.

Oddly enough the highlight of the day was playing in the crosswalk. For some reason when we were crossing the street (and by street I mean a driveway and the crosswalk was at a right angle bend in the road so any cars that did go by were going very slow) to go back to the parking lot Jackson decided to flop around in the painted area. Since there were no cars at all we decided to let them play. It was actually a good lesson because we told them they had to watch for cars and they really understood and would yell "CAR!!!" when one was about a mile away and they would run to the side. Then they would wave and say Hi. After it passed they would look to see if another car was coming and if it was clear they would run back in.

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Their cheeks were all red from the activity and the heat.
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Trip to the park last weekend

Last Saturday evening the four of us went to the park. Jackson was playing with this group of older kids. They were all running around together and when they had to leave Jackson stood at the top of the slide yelling "KIDS!!! Stay here!"

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Madison plopped herself down with these boys to play in the sand.
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It was a fun time and of course we had to drag them out of there kicking and screaming.

Then we went home and had hot dogs on the patio.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Sports montage

(I HATE that word just in case you wanted to know)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cousin Sophia

A couple weeks ago I took some pictures with M&J and Sophia. I hadn't taken any of them holding her yet and thought it would be a good idea. Jackson was way more into it than Maddie.

Look how cute he is with his arm around the back of her and in front of her.
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Labor day cookout 2009

Our annual labor day cookout in Gloucester was a lot of fun this year although I do remember having to take Maddie far away on a few different occasions because she was beside herself upset. She just wasn't in a good mood. I'm afraid the family was horrified by them and even worse Louise got a glimpse into her future :-)
All of the older cousins love M&J and I love to watch them interact.

How cute is this??
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Jackson's been doing this face lately when he sees my camera. I think he's worried about the flash even though I rarely use it.
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I was only there for a couple of hours most of which I spent calming Maddie down. I had to run to a photo session. I got back up there just in time to pack everyone up.

Jackson climbing

He's yelling "do it self!"

Maddie swinging a bat

At the beginning of this clip Maddie hits the ball by accident which is very cute. Then she hits lefty.

In this clip she hits righty!


Again, nothing special but cute.

The rock wall

When we got their swing set in March I really thought they would be 4 before they'd be able to climb up the rock wall. I was wrong. They both learned to do it last week. I was amazed.


This isn't anything special I just love her expressions.


Since the kids were born Chris's mother has been singing this Irish lullaby to them. It has always worked like magic. She was always proud that she could put them to sleep just by singing it. We always joke that they just pretend to be sleeping so they don't have to hear her sing anymore. In the last month she has gotten Jackson to sing it when she's singing it to Sophia or Alyssa. The first time I heard him sing it my heart just melted. He has such a sweet voice.
This is a video of him starting out but Maddie quickly takes over. I have to get him doing it longer.

Toddler beds

In the last three weeks Madison has been refusing to stay in her crib. She effortlessly climbs in and out. One night while I was at work Chris made the change. He took the side rail off of their cribs. They went to bed fine although Maddie got herself up at 6:30 (way earlier than her normal 8:00 waking). Nap time was a different story. It was a Saturday so Chris and I were both home dealing with it. For an hour and a half we consistently, quietly put them back in the bed. They didn't nap that day and Chris was so frustrated that he put the rails back up. That was a week ago. Since then they've been sleeping in their cribs at night but Jackson has also learned to easily get in and out of his crib so nap time hasn't happened. All week of no napping took their toll on by Friday. They fell asleep in the car on the way home at 7 pm. We were able to transfer them to their cribs which NEVER happens and they slept until 7 am. Saturday nap went well although I had to get Jackson down in my bed.
I just can't see them ever staying in a toddler bed unless they are strapped in! Although at this point they don't stay in their cribs either.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

30 Months

Dear Madison and Jackson,

Madison is starting to tolerate more physical play now and you love to chase each other around. You are definitely interacting more now which is something people always ask me if you did but I always had to answer that you really didn't even pay attention to each other...unless one was stealing the other's toy of course. You both love to play outside. We a T-ball T and you both like to hit the ball with a bat. You both just learned to climb up the rock wall on the play structure. You got real good at it real fast. I love all the time we get to spend together even if a lot of it is dealing with your WHINING!!!!!

You had a breif experience with toddler beds. You did OK in them at night in that you stayed in them and went to sleep but nap time was NOT happening so the rails went back on. We're still trying to decide what to do because even with the rails up you are both continuously climbing out of your crib no matter how many times I calmly put you back in.

Your new trick this month is to open the drawers of your bureau, pull ALL the clothes out and throw them all over the room. Then to top it off you BOTH will climb into the open middle drawer. We really need to put stoppers on the drawers so you can't open them! You both get a time out followed by putting the clothes back in the drawers.

You are really responding well to "Do you want to have a time out?" "No" "Then you need to pick up the clothes you tossed out of your drawers". It seems the time outs are making an impression and you know you don't want one so you are willing to do things you don't want to.

Dear Jackson,

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You are seriously starting to assert your independence. "No" is now your word of choice although "Stop" comes in a close second. You are not shy about doing something naughty. You haven't figured out yet that you should try to hide what you do wrong so you don't get in trouble.

You absolutely amaze me with some of your sports ability. You are able to hit the ball off the T pretty consistently and it goes about 30 feet. But the thing that is just incredible is that we can pitch a ball to you and you make contact every time as long as it's a good throw. If I do throw it badly and it lands at your feet you will swing the bat like a golf club to hit the ball back to me. In the last week we've been places that have little basketball hoops and you LOVE them. You also love to mow the lawn. We visited Gianna and Michelle yesterday and you used her play lawn mower for a half hour straight!

I got pants that are size 3T but they are way too big. The next smallest size this store has is 24 months and I know those won't fit you through the winter. I got you 3T shirts too and they're a tad big but will work just fine.

Dear Madison,

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You are a coy little thing. You really know how to act innocent after doing something naughty. You're so cute!

Daddy has some games on his iphone that you are able to play. It's so cute to see you sitting there touching the screen and knowing what you're doing. One game you like is soccer and the other is meant for kids. It asks you to touch a particular thing on the screen for instance there will be a screen full of letters and it will ask you to touch the "B", or there will be 6 stars of different colors and they will ask you to touch the blue star. You get it right 95% of the time.

The other day you were walking around the house talking to yourself saying "Can you do me a favor?"

You enjoy hitting off the T too. You mostly hit the pole instead of the ball but the cool thing is that you can hit it lefty or righty!

I just went shopping yesterday for some fall clothes. I got you size 24 month pants and even with the adjustable elastic as small as it can go they are still too big for you. I want them to last through the winter so I think we may have to make them work. The shirts are 24 months and they are a tad big.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Random photos August 2009

In Aperture (photo software) I have my photos organized by subject. Obviously M&J have their own folder in each month. I usually base my posts on those photos but during the month I also have a folder named "random". I'm thinking I'll dedicate a post at the end of every month to talk about my random photos. Here's August.

The moon over Gillette during a Revolution game
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This is a wind turbine in Newburyport. I just don't understand why there aren't more of these. Free energy? What's the problem? I actually think they're pretty cool looking.
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One night I had gone to the House of the Seven Gables to try to get photos of the full moon with the house. I say try because I failed miserably. While I was there I saw this very nice cat playing with something. It was very dark so I couldn't see what it was until I took a picture with flash. It looks like a mutant moth! So gross!!! It was so big that its eyes had "red eye".
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On the way home from the Gables I stopped at the old jail that they are converting to residences. It's such a creepy place that must have such ghost stories that it's a stop on the Salem night walking tour. At this point in the renovation all the cells are still in tact.
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This was at the LA/Revs game right after Beckham scored a goal. I love the Revs player on the left. Not that I was happy that the Revs lost of course.
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Revs season tickets come with a lot of extras. This particular extra is the biggest and coolest. They had an event for season ticket holders only where they opened up Gillette for us. There were things going on all over the field and they had free food and drinks for us too! All of the players are there and they sit at tables so you can go meet them and take pictures and get autographs. We didn't feel the need to do that this year since the lines were so long. They also give a tour of the locker room. That was awesome! This is us with the Rev's trophies although I'm really not sure what they're for :-)
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This is the tunnel that they walk out to get to the field. I'm assuming the Patriots come out this way too.
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And this is what they walk under before going on the field.
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This is where our seats are although they look just like all the other seats.
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