Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Year, Everyone!

It turns out February 29th was the day for some surprising new manners at lunch. There was a very brief exchange yesterday over saying "thank you" and "you're welcome" that didn't seem to register much at the time, but obviously made a bigger impression that I'd thought.

Today, my boys – Nate especially – couldn't get enough of finding things to hand to each other in order to elicit the "thank you/you're welcome" exchange.

And I thought we were doing well with "Exmoosey!".

Nicely done, boys. Nicely done.

- L.

PS. Of course there's a video of it all (and then some). You can check it out here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pretend You Are Two

Because there isn't anything quite like the imaginative properties of a toddler.

Despite my role as a parent to teach my children about the world around them, I find myself getting schooled more often than not.

On the surface, this looks like my boys have managed to climb into an ordinary laundry basket:

Except it's actually a boat!

Of course, that was kind of an easy one.

Want to guess what we're doing here? 

We're making hats ("AAATS!") out of ordinary cloth wipes*, of course.

Is because we still doesn't have enough hats, everyone.

And having a blast doing it:

Of course, nothing trumped the after-dinner special where ordinary raisins became airplanes:

Truth be told, I am loving this new phase of make-believe as much as my sons are.

- L.

*The ordinary cloth wipes are less ordinary than they would appear, since they are well known around these parts as "tse-tse cloths" and are liberally referred to as such in the video I just posted on our YouTube™ channel featuring our cloth AAATS! and raisins that are up high in the sky.

PS. The Great Tse-Tse Capers posts are coming. The caper involving the cloths was but one of them and early on at that. Still, the cloths have been known henceforce (and likely forevermore) as "tse-tse cloths". I thought I'd mention that in case you are wondering what all the "tse-tse" business in the video is about.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Instant Classic.

I titled this post after a post label because when you have an instant classic on your hands, you just know.

And in the spirit of "no fanfare, no fuss", here it is:


- L.

PS. Despite the challenges of being a mom to twins at times, it really is moments like these* that make it all worth it. This photo has had me laughing for days, especially since my boys aren't big nose-pickers and I was actually trying to take photos of something else entirely when this happened.

*Moments like these** actually happen every day. I just happened to get lucky with the camera this time.

**Just to clarify, I don't mean nose picking moments*** – just generally funny stuff that I don't often accidentally capture with the camera.

***You know, in case you thought my boys were nose picking fiends****.

****Not that there's anything wrong with that.

One Week Down. One To Go.

It's been one week since we bid a fond-farewell to the bottles (AKA: "babas"), and it was especially timely since we were down to our last 2 bottle nipples that somehow hadn't managed to fall victim to chewnits*. We are fully on board with sippy cups for our milk now.

It was the right time for other reasons too and I know this because it was done without fanfare or fuss.

For 6 days Nate and Seth still called those sippy cups "babas" and to be honest, I didn't care what they called them as long as the sippies were working. On the 7th day, Nate declared them "big boy cups".

And it was good.

We're on a bit of a "big boy" spree around here lately – and also in recent news, my boys have been sleeping through the night like nobody's business.

In fact, we're sleeping so well and also so into things that "big boys" do that I'm planning to convert their cribs to toddler beds next Sunday – complete with real blankets and hopefully a fond farewell to sleep sacks.

Wish us luck!

- L. 

*Re: "chewnits" and other things I posted about here and here that got the "*" without explanation. It wasn't my intent to leave anyone hanging over a "tse-tse caper" or a "wu-fu". It's coming, I promise.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


There's a new video up on our YouTube™ channel, and I don't want to ruin the surprise ending so you'll just have to head over and check it out for yourself.

- L.

PS. While Gamma Rita was visiting, I had the opportunity to have a mom's-only dinner out with the twin moms from the prenatal class we all took together. Over appetizers I happened to mention something about the kinds of capers my boys get up to since they work so well (and by that I mean sometimes a little too well) together. At the time I didn't have a quick story at the ready – I barely managed to make a weak reference to the Penaten Capers – but this would be at least a fair-to-middling example of what I meant.

At least when they're using their super-twin powers for good, that is.

PPS. I have at least 5 videos in need of editing and a host of other pics and stories that have accumulated, including some unfinished birthday business. Tonight's video took precedence for reasons that will become clear at the end.

Really, go check it out.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Maggot Tiles

A few months prior to Christmas there was a lot of buzz among internet Mommies about Magna-Tiles®.

More specifically, the buzz was about the Clear Colors Magna-Tiles® – and out of the line of Magna-Tiles® products, these would be the obvious choice as they are both colorful and see-through – being suddenly hard to come by. Private retailers though Amazon were jacking up the prices at an alarming rate which is mostly what the hullabaloo was about.

To be honest, I had no idea at the time whether this toy was a hot seller otherwise or not (turns out it was) – but I knew without a doubt that this would be a great toy for my boys. Seth loves building things and Nate loves figuring out how things work – and I love finding things that are within their parameters developmentally while providing a little challenge. 

Sadly, the escalating prices were due to the flooding in Thailand where the toy was manufactured. We managed to find a set at the regular price at a local retailer which was awesome, but regular price on the much coveted 100 piece translucent tiles set is still not cheap – although I justified the expense by telling myself that even if the boys didn't care for it, I would gladly play with the Magna-Tiles® myself. 

And I would have too, except the boys love them*.

Oh, and also they call them "Maggot-Tiles" in case you were wondering about the title of this post. I wanted to get that out of the way in case there was any confusion between Magna-Tiles® and their halt on production. Rest assured, in case you come across a set that isn't priced beyond belief at this point, it has nothing to do with maggots.

A few weeks ago, my boys still needed a lot of help with this toy so it was something I'd only bring out if I had an hour or more to sit and play. Now my guys are fairly solid if you help build the initial structure and then just let them play**.

Of course, this post be meaningless without some photos: 

– Oh hi everyone. Is us. I is having a good time figuring out how things work.
– Oh yes, hi everyone. I is figuring out how to make Nate work since I already knows my way around construction site

– First I points here and barks out orders.
– 'Dis not go over so great. 

– Since that not work out, I points here and explains personal architectural vision in great detail. Nate do the work alright, but he look a little less than impressed.
– "Personal architectural vision" also not go over so great. 

– Finally I gets hands on. Nothing worse than a grumpy crew if you knows what I mean.
– 'Dis nice toy, but would be better with set of earplugs right about now.

- L.

* My boys really loved this toy right out of the box, but I would caveat my recommendation by saying that they were easily frustrated by it initially even with an adult present. The magnets hold a structure together for great temporary play and collapse easily when done. Unfortunately, they also collapse easily when you're not quite done if you happen to be 2. The lack of permanence, despite the love of all things Magna-Tiles®, was actually a bit frustrating for us all.

** The structure in the photos was approximately 50% legitimately built by my boys. They have mastered a cube (which is mostly what you see here) and have recent skills at building a pyramid. The fancy stuff on top was adult-built. To be honest, I was more impressed that they managed to play with it long enough for me to think, "Hey, this is awesome – I should probably go grab my camera!", then grabbing said camera and spending awhile taking photos without any devastating cave-ins/mass destruction/fits of general hysteria***.

*** In case the "fits of general hysteria" is throwing you, keep in mind my boys are 2. They get semi-hysterical over lint at this point.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sharp Dressed Men

Blue jeans, no shoes;
I not know where I is goin' to.
Clean sweater, new hat;
Don't tell the cuties where I is at.
They come a runnin' just as fast as they can;
'Cause all the girls crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man.

- It not easy being 'dis cute, you know.
– Tells me about it. *sigh*

- L.

PS. The new hats – or as my boys would say... "AAATS!" – were a birthday present from Auntie Karen and Uncle Brent.

As you already know, my boys can never have enough hats. Really. And if things don't work out with their futures as basketball all-stars, professional chefs, future Olympians, architects or entertainers of some persuasion (particularly the dramatic arts) and/or if their in-home cleaning service goes bust, I think it's safe to say they can always fall back on their millinery background since they have to pretty much be experts at this point.

PPS. Auntie Karen and Uncle Brent might want to rethink their careers and at least consider becoming baseball all-stars, because they definitely hit one out of the Pahk this year. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Our Town

We stayed in our jammies long past breakfast this morning because we were on an important mission.

It required concentration:

Sometimes a lot of concentration: 

But we did it! We used up almost every piece of our "legos" (and some non-Lego bits* too) building a very busy little town:

And that grin that's full of mischief here?

It was just a hint of things to come regarding the rest of our day. It was actually kind of nice to download these pics from my camera tonight and remember that we had some sane times at some point today. 

*About those dice: don't let those (sometimes) innocent faces fool you. My boys will totally shark you at craps. They are rather good with their num-bahs after all.

- L.

PS. Speaking of craps (and other high-stakes gambles when it comes to toddlers), we're now 3 for 3 on the after bedtime poops. I have no idea what's going on there, but it's not helping the late-night party situation any since getting everyone out of bed to change a diaper seems to give my guys a second wind. The lights finally went out a little before 11 tonight if that's any indication.

Mischief indeed!

The Party Part II: The Cupcake Edition

– Oh hi everyone. Is us celebrating our big day! 
– And it all going so well up until now too. Mommy think she put one over on us with 'dis cupcake nonsense.
– She not fool us though.
– No, we is not fooled. Although stick is nice touch.
– Stick is big improvement over last year. Is definitely best part of cupcake experience.

– Except, I wonder...

– You isn't really going to eat that, is you Seth?
– I is thinking about it. Blue icing been my downfall before, but 'dis blue icing all swirly. Maybe swirly blue icing be different. 

– Here I goes, everyone! One, two, three... 

– *chomp*

– So... how was it?
– *Mmmrph*

– I not quite catch 'dat, Seth.
– Er... I mean is delicious. You should put stick down and try some. You not be sorry.

– ... *gag* *choke* *sputter*
– Sorry bro' – there no way I going to suffer horrible birthday burden alone 'dis time. Misery love company and all that.

– Oh, dat really stinkeroo of you, Seth – even tho' I has no one to blame but self for falling for it I suppose.
– Look on your face *almost* make up for own miserable cupcake experience so now I smiles a little.

– Still... you do realize I will get you for 'dis. You not know when, you not know how, but is coming.
– It still worth it, but I think now is time to make exit, everyone. If you has advices on sleeping with one eye open tho', feel free to leave comment.

- L.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

Yesterday I decided to bake up a batch of Valentine's cookies for today. The fact that I didn't have a heart shaped cookie cutter or anything particularly Valentine-themed about only gave me momentary pause.

Because, of course, nothing says "I love you" like a plate of Valentine's Piggies.

Or as I prefer to call them, "Valentine Swine".

I gave the boys their treats after lunch. I decided the ones with sprinkles might be fun, not knowing that sprinkles would require such scrutiny before anyone was up for taking a bite. 

Nate was particularly mesmerized (and maybe just a little cross-eyed):

He stared at that cookie forever before finally taking a bite, and said "sprinkles" over and over again. The sprinkles really made a big impression!


Which meant I very nearly missed the action going on to the right... 

Seth got over inspecting the cookie pretty quickly and promptly bit off Piggy's head:

I huffs, then I puffs, then I bites your head off.

Then he took his headless Piggy for a walk across the table:

"And 'dis little piggy had no head..."

He tucked in properly after the walkabout though and looked very proprietary about his treat until it was "all gone!". 

The spa-rinkles, they is mine.
- L.

PS. I should mention that lunch unintentionally turned into a themed event since it started with a plate of bacon. 

– Is there nice way to tell Mommy to put camera down now? I's hungry.
– Dunno Nate, but maybe 'dis expression do the trick.

• • • • • • •

PPS. While I was preparing lunch today, Seth ran back and forth shouting "I love you!" at the top of his lungs. My boys at this point will parrot an "I love you" back if I say it first, so multiple spontaneous declarations of love (on Valentine's Day no less) was a pretty big deal.

Until I noticed he was running around with a plastic lemon in his hand and listened a little more closely.

It's amazing how much "a LEH-moh!" and "I LUH you!" sound alike when shouted out by a fast moving toddler.

Even more amazing is that I fell for it all over again at supper.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Oinks and piggy snorts and a big "a-LEH-moh!" to you all! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Party Part I: The Nutshell Version

The birthday banner was up:

The cupcake toppers were ready to go:

And the special guests had arrived without much time to spare:

All we needed were a couple of birthday boys. Luckily, I happened to have some handy:

Don't worry. I didn't try to make them eat cake again this year.

I stayed up late making those cupcake toppers for a reason after all. Cupcakes do not = cake by the way and in case my logics here aren't making sense it's a well known fact (and if it's not it should be) that cupcakes have a completely different cake to icing ratio. Sometimes it's all the details. Suffice it to say I was optimistic.

Nate and Seth opened their presents after their big cupcake experience was over and I'm pleased to say there was plenty of wild abandon. Unfortunately it was so wild that most of the photos are a complete blur of activity – but on the plus side, they have definitely cottoned onto the idea of opening presents.

A couple of shots from quieter moments:

The sock monkey jack-in-the-box has been a big hit, but the sock monkey hats have turned out to be an even bigger hit. My boys have always had a fondness for hats after all.

They also scored some new books which have joined their recent collection of completely out-of-reach books since book-tearing is still a hot commodity around here. Despite their reckless behavior with said books, there is little my guys prize above a good read. Nate could not be any more zeroed in here without actually boring a hole through the book (which would involve an entirely new level of destruction I'd prefer not to think about).

And despite all the birthday excitement, naptime at 2 went off without a hitch. They actually slept exceptionally well that day – including overnight – which was a good thing since planning even a small and simple party nearly wore me out.

In case it sounds like I'm wrapping things up, I am – but only for now.

I know you've been sitting on tenterhooks the whole time wondering how my sweet boys enjoyed their cake this year and now you're going to be wondering if my cupcake strategy paid off in the form of finally having a picture of icing-faced little ones to show you.

That, however, is a tale for another day.

- L.