Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ashley and the Tale of the Invisible Thorn

Ever since I had Ashley, I've wanted to write a series of children's books about her adventures. Whenever she does something I think is particularly cute or funny or interesting, I say to myself "Ooh, that book could be called "Ashley and the _________ [insert whatever it is that she's doing]".

This weekend, the book would be called "Ashley Belle and the Tale of the Invisible Thorn."

Ashley is not the best sleeper in the world. Lately, she's been using a number of bedtime stalling techniques, including melting down into hysterics unless we read her a book as part of her routine. I like to keep the book short and simple, but there's only so much Sandra Boynton I can take. So I thought to myself, "Hey, I'm creative! I'll just make up some stories to tell her."

Of course, I ran out of creative ideas for stories the third night in. So I resorted to my faulty memory of various children's fables, and one night decided to try out that one involving the lion and the thorn. I really cannot remember how it's supposed to go...but I know I told her the lion was a meanie, he had a thorn in his paw, a mouse helped him get it out, and then they went off and had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches together.

Since then, she has become OBSESSED with thorns...not with lions, or mice, or even the moral of the story. Apparently all she took away from it was that your skin can be punctured with various sharp objects at any given moment. And this obsession comes out at completely random times. Like we're all sitting at the breakfast table, happily sipping our various morning beverages and eating our cereal bars and then all of a sudden she'll say "Ah boo hoo hoo!! Ah boo hoo hoo!!" (Yes, my daughter actually fake cries by saying "ah boo hoo hoo!") So we'll say "What's wrong, honey?" and nine times out of ten she'll respond "I have a thorn in my ______ [insert various body part here]." Or I'll hear an "Ouch, ouch!!!!" followed closely by a "Mommy, help!!!!!" and run into the room only to find a little sad-faced Ashley, with her finger outstretched saying "I have a thorn in my finger. Ah boo hoo hoo."

So apparently I need to tone down the violence in my bedtime story-telling. Good thing I hadn't started writing those children's books yet. ;-)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Twin, My Friend

One of the really fun things about having twins is that they have a built-in best friend to play with at all times. Granted, this can have its when they decide to boycott bedtime by combining their individual semi-loud toddler yells into one insanely loud twin-combo yell that survives any attempt to mute it out by turning down the volume on the baby monitor.

But other than that, it's usually pretty fun...especially when I get to witness the little games that they make up to play. Some of their favorites include:

1. "Door Tennis": The boys loooooooooooove door tennis. Basically, it involves each of them sitting on opposite sides of a door, that they then repeatedly bat open and closed. They would play this game for hours, but door tennis can be hazardous to your health when you have a big sister who likes to pounce unexpectedly and slam the door closed on your unsuspecting fingers.

2. "Cabinet Tennis": This game is very similar to door tennis, yet slightly different in that it involves a cabinet instead of a door. I bet you didn't see that one coming.

3. "Capture the Lovey": Ooh, this is a good one. This only happens when we head upstairs to play, and one twin manages to sneak his lovey out through one of the crib's rails. They then proceed to chase each other and engage in a manic tug of war over said lovey, until one wins and walks triumphantly away only to have the entire process repeat two seconds later. Yes, they do have their own individual, identical loveys that they could each grab from their own cribs...but that would ruin the fun, now wouldn't it?

4. "Turn the TV On, Turn the TV Off" (or TTTVO, for short): Again, self-explanatory. But I bet you didn't know that TTTVO can get very competitive. If you turn the TV off when it's time to turn the TV on, well....God be with you. If you don't believe me, see the picture evidence below of a TTTVO throw-down. Man, someone really needs to break that up!

5. "Climb up Onto the Couch, Fall Off the Couch": Now this is a fairly new game that the twins have invented, but oooh has it taken our household by force. And, we have multiple head injuries to show for it!

Ah, life with twins. I can't believe no one's had to get stitches yet...knock on wood.

Monday, July 21, 2008

On turning three...

I can't believe my little girl is turning 3 in one month...where has the time gone?????

Every day for her is so full of joy...I hope so much that she stays the same way throughout her life.

Three years far, so good.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Before and After

I recently realized that the twins are the same age now (17.5 months) that Ashley was when they were born. Honestly, looking back on that time I don't know how we made it through... But here we are today....everyone's still alive, so I guess we can call it a success. ;-)

Anyways, I wanted to post a photo comparison to show how much they've all grown...

Here's Ashley at 17.5 months, with the boys as newborns...

And here are the boys at 17.5 months, with Ashley in the same chair...

It's crazy how much they've grown.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I officially witnessed "twinspeak" for the first time this weekend...

Don't get me wrong...the twins have chatted with each other before. They've definitely had screeching contests, and I do remember one lengthy discussion about a ball that went something like this:

Aidan: Ball.

Owen: Ball.

Aidan: Ball.

Owen: Ball.

You get the point. And other times, they will repeatedly say the word "heh" back and forth to each other. But up until now, I've never seen them actually communicate with each other.

Anyways, we were outside playing, and Owen decided he wanted to walk up the hill in our backyard. Now the hill is not a place they normally venture, since they tend to freak out if their mommy is more than 6.5 feet away from them. And since their mommy likes to sit on the patio chair when she's outside, under the shade and sipping a Diet Coke, being fanned by the pergola ceiling fan, she's usually nowhere near the hill. But apparently, Owen was feeling brave on Saturday morning and decided to check it out.

Now Aidan on the other hand was busy being my "good helper." Aidan LOVES to help. He loves to sweep with his little broom, vacuum with his toy vacuum, put toys away, stir things in pots, close the cabinet doors that Owen just opened, close the drawers that Owen just opened, etc. So this morning, Aidan was outside on the back patio within a 6.5 foot radius of his mommy, holding the hose in one of the flower pots. Now the hose wasn't on....but since Aidan is a "good helper", he had the hose ready to go just in case mommy decided those flowers needed watering.

So Owen's at the hill, and Aidan's at the flower pots. Then I hear Owen say:

Owen: Heh.

Aidan looks over his shoulder, sees Owen, and replies...

Aidan: Heh.

Owen, growing a little more insistent now: Heh.

So Aidan drops the hose and walks over towards Owen. Now Owen gets all excited, like "yeah, my brother's coming!" so he starts booking it up the hill. And of course Aidan can't get there in time, so he's kind of stumbling around trying to figure out which way Owen went. By this time, Owen realizes Aidan's not following, so he comes back down the hill. He sees Aidan, they exchange a couple more "heh's", and then they both head off together up the hill.

It's so hard to explain....but it was like they just knew what the other one wanted them to do. No words other than "heh" were exchanged, but it was clear that Owen wanted Aidan to go with him, and Aidan went because Owen wanted him to (and also because hills are apparently super cool when you're a 17.5 month old boy).

It was really one of the first times I've seen them act like brothers. Usually they look to me when they want to see something or share something was really quite amazing to see them look for that in each other.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Go Jump in a Lake

So we took the kids out to their great-grandma's lake house this weekend... Ashley and I were strolling along the beach, when she pointed to the middle of the lake and said:

Ashley: I want to go dere, Mommy!!!

Me: Ashley, you can't go there, that's the middle of the lake!

Ashley: No Mommy, Ash-ee go DERE!

And then she made a run for it. Luckily I had her by the hand, but she still ended up in a time-out over the ensuing struggle...

Ooh, if looks could kill... She was so MAD at us. But she paid us back later that night when we let her out in the backyard. We had told her she could play in her sandbox, but she headed straight to her pool and jumped in, fully clothed. It's no lake, but apparently it will do in a pinch.

You gotta love that free spirit.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Positives and Negatives

One of the best things about having 3 kids under the age of 3 is pajama snuggle time on Saturday mornings....

One of the worst things? The noise.....oh, the noise.

Happy (belated) Fourth of July!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

If you can't pinch 'em....

Aidan and Owen FINALLY hit 20 pounds, so we recently turned their carseats around to face forward. Let me tell you, it's quite a challenge to fit three convertible carseats next to each other in the back of a vehicle, even a vehicle as gargantuan as Scott's Chevy Avalanche.

But we managed to squeeze them all in there. I know that rear-facing is technically safer than forward-facing, but I'm pretty sure that none of those carseat tests were ever conducted while sitting next to my little miss Ashley. You see, a pathological carseat pincher. Yes, that's right. If you sit next to her while she's strapped in a carseat, she will repeatedly pinch you until you start crying like a little girl.

I didn't really discover my daughter's pinching tendencies until the boys were born, and we started having to squish all the carseats in a row. We'd be driving around peacefully, thinking everyone was sound asleep...when all of a sudden we'd hear shrieking from the backseat and turn around to find Ashley pinching the hell out of whichever brother was unlucky enough to be seated next to her.

Try as we might, we couldn't seem to stop the pinching incidents. Threats of time-out, positive discipline, negative discipline....nothing seemed to work. Apparently those chubby baby legs right within pincher finger reach were just too tempting for Ashley to resist.

So I was very excited to have them all face forward, naively thinking that Ashley wouldn't be as tempted to pinch if she had to reach over to the side and couldn't easily see her brothers' facial reactions. But oh, how wrong I was.

The other day when we were all driving home from somewhere or other, I heard the sound of a familiar shriek coming from Aidan in the backseat. I whipped around in my seat and said:

Me: Ashley, did you pinch your brother?

Ashley: Noooooo....

Aidan: Waaaaaah!!!!!!!

Me: Ashley, no pinch! We don't pinch our brothers!

Ashley: Ash-ee no pinch brudder, mommy! Ash-ee eat him!

It was only at that moment that I saw the teeth mark dents in poor little Aidan's finger. Well, crap. Pinching vs. biting....maybe rear-facing really is safer.