Thursday, March 28, 2013

2 year Stats!

2 year photos taken by Sarah Barnsten -
The twins are up to so much at age 2, but here is a list of likes, dislikes, stats, new skills, fun facts of where and what they are up to now.
Katherine Ilene:
Height: 35.75 inches - 93%tile
Weight: 30 lbs - 85%tile
Head: 19.5 cm - 93%tile
BMI: 16.5 - 55%tile

Diaper Size - 5's during day and night
Clothing Size - 2t and 3t shirts and 2t pants

Favorite Food - peanut butter toast, cinnamon sugar bagel with plain cream cheese, fruit snacks, cheese, chicken noodle soup, french fries, apples, bananas, pizza, doughnuts

Favorite Songs - Wheels on the Bus, Old McDonald had a Farm, Row, Row, Row your Boat, ABC's
Favorite Books - "Brown Bear, Brown Bear", "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", "Aaaaarrrgh, Spiders!", "Goodnight Moon"
Lover of - animals and making their animal noises, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, shapes (circles are her favorite!), monkey blanket, being held, baths, juice, balloons, being tickled and chased by Daddy, Noodles & Company's mac n' cheese
Favorite Phrases - "Hi Mama/Daddy", "Ta-da!", "I got it, I got it!", "I'm so tall", "Oh, thank you Mama/Daddy", "Sit down please", "Oh,'s Captain Hook!" (while watching Jake and the Pirates, as she calls it), "That tickles", "Get Me!", "I'm okay", "Going to Grandma and Grandpa's house", "Good Morning, Mama"
Favorite Toys - Mickey and Minnie Mouse (and characters) figurines, books, coloring, puzzles, Minnie tea set, measuring cups and spoons, magnets

* Knows shapes: circle, square, rectangle, star, triangle, heart, and oval

* Can count all by herself to 12 consistently and sometime 15 with help.  Will randomly count backwards by herself from 10 to 1.

* Knows colors: red, blue, green, pink, purple, yellow, and orange

* Such a talker!  Will repeat most everything we ask her to say or will imitate and repeat back what we say in our everyday conversations

* Has had 2 haircuts

* Knows so many animals and can do all of their noises. 

* Saw your first movie, "The Croods", at the movie theater.  The four of us went and had a blast!  You kept saying, "Going to the moonies (movies)."  You would laugh at the funny parts when you'd hear everyone else laugh.  So cute to see you smiling throughout the whole moonie! :)

* You love to sing songs and dance around in circles which then makes you very dizzy!

* Loves to look at family pictures and list off every one's name.

* Celebrated your 2nd birthday party on March 9th.  It was a Mickey and Minnie Mouse themed party.

* Your top two canine teeth are the last ones left for you to get.  They are just now staring to poke through.  Once they are in, then all you have are the rest of your molars.

* A month after your 2nd birthday we took away the pacifier.  You didn't like the first few days without them and through a number or tantrums.
* Dislikes: having your face wiped, not a fan of drinking just water, and still struggles with going poopies but better than where we were a few months ago.

* Hearing you say, "Love you, Mama/Daddy" is the best.  Your sweet little voice melts my heart!

Matthew Edward

Height: 35 inches - 70%tile
Weight: 24 lbs 6 oz - 10%tile
Head: 19 cm - 45%tile
BMI: 14 - 13%tile

Diaper Size: 4's day and night
Clothing Size: 18 and 24 month shirts and 12-18 month pants

Favorite Food - mac n' cheese, fries, chicken nuggets, any and all kinds of dipping sauces, chips and salsa, bagels, suckers, fruit snacks, powdered doughnuts, cheese
Favorite Songs - Wheels on the Bus, Old McDonald had a Farm, your Go Fish Cd,

Favorite Books - books that have sounds and flaps 
Lover of - his blankets, climbing all over, balloons, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Curious George, light switches, playing in water filling up cups, baths, being chased, piggy back rides, open gym time at Perpetual Motion, pushing the handicap buttons to open doors
Favorite Phrases - "Uh, Oh!", "ball", "cheeeese" (for mac n' cheese)
Favorite Toys - cars, Hot Wheels track, puzzles, kitchen set, Lil' Coupe Car, sit on and ride car/fire truck, Lego's, playing games on my phone, slides, painting
* Becoming Mr. Independent!  You want to start to do things yourself.  You help put on your clothes, jacket, socks and shoes.  Want to get out a plate, utensil, and sippy cup yourself and then will climb into your high chair yourself.  You want pour your own drink, put the ice cubes in it, and then help screw on the lid.  You like to help me with the laundry by handing me clothes from the hamper to be placed in the washing machine.  You try to help sweep the floors with my broom, but the handle is a bit long. (I need to find you one your size)  You want to brush your own teeth.  You'll get a Kleenex and try to wiped your own nose.
* Can be very particular about certain things.  You don't like your hands and face dirty and will hold out your hands or point to your face when you want them wiped.  You point to where on your tray you want your food placed.  When you eat doughnuts you want to have two at a time.  You want to sit in sister's car seat and use the same high chair every time.

* You'll go downstairs to the playroom all by yourself.  You turn on the lights in the basement and know to turn them off when you are done and come back upstairs.  Smart little man!

* Loves to throw away trash in the garbage.  About 80% of the time the things you do throw away are garbage.

* Has had 4 haircuts.

* You amaze us at how well you can follow directions, even 2 step directions.  You really observe and soak in everything we do and say even though you don't always vocalize it to us.
* Could sit at the sink and pour water into cups and bowls all day!
* Celebrated your 2nd birthday party on March 9th.  It was a Mickey and Minnie Mouse themed party.  You had a blast at the indoor play area going down the slide a million times over and over again!
* Can climb into your car seat yourself once in the car.  And can recognize our car (from a ways away) and walks to it when we are in the parking lot.

* So busy but yet such a snugly little boy!

* Loves to be a helpful brother and wants to bring items to Kate.  You get upset when you try and hand her something and she doesn't want to take it.  You start getting upset and become frustrated and will try and pry open her hand as to force her to take it.

* Awesome at matching two pictures together.
*  A month after your 2nd birthday we took away pacifiers. You had a few rough naps and bedtime the first two days.
* Saw your first movie, "The Croods", in the movie theater. The four of us went and had a blast!  You sat with Daddy the first half but then decided you wanted to sit with Mommy.

* You were not a fan of getting your pictures taken at the 2 year old shoot.  As you can tell from the pictures - your funny faces and piercing your lips together.

* You're becoming more vocal and will talk/make noises especially while you're playing.  You try and repeat words and love to point out things around the room or while driving in the car.  We can tell you are wanting to say more and are excited about trying to repeat words after us.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


So, we finally made the decision to get rid of pacifiers!  Today marks day #5 without them.  The paci's are completely GONE!  We, or more so my husband, thought it would be best to have them quit cold turkey.  Not even paci's while they sleep!  At first, that made me very nervous...especially at bedtime and naps.  I like my sleep and the twins have been great sleepers for us.  The last thing I wanted to do was disturb that nice, nightly routine.  But as much as I have wanted to give in and give them one in their crib, Kevin has helped me to stay strong.  Deep down I do agree...getting rid of them completely while they are young would be the best choice.  And then we don't have to worry about weening them again down the road while they are older.
Kevin has been wanting to get rid of the paci's for a long time.  I kept saying, lets wait.  They aren't even two years old yet.  They bothered him more than me.  Myself, I didn't necessarily like them having one during the day while they were playing, but part of me liked having the soothing mechanism for my long days/nights with them.  It helped to calm them out in public, running errands, through temper tantrums, and in the car rides.  When to quit the pacifiers has been a big thing on my mind lately.  It was hard hearing comments from people about Kate and Matt not needing those during the day; they are too old for that.  Those comments stressed me out.  I realized, after talking with some other moms and the parent educator at my ECFE class, that while Kevin is busy working and gone a lot and it's just me with two toddlers, it's okay.  They aren't in my shoes.  Right now, it's not a battle that needs to be tackled while it's just me (trying to survive!) but rather a team effort.  So, Kevin and I made our game plan.  When he was finished with busy season we would take a long weekend together and say good-bye to the paci's. 
I can say it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be.  And surprisingly, Matthew has been the easier one in this process.  The only time he has seemed bothered is at naps and nighttime.  Kate, on the other hand, has been a bit of a handful.  Saturday, day #1, after asking for the paci and Kevin saying, "No, you are a big kid now," she started a 30 minute temper tantrum.  Something unlike her.  (I luckily was gone running errands with Matthew during this time!)  That same day, nap time went about the same way.  Both kids this time were back throwing themselves around in their cribs, screaming, and crying for Momma and Daddy.  No nap was officially taken that day since they were so upset.  Bedtime was definitely better, but they cried for a good hour until they both feel asleep. It feels like re-sleep training them all over again.
Kate has continued to ask randomly throughout the day and during our nightly routine for a paci, but we have stayed calmed and strong and replied with, "Nope, you're a big girl."  I don't know how much she comprehends, probably more than we realize, but as long as we are staying consistent and to our guns this phase soon shall pass.  I know it's hard for them not having their way of soothing themselves to sleep.  It makes me sad to hear them cry so much to fall asleep when we all aren't used to that.  But I'm happy with the hubby, even though sleep as been very much interrupted these past nights, for keeping the both of us strong and sticking to our guns!
No more seeing my two kiddos with the paci anymore.

Part of me is sad too. This makes it more official that they are growing up and reminds me how fast this time goes.  It was the last thing from when they were babies.  But, I can more happily say that I will not miss having to battle Kate and Matt every time I tried to take them out of their mouths or finding those things in the dark, on the floor, in the middle of the night when they'd wake up. 

We just need to get through this first week.

Then we can think about our next battle to tackle....the Terrible 2's Tantrums! Ekk! :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

MN Zoo Play date

Last Wednesday, the twins and I headed to the Minnesota Zoo.  (It was the first day of spring, but the temperature was 8 degrees.  Cold walk from our car to the entrance for a "spring" day.  It.was.freezing!)  We met there as a play date with our friends Julie and Jay.  And happy to report: no kids were lost or injured, none swallowed by any animals, minimal tears were shed, animals were seen, and tummies were fed.  In my book that ='s SUCCESS! 
The twins had been to the MN Zoo prior with us and Grandma and Grandpa Willms last year in May and then again in the summer for Kevin's work function.  I could tell since they were older on this visit they noticed and watched the animals more and enjoyed running around exploring the play areas.  Plus, it was great to hear Kate say the names of the animals and repeat back the information as I explained what was going on at the exhibits.
I did my best taking pictures when I could inbetween chasing and corralling toddlers!
Pictures from a fun toddler play area called, The Bee Hive.  The twins and Jay had fun climbing and sliding down the slide.  Of course.

Kate kept trying to climb up the slide.  At one point Matthew went over and tried to move her over as to tell her - Hey, you need to move and go down the right way.


Yup, he or "Linus" had to have his blanket.

Kate and Jay building a bee hive.

Hi Jay!

Jay loved wearing the construction hat.  Jay also wanted Kate to wear it and was chasing after her trying to put it on her head.  Kate just laughed and thought it was fun to be chased.
Matthew's giving the bee hive building a try.

Attempting to get a picture with all three kids on the turtle.  Didn't go well.  Kate ran off.  Then Jay ran after her.  I followed the two kids while Julie stayed with Matthew.  Jay came back.  Kate ran a little further away.  I finally got her and brought her back to the turtle.  Kate ran off again.  So, she didn't get her picture with the turtle.

Buddies checking out the animals.

Climbing through the log tunnel.  Matthew's following Jay.  He was a bit unsure at first but did it right after he saw Jay do it.

Both boys stopped together and sat and looked out the window at the animals in the water below.
The twins must have had a blast because they were both sound a sleep before we even left the zoo parking lot!
Julie and I want to take the kids again in April when they have the baby chicks' exhibit! That portion will be outside, so please warm up MN so we can start enjoying outside activities! 

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Mickey & Minnie 2nd Birthday!

Because of Kate and Matt's love of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, I knew waaaay back this summer it had to be their 2nd birthday theme! 
Date was picked - Saturday, March 2nd, 2013.  Invitations were sent!
Framed it as part of the party decor.
That Monday (2/25), the week of the party, Kate came down with a fever at our play date.  She ran a high fever and slight runny nose for three days.  Then on Wednesday (2/27), their actual birthday, Matthew woke up with a fever.  Two sick kids on their 2nd birthday.  The plans I had for their special day didn't quite go as planned. 
Kate started feeling better later on Wednesday, but Matthew was only starting his sickness.  He continued to run high fevers, around 102-103.something, for the next couple of days.  I decided on Thursday evening to take him into Priority Care because his fever had spiked to 103.9.  Plus, I wanted to make sure if he did have something contagious then I needed to post-pone the party that night before people started traveling the next day.  Found out at the doctor's Matthew just had some kind of virus that has been lasting 3-4 days with high temps.  Doctor recommended not to have the party because chances of him feeling better by then would be slim. 
So, I got home, made some calls, and decided to push the party to the next Saturday, March 9th.  Unfortunately, my brother and his family and a few other friends, were not able to make the new date.  My nephew, Kaleb, was celebrating his birthday with his friends on that Saturday.  My brother decided to still keep their hotel room in our area so his two boys could go to the Mall of America on Saturday and then depending on how Matthew's feeling visiting us Sunday.  We were so glad we decided to move the party date because Matthew still wasn't doing well on Saturday.  Finally, Sunday was a better day towards improvement.  Matthew finally ate a little and had some energy.  My brother and family were able to come over and celebrate early with the twins.

The twins received lots of fun gifts.  We ordered pizza for lunch and the twins enjoyed playing with their new construction set with their cousins.  Thanks Uncle Mike, Aunt Melissa, Kaleb, and Evan for coming to visit and help us celebrate!
Now that the twins were finally back to being healthy, I was able to use the week to run errands for their birthday party.  Unfortunately, their birthday falls during Daddy's busy season.  In fact one of his busiest times of the year.  Kevin had been working into the wee early morning hours each day so that didn't leave me any time to go and run errands by myself.  So I did the best going to several places with two 2 year olds and making decorations when I could during nap and night times.  Definitely hard not having Kevin around, let alone see him much!
Tuesday evening, my girlfriend Lindsay (saving grace), came and helped me put up the decorations in the house.  It was nice to have all of that up and ready to go for the weekend so I didn't have to worry about it.  She also helped make them as well!  Thank you, thank you, thank you Lindsay!
Our Mickey & Minnie Mouse Clubhouse decorations:

"If you've got ears, say CHEERS!"  Mickey Oreo cookies - thanks Lindsay!

Mickey chain

Mickey and Minnie name signs

A place to leave the birthday boy and girl a message.  But, I forgot to point that out to our guests so we don't have any messages. ;)

Door sign
That Friday, my parents and Kevin's parents and sister arrived.  The twins were excited to see their family and stayed up late playing with them all! 
Saturday, March 9th, Party Day!  We first started the party at Look Out Ridge - an indoor play area for kids.  Our friends and my sister and family met us all there.  The kids had a fun time playing!
Matthew's favorite slide and the main part he played at.

Climbing up to go down the slide again.

Cousin Andrew

Aunt Kelly and Cousin Allie

Miss Kate - her favorite part is walking around or jumping in the jump house...but she has to have some one jump in there with her.

The twins' friend from our ECFE Friday class, Jay!

Kate climbing through the tubes with Daddy.

Grandpa Larry W, Grandpa Larry D, and Grandma Joyce

Mommy and the birthday boy!

Our friends, the Allen's, and their twin girls

Aunt Kelly and Katers

Matthew and Kate had so much fun climbing around and through everything with fun Aunt Jen!

Then it was back to our house at noon for pizza and cake.


Cake Time!  Minnie and Mickey Birthday cupcake cakes.

Time to sing Happy Birthday and blow out their 2 candles!

Saturday, March 9th, was Grandma Joyce's actual birthday so she had her own special birthday cake and candles to blow out!

Make a wish Grandma!  2 candles for Grandma...she was celebrating her 2nd birthday, too!

A few pictures of them opening their gifts.
Matthew was more into unwrapping than Kate.

As a fun way to show who was at the twins' 2nd birthday, I had a 'photo booth' type picture idea planned.  Each family took a picture wearing fun accessories I had provided. 
Here is our wild and crazy bunch! :)
{The Breuner Family}

{Aunt Jenny}

Aunt Jenny and Grandma Joyce

{The Grandmas}

{Grandma & Grandpa Dufel}

Goofy!  Kate loved wearing those orange glasses upside down.

Love this picture!

{Grandma & Grandpa Willms}

Matt Looking Cool on his new sit n' spin!

{The Allen Family}

{The Kopp Family}

{Birthday Twins & Mom and Dad}
We had such a great day celebrating the twins' 2nd year!  Thanks for all of our friends and family who traveled to MN to share in on this special day with us.
We love you Katherine and Matthew and can't believe you are already 2!  We thank God for the blessings you have brought to our lives these past two crazy years!
"Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him."
- Proverbs 127:3