Friday, November 22, 2013

Monster Mash

The Friday before Halloween, the Early Childhood program (EFCE), puts on a Monster Mash party for kids.  We went to this last year and the twins had such a great time so we knew we wanted to go again this year!

The kids get to wear their Halloween costumes and participate in many games, jump in the bouncy house, and dance and sing along to a kids' band.  Katherine and Matthew had fun seeing all of their friends from their ECFE classes, too!

Singing and dancing along to, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes
Matt and Kate's twin friends, Julia and Fiona

Another fun Monster Mash!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Apple Orchard 2013

Two years ago, Kevin's parents came up and all of us went to an apple orchard in the cities.  It was the twins' first fall, so they were only 7 month old.  Last year, we were home a weekend in the fall so all of us went to a pumpkin farm there.  So it has become a tradition and we knew Kate and Matthew would have a fun experience this year.

We have so many orchards and pumpkin farms to pick from in the cities.  I decided on Afton Apple Orchard because of its fun kids' playground area, petting zoo, hay ride, and pumpkin patches.  

Kate was shy and either clung to Grandma or myself.  The swings were enough adventure for her.  Matthew loved the big playground!  It had several tubes for the kids to crawl through that linked up to each climbing structure and slide.  

Petting Zoo - feeding the goats withe grandpa!

Love these pictures....thanks Grandpa for posing with your grandson! :)

Hay ride out to the orchard and pumpkin patches.

The kids picked three pumpkins to take home.

{love my two little pumpkins}

We did take home a bag of apples and Joyce and I made apple crisp for dessert for the weekend.  We think it came out pretty, darn tasty!  (Just ask us!) :)

So happy Grandma and Grandpa could come up and continue in this fun, fall tradition.  It's fun to make these memories especially now as the twins are getting older.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Finally back! Time to catch up...2.5 yrs old

Hello!  Yes.  I'm finally back!  Sorry for the almost month of no new posts.  I guess I decided to relax a bit in the evenings and enjoy some 'me time'.  Plus, we also were busy here these past few weeks with several visitors.  October ended up being a busy month!
Well, since I have been MIA, I have some catching up to do. 
Kate and Matthew turned 2.5 years old back on August 27th.  I've been wanting (and maybe putting it off a bit too) to write a post documenting all the things they know and can now do.  Since I am already past the 2.5 marker by a few months, I'm going to document all of the things from when they turned 2 until now.  I'll try and mainly focus it on stuff up to age 2.5.

Katherine Ilene: 2.5 years old

* Weight - 33 lbs
* Clothing Size - 2T/3T shirts and 2T pants
* Diaper Size - 5's both day and night
Favorites: color orange, colored pencils and crayons, singing, letters and shapes, dancing, riding on our backs, playing hide-n-go-seek, chanting the family cheer, the letter "K" for Kate, swings, milk, being chased, playing catch, trampolines
Favorite T.V. Shows: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sofia the First, and Little Einsteins
Favorite Foods: peanut butter sandwiches/toast, chips - especially Doritos and Cheetos, Noodles mac n' cheese, grapes, apples, green beans, fruit snacks, chicken noodles
Favorite Toys: alphabet and shapes puzzles, wooden circles, kitchen set and food items that go with it, books, sidewalk chalk, Mickey and Mickey figurines
Favorite Books: Curious George and Mickey Mouse search and find books, The 8 Spinning Planets, Eric Carle Animal Sounds 

* Knows/recognizes in print all the letters in the alphabet!  Will constantly ask us to write certain letters for you, spell words, or make a "K" for Kate and "M" for Matthew!

* Knows numbers 1-9 in print.  Can count objects up to 15.

* Can spell Kate and Matt out loud. 

* Loves to sing!  You remember songs after hearing them for the first time.  A lot of times while you are playing you are singing aloud some song you've recently heard that day.  A few of your favorites are: Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, Mr. Sun, and the welcome and good-bye songs from class.
* Knows so many shapes: circle, square, triangle, diamond, oval, rectangle, hexagon, and octagon.  Loves to have us draw them for her!

* This summer, you moved into a 'big girl' bed!  Matthew climbed out of his crib and into a big kid bed.  You didn't like that he was out and you were still in your crib.  After a month or so of trying to keep you in your crib, we decided to have you make the transition too.  You and Matthew still share a room together.  The transition to your new bed was a difficult one for sure!  You two did not want to stay in your room and fall asleep.  It was a struggle for a good 3 months, but finally, after putting up a baby gate in the doorway, you now stay in your room/bed without fuss. 

* You've been going to bed between 8 - 9 p.m. but you fall asleep closer to 10 o'clock.  You continue to be a night owl!  You still take an afternoon  nap around 1-1:30 in the afternoon for about 2.5 hours.  You will go closer to 3 hours if Matthew doesn't wake you up before.

* Monkey blanket still is your favorite and a must necessity to fall asleep and to have as a security at new places.

Fun Summer Memories: Dufel side family trip to Clamshell Beach in north Minnesota, you were the flower girl in Liz (daddy's cousin) and Ryan Hansen's wedding in July, road and fished in grandpa Dufel's fishing boat for the first time, Uncle Mike showed you a tour of the fire station he works at, so many trips to the park, Grandma and Grandpa Willms babysat you and Matt at your house while Mama and Daddy went to FL for a long weekend, trips to the pool, feed a giraffe at the MN Zoo, watching your first parades, and miniatured golfed.

Dislikes: waking up too early from your nap, having your hair brushed or fixed, getting your hair washed, doing something that wasn't your idea, getting your picture taken.

* You continue to be a little talker and copy all of the sayings/phrases you hear us say.  Some specifically are: "No! Why not?", "Yup, I sure did!", "Hey! What's the big idea!", "That's good sharing Buddy. You're a good buddy.", "Be careful Matthew!", "Don't worry Mama, it's just a loud noise", "That feels much better now!" (after kissing her owies) "Good morning!  Did you sleep good?", and my favorite phrase that you said to me - "Do you hear that Mama?  It's poopies Mama.  It's poopies."

* This fall you started a new school year of new ECFE classes: Friends' Pre-Preschool and Multiples.  You still don't like to separate from Mama but are definitely improving.  You now tell me to have fun and then give me a kiss when it's time to separate.  Already less tears are shed this year compared to last school year.  We are proud of you, Taters!

* You can be a bit sensitive.  Your feelings seem to get hurt pretty fast.  I don't think you like to get in trouble and usually do follow the rules and directions.

* As your personality is coming out, we have found you to be very silly.  A girl who loves to laugh - deep belly laughs! You like to be teased and asked to be tickled and chased.  We love your goofy side.  But, you also have a very suborn side.  If something isn't your idea, then forget it.  You definitely know what you want and can be very independent.

Matthew Edward: 2.5 Years Old

* Weight - 27/28 lbs
* Clothing Size - 2T shirts and 18 month shorts this summer and now 2T pants
* Diaper Size - 5's day and night

Favorites: shark shoes, light switches, swimming, helping cook, being chased and tickled, Minnie, trampolines, playing hide-n-seek and catch, stickers, colors pink and purple, slides at the park, Minnie Mouse bowl, using the hose to water Mama's flowers
Favorite T.V. Shows: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Curious George, Little Einsteins, Minnie Choo Choo (A.K.A. Mickey's Choo Choo Express Movie)
Favorite Foods: cheese, mac n' cheese, waffles, cinnamon toast, hot dogs, quesdillas, pizza, orange juice, anything sweet, chocolate chip  muffins, vanilla pudding, crackers
Favorite Toys: trains and train track set, cars, tractors, puzzles, painting, play-dough, matching games, Memory, water table, hose, Nabi, flashlights, sticker books
Favorite Books: Curious George and Mickey Mouse search and find books, Thomas the Train book, Eye Spy books

* Knows some of the letters in alphabet (not sure which ones specifically).  Knows "M" for Matthew.

* Can count to 10 and can count objects but isn't always consistant.
* Loves shapes and telling us which ones to draw for him. Knows his shapes: circle, square, triangle, and diamond.

* Knows colors: green, blue, red, black/brown, pink, purple, yellow, orange

* You love to be a helper.  You want to do so many things yourself or "Matt try".  You want to help pour your drinks, dress yourself, give yourself your medicine, open doors and turn on light switches, start your nighttime music and sound machine, butter your toast, wash your hands, and so much more!

* Shortly after you turned 2.5 you started potty training.  You wear big boy undies during the day and pull-ups during nap and bedtime.  We are doing low-key potty training since you're still pretty young.  You do still have accidents and still haven't learned the full concept of telling us before you have to go.  We are so proud of your enthusiasm about going potty!  Keep up the great work, Buddy!

* This summer, your bottom 2 year molar came in.  It was not a pleasant experience for you.  In fact, you didn't eat for 5 or 6 straight days because of the pain of the molars coming through.

* This fall you started a new school year of new ECFE classes: Friends' Pre-Preschool and Multiples.  You love class and jump right into activities by yourself.  The art projects, large motor room, and circle time are your favorite times in class.

* This spring, shortly after you turned 2, you crawled out of your crib during nap time.  Boy did you surprise us by showing up in the kitchen by yourself!  From that day on you've moved into a 'big boy' bed! We went to the big kid bed because you wanted nothing to do with your crib toddler bed. You and Kate still share a room together. The transition to your new bed was a difficult one for sure! You two did not want to stay in your room and fall asleep.  You threw a lot of temper tantrums.  We tried so many different methods to keep you in your room and to make it a fun, stress free experience.  It was a struggle for all of spring and most of the summer, but finally, after putting up a baby gate in the doorway, you now stay in your room/bed without fuss.

* You've been going to bed between 8 - 9 p.m. but take awhile to settle before you fall asleep.  You are all over the board for the length of your afternoon nap.  You take a nap around 1-1:30 and wake up anywhere from an hour to 2 after you've fallen asleep.  You usually take much shorter naps than Kate but usually fall asleep before her.

* Green circle blanket is still your favorite and a must to fall asleep with!
Dislikes: having your hair washed, dirty hands or clothes, wearing socks

* You have come so far from your 2nd birthday with your language abilities!  You still are in speech with Ms. Heather.  She comes to our house once a week to work with you.  You now can say 2 word and some 3 word phrases.  You talk so much more in everyday playing.  You qualified for a speech class at the District Program Center starting in January.  You will take an Articulation Class two times a week.  We are excited to keep you moving on this positive track and making more and more progress!

* We can start to reason with you.  You are a good listener and can follow multi-step directions.

Fun Summer Memories: Dufel side family trip to Clamshell Beach in north Minnesota, you were the ring bearer in Liz (daddy's cousin) and Ryan Hansen's wedding in July, road and fished in grandpa Dufel's fishing boat for the first time, driving Grandpa Dufel's boat, Uncle Mike showed you a tour of the fire station he works at, so many trips to the park, Grandma and Grandpa Willms babysat you and Kate at your house while Mama and Daddy went to FL for a long weekend, trips to the pool,  feeding the giraffe at the MN Zoo, feeding the llamas and donkeys at the Waterloo Petting Zoo, miniature golfing and scoring 2 holes-in-one back to back (for real!!!), and watching your first parades.

* You are a little artist!  Painting and art projects are one of your favorite activities.  You are a serious, focused painter. 

* You learned how to pedal a tricycle this summer.  A master kicker.  A golfer like Daddy.  Drive like a Nascar driver in your Power Wheels Car.  Anything physical or sport orientated you love it!

* Mr. Social!  Everyone loves your big smile and dimples.  You will go to most anyone and love to make new friends with the bigger kids at the park.

* You are all about adventure!  Nothing seems to stop you once you've set your mind to it.  You like to master an activity right away and can get frustrated very quickly if isn't going how you want it.

* You aren't afraid to try new things.  At class, you set off for what you want to do and don't have any problems with separating from Mama.  You love to participate in any activity and do a great job with listening to directions!

* All Boy...besides your love of pink and purple! :)  You love to jump and turned our couch and living room into your personal trampoline and obstacle course.

 The two of you have started this bond and love for one another more now than ever.  You love to play together and have started to miss each other with you're not together.  It's fun to watch you play and dance and listen to the communication you share with each other, somehow knowing what the other is saying.  You love to copy what the other is doing, too!  You can play for long periods of time together and will get along until you start fighting over some toy the other has.  I hope you always get along just like you do now!

Can't believe Kate and Matthew are only 3 months away from their 3rd birthday.  I know I always say it, but I wish I could stop time and live in this moment at this age a little longer.  I'm not ready for them to turn THREE!  Slow.Down.You.Two.Kiddos! ;)