Wednesday, July 23, 2014

This week

It's funny - we've been very busy the past few weeks.  Like, plans every day busy.  Yet - I can't think of anything to blog about.  Ridiculous, huh?  But I guess it's because it's stuff like visiting my grandmother (where I forgot my camera) and going to meetings and church stuff.  Oh, speaking of church though, I really should have taken a picture of the kids when they went to church Sunday morning.  They were pretty cute - especially Paxton.  Everyone kept saying what a little man he is.  Man, that was mean, huh?  Telling you that, then not having pictures to go with it?  Lame.

Dude, I am such a good blogger.

Anyway - how about some random pictures from the past few days?  Let's start with hanging out in the play room a couple days ago.

And this was yesterday.  Showing me some new moves.

And here's a few from this morning.  We've had bits of sun for a few minutes at a time, but mostly rain for about 5 days so far.  So after we dropped Xander off at VBS this morning, we didn't even go back in the house - straight outside to play.

Nap time.  Don't they look so tired?

During nap time I watched a battle of apple juice (good) vs. milk (evil).  Surprisingly, milk won.

And here are the latest pictures for Project 365

Day 46 - Piper is destroying a house the boys just built.  Lucas saw it coming, but couldn't stop it.  Paxton is upset and crying.  Xander is upset and yelling "Stop!"  So typical.

Day 47 - After the twins woke up from nap, Paxton crawled on Piper's bed and they talked and giggled for a while.

Day 48  - Eating breakfast.  Love this kid.

Day 49

Day 50

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Science Center on a Rainy Day

This past Friday, Xander was spending the day with his grandpa in Boone (about a 40-minute drive from our house).  This is also the town Lucas works in, so he just took Xander with him to work for Devotions (which is what his workday starts with - it's awesome), then took him over to spend the day with Grandpa Ted.

Piper and Erika

Not long after they left, I got a text from my friend Erika, who has a little boy close to the twins' age.  She wanted to know if we wanted to go to the local science center, which offers free admission the 3rd Friday of every month - which it was.  At first I wasn't sure; I felt guilty taking the twins without Xander, but my husband (via text) pointed out that not only did Xander get almost 4 years of special trips before the twins got here, but he still gets them now.  (In fact, the day before I had taken him to the movies.  Not to mention he got to spend the day with grandpa.)  So - we went.

Paxton admiring the big tortoise

And I'm so glad we did.  Although I do think Xander would enjoy it, I don't think he would enjoy the same parts they did.  We quickly walked through some of the more science-y exhibits, and spent a lot of time in the toddler play area.

By the way - all pictures were taken of moving toddlers in low light with an iPhone - sorry for the quality

My favorite part, though, was the very first exhibit we saw - the fish.  And seahorses and lizards and stingrays.  You know, fish.

They just loved it.  They were absolutely fascinated.  I could not get enough of seeing their eyes light up and hearing them giggle.  They even have a place where you are allowed (and encouraged) to put your hands in and touch some of the creatures.

With the exception of a few sprinting episodes, they were very well-behaved and we had a blast.  If you're local, I really recommend it.  I had been before, but it has probably been 20 years since I've gone (I know - what's my problem?), so I was pleasantly surprised.

And here's yet another catch-up of Project 365, not counting today.

Day 41 - Lost tooth!

Day 42 - Mirror selfies after bath.  She has the cutest "surprised" face ever.

Day 43 - I will never stop with the trampoline pictures.  Ever.

Day 44 - They love playing with Daddy when he gets home from work

Day 45 - Hanging out with our (uber stylish) friend Evan at the science center

Hope you had a good week too!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Another Big Kid

First the twins graduated to toddler beds, and now this.

Xander lost his first tooth.  His Daddy helped him pull it out, after he realized he couldn't eat his corn on the cob.  He was so excited and, honestly, so was I.  More so than I thought I would be.  It was fun.

The tooth fairy left him $1, a light saber toothbrush, and a surprise Mario figure (they come in a little pack and you can't tell which figure you're getting; luckily the tooth fairy picked one he didn't have yet).  We explained he probably got so much this time because the very first tooth is special.

It's a fun time - almost 6 years old, signing up for his first organized sport (soccer, of course), starting Kindergarten soon - but it's a frustrating time, too.

His whole life I have parented him a certain way.  There's really no way to totally explain a parenting style in a few paragraphs, so I won't try.  But basically, I'm a talker.  Instead of just correcting behavior, I try to get to the root of the issue ("Why are you acting like this?  What do you feel?  What made you feel that way?").  Aaaaand -  I'm not the most strict disciplinarian.  Like at all.  I'm the grace-giver, for sure.  And until fairly recently, this worked well with Xander.  He's a people-pleaser, and a rules-follower, so he didn't need a lot of punishment - just me letting him know that I was disappointed in the way he was acting.  Not anymore.

Refusing to smile for the camera

Lately he's been seriously acting up.  And I don't just mean jumping around and dancing when people are paying attention to the twins just so they'll see him too (he's done that stuff for a while) or not smiling for my many pictures.  I mean when the twins are both crying or fighting, he'll start screaming or making more noise, just to add to the confusion.  Or he'll encourage them to do something they aren't supposed to do.  Or he'll go out the front door without telling me what he's doing (and even sometimes yell, "Can I come home with anyone!?  I don't want to live here anymore!"). 

Yesterday we went to tour his new Kindergarten, and the Vice Principal was showing us around.  He was running around like a crazy person.  Literally running into empty classrooms and touching stuff, crawling under tables, laying in the floor, and even yelling "DOO DOO!" once.  I told him many times to stop and come stand/walk with us while I was trying to listen to the VP and push the wiggly twins around, but he absolutely refused to listen to me.  Then I realized - I had no authority over him.  Which kind of woke me up.  This isn't a "stage" anymore.  This is simply how he acts around me.  And it's not good.

So now I'm dealing with me, basically.  He is a child.  I am the adult.  It is my responsibility to find out what is going on in his heart and direct and guide him the right way, yes.  But he has to listen to me, too.  He has to follow the rules, even if there is a valid reason that he's feeling wild.  He's always been my buddy and I think I've treated him as a peer for too long.  It's time to re-affirm that I am his parent, and I am in charge.  And it's - gulp - okay if that upsets him from time to time.

I'm not changing my entire viewpoint, of course.  I still feel that it's very important to figure out they whys and get to the heart of the issue.  But there has to be a balance - discipline and grace.  I'm praying hard for that little heart of his (and his brother's and sister's, for that matter).  And for mine while I fumble my way through this.  And if there's one thing I know - it's that the Lord provides.

Still snuggling with me, even after a rough day.

Yep.  We're gonna be okay.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Twins at Tweetsie

We love Tweetsie Railroad.  I'll be honest - the price for a single ticket is a bit ridiculous in my opinion, but if you're local, a season pass is totally worth it.  Xander got a season pass 2 years ago for his birthday, and this past Christmas he got money from his great grandmother and decided to save half and spend half on a season pass for this year.  I'd say we go up at least once a month, and probably more than that in the summer months.  It's usually just me and Xander, but this past weekend, we decided to take Paxton and Piper for their first visit.

Paxton loves trains ("choo choos"), but he does not like loud noise.  Unfortunately, real trains make a lot of noise.  So as soon as we got there, he started crying because the train was chuffing (is that a real term?) and tooting and just being noisy.  Then my mom (who also has a season pass, along with my sister and her family) called over a guy dressed as a big rabbit character and it totally freaked Pax out.  So we got away from the train and people and went to the bouncy houses.

They also had a rock wall set up, and Xander spent a lot of time on it.

After Paxton got happy from jumping around, we went up to do some rides.  The twins weren't interested in riding much, though.  They got on the carousel, but didn't like the moving horses, so we ended up sitting on the stationary bench.  Everyone else rode some things, though, and we took turns watching the twins so everyone could ride what they wanted to.

Mimi was showing them the dart game (but not playing it) while I took pictures of Xander on the Tilt-A-Whirl
Xander decided to ride alone because you spin more.  But he looked hilarious and crazy the whole time.
Here's a close-up of his face in that last one.  Me and my sister were dying laughing.
He saw us laughing and kept making crazy faces
 So I turned around from taking pictures of Xander and see this.

They didn't even play the game, but somehow walked away with a couple of balloons.  Charmers.

After that, my mom and I took the twins up to see the animals while Xander stayed with his cousins (and friends we met there) to ride more "big kid" rides.  We decided to try the chairlift with them.  A risky move, but they did great!  They liked it a lot - slow-moving and not much noise - perfect.

This was actually on the way down, taken with my iPhone, because my camera died

At the top of the chairlift are some other little rides (they weren't interested) and the Deer Park, where you get to feed a lot of cute animals.  I thought they were going to totally flip, in a good way, and especially Piper.  But once again, they surprised me.  They both liked it, but Paxton was more excited and Piper was a bit timid of the animals and spent a lot of time eating the cone that holds the animal feed.

This guy jumped up on Paxton to get a little more, and he STILL didn't freak out!

After that my camera died, but they did decide to ride the Mouse Mine train, and they liked that.  Then we were getting hungry, so we came on home to eat lunch and let them nap.

Overall, I'd say the trip was a big success.  I did miss hanging out and riding rides with Xander, so I doubt the twins will be coming with us every time, but at least I know it's manageable.