Saturday, May 26, 2012

Huh

Somehow it has been almost nine months since I last posted.  What can I say, my kids wear me out and I rarely feel like writing anything in my few minutes of child-free time every day, I suppose.  I post a lot of little life snippets on FaceBook and a few on G+, so if you are actually interested in how things are going on a regular basis, I'd recommend reading over there rather than here.

Aiden finished his first year of preschool.  He knows his numbers quite well, and is learning his letters.  He is getting better at tracing.  He really doesn't like singing in front of people, he thinks it's scary, and so during all three of his preschool programs this year, he sat on his mat, refused to sing, and glared at everyone.  So, we're working on teaching him songs and helping him sing in front of other people this summer.  He's very imaginative, and has two imaginary friends, Roger and Dasher, that he plays with and talks about all the time.  He consistently will have two toys have conversations with each other.  Anything unpleasant is now apparently worth crying about, which is rather annoying, but at least he doesn't have full-blown tantrums very often.  He loves pepperoni pizza, olives, pickles, quesadillas with salsa, frozen burritos, and doesn't really like trying new foods most of the time.  His favorite color is blue, his favorite stuffed animals are his bear-kie, a lamb-y, and a moose.  He wakes up at 5:30 every morning, and doesn't like going to bed before 8pm, and doesn't take naps unless we go on a car ride in the mid-afternoon, which generally results in him falling asleep.  He's a wonderful big brother most of the time, and other than regular fights with Caleb over toys and the iPad, he's very nice to his siblings.  He plays with Caleb most of the day every day, and loves holding the babies on his lap for a minute or two, and making silly noises that make them laugh.  He loves to say silly things.  After a bout of him repeating "What the heck!" we decided we didn't want him to say that, so he replaces it now with other words, and goes around saying "What the goose" and "What the head" and other things like that, followed by giggles.  He very rarely has potty accidents any more.  He loves playing grown-up games on the iPad, like Gesundheit and Plants Vs. Zombies and Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja and Cut the Rope and Swordigo.  We just set up the Wii again for the first time in two years, and he's been enjoying trying to play Wii Sports and Wii Fit with me also.  He loves story-time every night, and will sit still for long picture books now.  He's starting to think up things by himself to say during his prayers every night, and seems to enjoy being in Sunbeams, though he refuses to sing during Primary also.  He adores going to his grandparents' house, and asks me every few days if he can have a sleep-over there.

Caleb is learning new words consistently, and I'm working with him on pronouncing things properly.  He leaves off the first consonant sound of most words.  He still babbles nonsense sometimes, but most of the time he uses real words and makes small sentences.  He is much more emotionally intense than I'm used to, and has large-scale meltdowns as well as fits of long, loud laughter when he finds something funny.  He has to have things lined up just-right on his bed each night before he can go to sleep, and gets upset if something is out of place.  He plays pretty well on his own now, but much prefers to play with Aiden (whom he calls A-A).  He loves going to nursery, even though it's right during his normal nap-time and he sometimes falls asleep by the end of nursery.  He mimics everything Aiden does, almost all day.  He tries to say the same words, and do all the same things, and follows his brother around endlessly.  His very favorite person, though, is his Grandpa.  His second-favorite person is me.  He loves the movie Wall-E and we watch it a lot.  He also likes Ponyo quite a bit, and Cars.  He likes The Fresh Beat Band and Blues Clues and want to watch things pretty much all day every day.  He loves playing with the iPad, his favorite game is probably our toddler puzzle game called Tozzle, wherein there is a train puzzle that he adores.  He really loves trains.  He plays pretend sometimes, especially with the Little People we have, whom he makes walk between the dump truck and the airplane, and bounces them on a pillow for a trampoline.  He loves baths and trying to drink his bath water.  He likes to eat Cheerios with sugar, corn dogs, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bananas, and a few other things, and is generally very resistant to trying new foods unless they're desserts or similarly sweet.  He's finally starting to come and tell me when he's got a poopy diaper, so I think we're getting close to him being ready to potty train.

Gwen only has two teeth still.  She's getting quite tall, and her face is filling out a bit, and her legs are quite chubby, which is cute.  She scoots around the floor, pulling herself forward with her arms.  She almost always wakes up before Chloe, and cries every time we put her in her bed to sleep.  She's getting pretty good at sitting, though she is still figuring out getting down from sitting to crawling.  She is fairly content most of the time wherever she is, and doesn't really go exploring that much.  She also loves snuggling and sitting on my lap and playing with me.  She likes talking, and will babble a lot when she's excited.  She is reserved about giving out smiles most of the time, but when she does, they're delightful.

Chloe has four teeth still, but I'm pretty sure she's working on another one right now.  She's much shorter than Gwen, and skinnier, though her cheeks still look pretty chubby.  She is very fast at army-crawling all over the place, and loves to explore until she realizes she's all alone and can't see anyone anymore.  She switches between sitting and crawling easily all on her own, and back to sitting again when she finds a toy to play with.  She pulls herself up to kneeling on the edge of the couch, and on our big Mega Blocks box, and other things like that.  I suspect she will be a climber.  She loves moving.  She is very impatient when it comes to eating and cries between most every bite of baby food because she doesn't want to wait the 30 seconds while I give Gwen a bite.  She cries louder than Gwen usually, and laughs more too.  She likes trying to bite my hand or arm and laughs when I wince and tell her no.

Both girls get jealous of each other whenever they see the other one on my lap or being held.  They also get jealous when they see Caleb sitting on my lap.  They like it when I'm sitting on the couch near them, and get upset when I go sit at the table to eat, or go do dishes, or make food for the boys, or whatever.  They are fascinated by Yo Gabba Gabba and Baby Signing Time.  They love listening to music, and always flip around from whatever they're playing with when there's a song in a TV show.  They think Aiden is pretty hilarious, and generally want to play with anything Caleb is playing with, which he doesn't like at all.  Chloe loves being in the water, she's a little fish.  She splashes and dunks her face in and gets all wet and doesn't cry at all.  Gwen is scared of the water and tenses up whenever she gets near the bath or the pool, and clings to me or to a toy for a long time before she relaxes at all.  She doesn't like being splashed.  They both eat any kind of baby food I give them, and are very interested in real food now, though they have not succeeded at eating Cheerios or Banana Puffs the couple of times I've given them some.  They like Mommy the best, and get excited every time I walk in the room after being away from them for a few minutes.

I've been doing alright.  I've started dieting (by just eating less food at every meal), and trying to get a bit of exercise in sometimes.  I've been doing small amounts of crafting, a lot of movie and TV watching, and a lot of reading with my Kindle I got for Christmas.  I got a BlendTec blender for my birthday/mother's day, which has been fantastic for making healthy smoothies to drink.  I feel tired almost all of the time, probably because of going to bed too late and Aiden waking me up at 5:30 every morning.  I've been thinking lately about a future career in librarianship possibly.  Who knows, I seem to change my mind every year or two about what I'd like to do for a job someday if I ever have to or want to go back to work.  My house is generally a giant mess and my yard is a wreck and my garden has been doing its own thing all year (I scattered all my leftover seeds in it willy-nilly at the beginning of spring, so I don't even know what's growing in it right now).  The birds like our yard a lot.  We replaced our drip system.  There's lots of things I would like to do, or that kind of really need doing, but by the point in the day that I have enough time to do most of them, I'm too tired to.  I should start going to bed earlier, I guess.

Mike is doing well.  He's getting back into photography after a long baby-hiatus.  He's still enjoying his full-time job as well.  He's really busy most of the time.  We regularly wish we had some sort of inheritance or something so he could stay home every day and just play, but obviously, that's terribly unrealistic. ;)  I'm glad he works hard to support us, and generally likes what he does during the day.

We're going on a family vacation in July to Guatemala to visit my parents.  I've got all our passports ready, and plane tickets purchased.  I'm really excited for my parents to see the girls for the first time.  I think it will be a lot of fun, even if the plane rides are going to be insane with all four kids and only two adults.

Who knows when I'll post again.  I should put up some more pictures some time, my kids are all really cute.  We'll see if I get around to it or not.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Valco Zee Two Baby Gizmo Giant Weekly Giveaway

With twin babies, a two year old, and a four year old, finding a stroller to use was not easy.  We picked the Valco Baby Tri-Mode Twin, with the hitchhiker board and the toddler joey seat, because it was pretty much the only option that would let me have all four kids on one stroller.  I have loved it, it is not difficult to fold, the individual canopies are lovely, the buckles are wonderfully kid-proof, and it is all-around a really nice stroller.  But I've had a couple of complaints with it.  It's very heavy, and it has air-filled tires.  I understand, it's an all-terrain stroller, and they generally have air-filled tires.  But I've already gotten a thorn in one tire, and had to get a new inner tube for it, and I'm not really using the stroller much in all-terrain sorts of situations.  It's pretty much sidewalks for us, and occasionally some grass when we cut across the park to get to the playground.  But, like I said, it was the only option that would work for us, and other than those two minor complaints, I've loved it.  And the thing that really convinced me to buy it was watching the video review from babygizmo.com (seriously, if you ever want a video review of a stroller you're considering, check and see if they have one there first! Best, most in-depth stroller video reviews I've seen.)

Now, lo and behold, Valco has made a new double stroller, the Zee Two.  It still has the wonderful canopies, it will eventually take a toddler seat and the hitchhiker board, but! It is lighter! It has foam tires that are unpoppable!  It is, in a nutshell, my dream stroller.  And! Baby Gizmo did a wonderful review of it, which made up my mind completely.  I want one.  And! Baby Gizmo does an amazing Giant Weekly Giveaway, where they give away all sorts of awesome things.  And (you see where this is leading now, don't you?), this week, they are giving away a Zee Two.  What's a mom of four kids four and under to do, but try every conceivable way to win?

So, there you have it.  The Valco Zee Two.  Baby Gizmo Giveaways.  And one blog post by none other than yours truly.

P.S. I will update about life and all that nonsense soon, I promise!