Monday, June 30, 2008

Speak the words

Yesterday we said, "goodbye" to Doyle and Christy as they are heading back to Washington soon. It was an adjustment to go from 6 smiles and sets of arms to hold the twins down to 4 again. We were very glad they chose to spend some of their vacation time hanging out with us and some day we'll take the 4 webbs on a vacation to visit them once the twins are old enough to enjoy things like digging for clams and wading in the ocean. Their trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona went very well and here's a picture of them hanging out over the big hole in the ground.

We spent some time in the pool and ended up with several good pictures. There's nothing cuter than a baby in water and I have no idea why. Here's Layla looking up at the palm trees with her typical inquisitive mind working overtime to take in all the new sights and sounds. By the way, Layla's eye color is really starting to change and right now it looks like she'll be blessed with pretty green eyes. They look really intense and I don't know how long it takes for the color to settle or if it changes continually like a stop light until one day it stops and stays that color forever.

And here's Easton and I playing and splashing. His eye color is a little green in the center and still grey/blue on the outside. We'll see what he ends up with?

A couple of weeks ago the 4 webbs and Oma and Opa Burgess had a good conversation and mini-sermon compliments of Opa. The topic was understanding blessings. I'm not a fan of Kenneth Copeland and the "name it claim it" prosperity gibberish that is taught, but I do believe in blessings and the power of the spoken word. Kendra and I have made a conscious effort to not only avoid speaking negative words into our life, our marriage, and our twins, but also to replace those thoughts and conversations with blessings. I'm stealing some of Opa's thunder here in this discussion because he was busy taking care of the babies tonight and unable to add his own blog!

Blessing means: A pronouncement invoking divine aid. How great is that for someone to "bless" someone else by speaking words as a request for God's help to intervene in a situation or give supernatural results. Since the time Easton and Layla were lint balls in kendra's belly I practiced this kind of blessing without knowing exactly what I was doing. Yes, I know babies don't even develop ears until they are 22 weeks along in the pregnancy and even then there is no way they could even hear my words. However, several times a day I'd lay next to her or get down on my knees in front of her and rub her belly. The only thing I would say is, "Happy and healthy babies!" I'd repeat that over and over again so much that I really believed they would both be happy and healthy. How much difference did it really make? I'll never know. but I still do it today to some extent.

Every time I pick up Easton I quietly sing a little rhyme and say, "Easton Troy is such a good boy. Happy and healthy, smart and strong". Yeah, I know... that doesn't even rhyme, but it is a good summary of what I hope for Easton. What I believe. What I bless him with. If I can look at him as he drives away to college and say he IS those 5 things, then I'll feel successful as a father. Every time I pick up Layla I say, "sweet little princess... precious baby girl. daddy loves you". I've heard so many people speak negative words over their kids and I don't understand why they say things like, "he has so many problems", or "he never does what he is told and is rebellious", or "she'll never get over her fear of swimming". Why? Why speak those negative words and reinforce the bad things? I suppose people in general don't believe in the power their words have in the life of a child. or a spouse or friend or even themselves. Don't get me wrong, i understand as time goes on and you catch your child cramming a pancake into your DVD player that it is much more difficult to speak positive words into his/her life at that moment. Overall though I'm really proud of Kendra and I for doing our best to speak words of blessing and catching each other when we fail in this area.

Because I rambled on more than my allotted blogging space already, I'll save my personal changes and battles for another day. :) Here is one other picture of Easton and I where he is just hanging out being mellow. Oma was waving her arms around directly in front of the camera trying to get him to flash his signature smile. Her arms flying around covering the camera's ability to take a picture was really funny to me for some reason so this is one of the most genuine smiles you'll ever see from me because I was laughing hard.

Tonight Oma and Opa Burgess took the twins out to Baja Fresh for dinner while Kendra and I went out with our friend Wei for sushi and some time away from the babies. Apparently people didn't realize the twins were with their GRANDbabies and thought they were the parents of the twins. They were able to recollect what it was like to be "parents" and we were glad to give them that opportunity while we enjoyed some alone time for a couple of hours. Nothing much exciting happened today except Easton and Layla both were given their first "sippy cup" and they LOVE it. They play with it like a toy and drink water from it already. Hooray for cheap thrills!

Have a great evening!

Home sweet home

Greetings friends and family,

We are back home now after a fun-filled weekend and were ecstatic to sleep in our own bed again even though the house and bed and surrounding of Payson were incredible.

I may as well get the bad news out of the way first because it's weighing so heavy on my mind. My brother, BJ, didn't get his adopted baby as he and his wife were hoping. The birth mom changed her mind and decided to keep the baby. I can't put into words the disappointment and hurt I feel and can only imagine what my brother is going through. It's hard in some ways for me to blog about my twins and the difficulties that come with it, knowing that my brother would give anything in the world to experience the good AND the bad. I feel very ungrateful for what I have considering how hard it must be for BJ to carry such a strong desire to be a father. Yeah, it's been a hassle to deal with disappearing socks, early morning wake ups, messy bodily functions, IVF processes, and the intense demands of having twins (or any baby for that matter). However, hearing about my brother's difficult path to becoming a father leads me to feel extremely fortunate and blessed. I believe my brother will be a father. The word "believe" in that sentence isn't one of possibility or hope, but a statement of truth and absolute confidence it will happen for him.

There are so many situations going on with other people's babies right now that I don't even have time to write it all. Along with my brother's disappointment, I heard last week that one of my Thursday night poker buddies lost his 3 month old baby to SIDS. That's scary and sad and incomprehensible for me to think about losing a baby like that. Seeing someone else lose a child makes me appreciate my twins even more.

As for the happy news, Kendra's good friend Megan had a healthy baby girl on Saturday. Megan was Kendra's bride's maid and long, long time friend who she keeps in touch with regularly. This is Megan's first baby and we are excited to see her new family when we visit Sacramento in August. Speaking of August... we hope to spend a few weeks in Sacramento this August and look forward to getting out of the heat here in Phoenix to spend some quality time with friends and Kendra's family for an extended stay.

OK, so about this past weekend... I can't believe it's been this many days since I posted and there has been so much happen since then that I barely know where to start. The drive up to Payson was long because of an accident that shut down the freeway. So Kendra had to sing the "horsey, horsey" song about 50 times through to keep Easton and Layla entertained as we sat motionless on the freeway. Other than that we had a great time watching the scenery and enjoying the ride. Arriving there we were blown away by how amazing Judi and Roger's house is. It is more complete and furnished than OUR house! The back porch is huge and looks out into a section of trees and woods. very, very peaceful and exactly what we needed. The most incredible enlightenment about the whole trip was how much STUFF we had to take to accommodate the twins! unbelievable... Our honda pilot was packed like a sardine can with bumbos and diapers squirting out of the windows. After we were settled Kendra thought it would be fun to give Layla and Easton their FIRST solid food... Avocado??? I just shrugged my shoulders and said, "ok, you're the expert at this". Here's a picture of Layla that captures the general dislike, indifference, and cluelessness she and Easton displayed when given the chance to try avocado.

and here's a humorous video clip of the event. It's obviously both of them were clueless about what to do with the mushy green stuff in their mouth.

Oma and Opa Burgess drove up with their good friends Christy and Doyle from Washington. Having all of us together was perfect and I'm so glad they were all able to join us for the weekend. We found out over the weekend that Easton LOVES cold cups and gumming the bottom of them. He's teething (we think) and that must feel good to have the cold, wet feeling along with the hard plastic to gnaw on. Doyle is showing how Easton reaches for the cup and makes noises as if to say, "give me that. I want the cup!"

Layla enjoys "whapping", which is the best word I can think of to describe what she does. She flails her arms down and beats on whatever toy or object is in front of her as if she's hammering a nail with her arm. We are not looking forward to her demonstrating this new-found power on Easton. :)

Easton has a permanent smile all day, every day and everyone who looks at him returns the favor with an equally big grin. Oma made up for being gone a whole week on her cruise by spending plenty of quality time with the twins. Here's a good picture of our good looking boy showing off for the camera with Oma.

We left Kendra at home where she caught up on a few hours of much needed sleep. Everyone else took a 20 minute drive to go see the Tonto natural bridge, which is the largest natural travertine bridge in the world and a very worthwhile wonder of nature to behold.

We did some serious hiking and brought along the Chariot, which performed like a champ carrying the twins along the bumpy path. It is very hard to tell from the angle of this picture, but the trail was very steep.

Here's a picture of Oma and Opa Burgess with Doyle and Christy. The Tonto natural bridge is a pathway across that huge hole behind them in the background. I took a few scenic pictures of it and will post them in the future sometime instead of clogging up this post with too many pictures that don't have the twins in them. After jostling along the trails in the hot AZ sun for an hour, I took this picture of Easton and Layla. It shows how Easton is the happy-go-lucky man of the world and Layla was glad the trip was over so she could get out of the sun and into the air conditioned car. She's such a dainty, little princess...

Overall we are glad we took the trip up North and everyone had tons of fun. My favorite part of the trip was watching Doyle and Opa Burgess pitch horseshoes. I sat in a chair and did absolutely nothing productive. What a concept. The next best thing was sitting in the living room with everyone just talking and playing with Easton and Layla. Kendra planned the whole trip and cooked several delicious meals, which cut down the costs and made the trip a huge success.

Today was an excellent day off work for me except for the part where I had to do work for a couple of hours... so much for a vacation day! Oh well, I have several vacation days left this year and look forward to taking every last one of them. We did have a good time today in the pool and out shopping at Costco.

If you're still reading the blog this far below any cute pictures of Easton and Layla then you must have an obscene amount of free time or a genuine interest in our lives. Either way, I'll share with you a precursor to the next blog for tomorrow. Kendra and I spent a few hours alone in the Payson house after the babies went to sleep. It was the first time in a long time that we were able to talk and open up without a million other things directing our conversations about babies and errands and survival of the 4 webbs. During that time I was able to talk through my feelings and our relationship took a turn for the better. We talked. We cried. We held each other. I got exactly what I hoped for from the mini get-away... a new start. There is a wider opening in the line of communication between Kendra and I so every day is a chance to do better... to talk more and be more honest.

Every day I wake up to Layla and Easton laughing or crying or playing or babbling and think: I can't believe we have twins!?!? and every day I find more appreciation for the babies, Kendra, and the life I have. Even with the ups and downs and joys and pains, I can't imagine any other life than the one we have. Kendra has her hands full every day and here's a visual representation of what that really means. :)

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

BJ's new baby boy

Happy Friday everyone,

I received word that the birthmother of my brother's expected new baby boy has delivered Tristan at 6lbs. 15 oz.! He's posted a few pictures on his blog and I'm really excited for him and Debbie. That means I'm an uncle x 4 because my sister has her three kids as well. My brother's journey here has been longer than I have time to blog about, but he is only a few steps away from the adoption becoming finalized and driving home with their first child.

We're getting packed and ready for the road trip this afternoon. I'm looking forward to leaving my laptop and work issues at home. I can't remember the last weekend day that I didn't at least log into work and spend an hour or two doing work stuff... vacation at last. :)

Our house is running like a well oiled machine except for the things we can't control (such as who sleeps during nap time and who cries the whole hour). Having Opa Burgess around has been great and it seems like Kendra and he have had some good times together and playing with the twins.

Here is little peanut sitting up on Opa's lap after a bottle feeding. How tired was she??? it's all in the eyes... very, very tired girl. If she could talk, I imagine her words would be something like: "But daddy, there is SO much to see and toys to play with and excitement! I don't want to sleep through THAT!"

And here's a picture proving exactly what I guess she is thinking. Easton is out like a light and sleeping like his normal and calm self. Layla is wide awake to make sure she catches the ending of Baby Einstein, which she's seen 30 times already.

Then you have this good picture of Easton sitting around with his little, spongy hammer. It's soft and fits in his mouth so we are more than happy to let him play with that. somehow the hammer wound up at his side like a little hammer soldier marching to the beat of a drum. pictures like this are so cute and impossible to come up with on our own... they just happen.

Both babies are rolling over regularly from their stomach to their back and vice versa. Apparently that's expected and shows how they are happily following along a normal path of what babies should do. yea for us! It's amazing, but they just keep on growing at a pace that is faster and faster almost every day.

Kendra made some tasty chocolate chip cookies today! anyone else want one??? Come on over to pick it up at our house and we'll keep one warm for you.

Thank you to everyone who checks out my blog. I do my best to provide a little window into the lives of the 4 Webbs. I've kept this blog running with new posts every 1-2 days for 5 months now. I'm amazed it has been that long. Unfortunately there will be a few days of a break so please allow me to take my first extended vacation from blogging, but be sure to check back on Monday night, OK? I expect to have tons o' pictures and videos. We're off to have a good time!

Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

mountains and pacifiers

We're packing for our trip to the mountains this weekend, but leaving the pacifiers at home! The 4 webbs, plus Oma and Opa Burgess plus their friends Christy and Doyle are heading north into the mountains! Our friends Roger and Judi have graciously allowed us to take over their summer home in Payson for a few days. We're leaving the 112 degree heat of Phoenix and going 2 hours north to the calm, cool town of Payson, AZ where the day time highs will be a chilly 96 degrees. Brrrrrr. Guess we'll have to pack the heavy blankets and jackets. :)

Oma is on a cruise ship right now with her sisters while Opa is having fun and helping out to keep the 4 webbs afloat until Oma returns. We are all looking forward to a change in scenery in Payson and our first real out-of-town trip with the twins. They've been great car-sleeping babies and we expect it'll be a quiet, fun 2 hour ride up North.

Last night and tonight we watched the College World Series and I'm sure we'll see the grand finale "game 3" tomorrow night. Georgia and Fresno State are putting on a good show this year... The other eventful thing today was that Kendra and Opa Burgess took the twins to their first reading "mom's group" at the library today. Apparently there were 30 women + kids + Opa. He's such a trooper and I gotta give him credit for being involved in their lives at such a deep level! Unfortunately I was working and couldn't join in the fun with them, but it was a special father-daughter time. Then this afternoon the two of them left the twins with me at home during lunch and went to hit some golf balls together. I'm glad they were able to get out of the house for a break from the babies (and me) so they could do something fun.

The other big news of the week is that Layla is pacifier free and sleeping through the night (almost)! It's like dealing with an addict... seriously. She wants the paci. she thinks she NEEDS it. She loves it! she cried for the first HOUR of her 90 minute nap this afternoon. That's so sad to hear and it breaks our hearts, but from what we've read it's better to break her of the need for a pacifier now because the older she gets, the harder it is. We're really hoping she accepts the new reality of a no-pacifier world soon. Especially since she'll be teething soon (we suspect) and with all of the company coming through our house over the next month, it will be much better for the guests as well. Kendra is having a stressful time hearing Layla cry so much. Keep her in your thoughts and give her a call to tell her she's a great mother because right now she's feeling not-so-hot about it.

You know it's a rough household when I'M asleep and Layla is awake. It's hard to believe a baby can survive and grow on as little sleep as she's been getting lately. Easton on the other hand is still sleeping like a champ and growing like the incredible hulk.

Here's a picture of what happens to household furniture. our coffee table has now become the transportation preparation station and is no longer even in the living room! Also, our pool table has turned into a storage area for baby stuff. It's amazing how much it takes to raise babies. My suggestion is to go to Babies 'R Us and buy one of everything in the store. If you have twins, buy two of everything except the pacifiers and socks. Buy 20 pacifiers because you can never have too many no matter how many rooms are in your house. Buy 30 pairs of socks and make sure they are ALL the same. You may have thought there is a gremlin in your clothes dryer who steals YOUR socks so that none of them match. Well, guess what happens to baby socks? The gremlin is 10 times more likely to steal those because their so tiny. Somewhere in our house there is probably a whole pile of baby socks, but they mysteriously don't find their way from the laundry basket to the washer/dryer and back to the drawers. There must be a name for that phenomenon...

Have a great Wednesday! Bye bye for now.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

little slugger?

What sport, if any, will Easton play? Kendra and I have talked about this for many years now. Of course when we were dating and discussing this theoretically we didn't know if we would even have a son or what his name would be. but still we talked about it... I know as parents we can't dictate exactly what sport(s) our kids get into, but I know we have influence by our own actions and likes and dislikes. My dad have never ridden a mountain bike in his life, but that is my most passionate sport and has been for years now. That suggests parents have no influence on what sports their kids get into.

Here's my sporting history just for comparison sake:

Football: half of a season because I was a skinny kid who grew tired of being thrown around like a rag doll
Baseball: little league was great, but I never developed a real passion for it
Wrestling: Coach kept asking me to LOSE weight and there was nothing left to give without taking major organs out of my body
Basketball: I played on the varsity team in high school. We were 0-22 for that season and I was a bench warmer. THAT's embarrassing. :)
Golf: I might be a bad golfer, but at least I'm not slow... I shot an 82 once back in college and I still really enjoy it even though I don't play often
Rock Climbing: I loved it and was good enough to climb 5.10c routes, but my $650 worth of gear was stolen from my car and I just never replaced it
Taekwondo: I guess this is a sport? I earned my next level last week and now I'm a "green stripe"! We'll see how long and far this sport takes me.
Weight lifting: I've been in the gym since the 6th grade when I rode my bicycle to the school gym before school to work out and I still do it 3 or 4 times a week. :)
Mountain Biking: I can't get enough of riding... I'd do this for the rest of my life if I could retire right now.

The reason these thoughts and topics came up is my sister, Joanie, sent me a really cool father's day gift. A baseball themed onesie for Easton with "Webb" embroidered on the back and "Dad's team" on the front! very cool. The other part of the explanation necessary for the picture below is that Brandon Webb (# 17) is a current pitcher for the AZ Diamondbacks and Joanie bought me a jersey when she was out here visiting. SO, here is a picture of Easton and I (notice my Easton hat) watching the White Sox baseball game on TV and showing off our matching outfits this afternoon. Maybe we'll make it to a Diamondbacks game this season...

Church this morning was great as always and next week will be the big "one prayer" finale and beginning of the journey where 1800 churches together will start building 500 churches in China, India, Cambodia, and Sudan. We still keep Easton and Layla with us during the service because they are quiet and don't move much. At some point we'll put them in the nursery, but until then it is nice to hold them. The nursery is really awesome from what we've seen and heard from others, but there is still some part of me that finds it difficult to turn the twins over to strangers where they will be swapping slobber and germs with other babies. I hear that is a trait of first time parents that goes away after a few months and I'm sure that's how it'll work out for us too.

This afternoon we jumped in the pool to cool down and catch the sunset. Easton and Layla went in totally naked (Kendra's idea and request) and I'm happy to say there were no accidents or problems. We have these cute baby towels with hoods on them to keep the babies warm after they get out of the water. I know it sounds weird they need to be kept warm considering the water is 88 degrees and the outside air temperature was 109 degrees. :) Anyway, here is sweet, little peanut being comforted by Kendra after our time in the pool.

Hope you have a great week! check back often, although with Oma Burgess gone I won't have as much time to blog since we'll have to make due with three of us caring for each other and the twins.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bon Voyage Oma

Oma Burgess is leaving us tomorrow for 5 days! She’s going on a cruise with her sisters and we’ll miss having her here. I’m sure we’ll survive, but it’s amazing how quickly we take for granted the idea of FOUR of us around who want to love on the twins and hold them.

One of the benefits of having twins is we have a direct comparison to see how things should be when compared to what we’ve been told and read. When Kendra reads about sleeping patterns, milestones, and habits we have TWO data points. Kendra gave a few nibbles of rice cereal to Easton and Layla over the past few days, but neither of them was interested at all. We'll try again in a few weeks... Easton is sleeping well and Layla is not for some reason. We're scratching our heads a little bit, but have a good game plan to get her straightened out. Oma and Opa are the unlucky ones because their bed is on the other side of the wall to the baby’s cribs. I'm sure they are as tired as Layla. We have the baby monitors, which pick up ever noise in the room. You can hear a gnat land on the ceiling through those things! That means Kendra and I also wake up every time Layla cries. The funny part is Easton sleeps better than ALL of us! Every time we go in to calm Layla, he's there with his thumb half way in his mouth sleeping and drooling as though he were alone on a desert island.

Kendra, Oma Burgess, and I spent a good hour yesterday looking through many of the old pictures and videos of the twins. I've taken over 1,000 pictures since they were born so we just browsed through and viewed the more memorable ones. We talked about how tiny and skinny they were at birth and all of the stages they've been through so far. It was fun to reminisce about watching them develop and I'm sure we'll be doing that periodically for the rest of their lives. We’ll probably never stop saying, “Remember when they were just little babies?”

Today we’re going to church and then hanging out this afternoon in the pool. It’s too hot to do much of anything else and the College World Series is on today as well. I have to root for Fresno State since they are such underdogs. I’ll spend some part of today cleaning the last bits of messiness in my office so that Kendra will sleep better. :)

Layla and Easton have some new outfits, thanks to Oma and Opa Burgess. It seems like every outfit has to have some saying on it these days and some are a little edgy. However, the outfits they have on in this picture are very appropriate and accurate at the Webb house. The words say, "If mommy says no, ask Grandma"

You can see how much wider and longer Easton is than Layla because he fills out the outfit so much more. Layla has a really long torso and despite the apparent chubbiness of her legs, she is really lean. Here’s one other picture of Easton lounging with his arms in their typical position: straight OUT! You can see he’s getting plenty of nourishment since he is filled out everywhere. What you can’t see is that his hair is starting to grow in all over. It’s getting long enough to actually notice and he’s looking more like a little boy instead of an older man now that his hair is on top of his head and not only on the sides.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend and feel free to call during the week to cheer us on as we run the household without Oma for a few days!

Friday, June 20, 2008

We three bloggers

Happy Friday folks,

We decided to have all three of us throw in a few thoughts and pictures. Opa Burgess will have his own blog time some time soon. :)

Bronson says:

It’s 110 degrees today here in the valley of the sun, so however warm your neck of the woods is, at least there is comfort in knowing some poor souls are worse off than you. Humidity is about 5% though so keep that in mind when calculating the compassion for us here in Phoenix.

On an unrelated note, Opa Burgess and I went golfing this afternoon for some twilight golf! My neck is sore from a rough Taekwondo class yesterday, but I decided to go ahead and golf anyway because I'm not always the best at following doctor's orders.

Besides grieving over the Lakers and their monumental choke and loss to the Celtics, everything else is going very well. Every day with Easton and Layla is like watching plants in the garden grow. They get bigger and bigger every day as they grow and change. Their personalities were evident even in the womb as Layla always had her hands up covering her face and she moved with short, quick motions. Easton was relaxed and calm with his arms moving around. Those qualities show through every day and new personality traits pop up regularly.

They are so different, yet both are happy and calm. I can't wait for them to start talking because I want to get to know them and hear what they are thinking. Here's a good picture of Layla that shows she is obviously deep in thought and interested in figuring out the toy. The toy spins around and is stuck to the tray of the bumbo seat with a suction cup. I would have a picture of Easton doing the same thing, but he pulled so hard on the toy trying to put it in his mouth that he pulled the tray OFF the bumbo!

Kendra says:

This week all of us have been on a fast. We have been eating only what comes from the ground... No meat or dairy or sugar. During the times I had sugar on my mind I have instead been praying for our church (and churches all over the country) on how we as Christians can do better on impacting our community with Christ's love through action. If you are curious what Christ Life Church is talking about go to the website and check it out at or .

Today we went to Sweet Tomatoes and enjoyed a healthy meal of soups and salads. It was fun to get out, eat well and show off the twins. My parents really like it there.

This past week I have been thinking about how much kids really effect every strand of your being. I love that they have changed my whole world upside down with giggles, smiles and love!

My best friend Megan is about to be a mom any day now and I am so excited to talk to her about these feelings and emotions. (By the way, she is having a girl)! Megs, can't wait to meet Isabella!

Oma Burgess says:

Hi all! You get to hear from me again! Our time here is flying by as I thought it would. To Steve and I it seems surreal that we have grandkids! :) Being able to share quality time with them means so much to us. Singing to them, hearing their giggles and seeing their sweet, sweet faces just lights up our world. This whole journey brings a sense of the past and definitely the future when we hold them. We are thankful to God that he has given us this precious chance to impact their lives with not only our love but the love of Christ.

I will be leaving on Monday for 5 days to meet up with all 3 of my sisters on a cruise to San Diego, Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico. I have never been on a cruise so I am really looking forward to experiencing this with my wonderful sisters.

Being away from home gives me a chance to really be reflective on many different aspects of my life. It is like getting some breathing room to step back and see if I am living my life the way it should be lived. I am thankful for mercy and grace that is extended to me by Jesus and my family and friends.

Thanks go to Bronson, Kendra and the babies for letting us invade their home and be a part of this wonderful family. We love all the Webbs very, very much!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

date night

Hello everyone,

Kendra and I went out for date night tonight thanks to Oma and Opa Burgess who were willing to take care of Layla and Easton for a few hours. We're sneaking in popcorn as a way to cut costs and we have a gift certificate to offset the hefty price tag of admission to the movies. Can you believe how much a seat costs for a first run movie these days? We haven't been to a movie in a long, long time and that is one of Kendra's favorite past times. Indiana Jones was fun, but confusing with an ending that didn't make any sense at all. Not sure it was the best pick for a movie if you only see one per year like us! However, the arm rests in this particular theater raise up and it was worth it to sit next to Kendra and be close to her for that long of a time. I've been good at sharing her with Easton and Layla always being between us somehow, but I was happy to have her all to myself for a short time.

Rather than edit the previous blog to post the video clip of Easton and Opa laughing and playing, i'll just put it here instead. Every morning I wake up to Easton and Layla laughing and having fun with Kendra and Oma and Opa. That is a great way to start the day:

We're all having a great time with Oma and Opa here. One benefit is that now we have a camera person! It would be impossible without them to capture moments like this picture below. AFter swimming we decided to clean the chlorine off the twins by giving them a bath and it seemed easiest just to jump in with all of us so they stay warm... Rub a dub dub, 4 webbs in a tub.

Kendra took some close ups of Layla and Easton in their new outfits so she can put their pictures in a bi-fold picture frame with their names on it. I'll take it to work and have their cute faces to look at through the day.

and here's Easton. Notice his shirt says, "Daddy's wingman". :)

A few weeks ago I ordered two hats that have Easton on them (and a reference to hockey). I sent one to Opa Burgess and kept one for myself. We both wore our hats for a trip to the gym and costco, which Kendra thought was picture worthy. now we just need to find a little mini hat like this for Easton too!

And in closing, the biggest news of all... My brother and his wife are very close to adopting their first child! They have a tremendous story of their pathway to adopting with more mystery and excitement than the Indiana Jones movie I saw tonight. I hope for (and expect) the best for them and their new family. Layla and Easton are going to have a new cousin! Check out his blog here for up-to-date information:

by the way, my brother is not a "Fashion leader / Catwalk expert" even though his blog profile shows that. He's just very funny with a sense of humor twice as sarcastic as mine if you can believe that.

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

let's go swimming

Greetings folks,

My home computer is almost running again so I'm looking forward to getting back into my normal blogging routine soon. I upgraded the processor so hopefully my picture and video editing will be faster. The living room (my office) is still a wreck and Kendra is being extra patient with me.

The past few days have included swimming every day since we are experiencing near-record hot temperatures here in the valley of the sun. There's nothing like walking to the mailbox at 10:00 PM in shorts and flip flops while the temperature is still 100 degrees! The silver lining to the hot, hot days is that our pool is getting up to 85 degrees quickly. Kendra read somewhere that babies are most comfortable in pool water between 82 and 86 degrees. Easton and Layla LOVE the water, but they only last about 15 minutes before the pouty bottom lips show up to say, "enough water already!" We get in the pool after 5 to avoid sun. I say that so you don't think we're cooking our babies in the hot, mid-day sun. When we float them around the pool their legs kick instinctively and that is amazing to see the built-in reflex. Here is one other picture from the pool fun at our house the other day. You can see how excited Easton and Layla are to be in the water and how proud Oma and Opa are to hold these two babies:

I'm very glad to have Oma and Opa Burgess around. I've talked with coworkers and friends about their visit this summer. Many of them are horrified at the thought of in-laws living with them for 6 weeks. I, on the other hand, have been looking forward to this for a couple of months now and am enjoying their visit. They are very considerate of our wishes and boundaries. Also very helpful around the house and with the twins. With Kendra and I alone it is impossible to each hold a baby and get anything else done around the house. I don't feel so bad leaving every day for work as Kendra would balance Layla AND Easton on a single boppy as she paid attention to both of them at once. We both gladly and gratefully let Oma and Opa hold and cuddle and laugh as much as they want!

Last night Kendra and I went to Best Buy to get the movie Groundhog Day (Bill Murray). It's one of our top 10 all time favorite movies and we decided to buy instead of rent it over and over again. Many times we feel just like our lives are in the same repeating day as Groundhog Day. Every morning at 6:30 AM Layla wakes up and starting talking... loudly... Kendra wakes Easton from his hibernation-like sleep and she feed them both. Then we spend every day trying to improve ourselves as we do better and better with the twins. Anyway, it was so nice for Kendra to say, "let's go to Best Buy!", then we stand up from the couch, then we walk out the door and drive away. I love our babies, but really miss the spontaneous moments where we would just leave like that.

Yesterday morning as I slept in a little I heard Opa and Easton having fun together and giggling. He was helping Easton with strength training like a good coach should. :) I'm glad he is helping him figure out the balance / standing / coordination aspects... Luckily Oma caught it on video:

(I'll post the video here later tonight)

Easton smiles all the time and looks at everyone with anticipation as if to say, "Look at me so we can smile at each other and have fun!" Hearing him giggle with happiness is unbelievably emotional for me. It's one of those things only a parent can relate to and appreciate. I wish I could explain that feeling better, but there is no other feeling I can even relate it to... I could listen to him do that for hours and never get tired of it. Maybe I feel that way now because they are not old enough to run around the house laughing and screaming like a pack of wild hyenas all day, every day? I'll enjoy it while the feeling lasts.

I'm not sure what to say about this humorous picture of Easton. :) When Opa went in to wake the little guy from a nap, Easton was laying there awake with the hammer in his mouth. I just can't help but hum the tune of "if i had a hammmer, i'd hammer in the morning..." There is a foam/rubber hammer in his crib and apparently when he found it he decided to suck on it instead of use it to hit things. If only I had the picture back on May 27th when I posted THIS quote: Give a small boy a hammer and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding. -- Abraham Kaplan

Both Easton and Layla are getting very good at holding their heads up and here are a couple of pictures of them individually showing off their talents of strength:

And here's Layla Rae in her extremely cute dress-onsie-thingy:

Apparently I have not worn out the Phil Wickham song (see my previous post) yet because it's still on repeat in my iPod today. Not sure exactly what it is about the song that I like to so much. I think it is the simplicity of the instruments and words, the forgiveness I relate to, and the sincerity of how he sings it. The good news is he will be in Phoenix in concert next month! Guess who's going to see Mercy Me and Phil Wickham live in concert??? ME!

Saturday night swing dancing was tons of fun! Oma and Opa did really well. Kendra and I knew two moves before Saturday and now we know a total of three. Well, at least that is progress! here's one picture of us from this past weekend

and one here from last month when we went with our friends Scott and Marisue.

And a final closing thought. The Lakers won on Sunday. Whoopity Doooo. NO TEAM has ever won game 6 and 7 of the finals at the opposing team's court. Will the Lakers lose Tuesday or Thursday? That is the only question to answer. I'm so confident in the Celtics ability that if the Lakers win the title this year I'll print off this page and eat it... Yeah, I am that certain.

Tuesday is the most productive day of the week, so have a great productive day because it's downhill from here!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cutest grandkids!

Blog from Oma and Opa Burgess --

It has been almost 3 months since we have seen Layla and Easton! (We do visit with them on Skype quite often though.) Believe me when I say it is not the same! They are soooo cute, smart, sweet and cuddly. Steve and I cannot believe how big they have gotten. Kendra was the happiest baby and Easton is just like her in that way. Even though he looks like Bronson he has Kenera's disposition.

When Steve or I hold Layla it is like holding Kendra 29 years ago. It is almost like looking back in time when we look at her sweet, sweet face. She has many full face smiles for us all the time. Bronson's sister Joanie said it best in her blog when she described the twins. Hats of to you Joanie and by the way, you are a fantastic writer yourself. :)

Father's Day had a new meaning for both Steve and I this year. You hope and pray that someday you will be grandparents and it has finally arrived! It is very special to be here for Bronson's first Father's Day and witness the love he has for his children.

Phil and Connie, we were thinking of you quite often today, wishing you were here with us. Please know that we love you guys and can't wait to see you again. :) Happy Father's Day Phil!!!

I want to say something about my honey on this special day. Steve is a fantastic Dad and great man in so many ways. My respect and love for him grow each day as he walks out his life, using the gifts and talents that God gave him. I am always in awe of how much wisdom and insight he has. Thanks for being a part of our family! You have made me a better person and Mother.

Bronson -

We love you and are so proud of how you have jumped onto this crazy ride called fatherhood. You are doing a great job and we love you! Remember to grow your kids from the inside out and the rest will follow. Isn't it great to know that Jesus has a plan and when we believe Him and walk it out in faith He is right there to complete it.

I miss my father today but know that he is in heaven with Jesus. Thanks for everything Dad!

Dad Burgess, Steve and I hope your Father's Day was special and filled with love! Thanks for being a great example and Father!

Oma and Opa Burgess

Bronson's 1st Father's Day!

Blog from Kendra -

Hope Father's Day was wonderful for all those Grandfathers and Fathers' out there. Here at the Webb house it was a great Father's Day. We went to Christ Life Church and since it was Father's Day we were supposed to wear our favorite sport team shirts today, which we did.

Opa of course wore his fav, USC. Mom represented Italy since the UEFA Cup is going on, Bronson proudly wore his Lakers jersey and I wore my ASU shirt. We were defininetly a colorful bunch.

After church we went to a Chinese Buffet (Bronson's choice) and he lived it up. I have never seen him so happy about food. He loves raw tuna and ate his money's worth plus they even had frog legs there, which Bronson ate, gross! He wanted us to try it but no THANK YOU!

I have to say that my husband is the best Dad to Easton and Layla. He is loving, attentive, and sensitive to what they need. His instincts have guided him with great ease.

Here are little things that he enjoys with the Twins:

Layla and Daddy singing together
Easton and Daddy watching the Lakers
Bronson loves to take naps with his babies
Swimming in the pool together
Pushing them in the stroller at the mall (he likes the attention the twins get)
And speaking blessings over their life as Bronson by whispering in Layla and Easton ears "happy, healthy babies".

Bronson, once again I beam with pride to let you know that I could not of asked for a better husband and Father to our children. Lord thank you for blessing us with such a fantastic man!

Love to all, and all my heart to Bronson,


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there including myself for the first time ever. I can truly say I sympathize with you in the difficulties and celebrate with you in the happiness kids bring to our lives.

I've been told the joys of children outweigh the added responsibilities and struggles that come along with them. I agree, but believe a father can only honestly say that once he is able to reflect on it in hind sight. When a guy like me is in the moment with surviving the first few months it is hard to gauge something like that.

Anyway, you can see by the picture below that my office looks like a tornado hit it and there are computer parts everywhere. There are actually FOUR computers in the picture. Can you spot them??? By the way, only one of them works right now and that is the one I'm using to blog my father's day post. If I want to live to see another Father's Day, then I better spend this one cleaning my office otherwise Kendra may get upset with me...

We've had a great time with Oma and Opa Burgess during the past couple of days. Opa and I spent a little time alone with the twins while Kendra went out with Oma shopping. During one of our "switch the babies" attempts where we trade of who holds who, it seemed like too good of a picture moment to pass up. They were all three watching their first US Open Golf on TV together! I'm sure Father's Day means more to him than ever.

I'll have Oma/Opa post another blog during the day on Sunday to give their thoughts and perspective about being here and how Easton and Layla have changed since their last visit.

good night!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mute button, political views and diaper dollars

Howdy sheeple,

Well, i guess that is your word of the day if you haven't heard of that before.  Here is what wikipedia has to say about it:

Sheeple is a term of disparagement, a portmanteau created by combining the words "sheep" and "people." It is often used to denote persons who acquiesce to authority, and thus undermine their own human individuality. The implication of sheeple is that as a collective, people believe whatever they are told, especially if told so by authority figures, without processing it to be sure that it is an accurate representation of the real world around them. 

Warning:  Political rant!  Skip to the cute and cuddly pictures if you're a Democrat.

No meanness intended and I know my friends and family are not sheeple who are following Obama blindly into the slaughter house, just a playful joke.  Hey, it's MY blog so i can give a political view now and then without feeling shameful.  I'm just saying...  I already have purchased the "don't blame me, i didn't vote for Obama" bumper sticker.  

I feel really bad for Democrats, truthfully.  given your horrible options to pick from...  You chose a boob with two nuts instead of a nut with two boobs.  Can't say that I blame you.  The only CHANGE I want is money back from my $75 fuel bill (Notice the correlation between gas price increases and the Democratic congress??? thanks a lot Pelosi and company).  

END Political rant >>Bronson steps down from his soap box and pushes it under the pool table for another day<<

OK, on to all things related to the 4 Webbs...  Here's how much I rock:

I rock twice as much as any other father (notice BOTH of them have a bib that says, "daddy rocks").  That reminds me...  My first fathers day is this Sunday.  I'm excited to get started on my tie collection of wretched designs that no self respecting person would wear.  I'm kind of odd this way, but I have no problem spending money on Kendra or the babies for birthdays and occasions, but I really don't like it when Kendra spends our money on me for occasions...  Not sure why, but I have always thought that way.

The only difference is that my measure of how much things cost is different now.  For example, Kendra bought me a silver necklace (thanks, wife, i love it!) for fathers day and I said, "that's a 96 pack of diapers!!!"  so now everything that costs money is measured in diapers.    That's what I call diaper dollars.  who cares about the Yen or Euro...  I've got my own benchmark to determine how much things really cost:  Diaper Dollars!  Maybe you have a similar measure for money, but a little different depending on what stage of life you're in?

Anywhooooooo, I finally did it.  I pulled out the sharpy marker and labeled Layla's pacifier with the TRUTH!  

Kendra said Layla looks like a pig or a bull with a ring in its nose, but i just HAD to post this.  We call her pacifier the "mute button" because she'll talk or cry or whimper at certain times during the day and putting the pacifier in her mouth immediately calms her down and she stops making noise, hence the name.  On an unrelated note, Layla spit up on my neck this evening.  People say, "it's different when it's YOUR kid".  They are liars.  That was disgusting.  I tried not to freak out and did a good job of not scaring poor Layla with my reaction.  I put her down on the bed, took my clothes off, and showered as though I had just returned from an overnight stay in a trash dumpster.  Maybe I'll grow up and not be such a dope about it, but I gotta tell you... that was just nasty.  The bizarre part was that before the "incident" Layla was smiling and giggling as though she had just won an Oscar.  then she yacked.   Then 2 seconds later she was back to grinning like a possum from ear to ear like a little angel.  

Easton is not as much of a morning person as Layla and I was able to catch him sleeping in during one of their naps.  Thumb in mouth.  Hand on nose.  sleeping like a log.  That's our little Monkers...  He is such a happy baby.  I like to think that is because from the time he was the size of a tadpole in Kendra's belly I would rub her belly and say, "happy, healthy babies".  I must have done that 10 times per day, every day of her pregnancy.  Even now when i go wake them up from naps or put them down to sleep I whisper, "happy, healthy baby" as often as possible.    

As for myself, I heard a song the other day that really caught my attention.  Phil Wickham, "Divine Romance".  I went out to the internet and BOUGHT the song.  I know, it's crazy to think, but I actually paid money for this song.  OK, it was only a dollar, but that only buys, like, 5 diapers...  SO anyway, the last music i actually paid for was in 1995.  that should tell you how much I enjoy this song.  Here's the YouTube clip if you get a chance to hear it:

If you can't see the youtube clip, maybe you can listen here at Last FM?  I started listening to it on Monday and have had it repeating over and over again on my ipod and home computer and in my car and home theater system for the past 4 days... straight.  I think that borderlines "obsessive", but i just can't get enough of this song.  

Oh, and by the way Kendra went to a discovery learning toy party thingy, but SHE will have to blog about that and how she felt about picking her parents up from the airport.  

P.S.  Yeah, yeah...  The Lakers lost.  I know the Celtics will win the finals.  There's always next year, right?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

cousin daphne

Howdy friends and family,

The last picture in the previous post of Easton and Layla lying between Kendra's legs is now the background of my desktop.  I really like seeing there faces every time I log in or boot up my computer.  There are a few poses of Kendra with the twins that will make great pictures, but she says we have to wait until her parents are here so we can juggle babies and cameras with a few extra sets of hands...  

Baby Einstein videos are a huge hit with Easton and Layla.  They love the Old McDonald one and the Mozart one.  I think we have one in spanish now?  We're trying to get them to be bilingual with English and Spanish, but WE have to speak it more often for it to work like that.  I'm amazed at how intently they watch every detail of what is going on in those movies.  Layla normally has her arms tucked in and hands clutched in a fist, but when she watches Einstein, her arms open up and she wiggles around like a wind up toy.  We limit them to 30 minutes per day max for TV time.  Although I couldn't help but let them catch the last quarter of the Lakers win last night!  I'd give them 1 in 8 chances of actually winning the finals, but maybe I'm being over optimistic because I'm a Lakers fan.

Thursday is a big day in the Webb house.  I have a full work day with Taekwondo during lunch.  Kendra has final touch up cleaning to do for the house to go along with normal mommy duties.  Then Kendra is going to a mom's group with her friend Danielle and THEN!...  Oma and Opa Burgess will be here at 9:00 PM.   Yea!  We've been missing both of our parents being here with us and even though we can't get both sets together again right now, it will be great to have Oma and Opa with us.  

There will be more pictures coming soon of our twins, but i've been waiting for a day like today where we don't have any new ones so that I can post this one of Daphne.  She is my sister's daughter, which makes her cousin Daphne for Easton and Layla.  She's a real cutie and I can't wait to go back to Springfield to spend time with my family.  I can exercise my uncle skills and have a ton of fun with them.  Here's Daphne showing off her bracelet, which she calls her"pretty":  

Isn't that the sweetest picture ever? Good night all!

Past and Present

Good Morning Everyone!

This is mommy Kendra on the blog.  Today has started wonderfully! The Twins have been waking up at 6:30 am, right on schedule and eating just fine. I can't believe that they have been out of my belly now for more than four months. Crazy! Every morning that I wake up I just I think to myself I have twins, wooooh! God gave me Twins, okay, I can do this! 

I was looking through all of our pictures through the years and reminiscing about how much fun we had in Greece.  Bronson is a fun and adventurous husband.  He is always up for trying new and different things when we travel.  This picture reminds me of how much we laughed that day.  We were the only couple swimming and snorkeling out of our friends.  Bronson and me were like little kids again that day.  I cannot wait to take Layla and Easton to play on the beach and swim in the ocean!

Last night Bronson and I had a wonderful time laughing and being silly on our bed. When we first married this is something we would do for hours.  This is how it usually goes.  We will start off on a normal note and then I will say something silly or cute and then he will make fun of me, laugh and say, "I got to write this down!"  For example last night I said you hello sex kitten and he said Can guys be sex kittens?  Then I said "well then a Sexy cat?!"  Then he just started to laugh and shake his head.....Oh the stupid and silly stuff and I say! 

Below is a picture of us at Sedona taking a break mountain biking.  This was my 3rd time and I had clips for peddles which means you have to turn your foot a certain way to step out and onto the ground.  I fell many times this day. But it was the turning point in my riding.  After this day I was no longer scared to go down big hills.  He was so patient and kind to let me learn at my own pace that day. 

 I am so grateful that Bronson took the time to get me a bike so we could have a hobby together.  Action is one of Bronson's love languages and this photo reminds me of how he happy and close he feels towards us, every time we do an activity  together.  I guess I am speaking of my husband quite a bit today because I could not be complete without him.  He lifts me and my heart up everyday and I just want to let the masses know that I appreciate all his time and thoughtfulness toward me!

Well can't have a blog without having a picture of the Twins.  Easton and Layla sitting in between my pajama covered legs during singing lessons.  They were cooing, singing and laughing.  There is this song I sing to them that they love and my Mom sang it to me when I was a kid, it is called Horsey, Horsey.  Every time I sing it whether they are happy or not it brings a huge smile to there faces.

Well have a wonderful day!  I miss all my Enterprise friends.  Hope today goes by fast. 
Love ya and Good bye!

Monday, June 9, 2008

swimming twins

Howdy folks,

Since the last post was long and wordy with no pictures of Easton and Layla I'll have to make up for it by posting a few from our evening in the water.  Kendra spent most of the day wishing it were Thursday already so that her parents would be here NOW.  I spent 7 hours of my 8 hour work day on the phone in meetings (yawn).  The other hour is when I supposedly when I do actual work, but instead I spend that hour responding to the never ending flood of emails that stack up while I'm in the meetings.  

After I came home we loaded up the Pilot and stopped by the gas station to fill up on the way to Mary's house.  Apparently my Bank of America Debit card has a $75.00 limit for how much you can spend on a tank of gas and then it shuts off.  I know this because when the meter read $75.00 and my tank was still not full.... it shut off!  Now, I'm sure there was some brilliant pointy haired guy in a corner office at Bank of America who set this stupid limit a few years ago and thought, "There's NO WAY anyone will ever need to spend more than 75 bucks to fill a gas tank...  Let's make that the limit!"  and everyone nodded their head in approval not thinking gas would cost and arm and a leg like it does today.  

This high price of gas is just what I needed to convince Kendra that I should get a motorcycle.  Bwwwaaaahahahaa...  Now all I have to do is find a spare $10,000 laying around so I can buy that Harley Davidson on Craigslist.   Kendra would probably put me in the dog house and my squeaky chicken in the trash.

OK, so after taking out a second mortgage on my house to pay for the gas, we went over to Aunt Mary's house for tacos and swimming.  Her son, Rick, and his girlfriend and his two boys are visiting this week so Mary heated her pool a few degrees.  Our pool is 78 degrees (brrrrrr, cold) and it's still not quite warm enough for the babies.  Kendra and I have more than 100 self portrait pictures from over the years where I hold the camera up and take a picture of us.  This is the first self portrait of the 4 webbs.   Many, many more will follow over the years!  

Kendra bought little swimming diapers for the twins so we all suited up and we slowly eased into the pool.  Easton and Layla both loved it!  We all had a great time and the pictures turned out well.   Once we were floating around in the pool, Easton finally loosened up and saw some smiles and giggles.  Layla was still in control with her lone "power to the peanuts" fist throughout the adventure.  

We decided to provide a few props and see how they liked the air mattress.  We put them side by side and they were content for several minutes to just hang out and relax.  You might also notice that Layla's swimming diaper is on backwards and if we had taken a picture of her other side, you'd see her little butt cheeks hanging out because they are on wrong.  :)

The evening went by quickly and we had to get out of the pool in order to get them home and fed and in bed according to schedule.  Mary was sitting on the side of the pool ready to wrap little Layla to keep her from getting cold.  Even though the air temperature was 102 you will still be cold when you get out of pool!  Layla looked twice as excited in the pool as she does in this picture, if you can believe that.

We went straight home for feeding, a wardrobe change into pajamas, and bed time.  Another successful day of this three-ring circus is done!   Rather than stay up late blogging I decided to do it now so I can get to bed a little earlier tonight.  This old saying is much easier said than done:  

-- Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.  

Not sure who originally coined that saying, but they probably had no children and a lot stronger coffee than I drink.  At least it's a goal...

Good night!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

squeaky chicken

Good morning friends and family,

We all have hot buttons that our spouses push from time to time.  Every marriage on earth includes a husband and wife who each have that seemingly innocent thing the other person does that really frustrates them.  For Kendra, she hates my squeaky chicken.

I won this at a conference for work a few months ago and obtaining a squeaky chicken was something of a status symbol at the time.  It’s just a rubber chicken toy that makes a hideous squeaky noise when you squeeze it.  Yeah, I know it is lame…  But there were 600 top nerds hanging out together so what would you expect?  For whatever reason, Kendra abhors the noise that comes from the mouth of the squeaky chicken and has hated it from the first time I proudly showed her my prize.  She limited me to one squeak per day and threatened to cut off the legs and head if she hears the dreaded noise a second time in any 24 hour period. 

I’m not going to lie…  there is a certain amount of pleasure I get from squeezing every last cubic centimeter of air out and letting it rip with an annoying squawk.  I even know it isn’t good to provoke your spouse or cause frustration, but I know if it really was a thorn in her side that she would have no problem cutting it in half and putting it in the trash can.  She doesn’t get angry and I can tell she thinks it’s a little funny.  I’m looking forward to Easton playing with it once he figure out how to coordinate his hands enough to squeeze it.  That way I can blame it on Easton and truly say, “it wasn’t me!”  He may only get to do it once though if mommy Kendra hears it… 

Today at church our pastor used the word audacious to describe how we should live and I couldn’t help but think about Easton and Layla. 

Audacious means: intrepidly daring, adventurous, recklessly bold

My hope for them to live audaciously and take risks.  Being a risk taker doesn’t mean doing backflips 30 feet in the air on a motorcycle.  That’s just stupid.  :) What I’m referring to is the ability to try new things, embrace change, and not be afraid of failure or rejection so that when opportunities come by that they jump on them.  If anyone has ideas for how to instill that kind of mentality into a child, feel free to let me know because I’m all ears!

The 4 webbs took a 2 hour nap together this afternoon!  That was the longest nap in the history of our lives together and I loved every minute of it.  We had a tough time getting the twins to sleep during their scheduled nap times this morning.  Once we realized that Easton and Layla were both so sleepy that they couldn’t even hold their head up, I recommended we put their little foam beds in our king-size bed between Kendra and I.  A long nap turned out to be just what the doctor ordered and the rest of our evening was filled with smiles and giggles.  Everything except the horrible officiating of the Lakers game tonight.  I was crying in my Gatorade over how ridiculously biased the foul calling was in favor of the Celtics.  I’ve lost faith in the Laker’s ability to win the championship already and will be completely shocked if they do.  Talk about disappointment… 

Even though I was frustrated at the Laker loss tonight, my night still ended on a high note thanks to Layla.  After her last feeding of the night I took her from Kendra to her crib for bedtime.  Her limp, sleeping body was so tiny and cute stuffed into her pink polka dotted pajamas with big strawberries on the feet.  Her arms hung like wet noodles draped over my arms and yet both of her fists were tightly clinched as if she was hanging on to something for dear life.  I stood there and cuddled with her warm, soft cheek against my scruffy chin for a few seconds and everything else about the day seemed a lot less important.  I guess that is the way it is supposed to work.  :)

We are planning to spend Monday evening at my aunt Mary's house with her son and his family.  That may include getting Easton and Layla into her pool for their first swim!  You know I'll get plenty of video and pictures if it works out for us to get in the pool.  We can't wait for Oma and Opa Burgess to get here on Thursday.  I hope the next 4 days go by really fast so they can hurry up and get here!

Have a great week everyone.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

nature or nurture

Good afternoon everyone,

Kendra found Layla’s first pajama outfit and put it on her shoulder last night. I couldn’t believe how tiny she was compared to how big she is today. We made silly comments of ways to keep the twins exactly how they are today because we are enjoying both of them so much. They giggle and smile, take three naps per day, stay exactly where we put them, don’t eat much, travel well, and are easily amused. I know everything will continue to change as they grow up, but it’s going too fast for me over the past few weeks. Sitting up will be a good milestone, but once they start crawling around and figuring out how to put everything in their mouth, the whole game changes. The first night they slept all the way through was glorious and marked the end of the beginning. Every situation looks different when you are actually in it than it does when you are reflecting on it as the past. Thank God for grandparents. They provided the extra sets of loving arms we needed to survive during those crucial first two months. Then the storm blew over and the proverbial sun began to shine again. We are both getting comfortable with the new idea of what normal is and happy to have some consistency from day to day and week to week.

In some ways I agree that every child is different, but what I really find is that every parent is different and their approach to the child (or children in our case) has a big impact on their perspective. For example, I have one friend who tells me about the “terrible twos” and how incredibly horrible life is when they are that age. Another friend said from age 2 to 3 was the most fun age of the child’s life. So what role does nature vs. nurture play? I’ve been asking myself that for a long, long time. How much can the parent’s attitude and interactions really play into how a child grows up and turns out?

The situation that really leads me to lean more towards nature playing a larger, uncontrollable role is the observation of my friend, Dorr, and his 4 kids. Here’s an old picture of him with his third child just so you know who I’m talking about.

He is an engineer who is a methodical, consistent, good natured disciplinarian who I KNOW raised all of his children exactly the same way. However, each of his kids is completely different in every possible way. What they like to eat, how they dress, how they talk, how they look. It’s not that I expect all 4 kids to be exactly like Dorr, but I did expect they would be more similar to each other IF nurture really had any impact. Seeing his kids makes me think there is not much I can do to shape who they are or how they turn out. Yes, I know I provide principles and guidelines and a role model, but I’m talking more specifically about how the children act. I’m OK with allowing our twins to be who they want to be so don't think I'm out to control them. I just don’t want to waste my time trying to shape certain aspects of their life if it is not going to make a difference. I’m hoping to spend my time focusing on what I CAN impact and shape and accept those aspects about them that I cannot change.

The phrase I hear from time to time, “she comes by it naturally”, implies Kendra’s personality traits and idiosyncrasies are magically transferred from her parents during birth and are unavoidable. One example is Kendra’s sense of direction and memory of driving directions. Having her in the car is like having Google maps (a.k.a. “the yellow pages” for you old folks) at your finger tips. If I ask, “Kendra, where are the closest KFC restaurants to the intersection we are driving through?” She will immediately rattle off the exact locations of all KFCs within a 5 mile radius of our location. It’s almost scary how she is able to do that. Opa Burgess (Kendra’s dad) claims that is “his” trait and he passed it down to Kendra, which I absolutely believe. On the other hand, Nana Webb (my mom) and I get lost in our own bathroom and can’t find our way out of a paper sack. Along with all of the wonderful “nature” related things she passed down to me, that is one of the less desirable traits. Because of this dichotomy of directional abilities I’m curious to find out how Layla and Easton will turn out…

I know there are good and bad traits. I wish there were a way to strain out the bad and pour in the good for our twins so they both get the great asptects of Kendra and me while being immune to the negative aspects of our personalities.

Anyway, last night on the way to Judi and Roger’s house for a get together I had the unfortunate task of keeping Easton and Layla awake for the 45 minute drive. Their eyes started blinking more slowly and the yawns were frequent only 15 minutes into the trip so I eventually gave up and let them snooze. We do our best to keep them on the defined schedule, but it’s not always possible so we go with the flow. Easton eventually dropped his toy as he drifted off to sleep so I took the opportunity to put it on his head like a hat to demonstrate how completely asleep he was.

When it came time to feed the twins, everyone else was in the kitchen getting snacks and talking so I held the twins while Kendra made their bottles. I decided to keep Easton and Layla in the position they were already in and feed them both at the same time so Kendra could get something to drink and talk. Judi saw how funny it looked and took this picture:

A funny thing we noticed about Layla is that she wore the hair off the back of her head! Apparently this is a side effct of her being so active and curious about her surroundings, The whole back side of her head has no hair from her turning her head side to side so much. She doesn’t want to miss anything so she’s always looking around and moving her head. What a curious little girl we have…

Hope you enjoy your weekend!