Saturday, February 28, 2009
Welcome to the weekend! Congratulations, you made it through another week. The 4 Webbs are all healthy (as I knock on my particle board desk) and taking full advantage of the great weather here. The best weather is when you leave the house and you don't feel the temperature change at all. Although I was a little jealous when my brother-in-law in Missouri turned his webcam to show me the snow covered back yard. Snowballs, fun driving conditions, and snow ice-cream are some of the things I immediately thought of when I saw their winter wonderland. If you want the snow ice cream recipe, let me know. I'm more than happy to share. Although those of you in California never see snow so there is no opportunity to make it, or those of you who live in the snow already know how.
Anyway, back to our adventures... We went to the duck park again because that is the closest place where we can let Layla and Easton run around uninhibited to wear them out. Our first stop was to feed the ducks who practically bum rushed us from all sides in a coordinated attack
They didn't really attack us, but some of those little guys must have been really hungry to take the bread right from our hands. We tried to get Easton and Layla to throw the bread to the ducks, but they still would rather eat it. :)
The next stop was the swing where they did their typical leg kicking and screaming with joy as we pushed them back and forth. Easton kicks his legs wildly and snorts as he giggles.
And Layla screams at the top of her lungs and wiggles her feet around. Kendra and I have to smile and laugh while this is going on because we don't want other park visitors to think her high-pitched scream is a result of being scared or hurt.
WARNING: Layla screams in this video... loudly. Be sure your volume is adjusted properly before playing this next short clip.
After our ears stopped ringing from Layla’s screams and Easton got bored of swinging we wondered around the park some more. Easton had his fun with BARK and ROUGH as we touched the tree.
Layla also found out about BARK and RUFF by running over to the park visitors who brought their dog. She took off like a flash making a cave-man-like noise, which is her version of what a dog sounds like. Kendra chased after her apologizing to the girls for Layla’s exuberance. She gets extremely excited every time she sees a dog in pictures and even more so in real life.
They were over there for quite a while petting and making dog noises. Then, while Layla was harassing the dog I decided to try for a little photo shoot with Easton. He sat calmly in the grass and I picked a daisy for him to hold. Here’s how that moment played out:
“Here you go Easton! F is for FFFFFLLLLLOWER. FLOWERRRR DOH! Don’t EAT it! (snap picture). And here is the result.
The only good thing is he found out how bitter daisies taste. I know that because I munched on a daisy also at some point in my past.
And that was our day at the park. I don’t really have time to describe our visit to Costco, but it was similar to the park only indoors; walking around screaming, eating things they shouldn’t, bothering people, etc.
WARNING: Layla screams in this video... loudly. Be sure your volume is adjusted properly before playing this next short clip. This one shows how well Layla is comprehending and her sign language as well. She sticks out her tongue on command!
That’s it for today, but we have another day tomorrow of more adventures and fun with our twins. Good night.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
and Easton's half-mullet is wild and crazy, but he still maintains his ear to ear smile.
One of my favorite moments of every day is walking into their room after a nap. The moment just after they've woke up enough to happily chat with each other across the room, but just before they start getting fussy and crying. Layla holds onto the top of the crib rail and bobs up and down as if she's going to take off like a rocket ship at any minute.
We caught a picture of Layla's latest trick where we ask her, "where is your pretty?" referring to her bracelet and she holds up her wrist to show it off. She doesn't look all that happy in this picture, but she normally lights up like the sun because she's so excited about her bracelet.
As a side note, she usually gets her bracelet clogged up with bits of food because she wipes her arm back and forth across her sticky high chair top to indicate she is officially done eating. yuk...
Anyway, I want to say thanks for the helpful comment from Liana about buying clothes in advance of the season. The idea makes sense, but takes a lot of planning. Considering our babies have been at the 50th percentile since they were only weeks old, I guess that means we can project fairly well what size to buy. I love the sales rack though, so i'll have to search for items for the year ahead. As for the pajamas, I'm not sure the problem is they were out of season or if they just don't make very many varieties of what I want. probably a little of both.
Tomorrow night is officially the last meeting with our One Month to Live challenge group and I'm sad the 6-week schedule is already over. I've had such a great time leading and participating and getting to know so many new people. No doubt we'll do it again in the future for whatever the next topic turns out to be.
Next week will be somewhat difficult for me since my Uncle Dave passed away one year ago March 1. And then, of course, my birthday as well. I'm not looking forward to either one of those days, but life goes on and time keeps ticking away so I'll make the most of it!
I've got to head to bed because Thing 1 and Thing 2 will be ready for oatmeal at 7:00 AM sharp no matter how late I stay up. :)
Have a great weekend!
Monday, February 23, 2009
No new pictures or videos for this post because we've been up to our eyeballs in normal day to day life. Kendra went out with friends on Saturday and played soccer both Sunday and Monday night. Daddy was "the man" of the hour doing full bath and bed time duties as well aswake duties so she can sleep in all by my lonesome. May not seem like a big deal for most, but I'm extremely proud of myself for taking care of the twins without a single bump or bruise or tantrum!
Easton is adding to his vocabulary daily and amazes us with words we can't figure out where he picked up. He also finally figured out what groovin' means and the highlight of my day was seeing Easton and Layla both nodding their head from side to side mimicking Kendra and I as we grooved to the music.
Layla has a bracelet she's been wearing recently and we refer to it as her "pretty" just like my sister does with her daughter. When we ask Layla, "where's your pretty?" she holds out her arm and points to the bracelet as she smiles.
Live Like I was Dying
My sister posed a question in a comment back on February 2nd and she asked this: How do you raise your kids differently if you have a 30 day mentality? What do you teach them about life to balance their perspective?
Her question came from my references to the One Month to Live challenge group I'm leading. I've been thinking and journaling often about her question and finally decided to respond and hopefully make some sense of my random notes and thoughts.
Loosen up - I have a tendency to get wound up (a.k.a. worried about) about problems and spend too much time fretting over details or things that don't really matter. The One Month to Live mentality drives me to ask the question, "will this problem or concern matter next week and if so, is this something I have the ability to change?" If not, then I move on and stop focusing on it. Most of the time the thing I'm so intently worried or upset about won't even matter in 5 minutes.
Focus on character - As much as I love to show and tell about the new, cool tricks Easton and Layla can do, what really matters is their character and who they are becoming. The One Month to Live mentality drives me to teach them by example. things like Kendra and I talking to each other more lovingly and using words that build each other up. Also showing how to have manners and a happy heart regarding eating and sharing toys, etc.
Spending time - If I truly only had One Month to live I would spend more time doing things that are important. I spend less time watching TV, surfing the internet, and reading Fortune magazine. I spend more time talking with Kendra, searching myself for areas in my spiritual life that need to be changed, and every spare second I can with the babies. I come home for lunch more because even though I only get 30 minutes of interaction with Eason and Layla and Kendra, that is better than 1 hour of time at lunch with coworkers.
The little things matter more - One of the most profound discoveries about myself during this One Month to Live challenge is finding out how much I don't cherish the little things. Through the video interviews in each lesson I've seen how much little things matter to those unfortunate individuals who honestly DO only have one month to live. Every one of them say their perspectives change and suddenly they notice the little things. The sunset I've seen a thousand times becomes beautiful. Running my hands through Kendra's hair seems special. Waking up each morning to the sounds of babies laughing and seeing Kendra's face is a gift I am thankful for.
Change - and i'm not talking about Obama and his promises. Everything about my life and surroundings and situation are exactly the same as before I took the One Month to Live challenge. The only thing different is me. I changed.
If you believe for one second people can't fundamentally change their character, then there is no hope. However, if you decide to accept the truth that there are areas of every person's life that can improve AND you decide to change yourself, then you have succeeded.
We never know how much time we have to pour into the lives of our children. It's some number between 1 more day and 18 years so I choose every single morning make better use of that day.
The two questions I have for you is:
1. How would you live differently if you knew you only have one month to live?
2. What are the barriers that keep you from living that way?
I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I sit here alone tonight because Kendra is out dancing with her girlfriends for one of their birthdays. She magically transformed for the occasion! One minute I see her in the every-day-look: pony tail, pajama bottoms, and a tank top that should have been thrown away 4 years ago. The next minute she has makeup, a sassy hair-do, and a flashy top that lured me in like a shiny spinner bait does to a bass. See, i haven't completely forgotten my farmboy roots. I still make fishing related analogies... Anyway, they went out for dinner and dancing, which is her perfect idea of a fun evening out. I'm sure she'll have a great time. Speaking of dancing, we discovered today Easton is the musician and Layla is the dancer. We have music on in the house about half the time they are awake and Kendra dances and sings for their entertainment regularly. Apparently it's rubbing off because Layla is starting to get into the groove. Easton knows to push the little button on the toy so it will play a song.
We also entertained the twins today as they ate bananas in their high chair. We were being silly and chased each other around the island. The twins were squirting banana out of the sides of their mouth from giggling so much. Kendra wanted to wear out Easton and Layla so we went to the park. Easton wore himself out trying not to touch the "icky green leaves"
and Layla wore herself out chasing ducks. Poor little defenseless ducks. They eventually jumped into the pond where it's safe.
I also caught a picture of her walking back towards us with her determined, happy look.
Please don't say anything about her shoes being on the wrong feet. That's daddy's fault and I'm still learning, OK? I haven't had velcro shoes since Mom bought me Zips back in the 80s. <--- The link will take you to an actual commercial for Zips in case you don't know what they are. I find myself laying down on the cold tile floor at least once a day because the twins really like crawling around playfully attacking me... Especially Layla.
This next picture is from Kendra's mom's group this week. She convinced them to meet at our neighborhood park and it sounds like they all had a great time there. Since I wasn't invited (moms only) and not there to help out, Kendra had to keep the twins in their stroller most of the time.
Have a great weekend and see you again soon.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Easton and Layla are keeping us busier than ever with their increased mobility and never ending supply of energy. The tables have finally turned and now the two of them chase ME around the island in the kitchen. It's a simple game called, "get daddy". Easton pushes his walker around, sliding into every corner like a sprint car on a dirt track and Layla wobbles around unassisted. The problem is when they catch me, neither one have any clue what to do. They just freeze and give me the deer-in-headlights look until I start running around again and the fun resumes. Here's a video clip of Kendra chasing the twins around the island to give you an idea of how it works.
I finished our taxes today. Apparently the government doesn't realize how much it costs to take care of babies otherwise my deductions would have been much larger. We went from DINK (dual income, no kids) to one income and two kids! I thought the government would hook me up, but oh well. In honor of this big milestone of completed taxes I'll repost the infamous tax deduction picture (notice their outfits) from months ago. It's hard to believe that is Easton and Layla at 10 weeks old. They look so plump and tiny.
Bath time is always the best opportunity to capture the biggest smiles of the day and I really like how handsome and happy Easton looks in this picture.
And while I'm at it, here's a video clip of the twins giggling at Mommy as she makes funny pop noises while they sit in the tub.
The twins don't allow many moments of cuddle time during the day, but just before bedtime when we read books is one of the consistent windows where I take all the cuddling I can get from them. Layla isn't sleeping here; it's just the timing of the flash and her long, slow blinks from being so tired.
The twins are really excited about books we received as birthday gifts so thank you Tam and Joanie! I went shopping yesterday alone with Easton on a mission to find new pajamas. This is another one of those no-brainers in design that I felt like I was asking for a tailor-made suit for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
My request was simple, or so I thought:
thick, soft material to keep them warm
fit 12 month old babies
single zip up from the foot to top
no hood (to avoid possible suffocation)
covered feet padding on the bottom of the feet for traction
and a partridge in a pear tree
After sending the Babies 'R Us lady to the stock room to find the needle in the hay stack... Tada! a miracle happened. Not only did she find what I wanted, but they had a TWO pack with one pink and one blue and it was on sale at 70% off! It was as if the sky opened and God himself shined down on me and said, "I will give you the desires of your heart". I almost drove straight to Vegas and bet an obscene amount of cash on lucky number 7. Just kidding... I never bet on odd numbers. Anyway, here they are in the new pajamas.
All I need for this next picture is a Right Said Fred intro with, "I'm a model you know what I mean. And I do my little turn on the catwalk"
If you don't know who Right Said Fred is, then the last line won't make much sense, but hopefully it's funny to those who get it. I'd prefer Easton's pajamas to have a different color than pink for his collar and cuffs, but now I'm just looking a gift horse in the mouth. Oh well, at least it matches the pink dolly stroller as he pushes it around.
As I was leaving our bedroom after saying good night to Kendra, she was reading the Bible and thought I would find it "uplifting" to hear this verse: Gray hair is a crown of glory. It is attained by a life of righteousness. Proverbs 16:31 Yes, I have grey hair (since I was 16), but I don't feel like I completely live a life of righteousness. I'm certain this verse is somewhat conditional because Bernie Madoff is neither righteous nor in possession of a crown of glory.
That has absolutely nothing to do with the twins, but it was sweet of Kendra to speak words of life over me and show she likes my grey hair. I just thought it was humorous Bernie Madoff was the first thing to come to mind. I should probably stop watching MSNBC so much.
Have a happy Thursday!
Monday, February 16, 2009
Thanks for stopping by to see more of the 4 Webb's antics. We finally leveled out today back to "normal status". By normal I mean the house only has us four Webbs with no more grandparents (boo hoo) and my cough/fever/achy sickness from the past few days is finally gone. Just in time to go back to work tomorrow...
Easton and Layla are having a great time playing with the new birthday gifts. Believe it or not, I am also happy they have new toys because even daddy gets tired of hearing the same old songs and noises repeated over and over for the past few months. It's nice to hear some new beeps, bells, and melodies once in a while. :) The twins really dig sitting in their rocking chairs and now we let them sit there while watching their "Your baby can read" videos each day. Most of the time they are smiling and chuckle once in a while, but this next picture shows their zombie look from being overly tired while watching the video.
They still look cute though even as zombies. Speaking of the "Your baby can read" videos, Layla points to her head, her belly, and her nose on command. She also sticks out her tongue when we ask, "where is your tongue?" I suppose that's proof she is learning something, but as I said in the previous post it is slow going as expected.
I haven't had the chance to post the humor from visiting Judi's house (Kendra's mentor). We took the twins over expecting they would go to sleep at 7 in the portable cribs we set up. However, they were so wired because of the new place and new people they stayed awake until past 8! While they distracted the group discussion, Layla decided to make friends with Judi's oversized stuffed animal dog. She buried her entire face in the middle of the dog and did some WWF moves on it, but finally settled down by chewing on its ear.
Sometimes I take a quick picture of little Peanut and I just for the fun of it. Wow, I really need to shave, huh. I'm starting to look like a homeless bum. At least Layla looks adorable as always.
One other picture I haven't had the chance to comment on is this one of Ben and Trinity, the twins of our friends who we hand out with regularly.
I can't explain exactly what that contraption is though. All I know is they took all the broken, useless junk from the side yard of our house and creatively built that cool looking chair-thingy. It could be a water craft of some sort, but I'm not willing to give it a test run!
One other picture I've been waiting to post is this one of Papa and I at the shooting range.
I believe relationships are built on experiences and you can't have experiences unless you do some adventuring. Dad teaching me the basics of how to fire a pistol at a shooting range is one of those moments I'll remember forever. We shared some great conversations and time alone. Also, Kendra was able to see a little more why I am the way I am by having Dad around the house. It's difficult to have those revelations about a person over the phone so I'm grateful they were able to travel and stay with us.
You can take the boy out of the Mid-West, but you can't take the Mid-West out of the boy!
See you soon.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Not many babies can say they celebrated their first birthday for an entire week, but Layla and Easton have the honor of claiming that title. My Mom and Dad (Nana and Papa) flew back to Missouri after spending a week sharing adventures with the 4 Webbs. I was sad to see them go as always, but the times we spend together are more meaningful as time goes by. Here's an endearing picture from one of our many walks to the park.
One of these past few mornings we drove to the local airport for breakfast at the Hangar Cafe. We ate healthy around our house as usual, but we went all out here with biscuits and gravy and pancakes and syrup. Very good food... Afterwards we wondered around the tarmac to check out the cool planes like this bi-plane in the background behind Papa and I and the twins. You'll also notice slippers on the babies' feet, which look like an actual sheep and kept their toes toasty while we wondered around. :)
We anxiously waited for the twins to turn one year old and reach the 20 lbs. mark so we can put them in forward facing car seats. Thank you to everyone who chipped in to help pay for the plush seats! We bought the Graco Cozycline seat because it reclines within the base. That means the seats recline even though the back seats of our Honda Pilot do not. It's like a Lazy-Boy wall hugger. :) It was the ONLY one we found with this feature and I can't figure out why there aren't more companies that make seats like this. I asked people who own the normal non-reclining seats how their baby sleeps and everyone says they stuff a pillow or a teddy bear between the baby's head and the seat so it doesn't flop forward or to the side. Anyway, here they are relaxing in style:
Guess who has new teeth??? Layla! Apparently Kendra's claims of teething were actually true during the past week or so. I had to make Layla laugh (easy) and look up at the same time (difficult) while taking a picture (next to impossible). It's the best I could do to show you her new top-row chompers.
As an addendum to Easton's word list, I forgot to add "apple". Kendra's dad reminded me today that he also has mastered the word apple and indeed he is right. It's become very apparent Easton is a man of WORDS and Layla is a woman of ACTION. Easton still holds on to my pinky finger with hand while he walks across the floor. Even though he's taken some steps on his own, he still has the desire to hold on to Daddy's finger for just a few more days. Here's Easton showing of his new Crocs and walking at the park.
Change occurs gradually most of the time when dealing with babies based on my reflection of the year gone by. Once in a while there will be those noticeable bursts of new abilities and signs of growth, but in general it's slow going. Take for instance my pool table. I used it during the year prior to babies for playing 9 ball once in a while. You know... what a pool table should be used for.
However, once the babies were born, playing pool was suddenly not even an option. If they are awake then I'm playing with them. If they are asleep then I'm not able to smack the pool balls around because it will possibly wake them. Slowly over time... one by one... baby items started showing up on the pool table. It used to be a "staging" area where items would sit temporarily until Kendra found a better home for them. At some point we gave up on playing pool all together and now it is filled with unused baby paraphernalia. No complaints from me though. Just one of those things you notice and accept it. I'm grateful we have friends and family who give gifts and that we have the means to provide so much for the babies.
One night this week Nana and Papa gave Kendra and I a break so we can go out for a date night and Valentines Day celebration. Any guess of what we ate? Sushi. If there's ever an opportunity to eat sushi we will certainly take it. We left the twins in the capable hands of Nana and Papa who almost needed ear plugs to tone down the shrieks and shrills from the babies as they played happily in the tub.
Speaking of bath time... Yesterday was terribly awful for me because I had a fever, cough, runny nose, and felt like crawling in a cave to hibernate for the rest of winter. However, Layla absolutely made my day! Every night Kendra and I get the twins' attention and make the sign language motion for bath. After a few times of doing that we say the word "bath" and their eyes light up as they scurry over to the edge of the tub and wait for the water. Last night when I used sign language for bath I could see Layla thinking about it. Then after a brief pause she made the sign for bath over and over again as she walked peg-leg style to the bath tub! I cheered loudly for her and for that brief moment I felt like everything we've been doing to teach the babies actually made a difference. If you can imagine the feeling Thomas Edison had when his light bulb worked on the 2000th attempt, that's close to what I felt.
No one will argue Easton is a Mama's boy and this next picture showcases his new hat, stylish shoes, and love between those two.
Lastly, on this special Valentines Day I want to thank my parents and parent-in-laws for what they have taught us over the years about love. It's one thing to tell a kid how to love, but another to show it. They are not perfect and never claim to be, but you can clearly see in this next picture what kind of legacy they are leaving for us. My parents hand-in-hand, Kendra's parents arm-in-arm, all of them still in love with their spouse after so many years of marriage.
Now it's our turn to show Layla and Easton how to love by loving each other to the best of our ability.
Have a great week and stay healthy.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
My mom and dad are only in town until tomorrow so we are already in mourning for the week that passed by too quickly during their stay. Kendra's parents are already back to work and day dreaming of Layla's peg-leg walking and Easton's toothy grin. We I'll photo shop eyes on Kendra's mom since she blinked at the wrong instant, but for now we'll have to make do with this picture the way it is.
The reason I chose to create a blog focused on our twin babies instead of Kendra and I is because they are MUCH more interesting. they change and grow every single day. I do to, but who wants to see pictures of my boring day at work or the ever increasing number of grey hairs on my head. Anyway, Easton increased his vocabulary once again and oddly enough his words include:
I wonder where he picks this stuff up?
Oh, ok. Now I see. There is Nana feeding CRACKERS to the DUCKS in the sun LIGHT. How about that.
He also says "Hi", but that is rare and hard to distinguish between Hi and the other 100 babbling baby noises he makes. Cracker is easy to pick up though. When he's hungry he says, "kac-kuh" repeatedly until he gets one. He sure is a persistent little guy.
Easton also took his first steps yesterday! Once he figured out he was walking unassisted (after about 10 steps) he became a little afraid, but overall did a good job of accepting his new ability. Layla is starting to pick up speed and stability with her walking, which is evidenced by the high wear and tear showing on the bottom of her little shoes.
The twins are really starting to enjoy their rocking chairs. They can get up and down on their own and Layla rocks back and forth as though she's actually getting somewhere.
Easton discovered how much fun eating spaghetti is. We had to move from a wet paper towel to a soaked dishcloth because of the messy sauce everywhere.
Just for fun I took a picture of the twins standing in front of Kendra being extra needy so you can see what it looks like from her point of view.
Both babies have sweet spirits and in general are happy, but the constant supervision and keeping them happy put a high demand on Kendra every day. I'd have to say one-year-olds are easier than six-month-olds, but then again, I'm just the dad. :)
No more nursing. Easton and Layla officially weaned themselves this week without much fanfare. yea for Kendra. Time to go for now... somebody wants a cracker and it ain't Polly.
Monday, February 9, 2009
The first birthday for the twins was a huge success. We started out the morning as we do every morning; grandparents cuddling the babies, coffee, and discussions of who was snoring and who was coughing and who was smart enough to wear ear plugs.
Everyone had a great time spending the afternoon together and no one got hurt. The only glitch was when we woke Easton and Layla from their nap and sat them right in the middle of party central. It looked just like this:
The twins were overwhelmed by the excitement, but eventually joined in the fun with giggles and enjoying being the center of attention. Kendra helped them break in the new table and chairs by banging on the top.
and I broke the spine on a few new books that Layla obviously finds extremely interesting within the first two pages.
Layla also had a good time playing with the non-toy toys. The twins also played with every twist-tie, piece of wrapping paper, and gift bag that came with all the wonderful gifts.
They recieved little rocking chairs that appeared to be too large for them at this stage, but apparently they just needed a little time to figure out out to get up and down in them. Easily my favorite picture of the birthday was this next gem showing Easton in his "big boy" chair without his pants.
Later that evening we took a walk down the street to the local pizza spot. We ate dinner and the free dessert (thanks to the pizza place for honoring Easton and Layla's birthday by giving us their "birthday dessert"). By that time the twins were at the end of their patience so the grandpas gladly entertained them while we chowed down the last bits of ice cream and cookie.
We also took advantage of the sunny weather while it lasted by taking a walk around the neighborhood down to the local park. Both of them somewhat liked the slide, but our daredevil, Layla, was the one who stomped her feet seemingly asking for help to get down the slide one more time.
Sadly enough we said goodbye to Kendra's parents this evening since they are going back to work tomorrow already. We're sad. Having BOTH grandparents around to love on our babies for the past few days has been such a great experience that I can't even put it into words.
I'm as ready to go to bed as Layla is here in this picture. Notice the double Nunus. :)
She was absolutely ready for bed, but not so tired she couldn't grab Easton's Nunu and roll around on the ground with both of them. Have a happy Tuesday!
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Easton just woke up a few minutes before we sat him in the high chair so he wasn't quite as animated as Layla through the whole cake experience.
The party hats didn't last too long on their heads, but they were extremely cute in their birthday shirt and hat.
I'll post some more pictures, stories, and videos later tonight or tomorrow, but I wanted to post a couple of pictures and say thank you to everyone who's been a part of our life through the past year. I also appreciate all of you who've shared in the fun through this blog. I look forward to this coming year with more entertaining and adorable moments as they become more engaging and lively.