Saturday, January 30, 2010

lots of stuff

Hello friends and family,

I'm happy to report Easton and Layla survived the weekend with Daddy with no major incidents. There was never a question whether I could make it 48 hours alone with the twins. The question was how I would survive with the unknown unknowns. That's a term attributed to former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Trust me... this term is perfectly applicable to dealing with children. Especially for someone like me who leans heavily on the expertise of Mommy for the day to day issues with those two toddlers.

Here is the video where I gave Layla the camera. It's rare for daddy to get into any video... The humorous part of it is where you hear Layla making a "swoosh, swoosh" sound. She is used to swiping through pictures on my iphone where she uses her finger to "swoosh" the screen from one picture to the next. Apparently she thought the display on the back of the camera would do the same thing. When you hear her making the "swoosh" noise, she is using her finger to try and swipe through the pictures on the camera, which doesn't work. :)

video

Time to say bye-bye to the old SD1000 camera and hello to the new Canon S90!

I'm still tinkering with the settings so these next pics are not that great, but it seems to be faster. I am no longer 1 second behind the moment with my camera! It may be fun to start an entire new blog using only pictures of the twins where I missed the moment. My computer is filled with enough pictures to last a full year with nothing but pictures of the top of Layla's head and Easton with his eyes closed.

While mommy was away for the weekend the three Webbs went with my friend, David, and his two kiddos to Bass Pro Shops. That place is awesome. It turned out to be an excellent adventure and everyone behaved well as we walked around pointing out animals.


Afterwards we stopped by the burrito shop and I chopped one in half for the twins.


They did very well eating with two hands and I was pleasantly surprised at their burrito skills. Only half of it ended up in their lap, so I consider it a success.


Sunday afternoon I wanted to get a picture of beautiful Layla in her church dress. She peeked around the door and I caught her off guard with a candid shot.


And one final picture taken by my friend's camera of Kendra and I after my black belt test.


If I look a little rough and whooped, it's because that is exactly how I felt. That night was 2 hours of grueling martial arts and I certainly earned my black belt. Kendra earned it just as much as I did because of her sacrifice to get me here over the past few years. She's been very supportive of me and my desire to pursue this. It seems that is rare for a woman to not only believe in her husband, but actively contribute to my goals through her words of encouragement and making time for my training. She deserves the trip to Hawaii more than I do!

And finally, the grandest news of all: My mom flew into town tonight and it is exciting to have her around. I can't wait to have our own adventures with her and the 4 Webbs.

See you soon!

Full time Daddy

Greetings Earthlings,

Kendra is at the women's retreat and that means I am pulling 48 hours straight of full time daddy duty.

I decided to document my thoughts on video as a parody after seeing how well it worked out for the guy in Avatar as well as multiple entries on the Starship Enterprise over the years.

Daddy’s log 0000000001.

video

In case the video doesn't work, I wrote it down:

I’m 22 hours into the 48 hour mission to keep the twins alive. I survived bath time, sleep and a trip to the park with no fatalities. Easton ended up with mulch in his diaper, but he's a trooper so I’m not too worried.

The twins are very demanding! They forced my hand to go to What-a-burger and asked for it by name. I may have mentioned it casually while driving home, but whatever the case.

They threatened to poop during their nap time and i'm fairly certain they'll follow through with that one whether we go to What-a-burger or not.

We’re almost out of animal crackers, apple juice, and goldfish crackers. I my have to resort to saltines unless supplies arrive soon.

The house is a disaster area, but I’m convinced there are 10 other kids running around here messing things up when I’m not looking.

I'm tempted to call my friend just so I can have a conversation with someone who doesn't sound like Elmer Fudd.

~ End Daddy's Log ~

In all seriousness, I've had a great time hanging out with Easton and Layla. They are following directions better all the time, which makes for much more enjoyable adventures. I didn't even have to pull out my last resort ace-in-the-hole... bubbles. I always kept that in my bag of tricks in case a dull moment turned into boredom, but luckily it never required.

The other component of the weekend contributing to the overall success of the "mission" is my friend David and his boy/girl twins. We hung out last night for a while as well as this afternoon's outing to Bass Pro Shops and fish tacos. I owe them a big "Thank you" for helping out and spending time together.

I bought the new camera, so my next post will contain some test pics as I work to dial it in. I'll post one final picture from the trusty, old SD1000. Layla is able to hold on to my neck as she rides me like a mule. Easton tried, but wasn't excited about the idea of bumping around the living room like that.


That camera has dutifully survived over 15,000 pictures + videos as I've posted to the blog for the past 2 years. Like Allen Iverson, no matter how great, you gotta know when to retire. I believe the SD1000 will turn into Layla's camera and we'll let her use that one to take more humorous pics and videos of her own from behind the lens.

Later!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chicken Dance

The communication lines are wide open between the 4 Webbs. We've reached a new level where Easton and Layla will say something and then repeat it over and over again until we figure out. A few nights ago the twins ran around the living room in circles while listening to Old MacDonald. Layla came over to me and said some unrecognizable words and then stared blankly at me as I stared blankly at her. I said, "can you say it again?" and she said it over and over.

I turned the music off and ask for a mommy interpretation from Kendra who was doing dishes. Layla looked towards Kendra and said it again only to receive the same blank stare from mommy that I gave her. We both shrugged our shoulders and I started trying to figure it out through charades. Since we were listening to music I searched through the list of songs and BAM! It hit me. She was saying, "Chicken Dance!" Easton and Layla LOVE to hop around to that song. Layla responded with an over accentuated head nod and a big "yyyyyyyyes!" I think what she really meant was, "no duh, daddy. I said it 10 times." Anyway, after the celebration I was more than happy to play the obnoxious song (three times in a row) and dance around with them. Here's a short video of the chicken dance.

I’ll upload the video today since my computer is flakey like a biscuit.

I hate to even mention the weather because I get NO sympathy from anyone outside of Arizona this time of year. However, it was a little rainy and today, but still 68 degrees so no complaints from me. That meant there is not much opportunity to play outside. Kendra did the same thing she is used to doing in the scorching hot summer… go to the mall. The play area was packed and I’m glad they had a chance to interact with other kids in the playground area. I refer to it as, “The germ-infested, cootie coated, disease incubator.” Anyway, they had a great time and this picture showing their smiling, happy faces proves it.


It's official! Daddy is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I tested tonight and everything went well. I took some damage fighting 5 different guys and ended up with a bloody lip, bruises galore, and one shot to the groin (thank God for cups). Once in a great while, the Adventures of the 4 Webbs don't include the twins and tonight was one of those occasions.


This is the only picture that half-way turned out because of my stinky camera. Tomorrow as a gift and reward for earning my black belt I will go to Best Buy and purchase a Canon S90 camera. I figure since my previous camera took over 15,000 pictures I will certainly get my money's worth from a new camera.

I'm off to bed for sleep, healing, and preparation for early work meetings on Friday morning. Time waits for no man.

See you soon!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

many faces

Howdy folks,

Mama bear is under the weather so Papa bear had to jump in yesterday after a shortened work day to save the day. I came home early and decided there is no point in all of US staying inside just because she wasn't running on all cylinders. So I loaded up the twins in the Chariot and strolled over to the local park. I learned a few things so let me jot them down for NEXT time so as not to repeat the same mistakes...

1. bring apple juice. This will avoid 8 minutes walking home hearing them scream for apple juice at such a high pitch dogs were barking inside the neighbor's houses as we strolled by.

2. bring diapers AND wipes. duh. I don't know what people did before wipes. I am SO glad to be living in this century with the technology and advanced cleanliness.

3. put shoes on Layla, not Crocs. The poor girl had to stop every 30 seconds and sit down to pick the wood chips out of her Crocs because the playground is covered in mulch.

4. don't eat Cheetoes in front of the twins as we stroll. They don't need a daily dose of MonoSodium Glutamate, but it's a tough sell to say, "You shouldn't eat these chips! they are bad for you." when I'm eating them myself.

Our time at the park was half observation and half playing. Easton pointed out every ant, dog, cloud, as well as the moon... several times.

The highlight of the trip to the park was hearing Easton and Layla use their "oustide voice" on command as they happily swung on the swings. The neighbors jogging by burst out laughing.

Easton is getting so big that he has to duck down when walking under the play structure. That's new.


However, he's still way too young to climb the big boy stairs, but that didn't stop him from trying. I give him a A+ for effort! His adventurous spirit is taking shape.


Layla's personality is so accentuated and flamboyant it is difficult to capture in pictures. Yes, she is almost 2 years old and still has a pacifier at night when she sleeps. I can tell you in this next picture she was saying something like, "don't even THINK about taking my paci away!"


We've talked about this ad nauseum with no real consensus for how or when to break the paci addiction. It could involve an "intervention" and be aired on the network reality TV series.

Layla also has a way of giving the best smiles and hugs I could ever imagine. Makes me want to give her the world.

I'm amazed how long her hair is finally growing. We've been waiting on her bald head to fill in since the day she was born and she looks more girly all the time with the long hair. I see the progress every night in the bath tub as I wash her hair and pour the big cup of water over her head. Her hair straightens out and I can see it growing down past her neck.

One other side of Layla is the rough-house angle. As they run around like crazy monster's while listening to Old MacDonald she caught and tackled Easton. His only defense was to combat her with the bouncy ball across the head. They both fell down giggling and I called it a tie.


One last side of Layla is the sweet, shyness. She jumps on our bed, lays down, and says, "cover up?" So I gladly throw the quilt over her.


After looking at this picture several times, it reminded me of another similar picture taken about a year ago. She has such beautiful eyes and that same sweet look of innocence. Here's the Way Back Whensday picture of the week:


With much less hair and chubbier cheeks. :)

My mom arrives in 5 days so the countdown is on! I miss my mama...

See you soon!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

bounce, lemonde, aprons

Hi friends and family,

Easton and Layla are going to 2 years old in a couple of weeks! This picture is from one year ago back when they were still "babies" in every sense of the word.


For some reason I can't upload video through the blog site and I don't know why. I've been trying for over a week to upload a couple of clips, but I'll have to figure out what the deal is and stick with pictures for a while.

Toddler words:

Easton calls Layla, "way-wuh" and Layla calls her brother, "bruh-duh". Their words are close enough and hard to criticize considering their age. Layla uses 4 word sentences and Easton uses 3 word sentences. Any more than that and their sentence structure goes down the tubes. Layla says things like, "I don't like it" and Easton says, "Space book, daddy!" Their words are plenty to carry on great conversations now and I am having such fun teaching them words and concepts.

However, even at this age there are many concepts and laws of the world around us that I take for granted. Things like, why we can look at the moon, but should never look at the sun. and why the moon is out at night and sometimes during the day it is visible also. These astrological examples are just two of a thousand, but I've really had to figure out what is explainable to a two year old and what is not. For example, explaining to the twins why Mickey Mouse's plane is completely unsuitable for flight is an exercise in futility. Although Kendra gets a good laugh at my ridiculous attempt to tell them about it.

The whole area of child development is 100x more fascinating than I imagined it would be. There are so many variables that play into how a toddler responds. It is mind-numbing to try and keep track of the possible reason's a toddler reacts or doesn't react in any given situation. Apparently, "every child is different" is a valid answer throughout their entire life. I thought that saying went out the window at some point...

Bounce House:

So anyway, back to real life and adventures with twins... We attended my friend's son's birthday party at the bounce house and the 4 Webb's had an awesome time. Layla thought the twister dots were on a race track so she ran back and forth like the wind. I wanted to say, "run, Layla, run" in my best Forest Gump voice...


Easton was such a brave sport to go down the big boy slides all by himself. He had a blast going down the same slide over and over again. Daddy was super tired after chasing him around for an hour.


Layla continued her newly discovered attitude which says, "I'm almost 2 years old, but going on 4". She wanted so badly to do the same things the older girls were doing, but scaling a wall using a rope and steps with big gaps between them was not doable for her yet. Don't think that prevented her from trying though!

Layla whisked down the huge slides with such enthusiasm. The most humorous part was waiting for her at the end after being electrified by the static of sliding down. Her hair was sticking straight out.


After the slides we sat down for pizza and a lemonade shower.


If you look closely at the picture you notice Easton's shirt is completely soaked because he tilted his newly filled cup of lemonade straight upside down and covered himself with it. Everything after that was a sticky blur and the 4 Webbs stuck together. literally.

Aprons:

The latest edition to the toy box is an apron for pretend time in the kitchen. They love it and their stuffed animals appreciate the gourmet egg and pizza and watermelon lunches.


Easton took it a little too far by trying to force feed corn on the cob to Layla, but she played along like a good sport!


They are best friends, for sure. Best friends who bite, hit, and scratch each other occasionally, but still best friends.

It's back to work for me at o'dark 30 Monday morning. In some ways I can't wait to get back in the office on Monday. It's a chance to slow down and have a break from the action of being with the twins all weekend. :)

See you soon!

Friday, January 22, 2010

through the storm

Hello friends and family,

We survived the downpour of rain and wind over the past few days by staying inside finding fun things to do as indoor activities. The title is not a metaphor for anything. We literally survived the storm, which was one of the worst Phoenix experienced in the past decade. We normally get 7 inches per YEAR of rain, but over the past 2 days we soaked up 2-4 inches across the valley. the cacti are drowning...

Surprisingly, Easton likes feeling the drops on his head and hands. Layla blinks her eyes and furrows her brow when forced out into the elements.


Easton did his best to lure Layla out into the rain the other day...

He's more like a dog and she's more like a cat with regards to rain. Hmm... that gives yet another Halloween costume idea for next year! Cats and Dogs?

Goma (Jenny) sings a song with the lyrics:

Peanut sat on the railroad tracks
eating bread and butter
along came a great, big train
choo choo!
Peanut butter


Here's the peanut, now I just need to retake the picture with her holding a piece of buttered bread. They requested I take them back to see the train so I loaded them up in the Chariot and pulled them behind my bike to go see it. Easton improved his bravery this time by actually touching the train while no-fear-Layla hung from the ladder doing pull ups (with my help of course).

You would be surprised how many minutes of fun are extracted from a costco box. They are getting to big to sit inside most of them, but cardboard can be used in many other ways!


There are two big changes recently I've noticed in the twins: The ability to comprehend and communicate past, present, future and also the ability to choose.

In the past I would ask if they want a graham cracker or Nilla wafer. They would stare blankly at me and I would have to figure it out by giving them one and see if they say, "no" and then the try the other. However, recently they voluntarily come out and ask for specific things as well as expressing a preference for one item or color over another. In the bath tub I hold up two foam letters such as M and E. Then ask one of them to choose. They respond with their preference and it makes my life easier... and harder now they have an opinion because their opinions are vocally expressed about EVERYTHING.

They also started to describe things through the past, present, and future tense. Maybe not with the actual word such as, "I heard a train last night", but rather as a concept where upon my return home from work they describe the details of what they did that day. They never ask for something in the future though... It's always, "right now!", but they at least comprehend when we say, "later we will do that". Of course hours and days and time are foreign concepts, but the general idea of future is starting to sink in.

They are making progress and I'm proud of them for it! That is the important thing.

See you soon.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

astronaut and princess

This morning I woke up to hang out with our dynamic duo and give mommy a chance to sleep in. I snuck up to their door and heard Layla reading aloud, "Polar bear, polar bear". She was on the page with the snakes and Easton was doing the sound effects for each page. I wanted to get the camera to take a video, but they heard my foot steps and promptly stopped their coordinated story time. In stereo they shouted, "mommy! mommy!" so I opened the door like Kramer from Seinfeld. I expected them to change the chant to "daddy! daddy!", but instead they simply changed the tone from cheering to questioning, "mommy? mommy?" I don't blame them for wanting to see her smiley face.

After the twins realized it was a daddy kind of morning, I lifted Easton and he said, "Space shuttle, daddy. Easton astronaut!" I said, "OK, buddy. Yes, you can be an astronaut." Layla piped up and said, "seat belt, Easton!" forcefully demanding he wear his seat belt when he flys in the space shuttle. She is correct and I reaffirmed the mandate with my pointy finger at Easton telling him he MUST wear his seat belt when he is in the space shuttle. In typical Easton fashion he said, "OK!" as if we had just made a verbal agreement on a real estate deal. Then I changed his diaper.

That's the kind of fun I have every morning before work. Sure makes it hard to leave knowing I'll miss out on those moments during the day. I stuck around for breakfast though.

Future princess:


Future astronaut:


Both of them covered in homemade blueberry syrup.

Caption of the day: Am I tall enough to go to DisneyLand now?


Nothing really special about that image, it's just really cute of Easton and humorous at the same time.

What happens when two fire trucks and an ambulance full of fire and rescue folks play ultimate frisbee at the park?


We end up with two free hats (Layla already destroyed one) and an open invitation to tour the local firehouse.

The 4 Webbs went to a park close to my work and happened to be there at the same time as those fire and rescue people were getting their exercise. They were very friendly and approached us offering to let us hang out INSIDE the fire truck. As soon as we took one step towards the rigs, Easton started saying, "no... No... NO..." and didn't stop until we assured him he didn't have to approach the vehicles. Layla was unsure, but willing to hang out with the people. She even let one of the guys hold her as she exuberantly counted to ten ending with climactic team applause at the end.

One of the guys opened the cab of the fire truck and motioned for Layla and I to go inside. Recognizing his offer Layla piped up before I could even take a step towards the tuck. Her new phrase is "I don't like it!" She clearly indicated her position on the idea of entering the vehicle. As a father who knows Colossians 3:21, which says: "Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged." So I didn't force the issue at all. However, now I have this open invitation to sit in a REAL fire truck and hang out with fire fighters. It's already burning me like a stack of $100 bills in my pocket, but I'll have to wait at least several months to try again when they are not so scared of the big rigs.

Today's weather: Overcast and rainy (Queue the BJ Thomas song)

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red
Cryin's not for me
'Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin'


Because I'm free
Nothin's worryin' me

See you soon!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

All in a day

Howdy folks,

I am married to a half-marathon runner! Not many people can say that and I'm proud of Kendra for her accomplishment today. She has talked about doing this for years and decided to take the initiative to make it happen. She read books, kept logs, researched, asked friends, and took many other steps to prepare for the big event today. Way to go, Mommy!

I strolled Easton and Layla through the thousands (literally) of people to find Kendra after she finished the race and walked into the family reunion area. Because of the extraordinary amount of stimuli going on around the twins, I decided to post the after-we-arrived-home picture where Easton is holding her medal.


This morning we (all 4 Webbs) woke up at 4:15 AM and drove Kendra to the starting line. We left her there and I drove back home with plans for the day. First, Easton and Layla went back to bed for a couple of hours, then we ate breakfast and went to church. I am proud of myself for getting the three of us ready in time for church and actually going instead of whining about how it's hard to manage such an undertaking without Kendra around. Trust me, I thought seriously about using that excuse...

At home we played and ate. I did my best to entertain them and have some fun daddy time. I think this picture indicates success?


We tracked her progress online and then drove to the finish line area to pick her up. After walking a half mile (much less than a half-marathon thank goodness), I found her still standing and smiling as always. Knowing she did not hurt herself or experience any problems during the race was a huge relief for me. She looks really happy for someone who just ran 13.1 miles, don't you think?


I had just enough time to dump everyone off at home and then go to martial arts training. My black belt test is 11 days away so time is winding down for me to fine tune my abilities. Two hours of fighting left me blowing blood out of my nose for the rest of the afternoon. I consider that to be "minor" considering how sore Kendra must feel. :)

Tonight we celebrated by going out to dinner with our friends, Jason and April. I consider Jason to be MY friend just as much as Kendra considers April to be HER friend... So THERE! I set it up as a surprise to celebrate her big victory and it was nice to see Kendra feel special. While we waited for the food to arrive, Layla and Layla (that's their daughter's name also) were both getting restless. Jason and I were tasked with walking around outside with the two of them. We made three full laps around the building as we chased after those speedy toddlers. I did get them to slow down long enough to hold hands and smile though. They are becoming good friends as well and I think they are adorable.


I spent the rest of my night working on my black belt paper (5 pages of deep thoughts) and blogging. Now it is finally time for bed after being up since FOUR FIFTEEN this morning! Oh well... At least I get to go to work tomorrow bright and early so I can rest. Whew! what an excellent day. That's what adventures with twins are all about.

race day for mommy

Greetings friends and family,

Today is the big day for Kendra's half-marathon! After some minor drama yesterday regarding pickup dates and times, she is there now waiting to start. Being excited for her this morning was difficult only because of the early rise required to get her to the starting line.

Easton and Layla had happy hearts while driving downtown to drop her off and getting back home. Luckily I was able to get them back into bed before the sun came up so hopefully they will take a good nap now so we can be well rested for the day. Here's a video clip of us this morning

video

You can follow along real-time here:

http://arizona.competitor.com/liveresults/

We'll be waiting for her at the finish line! Her start time should be around 9:00 AM.

See you soon!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Games we play

Greetings friends and family,

Our lives have been a little extra busy over the past few weeks so I'll have to catch up on the posting to the blog through smaller posts more frequently until I catch up.

One question I have yet to ask Kendra is about flossing kid's teeth. At what age do you start flossing a child's teeth? We regularly brush their teeth (almost) every night. But i started thinking that if they eat the same things we do and require brushing, then why not flossing also? If the answer is we need to floss their teeth, then my next question is, "How?" We have a tough time getting Easton and Layla to hold still long enough to brush their teeth and I am certain flossing is much less "fun" than brushing... Do they make kid floss? Is there a technique for strapping kids down so they don’t cut their gums on the floss? This is one area I never even thought about when considering what issues I would face when raising toddlers.

As the twins get older I notice there are certain behaviors and routines which develop. One of those is the interaction between Easton and I each night at bed time. I sing their songs, cover them up, and place the sippy cup of water in the crib. Then as I walk away from Easton's crib he inquisitively says, "Daddy?"


I believe he wants to be comforted knowing I am there for him! One night last week when he said, "Daddy?” I rushed over to his crib and said, "yes? daddy is here." He thought that was funny and now it's a game we play where I do that a few times back and forth. I caught one of those humorous exchanges on video just for fun.

video

Another recent phenomenon is the Old McDonald craze. Easton and Layla are extraordinarily crazed over the Old McDonald song. Every night before bath time I just say, “Old McDonald?” and they go absolutely nuts even before the song starts. We go into the TV room and they place their soft personal couch chairs back to back. They wait impatiently for the song to start. At this moment they look and act like a bottle of soda being shaken. They jump up and down giggling ready to burst. Once the song starts they cheer as though their favorite team won the BCS bowl and then they run around the chairs like wild monkeys chasing each other. Here’s a video clip of that lovely, daily event:

video

And that's life with toddlers! Kendra and I are reverting back to childish ways together and having a lot of fun doing it. I've been waiting for 25 years to play with Match Box cars and run around in circles singing silly songs again.

Here are a few caption photos to instigate a chuckle or two from you.

Opa, when are you coming to show me how to swing these golf clubs?


as she grabed the camera in my hands she said, "Layla do it! Layla do it!"


Then she proceeded to take 10 pictures of the grass in the green belt only stopping long enough between pictures to laugh hysterically about it.

*FLASH*


(hee hee heeeeeee)

*FLASH*

See you soon!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

On the tracks

Greetings friends and family,

Kendra played soccer this evening with her championship co-ed soccer team and that gave me the chance to have some daddy only time with them. After dinner concluded with flinging beans and rice I had a spare hour to burn before the whole bath-books-bed cycle so we went for an adventure. While playing in our front yard I occasionally lift Easton up on my shoulders where he can see over the cinder brick wall across the way where the train sits on the tracks. He is still in awe of train related things so I decided we would go touch it instead of just looking over there. I mean, there are NO other advantages to living next to train tracks other than having the ability to use it as an up-close and personal learning tool.

I had to figure out a way to transport the twins from our house through the neighborhood, along the main street, and down the rocky path along the tracks to where the train sat. The only way I was going to beat the sunset was to hook up my bike to the chariot and hope they forgot about the last time was tried to go over rocky terrain where they cried the whole way. As it turns out, they loved riding behind daddy's bike and the faster I rode, the more they giggled.

There is a common saying from days gone by where elderly people would tell young, energetic kids to "go play on the railroad tracks!" That's exactly what we did.


Easton was enthralled by the enormity of the train. His smile and talkative nature proved he was loving the experience. However, he only felt comfortable with the situation if I was holding him in my arms, so that's why the pictures are mostly of Layla. I even convinced Layla to sit up on the step of the train and smile for a picture.


After seeing sister up there I hoped Easton would go along with duplicating the scenario, but as soon as I moved him towards the step he hung on my neck with a death grip and said, "No, daddy!" so I immediately called off that effort and kept holding him close.

I was able to convince him to stand next to Layla and smile while I took a picture of the two of them with the train in the background.


Sorry the pictures are so dark. It was barely sunset, but my camera is a cursed thing and the thorn in my side. I have my eye on the new Canon S90, but I'm saving up for it so who knows when I'll either get so tired of my current camera that I throw it in the duck pond or when my camera savings funds get large enough to buy it. Which ever one comes first. :)

My friend, Judson, and his family came over on Friday night for dinner and hang out time. The twins played their hearts out with his two kids. Layla was more than happy to show off her new tutu and push Riley around on the bus.


She wears the tutu daily now, but we don't let her take it outside because it would be instantly dirty and shredded on the rocks.

Easton had his second hair cut ever and it went much smoother than the first one. Kendra still had to hold him the entire time as he cried. This time he didn't scream as though he were in pain. Thanks, in part, to the Thomas the Train video they had playing at the kid's hair salon.

I'm working on a few T-shirt ideas and will either search for it on Ebay or create it on my own. One idea is to put: "You have my parents permission to discipline me" or some variation of that. The other idea is to copy the tuner auto industry where they normally have "Powered by Nismo" for example. I was thinking we should get shirts for Easton and Layla that say, "Powered by Apple Juice". It only funny because it is true for our twins. Even though we consistently water down their apple juice at a 1 to 1 ratio, they still ask for it by name all day long.

We received exciting news that my parents, Nana and Papa, are coming to town for a visit during the twins' second birthday! I'm really happy they are choosing to be here now so they can leave the -20 degree wind chill, snow, and ice at their house and bask in the 70 degrees of sunshine we experience here in AZ this time of year. Hooray for upcoming family time! Hearing their plans to be here with us was music to my ears.

Have a great Monday and I'll see you soon!

Friday, January 8, 2010

tutu and zoo lights

Howdy folks!

Occasionally I have to question what Kendra teaches the twins while I'm at work... One teacher with two toddlers means they are taught the same thing. Layla is preparing to twirl around like a fairy princess and Easton is just doing stretching exercises. Or so one would guess.


But it is very clear who is the pretty princess. Layla!


Any time the words "cute face" are heard she immediately does her cute face, but her head and body contort more to the side as the months and years go by as she tries to really emphasize the cuteness.

Tonight we spontaneously went to the Phoenix zoo. With the yearly passes we received tickets to the Zoo Lights display, which ends this Sunday. Since the rest of our weekend is booked up with other fun, we decided to get some use out of the zoo lights passes since it was "free" fun.

The highlight of the night was riding the carousel.


I am extremely proud of Easton for being brave enough to jump on the spinning animals. We sat patiently watching others go around and around. We used our own excitement to hype it up as the most awesome experience ever known to man. Our enthusiasm must have cheered his bravery on to new heights because after seeing other kids ride the ride and dismount alive I asked, "Does Easton want to ride the tiger?" He thought for a few seconds and said, "OK!" That was all we needed to hear and it was off to the races standing in line praying for it to go quickly so we can get the twins onto the carousel before either of them had the chance to back out on the deal.

They both loved riding on the animals. Layla shouted, "Hiiiii" and waved as Easton shouted, "Byyyyyye" and waved. Both were technically correct because on the carousel we were coming and going nowhere at the same time. Great fun had by all and it only cost $25 for the night (popcorn, a water, and a pretzel). Ouch... Next time I'm packing a fruit rollup and a gatorade from home. :)

See you soon!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sharing and Dreams

Sharing:

I am a big fan of role modeling behaviors we are attempting to develop in the twins. I make it a point every morning before leaving for work of getting their attention to watch as I verbally say "huuuuuuug Mommy" and "kiiiiiiss Mommy" as I do the actions that go along with the words. I want them to see us being affectionate hoping they will get the hint this is the way they should be towards each other and us.

However, the philosophical discussion around how to role model sharing is in question. The concept of sharing has pushed me out of my comfort zone because Kendra is much more open to sharing than I am. So where do I draw the line? Sharing my house slippers? OK, but they are broken in just the way my feet fit them perfectly. Sharing my lollipop? Yeah, we kiss regularly so that's not a huge deal. Sharing my toothbrush? now it's getting seriously questionable... Maybe I'll have to draw the line at sharing dentures when we get old.

Easton and Layla do a great job of sharing most of the time. Sitting on the park bench seat together is a happy occasion.


And so is standing on the couch before bedtime. Oops! They aren't supposed to be standing on the couch. I guess Mommy will reprimand me for not holding the line on that boundary.


There are a few things Easton and Layla don't share well and a soccer ball is one of those things. They have yet to comprehend the concept of playing cooperatively where they kick the ball back and forth to each other. Instead of fighting the battle, we were lucky enough to get a second soccer ball for Christmas. When I say "we" I mean Kendra and I. The two of us are lucky because it saves arguments by having duplicate items. The same concept goes for tooth paste and the tooth brushes. Anyway, back to soccer... Easton much prefers to throw things rather than kick them, but he figured out the concept of soccer and has great coordination.


Layla has a natural knack for being athletic so she runs and kicks the soccer ball with awesome technique and grace. and speed. man, she's fast...


Dreams:

We all have dreams. Some of us are lucky enough to have spouses who do their best to help us achieve them. There are many things Kendra and I do well together. One of those is enabling each other to achieve dreams. Marriage is about sacrifice and enabling the other person to reach their dreams. I dreamed of earning my black belt in martial arts. Kendra dreamed of running a half-marathon. We dreamed of going to Hawaii to relax on the beach. These personal (non kid related) desires are probably the top three for us over the past several years. Oddly enough, all three are going to be realized within a month!

I'm preparing for Tae Kwon Do Black Belt testing in three weeks. I've dreamed about becoming a black belt for over three years now and the dedication and hard work are leading to my promotion to Black Belt. Reaching this dream required sacrifice on the part of Kendra. The time I spent training was time where she cared for the twins and meals and the household without my help. She enabled me to get where I am and that is a testament to her unselfishness.

Kendra is running a half-marathon in 2 weeks so she is keeping up with her running schedule while juggling everything else related to the raising the twins. I take care of the house while she trains. Her accomplishment in completing the race will be her award, but I feel like part of the "team Webb" who enabled her to succeed.

We've talked about going to Hawaii since before we were even engaged! We are beach lovers and adventurers so Hawaii is going to be the paradise we have dreamed about together. All of the pieces lined up within days so we feel it is the right timing and plan. We have only taken two extended vacations in 8 years of marriage. That sucks and I'm the one at fault for not planning regular get-aways. We did attend the marriage conference last year where we spent a night alone, away. But attending sessions and lessons wasn't exactly relaxing or vacationing.

Anyway, to make a short story long, Kendra's parents are going to spend a week here with Easton and Layla at our house while we spend a week in Maui, Hawaii! Our friends hooked us up with an incredible place on the beach, my work gives me Gold card privileges with Hertz (convertible Mustang), and researching the airlines yielded a sweet deal on the flight to Maui. We have a layover in Guam, but at least we have a choice whether to sit next to livestock or terrorists. Just kidding... I found out our vacation rental place has free wireless internet so I plan to continue bloggin' even as my feet are buried in sand.

Daniel Fast:

We are participating in the Daniel Fast along with our church. This means three weeks worth of eating only what comes directly from the ground (nuts, beans, fruits, veggies, etc.). I've never eaten so healthy in my whole life and I'm doing surprisingly well thanks to Kendra's creative cooking. There is a higher likelihood I'll lose even more weight (as if there is anything left of me to lose). My gym at work is closed due to remodeling until mid-February so I'm back on the P90X bandwagon just to keep up my level of fitness.

See you soon!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Welcome home

Happy New Year to you and may all your dreams come true in 2010! We have some dreams of own coming true over the next couple of months and I'm excited about what the next few months will hold for us.

We were able to connect with Kendra's cousins, Mark and Colleen, who have two kids of their own. They have a loft area will lots of open space and boatloads of toys for our twins to enjoy along with their cousins. No one was injured and as you can see by this picture, everyone got along famously.


One of their Christmas gifts was a mini-trampoline built just for kids. Easton jumped a few times, but Layla nearly bounced through the roof. the height of her jumping is hard to see in this picture because of an optical allusion, but believe me, she was really giving those bungee cords a workout.


Easton and Layla are rarely still enough to capture on film, but every day during snack time they pause just long enough to cram some cheese puffs and slam some apple juice before resuming their laps around the couch while listening to "Old McDonald Had a Farm" for the 30th time that day.


This is what happens when you give a camera to a toddler:


He turned it around towards his face and took several pictures as he giggled at the camera. I was impressed he knew how to hold the button and snap the shot. Go Easton!

The 4 Webbs packed up and drove home to AZ a few days early because my work this coming week is expected to be very heavy. Driving all night in the middle of the week tends to halt to my productivity. The summary of our trip shows it as a great success and the two of us discussed how well it went as we drove home.

The highlight for Kendra was knowing the twins and her parents bonded so well together. Eventually Easton just shortened his sentence to, "Oma come!" That's all he had to say to get Oma to join in whatever he was doing. The only regret we have is not connecting with Kendra's cousin Dustin and his family. We had high hopes of a Sunday afternoon get together, but our split decision to leave early put a damper on that one. We expect to be back in NorCal this summer to escape the heat so hopefully our ability to plan will make that connection a reality.

We did have time for one more trip to see the fish hatchery and ducks before leaving town. It was a good way to let the twins run around and give Oma and Opa one last window of opportunity to hold their hand and wander around. Easton is without a doubt Oma's number one fan. His world is perfectly aligned if Oma is within sight.


Everyone slept well during the drive home and slept in this morning as the two of recovered from the all-nighter. We unloaded the Honda Pilot into the house like a dump truck dumps a mound of garbage onto a heap. It will take us a few days to sift through the ruble to get everything squared away. We took a break from the sifting to go play in the park and eat Pei Wei's Chinese food on the outdoor patio. Mommy and the twins are already back to their silly ways as we bask in the sunny sweetness of AZ winter time.


Wish you were here... :)


The only difference between a dream and a goal is a plan. There is your moment of Zen for the day... Here are some of our plans for the next two months:

- Kendra will run a half-marathon
- Bronson will test to become a black belt in Tae Kwon Do
- The two of us are booked at a resort in Maui, Hawaii for a week of kid-less vacation.

also Easton and Layla turn 2 years old!

I ran out of time tonight to dive into adventures coming up, but I'll get back on my normal blogging schedule since we are rapidly settling back into normal life.

See you soon!