Tuesday, March 30, 2010

encouragement

Hey friends and family,

My back is mostly healed and I'm back on schedule with martial arts training and tossing the twins up in the air as we play. What a difference a week makes! I have a new found respect and sympathy for those people who live with back pain indefinitely. It's really demoralizing and takes a strong will and heart to endure.

Anyway, on to the more important topic of the day which is Kendra's emotional well being. She's having a tough time right now with the difficulties of being a stay at home mom raising twin toddlers. I don't ask you as readers to do much and rarely have a "call to action", but right now Kendra could really use some words of encouragement from those of you who are able to call her. If you have her phone number give her a call any time day or evening.

She's doing a great job and I have no complaints, but she feels like she's not meeting up to her own self-imposed high goals and standards. She read several books and has been around kids her entire life so it's not as though this is new territory. The difference is, she realizes the magnitude of getting one shot to do this parenting thing right. More specifically, Layla is going through a stage where she willing, consciously disobeys on the simple things and she also presents a challenge in transitioning from one thing to another. For example, leaving the park and getting in the car is a struggle because Layla wants to play so badly.

I know there is no magical answer or silver bullet to solve it all, but Kendra is in need of some hopeful, positive thinking if you can spare some. I laid next to her in bed briefly tonight and did what a good husband should do in situations such as this... close my mouth and open my ears.

Anyway, on to the twins and what their up to lately. I found an old, old camera (that double word usage was in honor of you, Oma) and gave it to Easton and Layla. Since it doesn't have a battery, Easton was less than interested. Layla decided to take pretend photos. I didn't bother to correct her by turning the camera around because it didn't matter.


Spontaneous! From the early days of our dating life, I've always made an exaggerated effort to convince Kendra I am spontaneous! She sees me as a planner who thinks too much so every opportunity I have to show my "free spirit" nature, I take it. Yesterday afternoon we played in the front yard rocks. Our neighbor, Marsha, came outside with her German Shepherd and announced she was going to the local dog park. She loaded her dog in the car and drove away.

Before she even left our sight Layla turned to me and said, "we go to the dog park?" Since I had no other relevant plan for how to spend the evening I proudly announced, "Yes! Yes, we will go to the dog park. That's a great idea, Layla!" Easton happily agreed and they quickly obeyed the directive to get in the car. Neither of the twins had any idea of what a dog park is, but they were sure excited to go there! We arrived to find a 6 foot tall wrought iron fence enclosing the massive grass area and there was Marsha with Brandy. Layla immediately wanted to go inside, but when I got down to Easton's level and asked if he wanted to go see the dogs he clearly articulated a big "NO" with the accompanying head shakes.

Luckily, next to the dog park was a huge play structure jungle gym where the twins and I loaded up our crocs with sand. Easton used his "outside voice" as I gave him permission to do so. Talk about a high pitched scream of fun...


Layla thought the big kid swing would be more exciting so she gave it a try, albeit cautiously. I was happy she chose to approach it this way because I didn't want to pick sand out of her hair from flipping over the swing.


I wasn't around today to witness the excitement, but Kendra had 6 kids under 3 years old in our house. They played with water table in the back yard and I hear it was a big hit. Not quite as fun as riding horses, jumping on a trampoline, and feeding pigs, but it was still adventurous and enjoyable.

That's it for today, so I'll see you again soon!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

farm birthday

I spent an extraordinary amount of time with the twins at local parks over the past 3 days. The weather is excellent so whenever Kendra needs a break or is gone doing her thing I loaded up the kids and went to the park. Prior to last month or so I was paranoid and terrified about the two of them running in separate direction on the jungle gym. Mostly due to Easton big fall a few months ago. I'm over it (finally) and more comfortable with their level of balance and intelligence to know where to walk and where to avoid.

Here's Mr. Happy pants running around a pine tree just because it was fun.


Layla decided to pick up fallen pinecones in the green belt. Dad, you always taught us kids, "If it's free take 2 or 3!" I'm just passing it along.


Saturday was by far the most active day I've experienced with the twins. ever. After the park and running errands and nap time we went to the birthday party for April's son, Landon. I thought we made a wrong turn and arrived at a petting zoo, but it was April's moms house. That was by far the most fun birthday party I've been to in years.

The full-sized trampoline was a big hit and the kids had to jump in shifts to avoid big kid - little kid collisions. Layla jumped until we physically removed her and then she would say, "jumpy jump!" until it was her turn again. Look at that girl go!


Easton was more interested in the foam-winged airplanes and learned to throw them for a brief flight of a few feet.


Then came the animal farm interactions... Easton did a really good snake impersonation as he pretended to hold (and bite) the fake snake


And the twins also loved playing with the small dog, Toby (not the big puppy who tackled Easton).


One of the highlights of the day was Easton and Layla riding a horse! A REAL one. Easton did a great job and I was so proud of him for being brave enough to hop on the saddle and ride. He was really comfortable and confident.


I half expected Layla to ask for spurs and say, "Giddy up!", but she was content to trot around with my hand on her back holding her in place.


Layla took a second ride with her friend, Layla Ruth. Such sweethearts and good friends.


After such a long day and play time at the farm birthday party, the twins FINALLY wore out. Their energy level dropped like a rock and we were left with two cranky toddlers.


A benefit of such a huge day was that when we put them in bed they were practically asleep before we left the room.

One thing I envied were the other dads of older kids who basically turned the kids loose and sat down in the porch swing to engage in parental conversations. Kendra and I spent the entire time chasing the twins and protecting them from horses, mud puddles, and the oversized, over-friendly neighbor dog who tackled Easton. Sorry about that little dude. If you ever have emotional issues with dogs, that was the incident you need to "work through". He didn't get hurt, but he was already uneasy around dogs before Saturday. He turned to run away from the huge neighbor puppy and the puppy throught he wanted to play (in a really rough way). So the puppy chased and tackled him throwing his lolloipop across the yard. After a few seconds of consoling him he was back to normal.

Anyway, I appreciated the chance to interact and spend time with the twins, but it sure looked appealing to see the other dad's just hang out and watch as their kids played with foam swords and plastic hats. I know there is a season for everything and once they finally reach the age of independent play, I'll wish they were 2 years old again.

This morning Kendra attempted to put pig tails in Layla's hair, but she did not appreciate it. I'm just happy her hair is finally long enough for pig tails even if she prefers it down.


This afternoon I took the twins outside for a walk to the mailbox (we didn't get to go yesterday because of the birthday party) and watering the flowers. Somehow Layla discovered she could make mud with the watering can and soil. She was intrigued enough to dig her hands into it, but girly enough she wanted me to wash it off.


Another fantastic weekend in the books and it's on to another work week starting tomorrow morning. Guess who's coming to visit next week??? Oma and Opa! Shhhh... don't tell the twins or we'll hear about for the next 4 days nonstop.

See you soon!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Holding Daddy's Hand

Hello friends and family,

The twins' fascination with "Snow White" continues and if I had to cast the characters from our own clan here is who and why:

Sleepy - Kendra. Because she went to sleep at 9 tonight. She yawned all day from a long week of work and kids and friends and taking care of me. I don't blame her a bit!
Sneezy - Me. Because windy conditions in a dirt covered city shaped like a bowl results in an insanely runny nose.
Happy - Easton. Because he's the happiest person I've ever met. He has his moments just we ALL do on occasion, but day after day his happy heart shines through.
Snow White - Layla. Because she is without a doubt the most fair princess in the land. She puts the cartoon character to shame with the way she slowly blinks and flutters her eyelashes just to ask for more goldfish crackers.

I normally try to share pictures depicting Easton and Layla doing things. After all, this blog is called "adventures" with twins, not monotony with twins. I capture their personalities through situational descriptions, which rarely results in just a simple close up picture of them individually. To make a short story long, here are some simple close ups of the twins during bath time.


I'm not suggesting they are flattering pictures, but if I try to get Layla to "pose" she squints her eyes so much because of her big smile that it is hard to see her eyes. I had to take these in the bathtub where I have controlled lighting and a captive audience.


Although the "captive audience" concept is questionable since they figured out how to climb in and out of the tub. They have very individual characteristics and facial features, but they also have spectacular similarities. They have the same hair, eye, and skin color and about the same height and weight. Regardless of their similarities and differences, they are both great looking kids.

A new phenomenon around here is the concept of compliments. Out of nowhere Layla tells Easton he is handsome and Easton tells Layla she is beautiful. That made me proud as a parent to hear them giving intentional compliments to each other. Shortly after the love-fest they probably tackled each other fighting over who gets to hold the helicopter toy and someone cried. None the less, you take the good with the bad and focus on the positive as much as possible.

In the Webb house we practice and teach giving lots of hugs to our loved ones and friends. It's not a "pet trick" per se, but Easton and Layla will hug on command and occasionally unprovoked.


I'm also doing my best to start Easton off early with "how to treat a lady". On our way home from the mailbox Easton voluntarily stopped, picked a flower from our neighbors bush, and told me it was "for Mommy". He was so excited to give them to her and also proud of himself at the same time.


That reminds me. The twins and I are scheduled to make a special trip to the store tomorrow to get Mommy some roses. I can say that here on the blog because I know she won't have time to read it before we go to the store. She has her ministry meeting all morning and I have the undivided attention of the twins!

Speaking of mailbox trips... Lately, our daily trip to the mailbox turns into Easton holding one of my hands while Layla holds the other. We run down the hill together and they have so much fun running full speed without worrying about falling down because they know I'm holding them up.


Once Easton realized he could hold my hand and not worry about falling he wanted to go stand on the bigger rocks, which he couldn't do on his own. Marisue, you might notice Easton is wearing appropriately matching BLUE Crocs now instead of borrowing Layla's pink ones.


This last picture of Layla is magical.


Certainly not for its crisp quality or majestic landscape. It is the memory of the way she looked at me this day. In the middle of the hill Layla looked up and I could almost hear her verbally say, "Am I lovely, Daddy?" Of course, she didn't actually say anything because she was so busy giggling. However, the way she looked at me suggested she was reveling in the moment knowing I was holding her, interacting, playing, affirming, cheering and 100% focused on nothing but her. Also, she trusted me enough to take her eyes off the hill and look up at me with full confidence I would keep her safe. That's the kind of thing money can't buy. She was giving me what I need, which is a sense of purpose and I was giving her what she needs, which is a sense of self-worth. All without any effort on either of our part and just by running around in the park.

I'm doing a terrible job of describing the moment, but where everyone else may just see a blurry picture I see one of the greatest accomplishments of my life and unconditional love in a form so pure it is practically transparent.

The clock is striking midnight and although I don't expect to turn into a pumpkin, no need to take a chance... I'm heading to be so I can keep up with a day-long family experience and birthday party for Landon.

See you soon!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I go to work

Howdy friends and family,

Today at lunch my coworker asked I could identify what the "green things" are in his gumbo soup. I quickly answered, "it's okra!" He asked if I had much previous experience with okra and I dove into a Bubba-Gump-like soliloquy of, "fried okra, pickled okra, sautéed okra..." Then he correctly identified me as, "from the South". To which I sarcastically replied, "yeah, what gave it away?"

Anyhow, Kendra and I continued with our next step in the Financial Peace University program by completing a proposed budget tonight. Starting April 1st there will be many changes in the casa de Webb to which we both agree. However, I will not under any circumstances eat generic brand Oreo cookies or use generic brand toilet paper. That's where I draw the line. Almost everything else is up for discussion. We purposely deferred FPU until after the Hawaii trip because otherwise we would have had a miserable time pinching pennies and feeling guilty for making it the vacation of a lifestyle.

I told Kendra, "vacation is NOT the time to save money". So here we are facing the daunting challenge of accounting (being accountable to each other) for every dollar we spend next month in order to establish our baseline of expenses. According to the strategy we will contribute to the college fund of the twins and a car replacement fund for us. Then we'll have to figure out how to eat for a month on the $14.32 left over after all of our savings. I'm just kidding. Our situation isn't that extreme, but sometimes feels like it.

OK, so on to the twins... Our front yard is terribly inadequate as a playground for kids. We have cement, rocks, cactus, and all manner of unfriendly plants. That being said, one of the things I learned about kids is that if they don't know any different then they are happy with what they have! Layla and Easton are proof.


Have you ever seen two kids so happy about rocks before?


That's why we occasionally go in the back yard where we at least have grass to twirl around and run in circles. These next two pictures of Easton and Layla really show their personalities. Layla with her Eye of the Tiger intensity and Easton with his Jamaican, cool vibe.


Easton has that freshly-shaken bottle of soda excitement and when Layla laughs she lets it all out in copious amounts.


As you notice, the fenced pool in the background rests undisturbed as we wait patiently for the temperature to rise. It will be at a rolling boil within 2 months so it's time to start shopping for a fresh set of arm floaties that fit Easton and Layla's growing arms.

Our friends, Scott and Marisue, came by tonight to hang out with the 4 Webbs. Easton and Layla were as excited to see them as we were. Maybe even more so than us because BOTH of them went pee-pee in the potty and were looking for someone, anyone to tell them about their great accomplishment.


Thank you, Scott and Marisue, for perfectly responding to their conquest of the potty! I can't remember who told me this little bit of wisdom, but recently I internalized and implemented this concept: An adult's response to a child should be equal to the tone of the child voice. If the child is meek and troubling, then the adult should respond with equal calmness and sense of deep feeling. Likewise, if the child is exuberant and loudly proclaiming success, then the adult's response should be wildly excited and equal the child's as opposed to being ho-hum and nonchalant with a response.

Maybe that is common knowledge and I'm just way behind, but it is something I want to give more focus as Easton and Layla continue to communicate more and more verbosely every day.

Finally, a funny story about the twins: This evening the front door of house sat wide open to let the pleasant breeze flow through. Layla grabbed her purse and informed me she was going to work. Easton jumped on the band wagon and wanted his own bag for work. Kendra and I played along with their pretending and it turned out to be a laugh-out-loud experience.

I can't believe how much they pick up from me and even more incredibly how they want to be just like me already. It just blows my mind how these two munchkins look up to me with such admiration. Imitation IS the most sincere form of flattery. Especially when it is unprovoked and 100% innocently real.

At the end Easton tells me to come along with them and I presume it is because he really believed he was going to my work and moved beyond the pretend phase. Easton and Layla both said they wanted a bag because I carry my laptop in my work "bag" every day. Also, they wanted to go to work at the same place I do, which was cool to hear. Easton was slightly distraught when he realized they weren't really going to work. He whimpered, "I want to go to work, daddy". I thought, yeah, that's probably the last time I'll ever hear anyone say they are upset because they couldn't go to work!

video

I make an extra special effort to let the kids know I enjoy work and am grateful for "getting to go to work" instead of bemoaning and talking disparagingly about my job. Well, well, well... I guess it DOES make a difference. Who knew?

See you soon!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Everything's a toy

Hey friends and family,

Kendra's back to back soccer nights went well and the 4 Webb's are on the way back to being healthy. I'm still unable to do any serious activites, but went back to work today. How's that for a reward of being healthy? The twins and I had interesting "quality time" yesterday and this evening while Kendra was away.

For one thing, their 7 PM to 7 AM sleep routine is officially history. We don't even participate in Daylight Saving Time so I have no idea what the coincidence is with that event. Either way, our evening is quickly deteriorating to 8 PM bed time and 30 minutes of Layla singing "Twinkle, Twinkle" while Easton giggles.

What that means to us as parents is the finish line for the daily marathon is that much further away each day. We love our time with the twins, but we also enjoy getting work done, house chores, time together, and alone time to do what we want with the little sliver of time left over.

The saving grace is Easton and Layla are finally starting to play together without requiring our interaction other than playing referee to the regularly occurring "I had it first" cry-fest. Their "toys" used to be limited to just whatever action figure or object we sat in front of them. Now, everything is a toy including everyday objects such as chairs and the drawing easel.

How about this one where Layla shows her long (relatively speaking) hair and Easton poses with the most handsome smile in the world.


Layla thought it was funny to crawl underneath the legs of the easel and asked me to join in with her sweet invitation saying, "come on, daddy! Daddy do it." Unfortunately I had to decline her invitation because my back still isn't strong enough for the obstacle course yet.


Layla started playing peek-a-boo and the two of them jumped out from behind the easel. This is an activity I can join in for so we did several rounds of peek-a-boo and they did a good job of entertaining each other doing this even after I left. After I left they added in their own twins-specific language and chatted back and forth speaking what sounded like some ancient language from Aborigines Pygmies.


I've noticed lately Easton is getting better at looking at the camera long enough for me to take his picture. Layla has always been a ham willing to smile brightly for the camera, but Easton only recently is following requests more correctly. So when I say, "look at the camera!" He not only knows what to do, but actually looks at more than a glance. Layla is looking at Easton for a reaction to her genuine peek-a-boo attempt.


The easel itself is highly utilized in the Webb house and highly recommended. Kendra did lots of research to find the right one and my mom gave it as a birthday gift for the twins' 2nd birthday. This is the right time to introduce them to the easel. Any earlier and a kid won't understand the difference between the chalk board side and marker board side. This will result in markers used on the chalk board and eating the magnetic letters.


Today was the big Mommy and Me group Easter egg hunt. I didn't see any of the loot scavenged by the twins, but I heard it was a big success and lots of fun. I think this must be the before picture because everyone's basket is empty and they look antsy. Layla used her poodle purse to stash the booty so I may go try to steal a few pieces if I can find it. I wonder if she found any peeps out there in the park???

See you soon.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

funniest picture ever

Hey friends and faimly,

Here is my attempt at a Quinton Terintino type story. First, the ending scene. I don't think it would be possible to stage something this hilarious even if I tried. Easton with his finger's in his ears and Layla screaming and crying. Absolutely priceless!


If you know Easton and Layla, the picture makes complete sense and is humorous on so many levels. And now for the story leading up to the previous picture:

The 4 Webbs are doing well, but with injuries. Normally I intentionally avoid conversations revolving around ailments and health issues because it really bothers me when people dominate a conversation and waste an entire discussion describing everything physically wrong with them.

That being said, we are experiencing an unusually high volume and the complicating factor is that Kendra and I are both trying to get well while running the house and taking care of the twins and working. Kendra's back pain is a result of injuries from her half marathon that never healed properly. Hopefully one more week of therapy and massages and she'll be back to normal.

My back is healing well and I have planned doctor visits next week so i can work to reduce swelling and pain even more. I'm still able to interact with Easton and Layla, but I'm limited to whatever I can do while laying down next to them. Luckily reading throughout the day is one of those things.


The book is called, "Mi familia". It has english and the equivalent spanish sentences on each page. I have the twins repeat back the key words so they continue to hear and learn Spanish. With Hispanics overwhelming the country with population growth, the way I see it is: If you can't beat 'em, at least be able to communicate with 'em. I don't mean that in a racist way, but it's painfully obvious English is not being enforced as the national language and I choose not to fight city hall.

Anyway, back to our adventures. Birthday balloons are the gift that keeps on giving . Especially the mylar ones where they don't lose the helium after 24 hours. The Mickey Mouse balloon has survived 41 days! The way it survived in our house so much longer than the rest of the fallen soldiers is because the string broke off within the first day and it floated to the apex of our vaulted ceiling where it has hovered ever since. Each day Easton points it out and each day I say, "any day now that balloon is going to deflate and will be within reach. I gave up hope and brought out the mop as an extension pole to aide in my balloon rescue attempt. After wrestling mightily I handed it to Easton who was as excited as a freshly shaken 2 liter bottle of cola. After a few short moments he bursts out saying, "I wanna go outside, pwease. Take buhwoon outside, puuuhhwease!"


We walked outside and I brought Layla along. Within 2 seconds he threw the it in the air and the two of them bid the balloon a fair well for the next 2 minutes as they waved and talked to it until it was out of sight.

The touching part is, Easton requested I fetch the balloon daily for 41 days and all he wanted to do was set it free to fly up in the sky with the airplanes. He has such a sensitive heart. After reviewing the pictures in this blog I noticed Easton wore the same shirt two days in a row. Oh well, what can I say? Tomorrow is church so i know he'll be dressed in his Sunday best.

Easton is healthy and happy with no perceived injuries. Now, let's take a look at the last couple of days for Layla. Last night our friends came over and we ended up playing outside in our court because the weather is so nice already. Imagine that... Outside at night in shorts and a T-shirt in March! The question is: What happened to the baby in the stroller?


After running around outside Easton and Layla stayed up late playing with their friends. I call this picture, "The cooking cowgirls! Yeee-haw and pass the basil."


We started off at the park and she dumped sand all over herself, played on the playground equipment, and chased the ducks. I can't imagine a better definition of happiness than what she displays sliding down the slide.


Our neighborhood threw a block party this evening and the twins did exceptionally well with all the social interaction. One neighbor even had a bounce house in the front yard and you know how much Layla loves bouncing! She's our version of a little Tigger.


From there things went down hill for Layla, but it is mostly our fault as parents for not putting long pants and a long shirt on Layla. She ran around the court playing soccer, pushing the bus, chasing kids, and ran and ran and ran. She also fell on the pavement. many times. Her reflexes are good enough to catch herself, but not enough to prevent road rash.

We finally put her long pants on, but it was too late. I feel incredibly bad about her scratched up knees. It would have been so easy to change her outfit to be long enough to prevent the scratches. However, with my back problems putting me out of commission as a partner in parenting and Kendra's involvement in the block party, we just neglected to do so.

Even after such an eventful day I had to literally put her over my shoulder and carry her inside for bath time because she wanted to stay and play. She didn't realize how much her boo-boos hurt until I put her in the warm bath water and that's when she started crying intensely. So much that Easton decided to put his fingers in his ears. He just sat there calmly as Layla cried and survived as I washed her boo-boos with soap.

Talk about a full weekend? Oh yeah... It's only Saturday night and we have all day tomorrow!

See you soon.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tattletales

Hi friends and family,

I want to share one of the things I learned about kids whether you have one or two or twins or in my sister's case, 4. There are many unanswered questions. Every day there are more questions than answers. Not only questions about parenting and how to navigate this wild ride called, "family", but also questions for Easton and Layla. Not yet questions BY Easton and Layla although that is just around the corner.

The questions for Easton and Layla are actually starting to get easier and more defined. Prior to this month if we ask one of the twins, "what happened?" or "did he bite you?" or "did she take your Cheerios?" we were met with blank stares. Every 5 minutes was another Sherlock Holmes mystery to solve. Where is your cup? Why are you crying? Where is your boo-boo? Those kind of questions now result in answers... Haaaaaallelujah! (and the 4 Webbs rejoice) BUT that makes Easton and Layla Tattletales! For the past several days when either child does something wrong, the other is quick to get our attention and point it out. Especially if it is in their best interest to resolve whatever situation is being called into question.

Easton has really great verbal skills, but one of the funny idiosyncrasies is the way he asks to be picked up. He says, "I wanna pick you up?" That means he wants me to pick him up, but sounds really cute and sincere.

Summer is almost here! During this time of year the weather outside is mid-80's. That means it is slightly hot, but the pool is still frigid cold. The solution? A water table!


Relax... The brown thing Easton has in his hand is just a brown walrus squeaky toy. We don't have dogs. :)


The expression on his face speaks volumes about how well he shows happiness.


Layla thought it would be fun to get cups of water and dump them in the fountain. Since there was no harm in doing so I encouraged her to continue. Besides, the distance between the fountain and water table wore her out after several trips.


The moment following this next picture involved daddy getting soaked with two cups of cold water. I just laughed and screamed with them. This was an amplification of the standard bath time experience and we all loved it.


Everyone loved it except my back which is still talking to me begrudgingly about that activity. Oh well, at least I feel better today and am making progress! I was able to work for a few hours and join in for play time. My migraine headache is gone, my allergies are clearing up, and my fever is gone. That makes today 100 times better than yesterday.

And Kendra brought me home Ben and Jerry's Boston Cream Pie ice cream. How sweet.

See you soon!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Not today

Hi friends and family,

I do my best to present the good, bad, and ugly of life with twins and in keeping with my openness and honesty policy I have to admit today sucked. Even though I tend to speak positively and try to present the silver linings of the clouds, not today... some days are just plain difficult.

Kendra and I are both experiencing back problems and have for the past week. Since the two of us do a good job of picking the slack for the other person when they are out of commission, it really throws a wrench in our symbiotic relationship when both of us are in pain.

The additional stress of my cyclical work schedule riding at "high tide" means I am pressed for time to help out as much as I should. Although I'm not complaining about this problem as loudly because I'm grateful to have my job.

The twins have hit a fever pitch with testing our boundaries and acting out in different ways. hitting, biting, pinching, yelling, crying, and worst of all: not eating what Kendra prepared for dinner. By the way I loved it. :) There are very few ways to get under Kendra's skin and demeaning her cooking whether it is verbally or simply body language while eating her food indicating anything less than satisfaction is one of them.

Easton and Layla developed opinions. that is both good and bad for obvious reasons. They also developed a way to express through words how they feel. Today Layla said, "Layla is sad". Unfortunately they haven't figured out how to answer with a reason so when I ask, "why does Layla feel sad?" she just stared at me blankly. Why... why in deed.

Between all of the business of life and work and obligations Kendra and I had very little time to talk or connect. Unless by "connect" I mean passing a toddler between the two of us for bath time. Without the chance to spend even a few minutes together during the day we lose the ability to recharge each others batteries. I believe there is an energy source deep within us as spouses where even though the two of us are both drained and tired, when we are together we recharge each other ex nihilo.

And to top off the night, the 4 Webbs were in our master bedroom and Layla was jumping on the bed as Kendra lay resting. Layla took a bad hop and sprung off the bed with her head hitting the sharp corner of our oak night stand. I couldn't believe what just happened because we were both right there next to her! We weren't even playing directly with her or antagonizing her, but none the less we were just out of arms length. She has a huge whelp on the middle of her forehead, but other than that she appears to be doing just fine. After a little crying she was back to reading books while sitting on the couch with me. She's a brave, sturdy, fearless little girl.

So anyway, that's the tough part of the day. Even in the midst of the difficulties, there are still many good parts are so let me run through the highlights of my day. Kendra and I both saw the chiropractor and I'm feeling much better already. Both of us have missed exercise completely for the past week and that has its own impact on well-being.

Easton and Layla are using the potty almost daily now. I found some more space shuttle and princess stickers at the hobby store and that seems to be doing the trick. Along with reluctantly singing the "potty song" every time one of the twins uses it. Thank God that will never be digitally recorded or aired on The Learning Channel.

I rode my bike and pulled the twins in the Chariot to the park before dinner. Both were safe and had a ball interacting with all the neighbors and kids. The near-perfect weather resulted in more than 15 people wondering around our little neighborhood park. Easton loves climbing the rock wall and Layla is a big fan of the jungle gym ladder with dangerously spaced steps.

The only picture I have from the day is a special edition and worthy of being used as the computer monitor background or wallpaper. It is similar to the previous post, but the difference is Layla doesn't have her pacifier blocking her sweet smile and the infamous backward pajamas are in full effect.


The pajama debacle raises a serious question for me. If so many people have the same issue with their kids or know someone who does, why is there no product created to meet this need? Every other ridiculous thing imaginable is available at Babies R' Us, why not this? Did you know they sell a small bag of cheerios and label it as "targets" for your son to aim at when peeing in the big boy toilet? That blew me away. Very creative, but I had no idea the marketing and product development went so far.

Maybe this is my million dollar idea. If it is, then no one steal it or I will sue for royalties. :)

Good night and good morning, see you soon!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

victorious

Greetings friends and family,

Thanks for the comments about operation "dry bed" where the goal of the missions is to keep on Layla's pajamas and diaper. Joanie's positive reinforcement is something I didn't think about and we will certainly deploy that method in other areas with a more conscious effort. However, we decided to go along with the homemade Reverse Pajamas option to cut to the chase. I give you, Exhibit A:

Tada! Notice there is no zipper on the front and the feet are cut off.


And the view from the back shows the very odd looking zipper now on the back.


Today was another daddy-day-care all day marathon with Kendra going to her women’s group and a baby shower. I survived, but my back pain almost drove me to call in reinforcements. Layla is running a slight temperature and has a runny nose so that detracted from her “happy heart” attitude.

I managed to capture her singing the Snow White song mentioned in the previous post. At the end she became more interested in the camera and holding it than finishing her song so I had to help her. Typical extraordinary performer… Always in conflict about whether she enjoys being in front of the camera performing or behind it directing. She breaks into song regularly and it melts my heart.

video

This morning it took me 2 hours to get the twins dressed, fed, and out the door. That seems ridiculous and I have no way to account for 2 hours, but none the less that is what was required. The trip to the park today was highly successful. Layla wore tennis shoes (no crocs) so she didn't get wood chips in her toes. Easton survived the ride home in the Chariot jogger because I brought apple juice for them. Also, they are both doing really well with balance and hand-eye coordination so I felt comfortable allowing them to roam on the playground equipment. We did the usual activities:

Swinging. Easton asked to stay in the swing and requested I get in the seat next to him and swing also. Of course, I couldn't resist that invitation.


Exercising. If I had caught this on video you would hear Layla gritting her teeth and saying, "fit-teen, sick-teen, seben-teen..."


Break-dancing: Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto... Yeah!


Then at home we did the usual daily routine of watering the flowers. Errr, uhhh... I mean watering each other.


Then just before nap time we played some hide and seek. I pulled the velcro top off the rocket ship hut and just as I suspected. Boo!


Oh, about nap time... It never happened. Even after my valiant attempt to feed them, wear them out with activities all morning, and slowly wind down for nap time with books and relaxing. After laying them down for nap time they just continued to play and talk and giggle. Layla took her clothes off and during one trip to their room I found Mr. stinky pants needed some attention.

Today was a tough day, but a great chance to have quality time with the twins. It just made for an extra long adventurous day compared with the small slices of time I normally get in the evenings after work. Tomorrow morning I expect to wake up and find Layla fully clothed in her pajamas. Mommy and Daddy are victorious!

See you soon.