Sunday, May 30, 2010

Drying Cement

Greetings friends and family,

Planning is ironic in that things never go completely as planned. Kendra's birthday was a success although the camera never made it out of the case for the past 3 days. There are cycles of parenting which I don't fully understand, but I know they exist. In retrospect there was NO easy week for the first two years, but sometime around the 2 year mark I noticed there were days and weeks where it seems much easier than others.

Part of it is how the twins play together more autonomously on occasion. For some reason between 7-8 at night they are content to hang out in the play room and have a great time together.

The main room where their toys are was intended as a formal dining room. We converted it into an office / pool table room. Then as the twins grew we converted it into a play room / toy storage area. Life sure has a funny way of evolving like this. My adventures with twins have greatly heightened my sensitivity to time and change.

Kendra and I agree age 0-3 is the most critical time in shaping the personality and character of who Easton and Layla will become. We see them as wet cement which slowly hardens over the course of the first three years. The cement in our analogy is the foundation on which they will build the rest of their lives. There is a famous child development study where they followed 1,000 kids and here are the results:

At three years old, one child in 10 was an "uncontrollable" toddler—impulsive, emotionally unstable, irritable and restless. By 18, they had become impulsive thrill-seekers, aggressive and alienated from society. At 21, they had difficulty bonding in relationships and were twice as likely as others in their age group to have become involved in crime.

Children who had been timid scared and socially ill-at-ease at three became cautious and non-assertive adults. They often suffered depression and had few friends. The well-adjusted 40% of youngsters who showed "appropriate friendliness and self-control" at three grew into well-rounded teenagers and adults.
The bare minimum I expect from Easton and Layla is to be "well-rounded". That's just a little better than average in my opinion. I don't want good kids, I want great kids. Greatness begins with a solid foundation and that's what we are building every day.

Yes, I know we will provide input and influence for the next 18 years and well beyond. I agree with the truth behind that statement. However, I understand how crucial these first 3 years are and gladly accept the awesome responsibility of giving them my best. There are no do-overs, no re-tries, no second chances. This is not practice or dress rehearsal. This is show time, or game time, or whatever description of time which leads me to a sense of urgency to be nothing less than the very best father and husband I can possibly be at this moment.

Nothing magical will happen on their 3rd birthday where I wash my hands and give up on whatever occurs after. That would be silly. However, I do have a very keen sense of how vitally important my role as father is for these first three years. Every day the goes by I see the cement drying and I'm extremely proud of how Easton and Layla are forming.

I'll use Christmas as a way to describe how I see the twins' cement drying. Christmas 2007. Easton and Layla were 6 weeks from birth and Uncle Dave was 9 weeks from death.

I miss Uncle Dave and not a day goes by where he doesn't cross my mind. In the time of only one year Easton and Layla went from forming in Kendra's belly to playing Mr. and Mrs. Clause at the family Christmas dinner.

And one year later they were doing their best to keep up with their older cousins running around the house.

This is the most recent picture of them together and I'm already excited to see how they will grow by this coming Christmas as they continue through the stages of childhood development.

I made a conscious effort over the past week to identify the basics of my undocumented daily checklist. Here is where I focus for each of the twins:

1. say, "I love you"
2. say, "I'm proud of you"
3. give hugs
4. give kisses
5. acknowledge their feelings

It is over simplified by orders of magnitude, but then again I am a realist and a big fan of setting achievable goals. Gotta start somewhere, right?

Promises of more pictures tomorrow from our Memorial Day adventures... See you soon.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy birthday to mommy

Happy Memorial Day weekend friends and family,

This weekend is very important for many reasons. We will celebrate Kendra's birthday! Feel free to give her a call or send an email with birthday wishes because she's really big into birthdays. I'm certain Easton and Layla will give her hugs and kisses, sing the birthday song, and eat cake. Last Saturday she celebrated by taking a day with April to get a massage, eat out, and relax by the resort pool all day. I mention that because it is important to keep in mind when considering my ho-hum plans for her big day tomorrow.

I'll get up with the dual alarm clocks and make them breakfast while she sleeps in. Maybe we'll even give breakfast in bed? Then we will meet our friends out for lunch. Dinner was a possibility, but on a holiday weekend things are crazy around here in restaurant land. It's as if every household in Arizona has a broken stove and must eat out.

After lunch I'll keep Layla from removing her diaper during lunch and get Easton his "new" water because the 2-hour-old water isn't good enough anymore. Mommy is going shopping at Express to buy some clothes with her half-off coupon.

Then we'll swim in the pool and do our best to keep the twin's teeth from chattering even though it will be 100 degrees outside.

The rest of the evening is up in the air, but I'm hoping to see the Lakers-Suns game... Maybe I'll have stored up enough credit in the birthday bank to take a break for the game? Go Lakers!

I was expecting to make a cake for Kendra as a long-time birthday wish of hers. However, she made cupcakes tonight and told me I could just put the frosting on top. I think she got cold feet with the thought of her birthday cake being on the line and in the hands of such a cooking novice like me. Can I just mention that earlier this week I cooked Mac-N-Cheese. I'm not talking about the microwave stuff either. I mean the kind that requires a PAN and BOILING WATER. Yep, my mad skills in the kitchen make Betty Crocker jealous...

I can't imagine why she would make her own birthday cupcakes?

Anyway, mommy is more attractive and more desirable to me every year, so bring on the birthdays!

See you soon.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

4th state of matter

Hi friends and family,

This time tomorrow I will be an uncle again. My sister's baby is expecting to be born. We call her "blank grace" because Joanie isn't telling anyone the first name, only the middle name. Layla has a year-old doll we originally named, "baby grace" so this provides some frame of reference for Easton and Layla to comprehend what is a new baby.

Marisue visited our house to watch Scott and I cry while the Lakers lost. We pointed out Marisue's slightly-showing belly and tried to explain the status to Easton and Layla. "There are two babies in her belly just like you were both in Mommy's belly". The twins had no concept whatsoever of what we described. We'll try again when her boys are born and maybe by then they'll have a better possibility of understanding.

As you know the forms of matter on this planet Earth are: solid, liquid, gas, and Jell-O. I may be taking some liberties with the scientific nature of the concept, but it works well for Easton and Layla. They were introduced to the 4th state of matter, Jell-O, tonight.

Kendra whipped up a pan of it and the twins used cookie cutters to create jigglers. At least i think that is the technical name for them. I haven't seen such a clean tray in months!

They ate the big bits which fit in their hands and then Hoovered the top of the tray with their mouth. I'm thinking we may use this technique on our tile floors from now on... Spotless!

Kendra took the twins with April and Layla Ruth to the zoo for an early morning stroll. The playground and splash pad at the zoo are great ways to wear down their batteries. It works for the kids also.

Luckily this is not a real cow or it would have punted Easton through the uprights for abusing its udder like they were. I find it humorous that "city folk" pretend to milk a fake cow for fun.

Easton is getting more adventurous all the time. I'm glad he is still cautious, but becoming more independent at the right pace.

Speaking of adventurous... I don't believe I walked through caves and slid down water slides when I was two years old.

Here is a video preview of the hit single from Layla’s debut album. She performs her rendition of the theme song from Disney’s “Little Einsteins”.

Easton isn’t her biggest fan and he makes that known by screaming, “stop, STOP, Layla!” You have to understand he is somewhat justified because she sings like this all day long including hours at a time when Easton is trying to nap in the crib next to her.

Oh, what fun we get to experience with twins!

See you soon.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Big Time. It's official.

Hola friends and family,

I wanted to write the entire blog post in Spanish to commemorate the great debate going on relate to illegal aliens in Arizona. Unfortunately my Spanish is terrible and asking, "how much does this cost?" or "where is the bathroom?" doesn't make for much of an interesting post. So on to the things which do...

Big Time: Any of you who have read the blog for a while know we have many nicknames for Easton. We use whatever fits the best, but during this past weekend Easton officially proclaimed himself as, "Big Time". When we go to church, the park, or any other public place Easton introduces himself to every single person. He says, "My nickname is Big Time"! But since he has a bit of a stutter when getting the sentence out I interpret and then the person invariably says, "Oh wow, it's nice to meet you, Big Time." He smiles and shifts his weight back and forth indicating he's proud of himself for being so friendly, but still somewhat shy. What a charmer... I don't believe it is common for super heros to give their own nicknames so this fits well with the precedence.

Friends. Friends are interesting! Easton and Layla's best friend (besides each other) is Layla Ruth. She tries to give Easton hugs and kisses each time we meet, but he is reluctant even after knowing her this long. Over half of his life! The two Layla's usually go off and play by themselves. They are like two teenage girls who giggle and chat, but in their own little language. Our Layla looks a LOT like cousin Daphne in this picture for some reason. Don't you think?

Airplanes: The balsa wood airplanes box should have an age limit on it. There isn't one. Trust me I checked. If I had to put an age limit on it, I'd say it should be somewhere above 4 years old. Neither of them understood the concept around winding up the rubber band and holding the propeller until it was time to let it soar through the air. I quickly gave up on that and Easton was perfectly content to swish it around in the air.

Layla on the other hand destroyed hers within the first 5 seconds of my excellent assembly of the planes. I'm serious about Miss Distructo. This is the first picture I took of her and you can see the entire tail section is already gone!

after 2 minutes her plane was in more than 30 splintered balsa wood pieces which she carefully laid in a nice neat row in the grass.

Pirates: This is what happens when "5 and Diner" hats get misused as pirate hats. Kendra dealt with giggling Captain Hook and his cheery sidekick, Mr. Smee. Both with cream cheese all over their face.

Summer: The thermometer outside and in the pool both say, "Summer is HERE"! The 4 Webbs went to a newly discovered local splash pad for some sand and sun fun. I saw an odd swap of bravery and cowardice between Uno and Dos. Here is a pictorial representation of Layla's modus operandi as it relates to spraying water. Run away! Run away!

Easton couldn't get enough of splashing through the deepest puddles he could find.

Layla put herself on the sidelines for a bit to sit next to Daddy, which I didn't mind one bit. What caught me off guard was the way Layla crossed her legs like a proper girl. She folded her arms and was talking with me in full sentences about how she didn't like the spraying water.

Meanwhile Easton kept on trucking through the Rings of FIRE! It adds dramatic effect if you say that in a scary voice. "Rings of FIRE!"

At one point Easton convinced Layla to run the gauntlet with him and I loved watching the two of them psych each other up to go through it together.

Pool at home: Kendra has fond memories of swimming for hours and days on end at GG's pool. I think that is why she is so excited for Easton and Layla to experience the same childhood memories. Whatever the case, both of us agree it is very good and healthy to get the kids out of the house and do stuff. whatever it is. Just do something. I feel bad for toddlers who's parents put them in the corner with a toy and ignore them.

I'm a big fan of getting down on their level when inside the house to play and interact. The other half of the "well rounded" child philosophy (according to me, the non-expert) is to get out and have adventures. Sometimes getting "out" of the house simply means opening the back door and jumping in the pool.

Layla is looking more and more like Mommy every day.

Uno and Dos both request to be thrown into the air and for rides on my back across the pool as fast as I can paddle.

The water wings are strictly precautionary. They are just as happy to hold onto our shoulder or face without any floaties at all. The professional swim lessons are still ongoing for another few weeks. Here is an example of the "monkey walk". They know to swim towards the edge of the pool and use their hands to shuffle towards the steps. Easton demonstrated for me. :)

I'm amazed by the progress so far. This will be our fourth summer at this house and I expect we'll get more use out of the pool than ever before. Right now it is only 82 degrees and that's still far too chilly for us Arizona natives to be comfortable. Bring on the heat!

Puda Vida. See you soon.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cookies for the firefighters

Hi friends and family,

There are two terms I should define right off the bat to correctly frame the blog about today.

Daddy Day Care - Some portion of a day dedicated to taking care of the twins alone.
Mr. Mom - Full management of the house and the twins for an extended period of time without Kendra.

Today was a "Mr. Mom" day and I did a smashingly good job, if I do say so myself. Kendra took the full day off to enjoy a relaxing, fun time with her friend April. She planned to wake up this morning and spend the first couple of hours at home, but "off duty" as a mom. However, she still jumped into the middle of breakfast as if it were an involuntary reaction. She put on their bibs, poured cereal, and doled out blackberries. I certainly wasn't going to tell her "no helping", but I found it amusing she had to really fight off helpful desires as she prepared for the "staycaction".

The timing of our weekend plans was perfect because after working so hard the past week I had lots of lost time to make up for with Easton and Layla. Here's the short summary of our day:

homemade lunch
Best Buy
homemade dinner
bath, books, bed

Not bad for one day's worth of fun, right? After Kendra left it took me over an hour to get them dressed and ready to leave. I'm not setting any records at that pace, but knew we had a long day ahead of us. Speaking of records... Today I set a record which gives me NO sense of pride or accomplishment. I changed FIVE dirty diapers in 10 hours. That's ridiculous. Can anyone top that or should we call the Guinness book of world records? I do my best to avoid fecal discussions in the blog, but my expectations were missed by a mile in that department today.

Anyway, I slathered on sunscreen so thick it looked like the twins had mud masks. Layla's feet are starting to get the Arizona-foot-tan where the sandal straps create tan lines across your feet. On the way to the park I called Jason who met us over there to join in the fun. As soon as we arrived Easton and Layla both introduced themselves to all the kids in the playground area. Easton sat down under the slide to dig a castle and ended up with six kids hanging out with him attempting to build a sand castle with bone-dry sand. I wasn't about to go find a source of water because of the mess it makes in the car when it's all said and done. Instead they scooped and poured pretending the mound of sand is a castle.

Layla found a girl named Katie who is close to her age. She overzealously bossed Katie around ordering her to follow her and hurry up.

Poor Katie didn't stand a chance to keep up with Layla who ran around the playground as though she were testing in the military for field duty. She scaled the rock wall with ease.

They had a good time together until Jason showed up with his two kids. From then on it was the Layla and Layla show. Our Layla felt the need to accomplish everything her friend did including swinging on the "big girl" swing. I think this is her first time to go solo in the big swing. Although she was a little hesitant, I believe she made the switch away from the baby swings and won't want to do those anymore.

After getting overheated and sweaty at the park we drove across the street to Jason's in-laws house and swam in their pool. I managed Easton and Layla in the pool with no floatation device on either of them. Not by choice, but because I didn't bring the floaties with me in the swim bag. They love swimming so much it was hard to convince them to get out of the pool without persuasion. After drying off they asked for snacks because running around the park and swimming put their appetite in overdrive.

We went home and ate mac-n-cheese, fruits, and yogurt. Any meal which involves opening a can or turning on the stove is "homemade" in my book.

With just enough time before nap I loaded up the Pilot and drove to the firehouse for a tour. Kendra made two bags of homemade chocolate chip cookies because I've been planning for the past week to bring treats to the firemen. I made a point to set the stage throughout the week by telling Easton and Layla repeatedly how we were going to give the cookies as a present to the firemen to show our appreciation to them and honor them. It is important to me for the twins to be respectful of local law enforcement and fire and rescue.

We knocked on the door and Easton piped up first saying, "Hi fire man! My name is Easton." Then Layla jumped in singing the "happy birthday" song. In hind sight, her only connection with giving presents is in relation to birthday parties. so when i told her we were going to give the cookies to the firefighters as a present she assumed it was for a birthday. The firemen all looked around at each other trying to figure out who's birthday it was. I was laughing so hard it took me a minute to explain Layla's misperception. They graciously took the cookies and one of the guys took us outside to see the truck.

The fireman asked who wants to get inside the truck and Easton took a few steps back saying, "I don't wike it". Layla said, "OK!"

As the fireman showed us around each compartment of the truck Easton and Layla were both amazed to see and touch the real equipment. Our tour guide, Craig, was kind enough to sit by them and get a picture. Easton's face says it all. The twins were overwhelmed with joy about the exciting experience.

The fireman turned on the lights and I could tell their brains were working overtime to take in what they saw.

This was the highlight of the day for me and the twins. By the way, it was FREE and I'm all for awesome experiences which don't cost anything. After we arrived home and read books for 10 minutes they were practically begging to take a nap. Mission accomplished!

After nap time we went to Best Buy and other errands. I realized the double stroller we have is no longer a valid way to take the twins anywhere. Maybe if it were a tandem style they wouldn't have the opportunity to bug each other? They argued and poked each other the entire time through the store. This turned out to be the most difficult part of the day.

Layla refuses to wear the puppy leash anymore so we are left with no other option than shopping carts. This presents a huge problem when it comes to one parent with two kids. They aren't old enough to wander around by themselves or abide by instructions like, "don't touch ANYTHING and stay next to me." That kind of thing goes in one ear and out the other. The only thing they ARE old enough to do is fall out of the shopping cart if we were to let one of them sit in the seat and the other sit in the main part.

I was happy to have Jason and his kids over for dinner. Kendra had everything prepared for me ahead of time and all I had to do was follow the instructions. Viola! homemade manicotti and garlic bread. She completely set me up for success today and I'm very grateful for her efforts to help things go smooth at home for me.

The only money spent during my full day of Mr. Mom duties was at the Snow-cone store. With 90 minutes between dinner and bed time I decided it was easier to go through the difficulty of getting the twins out of the house again than it was to entertain them at home.

Easton and Layla went calmly to bed after the bath and books routine. The day couldn't have gone any better if I wrote it out in a script. Hooray for mommy's massage, movie, dining out all day experience!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Uno and Dos

Hi friends and family,

I'm still running on fumes instead of sleep, but today was the biggest day of my career so it's all been worth it. I formed a global task force to solve a big problem and received a personal "thank you" email for fixing it from the CIO and every manager in between. In 13 years of working here I've never received so much as a head nod in the hallway from anyone above my immediate boss.

That being said, the BEST part of my day was eating a fresh taco salad with Kendra and the twins for dinner. To be more specific Easton and I made whoopee cushion noises with our mouths spraying guacamole all over his tray. I used to never get away with that kind of stuff, but now I have two excuses... Easton and Layla.

As a tribute to the current immigration debate raging in Arizona I will refer to the twins as "Uno and Dos" until further notice. And I'm boycotting Twinkies and The Weather Channel for unknown reasons.

Here’s a video of an unlikely event where Uno and Dos were playing on the railroad tracks. I looked down the track and saw a faint light. I thought, “that’s odd. Trains don’t normally run this early in the evening”. Then I put my ear on the track to see if I could hear or feel the train vibrations indicating one was imminent. I didn’t hear or feel anything! I’ve been lied to all my life. What a sham.

Anyway, it was moving slowly so I buckled up Uno and Dos in the Chariot, hopped on my bike and pedaled my heart out to reach the intersection where I knew the conductor would be blowing his horn. Then it came by in all its glory. Honking the horn, dinging the bell, chugging down the tracks. It looked like this:

Easton says, “…it’s getting louder and louder!” Layla covers her eyes because she doesn’t understand sound is processed through the ears. After it went by I asked Easton, “Did you see the engineer?” He looked at me perplexed and said, “you mean conductor?” Then I smacked my head as if I could have had a V-8. I didn’t realize my 2 year old would be correcting my words this early in life, but he sure is a smart one.

Layla can spell her name and cat. “C-A-T, cat” is the way she says it. When asked how to spell dog she says, “C-A-T, dog”. We’ll have to work on that, but progress is all i can hope for.

See you soon!

Monday, May 17, 2010

You're getting verrrrry sleepy

Howdy friends and family,

I'm in the middle of the busiest work week in my 13 year career. I'm happy with 5 hours of sleep each night lately, but who needs sleep anyway? What a colossal waste of time... Besides, I've delegated sleeping to Easton and Layla.

Is that not the most peaceful thing you've ever seen?

They sleep soundly from 8 PM to 7 AM like clock-work. Layla decided she is going to skip every other day for nap time. The plus side is that Easton gets peace and quiet during his nap and Kendra gets mommy-daughter one on one time.

We live in Arizona where there are copious amounts of sand. Therefore, we play in it.

However, because the twins dump it on themselves we ONLY play in the sand right before bath time where I dump the sand out of their diapers as we walk in the door towards the bath.

If I had a nickel for every time I said _______, I'd be rich:

"I wonder where she gets THAT from?"
"He needs his diaper changed, BIG TIME."
"Don't touch that."
"Brother is crying because you tackled him... again"
“MMMmmm! This <> sure tastes great! Now YOU eat it.”
“Yes, I’ll sit down and play trains with you.”
"Layla is a beauuuuuutiful princess."

This video clip shows the impact of saying the last one over and over again. She starts to believe it is true! Imagine that...

Normally she says, "and daddy is the KING!", but since we were just singing the "Following the leader" song from Peter Pan she says I am the leader. Either one works for me.

Hey! Those are DADDY'S shoes... but they do match your outfit, so go for it.

Guess who carried the Tinkerbell umbrella home from the mailbox? That would be me. It's so hard to say no when Layla stands in front of me saying, "can I take the kite please? can I? Huh?" Of course the impeccable timing of my neighbors walking by is humorous because I still get a little embarrassed. The concept of it being acceptable for me to carry dolls and purses and pink umbrellas around is still sinking in.

The 4 Webbs made a special trip to Dairy Queen so I could get my Peanut Buster Parfait. As you can see Easton obviously found enjoyment from the outing. He slowly licked his ice cream cone. So slowly Kendra had to keep taking it from him and licking the drips before they dropped.

Layla is becoming overly brave and daring. She has no fear.

Although when we approached the firemen who then gave us cool hats Layla was a little hesitant about sitting in the doorway of the monstrous fire truck. Easton loved it and the firemen said he was an awesome little boy.

We are planning to take Kendra's home-made cookies to the firemen at the local station this coming Saturday. They offered to give us a tour of the place! I'm really looking forward to it already.

What I like about this next picture is how much it shows Layla's resemblance to Kendra. Looks more like her every day!

And it warms my heart to know she ACTS more like mommy every day.

Time for my 5 hour shift in bed. I hope this work thing lets up soon because I'm missing out on the morning breakfast routine with the other 3 Webbs.

See you soon!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

umbrellas in Arizona?

Craigslist is awesome. We bought a used, bigger slide to appease the 2 year old adrenaline junkies. We will sell the old slide and break even on the deal. Maybe even make a few bucks! Know anyone who wants to buy a slide? It's been heavily used and abused...

Kendra bought the twins umbrellas. We don't own umbrellas and never had on for the 8 years we've lived in Arizona. We see rain so rarely that when it does rain we run outside and happily get soaked. I'm sure Kendra bought it for them as SUN shades, not rain protective gear, but it just seems odd to me either way. I thought only asians use umbrellas as sun shades?

Anyway, Layla is thrilled with her Tinkerbell umbrella.

"No, you can't hold the umbrella during dinner", said mommy.

Who said umbrellas aren't manly? Put a Buzz Lightyear on it and POW! Manly enough for Big Time.

He was more interested in trying to pull Buzz off the end of the handle than playing Mary Popins.

We discovered Swim Diapers (even the ones purchased at the swim lessons facility) are not Layla proof. After clearing the pool and embarrassing Kendra in front of the other moms, Layla is still excited to do the Monkey Crawl. That is where she shuffles along the edge of the pool by holding onto the sides. She asks about it daily and can't wait for Tuesday. Easton was so brave at swim lessons according to Kendra. His bottom lip was out in full pouty force, but he didn't shed a tear. What a tough guy...

Layla wanted to bring her naked barbie to the mailbox and wore the goofy Dora the Explorer hat.

By the time we started walking home I was WEARING the Dora hat and holding the naked Barbie because Layla wasn't interested in those things any more. Great timing for my neighbor to walk past... He laughed uncomfortably and I shrugged my shoulders. I'm a dad and she's a princess so I would be disappointed if we didn't get to experience those humorous moments occasionally.

Easton is getting really good at expressing himself through facial expressions. And more importantly he finally holds the silly faces long enough for me to snap pictures.

This work week only afforded me about 5 hours sleep per night and the twins are extra excited to see me each night because I come home so late. There's a silver lining to every cloud... even the cloud related to my need to work late instead of playing with Easton and Layla.

See you soon!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Uncle Casey

Hey friends and family,

Our trip to Oklahoma to visit Great Aunt Mary (GAM) in June was cancelled due to inclement weather. That's the nice way of saying, "Holy cow, a tornado ripped the roof off her house!" She was not injured in the crazy event, but her newly remodeled house was extremely damaged. I'm sure she would rather have recovered from a few scrapes and bruised instead of re-remodeling from the wood floors up.

Seems weird to think at roughly the same time as Mary's house was blow apart, we were sitting outside in the calm, warm, sunny day.

Come to think of it, their pool looks awful small for our growing toddlers. Kendra mentioned something about that the other day, but seeing them both crammed into the little tub looks like the cartoon character, Mr. Incredible, who was packed into his tiny car. Summer is coming though, so they will fit just fine in the real pool in our backyard.

Layla is officially a fairy princess complete with purple-mane pony and purple wand. The only thing she is missing is wings.

Hmmm... I bet I can get a pair of princess fairy wings from ebay or Craigslist, right? Occasionally Layla also desires to be a ballerina. She asks for "ballerina music" so I turn the TV to the symphony music station and off she goes, twirling and leaping across the living room.

Easton doesn't like to miss out on anything so he always chimes in with the same request to be a ballerina. However, I don't even know what kind of toddler leotard outfit to get him even if we desired. He does a good job of ballet dancing, but he looks more like a disco dancer. "Everybody was kung fu fighting..."

The 4 Webbs are incredibly thankful to have uncle Casey stay with us for a few days. Since Easton and Layla look at old pictures regularly from when Casey spent time with them every trip we took to NorCal they welcomed him into our house with big hugs and kisses. We included him in our normal daily routine and he fit right in.

It's nearly impossible to hold both of them at one time while standing up because they wiggle around like big worms. It was much easier to get one at a time and I'm sure Easton and Layla will love looking over these pictures in the weeks to come.

When I say, "Layla is a...?" She will finish my sentence dramatically and say, "... beauuuuuuutiful princess!" Kendra caught a couple of close up shots as they played in the tiny tub.

Easton has caught Layla in several ways both physically and mentally. He's climbing on the same jungle gym sections as she is and also joining in with singing, counting, and color recognition.

He surpassed Layla in moustache growing. Oh, wait... that's just chocolate from when he drank my In-N-Out shake with no lid on the cup. What a silly, happy boy!

I still sing to the twins every night, but my song list is growing lately. It used to be just two songs: Layla's song and then Easton's song. Now they are throwing requests at me as though I were some piano bar lounge singer. Layla requests "Layla's song" and then we sing a duet of Twinkle, Twinkle, THEN we sing Jesus Loves Me with a big emphasis on the "but he is STRONG!" part.

After Layla is satisfied with the serenade and duets Easton asks for "Easton's song", then we start the whole duet thing over again with Twinkle, Twinkle and Jesus Loves Me. After those SIX songs are done, then they throw out random requests just to keep me in the room. Old McDonald Had a Farm, Mary Poppins solos, and even the Chicken Dance. What? The Chicken Dance? The song doesn't even HAVE lyrics! At that point I leave hoping they sing themselves to sleep within the next 30 minutes.

It's a routine I look forward to every night.

See you soon!