Monday, January 30, 2012

Caution, Hikers Crossing

Greetings friends and family,

Easton and Layla are quickly turning in hiking nuts.  Kendra mentioned her desire to go and you'd have thought the twins won the lottery based on their exuberant response.  We wore long pants this time as a result of scraped knees during the last trip up and down the mountain.  They stopped and posed mid-way up the steepest part.   

We were there right before sunset, which allowed us to take advantage of the shadows for shade going up and great background scenery for photo opportunities at the top.

We even convinced a random hiker to take picture of the 4 Webbs.  See all of the cars lined up on the street below?  It shows the steepness of the mountain side we tackled.

Kendra and I spent most of the way up and down saying, "slow down, please!" because they were getting a little too brave with their pace.  We made it all the way back to the ground level by our car without a single incident.  Then Layla tripped over a rock and sliced her hand open.  Nothing bad though.  It was fixed with hydrogen peroxide, Neosporin, and a Snow White princess band-aid.

Kendra mentioned my hair was getting kind of shaggy and recommended I shave it off just for something different.  I agreed and she cut it off that night!  At church many people didn't even recognize me.  It was a strange feeling to be treated like a new guy...  kind of cool in a way.  Kyle saw Kendra's handy work at church and asked to join in the free haircut coupon day.  She agreed and he joined the summer cut club!

I have my own vacation day of adventure coming up tomorrow so it's time to get a few hours of sleep.  I'll be dreaming of snow...

See you soon!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mickey and Minnie

Greetings friends and family,

We're already reliving the good ole' days when Ouma was here with us.  The twins get used to her being around very quickly and take it for granted even quicker.  Then when she's gone we have to leverage old photos, stories, and Skype to keep the sadness away.  Here's one of my favorites because even though we have a dining table that seats 10 they were both crawling up in her chair.

Only a few more years where they can both be on a person's lap at the same time.  Especially since they are in the middle of growth spurt.  My back screams after a day of lifting them up and down repeatedly.

they'll never be too old to wear Mickey and Minnie Mouse ears though!  Kendra's trip to LA was excellent from what I heard.  She brought back a Mickey and Minnie Mouse hat for the twins with their name embroidered on the back.  The ears are not a requirement for silliness and laughs, but they certainly don't hurt.

Kendra was very kind to bring those gifts and others home "directly from Mickey Mouse".  Easton and Layla were extremely jealous of Kendra's trip to Disneyland.  We did Skype with her once and it was an odd experience to sit with the twins while talking with Kendra on the other end of a computer.  I missed Kendra desperately even though our time together at home was filled with so much fun and adventure of our own.

I finally bought the right cable to connect my canon T3 with the HDMI port on the TV.  30 seconds later the den turned into a circus while Easton and Layla ran around like crazy.  This clip shows Easton and Layla doing some dance moves.

When Kendra is away I listen to music she doesn't like.  I crank it up REALLY LOUD and get my groove on.  For example, Daft Punk Tron Legacy soundtrack - Derezzed.  Oh yeah.

Kendra lasts about 30 seconds before politely requesting I turn it off.  Since she is so rarely away I made good use of my alone time.  :)

Easton and Layla's birthday is just around the corner and the twins talk about it every single day...  with us and strangers at the park and in the store and at church.  Everybody who stops to listen will get an immediate birthday countdown soliloquy.

Birthday week, then Ouma and Oupa visit then my Mom and Dad visit.  Our whirlwind of family and fun is just getting started.  All 4 of us are anxiously waiting for the upcoming events.

See you soon!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Father Daughter Songs

Howdy friends and family,

Kendra is home safe after her trip to the Rosa bed-n-breakfast.  Luxury accommodations include long walks on the beach, dining at fancy restaurants, and an exhilarating day of princess hugging at Disneyland.  I'm really happy for her to spend a few days away from us having fun with her friend.  Even just a few days of stepping away from her Mommy is very valuable.  We have always been supportive of each other taking time away from the family for mini-vacations of a few hours or a few days.  

Each night I give Easton a hug and a kiss.  He says, "good night, Dad" and rolls over to suck his thumb.  Not much is required for him to drift off to sleep.  Layla and I go through our verbal dance of compromise, which sounds like a lawyer and judge debating or an auctioneer selling merchandise.  After books and new water in their sippy cups here is how it goes:

Daddy: Time for bed
Layla: Tell me a story, pleeeeease
Daddy: We already had story time with books
Layla: Sing me a song?
Daddy:  OK, yes!  One song.
Layla: No, threeeeeeee songs!
Daddy:  Two.
Layla:  OK.

then she chooses from my small collection of bed time songs:

Layla's song
Amazing Grace
I love you, Lord
Divine Romance
Jesus Loves Me
Oh Lord, You're Beautiful

I have no idea how my collection developed, but my criteria was:
- slow tempo song (not like Every Day I'm Shuffling)
- good meaning and lyrics (not like "when the bow breaks the cradle will fall")
- simple enough for me to pull from memory (repeat lyrics or a song I've hear 1,000 times)

I bring this up because I recently added a new song that meets a bonus criteria: It applies directly as a Father-to-Daughter song.  I refuse to sing Wind Beneath My Wings, which is the only other applicable song I know.  This one called "Don't Forget" by Brett Dennen and it's the best father daughter song I know.  I'm open to others if you have ideas.

don't forget, don't forget
that I believe in you
should you forget, should you forget
let me remind you
that I am behind you
you are a secret waiting to be found out
soon be what everyone is talking about
may you spread your love like laughter
and find whatever you're after
open all your windows and let the music spill out
may you dance like rain upon a still lake
you make this world a beautiful place
no more crying, don't shun your light, keep shining
wipe your tears from your sweet face
don't be afraid should things happen to change
'cause change can be a beautiful thing
should things fall apart
be patient like a rainbow
life is loving and letting go

I sang it karaoke style lying next to her in bed because the song is on my phone.  One ear bud for her and one for me.  There's no question where our tradition started and why it is a nightly enjoyment for both of us.  These are the same ear phones from when I sang for her at 2 days old.

After the song finished Layla said, "What does it mean, 'i believe in you'?"  Her questions are getting progressively more difficult to answer with each passing day.

See you soon!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bailout Hero

Greetings friends and family,

One of the most heart-warming aspects of Easton and Layla's Daddy Day at preschool was reading the Q&A interview captured by the teachers.    

Easton is surprisingly close with his answers.  my favorite TV program is actually HIS favorite because I don't watch TV unless it is educational shows with them.  I showed him a YouTube clip of a hail storm last year in Oklahoma, which he found extremely fascinating.

Layla was surprisingly accurate, especially about the happiest day of my life.  She probably thinks I'm 4 years old because that's how I act when we play.  :)

Easton made a new friend at the neighborhood park even though the age difference was huge.  He brought his black gun and we chased each other around a while.  The neighbor friend ran to his house and came back with a very similar gun.  I had no idea that toy had such a wide breadth of age appeal.  Can't remember who bought the guns for him, but it was a good choice!

I just received the biggest bailout since Wells Fargo and AIG!  Kendra flew to Los Angeles on Friday for a Mommy vacation with her friend April.  I was left all alone with Easton and Layla...  for a whole 5 hours.  Then my hero arrived via SouthWest Airlines:  Ouma!  

She was desperately missing the twins and seeking any excuse to visit.  Kendra leaving town for 4 days was the perfect excuse.  Ouma's arrival was an event all by itself because it was so late in the evening.  I placed Easton and Layla gently in the car without them knowing anything about the surprise visitor.  Their drowsy demeanor was instantly turned into elation like a lightening strike when Ouma stepped into the car.

Her time was well utilized to the point it felt like a vacation for me too.  One of the outings was a fun trip to the Museum of Natural History.  Easton was brave enough to be held by Ouma in front of the T-Rex...  with a smile.

Layla is very sensitive to noises and meanness. everything the dinosaurs are made of. She found many other intriguing things to do besides listen to the roar of a dinosaur.  For example, riding a sea turtle.

The crowd was nonexistent, which gave us open access to everything in the museum including the waterfall full of sand and faux gold flakes.  Panning for gold was a good learning experience in case the gold rush comes back in California.

There is a display focused on movies where the set was based in Arizona.  One of the black and whites played on the TV with a green screen behind it to add in our own two characters.

The huge, metal dinosaur outside makes for a great photo opp.  It summarizes the mood and entertainment value of the trip.  Easton and Layla enjoyed showing Ouma around their semi-familiar territory.

Another adventure we took was to the bead shop.  jewelry means a lot to Layla.  This kicked it up a notch because Layla and Ouma hand selected the beads then built the bracelet together.

That's one happy girl lovin' every minute of the attention and creation.

Easton was equally excited once I gave him some choices of pendents.  A snake, dragon, train, and dinosaur were all in the running.  I was relieved when he chose the train.  Building the necklace with Ouma meant even more to him than I expected.

The wire inside is metal, which means they will last longer than previous attempts at jewelry wearing.  Good thinking, Dad!  The total cost was $14, but it was clearly a priceless experience for the twins.

Another thing one can do with $14 is buy one bag of cotton candy at the US Airways Center.  OK, it was only $12, but still that was outrageous!  We ate every morsel in the bag resulting in sticky hands and smiles for everyone.

Why did the chicken go to the US Airways Center?  To see Toy Story 3 on ice!

Tickets were about $115 for the four of us, but I won them for free at work!  It's hard to imagine forking out that kind of money for a 2 hour show, but I certainly got my money's worth.  I've never seen professional ice skaters and I detest watching the boring "sport" on TV.  However, they were awesomely impressive and I'm really happy we went.  Ever seen an ice skating horse?  I have...  Here is a good pic of the other characters from the movie too.   Slinky Dog was the best.

Layla's favorite segment was the one with Barbie and her workout friends.  It was Barbie overdose for Layla.

One of my favorite parts was Ken and Barbie reenacting their first meeting to the background music of Dream Weaver.  I was laughing at the humor and in awe of the performance.

Then the wardrobe show by Ken played out.  The show did justice to the scene in the movie.  Wasn't sure they could pull that off, but I was blown away by the choreography and professionalism on display.

Before we even arrived I was secretly hoping they would allow Spanish Buzz Lightyear to perform.  It didn't disappoint either.  Does this scene look familiar?

Why yes...  Yes it does.  With the minor detail of Kendra dressing as the Progressive Insurance lady, Flo, instead of Jesse.

Ouma's time with us was short, but completely enjoyable by all of us.  She was able to spend some serious quality time with the twins.  I was able to take care of myself and even have dinner with my friends.

I admit it was a chicken thing to do by accepting Ouma's offer to be here instead of taking the helm for four days by myself.  No shame in my game.  Not many people I know who have such a great mother-in-law they would willingly spend 4 days with kids her, but without their spouse around.  I must also give big thanks to Oupa for sacrificing money and Ouma's time.  Hope he made the most of the quiet, alone time!

See you soon.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Daddy Day

Greetings friends and family,

Easton and Layla's preschool invited all fathers to participate in a morning of excitement.  I gladly took a vacation day from work to participate.  The day was well spent and we were successful by any standard. Each day after school I talk to the twins about their day.  I can't believe they are already programmed to say, "fine." when I ask them how it went.  Talk about a lack of detail...  I pry and probe by asking specific questions about what letter they learned or what friends they played with.  Because of this I at least knew the names of a few of their school pals.  One in particular for Layla is named Lulu.  As soon as we walked in the door she greeted Lulu with a big hug and celebration.  

Then they dove right in and played barbies.  One disadvantage of having twins (there are only a couple so far) is that I had to split my time between Easton and Layla while the other dads focused on their solo child.  During play time I switched back and forth between playing dolls and puzzles with Layla to playing cars and marbles with Easton.  Luckily the other dads watched whoever was not my point of focus at the time.

We had a huge day of excitement and one of the biggest events was "vehicle day".  As a part of the dad's day we loaded up into a bus and drove slowly across the parking lot to a section where many vehicles were parked and available to see.  The twins were ecstatic about the bus ride because that was their first time on a school bus.

One of the vehicles was an emergency city veterinary truck.  There were cages built into the truck bed where Easton and Layla were able to pretend to be kitties in need.  

The police motorcycle was a big hit for both of them.  Layla was most interested in the fuzzy, comfortable seat.  go figure?

Easton threw out his Lightening McQueen line like a boss while sitting atop the metal horse, "I am speed!"

The construction equipment was overwhelming.  They were somewhat perplexed by the enormity of the tires and scale of the parts bolted to these beasts.  

The smile on Easton's face was priceless.  He sat up there for a few minutes pretending to pull the levers while making earth moving sounds.  

Then came the bravery test.  A hot air balloon was parked in the adjacent field for show.  The guy inside the basket had to periodically pull the lever to add more hot air.  That was accompanied by fire and a loud blower noise, which neither of the twins liked at all.  After some coaxing by the balloon owner Layla bravely sat on the basket clinging to the post while I snapped a picture.

Easton took several steps back until I assured him he didn't have to sit on the balloon basket.  For the previous week he keeps asking me, "why does hot air rise and cold air go down?"  The question is a result of the weather and earth science books we are reading from the library.  The balloon provided the perfect learning opportunity to see it in action.  He hasn't asked the question since then...

Another high light was the police k-9 unit.  The officer brought his attack do and a guy pretended to be an unruly villain.  As the twins sat on each knee Layla leaned over and with a worried face said, "Why is the dog attacking the man?"  Easton quickly responded, "bad consequences."  Layla nodded her head.  I grinned like a possum because even though many teenagers don't get the concept of good and bad consequences, my three-year-olds do.

I ushered the twins over to the nice police man and well trained dog to teach Easton and Layla how to respect authority and be friendly to the police...  and his dog.  They gently pet the dog and gave him a good hug for his performance.

I was offered an extremely generous deal on my buddy's Power Wheel's Jeep, which I gladly accepted.  Easton and Layla need to learn how to drive sometime, right?  The jeep has a steering wheel, gas pedal, revers, big tires, an over-sized battery, and TWO seats.  perfect.

Their skills out of the driveway were a bit shaky, but after an hour or so of stick time they are both quite proficient at 4 wheeling.  We didn't get to parallel parking yet, but there's always tomorrow.  

Kendra is gone to Los Angeles for four days and boy do I have a surprise and lots of stories...

See you soon!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Two-sided Story

I know there are two sides to every story.  There seems to be two sides to the parenting story:  The working parent and the stay-at-home parent.  First, go read this well-written blog post with a perspective on the stay-at-home parent.

If you didn't bother to open the web page above and read the content then there is no use in reading below so just do it.  now. 

Since Kendra is not the blogger type I enjoyed reading her perspective and response to the comments she receives.  Let me start by saying I can understand why she feels that way.  Her story wouldn't be different if she had one or 10 kids and it wouldn't be different if she had singletons or quads.  It seems to be unique to stay-at-home parents though.  I'm curious to know if the women who gave her all the "carpe diem" advice were career women who felt bad about missing those years of their own kids?  

I can understand how she would feel that way, but I am the "carpe diem" kind of dad.  I am in a constant state of intense gratitude and ecstasy even during difficult times.  Parenting is not treacherous or exhausting if it's done right.  It's not like climbing a mountain at all.  If you didn't enjoy climbing a particular mountain then you can choose to climb another one at a later date.  If you did enjoy a particular mountain you can climb it again and again and again.  You get multiple chances and have multiple choices. However, parenting is a one-time, one-way roller coaster ride where you don't get to pick the ride or the occupants that join you along the way.  You either enjoy the ride by choosing to have a happy heart or you struggle.

My opinions only apply to the working parent.  I'm not taking anything away from the stay-at-home mom who wrote the blog.  I get about 3 hours every day of the week with Easton and Layla.  1 hour out of each day is sucked up by dinner time.  That leaves only 2 hours each day to be a part of their lives in a meaningful way and develop their character.  They are a reflection of Kendra and I.  Not a perfect mirror (thank God), but a reflection none the less.  They help me understand God.  For example, Matthew 7:9-11 says, "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! "

Before having a son I could roughly understand the concept.  Now I get it. completely.  Literally hundreds of  Godly concepts are on full display day in and day out as I interact with Easton and Layla.  It's more than just a show where I am in the audience.  As they grow, I grow.  I learn patience and grace and unconditional love and innocence and obedience...

As the working parent I consciously choose every day to intensely focus on those few hours we have together.  One day very soon the cement will be dry and their personality will be forever imprinted.  Our family won't be the center of their life forever and that's the time when I'll re-center my life more on Kendra and the house and my hobbies and life.

For the working parent who is doing it right, this is best described as "effort".  She describes one scene with the swiped bra arranged over her daughter's sweater and lollipop undoubtedly found on the ground and three shop-lifted clip-on neon feathers stuck in her daughter's hair.  To me that IS a moment to enjoy.  I capture those moments on camera and display them here for all the world to see because even though those moments require EFFORT, I cherish them.  Maybe, unlike her, I was not disillusioned with promises that this would be easy?  Missed expectations will lead to disappointments.  Some days are long and I spend 10 hours straight with them, but I keep a few key things in mind that lead me to a vastly different experience of parenting :

1. Parenting is temporary.  The childhood difficulties will only last a few years, but so will the precious time together and chance to mold their lives.  This journey is a marathon with a finish line (a.k.a. college graduation) so keep your eyes on the prize.
2. Parenting is what we were made for.  God didn't design us to run 26.1 miles but people do it every day for some strange reason.  We were, however, made to be mothers and fathers.  This is God's design and he will not put more on us than we can handle.  We don't get to choose our circumstances (excluding birth control), but we do choose our attitude.
3. I've never heard a single person say, "I wasted so much of my life raising my kids and I wish I'd have taken more time to play Xbox."  There is a REASON you never hear this...  It's because regrets only come when we squander our time and talents on things other than what we should.
4.  Take time for parenting.  It is impossible to "make time".  We're finite beings with a finite number of hours we are alive.  We don't get to make time out of thin air.  However, we can TAKE time from one thing and focus it on another.  I'm not talking about taking a 30 minute break in your day to stretch.  I'm talking about taking the first five years of your child's life and prioritize the family over everything else.
5. Order determines priority.  Facebook is not important.  CSI Miami is not that important.  10 years from now an NBA game or afternoon mountain bike ride won't be missed.  Not that there is anything inherently wrong with those things, but if they are ordered higher (more important than) my kids then I will have regrets and children who weren't fathered correctly.  If the order is wrong then kids will seem like a nuisance for other things in our life which we deem more important.  Here is the order in my life:
-the twins
-everything else including myself and friends
Sometimes I ask Easton and Layla, "Who is the most important person in the world to Daddy?"  They quickly answer (correctly), "Mommy!"

Now that I'm done with my rebuttal and probably reduced my reputation to ruble, here's what's new in our world...

Each day I love coming home from work.  When I walk in the door they scream, "daaaaaaad!" and knock me over with their twinpact hugs.  That happens unless they are watching TV.  In that case I hear, "dad, you're in my way and I can't see the TV."  Can you guess which one I prefer?  We are spending an extensive amount of time outdoors now that the sun is staying out longer and temps are cooperating.

Easton is working on his plumbers crack, but i'm not sure that's the career path he'll enjoy the most.

Daily he asks "can I be a _____ " (fill in the blank with a career).  However, he's never asked if he can be a plumber.  Astronaut, pilot, volcanologist, weatherman, race car driver, and trash man are the top requests.

The kid-sized basketball goal is next to the full-sized goal in our backyard.  Rather than use the kid-sized goal they attempt to hit the plastic ball return hanging from the full-sized goal. We only have one rubber ball and some miniature traffic cones.  Use what's available, right?

A most wonderful change has come to the Webb house recently.  For the past 4 years, one or both of us bolt out of bed like firemen responding to an alarm.  From birth until we moved Easton and Layla into their big-kid beds they would wake up and yell for us to come get them.  Even after they moved to the big-kid beds they still waited patiently in bed until we arrived to get them up.  However, recently they started getting up on their own and would come into our room for a good morning cuddle under our warm blankets.  That was a much more pleasant wake up than the fire drill.

Yesterday was even more glorious than the new normal wake up.  Easton woke up, threw his diaper in the trash, put on big-boy undies and slippers, and sat quietly at the kitchen table coloring on his over-sized drawing pad.  I walked into the kitchen and cheered like a Dallas Cowboy cheer leader (except I was in my Forever Lazy).

Each day the independence increases.  For now that is a sigh of relief for Kendra and I.  They are almost old enough to get their own cereal and turn on the TV.  That'll be the most amazing Saturday in years whenever that happens.

See you soon!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Getting lemons

Greetings friends and family,

I caught a flu bug so the view from my bedroom hasn't changed much the past 3 days.  My body gave me a few warning signs saying, "please take a break".  However, my invincibility superpower did not kick in when I stayed up until 2:30 AM.  The next morning my body said, "I triiiiiiiied to warn you, but Noooooo.  you had to go and do this the hard way."  So here i lie, Nyquil'd up, resting peacefully so I can head back to work with a healthy system.

The part I struggle with the most is how my absence around the house puts stress on Kendra, who took care of Easton and Layla without many breaks over the past three days.  I'm grateful for their preschool days during the week to provide the much needed rest and chance for her to focus on something else besides the twins.

I stopped Easton and Layla on the way out the door for school to capture the moment.  They looked so adorable with the over-sized backpacks I couldn't resist.

I'm tempted for Kendra and I to dress up like Easton and Layla and make a mirror "grown-up" picture complete with backpacks and her pigtails.

Getting into our new house sucked our entire life savings dry, but it may be paying dividends already through our bumper crop of lemons! Easton and Layla gladly helped me fill up a bag so Kendra could make a lemon pie and lemonade and lemon curd and 20 other lemony treats.  As a side-note, I didn't even have to say, "Strike a pose" for Layla to do it.  

Our lemon tree is drooping from the weight of all the fruit.  Now we're waiting for them to ripen.  I never knew how to tell, but luckily I have friends like David and Tam who were willing to show me the ropes.  From what I understand, if you turn the lemon a half-turn by hand and it falls off in your hand then it is ripe.  So much to know...

You may have noticed Easton's muscle shirt from the lemon picture.  He flexes his arm muscles when anyone mentions the muscle shirt so I knew it was high-time he started working them out... one trash bag at a time.

Easton was psyched up to help with the trash and I was beaming with smiles at the thought of one day turning over trash duties to him.  Some of the fringe benefits of having kids is starting to show fruit.  literally.

That brings me to my tip-of-the-day, which is:  How to teach a skill (yes, taking out the trash is a skill).  Sounds simple, but so many people get it wrong.  Here's how I believe teaching should be done:

First, talk about it and explain what to do, how to do it, and what is expected.
Second, do it by demonstrating correctly and explain while showing
Third, allow the learner to do it while watching and assisting
Fourth, allow the  learner to do it complete from start to finish

I lean heavily on this because of Galations 6:4, which says, "But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another."

There is a similar guideline I live by for parenting:  "Don't do anything for children once they can do it for themselves."  Examples are:  climbing up into the car seat (let Easton do it himself since he was strong enough to step up) and brush their teeth (Layla was thrilled to take this responsibility).  On the other hand, Layla asked me to carry her to bed last night and I gladly complied.  I walked extremely sloooooow because she hugged my neck tightly the whole way.

I don't think these are controversial concepts, but just tangible examples of what Kendra and I use as guidelines.  Wishing I had a parenting guide with this stuff in it 4 years ago...

See you soon!

Friday, January 13, 2012

See Yourself... camera.

Hello friends and family,

One of the Christmas presents for Easton and Layla was the Fisher Price See Yourself camera (thank you, B.J. and Debbie).  It's a kid-proof camera with a lens that swivels 180 degrees.  It takes pictures and videos.  The twins picked it up and learned to navigate the buttons very quickly.  Kendra and I spent a couple of days demonstrating how it works.  We take a picture:

Then show it can be viewed through playback mode.  The quality stinks, but the concept is very cool and it actually works.  Not bad for$50!

Half of the fun is seeing yourself in the display while taking the picture or movie.  It's the perfect camera for self portraits like these.

Easton is even more interested in it than Layla, which surprises me.  He's taking hundreds of pictures and videos.  Most of them are blurry because they haven't mastered the art of holding still while taking the picture.  One of the best shots Easton took is this one of Dad, who rarely gets into the pictures since I'm always behind the camera.  All of that will change soon with the two shutter bugs we created.

For some reason the twins believe whoever is in the video should be telling a story.  This is humorous because at the end they are figuring out how to stop the recording.  

Just thought I'd share the funny side of learning as the twins figure out how stuff works. 

See you soon!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Years are Flying By

Greetings friends and family,

My late-Tuesday post is motivating enough for me to call this a Way Back Whensday edition.  I found this gem of a picture from when the twins were exactly nine months old.

The words that come to mind when I recall this stage of their lives are:

1. fragile - they were 100% dependent on Kendra and I for everything, yet they were mobile enough to get into trouble.  We had to be careful where we walked, how we held them, where we took them, and  a whole bunch of other extra cautions.  Some of which we took to far because of the first time parent syndrome.

2. innocent - They had no concept of good or evil and no ability to choose either one.  No sassing, no lying, no anger, no bad choices.  just pure love and giggles.  what a precious stage.

3.  hard work - During this age Kendra and I were still in survival mode, but then it turned into manageable, but draining.  which leads me to my simplistic view of parenting twins:

First year = survival - maritally and emotionally all we could focus on was survival and teamwork
Second year = hard work - It was difficult to believe we could give more of ourselves to them, but we did.
Third year = "year of the RE" - relief, recover, renew, rejuvenate, recuperate, recess, reengage
Fourth year = development - Now we're talking...  I'm loving this age of questions, learning, playing, laughing, and watching them blossom.
Fifth year = ?  Guess I'll find out starting in 4 weeks...

Continuing with the theme of this post, here is the "Word of the day": Recyclopath - n. 1) A person who militantly engages in recycling and is so hostile to simply throwing away garbage, it borders on mental illness. 2) Pejorative for an extreme environmentalist.  example: She pees in a bucket and uses it to water and fertilize her garden--what a recyclopath!

Kendra is not a recyclopath, but if she goes dumpster diving in our trash for my yogurt cup to transfer it into the recycle bin one more time...  just kidding.  kind of.

Anyway, during our visits to the sandy parks Easton's small dump truck kept getting stuck in the sand and he lost interest.  I decided to bring his indoor dump truck to the great outdoors and the wheels are big enough he can push it around through the deep sand.  He was a tired boy this night.

I'm a big fan of participating in Easton and Layla's play time.  I'll share in another post why I swing the pendulum so far to this extreme.  Ouma gave a handmade cape to Easton and Layla a couple of years ago.  They still play with them and occasionally I'll put one on too.  This next picture depicts what Layla calls a "pajama party", which includes early bath time followed by playing with toys and a few minutes of movie time.  Since I chose a montage of Toy Story 3 for the feature selection of the night I donned the Buzz and Woody cape with Easton's sharing consent, of course.

One of the many items Aunt Mary gave us with the house is a bird feeder hook pole.  We have a humming bird feeder from our last house, but didn't take the time to set it up until recently.  I took the twins to the store to buy the humming bird powder food.  Then they took turns pouring it in the water and stirring to dissolve it into the juicy humming bird solution.  We hung the feeder with care then I had to do some serious explaining.  The twins immediately went inside and jumped up on the couch to watch the humming birds feed.  I didn't want to steal their zeal, but I didn't want them to waste entire days staring out the window waiting for the little birds to show up.

I found it difficult to explain patience and how it might take several days for the birds to know we have their special nectar on tap at the casa de Webb.  Each day they ask me if today will be the day the humming birds show up.  I give them hope because I've seen humming birds around the neighborhood and they will find us soon.

Today it hit me that next week I will be flying solo with the twins at home for 4 days.  That's 96 hours straight of quality daddy time. I'm excited, but a bit anxious about my sanity without my teammate by my side.  Hulk Hogan is not quite so scary in the ring if you know you can tag out at any time.  I'm psyching myself up for this monumental occasion.

I just learned we won 4 tickets to see Disney's Toy Story 3 on Ice while Kendra is out of town!  There is a God and he knows what I can handle and how much.  :)

See you soon.