Thursday, January 10, 2013

Baking with Noah

I was in a baking mode and N2 had made cookie mixes for us at school and gave them to us at their Christmas concert.  I got out Noah's mix and he helped me make the cookies.  I still have to pull out Natalie's and make them with her but I still have a lot of Christmas cookies so it might be in a few weeks!  I also need to figure out how to make the cookies a little better!  I'm thinking vanilla might do the trick.  Noah had a great time making the cookies and got quite messy and was quite proud of it!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christmas Morning

N2 were very excited to wake up on Christmas and see if Santa came.  We made them wait on the top of the stairs until Brian and I were ready to go downstairs.  Check out Natalie's hair in this picture!  I really don't know what to do with it! We blow dry it at night so she's not going to bed with wet hair. Sigh.
Here's what our Christmas tree looked like on Christmas morning (most of the presents were already gone since we did Christmas twice already!).
For some reason our church moved up both their services by an hour so we went to 8 am mass instead of our normal 9 am.  There were hardly any families there with kids!  Before mass N2 were able to open their stockings.  I think their favorite thing was the ropes they got for leashes for their animals!  They do go around N2's middles as well so they can pretend to be puppies and be walked.  The finger ring flashlights were pretty cool too!  In the first picture you can see the rectangular thing next to the butterfly.  Santa found those at the $1 store!  They are black "paper" that comes with stencils and a stick with a point and you scratch off the black and underneath is a rainbow paper and in Natalie's case a glitter paper.  They really loved doing those for a while.  They have forgotten about them now.

After church, they were able to open the rest of their presents.  Here they opened the alphabet book that mommy made and other presents.

At the end, they FINALLY got to open the big present (they saw the box for it in the recycling bin-oops).  Note how quickly Noah grabs the helicopter before even finishing unwrapping the present.  They played with this for the rest of the day and they continue to play with it almost every day.

They also got some movies for Christmas.  We watched Wall-e and they weren't too interested in it.  We've since watched Mary Poppins and oh my, how glued to the TV they were!  If you haven't tried Mary Poppins with your kids, try it!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Elf Pancakes

Peanut, our elf, made N2 elf sized pancakes that last night he was there.  They thought they were cute!  Natalie only ate 1 while Noah ate more.  Not sure why Natalie only ate one as they were pretty small!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Weidner Christmas

The day after the Dueber Christmas gathering, we had the Weidner Christmas gathering.  Natalie had found Aunt Lisa's antlers and loved wearing them.  They even blinked too!
Aunt Lisa crocheted N2 scarves (which is good because we can't find Natalie's scarf and I was in the process of making her one but I guess I can stop).  These scarves have animals at the end that their hands can fit in.  How fun!  (Adults cannot fit their hands in)!

They also got remote control cars which they were VERY excited about!

They got their first digital cameras and boy let me tell you what stellar photographers they are!  I'll have to share some of their pictures later (they also got the vests that they are wearing in this picture).

We gave Charlie things for his kitchen (which he didn't have yet).  He thought the banana was just great!

We also celebrated Grandma Weidner's birthday.  Lisa asked me to make a cake so I chose to make a chocolate peppermint cake.  Here;s what it looked like.  It was pretty yummy!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Box Fun

I ordered quite a few presents online and what was more fun than to play with boxes once I opened everything!  N2 were quite inventive with the boxes (I think this was when our new blender/food processor came).  There were pieces that they thought looked like life vests, so they pretended that the box was a boat and they wore their life vests in the boat.  They also put life vests on their animals who ventured out in the boat with them.

They put their boat on the couch and I believe they are rowing the boat.  They didn't both fit in with one of them wearing the life vest.

I love the imagination and pretend play at this age!  I also love that the two of them play things together and will generally partake in each's others imaginary games.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Children's Neighborhood Museum

My Multiple's Group had a playdate at the Children's Neighborhood Museum in Round Lake in early December.  The museum was open just for our club so it was really nice!  We had about 17 kids so it wasn't too crowded.  N2 had a great time playing.  They, of course, spent the most time in the fire truck wearing the fireman outfits.  They also have a fire truck cozy coupe and they love to ride that around.

They also have discovered the dress up center and stage there.  They both love to dress up and dance.  Noah was disappointed that they didn't have any fancy shoes (or tap shoes) to fit his feet.

They also really enjoyed playing with the big pipes (a la Blue Man Group).

I love this museum as do N2.  I need to remember to go back since we purchased a membership!  They have member only hours so I'll have to try those out.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Swim Lessons

N2's swim lessons ended the week before break.  This past session they were able to move up from the beginning class (pike) to the next level (eel). In this class they do a LOT more independent swimming and they are expected to swim by themselves for at least 5 feet.  By the end of the class, they want them swimming on their own more than 5 feet.  I think they have to swim 15 feet on their own to move up to the next level.  We had a rough beginning to the session (well it was more the middle) because Noah got scared of swimming on his own.  We took him swimming everyday over Thanksgiving break and he finally became more comfortable swimming on his own.  He's still not super confident but I think that will come with the realization that he can do it!  His teacher knows he can do it and Brian and I know.  We just have to convince Noah he can do it!  He also didn't seem to like his teacher (probably because he equated her with swimming more on his own).  I thought she was super nice and a great teacher.  We're going to a different session starting in the winter and maybe he'll like the teacher better.  I think they both did a phenomenal job and I'm really proud of how they are swimming!  They've learned rotary breathing and Noah actually has the front crawl strokes down pat.  Natalie still doggy paddles but she can swim across most of the pool (the short way across the instructional pool) by herself.  They both swim underwater to swim across the pool.  I think that is what makes Noah scared as once he runs out of breath, he has to put his feet down on the bottom of the pool to take a breath. Once they learn to just turn their head, they should be better.  Natalie likes backstroke as well.

On the last day of class each session they always do a safety lesson.  Throughout the session, they talk about safety and one session they practiced laying on their tummies outside of the pool and holding out a noodle to "rescue" a kid in the pool and pulling them to the side with the noodle.  They LOVE to pretend to do this with Brian and I and they stand on the sides pretending to be life guards.  Anyways, back to the last class.  This class they put on life jackets and talk about boat safety.  They practice swimming with a life jacket and show the kids how to float if they ever fall overboard.  Here they are swimming to their teachers.  The second pictures shows Natalie doing the back float (Noah was upset at this point and his teacher was talking to him-we missed the week before's swim lessons and I think that set him back).

 Here they are floating like they are supposed to if they are overboard.

Here they are swimming on their own with no flotation device.  First Natalie and then Noah.

They seem to love to swim with Brian and I, so we just need to keep going and practicing with them.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas Concert

N2's preschool had a Christmas concert for all the kids in preschool.  I was hoping that this year N2 would sing since they had experienced this before.  Last year they didn't sing at all!  They just stood there and looked a little shell shocked that they were standing up in front of so many people.  This year I'm happy to report that Natalie did sing most of the time and did the motions for the most part.  There were times that she got a little distracted but she did a great job! Their class sang "Jesus Loves Me," "The Virgin Mary Had a Baby," and "Cascabel."  Cascabel is Jingle Bells in Spanish.  There was a Spanish part (that the kids mainly just screamed through with the exception of the word "cascabel") and there was the English "Jingle Bells" part.  They wore wrist jingle bells for this one.

In the first photo, Natalie is making the sign for Bible in "Jesus Loves Me."  In the second one she is making the sign for baby in the song "The Virgin Mary Had a Baby."

Here Natalie is doing something from the song "The Virgin Mary Had a Baby."  They were supposed to be tapping their heads.
Now you may wonder what Noah is doing in these pictures and why I haven't mentioned him.  Well, this church has BIG projection screens (not sure why since it's NOT a large church where the people in the back wouldn't be able to see) and they were being used during the concert.  Noah realized (as he did last year) that he could see himself on the screen so he stood facing backwards for most of the concert looking at himself (well and maybe looking at the other kids too).  I don't know if he figured out why he couldn't see his face.  He did turn around on occasion.  His teacher mentioned afterwards that she didn't know what to do about it so she did nothing.  She said it was a new problem for her.  I told her that he had done it last year and the owner, Miss Jane, turned him around several times.  I wish she would have said something to him but oh well.  You can see in this picture that he's trying to look at himself while also singing.  I'm not sure how much singing he did since we could only see his back the most part!  And finally here's a picture of him looking forward!
 Afterwards their teacher, Miss Kathy, wanted pictures with all the kids.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dueber Christmas

Luckily all of us except for Ben where able to be together to celebrate Christmas a little early.  We bribed kids with Hershey kisses to take cousin pictures.  I think the picture turned out better this year than last year!  We actually have 3 out of 5 kids smiling as opposed to no on smiling last year!  I actually got a pretty good picture of the kids with Grandma and Grandpa too!

The kids really enjoyed opening presents.

 Sadly I didn't really get any pictures of my kids opening presents-I was sitting too close to Natalie and Noah was at a bad angle for me.  Here are some pictures of kids enjoying their presents.  Abigail really did get presents, she just enjoyed the box it came in!

Above the 3 cousins are listening to one of Amelia's books on CD.  Here are just a couple random picture.  Maybe we should make one of the kids wear all the bows on Christmas?