Thursday, December 27, 2007

Loving Tyler

Here is Ella "holding" Tyler...she is totally in love :)

Like Father Like Son

Here is a shot of Drew after he kicked Mike off the couch. The male tv watching gene is in full effect!

Celebrity Sighting!!

A year ago, the local Hoboken Hospital where Ella and Drew were delivered, asked us to take part in a photo shoot for their new ad campaign. Drew made the cut and was featured in newspaper ads. This year they called us back for a follow up ad. We expected the same thing as last year - but to our surprise newspaper ads were joined by full length ads on the city's bus stops!! The ad also features Drew's name which is a fun bonus. So, the next time you are in Hoboken ride down the main street, that is Drew on every block!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

2 turn 2

Ella and Drew turned 2 this week posing a perfect opportunity to reflect on the people they are becoming.
First born Ella has changed so much in 2 years. She started out as a teeny baby who was so laid back. Her wild side began to emerge in the end of her first year and she is developing into such a spirited girl. She loves to laugh and gets a twinkle in her eye when the games begin. She is thrilled to please everyone and she is so heartbroken when she thinks she has done something wrong. Eager to learn, Ella is already becoming a teacher's pet. She loves to show off her knowledge whether it be a picture in a book or the dance moves that go to a song. A daddy's girl all the way she wakes up every morning asking, "Daddy home?" She gives the best kisses and hugs with all her might amazing us that she isn't hurting herself as she smashes her forehead against ours! We love watching her get excited, she dances, jumps, and shakes everything she can.
Drew started out 2 years ago as a little high strung, we had to respond to him right away before he had major meltdowns. He slowly started to mellow out and by his 1st birthday he was a pretty laid back guy. These days he can entertain himself for a while and he really investigates the world around him. He enjoys doing things in his own time. One of our favorite qualities is his sensitive nurturing side. He is always looking for Ella, making sure she has one of whatever he has or that she is right with us. If you praise Drew he immediately points to Ella to make sure we don't forget her. He also has a funny mischevous side. He smirks and tries to make us laugh.
Together they are just the ultimate team. They are learning how to play together more everyday and they are starting to have conversations. Ella loves to get Drew going, but when she can see he has had enough teasing she gives in right away - usually with a big kiss. They know each other so well and their innate closeness is amazing. It is such a joy to be a parent to these two awesome kids. I can't wait to see what the next year brings.

Party of Five

Tyler Toivo joined our crazy clan on Monday December 10th. He arrived exactly one week early, I guess tired of being left out of all the fun! For 3 days Mike and I could boast that we had 3 kids under 2...wait is "boast" really the right word to use there?!
The pregnancy was incredibly easy and made me realize how carrying twins was twice as difficult. Ahh, the bliss of not knowing! Tyler weighed 7lbs 10oz and was 19 inches long. My mom was there as my 2nd coach, but I like her there for Mike. They chat to each other and make fun of me to pass the time. Ask them to tell you the story of me getting an epidural, they think they are so funny!
I had named him Corey, almost immediately after becoming pregnant, but at the last minute we settled on Tyler. He just looks like a Tyler. We chose his middle name (pronounced toy-vo) after my Finnish Grandpa Toot. My grandpa was a strong, hard working man with deep family values and a softer funny side. We hope that Tyler inherits those qualities.
Ella and Drew met Tyler at the hospital. They were immediately intrigued by him and curiously watched him sleep, eat, and be changed. They have been very gentle with him from the get-go. They love to help burp him and they get a big kick out of me waving his hands at them. All day we hear, "Hi Baby!!" Drew likes me to hold him all the time and Ella loves to announce when he is crying and then blows a kiss. We are all amazed at his size, because although it is average, he is so much bigger than Ella and Drew were. He is wearing clothes now that Drew wore when he was 3 months old!
Mike has been home this week and my mom is still here, so the adjustment to having another baby in the house has gone smoothly so far. Stay tuned for the update in a week or so when I am flying solo!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Things we do...

Another installment of if you were a fly on the wall in our house...

*Books, Books, Books - they love looking at their books, carrying their books, fighting over their books, etc. They LOVE going to the library and picking out books and they love when we read the library books at home. They both say, "Reah, momma, please!" Drew tries to crowd Ella out and he loves to be in charge of turning the pages.

*Rain boots - they love wearing them and carrying them. They line them up next to the couch and step into them saying "I do!"

*Music - at home they like when I put music on the computer during meals. They even make their Elmo cups dance. In the car, Mike and I struggle because they request the same songs over and over and yell "More" or "Next" when they want us to skip a song. Ella is relentless...

*"Hi" game - Ella and Drew chase each other around the house, wave at each other, and say "hi" - for some reason they think this is the funniest game around!

* "I love you" they say it to Mike and I unprompted now and have started saying to each other as I close their bedroom door at night-night time - melts my heart everytime.

* Drew attempts to take care of Ella more everyday. From bringing her drinks to making sure she is wearing her hood, he is concerned about her. Sometimes he takes it a little too far, for example trying to shove the cup in her mouth when she doesn't want it. He is very interested in making things fair...well as long as there are two of something...sharing one toy - forget it!!

* Daddy - boy do they love their daddy. They get so excited when he comes home, talk about him taking the choo-choo to work all day, and love their wrestling time at night. You never heard so many giggles...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanks Turkey!

My mother was a waitress for a few years as I was growing up. One of my most vivid memories is driving down the driveway and waving to my mother as she cried in the door - I don't remember which holiday it was, or how many she missed, just that she wanted to be with us so badly. Now I get it.
My little Turkey, Drew, started feeling warm last night and continued to have a fever this morning. So, I found myself waving goodbye to Ella and Mike as they left for Thanksgiving dinner with his family. Although I held the tears back, it was such a horrible feeling and one of those moments where being a mother smacks me right in the face. This tightness in my chest, these tears behind my eyes, this longing, weird indescribable thing is being a mother...and I am so thankful.
Holidays have taken on new meanings and meals often mask the purpose. But, I have shared a few Thanksgivings with people who have reminded me to take pause and appreciate it for what it is. Im not talking reflecting on the pilgrims here, but to truly take stock of what there is to be thankful for. It is all too easy to run down a list of complaints, wishes, and wants - but it takes a little more effort to list the blessings. I'll keep my list to myself, or maybe Ill share it with Drew over our Mac & Cheese this afternoon. One thing is for sure, I am so thankful for the experiences and feelings that I am living every day- even the gut wrenching ones.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Phases and Stages

You may have heard of famous child development specialists use terms to describe stages such as independence vs. dependence or the more famous Freud terms like oral fixation. As a mother of two, Im defining my own stages such as the "hats and boots" phase and the "beads" stage. You read about the beads phase in previous posts, well the beads are sooo last week! And last week we had daily battles over wearing hats. At one point they both screamed for 7 blocks because I made them wear hats!! Well, this week, I can't keep the hats off them!! Cousin Katie bought them new hats for their Bday and they LOVE them! They call them "com com" hats because each hat has a pom pom on top. When the hats get too hot inside, they wear their rain boots all over. Drew especially loves to wear his rain boots and run like a horsey down the hallway. Ahh...never a dull moment...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dynamic Duo

Since they were born we have all been so fascinated by their interactions with each other. I remember seeing Ella and Drew on ultrasounds kicking and bumping each other through all of the sacks and fluid. Their interactions change almost every day. They have just started talking directly to each other. While eating Ella will attempt to give some food to Drew, sometimes he takes it, other times he says "no thank you, Ella" which sounds more like "nonodankyou, ella." When Ella says a new word for the first time she now turns to Drew to "teach" him how to say it. Today at the park Drew was ready to go and I told him we had to wait for Ella. He proceeded to run over to her, mumble something at her, then drag her by the hood to the stroller. They are so sweet to each other - it will melt your heart to hear them tell each other "I love you!" They also play peek-a-boo, tag, and catch. Ella says "Ready?" before she throws the ball to Drew. They also thoroughly enjoy identifying which one is Ella's and which is Drew's, this includes cups, seats, dolls, beads, cribs, shoes, books, the list is endless. Of course with all this cuteness comes some craziness, as the video demonstrates. Sometimes kisses turn into bites, hugs turn into pushes, and sharing turns into fighting...but hey, what are brothers/sisters for?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Birthday Part 1

We took a trip to Mass this past weekend to celebrate Ella and Drew's Bday. They will turn 2 next month, but with #3 arriving in 5 weeks, there won't be another trip for awhile! It was a great weekend. All of our family came out to celebrate and it was great to see everyone. It is amazing how in a few short years our family get togethers have turned into crazy kid fests. It was surprising to me that Ella and Drew understood the whole present concept, as they haven't opened anything since last year, but they enjoyed it. Now that we are back home they love their new books and new baby dolls. After being with my dad I can always expect to hear "Nonut!!" first thing in the AM...Ella's way of saying donut reflecting his daily munchkin offerings! While at "home" we sorted through the baby clothes and packed up the infant car seat. It made me a little excited, but made the whole thing seem so much more real and scary. The countdown is on...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Happy Halloween & Fall


Click on the pic for an album...
We tried to be a Teddy Bear Picnic for Halloween, but never found the tablecloth to go over the stroller or the picnic basket! Ella and Drew did not want to wear the hat part of their costumes, so we ended up looking like a stroller full of brown fleece! They did love to watch the parade as well as walk with their friends. Drew had a little fear of the people on stilts - and darn it you can see them from everywhere! The town throws a little party after the parade and Ella had a ball dancing.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

24/7 Mardi Gras

Ella and Drew have been wearing Mardi Gras beads for over a month now. It all started at their friend Kate's birthday party when the beads were included in the favor bag. Ella took a liking to them right away, and Drew followed suit. For the first few days I thought it was cute. We had to make up "bead rules" such as no wearing beads to bed, no beads while eating, etc. They hang the beads on "bead hooks" otherwise known as drawer pulls, when not allowed to wear them. So right before they go to bed they hang up their beads and in the AM the first noise from their room is usually "Beads! Beads!"
After about 4 days, Ella's beads broke. I figured it was my chance to get rid of them during nap time. But after 20 min of her yelling "Beads! Beads!" frantically as she searched the house, I rescued them from the garbage. I tried taping them, tying them, and knotting them but I finally broke down and bought some more. They get laughs and smiles around town and they guard them during music class and at the park. I've noticed some other kids wearing them lately - who knows maybe Ella and Drew will start a nationwide trend :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Kisser

One of the things people, family or not, remember about my Grandpa Sid is that he always kissed on the lips. Always. It didn't matter if he had recently met you, if you had a cold, or if his mustache and cheeks were loaded with corn kernels. Grandpa Sid kissed on the lips. It seems Ella has inherited his passion for kissing. When the mood strikes Ella can't get close enough. She smashes her face into yours as tight as she can. She giggles, grabs the back of your head, and just smooshes herself all over you! You can't help but giggle back. She usually reserves these special kisses for Mike and I, but every once in a while she corners Drew...these pics document one such occasion.

Pasta Party

After 21 months of whole-heartily refusing pasta - Im talking every form, shape, and color, with sauce, butter, cheese or plain - Drew has finally decided to embrace the family staple. Bon Appetite!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Stair Story

The stairs in our building are such a big part of my life, they feel like another family member! We live in a 3rd floor walk-up apartment which means 2 flights of stairs. They are long narrow flights, ask Grandma Marietta for the exact number of stairs-she counts them every time. When we first moved in, I was about 5 months pregnant with Ella and Drew, and the doctor advised me to limit my trips up and down to about once a problem, I was huge and getting bigger! By the end of the pregnancy Mike would jokingly ask if I wanted him to push me up. I always did, but was embarrassed to ask! While Ella and Drew were in their infant seats, it was difficult, but I managed. The seats outweighed the 2 of them for a long time, but hey, I dropped that baby weight pretty quick! Once we got a new stroller and stopped using the baby seats, I would strap one baby to me and carry the other in one hand, and the diaper bag in the other. Down has always been ok, but the days when I buy milk, diapers, or whatever are always the worst coming up. I never felt comfortable leaving one baby on the landing of each flight and taking one at a time.
So, once they started walking I would just carry one baby on each hip down and they sometimes crawl up. Getting up the stairs when they go by themselves can sometimes take up to 20 min. Try being pregnant standing in a hallway with no ac and no windows for 20 min in the middle of July!! So a lot of the time I scoop them up like bags of potatoes while they kick and yell "up!" Just in the last few weeks, I have had trouble carrying them on my hips because their knees jam into my growing belly and the new baby kicks like crazy. So, I started letting them walk down. It is the hardest stage yet. I stand in the middle of them, although slightly in front, and hold each one by the hand. Ella goes 90 mph and Drew takes his time stopping to point out various things (like lint). Ella has been doing a great job of sitting and waiting for Drew during these moments. So, now it takes us about 15 min to get down and 20 to get up...
Our stair story is about to come to an end. Our place is on the market and will hopefully sell soon. While standing in a pool of my own sweat on the stairs I daydream about pushing a stroller onto an elevator and right into the apartment. I think about packing the stroller with everything we need, while in the apartment, and even, gasp, bringing out the trash in one hand! I just hope it happens soon, because I don't know how I will get the new baby in and out of the house with the stairs!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Busy Week

We had a very busy week! Nonnie surprised us with a visit for a few days and we had so much fun! All you heard was "Nonnie, Nonnie!" Drew would look back out of the stroller every once in awhile, just to make sure she was still there. Mom was very helpful in getting the house ready for the showings we have EVERY night. Ella and Drew loved to show off their tricks including the slide, see-saw, and even putting food on their heads - all met with laughter and clapping from Nonnie. We went out for a bunch of dinners and just enjoyed each other. Our friend Kristina, formally of Hoboken, also visited from North Carolina. It was great to see her again and the kids were excited as well.
We are hoping for a trip to the Bronx Zoo this weekend, so stayed tuned for more posts and some pictures!

Friday, September 14, 2007

I know you!

21 mth
Click on the pic for a mini-album

But you may not know us...slow on the postings lately, I know. Ella and Drew are getting so big and so capable. Just the other day I ran into someone we haven't seen in awhile. She exclaimed, "Wow! I guess you don't have to worry about Ella's weight anymore, she's chubby!!" Good thing Ella hasn't fully developed a body image yet after those comments...and no it wasn't Nana Vera. It seems like a million years ago that Ella was a little peanut and we were counting every ounce. More than getting bigger physically, her personality seems to quadruple daily. When I try to help her with her fork, or on the stairs, she looks at me and says "bye!" She also likes to pick out her own shoes and she only rides the see-saw by herself. She also gives enormous kisses and the tightest hugs.
Drew is trying to say more and more, although most of his "language" consists of grunts, pointing, and elaborate gestures. He can get across that he wants to wash his hands, face AND feet, as well as what toy he wants, what cup he wants, and where he wants to go. He is very good at figuring out when Ella is getting too silly and about to attack! He does everything on his own time and may sit in the stroller for 15 min at the park before he decides he wants to get out. I see more of Mike in him everyday. He may take awhile to learn a rule, but once he gets it, he follows every time and usually on his own.
Both kids recognize their friends and their parents from across the park and they give them super warm welcomes - as if to say "Hi!! I know you!!"

Friday, September 7, 2007

Fly on the wall...

What you may witness if you were a fly on the wall at our house (or the park)...

*Ella yelling "Mon!" at Mike through the bathroom door every AM - translation= Come On!!

*Drew and Ella fighting over who hands me the pillows to make the bed

*Pretending to be asleep by laying down anywhere and saying "shush" then jumping up and laughing

*Drew saying "bye-bye" to 10 toys before we leave the house and each swing, slide, and various structures before leaving the park

*Going into the playhouse at the park and making me food to eat. Their favs= apples, bananas, hot pasta, and ice cream

*Counting, counting and more counting...the saga continues as we count to take turns for every thing imaginable!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

She's Crazy

This picture captures Ella's personality and hair - wild!

ps. click on it to appreciate it full size!!

Pig's Tails and Pigtails

We have had quite a few exciting events recently. We went home to Marshfield to visit with Nonnie, Papa, and Unc. Auntie Heidi, Uncle Matt, Sidney and Luke also came for the weekend. We had a great afternoon at the famous Marshfield fair seeing all the animals and watching Sidney on the rides. All the kids were treated by Papa to ice cream, steak on a stick, fried dough, french fries...whatever they wanted! We saw chickens, cows, horses, pigs, goats, sheep, etc.
The weather was perfect for a few lazy days by the pool. It was fun to watch Nana Vera chase the kids around the pool and shake her head at Sidney zooming across the yard in the Powerwheels jeep. In true Virta style there were feasts everyday starting with munchkin donuts, and then lobster, steaks, shrimp, and sundaes. Yum. Mike and I certainly enjoyed the relaxation and good food!
Ella sported her first pair of pigtails to the park this week. It is a battle, let me tell you. I have flashbacks from my own childhood and my mother yanking on my hair, but she just looks so cute!! Aside from listening to her shriek and then repeat "out! out! out!" for 20 minutes, I struggle with how to explain to poor Drew that he can't have pigtails!

1 to 10

A few wise mothers told me about counting to 10 to help take turns. So, each child gets to use the toy while the other child counts to 10, then it is their turn. Turns out this concept has revolutionized and taken over our lives! We are now counting to 10 almost all the time. We count to 10 for a turn with the tambourine, a book, sitting on my lap, every toy, getting hair brushed, holding a box of macaroni...the list could go on and on. Most of the time Ella and Drew gladly hand over the toy to the other, but sometimes we have to chase the sneaky sibling down for the coveted item. The best part is that the whining, crying, fighting, and grabbing are almost extinct. The worst part is when we play with children who don't count for turns because they don't give up the toy when we joyously reach ten! Ella counts by pulsing her hands and saying "four" over and over. Drew also pumps his hands but he says "one" for every number.

What we are saying now....

Drew, where do you live?

Ella sings "money, money, moneeeeyyy!"

Other words include help, key, flower, please (teas), stop sign, coffee (hoffee), hop, etc.

Ella and Drew have also been increasing their tv time, specifically by watching "Jack's Big Music Show" a few times a week. Their love for Jack is evident as they ask for him upon waking, while walking through town, and they call him when holding a phone.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Ella and Drew have been weary of strangers since birth. When I say strangers I am referring to anyone other than Mike or I who comes within 2 feet or speaks directly to them- never mind people who try to touch them!! But I think the tide has turned. It started with a new attitude toward family members that has made gatherings 10 times easier. Now we see this new easy going style applying to all sorts of people. Ella plays peek-a-boo at the park with random parents and she harasses people sitting anywhere near us at a restaurant. Drew likes to charm older women who stop us on the street to gawk at "twins, oh my god!!" Their friendliness has hit an all time high as we have had several "workers" in our home over the past 2 weeks. Not only do they not cry, but they follow on the heels of the men observing projects, tools, and repeatedly saying "hi!" Just this morning as I was pointing out the leak in our ceiling Ella stood next to me and pointed up, gibber jabbering away. At one point she kept getting louder and louder, as if to say "I've got this one, Mom." Drew just continued to offer his pretzel to the man until I finally took it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

What's your name?

Me to Ella: What's your name?
Ella: Ella!!

Me to Drew: What's your name?
Drew: Ella!!

So excited and all smiles!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Welcome Cousin Owen!

Our newest Dargan cousin, Owen Christopher, arrived yesterday afternoon. Mike's brother Joey and his wife Michelle are doing great and reported a VERY speedy labor. The Dargan clan is growing like wildfire. The tally so far:
Gerard and Maria: McKenzie (3) and Luke (1)
Joey and Michelle: Riley (3), Little Joey (1) and Owen
and then Ella and Drew. Baby boy in my belly will make number 8! Family get togethers are fun, if not hectic and crazy loud!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Bad Blogger - Needed Updates

Blog entries have been slow for a few reasons - we have been busy and the little gems broke my modem, so I have to rely on pirating someone's wireless in the neighborhood. Luckily we live in an overpopulated area!!
Anyway here are some quick updates on Ella and Drew:

*Ella LOVES the pool. We have spent a few days at Mike's parent's pool over the last few weeks and Ella can't get enough. She is very brave, putting her face in the water and she likes to navigate the steps without any help. Drew is making progress and will stay in the pool as long as he is clutching me as tight as possible!

*Drew spent 20 min the other day emptying Grandma's cabinets and giving all of the tupperware and pots/pans to Pop Pop. We can't figure out why he chose Pop Pop, but I think Grandma was a little insulted - afterall she is the one cooking all the time!

*Ella loves music class and puppet shows. She dances, marches, shakes, etc. She hardly even notices I am there.

*Stroller walks have become a little more difficult. Ella has been scratching and pinching Drew while we walk. Her "punishment" is to wear the shoulder straps or to lay down. This produces lots of protests, which makes the walks less and less enjoyable for everyone. Sometimes she aggrivates him by trying to feed him!

*I think Drew is taking notice of my blosseming belly - when he sits in my lap he spends a few seconds trying to scoot back and pushes into me. He hasn't seemed to notice that his little brother pushes right back!

Friday, August 3, 2007

It's a....

BOY!! I know, I know, I said we weren't going to find out. We totally caved, just couldn't resist. We saw the little bugger kicking away, waving, and opening and closing his mouth this week at a routine ultrasound. Seeing him, counting his fingers and toes - it all made this pregnancy so real. Now that I know what it feels like to fall in love with a baby, I just can't wait to meet him! Although, now that I know about the sleepless nights and all the other not so fun stuff, Im glad we have some time!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

No more Monkeys!

Ella and Drew have been trying to climb just about everything for the last few weeks. They finally managed to get onto the couch and our lives seem changed! First off, I can no longer hide things up there. The couches used to be my home office with bills, the computer, the phones, etc. Secondly, I am nervous leaving them alone on the couch while I attend to other things (relocating my office). They have been doing very well getting on and off carefully, but tonight it was like watching dominoes. I think the combo of being tired and hungry was too much to take. While I was trying to make dinner they fell off the couch over and over. Drew fell sideways, then he rolled off, then he blatantly just stepped off. Ella had a minor fall, but then after getting back on she did a flip type move right off. I think I had a few little heart attacks. On the other hand, they were fine, laughing even! They refused to allow me to keep cushions on the floor. I thought about a way to blockade the couches, but how long can I do that? Im chalking this up to life lessons...and crossing my fingers that no one breaks anything!

Dank Ooouuuu

If you have been keeping tabs on us, you may know by now that when Ella learns a new "trick" she really puts it into practice. Her newest is saying Thank you, or "Dank Ooouuuuu!" I need to get a video of this because her facial expression is funnier than the pronunciation. When she gets to the "ooouu" part she scrunches her face into a sort of fishy face and squints her eyes. Well, she got such a reaction at the lake, that she tries this out on everyone. She says Thank you to Drew when she gives him her leftovers, she says thank you to herself when she sneezes, she says thank you after me to the cars that let us cross, she says thank you for no reason as she marches around the house. She cracks me up!

Weekly List # 8

Vacation Highlights from E&D

1. Ella loves "Unccccckkk"- my brother Mark
2. Daily munchkins from Caca
3. Daily visits from at least one duck
4. Running on the dock
5. Watching Sidney do anything
6. Watching Luke so that when he leaves his walker E or D can steal it
7. Yelling down to the family from the balcony
8. Playing in the kayaks and "boaps" on the lawn
9. Dancing to the Ipod with Caca, or solo
10. Lots of time with Daddy

Break on the Lake '07

Whew, I took this vacation seriously - almost 2 weeks with no Blog entry!! Well, the entire Virta family headed to Lake Winnipesaukee in NH for a weeks vacation. Although it had the potential of being a National Lampoon's movie (especially with uncle Johnny and Auntie Mary making an appearance), it was actually an excellent and relaxing trip. The facts: the house was amazing and huge, everyone had a bedroom, plenty of bathrooms, big flat lawn leading to a private beach and dock. Picture perfect Adirondack chairs every where, even a fire pit for late night marshmallows and family stories. We had great weather with the exception of 2 days, dad rented us a boat - we lacked nothing. Some highlights included a visit from Jim, Judy, Jack and Eric; Trivial Pursuit, Taboo, great food, kayaking, sunsets, water skiing (watching for preggo me)...the list could go on, but the general feeling was that it was just good to be together. There is almost too much to write, so I will post the pictures soon - there are tons!! See the weekly list for Ella and Drew's take on the vacation.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Year and a Half + one month!

19 month Photo Shoot
Friday the 13th marks 19 months for Ella and Drew. People have always asked me if it is hard having twins. This marks the first month were I say, "YES!!" My answer has always been, it is not hard it just takes more time to do everything. But, boy things are a changing. Ella and Drew are like mini brother and sister in the typical sense. They love each other, kiss, hug, look for each other, etc. But, they also fight. The actual words aren't there yet, but in their own way they are constantly saying "She's touching me!" "That's mine!" etc. They fight over wanting the same cup, who will turn the pages in the book, sitting on my lap...the list goes on. In the stroller they are scratching and grabbing each other. Most of the day I am pulling my hair out! Our strategy has been that unless someone is getting hurt, then they have to work it out on their own. This usually results in lots of tears.

They are becoming more adventurous and more physical. They are so brave at the playground, climbing to new heights and trying new things. They can climb on and off the couches now. They are also expanding their vocabulary to include: please, cheese, and peas (which all sound exactly the same), car, pop-pop (Drew), cat, Melissa, seat, and shoot. They also started watching about 15-20 min of tv a few times a week. They like Sesame St, aka Elmo, and another show that has lots of music. Ella truly enjoys the tv, but Drew gets very frustrated. When they sing a song he loves it, but as soon as the song ends he asks for more. When the characters don't do as he asks, he gets a little crazy! He stomps in front of the tv repeating "mo-ah, mo-ah" getting increasingly upset. Once they start another song he relaxes and dances until the song is over and the whole scene repeats.

We are off to the "Break on the Lake: Virta Style" for a week, pictures and stories to come.

The pictures above were taken by a friend in a mock photo shoot. They have a super nice camera and the quality really shows.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Learning Italian...well sort of

Another post that really needs video...While riding in the car with Grandma (Mike's mother) Drew was acting a little strange. I was perched between Ella and Drew and observed him smiling and waving his hands all around. He had a flat hand stretched toward the window and was pumping it up and down. Then he would bunch his fingers, point them up, and again pump his arm up and down. Finally I realized what was going on. Drew had a perfect view of Grandma who was in the front seat telling a "heated" story in a way only an Italian can. As her hands flung around passionately, Drew was trying to mimic her every move!!

Weekly List # 7

How they made me Laugh this Week
1. Drew sitting like a soldier for his haircut while Ella looked on screaming for him
2. Painting each others arms at Art in the Park
3. Ella going head first down a big covered slide
4. Drew getting mad when the squirrels disappear and looking at me as if I can make them return just because he asks for "Mooha"
5. Drew saying "Yeahhh!" to almost any question: Is Ella crazy? Do you love Mama?
6. Ella playing peek-a-boo with her plate
7. Ella getting my attention and then just laughing
8. Giving each other raspberries
9. Looking for each other's belly buttons
10. Drew holding Ella by her diaper while she tries to crawl away
11. Ella discovering the big difference between her and Drew...use your imagination!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Ella speaks her mind

Ella has discovered the power of communication. Her favorite words are "up" and "Bye-Bye." She has realized that these words bring action, especially when shrieked in a restaurant. She uses "bye-bye" to signal to a new face to back off, to let us know that she doesn't want to be in a store or house, and she tortures Mike by following him around the house "asking" to go outside. "Up" is used when she wants out of the highchair or stroller, to be picked up, and also to be put down. It echoes in my head when I lay down at night. "uuup!! Uuuupp!! UUUUUUUUPPPPPP!!!""

A Boys Boy

As soon as I found out I was having boy/girl twins I was curious to see how the gender differences would emerge. Well in the last few weeks, Drew has certainly been feeling his testosterone! When outside, he enjoys carrying a stick- the bigger the better. He also likes to bang anything, chase squirrels, and play in the dirt. Just this weekend while sharing an ice cream cone he demonstrated his boyness by refusing to lick the ice cream cone: he would only eat it by grabbing a handful and shoving into his mouth. He was filthy, and loving it!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Weekly List # 6

Lessons Learned at the Mall

1. Maybe a side-by-side stroller wasn't such a good idea - picture eye gauging, food stealing, pinching, etc.
2. If you want to look at twins, please don't stand in front of the stroller - At this point Im not as fascinated as you and I would like to move!
3. Snacks and plenty of them keep everyone happy
4. Don't assume that the mall playground won't be filled with very rambunctious 6 yr olds that will trample your toddlers.
5. When the mall playground is crazy, letting the kids run wild through the hallways is not a good alternative!
6. Drew learned that stores are surrounded by see through glass - not run through glass - ouch!
7. When my kids are running wild, do not attempt to wrangle Ella - she does not appreciate strangers touching her, and neither do I.
8. Trying on clothes is easy with a stash of matchbox cars
9. Don't leave the stroller too close to the clothes, they will end up on the floor.
10. Next time leave the kids at home with Dad and go shopping on the weekend!!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Big Day in NYC

On Tuesday morning we braved the public transportation system and went into NYC for the day. Twice a week Madison Sq Park has kids concerts that run all summer. This week was Hot Peas N Carrots, an apparently well known group featured on Jacks Big Music Show and Nickelodeon (2 things we don't watch). There were probably about 150 kids there and the weather was perfect. Ella and Drew danced a little, but they were more interested in watching the crowd. After the show we went in to see Mike at work - conveniently located adjacent to the park! Mike had a great time showing off E&D. Unfortunately it was already approaching nap and lunch time, so they (Ella) were a little cranky. As each person approached Ella and said "Hi" in there nicest baby tones, she looked at them, whined "Bye-bye" and dug her head into my shoulder. She was a big hit!! Next we went out for dumplings with a few friends, I went into a few fun stores, and waited for them to sleep in the stroller. They lasted awhile until finally dozing off. I headed back to the park to relax on a bench and wait for Mike to get out of work, an early day. On the way home we stopped for an early dinner in an outside cafe, one last stop at our favorite playground, and then home to bed. The entire family was passed out before 8:30!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Weekly List # 5

We are Quirky

1. Ella likes to crawl through legs
2. Drew loves shoes, feet, and especially toes
3. Ella likes to lay down at the top of the slide as if she is about to nap
4. Drew likes to smash his peas one by one before eating them
5. Ella likes to squeeze her tongue
6. Drew loves to play with dish towels and belts
7. Ella will not go in the swing, Drew will not get out of the swing
8. When Ella finds a puddle of water she touches it and then wets her hair
9. Both will only eat bananas outside of the house
10. Ella is afraid of the foot measuring devices at shoe stores

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Nonna's Visit

Well, Nonna blew into town to help with E&D's 18 month doctor's appointment. Thank goodness, because the appointment would be impossible without her. The appointment went well, although Drew overheard the Dr mentioning the side effects of one immunization and true to form, developed a fever for a few days after. So, Ella really benefited from Nonna's visit, as she got to go the park while Drew stayed in the AC. Ella and Drew are so in love with Nonna and her silly ways. Who else will read the same book 378 times in 3 days? Who else thinks it is sooo funny when you put all your food on your head? And then even funnier when you mash the food into your hair?! Who else will pick up your stuff when you defiantly throw it? Who else cleans the kitchen...oops, that's why I love her.
Although Nonna has returned to golf, real estate and Caca, we still think of her often. Both babies woke up this morning asking for her. Drew put his eggs in his hair and waited for the laughter (it never came). I put dishes in the sink and they are still there. Oh, Nonna...come back!!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Weekly List # 4

Things We Love about Summer
1. Being outside every waking minute
2. Meeting Daddy in the park after work
3. No winter jackets, sweaters, hats, etc.
4. We LOVE sunscreen! E&D fight over who gets it first
5. Italian Ice
6. Ice Cream
7. BBQ's
8. sprinklers at the park, well learning to love them!
9. Art in the Park
10. Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles!!

Boston Soul

My written description will not do this story justice, but Ill try! Sometimes Mike and I tease my mother and her pronunciations. For example, she says "hay-yaa" for "hair." So last night Mike was playing with E&D on the rocking horse. He was trying to get them to say "horsey" or "Neigh," to no avail. So, then he imitated my mother and said "Haaseee." Wouldn't you know Ella now says "haasee!"
Settled: she has Boston in her blood.

Monday, June 18, 2007

New Pics


Here are some cute pictures from Mike's Birthday last week as well as today in the park. Twice a week in the summer the City of Hoboken sponsors "Art in the Park" for toddlers. Today's activities included making pasta necklaces, painting, and Yoga. As you can imagine, Drew and Ella were the stars of the yoga demonstration.

Budding Vocabulary

It dawned on me that since this Blog is as close to a baby book E&D are going to get, I should be recording some milestone type stuff. So, here is a list of their current words. I think their vocab is also a nice look into what is important to them now...
Mama, Dada, D (drew), Ella, Caca, Nonnie, Gramma, Unc, Hi, bye-bye, ball, bubble, boo-boo, apple, up, no, more, Elmo, wooof, baa, yeah, shoe, duck, eye, hat

Mama, Dada, Ella, Caca, Nonnie, Gramma, Unc, hi, bye-bye, ball, boo-boo, up, no, more, cheese, Elmo, car, ya-ya(motorcycle), park, yeah, shoe, sock, woof, baa, fish, duck

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Weekly List # 3

Words (Re)defined by Ella and Drew

1. Gambling: sticking your finger in your twins mouth
2. Frustration: Fork
3. Mine: Anything you have
4. Ball: Anything round or close to it, ie. stop sign
5. Sharing: Taking
6. Privacy: Huh?
7. Stop: Faster
8. Bibs: things to play peek-a-boo with, or race twin to see how many times you can remove it during one meal

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Year AND a Half

18 months

Well, my little babies are 1.5 today. They are getting so big, so smart, so funny, and so fast. I looked forward to this age as one where they would be talking more and in general just doing more things. That is certainly true. Words now include: cracker, o's, car, ya-ya (motercycle), Bye-bye-bah (park and tub), nonna, caca (papa and pop-pop), Unc, sissa (Melissa), bubble, Yeah!, No, D for Drew, ball, beep-beep, and a bunch more. Drew is trying to say it all and will repeat just about anything by saying "ahh-ahh." They use their sign language less, but still use the help sign after yelling "MAMA" to get my attention. Drew is profficient with the fork and loves to practice. He uses it as a distraction when he doesn't like the meal. Ella holds her fork in one hand while shoveling the food in her mouth with the other.
Ella loves to throw her food and she demonstrates some natural abilities in her throw. She also loves the rocking horse these days and rides all the time. She does not like it when Drew rides...or touches anything else she has deemed hers. He has such an easy going manner, that he usually hands over whatever she wants, but we are trying to teach her otherwise. Drew has a new toy motorcycle he likes, he also loves his Noah's Ark set, books, and climbing. He is my shadow and loves to stick close by, he even learned to open the bathroom door!
We celebrated the half year mark with a trip to the zoo. They absolutly loved it. We will become regulars, especially since on Tuesday afternoons it is free! They loved the goats and screamed "Baa" at them. They also liked the penguins, wolf, and horses. They "woof-woofed" at anything with fur or hair including elk, bison, cows, kangaroos, lamas, and bobcats. The peacocks roam freely and they got a big kick out of those.
And Happy Birthday to Mike!! and cousin Luke!!
Click on the pic for an album...

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Big Announcement

Well, now that the grandmas, nanas, and nonnies know, you my faithful readers and friends are the next to find out: Baby #3 is on the way. Don't reboot your computer or clean the screen - you read it right! 2 ultrasounds have confirmed that it is just one baby (insert:collective sigh of relief). Yes, we are crazy. Yes, we know our hands are already full. Yes, we know about "prevention." Yes, there is a reason for my expanding girth - aside from daily iced mochas!!
New baby due on December 17, four days after Ella and Drew's 2nd birthday. If the baby comes a little early, we could have 3 kids under 2!! Mike and I are excited and looking forward to experiencing one baby. Drew and Ella have no idea that life is about to change.
Now on to selling our apartment, buying a new car, and that iced mocha....

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Weekly List #2

Top Ten Rituals (for lack of a better word)
These are things that they do EVERYtime or pretty close to it...

1. Hand me their pacifiers at end of sleeping
2. Wave Bye-Bye to the tub whenever they are in the bathroom
3. Throw their sippy cups to the floor and say uh-oh about 10x per meal
4. Wildly rub their hands on their tray throwing food everywhere to signal all done
5. Give kisses when getting up from eating
6. Ella points to her knees and says "boo-boo" when changing her diaper
7. Gathering shoes and hat (any combo) and rushing to the door saying "bye, bye"
8. Putting their shoes into their room upon returning home and clapping
9. Diving onto Mike anytime he lays on the floor
10. Immediately look under the stroller when we arrive at the park to see what toys I packed

Monday, June 4, 2007

What's Drew up to now?

Drew is the master of keeping himself busy. I have memories of my brother Matt playing with his GI Joe men for hours in the corner of the living room - I think this is where Drew is heading. Not quite at the GI Joe level though, so what does Drew do to keep busy? Today he was searching in the pantry until he found two small jars of tomato paste. Then he went to the coffee table and put them on it, took them off, stacked them, scraped them along the side, rolled them, etc. A little while later I found him whisking the bars of his crib with my kitchen whisk. Next he walked up and down the hallway dragging one of his belts. Finally he got a hold of the vacuum cleaner attachments and was having a grand old time until he began whacking Ella in the head with them. At that point I had to intervene.

Ella for Mayor

Ella loves to say "Hi." She says it in a variety of tones from an expressionless "hi, hi, hi, hi" as she wanders around the house to an overexcited valley girl-type "Hiiiiiyaaaa" if she finds you in another room. While driving last weekend Mike and I answered her "Hi's" for about 20 minutes to keep her busy. Well, now she has taken to saying to hi to people we pass on the sidewalk. We see a lot of people on the sidewalk. Sometimes I feel bad for her because she often says it after passing the person - so, no response. In that case I usually respond to her. Ella has also decided to great each person in the park with an exuberant "Hi!" The best part is she says hello to everyone after we have been in the park for a good hour!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Weekly List

New Blog Feature - The Weekly List!! Check in each week for a new one.
This week: Things that Make Us Laugh

1. Playing Peek-a-Boo with each other around the big bed or crib
2. Ella spitting her food out always gets Drew giggling
3. Wrestling with each other or Daddy
4. Upside down tickling
5. Being chased
6. Jumping on the bed
7. Running down the sidewalk (I have no idea why :)
8. They both laugh when Ella pushes Drew in the swing
9. Kiwis, strawberries, or blueberries coming their way
10. Seeing our doll strollers

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Woo-Hoo New Park!!

New Park

Imagine having your entire backyard redone just for kids - well, that is sort of what happened to us, except we don't have a backyard! Exactly one block away from our apartment the city just revamped an entire park!! As you can see from the pictures, we don't need the stroller to get there. The most prominent aspect of the park is the water features. In the middle of the space there are fountains, water wheels, and sprays. E&D didn't venture into the water last night, but they were certainly entertained by it! We were there for about 1/2 hour before bed. Ella perched at the top of the slide and laughed at all the kids. Drew liked to walk along the curb. Both did a solo trip down the twisty slide and of course Drew tried the new swings. Can't wait to become regulars!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

Click on picture to see a slideshow...

This past weekend we were invited to a friend's beach house in Bethany Beach,DE. It was an awesome place and an awesome weekend. We went with the Begovich family, who has Ryan, and the Engelharts who have Julia. All four kids were born within a month of each other. The house was made for kids and is a quick walk to the quaint town, boardwalk, beach and playground. Drew loved the whole weekend, especially playing in the sand. He likes to bury his feet, fill buckets, and dump hand fulls of sand all over himself. He even dipped his toes in the water. Ella was a different story. She loved walking on the boardwalk and looking at people, but hates the sand! As soon as we approach the beach she clutches me for dear life. She was held the entire time and was quick to point out if any sand made it on to her toes. Mike and I were amazed because last year Ella loved the sand and Drew hated it...we can't figure these kids out! All the kids had a great time together - Julia learned to say Ella and Drew, and Ryan was always ready to snuggle the others! It was a picture perfect weekend...great place, great friends, great food, great naps!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Almost Triplets...well, not really

I get a lot of "it is just like having twins..." and sometimes it irks me, because in my narcissistic world, nothing is like having twins :) So, I won't say that my experience last week was like having triplets, but it must have been pretty close!
On to the story...I babysat my nephew Luke (Dargan) last week while his family went to Mexico. He turned one the week before. I had it pretty easy, I dropped him off at his daycare each day and my mother-in-law picked him up and brought him back to me. So in essence I was only alone with 3 kids overnight and for a few hours each day - but believe me, that was enough!! Usually I get a few nights a week where no one wakes, not this time! One of the 3 was up every night. Awful. Feeding 3 was nothing like feeding two. Carrying 3 up the stairs to bed was nothing like carrying 2. Getting 3 into the car was nothing like 2. Keeping 3 busy without scratching each other's eyes out, much harder than 2! Im resting up this week and thanking the stars that I have 2. Aside from sleeping issues, Ella and Drew seemed to enjoy the week. They loved being in a big house with plenty of room to run around. We explored a different park and spent some time with Grandma. We also had a fun day with their cousins Riley and Joey. So all in all it was an OK week...but not to be repeated anytime soon!!
ps. the picture is from last year...did you think I had time to take pictures?!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

17 months

17 Months

I have officially decided that this is the last month of counting months. After this they will be 1.5 until they turn 2! I won't allow myself to be one of those people who says their child is 52 months old!
My little babies are turning into little kids. It seems every outfit makes them look bigger and older. They are becoming so independent and get a kick out of running from me. We try to stay in smaller, fenced in parks, but sometimes they just need the freedom to run. They love it. Plenty of skinned knees and face plants don't deter them at all. At the parks they both love the slide, climbing on anything, balls, sidewalk chalk, and pushing their baby strollers. Drew LOVES the swing and anything less than 30 minutes is not tolerated! Ella has refused to sit in the swing since the fall. They do well with other kids, actually they usually seem puzzled by them. They are majorly confused by those we can categorize as "pushers, hitters, toy stealers, and line cutters." So far D&E seem pretty laid back and gentle with other kids.
At home they must each have a big kitchen spoon or whisk available at all times. They also love to play with their balls, Ella's purse, and anything that can be pushed or pulled. They sit and "read" books by themselves as well. Ella is becoming a little possessive of Mike and I, Drew is not welcome to share a lap. But most times they are wrestling each other, kissing, and sharing. They are getting a kick out of making each other laugh, especially by being silly at meal time. Spitting food out usually gets a big laugh. Not from me.
They have entered the "happy helper" stage and enjoy following simple instructions. They throw things in the garbage, put their shoes in their room, and clean up toys. I can't wait until they wash dishes!

click on the picture for an album...

Friday, May 11, 2007

To Caca...with love

When my Sister-in-Law Heidi became pregnant with my niece Sidney 3 years ago, my dad loved to talk about what he would be called. The Big V. The Boss. He didn't want to be a typical grandpa. All that talk ended when one day Sidney looked adoringly at him and said "Hi Papa" in a soft dreamy whisper. "Papa" it has been ever since. Well, until Ella started talking. She has renamed my dad "Caca" and she says it with a little gleam in her eye. Although Drew can say Papa, he now calls him 'Caca' as well! My screen saver is a picture slide show and whenever Caca comes across the screen, Ella yells "Caca" from across the room!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Ella - Ella

You know that game you played as a kid, usually in the pool, "Marco, Polo?" Well, there is a new spin on that in our house. We call it "Ella, Ella." Either Drew or Ella will go into another room and yell as loud as they can, "Ella!" Then the other one yells back, "Ella!" This goes on for a few minutes until they tackle each other, or find something more interesting. We try getting Ella to say "Drew" which she will, but not while playing the game!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Pop Culture and Peer Pressure

I don't love the idea of babies watching TV, so Ella and Drew have seen very little -Baby Einstein once or twice and Sesame St about 3 times- although they only watch for about 30 seconds. So, it was to my great surprise that Drew, after overhearing another boy at the park, began saying "Elmo!" Now he runs around the house saying, "Ellmmmmmo, Elllmmmmmmo!" Ohh, peer pressure. I can see it now...."Why can't I pierce my lip?!! All my friends are doing it!" We are going to have to move to a farm in Idaho.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Warrior, Down Dog, Half Bow, and so much more...

Well Ella and Drew have completed their 6 week series of Little Lotuses Yoga. Yes, you read it right Yoga. Let the yuppie jokes begin. Honestly, I enrolled them because Ella had been going nuts in new situations and I figured a quiet Yoga room might help her out. Needless to say she spent the 1st 3 classes clutching my neck and crying. Drew on the other hand loved the class and took to Yoga immediately. He loved doing the poses, especially "down dog" and "warrior." Actually, Ella learned the poses from Drew at home. By the 4th class, they were both running into the room, playing with the other kids, and participating in the activities. They will perform the poses on cue- in restaurants, birthday parties, the the delight of non-yogis everywhere.

Friday, April 27, 2007

For the Rogers Family

Here is a little video update for the Rogers family to enjoy (Hi, everyone!). I know I shouldn't pressure them to perform, but I just can't help it!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Rookie Mistakes

Well, I suppose all first time parents make them, and I have certainly made my share. Today's rookie mistake: teaching Ella and Drew how to play a Kazoo. Big mistake! The other problem is that there is only one, so our house sounds something like this: kazoo, scream, kazoo, scream - as they take turns playing and ripping it away from each other!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Baby's got a new pair of shoes!!

The nice weather is finally here - perfect time for Ella and Drew to break in their new sandals. A little history here...Drew is a shoe man. Loves to carry them, touch them, wear them, touch Ella's, etc. But, this morning he was singing a different tune! We took his sandals out of the basket and he played with them for a minute. As soon as I started to put them on his foot he began to get upset. He was pushing my hands away and whining. I took it slow and tried to talk him through this seemingly horrific ordeal, but eventually I put them on through the tears. I stood him up in the middle of the bedroom floor - and there he stayed. I changed Ella, and Drew didn't budge. I left their room and went into mine...didn't budge. Mike tried to lure him out of the room...didn't budge. There he stood doing a little fake cry. I then put Ella's on and she was much less dramatic. She looked down at her feet for a minute and then slid her feet across the floor until she could touch the wall. She then took a few tentative steps and was off. Finally about 15 minutes into the ordeal Drew dared to take a step. He was off and running the rest of the morning!

Monday, April 16, 2007

My Little Girl

For 16 months I stayed strong. I never got into the habit of rocking the babies to sleep. All of my friends with one baby have a ritual that involves rocking for awhile. By the end of the day I was exhausted and the idea of spending an entire hour putting them to bed was torturous. I thought I was doing myself a favor by teaching them to fall asleep on their own. In the long run, I think it was a good decision. For the most part both Drew and Ella go to bed wonderfully. Well except for the last week. Ella has been having trouble. She cries and cries until I give in and hold her for a minute. She immediately drops her head to my shoulder and her whole body relaxes in my arms. All of my frustration and tiredness melt away as we quietly sway to a song in my head. When she is ready she pushes away and I lay her down for the night.
I can't help to notice that this has coincided with her new Independence. Up until the last few weeks she has clung to me in all arenas outside of our house. Now she just saunters off until I go to find her. I thought I was so ready for her to do her own thing, maybe she thought she was ready too.
But now at night, we get to reconnect and she gets to be my little baby for a little while longer.

Sink or Swim?

Things that don't swim: strollers, boxes of books, kitchen aid mixers, bookshelves, etc.

Things that swim: Mike.

Our little Hoboken is completely flooded...including our basement! We store a bunch of stuff down there, including our stroller. The stroller found refuge at a friend's garage, some stuff was thrown away, and the rest Im trying to sort through. Mike was the hero and sacrificed himself to save the stuff. The kids were oblivious to the whole ordeal, except they were getting a little stir crazy by late afternoon. Ella thought Mike's soaked appearance was hysterical and she got a kick out of touching his wet leg.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

16 months

16 months

Are we at the point where counting the months is annoying yet?

This month Drew and Ella gained more confidence. Gone are the days of standing around the park talking to my friends while Ella and Drew play at my feet. Now at any given moment Drew is climbing up the slide while Ella is across the park battling another for a ball! Thank goodness our favorite park is also small and closed in. Confidence and independence also comes with bruises! In the past 2 weeks Drew has had a scrape/bruise across his face, a skinned chin, and bloody knuckles while Ella almost bit through her lip in a playground accident. They are tough kids and bounce back quick.
Ella and Drew are also working on their teamwork. Their silent dialogs seem to go like this:
Oh, Drew, you can't get that cabinet open? Here you go, and here is the dish detergent.
Oh, Ella, can't reach into the trash? Here is an eggshell for you!

They are trying to use their words and both are starting to pick up sign language. Drew can say: Mumma, Dada, Ella, Wow!, uh-oh, hi and a slew of animal sounds. He also can sign: more, all done, and drink. Ella says: Mumma, Dada, Da (for Drew), uh-oh, wow, animal sounds and apple. She signs the same signs as Drew as well as "help." They love books, music and dancing, balls, cars, and eating!

Click on above picture for an album...

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Cutest Thing

We were on our way out the other night and Drew and I were behind Mike and Ella. I was trying to hurry Drew along and said "Drew, where is Ella? Call Ella!" Drew started walking towards her and yelled her name. He says it all the time now and it melts my heart every time. Ella seems unaffected by this sign of affection.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What you don't see

Sure we look like a happy little crew posing in front of a nicely decorated wall...but what you don't see tells the real story. What you don't see is the 6 ft tall Easter Bunny behind the display! My friend Jessica and I decided to take the kids to have a picture with the Easter Bunny. I dressed them in adorable matching spring outfits. We took the train to the mall, primped and combed and then approached the Bunny. All 3 kids spotted the furry guy from across the mall and immediately began screaming. Little Julia was shaking, Ella's cheeks were wet with tears, and Drew was clutching my neck for dear life! Suffice to say that we had our own photo session on the other side of the wall from the Easter Bunny. Oh well, maybe next year!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

There's Something About Ella...

It started months ago with her big cousin Sidney and caught our attention, but lately it is something of a phenomena. Ella is a toddler magnet. Any girl between the ages of 12 months and 4 years old can not resist Ella. They want to touch her, hold her, hug her, feed her and follow her. Maybe it is her baby doll look - nearly bald, round face, blue eyes - who knows. But, Ella is not amused. She has major personal space issues! Drew, who would be more acceptable of such attention, is usually ignored.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What toys?!

We have lots of toys, too many in fact, but these are the types of things they play with all day - bags of potatoes and corn muffin mix. Go figure!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Today is the day!!

Ella decided that today is the day to start walking. She has taken 1 or 2 steps before, but today when she woke up she just started walking across the room. Yeah Ella!!

Ella learning to walk has highlighted the differences between her and Drew even more. I know they are theoretically no different than any brother/sister in genetic terms, but because they are twins I guess I expect more similarities. Drew took months to walk and each stage was clearly defined. First he walked holding our hands, then just one hand, then walking back and forth between 2 people, etc. Ella never liked walking holding our hands and she didn't like trying to go between Mike and I. She literally learned to walk on her own, as if she was practicing secretly in her crib at night. My little independent woman!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Big Happenings...

The end is my climbing the stairs carrying two babies that is! First I will give you a rundown of how things work over here: Each day I dress the babies and pack the bag. Then I strap Ella to my hip with a little carrier contraption and pick Drew up. We walk down 2 flights of stairs and walk around to the back of the building. Then we go down 4 concrete steps to the basement. I load them in the stroller/SUV and lug it back up the steps to the sidewalk. We are off for the day and when we return home we do the whole thing in reverse. It takes a toll on me, especially when they are all bundled in their winter gear, or if I have to buy milk! Now that the guys are steady on their feet, I have been letting them hang in our gated area next to the building while I get the stroller out or put it back in the basement. What a difference - My back is thanking me. Have no fear, I can see them the entire time! So, the last time we did this, Drew walked all the way from the basement to the front door and climbed halfway up the first flight!! Woo Hoo!! So, you see, the end is near! Who needs elevators?!

The second announcement is that the city is redoing a park one block from us. Aside from a little boost to our property value - we will not need the stroller to get there! We only have to cross one street. It will be like having a back yard without having to mow it! I can't wait for it to be done!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

15 Months

15 months

Click on the pic to see an album...

15 Months already! This month Drew was featured in a full page ad for the Hospital in our city. He looked very cute and the ad is still being circulated in the local papers. Our little celebrity!
We continue to check off the milestones...Yes, Ella is walking, but she only walks a few steps here and there. She is very tentative. Both babies say mama, dada, and uh-oh. Drew also says "Whoa!" when he falls and Ella says "cak, cak" for a duck. They are practicing with forks and spoons and eating out of bowls. They continue to interact more and more everyday. They fight over toys frequently, but they also have nice moments of cuddling and laughing at each other. They both use anything as a phone, putting the object to their ear and saying "ahh" which sounds like "hello." They also can point to their hair, ear, teeth, tongue, heart, belly, knee and toes. Drew also discovered his nose and other people's eyes (Watch out Ella!!).
Ella continues to be a Daddy's girl and she loves to play with Mike. Drew is all mine! Good thing we have one for each of us!!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Too Cool!


Click on the pic to see more...

Ella found these glasses and has worn them most of the day since! She gets a little air about her when she has them if to say "Darling, can you bring me a glass of ice tea?"

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Trip to Mass

Click on the picture for an album.
We took a little trip to Virta Land as my mom was going into the hospital for a "little" procedure. She is doing great, thanks to all for the warm wishes and thoughts.
We had a nice visit and spent an afternoon with the NH cousins - Sid and Luke- at Nantasket Beach. It was a beautiful day. Dad treated us to a little dinner.
One of the best parts of the weekend was Uncle Mark helping with Ella and Drew. He may look like a big scary guy - but what a little teddy bear! Ella blew him kisses all weekend. Can't wait for the next visit.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Snack Trap

The "Snack Trap" is not a new addition to the house, but I haven't used it much, until now. The Snack Trap is a cup that allows the child to reach into the lid to pull out food without spilling it - well, in a perfect world. My kids aren't that coordinated or neat. But anyway, this cup is Ella's new best friend. I gave it to them yesterday while I was trying to make dinner. I filled it with those little puffed wheat cereal to keep them busy. Ella went crazy! She loves food, especially when she gets to hold it all and -gasp- carry it around! She was so proud walking and eating. Drew enjoyed it as well, but unfortunatly, most of his ended up on the floor - to Ella's delight!
What will they think of next?!