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!