Sunday, November 1, 2009


I couldn't decide what our little guys were going to be and they weren't declaring any preferences (ha ha).
I ended up seeing some pajamas that I thought would work out well- they could wear them for Halloween and then sleep in them until they outgrow them.
Our big dilemma- found two cute styles. So we ended up having them dress up as both things on different days.
Our neighborhood had a little celebration for the kids, one of the local grocery stores had an event (we won a jar of candy by guessing closest to the right amount- only off by 4 pieces!), they went to a birthday party on Halloween morning( at a place that was all bounce house and air slides- ask daddy about trying to climb up the slide while carrying a boy!) and of course Halloween trick-or-treating itself.
So for the neighborhood event they were superheroes! If you are in the same age frame as I am you might remember "THE WONDER TWINS"
"form of an eagle" "shape of water" etc....

I made the patch for their costumes (and I think about all the homemade costumes my mom did and all I come up with is a patch???????)

They were skeletons for the birthday party and the grocery store trial run.
and for Halloween itself they had on both- it was a bit chilly so they had the skeletons underneath the superheroe costumes.
They had fun going to neighbors houses. They really didn't know why we were going, but they got the point that we would go to a house and get something.
They even started pulling us on to other houses. We only did about 8 houses w/ them and then we returned home to give out our treats.
They were too cute when we got home the barely got through the door before they sat down and dumped everything out of their treat bags to see what they got. They still didn't know it was something to eat, but they had tons of fun putting their "toys" in and out of their treat bags.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The pumpkin patch

Fall is here- Yeah!

Love this time of the year! Mom & Dad C came for a visit and we all took a trip up 400 to visit Uncle Shuck's Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch

We didn't do the corn maze this year- but can't wait till the boys are up for that!

But we did pick out a couple pumpkins and see some horses. The boys even got their first chance to sit on a pony and a tractor.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

closet cleaning

they are helpful when it comes to cleaning out the closet too....

Helpful boys pt 2

Do you remember when I said , "If only they could vacuum"?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Our boy's words

People asked me prior to our adoption some of what I would call "interesting" questions.

Like, "Will they speak English?" (the people actually meant at the time when we would meet for the first time!)

And ...the answer, they have been in a Chinese orphanage where everyone speaks Mandarin and also...the boys, at the time the conversation took place, were just barely a year old so not likely to be speaking any language.

We have now been a family for four months.
We have been amazed at how fast their comprehension of what we say has taken place. Now they are working on starting to learn to speak.

We definitely have Mama and Dada and good,good, good (yes its said 3 times....because mommy always says....mmmm that's good good good!)

We have moved up from just MMMMMMM to MI, for milk

We hear FI for five (as in high five or give me five)

Buh-bye- for the obvious

and as of yesterday we have NA NA for bananna

We just noticed that they say CA...for Car (Mommy's car....when we open the garage door to throw out those diapey's they see my SUV)

and BA for ball!

We are getting amazed day by day as they start to add more "words" to their vocabulary!

***Kids who have the primary language they hear change to another language usually have an adjustment period before they start speaking so we are actually surprised to hear so many "words" so early!

We have applied for the Early Intervention program in our state so that we can have a speech therapist give us additional help.

We have also been working on teaching them some signs to aide in communication in the

Their favorite sign is "more"- and they use this one a lot!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Snack Time!

Zachary enjoying his goldfish! Look at that smile! And he's so sweet, he's offering me one!
Yeah....goldfish! When we say, "Yeah!" We usually get clapping to go along with it. You can see I caught Zachary mid-clap.
We have been practicing some signs with them...Hunter, here, is signing for more.

Our boys love snacktime.

Monday, August 10, 2009

rub a dub dub

a boy in a tub, errr....a dog dish!
Hunter had me cracking up one day as he amused himself w/ Chloe's Dish

Our boys first kiddie pool adventure

taken 6/27.... we started w/ the pool under the deck to make it less bright for the boys.
now, we've moved the pool to the top, as they have decided they like to go out on the deck bright sun or not!

update on sleeping...

people have been asking if its gotten any better...

yes...and no.

Yes- now when they wake they aren't staying up for three hours

No- we seem to be doing more frequent wake ups

We had transitioned them to an earlier bedtime than what China had them on. We felt 9pm was just too late for such little guys. So now they go to bed by 8pm. They are out right away....Yeah!
But consistently 2 1/2 hours later they are up...or at least one of them is.

Last night went like this: in bed by sounds at all coming from the room by 8:05.

10:30- Hunter
10:45- Hunter again
11:30 - Zachary
12:47- Zachary
3:40- Zachary
6:10- Zachary (followed by last ditch effort of bringing him into our bed for a hopeful few more minutes of sleep)
6:30- Hunter (ditto to above note, but w/ Daddy getting him)
7:00- both boys officially awake

As you can see there is not a lot of sleep time in there for Mommy. We are continuing to try the recommendations from our adoption groups, but if this doesn't get any better we may have to look to some professionals.
(But, actually, this IS better than where we were a month ago....then they weren't going back to sleep in 10 minutes or was 2-3 hour periods of trying to get them quieted back this at least feels a bit better. I just wish I was the kind of person who could konk out the minute my head hits the pillow...but not the case. I am usually just drifting off when the next wake up call begins...sigh.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

To sleep, perchance to dream.....

Sleep, that has been our battle the last couple of weeks. Well, really since we have been home, but the last few weeks have been the worst of it.

In China they slept through the night.

Then we came home and we were exactly 12hrs different in time than where they previously lived. 2 in the morning, which would have been 2 in the afternoon became a key
"wakeup" time for them. In China their nap would have just finished so we understood it would take a while for that adjustment to take place.

Then we added in an 11:30 wakeup...why? we don't know.... It was mainly Zachary at first...but then Hunter joined in as well....Then we began adding a 4:30 wakeup....

It got worse and worse. By the end of last week I was at wits end.

We know w/ adoption you can have attachment issues. For anyone not has to do with if they ever bonded w/ anyone previously, and if they grieve for whoever they bonded w/, and hopefully over time they bond w/ you. Most families talk about really "feeling bonded" when the children have been with them longer than without them..... our kids were adopted at 15 based on that somewhere around 30 months we should really be in the groove bonding wise.

We have definitely started "attaching" the boys know who Mommy and Daddy are....and want us vs strangers.....they want us when they bang their head or just don't feel good. Actually right now they want us ALL THE TIME.... If they had their choice they would probably like to be carried around 85% of the time. Bath time and climb all over everything can't be left out as those are favorite activities so they would pass up the carrying for those!

But "anxious attachment" is usually a phase (that hopefully you get out of) that the kids go through when they don't want to be away from you. This seems to have come into play a bit during our nights recently. They want to be reassured that we are we have had nights where they wake up every 2 hours.....ughh!

Not such a happy mommy! could be a combination of things.....

they are still teething...w/ some major drooling going on these last two weeks....also a known culprit for sleep disruption. could be their growth spurt.....both boys have grown almost 2 inches and gained 2 lbs during the last 2 months......

Whatever it is hasn't been pleasant...

So finally I posted on an adoption site to see if other moms, especially those who had twins, had any ideas that worked...

A lot of people talk about just letting kids "cry it out" but w/ attachment concerns it's a fine line to walk. So that's why we went to those who have been through the same thing.

So we started trying a combination of ideas......

and whether it is what we are trying or if their teeth are not bothering them.....last night was fabulous!

One boy, Z, slept all the way through till 7:30am and the other, H, woke only 3 times and was solidly asleep by 1:30 am.....and he slept all the way through until 8:20 am!


Thank goodness! I really needed it last night as I had a migraine as well. Daddy took the first wakeup...and I got the next two and then I got to sleep in my own bed all the way until the morning!

I don't know if it is just a short reprieve or if we are turning the corner (we had not too bad of a night the night before as well).....but whatever it is I'll take it!

please.....everyone...say a little prayer that this continues....mommy likes to be functional, not a walking zombie....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Things you never knew could be fun...

Daddy came up w/ some new fun....the toilet paper sled!
Hey, why did the ride stop?

We see your belly Hunter!

I am just what my shirt says...toadally cute!

time for my closeup too mom!

Having children definitely changes your perspective. You see things in new ways. You become creative even if it is just in ways you entertain your children.

Toilet paper took on a whole new perspective this day..... it makes a really great indoor sled, soft and cushy for our little boys tushies!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Our Helpful Boys!

I know all toddlers do this.... but you can't blame me for being so proud.

They want to help w/ everything! The favorite activity right now is to help us by throwing something away in the trash.

Back when we had two dogs we moved our kitchen wastebasket out of the kitchen entirely. Our kitchen door opens into our garage w/ a step and then the garage floor. Since it was close, we moved the wastebasket onto that first step.

Well, the boys now help us by finding things to throw away! They love dropping whatever it is into the trash and then love to help us to close the door!

We think it is especially funny when it is diaper change time. Upstairs we have a diaper genie(love it!) But downstairs they just go into the wastebasket....and if it is a stinky one it gets bagged or double bagged in grocery store bags and THEN thrown in the our boys!

It really makes diaper change time truly special when as soon as you have taken off the diaper the other one gets excited and "offers" to throw it away.

Now...the boys aren't really talking...but for example Zachary or Hunter will grab the peepee diaper or the stinky bag and bring it to the back door holding the bag or diaper in one hand and banging on the door with the other! It is too cute!

We have been trying out asking them to help with other things and we are amazed at what they understand! I was changing Hunters clothes when I discovered he needed a diaper change (again- I had just done it a minute before so wasn't expecting it) I didn't have a diaper next to me, but Zachary was watching. Their changing mat has a few diapers stowed away in it and the mat was in reach so I asked Zachary to bring it to me. I didn't have to ask twice! He went over to the mat, picked it up and brought it to me with a big grin.

They also love to help clean up. Wiping their trays keeps them busy while I am cleaning up the floor after their meals.

I was dusting one day, and they saw me and both started making the noise they use when they want something. So I got them both cloths and they proceeded to wipe down the house! Now if they could only handle a vacuum!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Up and Running

It's official....actually it's been official for about a week.....both boys are walking on their own.

In China they both could walk by supporting themselves on something or by holding on to mom & dad's fingers.

Zachary started going solo shortly after we got home, but Hunter seemed to have no interest. Z would be toddling around exploring and H would either crawl around after him or would stay put and let Z go do his thing.

We started trying to get H to walk more, doing the....let's go walk around the kitchen routine grabbing his fingers and trying to get him to exercise those legs. He would usually do one or two laps around the island and then he would sit more please mom & dad.

Then one day when I put a pair of shoes on that we got in China, the infamous "squeaky" shoes, both boys finally decided to keep them on their feet. Prior to this we probably were able to keep shoes and/or socks on for only about 10 minutes. But this was our lucky day! The shoes stayed on. And when we started to practice walking around the island in the kitchen boy did the boys have fun!


round and round we went. Z walked behind me pushing me, and H holding on to my fingers just kept on going. Lap after lap! It was the most I had seen him walk, ever!

Well, a day or two later we put the squeaky shoes on him again.....after the boys brought them to us (hey mom....let's do this!) and H decided it was his time!

And unlike Z who started with a few solo steps at a time, H decided he could walk long distances. He just took off!

So now with or without the squeaky shoes both boys are going solo. Z is a bit steadier, understandably since he has about a month more solo walking under his belt...err shoes.

But H is doing fabulous. He "toddles" quite a bit early in the morning when his legs haven't quite woken up yet, but by later in the day he is looking almost as good as Z.

Today even his morning walking was looking pretty darn good. Daddy almost got fooled into thinking he was Z just because how smooth his gait was as he walked across the kitchen and over to daddy. It's funny when you are relying on those cues to tell them apart and suddenly they are not there!

note about squeaky shoes:

they are everywhere in China and boy are the prices great there! Leather ones are about $6-8(pleather and canvas are around $4-5)and when you are sick of the squeaking the squeakers are removable.
You can find them online as well but they are quite a bit more expensive....the leather ones up to about $40. I have also heard that you can find them in some of the China towns around the US. I think they don't sell them mainstream because the squeaker could be considered a choking hazard if it came out on it's own. Something to be aware of, but our boys really aren't interested in putting things in their mouth unless they are edible. (Or semi-edible like our dog's cookies....but that's another post.)

The great thing about them besides the fun motivation is that by having the squeaker in the heel of the shoe it promotes the kids to walk heel to toe instead of just on their toes as a lot of children do.

Our favorite spot in China for the shoes was "Sherry's Place" they seemed the nicest there. They had some real buttery soft leather ones that were good looking for boys. Most of the places had good ones for girls....if you are in Guangzhou shop around a bit before buying your first pair. Unless you want to be like us.....we bought a bunch in different sizes at a whole bunch of stores.

Our guys feet are small....size 3US right now so it was hard finding them that small. the first pairs we got were 4's and we thought they would work....but they ended up coming off w/out undoing the velcro and we realized we still needed smaller. We finally found the smaller size at Sherry's Place.

THE RUNNING IS STARTING TOO! Mommy is about to get in really good shape!

Friday, July 3, 2009


He has become a superhero in my eyes....


Daddy has been taking over the "goodnight" detail....and when he does it they go to bed super easy! Am I jealous? Nope......very thankful!

Prior to his taking over we had been trying a few different things to see what might work. Since we had been home it had been a bit of an ordeal. In China it was much quicker. Put them in the crib and a few minutes later they were down for the night....the whole night.

But we got home and the time change and the new adjustment to...everything put a kink in our boys sleep habits.

So we changed from putting them to bed at the time they went in China to trying putting them in 1/2 hour earlier hoping their fooling around (throwing bottles at each other and out of the crib, bouncing on the mattress, doing the free fall backwards onto the mattress- quite a few of their games made us wonder if we should have gone for one of the harder mattresses instead) would be out of their system by the time they should be sleeping.

Then we tried the dimming of the light in their room bringing them up when it was almost at full brightness and then gradually dimming it and putting them in the crib when we had it on the lowest setting.

Then we got a window tint for the window that is right next to the cribs. In our state it stays light till pretty late and the room darkening shade wasn't quite cutting it. And the boys liked to play w/ the shade....made me fear it falling on one of their heads! We still have the shade up, but now with the window tint the desire to flip the shade all around seems to have dissipated.

But we were still having issues getting them down for the night.

I would leave the room and a few minutes later we would hear bang! One of the bottles being thrown out ( they go to bed w/ an almost empty bottle...they usually drink the little bit of water we put in their when they first lay down. Prior to us....they had their nightly bottle of formula in the crib and we've moved the formula to earlier but have been unable to change the bottle habit). Then the wailing would begin. And this would go on for quite a while. I would leave then, bang- again!. some nights it could go on for an hour or more if I didn't pick the offender up and cuddle him till he fell asleep. And its a hard line you are walking when you are working on attachment with your children. You need to differentiate yourself from the type of "care" they received at the orphanage. The kids need to start trusting that you'll be there for their needs. In the orphanage cries can't be answered for all the kids....there just aren't enough hands.
So when they cry you need to be there. So the kind advice people recommended of just letting them cry isn't really appropriate one month after adoption.

anyway.....we were having a rough time but Daddy decided to give it a go on putting them to sleep. And lo and behold.....

just maybe one bottle throw and then they are out!!!!!!

Not for the night yet.....but it's a start!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

the switcheroo!

If they were older I would say it's intentional.

but they're not!

They've pulled a switcheroo again. They seem to be personality swapping these days.

They'll go for a number of days or weeks doing a certain thing, them all of a sudden both of them will do the exact opposite!

What changed this time?

Zachary used to wake up everyday being little mister sunshine.... I said he was just like me, a morning person, and Hunter was just like daddy...a slow starter and grumpy in the morning (sorry honey...but you know it's true!)

Well this week....el chango. It's been several days now, so I am curious how long this will last.

Hunter is ready to go get em and start playing and has a big smile on his face, while Zachary is in fuss mode. Just the opposite of what I had become accustomed to.

It really is interesting. It makes me wonder if there is a reason for it (like maybe Z is still not feeling well and now H is ??? ) They both were sick for a while. Z had a sinus infection and H had an ear infection. We go back to the Dr's Friday for the rest of their vaccinations and a check on what they had. They both were on med's for 10 days so we are hoping the infections are cleared up. Z still has a snoogery nose, but it might be allergies.

Even when they were sick they both had lots of energy and plenty of smiles.....gotta love these kids!


Monday, June 29, 2009

are they identical????

We have been asked that a lot.....
usually immediately followed by......How do you tell them apart?
Well, we don't know "officially" whether they are identical or not. And I grew up w/ friends (Hi MKB and EKD!) who are twins who people would swear are identical, but are fraternal.

But the boys look incredibly alike, so for now until for some reason we need testing..., we are going with the assumption that they are identical.

How do we tell them apart? The haircut! We had brought blue nail polish to china figuring we would have to paint one of their big toes and thumb so if we got confused we would have a quick way of determining who was who. But when we received them, they had been given very different haircuts.....something we had never even thought of.

Hunter was sporting much shorter hair all over w/ just his bangs left long.
Zachary had much longer hair all over and they left a tail!

The tail was cute in China....but we live in the south, and down here that is a sure sign of "red-neckage!"

So they tail had to go. Daddy took care of that early on when he gave both boys a bang trim, but the haircut from Grampy C was the first "'all over" hair cut they've received since being home.

There are other ways to tell....but they don't help you when they are moving fast. Which is most of the time.

Z has slightly chubbier cheeks

H has a little more of a double chin

Z and H tend to hold their mouths differently

and then of course there are the personality differences.

Z is more adventurous

H is more social

and right now they each have more of a mommy vs daddy preference ...w/ one of them prefering each of us....which works out well when we are both around.....because let me tell you it sure is hard carrying both of them!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

look what we can do...

boxes are can do so much with them!

ok daily they come up with something new....

Zachary has been doing this for a while, but today Hunter joined him as well.

Monday, June 22, 2009

In honor of Dad!

hey look how good we are doing w/ our sippy cups!

Zachary...styling like Grampa B!

ok, you HAVE to check out my sister's blog...specifically the father's day posts.

now you can look at this cutie and understand why I'm letting him wear this outfit.

He started the day off in khaki's and his shirt, but he needed a change and these were still out from the day before, so we put them on again in Honor of DAD!

he is styling, isn't he.....just like Grampa B!
BTW....they both can now get on the firetrucks by themselves....yeah!!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Grampy C gives the boys a haircut!

(out of order) it's Zachary's turn!
above is Hunter..check out the face he's making!

Zachary watches from the back...wondering "am I next?"

mmmm...what's this? Cherry!


So father's day weekend Grampy and Grammy C came for a visit.
The boy's got a haircut, followed by a lollipop!
We know the boys had had many haircuts before, as they didn't fuss too much w/ the clippers!

Hunter has more of a sweet tooth than Zachary. He got into the lollipop a lot more. We actually tried swapping flavors....but that wasn't it. Zachary just had a few tastes and that was enough for him.

Actually he probably would have been happier if we gave him some broccolli instead!

Both boys love their veggies!

Monday, June 8, 2009

6/5- riding in style!

One of Scott's friends gave us two fisherprice firetrucks.

The boys are having a ball with them!

These are the first ride on toy that they have been able to push around themselves (the leg ratio is right!)

At first they just wanted to play with the seat that lifts up and hear the music when we push the buttons.
But now they know they can ride!!!!!

These pictures aren't perfectly in focus....ok my standards have been let was their first attempt at riding and you can't recreate that!

Monday, June 1, 2009

the boys feed themselves on 5/27

The boys got their first chance to "officially feed themselves.
They have of course grabbed stuff w/ their hands while we have been feeding them, but this was the first time they have been totally solo.
Zachary is in the green and Hunter in the blue.
They enjoyed themselves!
ok here we go...

now what am I supposed to do with this again?

look mom, I am using both hands!

this is fun!

we might be getting the hang of this...

check out that level of concentration

mom, I found an easier way!

wow, am I a mess!