Friday, April 30, 2010

The closest to perfect

Of the 232 pictures on our DVD from Valli, Gracie and Lukie are only looking at the camera in about 7. Of those, they are looking at the camera at the same time in only 2. This one is my absolute favorite. I think it captures them perfectly!

You can tell Lukie is just about ready to jump out of Daddy's arms. Gracie is determined NOT to smile.

Sigh. It will be a battle forever, I know.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Nana's Christmas-Birthday-Mother's Day Present

Every Christmas, I struggle to figure out what to buy Nana. She is already a great shopper and has pretty much everything she will ever need. Nothing ever seems quite right when I see it in the store and I'm always at a loss for what to pick.

This Christmas, I decided to do something I knew she really wanted. I contacted Valli at Visions Photography and asked her if I could set up a photo shoot with Nana and the entire family, all fourteen of us. Valli was totally excited because she photographed Aunt Bec's wedding and took Gracie and Lukie's 2 month pictures. She couldn't wait to see everyone again.

On Aunt Bec's birthday, we all met Valli at a park for our pictures. It was a beautiful day; the colors of the trees, grass and sky were especially brilliant that day. Despite a serious lack of cooperation from the smallest members of our family, we do have a few pictures to share. I won't share all of them, because what is the fun in that?

Here are a few of my favorites:

All fourteen of the Cook-Uribe-Arteaga-Uribe Family

Nana and all of her grandchildren

There are something like 232 pictures on the DVD Valli gave me so I'll be back to share a few of Gracie and Luke soon. What I think is so amazing is how different all of the kids look. You can't even tell they are related! (especially the twins!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Attack of Gracie's Hair

She used to look like this:

And then like this:

But now, her hair is just out of control!

You have to ENLARGE this photo to get the full affect of her hair.

Where did it all come from?? She use to have 6 hairs blowing in the wind and now I have to put her hair up at night so that it doesn't get tangled as she sleeps.

I think I need to get it cut.

That is, if she'll sit still for the stylist.

Boys have a penis. Girls have a vagina.

Oh, yeah. I went there.

I read a lot of things about describing body parts when Gracie and Luke were super little. Pretty much every expert agreed that giving "cutsy" names to body parts would only serve to confuse the Twinsies and lead to confusion in their communication with adults. So, when Lukie pointed down and said, "What's that, Mommy?" I was honest.

"It's your penis, Lukie."
"My penis?"
He asked me about 50 more times, but I won't bore you with the back and forth.

Once Lukie knew what his special body part was called Gracie got in on the action. "What's this, Mommy?"
"It's your vagina, Gracie." (I know they are labia, but I opted for vagina. Sue me. She's my daughter.)
"V. Vvvvagina."
"My bagina?" And so forth.

Our discussion of the penis and vagina led to a discussion of boys versus girls. I am happy to report that both Gracie and Luke are able to correctly identify everyone in their lives by their gender.
Mommy = girl
Daddy = boy
Lukie = boy
Gracie = girl
Tio Freddy = boy
Baby Emmy = girl
and so on...

The fun part is that they love to say "penis" and "vagina." So much so, that Daddy has been incredibly embarrassed in front of nurses at Kaiser.

Please excuse my cellphone video.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How do kids grow if they only eat fruit and chips?

I don't know how other moms do it. Feed their children, I mean. Lukie usually eats okay, but Gracie...I'm stunned the girl is even growing. They don't seem to like 90% of what we make for them to eat and it gets more and more frustrating each day.

So what will they eat?

Pears, bananas, yogurt, chips (Flaming Hot only), grapes, occasionally strawberries, meat (most kinds). Anything on Mommy and Daddy's plates (even if it is also on their plates)

Oh, and chocolate milk. Sometimes regular. Usually not.

What won't they eat?

Anything with sauce on it. Anything with bread surrounding it. Anything Mommy and Daddy proclaim as amazing.

I guess I should be thankful they are eating something other than fruit snacks and Goldfish crackers like last year. One thing that is a definite "They Will Eat It, yay!" item is String Bean Chicken and Chow Mein from Panda Express. We went there tonight. Mainly because 2 of our 2 children haven't eaten well in the last 3 days (I think we have a stomach bug).

See? They love food from "The Panda."

They usually eat everything on their plates. Yes, everything. I bet if they thought they could get away with it, they'd ask to go every night.

I know eating out is not good for them. Homemade meals are always better. However, when you have Twinsies who don't eat 90% of what you put in front of them, desperate times call for desperate measures.

And I'm feeling particularly desperate lately.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Where the Heck are Gracie and Lukie?

Oh, stop! Have you really been asking that question? Really?

Some of you actually have. To be honest, we've been right here. I've thought almost every day about coming to update, but honestly, I've been enjoying Gracie and Luke too much to take the time. I apologize for that. Prepare to be bombarded with news!

Item 1: Learning, Learning, Learning
Daycare, also known as preschool, has been a ton of fun lately. I can tell because the laundry I've been doing is full of dirt, finger paints, glue and feathers. We've received weekly reports on the Twinsies. Apparently, they sometimes remember their numbers, sometimes remember their shapes, and sometimes remember their colors. Which is weird, because they always remember them with me. Hmmmm. Performance anxiety? I don't know. We've also tried our hand at potty training. But let's face it. Gracie and Luke are just not ready. They think the potty is exciting, but unless someone runs them there, they will happily pee in their pants. Not fun. They like underwear, though, so we'll keep trying them on.

Item 2: Talking, Talking, Talking
I can remember when I wished Gracie and Luke could express themselves. I no longer need to wish for that. Both of them are very good at communicating (when they want to) and their vocabulary is changing like crazy. I've been a bit sad, actually. Other people's kids mispronounce things in cutsy ways. Not Gracie and Luke. The most exciting thing they mispronounce is "strawbaberries." Well, there is Lukie's pronunciation of anything with an "r" sound in it. For example: "dey-er" (there). They've gotten so good at talking, I thought I would interview them.

Item 3: Playing, Playing, Playing
During Spring Break, I took Gracie and Lukie to the park almost every day. It was great to get out and we tried to go to a different park each time. Some trips were more successful than others. I counted any trip where we got back into the car in one piece as a success. Of course, I noticed somethings while visiting the park: 1) Lukie only likes to play with Gracie, but at the park, he's a total loner. 2) Gracie could make friends with the meanest person on the planet and they'd smile and play with her for an hour.

Item 4: Singing, Singing, Singing
Just as their vocabulary has exploded, their singing has too. They have many songs memorized and love to sing. We do have to hear "Round and round" about 50 times when Gracie gets stuck on "The Wheels on the Bus". By far, the best is "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." Gracie says, "Bup, a-bup the world so high..." Lukie likes to make up his own songs. Daddy and I sit there trying to translate. I'm afraid we just don't speak "Lukese." Although, yesterday, his song sounded like "A Fed-co," but then, how would he know about Fedco? They closed before Ed and I even got married. Here's their latest favorite. A song I sing just for them.

I have lots more to share, but I don't want to overwhelm you!

Happy 10th Birthday!

There's nothing better than bringing cupcakes and having free dress on your 10th birthday! These two were so excited that they kept r...