Monday, April 30, 2012


Like I mentioned before, our yard was pulverized by last year's drought. It was such a tragedy- we had just resod a nice big patch, watered it meticulously for several weeks, then trusted the rain to take care of it when we went on a three week vacation. Our faith was misplaced and we returned to a brown lawn that got worse by the month.

So, we're trying again! With no plans to leave our home any time soon, we bought a a whole mess of sod. But first, Sean got to rent a tiller to chew up the dirt (we've got some mighty packed earth over here!) and I spread out about a gazillion gallons of fertilizer (maybe it was only 20 or 30 but that seemed like a lot when I was mixing it up a gallon at a time).

Then the sod was laid! The beauty of green!

We originally bought 70 pieces- about all that would fit in the trunk- and that definitely wasn't enough. But we got it all laid out during nap time. Then a few days later, when Sean had a shorter day, we picked up the rest. We bought 50 more pieces, thinking that was an extrememly generous amount for what was left... but of course ended up about 5 pieces short. We still haven't finished it up.

But I'm still so happy, I [essentially] have a yard again! We have gone outside to play so much more and it makes me so glad.

And there's a couple other fellas that are liking it, too. All little boys deserve a yard in which to play, don't they?

Friday, April 27, 2012


The boys have this one jigsaw puzzle they love putting together. Honestly, we probably put it together at least two or three times a day. Not bad for a kids meal toy.

It has a bunch of animals on it they like to mimic, to count, colors to identify, plus some letters. OH, and there's a reverse-side puzzle of a giraffe!

They're getting really good at it. Sometimes they really surprise me when they can pick out pieces that go together. Other times though, when they're feeling less patient, they need a little guidance.

You better believe whoever has the last piece makes it a long, drawn out production of completing the puzzle.

But the instant that last piece is in, the kiss fight begins. Yes, I said kiss fight. They flop down and give those animals a good smooch, all while trying to edge out their brother.

There's serious head nudging happening, people. And they inevitably muss up the puzzle a bit, but that's okay because they like to "fix it." Or scramble it all up and stuff the pieces back in the now severely worn down cardboard box. So begins a life of puzzles.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

You Are a...


I already know I make awesome boys, so this is great!

We are so set on clothes.

Time to work on a name... boy names are hard...

Would you like to meet him? Via ultrasound? (I'll keep private the one that proves he's a boy, thank you very much)
baby boy 3 at almost 20 weeks 006
Look at that beautiful profile! It's amazing how much easier it is to get a good profile picture when there's only one baby in there. He totally looks like Dash and Liam.

baby boy 3 at almost 20 weeks 005e
Wait, he's an alien! You can see the eye orbits as he's looking directing at the camera, plus a little bit of the mouth.

baby boy 3 at almost 20 weeks 004e
And here's his alien face with his forearm coming up to play peekaboo.

baby boy 3 at almost 20 weeks 003e
I don't completely understand what's going on in this picture, I just know that there's a calf sticking out with a foot attached to it, with the other calf supposedly behind it with the other foot. The rest, dunno.

baby boy 3 at almost 20 weeks 007e
Can you touch your toes to your forehead? I can't. But my little baby boy can! Can you see how he's curled up? He's just getting cozy. In fact, he got so cozy and low that the ultrasound tech couldn't get a read on the bottom of the spine, so I get another quick peek next visit. Little boy's getting tricksy already!

All my other boys were there and had a grand ol' time. The office is way up high so we got to look at cars and trains and airplanes while we waited. In the ultrasound room, they sat happily on dad's lap, eating their grapes, pointing at "bebe." We also did a quick visit to Sean's current workplace where there's a big toy train display, plus a quick look at the hospital where I'll deliver (it's a fancy new hospital solely for pregnancy and delivery. Tres posh). AND we went out for a celebratory dinner at Ruggles in Rice Village (mmm that white chocolate bread pudding!) and walked around for a long while.

Oh golly I love this family of mine. Can you believe I'm going to have another Liam and Dash? It's slowly sinking in and always getting more exciting!

(P.S. This totally counts as my Thursday post)

What Are You?

(Note: (1) I got my hair cut that day, I cannot curl my hair to look like that to save my life, (2) I shouldn't hold my hands like that, it looks like I'm just squishing belly fat together, (3) I can't find my maternity clothes! Agh! I am very much in need of them NOW. Where did I hide them?)

TODAY TODAY TODAY we find out the gender of our baby! Yay!!!! Any guesses?

Sean is leaning towards boy, and me? I guess I'm leaning towards girl. Probably because the birth order for the first three children on both Sean and my side goes boy, boy, girl (just the fourth kid [me] is different). And both those third-in-the-line-up girls are awesome, so it'd be cool to have a girl be our third. But so would a boy! (do I really have to even mention that? I obviously already love me some baby boys)

Oh, did you just ask how I'm feeling? How kind of you to care! The nausea and tiredness are subsiding (although, I think I'm just getting used to feeling tired all the time). My headaches, like I've mentioned before, are in full gear- it's a blessed day when I don't have to take any Tylenol. Some other symptoms as follows:
  • Feeling the baby move! I first felt the babe right after my last appointment, about a month ago. I was really concentrating on detecting movement and thought a felt some flutters in the right area. I did the same thing every day with the same result, so I figured it was really the baby. Then it's just grown and become more frequent. I always feel it move when I'm sitting or laying down and Sean's been able to as well! What was fun with the twins' pregnancy, I'd feel lots of movement because there was twice as much going on, but I couldn't really decipher who was doing what. So what's fun with this pregnancy, I can really grasp what movement the baby's doing to cause what I feel- if I feel bumps on opposite sides, I know he/she is doing an wicked kick-punch move.
  • Drool. Just like last time, I cannot stop myself from drooling the instant I drift toward sleep. Super ridiculous. And wet. Gross.
  • Light sleeping. My goodness, I just wake up at anything. Sean mumbles? I'm awake. Pogo rustles her dog bed? I'm awake. The neighbor dog barks? I'm awake. And of course I have to pee. It's become something of note if I wake up and realize I slept through the night. I think I need sleep training.
The whole crew is going to be at the ultrasound, so I hope Liam and Dash will do alright.
I'm sure they'll be on their tip-toes again to see their new sibling on the screen. Oh we can't wait!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Easter Eggs Aren't Getting Old

When Dash and Liam see the bucket of plastic Easter eggs, they're bound to shout out, "eye!" What do they mean by that? They mean this:
Behold, "eye!"

Sean did this to himself and then the boys were anxious to try. I didn't think it'd work but we did it!

I see you...

Whenever they try both eyes, the second one pops off right away. It just takes too much to do two, I guess.

Doing the Eye trick isn't all plastic Easter eggs are good for, they're also a great toe accessory.

It's like steel-toed boots without the boots. Great protection for the tootsies. Plastic eggs, what would we do without you?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Boys' Buildings

Is it just built-in as part of boyhood to love building tall towers?

And then to grow into daddyhood and build cool bridges for your kids?

I hope so, because it is a splendid quality.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Colors and Shapes

I think it's so funny how most of the words in my kids vocabulary consists of letters and colors and (some) numbers. They know what all sorts of things are called - they always know what I'm talking about - but they just don't say them much. They've actually started indicating things by their color. Especially their drink cups. They're very helpful descriptors, after all. So here's Dash and Liam showing their color and shape know-how.
Pretty awesome, right? He's so good, he thinks it's funny to get them purposely wrong, like at the beginning of the video. I think all the colors they know are on that puzzle. In case you couldn't hear any of them, here's how they pronounce each one:
Rrrrruh = red
Ohhh-rah = orange
Ya-ya / La-la = yellow
Gnnn = green
Boo = blue
Puh-puh = purple
Puh = pink
Wwwwwah = white
Kack = black
Bouw = brown

Here's Liam doing some colors and shapes:
It's great how I'm teaching them that a pentagon is actually called a hexagon. Sheesh. I guess he just recognized the "-gon" part. But that's pretty darn great, isn't it? My kids are such smarties.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


"Yes I do have a PhD in Astrophysics, why do you ask?"

"Oh dear, I seem to have misplaced my glasses again..."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

But they're alike too

Here's a story: Saturday morning, the boys woke up so we woke up. We did our little get-ready routine before going to get kids, as we do every day. As I'm in the shower, I hear Sean gasp, "oh my goodness!" and him sprinting from the bathroom. Which was then followed by a fit of Sean's shocked giggles. I peeked my head out and beheld a naked Liam walking into our room followed soon after by a naked Dash.

Yes, these little boys not only stripped down from their pajamas and diapers (something they had begun the day before at naptime) but also escaped their crib and their room and made it to ours. Both of them! 

Unfortunately, they're still in diapers for a reason and there was some clean-up involved. The boys often get excited about switching out their bed sheets and that day wanted to get in each other's cribs once we had cleaned them up. So when they wanted out, we asked them, "how did you get out of your crib?" and they showed us (until we stopped them). Dash lifted one leg until it reached above the railing and eased it over, so it seems he sort of rolled over the railing on his side. Liam's method was to reach over to the outside of the railing, grab ahold of the vertical slats and hike up his legs (picture a male gymnast going into a handstand on the rings, except with a crib railing). So he must have gone for a nice flip dismount, which is horrifying to imagine.

Knowing what I know about each boy, I'd guess that Dash led the charge to strip down while Liam spearheaded the escape plan. They were examples for each other.


It's really surprising yet completely not surprising the level in which they influence each other. And despite all the differences between them, they are so similar. I really had to think hard for several days to come up with that list. Here's a quick, off-the-top-of-my-head list to celebrate their influences and similarities:

Whoever starts saying a word first sets the precedent on how to say it. What's why we say Dash's "ohhh-ah" for orange and Liam's "puh" for pink.

Dash entered the no-clothes phase on his own but after seeing his brother strip down, Liam was at it in a couple of hours.

If they're both playing with a rock and one of them shows me theirs, the other one then needs to show me theirs, too.

How often a toy is left in the middle of a play session because one boy saw his brother pull out a new toy and they just love to do what each other is doing.

They both just love finishing a puzzle. When they do they shout in glee and draw an air circle around the completed picture, expecting much applause and admiration.

They influence each other to eat their snacks really fast... so that their brother won't get a chance to mooch. 

Once one boy pulls out a book, goodness gracious, the book party has begun!

If one boy brings a toy to a meal, you better believe I hear about it from his brother until he has a toy too.

After we started talking to them about having a new baby sibling, Liam started using "bee-bee" as his chit chat word. After a few days, Dash adopted it too.

Dash started jutting out his jaw a long time ago, after a month Liam started too. That's what I call a "long con" influence.


The copy catting at mealtime is rampant. Whether it be playing peekaboo or wanting to hold a parent's hand or putting their milk cups on their head or shooting grapes out of their mouths, they do what their brother does.

It's really great when, during clean up, one boy starts helping because he sees his brother doing it.

When the whole family is walking together, one boy will inevitably want to be picked up. His brother will want to be picked up the moment he sees the new situation.

I think they really help each other learn. When I'm trying to teach them a new word or a sign or a sound, having one of the boys pay attention helps the other to focus too. Hearing/seeing his brother say/do the new thing helps him figure it out. Plus, they always want to show off what they've learned so one boy's showing off cues the other to do the same- good practice!

Probably my favorite- if one boy comes to give me a hug or kiss, the other wants to as well. Parenthood's the best.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I think it's time again to celebrate the differences between our precious twin boys. I'm always learning what these two are like and how to describe them. It's really hard to pick out adjectives, I think, because they're a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I think I feel safe in saying that Dash is slightly more independent than Liam, who really enjoys being a part of the action. That's not an all-or-nothing statement at all, that's just the way they lean- Liam certainly has his moments of independence and Dash enjoys his time in the group. Here's some examples of how my boys are not exactly alike. (Photo guide: Dash in blue, Liam in green)

If anyone gets bitten by a mosquito, it’s Dash.

When Liam makes a nice splash in the bathtub, he’ll lean over the side to check if Mama’s pants are wet.


When Dash begins a frustration tantrum, he usually doesn’t want to be handled at all. If you touch him, it makes him cry and flail worse. I just have to wait until he comes to me, then he’s ready for a cuddle. Liam does this too but it’s more often with Dash.


Liam often does things in order to please his parents, to make them proud. Dash often does things in order to please himself, to make himself proud. (There’s cross-over, of course)

Dash’s laugh is most often a giggle. Liam’s laugh is usually very big (and occasionally even seems forcedly so).


Liam can be tickled all day but Dash has a limit.

I think Dash may prefer independent play and Liam may prefer group play. Many times, Liam is found joining an activity and Dash leaving an activity for something he can do alone (or with just a parent).


Liam has a habit of keeping all recently used toys in his possession because they’re obviously now his property and no one else can use them. Dash has a habit of leaving recently used toys nearby, forgetting about them, but then getting very upset when his brother uses it.


Liam is very eager to put things away when I mention it (even if sometimes it is for the sole purpose of dumping them out again). Dash chooses which items he decides to be eager to put away.

Liam almost always applauds me after I sing a song.


Dash is often very quick on picking up sign language. Many times I can show him a sign once and he’s got it.

Liam is ready to get out of the tub at a certain point after the clean-up is done. Dash wants to stay until the last drop of water has drained.

When given a plate of mixed broccoli and cauliflower, Dash will eat the cauliflower and Liam will eat the broccoli (or maybe it’s vice versa?).


Liam’s usually pretty consistent in his volume, very vocal and happy. Dash is sometimes very quiet and sometimes extremely loud (just ask him what a lion says… if he’s in the mood).

Similarly, when Dash gets in a particularly silly mood, it’s very noticeable because it can be such a striking difference from his often slightly subdued demeanor. Liam gets quite silly too but it’s more in the range of his usual behavior.

Those are my boys!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Climbing the Walls

When I saw Liam try to climb up the wall, I thought, "well, that's not going to happen."

And then he did it.

Spiderman was well-pleased with himself.

Dash saw and tried to climb, too.

He did not succeed.

Non-spiderman was annoyed.

(Don't worry, we showed him how and now they can both climb walls! Whee!)

Friday, April 13, 2012


It's been an all-over-the-board sort of few weeks, what with Sean going back to work and everyone getting sick at various points. And I have just a handful of photos from the little bits of here and there and everywhere:
A) We watched General Conference a couple weekends ago and it was wonderful, as expected. My favorite came from Elder Wilson of the 70, who said (1) Wise parents prepare their kids to get along without them, (2) Parents have to help kids establish their own connection to heaven, and (3) The best thing we can give kids is our confidence that they will make it. That weekend was also the boys' grumpy phase of their sickness, so there were many hard-to-hear moments. When I got to that point with my own cold a few days later and I was working on a four-day giant sinus headache, I understood why they weren't the perkiest. Still, apparently Elder Holland can hold the saddest child captive with his powerful yet gentle messages.

B) I usually try to give Dash and Liam some kind of healthy, fruity snack but this day, I just let them have peanut butter ritz and craisins. They obviously thought it was delightful. They had some craisins a few days ago again and I gave them one bowl to share. Dash got engaged in a toy and Liam gobbled down the whole thing. Dash noticed just as Liam consumed the last piece. So I added more to the bowl and handed it to Dash, Liam wanting to immediately take possession again. So Dash ran all the way to our room, into the closet, and shut the door between him and his brother. That's one way to keep all the snacks to yourself.

C) Our boys are still quite fond of frogs (and all animals, frankly), so when Sean found a frog while moving some bricks, Liam and Dash stared excitedly at that little croaking lump in Daddy's hand for so long. Then we found another yesterday, buried in the sand of their sandbox actually (I'm so glad it didn't get squished!).This time we let them each take a turn holding the frog in their hands for a few seconds. They were very calm and still during it all, they were perfect. My worries for the frog's life proved baseless.

D) Time with Daddy is everyone's favorite part of the day. He reads and plays games and builds stuff and does all the fun boy things that these toddlers love. And I like to look at his handsome face. A win-win situation for everyone! (oh, and FYI, Sean now seems pretty set on a future of Pediatrics!)