Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cosmic Bowling!

We all went Cosmic Bowling yesterday and the Twincredible Twosome and Reid all loved it!!  We were all amazed at how well they took turns, and how much fun they had!  Of course, we had bumpers along our lane, and we used a ramp to help the kiddos roll the ball, but they all figured it out right away.  Ross thought he was at a disco and danced in the lights whenever it wasn't his turn, and Riley appointed himself the manager and tried to lift and carry the ball for everyone whether it was his turn or not. 


Riley taking his turn, and Ross dancing in the lights.


Ross taking his turn, and Riley overseeing his "brudder".



Gorgeous Reid taking his turn.


Bowling and dancing can wipe you out!  Ross is exhausted.


Riley insisted on carrying the ball for himself and Ross, and wore himself out!

Reid relaxing with some water after a hard game of bowling!

It really was a lot of fun!  Riley talked about it for the rest of the day, and I think listening to him and his new vocabulary was almost as much fun:

Riley:  Mommy, we went "balling" today!  It was so much fun!
Me: I know, Ry!  It was fun!  What was your favorite part?
Riley:  Knocking down all of those "pens" with that heavy ball.  My arms are tired.
Me:  You are so strong!  What else did you like?
Riley:  I like watching the ball come back to me in the little tunnel.  Why it do that?
Me:  The balls come back so we can all keep bowling!  What else was fun?
Riley: I found a little hairdryer when I was waiting for the ball to come back.  I put it under my shirt to blow on my chest.  That was nice. 
Me: Oh.....(He loved the fan on the ball return, and he also loves hair dryers....go figure!)

Happy New Year!   Ross, Riley and I wish you all a year filled with love, peace, health, and happiness!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our First Time Playing in the Snow!!

For the past couple of winters, it has been enough of a challenge just maneuvering the two boys in and out of the car safely, let alone trying to figure out how to let them actually play in the snow. Neither of them were walking well enough, or with sufficient balance to handle slippery, uneven surfaces, and the whole activity seemed overwhelming and dangerous. This year, though, the boys are totally ready! Today was our first real snowfall and after making an emergency run to buy boots (talk about UNprepared!), the boys enjoyed their first taste of playing in the snow. We spent most of the day running errands and just played outside for a few minutes right before coming in for dinner, so these photos were taken at dusk.


















Then, we came inside and Riley suggested that since it was already getting dark, we should just get into our jammies for the night and have a pajama party! Sounded like a great idea to me! So, we had a nice evening, all cuddled in warm jammies, relaxing before bedtime.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Preemie Profile and Halloween Pictures and a Video

November is Prematurity Awareness Month and the Twincredible Twosome are being featured as part of a month long series on amazing preemies! They have been selected for the "Preemie Profile" for November 4th at http://www.growingyourbaby.com/. Please go check it out!

The boys had a terrific time on Halloween! Riley was Thomas the Train and Ross was an alarm clock! They had went Trick or Treating and had a party at school and went Trick or Treating again with their cousin, Reid. They both loved it this year!









Finally, Ross has never been interested in eating candy. He has issues with different foods and textures and candy has never been something he has liked. However, my sister is a chocoholic and desperately wants all children to love chocolate. So, here is a hilarious video of how she taught Ross to love chocolate on Halloween! Be sure to turn up your volume!
(I wish she could do this with a vegetable!!)

video

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Our Very First Giveaway Contest!

Have you ever noticed the super-cute curly haired kid in some of our pictures? That’s my nephew, Reid. He and his mom (my sister) have helped to put together my first blog contest. You have the chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Godiva (yum!) OR a $25 gift certificate to restaurants.com (check the website to see all the places you can choose if you win this one).


Reid is a wonderfully fun, very loving little guy who has a pretty severe case of Childhood Apraxia of Speech. Apraxia is a relatively rare neurological disorder where the brain knows what it wants to say, but the message gets mixed up on its way to the mouth. It’s a motor-planning disorder that presents very similarly to what can happen after an older adult had a stroke. Reid works very hard at speech therapy 5 times each week to learn to talk. He is making great, albeit very slow, progress toward verbal speech.

Since Apraxia is so rare and because people often associate lack of verbal language with significant cognitive delays (which is not the case with Reid or with most Apraxics), it is important to Reid’s mom to spread the word about the disorder. The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA) is having an event to do just that. The Walk for Children with Apraxia is a 1.5 mile family friendly walk that will take place on October 17th in Pittsburgh. There are 12 other similar walks occurring around the country as well. CASANA is a non-profit organization that works to raise awareness about Apraxia and also supports the research necessary to better understand Apraxia and determine what therapy strategies are most effective.

My nephew’s walking team, Reid’s Rockstars, would like to raise as much money as possible to support this cause. That’s where this contest comes in.

To enter, please visit Reid’s team website (www.apraxia-kids.org/pittsburghwalk/reid ). You’ll see that the Twincredible Twosome and I are already signed up…we can’t wait!  But, we wanted to do more. So, please click on “General Team Donation” and consider donating to support CASANA. You get one entry into the contest per $3 donation (since Reid is 3 years old). For each $3 increment you donate, please leave a separate comment on this post. (Example, donate $9, leave 3 comments, earn 3 entries)

Winners will be determined by random.org and I will contact winners via e-mail. Please leave a valid e-mail address when you make your comment. The first winner will receive the Godiva certificate and the second will receive the restaurants.com certificate. The contest will close on October 16th at midnight and the winners will be drawn whenever the Twincredible Twosome wake me up that following morning.

Feel free to send me an e-mail with any questions and pass on this site and this contest to your friends!

Let’s see how many people we can get to support this very worthwhile cause and help my nephew’s team to meet their fundraising goal. Thanks!


Monday, September 28, 2009

We LOVE Preschool!!

Thank you so much to all of our wonderful friends who have been emailing and asking when I was going to do another blog update! I love that you are all so interested in what the Twincredible Twosome is up to and I apologize for taking so long to post something!



The boys have started preschool and they LOVE it! In fact, they love it so much that on weekend mornings, I am often faced with two tearful boys, standing at the front door in their pajamas, with their backpacks on, demanding that I take them to school! I am so grateful that they have adjusted so well to the new routine, and feel so confident and comfortable at school.

Of course, on the first day, I had to take lots of pictures!!

Getting ready to leave on the first day of school!

We're on our way!
(They refused to carry their back packs that day....they insisted that Mommy should do it!)

Look how excited!

As soon as they arrived, they were busy with lots of fun stuff to do. Ross found these pretend birthday cakes and immediately began to sing "Happy Birthday"

Riley took some time to wander around and check out the whole room.

(I actually took more pictures of them in the classroom, but I need to be careful about which ones I post because some of the other kids in the class appear in them. I don't feel that I have the right to post pictures of anyone else's child online without their permission.)

The preschool that the boys are attending is a LEAP preschool, which means that it is a special classroom designed for children with autism spectrum disorders and typical children to learn together. Most LEAP classrooms have 4 children on the autism and spectrum and 8 typical children. The classroom operates just like a regular preschool, except that the kids on the autism spectrum receive the additional support they need to be successful. This is the perfect setting for the Twincredible Twosome, because Ross and Riley can both attend together!

So, here is a quick summary of what they have been up to so far in school:

They are both learning so much already! They both come home and tell me new things about their day all the time. One of the most exciting things is that almost every day, Ross comes home singing a new song! After just one day, he is almost always able to sing the entire song and sings it over and over all evening. I can usually understand some of the words, but not always. We all know that music is the way his little brain learns best, and he is just soaking it all up. In fact, he is now singing in his sleep! Several times over the past couple of weeks, I have been awakened around 3am to hear him singing, loudly, and gone into his bedroom to find him sound asleep, with his pacifier in his mouth, singing at the top of his lungs!

They both made the most beautiful "All About Me" books! (Ok, so I might be a little biased....). It was so much fun to read through the books with the boys and let them tell me all about a project they made at school! On the last page, there were photos of all of the kids in their class, and Riley was able to name all of them, and Ross was able to name a few. They also love it when then bring home artwork and get to pick out a spot to hang it up! I love seeing how proud they are and especially enjoy if they are able to tell me a little bit about what they made.

Today, Ross actually blew me away by telling me how to spell his name! He was drawing a picture and when I went to write his name on it, he very specifically told me "R-O-S-S." I had no idea that he knew that! Then, just to make sure he really knew what he was doing, I asked him what it spelled and he said "Ross!" I am so proud of him!

The boys are starting to interact with the other kids at school, although Riley is clinging to Ross pretty tightly. The teacher and staff are so amazing and have already come up with great strategies to help them separate from each other. As one of therapists said, "They are like peanut butter and jelly, they just stick to each other!" So, at meals and circle time, they don't sit next to each other now and have to sit with a new friend. Ross is still not choosing to play with the other kids on his own yet, but Riley is starting to play with some of them. In fact, this weekend, Riley has been talking a lot about one of the boys in his class.

Riley has napped twice, but usually he just lays down to rest for a little bit. Ross, though, lays down at 1pm each day and falls into an immediate sleep for a full hour! He is the only kid in the entire class who naps! Some of you may remember that Ross is the child who has had MAJOR issues falling asleep at home. I spent $150.00 on a weighted blanket for him, to help him calm down at night, he still needs his pacifier to sleep in his own bed, and I had to remove all distractions from his bedroom!!! At school, though, he lays down in the middle of a busy, noisy classroom, without his pacifier and instantly falls asleep. Unbelievable!

Riley is trying lots of new foods and eating the school lunches many days. Ross has tasted a couple of new foods, but pretty much just eats what I pack for him. Not a whole lot of progress yet with him and new food textures.

All in all, they are just doing amazingly well! They are happy, enjoying school, and that makes for a happy and grateful mommy!

Since it has been so long since I have posted, I thought I would throw in a few more pictures of the boys just being silly together!

Random cuteness....Ross fell asleep in the car the other day. His TSS carried him into the house and he stayed asleep in this exact position sitting on the couch for about 10 minutes and then woke up giggling.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Funny Faces and a Song

The Twincredible Twosome and I are continuing to enjoy our summer vacation! They did a wonderful job at "preschool" which was actually just a brief introduction to get them ready for their real preschool which begins in September. Although all three of us struggled a bit with separation at first, they quickly adjusted and had fun. The biggest challenge became getting them to let go of one another, literally, and finding ways for them to stop holding hands! Even though it is adorable, it is a bit tough to play on the playground, do art activities, and eat a snack while holding onto your brother's hand. The staff was great about finding ways to help them separate from each other for brief periods of time, but they understood that the boys have rarely been apart from each other and are each other's security.


Lately, the boys have been experimenting with making funny faces and tonight I managed to capture some of them, just because they look so cute!

ROSS


RILEY



Finally, I have been meaning to capture Riley singing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" on video for a while now. I tried to get Ross singing one of his many, many wonderful songs but he was not in the mood to sing on camera this evening. He did, however, make lots of monkey noises in the background while Riley was singing. Turn up your sound!

video

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday!! (and our first day of school)

How is it possible that the Twincredible Twosome are three years old already? Where has the time gone? Ross and Riley had a wonderful birthday! They partied with some friends at the Recreation Station over the weekend. Then, on their actual birthday on Tuesday, we checked out the trains and the laser show with our family at the Science Center and had cake and presents at home.



Riley filling up his car with gas at the birthday party.

Ross playing at the birthday party.

Two gorgeous three year old smiles!


Blowing out their candles!


The boys were showered with love and tons of beautiful gifts. We can't thank everyone enough for all of the wonderful things they gave the boys, and for sharing in our celebrations with us!


Ross is becoming quite the musician and is totally in love with his new guitar and drums. He has been playing non stop since he got them!


Riley has been driving his new Thomas playhut all over the house, only stopping to ride his new Thomas bike, play with one of his new Thomas trains on his new track, use his new Thomas flashlight, stick his Thomas stickers on things ............you get the idea. He finally exhausted himself and fell asleep under this beautiful train blanket that my dear friend Patti Lou made for him:


The day after their birthday was also a special day for Ross and Riley! It was their first day of school! They are going to a "playgroup" preschool this summer, one day a week, in preparation for starting preschool in the fall. It was a very exciting morning as we got ready:



Riley with his back pack.


Ross with his back pack.


Riley excited to go to school!


Ross with his backpack off, ready to stay home and play some more music!

Although the boys struggled a bit with separating from Mommy, they did have a great first day of school! Riley decided that he going to stick as close to Ross as possible and whenever anyone suggested that he play with the other kids, he very politely responded with, "No, thank you. Just Rossy, please." That's twins for ya, I guess! I think we'll need to work on that, though.

Let's see who is really paying attention. Take a close look at the pics of the boys on their first day of school. Do you see anything surprising? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

We're still here!

I know that I am a terrible blogger and that it has been way too long since I have posted, and I have no real excuse, other than "we're always busy!" The boys are doing very well and we are all happily looking forward to the end of the school year and the start of my summer vacation! I can't wait until I can spend all of that wonderful time with my boys!


We have been trying to get out and enjoy the nice weather as much as possible. Last weekend, we hung out at Station Square. The boys rode the train and had a blast watching the fountains, listening to the music, and having some ice cream. Here are a few pictures from that day:


All three cousins listening to music and watching the fountains

Riley and Uncle Seth riding the train in Station Square

The train in Station Square

The boys have become Thomas the Train fanatics and are quickly accumulating trains and tracks and bridges. I was lucky enough to find a used train table at a great price! At first, Riley was using it more than Ross, but this evening, Ross spent a lot of time driving the trains all around the track and talking up a storm the whole time! I am sure they will have tons of fun with this table.

Finally, just because I think they are super cute (I know I am totally biased!), I took a bunch of pictures today before we went out to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and to splash in the fountain.

This is the first time both boys purposefully attempted to smile for the camera at the same time!


Brotherly love