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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Break

Last week was my Spring Break and I enjoyed a wonderful week off with my family! We went to Houston on Sunday and stayed at my Aunt Sara and Uncle Dean’s house until Tuesday. On the way there we stopped in Hillsboro at the Nike Outlet and bought the twins their first pair of Nike’s. Tayden had a blast pulling all of the shoeboxes off of the shelves, taking the shoes out of the box and displaying them nicely on the top of each box. He can move quickly!!!  SueSue helped wrangle the kids so that Tim and I could get some new shoes as well.

My aunt and uncle completely spoiled us with delicious meals and beautiful surroundings – thank you so much Lovey and Dean!!! We were able to relax and the kids had fun playing outside, riding in the golf cart and wagon and playing with all of Lovey’s fun toys. On Monday, we went to Wonderwild – an indoor playground that is a mixture of bounce houses, slides, ball pits, etc. Brooklyn loved the tall slides and would quickly make her way up the stairs and slide down all by herself with no fear. Tayden went down the slide a few times, and usually ended up going backwards on his tummy because he got a little scared. They had a blast!

The twins got to spend a lot of time with my cousin Kasey and her husband David (Davis) who now live in Houston, and also got to meet their adorable new cousin Gracie. Brooklyn still says, “Oh Baby Gracie,” and pretends to hold her. One evening we were sitting on the front porch and talking about the statue of Jesus that was there. A little green frog appeared and Brooklyn got a scared and wanted to be held. Uncle Dean began stepping behind the frog so he would hop off the porch. He hopped on Jesus at one point, but then made it off the porch.  On the way home we talked to the twins about praying and modeled how we close our eyes. Brooklyn will now close her eyes and say, “Love you Jesus.” This is the most precious thing ever!!! At the mention of Jesus, she immediately wants to discuss the green frog and Uncle Dean. My mom joked that it is her version of the Trinity – Jesus, frogs, and Uncle Dean.

On the afternoon that we left to come home Lovey got out her musical instruments and we had a family sing along (this was captured on video, and I will share soon). Tayden stole the show with his foot stomping, which is hilarious to watch. He didn’t want to part with his xylophone so Lovey allowed us to take it with us in the car. Brooklyn quickly fell asleep, but Tayden however played Jingle Bells for the first 45 minutes of our trip. He absolutely adores music. He loves singing to any song, but his all time favorite is Just a Kiss by Lady Antebellum. Last night I taught him some of the sign language to Jesus Loves Me and he picked it up really well. He wanted to sing it over and over again, which was again the most precious thing ever.

Brooklyn is now saying – stam up (stand up) when she wants us to help her do something, opie door (open door) when she wants to go somewhere, and hold you when she wants to be held. She loves people and constantly wants to name everyone that we know and what she remembers about them. Tayden is interested in knowing everyone’s name and will constantly ask, “Name?” This includes everyone on tv, his toys, and everyone we see in person. He wants to read all of the time and can remember parts of books that we haven’t read in days. I am amazed at their incredible little memories and vocabularies. They love learning new things and it is so neat to watch their excitement at things we have long taken for granted.

On Friday, SueSue kept the twins so that Tim and I could go on our first double date in over two years with Kasey and David. We went to Tillman’s and sat outside on the patio. It was a beautiful night and we had such a great time talking to them and enjoying delicious food. It was definitely a treat – thank you SueSue! The remainder of the weekend was spent relaxing and with Tim showing houses. He has quite a few real estate deals working which is truly a blessing. This is the time of year that it usually gets busy! We had planned on putting our house back on the market here pretty soon, but we talked about it and I think we are going to wait a few more months.

In true Russell fashion, Brooklyn came down with a bad cough at the end of the break. She isn’t running a fever and doesn’t have any other symptoms, but we are going to take her to the doctor tomorrow to have it checked out.

I was on the blurry setting for awhile

Daddy and Brooklyn at the top

riding by the ladies

big girl


SueSue monitoring the stairs

new haircut


Mickey ears from Lili's birthday party

The twins found their old bath slings and thought they were great recliners

Hard to believe they used to be swallowed by these chairs

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sesame Street Live

I cannot believe that it is already March!!! The weather has been beautiful and it seems like we skipped Spring and went straight to Summer. The twins have been doing really well and have stayed healthy except for Brooklyn having a minor rash for a few days. We switched them from whole milk to 2% and she broke out in huge whelps all over her face, back, arms, and torso, so we quickly went back to whole milk.

Our new ECI coordinator came last week and said that she firmly believes that if they assessed the twins now, they would no longer qualify for services, but since their annual review isn’t until June, we will continue until then due to the company being understaffed. Our occupational therapist will come 3-4 more times before the review to “play” with the kids. She said there really isn’t anything to work with them on, so she enjoys sitting in the floor and interacting with them.

Brooklyn still talks up a storm and will say 3-4 word phrases and sentences. Her favorite things to say are, “I don’t know,” “Bye bye, see ya next time,” “Thank you Rooklyn,” and “Later.” She loves to be the center of attention and will quickly redirect anyone who is talking or playing with Tayden to her. She has an intense desire to know that you heard what she said, so she will repeat herself until she is acknowledged. She loves to dance and whenever she hears music she will take our hands so that we can dance with her. She likes to play “pockets” (Ring Around the Rosie) and hide-and-seek. She laughs hysterically when we tickle her and when Tayden does funny things. We bought her new, pink shoes this weekend and she carried the shoes (no box) all over the mall. When we tried to put them away, she would get very upset. She kept saying, “Cute!”

Tayden is saying 3-4 word phrases and sentences as well. He likes to say, “Paci is?” “I don’t know,” “Mommy work?” and to ask for all of his books. He loves to make his serious face and be very inquisitive. He loves to stand on my lap and balance. He will hold both hands up in the air and then fall back for me to catch him. He loves to dance as well and can sing really well. He has fallen in love with his dump truck and blocks and will always say, “Tall, tall tower,” as he builds. He will play hide-and-seek with Brooklyn and I and will laugh when we find him. Developmentally, he is now walking up and down stairs with assistance and has started to run!!!!

We have decided to put them in a Mother’s Day Out (Father’s Day Out according to Tim) program next Fall at a church very close to our house. Our friends from the NICU send their twin boys there and have highly recommended it. Tim and I met the director and toured the school last week. We were very impressed and think that it will be great for the twins to start making friends. They will go on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am – 2 pm and have Bible lessons, crafts, music, and lots of learning. The registration opens tomorrow morning between 7:30 – 7:45 am so I will be the crazy mom waiting outside the church at 6:30 am to make sure we get in. There are only 7 spaces left for 2 year olds. Please say a prayer that we get two of those spots!

Yesterday we braved the crowds and took the kids to see Sesame Street Live! We bought the tickets months ago and had been really talking it up to the twins for the last week or so. All day Saturday, Brooklyn practiced saying, “Hi Elmo, I’m Brooklyn.” They were very excited and as we made our way to Grand Prairie Tayden sang, “Sing, sing a song, sing out loud, make it simple….” We arrived at the theater and found our seats, that were front and center! Brooklyn was excited, but Tayden was a little apprehensive. His little lip was quivering and he wasn’t sure what to expect. He sat in my lap as the show began. The characters quickly filled the stage and Brooklyn was screaming, “Yea!!!! Hi Elmo, Hi Cookie, Hi Abby, Hi Bert, Hi Ernie….” Every 3 – 4 minutes she would scream “YEA!!!!” with both hands in the air. Everyone in our section got a big kick out of her excitement and it was contagious. Tayden stayed nervous until intermission and would ask me where each character went when they disappeared from the stage. He was genuinely concerned. At intermission he got out of my lap and loosened up. By the time the show started back he was turning in circles and singing a long to all of the songs. Neither of them wanted to sit down, so they stood, stomped their feet, clapped their hands, and cheered along. Tim and I watched them in pure awe. They were so excited and loved every single minute of the show. We never imagined how fun a “kid” show would be and how awesome it would be to experience everything through Brooklyn and Tayden’s eyes. It was a GREAT weekend and I’m counting down the days until my Spring Break – 4 to be exact!

Brooklyn's Dora doll

Gift cards

Little People Cars

Water bottles from party

Eating a chocolate cookie and he didn't like the chocolate - it ended up on his nose

She loved the chocolate

The shirt Dada brought her from Beverly Hills

Rash on her face - poor girl

Tayden's Hollywood shirt

Wearing Mr. Potato Head's glasses

the stage