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Monday, August 12, 2013

July 2013

As always, I am way behind on updating the blog. I had a quite extensive “Summer To Do List” and it is sad to admit that only a few of those things have been done. I still have closets that need cleaning, baby books that need updating, a playroom that needs finishing, and books that need reading. In lieu of doing the things I needed to do, I have become addicted to two tv shows – Scandal and Chicago Fire, as well as to Candy Crush. Very productive summer!!!!! I better get busy! We spent the 4th of July with our NICU pals, the Simons, at their family ranch, about an hour from our house. The kids did sparklers for the very first time and loved them!! We ate fruit pizza and watched the kids play with their buddies Will and Alex. It was a very fun evening! The twins really enjoyed their summer school Mother’s Day Out program – Tim and I did as well. We were able to take them to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and run errands together, eat lunch, and even caught a movie. Several of the kids from the twins’ other school were in the program as well, so that made the new school a little less new. The theme of the program was Heroes from the Bible. They studied Daniel, Jonah, David, and Joshua, made many cute crafts, and learned a few Bible verses. On the last day of school, they had a program so that parents could come and hear the kids sing the songs they had learned. I will admit that I was so happy for the twins’ first ever program, but also very nervous about sweet Tayden and his anxiety. This would be their first time on risers in front of a very big crowd. He loved the songs and would sing them for me every night with all of the movements, but I thought that he might freeze when the big moment came. We talked about it for two weeks straight, getting them prepared. The big day came and we got all dressed up and headed to school. SueSue, Lolly, and Malley came to see the show with us. Brooklyn got to wear her new dress and was going up to everyone saying, “Do you love my new dress? I look beautiful!!!” She was beaming with pride. We got seats as close to the stage as possible and watched all of the little bodies file onto the stage. As soon as Tayden got to his spot he started crying. Instantly I felt the need to run to the stage and swoop him up in a comforting hug. I fought back the urge as his teacher began to comfort him. She found us in the audience and we all started waving at him. That helped a little bit, but not much. I walked up to the stage to get some pictures and I’m not sure if that helped or hurt the situation. At that point, the sweet elementary student that had been helping in their class went and knelt down beside him. Brooklyn also grabbed him hand, which was absolutely adorable. One of the ministers from the church welcomed us and led a prayer to open the program. When the music finally started, he totally came around and was singing and dancing. The crying stopped and he was happy!!! Brooklyn was a natural, singing every word and nailing all of the movements. This precious little program, the first of many, completely melted my heart. I fought back tears of pride as I pondered how I will make it through their kindergarten graduation, much less high school and college graduations without an attack of the ugly cry. My sweet little babies that came into this world fighting against all of the odds that were stacked against them, are old enough to sing in programs – UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We did have two trips scheduled for the summer that we rescheduled for later in the year. Tim was extremely busy getting his brothers both moved out of their current home and into their new homes. He made many trips to his mom’s house to go through all of her belongings which was very hard. He has been so strong over the past month and a half, dealing with his grief, while taking care of two other people, on top of continuing all of his family / husband duties. He never ceases to amaze me and I am extremely proud of him each and every day. This summer held many firsts for the twins. They had their first dentist visit, which went very well. The dentist was super sweet, and he really put them at ease. We had a good report – no cavities!!! They got to pick special treats for being so good and also got new toothbrushes and toothpaste. Before entering the office, the twins managed to knock over a motor scooter that was parked on the sidewalk in front of our car. I quickly put it back in place and thought there was no damage until Tayden came up behind me saying, “Here is the mirror Mommy!” I decided it would be best to leave a note with our number for the owner. He has yet to call. We also took the twins to their first movie at a theater. We chose to go to the dollar movie, rather than spend $28 for this experiment. The first 45 minutes went okay, as the twins were occupied with their kid packs of popcorn, lemonade, and fruit snacks. Once they were finished, they were more interested in getting out of their seats and exploring our row, than watching the end of the movie. It wasn’t too bad for the first time. On our way out, we stopped at the arcade, which was much more interesting than the movie. I never thought we would leave! Tayden has loved his Musikgarten class. He has one left next week. I figured he would be a bit timid, but as soon as the teacher opens the door he runs inside all by himself. The parents get to come in for the last ten minutes and participate in fun activities. He always picks out one of his guitar shirts to wear and insists that we play I Spy the entire way to Grapevine. We are trying to find a class that is closer to home to enroll him in for the Fall. Music is totally his thing. He loves talking about all of the different instruments and anytime we sing, he runs to get all of his instruments to distribute them to everyone. Brooklyn went to gymnastics and completely loved it. We were much more impressed with this facility compared to the first one, but their classes stay booked most of the year. We now need to figure out which class will work best for our schedule and pray they have an opening. She loves doing “tricks” and refers to herself as “Brooklyn – the gymnastics girl!” Her favorite tricks are doing the splits and doing donkey kicks. Other highlights of July included the twins’ 3 year check-ups. Dr. Hunt was very impressed with their growth. Both of them have grown about 4 inches since last year. Tayden, in particular, had grown about 3 inches in a matter of 2-3 months. He is still considered pretty short in terms of his age, but she is not worried. Brooklyn sang the Doc McStuffin song for Dr. Hunt – hilarious. This is show they love to watch in which Doc diagnoses her stuffed animals (that come to life) with various ailments. Both of the kids love to pretend they are doctors and give us check-ups. I recently had a case of stickyitis. We have been to the trampoline park and swimming a few times. Sadly, the heat has made outdoor activities almost impossible. We are still aiming to take them to the children’s museum and Lego Land very soon. Their school begins on September 10th. One of my good friends is coaching a soccer league this Fall, so I asked the twins if they would like to play. They quickly said yes and are super excited. They will have a total of six games and one practice each week for six weeks. We are looking forward to watching all of the 3-4 year olds run around cluelessly. I think they will have a blast! I will conclude this enormous post with funny things heard around the Russell house: Brooklyn – I asked her what happened to Daniel in the lions’ den. She replied, “He was surrounded by hungry lions but nothing happened, he was alive.” I then asked, “Why?” Her response was, “Just because!” This girl has been asking some very serious questions, such as what is a lie? and what does die mean? I am totally not prepared to answer these questions. She is still a social butterfly and always wants to greet new people and find out their family history. She will ask, “What is your mommy’s name, sister’s name, brother’s name, daddy’s name, dog’s name, etc.” She has such a sweet heart and always gives hugs and kisses. One day, Tayden was anxious about going to school, so she gave him and big hug and said, “Don’t worry Tayden, I will be right there with you and I will take care of you!” She was also comforting when he got a minor cut saying, “It’s okay Tayden, I am here and I will fix you right up.” Her latest thing is telling me stories about things that happened when she was a little girl. I will remind her that she is still a little girl, but she says, “I am almost a grown up!” We have already started contemplating Halloween costume ideas. Brooklyn has come up with Sofia the First or Lalaloopsy. Tayden – on Thursdays during their summer school, they would go to chapel. Each Thursday, he would wake up crying, not wanting to go to school. His teachers said, “He does well, until it is time to go to chapel.” One Wednesday night, we were talking to him, trying to find out why he didn’t like going to chapel. He didn’t provide much information until I asked about the puppets that perform at chapel, and determined that he was terrified of them. I found this very shocking, considering that they want to have puppet shows for me every day. We made a plan that Kayla (the classroom helper from the program) would sit with him and cover his eyes when he puppets came out. The next morning when he woke up crying, I reminded him of the plan, and he was okay. That afternoon, when I picked him up, the first thing I asked was, “How was chapel?” He quickly answered, “Our plan worked!!!” He is a man with a plan – love it!!!! I was changing a stinky pull-up after naptime and before I started I told him that I didn’t think I could look. He said, “Just close your eyes like this (partially squinting), like I do when you come to check on us at night.” For Halloween Tayden has mentioned being Jesus, Lolly, Malley, and also Diego. I was putting clothes away the other night and heard the twins talking. Brooklyn asked, "Why did Jesus die on the cross?" Tayden answered, "So we can go to Heaven to meet Poppy (my dad)." Most beautiful conversation ever!!!! I hope everyone has a wonderful week! The new format of blogger won't allow me to comment under each picture. So, below are pictures of the 4th of July, making moon dough, coloring our fort, 1st dentist appointment, 1st movie visit, trampoline park fun, swimming, our new bounce house from my best friend Lindsy, Tayden at music, Brooklyn before gymnastics, and the twins' program. They are at the far left on the 2nd row.