Thank you all for sharing in the lives of our three amazing children- Mairead, Jack, and Ben. We hope you visit often!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Jack David

When I was pregnant with the twins, the doctors would refer to the boys as 'Baby A' and 'Baby B.'  Jackie was Baby A, and that turned out to be telling as he DEFINITELY has the Type A personality.  He thinks he is the boss and tries to run the show.  Luckily for him, his baby brother lets him most of the time.  Jack is definitely a thinker and an observer.  He doesn't miss anything and you can see the little gears turning as he sizes up a given situation or person.  His imagination is incredible and he dreams up these elaborate adventures.  His vocabulary is impressive and he is always using words that I had no idea he even knew.  He still has some cute ways of saying things, though, such as, "Don't go be-out me," or, "I will be-tect you, Ben!".  His Batman obsession is intense and he nearly always wears a cape.  Ben usually lets Jack be Batman while he plays Robin. 
Jack is a little more daring than Ben in that he will adjust more quickly to a new situation, and he will try new foods, etc, more readily.  Last year, he didn't want anything to do with the snow, but this year he will literally dive right in!

Jack is also very attached to his blankie (to whom he refers as 'she,' because Blankie is a girl).  He does this cute thing where he holds it up to his face, puts one finger in his mouth, and scratches Blankie with two other fingers.  It's very sweet and definitely his 'tell' when he is tired.  He is never tired, though, just ask him.

The boys have started a program through www.getyouthmoving.net at which they learn different games and exercises.  They are a little timid, but Jack has been warming up to it and trying the activities with the other kids.

Both boys are great about helping one another.  It's great to be a twin.  Say you need help getting your space helmet on, you have a twin to help you out!

Jack is definitely the eldest son in that he really seeks Dave's praise and approval.  He loves to sit or play with his dad and enjoys any time he spends with him.

Jackie also loves babies.  He DOTES on Kellan and is very sweet to him.  If we see other babies, Jack is the first to approach them and say how cute they are.

He loves to practice his Batman moves.

Jack is smart, observant, articulate and sweet.  He is also a bit bossy and impatient.  He thinks he runs the show and any reminder that he does not is not well received.  In any new situation, he gets a very serious look on his face and is obviously studying things and making decisions about how he feels about it.  He sizes up any new person while furrowing his little brow.  He eats constantly.  His favorite snack is to eat a spoonful of peanut butter (or three).  He loves breakfast sausage, pizza, waffles, toast, and apple juice.  He also loves music and asks for specific songs like 'Glad You Came' and 'Whistle Barrel,' which is the whistle song by Flo-Rida.  Let's hope he doesn't figure out what the words really are.  He loves his Nana and comes looking for her so he can snuggle.  He loves mini-hot dogs on Sundays while we watch the Patriots, and he loves to watch the Celtics with his dad.  His favorite player is Rondo, which is fitting.  They are both smart and talented, but are little and think they know everything. 

When you ask him, "Who is your best friend?" He always says, "Ben."  He told my parents he loves Molly (the cat) more than he loves Nana and Grampy, but he told Dave that he loves me the most.  He is still on the small side for his age, which is fine by me since I can still pick him up for a big hug or cuddle.  Since he was so sick when he was little, he has always needed a little extra attention, and I'm happy to give it to him while he still lets me.   When he was an infant, I used to say that he could, "go from zero to bullshit in 10 seconds," and he still has that trait.  Whatever he is feeling, he is feeling is 100%.  He's 'all in' to whatever it is he wants to do.  It's funny that even when he was an infant, we knew that he would be a 'Type A' personality, and he certainly is.  And, we love everything about our little 'Baby A'!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Miss Mairead

I tell you, this kid... she is just awesome.  She is learning and growing every day, and she is constantly impressing us.  She works so hard for everything, but sometimes makes things look so easy.  She LOVES Kindergarten and pretty much thinks that her teacher walks on water.  She has friends in the class and loves 'specials' like Art and Music.  I met with her teacher last week and had the best parent-teacher conference of her school career.  I know she's only in Kindergarten, but she has been in school of some kind for a while now, and many meetings have not gone so well.  This one, though, couldn't have been better.  Some of you know from Facebook, but I'll tell you again-- it's worth re-telling!
Mairead's teacher says she is at the top if the class, academically, that her social skills are improving every day, and that she rarely cries at school these days. She's happy, loves art and singing. She VOLUNTEERED to read a book to the class last week. Sat in the teachers chair and read an entire book to the whole class. The teacher is wonderful and we are so happy with all that Kindergarten has brought. Of course, I was welling up the whole time. Then, the teacher said that Dave and I are doing an amazing job with her and that Mairead was definitely born to the right parents as she can't imagine where she would be without us. Then, she handed me the tissues. Can't tell you how happy this makes me. This kid is amazing!!
The only hard part was hearing that she is still very anxious and that she puts a lot of pressure on herself.  She gets nervous when she doesn't know something and gets upset when she gets something wrong.  I was the same way in school but I didn't have the additional challenges that she does, so I'm hoping that we can all help her learn to relax a little more and to take the pressure off.  I wish I could help her to see how amazing she is.

This winter, Mairead is trying out swimming lessons and she just loves it!  We have enrolled her in private lessons so that she can get the attention that she needs and she is thriving.  There is a lot of jumping and spinning, so I'm not sure just how much technique she is actually learning, but there is plenty of time for that.  The instructors are very patient with her and had her jumping off the side and putting her whole head underwater in the first lessons. 

The first night, she was excited just to be there, couldn't wait to start, all smiles, etc. She didn't even look back at me as the instructor led her to the water. And, there were tons of other people in the pool area so it was super loud, but she was so focused on swimming that she didn't seem bothered by it.

The instructors (two instructors for just her at the first class) were AWESOME with her. So patient, definitely attuned to her sensory issues, found things that motivated her and went with it, etc.

She had NEVER voluntarily put her face in the water and they spent a lot of time on that (but didn't push it). By the end of the 45 minute lesson, she was putting her whole face in the water, was jumping off the side of the pool from a standing position and going entirely underwater.

It was awesome, for her and for me. Usually, when we do activities, it's me sitting anxiously on the sidelines watching her struggle. I sometimes want to just scoop her up, take her home, and keep her from anything that is really hard for her. That night, though, I was watching her LOVE it, improve, and succeed. She was just so happy- it was amazing. When the lesson was over, she came over to me and said, "I want to come back again on tomorrow night and jump on the diving board." I think we'll have to work our way up to that, but just the idea that she wanted to try it-- it was great!

Dave and I would really like our kids to participate in sports. I was never really a fan of swimming as a sport (mostly for selfish reasons such as 7am Saturday practices and long hours watching swim meets), but this might be a great sport for her. Sensory input from the water, very straightforward task, it's quiet underwater, and she could still be part of a team. We'll see, of course, but she really is happiest when she is in the water, so we'll go with it!


In addition to her talents in the pool, Mairead is quite the little writer.  One night, she decided that we all needed to put on a play, so she wrote out scripts with a part for each member of the family.  She comes home from school with volumes of drawings, paintings, stories, and projects.  I love seeing her creativity and getting a glimpse into that brain of hers.



Because Mairead takes the bus to school, she and I usually have a few minutes outside together in the morning.  She likes to talk about what the weather is, play games with our shadows, and see what's new in the front yard.  I love the picture of her looking into the puddle- she was laughing at her reflection.  She loves to help shovel, though she often shovels the snow ON to the walk way.
 I wanted to put a picture of her room onto the blog because I want to be sure I have one somewhere that she can see it when she is older.  Time is going by so quickly- I don't want to lose any of these little girl memories.

A few weeks ago, Mairead's school was closed due to a water main break.  The boys happened to have school that day, so she and I headed to the Owl Diner for a little breakfast.  She LOVED it there and thought the chocolate chip pancakes were awesome.  While we were there, a gentleman walked in wearing a cowboy hat.  Mairead loudly exclaimed, "Wow!  Look at his cowboy hat!"  The man suddenly put his coat back on and left.  I was confused until he walked back in holding this purple cowboy hat and he gave it to Mairead.  What a nice thing for him to do!

One morning, I was texting with a friend, and then put my phone down. Mairead was then taking pictures with the phone while I got the boys ready for school. When I looked at it again, I saw that Mairead had sent a text to my friend  that said, "I love my mom and dad and jack and ben." How cute is that? I don't know if she typed it all out or used Siri to verbally send it, but it's pretty sweet either way. My friend must have been like, "Umm, that's great that you love your mom and dad..."

I probably need to put a lock on the phone now so she isn't sending "I love you" messages to random people!

Somewhere in the past few months, Mairead taught herself to read.  We read to her, of course, and encourage her to read, but she basically learned it on her own at some point and is now just full-on reading books alone.  She can read nearly anything we put in front of her and we are so proud!  We were hoping these English teacher genes would pay off somehow!
Thanks for reading... I'll have updates on the boys in the next few days.  They are pretty awesome, too!  Mairead is my little hero.  She is sweet, funny, talented, and smart.  She has a pure and good heart and she continues to amaze us with all that she can do.  Love this kid!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Christmas at The Purple House

Just a few pictures of our home decorated for the holiday!

Christmas Morning Videos and the best kid ever

Just a couple of quick little videos of the kids coming down Christmas morning.  The last one is my favorite.  I also have to share this story about how we have the best kid ever.
So, it's Christmas morning. They come into the living room and see that Santa has been there, and they are going through their gifts. Not two minutes into the whole thing, Mairead is moving things around and obviously looking for something. She gets up and bolts into the other room. I follow her, and she is still looking, starting to get upset. She says, "Where is it? Where is the special present?"

Now I am really worried that she was expecting something specific and is sad that Santa didn't bring it. I asked her, "What special present, honey?" She replies, "It's in a white bag and I made it at Girl Scouts."

It was a painted wooden snowman that she had decorated at Girl Scouts three weeks earlier, and that she had been waiting to give Dave and me on Christmas morning.

She ran AWAY from her own presents under the tree because she wanted to find the gift for us.  I told you.  Best kid ever.
About the sparkly, purple hat.  Mairead and I were at Target (shocking) a few weeks before Christmas and she spied it in the Girls' section.  She walked over, put it on her head, and said, "We will get this."  Since it was about two weeks before Christmas, I really couldn't justify spending $15 on a sparkly, purple hat.  I hated saying, 'no,' but she handled it really well.  And then, what do you know?  It appeared in her stocking on Christmas morning.  She was thrilled!


The boys were SO excited about their Batcave.  They play with it every day and dream up these elaborate scenarios in which Batman saves the day.   It's really fun to see how imaginative they are!