Friday, November 15, 2013

Words & Life

Last Friday was the sixteen month birthday for the guys. The month birthdays have been a little less spectacularly celebrated as of late. I did, however, make a point of getting them some cupcakes to enjoy after dinner.

Martin Eating his 16 Month Birthday Cupcake

Elliott Eating his 16 Month Birthday Cupcake

The end verdict was that they really enjoyed eating all the buttercream off the tops but they could take or leave the actual cake portion. This may be thanks to their recent discovery and love affair with pudding. They seem to love almost anything with a pudding-like consistency not the least of which is pudding itself.

Martin with Hair Tied Up Out of Eyes

Martin's hair is now officially so long that we have taken to tying it up out of his eyes so that he can actually see. Elliott is still hanging in there with hair that hasn't seem to grow in the past six months.

Jen and Nate at Miranda and Jon's Wedding in Milwaukee

On Saturday Jen and I headed up to Milwaukee for a friend's wedding in what was the be our first night together without the boys since they've been born. It made us feel a bit guilty but a head-pounding cough made sure that I wasn't able to fully enjoy it.

Elliott Watching the Snow

On Monday our daycare was closed and I stayed home with the guys as we got a decent dusting of snow.

Aunt Lauren came over and was able to witness Elliott learning how to dance along to "Old MacDonald" in what can only be called a version of twerking.

I apologize for acknowledging that twerking exists.

Martin Grocery Shopping

Elliott and Evelyn Grocery Shopping

We also went out grocery shopping in the morning to pick up items for dinner. When Evelyn started crying Elliott turned around and started rocking her baby seat. This seemed like it was pretty sweet until you realized he was just probably trying to shake the seat so he could get closer to Evelyn and smack her.

It is his way. It's the only way he knows how to love.

Martin and Elliott Sitting in Chairs

A new favorite activity for the guys is to sit in chairs. They don't quite know what to do once they get into the chairs but they stand by them, eagerly hit them with their open palms, then smile as soon as they are lifted to sit down. This lasts about four seconds until they try to hurl themselves off the chairs to start the process again.

Pumpkin Pizza with Carmelized Onion, Sage, Toasted Pine Nuts, Ricotta, Fontina and Pancetta

Pumpkin Pizza with Carmelized Onion, Sage, Toasted Pine Nuts, Ricotta, Fontina and Veggie Sausage

For dinner on Monday I made three pizzas with pumpkin sauce, ricotta, caramelized onion, sage, toasted pine nuts, and fontina. I made one version with pancetta and one with veggie sausage.

They guys have been extremely vocal lately. They are learning words at an alarming rate. They both picked up the word "apple" from a book we would read to them in the morning as we got ready for the day. They soon began waking up saying "apple" over and over again, associating it with something that people just say in the morning.

At the moment their combined vocabulary consists of the following words. "Mama, dada, daddy, duck, apple, ta-da, banana, backpack (though Elliott only said this once a few weeks back it is still worth mentioning), no, milk, uh-oh, ball, bottle, more, mine, Elmo, hi, and bye.

They understand hundreds more. At the end of the night when they start to get cranky, we announce that it is bedtime and they both immediately smile, say "bye" to Grandma and Grandad, and begin marching on their way to climb up the steps to take their bath.

Soon there will be a new set of steps and a new tub. We are less than a month away from our move in date and then we will have an intense run up to Christmas. Goal number one will be to hopefully not be surrounded by boxes on Christmas morning.

That would truly be a Christmas miracle.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Inspect the Deck

Last week we had our home inspection which went pretty well. There were a few minor issues, and a radon test came back with a few concerns that will need to be addressed.

Inspecting New House

Panorama of New House from Family Room

The inspectors were very thorough and at the end of their inspection they said that the house was in great shape and that there wasn't much to be concerned about. Then they emailed me 43 page report with all the things that they found. This seemed a little scary until I looked through the report and found things like the following.

Home Inspection Report

I think I'll take my chances on those cracks.

Pumpkin Burglars

On Halloween Jen dressed the guys up in their cat burglar costumes for day care.

Trick or Treating

At night we took them to a few different houses to trick or treat. They had little interest in eating any of the candy and picked out their favorites as the ones that came in boxes and could be vigorously shaken.

Elliott and Martin in Computer Chair

Wombats at Computer

After day care their favorite part of the day is sitting in the computer chair and rocking out to some music. Grandad has turned them on to the Rolling Stones, Muddy Waters, and Rory Gallagher. Martin, in particular, is a big fan on this part of the day.

Elliott with Mouse in Computer Chair

The day of Evelyn's baptism, Lauren got Jen a massage. While she was getting the massage Lauren and I wached as Elliott played with an old computer mouse. He opened it out and stuck one of the batteries in his mouth and by the time we pulled it out we found that it was completely corroded and leaking battery acid. I quickly whisked him over to the sink and rinsed his mouth out with lots and lots of water.

This angered him greatly.

I called poison control who assured me he would be okay and that the worst that could come of it was some burns in his mouth. Minutes later we found him with the battery cover in his mouth. This too was covered in battery acid. I repeated our trip to the sink.

This angered him again.

Tasting Flight at Solemn Oath Brewery

On Saturday Jen took me to Solemn Oath Brewery where we shared a couple of tasting flights. It was a lot of fun and it covered some of my favorite things to do: staying close to home and beer!

Mummy and Elliott at Park From Below

Martin and Daddy at the Park from Above

The next morning we went on a long walk around the neighborhood with a stopover in the park where the guys played around and were mostly fascinated with the older kids that were there and their enormous dog named Sofie. The only dog they really know is Pete who is about half their height so Sofie was like a majestic Clydesdale to them.

Martin and Elliott at Dinner Table

Matthew and Evan at Dinner Table

On Friday we went to our friends' house for dinner. The guys were in heaven playing with older kids and actually got a bit upset when we had to leave. They did not want to be pulled from the joy of wading, waste-deep, in older kid toys.

Fall Playtime with Grandma and Grandad

Martin and Grandad in the Driveway

On Sunday the boys played around outside and were fascinated by their grandad lugging around furniture from the gazebo to the house. This may have been their favorite moment in months though we're not entirely sure why. Perhaps they are just enjoying these moments where they will not be enlisted to help with such tasks.

Grilled Dry Aged Ribeye and Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Valencia Rice, Mashed Potatoes, and Creamed Spinach with Crispy Onions

Birthday Boston Creme Cake

For my birthday we made dinner at home and Jen and her mum made me a Boston Creme Cake. I also got some really nice beers and probably drank too much really nice beer, wine, and scotch. My normal policy of drinking approximately two beers then falling asleep was put on hold and I paid a great price, particularly for the 15 year aged scotch my father-in-law was kind enough to give me.

Elliott in Pantry

Elliott has learned how to climb up the shelves in his grandparents' pantry, however, lately he has taken to simply destroying the bottom shelves and chewing on any loose power cords he can find.

Seems harmless enough.

Elliot in Pantry

What is not harmless, apparently, is one of the other kids at day care who gave Elliott a pretty nasty bite. I'd be more upset if I didn't know how strong Elliott was and know that he probably knocked that kid's block off.

Wombats Playing at Doctor's Office

This morning I took them in for their delayed fifteen month shots. These were supposed to be administered during their checkup last month but, as with all their shots, they were put off because they had a horrible illness at the time.

While I called New York for the fifth time to try to get them to fax over the medical records, the boys terrorized the office, tried to get at the fish in the aquarium, and attempted to abscond with the records of other patients.

Martin was not a fan of this shot and needed a lot of snuggling afterwards. Elliott didn't seem bothered by his shot. In fact, he didn't even seem to notice it had happened. What he did notice was when the doctor took the toy he was holding as I put his jacket on. This angered him greatly.

On the way home I could see him in the rear view mirror grimacing and plotting his revenge.

One day Elliott will make that doctor pay.