Posted by: howitallbegan | August 27, 2015

11 Months

On the heels of Cade turning five, the babies turned 11 months yesterday. 

This is completely shocking to me. 

   
 
On the one hand, it has felt every bit of 11 months. But on the other hand, it hasn’t. 

   
 
These two are generally pretty happy babies. They are self-entertaining, and they crawl all around the house exploring toys and rooms and places to climb. 

Not to be all gender normish or anything, but they are super cliche in the things they are advanced in. Shiloh is ahead of Coen in communicating – she signs things; she mimics your noises even when you don’t think she’s even listening; she waves; she tries to pick up on what is happening socially around her and copy the mood – if I’m talking a lot she will make noise just to participate as well, if everyone is squealing and being loud she will too, if people are laughing she laughs. 

   
 
Coen is more physical than Shiloh. He’s pushing and walking with things; he climbs and pulls up on anything and everything; he opens every drawer and cabinet he can find; he likes to reach from one hand hold and lunge to another hand hold. 

  
They are both great eaters. Shiloh prefers veggies and Coen prefers fruit, but they both eat pretty much anything put before them. 

They are wary of new people, but warm up in a reasonable amount of time. They are generally pretty serious and studious in new environments, just like their oldest brother was at their age. Coen is more likely to give a grin sooner than Shiloh. You have to work for her affirmation.  
   
 
They are the sweetest and most adorable set of boy/girl twins I’ve ever met (but I’m biased). 

Happy 11 Months, you two. We love you tremendously and feel completely blessed to be your family. 

Posted by: howitallbegan | August 26, 2015

Cade’s Fifth

Cade had a great day celebrating his fifth birthday yesterday. 

We started things off with a bang at Top Pot Doughnuts. 

   

 

 

  

Then we hung out at home for a bit while Mike went to his classes and a meeting. 

   
  
 

Then we packed everyone up and headed for a quick adventure at the zoo. 

   
 

The progression of a group selfie. 

   
  
  
 

Since it’s back to school week in Dallas, the zoo was pretty vacant. The giraffes were therefore not full from a zillion people feeding them. There was one particular giraffe who was content to take all the romaine leaves offered. Gage and Shiloh were the two brave kids willing to feed the giraffe. 

   
  
  
  
  
  
  
 

Shiloh loved the zoo. She loves animals, and she laughed and cooed at everything she saw move. She really actually did feed the giraffe. And she laughed as she did it. I couldn’t capture it because I was wearing it, but this was my best effort. 

   

 
  
The kids were also excited about the penguins. This was the most active I’ve seen them. 

   

 
  
It took some effort to time naps and lunch and keep everyone relatively content in the heat. But it was nice to have four adults to tackle four kids. 

   

 
We rode the carousel on our way out. 

   

 

 
  
 

Gage and Matt (and the babies) were the only takers. Gage enthusiastically waved at the onlookers (Mike, Brian, and Cade) everytime we came around. 

   

 
While I hope he aspires for more in life, Gage could grow up to be an incredible Walmart greeter. 

Until August 31 there are dinosaurs throughout the zoo. This one was meant for climbing, but not without the boys confirming multiple times that it was “just a statue and wouldn’t move.”

   
 
  
We came home for naps, and then got ready for dinner (spaghetti and meatballs) with Tapaw and Tamaw. 

Not without the balloons getting stuck in the fan… Twice. 

  

The cake was homemade, but also sort of phoned in. I washed a few of Cade’s plastic cars and made that the Lightning McQueen cake he’d requested. 

  

He didn’t want us to sing happy birthday (too embarrassing). But he was okay with us whispering it. 

(I’ve been waiting on YouTube to upload all day, so I had to abandon that and head over to Vimeo to upload… Not as seamless, but it’ll do). 

Gage’s melt down was pretty on par with his melt downs throughout the day that the toys weren’t for him. 

All in all, I think Cade had a great day. When I asked him this morning what his favorite part was he said, “All the toys. And the cake.”

   

 
 
  
 
  

Posted by: howitallbegan | August 21, 2015

Family/Cousin Time

My sister has continuing education classes for her interior design license in Dallas every year. And every year, they seem to coincide with my dad’s birthday. Which means cousin time and birthday celebrations. 

We spent a few evenings together and had a lot of fun. 

I don’t have a ton of photos, because manning all these small children under five years old at once can require full attention. Or we were around water and I didn’t want my phone to take a dip. 

But here’s what I did capture. 

   

We’ve always thought Gage and Beckham look alike. And we’ve also always thought they both look a lot like Bart did at their age. 

 

  

Kelly found this photo of Bart at my parent’s house and took a picture. 

  

I mashed them all up together, and I think the resemblance is definitely there. 

  

We went to my parents’ house for my dad’s birthday dinner, and had a really good dinner and some playtime. 

   

This is the closest I got to getting all six in the frame. We’re only missing Beckham. 

 

Here he is. 

   

He’s saying cheese. You can’t hear it. But he totally is. 

 

Coen is loving standing and pushing things these days. Beckham was riding a push toy and Coen was pushing him. Which yielded this photo. 

   
 

Of course, no birthday dinner would be complete without some singing and some cake (or nectarine cobbler, courtesy of Grandma Clare slicing up the nectarines from my parents’ tree back in June and then freezing them here). 

   

 
  

Here’s the video…

Posted by: howitallbegan | August 19, 2015

Dallas Morning News Photos

After a couple of emails, we landed our photos from the story Dallas Morning News did a few weeks ago. 

We were really mostly after this one  

  
But they gave us these, too. 

   
We are getting some good mileage out of this train table. 

Also, it’s a good thing we clean up Cade and Gage’s room before these things. 
(The babies are in that phase where they love to stand up and wreck the track I’ve spent a painstaking amount of time building.)

 
And here’s the family photo they used. I can appreciate that it seems less staged and more indicative of all the personalities we have on display. 

  
So thankful to have these… Off to get a canvas printed…

Posted by: howitallbegan | August 14, 2015

Swim School

Like last summer, the big boys did two rounds of summer-intensive swim school again this summer. 

They are doing really well in the water and the swim lessons are definitely time well-spent. 

   


They actually had the same teachers all summer. And, Gage had the same teacher he had last year too. 

I put some video/photos together from what I took over the final two weeks. 

There’s a lot more footage of Cade because of where his class would line up in relation to where we could view. In the last 20 seconds or so, it’s funny to watch their different approaches to jumping off the side. Cade just sort of minimally falls in; Gage leaps. 

Enjoy!

Posted by: howitallbegan | August 10, 2015

Jennie Visits!

We’ve had a fun week with Aunt Jennie in town. 

She took a bunch of photos and video on her phone. I have pretty much nothing – though, for the record, I did take some photos of her on her phone. She sent me some photos to share.

   

 
   

 
She also used her phone skills to make a video in iMovie. I added to YouTube for her, but she gets the definite credit for taking so much good stuff and putting it all together.

We are hoping to see more of her soon!

Posted by: howitallbegan | August 4, 2015

Headbands, Mustaches, and Astros

My mom got Shiloh some cute felt headbands, so we’ve been trying them out for some brief stints. 

 

  

She doesn’t love headbands, but as long as they aren’t too tight she usually forgets about them and will keep them on for a bit. Except that Coen thinks it’s crazy that she has them on her head so he crawls over and tries to rip them off her head. Then she remembers. 

   
  

  
  

The babies have also successfully figured out water bottles and sucking straws. So now what’s mine is theirs. 

Coen was wearing the mustache shirt with some cutoff jean shorts the other day, and he looked so cute. 

  
And then the day that Craig Biggio got inducted in to the National Baseball Hall of Fame I had Coen sport an Astros outfit. Also super cute. 

   

 
   

 
They are my adorable hams. 

Posted by: howitallbegan | July 30, 2015

Dallas Morning News

We did another interview this week. This time with a reporter from the Dallas Morning News. 

A photographer came to the house  yesterday for some photos. Cade was being bashful and didn’t want to participate, which is how they got the photo the used… Cade cowering in the corner of the couch with his blanket and every one else trying to make the best of it. Haha. 

The photographer sent me this photo last night off her camera LCD just to double check who was who and we were so hoping they’d pick this one instead. 

  
We were surprised to hear from some friends this morning that our story was front-page, above the fold today. Didn’t see that coming. 

  
Here’s the link to the full story. 

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/metro/20150729-embryo-adoption-offers-couples-another-way-to-make-a-family.ece

Posted by: howitallbegan | July 28, 2015

Backyard Blueberries and Baths

We’ve taken to walking in the evening. Mike pushes one double stroller with the big boys and I push another with the babies. 

It’s so hot out though. Even when the kids are just sitting and being pushed, shaded by the stroller shades, they still all get sweaty and hot. 

So the other night we came home and just dropped dinner on the grill and ate outside. That way we could bathe (them) outside. 

The babies got their first go at frozen blueberries to help cool off (since the big boys got popsicles). 

   

 

  
They seemed to be a big hit. 

   

   
(Though man, were they messy! So glad they were outside, and that the “bath” was 10 feet away). 

And by “bath” I mean pool. 

   

I’ve said it before, but we pipe in warm water from the utility sink in the laundry room, through the dog door, and into the pool. 

  
 

   

Because even on hot nights, the shade and the breeze can make the cold water too cold and make everyone start shivering real quick. 

This was the babies’ first backyard pool experience and they totally loved it. 
 

Posted by: howitallbegan | July 27, 2015

Big Girl and Big Help

Even though it’s a bajillion degrees out now, we still try and spend a small amount of time outside each day. Thank God for the oak tree in our backyard. 

Last week, I decided to put Shiloh in the push car and let Gage drive her (carefully! With much supervision!) around the driveway. 

 

  
 
They both thought it was pretty awesome. Shiloh especially.

 
  
 

   

    

 
  
Gage did a great job being careful. And Shiloh thought she’d graduated into big girl land. 

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