Friday, February 26, 2010

Fatherhood Friday's

This week has been all about work. After the boys go to bed I've been working all week on our new enteryway system. I think Jennifer told you about it here. It has been long night out in the cold garage staining, sanding and putting polyurethane coats on. But I think that the late night have paid off. The entryway system looks great. I still have some work to do on it and get it all put together and get the coat hooks on. I'll probably finish that tonight and on Saturday. Also, Jennifer has ordered the custom baskets so they will be done in about 2 weeks so we can mark this project off our list!!

Also, next Thursday I will be going under the knife to repair my hernia again. the last time the doctor assured me that the procedure was 99% effective well I must fall into that 1%! So I'm going back in and having the operation done once again only this time they have to actually make a small incision versus doing it laparoscopicly. I will down for a few weeks and no lifting the boys for up to 10 days!! Jennifer will be busy while I on the mend but I know she can handle it, they usually want Mama anyways!! Everyone have a great weekend!

Love Jon/DADA

Oh here are a couple sneak peak pictures of our entryway system (yes my wife had to help me post the pictures I always forget how)!








Thursday, February 25, 2010

Random thoughts for Thursday

So I've been trying like mad to win George Strait and Reba with opening act Lee Ann Womack tickets all week on the radio stations and I CAN'T even get in!! Sometimes I have good luck winning on the radio (I've won Kenny Chesney tickets and also got in for the Grocery Giveaway around Thanksgiving last year). But this week...no such luck. So I guess that mean I'll be breaking down and buying tickets because I HAVE to see the King and Queen of country music, this chance doesn't come up every year! $90.50 plus all the fees is a little steep for tickets but considering who is performing, not that bad of a price! They go on sale Friday at 10AM...wish me luck!!!

On a more serious note, Tuesday night I went to the hospital and saw my friend, Dani and her sweet baby Boston, who is a twin. He has been in the hospital since last week and they can't figure out what is wrong with him. He was at Mary Greeley in Ames and finally she asked to be referred to a specialist so they sent her to Mercy where the instantly diagnosed him with RSV and bronchitis. He is still having apnea spells and has had to be resuscitated twice. After doing more test they think that he might be anemic which could be causing the apnea and they will know more after the blood transfusion that they did Tuesday night. Since she's been off work past her scheduled leave her work is forcing her to make the decision to return to work in order to keep her position or stay home with her family. The twins were born middle of December, in the NICU for 3 weeks and were home for 3 weeks before Boston was back in the hospital for his breathing and they are 10 weeks now so she really hasn't BEEN home all that much enjoying them as any new (relatively speaking since they adopted Phoenix from Ethiopia and once they got back found out she was pregnant with twins) mom should. So please send Dani and her husband Daniel and their three kiddos some love and prayers. Check out her blog here to read more of their story.

So I realize I've hardly posted any pictures of the boys this week...gosh that's bad of me!! So here are a couple cute ones I took this week.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

{Jackson, Mama and Joel}
{Jackson}

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Weekend Recap & Upcoming Weekend

We had a great weekend! On Friday I was able to have a girls night. Mindy, Ashley and I watched the 2nd movie from the Twilight Series, New Moon. The DVD isn't out yet but Ashely was able to get her hands on an early copy! I haven't read the books like the other two but I still like the movies. Jon watched the 1st one with me on Thursday night so he reminded me I need to bring the 2nd one home so he can watch that now. While I was at Ashely's have yummy stir-fry and drinking wine the boys all got together at Andy's with the kiddos. After the kids went to bed the boys reconvened with their baby monitors in hand for some beverages as well.

On Saturday, we ran errands and played at home. We had planned to run out to my parents for a couple hours after the boys' nap since my dad hadn't seen the boys in over 2 weeks but Jon surprised me with a date night and said the boys were actually staying there overnight! We went to my favorite restaurant, Dos Rios, and then went and saw Shutter Island. We had a fabulous night and were overdue for some one-on-one time with each other!

We got up Sunday morning and went and got the little munchkins and then ran to Babies R Us and Sam's. When we got home Jon put the boys down for a nap and I went with the girls, Ashely, Mindy & Meggie to see Dear John. We'd read the book so were super excited to see the movie because the book was AMAZING! The movie was VERY good but ended differently than the book and of course lacked the detail that the book had. But still a great movie and we were happy to have a girls afternoon at the movies. Sunday for supper we met Jon's parents at Mama Lacona's for supper and had pizza. Mama Lacona's is a special place for Jon & I as we had our rehearsal dinner there we are sad to hear that they will be closing at the end of this month. So we were excited to go there with his parents one last time. After supper we all came to our house and since it was already bed time his parents didn't get to stay long but the boys blew them LOTS of kisses as they were leaving.

We had a great weekend and are already looking forward to this weekend. On Friday Jon's parents are going to come up for some sort of veggie or cheese pizza. Then Saturday I'm getting my Camry fixed (related to the recall) early Saturday morning and then the boys and I are going to catch up with my girlfriends and give Daddy some alone time on Saturday. Then Saturday night we are excited to get together with our friends again as families. We haven't had one of our pot lucks since late last year!! And I'm sure Sunday we'll spend the day running errands and getting ready for the following week.

Hope everyone has a great week and upcoming weekend!

Monday, February 22, 2010

What I've been doing...

It's no secret that I LOVE to take pictures, especially of my kids. And the first year of their life I had pictures taken every 2 months! I know that was probably overboard but goodness they changed sooo much and I'm sooo glad I had their pictures taken that often. Plus, to satisfy my need to constantly be changing our house around I liked to update their pictures as often as I could. I did find a great photographer, Sarah McConnell, who was just starting out who only charged $30 to take their pictures and I got all the edited images on a CD to do what I wanted with (I order from MPix.com a professional lab), she's since raised her prices but still does an amazing job! And then I was looking for a photographer for the boys' 1st birthday party and when Sarah was busy I found Allison, who also took some pictures of the boys and shot their party who is an amazing photographer as well. But after watching both of them and seeing how easy it looked to take pictures I thought "why can't I do that?" So that's what I'm going to do especially since I like to have new pictures to put up in the house and hand out to family and friends every few months!

So I took an amazing photography class at Christian Photo. Ok, maybe it wasn't the best class in the world, but it helped me a TON with my photography. I've been shooting with my Nikon D90 using a 50mm f/1.8 lens and 2 other zoom lenses that I've had since my birthday/Mother's Day last year and didn't know what over half of the buttons did or meant on my camera. Sure I could've read the manual and I did a little bit but I don't have time to sit and read a camera manual. I want to be taught/told what to do. So this $30 class at Christian Photo was just what I needed. They went over all the buttons, showed how to adjust white balance, shutter speed, my aperture and so on. Since I learned so much but still have SOOO much I could learned I immediately signed up for the next class for the Nikon cameras. So I'll be going back in May and this time we get to meter white balance with a gray card, something you'd do if you were shooting semi-professional photos in your home of your kids or outside, and we get to actually shoot objects and practice our skills. So I'm looking forward to that class.

Then of course all the good photographers use some sort of editing software to boost exposure or color, crop, touch-up, etc. I used Picnik.com for the longest time to boost the color if I needed or convert images to black and white but a lot of time that site makes the pictures look grainy and less professional. So I mulled over what would be the best photo editing software that was reasonably priced. MckMama, a mom and photographer whose blog I follow, would rave about using Photoshop Elements and how she couldn't wait to to get Photoshop Lightroom. I got Lightroom for Christmas but couldn't use it since our laptop was old but since Jon got me a new laptop for Valentine's Day we just got it up and working. Over the past week I've been teaching myself to use Photoshop Lightroom and I can't get enough of this program!! It just fascinates me and I love love love to edit pictures. I have a lot I'm working on; I just took the boys' 18 month pictures last weekend and since I'm still not the best at adjusting the settings on my camera and frankly it's really hard when I'm trying to shoot two 18 months who are running around the Botanical Center like crazy and I'm trying to catch the smiles and moments I finally gave up trying to adjust my camera and just shot since I knew I could edit and change anything I didn't like in Lightroom. It was REALLY bright in Botanical Center and I've always been told its best to shoot when it isn't very bright and sunny. So the pictures looked overexposed to me. So I've had some exposure to change and color boosting to do and the pictures are turning out FANTASTIC! I can't wait to get them done and ordered! Now for Photoshop, I haven't delved into that yet or really played with it for that matter, one thing at a time I guess!

So that's what I've been up to these past weeks, playing with my camera and photo editing software! Anyone have any tips on either Lightroom or Elements?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fatherhood Friday's

When I was growing up, or even when we first found out we were going to have a baby twins I thought and knew that eventually some day we would watch little kids show. I never thought that our entire evening would be consumed by it or that I would be the way I am now. I can tell you the name of the whole Sesame Street crew, sing all the songs, and tell you each segment of every episode and what is coming up next. On the weekends we watch the same episodes over and over. If one of these happens to be their favorites then we watch it the next week over and over too! So we have about 4 episodes that I can sing and recite the whole show from start to finish. Don't get me wrong I don't mind this at all, I actually think it is kind of fun to sing and dance with the boys. But on the weekends by the end of the day I start to get sick of it. I really just can't wait until spring so we can get outside and play. I just hope they are as passionate about going outside when we get home as they are bout watching Sesame Street right now!

Love, Jon/DADA

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentine's Day Goodies

This year I wanted to do something fun for the boys to take to their Valentine's Day party, which was Monday or this week, so when I saw this recipe I just HAD to try it!! Of course I had my little helper, Jackson.
Don't worry, I let him lick the beaters AFTER I was done mixing all my batches and not in-between!
They turned out PERFECT don't ya think?
Yeah I thought so that is until I went to put them in their little bags that I had bought! They didn't fit with the little heart on the top so I had to take it off (*tear). I thought they looked so pretty like this but off the little heart came...
...so they could be wrapped up and put in these little baggies.
I also made sugar cookies with red, white or pink frosting! I had so much fun baking for their party!
Here is the finished product with their little Valentine attached. Jackson spotted the dogs on the shelf and started barking as we were going through the Valentines isle so dogs and cats are what we went with for this year. My friend Missy made these super cute Valentines for her daughter to give out to her friends, I will be using this idea in the future when the boys are a little older! Each child at daycare got two bags: 1 with cookies and 1 with the brownie.
These bags on the right are what the boys "made" (using loosely since they can't really make anything without help) at daycare to put their Valentine's in from the other kids.
These are the cards that Jon & I got from Jackson & Joel for Valentine's Day! The inside says "Rose are red, Violets are Blue, it's Valentine's Day and we love you! Love, Jackson & Joel"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Semi-Wordless Wednesday-Sickness Pictures

{Joel in the sink playing after he got sick}
{Joel}
{Joel}
{Mama and Joel whose eating ice chips that Nana brought him}
{Mama and Joely...excuse my silly face}
{Daddy & Jackson}
After a LONG weekend of everyone in the house being sick we are all better this week!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Transferring objects

Both of the boys are really into taking one thing and putting it into something else and then back again. They do this all the time with their snack cups. They'll take their snacks out put them in another container or on the table and then back into their snack cup. Jackson was doing just that with these marshmallows that Great Grandma gave them for Valentine's Day.
{Out of the baggie and into the heart lunchbox}
{His filled up lunchbox}
{Showing off what he did...notice all the marshmallow powder all over his clothes. He really wasn't interested in eating them at all only transferring!}

Monday, February 15, 2010

18 Months Old - January 25, 2010

Yes, I know the boys turned 18 months old back in January but we couldn't get them into the doctor until last week since we were on our trip. The trip to the doctor went as it usually did. They are happy to be running and playing in the waiting room but once the nurse comes out...they cry and cry and cry!! The worst part...sitting them on the scale to be weighed!! Not sure why they hate it but the sight of it brought on HUGE alligator tears!! Jackson warmed up to Dr. Schutte after a bit and Joel did too at the tail end of the appointment but then the nurses came back in and both started crying as if they knew the shots were coming. They got their babies to cuddle with and then they were fine as we walked out. They are all set on shots until they start kindergarten, except yearly flu shots, but we won't go back until they are 2!!

Here are their stats:

Jackson
26 pounds 5 ounces - 60th percentile
33 inches tall - 75th percentile
19 inches head circumference - 70th percentile

Joel
26 pounds 9 ounces - 70th percentile
33.5 inches tall - 75th percentile
19 inches heard circumference - 70th percentile

Everyone is right on track and she said this is the closest they have ever been in size and appearance. She thinks they look more alike now than they ever have. I don't think so but I guess I'm mama and can always usually tell them apart!
This weekend we went to the Botanical Center and I took their 18 month pictures. They turned out GREAT and he is a couple of them. More to come later!!
{Jackson}

{Jackson}{Joel}{Joel}

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fatherhood Friday's

PUKE
We have 2 babies that can not stop getting sick. It is everywhere: on baby clothes, on baby blankets, on babies, on mommas clothes, on momma, on the couch, on the floor, in a bucket, in a bowl, in the bath, in the sink and oh yea in the babies beds.
I have been cleaning most of it up so far since they just want momma after it happens. Pics will be posted later today.
Love Jon DADA
P.S. oh yea and it is also on DADA now. I am so proud of myself that I didnt throw up with them. HAHA
***UPDATE***
Well the boys seem to be feeling better. Dada gets to play all day with them since in the night Jennifer got sick and has been in bed all day. I am guessing that I will be next but I sure hope not. Pics to come later since I dont really know how to put them on here and its hard when babies want to help me type.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Brithday Celebrations

Last week we celebrated my Mom and Grandma's birthdays at our house with supper and yummy Dairy Queen ice cream cake!! Great Grandma Schauper brought the boys a big baggie of change and they had sooo much fun putting each coin in their piggy bank!!

{Jackson getting coins from Nana and Joel putting money in his bank}
{Daddy helping Jackie}
{Jackson and Joel putting coins in their banks}
{My mommy the birthday girl!!}
{Jackson blowing out the candles...he only manged to get 1 blown out}
{Jackie was the big helper of the night}
{A cute sign from my other Grandma}
{Jackson was so interested in the shoes that I got mom and he kept trying to put them on so Nana helped him!}

Then last Saturday we headed to Marshalltown and did our taxes and then went to little JJ's 1st Birthday party. Another fun party and everyone was glad to see the boys. Joel was still under the weather so he wasn't much of a partier and only wanted his mama, which I was ok with, but Jackson had fun playing with the kids and JJ's new toys.

{JJ and his daddy, Corey}
{JJ eating his cupcake}
{Jackson and Grandpa Waters}
{Jackson with Grandma Waters}
{Aunt Janna was sooo excited to get to spend some time with the boys since she hasn't seen them in forever. It's hard for her to get back from Iowa City with going to school and working 2 jobs!!}

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

{My Mom, My Grandma (my mom's mom) & Me}

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

We're ready for sunglesses weather too!

The boys love wearing their sunglasses although they haven't mastered putting them on by themselves yet. They don't leave them on for very long when they get them on but if you say "Go show Daddy" they'll run over all smiley and proud to Jon and show him their glasses and then take them off.

{Jackson}
{Jackson}
{Joel}

Monday, February 8, 2010

You won't see these in pictures anymore....





....PACIS!!
Yep while we were on vacation my parents broke them of their pacifiers at all times except when in their cribs. They don't even get them in car anymore!! AND they don't miss them at all!! They even fell asleep in the car without them! Jon and I were just talking that I bet they wouldn't miss them if we just took them out of their cribs too versus leaving them only in their cribs and then them associating their crib with pacis. So we're going to try and take them completely and see what happens. I'll let you know!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fatherhood Friday's

We got home from Cancun last weekend. It was very nice to get a much needed break from the regular grind but it was also nice to get home and see the boys. We thought about them several times while we were down there, especially when we saw little kids with their parents. Walking in and seeing the boys was pretty funny and exciting at the same time. Jackson just about started crying and Joel really wasn't interested in us.

This week has been sooo long! Since going back to the normal work week and I think the boys are more in shock of us being home than we thought. Joel will not leave Jennifer's side, we call him the "Shadow" this week. I think they are both afraid that we are going to leave them again. Joel does not want Jennifer to put him down and he has cried every morning when we drop them off at daycare. But as we walk out the door on the deck he stops so it's the initial reaction of her leaving him. Poor guy. I know that Jennifer loves to snuggle with him but we hate how he feels now, that she's going to leave. They have both been pretty crabby in the evenings and very sassy to each other like "don't touch me" even though they are no where near each other one is always squealing at the other. They also haven't eaten supper for us very well, although Lori says they just eat like monsters during the day in the evenings they just want to be held and not eat anything. Since Jennifer can't get out of their sight I have been doing the cooking (which is normal) and all the cleaning up after dinner (which she usually does). It is impossible for Jen to do anything when there are 2 boys pulling at her legs. Although I know she feels frustrated and so do I, we are choosing to just soak up this snuggle time with them!

I hope with us being around all this weekend they will warm up a little more and be back to their old selves again.

Love, Jon (DADA)

Oh yea, I can't wait to go back to Mexico next year, especially with more snow in the forecast for this weekend and next week!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cancun...

...was short of amazing!! On Monday on our way out of Des Moines we were delayed 1.5 hours and therefore missed our connecting flight in Dallas. There were 19 people on our flight to Dallas and they didn't hold the plane we were sooo frustrated but they did get us on the next flight out and we arrived 3 hours later than we were originally scheduled to. Oh well the sun was waiting for us!! After our short van ride to the resort we all got our rooms and met by the pool at 4. We soaked in the hot tub for awhile then cleaned up for dinner.

{Jon & I going to dinner the 1st night}

The food at the restaurants was VERY good. Everything was a 6 course meal and would take us 1.5-2 hours to eat dinner every night. We had a great time socializing and trying out all the fun drinks. We definitely had our favorite restaurant, "Veneto" we went there 3 of our 4 nights!!!

{Andy, Mindy, Me, Jon, Meggie and Bryce waiting for our table at Veneto}

The days of our trip were spent by the pools. The weather on Tuesday was partly cloudy, Wednesday was cloudy all day, although our faces and scalps managed to get sun burnt. Then Thursday was the perfect day...sunny and 86 degrees!! It was perfect and we soaked up the sun ALL day!! There were various activities throughout the day such as water polo, which Jon and Bryce played below. Jon was the goalie.
The boys LOVED the ocean. They liked getting beat up by the waves and sitting and burrying each other in the sand. While they were frolicking on the beach Mindy, Meggie and I spent our time reading at the pool or just chatting.
Even though I'm not a fan of sand the ocean sure was beautiful.

{Me & Jon by the ocean}
Jon & I aren't big seafood fans, probably because we don't know how to prepare it very well. But we loved all the fish/shrimp we tried on the trip. I had some baked jumbo shrimp and some red snapper. It didn't even taste fishy...the "surf and turf" was a new phrase to me and I really loved the "surf" part. Probably new since I NEVER order seafood when we go out!!

{Jon & I at dinner our 2nd night}

{Mindy, Andy, Jon, Me, Meggie & Bryce}
The boys spent a lot of time at the swim up bar ordering drinks for them and for their ladies. Miami Vice (pina colda and strawberry daiquiri) was my drink of choice...soooo yummy!!
{Me & Jon in the elevator before dinner our 3rd night}
Thursday morning the girls got massages by the ocean. It was sooo peaceful and we enjoyed getting pampered and then soaking in the spa and chatting.
These little built in chairs were great. Mindy and I would steak them out in the mornings and lay on them while in the water...it was perfect!! Yes, I wore my suit down like that I'm anal about my tan lines!!
Our last day at the resort...what a perfect vacation!!
Haha...this picture makes me laugh. On Thursday there was a Mr. Solaris (the name of our resort was Royal Solaris) competition. We entered all the boys in it. They had to sexy dance, do 5 sexy push-ups, kiss the MC on the cheek, strike 3 macho poses and then take a sexy shower (water from a bucket dumped on their head). And everyone cheered for them. It was only supposed to be Andy in the competition but the MC made all 3 boys join. Andy won and Bryce got 3rd. It was soooo funny. I have video of each of the guys dancing but they would KILL me if I posted them I'm sure!!!

{Andy, 3 Indiana guys, Jon & Bryce)
Each night at 8:30 they had entertainment, some awesome dancers, magic show, etc. We went a ocuple nights but we all went our separate ways at 9 and were in bed by 9:30 since we got up at 7 to meet for breakfast every morning and rush to the pool to get the PERFECT seats. Which after the first day of not getting "good" seats Jon and I got up at 3AM to go reserve our PERFECT lounge chairs for us all!!

{Jon & I after our dinner the last night. These pictures are all horrible I didn't take my good camera and I forgot our CRAPPY my small one was!}

We had the best time and went with great friends. We've all agreed this will be a yearly trip for anyone who can and wants to go, so much fun and very relaxing for all the mommies and daddy's but we all sure missed our kids!! The boys were very excited to see us, well Jackson was he almost started crying. Joel didn't want Jon or I just my mom, but that's how it is no matter whose around if my mom is I don't exist no matter if we were gone for 5 days or not! But they did very very well at Nana and Papa's house. Both of my parents took them to daycare everyday but Friday (mom took them to the dr. Joel has a cold) but we were so happy that they kept their routine. It made the trip less traumatic for them.