Sunday, April 28, 2013

2 yrs + 7 mo !

Everybody loves a blog post with lots of pictures, so here you go! 
2 years and 7 months old
My only requirement for their monthly picture is that I can see every ones faces, check!
(and they have to be in birth order of course)
my sister and the boys
Eli at the San Jose Flea Market
the boys got some prezee's : )
I hope Caleb's cat obsession doesn't have him thinking he's one too!
This would have been their monthly picture only someone, of course, had their hands in their mouth!
Even though C has dirt all over his face, isn't he the cutest!?
biking to the park 
A casual picture of Sam and one of the boys, in the back Phil is getting cozy with my brother, haha!
Sadly I had to turn the boys forward facing because with all the crap in our car it would have been impossible to get them out of the car from the back. I wanted to at least make it to three, oh well : ( Of course they like it way better but I don't have peace of mind anymore that they are WAAAY safer rear facing (this is me feeling guilty).
The boys getting the full Ikea shopping experience with breakfast and all, they actually had a blast!
Out side of my sisters work, the boys got to meet some of her co-workers, one of which is a really big fan of them : )
We are still in Cali having a blast and we get to spend another week here. Phil flew in a couple of days ago to join us. Today we left my mom's house after 1.5 weeks which seems like a long time but it always goes too fast! I'm way backed up on pictures so you'll see more South Bay pics later. We are currently in the East Bay with Phil's brother, I'll check in later : )

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cali Trip pt 1

Sorry for the brief hiatus, I haven't had any down time (which is a good thing!) and am just today opening up my laptop to dump all the pictures from my phone and camera. There are a ton already so here are a few cute ones from the first couple of days. 

Superhero Caleb
Super hero Thomas
Super hero Eli
Got to meet the latest addition to the family.
Me, my sister, my cousin, and my cousin's 3 week old baby.
Not the best picture of us but at least we are all together!
My aunt came over and made 90 empanadas, I probably gained 5lbs that day!
And probably 10lbs so far, we've been eating sooo good : )
Cool dude Caleb or Thomas
(I'm not sure the exact identity, I remember this being Thomas but the orange bike is Caleb's)
Eli making hotwheel ice cubes!
WARNING: Eating apple sauce out of the lid with a straw can be dangerous, helmets are recommended.
You'll notice an abundance of pictures of the boys on their bikes over the next few posts. Bringing them was the best idea I've had since deciding to buy them, all they want to do is ride them! The weather down here is perfect right now and I'm so glad we came this time of year. We're having a blast and hopefully I can post again in a couple of days : )

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Historic Fire Station Tour

C found the ax
T is the standing firefighter
I could not get Caleb out of the Firetruck cabin, you'll see why in the next pic
The windows are actually screens showing real footage of firefighters responding to calls in Portland
(anyone recognize the turnabout?)
This is when I finally convinced Caleb to get out after spending most of the time inside
See Caleb, there are other fun things to see and do!

all the boys were pro's at sliding down the pole
me and my boys!
Mr. T looking like a little man : )
My mom and sister flew in yesterday to help me with the drive down to Cali (yes I know they are crazy and I told them so). Phil will join us next week since he can't take too much time off because of his new job. We are hoping to make the drive down all in one go, I'm very nervous about it since the boys are newly potty trained and aren't good car travelers! Perhaps as you are reading this we might be somewhere along I-5 right now or better yet at our final destination! The car is loaded mostly with the boys stuff and I packed all my light sweaters so I think we're all set, SF Bay Area here we come!

Will report back in a couple of days : )

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pretend Scenes

Unbeknownst to me, Thomas was hungry so he went to the fridge pulled out his milk and yogurt  and grabbed himself a spoon. He sat down and so he started eating. I turn around thinking where is Thomas? This boy isn't gonna starve anytime soon!
Caleb's pretend scene #1 (shall we start a new series???). I wonder what the cats where doing? Are they putting out the fire or are they being saved from the fire?
Pretend scene #2. All the boys have an understanding, the pig lives in the tow truck of course!
He's been in there for several days even after each boy has played with it.
Took the boys to the train museum, we were fortunate enough to see some construction equipment before going in!
I thought it was so cute how Thomas kept his hands in his pockets!
It's so hard to keep pants on these kids, so 1 out of 3 ain't bad! 
These are serious push ups considering that's 50 lbs on Phil's back!
It's spring! Blueberry bushes, strawberry patch, mini apple tree, and raspberry vines are all in bloom!
Here to hoping the boys don't eat everything the minute it's visible like last year!

It's crunch time at the Pittsenbarger house, in just a couple of days we'll be heading out to Cali! We are so excited to see everyone again and enjoy warmer weather filled with the glorious SUN! 

But I'm starting to panic because I suddenly remember how bad my allergies get down there in the spring time. Oh no, is my plan to avoid the scorching summer heat backfiring on me?!? We shall see I guess...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Together or Apart?

Best Friends Forever!
I ran into this very informative article that shows an infographic about the latest research on how multiples do in school when either in the same class room or in separate class rooms. This is a very hot topic among parents of multiples and for a while now I've been feeling guilty that I cared so little about the topic even though I think a lot about life after the boys go off to school. The reason I felt guilty is because I want to keep my boys together as long as possible so that I don't have to deal with three different teachers and three different sets of homework packets each night. Yes I'm selfish and want to take the easy road (see, sometimes it is easier to have multiples!). Over and over again I hear the argument about multiples needing to be separated in school so that they become individuals and less co-dependent. It makes sense but still, I don't want to deal with three different sets of homework every night!

So, along comes this article Twins in the Classroom and now I feel like I have a clearer view of things. If you don't feel like reading it, I will summarize the main points:

1. Multiples separated early had more anxiety and emotional distress than those kept in the same classroom. And that this is especially true of IDENTICAL multiples. (red flag for me!)

2. Multiples separated had LOWER reading scores than those kept in the same classroom.

Fraternal vs Identical

1. Identical multiples separated in school showed higher levels of depression, anxiety, social withdrawal  and other internalizing problems.

2. Identical multiples when separated at age 7 had poorer reading abilities.

3. Fraternal multiples separated after one year in school together worked harder in school than those kept together

 It just goes to show what a special and unique bond identical multiples have and that it is a different kind of bond than those seen in fraternal multiples (and of course frat multiples share a unique bond that is different from fraternal siblings).

I read all of the sources that were used to write this article and found an insightful quote about the argument of separating multiples so they become individuals,

…”Many people may think this might be micro-parenting . . . but this idea that twins won’t be individuals if they stay in the same classroom is so misguided and not based on research,” said Nancy L. Segal, a psychology professor and director of the Twins Studies Center at California State University, Fullerton. (taken from here)

This argument has always bothered me a little since the same thing can be said about sharing the same room. Are your children doomed for life because you can't afford a house with more rooms? Or what of kids who are home schooled, are they doomed too? I'm very glad to hear it has no real basis and is contrary to what research has found.

And another one of the sources argues this:

"There's research that suggests that when friends are in the same class, they're more exploratory, they cling to the teacher less,"..."So if we're worried about individuality, why do we let best friends go to school together?"(taken from here)

At least for me that seals the deal and I feel better about feeling the way I felt before. I want to keep my boys in the same classroom at least until they are old enough to tell me they want to be separated or when they start middle school, whichever comes first. At the moment I don't feel like my guys are overly co-dependent of each other and love to go places with mom and dad one on one. Of course I can't see into the future so if there are issues that need to be addressed that would be solved by separating them I would definitely consider it, we all know our children the best so it's certainly up to the parents to make the decisions that they feel are right regardless of what research shows.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Imaginary M&M's

Didn't I tell you that Caleb loves his kitties : )
I must add, what a handsome boy I have!
KH basement play time to get our wiggles out!
What we caught Eli doing while doing his business in the bathroom.
The boy has the Bible out!
Caleb came to see what all the fuss is about
I thought it a shame that we can't do something out side when it's raining and not too cold.
So I made a little porch sandbox/mini construction site!

So Caleb if you all remember was the only one I had to bribe to get him to use the potty. Well it's been over 2 weeks since I weaned him off of it and so now every time he uses the bathroom he gives himself imaginary m&m's. It's too funny to see him say "m&m" and then grab at the air and put the imaginary m&m in his mouth!

I've been noticing Caleb's pretend play lasting longer and longer these days. He's been playing with his wooden fire truck a lot and he'll move the firemen up and down the ladder and have them put out fires. It's so cute to watch and I think more intense pretend play is just around the corner for these guys. I can't wait and can even see myself joining in on their fun!

As you saw in the pictures above Eli has been "reading" books as he does his morning business in the bathroom. He likes refiling though our bookshelf that's near the bathroom and picks out something to "read." I must adds that this bookshelf is filled with either Bible literature or Phil and I's old college textbooks (which I'm not sure why we still keep around we surely need the space!). He'll go back and forth several times getting different stuff before he's said and done in the bathroom. He's been spending almost 20 minutes in the bathroom some days!

Recently I filled out a 30 month (2.5yrs) ASQ to track the boys development since it was mandatory for the boys nursery school program. In almost every category, except speech of course, the boys scored ahead of the curve! In fact one of the questions asks "can your child point to at least 7 different body parts?" I immediately marked off 'yes' but then I thought about it and said to my self "they can do it in both Spanish and English!" I have some smart boys, most American adults can't do that!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Flashback!

This video depicts why the boys, who were born at exactly 34 weeks, could not come home right away. This is day two of life and the boys had only had an iv in to keep them hydrated so it was time to get them eating. For the first few days once feedings had commenced the boys were fed 20 ml (that a little more than half and ounce) every three hours. And as you will see it kind of went like this most days and wouldn't even finish half their bottles! I question the term 'learning how to eat' as is often used and think the time in the NICU was spent catching up developmentally so they could nourish them selves sufficiently via a bottle (as we all know the breast came much later). They came home drinking 30 ml every three hours and it took them 20 minutes to drink it and hence why we got such little time to sleep! At this age you could not feed all three at once if one person was doing the feedings : (

So anyways prepare for some serious cuteness as mama Sue attempts to give Caleb his first bottle (sadly I had to miss this since I was too weak to get out of bed that day). WARNING: Those with feeble health need not watch, it may induce a cuteness over load!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tulip Festival 2013

group shots weren't going to be coming easy today...well are they ever?
with my three little ducks : )
E clogging it up!
Best grin of the day goes to Eli!

the guys
I love this picture, wish I had thought to take my sunglasses off, it would have been a framer!
Dith? (this)
my three lovelys : )
so beautiful!
up they go

final group shot try, they are waiting for me to hand them mints.
Bribery, it sort of works : (
Cute little video of Caleb with a lady bug he found. Translation for what he says, "spider spider, WOW"

The boys let out a weeks worth of energy out in a matter of 3 hours! They were moving so fast we couldn't hardly keep up with them. Last year at the tulip fest we got much better pictures of them since they weren't nearly as fast! It was a beautiful day at 75 degrees and not a single cloud in the sky (not the best for pictures though). Till next year!