Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

We hope everyone had a great Christmas. We had a busy time (hence slow to update this site). Louise, Charlotte and Claire enjoyed themselves. Louise was really into Christmas this year. We all went on the Santa Train at the Durham museum of life and science which was a great hit. Louise got to meet Santa and some of his elves. She asked Santa for a pair of sunglasses.

Louise also enjoyed the children's Christmas service at Duke Chapel, though she thought the bass singer was "too loud". (She kept shouting out "I want to see baby Jesus!!) She was so excited afterwards that she charged down the hill to the parking lot and tumbled over before Mummy and Nana could catch up with her (thus the band-aid on her nose in the Christmas day pictures).

We've had lots of visitors. Nana and Granddad have come over from England to stay with us for two weeks. Pops and Mary also came down to see us for a couple of days. Pops' sister Candy joined us for dinner last night, and we'll see his sister Nancy tomorrow evening.

A collection of photos are below including one Louise took - see if you can guess which one! Also there are two videos including one of Louise playing the recorder (Alison's gift idea!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Louise's accent

Louise's accent is interesting. She follows Daddy's lead on some words ("to-MAH-to" and "GEH-redge"). On others, she is entirely Apple Pie (the back of a car is the "trunk", and she helps Daddy take "trash" to the "dump"). Sometimes she's a local (she thinks "milk" is a two-syllable word). But occasionally she is pure Louise. Yesterday she walked around the house with our neighbour Judy's stethoscope saying "my being noyrse!" (nurse).

Charlotte singing with Mummy's cousin Sarah:

Daddy's Stephen Colbert impression ("my small friends"):

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Getting ready for Christmas

9 December: We had a wonderful weekend; we visited Mummy's cousin Sarah and her family. Louise had a wonderful time playing dress-up with her cousin Lily, and Charlotte ate pizza for the first time in her life (she was very impressed). Charlotte & Claire now have two and three teeth (respectively).

Louise is very excited about Christmas. She quickly picked up the lyrics to a few Christmas songs, and she's been teaching Mummy all about Santa. (He has a sleigh and reindeer, and they all ride on his Santa train). This evening, Louise and Daddy took a walk down the road, where they admired the neighbours' Christmas lights. ("The deer's heads move, Mummy! All by themselves!!")

Louise has also learnt how to put on her coat by herself. Mr Brandon at daycare has taught her a trick way to do it, very nifty (see video below) :

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We celebrated a lovely Thanksgiving with our neighbour Judy. We had a non-traditional feast of chicken curry, rice, cornbread, and apple pie. We're also enjoying the dry weather and spending quite a bit of time outside, to Louise's delight. We hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday.

A few days ago, Mummy noticed that Claire has a tooth! After many false alarms Claire finally did it. Charlotte is quite fussy, but she can lag quite a bit behind her big little sister in physical things.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Leaf removal season

This week has been one of coughs and colds with everyone being hit by something. Claire is recovering from an ear infection.
We have been busy blowing leaves off our lawn and helping neighbours as well. Louise has enjoyed helping, which can be seen in one of the videos below. She also enjoys rolling about in the leaves! We are looking forward to the long Thanksgiving weekend and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

Louise is also developing an entrepreneurial spirit. She announced on Saturday, "I want to sell my bike."
"How much are you asking for it?" Mummy enquired.
"I don't know," said Mummy. "That's a lot for a used bike. I'll give you $0.05"
"No, I need $30," Louise insisted.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Christmas gifts

This week we have spent time getting a Christmas gift parcel for an orphan in a poor country put together. Louise named the female recipient "Lucy" and in the video below goes through what we bought for her. Louise then asked if she could open her own Christmas presents, and when we said it wasn't Christmas time yet, she replied "I see it snowing".

Claire is becoming ever more proficient at sitting up; she can sit unaided for 15+ minutes. She is showing interest in crawling, and she does a funky breakdancing move that results going precisely the opposite direction from the one in which she wishes to travel. Charlotte is still watchful and observant, and she prefers to be held (preferably by a moving person) during every waking moment. Daddy managed, however, to capture a moment when the C&C Music Factory (as their uncle has dubbed them) were both at rest:

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Third Gender

Louise was able to enjoy another Halloween party yesterday, this time at a local park with other kids and their reproductively efficient parents (from the "mothers of multiples" group). She also thoroughly enjoyed trick-or-treating around the neighbourhood last night ("roar!"). Natasha generously gave her a "twin" dragon of her own (as well as an edible treat).

Last night, Louise asked Daddy to put a hairbow in her hair. He shook his head sadly and said, "Mommy is much better at that sort of thing. You don't see boys with hairbows, do you?"

Louise looked at him quizzically and said, "But you're not a boy, Daddy!"

"What am I?" he asked.

"You're a Daddy".


Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween party - Carolina style

This past weekend we had two Halloween parties to attend. Louise enjoyed dressing up as a dragon whilst Charlotte and Claire didn't protest as we dressed them up as a scare-crow and pumpkin respectively.
The biggest party was organised by Triangle Mommies, which is a local support group for parents. Louise enjoyed getting candy from the various people who had spent time decorating their car trunks (or boots in UK English!) We are rationing the candy one piece a day since she developed a liking for the lollipops. We have added below three videos of Louise enjoying the party.
On Friday we will go around to some of our neighbours to replenish Louise's candy bowl.
Everyone is over the stomach bug we had last week and Charlotte and Claire are sleeping better which is a great relief.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Little Miss Independent

Last Saturday, after "quiet time", Daddy took the girls to Hillsborough to see what the big deal was about the Hillsborough Homemade Parade. There was already quite a crowd, parking was going to be an issue, and C&C were getting hungry. Despite her poorly tummy, Louise was intrigued and wanted to see the parade. "It's okay, Daddy," she said. "You can drop me off here and come back later."

Charlotte is not quite as grown up as her sister, but she has learned to roll over. Now everyone in the family is mobile.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Week of illness

This week has been challenging will all of us, in turn, feeling the ill effects of a 48 hour stomach virus. Louise was first up with her throwing up on Friday night whilst in bed. She let us know and was very well behaved by keeping quiet so as not to wake her sisters. She also didn't add to the mess. She had a reduced appetite and was lethargic for some of the weekend (including a 2.5 hour nap on Sunday - unheard of!).
After that Guy was affected Monday through to Wednesday and Alison Tuesday to Thursday (thankfully not totally overlapping). Charlotte and Claire both have reduced appetites today and Charlotte has a very bad cough. Hopefully by the weekend everyone will be fully recovered.

We have Halloween outfits for everyone but wanted to show one of Louise in a green dragon outfit.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Teething trouble

This week has been hard. Both Charlotte and Claire are teething and waking up, between them, 3-4 times a night. It feels like teeth from both the top and bottom are trying to make their way through.

Louise continues to enjoy her new room and had a new addition - "Flappy" the polar bear. This was a gift from a work colleague of Alison's, and Louise had no trouble coming up with his name! Her imagination is really taking off: she talks about invisible dogs in the house and piggies in the crawl space.

We all went to Lily's first birthday party yesterday (a work colleague's daughter) and Louise helped her celebrate with a great rendition of the "Happy Birthday" song. She also enjoyed the cupcakes.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Charlotte and Claire 6 month visit update

Charlotte and Claire had their 6 month doctor's visit today. They both have grown very well since their last visit two months ago (four pounds in two months!). Charlotte now weighs 15lb 6oz (35th percentile) and is 25 inches long. Claire is 16lb 15oz (70th percentile) and 25 3/4 inches. Both are now well on the growth chart and are tracking as normal 6 months olds which is great since they were 6 weeks early. Claire has already started to show some interest in solid food and tried some yesterday.

Louise is doing great with her new bed, she has gone four whole nights without sleeping on the floor at all!! Her vocabulary has exploded and it is great fun to listen to her having imaginary phone conversations with the grandparents and others.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Mummy!

Alison advances another year today and is once again a year older than Daddy! Below is a photo of Alison from a few years ago - like Mother like daughter!

Update : Claire has managed to roll from her back onto her front for the first time today. Charlotte is lagging a little behind but is getting better with tummy time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bedroom moves

With the grandparents leaving today they helped us with one more job. We re-organised the bedrooms. Charlotte and Claire have now moved into Louise's old room. Since we have had our last overnight guests for the year we have moved Louise into the back bedroom. This gave us the opportunity, at last, to get her a proper bed. Whenever we asked what sort of bed she would like she replied "Elmo". When she came home today we surprised her with her new bed and bedding. She seems pleased!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Grandparents leave

The new work-daycare routine is working out well and Alison continues to enjoy work. Charlotte and Claire are enjoying their new daytime surroundings and are experimenting with trying to roll over.
Louise continues to enjoy playing dress-up and seeing her friends. Later this week she will see the dinosaur exhibit at the Durham museum of Life and Science as part of a parent/daycare outside class.
Little Nan and Grandad are coming to the end of their four weeks with us and have been a great help. They say they have enjoyed the "fun" of looking after three children! They are coming back for Christmas with us, so they obviously were not joking.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Daycare has started for Charlotte and Claire

Charlotte and Claire started daycare last week and seemed to enjoy their first 5 days. Alison continues to get back into the work routine, with it being better than expected. We now have an extensive morning routine including first dropping off the twins, then dropping off Alison, then Louise before Guy finally gets to work.
The grandparents have continued to be a great help and are enjoying their stay. We also had Alison's friend Kimberly come down from Maryland to see us.
Louise has continued to make great progress with potty training, she is now wearing big-girl panties whilst at daycare. She says she wants to "keep Dora dry". The lesson seems to be that it pays to buy panties with a children's TV character on the front!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Little Nan and Grandad arrive to see the twins

We have been busy with the arrival, last weekend, of Little Nan and Grandad from the UK. They are staying with us for four weeks. They have been a great help this week as Alison went back to work. Charlotte and Claire start their new daycare next Monday.
Louise continues to do well and the big event this week was the butterflies at daycare hatching from the cocoon the caterpillars made. Louise every morning asks to see how the butterflies are doing - a budding naturalist. Louise is also doing well with her potty training; she is giving us advance notice sometimes when she wants to use the potty.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pops and Mary visit

Pops and Mary came to see us over the weekend (Friday - Sunday), and we also got to visit some of Pops' other family members - Mommy's cousin Liza and her two daughters (Chloe and Becca), and Pops' sister Nancy. Claire & Charlotte enjoyed the extra cuddles.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hand painting

It has been another good week with Charlotte and Claire both sleeping better (on average). Their new daycare teacher is coming for a home visit this Friday to get to know the girls and fill us in on what we need for Day 1 which is Monday 31st August.
Louise has been busy hand painting her pyjama top and trying on hand me downs from Daddy's colleagues (especially the striking pink outfit with red ladybug boots!) Louise's potty training continues to go in fits and starts but she is slowly getting better at predicting her needs.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Baking fun

We have had a good week. Louise helped make cookies on Saturday (double chocolate!) and had fun seeing her friends Katie, Rebecca and Elizabeth over the weekend. We bought a "bumbo" seat, which the twins enjoy (Claire is in photo below). It helps them sit up and (hopefully) in time regain the hair on their bald patch (maybe it will work for Daddy!). Louise has started to really enjoy wearing dresses and the hot weather here makes them ideal.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, Daddy!!

Daddy is 35 today! He was greeted with the sounds of the "Happy Birthday" song from Louise & mummy this morning. In honour of his birthday, Claire learned to roll over yesterday! She and Charlotte are also "talking" and giggling.

Friday, July 31, 2009

New pictures

It has been a good week. Charlotte & Claire are slowly getting over their colds. Mummy's Aunt Margaret generously sent a gift of beanie babies - Louise was delighted by the bounty! She particularly likes the lizard. Now we're all looking forward to the weekend - no special plans, although someone from Duke will be coming to the house on Saturday morning to evaluate Louise's mental state as part of a pre-schooler study.