this kid cracks me up…

Cbug’s new “cheese” face…

oh man, that boy.

{this is on the way to Lazy 5 Ranch (which they loved!)… post to come from the one and only Jeffrey T. Pyles, full of mockery and sarcasm as I suffered a few “traumatic” moments there!}

CHEESE! Have a great day y’all!

pumpkin patch + party

My friend Alicia’s 2 boys, Hunter & Carter, celebrated their birthdays this weekend with a party at a pumpkin patch.  It was such a fun idea – there were tons of things for the kids to do (Cullen LOVED the little petting zoo – had a meltdown when it was time to go!) and we all got in the fall spirit going on a tractor ride & picking pumpkins.  And of course, took a ton of obligatory fall pumpkin patch pictures – mandatory for all small cutie pies. 🙂

Picture overload: {click to enlarge}

bojangles sunday

My Grandpa’s in town… we love having him, and we love his tradition of a big Bojangles’ chicken lunch on Sundays when he’s here.

Today he came home with the biggest box of Bojangles’ I have ever seen in my life:

(aunt ash, she loves some bo!)

The boys enjoyed their favorite, mashed potatoes, and made the box (which turned out to be a carrying container with 4 boxes of goodness inside) a new favorite toy:

random goodness

I got to see this girl… Kristen & Dave drove through Charlotte & got to meet the boys – I was so excited!!

Lane is cracking us up daily…

Cole not only makes us laugh, but himself as well…

and I got a wonderful weekend away with 3 of my closest friends and our moms!  This is the hilarious last-minute self-timer pic we snagged as we were leaving – all the good ones are on a different camera…

and my mama…sure do love her 🙂

STUD

Back by popular demand (ok, maybe just Lauren wanting me to contribute to “our” family blog), I make my return to post some more ramblings.  I’ve been home for a little over six weeks now as a SAHD (Stay At Home Dad) or as I like to call it… STUD (Still Temporarily Unemployed Dad).  As difficult as it has been not working and feeling as though I’m not able to provide for my family as well as I would like, I have been doing my best to cherish the moments I have had with Lauren and the boys.  I’ve certainly learned quite a bit more about the boys’ personalities and what will calm them down if they are upset.  It is very cool to feel so close to them and to be able to assist Lauren in raising our children.

There are many lessons I’ve learned over the past weeks, but none greater than that twin walkers are a LOT of work.  These boys are everywhere… they are fantastic investigators.  Whether it is letting us know when a door is slightly ajar or helping us find a missing bobby pin under the couch, we have to have our eyes on them constantly.  I am so thankful that Lauren is such a great mom and is so good at taking care of them because I’m not so sure that I would be able to do this on my own for any extended period of time.  We have been trying to give each other some free time during the day since both of us are home.  It’s a little like tag-team wrestling… someone’s getting worn out, stumble to the ropes and tag in your partner who can get some fresh legs into the ring to wrangle the boys.  Somehow Lauren is able to take care of them and come home looking immaculate (as always) whereas when I’m in charge solo, I’m lucky to return with all of our clothes and body parts intact.

I’ve learned to appreciate all the work that goes into bringing up these boys and how tiring some days can be.  Don’t get me wrong… I’ve had an absolute blast with them and enjoyed the perks of being home.  However, it is a lot of work handling twins.  Case in point: Last week I took the boys to Wal-mart by myself so that Lauren would have some time to herself and be able to recharge her batteries.  When I pulled into the parking lot, I had to think about how I was going to get them inside at the same time, so I drove around until I found a shopping cart stall with the side-by-side seats for both of the boys.  I was quite fortunate that I found one and was able to start my journey.  No sooner than I get inside the doorways than I’m swarmed by two octogenarian Wal-mart greeters who just “love your boys… aren’t they the cutest things ever??”  Yes ma’am… we like them a lot too, can I just get my bread and milk and get out of here before Lane bites Cullen, vice-versa or someone dirties a diaper?  I manage to just start moving the cart forward, trying to give the ladies a hint, and finally break away.  We get moving and get just about done with our trip without another hiccup when I’m passing the snack aisle and a man (walking with a serious purpose) who stops dead in his tracks, looks me straight in the eye and says “Are those twins you have there?”  Caught slightly off-guard, I answer in the affirmative and he simply says “It will get better son, I promise.  My twins are now 30 yrs old… there is light at the end of the tunnel”.  With that, he takes off like Usain Bolt and vanishes towards the beer/wine section (can you blame him?).  It appears there is a fraternity that we’ve been accepted into… and anytime we are around other parents of twins, they feel the need to console us and let us know that we will survive.  Well, I daily thank God for my lovely wife because I feel as though we are more than surviving… we’re having a lot of fun and the boys seem to be thriving!

Lauren was away on a mother-daughter girls’ weekend with her mom and several friends, so it was a man weekend here at home.  The boys got their first taste of bratwursts (LOVED it) and watched a lot of football, although every single team that any guy here rooted for this weekend lost… it was pretty remarkable.  We made it through the weekend without any major injuries and mom and grandma had a nice, relaxing weekend away.  The boys and daddy are extremely glad that mom’s back home and tomorrow’s agenda certainly includes a nap for yours truly.

Thanks to all for your prayers for us and especially for my job situation.  I have had a couple of great leads including a possible position at ESPN here in Charlotte and another working for my old boss who I’ve loved working for in the past.  I’m confident that God has something great in store for me and our family and we’re just waiting on His timing for the right opportunity.

-J

L & C right now

Things I want to remember about them at this age (14.5 months):

Cullen –

  • lover… loves to give hugs & kisses (even to strangers); he is the cuddler of the two
  • SLEEP makes a massive difference in his temperament – if he sleeps well, he’s an absolute delight.  If he has a rough few days, he is HIGH maintenance.
  • is currently more cautious & careful.
  • focuses on a task and is determined – sticks to it for a good 15-30 minutes – putting a pen or a spoon in & out of a jar, a ball in & out of a measuring cup, anything that is taking something out & putting it back.
  • is obsessed with leaves, spoons, and the dogs.   They make him quite happy!
  • when waking up from his afternoon nap – he has 3 needs to defy grumpiness: Goldfish or graham crackers, rocking on the deck outside, and Grandma. Mommy will suffice if Grandma is not available. 🙂 (yep, he’s taking full advantage of living with grandparents!)

Lane –

  • is a little daredevil right now – turn your head for a second & he’s climbed up on a table/chair/moving toy & is standing up waving his arms & bouncing around on it.  Loves to climb.
  • his hair – long, blonde, curly in the back… he has been mistaken for a girl a few times recently with the pretty blue eyes (time for another haircut I guess – it’s hard to bring myself to cut those locks!)
  • always wants to “have some fun” & shakes his head to let you know he wants to be bounced & tossed around
  • says “bye bye” like the cutest little southerner you’ve ever met (ba-ba) while opening & closing his fist repeatedly.
  • is the current big eater & is becoming quite the chunky monkey, for these two!  getting pretty solid. 🙂  Still a little guy though.
  • is obsessed with the Roomba – will follow it around while it vacuums for a good half hour.  That is probably the ONLY thing that holds his attention longer than 15 seconds (haha).

Both –

  • love to dance & have dance parties
  • love being outside & playing with sticks, leaves, & rocks in the dirt (and trying to eat it as well, of course – they are 100% BOYS!)
  • are definitely understanding a lot of words when you talk to them, although they still don’t say that many actual words.  They babble to each other a lot! (Lane – doi doi, Cullen – na na)
  • enjoying playing together more, & don’t get into too many fights right now for being two 1-year-olds who are with each other all the time.  They definitely entertain each other pretty well; we are reaping some benefits of having twins there!
  • are all over the place, get into everything – but are a ton of fun!