Wednesday, September 28, 2011

can you hear me now?

Soooo- after a little experience reminding me why sometimes you don't want everyone knowing all the intimate details of your life- I decided to try private blogging. So I clicked "private" thereby making it incredibly private- like only I can read the blog. Brad pointed out it was a silly use of the internet so please provide me with your email if you'd like because I will likely go private again, but this time I will invite you with me when I do. :)
My reasoning:
Blogging, facebooking, tweeting and the likes have been pretty important to me post-babies. Those first few months I quarantined us at home and my online "social" interactions helped keep me sane. However, as of late I've really had a desire to veer back to real life and get a little distance from the bloggosphere. It can be a little hard because honestly I don't have friends who I'm hanging out with all the time, but I've literally *made* my own friends and they are taking up almost all of my time these days! I can't blog while I'm feeding babies anymore, instead I'm trying to save a sister from chocking etc while I feed the other. They both want my attention all the time (or need my attention as they are about to get into something potentially dangerous), and they pretty much never nap at the same time.
Along with my trend back to real life I'm hoping to get tangible baby books underway and focus more on them than the blog. I love tangible things and I'm realizing they will be more special to the girls. I forgot how much I enjoy scrapbooking! Even if I've only finished the outside of the books so far...
I love being a mom. Lyla and June are my favorite people in the world. I like sharing that with others, but like I said, people who don't really know me don't need to know the intimate details of my life. I also don't want to make my blog so impersonal and have to leave out the details I want to remember. So, my little blog will likely be going private soon, if I have your email and you'd like to keep tabs on the thrilling parties in the life of a twin mama, feel free to do so. :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

7 months

video
It seems like the girls have grown up so much in the past few days.  They are little aware people now, which makes me feel so bad when I leave them and the want to be with me. (and I'm talking like leave to brush my teeth, not on a vacation!)  They are aware of each other and play together so much more now which is my favorite thing to see, it's so cute! Now that all our favorite TV series are starting again I often find myself watching them instead of the show, babies are much better entertainment than any of the top producers could come up with! What is it about watching your own baby that is so enthralling? Sometimes its because they're discovering something new- pulling wipes from the container, shaking a diaper, trying to get in the small crack between the TV and DVD case, mesmerized watching their own hand move. The little faces they make are priceless. Other times they really aren't doing anything but sitting there being a baby and I just can't get enough of it. They are so beautiful, curious, and fun.  They are small for their age and advanced at the same time, so whenever I take them out I get starry-eyed strangers exclaiming how amazing it is that they sit up so well, are so alert, interact with them etc. Everyone thinks the girls love them because they'll smile and giggle and play with anyone. I don't ever tell them that's just how the girls are, why not let everyone feel special? ;)


Lyla,
You little gerber baby you. Your little baby chub is coming in so cute and you have the sweetest little smile to match your perfect baby cheeks. You love food with a passion, a little lady after your mama's heart.  We hardly knew you moved till we started feeding you little rice puffs- it took you less than a day to basically master hand-eye coordination to get as many of those little babies into your mouth as quickly as possible.  We'll put a line of them out in a room and you're from one side of the room to the other in a flash. If we left a trail you'd probably make it around the block.  I love watching how fast you grab them and shove them in your mouth. You seriously love food! Lately you love to pound your right arm up and down, when you're excited but mostly when you want something. If you want me to hold you or if you want food- your little mini-tantrums have begun! ;) You love it when I hold you up in the air above me and move you back and forth. You're still a big talker and make the funnest noises. I wouldn't be surprised if you started learning words early.  You're still my little cuddly koala baby and  I love to hold you in my arms.  You get around where you want to go and do it fairly quick, I'd say you're crawling, but you haven't quite got the R/L back and forth thing down, what you do is like the best arm crawl ever invented.  You were playing with the DVDs a couple days ago and I saw a big plastic sticker off one of them stuck to your cheek, before I had a chance to get it off you had swallowed it. It gave me such a scare because you kept coughing and struggling with it in your throat and I couldn't get it out. I rushed you over to Dr. Jed's, but by then it was no where to be found. I guess DVD cases don't make good baby toys. You are such a darling, chubby, lovable baby- so glad you're mine!
love, mama

June,
You never run out of energy, I've never seen a baby like you and it amazes me. By 6 months you were already crawling, sitting, and pulling yourself up! At 6 months you also weighed a grand total of 12.0 lbs- it's not everyday you see such a young baby performing such skills, but a baby of your size is unheard of! It is seriously so funny to watch- you are so cute. You pretty much amaze everyone who sees you.  It is going to be hilarious when you're walking, which I have a feeling won't be too far off... I am sorry to report sleep is not in your repituar of skills- you can fall asleep almost exclusively being held. 9 out of 10 times when I put you in your crib you wake right back up and it takes several tries to get you to sleep. You wake up in the middle of the night and pop right up with your head over the crib edge, begging to get out. Me and daddy have both slept with you a time or two- but when we do we think you're asleep right next to us, and if we look at you you're wide-eyed in the dark staring at us!  I'm not gonna lie, sometimes it's a little creepy at night going in to check on you and seeing you standing straight up in your crib, with wide eyes waiting for me to come to you. I've put you down dead asleep and in a flash you're standing there crying to get out, it's so fast I feel like you apparate from one position to the next.  You just never want to miss out on anything and want to make sure you're in the action- which pretty much means being with me to you.  Even though I'm losing out on sleep because of you, you're a joy in the daylight hours! Yobabyproofing the house better.  You also love me to carry you around and you cling onto me like a little monkey, since you're so light I can still get a lot done around the house. :) You're such a tenacious, funny, and sweet little baby- you are so loved!
love, mama

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tasteful & Truthful Taiwan

At the airport on our way to Taiwan it again took FOREVER to figure out the baby tickets etc- I guess they didn't have a lot of experience with baby twin travellers or something, we had problems everytime.  June had the most massive blow out of her life right on one of our bags as we were going to check it. Clean up was a mess to say the least, I'm glad it happened before the plane though! Our hotel was surprisingly nice (you can really get your money's worth in Taiwan!).  They even had an exersize machine just like the one in blast from the past:
We had yummy dumplings and took a train to Taipei. This super nice couple drove us all over Taipei, we saw the Taipei 101 "tallest green building in the world." We also saw the grand hotel.



I really wanted to go to the famous bridal street and take fake engagment pictures like they did on the bachelorette this season. Brad would have rocked Ames' blue sequined suit! There was just no stinking time, so yeah, if you were wondering these pics are doctored. I'm really good at editing pictures.
And I told Brad before the trip, I pretty much considered him my tour guide and did very little of my own research, just trusted in his expertise. Especially in Taiwan- I told him I would follow him around, eat what he ate, say hello to who he said ne-how to, and not complain. I knew we were there in the land of his mission for 2 reasons: people and food. And I was okay with that.
We went by the temple and met up with one of Brad's old companion's and his family. There was a big, beautiful stake center right next to the temple.  The church has grown a lot there!
After a quick glance of a few of Taipei's sights we headed to the night market. I hoped for good food from what Brad had said, but really had no clue what to expect. Brad also started to wonder if he'd talked it up too much and was hoping I'd like it. I assured him I'm no food snob, I can find yumminess anywhere and was excited to try Taiwanese street food!
There were tons of people and it was pretty hot. Not ideal baby conditions, but they seemed to be happily sleeping so we dove into the crowds.
My first Taiwanese delicacy....fried chicken. Um...I thought this is Taiwanese food? I wasn't super excited because I don't even like fried chicken. But after a wait in a crazy long line I expected something decent (similar fried chicken stands had no wait). One bite and...OH MY WORD. I shouldn't even write about it because it's impossible to understand, I know you're just thinking of KFC right now, but this wasn't just fried chicken. It was phenomenal, lots of delicious white meat that was easy to eat, but one end had bones that added to the moistness and the rich flavor. It was seasoned perfectly with some asian spices. Couldn't tell you what, but my tastebuds were dancing. The coating was perfect- crisp, light, and savory. It wasn't made with regular old flour- maybe rice flour or tapioca starch?  The outside was sprinkled with something black, like pepper, but it wasn't pepper. Anyways, my first taste of Taiwan blew me away if you couldn't tell.  We had some good fruit drinks, yummy sweet/salty fried sweet potatoes, and fried mystery thing that was also tasty. It was a little wild getting around the crowds with the babes, but the food was worth it. :)
On Sunday we got breakfast...wait for it...a Taiwanese breakfast hamburger! Now you're thinking McDonalds. I know the food isn't sounding that special, but it seriously was awesome! It was a thin, fried pork patty with yummy seasonings, a fried egg, some sweet/tangy sauce, and kind of picked cucumbers all on a soft bun. Everything is so fresh from little neighborhood breakfast stores there- it doesn't even resemble the fast food chain cardboard stuff you might be imagining.  We also ate dan bing, it was yummy.  Brad had raved about taiwanese breakfasts for a long time, and it totally didn't dissapoint! We drank it with soy milk, but Asian soy milk is different too- it's yummy!
I also visited a bread shop and it was so hard to pick out what to get since I was just guessing what things might taste like and what I might find inside!
As we hurried through the streets to get food and catch trains we made an effort to appreciate at least one of the many temples we saw.
We took a train to Taichung, on the train rides we got some views of rice feilds and the coutryside.
 In Taichung we got to the chapel in time to see some people getting out of church, Brad saw some people he knew and visited with them while I fed babies.
We ran over to an outdoor market and got naiyou bings, which were like Taiwanese Aebelskievers, and you know that can't be wrong! We also got fried chicken again, which was very good, but not as good as our first night's chicken. That was special. 
Next we took a taxi to Chi Hu which is a smaller city/country area where Brad and Cam both served. Brad was there for a long time and had a lot of great experiences with a lot of neat people, so I know it was really special for him to visit them and show off our babies to them. Most of the people didn't speak any English so I smiled at them a lot and kept my eyes on the girls as they were passed around.
We met in a HUGE chapel they built there recently, Brad was blown away.
We gave out some pictures of the temple and of our girls to people and then we ate dinner at some ward members house who lived outside the city. 
After a long day we called it a night. I was again impressed by how nice the hotel was since this was supposedly out in "the sticks"
Brad went around with Cam on a scooter that night to relive some mission memories. (not that they were ever on scooters!) :)   In the morning Brad got us breakfast, it was awesome. I wanted to see some of the kid's clothing stores and learned that since we were in Taiwan (where pretty much everything is made) and we weren't in a touristy area that the shopping was AWESOME. They seriously had the CUTEST kids clothes for so stinking cheap. I had fun very quickly picking outfits for the girls. A lady in the ward took us around and roumor quickly spread through the ward that I'd purchased over 20 items at a store (it sounds like a lot, but just one outfit for the girls is 4 pieces) :)
We got ice cream at this place Brad used to go on the misison and another ward member mentioned she'd heard I bought 20 pieces of clothes. haha... they all think Brad married a manic shopping addict! We ate some yummy fruit including mangos and Chirimoya!!! My favorite fruit from MY mission days in Chile. That was a nice treat.
 Then we headed to the airport and on our way home.  Even though we hardly did any sight seeing in Taiwan I loved it. I thought the people seemed really cool- they seemed more religious and more into families that in China, and not just the members who Brad knew. Everyone was friendly and cool. It wasn't as touristy and seemed more authentic than the places we visited in China. From the little taste I got I thought Taiwan had a very intriguing culture, delicious food, and great people. I'd love to go back and see more of the sights- the beautiful landscapes I've heard about...
I also never got to see the floating lanterns, I told Brad I wanted to see those because it blew my mind when I learned they were a real thing. The first time I'd ever heard of them was on Enchanted and I thought they were a magical made-up thing just like her glow-in-the-dark hair. They're real people! (of course, everyone on pinterest already knows that)
So we've got some good reasons to go back to Taiwan one day!
Although I'm sure the girls will get harder and harder to travel with...(well, till they get easier & easier when they're like 8) We were already pushing it putting them in the baby bassinet on the flights. In fact, at one point on the flight home me and Brad were zonked, I had Lyla on me in the baby bjorn and a flight attendant woke us up because June was awake and looked like she was going to crawl out of the bassinett! Luckily there were no falls.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

High-rising Hong Kong

I am happy to announce that day 2 in Hong Kong made up for the mishaps of the previous day. Well, it started out with an odd breakfast- I grabbed a "chocolate bun" at the 7-eleven by our hotel. It turned out to be an actual, gross processed hamburger bun with very lightly flavored chocolate inside!  Silly Hong Kong.  Luckily everything else about the day was awesome. We took a ferry to a little island called Cheung Chau, it was a quaint little boating/fishing town with a pretty nice beach. We rented little bike carts and Brad rode me and the girls around the town.
After lunch we headed back to the big city.
Brad and I wanted to sit around so we took a bus tour of the city and went around the city twice before we got off. Which was probably smart because for some reason after we got off we ended up having to wait for over an hour for the next bus! It ended up being a great way to relax and see the city though.
The girls loved having so much to look at all the time.
As usual, feeding and changing diapers on the go.
We were going to take a tram up the the famous peak, but the line for the tram was over a 1 1/2 hour wait, so we took a taxi. The whole trip there was always just SO many people EVERYWHERE.  You start to wonder where they all came from, why they were there, and where they were going. Kinda makes you want to teach lesson 3, doesn't it?
Anyways, we made it up there.  First we went to the lookout on the city side. It is incredible how they've packed in all of the buildings and skyscrapers into such a tiny amount of land between steep mountains and ocean. The view was incredible.
I was starting to look a little mangy. It was a sweaty day...it just never shows for Brad, Lyla, or June- I keep it real.
Next we went to the lookout of the back side of the island, which was such a contrasting beauty.  It was like we had just seen NYC on steroids, then hopped over to Hawaii.  We were there just in time for the sun setting and it was so pretty.
We grabbed some dinner with a cool atmosphere before getting a view of the city at night:
Not a bad view.  I didn't even edit these pictures, and it was even more amazing in real life!
We ate the yummy BBQ pork again before going to bed and saying goodbye to Hong Kong. I can't believe we did all that in one day! (kinda the motto of the whole trip)  Our stay in Hong Kong was just like the city itself- tiny, but packed tightly with awesomeness.

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