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"It’s Sandy’s Turn Now"

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Today our next door neighbors, Charlie and Sandy, left for India to complete their adoption and bring their two children home. After 18 months of waiting, they are finally going to get their kids. I am over-identifying with them and can’t stop thinking about them all day long today! I’m thinking of how I felt on the day we went to get Kyle and Owen. How it felt to be on that airplane to Port au Prince. How it felt to be on the cusp of becoming a mother. They will be gone for three weeks, and then we’ll get to meet their children for their homecoming. Kyle and Owen are not going to know what to do when they realize that Sandy is going to be a Mama of her own- with her own kids! They absolutely adore her and will be so jealous to see her hold another baby! At a party for Charlie and Sandy on Saturday night we began trying to explain this to Kyle and Owen. Trying to explain –in a way a 2-year-old might understand– that Charlie and Sandy were going to go away on a big trip for their “ADOPTION!” And that Sandy was going to be “another baby’s mama.” Kyle and Owen have heard all about their own adoption their whole life… we talk about their adoption and about Haiti daily… but it is hard to know how much they actually understand. Last night as I was tucking Kyle into bed and talking about what was going to happen the next day (as we do every night… “tomorrow is a new day, tomorrow you’ll go to daycare, tomorrow Mama will pick you up, etc…”), he brought it up. He said, “Mama, Sandy on a big airplane! up in the sky!” I said, “Yes, baby, they’re going for their adoption! They’re going to India to get their babies.” And Kyle said, clear as day, and with complete seriousness and sincerity: “Yeah, Mama, it’s Sandy’s turn now.”

Sandy says bye bye to Kyle

Sandy says bye bye to Owen

Eating Out with Twin Two-Year-Olds

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Today we went to the shoe store to buy fall/winter shoes for the boys. We’re continually amazed at how HUGE these guys are: We had to buy Kyle shoes size *11*!!! and Owen size *12*!!!!! Everyone who deals with us in children’s shoe/clothes stores is in shock when they find out our babies are not even 2 1/2 years old yet! Yesterday at Little Gym I was chatting with another mom in our class who was commenting on how big our boys are. Her son is turning 3 next month and is half the size of K & O. In fact, K & O are by far the youngest in the class (the class is really supposed to be for 2.5-3.5 year olds), but are by far the biggest in there. Anyway….. what I really wanted to post about today was the subject of eating out with twin two-year-olds…

So, after the shoe store we went out to lunch. Another family with two young kids was sitting at a table near us and as we were leaving the mother complimented us on how “well behaved” our toddlers were. (oh my gosh, nothing could make me happier than this compliment from another mom!) I am still actually amazed that we can even *go* to a restaurant now, let alone that we might actually get complimented on our behavior while there!!!!!! During the time the boys were 12-24 months old we never ever ever ever ate out. You couldn’t have paid us to do it! We would try every couple months and it would end in total utter complete disaster each time. Starting when they turned 2 we began making a real go of it. And over the past 3-4 months we have really made huge strides! Like I said to Owen today: “We’ve come a long way, baby!” My boys are really pretty good now with their table manners and eating-out-skills. And they actually enjoy it now. We actually enjoy it now. As Kyle said, between mouthfulls of guacamole at lunch: “Yay Me!” Braydon and I were just happy to be able to have a burrito that we didn’t make (or have to clean up after!)

P.S. Oh, yeah, just to be very, very clear: We still have not ventured to any restaurant with them except Panera Bread, Baja Fresh, McDonalds (i.e., fast food restaurants!!!). Oh, and, we’ve never lasted more than 20 minutes (25-30 MAX) at even any of *these* places!!! Oh, and also, did I mention that we bribe them with lolipops when we’re at the 15-minute-mark? And that they get lectured by me for the entire car-ride to our restaurant destination about the “restaurant rules” (i.e., “no spitting,” “no throwing food,” “no screaming,” “no standing up in your highchair,” “no running in the restaurant”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)? Well, anyway, like I said, eating out with our twin two-year-olds… it’s great, really. Oh, yeah, just to be very, very clear: we didn’t make the meal (or have to clean up after it!)

Yes! They Sleep!

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“Do they sleep?” We get asked this question a lot! Both by total strangers we encounter and by people we know well! The obvious answer is “yes.” However, if you’ve ever spent any time with our kids (or even just merely observing them from a distance), you would understand why we’re asked this question so often! Kyle and Owen are so “extremely active” (i.e., wild, crazy, extroverted, energetic, precocious, full-of-it), that people wonder if they’re actually capable of being calm, let alone able to sleep! But, yes! they sleep! And they sleep a lot! They seem to have only two speeds: on, or off. When they’re on, they’re very, very on! And when they’re off, they’re very, very off! The thing is so few people ever get to see them when the switch is in the “off” position! And, my gosh, I kinda feel bad about that — because, really, so many people are missing out on getting to see that my bambinos are the most incredibly precious little sleepers imaginable! I just took these photos – of my babies’ Saturday afternoon nap – to prove it.

Today’s Play

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This morning Kyle and Owen woke up just in time to watch one of their favorite things on earth: the recycling truck stop at the end of our driveway! I found them both peering out their bathroom window with huge eyes and racing hearts, soooo excited about this! The recycling truck! At the end of our driveway! What an absolutely fabulous way to start the day! We watched it pick up the neighbor’s recycling and then drive off. The boys ran to tell Braydon– “Papi! Recycling truck!!! Papi! Recycling truck!!!” They were on cloud 9 from that point on, as they played at home in their pajamas before going to daycare. One of Owen’s favorite things to do right now is to play with a color-shape sorting toy. He only sorts by color (never by shape – in fact, this morning I tried hard to get him to sort by shapes instead of colors and I was completely unsuccessful). He takes it very seriously. And, he is very good at it… much better than his brother. Kyle always puts at least some of the pieces on the “wrong” color peg– much to the dismay of Owen, who seems truly disturbed by seeing the results of Kyle’s color-sorting mishaps. Owen regularly fixes Kyle’s wrong-doings by calmly and quietly taking each of the misplaced pieces off and re-doing it “right.” Owen does this sometimes right in the midst of Kyle’s playing with it. Or, sometimes, after Kyle is done, Owen will stop whatever he is doing to re-do the entire thing so that all the colors are re-sorted correctly. This doesn’t seem to phase Kyle in the least. In fact, today, when Owen took over and was “fixing” all of Kyle’s color-sorting failures, Kyle simply got out the toy piano and started playing it and loudly singing his favorite Laurie Berkner Band hit, “We Are the Dinosaurs!” As he was marching and singing and pounding on the piano Owen calmly and quietly re-did the color sorting until it was perfect. I then watched them look at each other, and without any verbal communication whatsoever (no kind of any communication whatsoever- visible to me at least), they both instantaneously ran over to the wooden train, climbed on, and began riding around the kitchen. They told me they were going to “The blue restaurant! Not the orange restaurant mama! Just the blue restaurant!” (later they told me it was actually the “pink restaurant”) Kyle announced they were going to the restaurant to “Eat Pasta!!” And Owen clarified, to be sure I understood this clearly: it was “Just Kyle and Owen. NOT mommy and papi! JUST Kyle and Owen restaurant.” They rode the trains for quite a while- and then took a break – as they do at least once a day – to spend a big chunk of time looking at the photo collage we have on the kitchen wall, and pointing out all of their friends and family in the pictures.

Kisses & Hugs

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Right now K & O are in a very lovey dovey kissy huggy phase with each other. This morning I caught them on camera! It was about 7:45am, they were sitting on the kitchen counter, having their beloved morning “warm milk!” before heading off to daycare. They were having a little love fest between milk gulps. Sometimes while they’re kissing one will say to the other: “No bite me!” Braydon often gets the heebie jeebies from watching the intimate kissing between brothers… I just think it is so darn cute I can hardly take it! When it gets to be too much, I just say, “NO FRENCH KISSING YOUR BROTHER!!!” And Braydon rolls his eyes with horror! Mostly, though, the whole thing is just over-the-top adorable! I can’t wait to show these pictures to all of their friends when they are about 13 years old!!! But really, in all seriousness: who could possibly not think this is just too (two) cute?!

Kyle & Owen’s First Concert!

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Us in Times Square

Owen looks at the big buildings

On Sunday, October 8 we went to see the Laurie Berkner Band play NYC!! This was K & O’s first big concert and they rocked out big time! Laurie played all the boys’ favorites– including “Pig on Her Head,” and “We Are the Dinosaurs.” She played a “BLUE GUITAR!!!” (a major highlight for Kyle… the fact that it was *blue*!). Before the concert we spent about an hour walking around Times Square. The boys loved it almost as much as the concert we were there for! Owen, especially, seemed enthralled with the tall buildings. Kyle was most interested in all the neon- and said several times to his brother, “Look Owen! Big lights! Right there!” Owen would respond: “Yeah, Kyle, big lights! Yeah, Kyle!” After the concert we drove to Connecticut for a wedding… and the boys got to party in the hotel with their cousin Sadie (party was chaperoned by Auntie Stina and Uncle Tim — scary thought to think of the day the three of them are partying together without chaperones!). On Monday’s car ride home, K & O slept all the way from Connecticut to Pennsylvania!

Finally… A Blog!

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Finally I’m getting my act together to start a Johnson-McCormick Family Blog! Over the past couple of years, many people have asked me to do this, and at long last, I am!
More About Us:

Our Family, May 2006, At Kyle & Owen’s 2nd Birthday Party

Turks & Caicos, May 2006

First Adoption Day Celebration, Baltimore, January 2006

Christmas in New Hampshire, December 2005

At Lake Winnipesaukee, September 2005

At Home, Summer 2005

First Few Weeks Home, Winter 2005

Home One Week, February 2005

Our Family – in Haiti, January 2005