Lion Pride

by Kayte

Fridays are spirit day at Max & Lola’s school. We all bought t-shirts so the whole family can join in! Amazingly I found one that fits Lola pretty well (the girls’ sizes ran small) but Max definitely has some room to grow into his.


Little Einsteins

by Kayte

Today we went to a birthday party for the younger set of twins from our NICU-friends. The theme was Little Einsteins (a TV show) and the kids enjoyed an entertainer, face painting, pizza and cupcakes. They always enjoy getting together with their friends!



Picture Day

by Kayte

Max and Lola had their school pictures taken today. Hopefully they turn out better than last year’s, but if not I at least have this shot to keep.


Lola has been very independent lately when it comes to picking out clothes (in case you’ve been questioning her outfits).  This morning I had a hard time getting her into this dress, even though we had a chat the night before about today being “mommy’s turn” to pick. We ended up compromising by putting on the dress and then putting a hoodie sweatshirt over it.

Poopy Trained

by Kayte

A full year after his sister, I am officially declaring Max potty trained! After two weeks of using The Poop Basket with no accidents, we exchanged daily rewards for the ultimate prize: a battery-operated, motorized, Gordon the Tank Engine to add to our railway set.


As with Lola, we’ve still been putting in Max in diapers overnight (because sleep still trumps undies), but he has been waking up dry most mornings. One morning I even heard him get up before the clock was on, go to the bathroom all by himself, and then go back to bed. Things are slowly but surely getting easier.

Sensory Walk

by Kayte

The kids went on a sensory walk at school today and Brody & I were lucky enough to be available to volunteer. We set out bins of cereal, leaves, feathers, cotton balls, gelatin, cooked pasta and shaving cream. The kids all took a turns walking through each bin, ending with the water/washing station. Max and Lola both did great with all the different textures, especially the gelatin which we made at home. What a fun activity!






by Kayte

The second time we took Lola in for her eye infection they were able to do an eye culture which came back positive for MRSA. She was on the correct antibiotic eyedrops last time and things cleared up, but this week the sties came back again in both eyes. We’re back on the eye drops for an extended 10-day course, plus a daily eye-washing regime with tear-free shampoo.


I have talked to a couple different doctors about a MRSA-decolonization process that involves bleach baths and antibiotic nasal swabs for the whole family to try to get this bacteria out of our bodies. I’m still not sure how effective or beneficial it would be yet, but I plan to look into it more.

Autumn Lull

by Kayte

After months of mid-90s temperatures, it finally cooled down to the high 70s for a couple glorious fall days. We took full advantage by heading to the park after school, something which we usually can’t do because it’s just too hot in the mid-afternoon. The sun was still warm but the cool breeze felt heavenly.



Crew Cut

by Kayte

I’m still trying to figure out Max’s hair which is thick but fine and slippery and refuses to swoop or be styled. This time I had it cut pretty short along the sides and back, leaving just enough on top to do something with.

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Lola got her regular bang trim. Her hair is finally starting to fill out nice and even around shoulder-length.

Fall Swim Lessons

by Kayte

We started Max and Lola in fall swim lessons today at a local swim center. The classes are fairly general, but I figured it would be good to keep them in the water as much as possible as our own home pool starts to cool down.



Button Box

by Kayte

Lola has a recent obsession with buttons – she constantly points them out on clothes and in books. She also loves sorting and stringing. I got it in my head to get her some buttons to play with, and found a box of buttons on eBay plus a book to go along with it. The button box we got is amazing with vintage buttons of many different sizes and materials. Seems like a lot of history in there. We’ve had so much fun reading and mimicking the book – sorting by color, spinning buttons on a string, and finding the special metal & jeweled ones. This will be good for hours of cheap, creative fun.



Secretory Otitis Media

by Kayte

Lola had her follow-up appointment with the ENT today. It’s been about three months since her first ear infection, and she still has water behind her right ear drum. The doctor said after three months it is very unlikely that the water will resolve on its own, so we are going ahead with the tube surgery. Even though only one ear is affected, we are going to have tubes placed in both ears: it’s better to go under anesthesia only once rather than risk another infection in her left ear and have to go through surgery/anesthesia again.

I’m a little disheartened because Max also has to go in for a general anesthetic surgery for his hemangioma this month. These are both very minor procedures compared to everything we’ve been through, but I’m just sick of medical stuff at this point.


Backpack Bears

by Kayte

Max and Lola’s first few weeks of school have been going well. Lola has adjusted very well to her new classroom and teachers. Surprisingly, Max had a harder time with the new arrangement. The second week of school he started crying and clinging to me at dropoff, which he has NEVER done before: not even last year when we dropped him off for the very first time. When I asked him what was wrong, he said he missed his sister. Awwww. But things have gotten better since then. They both happily run to the car when it’s time to go to school and easily kiss us goodbye at the classroom door.

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The Poop Basket

by Kayte

Earlier this summer we decided to take a break from potty training and we put Max back into diapers. We were getting so frustrated cleaning up poopy accidents and washing laundry, and it just didn’t seem to be clicking for him. Things were getting a little tense so we decided to take a break, let some time pass, and wait for a fresh start. He still wasn’t giving us any readiness signs, but fast-forward three months later Max’s teacher wanted him OUT of diapers so we decided to try again over the long Labor Day weekend.

This time we brought out the big guns: The Poop Basket. We filled a basket with toys and treats, put him in undies, and told him every time he pooped in the potty he would get a prize. Well the very first day he pooped in the potty SEVEN times (Lola went FOUR) so it cost me $11 in dollar-store chotchkies but, as they say, not having to change a diaper was priceless. Things slowed down a bit after that first day, but we successfully stayed diaper-free throughout the whole weekend with ZERO accidents. Hooray!

I figure I’ll keep the Poop Basket going for the next week or so, and then start weaning the value of the prizes and eventually phase it out completely. Until then we are enjoying living in a diaper-free household.

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Trike Ride

by Kayte

Lola has been asking for her very own tricycle for awhile now, so Brody has been on Craigslist-watch for a great deal. Today his perseverance finally paid off and Lola was thrilled to get her own bike. We were able to take both kids out for a trike ride around the neighborhood. Max was pretty good on his own except for the hillier areas (hence the handle). Lola hasn’t quite figured out a full rotation on the pedals yet so she was practicing her steering and loving every minute of it. I love that these kids like being outside and active so much.




1.5 Miles

by Kayte

Lola asked to go for a hike today and how could we say no to that? It was a beautiful, cool morning and we hiked a one-and-a-half mile loop in about an hour. Max and Lola both walked the entire way, including up a really steep hill. I love that we can do these activities as a family.




Watermelon Twins

by Kayte

The kids had Friday off school for a 4-day Labor Day holiday weekend so we had our twin-friends over for a play date. It wasn’t as hot as it has been, but it was still warm enough to splash in the kiddie pool and scarf pounds of watermelon. It’s fun to see how the four older twins have become such fast friends over the years – they ask for and about each other and are so excited for our get-togethers.