Monday, May 11, 2009

Things I've learned on this trip

We had such a great time traveling with the girls! I was amazed at their ability to keep up to our activity level and am so proud at how generally well-behaved they are. They also seemed to grow into bigger, funnier, smarter little girls right in front of my eyes! Some of this revelation may just stem from the focus we were able to give them without juggling "Baby BooBoo" (as the girls have been calling him). They've probably been this advanced for weeks and my eyes and ears are just now catching on. ;) But with so many new things to do and see, they probably did grow up a bit. Even with our own city just a few miles away, and Gramma and Opa in Chicago, this was their first big city experience. Alex pointed out how many cabs she was seeing at the airport when we first landed. Dani noticed how tall the buildings were and how some were tall and some short, with so many people on the streets. Alex also had a blast with all our walking excursions (and we did a LOT of walking!) because she loves to tell us whether we should step on the cracks or not. They both enjoyed seeing their cousins every day and the boys were excellent friends to them in return. Funny how we have to travel hundreds of miles to spend so much concentrated time with family who are 10 minutes away at home! This trip was a wonderful break from our everyday busy lives, and we all enjoyed the beauty of San Fran hills, sun, and sites. I loved this time to soak up family life, and it's comforting to know how easily the girls travel. Even though Jack and Jean planned almost every aspect if this trip (thanks!) I still learned a lot:
- Take&toss sippy cups do not work on airplanes. The pressure makes them leak which is less than helpful
- Only 2-3 new kitschy toys per kid is necessary. They get excited enough to play with them for awhile.
- My girls are not quite ready to entertain themselves with stickers yet
- Dani prefers to sleep on her tummy and has more trouble sleeping on the go than her sister, even tho she falls asleep in the car instantly. Hills make for difficult car naps - too many head flops!
- Alex likes sleeping on her back (for once, she's like Dad in this way! Usually she's more like Mom) and is very good at looking out the window to entertain herself.
- Dani likes goat cheese!
- Alex likes to eat treats slowly to make them last.
- Both girls love wearing fancy dresses but hate having their picture taken. The ultimate wedding photographer teases.
- Alex will pretend to be a monkey or mountain climber wherever she goes. Dani will pretend to be a big sister who's helping teach her sister to climb. And then they'll switch (except Dani will actually need the help! How Alex finds those perfect finger holds, I'll never know. She and Uncle Mike will be scaling cliffs in Slovakia before we know it!)
- Almost anything becomes easier when ice cream is involved.
- Sisters make good bridges. ;)

-- On the fly From My iPhone

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Monterey Bay Aquarium

For our first real activity of the trip we visited the aquarium with Aunt Jean, Uncle Aaron, and cousins Clay and Owen. The girls were incredible troupers, walking all day and staying interested in everything we saw. Even after waking at 3:45am pst (which is their usual waking time of 6:45 at home), they kept on looking, listening, being cheerful and asking questions until 4:30pm when we finally gave them a car nap driving back to SF. I'm so proud of them! And all at the young age of 34 months (Insert sheepish laugh of a parent who is too cheap to pay 17.50 x 2 for a child admission...) Before drifting off, Dani told me one of her favorite things we saw were "the birds with long skinny legs" (sandpipers I believe) and Alex said "I liked the penguins." I loved the sea jellies exhibit, the school of anchovies in the Outer Bay tank (one million gallons of water!) and the sea horses - so cute and amazing how they glide like the ghosts in "beetlejuice".

I'll upload better pics later from my real cam but here's a taste of today. :)

Anchovies swim together like the one big fish in Leo Lionni's classic book "Swimmy"!

Beautiful jellies

Alex & Dani make otters swim, bob, and spin. We got to see an otter feeding near the end of the day.

-- On the fly From My iPhone

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The first Wei family vacation

Thanks to Jack's cousin Yvonne (Congrats Yvonne & Matt! We can't wait to see you soon!!) we're headed back west... to San Francisco! As I write this, we're enjoying our first plane ride with the girls and they are doing FAN-tastic! We all kissed BenBen goodbye in Chicago this morning and headed to ohare. The girls were so excited about going to the airport but were still able to take a little nap in the car which put them in extra good spirits as they boarded the train from long term parking. Their first train ride! We'll have added three to four new forms of transportation to their resumes by the end of this trip.

On the train - daddy and dani

Alex and mommy:

Enjoying activities fir four hours plus a 30 min delay

Little Einsteins time:

-- On the fly From My iPhone

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Ben's First Birthday and Easter Eggstravaganza!

This has been a long time coming. I haven't found much computer time between a very busy month for twins club and all of us being sick this past week (Dani and I had Strep Throat, Alex and Ben had ear infections, and Jack is covered in Poison Oak. Yikes! Don't come to our house without a hazmat suit!). But we most certainly must record how much fun it was celebrating Ben's first year of life AND the joy of our yearly Easter egg hunt! Here are more pictures than I've posted the past few months combined.

Clay with his stash. He finished first of course and went on to help the girls find more. What a good cousin.

Dani was excited to play "I Spy" out in the real world! It's her favorite.

Alex had a hard time waking up from nap. Gramma helped her get looking.

Holly and Uncle Mike joined the fun.

Me and my little man

Alex and her super heavy basket

Ama loves her BenBen

Clay helps Dani find treasure

All the cousins! Right after this pic, Ben went on his own egg hunt... in Alex's basket!

Aunt Jean and our little Chinese boy

Uncle Aaron, Ben, and Jack dig in

Easter/birthday dinner

Jean, Clay, and Owen

Onto cake - time to strip down!

Ben didn't dig in nearly as enthusiastically as his sisters did on their first taste of cake. I think he's had far more sweets already than they ever did!

Ben's favorite thing to do - rip paper! Finally a time when it's sanctioned.

Happy Birthday Little Man!