Friday, January 25, 2008

A Week of Firsts

This was our first week with both Steve and Christina back to work - we were able to shuffle schedules pretty well and ended up both getting work done and lots of good time with the babies. We are interviewing for someone to help us out a few hours a week, but overall it seems like things might work out pretty well, and we know how lucky we are to have a schedule that lets us do this.

But enough about our firsts - the girls had MUCH more exciting firsts this week. One was the purchase of an exersaucer, which we have been wanting for them ever since they became obsessed with standing up. They are just barely big enough for it - look at the fun they had today!

In another first that many of you have been waiting for, the girls had their first taste of (semi)solid food - rice cereal. They were showing all the classic signs of being ready for solids (getting hungry more often, having more tongue control, staring at us eat, etc.) and so we thought it was safe enough to try it. They get much more on themselves than in themselves, but it's still fun.

It may not look like they enjoyed it very much from these faces, but think of the daze that must arise when you move from milk to food!

And here is a bonus picture of each girl, just for the cuteness:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Elena's post

We try to get roughly an even number of pictures of each girl up on the website for you all, but we've noticed we had a few less of Elena lately, so we're doing an Elena-only (mostly picture) post.

Here's our sweetie sitting up like a big girl, playing with her frog:

A close-up of the hand-eating that goes on all the time around here. Doesn't she have a lovely 3/4 profile?
Since her earliest days, Elena has perfected this sort of sideways coy look. Here she shows it off again, while playing with her raspberry teether.

Blue eyed girl - such a joy.

And finally, two more where Elena was playing with the blocks Christina made for Christmas. She and Clara each got a set (slightly different from each other) and they were so fun to make for them. So far, there is a lot of eating and squeezing and throwing them, but no stacking or building. Guess we'll let her dexterity catch up with her.

That's our little Lainey!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dad and One Daughter

Today, Steve and Clara had some special one-on-one time while Elena was taking a nap. Christina was there to capture some of the action with her new camera - she's not a pro at it yet, but is having fun learning to use an SLR camera where she has a little more control over the pictures.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Growing Girls

It's been a while since we've posted - since the holidays, Christina has been back teaching for an intensive three-week session, Steve has been working from home/caring for the girls, and the girls themselves have been busy learning lots of new things.

Their progress is stunning to us as first time parents, although it's probably normal to most of you. Both girls now grasp objects they want, manipulate them, get them to their mouths, and throw them away. Both roll side to side regularly, swinging their legs around, and each has once or twice rolled from back to front and front to back. Luckily, neither is doing it consistently yet so we haven't lost either of them under the couch or swing yet.

They are getting SO BIG. Elena is 14 pounds, and Clara is 13. They are about 23 inches long now, and are really exercising their muscles. They both (but especially Elena) have super-strong leg muscles, and would stand all day if we balanced them that long. They are also working on sitting. Both can do it if you support them a little bit, and Elena can do it sitting in the Boppy, which is really minimal support.

Enough words- here are pictures! Some girls working on holding their heads up for longer periods:
And Elena doing her Boppy-sit:

All that sitting really tires her out! Elena looks like she could pass out here:

Sitting on the couch is another favorite activity, now that they don't sway side to side as much as they used to. Here they are (Clara left, Elena right) in outfits their Grandpa and Grandma Mary sent for Christmas:

We've had some warm-ish days lately, and we've taken advantage of them to take some snow walks together:

One walk yielded our so-far favorite picture of Elena! Here's our little snow bear:
Not to be outdone in cuteness, here is Clara during our pre-bath playtime at night. The girls both love a scarf that Nana Rose got Christina for Christmas, and we usually wave it around and over them. Here is Clara trying out her babushka look:

And one more, right out of the bath. Is this a startled princess or what? Clara is not really ready for the paparazzi here, but she looked so cute in this bath towel from her birth mom and Gabe:

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Holiday Photo Edition

For the girls' first Christmas, we were lucky enough to travel south to see Steve's family for Christmas, and Christina's mom and sister Cyndie traveled from the east to be with us. It was a wonderful celebration filled with so much love, and we all cherished our time together and our first time with these amazing girls among us.

We try to put only a reasonable number of photos up, but after 10 days of Christmas celebration, we could only narrow it down so much. So, here are photos documenting Elena and Clara on their very first Christmas.

We didn't take the girls to see Santa (we'll save that for next year) but look who did get to meet Santa on her own terms - an increasingly strong little Elena.

On Christmas Eve we let the girls play under the tree...

But by the time they had woken up from their nap, look what had happened!

It was just too much for the girls to stay up on Christmas Eve to open gifts, so we did theirs on Christmas morning. Everyone was so generous and thoughtful, and the girls received so many lovely presents.

However, opening all of those presents made them pretty tired. Finally, poor Elena just fell asleep right on Nana Rose's lap!

But she rallied later in the day, and after a nap got right back into the holiday spirit.

We were so lucky to be with so many family members - we took a group shot to capture the moment together...

But of course we have so many pictures of special moments with all of the relatives getting to share their love with the girls:

The grandmas with the girls (Steve's mom, Christina's mom, and Granny Ellen, Steve's very dear aunt)

Grandma and Elena

Nana Rose and Elena (enjoying the sun outside)

Granny Ellen and Clara

Scott and Elena

Cyndie with her plaid twin Clara

Nanny (Steve's grandmother) and Clara

GDaddy with Clara - the girls just loved his smile!

GDaddy and Nana Rose outside, enjoying the desert landscape with the babies

Steve sharing a fun moment with Clara on the swing

Clara and Elena solo, taking a little advantage of the supply of vitamin D from all that sunshine, relaxing on a hammock.

And, because Clara didn't show up in quite as many of the pictures in this post as Elena, here's a bonus shot of her in the sunshine - although she isn't smiling, we love this photo of her. She's looking so grown up!

And yes, Christina really was there. She's too often the one behind the camera, so she didn't have many pictures alone with the girls, but she had as wonderful a time with these babies as anyone else did. We are just so lucky - thanks to everyone who made our first family Christmas such a wonderful time.