Friday, September 26, 2008

Pre-, During, and Post- First Haircut

We've been thinking for a little bit that the girls needed a trim. Just a little cut of the bangs, nothing major. We even considered taking them to a fun kid's salon while we were in Portland this summer. We just kept thinking maybe we were premature, maybe it wasn't really time yet. In a way, maybe it's hard to realize they're not quite babies any more and they're becoming big girls.

Still, it had become undeniable that their hair was getting in their eyes, so they went with Steve this week to his salon appointment to get a trim.

Here are some shots of the girls Christina took pre-appointment time:

Believe it or not, Clara is ecstatic in that last picture - it's a look that borders on mania, though, isn't it? Anyway - the hair doesn't look too bad here because we did the sweep-the-bangs-to-the-side move, but it doesn't stay that way during the day.

So, we'll give you two guesses on who loved getting her hair cut and who hated it.

Yep, here's Clara, in her element, with a new person paying attention to her and a fun spot on Dad's lap. Here, you can see she really needed the cut!

She sat so still while her bangs were trimmed, and smiled almost the whole time.

Here's the little beauty, being admired post-cut:

Here's the only shot of Elena for her first hair-cut sans tears. She is clearly wary, but while the cape was being put on her she was willing to see what this was all about.

As the cut moved forward, though, she got pretty upset. She didn't like someone new touching her and she didn't like having to sit still in a new place.

Given Elena's distaste for the whole hair-cutting event, we got her out of there as soon as she was done, so we didn't get any good after pictures that day. Today, though, we took some pictures at the park so you can see clear eyes in both girls, unobscured by bangs. (You may, however, notice that Clara got quite a bit more cut than Elena, who really only got the very front of her bangs trimmed).

What do you see, sister?
Oooh, sand!Check out this pretty grass I picked!

This sand is pretty cool.

But it's everywhere!

A lovely Elena profile against the sun:

And finally, some fun on the swings (and probably the best shots of the bangs!)

And, just for a flashback moment - here is the very first picture we have of the girls on these swings:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Playground Fun

We had a great time the other day at a local playground/carousel. With the new mobility/independence Clara and Elena have found, we find they are more able to enjoy some attractions that were limiting to them before.

Here, although a whole playground awaits them, we see the joy of sticks:

Don't worry that sticks were the only attraction, though. The slide was plenty fun, too:

Elena, happy as can be. She knows how to move her bottom to get down the slide on her own! Scary for us as parents, fantastic for her.

We took a trip around the carousel (although we can't wait until the girls are happy waving on their own from their horses - it's not good for the motion-sick Christina to go round and round so much!).

Clara, pretending she's riding the horse all on her own:

Saturday, September 20, 2008


It was homecoming weekend in our college town this weekend, and we couldn't help making comparisons to last year. Elena and Clara were not even one month old (and since they were a month early, they shouldn't have even been in the world yet!) and we took them out on their first outing to see the parade, all bundled up. This was us then:

And this is us now:

We've said it before, but we could say it all the time - what a difference a year makes!

Before we headed to the parade this year, we stopped at the Farmer's Market and got the girls their customary apples.

Clara is sure happy with hers:

But Elena isn't sure her Dad hasn't gotten a better apple:

Then, it was on to the parade! Both girls loved to watch the bands go by (there are at least half a dozen bands at various times throughout the parade) and had fun watching kids who were walking by or on floats.

Here, Clara is excited by the jump-rope team coming by:

And Elena is tracking yet another band:

Finally, we were all pretty excited to see the float for our favorite radio program - the Pea Green Boat, with Annie! Annie is the sailor here - she is great and we listen to her show every Saturday morning, and many weekday afternoons as well.

Hooray for parades! And hooray for having girls who could really enjoy this one.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Way We Play

In a similar vein to our previous post, we're finding that the toddler way of play is a little different (and WAY more fun!) than the infant way of playing we were used to in this house. We took a few pictures today to illustrate some of the new favorite activities over here.

Note that the girls are debuting new hairstyles here - even though Clara won't allow bows anymore (she loves to pull them out) she left this style in all afternoon. Elena, on the other hand, who loves the bows kept pulling the ponytails out, even when they were already out and she was only pulling at free hair! Funny girls.

First up - playing phone. No matter how many toy phone they see, the real ones are always better. The cell phone and house phone are both favorites, and we call out "Nana Rose? Grandma? Hi!!" They love it, but only imitate the "hi" part. The buttons seem more fun than talking.

The rocking giraffe that Grandpa and Grandma Mary sent for their birthday is a hit whether you are the girl riding or the girl petting the nose (which they take turns at). Here, Elena is squeaking his ear:

But of course Clara wants to get in on the action - this is a VERY regular occurrence now. Whatever a sister has is immediately desirable. Get a load of Elena's reaction here:

This is the best shot we could get of what is an absolutely adorable game that we saw for the first time on vacation in Oregon. The girls get out of eye sight of each other, then pop their heads around to "find" each other. They laugh hysterically as they do's so fun to watch.

This looks like just general mischief, but in fact they were taking turns at a favorite musical instrument- the heating grate. They love running their hands up and down the grate (and it's quite the sound to hear when you're in the shower and they are doing it on the adjoining wall!).

Another household bit of fun is playing with the refrigerator. Being inside is best, but since we don't often allow that the girls have gotten good at pulling down the sheets of paper we have posted on the front of the fridge, and grabbing the magnets. This makes us a little nervous, so we've moved the big magnets to the bottom now, with magnets way too big too swallow being the only ones they can touch.

Listening to cds has been fun for the girls for the last year, but they are really starting to react to favorites right now. At this point, the Curious George soundtrack (from Nanny Rachel and her fiance Damien) and Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell's "Fly me to the moon" (from Auntie Cyndie) are especial favorites. Even more fun than the music is dumping out the cd basket, though!

Finally, especially when you've got some good tunes on, who wouldn't want to dance? Clara is really good at grooving out when you say "Are you dancing?" but Elena (pictured here) is more into a squatting/standing pattern interspersed with trying to figure out the stereo.

That's the fun at our house right now! Like everyone says, it's more the household items than actual toys that seem to occupy them the most, but every day they pick up something new they enjoy, and it's really fun to watch.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Snacking Toddlers

So we're told that now that we've passed the first birthday, Clara and Elena are toddlers, not babies.

How is that possible?

Well, as much as we can't believe that we don't have babies any more, we can certainly see how the girls are growing, right before our eyes. They are playing differently now (although still not very independently) and their senses of humor are developing so quickly.

Really fun for all of us is the fact that they now do a good job at eating mostly independently. They can take bites and are getting pretty good at regulating how much food to put in their mouths at once and how to manage it once it's in there.

So here are some shots from snack time today, up in the living room. We know we're biased, but aren't these girls getting more beautiful by the minute?

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