Friday, October 31, 2008

Are You Ready For This? Halloween Cuteness

Last years the girls were not nearly up to getting into costumes and going out with others on Halloween. What a change to see them this year. We still can only imagine how much more fun this is going to get, but we had a WONDERFUL time with the girls this Halloween evening.

We started off at our house, trying out the costumes in our front yard. Elena dressed as a ladybug (or Leni Bug, as we kept calling her) and she took to the costume really well:

Clara took a little longer to feel comfortable with her costume. We had planned that she would be a bunny, and she was the CUTEST bunny ever:

Sadly, she really seemed to dislike the little carrot that was supposed to look like a bowtie, and that was what held the costume together on her.

We figured we'd work it out later, and headed over to our friends' house where they were holding a wonderful party for very little people. It started early (at 4:30), it involved homemade mac and cheese and pizza (which the girls adored) and then led to early-early trick-or-treating.

We were talking there about how Clara just couldn't seem to get over the carrot bowtie, and our friend Caryn said that she had some extra costumes around that our friend M. had made, and that she was storing at her house. Sure enough, a costume that her son had worn at 6 months fit Clara perfectly, and she became Clara the Cow! (Thanks, Caryn and M.!)

The kids had fun for awhile running around the living room in their costumes, and then it was on to the outside!

The cow needed a little roll in the leaves before she went off to seek her treats:

But then we were off. Elena was a superstar walker and went really quite far. We ended up walking into the university area and back, which is at least eight blocks. That's a lot of walking on little legs!

Clara rode in the wagon almost the whole time, but she had more fun than it looks like here - she's actually eyeing her friend Owen's candy bag here with feigned disinterest.

Soon, they just decided to dive in!

Here is our intrepid little crew - a cow in a wagon, a doctor, a lion, Super Y, and a ladybug. Fun times!

The girls stayed up over an hour later than usual doing their trick-or-treating, and they held up beautifully until we were almost back to the car. Then, they were SO ready to be done, and got right in bed as soon as we got home. Right now, they are absolutely zonked out.

We'll leave you with a picture of each girl happily munching chocolate - what better way to end the day?

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Party 2008

We hold a pumpkin-carving party every year, and last year the girls spent most of the party carried around and sleeping. They were only two months old - we couldn't expect too much!

This year they were MUCH more active, although we're pretty sure it's going to be another year or so before they really get into the actual carving. This year, they were participants in the pumpkin painting instead.

Here the girls are, getting set up with some paints:

Once we got the paints all ready, Clara was incredibly excited to paint her pumpkin:

She did such a great job, she was even helping her friend Charlie.

Elena, meanwhile, decided that painting wasn't really her medium. Poking at things appeared to be her medium. Here she's poking at the top of a pumpkin her friend Sophie was carving:

Then she poked at the tree for awhile (yes, that's half a set of salad tongs - we pulled out all available kitchen utensils for this party!).

The salad tongs really caught on - her is Clara acting fierce with her new toy, and Steve joining in:
Finally, Elena decides to check out how the painting went:

This is the girls' friend, Maeve - she sweetly painted Elena's pumpkin for her, so now each girl has a painted pumpkin they can play with until Halloween.

We can't wait to see what these girls are up to next year!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dance Party

Aunt Cyndie sent a CD for the girls birthday, Catch the Moon, which they love. It came with a DVD that had music videos for two of the songs. Since the girls don't watch TV, putting this on is always an exciting event. We have dance parties pretty often.

You don't get a good sense of the dancing here (we didn't take video) but you do see the rapt attention on the TV and if you were in the room you would have seen lots of bopping around.

Here, Steve illustrates a dance move for Elena, who is being a little too silly to practice any dance moves at that moment.

Although both girls like to play with dolls and play with most of the ones we have, Clara shows a special love for cradling and patting the little baby dolls that Auntie Jeannie and family sent out. Sadly, we didn't get a good picture of that today - we'll have to try later. Elena shows a special affection for the Raggedy Ann dolls Christina made for the girls' birthday. In our house, she's called "Aggedy," and Elena brought her into the dance party today.

And, since we promised this picture months ago and since you don't get a really good look at Aggedy as Elena carts her around, here's a shot of both dolls Christina made (the dolls will get aprons for Christmas - it just didn't happen at birthday time!).

Dance on, everyone!
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Friday, October 17, 2008

Pumpkin Muffins in the Park

Our favorite coffeeshop in town sells pumpkin muffins in October and November, and Christina was thrilled today that the girls had arrived at an age when they could see some of the fun in ordering a special food and enjoying it together. We took the muffin to the park and dove in:

Muffins weren't the only fun to be had a the park, though. Elena made a new friend in some dogs that were out on a walk. We worked on how to make friends with a dog by talking to the owner first, and sticking out your hand very gently. Elena was so sad when the dog walked away after a little petting:
Hey, where are you going?

Clara also attempted to make some new friends, although she was less successful. It looks like she is showing off this pretty leaf to Christina:

But really, that's the only shot where she turned around. Instead, Clara spent the rest of her time waving the leaf at three boys playing just out of sight in this picture. They didn't find it nearly as entertaining as Christina did.

Finally, here's another shot to show a developmental change. Elena has moved from running and walking to the thrill of climbing. Here, she's trying to get into the wagon. Earlier today she tried to climb a bookshelf, a chair, her crib, and a futon. Oh, and at the park she succeeded in climbing five wide steps to get to the top of a slide, all by herself. She was so proud.

No picture for this, but Clara played in the sand WITHOUT EATING ANY!!! It was a great day at the park for both girls.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pumpkin Bonanza

Today we went to Benson's, our favorite local farm. They have apple orchards and pumpkin patches and corn fields and yet they are right in the middle of town. Last year, the girls had no clue what we were doing with pumpkins. I don't think they get the idea that we're going to carve them up, but this year they can at least SEE as far as the pumpkins, and had lots of fun helping us pick some out.

Elena started first. She decided she could lift her favorite pumpkin she saw:

It turned out to be a little too tricky, so she turned her attention to some smaller pumpkins and carted them all across this pumpkin-picking area.

Our friend Kerrie mentioned something last week about how Clara's smile is easy to get an idea of from the website, but Elena's stunning smile isn't as easy to see from our pictures here. For anyone else who feels that way, here is a three-part series of an Elena smile while she was helping "move" all the pumpkins:

Clara was absolutely giddy about the pumpkins - it was hysterical. Although she didn't move around nearly as much (she's not a walker yet, just a stander) she caught the attention of everyone else at the pumpkin farm with her cries of absolute glee.

Seriously, have you ever seen someone more excited about pumpkins? She did her part picking pumpkins out, too:

She was pretty into the surroundings, too. She was a fan of a mum that Steve gave her, as well as the straw that feels just like the straw in her touch-and-feel book she got from her Grandma for her birthday.

Always vigilant to protect her sister, Clara made sure that Elena was aware a strange looking man in a red shirt was staring at them oddly. Guess we forgot to warn them about scarecrows:

After we picked out two little pumpkins for the girls to carry around, and one for us to carve as a family, we each picked out an apple and munched happily on them all the way home. It was such a fun afternoon - we can't wait until we carve the big pumpkin in a few weeks!