Friday, March 27, 2009

Baths and Stories

It's staying light out later now, so we get some lovely light in the bedroom as the girls are getting ready for bed. After baths tonight, here was the lovely Lena:

And the impish, adorable Clara:

The girls have stories before bed, but the stories we're telling them are not quite as interesting right now as the stories they are endlessly telling us. Specifically, they each have a story they are absolutely fixated upon.

Elena tells us the story of the "maan!" in the "tee!" while pointing out the window. We get this story at least once a day, many times more than once, and it refers to the day the girls were with Steve and saw a tree trimmer out our window. Yes, there was a man in the tree, and it may be the first real memory Elena ever has at this point!

Clara saw our friend Maeve scrape her knee, and it has had a BIG impact on her. So much so, that we asked the doctor today if this was normal. She doesn't tell the story quite as often as Elena talks about the tree, but when she starts in on it we've got a good twenty minutes going where she will pull up her pant leg, say "OW!" and "Knee!" and "May!" (for Maeve) and do this over and over and over. We've talked through the story, we've told her Maeve is fine, we've told her "All done" to try to give her some closure - nothing doing. Anyone have tips on this one?

That's our night and recaps of our recent's cold and cloudy and snowy here, and we hope you all are staying happy and warm, wherever you are.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Paintbrushes a-flyin', these little sweethearts took a shot at painting the other day. They like the idea of squirting paint out of the bottles more than anything, but they had some fun with their fingers, feet, and the brushes, too:

Evidence of Elena's good time:
And Clara investigates her own blue little hand:

We got a footprint out of Clara, too. She wasn't sure she liked it, but it sure was fun to look at!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Who would have guessed?

These are our dear, darling girls, from one year ago. And one year ago, there is no way we could have imagined that today:

-Elena would start referring to herself as "Yena" and Clara as "Ara" or "CaCa"
- Both girls would go to a nature exhibit and walk around experimenting and enjoying themselves
- Clara would recognize a bear, say "Bah!" and offer it her water bottle making drinking sounds (don't worry, it was an exhibit)
- Christina would tell the girls how to move slowly around wild animals, and they would both start walking around in EXAGGERATED slow motion, mimicking their Kindermusik teacher and laughing
- Elena would actually jump off of a five inch log at the park, while saying "jum!"
- Both girls could hold their own at a Cracker Barrel for an entire meal, eating their meals on their own and coloring like little angels, sitting up big as you please
- Clara would hold Christina's earrings up to her own ears, laughing with such a twinkle in her eye

We never dreamed we could be this happy, that there could be this much fun. We are so very lucky, and so darn happy.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy St. Patricks Day!

As the only non-Irish one in the household, Christina tries her best to join in the festivities on St. Paddy's Day. This year, she made corned beef with a marmalade scotch glaze, roasted carrots, champ, and soda bread. Steve seemed to enjoy it - the girls favored the soda bread MUCH more than the rest of the meal!

Our wee little leprechauns were also treated to a new surprise - a slide! It's just tiny, and for now we are using it inside (because it has snowed for the last three days straight). Here are the girls' inaugural slides down it:

(please excuse Elena's bunched up dress - although it was green, it wasn't the best for playing on the slide, and so we just tucked it in her tights).

Looks like nice sharing, doesn't it? THINK AGAIN! It is definitely serving as a teaching tool for turn-taking.

One other new toy in the house is a remote control that Christina got for her camera. Elena loves it, and as the budding photographer she seems to be, spent quite a bit of time telling Christina to "Sit!" with her in front of the camera, pressing the remote button all by herself. Here are two of her more successful shots.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day Three of the Croup (as near as we can tell)

So, on Monday Clara got diagnosed with the croup, and we're pretty sure that today Elena is showing signs as well. Obviously, we can't really take the girls in public without worrying we'll infect someone, so we're spending a LOT of time at home. We did go out for ice cream yesterday (no one else was in the parlor, and the girls touched nothing but ice cream!) and we've played outside a fair bit, but it's cold still so that can't really go on for very long.

Christina thought she was getting creative coming up with activities for the girls at home, but it turns out that the girls are more clever on their own. Christina was making lunch today and turned around to see THIS:

What is she doing? Being Christina! She took her hat and purse and was walking all over the kitchen like this. When we asked "Are you being Mom" she grinned like you wouldn't believe:
She's a pretty clever girl.
And don't think Clara missed out on the action. She didn't care to dress up, but she REALLY cared to pull the hat and purse off of Elena at any opportunity.

We spent the afternoon crafting. We got a roll of butcher paper, some triangular crayons, and the TaDoodles stampers. We spent the day scribbling and stamping, and then we moved on to some playdoh:

With cookie cutters to stamp in it, of course:

It's really hard to take pictures while crafting! Sorry that there's so little of Clara here - she's a real mover and shaker these days, and it's hard to pin her in a photo. She's the pink dress girl playing with playdoh, but her face was all out of focus. We'll keep working on it!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Funny girls and new shirts

We have two new funny things the girls started in the last few days:

Clara has started tasting her feet - something she hasn't done since she was about four months old! So funny, and holy flexibility!

Elena has gotten into making funny faces for the camera. She'll pull a face, wait for Christina to take a picture, look at it on the back of the camera, and then make another face again!

Christina sewed the girls some new shirts (from a pattern you can get here) and was so excited to have them try them on:

Clara loves hers (and Elena's, actually) and wore hers to a birthday party yesterday. Elena, on the other hand, had to be eased into the shirt with the promise of a pretty hair clip and a balloon, and five minutes after this picture was taken positively wanted the shirt OFF. Drat! At least Clara can grow into it, or we'll try again another time.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's still winter...

And since it's still winter, we are still trying to entertain ourselves indoors most of the time. The girls love to go outside, especially to play with balls and practice jumping (for some reason, they seem to think they can only do this outside) but it still isn't warm enough to do that most of the time.

Christina got a new book called "First Art" with some fun projects in it, and today we made gloopy goop (which is just cornstarch and water) that the girls had a lot of fun with (and so did Christina). Really, this seemed more a science project than art, but we did have fun.

We go to the children's museum a lot too, and the girls have gotten into face painting. Here is Clara showing off her work (Christina tried to make her a lion, but then Clara decided to do some painting as well):

Okay, so she might look a little more like the joker. But check out what she was wearing aside from face paint:

SUCH CUTE leggings! Auntie Cyndie sent some along from yarn that she spun herself, and we can't believe how gorgeous they are. THANK YOU, Auntie Cyndie! We're also want to do a public thank you to Uncle Dominic and family, who sent the girls all kinds of fun food treats from Japan. Now, it's our turn to send cheese, somehow (can you tell that particular exchange was meant to get us each hard-to-find items in our respective countries?).

And since this post is a little light on Elena pictures, we're including one showing her new skill she's working on - dressing herself! She has really been ambitious lately, and spends quite a bit of time figuring out how to do this on her own.

So, okay, winter can hang around a LITTLE longer, since we are still having fun - but we sure won't be sorry when spring finally rolls around!