Saturday, August 29, 2009

Two turning Two

We had a party today for the girls - the theme was "Two!"

We had pairs of balloons, a Tat-Two (tattoo) station, horns to Two-t (toot) and various two-sounding refreshments (H20, two-berry lemonade, two-na (tuna) and red pepper crostini, two-layer greek dip, two-ti (tutti) frutti salad, etc).

We also had a huge number 2 balloon - and the girls spontaneously did this hilarious pose with it! (Can you tell who is who behind there?)

It was so much fun to celebrate - the girls slept till right before the party, and we were lucky to have so many friends to help us get the girls in a party mood (that's Charlie below, "Char-Char" to the girls):
The tattoo station was a big hit - all the kids had tattoos all over, and most of the adults sported a few, too. Here Elena shows her tiger, and Clara shows the placement of the flower she wishes to have on, but won't let Christina put on her:

Karen to the rescue! Clara happily allows her to put the flower tattoo on:
Elena illustrates the tooting horns:
But where are the cupcakes? The girls went into the garage and dragged out the box for the cupcake stand, and pointed helpfully to illustrate what they were waiting for. Christina was trying to have the girls wait for cupcakes until everyone arrived:

But an unexpected tragedy changed our plans. In the blink of an eye, the weights holding down the mammoth 2 balloon slipped off of the balloon, and suddenly:

Yep - away went the balloon. You can see it below right in the middle of the frame. This caused Clara some curiosity and caused Elena acute distress - she started sobbing. Straight up until bedtime they told us the story. "Two! Up! Reach! All gone! Sad."
They (especially Elena) were so upset that distraction was needed. Out came the cupcakes!

Cupcakes help everything:
Clara was especially enamored - these were double-chocolate cupcakes with a vanilla-bean buttercream frosting:
Last year for her birthday, Elena cried when she saw her cupcake and would only eat the lollipop that decorated the top. We're pleased to say she was much happier this year:
Cupcakes for everyone:
Clara illustrates that while these cupcakes were tasty, they were certainly messy!
Other favorite activities during the party were climbing the tree:
Hanging on the steps:
Pouring from the lemonade (all the kids were enchanted with this dispenser - it was so funny! One kid put his head right underneath and just let the lemonade fall a short distance from the spout straight to his mouth. The adults were a bit LESS enchanted than he with that one!)

Clara entertains the crowd with a trick - removing her skirt and then showing that she can "be snappy!" with the snaps on her onesie. She really did have some good dexterity - some said she should consider yoga!

Elena helped our friend Maeve draw one of the leaves they found on the ground:

And then our friend Kate introduces a new fun game - girls in the hula hoop turning in a circle. here are Elena and Clara with their dear friend Annie:
A few more kids decide to see what is so fun about this game:
And suddenly it is like a gravitational pull:
Nothing like hula hoops to bring out a good time!

We are so excited to be the parents of two-year-olds.
Happy Birthday Clara! Happy Birthday Elena!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 23 - Birthday Number TWO and a Triathlon

This year we had a very exciting August 23rd. It is, of course, the girls' birthday - and we were thrilled to celebrate. We had driven out to Portland, OR for a triathlon Steve was competing in, and the girls got to celebrate their birthday big-city style. In the days leading up to their birthday we had taken them for fancy kids' haircuts, we'd gone to the big Portland children's museum, and had treated them to sushi, ice cream, and Lebanese food (not all in the same meal).

On their birthday, they woke up in a big fluffy bed with mom and we called down to room service to have banana bread french toast with whipped cream brought up for birthday breakfast - it was a hit:

But that wasn't all. The room-service person saw that it was their birthday, and asked if it was too early for cake. Our response: never! So he brought up two huge slabs of chocolate cake that were an even bigger birthday-breakfast hit:

But what is that behind the girls - why are they eating at a sliding glass door? Why, we were looking down upon Dad's triathlon site!

Steve came up to the room to show us his calligraphy to mark his race number, and to give the girls birthday hugs and kisses. Then, it was time for him to go compete:

The three girls (Elena, Clara, and Christina) got dressed and headed out to watch:
Here are the girls after a heated bout of cheering- you can probably make out a few people swimming in the background, because Steve's wave had just left the dock to start their swim, and we were shouting "GO, Daddy, GO!"

We watched Steve transition from swim to bike, and then caught him after his first bike loop:

We settled in to wait for him to finish the second loop, and can't believe that we MISSED him on the way back down!!
Seriously, we watched and WATCHED, but lots of those bikers looked the same, and we could not find Steve for the rest of the bike ride. So we missed him transitioning into the run:

When next we saw him, he had crossed the finish line! The birthday girls were thrilled to see their dad (especially since from this point out, he kept fetching them watermelon to eat from the runner's table!):

A triumphant triathlete dad and his beautiful birthday girls:
Clara decides that Dad needs to hydrate:
And Lena sweetly steps in to help him, too:

Barely an hour after finishing his race, Steve suggested we take the girls out to the beach, and so that is just what we did. For the rest of their birthday, the girls rode carousels, played in the waves, and had "little bit of candy" (their favorite phrase). We took video of this rather than photos, and we'll try to upload those soon!

What a wonderful day - next up, we celebrate the girls' birthday with a big party this weekend!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Making Gnocchi

Tonight, Steve was making gnocchi and meat sauce for dinner, and he thought it would be the kind of thing the girls might like.

He was right!
Elena and Clara first watched while Steve rolled the dough, cut it into pieces, and showed them how to shape it with a fork.
Then, the girls got their hot little hands on some forks and went wild:

They were actually pretty good at it!

Although, there were the occasional episodes of mashing with a fork (and, although not pictured, also poking of the fork into the butcher block, smooshing of the dough in their hands, and a little bit of eating):
Well, there's a little bit of the smooshing that got on film, after all:
And some cute showing-off of the "real fork" (they don't use these yet for eating, so they are pretty exiting):

The girls were so proud of themselves - just delighted that they were helping Daddy and really making the pasta "pa-pa" that they love:
The girls weren't quite as skilled at the rolling of the dough, but they did give it a good try:
It was the perfect dinner for a cold, rainy day - and a perfectly fun time for Daddy and daughters: