Thursday, December 31, 2009

In and Out, Around and About

The other day we were trying to go to the Phoenix Art Museum with the girls, but they were unexpectedly closed. So we went across the street to the fun (and FREE) library. We feel like country bumpkins here sometimes- the big excitement at first in the library was the elevator!! (And at the mall, they just want to ride up and down the escalators, which they'd never done before).

Anyway - we eventually got them moved further into the library, and they had fun in the kid's section.

There was fun and there were games, but eventually Elena had to WORK. She has been talking a lot lately saying "I working, I working" and she'll go start typing. When she saw the computer in the library, she got right to working.

She was tolerant of Clara's help, but she didn't really want her to do the work herself. Oh, and do you see the "out of order" sign on this? That's why we felt okay for them to play on this one!

Nana and G-Daddy got the girls a mini-cupcake set as part of their Christmas present. So, today the girls and Nana made chocolate cupcakes.

And here are our finished results.

On New Year's Eve night, we participated in a long-held Granato family tradition of breaking a peppermint pig. These are from Saratoga Springs NY (you can find out more here) and Aunt Melissa was sweet enough to send it out to us. The girls were so excited to crack at it with silver hammer!

The girls got Dad and Uncle Scott in on the action, too.

The girls LOVE their Uncle Scott, and are totally wowed by him whenever he walks into a room.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Children's Museum and other fun

We took the girls back to the Children's Museum today. They've loved it there the other times we've brought them, but this time they were just completely different girls there. They could do everything on their own, they had so much more autonomy, and you could just see their joy in getting to experience it all.
Ever since the Nutcracker, the girls have loved ballerinas. Elena, especially, has broken into dance often saying "I a ballaina!" That's what she was doing here.

Two of a kind - they loved to experiment with everything.
Cheers, sister! We scream for ice cream.


The noodle forest - always fun, and not quite so panicky for Christina and Steve as it was in the past, when we wondered how we'd find the girls again!

A new addition to the noodle forest - stone painting!
Of course, with their love of cooking, they adored the kitchen section.

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What was surprising, since they don't particularly love the grocery on our regular trips, was that they liked the grocery at the museum so much. Clara was especially enchanted. She started out as a shopper, but soon used her manners to move herself into the clerk position.

We tried to get the girls to stick together a bit in the crowded hallways - that ended up being pretty cute. As always, we got many comments about them looking just like the Olsen twins.

A new exhibit this time was a car section -here's Clara in her ride.
And Elena, just so casually cool.
This wrench xylophone was so cute!
We attended a class at the museum on drumming. There was a bit of trepidation (mostly on Elena's part) about being separated from us (we were only over in the chairs behind them) but they were thrilled to get a chance on real drums.

Clara, especially, LOVES the drums!
And she was not about to share, either.

After the museum we headed to our magical Mexican restaurant (not it's official name, but last year we had the first truly nice meal we'd ever had with the girls while we were there, and we had an even nicer meal together today). They are so polite, and good at waiting, and were just delightful little companions.

Today ended with a boat ride around the lake that Nana and G-Daddy live on - it's not a good picture, but here are the girls in the life jackets. They were pretty excited to go on a boat, and we saw lots of lights and decorations. The fact that Nana and G-Daddy's friends catered the ride with chips, salsa, hot chocolate, and candy didn't hurt, either!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

The girls waited until a respectable almost-7:00 a.m. to wake up, and woke the whole household up to go see what Santa had brought. Nana showed the girls how the cookies and reindeer chow were gone!

Then it was straight to the living room to see what had been left. Christina and Steve had stayed up tracking Santa with Norad, so we know that he arrived in Arizona at 11:36 last night.
He left fun stockings and a play cash register for each girl...they had lots of fun, since this is the first year they understood what was going on with stockings/presents.

A little impatience set in as they wiggled their little arms around their stockings trying to find all the things they saw their sister pulling out of the other stocking, so eventually the stockings just got dumped out on the floor.

The registers were a big hit - they are similar to the ones their friend Charlie has, so Santa probably knew that they would like them.

They got these fun bears from their Oma El - they can practice snapping, zippering, buttoning, tying, and more!
New love.
Santa left one big toy outside - and the girls spotted it very early on! So even in the cooler weather at 8am, they ran out to play basketball (like Sarah Ena and Shaunte).

A little worn out from all the fun, Elena rested on Mom while Nana Rose and G-Daddy made us breakfast.
And as soon as Clara saw that, she needed a turn, too.
The evil eye - Steve was being very silly on the other end of the lens.

After naps today the girls awoke to all of Steve's extended family, who had come over for a Christmas party. Clara called them "The flamily." Nanny brought the girls two keyboards that hook into the tv with a tutorial to teach them how to play piano!
And their Aunt Rose gave them candycanes - always a hit.
Clara, out in the sunshine, pretending to be shy:
And then swinging together again, with their cousin Rachel pushing them. Oh, how they loved Rachel!

That swinging quickly turned silly!
And was followed up by riding on their new stick ponies.

And finally, here the girls are with cousin Rachel. They were SO showing off for her!

We hope you each had a very merry Christmas, wherever you were!