Sunday, May 30, 2010

We came to get down

While hearing glowing reports of everyone else's Memorial Day weekend, we have worked through our own gloomy, rainy, 50-degree weekend as best we could. We may be without sunshine and warmth, but we are not without fun!

Steve has long shared with the girls his love of disco music. So much so, in fact, that they request songs by name. Their favorite at the moment will inspire them to turn to Steve and ask: "Daddy, we get down on it?" Click here if you're not sure what they mean. And this is how they get down:

It sure is a lot of fun! Lately the girls are also very into creative experiences. If they're not asking to sew, color, or cut, they are now asking if they can "do mine craft." Today's craft was making ladybugs out of foam board.

This craft was inspired by the ladybugs we are currently raising. They are both for fun, and to help with the aphid problem we have in our trees. If you want your own ladybug land, you can click on over here.
We also made sure we incorporated a lot of sweets into the weekend, to make up a bit for the rotten weather. This cake brightened our spirits, and also reminded us a bit again of our ladybugs.

In our recently-tricky efforts to help the girls go to sleep peacefully at night (the first time we put them down) we ask them to think about what they'd like to do the next day if they can both stay quietly in their beds until morning. The request lately has been that they wanted to make "bunny cakes" out of a cake pan Grammie Ellen brought to us. We are so happy that this morning we could finally grant that wish!

It's hard to really see how cute the bunny is covered with frosting - this is what they looked like on their own.
Perhaps as a reward for our patience this weekend, or perhaps as a cosmic reward to the girls for sleeping well, we did get about two hours of sunshine this afternoon. The splash pads in town had turned on the water, and we took the girls to go see. They barely got wet, only running through a tiny bit, but it was adorable to see how excited they were to even see the water spraying. And it was really funny how they kept going behind one another and pushing each other towards the water saying "You go, friend! You go in, friend!" They were each desperate for the other to go in first, but eventually they both ended up in and happy. And we had hot dogs and cherries and chocolate milk for dinner...preschooler heaven.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We love the dentist!

We took the girls to the dentist once before, when they had just turned two years old. They loved riding in the "up and down" chair, and had their teeth counted, and then got balloons made out of latex gloves. We meant to go back six months later, and yet time got away from us and we missed that appointment.

Christina called last week to get another appointment scheduled for them, and found that the only time they could get us in was when one of us would have to take the girls by ourselves. Oh, and also - at this appointment they decided they would try to do the full-on cleaning, too.

So, Christina headed out with them this morning. The girls were really excited, especially because the woman cleaning their teeth was named "Candy." They love candy (although isn't this an odd name for a dental hygenist??) and thought that would be great. Candy asked who would go first, and Elena promptly volunteered Clara. Clara got some cold feet after passing four different patients getting their teeth worked on before we ended up at our room, and so we all voted that Baby Zoe should go first.

After Zoe had ridden up and down, she invited Clara up in the seat, and she happily joined her friend for a ride.

She lay right back after that ride and did an AWESOME job at getting her teeth cleaned. She picked strawberry toothpaste, opened her mouth big like a tiger, and got all 20 of those teeth shined up. She never complained once, or asked to get down - she just sat there like a champ.

The doctor came in, showed her how he could shine a light in her mouth, and pronounced her teeth perfect.
Clara and Zoe - perfect little patients.

After seeing all of the fun Clara was having, Elena was chomping at the bit for her turn. She hopped right up there in the chair, and took a turn smelling Candy's orange-scented gloves.

Just like her sister, she was a total star at getting her teeth cleaned. She also picked strawberry for her toothpaste, and got all 18 little teeth shined up (turns out she hasn't gotten her top two molars in yet - who knew? And oh, man, we are not looking forward to more teeth coming in!!!).

The dentist checked Lena's teeth out, and as we all can see from looking at her for two seconds, she definitely has an underbite (the cutest one on the planet - it makes the nicest little smile!). It's possible that it will resolve on it's own, but it's unlikely. Class three underbites usually require correction, and when we asked if there is anything we should be doing now, we decided all we could do was save up for the eventuality of some specialized dental attention. Good thing we all like the dentist!

Don't worry about Lena -she's got a smile on her face and one eye on the dentist, and we'll make sure she gets help down the road to keep those teeth in good shape.

It was a really fun visit, and I think they'd go back again this afternoon if we'd let them. They picked lip gloss out as their prize after finishing the appointment, and that just made their day. They love having their own "lip stuff!"

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My mama made it

It pleases Christina to no end that the girls think she can make and/or fix anything. Of course, the only skill they think can make/fix things is sewing. They help hand sew and machine sew, and have utter faith that we can do anything through sewing. It is gratifying to pass this on to the girls, as Christina remembers thinking exactly this about her own mom.
Plus, making things for the girls is gratifying, too. They look so cute in everything, and they are so appreciative of anything made for them. Christina took inspiration from her friend, who just finished a design competition, and designed these skirts for the girls. It was so fun, and contrary to Clara's expression here, they both liked them. Clara called it her ballerina skirt and she twirled and twirled in hers. Elena favored jumping.

Steve and Christina have been dreaming about a gauzy reading nook for the girls since before they were born. It took us awhile to get it in place, but it turned out just like we wished it would. We bought the hanging gauze from Ikea, then decorated it with ribbons and flowers. Christina sewed pillows to lounge on, and the girls decided to put their Raggedy Ann dolls in "the hiding spot." The girls love to just sit in there and read book after book - it's exactly like we imagined!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Then and Now

Today was graduation weekend here, and somehow it seems like that time of year always makes us want to look back and look forward.

So, here were the girls last year on graduation weekend (first Clara, then Lena):

And here they are this year (same order, although reversal of the profile/full on shots, unfortunately!).

They look so much wiser, and their faces so much thinner (not to mention their hair looks so much longer!!).

For another flash back, here were their feet at two weeks:

And here are their feet at two years (first Lena's, then Clara's - and yes, she chose to have her nails painted two different colors).

Life just keeps on changing. Here was our doorway planter a month ago:
And here it is today - filled with flowers the girls helped Christina pick out and plant in the ground.
Finally, here are the girls today (ready to head out to a graduation party)...

But how long will it really be until we are here, watching them graduate?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

Happy Mother's Day, to all of our favorite mothers. We are lucky to have you in our lives. And Christina feels supremely, wonderfully lucky to be a mother to the two most amazing girls on the planet.

As is now our Mother's Day tradition, we went to our local family nursery, Bensons, to soak up some springtime. It is still FREEZING here, so we didn't necessarily plan to get anything for the garden. The girls enjoyed looking at the 'baby' plants.
And playing chase through the aisles - "You can't catch me!!" is a common refrain these days.

Steve showed the girls a plant they thought was hilarious - the wooly thyme. (side note - notice anything funny about the background mountain in this photo? If not, see the end of the post)
They said it tickled their noses...over and over.

Just as we were about to leave, we saw a plant (on the left) and saw the variety was named "Sunny Elena." We had to have it! As we were remarking that it was too bad there wasn't a "Clara" plant, an employee overheard us and said "There is one, over here!" And sure enough, a variety of a different plant was called "Thumbelina Clara." We bought both, and Christina thought it was a perfect Mother's Day gift - now she can have a planter of flowers named for her daughters.
We tried to get the girls to pose with their plants - they were more interested in carrying them around instead.
They always love to pose with this bear, though, and asked to do so of their own volition this time.
Then, it was off to a park. This is a park we started going to last year, and were so surprised this year at how they can do everything there on their own now!

Just the cutest girls ever...we had a great time, but when it started to rain we decided to go home. Clara asked for a plate of spaghetti, and we just happened to have some pasta dough we had made up yesterday (when we were making homemade portabello mushroom ravioli) so we went home and made up some fresh spaghetti.

The girls ate bowl after bowl - they have a real taste for certain foods lately, and fresh pasta is now added on the list.

If you didn't see it above, here's a closer shot of the mountain that was in the background in the swinging pictures. It always has an "M" on it, for Montana, but today someone seems to have extended it. A sweet town we have here, that's for sure.

To all those who wish they were moms but haven't found that path yet, or to all those who are missing their moms today, our thoughts are with you. We do not take our luckiness for granted, and feel so grateful to be just exactly where we are right now.