Thursday, June 24, 2010

Splish Splash

The rain has just been a constant for us this spring/summer, and we finally gave in this week and decided to just buy rainboots and have some fun. The girls have been stomping about in their sandals, but that makes it pretty wet the next time they want to go out somewhere. So, rainboots it was.

Elena picked horses on hers:
Clara picked ladybugs on hers:

A sun shower just after dinner provided the perfect time to get out and play.

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If you remember the plants Christina got on Mother's Day (Sunny Elena and Thumbelina Clara) they are finally both blooming at the same time! It's funny to see how different they are - the Elena flower is tall, deep purple, and has really distinguished petals. The Clara is the fluffy, exuberant pink one that has spread throughout the entire pot.

Very different flowers for our very different girls - and in both cases, don't they look just lovely together?


I was getting ready to do a post of the girls out in the rain, and found some extra photos on the camera - here are some snips and bits from our days.

This is Jessica - she has been babysitting the girls since January. This week she brought them hello Kitty shades and necklaces - they loved them!
Here's a new fun game in our house - make the blocks into an animal train, and push it along. Steve is surprisingly good at it.
Soft Dog, who is less than ever-present these days. He keeps hiding on us, but at least for this moment he was tucked safely next to Lena.
Clara's friend of choice these days is her Dolly (the first doll she ever received, when she was one day old in the hospital) or her Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the bed book. Probably wiser that she decided to cuddle with Dolly.

Not nearly as good as cuddling with Daddy, though. One morning this week Clara got up, crawled in bed with Steve, and ordered Christina to take a picture. So she did.

And the's delayed this year, but with the rain it is definitely starting to take off.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Elena Rides the Carousel!

Today we tried to liven up the afternoon by going to the carousel after naps, as both girls requested. After we got there, bought tokens, stood in line, and got Elena strapped on to a horse, Clara adamantly refused to ride and asked to leave. Now, typically, Elena has been getting more adventurous about riding, and Clara prefers to sit in the seats on the carousel with Christina and Steve. Elena has ridden one of two horses on the carousel that does not go up and down on her own in the past, and has done great. Today, Christina was taking the girls on her own and bumped Elena up to one that DID move up and down, intending to be sitting on the horse right beside her. But with Clara's firm refusal to even be ON the carousel, Christina gave Elena the choice of getting off or of riding completely on her own. Without hesitation she chose riding on her own.

Christina checked with not one, not two, but three attendants to be sure everyone else thought this was fine and that they were all ready to leap up onto a moving carousel if Leni looked like she was in trouble (people, this carousel is FAST) but there was no such need. She smiled a humongous smile at Clara and Christina each and every time she whirled around, and you have never seen such a proud girl as this little Elena when she got off her horse. She was so very happy to have done it all by herself. We bought her carousel socks to mark her brave occasion.

What did Clara think of all of this? She was very proud of Elena, and kept talking about how she rode all by herself. Then she firmly expressed that she did NOT want to ride by herself, but that when she did decide to she wanted to get the fun socks, too. Fair enough - to each their own.

(pictures not taken by us - credited to georgialeonee)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Father's Day gets more fun every year, as the girls get more impressive at learning to dote on their dad and say sweet things. This morning when Steve awoke he was greeted by the girls shouting "Happy Fadder Day!" They insisted on handing him his morning paper and cappuccino themselves. And when they handed over their gifts, they even helpfully tried to pre-open them for him. What a lot of fun for dear old Dad!
After a wonderfully lazy morning at home, Steve decided we should all go for a walk to the river.
The girls ambled about with Steve, only occasionally glancing back at photographer-Christina. It's wonderful to see how trustingly they hold his hands and follow him through the world.
Another mark of maturity is the fact that the girls would sit and pose when asked, even with the enticing river at their backs, just waiting for rocks to be thrown into it.

They were thrilled to get down to the river, which was running really high after all of our months of rain.
Clara literally tests the waters.
Elena searches out the best rocks to toss.

Soon, the girls both came to depend on Steve for their rocks, as he was an expert rock finder. (Christina figured out his secret - he DIGS them up for them! No wonder he can always find such nice big ones for them!).
Silly girls by the water:
The three amigos, examining the other side of the river bank.

Clara has adopted this as a new pose- she thinks it's awfully cute (and we're biased to say that we do, too).
Sending the Clara off with a good rock for throwing:

Sending Elena off with a GIGANTIC rock!

Finally, Dad teaches them how it's REALLY done!

Then it was off to lunch at the girls' new favorite place - Noodle Express. They love to get a bowl of noodles and some chopsticks, and it's fun for all of us to watch the chopstick antics.
The three girls did a lot of things today to try to show Steve how much they love him - and to thank him for all the love he shows us every day of the year. We are so very lucky to have him, and are lucky for all of the other fathers in our lives, too. Happy Father's Day to each of you!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy Adoption Day

Today marks two years ago that we went before a court and got to claim Clara and Elena as our daughters. They still don't exactly understand what adoption means, but they know all of the wonderful people in their life who love them, and we've shown them pictures of that day in court, and they know it was a big deal to us. So we celebrate by indulging the girls (even more than usual!) singing our Happy Adoption Day song, and letting the girls pick out special cupcakes Christina makes. This year they picked pandas:

That one on the right sure is interesting looking, isn't he? Like he's melting, or really perplexed!
It didn't really matter what they looked like - the girls just loved the idea of that much sugar.

Our two little sweethearts...we are so lucky, every day, that we get to spend our lives with them. We can never be grateful enough to Ashley and Sean for making this plan for them, and for everyone else who helped us come together.

Happy Adoption Day!
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summertime Sunday

Finally!! It's summer in Montana, and we welcomed it with open arms. We met friends for breakfast, then came home and made a peach pie.
Turns out Clara and Elena are AWESOME at peach pie - they slipped all the skins off of the peaches themselves, and were really, truly, a help! (Plus, Christina loves every pie-making opportunity with them, given that she saw this movie right before we met the girls for the first time and it was all about pies and love of daughters).
But good glory, it is SO messy cooking with little people! At one point Elena was smearing flour into a willing-Clara's hair. At another, Clara caused a cascade of peach juice straight off the counter. It was lunacy.

We promised the girls we could go to the water park (a park with sprinklers, not a water-slide type thing) as soon as it got warm, and it was finally warm.

Clara had a truly wonderful time going through all the water - she loved it.

Elena would barely go near it - she preferred running to Steve and Christina...

And striking this sort of pose:
Here's Clara on one of her trips back to us for a warm-up.
And Elena having a pseudo-warm-up from having no contact with the water whatsoever.
Elena perked up when she got to chill with her Dad, and she had a huge amount of fun on the other section of the park (swings, slides, climbing).

After a few other fun stopovers, we ended up home and back to our peach pie. With Big Dipper vanilla ice cream. Yum.

Clara lately has taken to calling people "shweetie pie" when she is in a nurturing mood. It's pretty adorable. And so, of course, she and her sister deserve as much sweet pie as they want.