Sunday, February 27, 2011

Party Girls

You know it's getting bad with the posting on here when a certain Grandma calls and says she's been missing an update! Since our last post we celebrated Valentine's Day together, which was very fun but photo-free. The girls also stayed home for a few days with the babysitter while Steve and Christina went to a conference in California. Everyone had a fantastic time (we are so proud of how adaptable these little girls are!) but we were all happy to be back together again.

When we have been in town in this brief month, we've been primarily doing one thing- partying! In this shortest of months, the girls have been invited to three birthday parties, and we've gone to both a Superbowl party (was that really the end of January?) and an Oscars party. We took a few photos today to illustrate the fun party girls we have on our hands.

Here we were, headed out to a friend's party where she was turning five.  Clara brought a balloon flower we made for her for the occasion, and Elena handles the snacks (their favorite pretzels we brought along).

We've noticed a real change in the confidence level that both Clara and Elena seem to have.  Though they are still sometimes shy, they are much more ready to charge off into situations by themselves than ever before.
This particular party was very fun because the gift bags were given out FIRST!  We had never seen that done before, but it sure did make for an entertaining party for everyone!  The dad of this new five year old girl is a DJ, and he set up a dance party in a big room downstairs that everyone loved.
Clara hid out behind a couch with Christina for a few minutes to eat some candy, so she took the opportunity to snap a few silly shots!
We are used to being sent home with a balloon from a party, but here the girls were asked what their favorite color was, and then they were custom-made a little balloon bouquet - so fun!

Heading straight from one party to another - no rest for the party girls!

Clara and Elena very much helped to make a Black Swan cake for the Oscar party tonight.  They know some cup measurements and measuring spoon measurements now, and are very handy with the salt and butter.  This flourless chocolate cake took six eggs, so was a fun one for cracking eggs and adding them to the batter one by one.  After we got it in the oven the girls went for a nap, and when Elena woke up she said" "Mama, I was in my room, and I kept going (sniff sniff) and I smelled that yummy cake!"  Not sure we would have settled for sleep if there was the smell of a cake baking, but they sure did!
February is wrapping up, and perhaps so is our month of parties.  But we are so very eager for spring to make an appearance that we won't mind one bit!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


We went bowling this weekend for our friend Charlie's fifth birthday!  It was so fun, although the lighting makes photography a challenge!  This is about the third or fourth time the girls have gone bowling, and they really have the process down!
They don't mind getting some pointers from their Dad...
...and some cheering from their Mom (this is after Clara bowled a strike!)
But they still prefer their own bowling method - getting low and just rolling the ball right down the alley.
Of course, this was the first bowling experience that involved cake, so that made this an extra special bowling day!  (Elena here is not sure about the candles on the cake, which Charlie had crafted out of some clay).
Sharing some secrets with Dad in between bowling and cake-eating.
Happy Fifth Birthday, Charlie!  Thanks for the fun bowling day!

First Dance Class

Steve signed the girls up for their first dance class this winter.  It is with a great ballet teacher here in town, but this class specifically is just Creative Movement - ways for them to have fun moving without any pressure over form.  We came for the first class, and there were grown-up girls in there finishing their class - Elena and Clara couldn't tear themselves away from the door watching them.  They were fascinated.
Clara was especially excited to be taking the course, and chose to wear her tutu!

Elena was thrilled about class until we got to the room, and we found out that parents aren't allowed in this class.  She stuck it out for about four minutes, then came out to Christina in tears.  We sat together for a while, and then Christina told Elena that it was fine if she didn't want to do dance class - it could be something just Clara did.  They don't have to do everything the same.

Upon hearing that, Elena immediately wanted back into the class.  She was so brave - walking back across the studio and all the kids to get to her spot again.  Christina was so proud - she wouldn't have had the guts to re-enter like that!  Elena stayed for the rest of the class right beside her sister.

Clara did everything she was asked to do in the class - here is a sneak shot of her when it was her turn to "bounce" across the room.
And at the end of class, they were to run (usually one-by-one, but they sent Elena with Clara since she was still feeling shy) across the room, leap over the mats, and go to their parent.  This would be unforgivably blurry, except that it somehow captures something about these two girls that we just love to see - vibrance, excitement, camaraderie - and so we are posting it anyway.

We'll see how week two goes - both girls want to go back again, and even specifically requested leotards so they could be like the big girls they saw!