Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy birthday Big D

Yesterday was Darren's birthday. And according to the girls he was turning 17 (which is correct if you add 20 years!)

We went out to eat as a family on Saturday night, and then had a relaxing meal at home for his actual birthday. Relaxing as it can be with the girls being totally amped to stay up late and watch Peter Pan Returns.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Life around the house

I feel like it has been a while since I gave a general post of what life is like around here. This will be long, but I will pepper in some pics to keep the non-readers engaged.  This is really the only record I have of anything (it is like I never got back my pre-pregnancy brain) so I thought I would try to remember what all is going on here that we think is fun and should be remembered.  So here goes: (addendum - I had written almost the entire post and then lost it!  Talk about taxing to my poor brain)
  • The girls love to watch TV, which obviously they get from me!  Every morning they like to watch their morning movie.  So I have cleverly made the rule that they have to be dressed before they can watch their show.  As a result they are much more eager to both get dressed and to do it themselves.  They are so proud to show off how they picked out their clothes and put them on themselves.  And they are good at picking out clothes that match.  Currently Brooke is in a boycott of all pants that have zippers and buttons since she can't do those by herself.  Smart Cookie indeed!
Usually they just help setting the table and putting the dishes in the sink, but one night I conned them into doing all the dishes!
  • So what TV do they like to watch? Octonauts is the current favorite along with Peep, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Oso, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Chuggington.  Really anything that is presented on Disney Jr is a winner for us.  Did I mention that they love TV?
Pajama Day at school!  They were excited to wear their pj's to school but even more excited to see what everyone else would be wearing.
  • However, they are super sensitive.  Especially Audrey.  The interesting thing is that they don't necessarily get upset about the bad guys, but it is like they internalize the sad parts of the show and it is just devastating for them.  A couple of cases in point: during the Polar Express over Christmas they both got so upset and crying hard core when the ticket got dropped.  Audrey was so concerned that they little girl was not going to have her ticket and was going to get thrown off the train.  Another example: a week or two ago D came home from work to both girls crying hysterically while watching TV.  So he asked me what they were watching.  Answer: Special Agent Oso....you know, the unique stuffed bear who can do anything in three special steps.  So how could that produce hysteria?  Well the girls were so distraught that Wolfie and Dottie were shrunk and in peril that they were reduced to tears.  Add to that, the fact that Oso's paw pilot was not working and it was all done. Complete and utter devastation.
Learning how to open wine. And yes I know we will not be winning any parenting awards.

  • Since the girls were able to sit up, they  have been taking baths together.  However recently that has not been a pleasant experience. One of them is always cold.  The other is in the EXACT spot that the other wants to be in (we live in an old house and have a very small tub) and that is clearly unacceptable.  So we have tried several solutions with limited success.  So I suggested that maybe they would like to try my shower.  And they jumped on that and LOVE it.  There have been no more baths since the shower (of course it is my shower only) was introduced.
Brooke drying off in her elephant towel after her shower
  • We recently realized that the girls were definitely ready to be through with their nap (sniff sniff).  We were tipped off when their nap times kept getting shorter and shorter and their going to bed time kept getting later and later.  Obviously nothing gets by us.  So for the most part we are totally nap free and bedtime has been back on track.  Which for us is around 8.  There are days - especially when they have already cried before 10 am - when they still get a nap.  But those days are getting less frequent each week.  We are down to about 1 nap per week.  And actually that napper is usually just Brooke.  For some reason Audrey has just determined that she is never tired at nap time.  But she is such a sweetie that she will stay in her bed and just rest for a while and honestly she is the less fussy/whiny of the two when she is tired.  So I have not fought it that much. 
Totally unrelated: the girls went to their friend Haley's (all the way on the L) birthday and they had a little spa day.  So stinkin' cute!!

  • Speaking of Audrey.  We have nicknamed her Gremlin.  You know the creatures that you can't feed after midnight.  Because that girl is a CRAZY lady at night.  Once it is dark and she gets a little food in her, she is hilarious.  Totally gets this enormous personality and is amped and ready to go.  Which brings me to the next two recent trends...
Audrey putting on some make-up...the mustache was just so funny!
  • For some reason at night the girls LOVE to take off their clothes and run around in the buff. We have implemented a rule that they at least have to keep on their undies - we try to at least pretend that we are still somewhat in charge.  And as I mentioned, our house is pretty old and is therefore pretty cold.  So this behavior is totally baffling to me and D.  And they love to moon us.  It is so funny.  Another reason that I am sure I will not be receiving any parenting awards is because rather than tell them not to do it, I offer technique suggestions (and of course instruction as to when this is appropriate behavior)
From the same party - I just love how Brooke looks in this picture
  • And then a final trend of our evening has been the addition of the Dance Party.  They girls dim the lights, turn on their light up-flashing heart, and put on 80's music or party favorites from the TV and we all boogie down.  Audrey is a slightly better dancer.  Brooke's dance moves generally are a little more spastic and involve a lot of running around.  Audrey's involve bouncing her hips and moving her arms around.  Totally adorable.
 Painting in the shower with shaving cream....Brooke liked this WAY more than Audrey.
  • And on evenings when we don't dance around, we play games.  Current favorites are princess dominoes, dora triominoes, the ladybug game, and go-fish.  So that is a pretty in-depth look at our nights around here.  Never dull.  
  • So on to our daytime activities. The girls love to play pretend - lots of pretend family, doctor, and school.  The girls love to pretend to be mommy (daddy is at work!) and baby with me being one of the grandparents.  Or they will be mommy and daddy and their animals will be the baby. They LOVE their animals.  It is so cute to see them playing with them so much everyday.  In fact, we have had to limit the number of animals that they sleep with at night.  We are such strict parents that we have now limited them to TEN each night.  What a hard life they have.  Their primary animals are their little doggies that they got as babies.  They have finally gotten their permanent names of Ella (for Audrey's doggie) and Daisy (for Brooke's)
  • They love to do arts and crafts - either organized with me or just on their own.  I have made a little arts and crafts station with all of their supplies - except paint.  This momma is no fool.  They are so cute with all of their art projects cause they like to put who it is to and who it is from.  Currently the only words that they can write and spell without assistance are to, from, brooke, audrey, mom (or mommy) and dad (or daddy).  I have gotten a little addicted to Pinterest and get most of our crafting ideas from there.  For the most part they have all turned out great.
  • For some reason, the girls are totally obsessed with growing things.  Not the best timing as we are in the middle of winter and they are insistent that they plant a garden...outside.  So they have started just burying "seeds" out by the big tree in our front yard.  And they will do it in like 40 degree weather - brrr.  We are attempting to grow an avocado inside but with zero success.  We are on our second pit and still nothing.     
Here they are planting seeds (which are really just holly berries) in their garden (which is really just the mulch around the tree)...I am sitting in the car watching them cause it was too cold for me.  Again no parenting awards I am sure :)
  • One successful growing adventure has been with our lentils.  Audrey had a wet paper towel and insisted that we plant something with that.  So I looked around our house and the only dry bean like object that we had on hand were some lentils.  I thought that this would surely not work but at least it would humor her.  So we put them in a cup with a wet paper towel and voila in a couple of days there were actual sprouts.  Then we transferred them to pots and they are huge.  I have no idea what a lentil plant should look like, but they clearly seem to need some type of stick or something to grow around.  And those little guys grow fast - almost instant gratification and you can literally see the difference from one day to the next.