Wednesday, September 29, 2010

StoryTime and Veggie Printing

Izzie and Maddie sharing a story this morning.  
Izzie
Maddie
 Today has already been a fun filled day and it's barely half over! We started off sort of slow this morning enjoying our pj's reading books and playing dress-up. Then I looked up at the clock and realized we better book it if we wanted to get to story time on time! Of course this is right when they noticed that their sippy cups were missing. After a frantic search of the house it was determined they had been left in the car yesterday... which means that they didn't drink ANY water yesterday afternoon. Sigh.

So I got clean sippy cups and off to the library we went. The girls were awesome at storytime, singing and dancing with Ms. Ophelia the librarian. I've been working on participation and we are slowly getting better at it. They still are timid with their joining in, but we are moving in the right direction. After story time we dropped in on Mom and Chris for about 45 minutes to visit and talk about story time.
Izzie and Story Time
Izzie and Maddie at StoryTime.
From there we headed home where the girls asked for a: ham, apple and cheese sandwich. Which I was more than happy to provide. They ate every single bite of them too. After lunch, I had a bit of surprise for the girls. You see, sometimes people wonder how I do what I do, or where I get inspiration, etc...

I was cutting up the apple for the girls lunch, in such a way that I sliced the "cheeks" off the apple leaving a rectangular core. Izzie was watching this and she said, "Yeah, we don't eat that part, it's yucky." I told her yes, it was the part with the seeds. At that moment I cut the core in half and showed the girls the seeds and the "star" pattern that happens when you slice an apple that direction. Just as I was about to throw it away, I thought to myself, that would make a pretty pattern. An idea was born.

After lunch I quickly threw on some smocks, grabbed the paint, raided the fridge for any other interesting vegetable I could think of and set the girls to print making. They went right with the flow and had a great time making veggie & fruit prints. Both girls said the okra made their favorite print. And I have to admit, it's little flower shape was my favorite too!

Apples, mushroom sliced in half, fresh greenbeans, broccoli and okra were our "paint" brushes for today.
Some Apple Prints
We all liked the okra prints

Maddie using some broccoli to make small dots.

Maddie, Momma and Izzie

Izzie and Maddie printing up a storm.

Izzie really enjoyed this project and she continued for awhile after Maddie was finished.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Morning at the Dallas Arboretum

Maddie and Izzie

Maddie and Izzie

Maddie, Izzie, Madison, Gabriel and Sydney

Izzie and Sydney

Madison, Izzie, Maddie, Sydney and Gabriel

Maddie and Izzie

Maddie and Izzie

Izzie and Maddie

Maddie and Izzie

Maddie

Monday, September 27, 2010

Things Toddlers Say

Isabelle and Madeline
Things Toddlers Say:
One:
Last night the temperatures dipped down pretty low and our house got down to 72 degrees. When the girls woke up this morning they told me it was very cold and they wanted to go downstairs. They were extra eager to get down the stairs so I asked them what they wanted to do down there. They said they wanted to see the snow. They remember the snow from last winter and that it came when it got cold outside! I had to explain that it was just Fall and not Winter yet, and that sometimes we don't even get snow.

Two:
This evening before dinner I told the girls that they needed to clean up their toy room after dinner. So after dinner, Izzie goes in there and with her hands on her hips she says, "I'm just not proud of this toy room." I asked her why. She said, "Well, I think because it is such a mess." So I asked her what we could do about that. She told me she had to clean it up. Both girls were very quick to pick up all their toys. Then Izzie stands back and surveys the room once again. She said, "Yes, now I'm very proud of my toy room." Yep.. I got a mini-me!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy Birthday Mom!
Singing Happy Birthday.

Izzie really enjoyed her cake. After she finished hers she said she wanted a WHOLE 'Nother cake.

Maddie is all done with her cake too.

Fun Weekend

Izzie and Maddie reading books and playing dress up.
This has been a great weekend and while I'm looking forward to the coming activities this next week, I'm sad that the weekend is drawing to a close. I think with me going out of town to visit Mema and then right when I got back, John left for work, it's been nice being in the same space with him this weekend!

Yesterday morning, I took the girls to an impromptu playdate at Melanie's house. We hung out there for a bit and then went to Red Robin Hamburgers for lunch. When we got home the girls told John that they went to the restaurant with the Two R's. The door handles of Red Robin are big letter R's, so that was pretty neat that they noticed that. Later that evening though they told Nanna that they went to the restaurant that made macy-cheese, hamburgers and oranges! I thought that was funny.

Speaking of Nanna... the girls went over there last night for a spend the night away from home. John and I had a laid-back date night. We went SHOPPING. Total shocker but I think we both had fun. I bought a new camera since my old one after the thousands and thousands of photos I took with it over the past 3 years is starting to flake out on me. I got a  Sony Cybershot for better or worse. There were so many choices and I had a hard time narrowing it down. I wanted to go for the fancy camera with the touch screen but it cost almost $100 for the same features. So far I'm happy with it. I've been taking photos of Ripley, my dog, since my favorite photo subjects are still at Nanna and PoPo's house.

I've spent the very quiet morning cleaning house and preparing for Mom's birthday dinner. I can't believe John woke up before me and then told me it was 9am! I haven't slept until 9am since before the girls were born I don't think! Anyway, I'm excited about Mom's dinner. I hope our comes out good. Like true Amanda fashion, I'm preparing something I've never done before. Although at least this time, I've prepared elements of the dish separately and now I'm combining them into one dish. I can't say what it is, since it's a surprise for my mom. I can't wait for dessert though since John made individual molten lava cakes for everyone!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Clean Walls

Maddie and Izzie with Shaving Cream on the wall.
 Maddie and Izzie's little table used to be pushed up against this wall. Right now, the table is in their toy room and when I took it away I noticed that the wall had gotten pretty dirty. Different art projects have flecked their way on to the wall, not to mention a few dings in the red paint. So John pulled the extra paint out from the garage for me and I've been meaning to touch up this wall a bit. But I knew I needed to wash it since painting over dirt isn't always the best idea.

So instead of cleaning it the old fashioned way, I decided to let the girls do the work for me in the form of an art project. I squirted some shaving cream on the wall and put them to work... er... play. They thought it was pretty darn cool. The more you rub in the shaving cream, it disappears and cleans and disinfects along the way. (That's why in Kindergarten rooms across America, Friday afternoon project is to do shaving cream on the tables. The kids think they are having fun, but really they are helping clean their desks!)

Anyway, after about 15 minutes the girls were done and I had a sparkly wall. Now to actually paint the dings out...
"ROAR!" says Izzie.
Add caption



Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Love

The beginning of two wasn't too bad. I didn't want to say it outloud in fear of jinxing it, but I was starting to wonder what everyone was talking about with the "terrible two's." Sure I saw glimpses of what people were talking about, but overall, two has been pretty smooth sailing. Having two, two year olds is a whole world easier than having two infants. They can feed themselves for one. The can entertain themselves a lot of the time. They can tell me what is wrong most of the time. Then there are those moments (uh... days?) that things aren't so smooth sailing, but when I step back and look, two has been a good year.

I can't believe we are almost to three. In just a short 3 months I'll have three year olds. I found myself in the past few days answering the question of "how old are they?" with "almost three" instead of "two and a half." This subtle change has me reflecting on the year. Why do people ALWAYS ask how old a kid is? I guess it's a good conversation starter. I get, "Are they twins?" (yes... duh.) "How old are they?" I used to have mini panic attacks when I couldn't remember  how many months they were off the top of my head. Seriously, I was too busy trying to remember who pooped and when and how long I had until the next time to nurse, that sometimes something like how many months they were would slip my mind. But I never wanted to be caught off guard or someone would think I was a horrible mother... who doesn't know how old their kids are??

Well now that we have (almost) survived the "terrible two's" and are sliding into the "terrific three's" I'm sensing that there is some sort of joke. Both girls have recently gained a sense of independence with daily life. "NO, I DO IT!" is a constant mantra around here. And with that has come the "Testing of Boundaries."  Running away from me is just one example of them seeing how far they can go with the boundary pushing. Fighting time-outs has been another. I did always think it was pretty strange when I told my girls to go to time-out and they did their duty with hardly a complaint. I still don't get the kicking and screaming, but Maddie will run away from time out over and over. I've implemented the "if you get out of time out, you get one more minute added to the clock." She's wracked up 10 minutes this way before. After that one 10 minute time out though, the most she's gotten is 3 minutes added before she remembers I'm serious.

Izzie is less likely to try to push a boundary unless she sees that Maddie is wearing me down first. Then she jumps in on the bandwagon. That's why it is so important to nip it in the bud as soon as I see the "testing" begin. One kid, you can usually deal with, but when you got two doing the same thing at the same time, you're out of luck! Izzie tends to drive me crazy more by insisting she do something by herself. And really, I don't want to discourage her from trying to dress herself, get in her seat by herself, put on her shoes by herself, go potty by herself, etc. It's just that sometimes my patience runs a bit thin and it can be so much easier to do it MYSELF! I do love that she's getting better at all of that every day. Tonight she wanted to put her nightgown pants on by herself. She started to put them on backwards and it took everything I had not to correct her. Seriously, what does it matter? If she's comfortable, then by all means, I'm letting her sleep in her nightgown backwards because she was proud she did it herself. (Even if it did take about 10 minutes.)

I love my girls. I love their hugs and kisses and smiles. I love their laughter and singing and dancing. Their latest stage has been the, "Watch me!" stage where they want me to watch everything they do. I'm so proud when they jump just a bit higher on the trampoline or color a new picture or identify letters on a page. They really are growing and often I catch myself looking as through a glass and seeing the scene from the outside. It makes me smile and it makes me proud. John and I (and all of our extended family!) helped the girls become who they are and will continue to who they will be. It's a beautiful process.

Izzie


Izzie was being so sweet yesterday rocking her glow worm. I tried taking pictures of Maddie too, but she was so energetic all of the photos came out blurry! I love the girls' blue eyes. I made these photos black and white and then just removed the b&w layer from their eyes... meaning this is actually how blue they really are, I didn't change the color!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Photo catch up from our visit to Bryan.


Mema, Izzie and Maddie. The girls played with these marbles ALL weekend long!

Maddie and Izzie saying goodnight to Pepaw our first evening there.

Izzie pushed this huge basket of blocks across the house all the way to the living room.

Got to go see Lisa and her kids. Here's a picture of Kylee, she likes to think in this position. She was just looking at the girls with wide eyes!

Maddie and Izzie had no problem borrowing Anthony's playset while he was away!

I just happened to be in CS the same weekend as one of my best friend's boys turned three, so she invited us to his birthday party. We ended up leaving early since Maddie wasn't feeling well.

My mom and I ended up taking Maddie to a day clinic to see what was wrong. Turns out she had her second UTI. Poor sweetheart!

I bought the girls some princess accessories while at Walgreens. To say they loved them would be a massive understatement. This is Izzie checking herself out in the mirror.

Maddie and Izzie wearing their princess gear. Although as the afternoon went on it became Queen Maddie and Mermaid Izzie.

Another photo of Maddie.

Back in Dallas, the girls are playing with some hats that Grandma got them for Christmas last year. These are pretty cool because they say "Dittlinger" on them from I think a Dittlinger Flour company that used to be in Dittlinger, Texas.... my Mother -in-law will have to correct me if I have that wrong....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Catch up!

Izzie and Maddie "driving"

There aren't many photos so far this week because of two things. One, we've been so busy that we haven't slowed down to take photos and two, we've been doing the "naked" potty training method this week. I'm not sure if it is an official method or not, I'm not reading any potty training books, but so far it's working pretty well. I think not having the security of anything to catch their mess, is making them pay attention more easily. And although it would be nice to set aside a week, shut ourselves in and say POTTY TRAINING and nothing else!!! that isn't too practical. So we've been out and about with pull ups and pretty much naked bottoms at home this week. I also figured if I had to clean a mess on the carpet AND one in the panties, why not just minimize the mess?

Monday was gymnastics in the morning for the girls. They both love going and every week they have a favorite activity, although the trampoline is always high on their favorite list. Then Monday night I went to my Landmark Seminar while John put the girls to bed. Tuesday morning we hosted a playdate and Tuesday evening I went to my monthly PAMOM meeting. This morning I had a doctor appointment and mom watched the girls, and tonight John is putting the girls down for three nights in row while I go to a special Landmark event.

Then we have decided to go to College Station to visit Mema a for a few days. John will get some "time" off, staying at home and Mom and I are taking the girls. It's a crazy time of year, but I love it!

John tried to capture this photo of Maddie reading to Ripley.
While Nanna was watching the girls this morning she painted their nails. When Izzie saw the green she said she had Shrek fingers and toes. So Maddie decided hers were dragon fingers and toes!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Potty Training

Izzie and Maddie coloring on a box.

Much of today was spent on potty training. I'm not doing any particular method. I'm just haha.... going with the flow. Although we are going to push it a little harder than we were since they are starting to grow out of the Target Brand (read... cheap) diapers. They make larger night time diapers, which of course are more expensive, but at least if they are day trained we won't be buying as many of the night diapers. They did pretty good today. There were a few accidents, but overall it wasn't terrible. I think Izzie purposely peed one time just to change panties.

The morning had more accidents, then at the suggestion of a friend in the afternoon about 2 hours before bed, we did the "naked" trick. They ran around without any diapers or panties. In that time we had no accidents. Izzie asked to go potty once and did, Maddie asked to go potty once, but it was a false alarm. We shall see how this goes. Tomorrow we have gymnastics, so we will be wearing a pull-up. I am not confident enough to have accidents away from the house yet!

Other than that, we pretty much spent the day just hanging around the house. I made an amazing Mango BBQ Pulled Pork dish for dinner that simmered away on the stove all day, smelling up the house with its deliciousness.