Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oh, that's how you do it.

We are going to the zoo today! I was talking to the girls about their favorite animals that they were going to see today. For the record, Maddie's is the monkeys. Izzie told me hers was the giraffe. Maddie said she was pretty sure we could pet a cow at the zoo. I told her that, yes, I think there is a calf in the petting zoo. Izzie told me she wanted to pet a giraffe. I told her I wasn't sure if we could pet a giraffe. She looked at me, and said very matter of factly, "Well mom, you pet his leg! It's too high up to reach his cute little nose!"

Monday, May 30, 2011

Flowergirl Preview

Here is a sneak peak at Izzie and Maddie as Flowergirls for John Chenault and Carolyn Wetters wedding on July 2nd. I'm SO, SO excited that they get to be flowergirls. I think that every identical girl twins should get the chance to be flowergirls. Oh, who am I kidding? I think EVERY little girl should get the chance to be a flower girl. I know I was a spectacular flower girl when I was about their age. The dresses are just so perfect! And the hair wreaths are precious. I've got to figure out a good way to secure them. I'm thinking a half pony and get out my itty bitty curling iron to do pin curls. Hum, I think a practice session is in order!

Photo Catch Up. Rough Riders Game. Water Balloons.

A bit of photo catch up today. Friday I took the girls on a walk down our street. Maddie has entered the age of "I'm SOOOO tired to walk Mommmmma." Of course I found this out several blocks away from home. I told her that her legs are younger than mine and if I could make it back home with my old legs then surely her young ones could get her home. She reluctantly dragged herself home under her own power. But there was NO way I was carrying that 37lb big three year old 4 blocks back to our house. No way was I starting that. Plus with twins, you run into the problem with the other girl thinking that's a cool trick to get Mom to do and I don't even physically think I could carry close to 80 lbs home, and I'd look quite dumb doing it! Luckily Izzie was full of happy energy so she challenged Maddie to several races. "Maddie! I'll race you to the next mailbox!" and "Maddie! I bet I'll beat you to the light post!" We made it home. I think I was more mentally exhausted than of exercise I had hoped to achieve!

At the end of our street is a big grassy area. Izzie and Maddie like to run "free" in this area.
 
 It's not easy letting your three year old run that far away, but they were having fun, and were in a safe spot. Plus it's good training to let them run and come back to you when it's safe so that you know they will obey you when you are in a more public place! That's Izzie way, way out there!

 Maddie and Izzie heading out on the walk. Maddie hadn't decided she was too tired yet.

 On Sunday we did a cutting/gluing project. I was going to have them do a collage of a flower and sky and grass but they wanted it to be "more pretty than that momma!" This is Izzie practicing her glue dots.

 Izzie loves gluing!
 Maddie kept going after all the long pieces. She liked how they "all lined up."

 Maddie.

 Jumping around... John, John Chenault, Carolyn and I went to go see the Rough Riders on Friday. My sister babysat the girls. They had fun playing with Rhonda and showing her their new swingset.

 Special Memorial Day tribute at the game.

 Last night I got out the water balloons that Mema put in the girls store. Maddie bought them with her money but said she'd share them with Izzie. I filled up a bunch of those little buggers and the girls popped them as fast as I could fill them.

 They liked taking them in their pool. Maddie and Izzie throwing them at the fence.

Izzie and Maddie trying to juggle a bunch of water balloons all at once!

I wish I had a Green Bunny to help me remember things

I was trying to remember the words to an old girl scout song, and I mentioned to the girls I was trying to do this. Maddie told me she never forgets the words to any song. I told her that was pretty impressive. She looks at me, and says, "Well and if I DO forget the words, Green Bunny will tell me all the words I need to know."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My newest niece/nephew

According to Maddie and Izzie, my newest niece/nephew will be named "Splutter." I'm not sure if the ensuing giggles after saying that are part of the name or not. But I just thought that Dana should know that the baby she is carrying (whether it is a girl or a boy) will be named Splutter.

Girl Scouts

 Talar, Jennifer and Amanda taken in 1998. I had us rent uniforms for this photo! The sashes were the only part of the uniform any of us owned.

I'm sure I've mentioned on here before that I was a girl scout. I joined as a Brownie in first grade and stayed on through until I got my Gold Award my Senior year of High School. And not to upset any of the boy scouts out there, I think achieving the Gold Award is a lot harder. Our Gold Award final project was to throw a Father Daughter Dance that benefited The Houston Humane Society. That was just the final project, the actual Gold Award took pretty much 3 years to complete working on volunteer hours and various other steps before the final project was even though about! I did continue on in Scouting during college a bit, but mostly to become a camp counselor at the summer camp. I also was the Riding Director at Misty Meadows in 2005. I definitely plan on getting my girls involved in scouting when they hit kindergarten and the Dallas scouts better watch out because I'll probably shake things up a bit. Scouting in Houston is BIG, here in Dallas it is almost non-existent, which is really sad. I think it'd be awesome to perhaps go back to camp as the Camp Director or Assistant Camp Director and let Maddie and Izzie spend the entire summer at camp when they get a bit older. That would have literally been heaven for me growing up!

Anyway, this all came up because a few weeks ago, my fellow girl scout troop (all three of us that were left by the end of Senior year of High School) got together to visit a few weeks ago. Talar is now a Vet tech with a 3 month old baby boy and Jenifer is a school teacher. It was really great catching up with them. I've talked to Talar a bit since high school and saw her once in college, but I hadn't seen Jen-Jen since we graduated in 1998. My mom came to visit too, since she was basically a second mom to them. Most of the scout meetings took place in my living room and so Mom was always there helping out the troop doing whatever needed to be done. I miss Mrs. Kamas our troop  leader so much! She passed away just after I started at Texas A&M. Her daughter dropped out of scouts at some point in High School because she was in too many extra curriculars, but we convinced Mrs. Kamas to keep on going for the rest of us; we were so determined to get our Gold Award. She was our champion and there wasn't a better leader out there. She went the distance for us rag-tag group of girls. The day that I graduated from College I had tears in my eyes that Mrs. Kamas wasn't there to see me complete my degree. I still have the Star pendant necklace that she gave all three of us as High School Graduation gifts. She told us to reach for the stars and never give up on our dreams. I'll never forget her or how important she was in my life.

It was good seeing the girls and we definitely need to stay in touch a bit better than we have in the past. Talar and Jenifer are the two oldest friends I have. I met Talar in fourth grade right after moving to a new neighborhood after my parents divorce. Her family is Armenian and I always loved going over to her house because of the exotic foods her Mom was always cooking up. Jennifer joined the troop closer to middle school I think. The three of us were always close and I think that is why when all the other girls dropped out one by one, we stuck it out together.
Amanda, Talar and Jennifer in 2011.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mema and Pepaws House & Rebeca's Shower

Last weekend, Mom, Maddie, Izzie and I drove down to Mema and Pepaw's house for a belated Mother's Day and my Aunt Rebeca's baby shower. The drive was pretty uneventful except for the fact that it was our first trip with potty trainers! Last time we went the girls were starting potty training but I put them in pull ups for the car trip. This time, I crossed my fingers and we took off. Before leaving town we met Chris for lunch at La Madeline's which Maddie thought was pretty cool. (By the way, totally not impressed with their kids menu items. Will I EVER learn, not to order the kids menu items? I hate paying $4 for a bowl of Kraft Mac N Cheese! I thought for sure La Madeline would have a homemade Macaroni for the kids. I thought wrong. But I digress.)

The we took the girls to the potty before getting back in the car, but even so, about thirty minutes later, just as we are in the middle of down town, Izzie says, "I gotta go potty momma!" I told her she was just going to have to hold it until I could find a safe place to pull over! She did great and I found a nice place to pull over and round one of potting on the road commenced. Back when I was still pregnant (I think) my mom bought me this cool travel potty. When she saw it, she just knew it would be one of those "can't live without this invention" type of product. I'm SO glad she bought it, it has come in handy like you wouldn't believe! The company she got it from stopped making them too! So now that I need it, I'm glad she bought it 3 years ago! It's a little fold up potty that uses standard ziplock bags to catch the pee. They can pee, I can fold it up and zip it up and there is no mess in the back of the van. It's great for out and about town too when you are running errands and perfect at parks that don't have restrooms.

Anyway, we made it to Mema's house with 2 or three bathroom breaks. When we arrive I realized I forgot their sleeping tents! The tents aren't a huge deal now that the girls are older. Now they are mostly for fun. I remember when I used to spend the night at Mema's house that she had this green army cot that we'd fight over who got to sleep in it. I thought it was the COOLEST thing EVER. I didn't want to share it with any of the other cousins. So back when I bought the tents for the girls I figured they'd be fun for spending the night at Nanna's, Grandma's or Mema's houses. Anyway, we ended up making a pallet on the floor out of blankets for the girls which ended up being fine (and a whole lot easier than the tents for the grown-ups.)

We arrived on Saturday and mostly just hung out until bedtime. Sunday morning the girls just had fun playing at Mema's house and we all got ready for Aunt Rebecca's baby shower. Her and Uncle Darrin are having identical twin girls too! I still can't believe it! I gave her one of the baby swings that I had for Maddie and Izzie. I'm still hunting down the second swing that somehow got misplaced since the girls were babies. I also got her the EZ-2-Nurse pillow which was instrumental in my success tandem breastfeeding. The shower was fun and it was good seeing Rebeca.

After we got home I left Mom and Mema to put the girls down to bed and I went grocery shopping. I decided to go to the grocery store that I used to shop at when I was a student at A&M. It was fun visiting my old grocery store. On Monday I took the girls to go see my cousin Lisa and her kids Kylee and Anthony. Afterwards we went to Ninfas for a mother's day dinner. Tuesday morning was all about getting packed up for the ride home. The ride was mostly uneventful again, with several potty stops along the way! But hey, we made it accident free both ways!

When we got home Tuesday Dallas was having severe weather warnings with tornado sightings and hail. We got home in plenty of time but John and I stayed up until about 11pm watching the weather making sure that it wasn't going to hit us. We were very lucky, all we got was a big rainstorm at our house, but I heard that there were 10 tornado formations in Dallas that night!

Mema reading Izzie and Maddie a night time story that she wrote herself. She used to tell me stories that she made up ALL the time! This story was about Abby and Gabby and how much they loved the wind (M&I's current fear) her stories always did seem to relate to whatever was going on in our lives at the time!

 Izzie and Maddie sound asleep on their little pallet.

 Rebeca, Izzie and Maddie with their hands on Baby A and Baby B Hill.So cool that they are going to have identical twin second cousins!

 Maddie, Izzie, Me and Rebeca.

 Izzie and Maddie walking around at Avalon.

 Izzie eating a juicy strawberry.

 Maddie and Izzie playing games on my mom's and my phones.

 Yep, this is me on my cousin Casie's trampoline.

 Izzie got some height!

 Maddie's turn!

 Maddie, Izzie, Kylee and Anthony.

 Izzie, Maddie, Anthony, Lisa and Kylee.

 This is my Mema (71 yrs old) teaching the girls how to climb an oak tree. She has always been about that hands on learning experience! One of my favorite memories is when she taught me how to dam up the creek and turn it into a small swimming pool!

 Pepaw ended up needing to help Mema a bit, but mostly because I was yelling at him to not let her fall! I couldn't help because I was too busy documenting! Maddie and Izzie were watching in fascination.

All for a photo. Maddie, Mema, Izzie and Pepaw.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Splish Splash!

 Izzie is in Zebra, Maddie is the blue flower suit.









This last weekend Mom, Maddie, Izzie and I went to Bryan to visit Mema and Pepaw and to go to Aunt Rebecca's baby shower. I forgot my camera. Mom took a bunch of photos and as soon as I find her camera (it got lost in the van) I'll definitely find a way to get the photos and put them up from the weekend. We had a great time. Some of my favorite moments were when the girls would come to me and smile and say, "We are at Mema's house!" with total excitement. I'm so glad that they are getting to have all the fun that I had as a kid at Mema and Pepaw's house. It's not quite the same because back when I was 3, Mema was about 42 or 43 and she had a lot more energy than now at 72. That being said, she's still got it in her folks! As we drove away on Tuesday to head home, she showed the girls how to climb the big old oak tree in her front yard. My Mema, she's got some spunk!

Today was a low key day mostly, but I did huff and puff and blow up the little pool that Mema bought the girls. (They were supposed to save up their money and buy it, but I cheated and just gave it to them.) Anyway, they spent about two hours splashing and swimming in it today! Mom came over for a bit to see and they told her that they were going to spend the entire summer in their bathing suits and nothing else! Summer is here in Texas!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lessons

I love that my girls love their lessons. Of course being that they are still three, sometimes the way they ask for their lessons is less than pleasant. Last night Maddie threw a temper tantrum asking for me to get a lesson down for her! Our lessons are a wide range from art projects, worksheets, counting with objects and whatever comes to mind. Right now they are really interested in worksheet lessons to trace letters. This morning I had them working on the letter A. Izzie's kept looking more like an H than an A but we were both proud of her effort. Maddie drew several really good looking A's all over the page, so she needs to work on keeping them somewhat closer to the provided line!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - Video


Trying out the video camera on my phone, so it probably isn't  the best quality. The girls are using their new balcony as a stage to put on a show for Ripley and I. So cute!

Emotions

Thank goodness Maddie just put HERSELF in quiet time! The morning started out fine but the past hour has been rough. It started when the girls asked me if they could play candy land by themselves. I said sure, but I was careful to watch them. I didn't want any bent or lost cards. It was pretty funny because they dug through the cards each picking out the characters to land on. Maddie dug out the Ice Cream Girl and was so excited! I told them they weren't playing by the rules and Maddie said, "I know Momma! I'm playing SILLY this time!" So I just went with it. Then they were done. I told them to clean up before they did something else. Izzie put up almost all of the cards and the men leaving the board and a few cards for Maddie to put up.

Maddie did NOT want to clean up her mess. Normally I'd make her do it, but instead I just let it slide, or so I thought. I picked up the cards and the board and put the game away. As soon as it was up Maddie started screaming that SHE wanted to clean up candy land. I told her it was too late and we were getting ready for circle time. Another rule is that they have to be wearing panties for circle time and Maddie was still in her night time diaper. She asked me to pick out her panties for her. After about the third pair that she turned down, I told her to pick out her own panties and that I was going to start circle time with Izzie.

And I did. Izzie and I went through the ENTIRE circle time routine with Maddie screaming in the background. She was even screaming, "Momma, come talk to me, I'm ready to talk!" But I didn't go over there because she was just wanting attention to be away from Izzie who was being very, very patient through all of this. So Izzie and I had our own little circle time and she got to be weather girl AND flag girl! At the end I asked the girls if they wanted to brush my hair (completely ignoring Maddie's temper tantrum.) They were both excited about this (and secretly I was too.) I love having my hair played with so I love that I have two little girls who can spend an hour brushing (well, yanking really) my hair. I even bought these tiny little clips figuring it could be a finger dexterity lesson.

I've seen Montessori lessons that have kids take clips and clip them to an edge of a box. Well this to me used the same skill but was much more satisfying to me! The only problem was the clips were too stiff for their fingers which started another upset. So we improvised and moved on to bows that were easier for them to get in my hair. But before they really got started, Maddie who was still calming down form her big upset said, "Momma, I need to go to quiet time with Bunny." And upstairs she went. Izzie decided to follow her after she made sure she could play with my hair later. I'm glad that maybe my lessons of how to help self soothe and calm down from an upset are maybe sinking in!

So now they are upstairs reading books and well, I'm blogging about it, because you know... it was just one of those hours of my life that seemed longer than it really was. It's crazy how much emotion can be squeezed into one small hour of the day. There were tears, and giggles, and screams and pride (Izzie was so proud of remembering something in circle time) and frustration and personal triumph. I mean no wonder by the end of some days I'm just emotionally a tired zombie. Every hour is so up and down when you've got two toddlers that are so passionate about every single thing in their life. No wonder they need naptime! (And mommy needs it too!)

 We pulled out the slip and slide the other day. Maddie was trying to crawl down it.

 More crawling. I couldn't explain how to slide down it.

 So Daddy came outside and threw Izzie down it. She HATED it.

 Izzie got so upset that Maddie got upset too.

 Poor Daddy, he was just trying to let her have some fun. She's standing here saying, "But it made me wet!"

 Maddie and Izzie at the park yesterday. We are in coats to help with our wind fears.

 This slide was cool because they started at the top together and split off in different directions.

 "What is this, mom?" "Well... it's a climbing thing, just like you are doing, Izzie!"

 Maddie

Izzie and Maddie looking at this HUGE bird on the other side of the pond. I think it is a crane??