Thursday, March 31, 2011

Photos

 Maddie and Izzie created this elaborate set up for a game of ball with me.

 Maddie and Izzie playing in the toy room.

 Coloring wit wonder markers. They spent an hour completely coloring in an entire sheet.

 Maddie was coloring the sky she told me.

 Maddie at the mall.

 Izzie.

 Yum Mom! I gave the girls a choice for lunch today and was going to let them have a pizza. They wanted chicken salad sandwiches and fresh fruit. Izzie

 Maddie.

Our Adventure

My girls love Dora the Explorer. The privlage to watch the show has been in time out for the past couple of days because instead of emulating Dora, they choose to copy Swiper the Fox more often than not. Some days I think if I hear, "I SWIPE FROM YOU!" one more time I'll go crazy. The new rule is if they swipe (basically grab something from someone, run and hide it; which is what Swiper the Fox does) they can't watch Dora the Explorer the next day. Since we limit tv time and they usually only get one show a day, this is a big deal. Well the other day they swiped so many times Dora went it time out for three days.

Today Dora got to get out of time out and to perhaps encourage them to be more like Dora and less like Swiper the Fox, we went on an adventure.


First we had to put our dirty Nightgowns in The Laundry Swamp, 
Then we had to clean up Pony Puddle (all their ponies were in a big pile in the toy room.)
Next we had to climb Mt. Staircase and tip toe into the Sleeping Cave. We had to be extra quiet as to not wake the wild stuffed animals that were sound asleep.
We tiptoed into Closet Cove and picked out our clothes for the day.
Last we were able to go to Family Fun Place and watch Dora! 

They had so much fun going through the Adventure than if I had told them to get dressed and clean up their mess before they could watch a show (which is of course, what I usually do.) Maddie had to wake the slumbering stuffed animals so the ferocious puppy dog had to lick her to pieces. They were in stitches giggling so hard. I love it when I remember to do fun stuff like that. Often times I get caught up in the DOINGINGNESS of the day and just check things off one by one. The funny thing was taking a moment to come up with silly names made the clean up and getting dressed go three times as fast as if I had done it my usual way.

Now I'm off to vaccuum while they are upstairs watching Dora, and hopefully learning more than swiping.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Making Dog Biscuits

About six months ago, the girls and I made homemade doggie biscuits for Ripley. The other night somehow that came up and the girls wanted to do it again. Last time, I think we just made little round cookies, but since then the girls found a bone shaped cookie cutter in their cookie cutter set, they wanted to make bone shaped ones. I remembered last time the dough was almost too wet to roll out so I scaled back on the water and it was perfect this go around! We could have done it in the electric mixer in half the time, but I think when you are making cookies as an activity doing it by hand with a bowl is the way to go. The girls really had a great time cooking with me and Ripley enjoyed the cookies! These are a dog treat, they aren't necessarily a healthy dog meal replacement. For the refined recipe on The Frickin Chicken.

 Izzie and Maddie getting ready to cook with their aprons on.

 It's been awhile since we used the homemade brown sugar and it got hard. Maddie was helping me break it up.

 Scooping peanut butter is hard! I taught the girls to use two spoons to work the peanut butter into the measuring cup.

 Taking turns stirring. Maddie's doing a great job!

 Izzie pushing a cookie cutter in.
 Now Maddie is giving it a try (they traded places!)

 Cookes are all baked! (Some of them are dog shaped cookies.)

 Maddie feeding Ripley.

Izzie watching Ripley eat her biscuit. We trained him from a puppy to take his treats to his bed. It's the one thing he still remembers in his old age!

Funny Things Kids Say

Izzie came up to me and asked me to put a hat on Teddy. I apparently didn't do it to her standards. She looks at me and say in a very exasperated voice: "Well DADDY, knows how to do it right!"

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Staining the deck

Today was all about staining the deck. Well, this morning was, as it turned not to take all day long. We still have to seal it, but the stain has to dry for at least 72 hours so we are good for now. Our backyard is a graveyard of toys lately. Last summer the sun destroyed a bunch of the plastic toys and over the winter I'm sure the snow and ice didn't help. The grass has been littered with bits of broken sandbox shovels and screws from the work bench, among other things.

This morning I was on clean-up duty. I got out a big black trashbag for all the broken bits and anything salvageable I put in a big rubbermaid container. Most of our backyard toys have been cheap garage sale finds, freebies off of Freecycle or finds from the street where people put things out for the taking. I scored two really good trikes this way before the girls were even 6 months old! The girls came outside to help me organize the back yard and I moved all the toys into the grass. Then Maddie and Izzie helped me sweep off the deck. It's a lot bigger than you realize when it is empty!

John came out with the sprayer and the stain just as we were finishing sweeping. He stirred the stain and then poured it into the pump. Pump, pump, pump.... NOTHING. We got out the instructions. We were doing everything "right." Still no spray. Determined not to give up, John went and got a roller and a paint tray and I got some gloves and some rags. We made a great team, he rolled and I ragged until we stained our entire deck. I was super proud of our job. This was our first big "maintenance" project on our house and we did great!

The rest of the day was spent visiting for me. I went to lunch with Melanie and we had a great time just sitting still and catching up. It's funny how someone you talk to almost every day, with kids around you don't get everything said that you want said! How novel to be able to finish a thought without interruptions! We went to this new restaurant called Urban Eatz and I'll definitely be going back to try more of their menu!

Then when I got home, my sis was sitting in my desk chair with two huge boxes. She bats her eyes at me and asks if I'll help wrap for a babyshower that she's attending in a couple of hours. Uh-huh... sure... so we go up to my art room. (Thank goodness the day before I actually went in there and spent a few minutes trying to organize so we had some floor space to work with!)

We wrapped the presents and headed downstairs, forgetting to shut the art room door that has the baby lock on it. This is important because two days ago we took the baby lock off the girls room. So far they have stayed in the room when they were told to. I guess Izzie heard Rhonda and I in the art room so she opened her door and slipped in. That is where John found her later, playing on an art easel. As soon as she heard him come up the stairs she bolted for her room! The art room is a no-no for obvious reasons being x-acto knives, scissors, paint thinner, broken glass (for mosaics) and who knows what else! Luckily most of the dangerous stuff is tucked away and not in plain sight but still! YIKES! I think I'll be getting a more secure lock for that door since the reason that we took the baby locks off is that they've started to figure out how to open them.

Tomorrow should be pretty laid back and next week is full of fun outings and I'm sure we'll be spending a lot of time outside over at my mom's house. It's great gardening season and the girls love running around her big back yard.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Just some photos

 Maddie doing a lesson. The instructions said to write a title and draw a picture. She wrote her name and is drawing a picture of herself.
 Izzie working on a connect the dots lesson.

 Maddie and Izzie at the Dallas Arboretum

 Maddie and Izzie

 Maddie, Izzie, Madison and Sydney

 Madeline, Sydney, Madison and Isabelle.

 Izzie and Maddie

 Maddie

Izzie. Love the perspective of this photo. It looks like she's eating out of a gallon size tub! (It's not, I promise. And I barely put any frozen yogurt in there anyway, it's mostly fruit!)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Windy

Wow was it ever insanely windy yesterday. I don't think I'll ever get used to it. Living in Houston we had humidity bad. The weather would say it was a nice 76 degrees outside and you'd get excited step outside your front door and your glasses would fog up from the humidity and it'd feel like you were swimming to your car. (It only got worse as the temps rose and rose through the summer.) Here in Dallas after being cooped up over winter, the sun starts shining and the thermometers start to read in the 70's and we start planning park playdates. Then they get canceled because no one remember to check the WIND forcast. Yesterday we had blustery winds at 30 mph. I mean that isn't a hurricane by any means (category 1 starts at 75 mph, I think.) But 30 mph is enough to almost knock a toddler over. Trashcans were rolling in the street and I heard that a friends fence got knocked down by the "breeze."

So our plan yesterday was to go to the park and I posted as much on one of my moms groups to see if anyone could join me. I immediately got a "wind advisory" warning from all the moms! Sure enough I had forgotten to check the wind, but I had promised the girls an outing so we went to the mall instead. They had fun playing in the mall play area and we went to one store. I think with the changing of the seasons I'm in a spending mode so I limited myself to one store! I did find some cute swimsuits for the girls which I can't wait to put on them!

It was weird buying two completely different swimsuits. I learned that from last year when I bought matching swimsuits. If you have identical twin toddlers for safety's sake, get different swimsuits! Our neighborhood pool has a little kid pool that is not fenced off from the adult pool. We were splashing around in the kiddie pool when one of the girls started running towards the big pool. Luckily I knew who it was at the time and I was able to yell out in a VERY commanding voice, "MADDIE, STOP NOW!" Which luckily she did. But often is the case when they trade places and you aren't paying too close attention and it could have been Izzie running (especially from behind... it's hard to tell!) and a "Maddie, stop running" wouldn't have been quite as effective. All that to say, this year they have different swimsuits and they won't be allowed to trade them. Now I don't want anyone to worry... I DO know my girls apart. I can always tell them apart, they look different enough to me. But in a high stress situation from the back, it can be difficult.

After shopping we ate lunch at the food court. I had packed a picnic for our park date, but we just ate our picnic at the mall and we were fine. The girls were happy enough with that. Back home it was time to put the girls down for nap, but they are definitely in a "don't wanna nap" phase. And for some reason those always coordinate with a "don't wanna listen" and "I wanna whine all day" phase. Luckily they only last 2-3 weeks but they feel like FOREVER. The afternoon was interesting because shortly after John came home he crashed almost mid-sentence on the couch. He was obviously exhausted! I took the girls upstairs to play to give him time to nap. They decided to play "run around the upstairs slamming doors game." Luckily no-one got hurt. I had my nose buried in a book, I was on the last chapter!

After John woke up the girls did a little art project and I fixed dinner. The evening was full of activity, we all sat around the kitchen floor putting together a big puzzle they got for Christmas. Then it was finally time for bed (after a few stories read out on the deck as the wind had died down!) When John went to check on them before we went to bed at 11, he called me in there. I ran to see what was up. Maddie was all snuggled up in Izzie's bed. We decided to leave them like that instead of disturbing them. But I guess we woke Izzie up just enough that she wanted her space. We put Maddie in her bed three times but she kept crawling back in Izzie's bed saying she wanted to cuddle. Izzie was still mostly asleep and just kept pushing her away. It was so sad and cute all at the same time. Finally we got Maddie settled in her bed and they slept the rest of the night. In the morning Izzie said that she wanted a hug from Maddie and that she loved her sissy very very much. Oh I love my girls so so much too!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Toddler Talk

Overheard this morning as the girls were playing:

Maddie: Why do you get three people?
Izzie: Because! I am three years old.
Maddie (looking at her one little doll): But I am NOT one year old!

Let's go fly a kite!

 My sister came over on Sunday afternoon to fly kites with the girls. They all had a great time! Here's John showing them how to put the kite together.

 John and Rhonda trying to get the kite up.

 Izzie, Maddie and Rhonda running after Daddy who has the kite.

 Rhonda, John and Maddie watching the kite fly.

 Rhonda, Maddie, Izzie and John.

 Finally got a shot of the kite!

Izzie, Maddie and Rhonda.
 
 Maddie, Rhonda and Izzie. They did great taking turns flying the kite.

 Izzie and Maddie saying thanks and good bye to Aunt Rhonda.

 A belated photo of the girls birthday gift to Daddy. Yes, almost a month ago, but I had a hard time finding square frames. They fingerpainted on canvas and then I printed out photos that John chose. I think the projects came out pretty cute! (Maddie, Izzie)

My new favorite gymnastics photo of Izzie and Maddie!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Visiting Daddy at Work Day!

It's been another busy week for us! Thursday the girls and I picked John up from work and took him out for lunch. They love going to see Daddy's work, as most kids do. They were actually excited to ride the elevator this time, although when it had to make multiple stops before we could get off at the 10th floor, they started to get a bit impatient. When John asked them what they wanted to do at his work, their immediate answer was "Color!" which meant use the dry-erase boards on the huge white board he has in the conference rooms. We went to lunch at Casa Milargo, one of our favorite Mexican food restaurants. The girls were very well behaved and they sat very still (a problem we've had lately!) and polished off a huge quesadilla!

On the way home from visiting Daddy, we stopped by another new park. The girls really liked this one (Crowley Park, Richardson, Texas) because of the cool ladder/steps that it had. It's funny how what I might think as a simple thing can be one of their favorite things. Such as steering wheels mounted to a play structure. That is consistently one of their favorite parts of a park. Sometimes it isn't the flashy slides or the cool looking rock walls, but the simple back to basic play things!

Friday morning my Mom watched the girls while I did a bunch of cleaning and organizing. They played in the garden and had a great time there. The biggest issue being that they kept "swiping" toys from each other. A bad habit that they picked up from watching Dora the Explorer. I like that show, but the fact that they started swiping (like Swiper the Fox) after watching that show kinda bothers me.

Today kind of turned into an adventure. It started all out because we were low on milk and so I figured we should drop by Lucky Layla where we get our farm fresh milk. Since it is a little bit away, I figured it'd be a good opportunity to stop by a new park. Spontaneously I called mom to see if she and Chris wanted to join us. They said yes, so the girls and I picked them up. On the way over to Mom's house we passed a bicycle race. There was probably at least 50 cyclists on the road. The girls had never seen anything quite like that. When we picked up Nanna and Popo, Izzie exclaimed, "We passed 100's and 100's of bikes!!!" It was so cute. Then we took off for Schell Park in Plano which is right down the street from Lucky Layla. Maddie and Izzie had a really good time showing off for Popo and Nanna.

By the time we finished playing at the park we realized it was lunch time. But we didn't have a cooler on us so we couldn't go pick up the milk and then go to a restaurant. So in a random sort of way, we went to Jason's Deli for lunch where the girls got their first ice cream cone. (I think they shared one with Grandpa once, but this was their very own.) Izzie didn't even know you could bite the cone, she was sticking her nose down in it trying to lick all the ice cream out! Too cute! Maddie was meticulously licking hers slow motion, so of course it kept trying to drip down the sides of her hands.

The afternoon went by in a blur. I went to the new Kohl's that opened up in Murphy, which was a horrendous mistake. If I was going to go on Saturday, why didn't I go to the old one? No, I had to go to the new one, just like everyone else in the world. The dressing room had a line 5 people deep and of course I needed to wait in it three times! But I did find a couple new blouses, which I desperately needed along with some summer shorts.

We don't any plans for tomorrow (beyond D&D for John.) So we'll probably take it easy and just hang out... yeah right.

 Izzie and Maddie at Daddy's office on St. Patrick's Day.

View from John's office.
Maddie and Izzie playing on the white board.
 Maddie, Daddy and Izzie

 Izzie, Maddie and Daddy

 Izzie
 Izzie and Maddie

 Maddie

 Izzie

 Maddie

 Izzie and Maddie

 Izzie
 Popo watching Maddie and Izzie race down the slide.

 Popo pushing Izzie and Maddie on the swingset.

 Maddie

 Popo and Izzie

 Maddie and Izzie.
Izzie
Maddie