Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our Thankgiving Trip

This year we headed north to Wisconsin to spend Thanksgiving with my family. It was wonderful getting up there, since it has been five years since we were last able to spend Thanksgiving in the frozen tundra. Lillian and Claire were so excited to see all of their Grandmas and Grandpas up north, we had a total of 3 sets to visit. They sure are lucky girls to have so many grandparents to love and hug. 
We left Wednesday morning and after driving all day hearing Claire say, "I want to see Grandpa Mark Sandy. I want to go to their house" over and over, we finally arrived in Green Bay around dinner time. They were very excited to get out of the car, play and run wild.  On Thanksgiving day, we cheered along with a house that was full of people dressed in their finest green and gold and celebrated another win. There was wonderful food and great company into the evening hours. Friday evening we headed to Sir Bounce-a-Lot for dinner and fun with Grandpa Mark, Grandma Sandy, Auntie Holly, Aunt Susie, and cousins Ray and Shay. Lillian and Claire were full of giggles as they bounced and played games. Of course, none of the kids were very interested in eating their pizza, they just wanted to play. Imagine that.

 When we arrived back to Grandma and Grandpa's house, the girls had to run in the yard to check out all of the Christmas lights Grandma Sandy worked so hard putting up earlier in the day.
 Saturday morning while Josh was helping my Dad, the girls helped Grandma Sandy decorate the Christmas tree. They loved it and they were sad when they ran out of ornaments to hang on the tree. They were so excited to get back home to decorate their own little tree.
 Saturday afternoon we went to visit my grandparents in Milwaukee, the girls great grandparents. It is always so nice being able to spend some time at their house, really the only thing that hasn't changed over the years, and catching up. I love my grandparents and I really wish we could see them more often then we do.
After visiting with Grandma and Grandpa Z, we headed even further south in Wisconsin to Racine to spend some time with my mom and Billy in the Racine area. That evening, Josh and I headed back into Milwaukee for my 10 year high school reunion. It was such a strange feeling being in the same room with so many people I have not seen or talked to for over 10 years now. It was great catching up, I just wish more of the people I actually hung out with attended. Maybe at the 20 year. :-)
On Sunday, Grandma Jessie made her delicious homemade waffles (I really should find myself a waffle maker, and not a Belgian waffle) while we all hung out in our jammies. Later that morning we headed to the mall to find Santa. Lillian was really excited to see Santa, Claire had no interest. We told them Santa gives out candy canes and they got them a little more excited. Turns out, this Santa gives out coloring books and not candy canes, Lillian was sure to tell him she wanted her candy cane. Claire wanted nothing to do with the coloring book from Santa and threw it at Lillian. Oh and since it was Grandma's idea, I stood back and let her deal with the possibility of screaming children. There were no tears, but Claire would not let go of Grandma, so our Santa picture this year has Grandma Jessie in it.

 Those Santa display folks are quite crafty. They set up all the trees, computers, cameras in such a way that it is nearly impossible to try and sneak your own photo. This was the best I could get. I will have to scan the picture Grandma bought and share it. Claire looks afraid and Lillian was flashing her fake smile. Sunday afternoon, Uncle Mark, Jeannie and cousin Coy, came over to visit and play. I, of course, didn't take a single picture. Actually, I was terrible about taking pictures the entire trip. I love seeing the girls playing with their cousins.
Monday morning we woke up bright and early to head home. The girls were ready to be home and get back to their normal. They both fell asleep on the way home, which meant, I was able to take a short nap as well.
 Yes, Claire slept with her sunglasses on like this. ;-)
We had a great trip seeing everyone. It is always so hard to leave Wisconsin, especially when we have no idea when we will be able to head back up or have someone come visit us. Love you all!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope you are having a healthy and safe Thanksgiving with those you love.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Doing Well

We are all doing great here, just not enough hours in the day to get on here and update like I should. The girls are exactly one month away from turning three and I am not at all ready for it. No, seriously, I am not ready. Their party will be the weekend before their actual birthday, but I have not yet printed their invites or anything else that needs to be done. Maybe next week.

My mom came down to visit last weekend and the girls had so much fun playing with Grandma Jessie all weekend. I will update more on her visit later and add some pictures.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Weekend Away

I once again apologize for the lack of posting over this past week. This past weekend Josh and I were able to sneak away and left the girls with Grandma Pattie and Aunt Maggie. It has been way too long since Josh and I have had a weekend to ourselves and we had a great time.
The girls are doing well. They are getting sassy as the weeks go on and trying to become more independent. It was been so nice being able to leave the downstairs door open so they can go up and down from the playroom as they please. Of course, this means all sorts of random and small toys come up with them on their many trips. They also love playing in their room now, but they like having the door closed when they are in there, since there isn't anything in there they can break or hurt themselves with, I don't mind. During these times though, the house seems so quiet when they are not being wild and crazy animals in the living room.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Remember our Tub Issues?

Remember last spring when I posted often about my concerns about the girls suddenly being terrified of the bathtub? They got to the point they didn't even want to walk past the threshold of the bathroom door because then they would see the tub. Well, now we have the complete opposite problem, they always want to be in the bathtub.
When Claire woke up from her nap this afternoon, the first thing she said to me was, "I need to take a tubby today." Lillian was begging as soon as dinner ended to put water in the tubby for her. It is a fight now to get them out of the tub and will play until the water turns cold and their lips blue if we let them. When we flip the lever for the water to drain, Lillian throws a fit, a full on tears and yelling fit. She now knows how to flip the drain lever to stop the water, it is a struggle, but she doesn't give up.
Tonight when Josh flipped the lever, Lillian pounded her fist down on the edge of the tub and said, "no daddy, not right now. I not all done in the tubby." She said this in her most serious and stern voice. Josh and I had to turn our heads away because we were laughing so hard at her.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Holiday Cards

Every fall I get so excited to take that perfect photo of Lillian and Clare and create a card even better than the year before. Every fall I also forget about the stress I was under while trying to capture that perfect photo and the many hours I spent perfect a card layout and design, only to print it and find several flaws. I rush to get them all printed, sealed and sent off and usually I only have days left until Christmas arrives. This year I have decided to do something different. I have decided I am going to take a much easier route and let someone else create that perfect card so my only challenge is the pictures.

After looking dozens of option for printing cards, I decided to go with Shutterfly. I have ordered from them many times before for various projects and I have never been let down. Their printing quality is excellent, they are fast, wonderful customer service and you have hundreds of designs to choose from.

A few of my favorites are the Very Merry Stripes card, it is so bright and cheerful. I also love the simplicity and elegance of Let Peace Flourish stationary card.

Something that makes Shutterfly an even better place to purchase your holiday cards, is the fact that you can also order so many great gifts at the same time. I have used Shutterfly to make calendars, photo books and coffee mugs. All came back with excellent quality and these personalized gifts are always the ones that get talked about for years to come.

This year the most stressful part of creating my holiday card is trying to pick from all the choices. Off to go find out perfect card.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A New Game

The girls have a new game they like to play, library. They love when we go to the library and they get to pick out books to bring home with us. They love sitting at the table and chairs in the kids area and reading books. Of course, we still need to work on the quiet whispers so we don't disturb others, but thank goodness Lillian and Claire are cute and people still find them sweet at this age, I am not sure how much longer we have with that one though.
They have started their new game of library while at home. The library is their room since that is where they have several bookshelves full of books. I have boxes of books from when I was teaching, now that they know to to be careful with the paper pages, I have started putting some of those books in their room. They will take a toy bucket or something else handy to use as a chair, pick out books and sit down and read.
The other afternoon when they woke up from nap, Josh and I walked into the girls room and found that Lillian had created a library with the nap time books she picked out. She had them all perfectly lined up along the top of her crib and was looking at them that way.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Fall Leaves

The girls have been loving raking and playing in the fallen leave in our yard. Every time we go outside they want to try and make the biggest pile possible so they can run, jump and wrestle in them. We chase each other around the yard and throw them, pile them at the bottom of the slide to slide into and laugh so hard we fall over while playing. I love fall. I also love that they don't remember doing this last year, so it is almost like a first time experience for the girls.

 Can you spot Lillian under the leaves?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Playing Catch Up

The past few months I have terrible at taking photos. Life has been so busy, but that really isn't much of an excuse, because my life has been busy for the last 34 months. The last few weeks I have been trying to much harder to take the camera with us when we go various places, playing outside or catching those cute moments during the day inside the house.
Last week we had some beautiful weather around here and it was nice letting the girls play outside in skirts or summer dresses and not have to worry about layers.

 This is a self portrait Lillian took of herself. She was so proud.