Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just the Facts, Ma'am

Anna Claire and Mallory had their one year well-baby visit last week, but I never got around to posting their stats...busy, busy. So here are the facts:

Anna Claire
Weight: 21 lbs. 5 oz.
Height: 30"

Weight: 21 lbs. 6 oz.
Height: 30"

Yay, Anna Claire. She's catching up to her sister. Everything checked out fine as far as verbal and motor skills go. We don't really have any feeding or sleeping issues at the moment and other that the diaper rash/yeast infection issues we've been having (more on that in a moment), and the fact that both girls screamed their heads off the entire time (more on that in a moment) the appointment went quite well.

We were back to the doctor again yesterday to have Anna Claire checked out. While Mallory is doing great, it's been two steps forward, two steps back with Anna Claire. Much to our surprise, we found out Dr. Estock, our favorite, is back in town. She saw Anna Claire yesterday, took a culture (duh! why didn't anyone else think of that?), confirmed there was NO infection, and gave us a new pink (!) over-the-counter ointment called Calmiceptine to use. We used it last night and, lo and behold, Anna Claire woke up this morning completely healed. Dr. Estock is not allowed to leave town again!

Both girls get very upset at the doctor's office. It seems they have learned visits to the doctor often involve painful shots, and they still experience a little stranger anxiety at times. They also tend to upset each other in this high-stress situation; when one starts crying, the other isn't usually far behind. Since I have to book double appointments anyway, and I certainly get charged double, I think we're going to start taking the girls back one at a time to be seen. Last week there were seven people in the tiny examination room at one point and two of them were screaming at the top of their lungs. That's just crazy! And it stresses out me and Walter too. I hope we're not back at the doctor's office anytime soon. Our next scheduled visit is in September, so will have to see how it goes.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pure Mallory

Where did I find Mallory just minutes before heading out the door to dinner last night?......Rolling around on the living room floor in her good clothes! ;-)

Gearing Up

In less than a week, we'll be basking in the sun, wiggling our toes in the sand, and splashing in the surf at Edisto for a whole week! I thought the girls needed at least one more swim suit, new sun hats with a wider brim, and some cheap sandals ($5.24 to be exact) that won't get ruined by sand and salt water, so Michelle and I took a quick trip to the outlet mall yesterday and came back with everything I was looking for all on sale...

First Sewing Project, Kind Of

Don't get too excited, girls. You know mommy didn't make that cute sippy-grip (though I think I might be able to, now); I simply mended it. On a real sewing machine. All by myself. Go, me!

It took me longer to thread the darn machine that it did to actually sew the seam that had unravelled. I don't think I'll be rethreading anytime soon, and with pink thread on the bobbin and spool, maybe I'll just have to cruise on down to the local fabric shop (do we have one of those?) and stitch something up for the girls!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Fun

I'd love to post about all the fun we've been having this first "official" week of summer that I have been off from work, but the fact is, the girls have cut [at least] three teeth between the two of them, had six shots and two finger-pricks total, and are each recovering from horrendous yeast infections brought upon by many very poopy days. We're all pooped out! ;-)

When does the summer fun begin?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Spy

I love spying on the girls. I enjoy observing them interacting with each other or playing by themselves when they don't know I'm watching. I find it fascinating. This morning I went into the kitchen to get their breakfast ready. Though I wasn't gone long, the entire time I was in the kitchen, I could hear them through the monitor just chatting away playing happily in the corner of the playroom.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day, Walter. Hopefully this father's day will be a bit more relaxing than last year when the girls were less than two weeks old!

And Happy Father's Day, Papa, who rescued us not once this past week (a run to the store for Triple Paste) but twice (bringing us home in his ark truck).

We love you!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

School's Out for Summer!

YAY! Summer vacation officially starts today. Although school has been out for several days now, yesterday was my last day until I have to go back August 5th. Hooray!

Last summer I was home with the girls on maternity leave for four months from May 30 to September 29. This summer we'll have to make the most of six weeks of summer fun!

One of the girls' favorite birthday presents...their school bus ball pit.

Mallory prefers crawling in through the window!

Happy Birthday, Grandmom!

We love you!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Great Flood of 2009

We had an awful thunderstorm late this afternoon and it rained buckets. When the girls and I pulled into Pine Forest, the streets were flooded. They've flooded before and I've been able to drive through, but that was in my old SUV; the mama-van sits much lower to the ground. Too afraid to drive through, I back tracked and tried a different way around - flooded, too.
Walter took this picture on the way to pick up my car about an hour after my dad got the girls and I safely home. The water had already receded considerably.
I called my dad since Walter was at a meeting on the other side of town. He met us on the side of the street to assess the situation. I hoped I would be able to drive through a different way, but my dad advised against it. By this time we were past the girls' dinnertime, and there was no way through; cars were stalling out all up and down the streets in every direction. So, the girls and I hopped in the front of Papa's truck, strapped the seat belt around ourselves, and plowed through. I know it may have not been the absolute safest things to do, but we were in the neighborhood, Papa could only drive 5 mph anyway, we only had a couple blocks to go, and the girls were hungry!
The girls didn't know what to think riding forward-facing in the front seat! In the end, we did arrive home safely. What an adventure!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Doctor, Doctor

For the first time, I took both girls to the doctor's office by myself this morning. Although our appointment was right at nap time and the girls got a little bit upset after our long wait, I think the three of us did great and the girls are feeling better tonight.

We'll be going back next week for the girls' one year check-up! Stay tuned...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Party Girls

Anna Claire and Mallory were the perfect party girls Saturday. They took great naps which always makes a huge difference in the evening, so they were both just as adorable as they could be for their party.

Two hours was the perfect length for a party with many little ones in attendance (I actually put on the invitation 5-7 pm). The kids played in the backyard from 5-5:30 until the rain came. We ate from 5:30-6, sang "happy birthday," blew out candles, and ate cake and ice cream from 6-6:30, and opened presents from 6:30-7. The timing could not have been more perfect.

Here are just a few of the highlights from our perfect evening (so many pictures!)...

Mallory has the keys to her new buggy and is ready to go for a spin. Anna Claire couldn't be happier to have her own buggy (yes, we have two). No more having to share with Cousin Dylan!
More presents! The girls got all kinds of fun toys and precious outfits to take them all the way through summer...They weren't all that in to opening their presents themselves, so I opened them and just handed them out for the children to play with.
What did Anna Claire like playing with the most? Tissue paper!It was nearly impossible to get a picture of the girls with their cousins and we're sad Brennan and Grace had to leave early. With the two shortest in the back, here's the best I could do...
It's getting increasingly more difficult to get both girls to sit still and smile for pictures these days. We've begun bribing them with cheerios, but that only works so well...When the bow comes out, you know the party's over!Who knew Anna Claire would still be all smiles at 7:30 pm?Hugs and kisses to all Anna Claire and Mallory's grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who were able to share in the girls' first birthday celebration and make their day extra special. We love you!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Having Their Cake and Eating it, Too...

...sort of.

I couldn't believe it, but Anna Claire and Mallory would not smash those giant cupcakes no matter how hard I tried to get them to wriggle their little fingers into the frosting and the layers of the cake. Seriously. I was all ready for them to get as messy as they've ever been - covered in sticky frosting from head to toe. Oh, well.

First we sang "Happy Birthday" and helped the girls make wishes and blow out their candles.

Then, we gave them free reign to dig right in. Both girls were content to gently scoop up the frosting with their little index fingers and ever-so-daintily lick the frosting from their fingers. Don't I have sweet little girls?I think Mallory got some frosting on her bib, but that was as messy as things got.

Wait, am I complaining that the girls didn't make a huge mess by getting frosting and cake all over themselves and the kitchen? But, oh, what cute pictures that would have made!

A special thanks to our official photographers and videographers Aunt Michelle, Aunt Dot, and Uncle Brian. We love you!

Variations on a Theme

I don't really want to leave out a single detail from Anna Claire and Mallory's first birthday party, so I've decided I'll need a few different posts to capture it all. It was their first birthday, after all! I may not get everything posted tonight (I've got tons of pictures to sort through), so check back tomorrow night for more.

First, our theme: cupcakes!

All the "party in a box"-type cupcake-themed decorations weren't really our style, so I just shopped around for any and everything I could find with a cupcake on it.

I love this happy birthday banner. We had to string it from wall to wall in a corner of the living room after having to make a last minute decision to bring the party inside due to threatening rain clouds. I think it would have looked adorable anywhere.The girls' smash cakes - made by my mom. Could they be any yummier? Pictures of the girls' "digging in" coming soon!Their bibs which they wore while smashing into those yummy cakes... ;-)
How sweet are the plates and napkins?
I am very proud of myself for finding absolutely every square foot of cupcake wrapping paper and every cupcake gift bag in the tri-county area.
Thanks to Aunt Pam for blowing up the party balloons.Goodie bags for all the girls' cousins...
I wish I had a picture of the party invitation. I couldn't find anything quite cute enough, so I had them hand-made by the secretary in my office. She is quite talented and the invitations are precious. I also found cupcake thank you notes to send out.

I think it turned out adorable that things weren't too matchy-matchy. To be honest, I may have been the only person who actually realized there was a theme (I hope not!) Regardless, I had tons of fun shopping for everything to make Anna Claire and Mallory's first birthday party special.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Twelve Month Update

Yesterday as I watched video from the night the girls were born, I could hardly remember them being that small. One year has passed since they came into our lives – it seems like yesterday and it seems like a lifetime ago. The videos reminded of things I had forgotten like how long their fingernails were, how Mallory would kick her legs like she was doing Karate, and how much hair Anna Claire was born with (yes, Anna Claire). They were so tiny and so sweet (still are).

When I look at them now, it’s hard to believe how much they have grown and changed. Anna Claire can say mama, dada, ball, bubbles, (which sounds an awful lot like ball, ball), and uh-oh. Mallory can say mama and dada. She can also say all sorts of other words; we just don’t know what they mean. They can wave hello and bye-bye and can point to what they want. Both girls have taken some steps (Mallory has taken the most), but I’m not sure we can actually say they are really walking yet. Crawling is still their preferred way to travel.

Anna Claire and Mallory love to drink milk and eat table foods. We said goodbye to formula and baby food a couple weeks ago. Today for example, they shared pancakes, a fried egg, and yogurt for breakfast and a turkey sandwich, green beans, and mandarin oranges for lunch. They both love to eat. Mallory can’t shove it in her little mouth fast enough, and though Anna Claire is a slower eater, she is still a great eater. So far, they’ve never met a food they didn’t like.

Mallory is the fearless one. The older she gets, the more daring she is. Anna Claire is more hesitant. Whether she’s meeting someone new, adjusting to different surroundings, or getting used to a new toy’s bells and whistles, she needs to take her time.

The girl’s twelfth month brought lots of fun firsts…their first trips to the beach and the river, their first swim in the pool, helping me celebrate my first mother’s day, lots of new and exciting foods, and of course their first birthday!

They don't go to the pedi for their twelve month visit for another couple weeks, so I'll have a weight and height update later.

The girl's party is Saturday evening, so I probably won't post again until after the party - lot's to do between now and then. Hopefully I'll have lots of fun pictures to post!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Twelve Months Old

Anna Claire and Mallory are twelve months old today (as if you didn't already know)...

I had one more post planned for this evening - their twelve month update - but I am exhausted, so that will have to wait until tomorrow. I've spent the last hour and a half taking a stroll down memory lane as we watched the girls' video from the day they were born and their first few weeks at home, so I thought I would take you on your own little stroll, too.
Twelve months...
Eleven months...
Ten months...
Nine months...
Eight months...
Seven months...
Six months...
Five months...
Four months...
Three months...
Two months...
One month...
And I leave you with my all time favorite picture of Anna Claire and Mallory less than three days old which sits on my bedside table in a frame which reads, "We Dreamed of You"...

Now and Then

My, how things can change in just one very short year. Just look at those onesies. The green one is a new size 12 month and the print one is a newborn. It's sooo tiny. I can't believe my babies wore something that small.
Pampers...we're now in a size 3. The girls came home from the hospital wearing preemies but soon moved up to the newborn size which is the one pictured here.
This is one of the sun hats the girls wore last summer and the one they are currently wearing this summer.
The girls wore this precious pink sleeper (preemie size) for the first time in the hospital. I remember it was so big they curled their little legs up and they came right out of the legs of the sleeper and into the body of the outfit. In other words, there were no legs in the legs. Too funny! They slept in these polka dotted jammies last night.
Just this morning I fed the girls their morning bottles in the bouncy seats because Walter had to leave early for a meeting. Below this picture is one of them when they were just a couple weeks old. I had to post the third picture of Mallory without her blanket for a true comparison. Just look at those skinny little legs then compared to now!
When I look at pictures like these, they remind me of just how much Anna Claire and Mallory have grown and changed. I can't even begin to imagine what we have in store for ourselves this coming year.

*I wrote this last night and scheduled it to post this afternoon, as I often do.