Thursday, July 30, 2009

Basket Case

This summer, one of the girls' favorite "toys" has been the laundry basket. I'll sit on the floor and fold their laundry while they crawl in and out of the basket. It's the only way I can get it done if they're not napping.

Yesterday, Walter offered to fold some laundry while I finished dinner. Well, the girls kept throwing their folded laundry on the floor (they love to unfold already-folded laundry). I told him to let them play in the laundry basket...
....not the laundry hamper! There is a difference. The girls know it; I think they were a bit confused about how they were supposed to play in their laundry hamper.

Spaghetti

It's not the first time the girls have had spaghetti, but I do think it may be the messiest they've ever been at dinner time... Especially Anna Claire. She was getting sleepy, so she kept rubbing her eyes...
Don't be fooled by the looks on their faces. They weren't happy I made the stop eating long enough for me to snap some pictures. I've never seen two little girls shove so much food in their mouths!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Duty Calls

Since I began summer break with these pictures, I thought it fitting to end summer break with these...
That's right. Duty calls and my summer break with the girls is over more than one week early. I'm not supposed to be back at work until next Wednesday, August 5, but a huge project which requires days of teacher trainings has called me back more than one week early. Did I already mention that?

The school bus ball pit, one of the girls' favorite birthday presents, has seen better days. They have played hard this summer jumping, rolling, crawling, and climbing all over it. Now it is partially deflated - kind of like I feel tonight after my first day back to work more than one week early.

Bright side: I do have this Friday, next Tuesday, and next Friday off. Yay!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Simplicity

Remember the good ol' days when life was simple, and people made their own clothes? Well,...
Aren't the girls' new dresses cute? I think so, too. I made them. No, really. I made them. All by myself. On a sewing machine. My mom didn't sew a single stitch for me, although she did open up a 24 hour hot-line to answer all my sewing questions.

One thing you may notice about the dresses is that they have a yoke. What you may no be able to see is that they also have zippers, facings, and bias tape. These are all things that should seriously impress you! There was nothing simple about making these dresses.

What you also probably can't see are all the mistakes I made. Hey, it was my first time (maybe my last??). It took me about a week to complete both dresses which are a little too big. I have ric-rac to sew along the hem, but I just really needed to be DONE, if you know what I mean.

I don't have any new sewing projects lined up but have been doing lots of research on patterns and fabrics. We'll have to see when the crafty mood hits me again.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Picture Day

For a couple of months now, I have been trying to have the girls' "one-year-old" portraits taken. I really wanted him to take the pictures, but it's not quite in the budget right now, and historically the girls have been a bit temperamental during photo shoots. I couldn't bear to fork out big bucks and then not have the pictures turn out (maybe we'll try when they're a bit older), so back to Portrait Innovations we went.

Of course, Anna Claire woke up this morning with a huge mosquito bite on her forehead. I doctored it all day long to no avail. In addition, she only took a fifteen minute nap. I think it shows in the pictures (the bite and the crankiness), but it always amazes me that we can still come away with some really good poses.

These are a few of the [unedited] best...
The girls had had enough by the time we switched outfits, but we still got a few good ones... And one more just for fun...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sitting Pretty

Anna Claire and Mallory have been having all kinds of fun crawling in, out, over and around their bouncy seats lately. They have been enjoying sitting in them and playing, reading, drinking their milk, and even, maybe, kind of, watching a little bit of television in the afternoon so I can get dinner completed... Did I mention they like sitting in the same bouncy seat?

So, we were talking in the pool Sunday about how much the girls were enjoying "sitting," and how I thought they needed a little chair to sit in other than their bouncy seats especially since they had a lot of fun with Connor's lion chair while at the beach. My mom goes upstairs and comes out of the attic with early Christmas presents...

The girls love their new chairs, but they're still getting the hang of them. Anna Claire tends to roll off the edge.

And, about the television watching...here's Anna Claire mesmerized by Yo Gabba something-or-other. I am actually quite frightened by this show, but they seem to like it, and it buys me about ten minutes. But I really do need to find something a bit more educational!

Whirlin' Waters

Today we went to the water park for the first time. When we left home it was cool and overcast. Halfway there it was raining. Once we got there the rain had stopped, but the sun remained hidden - which was perfect. I guess since the weather was iffy, the crowds stayed away. If it hadn't been for two bus-loads of summer camp kids, we would have virtually had the park to ourselves!

Mallory couldn't wait to get out the stroller and on to "Otter Bay."There was so much to do and see, the girls didn't know which way to go first!Here's Anna Claire pointing at one of the fountains shooting water high in the air.Mallory loved splashing around the "Lily Pad."We also played in the wave pool and the girls went down the "baby" slide - on our laps, of course, but they loved it. Mallory laughed all the way down the slide and Anna Claire had a huge smile on her face. It's taken us all summer to get to the park; hopefully we'll have the chance to go back again. The girls' had a blast.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Anna Claire and Mallory gazing longingly at the pool...

They couldn't wait to get out there. And would you look at those chunky little legs?

Fun at Folly

We were back at the beach yesterday. This time we were at Folly with Walter's family. The girls had a great time digging in the sand and splashing in the water. The coolest thing was all of the starfish. They were everywhere. I am so disappointed I didn't get a picture of the girls with them.

Here's Mallory filling the bottle of bubbles with sand...And, here's Anna Claire with an oyster shell...

We're off to the pool as soon as the girls wake up from their nap! My babies love the water!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tech Baby

Mallory loves all things electronic. She can't keep her hands off:

cell phones
phone phones
remote controls
cameras
video cameras

and

my laptop.

So, we bought Baby Giggles, and she and Anna Claire can't get enough. They love the animals, the sounds, the music. They dance, sing, point at the screen, and tap the keys the entire time.

We have the animal DVD, but I think they have others that may be a bit more educational (counting, etc.). I'll have to check this out. All these animals sounds are about to send me to the crazy farm.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blueberry Pancakes with a Side Order of Blueberries, Please

Anna Claire and Mallory love blueberries - I mean love them like cry when they're all gone. Actually, they like most any kind of berry. Come to think about it, we have all been enjoying lots and lots of fresh fruit this summer. Some of the girls favorites in addition to blueberries include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, watermelon, and cantaloupe. They just can't get enough.

Aunt Helen and Uncle Terry were sweet enough to bring us bags and bags of blueberries back from the Toogoodoo Sunday, so this morning I made the girls blueberry pancakes.

They didn't seem to understand that the blueberries were actually in the pancakes at first, so they ordered up hollered loud enough that I offered them each a huge handful of fresh blueberries.
They ate every bite - except what Anna Claire put on top of her head!
Notice anything different? No more high chairs! Since school's been out, I've had to clean highchairs and high chair trays three times a day, and I just couldn't take it anymore!! These little booster seats are great - so much easier to clean up - and they were perfect at the beach!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Back from the Beach


We got back from Edisto Saturday and had an evening wedding to attend; Sunday was pretty much our day to unpack, do laundry, and rest. Finally, today, I have time this evening to post pictures from the girls' first beach vacation. We spent the week with Granny, Papa, Aunt Michelle, Uncle Brian, Connor, and Dylan - all in one house! We all had a blast, I am so pleased to report. As many of you know, I was really worried about how the girls would adjust to being away from home for the first time. They didn't miss a beat.

I took a gazillion pictures; these are just a few of the highlights...

Anna Claire and Mallory loved playing on the huge screened-in porch. If we weren't on the beach, this is where we spent most of our time.

Both girls couldn't get enough of the water. Luckily the tides were right, and most days they were able to splash in the waves during low tide.
Anna Claire and Mallory were fascinated by the seagulls and pelicans. Here's Mallory pointing at the birds, but by the end of the week, it was Anna Claire who was saying "bird," and - you guessed it - it sounds like "ba."
Don't want your babies getting away from you? Just dig a big hole and sit them in it. The girls, particularly Mallory, loved playing in the big holes, especially if someone was in the process of trying to dig one!
Anna Claire and Mallory loved taking rides in their new wagon up and down the beach.We had a picnic lunch on the beach every day, and every day the girls got better and better at not eating so much sand!We also ate out a lot, and the girls did great, as the usually do, in restaurants. They had salmon and hush puppies for the first time (still too young for shrimp!). Anna Claire and Mallory also ate their first Ritz crackers last week. They are a new favorite. Notice Anna Claire eyeing Mallory's cracker.
Not only did we take the golf cart to and from the beach each day (a life-saver), but we also took rides around the island every morning before breakfast and every evening before bedtime - so relaxing.
As fast as I could pack the sand in the bucket and dump it out, Anna Claire and Mallory would smash my sand castles flat with huge grins on their faces.All the cousins playing in the crib one morning...
We had such a great vacation as an entire family last week; I don't regret one bit of it. Things went about a thousand times smoother than I ever expected, and I am thrilled that Anna Claire and Mallory seem to absolutely love the beach! I was so sad to leave Edisto and come back to reality; although, it was good to be back home and into our normal routine. We can't wait until next summer!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Anna Claire and Mallory's first fourth is a blur - they were only four weeks old last year. I don't think we left the house. This year, there won't be much celebrating, either, since we are heading to the beach today for a week! Today has already been filled with last minute packing. After the drive over to Edisto, unpacking, and a quick dinner, it will be time for the girls to hit the sack.


I know I will have tons of pictures to post of the girls first vacation. We'll be home next Satruday, so be sure to check back. (I won't be posting from the beach.)


We'll miss you!

Walkin' the Walk

Anna Claire is walking! I guess she got tired of watching Mallory walk all over the place. She really got the hang of it quickly. Monday she would hesitantly take one or two steps, and today she is walking everywhere. She's still a bit shaky and only walks in a straight line, but I'm so impressed with how much confidence she has gained in herself so quickly.

video

Mallory, on the other hand, has become quite the accomplished walker these past few weeks. She can walk sideways to get around a toy, she can walk around corners, she can turn around to face you if you call her (essentially walking in a circle), and she can walk to a toy, squat down, pick it up, and keep right on walking. Her balance is amazing.

So, what's next? Running!

Talkin' the Talk

Anna Claire and Mallory are equally verbal, babbling away practically all the time, and while their vocabulary is still limited, the words they can understand are many.

Above and beyond mama and dada, Anna Claire can say ball, book, boy, and bowl which all sound like "ba." She can say baby, bottle, and bubbles which all sound like "baba." ;-) She can also say more ("mo"), banana ("nana"), and snack ("na"). If I ask her to sing a song, she will sing "lala" or "ahhh..." She can also point to her head and nose.

Mallory will carry on a five minute conversation with you - in Chinese. Her vocabulary is more limited than Anna Claire's at the moment, but she babbles much, much more. In addition to mama and dada, she can say yes which sounds like "essss" and she also says two words that sound like this and that ("dis" and "da") which she seems to use in the appropriate situations. "Do you want this?" (showing her a doll) She responds "Dis!" "Do you want that?" (pointing to a ball) She points at the ball, nods her head, and says, "Da!"

Mallory can also point to her head, but one or two body parts seem to be our limit right now. I introduced ears yesterday to confused stares from both Anna Claire and Mallory. We'll give ears a few more days before trying again.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Under the Sea

What are Anna Claire and Mallory gazing at so intently?This giant loggerhead turtle...We had a great time at the aquarium Monday with Aunt Michelle, Dylan, and Connor. Here, the girls get a break from the stroller. I think the they need their own rocking chairs for the back porch.

The girls saw lots of different fish, sharks, sting rays, alligators, penguins, a bald eagle, and much more! They loved all of it and wanted to get right up to the glass at every exhibit to point at and "talk" to the creatures. The aquarium was a definite hit; we can't wait to go back!