Thursday, March 31, 2011

{Cherry Blossoms}

I wanted to throw a bridal shower right by the water. 
I wanted to have another wedding for Adam and I right there.
I wanted the girls to be searching through a clear bag of gumballs.
These are some of the delightful places my thoughts were taken as we walked among thousands 
of cherry blossoms!  My jaw almost hit the ground and was open the whole time as I gaped at the tiny pink and white flowers that surrounded us.
I felt like I was in the most romantic film ever made, it was dreamy.  It was freezing, but dreamy.

There was supposed to be a kite festival that day, but it was cancelled due to 1 inch of snow.  Caroline was very disappointed, so we let her fly her kite anyway.  She took it very seriously as she wound the string back and forth in the air, not moving the kite at all.  Her little legs ran so fast all over the lawn and she would turn her head to make sure her kite was staying in the air.  
I can't remember the last time I have been out to fly a kite, but watching your child do it is one of the most delightful things you can do.
When we left the tidal basin and started heading back to the car, Caroline exclaimed, "I'm the happiest little girl in the whole wide world!"
(She felt that way until we went back to the blossoms days later and tried to get pics of the girls in spring dresses in freezing weather.)
Hearing that in her little 3 year old voice was more priceless than seeing the blossoms.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Butterflies: A must do!

One of our favorite things that we have done so far in D.C. was found at the Natural History Museum.  It is a butterfly exhibit with tons of colorful and active winged beauties that you get to watch and enjoy in their very warm habitat.  They fly all around you and often land on your hair, elbow, or hands and hang out for a while.  
On Tuesdays it's free and they have timed tickets, so if you get there at 10 a.m. when it opens then you can get right in with no wait!

The girls are checking out which ones they have spotted and which ones are their favorites.

One of the workers took Caroline under her wing and was having her introduce butterflies that were in a cage, to their new environment.  She would get the insect on the paintbrush, and then gently let it check out the flower.  Then it would step off of the brush and into it's new surroundings.  

Olive was watching the floor closely to spot the ones that were hanging out close to her.  She would toddle on over to them and point and say "Ooooo".  
When we left Caroline didn't realize that we could not just walk back in whenever we pleased.  I had tried to warn her, but she didn't quite understand.  Luckily, we could walk back up to the counter, grab some more tickets, and go back through!  
We also didn't realize that we had butterflies on our shoulder and hair when we went into the exit to "shake off."  Luckily they were spotted by the workers and were taken back to their flower and fruit filled home.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

{Olive 15 months}

This 6 month old bundle of chub and gums used to only take up a small portion of her, what seemed like at the time, big crib.
Now, she sleeps sprawled out with her legs and arms filling up most of the extra space that used to be there.

Olive at 15 months is 22 pounds and 31 inches long.  Tight curls cover the back of her head, and has had a few haircuts to trim around the ears.  Her favorite foods are oatmeal, pb and j's, yogurt, cheese, most meat, beans, and she LOVES hummus.  She won't eat any fruit, except bananas, and sometimes she won't eat those.  She enjoys fruit smoothies with spinach in them.  She will usually only eat cooked vegetables with some sort of sauce on them.  Textures in her mouth are not her favorite thing.  Lots of things go into her mouth, only to be quickly and dramatically spit out, and then more spit comes.

Little O is extremely social and still greets everyone with an enthusiastic and loud, "HI!"  She loves to twirl and    
dance, with her arms usually held out.  You can always get a smile from her when you sing, "If you're happy and you know it."
She says lots of words, and mommy in her clear little voice is of course a favorite.  Daddy, blue, ear, please, more, ball, baby, dog are some on her list.  She signs please, thank you, more, dog, all done, blue, baby, bath, bear, hat, hot.  She answers most questions with a nod "Yeea", it is drawn out but also precise.  
Coloring is one of her favorite things to do and so is bringing us books to read.  She will sit on our laps, open the book, and then read it to us, in her language :)   When she is ready to take a bath, she will grab my pointer finger with her small hand and firmly tug me to the bathroom.
With folded arms in place, her prayers are the most sincere string of sounds and syllabus, with a "huh" at the end for amen.

Simple things bring her great pleasure.  Most recently she has a fettish with a bright green purse with a yellow chick on it.  Today I found a clean wipe in it, a baby washrag, a pink tie from a knit bootie, and a pretend lipstick.  

Each morning as daddy leaves for school, she runs as if she is saddle sore, down the hall to bid him farewell.   I never want to forget how that makes me grin everyday.

These two are such a combo of a calm summer's day, the big thunder storm that hits and eventually settles again, and the sweet comfort and relationship of your best friend. 

The other night I was talking to my friend who has a 12 year old boy.  She said that he is in a phase where he just answers questions with one work answers.
What did you do today?  Stuff
How was school?  Good
My friend said that that's just teenage years.  I went home and told Adam that I think I will never ask the girls to be quiet again :)  He had a good laugh at that.  
Then we went into their quiet, dark bedroom where Primary songs were playing softly in the background.  We just had to take a peek at them, so calm and comfortable.  Caroline most likely dreaming about butterflies and flowers.
They have no idea how much joy they bring us and I hope they will realize one day.  I also hope they will keep yearning for attention and time to tell us all of their silly and sweet thoughts.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

St. Patty's Day

This St. Patrick's Day converted me to be a lover of this holiday!  I have never been way into this holiday, I guess because I didn't think there was much you could do on the day besides wear green.
Well, I was wrong and I so enjoyed scheming what the leprechauns would do next.  

Last year my cute friend made these pancakes and I have been excited to make them ever since!  (I tend to get kind of obsessed with things sometimes :)  They just made our whole house happy!  
When Caroline went to go potty in the morning, she found that the leprechauns had used it and she could not stop laughing.  She covered her cute little mouth with her hand and threw her head back in disbelief that the little green elves had visited.  
When I told her that she needed to wear green to preschool that day she asked why.  When I told her that she would get pinched if she didn't, she kept begging me to go to preschool with her.  I had to explain that she would be fine with her green on!  I also told her that the pinches should be soft, little pinches anyway and so then she calmed down and started pinching Olive (o so sweetly).

After preschool when I picked her up, she again was in hysterics just laughing.  She could barely get the words out to tell me that the chairs were "lost" because the leprechauns took them.  They also left her chocolate gold coins!  She was so taken by the days events that she wrote a song and had me write it down to give to daddy.  She sings it like Buddy the Elf, loud, dramatic, and a little monotone.  

We spent the afternoon with our friends the Gardner's, and later the Anderson's (minus their mama).  The kids did coloring pages and talked non stop about what the magical little green guys had been up to all day.  

Emilie made this mouth watering and beautiful snack.  Here is another treat I am so excited to make next year!  She also made corned beef and cabbage for dinner and I am such  fan.  I was skeptical to eat the cooked cabbage, but it had such a good flavor after cooking with the corned beef all day.

It was a holiday that took me by sweet surprise and I am smitten now.  
If there are other fun traditions that you love to do, please share because from here on out, I want to go all out!

Friday, March 11, 2011

How are you feeling today?




Surprised! (one of her most popular faces)





a little Sassy?

or just simply Content?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Last week was Adam's spring break so we headed down to Tennessee.  We went to Gatlinburg, TN to visit the Smoky Mountains.  I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderful our excursion was.  It was just what a vacation should be, it seemed as if time slowed down and we didn't even feel like we needed a vacation after our vacation.  It was an 8 hour drive from D.C. and the girls were little dreamboats for the long day in the car.  Our friends, the Tabatabaei's, joined us as well for part of the week and that was such a highlight.  They were so fun and easy to travel with!  We had some down pouring rain and some sickness the second day there, but it didn't dampen our spirits!  We had delicious food, lots of laughs over the southern drawl and random shops, and we talked for hours and hours all sitting on the huge bed.   
  It was refreshing to be outside in 60 and 70 degree weather all day.  We didn't know anything about this place, but had heard really good things about it.  We stayed in a cabin that was away from the main drag in Gatlinburg.  We couldn't stop laughing as we drove slowly down the street because it was bumper to bumper!  This place was a mix of Vegas, a carnival, Disneyland, and the South.  I think that about covers it.

This sign actually had a lot of vintage charm and it caught my eye.

All of the kids were absolute delights.  These two just pranced around like they were in there own little bubble.  They slept up in a loft and we could hear them start chattering away each morning at 6 a.m. about how they were wide awake and their brains wouldn't shut off.  Adam tried to have them go back to sleep the first morning, but came back overwhelmed by how much they could talk and just let them be.

I think this little one felt invinsible on the hikes.  She was trying to run on her chubby little legs and just toddled all over the place so quickly.  She found mud, chewed on sticks, and would have put her face in the waterfalls had we let her.  Maybe the chewing on sticks explains why she threw up all day the second day.  Although my heart broke that she was so sick, it was comforted by her cuddling with me all day.

And this little beauty is Pearl.  She found every little cupboard or closet and would back her little bum in and sit down in her little cubby hole.  Olive and Pearl spent a lot of time in the pile of shoes by the door trying different ones on and occasionally smacking each other on the head.  Gotta love toddlers.

These girls can't get enough of their fun and up-for-anything daddy.  They enjoyed swimming with him, tennis, searching for rocks, making s'mores, reading, and going on nature walks.

We stopped by Dollywood just to take a look.  It was closed, but a gate was open so we went inside the park and snuck a peek at this beauty.  We knew our dear friend (you know who you are!) would be excited to see a picture of this thriller.  And we finished the trip off with one of my favorite things to see, a covered bridge!  I had no idea that there was New England charm way down in the South.