Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Finger Painting

I'm not great at planning organized activities for my children. My idea of an organized activity is "go to park" or "play with toys". Also, I think they're just now getting old enough to participate and enjoy anything that requires much of an attention span. But I do follow a couple of blogs that have fun learning activities for kids ... maybe to make myself feel like a good parent. :) When I saw this recipe for homemade finger paint at I Can Teach My Child, it seemed like a good thing to try out!

The best part of this recipe is that it's made with edible ingredients. It doesn't taste good, but I knew the girls would put it in their mouths ... which they did ...

Then Hadley decided to forget about painting on the paper and just do some body paint.

Then, MORE body paint. :)

...while Leila painted nicely on the paper. I would have guessed that it would have been the other way around!

Our end results! They didn't really catch on and love it, but it was a fun afternoon activity that I'm sure we'll do more often as they get older. Followed by being sprayed off in the backyard, of course. :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Impromptu Ultrasound

This weekend, Tony had plans to hike two Fourteeners (mountains that are over 14,000 feet in altitude) with a buddy. I didn't want to stay at home by myself, and the mountains Tony planned to climb are close to where my parents live, so we decided to make a weekend out of it and visit my parents.

Mom was talking to a friend of hers about my pregnancy (I have a feeling that she was saying that I'm HUGE for only carrying one) :) and the friend mentioned that the pregnancy center where she (the friend) volunteers has to perform a certain number of ultrasounds per week in order to maintain their certification. She suggested that we give them a call to see if they needed a test subject. Sure enough, they did!

So, on Saturday afternoon, after about 12 weeks of not going to the doctor (no health insurance, but it's coming on Friday!), I got to see our little one again. Yes, there continues to be just ONE baby in there! :) Here's one of the pictures -- head on the right, body on the left. You can see baby's spine along the top of his/her torso, and you can kind of make out baby's profile, looking down.

Tony couldn't come, since he was hiking, but mom, the twins, a niece and a nephew came with us. Leila got really protective of me when I was on the ultrasound table, so she spent a lot of the ultrasound sitting up by my head on the table. Thankfully, the nurse was awesome about all the chaos. She also told me that she could tell what the baby is ... but out of respect for our little poll (and because Tony wasn't there), I told her that I didn't want to know. Hardest thing I've ever done. :)

Speaking of our "little" poll, it's CRAZY! Over 80 people have voted, yet the vote continues to be incredibly close. Last time I looked, it was within three votes. You better vote, because your vote will make a difference!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Should We Peek? You Get To Vote! (20 Weeks)

Eek! I'm so excited to be able to share this with you!

First things first, though. My (almost) 20 week photo! The last one you saw was at 15 weeks, and baby just keeps growing! I'm still bigger than my pregnancy with the twins, too. I'd say I'm about 4 weeks bigger. :)

I'm in that yucky clothing phase of pregnancy, too. None of my small clothes fit, and all of my maternity clothes are too big. You'll be glad to hear that I've been choosing to wear the clothes that are too big, but it makes me feel kind of frumpy. :)

Okay, on to the fun stuff! Tony and I have been discussing finding out whether this baby is a boy or a girl at our halfway ultrasound. He tends to be in the "find out" camp, and I waver back and forth constantly. So, here's the idea I finally pitched to him, and he went for it!

We have agreed to allow YOU, our blog readers, to decide whether or not we'll find out what gender this baby is!

Now do you see why I'm so excited? The truth is, I can go either way, so I'll be perfectly happy with whatever decision is made. I think Tony's a little nervous about leaving our fate in the hands of other people, but you have to admit, it's going to be a blast. :)

So, here are my arguments for and against finding out:

If we find out:
*It makes planning for a new baby generally easier.
*This is the best choice if we have a boy. We don't have any boy clothing, blankets, towels, or bedding. (Should have registered for gender-neutral items the first time around!)
*No matter which sex the baby is, it makes name selection a little easier when you know what you're having.
*The excitement is spread out, in a way. We get to find out what gender he/she is now, and we get to see what he/she looks like and have the excitement of having a new baby in November!

If we don't find out:
*We get to have the moment when the doctor announces, "it's a boy!" or "it's a girl!"
*I want to decorate the new nursery in primary colors, so gender doesn't matter in that respect.
*If we have a boy, we have enough gender-neutral items to get by. Plus, I think it's safe to assume that he'll receive gifts, especially since he'll be born within a couple of months of Christmas.
*I may go crazy trying to plan for all the unknowns. :)

Disclaimer: If, by some miracle, we find a second baby in there, Tony and I will make the final decision. I think you understand. :)

The ultrasound is on the afternoon of July 5th. Voting will close on the afternoon of July 4th. I believe you can only vote once per computer.

Our fate is in your hands! What's your vote? And be sure to leave a comment to share in our excitement!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Power of A Praying Toddler

A couple of videos of Hadley's lunchtime "prayers". Leila still needs some witnessing. :) Oh, and please excuse my "Saturday morning" attire. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Two by Two: Birthday Party!

(This turned into a pretty lengthy post. I tried to do collages where I could, and you can click on the collages to see them bigger. Enjoy!)

So, my babies turned two! We celebrated with a family barbeque at our house on Saturday. The theme was "Two by Two: Noah's Ark". Get it? Our TWO are TWO? I thought it was clever. :) Really, it was just an animal theme. I loved it!

I started by buying this set of clipart on Etsy. Adorable, right?

Then, made the invitation:

Then it was party day! Here's a few pictures of the birthday girls (Hadley pink, Leila yellow). Our wonderful neighbor embroidered two little bears sitting on an ark onto their tank tops. It was her idea, and I think it was perfect!

My sister, Paula, made the banner. Paula has an Etsy store, if you're interested!

Food! In the front center, you'll see that I made a rainbow out of fruits and vegetables. It wasn't as pretty as I wanted it to be, but the idea was still fun!

Another thing Paula helped me with: labels for gummy bears, goldfish, and animal crackers (you know, to go with the theme...)

We had animal masks for everyone to wear. The kids had a blast with them!

Another sister, Becky, makes the most AMAZING cupcakes. Paula make the cupcake toppers, which blew me away!

Some of my favorite party people photos:

As you can see, it was an awesome time with family. We all took long naps afterward. :) And I think I need a nap after all this blogging! :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

24 Months

Another 12 months has come and gone ...

Happy 2nd Birthday, Hadley and Leila!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Leila's Life

Continuing my series leading up to the big TWO, here's a little bit about our second born. Second by 28 minutes, if you're counting, but she definitely made her own entrance!

Unlike Hadley, who has many nicknames, we mostly stick to one nickname for Leila -- "Leila Lanie" (her middle name is Elaine). Although, Hadley does call her "La-la". Grandma K. says that she has a joyful heart, and well, I just don't think Leila can keep all that joy inside. It just comes busting out of her all the time. Leila is the one who walks up to total strangers and befriends them. I've actually seen her join other tables at restaurants and not think twice about it. (And neither do the people who she joins, amazingly enough!) She has LOTS of words and uses them constantly. (Sometimes she'll yell, "Ma-MA! Door! Open!" from her crib in the morning.)

Like I said, Leila is best friends with every person in the room from the moment she walks in. But that means she's also not as likely to want to play by herself. And if nobody wants to play with her ... well, she'll usually end up on top of the dining room table, or inside the open dishwasher. She's more physically advanced than Hadley ... or maybe she's just more adventurous. She receives discipline far more often than her sister but keeps on pushing the limits.

But with all that spice comes sugar, right? She's the first to laugh when she thinks something is funny. And somehow, Leila has become a total Mommy's girl. Several times a day, she'll come to me with Lavender (her purple bunny) and a blanket and pull me to the couch, just because she needs someone to snuggle with. And boy, does she snuggle! I honestly believe that she would snuggle during every waking moment, if I didn't have to walk away in order to do ... well, anything.

So that's it -- my spunky, sassy little gal, who we love so much. We see differences in personality between Hadley and Leila every day, but I can honestly say that one's personality is not more desirable than the other. They just make a perfect blend. :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hadley's Happenings

I realized that I've been posting plenty of quick bites about our life, but I haven't really sat down and written about each of the girls and their personalities recently. So, in the couple of days leading up to THEIR SECOND BIRTHDAY(!), I'm going to take a few minutes to share about each of the girls. I'll start with my first born.

Tony calls her "Happy Had". I call her "Hadley Lou" (her middle name is Luella) or "Haddie". Leila calls her "Laddie". Grandma K. says she's a ray of sunshine, and you couldn't say it better; she just radiates sweetness. She's a little smaller and a little behind Leila developmentally -- she didn't even walk 100% of the time until she was about 20 months old. But don't let her fool you! She puts Leila to shame at the dinner table, and is happy to be the brains behind Leila's brawn. She should probably get disciplined more than she does, but she's so quiet about being disobedient, I don't realize what she's doing until it's too late! :)

Between the two of them, she was the first to learn to use a spoon, and the first to learn how to undress herself -- usually at inappropriate moments. Her little voice is higher pitched than sister's voice; I was surprised to recently realize that I can tell them apart on the phone. She's constantly thinking, and it shows in the pictures we take of her. Unless it's the one below, where she was working on a new smile ... or something ...

(Look at those curls!)

Hadley sticks close to home in new situations, but once she warms up, she loves to play with everybody. She especially loves wrestling with Leila in one of their cribs, but she's also the first one to play quietly by herself with her cars or her baby doll. (I saw her trying to put a diaper on her doll the other day, which was absolutely adorable.) And in case you might think that Hadley is Mommy's gal, let me assure you that this one is all about Daddy. Every so often, she'll get liberal with her snuggles and kisses for me, but for Daddy, there is no reserve.

I'm sure I'm forgetting some of my favorite Hadley-isms, but I think that paints a pretty good picture. We have so much love in our hearts for our sweet, smart little gal.