Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A few April and May milestones.

I kept holding off on writing this entry until I uploaded pictures to our flickr site, but I'm so behind, and at this rate, I'll be posting this entry as the girls turn sixteen.

I have been terrible about capturing their milestones, so just wanted to get a few things down.


-By early May, was very good with her ma, da, ba sounds. She chatters constantly now. She has a "di di di" sound she makes when talking to herself or her toys
-She also has a cute little "hah" sound she makes when excited
-She has a funny little grown she makes when tired, especially if given her bert (pacifier)
-She loves waffles and pancakes
-She loves puffs and yogurt melts. She adores those crunchy "sticks" Gerber makes
-She is now fascinated with the cats. She recognizes the word "cat" and will look around to find the nearest one
-She has a very cute shy grin and a face she makes when feeling proud or accomplished
-She started crawling on 4/7
-She can pull herself up on nearly anything (crib, bookshelves, couch, ottoman, etc.) and she has pretty much mastered getting back down
-She cruises along the couch holding on to the top
-She snuggles against you for a hug when you put her to bed
-She can sign "more" sometimes in context, especially for sticks
-She loves computers - she gets excited if we lift up a lid to a laptop. She loves to bang on the keys (if allowed)
-She also loves the iPad mini (she watches Sesame Street podcasts on it) and can recognize when I take it out of its case
-She has two teeth (came in April)
-She loves her berts and will just rotate them in and out of her mouth if you give her a couple
-She just started wearing 18-month footie PJs (!)
-She is still stealing Zoe's toys and then crying if reprimanded (sigh)
-She loves books! She will surround herself with a stack of them and look at them and chatter. She is also pretty good about listening to stories

-Started crawling by the end of April (4/29). She is super fast now and can keep up with Grace
-She is getting better at pulling herself up, though it is still a work in progress. Getting down still presents a challenge
-She will eat nearly any finger food! She especially loves pasta and gets it everywhere! She rubs her hands in her hair when she eats and becomes a hot mess
-She chatters to herself and cracks herself up a lot
-That laugh! She laughs easily and generously
-She loves music and will dance (bop her head and sway) to music. She is starting to recognize the word "dance"
-She listens to our music (Katy Perry is a favorite) but she also loves "Elmo's Song" and "Rubber Ducky"
-She is still very good natured and charms everyone. She is pretty easygoing about being picked up by most everyone
-She loves to crawl to the magnets we keep on the bottom of the fridge
-She loves to blow raspberries - both in general, or in response to you
-She also loves books
-She has a hilarious "scrunchy" face she makes when happy
-She is still my little nursing champ at night before bed... I want to keep her little for as long as possible sometimes
-She loves to feel wind or air in her hair. She loves being carried around outside

Just a few pictures. I'll catch up someday!
Grace and her beloved laptop
Grace & her beloved laptop

Big girl Grace!
Big girl!

Typical Zoe, post-eating
Zoe Eating

Playing with their magnets
Beloved pastime

So grown up

Reading time

And some videos:

"Sharing" in action

Zoe's early days of crawling

Zoe dancing

Grace starting to crawl

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mini-vacation to Williamsburg.

Last weekend, Kate and I took the girls on a mini-vacation to Williamsburg. We wound up having a really nice time! I was so pleased. I was a little worried about how the girls would do being off their routine -- and away from any sort of home base for much of the weekend -- but they were troopers. We took the trip so that Kate could take a three-day continuing legal education course in Estate Planning. It seemed like a fun idea to get out of town for a few days!

We left on Friday right at 9AM, so the girls fell asleep pretty quickly and took their morning nap in the car. Grace woke up a little before we stopped for an early lunch, and Zoe actually woke up when we got there, so that worked out well. We stopped and had lunch at a Subway, the girls had their 11:30 bottles and some puffs, and we could do diaper changes and all that. We got into Williamsburg around 12:15, 12:30 and found where Kate's course was located. It turned out to be in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg, which was so cool! We got the girls in the stroller and went inside to get Kate settled and then the three of us walked all around Williamsburg - through Colonial Williamsburg and up to the College of William & Mary and then back. It was really fun! They both dozed for about 45 minutes in the stroller, which was adorable. The girls and I had a little picnic behind the Lodge at one point and they had their 3:30 bottles. I forget when Kate got out, but then we headed to where we were staying to check in.

The place we were staying was pretty nice! We'd found the place through a Living Social. I guess it's normally a timeshare destination. Anyway, it resembled little mini apartment-style condos: our suite had a full kitchen, living room, dining area and two bedrooms - one with a bathroom inside and another with an adjoining bath. It worked out so well! We had a fridge for milk, a dishwasher, a sink for bottle washing... we even made breakfast the first two mornings. The girls had their own room, with a door, so we could close their door and not have to sneak around all evening.

By the time we were in and had all our stuff hauled inside (good lord, we cannot pack light anymore!), it was nearly 6, so we nixed the idea of going out. Kate ran out and picked up Sonic and we gorged on that while the girls ate. All in all, not a bad day! I couldn't believe how good Grace and Zoe were. They loved riding in their stroller and looking at everything. By the end of the day, my fitbit said we'd gone 7+ miles. Not too shabby.

Kate went to her seminar the next day, and the girls and I stayed at the condo. We played and ate and took a walk around the complex. Kate brought us lunch back from The Cheese Shop. Then the four of us went to the nearby Outlets. Wow! They were packed. We had to park far away, which was tough, since we had to Bjorn the girls (stroller won't fit into any shops). We wound up basically just going to Gymboree, Carters, and Osh Gosh. Remember the days when we went shopping for ourselves? Me either! But we found the girls some good summer clothes and used some coupons, so not bad. They were really good, too.

That evening we went from the Outlets to some steak place Kate had read about in one of those restaurant brochures. It was very old-fashioned inside and the waiter looked like he'd been there since the restaurant opened. We were clearly his only customers for quite some time (in his defense, we were eating on the early side) and he would stand right by our table, watching us. The girls were quite the hit with everyone there and they loved the high chairs with actual trays. The food was good, though probably not worth the cost, but it was a fun, amusing experience. We got Sweet Frog after (yes!), took a walk with the girls at home, and then everyone crashed.

Sunday we had to check out, so we were up and packing like mad. Left around 9ish, so the girls slept on the way to the Lodge. Kate went back to her seminar, and I stayed in the car while they slept for a bit. Grace woke up rather early, but she played in her car seat for a while, and I finally got them out of the car and in the stroller around 10:30. We walked around Colonial Williamsburg again and down to Merchant's Square, which was fun. It was very bustling on a Sunday morning. We wound our way back and met Kate as things ended. We ate at Quiznos on our way out of town, fed the girls, and they slept for a good chunk of the trip home. We were probably home by 3 or 3:30.

It was a crazy trip, but I've come to accept that any trip with the girls won't be restful, per se. Still, I was so proud of how good they were and how they adapted on the fly. Plus, we had two days without laundry and didn't have to clean as much, or worry about the cats - it was great. Most of all, I'm proud of us for trying. Sometimes it's just good to get out of the house.

Here are some pics from the trip. You can find all the photos here.
Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Sheep

Zoe was so in love with the sheep. She's trying to get out and get them in this photo
Zoe loved the sheep

Happy in their stroller
Happily walking around Colonial Williamsburg

Picnic time
Picnic Time

It's great fun traveling with two pack and plays!
Traveling pack-and-play show

At the Outlets
Our family

Eating Out (Z)
Eating out

Eating Out (G)
Eating out

Ready to walk on Sunday
Another day, another walk!