Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend 2011

We drove down to Virginia for Easter weekend.  Spent lots of time hanging out with family ... it was lovely.  As usual, I took way too many photos to get a post up in a timely manner, but I'm finally buckling down and working on the photos.  This may be a long post!

Luckily, the Easter bunny seems to have a good grasp at which children travel for the holidays, because he did visit Annelee and Vivian at Aunt Susan's house.  Notice the fancy pink egg in Vivian's loot, it was discovered while the Page siblings helped Anne sort through some of Newton's stuff, and immediately handed out to the Easter bunny for reuse!

Vivian with part of her loot - candy, coins, a funky ball and paint pens.  Annelee got a cuddly toy
We'll call this one "Symphony in Purple"  :)
What ARE those plastic things they keep surrounding me with?
We spent a lot of time hanging out on the deck ...
... even the dogs
Ok, she's in the dining room, but still ... hanging out
Uncle Ernie and Annelee and the Easter Eggs ... yum!

The lid is the most fascinating part of this toy

Ms Vee
Susan did a great job getting a photo of me and the two wiggly girls

Vivian's dramatic pose
Sometimes, I get back into the old habit of photographing just flowers ...
Artist Vivian and her helper
Very pleased with her (and Susan's) work!

Daddy and his wiggly silly goils

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Tradition

My Dad had a beautiful Easter tradition when we were little (and even now, sometimes, even though we are grown).  He would blow out and paint an Easter egg for my brother and I each year, and then go and cut some branches to hang them on.  It makes for some really wonderful Easter decoration.

A few years ago, my parents divided up the eggs between my brother and I and now we get to decorate our own Easter bouquet.

With Vivian and Annelee, I am trying to keep the tradition alive, even though I don't think my painting skills have evolved since I was a child.  :)

On Monday, we had a beautiful warm and sunny day, so Vivian and I set out to cut some branches, put them in the vase and then proceeded to hang up the eggs.  She would point to the next one to hang up and I would either explain them (e.g., the one with the Pittsburgh Skyline or the one with Will cooking) or read out the name and the year for her.

This evening, I sat down and added two more eggs to the collection, Annelee's first and Vivian's third (oops, I missed one year).  I can't wait until they are old enough to paint eggs with me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Deja Vu

Apparently, certain clothes appeal to me for certain photographic situations. Here's one that I took of Annelee yesterday.

And here's one that I took of Vivian almost 3 years ago (May 2008), not far from the spot where I took the photo today.  I commented on the picture at the time that she was moving her shoulder, hence the funky blur.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Best Friends

Ask Vivian on any given day who her best friend is (are - she always has more than one), and the answer is different every time. Usually it's a list of girls she plays with at preschool, but that list varies.  Apparently, there are discussions of who is whose friend every morning.

But really, the answer is pretty clear-cut.  Rowan.  All day, every day, she asks me if she can go over to Rowan's.  If Rowan can come over here.  If I have sent a message to Jenny about playing with Rowan.  If Jenny has answered.  If they can play now.  Now?  How about now?  It really is very cute.

Today, I tried to get a photo of the two of them.  Not an easy task when really, they just want to go and play queen and princess or dogs or Mommy and baby or a bazillion different other things.  I'm glad Vivian has such a great friend just across the street!

Without further ado, here are the Gypsy Lane Twins, also known as Rowan and Vivian :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Random Mobile Phone Shots

The quality is not as good since they are from my phone, but I thought posting these would at least kick-start me into some blog posts again.  Those of you that are on facebook have seen most of them already ...

About 5 minutes after coming home with a goody-bag from a party

Mommy not required for walks
Snow White in sunglasses and snow boots
Delicious, just-bathed, baby chub.  And blowing raspberries
Somehow, most of Annelee's naps last weekend ended up being in the car in the driveway
Three-ring circus
She insisted on the raincoat AND umbrella

What's better than jumping in puddles?

I have a feeling we'll be checking for rainbows no matter what the weather every time we walk past this spot

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bed Time Routine

Since the girls have started sharing a room, our bed time routine has gone through several transitions and experiments.  I think we've finally found something that works, that's fun and that's manageable (read: doesn't take all evening).

Here's what usually happens. 

During dinner, Annelee starts rubbing her eyes.  So, once we are done eating (around 7pm - 7.15pm), I take her to make the rounds to say good night to Daddy and Vivian and we head upstairs.  Annelee's bed time is still super simple.  I take her clothes off, change her diaper, put her in her jammies and sleep-sack. 

Then we dim the light, make sure we have a binky and I sit down and nurse her.  She's usually drifting off before I even manage to switch her to the other side, and by the time she's done nursing on both sides, she's asleep.  So I simply put her in her crib, kiss her good night and leave the room.

While I get Annelee ready, Vivian gets undressed and puts on her pull-up and pajamas and then goes downstairs to play with Daddy.  I join them and - if I'm motivated - we clean up before heading upstairs.  Vivian does the rest of her bed-time routine with only very little help (but frequent reminders of what she should be doing ...).  Brush teeth, wash face, brush hair.

Then we curl up on the bed and read a book or a story.  It's often the same one many nights in a row until she finally tires of the book or I can't take it anymore and insist on a different book (usually the latter).

Then, we pick up the phone and Vivian calls Daddy (yes, we make a phone call every evening because we are too lazy to go to the basement ... ).  I actually like it because soon, she will have memorized his phone number and would be able to make a phone call independently.  My number is next  :)  Will answers the phone and Vivian says breathlessly "Daddy come up and kiss me, Mommy and I will hine [hide] for you".  Then we hide under the blanket until Daddy comes up.

He and Vivian will then kiss and cuddle and tickle and whatever else (none of that "winding down before going to sleep" stuff for us, apparently).  Vivian usually kicks me out for this part with the words: "Mommy, go downstairs".  Once they are done, I come back up, and Vivian tells me how many kisses and hugs she wants (great practice of counting in German, she more or less makes it to 20 these days) and then I tell her how many I want.

One last quick stop to go to the bathroom, then I sneak her very very very quietly into her room, tuck her in, lay down for a minute and then say good night one final time before walking out. 

It is now between 8.30pm and 8.45pm and if all goes well that's the last that we hear from Vivian until the morning, and some nights, that's even the last we hear from Annelee until she wakes up around 6am to nurse (for which she comes into our bed and often falls asleep again).

On days where Vivian starts whining and getting noisy when I walk out of the room (or when she gets up again for some reason), all bets are off, unfortunately.  We have instituted a sticker reward chart for not waking Annelee up and that has been working pretty well for the last couple of nights.

One final funny story about the sticker chart.  We visited with friends on Saturday and put Annelee down in their spare bedroom.  Bob, our host, forgot that she was in that room and walked in, turned on the light and woke her up.  Vivian's immediate comment was "Bob will not get a sticker in the morning because he woke Annelee up!".  I think we have drilled that concept into her pretty well, huh?  :)