Oct 29, 2010

Two Tutus

Chloe's been waiting 18 months for this! She got to join Hannah in ballet class today as she is now 2 years old! She looked very sweet in her new purple (of course) ballet gear.

They practice some moves before we leave.

Hannah offering an unwanted sisterly hug :)

I happened to be in purple too.

Class got off to a great start. After so many months observing, Chloe was super excited to jump right in. We couldn't stop smiling.

They do their stretches.

She's just happy to be there!

She does some work on the barre....while Hannah tries to lead the class in her own suggestions of what they should do next and demonstrations of how it should be done. That's the oldest child for you!

And then there was a lull. Chloe kept running to Nana to say hi, grin, and return to her spot. Her visits grew a little more frequent so I kindly told her to stay with the class. She didn't have to run back and forth so much. Apparently, this totally burst her bubble. She pouted and cried, rolled on the floor and sighed, etc. etc. I felt like I ruined her first day!! Then I remembered, she's 2. I can never predict how she's going to react and I was only trying to guide her. Dax took her in the hallway for a bit to get a fresh start.

Then she was back in the game. Especially when it was time to pretend to be tigers jumping over a fire. It's the highlight of the class when each student gets to run and jump by themselves. In my humble opinion, Hannah always does really well at this and we were curious to see what Chloe would do. We posted a video below!

Since the girls were going to stay at Nana's for the night, they visited the trick-or-treating party at the office of the Children's Home. Hannah told me earlier today she wanted to go to Nana's Festy Balll again. It took me a minute to realize she meant festival, so she was pleased an activity was going on. They conveniently went as ballerinas!

We have never even said the word trick-or-treat so they were new to the whole getting-free-candy thing. We are still not fond of the holiday and don't plan on doing much with it in the future, but getting some candy and playing dress-up with friends is fun rather than bloody and scary! We'll embrace the harmless parts while they are still young.

Starting to get the hang of it. Tomorrow night they will make an appearance with their brother dressed as...you'll have to see. And Sunday night, they will make an appearance dressed as...again, you'll have to see. And every costume free! Just thought I'd add that.

Just had to share his weekly picture this week. He had just gone to the doctor for his shots. He's sporting Cars band-aids (and a drooly shirt) and the girls have kissed his band-aids many times now. Hannah even comforted Chloe (who didn't end up needing any shots) and Colin before the doctor's visits, promising kisses to everyone.

Semi-happy guy.

Chloe has been trying to give up her naps no matter how I beg and plead. I do it not just for me, but for Hannah, who gets some alone time while Chloe's asleep, but for Chloe herself. She's visibly so tired in the afternoon, but she stubbornly plays and plays in her room. At least she's getting some alone time too. Well, this particular day I decided to forgo the nap to see what would happen. A Stokes family first. She fell asleep out in the den and what looks like a very uncomfortable position. Hannah even ran over and said, "BOO!" not realizing she was really asleep. Chloe didn't even budge so Hannah offered a baby doll as company.

More or less comfortable? I'm not sure.

Meanwhile, I had to wash the cushion on Colin's seat so he was stuck with a nap on a real mattress. After some fussing he fell asleep but didn't stay for long. I snapped a picture so Dax would believe me.

Dax and I had time to ourselves tonight. Colin accompanied us to Cracker Barrel, Babies R Us (new shoes for him since the weather is getting cold and socks just aren't enough-yes that's my excuse because I looove tiny shoes), Half-Price Books where we picked up a couple of Christmas presents, and back home for a rented movie. A relaxing night and Colin got some time with just mom and dad.

When returned home to this odd creature waiting on the doorstep.

For future Hannah to read, today Hannah suddenly sprayed spit all over the book I was reading her. "I'm making it rain!!" she said......one of those times you don't know whether to laugh or instruct on proper behavior so I did both- several times.

Videos below! First is Colin trying out his exersaucer. Next is Chloe dutifully following the teacher's cue on how to walk. Very funny. I like how Chloe continuously picks up her ball.
Third is a few dramatic plies. Fourth is Chloe's attitude change. Haha. And last but not least, the girls jump over the paper fire!

Oct 27, 2010

The Big 2

I apologize I'm just now getting to update the blog. Just had to wait until I had a larger block of time...and even now I only have a few minutes left! Grandma and Papaw came to visit us last week! On Thursday, we did a little shopping and my dad took a couple of fun pictures.

I like Chloe and her encounter with a headless mannequin.

After Dax got off work, the weather was better than expected, so we visited the little pumpkin patch down the road.

....and they had a bounce house. As the van approached the patch, the girls squealed like you've never heard before when they saw those.

Funny faces but sweet girls.

I try to show off how Colin can stand a little and he tries to prove me wrong.

So we had another plan.

With Grandma and Papaw!

Mommy and son.

Proud moms.

She said, "It's a snarecrow!"

On Friday, we relaxed until Dax got off work. Then my mom treated me to some shopping and a movie. A rare thing! We had a great time.

Saturday was Chloe's birthday!! Just before the party, the weather didn't look so good. There were storms coming in, bows and hook echoes (for you tornado fans) on the radars, and also sirens. Our siren is 2 doors down so we can't miss it. Dax got down some of the heavier items from the hall closet so if we had to take cover we wouldn't get pummeled. I took comforter off beds to cover ourselves in the tub. My dad watched the radar and my mom said, "Well, I'm going to make a sandwich!" She was pretty hungry - haha! I began to wonder if anyone was going to be able to come, but thankfully everything died down. We put the house back together just in time.

I came up with a little activity for the kids in order to avoid a running, screaming mob! :)
It turned out well. I wrote a little story for Chloe's birthday and the kids got to "fill in the blanks."
There are a couple of videos below.

Then she opened presents! She got some ballet clothes and accessories from Nana. My parents gave her the party, a couple of fun stuffed animals and a dinner set. She also got a singing broom, a set of books with a princess crown, and twin dolls with some amazing hand crocheted outfits from Megan. We got her a new supply of play-do, a microphone, and mini-magnadoodle.

Colin had fun being passed around. Until that running and screaming happened I was talking about. He wasn't so sure about that. The camera was stubborn about taking pictures during the candle blowing, but we do have video below! Chloe was so sweet when she realized all of this was for her. She loved being the center of attention.

Grandma and Papaw had to leave as did some other guests. Others stayed behind to enjoy their party favors and purple suckers. Our theme was purple and lime green! Overall it was a great time.

This guy is close to rolling over.

Chloe later in the evening on her birthday.

It's time for the next step. He's growing so fast. We pulled out the exersaucer and he loves it.
Hannah and Chloe made sure to show him the ropes.

We got all dressed up in our monkey best to have dinner with friends Mark, Wendy, and baby Thomas. We enjoyed some burgers, hot dogs, and ice cream. How can you go wrong?

I told Hannah to put her hand on her hip to see if she could be prissy for her picture. Then she wouldn't put her hands down! Very obedient : )

I realized I haven't had a good close-up of Hannah lately so she made a sweet face for me.

There's a ponytail back there somewhere. I promise I didn't chop her hair off. When we got to Mark and Wendy's she was concerned that her barrette had fallen out. She sighed. "I guess I'm only a little bit pretty now." When we left it was dark. Of course I thought nothing of it, but the girls stepped outside and their mouths dropped. "Wow!!!" said Chloe. "I like the dark," said Hannah. We put them to bed pretty early and the sun is usually still out since it's summer. It truly has been a long time since they saw true night time- haha!

My wonderful parents came into town and helped us in so many ways. My dad took down part of the dead tree that was stuck up there for so long. Then he got me a lovely bench so I could enjoy the front yard. I've wanted one for three years, but diapers usually come first on the shopping list! Our front yard is so pretty in the afternoon with the huge trees blowing in the wind and the sunset across the street. Below are the videos I promised, and the last one is Chloe being goofy.
Oh, and since the day she turned two, the tantrum switch has been turned to "on." Here we go!

Oct 18, 2010


Texas doesn't get that much in the way of fall colors, but our backyard tree is hinting at the season.

We recently acquired a bag of lemons, so what better to make than lemonade?
It took awhile, but it was delicious!

I'm glad we only served the lemonade to our family, because I think the girls tried every one.
Here, we show our bitter faces.

Mine's not so cute.

Dax and I decided it would be fun for us to carve pumpkins together after the kids went to bed. It was spurred on by watching a carving contest on the food network. We thought the scooping out of the innards would be fun for the girls. Once again, they proved us inaccurate and they were incredibly squeamish. Hannah touched the pumpkin this one time. Chloe wouldn't go near it.

Until she accidentally stepped in some goo. I'm surprised the police didn't show up, her screams were so loud! Geez!
I attempted to toast the seeds. They weren't so good. As for the carving, I didn't exactly plan out the timing too well. We didn't have many nights free after that and the pumpkins went ignored...and they melted. So no amazing pumpkin carving feats to show you. Sometimes that's how things go.

One of our afternoons just hanging out. We had fun with the camera. Being a stay at home mom is very exhausting, but I do try to have a good portion of our day be as low key as possible. I read those "Day in the Life of..." this mom or that mom in the local magazine and it seems there is a contest. The busiest mom wins. It almost seems like moms are bragging that they run kids from one activity to the next, their family says "hi" and bye" as they pass each other throughout the day, they barely get meals, etc. Yes, some days are like that, and of course I love to give the kids experiences, AND I do feel like I'm very busy sometimes, but during weekdays, I try to keep it to one outing a day or every other day, and spend much of the time at home getting to know each other, and experiencing our home life together. There's plenty to do here! When we go out, I can feel free to chat with other adults as the kids play, or let them experience other kids with freedom from my hovering because I know we've had plenty of quality time. Maybe I'll post my own "Day in the Life of Amy" just for fun.

I love this one.

Hannah missed the memo saying we had moved on to a happy face photo.

Like Mother like daughter.

The little man. It got a little chilly that day.

A cool, new playground opened up.

We read something in a book about a girl standing on her head. I used to do that a lot- even in high school. Who knows why. So we gave it a try.

Hannah took this picture. This is as far as I got- I could not at all do a headstand.

Colin's second picture interjection. Sweet boy!

Zoo! The girls have not had a trip to the zoo in about a year. Well, we went to the smaller zoo around here, but there aren't many animals, it was FREEZING, and the girls weren't too interested. We decided to surprise them simply because most things we plan ahead of time and get them excited about...fall through. I know kids need to learn to deal with disappointment, but they are too young to know why anything falls through, so they don't really have a way to understand it. Anyway, we made it! We got out of the car in the zoo parking lot and decided to reveal where we were. I thought I would be creative and sing Barney's zoo song- one of Hannah's favorite DVDs. But apparently I'm a bad singer and she didn't get it. Then we asked some leading questions. Nothing. Then I spelled it- Z-O-O. Then Hannah said, "zoo?" No reaction from either of them. I filmed this whole process, but it was rather drawn out so I won't post it. Thankfully they got excited as they started to see other families and we got closer to the entrance. As I've said before, the Fort Worth Zoo is exactly where they filmed Barney's zoo DVD, so it's fun to see all the same spots. I think Hannah grew a little tired of us pointing them out : )

He either sees angels or a beautiful tree. Either way, he's in awe.

I loooove these 2 orangutans. I took some great pictures of them back when Dax and I were childless and spent a day here together. These two guys look like they are in the mafia to me.
They have such personality. It looks like they've got a secret deal going.

The bigger one is already disguising himself as a little old Russian Babushka using a feed bag.

Hannah's favorite was the giraffe. Chloe really loved the tiger. He even roared a few times for us.
As we headed to the elephants, Hannah asked me what the surprise was. I reminded her it was the zoo.

The lion environment is very pretty.

We enjoyed a little picnic in a shaded spot. The weather was beautiful.

My favorite picture this year!!

How far can you jump? Are you a flea, a frog, a grasshopper, or a mere human?

Colin is showing promise. Maybe he'll be the long jumper on his track team.

The 4th or 5th foolish picture of me on this post. : )

Okay, it wasn't that cold Sunday morning, but it was chilly, and I couldn't resist putting him in his new little hat. As for the weekly pictures, they will still be compiled on a folder, but I think I'll give you a break. : )