Tuesday, March 17, 2015

4 years old!!!

Look at those beautiful young ladies! Can you believe they are 4? They are smart and funny, have extremely different personalities and yet get along with each other so well.  They truly love each other, even when they say they don't.

They got big kid bikes for their birthday and after just one day they were pedaling on their own, not looking at their feet, getting going on their own, and learning how to brake. Samantha picked a princess bike with streamers and a heart basket and Catherine picked a Disney Jake bike with pirate treasure chest basket.

They had their first birthday party with friends from school. We had to be inside instead of at the park, but they had fun anyway. It was a Wild Kratts theme with vine and creature power disc decorations, gummy worm dirk cake in a pail of course, and pin the tail on the hippo game. Sam missed the first time but did much better the 2nd try. Catherine nailed it.

On their actual birthday we had ice cream cake and played with Nana and Grandpa. Bocce ball and balloon games, even using static to put balloons on the wall! Sam tried to rub the balloon on her own back but to no avail. Only Grandpa seemed to have the magic touch.

A few pictures from school. Samantha is loving school and has songs memorized after just a few times, she really impresses me. She sings and Catherine dances. We're growing out her bangs and she hates having it put in a pony tail. We have to work to get her to use clips. She says the funniest things and you swear she is putting the moves on you. "Mommy, I saw the perfect flower and picked it just for you." She thinks looney toons are hilarious and pretends to hit her foot and hop around. She also tries to reason her way out of things and then later her reasoning backfires on her.

Catherine has started getting very serious about some things and when she does she looks up at you through her bangs, slows her voice down, and uses her hands like a little old Italian lady explaining something to an idiot. It makes me smile every time! She is progressing so much at school, writing her whole name without help (poor thing, Sam only had to do 3 letters), and insists on coloring all parts of a project. She especially likes rainbows and smiley faces.

Aunt Alyssa and Uncle Mike got them tents for their beds and they were so excited to go to sleep tonight.

So happy birthday to our girls. We love you so much and can't imagine a world without you. It would be a boring place without laughter.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

a quick Jake update

I'm doing a quick update on Jake because this weekend the girls are turning 4 and I'll devote a post to them and their party weekend.

Look at this handsome boy!!! Notice the lack of drool on his chin? Sometimes photoshop is a good thing. He is quite the character and we all love him very much. He is constantly smiling and giggling and getting into trouble. He opens doors and takes stuff out and tries to climb in. Changing his diaper convinces us that there is some octopus blood in his DNA, he's always rolling over and trying to sit up. He insists on helping when I give the girls a bath, which mostly just gets him wet.

He and his daddy are buds, that's for sure. They speak the same language and make the same sad face with the crinkly eyes and pouty lip. At his 9 month check up he weighed just over 20 labs and I swear he weighs more every day. Definitely not my side of the family where we never get above 10th percentile.  Oh, and Jake thinks everyone is funny.

This is his new favorite game, he begins to climb the stairs laughing and looking back to see if I'm chasing him to bring him back to the bottom, or even all the way into the living room to start over 

Just last week he started standing by himself. He's usually very serious about it until he starts pinwheeling his arms and falls down. He's also learning how to clap and how to reach for everything he can and pull it down. He's very like Sam in that way, and he talks…a lot. And just like Catherine he likes to feed the dog his food and eat her food. I think he considers it a fair trade. Jake is also a master of his walker. He is so good that the can make it move even when another small child is standing on it, and he's figured out, and is strong enough, to pick it up to go over the threshold between the kitchen tile and the carpet.

He's learning to clap and his favorite game is peek a boo. He just laughs and laughs!

I know he's looking forward to spring and playing outside. We were out for one day and he managed to find the mud spot and get his jeans all dirty. We put his walker on the deck, too, and now he looks longingly outside. I guess I do, too.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

snow days!

So we'll start with a few random pictures from the end of January. I realized that I take far too many cute pictures of Jake and not enough of the girls, so here are a few.

And one of them just being, as Sam would put it, ridiculous!

Great Grandma came to visit quickly and we all had fun. The girls had her tossing the football!

And this is what happens when Jake wakes up and I can't get in there fast enough. One of the girls will go in and entertain him until I get there. I love it! Sam always walks in and says "Heeey Buddy!"

Since the weather got bad and we've been stuck inside a lot we've been trying to find fun things to keep us active and occupied. We've done a lot of dancing...

Jake is getting really good at using his walker...

we had conversations with Nana and Grandpa before the snow and ice came...

We 'ice skated' on the driveway and sidewalk because it was that bad. Didn't even leave a footprint!

We took some group shots just because we could...

"This is my crazy sister, isn't she weird?"

We learned how to play dominoes. They are good and they are also learning how to add, sort of, using both halves of each tile. Catherine lost the first two games she ever played, so when she finally won she celebrated soccer style, leaping off the chair, running around in a circle, and ending on the floor waving her arms and legs in the air and squealing. It was hilarious and no one told her how to do it.

Even Jake got out for a little, but without mittens he went back in pretty quickly. 

and because my road is still an icy mess they went sledding down it.

Hard to believe we had a picnic on the deck a week and a half ago. Spring, where are you!?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

First Family Vacation!!

We finally went on family vacation, just us, no grandparents to help, not staying with family, staying at a hotel (fortunately they put us in a condo instead which was a major help to us to have all that extra space).  We are so proud of all our children.  They stayed up late, waited patiently for their turn, didn't slide down on top of other kids, only pushed people out of the way when ice skating and they were blocking the wall (but still said 'excuse me'), didn't complain, listened well, and not one meltdown, even from Jake.

First we went ice skating.  Dave isn't a big fan so he and Jake hung out while the girls had fun.  I expected that they would pull me down multiple times and was worried one of them would get frustrated.  But they were great!  Half way around they didn't even want me to hold their hand anymore, except when we had to cross the opening, and even then Catherine kept trying to go by herself.  Sam only wanted to hold my hand to go faster.  They fell, a lot, and kept smiling and laughing.  It was Catherine's favorite part of the trip.

Then on to the water park.  Not a lot of pictures here because, well, there was water. They went down the 'big kid' slides and Jake hung out in the baby bouncer in the kiddy pool.  We splashed in the lazy river and Dave went down the tubes, which he said were cool and scary in the dark because we went at night and the tubes go outside.  It was Sam's favorite part, once we got them excited about the slides and found the family hot springs to get warm in between trips down the slide.

Poor Jake. No ice skating and no tubing so this is what he did a lot.  But he was very good about it, and if he keeps growing at this rate he'll be tall enough to go tubing next winter!

This is the view from the top.  Two big moguls and then when you stop you have to get up the hill at the end quickly so the next set of people can go.  At first it wasn't sunny and the run was fast, so only 2 tubes could go down at once.  The girls had to go by themselves and we were worried they would get to the top and not want to go.  But they were brave and when they got to the bottom they told me it was 'really fast' and 'I love it! Again!' They were so tired at the end from going up that hill back to the start but they were troopers and had a great time.

I zoomed in as much as I could.

Jake and I still managed to have some fun and even took a few selflies! (P.S. He says 'mama' now!!!!!  I'm so excited because the girls both said 'dada' first.)

The girls with Dave, all 3 tubes together.

Some fun while waiting at the top.

I always seem to go into these kind of things with apprehension, expecting the worst.  That they won't sleep or won't like the activities or any number of things my mind can imagine. But, it turned out it was the other side of that coin, it was better than I hoped it was going to be and we can't wait to do it again.