Friday, April 10, 2015

Easter break

My 3 beautiful kids in front of the beautiful tulips and flowers at Duke Gardens. It doesn't get any better than this. Easter break was wonderful. We went to Duke Gardens to see the tulips twice, went to see our new nephew Shiloh, built a vegetable garden, and went to the zoo.

But first, an update on the kids. Jake still isn't walking but he is crawling at lightning speed and getting into everything. He claps and waves and tries to say 'bye bye' and point to himself when you ask him 'who's Jake?'.  He's so smart that even though we have used bungee cords to keep the bakeware and tupperware off limits so he doesn't strew it all over the kitchen floor, he reaches through the cabinet with the pots and pans that we can't seal off and gets the tupperware anyway. At least this way he doesn't make as big a mess as he could.

Catherine is such a little problem solver! She automatically finds a solutions from a new angle like it is second nature. She can't reach the door handle to pull it open so she pushes the door next to it to grab the edge. She throws feed into the goose pen to help her cousin get the goose back to where it belongs (instead of chasing us and biting me and Sam).  She loves her brother and is a big help with him, keeping him smiling and finding things to keep him occupied (and away from her stuff).

Our sweet Samantha finds the joy in everything! Everything is her favorite and new and beautiful and exciting. She also misses everyone and everything the second we leave. She told Dave she missed her cousins and we hadn't even gotten in the car yet ;-) She still sings all the time, especially in the bathroom for some reason. My mom taught her the words to "Oh my darlin' Clementine" which she pronounces "Clementahn".  We still have no idea where her southern accent comes from. Not even our sitters have talked like she does, throwing extra syllables in everywhere she can.

A nice lady offered to take our picture!

On Easter Sunday the girls had a blast looking for eggs in the yard.

And Jake looked very debonaire in his 'jaunty chapeau'.

Jake and Nana

Spinning in their beautiful dresses!

Our crazy kids with their crazy grandparents, nothing could be a more true picture of our life and we love it.

In a dinosaur egg at the zoo, 2 movie stars and 'farmer Jake'.

A little Marilyn moment for miss Catherine.

We had a very close encounter with the chimpanzees at the zoo, it was great! She played peek a boo and blew kisses to the kids until she had to go break up a fight between 2 little chimpanzees.

Catherine is becoming quite the little photographer with the camera she got for Christmas. Here are a few of her best shots at Duke Gardens and the NC zoo. I did not edit these in any way, not even cropped. Not bad for a 4 year old, right?

A rhino red with mud.

The momma breaking up the fight.

The mommy and daddy lion with 4 cubs.

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.