Thursday, December 27, 2012

Photos with Santa

Ah how at peace Allie and Harper were with Santa their first Christmas:


So much changed in one year:

Though not much from last year to this year:


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Blueberry #3!

Michael and I have every exciting news to share.  Blueberry #3 is on the way!  HIS way, that is.  It's a boy!  Due March 25th.  We are so thrilled and feel very blessed.

I'm not one of those patient people who can wait until delivery to know the gender, but I did want it to be a little more exciting than finding out from the ultrasound lady's monotone like we did with Allie and Harper.  So we had her seal the gender in an envelope, and later that night Aunt T-lo babysat while we went out to a restaurant that recently opened near us, Watershed.  We gave the envelope to the waiter and told him to bring us a blue drink for a boy and pink drink for a girl.  After 15 LONG minutes, this is what he placed before me:



As we oooed and ahhed, "Ooooh, baby girl. Three girls. wow...".  he said "Actually, it's a boy! That's a blueberry drink."  I must admit that our level of excitement definitely kicked up a notch.  I guess Watershed doesn't serve blue drinks, though we did not find it lacking in other respects. This Violet Beauregard (the not so stiff version, of course) though confusing, was quite tasty.

Blueberries #1 and #2 actually seem to get it and are beginning to notice my belly.  Before we found out it's a boy, we would often ask them if they wanted a sister or brother.  The answers varied from day to day.  Since we told them it's a brother, Harper has been insisting "I want sister." 

They also seem to understand pregnancy better than we thought.  On the day we had the ultrasound, we told them that we went to the doctor and got to see the baby.  Harper gave a quizzical look, thought for a second, and then asked, "Did it come out?"  It was a great question. They never cease to amaze.

Halloween 2012

I was very excited about Halloween this year because I knew Allie and Harper would love it, plus we live in a true trick-or-treating neighborhood.  Allie was a ladybug and Harper was a bumblebee.  I was very glad that Harper liked being a bumblebee because she did not like getting stung by one a few weeks earlier.  Our neighborhood met for pizza in the park and then we trick-or-treated our way home.  Harper was thrilled to knock and doors and be given candy.  Allie was a little skeptical of the givers at first but warmed up after three houses. She did not like when a witch with green hair showed up at one house.







Wednesday, October 31, 2012

2nd Birthday Party

Allie and Harper were very excited to turn two.  We invited their close friends over for a "Two by Two" themed birthday party.  Noah, rainbows, and our multiple sets of two animals served as decor. 


The best touch by far were the cookies made by Cookie in the Kitchen. She made rainbow cupkies (get it, cookie cupcakes that were to die for) and please examine the 2 by 2 animals.  I need to order turkeys for Thanksgiving and chicks and bunnies for Easter.  The squirrels were soooo cute.  Did I mention that she is 12 years old!

Cupkies with chocolate 2's


Bubble flood at the playdough table!  
Playdough with Charlie and Uncy Bob

New tricycles from Lovey and D. Helmets and baskets from T-lo.

Thank you so much to all our family who helped with the party.  Dad smoked the BBQ on his green egg, Mom added to the flowers and decor, T-lo did the slaw, CiCi and Papa cover drinks and clean and set up tirelessly, and Uncy Bob graced us with his presence and brought some great books as presents. 

Harper likes to exclaim "I'm two." and hold up two fat fingers.  Lately, she's been saying, "I'm two. I'm five."  She thinks she is.  This is such a fun age.  Michael and I cannot get over how hilarious we think they are.  It's fun to know their silly thoughts as they narrate their days for us. 




Before we turned two

Quick photo update on life before turning two!

We visited our dear friends, Amanda and Stephen in Austin, Texas.  They were very excited to ride on an airplane since they see them flying overhead daily and point them out. After the trip they (both of them did this) pointed to the airplane and said "airplane going to Texas."  They also asked to "move to Texas."  These guacamole lovers found their heaven.

With their Texas friend, Clark Christian
Swimming at Deep Eddy
They also met other friends like Mr. Brett, but I can't find the pic.

When asked who their favorite singer is, they reply "Mr. Sanders."  They were very excited to meet Mr. Sanders, Dad's college roommate.  Please download some of his music from iTunes hereYou won't regret it.

Harper and Sanders Bohlke
And now some photos that mom thinks are cute:

Very into baby dolls right now!


Met baby Chase. Photo taken by Joel.


Bubbles make them crazy.  Literally.  Allie will lose it over bubbles and get very frustrated when she does not get them right away or if bubble juice spills.  We have to choose just the right moments to break them out.  She has however, gotten very good at blowing bubbles on her own.




Weezy is probably the most talked about family member.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rocking Bunnies

Michael's parents brought Allie and Harper rocking chairs for their second birthday. Yes, they are two.  A big post on their birthday coming soon.  Every night we rocking them in their glider, sing Jesus Loves Me, say their prayers and put them to bed.  Now that they have rocking chairs of their own, they love to rock their bunnies to sleep.  Allie also says the bunny's prayers and puts it to sleep.  Michael's dad captured this:

video

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bang!

I've been terrible about getting videos of these ladies and I know I'm going to regret it one day.  My father-in-law captured this while they babysat for they whole weekend.  Yes, my in-laws are amazing! Frequently drive 6 hours to keep our girls for long weekends.

Apparently this started because one of their toys crashed to the floor.






Saturday, August 18, 2012

Loooong Update: Summer and Potty Training

Thanks to all of you who are still reading.  I haven't given up the blog and it's time for a long overdue update on our summer.  In late June, A&H took swim lessons every morning for a week.  For the first two days, you would have thought we were physically torturing them.  I wondered if I had attempted swim lessons way too early.  On days 3 and 4, they did not scream bloody murder for the entire 45 minutes, and Harper actually enjoyed kicking and blowing bubbles.  On day 5, however, probably because we didn't have our lovely assistant, Emily Henegar, along with us, they reverted back to cries of panic.  Allie was particularity traumatized.

They seem to have mostly gotten over it since then, though, and I'm relieved that they were not terrified of the pool for the rest of the summer.  Harper seemed to have forgotten the matter altogether except for her acquired bubble-blowing and kicking skills, and she now jumps into pools with gusto.  For Allie, it depends on the day.  She starts off with a death grip on me in the pool but usually eventually giddily kicks around in her puddle jumper (souped-up floaties that make the pool doable for me).  Taking them to the pool lately is a lot of fun.  There's nothing like their pure joy when they are kicking around.

We spent the Fourth of July in Cashiers, NC.  At a fourth of July parade, they rode on a fire engine and waved their red, white, and blue and they were good stroller riders in a 5K.  Glad that my Dad pushed them most of the way on some serious hills!

After dinner on the 4th but while it was still to light for fireworks, they had a ball running around the putting green with their friends.  Allie ended up with an entourage of two or three older kids who she led around by the hands for a good hour.  At the first crack of the fireworks, Allie shot about three feet in the air.  It took her a few minutes to recover, but she seemed to enjoy the show (Harper liked all of it).  Now, at least daily they remind me that "Fireworks go BOOM."

As you can see below, Harper was thrilled the balloon man made her an Elmo. 


Later in July, we had a fabulous full week at my grandparent's place in Blue Mountain Beach, FL with our friends the Dutsons.  Pool and Dad everyday made this vacation heaven for me and A&H.  It actually felt like a vacation!





Michael and some friends are have been fairly regular about taking the kids for Saturday morning breakfast at the West Egg.  After breakfast, everyone goes to watch the train go under the bridge.  Whenever we get close to the Westside Urban Market, Allie and Harper start demanding "see train, see train!"


 
I also had the crazy idea of attempting potty training boot camp.  Harper talked about going potty all the time and did not like having a dirty diaper, and the little dance freak-out she did when she had to go was bugging me, so I bought a book about potty training twins before two in 4 days and followed its method.  We marked off a weekend after all of our trips to roll up the rugs, put them in big-girl underwear, and spend the whole weekend running to the potty and celebrating any small successes.

Allie proved to be a treat-winning machine.  Almost every time I sit her on the potty she tinkles and we have a celebration.  The only problem is that she does not tell me when she needs to go, so the only way to avoid cleaning up messes every hour is for me to remember to take her to the potty every hour.  This is not fun, especially when we are in public.  So I've weakened my resolve and I'm going back to the gradual potty training method with Allie.  She wears pull-ups, training pants or diapers when we are out and big-girl underwear at home when I am feeling energetic.

Potty training boot camp failed for Harper.  One of the main reasons I decided to try potty training early is because I read that it can save a lot of fighting because younger toddlers are not as stubborn or afraid about the potty. Well, it seems that at 21 months, Harper's stubbornness can compete with any two-year old's.  Sometimes she would sit on the potty for a long time, but never with any results.  After one day of boot camp, she refused to sit on the potty and would dance around trying to hold it in until she finally shocked herself as she peed on her legs.  We tried everything we could think of, but in the end the best option seemed to be to go back to diapers until she wants to use the potty.  Back to diapers she went and she no longer complains about needing to go potty like she did before, but just does her business and then promptly asks me to "get it out."  When we are out, she does like to beg to go to the bathroom but of course never sits on the potty for more than 2 seconds.  It feels wrong to tell her to just go in her diaper, but I'm also over making useless trips to a public restroom.  The weekend lost to bootcamp was not a total failure thanks to Allie pulling through and some serious family bonding.  If I can step up my game, I may be able to declare Allie potty trained for the daytime before she turns two.  Time will tell.

Hanging out in the animal bin inside our tent.  Realized before it was too late that no diapers and a bin full of stuffed animals was not the best combo.

 A new piano to pass the time.
Got this idea off Pinterest: Nut boats! Nuts, sticks, play dough, and leaves.

We celebrated my parents' 30th wedding anniversary with dinner at Empire State South.  Allie and Harper are always thrilled to run around on their bocce court.


And finally, my friend Anna Lee Mutter invited us to Gainsville for a day on the farm.  We swam; played with Phoebe; saw a boa constrictor, donkeys, roosters, and chickens; and fed their Sub-Saharan tortoise!  


And because I know you are just dying for more pictures, here is the whole album.




Monday, June 11, 2012

"Weezy ate my Paci!"

I'm guilty of ignoring the pediatrician's warnings about the paci, which started when Harper turned one.  Harper loves her paci and I had a hard time steeling myself to take it from her.  The best I could do is resolve not to buy any more pacis, so much of May was spent searching for Harper's one remaining paci (which would end up in the oddest places) and warning her that paci would be gone forever if she lost it.    At about 14 months, paci turned into an obsession.  She used to be happy with keeping it in the crib and would yell "POP" and spike the paci in the crib when we told her to "pop your paci" before we would get her out.  But she stopped wanting to pop paci and began begging "paci, paci!" in a pathetic voice throughout the day.  I knew it was time for it to go, but couldn't bring myself to it.

Then in stepped my sister's dog, Weezy.  Right before bed one night, Harper stopped in the middle of her silly game with Dad, pointed at Weezy, and said inquisitively, "paci?"  Sure enough, paci had been cheweed to pieces.  It was demolished, and after Harper tried it out, she accepted that paci had to go in the trash.  She marched to the trash, threw in what was left of paci, and then (to our shock) went to bed without protesting for paci.  She did ask for paci, but we reminded her what happened.  She confirmed, "Weezy eat," we gave her a pep talk about being a big girl now, and she went right to sleep. The next two naps and bedtimes were not the same story -- 45 minute naps and 15-30 minutes of tears each time.  But, after 2 full days, she seemed to have forgotten about paci.  That was until this week, one full month after the paci funeral, she said her first full sentence (at least the first one that she came up with on her own; she has been a parrot for some time now).  While she was taking a bath on Friday night, she looked at me and said "Weezy ate my paci."  Clear as day.  Apparently paci has not been forgotten yet.

In other news, life is good!  These are some happy ladies who gabber nonstop and keep us highly entertained.  I haven't been taking many pictures, but here's what I do have lately.

Rainy Sunday at the High Museum Learning Gallery

We've spent a lot of this summer in our baby pool. This is our neighbor Houston.


Checking out the flamingos at the zoo.

Allie really liked the flamingos.

Lions at the Zoo

Splashpad!

More splashpad!

Harper

They love my parents' dog Percy.

At the Swing Ding golf tournament on Lookout Mountain.  This is their new friend Mac Smith.  He is awesome and has huge thighs.  (We don't feed them soft drinks, but Harper found this Diet Coke and refused to relinquish it.  As you can see, most of it ended up on her dress.)

Allie and Dad after Allie won a golf ball for chipping it onto the green (with only a little help from Dad).