Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sweet Moments

I hope I will never forget this:  Allie has started to sing Jesus loves me when I put her to sleep and just now, she let me rock and hold her while she sang along with me. "la ah ah ah, bible, so, ah la, geeesus." Then every ten seconds she would lift her head off my chest and give me a sweet sloppy kiss.  Five minutes of that and all the tantrums of the week were washed far from me. Allie is one busy little lady, so I do not get enough snuggle time with her.  Pure bliss!

Both ladies are a little under the weather, especially Harper, so we've had some trying moments this week and had to cancel all plans to meet friends.  BUT, I just came off the most relaxing 4 night vacation, the weekend with our Texas friends in Colorado I look forward to every year! Last year, I left a 4 page manual on how to care for Allie and Harper, pumped every 3 hours, and thought about them every 5 minutes.  This year, I scribbled a page of food suggestions and a general schedule and walked out the door with confidence.  A huge thank you to our parents for keeping Allie and Harper.

They had a blast being spoiled by grandparents and didn't miss us one bit.  We were worried the snow would be bad, but it was perfect and I was reminded how amazing it is to fly down snowy hills in God's incredible creation.  Skiing can be so awesome that sometimes it just feels silly and surreal.  We are taking advantage of willing parents while we can. One day we will take Allie and Harper skiing and I know that it will be a lot of work: carrying gear, pulling kids down cat trails, and warming frozen fingers and noses.  At the same time, seeing three year olds flying down hills and bumping their way between moguls makes me excited about it.

Chippen Nails is where we get manicures and pedicures in Colorado.  Someone please submit this pic to

One day we will teach them to ski; for now we will teach them how to sit in chairs.


Monday, January 16, 2012

15 Months

Life is changing so much every week.  Michael and I are endlessly entertained when Allie and Harper are happy and busy about the house. Our push and ride-on toys multiplied at Christmas time and they cover our house, turning up in a new place every few hours.  The girls especially love their new grocery cart, which they allow to hold only plastic fruit.  Try to put anything inside that cart besides fruit and it will immediately be chucked out.

I need to be teaching them more because it's becoming obvious what little sponges they are.  They'll bring you the correct fruit when you ask for it.  They proudly identify their nose, eyes, mouth, ears, toes, feet, and belly button.  This morning, after Harper spilled the water that was on my bedside table, I said, "Harper, can you go get a towel and wipe this up?"  Immediately, she walked to the kitchen, got a dish towel, brought it back to the room and started wiping the floor!  And after a friend left this afternoon and said "Bye, Kakhi," Allie repeatedly said "Kakhi, Kakhi, Kakhi."  I told her to call me Mama and she said "Mama Kakhi Kakhi Kakhi" and laughed her head off.  Tonight Allie pulled her blanket over her head and walked around blindly.  She ran in to lots of things, but was having way too much fun to be bothered by something like that.

Allie's other recent words are cracker, more, yes, bath, apple, egg, Bible, pee (please), and Harper.  She also likes to sing along with you, and has started to sing something like Jesus Loves Me, which we sing before each nap and at bedtime as a sleep cue.  Harper has added backpack, Bible, and yes. She does not have as many new words as Allie, but she is an emphatic signer, especially for MORE.  She wants more of everything.  She uses all the signs we've taught her: more, milk, eat, yes, no, and sleep. She is always trying to communicate with you in her own babbling language.  For the last two days she has constantly been saying yelling Ah-Dee.  I kept asking her what Ah-Dee is until it finally dawned on me tonight: Allie!  It's precious.  She loves to yell for Allie! It is such a joy to see how affectionate they are becoming.  They give hugs and kisses on demand and often tackle each other while giving hugs and kisses.  When one is sad, the other will comfort with pats, hugs, and kisses.  That brightens my roughest days.

Side Hug
 The biggest change that we are dealing with lately is giving up the morning nap.  Allie was playing or whining in her crib for over an hour when I put her down at 10am for the morning nap.   Harper usually took her morning nap happily, but a few mornings she skipped it too.  Two weeks ago, I decided to officially give it up and we still haven't really adjusted.  My goal was a 1pm nap because we hang out with older friends who don't nap til 1 and that would give us enough time for outings.  I put them down at 1 and Harper would usually go right to sleep but then wake up 45 minutes to an hour and a half later.  Allie was still taking 45 minutes to go to sleep so Harper would wake her up soon after dosing off if I wasn't sneaky enough plucking Harper from crib.  After talking with some friends, I think the problem is that 1pm is too late for them.  It's a bummer that our outings will be cut short, but it's worth it for me to get some more time to be productive around the house if they will nap longer.  It's hard adjusting from 4 hours of productive time (with two 1.5 hour naps, plus their settle-in time) to 1.5 max some days!  We are probably dealing with some teething, too, since Harper has 4 teeth that are only halfway poking through.  I think she has 11 or 12 teeth.  Can't remember if there are 3 or 4 molars, but it looks like they are painful because they are only halfway through.  Hopefully that's the explanation for the extra separation anxiety (so horrid in the church nursery that twice this week I spent the whole time in there with her).  I think Allie still has only 6 teeth.

Check out those chompers on Harper. They loved wearing their backpacks this night.
We are also in the middle of food-throwing boot camp.  They have been throwing or dropping their food since we started finger foods at eight or nine months and I just kept hoping they would grow out of it.  Allie usually discreetly drops her food, so she gets away with more, but Harper launches handfuls across the room.  Every time they throw food we tell them that is not allowed and to leave their food on the tray, and when they do it again we put them in timeout (sister's crib or the stroller with a blanket over the shade) for a minute or two.  After only a day, we were cleaning up a fifth of the food we used to.  Allie has only been in timeout twice. Harper 10+ times the first day and now only once a day, if at all.  And I'm relieved to not have a mountain of food to clean up after each meal.  Why didn't I do this two months ago? They are still adventurous eaters, especially Allie, and they like using a fork to stab food and a spoon for yogurt.

     These last two weeks have been a whirlwind with two walkers and no morning naps.  To avoid morning meltdowns we've been out the door by 10am to all of Atlanta's finest attractions: zoo with my college friend Elizabeth, Aquarium with twin friends, Botanical Gardens with aunt T-Lo, and High museum with singleton friends (that's what the twin books call the majority of humans, singletons).  At the zoo, the king of the jungle stared at Harper for a good 45 seconds and licked his lips.  She desperately wanted to climb over the railing.  Sadly, I don't have many pics because my portable camera got stolen over Christmas. Also, these ladies are getting difficult to photograph.  While trying to take a picture of one, the other is backing off the highest ledge on the playground.

Love love love these ladies, but also thrilled to be leaving for our sixth annual ski trip with Texas friends on Thursday!! Praise the Lord for and pray for my parents and Michael's!  I'm going to miss them so much and hope they don't miss us and give us the cold shoulder when we return like Allie did last time we left for a long weekend.
Harper and T-Lo

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Harper the Walker!

I can officially declare Harper a walker! She took her first steps in Mississippi on Thanksgiving Day. Since then, she would take two or three steps to get from one piece of furniture to another or if you tricked her into thinking that you were holding on to her.  She loved walking around holding your pinky, but would carefully lower to the ground when you let go.  It was totally a matter of guts.  On December 30th, she decided it was time to walk.  She put her arms straight up in the air, and while excitedly inhaling and exhaling, took about 10 steps and continued to do this throughout the day.  This week, walking is the only way to go! She is very proud of herself and focused on walking everywhere.  Welcome to the Bi-ped club Harper!

Christmas Photo Tour

While I can't be sure that Allie and Harper have any idea what Christmas is, it sure was fun to help them experience it.  CeCe, Michael's dad (who needs a grandfather name!), and aunt Lulu came to visit the weekend before Christmas bringing a sleigh full of gifts from Mississippi. Michael and I had all of our holiday parties that weekend, so we were also grateful for free babysitters.  They took them to their second viewing of the Botanical Garden Lights.  They oooed and awwed on both trips, especially at their dreamy friends Oliver and Charlie.

Fun times around the Christmas tree, which Harper never touched, but Allie liked to give a good shake every now and then.  It was top heavy with ornaments to keep them out of Allie's reach.

More botanical gardens with the Busby bunch:

Festive Shirts: 

Elf Shoes
Smoorfaker (Smith Moore Huffaker) Anuual Christmas Eve gathering on Lookout Mountain:

Christmas Eve dinner with Ellie and Grandaddy and finally meeting cousins Sarah and Michael Pettit:

A walk around the Tennessee River and carousel rides:

Allie LOVES a good carousel! Harper, not so much. I'll spare you the pictures.
Pictures from Christmas Day with my family:

Wheelie Bug from Lovey and D

YBike from Lovey and D

Yes, we STILL do matching PJs

My Mom's side of the family

Harper and Dad

Allie loved being pulled around at high speeds by Uncy Bob.

And finally, my parents graciously let us use their mountain house after Christmas.  Too bad that most of our restful wrap-up to 2011 was spent drying carpets! The professional who winterized the house didn't shut-off the water heater drains and by the time I discovered this, water was everywhere!  Most stressful 10 minutes of my life!  Babies were joyfully splashing in the cold water while Michael and I had our fingers plugged in spigots trying to figure out how to close them.  If the world was on fire, Harper and Allie would be doing a jig by the flames.  I totally freaked out thinking that Michael and babies were electrocuted when he didn't respond to my cries for help from another room.  It wasn't anyone's fault, my parents were very cool about it, and everything dried fine, but we didn't quite have the relaxing vacation we were looking for.  The hours together as a family away from the daily grind made it worth it anyway.