Friday, April 10, 2015

Life Lately

It's been a long time since I wrote down some notes about the girls, so enjoy! I plan to do a picture post (or two) again soon...I have too many cute ones to share!

Anna is 4 1/2 years old right now, and has edged her way into 5T clothes. She is right around 40" tall and 38 pounds. She has so much energy and loves nothing more than going to play at the park. Anna loves school, and we hear a ton of chatter about her beloved teachers Ms. Dawn and Ms. Heather, and all of her friends in class. She has come home several times with various good behavior awards, all of which are pinned up proudly on her bulletin boards.

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I have been so proud of her lately - she has been increasingly helpful around the house, and even looks for ways to help without being asked. Her various "chores" around the house are to feed Kingsley, make her bed and tidy her room, carry her dishes to the sink, put away the silverware from the dishwasher, check the mail (her favorite!), put away her laundry, and to help clean the playroom. Anna also is usually willing to go fetch things or to help Maddie clean her room. I have also been proud of her because she has been getting so much better at calming herself down when she gets upset- she still has her tantrums but they are over so much faster, and it's not long before we get our hugs and her apologies for "pitching a fit".
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Anna has outgrown these polka dot jeans now, and it was a sad day for her when they got retired from the closet - they were definite favorites!
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She has really gotten into writing. "Anna Forbes" decorates pretty much any writable surface in our house, and even a few walls, which of course she claims she had nothing to do with. She also loves to pretend to write letters, and will fill notepaper with scribbles to deliver to Daddy/SuSu/friends. She also loves to draw, so whenever she can get her hands on some markers or pens, she will quickly create a whole stack of cute pictures, mostly of her family and rainbows. Anna has been increasingly interested in being able to read, so I've purchased a couple of phonics sets (Curious George and Disney Princess) and several beginner reading books from the school's Scholastic Book fair...I plan to spend some time with her over the summer with those and with her writing. My summer school teachings probably won't compare to her hero Ms. Heather's, but we will give it a good go, at least!

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Another recent development with Anna is that we enrolled her in the preschool speech therapy through our county school district. We started the process last fall and got the initial meeting in January. She can say individual words really well, for the most part, but then when she gets into conversational speech it can be very hard for non-family members to understand her. She has only been to speech for a couple of weeks now but we are getting some good things to work on at home and we have seen improvements with what they have started!

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Sometimes when I am giving Anna some snuggles, she protests about being called a baby, and claims "I'm not a baby, I'm a BIG GIRL!". And I laugh and tell her that the obnoxious thing about mommies is that their children will always be their babies, and that she could be ONE HUNDRED years old and still be my baby. Anna gives me the preschool version of an eye roll but I don't hear many protests after that!
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As with most four year olds, Anna likes to pick out her own oufits :-)

Both the girls are very much into reading - our nap time and bed time story times are treasured slots in our daily schedule, and they always race to see who can brush their teeth and get into their pajamas, because the winner gets to sit on my lap first! Here are some of their favorite books right now:

This book is extra useful because the girls are scared of Gritch the Witch's teeth...if they balk at brushing or flossing, I ask them if they want "pretty princess teeth" or "Gritch the Witch teeth", and I get instant cooperation!


Maddie is 2 1/2 and is at SUCH a fun age. I am grateful that she is still so snuggly and sweet, and that she always climbs right into my lap the minute I sit down. She emulates everything her sister does, with varying degrees of success, and Anna is so wonderful with letting Maddie play and keep up with her. Maddie is 28 pounds and around 36 inches tall, and has been wearing 3T clothes for a couple of months now. Her favorite toys are her baby dolls and stroller, and she also likes playing with her kitchen and their play houses. She loves to pretend to be a chef and feed everyone various pretend delicacies!

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They love to do their own exercises once I've finished my workout for the day! Anna also likes the Cosmic Kids Yoga videos on YouTube, so I will put those up on the TV too if we have time.

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Helping Daddy on pizza night.

Maddie adores school too, and always chatters about Ms. Sharon and Ms. Paige. I volunteered to be Room Parent for her class, and I love being able to visit her class and to get little peeks at her day. Apparently she is the pet of Anna's class - they all know her as Anna's sister, so whenever they happen to be on the playground at the same time, all of the girls want to take turns holding her hand and helping her on the slide. 

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I am also thrilled to report that Maddie is potty-trained, apart from sleeping! Her teachers had to nudge us into letting her go to school in undies, but they were right - she was ready! Her success at staying dry in school was a great push at home too, and it's very rare for her to have an accident. Maddie had a much easier time with potty training than Anna did, and I really do give Anna a lot of credit for being such a good helper with showing Maddie what to do...and for throwing in a healthy dose of peer pressure!

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One of the girls' favorite toys right now is an Easy Bake Oven, handed down by one of our wonderful neighbors. We make our own batter from cake mix and milk, and it's the best treat in the world for them to get to make a cupcake.

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The girls are very imaginative, and have no problems at all turning anything around the house into a castle, or a monster trap, or anything else that captures their interest. Their costumes get a regular rotation too, and they delight in reenacting entire scenes from their favorite movies. Surely anybody reading this blog is familiar with the scene from Frozen where Anna pries open Elsa's eyes and says "Do you wanna build a snowmaaaan?" Well, that scene occurs almost daily in this house, including when they jump into my bed when their wake-up clock turns green at 7:00 a.m. They are also big fans of the scene where Anna takes Elsa's glove off, any scene in Sleeping Beauty with Maleficent, various "Pixie dust, away!" scenes from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and the "ugga mugga" from Daniel Tiger (oh how I love those nose rubs!).

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The girls LOVE helping me in the kitchen - here is Maddie enjoying a piece of our homemade bread!

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St. Patrick's Day!

This stage with the girls' is by far my favorite so far - despite our difficult snags, our days are filled with giggles, sisterly hugs, and imagination. This girls truly are a delight to be around, and my mommy heart is thrilled whenever a teacher at school knows them as "the happy girls". And I need to get better with keeping up with the blog, because I tell myself way too often to remember all of these little moments!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Happy Birthday Henry!

Our dear little friend Henry turned 4 a few weeks ago and invited us to a very fun Fire and Police party. We all visited a Gwinnett County fire station, then came back to the house to meet a couple of policemen and even a police dog!

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Maddie walked right up to the firefighter in all of his gear and tried to touch his boots. Not shy at all!

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This officer is Henry's uncle, and passed out gift bags to all the kiddos.

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The birthday boy!

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An Atlanta Dusting

Atlantans had their eyes on the forecast recently with threats of ice and snow. The local school systems (including the preschool!) were out of school for almost two solid weeks, very anticlimactically. Luckily we ended up with one glorious afternoon of fat fluffy snowflakes, and a hill of just enough snow for some sledding, for those of us who could get out the door fast enough!

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Yes, they're in their pajamas underneath their coats. We ran out the door quickly when we saw the snow, we didn't even stop to change!

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Sweeties in the Smokies

Our friends Derek and Jessica invited us to their family's Gatlinburg cabin again this year and we were so excited to go! The Smoky Mountains are beautiful and the cabin had perfect mountain views.

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We started a day off at the best local pancake restaurant, The Pantry. We then went to the Ripley's Aquarium...it ended in one of Anna's tantrums of all tantrums, but before that happened, we all had a great time.

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Anna asked me to take a picture of the turtle.

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Touching a horseshoe crab.

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Jess and her daughter Bristol and her son Forrest

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Pretty gals!

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Playing at the arcade

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The weekend was rounded out with some shopping, miniature golf, and lots of fun with friends!