Friday, April 4, 2014

A Snapshot of the Girls

Time flies by so fast with these two lovable little girls of mine. Every day they find some new way to make me laugh  (or a new way to drive me crazy) and I keep telling myself to get better about writing down their anecdotes.

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Maddie is 21 months old now and wants to be just like her big sister. She likes to pick out her own outfits, brush her hair and get a little spritz of conditioner and a hair bow, use Mommy's lip balm, and walk up and down the stairs by herself (holding my hand!). We also have regular nail "spa" days where both girls get their nails trimmed and little mani-pedis with their pink Piggy Paint. She enjoys playing with the light switches, helping me put things in the recycling bin, and splashing in the bath tub. Bubbles are an all-time favorite, although she wants to do them herself so most of it gets splashed into the grass!!

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Maddie is such a ham, and a total riot to watch and play with. I am glad that she is so spunky, especially since Anna can be very outgoing. They are such a good balance with each other and I can't wait to see them grow up together.

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Maddie surprises me sometimes with the things that she knows. She picks up new words all the time, including her new addition the other day - "Poo poo!". I love feeling like I can communicate with her and generally being able to figure out what she wants. She will make animal noises at the animals she sees in her books, and she can also point out all of her major body parts like nose, toes, ears, mouth, tongue, teeth, hands, fingers, and her favorite - belly button! I love it so much when she says "Peez" and "Thankeeeee" for "please and thank you", and when she takes Kingsley a piece of kibble for a treat and gives him a pet and a kiss and says "Bye-bye Kingsey" when we leave. Maddie will shake her head and say no, nod her head and say yes, and clutch things with a very emphatic "Mine!!!" She weighs about 25 pounds right now and is in 24 month clothes. We also finally took her for a very overdue shoe fitting and she has greatly enjoyed stomping around the house in her new pink flower shoes.

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She is at one of my favorite ages right now because even with how quickly she learns things and how quickly she grows, she is still such a snuggly baby to me. I love how tightly she clings to me when she is scared or gets a boo-boo, and how she melts onto my shoulder when she is ready to go to sleep. I love the way she holds my hand and how she grabs my face to make me look at her and give her a kiss.

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Maddie is finally getting some hair in and I am thrilled to see little baby curls coming in. I know this sounds bizarre but I have always thought that she has such a prettily-shaped head, and I can't wait to finally see what her hair will look like.

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Maddie loves these pictures in the foyer - she will clamber up onto the bench and point out everyone in the family - "Nanny, Maddie, Mommy, Daddy!"

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Anna is my firecracker - I had to laugh the other day when a friend referred to her kid as a "threenager" because I knew exactly what she meant. Anna is exploring her emotions and learning to work through frustration, anger, and learning how to behave appropriately. I do what I can to encourage her and to help her make choices and to teach her the rules for our home and for around people. Generally she is very happy and curious and affectionate, and I feel so lucky to get to spend my days with this joyful little creature. And then yes, there are numerous times where I send her to her room for some quiet time, which is a much-needed reset for all of us!!

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Collecting her treasures

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Anna loves school and art projects, and she has also been really into helping me with the garden and our seedlings and plants. She also enjoys helping me make sure Kingsley always has food and water, and both girls like to help me feed the fish and the frog. We also all take a daily stroll down to the mailbox or down the block to the other cul-de-sac, and we take advantage of every warm sunny day this crazy weather will throw at us. Anna adores having picnics on our porch or down in the yard on our blanket, and you should have seen her eyes light up the other day when I pulled out a real picnic basket, just like in one of her favorite Curious George episodes. She loves to help me around the house, and will drag around her step stool to help me do things like putting clothes in the washing machine or dust or wash windows. I even had her scrubbing baseboards the other day although that didn't last long.

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One of the things we have been working on recently with Anna is the concept of time. I have always used a timer system with the girls, where I will warn them of an upcoming event or transition, and say "Okay, I am going to set a timer for x minutes, and when it goes off, we are going to go do x". But recently we have been working on bigger concepts of time, like days of the week, months, and seasons. It is fun to see Anna try to work through these, and to tick through the week's agenda on her fingers. I have also been delighted to see her saving up coins in her piggy bank in anticipation of feeding the flamingos at the zoo. And I was SO surprised the other day when we walked up to Kroger - she had kept a quarter in her hand the entire time, and although I knew she had it in her hand, I didn't know what she was going to do with it. We get inside and she immediately runs over to the gumball machine and asks me to help twist it- she was SO proud to get her little handful of Skittles! I have no idea where she learned that, but needless to say, I was impressed!

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Here we are walking up to get her hair cut.

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Anna adores her little sister and is thrilled that she is big enough to play now. I love seeing them interact and even though they have their squabbles, they generally are joined at the hip. Anna will take Maddie by the hand to go play in her room or in the play room, and she will bring her toys and books. The other day, I woke up to Maddie fussing in her crib, and closed my eyes for just one more minute. I woke up some time later and peeked in the nursery to find Anna in the crib with Maddie, surrounded by an armload of books and Maddie's favorite baby doll. She had heard her sister fussing and ran in there to keep her happy, what a sweet helper! They have both been begging to sleep together in Anna's room for quite some time now, so we have just started testing out letting Maddie sleep out of the crib. She might end up back in there but for only being one day in, she's doing pretty well being out of her crib.

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Opening their new dolls from SuSu

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Pretending to be Daddy.

The other day, I was cooking dinner, and I turn around to find Anna trying to push Maddie into the freezer. I am about to yell at her when I hear Anna say, "Okay Maddie, be a big helper and go find the ice cream." I started laughing SO hard and am laughing even now, just thinking about it.

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Anna's imagination is exploding right now and she's always coming up with some new game or pretending to be some new character- Queen Elsa and Captain Hook and the Sea Witch are the current favorites.

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I hope you all enjoyed this little peek into our lives these days - I really do enjoy these posts and I keep telling myself to get back into this so we have these memories recorded...so hopefully you will start seeing a lot more of these again!!

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