Sunday, September 4, 2011

First day of School picture and contest

I entered Katen's "first day of school" picture into a contest with our local radio station. If she gets the most votes, she'll win $500. I'll be voting for her every day until the contest closes. You can too!

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Hot summer fun!

We've been having a lot of fun this summer. Both girls are at such great ages for exploring, discovering, and just having a good ol' time in general. We started off with the Tulip Fesitval in May.
Aunt Tammy gave Katen a sucker, which she shared very nicely with Ana. Watching this was pretty funny. Ana looked like a baby bird.  :)
 We've visited the splash pad (Ana is our big fishy), and we've gone out to some local, organic farms and done some strawberry, black raspberry, and blueberry picking.

We've also  taken advantage of the local farmers' market. The people get a kick out of the girls at the market, because they're so excited about the fruits and veggies. I've never made it back to the car yet without the girls digging into something that we've picked up, and they wear their food proudly. The produce this year is just gorgeous! It makes the girls excited to help cook too which I think is great!

We have our own garden this year as well. It's been a good learning experience. I've learned that I need to start as many things from plants as possible instead of starting from seed. We learned that pumpkin grows well and that no matter how hard you try, a bunk packet of beans will never sprout. We had a huge storm a week ago that laid our corn down flat, but it's back in action now. Our fruit trees are a new addition as well and they're hanging in there. We got two apples from our apple tree and two berries from our blueberry bushes. The pear tree is just doing its thing and the cherry tree... well we may need a new one. It's a little finicky. We'll have tomatoes, peppers, and purple, white, and orange carrots soon though! The girls have already plucked a few cherry tomatoes for snacking. Some of them may or may not have been ripe.

Ana has spent the past few months perfecting her vocabulary. She started off as not much of a talker. Then all of a sudden she started trying every word she heard. Now at 19mos, she's speaking in phrases.  "Who put that there?"  and her favorites - "Where's KK?"  (She calls Katen "KK"), and of course, "Why?? But Why??" She always has to know why.  Ha!  She's also able to tell us "Love you!" which obviously is sweet. She tells Daddy "Have a good day" before he leaves in the morning, and greets Katen with "Good Mo-ning" every morning. Katen likes to sleep in. You'll find her up and around at about 9am. Ana, on the other hand will come up the stairs any time between 6:15 and 8:30. Usually earlier rather than later.

Daddy is in charge of putting Ana to bed. If I do it, she expects me to rock her until she's asleep. If I don't, at least 30 minutes of crying, getting out of bed, me putting her back in bed and waiting in the hall for her to come out again occurs until someone gives in. We're about 50/50 on that one. We figured out when I flew to Connecticut in an attempt to be a surrogate for another couple, that Ana doesn't expect that out of Daddy. He sings her a few songs, (listening to Ana and Daddy sing the ABC's is adorable) and then says goodnight and closes her door. She's happy with that. What a stinker. 

Ana is also in her big girl bed. I've know that she was capable of climbing out for a few months now. She's really tall for her age and extremely coordinated. No idea where that comes from. Not me for sure. Anyway, I found her standing on top of her book case one day after a nap. She was in a big girl bed by bedtime.

Along with her vocabulary, Ana has also learned to count to 10 and say her ABC's from Katen. They love to sing together. Ana has quite the playlist of songs that she knows. Hearing the girls sing is so darn cute. Especially when they interpret words differently from what they're supposed to be.

Katen has given up dance for the time being. She loves to dance and sing, but much prefers to do it on her own terms. She had an amazing dance teacher though who was kind, patient, and most importantly FUN! For the summer her game is soccer. Soccer seems to be more fun for her. The only challenge with that is keeping Ana off the field. Katen has done a good job of teaching little sis to dribble the ball, so sitting on the sidelines isn't what Ana would prefer to do. The games have been pretty cute. There are a bunch of 3 and 4 year olds out there kicking at the ball like a flock of chickens. Every once in a while they are actually directing the ball toward their own goal and now and then a goal is made with much celebration. There are no goalies but that's fine with the kids. Ha! The heat has been pretty intense for this last session of soccer. Most of the practices have been done in 95+ degree heat with high humidity. They're taking lots of breaks though for water which helps. Practices are also just 45 minutes which helps.

As I type, I'm sitting on our almost completed, new deck while the girls go nuts on their outside table with playdough and snacks. I am so grateful that they're not doing this inside because out here, I can just hose it off the deck. (the decking is a composite material, so the playdough doesn't stick at all AND I don't have to worry about splinters.) Mike, his Dad, brother, and our good friend Justin have been working in this blistering heat for the past few weekends and evenings to get it done. It will be nice to put the girls to bed and sit on the deck, enjoying a nice glass of wine once the weather cools down. Right now the low for overnight is around 80 degrees. Not exactly "sit outside and enjoy the quiet night air" type of weather.

We've got lots of fun left in the summer, wading in our kiddie pool, playing on the swing set, playing with friends. I'm sure we'll have to hit the Iowa State Fair at some point as well. Katen starts preschool on August 22nd and has had her backpack packed since we signed her up. To say she's excited would be an understatement.  I'll be sure to take lots of pictures! Here are a few to tide you over.

We made "fireworks" shirts for the 4th of July using pipecleaners and paint.
Ana really liked the fireworks. Katen wasn't as impressed.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

What? March already? How?

I don't know where the time goes. I guess we're just having too much fun.  :)

Well since October, Ana has turned one, Katen has turned three.
We took a trip to California to visit Great Grandma and Grandpa Remer. We'll not be flying with the girls again anytime soon.  Ha!

We moved into our new house a week before Christmas. I think we're finally getting settled. There are a few curtains up and I'm embracing the fact that the house will simply be decorated in beige, white, and black because those are the colors I feel safe with. I'm a little decoratively challenged.

The girls are growing up so quickly. Ana and Katen are taking showers now instead of baths. Ana looooves the water. She's our little fishy. Katen... not as much but she tolerates the shower because she can avoid the stream. Before each shower she says to me, "Please no 'dishner today mommy?"  She hates having shampoo or conditioner washed out of her hair. Unfortunately to keep it under control, she requires a lot of conditioner.

Ana's favorite things to do right now are running and jumping, followed closely by climbing. She climbs onto our ottoman and leaps from it. Thank goodness she's a tough cookie. She's also a good mommy to her dollies. She's a little more domestic than Katen in that she likes to love her babies, love/snuggle with Katen, and help me clean. Katen, on the other hand loves to make crafts and cook with me.

Katen has taught Ana the art of pretending, so I'll often catch Ana playing like she's filling cups or cooking. Then she'll take a pretend sip. Sounds effects and all. It cracks me up.

Ana is really starting to say more words now. By FAR her favorite is Mommy? Mommy. Mommy! Momeeeeee!  She's a big daddy's girl too though. One of her favorite daily rituals is snuggling with Daddy before she tells him goodbye for the day. I think "Bye Bye Dada" was one of her first two-word phrases.

Katen continues to enjoy dance classes. There are times where I think she gives her (really awesome) teacher a run for her money, but she is the youngest member of the class after all. I have a feeling that Katen would enjoy tumbling or soccer more though. She just needs to be another year older for those things. Katen isn't really into the typical "princess" stuff that many other girls are. She loves to dress up, etc but she definitely evens it out with her love of sports and being active in general.

Tomorrow I will sign both girls up for another session of story time at a local library. Last session, I only had Katen signed up, as she's old enough to attend on her own. Ana and I would play in the play area while Katen was in there but Ana missed her so badly that she'd just hang by the door and peek in looking for Katen. It's so sweet the bond those two have. They love each other when one is hurt, and Katen often tries to show off her "baby sister" to anyone in the grocery store who will stop and talk with her. Although Ana is nearly the same height and weight as Katen, I think she will always be her "Baby Sister." Someone asked Katen is we had a dog the other day. Once again (this has happened before) she replied, "Nope we have Ana."

 Here are some of the cute things the girls have done or said recently that I have written down.

I'm sitting here watching Ana very carefully line up her blueberries across the table. She transfers them from her bowl, to a muffin cup, to the lineup. I swear she's going to be a surgeon or something that requires great detail. She's definitely a "details" girl. Things have to be just right. :)
My Grandma used to hang Easter Eggs on her front bushes in the Spring. As a kid I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Since we don't have any bushes yet, we made an Easter egg... "branch" for our centerpiece. The kids love it as much as I remember loving it. :) Katen said, "Thank you for making the Easter Egg tree. It makes my heart happy."
I just dust busted my children after snack time. Crumbs everywhere! Katen thought it was awesome and Ana might need therapy. lol!
"MOMMY!!! Ana flushed my pants in the toilet!" Argh. Bed time yet?
Oooh dear. Ana has learned to cross her arms and turn her head when she's not happy about something. She learned it from the master, Katen. I'd hoped we could wait a little longer for this type of attitude out of Ana. Katen only just started doing it. argh. lol!
Spent almost 4 hours in the ER last night getting Katen's fever cooled down (strep). Crawled into bed at midnight. Ana woke at 2:15 refusing to go back to sleep. Katen was back up at 4am and then woke Ana and I both up again at 6am. Nights like that make me appreciate the normal ones much more. :) 
I asked Katen if she was turning into a bird. (her comforter sheds feathers) She said, "Yeah I'm a quail." ...and I asked, do you lay eggs? "Oh no! Not in the house!" LOL!!!
Katen is sitting at my desk writing a letter to mamo (grandma): Hi Mamo, I love you. I hope you love me too. Then end. Love Katen.
According to Katen: "Mom you can't just go around tickling people when peoples are eating. Some peoples might choke... like this *#&@&@&#."
Well... she has a point. Sorry kiddo. :)
I'm lucky that my kids will eat pretty much anything. (sushi, salsa, meat, etc) The funny part is when they find something completely normal that they just detest. I found today that Ana hates Ranch dressing. She took one taste and made a face like it was the most vile substance she'd ever put in her mouth, even gagging for added drama. Who doesn't love ranch!?!?
Heard from the playroom: "No babyzilla. No no! Ana stop! Bad Anazilla. Moooooom! "
Katen had a great Dr visit. 1 immunization and no tears. Ana actually lost weight. (No more super mommy milk)
Ana is 24lbs and 31 inches tall (90%)
Katen is 29lbs and 36 inches (25%)
So I was changing Ana and reached for a diaper. In that moment she sprang up, scaled the side of Katen's train table, and peed in it. Nice. I'd hoped to wait a little longer for those kinds of shenanigans.
I asked Katen if she needed a spoon to eat her cake with. She said, "No I can eat it with my face." ahhh true. :)
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