Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mall of America

We took a completely spur of the moment trip to the Mall of America today.  When we woke up, it looked like it was going to be a rather overcast, possibly rainy day.  So we loaded up the car and out the door we went.  The original plan was to take the girls to the aquarium so that they could see all the sharks, sea turtles, jellyfish and more.  But we never made it that far.  We got hung up in Nickelodeon Universe.  They had so much fun.  It was really great seeing their faces light up at the start of each ride.  They were even brave enough to go on the Log Chute with me which includes two big drops into the water below!!

Here are some pictures of just a few of the things that we did. 

Their first ride on a carousel.

Riding on Dora's ferris wheel.

My big girls went for a train ride all by themsleves!!

They met the Backyardigans.  Addi's hug with Pablo.

Livi's hug with Pablo.

Last but not least.  Weeeee!!!!!

A close-up of the expressions.  As much as it might not look it, they really did have fun!

Overall, it was a great day.  Like I said, seeing their little faces light up with pure enjoyment was something that I needed.  Nate did too.  For a few hours today, we felt almost like a "normal" family.  I did have a bit of a hard time when the girls went to meet the Backyardigans.  That was Elli's favorite cartoon.  She would become entranced in the bright colors and catchy music.  So that was tough.  But I couldn't deny the girls the chance to hug Pablo and Uniqua (yes, I know their names!!).

Anyway.  The girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  Even though we talked all about the sharks on our trip to the mall, they didn't ask a single time while we were there if we were going to see them.  But leave it to sneaky little toddlers, and the minute they realized we were getting loaded back up into the car..."what about the sharks?"  Stinkers.  Just like bedtime.  Not thirsty, not thirsty, not thirsty.  Lay them down..."I'm thirsty."  Too funny.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Title this yourself

There seriously are no words.  Sometimes I wonder what goes through the minds of almost 3 year olds.  Underwear on your head?  Wow.  Just, wow.  They sure are proud of themselves though!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sweet Angel

Our lives were forever changed when Miss Elliana Jo entered this world at 7:25am on September 13, 2010.  I wish I had the words to describe the moment that I first laid my eyes on her.  I was captivated.  I experienced a love so deep.  Then she opened her eyes and looked into mine.  And I melted.  She was mine.  She will always be mine.  What an amazing, gorgeous, perfect baby girl.

Elli, you send me little signs that you're watching over us and I thank you for that.  Just yesterday, I went to the party store to buy you some balloons for your birthday.  After I purchased them, I realized that I bought 14 total and I thought "well, shoot, I should've just bought 13 since that's the day you were born."  Once I got home, I was unloading the balloons from the car and *pop* - we've now been left with 13.  You're always there.

Happy 1st Birthday to the sweetest, most beautiful Angel in Heaven.  Not an hour goes by in which I don't think of you.  But I imagine that you're singing and dancing with all of the other Angels.  We love you baby doll.  Happy Birthday.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Latest obsessions

Doors, light switches, lipstick and deodorant.  Weird combinations, right?

Alivia must shut every.single.door she sees open.  Every one.  If they're the last two kids left at daycare when I pick them up, she has to shut every door on our walk out of the building.  First thing she does when she wakes up in the morning is to shut the girls' bedroom door, our bedroom door, the bathroom door and the small closet door.  The other morning, she shut every door, as per routine.  Minutes later, I had to go to the bathroom.  But the naughty mama that I am, I left the bathroom without shutting the door.  She came running down the hallway yelling "no mama, no mama" proceeded to put her hands on my thighs in a stopping type of motion and demanded "shut the door!!"  As I shut the door, she turned to head back down the hallway, throwing her hair behind her and said "THANK you mama!"  And just as she said that, she stopped dead in her tracks, turned back around and said "now give me a hug."  Gotta love that girl.  The obsession with shutting doors?  Well, whatever.

Then there's Adalyn.  If there's a light switch, it calls her name.  She feels the strong desire to turn on every single light in the house.  I usually go right behind her to turn each one of them off!!  She usually notices though and backtracks her steps to turn all of them back on again.  She's lucky she doesn't have to pay the electric bill!  Add to the fact that she opens a door to turn a light on while Livi has an obsession with shutting doors...sometimes a light or two will be on for an hour or more before I realize it! 

Lastly, lipstick and deodorant.  My morning routine no longer entails being able to disappear into the bathroom to throw myself together.  Nope.  I have two young kids banging on my door yelling "mommy let me in!"  That's because they know what I'm doing in there...and they want to have fun too!  Each one of them takes their turn taking the cap off my lipstick, twisting it upwards, smudging it all across their lips, spinning the color back down and replacing the cap.  From there, they must dig out my deodorant and give each one of their armpits a little tickle.  They're obsessed.  At least I probably have the best smelling kids in daycare!!  And I would probably have the scariest looking ones too if I let them go with their lipstick on, but luckily for them, faces get washed before we head out the door.

Doors, light switches, lipstick and deodorant.  It's the simple things in life!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Our first camping trip

We went on our first camping trip in the middle of August.  I guess you can't call it real camping because we weren't "tenting" it by any means.  We were actually spending the night in my parents' RV.  However, we had it parked at a campground if that counts!!  This camping trip was planned well before Elli died.  And we seriously contemplated if we should even follow through with the original plans.  But in the end, we decided that we needed to do something "normal" as a family and couldn't deprive the girls of their first experience camping.  They had a lot of fun on grandma and grandpa's "bus" and they each had a little trick up their sleeve...

The second night they were kind of refusing to sleep, so Nate and I drove them home (luckily we were at a campground only 20 minutes away) so they could sleep in their own beds.  Early the next morning, we got a call from my mom asking if we had accidentally taken my brother Jason's keys.  Ummm, nope.  So they searched and they searched and they searched.  By the time we got back to the campground, they had found them.  You want to know where?  In the girls' ziploc crayon bag!  You want to know who takes ownership to hiding them in the crayon bag?  Addi.  She flat out confessed to putting them in there.  Luckily everyone found it rather funny.  Otherwise she would've had a lot of explaining to do because she had grandpa digging through the garbage (in the campground dumpster, not just our own garbage!) looking for those keys!!  What a sneaky little girl.

Livi's little trick didn't come to light until a couple weeks later when my parents went on a camping trip by themselves.  As the air was running, they heard something kind of rattling in the vent.  When they got to the campground and turned the RV off, it sunk back in.  So dad restarted the RV only for a cap of some sort to come shooting out.  Not thinking much of it, they tossed it in the garbage.  Not long after, they decided they wanted to listen to the radio.  And drumroll please...the radio knob was missing.  Haha!  We knew she was sitting in the driver's seat quite often on our camping trip playing with all the buttons.  But no one was aware that she had removed the radio knob and jammed it down one of the A/C vents!!  Oops.  Good thing they hadn't taken out the trash yet!

Anyway, here are some pictures of our first camping trip.

They drew pretty pictures outside the RV.

Livi watched aunt Chelsea color a rainbow.

She rode a motorcycle!

And a dinosaur!!

Addi built...well, I'm not sure what.

She enjoyed the swings.

And she plunged down the frog waterslide!

I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I normally do.  But life's simply not normal right now.  Life will never be normal ever again.  I'm trying harder every day to remember to take more pictures and videos of the girls just like I used to.  I don't want to forget a single moment of them growing up (which is one of the reasons this blog was created).  I never used to go more than a couple days without taking pictures or a week without video.  My picture taking has dropped to once a week if I'm lucky.  And the video footage?  It's dismal.  I need to continue to work on it.  I promise I will.