Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hittin' the Gym

A few weeks ago, we went with the Parents of Preschoolers group from church to The Gymnastics Place. The kids had fun stretching, jumping on the trampoline, swinging on the bars & falling into the foam pit. You could certainly spot the few 2-year-olds in the group, since they weren't quite as good at following the teacher's directions, but oh well!
Jake actually did a flip around the bar, but he was too fast for me to catch him in the act. He was so proud!
Reach, little Mallory!
Perfect pike! Mal didn't quite get the concept & kept letting go of the bar when the teacher supported her weight to help her flip.
They finished the morning with pizza & Capri Sun, just like the bigger kids in the group. Now that they've had a full-strength drink instead of their usual diluted form, Jake whines every time he sees me put water in his juice cup.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Our Next Frontier

I blogged a while back about potty training being our next big transition with Jake & Mal, but I've reconsidered & decided to move them to big kid beds before potty training. Our extra bedroom, which has sort of just been a second playroom since we moved in, will be theirs so that we can keep the nursery in its current room. This was the big kid room before we moved in:
Justin painted it on Saturday, updating the walls from their former off white to a color called cappuccino. I really love how it turned out!
Yesterday afternoon was spent doing all things related to the upcoming move. J put together their beds, with a little help from his two sidekicks.
Both kids demonstrated with glee that their heads do indeed fit between the bars of the headboards.
Don't worry, the headboards are now up against a wall so we don't have any incidents with heads getting stuck!
We placed each bed with one side against a wall so that we could just buy a single rail for each instead of a double. The dresser you see is one of a pair of dressers that Justin's uncle actually used in his room when he was a little boy. Both dressers are now located on the wall opposite the beds to give us a little more space. I need to get some kind of table or chest to go beside the bed on the left to serve as a nightstand.
J went & bought mattresses yesterday, & we also ordered all of their bedding, which should arrive Wednesday. Monday night will be their first night in their big kid room. Please say a prayer that this transition is an easy one & definitely share your words of wisdom if you have any on the topic!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Private Party

I got Jake & Mal out of bed this morning & changed their diapers, & then they ran off to play. Wanting to play before they come down for breakfast has become the norm most mornings since we acquired all their cool new toys. I walked into their big kid room to see what they were doing & found them sitting at their table "eating."

I quickly found out that theirs was a private party as Jake quietly said, "Mommy out." Excuse me? I pretended not to hear him & asked him to repeat it, but he wouldn't. However, when I said, "Have fun!" a few moments later, Mallory exclaimed, "Bye!" so I guess she agreed.

I'm not complaining too much because I know I have a pretty sweet deal in terms of how well they self-entertain, but seriously? When did they get so big that they don't even want Mommy around?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Yummy to My Tummy: Buttermilk Pancakes

Even if you usually make your pancakes from a mix, try these just once & you'll be hooked. I certainly was! Recipe from the January 2010 issue of Southern Living.

Buttermilk Pancakes

1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 C buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 C butter, melted

Combine flour & next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together buttermilk & eggs. Gradually stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture. Gently stir in butter. (Batter will be lumpy.)

Pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto a hot griddle or nonstick skillet. Cook pancakes 3-4 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles & edges look dry & cooked. Turn & cook 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately with butter & syrup, or keep warm on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven for up to 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Jake's Jabberings

This newest conversation happens daily with Jake. He goes through this routine with Mommy, Daddy, Mallory, Elmo & anyone he's pretending to talk to on the phone.

Jake: "Hi, Mommy!"
Mommy: "Hi, Jake!"
Jake: "How you?"
Mommy: "I'm good, Jake, how are you?"

And then we start all over again. He just sounds like such a miniature grown up!
Last night at dinner, Jake was leaning back & forth in his high chair saying something over & over again, & it took me a minute to catch on. I realized he was saying, "Forward, backward," just like Murray taught him on Sesame Street. He's also started labeling "right foot" & "left foot" & is correct the vast majority of the time. Smart little cutie!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Toys, Toys, Toys!

Jake & Mal's birthday last weekend came with an absolute explosion of toys! I've put away most of the toys we had out pre-birthday so that we can swap some out in a few weeks, & there are a few new things that I haven't even opened yet because they have so much to occupy themselves already. We are very blessed!

All this newness has given Mommy a bit more free time to get things done since they can self-entertain for even longer than before. Jake is becoming a pro at his Little Einsteins computer. Just don't ask him to share it! He's well aware that it is his toy.
We've officially entered the preschool era with our first game - Lucky Ducks! I can't tell you how many times I played this game with former babysitting charges & my nephew.
They haven't perfected the art of the sit-n-spin yet, but they love to try!
The kitchen is, of course, a fave! In fact, it's often hard to get them to come downstairs for meals when they're having fun playing. Jake adamantly tells me, "I payin' in my kitchen!"
Jake never gets tired of taking the cars up the elevator & then racing them down the ramps of this garage.
Puzzles have been a hit for a while in our house. Between the two of them, Jake & Mal received a whopping ten new Melissa & Doug puzzles, so we're well stocked! Another phrase I hear a lot from Jake is, "I workin' puzzles!"
More cooking fun!

Even the party decorations have added to their entertainment. The piano that you see in the bottom right corner of this pic is really neat. They dance all over it like crazy kids, laughing the whole time.
Anyone want to come for a play date?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's A Zoo When Two Are 2!

As usual, I meant to post pics from the kids' party earlier, but I always get overwhelmed when blogging about big events because there are just so many pictures to sort through. So get ready - this is a long one!

I totally stole our theme from my sweet friend, Hayley, but hopefully she didn't mind! Here are the invites:
(Please excuse my sloppy attempt at keeping our address private. Paint is a fast program, but my skills don't always make it pretty!)

My friend Marla made birthday shirts for the kids that turned out super cute! They're very big on t-shirts for special events lately, so they were excited to wear them. It's hard to catch busy two-year-olds in a good pose, but they each have a "2" in animal print & then their names written over it.

We set up a kiddie corner in our office with a table for the kids' crafts & snacks & a monkey bean bag toss.
On the main table, we served Flamingo Fruit Salad, Monkey Munchies & Critter Crackers, in addition to cake.
Their fabulous cakes were made by the oh, so talented Haylee. They turned out just perfectly!We gathered a stack of books from our friends who came that we'll donate to Medina Children's Home. I really want Jake & Mal to start to grasp the concept of sharing with others in need at an early age, & this is a fun way to do it.
But don't worry, the twins still received WAY more presents than will fit into our playroom!
Treat bags for their friends
So many of our family & friends came to celebrate Jake & Mallory. We are so blessed to have so many people who love our kids! I didn't get pictures of everyone, but here are a few:Craft time!
And, more importantly to toddlers, snacks!
Present opening time was a bit chaotic this year, but lots of fun. Jake & Mal really got into tearing open the packages, & their friends were happy to help, too!

Their big joint gift from me & Justin was this kitchen, which has an attached grill to make it manly enough for Jake. They've been thrilled with it & will play endlessly, making all kinds of yummy food for Mommy to try.
Cake time!

Thank you to everyone who helped make Saturday a very special day for two very special little ones!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Jake & Mallory, my sweet babies, how is it that two years have flown by? It seems like just yesterday that you were so tiny & helpless.
Now you're such big kids!

Daddy & I love you so much & have had a blast watching you grow these past two years. We know that God has big plans in store for you! We're so proud to be your parents & hope you had a very special birthday.