Monday, March 29, 2010

Elle is 3......and 1/2!

Elle's half-birthday was today, and I think she thoroughly enjoyed her special day. I can't tell you how many time she told me she loved me or thanked me for everything today. It was soo sweet and definitely makes every effort I put into making things special for my girls worth it! We went to visit daddy at work during lunchtime, and then while she was napping (really she was just resting because she rarely naps anymore!), I decorated the table with lots of pink princess decorations I had around the house, mostly leftover from her third birthday in September. Since I spent her rest-time working on decorations, I thought I would just buy a small cake at the grocery store to celebrate that evening. I figured Elle would appreciate the decorations more than a homemade cake, even though I usually always make homemade.

Well, when Elle got up, I told her I had a surprise and showed her the table. She was so cute, and said, "Mommy, I think I love it!" But then after looking at the table she immediately said, "But we forgot to make the cake!" I told her that we could just buy one when we went to the store. She stared at me in disbelief and said, "Mommy, we can't buy a cake! We have to make it!" Who was I to think we could skip having a homemade cake for Elle's half-birthday?!?! Kyle informed me that I created that monster because my daughter has now become a cake snob! Anyway, Elle and I quickly made a cake before dinner and added pink icing and the half-birthday princess was very happy! Although please ignore how horribly the cake is frosted; I had to make and frost the cake as quickly as possibly since both Lauren and Elle were very excited and impatient! Here are some pictures from today:

Elle with her party decorations.

Princess crowns for everyone!

Blowing out the candles--always Elle's favorite part. When I was putting her to bed,
she said, "Mommy, thank you for letting me blow out my candles today!" So cute!

Present time! Elle had returned a few Christmas presents and picked out some things at Walmart in exchange, so I saved them for her half-birthday and it was like she had never seen them before!

Lauren, once the sugar rush hit:

With her favorite present:

After dinner tea party:

Friday, March 26, 2010

What we've been up to...

I've had this really bad cold the past couple of weeks, and it's definitely slowed us down a little, but I thought I'd post a few pictures of the girls. I didn't get any pictures on this particular day, but on Wednesday, I took the girls to a local animal refuge, Henry's Ark, and it was amazing to see how different they are. When we arrives, there were llamas out that the kids could feed carrots, so Elle was immediately scared and insisted that I hold her (this lasted the entire time we were there!). Lauren, however, walked right up to the animals and fed them. There were also deer and large reindeer and a few other animals you could feed through a fence, and Lauren did not hesitate. She would walk right up by herself and feed every animal; she didn't even want my help (although I still helped some to insure she kept all of her fingers!). There were dogs, a goat, cats, and peacocks also roaming around free, and Lauren never once wanted me to hold her. She has no fear! It was just so interesting to watch, since she was the smallest kid there, and here I was with her older sister in my arms, clinging to me for dear life! Just shows me how much of their personality they are born with.

Elle is very into imaginative play right now, and she's gotten even more bossy (hard to believe!), so sometimes she's interested in doing projects with me and sometimes she's not. On St. Patrick's Day, we did a few rainbow-themed activities, and this was by far her favorite:

I can't remember where I saw the idea, but we used milk and basically did a color-mixing experiment (i.e. we started with just red, yellow and blue milk and then mixed combos of those colors to get the rest). She thought it was magic, and she loved drinking the purple milk at the end! Elle has also always enjoyed playing in the rain, so even though it was chilly last Sunday, she still insisted on going out. As you can see, Lauren wasn't as much of a fan!

Here are the girls with their new towels from Nana. When we pulled it out of the box, Elle immediately asked if I could help her put it on so she could be Super Elle--too cute!

And these are just a few more pictures of them being cute--Elle's obsessed with pigtails recently, so I finally convinced her to let me do "smaller" pigtails and not have all her hair up.

This is Lauren's "cheese" face!
And, I've been trying to catch Lauren on video singing one of her favorite songs ("Happy Birthday"). This is only a little bit of it, but it's still pretty cute. Elle still loves pretending it's everyone's birthday, so I'm sure that's why Lauren likes the song so much.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lauren's Half-Birthday

We celebrated Lauren's half-birthday this weekend (she's now 1 1/2--I can't believe it!), and the girls both loved it. It's a really fun tradition that my mom did with my siblings and I when we were younger, and I've enjoyed continuing it with my girls. Elle asked all week about making Lauren's half-cake, picked a couple dollar items for presents, and sang "Happy Birthday" to Lauren multiple times. Lauren also sang to herself, since the birthday song is the only one she really sings! It's amazing that my baby girl is already 18 months old. She has gotten so much personality these past few months, and that is everyone's comment about her--so much personality for such a little girl.

We know she fits right in the family because at 1, she has somehow picked up sarcasm. She will make fun of us or of Elle and then laugh hysterically at herself. When Elle was sick with a stomach virus a few weeks ago, Lauren grabbed the bowl Elle had next to her and started pretending to puke in it, making the sound and everything. Then, she put the bowl down and starting laughing at herself. She does this with Elle a lot if she makes a funny noise or coughs. It's too funny to watch and it's great to know Lauren already has a sense of humor! She's been talking more and more, saying "please" and "thank you" and now uses sentences (i.e. "I want milk!"). She's pretty easy to understand too.

Lauren's main obsession right now, though, is doing everything she's not supposed to do. In one morning alone, she dumped baking soda all over the pantry, an entire box of cereal on the kitchen floor, and smashed cheez-its into the great room carpet. She spends a lot of her time climbing anything she can, especially the kitchen table, and she always does a victory dance when she reaches the top! Lauren's definitely a tougher kid than Elle, and she doesn't cry much when she gets hurt (which being as small as she is, she tends to get beat up on by her sister and other kids). Lauren is also a morning person, and wakes up ready to go. It's so cute to hear her happy squeal as soon as she gets out of bed and as she yells for daddy, since she loves to watch him get ready in the morning (something Elle has never been awake to do!). It's so fun to see how different she is from her big sister. We can't imagine life without our babyzilla (one of Lauren's many nicknames--after Lauren Grace, Gracie, Gracester)! Happy half-birthday, Lauren!

Oh, and Elle was of course there too, being goofy as always--love that girl!

And here's the video:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dress-up Time

I have so many old things I want to post that I never end up posting at all, so I figure I'll just start with posting some new things, and we'll see if I ever make it back to the old posts! Elle has been really into dress-up and princesses for a while now and will always tell me that she needs "to get ready for the party" or "get ready for the ball." Because everyone knows that all little girls are princesses, right? Both she and Lauren refuse to dance to music, one of their favorite activities, until they are first in some sort of dress-up clothing. And a week or so ago, we were going to a friend's house for some birthday cake, not really a party, and Elle insisted that she needed her "party dress" before we could go. Luckily, she settled for a tutu. As long as we're not going to church, I usually let her pick what she wants to wear, and it's interesting to see what combination she puts together. Girls are so fun! Last Friday, she chose this outfit for playgroup:

And of course they had to fight over the purse:

We got a package in the mail from Nana the other day with some matching coats and shoes for the girls and Elle had to try it on right away. So here are the girls modeling their new coats (you can tell how Lauren feels about it all by the look on her face!):

And here are the girls dancing to their favorite "loud" song (it's the first song on the Swing Kids soundtrack). This is probably one of the most common scenes in our house these days. They love to get dressed up, turn on the loud music, and have me sit and watch them dance as they put on a "show" (if I don't sit down, Lauren will run to the chair, hit it with her hand and yell "Sit! Sit!" until I sit down--yes, I'm being bossed around by a one and three-year-old now!):