Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Children's Museum

Today, the girls, my Mom (Grammy), and I headed to the Children's Museum for some fun indoors! They have a huge "tots" area just for kids under 3, and I was excited to see that most of the kids were right around the girls' age, so there weren't too many big kids running around. The sights and sounds were overwhelming, and so we began at the twirling flowers to see all the vibrant colors.
Next, the girls took a spin in their own roadster. I guess this is what I can look forward to in about 14 years!

Caroline just relaxed while Claire did all the driving. Looks like Caroline's ready for her own convertible and driver!

Caroline rests a bit after so much playtime!

Claire didn't really want to crawl through the tunnels - she preferred just sitting on top of them!

One of the few places Caroline would actually crawl, although she resorted to scooting halfway through the tunnel.

Claire loved speeding her way through the tunnel!

Claire loves the ball pit!

Caroline just kept tossing the balls around - at least she didn't throw them at me like these two other little girls did to their mom!

The best part about our trip into town today was our pit stop at Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream on the way home before the girls conked out in the back seat. Can't beat that for a fun-filled day!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Around the House...

Life with a larger, very active dog has been a little more work than I had originally thought, but after living with us for about six weeks now, Scarlett seems to be settling in and is learning the routines and what is expected of her. Overall, for coming from who knows where, she is VERY sweet and tame and really loves people. She is great with the girls and never bothers them at all, and she loves to play with Jack when he's in the mood. Seeing as how she's only 18 months old, she still has a lot of "puppy" in her, so that is something I try to keep in mind each day. We've all learned one big trick with her - as long as she goes on a good, long walk (or run) in the morning, she gets all that energy out and pretty much sleeps around for the rest of the day. So, every day now, we all head outside around 8am after the girls eat breakfast and walk around the neighborhood, often stopping off at the park to swing for a little while. It's good exercise for all of us, and it ensures that Scarlett is more mellow at home.
Little Jack will always be my first little buddy...but Scarlett is becoming my big girl, too!

In other news, have I mentioned Caroline's obsession with ducks? Specifically Donald Duck? It all began at Disneyland when we got our picture taken with him, and the picture was really cute, so I framed it. Well, she spotted him in that frame from across the room and darted over to his picture as fast as she could.
She even brought sister over to take a look!

I love Donald Duck! I'm so happy to have my picture with him!

Many times, we'll just hear Caroline giggling while she stands in front of this picture now. It's fun that she recognizes him and herself in the picture!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Caroline's New Love

It's funny how the girls show different preferences and abilities as they reach each new milestone. When Claire was getting close to walking independently, I tried and tried to get her to use the walker, but after falling the first time she used it, she wouldn't touch it again. She obviously learned to walk on her own and did just fine without the walker.

The other night, Caroline just went over to the walker that has been sitting unused now for many months, pulled herself up on it, and wanted to start walking. She did fall once and wouldn't get back on it that night, but the next day, sure enough, she was ready to get up and go again! She spent probably 20 minutes last night just walking around upstairs with the walker and seems to really love it!
Look at me! I haven't quite figured out how to turn it around once I hit an obstacle, but that won't stop me!

The cutest thing was that last night, for the entire 20 minutes, Claire just followed right behind Caroline as if to cheer her on. Usually Claire plays independently and doesn't seem interested in what Caroline is doing, but last night, she tagged right behind the whole time, keeping step with little sister!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Swimmin' Summer Saturday

Despite the heat and drought here in Houston, we had a great summer Saturday full of typical outdoor activities. This morning, Paul took Scarlett on her first run of over two miles, and she did great! Even though I take her on a long walk each morning, it was nice that Paul took her on a run, because she has been sleeping the entire day long and has been super mellow. We call her our "mini lab," because she's always curling up into a little ball or trying to sit on our laps, and she really doesn't seem like she weighs 55 pounds!

This afternoon, we went to our neighborhood pool for the first time and tried out the new floats for the girls. They were easy to set up and use, and they even come with a great canopy that helped keep it shady for the girls! We always notice that Caroline is super laid back, and true to form, she just leaned back and put her head against the back of the float and let us just push her around the pool. She's ready for the good life!

Claire was full of energy, kicking around and wanting to swim around the whole pool!

Although it was hot, it was a great day for the pool and the water felt great! I will say for swimming weather, I much prefer the Texas heat over the cool California water!

Here's to many more Saturday outings in the pool this summer!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chairs and such...

Since it's so hot outside, we have been spending a lot more time inside than usual. We miss the perfect California weather, but we're making the best of the heat here! Lately, the girls have become very interested in reading - almost all the time now - which makes me very happy! They love to sit either on my lap (both of them - one on each leg), or they'll sit in their foam chairs. One of their favorites is Goodnight Moon, which Caroline is checking out:

Claire also loves to use her chair as a trampoline!

What's sister doing over here? They have started to show more interest in each other and what they other is doing.

Claire loves horses and goats...she carries this plastic horse around with her everywhere!

Apparently chairs can also be used for standing - Mommy's not loving this new trick so much!

Caroline especially points to everything and says, "That?" She is very curious and wants to know the names for everything she sees.

I can stand up, too! It's just taking me a bit longer to feel comfortable with walking around on my own.

Mommy and her girls! Having some fun after going on a walk to the park!

Monday, June 6, 2011

California, Here we Come!

This past week, we packed up all of our gear and headed to San Diego and Orange County for some vacation time and family time with Paul's grandparents, aunt, and uncle. Our itinerary included flying in to San Diego and staying there for three days, then driving an hour or so up the coast to Orange County for the remaining eight days to visit with Paul's family. Traveling with two 16 month olds is a little daunting, but we all survived and made it there (and back) in one piece! We took two car seats, two pack and plays, two carry on bags, two umbrella strollers, one large suitcase, and one very large duffel bag. Here is all of our stuff as we waited for Daddy to get the rental car:

Driving to the hotel, already tired from so much traveling!

Arriving at the hotel, the girls loved the full-sized windows and the view of the bay in San Diego:

Claire modeling her new sun hat!

We tried to go swimming the next morning in the slightly heated pool, but that didnt' last long because it was 58 degrees outside!

Later that day, we tried visiting the beach, but it was still only around 60 and VERY windy, so poor Claire cried just about the whole time!

Caroline was a little more sedate, but notice her little red nose! So chilly!

Taking a warm bath back at the hotel - we love the deep soaking tub!

Heading to San Diego Zoo the next day...only the BEST zoo in the country - and their first zoo visit ever! Now we'll all be spoiled! Daddy and Claire are ready to go!

We discovered Claire's favorite animal was the goats - she attempted to climb on them several times. (That's one cute Daddy!)

Our last day in San Diego - making a morning out of visiting the park! There was this beautiful purple tree that kept dropping its flowers and the girls loved trying to catch them. It was like a purple carpet on the grass!

Caroline and Daddy...

Later that day, we popped in on Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma in Orange County! Claire loved riding on Grandpa's special reclining chair!

The next day, Daddy surprised us all with a visit to Disneyland! Just as we were about to take our picture with Mickey Mouse, they switched him out and we got Donald Duck...but, that worked out even better because Caroline has been absolutely obsessed with anything "duck" for the last few weeks...she was thrilled out of her mind to see a life-size duck standing before her!

Visiting the Magic Kingdom!

Caroline's first carousel ride - at Disneyland!

Posing in the Mad Hatter's tea cup!

Claire takes in all the sights at "It's a Small World After All."

Caroline listens to Grandpa tell a good story...

Claire gets a special kiss from Grandpa!

Mommy reads to her little angels...their favorite book, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?"

Daddy tries body surfing and Uncle Glenn helps Claire and Daddy try out the chilly water!

This beach day went much better and the girls loved playing in the sand and in the water...no fear here!

Grandma gets on the floor to play with the girls...

Our last night in Orange County...the whole gang!

Just the two of us...it's funny how our other vacations are full of pictures of the two of us, but now that we have the girls, this is only one of two pictures we took of just the two of us!

As always, whenever I leave California, I always want to move there because it's just so gorgeous and the weather is absolutely perfect, but we were glad to get home and see our dogs and sleep in our own beds! Hopefully we'll be back soon - see you next time, California!