Thursday, February 9, 2012

High Chair Acrobatics and Getting Ready for School

Ana loves to squirm around in her highchair so I took some shots of this crazy little girl. She's so fun!

And while Ana's busy in her chair, Sofia is busy bundling herself up for school. She loves to add her own accessories, hats or scarfs each day - it doesn't really matter how cold or warm it is outside.

I love watching these girls express themselves! They're such cuties - we're really loving these days...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Halloween 2011

Well, even though I took some time off of blogging it doesn't mean we didn't do some really cool things in 2011. For instance, Halloween!

Sofia has a lot of good ideas - but too many sometimes. She came up with a new idea for a costume at least once a day. So, we set a deadline of October 21 and started journaling all of her ideas. I wish I would have kept the list but it ranged from princess to Spiderman and I think there were about ten ideas on the list. One of which was Menchie,

the frozen yogurt mascot from the shop up the street. That would have been fun to figure that one out!

But she ended up surprising me and choosing an idea that I had come up with - a butterfly. I loved the idea because we could coordinate Ana's costume. I took inspiration from one of our favorite children's books, Eric Carle's A Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Ana would be the hungry caterpillar,

and Sofia would be the beautiful butterfly.

Ever since the success we had making Dan's robot costume the year before I've felt compelled to make the Halloween costumes when I can. The butterfly wings were pretty easy - just a ModPodge project with colored tissue paper. But for the caterpillar I attempted my first sewing project on my own. I started it by hand and thankfully my friend intervened and showed me how to use her sewing machine! I purchased some crocheted caps from an Etsy seller and we had our little caterpillar,

and a grown up butterfly!

It was a special year because not only was it Ana's first Halloween but it was also Sofia's first time to trick-or-treat with her classmates. We live on the same street as her teacher, Mrs. Kuhnen so I thought it would be fun to invite the class over for a little party and trick or treating on our street. It was a blast! I'm so glad we did it - Sofia had so much fun having everyone over and we had so much fun seeing her in her element with all of her buddies.

I think normally she would have been shy approaching each house but with the added security of all her friends around she just loved running from house to house screaming, "Trick or treat!" What a joy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Little Button!

Who, me?

Well, yeah, you! You were responsible for tearing up the place today at your one year check up at the doctor's office. But it's ok. We expect nothing less from our CrazyAna!

She had a good time, up until her shots. But before that we found out that she weighs 18 pounds 15 ounces so compared to her birth weight of 6 pounds 15 ounces she gained about a pound a month in her short little life!

She's getting her two top teeth finally, to match the two bottom ones which have been there lonely for about six months. She's growing just beautifully and we're so blessed to have a healthy baby girl.

We celebrated her birthday over the weekend at Grandma's house with her godparents, Ann and Eric. It was a very nice time! I made a little cake for our little button that was decorated with little button sugar cookies. It was so fun to make. Sofia and I have taken to calling Ana our "Li'l Butt'n" and Sofia had the idea of making her a button cake and so we did. Just so she could tear right into it.

There were a variety of emotions as you can see in these pictures. She went from confusion, to joy, to terror and back to joy. Once she got a good bite of that cake she was happy.

It was a wonderful day! I was so overwhelmed by how far we have come in the last year. Ana has been such a wonderful addition to our family but it was not without it's challenges to adjust to adding another little one. So spending a day devoted to sweet Ana was so cathartic. Dan, Sofia and I would go into her room after she woke up from her naps singing Happy Birthday to her and you could just see the pure joy radiating from her smile and coming from her clapping hands at all of the attention. We all just love her so much. Especially her big Sis. The other day in the car Sofia was making funny noises that would make Ana laugh. It's like music for my heart to hear that and then I hear Sofia say, almost as if to herself, "I love hearing Ana laugh." There is so much love in our family and it's grown even more since Ana has joined us.

We are so very blessed. Happy first birthday, our Li'l Butt'n!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 15, 2012

Poor sweet baby Ana is sick. Have you seen a more pathetic face?

She's on an antibiotic for the first time in her life and hopefully she'll be feeling better soon. Next week is her first birthday and we want her to be well for her celebration!

Grandma was nice enough to take Sofia last night so she wouldn't be cooped inside all day with her poor sick sissy. When I went to pick her up though she was hiding from me.

Can anybody find Sofia?

Oh - there she is!

A Weekend With Dad

I am the luckiest girl! I got to spend a last weekend in New Orleans with these girls,

our friend Tracey and my sister.

I love that city, it was my fourth visit and I never get tired of it. We spent some time in the Garden District, ate a fancy lunch at Commander's Palace and walked around the French Quarter. All the while, Dan was home getting some one on two time with our sweet girls who, despite my elation about my alone time, I missed like crazy. I kept begging him to text me photos and videos. I'll share some of them here so you can see what a weekend with Daddy is like.

So while I shared with him pictures like this,

he would send me sweet shots like this. Quite a contrast, huh!?

I was sad to miss Russian Christmas this year while I was away, but I thought of the kids as we passed by the nativity scene at the St. Louis Cathedral. I sent this picture to Sofia since she has such a fascination with baby Jesus and the nativity. Notice on the face of the church the shadow that is cast from a statue of Jesus in the courtyard. Our tour guide called it a Before and After scene of Jesus. I thought it was pretty cool.

Dan sent me pictures from Grandma's house of Sofia wearing Aunt Mac's red hat,

and video of her playing with a new Christmas present from the Henkes.

and video of Ana being Ana... crazy.

I sent them video of the street music on Bourbon Street. (Turn down your volume; it's kind of loud.)

It was also a big football weekend so they laid around in their pjs watching the game,

and Sofia got her puppy ready for the Dog Show

before heading out to the park.

They're so sweet - all three of them. We sure are lucky we have such a great daddy! I know they probably had even more fun than I did with these girls - and that's saying a lot.

But it's true what they say... "distance makes the heart grow fonder," ...I came back loving my kids even more than I did before. Thanks, Daddy!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year

It is 2012. I can hardly believe it.

2011 was a whirlwind. I could barely catch my breath! But things around here are settling down.

Sofia settled into school well. She is four now and already counting the days down until she's five. We keep reminding her to enjoy four.

Ana has settled into her own as well. We can hardly believe she will be ONE in just a few short weeks. She is still full of smiles and laughs. She's started to stand on her own and she's picking up on the sign language for "milk" and "all done." She can clap and blow kisses but still has only two little bottom teeth.

Dan and I have settled down too. Now that Sofia is in school our nights are spent quietly in the home, eating dinner as a family and enjoying our routines. We've succumbed to the truth that the home just won't always look perfect and that these kids sometimes get the best of us but we're really, really happy so it's ok.

It's my earnest hope to keep this blog updated so we have our memories logged. These are precious and important years and I want our girls to be able to look back and know how much they are loved.

One year ago, 2011. This was our first family portrait; taken the day Ana came into our lives.

And here are the most recent family portraits from November. What a difference a year makes - what a fun time!