Friday, August 31, 2012

Oh irony, how I love thee!

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Monday, August 27, 2012


Lucy is singing a lot more. She wants to talk be understood so badly. She really is just learning to use her mouth to form the right shape to make a sound. It's quite interesting to watch language develop actually. I missed it with Kate since she just seemed to start talking in full paragraphs seemingly overnight.
Lucy's speech is getting better from Lisa on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ooops! Did I just say that out-loud on live tv?

I saw this link on another's blog and was so incredulous that I had to re-share. I can't believe this old coot is still on the air, much less with an audience that keeps him in expensive business suits.

"We minister to orphans all over the world, thousands of them, we love orphans, we love helping people..."

Sounds good right? Except for all the incredibly offensive words he uttered before that statement. The way he practically makes "blended family" sound like an epithet, the statement that adopting is basically "taking on somebody else's problems."

I especially loved watching his incredulous co-host biting her tongue (after all, you don't want to bite the hand that feeds you lest you find yourself without a job for disagreeing with the name on the door).

He ends by saying, "Alright, let's get to the next question, I'm in trouble."

Why yes, Mr. Robertson, you are. And if there is a God out there, I hope you are in more trouble than you can possibly imagine.

The best sound on the planet

This sound can make me forget pretty much all my worries.
Giggles from Lisa on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Squeezing all we can out of summer

As I have mentioned too many times to count, I LOVE SUMMER. I love that I don't have to spend 1/2 an hour layering on clothes, I love the sound of the cicadas in the evening, I love the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies at the farmer's market every week, I love taking my girls to the pool and watching their glee every.single.time they jump in, I love the cool breeze we get from living near the lake and how the sound of that breeze whispers in the trees.

This week Ms. Julie was on vacation so I had an entire week to fill up. It makes for a very long week since Kate has completely stopped napping and Lucy is down to 60 minutes max. It also meant a dearth of blog posts as I never had any downtime and was so exhausted at night that I went straight to bed.

Anyway, here's the catchup for last week's adventures.

On Sunday we drove to the 'burbs to visit with Ed, Dolores and Sister Vianney, Len's 2nd cousins. We had a good time catching up and listening to Ed play the accordian.
 The girls loved dancing while he played.
They decided to play the piano for a bit.
We ended up with quite a crowd over to see us!
We enjoyed the zoo with Sara and her daughter Lina. Each time we go it seems the girls enjoy it more. The monkey house was their favorite!
The gibbons put on quite a show for them.
Lucy was fascinated by the gorillas. She stood looking at them for at least 10 minutes.
The trolley ride was not nearly as calamitous as the last time. As Kate put it, "Lucy didn't cry this time!"
We spent a lot of time outside playing in the water.
 They insisted on wearing "the new shirts we got from Daddy's work".
I love that these pictures really show how they interact with each other...when they are getting along and not fighting over the hose!
We installed Lucy's new mirror from Yia Yia and Pappou. (I will do a separate post on the transformation of their rooms once we have them complete--it's still a work-in-progress).

I loved watching the faces Lucy made as she inspected herself in her new mirror.
We drew chalk outlines on the sidewalk...which made it look like a mini-crime scene actually.
We shopped for Halloween costumes. They both INSISTED that they wanted to be Minnie Mouse.
We'll see. I haven't cut the tags off yet.

I'm not sure I want to admit this last thing we did....Len was SHOCKED when I told him where we had gone because I *might* have said that I would NEVER, EVER go after we went there many years ago with our nephews. I really have no idea what came over me but we ended up at Up-Chuck E Cheese. It was just as nightmarish as I remember with sticky bathroom floors, too many blinky lights and loud sounds and really bad pizza. Alas, the girls had a good time on the rides.

This was as far as they got in the hamster maze...they were just too short to be able to handle the taller steps.
Upon reflection, I know how we ended up there. It was Friday. A Friday after I had been ON with them all week with no breaks during the day. Even though I had to keep track of them here, it was a relatively painless way to spend an hour (if you don't count the bad food and noise...).

Ms. Julie returns this week and I suspect that as happy as the girls will be to see her, it will be me who dances with joy as she comes in the door.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Front row seats

Once again we were afforded front row viewing to the Chicago Air and Water Show.  This year, instead of riding the bus all the way from our neighborhood and then walking quite a ways to the actual beach, we drove downtown and took the shuttle that dropped us right at North Ave. Beach. Perfect. It cut our travel time in half.

We found a nice spot out near the photographers and settled down for some lunch provided by Boeing.
 In between playing in the sand, the girls would look up to see what everyone was gawking at.
 The parachuters were popular.
 Lucy says "CHEEEEESE" everytime I point a camera at her.
 Or, for that matter, when anyone points a camera at her.
 Notice the large plane over their oblivious heads? That's the famous Fat Albert.
 There was a lot of sand wrestling during the finale...the Blue Angels are apparently not as much fun as steamrolling your sister.
I had to post this picture of the port-a-johns. I mean, really? These are not your typical outdoor-event johns. They were air-conditioned, had actual flushing toilets and were relatively clean!
The show ended around 3pm but we stayed a bit to visit with some of Len's colleagues before catching the shuttle back to our car. We got home around 5, had dinner and shuttled the girls off to an early bedtime since neither of them had napped. It was a fabulous way to spend a Saturday.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

How to tell our twins apart from each other

I love it when someone asks me if they are twins. I mean, really? Are we looking at the same two children? If you ask me that question you deserve it when I say, "Yes, but they were born 6 weeks apart" and then walk away.

But just in case someone were trying to tell our children apart, here is one very glaring difference. Kate has a natural (and I believe justifiable, for which this Mama is grateful) hesitation when trying something new, especially when it involves her falling from a height. Lucy, not so much. She will climb up and leap off just about anything with no thought for the consequences.
No fear vs. Some fear from Lisa on Vimeo.
Other than that, though, they are TOTALLY twins. Heh heh.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Speech therapy

You can see why speech therapy is not as successful when you have two children with vastly different speech abilities. Divided mama + divided attention = frustration by everyone.
  Lucy Tomato and ABC from Lisa on Vimeo.

(Oh, and 1, 2 3 Magic works beautifully most of the time with the caveat that we always go to the child when the time is up to briefly talk about how their behavior/choices can be different next time followed by "I love you", hugs and kisses).

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Hedgehog Story

Yia Yia and Pappou sent a special gift for the girls today. Since Lucy and Kate were getting their own rooms, they asked if they could send something to mark the occasion. The first thing I noticed when re-doing the rooms is that Kate has a plethora of things with her name on them like quilts, block letters, plaques. Lucy has absolutely nothing with her name on it so Yia Yia and Pappou sent her a mirror with her name on it so she can see both herself and her name at the same time. Clever and thoughtful!

They also sent both girls some rather adorable orphaned hedgehogs and a home-made story about them.
This set of videos is in three clips for brevity (I really need to get some good editing software...)
  Hedgehogs Part 1 from Lisa on Vimeo.

Hedghogs Part 2 from Lisa on Vimeo.

Hedghogs Part 3 from Lisa on Vimeo.

And here's the story:

How awesome is that?? We read it for bedtime tonight as they hugged their hedgehogs tightly. They both fell asleep with them--Lucy with her arm tightly around hers and Kate's standing guard right next to her head. I suspect all four of them will wind up on the floor (or rather, on the pillow I put by the bed to break their falls) by morning as they aren't doing too well without railings. Hopefully the safety rails I ordered will be here this weekend.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The product of having "my room" and "your room"

Lucy has mastered the following phrase which has been honed in the last few days as the girls discover that they have now have dominion over their own space.
Go Away! from Lisa on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why I love summer

Now that we live in Chicago, I have developed a deep and fervent appreciation for the seasons, especially summer.  My love affair has deep roots, starting in my early school years. School never held my attention very well so I looked forward to summer vacation all year. Long days of  playing, swimming, reading, sleeping and eating...what's not to like right?

My days are much busier now with two little ones. Although we do something every day none of it is very structured. I take a look at what's new and exciting in the city and try to do some of it. Here's a sampling our days...

Millennium Park to see Ms. Julie give a Wiggleworms concert.
Sampling different fruits! This selection was papaya from the store and cantaloupe and blackberries from the farmer's market.
Celebrating Lucy D's 3rd birthday party. Can you believe they needed sweaters in August? The day started off quite cool but warmed up to the 70s by lunchtime.
 Lucy D. blowing out her birthday candle!
 Enjoying cupcakes!
 After the party we had lunch in the neighborhood and caught a show with the puppetbike.
Enjoying the pool and splash park a couple times a week.
We get a lot of veggies and fruits from the weekly farmer's market. The girls help me eat it and prepare supper. Here they are sampling baby bell peppers.
Visiting with friends.

This was the beginning of the end for Lucy...
She leapt off the bed and landed with her forehead on the edge of the door. The picture below does not adequately show the size of her goose-egg. Kate was giving her a shot and M was taking her blood pressure (good thing she wasn't taking mine!) while I put an ice pack on her.
Lucy was better today and we had a little more low key playdate.
The weather seems to be already doing that topsy-turvy changing-of-seasons dance and although the cooler temps are a welcome relief to the heat, most of me is willing summer to last just a month or so longer. It's too early for pumpkins just yet!


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