Toddler Tale|| 24 Months

9.16.2015

24 months, that's how old my sweet daughters are- plus a couple of weeks since this post is late (I just realized I never hit "publish"). I know I have mentioned a million and one times how I just cannot believe that they are two year olds. The last twenty-four months have literally zoomed by. I remember my Daddy telling me just one week after we brought the girls home from the hospital that the song Don't blink by Kenny Chesney was the absolute truth. Although my babies aren't grown and having kids of their own, I have no idea where these two years have gone.

Kensington Rose, my beautiful, confident, spunky, full of attitude, animated social butterfly. Just two short years ago I was praying for God to wrap his arms around you, to heal you and make you strong enough to breath on your own and eventually come home. You have been a fighter since day one. Today I am in awe of how you are not only thriving but you are blossoming into an amazing little girl who sees an obstacle as a challenge and a reason to try harder. You are determined and I know that God's plan for you is a very special one.  You have always been the happiest little lady and never really complained about anything, even when you went to the ER for a head laceration or had the stomach bug. You still wanted to play and were overall happy. I love that about you. You are a glass half-full kind of gal. You never meet a stranger which sometimes makes me nervous but I love that you have a kind heart and say, "Hey" to everyone you see.

You have grown leaps and bounds and are blowing my mind daily. You have the best manners I've ever seen in a two year old. You are trying very hard to say, "m 'am" after saying yes or no and are the perfect "Please" to your sister's  sweet "Thank you!" You repeat every word everyone says making me extra careful of the things I say when I'm overwhelmed. You pull words spontaneously out of your word library daily leaving me speechless that you knew such a thing. On your second birthday you woke up speaking in sentences saying things like, "Mommy, I need help please" and "More milk please" or " I go to pool, please!" You love your Lambie, drawing, playing with play doh, baby dolls and playing doctor in your high heels while perfectly accessorized. You an frequently be found with ever bracelet and necklace in the house on as well as a princess dress with a doctor coat! You also love to sing and dance your little heart away! You ask to read "Yama Yama" (lama lama) 100 times a day. You have been trying to self potty train for more than three months and I just haven't been ready. You usually bring me big girl panties to wear from nap time to bedtime and do a wonderful job with them. I'm still not ready but will follow your sweet lead.








Quinn Harper, my gorgeous, sweet, thoughtful, empathetic, adventure seeking book worm. God knew exactly what he was doing when he protected you through a very special and scary delivery. You have been an overachiever since day one. The doctors couldn't believe how big you and your sister were for being only 32 weeks gestation and quickly promoted out of the intensive portion of the NICU despite your very premature birth. I find you organizing or lining up your dolls and toys frequently, you are a perfectionist at it's finest! You are such a happy girl and quick to give love at just the right time. Although you love to wave and say, "hey" to random people, you are shy when they approach you or say, "hi" back.

You have the biggest heart of any two year old that I have ever known. You have a heart of gold, my sweet girl.  You frequently say, "sorry" even when it isn't your fault. If you see something sad or see your sister cry or hurt you frequently whimper and snuggle up to her, pat her back and give her kisses. You give hugs and kisses for free to your daddy, sister and myself. They are some of the sweetest loving we've ever gotten.  You are the "thank you" to your sister's "please!" and also have the most amazing manners of any two year old I know. You love to read and are frequently found amongst a pile of books saying, "read, mommy." So we spend hours a day reading and pointing to pictures. Fancy Nancy books or any book that has animals in it is your favorite. You are very technical and like to construct thing with Legos, blocks or even Mommy's couch cushions and pillows. You love your Lambie, baby dolls, drawing, playing with play doh, playing doctor while dressed like a princess with your favorite pumpkin hat on. Your favorite thing to do with your sister is play chase, you lead with, "ready, set, go!" then you both take off running after one another. You also love to sing and dance. Currently your favorite song is Let it go! Every morning I hear "Yet it go! Yet it go! Yet it go!" I love waking up to your singing. Your passion and love for other makes me want to be an even better person and mommy.









Kensington & Quinn you both compliment each other so well. You are everything I could have ever dreamed of to each other. You love the other unconditionally, chat for what seems like hours in the morning, giggle, play games or dance together, help set the table, help me do everything that needs to be done, snuggle and give hugs like it is no ones business. You make being a Mommy the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I love the memories we are making with you two and how our hearts overflow with joy on a daily basis. So far two has been amazing. You both are sleeping less at nap time which isn't my favorite thing but, honestly, you'd have no idea that either of you only napped 45 mins or an hour on the bad napping days because you both go about your day with the biggest smiles, laughter that echoes through our house and the best attitudes I could ever ask for.

I love you to the moon and back, my sweet girls.





















From Changing Table to Toddler Dresser

9.09.2015

Along with moving halfway across the country we also transitioned out of using a changing table. This left me scouring Pinterest for ideas of how to do so. Honestly, I wasn't open to many ideas because I couldn't get the idea of adding another oak tree to this nursery out of my head. So this will do for now until I decide I want to add something new to it...

before.

after. 



This basket has been great for holding our bedtime books, sound machine and old iPad that we use for the white noise app. It also keeps their brush out of sight but within reach for me to grab quickly. 


Happy Hump Day!

NICUversary

9.08.2015

I woke up without an alarm for my 6 am pumping session. Excitement filled my body and I could barely sit still long enough to pump the 30 minutes I had become accustomed to without babies nearby.  This, thankfully, would be the last time I had to pump for my babies who were in the NICU. As soon as I was done pumping, I showered and prepared my bags and such to go and hopefully pick up our sweet baby girls from the NICU. I called for an update on the way there and to let the girls' nurse know we were on our way. They had a great report making me even more giddy with excitement. We arrived just after 8 o'clock in the morning and at 10:08 we were loaded into the car and heading home as a family of four.


This was the first ride home from the hospital that I didn't cry the entire way home, fighting the vomit that crept up my throat every time I thought about leaving my babies behind. Although, I had a lot of complications it was honestly a blessing in disguise. The complications I experienced kept me in the hospital for all but 7 days that the girls were in the NICU. For that, I am thankful. My heart couldn't have taken an extended time of leaving the NICU, day in and day out, without my sweet girls.



September 8, 2013 was one of the top 5 best days of my life.
 

I cannot believe this was two years ago. It seems like just yesterday that we brought our bitty babies home from the hospital. The joy I experienced that day is indescribable. Thank you Lord for continuing to watching over our babies. 

Happy NICUversary to our 
sweet, spunky, opinionated, empathetic,  full-of-life, two-year old daughters! 
Mommy loves you big!


Birthday Traditions

9.03.2015

The morning started bright and early for Mommy and Daddy. 
We got up and ready for the day before the girls ever woke up to make sure that the entire day was focused on them.
When we heard the first noises of them being awake we giddily snuck into their room to draw the curtains and turn on the lights all while singing happy birthday to them both. 
I had my camera in tow and snapped photos of them both. 
Can't you tell that Kensington was thrilled to have her picture taken right off the hitch?
Quinn was much more excited to be woken with singing and picture taking. 

Originally we were suppose to be in Colorado for a wedding of Josh's co-worker and his fiancĂ© but life happens and work happens so we ended up being home leaving me in a mad dash the day before to prep a few special things for the birthday girls on their birthday such as streamers! 

The girls ran through them and re-ran through them. 
I say it's a win!

What's a birthday without balloons?
We blew up one pack of balloons for the birthday girls to enjoy all day long and they loved them!

One of our traditions is to give the girls a few of our gifts on their birthday instead of at their party. 
Their favorite was in this package.

Lambie! 
They call her "Meme" and just adore her!
They are huge Doc McStuffins fans!
Bedtime, breakfast, snacks, lunch, nap time, and supper are not complete unless Meme is there to share it with them. 


After gift opening they politely request to "eat pease!" 
We had special muffins waiting for them with another round of happy birthday singing!




Then we got them dressed and ready to head to the Zoo. 
It still amazes me how much older they looked when they woke up that day. 
It's nuts!

Our Birthday Family Portrait

This photo was taken while looking that the "Ee-Ees" aka Monkeys. 
You know... a monkey says, " ee-ee oo-oo ah-ah!"
Monkeys are currently their favorite animal and they absolutely loved seeing them in real life. 
The birthday girls got to watch Doc in the car since it was their special day. 

Once we got home the girls napped while Josh and I got everything prepped for supper-making. 
Of course we sang to them, again, upon waking up!

Last year I did a lot of thinking about a fun tradition and how to make their birthday special even though they have to share the day. I mean I think it's pretty special to share your birthday with your best-friend and womb-mate but wanted to make sure it feels special every year. My mom always makes me feel special by cooking my favorite supper but how on earth would I cook TWO favorite suppers on their actual birthday without someone feeling like they got the short end of the stick?
That's when I had the idea to make homemade pizzas that they could decorate with their favorite toppings but who am I kidding- I will also be cooking favorite suppers the days leading up or following their birthday as they get older!
Back to the pizza! 
Last year we made homemade pizza with a family friend's super secret and very special recipe. 
It is amazing and probably the best pizza I have ever eaten. 
This year the pizza was just as yummy but my yeast was old (or my water temp was wrong) so I had flat dough. This has never happened to me and we made this a lot in New York. Our water here is much different, very hard but overly soft from extreme softening by the city (if that makes any sense).  Anyhow, flat dough and an oven that is not my friend doesn't mix well. Thankfully it still tasted great but not the amazing pizza that we are use to. 

See flat dough!

The toppings

I prepped one pizza to get it cooking so that when the girls demanded to eat we had a cooked and ready to enjoy pizza. 


Despite the flat dough issue they girls enjoyed making their own pizzas.
Every bite of their pizzas were unique. You never knew what you'd get since the toppings were just kind of dumped in one place.


The girls are such big helpers these days, especially in the kitchen. 

There were a lot of Mommy demonstrating moments followed by Zabies doing the same thing. 
We mixed it up this year and used regular mozzarella for two pizzas and tried provel for the other since it is unique to St. Louis. 



Making homemade pizzas is one of my favorite things to do with the girls. I can't wait to see how their preferences change every year for decorating their own pizzas, from toppings to design. 


We ended our day with homemade cupcakes, bubble baths, more singing of happy birthday and reading our favorite birthday books- Happy Birthday Mouse and On the Night you were born.

I am giggling at how many times we sang happy birthday to the girls because every morning Kensington wakes up singing, "Happy Happy Happy" over and over again until I make it into their room.




List of Traditions 
Bedtime picture of the girls together
Individual pictures of them before the clock strikes midnight while sleeping (see here)
Singing of Happy Birthday to each of them upon waking in the morning and from nap(s)
Special birthday breakfast of muffins
Daddy takes the day off
Family day of just the four of us 
Special homemade pizza making
Homemade cupcakes + more happy birthday singing
Reading of  Happy Birthday Mouse and On the Night you were born





Thoughts for Thursday
Linking up with Annie and Natalie.

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