February 25, 2017

Elle turns TWO!

Elle's 2nd Birthday Elle's 2nd Birthday Elle's 2nd Birthday Elle's 2nd Birthday Elle's 2nd Birthday Elle's 2nd Birthday Elle's 2nd Birthday
Elle's second birthday was a fun, low key day. Jon was away at WOC school, so it was just me and the girls celebrating. Wren and I baked Elle a gingerbread cake with cream cheese icing and purple sugar sprinkles the night before, and I decorated the house with purple balloons and pink/green/purple streamers. We also got her a bunch of fun balloons to tie to her chair.

When she woke up on her birthday, we had cinnamon rolls for her birthday breakfast. Then the girls went to school, and after school, we opened presents (a doll house + some peg dolls + doll furniture + some other little things), ate dinner, sang "Happy Birthday," and ate cake. :)

Photos from Elle's 1st birthday are here!

January 28, 2017

Wren turns FOUR!

IMG_6106 IMG_6105 IMG_6045 IMG_6065   IMG_6099
Wren turned 4 in November, and we had a super fun day celebrating her. She woke up to balloons and confetti and a birthday donut breakfast, and I made her a special shirt that said "FOUR" on it to wear to school. She even had some new, fun birthday jewelry to wear.

At school, it was Thanksgiving lunch day, so the parents were invited to eat with the kids. Jon and I got to eat with her and Elle in Wren's classroom, which was super fun - kind of like a birthday lunch!

After school, we went to dinner at her favorite restaurant, the BBQ place. Then we came home to open presents and eat her giant sprinkle cake. She wanted a pink cake with sprinkles on it - this one had so many sprinkles you couldn't even tell what color the cake was!

For her presents, she got a new baby doll and lots of baby clothes, a baby stroller, a princess dress and an electric toothbrush that plays music.

We always love celebrating our Wren bird! :)

Elle Evergreen: 2 Years Old

Elle Evergreen: 18 Months Old
Elle Evergreen: 18 Months Old
Elle Evergreen: 18 Months Old
Elle Evergreen: 18 Months Old

IMG_5897
IMG_7172
Elle Evergreen: 2 Years Old
IMG_7257
IMG_4867
IMG_7314

Elle turned two this month (even though her personality is as big as a 16 year old)! ;) We are having so much fun watching her grow into the spunky, fierce little girl that she is. Here's a little update on what she's loving, what she's doing and all of that...

FAVORITE THINGS

Toys - Elle doesn't really have too many favorite toys of her own. She basically likes to play with (ahem, steal) anything Wren is playing with. She does like her baby dolls, and she likes to get a wipe and clean them saying they "pah-eee" (potty). She likes to put them in her toy stroller and push them around the house.

Lip Balm - Elle LOVES lip balm. She asks to put it on a million times a day by humming (mmm mmm mmm) and rubbing her fingers over her lips. Then when you let her have it, she will rub it on repeatedly until you stop her (I think she would rub it on all day if you let her). Then she tends to lick it off her lips with her tongue (gross!) even when we tell her not to. (She also likes to suck on baby wipes - so go figure - girl's got some weird taste buds.)

Her "mimi" - She calls the little blanket that she sleeps with her mimi, and she loves her mimi more than anything else. We used to call it her "blankie" or blanket - then one time she went to visit my parents in Texas and came back calling it her "mimi." We were just happy she had a word for it so we knew when she wanted it. She falls asleep with it pressed against her lips, just under her nose and she makes a sucking motion with her lips against it. Wren does this same thing with her baby blanket - it's how they both fall asleep. Elle's mimi is a giant comfort to her if she's upset, so we have one everywhere - at school, in the car, and a million in the house. If she sees one in the laundry basket, she smiles lovingly at it and says "mmmiiiimmmmiiii" and holds it against her lips for a second, then sets it back down. :)

Being Held - Elle really loves to be held when you are standing up (she doesn't like it when you are sitting down). She likes you to pick her up and carry her around so she can see everything you're doing. She will walk up to you and put her arms up and say "uuuuup" to let you know she wants to be picked up, and if you sit down to hold her on your lap instead, she will say "no, uuuuup" and try to push you back to a standing position.

The Fridge - Elle loves the fridge. She loves to open it a million times a day and stare into it. She likes to get her water cup out, take a sip and put it back in. She likes to take all the condiments out that she can reach. She likes to take applesauce pouches out and ask if she can eat them all day long. Sometimes she just likes to sit in the fridge on the bottom ledge. She literally loves the fridge. (And this drives Jon and I insane. So many times we have asked if there is a child lock for refrigerators - but we've never researched it.)

Being Outside - Elle has always loved to be outside, even when she was a tiny baby. She still loves it, and she is such a daredevil. She likes to go down tall slides on her belly, she climbs up things that Wren is still to scared to climb up, and she gives me all the heart attacks. Taking her to the playground is so exhausting for me because I just follow her around waiting for her to break a limb.

Freedom - Elle is happiest when she can roam free, without being in a stroller or being held or being closely watched over. She's very independent and just wants to do her own thing without anyone interfering. For this reason, it's also the least stressful for Jon and I when she can do her own thing. We try to take her to places that are friendly for kids to run around and just let her go.

Babies - Elle really loves babies and pretty much considers anyone in a stroller to be a baby. She yells "baby!" and points at any baby we see - on TV, in books or in person.

Food - Elle has always had a big appetite. When she moved up to the toddler class in daycare, they were amazed at how much more she ate than the other kids. She is always up for eating - even if she just ate - and rarely turns down food. She is much pickier eater than Wren, though. We give them both the same foods, but Elle does not like veggies very much. For a while, the only fruit she liked was bananas, but now she will eat pretty much all fruit. She does like roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes. She doesn't really care for meat, especially ground meat (meatballs, hamburger patties, taco meat, etc), but she LOVES carbs (noodles and bread are her faves). She also really loves eggs - scrambled or boiled. If I had to pick her favorite meal, it would probably be scrampled eggs, bananas and toast. When she eats a lot, her belly gets really, really big and it looks hilarious. Sometimes I feel like it's uncomfortable because she'll walk around patting or rubbing it like a pregnant woman. She has a mild skin allergy to tomatoes or anything with tomatoes in it (pasta sauce, ketchup, chili, etc), and anywhere it touches her skin, she'll get red and blotchy and itchy and start crying. We have to wash it off with soap, put lotion on it and then it fades away. Once we realized what was causing it, we try not to give her anything with tomatoes in it anymore.

Watching in the Kitchen - Elle loves to drag her little chair into the kitchen when someone is preparing food so she can watch (aka make a mess by grabbing at everything). This is super cute, but also super annoying when you are trying to fix a meal. I try to let her do it when it's something out of the norm (like baking a birthday cake), but I don't let her do it for breakfast, lunch and dinner because it's just too much to handle. ;)

Washing her Hands - She loves any excuse to wash her hands, which basically means getting a ton of soap from the automatic soap dispenser and then immediately washing it off, then repeating until there are a lot of bubbles at the bottom of the sink to play in.

Flushing the Toilet - Elle is semi-potty training right now at school. Her school felt she was ready and wanted to start, so they let her use the potty. We are sort of doing it at home, but not whole heartedly (I'm just not ready for that challenge!). Her familiarity with the potty has created an intense love for flushing the toilet. She wants to flush it all the time - when she's used the potty, when she hasn't, when I'm using the potty, when we're at home, when we're in public, etc. In public, she and Wren usually fight over who gets to flush the potty, which leads to their hands all over the toilet and sometimes them falling on the floor of the bathroom. The whole thing gives me the heeby jeebies (GERMS!).

SLEEP

Elle continues to be SUCH a great sleeper. Thankfully, both of our girls have always loved their sleep. She goes to bed on her own, with her mimi, in her crib (Still! I'm not ready to give up the crib yet), and she sleeps between 10 and 12 hours a night. She rarely wakes up during the night unless she's sick. If she does wake up, she will either put herself back to sleep or we'll go in and pat her, calm her down and she falls back asleep.

She still takes 2 naps a day on the weekends - she really loves her sleep! She only gets one nap a day at school, and you can tell she's tired by the time she comes home. She goes to bed in between 7:30pm and 8:00pm everyday.

When she wakes up, she likes to lounge in her crib a bit before she'll start crying or yelling for someone to come get her, and if you go get her before she's ready to get up, it could mean bad news for the rest of the day - she'll be a super grump! It's best just to wait until she's good and ready to get out of bed.

While she is a great sleeper in her crib and her carseat, she has never slept well anywhere else. She won't fall asleep in anyone's arms or in her stroller.

WORDS

The words that Elle knows right now are: Momma, Dadda, Elle, Eehn (Wren), Ro Ro (Rowan), Didi, Pa (Pops), Gigi, food, more, beh butt (belly button), toot, poop, tee tee, pah-ee (potty), school, bye bye, eat, wawa (water), hi, baby, nigh nigh (night night), seep (sleep), mimi (her blanket), up (when she wants to be held), wah (walk), hah (hot - and she also knows how to blow on her food when it's hot) - and probably more, but those are the ones that come to mind.

"No" is probably her favorite word - it was her first word - and it's the word she says most often. For a while, it was all she said, to everything. She also learned to shake her head no, and only very recently started nodding her head yes to things. She still does not say the word "yes" ever. (I'm scared for what this means for her teenage years.) ;)

PERSONALITY

As mentioned above, Elle is fiercely independent, moody, can be grumpy quite often, can be extremely sweet and loving when she's feeling it and she doesn't really listen to what Jon and I tell her. She is basically the polar opposite of Wren, which has been challenging for us - figuring out how best to parent her.

As she grows and her understanding and communication increases, things have continued to get better - which we are so happy about. She now understands why we're saying no, and she can communicate with us about what she wants or why she's upset. If I tell her no or correct her for something, she comes back at me with her pointer finger out and says "No, Momma! No!" She's a feisty little thing!

She tends to behave better when she's full and well rested, and when she's in a good mood, she is so loving, gives hugs and kisses, plays games with us, gets along with Wren and plays with her lovingly, shares, and laughs a ton. She has a really great sense of humor and a really great laugh - it's deep and kind of hoarse and bubbles out of her - it's a really great sound. You can tell by what she thinks is funny and how she acts to be funny that she's going to have a great sense of humor when she's older. It's almost a sarcastic sense of humor, if that even exists in 2 year olds.

Mixed in with the good, Elle can also be really bad - just flat out disobedient. She is not scared by threats of discipline, and sometimes completely ignores them (although she is listening more now than she used to). She can also be very mischievous - getting into trouble and giving us the side eye while she does it, then laughing about it. She doesn't like to do anything we ask - even if she's being cute and we ask her to smile for a photo or to do something again, she will not do it. We have to be tough on her a lot, which is not fun as a parent, but we hope that it pays off in the long run.

She is extremely independent - likes to do her own thing and does not want supervision. She is also a daredevil and will attempt things that kids twice her age should be doing. I'm not sure if this is a second child thing or not, but both of these traits make us scared for her teenage years.

All in all, we have always said that Elle gets sweeter every day, and she really does. The more she grows and learns, the more she can communicate and understand, the more she gets to know us and we get to know her, the better things get - which is so awesome. It's one of the reasons we love watching her grow, and we really can't wait to see the person she becomes! :)

Wren Winter: 4 Years Old

Wren Winter: 3 1/2 Years Old
Wren Winter: 3 1/2 Years Old
Wren Winter: 3 1/2 Years Old
Wren Winter: 3 1/2 Years Old
Wren Winter: 3 1/2 Years Old
Wren Winter: 3 1/2 Years Old
Wren Winter: 3 1/2 Years Old
IMG_5322
IMG_5353
Wren Winter: 4 Years Old

Wren is 4 years old now, and she is just the coolest, sweetest, kindest, funniest little girl in the world! She is literally so cute that I want to eat her! :)

Her favorite things right now are:

All things Frozen + Princesses - She loves the movie Frozen and knows all the words to the songs. She loves dressing up like a princess in her many play dresses and princess shoes. One of her dresses plays a song, and she plays it over and over and over again.

Playing Babies + Family - She dresses up her baby dolls and takes them to school and to dance class. She pushes them in the stroller and gets them comfy on the couch to take naps. She comes up with really crazy names for her babies, like "Ananina" or "Dametaticus" - crazy! When I tell her they are crazy names, she asks what should their name be, and I'll suggest something like "Scarlett" or "Elizabeth" and she says "Oh, that's a nice name."

Art + Coloring + Crafts - She loves any kind of project and starts most days off sitting at her little table coloring in her frozen coloring book. Sometimes me and her color together at night before bed, which I really love.

Dancing to Music - She likes to dance to music and have us watch her "tricks," which usually consist of jumps, leg raises or twirls. She started dance class this year - ballet and tap - and she loves going. We got to watch her dance last week, and she is one of the best in the class! She totally knows the moves and can follow the teacher - I was so proud of her!

School - She still continues to enjoy school and is learning so much! She can now spell AND write her first name. She can count to 20. She can recognize most letters in the alphabet, and she can memorize song lyrics like it's her job.

Bossing her Sister Around - Wren and Elle pretty much fight constantly. They have some moments of getting along and playing nicely everyday, but those moments are far outnumbered by the moments when they are fighting, screaming and playing tug of war over a toy. Jon and I are constantly the referees. We have to remind Wren all the time not to tell Elle no or correct her because she's not her mom. I do hope that as they grow, they start to get along better.

Helping Mom and Dad - Wren is such a great helper. She likes to help in the kitchen, getting dinner ready, washing grapes or baking desserts. She likes to help with any kind of project we have, from cleaning the garage to framing pictures. She likes to help me fold clothes - I give her all the hand towels and wash cloths. She really likes to mop the floor with our Swiffer, but last time I caught her spraying the water all over the rug. ;) As a side note to this one, Wren has incredibly good manners. She always says "please" and "thank you" and asks others to do the same. She corrects people when they are chewing with their mouth open. She asks that you not "snatch" things out of her hands. She is just very well mannered. We really have to credit her school and amazing teachers with instilling these manners, because most of the time, she is correct Jon and I for not doing the polite thing - HA! Her dance teacher told me the other night that she is just so polite and has the best manners. We are so proud of her!

Doing Big Girl Things - She loves brushing her teeth all by herself with her singing electric toothbrush. She likes peeling her own oranges, cutting up her fruit and picking out her PJs every night. She also knows how to strap her self into her car seat, which is a huge help to Mom and Dad.

Being "Out and About" - Wren loves to be out of the house, whether it's going out to eat or walking around the outdoor mall. She always says she wants to be out and about. She would eat dinner out every night if we said ok. (And speaking of food, she is still an amazing eater and eats just about anything. She will always pick cupcakes over broccoli, but she will eat her broccoli and anything else if you ask her to.) She likes to be busy and prefers to run errands all day to staying home and playing. She loves playing at the outdoor mall and riding the train.

Singing - She likes to make up songs and sing them really loud around the house. She also likes to sing her songs over the radio songs if we're driving in the car. She has a horrible singing voice, and Jon always says we should put her in singing lessons - ha!

Her Blanket - Even though she is now in the stage where she fights every nap and bedtime, Wren is still a great sleeper and she sleeps between 10 and 12 hours a night + naps for 2 hours every day. She still sleeps with the yellow blanket that she's had since she was a baby. She falls asleep "chewing" on it - which is more like pressing it against her lips, right under her nose and making a sucking movement with her lips. Both of our girls do this to fall asleep, and we did not train them to! Such a funny thing that they both have in common.

Watching Movies/TV - We still don't let the girls watch TV or movies on a regular basis, but we have started letting them have a movie night every once in a while. Wren LOVES this. She loves movies and TV (maybe because she doesn't get them very often? or maybe all kids just do). It's a fun treat for her.

Asking Why - She asks "why?" A LOT! Sometimes I have to tell her to just stop asking why because it will go on for hours - or sometimes because I have no answer - or sometimes because the answer is "because I said so!" :)

Giving Love - Wren is a serious love bug, and she is always giving and asking for hugs and kisses and telling us she loves us. Randomly throughout each day, she says she loves us and she'll go through the list of her whole family and say she loves them. At night, she asks for multiple big hugs and kisses before bed. Although she gets in yelling matches with her sister, she would never purposely hurt Elle, even when Elle hurts her. She is very kind and sweet.

Her Family - She loves hanging out with her family and visiting family far away. She loves her Gigi and Didi and Pops and Rowan and every time they visit, she says she wants them to stay forever.

Following the Rules - Wren is a rule-follower, for sure.  She listens so well, takes direction, rarely ever has to get corrected twice and really makes life so easy on Jon and I. She is considerate and kind and cautious. I think her desire to do the right thing makes her nervous in new situations, which I think is totally ok. Her teachers are always telling us that she is so good and they never have to correct her. We are so proud of what an attentive, obedient little girl she is!

She really is a joy to be around every day, and I'm so lucky to be her momma!

July 30, 2016

Wren Turns THREE!

Wren Winter: 3 Years Old Wren Winter: 3 Years Old Wren Winter: 3 Years Old Wren Winter: 3 Years Old

Wren's third birthday was a great day! Both Jon and I were able to be off for the day, and we kicked things off with balloons + presents + donuts first thing in the morning. She got a scooter, a doctor kit, and a wooden school bus toy with little people to ride in the bus.

After breakfast, we headed to the zoo to feed the giraffes and the birds and tell all the animals it was Wren's birthday!

She had a blast all day, and we had a blast celebrating her and making her feel special. She is such an amazing little girls, and we are so lucky to watch her grow!

Elle Evergreen: 1 year old

Elle, you are ONE! Below are a few photos and highlights from your twelfth month AND your first birthday party:

Elle Evergreen: 12 months

Your twelfth month was a big one! You learned to stand on your own without assistance! We also took the changing table out of your room and got you a big girl shelf for all of your big girl toys.

You continued to play with Wren and thought she was pretty great. You sisters were so sweet sometimes! You loved playing outside as the weather got a little warmer, and you didn't officially start walking until March 24, 2016 - but you loved walking around the house using the ride-on toys.

You hit a really great stage at twelve months, and you were such a happy baby most of the time. Since then, you've had bad times here and there, but no more constantly fussy baby - yay!

Your first birthday was a pretty simple celebration, but you loved it! You started the day off by standing up BY YOURSELF for the first time - a great way to kick off being one year old!

Elle's 1st Birthday

After a morning of playing, you took a good, long nap and woke up ready to open presents and eat cake! We got you a little red piano, a walking toy and some other little things, and you had a blast pulling the paper off. For your cake, we made a strawberry cake with pink cream cheese icing and pink sprinkles.

Your cake topper was ordered from Etsy and custom made for you. I loved it SO much - it was beautiful! Wren was playing with it before we put your cake together and she broke part of it off. I was so upset, but Daddy was able to super glue it back together - thank goodness! I saved it in your memory box because I loved it so much.

Elle's 1st Birthday

Elle's 1st Birthday

We didn't really have to prompt you to try your cake. You had your fingers and hands in it right away. I love this last photo so much. It really sums up how much you loved that cake - ha!

Daddy, me and Wren had strawberry cake cupcakes while you enjoyed your big cake. We sang you happy birthday and took a million photos of you getting all messy. Then we stuck you in the bathtub to wash it all off.

We love you so much and had so much fun watching you grow during your first year! Looking forward to the years ahead and hoping all your days are happy ones!