Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Real World

I think the title of my entry is appropriate for two reasons. First, we are back from our Christmas visits with our families and settling in for 2010, so it's back to the routine. Second, the show "The Real World" takes place in DC this season - Dupont Circle to be exact. I don't really care except that there is a person in the show named Callie. She is a Republican vegan from Texas. I think we would have a lot in common. Vegans like bacon and filet mignon, right?

I don't have much to report since we arrived back in Maryland yesterday, except to say that despite having to be at the airport at an hour that should be a swear word, we had a really great trip back. No delays, the girls were fine on the plane, (the last three aisles on the plane were filled with girls and their parents - all under the age of 5. You can imagine the potential for a bumpy ride.) we got all our luggage, and we were able to get home in time for both of the H's to take a nice long three hour nap.

So for this last entry of 2009, I'll post some photos of the last couple of weeks for viewers to check out. Tonight we are going to party like it's 2009 in Arlington with some fellow Calvin grads, so hopefully I'll be able to post pictures of what I'm sure will be a really wild party (any time you bring the H's anywhere you are bound to have a wild time). Happy New Year!

These are pictures taken at Jesse's aunt and uncle's home.


Harper's playing with her (second?) cousin Drew. Drew's trying to figure out what the deal is with Harper's hair.
All the kids (and Jesse and Arne) eating dinner:


I love my mommy even though she's crazy.
We had a chance to visit my cousin and her family on Christmas Eve which was a lot of fun as well. Of course, anytime you get to play Guitar Hero fun is to be had by all. Look at Chaser. He's saying, "I OWN this game."

Then again, maybe not. It seems as though my girls took over, so Chase and I played with blocks on the floor.

And here's a really cute picture of Hadley and Cole watching a Mickey Mouse movie:
Those two are two peas in a pod. Give 'em each a glass of chocolate milk and they're good to go.

Most of the other pictures are of opening presents, and really, if you've seen one you've seen them all. I thought I'd put a few of the other pictures up here to document a little bit what we did over the Christmas break, and to get one more blog entry in before the year ends.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Videos

Here is a little video of Harper hard at work:

video

And here is another one of Harper in her Christmas dress playing in the kitchen. Sunday night she kept saying "sna" over and over. We are not sure what it means, but it is pretty funny to hear her say it.




video

Last, here is one reason why it takes forever to pack for a trip (or two reasons):

video

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Now THAT'S a snowstorm!

I'd like to start off by sharing some photos of what it looks like in the DC area this weekend. Here is the view of our porch around 8 in the morning on Saturday.

Throughout the day it kept snowing, and snowing, and snowing. I didn't make fun of anyone when I started hearing "snow emergencies" or talk of a blizzard. This is the snow I remember from our days in South Bend. This isn't anything you shake a stick at and say, "What? You're closing schools? Stores? When I was living in the midwest we laughed at this!"
Here's a view of our parking lot.

And a couple of shots of our car.


And here's a shot of our front door with our boots all nicely lined up after being outside in the elements. (Sorry it's blurry. I had the camera on landscape, and apparently that's a no-no unless you're taking a picture of a mountain or something like that).)
I know what you're thinking. "Callie, we are all in Chicago or Grand Rapids, and we've all seen snow before....lots of times for that matter. It's not a big deal. We only want to look at pictures you post if the H's are in them, so get on with it!" The thing is, I like to tell a story when I put pictures up, so you'll just have to bear with me.

So it snowed on Saturday. A lot. I think 20 inches was the last I heard. And this turned out to be the perfect setting for our family Christmas. I made a chocolate chip coffee cake (something that I thought Hadley would enjoy since chocolate is her second favorite food next to blueberries), Jesse scrambled some eggs and made bacon, and we enjoyed a nice breakfast while opening presents.

Harper's looking at this trying to decide how much destruction she can create.
This toy has proved to be a hit with Harper. She presses all the buttons, and then quick as a flash turns the thing over and presses them again. The process has been repeated over and over in the last two days. By the way, isn't her hair awesome?
And really, what's a toy worth if you can't put it in your mouth?
One of the things Hadley got was a Medical Kit.
We don't call him Dr. Feyen for nothing.
After presents and breakfast, we bundled ourselves up and went outside. Hadley loved being outside. Harper, on the other hand, hated it, and that is because to go outside one has to put on lots and lots of clothes and this is just not something she's interested in doing.

Jesse and Hadley stayed outside and I took Harper in which seemed to make both the girls happy. Later in the day, we went downstairs to play with our neighbors for a bit before eating dinner.


Again, sorry the pictures are blurry. Ol' Callie had it back on landscape. This toy the girls are playing with is the Dora House (or maybe it's Hacienda?). You can only imagine how cool Hadley and Harper thought this thing was.

After the girls went to bed, we got a phone call letting us know church was canceled Sunday which wasn't a huge surprise. And this gave us a chance to go out in the snow again the next day. However, first we needed to take care of all of our stuffed animals.

All these guys were really sick so we needed our medical kit to make them feel better.

It's not looking too good for Big Bird.

And something is really wrong with the bumble bee.
Back to the snow.
"I think this is sooooo cool!"
"I'm so happy."
"I hate this."
And here's a short video of Hadley pulling Harper in the sled. Hadley wanted to pull her which I thought was sweet, however, what I find quite impressive is Hadley ability to pull Harper. I didn't know she was that strong! Well, watch for yourself:

video

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Goose is Getting Fat

When Hadley wakes up in the morning, or from a nap, the first thing she asks is, "Is it Christmas today?" And so the challenge is trying to find something that could somehow replace the excitement of opening presents to fill our day. It's not easy.

But yesterday I thought it'd be fun to go out for breakfast with the girls since it was too cold to be outside at a park. We went to Whole Foods and Hadley got a blueberry scone, blueberries, and blueberry juice. The child would eat her weight in all things blueberry if she could.

Harper has seemed to have decided she no longer wants baby food, and so she had fun chomping on a piece of blueberry scone as well.

However, when she is sitting in this stroller, she prefers to do this:

Hadley isn't only excited about opening her presents, she is also excited about making presents for people as well. She likes to pick out toys or DVDs around the house she thinks other people would like, put a bow on it, and add it to the pile of presents in the living room. Yesterday I suggested she make some Christmas cards for some people in the family and she liked that idea.

Harper liked the idea, too.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Just a Normal Day

The irony of last week was that I thought that the most stressed out I'd be was on Tuesday when I got called in for jury duty. Clearly that was a walk in the park compared to Thursday when I found myself pushing Hadley in the stroller at 7 in the morning to the ER to see Harper. But most everyone knows that she is OK and now we are trying to get back to normal.


Friday morning the girls woke up and hung out in each other's cribs for a bit before breakfast.
A little blurry, but you can see how happy she is. Twenty-four hours ago that was not the case.


And here's my big girl hanging out in Harper's crib. Yes, she is three and still uses a pacifier. Anyone who passes judgment, please feel free to come over and explain to her why she can't use one but her sister can. Hadley sleeps with her pacifier, I shove bookshelves in front of our door the nights Jesse is travelling for work. We all have our issues.

Friday we needed to take Harper in to the doctor for a "24 hour check-up" just to make sure she was doing OK. Here are a few pictures of the girls playing in the waiting room and the examining room:


The below picture is what I deal with all day. One girl has something, and the other girl wants it. And it used to be that Hadley took the wanted object away from Harper and Harper would cry. Now Harper can pretty much hold her own against Hadley so both of them just take turns ripping things out of the other's hands and then screaming. It's so fun.

Harper checked out just fine, so afterwords we went to the bagel shop to celebrate. I realize pictures of that would be more interesting then the doctor's office, but I left the camera in the car.

It has been a rough fall, I won't lie. But even at the height of the insanity, I've noticed a lot of good things that are happening as well. Harper is becoming much more comfortable with other people. Jesse and I went out for the afternoon/early evening on Saturday and left the girls with the babysitter and Harper didn't cry once. We called twice and both times we could hear her in the background playing and talking. She's also putting herself to sleep much better then she was a few months ago. Sometimes she plays for a long time in the crib, but she she ends up falling asleep which is really nice. And Hadley says the funniest things it is almost impossible for me to respond without laughing. This morning we were in the car listening to a Dora CD and I was singing along to it until Hadley said, "Mama, only one person should really be singing along, and I can't hear myself sing when you're singing." Well. Someday I'll tell her I sang at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. That'll show her.

This morning Hadley and I made Christmas cookies. Here are a couple pictures and a video:

Nothing wrong with a few sprinkles:

video

The finished product:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Spoiled

Hadley's modeling what her mother was doing all last week (minus the duck and the pacifier). I seemed to have come down with what I believe was the world's worst cold known to man. I won't relive it in this entry except to say that the week was made 100% more manageable because my mom flew in to save the day(s) while Jesse was away. And I'm all better now so I can write about more interesting things like my birthday.

The first present I received was on Saturday. It started snowing in the morning and did not stop all day. Some may read this as sarcasm, but I love the snow and was very happy to watch it collect outside. On Saturday evening Jesse and I went out for dinner BY OURSELVES which was very fun. It was nice to have a conversation that didn't involve Elmo, Goofy, or the importance of eating ALL your vegetables before you have dessert. However, before we went out to eat, the girls (read: Hadley) wanted me to open my presents (read: Hadley wanted to OPEN my presents). Twist my arm.

I got a lot of great stuff, but my favorite was the card that Hadley made for me (I'm holding it in the picture above). She wrote "NON" on it all by herself. When she handed it to me she told me, "See, Mama? It says, "Mom and I put a line under it so you would know what it says."

Hadley also made me a birthday cake. Jesse asked Hadley what kind of cake she wanted to make me and she told him, "Chocolate cake with blue frosting, and sprinkles." So that's what I got:



Sunday we lounged around in the morning because church was canceled due to the weather. We did get snow, but the roads were clear at 8 on Saturday night. However, we do live in DC, the city that treats snow like a weapon of mass destruction. Maybe that's what Bush was referring to.

We were able to do a little decorating for Christmas and attempt to take Christmas pictures. Here is an outtake just in case I don't get around to sending cards out:

Harper's saying, "Um, Hadley? Why do we have these dresses on when 5 minutes ago we were in play clothes and I didn't have my socks on? Why does Mom insist on putting me in tights? That lady is stubborn as a mule, I tell ya. We are going to have to do something about her, don't you think? Maybe I'll wake up at 4:30am tomorrow and not take any naps at all to get her back."