Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Anna turned 2!

Happy Birthday Anna!
I can't believe my little Anna is growing up so fast! Where has the time gone?!

We had a simple birthday for her. She seemed to know it was her birthday because she was extra good and sweet today. Or maybe I paid closer attention to her since it was her special day. Today made me love this sweet girl even more!

I went visiting teaching in the morning so I decided to have a special birthday lunch at McDonald's for Anna. We never stop for lunch so it was a special treat. Anna was very excited and stood up on the bench and sang everyone a song.

I tried to get Anna to say birthday or cheese but these are the faces I got. Silly girl.

Macy was excited about her happy meal too.

After Anna's nap she watched Frozen, her favorite. She didn't want to sit down but wanted to be right up in the action. I love watching her face as she watches the movie. She is so enthralled and looks joyful.

I made Anna a simple cake but it was delicious! I followed a tip to make a box cake taste like a bakery cake: add milk instead of water, use butter instead of oil, and add 1 tsp vanilla.

Macy took a picture of the birthday banner.

This was Anna dancing as we sang her Happy Birthday. All day she was telling me about blowing out the candles by saying, "Birthday" then pretending to blow out the candles. But when the real time came she wouldn't blow it out!

I tried getting her to smile with her cake but that didn't happen. (Yes her shirt is too big. Yes it is Macy's shirt.) We had the Elder's over and our neighbor Parker to help us eat cake.

After cake and ice cream we put together her wagon which was a present from Granny Dot.

I was about to put the girls in the bath when Macy reminded me about Anna's present's from us. Ja was at a meeting so I tried talking Macy into waiting until Ja could be there but she said, "No, Anna wants to open then now." Macy helped open the first present...

Which was a doll stroller! Anna loved it instantly and walked around frantically trying to find a baby to put inside. We had to convince her to come back and open the next present...

because we knew it was a baby doll! Anna immediately tried to rip the baby from the box.

I think she would have been more thrilled with this Frozen book if she had opened it first but it was second class to the baby and the stroller. She glanced at it then moved on.

Anna immediately put her presents to good use. She was so cute carefully putting her baby in the stroller.

And she made sure her baby had her bottle. 

I couldn't get a good shot of her because she wouldn't sit still long enough for a picture. 

I think this cute smile shows how happy she is with her birthday presents!

Anna took her baby in the bathtub with her after this!

Today the girls both took their babies and strollers for a walk around the neighborhood. My two little mommies! They also took them with us to Anna's doctor's appointment. They walked into the office with their babies swaddled in blankets carrying them very still because the babies were sleeping. 

Anna is still on the peanut side. She is 21 lbs (1st percentile), 33.5" (51st percentile), and head circumference is 17" (0%). She is healthy overall but we found out she does not like the doctor! She screamed on the top of her lungs as the doctor was checking her out. She also screamed when I had to take her shoes off to weigh her. She was crying out for her shoes and wanted them back on as soon as she got off the scale. The doctor said, "She may be little but she is feisty!" That's my Anna and I wouldn't have her any other way! I love her to death! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

The rest of our California Trip

We spent almost three weeks in California this summer. We stayed so long for two reasons: 1) it's a long flight and a 3 hour time difference so it's better to stay a long time to make the trip worth it and 2) we won't be going for Christmas since I'll (hopefully) have a baby by then.

We spent a lot of time with family of course. It was hard for me to come back to NC because that meant I'd be leaving all my family behind. At least I still love my house :)

We spent a lot of time driving back and forth between families to soak up every minute with grandparents and great grandparents.

The first morning Macy woke up at 7 a.m. (not bad!) and wanted to ride the jeep right away. She got a lot of practice backing up and driving by the end of the trip. It was funny to watch her back into things and drive into things while turning around. Ja said it's better she's crashing when she's 4 in a pretend car rather than when she's 16 in our real car!

We spent a lot of time swimming in Granny Dot's and Papa's pool. With and without Henry and Charlie.

Macy loved this raft and would pretend to be a Captain of the ship.

Anna started wearing the floatie and greatly enjoyed having freedom in the pool. It makes swimming with her a lot less stressful.

Dorothy pretty much demanded that Ja and I go away for a night while she watched the girls. We only went for one night but she tried talking us into two. What a great mother-in-law! The girls were able to get some great Granny Dot and Papa time. 

I'm not sure how this came to be but Macy wanted Dorothy to take pictures of her posing on the lounge chair. This skirt is now know as her posing skirt. 

Of course cute little Anna wanted to join in!

Their cute model faces.

Dorothy took the girls to Kid Space to play while we were gone. She was very impressed with Macy's  rock climbing ability. 

Ja and I stayed at a gorgeous hotel in Dana Point called The St. Regis. This shot could be in Hawaii. It was a beautiful sunny day and we loved the alone time.

We went to breakfast in the Dana Point harbor which we thought was beautiful. After driving around we decided if we had to move back to California Dana Point would be the only place we'd move it. That is if a house budget wasn't an issue.

Both girls took rides in Papa's convertible. Macy was adorable wearing her sunglasses and was thrilled. Ja told her to put her arms up in the convertible like on a roller coaster. As they drove off we couldn't see her but only her fingers raised high above the seat rest. Greg said she had them up the whole drive. Later on as we drove down Angeles Crest she told us they drove to see the city and pointed out the roads they took . 

Macy got two convertible rides. The first they got shakes and the second hamburgers. She is one lucky girl!

Anna wanted a ride too. She looked a little more terrified than Macy (who is photo bombing this picture.) I don't think Anna put her arms up. When she came back from their short ride down the street she looked stunned.

She must have enjoyed the ride though because Papa earned a hug after their trip.

 We went to eat with Nathan, boys, and Papa one night to The Habit. They have ice cream cones for a $1 that are huge. I ended up eating half of Anna's after she announced she was done. She was so happy to have it though. Look at that smile! 

On the plane ride home we had a layover in Houston. We had time to kill so we wandered around and Macy spotted this purple horse. She wanted to take a picture of it to remind us that she wants one for her birthday or Christmas. I love her pose with the horse. She's our little model!

The girls were great on this trip. They slept well and adapted to the time change quickly. Ja and I were the ones up early in the morning (although that did't last too long). Anna was taking 3 hour naps and one day she took a 4 hour nap! They were great on the plane rides and we miraculously made all of our connections. We love having layovers now. It's nice to have some time to eat lunch and let the girls run around. 

I still can't believe that next time we go to CA we'll have 3 kids!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ventura Beach House!

Another week at the beach this summer! This time at a California beach where the water, waves, scenery, air temperature, and sand is different than North Carolina. This year we went August 1st-8th.

Stacie and Randy pulled up not long after us so I snatched Volcom and said, "Macy look who I have!" She immediately said, " I want to hold baby Volcom!" He's not so much of a baby but he still let Macy hold him. I think he may have liked all the attention and happy to be out of his carseat. 

Of course Anna wanted to hold the "baby" too. He looks the same size as Anna in this picture but she is indeed taller than him. 

They are such cute cousins!

Volcom trying to hold Macy's hand.

Like I said, the scenery is so different from NC beaches. It is something special to have a huge hill right behind our house. We actually had quite a few very clear days where the sky was clear enough to see the Channel Islands.

Since Elle and I are both pregnant I thought it would be fun to do something fun to reveal the gender of our babies. I filled two boxes with blue balloons and let them float up to the sky. I confused people by having two boxes but I thought both of my kids would want to open a box (because they typically fight over things like that) but turns out Anna didn't care. Fortunately I'm not having twins! Elle and Kenny also confused people because they wrote on shirts to reveal the gender. Problem was their shirts were bright pink. Kenny's shirt said "Real men wear pink" and Elle's said "Real Man" with an arrow pointing to her belly. Turns out the whole gender reveal thing was confusing for everyone but in the end there will be two new boy cousins this year!

The whole family was together and we had great scenery so we had to take family pictures.

I wanted one of just the grandparents and grandkids. This is how Anna felt about that idea.

I thought this was a great one of my parents.

Volcom turned 1 on August 6th so we were all able to celebrate with him. He was not a fan of getting cake on his face!

Stacie provided the cute party hats.

Some people also brought presents for Anna so we had an early birthday celebration for her too.

Anna actually loved being sung to and started dancing to Happy Birthday.

Two-year olds are much more likely to try their own cake.

Especially when they have a big sister to show them how it's done.

Anna was more than thrilled to get this Minnie Mouse from Great Grandma and Grandpa Francis. Her whole body shook with excitement and she did not let anyone near it. She was also thrilled that her bathing suit was pink with polka-dots just like Minnie. She wore that bathing suit everyday for the whole week. She even wore it to bed sometimes. Also notice her little pony tail pulled out from underneath the hat. She had to pull it out so she could twirl it.

The house had this blue thing called the Sea Mat. It's a giant blue mat that floats on the water- even with 6 adults on it. People were floating over the waves, doing flips off of it, and getting knocked off of it by waves. Macy was brave enough to go on it too. She had to have Ja hold her the whole time but I was still proud of her for trying.

Macy loved all of her Aunt Jill time!

My cousin Ashley waxed Ja's chest and stomach. PAINFUL.

 Anna was in love with Grandma this week. She was always looking for "Gamma," wanted to be held my Gamma, and even requested that Gamma get her out of the crib. This was very helpful for me. It was great having someone else Anna trusted to help watch her.

Sometimes I call Anna my little cheese ball because of a certain smile she gives me. This smile is close to it and it fits because she's eating Cheetos so she turned orange. Her and Macy loved all the Cheetos that were at the house that week. 

My cousin Ashley also painted Macy's nails. Always a favorite.

This picture is too far away but Macy is in that kayak! She went out with Ja twice that week. Ja was telling her that some people have seen sea lions out by the sea weed patches. As they got out there she tells him, "I don't want to see a sea monster daddy!" Then he told her it's a sea lion but she still didn't want to see it. Probably in her mind she's thinking it's a real lion out in the ocean! 

We had a great week full of family, games, food, ocean, sun, and good memories. I was very said to leave California and say good-bye to all the family. I really wish we could live closer to my siblings! Or any family for that matter. Macy and Anna had a short warming-up period which was great. They were both talking to people and giving high fives. Macy loved being with Aunt Jill and took any chance she got to be with Jill. We are very grateful we could go. Next trip in two years we'll have 3 kids! Yikes!