Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ice Days

The weather around our parts has been crazy. We had "thunder sleet" on Sunday night that canceled school for Monday and Tuesday as well. Tony was also off work on Monday and had a "late arrival" day on Tuesday, so we got to have some time together as a family and enjoy our extended weekend.

We spent most of the day on Monday in our pajamas drinking hot chocolate, coloring, and watching Mickey Mouse. The kids were excited to see the ice, but neither Tony nor I ventured outdoors- we decided we couldn't risk the kids slipping and falling on the ice, so we opted to look through the windows.

Harper also discovered "tea party" over the ice days, and we have had a few tea parties since then. She enjoys trotting out all the cups and bowls and making "cookies" for her guests. Harper was quick to correct me when I asked if she was having another tea party later this week. She said "No, Momma, hot chocolate!"  Apparently we only have hot chocolate parties in this house. :)

Harper invited Jack to join in on the fun- on a quick side note, she has been super sweet to her brother lately, even giving him an unsolicited hug today; I love that girl. Jack was given a bowl and a spoon, but he quickly replaced his assigned silverware with something much more his speed so he could better eat his pretend ice cream, a ladle.

Oh, on a totally unrelated note- Jack has started really talking in full, conversational sentences this week  and for the first time Jack said "I love you, Momma". It melted my heart, and made me want to scoop him up and never let him go. I hope he'll stay a sweet boy forever. He also had a tummy ache that I asked him about when I got home from work- he'd been fussy and had been having bad reflux. I asked him, "Jack, does your tummy hurt?" to which he replied, "yes, now it feels better". I was blown away. I love that he's communicating so well. Harper has also surprised us with new words and phrases like "thank you" anytime you hand her something- such a polite girl. I don't know when these two got to be so big, but I feel like every time I turn around, they're learning something new.

The remainder of the week has passed by pretty quickly, and I caught up on a variety of chores while I was home for two days, so now I'm hoping to have a more restful weekend. We are supposed to get another round of snow/wintery mix tomorrow, so we may have some more snow day pictures to share soon!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Weekend Update

I want to begin this post by looking back. Two years ago today, February 22nd, Jack came home.  Tony and I were so worried that we wouldn't know what to do with this little guy that was entrusted to our care. Here we are two years later, and I can't imagine life without your smile, Jack-man. Momma is so proud of the little boy you're becoming and I am so thankful everyday that I get to "cuddle, cuddle" with you and know that you are home.

Okay, now on to our fun stuff this weekend. The kiddos and I took a trip to Target where Harper found the co-part to Jack's Daniel Tiger stuffed animal- her name is Katerina the cat...guess who we came home with...

So, now instead of just hearing Daniel Tiger singing, we also get Katerina's accompaniment as well, and Harper has already learned the song she sings.

In addition to acquiring a new friend this weekend, we also went on an adventure to buy a new dishwasher. Who knew the kids would like Lowe's so much?  They were so excited to look at the floor model dishwashers, dryers, and ovens. They also got to sit at the counter while we worked out the details of our purchase, and they played with the credit card machines; Jack kept pressing buttons and saying "order, order!" 

Jack also found a bench just his size on our way out- I would sit on a bench with this boy any day.

Harper also let me do her hair- something Durinda has been working on. Harper was so patient with me, and I think this little bow head looks pretty good for a mom who has no "hair fixing" experience.

We spent the remainder of the day Saturday playing at the house, taking Abby for a run, and then going up to our gym. The gym moved to a bigger place and Tony spent his free time this weekend helping our friends get the new place ready, so the kids and I went up to hang out for a little while Saturday night. Harper and Jack were excited to get to see their friends Madeline and Braydon, and, thankfully, they didn't get break any thing or get in the way too often.

Sunday Harper requested pancakes, and we were out of syrup (she mater-of-factly told me "go to the store and get more"), so we deiced to go for breakfast with our little family. The weather was cold and rainy, and we were seated in a tucked away little corner booth. The kids were adorable eating their pancakes, drinking hot chocolate, and chatting with us. Breakfasts like that are moments I wish I could freeze and relive over and over. 

After breakfast we ran to the grocery store (along with the rest of our neighbors) and then hustled the kids back into the van in the rain and zoomed home to watch Mickey Mouse and have smoothies for lunch. The kids took naps, Skyped with Papa, and we had a great family dinner of chili and cornbread before giving the kids a bath and tucking them in their nice warm beds. I am so thankful on cold nights like this that we are blessed with a roof over our head and food on our table. 

To end the blog tonight, here are a couple of pictures of two of my favorite guys snuggling after nap time this afternoon, and a picture of my favorite girl playing with her daddy earlier this week, and our newest book worm, Abby girl!  I love them. Thank you, God, for our blessings.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Valentine's Day Our Way

The Colletts celebrated Valentine's Day a little differently this year than we ever have before. We've celebrated with dinners in expensive restaurants, fancy desserts, and weekend getaways, but this year Tony and I celebrated Valentine's day with peanut butter sandwiches and catching up on the DVR.  We did have a good reason, however, for the low key celebration: Friday the 13th, Jack officially gave up his pacifier.

We knew that we wanted to wean Jack off his "wub-a-nub" when he turned two, but a series of illnesses and poor timing had us going into February with a boy who still wanted his "wubby" every night. After doing some reading and some talking, Tony and I decided the best thing to do would be to tell Jack we were going to give his wub-a-nub to a baby and let him pick out a new toy as a replacement for the "friend" he was going to lose.

We talked about getting rid of the pacifier and Jack decided to "give" his wub-a-nub to our friend's son who is 9 months old. So, we picked a cool box and Jack happily put his wubby in the box and we gave lots of high-fives and there were smiles all around. We packed up the kids and went to dinner and then stopped by a toy store to let Jack pick something out (and Harper too).

As soon as we saw Daniel Tiger, Jack was enthralled; he held tight to Daniel as we wandered through the store trying to get Harper to pick out something small. In fact, Jack was upset when we had to give Daniel to the store clerk to ring him up.

For those who don't know, Daniel Tiger is a character from Mister Rogers Neighborhood (one of my favorite children's shows) who has now gotten his own cartoon. Jack and Harper catch the cartoon some days before Sesame Street and they really like the singing Daniel Tiger does. Well, lucky for Jack (and for Tony and I) the Daniel Tiger stuffed animal also sings when you push his hand! Oh boy!

So, we put Jack and Harper to bed- Day 1 with no pacifier and Jack cried from 8-10. Tony and I walked in and out trying to calm Jack down and he finally wore himself out and slept until about 12:15 and he cried again until 1am when I finally popped up a pack-n-play in our room and we put Jack right next to us. I was able to get him to fall asleep and calm him when he whimpered throughout the night.

The next morning was Valentine's Day and after surviving the first night with no pacifier, Jack woke up to presents and cards from people who love him, and Daniel Tiger, of course. Harper was also excited to open her Valentine's gifts and have a yummy breakfast.

 After breakfast, the kids and I went on a nice run with Abby- a perfect way to enjoy the wonderful weather- and we even got to play outside as a whole family when Tony got home from the gym. Here are some of our favorite shots of our kiddos who now run and jump and play and can't wait to spend time outside.

We ended our day with a trip to the mall and a little boy who only cried for 30 minutes and then slept through the whole night without his pacifier!  Everyday since then, he's gotten a little better. In fact, tonight was the "biggest" regression we've seen since Saturday night and Jack only cried for 15 minutes or so.

Here are some pictures of the kids this week. I especially love the giant tower Jack built by standing on a stool, Harper in her golfing outfit- she insisted on wearing a hat and played golf with a soccer ball- I love that girl. When Harper put on her hat, she also insisted that I find a hat for Jack, so here are some pictures of Jack in his hat too. We also managed to eat dinner as a whole family three nights this week- all of us eating at the same time- that's a record!

This week we've seen the kids language really take off and both are talking in complete sentences. Jack speaks in whole sentences more often than not, in fact, he even said "good night, sleep tight" when we turned off the light. I love these kiddos so much, and I know that I may regret saying this, but I'm really liking 2- much better than the baby phase, and even better than the early walker phase. We'll see what adventure these two come up with next!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Birthday Party People

I'm finally getting around to posting the pictures of the twins birthday party from a week ago. They had so much fun, and we had a such a good time celebrating with those we love.

Jack and Harper were so excited to see Papa and Uncle Bubba and Emmy when we got home from getting haircuts. I was happy to have some distraction for the kids while Tony and I did some last minute party preparations.

Jack was insistent that we wanted Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets at his party; Harper wanted cake, and both kids were excited to have party hats. Well, Tony took care of the nuggets and cakes, but we couldn't find party hats. Papa and Uncle Bubba made a last minute run to get the party hats and save the day.

The kids were excited to see Nana and Pop and Great Granny and Aunt Becky and Uncle Rex who arrived just in time for the nuggets to be unwrapped and the guacamole to be finished. Ms. Durinda was also nice enough to come out on her day off to help the kids celebrate, so, we all grabbed some plates and chatted with with friends while the kids played and Abby trolled around for food.

The Mickey and Minnie Mouse hula cake was a big hit and Jack and Harper enjoyed listening to everyone sing "Happy Birthday" to them. They both blew out their candles (with a little help from Mom) and then they dug into their cake. Jack had cake all over his face, up his nose, all over his cheeks...Harper, on the other hand, was a very dainty girl eating her cake- it's funny to see how different they really are.

After cake we opened presents and the kids were so excited to see their new books and toys and puzzles and shoes that they were still running through the house playing as our guests left. The two birthday kiddos finally fell into bed past their bedtime, and very sleepy but also very happy.

Happy 2nd Birthday Harper and Jack! You make two look so cool!