Friday, April 27, 2012

Piggy Back Ride - by Jamie

I was lucky enough to be home when the space shuttle Enterprise did it's tour de New York today. This was one of those once in a lifetime moments that I'm so happy I got to see. The shuttle is making NYC it's permanent home now that NASA is done with the shuttle program. Can't wait to go see it on display!! (Photos taken from our outdoor terrace...which very closely resembles a fire escape...)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

a reminder

Tonight, when I was putting Audrie to bed, I got a nice reminder of why I keep this blog updated. Lately, Audrie has been on a kick of wanting me to tell her stories from when she was a baby. So I've been telling her things I can remember that stick out in my mind. But I was starting to run out of story ideas, so I went and got the blog book from 2008 (I use to print our blog into books). I laid down with Audrie and we flipped through the book together. She loved it! (and I did, too)

So I decided to try posting some more 'every day' things to the blog, so we'll have these memories preserved, too.

This next picture is a little dated (that's why there is no grass or leaves on the trees), but I like it because it's just another day on the job for Jamie.

 I haven't said it enough lately but it is such a HUGE blessing to me that Jamie gets to stay home with our daughters during this time of our lives. My job is so emotionally draining that I don't think I could handle knowing that Audrie and Annie were in daycare all day long, too. When I'm having a especially tough day at school, it's nice to be able to call Jamie and hear what is going on with the girls. And, yes, it is tough for Jamie, too, to be a stay-at-home-dad. He misses his co-workers and aspects of his career. But he always tells me that he likes doing it and we truly do appreciate that he is getting this daddy/daughter bonding time with them!
 Their typical day is 'park-nap-park', as Jamie calls it. And I've probably mentioned this before, but there are a billion parks in this city. We honestly find new parks every week that the girls love. Each park has it's own unique play equipment, ages that it's geared for, grassy space, or dirt/sand piles which the girls love digging in. Whatever it takes to get them worn out for naptime.

Both girls are still great nappers. They eat lunch about 12:30, and nap from about 1:00-3:30 (but sometimes will nap until 4-4:30)! Since Audrie turned 4, she will occasionally not take a nap, but she's good about staying in her bed for a few hours. If Jamie has time, he will take them back outside before I get home at 5:30.
 When it's rainy or cold outside, they love to watch cartoons or play on our electronics. I couldn't find Annie the other day for a second. I found her in her bed where she had drug the iPad in her crib with her and was watching a cartoon on Netflix.
Annie can completely navigate our electronics. She logs in, finds her favorite apps or videos, and has a great time. Her all-time favorite is to watch Annie (the musical) on Netflix. It's adorable that she likes that one. I think because it says her name over and over.
 Audrie and Annie do play really well together. Of course, they fight, too, but I think being home together every day actually has helped them become really close. This Fall they both will be doing more pre-school time, so it will be interesting to see how that changes their time they spend together.
 We are excited for Annie to be enrolled in her own class a few hours a week this Fall. She is such a people-person that I know she will have a blast in her own classroom full of two year olds. At least we know everyone in that room will get plenty of hugs! :)
 We still don't know what God has in store for our future- how long we will be in NYC, where life will take us next, etc. We are just trying to live in the moment. (But that doesn't mean I don't dream about moving back to Arkansas, building a cozy house in the country with a huge front porch, and getting some chickens and a big garden...!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

make new friends

Since the day they were born, both my girls have been very social and make friends fast. I was wondering what this transition to a big city would do to their outgoing personalities. I shouldn't have worried because they both still talk to everyone they meet and make a new friend at the park everyday.

Here is Audrie walking home from pre-school with two of her gal pals, Carina and Lola.


And I love this photo that Jamie took of Annie in the park with a new friend she made. (She knows how to find the cute boys..!)

When we go to the park if Audrie doesn't see one of her regular friends, she will quickly find someone new to play with. Like this little boy that she built dirt piles with one afternoon.

 And I think I've posted about this before, but Audrie has a friend in her ballet class named Gracie. And every day when we leave ballet they both want to pose next to this statue on our walk to the subway.
I will say the oddest thing happened the other day when we were coming home from church. The girls and I were waiting outside the bagel shop while Jamie ran in to get some lunch for us. Audrie started smiling and saying hi to a homeless man on the street. The homeless guy reached in his cup and handed Audrie a quarter. She smiled and said thanks! I wasn't really sure if that was ok, but they were both smiling, so I just said thank you and we left!

So, yeh, my daughters have no problem making friends in this city! ha!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

these girls of ours

I had been wanting to attempt an outdoor photo shoot with the girls for awhile now, but I could never seem to work it out. So the other day I impromptly threw a blanket up on the wall and thought I'd see if I could get the girls to cooperate. They did pretty good! (I share my secret at the end of this post...). I love that first picture up there because I can just see their devious little smiles plotting how they are going to take this photo shoot DOWN. ;)
 I think this next picture below needs a little thought bubble coming out of Annie's head... I can only imagine what she is thinking?!

 Jamie saw these pictures of Audrie and asked "Who is this girl??". Trying to look all sweet and innocent. Anyone who has a preschooler knows their number one hobby is to think of new clever ways to annoy their parents.
 But somehow we still love her so much it hurts.

 And these two girls love each other more than we'd ever imagined. Like really, I'm not making that up to sound all cliche. When Audrie and Annie have been away from each other for more than five minutes and see each other again- they run squealing towards each other, hug, and scream each other's names. It's so crazy adorable it's almost awkward to watch! ha

There is so much going on behind this next picture of Annie. She is deciding whether to run up and hug your legs... or bite your kneecaps. 
 She does have a lot of love to give. This sweet girl!

Oh Audrie. My firstborn and so special to me.
I think this last one may be the one I have to frame...
 Ok, so the secret to this 15 minute photo shoot. I moved furniture away from the wall, thumb tacked a blanket to the wall, and then told the girls to come sit down for a puppet show. I should have asked Jamie to take a picture of me because I had my camera in my right hand snapping away and in my other hand I kept switching out puppets and putting on a completely stupid puppet show (most of the time the puppets were eating mommy's head), but the girls thought it was hilarious and I got to snap a few precious photos. So if I had to lose my head to a few puppets... it was worth it! :)
I was putting Audrie to bed the other night and we got to the part in our prayers where we thank God for things- Audrie said "Thank you, Jesus, for Mommy and Daddy going to the hospital and having Audrie and Annie."


Yes, thank you, God.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

saving these photos for Audrie's first date

 Oh my goodness, I came in the bathroom the other day to find Audrie playing in my make-up bag. She had smeared blush ALL OVER her face and was starting in on the eye shadow. I died!
 But she was so serious about it and was very proud of how she looked.
 She said "look how good my make-up is, mommy! Let's go show daddy!".
It took a lot of scrubbing for me to get her face clean! She had a nice pink glow for a few days. ha!

found these pics

 When my mom and nieces came to town last month I got our dress-up box out and I think the teenage girls had more fun than the toddlers! :)

 Oh, Emily, you know I'm going to have to put this on Facebook...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

whole lotta sass

Audrie got her hair cut today. It's hard to tell in the picture (as I'm sure you are distracted by the sass!) but she got quite a bit cut off. I already love her hair so much better now. I did love her long tresses (and teared up when I saw them in a pile on the salon floor) but they would instantly look tangled and she spent most of the day with orphan hair. So now at least it won't tangle as easy and it has a shape to it other than pre-dreadlocks.

(PS- this picture is just a little tease... I did a photo shoot with the girls today and can't wait to share the photos. These two are a hot mess! ha!)

Monday, April 09, 2012

little red lighthouse

Before we left Arkansas one of our friends, Angela Hopkins, gave the girls a book about The Little Red Lighthouse and The Great Gray Bridge since she knew we would be living close to the George Washington Bridge. The girls love reading this book. So we decided today that we would go find this lighthouse and check it out.

And, y'all, I have grown comfortable walking in pretty much any part of this city, but today we walked through an area I'd stay far away from at night! We could have taken a cab, but oh no, we marched our little blond headed girls down the sketchy tunnels and underpasses to get to this lighthouse. It was part of the adventure, right?!

It was a beautiful day out today! So we enjoyed the walk.
I had Annie in my carrier so it was hard to include her in the photos...

"Jamie, where are you taking us??"
Finally we got close to the bridge and the waterfront was pretty to walk along.

Then we saw it! The lighthouse!

Audrie was so excited (or as she pronounces it "buck-cited")!
It looks just like it does in the story. Cowering under the huge bridge!

The lighthouse is closed so you can't go up in it, but the girls were still happy to see it in person.

We spread a blanket out and had a little picnic there.
 The area around the lighthouse is really pretty.
 It was nice to just chill and enjoy the scenery for a bit.

 The girls had fun trying to throw rocks in the Hudson River.
 The Manhattan skyline...
 One of the great things about the weather here is that Spring seems to last forever. We are used to Arkansas where you get like two weeks of springtime and then the summer heat kicks in. It's nice that there are still trees starting to bud and flower gardens just now starting to bloom.
 My sweet girls. (Thanks, Jamie, for the photo!)

 Audrie doesn't miss a chance to be Ariel on the perfect rock.
 It was a fun little trip down to the lighthouse and now we can cross that off our 'to-do' list.

Tomorrow we are renting bicycles (those ones with the child seats on the back) and going bike riding through Central Park (another item on our list of "things to do while we live in NYC").
Happy Spring Break to me!