Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat!

It's 9:30 and we were surprised the girls are actually sleeping! Filled to the top with candy I figured it would be a long night (knock on wood they are actually out for the night!).

We had fun today. Carol from ECFE came by for a home visit to play with the girls and brought a bin full of rice and scoops. They were totally focused for almost 45 minutes! Carol suggested tracking Rasa's sleep habits and bringing up anything out of the ordinary with our Pediatrican. Rasa wakes up a few times a night still and then is up very early.

After Carol left we made pumpkins out of construction paper and decorated them with crayons, markers and stickers. We had lunch and naps and then a pizza party later on. Gabby and the girls played out with the other neighbors and anxiously awaited trick or treating. It was fun, not terribly long, maybe six or seven houses and then in to check out the candy stash. Rasa and Adia let Gabby do all of the work knocking on the door and saying "trick or treat". They mostly just stood there with their bags open and then whispered "thank you" lol!

It's fun to relive some of these childhood favorites as a Mom. I actually had fun trick or treating too :)

The girls with their candy stash! It's weird they almost look like twins in this pic : P
PS notice the chocolate ring around both of their mouths lol!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween!

The girls and I have been having fun all month doing different autumn/halloween activities when Daddy is away at work (sorry you miss out Hun :( ). We've been to a maze, a big swimming corn pit, the pumpkin patch, a small local farm (with piggies and cows - Adia's favorite!) and went on a hayride with Nana last week. The girls like Halloween and I was surprised a month ago when decorations in stores started going up that they even remembered from last year what it was all for!

Royce's work hosted a family halloween party we went to Thursday night. It was really fun, lots of little kids, treats, prizes and a pizza party. Some of my old friends and co-workers were there with their little ones too which was really fun for me as well.

Tuesday night we were pondering what the girls should wear since it was an indoor party and their costumes they have are made for outdoor trick-or-treating. Rasa spoke up right away and said "I wanna be a princess". Weird, I know. Adia agreed so off I went to find princess costumes. I opted to buy the dress up clothes instead since they were the same price but better made and could be used for years. I picked up a box of plastic heels and some sparkly hair clips and we were all set. When I got home the girls ripped everything out of the packaging and tried it all on so excited that we couldn't get them to sleep that night and little Adia slept clutching on to a pair of her plastic high heels!

Thursday morning comes up and the girls are asking every five minutes when the party is. After naps I started getting them ready and put them in white onsies underneath since the dresses were a little big. Adia's all set to go and Rasa is giving me a vibe that I'm starting to wonder about. I tell her it's time to put her dress on so we can go and she puts her hands on her belly stroking her onsie and says, "soon. not right now". I tell her we need to get going and remind her she needs to wear a costume. She said "No. I'm going to wear this". I was like the heck you are. I spent my Tuesday night fighting crazies at Target for last minute costumes and there is no way I'm bringing you to a party wearing a short sleeved onsie! I calmly tell her if she doesn't wear a costume than no one will give her candy. She thinks for a minute and then yells "put me in my dress!" Candy is the best tool. Of course Rasa's not having the princess shoes and makes me put her in her london boots but whatever. At least I talked her out of her pink baseball hat. Something about the hat with a snowwhite dress just didn't work!

We get outside and ready to load in the car and I tell the girls I need a quick picture. They run half way down the block before turning around after hearing me say if they don't let me get a picture we're not going hehehehe. Check this out lol!

I call it princess complex. Yes it starts early, even before age 3.

Then they lighten up and off we go.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


So my babies are going to be three in January and while they are still my babies I'm not oblivious to the fact they are little girls with opionions, wants and thoughts all their own (how could I be they scream it at me everyday!). Our sleep routing has changed slightly over the years but they still nap once a day and we still sooth them into their sleep. Tonight when I was sitting in the rocker in the dark holding Adia like a baby (she likes it that way!) Rasa was settling in on the floor on a pillow with a blanket over her head. I always sing a lullaby to them but tonight I asked if they wanted me to just to make sure. They both said yes and I sang, in the dark, rocking my baby while thinking loving and sweet thoughts about Rasa by my feet.

The song I sing most is a Music Together lullaby that I changed just slightly to include the girls names:

Sleep Rasa Bea
Sleep Adia
I will keep you safe and warm
So sleep
Sleep, Sleepyheads

As I sing it relaxes me and the girls just float into a calm peace before falling fast asleep. It's this time that I'm so thankful for right now knowing someday, maybe soon, I wont have this time with them. Some night they might tell me not to sing to them. It gives me time to reflect on my heart and my love of being a Mom, being their Mom. It gives me a peace and happiness about my family even after the most frustrating and trying days.

Nights like tonight it makes all of the pain of being committed to helping them sleep night after night, during my own illness or exhaustion, after long days when all I really wanted to do was put them in their beds and close the door, so worth it because like the saying goes; they are only young one time and its gone in an instant.

Tonight I treasured the moment and my blessings and remembered that one time when I longed so badly for a baby that I was promised I would be blessed more than I could imagine in my wildest dreams. Thank God for Rasa and Adia.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Rasa, Rasa, Rasa

Rasa and I were snuggling on the bed yesterday afternoon and when she sat up the light coming through the window just illuminated her and I asked her if I gave her some candy (yes of course I have to bribe my kids to let me take their pictures!) if she would let me photograph her. She was game so I grabbed my camera and a handful of hot tamales and knew I had no more than five minutes!

After I loaded the pictures on my computer I was shocked at how mature and grown up she looked. I actually teared up a little. My sweet little babe, the girl who is literally attached to me all day long (even as far as when I walk her grabbing onto my leg and hobbling along). Won't be long before she grows out of that and I long for her sweet touch.

*This is her signature "funny face" lol!

*Rasa set up this picture and then asked me to review the image after the first time I pretended to take a picture of the owl and then got busted for not having proof.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Good Morning!

The girls get up really (really, really, really, really) early! Correction: Rasa gets up really early and then wakes up me and Adia (both of us could easily sleep until 9 every morning!). The loft where they have all of their play things is only down the hall from our bedroom so I left them with their breakfast to sneak back to bed hoping they would play a while before noticing I was gone. Ten minutes later Rasa wandered into my bed wanting to play peek-a-boo under the covers giggling, jumping and wiggling! Adia heard her laughter and came a running. It didn't matter that I was pretending to be asleep or that I tried to hide under the covers, they just kept on giggling and playing until finally I agreed to join in on the fun.
Tired or not these two make it impossible to have a bad morning!

(PS and off topic...that is Stockmar modeling beeswax in Rasa's hand that she's warming and not only is it waaaaay better than playdoh, it has the most amazing natural smell it's like something straight out of Aveda).

making life sweet

My dear friend Mary came over yesterday afternoon for a cupcake happy hour with me and the girls. Nothing reminds me more of cupcakes than my friend Mary. Her and I used to work together and take turns bringing in sweet treats. We shared a love for cake, pastries and just about anything with a healthy dose of sugar. Both of us had our own candy stash in our desk drawers. Our jobs both ended around the same time but we kept in touch. Mary was a great source of support for me when we were planning our family. She made it possible for me to juggle the never ending doctors appointments, hormones, injections and even heartbreak. I remember sobbing in her office one time and not having to feel the slightest bit embarrassed or inappropriate. She took care of me like I was her own daughter. Eventually Royce and I chose ivf and she shared in the joy and excitement of our positive pregnancy test, anticipation of our daughters and celebration of their arrival.

Mary was gracious and caring and fed my sprit on a daily basis and I truly miss that but feel better and wiser because of the things she taught me and wisdom she shared with me.

She is family.

Thank you for making my life sweet, Mary and thank you for your friendship.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

good night sleep tight Adia

I was snuggling on the couch in the dark tonight with Adia layng across my lap at bedtime and she shouted, "I'm going to see piggies and cows!!".

Me: "Oh in your dreams you're going to play with piggies and cows?"

Adia: "Yes"

Me: "You can dream about anything, go anywhere and be anything!"

Adia: "Me going to see piggies and cows and, and, and ELEPHANTS!!! A baby and a baby kitty too! And you can come too Momma!"

Me: "Yay!! We are going to have so much fun in your dreams tonight, Adia!"

Adia: "Yes. And We are going to go to the beach! And there will be water and sand and we can walk in it and it will be easy. We will have to have our shoes on. We are going to get yogurt out of the fridge and bring it to the beach and Papa's going to come, I'm going to come, you're going to come and Rasa's going to come in her swimsuit. I'm going to wear my swimsuit too."

All I can say is that is some special zoo farm beach and I'm all for it!

art class! blogging done by daddy

Lissa is always on the prowl for new things for the girls to experience. Whether it be just a trip down the road to explore a field or a car ride to a farm a few towns over. Via some of her recent searches, she found a place where they offered age specific art classes! I think the word Bingo comes to mind. Some time went by and we finally decided it was a go. There was a Saturday morning option and I thought what a perfect chance for me to get one on one time with the girls, and dually, give mommabird some quite time in the a.m. before her shoots.

I couldn't stop telling the girls about it! Rasa was very excited about the idea. Adia didn't want to go. She has been in a phase where she doesn't get to happy about going places. I wasn't worried, I knew once we got there she would have fun.

The Friday before was something else. I was so excited. As I laid with Rasa when she was going to sleep she said "we going to art class tomorrow?" I said, "We sure are!" and then she went right to sleep. Ms. Adia was still not excited about the whole thing!

Saturday morning arrived. Got the girls ready to go with Lissa and soon enough we were backing out of the driveway waving to momma. This was our first real just daddy and girls outing. I'm pretty sure momma took the whole thing the hardest.

As we rolled down the highway to class the girls and I talked about the songs that were playing on the radio. Our girls are very into music and love dancing. Both groove anytime music is playing. The car is no exception! I looked back in the rear view mirror and both Adia and Rasa were dancing and wiggling away in their car seat to the tunes. Im reminded with simple things like this why life is so good. My girls make me so happy.

Of course Daddy and his picky ways made us have to stop at a specific coffee shop for some coffee on our way to class. It worked out well, since the only way I could get Ms. Adia to agree to get the car was that we would stop and get a treat! The treat this morning was a fruit and cheese platter. My girls love apples and cheese thanks to my lovely wife! As Adia was munching away she was quick to say "I don't wanna go to art class!" in between bites. Rasa would follow up with "we going to art class, right papa?". We were off to our final and hopefully well accepted art class. On the last stretch to the city some rain drops hit my windshield! Oh no, not for us, but momma! She had a photo shoot this morning. It was some light rain and seemed to simply disappear the closer to the city we got.

As we came up to our final stoplight, there was a playground on our right. Of course the girls saw it blocks before. This playground would later prove to be a key to the success of this outing! We pulled up to building, it's located in Minneapolis so we parked on the street right in front. Of course due to my OCD about getting to places on time we arrived a half hour early!!! This could get ugly. The girls were still working on their treats and oblivious to where we were.

I called Lissa to let her know we had arrived and she was glad for the update and was heading out the door for her shoot. There were some neat benches out in front of the school so I asked the girls if they wanted to get out and see them. They were game so we were one step closer to class!!! I was doing my best to keep Adia busy until we could get inside and then she would have stuff to play with. The three of us sat on the bench together. Perfect fall morning, even on the warm side. There was a chance for rain forcasted so the good weather was another factor in our favor for this adventure.

Adia and Rasa played peek a boo around a street light and laughed like no tomorrow. I love their ability to just be and have pure true fun. I learn so much from them. Since this is the city there are always people on the move and this morning was no exception. The beauty of my little girls is they can make just about the hardest individual crack a smile. Adia is very observant and now comments on the things she sees. Her little voice is something very special. A man walked by us and Adia said: "That man was so nice" and "He had a mustache papa". I could see the man had heard her and smiled. Another man walked by with his dog and Adia said: "That puppy was big" and of course "That puppy was so cute!".

We were now about 15 mins from the start of class. I asked the girls if they wanted to walk around a bit. They were all for it. I feel so proud walking down the street holding the hands of my girls. There is nothing like it. As we walked down the street along the front of the school there was a window where we could see in the classroom! This excited Rasa and I, and Adia was reminded of the reason we were here, "I don't want to go to Art class!!". This is where the playground I had mentioned came into play (pun intended). The playground was now in plain site from where we were standing so I quickly pointed and made the girls aware. I told Adia that after class we could go there when we were done with class. That was enough to sway her! I was so happy for that dumb playground. With that last victory we were to class time!

As we entered the Articulture building it was plain to see why this place was for kiddos! The girls were instantly at ease and broke free from my side. There was a table with some toys, paper, markers and magnets! Adia started right in on drawing with the markers! I was so relived and happy this happened so quick and naturally. Rasa worked on puzzles, just blazing through the new puzzle like it was one she had done a million times. I walked around while the girls played and checked out the books they had. It was funny, the girls had almost all the books here! Everything was coming up millhouse for me today.

Our teacher noticed us and came out and introduced herself. She was a very nice lady and the girls seemed to really like her. She let me know the class was to have 6 kids total including Adia and Rasa. We continued to play while we waited for the others to show up.

As we waited I was still really just amazed on how well the girls were doing. One of the girl's first classmates showed up! A boy by the name of Miles. He and his dad Jon! I have to admit I was pretty excited another dad was in the mix. I always seem to be the only guy with things of this nature. Both Miles and Jon were very nice and greeted the girls and I and were quick to join us at the table to play.

It was just about 915 when our teacher said she didn't want to wait anymore for the others and have us miss out. This meant it was on to the ART ROOM! We all rolled into the art room and right when we walked into the room the girl's faces lit up! There was a huge table with chairs and chairs with booster seats! We found the seats we wanted and got started! The room was filled with natural sunlight since one of the walls was completely made of windows! Just awesome all around. I was having flashbacks from all my art classes from when I was child. Each of the girls had their own buckets filled with art supplies. One consisted of water color pencils, paint brush, crayons and markers. The other was water, a paint brush and a water dropper.

The water and paint brush became the favorite of each girl right off the bat. Our teacher was great in just suggesting neat processes and things for the kids to try. Making marks with the pencils and markers on paper, then using the brush to apply water and change the color was loved! Adia and Rasa just were in heaven. Since it was so nice out our teacher asked us all of we wanted to move the class outside for the last portion of the class. YES!

This is when the small portion of our adventure had a bumpy spell. In the entry of the Articulture is a small shop where you can purchase small toys and the like. As we were moving to the back door to go outside something in the shop caught Rasa's eye. She quickly b-lined to a small piggy finger puppet. Adia and I quickly followed her. I let her know that the piggy was our teachers and that she couldn't have it. She didn't like that statement one bit! Rasa sprawled herself out on the floor of the shop and cried! Our teacher was outside with Jon and Miles by this time. I quickly sat Rasa on my leg and explained to her I knew she was upset because she wanted the piggy, but it was our teachers and not ours and that we needed to go outside with everyone to have fun. I'm pretty sure I saw Adia crossing her fingers as I was saying that! As luck would have it, just as quick as Rasa was on the floor crying, she was saying "piggy isn't mine, it's the teachers" and "lets go outside!"

We quickly went to the back door and got our outside buckets that held an even larger paint brush! Of course the girls LOVED the even larger brushes and buckets of water!!! We sat outside with our teacher, Jon and Miles and drew with sidewalk chalk and then brushed what we drew with the paint brushes with water!!!! When I didn't think it could get any more fun, what did our teacher suggest? Dumping the water from our buckets on the tree by us! Of course the girls were head over heels about that idea!! We dumped out buckets and we headed back inside for the closure of our first art class! Once we were all back inside our teacher finished up by reading a book to us. It just so happened that said book happened to be one of the girls favorites! The Oops book! Once she finished we said our goodbyes and we were on our way home. The girls had so much fun we didn't even have to stop at the park!!!

Our first adventure to art class couldn't have gone better. The girls had a blast and really liked our teacher and classmate. Next week we get to work with clay and play DOH! We are in for some great times.

As we drove home we were all very excited to see momma and tell her all about it. It is funny the first thing we all think about when we get in the car is momma bird.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

first day of art class!

Royce and the girls just left for their first day of art class. They're taking a class from Articulture called Wee Grow Art and it's just for 2 year olds and their parent. The class looks great and the school is really cool tucked away in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis. The school reminds me of my art department in highschool and the studios at MCAD all paint stained and stock piled with art supplies and the smell of oils and acrylics. I still feel inspirited by art on a daily basis and it's been one of the most important things in my life as a young child, teenager and adult. I think it's great the girls have an opportunity to be immersed in art and the freedom that comes from expressing yourself and telling a story that you create all on your own. There is no right or wrong with art, there is no coloring in the lines, and no mistakes to be made. It's a simple and beautiful thing that works so many of your senses and abilities all at the same time. What a gift to introduce to your children!

Adia was nervous and has been telling us for two days she doesn't want to go to art class. Rasa has been really excited asking to go "right now!" all week. Adia has been apprehensive lately about going to music class too but once she gets there she always enjoys herself. I think I messed things up by reading her Llama Llama Misses Mama because in that story the little Llama goes off to school and then his Mama leaves him there. I was telling Adia that Daddy would be there the whole time and she could stay on his lap or next to him the whole time. Even though the girls are growing, and ever so quickly, I get reminders from them that they are just babies still at only 2 years old.

So I'm sitting in a quiet house (too quiet!) drinking my latte and waiting to leave for a photo session (my own art!). Part of me feels excited for them and part of me is nervous too. I don't know why! I'm used to being the person doing new things with the girls and dragging them all over town. It's hard to watch them pull away and a little part of me feeling like i'm missing out even though I know they need time with their hero, their daddy. I'm happy Royce wanted to do this with just them to have some special time each week to look forward to. Him taking time to spend with the girls and giving himself to them makes him so special to each of them. They are so proud of Royce and like to show him off. Rasa said to her friend last week over and over, "wanna come and see my Daddy?!", "This is my Daddy" as she smiles and gives his arm a tight squeeze. The benefits of Royce being a hands on dad is that the girls love being around him because of how he makes them feel and in turn he loves being around them because of how they make him feel.

I can't wait to hear all about their morning and what they did and learned.