February chill

 - by Gretel

It’s cold up here.  This is likely not any news to anyone, but 80+ days of sub zero weather gets to everybody.  We’re a bit crabby at the moment, but doing our best to persevere.  There have been some amusements and bright spots (and I had a birthday), but it’s a lot of one day at a time until things thaw a little.

Here’s some of the fun we’ve been having:

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Evelyn and Ilyana enjoyed a new exhibit at the children’s museum from Blue Man Group.  Evelyn took to the pipe machine in particular.

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Lots of noise and fascinating things at the exhibit.

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Daddy continues to be an unending source of amusement.  In typical sibling rivalry fashion, they want to both sit on him at the same time.

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They both enjoyed cake and ice cream for my birthday.  Evelyn in particular excels at getting chocolate everywhere.

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Another highlight was Ilyana’s choir concert at school.  The theme was “Movie Jeopardy” and they were to dress as their favorite movie character.  She chose Wednesday from the Addams Family Movie.

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She did a great job of being serious on stage, but couldn’t help but smile a little during picture time.

Below are a couple videos of the event:

We’re still smiling, though, and getting along as much as possible.

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Stay warm!

Happy birthday, Evelyn!

 - by Gretel

Okay, okay, Evelyn’s birthday was really two weeks ago, but things have been busy.  We had a lovely birthday with three Skypes with grandparents, birthday cupcakes, and lots of fun presents for our little Miss 3.  Enjoy the pictures!


Happy Birthday to me, with balloons too!


What’s this?


The pony is just like big sister’s, and is a big hit.


Who are these guys?


Evelyn calls them “Batgirl and My Woman!”


Big sister gave the requisite monkey (Evelyn love monkeys).




Mmm, chocolate.


I’m going to enjoy this now!

Ohio Road Trip

 - by Gretel

I am very fortunate to still have my grandmother with us.  Tomorrow, August 8th, she turns 99.   Grandma Louise is a hell of a woman, and still has her sparky personality.

Until recently, Grandma hadn’t met Evelyn in person, and it had been quite some time since she saw Ilyana.  I decided to take the opportunity to go and visit with the girls.  My mom hit the road with us, so we had a five-day girls trip to Ohio.

While ten hours in the car is never fun, it was so worth it.  The girls were great, and were pretty taken with Grandma Louise.  Grandma had a good time watching our little balls of energy light up her house, and was equally relieved when I took them out for a few outings :).

I am so glad we went, though we are all still recovering.  I am also very grateful to Mom for making it both possible to go, and easy to do!

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I love rest areas with playground equipment!

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As did the girls.


We had a good time together once we got to Grandma Louise’s house.


The girls were good troopers.

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We also found a neat science museum in Newark called “The Works.”

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The hands-on play was great.

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You can’t see it from this angle, but there was a heat-sensing camera that had Ilyana fascinated.


And, of course, we had great visiting time with Grandma.


She had fun watching us shuck corn for dinner.


And we had the chance to take a few photos (despite the goofy faces).


We couldn’t quite get everyone smiling at the same time…


Or keeping their eyes open…but we had fun.

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As a bonus, we stopped at the Brookfield Zoo on the way back.  It was a great way to wear out the girls for the long afternoon drive home.


Love you, Grandma Louise!