Friday, August 21, 2009

New Experiences & New Places

As August arrived for our household, so did lots of new experiences, toys, and routines. As July winded down, Jeni began to get ready to return to school for the start of another year. The girls, however, did not know how things would be changing for them as of yet.

Since Jeni went back to work in January, the girls have been with our nanny, Nikki, until Jeni's last day of work in June. Jeni has been home with them most days since then, with the exception of a few days when she went into work to get her new office ready. Well, now that she's getting ready to head back for the full year, the girls are going to go to daycare. We've really enjoyed having Nikki as our nanny and the girls absolutely love her. However, we are going back to our original plan of going to Ms. Georgine's house on the street right behind us.

You may recall that going to Ms. Georgine's was originally scheduled for January. However, she was going to have her mother come and help to make sure she had enough hands to handle our girls along with the other kids she watches. Her mother ended up needing some surgery so we had to go to Plan B which was using a Nanny service.

So, our new routine is that on Mondays, Nana Sharon and Papa Rick come up to watch the girls. This is no change for them. However, Tuesdays through Fridays they go to Ms. Georgine's. In the mornings, I pack the girls in their stroller and walk them back to the cul-de-sac and drop them off.

I anticipated this being something the girls would need to get used to. However, I didn't realize how tough it would be on Jeni and me. The first morning I dropped them off they didn't know what was going on and thought they were 'just visiting' I guess. No major meltdowns. I went down hill from there. Every morning for the next 5 or 6 mornings, as soon as I parked the stroller on the porch and Ms. Georgine would come to the door, the girls would see her and burst into tears. Talk about a horrible way to start your morning... (and I'm talking about me!)

After about 6 or 7 times there in the AM, we decided to try a new tactic. Instead of putting them on the floor to get used to being there, Georgine suggested we put them directly into their high chairs for their morning snack. I was ready to try anything after the guilt I felt and the tearful looks the girls gave me as I walked out the door and left them...

So the first morning we did this everything went smoothly. Sydney went into her high chair, had some bananas and cheerios waiting for her and was fine. Olivia went into her high chair and fussed a tiny bit, but I was able to slip away and head off to work. The second morning went even more smoothly as they barely noticed I left! Woo hoo!

Jeni picks them up everyday now and gets the easy job of having them be super excited to see her. Oh well.

Other things have been quickly changing for the girls as well with them learning to do more and more things on their own. They've become completely mobile, whether it's by cruising (walking along walls, furniture, etc) or by crawling nearly everywhere.

They love getting outside of the confined area of the living room that we refer to as "The Pit" where we try to keep them in with the ottoman and some weighed down clothes baskets. Outside of "The Pit" is where we keep some of their favorite toys such as their Laugh N Learn Kitchen and their Jumpers.

The girls also have started to "walk" behind their cars. They pull themselves up and then push the cars across the floor, kind of like a shopping cart. Olivia is the expert at this and can go from the living room all the way down the hallway. Sydney isn't as interested and does it occassionally.

Sydney is, however, much more of a risk-taker. She tries to, at every chance, to push the limits. Whether it's crawling on or over anything she can, to being very interested in playing with Cassius & Sugar constantly, she's always trying new things. She is also testing us at every turn. She and her sister know very well what "NO-NO" means. However, Sydney will often do something, hear "NO-NO", turn to us and give us a sly grin, and then continue to do what she got into trouble for. She is going to be a handful.
Sydney checking the dogs out on the patio.

Sydney getting into trouble. She climbed up onto the fireplace on her own while we weren't looking.

As you can see, she's also our camera-ham.

Olivia is much more cautious and wary of new things. She's easily startled by sounds and is much more stranger-wary. However, she laughs and giggles much louder than Sydney! It truly is the cutest sound ever.

Another new toy we've started to play with is the Water Table we got from PawPaw Gale and Grandma Vicki for our birthday. It's like a sandbox, but filled with water. The girls can stand next to it and splash and play with their squeaky toys.

As you can see, Olivia wasn't very excited about the water table. Sydney liked it right away and splashed in it immediately.

In order for Olivia to get used to it, Mommy had to sit with her and show her that the water table was actually very fun!

Slowly Olivia warmed up to the idea and was soon having a good time. As was Sydney, Mommy and even Sugar.

Mommy & Sydney enjoying the water table. Sydney liked the squeaky toys the best.

As we already knew, our girls are such little Divas. When we sat the water table up, the girls did not want to stand next to it. The problem wasn't so much the standing as it was, they didn't like standing in the grass. We had to get towels for them to stand on and later we put down some waterproof yoga mats. SPOILED!

The girls are graduating to big time eaters as well. They have dramatically improved how well and how quickly they take their bottles now. What used to be a 40 minute ordeal has become a very simple 15 minute session where they, for the most part, hold their own bottles while on our laps.

They are also eating quite a few solid foods on their own. Every day they eat things like turkey, cheese, cheerios, puffs, fruits like bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, and green beans. One of our newest and most favorite snacks are grilled cheese sandwiches.
Sydney & Olivia eating some green beans. They like green beans alot. However, they sometimes aren't as acurate in getting them into their mouths...

They've also learned that the food that Mommy & Daddy eat is really good too!
Sugar, Sydney & Olivia begging for a bite from Daddy.

Well, as you can see things are moving pretty fast around here. Hope to get back soon to give you all another update. Just finding time is the hard part!
Take care.