Family Fun Night

Last night was our church's Family Fun Night, where the kids go trick-or-treating to all the Sunday School classrooms, we have our annual Chili Cook-off, a costume parade, a donut-eating contest and, of course, eat lots of tasty treats. I have been in charge of putting the evening together for the past few years and it's just a great evening. Jonathan has been the master of ceremonies for the past two years and this year hosted as Elvis. Let's see if you can guess who I was from the pictures below. 

We dressed the girls as black and white puppies and I am not quite sure what they thought of all the costumes, but they did have a great time at the party. They kept looking at me in that blond wig, but weren't bothered by it and knew right away that I was Mama. Since people have a hard time telling the girls apart, we try to always have LilyKate in something pink to help them out, so I added some bows on their ears at the last minute, since their costumes were identical. 

Our church family is just amazing. Everyone pitches in and works together in the most incredible way, and best of all, we enjoy each other's company. Jonathan and I were both so busy, we didn't take a lot of pictures, but we did manage to snap a few throughout the night.

Aunt Lisa and Kelley with adorable puppies, E and LK

Funny Family Portrait

Gran has her hands full.

Grandma and Aunt Eleanor hanging out with the girls...notice the costumes are off!

Eleanor and Mommy take a break.

I think LilyKate walked for the entire two+ hours.  
She is an old pro now!

On the walking front, Eleanor walked for a long time this morning holding onto to just one of my fingers.  She is ready to go it alone, but doesn't quite believe she can do it.  I predict another day or two will have her toddling right along with her sister.  Watch out world!


LilyKate (aka L to the K) models some hats

During the long wait for our referral, one of the things I did to keep busy was shop - a lot. I have stuff tucked away in closets and drawers that I am still pulling out, and because we didn't know what age we would be referred, I bought stuff in sizes ranging from 9 months to 2T. I came across a bag of hats the other day and LilyKate was feeling cooperative, so we tried on several of the hats to see if they would work. Here is just a sampling of what we tried on...

This one's okay Mom, cute pumpkin, but I think we can do better.

Ooh, this one is cute and kinda flapperesque.

I like the color of this one, but the style is not working for me.

Yes!!  This is the one mom, I love it!


Just Eleanor (or Easy E as we sometimes call her)

Usually, the girls nap at the same time.  I look forward to nap time cause that's when I try to get a  few things done around the house, check email, or just sit and watch a Tivo'd show.  Every now and then, their naps are at different times and I get to spend some one-on-one time with whoever is awake.  Last Friday it was Eleanor's time with Mommy, as she went down for her nap early and woke up just as I was putting LilyKate down.  I took the opportunity to take a few photos as we played together. She usually smiles and hams it up in pictures, but I think she was still a little sleepy and didn't feel like it. Whatever she is doing, her beauty literally takes my breath away.


Fall has arrived

I know technically it arrived a couple of week ago, but yesterday felt like Fall for the first time.  It was a beautiful, sunny and breezy day, in the mid-60's...perfect weather for our annual barbecue...the girls' first!  It is one of my favorite church events and the best part is Friday night when the stew is started.  Everyone gathers to help make, and then stir, the eight big pots of stew and just enjoy being together.  Several people stay up all night tending the stew and the hams and then everyone goes back on Saturday morning to set up for the day of serving and selling our delicious barbecue, Brunswick stew and all the fixings.  I love Barbecue weekend!

Eleanor, Susan, Jonathan and LilyKate - Friday night at the Mt. Zion UMC BBQ

Eleanor and LilyKate hanging out in their stroller at the BBQ on Saturday

We were worried that the weather would not be on our side, as it rained all day Friday, but it cleared up in time for the big day. Of course, we had plans to take the girls to a pumpkin patch on Friday, but the rain never really let up and we ended up doing some shopping and errands instead.

The girls looked so cute in their Halloween shirts, but the only picture we got was in the parking lot of Dick's Sporting Goods - not the best place for a photo op!  I was trying to make the best of the day, so I was snapping photos in the car all afternoon.

I love this sweet face...

and this one...

...and this one too!

With the cooler temps it was finally time to break out the footie pajamas. The girls were so cute and cozy in their pj's - we couldn't resist a few photos before bedtime.

Eleanor and LilyKate - our sweet, happy girls.

They like sitting in the rocking chair.

We love it when they give each other kisses.

Just so beautiful.

Another thing that has changed, beside the season, is the look of our blog. Thanks to the work of the talented Danielle, we have a beautiful new design for our site - I love how sweet and girly it looks!  I highly recommend her services, if you are in the market for a blog makeover.  Her prices are very reasonable and she is a pleasure to work with...thanks again Danielle! 


A little Q & A

My blogger friend, Wendy, over at Adoption and Fire, did a post last week asking anyone if they would like to be interviewed, and I thought it would be fun, so agreed to do it.  She posted the questions in her comments section and asked that we do a blog post with the answers, so here goes!

Q: Being referred twins came as a surprise, especially for those of us that follow your blog. What has been the biggest adjustment that you have had to make in your life in order to care for two little ones?

A: Our referral for twins was a
huge surprise, although we did request twins, if available, and our agency was pulling for us with the CCAA. Once we got over the shock that there were two babies, we had a lot to do to get ready. It wasn’t just about getting two of everything, but getting used to the whole idea of twins. We have had to make lots of adjustments going from two to four, but for me, the biggest has been that my time is no longer my own. I can’t just get up and go anymore at a moment’s notice.  Running a quick errand is no longer a simple exercise. I have to be organized and plan things out, and even then a tired or hungry baby can disrupt my plans. I waited a very long time to be a mom, but this is something I have had to learn as I go - to be flexible. Schedules are great and we definitely have one, but sometimes life gets in the way. You gotta go with the flow!

Q: What has been the most difficult and what has been the easiest?

The most difficult thing so far has been getting the girls to sleep through the night. It took a good three months of sticking to a plan and being patient, but they are pretty much there. We still have occasional wake-ups, but things are so much better. Being well rested makes a huge difference for all of us! The easiest, well that's easy to answer: falling in love with them. It happened instantaneously and just keeps growing by the second. They are such sweet, funny and affectionate girls – they are just good babies! They eat pretty much everything, play so well together, and just fit so well into our family and our life. We are totally and completely head-over-heels in love with them!

Q: How are they different and how are they similar?

A: They really have very different personalities. LilyKate is more independent and confident, and is much more outgoing and social in public. Eleanor is a little less independent and needs a bit more reassurance when we are around other people. She is a studier and thinker, whereas LilyKate is more of a doer. People ask us all the time how we can tell them apart, and although physically we look at them and can tell who is who, we also know them right away by their character traits.

We are pretty sure they are identical twins, although we haven’t had DNA testing done. As for other similarities, they are both very loving and affectionate, and give (and get) lots of hugs and kisses. They love music and will start shaking their heads and dancing when they hear something they like…it is too cute. They both smile and laugh easily, especially when their Daddy makes silly faces and sounds. They are the light of our lives.

Thanks Wendy for the great questions. I really enjoyed answering them and it took me some time to put my thoughts into words…my brain is a little mushy these days, so thanks for the exercise!

If anyone else has any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll answer them in a future post.


Thursday morning with the girls

Eleanor wants up...she's saying Mama Mama.

I have been trying to post video of this, but keep having technical difficulties. LilyKate started walking a couple of weeks ago! Here she is in action.  

Eleanor isn't there yet, but she can get where she needs to be on all fours.

The world stops for Sesame Street.

Is there anything cuter than chubby baby legs?

Playing peekaboo.

The looks I get when I tell them no.

We ❤ Elmo!


Pigtails and Piccolini

The girls are very into feeding themselves and tonight, we had pasta and meatballs. They make a bit of a mess, but they love it. I think they look pretty cute in their pigtails - even with food on their faces. LilyKate is in the polka-dot bib.


Doll times two

Two years ago, I was lucky enough to get one of the hand-crafted dolls by joybucket, long before we received our referral, or had any inkling we would get twins.  When we found out there was a LilyKate and an Eleanor, I emailed Susan and asked about the possibility of getting another and she graciously agreed to make one for me. The second doll arrived a few days ago and she is just adorable.  I am so happy that our daughters will have a doll that is as special and unique as they are, and I even think they look a little bit like each of them! Thank you Susan for the love and care you put into each doll.  I know the girls will treasure them always.


LilyKate and Eleanor go to the Zoo

Saturday was a beautiful day and we took the girls for their very first visit to the zoo. I think they mostly just enjoyed being outside, but they were interested and intrigued by everything they saw. The fresh air and activity were great and once we left, they were asleep in their car seats in less than five minutes.

Eleanor is in blue and LilyKate's wearing pink.  Right as we were walking in, some guy asked about them being twins and if Eleanor was a boy....I'm all, dude, she has a BOW in her hair (not to mention a dress on)...people are funny. 

Daddy and his girls on the way into the zoo

The girls were very interested in some of the animals...like the ones below

They were also fascinated by this guy.

What is that?

This gorilla was fun to watch.

Okay LilyKate, you have the map...what's next?

Orangutans are always entertaining.

Next stop, the Giant Pandas...not much activity here.  

Then we stopped for a quick snack.

Bananas are not just for monkeys.

Happy girls waiting for their first train ride.

Sitting with Mommy before the train left the station.

We love the zoo!