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The girls are so silly! Sometimes they try to cram into the TOY BASKET together. No idea why!?

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They have also started putting themselves to sleep! They let us know when they’re tired by just laying down on the floor on top of a blanket or pillow! Sweet things!

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Apparently they wanted to wear their 4th of July dresses! They independently went into their room, grabbed their dresses, and put the sleeves over their heads so it looks like they’re “wearing” the dresses. They were so proud of themselves! Little independent thinkers!

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Bailey managed to get stuck between the couch and loveseat.

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Brooke, obsessed with mardi gras beads from her Nana, eating a lemon like its a normal snack.

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Little spoiled girls rocking their Polo dresses and Nike shoes at the mall (ridiculous, I know!)

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Girls woke up from a nap on the wrong side of the crib! Cranky girls! Good thing Mamaw was there to help make them feel better!

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Their first carnival!!!

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They were OBSESSED with the dolphins and had to get Daddy to “win” them (aka:  have them purchased). The dolphins were larger than the girls and it was hilarious to watch them carry them around!

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Riding the train at the carnival!

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At the trampoline park the girls had a “ball” (har har har)

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Introducing Bailey’s new trick….climbing INTO bed!

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The girls’ obsession with bows continues…

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They love wearing them and looking at them (on each other).

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When did they get so big??? These pictures are down on UA campus during the Tucson Book Festival (which, as it turns out, is really geared toward older kids but was still fun because we got to meet up with our twin friends!!)

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(this is as good as it gets when you’re dealing with 4 toddlers! lol)

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Breakfast at Cracker Barrel!

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We want to be like Mom!!! Working on the computer!

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Who, me??? No, we weren’t up to anything naughty!

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One day I had to go to school for something real quick and the girls came with me. This is outside my old building!

Turns out we love bows AND hats! The girls found one of Chris’ old hunting hats in the closet and fought over it all afternoon!

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Brooke (left); Bailey (right)

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And…they love yogurt!!! Nom, nom, nom!!!

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We also got a fun visit from one of Chris’ aunts and uncles, Aunt Becky and Uncle Bill . Sadly, I didn’t get any photos!? Aunt Becky shout-out – will you send me a photo or two (ajordan1231@gmail.com). Did you get any with you and the girls?? We really should have done a better job of documenting your visit! : /

My mom came to visit, too. I got some good pics from her trip but those will have to wait until next time.

Is it HOT anywhere else right now? In Tucson it truly feels as though summer is on the way!!

*pokes head in*

*waves*

Sorry it’s been so long! Where has the time gone?

Can we jump right in with some pictures?

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Brooke looking like a pretty girl!

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Sweet girls in pretty dresses!

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Sweet sisters! Bailey = left, Brooke = right

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The girls love stuffed animals! Left = Bailey, Right = Brooke. The plush dogs (left picture) were sweet gifts from their great-Uncles (Chris’ uncles Tim & George). The monkey and dog (right picture) were gifts from their Mamaw.

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The girls LOVE jumping on our bed. We’re going to take them to a trampoline park for the first time soon and I can’t wait! I think they’ll LOVE it!

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Swinging at the park (left = Bailey, right = Brooke)

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Bailey was fearless! She went down the biggest slide all by herself!

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At a different park on another day, the girls discovered the baseball fields. They loved playing “peek-a-boo” through the chain link fence!

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Coloring with a friend!

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Blast from the past! Little 4-month olds here with Aunt Brittany!

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Silly Brooke tries to sit in the play baby stroller!

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The girls LOVE their little snack cups! Multigrain Cheerios for the win! (left = Bailey, right = Brooke)

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One evening I heard the girls giggling while I was doing dishes. I looked into the living room and saw that both girls had climbed up onto the couch, laid down on a pillow, pulled a blanket over themselves, and were giggling with each other! So sweet!!!

Bailey has really taken an interest in cooking! Often, I’ll let her sit on a chair and watch while I cook. For St. Patrick’s Day I made green rice crispy treats (although they weren’t nearly green enough). Bailey watched while I was melting the marshmallows and had a lot of fun watching the stirring.

IMG_2349 IMG_2362 IMG_2365St. Patrick’s Day will hold a special place in my heart ever since last year. Last year, the girls were 9 months old and it felt like our first “real” holiday since the girls were born. Even though St. Pat’s is traditionally a “drinking” holiday, to me it will always feel like our first real “family” holiday!

I have so much more to share, but it will have to wait for another day.

Our family is awesome and often send us little “Valentines” packages with books for the girls, candy for the adults, etc.

This year, I wanted to return the favor and send some valentines of our own! (Plus – bonus – this was another fun thing to do with the girls, one of our 2014 goals!)

I started by checking out pinterest and finding an option that would include the girls and still be cute for the adult recipients.

I stripped the girls down to their diapers (they are MESSY!) and put them in their chairs with the trays on. I gave them each white sheets of paper and a couple squirts of finger paint – red and blue (we don’t have purple, but I helped mix the red & blue together so they had a red option and a purple option). Then, I let them go to town!

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Bailey (left) and Brooke (right) – both shy and timid at first, unsure of what was going on.

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Then we started getting more “into” it. (Bailey above)

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And then things just got wild! (Brooke, above)

When their pages were good and sufficiently painted all over, I took them to let them dry and hosed the girls down (not really, but same idea lol)

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During nap-time I got to work. I took their works of art and cut out a ton of little heart shapes.

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Next, I cut out strips of green scrapbook paper and little vase-shaped scrapbook paper. Finally, I assembled everything onto a card like so:

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I glued everything down onto half of the yellow cardstock. On the other half, I wrote a little Valentines message and signed our names (originally, I tried to get the girls to do little scribble marks as their “signatures,” but they weren’t having it!)

It was a fun activity for all of us! I’m not a very “crafty” person – but this kind of craft is a cinch (and thanks to Pinterest for the idea)! And the girls loved the painting and general mess-making! Fun for the whole family!

I hope you all have a great Valentine’s Day!

XOXO

The Jordan Family

Did you do 2014 Resolution(s) this year?

I don’t really “do” resolutions. But I definitely do goals! Lots and lots of goals! And a fresh year is the perfect time to set (and/or re-evaluate) goals!

I took a workshop at one point that talked about all the goals we should have in our professional careers. I won’t go into the whole thing (it was a 90 minute long speech!), but I’ve applied many of the same concepts to my personal life, in addition to my professional life. The gist of it is that you need to set long term goals, and then break those goals down into smaller bits that work toward the big-picture. For example, you may have a 10 year goal, then a 5 year goal, a “current” year goal, monthly goals, weekly goals, and daily goals or objectives. Everything is supposed to lead to the big goal – which is what you really want for your life.

So I broke down some categories that I wanted to make some progress in, and I started by setting a 2014 year goal (what I wanted to accomplish in the year). That was my “big” goal. I’ve shared all the categories, and some of the goals below (some are personal/private, so I’ve deleted some of the goals, but these are all of my categories….

Goal: Career Health Family Travel Finances Hobbies Maintenance
2014 Year Goal Work on HDFS 414; teach 312w, work on writing twins book; continue doing meaningful research!  Course development for military. Apply for jobs in TX Get to Prepreg. Weight. Feel fit & strong. Strengthen my marriage; Do more fun things with girls; give them more undivided attention;  1 fun family outing per month Visit Utah, Washington, and Texas Pay off all credit card debt; build a bigger savings; stick to strict budget Scrapbook; read more; Run another half marathon in 2014; wordpress family site Use high quality face/eye cream & lotion daily; floss daily;  annual appts:  teeth cleaning, eye, obgyn; Get hair regularly maintained

Next, I broke up the “year” goal into monthly goals – simple things I could do to work toward the big goal – and I continued my chart throughout the entire year.

Some examples:

  • Hobbies – In January I printed up all the pictures from the entirety of 2011 and put them in order (yes – I’m 3 years behind in my scrapbooking….I used to be an AVID scrapbooker but got totally derailed by pregnancy/babies….but I’m DETERMINED to catch up because I truly cherish my scrapbooks and LOVE looking back on them!). This month (Feb), the goal is to scrapbook all of January-March 2011. I’m already half way there!
  • Maintenance - I have totally neglected my personal maintenance since the girls have been born (like….bad!). Part of it is my frugal ways – I just don’t want to shell out money for $$$ face creams, eye creams, and hair care. But it’s also important to me to feel good about myself and try to maintain my appearance. I don’t mean that in a vain way – I mean that I want to take better care of myself. I feel like I’ve aged in a serious way in the past couple years and yet I’m still so young! It’s important to me to “get it together” in this category! For my birthday I asked for the expensive face/eye creams and lotions (score! thanks, mom!) and I’ve been careful to apply sunscreen daily when I go outside.  Some of my monthly goals include looking for cheaper ways to get my personal maintenance taken care of. For example, we don’t have dental insurance but I can always find a Groupon for a cheap teeth cleaning (and Groupons for hair cut/color, too!). This way I’m meeting my maintenance goal AND my personal finance goal (saving money, sticking to a strict budget, etc.)
  • Family –  Last month our family outing was to take the girls down to 4th Ave to walk around and hang out. We had pizza on an outside patio and the girls got to see lots of crazies (4th Ave is…eclectic, lol). I also have a fun, cutesy gift planned for Chris every month this year. Nothing big or crazy, just something that shows I was thinking of him. In January I got his favorite 2 Liter of soda and made a little silly card that said, “I ‘soda’ think you’re perfect!” – super cheesy, I know! But its the little things that matter! This month I got a package of reeces pieces (one of his favorite candies), and made a note saying “I love you to ‘pieces’.” Gag if you will, but the gifts have been appreciated and they’ve cost a buck or two…can’t beat that!

So there you have it! I plan on writing another post soon with pictures of a little activity I did recently with the girls (another one of my “family” goals of doing more fun things with them). So check back soon!

I definitely owe everyone an update, along with some fun new pics of my girls!

We’ve been quite busy over here!

I’ve been working a lot, having lots of fun meet-ups for play dates and trips to the park, and other fun toddler activities thrown into the mix. Usually the girls are watched M/W/F so I have those full days to dedicate to work. For one reason or another (illness, holiday, travel, etc.), we’ve only had the girls watched 2 days a week for the past 3 weeks. It definitely makes work more challenging (read:  lots of late nights after the girls have gone to bed), but it’s also been so much fun, too! I’ve been applying for a lot of full time professor positions and even though I have no idea what the future holds (whether I’ll get a job or stay home another year), I just try to enjoy every moment with the kiddos, knowing they’re only young once and I may never get these long stretches of time home with them again.

If you’re catching up, our last update was when they were 17 months (read here)

19 months

The girls are learning more and more every day. It’s startling and scary at how much they pick up, even of things that we aren’t consciously trying to teach them! I’m also so grateful that they’ve been (mostly) healthy this cold/flu season (aside from the occasional ear infection). Last year at this time was a dark, dark period for all of us! (a little dramatic? yes. full of truth? yes!)

I will never forget about (and will probably tell the girls over and over when they are older) January of 2013. We were sick for basically the whole month. Chris had the flu, then I had the flu, then my Mom flew out to “save” us….and she got the flu, too!!! It’s shocking and nothing short of miraculous that the girls didn’t get the flu. We were living in a 900 square foot duplex with 1 bathroom and rampant illness, being forced to still tend to 2 six-month-olds round-the-clock (nope – not sleeping through the night yet!), while feeling like we were slowly dying. Seriously. I’d like to forget the whole thing, and yet it is permanently etched in my brain!

Flash forward a year – the month of January 2014 was a breeze in comparison! Yes, the girls still don’t sleep through the night (they switch off on whom is the “poor” sleeper, but 1 or the other usually get up at least 5 times a week), but our whole situation is a dream in comparison!

We live in a beautiful home (with a yard!!!), in a very family-friendly neighborhood. We live within walking distance to a walking/bicycling trail and I either take the girls on walks and/or jog alone at least 3-4 times per week. We live within walking distance to a little park (perfect for young kids! TWO bucket swings and a little play structure just their size!), and we have a standing weekly “friend date” with a great Mom friend and her son (shout out LaShuna!). Plus, we have lots of other outings thrown into the mix – walks with my friends from school, hitting up the play place in the local mall, walking down Tucson’s 4th Avenue (kind of like South Congress for you Austinites), etc etc etc.

So enough chit-chat, let’s get to the good stuff (BABY PICTURES!!)

19 months

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Bailey (left) & Brooke (right) – on Superbowl Sunday! (side note:  Can I just say I had to enlarge this picture and study their faces to tell whom was whom???? They’re looking more & more alike as they grow, I swear!!)

Chris lived by Seattle for awhile when he was young and still has a lot of family there so we were celebrating the Seahawks massive win, for sure!

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Brooke (front), Bailey (back) – the girls have become obsessed with bows!!! They bring them to me all the time asking me to put them on their heads! Even when they’re in PJs (or just diapers, lol)

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little snuggly Daddy’s girls

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Brooke hanging out with Uncle Logan. She is OBSESSED with books and will bring them to us all the time asking to be read to. Her favorites are the “peek-a-boo” books and any book with baby faces!

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little Bailey pushing around her stroller (with a bunny in it!)

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mischief-making! The linen closet has a child latch on it, but it must not have been fully closed and the girls discovered how fun it is to rip blankets off the shelves! I heard them giggling from the living room and when I found out what they were up to I couldn’t even be upset because they were having too much fun!

Likes & Dislikes

  • Like cuddling
  • Dislike being fed (they HAVE to feed themselves)
  • Like smoothies!
  • Dislike veggies (no worries – I sneak them into smoothies, mwhahaha!)
  • Like being the center of attention
  • Dislike sharing with sister
  • Like throwing the ball for Rocky in the backyard
  • Dislike having to come inside
  • Like playing in the bath
  • Dislike when its time (in the bath) to actually be washed
  • Like & Dislike brushing their teeth (Brooke likes it, Bailey hates it!)

Best Time:

Can’t narrow it down, so I’ll just say all the park trips we’ve had! So fun! (and bonus – whenever we’re not at home, that’s time spent NOT destroying our own house, lol – see mischief-making picture, above!)

Worst Time:

As the girls are getting more adventurous, they’re also getting more “boo boos” so the “worst time” is just all the “ouchies” they’ve gotten! They both currently have skinned elbows and a couple bruises each. None of their “ouchies” have been severe, so these are just the run-of-the-mill types of sores that come with this age (thank goodness – we’ve never had any serious injuries!!)

19 Month Baby Stats:

  • Weight: At their 18 month check-up last month Brooke was exactly 20 lbs and Bailey was 20 lbs. 6 oz.
  • Clothing Size:  18 month – 2T. They can wear 2T shirts, but the pants are generally too large around the waist. Still mostly in 18 month stuff though.
  • Diaper Size: In Size 4 now just because that’s what I’ve bought, but could still fit into 3 if we wanted (size 3 goes up to 23 lbs.). I may pick up another box of 3′s because the boxes cost the same price, but the smaller size always has more in them (meaning, the cost per diaper is less)
  • Sleep: Nap is the same – 1 per day from about 10:30/11am – 12:30 pm. On a good day they sleep until 1 or 1:30 (that happens about once a week…and ALWAYS on a day that Dad is home. What the heck?) At night they go down about 8:30 or 8:45 (getting to be late owls!), and wake up generally about 6:30 am. Doesn’t leave a lot of “grown up time” for Mom & Dad in the evenings!
  • Food: They have breakfast & milk when they wake up, milk before nap, lunch when they wake up,  a snack at 3pm, dinner at 5:30ish (or another snack if I’m trying to hold them over until later – like if we’re planning to go out to eat, for example), milk at 7:30pm
  • Favorite Foods: They’ve discovered a love of smoothies! I encourage it, since its a healthy snack, but we haven’t found a non-messy way to eat it yet! I’ve tried in sippy cups without lids (gets dumped everywhere) sippy cups with lids (gets clogged in the straw/spout), in a bowl with a spoon (gets everywhere), and in a re-usable food pouch (gets dumped everywhere). So…yeah. We’ve had several outfits get stained and ruined before I finally wised up and started taking their clothes off before “eating” smoothies. We still end up with a mess all over the kitchen though, so there’s that.

Whats New?

The girls are both getting more teeth now – which seems unbelievable! They have full mouths of teeth at this point and I can give them harder foods that they can bite into with their front teeth and chew with their molars. They still have a couple teeth to come through (both of them are missing their top and bottom lateral incisors, for example), but most of their teeth are in.

Relatedly, we had an issue with BITING this month! They had never bitten ever before, and on a single day we had 3 separate bite issues before 9am. I was freaking out – thinking this was going to be an ongoing thing – but it turned out to be an isolated incidence. Some mom friends have suggested it could be due to teething. I scolded the “biter” and put her in time out for a minute, showering the other baby with love and attention. Fingers crossed it doesn’t occur again!

And that’s really it! I feel like I’ve got so much more to say to catch up, but I’ll leave that for another post!

XOXO

The Jordan Family

I haven’t done one of these posts in awhile, but they’re some of my favorite to look back on, and see how much has changed over time!

Here are some previous ones:

A day in the life (pumping, babies still in NICU)

A day in the life (6 month olds)

A day in the life (12 month olds)

And here was yesterday, January 11th, 2014.

A couple notes:  This was a Saturday but our activities were much more like a weekday. Chris was supposed to work all day (though he ended up being done mid-day), so we hadn’t made any fun plans or anything. This is definitely more “low-key” than most of our weekends!

1:00 AM – Go get a crying/fussy Brooke and bring her to our bed. The girls have not been great sleepers lately, and about 50% of the time, someone ends up waking up, crying, and being brought to sleep with us. I used to stay up and rock them until they’d go back to sleep, and lay them back in their crib, but now that they’re a bit bigger I just skip the whole staying-awake part and bring them to our bed. They quiet right down and fall immediately back to sleep so its a win-win in terms of sleep (in terms of sleep habits??? whole other story. shhh!!!!)

3:00 AM - Put Brooke back in her crib. The only down-side of bringing the girls to our bed is that I can never fall back into a deep sleep. It’s like a bandaid because we all get to go immediately back to sleep, but I’m tossing and turning the whole time, and often end up getting jabbed in the ribs, smacked in the face, etc. The babies are rough sleepers! So I’ll often move them back to their crib at some point. They sleep right through it so no-big-deal.

6:00 AM  – Girls wake up for the day. Chris is an early-riser so our arrangement is that he takes early mornings with the girls and I take over when he has to leave for work (or when I wake up, whichever comes first). Chris gets up, gets the girls, and gives them their morning milk.

6:45 AM  – Chris brings the girls to our room. He’s getting ready to leave for work so he sets the girls on the bed by me. They LOVE playing in our bed, so I lay there with them for a minute before getting up.

6:55 AM - The girls “help” me make coffee (they love watching the Keurig work) and breakfast.

IMG_1978They eat half a banana (each) and blueberry muffins I made.

7:30 AM  – We all get dressed and walk to the neighborhood park.

8: 00 – 9:15(ish) – We play at the park! The girls still love the swings and they’ve gotten much better with the slide, too! Now they can do it entirely on their own so I can just sit and watch. They run up the steps and over to the slide, plop down on their bums, slide down, and run back around again! So much energy!!

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Brooke is in the blue pants, Bailey is in the purple pants.

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Brave Brooke getting ready to slide (above), and a fun little succession of Bailey-sliding photos (below):

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We walked back to the house (I should specify – they’re in the stroller), about 9:15ish.

9:30 AM - The girls had a Cheerios snack and chased around the Roomba while I cleaned up a little

10:00 AM  – My cleaning was interrupted by a full-force Bailey meltdown. Her back, bottom molars are trying to break through and she seems to be in a lot of pain. I try all types of things to console her – a teething ring, singing, cuddling, etc. and finally resort to forcing her to take some tylenol (she HATES medicine)

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See that hand-muncing?? Poor baby!

10:30 am – The girls get more milk and we have some quiet play time. We cuddle together and I read them books. Lately, they have been OBSESSED with books! Brooke, in particular, loves any book with pictures of babies and will ask me to read them over, and over, and over again! So we all sit together and read.

11:00 am - Baby nap time!!! While the babies nap, I do some work (I’m teaching an online course this semester and am prepping another one, so I work on that), do dishes, and straighten up.

1:00 pm - Chris gets home and, unbelievably, the girls are still sleeping! I peek in to check and make sure they’re alive! They’re usually up by 12:30 or 12:45. I let them keep sleeping and hang out with Chris.

1:45 pm - The girls finally wake up!!! This is a nap record!!! I heat up some lunch for them – leftover eggplant parmesan that I’d made for dinner a couple nights ago. The girls love eggplant, but the star of the meal is definitely the noodles!

2:15 pm - I need to go grocery shopping and take advantage of the fact that Dad got home early! He offers to stay home with the girls so I can make a rare trip alone!! Woohooo!!! Girls play with Dad at home!

3:15 pm - I get back home, put away groceries, and cut up some grapes for an afternoon snack for the girls. They LOVE fruit!

3:45 pm - Play outside! It’s a beautiful day and the girls are happy just running around the yard and playing with Rocky. At one point I throw them in our new red wagon for a fun spin around the yard while I’m watering plants.

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(sorry so dark! this was the only shot where they were both looking at the camera!)

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Brooke = blue, Bailey = purple

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Rocky’s getting in on the fun, too!

4:30 pm -  We come back inside after playing, read a couple more books, and I start working on assembling dinner while the girls do independent play (playing with blocks, stuffed animals, and mess-making, lol)

5:45 pm -  Dinner is done and we all eat – black bean enchiladas for the girls (I made a variety:  black bean, chicken, and plain cheese – but the girls only ate one). We’ve just introduced forks (previously the girls had only used spoons), and they’re doing great!

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6:30 pm -  Bath time! They LOVE playing in the bath so I usually take a magazine into the bathroom and sit there reading (and supervising!!) while they splash around.

7:00 pm - Out of the bath and into jammies!

7: 30 pm - Last milk of the day. After this we still play, but instead of run-around play, its more relaxed play. I blow bubbles for them (Bailey has learned to blow bubbles too, but Brooke just tried to eat the bubble wand), read more books, and hang out.

8:30 pm  – BED TIME! Even though the girls still wake up pretty frequently during the night, they almost NEVER wake up before about midnight or 1am, so I know they’ll be down for awhile. Chris and I finish watching a movie we had started earlier, and I head to bed about 9:45ish! It starts all over again in just a few hours! : )

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