Friday, April 30, 2010

4 Year Photo Shoot

Here they are, my four-year olds!!

Love them so much : )

And love that when they are smiling their biggest smiles in these photos it's because I either said poop, diarrhea or their new favorite silly word -- 'butt-crack' (I owe a big thanks to dear friend Heather S for teaching the girls that one). Regardless, I think we got some good pictures : )

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our Friend Annie . . .

. . . is an AWESOME blog friend and has her own etsy store ( that is full of her beautiful, fun, colorful and extremely well-made embroidered items. Please please please take some time to head over to her store and check things out yourself -- she truly is a very skilled embroiderer and has a lot of different items for sale (very reasonable prices and extremely high quality work).

And just to give you a little taste of what she has to offer, here is Zoe . . .

Here is Ella . . .

. . . and both girls are wearing their beautifully embroidered shirts that Annie made for them for their birthday : ) It was such a fun surprise to get a package in the mail from Puerto Rico, open it and find these brightly-colored, monogrammed froggie shirts!! We LOOOOOVE them so much and Annie's generosity just really touched my heart. So again, please check out her blog -- she has tons of perfect ideas for Mother's Day, Birthdays, Father's Day, etc., etc., You won't be disappointed : )

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

March for Babies

This past weekend was our March of Dimes March for Babies event. We also had two birthday parties (one for a friend of Ella & Zoe's and one for a cousin of theirs). It was a very full weekend and we unfortunately were not able to make the walk, or the NICU reunion. But we met our goal for fundraising, and we really really appreciate all of the continued support that we received, both through donations as well as many email and blog messages.

And for all of you who support the March of Dimes for other friends or family -- Way To Go!! Every little bit helps a whole lot : )

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Part Five: Crowns, Shirts and Stats

The Birthday Girls.
They are now FOUR Years Old.
And they LOVE letting everyone know their big news : )

Two days in a row they wore their crowns (from preschool) and their '4' shirts (made by twin pals Holly and Lexi's mom, Michelle), with pride.

They even had fun going to their 4 year check-up because they wore their crowns and shirts (and they didn't have to get any shots).

Both girls are super healthy!!
Their hearing is good.
Their vision is good (we see the NICU pediatric eye specialist in the fall for another follow-up visit, but their vision is right at 20/20 at this point). They followed directions and both got big-eyed when Dr. Sackett talked with them about how important it is to listen to their mom and dad : )

Check-Up Stats:
Ella: 30 pounds 2 ounces ~ 39 inches tall
Zoe: 27.8 ounces ~ almost 39 inches tall

So there it is -- Here's to Year Number Four!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Part Four: The Day of the Birthday

On April 19th 2010
Ella and Zoe officially turned FOUR YEARS OLD!!

That morning I woke the girls up by singing 'Happy Birthday' to them. Zoe looked at me with her big brown eyes, smiled her super sweet smile and asked in her still little girl voice 'are we four yet??'. Ella rolled over in her bed and moaned 'but I don't feeeeeel like I'm four!'. Later that day she told me that she now felt like a four-year old, that it just took her a little time to get used to it : ) She went through the same thing the following morning, but she's totally used to it now, and if Zoe slips and says they're three Ella is very quick to point out they are NOT three any more, they are FOUR!! Good thing they have each other to keep each other in line : )

The girls started out their birthday day by blowing out candles on muffins for breakfast.

Ella went first because, as she likes to remind everyone,
she came out first : )

And then it was Zoe's turn, who is just fine being second because SHE kissed my nose after she was born -- she loves hearing that part of their birth story and I love it too : )

They also opened more gifts,
and this time the goodies were from Tom and me.

Reading cards . . .

. . . and opening presents.

Zoe was super excited to see a Tinkerbelle dress . . .

. . . and Ella was equally excited to see a Cinderella dress!!

So yes, we have a dress-up drawer now full of Barbie, Princess, Fairy, Cinderella and Tinkerbelle dresses -- and lots of purses, scarves, hats, shoes, gloves and tutus as well. These girls are indeed FOUR, and playing dress-up rules at our house!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Part Three: Celebrating on Sunday

Last Sunday Grama Dianne, Grampa Lindy, Auntie Jen and big cousins Elise and Jack came over to help us celebrate just a little bit more : )

There were more gifts to open . . .

. . . and new Barbie Princess Dresses from Auntie Jen, Elise and Jack . . .

. . . that made the two birthday girls very very happy!!

There were birthday cards read by Grampa . . .

. . . and big girl dolls from Grama and Grampa.

There was lots of laughing . . .

. . . and more frog cake and cupcakes!!

Because we didn't hire a photographer for the occasion (or use our tripod and put the camera on a timer), here's a photo that includes Tom . . .

. . . and one that includes me!!
Love Ella's look : )

And the party pics wouldn't be complete without bunny ears in at least one photo (plus I love Zoe's smile in this one).

Good Times! And how lucky are Zoe and Ella? Two parties down and it wasn't even their actual birthday yet!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Part Two: The Birthday Party

The party really was a blast. This was the first year that Ella and Zoe invited friends, as well as their cousins who are close in age. Everyone was able to make it -- and from the smiles and laughter, everyone seemed to have a fun time too!

The party started in a private room where the kids decorated their frog headbands, we had cake and ice-cream and opened the presents.

*Making Birthday Crowns and Frog Headbands*

*The Cupcakes*

*Ella Blowing Out Her Candles*
When it was cake time Ella couldn't find her crown so she wore this hat instead, which was truly so fitting for her : )

*Zoe Blowing Out Her Candles*

*The Birthday Girls Eating Cake and Ice-Cream*

*Opening Gifts*
I have to say, Zoe and Ella received THE NICEST presents from everyone!! I was somewhat blown away by the generosity and choices people made, it was very, very nice.

Then the party moved into the main indoor space, where the kids had a little time to check things out, pose for a group shot . . .

. . . and watch the puppet show
about animals in the spring.

Because it was an unbelievably warm day for mid-April in Minnesota, we went on a nature walk down to the pond (led by Teacher Carol, who is a naturalist) . . .

. . . and walked over the pond on a boardwalk!!

We saw lots of ducks, geese, snails and dragonflies and heard the ducks, geese, squirrels and other birds too -- and NO ONE fell into the pond!!

After the walk the kids had time to explore some more in the exhibit area before it was time to say goodbye and thank-you, and hand out the wildflower seeds and magnifying glasses.

Once home I had to give Zoe an extra hug . . .

. . . and Ella too . . .

. . . and just spend some time snuggling with my two almost 4-year olds!!