Friday, February 24, 2012

52 Weeks of Joy: Week 8

We have someone in our life that a lot of you may not know about... It's Sarah's Little Sister Emery. Sarah and Emery have known each other since January 2008 and have seen each other through some pretty huge events. Sarah got married and had two babies. Emery changed schools five times and was adopted by a truly loving family. She's a wonderful, resilient, bright, and positive person. Even more, Miriam and Vivian just LOVE her. And Emery looks up to Tim as a role model of a good husband and father (which he is!). Thank you, Emery, for bringing us all so much joy.

If you're looking for a way to add some extra joy to your life, consider becoming a Big Sister or Big Brother. It's awesome.

When Sarah and Emery got together most recently, Emery's sister, Emma, came along. We made lasagna, one of Emery's favorite foods. 

Here we are wearing aprons.  Sarah, Miriam, Emery, Vivian, Emma

Love the way the big girls are looking at the babies

Why our girls really love Emery and Emma: more people to play Ring Around the Rosy with!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Yesterday was a pretty great day for celebrations: Fat Tuesday and our third anniversary.

" the king of the cha-cha-cha."

How Can You Dance? is a great book we happened to pick up after storytime at the library a couple weeks ago. Actually, it's probably been a month already! We've renewed it at least once...maybe twice. The girls both love it because it means we play together. Mom and Dad love it because it gets us all moving around even on days when it is yucky outside. The pictures are fun and Miriam knows most of the words already because the author chose such wonderful rhymes.

When these pictures were taken, Vivian was in bed already. Miriam loves to read library books after Vivian goes to bed. Mom and Dad all to herself on the couch. Practically perfect in every way.

"Dance like a frog, feeling fine and keeping cool"
"Dance like a fox when the dogs are near"
"Dance like a snake as it slithers to explore"
 After we'd danced to the end of the book, we did a little swinging. Just to make sure she was good and tired. Wish there was someway we could have captured that giggle in the picture for you all to hear, too.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tiny Dancer

Miriam likes things "fancy". Pretty much everything is considered "fancy". For example, last week she spotted a green garbage truck and explained to her mother that it was a fancy garbage truck. Nana and Mommy agree that Miriam would love Fancy Nancy. So when Mommy saw this today, she got to work! And Miriam was thrilled with the finished product! 

Pretty cute, huh?!?!?! We had all the supplies and even an extra white shirt on hand! It was fast and fun. Mommy is pretty sure she needs to make more.

(Does anyone see the hilarious bit of this picture? Lower left...that's the Holy Family statue which was relocated to Miriam's room because "they want to read." Who are Mommy and Daddy to deny the Holy Family some quality reading time?)

Valentine's Day

Happy Belated Valentine's Day to everyone! We did a little at-home celebrating as a family with the cutie pies. Tim gave Sarah some nice V-day gifts...including Cheetos! YUM! (There are worse weaknesses than fake cheese, right?)

Sarah and the girls made some adorable Valentines from instructions in Parents magazine. The girls needed A LOT of guidance to get this done, but we had so much fun with glue!

Mom pre-cut everything the night before. Scissors are definitely not in our capabilities yet.

Viv pasted some toes onto our Valentine and then immediately wanted to pull them back off!

She seemed pretty proud of her artwork. 

Miriam carefully colored the eyes.

 And glued them on.

Our little froggy Valentines! Too cute!

52 Weeks of Joy: Week 7

Vivian is in love with Good Night Moon. "You can't love objects," we're told. But Vivian might actually love Good Night Moon. It somehow follows her around the house. She can't eat if it's in her sight. There is wailing and gnashing of teeth if the book can't be found. Viv's never been a big reader in the past; much too busy to sit still for more than two pages of any book. Except Good Night Moon. It brings Vivian much joy.


It's so good, she can read it upside down!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

52 Weeks of Joy: Week 6

We love to cook and bake. It's something Sarah has always enjoyed, Tim is good at, and the girls love to help with. Isn't it somewhat soothing and fun to mix simple ingredients together and produce a sweet or savory bite that can be shared and savored? Cooking brings us all much joy.

Miriam - chef in training
Little hands taste testing chocolate chip cookie dough
"More, please."

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Potty Training: Take 1

We decided to attempt to potty train Miriam. More of a test than anything. We've never done this before and just kinda have a feeling she could be ready. We're ready, anyways. That has to count for something. And she goes potty on the potty when we take the time to sit her there. So here goes nothing.

Step one: buy the big girl underpants in PURPLE. Miriam really has a thing for purple.

Step two: bring the potty into the kitchen for immediate access.

 Step three: use the potty.

Which she did. Over and over and over again. Mommy called Daddy to tell him what a great job Miriam was doing with the potty - making sure Miriam could over hear the conversation. Well that did a lot to boost her confidence. Plus, she loves to please her Mommy. So back she went to the potty. About 15 times in the next hour and a half. If Mommy wasn't rinsing out the potty cup, she was helping Miriam pull her pants back down to sit on the potty. But hey, she's pottying in the right place. Let's not fight it.

What goes in must come out. Day one was relatively successful! Just one accident. We don't have #2 down yet at all. Any tips with that???

Viviana Antics

That wasn't a typo in the title. Vivian goes by a lot of names: Vivian, Vivi, Viv, Mouse, Vivi-Mouse, Squirm Worm, Stinker Pot, Viviana...

She is a VERY busy child. We should be praying now that we can handle the teenage version of this energy. Here are a few pictures of what she's been up to the past few days.

This is our narrowest cupboard, where we store our baking sheets, our cutting boards, and...

....our Vivian. She loves to climb in here and hide from everyone. It's just the right size. Must feel pretty snug and safe. A sippy cup of milk and a cupboard hideaway makes for one content little Viv.

She carries her stool around the kitchen to keep on eye on Mommy's cooking. It's impressive how strong and well-balanced she is! If this girl is any kind of athlete, we know those genes didn't come from Mom.

Tonight she climbed into the drum that Santa brought and attempted to shut the lid. You're little, Vivi, but not that little. Perhaps she aspires to be a contortionist in the circus someday. YAY! Free circus tickets!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

52 Weeks of Joy: Week 5

Fabric and Friends. That's mostly joyful for Sarah. 

These girls got up EARLY EARLY EARLY on Saturday morning for a deal on beautiful fabrics.  But there was a catch: the deals are only good if you wear your PJs!! (Hopefully they forgive me for putting this picture on the Internet for public consumption.)

These two yards have joined the Speer household.  Mommy is going to make Miriam a purple quilt for a new big girl bed. Miriam loves purple and was excited to see these fabrics. We also picked up some purple paint chips this weekend. Miriam will be in bedroom heaven.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Eating Snow...and Sand.

This past Sunday we had a good amount of snow on the ground. So we bundled the girls up and took them outside. We all get cabin fever this time of year and try to get outdoors as often as possible. Plus it's a GREAT way to burn up all the toddler energy that is practically exploding out of our house right now! Vivian seemed to enjoy the snow a little more this time and Miriam was loving it, as usual!

Miriam's new favorite snow activity: eating. We have to remind her pretty often to only eat white, clean snow, not muddy, yucky snow. When we went to the library last week, we came home with There was a Cold Lady who Swallowed Some Snow. Perhaps this is the reason we were eating so much snow??? Miriam gave Vivian a bite. Vivian's reaction was something like we'd just fed her pickle juice. Too cold for her.


Vivian worked hard to pick up her "shovel"...

 ...But it's kinda tough to do without fingers. Or even hands, really.

So Mom helped. Vivi loved to scoop the snow around. 

Miriam raced around the front yard over and over again. With her tongue hanging out like that doesn't she remind you of a little puppy?

And they slept well that night!

But by Tuesday afternoon the snow had all melted and temps were in the 50s. Here? In January? We love it...but are starting to wonder about global warming after all!!!

So the girls went out again to play and race around. And Vivian got her favorite outdoor treat: sand. We know, it's gross. We try to stop her. But she loves the stuff and every second we're not looking at her, she's literally shoveling it into her mouth. Makes for some interesting diapers.