Saturday, April 28, 2012

Au Naturel

It's been several weeks since Layla and Jenna have entered 'THAT' phase.  You know, the one lots of kids go through, the one people say is totally normal, the one that drives their momma absolutely crazy because they do it no matter where they are.  Yep, Layla and Jenna prefer to be 'au naturel' (to be read in your best French accent).  I can't complain too has gotten better.  We've gone from running around buck naked in music class at Gymboree to at least keeping our diapers on...most of the time.  I'm sure the duct tape around the waist helps with the diaper part!      

These pictures were taken just minutes before their friends came over for a play date.   

Layla: "Ahhh...I feel so free!"

Jenna: "I can certainly think better when I'm in my natural really helps with this puzzle stuff."

In case you're wondering if I convinced them to get dressed for their guests...

Jenna: "What's with the costumes?"
Um, they're called clothes, Jenna.  

It's just a phase, right?  This too shall pass.

Friday, April 27, 2012

She's Got Skillz

Remember that song?  ANYWAY...

Once again, I'm a little behind on blogging and since I'm kind of a nut about keeping things in order, I'm going back about a month and a half and pulling this one out of the faint memory file of my brain. I don't exactly remember what was going on that day, but I do remember that Trey was working from home and, at one point, had to take an important phone job was to keep Layla and Jenna occupied enough to not peer at him through the study's glass door while chanting "Daddy!" until he lets them in.  So, what to do?  I know...let's work on some fine motor skills! (There's that 1st grade teacher in me coming out again!) 

I grabbed the marshmallows (left over from the birthday party), pre-bagged cheerios (also left over from the birthday party), and a couple of bamboo skewers (left over from, well, I just always have those on hand because you never know when you'll need to bust out the chocolate fountain!)  I gave the girls a quick demo of their assignment and let them get to work.  

Layla got started right off the bat.  She had no problem tackling this project!

Um, Jenna, I think you're missing the point.  

Layla: "I'm all over this!"

Jenna, are you going to work on your assignment?
Jenna: "What assignment?"

As you can see, some people are taking this a little more seriously than others.  

Layla: "Wow, I'm really on a roll!"

Layla: "Steady hands, steady hands."

Layla: "Yeah!  Look at me!  I'm so proud of myself!"

Layla: "Can I get a round of applause?"

Jenna: "Alright, alright.  Since Layla is being a show-off, I guess I'll get busy too."

Jenna: "See!  I can do it too!" 

Jenna always makes this funny face when she knows she's being watched.  Such a crack-up!

Yes, we're still watching, Jenna!

Ahhh, the look of satisfaction!

After the girls finished fine tuning their fine motor skills, they were given free reign to eat their materials.  I was surprised that neither actually ate their marshmallows, but here is the aftermath of one...can you guess whose?  

Monday, April 16, 2012


Layla and Jenna are Korean.  Well, they're 1/4 Korean...I'm 1/2 mom is full Korean, meaning she speaks fluent Korean, has mad cooking skills, and, well let's just say, is as strong as an ox (mind, body, and soul).  Anyway, growing up with a Korean mother, you may be surprised that I don't know much about the Korean culture.  Apparently, as a small child, I could speak Korean with the best of them...funny how you lose what you don't use.  I also used to eat my fair share of Korean foods, but have kind of let go of that too...perhaps because my mommy doesn't live very close and I certainly did not inherit the cooking gene.  It never used to bother me that I wasn't a very Korean Korean, but lately, I have found myself wishing that I knew more, experienced more, understood more.  Maybe it's because, by default, Layla and Jenna have been given a lifelong membership to the Korean club and, as their mother, I feel it is my duty to teach them a little something about it.  Again, I don't know much, so I am always thrilled when Grandma gives them the opportunity to take part in a little Korean tradition.  

Hanbok is a Korean dress that is worn as formal attire on special occasions.  One tradition is for a child to dress in hanbok on their first birthday.  Yeah, so we missed that.  BUT, since my mom had a friend that was traveling to Korea this past year, she asked her to pick up a couple dresses for Layla and Jenna to wear on their second birthday.  After all our party craziness settled down, the girls put on their hanbok and we attempted to get a good picture.  Surprise, surprise, we couldn't manage a good picture, but it was certainly a hoot seeing these girls run around in their Korean's funny how they look so much more Korean when they are wearing these!  All we got were a few snapshots of them running around, but I have every intention of getting them dressed up one more time to capture a keepsake photo.  For now, enjoy... 

Grandma is putting the finishing touches on Jenna's hanbok.

Check out this Korean baby!

Layla's turn...

Layla: "Daddy, can you help with my jacket?"

Don't let the formal wear stop you from playing, girls!

Layla: "Yeah, I can rock this outfit!"

Jenna: "Check me out!  I could totally pass as Korean!"
(You are Korean, Jenna.)

Layla's hanbok didn't last very long, but she certainly got a kick out of seeing Jenna model hers!

Just flipping through these pictures makes me excited to get the girls dressed up again...I would love to get just one good shot!   

(That means thank you!)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Actual Day

I bet you thought I was done with the birthday posts!  Just one more, I promise.  The Barnyard Bash that you read about here, here, and here took place on the day before Layla and Jenna's birthday.  On the actual day, we had a small, simple family know, the kind with no llamas, outdoor tents, or was lovely.  

The morning started with a Birthday Brunch.  It was a slow start due to the time change, the rainy weather, and the sheer exhaustion from the day before, but once we got going, a good time was had by all.  After we got our fill of french toast, egg and sausage casserole, hash browns, fruit, and mimosas (sans champagne for the tots and sans OJ for others...I'm not naming names), we moved on to the good stuff...the presents!

Layla is wasting no time.  Since Christmas, she has really gotten good at this gift opening stuff.  On the other hand, Jenna always seems to be too busy to bother with the task.  Here she is savoring that last piece of french toast for as long as possible.  

Layla: "This is a big one!  I'm glad I had a good breakfast!"

Layla: "Ooh, a scooter!  Now I don't have to hijack the ones from the boys next door!"

Layla: "What a nice picture frame!  I'll look so good in this!"

Layla: "A puzzle!  And it makes noise too!  Awesome!"

Layla: "Hey, Pop!  Thanks for for the beach towel!  Now all I need is a beach!"

Layla: "Thanks for helping, Dad, but I got this!"

Layla: "Baby Emory, how can you sleep at a time like this!  There are presents!"

Where's Jenna during all this, you ask?  I think she's in denial about turning two.  

Jenna: "Oh, to be an infant again...back when you didn't have a care in the world."

Actually, Jenna did open one gift...

...but, then she got side-tracked again!

After presents, we moved on to what I consider the good stuff...cake!  You would think with the umpteen cupcakes and cookies I had the day before, there would be no more room for cake.  But, we're talking Amy Cakes, people!

Aren't they adorable?

I have since discovered that Layla is afraid of fire, which explains her adverse reaction to the outdoor heaters we had at yesterday's party.  You can see the worry developing in her little face. 

Layla: "No, Mommy!  Not fire!"
Jenna: "Ooh, fire!"
Notice that Jenna has on no tights or skirt.  Yes, we have entered that phase.

Layla: "OMG, Mommy!  What are you doing!?!?!"

Once the flame was extinguished, Layla had no problem becoming better acquainted with the cake.
Layla: "Who needs a fork when you've got good ol' fashioned fingers?"

Jenna: "Seriously, sissy?  You're two need to start acting more civilized!"

Really, Jenna?  Must I remind you that you don't have on any pants???

What a wonderful way to wrap up to Layla and Jenna's 2nd Birthday!  Thank you Grandma, Granddaddy, Lolli, Pop, Aunt Devin, Uncle Tony, Aunt Delo, Aunt Marilyn and Cousins Emory, Caroline, Tara, and Rachel for spending the morning with us!  And, to all our Arkansas kin who were here in spirit (darn car problems).  We love you all very much!  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Barnyard Bash: Part II...Party Time...Part II

Okay, I think this is that last post about the birthday party...not the birthday, just the birthday party. If you recall, Layla and Jenna celebrated the big T-W-O with a Barnyard Bash at our home.  We started the party in the front yard mingling with a few farm animals.  Once the kids were over that, we moved the fun inside and out back.         

H and L thought these ponies were just a fun as the ones out front!

Layla and L worked on a few masterpieces at the coloring table.  

L, G, and B thought a cowbell necklace was the perfect accessory to their outfits.

Layla and H couldn't agree more!

A was having a blast with the Little People Farm.  In fact, she loved it so much, she ended up getting one for her birthday which was just a few days later!

Check out B on top of the slide!  He's ready to make his move!

The S twins are checking out the "pig pen" the girls got from Grandma and Granddaddy.  

Layla and her boyfriends follow suit!

After all that, JP couldn't resist!  Whoa...JP down!

Layla: "Hey, G?  What do you and boys think of my new farm house?"

G: "Um, it's pretty awesome!  Can I have it?" 
G's mommy said she couldn't keep her out of it.  Luckily, G has a birthday coming up and I have a sneaking suspicion she'll be getting something just as spectacular!

Jenna: "Here, sissy, take a drink.  You look thirsty."

L:  "Good idea, Jenna...we should all take a break to refuel!"

Um, Jenna...that's not your cup.  Can't you see I labeled them all with names???

That's better.

"We're getting hungry!!!!"

Lunch is served!

Can you believe all these kids actually sat in their assigned spots and ate lunch???  Never in my wildest dreams...

G: "Take a bite, H, and let me know if it's acceptable."

Cousin Emory was the youngest party guest.  Looks like she was a little partied out!  

Jenna: "Hats off to a great meal!"

Seriously???  So cute!

After lunch, Daddy got everyone's attention so we could sing Happy Birthday to the birthday girls!

Make a wish sweet Layla!

Jenna: "Ooh, Daddy, that looks good!"

Jenna: "I'm gonna have to remove my hat for this!"

Jenna: "Delish!"

I like your approach with the fork, Layla!

Oh yeah, I really like your approach!  Open wide!

JP: "Oh, this is gonna be good!"

H: "Finger-lickin' good!"

J: "That's right, Mommy.  Just hold it right there!"

A: "Who has time for sweets when there are all these animals to take care of?"

Cousin Caroline: "I concur, someone has to look after the livestock!" 

Glad to see the girls could take a little timeout for a pic with their family.  Here's Jenna with her Pop, Aunt Devin, and Lolli.

And here's Layla with her Grandma and Granddaddy. 

Once everyone was all worn out and stuffed to the brim, it was time to head home.  C and one of the S twins are gathering their party favors before heading out.  Thanks for coming, girls! 

Layla and Jenna were so happy so many of their friends could share in their special day.  We are so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family. 

When the last party guest left, the girls were put down for a nap and the grandparents helped tidy up a bit.  I went to lay down for a little shut eye as well, but, as crazy as this sounds, could not sleep a wink.  I kept replaying the day's events in my head.  Words cannot explain just how happy I was that Layla and Jenna had such a wonderful day.   I laid there counting my blessings for the two amazing years these girls have given me and dreamed about all the years to come.  I truly am one lucky, lucky girl!  Happy Birthday LJ and Jen Jen!