Thursday, February 28, 2013

those long winter months

Winters in Indiana seem to last an eternity. Cold, dreary days...stuck inside the house, trying to find fun activities to keep the kids occupied. As you can imagine, this can be quite challenging. Luckily the girls enjoy playing with one another, so they do a pretty good job at keeping each other occupied. We have managed to find some fun things to pass the long winter days.

We haven't had much in the way of snow, but last month enough fell for us to take the girls sledding...Cece's first time! After spending about 15 minutes getting them both bundled up in their outerwear, we headed to the hills on the golf course behind my mom's house. It was hard to judge Cece's reaction at first. She can be a hard one to read at times.

Her reaction quickly turned to excitement as she saw her sister and Daddy racing down the hill in the distance. She was excited to get her turn and slide down along side her sis. She loved it and took many turns. Her patience with sledding wore thin quickly and she decided she was "all done". Olivia and Daddy still had more sledding to do, so I headed in with Cece and we watched them from the window.

January had one big milestone in store for Cecilia...her first haircut. Our hairdresser April, has been cutting my hair since I was in middle school. She did my hair for my high school dances, my wedding and of course, cut Olivia's hair for the first time. So obviously she would be the one to give Cecilia her first trim!

The little baby doll handled her first hair cut like a pro. I have the iPad to thank for that primarily. All I know is that it kept her still and focused, making it a breeze for April to cut her hair. I remember dragging along our little mini-DVD player when Olivia got her first haircut. I was worried that she would completely freak out with this unfamiliar experience and I wanted to distract her as much as possible. DVD player then, iPad now...they both worked and made for a very pleasant experience!

Olivia has been a busy bee at school since starting the second half of the year. She has been working especially hard in Math and with spelling. She is a reading machine these days, and is rocking it with her geography. What tickles me the most is how much she loves school. She never complains about going and she is genuinely enthusiastic about everything she does. She is one happy girl...not to mention, pretty darn smart!

Just last month we got a taste of what it will be like have two kids involved in extracurricular activities. Cecilia started swim lessons. Before I know it, we will be shuffling two girls back and forth, across town to dance classes, swim and soccer lessons and anything else they decide to be interested in. Before things begin to get insanely busy we will enjoy Cecilia and her singular activity...swimming!

Not only is the girl absolutely adorable in a bathing suit, but she is a mad woman in the pool! Cece loves being in the water, so no dealing with any fears there. The hardest part is keeping a hold of her in the water. She has her own agenda in the pool and spends most of the time trying to squirm out of my arms. I think I am more exhausted than she is by the time the half hour class is over.

Olivia has her own thing going on this winter. She is passing the time with indoor soccer. Having played outdoors for the past few summers, she thought she would like to give indoor soccer a try. She is having a blast and it turns out she is pretty darn good too. This seems to be her sport, and she looks forward to going each weekend.

There is one bright spot to a long and dreary winter...Valentine's Day. This is probably one of Olivia's favorite holidays, aside from Christmas. We have a couple of Valentine's traditions that we try to stick to each year. The first is making heart-shaped pizzas. I think we have done this for 3 or 4 years now. Each year Olivia gets better and better with her pizza making skills.

Cecilia is still too young to be creating her own pizza, but she enjoyed watching and eating the final product. They were, of course very tasty and fun to make, as always.

We usually follow up our heart-shaped pizzas with heart-shaped pancakes the following morning. It is fun to make these things for the girls. It makes the holiday special for them and gives them something to look forward to each year. Soon Cecilia will be looking forward to our heart-shaped food the same way Olviia does each Valentine's Day.

February is coming to a close and Spring is right around the corner. I am itching for it to warm up so I can get these girls outside. Cecilia is one big ball of energy and I think it would do us all some good if she could burn some of that up running around outdoors. Her crazy outbursts have become less frequent. She still gets upset every time she cannot communicate what she needs, but she seems to be getting better at managing her feelings.

She is putting together some of her words now. Watching her vocabulary grow is so fascinating. There is nothing like hearing her say a new word for the first time. She is a fireball and she keeps us on our toes at all times. No matter how challenging she can be at times, it is hard not to love a face like this all of the time!

Having my two cuties around during the cold winter months sure helps to pass the time quickly. I can only imagine the fun we will have together this summer!