The Birthday Celebration

Last weekend, amidst the chaos of moving, we celebrated Nora's birthday. Thankfully, she's only two, so the amount of planning was minimal. Seriously, I was planning it the night before. It was fine, though, because Nora had a great time. She had the requisite two friends, as she was turning two, although siblings did come along. The weather was beautiful, so we spent the afternoon playing around outside at Mom and Dad's house. (Our half-moved miniscule apartment was no place for partying.)
Kalen was very excited to see Nora open her presents. This is the great raincoat that Aunt Debbie gave to Nora. We have been utilizing it a lot lately.
Nora got a few great books for her birthday. This one is a book of poems about horses from Kalen and his family- absolutely perfect for our little cowgirl.
Flash a little bright, Kalen?
Nanny and Grampy bought Nora a great giraffe and accompanying book from the Philadelphia Zoo. Nora now sleeps with both this giraffe and a nice, soft horse from Kalen.
The big surprise of the party for Nora was the tricycle that was mentioned in the previous post. She loves it. We've brought it to Topsham where we're living now and she rides it everyday, both outside, and inside when I'll allow it. Cause I'm the boss. Right?
Don't you love this little t-shirt? Our friend Kristin bought it for Nora and I think it is so adorable.
And here we have the cake I labored over for hours and hours the night before. It was a labor of love, though. I do what I have to do. Especially if it involves cake mix and canned frosting.
Yes, it's a horse. Do you really think I could do anything else for this horse-crazy kid? And that carrot she's biting into? She thought it was real until she tasted the marzipan. We had to promptly take it away before she devoured it. Too much sugar. We gave her a big hunk of frosted cake with ice cream, instead. We're responsible parents.
Overall it was a nice, laid back day, just what we needed before the big move the next day. We're without internet now at our new place until we have it hooked up, so I may be a little more sporadic than I already am. I'm sorry, but I promise to try to get on here soon!


Frantically trying-

To get something posted on this blog before Nora's patience runs out at the internet cafe! We're deep in the unpacking process but really needed to get out of the house for a bit. Unfortunately, Nora has an attention span of about five minutes. I've been bribing her with bagels and muffins, but my time is running short. So, for now, a video of her recent birthday (two on Monday!) and the bike her dad fixed up for her. Enjoy!


Back home-

And guess what? It's raining again. Nora and I had to use our imagination today to stay occupied. We took a camping trip to the living room floor and as I type this Nora and Barkley are still under there. I know someday this kind of entertainment won't work, but for now we're enjoying it!


What to do on a rainy day?

First, we headed up to the hotel pool. They have a children's wading pool that's only a foot deep and quite warm. Nora jumped right in and really seemed to love it. Unfortunately, I didn't pack any swim diapers, so she's wearing a disposable. Notice the large bulge? This is a few minutes before I brought her to our room to be changed and noticed the diaper was exploding underneath her bathing suit.
Next we packed ourselves up and took a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, famous not only for the amazing pieces it holds, but also the stairs featured in the 'Rocky' movie series.
There were quite a few pieces that I really loved, specifically this portrait of Madame Renoir by her husband, Pierre-Auguste Renoir. It's a lovely painting all on it's own, but the really sweet part is that Renoir kept it for himself all his life.
Also, this piece, 'Mother and Child', by Mary Cassatt. Too sweet.
It was just amazing to me that lots of this:
could become this:
Nora especially liked this painting. Why, you might ask?
Because of the nursing baby, of course.
She also really loved the sculptures. She was particularly interested in what the grape leaves were hiding.
We were able to find a few things to do on this rainy day, and as you can see in the following video, Nora can really find some fun in any setting!

Fun in the City

Despite a little rain, we managed to find a few treats for Nora to enjoy. Believe it or not, this is the first lollipop she's ever had. It took her a little while to figure out how to eat it without biting, but she caught on.

It's raining today, but hopefully we'll still find something fun to do. We spent the day walking around yesterday and visiting South Street, which was supposedly a shopping mecca. We were less than impressed as it was basically a glorified Old Orchard Beach, but on the way back we found a great pub near our hotel and brought Mom there for dinner. More pictures of our adventures to follow!


An abundance of pictures!

The night before we were scheduled to take off, we spent the night at Nanny's house, so we could ride in to the airport together. Hayley had some last minute packing to do, and we figured we might as well try to make the flight a little easier, so we tried to fit Nora into Hayley's carry-on. It didn't work.
The next morning Nora packed up her own kid-sized backpack with snacks and toys. Doesn't she look as if she's ready to go to kindergarten? Not quite, Nora!
This isn't Nora's first time on a plane, but it's the first time she's really noticed what was going on. She really seemed to love it, and did a great job, but we were very grateful that the flight was only an hour and a half and that the seat next to Nanny was empty.
That evening we spent some time relaxing in one of the numerous parks and green spaces Philly has to offer after eating a very filling dinner at a local Italian restaurant. Even though I know I'll never permanently live in a big city, it's nice to have to walk everywhere, especially after you've eaten a big meal.
Nora loved the 'bumpy' streets.
On the way back to the hotel, we found a very impressive looking building with large columns to pose in front of. Maybe tomorrow we'll figure out just what that building is.
This morning Hayley, Nora and I set out to explore while Mom began her conference (the real reason for this trip!) We headed first over to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I would have liked to explore it a bit more and read a little about it, but Nora wasn't interested, not even in the fire!
She was, however, interested in the fountain.
Our next stop was Christ Church, where Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross and George Washington all worshipped. This gentleman was just outside the church playing a dulcimer. Nora was entranced.
The interior of the church.
After a good dose of history, we were ready for some food! We found a nice deli and all got sandwiches, and then found a tiny bakery with some delicious treats in the window.
We got a carrot cake cupcake, and all shared it.
I'm pretty sure Nora enjoyed it.


Before we fly...

I thought you all might want to see a few pictures of the twins before we take off for Philadelphia tomorrow. We went down to Brunswick Saturday to see the new additions to our family.
Let me introduce you to
Cayden Robert...
and Zahara Rose!
These sweet little babies are SO tiny. I felt like I was holding a little weighted doll.
Little Cayden apparently already has a personality he'd like to express!
I just couldn't get over how tiny they felt. They're both each a little over 5 1/2 pounds, or so, on their way to 6. Just look how enormous that pacifier looks!
We all huddled around the two of them for a while, oohing and ahhing, touching, kissing, cuddling. We already love them so much!