Sunday, August 31, 2008

Partly Poofy

Miss Ella is sporting a unique 'do while hanging out poolside Sunday. Combed and flat in the front while poofy in the back. Kind of like a mullet for the under-two crowd.


Most people kick back on Labor Day weekend. Not Julia. Here she is plotting Gustav evacuation strategy from her backyard command post.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Active Tummy Time

Both girls enjoying a little tummy time (Ella facing the camera)

First Flip!

Miss Ella relaxes after her rolling over for the first time
We had a first for the twins tonight and the girl doing it was a bit of a surprise. Miss Ella was the first one to flip herself from her tummy to her back. She did it again an hour or so later from her back to her tummy. No one is going to be rolling around the house soon but we're making progress!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Starting the switch?

Miss Julia loves her some cereal
Today Julia had her first taste of the good stuff, straight. Ok, it wasn't the real good stuff, it was rice cereal. She's had a little bit before, mixed in with her formula, but at her last checkup the doctor said she was ready for the big leagues. Tonight she took her first swing!
Miss Ella also tried some, but didn't quite enjoy it like Julia did.
Update 8/27: Julia was a bottomless pit tonight, so in addition to her bottle(s) of formula she also had some cereal. And she's still hungry!
An even bigger surprise was Miss Ella eating the cereal. She was putting it away too, and no spills!

At school!

Lauren gives the new desk a test drive

Lauren with Miss Huber

Lauren had a great first day of school. No separation issues (can't quite say the same for the adults involved.) She had a great lunch and enjoyed all her classmates. She'll even learn all their names soon!

Getting ready for school!

Is this the first day of kindergarten or high school?

Have backpack, will travel

Big excitement in the Mahaney household today. Miss Lauren will be stepping out to her first day of kindergarten. She got all dressed up!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lots of smiles!

Julia and Ella share an inside joke

Miss Ava shows her coy smile

Surprise visit

You may not have heard but we recently had a big celebration here. Suzanne invited a bunch of friends and neighbors for a big shindig in the back yard. Food, drinks, poker, live band, the whole shebang. But she also invited Alice and Larry, and by gosh they came out, too. The earliest flights on the USAir schedule didn't scare them off, either. Here they are flying back early Sunday morning. Thanks for the visit!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Girls wear bows

Julia in her bow

Ella with bow

Sometimes no matter how cute you are there are people who mistake you for a boy. Wear something white or blue, or anything "not pink", and people start assuming things. Well, the girls have an answer. Bows. We may need to glue them on or use tape, but the girls are convinced. Bows.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Attack cat!

White Kitty always gets his man (gecko)
A couple weeks ago a poor gecko made the unfortunate mistake of walking in the front door. At some point White Kitty saw him. The gecko hid behind the display case shown in the picture above while White Kitty stalked him for days. The poor guy even did the "shed the wiggling tail" trick, but could only do that once.
Not sure whatever happened to that gecko. We haven't seen him for weeks. But White Kitty remains vigilant. He's still manning his post.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

4 Month Checkups!

Julia at 13.4 lbs

Ella at 11.6 lbs

The girls got a clean bill of health and a full round of shots today at the doctor's office. The tale of the tape showed Miss Julia way out in front on the growth chart: 90th percentile in weight and length. Miss Ella was at a petite 50% weight and 75% length. The place Miss Julia really showed her power was in the post-shot crying department. Even the doctor was impressed. Miss Ella just called her a crybaby.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Au Revoir, Ed!

Ed flies out tonight, Eileen and the kids are staying another week. The only perk to leaving early was getting an early dish out of the homemade ice cream of the day - Ben & Jerry's recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, with chocolate ice cream for the base instead of the normal sweet cream base. Eileen and Lauren were jealous as Ed ate his poolside!

Later everyone else had their share. Keli recommends complimenting it with a tall glass of milk - it is very rich!

Chicken Run!

Here is the crew heading out for lunch. This is about the four mile point on our 10 mile trip. Everyone was riding except for Suzanne and the babies, who met us there. Miss Lauren is in her chariot (top left corner just visible in the bottom right of the picture.)

Lunch was at Babe's Chicken House. As soon as we rolled into Old Downtown Carrollton we could smell the biscuits cookin'. Babe's standard fare is all the veggies you want (salad, mashed potatoes, green beans, and corn) followed by one of six of their meats (fried chicken, smoked chicken, pot roast, chicken fried steak, chicken fingers, and catfish). We ordered everything but the catfish for everyone to eat family style. The table was full!

Kevin found this friendly stranger a table over!

Even though our bellies were full everyone made the trip back!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Flags, More Fun!

Friday we went to Six Flags. This was the first time that we've ever been in our 8 years in Texas. Turned out to be a great day for it as there was a storm in the morning that seemed to keep the crowds away. On almost all of the rides we walked right up and got on. We went on almost all of the roller coasters except one that was closed. Lauren went on all the roller coasters that she was tall enough for! She even went on the Shockwave, a double looper!

Of course we made sure to include a history lesson in all the events we do with the kids. We were able to identify most of the flags at the park, but needed some help from Wikipedia on a couple:

1) Spain
2) France
1b) Spain again
3) Mexico (declares independence)
4) Republic of Texas
5) United States of America
6) Confederate States of America
5b) United States of America again

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Entering the Golden Age

We're hitting a magical time here at the Mahaney household. The girls turn 4 months today, or about 2 1/2 months considering their due date. Just in the last week they (especially Ella) have become much more alert. They can follow you with their eyes now, and boy they can be smiley! Give them a smile now and they'll smile right back at you. And they are not mobile yet, not even rolling around, though Julia may be close. Truly a Golden Age, at least for maybe another couple days or weeks!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Thank you Grandmommy!

Lauren was sad to see Grandmommy go today. We'll miss her! Though Larry needs her now, too (and not just for the blueberry pie!)

Monday, August 4, 2008

The ladies visit the club

We all took Alice out to dinner tonight at the Coyote Ridge Golf Course clubhouse to thank her for all her help. Alice, Lauren, and Mike all had sliders, the specialty of the house. Even the girls ate. Something about the wood paneling and the luxurious view just makes the formula taste better.

After dinner we retired to Piccomolo for some Gelato. Once again Lauren picked the best flavor with her Orange Cream. Miss Ella and Julia got in the act as well as mommy gave them little tastes of her Mint Chocolate Chip.

Suzanne Overwhelmed

2 babies weren't enough. White Kitty wants to get in on the action.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

We won't forget our lessons again!

Back in the NICU from day one the nurses would bundle up the girls tight and they loved it. Once their bottle was gone (well, maybe when 1/2 the bottle was gone for Ella)it was lights out for three hours. Barely a peep out of them the whole time.

Then we brought them home. At some point our wrapping got lazy. And Miss Julia became more rambunctious by the day. We had to move her upstairs to a separate sleeping room with one person watching them because she made so much noise in her sleep. Pretty soon she was sleeping on her side, on her tummy, or sleeping while swimming with her arms. We thought a lot of it had to do with her reflux. We were wrong!

Little babies like straightjackets. There, I said it. The other night Miss Kris came over and showed us a real tight wrapping technique and it did the trick. No more moving. No more sighing and gurgling. Just pure sleeping bliss.

Now 3-4 nights in a row of 6 straight hours of quiet sleep, followed by a feeding and back to sleep for another 3-4 hours.

Thank you Kris.

And apologies to the baby sleeping gods and the NICU nurses. We won't let you down again!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Blueberry pie!

A recommendation from the Mahaney family:

1) After your trip downtown to an aquarium, stop at the Farmers Market
2) Buy blueberries (you can buy other fruits and vegetables if you'd like, but don't forget the best stuff!) (OK, we did also get some cherries to make Cherry Garcia ice cream Sunday night!)
3) Get Cousin Ruth's pie recipe
4) Have Grandmommy make the pie (she always makes the best ones!)
5) Enjoy with vanilla ice cream, whip cream, or both if you can talk your Dad into it. (Miss Lauren couldn't this time!)

Cousin Ruth's Blueberry Pie Marietta Noel

2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 T. lemon juice
2 T. butter
pastry for a double-crust pie

Combine all ingredients except the butter. Place bottom pastry in pie pan and fill pie shell with the blueberry mixture. Dot with butter. Cover pie with top pastry and pierce with fork to vent. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for 30 minutes. Makes one 8 or 9 inch pie. Use your own favorite recipe for pie crust. I make my own using a recipe from a very old Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.

Visit to the Aquarium

Colleen that sneaky, cheeky monkey signed us up for a family membership the other week when she took the kids to the Dallas World Aquarium. With temperatures over 100 we took the opportunity to use those passes

Dallas World Aquarium 8/1/08