Sunday, March 19, 2017

#69. What Winter??

So much for those snow suits and boots we got last fall for the long upcoming winter!

The twins atop 'Mount Ravenswood'...a BIG hill around the corner from our townhouse...wishing there was some snow on the ground

Having taken limited pictures of the twins in the snow back on Dec. 10,

Luckily, we managed to snap this shot of our 2 little snow angels!

it looked like we would be shut out from having a nice group of snow photos from Luke and Clare's 3rd winter. Thankfully, in typical 'Chicago winter' fashion, the snow came back again in mid-March, and the twins had a chance to enjoy the white stuff one more time!

The snow was a lot more fun this year with more tracks through the snow and snowballs...

...compared to last year!

Taking a break from the snow to pose on our courtyard bench

As the last few months have been winter, the majority of twin time was spent indoors.

We'll stand for that!

That's fine by us...

...cause we're even goofier inside!

I could probably write an entire blog post about the day we 'played' Yahtzee.  Teaching 2-year olds a game involving 5 dice was a cross between a drama, comedy, and tragedy!

Don't get the wrong idea...this type of focus didn't last long

This is way more entertaining than the 'dice game' you're failing to explain to us, Dad!

This winter, the twins became more interested in helping cook dinner (this will hopefully pay off someday!).

More like sampling...they even eat chopped onions!

One afternoon Clare and Luke helped bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Luke carefully pours in flour while his sister judges his technique

Favorite part of the process...yummy cookie dough!

Are they done yet?!?

Wow, those look good!

Cheers to our first batch of cookies!

The twins also tried their hand at making pizzas.

Next up is cooking a full course meal!

Outside of the kitchen, Luke & Clare found a variety of ways to enjoy the indoors.

Making music...Papa and Clare on guitar and Luke on keyboard

The band has come a long way since last winter!

Everyone loves Play-doh!

Lots and lots of books...Papa reads 'Wacky Wednesday'...on Wednesday of course!

Lots and lots (and lots) of TV (Peppa Pig, Bubble Guppies, Sesame Street, Super Wings, Cars, Minions, etc.)...

...and the same level of captivation as last year

Making homemade Valentines

Learning how to eat stir fry with chopsticks!

And dancing...

...of course!!

Anytime the temperature allowed, we did our best to leave the house, even if only for a quick trip to the grocery store.

Last year, these two hung out in the cart with the purchases...

...and this year, they were helping to make them (under the supervision of adults over 21, of course)!

Pulling the wagon out and heading over to Clark Street...silly hats and all!

Living next to a train line has it perks..the twins love to go train watching

Clare gives Daddy a break, while Luke enjoys the ride

Practicing a new swing technique for Spring '17

One of the twins' favorite winter excursions was taking the train downtown for lunch.  The twins see many trains pass by through our kitchen window daily and they know Papa goes to work on the train.  So, this proved to be a real treat!

Luckily, we picked a nice sunny day!!

It was so exciting waiting for 'our train'

and even more fun riding it!

Once we got downtown, it was time for lunch at the French Market

The food was great, but the lollipops at the end of lunch were the twins' favorite

Perhaps the highlight of winter was when the twins attended a Valentine's Dance at Chase Park.

They had so much fun...


...and eating heavily iced cupcakes!

Unfortunately, they were too tired to pose for a family photo, but a good time was had by all!

We're looking forward to the spring and more outdoor time with these two!

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

#68. Happy Holidaze

Happy New Year!!  We hope everyone had a great holiday season.  We sure did.  It was definitely loaded and busy, but filled with fun moments and memories.  This holiday season was especially enjoyable with the twins.  They both seemed to 'connect' with the spirit of the season (of course this might all change now that they have been through a round or two of 'presents'!).  They enjoyed the decorations (trees, ornaments, lights, stockings, etc) in our house and around the city.  They enjoyed singing and dancing to holiday music ('Jingle Bell(s) Rock' was a favorite...Clare still asks for it to be played almost every day!).   Papa's dream for the twins to love Christmas as much as he does is very much on track (Clare continues to ask to wear her green and red Santa Christmas socks).   All in all, it was a fun month watching happy twins enjoy the Christmas season.

Our holiday season officially kicked off the day after Thanksgiving (those who know Chris know how much work I have done to keep it from starting the day after Halloween!), when we set out to find the perfect Christmas tree!

All bundled up and headed for the tree lot!

The adjacent playground proved to be more exciting, but we found our tree!

24 hours later, the twins and their papa admire the new living thing joining in our household (which, incidentally, was gone by MLK Day, though Papa would have preferred a Valentine's Day take down)

Next on the list of Christmas to-do's was a visit with Santa.  This year, Santa became an often talked about character in our household, mostly because of the 'farting Santa' stuffed toy we have (that is no longer...Trig must not have thought it was so funny), but also because he 'brings presents'.

Waiting for the big guy in the red suit...someone looks intimidated, someone else looks excited

Clare took Santa's lap first...roller coaster style...thanks for playing along, Santa!

And, yep, this year's Santa photo..

...was nearly identical to last year!

Thanks to the Swedish Fish (we visited Santa at Andersonville's Swedish American Museum), we were able to distract Luke long enough to get a decent family shot with Santa.

The twins celebrated the 'successful' Santa visit with ice cream at Lady Gregory's!

As the weeks before Christmas rolled by, box after box showed up at our house.

Much to the twins delight!

The twins attended some holiday events where they dressed to impress.

Our Little Drummer Boy....and Girl!

Then, came the presents!  The first round were opened during a visit from Grandma Steffie and Grandpa Dan.

Let the unwrapping begin!

Hey, we can get used to this!

Clare looking casual during her first showering of presents

Clare enjoying her new doll...Luke helping Papa open his gift

Papa learning how much 'fun' un-packaging the packaging can be

Helping Daddy pry open his 'Man Crate'

Next, it was off to Kansas to celebrate Christmas with the Knapp side of the family.  

With this many days left til Christmas, we headed out for a long 10+ hour overnight drive!

The twins loved the 'new tradition' we established of opening 1 gift on Christmas Eve

Twas the Night Before Christmas...(with their cousin Keira)

We didn't see him ourselves, but Santa put together a nice, little display for the twins for Christmas morning...trains, of course, for Luke, and Peppa Pig's house for Clare!

Presents, presents, and more presents!

As they get BIGger, this gift will be more and more fun

Clare and her reindeer, Clarice

Trains, trains, trains

Grandma and Grandpa Knapp got us cars!!

Time to feed her new baby

Where there were cars or trains, there was Luke

Thanks for a great Christmas, Grandpa!

Ahhhhhhhhh, two dads survived another Christmas!
Best wishes to all for a great 2017!