Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Twin Birthday 2011: The Saturday Family Celebration

By Saturday Papa feels better so we go with the original plan for their birthday. (They also celebrated at a toddler birthday party and on their actual birthday.) First, new backyard toys: a slide and a teeter-totter from Papa and Gaga.

Gaga and Papa set up the outdoor birthday gifts.

No, Julia. You hike the football.

James is new to slides so they can still be a little scary.

Then we all watch Sesame Street again. Papa really wanted to.

"Oh Elmo!"

After the babies’ naps we have mini chocolate cupcakes. I had to buy more from Whole Foods because Mark polished off the leftovers from the babies' birthday party. We also eat cardamom ice cream. There is some initial grumbling from the grandparents about the flavor, but I picked it knowing it would be the parents finishing off the pint. The grandparents eventually concede that it does, in fact, taste good.

Julia is already bored by her cupcake.

This is just a ruse because Julia didn't actually eat her cupcake.

James eats his ice cream with so much gusto he almost looks angry.


Julia discovers that ice cream tastes better when Papa feeds it to her.

When the messy food is out of the way, the babies get dressed up to open their gifts. First they get distracted by cards and think they’re the best thing ever, but we have to remind them of this new thing called “birthday presents.” They discover that they love tearing open their gifts. They keep getting distracted by each one and want to play with it instead of opening the next one. And then at one point they just want to hand everyone pieces from their new play food set.

Julia walks right over the present Terminator-style.

James possibly pees on his present.

I feel like we're in that illusion from The Exploratorium where I'm the giant on one end of the room.

Like this.

The twins were pretty excited about the cards. It took awhile to convince them to open the gifts.

James immediately starts hoarding his new play utensils.

"Forget whatever this wrapped present is, I'm going to hide my new dishware from James."

"I think I'll hide some spoons in here as well."

Julia the Food Bank starts handing out food.

"Ice cream for Papa!"

"Refried beans for Mommy!"

"I can only hold so much Hamburger Helper! Somebody take more refried beans, stat!"

Henry VIII at 9 months with a rattle and again at 2 years, this time with a fake chicken drumstick.

"It's my boss. I have to take this."

I put the babies on the sofa for a picture together and this one photo we got pretty much tells you how long it lasted.

Next up we all go to dinner at one of the babies’ favorite restaurants, Su Hong. We eat here so often the babies think a meal at any restaurant ends with fortune cookies.

Julia and James wait for their table at Su Hong.

Papa gives James an eggroll.

James eats rice.

Julia makes goo-goo eyes at Gaga (or is it ga-ga eyes at Googoo?).

"Water out of a sippy cup tastes much better than water out of a glass, Gaga."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Twin Birthday 2011: The Wednesday Family Celebration

Two days after Monday's toddler birthday party - the twins' actually birthday - Papa comes down with the stomach flu so we only end up doing only one of the activities we had planned and leave the rest to Saturday when he feels better. The one activity? Watching Sesame Street for the babies' first time. The babies have a number of Elmo toys and books so despite never having seen Sesame Street they already love Elmo. We want to show them Sesame Street to blow their little minds. Julia is very excited and keeps pointing and shouting “Elmo!” James just sits transfixed, which is a little scary. Elmo teaches them about the life cycle of a butterfly, and the twins still like to tell us, “Elmo egg,” “Elmo caterpillar,” “Elmo chrysalis” (my favorite), and “Elmo butterfly.”

Julia's pretty excited to see Elmo.

In the afternoon Mark and I take James and Julia to Cooper Park, and they enjoy running around the baseball diamond and the playground.

James on home plate

Hug for Mommy!

James and Julia ride the biplane.

Julia decides to go on a solo mission.

James won't let go of his stick, even on the swing.

Then we eat at Esther’s German Bakery for dinner for everyone’s first time. Esther herself comes out and gives James and Julia complimentary shortbread cookies, which they love.

"What will James think of a lemon? Too sour?"

"Hot." (James thinks everything is too hot, including apparently refrigerated lemons.)

Julia looks like she came out of an El Greco painting.

James enjoys his cookie.