Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween...Maybe Next Year

I think the sickness and the teething were too much for Gracie and Luke. They did not want to be dressed up, they did not want to be in their wagon. All they wanted (sorry, Nana) was chicken nuggets and to go home.

As a result, we were back at home by 7 pm. Gracie was asleep and Lukie tried to stay awake as long as he could. He lasted until 7:30 pm. Now, everyone's asleep and I am sitting here watching television. No trick or treaters (where are they, by the way?). Just me, my lap top, and the blog. Can you tell I've been busy?

The good news in all of this is that their costumes are size 12 - 24 months. Most likely, they'll still fit next year. Thank goodness! I spent good money on them!

I'll post the 2 whole pictures I have of the Twinsies in their costumes tomorrow. I'm off to bed. I might as well take advantage!

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Teething - The Follow Up

Turns out it isn't just Lukie's teeth bothering him. He has an ear infection.

Thanks, Gracie. Thanks a lot.

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Well, No Wonder!

Crankiness, crying, screaming, waking up every few hours...

It's been our life for the past few weeks. I knew the babies would be going through some sleep changes about this time, but it has been so extreme that there have been nights when I have only had 3.5 hours of sleep. When you have to go to work in the morning, that's not good.

Well, a couple of days ago, I had Luke on my lap and was giving him his Tylenol (a.k.a. baby candy - but that's another post). I noticed a strange white thing in the back of his mouth. I convinced him (I use the term loosely) to let me stick a finger into his mouth and feel around his gums. Lo and behold, I felt one, then two, then three bumps! Luke has 3 new molars coming in! No wonder he has been so sad and cranky.

Since I figured out why Luke was so upset, I decided to check Gracie's mouth. This is easier said than done. She has an iron jaw. I did manage to see one new tooth next to her existing bottom teeth and (yep!) a molar.

So our official tooth count has gone from Luke - 8 and Gracie - 7 to Luke - 11 and Gracie - 9. That's a ton of teeth! Our friend, Jackson D. only has 2 teeth. Personally, I think he's planning to grow them all at once so that his Mommy only has to go through teething once.

I don't know if I am jealous about that or not.

Our first incident report

Gracie has a permanent record.

It isn't her fault! Apparently, a little boy at Day Care decided to take a swat at her. She now has a mark on her face. No biggie! She doesn't even notice it is there. I only notice it because, hey, I'm her Mommy.

(see, it's there under her left eye - her left, not yours!)


The nice thing is that when Ed arrived to pick up the babies yesterday, the head teacher had a Boo-boo report for him to read and sign. Not only did he sign that he read it, but the parents of the little boy who hurt Gracie have to sign that he did it. I love accountability!

Well, I will until we have to sign a report about something Gracie or Luke did. Grrrrr.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Way Back When-sday!

There are several Mommy Blogs out there that participate in Way Back When-sday. They select a picture from the year or several years before to share on that particular date. I have decided to participate!

I know I posted a few of these pics on the Pumpkin Patch slide show, but they are so cute, I can't resist.

Date: October 2007

Another Halloween outfit...(these are 0-3 months and they were still in Newborn and smaller sizes)

Gracie hardly fit in the 0-3 months onesie!

I love this look on Lukie's face!

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Nutty Auntie Ten Ten

I was deleting emails from my inbox and came across an email Auntie Ten Ten sent me a few weeks ago. She's pregnant right now, so it explains some of her nuttiness. Here's what she wrote:

When I can't sleep I usually think of numbers. So last night I was lying in bed waiting to go to sleep and I thought of this.

If you add up the ages of the youngest grandchildren you'll get Hailey's age (sorry Nate just touched the Italic button)! Of course, this only works if you count the twins once. And since they share the same birthday I guess it all works out.

Bianca - 5
Brandon - 3
Nathan - 2
Gracie & Luke - 1
= Hailey - 11

Oh, that nutty Auntie Ten Ten! What will she come up with next! Hey! I wonder if this means the baby is trying to do math? Maybe it will be a Super Mathy Genius!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Faster than a speeding bullet!

As the Twinsies get older, I am stunned by how quickly they develop new skills. Their powers of deduction are really starting to worry me. Any day now, they are going to figure out how to drive a car and then we will really be in trouble!

They've figured out how to get on top of their table, how to use their Kangaroo Climber to get up high enough to reach over the baby gate. They've reasoned out how to set boxes on top of one another so that they could reach some things they wanted up high. Today, they figured out how to stand on their tippy toes and reach the door handle to the front door. Eddie was stunned to see that they could not only reach it, but they figured out how to move the handle so that they could open the door!

More things they have figured out:

1) how to squeeze under the jogging stroller to get down the front stairs

2) how to lift the Super Gate so that they can get into "No Man's Land" a.k.a. my work area.

3) how to knock over their bear friend and release the Cheerios in the morning.

4) how to escape from highchairs

5) how to escape from their carseats

6) how to plug up the drain so that their bath water will stay in the tub

For crying out loud! They are not even 14 months old yet!

See? I really need to get a new Club for the steering wheel.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hitting, biting, and stealing...Oh, My!

According to Baby Center, a 13 month - 4 week old toddler is due for some pretty strange behavior. "Due?" We've been experiencing the behaviors for the past two weeks or so!

Suddenly, Gracie and Luke are hitting each other, hitting us, biting one another, biting their toys (I'll admit, that makes me laugh!). They've been steeling toys from one another more and more often, just about as often as they steal binkies from one another. It is truly frustrating. They used to play together so well and now-a-days 50% of the time they are stealing things from each other and crying. Often, we end up with one or more babies falling into our laps crying hysterically because a sibling has stolen a toy and/or hit them.

According to the article I read, this is all normal for their age. They don't see the other as a person with feelings, rather as an object to explore. They don't mean to hurt another person, they just want the toy or binky right now! The article recommends pillow fights, PlayDough, and splashing in puddles to get some of that craziness out. I'm going shopping for baby pillows tomorrow! I wonder if I should buy some PlayDough, too? Wait, Aunt Becca ate PlayDough when she was little.

Uh, maybe not. I do not want to see the diaper surprises after that. Yuck. Fun times!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Twinsie Twister

I am up every morning at 5:10 am...that is, if the Twinsies don't wake me up first!

Each night, we go to bed with Gracie and Luke in their Pack-N-Plays in our bedroom. By 2 or 3 am, they have made their way into bed with us. One baby is not that big of a deal. Our bed is pretty big now so one baby has a lot of room to migrate across. Two babies are a little more complicated logistically. Usually, we are okay. Then again, there are mornings when we are not. One baby, usually Gracie, will wake up and start crawling around. She'll crawl over her brother, sit on his face, hit his head to wake him up. All this is done in a pitch black room. How she finds him is a mystery to us all!

During the last few days, Luke has been waking up first. I have no idea what is triggering it, but he is awake and ready to go by 5:30 am at the latest. This morning, he woke up and started moving around a bit. I, unsuccessfully, tried to get my clothes and get out of the room before he woke up completely. The next thing I knew, Gracie started screaming at the top of her lungs. When I turned on the light, I saw their version of Twinsie Twister: Luke laying on top of Gracie, her arms tangled in his legs. It was pretty funny and I wished I had a camera! Unfortunately, when the light went on, Luke sat up (on Gracie's head) and started bouncing up and down because I was awake.

Gosh, I wish I had my camera!

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Saturday, October 18, 2008


All day, I have been remembering how different this day was last year. When we went to the Pumpkin Patch at Cal Poly, the babies were just a month and a half old. Their newborn size clothes were so big that Gracie's pants fell off when I picked her up off the bed! We held them and they were the least of our worries in pictures.

Flash forward today. Gracie and Luke are wearing size 12 months Halloween shirts that are a little big, but not too big. They wear tennis shoes. They rode to the Pumpkin Patch in their new Radio Flyer wagon and waited excitedly as I detached their lap belts so I could put them on the ground. They had a grand time getting filthy dirty in the Pumpkin Patch.

Pumpkins, it seems, are wonderful substitutes for drums. Luke loved using the pumpkins as a bongo. Gracie enjoyed picking up dirt and rocks for a mid-day snack. (Luckily, I caught her before she tried to swallow any.) The rotten pumpkins apparently have magnets in them that draw little children to them. Luke managed to get rotten pumpkin all over his clothes and onto mine.

For some reason, they don't like having their pictures taken lately. I can't seem to get both of them to look at the camera at the same time. Anyone have any suggestions?

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Getting back into the swing of things

Well, Tuesday night was very blissful. I fell asleep with Lukie in my arms and stayed asleep from 7:30 pm until the first cry around 3 am. If you add up all of the hours I actually slept, I got 8 hours of sleep! Stunned? Me too!

Gracie slept like a log last night. This could be due to the Motrin and antibiotics she is taking for the ear infection we discovered. She wasn't acting like herself and kept grabbing her right ear. We thought she was being cute and pretending to talk on the phone like Daddy. When her forehead got really warm and she started melting down over nothing, we took her to the doctor. Next time, we plan on reading the signs better (i.e. quicker).

Our house is still a mess. Things were packed so quickly for the evacuation that some were kind of tossed around. We are putting things back slowly but surely. Our hope is that we will be back to normal before Saturday.

Speaking of Saturday, it is the annual Pumpkin Festival at Cal Poly Pomona. The Cook-Arteaga-Uribe-Uribe Clan is on our way Saturday. I guess I need to get Gracie and Luke's wagon put together asap!

Off to sleep!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fire Follow-Up

At 2:15 pm yesterday, Ed received a phone call from the office at our park. The evacuation order had been given and he had 1 hour to get our things and get out of our house. He called me right away to let me know. Luckily, Grandma and Grandpa were there with him and between the 3 of them, they managed to get us enough clothes and supplies to last us quite some time. The only thing he could not find was our home owner's insurance policy.

As they started pulling away from our house, police car after police car passed them getting ready to go from door to door and tell everyone that they would have to evacuate. Right behind them were multiple fire trucks, entering the park so that they could make a stand and protect our homes. Some of the park residents were saying that they did not want to evacuate. However, the firemen conviced them that this was not the day to decide to go against the fire department's recommendations.

After we got Lukie down for the night, Ed and I drove to the Red Cross shelter to register. Even though we weren't staying at the shelter, they wanted all evacuated residents to register so that if someone were looking for us, they could reassure them we were okay. The Red Cross shelter was something I hope I never have to visit again. There was an air there of such anxiety and sadness. Many of the people there lived in the mobile home park that burned Monday morning. Promised updates all day long, they had no idea if their homes were still standing or if they had burned to the ground.

When we arrived, they were starting a briefing for the evacuees so we decided to stay and learn what we could. The firefighter who gave the update to us shared that the major activity of the fire was now up high into the hills, farther away from homes than we first thought. The scary part, and the reason that we have been evacuated, is that the highest wind event was expected to hit between 11 pm Monday night and 11 am Tuesday. The winds are expected to be from 35 - 50 mph with wind gusts in to the 80 mph range. It is this wind that is so dangerous. He told us that a 70 mph wind gust can carry an ember up to a mile and a half away. So even though the fire seems to be far from our house, we are in the danger range for wind gusts.

The soonest we will know if we can return to our house is Tuesday afternoon. Chances are that we won't know until Wednesday. In the meantime, we are all safe, our belongings in trashbags and whatever other kinds of bags they could find for our things.

The babies were, understandably, disoriented and distraught last night. We had a rough night getting both babies to go to sleep and stay asleep. Luckily, I had a copy of the Piglet's Big Movie CD in my car, so we could play their Night Time music throughout the night.

Thank you to everyone for your prayers. We anticipate that we will know whether or not we can go home either this afternoon or tomorrow. In the meantime, Eddie's parents live in the cell phone "Black Pit of Despair" so we most likely will not be able to pick up messages until we leave the house.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Marek Fire

If you haven't heard, there is a major brush fire burning along the foothills where we live. We actually live about 3 miles from where the fire is burning, but based on how bad the winds have been, there is a chance that it might head toward us and we may need to be evacuated.

It was pretty scary this morning, going out to my car and seeing a red and black sky from the smoke. Even scarier was being able to see flames on this hill side to the east of us. I did not realize how bad the fire was until I was halfway to school and by then, Ed told me to just go and he would be fine with the babies. His college is right in the middle of the evacuation zone, so he is staying home today.

He is already packing for us. It is hard to tell him what to pack. If I were there, I might choose different things. But right now, all that would really matter to me would be the babies. As long as Eddie, Gracie and Luke were fine, it would not matter to me what he managed to take with us.

I know this link won't work forever, but if you live far away and are worried about us, you can use it to see where the evacuation zone is as the day progresses. My map above is as of 9:30 am.

Follow-up: 2:30 pm - We are being evacuated. We will check back when we can.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Walk for Diabetes 2008

Today was the America's Walk for Diabetes (aka Step Out for Diabetes). We were up at 5:16 am (Gracie and me) because of stuffy nose and hunger. However, we got ourselves showered, dressed, and made it on time for breakfast. The Twinsies rode in their cars for the Walk while the rest of the team walked the 5 miles.

Ed had shirts made this year to remember Ida Diaz, mother to his best friend, Joe. Ida passed away just a few weeks ago after living her entire life fighting diabetes. To honor her, this year we did the Walk for her.

It was a blustery day. Something straight out of Winnie the Pooh and because my whole focus is totally skewed now, I have a ton of pictures of the babies and very few of anyone else. Gracie and Luke were in fine form, both sporting runny noses and coughs. However, they had loads of fun riding in their cars, eating good food, and running around the grassy area with their cousins.

We were very excited to see that Ed and the Twinsies pictures made it onto 2 mile markers. They came just when we needed the inspiration.

Here is some video I took of them in their cars:

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

My new obsession

I discovered siggy making (aka signatures for bulletin boards) while hanging out at the Baby Center bulletin boards. I'm not any good at it yet, but I've signed up at VIP Siggy School for free tutorials. We'll see how that goes. The way that siggies are made involves using digital scrapbooking methods. There are 100s of designers out there with lots of different themes.

I've spent hours and hours downloading free scrapbooking kits. There are so many, that I could spend weeks downloading kits and never get out of my jammies. Since I haven't really tried anything yet, I chose some ready made layouts to use with some pictures of Gracie. So far, all of my kits are really girly and I have yet to find any "manly" kits for Lukie.

Here are some:

I could easily become addicted to this. Oh, goodness...

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Friday, October 10, 2008

If I may take a moment...

I've been rereading a lot of my most recent posts and I'm feeling like my sleep deprivation is finally starting to have a detrimental effect on my mental abilities. Back before the Twinsies were born, my writing seems more coherent. I am especially impressed by the way I wrote like I was speaking to adults and not writing for babies. Back then, Ed was Ed, not Daddy. None of you call him Daddy, so why am I writing like that?

Why is this bothering me? My sister shared my blog with my AP English teacher from high school way back in the beginning. She was actually impressed by it and I felt a surge of pride at having managed to be articulate. Now, I look at it and think, "Oh, Wow! Ms. Stith would hate that." I know that I can communicate better than this and I've decided to make today a new starting point.

So, if you will help me out: Any time I call Ed "Daddy" for no apparent reason, please call me on it. Any time you read the blog and you feel like I am writing for a 5 year old audience, please call me on it. If you ever wonder what the heck I was thinking, please call me on it.

I'd like to recapture my former self at some point. I have so little control over most things in my life. I call dibs on my writing!

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mommy's Day Off

Today is Yom Kippur and, as a result, a No School Day. Many of my students are Jewish and had services starting last night and into today. So, I get to stay home!

Gracie and Luke were unaware that I got to stay home today. Lukie, thinking it was a normal school day, was up at 5:45 am. Of course, he woke up his sister and everyone else. Somehow, I was elected to take the babies to the living room instead of getting to sleep in a little more. How lucky was Daddy to get to stay in bed until almost 8 am? Very lucky.

Gracie, Luke and I ate breakfast, played with newly rediscovered toys (I sorted toy baskets last night), pulled wipies out of boxes and then decided to try on our backpacks. Monday, when Daddy took them to day care for the first time, he made the rookie dad mistake of putting their belongings into a plastic bag. All the mommies showed up with cute little backpacks for their babies' things. Daddy was so embarrassed that he told me we had to go shopping asap. We bought Lukie a Spiderman backpack (Daddy picked it out) and Gracie got a pink one with a weird little monster on it and lots of flowers. The cool part about the backpacks is that they have little motion lights. As they are moved, the lights go on and off; a fun thing for babies to look at as they walk around.

This morning, I decided to see if the babies would let me put their back packs on them. Gracie and Luke are small enough for the straps to go to their absolute smallest point. I put the back packs on each baby and for the next 10 minutes, they were obsessed with walking around the room following each other to watch the lights.

When Daddy finally decided to join the fun, it was time to pack up for day care. Gracie and Luke wore their backpacks out to the car, causing Daddy to laugh (I think he may even have giggled). They also have their binkies firmly attached to little leashes on their arms. Lukie has taken to throwing his binky as far as he can. Yesterday, he was out of luck when Daddy could not find it in the car. The day care ladies told Daddy that Gracie and Luke spent the day passing Gracie's binky back and forth. Before you get grossed out by that, they do it all the time. In fact, if you look in the back pack photos from this morning, Gracie has Lukie's binky in her mouth and vice versa. We've taken to calling them the Binky Stealers.

What are my plans for the rest of the day?

Sleeping in until noon? No.

Getting a pedicure? No.

Cleaning the living room so that we can reclaim the 50% until now lost to debris? Yes.

Cleaning laundry that is piling up all over everywhere? Yes.

Buying Gracie and Luke a little toddler table so that they will sit down to eat instead of walking around the room during meals? Yes.

Ah, bliss! Maybe I'll actually get things done today. Yay for Mommy's Day Off!

Mommy's Day Off Follow Up:

Well, Ed called me when he got out of class and distracted me into going out to lunch alone! We actually ate our entire meal without babies trying to escape seats. We also got the toddler table. Yay! And, I managed to put away 2/3 of the laundry. The living room still needs help.

Oh, well...

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Just for Cousin Nate and our fans

Auntie Ten Ten told me today that Cousin Nate (aka Skate Taco) loves watching videos of Gracie and Luke. He's not the only one! We've heard from several of our toddler fans that our videos are awesome.

So, just for Cousin Nate and our fans, here are two more videos for your viewing pleasure.

Gracie on the Swing

Lukie on the Swing

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We are loved! (in the world of bloggers....)

One of my Twin Momma friends, Carrin, has given us this award:

Along with this award comes a challenge. Answer the following questions with one word and one word only! Here goes!

1. Where is your cell phone? wallet
2. Where is your significant other? school
3. Your hair color? brown
4. Your mother? loving
5. Your father? heaven
6. Your favorite thing? twinsies
7. Your dream last night? crazy
8. Your dream/goal? home
9. The room your in? classroom
10. Your hobby? web-design
11. Your fear? overwhelmed
12. Where do you want to be in six years? thinner
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you’re not? hungry
15. One of your wish list items? stability
16. Where you grew up? Ontario
17. The last thing you did? lunch
18. What are you wearing? dress
19. Your TV? old
20. Your pet? obnoxious
21. Your computer? laptop
22. Your mood? exhausted
23. Missing someone? GandL
24. Your car? SUV
25. Something you’re not wearing? pants
26. Favorite store? Walmart
27. Your summer? long
28. Love someone? absolutely
29. Your favorite color? purple
30. When is the last time you laughed? morning
31. Last time you cried? Monday

Not as easy as it looks! The next part of the challenge is to pass it on. The challenge and award are now passed to:

1) Kristen at Created by the Uribe Family with Love

2) Caryn at Team Kyte

3) Traci at The Adventures of Ryan Roy

4) Kat at Motherhood, Mayhem and Mirth

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Side effects of Day Care (aka "School")

Twinsies, who are used to being rocked to sleep and are overstimulated by their new environment, tend not to take naps when they are at school. Gracie would rather walk up the ramp and down the steps, while Lukie is the first to gobble up his morning muffin. Reports are that they had a 1/2 hour nap today, by accident.

When we got home, they were so tired they did not want to eat dinner (even though they ate everything we managed to get near their mouths) and they cried all through their 10 minute bath. It is 6:45 pm and the Twinsies are asleep. Exhausted from their day of no naps and so much to do.

By the way, Gracie is indeed the only girl in the new walker/toddler room. According to reports, she is Miss Independent, the sheep hearder to the little boy sheep. Good gravy, what are we in for?

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Monday, October 6, 2008

The First Day of Day Care

Daddy took Gracie and Luke to their first day of Day Care today. His college has an amazing Child Development Department that trains people who would like to open a licensed Day Care. The college offers day care for students so that they can attend classes and study. We are kind of excited that this will give the babies some fun during the day so that when they come home to boring Mommy and Daddy they will be happy to just veg with us.

Gracie and Luke must have known that something was up today because of the nervous energy we were giving off. They were up at 5 am this morning. Needless to say, we were not amused.

In preparation for the big day, we made sure all of their clothes had their names on them. Their bag had formula and extra diapers. We got them dressed and packed. At 8 am, Daddy arrived at the Day Care with the babies (a full half hour early). Little Miss Gracie went straight into the room, chose a seat and looked up as if to say, "Okay, what are we going to learn today?" Luke did not have such an easy time. He was a crier. From the moment Daddy left, he cried and cried. I even got a phone call asking if Luke at solid food because he would not have anything that they were eating today!

The good news is that Luke is not alone. According to Miss Anna, their room coordinator, all of the boys had a difficult day. It may take some time for them to feel like day care is more like play time, but for now, Gracie is totally excited and Luke is, well, not.

At least they still have Grandma and Grandpa day to look forward to!

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Twinsie Birthday Friends

Today, we went to our Twinsie friends, James and Jonathan's 1st Birthday Party. There, we met more Twinsie friends, Lukas and Riley. All of us twin mommas, Jessica, Veronic and I, spent time during our pregnancy at Huntington. It was really amazing seeing our babies together now that they are all one year old.

Luke and Gracie are the only ones really walking on their own and as such were the crazy toddlers walking away and getting dirt all over themselves. Luckily, I planned for this and they were in dark colors.

This picture is all of us together: Veronica with Lukas and Riley, Jessica with Jonathan and her husband, Michael holding James, a little girl who is a family friend, and me holding Lucas and Gracie.

Loads of fun was had by all and afterward, we took the babies to swing for a while. This will be one of the last times the Twinsies will be able to fit in the same swing!

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Happy 10th Birthday!

There's nothing better than bringing cupcakes and having free dress on your 10th birthday! These two were so excited that they kept r...