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April 15, 2015

UNO!

The girls got the game UNO Moo for their third birthday (I think).  We’ve played off and on, even relatively recently, and it’s a fun little game.  I’m not sure where the girls glimpsed the original UNO card game, but a couple of weeks ago, they started asking to play.

Hubby and I used to spend hours playing, keeping our point tallies and talking a big game.  We were pretty excited to think about the girls joining in the fun.

We played our first game last Thursday, the evening before we left for our little getaway.  Baby A teamed up with me, and B with Hubby.  The girls were mesmerized!  And they were giggling all the while.  I knew they had fun, but I wasn’t certain how much of the game they got.

On Friday, the girls asked to take the UNO cards to St. Louis.  When we got to the hotel, it was the first thing they asked for!

We didn’t find time to play UNO in St. Louis, but Monday when I got home from work, the girls were READY.  “Sissy and I are going to play you and Daddy,” they both insisted.

I really didn’t know how well the girls understood the game, but they were so excited to play, we let them roll with it.

I could.not.believe that the girls BEAT US in their inaugural game!!!!!

The past two nights, the girls and I have played after supper.  They team up against me.  Last night, they won two games to one, and tonight I pulled out the victory.


I love seeing how much fun the girls are having!  I love seeing them conspire together to plot their strategy!  And I love all the big-kid fun I’m having, too!

April 14, 2015

Super Stuff in St. Louis!

The girls and hubby were out of school last week for spring break.  I took off on Thursday and Friday, and we enjoyed a short getaway to St. Louis.



We had a great time taking in the arch, the zoo – including the sea lion show – and plenty of green areas in downtown.  We ate some yummy food, and talked to some interesting people.  And we even got to meet a longtime bloggy friend in person, which made my heart smile.

At the zoo!
It was a wonderful, MUCH-needed break.  The sights and sounds were fantastic…but some of the best memories come outta the mouths of my sweet babes.

At supper on Friday night, we found ourselves in a family-style diner (I guess you’d call it) right downtown.  I was thinking about a burger, but the server really bragged about their pasta.  I ordered the girls a pasta dish with mushrooms and spinach, and when it came, I thought it looked delicious.  Apparently, B wasn’t quite as convinced.  She took her first bite, though, and immediately declared, “This tastes a lot better than it looks.”  HAHAHAHA!!!  It was a compliment in her book, but I'm not sure the chef would have thought so.

Daddy and the girls at dinner.

The next morning, we found an excellent place for breakfast (Rooster).  They serve a great menu of unique dishes using locally sourced ingredients…just our kind of place.  I ordered the girls a big breakfast platter to share.  B, who was sitting next to me, really liked the potatoes.  She addressed her daddy, who was sitting across the table from her, next to A, “Daddy, you really have to try some of Sissy’s potatoes!”  HA!  I thought it was too funny that she volunteered her sister to share!

Daddy and B traversing a downtown fountain.

On Saturday afternoon, I really wanted a coffee from the Starbucks in our hotel.  Baby A waited in the lobby with her daddy, and B went inside with me.  While we waited on my coffee, I encouraged B to stand by the window.  “Wave to the people on the sidewalk,” I told her.  She did, and so enthusiastically!  It was so much fun to see people walking by, getting a kick out of her big smile and voracious waves.

Baby A was fascinated with the arch, and the zoo, and the view of the Mississippi river from our hotel room.  Just as fascinating, though, was the construction going on next to our hotel.  On Sunday morning she exclaimed, “Look!  Yesterday that was flat, and today there are big huge piles of dirt!”  HA!

Baby A, looking out the window at the construction.

Baby A, true to herself, found any opportunity to RUN.  Just like in Central Park in NYC, I loved seeing this kiddo take off in the open field beneath the arch.  It’s amazing to watch her, no matter where we are…but doubly incredible to see her doing her thing in such a picturesque setting!!!

Playing tag on a random patch of grass.

The girls shared a full-size bed in the hotel…for the first time, sleeping in the “normal” direction, as opposed to perpendicular to the rest of us.  Baby A slept closest to me, and I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw her hop out of the bed one morning.  She is such a big girl!!!  It seems like just last year I was having to give the girls a boost into a bed like that!!!


And we had quite a few “twin” moments.  It probably happened at least 10 times, when people came over, out of their way, to ask if the girls were twins.  I know this is an annoyance to many twin mamas…but I’m savoring these inquiries.  I know they won’t last forever, and I love the opportunity to brag about my babies!

So very thankful for the {expected} super stuff of a getaway...and the wonderful {unexpected} surprises.

My heart is full!!!

April 7, 2015

Super Stuff on a Tuesday

Some random "super stuff" from the past couple of weeks...

The girls saw their first magic show a couple of weeks ago.  They were pretty tentative, but ultimately excited to watch.  After the first trick, when the clown pulled a bird out of a balloon, Baby A had the funniest look on her face.  That’s strange,” she remarked.  Hee hee!!!

Speaking of “tentative”, I caught the most precious precious of the girls while they watched the magic show.  They were intensely focused on the show, while they absentmindedly held hands.  I am so thankful I was able to sneak a picture to remember this sweet sight.



I was in the shower and Baby A was trying to tell me something.  I couldn’t quite understand part of what she was saying, and I’d asked her to repeat herself a couple of times.  Finally, in near-exasperation, she declared, “Nap, Mommy!  N-A-P!  I had to crack up at her emphatic (yet nonchalant) spelling!

Baby A brought home a particular “prize” from school, the same type of prize she’d brought home once before.  I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect, but I was trying to show my enthusiasm for what she’d earned.  Baby B wasn’t quite so considerate.  Sissy, the last time you had that, Mommy said that was not appropriate for our house.”  Hahaha!!!  I do remember saying that…and it struck me as pretty funny that B did, too!  My exact words, no less!

Baby A told me, “Mommy, before I was in your tummy, I was like a puzzle and God put together the pieces.  Sweet girl.

Over supper, we were talking about street performers.  I reminded the girls we’d seen musicians and dancers in New Orleans last year, specifically some we saw right in front of us at Café du Monde.  Those were Mommy’s band cousins,” B said.  Bwahahaha!!!  That is one thing Hubby teases me about, being a band nerd, and I couldn’t believe B remembered that a year later!

So thankful for Super Stuff!!!

April 5, 2015

Bunny Cake Memories

I remember my mom making a bunny cake one Easter.  I’d guess I was seven or eight.  I remember it being covered in coconut, and there were jelly beans for the eyes, nose, and whiskers.

I don’t remember all the details, but it was a surprise at my nan's house for Easter dinner, and I clearly remember being in awe.  In my mind, I must have asked my mom 10 times, “Did you really make this??!!!” 

That, of course, was long before the days of Pinterest and themed play dates.  My mom was a great cook…skilled particularly in all things sweet…but I guess that’s the first time I saw an edible “craft”, so to speak.

This year, I decided to create some bunny cake memories with my girls.  I baked the cake, and they watched as I assembled it into a bunny shape…grinning and giggling all the while.

Baby A, spreading the jelly...in Christmas pajamas, of course.

I had intended to let the girls ice the cake, but my icing turned out a little on the stiff side.  They watched patiently while I covered the cake in white, and then they were very eager to choose the exact jelly beans they wanted to use for decoration.

Expertly adding the jelly beans, while Daddy and Alex watch.

They of course had to sample along the way…the cake scraps, the icing, and the jelly beans.  I don’t know that they were in awe to the same degree I was as a child, but they were delighted, nonetheless.

Two proud baby girls!!!

With the chocolate in the girls’ (and hubby’s) baskets, we didn’t exactly need more sweets in the house.  But seeing my girlies smile…and thinking back on my own fond memories…makes for a great Easter treat all the way around.

March 30, 2015

The "Keep Forever" File

I *try* so hard not to hoard the girls' artwork.  I can't say I'm particularly good at not-hoarding, but I can say that these are two recent pieces who've already secured a place in the Keep Forever file.

This is B's first "book".  It's about an astronaut who flew to the moon.  The end.  I love how she devoted a page to each sentence, but the back of the book is by far my favorite.


"If you like space, you will like this book."

This girl is both a writer AND a marketer.  Hee hee!!!

And it so warmed my heart to find this little gem in A's backpack.


"I felt happy when I snuggled with my Mommy and Daddy."  Awwww....

(My heart was less-than-warmed to find on the reverse side, "I felt sad when my sister hit me with a funnel," but I guess there are two sides to most coins [and school papers].)

With sentiments like these, my Keep Forever file just keeps expanding!

March 25, 2015

The Silver Lining of My Work Travel

I traveled for work last week, three days and four nights.  The longest I’d been away prior to that was one night (twice), both times within the last 8 or 9 months.

I was nervous to leave everyone.  I knew they’d ultimately fare fine, but I knew it wouldn’t be easy on anyone.  I could picture the girls (and maybe the husband!) getting tired and cranky by Day 3, breaking down into a puddle of tears.

I’m thankful to report that everyone seemed to do pretty well in my absence.  In fact, I think I’m the only one who cried.  It certainly wasn’t easy on anyone, and it’s something I hope I don’t often have to repeat, but I’m also glad to have this milestone under our belts.

As I look back on the week, there are three really sweet things that stand out to me…things I wouldn’t have experienced had I been in the same zip code all week.

1) I had a morning flight on Tuesday and I had to be at the office about an hour early.  Daddy took the girls to school (to early drop-off) so I wouldn’t have to manage that additional piece of run-around as I was working to get on the road.  They left a couple of minutes before I did, so I got to wave goodbye to them.  Since my vehicle is the only one that had carseats prior to kindergarten starting this fall, and since I always take the girls to school, this NEVER happens.  How sweet it was to kiss them in their carseats…to stand in the driveway while we waved madly at each other…to sign “I love you” to each other as they drove off.

2) It was only about a year ago that I talked to the girls on the phone for the first time.  When we weren’t together, they were either at preschool or I was out for a quick errand.  I remember very clearly talking with them on the way home from spending some time with my friend D in December ’13.  It struck me how grown-up they sounded on the other end of the line!

During this trip I talked to them quite a few times.  The highlights were hearing their excitement over the “leprechaun” who visited their class on Tuesday…and then hearing their signature, “Bye-I love you-bye!” at the end of every conversation.  Once they’re ready to get off the phone, they’re READY, but not without first saying “I love you”.

3) On Thursday morning I missed talking to the girls.  (I left a message at home for them to call me, thinking they were upstairs.  When I dialed J’s cell phone a few minutes later, he told me he’d just dropped them off.)  I felt TERRIBLE.  I decided to text A’s teacher and ask her to pass along a note to the girls.  Please tell them to have a great day, I love them, and I’ll talk to them tonight.”  [And it was then that I cried.]  I love the girls’ teachers, and I knew Mrs. S. would make sure they got the message.  Although it was still a rough start to my morning, it made my heart smile to know that she’d take special care of them that day.

I got home Friday night (after a crazy run-around in the airport, not knowing if I’d make my flight due to weather in the northeast), just in time for bedtime.  I read the girls, “Who’s Got My Purr”, where the kitten searches for her purr…finally, exhausted, she gives up and curls next to her mommy…only to find her purr right there.  “You hear it when you’re happy!” her mommy explains.


Purrr-fect.

March 18, 2015

Sisters Helping Each Other

Since they started school, our girls don't seem to be in lock-step with each other the way they've always been.

That's a topic for another (long and arduous) post, but my heart was so warmed to see two unprompted acts of togetherness this weekend.

On Sunday morning, the girls and I went for a bike ride.  (Meaning, they rode and I jogged along beside/behind/and sometimes in front.)  They've only ridden a handful of times in the past 6 months, and I can tell their stamina isn't what it was this summer.

As we turned around at the bottom of a street and prepared to head back home, Baby A was in the lead.  With some cheerleading from me, she made it up the small hill.  B was considerably behind us.  I told A to wait in a driveway, and I called to B, encouraging her to join us.  She got on her way...but stopped short, about halfway up the little hill.

"I'll come push you," I told her.  "No, I will!" my A volunteered.  She went galloping over to B and ran behind her up the hill.  Baby A had the biggest smile on her face, and B giggled all the way.  (And this mama was beaming.)

Sunday afternoon, we decided to treat ourselves to ice cream.  It was a GORGEOUS day...particularly considering we'd been playing in the SNOW not 10 days prior...and it felt great to be outside.

Baby B chose Chocolate Almond Coconut (just like Mommy), and A chose Oreo Cheesecake.  The girls hardly sat down before they were feeding each other bites.  "Do you want to try mine, Sissy?"  "Yes!  Then do you want to try mine?"

These little displays did my heart so much good!  (And I'm writing them down to refer to them when the going [inevitably?] gets tough between my two little angels.)
 
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