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May 26, 2016

Painted Lady? No, Never Mind...

On Sunday the four of us went to lunch.  One of our favorite restaurants just happens to be a couple of doors down from the salon where I get my nails done.  I was overdue for a pedicure, and I nonchalantly mentioned during lunch how nice it would be if I could slip next door after we ate.

That’s fine,” Hubby piped in right away, to my surprise.  “The girls and I will go get ice cream.”


Baby A immediately began salivating for ice cream, but B asked to go with me.  I took A with me a year or so ago, and she sat in my lap while I got a pedicure.  (It was not exactly relaxing, but she enjoyed seeing the process, and we enjoyed some one-on-one time together.  B had been asking for her turn.)

I told B that was fine…and then I surprised even myself by asking if she wanted to get her toenails painted.  A first!  Her little face lit up.  “REALLY??!!!” she asked incredulously.

We walked into the salon and stood before the display of polish.  I selected a bright pink, and asked if she wanted the same color as Mommy.  She did (and I got kind of excited about having matching toes).

We were seated right away, B next to me.  There’s an abbreviated pedicure for kids, so that’s what we chose.  I could tell that B was both excited an apprehensive at the process.  I did my best to explain to her what was happening.  She rolled with it, but given the look on her face, I can’t imagine she’d describe the process as “relaxing”.  I told her we could stop the process at any time, but she said she was fine to continue.

(It helped that Daddy and A came in to deliver a few bites of ice cream to B…the best of both worlds!)

After our matching bright pink toes were complete, I opted to carry B to the car.  (Since this was so impromptu, she had on tennis shoes and socks, and I didn’t want her to crease her polish.)  The hilarious part came into play when A saw B’s toes.  “YOU LOOK SO CUTE!!!  YOU LOOK SO GROWN-UP!!!”  Hee hee!!!

I’m not sure that B liked the extra attention she was getting from A.  It’s almost as if she was self-conscious about it.  Both while we were at the salon and when we got home, I reminded B that I could take the polish off at any time.

B admired her toes a bit at home, and then she put on socks.  She said she didn’t want to scare the kitties (who have a strong liking for toes!).  That night, before bed, B asked if I would remove her polish.  I obliged, and she seemed glad to see her “normal” toes.

In hindsight, I wish I’d let B come with me to observe the process as A had.  I think it was overwhelming for her to have people she didn’t know touching her feet, and then to have such a visible reminder.

I’m proud of her for stepping out there to try, though.  And I’m even prouder of her for having the courage to tell me she was done being a Painted Lady (my words, not hers).

This was a new experience for both of us.  It didn’t end quite the way I would have imagined, but we did it together.

(And I guess my pedicure time every few weeks will remain one of quiet for me…I don’t think the girls will be asking to accompany me for a while.)

May 25, 2016

The View from Behind

I chose to leave my camera in its cozy nest on Saturday morning when we went for our first family walk of the spring.  I know I missed capturing some amazing moments, but I hope they stay clear in my mind for a long time.

The morning was cool, and the girls were excited to wear their Puma track suits.  I fixed their hair – braided ponytails for both – and they skipped outside, full of energy.  Hubby and I were energetic, too, but we didn’t join the girls when they started to jog.

They took off ahead of us, jogging side by side.  How grown-up they looked in their coordinating gear, ponytails swinging as they bounced down the road.

The jogging didn’t last too long, but it gave way to skipping at one point, the girls holding hands.

What a view.

On Sunday, the girls wanted to go for a bike ride.  I reluctantly agreed.  (The last bike ride wasn’t all the pleasant, with one kiddo tiring out and having to push her bike part-way home.)  I reminded the girls of the “rules”…that they aren’t to get too far ahead of me…to stay together…to stay on the side of the road opposite traffic…to stop if a car is coming.  They committed to the challenge, so off we went.

Baby A took off first, riding to the top of the first hill to wait on Sissy and me.  Once we got closer, she took off again.  I encouraged B to catch up to A, and to wait on me at the stop sign.  The girls were off!  Baby A rode ahead most of the morning, with B following her.  I jogged (most of the time) to keep up with them.  A few times, I yelled to A to wait on us before embarking on the next leg of the journey.

How adorable it was to see the girls, again from behind, peddling hard and following the rules.  At one point I let them go down a dead-end side street (while I rested from the jog!).  They were so incredibly cute, talking with each other as they peddled side by side.

We made the full lap through the neighborhood, a solid 2 miles round-trip.  Baby A had great stamina to make it up the final big hill without stopping – a very recent feat for her!  Baby B was losing steam, but I told her she was responsible for getting home.  I was walking, with B alternately peddling and walking her bike behind me. 

At that point, I looked up to see A running towards me.  She’d ridden her bike home, and she was coming back to help her sissy.  My A disappeared over the hill, and then she and B summited together…Baby A reported she gave Sissy two pushes, and from there she jogged alongside as B made the final stretch home.

What a glorious sight!

May 21, 2016

The End of an Era

It's the end of an era at our house.  

Baby A has had big-kid front teeth for close to a year now, and now B -- my second and final toothless kiddo -- is following suit.

The toothless stage is such a cute one, and now I realize it's pretty short-lived.

This is one of the last pictures I have of B with her precious little baby front teeth.

November 2015
It was only a couple of days after this picture that B lost her first front tooth.  She was performing her class musical, and we saw she got kind of quiet at the end of the performance.  When we got to her classroom, we saw it was because she lost her tooth!  And you might say she was a WEE BIT excited!

November 2015
It was less than a month later that B lost her second front tooth.  It was *just* in time for she legitimately got to sing "All I Want for Christmas".

December 2015
B remained adorable and toothless for about five months.  This is one of the last pictures I have of that signature smile.

April 2016
A couple of weekends ago, B's front tooth began to peek through.

May 2016
And by the next weekend, her new smile was taking shape.

May 2016
B's second front tooth is right behind the first.

These big kids happen so fast!

May 18, 2016

Picking Berries: Way Back When-esday

It was a couple of years ago that the girls and I first discovered a big berry farm and orchard about 40 miles south of town.  I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I STILL have berries in the freezer we picked two years ago!  (We're  working through them slowly,  I promise!)  That didn't stop us from making another trip down a couple of weekends ago, though.

There's something just so picturesque about picking berries...and fresh beats frozen any day!

Of course a return trip meant breaking out the camera.   And of course that  prompted me to look  at the  pictures I just took in comparison to those from two years ago.  

The girls' intensity was very  similar...but those little baby cheeks aren't quite so round anymore!



Our first trip was just the girls and me.  After we  picked berries, we explored  the farm a bit.   I remember  Baby A,  in  particular, being absolutely consumed by a huge  field  of blooming clover.  The girls ran and  ran, and then they agreed to stop in front of  this beautiful  barn side.  It was such a great backdrop for a  picture!


This year we didn't see any blooming clover, but the girls were  awed with a romp through the orchard.   Here they were  checking  out  the  beginning of what I'm sure  will be  beautiful  peaches.

Still  cuties!!!
And  this year, Hubby accompanied us.  I sure miss those baby  cheeks, but at least I got a {rare} picture of the  three  of us together.

Day-before-Mother's-Day hugs!
Thanks, as always, to Cheryl at Twinfatuation  for  the prompt to dig  through my old  pictures this Way Back When-esday...even if  the comparisons get me  choked up now and again.

May 14, 2016


The girls and I each had a couple of surprises up our sleeves recently.  It made for a fun week, for sure!

I had a huge meeting at work on Monday, so the week prior, I’d been working later than average, pushing out our suppertime, and the girls were waking up to my work papers all over the kitchen table.  Tuesday, my meeting behind me, I decided to surprise the girls for lunch.  I’d never surprised them before…and they were shocked to see me!

Baby A had just taken her seat in the lunchroom when I slipped up beside her.  The entire time I was there, she could not keep her sweet little hands off me.  I was showered with nuzzles and hugs and kisses.  And when B got to the lunchroom, I slipped up on her.  She was just as excited.  Since A was almost finished with her lunch, we all went to sit with B’s class.  After A’s class left, B asked if she could sit in my lap.

I know the girls’ public affection probably won’t always be so voracious.  I’m definitely eating it up as long as I can.

And then Wednesday when I got home from work, the girls had a surprise for me.  They love all things “scavenger hunt”, and they’d hidden clues all around the house…upstairs and downstairs…for me to find.  They could hardly wait until after supper to kick things off.

I had the hugest laugh when I saw what was at the end of the hunt…a page-long letter the girls worked together to write.  They each took a turn writing and sentence!  I was majorly impressed with their effort, and their subject matter cracked me up, too.

Apparently the girls witnessed the paper delivery service that afternoon, and the deliveryman was smoking.  A very strong response ensued.

The paper man smokes.  We know that because we saw a smoking pipe in his mouth.  We did not touch the paper because it smelled like smoke.  Daddy put it in the recycling bin.  He did not even take the paper inside because it had the remains of smoke on it. 

Daddy called the paper people because the man who gives us our paper smokes.  We told Daddy right away that the paper man smokes.  We were very surprised that the paper man smoked. 

We love you and we hope you had a wonderful day.  We just wanted to tell you the paper man smokes.

A and B

Hee hee!  I am thankful the girls were appropriately offended!

April 29, 2016

Our Mini-Vacay Adventures!

For Spring Break this year, I took off a couple of days and we headed south to Sweet Home Alabama.  Our first stop was Rocket City...Huntsville!  After an incredibly yummy, down-home Cajun lunch (including an up-close encounter with the biggest crawfish I've ever seen), we headed to the Space and Rocket Center.

Some cool interactive exhibits!

On the surface of the moon, with Rocket Park in the background!

The girls loved the "moon surface"...although I'm thinking the moss is an Earth-add.
And I love this picture of A, so engaged.  She stopped off here while we were looking at something else.  I loved the view from behind her, seeing her anticipation at the liftoff video!

Waiting with baited breath!
After a delicious (and much more expensive than we'd planned) dinner [I was looking at the LUNCH menu...not the dinner menu!], we rested up and met my cousin and her sweet baby girl for breakfast the next morning.

Then we headed to Hubby's alma mater, UAH, for a walk down Memory Lane.

Cool sculpture!

And then we headed to my alma mater...our first "home" together...Tuscaloosa.  We immediately headed for campus.  We just so happened to park beside the stadium.  Hee hee!

Family photo opp!

The girls always zero in when they see "2009", in Champions Plaza.

I love this view!!!

One of my favorites...such a happy place!!!

The girls practiced their "Nick Saban clap"...HA!

Baby A climbed up quite a way for this photo op!  B was not keen on joining her...
And then we headed to supper downtown, at one of our old favorites.  DePalma's...YUM!!!

My loves!
The girls requested Alabama ballcaps, which we procured on Friday.  They could hardly wait to put them on Saturday morning and head to campus for the A-Day festivities!  Our first stop was Daddy's monument!

These girls are two proud peacocks!
And then we attended an alumni event at the business school.

So official!
And just before game time, we headed to the Quad to see the sights.  I LOVE this picture of the girls with their backpacks!!!
They look SO grown up!
At last it was Game Time!
Excited for their pom-poms!

Our view!
After the game, we took a break for some ice cream (and Mommy had some coffee), and then we headed to Aunt A's house for some catch-up time.  Here are all the kiddos together!

Sunday morning we enjoyed a yummy breakfast at a German bakery, and then we spent a little more time on campus.  I am thrilled to have captured this impromptu hug in the shadow of Denny Chimes!

Be still my heart!
And our A couldn't help but DANCE to the chimes...hee hee!

What a happy soul!
On our way home we made one last stop at GG's house.  Baby B wasn't much for pictures, but A was all smiles alongside GG.

We packed A LOT into four days...and it sure was fun!!!

April 25, 2016

The Great Outdoors, and Other Wonderful Things

We had such a great weekend, and so much of it was spent outdoors.

Friday night the girls had a soccer game at 5:30.  Sure, that made for a hectic afternoon in some respects…but truly, what better way to leave the school/work week behind and do something FUN??!!!  And to top it off, Baby A’s teacher came to see the first half of her game.  She was ECSTATIC.  She definitely played with some extra pep in her step, and she scored two beautiful hard-fought goals!

Saturday morning, Daddy treated us to bagels from Panera.  We spent that morning mostly hanging out in the living room…we read and did puzzles before we had an early lunch.  (We hadn’t done a puzzle in quite a while.  What fun it was to join my girlies for some corner searching!)

Saturday afternoon we headed back to the soccer field.  It was such a gorgeous, sunny day…not too hot…PERFECT.

Loving my new zoom lens for my camera!!!  I won't share pictures that show other people's children, here's a crop of my A in action.

After the game we went to get ice cream.  (And this mama might have enjoyed the smiles of strangers at seeing her babies in their uniforms.) 

Sunday morning we decided to make our first trip of the season to Lost River Cave.  For the first time, we took the cave tour (on a boat!).  The girls were super excited for that treat, and then we did our usual hike around the park.  We were delighted to discover a few new trails, and to visit our favorite trails, of course.

After a quick and yummy lunch at our favorite hangout, Home Café, we enjoyed a Sunday afternoon nap.  (At least Mommy and Daddy napped…I understand from the girls they played “camping and hunting for dinosaur bones.”  Like ya do!)

Late Sunday afternoon, we headed outside again.  The girls wanted to blow dandelions in the backyard.  Much to what I imagine was the neighbors' chagrin, we did just that.  

I love how you can see the dandelion seeds in this picture!

Quintessential B and her sensitive blue eyes.  :)
Then we played some front-yard soccer (scoring between Frisbees set up as goalposts)…we enjoyed some catch…and the girls asked if we could have a picnic supper.

While I’d intended to do some cooking for the week, I’m so thankful I let it go.  We had leftover pizza on paper plates on a blanket in the front yard.  And then the neighbor gifted the girls some new sidewalk chalk, and we all enjoyed that unexpected treat.

We finished the day with a bubble bath.  “This was the Best Day Ever!” Baby A proclaimed.  I think I might agree.

And then, for the grand finale, I gave the girls a new night-night story I picked up at Kohl’s, entitled “Swimmy”.  “What did you buy this for?” my B asked.  “Can’t Mommy sometimes buy you something, just because?” I responded.  That was met with the hugest smile.
 What a wonderful weekend I had with my precious baby girls…full of the great outdoors, peppered with some impromptu fun.  I couldn’t ask for more!
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