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February 7, 2016

Party Like Dinosaurs!!!

STOMP, TROMP, RIP, AND ROAR...LET'S PARTY LIKE WE'RE DINOSAURS!!!
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We had the girls' SEVENTH birthday party the weekend after their actual birthday.  (I may be a little late with this blog post, but we were a bit early with their party, at least to how we've done things the past couple of years.  And thank goodness we didn't have snow!)

We had the party at an awesome indoor gym.  The lounge area is beautiful, the equipment is shiny and new, and the parents have free access to the play area, too.  It was perfect!!!

(The only non-perfect thing is that we only had the facility for 2 hours, including set-up.  That was plenty of time for the party, but my decorating had to happen in a hurry.  I am reminded of that now, as I don't have quite as many pictures I typically do.)

The party itself wasn't a surprise for the girls, but the decorations were.  And I had so much fun with them!

ROAR!  Dino Dirt =  pudding + Oreos with a tiny dinosaur plodding through it.

Chex Mix...fresh fruit...and white chocolate covered pretzels...yum!
 The girls loved seeing themselves as dinosaurs!

"Hope you had a DINO-mite time!" written on our dino flyers (which are some kind of fun!).
 And I thought it was so cute that the girls asked on their birthday, "Mommy, are you going to have our pictures from every year?"  I hadn't originally planned to, but it was very sweet to me to see how they value that.  And it's pretty incredible to see how they change year by year!


The kiddos ran and jumped and played...everybody had a blast!  The only "activity" I had planned was a dinosaur obstacle course.  The kiddos donned dinosaur masks and had to get their eggs to a nest.

Here's A...looking at this picture, I have to wonder if she could see!
And after the course, I got a cute group picture.

The kids were ROAR-ing!
After lots of PLAY, it was time for Happy Birthday...twice, of course!


Four thumbs up!
  And then we PLAYED some more!




One of the highlights of the party was that A's teacher stopped by for a few minutes!  Baby A really wanted to invite her.  I told A she could tell her teacher about the party...but that teachers are busy with their own families on the weekends (as Daddy is with us), so I didn't think she'd be able to come.  I was so surprised to see her there!  It made A's entire month, for sure!


I may not have gotten all the pictures I wanted, but I did think to ask a girlfriend to take a family shot.

L.O.V.E.
It was a great celebration of our SEVEN-year olds!!!

February 6, 2016

Bless It...

Our sweet Baby A is fascinated by weather.  She loves reading books about earthquakes and storms...but apparently she's managed to scare herself.

We were expecting severe weather on Tuesday night, and this is what she journaled -- of her own accord -- that afternoon:


I am scared of earthqwakes and tornatos and thunderstorm because of lightning it scares me because I am afraid it is going to strike me and that was why I am scared of thunderstorms and I am scared of tornatos because I am afraid it will wipe our house up and I am scared of earthqwakes because I am afraid it will brake the windows and wipe my bed out of the window when I am asleep.

When we built our house a couple of years ago, we talked about the main reason being so we would have a basement.  We reinforce with the girls that it's Mommy and Daddy's job to keep abreast of the weather.  If there is any danger, we'll simply go hang out in the basement...not a big deal.

I appreciate that A has a healthy "respect" for the power of weather...but it breaks my heart a little bit to see her thoughts on paper.

Bless this baby girl!!!

February 5, 2016

Super Stuff

I haven’t been very diligent – sadly – about my “Super Stuff” posts.  Sure, I capture a fair amount of fodder on Facebook, but I know I’m missing some notes over the past couple of years.

This past weekend, as we took a quick trip to Sweet Home Alabama, I kept a slip of paper in my purse, and I jotted down a handful of sweetness from the past few days…

The girls have been so sweet – and so grown-up! – relating to each other at times.  Baby A asked B to bring her a pair of socks from upstairs.  It just struck me as so cute…and so mature!!!  B said, “Sure,” and that was that.  Sister helping out a Sister.

And I had a similar sweet sensation when the girls were talking with each other about their school library.  Baby A was describing a certain set of books, and B couldn’t quite picture what she was talking about.  “It’s in that section…” A elaborated, moving her hands about, and B nodded in response.  Again, it just seemed so grown-up!!!

We’ve been struggling with coughs the past few weeks, on and off, and one night I had to go upstairs to check on Baby B.  I settled her down, and glanced over at A.  From her deep slumber, Baby A mumbled, “I love you.”  How precious it is that that’s the first thing to come to her mind.

We checked into our hotel last weekend, which is always a fun treat.  Baby A accompanied me downstairs for a cup of coffee.  On the way, we both skipped down the long hallway, hand in hand.  She was tickled to press the elevator buttons, and I let her pick up a pamphlet in the lobby.  :)  On the way back to the room, she again started to skip down the hall.  I told her to go ahead, that I’d have to walk with my hot coffee.  I started to laugh at seeing her joy from my vantage point.  She heard me, and threw up the “I love you” sign, not missing a beat.  It made me laugh even harder, and my heart smile even bigger.

These baby girls have such dear hearts.


February 3, 2016

What a Wonderful Surprise!!!

I got home from work yesterday, and immediately I could tell there was a lot of energy in the air.  The girls were beaming.  “We have a surprise!!!

They were running and jumping and giggling and conspiring.  I had no idea what to expect, but it was obviously something BIG.

Their eyes alight with joy, they could not wait to lead me to the office.  I found a CLEAN WORK TABLE.  Wow.  Seriously.  That is a big accomplishment…one that usually takes pulling some teeth to get done.

Hubby told me, “It was B’s idea.”  She beamed even bigger.

And it was my idea to clean upstairs!” Baby A added.

While I got supper ready, the girls were still buzzing about.  “Don’t look at the table!!!” they cautioned me.  They set the table completely, and then they exhibited the most amazing manners throughout the meal.  All the while, they were still beaming, and whispering to each other off and on.  They were SO excited, and SO proud.

After supper, I told the girls I wanted to make them a special dessert to celebrate what an amazing job they’d done.  They were excited, but then they looked to each other.  After more whispering, A said, “Can we have about five minutes?”  (She said this in the most grown-up way, too...one that made me chuckle and wish I'd somehow recorded her seriousness.)

While the girls cooked up more surprises, I sauteed some apples, which we had over ice cream.  YUM!

And then it was time for the Grand Tour.

The five minutes they’d asked for went to dusting.  Yes.  Seriously.  It wasn’t great dusting…they used a tissue to wipe the window sills (HA!!!)…but the effort – and the PRIDE – was there.

They proudly showed me how they’d straightened their books in the den, and then they led Hubby and me upstairs.

Although their playroom was in decent shape to begin with, they’d straightened it up…and even organized their toy bins.  (THAT is BIG!!!)

They had everything ready in the bathroom for our night-night routine.  And the last stop was their bedroom, where they’d pulled down their beds AND laid out their pajamas.

Wow.

This was a wonderful surprise, of course, made 1,000 times more wonderful by the girls’ pride and joy in what they’d done.


Let’s hope this is the start of a wonderful trend!  (A mama can hope, right??!!!)

January 26, 2016

Way Back When-esday: The Girls' First Snow Day

It's been a while since I gave a nod to the original blog throw-back (at least in my book)...sweet Cheryl's "Way Back When-esday" on Twinfatuation...

...but looking back to the girls' first time to play in the snow, contrasted to this week's jaunt, was the perfect prompt.



Oh, my...I almost can't even.  

My BABIES were just over two, which means this was FIVE YEARS AGO.

Gulp.

Seeing them with those little sand buckets and ears on their hoods...just divine.

I'd wager that we had even more fun these past few days, romping through the powder together, sledding super-fast, and wiping out in a big heap at the bottom of the hill...

...but these sweet pictures will always hold an incredibly sweet place in my heart!!!

January 25, 2016

THREE DAYS at Home

We had a colossal snow (12”, which is huge for these parts!) on Friday.  I worked from home that day, and we spent the weekend snowbound, as well.  That’s THREE days I’ve been HOME with the family.

I’m just coming off a lot of holiday vacation, so a three-day stretch away from work isn’t a shock to my system.  It’s not leaving HOME those three days that I realized is such a new (old) experience.

I truly can’t remember the last time I was HOME for three days.  I know I spent a lot of homebound stretches when the girls were younger.  (And when they were infants, there were many stretches longer than that when I didn’t even leave the house to go to the mailbox!)  Surely this can’t be right, but my best guess is that it probably dates back to PRESCHOOL, maybe THREE YEARS AGO, when I last enjoyed such a treat.

Actually, back in the infant and toddler days, I’m not sure I would always have characterized three days at home a “treat”.  But it sure did feel like one these last few days.

Certainly it wasn’t a “vacation”…especially since Hubby hasn’t felt 100%, I’ve cooked and cleaned and done laundry and organized.  I’ve not had much “prop up” time…even after the girls have gone to bed, I’ve been tooling around most evenings.

But…

I enjoyed cooking a nice breakfast for the family every day.  I made creative lunches and yummy suppers.  AND I made homemade dessert a couple of times, too!

I PLAYED with my babies.  We snuggled and read and played games and built creations.

I WORKED with my babies.  By this, I mean that we did things in the house together…I involved them in the organizing, just the way I like to.  We weren’t rushed to clean up in 30 minutes.  We took an entire morning to organize the books in the house.  And another morning we made a giant color-coded list of all our toys, games, and art supplies (something for them to refer to when they seem to get in a rut).  And we went through their closet to pull all the too-small spring/summer things to get ready for an upcoming consignment sale.

I COOKED with my babies…a little bit, anyway.  The girls were ecstatic to peel eggs and help me stuff them.  They stirred guacamole, and watched me chop veggies for soup.  These last couple of years, that seems like a luxury.  So often I’m cramming in cooking amid five other things, such that I don’t take the time to involve the girls.  I miss that.

And of course we PLAYED in the snow!!!  There’s something completely exhilarating about donning our snow gear and setting out to tromp, stomp, run, jump, and wallow in all that white powder. 

Day 1 I took a few pictures here and there.  Day 2, we went sledding as a family, no camera in tow.  I would have loved to have recorded our antics, but we were all so in-the-moment.  Day 3 the girls and I had a lot of sledding fun…by that time the snow was beginning to pack a little more, and it was FAST!!!  We all played hard, and then I came in for the camera for the last 20 minutes or so.  It was a perfect balance for me of fun and picture-taking.

Judging by lamentations on the computer, there are a lot of folks who are ready for this snow event to be over.  Sure, I’m looking forward to a nice lunch out and a trip to the grocery to replenish a couple of things…but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings to have another day or two at home.

And this experience reminds me what a blessing it is to BE home for a few days.  I just might have to schedule that again soon.

***savoring the little things...for they really are the big things...***



January 24, 2016

The Actual BIRTH-Day

We celebrated the girls' birthday as a family on a Sunday, and their actual birthday was the following Tuesday.  Although they were at school for most of the day, I still did what I could to make their special day, special.

But first, our traditional first-thing-in-the-morning pictures!

Baby A knew this was coming...she was giggling!

Baby B was trying to frown...
 
...but then she broke out in a smile, too.

The girls technically had their special birthday breakfast on Sunday...but they mentioned wanting waffles...so waffles it was.



And then I wanted my annual birthday-day picture.  This didn't end up being *the* picture, but it was the first one I took.  I thought it was so cute how they posed themselves!


And here is *THE* picture:

SWEETNESS!!!
And the obligatory "seven fingers up".  (Check out B's eyes...that's when I have to encourage her to keep her eyes open during the flash...HA!)


I took the day off from work so I could go and do with the girls.  The next stop was lunch with them at school.

I got them chicken salad from Sweet Temptations, along with a snickerdoodle dessert (because they wouldn't have enough sweets that day!).  It was a nice treat!



And then, just before school was out, I took cupcakes (complete with dinosaur rings!) to school.  The timing worked out that Hubby could be there, too, and it was wonderful to have the whole family in on the action!



B's class had their cupcakes first, and she migrated over to A's class for their celebration.  Nothing like a sisterly choke-hold to celebrate a birthday!
It was a COLD day, but we let the girls play outside on their scooters for a few minutes.


And then it was time for the girls' special birthday dinner.  They specifically asked me -- several times, of their own accord -- to make this on their birthday day, NOT on the day we had our family celebration.  I thought it was so cute to see how much they treasured their shrimp scampi!

And the girls asked to drink their milk out of "special glasses".  Hee hee!


And then it was time for our traditional birthday dessert, chocolate molten lava pudding cake (or so I call it)...YUM!!!



At last, it was time for bed.  I snapped one last picture, the girls snuggled in Daddy's lap during our night-night routine.

They still fit!
It was a wonderful birthday celebration for our SEVEN-year olds!

Happiest of birthdays, Baby A!  Happiest of birthdays, Baby B!  Mommy and Daddy love you so much!!!
 
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