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November 30, 2014

They Still Delight...

For all intents and purposes, my girls are Big Kids.  They dress themselves.  They can buckle and un-buckle their car seats.  They go to school.  They are learning to read really proficiently.  They do math “just for fun”.

Much of this Big Kid stuff is welcome, and oh-so-awesome.  But I am so very grateful for the little glimpses I still get of their not-so-Big-Kid selves.

On Thursday morning, I let the girls watch as much of the Thanksgiving parade as they wanted.  This is the only time in their short lives they’ve been allowed to sit idly in front of the TV, and it was something they’d been looking forward to since last Thanksgiving.  It was the first thing they said when they woke up on Thursday, “Mommy!  We get to watch the parade!”  And they were some kind of disappointed they had to wait until 9am for it to start.

I watched the parade over their shoulders as I worked in the kitchen to continue to get things ready for our big Thanksgiving lunch.  They recognized some of the balloons from last year, and they were tickled to hear their first few Christmas tunes of the year.

We had a fun Thanksgiving day…we entertained friends for lunch, and then we had some glorious “quiet time” that afternoon.  We rounded out the day with some crafting, and everyone was actually excited to have leftovers for supper.

At bedtime, it occurred to me we should read the Curious George parade story.  In the story, they don’t call out Macy’s by name, but it’s not a big stretch to see the story is loosely set in the Big Apple.

At my suggestion, the girls SQUEALED with excitement.  (And my heart smiled big with pleasure.)

Baby A RAN to find the yellow Curious George book.  She first raced into the reading room, and then downstairs to scour the bookcase in the den.  She came bounding back upstairs, so excited to read about Curious George’s adventures in the very parade they’d seen on TV that morning.


I know one day my babies won’t delight in having Mommy read books to them.  I sure am thankful that today, they still do.  

October 10, 2014

Football = Soccer ???

...well, not in this country…but I can see my sweet kiddos trying to figure it all out.

This mama is a huge football fan (of the American sort), Alabama Crimson Tide football, to be more exact.  While it was only over the last year that we actually let the girls watch any football (the TV is rarely on while the girls are awake), they’ve been decked in Crimson and White since they were tiny.



Soccer also runs deep at our house.  I didn’t grow up with the sport, buy my hubby lives and breathes it.  It’s his true passion.

The girls have logged much more English Premier League soccer time in front of the telly than they have football, for sure.  And we play a lot of it, too…in our basement, in the front yard, and every chance we get to go to the park.



I see the sports as being so completely different, but I recognize now they can cause a little confusion to the wee ones.

We were at the park a few weeks ago, kicking the soccer ball around.  Baby A did something really nice, and I congratulated her, “That was AWESOME!”  She threw her little hands in the air and yelled, “TOUCHDOWN!

Daddy just shook his head.

I got my turn at head shaking during the Alabama game this past weekend.  During the first quarter, the opposing team scored first on a field goal.  After a few minutes (still during the first quarter), B said somberly, “Mommy, I don’t think Alabama is going to win.”  WHY would you say that, Sweetie???  “Well, they have three goals, and we don’t have any.”


I had to laugh (perhaps to keep from crying)!

...hmmm...maybe they can play soccer at The University of Alabama...yes, that's it!!!

October 8, 2014

The Reading Bug

The reading bug is a real thing…and my Baby A has got it!

Hallelujah!!!

As I’ve written before, the girls have had really solid pre-reading skills for a long, long time now.  I’d count at least two years that I expected them to start reading any day.  I never really pushed them, figuring it would happen when they were ready.  I thought that once they started, they’d just take off, and it sure feels like that’s what my A is doing.

She wants to read EVERYTHING now!

Last night, I was amazed as she made her way pretty proficiently through a huge stack of early reader cards.  She just kept plugging away!

And then before bed, she wanted to read a book.  She picked “The Very Grouchy Ladybug”, which is not exactly an easy reader.  With very little help, she got through the first several pages before it was time for bed.  She BEGGED to read more, but it was time to go upstairs.

It’s a little hard for me to tell exactly where Baby B is on the curve.  She hasn’t proactively sat down to read something with the same gusto as her sister, but she was helping A fill in the blanks in her book last night.  How cute it was to see them playing off each other.


How happy I am to see those synapses firing away.  I hope it’s the start of a long and storied love affair with reading!

October 5, 2014

Short and Sweet

...'cause I just don't want to forget...

When we first moved the girls into their big kid beds, I was so afraid they'd get up and wander around the house at night.  I impressed upon them that they DID NOT GET UP until their clock turned green in the morning.  "If you need something, call Mommy."

The girls are far old enough to go to the bathroom by themselves...but during the night, on the rare occasion that someone needs the potty, I get a summons.  It rarely happens, so I don't really mind.

Tonight, the girls had been in bed less than 30 minutes when I heard my A call for me.  I ran upstairs and found her sister already snoring.  "Mommy, I need to go potty," A whispered when I approached her.

I walked with her into the bathroom, and she did her thing.  I haven't done this in a long time, but I picked her up when she finished.  Instead of her walking back to her bed, I carried her.

"Thank you, Mommy," she told me as she hugged my neck.

What precious baby girls I have.

<3 p="">

October 4, 2014

Fall Festival, but alas, No Pictures

I was talking to GG on the phone last week, and I told her what a big week the girls were having with their Fall Festival.  “I know you made a bunch of pictures!” she said.

Sadly, I didn’t make even one.

There have been a couple of occasions that I’ve gotten the girls out on the front porch step to take pictures before school, but most days we’re on the straight and narrow, trying to get our morning chores done and stake our place in the drop-off line around 7:30.

Even without the visual mementos, I still want to catalog what a fun time the girls had.  Here ‘goes!

Monday was Pajama Day.  The girls were tickled to wear their new-ish “pig” pajamas to school…and they were some kind of adorable.

Tuesday was Hat Day.  They wore their dinosaur caps that GG bought them this spring.  I also let them wear new shirts we bought last weekend.  (How grateful I was to find adorable little shirts at Kohl’s…one was embroidered with the face of a fox, and one, with the face of a mouse [which the girls want to think is a cat]…they remind me of something I would have bought when the girls were tiny…so sweet!!!)

Wednesday was Team Day.  The girls wore their Bama jerseys.  On this day, I went to eat lunch with them.  I could easily write a post on that in itself, but I’ll shorthand here to say how sweet it was to cuddle with them in the middle of the day.  After we ate lunch, I got to shop at the book fair in the library with them.  They were SO excited to pick out a few books.  They’d been talking, in particular, about one entitled “Creepy Carrots”.  We found that first, and I let them each pick another couple.  They seemed almost incredulous that I allowed them to continue to choose.

Thursday was Wacky-Tacky Day.  The girls and I picked out a short-sleeve striped shirt, paired with a floral sundress and denim leggings.  Striped reindeer Christmas socks topped off their ensemble.  Hee hee!

(Actually, I have one picture, although I didn't take it...it was taken by M&C's mom, who had the girls over for a much-anticipated play date that afternoon.)

Wacky-Tacky...now with Monster Hats!
Thursday they also had a Teddy Bear Sleepover at school.  The girls each packed a small bear, along with a blanket (a hand towel, in our case), a toothbrush, floss, and a night-night story.  On Friday, they again wore pajamas to match the theme, and they were shocked to see what a mess their bears made at school overnight!

Baby A’s bear apparently ate an entire mushroom pizza…and left the box there as evidence!  Baby B’s classroom was strewn with toilet paper!

The girls wore their “pig” pajamas again that day…as those are the only ones long enough to properly fit a certain growing kiddo.

Friday morning, I volunteered to sell tickets to the festival during the morning meeting.  It was fun for me to get a visual of the way the girls start their day every day.  I will say, it was LOUD!  They played Katy Perry’s ROAR in the gym (as the school mascot is the tiger).  It was pretty cute to see all the kiddos grooving.

Friday night, I hustled home from work and we headed back to school for the culmination of the Fall Festival.  I knew it was a big deal…but I had no idea how the entire school would be teaming with people!

We headed to the gym first, where the girls climbed the rock wall.  They made it all the way across!  They played Sucker Pull, Toss the Penny, and Mini Golf.  They had a lot of fun doing the Book Walk…Baby A was super lucky and won three books!  Baby B won one.  I was thankful to have been able to steer them clear of the game where you win the goldfish!  They did a couple of outside events, including Cornhole and the Duck Pond.  We ended the night by exhausting our tickets on the inflatable slide.  (Mommy got in on that action, much to Husband’s chagrin.)


At one point, Hubby wanted to take our growing loot to the car.  He said, "I'll find you guys."  I'll bet he won't make that mistake in the future!  I know he had to look and look to find us...not only was it super packed, but the school is designed in a big circle format...AND the girls were both wearing their fall festival t-shirts, along with at least a hundred of their closest friends.  HA!

Such a fun and busy week for my growing girls!!!

September 22, 2014

My (Dusty) Camera

Since the girls started school and I started back to work, I realized I haven't had my camera out nearly as often as I always have.  It isn't literally dusty (the horror!!!), but my September14 picture file was sadly thin.

I packed my camera this past Saturday morning, as the girls and I went to our beloved Jackson's Orchard for their annual Orchestra in the Orchard event.  [I have pictures from our visit each year that I could pull out...but I'm not quite that organized these days.]

Here are a few of my faves...

We started out, listening to the orchestra, under the shade of an apple tree.


Since we didn't get there as early as we'd planned, our spot wasn't very good, and we decided to find a snack.  In line, we ran into none other than "Grandma" June!!!  It had been waaaay too long since we saw her...what a fantastic treat!!!


The girls enjoyed playing...


...and Grandma June insisted she take a picture of the three of us.  What a rare treat!


And last, but certainly not least, we scoped out the pumpkins.



After a super-fun morning, the girls and I headed downtown for lunch.  We opted for Tea Bayou, one of my frequent haunts from the girls' preschool days.  How I'd missed that little place, too!

Here are the girlies, waiting on our food, near-tuckered out from a full morning of sun and fun...


And I had to snap a picture of A, trying to eat a big muffaletta.  It's hard to eat when you're short on teeth!!!


Before we wrapped up our sweet time together, we made a pit stop by the downtown fountain.  This picture opp never gets old.


I've been missing time with my precious babies...and with my camera!  So glad I got a good dose of both this Saturday.

{heart}

September 20, 2014

READING!!!

The girls have had what I would consider really solid pre-reading skills for more than two years now…at least.  They’ve known all their letters since they were around two, and they’ve known all their letter sounds since they were in the neighborhood of three.

They’ve been able to sound out words, letter by letter, but they rarely put those sounds together to make words.

As much as I wanted them to start reading, I *tried* not to sweat it.  I purposefully didn’t push them on the topic, and we learned a million other things before they started school.  I figured that a light bulb would flash on one day for them, things would click, and they’d be reading up a storm.

A month into kindergarten, and I feel like I was pretty right!  The girls are reading!!!  While I wish I could have been the one to introduce the magic, I think it helped having encouragement from their teachers – someone other than Mommy – to get them over the hump.

Baby A, in particular, has been so fun to watch.  She wants to read EVERYTHING!  Two weeks ago, she ran an errand with me on Saturday afternoon.  I had the Kohl’s sale paper with me, and she asked if she could hold it in the car.  She tried so hard to read every single word!  And she was so proud of herself for being such a big kid!!!

Although we have a blue million books at our house, some of them being early reader books, I felt like the girls would get a big thrill from going to the bookstore and buying a new book they could read.  Last weekend I let the girls each pick out a new book.  I suggested they each choose a Pete the Cat book (having an affinity for the little guy myself), and they were tickled!!!

It was such a sweet occasion, made even a little sweeter by the lady who checked us out at the bookstore.  She oohed and ahhed over the girlies getting books THEY could read.  She’s been checking us out since I used to bring the girls in their stroller, and I know she delighted in sharing this milestone.

The girls worked so hard to read every word in their books…over and over.




This may not be a work of great literature, but it will always have a special place in my heart!


 
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