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August 27, 2015

"We Decided Together to Help You"

KNOCK ON WOOD as I write this.  I feel the risk of provoking the Law of Murphy is one I’m willing to take in order to record what’s been happening over the past few days at our house.

The girls have been so kind.  So helpful.  And so PROACTIVE.  It’s amazing.

The last three mornings generally have been really good.  The girls are getting up, playing with the kitties, brushing their teeth, getting dressed, and doing what they’re supposed to do…with little prompting from me.  It’s been so refreshing!

Monday was the first time I took note of something really special.  Nana A was coming to the house that day, so we try to have things in good order.  I asked Baby A to put something in the recycle bin.  She did…and then she proactively put the rest of the little pile in the trash where it belonged.  That was small…but it struck me and made me proud.  She wasn’t just doing what I’d asked…she was thinking about what else needed to be done.

While this was going on downstairs, B was upstairs.  I’d already written a note to Nana A, telling her we didn’t get the girls’ playrooms ready to be vacuumed, just to skip that for this visit.  Unbeknownst to me, B was up there, getting everything put away!!!  I was floored!!!  It’s not unusual that my request to clean up is met with, “BUT I CAN’T DO IT BY MYSELF!” (even if I’m right there alongside).  It was an August morning miracle, for sure.  Wowza!!!

And then, the past two nights, the girls have had their beds straightened and pulled down…their pajamas waiting…washcloths and toothbrushes and flossers lined up…everything ready for bedtime.

Of course I’m lavishing praise on the girls for how they’ve been behaving, how proactively they’ve been working together.  That’s been met with big smiles and hugs.  And then, Baby B said last night, We decided together to help you.”


Wow.  Melt my heart…and give me confidence these young ladies are growing up just fine.

August 25, 2015

Pure Joy and Exultation

A couple of weekends ago, I surprised the girls with a trip to the downtown fountains.  I try to do this about once a year.  It can be a little crowded, a bit of a free-for-all if you hit it at the wrong time, so I don't often like to chance it.

This year, we were in luck!  There were only a couple of other families frolicking that afternoon, so we had plenty of room to run and jump and play.

[We.  Yes.  I can't resist joining in!  I certainly don't parade around in my swimsuit, but I wear something that's OK to get a bit damp.  I try not to get drenched...but I am sometimes surprised by a wayward fountain and/or a mischievous kiddo.  I love it!!!]

I have such vivid memories from the first time we took the girls to the fountain, when they were 2 1/2.  Baby A wasn't very fond of all the wetness...

Getting outta there!
...but Baby B loved it.  She'd get a little shocked from time to time, but she kept going back for more.

BLISS!!!

On subsequent trips to the fountains, both my babies have enjoyed themselves.  And this year's picture yield showed just that.

Baby A...loving it!

Baby B...again...BLISS!!!

Splish-splash!!!

Sweet sisters, having FUN together!!!
I LOVE our annual tradition!  And all the awesome memories (and pictures!!!) that come with it!!!

Linking up with Cheryl at Twinfatuation for Way Back When-esday.  I can't resist a good trip down Memory Lane!!!



August 19, 2015

This Was Big, Y'all

Baby B brought home the year’s first library book.  She chose a new Berenstain Bears story, and she was elated to tell me about it.  “Can we read it tonight???” she asked as I walked in the door from work.  A few minutes later, Baby A told me, separately, “Sissy got a Berenstain Bears book from the library!!!” 

As I was making supper, the girls were sitting on the couch in the den, looking at the book together.  I asked B if she wanted to come read to me while I was working.  She scurried right over.  And then I asked A if she wanted to come while B read.  She scurried right over, too.

I was so impressed…not only that Baby B powered through the entire book with confidence…but also that Baby A sat there, such a patient audience.  She helped her with a word or two, but she was enjoying B’s presentation.

It was a proud Mommy moment, for sure.

It was funny, though…B had read the book at school already, and she kept foreshadowing events.  “Just read!” I kept telling her.  “I want to be surprised!

B finished the book, and it was time to eat.  “Can we read it for bedtime?” the girls asked.  "Read it to us!"  Although we were running a little late, we piled up in the den and I got my turn with the book.


Seeing my girls supporting each other in reading…that’s wholesomeness right out of a Berenstain Bears book, for sure.

This picture was taken a few weeks ago...but this is a common sight at our house these days!  Love!!!

August 18, 2015

The Time I Cried at Target

This is not one of those oft-shared posts about my twin toddlers throwing tantrums, causing me to lose my cool in the stationery aisle. 

No, actually, it was just yesterday.  And I was by myself.  I’d run in on my lunch hour, my girls six-and-a-half and no doubt having a blast with their first grade classmates at that very moment.

It wasn’t the sight of those precious little baby clothes…or, conversely, the fact that I made a quick pass through the “big kids’” section and didn’t see a thing I’d buy for my girls.  It wasn’t walking by the card section where my girls used to love to stop and point out pictures of cats and dogs.  I even made it past the SAHM with the cutest little kid in her cart, cooing to him as he rattled something at her.

No, I made it through the store, what I’d come for (and then some) in hand.  It was after I checked out that my eyes welled with tears.

The checkout line was oddly desolate, and my two favorite cashiers were working registers side by side.  “How are the girls?” they asked.  I told them how the girls were having a great time so far in school, and how they had their first soccer practice that night.  With smiling eyes they listened.  “Tell them we said hello!

I made it partway to the door, when I decided to turn around.  The two ladies by then were chatting with each other.  “I’m sorry to interrupt you,” I told them, “but I just wanted to thank you.”

I made it quick, as my eyes were tearing fast, but I told them how thankful I was to have brought my girls in to see them since they were infants in their stroller…how I always appreciated their kindness and the way they engaged my girls so genuinely…how I was grateful to have shared my girls’ joy with them.

It’s one of those things I’ve thought many times, and I finally took a moment to say it aloud.  The ladies were very gracious, of course.  (And then I hurried on my way before my tearing up turned into full tears.)

It’s not just these two ladies at Target.  It’s the lady at the post office, the people who work in the produce section of the grocery store, the folks at the bookstore.  Living in a smaller town (and perhaps being a creature of habit), we have frequented many of the same places since the girls were born.  I love that the girls have grown to know some of these people in our little world.  I love the sense of community this illustrates to them, the kindness that often surrounds us if we only pause to let it in.


Yep.  I cried at Target.  And our sweet little ladies were there to witness it.  And that’s OK.

August 16, 2015

The Day Before School Started, We...

…slept all the way until 7am (the girls, that is).  I went upstairs, truly incredulous that I hadn’t heard them.  They were still SNOOZING and their clock was green!

…had cinnamon bites with a candle to make a wish for a great school year...our tradition!



…colored some really cool bookmarks.  (We are all loving "coloring books for grown-ups"!)

…took our supplies to the girls’ schools and delivered our paperclip “happies” to the girls’ teachers.

…went to the bookstore and browsed around.  We read a book about the invention of the Ferris wheel, along with Dr. Seuss’s newest book, What Pet Should I Get?  We bought the next Mercy Watson book, Anne of Green Gables, and Barnyard Dance.  (The girls have been clamoring for that book for YEARS.  We had it when they were babies, but it got “eaten” and was thrown away.  They’re way too old for it, but I couldn’t resist any longer!)

My precious BABIES!!!
…got our bookmarks laminated at Staples and found the missing school supply item we’d been searching for (a particular type of journal).

…went to lunch at Yuki.  Baby B chose a Bento box, and Baby A went with her favorite standby, teriyaki shrimp.  They shared some of my soup and salad, and A kept checking out the sushi chefs right beside us.  She can sometimes be kind of shy, but she was very intent on watching them today.

Love these BABIES and their adventurous palates!
…went to Target and picked out a new bookcase.  The girls were very helpful in getting it in the cart, which they thought was really great.  They also got to push the cart into the corral…big fun!



…came home for Quiet Time and read our new Mercy Watson book in Mommy’s bed…just like old times.

…made strawberry-banana smoothies for snack, “with special straws”.

"What do you think, Sis?"
…went outside to play.  The girls rode their bikes up and down the big hill in front of the house.  Baby B made it a few times, and Baby A wanted to keep going.  I told her that was enough of bikes, since I didn’t want them to get too hot and sweaty.  Baby A first asked if we could take a walk.  I told her we could walk to the top of the hill and back.  And then we skipped up and back.  Then Baby A asked if she could run instead.  She ran at least twice…my little nut!  I finally got everyone corralled on the driveway to play some catch.  And then Daddy SURPRISED us by coming home early!!!  We all got to play together a little bit.  It was such a treat!

Love the joy in this one!

"High five, Sissy!"
…came in and got a well-deserved shower, getting squeaky clean to start school. 

…built our bookcase!  The girls were THRILLED to help me.  They got to hand me pieces, turn the screwdriver, AND pound a [tack] nail.  Such big kids!!! 

…enjoyed our famous baked shrimp scampi supper, and then we had just enough time before bed to get our bookcase in the office.  Success!  We’d said we wanted to get the office organized before school started, and we JUST made it!

...made Mommy's heart melt.  When I told the girls I was taking the day off on Monday, and it would be just the three of us (since Hubby had to be at school all day), they were so excited.  “We haven’t had a day together since preschool!”  And at the end of the day, “Mommy, this was the best day ever!

***


Makes me miss being home with my babies, for sure.  
So thankful we at least got to end the summer in *our* style.

August 11, 2015

Today

The girls started first grade!

They were SO excited for the day to finally arrive.  After sleeping yesterday until 7am (BOTH of them, which is UNHEARD OF!!!), they were both up before 6am this morning.  I could hear them scurrying around upstairs, opening drawers, flushing potties.  When I went up about 6:20 to get them up, they were in their beds, under the covers.  "Good morning, Baby Girls!  It's the First Day of School!" I sang.  They both kicked off the covers and started squealing.

The girls got ready verrrrry early, so we had ample time to take our first-day-of-school pictures on the front steps.




We waited outside the school until the doors opened at 8am.  I walked the girls to the gym...they gave me hugs...I told them to eat some ice cream for me after school (knowing they were going for a treat with their daddy)...and they were off!

This evening when I got home, they were ecstatic to tell me about their day.  I didn't actually get many details, as they were TIRED, but Baby A kept showing me, over and over, a vocabulary sheet where she'd matched words (jitters, tunneled, chuckled, slumped, trudged) to their definitions.

"I LOVE first grade!!!" the girls kept saying.

Soon after supper it was time for bed.  I'm sure those girlies will sleep well tonight!


August 8, 2015

Somewhere Deep in Bear Country

I bought the girls a few early reader books when they were around three.  One was Biscuit, which I don’t really remember from my childhood, but two were ones I remember fondly, Amelia Bedelia and the Berenstain Bears.  We read them each hundreds of times, but the girls particularly latched on to the Berenstain Bears one.

I remember being so taken with those fun-loving bears when I was growing up.  I think it was the treehouse that intrigued me so.  What kid doesn’t love the idea of such neat things being tucked inside a gigantic, rambling tree???

As a very special treat for the girls, the Christmas just before they were five, I bought a Berenstain Bears DVD.  They were thrilled to see the bears come to life on the big screen!  And then I discovered that the Berenstain Bears is available on PBS on-demand.  We still watch very little television, but the occasional family pile-up and sing-along to the Berenstain Bears theme song seems like a great way to spend a few minutes now and again.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been going through some boxes of stuff from when I was a kiddo.  I’ve found a handful of Berenstain Bears books that were mine.  The girls are smitten!  And then, I was tooling around online a few days ago and I happened to think to search for “Berenstain Bears”.  I found a great compilation of 5 books, in hardback, and I ordered it for the girls.  They were THRILLED when it got here earlier in the week!


From our new book, we immediately had to read three stories (all we could pack in before bedtime).  And it made my heart smile when I was putting the girls to bed.  As I leaned in for my last kiss, Baby A said, in her always-raspy baby voice, “Thank you for the Berenstain Bears book, Mommy.”  Awww!!!

I may have loved the super-coolness of the Berenstain Bears treehouse as a kiddo…and now, as a parent, I know my girls are loving that, too.  What’s more are the wholesome lessons the books are written around.  And I think it’s pretty darn cool how those characters transcend time the way they do.  I love seeing my girlies enjoy the same things I did when I was their age!

***


(I started writing this post on Friday morning.  I didn’t quite finish before it was time to get ready for work.  Sometime during the day on Friday, I got an email from a colleague, asking a random question if I remembered a cartoon from growing up, a family of bears, written by a husband and wife team.  “The Berenstain Bears!” I immediately responded.  Turns out there’s a funny spoof making its way around the interwebs right now, pointing out the parallel universe of “Berenstain” and “Berenstein”.  Quite the coincidence in my book…making me question…what role do I play in said parallel universe???!!!)
 
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