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November 21, 2015

Ardent (if Off-Key) Patriotism

In the morning meeting at the girls’ school, they sing a patriotic song each day.  They’ll stick with one song for a while before rotating on to another one.  The girls started singing bits and pieces of songs last year sometime, and it made me think we hadn’t sung any of those at home.

The girls know scores of kiddie songs from the CDs we’ve been listening to since they were tiny, but I have to credit their school for their knowledge of some [arguably more important] tunes.

The girls know all the words to the Star Spangled Banner, and they love it.  Yankee Doodle, God Bless America, and America, the Beautiful are also among their favorites.

I just have to chuckle sometimes at how much the girls love to sing these songs.  It’s not unusual over the past few months for us to be driving down the road, belting out our national anthem (in terrible harmony, I might add…but that’s part of the chuckle, I guess).  If someone is having a challenging moment, I’ve even used one of these songs to refocus their attention.  In no time, they’re lost in the lyrics, singing their little hearts out.

As I was planning to write this down, it occurred to me that I had similar swells of patriotism when I was a little girl.  I was probably a little older – as I remember I was already pretty good at whistling – but my one of my very favorite songs was Hail to the Chief.

(My mom drove my dad’s truck for a while, and I remember she’d laugh.  “What?  Do you think the president is sitting in the back of the truck?!”  HA!  That always made me chuckle, too.)

Maybe it’s a little kid thing…or maybe it’s just coincidence…but I am grateful to the girls’ school for instilling a love of patriotic songs.  And I’m thankful for recalling such a fun memory from my childhood.  May these be fun memories the girls will one day recall themselves.

November 19, 2015

Alone in the Spotlight

The girls have been singing “It’s a Jungle Out There” for weeks…they’ve been practicing their “monkey moves”…they’ve been reciting lines that aren’t even theirs…they’ve been telling us ALL about the play at school.

This week was finally the week!  And as luck (or something) would have it, we got to attend the play TWICE.

The school divided the kiddos into two groups, one to perform on Tuesday night, and the other on Thursday night.  Being in separate classes, the girls’ performances happened to fall on different nights.

I know I could have asked their teachers to allow them to perform together…and one of their teachers eventually volunteered this as an option.  This certainly would have been more convenient, but I actually kinda like the way it worked out.

Baby A’s performance was first.  She was the most excited little monkey!!!  

How fun it was to sit back, Baby B alongside me and Hubby, to watch Baby A do her thing.

Baby B’s performance was tonight.  Baby A was a little wistful that she didn’t get to wear her monkey hat, but I reminded her it was her turn to observe.

This was a rare opportunity for the girls to have the spotlight to themselves, and for one to sit back and take it all in.  (And the play was so stinkin’ adorable and the songs were so catchy, it really was fun to see it twice.)

Baby B enjoyed an extra-special something at the end of the night.  I could see her on the final song, doing the motions, but not actually singing.  That’s very unlike her…and when we got to her classroom after the play, I saw why.

B lost her first front tooth!!!

Now a snaggle-toothed monkey, B was even more ecstatic.  (I wouldn’t have thought that possible!)

I was so proud of my girlies, and what a treat it was to appreciate them in their own spotlights.

Hugs before B's play.  LOVE.

November 12, 2015

Rare Snuggles

I still don’t know what happened to Baby A on Tuesday.  She’s such a proud kid, she is even very reluctant to tell us if she tripped or fell.  When I got home from work, she did tell me she had “bumps” on her lip, though.  Sure enough, her top lip was a bit swollen.

[The best I can figure is that she bit herself somehow.  And when I was doing laundry last night, I saw a big dirty smudge on the arm of the sweatshirt she wore that day.  I’d guess those are related somehow.]

When she first told me about her lip, she was matter-of-fact.  It didn’t seem to bother her.  But within a few minutes, she started to complain that it hurt.  I had her rinse with water, and hold some cool water on it, but (after I called my nurse friend to confer) I told her she’d need to rest and hope it felt better in the morning.

Our girls are usually very quick to bed and to sleep.  My poor baby girl, though, was having trouble.  I got the feeling it was as much emotion for her as it was discomfort.

She was whimpering, tossing and turning.  She clearly couldn’t get her mind to settle for sleep.

For many reasons, chief among them 1) having twins, and 2) being a staunch advocate for sleep training and reinforcement, I have rarely ever slept with the girls.  As wonderfully cuddly as it is to have them climb into bed with us, for example, it’s just not something we do.  I don’t want to start that habit, as I know it would not be wonderfully cuddly for very long.

There are occasions where I bend my rules, though, and Tuesday night was one of them.

I knew my A just needed to relax.  I went upstairs and, without a word, I snuggled behind her in bed.  I whispered some “I love you’s” and stroked her hair.  She quieted and snuggled back against me.  She hugged my arm that was draped over her, and she kissed my hand.

We stayed like this for a while, her, gradually relaxing, and me, breathing it all in.

Of course I didn’t have my camera with me, but I’ll treasure this memory in my mind.  It was one of those precious times when Mommy really could make things better.

October 31, 2015

Wonder Twin Power...ACTIVATE!!!

The girls are young enough that I can still *suggest* a Halloween costume, and they're generally game.  We've done ladybugs and butterflies, and I had decided that bumblebees would be the theme this year.

I'd bought all the materials I needed to make bumblebee costumes (although I'll admit I was a little scared at how I'd pull everything off!).  A couple of weeks before H-Day, though, we got a note that the kids were invited to wear superhero costumes to school on the Friday before Halloween.

My mind started to spin a little bit, thinking about TWO Halloween costumes...but then I had the idea to *suggest* that the girls be superheroes instead of bumblebees.  The girls were up for the switch!

Since the girls could utter a few words, I'd had them performing "Wonder Twin Power...ACTIVATE!"  The Wonder Twins were a natural choice!!!

I asked a friend of a friend to make Wonder Twin shirts for the girls, and I made some [very basic no-sew] capes and masks.  I even made capes for Hubby and me.  (And I was incredibly pleasantly surprised that Hubby was very compliant!  He wore his Super Daddy cape and mask all night without hesitation!)

The girls were SO excited to wear their shirts to school on Friday...and SO VERY excited for Trick-or-Treating on Halloween!

Our dynamic duo!

Our *SUPER* family!

We went trick-or-treating with our BFFs...a Halloween tradition!

The whole gang!

And I LOVE this much awesomeness!!!

What a happy Halloween it was!!!

October 28, 2015

Fill 'Er Up.

I was lucky to be able to pick the girls up from school today.  As we were driving to meet Daddy for a special afternoon snack, Baby B was bouncing all around in her car seat.  I asked her why she was so happy.

"I asked Sissy at school today if she was my best friend, and she said yes!"

Cue a big smile from Baby A.

"And [A], is Sissy your best friend?" I asked.

Cue Baby A bouncing all around in her car seat.


We talked a little bit about friends and best friends and how A and B will always have each other.  "Because we were born together!" B said.


And that fills this mama's heart right up.

October 25, 2015


At long last...PICTURES!!!  These are {mostly} in the order I took them.

We saw the sunrise every day from our balcony!

The girls couldn't wait to test out the hammocks!

Feet in the water!  They loved it!!!
(Can't decide which angle I like I included them both!)

Family photo!

Mommy sandwich in the sand!  No better feeling!

The girls kept trying to make "sand balls" snowballs, I guess.

B, trying with slightly drier sand.  Still no luck.  HA!

Ice cream after lunch at one of our favorite restaurants at the resort!

Baby B, climbing the rock wall!

Baby A's turn!  I got a kick out of how "professional" they looked.

Another Mommy sandwich in the lobby of the hotel.  Beautiful!

Watching the sunrise from the beach...WOW!!!

Our second full day, we took a trip to the archaeological site at Tulum.  It was awesome!!!

One of the original entrances through the stone wall fortress.

I didn't know that Baby A turned her hat around until I saw this picture...cracks me up!

Such a cool view!

Our favorite family picture from our trip!
We even spied several wild iguanas.

After our trek around the pyramids, we were HOT and HUNGRY.  I felt kinda {a lot} guilty...but I couldn't resist the lure of Starbucks.

Back at the resort...

We sat here several times.  What a gorgeous view we had!

Our last supper at the resort.  We had excellent food, and the mariachi band was so much fun!

Our last morning...just a few more pictures...

The girls playing ball in the shallow pool

Mommy made a super-quick trip to the beach to take a last few pics...couldn't resist the view over my toes!

And this picture was on my bucket list!!!

Daddy even indulged us by picking up the camera...another Mommy sandwich!

We loved the float pool!

One last little refreshment after a morning of fun...

And our last picture of our trip, with our favorite waiter, Alejandro.  What a fitting way to sum up our trip...sweet family time, good weather, good food, a beautiful setting...and incredibly kind people.

We had such a wonderful time...and seeing these pictures, I am ready to go back!!!

October 22, 2015

Precious Slumber

My girlies have been early to wake for most of their lives.  There was a {glorious} period of time when they were about two, when they slept until 7:30, or even a little later…but they’ve been waking up around 6:30-ish, give or take 15 minutes, for most of the past six years.

Thanks to their {wonderfully fabulous} “OK to Wake” clock, they were staying put until 7am, when they would call out, “Mommy!  My clock is green!  I slept well!” in perfect unison.  But…when school started last year…I had to wake them up at 6:15.  It didn’t take long before that was their new wake-up time.  And sometimes, particularly Baby B, would wake up even earlier.

[I can’t really complain, as the girls would stay upstairs, usually reading, until it was a decent time to rise.  But I hated that the girls were missing out on sleep that I feel strongly they need.]

I’m not sure what to credit lately…maybe it’s the darker fall mornings…maybe it’s our weekly soccer practice that keeps them up later one night a week…maybe it’s the rigors of first grade…but our girls have been SLEEPY lately.  I don’t know that they make it all the way to 7:00 on weekend mornings, but I’ve had to wake them up (now at 6:30) many of the last school days…

…and what a treat that is!  There’s nothing yummier than warm, sleepy babies!

I usually tiptoe into their room and pick a bed to join.  I snuggle up next to someone and begin whispering good morning to my “tinies”.  The girls will usually moan a bit and snuggle into me.  I sometimes pretend I’m stretching out on the bed, “…but it’s so lumpy!”  And then I call the girls my “lump-lumps”.  They moan and giggle and snuggle some more.

I raise their pajama tops and kiss their warm bellies.  And then I sit up and pull them to me in my lap.  They snuggle in against me, their heads still fitting remarkably well under my chin.  I often physically stand them up and send them on their way to the bathroom.

And…repeat with Baby #2.

There’s just something about bedhead and warm, snuggly babies that takes me back to when they were little.  And I love it. 

(Baby B, from our traditional first-thing-in-the-morning pictures on the girls' sixth birthday.)
Thank goodness for sleeping “in”.
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