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October 31, 2010

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice!

Few things make me happier than losing myself in the kitchen. I love to cook, and I really love to bake, sweets being my favorite by far.

I have literally looked forward my entire adult life to sharing this passion with my children. I couldn’t picture their exact faces, but I could envision tiny little hands, caked with dough, and bright, beautiful eyes aglow with the promise of licking a spoon.

While it’s still a little early to turn the girlies loose with the mixer, I got my first glimpse of my dreams becoming reality today, in the form of Halloween butter cookies.

I made up the butter cookie dough and shaped it into balls. One at a time, I let the girls “help” me stamp the cookies.


After each of their turns, I let them play with a little bit of leftover cookie dough.
(Note to self: use extreme caution when introducing Play-Doh! The girls would have easily shoved the entire ball of "play dough" into their mouths had I turned my attention for a split second!)


And of course we had to sample the fruits of our labors after lunch!




It was just a small glimpse, but it made this mama’s heart swell seeing her precious babies in the kitchen…it’s truly the stuff [her] dreams are made of.

October 30, 2010

"Not Nice" is Not Good

I remember my mom saying that she and my dad never really had to discipline me very much when I was growing up. All it took was “The Look” from Mom, or Dad raising one eyebrow (not both), and I turned it around. She said the very worst torture for me was one of them saying, “Mandy, I’m disappointed in you.

I’ve been working to perfect “The Look” for several years now, making faces at myself in the mirror while I dried my hair in the mornings. And I practiced using a good stern tone (which from this point on will be referred to as "The Tone") with our cats.

I guess I was hoping that these foreboding gestures would do the trick with our girls, too…that through some beautiful stroke of luck and heredity, they would be born with naturally obedient hearts.

I’m beginning to have my doubts...

It wasn’t wholly planned, but I’ve adopted the phrase, “That is not nice!” (usually said in “The Tone”, in conjunction with “The Look”). And I’m quite certain that the girls understand what’s “not nice”.

When they see a ripped page in a book, they’ll volunteer, “Not nice!” in a very serious voice (at least as serious as a precious little 21-month old voice can muster).

When they begin to try to pilfer behind the entertainment center (a big no-no), they’ll turn around to me (sometimes mid-pilfer!) and confirm their behavior is “Not nice!” too.

I feel good that I’m delivering a consistent message about what is “not nice” in the world of A and B. What apparently is lacking is a sense that "not nice" is, in fact, not good.

I guess it’s time to put a little muscle (i.e. a timeout structure) behind it.

But I won’t drop “The Look” and “The Tone”…no, I worked too hard in their development not to continue to put them to good use.

October 29, 2010

Fab 5 Friday

Another fabulous week!

1) On a walk earlier this week, it was so sweet to see the girls interact beside each other in their stroller. Baby A kept asking for “Hugs!” and “Kisses!” Baby B would lean over to oblige. I also watched them holding hands. I don’t know if it was the beautiful crisp fall weather that inspired them to be so affectionate, but I sure enjoyed the view!

2) We’ve been playing a game where I’ll say, “Give me a ‘knee kiss’,” and the girls will stick out their knees (or whatever body part) for me to plant a kiss. The idea of an “elbow kiss” apparently hit a chord with them…they’ve been requesting “Elbow kisses!” all week.

3) I think the girls are starting to engage in some pretend play. They’ll bring one of their stacking cups to me and say, “Mommy drink it!” I’ll pretend it’s milk, or water, or juice, and tell them how good it is. I was surprised (and maybe a little shamed) when Baby B brought me a cup and said, “Mommy, coffee!” I guess she knows how to make me smile!

4) In more pretend play, I watched Baby A playing with her doll. She was saying, “Tickle!” and touching under the baby’s chin.

5) We’ve been showing the girls their shadows for a long time now, often inviting them to wave to it. Baby B stood on the changing table as I was getting her dressed one morning. She started waving and said, “Hey, shadow!

The girls are saying and doing new things at what seems like a mile a minute…I’m loving it all, and just trying to keep up!

October 28, 2010

In Anticipation of Craft Time

Before the girls were born, I looked forward to so many picturesque moments shared with them…

…walking hand in hand…sharing an ice cream…baking cookies…taking them to the park…showing them the ocean for the first time…getting our nails done together...building pillow forts…movie night with popcorn and lots of blankets…

Some of those visions have begun to come to fruition, and others will happen in due time. And others I can really hardly wait for, so I may just be rushing a bit.

Another picturesque moment in my mind is surely Craft Time. I can just see the kitchen table spread out with all manner of pom-poms, glitter, construction paper, glue, paint, and those itty bitty kid scissors. The three of us will be scrapbooking away together…or making homemade Christmas cards…or constructing a centerpiece for the table, sure to be worthy of a footnote in Martha Stewart’s magazine.

There will be kiddy music softly playing in the background, and we may sing along here and there while we toil. I’ll slip away to make us a smoothie. We’ll push back from the table, smoothie in hand and a plateful of homemade chocolate chip cookies on the side. We’ll admire our work.

I just know that one day, the scene will play out exactly like that. In the meantime, I like to look for little “projects” I can engage in with the girls.

Thanks to Beth, who double-dog promised that washable markers do actually wash out / off (even with two-year old quadruplets!), I invested in a set a couple of weeks ago. It’s taken me a little while to drum up the courage (because see, in my fantasy land, there are no messes).

Earlier this week, I drew a circle on a piece of cardstock and tried my best to direct the girls to turn it into a pumpkin with the careful application of some orange marker. I made a very precise break to hand the girls a green marker to draw the pumpkin stem. And then I breathed deeply, a stack of baby wipes in hand, while I prayed that Beth had not led me astray.


Sure enough, the girls cleaned up pretty easily. And later, in the quiet of naptime I carefully added the pumpkins’ facial features.

I don’t know how much the girls got out of this exercise. Come to think of it, they may have enjoyed it more had I served smoothies and cookies.

But I had a blast...and I really enjoyed the glimpse of things to come.

October 26, 2010

Unintended Vocabulary

…and I’m not talking about four-letter words!

These days the girls are truly like little sponges, picking up so many new words, phrases, and skills every.single.day. Hubby comes home in the afternoons and asks, “What did we learn today?” and we almost always have a new party trick to show him.

There are a few things that the girls have picked up recently that are, I guess, a sign of the times…things that I really wish they’d instead have reserved valuable grey matter real estate for something more useful right now…like the table of elements…or maybe potty training???

Halloween Lore

I’m all about dressing up my sweet ‘lil pumpkins for the upcoming holiday, carving jack-o-lanterns, and maybe even eating some candy (meaning, maybe I’ll let them have a bite before I eat it all). But at this tender age I hadn’t really intended on teaching them words like “ghost”, “witch”, and “skeleton”.

The girls are accustomed to me narrating everything on our daily walks and treks to the grocery store. With all the Halloween decorations that have been up for weeks now, I just wasn’t able to maintain their attention with other riveting sights (“Look at the pretty shrubs!” “Over there is the dog food!”) on a consistent basis.

The funny thing is, they’re not frightened of these creatures. They wave to the neighbor’s spooky ghosts hanging in his yard, shouting, “Hey!!!”, just in the same way they get excited over seeing a squirrel cross the street. I'm hoping this "bravery" lasts to see them through nightmares and monsters under the bed.

Sickness

The girls each had a touch of a cold last week, and as a result, the poor babes can rattle off a few new words and phrases…

Medicine…nose better!” (They say that rather excitedly, as I guess the stuff these days tastes pretty good.)

Temperature!” (They say that with a considerable degree less of excitement, when they spy the thermometer.) :)

And when they started saying, “Benadryl!”, I knew it was time to get better, fast…lest passersby think I drug the kiddos on too-regular of a basis.

I guess this is just a little reminder that they’re eyes are watching me, and their ears are listening.

We’ll try our best to continue to keep the four-letter words at bay, and to remain stealthy in sneaking in that mid-afternoon chocolate snack.

October 25, 2010

Another Mommy Milestone

As I reflect over the past 21 months, there are so many amazing milestones…the first smiles, the first steps, and the first words.

And as I step back a little further, there are also several notable “mommy milestones” that I’m also really proud of…like the first time I fed the girls by myself...the first time I took them out by myself...and the first time I took them to the pediatrician by myself. (That last one is still a major feat for me, each and every time!)

For each of these endeavors, there were all sorts of pep talks involved (me, to myself and I, that is). There was a heck of a lot of planning, and some good, old-fashioned tragedy rehearsal, too. (What if one of the girls crawls out the front door of the pediatrician’s office, and I’m too busy with the other, who might instantaneously learn to swing from the curtains, to notice???)

This weekend I recorded another mommy milestone…the first time I was alone overnight with the girlies.

At 21 months old, that shouldn’t be a big deal, right? Right. And it wasn’t…but that didn’t stop all manner of tragedy rehearsals in my head.

Honestly, though, my biggest fear was breaking the girls’ routine…especially their bedtime routine. I live and breathe by the girls’ schedule, and so my tragedy rehearsals were less about a middle-of-the-night snowstorm, warranting a trek in blizzard conditions to buy firewood, two sleepy babies in tow. No, we have had a good thing going with the girls’ bedtime routines for oh, about 18 months, and Mama don’t mess with it, no way, no how.

With only two hands to manage a total of twenty fingers and twenty toes, we did have to compromise some of our bedtime rituals…

Instead of cuddling with the girls in the bedroom for their last cup of milk and bedtime story, they drank their milk in their highchairs (which are not very cuddly).

While Baby A sat in my lap in the den for their bedtime story, Baby B took the opportunity to run laps around the room, draining out the last few drops of energy from the day.

Instead of sitting snugly in Daddy’s lap while Mommy brushed their teeth, the girls had to stand in their pack-and-play while Mommy wrangled their mouths open.

Despite these interruptions to our nighttime structure, though, the girls went to bed – 20 minutes early, at that! – like champs.

And what did Mommy do after the girlies went to bed? I enjoyed total control of the TV while I cleaned the kitchen like a mad woman. And when I finally went to bed, I read to my heart’s content without one grumble to “turn off the light already!

Fortunately none of my tragedy rehearsal scenarios reared its ugly head while Hubby was away, but I was glad to be back in the comfort of man-to-man defense the rest of the weekend.

With an overnight alone with the girls behind me, I guess I can start to sweat about the next mommy milestone…maybe an out-of-town jaunt, just the girls and me?

Or maybe I’d better just relish this small accomplishment for a little while. There’s no need to anguish over something that surely won’t happen until the girls are at least ten years old.

October 23, 2010

A Bit About Me, October Edition

Leading up to my birthday on February 23, I’ve been posting a couple of random things about me on the 23rd of each month. So for the month of October, how’s this for randomness

5) I’ve never been to Disneyworld. When I was growing up, we vacationed somewhere every year, but my dad was never one to voluntarily stand in line for things, especially in the hot Florida sun. It never seemed like a big deal when I was a little girl, but now, as an adult, I can hardly wait to take the girls there. And while there are lots of other experiences I will enjoy showing them the ropes, I think it will be pretty neat for us to be able to experience Disney together.

6) Before the girls were born, I spent my career in consumer packaged goods marketing. In short, I developed the product, packaging, pricing and promotional strategies, and distribution plans for the product lines I managed. My first job out of college was with Bryan Foods, a regional Sara Lee brand. I managed the illustrious bacon category, before being promoted to cocktail sausages and smoked link sausages. (I’ll pause while you laugh!) Following my foray into smoked meats, I worked for No nonsense pantyhose; and then I took at job with Fruit of the Loom in men’s underwear. (Cue more snickers, I know!) I absolutely loved what I did, and – although I wouldn’t take anything for this time with the girls – I look forward to getting back into the marketing groove in a few years. For now, I just over-analyze every trip to the grocery store…and I am quite particular about my meat, socks, and undies.

(For more randomness, check out the posts from August and September!)

October 22, 2010

Fab 5 Friday

Despite some continued sleep challenges and the onset of the season’s first runny noses, this was still a fabulous week…

1) I am beginning to feel like the girls have “friends”, which is just so sweet. We attended a birthday party on Saturday, with three other sets of twins, including the birthday boys. The girls had a blast, and they’re still talking about Kate, Ava, and Mattie. They’re also still talking about the “birf-day par-tee”, too.

2) On Saturday afternoon we took the girls to the mall to “practice” walking (i.e. being out of their stroller in public, which doesn’t happen very often!). They were the most adorable little things ever…the girls held hands in between Mommy and Daddy. Sure, we took up more than our fair share of the walkway, but I hope the cuteness pardoned our sprawl.

3) I was gone for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon, to attend our MoMs meeting. When I got home, Hubby asked the girls to show me what they’d learned. They now know index finger and pinky finger. How Hubby thought to teach them something so random, I don’t know…but it still cracks me up!

4) I took the girls to story time at the library on Tuesday…by myself! Although they initially wanted to explore their new surroundings (which made Mommy a wee bit nervous), they settled down once the activities started. They did great, and I think they really enjoyed themselves, too. AND Mommy was even “chill” enough to let them PAINT during the craft time. Granted I only lasted for about 60 seconds, but I’m still pretty proud of myself! HA!

5) The girls both said “G’anddaddy” on the phone to my dad this week, and I just loved hearing him laugh.

Even amid snotty tissues and spoiled naps, there’s still so much to appreciate!

October 19, 2010

A Glutton for Punishment?

Despite my general disdain for battery-powered toys – especially those whose sole purpose seems to be to make noise – I bought the girls a little something at the toy store a few weeks ago.

You may say I’m just a glutton for punishment to have bought the girls such noisy toys…that no parent in her right mind would purchase the components for a two-piece band…no, not for a couple of 21-month olds! And aren’t those type toys usually purchased by the likes of grandparents, to force their children to pay for their raisin’???

I’m actually really excited about having gotten the girls their first musical instruments.

I grew up enjoying music and dance, and my husband lived and breathed soccer (and still does, although less frequently than he’d like these days). Although we’re very passionate about our own passions, we both agree that we want the girls to come into their own…to like music and/or dance and/or soccer and/or basket-weaving...without feeling pushed from Mom and Dad in a certain direction.

That said, the only things Hubby has actually bought the girls – by himself and of his own accord – are soccer balls. He bought them each a little plush ball embroidered with “My First Soccer Ball” before they were born (no layette would be complete without it!); and he recently bought them a tiny regulation soccer ball that accompanies us on every park adventure.

I think it’s important – and only natural – to expose the girls to our passions, to let them see how much joy those passions bring us.

So I like to think about these toys as more than just noise-makers. The piano has a full octave, with each note labeled and color-coded. Although they’re too young for this now, there are also several song cards that will allow the girls to pick out a familiar tune by matching the notes to the letter and color.

The tambourine doesn’t have any batteries (that would just be over the top, ya know?), but I hope it will help reinforce counting and song rhythms.

To date, the girls have banged a lot of keys and, among other things, used the tambourine as a “stage” for their Little People animals. But there’s still plenty of time to make it to Carnegie Hall, right?

October 18, 2010

Your Father is NOT a Cross-Dresser*

To borrow a quote from Seinfeld, “not that there’s anything wrong with that,” but let’s just be careful how we characterize your meat-and-potatoes-eating, soccer-living-and-breathing daddy.

See, this all started a couple of months ago with the girls’ obsession with dresses. There were times when that was their first word in the mornings, “Dress?” As in, when are you going to doll us up and tell us how cute we are? Hurry, please!

Now that cooler weather is finally upon us, they’re not enjoying as many dresses, but they still jump at the mere mention. So when Hubby says, “I’m going up to get dressed,” the girls hear “dress” and get all excited.

Daddy…dress?” they exclaim.

And then there’s the topic of panties. The girls are learning all sorts of new words, and they seem to love to say “panties”. I have been making a big deal over Mommy’s panties (as they love to peer down my yoga pants as I roll around on the floor with them [sorry for the visual]).

I’m hoping to continue to play up how “pretty” panties are, and how they’re for “big girls”, so that – when the time is right, of course – the girls will be so excited over the prospect of “big girl panties” that they’ll potty-train themselves.

The girls have also discovered that Daddy’s boxer briefs can be glimpsed under his soccer shorts as he rolls around on the floor with them (another visual – sorry!).

And of course they say, “Daddy…panties!

So now we’re working on “panties” versus “underwear”.

In a houseful of women (Mommy + two girls + the cat), my poor hubby needs all the clarification he can get!

*Can’t wait to check my stats and see what kind of hits I get from the title of this post! Bwahahaha!!!

October 17, 2010

Accents

I grew up in the Deep South, and I think I probably had the accent to prove it for most of my childhood. And then, somewhere in my teen years (I’m guessing), as I began to travel a bit and meet people from different parts of the world, I started picking up some of my dad’s more neutral Midwestern speak.

These days, having traveled the US more extensively and worked in a business environment for all of my adult life, I think I have a pretty neutral lilt. In the Deep South, some folks have even accused me of being a Yankee! Of course the real test is when I’m in NYC, and there most folks guess me from the Midwest.

Now y’all don’t get me wrong…I love the sound a beautiful Southern drawl…and I don’t want to come across as trying to be someone I’m not…but I try to enunciate with the best of ‘em. Like it or not, I think it’s important in the business climate.

My hubby, on the other hand, is from Former Yugoslavia. Having moved here as a teen, his grammar is near-perfect, but he still has a noticeable accent. (And that might just be a tiny part of what drew me to him in the first place!)

I’ve long thought it will be interesting to watch our girls’ speech patterns develop...

Will they sound “Southern”, and maybe show me that I’m not as “neutral” as I think?

Will they pick up on a couple of their daddy’s little quirks? (My favorite is his pronunciation of all the vowels in the word “August”, as in “A-oo-gust”.) :)

Or will their twin-speak overpower their environmental influences?

As the girls are really beginning to talk these days, I can finally step back and make some initial assessments…and I think it’s a mixed bag. I don’t know how much of their speech is normal toddler-speak, and how much may be influenced by their multi-regional / multi-national environment.

First, the girls both drag out “hey” for several extra syllables. I’ll fess up to this being my fault…I really exaggerated this word as a telephone greeting, thinking it was easier (at the time) than them trying to say “hi” or “hello”. It’s pretty darn cute, though, especially as my friendly Baby A likes to shout “Heeeyaaaayy!” to all passersby, as well as a lot of inanimate objects.

We jump across the pond at the girls’ pronunciation of “good”, which comes across as clearly German. Could it be that Uncle Djura’s visit last fall had such a profound effect on them???

And lastly, I present “coffee”. The girls give a beautiful nod to their Slavic heritage in saying, “kofe!” Maybe all those Russian nursery rhymes they’ve been hearing are actually sinking into their psyche.

I know only time will tell…but in the meantime it’s interesting to speculate…and so much fun to listen to their sweet little baby voices figuring out how to put it all together.

October 15, 2010

Fab 5 Friday, Despite a Fear of Flying

Well, I’m not sure that Baby A has a fear of flying exactly (I just love alliteration!), but she claims to be suddenly scared of airplanes…but only from inside the house. Outside, she loves to wave and shout, “Hey!” to any passing planes, but she’s recently become TERRIFIED of something, causing her not to sleep well AT ALL this week. When asked what's troubling her, she says, “Airplane! Outside! Loud!Hmmm

Despite our seemingly sudden onset of napping issues (Heaven help me now!), there was still a lot of fabulousness in this week:

1) We’ve so enjoyed the opening of a new frozen yogurt shop in town. A certain mommy I know may have made four trips there in the past week…but hey, it has live and active cultures! And the girlies love it, too. :)

2) I’ve been working with the girls on “Ring Around the Rosey, and they have such a blast! They haven’t mastered “we all fall down” yet, but they just cackle to see Mommy tumble over at the end of the song.

3) I’ve caught the girls actually trying to “sing” a couple of songs, including “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, “The Farmer and the Dell”, and “The A-B-C Song”. They don’t do so well for me to count them singing their A-B-C’s, for example, but at least they know the tune and try to make some of the accompanying sounds. I’ll take it as a great start!

4) The girls and I got to hang out with our friend Kate for a little while this week. That’s Kate, of Spencer-and-Kate, boy/girl twins to my good friend Jenny, who were born exactly one week before A and B. And then Spencer and Jenny joined us, too, and we had a great time playing together.
5) Moccasins. I bought these for the girls to wear in their stroller, as we walk in the mornings. I can’t help but laugh over how stinkin’ cute they are!!!



I'm writing it down...life is good!

October 14, 2010

Creating Traditions

When I think back to my childhood, there are certain memories that seem like fence posts…traditions between which the details of life unfolded.

Some of those traditions were big events, like Christmas Eve at my grandmother’s house…and some were seemingly small things, like a homemade country breakfast on Sunday mornings. No matter the weather, or the stresses of everyday life, there were certain things I could count on.

Unfortunately, changes in some family dynamics and the physical distance that now separates us mean that I don’t get to enjoy many of the traditions that marked my childhood.

While there is a certain sadness in that, the flip side is that we have the opportunity to create our own traditions with our girls, ones that I hope will serve as the framework for some wonderful childhood memories of their own.

I’ve written about a few traditions already, like strawberry cake on Valentine’s Day and celebrating the girls’ ½ birthdays. One of the more picturesque traditions we’ve started is an October trip to the local pumpkin patch.

I had never actually been to a pumpkin patch until a few years ago, and – although we didn’t yet have children – I immediately started looking forward to the day we would be able to bring our future kiddos to take part in the festivities…a good old-fashioned hay ride, a visit to the petting zoo, a hike through the apple trees, pictures made amid piles o’ pumpkins…to be capped off by some homemade apple cider.

We made our first family visit to the pumpkin patch last year, when the girls were about 9 months old. They weren’t old enough to enjoy a lot of the activities, but they were wide-eyed at the sight of so many big orange “balls” (at least I’m guessing that’s what they thought!).

This year, the girls got the full experience…the hay ride, the petting zoo, the pumpkins…and they even shared an apple cider slushie with Mommy.

We all had a blast!

I’ve said it a lot of late…and I’m sure I’ll just keep saying it even more…but I just love being a family of four!

October 13, 2010

Sneaking in Some One-on-One Time

Our girls knew each other before we knew them. And they’ve been side by side (or top to bottom) from the very start.

While I envision a day where I’ll take Baby A to the grocery store, while Daddy takes Baby B to the park, we’re just not there yet. To date, our girls have had very little time apart. The only real examples I can think of are a couple of doctor visits over the past 21 months…not exactly the fun and games of a Grocery Store Wonderland and a Great Park Adventure!

Our family schedule – coupled with the girls’ young age – just hasn’t allowed us to “single date” (as opposed to “double date”, of course).

I decided to get creative and try to carve out even little bits of individual time. Whereas I’ve been bathing the girls together for a long time, and before that we would all crowd in the bathroom together, the “dry” baby safely strapped in the bouncy seat, I thought bath time might be a good first step.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been taking one baby at a time upstairs for a bath. With “just one” kiddo to juggle, we’ve had the most fun exploring bubbles, pouring water from one cup to another, and making funny soap sculptures. The other baby is downstairs for one-on-one time with Daddy.

The first time we did this, Baby B was a little uneasy. She wanted to be facing me at all times in the tub, for example, and I could hear her calling, “Sissy!” from downstairs while Baby A was upstairs with me.

The second time went more smoothly, and by the third time, I think Baby B began to appreciate the luxury of having the entire tub to herself…and what girl doesn’t love to lounge in the tub???

Sure, it takes a little more time – all the playing in the tub, plus twice the set-up and clean-up – but I think it’s a good start.

And at least I’ll have a couple of extra-clean babies when we finally do get to “single date” one day.

October 11, 2010

Garbage Pail Tales

Monday is garbage day in our neighborhood.

As I take the girls on our daily walk, I try not to appear too obvious as I check out our neighbors’ recycle bins from behind my dark sunglasses. It’s just so hard to resist the plethora of information contained in those open plastic bins…

Wow, that’s an expensive bottle of wine!

That’s some really cheap beer…but I guess when you apparently drink a case a week, you have to economize!

Look who feeds their kids three boxes of Fruity Pebbles a week!

Somebody uses a heck of a lot of Metamucil!

I’ve written about the tales our dishwasher and washing machine could tell about our life over these past 21 months, and I just realized that the Waste Management Folks could probably construct a pretty accurate story, too…

Awww…Preemie diapers…how sweet! And lots of them! Oh, and pizza boxes…they must not be getting much sleep.

Those babies must be growing…using Newborn diapers now!

Alright…atta girls! Up to Size 1 diapers!

Hmmm…cans of formula and the sudden reappearance of Diet Coke…I’ll bet she’s not nursing anymore.

Movin’ on up…Size 2 diapers and the introduction of baby food! Coincidentally, those bags of poop aren’t smelling too sweet anymore!

Cool…that’s a really nice new stroller! This huge box must have cost a lot to ship!

Size 3 diapers…and look at all the empty gallons of milk. I’ll bet those babies just celebrated their first birthday!

Lots of empty produce cartons…eating real food now!

With all those fruits and veggies, those babies are up to Size 4 diapers. It seems like just yesterday they were born.
(sniff, sniff)

...or at least that’s how I see it.

And of course we never have anything embarrassing in our recycle bins. No, we put anything we don’t want the neighbors to see from behind their dark shades in trash bags, safely out of view.

October 9, 2010

Good Ol' Rote Memorization

I remember having to stand in front of my grade school classes to recite many a’ poem. There’s something about the hot sticky palms and butterfly tummy that I’d get beforehand…followed by the exhilaration of the last line (sometimes successfully) delivered…that seems to be a part of my character-building childhood experiences.

I think I can still recall a few stray lines of Robert Frost and Edgar Allen Poe, although I have to be careful not to mix them up with bits and pieces from the Preamble to the Constitution and the Girl Scout Pledge. Although I don’t think they do much of it in schools these days, there’s nothing wrong with a little good ol’ rote memorization in my book.

I was shocked and amazed to realize this week that our girls have been practicing some rote memorization of their own.

I exercised my Stretch Armstrong prowess climbing into the backseat to contort myself into a very uncomfortable position between their still-rear-facing car seats this weekend, vowing to keep them awake for the 45-minute drive home from our Saturday Shopping Adventure.

While I had packed a couple of toys for just such an occasion, I realized that I would have to twist my pretzel-self into yet another shape to reach the toy bag.

Instead, I decided to “read” to them. I didn’t have any books with me, but I’ve read their favorite 10 or 12 books so…many…times that I know them easily by heart.

I started with a “book” of Mother Goose rhymes:

Hey Diddle Diddle, the cat and the…

[pause to pick up a stray sock]

Fiddle!” chimed in Baby B.

Hey, you’re right, B! Great job!

The cow jumped over the…

[pause to see if there was something to this]

Moon!” volunteered Baby A.

The girls and I went on like this for quite some time, “reading” a number of books. They knew every blank from one of their alphabet books (“A is for apple that I like to bite”), with the exception of the word “xylophone”. When I got to the letter X, they both started signing “music”, which I accepted as an alternative answer.

At one point there was some discussion about Humpty Dumpty (or Humpidy, as the girls call him). Baby B contested that he actually sat on a "tuffet", as opposed to a "wall". I had to settle the dispute by reminding the girls that, in fact, Little Miss Muffet was the tuffet-sitter.

I’m sure this is just the first of many such debates I’ll have to settle. And as the girls get a little older (and sassier, I’m sure), they’ll probably start to challenge, “What’s a tuffet, anyway?

And to that, not knowing the precise answer, maybe I’ll summon a few words of philosophical wisdom from Mr. Frost himself.

October 8, 2010

Innumerable Fab Friday

Yes, that’s right…for the second week in a row I find myself unable to count to five. I promise it’s just because we’ve had so much fun stuff going on around here that it’s hard for me to narrow down my fabulous list…and is no way related to the mush-inization of my brain (I hope!).

Daddy has been home with us this week for Fall Break, so we’ve had lots of fun adventures, and even a couple of breaks from our regularly-scheduled programming.

The girls…

· ...had their first taste of Krispy Kreme…they each ate about 1/3 of a blueberry cake donut, but I think they would have eaten three each if I’d have let them!
· …got new tennis shoes…so cute!
· ...ate lunch at Chili’s, and even tried a couple of chips…B loved them, but A kindly spit them right back out…hmmm…
· …got some new fall and winter clothes (from Carter’s at 70% off + a coupon), and I can’t wait to see them model all the cuteness!
· …”played soccer” in the park…they loved RUNNING on the fields, and playing on the swings and slide, too, of course!
· …enjoyed swinging really high at the park, and B didn’t even get scared!
· …went down the slide by themselves (the teeny-tiny baby slide, with Daddy at the top and Mommy at the bottom)!
· ...enjoyed our annual trip to the pumpkin patch, where they greeted all the animals at the petting zoo, climbed on a big toy tractor, went on a hay ride, and tried to commandeer Mommy’s apple cider slushie!
· ...got their first taste of chocolate ice cream, and I think they’re in love!

And during the girls’ naptime, while Daddy was home, Mommy…

· ...went on two lunch dates with girlfriends – sushi one day, and Mexican the next!
· …enjoyed hazelnut coffee – in a mug – at Panera, by herself, while she read a book in a big cozy lounge chair by the fireplace!

And after the girls were tucked in tightly for the night, Mommy and Daddy…

· …reveled in watching the Bama / Florida game on Saturday!
· …enjoyed watching a few DVR’d shows together (with the cat, of course) on the couch!

AND we got the majority of the backyard landscaped this week! The girls were enthralled watching “the man” work again, and we’re that much closer to a swing set in the spring!

I could have written entire posts on each of these bullet points, but I unplugged a bit myself this week. I know I missed recording a lot of great details, but I just focused on enjoying this fabulous week.

October 2, 2010

Smiley Faces

I snapped a couple of pictures of the girls this week that I just love...they were just hamming it up!

Baby A:


Baby B:


Not to say we don't have our moments -- like everyone, I'm sure -- but we're really blessed to have two good-natured babies...and that makes this mama smile, too. :)

October 1, 2010

Fab 5 (er, 6) Friday

I just couldn’t narrow it down to the top five highlights of the week, so here are the top six most fabulous

1) There is a huge soccer complex next to our neighborhood, and on Sunday afternoon, we took the girls there to play. The adjoining fields were empty, so they ran, and ran, and ran, falling only occasionally and giggling all the way. They even got to “kick” around the Size 3 miniature regulation soccer ball their daddy got them…and seeing that made Daddy’s week, and probably his month, too!

2) As the weather is finally cooler, I’ve gotten to break out some of the girls’ new fall clothes. They have a renewed interest in socks – one of their favorite “toys” – and Mommy loves dressing up her doll-babies. :)

3) I love seeing how Baby A adores her dolls. She’ll be walking around with one, and I’ll tell her it’s time to come eat. She will hug her doll, and kiss it, and stroke its head before she finally puts it down. And then we both wave “bye-bye” to tell Dolly we’ll be back in a few minutes.

4) I bought the girls a new type of sippy cup this week, and they have been SO excited over them. They exclaim, “New cup!” every time they see them, and they’ve been much better at drinking all their milk / juice from them. Even for the girls, I guess it’s the little things!

5) I returned home from a quick 45-minute errand on Thursday afternoon. The girls were standing at the gate, so excited to see me. Daddy said, “Tell Mommy what you wanted to say,” and they both said, “We miss you!” I got tears in my eyes! I’m not certain they know exactly what that means…but to know Hubby thought to teach them that, and how proud they were to tell me…priceless!!!

6) For a week or so, the girls have been requesting / declaring, “Hugs!” “Kisses!” This week they added “Snuggles!” to the list. If hearing their little baby voices with their little baby lisps saying, “S’uggles!” isn’t the cutest thing I’ve ever heard…I don’t know what is!

We're so excited that Daddy will be out of school for Fall Break this coming week...we're looking forward to many fabulous adventures!
 
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