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July 31, 2012

Creepy Clowns

I've written before about how I try to present topics very openly to the girls.  Certainly I hope to instill particular values, but I also want to encourage them to develop their own opinions.

This approach has led me to champion some pretty creepy-crawly critters.

If you were to overhear some of the conversations in our house over the past six or eight months, you might think I was a huge fan of mice and rats, for example.

Upon hearing a friend talking about how she "hates" mice and rats, I spent weeks upon weeks telling the girls, "We haven't met all the mice and rats in the world.  I'm sure some of them are very nice."

And at the zoo last month, I even laboriously extolled the virtues of some gigantic cockroaches.  There were a couple of grown women squealing at how "gross" they were.  I hope my, "Wow!  How cool!  Look how many there are in there!" drowned out some of the gagging noises the women were making.

One species I haven't moved to defend, though, is clowns.

I don't remember having thoughts about clowns one way or the other as a child.  And it was only as an adult that I realized some people find them creepy. 

I think the only exposure the girls have had to clowns is in a Curious George book, when he goes to a Halloween party.  They never remarked one way or the other, only to acknowledge the different costumes.

Enter the new bouncy house into town.

We took the girls as a special treat on their half birthday, on July 5.  They were having an absolute blast...until they caught sight of a clown making balloon animals in the corner. 

Both girls clung tightly to me.  Baby A actually asked me to pick her up.  They refused to go down the slide that emptied into the clown's general vicinity.  And they were exceptionally speedy in crawling into the entrance to the obstacle course not far from the clown's table.

I acknowledged the girls' feelings.  "It's OK to be scared," I told them, "but it's OK.  It's only a person who has on a silly outfit and has paint on his face.  Some people think it's funny."

But that's it.

My kids don't like clowns, and I'm OK with that. 

They may one day be asking for a pet rat or an aquarium full of giant cockroaches for their birthday...we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  But on the upside, I'm thinking we won't have to contend with a clown rental fee for their birthday parties.

July 30, 2012


I don't respond well to folks who fish for compliments.

"Oh, I look awful!"  ...or...  "I'm so fat!"

It's darn-near impossible for me to take the bait and respond with a "No, you don't!  You look great!"

I like to consider myself a kind, compassionate person...but the smarty-pants response that most often pops into my mind is, "I'm sorry you feel that way."

I usually meet myself somewhere in the middle and say something along the lines of, "Please don't say that, you are a beautiful person".

And -- since having children -- I specifically want to scream, "PLEASE DON'T SAY THAT IN FRONT OF MY GIRLS!!!"

[As a side note, if you're in the throes of post-baby blues, or some other life situation, and you earnestly tell me, "I just don't feel good about myself right now," that's a completely different story.  I will shower you with hugs and make you a warm beverage and do my best to help you feel better.]

But...back to the girls...particularly at this young age, I don't want my girls to hear people talking negatively about their appearances.

You read statistics about how many three- / four- / five-year olds say they need to go on a many eight-year olds don't like their many fifteen-year olds would like to have cosmetic surgery.

At our house, we try our best to focus our energies on being smart and healthy, and -- although in today's culture it may be wishful thinking -- I would love for those such thoughts to never enter our girls' minds.

I'm very passionate about this subject, recognizing I have two radiant young daughters who absorb every.single.ounce of their environment like very porous sponges.

Then why, after meeting a friend for ice cream on Saturday, did I realize that I can sometimes do a pretty rotten job of accepting a compliment???

This friend lives out of town, and I haven't seen her in a couple of years.  I know I accepted her first compliment or two, but then she started denigrating herself.  At the time, it was completely unconscious of my part, but I know I volunteered something along the lines of, "Well, there's a reason I don't wear bikinis anymore."

Why???  Why did I allow the conversation to progress that way?

I know on some level I was just trying to make her feel better, but I know that was not a good example for me to set for my girls.

Lesson learned...I hope.

I think it takes a very high level of consciousness to raise our children with the self-worth that we all yearn for them to have.  It's easy to point to celebrity culture as the culprit...but I think certain tendencies far pervade that.

It's not just celebrity's everywhere.  Four sticky kids crawling over two multi-tasking mamas, on a hot day in front of an ice cream shop...we were a long, long way from E! News. 

A reminder to me to remain steadfast, and always AWARE.

July 29, 2012

Songs That Make Us Sing

So I mentioned last week that I finally downloaded iTunes.  Hello, 2001!

My reason for finally getting myself in gear is that I wanted to make the girls a CD (or mixed tape, as I may have called it) for our trip to North Carolina.

About once a week we dial up youtube and show the girls some music videos.  The girls have developed quite a play list of favorites, songs they request by name or artist, or sometimes by the theme of the video.

At some point during Day 1, the girls started getting a little antsy in the car.  I told them I had a big surprise, and they were very excited to learn what it was.

We popped in their new CD, and they were enthralled!  (I think they thought those songs were only available through the computer, or something!)

We listened to the CD probably five or six times during the trip.  It definitely worked its intended magic, giving the girls something to focus on in the car.

And over the course of the trip, they nailed down quite a few more lyrics...or at least what they think are the lyrics.  :)

So what's on the girls' playlist?  I'm proud to say I think it's a pretty eclectic mix...

Andy Grammer, "Fine by Me" -- I just like the beat.

Andy Kim, "Rock Me Gently" -- I sing the chorus when they're in the rocking chair at night.

Beatles, "Here Comes the Sun" -- I sing the chorus every morning when I turn on the light in their room.

Bruno Mars, "Just the Way You Are" -- I think it's a beautiful message.

CCR, "Down on the Corner" -- one of Daddy's faves.  And it's so funny to hear the girls try to sing it!

Elton John, "Your Song" -- I love the piano, and we just think it's a great classic ballad.

Hot Chelle Rae, "Tonight, Tonight" -- I just like the beat.  (And I hope the girls don't pick up on too many of the lyrics!)

"Kalinka", Russian folk song -- I've been singing this to the girls since they were tiny, and they can sing the first stanza with gusto!

Three Dog Night, "Celebrate" -- I sing this at random, and the girls know the chorus.

Train, "Hey, Soul Sister" -- I started calling the girls "soul sisters", and this song is just the perfect fit...they know almost all the words!

I'm linking up (a day late) with Awesome-Sauce Ginger at (Not) Just Another Mom of Twins for her "Songs that Make Us Sing Saturdays".

No matter the tune, I love to hear my girlies singing!

July 28, 2012

Super Stuff on a Saturday

It's been a truly fantastic week, kicked off by a great trip to North Carolina, and finished out with a few fun days at home.  Here are just a few things -- outside of all our adventures -- that made our week fabulous...

1)  The girls asked me to teach them a new song.  "Clementine" came to mind.  I told them it was about a horse that ran away (???).  They caught on very quickly and have been singing it off and on.  I finally realized, though, instead of singing, "Clementine", they were saying, "Oh my darling Crimson Tide..."  HA!

2)  At one point on our trip, B piped up, "We're traveling folks!"  I don't know where she got that, but it sure cracked me up!

3)  This actually happened on our trip to Alabama a couple of weeks ago, and then again en route to North Carolina.  The girls were napping in the car, and B woke up during Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are".  I heard her stirring, and then she joined right into the chorus.

4)  The girls traveled so very well.  I was downright amazed -- with only a couple of minor exceptions -- how content they were to sing songs, count, point out things along the road...I could not have asked for them to behave any better.

5)  While we were traveling, the girls kept talking about how much they missed their baby dolls.  The very first thing they did when we got home was grab them up and start caring for them.  It just warms my heart to see them so attached to their babies.

6)  And in general, the girls have played so well since we got home.  I know they missed playing with all their toys, and they've been so busy making up for it!

7)  The girls ate relatively well while we traveled.  On average, I'd say they ate one really excellent meal, one average, and a third meal of the day they might just pick at.  It's been so sweet to see them devour every morsel of my cooking since we got home.  I haven't made anything very fancy, but they've been thrilled with the likes of cucumber salad, baked pork chops, and cream of wheat.

8)  One morning, Baby A loaded both baby dolls (hers and B's) into one Bumbo seat.  She said, "Look at my double stroller, Mommy!"  I thought it was so cute...and it really reminded me of seeing their tiny heads together when they were infants.  Sniff, sniff.

9)  The girls have made a couple of thank-you cards this week.  They have really worked hard, doing more than just scribbles.  They were actually drawing things for their friends.  :)

10)  On Thursday afternoon we met our twin friends M&C, who are 9 months the girls' junior, at the bounce house.  The girls were excited to learn we were going to jump, and downright ecstatic when I told them we were meeting M&C.  They were over the moon when they learned we'd all be going to dinner together.

11)  We enjoyed a relaxed dinner with M&C and their mom -- my friend Demara -- and their dad.  I told Demara how amazing to me it was that the eight of us were (mostly) able to relax and actually talk during the meal.  I never would have imagined this could be done this time a year ago!

12)  At the bounce house, we met a little girl who was about 10.  She was shooting baskets, and the girls were watching her intently.  After a few minutes, she started playing with them, bouncing the ball back and forth.  She was so sweet to take time with them, and Baby A, in particular, was absolutely taken with trying to bounce and shoot like she did.  :)

13)  At the children's museum in Charlotte, they had a "Critter Cam" exhibit.  Via cameras strapped to the backs of different animals, you could watch videos from the animals' perspective. The exhibit didn't seem very interactive to me, and I didn't know if the girls really got anything from it.  I was so surprised when Baby A strapped the blood pressure cuff from her doctor kit around her dolphin.  "It's his camera so we can see where he goes!" she explained.  It was a sweet little reminder, never to underestimate what kiddos see and hear!

14)  Once upon a time, I noted each new word the girls used.  Of course that was years ago (wow!), but I still try to take note now and then.  B is the master of explanations.  One example from this week: "We need to use a bookmark, otherwise, the next time we open the book, we won't know where we stopped."  I love her use of "otherwise"...HA!

15)  Sometimes when the girls surprise me, I'll ask, "How did you get to be so smart?"  B's standard response is, "Well....I was just born that way!"  Hope I'm not creating little monsters!

16)  The girls have been calling each other "Sis" lately.  As in, "Hey, Sis, come over here!"  It makes me fast-forward twenty years...I can just imagine them making plans to meet for coffee.  :)

And there you have it.  Our fabulous week.  :)  :)

July 27, 2012

Just a Few More... from our's hard for this mama to pare them down!

Here are Daddy and the girls grooving to "My Girl", as played by a little ensemble in Charlotte's Centre City.  (This is Daddy's signature "dancing" face.)

The girls love fountains...and this one elicited a genuine smile from Baby A!

This picture of A just cracks me up, as she was cheesing at dinner.

Here is Baby B, proud as punch to be sitting on a cool red mesh chair outside the children's museum.

And inside the museum, the girls had so much fun!  I was so amazed that B went right up and climbed into the "vacuum chair".  She was slightly apprehensive when she realized the gate had to be closed for the chair to operate, but she was mostly all smiles. 

Here's B in the pulley chair.  I keep laughing at her stance...she looks like a natural-born rappeller to me!

Baby A took her turn in the vacuum chair.  I love the look on her face!

And Baby A became so intense at building this little "vehicle" and racing it down the incline.  She just elbowed her way in with the bigger kids and made herself at home. 

And I just had to post one more picture of the girls walking hand-in-hand (this one courtesy of Mandy)...definitely one of the big highlights of the whole trip for me.  :)  [And I also love seeing the hubbies chatting in the background.]

After several short trips this summer, we don't have anything planned for a while...and I think that's a good thing.  We had SO much fun on each of our adventures, but we're thankful to be settling back into our daily routine.

July 26, 2012

The First Half of Our Mini-Vacay

Charlotte, North Carolina, is about an eight-hour drive from where we live.  On the way there, we decided to break up the trip with a night in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which is close to the halfway point.

We got to Gatlinburg mid-afternoon on Saturday.  We didn't have any set plans, other than to walk around and get some dinner.  

I hadn't been to Gatlinburg since I was 14 (I think), and I didn't remember how beautiful their River Walk is.  They have a beautiful stamped concrete and brick sidewalk that borders the river (albeit a tiny one).  There are wonderful trees that shade most of the walk, and flower boxes all along the iron fencing.   

One of my primary memories from Gatlinburg was of the overhead tram that carries you up the mountain to the ski resort.  We decided that would be our afternoon activity.  The view was really breathtaking, and the girls (mostly) enjoyed it.  We stood at the front of the car, and I felt like I was soaring just above the treetops.  Daddy held Baby B so she could get a better view.  Baby A preferred the comfort of standing between my legs.  She looked around the entire time, but she didn't much care for me letting go of her...hence, no pictures from the tram.

We ate supper on top of the mountain, and headed back down around dusk.  We paused to take a picture in front of one of the retired tram cars on our walk back to the hotel.

Sunday morning we had an ahhhh-mazing breakfast at the Pancake Pantry, a Gatlinburg tradition since 1960.  Daddy had wildberry crepes, I had pecan pancakes, and the girls shared sweet potato pancakes, bacon, and fresh fruit.  Hubby invited himself and the girls into the kitchen for a little tour, and let me tell you, this was the "real deal".  No microwaves there!  :)  And the service was excellent, a true taste of the South.  It often seems like -- even in "the South" -- that true Southern hospitality is hard to find in a touristy area...but we felt so welcome during breakfast.  We've since decided that the Pancake Pantry was the highlight of our trip to Gatlinburg!

After breakfast, we walked around some of the shops.  Unlike our elbow-to-elbow experience on Saturday night, the place was blissfully almost vacant early on Sunday morning.  The girls got to throw pennies in one of the fountains, which they just think is awesome.

We said goodbye to the river from the balcony of our hotel room...

...and headed to the aquarium.  This is my favorite picture, the girls waving to the fishies.

The aquarium in Gatlinburg boasts an underwater view.  They have "tunnels" that you walk though, where you can see fish around and ON TOP OF you.  Our favorite fishy friend was this sawfish.  He kept swimming overhead, and it was so neat to see the spines on his snout (???), and to watch his mouth open and close.  We also got to see a shark swim above us.  It was very cool!

The other big attraction in the aquarium is the penguin area.  Baby B almost fell over as she was trying to "follow" this little guy swimming in front of her!  (And I tried not to laugh!)

And here I am with Baby A, having crawled through a little tunnel to peek inside the penguin habitat.  When we got closer, we realized that each penguin was sporting an armband with his name on it.  If you look closely, you can see Baby A doing her signature "Awww, how fweet!" face as she talked to one of the penguins by name.  :)

We headed out mid-morning, ahead of schedule, which allowed us to stop in Asheville, North Carolina, for lunch.  I've visited the Biltmore and winery before, but I'd never been to the downtown area.  I've always heard great things about the art galleries and shops and restaurants there, so we were excited to be able to give it a whirl.

We picked the Jerusalem Cafe for lunch.  We had a huge mostly-Greek feast.  The girls were taken with the plush interior and fabric-lined ceilings, and we sat next to a very nice couple and had a lovely chat.  We didn't get to take any pictures downtown, as the skies were threatening rain as we were leaving.  This is the only picture I have, of B, cheesing for her mama after lunch.

We had such a fun time on the way to Charlotte...and how liberating it felt to meander (relatively speaking)!

July 25, 2012

The Meeting of the M's

It all started months ago, when Marcia said she was considering attending a conference in North Carolina.  I immediately told her, "We'll come see you!"

As time drew nearer and we began to talk details, I started getting more and more excited.  How very cool to think about actually seeing one of my very best blog friends -- all the way from South Africa! -- in the flesh!

We met Marcia in Charlotte, NC, on Sunday afternoon.  We picked up immediately, just as I knew we would. 

It was a bit surreal for me at first, but we quickly got past that and got down to "business"...talking and laughing and exploring...and taking pictures, of course!

We meandered to dinner through beautiful downtown Charlotte.  And how I loved seeing my sweet girls sided up to Miss Marcia!

On Monday, while Marcia took a city tour with her friend B, we met another of my great blogger friends, Mandy, and her precious family at the children's museum.  

A&B wasted no time in jumping in to play with E&C, and it was seriously one of the cutest things ever, seeing them all together.  

The first thing they did???

Knock down several wooden towers in the building area.  They were meant to be played with / deconstructed / reconstructed...but two sets of three-year old twins took care of the "deconstruction" part very quickly...with very little patience for any "reconstruction".  HA!

One of the favorite spots for the girlies was this computer / telephone station.  I'm not sure they really learned anything about polar bears, but they had a big time with the equipment!

We met up with Marcia and B for lunch, which was -- THANKFULLY!!! -- followed by a nap at the hotel.

Monday afternoon we all met again to explore the downtown area a little more.

The girls were happy to be reunited, and they were very willing to sit (although not exactly "pose") on the purple couch in the lobby of the hotel. 

I would love to know how many pictures Marcia, Mandy, and I took of the girlies walking and holding's easily in the 100's!

Here are the little girls acting silly, and Miss Mandy in the background.  (I love the delight on her face!)

 We scoped out all the fountains around the city's center...

...and appreciated some of the great sculptures, too.  This one seemed to inspire B&C to perform some "Ring Around the Rosey".

We enjoyed one more meal together, at a delicious Southern BBQ joint (albeit a pretty nice one, which doesn't usually go with "Southern BBQ joint" in my mind...HA!). Here's a great picture of Marcia and B.

Here are the girls with their gorgeous bags from Miss Marcia (and Kendra and Connor).  They love them!!!

Our time together was so much fun, but just too short.  Here are my girls, hugging Miss Marcia goodbye.

But it wasn't farewell for the Three M's just yet.  After the kiddos (and husbands) were down for the evening, we met one more time for some more walking, and lots more talking.  It was a truly memorable evening, as Mandy said, full of many, many laughs.

Thanks for everything, Marcia and Mandy!  "Blog friends" turned "IRL friends" = awesome.  We must do this again, ladies!!!  :)

And we missed you, Deanna!

July 23, 2012

A Bit About Me, July Edition

My birthday is February 23.  On the 23rd of each month, I share a little something random about myself.  So, for the month of 'goes!

45)  I have had the same toothbrush since 2002.

In 2002, my dentist recommended a particular electric toothbrush.  Hubby and I talked about it, and made the investment.  It took a few days of getting used to, but I can never go back to a manual brush.

I remember the first time I traveled after that.  I packed a regular toothbrush.  I felt like I had two left hands!  And ever since then, I've lugging along my electronic guy.  I just cannot live with him.

Sadly, I think our beloved Sonicare is nearing the end of his life.  It's been a great run, Buddy.  Thanks for the nice fresh breath, the pep you put in my step each morning, and the clean feeling that helps me ready for bed.  You will be missed.

46)  I finally downloaded iTunes.

Yes.  It's 2012...and I know you'd think I was still living back in 2002 (or 1992?), in my electric toothbrush's infancy.

I wanted to make the girls a compilation CD of their favorite songs (which I might have referred to as a "mixed tape" to a girlfriend...who might have laughed at me like a crazy lady).  ;)

I bit the bullet and took all of 15 minutes to figure it out.

And I think I could like this!

Who knows...I might even consider an iPod in the next five or so years.

July 21, 2012

To Be a Kid Again

Earlier in the week I posted this picture of Daddy and B, conquering the pulley system at the children's museum last weekend. 

I can't quit thinking about it.  I absolutely love the look on Daddy's face. 

He often smiles in pictures with the girls (when he's not deep in concentration, making sure they don't lose their balance, or working really hard to complete a block tower), but this one is different.  It's a look of pure jubilation...kind of incredulous, even.

It made me think about these couple of pictures I posted last fall.  This was the first time for me to take the girls down the "bumpy slide" (as they call it) at the orchard.  They had a blast...and so did I!

It's reminded me how having children brings out the kid again in all of us.

Certainly I had belly laughs in the 10 or so years before the girls were born...but prior to the last three years, when was the last time I collapsed in a fit of tickle-inspired giggles?  Chased around the den on all fours, to the tune of Pink Panther?  Went down a big huge slide, just for the fun of it?

I didn't know to expect this awesome gem in the midst of parenthood.  But for this -- and so many awesome surprises -- I am very, very thankful.

July 20, 2012

Fab 5 Friday...Finally!

I haven't missed a Fab 5 Friday (or Saturday / Sunday / Monday) post ever...until this past week.  Between the computer being in for service, our short trip to Alabama, and a few different early-morning appointments this week (when I typically blog), it just didn't happen for me.

This is my way to chronicle the highlights of our week, something I know we'll enjoy reading years from now, and I hate to have this little gap. 

So I'm jumping back in this week, and hoping I don't slip up again for another couple of years.  It just makes my heart smile to take note of the little things.  :)

So...what made our week fabulous???

  • Last week, when we took the computer in for service, the girls were so worried.  "How will you drink your coffee in the morning, Mommy?"  HA!
  • Baby A has been exclaiming, "I have a great idea!"  It's usually something she wants to play, or a pretend scenario she wants to create, but her enthusiasm is contagious.
  • Baby B had a bunch of books pulled off the bookshelf a few days ago.  I asked her what she was doing.  "I'm organizing these books.  Some of the spines were upside-down."  I seriously love this kid!
  • Over supper one night, B belted out, "I'm in a New York state of mind!"  I love the Billy Joel reference and the nod to the Big Apple.
  • At the end of the day on Friday, after we surprised GG with a visit, I asked the girls what their favorite part of the day was.  They both answered, "Seeing Aunt GG!"  
  • And at the end of the day on Saturday, after we played with my BFF and her daughter at the children's museum, I again asked the girls about their favorite part of the day.  "Seeing Baby A!" they both answered.  I love-love-love that they appreciate the people in our lives...not just the playtime, pizza, and toys.
  • It was so super sweet to see the girls pulling their new suitcases during our little trip.  They looked like such big kids!
  • I loved seeing the girls play at Aunt GG's house.  This was the first visit that I felt like they were "entertained" there...not just trying to touch every last surface (such that I had to keep my hands on them every single second).  It's such a throwback for me to my childhood, having played in that house so very often.
  • And I never tire of seeing the girls RUN to their baby dolls after we've been away from home.  It's the sweetest, most endearing thing. 
  • On Sunday, my friend Jenny invited us to her church to see a children's music performance.  I think Baby A was a bit overwhelmed by all the people and sights and sounds, although I knew she was having fun, as she clapped wholeheartedly at the end of each song.  Baby B had a complete blast, though...she did her best to sing along with every song (even if she'd never heard it before), and she clapped and made attempts at each and every hand motion.  She was so intense...and hilarious!
  • And since the Sunday performance, the girls have been talking about various songs, singing bits and pieces, and making up their own tunes.  
  • The girls have been all about playing "hotel" this week.  I just love seeing them incorporate new adventures into their pretend games.
  • The girls are so funny when I have something cooking in the kitchen.  "YUM!" they'll exclaim.  "That smells SO GOOD, Mommy!"
  • When we woke up this morning, we saw our beloved backyard tree split in half, thanks to a huge storm we had last night.  I showed the girls what had happened, and Baby B immediately began to cry.  She said she was sad for the tree.  As much as it breaks my heart to see her upset, her precious tender heart is so very sweet.
  • Baby A has a serious obsession with playing Match.  And she'll truly give you a run for your money!  She would play 50 games a day, I think, if she could!
  • The girls have been calling me "Mama" (instead of "Mommy") sometimes lately.  I can't say it's fabulous, exactly...but my little Southern girls always make me laugh!
  • The girls asked me to help them build a lion out of blocks.  Then they made an elaborate set-up for him, including a pond and a soccer ball for him to play with.  They were recreating one of their favorite videos from youtube, of Triton the lion "playing soccer" in the Johannesburg zoo.

July 19, 2012

"Why Do They Have the Same Clothes?"

If you ask me, I'll tell you that I prefer to dress our girls in coordinating outfits...the same prints in different colors, or both in denim shorts with similarly-constructed tops, for example.

That's not always the case, though, and I realized not long ago that it's likely my end-of-season bargain hunting that drives the girls to have more matching in their closet than I'd realized.  When I'm shopping clearance racks, I'm lucky to find two dresses in their upcoming size.  The chances that I'll find two dresses in coordinating colors is much slimmer.

...well, that, and there are times when I buy things I know they'll just their ice cream shirts...and it would just hurt my heart to buy only one.  The "coordinating" butterfly shirt would surely seem like second-rate to them, I know.

Sometimes I'll ask the girls if they want to match or wear something different.  Sometimes they will ask to wear the same outfits; other times they'll want to wear different things, even if a matchy-matchy ensemble is available to them.

To date, at 3 1/2, the girls' wardrobe has never been an issue either way.  It's been a topic of conversation here and there, as I think that's one of the "standard" questions asked to parents of multiples: "Do you dress them alike?"  "Do they like to dress alike?"  "Do they ask to be different?"

As we approach the start of preschool (did I really just type that???), I've been thinking about making more of a concerted effort to send the girls in coordinating, or altogether different, outfits. 

I mentioned it jokingly to the teacher when we met her a couple of months ago, that I'd try to help her out by dressing them in different colors.  She was very supportive, saying either way she'd get to know the girls as individuals.  (Score for the right answer there, Ms. E!)

I had an experience yesterday at the indoor bounce house that made me pause, though.  A four-year old girl came up to me and said, "Why do they have the same clothes?"

"Some of their clothes are the same.  And sometimes they dress differently from each other," I explained.  "They're twins."

Even as I was saying the words, I was thinking, this kid has no idea what "twins" are.  She just thinks it's funny that two girls are wearing the exact same shorts and [beloved] ice cream shirts.

I'm not about to begin replacing half of the girls' closet, or to consign their yet-to-be-worn winter wardrobe I bought this past spring...but I will probably work a little harder, especially at first, to encourage the girls to wear different outfits when they start school.

I'm confident their two-man support system -- even in the face of new classmates and a new environment -- will be firmly in place, with or without matching gingham.

July 17, 2012

A Surprise Visit!

On Friday morning, Daddy and the girls and I loaded up for a short trip to Alabama.  We had a couple of accomplices who were in the know, but our visit was a complete surprise to Aunt GG.

We arrived at her house mid-afternoon and parked on the side, out of sight of her back door.  Daddy and I hid around the corner while we sent the girls to knock on her door.  You should have heard the squeals!

GG didn't know to expect us, but she somehow color-coordinated with the girlies.  Here the three of them are, snuggling in the den...

Uncle Tommy and Aunt Janet (our primary accomplices) arrived shortly after we did.

And then Granddaddy and Emme stopped by for a few minutes, too.

The girls entertained the crowd with a footwear fashion show...

After everyone left, the girls enjoyed some time in the gazebo with Aunt GG, while Daddy went to pick up a pizza...another big treat!

Much to GG's chagrin, we headed to a hotel to spend the night.  (The girls still sleep in cribs at home, and it's much more comfortable for us to sleep in the same room with them when we're depending on them to sleep in "big girl beds".)  The girls were TICKLED to pull their new suitcases for the first time.

We headed back to GG's on Saturday morning for a huge breakfast.  (The smell of bacon and eggs hit me as I walked into her house...taking me right back to when I was not much older than the girls!)  After breakfast we went for a nice walk, and then headed to meet my BFF and her baby girl, who turned two in April.

We met at the McWane Center in downtown Birmingham for the first of what I hope are many, many play dates.

Of the 1,000 or so pictures I took (not quite literally), I only caught a few of all three girls.  There was so much to see and do, they weren't still long enough!

Here everyone is, at what was probably our girls' favorite station...

And digging for dinosaur bones was another hit with the crowd...

I love this picture of B, perched atop the pirate ship, peering through the telescope.

And the look on Hubby's face as he scaled the pulley system with B is just priceless, too.

After lots of morning fun, it was time for lunch.  We stuffed ourselves at the Mellow Mushroom.  Finally, bellies full, I got a picture of all three girlies!

And one of the five of us, to boot.  Three of five smiling, and four of five looking at the camera...I'll take it!

Can we just go ahead and sign A and B up to be BFFs with Miss A already???

It was a bit of a whirlwind, as usual, but we had a truly fantastic time in Sweet Home Alabama, surrounded by many of our favorite family and friends.  And that's what it's all about!

July 13, 2012

Deja Vu Daddy

We celebrated Daddy's birthday on Sunday.  He enjoyed a big breakfast of banana bread pancakes, lunch on the town, homemade cheesecake with fresh blueberry topping mid-afternoon, and one of his favorite meals - Cajun jambalaya - for supper.

On the way to lunch, I wanted to get some pictures of the girls in their new dresses.  They posed on the front steps, and then with Daddy.  I also snapped a few pictures of them walking down the sidewalk, hand in hand.

As soon as I saw the pictures, I was reminded of similar pictures we took last summer, the girls in new dresses, heading to an early supper to celebrate the beginning of Daddy's vacation.

When I dug through the archives to find the comparison, I couldn't help but laugh.

Isn't it sweet to see how the girls have grown...but Daddy is wearing the exact same shirt???  HA! 

(He's rotten about not cycling through his closet...wearing the same few shirts / shorts / pants.  Now I have proof!!!  And over the course of a full year, at that!!!)

Hmmm...Hubby knows I'm a sucker for comparison pictures.  Maybe he was just doing his part to hold all other variables?  ;)