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January 31, 2012

Grocery Store Stalkers

I have always maintained that – while it can be a little cumbersome – I generally don’t mind people ooh’ing and goo’ing over my sweet baby girls when we’re in public. As long as you don’t try to touch my sweet baby girls…in which case I will go Ninja on you…I fully understand they are completely irresistible.

Even the usual “double trouble”-type comments, I try to savor to some degree…as I know they won’t last forever.

Since the girls have gotten a little older, though, I’ve started to get much more sensitive to what people actually say.

I don’t want random strangers, well-meaning as they may be, to plant a seed in my girls’ heads that they’re trouble…that they’re a handful…that one is smarter / prettier / more outgoing than the other.

At the grocery store a couple of days ago, we kept running into the same older couple.

The lady was polite, but ultimately she was focused on her shopping. Hmmm…I would like to focus on my shopping as well. The man, though, seemed just along for the ride. He was not interested in matching coupons to brands of oatmeal. It was obvious he was looking for diversions.

Aisle 8
Oh, look, how sweet! Are they twins?
Yes, ma’am! Say, ‘Good morning,’ girls!
B: Good morning!
Double trouble!
Double blessings!

Aisle 6
Hm. Brown eyes and blue eyes. How’d you do that?
Smile sweetly. [Via special order at the Buy One, Get One Free store.]

Aisle 5
How are you girls today?
B: Good.
Brown eyes must not be able to talk.
Oh, she’s a talker. She’s just taking it all in this morning. [And she apparently thinks you’re creepy.]

Aisle 3
You’ve got your hands full driving that limo (referring to my double stroller, behind which I was pulling a full cart).
Yes, sir! I just try not to run over too many toes. [But I could run you down and mow you over, dude.]

In Front of the Bananas
So who’s older?
B: Sissy!
Smile slightly. [Seriously? Are you following us? Or do you just happen to have the exact same grocery list as I do? I could call security, ya know?]

In Front of the Grapes
Who’s the boss? (To B) You’re not going to let your little sister be the boss, are you?
B: Mommy’s the boss!
Good answer, Baby Girl! Tell this nice man to have a good day.
A and B: Have a good day!

[Whew! Made it to the check-out! And no one's following us!]

That’s the thing about the grocery store…I’m there for a reason, and I’m working my way through my list. Oh, and I happen to be on a schedule, too. It’s not like I want to haul my refrigerated items (and my two children…who might eventually like to eat lunch!) over to the sporting goods section to kill some time to allow these folks to get out of my hair.

I know people are well-meaning. And I want my girls to appreciate idle chit-chat with folks in public. But I sometimes wish I could request people think before they speak.

Or maybe I should wear a Ninja outfit???

January 30, 2012

A Scratch or a Pick?...HELP!!!

I worked with this guy one time. Long before we even thought about having children, he volunteered – very much at random, as I remember it – that his children didn’t do gross things. “They don’t pick their noses and eat their boogers. That’s disgusting, and I won’t allow it.”

At the time I thought, “Well, duh…who would allow their children to do gross things???

And now, I can only rationalize that Michael worked long hours and traveled on top of that…such that he was rarely home to witness any grossness.

In the scheme of the world, I feel like the grossness at our house is relatively nominal…or maybe I was just desensitized long ago by projectile spit-up and diaper blowouts.

Still, I counted it as a small victory that I had not had to deal with any nose- / booger-related issues.

Until now.

It’s like Baby B has just discovered her nose, and she is so mesmerized by its spelunking opportunities that she can’t keep her fingers out of it.

Fortunately – KNOCK ON WOOD – everybody is healthy at our house, and her digging has been purely recreational…in that I don’t think she’s scored any gold.

But frankly, I’m at a loss.

There was a day or so that I “counted” her each time I saw her fingers in her nose, and she served a couple of time-outs. Alternately, I’ve told her, “Big girls don’t put their fingers in their noses.”

But I have a boogie!

Well come with Mommy into the bathroom and we’ll get a tissue.”

No avail.

At three years old, I thought we were past the “body exploration” of infanthood.

No?

I’m looking for some advice from you seasoned mamas. Is this a phase that will pass? Should I just ignore it? Should I punish it?

Help, please! I would so like to be able to claim, “My children don’t do gross things!

January 29, 2012

Letting My Guard Down

Literally.

I’m a little ashamed to say that our girls just turned three years old, and – through yesterday – we’ve continued to have them gated in the den.

In my defense, our den is big…it houses all their toys, and there’s plenty of room to run and jump and play. And, more important to note, our house is otherwise very open. There wasn’t a great way to open up just one or two rooms, and I just haven’t felt like I’ve been up for that challenge.

In hindsight, I might have taken the baby gates down long ago. It’s been a little cumbersome (and back-breaking!), lifting them over the gate 100 times a day. And it’s been a bit embarrassing to have people over at times (although I’m hoping that’s my mind playing tricks on me…I think all our friends understand, “ya do what ya gotta do”).

Still, this system has worked for us. I just didn’t feel like my nerves were up to what I anticipated would be some pretty extensive behavior modification.

(I should also note that we haven’t done any baby-proofing in the kitchen. It’s something that Hubby has been quite opposed to, and I just couldn’t trust being able to turn in one direction, risking the girls getting into something dangerous in another direction.)

I wrote a couple of weeks ago that our girls have FINALLY started to respond to time-outs…as in, they HATE it. Woo hoo!!! Having that as a behavior deterrent (as part of the 1-2-3 Magic methodology) has worked wonders for us all.

That in place, I decided it was finally time to take down the big gate dividing the den from the breakfast area / kitchen. (I also reached a compromise with Hubby and put two cabinet locks on the cleaning supplies.)

When the girls woke up this morning, they came downstairs to find their play tent from Aunt Alison set up in the den.

Wowza!!! Who would want to leave that kind of fun???!!!

And so far, so good! I’ve reminded the girls a few times that the den is for playing, the kitchen is not. The same rules apply as always…no reaching up on tables / counters…no crawling or running on the wood floor…you have your cabinets (in the play kitchen), and Mommy has hers.

This feels like a long-overdue change in a lot of respects, but I’m hoping – having waited so long (???) – that it won’t be as bad as I’d feared.

Still…if you don’t hear from me for a couple of days…please stop by to check. There is a remote possibility that the girls will have stuffed me into the oven and are swinging from the chandelier.

January 28, 2012

Love is in the Air

Valentine's Day is just a couple of weeks away, and I've started talking to the girls about it.

We broke out our Valentine's books yesterday, and I've got a handful of crafts in mind.

The girls are definitely starting to feel the buzz.

In response to the heart-patterned shirt I got out for A yesterday, she said, "Ooh, we could wear these hearts for Valentine's Day!"

And one of the first things B told her daddy when he got home was, "Daddy! Valentine's Day is a very special day when we celebrate love!"

I'm even thinking of getting crafty and making a card for the hubs this year. My mind keeps going to this picture that we had taken before the holidays...I love it!


I love all the hearts and glitter and CHOCOLATE surrounding Valentine's Day...and it's so much more fun to share it with our baby girls!

January 27, 2012

Fabulous Friday!

We’ve had our share of rain this week, but we did enjoy a bit of time outside, including a really invigorating jaunt with the jogging stroller. I think it was December 30th, or there about, the last time we did that…way too long! I’m very thankful for that, and so many fabulous things this week!

1) Baby A has been pretending to fold laundry, and she is some kind of serious about it. She buzzes around like it’s her JOB to fold the little doll blankets in the den. And she really does an excellent job of it, matching the corners almost perfectly…that’s my girl!

2) The girls have been really into crafts lately, which just makes me smile. We’ve done lots of water colors, crayons, and stickers. I got out the girls’ scissors one day, and I was so surprised how well they did! Baby A, in particular, cut a piece of paper into about six strips, all by herself. I can foresee our crafting hitting new levels soon!

3) I let the girls help me in the kitchen on Thursday afternoon. I measured out everything to make Strawberry-Kiwi Shortcake, and they had a lot of fun dumping everything together and stirring. They were beyond excited to tell Daddy what they’d made. He was teasing them, calling it “Tall Cake”, though. Baby B didn’t find an ounce of humor in that. She was very defensive over her “Shortcake”.

4) After a particularly good nap on Tuesday, I decided to treat the girls at the yogurt shop. Daddy met us there after school, and we had a sweet time together. I then tempted fate and stopped by the grocery store to pick up a couple of things…sans stroller. I’m so thankful to report we had a successful trip!

5) Baby A woke up early a few days ago, and so she was already downstairs when I got B up. Baby B and I were alone in the bathroom, and I just couldn’t resist telling her how cute she was…sitting on the potty with her bed-head and super-soft fleece pajamas. “And I’m sweet!” she added. Like a dessert!

6) Baby A was trying to tell me something one day, and I just couldn’t understand what word she was getting at. She finally said, “Seep!!! A little lamb!” It’s happened a couple of times where she’s offered an explanation for something, which just amazes me.

7) A very sweet friend sent the girls a couple of new CDs for their birthday. They are in.love. with one, and they request it most mornings after breakfast. It is amazing to me how quickly they’ve picked up on so many words already. And I just love how Baby A asks to dance with me to the first song. She wants me to pick her up (which is rare), and dance around. I very happily oblige.

Hope you had a fabulous week, as well!

January 26, 2012

Goodbye, Nighttime Bottle!

That’s a little over-dramatic…as our girls haven’t actually had a bottle since they were 15 or 16 months old…but we have been holding on to their nighttime milk routine until just recently.

When the girls were infants, countless people told us to “stuff them full” before we put them to bed for the night, to get them to sleep as long as possible. Of course there’s only so much “stuffing” you want to risk with the wee ones, but I appreciated the concept.

Once the girls were a few months old, we had worked up to a rather sizeable bottle of milk, particularly before bedtime. We were blessed with really good sleepers, but the idea of them staying full overnight still made sense to me, and that seemed like a bit of insurance, at least psychologically.

We proceeded in similar fashion until the girls were 18 or 20 months old, and we started to have MAJOR issues with leaky diapers. I tentatively cut back their 12-ounce sippy cups to six or eight ounces. That didn’t directly solve our diaper issues, but I learned that my almost-two-year olds didn’t wake up from hunger, either.

Fast-forward to Round 1 of potty training, when the girls were about 27 months old. Baby A was waking up at the CRACK of DAWN to use the potty.

At that point, I further reduced our end-of-day cups of milk, to about four ounces.

A quick poll of my mommy friends revealed that most had long ago abandoned a nighttime milk routine…but this mama just wasn’t quite ready.

I loved the idea of one last snuggle with our baby girls, just before bed…the same sweet snuggles we’d been enjoying since Day 1. The girls seemed attached to the routine, too.

A couple of weeks ago, though, one of the girls asked for milk with supper (as opposed to water). On a whim, I told her she could have milk at supper, but then she wouldn’t have any before bed.

Both girls agreed. They drank a big cup of milk (I felt safe giving them more than their four-ounce allotment), and there was no fussing before bed.

For the next couple of nights, I gave the girls the option of milk at supper or before bed, and they continued to choose supper. We’ve officially decided that’s our new M.O.

And while I do miss those extra snuggles, it gives us a little more time to “snuggle proper” over our bedtime story.

And – it may be a coincidence – but the girls are more consistently sleeping until 6:30 in the mornings…and I think that makes us all feel more snuggly.

January 24, 2012

For the Love of...Rats???

Before the holidays, a family friend stopped by. She was telling me about someone she knew whose Christmas decorations were mouse-themed. I’m picturing little mice in Santa hats, I guess, but our friend said, “It just creeps me out. I hate rats!

Sponge A and Sponge B, hearing everything, of course, have been asking about rats ever since.

It is almost a daily discussion at our house…

Mommy, why does Nana Audrey hate rats?

Well, some people don’t like rats very much. And let's not use the word 'hate'.

Are rats bad?

Well, maybe some are, but I don’t think all rats are bad.

Do you hate rats?

No, remember, we don’t ‘hate’ anything. And generalizations like that aren’t nice. Remember the little mice we saw at the pet store? They were sweet.

Some rats are sweet, but others are not.”

Well, that could probably be said of many things. We haven’t met all the rats in the world, so we don’t know.

And on…and on…and on.

The girls started with Daddy last night. He did his best to answer their questions…although he was not as “protective” of the rat species’ reputation as I have been.

I finally heard him tell the girls, “That’s enough talk about rats. We’ll talk more about them when you’re older.” And they moved on to dissect another rousing subject.

After the girls were in bed, Hubby asked me what was up with the rat convo. I told him the background, and – clearly creeped out himself – he said, “You know that rats are not mice, right? Rats are disgusting. They carry diseases.

I know, I know. And I have no affinity for mice or rats, I can assure you.

But I want to encourage the girls to form their own opinions about things, based on their own experiences, and not just adopt what they’ve heard in some random context.

It just so happens that rats are the girls’ subject du jour.

And while Hubby agrees with me in theory, I think he would say we could just go ahead and pass judgment on “disease-laden sewer scoundrels”.

Hmmm…another parental quandary, for sure.

January 23, 2012

A Bit About Me, January Edition

My birthday is on February 23, and on the 23rd of each month, I've taken to sharing a couple of random bits about myself. Here 'goes for January...

33) I'm a bit particular about my cereal.

I love eating cold cereal in the mornings. (In college I used to eat it for other meals, too...but I have tried to dispense with that habit since I got a mortgage.) For the last several years, my favorites are Raisin Bran Crunch and Frosted Mini Wheats, the crunch being central in both of those.

So, to optimize said crunch, I wait until the very last second to pour my milk...and I eat in no-time flat, barely pausing to wipe the milk that sometimes dribbles down my chin. Paramount is getting the most crunch out of my bowl!

With the Mini Wheats, I do take the time to turn all the "wheats" so the frosted side is up, out of the milk. Careful analysis has shown that the time expended in such exercise yields more crunch overall. And I always save the one with the most frosting -- the crunchiest! -- for last.

34) I still haven't finished my Christmas cards.

I just mailed about 10 more this week, and I'm trying hard to have everything post-marked by the end of January. But it's not just a matter of addressing cards...in fact, the envelopes are sitting on my counter, already addressed.

Particularly for folks I don't see often, I try to write a little note...and it just takes time. Granted, it shouldn't take me until spring to allocate that time...but it sometimes does. I'm just hoping my "Happy Holidays" message still applies to Groundhog Day.

Oy...February is drawing near! I'd better start planning my birthday dessert!

January 22, 2012

A Celebration to Remember!

Here are pictures from the girls' birthday party last weekend. We had such a fun time...the girls have played "party" every day -- multiple times -- since then.

Before the party started, I caught Baby A oogling over the cupcakes. The look of anticipation on her face and her death-grip on the table is just priceless to me!

The girls enjoyed their pizza, as Granddaddy looked on...

After pizza, we sang "Happy Birthday" to the girls...Baby A first...

...and then to Baby B. Both girls sang to themselves, but B was especially animated, clapping at the end of the song. And she blew out her candles with no help! In this picture, she was giving Mommy a high-five for her expert candle-blowing technique.


After cupcakes, everyone enjoyed some yogurt. The girls were even kind enough to share with Mommy!


And then, despite what had to have been a huge sugar-high, the girls sat down to work on their sticker activity cards...here, with a little help from "Grandma" June.

And it so warms my heart that we were joined by all our closest friends to honor our baby girls.

Here are M & C, who are 9 1/2 months younger than the girls. (They may have been the talk of the party in their matching train applique sweater vests and plaid button-downs...so stinkin' cute!)

Here are K & K, born two weeks after the girls, working on their sticker cards with Miss Bethane' . You can tell the girls apart since one's hair is ever-so-slightly curlier than the other's...HA!

Here are E & L, the babies of the group at 13 months old. A & B just L-O-V-E them, and their sweet parents, too. Here is Baby A, giving a special party favor to Miss Rachel for the babies.


Here is Mr. J, 9 months older than the girls, and his baby sister, A, who is 6 months old...the only non-twins at the party. A & B also L-O-V-E this baby girl!

Here is Miss Krista and her girls M & A, who are 4 months younger than A & B, along with their big brother J, who is 5. These are our sweet neighbors...we've logged hundreds of miles together with our girlies in their strollers!


And here are the Borders. K & S were born one week before A & B. (There are two pictures, as I just couldn't choose a favorite!) We love these guys!!!




This was truly an awesome celebration of the most awesome three years!

January 21, 2012

Mama Loves...Watercolors!

Since long before our girls were born, I dreamed of hours spent coloring with my children...doing arts and crafts...cutting and pasting and hole-punching.

I bought the girls their first crayons when they were about 15 months old, but they didn't really show much interest for the first few months. By the time the girls were around 21 months old, though, they loved to scribble and use stickers.

And then I got brave and introduced finger paints to them. They loved those, too...but Mommy had to really psyche herself up for the inherent MESS.

The girls were generally good about following directions...only putting their hands on the paper (and not their heads)...but -- even using washable paint -- it still took some fervent scrubbing to clean the girls' hands. And, of course while we scrubbed Baby A's hands, Baby B was asked to sit nice and tall and straight with her paint-covered hands. ((deep breaths...toes crossed...pleeeease let her be patient!))

A couple of months ago, I bought some watercolors for the girls.

I think we've found a new favorite medium!

I have been really impressed how the girls hold the brush so nicely, and I think 99.5% of the paint has stayed on the paper.

Once I figured out to give the girls each a small bowl of water (it only takes a tiny bit) in a heavy ramekin -- as opposed to a paper bowl -- we haven't had any spills.

And...I think the watercolors meld together to make some really pretty creations, too...


...and Baby B's self-proclaimed "rainbows" can't help but make me smile!


I'm linking up with sweet Julia at Pontifications of a Twin Mom for Mama Loves again today. Thanks, Julia, for sharing what you and other mamas are loving!

January 20, 2012

Fabulous Friday!

I haven't "accurately" counted to five -- as in "Fab 5 Friday" -- for a long time. It's not that my math skills are waning that much...but I'm having a hard time narrowing down the fabulousness of my week to just five points. And I'm OK with that. So here, the top seven reasons our week was fabulous...

1) I know I have to be careful with B’s “mothering” tendencies, but I can hardly stand the cuteness when she calls her sister “Baby”. Baby A will ask a question, and if I don’t jump in quickly, B will say, “Yes, Baby, this is Monday,” or “No, Baby, it’s not time for lunch.”

2) Every day for nap, I take Baby B upstairs first, and Baby A’s job is to get their baby dolls tucked in for their nap. She takes her job very seriously…a blanket under them, a blanket covering them, with them positioned together just right. And she is always so proud to show me what a great job she did.

3) While I was making lunch one day, the girls were “cooking” in their kitchen. I loved listening to their dialogue. “I’m dicing some cucumbers…I’m washing the lettuce…here’s your pizza and broccoli…here’s the milk from the milking cow…wait a minute, let me get a steak knife.” I don’t make a habit of dreaming about what they’ll be when they grow up, but I couldn’t help but think about a Dynamic Duo cooking show…HA!

4) One morning Baby A woke up earlier than B, so I had her downstairs with me. Daddy didn’t realize B was still asleep in her room, and he turned on the light in the hallway. I immediately heard B start singing the Beatles, “Here comes the sun, little darling, here comes the sun / and I say, it’s all right…” as I used to do with them every morning as I turned on the light in their room.

5) I’ve been talking to the girls almost non-stop since the day they were born, and they long ago picked up on the idea of narration. Baby A made me laugh one morning as we went into the bathroom. “Yep! That’s my bathtub! That’s where I wash my hair!” Her tone of voice was priceless, as if she were giving a tour.

6) We had snow on Thursday night and Friday. I knew the girls would be excited when they woke up, and they did spend quite a bit of time looking outside. At one point, A said, “That snow is amazing!

7) I try to make the girls aware of various musical instruments. They can name quite a few that we see in magazines and books, and they’ll ask “Is that a piano / guitar / drums?” when we’re listening to a song. They didn’t know the cultural significance of what they asked a few days ago, but in essence they asked me to show them how to play “air guitar”. Even funnier? We were listening to an acoustic CD!

Hope you had a fabulous week, too!

January 19, 2012

Time-Out Emotions

I first tried instituting time-outs as part of our disciplinary approach when the girls were just shy of two years old. They really didn’t react to it, but I hoped that consistency on my part would help them get the message.

It wasn’t long before time-out seemed to become a novelty. “I want to go to time out!” they’d ask. And those requests were all the more prevalent if Sissy had recently served a two-minute sentence.

I took a break from the time-out methodology for a while. It clearly wasn’t making much of an impression.

In need of a disciplinary system, I decided to revisit the time-out approach [as part of the 1-2-3 Magic methodology] this past fall, when the girls were a couple of months shy of three.

And it’s not that I relished the screams of my sweet baby girls, but I was glad that they finally both decided time out was, indeed, NOT a good thing.

That was really integral in the 1-2-3 methodology being effective for us, and – by and large – it has been.

On the first offense, “That’s one.”

But I don’t want to go to time out!

Well behave nicely, then.

And usually, they do. There are days when their three-year old memory banks seem a bit shallow, and they sometimes make it to time-out before straightening themselves up...

...but it’s clear to them both that time-out is not to be desired.

I had to laugh (to myself, very discreetly) a couple of days ago. Baby A had earned herself a three- minute time-out, and she was not happy about it. She was crying, and then she began pleading, over and over, “I don’t belong here! I don’t belong here!

[I couldn't help but think of a prisoner, pleading his case from his jail cell, to anyone in earshot. Hmmm...perhaps I've read one too many legal thrillers in my time.]

And last night, Hubby was playing some Elton John for the girls. He told them that the title of the next cut was “Sad Songs”. Baby A volunteered, “Sometimes I get sad when I am in time-out.”

It was too cute, and sweet, and kinda pitiful…but – particularly after the time-out parties the girls seemed to want to have this time a year ago – I’m actually glad it’s making an impression on them.

January 18, 2012

Gettin' Our Craft On, Birthday Style!

Our girls love books.
Our girls love cupcakes.
Our girls love to craft.

On their birthday, we got creative and combined all three.

Our inspiration was a Corduroy book we bought several months ago.


Corduroy realizes one morning that it is his best friend Lisa’s birthday. When she leaves for school, he decides to make her a cake…but all he makes is a huge mess in the kitchen (…as if I needed a reminder not to let the girls loose with a mixer anytime soon!).

To escape the mess he made, he hides in the sewing room. He feels terrible…until he discovers the most beautiful buttons and ribbons and bows. He becomes inspired to decorate a hat box for Lisa as a gift…which she later exclaims looks like a “Corduroy cake”. Corduroy made Lisa’s birthday special in his own special way.

I started by letting the girls comb through my big tub of buttons – something they love to do – to pick out three favorites. Then, using a combination of tactile materials, we created birthday cupcakes…each with three candles, of course.


The cupcake liners we made from coffee filters. Our cupcakes were felt, adorned with buttons. Ribbon, topped with glittering sequins, accounted for our candles.


Unless I’m one-on-one with the girls, I don’t turn them loose with a bottle of glue. I spread glue on the coffee filter and felt and let them place those pieces on our cardstock. I ran the ribbon through my Xyron to create a “ribbon sticker”, and I put dots of glue for them to place the buttons and sequins.

They had a great time, and they continue to have fun comparing their activity to their beloved Corduroy.


I’m linking up with Adventures-in-Mommy-Land for Hey, Mom! Look What I Did! Thanks to Charlene for her awesome crafting inspiration, much of which is book-inspired, too!

And I’m guest-posting today on Pontifications of a Twin Mom as part of her Specially Christmas series. Thank you for the opportunity, sweet Julia! Psst…my post includes a recipe!

January 17, 2012

A Mama's Tender Touch

As an ice breaker for a discussion on cold and flu season at our MoMs group last fall, we were asked to share our most poignant childhood memory of being sick.

Someone shared about being sick over Christmas; someone talked about having gotten sick after having too many cherry cough drops, and she can’t stand anything cherry-flavored to this day.

I told a story about being sick when I was about six.

My mom and I were sitting on the floor of the den playing games, likely an early-80’s game show on TV. She had been letting me drink Sprite, a rare treat. I asked for something to more to drink, and she said I should drink some water, since I’d had too much soda. I pleaded for Sprite, “It will make me feel better!

She answered me sternly, that I needed water, and left to go to the kitchen. She brought back a glass of clear liquid with ice, and I pouted. “Mom, I want Sprite!” “Mandy, just drink it,” she told me. And what did I find when I touched the glass to my lips?

Sprite, of course. And she smiled.

There’s nothing like a mama’s tender touch when you’re sick. And no matter how old we get, aren’t there times when we all think, “I just want my mama!

Since becoming a mama myself, I know there’s absolutely nothing worse than having a sick baby. It almost physically hurts my heart to know one of my girls doesn’t feel well.

What warms my heart, though, is knowing they look to me for comfort. I can’t always provide physical comfort from a sore throat or a sick tummy, but I can cuddle and snuggle and stroke their hair…and I know there’s comfort in that.

It’s surely the same comfort my mom provided to me, and her mother, to her…that must certainly shape us to care for our babies the way only a mama can.

January 15, 2012

Celebrating Our Little Ladybugs

We celebrated the girls' third birthday party yesterday at our local yogurt shop, one of their very favorite destinations.

The girls were ladybugs for Halloween, and not long thereafter we decided to celebrate our little "ladies'" birthday with a ladybug theme.

Here's a sneak peek at our decorations...bright pink, bright yellow, and lots of black spots!

Part of the birthday banner...

Sticker activity and goody bags...


The goody bags each had a little wind-up ladybug and a magnifying glass, for "real" bug hunting.

Here's the sticker activity, as displayed by Baby A. At the bottom, there were stickers for each child to spell his/her name, declaring, "I can count!"

Our ladybug cupcakes...a pink bug for A, and yellow for B...and mini's for all our guests...

Napkins and utensils in bright yellow and pink buckets tied with black polka-dot ribbon...and it wouldn't be our party without WET WIPES!!!


And here are Mommy, Daddy, and our precious guests of honor!


We had a great time, and we so appreciate our friends and family coming together to celebrate with us!

January 14, 2012

I Don't Feel Well...Take Care of Me!

For Christmas, Aunt Alison gave the girls a doctor kit, and they have had so much fun with it. They play with it off and on all day, every day.

The preferred role seems to be that of the patient. It took me a couple of days to realize the new cries of “I don’t feel well! Take care of me!” weren’t actually cause for my alarm. Rather that’s one of the girls asking her sister to play doctor.

The girls listen to each others’ chests with the stethoscope, look in each others’ ears and mouths, take blood pressure readings, give shots (which only hurt for a second, and then it will be all better!), and apply band-aids with great expertise.


And I can’t get enough of them explaining things to each other in the most patient way.

Now let me listen to your chest. OK. Now let me take your temperature. Uh-oh! You have a fever. Now let me give you a shot. It’s OK, Baby, don’t worry…you’ll feel better soon!

The girls also take care of their baby dolls, and play vet to their stuffed dogs, mice, and dolphins.

And the icing on the cake? I credit all the doctor play with helping the girls not to be afraid during their three-year checkup last week. They knew what to expect from Dr. F, and they even pointed out his “stethoscope” to him. And for the first time ever, no tears!

I’m linking up this week with my sweet friend Julia for Mama Loves, as this is one of our favorite toys. And this mama sure does love seeing her girlies taking such good care of each other.

January 13, 2012

Fab 5 (or 6) Friday!

Very thankful for another fabulous week with my baby girls!

1) We had a fantastic play date with my friend Demara’s twin boys M&C this week. The boys got a train set for Christmas, very similar to the one A&B got, and we were anxious to get the kiddos together to play. At this age, there’s still not a great deal of interactive play, but the girls had an awesome time, and we hope they did, too!

2) Miss Demara made a beautiful lunch for us, including delicious sandwich wraps. The girls ate part of their servings at her house, but the wraps must have made a bigger impression. I decided to try my hand at a ham and cheese wrap for them later in the week, and they devoured it. “You and Miss Demara make good wraps!” B said.

3) In preparation for the girls’ birthday party, I needed to pick up a couple of things at the dollar store this week. After several pep talks, I decided to let the girls walk in with me – sans stroller. I was nervous…as there’s so much stuff…everywhere...but they did great! I found two little buckets for their party. I gave them each one to carry, and they were set! My big girls even made a little conversation with the clerk.

4) One afternoon this week, I was feeling extremely tired, and Daddy was going to be home late. I told the girls Mommy needed to close her eyes for a few minutes. I lay down with a pillow and blanket on the floor of the den. At first the girls climbed all over me, but after a minute or so, they settled down. Then I felt my Sweet Baby A…she was stroking my hair, and then my face. It was keeping me from resting, but it sure lifted my spirits!

5) While I was making supper one evening, I heard the girls decide to play hide-and-seek. It was so funny to observe. B stood in the corner and counted to 10, while A was to hide. Baby A kept getting antsy, though, and she would run and goose her sister from behind. B kept telling her, “You’re supposed to hide!” They were squealing and laughing like nobody’s business.

6) Baby B has said some of the funniest things lately. One of my favorites was over dinner, when I made split pea soup. “I was disappointed because I hadn’t had peas in a while. But I’m not disappointed now, because we’re having peas.” I hate to disappoint the babes, ya know?!

Hope you had your share of fabulousness this week, too!

January 11, 2012

Party Planning!

The girls' third birthday party is this weekend. Last night, as I was surrounded by close to 100 ladybugs in various shapes and sizes (working on decorations and favors), I couldn't help but think back to the girls' first birthday party.

This year, we'll continue to count our blessings, surrounded by family...

...and friends...
We'll play...

...and sing...

...and be silly...

...all the wonderful things a birthday party should contain, at any age.

But I'm kinda hoping we might not be quite as messy...



...but no guarantees there!

Linking up with Miss Cheryl at Twinfatuation for Way Back Whenesday today. Thanks for encouraging this trip down memory lane!

January 10, 2012

And the Winner Is...

And the winner of the I See Me! personalized book giveaway is...

...Strong Blonde!

Congratulations! I hope you and your sweet babes will love this book as much as we do.

Oh, and speaking of winners, in case you didn't hear the resounding "ROLL TIDE!!!" coming from the deep south last night...

CONGRATULATIONS to The University of Alabama on their [21-0 shut-out smack-down] victory to win the BCS National Football Championship!

***

The girls don't have a real concept of football, but I like to pretend they do. When they woke up this morning, I said, "Guess what?!?!"

What, Mommy???

"Alabama won their big game last night!!!"

I'm proud to report they at least had the wherewithal to say "ROLL TIDE!" in response (although, in fairness, they do that at most any mention of the state of Alabama).

January 9, 2012

The Tradition Continues

In honor of The University of Alabama playing for its 14th NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP tonight...

When the girls were about 18 months old, I posted "The Top 13 Ways You Know You Might Be a Bama Fan."

The list included things like the girls' first 'sign' being "Touchdown, Alabama!"...and how I avoided certain color combinations in sippy cups (blue / orange, yellow / purple...boo! hiss!).

The list has expanded in the last 18 months, of course.

The girls not only know the chorus to "Sweet Home Alabama" and sing it with such energy, but they request it almost every time we get in the car. Upon hearing the first few notes, they even say, "WHOO! Turn it up!" They may do all of this with a slight southern twang.

The girls insisted on wearing their football jerseys on our trip to Alabama before Christmas. Forget that Mommy had a cute little penguin shirt in mind...they heard "Alabama" and they knew what that meant!

The girls can only spell a handful of words, but BAMA is right at the top of the list.

The girls yell "ROLL TIDE!" whenever they hear the word Alabama or football...no matter what they're doing, or if it's roughly in context.

The girls also yell "ROLL TIDE!" when they see an Auburn logo on a flag or decal.

The girls can discern the Alabama script "A" from other capital A's.

Interestingly, the girls have never actually seen a football game...but when they do one day, they're gonna be some kinda ready!

Even though we don't live in God's Country (i.e. Alabama), I'm doing my best to raise my girlies with some down-home Alabama Pride!

Let the indoctrination continue!

Here, at 6 1/2 months...the first picture I have of the girls BOTH smiling...a coincidence? I think not!


Here, at 20 months (still sporting those 6-9 month onesies)...

And here, at 2 1/2, finally in big-kid jerseys...


We're Dixie's football pride, Roll Tide, Roll Tide!!! Bring home another one, Bama!

January 8, 2012

Super Stuff on a Sunday

So much super-fabulous stuff for which to be thankful this week!

1) We’ve had quite a bit of unseasonably-warm weather lately, and we’ve been taking advantage of it. We made an impromptu trip to the park on New Year’s Eve, a different one than we usually go to. The girls were so brave playing on the new equipment, and they were really well-behaved, too. It gives me hope that…one day…I can attempt a park visit with them by myself. Here’s to 2012!

2) After our park time on New Year’s Eve, we took the girls to the first time to a Greek restaurant. They devoured the pita bread and tzatziki sauce, and they particularly loved the sauteed mushrooms. It was definitely a fun experience!

3) We’ve had a few occasions to run around in the side lawn this week, and the girls are beginning to get a very basic idea of playing tag. They SQUEAL with delight when you run at them…Baby A so much so one time that she let out a humongous SNORT!

4) On New Year’s Day, the girls helped me make pigs-in-a-blanket, and we had “knick-knacks” (appetizers) for lunch. They’ve been pretending to eat “knick-knacks” with their baby dolls all week.

5) We took the girls to the pediatrician on Monday for their three-year visit…and they didn’t cry!!! My babies were such big girls! To celebrate, we went to lunch at the girls’ restaurant of choice, a sit-down place downtown (which happens to be one of Mommy's favorite places, too!).

6) Daddy went back to work on Tuesday after a two-week holiday vacation. While we miss having him home, it was nice to get back to our routine…and the girls did a great job with the transition. (Some times in the past have been a bit challenging!)

7) The girls have been enjoying their MagnaDoodles they got for Christmas. They love to ask me to draw things for them, and then they’ll try to draw. Their favorite subject? “I’m drawing darkness,” which means they’re coloring everything in. I think it sounds poetic. HA!

8) Just this morning, the girls were cooking in their kitchen. I overheard them say, “Here’s some broccolini.” Broccoli? I asked. “No, broccolini.” Love.these.girlies.

9) Our beloved Miss Jennifer, who’s been coming to hang out with the girls one afternoon a week for the last year, is doing a study abroad this semester. (I’m still in denial!) I was so incredibly touched that she stopped by to see the girls the day before she was leaving. I knew she was super busy, and I expected her to stay 10 or 15 minutes. She spent over an hour, just hanging out and playing! It’s such an awesome feeling to know how much she really loves the girls…and they, her, of course.

10) And the quotes of the week? Baby A always points out the cardinal directions on the map. She was talking to her animals, and she explained, “Upstairs means north, and downtown means south.” Good try, Babe! And we had snow on and off on Monday. It took me a while to discern that “snow fairies” were what the girls were calling “snow flurries”. I kinda like their version!

And of course, the most important things…celebrating the girls’ THIRD BIRTHDAY, and a HEALTHY REPORT from the pediatrician!

January 6, 2012

Third Birthday Play-by-Play, Part II

[I took over 100 pictures on the girls' birthday, such that I had to break down their birthday play-by-play into two posts! Following yesterday's morning details, here's the second half of our day...]

After a fun-filled morning, the girls couldn't quite settle down for a nap (the only challenge of the day). We got in some extra play time and a little more crafting...


...before we bundled up for an afternoon walk.

The girls had some more play time with Daddy (they were so happy to show him the soccer uniform in their dress-up puzzle!)...



...while Mommy cooked supper. I made one of the girls' favorite meals, baked shrimp scampi with portabella mushrooms, over rice.

The girls wasted no time in digging in!


After supper, the girls opened one more present each, a couple of new books.

And then it was time for dessert, candles, and the singing (twice!) of "Happy Birthday!"

The girls were exhausted after such a big day, but they always have time for bedtime snuggles with Daddy.


Happy birthday, Baby A! Happy birthday, Baby B! We had an awesome day with our two most awesome baby girls!

Here are links to the girls' FIRST and SECOND birthday play-by-plays. Some things are the same...like morning and nighttime snuggles, lunch with Aunt Shanda at Garcia's, lots of playtime, and Mommy's chocolate molten lava cake for dessert...but the changes from year to year are so incredible!

Third Birthday Play-by-Play

My sweet friend Jenny does an awesome play-by-play of her kiddos' birthday every year. I'm thankful that her twinnies are a week older than A and B so I could borrow her idea from the get-go.

I have had so much fun documenting the girls' special day each year, and what a fun look back it will be, to see exactly what we were doing when they were one, two, and now, three!

The girls woke up at 6:22, right on schedule...Baby A's schedule, anyway. (She's been on a 6:22 kick for weeks now, somehow not a minute earlier or later.) We usually head directly to the potty before even turning on the light, but the girls begrudgingly honored my request for early morning pictures.


We headed downstairs, where the girls snuggled on the couch, in anticipation of opening a couple of birthday presents.

The girls opened a gift from Aunt GG...

...kitty slippers!!! Baby A had so much fun traipsing around in GG's slippers during Christmas, and now they have their own. Here they are, "petting" their kitties...


There were more morning snuggles, here, with Mommy...

...followed by opening a gift from Mommy and Daddy, magnetic dress-up puzzles!


After Daddy went to work, Mommy made the girls' favorite breakfast, French toast!


We played and played, and then enjoyed a special birthday craft, decorating a felt cupcake!


We then headed to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, where we met Aunt Shanda and Aunt Karen. We've done this every year...Aunt Shanda was there when the girls were born, and Aunt Karen, shortly thereafter, so we just have to share our birthday with them!


As a super-special treat, Daddy was able to stop by for a quick midday birthday kiss...and he brought CUPCAKES!

The girls have been fascinated with cupcakes for the past year (although they have had them only a handful of times). I told them they would have cupcakes at their birthday party...but they didn't expect any today! They were thrilled!!!



Stay tuned for tomorrow's exciting conclusion of the girls' third birthday. It was such a fun, full day!
 
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