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September 29, 2012

Super 8 on a Saturday



Despite a little snot here and there, it's been a pretty super week overall!

1)      Baby A has been really inventive during “quiet time” most days this week.  One day she made the most amazing repeating pattern with her magnetic shapes…I was truly impressed!  And one day she managed to build a block tower using every single block we have…it was taller than her head!

2)      One morning I dressed the girls for school in “skinny” jeans.  They’re just a bit long on the girls, and Baby A took it upon herself to roll her pants up a couple of times while I was dressing B.  I couldn’t help but laugh at her throw-back to 1991 tight-rolled jeans.  [And no, I did not let her go to school like that!  HA!]

3)      Baby B wasn’t feeling well one day, and I gave her some ibuprofen.  I asked her later if she felt better, and she first tried to tell me, “My medicine soaked in.  I told her she probably meant that her medicine “kicked” in.  The medicine circulated through my body, right, Mommy?  I felt schooled.

4)      And B was up a few times one night with a runny nose.  I felt so bad for her, knowing she was uncomfortable, but I couldn’t help but smile at her manners.  Every time she called for me, it was, “Mommy, please wipe my nose!  And then one time, maybe I was taking longer to get there than she thought I should, and she added in the most pitiful voice, “Mommy, please wipe my little nose!  HA!

5)      The girls had a BLAST hosting Flat Stanley this week.  They loved having him join them at the table for every meal…they made elaborate high chairs and beds for him using blocks…and they enjoyed showing him around town. 

6)      At the girls’ school, there is a miniature collie named Jack who “works” in the office.  The girls L-O-V-E him.  They love most all animals they see, but always from a distance.  I was SO impressed this week when they agreed to pet Jack.  That’s a huge milestone in our little world!

7)      Over breakfast this morning, B said, “I wish every day could be Saturday and Sunday.”  Why, Sweetie? I prompted.  So we could be home with Daddy.”  Awwww.

8)      Also over breakfast, B brought up English Premier League soccer.  Daddy, does Chelsea have a big game today?  After some discussion of Chelsea’s schedule and their opponents, A added, “Is Chelsea’s goal keeper Peter Czech?  Their daddy was so proud!

So thankful for the little things!

September 28, 2012

Missing My Cloak



When the girls were about 16 months old, I wrote a post entitled, “The Cloak of Oblivion”. 

I did my best to engage the girls…reading countless books every day, playing to their hearts’ desires, and narrating every last detail seemingly incessantly.  Occasionally, though, I just needed a break…a chance to sit quietly and rest my brain and my vocal chords, or perhaps indulge in a caffeinated confection.

I tried not to do it too often, but – when the circumstances dictated – I would load the girls in the car and make a loop through the Starbucks drive-thru.  I rationalized that the girls were enjoying the sights along the way, and listening to kiddie music during the 15-minute round-trip.  If I didn’t want to leave the house, I could at least escape across the baby gate, to the comfort of the kitchen, and enjoy a mini Kit Kat. 

The girls were blissfully oblivious to Mommy needing a break…and that little break really did this mommy good!

As I may have mentioned (tears dripping on my keyboard as I typed), Baby A has decided she’s too old to nap.  All in all, we’re doing OK.  B still naps for about an hour and a half, and A plays [mostly] quietly for an hour-ish, and then she and I enjoy a little bit of one-on-one time.

This is well and good, and I know it’s part of the natural evolution as the girls grow older…EXCEPT…it means that I have ZERO time BY MYSELF during the course of the day. 

Additionally, the girls are anything but blissfully oblivious.  They are the most curious of kitty cats.  I am ultimately very thankful they are so inquisitive…but boy, does it leave me missing my cloak at times.

There’s zero chance I can sneak into the kitchen for a bite of chocolate.  (Now I understand those “jokes” about moms hiding in the closet to eat a candy bar!)

The girls are not usually game for a nice little ride into town, for the sole purpose of Mommy getting a coffee.

Heck, from sunup to sundown, I don’t even go to the bathroom by myself.

Oh, what I wouldn’t sometimes give for a new cloak…but I guess it would have to one of invisibility, and I’m thinking that’s not very likely.

To the positive, I guess I’ll be thankful that my diet is perhaps a little better these days, my indulgences so limited.  That's ultimately a good thing, especially with the holiday candy season upon us (defined [by me] as the time between Halloween and Easter, when all the good candy is available).  

September 26, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Turtles...Yes, Please!

I'll admit I went to the store looking for Candy Corn M&M's.  I couldn't find them, but since I'd gone with the express intent of buying chocolate, I felt I couldn't leave empty-handed.  I bought a bag of Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kisses, my dreams of fall-inspired confections satisfied.

I first made these Pumpkin Spice Kiss Cookies, and they were deee-lish!

I still had half a bag or so of Kisses in the pantry, and they were begging me to eat them.  [You may recall I have zero willpower, and sweets, in particular, almost literally seem to call me.]

Hmmm...what goes with pumpkin spice deliciousness???  Pecans, of course!  And my idea of Pumpkin Spice Turtles was born from there.

For the past few holidays, I've been making Pretzel Turtles, a Rolo melted on top of a pretzel, topped with a pecan half...but instead of Rolos, I used Pumpkin Spice Kisses.  Viola!  The perfect fall combination, a taste and texture delight!

So easy...SO delicious...and the girlies even helped me!

Count out Kisses and unwrap them.  (A great fine-motor activity, by the way!)

Place Kisses on pretzels -- I like the little square ones.

Place assembled pretzel-Kisses on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 275 degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, until Kisses are very soft, but not runny. 

While the Kisses are in the oven, count out your pecans...find the pretty ones!

Here are my melty Kisses.

Top each with a pecan half, pressing down slightly.  (I did this, as I still don't trust the girls near a hot pan.)
I allowed the pan to cool about 10 minutes, and then I put the pan in the freezer for 20 or 30 minutes to set.

I will say that these turtles never completely set up like the Rolo turtles do.  The only impact that has, I think, is that I wouldn't stack these in a gift basket, but rather serve them on a single-layer plate.





ENJOY!!!

September 25, 2012

Letting Go My Hold in the Laundry Room



When the girls were infants, I was a nutcase about most everything…including laundry.  I treated each and every stain (and there were a lot of those!)…including stains on washcloths, burp cloths, and bibs.

Eventually, as we were nearing the point of needing a second mortgage to finance our OxiClean consumption, I began to let the burp cloths and washcloths slide.  And later I even began to let the bibs go.  [I have always maintained a laser focus on all outerwear, though!]

Once the laundry was done, I had a complex system for sorting, folding, and putting things away.  The craziest one was probably my washcloth classification.

On average I had six or eight different brands of washcloths.  I sorted each brand into piles.  And then I organized the piles by preference.  My very favorite washcloths were on the top of the pile, followed by my next favorite…the bottom of the pile was home to the washcloths I didn’t like very much, the ones that – if I did laundry frequently enough – I wouldn’t even have to use.  Score!

It’s only been within the past year that I abandoned my washcloth classification system.  It’s actually made a positive difference in the time it takes to fold the girls’ laundry!

Over the past few months, I’ve been having the girls “help” me in the house from time to time.  It’s still much easier to fold laundry after hours, when they’re in bed, but I do it during the day occasionally so they can have a hand in it.

I’m so proud of myself for turning over the washcloth stacking duty to the girls.  The pile of washcloths is now a far cry from its heyday three years ago, but it works.

The washcloths are stacked…not very neatly…and not even facing the same way…and certainly not grouped by brand.  Baby A did sort them by color one day last week, though, and I couldn’t help but beam.

The next frontier is the girls’ sock bin.  Baby A has just learned to “ball” socks together.  By three-year old standards, I think she does an excellent job…but there go my beautiful, uniform rows of socks.

Deep breaths.  I can do this.  One day, I might even turn over the silverware drawer.  Maybe.

September 24, 2012

Super Stuff (LATE) on a Monday!



 It's been a pretty super week here at A&B Enterprises.  Here are the highlights -- some big, some little -- that I just don't want to forget...

1)      Last Saturday we got together with our MoMs group at our local orchard.  I was so proud of the girls for helping me set up, and then playing so nicely for over two hours.  They were fine to be in and out of the pavilion (where I mostly was), and back and forth between their daddy and me. 

2)      On Tuesday night we went to our friends’ house for dinner, M&C’s parents.  I love-love-love seeing our kiddos play together, and I love-love-love having friends where we feel so at home in their house.

3)      The girls have been playing some of the funniest pretend games lately…of their own invention.  They’ve been rescuing all manner of babies and animals from atop the couch, as they yell, “Man overboard!  And they take turns hiding behind a door…”Let’s play ‘Trapped’!” they’ll say.  Apparently one pretends to be a clown, coming to “goose” the other one.  It always results in squeals and fits of giggles.

4)      Thursday night we attended a potluck dinner at the girls’ school.  They were so excited to show their daddy their classroom, and to introduce him to their teacher.  And I was so proud of them...they ate so well and behaved like little ladies!

5)      As we were getting the girls ready for bed one night, I came around the corner to find my husband with the most horrified look on his face.  WHAT did you say???” he was asking B.  Bedtime SUCKS!” she repeated, and giggled.  I was astounded…until I figured out she was saying, Bedtime SOCKS!  Her little feet must have been cold.  Bwahahaha!

6)      Baby A loves to help me with laundry.  Her jobs are typically stacking up washcloths, putting socks together, and folding underwear.  She and I were spread out on the kitchen table one afternoon, while B was napping.  I had to call the cable company, and I decided that was a good a time as any.  Of course that was the one time they answered right away, as Baby A decided to narrate everything she was doing.  Pink panties!!!  Yellow panties!!!  Panties with cupcakes!!!  

7)      It was a gorgeous early-fall day on Saturday, so we made a quick decision to head to the zoo…we had such a great time!  The girls know the zoo so well, they can tell you which exhibit is coming next.  I love that they remembered the names of the giraffes!  And our favorite part of this trip was seeing three clouded leopard cubs playing so sweetly, like clumsy little toddlers.  We even saw one scale a tall tree, only to turn around immediately and head down – head first!  The girls are still talking about that.

8)      The girls have very big hearts for animals, coupled with vivid imaginations.  They often like to pretend they have some little animal in their pockets (maybe like an imaginary friend?), and they’ll often carry that game through the day.  At the zoo, one of the girls was pretending to have a lemur in her pocket, and the other, a meerkat.  The girls got quite a few giggles as they walked along, “talking” to their pretend pets. 

9)      The girls are doing so well with their scissors!  Every week they cut out pictures from magazines for their preschool alphabet activities.  Given that, I hadn’t asked them if they wanted to “practice” with their scissors for quite a while.  On Sunday afternoon, they asked me to draw some shapes for them to cut, and they kept busy (through three or four sets of shapes) for close to an hour!

10)   Baby A has been writing her name for about six months now, but B wasn’t showing much interest.  (In fairness, B’s name is twice as long as A’s, and has many more letters!)  In the last couple of weeks, B has been making a huge effort, and doing a great job!  I am certain she’s been motivated by the envelopes of pictures that they take to school each week.  B won’t let her sissy be the only one with her name written in crayon!

11)   I picked up several sets of wooden dominoes from the Target dollar section a couple of weeks ago.  The girls are IN LOVE.  Every night after supper, they ask to play.  It’s been great motivation for them to clean the den…”We can play as soon as you put your toys away!  Instead of numbers, the set we’ve been playing with has letters.  It’s very straight-forward, but perfect for my girlies.

So thankful for this time with my girlies!
 
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