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October 31, 2012

Our Annual Family Photo

I can't say I planned it this way exactly, but we've somehow managed to have an annual family photo made each year on Halloween.

I'm so thankful one of my besties was able to stop by this afternoon before our little butterflies "flitted" off to see a few of our neighbors.

I think this is a great addition to our collection!


And because you know I can't resist a good comparison photo...




Happy Halloween, from our family to yours!!!

October 30, 2012

Attitude at the Dinner Table



I have long prided myself in what and how our girls eat.  They have very adventurous palates, eating everything we eat with the exception of raw sushi (which they desperately want to try!).  They eat a very balanced diet, and they truly love so many wonderfully healthy foods.

I have taken a matter-of-fact approach to food (since the girls were 15 months old or so).  "This is what we're having for supper."  There's no begging or pleading or threats.  "If you are finished, you may be excused."  I usually serve a variety of foods on our plates, and ultimately I rationalize that it's against human nature to starve oneself.

The only real power struggle we have had was when the girls were about 22 months old.  I was trying to coax them to eat with a spoon, so I gave them some flavored yogurt after supper one night, something they’d never really had before.  They LOVED it, and they worked SO hard to get it from the bowl to their mouths. 

The next day, I did the same.  The third day, the girls started crying when I gave them their supper.  YOGURT!!!” they demanded.  They absolutely refused to eat any of their supper.  And I absolutely refused to give them yogurt.

I took them out of their high chairs and put them in the den.  They SCREAMED.  I asked every five minutes or so if they were ready for supper.  It took a good 30 minutes before they finally accepted they would be getting supper – not yogurt.  (And that, by the way, was the end of the yogurt experiment!)

I remember that exchange so clearly, even though it was close to two full years ago. 

Over the past couple of days, Baby A has tried to show some attitude.

I will often treat the girls to a tiny little afternoon treat if they’ve had a good nap (or these days, if Baby A has played well during “quiet time”).  Yesterday, nap / quiet time was abysmal.  I gave the girls a very “standard” snack, a few cheese crackers and some almonds.  They certainly were not deserving of M&Ms, which A asked for.

I told her no, and gave the snack bowls to them.  Baby A then started whining that she didn’t have enough.  I told her that she hadn’t eaten a good supper the past couple of nights, so I wasn’t going to give her a big snack.

She got so mad, she got up from the table and emptied her bowl into the trash.

Wha???

And then she started to cry (and cry and cry) that she was hungry. 

I remained matter-of-fact, and told her that she threw her snack away, so she wouldn’t be getting anything else.

It was so painful – on many levels! – but I had to stick to my guns.

To quote my friend Julia, “I will not respond to terrorism.”  [Don’tcha love that???]

I just hope the turn-around is as quick this time as it was two years ago.  Fingers crossed that today’s afternoon snack goes more smoothly.  Even once every two years, these terrorist attempts weigh on a mama!

October 29, 2012

Jack-o-Lantern Wreath {CRAFT}

One more Halloween craft...completed BEFORE Halloween!  Go, me!!!

I picked up a package of foam pumpkins (8 count) in the Target dollar spot a few weeks ago. 

I let the girls sort through the button bucket to find eyes.  (I pulled a couple of black buttons to illustrate the concept to them...I thought it was funny they picked white button eyes for three of the four pumpkins.)  [The fourth pumpkin went to work with Daddy.]

I used some scrap green foam for the leaf, and some black felt for mouths.

The girls glued on the notions, and I love how the pumpkins all have such different expressions.

I bought a 12" grapevine wreath, and I tied the pumpkins to it (using a strip of tape on the back and some yarn).  I added some polka-dot ribbon to finish it off.

Viola!  A cute addition to the mantle...done mostly by the girls...for about $3!

I'm linking up with Charlene at Adventures-in-Mommy-Land for "Hey, Mom! Look What I Did!"  Check out her fantastic weekly link-up for so many great crafty and educational ideas!


October 28, 2012

Super Stuff on Sunday




Very thankful for the little things that add up to make one super-fabulous week!

1)      The girls have been ALL ABOUT coloring this week!  A couple of nights they asked to color while I made supper.  They sat contentedly at the table, working together, for close to an hour one time!  I bought them new boxes of crayons, and they probably colored for about three hours (not consecutively) yesterday.  Wow!!!   And it’s amazing the improvement I’ve seen in them coloring within the lines (at least at times).

2)      Most of the girls’ coloring books have some activity pages.  I’ve coached them through some dot-to-dot exercises before, but it’s been a while.  While I had my attention turned towards B one morning, Baby A did a dot-to-dot completely by herself…counting up to 22!  Baby B did the same – with a tiny bit of help from her sister – a few days later.

3)      I wanted to take the girls to the orchard to buy pumpkins.  We originally hoped to go with M&C, but I finally decided it was Wednesday afternoon – by myself – or bust.  We had such a great time!  I can’t say I got “the perfect picture”, but we still had lots o’ fun.  The highlight of the girls’ day (and maybe their week) was playing with a wagon.   I pulled them quite a bit, and then A was all about pulling B.  B pulled A a little bit, but I think she preferred to let her sissy do the heavy lifting.  They each picked out pie pumpkins for themselves…and then they wanted a tiny one for their furry sister Sasha.

4)      We’ve had a very sweet week, full of friends.  On Wednesday morning we met “Grandma” June for our weekly bagel and milk / coffee treat.  On Thursday afternoon we met Ms. Mary at the park.  The girls were so excited to see her, and to meet her dachshund Max.  They were so proud to walk around the park with him.

5)      And on Friday we had some fun time with our friends M&C.  We’d originally planned a picnic at the park, but the weather had other ideas.  We decided instead to meet at the mall, ride the carousel, and have lunch.  The girls were so thrilled to ride the carousel – a very rare treat – and a trip up and down the escalator sealed the deal.  It was a fantastic morning all the way around, seeing my girlies with M&C…everyone behaving so well and having fun.  I think their mama and I actually had a tiny bit of adult conversation, to boot!

6)      The girls and I spread out early in the week to make Halloween cards for a few friends.  We made all the cards in one sitting, and then set about signing them the next day.  Baby A’s name is half as long as B’s…and she’s been writing her letters (and her name) very proficiently for months now.  She finished in no time, flat.  Poor little B, though, worked and worked and worked and worked.  I give her so much credit for persevering!!!  She eventually signed all the cards.  Baby A signs her name – usually – in a pretty “normal” fashion, the letters roughly the same size, in a line.  B’s letters are still different sizes, and she usually has to go onto a second line to get them all in.  Hopefully the return address will clue in anyone who can’t quite connect all the dots.  :)

7)      I turned on a football game for about 15 minutes on Saturday afternoon.  The girls watched intently with me, but I couldn’t help but laugh at A.  I was narrating every play, and after every play, she’d ask, “Did something just happen, Mommy?  HA!

8)      The girls weren’t feeling well this morning.  They usually wait quietly until their clock turns green, but a few minutes shy, I heard, “I miss you, Mommy!” from sweet Baby B.  She knows how to tug those heartstrings!

9)      I’ve been able to tell my girls voices / cries / hiccups / sneezes apart since a very early age, with near 100% accuracy.  With them being a little sniffly, though, it’s harder for me to discern who’s who over the monitor.  I had to go into their room a couple of times in response to a, “Mommy!  Wipe my nose, please!  I’d go in, and I’m sure – even in the dark – I looked uncertain.  B would always point me in the right direction, “Mommy, it’s sissy, not me.  Bless her soul!

10)   And the quotes of the week…

B, to me early one morning: “Mommy, I can see the veins in your eyes!

B, talking to herself from the timeout chair: “Being tired is not an excuse for poor behavior! 

A, playing with her geometric shapes: I put a trapezoid where a rhombus would go, so now I don't need a triangle.”

October 27, 2012

I Had Planned to Say...

...wish us luck!  

I was SO ahead of the game this year.  Months ago -- literally over the summer -- I scheduled our holiday pictures for today.  I wanted pictures with the gorgeous leaves, and I'd just missed that window the past two years.

This year, I was going to be on top of it...family pictures amidst the vibrant leaves...and files back in plenty of time to get my holiday cards out before April.  Ahem.

I was going to ask for well-wishes that the girls would smile, and that we'd be able to capture them in true form.

But.

I feel as if the universe just didn't see it in the cards today.

It's cold and wet and soggy.  We had to reschedule.

Grrr...and I already had on make-up, too!  HA!

Fortunately the photographer (a fantastic fellow twin mama) was able to reschedule us for next weekend already.

I know it will be worth the wait...and even if the leaves are gone by then, I'm sure we'll still get some gems.
 
2010

2011

And maybe if I ask for well-wishes a full week in advance, our girls will be full of belly laughs by this time next week???

October 26, 2012

I Can't Believe It's Been a YEAR!



I can’t believe it’s been a YEAR since I last changed a diaper!  It was almost exactly a year ago when B fatefully asked to use the potty...and she never looked back! 

It’s been almost surreal to look at pictures from last fall and remember – in a good portion of them – Baby B was wearing a diaper.  

Picking leaves from the tree in the backyard last October...you can barely see B's diaper over the top of her pants.

It seems like SO long ago that I placed her on the changing table and heard that familiar “rip” of the tape.

Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying I miss that stinky diaper pail, exactly.  [Although there are times when the girls seem to play musical potty chairs, though, when I long for the convenience of not having to deal with babes in public restrooms!]

And I do remember a few times when I thought I would absolutely D.I.E. if I had to change another diaper in a day.  Of course I think those times all happened before I put a changing pad downstairs, when I was traipsing up and down the steps 17 times a day with a wet and/or stinky baby in hand.

Those times seem like such a distant memory.  It’s proof that the more unpleasant memories do seem to fade over time.

I love my baby girls.  And I’m so very proud of them.  I just can’t believe how quickly they’re becoming big girls.

Hmmm…I guess the next step in coming to grips with this phenomenon would be getting rid of the changing pad that’s STILL on their dresser upstairs???  That’s going to be a tough one for me.  I’m putting it off until we transition them out of cribs.  I’m hoping I have a while.  ;)

October 25, 2012

Most People Take a Family Holiday Photo

...but not us...unless you count Halloween in the larger scheme of "holidays".

We have been celebrating Christmas at our house as a family of four, which we love...but that means there's no one to snap a family picture.  We've somehow managed to snag a neighbor each year to take our Halloween picture, though, and I love the tradition!

I saw the cutest "eyeball" frame (in the middle) on Pinterest, and I knew I wanted to make it.  When I finished, I decided to come up with frames for our other pictures -- three total, to date.

I am so SUPER proud at how everything turned out!  (And I'm SUPER-DUPER proud that I actually finished before Halloween!!!)
 

And here are each of the frames individually...please pardon the flash.  I didn't have natural light to work with, and this pathetic excuse is as close as I could come.  :(




I bought the frames at Michael's for $1.  (I also saw them at Walmart for $.97.)  I got the wiggly eyes from the dollar store, and I found the B-O-O letters at Michael's, and the E-E-K at Hobby Lobby (for a different font).  I used standard craft paint in black, pumpkin, and electric green.

I'm linking up with Marcia today for her "CREATE" theme.  :)  :)  Go check out her adorable gift tags!  And then tag yourself to showcase something "creative" you've done recently!
 
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