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March 30, 2013

Insight in Our Tender Heart...

…at least at school.

My precious Baby A has continued to be a little more emotional, but at least I have insight into what was troubling her at school over the past week.

Poor Mrs. G addressed me in the hallway before school was out on Tuesday.  I think it’s my fault, and I just feel terrible.  This sweet lady has a heart of solid gold, and she was almost in tears herself, telling me what happened.

Mrs. G told me that she was feeling really warm in the classroom that day.  She saw that A was dressed in a sweater and turtleneck, and she thought she was probably too warm, too.  She took off A’s sweater, and A started to cry.  She said that A was fine, as soon as they went out into the hallway for bathroom time and A was able to get her sweater out of her cubby. 

This triggered her to think about the prior week, when she called me to come get A.  She said that she had taken her sweater off that day, too, and hadn’t realized it had bothered her.

If my Baby A weren’t in a heightened emotional state, I don’t think this would bother her…but at least we figured out what was setting her off at school.

Sweet Mrs. G felt so bad, I just knew.  I couldn’t bear to tell her the backstory, at least on Tuesday…

Over the prior weekend, Baby A had asked to wear her panda sweater.  It wasn’t clean, so I told her I would make sure to wash it and she could wear it to school on Tuesday.  Our girls don’t usually seem to focus much on what they’re wearing, but she was really set on that sweater for some reason.  She talked on Sunday and Monday that she was excited to go to school on Tuesday and wear her panda sweater.

Then, Tuesday morning as we were getting dressed, Baby A said to me, “And if I get hot at school, I can take off my sweater,” since she was wearing a turtleneck underneath it.

It was a very cold day, and I am not wild about changing clothes in front of people, so I told her, “You can if you really need to, but I hope you’ll be able to wear your clothes as they are.”

So…not only was my Baby A wearing her coveted panda sweater, but I had specifically asked her not to take it off.

I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time.

The takeaway…from Mrs. G at school, and later from me, at home…was that it’s OK to tell someone – even a teacher – if they are asking you to do something you don’t want to.  You are not in trouble if you say politely, “I don’t want to take my sweater off.”

If only all life’s problems were as easily solved.

(My gut is that A's sensitivity will pass, if history is any indication.  I do have some thoughts along the lines of the Five Love Languages...for another post.)

March 29, 2013

Easter...(WAY BACK) Then and (Closer to) Now

While it's nothing in comparison to the +1,100 pictures I've taken SO FAR this month (!!!), by the standards of the day, there are oodles of pictures of me from when I was a little girl.

I only have a handful in my possession, though.

As I was thinking about the Easters of my youth, I remembered Aunt GG had sent me a picture of the two of us -- I'm guessing I was about 14 months old -- at Easter.

This was taken at my grandparents' house, where we always spent Easter Sunday.

I'm guessing that was a hand-sewn, hand-smocked dress...and my mom liked them short so you could see my ruffled bloomers.  :)

Here are the girls at about the same age. 

Old or new...there's nothing like looking back at pictures to remind you of fun times.

Looking forward to recording another Easter in the books this weekend!

March 26, 2013

The Cutest Little Bunnies - {CRAFT}

The girls made the cutest bunnies last year.  They were so tickled when I pulled them out a couple of weeks ago and put them on the mantle.  I was amazed what they remembered from making them!

We still have a few days before Easter, so I hope to squeeze in another craft or two, but so far we've logged one more bunny pair.

I used my 1.5" circle punch to cut out the girls' faces from some extra pictures we had.

They used my 2" scallop punch to make the bunny's head from white card stock.  For the bunny's ears, the girls used my 1.5" circle punch, which I then cut in half.  They made the inside of the bunny's ears pink with their thumbprints in washable ink.

To cut down on the mess, I ran all the pieces through my Xyron (or "sticker-maker", as I call it), and they put everything together on pastel card stock.

Lastly, the girls drew whiskers on their bunnies.

We made a couple of sets, which I think we'll turn into Easter cards.

(Of course I really should get moving on that!  But...seeing as I haven't mailed the St. Patty's Day cards we made yet [!!!], maybe I shouldn't be too hard on myself.  Ack!!!)

My little Peter Cottontails are hopping all around with excitement over the upcoming holiday.  :)

March 25, 2013

Super Stuff on a Monday

Lots of super stuff to fill our week!

1)      As I was making breakfast one morning, Baby A was telling me a very long, very involved story.  It was about her puppy Bingo and his older twin brothers and his new baby brother.  One part she kept repeating was, “I took him to the hospital every day so he could pick one [new brother] out.”  She went for at least 20 minutes…and I think it was one big long run-on sentence.  I loved it!!!

2)      Baby A cracks me up.  She has been pretending a lot lately about new babies (usually stuffed animals) being born.  She says, “When they were getting born”, though…and I don’t really have the heart to correct her.  It’s so adorable in her little raspy voice.

3)      The girls have recently picked up a couple of new games at school.  They’ve been playing “Red Light / Green Light” while chasing each other, and also “Freeze!”  They roped me into a game of Freeze one day…unfortunately while we were coming down the steps.  I played along (because it was so cute!), but we had to remind ourselves of the rule that we don’t play on the steps.  Still, I love these games...and have since I was about their age.

4)      The girls seem to have been fixated on “rhombuses” this week.  We were looking through their letter books from preschool, and B was naming each letter.  Instead of “D is for ‘dots’ and ‘diamond’”, she said, “D is for ‘dots’ and ‘rhombus’”…HA!  And while I was having some one-on-one time with A on Thursday, she saw an argyle pattern on the wall of the café.  Rhombuses!” she exclaimed excitedly. 

5)      One night as the girls were cleaning the den after supper, Baby A finished her chores, while B was dragging around, playing.  Of her own accord, A said to B, I’m not helping you until you start working.”  HA!

6)      I heard B flipping through the pages of a book one morning.  I asked her what she was doing.  I’m just looking for Rockefeller Center,” she said nonchalantly.  I think these girls are as ready for a NYC trip as their mama!

7)      On Wednesday, the technical first day of spring, the girls both tossed questions at me the very first thing in the morning, even before they were out of bed.  A asked, “ "Mommy, is it spring?"..."Can I get a new bike today?"  She didn’t know the wind chill was in the teens!)  And B asked, “Mommy, what is gravity?"

8)      One freezing cold morning, B looked outside and exclaimed, “Mommy! I see a seagull!" And then a bit later she pretended to check the weather and said, "It's 69 degrees today."  I think she’s ready for SPRING, too.

9)      The girls have been asking to play with modeling clay, and I finally acquiesced over the weekend.  In comparison to the last time we played (when I felt like I had to really keep my eyes peeled to make sure they didn’t smear clay into anything), they did a great job!  They had so much fun playing…for probably a half an hour!  It was so funny to see what they made, too.  Baby A kept making “groundhogs” (???), and B was intent on making “monkeys”.  And of course there were lots and lots of snakes.

10)   I was so proud of the girls this week.  They’ve been practicing buttoning their pajamas, and they both got it on Sunday night!

11)   Typically, when the girls’ clock turns green each morning (indicating it’s OK for them to get up), I hear, “Mommy!!!  My clock is GREEN!!!  I slept WELL!!!  This morning, as B had been awake for some time already, singing to herself, I heard instead, “Mommy!  My clock is green!  I slept pretty well!  At least she’s honest in her assessment!

12)   And perhaps my biggest laugh of the week came from B, as she was commenting to herself on her own drawing: "Oh, this looks quite different from what I expected."  I understand, Honey!  I really do!!!

March 24, 2013

Photography Catch-22

I don't know if "Catch-22" is exactly the right phrase, but I had to give myself a little talking to earlier in the week about taking pictures.

I am having SO much fun in the Superhero Photo class!!!  It's challenging...and there are some things I just can't quite figure out, which is a bit frustrating...but I'm taking lots of pictures and really enjoying it.  I've gotten some great shots, and it feels so good!

Here are a few of my favorites from this week...

Baby Sasha, looking at the neighbor's pup

B, looking for bunnies the first thing in the morning

Sasha most willing subject!

B with a hot chocolate mustache

I love B's precious hand, doing something she loves so much...cutting with her sparkly scissors.

Baby A, deep in concentration...I love the focus on her right hand, with the fuzzy foreground and background.

I am a million miles from having this thing down, though...and I realized I'd been trying to be all "artsy"...and neglecting my "slice of life" pictures.  By "slice of life", I am thinking about those pictures whose purpose is to capture something the girls are doing...something I want to remember, to document...even if the lighting isn't great, and I have to use a flash, or there are yucky shadows lurking.  :)

I forced myself to whip out the camera a little more over the past few days.  While these aren't photographically brilliant, I love them just the same...

Silly faces with Daddy!

Snuggles with Mommy before bedtime

Look at my smile!!!

Last time in our Bumbo seats (more to come in a later post!)

B asked me to take a picture in her silly outfit.

Ideally, I'd love to get my "slice of life" pictures to be photographic masterpieces...but in the meantime, I'm going to keep snapping away.  No matter what the composition, I love these baby girls, and I don't want to miss a thing!

March 23, 2013

A Bit About Me, March Edition

My birthday is February 23rd, and on the 23rd of each month, I post a couple of random facts about myself.  So here’s the randomness for the month of March…

I didn’t get my first pair of jeans until I was about six.

My mom thought that little girls should be dressed in frills.  I think I had some corduroy pants, and I know I had shorts in the summer, but she didn’t like the idea of jeans.  I finally asked for some for my birthday one year, and I got Gloria Vanderbilt jeans from my grandparents.

I have to laugh about that now.  My girls got their first pair of jeans when they were about seven months old, and jeans are a huge wardrobe staple at our house.  I may pair the girls’ jeans with cutesy buttons and bows, but I’ve gotta have my denim!

I wonder if my palate is maturing a bit.

Don’t get me wrong…I COULD eat several entire bags of jelly beans during the time between Valentine’s Day and Easter…but I haven’t CRAVED them this year like I did in the past.  To date, I’ve consumed part of one bag, and I’m not even sure if I’ll have any more.  I don’t mean to jinx myself, but I wonder if my taste buds might actually be growing up???  It's probably not a bad thing.

There it is!  Until next month...

March 22, 2013

Help on Handling a Tender Heart???

I’ve noticed it here and there at home, but I didn’t think too much about it.  After I got a call from preschool yesterday, though, it’s really caused my heart to hurt. 

I can only deduce that my precious Baby A has such an incredibly tender heart.

It usually happens after I scold her about something.  It doesn’t happen every time, and it can be the smallest of things.  Sometimes it’s after I’ve reached “THREE” (using 1-2-3 Magic, which indicates she’s earned a timeout)…and sometimes it happens at “ONE”.

She breaks down into sobs, and immediately cries, “I need a tissue!  Wipe my nose and my eyes!

To date I’ve chalked it up to her having a very strong conscience.  I can remember my mom saying that she rarely had to discipline me; she just had to give me “the look”…or worse, to let me know she was disappointed in me…and I’d melt and straighten right up.  I thought Baby A had inherited that trait from me.

The phone startled me yesterday, mid-morning, a couple of hours after I left the girls at school.  It was Mrs. G, calling to tell me that Baby A had been crying and they couldn’t get her to really stop.  She said that she seemed to be feeling OK, but she wanted to know if there was anything else going on.

[My girls aren’t big “cry-ers”…they don’t fuss very much…and unless they’re hurt, they rarely cry.  To my knowledge, they’ve never cried at school.]

The only thing I could think of was A’s more recent sensitivity.  I gave Mrs. G. an example, and she then told me that A had asked her to read a book to her, just as they were about to begin an activity.  Mrs. G told A that she couldn’t read to her then, as it was time for the class to do a craft.  She said that’s when A started crying.

Mrs. G at first said that A looked OK to her, that she was involved in a structured activity, and she was back to herself.  She called a couple of minutes later, though, and said A was crying again.

I went to pick her up, and she and I went to an early lunch before it was time to pick up Baby B.  She was extra cuddly, but she didn’t otherwise seem upset.

I’ve had a couple of conversations with A since yesterday morning.  I hope she knows this intrinsically, but I thought maybe she needed to hear it expressly…I’ve reassured her that I ALWAYS love her.  Sometimes we all make poor decisions…there are consequences for those decisions…and we hope to learn from our mistakes…but NO MATTER WHAT, I ALWAYS love her.

Thoughts on how to handle this???   

She hasn’t always been this way…in fact, there were times that discipline didn’t seem to phase her at all.  I don’t want to be tempted not to discipline her, but I want to make sure I’m not really hurting her precious, tender heart.

I would appreciate any words of wisdom!  Thank you!!!