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August 26, 2013

Planning for the Future

For as long as they’ve been able to answer the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” the girls’ answers have been consistent, “A vet and a mommy.”

(And that might just make my heart swell every time!)

Over time, the girls have gotten into some serious details when they describe how things will work.

The girls will, of course, share an office.  B will be the vet in the morning, while A stays home with all of their babies.  (B consistently talks about having one baby, while A has recently said she will have twins.)  In the afternoon, A will take her turn as vet, while B takes on the baby duties.

Their vet office will be dedicated to Misha and Sasha (our cats), and there will be a special room for Sasha to come for her checkups.  It’s very important that Sasha be comfortable and not scared.

As for transportation, the girls apparently plan to share a vehicle.  My A talks about how she will drive, and B will be in the passenger seat.  And then B will pipe up and say that some days she’ll drive and A will be the passenger.  Where will Mommy sit?” I ask.  In the backseat.  You can relax and be comfortable.”

There is always talk of lunch, too.  The girls love to volunteer how they will take me to lunch.  Who will pay?” I ask.  You can pay, or I can,” they both say.  Well I’d prefer if you paid,” I tell them.  OK, Mommy!” followed by huge smiles.

Over the past few days, B has been talking about how Granddaddy (who is an architect) will design her office for her.  I thought that was super sweet, to hear her thinking through those details, unprompted.

It never ceases to amaze me how their little minds work.  And how I love to hear their plans for the future – together.

August 23, 2013

A Bit About Me, August Edition

My birthday is February 23, so on the 23rd of each month, I share a couple of random things about myself.  

I am a reformed picky eater.

When I was growing up, I remember being super picky about crust on my bread, the amount of milk in my oatmeal, and no dressing on my salad.  I remember my mom bargaining with me about drinking milk, and I remember sitting at the table – for what felt like HOURS – because my mom told me I couldn’t get up until I ate three Brussels sprouts.

I don’t know what happened…maybe I just grew up.  There are very few things I won’t eat, meatloaf being the only thing that comes to mind.

And I don’t know what prompted my pickiness in the first place, either.  I don’t know how much of that is “normal” for some kids, and how much was maybe a part of me being an only child, that my mom catered to me.

Whatever the case, I’m thankful now for my love of Brussels sprouts, spicy Mexican food, raw sushi, and everything in between.  And I’m even more thankful that the girls are following my current footsteps, not my old ones!

I used to love amusement park rides…

…but now I have to be careful on the swings at the park.

I used to love any and every amusement park ride.  Living in a small town, the yearly county fair was where I enjoyed most of my experiences growing up.  I have great memories of the likes of the Tilt-a-Whirl and the Scrambler and the Octopus…the more bone-jarring…the more twists and spins…the better.

Once again, I don’t know what happened…maybe I’m just getting old…but I can’t really look at the merry-go-round at the park too intently, before I start feeling a little bit ill.

Fortunately I’m OK on the carousel at the mall, and fortunately that’s still a huge thrill for the girls.  I’ll hang onto that for as long as I can…and hope Husband doesn’t suffer the same fate as I have.  Someone needs to be brave to ride with the girls one day!

August 22, 2013

The Dentist is Old Hat

The girls had their first visit to the dentist when they were about 18 months old.  It was something I’d put a lot of thought into, having gotten really conflicting information about when a child should have her first dental appointment.  The feedback I got ranged from one year…all the way to four or five years old!

I knew from the pediatric dentists in town that the girls wouldn’t have a full cleaning until they were about three, but I wanted to go ahead and get them headed in the right direction.

Hubby and I both went to the appointment, camera in tow.  The girls took turns, sitting in my lap.  They both did a great job…no fussing!...and they got cute little ducks that they still play with quite often.

When the girls were three and a half, I took them back for their first actual cleaning.  By the time I got the appointment scheduled, Hubby was back in school, so I had to take the girls by myself.  I was pretty nervous about that…not knowing how they’d do in new surroundings and with such a degree of invasion into their personal space.

In preparation, we talked about what to expect, and the girls practiced their “dentist face”, opening their mouths as wide as possible.

To my great relief, they did a great job again.  The girls’ February appointment came and went, and they had another appointment yesterday.

The girls actually love going to the dentist now.  They get so excited to show off their pearly whites, and then to pick out a toy after their appointment.  They’ve been asking for at least four months now when they could go back to see Dr. E.

It struck me yesterday, as I didn’t even whip out my camera ahead of, during, or after their visit -- a sure sign that we’ve hit our stride -- that going to the dentist is now (thankfully!) old hat.

August 21, 2013

Coping with New Milestones

I had a tough time last week.

It was the girls’ first week of four-year old preschool.  I wasn’t emotional about that…but rather about the realization that this is their last year of preschool.  This time next year, I’ll be walking them into KINDERGARTEN.  Gulp.

That’s a full year away, though, so while it is incredulous, I didn’t allow myself to dwell on it.

The kicker was that I was due to drop off things for the semi-annual consignment sale.  In addition to a trunk-load of clothes, it was time to bid farewell to the girls’ crib bedding AND my trusty diaper bag.  Double gulp.

Don’t get me wrong…I don’t miss the days of packing that ginormous bag full of diapers and wipes and changes of clothes…but that bag was faithfully by my side during the girls’ entire first three years.  It saw vacations, visits to the doctor, play dates, and parks.  I half considered hanging onto it, as it’s a rough-and-tumble member of our family.  I finally convinced myself that I have plenty of other bags, though, and I don’t really need the little elastic holders for bottles anymore.

The girls’ bedding was also emotional.  I remember having such fun shopping for just the perfect quilt set when I was pregnant.  I knew then that I would probably only ever be shopping for crib bedding once in my life, so I made sure to enjoy the process.

I remember laboriously ironing the dust ruffles, and then trying to direct Hubby to get them in place, just right.

I remember tying on the bumpers with pretty little bows…only to take them down not long after the girls started sleeping in their cribs, after I learned that bumpers were no longer recommended.

Sigh.  What sweet, sweet memories.

I got myself together, motivated by the money I hope to earn from the sale, which I plan to put towards iPads for the girls (!!!). 

A couple of days ago, I finally got myself in gear to order the girls’ big-girl bedding.  We’d looked together at several sets on online, but that has been a while ago now.  I decided to make the final decision myself…and I’m hoping to surprise them with their new room in the new house!

While the sweet spot in my heart is still tender at thoughts of my diaper bag and crib bedding, my mind is racing with what fun things I can do to finish off the girls’ room.  The bedding is en route, and I have plans for a ribbon wreath for their door.  I want to buy little lamps for their nightstands, and I need to re-mat some artwork for their walls.  I’d like to paint a canvas for them, too…if I can make the time over the next couple of weeks.

I’ve been focused on the fun of decorating, but it occurs to me that this is a much larger feeling.

Our precious girls are such a blessing to us, and we’re doing our very best to enjoy each and every day (if not each and every moment).  Time passes before our eyes, and there’s nothing we can do to change that.  We just try to be present in the moment, recognizing that those moments don’t last long.  While it’s sometimes bittersweet to reach a new milestone, there’s so much to look forward to in the future.

It’s trite but true: life’s a journey, not a destination.  Enjoy the ironing, appreciate the weight of the bag on your shoulder.  Tomorrow will hold something new and exciting.  And you’ll always have the memories of yesterday, made sweeter by the fact that they are, ultimately, fleeting.

August 19, 2013

Get Yourself Connected!

We love building stuff at our house, and we have all manner of building implements.

The girls still play -- almost daily -- with the stacking cups I bought them when they were infants.  Of course it hasn't been a challenge to stack or nest them in quite a few years, but they still make great components for tower building.

Our MegaBloks still get a lot of play, as well...another toy that's been a very prominent fixture for over three years now.

More recently, we've added pyramid blocks (Wedgits) and click-together blocks (Trio blocks), and a small subset of Legos.

Over the weekend I decided to break out another building set, something I'd actually purchased before Christmas this past year, Connectagons.  The girls are IN LOVE (as are Mommy and Daddy!).

We've all had so much fun making all kinds of creations.  Here are just a few pictures from our Sunday morning play...

A's square.

B's motorcycle.

A's coral.

B delights in A's multi-pronged cactus.

Daddy worked with A to use every single piece (all 240 of them)!
I love the creativity that building sets inspire.  I love the fine motor skills and spatial reasoning.  And I love that the whole family so easily gets in on the building action.  It's FUN!!!

August 17, 2013

Super Stuff!

This was the girls’ first week of four-year old preschool.  Between that and lots of house stuff going on, it’s been a busy one!  Still, I’m so thankful for lots of SUPER stuff to cite!

1)      I loved seeing how giddy the girls were to get their backpacks and lunch boxes ready for school on Monday.  They had to practice opening and closing every little pocket and zipper, and then they had to parade around the house in full gear.  I remember being so proud of getting a new lunch box when I was a little girl…it’s just crazy that I now have my own excitable pair!

2)      As the girls were getting dressed for their first day of preschool on Tuesday, my sweet B said, "Mommy, can we wear the same thing today so people will know we go together?"

3)      I think it was Baby A who started this a few weeks ago, and it’s now become part of our nighttime routine.  The girls take turns choosing a bedtime story each night.  These days, the trick is to hide the book before Mommy and Sissy get back to the bedroom.  Daddy is usually the accomplice, although so far, the book has been hidden in only a couple of places.  It’s so much fun to watch the girls try to “trick” Mommy.

4)      Daddy has been trying to teach the girls the “slap hands” game (I don’t know the name of it…where you try to trick your opponent into pulling her hands back before they get slapped).  The girls are heee-larious!!!  They get the concept of the game, but their reflexes are pretty slow.  Baby A will say, “Mommy, I want you to pull your hands back verrrrry sloooooowly towards your body.  HA! 

5)      Baby B’s pronunciation is typically very good, and I think she used to say the word “normally” correctly.  She’s turned it into an exaggerated “NERmally”, though, and it never fails to crack me up.

6)      Baby A was looking at a picture from her first birthday party, the girls with their smash cakes. "Mommy, I'd like a whole cake again sometime, OK?"  She is her father’s daughter!

7)      I haven’t written much about it…because I still don’t quite want to believe it’s true…but the girls haven’t been napping over the past month.  But this week – once for Baby B and twice for Baby A – the girls ASKED to nap!  Bliss!  And of course we had to celebrate the double nap with ICE CREAM!

8)      I feel kinda silly admitting I’ve never made a smoothie.  I almost think I’ve never had a smoothie, come to think of it.  The girls got cookbooks for Christmas, and they oogle them from time to time.  As a special treat on the first day of school, I had them pull out their book and find the smoothie recipe.  They helped me make a strawberry-banana smoothie (mixed with vanilla yogurt).  They thought it was the best treat ever!

9)      I took the girls to the yogurt shop one afternoon, and I couldn’t help but sing along to some of the songs they were playing.  A John Mayer tune came on, and I told the girls he is one of the best guitar players in the world.  My A contributed to the conversation, very nonchalantly, "Elton John is one of the best singers."  And then B piped in, "Sissy, it's SIR Elton John."

10)   Few things make me happier than seeing one of my girls walk by the other and plant a sweet kiss on the top of her head or her cheek. (Of course those kisses occasionally evolve into hugs...then tumbles...then brawls...but the initial contact is so very precious.)

11)   The girls were playing one morning with a set of color-coded stacking miniature chairs. Baby A came barreling into the kitchen with a wild look in her eyes, "Mommy! Three six's is 18!" I love seeing the wheels turning in their little minds!

12)   When I walked in their room one morning, B greeted me with the Beatles' "Yesterday." Together, we segued into "Here Comes the Sun"...until Baby A rolled over and growled, "STOP THE SONGS!!!" They're a bit different in the mornings.

So thankful for the SUPER in our week!