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February 27, 2013

Waking Up is Hard to Do...



It doesn’t happen often.

The vast majority of the time, the girls wake up in the mornings and from naps around the time their clock turns green.  Mommy, my clock is green!  I slept well!” comes blaring through the monitor…sometimes gleefully – if they’ve been awake for a few minutes and are ready to get up – and sometimes groggily – which makes me think they’d still be asleep if it weren’t for their trusty clock.

Over the past month, though, it’s happened twice that I’ve had the pleasure of waking my babies up.  In both cases, it was from a nap after an extraordinarily busy morning of play (and a late lay-down time).

There’s something so incredibly precious about seeing my sweet babies lost in slumber.  It’s rare that I glimpse much “baby” left in them most days, but sound asleep, it takes me right back to how they looked in those first few weeks after they were born.  Their delicate eyelids, their pouty lips, the rise and fall of their chests, the position of their bodies…I remember it so very well.

And then, after I take in that beauty, I have the pleasure of rubbing their warm backs, whispering softly to them, “It’s time to wake up, Baby Girl.  Mommy’s here.

When the girls were newborns, it would sometimes take quite a bit of effort to wake them up to feed them.  This is one of my most prized pictures, taken with the girls were about 2 ½ weeks old.  



I entitled it, “Waking up is hard to do.  I love how they’re streeeeeetching those itty-bitty, teeny-tiny arms and legs.  Look at the wrinkles on those little legs!  I just want to kiss those miniature toes!

I love how it sometimes takes the same amount of persistence to wake them, even still. 

Their arms and legs are many times bigger and stronger.  Their peach fuzz hair has grown into long golden-brown locks.  But they still stretch and moan and contort their bodies…and I am still trying to soak in every ounce.

February 25, 2013

Super Stuff on a Monday



So much FABULOUS stuff this week…I love it!!! 

1)      We had pretty chilly weather a good part of the week, but we’ve been able to get out for walks several times this weekend.  It’s been great!

2)      The girls have been putting things into perspective in terms of time.  It cracks me up when they say, “A long time ago, when I was three…  HA!

3)      Still, we have some work to do as far as days and weeks and months go.  It’s not uncommon, in the context of them playing birthday party, to overhear, “Elphie’s birthday is today.  He is five.  He will be six in 17 months.”

4)      The girls got “fuzzy socks” for Christmas, and Baby A has been downright obsessed with them.  She puts on a pair first thing in the morning.  If we go somewhere during the day, she takes them off and “saves” them somewhere so she can put them back on when we get home.  We now have a total of four pairs, but we still occasionally run short.  A couple of nights, the very last thing A has said to me as I tucked her in was, “Wash my fuzzy socks.”  Top of mind!!!

5)      At school the girls learned about what makes their teeth "happy" and "sad". We were discussing different foods over supper, and Baby A wisely surmised, "Ice cream makes my teeth sad, but my it makes my tummy happy!"

6)      At the dentist on Wednesday, both girls did such a great job.  Baby B finished before her sister, and she walked over to her chair.  Good job of being patient, Sissy!” she told her.

7)      The girls had a great report at the dentist, and we enjoyed a super-special snack at Panera afterwards…it always feels so very special to hang out in “coffee shop mode” (even for 15 minutes) with my girls. 

8)      I love how the girls pick up on our lexicon.  I asked A to get the phone for me, and she replied, “I would gladly do that.”  Another time she answered me with, “Yes, indeed!

9)      Baby A has been admiring everything I have lately.  She’s said so many times, “Mommy, when I get older will you buy me ….” referring to anything and everything I’m wearing or using….a jacket like this / a shirt like this / a sweater like this / toothpaste like this / a hairdryer like this.

10)   The girls were playing "vet" with their stuffed animals, and A came running in..."Snoopy is 9 inches taller than his sister! And they're twins!!!" Baby A is almost three inches taller than B, and she's quite proud of it...obviously. ;)

11)   For the longest times, the girls were bringing home scribbles from preschool, done during free time at their art station.  I’ve encouraged them to take their time and draw something…and I am so proud this week that they’ve been bringing home actual pictures!  Baby A has drawn numerous cats, and B told me her creation was a “whiskered walrus” when I picked her up on Thursday.  HA!

12)   It belongs in another post entirely, but – as a HUGE surprise – Miss Demara, M&C’s mom, kept the girls for what sounds like a very awesome play date on Friday while I was pampered beyond my imagination at the SPA.  The girls had such a big time at their house…they’re still talking about every little detail.  (And I, of course, am still reveling in the spa treatment!)

13)   The girls were so sweet in celebrating my birthday.  They sang to me multiple times, and they even made up a song (sorta-kinda) about Sasha and me.

14)   It was B’s turn to choose the night-night story on Sunday night, and I had to jot down what she told me as I was brushing A’s teeth: “I originally chose “Kitty’s Colorful Day”, but I decided instead to read the butterfly book.”  I love the way she expressed herself!

15)   At random, B said one day, "Raw peppers are my favorite vegetable."  I tried not to grin too broadly…I didn’t want to let on how happy that makes me!

16)   I just love listening to the girls talk to each other.  I had to jot down one exchange from this morning, as B laid out the game plan:  My idea is that we’ll have breakfast, and then Mommy wipes us up, and then while Mommy drinks her coffee, we’ll go on a train ride.  You bring your directions, and I’ll bring mine.”  It made me laugh that, as they were talking about such big plans, they still included, “…Mommy wipes us up.  HA!

17)   For the longest time, Baby A has been abbreviating words…her way of making a cute little diminutive form.  Here’s a sampling from the week…”Fuzz-ahs” = fuzzy socks…”Fluff-ahs” = fluffy jackets…and “Let me run pod” = potty.  Said in her ever-baby voice…I find it completely irresistible.

18)   And one day, at random, B said, "Daddies know everything!  What about mommies?” I asked.  And then, somewhat reluctantly, she said, "Um, yeah, mommies, too.”  I guess I’ll take it???

[I tried to write in bullet-point format as best I could...but it was hard!]

February 24, 2013

BOUNCY BALLS!!!

We somehow haven't spent much time outside over the past three months.  It's been cold...and we've been busy...and oh, how I've missed walking in the neighborhood with the girls!!!  We have been out and about, but -- in hindsight -- I realize that we've spent the few warmer days at the park or the zoo.

It hasn't been super warm the past couple of weeks, but we've at least had some beautiful sunshine, and we've gotten out a handful of times to enjoy our ~two-mile trek through the 'hood.

Last week when we got home from one of our walks, Daddy was just pulling into the driveway from work.  The girls asked if we could stay outside and play for a bit, and it was so nice to have Daddy join us.

The girls started pilfering around their bin in the garage, looking at their pinwheels, chalk, bubbles, and kites that haven't seen daylight in quite a while.  One of them stumbled across some bouncy balls that they got as a party favor at M&C's birthday [in October...gulp!].

The girls had never played with bouncy balls before...and seeing their utter delight reminded me how much I loved bouncy balls as a kid.

Every day since, the girls have asked about the weather..."Is it warm enough for a walk today???  And then can we play with bouncy balls???"

It's such a simple pleasure...the thrill of throwing a ball and watching it bounce super high. 

Which way will it go?  
Which ball will bounce higher?  
Can I catch it?  
I don't want it to boink me in the head!

These two simple bouncy balls have been a great reminder to me...it's often the simple things, especially when experienced for the first time, that bring such wonderment to a child [and a mama].

February 23, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!!!



Today is my birthday!

On the 23rd of each month, I share a couple of random thoughts about myself.  Here’s the birthday edition…

Although I wrote yesterday about the ills of consumer culture as relates to our children, I had quite the affinity for a few characters in my day.

When I was growing up, I loved the Smurfs, Strawberry Shortcake, and Garfield.  One of my most prized possessions was a Strawberry Shortcake sleeping bag, and I loved my stuffed Garfield and Odie.  I vividly remember having birthday cakes with those characters on them…but it always cracked me up…I usually shared a family celebration with my Uncle Tommy, whose birthday is February 19th.  I know he didn’t mind, but I thought it was all kinds of funny that he would have his name on a Smurf cake.

Birthday candles kinda gross me out.

And that traces back to my childhood, too.  I remember having been sick as a kid, not long before my birthday.  We were getting together for our family birthday celebration, and I asked my mom, “Are you sure you want me to blow out candles on a cake that everyone is going to eat?  Good point, huh?  I love the idea of candles…making a wish…past, present, and future…but I prefer to stick them in a single-serve cupcake.  

Happy birthday to me!  It’s been a FANTASTIC couple of days so far…filled with some incredibly thoughtful friends.  And the girlies (and Hubby) are already spoiling me this morning.  L-O-V-E!!!

February 22, 2013

Stereotypes at the Dentist



The girls had a dentist appointment earlier this week.  They were so excited to go…one of the rare occasions I told them about an event beforehand…and they did a great job.  They sat so nicely in the chairs and answered the questions asked of them.  They even made a bit of conversation with the hygienists.  I was one proud mama!

I can’t help but think, though, about the conversation that surrounded our entire visit.  In hindsight, it almost felt like a landmine of topics…ack!

In the waiting room before our appointment, and then again in the exam room, I endured the typical comparisons of the girls.  She’s the talkative one, huh?” referring to B.  Nodding to A, “She’s so much taller, you’d think she’d be the boss, huh?  Gah!!!

And then later, “You’re the encourager, aren’t you?  Your sister is lucky to have you.”  I’d say both girls are lucky to have each other.

No, I don’t have my hands full…yes, they’re a double blessing…and wow! Twins can have different color eyes!  Lucky for me, that’s how I tell them apart.

The litany felt a little more concentrated that usual, but what struck me more was the conversation in the exam room…totally from a pop culture perspective.

The girls sat in their respective chairs, and they were offered sunglasses.  Baby A was handed some Hello Kitty ones.  Do you like Hello Kitty?” the hygienist asked her.  I piped in quickly, “Those are perfect!  Of course we love kitty cats!  I prompted A to tell the lady about Sasha.  The nice lady responded sweetly, but then she jumped right back to Hello Kitty.  I’ll bet you have lots of Hello Kitty stuff, huh?  It’s so adorable!

The next chair over, B was being offered Princess sunglasses.  Do you like Cinderella?  Or Belle?  Or Tiana?  I piped up, “Ooh, how about those flower glasses?  You love flowers!

Do you people work for a licensing company or something??? 

A few minutes later, one of the hygienists was asking me about the girls’ preschool, saying that someone from the dentist office would come and talk to the kids about oral health.  I dress up like the tooth fairy,” she told me.  The kids love it!  They don’t ask much about teeth…they want to know all about how I fly, and how I get into their rooms.”  Then, to B, “Do you love the tooth fairy?  I’ll bet you can’t wait until I come visit you!

Um, we don’t do Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy.  And thanks for scaring my kid that you’re coming to fly into her room while she sleeps.  Do you also have a clown costume?  She hates clowns!!!

At some point, I mentioned that we were going to Panera for a special snack after our appointment.  One of the ladies asked Baby A what she was going to have.  A bagel!  Ooh…do you like the cream cheese?  The cream cheese is the best part!  I love the hazelnut!

Um, my kids love their bagels toasted, without any spreads…and I’d prefer not to tell them the ooey-gooey sugary part is really what they’re missing.

That somehow led to a breakfast conversation.  I prompted A, “Can you tell her what you had for breakfast this morning?  Baby A responded, “Cream of wheat and cottage cheese and a banana and milk!

Ooh…I love cream of wheat!  What kind did you have?  Chocolate???

We eat whole grain cream of wheat, don’t we?  [We eat it plain, with just a little milk.  Let’s not let on how yummy it would be with cinnamon syrup stirred in, shall we???]

Yes, I know I’m conservative.  And yes, I know that’s certainly not the norm.  I consider it a very serious charge to protect my precious girls from the ills of marketing.  That’s why my girls know very little of any cartoon characters.

We don’t do Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.  I just find it creepy to play up that someone / something comes into our house while we’re sleeping.  I just think there’s all sorts of nightmare potential in the making...and I'd really prefer my girls sleep soundly.

And yes, I know it’s crazy to think that my girls don’t crave sugar.  I don’t know that I would have pinpointed this five years ago, but I realized at some point, my children will [more or less] learn to like what they’re fed.

My girls LOVE plain ‘ol whole grain cream of wheat.  They don’t know any different.

My girls LOVE a regular toasted bagel.  They think it’s a huge treat…because that’s the way I’ve positioned it to them.

I wasn’t “offended” by any of this conversation.  Certainly no one meant any harm…the wonderfully sweet ladies were just trying to relate to the girls, and I truly appreciate that effort.

I don’t mean to judge, either. Everyone has his own approach, for her own reason.

It was just so many things, in the span of 30 minutes, that reminded me that I have chosen to do things a little differently with our girls.  And I guess it was just a funny place to be reminded of our family decisions over the past four years, and how those compare to what I’m assuming is the average four-year old.

Not what I anticipated from a simple trip to the dentist!
 
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