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July 30, 2013

Super Stuff!!!



1)      As we were waiting to turn left on a busy highway, B remarked, “They need a traffic light here.  I will get Granddaddy to help me design one.  HA!  I love that she was thinking of solutions…and that she thinks her granddaddy (an architect) can design anything.

2)      Thursday was our last tumbling class for the summer.  When we got out of the car, a couple of little girls called out to A&B, waving.  After class, another couple came up to give them hugs.  It was so sweet to see their new little friends – older girls who have taken them under their wings.

3)      Miss Jennifer was our first baby sitter, playing with the girls once a week from just after their second birthday until they turned three.  We hadn’t seen her in almost a year – save from running into her here and there in town – and she came over to visit this past week.  The girls were SO excited to learn she was coming.  It took them a few minutes to warm back up to her, but they were so sweet showing her the things she’d missed (new toys and new tricks) over the past year.  And I couldn’t help but appreciate how blessed we are to have had some really wonderful people in the girls’ lives.

4)      We met a friend at Lost River Cave, intending to play on the outdoor playground.  It was closed that morning, though, so we took a short hike to the butterfly conservatory.  This was my first time to “hike” with the girls by myself, and they did a great job.  And it was so very sweet to see the girls and Baby V.



5)      On Sunday night, the weather was absolutely perfect.  We made an impromptu trip to the park, where we played and played, and then enjoyed a pizza picnic.  We chose the park that’s within walking distance to the pizza place, and Daddy picked up a pie, which we enjoyed with our bottled water and bananas.  Just a year ago, I probably wouldn’t have been comfortable “winging” a meal like this…but it’s so very nice to be able to do it now!

6)      While we were at The Farm this weekend, and then again at the park, Baby A wanted to race.  I can still beat her, but I really have to put in the effort!  I cannot believe how fast my little speedster is getting!

7)      Over breakfast at The Farm on Saturday morning, B held up a piece of her melon for me to see.  Look, Mommy!  It’s a rhombus!  Hee hee!

8)      The girls were cackling at each other one morning over the pronunciation of the word “warmer” [in the context of a bottle warmer, I think].  One of them, B, I think, kept saying “wormer”…and A kept correcting her.  They were cracking each other – and me! – up for a solid ten minutes.

9)      Daddy accidentally dropped A's baby doll one morning, and she came running to me: "Mommy! I don't think Daddy knows how to be respectful of my baby!"

10)   Baby A, in particular, has been using the words “actually” and “in fact” quite proficiently lately.  It’s so funny in her scrappy little baby voice…and she is totally serious about it.

11)   Baby A was telling me this morning, “When I grow up, I will have a newborn baby…not a pretend baby…but a real one.  And I will have two babies at once, just like you did.  And I will have a swing and a bouncy seat.”  B chimed in, “I will just have one baby, but I will have a swing and a bouncy seat, too.  [I guess baby gear is top of mind for all future mamas, huh?]

12)  I complimented A on a block tower she built, telling her it was perfectly symmetrical.  Do you know what that means, I asked her?  "It means it's the same on both sides!" I consider the girls to have a pretty big vocabulary, but I love when they can actually define a word back to me...pretty cool!!!

July 29, 2013

So You Want to Make a Giraffe???

A couple of weeks ago, the girls kept asking to make a giraffe.  It was a rainy afternoon, so I decided to tackle a little craft project.

Until recently, I would plan any craft projects out to the letter...making sure I had all the supplies close by...meticulously plotting out each step, and who could do what by themselves, versus where I would need to insert myself.

Over the last few months, though, I've gotten much more comfortable with figuring things out alongside the girls.  They're (a little bit) more patient these days, and they (usually) follow directions pretty well. 

A quick Pinterest search gave me some giraffe-making ideas.

I dug out a few things I had on hand...yellow card stock, clothespins, brown yarn, and googly eyes.

I cut out shapes for the giraffe's body and head from the yellow card stock.  I had the girls draw brown spots on them with markers.  I then had the girls color the clothespins yellow, also using marker, followed by brown spots.

[Paint still makes me slightly nervous, so I credit my "cool as a cucumber" approach to the use of washable markers for this project.]

We used glue to attach a yarn tail and mane and our googly eyes.

The giraffe head we glued onto the inside of one of the clothespins.  And the last exercise, once everything dried, was to balance the clothespins so our little giraffes would stand up.

This little project satisfied the girls' need to create a giraffe, and it was downright fun for all of us!

Once complete, the girls wanted to build a mommy and a baby giraffe from their blocks (a regular exercise around here), so that their new giraffes would have some friends.


There we have it!  Our own giraffe sanctuary...and two happy babies!!!

July 28, 2013

Pictures from The Farm and Our Weekend Getaway

Yes, that's "The Farm" in capital letters...the cool little bed and breakfast we visited this weekend.

With all the house stuff we have going on this summer, we haven't taken any trips.  I've been itching to get out of the regular routine and do at least a little something before the school-year routine starts.

Enter "The Farm" idea...a working farm a two hours' drive from here.  I knew the girls would love seeing all the animals, and I knew we'd all enjoy getting away from home for a couple of days.

We left Friday morning and made it to the small little town by lunchtime.  At the recommendation of the folks at The Farm, we ate at a little bistro in their quaint downtown.  The girls had a chicken salad plate with salad and fresh fruit (they seem to be making it their mission to try as many chicken salad recipes as possible...and that's OK by me!).  I had a FGT-BLT...a fried green tomato BLT...and it was goo-ood!

It was a gorgeous day, and we sat on the screened-in porch.  As we waited for our food, B was explaining (in typical fashion) something of great importance. 

"It was this big!"

And here the girls gathered together to check out a delivery truck parked in front of the restaurant.


And there were snuggles with Daddy, too.


After lunch, we rode around downtown for a few minutes, and then headed to The Farm.  Here are Daddy and the girls after check-in, skipping down the steps to begin to explore the property.


We took in a few sights on our own, before the afternoon activities started.

Heading to check out the donkeys...doesn't A look like she's 24???

This sweet guy was very content to stand and be petted with one finger!

Hello, goats!

Mommy and her kids. :)
The first activity of the afternoon was milking a goat.  The girls were skittish at first, but ultimately they both tried, as did Daddy!


With the fruits of our labor, we joined everyone in the kitchen to get the goat's milk ice cream going (made with farm-fresh eggs, of course).  We also got to churn cow's milk into butter.

We churned using two different methods...shaking in a mason jar...


...and using a hand-crank that belonged to the owner's grandfather!


And here's the fresh butter from our jar.  We finished first, and Hubby thought we deserved a certificate.  HA!


Once the butter was rinsed, we enjoyed it on fresh biscuits...what a mid-afternoon snack that was!

Next we toured the rest of the farm.

We milked another goat and then gathered eggs.  B found three eggs, and A, two.


We also enjoyed watching some animals run around the barnyard, including twin goats.  I was trying to get my twins' picture with them, but neither set was very cooperative.  It was super sweet to see the baby goats playing together, though!

We got some up-close-and-personal time with the donkeys, Ricky and Lucy.


And then -- in perhaps the most unique experience I could have imagined -- the girls got to listen for the heartbeat of this expectant miniature horse's foal!


We had some downtime before supper, and the girls took advantage of the huge yard to race each other, and then they caught their breath on the tire swing in front of the house.




Mommy retired her camera for the day, but I have to note the amazing dinner we had.  The girls enjoyed their first-ever fried chicken...it was the real deal!  We had corn on the cob, another first, straight from the garden.  The girls were in love!  There were mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, homemade corn bread, fresh fried apples, local watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberries, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

And then, for dessert, we all enjoyed the goat's milk ice cream, atop homemade peach cobbler.

YUM!!!

By that time, it was long past our bedtime, but we stayed up just a few minutes longer for the girls to see the start of the bonfire.  We didn't stick around for s'mores...but I'm not sure I could have eaten another thing, anyway!

Saturday morning we got up to rain, so we didn't get to hike around the farm the way we'd hoped.  We still enjoyed a HUGE breakfast, though.

There was fresh sausage from the farm, scrambled eggs from those we'd gathered the previous day, French toast with awesome maple syrup, the same yummy fresh fruit, and -- of course -- delicious raw milk.

To round out our weekend, we timed our departure to have lunch at an Eastern European restaurant we spied the previous day.  We met some amazing friends from former Yugoslavia...folks with whom we'll definitely keep in touch.  Their hospitality was unparallelled, and -- although we weren't remotely hungry! -- their food was incredible, too.

It was such a fun weekend, full of great food, new friends, and wonderful adventures!

July 25, 2013

Super Stuff!



We had another super-great week of swimming lessons.  How I love to see my baby girls having such a fun time!  And in other super news…

1)      Out of the blue, Baby A exclaimed, “Mommy, your tummy must have been really big when I was in there!

2)      Daddy was teasing the girls that we would send them into the store to pick up something.  He said we’d give them money, and B interrupted, “But money is dirty!  We’ll need to wash our hands!

3)      We met Miss Demara with M&C at the bounce house last week, while five-week old A stayed home with her Daddy.  My Baby A was so worried how he would feed the baby while Demara was with us.  But how will A eat?  I told her Mr. G would give her a bottle.  Well what will be in it?  Milk from the gallon?  And then another discussion ensued about how the milk wouldn’t come from the store.  I had to laugh…and beam…at her detailed questions.

4)      B worried over her art supplies one morning, "This marker doesn't look washable, Mommy."  I love that kid!

5)      And I nearly fell out of my chair during art time another day, when Baby B asked me, "Mommy, what does 'pissed' mean?"  Like what, Sweetie? Can you use it in a sentence? I replied, trying to remain very calm.  "Like the 'sharp-pissed' crayon. You asked who had the 'sharpest' crayon."  Whew!

6)      The girls have been all about their baby dolls and building blocks this week.  I love seeing them playing – in new ways – with the toys that have been such a part of our lives for over three years now!

7)      On Friday night, we decided to go out for dinner, a rare treat.  We sat outside at the Mellow Mushroom, and the girls had such fun.  Afterwards, Baby A asked for ice cream.  We’ve NEVER gone for ice cream so late…but we indulged ourselves with yet another treat.  The girls were in heaven!

8)      We had such a fun time at a birthday party on Saturday afternoon.  I love seeing my girlies, playing with their friends.

9)      My Facebook status on Monday morning: It's not quite 8:30. So far today, we have...unloaded the dishwasher (a group effort)...eaten breakfast...researched Finland, the Great Barrier Reef, and tornadoes (in that order)...set up a store...and had a pretend birthday party. We know how to kick off a Monday at our house!

10)   On Tuesday we went to Mammoth Cave National Park to do a little hiking.  Words cannot express how I love to be out in the woods, just the four of us.  It’s the best family time ever!

We saw a mommy deer and her baby...here, she'd just groomed his face.

At Sunset Point.  The drop-off over the wall was only about 4', I promise!

Sisterly hug...I love it!!!

A tiny bit of "fall" color in the woods.  (This pic is for Marcia!)
 And there you have it...our weekly super highlights!

July 21, 2013

I'm Gonna Miss This



These days can be a mixed bag.  The girls are in the process of dropping their afternoon naps (although I haven’t officially given up hope!), and their moods can be challenging when they’re tired.

Come 4:00, I’m usually looking forward to bedtime.

And I hate to feel like that.

I feel guilty for wishing away the crabbiness of the afternoon.  I feel guilty for looking forward to the passing of this stage, when their sleep schedule have leveled out and my even-keeled babies have come back to me.

Even amid the moods, there are so many precious moments, and I know I’m gonna miss this…

The girls waving madly to the huge fiberglass cow we pass on the way to the yogurt shop.  Hi, Big Cow!

The girls talking about how they would like for the big cow to have a baby cow to keep him company.

The girls waving to random cows, horses, Sam’s Club, the chicken sign, the bank, Target, Starbucks…whatever they recognize.  It’s a wonderful little relic of their toddlerhood.

Baby A saying “more better”.

Baby A saying “pummus” instead of “hummus”.

Baby A giving me the biggest hugs, saying, “I could just hug you and hug you because I love you so much.  And, “Come here and let me give you a kiss!

The girls’ comparisons about how much they love me…”Mommy, I love you to the sun and back.  It’s farther than the moon.

Baby A’s strange – but hilarious – comparisons…”Mommy, I love you more than this chair!

The girls’ penchant for drawing and coloring.  They LOVE to be surrounded by their crayons and markers and scissors and tape.

The girls’ willingness to help.  They LOVE to help me unload the dishwasher.  They LOVE to do any little task in the kitchen…even sometimes just watching Mommy doing something.  And want to really make their day?  Ask them to run upstairs to get something / take something.  They delight in being helpers.

The girls’ love of organizing.  I’m a good organizer, Mommy,” B will remind me.  Organizing is fun!

The girls pretending they are each other’s coaches…teaching the other to swim in the bathtub, or to stretch, as in tumbling.

The girls and their baby dolls.  They go through spells these days, playing with them, but they can be so incredibly tender when they take such good care of them, read to them, and whisper sweet nothings to them.

The girls and their stuffed animals.  They take such good care of their furry babies.

And of course I could go on and on and on.

With time I know the details will fade.  It won’t hurt my feelings to gloss over some of the challenges, but I sure hope I can recall the joys.  I know it – the good and the bad – is fleeting.

July 17, 2013

Backseat Drivers



When we turned the girls’ car seats to forward-facing in February, it was amazing the things they noticed…things that I wouldn’t remotely think to point out to them.  They were enthralled with all the buttons and lights.  They loved the cardinal directions on the rear-view mirror.  And they were so interested in why the keys were hanging by the steering wheel.  (That would be the ignition.)

Their excitement faded after a month or so, but the non-stop commentary from the backseat is back.  Yes, the girls are full-fledged backseat drivers.

Mommy, what is the speed limit?  Seventy?  Can you please go seventy?

Why are you slowing down?  I like to go fast!

Why can’t we make a u-turn here?

Sirens!  I hear sirens!  Stop, Mommy! 

Why is that truck going faster than we are?

Mommy, why didn’t you use your signal?  The other cars need to know what we’re doing.

Mommy, what was that bump?  They need to take better care of the road here.

Mommy, what is the number on my tire?  What about Sissy’s?  Does Daddy need to air them up?  (Our car is very sensitive to tire pressure changes…it beeps at me all the time to report the pressure, and the girls have picked up on this.)

Mommy, the light is green!  Yay!  We’re so lucky!

Mommy, do you think we’ll make that green light?  Nope…there it’s turning yellow.  We’ll need to wait our turn.

Mommy, I see the light over there turning yellow.  We’re going to get to go soon!

Where are those people going?  They just turned.

Those people must be going farther than we are.  They're not getting off the interstate.

Mommy, is the policeman giving that person a ticket?  Will they go to jail?  Do you get to bring your toys?

And so on…and on…and on.  I actually think it’s really cute, and pretty darn fun.  I just have to ask the girls to pipe down on occasion.  There are times when Mommy needs to concentrate on being the front-seat driver.  I can only handle so many questions from the backseat at a time!
 
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