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November 28, 2013

Thankful.


Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!  May this be a day we give pause to appreciate our many blessings.

November 27, 2013

What I Love About Big-Girl Beds



You may remember that I was a bit apprehensive about moving the girls to big-girl beds.  I hadn’t intended to keep them in their cribs until they were more than 4 ½…but that arrangement continued to work for us; I had no real reason to change.

I didn’t want to move the cribs to the new house, though, and so that dictated our transition timing.

In addition to the incredible amount of work involved in the move, I was so nervous!  I was afraid that our wonderfully rested babies would suddenly decide to challenge their bedtime routine; that they would think it was more fun to roam around the {new} house than it was to sleep.

KNOCK ON WOOD, none of those fears have come to fruition.  For that, and for many other reasons – ones I didn’t know to anticipate – I am really, really loving the girls in their big-girl beds.

For one, I couldn’t reach the girls very well in their cribs, so I was missing out on some wonderful nighttime cuddles.

Now, I just love to tuck the girls under their blankets at bedtime, safe and sound.

I love to bend down and give them one last kiss before I turn off the lights.

I love to check on my babies after they’re asleep.  I love to kiss their sleepy heads.  And their soft, sleepy hands are so very tender, I can’t resist squeezing them.

A couple of times as I’ve been checking on my cherubs, Baby A has woken up just a bit.  She’s given me the sweetest, sleepiest hugs.  I love you, Mommy,” she says from her slumber.

In the mornings, I love to sit on the sides of the girls’ beds and rub their backs, to give them tender kisses on their warm temples, just as they’re waking up. 

I love to pile in their beds beside them for full-body hugs.

I love to tickle them awake, and wrestle with them in their beds sometimes.  I’ll pretend to lie down, and then exclaim, “There’s a lump here!  The girls think it’s hysterical.

And once they’re up for the day, the girls love to make their beds!  They are so proud to get their covers sorta-kinda straight, and to prop their pillows up just right.

I am so thankful for such a smooth transition, and for the many new joys it brings.

November 25, 2013

What's Old is New

I don't know if it's a function of me being an only child, one who was pretty particular about her things, at that...or that my mom was a bit of a pack rat...or maybe a combination of both...but when I reached adulthood, I still had the majority of the toys I had as a child.

Over the past 10 years, some things I've parted with [farewell scary trap of a crib and rocking horse with rusty springs].  Some things I've kept [about half of the girls' books were mine as a kiddo].  And some things are hanging out in our garage [gulp].

A couple of things taking space in our garage were a wooden table and chairs set, a little rocking chair, and a doll cradle (that I remember most fondly as a bed for my childhood cat).

Over the past year or so, I'd been plotting how to recondition these items for the girls.  They would require some minor woodworking, and -- while I could probably have figured it out -- I was hoping I might run across someone a little more proficient than me.

During our move last month, we had a couple of painters over at the old house.  They seemed pretty handy, so on a whim I asked if they would be interested in a little project.

One of the guys jumped on the opportunity...and my old things now have a prominent place in our new house!

The girls have put these to such good use.  They just love having things just their size!

They did the "heart" sign of their own accord, and that was fine by me!

Getting Abby and Lily ready for their nap. :)

There may be some comparison pictures of me somewhere...I'll have to check with my dad when we're home over the holidays...but it's plenty enough for me to recall my fond memories of playing with these items three decades ago [gulp].

November 20, 2013

Digging through the Archives

My computer is in the shop for a little TLC.  I thought it would be a super-quick clean up, which has been done before while I stood there breathing down the Geek's neck, but this time they said my computer needed a little R&R.

I resigned myself to no internet for a couple of days.  (That's an unfortunate side-effect of my bargain basement cell phone from 1999, I might add.)

Then...I remembered...Hubby has a computer!  He claimed my old laptop and uses it from time to time, mostly to look at car stuff and soccer stuff.

Now...where to find said Old Laptop in the New House???

I located it pretty easily...and after a 24-hour hiatus from online, I'm back in touch with the real world...at least here and there.

I had planned to write a post today with a picture I took yesterday morning...but I'm not going to go through the trouble to download the picture to this computer...and then turn around and download it to my computer in a day or so.

Hmmm...what to do???

I decided instead to take a stroll down Memory Lane and look at the last batch of pictures on this computer...from July 2012.


So, I think this is two posts in a row where I'm lamenting my BABIES...but look how tiny they were!!!  It's incredible to see those round baby faces and fine baby hair.

Sniff, sniff and big smiles...hanging on and enjoying this ride!

November 18, 2013

Growth as Measured in Fractions



Before the girls were born, I remember washing all their teeny-tiny clothes.  I had so many items, but they made for such a small load in the washing machine.

It was a fun exercise to work through how I wanted to organize everything.  I enjoyed setting up their closet and deciding how I wanted to fold their onesies and pants, their burp cloths and blankets.

(You may know I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to folding laundry.  If I’m going to wash and fold, then it must look pretty when I put it away.  I want to be able to appreciate my work!)

The girls had a dresser in their room, but they had so many wonderful shelves in their closet.  I decided to buy plastic bins to use as “drawers” on their shelves.  This system has worked incredibly well.  It allows easy access to everything, and when I need to switch out their clothes for the season, I simply put the bin of long-sleeve pajamas on a higher shelf and bring down the bin of short-sleeve ones.

I know this system won’t last me forever, though…at least not with smaller size bins that I have.

When the girls were infants, I folded their knit pants in half side-to-side, and then in half again, top-to-bottom.  I’m not absolutely certain, but I believe I got three stacks of pants in one bin.

It wasn’t too long before the size of their pants increased, and I went down to two stacks per bin, still folded in half.

A couple of years ago, I had to start folding their pants into thirds in order for them to fit in the bins.

And this year?  My B is still wearing mostly size 4 pants, so I haven’t had to make any adjustments.  My A, though, is wearing size 5…and some of those will flash an occasional ankle.  The last pants I bought for her were actually size 5/6.  ACK!

And yes, those LONG britches are too long for thirds.  I’m now folding some of A’s pants into fourths.

As if it weren’t enough for me to see their growing shoe sizes…their increasing height, coming close to my chest…their blossoming vocabulary and number prowess…The Universe just won’t let me forget that my BABIES are growing up, as further evidenced by my laundry piles.

The next thing I know, I'll be asking my girls to reach something for Mommy on a higher shelf...at least I think they'll surpass me in height, which will have its advantages!

November 15, 2013

I've Been Blogging!

...just not here.

This week I'm so thankful to be part of a series at How Do You Do It?, in honor of March of Dimes' Prematurity Awareness Month.

Our girls were born at 34 weeks.  They spent 10 days in the NICU with only minor interventions.  We were very lucky.

Still, that experience had a profound effect on our family.  We are very humbled, and very grateful to have two healthy babies, now almost FIVE YEARS OLD!

If you haven't already done so, I invite you to check out the many inspiring posts that are being shared this week.



In sharing, we raise awareness.  And in raising awareness, we hope to lower the incidence of prematurity.

November 9, 2013

I Wasn't Ready for This!!!



Wednesday was a day on which we didn’t have many commitments.  I had proposed going for a walk, and I was thinking about making some granola with the girls.  I’d planned for us to spend a leisurely day at home.

I was drinking coffee and spending a little bit of time on the computer.  My A crawled in the chair behind me, and I heard the most spine-tingling sound, that of her grinding her teeth together.  Don’t do that, Sweetie!” I cautioned, trying not to sound too horrified.

A few seconds later I noticed she had a really funny look on her face, and I asked her to open her mouth.  I couldn’t have been more surprised at what I saw!



Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so shocked.  My A bumped her front tooth in August (I think).  The dentist said it would likely solidify again, which it eventually did.  He noted that she might expect to lose her teeth earlier than average, since she started cutting teeth on the early side (about five months).  When A bumped her tooth again on Friday, I thought the same thing would happen and we wouldn’t have any snaggle-tooth smiles for a while yet…but I was wrong!

As surprised as I was, I am very thankful my first reaction was of joy (even if a little bit of that was manufactured on the quick).  WOW!!!  Baby girl!!!  That’s awesome!!!  What a big girl you are!!!  Let Mommy see!!!  We have to take a picture!!!  And let’s go look at you in the mirror!!!

Baby A had a huge smile on her face as we danced around, high-fiving and giggling.

(I did take a deep breath shortly thereafter, and I called the dentist.  The lady laughed at me a little bit, but she promised I wasn’t the only mama to call after her kiddo lost a tooth.)

What to do now???

We don’t celebrate Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, so the Tooth Fairy wasn’t in our plans.  I wanted to do something really special to mark this milestone, though.  I posted a question on Facebook (HOW did parents survive before Facebook???), and a friend suggested a really awesome idea.  I could start a necklace for the girls, and for each tooth they lost, they’d get a bead.  Brilliant!!!

Before we commenced bead shopping, we went for ice cream…at 10:00 in the morning!  I knew that would be such a special treat for the girls.  They were giddy!

It took us a few tries, but we finally landed at the jewelry store downtown, where we decided on a wrap bracelet for my sweet A, something that could easily grow with her.  We chose her first charm, the letter “A”.

It wasn’t quite time for lunch, so we decided then to surprise Daddy with a quick visit.  I called him on the way to his school, and he hadn’t yet seen the email I sent with the picture evidence.  He met us in the parking lot of his school, and Baby A flashed a huge smile.  Daddy was so surprised!!!

The final celebration was lunch at Tea Bayou with my BIG girls.

We had such a fun day, and I can’t quit thinking about it.  I am so thankful we were all home, with nothing else going on, that we could invent a brand-new tradition and roll with it from start to finish.

And I am so incredibly proud of BOTH of my girls.

Baby A took the milestone like such a champ.  She can sometimes be pretty sensitive to attention, almost self-conscious about her person.  While she wasn’t willing to show off her new smile to everyone we met while we were out and about that morning, she was all smiles, all day, at home.

And my sweet Baby B was such a supportive sister.  She did get a tiny bit wistful as Baby A picked out her bracelet, but the vast majority of the day, she was smiling, right alongside her sis.  I caught her a few times, checking her teeth for any signs of wiggles, but she did a lot of congratulating, telling A, “Great job, Sissy!

I never would have thought to anticipate such a day, but I must say, it turned out pretty perfectly, and for that, we are all smiling.


November 1, 2013

Our Annual Family Photo

It started as a fluke. 

The girls' first Halloween, when they were almost 10 months old, we took them out to make pictures on the front porch.  One of our sweet neighbors stopped by too ooh and coo at seeing the most adorable pumpkins.  We asked if she would mind taking a family picture...and the tradition was born.

Since then we don't rely on happenstance, though.  Well ahead of time, we schedule a neighbor or a friend to come to take the snapshot for us.

We're FIVE years running now [which just seems CrAzY!!!], and this is a super-big deal to this mama!

This year I found myself pretty stressed.  The weather forecast was really grim for Halloween day.  I had in mind whom I'd ask to take our picture, but I was worried we'd get rained out.

And then it occurred to me...nobody says a Halloween photo has to be taken precisely on Halloween!

We had scheduled Miss Jenny to come hang out with the girls on Wednesday afternoon, and I'd planned to meet Daddy for an early dinner.  Mid-day, I emailed Hubby and asked him to come home instead.  The girls were TICKLED to dress up that afternoon, and Miss Jenny was the perfect photographer.

I'm loving our 2013 family photo!!!


And you know I cannot resist a good comparison photo opportunity!!!

2009

2010

2011

2012
This is one of my favorite traditions, for sure!  Happy Fall, Y'all!
 
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