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December 28, 2013

Pictures from Our Christmas Morn

After a marathon trip to Sweet Home Alabama, we were thankful to have such a wonderful, low-key, family-centered Christmas Day at home.

The girls love the toys they got...they've played and played and played.  It's been simply blissful for us all!

Here is the story of our Christmas Day, as told [mostly] in pictures.

The girls got up to find a very complex marble run!

Moments later, it was in a pile...but that just prompted the girls to come up with their own design.

One of the huge highlights was giving Sasha her gifts...

She LOVES her catnip banana!!!

Sweet sissies, watching their furry sister Sasha playing.

The girls were ecstatic to open their stockings!  New art supplies were a big hit!

And then it was time for a big, yummy breakfast.

My Christmas tree tart and bacon-wrapped smokies...yum!

Opening gifts!

Mommy and her little penguins...LOVE.
My favorite picture of the day!

Sasha loves her new bed, put in her favorite dining room chair, in the sun.

And the rest of our day, and the couple of days since, have looked a lot like this...bliss!





So thankful for a wonderful {continued!} holiday with my loves.

December 26, 2013

Pre-Christmas in Dixie...with PICTURES!

As soon as everyone was out of school for the holiday, we loaded up for our pre-Christmas trip to Sweet Home Alabama.  It was a jam-packed adventure...780 miles over three days...but we had a great time.

We got to Granddaddy's on Saturday afternoon, and Grandma Linda and Grandpa Cecil were there for a short visit.




The girls were SO excited to meet Granddaddy's new kitty, Jessie.  She is such a sweet fur-baby!



We enjoyed a wonderful steak dinner, and the girls headed upstairs for bed.  That first night Mommy was summoned a couple of times as the girls were tousling over the covers.  I solved that the second night by tucking them in more tightly.  Hee hee!

On Sunday morning, we headed to GG's house.  Uncle Tommy and Aunt Janet pulled in just behind us...perfect timing!



We had a wonderful meal, courtesy of GG, including a Grecian orange cake AND a coconut cake.  We exchanged presents.  The girls were thrilled over new house shoes and scarves from GG, and a kitty and puppy that meow and yap from Uncle Tommy and Aunt Janet.

 

We then drove to my hometown to visit with Mr. and Mrs. T.  Mr. T was my band director, and he and Mrs. T owned the little bakery where I worked.  They are some of the kindest, warmest people you'll ever meet.  I was so thankful to introduce the girls to them!  The girls were kinda tired by that point, but the T's dog Mia helped pep them up.



We also got to see Ms. Jenny.  She's the mom of one of my friends from grade school, middle school, and high school.  Jenny was my first Girl Scout leader, and she and my mom were great friends.  Jenny helped organize the get-together with the T's.  It was so wonderful to visit with her, too.



On our way back to Granddaddy's, we stopped at Noccalula Falls.  There had been so much rain the night before, the falls were raging!  It was really cool to see!



We exchanged presents with Granddaddy and Emme.  The girls were thrilled over their Alabama sweatshirts and Lincoln Logs!  "It's just what I wanted!" the exclaimed upon opening their shirts.




The girls gave Jessie the gift they'd picked out for her, a catnip pillow just like our Sasha has.  Jessie loved it, and she put on quite a show, playing with it.

After a little more play time on Monday morning, we packed up and headed to Aunt Alison's house.  She had a craft set up for the girlies, followed by a delicious brunch (with GRILLED bacon...YUM!!!).  We were so excited to meet Baby Owen when he woke up from his nap.  He is such a precious soul!








This was the best picture we could get of everyone...four kiddos of three different ages is a hard row to hoe!


On our way home, we surprised GG by picking up a pizza for a quick lunch at her house.

It was a very busy trip...but our hearts were full with love of friends and family.

December 16, 2013

The Evolution of Bath Time

I gave the girls their first bath when they were in the NICU.  I am really thankful for having that experience, as it made me ever-so-slightly less PETRIFIED when we bathed them the first time at home.

We continued to bathe the girls in their infant tub for many months, until they could sit up relatively well for a tub bath.

For a very long time, I got in the tub with the girls.  They bathed in our master bathroom, in our big jetted tub.  It was far too deep and wide for me to manage bathing even one baby from outside the tub, so we made it a family event.

I would bathe with one baby, while the other sat in the bouncy seat in the bathroom.  Then we'd switch for Round 2.

After the girls' first birthday, I decided we could all pile in the tub.  It was a bit crowded, but it was certainly more efficient.

At some point during the girls' second year of life, I decided that bath time would be a great opportunity for one-on-one time.  For a long time after that, I would get one kiddo squeaky clean, while Daddy played with the other...and then we'd switch.

After the girls' second birthday, I finally discovered that I could sit on the side of the tub, with just my feet in the water, and wash them well enough.  We continued in that manner until we moved into our new house.  (I distinctly remember becoming very expeditious with bath time when the girls took swimming lessons at 3 1/2.  Our lessons were at 3:30, making it 4:30 by the time we got home, which was pushing suppertime.  At least for those few weeks, we dispensed with bath toys and got straight down to business.)

When we moved in October, the girls were thrilled to finally have their own bathroom.  Although their tub was a much smaller, standard size, they loved their baths...and Mommy finally was able to manage hair washing from the {relative} comfort of the floor mat...no more wet toes for me!

Then...a couple of weeks ago...I asked the girls if they'd like to try my big walk-in shower.  I didn't know how they would react, as the last time we got out the sprinkler in the backyard, only one of them was was game for being squirted.

THEY LOVED IT!!!

The body sprays are right at the level of their heads, so those work well for washing their hair.  And they have a blast sloshing around in the "rain".

B cracks me up!!!  She looks like she's really relaxing from a long day of play.

Mommy is back in the mix, though, at least for the hair washing.  That's OK, though...it's an easy in and out for all of us.

I love thinking back through the progression of bath time...but it's just another reminder...my BABIES are growing up!  At least they're still all about hooded bath towels.  No matter how "grown up" they are, they're still my tiny babes in fluffy animal get-ups.

(At 13 months, they got butterfly and duck towels...we've progressed to owls and frogs, but the cuteness factor hasn't changed a bit.)



December 11, 2013

SUPER STUFF!!!



At LONG last, here is my SUPER STUFF {sorta-kinda} catch-up post.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, the girls asked me if they could have a Daddy-Daughter day.  I told them to ask their daddy…and apparently he’d already told them to ask me.  The girls were THRILLED to see Mommy off to go grocery shopping in Daddy’s car, while they prepared to go out to lunch.  I’m told they had a great lunch AND made a stop by Walmart to pick up some cat food.  (My hat is off to the husband for braving Walmart with the girls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, too!!!)

We went on a great family walk the weekend after Thanksgiving, too.  The girls get SO excited when Daddy comes with us.  Without both my hands occupied, Mommy took along the camera and snapped a few (or a hundred) pictures.

We joked with A that she has a "nest" in that tree...she calls it 'her' tree now!

My reflection in B's glasses.  Love.

Showing off their mittens!

The girls crack me up with a handful of continued mispronunciations.  Baby A calls kiwi, ‘kew-ee’.  She can say it correctly, but seems to choose not to.  But it’s kew-ee to me!” she insisted recently.

Baby B still says interesting as ‘inch-resting’.  She doesn’t seem to be able to say it correctly, despite her stellar pronunciation of virtually every other word in the dictionary.  That makes it so sweet to this mama’s ears…hearing her talking so seriously, so grown-up about something, and proclaiming how “inch-resting” it is to her.

B was talking to A about something Christmas-related.  Sissy [A] Elf,” she called her in the sweetest voice.  Melt.

B cracked me up when she commented – of her own accord – on A’s choice of red-and-white striped reindeer socks with her pink tennis shoes.  A’s shoes look good with those reindeer socks!” she declared.  Hahaha!

The girls were chatting in the back seat of the car one day on the way to school.  When we grow up, there will be two mommies in the kitchen, not just one, like you.  That way we can cook faster, and Daddy will be happy, because he is always hungry.”

Another funny quote, from that same conversation…”Daddy goes to work so we have money on the days when he is off.  I guess we don’t need money on the days he works???

The girls have been practicing dribbling a ball, off and on, for a year or so.  It finally clicked with Baby A last week.  She counted 35 times that she dribbled!  And I know she’s done even more at once…it’s pretty amazing!

Both girls love to come show me how sweaty they get, running around in the basement.  It’s such a badge of honor for them.  HA!

B was sitting by the fireplace a couple of days ago.  She called A over and said, “Kiss me, Sissy!  I guess A came in close enough for B to plant a kiss, and then she said, “You have to kiss me back!!!  HA!

We recently let the girls start using placemats, and they think they are SUCH big kids!!!  So far they’ve done a pretty good job at keeping them clean.  It’s one more step towards a normal table setting…hooray, and sniff-sniff.

I asked Baby A to go upstairs and get two ponytail holders from her bathroom (as they tend to migrate upstairs by the end of the week).  She brought down a handful to last us the week, without me asking her.  I just thought it was so neat to see her thought process.  The next day she picked up both sets of pajamas and put them in the laundry basket, without me asking her.  It doesn’t always happen, but she can be such a responsible baby girl.

On a whim a couple of weeks ago, I started teaching the girls some volleyball moves.  They LOVE it!!!  They will hit balls (or try to hit balls) back and forth for ages.  This mama loves it, too.  I can’t wait until we’re more reliably able to pass to each other…so fun!!!

Last Friday Daddy had an unexpected snow day from school.  Since the weather wasn’t supposed to come until later that day, we went out for a family breakfast.  We hadn’t been in quite a while, so it was a big treat.  The girls cleaned their plates…and then part of mine!

This dates back a few weeks, but I didn’t want to forget, as I laugh every time I think about it.  We had gone down to Nashville for a little shopping and then lunch.  The three of us were in the bathroom stall together (a big one, thank goodness), when “The Thrill is Gone” came over the sound system.  The girls have never heard that song, to my knowledge, but Baby B started strumming her imaginary air guitar and swaying slowly to the rhythm…all while Mommy was going potty.  I could have just fallen over, it struck me as so funny.

Also going back a few weeks, Baby A called me in the middle of the night.  I went up to her room and found her sitting in the middle of the floor, between the beds.  Mommy!  I can’t find my blanket!” she cried.  I chuckled and told her her blanket was on her bed.  I tucked her back in, and she went to sleep.  It wasn’t until a week or so later that it dawned on me, I think she fell out of bed.  Poor kiddo!  She’s one tough cookie, though.

And from the second night (I think) we were in the house…the guy was here from the gas company, working on our fireplace.  Hubby went outside with him to look at the gas grill.  Baby A followed them on the inside of the house, looking through the windows.  Mommy!!!  Why is Daddy going to the edge of darkness???  She was so alarmed, and it cracked me up how she characterized it.  She’s been using “darkness” a lot recently, instead of “dark”.  That just seems so foreboding!  

Lots of SUPER I don't want to forget!!!

December 8, 2013

Facebook Fodder




I’ve been missing my SUPER STUFF posts for way too long.  I’m getting back on track this week, but first I had to dig through my Facebook archives to capture some of the funnies from the past couple of months.  

***

Hubby likes to tease me that I'm from the boonies, and the girls think it's hilarious. Out of the blue yesterday, completely of her own accord, B said, "I'm part Booney, and part Yugoslav." Hahaha! At least she's proud of her heritage!

Singing: "Halloween is coming! Trick or treat! Trick or treat! We're going to be CATS!" I made the mistake of letting the girls sample some candy corn. I wouldn't have thought that three pieces would give them a sugar high, but that's the only thing I can figure.

B was explaining something to me, "Well, see, Mommy, that's a different concept."  Her delivery never ceases to crack me up.

We were at the mall today, and they had a bluesy version of "Let It Snow" playing in one store. "MOMMY!!! It's MICHAEL BUBLE!!!" She was beyond excited...even when I told her that other people sing that song, too.

The girls are very into realistic pretend play...I just heard them pretending one of their stuffed cats threw up. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. HA!

Life lessons today. I taught the girls how to clean the toilets, and they are beside themselves with joy. HA!

1.     The girls love big band music.
2.     The girls recently learned to "play" air guitar.
3.     The girls requested big band music this afternoon.
4.     B just said, "Mommy, traditionally I like to dance like this [insert mellow shuffle], but now I like  to dance like this [insert air guitar...although I couldn't pick out the guitar in 'In the Mood']."
5.     I am trying to keep a straight face

B, very pensively: "Mommy...that cookie I ate...it just made me feel really good."

The girls were asking how long until supper, and I said five minutes. Husband taught them to clarify, "Five SOUTHERN minutes, or five NORMAL minutes?" HA! For the record, supper will be ready precisely in five SOUTHERN minutes.

And after sleeping in for a whopping 15 minutes, my B said, "Mommy, every time I wake up, it makes me want to go back to sleep." HA! You're welcome to sleep as long as you'd like, my darling!

B: Can turkeys swim?
A, the diplomat: I don't know. If they can, that's good, but if they can't, that's OK.
Never a dull moment.

"And I will dig through the crust, and the mantle, down into the core, and I will hide it and you will not find it." Baby A was taunting Baby B, which warranted a reprimand...but I couldn't help but be kinda proud of how she did it.

It's not yet 8:30, and so far we have talked about the Pilgrims, the American Revolution, the Fourth of July, and why we speak English....the meaning of Christmas and Easter....where coffee comes from and how it's made. Bring it on, Saturday!

We've been reading Christmas books since Friday, and the girls have been drawing the manger scene (as they describe it) any chance they get. They usually draw themselves, with Baby Jesus in the middle. Except sometimes Jesus looks like a cat. I'm hoping it's the thought that counts???

B, of her colored pencils: "I really like these. They're efficient." How so? "They let me color really fast." Makes me laugh.

"I just love the illustrations in this book, Mommy. Even when I'm just looking at them when I'm reading to myself, they're altogether beautiful." Quote, unquote. These kiddos make me smile.

I made turkey tettrazini with our Thanksgiving leftovers. B was very honest, saying, "This is better than I thought it would be." HA! And then A added, "But it makes me sleepy." Oh, well, they both asked for seconds, and their commentary still makes me laugh to think about it.

***

So thankful for these little tidbits.


December 6, 2013

Thanksgiving Past and Present



It’s hard to believe this year was the girls’ FIFTH Thanksgiving.  Wow.

At this point, I can still remember each holiday celebration, and the girls loved the little tidbits I shared with them…

We’d planned to spend their first Thanksgiving – when they were almost 11 months old – in Alabama, but the girls came down with their first colds.  We called off our three-day plans, but we still braved the trip to have lunch with Aunt GG…down and back, 500 miles round-trip in one day.  We just caught Starbucks still open when we were about 2/3 of the way home.  We fed them bottles, and Mommy and Daddy got a little caffeinated boost.

Their second Thanksgiving we made it to Granddaddy and Emme’s house, high chairs and all.



By their third Thanksgiving we’d decided that we’d only make one holiday trip to Alabama, shortly before Christmas.  We spent our first Thanksgiving at home, just the four of us.  The girls were tickled to eat in the dining room, not sitting in high chairs…a very rare treat!



Last year, we spent the girls’ fourth Thanksgiving with our bestest twin friends.  We made crafts and played…how sweet it was to see our little Pilgrims hamming it up together.



This year, our twin friends were out of town, so it was just us four again.  The girls were so excited to eat in the dining room…our first time to do so in the new house!

The girls were excited to get up on Thanksgiving morning.  They milled around and we had a nice family breakfast…and then B finally asked, “Mommy, last year I think you gave us gifts on Thanksgiving, didn’t you?”  Remember, we got new panties and a book.  It took me a few seconds to place that they were thinking about Valentine’s Day.  I reminded them that Thanksgiving is a time for family.  The rest of the day, they kept repeating, “Thanksgiving isn’t about gifts; it’s about family,” over and over.  HA!

The girls were also so excited for me to cook a turkey (breast).  I guess they were fueled by a couple of Thanksgiving-themed books we read, but they just thought it was grand.  They watched the entire operation from their “cooking show” stance across the kitchen island.

The girls helped me make the cranberry sauce.  They loved watching the berries POP, and they were pretty proud of their effort.

They had turkey races in the basement…where they flapped their “wings” and made “gobble-gobble” sounds as they ran around.

We made our traditional batch of Chex mix, and they watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade for the first time ever while they munched away.  They liked the Rockettes (“the people that all do the same thing when they dance”); they both asked for tap shoes; and Baby A now wants to play the drums.

When it was time for lunch, the girls were giddy to help me carry things to the table.  (I flashed to the scene in our Curious George book, when he tries to carry too many of the Thanksgiving trimmings at once.  I begged them to carry only one thing at a time!)



My A spread “her” cranberry sauce on everything, including the sweet potatoes and the creamed spinach.  I was not really a fan of that idea, but I let her have her fun.

After we enjoyed a big meal, it was time for dessert…and TWO desserts, at that.  The girls each had a half a slice of pumpkin cheesecake, and half a piece of our pecan pie bars.

And I keep laughing at Baby A’s sly plea.  After her meal AND dessert, she told me she was still hungry.  HOW can that be, A???  My tummy digested it really quickly. It’s already in my intestines, Mommy! I need more pecan pie!

Nice try, Kiddo.

Along those lines, here's my favorite picture from the day...A checking to see if B left her anything to eat!

"I can't believe she ate the whole thing!"
 
All in all, we are very thankful for another memorable year!
 
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