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August 23, 2014

Return to "Normal"...at Least for Today

The girls have been in school now for 2 ½ weeks.  They love it, and I love that they love it.  What I don’t love, though, is how far away from our past-five-years “normal” our days are now.

I am up bright and early to get myself ready before I wake up the girls at 6:15.  We eat breakfast, and then I send them upstairs to brush their teeth and get dressed while I clean up the breakfast dishes and get dressed myself.  We fix hair and load lunchboxes, and we’re out the door by 7:20. 

The girls and I spend about 15 minutes waiting in the drop-off car line each morning.  I take a book and we read while we wait for the doors to open at 7:45.  I give them hugs and kisses and head to work.

After school, Daddy picks the girls up, and I try my best to get home by 5:30.  I heat up supper (I’ve cooked everything ahead of time), we eat and clean up…and we’re left with about 30 minutes (if everything goes as planned) to enjoy each other’s company before we begin our bedtime routine.

This is a million miles from the majority of our days to date…when we held our own schedules and had plenty of time to do what we wanted, when.

Today we enjoyed a throw-back to “normal”.  It was a busy day, but oh, so welcome.

The girls slept (more or less, anyway) until 7:00.  We got up, got dressed, and headed out to breakfast.  After breakfast, we went to one of our favorite hangouts, Lost River Cave.  It was incredibly HOT, so we didn’t hike all the trails, but we spent a good hour meandering around the grounds.

After our outdoor adventure, we began our weekend errands.  Daddy and the girls dropped me off at Walmart, while they headed to Target.  They picked me up, a week’s worth of groceries in tow, and we made a quick stop by Sam’s before heading home.

After encountering more than our fair share of spiderwebs during our morning hike, we headed straight for the shower.  The girls played around while I got towels and outfits, and then we all got squeaky clean.  We enjoyed a low-key lunch, and the girls got straight to playing while Mommy had a [glorious!] nap.

I was awoken by the sweetest Baby B.  “Mommy, can you come upstairs and play ‘party’ with us?”  Of course, I would love to!

The girls had worked hard to set up a birthday party for their stuffed kitties.  They were very proud to show me how they’d set the table, made a cake, and iced cupcakes.  (I was pretty impressed with how they pretended to use decorator icing!)  Baby A had made an elaborate play structure from Connectagons to entertain the party guests, and Baby B made a rainbow collage of foam shapes as a present.

We had a great time playing…and then the girls and I headed to the bookstore to buy the next book in the “Little House” series.  We enjoyed a yummy snack at the bookstore, and we had a great time browsing for books.  In addition to the Little House book, I indulged the girls with a book on spiders, one on the human brain, one on skyscrapers, and a new night-night story. 

We left the bookstore and headed to the craft store to pick up a couple of items.  We ran into a couple of the ladies we know there, who were all excited to hear about the girls’ kindergarten adventures.

After the craft store, we had one more quick stop, and we headed home.  The girls rode their bikes on the driveway (while Daddy was cutting the grass), while I made a quick supper.

We had a great dinner, and then we enjoyed some time with our new books.

It was the perfect day.  Yes, it was busy…especially in contrast to Baby A having asked on Friday if we could snuggle all day on Saturday…but it was great.


I am very thankful for this dose of the “old normal” as we’re creating our “new normal”, at least during the week.  And I'm looking forward to cashing in on those snuggles on Sunday.

August 15, 2014

I'm Going to Miss This

I had a really hard time, the last few days before the girls started kindergarten.  It wasn't so much that I couldn't come to grips with my babies growing up...but it was all about how much I would miss the amazing 5 1/2 years we shared so intimately.

Sure, we'll have our mornings and our nights together, and we'll make the most of every weekend...but it's the random, middle-of-the-afternoon, impromptu trips to the orchard that I will miss so very much...

...it's being there for the most average of days, and enjoying the most incredible snuggles, any time I pleased.

...it's sharing the ups and downs and restlessness...turned to incredible displays of imagination.

Here's just a snippet of some of the carefree fun we had this summer.

Swim lessons!

Picking tomatoes from the garden!

Picking strawberries from the berry patch!

Getting lost in a craft!

Having fun at birthday parties!
Playing at the park!

Hanging out at the orchard with friends!


Learning new skills!
Ceramics!

Ice cream with Mommy!
 ...and one of my favorite pictures of the summer...
The dancing fountains!
And, of course, we enjoyed two amazing trips (no vacation time required).

Chicago!!!

New York City...with friends!!!
I am beyond grateful for these baby girls, and for the 5 1/2 years we've ENJOYED, together.  New adventures await, for sure...but these days will forever have such a special place in our hearts.

August 8, 2014

First Day of Kindergarten!!

Wednesday was the girls' first day of kindergarten!  It was really hard for this mama to believe...and even harder for me to swallow...but I focused on the girls' excitement for their next big adventure.

I decided to spare the girls an early-morning photo shoot.  Baby B was raring to go when I woke them up at 6:20...but A, despite being reminded it was the First Day of School!!!...pulled the covers over her head and said, "NOOOO!"

I enticed her out of bed with the promise of crab quiche waiting for her...one of her favorites.

B downed her plate, but A didn't eat her usual portion.  I think 6:20 is just early for my baby girl!

After breakfast, both girls galloped upstairs to brush their teeth and get dressed.  There was a small amount of coaxing, as these are new shirts (ones I bought a couple of years ago on clearance, the girls have been begging to wear them!).  They have a different neckline than what the girls are accustomed to, and A wasn't quite feeling it.  We finally moved past that, and everyone was ready for hair.  They both chose braided pigtails (much to Mommy's delight).

And then we headed to the front porch for a little photo shoot.


They loved the sign I made them!


After pictures, we were off!

We got to school at 7:30, thinking that the first day would be kinda nutty.  It was anything but...I actually questioned myself if it was, indeed, Wednesday.  The parking lot was almost empty!  We were one of the first families to walk into school that day.

The girls were SUPER excited to put on their new backpacks.  I didn't even have to beg for this picture!



And there they went...



(Of course I was following closely behind...I wasn't going to miss walking my babies into school that first day!)

We had to wait for a few minutes for the classrooms to open.  The girls were pretty quiet in the foyer of the school.  I'm sure there were a lot of things going through their little minds!

When we got to their hallway, though, they relaxed a bit.  Here are their pictures in front of their classrooms.

Love the look of anticipation on A's face!

My big girl B!

B gave me a quick hug, and filed into her classroom.  Next door, A gave me a quick hug, and she was gone, ever-so-slightly more tentatively, too.

When I got to school to pick them up that afternoon, the car line was already quite long.  I waited, watching intently to see if I could catch a glimpse of them walking outside to the pick-up area.  I didn't see the girls...but I did see Hubby!  What a surprise it was for all of us!

He managed to get away from his school a bit early, and he headed over to see the girls.  The three of them had to wait until I pulled around, but he was able to walk them to the car.  Baby B had a smile on her face, but A was a little bit overwhelmed, I think.  She wasn't upset, but I know she missed her mommy.

Both girls were EX-HAUS-TED that afternoon.  Still, they loved their strawberry smoothie I made as a special snack.  For supper, I made split pea soup, and A said, "Oh, this is very special, too!"  Hahaha!

The girls told us all about their first day.  A's favorite part was getting to draw a farm during centers.  B's favorite part was watching a cartoon of a pig trying to climb a refrigerator (?).

The girls had two recess sessions that day, but they didn't get to see each other.  They saw each other in the lunchroom, but only from afar.  (They told that matter-of-factly, but I think everyone will be happy when their regular schedule kicks in on Monday and they are together for reading and math.)

I am very thankful that the girls had a great first day (and so far, a great first week).  They are super-pooped, though...I know everyone is thankful this first week is a short one.  Welcome the Weekend!!!
 
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