Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

December 26, 2015

The Sweetest Thing This Christmas

This was such a sweet Christmas.  It warms my heart how the girls have been excited over the dearest things.

…their Candy Cane Hunt.  They’ve been asking about it since Day 1 of their Advent calendar.  They were SO excited to finally get the nod on Christmas Eve.  And they were so good about taking turns reading the clues.

…Mommy’s Christmas breakfast.  I didn’t realize this made such an impression on the girls, but my A has been talking about Christmas breakfast for days.  The girls think it’s a huge treat to eat Mommy’s fruit tart – in the shape of a Christmas tree – and from holiday plates, too!  On Christmas morning, I was buzzing around early and I heard the girls upstairs over the monitor.  B: "I hear Mommy making Christmas breakfast!"  A: "I know! That's my favorite thing!"

…giving presents to Mommy and Daddy.  The girls have been working for weeks on presents for us.  They’ve asked for gift bags, which we discovered this morning were filled with special drawings and messages from them to us.  They wanted us to open our gifts the very first thing, long before they opened anything themselves.

Excited to give Daddy the mug they picked out themselves!  B spied this Superman mug and said, "It's Daddy!"

My heart is very full at these girls’ hearts…such sweet blessings we have at Christmas, and every day.

December 19, 2015

The Ultimate in One-on-One Time!

Last year, the girls’ classes went on a field trip to the skating rink just before school was out for the holiday break.  It was their first time on skates, and there were lots and lots and lots of slips and falls.  Baby A fared fine, but we had a huge scare that B fractured her arm.  Fortunately, everything turned out OK, but that is a day that will live in infamy in our memories for a long time.

At some point this fall, the school announced they would again be taking a trip to the skating rink.  Baby A was excited, but B quickly declared she didn’t want to go.  So…I spent the month of December in conversation with their teachers about how to handle that.

As it turned out, it couldn’t have worked out any better!

Baby A’s class went skating in the morning.  I was able to join her at the skating rink.  I got her skates on, and we made numerous laps, both on the carpet and on the rink.  There were still lots of slips and falls, but she had a huge smile on her face the entire time.  Mid-way through our time there, I decided to don skates myself.  (I had wanted to last year, but there was no way I could manage TWO non-skaters with wheels on my own feet.)

Balancing pretty well!
It actually seemed easier to show A some mechanics with my own skates…and I had so much FUN!  At one point I was trying to illustrate something to A.  I skated a few feet and pivoted around.  A little boy – maybe a year older? – witnessed my “move”.  “WHOA!  You’re like Super Mom!” he gasped.  HA!  And I even enjoyed a round of speed skating while Baby A took a break. 

(The only pic I have of the two of us...HA!)

Last night, my A couldn’t stop talking about “THE MOST FUN EVER!!!”  She had such a great time, and I am so very thankful I got to share it with her.

When I left the skating rink, I went to pick B up from school.  It would technically count as a tardy for her to miss a little bit of the school day, but I decided that wasn’t a big deal since she’s missed a day and a half already.  She was SO excited to have 2 ½ hours with Mommy…AND to get to decide exactly what she wanted to do!

She chose to go to Cambridge Market for lunch.  She had her favorites – a chicken salad sandwich and white bean chowder.  She originally ordered fruit, but they were out.  She chose Brussels sprouts as the substitute.  (Hee hee!)

After lunch, we went to the jewelry store to pick out a new bead for her bracelet (since she just lost her second front tooth last Friday).  And then we made a quick trip by the pottery shop to pick up the ornaments we painted last week.

We walked through the downtown of our favorite places!

We still had plenty of time to go to the book store to pick out a couple of outstanding Christmas presents.  And of course B got to enjoy some hot chocolate in the café.

A huge smile and a whipped cream mustache!
It was so much fun for me to do exactly what B wanted to do.

What a great day it was, for all of us!!!

December 8, 2015

Reality Strikes This Holiday Season

(This post is not nearly as ominous as the title might lead one to believe...but I'm still chuckling over this "stark" exchange!)

Since the girls were small, they’ve desperately wanted to help decorate the Christmas tree.  Each year, I’ve devised some age-appropriate (and finite) task for them to do.  Certainly their involvement has progressed over time, but it’s always been very orchestrated.

This year, the girls just shy of seven, I was ready to turn over more reigns to them.  Hubby pulled the high boxes out of the storage closet in the basement.  I pulled out the lower boxes and began to unpack specific things from them.  I told the girls they could make trips upstairs, carrying small loads.  Baby B helped kick things off, and Baby A was in for the long haul.

Once everything was upstairs, Hubby and I assembled the tree and put the lights on.  The girls watched with rapt enthusiasm…although B was not sold that the lights would be “pretty” until we finally plugged them in.

After a quick vacuuming session, it was time for the girls to start the real fun!

While I unwrapped one box of ornaments, I told them they could take others from their boxes.  I directed them to make a pile of empty boxes and a pile of ornaments.  They were so cute, looking at each one…talking about which ornament belonged to whom, and when they’d made some of their crafty ones.

When everything was out, it was time to decorate the tree.  “Have at it!” I told the girls.  I encouraged them to hang a variety of types…our collectible silver bells interspersed with our handmade creations.  We had a small stepstool to help us reach heights, and Baby A, in particular, was great about asking for help here and there to reach just the right branch.

(B is on the stepstool here, and A is doing her best to reach just the right branch.)
It didn’t take long for the girls’ enthusiasm to wane, though. 

I’m tired!”  “This is hard work!”  “Can I go do something else?

I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself.  It IS hard work! 

My precious little ones…this is an early glimpse for you that grown-up things are not always full of “fun”.  Enjoy being a kiddo while it lasts!!!  Hee hee! 

November 21, 2015

Ardent (if Off-Key) Patriotism

In the morning meeting at the girls’ school, they sing a patriotic song each day.  They’ll stick with one song for a while before rotating on to another one.  The girls started singing bits and pieces of songs last year sometime, and it made me think we hadn’t sung any of those at home.

The girls know scores of kiddie songs from the CDs we’ve been listening to since they were tiny, but I have to credit their school for their knowledge of some [arguably more important] tunes.

The girls know all the words to the Star Spangled Banner, and they love it.  Yankee Doodle, God Bless America, and America, the Beautiful are also among their favorites.

I just have to chuckle sometimes at how much the girls love to sing these songs.  It’s not unusual over the past few months for us to be driving down the road, belting out our national anthem (in terrible harmony, I might add…but that’s part of the chuckle, I guess).  If someone is having a challenging moment, I’ve even used one of these songs to refocus their attention.  In no time, they’re lost in the lyrics, singing their little hearts out.

As I was planning to write this down, it occurred to me that I had similar swells of patriotism when I was a little girl.  I was probably a little older – as I remember I was already pretty good at whistling – but my one of my very favorite songs was Hail to the Chief.

(My mom drove my dad’s truck for a while, and I remember she’d laugh.  “What?  Do you think the president is sitting in the back of the truck?!”  HA!  That always made me chuckle, too.)

Maybe it’s a little kid thing…or maybe it’s just coincidence…but I am grateful to the girls’ school for instilling a love of patriotic songs.  And I’m thankful for recalling such a fun memory from my childhood.  May these be fun memories the girls will one day recall themselves.

November 19, 2015

Alone in the Spotlight

The girls have been singing “It’s a Jungle Out There” for weeks…they’ve been practicing their “monkey moves”…they’ve been reciting lines that aren’t even theirs…they’ve been telling us ALL about the play at school.

This week was finally the week!  And as luck (or something) would have it, we got to attend the play TWICE.

The school divided the kiddos into two groups, one to perform on Tuesday night, and the other on Thursday night.  Being in separate classes, the girls’ performances happened to fall on different nights.

I know I could have asked their teachers to allow them to perform together…and one of their teachers eventually volunteered this as an option.  This certainly would have been more convenient, but I actually kinda like the way it worked out.

Baby A’s performance was first.  She was the most excited little monkey!!!  

How fun it was to sit back, Baby B alongside me and Hubby, to watch Baby A do her thing.

Baby B’s performance was tonight.  Baby A was a little wistful that she didn’t get to wear her monkey hat, but I reminded her it was her turn to observe.

This was a rare opportunity for the girls to have the spotlight to themselves, and for one to sit back and take it all in.  (And the play was so stinkin’ adorable and the songs were so catchy, it really was fun to see it twice.)

Baby B enjoyed an extra-special something at the end of the night.  I could see her on the final song, doing the motions, but not actually singing.  That’s very unlike her…and when we got to her classroom after the play, I saw why.

B lost her first front tooth!!!

Now a snaggle-toothed monkey, B was even more ecstatic.  (I wouldn’t have thought that possible!)

I was so proud of my girlies, and what a treat it was to appreciate them in their own spotlights.

Hugs before B's play.  LOVE.

November 12, 2015

Rare Snuggles

I still don’t know what happened to Baby A on Tuesday.  She’s such a proud kid, she is even very reluctant to tell us if she tripped or fell.  When I got home from work, she did tell me she had “bumps” on her lip, though.  Sure enough, her top lip was a bit swollen.

[The best I can figure is that she bit herself somehow.  And when I was doing laundry last night, I saw a big dirty smudge on the arm of the sweatshirt she wore that day.  I’d guess those are related somehow.]

When she first told me about her lip, she was matter-of-fact.  It didn’t seem to bother her.  But within a few minutes, she started to complain that it hurt.  I had her rinse with water, and hold some cool water on it, but (after I called my nurse friend to confer) I told her she’d need to rest and hope it felt better in the morning.

Our girls are usually very quick to bed and to sleep.  My poor baby girl, though, was having trouble.  I got the feeling it was as much emotion for her as it was discomfort.

She was whimpering, tossing and turning.  She clearly couldn’t get her mind to settle for sleep.

For many reasons, chief among them 1) having twins, and 2) being a staunch advocate for sleep training and reinforcement, I have rarely ever slept with the girls.  As wonderfully cuddly as it is to have them climb into bed with us, for example, it’s just not something we do.  I don’t want to start that habit, as I know it would not be wonderfully cuddly for very long.

There are occasions where I bend my rules, though, and Tuesday night was one of them.

I knew my A just needed to relax.  I went upstairs and, without a word, I snuggled behind her in bed.  I whispered some “I love you’s” and stroked her hair.  She quieted and snuggled back against me.  She hugged my arm that was draped over her, and she kissed my hand.

We stayed like this for a while, her, gradually relaxing, and me, breathing it all in.

Of course I didn’t have my camera with me, but I’ll treasure this memory in my mind.  It was one of those precious times when Mommy really could make things better.

October 31, 2015

Wonder Twin Power...ACTIVATE!!!

The girls are young enough that I can still *suggest* a Halloween costume, and they're generally game.  We've done ladybugs and butterflies, and I had decided that bumblebees would be the theme this year.

I'd bought all the materials I needed to make bumblebee costumes (although I'll admit I was a little scared at how I'd pull everything off!).  A couple of weeks before H-Day, though, we got a note that the kids were invited to wear superhero costumes to school on the Friday before Halloween.

My mind started to spin a little bit, thinking about TWO Halloween costumes...but then I had the idea to *suggest* that the girls be superheroes instead of bumblebees.  The girls were up for the switch!

Since the girls could utter a few words, I'd had them performing "Wonder Twin Power...ACTIVATE!"  The Wonder Twins were a natural choice!!!

I asked a friend of a friend to make Wonder Twin shirts for the girls, and I made some [very basic no-sew] capes and masks.  I even made capes for Hubby and me.  (And I was incredibly pleasantly surprised that Hubby was very compliant!  He wore his Super Daddy cape and mask all night without hesitation!)

The girls were SO excited to wear their shirts to school on Friday...and SO VERY excited for Trick-or-Treating on Halloween!

Our dynamic duo!

Our *SUPER* family!

We went trick-or-treating with our BFFs...a Halloween tradition!

The whole gang!

And I LOVE this much awesomeness!!!

What a happy Halloween it was!!!

October 28, 2015

Fill 'Er Up.

I was lucky to be able to pick the girls up from school today.  As we were driving to meet Daddy for a special afternoon snack, Baby B was bouncing all around in her car seat.  I asked her why she was so happy.

"I asked Sissy at school today if she was my best friend, and she said yes!"

Cue a big smile from Baby A.

"And [A], is Sissy your best friend?" I asked.

Cue Baby A bouncing all around in her car seat.


We talked a little bit about friends and best friends and how A and B will always have each other.  "Because we were born together!" B said.


And that fills this mama's heart right up.

October 25, 2015


At long last...PICTURES!!!  These are {mostly} in the order I took them.

We saw the sunrise every day from our balcony!

The girls couldn't wait to test out the hammocks!

Feet in the water!  They loved it!!!
(Can't decide which angle I like I included them both!)

Family photo!

Mommy sandwich in the sand!  No better feeling!

The girls kept trying to make "sand balls" snowballs, I guess.

B, trying with slightly drier sand.  Still no luck.  HA!

Ice cream after lunch at one of our favorite restaurants at the resort!

Baby B, climbing the rock wall!

Baby A's turn!  I got a kick out of how "professional" they looked.

Another Mommy sandwich in the lobby of the hotel.  Beautiful!

Watching the sunrise from the beach...WOW!!!

Our second full day, we took a trip to the archaeological site at Tulum.  It was awesome!!!

One of the original entrances through the stone wall fortress.

I didn't know that Baby A turned her hat around until I saw this picture...cracks me up!

Such a cool view!

Our favorite family picture from our trip!
We even spied several wild iguanas.

After our trek around the pyramids, we were HOT and HUNGRY.  I felt kinda {a lot} guilty...but I couldn't resist the lure of Starbucks.

Back at the resort...

We sat here several times.  What a gorgeous view we had!

Our last supper at the resort.  We had excellent food, and the mariachi band was so much fun!

Our last morning...just a few more pictures...

The girls playing ball in the shallow pool

Mommy made a super-quick trip to the beach to take a last few pics...couldn't resist the view over my toes!

And this picture was on my bucket list!!!

Daddy even indulged us by picking up the camera...another Mommy sandwich!

We loved the float pool!

One last little refreshment after a morning of fun...

And our last picture of our trip, with our favorite waiter, Alejandro.  What a fitting way to sum up our trip...sweet family time, good weather, good food, a beautiful setting...and incredibly kind people.

We had such a wonderful time...and seeing these pictures, I am ready to go back!!!

October 22, 2015

Precious Slumber

My girlies have been early to wake for most of their lives.  There was a {glorious} period of time when they were about two, when they slept until 7:30, or even a little later…but they’ve been waking up around 6:30-ish, give or take 15 minutes, for most of the past six years.

Thanks to their {wonderfully fabulous} “OK to Wake” clock, they were staying put until 7am, when they would call out, “Mommy!  My clock is green!  I slept well!” in perfect unison.  But…when school started last year…I had to wake them up at 6:15.  It didn’t take long before that was their new wake-up time.  And sometimes, particularly Baby B, would wake up even earlier.

[I can’t really complain, as the girls would stay upstairs, usually reading, until it was a decent time to rise.  But I hated that the girls were missing out on sleep that I feel strongly they need.]

I’m not sure what to credit lately…maybe it’s the darker fall mornings…maybe it’s our weekly soccer practice that keeps them up later one night a week…maybe it’s the rigors of first grade…but our girls have been SLEEPY lately.  I don’t know that they make it all the way to 7:00 on weekend mornings, but I’ve had to wake them up (now at 6:30) many of the last school days…

…and what a treat that is!  There’s nothing yummier than warm, sleepy babies!

I usually tiptoe into their room and pick a bed to join.  I snuggle up next to someone and begin whispering good morning to my “tinies”.  The girls will usually moan a bit and snuggle into me.  I sometimes pretend I’m stretching out on the bed, “…but it’s so lumpy!”  And then I call the girls my “lump-lumps”.  They moan and giggle and snuggle some more.

I raise their pajama tops and kiss their warm bellies.  And then I sit up and pull them to me in my lap.  They snuggle in against me, their heads still fitting remarkably well under my chin.  I often physically stand them up and send them on their way to the bathroom.

And…repeat with Baby #2.

There’s just something about bedhead and warm, snuggly babies that takes me back to when they were little.  And I love it. 

(Baby B, from our traditional first-thing-in-the-morning pictures on the girls' sixth birthday.)
Thank goodness for sleeping “in”.

October 21, 2015

Vacation Fun...Part 2!

...and the continuation of our [awesomely long] list!...

Feet in the sand!!!
·         The girls sharing dessert.  At the Mexican restaurant the first night, they ordered different desserts.  They each had eaten about half, and they both agreed – of their own accord – to switch.  It was so sweet!!!
·         Seeing a school of fish.  The girls were ecstatic to see a school of the tiniest fish in the ocean.  They squealed with delight!
·         Starbucks.  (OK.  This is from Mommy’s list.  And I felt pretty guilty about it…being at an amazing archaeological site and having Starbucks.  But I did.  And it was good!!!)
·         Our favorite waiters.  Mr. Alejandro and Mr. Angel were so kind to us!
·         Handstands in the pool.  Baby A has become the master!
·         Speaking Spanish.  Right away the girls started saying pleasantries in Spanish.  They greeted EVERYONE with 'Hola!'  And they would be downright offended if the greeting wasn’t returned.  And on Day 2, one of the girls remarked, “Every time you say, ‘Gracias!’, someone says ‘De nada!’”  HA!
·         Hammocks.  The girls couldn’t wait to try the gorgeous hammocks at the resort.  They giggled with delight!
·         Hot tub.  The girls were taken over the hot tub, which we could see from the balcony in our room.  They were tickled to get to try it out one afternoon for a few minutes!
·         Taking the steps.  We were on the fourth floor, and we took the steps up and most almost every time.  We often counted the steps – in English, or Serbian, or Spanish – as we conquered each flight.
·         CRABBY-GRABBY!  In the shallow pool, we had fun “walking” on our hands and feet “like crabs”.  One day the girls made up a game.  “I’m Crabby!”  “And I’m Grabby!”  They were chasing me.  I told them if I were the human, and they were the crabs, that I liked to eat crab legs.  We had so much fun trying to get each other!
·         Reading!  The girls read SO much during our vacation!  They read on the plane and during “quiet time” in the hotel.  I know they each read two full chapter books!
·         Math games.  The girls love playing math games, and being on vacation was no exception.  It’s a great way to pass the time!
·         Quick to sleep.  The girls were incredible troopers, going strong all day long…but by bedtime, they were OUT!  Often I didn’t even get our bedtime story read…and occasionally I was still brushing #2’s teeth and #1 would be snoozing already.
·         B sleeping on Mommy’s arm.  Baby B went to sleep on the ride back from Tulum.  I haven’t had a sleepy baby on me in a long time, so it was quite the treat.
·         “Guards”.  Hubby first noticed that there were “guards” everywhere.  I don’t know if that’s really what they were, or if it was just the “off” season and not everyone had something they had to do, but we could usually spot someone standing perfectly still, looking from side to side.  Hubby and the girls did a great imitation!
·         Guacamole.  At our favorite restaurant, they would bring a small dish of [what seemed to us like] mashed avocado.  We asked our waiter if he could make some “real” guacamole.  He did – a big bowl! – and it was delicious!
·         Mojitos.  I was a little taken aback when one of our waiters brought the girls tiny “mojitos”.  They didn’t have alcohol, of course, but ACK!  We only drink water and milk!!!  I decided to chill out, and they sure enjoyed their miniature treat.
·         “Black fish, no good.”  We got into a farm-to-table conversation with one of the waiters.  He made the comment, “Black fish, no good,” which Hubby hung onto as a catch phrase.  He and the girls are still giggling about it.
·         Meeting new people.  We met some super-sweet people.  There was one couple from Tennessee whom we kept seeing.  They remembered the girls’ names, and were so kind to them.  That definitely added to our trip!

·         Fun with Spanish.  The girls know “poquito” means “a little”, and – of their own accord – they tried to call me “poquito mamica” [little mommy].  HA!  And we had fun adding “-rito” to each of our names as a diminutive.  Hee hee!

So many fun family memories!!!

October 19, 2015

Vacation Fun...Part 1!

[When I started typing this list, I didn't realize it was so {gloriously!} long!  So...breaking into a couple of sections.  Pictures to follow!]

On the plane home from vacation, I sat between the girls on both flights.  We decided to make a list of all the fun things we did.  I have a full page of [my] hand-written scribbles!  It was such a fun time, and I am so thankful to have shared it with my sweet little family!

Family shadows in the sand!
I’m recording this as dictated by the girls, [mostly] in no particular order…

·         Finding seashells, rocks, and coral.  (This easily made the top of the list!)  There weren’t many to be found, but the girls had a BLAST discovering tiny little treasures.  They could have done that for hours!!!
·         Swimming.  The girls LOVED swimming to their hearts’ desires!  There were some great pools at the resort, almost all of which they were tall enough to stand in.  They splashed and played and swam and dove.  It was so much fun!
·         Eating at our favorite restaurants.  We ate the most meals at Oceana, where our favorite waiter worked.  We ate dinner twice at the Mexican restaurant, where another kind waiter took care of us, and the girls got a kick out of the hibachi grill show at the Japanese restaurant.  The food was excellent!
·         The mariachi band.  (Baby A has slipped up a couple of times and called this a “hibachi” band.  HA!)  We had a great time listening to the band play traditional Mexican music at the restaurant.  They even played “De Colores”, a song the girls have been listening to since they were tiny.
·         THE BEACH.  This was the girls’ first time on the beach.  They had a constant SMILE on their faces…they couldn’t decide if they wanted to run…or squat and play in the sand…or wade in the water…they were in heaven!
·         Tulum.  We took a day trip to Tulum.  The girls were mesmerized by the pyramids AND the wild iguanas.
·         The balcony in our hotel room.  The girls LOVED going out on the balcony and looking at the beach.  We witnessed a gorgeous sunrise each day!
·         Juice at the beach bar.  Our girls RARELY drink anything but water and milk…but on vacation they enjoyed lots of fresh-squeezed fruit juice!  One of their favorites was a mid-morning treat from the beach bar…sitting on swings and drinking a combination of pineapple, orange, and strawberry juice while they cooled off from their morning beach frolic. 
·         Swinging on the beach.  There was a small playground at the beach, and they got in some good swinging!
·         Sand castles.  We didn’t build any huge masterpieces, but we still had some fun with buckets.  It was on the girls’ bucket list, for sure!
·         Rowing kayaks.  Twice we took kayaks out for a sail.  The first time, Baby A was with Daddy, and B was with me.  And then Baby B and I went back once by ourselves.  It was hard work here and there, but it was so fun!  After the initial pass, the girls each wanted oars themselves.  I was amazed at their hard work!
·         Sunrise.  Over the beach.  Every morning.  Bliss!
·         Ice cream.  The girls (and hubby) enjoyed their share of ice cream each day.  That was a big treat!
·         Pools.  There were so many great pools at the resort!  The girls loved playing catch in the “step pool” (as they called it).  There was a wonderful shallow pool that we all enjoyed.  And the infinity edge “float pool” (as we named it) was probably the overall best.
·         Jumping waves with Baby A.  I had some one-on-one time with each of the girls.  Baby A wanted to play in the ocean.  Although we didn’t have huge waves (which probably would have made me nervous!), she giggled the entire time we were in the water.
·         THE ROCK WALL!  The girls spied the rock wall – fashioned like a Mayan pyramid – online right away.  They could not wait to climb it!  They both did a great job!
·         Cold washcloths.  When we got to the resort, having traveled for a LONG time, we were greeted with cold washcloths.  They were so refreshing!
·         Walking on the beach.  I could go on and on about this, but it was fantastic!

·         New fruit.  The girls got to experiment with several new fruits…papaya, star fruit, and prickly pears (which Baby A called the “pokey pear”).  They weren’t a huge fan of the pears, but they enjoyed the papaya and star fruit!

...and this is only half of our list!  So thankful we wrote down our favorite memories!

October 12, 2015

Where Have I Been???


I was so proud of myself for writing EIGHT blog posts in the month of August!  Granted, we had a lot of fun stuff going on between the end of summer break and the beginning of school.  I was on top of my game, making time to write here and there.  And I enjoyed it so much!

And then…September.  School was in full swing, and I wasn’t keeping up with my vow to make lunches the night before the next school day.  Soccer season started (which deserves multiple posts itself!).  And my fall travel schedule kicked in the week after Labor Day.


I have to remind myself that I had zero travel through the summer months.  But I am making up for it now.  I just finished my third trip in three weeks…oh, and we had five days in MEXICO in the middle of that.

I’ll take this opportunity to capture what TROOPERS the girls have been.  Most of my travel has been in/around/over weekends.  That’s stinky on one hand…but nice on the other.  I think it makes it a little easier on the girls (AND HUBBY) not to have too many school days minus Mommy.  [And it makes it a little bit easier on Mommy not to have to worry with packing lunches and doling out casseroles for many days ahead.]

The girls have missed me, for sure, but they’re pretty self-sufficient.  I’ve come home to clean, semi-brushed hair (although it’s not braided) and not too big of a mess in the office and playroom.  And I’ve been able to take off a little time here and there in between trips for some one-on-one time to reconnect.

Catching up with my baby girls at the orchard / pumpkin patch!  Bliss!!!

And my hat is off to Hubby for keeping everything afloat.  I know it’s stressful to manage things single-handedly, especially during the girls’ first soccer season.

I still have a couple of weeks of travel ahead of me, but the end is in sight.  I’ll be at the remainder of the girls’ soccer games, and I’m vowing to pick back up my picture editing.

I have three-and-a-half more weeks in October…here’s to blog posts to come!

September 15, 2015

A Good Problem to Have

Baby A came home shortly after school started with some news.  “Mommy, we won’t get homework until September.”  How do you feel about that?  I asked her.  “Awwwwww,” she moaned, with a dejected face.  “I don’t want to wait!”  HA!

I later realized the girls were unofficially counting down until the end of August.  September 1st was on a Tuesday, and they just knew they’d get homework that very day.

As it turns out, their teachers waited until this week to finally bestow upon them their long-anticipated homework.  They were SO excited!!!

They had a story to read and some questions to answer by Friday, and then they are supposed to read to a parent for 10-15 minutes a night.

I had to laugh when I saw the girls after school today.  (Daddy had a faculty meeting so I left work a little early to hang out with them…woo hoo!!!) 

Mommy, can I read in the car?

I can read for 10 minutes in the car and then I can do my homework when we get home!

Have I read for 10 minutes?” Baby A asked.  When I told her I thought it was close, she read the blurb on the back of the book.  “Now it’s 10, right?!  Now I can do my homework at home!!!

Baby A ran in and got right to work.  She waaay over-delivered on writing sentences.  She almost wrote a book herself!

Baby B had done her reading in the car, but she didn’t get to her homework right away.  She was too anxious to read  new library book.  Hee hee!

So much “academia”…so little time!  It’s a great problem to have that the girls just wanna read and work and learn!!!

August 27, 2015

"We Decided Together to Help You"

KNOCK ON WOOD as I write this.  I feel the risk of provoking the Law of Murphy is one I’m willing to take in order to record what’s been happening over the past few days at our house.

The girls have been so kind.  So helpful.  And so PROACTIVE.  It’s amazing.

The last three mornings generally have been really good.  The girls are getting up, playing with the kitties, brushing their teeth, getting dressed, and doing what they’re supposed to do…with little prompting from me.  It’s been so refreshing!

Monday was the first time I took note of something really special.  Nana A was coming to the house that day, so we try to have things in good order.  I asked Baby A to put something in the recycle bin.  She did…and then she proactively put the rest of the little pile in the trash where it belonged.  That was small…but it struck me and made me proud.  She wasn’t just doing what I’d asked…she was thinking about what else needed to be done.

While this was going on downstairs, B was upstairs.  I’d already written a note to Nana A, telling her we didn’t get the girls’ playrooms ready to be vacuumed, just to skip that for this visit.  Unbeknownst to me, B was up there, getting everything put away!!!  I was floored!!!  It’s not unusual that my request to clean up is met with, “BUT I CAN’T DO IT BY MYSELF!” (even if I’m right there alongside).  It was an August morning miracle, for sure.  Wowza!!!

And then, the past two nights, the girls have had their beds straightened and pulled down…their pajamas waiting…washcloths and toothbrushes and flossers lined up…everything ready for bedtime.

Of course I’m lavishing praise on the girls for how they’ve been behaving, how proactively they’ve been working together.  That’s been met with big smiles and hugs.  And then, Baby B said last night, We decided together to help you.”

Wow.  Melt my heart…and give me confidence these young ladies are growing up just fine.

August 25, 2015

Pure Joy and Exultation

A couple of weekends ago, I surprised the girls with a trip to the downtown fountains.  I try to do this about once a year.  It can be a little crowded, a bit of a free-for-all if you hit it at the wrong time, so I don't often like to chance it.

This year, we were in luck!  There were only a couple of other families frolicking that afternoon, so we had plenty of room to run and jump and play.

[We.  Yes.  I can't resist joining in!  I certainly don't parade around in my swimsuit, but I wear something that's OK to get a bit damp.  I try not to get drenched...but I am sometimes surprised by a wayward fountain and/or a mischievous kiddo.  I love it!!!]

I have such vivid memories from the first time we took the girls to the fountain, when they were 2 1/2.  Baby A wasn't very fond of all the wetness...

Getting outta there!
...but Baby B loved it.  She'd get a little shocked from time to time, but she kept going back for more.


On subsequent trips to the fountains, both my babies have enjoyed themselves.  And this year's picture yield showed just that.

Baby A...loving it!

Baby B...again...BLISS!!!


Sweet sisters, having FUN together!!!
I LOVE our annual tradition!  And all the awesome memories (and pictures!!!) that come with it!!!

Linking up with Cheryl at Twinfatuation for Way Back When-esday.  I can't resist a good trip down Memory Lane!!!