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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.