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May 28, 2015

So Thankful to Have Been There

I sure miss being with my baby girls every day.  I miss just hanging out, “being”.  And I miss all the fun stuff we did, the little treats we worked into our weekly routine, and the on-a-whim stuff we did when the mood struck.

I miss them so much it physically hurts sometimes.  But they are in kindergarten now, and I am working.  Ages and stages.  I know it’s all part of it.  And while I love-love-love seeing them grow (and I’m enjoying being back in the corporate world), I sure miss our carefree days together.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve gotten to have some super-sweet fun together…even taking their kindergartener status and my work schedule into account.

A couple of weeks ago, I got to attend their class picnic.  They ate their lunches outside, and then the parents got to play with the kiddos on the playground.  The girls were so excited to see me there, and how precious it was for me to be with them in their [new] element.




Last Friday, I spent a couple of hours with them during their Field Day.  I worked my way back and forth between the classes.  I cheered on their fill-the-bucket races, laughed at their hula hoop relay, and relived parts of my childhood Field Days as they engaged in a voracious game of tug of war. 

And yesterday I took a vacation day to accompany the kindergarten classes on a field trip.

The girls had a blast, and so did I.  How very thankful I am to have been there with them.

For weeks now, they’ve been talking about riding the bus…and on the INTERSTATE, they recently added.  HA!  After that adventure, they kicked things off at the park.  My A’s class had been grouped into partners, and A took that very seriously.  She held R’s hand most of the day.  I sometimes walked along, holding her other hand, and other times I followed behind, taking some pretty adorable pictures.

I attended the animal show with A’s class, and it was incredibly adorable to see the kiddos try to answer the zookeepers’ questions and ask questions of their own.  Then I went with A to feed the lorikeets.  I was amazed how brave she was!

From there, I switched to hanging out with B’s class for a while.  We walked through the bird area, and I ate lunch with B’s class, and then with A’s.  I did some running back and forth between the classes, trying to divide my time.  I was with A’s class for the sheep herding demonstration, and then I hurried to B’s class to walk through the kangaroo area.  It was pretty steamy by the end of the trip, and I was tired and thirsty, but it really seemed like the time just flew.

I loved seeing the girls with their classmates…walking along and holding hands with them…and seeing the delight in all the kiddos’ eyes as they experienced new things.

After the field trip (and tie girls' ride home on the bus, where A was all too excited to tell me she fell asleep!), I picked the girls up after school and we headed to Panera, what used to be a weekly hangout for us.  How wonderful it was to just “be” there, too…me, sipping my coffee, and the girls sharing a cook…talking about stuff.




This is my favorite picture, taken over A's shoulder as she watched the sheep being herded.  I took some cute ones of the girls feeding the animals...playing with their classmates...holding hands with their teachers.  But this was my real focus.  It wasn't the animals or the beautiful rolling hills.  It was appreciating the beauty of my baby girls...who they are...where they are.

These last couple of weeks were just what my heart needed.

May 17, 2015

She Finally Did It!!!

My sweet Baby B lost her first tooth Friday night!!!  It’s been a long, long time in coming…both in that Baby A lost her first tooth a full year and a half ago, and in that this tooth has been very wiggly for a long time now.

We went to the dentist on Thursday, and I joked with B that they might pull it for her.  She was OK with that!  The hygienist said that they didn’t want to “traumatize” a kiddo, though, and she encouraged B to wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.

When I went to floss B’s teeth on Friday night, the tooth was literally hanging by a tiny thread.  I told her she really needed to try to pull it.  I handed her a tissue to use to improve her grasp.  I can only compare the sensation I had to that of when I was encouraging her final step in the potty-training process.  She wanted to do it…she was excited to do it…but she was just a tiny bit scared.  I was cheering her on, and she was shivering, almost crying…and giggling, all at once.

She came so close, but she didn’t quite make it.  I asked if she wanted me to pull it, and she said yes.  I took the tissue and very easily came out with a tooth.

I wish I could have recorded all the dancing and squealing and laughing!!!  And very soon after, she tried to whistle, to make sure she still could.  Affirmative.



Baby A’s first-tooth experience caught me by surprise.  It was not something I was mentally prepared for, and I really had to fight back tears, to put on my happy “celebration” face.  For B, though, I was nothing but ecstatic.  I am so proud how patiently she’s waited for this to happen, and I am so excited for her to finally join these ranks.

We ran downstairs to show Daddy and make pictures, and then we made promises to celebrate B’s special day on Saturday.  We kicked off Saturday with breakfast at JD’s, B’s choice.  We hadn’t been there in ages, so it was a big treat for all of us.

B was looking forward to having her first bead on her bracelet, too.  I was hopeful she wouldn’t be disappointed that I’d bought her bead already.  (The jewelry store was discontinuing the line of beads we started buying, and I went ahead and bought her initial bead so it would match her sister’s.)  I wrapped it up with a pretty bow and gave it to her as a surprise at the restaurant, before our breakfast was served.  She was so happy!

It was a very rainy day yesterday, so we have yet to celebrate with ice cream at the Dairy Queen, another tradition, but we’ll add that to the list of celebratory actions very soon.


I love this now-crooked smile, and the big heart of the kiddo it belongs to.


May 14, 2015

The End of an Era

I remember very clearly from the night the girls were born, being alone in my hospital room.  A very kind nurse came and in brought me a breast pump.  She said I should probably try to start pumping.  "You may not get anything, but it will be good to try," she said.  

Everything felt so foreign.  I hadn't intended to have babies prematurely.  I had planned to breastfeed, not to get acquainted with a breast pump.

I eventually got things sorted, and I remember the nurse being so encouraged that I'd actually dribbled a little bit into the cup.  She offered to take it to the NICU, and promised she'd see that the girls got it.

All things considered, I was feeling very proud.  I pumped again later that night, and then in the morning.  At some point, a nurse brought me all the accouterments I'd need to pump, including collection cups and a miniature bottle of Palmolive dish detergent to wash all the parts of the pump.

(That quickly became Hubby's job, to wash the "dishes".  I remember how makeshift it all felt, washing things in the little sink in the hospital room, but we managed to make do.)

The washing routine quickly took on a life of its own.  We washed pump parts and bottles 6 to 8 times a day for a long, long time.  

And all the while, the miniature bottle of dish detergent was a faithful friend.  We had to refill it, of course (and during the first year we only did so with Palmolive, since that's what the hospital used), but it was so convenient [relatively speaking] to use.

When the girls graduated from bottles, around 15 or 16 months, we finally returned to using Cascade.  But we kept our dear little bottle.  SIX YEARS LATER, that bottle still sits on our counter.  We don't wash very many things by hand, but it's super easy to grasp when I'm hand-washing the pieces to the girls' lunch kits.


Just last night, Hubby broke some bad news to me.  The little bottle has a crack.  "We'll have to get something else," he said.  I honestly couldn't think too much about it.  "Just leave it there for now," I told him.  "We'll figure it out."

In truth, I wanted to make a picture of the little bottle that's been by my side through my girls' childhood to date.  We've long since discarded the bottles and the sippy cups; the miniature forks and spoons are no more.  This marks the end of another era.

May 9, 2015

Super Stuff on a Saturday!

So thankful to have recorded some of the Super Stuff from around our house the past couple of weeks!

The girls aren’t always in lock-step with each other, but it’s so sweet when they are.  A few nights ago, after supper, Baby A planted a big, spontaneous hug on Baby B as we were heading into the den to play a game.  Made this mama’s heart smile!

On the way to school, Baby A was talking about how old she would be when she can drive.  “I’ll be able to drive when I’m in college…but you’ll still pick me up, right, Mommy?”  Absolutely.

Our kitty Miki is famous for wanting to sit in my lap, specifically during mealtimes.  (He’s really good and doesn’t reach for food…he just likes being there!)  He was all comfy after supper one night, and A asked if I would put him in her lap.  I did, and he sat there for the longest time.  She was in furry baby heaven!

I took the girls for ice cream cones at the Dairy Queen last weekend to celebrate A losing a tooth.  Once upon a time, this would have been major anxiety for me.  I realized most of the way through, though, that the girls were eating their cones WITHOUT MAKING ANY MESS.  Wowza.

On the way to school one morning:
B: "Mommy, what if the earth is just a tiny little spec, like in Horton Hears a Who?"
Me: "Well, it really kind of is, in the scheme of the universe."
A: "Yeah, and it would take a thousand years to reach another galaxy."
...Little minds. Big thoughts. 

Last Saturday the girls wanted to play outside for a few minutes after we got home from some errands.  We messed around with a few different toys, and then B got out a small football she got as a prize at school.  I did my best to show her how to throw it…and she did a really good job!!!  There were even a couple of nice, tight spirals!!!

Serious about football!
We watched a few minutes of the Kentucky Derby last Saturday.  Right before the race, I was caught really off guard that the girls were singing along, word for word, to "My Old Kentucky Home".  At least they can also sing Sweet Home Alabama!

Different-height Twin Problem #17. I laid out the girls' clothes for the day, which happened to include matching sweaters.  Although their jeans were different, the girls happened to put on the wrong pair.  We were running out the door when I noticed A's jeans were high waters, and B's were dragging the floor. Hee hee!  Thank goodness they were conciliatory and agreed to switch.

Outta the mouths of babes, at bedtime last Sunday night: "Mommy, why is the weekend so short? It seems like it just started! I wish it could be 10 days long."  Credit to Baby A for this unadulterated insight.

Playing on Saturday...JOY!!!
The girls were playing with magnets last weekend. They came barreling downstairs to breathlessly tell me what they'd just learned. Then, "C'mon, Sissy!  Let's go see what else we can discover!!!"

May 3, 2015

She Lost It Without Me

Baby A lost her first tooth when she was a couple months shy of five.  She’s lost a few more since then, and I can’t say I’ve grown to love seeing those super-wiggly teeth.  I *try* to be excited and encouraging, but it takes a lot of acting on my part.

(I do have one rule, that you don’t wiggle your teeth at the dinner table.  I think that’s fair enough…and for the love of dinner…please…just don’t.)

Baby A has recently had a couple of relatively wiggly teeth, as has B (although B has yet to actually lose one).  On Wednesday, I came home to find A’s tooth VERY loose.  I encouraged her to get it out…it seemed ready…but she couldn’t quite do it.

Thursday passed.  And then Friday, I came home from work to see my A with a new twist to her smile. 

My baby girl lost her sixth tooth at school that day.

And I wasn’t there.

I knew it was bound to happen at some point, and I can’t say I missed the actual wiggle-wiggle-wiggle…POP!...but it was bittersweet.

Of course A was giddy.  Her tooth came out in art class.  What did you do, I asked her.  “I raised my hand,” she said, beaming.  The teacher told her to “wait a minute,” and then she got to go to the office.  From the health room, they got a pill bottle (???) and put her tooth in it.  She washed her hands and went back to class.  “Everyone wanted to see it!” she gushed.

I was very proud of A for being such a big girl, and – thinking back to my elementary school days – I can only imagine how *cool* it must have been for her to experience losing a tooth at school.  We celebrated on Saturday with a new bead for her bracelet and an ice cream cone at the Dairy Queen (a very rare treat). 

She even managed to tear into the cone with her snaggle teeth!

Lots of smiles surround this little milestone (some of them more crooked than others), but I can’t think too hard about it.  Loosing teeth is a sure sign of growing up…and handling it without your mommy there seems even more momentous.


Sniff, sniff!!!
 
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