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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 picture...so 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.

{L.O.V.E.}

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.

Yep.

And that fills this mama's heart right up.

October 25, 2015

At Long Last...VACATION PICTURES!!!

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 better...so I included them both!)

Family photo!


Mommy sandwich in the sand!  No better feeling!

The girls kept trying to make "sand balls"...like 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.

Breathtaking!
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???

Sigh.

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.

Travel.

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!
 
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