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January 26, 2016

Way Back When-esday: The Girls' First Snow Day

It's been a while since I gave a nod to the original blog throw-back (at least in my book)...sweet Cheryl's "Way Back When-esday" on Twinfatuation...

...but looking back to the girls' first time to play in the snow, contrasted to this week's jaunt, was the perfect prompt.



Oh, my...I almost can't even.  

My BABIES were just over two, which means this was FIVE YEARS AGO.

Gulp.

Seeing them with those little sand buckets and ears on their hoods...just divine.

I'd wager that we had even more fun these past few days, romping through the powder together, sledding super-fast, and wiping out in a big heap at the bottom of the hill...

...but these sweet pictures will always hold an incredibly sweet place in my heart!!!

January 25, 2016

THREE DAYS at Home

We had a colossal snow (12”, which is huge for these parts!) on Friday.  I worked from home that day, and we spent the weekend snowbound, as well.  That’s THREE days I’ve been HOME with the family.

I’m just coming off a lot of holiday vacation, so a three-day stretch away from work isn’t a shock to my system.  It’s not leaving HOME those three days that I realized is such a new (old) experience.

I truly can’t remember the last time I was HOME for three days.  I know I spent a lot of homebound stretches when the girls were younger.  (And when they were infants, there were many stretches longer than that when I didn’t even leave the house to go to the mailbox!)  Surely this can’t be right, but my best guess is that it probably dates back to PRESCHOOL, maybe THREE YEARS AGO, when I last enjoyed such a treat.

Actually, back in the infant and toddler days, I’m not sure I would always have characterized three days at home a “treat”.  But it sure did feel like one these last few days.

Certainly it wasn’t a “vacation”…especially since Hubby hasn’t felt 100%, I’ve cooked and cleaned and done laundry and organized.  I’ve not had much “prop up” time…even after the girls have gone to bed, I’ve been tooling around most evenings.

But…

I enjoyed cooking a nice breakfast for the family every day.  I made creative lunches and yummy suppers.  AND I made homemade dessert a couple of times, too!

I PLAYED with my babies.  We snuggled and read and played games and built creations.

I WORKED with my babies.  By this, I mean that we did things in the house together…I involved them in the organizing, just the way I like to.  We weren’t rushed to clean up in 30 minutes.  We took an entire morning to organize the books in the house.  And another morning we made a giant color-coded list of all our toys, games, and art supplies (something for them to refer to when they seem to get in a rut).  And we went through their closet to pull all the too-small spring/summer things to get ready for an upcoming consignment sale.

I COOKED with my babies…a little bit, anyway.  The girls were ecstatic to peel eggs and help me stuff them.  They stirred guacamole, and watched me chop veggies for soup.  These last couple of years, that seems like a luxury.  So often I’m cramming in cooking amid five other things, such that I don’t take the time to involve the girls.  I miss that.

And of course we PLAYED in the snow!!!  There’s something completely exhilarating about donning our snow gear and setting out to tromp, stomp, run, jump, and wallow in all that white powder. 

Day 1 I took a few pictures here and there.  Day 2, we went sledding as a family, no camera in tow.  I would have loved to have recorded our antics, but we were all so in-the-moment.  Day 3 the girls and I had a lot of sledding fun…by that time the snow was beginning to pack a little more, and it was FAST!!!  We all played hard, and then I came in for the camera for the last 20 minutes or so.  It was a perfect balance for me of fun and picture-taking.

Judging by lamentations on the computer, there are a lot of folks who are ready for this snow event to be over.  Sure, I’m looking forward to a nice lunch out and a trip to the grocery to replenish a couple of things…but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings to have another day or two at home.

And this experience reminds me what a blessing it is to BE home for a few days.  I just might have to schedule that again soon.

***savoring the little things...for they really are the big things...***



January 24, 2016

The Actual BIRTH-Day

We celebrated the girls' birthday as a family on a Sunday, and their actual birthday was the following Tuesday.  Although they were at school for most of the day, I still did what I could to make their special day, special.

But first, our traditional first-thing-in-the-morning pictures!

Baby A knew this was coming...she was giggling!

Baby B was trying to frown...
 
...but then she broke out in a smile, too.

The girls technically had their special birthday breakfast on Sunday...but they mentioned wanting waffles...so waffles it was.



And then I wanted my annual birthday-day picture.  This didn't end up being *the* picture, but it was the first one I took.  I thought it was so cute how they posed themselves!


And here is *THE* picture:

SWEETNESS!!!
And the obligatory "seven fingers up".  (Check out B's eyes...that's when I have to encourage her to keep her eyes open during the flash...HA!)


I took the day off from work so I could go and do with the girls.  The next stop was lunch with them at school.

I got them chicken salad from Sweet Temptations, along with a snickerdoodle dessert (because they wouldn't have enough sweets that day!).  It was a nice treat!



And then, just before school was out, I took cupcakes (complete with dinosaur rings!) to school.  The timing worked out that Hubby could be there, too, and it was wonderful to have the whole family in on the action!



B's class had their cupcakes first, and she migrated over to A's class for their celebration.  Nothing like a sisterly choke-hold to celebrate a birthday!
It was a COLD day, but we let the girls play outside on their scooters for a few minutes.


And then it was time for the girls' special birthday dinner.  They specifically asked me -- several times, of their own accord -- to make this on their birthday day, NOT on the day we had our family celebration.  I thought it was so cute to see how much they treasured their shrimp scampi!

And the girls asked to drink their milk out of "special glasses".  Hee hee!


And then it was time for our traditional birthday dessert, chocolate molten lava pudding cake (or so I call it)...YUM!!!



At last, it was time for bed.  I snapped one last picture, the girls snuggled in Daddy's lap during our night-night routine.

They still fit!
It was a wonderful birthday celebration for our SEVEN-year olds!

Happiest of birthdays, Baby A!  Happiest of birthdays, Baby B!  Mommy and Daddy love you so much!!!

January 23, 2016

A Birthday to Document

(This post may be late, but the girls' birthday celebration was not!)  :)  The girls' birthday fell on a Tuesday this year, so we celebrated as a family the Sunday prior.  Going back to their first birthday, I like to document the day play-by-play, and I can only capture so much when they're in school.

So...two days prior to turning the big SEVEN...here's how our babies spent the day!

The girls requested French toast with homemade syrup.  I made strawberry syrup, and it was delicious!

Four thumbs up!

After breakfast, the girls did a little reading with Daddy...


And then it was time to open gifts!


The kitties even helped.  :)


The girls got lots of new books!


And they had to dig in right away...



After the girls each consumed a book, they each started building a wooden model they got.

Can you see me now???
 Baby A was super proud of her helicopter!!!


And B loved her tyrannosaurus rex!


ROAR!!!
 After their models were complete, the girls got an envelope to open.  It was full of clues...


...which ultimately spelled, "GET DRESSED WARMLY AND GO LOOK OUTSIDE".

To the girls' delight, they found SCOOTERS!!!  And we were incredibly lucky we had not-too-freezing weather to enjoy them!!!


The girls worked SO hard learning to balance...



After lots of concentrated practice, we decided to break for lunch.

We planned to go to Yuki for our traditional birthday sushi...but we didn't realized they were closed for lunch on Sundays.  We went instead to the Bistro and had a wonderful lunch.  The girls even got to enjoy a very special dessert!


After some much-deserved "quiet time" that afternoon, we donned our coats (it somehow seemed colder!) and got in some more scooter practice.


It was incredible how, after that little break from the morning, the girls seemed to pick right up and be able to RIDE!!!

They posed like this themselves!
We all had a wonderful day, celebrating SEVEN.

January 22, 2016

Snow Days and Balance

After a really warm fall, we’ve had some really wintry weather here this week.  We had about 3” of snow on Wednesday, and we’re experiencing near-blizzard conditions (at least for this part of the world!) today.

Hubby and the girls have only been in school one day this week.  Monday was the MLK holiday, and things have been shut down here with the weather since Wednesday.  Even Mommy enjoyed working from home on Wednesday, and I’m typing in my pj pants again this Friday morning.

I am so thankful for the gift of technology that allows me to work from home…but at the same time, it’s challenging to do so.

The girls want me to be hanging out with them full-time.  But I am trying to be respectful of the work-from-home privilege.  It’s an uncomfortable balance at times…I am on the computer, and they are begging me to play.

I managed the balance well enough on Wednesday until early afternoon.  Then I decided to call it off and have fun with my babies. 

Although the snow wasn’t deep, it was the perfect consistency for snowballs and sledding.  I only took a few pictures (relatively speaking) before sledding and afterwards…I was in the middle of the fun!  I will treasure seeing Hubby instructing the girls on the perfect snowball formation…and their intense giggles as they prepared to attack him many times over.

Sledding was a blast, as always.  The beautiful rolling hills of Kentucky make for a wonderful playground!

And it always cracks me up how our girls love to lie in the snow.  Sure, there are snow angels attempted…but there’s something about crawling and rolling in the snow that A&B find irresistible. 

First steps outside...first picture...right on their tummies!

Baby A likes to do forward-facing snow angels...HA!

My A!

My B, tired after sledding!

My favorite picture...they snuggled together without me asking.  <3 td="">

After our snow excursion, I treated everyone to homemade hot chocolate.  And then I made a big pot of split pea soup, a family favorite.  While I still got the “…but you didn’t play with us much today” before bedtime, I know we all had a great time frolicking in the snow.


I’ve been on the computer since early this morning, trying to knock out a few things.  I’m planning to have more balance today.  At least it’s Friday, so I can make up some additional time over the weekend.  It will be worth it to enjoy a rare Friday home and some PLAY with the girls.

My favorite place to be, between my girlies!

January 21, 2016

Funnies

I’ve been a pathetic blogger as of late.  Sigh.  I miss it.  But at least I’ve jotted down a few funnies from the girls over the past few weeks.  Behold!

The girls were working on their thank-you cards from Christmas.  Some family friends gave them little packages of erasers.  Baby A was part-way through her sentence when I peered over her shoulder.  She was poised to write, “…we can’t wait to erase something.”  Hahaha!  I encouraged her to alter her message to, “…we can’t wait to see you again.”  I thought that seemed a little more feasible. 

Hubby was home with the girls one day over the holiday break.  He has cackled about this so many times now.  Baby B had been in the bathroom for quite some time.  He went to check on her, and she said she was fine, just taking care of some “business”.  When she finally came out, he said she started belting out the national anthem, like it was her job.  Hee hee!  Let the games begin!

Hubby stuck around the house one morning to help me wake up the girls.  They were THRILLED to see him early in the morning.  He went to give kisses to Baby A, and she squealed.  You tickled me!  With your spikes!” referring to his stubble.  That’s what he gets for not being clean-shaven!

Hubby has also encouraged the girls – Baby B, in particular – to “talk boonie”.  And B is really far too good at it.  It is hysterical how naturally she goes into an exaggerated Southern lilt…but it makes this mama with her practiced neutral accent cringe just a bit.

B has been growing her bangs out, and I've been experimenting with different braids. "You're better at this than I thought," she told me one morning. Nothing like a back-handed compliment from a first grader! 

B asked me one Saturday morning, “Did you take a shower, Mommy?" Yes, I told her. "I smell you."  I think it was intended as a compliment???

And Hubby took the girls out to lunch one day.  He said that Baby A kept looking at a man sitting behind him.  He asked her, and she said, “It’s the Beatles.”  Upon further investigation, she mistook a man in a restaurant who had long hair as one of the Beatles. HA!

The girls have been reading like machines here lately, and they’re often quizzing us on different facts.  They are quite incredulous when we don’t know something.  “…but you went to college!  HA!

These girlies keep us guessing, for sure!!!
 
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