Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

July 12, 2017

Chief Strategists

At 8 1/2, the girls' milestones are not what they used to be.  They've learned to roll walk and ride a bike.  Surely one day they'll learn to swim proficiently too (!!!), but it seems less frequent as BIG KIDS that there's a write-it-down milestone.

What happened earlier this week, though, I'm counting in that camp.

Monday night, I came home and made Hubby's belated birthday dinner, and I had just a few minutes to chill out with the girls before their bedtime.  I was tired, but when A asked to play Connect 4, I thought that sounded like a great activity.

Game 1, she won.  She pondered...she postured...and she won! out of three, I offered her.

Game 2, she won again!  Night over!

I've never followed a let-the-kiddos-win philosophy.  Nope, we play fair and square.  And my A beat me twice in a row!  With actual strategy!  Slightly bruised though my ego may have been, I was one proud mama!

I challenged A to a rematch on Tuesday night.  I won our best out of five series, 3-1.  I had to work for it, though!  I was watching her consider different moves.  And from my vantage point through the blue plastic grid, it was amazing to see her little mind work.

B wanted in on the action, and I suggested she play the winner of our series.  I am still chuckling that she said, "I don't wanna play the winner!"  HA!  And -- knowing she likely wanted to play me -- does that mean she had her money on her sister to win???  Ack!!!

B pondered and postured, just as her sister had.  I managed to win the best of three series 2-0, though.

Stepping back, this little exchange over the past couple of nights has been invigorating.  Wowza!  Bring it on, milestones!

May 31, 2017

Larger Than Life

Baby A came home a few weeks ago with a paper to let us know that her art teacher had selected a piece of her artwork to display at a pop-up gallery at a local ad agency.  The teacher could only select four pieces from the entire school...and our A was among them!  What a great honor!

Baby A was super excited, counting down the days until the "gallery opening" and reception.  (Baby B was tolerant of A's excitement...but she didn't quite share the same level of glee.)

The big day finally arrived.  I left work a few minutes early, and we made our way downtown to the agency.  There were quite a few people there (as each school in our district -- elementary, middle, and high school -- was represented).  A's art teacher was standing close to the door and intercepted us before we walked in.   She told A, there's a BIG surprise for you.

And a BIG surprise, it was!  We were floored to see that A's artwork had been enlarged to cover the wall inside the entrance!!!

I'm not sure that A knew what to think.  She was very focused on *how* they enlarged her art.  What was it made of?  How did it stick to the wall?  Would it come down?

She eventually warmed up to the idea and posed for pictures.

We enjoyed seeing all the art on display, and we spent plenty of time admiring the Baby A Wall.

When we left, we planned to eat somewhere downtown to celebrate our fun family evening.  Baby B had one suggestion, and A had another.  Then Baby B, of her own accord, popped out with, "Sissy, it's your special day.  You choose."


That was a brilliant display of another kind.

May 16, 2017

Sissies Share

I can't say that my girls always share nicely, or that they always get along.  Far from it, at times.

But sometimes, they do.  And it's some kind of sweet!

Most of the girls' pajamas are matching sets.  (They rarely dress alike...and matching pajamas are my little weakness.  I cannot resist the cuteness!)  They have one set, though, that doesn't match.  One is a watermelon print, and one is an ice cream print.

I didn't realize until a couple of weeks ago that one set is more coveted.  (And I'm still not sure which it is.)  When I laid out pajamas, there was originally some fuss: "You wore that last time!  It's my turn!"

I likely said something along the lines of: "I'm not playing a referee.  You guys figure it out."  And the next thing I knew, they had!

One kiddo had on watermelon bottoms and an ice cream top, while the other sported a watermelon top and ice cream bottoms.  They looked a little silly -- bizarro twins! -- but my heart couldn't have been happier.

And then a few days later, one of the girls opted to have a blue ice pop at school as part of some special fundraising event.  The other had told me she didn't want a blue ice pop.  ("It's just colored sugar water," she told me.  HA!)

That afternoon I asked B how her blue ice pop was.  She said it was good.  And then I asked A if she regretted not getting one.  "It was fine.  Sissy shared a bite with me."


For all those times they don't get along so perfectly, I'm recording these recent couple of gems as proof they sometimes do.

May 11, 2017

Book Club at Midnight

...well, it wasn't midnight, exactly...but it was after bedtime.

I put the girls to bed last night, and headed downstairs, as usual, to catch up on some news.  The monitor in the basement stays on, and I didn't hear anything -- also, as usual -- for a good 15 minutes.

Then I thought I heard something.  And then I heard it again.

The girls were talking, by then a full 20 minutes after I'd left them for bed.

That's not the way it works in our house.  I tell them goodnight.  They go to sleep.  Right???

I'll admit I was aggravated.  I didn't hear them bickering -- which occasionally is the case, especially if one wants to go to sleep and is hindered in some way by the other -- but there was definitely conversation happening.

As I neared the top of the stairs outside their room, I paused.  I decided to listen to see what was the cause of the not-sleeping.  I crept just outside their door and put my ear to their door frame.

"...that's what I thought, too!"

"...and you know the part where XYZ?  I didn't really get why ABC..."

"...and I pictured him making a really mean face!  Hahaha!"

"...yes, that was cool!"

I opened the door very slowly.  B gasped to A, "It's Mommy!"

"Are you having a book club meeting?" I asked them through a big smile I didn't even try to hide.

"YES!"  They both giggled.

I told them how happy it made me to hear them discussing a book.  ("We do it all the time!" A told me.)  I gave them both big hugs and kisses, reminded them by then it was FAR past bedtime, and that they needed to conduct the rest of their meeting the next day.

I don't think I heard anymore discussion over the monitor.  But I went to bed smiling myself at the sweetness I got to witness.

April 17, 2017

Little House on the Prairie Comes Alive!

We had such a fun Easter day yesterday.  It was relaxing and fun, just hanging out and enjoying each other...and eating too much.

In their Easter baskets, the girls got a couple of new books, a pencil pouch (emblazoned with "QUACK" and "CHEEP" in honor of their "spirit animals"...HA!), and they each got a DVD.

We've never watched much TV in our house, so the idea of getting a DVD was a bit of a new concept.  One DVD was "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" -- the Gene Wilder version.  The other was the first season of "Little House on the Prairie".

We've been reading the Little House on the Prairie books for the past couple of years.  To my knowledge, the girls had no idea it was a TV series, too.  They were super excited to see the characters come to life on the big screen yesterday afternoon!

B remarked that Laura had her "big girl teeth", and she mused what the real names of the animals were in the show.  "Maybe they actually named the dog 'Jack' so he wouldn't get confused."  HA!

My A was the funniest, though.  There were a few tense scenes, including the one where they cross the river in the wagon and they fear Jack has drowned; and the one where the fire threatens the homestead.

My A was getting tense, I could tell.  "I don't want to watch," she said a couple of times.  I reminded her we knew how it would turn out.  She watched at times with one eye shut...and I could hear her remark, "Oh, boy...." and "Oh, my..." to herself.  It was too cute to see -- and hear! -- her process!

Such a fun Easter day, punctuated by carrot cake.  It was a big hit all around, and my carrot-obsessed Baby A was in heaven!

February 11, 2017

EIGHTH Birthday Play-by-Play!

Since the girls' first birthday, I've done a play-by-play of their birthday happenings.  My pictures are a little more sparse these days, since I have to share my birthday girls with the public school system...but I still manage to document my darlings.  My newly-minted EIGHT YEAR-OLDS had a great day!

Our annual first-thing-in-the-morning pics!

Baby A!

Baby B!

And the girls soon piled up together...they said they were posing like they were in Mommy's tummy.  HA!  I think they should swap places for that to be more accurate, though.


Since the girls' birthday fell on a Thursday, we decided we would have our family celebration the following Saturday.  I still surprised the girls with a few little treats.  Waiting on them at the breakfast table were these little guys...a nod to their Serbian nicknames, which mean "little duck" and "little bird".

After breakfast, we had some play time with the fur babies.

Baby A with Miki

Baby B with Alex

And then I attempted our annual birthday picture.  The girls weren't super excited for that activity, but I did get this one in their new kitty shirts.

I took the girls to school (and then began my whirlwind of a day, buzzing around doing birthday stuff!).

I took the girls lunch from one of our favorite bakeries...chicken salad sandwiches and white bean chowder.  YUM!!!

Mommy with her birthday girls!

And after a short visit home for me, I was back with donuts and lemonade for their classmates.

I picked the girls up from school and headed to the library.  We were long overdue to get new books.  That's usually a weekend activity, so it was a treat to be there in the middle of the week!

In the hot air balloon basket at the library!

I made the girls' traditional birthday meal, baked shrimp scampi over mashed potatoes, and then we enjoyed their traditional birthday dessert, chocolate molten lava pudding cake.  YUM!  We sang "Happy Birthday" -- twice, of course -- and dug into the sweet goodness.

After supper, I had another surprise for the girls...the Game of Life board game, and some new astronaut pajamas.

These precious baby girls had a great day, for sure!

My sleepy 8 year-olds after a full day of celebration!

February 8, 2017

The Countdown Begins!

Today starts our countdown to Valentine's Day.  It's not much...a little treat for each of seven days, including V-Day.  Today's confection is two dark chocolate-covered almonds, something small that will fit in the countdown pill box.

The girls haven't said anything about it this year, so I imagine they'll be super surprised to see what's waiting on them at the breakfast table.  And of course I can't wait to see their faces and hear their glee!

And of course the anticipation of the holiday makes me think back to some of our fun holidays past.  The girls were two in this first real Valentine's Day celebration.  Look at those adorable faces and their "Peace & Love" onesies!!!

Baby B

Baby A
And beyond the special Valentine's Day breakfast, we celebrated further with dinner downtown, the girls decked out in some of my favorite dresses ever.

Nose kiss for Sissy!

Three ladies on a mission!
I love any opportunity to celebrate with my loves...and any opportunity to take a trip down Memory Lane!

Thank you, as always, to the marvelous Cheryl at Twinfatuation for the Way-Back-Whenesday inspiration!!!

February 5, 2017

Christmas Fun!

Christmas Day was full of family and fun.  Ahead of our traditional Christmas tree-shaped fruit tart, we went ahead and let the girls open their stockings.

They were excited to get "real" yo-yos.  They've had a handful of yo-yos here and there, but never ones that were very stable.  These held much more promise...and it didn't take any time for the girls to master least far beyond any skills their mommy ever dreamed of.

In addition to their yo-yos, the girls got balsa wood airplanes, a little wooden fish craft kit, some sweets...and...MUCH to their surprise: WALKIE-TALKIES!!!  They were giddy!!!

Our precious girls were as tickled as anything to give us the goodies they'd made.  The very best gifts of all were the heartfelt notes they wrote, proclaiming why Mommy is the best mommy ever...Daddy is the best daddy ever...Miki and Alex are the best black kitties.  What precious hearts these girls have!

The girls got some plenty of books, and their *big* gift was a fort building kit.  We made a fort right away in the den.  Draped with a couple of sheets, it made the perfect place for them to cuddle their walkie-talkies and read their new books.

We experimented the day after Christmas with building a tent-shaped fort.  It's super cool (for all of us!)!

And Christmas morning was made all the better by seeing our fur babies enjoy the hoopla.  They enjoyed their new toys, of course...but equally as much, they enjoyed the stockings and wrapping paper.

Miki on his stocking :)

Alex with his new monkey :)
A Merry Christmas was had by all!

February 4, 2017

December to Remember

Wow...I knew it had been a long time since I blogged.  I winced to see it's been THREE MONTHS.  Wowza.  I missed it, for sure...and I know I'm going to kick myself one day, too.

I guess there's no time like the present to try to catch up a I'm going with a few snapshots to try to recapture some of what I missed.

December was, of course, full of holiday cheer.  And woven in and around the festivities, we had our usual fun, too...

Easy Bake Oven fun!  Watching anxiously!

Baby B...give her a book and a warm fire...she's set!

Baby A made herself at home on a blanket...and Miki was quick to join her!
Black cats are hard to photograph, I'm often reminded...but I got a good one of Miki in the sunlight.  Meow!
We had some fun school adventures, too...

The girls did "money posters" for their math class...Susan B. Anthony and the two-dollar bill.  They did a great job!

Roller skating field trip!  Thankfully, no casualties this time!
And then there's our countdown calendar, which held many fun activities...

Decorating the tree!

Making gingerbread houses (thanks to my most amazing friend for hosting!!!)!

New fuzzy Christmas pajamas!

Painting a canvas...Baby A chose a reindeer!

Baby B painted a snowman!
This holiday will stand out for me in a few sweet ways...ones that I hope I always remember...

The girls were so helpful in the kitchen this year!  In particular, they did a great job of making sand tarts and sugar cookies...rolling the dough into little balls.  Be still my was so much fun for all of us.

The girls surprised me with a countdown calendar of my own!  Each day had a treat of some sort, usually a chocolate they'd pack in my lunch bag.  What precious little hearts these girls have!

And the girls' countdown calendar ended with their very favorite activity, one they look forward to all year, it seems!  The now-famous candy cane hunt!

They did a great job taking turns with the clues, too!
It was a whirlwind month, packed full of fun!