Maybe, Baby

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At my Almost Twins preschool class party, another mother asked how old my youngest was. I told her almost 2 1/2 and her response was that she would be ready to start preschool next fall! I admit my heart sank.

My baby was that old? Where had time gone?  I was ready for my Almost Twins to start preschool, but my baby? Part of me suddenly felt very grateful that she was shy, clingy and that I was always tripping over her.  Maybe she wouldn’t be ready for preschool.  Maybe it would be too much for her to be separated from her mama.

I probably will get signed up on the waiting list.  Her sisters do love going to preschool. The teachers are great and maybe she will be ready then…even if I’m not.

She’s my baby and I just am not ready for her to grow up yet. Maybe next fall I will feel more ready. But not just yet.

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The Moment I Wake Up

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Today I woke up to the Middles (our almost 3 year old girls) playing in our sun room with all the hair things dumped out. That includes the almost new package of 500 tiny little rubber bands…at least this time I bought colored ones so we could find them easier.  And a stinky wet diaper that had leaked on the bench cushion. Yay! I get to scrub that up! And if you want some fine motor skills work for your kids, make them pick up 500 tiny rubber bands. 😉

This got me to thinking about all the things I’ve woken up to lately. The other day they had found three wayward crayons and decorated the white sun room walls and bench.  I did not know that toothpaste would remove crayon from walls. My sun room was minty fresh after that.

I’ve woken up to baby powder explosions in their room. I’ve woken up to I couldn’t decide what to wear so I emptied all my drawers and took all the clothes off the hangers disasters and splashing in the toilet. I’ve woken up to “MOM! She climbed out the window and is outside (in the unfenced area by the road)!!!!  Running in the yard in pajamas’s, sisterly haircuts, coffee creamer poured out on the floor (I’m drinking coffee, mom-mom!) and chocolate pudding smeared faces. They can be quite sly and quiet when they want to!

And……well, I’ll spare you poop wall smearing stories.

And this happens before I’ve had a chance to get my morning coffee.

I used to get up before they did so I could drink my coffee, catch up on Facebook and emails and generally wake up, but then they started getting up earlier and earlier and I was up with the youngest during the night and up later because I was catching up on folding laundry or dishes.

Sure, it is a bit hard to wake most mornings and feel like you have to put out fires, but then there are those days when I wake up to a little one snuggled up to me in bed (and I have no idea when they snuck in), hugs and kisses and ” I wuf you, mom-mom!” I have woken to many days to flowers, cards, and Mocha’s  from Jeff and pancakes too.  There are those sweet mornings to look forward to.

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

I know. It’s July. But I’m already thinking of Christmas.  I start early!

Last year I made the tough decision to not unpack all my boxes of Christmas decorations. Yes, all my garlands, ornaments and the Christmas village stayed in their boxes. The train set was not put under the tree. I just didn’t have the energy to unpack, decorate and then pack it all up again a month later. I couldn’t think about protecting all those things from the hands of two little girls who would un-decorate quicker than I could catch them. I thought if Buddy The Elf could make his home look festive with paper crafts, so could I!

So, all that we took out were the Merry Christmas sign (I made out of an old fence board) and Snowman (my sister made for us out of the same old fence!) for our porch and the Christmas twinkle lights. We did go and cut down a tree….I tried going without that one year when our oldest daughter was a baby and that was too much of a sacrifice! I love the smell of a tree (and no, the evergreen fragrance candle did not work)!

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DSC08299_cropThen I got out paper and and my paper cutter! We made the rest of our decorations. I probably spent $10 on paper and cellophane. I used wrapping paper, ribbon, cellophane and toilet paper rolls for the candy ornaments (which could be filled with real candy for Christmas Eve!). The rest were one inch paper strips stapled into shapes of ornaments and hearts. We also made paper chain garlands to hang around the windows and snowflakes out of old rolls of fax paper (it’s nice and thin to cut!).  I remember making the heart decorations in school the winter we spent in Sweden.

Our oldest daughter really enjoyed making the decorations. I had fun as well! She loved helping decorate. I brought out our box of supplies when family came over also.

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Here’s what the tree looked like when we were done. You can see some of our snowflakes hanging off the candle holder on the ceiling. I just used mono-filament thread to give it an airy look.

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They would move around the ornaments on the tree and redecorate. And after a few days  the girls had ripped and torn apart some of our projects. Oh, well! Notice the bottom half of the tree is bare!

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At the end of the season we were able to just toss everything but the lights. The pack rat in me wanted to save them, but I knew that was beside the purpose of having a homemade Christmas!

I got all the festivity without all the stress!

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

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Well, summer is here and I’ve been keeping busy.

First of all, the wire fencing wasn’t keeping our girls in the fenced area and had to be redone with non-climbable boards. They figured out how to climb out when my sister was watching them last summer while I was in the hospital having our youngest.

Secondly, their alternate method of escape, pulling themselves up to unlatch the gate, has now been secured with carabiner clips. I got the scare of my life when the two year olds ran away and down the alley to a  neighbors swing set. My husband had been gone less than two hours on a weekend trip to visit his mother. (sigh) I didn’t want that to happen again!

Thirdly, someone (I’ll give you a hint, she’s 2 1/2 years old) decided that the 4 foot drop from the living room window wasn’t that bad and so she jumped…and landed unharmed and then picked a buttercup while her sister came and got me out of bed (I had forgotten to shut the window the night before while airing out our stuffy house).  We have to keep all un-screened or un-supervised windows closed with the summer heat. She’s been trying this for a year and it also started at the same time as the aforementioned fence climbing.

Fourthly, the garden is now fenced off from offending 3 year olds who have decided that green raspberries taste great and that the carrots are the perfect place to drive their Tonka trucks. I can’t wait till it’s time to harvest the carrots and potatoes and put them to work! And why do chives and parsley taste perfectly fine in the garden but not in any meal I serve?

But, now that these things are under control, we are enjoying our yard much more and with more freedom. What is it they say about boundaries providing security?  I agree, I certainly feel more secure with my kids playing outside now.

Together Forever

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When I’m out with our 2 year olds, the inevitable conversation is;

“Are they twins?”

“No” I say.

Then…”How old are they?”

“Two years old”

“Are they both yours?”

“Yes.”

“But they aren’t twins.”

“No, they are a week a part.”

“How does that work?”

“One is biological and one was adopted”.

“Oooohhhh…”

Now sometimes I get asked the first three questions and then I just keep walking… snickering to myself. The confused look on some peoples faces are priceless!

Other times when asked I just say “Almost!” and keep walking….

So far, only one person has caught on after I say that they aren’t twins both are both mine that one was adopted.  I was actually impressed. I guess it’s a hard thing to grasp.

It’s been a fun experience. Having almost twins has made us baby-proof our house to extreme measures, half our furniture and nick-knacks are now in the garage…half their toys too!  They teach each other things! Climbing out of the crib at 16 months made me almost cry since I was pregnant. I had planned for them to stay contained till they were 3 at least!

When I was in the hospital with our littlest one, my sister texted me that they figured out how to climb over the yard fence. They were 21 months old! Last week they just decided it was easier to just unlatch the fence and run across the street and down the ally to the house with the swing-set.  Carabiner  clips now lock the latches. Guess what my husband is doing now? Installing boards on the fence and taking out the wire fencing. Maybe at least that will slow them down!