At dinner a few days ago the girls were sitting on the bench seat at the table. Bailey looked at Brooke and said, “I love you, Brooke!” followed by a little hug. Then Brooke replied, “I love you, Bailey!” She reached over to give Bailey a return hug but (just to keep the moment from being too perfect), Bailey pushed Brooke away saying, “NO! Don’t touch me!!!” Prior to the push, this was one of the sweetest interactions I’ve seen between them; the first time I’ve ever heard them spontaneously say they love each other (without being prompted). <3

At dinner another night I’d made spaghetti and meatballs. Brooke ate hers entirely with her hands (nevermind the fact that she had a fork and possesses the manual dexterity and skills to use it effectively). After she was all good and filthy dirty, Brooke proceeds to begin climbing all over me like I’m a jungle gym. When I’ve had enough I let out an exasperated sigh, “Did you know that sometimes you’re too much, child?” Brooke nodded and said, “Mmhmm. I too much child!” Then she finally stopped climbing and rested her head in the crook of my neck, giving me a big hug. I squeezed her tight, cherishing the moment…only to have it disrupted far too soon when Brooke saw a fly on the wall and shrieked in my ear “No!!! Shoo, fly! Get out of here!!!”

Brooke has officially had her first bad dream. I believe research has suggested that dreaming takes place even in utero, but prior to having language skills we’ve never really known what the girls dream about. Well one night last week Brooke woke up around 12:45am screaming at the top of her lungs (not a regular cry; more of a frightened cry.) I got out of bed and ran into her room. As soon as I opened the door she practically jumped into my arms screaming “SPIDERS! SPIDERS!” Realizing this wasn’t going to be an easy soothe-her-back-to-sleep moment, I grabbed her tight and brought her into bed with Chris and me. I would be the first to wake the following morning and leave the bed, and Chris would later tell me that he’d been confused because he never realized Brooke was between us in bed. At one point Brooke reached out and grabbed her Daddy’s hand and Chris initially thought it was mine. Squeezing it tight he obviously discovered the tiny person in our bed. But it made me think – what a sweet moment! Brooke had a scary dream about spiders, comes to bed with mommy and daddy, and at some point in the night instinctively reaches out for her daddy’s hand. *Heart melt*

We’re still blaming things on the dog. Bailey asked for a napkin when I knew I’ve already given her one. I said “what happened to the last napkin I gave you?” She replied, “Rocky ate it!” lol. Nice try, Bailey.

Helping Hand Lately I’ve been noticing little times where the girls have helped each other without even being asked or prompted to help.

  • Example 1:  We have a toy storage system like this one (but with brown wood and pink baskets). We were cleaning up all the blocks and Bailey had both hands filled with blocks. She went to try to drop them in the correct basket, but realized that with her hands full she couldn’t actually access the basket (since it was tucked into the shelf). Without being asked, Brooke ran over and pulled out the basket so Bailey could drop in the toy blocks.
  • Example 2: The girls had been eating a snack at the table and drinking milk. Bailey accidentally spilled some of her milk so I gave her a paper towel to wipe it up. She wiped down her placemat and the table, but wanted to get up under the placemat. Again, seeing what Bailey wanted, Broke reached over and lifted the placemat so Bailey could easily wipe up underneath it.

I love how they’re so in tune with each other that they recognize when the other needs something without it even being said. Even better that they actually HELP, too!

Obsessed with Daddy…

  • “I want Dada!” (every single time I go to get them from their beds in morning and after naps. I try not to take it personally ; ))
  • Chris and I were putting the girls to bed one night. Generally we’ll each take one girl, rock her and put her down, tuck her in, then swap rooms so we can kiss the other toddler good night. This particular night both girls wanted dada (no surprise there) and were refusing to come to me. When Chris tried to give me Bailey she said, “NO! I WANT DADA! BROOKE, YOU WANT MOMMA!” I started cracking up at how funny it was that Bailey was trying to convince Brooke that she wanted to come to me, simply so Bailey could stay with Dada.

The Dog Ate My Homework…

Well the girls have learned the art of blaming things on the dog. It’s so funny because I’ve heard stories from friends with a toddler and an infant, and they talk about how the toddler will blame things on the baby (e.g., “the baby spilled my juice!”). So far the girls have never, ever falsely accused each other of anything. BUT, they sure have blamed a LOT on the dog! A broken toy? “Rocky ate it!” A lost shoe? “Rocky did it! A torn page in a  book? “Rocky ate it!” Poor old Rocky boy has become the girls’ whipping boy and is blamed for any and everything that they can think of. Sweet old Rocky boy (We call him “rocky boy” but he’s now 10 years old, so much more like a grumpy old man than a young pup running around destroying things).

Silly Girls…

The other day Brooke found a super long receipt and started dancing around, as if doing an interpretive ribbon dance. Bailey got so jealous that we had to find another receipt that she could dance around with. It was a good solid 5 minute distraction with them each dancing around the living room like they belonged in the Olympics! Singing Sisters… The girls have always liked songs and music and have been singing(-ish) for a long time now, but they’re just now finally staring to really get the words and sing along to their favorite songs. Their number one request is the Happy Birthday song (doesn’t matter that its no one’s birthday), followed by the A,B,C song. If you haven’t seen it yet, I posted a video of them singing the Happy Birthday song on Facebook, so check it out there. : )

More and more the girls’ vocabulary is exploding and I find myself laughing several times a day over funny things that they say! I really want to try to document some of these instances because they’re so small and fleeting that I often forget about them quickly. But they’re so sweet I’ve got to capture them before the memories fade…

A couple days ago Chris bought girl scout cookies. He gave the girls one cookie each. Bailey devoured hers immediately, while Brooke was taking her time. After Bailey was done, she ran to Chris and asked for another. He said, “they’re all gone. No more!” She pointed at Brooke’s cookie and said, “I wanna break it in half” (implying she wanted half of Brooke’s cookie). LOL!!! We both got a good chuckle out of that one.

This morning we were getting ready for the day and as I was running from the bathroom to the bedroom I accidentally kicked the baseboard on the door frame, stubbing my toe really badly. I screamed out “OWWWWW!!!!!” (I really thought I may have broken it at first), and both girls ran over to see the problem. Brooke asked, “You okay, Mommy?” and I replied “I hurt myself! I got an owie on my toe!!!” Bailey said, “I kiss it better!” and both girls dropped down to their hands and knees to kiss my toe. Afterward they jumped back up, exclaiming, “All better!!!” smiling brightly. Sweet things!

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I was trying to take a picture of Bailey cuddling with Dad, when Brooke jumped into the picture, doing a fabulous photo-bomb!

I feel like I’ve recently made a parenting “discovery” of sorts and am kind of shocked I’ve never seen this written or talked about anywhere! This discovery has made our lives SOOOO much more enjoyable and less stressful! If parenting were like a video game, this would be like unlocking a secret level of some type that gives you super powers and makes the game that much easier!

So here’s the scoop….

Imagine the following scenario:

I ask the girls if they want a sippy cup/cracker/book/stuffed animal/juice cup/etc/etc/etc. They will reach for and grab the object, then IMMEDIATELY freak out screaming “Nooo!!! I don’t want it!!!!” at which point they will throw the object down. Not such a big deal if the object is a stuffed animal, but I cannot count the number of juice/milk spills and broken cracker crumbs I’ve had to clean up from these little toddler temper tantrums. Only, that’s not the end of the interaction….

Within mere seconds of having thrown the object, all the sudden the girls decide that they do want the object after all. Only now the object is either broken, spilled, or out of reach (this often happens while riding in the car), so many times its impossible to retrieve said object. Meltdown #2 ensues. Fun times, let me tell you.

But then I realized….the girls generally want whatever object I’ve offered them. Only, they want it to be THEIR idea instead of mine.

So I’ve changed up my strategy. The first time that I offer them something (drink/snack/toy), I make the offer without actually handing them the object. I basically half-way extend the object toward them, wait for them to say “NO!! I DON’T WANT IT!”, then wait about 5 seconds until they change their mind, “I WANT IT!!!!” and then I hand it to them for real.

No more tantrums, no more spills, no more cracker crumbs everywhere (well, still some crumbs but that’s just because they’re messy eaters). Most importantly, though, is that everyone is happy and there’s no more tears and meltdowns!

These little 2-year-olds (going on 20) want to be in charge and make decisions independently. They just have to be offered the opportunity to do so. By changing up our interactions, they now feel some power and control in the situation. Everyone wins!

: )

The girls are SUCH little parrots lately! This actually isn’t a new development, but the first time I’m mentioning it here. It’s gotten to the point that we REALLY have to watch what we say! Here’s an example of something they picked up….

One weekend I was with the girls and telling them to do something (which they clearly didn’t want to do) and Brooke looked right at me and said, “Shut Up, Mommy!”

I was absolutely flabbergasted. What did my sweet, sweet Brooke just say to me???

I scolded her, “We don’t say those words!” but I heard them again and again over the weekend. Probably another 3-4 times total and all used in the correct context (telling me or sister to be quiet).

I conversed with Chris about it and, of course, we thought the culprit was preschool. They surely must have heard it from a classmate because we don’t use those words in OUR house, and we are positive the teachers haven’t used those words either. Regardless, we thought it warranted a conversation with the preschool lead teacher.

On Monday we let the teacher know this new development. She was just as shocked as I had been and assured me that she would be super attentive, listening for those words so she could correct them. She told me she had never heard any of the students use that phrase but said she’d let the other class’s teachers know as well, so everyone could make sure to promptly correct this problem.

Well it was probably only 2 or 3 days later, on a day when the girls were home with me.

Rocky (our dog) had been barking and scratching at the door, even though he had just been out and I knew he didn’t need to go to the bathroom. Surely he saw/smelled a cat and just wanted out so he could chase it around. Busy and frustrated with Rocky’s antics I yell at him, “Shut up, Rocky!!!”

And my little parrots copy me, “Shut up, Rocky!!!”

I was mortified!

IT WAS MEEEEEE!!!!!

They heard that phrase from me!!!

Carefully monitoring myself for the next couple of days I realized just how often I tell our poor dog to shut up. When I thought we never use those words I was thinking that we would NEVER say “shut up” to the kids or to each other. But to the dog??? Well, Rocky heard those words at least a few times each week!

So, yeah. Mother of the Year award over here.

And, moral of the story, we are now very careful about what we say (and to whom) because our little parrots sure do pick things up quick these days!!!

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Bailey hugging Rocky. And Rocky….looking at me for some help! ; )

This year Halloween was pretty low-key.

One of my friends decided to get married on October 31st and set the date 6 months ago, so I knew it would be unlikely that I’d be able to take the girls trick-or-treating (they didn’t go last year, so this would have been their first year). As a result, I really didn’t feel like going all out with costumes or anything. I hadn’t planned anything at all and was starting to really worry/wonder about what I’d do for them. Then about a week before Halloween I stumbled across a box of old clothes from last year and, wouldn’t you know, their old Halloween costumes were in it.

I looked at the costumes, then at the girls. The costumes are basically shapeless bags. Even though they were size 18 months (and the girls are now 28 months old), I figured they’d still fit. I called the girls over and they tried them on and – voila! – fit like a champ! Even better, they actually know what a ladybug is this year, so they were so excited and ran around yelling “ladybug! ladybug! ladybug!!!!!!!”

IMG_4773We ended up going to a Fall Festival hosted by the Town of Marana (where we live) that had a costume contest and trick-or-treating the week before Halloween. So the girls dressed up for that and we had a ton of fun teaching them to trick-or-treat and just having a good time at the festival.

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Ladybugs at the petting zoo

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Enjoying their first s’more by the bonfire!

On actual Halloween Chris had to stay home with the girls (we tried to get a babysitter so he could go with me to the wedding, but everyone had Halloween plans). He didn’t take them out trick-of-treating, but he dressed them up and taught them to hand out candy. He sent me this photo of the girls in their costumes:

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When I got home they’d already changed into PJs, but I got to see them hand out candy and it was adorable! They ran to the door, both grabbed a piece of candy to give to the trick-or-treater, said “here you go!” then smiled and waved “bye bye!!” They were really proud of themselves! Sweet little girls!

Hope your Halloween was a good one, too!

2013 & 2014

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Because we had such a good time on our last Scottsdale weekend, we decided to do it again!

We revisited the Fairmont Scottsdale, this time with family visiting (my Mom and stepdad, my sister, bro-in-law, and nephew). Just like last time, I did a horrible job of getting pictures. I really need to be better with trying to capture these fun and precious moments! Here are the few (pitiful) pictures I have of the trip…

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Bailey, all ready to go to Scottsdale!

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One day the adult ladies (me, sister, and mom) went for pedicures. The little ladies (Brooke & Bailey) got a boys’ day! Dad and Grandpa took them fishing! The resort has several stocked ponds and they rent rods for catch & release only. They even supply everything needed (i.e., bait, reels, rods, etc). The girls LOVE fish and they were FASCINATED by seeing them be caught. All afternoon we heard “fishy, fishy, fishy!!!”

IMG_4662One night we dressed up and went for a fancy dinner at the Mexican restaurant on site. Afterward we walked around admiring the resort. They had 3 separate weddings going on, so we were able to enjoy all different types of music on our walk (from live bands to DJs), and even got to see fireworks (which the girls LOVE).

One thing I didn’t get a picture of was the girls admiring all the bunnies (or “hop hops”). The resort has rabbits galore! Like, seriously so many! They’d come out at dusk to eat and the girls loved chasing them around and yelling, “hop hop! hop hop! hop hop!” When the girls got upset that they’d chased all the bunnies away my Mom told them, “hop hops go night night.” Now the girls have associated this saying with their Mamaw (my mom), and whenever we talk to her on the phone or talk about her the girls always shout, “Hop hops go night night!!!”

Again – I’m really disappointed in the lack of photos! We did so many other fun things! Lots of swimming, playing with cousin Quentin, and being spoiled by Mamaw and Grandpa. I’m promising myself to do a better job of picture taking during the winter holidays. We plan to go back and visit at Christmas time and we MUST get photos!!

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