Monday, September 30, 2013

Halloween nightmares turn into Halloween hope

Every year I dread Halloween more and more. The costumes are inappropriate and it's a nightmare to find something suitable. This year we caught a break. The girls' favorite movie is a new version of the teen beach movies. In fact, the movie is called Teen Beach Movie.

The girls love, love, love Teen Beach Movie. The two main female characters are McKenzie and Lela. We were tossing about costume ideas when we realized that the blond twin owns a red dress with white polka dots, similar to what Lela wear in the movie. All she needed was a black wig and headband to complete the costume.

The brunette twin decided to be a character as well. She really wanted to be a biker girl. We went through several resale shops looking for the right clothes. We left empty handed each time. We searched online sites without any luck.

I started looking at pictures of different Teen Beach Movie scenes to figure out a new costume idea. I found one of Mac in a bright yellow sundress with red and orange flowers. It took a while, but I was able to find something very similar online at a resale site.

The girls need costumes for a Girl Scout outing this weekend. I sent a message to the seller asking if she could put the package in the mail as soon as possible. I explained the urgency and crossed my fingers.

A while later the seller sent a note saying she put it in the mail. She said, "Your note made my day." We're not sure the dress will arrive in time yet, but we're crossing our fingers. It worked the first time. We're hopeful it works again so Lela and Mac can hang out together in real life, just like they did in Teen Beach Movie.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A lovely day for apple picking

The girls were invited to go camping this weekend. While we were getting them ready the brunette twin asked what Mommy and Daddy were going to do while they were gone. I said, "We're going apple picking."

She said, "I thought we were all going apple picking. You're going without us?"

I reminded her that this weekend was the only one we had open for apple picking during apple season. I asked her what she thought we'd do while the two of them were off having fun.

She said, "I don't know. Laundry, cleaning that kind of stuff."

I laughed and told her to get back to packing. The brunette twin ran to tell her sister we were going apple picking without them. Neither one was amused, but I told them they could stay home to come with us. They packed up and bounced off with their friend and her family.

We had a gorgeous day for apple picking. It was 80 and sunny, not our normal late September at all. We picked three kinds of apples, stopped at a local donut shop on the recommendation of a friend and wandered some back roads in Indiana.

We have more apples than we planned, but fewer than the last time we went apple picking. The girls had a beautiful day to explore the campground. Even though we weren't all together, we'll have lots of fun stories to tell and lots of apple to share. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Even dogs have rough days

Holly is having a rough day. It started early this morning. The blond twin was putting dishes in the dishwasher this morning when something happened. The blond twin said Holly's tags were caught in the lower basket. From what I saw the blond twin wasn't paying attention because she was talking to Holly. Whatever happened, the lower tray ended up going across the kitchen floor with the dishes and silverware going everywhere.

Holly was really frightened. It was very loud. The girls were screaming. Holly was pinned against the wall with the basket on their leg. I just put my hands on my head and sighed.

A few minutes later the girls were crying and hugging Holly in the family room while I tried to clean up the mess. I tossed all three of them out of the kitchen to access the damage. Somehow we only lost one dinner plate. Given the noise I was sure all the plates and bowls were destroyed.

When the girls let Holly out of their embraces, the dog ran upstairs into the girls' room. It's her safe place and she wanted to be away from the kitchen. I had to put her on a leash and bring her down the stairs so we could feed her breakfast. Poor Holly shook the entire time. I had to drag her into the kitchen to eat.

As soon as we came home from taking the girls to school Holly ran upstairs to the girls' room. She stayed there most of the morning. When she came down she stayed away from the kitchen. It took a few hours before she went in for a drink of water.

Now Holly is pacing the house. We usually walk to school about 2:30 p.m. to pick-up the girls from school. Holly knows her girls should be home and she's not happy. Between pacing and whimpering, Holly can't figure out why her girls aren't home. She doesn't understand that they are in the school choir this semester. Honestly she doesn't care. She just wants her girls.

We'll leave soon to get the girls. It will help Holly to have her girls at home. She'll calm down and play with them. It will truly be the highlight of her day.

Now, if we can only get through dinner without destroying the kitchen again we'll declare the day a success. I really think another episode like that might give Holly a nervous breakdown.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Channeling Grammie as a young woman

The girls are in the midst of the annual Halloween costume search.This is an increasingly unpleasant task as the girls have outgrown children's costumes. When you get into the teen/adult costumes you're pretty much trying to figure out if there is anything you can do to make the costume something you'd let your tween daughter wear.

We were home for a little while after our completely unsuccessful outing when I remembered that I had some of my Mom's old dresses in the basement. When I say old, I mean some of these are older than me. One of the dresses was a bridesmaid dress Mom wore for my paternal grandparent's 25th wedding anniversary ceremony.

The girls were very excited to see the dresses. They adore Teen Beach Movie, which is set in both the present and the 1950s. These dresses looked like the dresses the Teen Beach Movie stars wore.

After debating colors and styles, the girls decided to try on their favorite dresses. The brunette twin stepped into a dress and was crushed when we realized it didn't fit her. We couldn't zip the dress. At first we thought it was just a fluke so she tried on a different dress. She couldn't zip that one either.

The blond twin stepped into a beautiful blue dress and it zipped easily. As she twirled I thought about what it meant. My mother, who never quite reached 5 feet tall, had the same waist as my 10 year old daughter when she wore the blue dress. The blond twin currently wears children's clothing in size 14. My adult mother had such a tiny, tiny waist. Even though she has always been tiny, it's hard to envision how tiny she was as a young woman until you see her granddaughter in a dress she wore.

My Dad used to say that Mom had the perfect Fifties body. In his word she had tight sweaters, a tiny waist and curvy hips. He always moved his hands when he said it to make sure we saw the hourglass figure. It was always a funny moment because Mom would blush and he would laugh. We all went "eeewwww Dad" because you just don't think about your Mom that way.

Looking at the blond twin in Mom's dress made me realize how really, really curvy she was. The blond twin kept playing with the dress top, saying "What am I going to do with all the extra space in this top?" The taffeta skirt flared from her waist to accommodate an hourglass figure. Mom must have been quite a cute little number in the dress.

The blond twin was thrilled that she could wear Gramma's dress. I'm pretty sure it will be her costume to the delight of her Gramma. Somewhere my Dad is smiling at the memory of my Mom in the dress, just like we were smiling as we watched the blond twin twirl.

Monday, September 16, 2013

You might call it a crate

The girls are really trying to convince us to let Holly out of her crate so she can sleep in their room. Last night Holly stayed in their room after we put them to bed. She slept on the floor between their beds. The girls decided Holly might get cold at night so they put a blanket on her.

A while later Daddy found Holly sleeping happily under her blanket. He took her out of their room so she could go out before sleeping in her crate.

The girls were not happy to wake up and find Holly in the crate. They have been lobbying hard to make their bedroom Holly's bedroom.

At one point the blond twin said, "You wouldn't put us in a crate at night would you?"

I replied, "Well, we did put you in a crib for your own safety when you were Holly's age. It was kind of like a crate. The crib had a floor and bars on the sides so you didn't roll out. It didn't have a top, but you weren't strong enough to get out."

The girls were horrified to think that their cribs were like crates. They hadn't thought about it like that before this morning. I tried to explain that Holly goes in the crate for her safety until we're sure she won't chew a shoe and choke on it or try to get into something under the sink.

They still don't like that Holly is going to sleep in the crate for a while longer. For a moment they were distracted by the idea that they slept in a crate. It was only a momentary distraction, but I found it really entertaining. It took a minute, but they were able to adapt their arguments about putting Holly in their bedroom. They won't win, but I'll give them credit for persistence.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A week of 10th birthday fun

If you're going to turn ten years old, you might as well get the most out of the celebrations. It's exactly what the girls have been doing all week.

It all started with a family birthday party on Saturday, September 7. Both sides of the family were well-represented for a bar-b-que. Our neighbor has a huge yard and he lets us set-up a volleyball net. We also had croquet set-up so there was plenty to do. Of course the bean bag game was in constant use with my brothers and the nephews trash talking the whole time.

Tuesday the girls went with Grammie to the beauty parlor for a salon date. They can't stop talking about it and neither can Grammie. I might be insulted that the brunette twin thinks I should go to "her" stylist for a  "good" haircut. I'm pretty sure she doesn't think I have a good haircut now. The other day she commented on my pony tail. I said, "It's 100 degrees outside in September. I'm walking your dog all day. Yes, my hair is staying in the pony tail."

Yesterday the girls walked outside our front door to see two new mountain bikes. They stared for a minute because they didn't realize the bikes were theirs. I kept telling them that Holly was their birthday gift. Later the blond twin said, "Holly would have been enough for my birthday, but I really like my bike." The brunette twin was thrilled as soon as she started pedaling. She had been complaining for a while that her bike was too small for her. She couldn't wait to ride her new bike.

Today it's a friends party at our house. We'll have ten or twelve little girls in all their tween glory. The party invite was for a spa and sundae party. A friend's daughter and her friends are coming over to paint nails and supervise games. The girls will have their nails painted, watch Teen Beach Movie or a One Direction video and eat ice cream.

I told the girls this morning that today was the end of their birthday week celebration. This is their actual 10th birthday, so it's a fitting end to a fun week.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The glamour girls

For their birthday, Grammie gave the girls an afternoon at her beauty parlor. Since then the girls have talked endlessly about what they were going to have done to their hair and nails. We've had lengthy discussions about different hair styles. They have discussed nail colors for fingers and toes.

Today the three of them set off for the adventure. When they came home all they could talk about was Grammie dancing with one of the employees. The girls were amazed that Grammie was such a good dancer.

This didn't surprise me at all. When we used to go to family weddings, we'd all get off the dance floor to watch my parents dance the jitterbug. They had several dances they enjoyed, but it was lovely to watch them dance together. It never looked like it should work. Dad was just a bit taller than 6' and Mom never hit 5'.  It didn't seem to matter when they danced.

When they were done telling me about Grammie dancing the girls babbled about getting their hair cut. "They put me head in a bowl and washed my hair." "They put all kinds of good smelly lotions in my hair." They talked and talked about choosing their nail polish and the mechanics of a French manicure. They were bubbly and giggly and happy.

The brunette twin tried to hard sell the idea of eating dinner at a restaurant tonight. She said, "Everyone at the salon said we were so pretty you should take us out and show us off. We look too good to stay home."

We will take them out to show off their new hair cuts, but not today. What she doesn't realize yet is the salon day made her feel good, but she's beautiful every day. We have lots of time to show off our beautiful girls.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Holly the songstress

The girls practice their piano songs every day. A couple of days after Holly joined the family she started howling when the blond twin played the Star Spangled Banner. It was so funny we laughed until we cried.

Holly starts a few bars into the song with a few small sounds then she really goes crazy. Sometimes she's so loud you can hardly hear the blond twin play.

The funny thing is it's the only song the blond twin plays that gets Holly singing. The blond twin was playing a lot of old songs last night and Holly ignored them all.

This morning the brunette twin was playing when Holly decided to start singing to her song. As soon as the brunette twin played a different song, Holly just sat there as if she was waiting for the first song to start again. The brunette twin played the first song again just to hear Holly sing.

It's a funny thing to watch. The girls are trying to figure out why Holly sings to some songs and not others. I told them not to over think the situation. Everyone likes different music. Holly is just letting them know her favorite songs.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The crate rebellion

The first night Holly was home she went into her crate nicely. She walked right in and we all went to sleep. The second night she hesitated, but eventually went in. Now she's in a full rebellion. It's clear Holly does not want to sleep in her crate.

Even better, she's taking matters into her own teeth so to speak. Yesterday she started pulling her blanket out of her crate with her teeth. The blond twin put it back, but shortly after Holly started to pull the blanket out again.

This time we were eating lunch and reprimanded her. She stopped pulling the blanket out and left it about half-way out of the crate. The blond twin put it back again.

Last night when we tried to put her in her crate she made herself "dead weight" and we couldn't get her to budge. I gave her a tiny treat to get her into the crate.

We're not quite sure we want her to have full access to the house while we sleep. She doesn't seem interested in chewing anything. I confirmed this today when Holly stretched out in the family room. There was a flip flop next to her face. She put a paw up and I thought she was going to move it to her mouth. Instead she swatted it across the rug out of her way. We're pretty sure she'd be fine, but we don't really know her well yet.

We might end up putting her in the kitchen with two baby gates to restrict her movement. It will give her more freedom than a crate, but still keep her in a safe place. We're going to try the crate again tonight. If we have the same reaction then we'll start looking at other options. It will just be easier on all of us.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Settling in with new sounds

Holly is settling in to our house just fine. It's so nice that she was already trained -- both with some commands and house trained. There's an entire adjustment period we're skipping.

This morning the girls got up and took her outside first thing. One of the nice things about Holly is she's big, but really, really gentle. Both girls have walked her without any problems. She still pulls pretty hard on her leash when we first walk out the door, but she calms down quickly.

The one thing we're getting used to is her barking. Yes, I realize dogs bark, but Oreo never barked. He made some other sounds, although I wouldn't say those sounded like barks. Siberian Huskies as a breed don't bark.

A Great Pyrenees is a guard dog. They bark. When Holly first barked we all jumped. She has a deep, angry sounding bark. She doesn't bark a lot in the house so whenever she does she has our attention.

Last night the girls were putting on her leash to take her outside. Holly started barking. I was in the kitchen doing dishes so I yelled to Daddy to make sure everything was ok. Of course, he was already on the way.

We thought there was some problem with Holly and the girls. We were wrong. There was a woman walking in front of our house. Holly was letting the stranger know to stay away from our house.

There's a story I tell about Oreo and the postman. One day I walked by the door and the postman was standing there with a big box. I asked him why he didn't ring the doorbell. He said he thought the dog would bark. Oreo just looked at him and stretched out on the ground. It's clear that with Holly, I'll always know if someone is at the door.