Thursday, January 31, 2008

Doctor! Doctor!

Hi! Sorry I'm late, but you know how it is...twins. They suck up all your free time.

Ha! Free time. As if!

Anyway, we took the tiny Cheeky Monkey and Troll Doll babies in for their four month appointment. Many questions had I for our intrepid doctor. Not least of which was a) why is Logan screaming like a nut job? and b) is he OK? He's kinda...small.

Well, to make a long visit short...(Why do you have to wait ~20 between seeing the nurse and seeing the doctor, anyway? Are they getting a verbal summary from the nurse? If that's the case, why don't they just show up 5 minutes after the nurse has taken vitals and get the rundown from you directly? But I, as usual, digress.) the doc thinks that Logan's eczema is making him crazy uncomfortable and thus screamy and recommends a whole whacking lot of prescription strength cortisone 4x/day as well as an anti-histamine, 2x daily. Mmmm mmm! Drugs!

So far? Still screamy. Just the smallest bit less screamy than two days beforehand. Not anything like Ali's screamy, for which I remain utterly grateful. I'm so sorry Ali!

As for his growth, she says he is tracking exactly the same as Emma. The only difference is that on the boy charts he comes up short while Emma is 50th percentile all the way across. They both gained about 33-34 oz since the two month visit.


  • Height: 24" 50th
  • Weight: 13 lbs 13 oz 50th
  • Head: 16 1/4" 50-75th
  • Height: 23" 3rd
  • Weight: 13 lbs 9 oz 25th
  • Head: 16 1/2" 50th
I have no idea how he can have an average sized head on a 3rd %ile head without looking top heavy, but he doesn't. Look top heavy, that is. His head always looks smaller than Emma's, I don't know why. Must be the cheeks. Must! Squish! Cheeks!

Emma's eczema is much better than Logan's so she just gets slathered with lots of regular lotion at every diaper change. Or almost every diaper change because sometimes I just can't remember to grab the lotion. At this point, I can't remember if I've had conversations with Eric or not out loud. I'll think something or the other, in my head, but then will have to make a conscious decision to say whatever it is out loud because I can't remember whether or not I've already said or asked whatever was on my mind.

I'm not even talking about anything earth shattering, either. Just simple stuff like, "Hey, did I tell you the mail came? You just won a million dollars!" or "Hey, did we move the laundry from the washer to the dryer?" or "Hey, don't we have another kid around here somewhere?"

Short term memory loss: very sad. It's worse when I'm out in public, picking Caitlin up from school. Damned if I can remember if I politely asked whomever I'm standing near (RBMs: Random Blonde Moms, as Eric calls them. He thinks they all look alike. Not you, though. You're cute!) whether they've had a nice day or how are they doing or whatever the "normal" schoolyard chatter usually is. I made a point of saying it out loud and checking in that I hadn't already asked and then forgotten. Whew! Hadn't!

Yes, I'm that weird and tired. I shouldn't be allowed to operate heavy equipment.

Twins: side effects include utter exhaustion. Do not operate heavy machinery. This means you. Yeah, you. I'm lookin' at you, kid! Get outta da car!

Um...where was I?

Yes! Doctor's visit. Fabulous. The twins are fabulous. Strong, perfect health other than the eczema, both totally within "normal" parameters for height, even if I'm kinda fretting over Mr. Third Percentile. Considering the amount of times he nurses, one would think he'd gain more weight. I'm telling you, smiling must burn an awful lot of calories!

They got their second set of shots and again I split the 4 shots into two different visits because I'm paranoid like that I and I like to spend more money. Ehn, money. I'd rather spend it on important stuff. Who needs new shoes, anyway? (Me! That's who! Dang!)

No teeth were visible to the doc, so either I was completely wrong about potential early teething signs or...I don't know what. Grumpy babies. Caitlin didn't teethe until 12 months, but she's only one data point. We'll see. Oh yes, we shall! And I'm certain that when we do there will be crying and screaming and gnashing of baby teeth on my poor nipples. Yeah, we know how that goes around here!

Four months? How'd we get here so fast, anyway?

E is for Excellent

And exciting. And a little embarrassed. Ooh and enticing.

Kim, from I Shutter to Think (Cute name, by the way!), just awarded me this:

Oh, stop laughing! I am too excellent! On occasion! You...! Well, I like it!

Dude! She said I was enticing! How cool is that?!

If you're sitting where I'm sitting (In the dining room with Emma in my lap. I don't think we can all fit, though.), that is very cool indeed!

Thanks Kim!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Downed Cows and School Lunches

Do you know what a "downed" cow is? It's a cow that is too sick or injured to stand up on its own. It is also a sign of Mad Cow Disease.

This is not beef you want to eat.

But your children are, if they're eating school lunches.

There are plenty of things already wrong with lunch at school, not least of which is the fact that most of it is in essence fast food (ex. Pepperoni or Cheese Pizza, Macaroni and Cheese, French Toast Sticks, Pizza Hot Pockets, Cheeseburger are 5 days worth of lunch being served at Caitlin's school). Add to that the presence of meat from downed cows and the lunch served at school is becoming downright dangerous.

The following is a video taken by the Humane Society at a slaughterhouse (No butchering shown, I promise.) where they are abusing the animals in order to get them to stand up in time for inspection. This way they will be passed and added in to the food stream.

The one from which you and I stand downstream.

Watch it.

So what now?

Now it is time to find an ethical source of natural beef for us at Chez Hatchet. We've been talking about buying a 1/4 cow for a long time and it (plus the twins coming) is what motivated the freezer purchase. This news seals the deal. That amount of beef will cover us for a year or longer and will be worth from the peace of mind.

Today, I actually met a rancher at a Market event and got her literature (Too bad she didn't bring any samples!). I also met the natural chicken guy and he gave me a free sample. He, too, told me a few things about conventional chicken production that are making me think I'll be stocking my freezer with his chickens as well.

While some might suggest we could just go the vegetarian route, I'm afraid I'm too much of a foodie and carnivore for that to be realistic. My argument though, is that I shouldn't have to be worried about my food supply. This is the 21st century. Mad Cow Disease, e-coli and salmonella outbreaks shouldn't even be an issue, but with the slashing of USDA and OSHA inspection budgets and staff, this is what you get (If you haven't read Fast Food Nation yet, I strongly recommend that you do.). Meat producers are out to make money and will do it however they can and damn the costs to society as a whole.

I am doing what I can to keep my family healthy, even when it costs a little more. I don't want to live to regret doing otherwise.

See The Humane Society for more about the video.

What you can do about it:
Demand the USDA ban downed cows from the food stream.

Caitlin says...

Caitlin to Eric, on the way to school:

"Logan's making a grumpy face. I think he's plotting against us."


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Clothing Makes the Child

I have to tell you, we've been very lucky on the clothing front: friends and family have been very generous to us. Verrrrrrrry generous.

Grammy keeps us in all the latest Zutano baby fashions, but it is the clothing loaned to us by my sister-in-law Jenni and my friend Val that I'm here to tell you about.

Check this out:
This is the pile of clothes that we have just packed up. The 0-3 month set. Do you see those 3 piles? On the left is the pile from Val, who had twin boys. On the right is my pile, from when Caitlin was an infant. In the middle is the pile from Jenni (my SIL). She had two boys, 3 years apart and her pile is larger than that which came from Ed and Val. Is she a clothes horse or what?!

Those were some well decked out boys, I tell ya!

Here is the pile for 3-6 months:

The pile on the left is boy clothing (blue, blue, blue, more blue and a smidge of red), while the one on the right is everything that can be called girl clothes or is non-blue. Note that the right-hand pile is much smaller. It amuses me to no end that Logan will have more clothes to wear than Emma. So very untypical. We aren't really concerned with stereotypically dressing the twins so much as we like to know who we're handing off when we're utterly exhausted. Color is the visual key. When Emma wears blue, conversations often go like this:

"Hand me Logan."

"No, that's Emma."

The best part? We've bought exactly four outfits this time around and they were all newborn size for Emma. We have enough borrowed and hand-me-down clothing that we don't have to go shopping for years.

And I gotta tell ya, I like it like that!

Many thanks to those of you that have gifted us with clothes!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Blast from the Past

Here's what I ran across while trying to find a Caitlin-matching-Emma picture:

Best girl friends. Caitlin and Marlena at the Butterfly Pavilion.

Eeee! So cute! They weren't yet three: twenty-two days and counting.

Still best buds.

Three years and two months later.

Next thing you know, they'll be teenagers.


Did you hear that? I think more of my hair just went gray.

Comparing Fingers

Caitlin, at 3.5 months in 2001.Sorry about the picture. My scanner isn't so great, actually.

Emma at 4 months in 2008.

Those are some yummy fingers!

And yes, Caitlin outweighed Emma at the same age. She was a chunka-lunka!

Four Months

The twins turned four months old yesterday.

They've been working on a few new tricks this last week.

Emma has been showing us how she flips over from her back to her tummy. She whips her legs up into the air and then does tummy crunches to curl over onto her side. Then, if her brother isn't in the way and if she wants to, she'll continue the curl until she's completely flipped over.
Roll! Roll! Roll in the hay! Errr...mat!

Laughing has also been in the works, with Caitlin being the instigator. For some reason, the twins find her terribly funny, so long as she's looking at them. It's clear that they love her dearly. Maybe it's because she's closer to their size?

Sitting up is the big new skill. You can put them in the sitting position and they'll hold it until they over balance and fall over. Emma is better at it than Logan, currently. Clearly it's because she's been working on those tummy muscles.
"Caitlin, are you watching me? Are you watching? Do you see me?"

"Yaaaaay! Caitlin sees me!"
and laughing. Two great tastes that go great together!

Logan has been very grumpy recently. We can't figure out what is wrong and are currently blaming pre-teething activities. Or something. He refuses to be put down and then, when you're holding him he cries unless you're standing up. Yeah. You can see that's not going over so well in the house of We All Like to Sit Occasionally! Other than that, he's fine. Caitlin has been working on her Singing to Sleep skills and knocked a very grumpy Logan out yesterday afternoon. Whew!
Mr. Grumpy Feet and Puppy.

Logan loves standing and will do it every chance he gets. He'd rather be standing than anything else.
Caitlin gives Logan a squish.

Unfortunately, right after this picture, Caitlin fell over and conked Logan's head into my knee which brought our photo shoot to an abrupt end.

They now really react when the other is upset. While they don't wake each other up at night, during the day if one is crying, the other will join in. Very frustrating.

Must remember: Empathy is good!
Don't cry, Logan! I'll save you!
Emma reaches down to comfort a crying Logan. No...really!

Hearing loss, however, is bad.

Emma is still my Champion Sleeper, although she kept waking up a few days in a row. It's bad enough when it's just Logan waking up every few hours (Like last night! Argh!). Can we claim growth spurt?
Making up for lost sleep.

Finally, the last big thing is this:
A new era begins!

Caitlin used to suck on the two middle fingers of her right hand, right up until she was three. Emma apparently decided that they are, indeed, a taste sensation that cannot be beat since she has started preferring those very same fingers. Well, the fingers on her hand, not Caitlin's.

Although she would suck on Caitlin's fingers were they offered.

You know what I mean.

In other news, since it was so warm yesterday (65 degrees), we went to the park where we discovered a Five-toed sloth. Betcha didn't know they existed in Colorado, did ya?
Sloths are cute! More colorful than I'd imagined they would be in winter, too.

Part sloth, part monkey, park koala. A Slomonla?

What do sloths eat, anyway? This one seems to like Fudgesicles.

Oh and the daddy sloth was there, too, giving pointers on how to climb a tree. Right up until he bonked his head on a branch. (I think he's out of practice!)
That's Mr. Sloth, to you!

Just a couple more shots, to send you on your way.
Fly, Emma! Fly!
While not in focus, I really like this shot. Emma squirmed at the wrong time.
Here she's doing that Superman thing: balanced on her tummy while all four limbs are off the ground.

Logan wants to remind us that he's only just little and that he won't be grumpy forever.
We hope.

Almost forgot! The twins both really like toys now. At least insofar as they "play" with them by jamming said toys into their mouths to be drooled upon. All of the toys left over from Caitlin's infancy are now getting a double workout. Drool is everywhere!

Logan really likes being swung up into the air. He laughs at the top of the arc and then will jump up and down in your lap until you do it again.

And again.

And again.

Things to remember

Click to enlarge. Zits comic.

Must remember to use this line when challenged similarly!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The End of the World

I was standing next to my car, which was parked in the driveway of the Denver townhouse. I have no idea why we were there, because we don't live in a townhouse and we don't live in Denver, but there was my car and there I was next to it. Was I getting in? Out? Grabbing some forgotten thing hidden within its depths? I don't know.

I do know, however, that I was slightly turned away when The Flash went off. I looked up to see the end of it and knew instinctively what it was. I started running into the open garage to get into the house. Deep inside I thought it would be safer inside the house than outside in my car. Safe from what was coming. I didn't know how long I'd have, but it wasn't going to be long and that distance, from the driveway into the house via the garage suddenly stretched into forever.

I was a bug trapped in amber. My legs were moving, but I wasn't making any headway. Finally, time sped back up and I lunged into the house and slammed the door shut and then the giant sucking wind began. The crashing and screaming began. I don't remember what happened next. Did I make it up the stairs? For a house I've never been in before, I know exactly how it's laid out.

Dreams are funny like that.

In the house, my family waited for me. The Hatchet Five. Plus, my mother-in-law and Grampy Jim. Was this their new place in Denver? Maybe.

It was dark now. There was ash all over the windows. We couldn't see the capitol building from here, but my instincts were telling me that we'd never see it again. That it was Ground Zero for the bomb that went off.

Was it an accident? An attack? No one knew.

There was a flower with yellow petals and a green calyx that Linda kept throwing out and that I kept pulling out of the trash and sticking back into a cup of water. She grew frustrated with me and asked me what I was doing. I replied that it may be the last bit of green we see for awhile and that we shouldn't throw it away.

It was a symbol.

People began flowing past the house with assorted belongings clutched in their arms. Confused. Despairing. Where do you go when Armageddon begins? What do you take with you? Is any direction safe? Is anyone safe?

We needed to go. Where?

I think it was summer or at least spring. There wasn't any snow and it didn't appear to be cold. I wasn't wearing a coat, at the very least.

Outside, a group of five or six men walked past, loaded with weapons and gear piled high on the back of a single bicycle. Survivalists. Everyone gave them a wide berth. One of the men tripped over his own feet and fell to the ground. Stupidly, his finger had been on the trigger of his Very Large Gun. It went off, long and loud with a ripping noise, pointed at the sky. Then it was time for Screaming and Running. People scattered.

That's when I noticed the trucks.

Enormous white semi-trucks, with Wal*mart inscribed in blue on the sides. In the trucks were hundreds of animals: dogs, cats, cattle. They were screaming and tearing at one another to escape. I think they were open sided, like cattle cars, so that we could see what was inside. They were meant to terrify. A war waged with animal fear, adding to and enhancing our own.

It was clear now that the Glassing of Denver was no accident.

We had to leave.

I remember thinking, No! Not Denver! It's dangerous in the city. I think it was related to conversations with Misty about where to live. For me, the city is right out.

The looting would start soon and with it would come predators looking for me and my children. I had a sudden visual of the scene in 24 where the mom sacrifices herself to protect her daughter from rape. And there I was with two daughters and a tiny son. We needed to go now.

We gathered up some things. I remember taking my seeds because where ever we were going, if we were to survive we would need to eat. Soon the only food available would be that which we produced ourselves. We started walking.

What had happened to my car? Perhaps it had been destroyed in the initial blast.

Suddenly things shifted and I was no longer the current time version of me. Instead, I was a teenager and I was running alongside my father and asking him where we were going and how we were going to get out of there.

Was it still Denver or was it now NYC?

I don't know. I'll never know because then? Emma woke up.

But the nightmare won't fade.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Little House on the Desert Plain

Our house is 20 years old this year.

It has been ours for the last 13 years; we bought it the year before we got married and thought it was perfect. We had been renting a 700 sq ft apartment and when we bought 3x that size, we couldn't figure out why the current owners complained that the kitchen wasn't big enough!

Hah ha! Ha! Haaaa.

We were young and foolish then.

It wasn't a fixer-upper, 'cause we're just not handy like that. A little painting, a little electrical work, sure, but not the rip-up-the-walls and add-a-new-room types. Thus began the years of check writing.

First, we finished the basement. And by we, of course, I mean the company we hired because we would do horrible damage to ourselves if we attempted such a thing. This was followed by a massive interior repainting which we did ourselves. That was fun! Especially since it was the summer of the Miller moth invasion. Imagine being 12' up on a ladder, painting the ceiling when Miller moths start dive bombing your head.

The expression is creepy crawly, not creepy fly into your face and make you almost lose your grip and fall to your death/derangement/damage, thankyouverymuch!

That was also the summer that we discovered that there really is a limit to the number of moths your cats will eat.

That's when we also discovered that the vacuum with hose attachment is a great way to get rid of moths.

Um. Anyway! More years passed by and I was busy throwing hissy fits over the lack of counter space in the kitchen. This was combined with Eric's decision to go to law school and the knowledge that we wouldn't be able to move for several years, even if we wanted to. I then demanded insisted strongly suggested that if we were to remain in this house for the next 5-7 years, that for my sanity's sake we needed a kitchen remodel. And while we were at it, let's re-do the master bathroom. Oh and get rid of the carpet, too.

I designed the kitchen on graph paper, lovingly, to scale. Eric wrote the check. We each have our talents.

Then, after we discovered the amount of damage Pixel had done to the basement walls, we had a mini-remodel in the basement (Ripped out the bottom 12" of drywall all the way around and 24" in the corners.) and put bamboo flooring down there as well.

After all that, the house was looking guuuuuuud. It was then time to repaint the outside from the eye-searing pastel yellow to a deep, intense shade of blue. A color that is not for the color faint of heart. The eye-searing had actually calmed down over the years, but initially it was awful. My apologies to those of you that like yellow and specifically pastel yellow, but it was never the color for us. I remember distinctly that when we pulled up to the house with our real estate agent that both of us took one look and were willing to pass. Fortunately the agent insisted we look inside. Smart lady.

And we looked upon our house and it was good.

Until we had a massive hail storm and had to replace the roof, along with everyone else in the neighborhood.

Oh and let's not forget last summer's remodel of the rooms for the kids. That journey began here and ended here.

Then, finally, after complaining miserably about being hot in the summer of my Preggosaurus-ness (First reference to Preggosaurus.) and noticing that the A/C couldn't keep the temperature below 81 degrees, we saw that the windows were shot. The double paned window seals were gone and there wasn't just a little moisture in there: it was a Biodome. Sea-monkeys could have set up shop in there, disappointing yet another generation of children for their failure to actually be...monkeys. (Nice job, sellers of brine shrimp. You suck!)

Ahem. Yes. Where was I?

Oh! So then Eric and I made a deal. He could buy his neat new-to-him car and I could get new windows.*




I disappointed you, didn't I? I should have bargained for something else? Windows aren't as sexy as a new used car, that's true, but it is what I wanted and felt kinda like a luxury. Although it's kinda funny to call being kept warm in the winter and cool in the summer a luxury, isn't it? Hmm. Maybe I should've asked for more sleep?

No, wait. He doesn't have any of that either.

So windows it was!!

I feel warmer already!

No, I'm not exaggerating. You can no longer feel cold air pouring down on you while you sit on the sofa next to the window. (I can hear Sierra cheering from here.) A definite problem when watching movies at night. In the winter. As an added bonus, the street noise has been cut down considerably.


The windows are clean.

That's right! It was all a ruse to avoid washing the windows! Bwaaahahahhaaa!

Aha! Ha! Heeeeee! *wheeze*

I need to get out more.

So, here's my question:

If eyes are the windows to the soul, what are windows? The eyes of the house? If so, (Eww! Creepy image!) 9 out of 16 of our house's eyes just had laser surgery.

Come on over! It's warm inside!

* The moral of the story? Rent. It's cheaper.

All the difference in the world

Click to enlarge the Baby Blues comic.

That's it exactly. And so we discover yet another difference between men and women.

What do I think about?

Laundry, gardening, gaming, needing a haircut, eczema, Caitlin's schoolwork, needing new shoes, the primaries, desperately needing sleep, what will I write tomorrow, the house needs cleaning, and what were those dates I needed to write on the calendar? It's a wonder I can ever sleep.

Oh, wait....

Friday, January 25, 2008

Taaaa Daaaaaaah!

Emma, just now at 9:06 pm MST, just rolled over from her back onto her tummy.

She completely skipped the Tummy to Back flip. Never saw her do it. Ever.

In other news, Logan is utterly jealous.

Spell This!

Caitlin is in 1st grade this year and has learned many new things in school. Not least of which has been working on her handwriting and spelling and continuing work on reading.

Just this week, they started spelling tests and gave out a pre-test. They sent the list home with the child and your child is supposed to practice spelling over the weekend to prepare for the week ahead.

Here is Caitlin's list (I don't know what every one else's looked like):
  • Important
  • Accidentally
  • Around
  • Situation
  • Thought
She got two of them wrong: Imporntant and Thoght.

Here's the note from the teacher in her folder:
"Caitlin will need challenge spelling words (Great speller)."

Updated to add: the words they spelled would have been on the 1st 100 sight word list, like this one.

What's for breakfast?

"This is why most people have frozen waffles for breakfast." Eric said as he finished cutting up apple slices.

"You're right, but we're not most people and this is what keeps us out of restaurants." And what keeps our friends coming over for dinner. And breakfast.

This was what I was working on: German Apple Pancake.
Batter up!

After a technical mishap ruined our chances of blueberry Belgian waffles this morning, I stepped up. Fortunately, the twins were asleep and we had the time and the ingredients, so why not?

Admitting that you're a Foodie is the first step. Then, giving in to your desire to have something more complicated than scrambled eggs is the next step. So long as you (and anyone you're feeding) are willing to wait for a little longer, you can have fantastic food. And me? I love fantastic food. Don't you?

German Apple Pancake
--Cook's Illustrated New Best Recipe Book

2 large eggs
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup (2.5 oz) unbleached AP flour
1 tbsp unsalted butter
3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4" slices
1/4 cup packed (1.75 oz) light brown sugar
2 tbsp confectioners' sugar
Maple syrup, for serving

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, salt, and granulated sugar in a food processor or blender and process about 15 seconds. Add flour and process until mixed and free of lumps, 30 seconds; set batter aside.
  2. Add butter to a 10" ovenproof skillet and heat over med-high heat until butter foams. Add apples and brown sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples begin to turn light brown, about 5 minutes. DContinue to cook over med-high heat, stirring constantly, until the apples are golden brown, 4-5 min.
  3. Remove pan from heat. Pour batter around edges of pan, then over apples; place pan in oven. Reduce heat to 425 degrees and cook until browned and puffed, 16-17 minutes. With heatproof spatula, loosen pancake edge. Invert onto serving platter, dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve immediately with syrup.
It's also really good with a big squeeze of lemon juice and whipped cream, or whipped cream and blueberries.

Face it, whipped cream goes with almost everything.

Caramelizing apples

Ready for the oven


Can you smell it?

Serves 4, unless you want to share.


What do you like to make for breakfast for fun?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hawk Food

"Eric! Eric! Come quick!"

Eric, egg in hand, comes running "What?"

"There's a hawk on our deck! Right there! On the back of the chair!"

Trapped under a twin, with no camera at hand, I urged Eric to grab the video recorder. That thing starts up so sloooowly! Meanwhile, the hawk jumped onto the deck and then up onto a pot. Clearly he was looking for the local fauna that hang out at the All You Can Eat Hatchet Bar.

Seeing no likely snacks around (Not even a mouse.), it hopped up onto the rail and then took off for the neighbor's yard, clearly hoping to find some clueless-yet-tasty birds that hadn't yet taken off at its arrival.

I feel certain that it was a juvenile. It just didn't move with all of the grace and power of an adult raptor and wasn't very large, either. Now, using the tiny video clip and my new bird book (Thanks, Linda!), I'll see if I can't figure out what it was.

What was the most unusual animal you've come across in your backyard?

Updated to add: I think, from the video, that it is a Coooper's Hawk. Definitely an Accipiter - its tail was longer than its wings, with even bands of light brown and dark brown and white trim at the bottom of the tail, which appeared rounded. It appeared to have speckles of white on its back and its chest was streaked. The head looked more like the Cooper than the Sharp-Shinned, from the drawing in the book.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


No! Please! No!


Age: ~4 months
On average the first tooth comes in during the seventh month, although it can arrive as early as three months, as late as a year, or in rare cases even earlier or later.
Yes, somewhere on that bell curve. We're in there.

Irritability: Bad attitude? Check! The whining, screaming and crying is awful! And that's just Eric and I. The twins are even worse. Logan keeps screaming in my face but won't nurse. I keep putting him into the swing to sleep it off, which works for 10 minutes. The screaming and not nursing is driving me insane. It's very hard to tell the difference between screaming because I'm hurting and screaming because I'm hungry. Emma is doing it too, but not quite as bad. Yet.

Drooling: Check! Lay Emma on her tummy on the playmat and she's Droolicious.

Coughing: Check! Sometimes. Not all the time.

Chin rash: From the drool. Nope.

Biting and gnawing: OMG Check! Every chance they get to pull one of our fingers (or anyone else's, let's get real here: they aren't discriminating against any fingers) in their mouths they chew for all they are worth. You can interrupt a crying jag with a well placed finger or knuckle. They are chewing on their own hands so much they look chapped.

Cheek rubbing and ear pulling: Not that I've noticed, but Logan is trying to rip the back of his skull off. Does that count?

Diarrhea: I don't know. Their stools are loose. They've always been loose. What does normal stool on a breastfed 4 month old look like? I'm so not googling that.

Low-grade fever: They've both been a little warm this week, but we think they have colds.

Or do they?! *Cue ominous music*

Not sleeping well: The only evidence for this is the fact that Emma isn't sleeping well. Logan doesn't do anything I'd call "sleeping well".

Cold like symptoms (runny nose, etc.): Uh...yeah? Boogies everywhere! Bleah! See also Low-grade fever.

Eric is not convinced that it's teething, since Caitlin didn't get teeth until she was 12 months old and how likely are they to both teeth at the same time? I, however, remember her having teething symptoms well before the teeth actually showed up. But, OMG! if we have to endure this constant screaming in your face thing for the next 8 months? I am so selling these children!*

So, tell me: are they teething or not? I've checked their gums and don't see anything, but that doesn't mean they are feeling nothing.

* Help meeeee!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Holiday Card 2007

About that holiday card...

Well, there I was, stuck for an idea for a card that wouldn't take me ages to put together, was funny and had the whole family in it. Ali convinced me the image should have all 5 of us in it instead of just the kids.

This is what I came up with:
"Twins for Christmas? You shouldn't have!"

I built the background in Photoshop from some brushes found here. The hardest part was wrangling the family for the shot itself: keeping Caitlin up on her knees to keep her in frame was tricky, as was setting the timer and rushing over to my spot with a baby. Yeah, a remote would make it easier, but it appears that mine was eaten by my basement. Since I wasn't trying for the "perfect" shot, I took what I got on the 5th image. There's only so much wrangling a pair of 3 month olds and a 6 year old will take!

Then I listened to Swistle and decided that I might as well include a short letter. I think the picture was worth more points than the letter, though. Those of you that received it can score it in the comments section! Those of you that didn't will have to base the scoring on the image alone, and the knowledge that I completed them on 12/24 and got them out before the end of the year. Points for me since I did the photo, editing, and letter entirely on my own. Eric helped with the stuffing and mailing. And! I did it in the same year the twins were born. Surely that is worth a couple of points!

Next year I'll have a pair of ~15 month old twins and a 7 year old. I'll be lucky if I capture a single image with them in the frame.

So tell me what you did. Leave a link in the comments so I can go ooh and ahh over your family picture.

Life Lessons

Caitlin woke up last night, right after going to bed with a nightmare. She was distressed, but not just over the nightmare: house catching on fire and her dying in it. Creepy enough.

The thing that really distressed her is the fact that her Dream Catcher doesn't work.

"It's catching my good dreams and letting my bad dreams through!" She kind of thought that one over and said, "It doesn't work. I need something that works."

Eric tried to reassure her as she complained about her defective Dream Catcher. Then she jumped tracks:

"What about those Worry Dolls you put under your pillow? Are those just art, too?" Eric had to acknowledge the possibility and that they're probably both just art. When pressed for what did work, Eric offered lots of hugs. Caitlin dismissed that entirely.

She eventually went back to sleep and slept through the night (Unlike some people!). I guess she's growing up.

Good thing she didn't ask about the Jolly Fat Man.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fortress of Solitude

I haven't got one.

It used to be a woman could get some time alone by heading to the bathroom.

Not anymore.

Not a shower or other bathroom visit goes by without a twin visit (enabled by Eric). I normally do some good thinkin' in the shower, but that's a little hard to do when you hear the crying moving towards you. Next thing you know, the door opens with a whoosh! of cold air being sucked out of the room and unhappiness in the form of a twin enters.

"They just want to see you." the long suffering husband says as he peeks the twin around the shower curtain.

It gets worse: you know you're talented when you can nurse, undress, and pee all at the same time.

It's a talent I wish I didn't have.

The only time I am truly alone now is when I escape the house to run an errand on my own. Unfortunately the time is very limited and shopping isn't exactly a zen experience for me.

One day, I'll be able to find some time alone again, but I suspect it may not be for years. I remember Caitlin was very helpful at potty time: since she was being cheered on for her efforts, she could be counted on to cheer you on for yours. I feel certain that that situation will repeat, in stereo.

Then again, three years seem to fly by these days. Maybe the Potty Cheering Squad isn't such a bad thing after all.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Tit for Tat

The scene: we were talking for the babies, as usual (What? You don't talk for your babies? Come onnnn. Everybody does it!). I had Emma and Eric had Logan. Logan had finished nursing a short while ago and Emma, who'd just recently awakened was waiting for her turn. In order to put the grumpy Logan down, Eric had to be ready for a hand off. Emma "complained" that Logan was guarding "her" breast from her.

Minutes after she finally got to nurse, Eric was back in the room with Logan who was looking for more milk.

Emma: "No! No milk for you! These are mine!" Protectively throws an arm across the other breast.
Logan: "Noooo! You can't have both! Dat one's my breast!"
Emma: "Not today! You kept me waiting for mine for so long. Now you have to wait."
Logan: "Dat's not fair!"
Emma: "Is, too. I here now. You go away! Mine! You blocked me from mine, you not get yours."
Logan: "Oh, so it's tit for tat now, is it?"

Hatchet cracks up laughing. Eric wins the "argument".

A few minutes later, a vicious karate fight breaks out and Emma is knocked out of the way by a flying kick.

Yeah, I know, it's a lot funnier if you're here.

And sleep deprived. We're hysterically funny if you're sleep deprived.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sixteen Weeks

An' what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
St. Peter don't you call me cause I can't go:
I owe my soul to the nursing twins!

Apologies to Jimmy Dean.

The twins are finally sleeping.
This is what we refer to as The Lip. It comes out when he's most unhappy. Here, he was unhappy right before he fell asleep (Not tonight.) and it stayed that way!

Sleep, that thing we can't even dream of, since our sleep keeps being interrupted. By Logan. Yes, this is one of those situations where we are bad parents (Bad!) who compare one child unfavorably to the other.

"Why can't you be more like your sister? Why?!" Wretched weeping follows.

Logan falls asleep before Emma does at night, around 10 pm instead of her 11 pm time frame, but he doesn't stay asleep until 7 am like she does. I don't know why, other than he's trying to get more nursing in, but he's not exactly chubbing it up over here! He's still only slightly heavier than she is. He needs to work harder at gaining weight during the day.

Other than that, they're both very sweet and a lot of fun. Emma has started laughing, although it did take serious neck nibbling for it to happen. Then again, I like nibbling on her tiny neck, so no hardship for me! She also likes to squeal and jabber and semi-scream for minutes on end because she's so darned happy. It's very endearing. Maybe I can get the man in charge of videos to upload it.
Emma, very carefully studying the Penta-pus (It only has 5 legs. Whaaat?), right before she shoves the legs into her mouth.

They like to look at one another and chatter back and forth. Sometimes it takes a little while for one to notice the other, but once they do they start smiling and chatting. I hope that lasts!
"Hey Emma! Hey! Guess what?"

"What is it, Logan?"

"I have poopy in mah pannnnts!"

"You are a sad, sad little man. I pity you."*

They're also mad for Caitlin. When she walks in the room and starts talking they both swivel to see her and start smiling. Their tiny smiles drop away when she doesn't make eye contact with them, though. This evening at dinner, Logan was getting grumpy and we asked Caitlin to sing to him. Once she started singing, Logan went completed quiet, stood up in Eric's lap (supported) and smiled and smiled at her. It was as if he was electrified by her voice. I then looked down and saw Emma grinning for all she was worth as well.


Makes you want to squeeze all three of them.

On Saturday, Grammy and Grampy came to visit. Linda had Caitlin for a sleepover on Saturday and spent all day with her on Sunday at the museum. Then, that night, they watched Caitlin and the twins for us so that we could go out to dinner. Alone. Ahhhh!

Undying gratitude. They has it.

Just try to imagine how fast we drove away. Just imagine it!

No. Faster!
Chillin' with Grampy.

Getting last squeezes in before Grammy and Grampy head out for Hawaii. Yeah. I feel bad for them too - their luggage wasn't big enough to fit the 5 of us!

"And this is an Emma!"

Caitlin perusing a Barbie catalog, intent on cutting them out later to use as paper dolls.

There's a lot of jamming fingers into mouths around here, but no teeth in sight. I'm hoping that they do what Caitlin did and not teethe until they are one years old. I'd like to nurse them without being gnawed on with sharp nippers. The pinching and pulling are bad enough without adding teeth into the equation!
Holding hands. Awww!

The fingers that you shove into your mouth don't have to be yours.

They are finally reaching the point where I need to pull out the 3-6 month sized clothes. They don't seem very big to me, compared to Caitlin at that same age, but they are growing! The fact that they aren't very plump like she was has me vaguely worried (Because I have to fret over something, apparently.) but not enough to run to the doctor. We have a 4 month appointment at the end of the month where I will throw all of the questions I have at them about weight and size and skin condition and so on.

In the meantime, we're just getting another day older and deeper in debt....

* Toy Story. Buzz Lightyear to Woody, while they were lost.

Are you tired?

How tired are you? A little tired? Very tired? A hazard to yourself and others?

Here's a little something to test your reaction time.

Um...apparently I'm taaaaaah-errrrrd!

Sleeping and Dreaming Test

I guess I won't be driving long distances any time soon. Heh!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The sharpest kids on the block

That's right. My kids? Sharp, man!

Their fingernails are razor sharp. (What did you think I was talking about?) So sharp, in fact that Logan has been slicing up the back of his own head with them in his sleep and bleeding all over the co-sleeper. When did I notice this? Today.

Then I had a Freak Out Moment and determined that I would cut that little beast's nails if it was the last thing I did today!

And wouldn't ya know it? It was the last thing I did today! Or the very first thing I've done on Wednesday morning, but that all depends on your perspective when it's 12:40 AM. To me, it's still Tuesday night.

Hello! Why yes, I can tell time! Bear with me here.

The problem with cutting teeny tiny baby nails when they are awake is they squirm. A lot. Eric did their nails the first few times, but always cut their tiny fingertips. And you know? The blood thing? I'm still not good about the blood thing, so it makes me feel queasy to see it, but now add horrible parental empathy (My baby! You've hurt my baby!) and fear about just how much those tiny cuts on such tiny fingers can bleed (OMG! She's bleeding everywhere!). So now Eric doesn't want to/isn't allowed to cut fingernails anymore.

I, however, am paranoid about using the vicious, finger lopping clippers, so I've just been trying to tear the teeny tiny, yet murderously sharp, fingernails off. It's not as easy as it should be and always leaves sharp, yet jagged, pieces of fingernail behind. Not very satisfactory from the wanting to no longer get slashed by babies perspective. So tonight I waited until Logan was seriously knocked out and then clip-clip-clipped away.

I have to tell you, there are few things as sad as blood under your baby's fingernails. Could be mine, but it is most likely his own. Poor thing!

Whoops! Now the "poor thing" is waking up and looking for snacks. Quick! Tell me your infant manicure techniques!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Do you know what time it is?!

It is Seed Catalog Time!

And this year, I'm ordering for our farm and that means I get to order lots and lots of stuff. Whee! Flipping through page after page of beautifully photographed, full color images of yummy fruits and vegetables.

I'm planning on ordering several different kinds of heirloom tomatoes, beans, flowers, six kinds of basil and on and on and on.

I am now dying for a slice of fresh home grown tomato!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

He got me

I spoke entirely too soon on Friday.

First thing on Saturday morning, I was tandem nursing and Logan got me. He really scored, too, since he also got Emma's arm. He was assisted in his perfidy by his own father, though. Eric held him over me when I yelped for help. Something about not wanting to get the bed messy and since I was already covered...what's a little more?

Personally, I think he was trying to get back at me for the last vomit job was all over him.


Whose side is he on anyway?!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Twin Notes

It's 11:30 pm and Emma is still awake. I'm trying to jiggle her to sleep but all I'm getting is a tired arm. Instead, she's laying on my chest "singing" or talking to herself.

"Eeeeyay. Waaaay. Waaaay. Waaaay. Enh! Eeeeeyay! Yaaah. Ahhh."

It's terribly cute but completely unlike sleeping.

I've tried nursing her into unconsciousness, but she's threatened to throw up on me at least 3 times and I'm just not interested in having another shower.

Actually, I'm on somewhat of a streak. I should get a ticker or something: X days without vomit. Not that no vomit is happening, because it is. It's just not happening to me.

Halleluia! Can I get an Amen?!

It's been about a week, too. Yeehaw!

In other Cute News, the twins will occasionally look at one another and start "talking" and smiling at each other. Logan is far more likely to smile at Emma than the reverse, but earlier this evening Emma was being super sweet and talkative. We'll have to see if we can capture it on video.

Finally, I've mentioned before that the twins are getting better control of their hands and bringing things to their respective mouths. What I didn't mention was that they're really good at getting the other twin's hand to their mouth. And drooling on it. The chewee only looked mildly perturbed when this occurs. It cracks me up. Yet another twinny thing that I need to photograph.

This twin thing ain't so bad after all!

Except for the double crying. That's no fun at all.

Death by haberdashery

Staying up late and reading XKCD, I've decided that I, too, have died in a blogging accident.

It was just as awful and messy as you might expect a blogging accident to be. Words were misused. Punctuation was missing or overused. It was a horrible sight.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Three years ago today

I made a big mistake.

It was early in the morning and Eric had asked me to trim his hair for him. In my bleary eyed, fuzzy brained state, I said, "Sure!" I'd done it so many times that it was automatic. The only problem was that I skipped the very first step.

Attaching the guide to the clippers. You know, the guide that determines how short the hair will be after you cut it? Yeah, that one. The default, no guide setting is this:
I burst into tears when I realized what I'd done. Eric was completely fine with it, since he'd been wanting to shave off his hair for awhile, but I didn't want him to. Now, clearly, this was the time to do it. After he stopped laughing and I stopped crying, I ran to get my camera.

What can I tell you? I'm like that.

I then tried to "fix" it by putting the guide on and shaving the area around it, resulting in this:
There are two different "depths" to his hair, if you look closely.

Eric then told me to just cut it all off, which ended up with a teacup poodle in the sink:

I shed more than that when I take a shower!

When I was finished, he then shaved his head and finished up looking like this:
You're a handsome devil. What's your name?

On New Year's Day this year, after Ed and Val and Scott and Sierra left to return to their own abodes, Eric decided a change was called for. First, though, he wanted Before pictures.

Before, with goatee.

And then he attacked his face with a razor.
Since it had been three years, it was really disconcerting to see him without a goatee. Some days I still do a double take, since I was used to the goatee. Caitlin said it freaked her out.
We all got over it, though. Now he's running around with a cold chin.

Moral of the story: never let me near your hair with clippers when I'm tired.

Do you have any hair cutting mishaps you'd like to share? Tell me, do!
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