Monday, June 29, 2009

Now You Are Eight

For your eighth birthday, I made you eat bugs.

Ripping the wings off of butterflies. Aiee!

And sleep outside, on the ground. In a tent.

And have a sleepover that lasted three whole days!
BFFs, baby!

So, even though there was only one guest and very few presents, I think we can call it a success.

Through bad timing (apparently summer birthdays are hard to schedule around) and great distance from the invitees, we went from 4 potential party and sleepover guests to one. Oh well. Fortunately, you rolled with it and we turned it from one night into two nights, plus pizza, ice cream and a movie out. Also, running and screaming with your BFF for two and a half days straight has been a thrill for you both. Talk about late nights!

This last year has been tough on you and I. Hell, who am I kidding? These last two years since your brother and sister were born, have been tough on you. And me. You've gone from the first and only to the eldest of not one, but two crazy babies. Your limelight wasn't just stolen, it was hijacked, mugged and punched in the face repeatedly. You've responded by becoming the best whiner ever! You now throw yourself onto the floor at the least provocation.

Requests that cause you to throw yourself onto the floor (Apparently from their sheer weight on your soul!):
  • Brush your teeth
  • Brush your hair
  • Get dressed
  • Get ready for bed
  • Clean your room for 15 minutes
  • Put your dishes in the sink
  • Get in the car and put on your seat belt
  • Take a bath
  • Do your homework
Why do I ask you to do all of this? Because I am the strictest mother in all creation. It's true. Just ask around. None of the rest of your friends have to do these things. Nope. Not one. I have all of these expectations of you. You know, that you'll be clean and possibly healthy. But you know what? Now that you're eight maybe all the rules will change? Maybe you won't have to take showers anymore and brush your hair? Yeah! Maybe we'll try that! I feel certain that your attitude will completely change once I let you do everything you want and nothing at all that you don't want.

Uh huh.

But wait! After spending the last couple of days observing you and your BFF, I realize that you're perfectly normal! Apparently all of the whining and bad attitude is just a stage! Woo! Maybe you'll break out of it soon. I can only hope. It's either that or you'll have to fish me out of a pitcher of mojitos because this is the toughest time I've had with you. It's very painful. But no one wants to hear that.

You started taking piano lessons and you appeared to be a natural. I hope you'll pick it back up in the fall, when school starts. I love listening to you play.

In twelve days, you'll be heading off on your very first trip alone for three weeks. You'll wing off to NYC to hang out with your Aunt Dawn, Cousin Janet, Aunt Cindy and maternal grandparents. You are going to have such an incredible time, your head may just pop off with all of the excitement! Zoo trips, shopping, museums, camping, and seemingly endless playdates with cousins and grandparents and new friends-to-be. Maybe you'll miss us, maybe you won't, but you'll have the chance to find out what it's like to travel on your own and live under someone else's rules for awhile.

I noticed that you keep getting taller. What's up with that? Your clothes keep shrinking, but I'm not yet ready to admit that you're actually eight. You know, two years shy of double digits. That's really weird. Next thing you know, you'll be entering the third grade midway through August and starting the whirlwind of school, playdates and projects again. School has been kind of hard for you, mostly because of all the girl drama you have with your friends. Or frenemies, as they seem to be. I wish I could help you make better friend choices, but considering how well I did when I was your age, I can't really say I'm surprised at your choices. I just wish I knew why you stopped being the leader and have started being a follower.

Hopefully that will change.

You officially learned how to ride a bike this year! After spending the last couple of years throwing your bike to the ground and blaming it for crashing you into the sidewalk repeatedly, we handed you off to Aunt Jenni for biking lessons. She performed magic on you, apparently, because you came back knowing how to ride a bike without training wheels. Now, with a little more practice (That dreaded word!), maybe you'll stop using your feet to brake.

You still don't like doing physical things since you can't be perfect at them the first time you try them. We keep tossing you into new sports and situations, hoping something will stick. Maybe karate in the fall will help? We can only hope!

You still devour books, but for reasons we can't understand, want new books but don't want to read new books. I don't get it. Really, I don't. When I was your age (get used to that saying, kiddo), I absolutely inhaled every book I could get my hands on. I read everything that was laying around in the house from Reader's Digests to Harlequin Romance novels to science-fiction to Black Beauty to The Exorcist. (By the way, what the hell was that doing in our house? Gaaaaah! Not a book a 13 y/o girl should read.) If it had words on it, I read it. The fact that you want to collect books and yet read The Trumpet of the Swan for the 40th time boggles my mind. It's like we have to convince you that new books are just as good as old books.

You've gotten strange about food. Whereas you used to dip everything you ate into a sauce of one kind or another, you suddenly want nothing to do with sauces. Not even ketchup. Is this a girl thing? Something you picked up at school? I don't get it. Next thing you know, you'll tell me you don't like salmon anymore and then my head will explode.



When you play with the twins nicely it makes me very happy. For a few minutes you make them squeal with laughter and chase them around. They love you so much it makes my heart ache to watch the three of you. Sometimes I watch, but mostly I'm probably trying to make dinner or clean up after all of you. It's crazy, but the magical Cleaning Fairies still have not found our house, so someone has to keep picking up all of the discarded food/shoes/toys and I guess that someone is me. When you keep them busy, you make my life easier and I really appreciate it. Not having a short person attached to my leg makes getting food in and out of a hot oven a lot less tricky. (Have you ever tried pulling food out of the oven while fending off a pair of 21 month olds? Feels just like being a goalie in soccer or like a defender in basketball. Except, you know, it's burningly hot and the opposing team is crazy. And short.)

When the playing turns to screaming, that part is not so much fun. I know you didn't mean to hurt anyone (mostly), but you did and you need to own up to it and learn from it and stop doing it. I know, it's a lot to expect from you, but there it is. Strict mommies like me have all of these rules and not hitting your brother and sister are on the top of the list.

During the good times, when we have put the twins to bed and it's just you and I and your father hanging out, that's when I like you the most. We can just settle down for awhile and focus on you, which you like. Sometimes there's even time for snuggling. You don't get as many as you used to, it's true. Hint: Being stinky doesn't help.

This year, I'll try harder to have more patience. Maybe you'll try harder to be more polite to me. We'll do our best together in our parent-child relationship, because even when it's really really hard, I'm certain that you know that I love you, just as I know that you love me.

Even when you're yelling the opposite.

I love you, my little monkey. Happy birthday!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Kitchen Confessions

Watching you struggle with the pizza dough, something that I have mastered, makes me feel like less of a failure.

Thanks for not being Super Dad all the time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Glamorous Life

You wish you were me. Admit it.

I wake up to the soothing sounds of Squeak-ah! Squeak-ah! coming from the twin's room, where Logan and Emma are jumping up and down in their cribs and yelling "Mama! Dah-dee! Ehn! Ehn!". I pull them out one at a time and change their diapers. While changing one's diaper, the other screams to be let out.

After putting the first one on the floor, they scream to be picked back up.

Oh, and they're starving to death but they don't want you to put them down so you can make them breakfast.

I put them down anyway and they yell at me. Then they try to get into the cupboards and spice drawers. We've tied the spice drawers shut (which is a really nice look in "Hillbilly", I must say), just to keep them out and from smashing glass bottles on the tile floor. The tile floor that is only clean when the twins are sleeping. I fend the screaming, starving children off with slightly chocolate milk in sippie cups long enough to make pancakes or waffles. The dishes start their daily pile up in the sink.

Once I have food made, I hand out forks and plop the short people into their highchairs to eat. This gives me a moment to put my own breakfast together and maybe finish making my cup of tea. This will be the same cup of tea I attempt to drink until lunchtime. I am not allowed to sit down and eat my own breakfast because by the time I have them settled and I'm ready to eat, they are finished with their food and want to be let Out! to eat mine. Or just sit in my lap and complain about not being able to drink my tea. Thus, I eat standing up.

Once everyone is done eating, I attempt to clean up the dishes while having my legs attacked by grumpy children. Why are they grumpy? I have no idea. Maybe it's because I'm not paying attention to them or because this one has stolen that one's toy or because there are no more blueberries. Could be anything. The key here is that the grumping will continue all through the clean up phase.

The cleaning never gets finished. The floor will have to remain gross until the twins go to sleep.

I ask Caitlin to get dressed, brush her hair and her teeth. Generally this results in her throwing herself on the floor in a snit. You know, because it's so haaaard to be asked to be clean. You should see what happens when I ask her to spend 15 minutes cleaning her room. Woo!

Somewhere in there, I smell someone being stinky and then it's off to deal with someone else's poop.

I long for the day when I no longer have to deal with the poop of other people. When I don't have to see it, clean it, wash up after it, do laundry because of it or be covered in it.

Yes, it's a life goal of mine. I have lofty goals indeed.

There is the continued attempt to get something done: laundry, gardening, dinner planning, removal of small children from dangerous locations or substances. Finally it's nap time. There's more screaming because they're not tired! Ignore that eye rubbing! Or the screaming! Ignoring the screaming for no reason! I throw them into bed anyway and after yelling at me, they switch to squealing at each other and eventually sleep.

I attempt to clean some more or maybe do some laundry. Possibly read some emails or comics. Maybe have a shower. I should be doing about 8 other things, but dammit! these 30 minutes are my "free" time and I'm gonna waste 'em my way.

Rinse and repeat twice more throughout the day. Sprinkle in ~8 year old tantrums, eyerolling and general bad attitude. Step in squishy food and crunchy things.

Yup. Glamorous. I'm tellin' you - you wish you were me, dontcha?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Your papers, please, fraulein!

Caitlin's Big Adventure Countdown officially started yesterday.

We took her and the twins to the post office to get her passport updated. The last time she had a passport photo taken, she was 6 months old. She looks a wee bit different now.

If we had our acts together, we'd have gotten it reissued on time when she turned 6, but we were a wee bit busy two years ago. If only I'd thought about what it would be like to be in a post office trying to get one renewed with a pair of 20 month old twins in hand, I might've chosen to update it on time!

Imagine, if you will, our not-so-happy little band sliding into the post office, treading officially on nap times just to make it to our appointment on time. The dulcet sounds of Caitlin's complaints waft through the air: She doesn't want a passport! She doesn't want to go to Canada! She doesn't want to go to NY!

She has no idea the fun that is being planned for her. Personally, if I thought I could get away with it, I'd go and leave her to care for her father and the twins, but nooooo!

So, we're there, we're clingy and screamy and tantrumy by turns aaaaaaaand we're missing a vital piece of information. Why did I grab the souvenir birth certificate and not the real one?! Why did I think that was somehow going to be OK?

All of the screaming seems to have addled my brains....

So we take our mini horde back home again (both parents have to be there to get a minor's passport, so Eric is missing work for this) and grab the proper birth certificate. Fighting and complaining continues in the car. We triumphantly return to the PO, proper documentation in hand and, fortunately for us when we return, there isn't a line so we can get our application in even without another appointment.

We have to expedite the paperwork, however. It's not cheap.


I vow to never do this again and consider the logistics of getting passports for the twins. Soon.

We vow to the nice man behind the counter that Caitlin really is our child and that that really is a picture of her and that we haven't blown anything up recently. We then take our brawling, squawling pack back home again. The twins finally get their nap. I take a much needed break from my eldest child.

This will be Caitlin's first trip, on her own, to go visit relatives and will be her first time alone with my relatives for any length of time. My brother has offered to fly out with her, so that will be one less stressor on this trip. My elder sister sent me a rough itinerary of the NYC portion of the trip and I'm already jealous.

Maybe one day I'll go spend a couple of weeks in NYC with my sisters and the kids will stay home. My passport is up to date!

Twenty two days to go.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Is This It?!

My best friend asked me that, yesterday. She's having a hard time. A very hard time.

Is this all there is to being an adult? Piles and piles of crap that you just have to survive? Never ending piles of crap?

I wanted to tell her, "No! It gets better!"

I really did. But...

But this is it. This is being an adult.

Growing up. Gaining responsibility. Becoming an adult. Perhaps getting married. Having children. Adopting pets. Each new life adds to your personal burden of responsibility.

Someone has to feed/change/walk those babies/children/animals.

There are always bills to pay. Promises to keep. Miles to go.

Strung throughout your days there are horrible accidents. Pain. Suffering. Illness. Death. Sometimes it may directly affect you, sometimes indirectly. With every person you make contact with, your potential pool of pain grows. All of those friends, all of those family members.

It struck me, recently, that one day I'll be an orphan. That regardless of the relationship we have with our parents for good or ill, one day they're going to die and leave us all alone here. Whether we've resolved our issues with them or not, they'll be gone. That thought breaks my heart.

And yet --

That's how it goes. We're born, we live, we die. Hopefully along the way we find some happiness and some peace. Although, not necessarily at the same time.

In that giant steaming pile of crap that your life may appear to be at times, there are glimmers of hope. Patches of joy. The beautiful girl that smiled at you; the gorgeous boy you got to kiss, even if just once. The baby that loves you. The spouse that adores you. The friends that thrill to see you. The pets that worship the ground you walk on.

All of them have their problems. The dying pets, the chronic illnesses, the fights with their mother-in-laws, lost friends, suicidal thoughts, dark days, and lonely nights. Drunken phone calls. Broken hearts.

But --

Without them, even without the problems they share with you (sometimes even when you don't want them to), life is...bland.

Now there are plenty of days I'd like a little more bland in my diet, but that's not always up to me. Each day we have to struggle through. Some days are easy and happy and filled with laughter and other days are dark and ugly and make us wonder why we became parents/took that job/went back to school/adopted a pet/moved out of state in the first damned place. There have been plenty of days that I've wondered whether I'm cut out for this life. Whether I'm going to survive. Other days I know that I'm right where I'm meant to be.

However, it's hard to keep that perspective in mind when life has kicked you to the curb again and is rubbing your face in the gravel and detritus that has collected there.

This is it, though.

This is life.

Every car crash, every late bill, every baby kiss, broken heart, spring day, tornado, new kitten. Every marriage, every divorce, every new love, every funeral. Every single solitary day you wake up and make it through the day, you grow up a little more.

Hopefully you have way more good days than bad, but there's no guarantee.

Hopefully you have more friends than enemies. More love than hate. More company than loneliness.

And when life really and truly is sucking the joy out of you, when you feel completely cut off from all of those people that used to be your friends and you're convinced that no one understands you, reach out anyway. Try again. Sometimes you find that if you reach out, someone will reach back and help light up your darkness a little.

Sometimes a little light is all it takes.

This is it.

Live it.

You don't always have to love it. It's going to be hard.

Just don't forget that it's also often beautiful.

Remember that.

And that you are loved.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Small Victories

My babies are napping.

The laundry is running, the dishes are washed, recycling put out and milk bottles put away.

Finally I have some time alone. I snapped some pictures, finally recording my raised beds (Hey! I planted 3 days earlier than last year! Woo!), before they get crazy and full like last year, when you couldn't even walk between the beds in late summer. This year, I toned my crazy down a little. This time, there are only 10 tomato plants in the bed. Plus one volunteer potato plant. This should make it a little easier to reach in and harvest mah 'maters.
Next year maybe I'll stagger the plants instead of pairing them up.

This year, I only planted 14 squash and melons in one bed. They are on the steep side, so I hope they all run over the edge and down the hill. I'll be sure to encourage them to do so. (Of course, this means I have to keep the weeds down on the downhill side this year.) I realized after planting them that I should have put all the viney plants on the downhill side, but I put them in pairs across the bed. Whoops! Something else I'll try differently next year.
The mound of plants in the front left corner are volunteer signet marigolds that I've been relocating around the other beds to attract beneficials. They actually managed to shade out the watermelon that was in the middle of them over the course of 3 days. Yowsa!

This year, I put all of the pepper plants in a bed by themselves, with only the company of other low growing plants. This way, I will be sure to get more succulent ripe bell peppers. Yum!
Next year, I'm going to plant them in a block, instead of in a long row. I just started planting and kept on going. The big empty space is where I've planted plenty of green bean seeds (24). On the end are 9 Genovese basil plants. Nine is a much more respectable number than the piles I had in there that I didn't thin last year.

This year, I put the 2 cukes and 2 pumpkin plants that didn't fit into the main squash bed into the recently cleared bed. Adding back in the 4th bed (after clearing out the "temporarily" heeled in plants that had lived there for 3 years) makes it seem like I've suddenly gained a huge amount of space. So, of course, I've immediately filled it. Looks like it needs some more planters mix added to it, to raise the level, doesn't it?
In the very front are volunteer tomatillos, because once you plant tomatillos, you will forever have tomatillos. I ripped out many and left 3. I may rip out two more of them. Just behind those are the 2 cukes and 2 pie pumpkins. There are a few lettuce plants tucked in there for grins. Behind all of that is the block of corn (a first for me this year) and yet more green bean (40) and basil seeds. Because just as you can never have too many tomatoes, you can never have enough basil or green beans.

Eric made me do it.

This year, I put some potatoes into half whiskey barrels instead of in my raised beds.

Well, not including the volunteer tomato that I've been hilling up in the middle of the tomato bed. I keep filling these with soil, but now I'm running out of barrel. Maybe next year I'll need a full sized whiskey barrel?

Over in Caitlin's garden, things are looking very nice.
Ignore the dandelion weeds pressed lovingly against the outside of the frame. There should be grass there, but I have weeds. Weeds and veggies. Who has time for a lawn when I have twins, veggies and flowering plants to care for?!

Caitlin's romaine lettuce is nearing harvesting size. She'd better get home soon.

I noticed that her corn seedlings are up, as mine are and that her transplanted pumpkin and watermelon plants are happy. Yay for transplanting direct sow plants!

Oh and did I mention that I have plants on the deck, too? Mostly they're ornamental, but today I noticed that I had one empty 24" pot and I had to fill it with...another tomato. I can't find my climbing pole bean seeds that I'd bought for just this very pot. So I guess I'll have to make do with a Cherokee Purple. Also, I want to see what it would be like in a pot. It's an indeterminate. Should be fun.

The spinach is looking over crowded and possibly in need of some fertilizer or just to be replaced. The lettuce needs thinning. The peas are finally setting flower. It's been an unusally cold spring for this area in CO, so while I was late putting stuff in the ground, it hasn't been too much of a problem. It's even been raining if you can believe it.

Ayup. Rain.

I had a crazy idea the other day, well several, actually.
  1. I have many tomato plants left over and no one to sell them to, so I'm thinking about planting some of them in the front yard, after I weed out the border by the sidewalk. I think I'll freak the neighbors out and that it'll be fun.*
  2. I think I have enough space for a long, thin (2' wide) raised bed at the bottom of my hill. I'm thinking that would be just the spot for raspberries and strawberries. I'm thinking...Eric has more work ahead of him. And that whoever buys this house after we leave it one day had better really like gardening.
  3. I think I'm going to rip out a bunch of my irises and put them in a box marked FREE! in the front yard. The irises are trying to take over the front yard and that cannot be!
  4. I think I have the world's happiest crab grass growing in my front border and that it's time I made it miserable with a pitchfork.
  5. I might need to have a tree company come in and trim my trees in the backyard. While they're here, I may hijack their load of mulch because I really need a lot of mulch. They'd give it to me for the cost of cutting my trees for me, so why not? Waste product for them, less plastic bags for me. However, someone will have to push a wheelbarrow around again. Someone...not me. Heh heh heh!
Ever wonder why all of my gardening plans lead to woodworking for Eric? I do!

What's up in your gardens right now? Any crazy projects planned?

* If you live nearby and want some of my plants, tell me and come and get them. I'd hate to have to put them on the compost pile.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ooo! Pretty!

The Hatchet Clan snuck away this past weekend to drop off Eldest Daughter with Beloved Grammy and Beloved Grampy for a week's stay. While we were there, Emma picked up a few new words and a new friend.

This is Hannah. She's come a long way to be part of our family's circle of friends.

Grammy and Grampy now have another honorary grandchild. They're up to 10 total (which includes 2 honorary), if you're keeping score.

As it turns out, Hannah is the same size as the twins. I can see years of Emma and Hannah swapping dresses right now. Unless Emma breaks out one of her newest words:


As in "Mine!" regarding snacks or a grandparent or a toy. These are all very important items to the under 5 crowd. Life or death issues revolve around who gets to hold the big spoon versus the spatula.

You have no idea!

The other new word Emma trotted out was compound: "Oooh! Pretty!"

From that moment on, everything she ran across was pretty. Empty prescription bottles. Pencils. Bugs. Birds. Flowers. Logan, however, remain unimpressed unless it was either a snack or Grampy. Logan is madly in love with Grampy and remained physically attached to him just as long as Grampy would allow it.

Fortunately, Grampy really digs Logan, so there was a lot of snuggling going on.

It was inevitable that we try to get a shot of all three kids, born just a few weeks apart, half the world away from one another. It was also pretty certain that there would be crying.
And escaping.

But you get the general idea. Three babies. Hangin' around in the mountains. One day, years and years from now, they'll look back on this photo and wonder why I couldn't have done a better job shooting it or why weren't they at least happy? I'll have to tell them the truth.

Babies what don't nap are all out of happy.

Logan shows us what all out of happy looks like.
Poor baby!

That's OK, though. Just on the other side of the yard, there was a vortex of happiness.

Caitlin and her friend Ruby (Honorary Grandchild the First) set up a fine eating establishment and were really good at fleecing the adults drumming up new business. Personally, I had a peach mojito, steak flautas and vanilla ice cream with watermelon sauce. I had to borrow money from Eric to pay them, though. Ten whole cents! Each!

I'll be back, though. The service was really good, if saucy.

The music, however, was really weird.*

Logan, for his part, just wanted the chips to keep on comin'. He reminded us that the way to a boy's heart is still through his stomach.

Munch! Munch! Munch!

It's just a much shorter route in a 20 month old.

* Caitlin had borrowed her grandma's soothing sounds radio with sounds ranging from rainstorm to creepy aliens sneaking up on you yoga studio meditation music. Just what you want to hear while eating dinner. Think horror movie soundtrack and you'll get the ambiance they had generated. Eek!

One day...

I will start writing regularly again.

I'll get my mojo back.

I'll stop having migraines.

I'll have a clean house.

I'll have free time.

I'll be in shape again.

However, that day is not today.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Twenty Months

For some reason, the month of April seemed to drag by, but May whipped past. Suddenly, it seems, the twins are 20 months old. Four months away from their second birthday.

Can you believe it?

They've picked up a few skills here and there and learned a few new tricks. They've added more words to their vocabularies and decided on some foods they will and won't eat. However, they still both love baths.
What have I got in mah bukkit?

Jazz hands! Modesty duck says "Quack!"

At just about any point in any given day, if you suggest a bath, the twins will squeal and run for the bathroom. They will willingly leap into the empty bath and wait for you to fill it, and steep themselves in a tub full of toys.
You know we gonna regret dis picture bein' on da interwebs when we firteen, right?

Mmmmm. Duck!

They climb all over everything like monkeys, making me wonder just how far back up the chain you have to go in my family before you find one. I suspect it's not that far back. If you could see Emma climbing chairs, beds, couches and cribs, you'd wonder too. She's always ahead of Logan on the climbing front. The first to clamber up any previously unconquered object. She's still working on how to climb up my legs while I work in the kitchen.

She's getting pretty good at it, too.

Logan, however, still won't hold onto you while you hold onto him. Very frustrating. And tiring.

Interestingly enough, he learned a new word yesterday: Up.

Yes, it's a simple word, easy enough to say, but long ago he seems to have determined that "Ehn! Ehn!" was a good enough catch all phrase for just about anything he wanted. Since it worked, he stuck with it. Upon thinking about it, most of their words seem to center around food. Raisins, booberry, strawberry, cheeeeeeeze, cracker, cookie, milk, eat, water, chokkit, omnomnom, etc. They also say kitty, doggie and duck and imitate animal sounds (we're working on a wolf howl since there's nothing cuter than babies pretending to be wolves), but they sure like their food.

They also really like going to the park.
I shall conquer this slide through the sheer force of my awesomeness.

On Caitlin's last day of school, we all went to the school picnic at the park. There, the twins discovered a new food.
Om nom nom!
The frozen popsicle.
Nom nom nom.

They also discovered that the baby swing could be shared.
Who told her dis be a good idea?

This actually resulted in the 3 remaining swings being taken up by pairs of girls facing one another and squealing in delight. Those twins - they're trend setters.

On one side of the swing you have happiness.


On the other side of the swing?


Why you do dis to me?

These kids are just never happy.

In other news, they are really and truly sleeping through the night. They are also in the process of weaning and are down to 1 nursing at night. That might possibly be over, too, as of last night. Molars and nursing just aren't a good combination for me.

Latest naptime game: the blanket toss. Now that we've pulled their cribs away from each other, they've decided they like throwing their blankets out and then crying until we retrieve them

I have more to add, but I hear Logan hollering from upstairs so my time is up. If I don't post this now, it may not get posted until they're two.

Updated later to add:

Continuing on! They are still crazy about one another, although I notice Logan pets Emma's hair more than she does his (He says "Sooooooft." while he does it so that he pets her gently.), but she gives him more hugs and kisses. She also wrestles him to the floor more often than he does her, but that's because of her massive girth. She probably has an inch on him.

Whenever we put them down for naps, the first minute is spent crying, by one or the other, that Nooo! they're really not tired! In the second minute they settle down and get quiet. In the third minute, the shrieking and squealing starts. I'm not sure what they're doing in there, but it's really funny from the outside. After several minutes of happiness, it usually ends in Logan crying because he's lost his blanket. Were they playing tug-of-war and he lost or did his throwing the blanket over the side cause this reaction? Who knows! Some days it seems like night-cams would be a really good investment just to see what's happening in there.

Emma's latest climbing adventure has been to climb into Logan's crib. If the side is down, she can get in without any problems. If the side is up she looks like she could fall over at any minute. She hasn't yet tried to climb out, but you know it's just a matter of time and then it will be the end of the Crib Era.

I'm dreading that one. How do you get them both to go to sleep if they are both in beds on the floor? It's not like you can strap them down to keep the playing to a minimum (Tempting though that idea is.) and I really don't like the idea of having to go in and out and in and out of their room to get them to stop playing and go to sleep.

They're both still very messy eaters, although Emma wins the Worst Eater award in the Utensil category. She can get the food to her mouth, but never seems to open wide enough and about 1/2 of whatever she's eating seems to wind up on her chest. And her cheeks. And her legs and feet. Yogurt is particularly horrible to watch her eat, since as it dries into her clothing it becomes soft cheese.


Logan, though, is quite handy with a spoon and fork.

He also really likes baby toothbrushes and wanders around the house gripping his (or hers) in his hand and insisting that you rinse it for him.

They like to help push the carriage around, but not sit in it for any length of time anymore. This is a particular problem when we're out in public and it's just me doing the baby wrangling. Do you have any idea how far away your parked car becomes when you have to carry two struggling children back towards it? They may only weigh ~20 lbs, but it doubles when they crank up their Angry Baby Densiometers.

You know what I'm talking about: an angry baby suddenly weighs more when you want it to do something it doesn't want to do. Yeah. That's the ABD system. Comes with all babies. Mine like to crank their settings up to 11 when they really don't want to go home.

Both of the twins are still dancing up a storm whenever we turn the music on. They seem to especially like any music with a heavy drum beat.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention Logan's current obsession: Wall-E. Yes, the movie. I turn on movies for them so I can get the dishes done without having a 20 lb leech attached to my leg, crying for attention and it works. Except that once the movie is on, Emma watches it, but Logan leaves the room and attaches himself to my leg. If I turn it off, he hollers for it to be on. He just wants it playing in the background so that he can go watch at his convenience.

Little bugger.

I've been trying to broaden their movie repertoire by throwing in Madagascar 2 (Which I loved, as it turns out.). I've also learned that the more often you are required to watch any movie with a baby, you suddenly discover little details that you never notice the first time around. Or the 3rd.

They twins haven't begun speaking in sentences, yet, but they're pretty good at communicating even without advanced techniques. Bonking your sibling on the head with a toy means Give me that! and slapping food out of mom and dad's hands means I don't want that. Crying and throwing tantrums still means Put me to bed NOW!, so we get along pretty well. Too much screaming makes me feel crazy, though, so that's bad.

I've gotta tell you, though, the fact that we're now only 4 months away from being two keeps blowing my mind. Only 3 years to go until kindergarten! Woo!
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