Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bitten by the Succulent Bug


So while I might normally have been ready to pot a lot of veggie seedlings up, I totally missed out on that this year. I just never got into the "mood", as it were. Instead, I randomly happened upon a book on succulents at the library and that got me in the mood to do a little planting.

And a little shopping.

My friend Valerie is in town, so I had the perfect excuse to drag a willing victim friend with me to go shopping for some plants. Other women have a thing for shoes, I like my plants. After spending more money than I'd planned on, I came away with a sweet new honeysuckle that will replace the bug attracting clematis in the front yard and a small pile of sempervivums and echeverias. Yay!

To whit:
Unnammed cobweb hens and chicks, sedum 'Autumn Joy' in back, 'Blue Boy' hens and chicks in lower right corner. I think.

'Baronesse' cobweb hens and chicks in upper left corner (this is what survived the winter in the big round pot), another cutting of sedum 'Autumn Joy' in the upper right corner (I don't think it will outgrow this pot in one season, but let's see!), 'Lilac Queen' hens and chicks in the bottom right corner and a volunteer Russian sedum that I will probably have to rip out later when it attempts to take over the entire pot.

The big square pot! In 3 corners are 'Highland Cream' thyme (I'm looking for it to spill over the edges nicely.), if you click to enlarge, you can see the tiny cuttings of Russian sedum in the top middle and top right corners, what might be 'Hardy Boy' sempervivum (purple-red plant) in the middle right, then sedum 'Blue Carpet' next to the bottom right thyme, to its left is a trio of 'Cebenese' cobweb hens and chicks, another potential 'Hardy Boy', or maybe a 'Koko' sempervivum (I should have written these down when I first planted them years ago!), and the cool looking stonecrop 'Cape Blanco'.

In the round pot, the sedum 'Tricolor' died a sad and terrible death, but it was replaced by the blue 'October Daphne' in the bottom middle, heading clockwise next to it is a pair of 'Oddity' hens and chicks, then Orostachys iwarenge, a plant commonly called Dunce Caps (when they bloom, they look like...dunce caps.), the giant and happy 'Hardy Boy' or 'Blue Boy' in the middle back and then another pair of 'Oddity' on the middle right.

To have a look at what these pots looked like last year, click here.

I guess I'd better get a move on if I want to have veggies this year! Looks like I'll be getting my tomato plants from the Farmers Market!

How are your gardens faring this year?

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Story of Bottled Water

Yes, I'm still on my campaign to get rid of plastic and I'm dragging you along for the ride!

Once again, here's Annie Leonard with her video, The Story of Bottled Water.

Are you ready to give up your plastic bottles yet? You can do it!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

First Trip to the Dentist

I think the trip was mostly traumatic for me.

I have to tell you that I'm not very good at brushing their teeth on a daily basis. Nope. Not at all. When the end of the day comes and it's Screamin' Time, I'm working as hard as I can to get them into bed without losing my mind. Brushing their teeth becomes a Nice to Have, instead of a Must Have. (Project Manager Me won't go away.)

However, it was finally time to take them in to see the pediatric dentist on Monday.

Caitlin, upon going to the dentist for the very first time, loved it. Having had that so easy the first time, clearly meant the twins wouldn't.

Fortunately they didn't freak out and scream and holler as soon as we stepped in the door, but there was no sweet little scene with them letting the dentist "count" their teeth. Instead it was "Let me show you how to hold them to get their teeth brushed." and apply head lock! Insert finger pulling mouth open to one side!

ACK! Those are my babies!

Have you ever watched a doctor or Person of Authority put your kid into some sort of hold? That shit is traumatizing! For both of us! (Logan wasn't having any of it and had to have his feet and hands restrained while Eric held him. Yes, I made Eric come to the first appointment because there was no way I was going in solo! Emma was better sitting in my lap, but had wide, frightened eyes and lots of "Ehhh! Ehhh!" Poor things!)

At home, it's actually a lot easier than that, although bribery often has to be involved. "Do you want to read a book/watch a movie? Then let me brush your teeth first!" Yes, I have resorted to bribery and throw movies around like they're goin' out of style. Other parents use candy and toys to distract their children. I use movies. Siiiiigh.

What can I say? The 30-90 minutes of quiet a movie will buy me is worth it to just get the dishes done without being climbed by short people. Ask any other mom of twins. I bet they'll tell you the same.

So, after the headlock-brushing, the trauma was mostly over. The twins got to choose new brushes for themselves, stickers and a little toy. I got to pay the bills and wish I'd waited to bring them in when they were 3. Ah well. That's when we'll next be back, so we'll have another shot at it. Hopefully with less application of head lock!

In the meantime, those are some nice, shiny teeth!*

* Yes, I have been brushing their teeth twice a day since Monday. Maybe for their next appointment we'll have more "Say Ah!" and less wrestling moves. I hope.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Photographic Evidence

They're so cute sometimes. This might hurt a bit, so take it slow.

Here's Logan noshing on an apple and dancing. You can't see the dancing part, but it's in there.

He likes to play the piano.
Dum dum da dummmm!

Emma likes to help him play the piano. Constructive criticism and all that.
No, more like dis!

They're hard to take pictures of, because either they're not looking at you or they're rushing the camera. Sometimes both at once.
Can I see? Can I see?! I wanna seeeeee!

Good pictures are exceedingly rare now.

However, I think I have finally stumbled upon a sure-fire way of getting them to hold still and look at the camera.
Yes. That is my foot.

I made Logan stop moving. Quite an accomplishment.
Hold still there!

Then I pinned Emma.

They're even cuter when you can't see my foot. But they still move around a lot and are a bit blurry.
Tiny puppy! Emma's current favorite toy.


Also, holding them down doesn't stop the "Can I see?!" thing. Not at all.
Can I see? Can I see? I want to see!

Something new in the Twin Life: we bought them beds. Tiny beds that hold their crib mattresses. The cribs are long gone (Since they were well on their way to bone breaking encounters with the floor.), but the mattresses have just been on the floor. Some toddler beds went on sale and suddenly it was time for new beds! But you can't just have new beds without new sheets, so I splurged on some sheet sets.

That I let the twins choose.

That don't have Disney characters on them. (I love Dora and Cars and Toy Story a lot, but I don't want to have to look at them every day. Any more than I already have to look at them, that is!)

Yay! Beds!

Logan! Show us how you lay down and go to sleep!
What is this "sleep" thing of which you speak?

No! Lay down!
You mean jump around?

No! Lay down--! Aw forget it.
Yay! Puppies! And beds!

As soon as the beds were put together, the twins immediately started shoving them around the room. Well, after all the jumping, at any rate. This meant we needed a high tech solution to keep them from shoving their beds around.

Yup. It's string.

I wanted zip ties, but we couldn't find them. Hopefully this will hold them for a little bit. Or until the twins discover that if they both push from the same side that they can move their beds. Ack.

Oh, related to pushing things around, did I tell you about the new lock Eric installed on the patio doors? Turns out the Houdini Twins figured out how to unlock the back door (Caitlin never figured this out until she was older.). I found this out a couple of weeks ago when I dared to have a shower while they were awake. Upon exiting the shower I heard voices.

In the back yard.

They had unlocked the door and gone outside all on their own.


So now there's a lock on the top of the back door that they can't reach. At least, until they figure out how to work together and get a ladder.

I'm doomed, aren't I?

Ah well, I'll leave you with these last two shots:
My sweet urchin!

Little charming demon child.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Two and a Half

Is messy.

And crazy.

And loud, Loud, LOUD!

Did I mention the messy part?

They can't ever be left alone with a pencil, crayon or (Heaven forbid!) a marker. In the time it took for me to walk down the stairs holding hands with Logan, pencil in hand, I dared to look down at my feet. In that split-freakin'-second, he wrote on the wall. They can't be left alone at the table for any length of time with food. In the time it took me to leave the table to go get Emma some milk, in the very next room, one or the other (sometimes both) will flip over their bowl or plate or cup and then I'm cleaning up crumbs/noodles/Cheerios. Again. You can't leave them alone in the bathtub (Not that I'd ever walk away, into the hallway and put laundry in the washing machine that's right IN FRONT of the bathroom door. Nuh uh. Not me.) or there'll be a bucketful of water all over the floor and toilet seat. Mind you, they don't have a bucket in the bathtub for that very reason, but four arms and four legs can move a lot of water when they want to.

They can't seem to remain seated and eat at the table. Thus the trail of crumbs everywhere. Honestly, we should have an entire army of mice living inside our house. It's completely astonishing to me that we don't.

They like to tear their room apart. That cute little nursery we put together? Now has tension rods holding the closet doors closed, the dresser is bolted to the wall with straps holding the dresser drawers shut when the safety latches weren't enough to keep them out. All of their toys and books have been removed from their room when ripping, tearing and shredding all occurred. Their doorknob has the spinny safety knob on it. As does my room, Caitlin's room, the hall bathroom and the linen closet. And there's a latch on the washer and dryer doors to keep them from pushing all of the buttons and washing/drying nothing or interrupting a wash load (or two, or three...). Basically, if there's a button on something, they want to push it. If it can be broken, they'll try to break it (Goodbye CD and DVD collection!). If it can be climbed, they will climb it. If there's stuff in it, they want to pull the stuff out and throw it around.

They talk a lot.

Well..."they" is mostly Emma. Logan mostly screams. And sort of mumbles and grumps semi-intelligibly. He'll say "Peeeese!", if you force him to and will tell you "Want pep-puh." pretty regularly, but three words together? That's about two words too many. Emma says "please" and "thank you" and "bless you" and "That's so pretty!", all on her own. As well as about a million other things. She only stops when she gets shy. Logan is a boy of few words, but many sounds. Mostly they sound like "Ap-pull! Ap-pull!" at midnight. He knows a lot of food words, but doesn't generally ask for anything in full sentences. Emma is a champion, full sentence user. Of course, you don't necessarily want to hear all of her sentences..."Dat's MINE! Give it back to ME!" or "No! YOU stop it!" are two of my least favorite, but they seem to come with the precocious 2.5 year old territory.

Don't get me wrong: these two are as cute as the Mother Effin' Dickens (The Dickens are Very Cute, indeed.), but they are so much work that many days it's hard to be happy for the cute when the messy and the destructive take up so much of my day and night. Yelling at two and a half year olds to Sit Down! and Eat Your Dinner! With a FORK! were not how I planned to spend my 40s.

Yes. I do yell at my kids. (As for the folks in the NY Times that say that Yelling is the New Spanking, I would agree. However, they can BITE ME if they think I'm not gonna yell, when yellin' is called for. I'm not a friggin' saint.) I don't want to, but Logical and Calm Mommy hits the road when Squealy and Smashy come to play in my house for extended periods of time and the sleep deprivation fiends aren't kept at bay. Short of duct taping them to their chairs, I don't know how to get them to stay in their seats while I get up for the umpteenth time to fetch more milk, apple, noodles.

Let's just say that I'm looking forward to the Looking Back On All This and Laughing years. Totally.

In the cuteness department, they're total champs. Logan's hair is getting longer (Note to self: needs another trim!), so now he peeps up at you under his bangs with his trademarked Charming Smile. They love to wear our shoes around the house and go clomp-clomp-clomping around. Mine, Eric's, Caitlin's. They don't care. Big shoes, much clomping. They love to dance on my feet, ride around horsie or piggie style. They love to be chased around during diaper changes with me hollering "Nakey butt!" after them.

Yes, yes they do.

They turn into splashy fishes in the bathtub and while they can't make fish faces themselves, they do try and love to be kissed by a fish faced mom or dad. Logan still hates having his hair washed, but is getting better about turning his face up to the ceiling and not screaming about it anymore.

Emma has come all over girly suddenly and has Opinions about her clothing. She absolutely refuses to wear certain shirts (Sorry Janet, your blue shirt with words on it has been rejected repeatedly.) because there are no flowers on them. Or they're the wrong color (i.e. blue). Fortunately for me, she loves to wear jeans because if she went through an All Dresses stage, we'd be in trouble. She has, however, figured out how to take off all of her clothes which has led to little "surprises" after nap time. Naked baby over here. Poopie diaper over there. And...there. Ugh. And...there? Arrrrgh!

Both babies like to be flung through the air, flipped upside down and spun around madly. Perhaps they'll join the Cirque du Soleil when they're older? Emma, especially, loves to be spun around until fall-down-dizzy. Logan loves to be tickled.

As far as photographs go, I don't have any for this post...yet. They're down to only one nap a day, so considering that it took me all day to write this and it's already a week will have to wait. I just wanted to get this out there and let you know they're still breathing.

And probably breaking something.
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