Saturday, March 25, 2006

Family Picture Day

Today, a trip to the Galleria. Since Matt's mom needed a family portrait for a project, we made an appointment at Picture People (I had another coupon for a free 8x10, of course). David wasn't particularly enthusiastic about having his picture taken. Maybe he thought the photographer was going to poke him in the eye, just like Dr. Mazow. Thankfully, she was fast and did not make strange baby noises to try to get C&D to smile. After no more than 10 minutes of pictures, C&D declared us all done with picture-taking. Carmen wanted to run, and David wanted to sniffle his tears and run, too.

While we were waiting for the pictures to load onto the computers, C&D walked through the store and right out the door, staring at children and talking to strangers. When we finally selected our picture and received the printout, we decided to let C&D continue exploring. After walking and weaving amongst the shoppers, they pushed the empty stroller around and around in large circles (we braved the crowds and brought the stroller because I met Matt and the babies at the Galleria after a haircut).

And we discovered the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny was standing outside his Easter garden, carrying a basket and handing out Laffy Taffy. Carmen saw him first. She walked toward him, quickly, eyes wide. Here, she said, is a kindred spirit! He likes to hop, too! The bunny knelt down and held out his hand. David, busy picking geraniums, suddenly noticed the bunny, too. Carmen touched his fur, and then jerked her hand back. David did, too. They spent a long time staring at the bunny, and the bunny stared back, occassionally waving or blowing a kiss. Twice C&D started to cry, but then stopped to stare again, trying to make head or cottontail of what exactly they were looking at. After a few minutes I thanked the bunny and we walked back to the stroller, but Carmen turned around and walked back. The Easter Bunny brought her a purple stuffed bunny to look at, and she buried her face in my chest. A group of
rowdy boys mobbed the Easter Bunny for the contents of his basket, and I moved the babies on to the space in front of Nordstrom's. I wonder if C&D will have Easter Bunny dreams tonight, or if they will dream of walking through the mall. They might imagine how much fun it will be to finally reach the escalator, and finally lick the water in the fountain in front of Foley's.

Now after meeting the Easter Bunny, C&D really should have an egg hunt this year. Some cascarones would work, although we would need to make sure C&D differentiate between the confetti eggs and hardboiled Easter eggs (remember the time Christopher tried to pop a hardboiled egg on my head? I still remember how much that hurt!).

Thursday, March 23, 2006

We should have registered for . . .

At our baby shower, we should have registered for home appliances, not onesies and strollers.

We already replaced washing machine (I am certain that the chore of cloth diapers broke the other one). Tonight we will buy a new dishwasher. We will choose the toughest, meanest one at the store. Carmen proof-ness will be a plus (she didn't break our current dishwasher, but that doesn't mean she couldn't, does it?).

David had his tear ducts probed today. He is no longer very fond of Dr. Mazow. He wailed and complained, even though Dr. Mazow's nurse gave both him and Carmen whistles, and let them walk in circles and circles all over the empty waiting room while we waited for the doctor to prepare. After the procedure we walked around the nearby Whole Foods for a little while, and David forgot about the morning's trauma. There is a slight chance that the ducts may close again, especially on the left side, but David hopes they stay open.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Two reasons for foam flooring: C&D

David took one and half hours at lunch today. He was busy enjoying taking little bites with his spoon. When he ran out of his turkey and tomato sauce, he ate some plain tomato sauce, and when I realized he had no intention of stopping, I brought out some applesauce (saucey things are better eaten with spoons!).

While he was eating, Carmen was learning to use the new shape sorter as a stepping stool to look out the window and onto the porch. "Hi!" she would sometimes say when she stood up on the box and looked around.

Video Sharing at

Of course, David learned her trick.

Think the house would look okay with foam flooring?

In other news, Carmen climbed into the dishwasher today while Matt was loading it. Actually, she just climbed onto the door and started crawling toward the racks. We figured she was top rack only, anyway.

And David learned how to dump bathwater onto the bathroom floor using a bowl (he is putting his water table skills to use!). Matt says that over the weekend, when Carmen saw David removing water from the water table with a plastic bowl, she tried doing the same, but couldn't make the process work. Frustrated, she tried stealing David's bowl, thinking his had some kind of magical powers that hers did not. When she discovers that she, too, can take water from the bathtub and spill it onto the floor, we might take all of our baths (and not just some) in the swimming pool on the porch. I don't like to mop that much.

And then he used the spoon to feed me!

Sweet boy!

The interesting thing (to me, anyway) is that he figured out how to use a spoon despite the fact I'm always eating with my fingers (and letting them feed themselves the same way). Hmm. Time to start behaving myself.

David Is Eating Lunch . . .

. . . and he just figured out, all by himself, how to eat with a spoon. He figured out how to use a fork last week by stabbing everything on his tray, but spoons are so much harder because you have to hold them just so or your yummy turkey spills out. Wow. Smart kiddo.

Back to parenting . . .

Saturday, March 18, 2006

We should have bought more rubber mulch.

Today we went to the Galleria to look at watches and, like the bear who went over the mountain, also just to see what we could see. We first visited our secret third-floor hiding spot and let the babies hang onto the balcony rails and stair at the people shopping below. Carmen passed her foot between the rails and shook it. Rattled at the thought of Carmen squeezing between the rails and falling onto the floor below, we decided to march over to the Fossil store. Carmen protested but quickly forgot her problems when we walked into the shiny watch store. We couldn't find what we wanted, so decided to see what watches we might find at Foley's. By this point, Carmen was bored, bored, bored.

In just minutes, Carmen found herself happily staggering among the clothes in the Juniors' department on the first floor of the store--alone. She refused to hold Matt's hand. In wonder at her sudden determination to go somewhere, Matt hovered over her as she scrambled out into the mall and toddled toward an escalator (of course). We swooped her up and let her complain all the way back to car (where, again, she forgot all her problems).

Then this evening, Matt and I turned around and found Carmen up on the futon, and preparing to do her most favorite thing--jump on it. We struggled to make those serious, parent-ly faces that you're supposed to make when you tell a toddler not to do those things that are naughty or dangerous. "Oh, no, no, no, Carmen," snicker, snicker, "the couch is not for jumping." Snicker, snicker.

Then Matt realized today while brushing his teeth that the side of the bathtub is about the same height as the futon. In fact, it is a wee bit lower. How long until she figures that out and falls in?

We should have bought more rubber mulch.

What did David do today? Oh, not much, except show us that he is the yummiest little boy ever. At lunch he ate what looked like 1/2 of a turkey thigh, and smeared the gravy all over his little round face. Then at dinner we took turns eating an apple (he took a bite, then he gave it to me to take a bite, then took it back to take another bite . . .). Now he smells a little like Thanksgiving. Must do another bath, but tomorrow. No bath tonight.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Too Much Excitement

Carmen went to bed excited last night. Even as I rocked her, she fought me in her sleep, rolling onto her back in my arms and slowly, softly, kicking her feet, as if walking in her dreams. I finally put her down for the night at midnight, and at four in the morning rocked her again until dawn.


Just before bed last night, she and David decided that they would walk about the house, up and down the hall, in rooms, out of rooms, into each other, around each other, toward each other, away from each other.

They couldn't walk far without getting excited and losing their balance, but as soon as they fell down they stood back up, ready to try again.

We knew this was coming. David has been taking steps here and there, and Carmen has been making figure 8's around and between my legs all week (do you know how hard it is to do chores with a baby pulling on your legs all day?). But before bed? Why then, of all times, to walk so much?

She is just like you, Matt says, as Carmen hops up and down in his lap in the dark living room while I am feeding David his last milk of the day. She keeps squirming, laughing and giggling and maybe thinking about all the places she might try to walk next. "Now you know," he says, "what I had to put up with for five years."

I do go to sleep. Eventually.

Tonight Carmen made more figure 8's, blowing raspberries and moving faster and faster, around my legs, through me legs, around, through. As I stood immobilized and wondering if I could wobble with my orbiting satellite over to the kitchen for a drink of water, I couldn't help but feel surprise every time I watched David stand up and walk from one toy to the next. How funny to see my little people walking, all on their own!

Last night was also exciting because the UPS truck stopped at our house and brought a box of two new toys. The first was a shape sorter from Tag Toys. The sorter comes with several discs which can make the sorter progressively difficult (from just a circle, just a square, or just a triangle to two shapes, or three). We started with the easiest disc, the circle, and then watched C&D use it. We laughed at the difference in reactions between the two babies: Carmen was very happy to congratulate herself, and then move on to something else

while David enjoyed the suspense of waiting for the clunk of the block falling down and then rolling out.

The second toy was a set of three very simple puzzles. David mastered the circular puzzle this morning (he got very fast at his ring stacker this week, too). Carmen, however, could care less about such things; she would rather practice her figure 8's or climb on Mount Parent.

Well, I am going to throw in the white flag and let myself go to bed. There's been too much excitement this week, and I'm tired!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

David Sweeping

I forgot:

While I was trying to sort and fold laundry ("trying" is the operative, since C&D apparently disagree with the way I sort and fold my clothes, and would rather just see everything all over the floor), David decided he needed to sweep. He still needs to work on his technique. I guess today he was hoping to use a push broom. Carmen is watching him from her perch, the potty on the changing table at the far left of the camera.

I ordered another broom this weekend. I don't want to assume he would be willing to share it with Carmen.

You know, he is the the sweetest boy in the world. Silliest, too. He knows he isn't supposed to put the rubber playground mulch in his mouth, so today he only pretended to eat it. He put a handful near his wide open mouth, and then closed down with gusto, the way he does when he is eating something that he likes. He laughed to himself and "ate" it several times. I don't think he knew I was watching. Sweet, silly boy!

Is it really only Wednesday?

Saturday Carmen figured out how to climb onto the futon. Then, like the silly girl that she is, she forgot. Whew.

Sunday I found her standing up in her Radio Flyer wagon, pushing on the handle and rocking it back and forth to make it roll. I hid the wagon.

Monday David figured out that walking is faster than crawling. But he still crawls most of the time.

Today David swept the kitchen with me after lunch, except that he didn't realize that the point of sweeping is to bring the dirt together, not spread it around.

So I learned a new trick this week, too. I can now sweep very, very quickly.

Is it really only Wednesday?

C&D are both signing more frequently. While at Whole Foods today they asked for a snack (by signing "more"). It was the first time they used ASL to ask for something without me prompting them first.

Friday, March 10, 2006

David's Carrousel

This was certainly David's day to practice his walking skills. Up, step, step, down he went all evening. He was so thrilled to be using his broom that we decided to take one step further on the path toward spoiling him deliciously rotten. We brought out a toy that I had been saving for him to receive on a walky kind of day like today. He liked it very much, though as soon as Carmen stopped dismantling my bookshelf and realized that David had something new, she needed to play with it, too (hence the picture being a bit askew . . . I had a screaming Carmen at my foot).

The wooden bar in the lower part of the photo is yet another baby gate. We now have:
  • one at the living room doorway, blocking the front door of the house (because the door won't open if two babies are leaning against it),
  • one in the bathroom to block the toilet, the BBLPs (Baby Bjorn Little Potties, for you civilians), and the oh-so-tempting toilet paper,
  • and then the gate between the kitchen and the hallway.

And, of course, we still have the kiddie corral at the kitchen window. Eventually the corral will be dismantled and made into a practical life area for the babes. The gates allow me the option of having free-range babies, or only partially free-range babies. Splitting the house in half allows me to more easily keep my eye on one or the other while still giving them lots of opportunity to roam.

David and the Broom

David loves to watch me sweep, and will come running to find me whenever he hears the scratchy sound of my broom. Now that he can stand and walk a bit, today he got his own.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Today While Carmen Slept

Today while Carmen slept, David and I snuck out to the porch to enjoy a snack of apples and cucumbers. This was the first time for us to use the toddler table. (The cucumber has a hole in it because I extracted the seeds, which are a little bitter.)

David enjoyed his snack, BUT . . . he kept slipping under the table. Why is that, I asked myself. Carmen sat on the chair for a very long time on Sunday without slipping. Why is David slipping? So I looked under the table. I noticed David's feet were not on the floor, even though they could reach it. Perhaps David did not want his tender little feet touching the rough concrete. So I stuffed a blanket under them while David dipped his snacks in the cup to see . . . I don't know, if they would float? If they tasted better wet? I guess I will have to ask, someday.
Anyway, the blanket felt a little better, but
very soon David was slipping under the table again.
We clearly have something to practice this weekend.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Pitter, Patter, Plop

She would probably have better success if she just focused on walking, and not flapping or hopping (which she actually managed to do before falling, but I didn't catch it on video).

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again. Even David gets involved with some supportive arm-flapping (but then notice later how he grabs the objects that he thinks she might want before she gets to them).

I'll see if I can catch her hopping up and down later. Crazy baby. She needs a set of bunny ears for Easter, I think.

Monday, March 06, 2006

I wish I had a picture (or a video) for . . .

. . . the time earlier today when Carmen was kissing the Waldorf dolls my mom brought this weekend. She was air-kissing them, saying, "Mwah! Mwah!"

. . . Carmen saying "Do-yeeee" (dolly) and "Bye" and "Hi," because she stopped saying them (like all her other little words). When will they come back?

. . . Carmen's first steps (of course, now she has stopped walking . . . she'd prefer to climb or stick her finger in Matt's belly button).

. . . Carmen telling Matt, "Yeah!"

. . . Carmen walking circles around us or holding on to our pant legs and following us as we do our tasks around the house.

. . . Carmen foot hoisted up just about any place she can put it. God have mercy on us and her head when she figures out how to climb the furniture.

. . . Carmen testing me. She does things she doesn't supposed to, like sticks leaves in her mouth, or puts her fingers on the blinds next to the changing table, and then throws a defiant smile my way. I have to try very hard not to laugh.

. . . Carmen brushing her hair with the wrong side of the hairbrush.

. . . Carmen discovering that she can stick her finger up her nose.

. . . C&D's floppy baby-style waving.

. . . C&D scrambling toward the door when I say, "Let's go shopping!"

. . . David's first steps last week.

. . . David's towers, three blocks tall.

. . . the little baby chirps and baaaas that David made a year ago. I miss them.

. . . David "petting" the cat and "playing" with his tail.

. . . David playing catch, and getting so excited to get the ball back that rather than wait for us to throw it, he just chases after it himself.

. . . David playing fetch with himself. It is how he practices crawling and standing.

. . . David's first cruising (sideways, vs. Carmen's straight forward).

. . . David crawling with a peg man. Maybe I can catch a picture of it before he stops.

. . . David with his hands pressed up on the glass door of the washing mashine, watching the clothes go around.

David has his first cold this week. He is in great spirits, but his nose is very runny. Today he was supposed to have his lacrimal ducts probed, but I'm sure he'dl be happy to know that because of the cold I had to postpone the procedure by a week.

A Toddler Soundtrack

In the spirit of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo happening this time of year, here is a (semi-)musical version of what the babies have been up to these past few weeks. If you don't know these songs as sung by Bob Wills (Happy Birthday, Bob) or Asleep at the Wheel, fire up those MP3 search engines, because you don't know what you're missing. And, anyway, then you'll be able to sing along to the lyrics below.

David really clapped for the first time today, when listening to Roly Poly. I guess he needed a catchy tune to clap along to. Carmen today started imitating Matt's "yeah." As in, "All done? Yeah!" "Yeah!"

You're From Texas
Pardon me stranger I hope there's no danger
You'll think I'm getting off of my range
(David 23 January)
Oh but I calculate that you're from my state
And though you may think its strange
I allow as how you're from Texas
Because the lingo I understand
I'll bet my cale that you hail from Texas
There's no mistaking the brand
(Carmen 23 January)
You've got a smile like an acre of sunflower
Your eyes are blue bonnet blue
(David 22 January)
Shake hands its grand that you're from Texas
'Cause I'm from Texas too
You've got a smile like two acres of sunflower
Your eyes are blue bonnet blue
(Carmen 22 January)
Shake hands its grand that you're from Texas
'Cause I'm from Texas too!

I n t e r m i s s i o n . . .

(Carmen temporarily content after climbing a package of toilet paper, 17 Feb.)

(Part of the morning routine: standing on tippy-toes at the front window, watching the cars and buses on their way to work and school, 20 February.)

(Hey, what's Mama doing outside?)

(I see her, too!)

Roly Poly
(A tribute to C&D's vanishing baby chub!)
ROLY POLY, eatin' corn n' 'taters
Hungry ev'ry minute of the day
ROLY POLY, gnawin' on a biscuit
Long as he can chew it, it's OK.

(I don't know where Carmen learned this. Is she imitating us, roaring like a lion, trying to demonstrate her sense of delight, or is it just a successful trick to catch our attention? We had to encourage her a bit to catch her little trick on camera. She is even more exuberant-looking when she is not being filmed.)
He can eat an apple pie
An' never even bat an eye
He likes everything from soup to hay
(Experiencing the new playground mulch in the screened-in porch, 5 March. It was fun to put in our mouth (but not eat because it tastes and feels nasty!) and throw out all over the floor.)
ROLY POLY, daddy's little fattie
Bet he's gonna be a man some-day.
ROLY POLY, scrambled eggs for breakfast
Bread n' jelly twenty times a day
ROLY POLY, eats a hardy dinner
It takes lots of strength to run and play.

(Two weeks ago after rocking Carmen for about five uninterrupted hours, I decided that I wanted a small nursing stool to take some pressure off of my aching back. When I brought the stool home, Matt assembled it and noticed that C&D wanted to climb it, especially Carmen. He placed it against the futon, and, well, you see what happened. I thanked Matt for assembling the stool, but did not bother to thank him for helping Carmen learn this new trick.)
Pulls up weeds and does the chores
And he runs both ways to all the stores
He works up an appetite that way

(It didn't take long--the time can be measured in tenths of a second--for C&D to realize what a water table is for.)
ROLY POLY, daddy's little fattie
Bet he's gonna be a man someday.
(Enjoying the new water table right away, 5 March.)

Sunday, March 05, 2006


I just realized this morning that I am nursing two toddlers. Wow.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Altruism in Babies

New study shows altruism as early as 18 months
. I actually think it begins a little sooner; C&D offer their food to me a lot (even if they've already chewed on it). At first they offered it when they were full or didn't really want any more, but often they'll eat something, like it, offer me a bite, then take a bite for themselves. They will even give each other toys, but that happens less often. Sweet babies!

I accidentally fell asleep and didn't get to check my e-mail earlier tonight. I did that (nothing good, though) so now I can go back to bed.

Friday, March 03, 2006


A magical day, Matt said. This evening, after having only walked an occassional half step all week, Carmen walked 11 steps when Matt pulled her to standing. She clutched in her left hand one of C&D's favorite toys, a little peg man from their Galt pop-up toy. Later she practiced standing up and sitting down, standing up and sitting down, still holding her little man.

David frequently crawls around the house with a little peg man in hand, and the auditory effect on our wood floors--thwap, thwap, clunk, thwap, thwap, clunk--sounds a little like a peg-legged pirate.

While Carmen was learning to walk in the living room, David was practicing his throw in the kitchen. He found he was able to bend over from standing, pick up a ball, and throw it. How coordinated he looked! So we played catch for a bit.

David just ate a piece of trash off the floor (and Daddy and I were too shocked to do anything about it). Back to playing jefe and supervising.

Water table comes tomorrow. Hoo-ah!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Milk and More Apples

Came across this today: Not Milk?

David and Carmen still haven't had dairy (what's the point?), but they recently had apples for the first time in many months. Carmen's body seems to have matured past its problems with them. This is a good thing, because David loooooves apples. The only time he has ever signed "more" is when he wanted another piece of apple. Just the sight of an apple on the table sends him atremble. He raises his eyebrows, waves his arms and shifts his gaze from apple to Mommy, apple to Mommy. He watches each move of the knife, down, cut, down, cut, then shaving the peel from the pulp. He takes a cool, crisp wedge and bites down hard, sending juice and bits of fruit dribbling down his chin and onto his shirt. Today he ate a whole apple after dinner, and then began work on a second before throwing everything off his tray and deciding he had eaten too much.

I think his second favorite food is the clementine, tied with spaghetti sauce. Or pinto beans. Or arroz con pollo. He likes all of these things very, very much.

Carmen is an enthusiastic eater herself, but I don't know that she's found her culinary Nirvana yet. Nothing has driven her to the sublime like apples for David.

How amazing to think that just over a year ago, we were measuring the babies' nursings ounce by ounce to make sure they were eating enough, and now I can't fill their plates fast enough.