Monday, July 31, 2006

She called me Mommy!

Finally. Tell David he's next.

I wonder if she'll remember tomorrow? A few days ago, when she woke up the first word out of her mouth was "tractor." That word she hasn't forgotten.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bigger and Better Than Ever

Well-baby checkup today. I schlepped them all the way in to the doctor's office to have him tell me they're fine. Fine? They're not fine, they're marvelous!

C&D enjoyed talking to the doctor as he counted their fingers and toes, but did not appreciate the feeling of his stethoscope on their backs. After that, the visit accelerated downhill. I think they wondered if they were going to get poked. Despite just calling them "fine," he does get credit for always being calm despite their Dolby-Stereo yowling at every visit.

Heights and weights:

Carmen weighs twenty-seven pounds, two ounces, and measured at 32" tall. Today I found her lifting her shirt and patting her round little belly.

David weighs twenty-four pounds, six ounces, and measured 31.5" tall. Today I found him lifting up my shirt and checking to make sure it was still me under there. That's all I can figure, anyway. What else would he be looking for? As long as he doesn't do that at the grocery, I don't mind, so I just let him look around. Then later he pulled on the collar of my shirt and looked down. Yep, still a mama under that shirt.

Yesterday morning Carmen refused to eat her oatmeal. She signed ice cream (our code word for yogurt) and then walked over to the refrigerator to try to open the door. I don't think I'm in charge, anymore.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Can they stay this way forever?

Today David lifted my shirt to kiss my back, my belly, or my shoulder no less than a dozen times. When I was standing, he would lift my pant legs and kiss my shins. He rolls on the floor with Carmen and kisses her knees, her hair, her elbow, her heel. At the Learning Tower, he leans toward her and kisses her shoulder while she squirms and giggles.

Carmen has been attempting a new word or a new sign every day. New words and signs include library, cooking, rock, pink, red, dump truck, daffodil, and, her longest one yet, pumpkin seed butter. "Pumpkin seed butter?" Couldn't she try something easier?

And she is becoming quite expert at scolding the cat, waggling her finger in his face and saying something about biting (I'm assuming she's telling him not to).

Can they stay this way forever, tender and generous and curious and funny and oh-so-independent . . . but still mine to soothe and hold whenever the mood strikes us?

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Games (Twin) Toddlers Play

This blog entry says it better than I ever could. Unwise ideas, yes, but still so much fun!

The original post about the games toddlers play is at Mom 101.

Pfoooooh . . .

The babes are outside with Matt taking a bath. When he poured in the hot water, he hadn't yet added enough cold, so the water was very warm. Carmen stuck her hand in, signed hot and said "haaaaaah," and then blew out of her mouth, pfooooh, indicating I should blow on it to cool it off. I laughed at the thought of blowing on their bathwater.

They're back from the bath. We horsed around on the floor for a bit and David lifted my shirt and gave my back several kisses. That is his favorite place to kiss.

Circus today. We got tickets from the library for reading lots and lots of books. We didn't think the babes would enjoy the circus itself (even though the ticket agent kindly gave us center seats), but we did spent a good hour visiting the animals and watching the preshow on the floor of the arena. The preshow was as good, if not better, than the circus--it gave the babes the opportunity to watch the acrobats and clowns directly at the rings, and no cannons, whips, or brain-rattling motorcycles were involved. We were also able to control what of the antics of the clowns C&D watched--when a clown fell off his chair, Carmen cried in sympathy. When the same clown started hitting another with a juggling club, we moved on to the Chinese acrobats. We're sure C&D don't need any ideas about using their toys in unsanctioned ways.

The babes' favorite animals to visit were the zebra and the elphants, which we signed for again and again.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

What happened to my basket?!

I put the big baskets away this morning. Maybe I should have left one out. Bad mama. Carmen tried to push him around in it, anyway, but David didn't react favorably so she gave up on that activity.

It's official

David is called "Day-dee." Sweet!

We're also working hard to say earring and turtle ("tur-tur," according to David).

But I'm still Daddy, and Daddy is still Daddy, too. More often, though, we're just "eh, uh, uh!"

Now off to get more of baby kisses (on my arm, on my back, on my leg, on my face) and persaude them that oatmeal (again!) is a perfectly exciting breakfast. Maybe I will also give them some of the pumpkin seed butter I made yesterday. They liked it as much as the goat yogurt (i.e., a lot!).

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Once she starts, she can't stop

Carmen rolling around in bed, trying to get to sleep:
"Hi, hi. Hi, hi. Ah-tchu. Ah-tchu. Wow. Wooooow. Wow. Wow! WOW!"

Sweet dreams, silly.

More words that we remembered as we walked with the babes through the Galleria today:
Up -- Carmen sometimes says, "puh," rather than "up"
Down -- said with emphasis, more often by Carmen than David, and she actually got the "n" sound in there tonight. Good trick. (We rode the glass elevators tonight, and Carmen liked announcing when we were going up or down. Last week she could only say down, which is inconvenient for an elevator.)
Squirrel -- "skwll," but this one's tricky! I'm impressed that they would even try it.
Spoon -- "sp" by David or "spnnnn" by Carmen, this one's tricky without the ASL sign
Fork -- "fowk," another tricky word that only Carmen attempts
Bathtub -- "battub," another Carmen word
Baby -- "Bay-bee"
Light -- "light," but this is a Carmen-only word
Ducks -- ducks (did I write down this one already?). Carmen says and signs "duck" whenever she sees a fountain, because there are fountains in the artificial ponds where she has seen ducks. So that means if she sees a sprinkler, she says, "DUCK! DUCK!" Today, she saw a broken water main on W. Alabama. Well, technically she saw a broken water main. But really, she saw a small gurgling fountain conveniently placed in the middle of the street. Duck, duck!
Pretty -- "Pet-tee," a Carmen word that she uses most when she puts on one of their Mardis Gras-style beaded necklaces
Boo -- like "peekaboo," but it sounds like "bew!"
Ah-choo! -- This first was "aaahhhh-too!" but both C&D have nearly perfected the art of the imitated sneeze. Not sure where they learned it, but they think sneezes (and burps, but those are harder to imitate) are ridiculously funny. So sometimes they sneeze, and I sneeze back. Or I say, "Bless you!" and look surprised, and they sneeze again. Silly, silly, silly little people.

And they can say "wow," of course. Wow!

Hurray for ASL. I'd have a hard time interpreting any of these words if they weren't accompanied by the sign. Especially words like "squirrel." Who'da thunk it?

More before-bed antics tonight. David has gotten good at getting into a small Ikea basket without tipping it over; I think his legs are just long enough, now, that he can step into it comfortably. Tonight after a before-bed snack (more yogurt, but thankfully, less mess than last night), David crawled into the basket. Matt wanted to floss (which Carmen likes to imitate, incidentally, any time she finds a piece of string) and have a whole three minutes to himself, so he urged Carmen to go push David in the basket. Bedtime was much later than usual tonight. Can you guess why?

(Carmen is clapping because she is frustrated that David is all done. She learned to clap when she is angry because I clap loudly when I want to distract the babes from fighting. It's funny, and I'd much rather her clap than hit or bite.)

Sometimes Carmen just looks for trouble. While we were eating at the Galleria, David decided he was finished and bored and started throwing out his food. I held his hand while I scooped out his bowl and he put his teeth over my arm, contemplating a bite. Just as he was about the clamp down, I said "ow!" and pulled my arm back. Carmen, I guess, wanted some of the attention for herself, and stuck her arm in David's mouth, hoping he would bite it. "Ow!" she said with feeling. In thirty years will she have a role in any class-action lawsuits?

But wait, there's more!

Matt and I realized this morning that I neglected to mention several more words that the babes have been working on, lately. They almost always sign the word that they are trying to say, so our odds of guessing correctly are higher than they would be, otherwise. For instance:
Potato -- tha-tu
Down -- dow!
Broom -- boom
Bread -- breah
Bear -- bayer
Bubble -- boble
Thank you -- ta-tu
Block -- blah
Sit -- ssss! (while signing sit)
Ball -- ball, or baw
Cracker -- Ta-tur
Uh-oh -- Ah-oooo!
Oh (the cereal) -- Oooooooooo!
Peach -- psh (while signing peach)
Banana -- nanananan (Carmen's version) or anananan (David's version)

Today Carmen gave me a case of the warm fuzzies. We were outside playing with a doll and I told her that the doll was crying and needed milk. She cradled it, nursed it, and then held it to her heart and signed sleep. David wanted to play with the doll, so I brought the second doll from inside, as well as the camera. Then I told Carmen the doll needed milk again. It's sleeping, she said. Then she held the baby like this:


Later, David gave the dolls a ride in the stroller:

We don't play with our rocking horses as much as we used to when we go outside, now. A few weeks ago David rocked so hard that his horse bucked him right over the reigns. The horses have attachments that allow them to become ride-on toys, but the babes can't push the horses as ride-ons with the same wild gusto that they could rock. I'll have to keep checking the consignment store for a rodeo-worthy ride.

Speaking of rodeo-worthy, I finally found a hat that Carmen will wear for more than 10 seconds--a straw cowboy hat from the George Ranch. Yee-haw, little lady.

Carmen has learned the power of "ow." The other day she and David were horsing around on the futon. David opened his mouth wide and contemplated taking a bite on her fat little thigh. Carmen looked around for Mommy to the rescue. "Ow, bi(te)!" she said, putting her fingers together to sign hurt. Poor David. She won't let him get away with anything, anymore.

She's even figured out how to climb the tower that a few days ago he was able to enjoy all by himself. David's favorite activity is to climb the tower, turn on the clock radio on the counter, and dance a little jig. When he's hungry he can just help himself to whatever I've left on the counter, a box of crackers, or some freshly-washed grapes. I don't mind, although I do wish he wouldn't bite into his grapes, suck out the juice, and then drop the pulp and skin on the floor. It's messy. I might rather he do that, though, then climb from the tower onto the table or the counter, which he is capable of doing.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Live Feed from Houston, Texas

The babes think whole goat milk yogurt, sweetened with a splash of maple syrup, is divine. They can't slurp it up fast enough, and eventually try drinking it straight from the bowl. David tries to say "go-gur," but today decided that he would just sign ice cream. Same result:

I found out recently that the CBS reality show Big Brother had a new twist for its fourth season--a 24/7 live video feed. At any given moment a viewer could plug in to watch the houseguests eat, bicker, and otherwise get on each other's nerves.

A live feed from my house would look something like this (last night, anyway):

This is a game invented by Carmen, and it goes on until Carmen can no longer stand up. Note that Matt isn't pulling her around . . . Carmen is self-propelled. The best time to play this game is right before bedtime, of course. Note David climbing up and down the Learning Tower. That game goes on until he finds something more interesting, like, for example, a basket of fruit or a box of crackers.

Those are the only pictures we've taken lately. The babes move too fast, otherwise. We are talking quite a lot, now, and signing even more. We know now how to say potty (pah-ee), hi, bye, trash truck (ta-rah ta-ruh), tractor (ta-tuhr), truck (ta-ruh), down (DOWn), cow (cow or dow), horse (hoss), shopping (poppin), diaper (peeper), poopoo (poopoo), cat (ta!), time (for Baby Signing Time and Signing Time, this is just Carmen's), duck (duh!, this is just Carmen's), zebra (be-bra, this is just Carmen's). We try to say motorcycle (da-da-da-dah, while signing), helicopter (da-da-dah, while signing), elephant (da-da-dah, while signing), book (buh), fish (fshhh). The babes call Matt Daddy, but sign Mommy. David calls me Daddy, too. Carmen tries hard to make important statements using her ASL: Daddy work car "BYE!" while David is prone to using his baby babble for making long unintelligible lectures about the nature of the universe. We can say "bzzzzzz!" like the washing machine when it buzzes.

Music is as important as ever. David prefers to partner dance, with me holding him and swinging around the living room floor. Carmen will dance anywhere, anyhow, at the slightest bit of music, even if she is in her stroller. To compensate for her confinement she will hold onto the front bar and bounce up and down, up and down. She bounces in Saks, she bounces at the grocery, she bounces to the music of the band at Central Market while she eats her dinner. In her carseat she nods her head while David kicks his foot. She tried to sing along with me once (to a Dixie Chicks song), but she hasn't again. Probably she isn't sure how to match my off-key singing.

Busy days are happy days. Trips to the grocery become expeditions. The babes know that Whole Foods and Wal-Mart have fish tanks, and Kroger does, too. We tell everyone "hi," demand to taste the merchandise, and then say "bye" on our way out. David often gives mini-lectures to anyone who will hear them, while Carmen lowers her head and tries not to smile.

We are still afraid of the bouncy, and, in fact, are afraid of anything that seems to have a life of its own, like a collapsible springed tunnel. We are no longer afraid of the trash truck, but David is afraid of thunder and Carmen is afraid of the static on the television that happens when she turns it on, maxes out the volume, and then puts on, say, channel 125 (we don't have cable).

We are addicted to Kashi TLC crackers. David thinks it's fun to soak them in juice and feed them to me. I think it's less fun, but will eat them, anyway.

We are sleeping better, although Carmen's nights have been rough, lately. No wonder--she is sprouting four molars this week.

At sight or sound, we point out every plane and helicopter we find. We take tractor rides at the farm and cry when the rides are over. We like to snort back at small steers and touch horses on the nose.

And we prefer jumping on the couch and climbing the furniture to gymnastics class. Yesterday was their second class. They liked watching the other children, especially the older gymnastics flipping and rolling at another section of the gym, but they don't like Coach Lisa. Yesterday she persuaded David to hang from the trapeze bar. Nervously swinging, he was about to crack a smile when she let him fall on the cushions below. David howled. "You aren't hurt," she said. Of course not, but he was offended and surprised, anyway, and to David, that's just the same if not worse. Then Carmen cried because David cried. The rest of the visit they didn't want to have anything to do with Coach Lisa or her gym equipment, and clung to my shirt or shorts until nearly the end of the session. Last week she tried to persuade them to do somersaults. That didn't work so well, either. I think that's as it should be. I would be extraordinarily annoyed if someone twice my height picked me up at the waist, flopped me on a pillow, and then clapped. The other children didn't mind, but at 18 and 19 months, most if not all had already taken multiple gymnastics and Gymboree classes, so they were accustomed to being bounced by complete strangers, and were not even slightly interested in what the other children were doing.

The gym class is supposed to be free play, but it turns out that since this is the summer and there are "camps" going on all day for Shannon Miller hopefuls, the baby Tumblebugs need to share the gym equipment. That means that if the babes want to spend the whole 1/2 hour at the trampoline, they can't. They have to keep moving from one area to the other as a group. And that's too bad, because that 1/2 hour at the trampoline (with a pit of foam blocks to dive into!) was the very reason I signed up, and it was the only piece of equipment that the babes immediately liked.

It isn't especially fun or cost-effective to sit in the middle of a large gymnasium with fifty pounds of baby in my arms while other children jump, flop, and tumble, so I pulled the babes out of the class. Maybe in the fall, when Coach Lisa's antics are forgotten (or will they say, "oh, that's the lady that DROPPED me, let's get out of here!"), the babes can revisit the gym on the explicit direction that if they want to do nothing but bounce on the trampoline, they can. Until then . . . there's always the couch.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


At the park today. There was a cricket game behind us. The babes can swing long past the point we are tired--40 minutes, easily. Matt is wearing a hat that was mine until he squashed it.

More text comes later, as soon as I have a chance. They are silly and sweet, these babes:
Carmen showing her interpretation of the ASL sign for penguin:

The purpose of puddles is splashing

Carmen shopping at Target (we took extra long, made our path extra-circuitous, and she still cried when it was time to leave)

And for the fellow co-sleepers, the best article I've found on the subject comes from Slate, of all places.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Turned in my report yesterday, but it still needs more edits, so the blog hiatus continues. Your loss--they're awfully funny these days, and I'm already forgetting some of the best stories.