Monday, July 27, 2009

A Little Bit On Margaret's Nose

We know, we know. We haven't updated this blog in quite a while.

What did you miss? Well, there was a birthday in there, and now our precious little Twinskis move into the third year of their lives. And we have to move that much faster (and think that much quicker) in order to keep up with them.

Speaking of moving, they are no longer content to be confined to the small sleeping spaces afforded by their baby cribs. They can now shimmy up and down the walls and up and over the sides at will. In order to contain our little Birdgirls of Alcatraz in the hopes of eliminating our tiny late night visitors to our bedroom, we had to install crib tents. Now, our girls don't so much get put to bed as they are locked in captivity for their sleeping ritual. Strangely, though it breaks mommy and daddy's heart to zip that door closed for the night, they seem to derive a bizarre joy out of having their own little mesh fortress in which to jump, flip, and sing their way to dreamland. Night after night, we are responsible for establishing "Camp Twinski" so to speak.

Speaking of speaking, the girls are doing it....endlessly. Even when they don't have an audience and are speaking in glutteral growls and lyrical tweets instead of actually forming coherent words and phrases, as if they are channeling some tribal shaman of the infant world. It is hard to keep track of these things, as the list seems to increase exponentially each week, but we estimate them to be up to around 75 words or so. Notably, they can identify all of the most important individuals in their lives: Dora, Diego, Boots, Ming-Ming, Tuck, Pets, Elmo, Ernie, Bert, "Bee Bee" (Big Bird), and "Cookie." Oh, and Margaret has adopted her own nickname for herself, and now refers to herself as "Mimi." I suppose among the potential contenders of Margie, Maggie, Marge, Meg, Peg, Mags, Megs, Gar, Argar, Teragram, and Queen Lothar of the Snake People, "Mimi" is not so bad. You'll have to ask Kate just where she came up with the Queen Lothar thing.

Speaking of Mimi, she has a new habit of losing her nose. Well, not so much losing it as having it stolen off of her face. By Daddy. About 3-4 times a day.

You see, what happens is when one desperately needs to grab her attention away from the Nog channel on DirecTV, you can place your hand on her face and "grab her nose." Daddy will grab it, and show it to her (the old "thumb in between the the closed fist fingers" bit), at which point a very concerned look will fall over Margaret's face, and she says, "Nose...take, Dada!" Now, if Daddy really wants to get her aggravated, he takes her nose and puts it in his mouth, prompting Mimi furrow her brow and exclaim, "Eat...Nose, Dada!?!" Daddy is sure to swish it around in his mouth for the added effect, which always prompts a giggle from Mimi, no matter how dire a situation her nose finds itself at that moment. After a few seconds, Daddy spits the nose out into his hand, shows it to Mimi one more time, and puts it back on her face just as it was. Mimi takes this final trick in stride, giving a plaintive "Thanks!" and going on her merry way.

When Daddy first tried that trick, he was sure that she would not get it. But it is amazing how self-aware they are. Daddy even had her diving beneath the bubbles in the bathtub tonight looking for her nose before it went down the drain. Oh, the precious innocence of a child and their desire to keep all their appendages in place!

Must wrap up this long-overdue tale of Twinski travails. There is no good excuse for our lack of blogging of late, except to say that the Terrible Twos are actually the Terrible "Fours" when you have twins, and that equals much time and energy away from the other things in life. Blogging is one of the first activities subjugated by the Twincesses reign over our family kingdom. We are just fiefs plowing the fields in our daughters' lives, hoping and praying that our benevolent dictators continue their relatively peaceful rule, and perhaps, maybe, hopefully, get some good nights rests occasionally.

Monday, January 5, 2009

18-month Update / Looking back on 2008

Hello and Happy New Year! Anna and Margaret turned 18 months old on December 29. For those of you keeping track, that was about 2 weeks ago, which shows just how behind I am on everything lately.  Though it's a lame excuse to make up for the poor blogging - raising 2 eighteen month olds seems equivalent to running a cage-free zoo of wild monkeys. The girls are all over the place and into everything. The other day, they left the kitchen for just a minute, and when I walked down the hallway to find them, out of the corner of my eye I catch them standing on top of the dining room table, flashing me mischievous smiles as if to say, "I know we're not supposed to be doing this, and that's why it's so much fun!"

I think my exhaustion in taking care of them stems from the fact that the girls have always been incredibly physical. They're coordinated and agile for their age, as was pointed out to me by an instructor at a "Parents and Tots" YMCA gymnastics class I took them to last weekend - during which they leaped, kicked, twirled, ran, tumbled, and jumped their hearts out, often running circles around the 2 and 3 year olds in the class (and subsequently took a 3 hour nap, much to my delight). They can jump, walk backwards, twirl in circles for minutes at a time, climb up and jump off of high surfaces, and manage to maintain their balance when I almost always expect a tumble. Some photographic evidence of their zaniness:

They're constantly requesting to sit on the kitchen counter (which their sucker of a mom gave in to one too many times, and now they fully expect to sit up there every day)

So much climbing!! No horizontal surface has been spared of their climbing

And then one particular lady thinks it's downright hilarious to take off her diaper and make a run for it, giggling with glee while her mother attempts to chase her down

The ride-on toys still give them endless amusement and so we take advantage of warmer winter days to take a ride on the deck

The girls have recently developed an obsession with clothing choices, with hats being the most common request ("Hat! Hat!" while furiously pointing to their heads)

While they seem to take life at full speed, the one area in which they seem to hesitant to jump in with both feet is talking. I've had some friends reassure me that there just are some kids who are "talkers," while some are "doers," and our children tend to be of the latter. While they do use about 10 words on a daily basis, they largely rely on baby sign language and furious pointing to get their point across. As a parent, you worry about everything - and I discussed my concerns about their seemingly delayed verbal skills with the girls' pediatrician, who thankfully reassured me that they are average, there doesn't seem to be cause for concern, and they'll be talking in no time. I imagine one day I'll look back at this post and laugh- and long for the days when they weren't talking my ear off. ;)

Speaking of are their 18 month stats!:

Height: 32 inches (59%)
Weight: 24 lbs 3 oz (48%)

Height: 32 inches (59%)
Weight: 22 lbs 2 oz (18%)

And since we've entered a new year - here's a quick "Twinskis Year in Review," in photos!:

January: Playtime (and perhaps the last month that they could be contained to one area)

February: Learning to crawl

March: First Easter spent at the beach in Sarasota, FL

April: Sharing a swing at the park

May: Exhibiting their love for mom and dad's laptop

June: our little girls turn ONE!

July: Uncooperative and goofy for mom during an attempted photo shoot on the front porch

August: Cooling off on a hot summer day by running through a reflection pool in front of Nashville's courthouse

September: A photo shoot with our friend and favorite photographer Kim

October: A fantastic trip to Nana and Grandpa's place in Sarasota, Florida

November: Running an errand with Mom and Dad and enjoying a ride in the cart

December: Finding joy in feeding each other snacks

I wish you all a joyous start to the New Year! Joey and I are looking forward to another year of constant love and laughter that these 2 little gals bring into our lives.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Taking care of toddlers can be dizzying sometimes

Just a few minutes later, Anna ran face first into the chair as it was still spinning wildly in circles (with only Margaret riding at this point), leading to many tears and a little blood, as her tooth had cut her gum in the collision. So perhaps we won't be repeating that activity!

Monday, December 8, 2008

We finally can stop calling them "Cousin It"

I'm once again neglecting this blog! I'd like to blame it on the fact that time has been limited with Joey being out of town for work last week and part of this week - but truthfully, we haven't been up to a whole lot! However, we did take the girls for their very first hair cut this past weekend, and Joey managed to get some video of the event. Here are a couple clips! (ha - "clips")

Anna getting her hair cut, with Daddy showing her the video camera (with the screen turned around so she can see herself as a great distraction). You can see just how bad she needed some bangs since she keeps trying to push her hair away from her face and looks generally annoyed that they are in her way!

And Anna finishing up - with Margaret running in to the scene at the end. And then the video abruptly ends as the destructive twosome manage to take out an entire shelf of shampoo and conditioner bottles. It's getting interesting to take them out in public.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Climbing out from under everything

I generally like to stick to the happy stuff on this blog, and - much to our great fortune - life with Anna and Margaret is blissful and wonderful.  But the past 2 weekends have been rough on all of us, explaining why I haven't posted anything since we got back from Florida.

Two weekends ago, I spent 48 hours straight on the couch while Joey took care of the girls in his always capable, super Dad fashion while I suffered through some weird stomach virus and the nausea that went along with it.  Hoping it was behind us, we spent last week in our usual routine of play dates and trips to friends' houses, and prepared for an eagerly anticipated wedding of a dear friend of mine (who I've known since I was 10!) in St. Louis - and looked forward to seeing my family again.  On Friday night, weather between Nashville and St. Louis was downright awful with gusting winds, pouring rain, and low temperatures - and so my paranoia of taking my 3 favorite people in the world on potentially icy roads for 5 hours straight, in the dark, got the best of me and we decided to stay in Nashville Friday night and leave early Saturday morning to make it just in time for my friend Joelle's 2:00 wedding.

In hindsight, that was a good decision to stay for many reasons - as I awoke to Margaret screaming at 3 in the morning, grabbed her out of her crib, tried consoling her in our glider...and noticed an odd smell.  I took her out in the hallway, and sure enough - she's covered head to toe in her own vomit.  The night went downhill from there - as the poor girl threw up for 3 hours straight, and after multiple clothing changes and clean-ups, she fell asleep exhausted and drained.  

The next morning, we gave her a very necessary bath and made which point Joey started feeling not so right, sealing the decision to stay in Nashville.  He ended up catching the same virus, as did Anna, and luckily I remained standing and spent the weekend doing a lot of laundry, clean up, and baby/husband care, while I watched them all suffer and couldn't do much to help anyone.

The good thing is - everyone's feeling better, so we have so much to be thankful for - and that was a much needed though painful reminder to all of us to not take good health for granted.  And despite the rough weekend spent entirely indoors, as well as a missed wedding of a dear friend - there were some funny moments.  Like listening to the girls newfound love for animal sound impressions (their elephant and tiger are the funniest, and when I ask them what a dog says, they strangely pant instead of saying "woof").  Or watching them and their fixation with picking out their clothes - the recent obsession is wearing patent leather shoes and winter hats around the house, which makes for an awesome fashion statement.

By Monday night, everyone seemed to be feeling back to normal, despite the girls' runny noses and Margaret's molars coming in, which are causing some pain for her.  Just before their bedtime,  Joey put on some music in the kitchen and we had a very goofy, spur of the moment family dance party - basking in the euphoria of feeling great again.  I am so grateful to be surrounded by so much love and laughter. 

Friday, November 7, 2008

Florida Recap

All week long, I've been meaning to sit down and write a meaningful post about all of the fun things we did while visiting my parents at their condo in Sarasota, Florida - how much the girls adored the pool, how they could have spent hours with their pail and shovel on the beach, digging little holes and pouring sand on their legs (and occasionally taste-testing), how enamored they were with living for 5 days in a warm climate in which they could go outside at any time of the day without being pestered to put on a sweater - but I figured our week there would best be told in pictures. So enjoy!

Our (yes, admittedly dorky) family bike ride. Much to my surprise, our girls actually loved wearing the helmets and insisted on wearing them while walking around my parents' condo - which was quite a funny sight.

Check out Anna's delighted face as Daddy takes her for a spin around the parking lot (well, we did make it beyond the parking lot - we actually took them into the main drag of Siesta Key and stopped at Captain Curt's for lunch!)

Bad timing for their first dip in the pool - the weather was a little chilly that day, the wind was blowing hard, and the pool heater didn't seem to be working very well - poor little Margaret's teeth were chattering, so she welcomed a warm towel and hug from Nana (my Mom)

Anna seemed unaffected by the cold and insisted on playing in the pool with Daddy

All warm and dry in their cover-ups (and Margaret carrying around the 2 sand buckets that she insisted on holding for the majority of the day, including bath time in the evening)
Anna finally took a break from the pool

We dressed up Anna and Margaret in their (somewhat makeshift) Halloween costumes and did a little photo shoot near the pool and on the beach, since we didn't take them trick-or-treating that evening.  
Margaret and I
Our little (fairies?  angels?  something like that...) on the boardwalk to the beach
I love how the sky looks in this photo
Loving how curly their hair has become
Catching our beach fairies sitting together (this lasted about 5 seconds)
Daddy giving Anna a lift while Nana and Margaret hold hands
Margaret and her Nana (not to be confused with Anna, or their favorite morning snack, a banana)
Catching a cute moment between Daddy and his girls
Margaret's elated reaction to having her feet buried in the sand
A surprisingly happy reaction just minutes after taste-testing the sand
I think they could have stayed at there for hours.  Don't you just love little gals in pigtails?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Our grand tour of the upper midwest

It's obvious how behind I am in updating this blog when I'm posting pictures from last weekend - on a Friday.  I've had a mental block about writing lately...but I figure a rainy day is as good of a time as ever!

Last weekend, we visited Joey's family in Mishawaka, Indiana to meet his brother Aaron and wife Michelle's new baby boy, Logan, who was even cuter than in pictures and remarkably calm and well behaved.  Proving once more that our 2 wild monkeys, Anna and Margaret, were indeed the high-strung, colicky babies that I remembered.

Here are a few pictures of the new babe and family:

Logan in all of his adorableness
Proud parents Aaron and Michelle
And a tired Daddy taking a nap with Logan
Uncle Joey
Uncle Joel (Aunt Karolyn, so sorry I didn't get you in this picture!)
Grandma and Grandpa and their 4 nieces and 1 nephew

And a few pics from enjoying the beautiful fall weather and falling leaves in Indiana:

The friendly stray cat that's hanging out at Joey's parents' house:
Perhaps it won't be by as often after getting chased:
Margaret enjoying a few throws in the air by Daddy:
Anna attempting to catch the leaves we threw in the air for her
Margaret not enjoying this game as much

Sunday night, we drove to Columbus, Ohio, as Joey found out quite last minute that he had to be at a work meeting Monday morning.  I was a bit apprehensive of the whole experience, as we had yet to sleep in a hotel with the girls, but it went surprisingly well.  The 2-room hotel suite was perfect, and the girls were strangely giddy and ran laps around the hotel room when we walked in at 10 p.m. - well past their bedtime.  The hotel bathtub was also a huge hit, as apparently the travel sized hotel shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash and lotion bottles are the coolest - things - ever to 15 month olds.  I think they carried those bottles around the entire time we were there.

Monday morning, Joey attended his meeting and I lucked out to find a city park (Goodale Park) right next to our hotel to burn some energy and entertain the girls before we got back on the road.  Anna and Margaret tried out the playground (doing their requisite attempt at climbing up the slides, as they do every time), petted a few dogs (the new obsession in their lives), and even posed for a few photos taken by several Ohio State University photography students at the park doing class homework.  We wandered over to the pond and gazebo area, at which point the girls were drained and wondering why their mother was denying them of the critical morning nap - note the exhausted looks:

After they could take no more of the park and stroller, we went back to the hotel room and had a little Fruit Loop snack party on the floor while we watched Elmo.  Who they strangely refer to as "Da."  Spoken in a high pitched, frantic, "DA!!!!" every time they see him on TV.  Elmo is #1 in their lives right now.  Don't try messing with them when Elmo's World is on in the morning-  that's must-see-TV for these chicks and their furry, red, monster friend.