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Note to self

August 31st, 2005 by Joyce

The Hokey Pokey; that’s what it’s all about. Focus on POKEY. Carmen’s got a little tooth poking through, bottom right. Fiona discovered it when Carmen took a chomp at her finger at the Sony store in the Galleria. She felt something decidedly sharp, and so did I. When we got home we saw it, a sharp pearly white point just above the gumline. Note to self: Think before giving her a knuckle to gnaw on.

After being much-admired in the Dior store two weeks ago, the ladies in the Coach store coaxed us inside to see the babies today. We should have asked if Coach makes a baby carrier to add to our collection. Note to self: Next time you leave the house, make sure your clothes match, eh?

The babies have been changing their sleep patterns, lately. Enter, now, a streak of mischief. Last week when I was rocking Carmen to sleep, she started alternately sucking and blowing zerberts on my cheek. I couldn’t help but laugh, of course, and then she started laughing, and we just had to give up being very serious about sleep that night. Note to self: Practice serious face. Hee hee, hee hee, hee hee.

They have also been learning new skills. They can turn around like a Twister spinner, and David scooches backward like an 80’s-era remote-control car. Carmen likes to transition from sitting to lying down with a slow, silly plop that makes her laugh. David has learned not to cry when he forgets to keep his balance and flops over while sitting. Carmen took her first steps yesterday trying to get to the chime toy that Fiona and David were playing with. David learned last week in the pool that he can curl his legs forward and float on his back, but he doesn’t particularly like to float on his back, so he prefers to try floating sideways, instead. They have both learned to snap my bra strap while they eat. Carmen thinks my hair is wonderful to grab, pull, and taste; David thinks everything is wonderful to grab, pull, and taste. Carmen thinks pureed pears are delicious; they bring tears to David’s eyes from the tartness. Note to self: Stop working so hard and take more pictures.

Saturday C&D attended their first birthday party; Henry turned 50. Henry fished all day then got swooped up by his cousin Isaac in Isaac’s new wood-bodied pickup truck (that he made himself) to go to the party. We followed soon after. While we were eating Carmen took a tour around the group with Uncle Manny, and everybody admired her chub. David stayed with me and stared at Jimmy while we walked college. Occasionally David would give Jimmy a pat on the arm to be sociable. Note to self: Didn’t I tell you to take more pictures?

And David has learned to make manly noises. He clenches his fist and tenses his legs and arms and says “Argh! Grugh! Wugh!” He reminds me of Hulk Hogan. He started them in all earnestness yesterday. I took a video which I will post later, and maybe you can tell me what it means. Note to self: Learn boy-speak.

I hear somebody waking already and I haven’t even had my snack. Note to self: Tell the babies that mommy can’t write about babyness unless they start taking longer naps.

Checking the news of Katrina a few times each day. Tens of thousands of refugees are landing on Houston’s front steps. Donating some outgrown maternity & baby things this weekend. Note to self: Give more.

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A Good, Busy Weekend

August 21st, 2005 by Joyce

Whew! What a good, busy weekend.

Just a few minutes ago I just sent in our first EllaRoo wholesale order. We’re now officially an EllaRoo distributor. We’re having so much fun with our carriers, and so many people ask us about them, that we are going to sell them. EllaRoo carriers are fairly-traded, handmade carriers that are especially lightweight for our warm Houston climate. They also have a great reputation for being well-made and long-wearing. We like our homemade carriers, of course, but not everybody has access to friends with a sewing machine, and the best fabric for a carrier is sometimes hard to find. (If you want an EllaRoo, let me know! My favorites are the Guatemalan woven wrap and the super-fun mei tai.)

This weekend’s big event: Matt’s parents came to visit their grandbabies. They haven’t seen them since they were just weeks old.

But, wait, I’m getting out of order. Let me start with Friday morning.

We’ve been looking for a good drum for the babies. We needed something that they could pull close to their bodies, and with a good resonance. We tried various plastic containers and Friday morning decided that the monstrous Tupperware SuperBowl (now called Thatsa Bowl) filled with a handful of garbanzo beans made a very nice little instrument. David has figured out that striking it makes an interesting sound, but for now he really prefers to just admire its rotundness (is that a word? I declare it so) or grab it to catch his balance for a moment.

I love that bowl. What other drum can be used to make six dozen pecan Christmas cookies?

In the afternoon C&D’s Grandma and Grandpa Reisdorf arrived from California. They brought presents, which the babies thought were very interesting . . .
. . . and tasty, too!
During the visit we read fun stories . . .
. . . played games . . .
. . . and went shopping. Friday evening we drove to Central Market to get provisions. While there I was able to show Carmen to my favorite barista (he made best-ever smoothies when I was pregnant and hungry-hungry-hungry). Saturday we took Grandma and Grandpa to the Galleria, C&D style.

Yes, that picture was taken at Shanghai Joe’s. We are their most loyal customer. We didn’t get to talk to the nice sushi chef this time; maybe next week. She’s another of C&D’s regular admirers.

Everybody had a really good time, especially the babies, and we are so glad for the grandparents’ visit.

This morning, after we experienced yet another FAN (Failed Attempt at Napping), we motored over to Whole Foods to buy some goat milk. I had a hankering, and the goat farm didn’t attend the farmer’s market yesterday (we did make out with some squash, asian pears, a watermelon, and three kinds of peas). After the second FAN of the day, we put on our swimsuits and went to the Wellness Center to go swimming and say hi to Sherwin. Sherwin works at the front desk. He watched my belly grow bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and then watched me make handstands in the therapy pool to try to flip Carmen around from breech to vertex. (It didn’t work, but I did provide a significant source of entertainment to pool users in those days.)

As soon as the babies entered the water, they wanted to move onto their bellies. With our hands beneath them, our little fishies kicked their legs and splashed their hands as if making a doggy paddle. We pulled them up and down the pool, splashing and kicking, splashing and kicking. While there we made some friends who were all curious to know if the babies would finally take a nap after all of that thrashing. Next week I’ll need tell them that yes, the babies did nap!

Whew. Good thing. Matt and I were getting tired.

Maybe David was trying to tell me about the pool later in the afternoon. I don’t know. It seems that babies are always developing strange little behaviors that their parents can do nothing but puzzle about. I have no idea what all that babbling and leg-lifting was supposed to mean. But I thought it was awfully funny. In the video David seems pretty amused, himself.

A good, busy weekend.

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Trying Butternut Squash

August 17th, 2005 by Joyce

Played with butternut squash and the spoons today, to give Matt and I a chance to talk and eat (seated! how rare!).

The aim wasn’t always so good,

but Carmen did think it was interesting to mush around and taste. David used his spoon to catapult some squash onto the table. (No pictures . . . I must have been busy wiping it up.)

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Well, duh.

August 16th, 2005 by Joyce

The swing in the closet.

Now that we have two swings, the babies want nothing to do with them lately.

Well, duh. I should have figured.

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Out of the Woods

August 14th, 2005 by Joyce

An article from the Washington Post: Out of the Woods.

I remember making dinosaur tracks in the front yard one day. An ice cream man (actually, he really sold paletas) drove up and asked, “Hey, do you want this [watermelon paleta]. I responded yes and he said, “Here, tell your parents to pay me $1.”

I did.

My parents were shocked at his boldness but do you know what? It was delicious! I still think about it sometimes, two decades later.

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August 14th, 2005 by Joyce

Well, Carmen woke up while I was finishing that last post. She’s asleep again. Sounds like David and Matt have been doing well, though–haven’t heard a peep. David suddenly got very, very ticklish today. I was nursing Carmen earlier this evening and David kept plucking at my shirt, wanting a turn. Since Carmen was already situated I decided to distract him a little with a tickle to his tummy, and he laughed heartily. Exploring his feet, arms, and neck all brought on the same silly laughter. I guess the tickle synapses in his brain just came together in a big way today.

Speaking of synapses, I am browsing The Wonder Weeks. It was recommended by a mother on an AP multiples listserv as a good read about brain development. TWW is not as informative as What’s Going On In There? (which is a little academically heavy), but it has contains some interesting games appropriate to each stage. The authors must have been fun parents: there is a whole section called “Variations on Peekaboo.”

I also just read again the last chapter in The Geography of Childhood, too. One of the best essays ever.

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A Splashing Success

August 14th, 2005 by Joyce

The morning nap didn’t quite happen like it was supposed to, but we went swimming, anyway.

At the front desk of the gym we met a friend who had only seen the babies when they were in my belly. He was so excited to see Carmen and David so big and strong. Of course, Carmen wore a blue shirt (okay), and David wore a shirt with pink flowers (maybe not okay). Fortunately, C&D sat cozily in their wraps tummy to tummy with us, so my friend couldn’t notice.

We had the therapy pool (kept at 91 deg. F) to ourselves. Still wearing the babies, we slowly stepped into the water. David quietly smiled and looked around as we bobbed up and down and made small waves. Carmen quickly began to splash and pulled away from Matt to have more room to wiggle and kick. Once we were certain that C&D felt comfortable in this new environment we helped them float on their backs, and then turned them over to let them kick while we pulled them along. We even dunked them on cue. David did a great job of holding his breath, but Carmen didn’t like the dunking so much, maybe because she was very tired, or maybe because she is already past the point where her dive reflex is a part of her motor ability. She did very much like splashing, though, and Matt had so much fun that we will plan on going again next Sunday. With two chubby babes and sopping-wet cotton wraps we did look the spectacle, but C&D sure enjoy all the attention!

After playing in the water for a bit, we drove our two tired babies home. As we pulled out of the parking lot Carmen began singing her sleepy song, “Aaaaaaa-aaaaaaaah-eeeeeehhhh-yaaaaaaaah.” And once in the house they slept soundly for exactly two hours.

No, they didn’t. Despite two pairs of sleepy little eyes in the house, C&D hardly napped at all, and as soon as they fell asleep they woke up again. Sleeping apparently was not on today’s agenda.

Not even the new swing helped. This morning we realized that our first swing is probably nearing the end of its natural life cycle. We also realized that as the babies have become more independent, a second swing–in a second room–might help on those few occasions when one baby has fallen asleep in the swing, and the other needs a swing-mobile-fishy-BabyMuzak fix that regular rocking, walking, or bouncing won’t satisfy. So we begrudgingly bought Aquarium Swing #2 and placed it in the back bedroom closet (where else would we put it?). I already can’t wait to eBay it, but I do hope it helps. As much as I dislike using the swing to settle them down, I dislike two tired, sad babies more!

But now they are sleeping, and soundly. Thank goodness. It’s a very busy week this week.

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