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News Year’s Eve

December 31st, 2005 by Joyce

I’m wearing shorts and a tanktop; it must be New Year’s Eve in Houston.

Carmen is asleep, David is asleep, Matt is asleep, the cat is asleep. Dogs are parking, fireworks are popping, and a Tejano boom-boom-boom fills out the soundscape. I’m sitting here thinking about 2005 and 2006 and if Carmen will stay asleep when midnight strikes. And I’m thinking I need to show you some pictures.

More visitors this week: Grandma and Grandpa Reisdorf from California.

C&D loved having company so eager to play and read and play some more. When they come again the visit will be even better–we’re finally going to have a screen porch installed out back, with lots of room for wagons and horses and (shhhh, it’s a secret) sandbox and water table. We talk to someone about the porch tomorrow.

The fireworks are getting louder. Best to hurry . . .

Today while Matt and I were cleaning up we discovered that C&D invented a new game: poke at your sibling through the mesh of the kid corral. We tried to catch it with the camera, but these babes are a lot like Schrodinger’s Cat; the simple act of getting the camera out altered their behaviour. But if you watch this video, you might get the idea. It’s almost midnight–Happy New Year.

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Easy as Pie

December 29th, 2005 by Joyce

Frequently when we are out and about with the babies, people take the liberty of making the kinds of comments that we are not supposed to hear, but that we do, anyway. Our first trip to the Galleria, I heard “Wowzers!” from a 30-something daddy type when he noticed both Matt and I carrying tiny babies. And I have heard many variations of “Oh-my-God-look-TWINS!” in English and Spanish. And even Russian, in fact. I know this because the one English speaker of the group grilled me on behalf of his friends. “How old?” “Your first?” “Their names?”

I don’t, however, need a translator if somebody is talking about me in Spanish. Galleria pilgrims from Mexico, and fellow Houstonians who think the Spanish language comes in one color (brown), let me tell you: I hear you, and I understand you.

I used to get annoyed at the fact that you talked about my little tribe in your preferred tongue without even bothering to whisper. “Hell-o,” I would think. “I know what you’re saying!” But this time was different.

Today, Matt and I wore the babies, as usual, while taking a late afternoon walk through Houston’s see-and-be-seen pseudo-plaza, the Galleria. A mother pushing a large stroller walked alongside a man holding a toddler, his arms sagging with the weight. The mother nodded my direction and snorted to her husband in Spanish, “Look! They have two and they make it look easy!” I laughed.

That was a real compliment. She didn’t know that I would understand her, so she wasn’t trying to be polite or gratuitous in her observation. She meant it.

So, Spanish speakers, go ahead. Say whatever you want. I’ll pretend that I’m not understanding you. I’ve decided I like knowing what you really think.

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Merry Christmas 2005

December 26th, 2005 by Joyce

A theme for this Christmas: Not American Colonial or Glam (who, us?) or Grinch (definitely not us!); this Christmas was about movement. Movement that C&D have been waiting 11 months to achieve: standing and kneeling, bending and climbing, crawling and rocking, pushing and pulling, grabbing and giving. We can’t just plop a baby on a rug and walk away–the thwap, thwap, thwap of fat little palms on the wood floor tell us that we have lost all remaining privacy, and also that we should forever be prepared for finding a full-scale disaster the next time we notice that the house is quiet.

Of course, we keep giving C&D gifts that will only help them learn to be faster, stronger, and more confident in their exploits. What have we been thinking?

Pushing a wagon is hard work.

How to turn the wagon, now?

This Christmas was not white, unless you consider the gravel at Godwin Park. Christmas Day after opening our gifts
which, remember, included a pair of Kleenex boxes,



we relaxed and played and in the evening took a trip to the park to swing,
swing, swing.

We only stayed at the park a half hour, but those sight of those two giggly babes on the baby swingset made my day.

Monday, a visit from my parents and brother who came bearing gifts. The rocking horses were a hit, though of course C&D need a little help getting on and off.
They haven’t figured out how to make any more than a strong wiggle on the rockers, but they’ll be riding off into the sunset soon enough.

Both babies enjoyed the company, especially Carmen. Since night before last she has a bit of congestion and a postnasal drip kind of cough, but after taking yesterday slow she is her normal, silly self today. I have no complaints about the timing of her sniffles–this is the first illness for either of them.

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Christmas Eve

December 24th, 2005 by Joyce

This morning after such a full and exciting Friday we all slept in until 7:30. When we woke up we put on our hats and drove to the Kroger to get a few basics for the weekend like salad and salsa and tortilla chips. It had been so long since I had shopped at a non-organic, non-chichi, plain old grocery that I felt a little overwhelmed trying to push around the oversized grocery basket through an oversized store with oversized endcap displays and oversized aisles of potato chips and PopTarts. Whew.

The second and more pleasant phase of our mission involved a trip to Teas Nursery to pick out a Christmas tree. While we were looking at the sweetgum trees, John Teas asked us if we needed help. I told him that the sweetgums were a little too tall to fit in our car (did he also hear me when I told Matt I didn’t want to pay $54 for a tree this year?). He kindly helped us select a short, stout (and less expensive, cough) holly. Now I can say I have bought a bike from Joy Boone, and a Christmas tree from John Teas. Nice.

Merry Christmas. Santa has already visited Beverly’s house next door, as evidenced by the reindeer bells and clomping on the roof that Matt and I heard right before Baby Bedtime (and caused us to wonder if our water heater was about to explode).

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A Big 11-Monthday

December 23rd, 2005 by Joyce

Today we visited Maxine Johnston (right) and Ann Roberts in the Big Thicket town of Batson. What a wonderful visit. We talked and ate lunch and played with babies and then talked some more. We also got to meet Lorraine Bonney. Maxine took more and better pictures, I think, but here is one from my camera:
The babies had a wonderful time exploring Maxine’s house (“and look how the coffee table is just the perfect height for cruising,” C&D said), throwing O’s on her rugs, and soaking up lots of attention and love from so many aunties! Even quiet David gave everyone lots of smiles.

We are determined to go back as soon as Maxine can have us again. The drive is about a hour and a half, about as long as the babies will tolerate in the car if they fall asleep before we leave Houston city limits. Plus, Maxine’s house is right near the Lance Rosier Unit, and Matt and I are enthusiastic to take them a good hike soon, before the bugs come back. Sigh. What a fun day.

C&D slept on the way home, and then wanted to play, play, play. Carmen has gotten proficient at pushing her wagon:

and wears such a big smile on her face when she walks behind it. If we load it with my zafu and a box full of Waldorf dollmaking supplies, the wagon is very, very stable. The only problem is that we have to help her turn it around or back up so she can go again; the stiff wheels and broad base don’t really allow the wagon to turn. I guess we need a bigger house, or a longer hallway.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and we still need to buy our Christmas tree to take the place of the 2004 magnolia that we killed this spring. And we need to wrap, wrap, wrap our presents for our visitors next week. We won’t bother wrapping the babies’ presents, and in fact have already given them a few here and there, especially on days that have been particularly hairy and I’ve needed a distraction besides the pots and pans (loud!) or playing with the tupperware cabinet (out of Tupperware! It’s all in the freezer!). Favorites from the Christmas closet so far have been their Haba Trix and a mesmerizing Kugelbahn top. Matt has a special surprise for them that they will get to play with on Christmas Day–boxes of Kleenex. (Hey, you won’t tell, will you?) C&D–especially David–have so much fun taking things in and out of boxes, that a box of Kleenex should be pure baby-bliss.

Good night!

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Babies Everywhere

December 22nd, 2005 by Joyce

Playing at home.


Visit with Brooke.


Carmen clapping. They’ve both been “clapping” by slapping their hand against ours (a “five,” basically) for a while now; nice to see that Carmen figured out that clapping is something she can also do on her own.
Edited the code so now the video should work. I just noticed her face in this video–so ordinary, as if she is doing nothing special at all. Silly kid.

Driving out to the Thicket to visit Maxine in Batson today. Hope the babies don’t mind the drive. I know they’ll be glad for the visit, though; Maxine is fun.

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Oh, the places we’ll go!

December 21st, 2005 by Joyce

Over the weekend a happy little synapse activated in David’s brain, and he realized that he could crawl right out the living room, down the hall, and then make a right and wind up in the kitchen. And then he could make another right and wind up in the office/dining room, and then back into the living room. Carmen made that realization today, which made it a day for baby parades of sorts, Carmen following her brother.

Today Carmen also figured out how to clap, and later how to slap my butt.

The Christmas holidays mean visiting friends and family for most of us, and our house is no different. The neighborhood kids are home from school and looking for things to do. This afternoon they helped me run a snake through my clogged pipes (in 2004 we had a clogged line on Super Bowl Sunday–what gives?). Then they helped wrap presents while David wrinkled the paper and got in their way. Before dinner we took C&D on a ride in the stroller. Tyse pushed, Jairo made sure David didn’t lose his wool hat, and Aaron and Daniela from down the street came along, too. I felt like a regular mother duck. After walking around the block and hearing an earful of the usual elementary-school gross-out stories, I was ready to feed the babies–only two–dinner.

This week Brooke came to visit from North Carolina. More on that later–now it’s time for bed!

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