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June 27th, 2007 by Joyce

After a morning that started too early, with a too-long hour to get ready to go to the co-op while I directed our siding contractors where to get to painting, a too-long visit to the co-op where we gawked at too many babies, and a too-greasy, unsatisfactory lunch, we woke up from a too-short nap, too cranky. While I tried to put away today’s co-op share, C&D took turns hanging off my legs and making each other cry. Even as my pretty little co-op plums turned to prunes and my peaches oozed into a self-cooking peach compote, we needed to sit down and have a bit of think.

So we sat on the floor and talked, and played trains, and then I remembered that I still needed to put my share away. I decided I needed find something exciting in the cabinet to keep little hands busy. And what’s more exciting than scissors?

I showed them how the scissors worked and watched them partially tear at the paper after making tentative cuts. As they began cutting randomly into a Shepherd School of Music calendar, I left them alone and got back to my puttering.

Half an hour later, they were still cutting, by then making infinitely small slivers and triangles out of the paper.

Half an hour after that David was eating dinner, but Carmen was still cutting. Soon after that she ate a quick dinner, but then got back to cutting.

Then, when she realized she had gotten quite good at this cutting-paper business, and had mastered cutting up mail, newspapers, and circulars, Carmen decided that scissors were good for other purposes, as well.We stopped her just in time (three times altogether) from stealing a lock (or a few) of David’s curly hair. David didn’t seem the slightest worried. Carmen, not to be deterred, just tried cutting her own.

(N.B.: How did they know how to do this stuff? C&D watch me give Matt an occassional buzzcut, and then we wait a couple of months for the hair to grow out again, sort of like a Chia Pet. I get the electric razor and we cut it all over again. But this is different, isn’t it?)

While he was eating yogurt before bed, David wanted me to take his picture. I thought I maybe should, and then put away the scissors.

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June 26th, 2007 by Joyce · 1 Comment

C&D made the cover of Wired today. Really, it came that way from the post office. The special cover was the result of a custom-printing promo from Wired and Xerox that tied in with a writeup about hyperlocality. About 5,000 subscribers received issues custom-printed with images that those subscribers submitted in the spring. The photo is from a few weeks after my surgery. Yes, David’s eye has some yellow on it–he had been playing with an Easter lily from a bouquet the church had delivered and got dabbed by some pollen.

I had been waiting for this issue for weeks. Nice that it arrived today.

And more of today’s news:

June 26th. Today we are eight. Eight years of marriage, eight years of being a “we,” not just a “you” and a “me.” We ate dinner at home, then sat with C&D while we talked (their gift to us). There were no dinners, no flowers, just an appreciation of what we are: eight.

In San Antonio they would have called the water hotline on me. This morning I ran the water from the faucet for C&D. They took turns holding the hose while they filled the water table, emptied it, filled buckets, emptied them, filled shovels, emptied them, and filled everything up again. I listened to their playing (very, very quietly, as busy, busy toddlers play) while I sorted clothes for the consignment store. The store accepts winter consignments next week and I am happy to have the too-small clothes out of my closet. They played for an hour. I know, bad me, I shouldn’t have had the water running so long. After all, I did work for the Conservation Resources department at the San Antonio Water System one summer. And I figured I had just wasted like 1,000,000 gallons of water. But did you catch the part where I wrote, “quietly?” Yeah. Maybe I wasn’t so wasteful, after all.

I Stink. After lunch David sat in his chair and recited his garbage truck book almost in its entirely, exactly as I read it to him. As he told the story he smiled, and when he bumped over words that he didn’t really know, he happily just kept right on going. “Dual op” became “doob op” and “gobs and gobs of gum” became “gobble gobble gum.” But no matter to somebody who doesn’t even know what “dual op” and “gobs and gobs” mean, anyway. In reciting embraced and then danced over the rhythm of the story, taking special pleasure in the words “dirty diapers,” “kitty litter,” and his favorite alliteration in the book, “puppy poo.” Here’s another alliteration for you, David: cool kid.

This evening, nothing could have made me feel prouder. To keep C&D feeling safe and cuddled, while out and about in the great wide world we carried C&D in wraps and mei tais and used the stroller only when I was alone, or when they wanted the view. Now they’re big enough to walk on their own beside us, and we haven’t worn them in a long time. Today when C&D were playing with their “babies,” I offered them each a kid-size sling. To my wonder, they knew exactly what to do.

→ 1 CommentTags: Bigger Pictures · Dynamic Duo

Say, "cheez"?

June 25th, 2007 by Joyce · 2 Comments

This afternoon C&D didn’t want to sleep right after lunch. While they put my shoes on and told each other dirty jokes (“Trash truck! Ha ha!”) downstairs, trying very hard to persuade each other that we weren’t the slightest sleepy, I wiped up from lunch upstairs. As I walked into the kitchen, I watched a man park a black Mercedes in front of my house, walk out with a disposable camera, and take about three pictures of my intersection and house.

Of my house?

Then he walked a few houses down the street, walked back and drove away.

He wore sunglasses and cargo pants loaded with gear. Is this what watching The Sopranos was like?

I considered asking him what he needed. Did he like my paint color, my half-done HardiPlank siding, or my half-done landscaping efforts (mostly mud)? I don’t know. I didn’t want to leave C&D alone downstairs. So I did the next best thing: since he took pictures of my house, I took pictures of him.

I put my images on my blog. I wonder what he’s doing with his?

→ 2 CommentsTags: Home Ec · Weird

Closest to what?

June 20th, 2007 by Joyce

Is it really fair–and even honest–for infant formula companies to label their products as “closest to breastmilk” when there’s no such thing? Read this article from this week’s Guardian, and give the issue a think.

Oh, on the same subject (milk!), a point made in the Philadelphia Inquirer about breastfeeding, and those cute little (very, very little) bathing suits at the beach.

→ No CommentsTags: Bigger Pictures · Parenthood

Concert Over

June 16th, 2007 by Joyce · 1 Comment

My mom brought her electric piano over last night. I thought C&D would like to explore the concept of watching music happen. They liked it, much more than the “repeat” button on the CD player. In fact, they loved it.

Carmen got tired of standing next to me and watching so she shoved her chair over. But soon I called the concert over. In just ten minutes I felt dizzy and nauseous.

Playing music apparently requires too much brain. So then the question is this: Do I give my head a rest, or do I push through in the hopes that it’ll go away, or . . . by painful repetitions maybe I will strengthen the connections that are somehow broken?

I would try to think harder about it, but I’m already sick. It’s time for C&D to eat lunch, anyway. I don’t want to cook for them because I’m nauseous (and typing this isn’t helping). I have a mental image of throwing them some fish sticks toward their direction, sort of like a zookeeper feeding the lions.

It might be a good day for delivery. Again.

→ 1 CommentTags: Dynamic Duo · My Brain (& the AVM)

Maxine’s House

June 12th, 2007 by Joyce

Saturday afternoon, the mailman’s ringing the doorbell woke Carmen and David up from a nap not long after they had fallen asleep. Matt and I looked down at our groggy sourpusses and decided we needed out of the house ASAP. We did some figuring. If we were lucky, we would get as far as the Lance Rosier Unit of the BTNP before I felt carsick. If we didn’t, well, that would be okay, too. At least C&D would probably enjoy the drive (and quit yowling).

On the drive I tried hard not to look around too much. I tried not to read bumper stickers or billboards or see how the grass was growing or how many feet the San Jacinto had left until flood stage. I watched the horizon, and listened to C&D sing and tell jokes (“Trash truck . . . ha ha ha ha ha!” Vacuum cleaner . . . ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”). But I needed out of the car, and I knew just where we could stop.

The visit to Maxine’s house, described by David to my mother the next Monday:

“We went Massine’s house. Ate rice, and tettup [Catalina dressing]!”

Then Carmen chimes in,

“And rocka rocka rocka!”

Other highlights included ants, bite-ants, animals (the curios in Maxine’s living room), eating lettuce, bread, jumping on a tree stump, flowers, and running in grass.

Rocka, rocka, rocka:

The drive back to Houston, along empty dark East Texas back roads, was easier for me to handle than the drive out. C&D struggled to stay awake, but happily tattled on each other as soon as one began to nod. After demanding a bath and getting one, they slept deeply.

→ No CommentsTags: Dynamic Duo · Go Joyce Go · My Brain (& the AVM)

Park Days

June 12th, 2007 by Joyce

We’ve done a lot of park days lately, because it’s that kind of weather. (And yes, David is wearing Carmen’s shorts at the Fire Truck Park. Matt didn’t know.)

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