The weather here has been really nice this week - especially for the end of April/early May in Oregon. It's been 70 degrees for the last three days, and it was even warmer last weekend. The only cooler, rainy day was Monday, and it still felt like spring. We spent most of Monday running errands and going to appointments anyway, so it didn't really matter what the weather was like outside.
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It's supposed to be even warmer this weekend, getting into the mid-80s by Sunday (you have to realize how strange that is for this time of year!) and that's gotten me dreaming about time in the backyard with my babies. Of course, then reality hits. Having worked in a garden center in the past, I know all about the hidden dangers of the backyard (despite the fact that we've never had one before) and I'm petrified to actually go out and start playing. I feel like we need to cover the whole yard with a giant blanket. Then I laugh at the absurdity of being afraid of the ground. I mean, really. What have kids been doing for centuries? You know, those old pioneer pack n' plays. It probably doesn't help that I put Emily down in the grass for exactly fifty-one seconds the other day and she fussed at me the whole time, lifting her hands up one at a time like she was balancing on a cactus. So maybe this whole fear of grass thing is instinctive. I'm sure Erin wouldn't be afraid, but her lack of fear is another kettle of fish entirely.
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I've said before that Emily and Erin have entirely different personalities, but it's starting to become clear exactly what those personalities might be. They take turns being "drama queen" - each really likes to get her way. Erin will literally have a tantrum if she doesn't get what she wants, complete with flop to the floor, kicking and sobbing. If you're holding her, she will flail backwards and burst into tears. Needless to say, we try not to upset her. The best way to accomplish this is not to let her have forbidden things in the first place. This sounds simple enough, but the mere sight of my keys and phone is enough to provoke a meltdown. (Side note: someone should make a realistic looking set of baby keys with a little car remote. I would buy them.) The rest of the time, Erin is vivacious and outgoing. She loves to get anyone's attention by smiling and shouting joyously. She also learned to bark a few weeks ago, and she'll happily bark for you - most of the time. She will eat just about anything. And I mean anything. I caught her trying to eat a snail about a month ago. However, if she doubts the sincerity with which you present the food, she will clamp her lips shut and shake her head back and forth in a true display of will.
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Emily is a little less outgoing than her sister, and if she's going to make friends, she'd prefer to be safe with mommy while doing so. She doesn't really want to be sitting in the shopping cart waving at strangers, like Erin loves to do. Unless we're at Costco, with the double carts, and then she loves sitting next to Erin and grinning toothily. I suppose she would potentially prefer a little more attention, but she knows how to get it - Emily can scream louder than almost any tiny person I've encountered. I don't want to generalize because we're sort of on the cusp of toddlerhood here, but we're talking serious noise. She wants you to know she's unhappy. It doesn't simply end when she gets picked up, either. Erin calms down almost instantly unless she's hurt, but Emily will keep sobbing and sniffling for several minutes. These frightening displays of emotion seem to coincide with waiting a little too long for a nap, meaning that we have at least one a day. I'm not very good at timing naps for two babies. Fortunately, getting in the car sometimes does the trick. Sometimes. Getting in the crib, on the other hand, makes things much worse. Lesson learned the hard way. Trust me on that one. Her cuddles are one of the sweetest things I've ever experienced, though - Emily is a mommy's girl if I ever met one. It's so heartwarming to see her crawling up to sit in my lap.
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I find dressing my girls to be challenging as they get older. I'm sure there's no baby rulebook that says babies must wear cute little outfits every day, complete with shoes and socks, but I'm fairly certain society frowns upon almost-toddlers leaving the house in footy pajamas every day. Not to mention it's hard on the footy pajama supply to wear them 24 hours a day. See #1, also - it's getting a bit warm to wear fleece in the afternoons. So getting dressed in the morning has become a must. I should mention that, while I love clothes, I'm not big on getting myself dressed in the morning, so I find this task somewhat daunting. For one thing, Emily and Erin don't like having their clothes changed. For another, they are clamoring for daredevil status by trying to leap off the changing table these days. If they are laying on their back, they try to flip on their tummies. At least baby clothes tend to come in sets so it's easy to find outfits - getting them on the baby is another story. They haven't started objecting to specific pieces of clothing yet, though, so I suppose I should count my blessings!
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I've concluded this week that I'm not really a morning person. It's one thing if I have to work in the morning - I'll get up and make it happen, even smiling. But it just takes me a while to wake up. I can do things to help this process along, like program the coffee maker the night before, but there's not much else that works. It's a good thing I generally don't have to get up and start the day very early! I have tried setting my alarm to get up earlier, but have yet to succeed. I'll try again tomorrow, though I doubt I'll feel more like getting up, since it's getting pretty late. If any of you out there are morning people, what gets you out of bed? And how to combat the desire for a clean house in the evening? I might be a hopeless evening owl (I'm still usually in bed by around 10:30) but I'm willing to try and change!
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Our power went out this week, and it was a really eye-opening experience. Dan had gone to a meeting for work, so I was home with the girls and he had the car. We had been playing and doing chores (I'm sure you can guess the breakdown there) and suddenly the background music stopped, the light dimmed, and the ceiling fans slowed. Luckily, I'd just started the washer on cold, so I could make some bottles with the remaining warm water and put the girls down for a nap. I put some more warm water in two more bottles, put them in the sun on the windowsill, made a frantic phone call to the power company, and realized there was nothing on my list of things to do that could be accomplished without electricity. Except weed the garden. So I went out and weeded our front flower bed (really the ground in front of our laurel bush where the mailman insists on walking from our mailbox to the neighbor's) and prepped it for the marigolds I'd bought. I watched several utility trucks drive around our neighborhood before they all congregated behind our house. Apparently whatever happened was quiet, but it only happened about 40 feet from our fence, judging from all the activity. I'd love to say that I learned a lot from this experience and am much more conscious of how much I rely on electricity, but I was mostly just frustrated at my lack of preparedness for the situation. Definitely food for thought, since storms are pretty common here. For now, at least it was sunny enough to leave the house. All's well that ends well, right?