Luci and Nicholas at 25 Months

Two at two has been interesting so far. In some ways, it's slightly easier. Luci and Nicholas understand a lot more than they did even a few months ago. There is a modicum of reasoning going on.

And in some ways, it's much more difficult for exactly the same reasons.

Nicholas is going through a rough(er) patch lately. He has not taken a nap in over two weeks, and spends "naptime" yelling in his crib:

"Mommy! Open door Nickey's room. Right Now! PLEASE!"

Over. And Over. And Over.

When I don't comply, he strips. Fortunately, thus far he has kept his diaper on, but when I finally relent and get him up, he has not a stitch of clothing on.

Working during "naptime" is pretty impossible when one-half of your at-home children (Isabella is at preschool Monday-Thursday in the afternoons) is non-compliant.

He is also extraordinarily cranky in the morning. If he comes downstairs and sees that his breakfast is not already made and ready for him to consume, he pitches an epic fit. He will not be consoled. And sometimes, even when it is ready, if it wasn't what he envisioned he might want to eat that morning, the fit occurs too. He usually spends the first 30 minutes of every morning screaming for no reason at all. And he will not be consoled.

That said, the kid loves to eat. He often says, "Mmmmm....I like it!" when we put his tray in front of him at each meal.

We have no problem getting him to eat most foods. He consumes his meals many times before the hubs and I are able to sit down. Luci takes easily 3x as long as he does, and is often left sitting at the table while everyone else is cleaning up, playing, etc. Nicholas hovers around her high chair hoping for dropped scraps.

If it isn't bolted down, screwed in, or way out of his reach (and sometimes, even when it is), Nicholas is trying to open it, break it, or grab it. I am exhausted not trying to keep up with him, but trying to stay at least 10 steps ahead of him. I have to constantly ask myself, "Okay, if I put this coffee cup here, can he reach it?" and "Oh, crap. Did I leave the bathroom door unlocked?" and "Why is it so quiet? Shit. Where are the crayons that were here a minute ago?"

"I'm just going to press all these buttons. You won't mind, will you?"

On the positive front, Nicholas can count to 20, sings the ABC song, and loves the soundtrack to "Annie." One of his favorites to belt from his crib during naptime is "Tomorrow":

"Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I wuv ya. Tomorrow! You're only a day away!"

He is also known to come up to me, look me in the eye, and say, "Hi, Mommy. How you doing?"

What is it about little boys? So destructive and so adorable, all at the same time?

Luci is totally in love with her big sister. She always wants to hold Isabella's hand in the car, and wants to do whatever she's doing most of the time.

Thankfully, she's still napping, but getting her to eat is a challenge. She still wears size 18 month clothing, and is a good two inches shorter than Nicholas.

Much like Isabella was at this age, Luci is very defiant. If I happen to be dressing her for the day, and she decides she'd rather have the hubs do it, she will kick and scream and cry to get her way.
"I'm sick. Wanna rumble?"

Luci loves dolls and dancing, can sing part of the ABC song, and all of the "Happy Birthday song," but does not share her brother's penchant for showtunes. She would like nothing more than to be carried around and snuggled all day long.

She also has an awesome sense of humor. Just recently, she's started making jokes. Her humor is pretty base and mostly of the bodily function variety, but it's very funny to hear this tiny two-year-old make a funny comment about her diaper contents, and then laugh hysterically about it.

Oh, these two. I love them to pieces. They are evolving into people, a little bit more every day. But they are so much work. And they are so completely crazy sometimes, which I know describes every two year old on the planet, but their mother is me. And most of the time, I feel so utterly and completely unequipped. If there was ever a mother less equipped to handle twins, I'd like to meet her.

But, to steal a line from this awesome project (check out the videos), I know that soon, it will get better.

It's Upon Us

Hi. I'm Kristi. Remember when I used to post five days a week?

Yeah, me either.

Good grief. Has it really been two weeks since my last post?

Suffice it to say, I'm not able to write as much as I'd like to anymore.

I could regale you with tales of how I'm working past midnight many nights to keep up with a giant-sized workload comprised of both freelance writing and online teaching, but blah, blah, whine, whine. Boooring.

I could entertain you with a story about how mamacita has not spoken to me in over a week because I forgot to thank her for the Halloween cards and money she sent the kids. Apparently, she's been doing a little wall-stalking and thinks I spend too much time on Facebook (I don't), and that I could have spent that time calling or emailing her with my thanks. The fact that I really and truly did forget (what with the five hours of sleep I've been getting a night, and the second-shift I pull nightly) does not matter.

Mamacita's gotten herself blocked.

Thanksgiving is going to be FUN.

Or I could madden you with my annual pre-Christmas post of doom and gloom, in which I bemoan the impending holiday of which I do not like because it means the breaking out of the Annual Spreadsheet of Debt, the arrival of the Holiday Card Photo Shoot of the Photophobic, and all the things I must do and buy with a clock that gives me only 24 hours daily when I need at least 36.

But honestly, it's close to midnight, and I'm just too damn tired. Instead, I'll leave you with this.

It became apparent to me one day last week that my eldest really is my Mini Me. People tell me all the time how much she and I resemble eachother, but it seems Isabella not only has her mother's looks (poor thing), but also her dancing ability and coordination as well.

If you're still reading here, I salute you.

Life is Like a Box of Crayons: Halloween 2010

Because I am nothing short of a genius, I came up with the idea to do the rounds with the relatives on the day before Halloween, rather than the night of.

We've always taken the kids to my grandma's house, my great aunt's house, my MIL's house and my FIL's house, so everyone could see them in their costumes and hand them organic dark chocolate made with low sugar and minimal processing (or, you know, this stuff)

We would make the trip to the other side of the city in late afternoon, catch dinner at one of their houses, and head back home for a little trick-or-treating before we all collapsed in exhaustion around 7:30pm, because even packing up one kid + costume + gear four separate times, in and out of the car, was exhausting. When one became three two year ago, it became a ludicrous situation.

The relative visits were still crazy this year (as any holiday with three kids under 4.5 is), but at least at the end of the night, we didn't have to take them trick-or-treating.

Getting ready to go-Nicholas desperately wanted to wear Isabella's red crayon costume, because he has decided that his favorite color is also red.

At Nana's
My MIL is awesome. Why, you ask? She asked the hubs what to get the kids for Halloween. The hubs told her to buy them their favorite snack, these CocoPop rice cakes made at our favorite grocery store. So, no sugar overload at Nana's.

Then, it was on to the hubs' dad's house. Luci wandered into the family room and disappeared for a few minutes. When I peeked around the corner to see what she was doing, I found her very quietly and carefully emptying the contents of my FIL's candy bowl into her pumpkin.

On Halloween, we were invited to a party in our old neighborhood. This was my contribution:

After the party, the kids trick-or-treated at a few houses in our old 'hood, including our former neighbors on both sides.

We headed home, about 6:30, and took all three crayons to trick-or-treat at our next door neighbor's house. After that, it was off to bed for Luci and Nicholas.
The weather turned awful (rain, sleet, and even some wet snow) once the twins were in bed, and Isabella said she only wanted to trick-or-treat at five houses, which is exactly what we did while the hubs stayed home with the sleeping little ones. Then, she was more than content to escape the rain and call it a night.
I was dreading the influx of candy into the house. In past years, Isabella had shown barely a fleeting interest in her candy. Last year, we went to a few houses, but she was more interested in handing out candy than trick-or-treating, and she never asked for any of it once Halloween was over. This year, though, at age 4, I figured she'd be a lot more clued in to her candy, and that the "out of sight, out of mind" tactic I've used for the past three years would not work.
I was thrilled when my friend wrote about ways to deal with the influx of sugar on Spoonfed, an awesome blog that offers great suggestions of ways to help kids make healthy food choices. Her post had some great ideas on ways to ditch the candy, although it turns out I didn't need them.
Our next door neighbor gave the kids a plate of mini cupcakes on Halloween night. That is the only treat she's asked for in the past week. She's eaten two of the cupcakes, and has entirely forgotten about her candy.
I hope your Halloween was a good one!

Oh, and if you haven't yet seen this post floating around, it is worth a read. The blogger writes about her five-year-old boy's unconventional (and female) choice of Halloween costume, and how she dealt with the backlash he received at school. This mom is incredible.

Isabella at 4 Years, 2 Months

Isabella has had a great month.

On Halloween, she ran her first kids' race (after I ran a 5K, my first post-injury race). She loves to run with me, asking me to do sprints in the backyard, and begging to run to the end of our street with me every time I return from a run. So when I heard about the free kids' race in one of our local parks, I asked her if she was interested, and she readily agreed.

She ran a quarter-mile loop, half of it with me, and half with the hubs, who chased us down because I had the camera in my pocket and we wanted pictures of her running.

She received a participant ribbon after running through the same finish line arch I did an hour previous, and she was so proud of herself.

But nowhere near as proud of her as I was.

Oh, and guess who loves tennis again?

After the debacle of her tennis-lesson-day meltdowns twice last month, something clicked in her little mind, and now? She can't wait for her lessons. Her coach spent some time with her, encouraging and supporting her, and I think the extra attention really helped. Her last lesson of the 7-week session is Saturday, and last week she received her "report card."

Apparently, she can do a short rally with another player! She shows a good "ready" position! She has good coordination!

And after asking her if she would like to continue tennis, she gave me an enthusiastic "yes!", so I signed her up for the next 11-week session. Look out, Venus and Serena.

After watching her interact with Luci and Nicholas on a daily basis and with the younger siblings of her friends, it's readily apparent that Isabella loves playing the caretaker. She has an amazing degree of patience with L and N's antics, their constant scrounging into her stuff, and their demands for my attention.

She is 4, and of course, no perfect angel. She has some big-time emotional outbursts, especially when she has an idea of the way things should go, and I don't carry out her wishes as directed. She likes routine, order, and repetition, and if things deviate from this, she is not happy.

And her bond with her best stuffed animal Charlie continues to deepen. I swore he would not leave the house ever again after this spring's Land of the Lost Lovey episode, but a few weeks ago she asked to take him in the car with her to preschool, and I caved. And now, she almost never takes a car trip without him.

Guess who has not ordered Replacement Charlie, despite Stacey sending me the link to his look-a-like several months ago?


Isabella has memorized every single line in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and recites it to L and N before bed every night. She also "reads" them other stories too.

It's been a fun month, and we've been able to get out sans twins and do a few seasonal activities.

We went to our town's Halloween festivities at the library and town hall. The events included a kids' parade of costumes, and meetings with favorite book characters.

As you can see, Isabella went as a red crayon this year, an homage to her love of drawing and the color red. I'll have my Halloween recap post up sometime before Valentine's Day, I promise.

We've also gone to our town's farmers' market just about every Sunday morning since it opened in the spring. Isabella loved painting a pumpkin on the market's 350 Day.

She is heavily (and I mean, heavily) into art projects and anything with coloring, glue, tape, and scissors. It's awesome to see her work evolve as she gets older. She can draw actual objects and people now, and they look like what they're meant to represent. Every day, several times a day, she's drawing, cutting paper, gluing bits of paper to other pieces of paper, etc.

We have her art work taped up all over the house.

Current Likes: Dance "shows" in the living room to the world's most annoying Dora CD, helping me clean, naming all her stuffed animals except for Charlie "Ava."

Current Dislikes: Touching metal (zippers, raincoat buttons, car keys), sleeping past 7am

This Time, I Mean It

Okay, so last month? When I said I was ordering something from CSN Stores for myself for a change?

It didn't happen.

This month, though, I will order and review something for me. I have no idea what, just yet, because even though they have over 200 online stores, offering everything from upholstered headboards to baby gear to school furniture, I can't seem to find their store for Really Cheap Live-in Nannies Who Enjoy the Company of Twin Hellcats and One Strong-Willed Four-Year-Old.

I am determined to find it, however. It's gotta be there.

I ended up taking your great advice from this post and ordering some dress-up clothes for the Triple Threat instead. Melissa and Doug has a new line of role-playing costumes, so I ordered the fire chief costume and the veterinarian costume. They are really well-made and huge hits with the kids.

Check out CSN Stores (super-fast shipping, much of it free, and awesome customer service), and if you see something you think I need to order, or if you find their Nanny Store, do let me know.

Quick Snapshot:

  • 34-year-old writer and
    mother to a daughter
    born in August 2006 following
    IVF and girl/boy twins born in October 2008 following FET. Come along as I document the search for my lost intellect. It's a bumpy ride. Consider yourself warned.

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  • "All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware." -Martin Buber

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