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Who not to tell?

That was a clue to a cross word puzzle that I attempted recently. Do you know what the answer was? "A soul. "

I think that the answer should have been "your three year old." She doesn't get the concept of a secret yet. She also doesn't get the concept of a surprise, unless it is for her of course.

I took Ry with me to shop for Kari's Birthday gift. She was an angel at the store and enjoyed adding her input on gift ideas. She even picked out an appropriate card. We got Kari an inexpensive guitar, so she can check off one more thing from her bucket list, and a set of wine glasses. The glasses that I got her for Christmas have not survived the battle as an effective force. Out of a full platoon of stylish glasses only one is left to carry on the mission of satisfying our thirst. Several were lost shortly after deployment and the remainder have soldiered on regardless of being under staffed and mismatched. After such losses I figured that a surge was in order. While the reinforcements don't match the original the group seems to be bonding. The surge has enabled us to complete any entertaining task that may arise. However, unless the situation changes, which seems unlikely, I can not set a date for the draw down of those forces currently serving in the hostile environment of our kitchen. (that was off the point)

When we got home I told Rylee that this was a surprise for Mom and that this was to be our secret. She nodded in apparent understanding and then rushed into the house shouting "Mama, Mama, Mama! Got you cups!" I am not sure that my wife understood what she was saying at first. Rylee must have thought the same thing, because as I sat on the couch she renewed her efforts to inform Kari of the surprise in store for her. I quickly said "Rylee, come over here. I need to tell you a secret!" She trotted over and pressed her ear to my lips. I whispered "We can't tell mommy what we got her yet. It is a surprise for her birthday. She has to wait until she opens her presents to find out what they are. Okay?" "Okay, Daddy" she replied with a grin. She then turns to Kari and says "Momma, got you surprise, cups!"


At least she didn't spill the beans about the guitar. I think the only reason that was safe was that she was having a difficult time pronouncing it. Kari was surprised by the guitar by the way. I am not the best gift giver and I was pleased that I finally got one right.

Wayne and June where here for the Birthday celebration. Consequently, Wayne brought his guitar along on this trip and was able to give Kari her first lesson. I didn't even know that he played.

The twins are doing well. Madison took four steps without crashing yesterday. Jordan is walking so much now that it is kind of a non-event.

Reagan needs to be potty trained, yesterday. She is now taking her diaper off as soon as she poops. I can't blame her for not wanting to walk around with dirty pants, but it has been a bit... messy.

There is a hierarchy developing among the girls. Rylee of course is at the top. However, Reagan isn't exactly submissive to her, more like defiant. Rylee definitely considers herself the boss though. We have heard such things as "Don't even think about it!" and "Thats not funny!" coming from the other room when they are playing. Rylee is pretty nice to the twins most of the time and much more tolerant of them than Reagan.

Reagan will still inform on Rylee if she is doing something wrong, however, most of her efforts have been channeled into taking toys from the twins while telling them "NO NO NO!" And then pushing them down.

Reagan continues to be an imp, laughing maniacally when she is caught red handed doing anything she is not supposed to be doing. She got a swat on the behind the other day for pushing Jordan down twice. No remorse whatsoever.

On the other hand I caught Rylee giving Madison a kiss on the head because she had fallen over and bumped her noggin.

The twins are having more and more altercations in their quest for attention from Mom and Dad. They have gotten passed the crying only for being wet, tired, or hungry.

I had a moment of clarity today. I realized that "this" is exactly what I wanted. "This" is exactly how I thought it should be, aside from a few financial hiccups (and thanks again to my Mom and Dad. I don't know what we would do without you), this family is turning out pretty much how I thought it should/would.

I think I had a fairly sheltered upbringing. My parents stayed married and if they fought it was never in front of us kids. Everyone in my extended family, with the exception of one or two, stayed married and I never heard about any major strife. What little dirty laundry my extended family had was seldom aired. So I grew up thinking that everyone stayed married, everyone had kids, everyone gets together for the holidays, and there is kindness and goodwill towards men. I didn't really get a taste of reality until probably high school and even then it never occurred to me that my life/family would ever be anything other than this Utopian dream that I had constructed in my head. And I realized today that I have gotten pretty close to that dream. Although, I did think that I would have gotten married and had kids a little sooner. I was coasting along waiting to grow up first. When is it that you grow up? I am still waiting.

Speaking of that, growing up. I am not sure that everyone, or anyone for that matter, ever really does grow up. I was thinking of some of the behavior that I have observed over the years from "adults" and it is not that much different from kids on the play ground. Just look at politics. As I was considering this, Reagan woke up from a nap. She woke up in a perfectly foul mood. When she is grumpy her answer to any question, from "Would you like a time out?" to "How about a bowl of ice cream with chocolate on top?", is a resounding NO! She folds her little arms across her chest, tucks her chin down, furrows her brow, pouches her bottom lip out, avoids all eye contact, and answers any query with "NO, hmmph!" My little cave woman. I wonder if she will ever really change. Maybe she will become a little more refined, but I bet she will grow up and be at least as stubborn as her mother, maybe a little bit more.

It is amazing to she the personalities develop and we are very curious to see what sort of personalities the twins will develop. Will they be the same? They are identical, but I already see differences in their behavior. I should be fun to watch.

I don't recall when I became scared of the dark, but Rylee is there. Now, every night when we go upstairs to put her to bed she refuses to enter her room until the light is on. "Scary, Daddy. Scary, dark." She came down stairs a couple of nights ago and told Kari "I'm scared."
"Why?" Kari asked.
"Monsters." she replied.
"Show Mommy what you are scared of." Kari said and scoped her up to go upstairs.
By the time the reached the top of the stairs Rylee was back asleep.

So my question is: Is it things that we let them watch on TV? I remember being scared as a kid, but not why. Would kids get scared of the dark if we never let them watch TV? Is it in our DNA?

Chad and Meesh called tonight. Thanks guys.

They are much better about keeping in touch than we are and I wanted to thank them for making the effort. We tend to get caught up in our own little dramas, in our own little world. It is nice to get some contact when we forget that we need it.

We got to talking about kids. (I don't have much else to talk about these days. Kids or airplanes it the limit of my daily experience. Just think how Kari feels.) We were discussing the logistics of taking all four kids out alone. Kari has done it once. In need of milk and formula, due to a lack of planning on our part, she decided to take them all to the local HEB. I may have touched on this in a previous post, but I am too lazy to go look and see if that is the case.
Any way she only going to go in if there was a double seat cart near a parking spot. Guess what, there was. So she completed the mission with some difficulty. However, I do think that she enjoyed the attention that she got from the other shoppers. "Wow." She heard that alot, as well as "Bless your heart!", "Double trouble", "You got your hands full", "All girls!?", "Two sets of twins?", "Awhhh." Also, many stares, both adoring and horrified.

So I was telling Chad that I want to take all the kids to the store at least once by myself. I know, I am a moron. But, I am inspired by logistical challenges. I think I get it from my Dad. He got a gleam in his eye every time he was tasked with loading 50 cubic feet of lugage into a 30 cubic foot car trunk. I recall him loading and unloading, pulling, pushing, squishing, and finally sitting on the lid to get it closed. This is related I think. I can't help running the senarios through my mind. Who do I take out of the car first? Would I try to put the twins in a stroller or a cart? What if there was no cart near the parking spot. I can carry both twins and still get one hand free to control an errant toddler, but how do you get the twins out of the car seats, one at a time, without the free one rolling or crawling away?

I will try it.

Kari is off to Florida in a couple of day to see a dentist that my family has gone to since we moved to Sarasota. She is trying not to get her hopes up to high, as far as what he can do that we can afford.

Our renters coughed up one months rent, but not the rent for this month yet. We are still hoping to resolve this without having to evict them.

I am glad to be home from this last trip. It seemed really long. My captain was ... well... odd. There is no other way to really put it. He was not unpleasant, just strange. I have flown with some real morons, ego-maniacal jackasses. This guy was not one of those, but...weird.
Anyway, I'm glad to be home. I didn't get home in time to see the twins, and I am not waking them up, but I did get to wrestle with Ry and Rea for a bit before bed time.

That is all for now.


Well Kari went over to the rental this evening and was assured that they would be over tomorrow to pay.

I guess Kari and I are not cut out to be hard nosed landlords. There is always a sob story and tonight was another. I will refrain from airing our renter's dirty laundry here.

I think that I am a naturally compassionate person and since you never know which of the sob stories are true, I may tend to be a pushover.

At any rate, we hope to be able to pay bills tomorrow.

Mixing it up

After all this time it is still difficult to tell the twins apart on occasion.

Kari got up the other morning, got the big girls breakfast, prepared the medicine for the babies, and made bottles. When the twins awoke, she was prepared. She brought them downstairs, one by one and changed their diapers. She then gave their medication and proceeded to feed them their first bottle of the day. She fed Madison first and then set her down and picked up Jordan. About halfway through feeding "Jordan", "Madison" started walking around the living room. Since Madison isn't walking yet she looked more closely at the child she was feeding and realized that she had mixed the two of them up. There is no telling when the mix up occurred. Sometimes they get placed in the wrong bed. When you go to the bed on the right and pick up that baby you "know" that you have Madison, or do you? Kari had always prided herself on know which kid was which and was a little put out that she had gotten them mixed up.

Jordan is a walking machine. She walks everywhere and almost never crawls now. I don't recall either of the big girls picking it up so fast. Now the problem is that she is starting to climb (and has no fear whatsoever).

Madison is not far behind. She stands all the time and could walk, but just has not realized that yet.

Lets see ... what else is new?

The dogs continue to decimate and desecrate my back yard. Grandmom and Papa helped us cover all the bare ground around the deck with pavers and gravel. Now the mutts have killed the grass for another seven to ten feet beyond that. Every time it rains, and it rains alot, they two of them become Black Labs instead of yellow.

It is good to continue your education, right? Well, we are learning about eviction this week. Our renters are now two months behind on the rent. Every time they say they are on their way over, they don't show up and don't return my calls. I feel like I have given them every chance and I am just getting the run around. So today we sent them the Pay or Quit letter, required by Texas law. After that they will have three days to pay or get out. I was really thinking that we could work this out, but I now realize that there is a good chance that we are really going to have to kick them out. Disturbing.


Both the big girls are testing us with the bad attitude/disrespect. Reagan has said little other than "NO!" for the past couple of days. I guess this is just a stage. (I hope) Both have a first rate temper. I always figured that the girls where either going to love eachother or hate eachother.

On the other hand, the screaming and whining are sometimes interrupted by moments of calm and acts of kindness. Yesterday I looked up from the kitchen to see Rylee and Reagan dancing around in a circle, facing eachother, holding hands, singing along to some cartoon, and twirling (Ring Around the Rosie style) with sheer delight. This morning Rylee was unable to open a play-doh container, which was making her very upset. Rea grabbed it, which made Rylee more upset. Normally Reagan would scream "NO!" and run away with it, but in this instance, she brought it to me in the other room, had me open it, and returned it to Rylee. I was amazed. This from the kid who takes any toy either twin is playing with as a matter of course. (and then throws it when instructed to return the stolen property.)

There seems to be more competition between the twins lately. Mostly for toys and attention, and what else is there when you are one? Madison is usually the instigator on the toy stealing. Jordan used to just accept the theft without complaint and continue on her way. Not anymore, the gloves come off and she is ready to brawl. "She may be skinny, but shes strong." (Chad, do you know that one?)

Kari is gung ho on getting back into shape. She has been up and working out before the kids wake up. YOU GO GIRL! Watching her has even motivated me to at least think about starting an exercise program too. That and my back went out again and I have been gimping about the house like an octogenarian for the last several days.

I don't feel like proof reading, so there! I am done for now.

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