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This post is really just for me. Just some moments that could get lost in the shuffle of events that occupy my gray matter.

First a quick update:

I took the twins in for their 18 month check up today. I suspected that Kari asked me to take them because there was going to be shots involved and she doesn't like to be the bad guy. She said that she just wanted to get some cleaning done while we were out, but I got her to admit the real reason. So I am the bad guy this time. I think they will forgive me.

Both girls are right around 20 lbs. Madison still has about a half of a pound on Jordan. Jordan weighed in at 19.8 lbs and 30 inches. A huge improvement from her minuscule 1 lbs. 13 oz arrival weight, but I have still caught fish bigger than her. Madison measured 30.5 inches, but we think they measured wrong and Jordan is slightly taller than Madison.

Jordan wasn't pleased with anything about the doctor's examination and it goes without saying that the shot didn't improve her humor. Madison on the other hand was having a grand time at the doctor's office. I should have brought the stroller to keep them captive, but I didn't and Madi was wandering all over. It wasn't too bad in the exam room, but when we went out to the scale she bolted down the hall and started peeking in on other patients. She made quite a few new friends. She does not like to be told where to go.
"Madison, we are going this way." I called after her. She paused long enough to look back and smile before continuing the way she wanted to go.
"Madison! Come back here."
"Madi!!" And she is gone around the corner.
"Sigh" And I charge after her. She smiles again. I take her by the hand. She takes a few steps with me and then colapses like a sack of potatos. Fortuantely, the nurse gives me a hand.

One thing I found interesting was Jordan's concern for her sister. While Madison was getting her check up, her Binky became dislodged and was left up on the exam table. She didn't seem to mind and was going about her business, climbing on chairs and examining books. Jordan, who was in my arms because she was being fussy, kept reaching for the exam table. I thought that she wanted a book that I had set up there. When I tried to give her the book she pushed it away and again lunged toward the table. So I stood up with her and leaned her over the table. She immediately snatched up the pacifier and lurched toward Madison. So I leaned over and Jordan stuck it back in Madison's mouth. Then she was fine. She just had to make sure that her sister had her Binki. I found it odd that she was so concerned about that, when usually I am breaking up fights because one or the other has stolen a pacifier right out of the other's mouth. It was touching though.

Madison did great at the doctor's. She didn't even shed a tear when she got her shot. I was pleasantly surprised. Both girls got a clean bill of health and don't have to go back till they are two.

I feel like Kari and I are kind of back in the swing of things, we had both been a little down since Christmas. Money has been tight, not that that is any thing new, but it made Christmas a little bit more stressful. That and the change in routine threw us a little off balance. But now we have the house cleaned up, the laundry sort of under control, and find ourselves in a little better humor.

The potty training continues... Reagan was doing so well in the begining and I was thinking that this was going to be a snap. But there have been some set backs. Some of it is kind of humorous, now that it is over. However, she still insists on waking me up each morning by setting a green plastic bowl, full of urine, on my face. She is able to use the big toillet and I am not sure why she is inclined to use the training potty first thing in the morning. I am thinking of putting it up, especially since she has been less careful about not spilling it on the way down the stairs.

Some times Reagan is very good about letting us know when she needs to go. Other times she is just to busy to be bothered with it. The other night we were standing in the kitchen, getting dinner started. Reagan was standing on a chair at the island "helping" when I noticed that she was begining to fidget.
"Do you need to go pee pee?" I asked.
"YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!" she chirpped while grabbing her crotch. We will have to work on the etiquette later. She hopped down from the chair took two steps toward the bathroom, paused, looked down, pulled her pants down around her ankles, and then resumed "running" to the toillet. I don't think I will forget the sight of her shuffling as fast as she could go with those pants down around her feet and her arms flapping up and down. After I wiped the tears from my eyes and got the laughing under control I had a talk with her.
"It is better if you wait till you get to the bathroom to take your pants down, because it is easier to run with you pants on." I said, trying to look serious.
"OOOOOh kaaaaayy." she replied with a grimace.
"Good girl. Lets go wash hands."

The twins have proven to us that they know right from wrong, but chose to do wrong anyway. They know that they are supposed to stay out of the drawers in the changing table, where we keep their pajamas. The other night, while I was away on a trip, Kari noticed that the twins were not in the room and it was quiet. That is always a warning sign. Then she heard Reagan, the enforcer, saying "No, no, no, no." and heard the sound of the drawers being opened. She walked around the corner to investigate. There stood Jordan, gleefully pulling the neatly folded pajamas out of the drawer. Jordan hadn't seen Kari enter the room and she continued ransacking the drawer. Kari shifted her weight and put her hands on her hips. Jordan looked up. When she saw Kari she jumped so much that Kari thinks her feet may have left the ground. Then she broke into a huge grin and with all of her weight she slamed the drawer. However, there were still pajamas hanging out, preventing the drawer from closing completely. And so with a big "It wasn't me" grin she began quickly trying to stuff the clothing back in.
"You stay out of those drawers." Kari told her for the thousandth time.
"That is a no no." Kari said.
"Good girl, good girl." Jordan replied.

Rylee is really starting to be a help around the house. And I almost don't have to put help in parenthesis. Every night she and Reagan pick up toys before bed and she has even started to help her sisters without being prompted. Reagan still has a little trouble getting her clothes on and Rylee will come and give her a hand. I heard them talking the other night and poked my head around the corner to see what was going on. Reagan was laying on the floor with her legs in the air, while Rylee was trying to push pants onto her legs. I found it comical because Rylee was saying exactly what I might say.
"Ray Ray, put your legs down." She was saying. "No, put your legs down." "Hmmph." "Can you stand up?" "Ray Ray, stand up." It took some work, but they succeed in getting her pants back on.

Reagan is Kari. Kari has a mini-me. They look the same, if you look at Kari's childhood photos. And it became very apparent last night that they act the same. When the big girls were picking out pajamas for bed time. Reagan pulled out a pair of pajama bottoms, put them on, stood up, examined her self, took them off, rummaged through the drawer (of previously neatly folded clothes), choose a new pair, tried them on, couldn't find the matching shirt, took them off, put on the first pair, took them off, found another pair, settled for a shirt that kind of matched and put it on backward. All the while Rylee, who had put her pajamas on and gone to the top of the stairs, was calling to Reagan. "Come here Reagan."
"No." Reagan replied over and over in a low deadpan voice. She was focused and was not going to be interupted until she was propery attired.

Very fun to watch. Hard not to laugh.

I Had A Dream.

I was having a very vivid dream this morning. I was dreaming that Reagan was talking to me. I was not sure exactly what she was saying, but I rarely am. It is usually more of a "best guess" approach to deciphering her speech. You repeat back whatever it was you thought you heard and she will then let you know if you are correct or not. It is kind of like a game show, because when you guess correctly she responds with a very animated "Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!" usually accompanied by jumping and arm waving.

So I was dreaming. Reagan was talking to me and then she put a cell phone to my ear, but I didn't speak into the cell phone. So she put the phone in front of my face and started rubbing it across the bridge of my nose. Then I woke up. Fortunately I didn't jump, because Reagan was in the bed. She had her left arm draped over my head and was holding something green. In fact when I opened my eyes I could see nothing but green. "That is too big to be a cell phone...What is that?" Then she answered my unasked question.
"Pee pee!" she piped.
"Give me that!" I said steadying the bowl that she was now holding over my left ear. Now with a bowl of urine in my left hand I found that I was tangled in the sheets and was unable to roll to the left to get my feet on the floor. So after about 60 seconds of trying to unsnarl myself without spilling the pee, I got myself free.

I lead Reagan to the bathroom to empty the bowl and wash hands, then on to the kitchen for an M&M reward and some milk. Even though it was still very early I could tell that there was no hope of getting Reagan back to bed. So I turned on the cartoons. This is kind of the morning routine for us. If it is very early the big girls will drink milk and watch cartoons quietly while we doze for a few more minutes. So I turned up the babies monitor, so I would hear if they woke up before I was up and about, and I returned to bed.

It seemed like two minutes later that Reagan was back on the bed. In reality I think she gave me about 35 minutes. Again there was a green bowl perched atop my left ear. This time I could smell it before I saw it. So I got up. I noticed that Reagan had changed out of her pull-ups, and I was regretting my decision to get 30 more minutes of sleep. Then I saw, as we walked out of the bedroom, that she had not been successful in keeping the waste in the bowl for the entire trip to show Dad. That meant that it had been dropped on the carpet, picked back up, and replaced in the bowl before it continued the journey to my bed. Now I started a closer inspection of my daughter and rushed her to the sink to wash her hands. I was also trying to recall if she had touched my face before I became totally awake. In the bathroom I found that she had tried to make it to the potty at one point and had left a large puddle on the floor. Sigh.

At that point I woke Kari up to give me a hand. The twins would be up any minute and they would need to be changed and fed. The big girls needed to be cleaned and fed and there were at least two messes that needed immediate attention. She was not very pleased.

What I want to know is why do the kids come get ME when there is poop? It doesn't matter what side of the bed I sleep on, the kids always come find Dad. How did I become relegated to the poop cleaner upper?

I was wondering this morning how to write this latest post and it occurred to me that I usually write about the bad events more than the good. I guess I am inspired by events that cause me anxiety or emotion and most of those, but not all, are unpleasant. I can see why bad new sells stories. They are the ones that elicit a reaction from the reader or viewer. Fortunately, I can look back shortly after the event and laugh, most of the time.

At the risk of being monotonous, here are the latest "interesting" events.

I awoke this morning to Reagan, the two year old, shrieking at the top of the stairs. Not the most pleasant way to wake in the morning. As I reached her, she bent her knees, thrust her hips out, and with her chin on her chest pointed to her panties. Holding her right arm straight out, with her index finger pointing down, she was waving her arm up and down, like a rapper belting out his latest hit and singing it with feeling. She must have been feeling oppressed by the man. At any rate she was making it clear what the problem was. She had dirty panties and was not happy about it. It is amazing how much we can communicate with just body language.

Last night, after brushing teeth, Reagan started upstairs without waiting for me to changer her into her nighttime pull-ups. I took two steps around the corner and looked at Kari.
"Do you think Reagan is ready to go to bed without pull-ups?" I asked her. She shrugged.
"Probably, they are always dry in the morning. Try it." she said.
I was starting to have second thoughts as I was climbing the stairs, realizing that I am usually the one that gets up with them in the morning. I quelled my own doubts, "She is ready." I thought to myself.

I was mentally kicking myself as I was carrying Reagan down stairs, held out at arms length. "What was I thinking?" Then "I knew there would be set backs, but she had doing so well." Then "Wow, this is really a mess." Then "Uh oh, it is dripping!" I stood Rea on the floor in the bathroom, "How am I going to do this without making a huge mess?"

I am trying to recall what I fed her last night, so I never feed it to her again. I will refrain from describing it further, other than to say it was not solid at all. I slid off the soiled garment and put it in the shower. "I will deal with that later." I used about half a roll of toilet paper and then realized that was not getting the job done, but now she was clean enough to move to the changing table. After she was clean we went to the laundry room to fetch some new panties. The two "potty trained" girls have been going through an alarming number of panties in a day and the only place to get clean ones at the moment it from the dryer. I then went back up stairs, fearing what I might find in her bed, leaving Reagan in the kitchen.

Reagan insists on sleeping with at least three blankets, not including the sheet. Also, she must have, an entire entourage of dolls, plush toys, and stuffed animals to get to sleep. Apparently the accident happened and then she moved about the entire bed, sitting on each blanket and about half of the plush toys individually. Sigh. I guess it could have been worse. I didn't find any on the carpet. I emptied a laundry basket, full of clean cloths waiting to be put away, on to the floor and refilled the basket with the dirty sheets, blankets and plush toys.

I made my way back down stairs, still a little bleary eyed and not in the best of humor. As I rounded the corner I saw the cat perched on one of the bar stools in front of my laptop. He was chewing on the cables to my ear phones. If this had been the first time he had done that I would have just shewed him away, but I am on the fifth pair of ear phones. I know, I know, I should have learned to not leave them out where he could get them, but he shouldn't eat my stuff either. At this point I may have lost it a bit, well... I did lose it. I saw red. I shoved the chair with the laundry basket to scare him away, while at the same time stubbing my toe. The chair went crashing down, the cat bolted with me in hot pursuit. Reagan screamed bloody murder, terrified, as I rushed after the cat flinging stuffed animals, which was a convenient ammunition since it is readily available at every step throughout our home and would probably not do permanent damage to the cat. However, I was not overly concerned with his welfare at that moment. Kari will have to feed him today, he is on my black list for the rest of the day. (I found some more cat vomit too, later in the morning.) The cat sough refuge under the bed where Kari was still attempting to sleep, so I left him alone. I returned to console my daughter, a little embarrassed at my outburst.

I collected the laundry and continued to the washer. There is always a pile of cloths awaiting its turn in the washing cycle. I paid the pile no attention and just stepped on it to get next to the washer. That is when I notice that I was stepping on something wet. I looked down. "GREAT!" Reagan, being a good girl, had taken her panties out of the shower and take them to the laundry room, just like we taught her. What a good girl. Sigh... Sigh... I gave up any thought of trying to clean those panties and just threw them in the trash. I hobbled into the kitchen, walking on the edge of my foot. I hefted my leg up, trying to get my foot into the sink without touching anything. "Oof, I need to start stretching."

I cleaned the dirty laundry from the floor as best I could and started on the dirty laundry from upstairs. It is going to take a couple of loads to get it all done. So with the first one in the machine and no hope of going back to bed, I started some coffee brewing and felt the need to update my Facebook status to reflect my mood.

The rest of the morning has been spent breaking up fights over shoes, binkies, Goldfish, sippy cups, stuffed animals, and Leggos. Reagan has a hissy fit anytime one of the twins touches one of "her" stuffed animals. I have been working on conflict resolution with her. "Find another teddy bear, now give it to Jordan. Now take yours back. Say thank you. You see? You don't need to scream."

On the brighter side, I have been meaning to jot down some moments that I would like to remember:

We took all the kids out the other day, which is an event worthy of note in itself. We went out to spend our gift cards from Christmas, maybe pick up a game or two for the Wii. The part I wanted to remember was in Walmart. We had decided to pick up some groceries while we were out and Walmart was convenient. The big girls were on their best behavior, not sure why, but they were being very good. Reagan was very entertaining to watch. She had to touch everything in the store. She wouldn't pick anything up, just squat down and touch it with one index finger and while nobody else would understand her, I could tell that she was counting thins. "Un, Ow, Ree, Orr, Ive, Icks..." At the check out she was trying to convince me that she needed candy. Normally that would entail a screaming fit, but that night she was very pleasant about it, again no idea why. Come to think of it I should have rewarded that behavior, but I didn't. She would move along the candy rack, placing her right index finger on a candy and turn to look at me with a big smile. Kari had put Reagan's hair in pig tails, which makes her huge blue eyes really stand out. She would look at me, I would shake my head, trying not to smile. She would shuffle over a step, place her finger on the next box, look at me and smile. Shake of the head. Shuffle, touch, turn, smile. It was really comical. She may be too cute for her own good.

It is the small moments like that that really touch me. The innocent look, the spontaneous act of kindness to a sibling, the extra tight, full body, hug. You just can't get those feeling anywhere else.

The twins are starting to entertain each other more and it is really fun to watch. They will occasionally wrestle on the couch. They will tackle each other, fall down in a heap and just giggle. While it is sometimes difficult to enjoy, due to the adrenaline coursing through my veins as they nearly topple off the couch, it is still fun to watch. They, Madison and Jordan, have also started the smile when they get reprimanded. That can't be good, but it sure is funny. "No! I told you not to touch the Christmas tree." The reaction: They jump a little from being startled, when they thought they were unobserved. Then they clasp their hand together on their bellies, bend their knees, tilt their heads back, and gaze up at you with a big grin. "Oops, you got me! I won't do it again, really. Go back in the kitchen." I can almost hear them saying it. It should be interesting to hear what they have to say when they can talk.

This morning, in an effort to avert another full blown tantrum, I gave the twins some Snak-Traps. Little cups with a rubber lid that allows the treats to be removed yet prevents them from being dumped straight onto the floor. I filled them with Goldfish, which despite the design, immediately ended up on the kitchen floor, which in turn caused the tantrum that I was trying desperately to avoid. So I got down and was teaching Jordan to pick up the Goldfish instead of putting them on the floor, when in came Madison with her own cup of Goldfish. Jordan was starting to get into the swing of putting the Goldfish "in" and was starting to have fun. Madison saw the fun and decided to transfer Goldfish, by the handful, from her snak-trap to Jordan's. Then Madison though it would be fun to transfer her Goldfish, by the handful, from her snak-trap to the floor, obviously so we could all have more fun picking them up. This set Jordan off again and she stomped around the kitchen in a rage, crushing the majority of the Goldfish into powder that would be even more fun to pick up. The brief moment where they where smiling and working toward the common goal of putting Goldfish "in" is a memory worth the mess for me.

I will now go finish the laundry. Good day.

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