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There a couple of new developments in the recent weeks.

First we have converted the twin's cribs into day beds, as I mentioned in the last post. The result is that their schedules have been thrown off kilter. They don't really nap anymore and they get up much earlier. Unless both of them are on the verge of passing out, one will inevitably get out of bed and wake the other one up. They also get into more things that they shouldn't. They like to empty drawers very much, which I mentioned. Somehow, they managed to get a bottle of lotion off the changing table yesterday. You can imagine the results. Who knew there was so much lotion in one little bottle? The other problem is that the big girls wake them up and let them out in the morning, while we are still asleep. I don't mind Rylee and Reagan getting up to play, but the twins can't be wandering about unattended. We are working on a solution.

Recently we got the big girls safety scissors. You can already see where this is going, can't you? I gave them several long lectures about how the scissors were to be used, how they where only for cutting paper and under no circumstances should they be used to cut hair or anything else. JUST PAPER. I also sat with them and showed them how they worked. They had used them several different times with no problem and I was feeling confident that they would use them in a responsible manner. I'm not sure how I reached that conclusion, give the last couple of years that I have spent with them, but I did. So the other night, when Rylee requested to use the scissors, I got the two big girls situated at the table with a stack of paper and the cutting implements. Kari and I had spent the day cleaning and were still in cleaning mode and it was nearing dinner time. We were both within eye sight of the big girls, but not paying them too much attention. Kari was busy in the kitchen and I was on some task, per Jordan's orders, when I paused and looked at Reagan. She smiled, then she held up her right hand with a clump of hair pinched between her fingers. I did a double take. "She couldn't have!" I was thinking.
"What did you do?!" I said. Her smile faded, but the hand holding the hair stayed up. I looked at the table and floor and saw that she had chopped off a pretty good amount. I focused on her face and notice that she lopped off her bangs, right in the middle of her forehead.
"WHAT!!!" Kari shreiked from the kitchen.
I sighed and then looked to Rylee, about to ask why she had let her sister do that. She was sitting right next to her. That is when I realized that the impressionable little sister was just following big sister's lead. Rylee had cut and even larger chunck out of her bangs. She was not smiling after hearing what I had said to Reagan.
"Rylee!" I exclaimed, "What did you do?"
Kari snatched up the scissors, gave me a withering stare and stomped back into the kitchen.
While the girls were doing their penance I got out the vacuum and started cleaning up the mess. I looked into the kitchen and saw Kari throwing the scissors in the trash.
"Is it neccessary to throw those away? They WILL be ready for them someday." She gave me another "stink eye." I knew at that point I must be the responsible party. I can't believe that I had not seen that coming.
"YES!!!! IT IS!!" She responded.
"You think we should throw out all the scissors in the house then?" I reasoned.
"Okay, that makes sense." I said stiffling several smart aleck remarks and knowing that this was not a battle that I wanted to wage. She was pretty irritated.
I heard the bell go off, signaling the time out was over.
"Rylee, Reagan, come here. We need to talk." I said, and took them to the bath room. I stood them in front of the mirror.
"LOOK what you did to your hair." I scolded. "Rylee, why did you cut your hair?" I asked. I expected her to say "I don't know" and was wondering why I bothered to ask.
"I wanted to look pretty." she replied.
"Well, it doesn't look pretty, Rylee. It looks horrible. I told you at least four times that you don't cut hair." I said. Rylee looked totally crestfallen and I was wondering if I was being too stern.
I knew that I had to take a picture, so I had them stay there while I got the camera.

The rest of the evening was pretty tense and chilly. Finally Kari turned to me and said "Can I get this out?"
"Okay." I said, knowing what was coming. It had been pretty obvious that she viewed me as the culpable party in this whole affair. I don't recall exactly what she said, but it was something to the effect of "I think this was your fault. You have to watch them more closely."
"You are telling me that you would have been sitting there with them the WHOLE time?" I asked defensively.
"Yes, I always sit with them using scissors and glue." she told me. I wasn't buying it, but maybe. At any rate we were on friendly terms again. We disscussed where to take them to have their hair evened out and how bad it was going to look and how long it was going to take to grow out. Rylee's hair is pretty short now, but Reagan's isn't too noticable. The hair stylist told Kari not to worry, you are not the first.
I intend to do this better with the twins.

In other life lessons I have found that I am much less grumpy if I set up the coffee maker the night before. Having my cafeine fix ready and waiting makes the morning go a little smoother. That way I can at least down a half a cup before too many demands are made by the little people. I have also found that if the kids wake me up early it is best to just stay up. Turning on cartoons and trying to sleep for another 20 minutes does me no good at all.

Maybe one day we will start going to bed at a more reasonable hour. However, at this point, we still use the time after the kids go to bed as "me time" and "get things done time."

I am fascinated by the inconsistencies in children's behavior. I was delighted to look outside and see my oldest, Rylee, pushing her younger sister, Reagan, on the swing. That seemed like a very big sisterly thing to do. I decided not to interrupt. About ten minutes later I heard Reagan wailing at the top of her lungs and figured I should investigate. I peeked out the window and glimpsed Rylee rocking in the swing, contemplating her toes, totally at peace. I leaned out a little more, so I could see the other swing. There was Reagan...hanging upside down. Apperantly she had been swinging on her stomach and misjudged her center of gravity, resulting in her upside down, legs splayed, finger tips on the ground and unable to extircate herself. Rylee appeared completely unconcerned.
"Rylee! Help your sister!" I hollered, as I was rushing to help Reagan. After I had her righted and calmed down. Reagan got back on the swing, belly side down, gave a good push with her legs, and toppled over again. Head down, legs splayed, toes hooked, and screaming for help. I gave her the short course on center of gravity and then turned my attention back to Rylee.
"Why didn't you help your sister?" I asked her. "Didn't you see that she needed help, didn't you hear her crying?"
"Because, because, because, because, Reagan... cause, uhmm." She replied with a shrug of the shoulders. I wondered breifly when she learned the shoulder shrugg as a reply to a question.
"You are her big sister, Rylee. You need to help her when she needs help. Okay?"
"OOOOOkaaaay." She said.
"Good. Sisters need to watch out for eachother. You want Reagan to help you when you need help, right?" I continued.
"Yeah." She agreed.
"Alright then."

The twins do it too. They will be terribly concerned if the other is crying and will go out of their way to find a pacifier and ram it into the wailing sibling's mouth. Maybe they just don't like the crying either. And again, ten minutes later one of them, usually Madison, will grab the other by the hair yank the pacifier out and push the her sister down. They will wrestle happily on the couch for long periods, laughing and shrieking, and then kick and hit any sibling who dares to try sitting on Dad's lap.

At the risk of sounding redundant, the potty training continues... It is not going well, really. After an excellent start by Reagan, she is now on the verge of being put back in diapers untill she is 18. Rylee has had some accidents too. That is all I have to say about that. I am ready for this stage to be over and I know that we have a long way to go.

I heard a quote the other day that I loved "The days are long, but the years are short."

On one occation Reagan actually made it to the potty upstairs and failed to let anyone know that she had used it and it now needed to be emptied. So when I took all the kids upstairs to pick up toys before bed I didn't pay much attention to the twins banging around in the bathroom. I was focused on scooping up toy kitchen utensiles when I glanced up and saw Madison bent over the training toilet. She had the lid held open with her right hand and was splashing around in the bolw with her left. "Uh oh..." I thought.
"Hey!! What are you doing!" I said, leaping to my feet.
Before I could reach the bathroom I saw Madison dip her hand in the bowl, stick it in her mouth and return it to the bowl for more. Then I saw that Jordan was in on the action and had her hands in her mouth. They were having a grand time, giggling and smiling. As I pulled them away I noticed that the bowl was in fact full, there was "liquid" splashed on the lid, on the floor, dripping from their arms, their chins, and I fought the urge to gag. The front of their shirts were soaked
"No! No! No! No!" I nearly shouted, grabbing hold of Madi and pushing Jordan away from the toilet with the other hand. I held Madi over the sink and pretty much doused her in water, all the while keeping Jordan at bay with my left foot and lecturing Reagan about the need to tell Dad when she uses the toilet. When I had Madison as clean as I could get her I put her down and grabbed hold of Jordan. Still stiffling the urge to gag, I started scooping handfuls of water up to her face and working my way down. Madison, in the mean time, kept charging for the toilet, pushing away my efforts to block her with my foot like a little sumo wrestler. After the third time I had to stop washing Jordan to grab Madison I gave her a pretty good smack on the hand. Now she was screaming, but at least she wasn't trying to get in the toilet anymore.

It still makes me feel a little sick thinking of the whole affair.

We have finally changed the twins cribs to day beds. We didn't really think they were quite ready for that yet. Or maybe we didn't think we were ready for that yet. However, Jordan, the little monkey, keeps climbing out or getting her feet stuck in the rails. Kari found her hanging upside down by her feet the other day and so we didn't really have a choice. We certainly didn't want her to fall on her head. The down side is that they now get up and empty every drawer in the room. Rylee and Reagan used to do that too, until we put locks on all of their drawers. Installing locks on every draw is a major hassle though.

The twins have also been moved from the high chairs to seats that latch onto the dining table. They seem to eat better that way for some reason. It is also nicer when we all sit down to diner to have them right there next to you. We are still working on the food throwing.

Reagan is still seeing the speech therapist twice a month and will likely qualify for a school program after she is three. Not a lot of progress in her speach as of yet.

That is about all I have at the moment.

(Just so you know. While I was typing this I have paused at least ten times to wipe up pee, plunge a toilet, wipe up milk, fix a bowl of Cheerios, dry tears, console toddlers, brush teeth, read stories, and tuck kids in bed.)

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