Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Probably not a good idea

There are some days when the girls refuse to want to do anything we propose.  All they do is yell "NO", cry, and attack one another.  Sometimes they attack Mama, but that doesn't end well for them.  Once, they attacked Papa.  It hasn't happened a second time.

I think I have the answer!

We have a wonderful dog run in the back yard.  For you city folk, a dog run is simply a pulley suspended on a cable, strung between two immovable objects - trees in our case.  Our two dogs seem to enjoy it immensely, so why wouldn't the girls?  Since we already have the line up, and a dual lead, all I need to do is figure out some way to hook the girls up.

They could then run back and forth, barking at the neighbors and playing in the rocks, all without fear of escape.  The area has plenty of shade, so all we'd need to do is set out a bowl of water in case they get thirsty.  What could go wrong? 

Obviously, trying to get the girls worn out with minimal effort on my behalf is the primary goal.  Making sure our crazy neighbors don't call the police is second, and safety is somewhere up there as well.

Here's what I've come up with so far:

1 - I could put them in a pair of jeans, and attach the lead to their belt loops.  Probably the best idea, but still it has drawbacks.  Strangulation, losing the children to the department of child and family services, and serious injury are just a few.  

2 - I could use the harnesses we have for taking the dogs on walks, when we used to take them on walks.  Scratch this one, the harness is too small. 

3 - Mama could sew a metal ring (see #10) into their jackets with her new sewing machine.  On second thought...

4 - I could just wrap the line around their waist and clip the lead to itself. 

Upon further review, unless any of you have a good idea for a safer connection, I've decided to pass on this.  While it seemed like a good idea when I started writing this, the possible bad outcomes outweigh the good one.

While the dogs have never been injured out there, they don't have opposable thumbs.  I'm sure my little Houdini girls would figure out a way to escape and roam the neighborhood.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Where could it be?

If you have little ones, or maybe even if you don't, you come to realize there is a Bermuda Triangle somewhere in your house.  One day you have all 26 pieces of a toy/game, and the next you have 25.  Usually, that one day is the first day you open said toy or game.

We have, so far, only lost two items to the Triangle that I am aware of.  They are: 
If I was any good wtih editing pictures, the purple ring would be missing here.

RIP pig

The more I think about it, the more I realize both of these things have 26 pieces.  The four blank magnets don't come with the set.

It would seem the Triangle in our house doesn't like the number 26.  Perhaps it's because it's divisible by 13.  For me, 13 is my lucky number.  For the house, which is clearly possessed, it's an unacceptable number.

From now on, we're only buying toys that can't be divided by 13 exactly. 

I think that solves the problem - until we move and have to determine the new house's likes and dislikes.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What was that?!?

Hadley got a little chilly the other day during her nap, or lonely.  She solved the problem by climbing out of her crib and into Brynne's.

You can imagine Julia's surprise when she went it to get them from their nap to find the two in one bed.  Hadley did that while wearing a sleep sack.  Now that's talent!

The two cribs do touch, so it's not like she jumped to the ground and then scaled the wall, but she did make it OVER the wall.

We think she used the breathable bumper to get her the boost she needed, so that was removed.  We also put some space between the beds, but reversed that decision before they went down for the night - just in case she decided to try again, we wanted a soft landing for her.

As I laid them down at bedtime, I told them to stay in their own cribs.

About an hour later I heard it.


There was no crying, wailing, or gnashing of teeth, so I waited a minute.  Since there were also no giggling, I decided to check in on them, just to be sure they were ok.

As I opened the door it was met with resistance.  I could just imagine Hadley standing there in the dark, fumbling for the door knob.  I pushed gently and the door moved.  The resistance was one of the binks which Brynne had taken to bed with her.

The THUNK!, I have deduced, was the sound it made as it hit the door.  Brynne has quite the arm for a little one, and she chucked the bink a good eight feet into the door.

I picked up the bink and was preparing to put it back in the crib when I noticed both girls standing up looking at me. 
Me:  Girls, it's time to lay down and go to sleep.  No more playing, okay?
Girls (in unison):  Okay.  Sorry Papa.

 Oh, how I love it when they listen, understand, and do what I say.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hi there!

I wrote in my first blog post about the unwritten (yet mandatory) rules for writing a blog.  I've recently discovered another one:  apologizing for being absent at some point in the first year.

Almost every blogger I read has, at some point, seemed to drop off the face of the earth for a few days, weeks, or even months.  You don't see anything from them for some time - no posts, no comments, nothing.   

Then all of the sudden they're back!

They tell you about everything they've been struggling with, how they've dealt with it, what they're planning to do differently to ensure it doesn't happen again, and how they are doing now.

That is followed by a sincere thank you for your comments, emails, and concerns.

Typically, I'm not one to follow the crowd and do what everyone else does, but in this case I decided to make an exception.  Believe me when I say with all honesty I am not making light of people who need a break.  I've been pumping out three posts a week for nine months pretty effortlessly, but the words just haven't been there when I've gone to the well recently.

So, in keeping up with the unwritten rules, here is the deal.
Brad, and I'm a blogger.  I haven't posted for 7 days.  Sounds like an AA intro - when do I get my button and hugs?
That's right, it's been a whole week since you've heard from me.  Since the world is still turning, I can safely assume it doesn't need me to write to keep moving - what a load off my shoulders!

What have I been doing?  Working (I spent 26 hours in California and another 18 hours getting there and back this past week.  Business travel is not as glorious as you might think).  Playing baseball.  Trying to keep up with the girls.  Attempting to keep my wife sane and refreshed, at least as much as possible on the sanity part.

When the words are here, they're here.  When they aren't, they aren't.  I published a pretty crappy post a few weeks ago because I felt like I had to get something out.  I'm not going to link to it, and if you think of which one it is please keep it to yourself, just in case the one you thought was crappy was not the one I'm thinking of.

My wife didn't come right out and say what she thought about it, but she did give me some advice after reading it.

You don't have to publish something just for the sake of publishing it.

In that sentence, the following letters show up:

S - five times
H - five times
I - five times
T - six times

SIDEBAR - Who can admit they counted the letters to check my work?  If you didn't then, are you going to now?

Basically, she told me it was full of shit.

And she was right.

Sorry for wasting a few minutes of your day if you read it.  I promise not to let it happen again.

That being said, you might still feel like something I write is shit, which is ok.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion...even when it's wrong.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Derby Days

The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner.  We've been training for this day for over two years.  The girls are ready.  They have the speed and stamina to be victorious, and I fully believe they will come home with a win.

After this, we'll prepare for Preakness and Belmont to complete the triple crown.  Only one of them can win it all, and so we'll have to just let the winner run the next two races, but they'll still train together.  For now, though, it's first things first.
Brynne takes the early lead, but only because Hadley is more interested in tackling her.

I know the girls aren't yet three years old, but I've applied for a special waiver to let them run.

UPDATE:  We've been denied entry.  Is this ageism?  Sexism?  Some other sort of discrimination?

The answers are no, no, and yes.

They have been denied entry because they aren't equine.

What kind of a country do we live in?  Who makes these rules?  All these girls want to do is run, when they're not mowing the lawn or hanging from trees. 

I guess it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to allow them to race against four legged critters.  We could level the playing field by just having them bear crawl, but I still don't think they'd be allowed to race.

Is it too late to sign up for the Indy 500?

Friday, April 6, 2012

My recent Facebook posts

Here are a few of my favorite status updates from the last month or so, with a brief description where warranted.  They are listed in no particular order:  

To the very obese lady who put 6 packets of sugar in her 64 ounce diet coke fountain drink...I think you're missing something. Probably not diabetes, just basic nutritional facts.  What else can I say?
It's such a good vibration.
Just heard Marky Mark and the funky bunch on three different radio stations at the same time. Seemed strange so I googled him to be sure he wasn't dead. He's not. This was just a few days after hearing Whitney Houston all over the radio, so I had to make sure.

At a continuing education seminar and I've never seen this many phones clipped onto belts in one place at one time. Insurance people are so cool.  I was there for continuing education, not to socialize.

Just saw my neighbor use a pooper scooper to pick up after her dog. She then proceeded to throw the waste into the storm sewer. Pretty sure that isn't right.

Either our bathroom scale is broken or I put on 9 pounds yesterday and lost 8.5 of them today. 

The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!  We just received the phone book, which went immediately into the recycle bin.  Can you name that movie? 
Answer:  The Jerk, with Steve Martin
Today is the second anniversary of my wife losing 25 pounds in seven minutes.  Our little ones turned two that day.

Didn't realize how tired I was until I took my glasses off...after I started shampooing my hair.

Just read an article on how to retire without a mortgage. One of the six recommendations was to rent instead of own. I'm thinking lazy writer + lazy editor = bad advice. I'm surprised other options didn't include moving in with friends, living on the street, and buying an RV.

Cubs lose, and are officially eliminated from postseason play.
And finally, a very timely status update from an earlier blog post of mine...

One of my favorite truths:

"If you were really the Son of God, you could just climb down off that cross!" they said.

And of course they were right. Jesus could have just climbed down. Actually, he could have just said a word and made it...
all stop. Like when he healed that little girl. And stilled the storm. And fed 5,00 people.

But Jesus stayed.

You see, they didn't understand. It wasn't the nails that kept Jesus there. It was love.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Say what?

Our girls have never been Chatty Cathys.  They've more or less relied on sign language and pointing to get their point across.  Recently, there has been a bit of a change at our house.

One morning, as I got them out of bed, they said the usual "Papa, Papa".  The next morning, they were engaging me in conversation. 

They went from 15 words to 1,500 overnight it seemed.  How did that happen!  I haven't had my head buried in the sand, and I haven't been away from home. 

Here are a few of the conversations we've had, and an insight into what is was like just a week ago.

Me:  Hey Brynne, what do you think about breakfast for dinner?

The Brynne of old would nod her head in approval.

Brynne of now:  I like it!
Actually, we all love breakfast for dinner.   Who doesn't?

Me:  Hadley, can you tell your puppy dogs goodnight?

The Hadley of old would pant like a dog.

Hadley of now:  Good Win.  Nit Feee.

While getting in the car, no and tantrums have been replaced with "pak", as we head to the park.  Actually, they say this when we head anywhere - they REALLY love the park.

Going to church gets the response

"Abby, Gen, Toms"

clear references to her three friends Abby, Gwen and Thomas who will be there to play with them.

Throwing their hands in the air or pushing a plate off their tray, have been replaced with

"all done"

to signify the end of a meal.

We're not at the point where they can communicate everything they want, but I think we've made huge strides.  NO and tantrums still happen as there is still a certain level of frustration, but it's getting better.  Special kudos to Mama for all the work she does with them while I'm not around, and even when I am.

At least I can give up on trying to learn the signs they know.  Now, all I need is a translator or a toddler to english dictionary.

Monday, April 2, 2012

When God closes a door...

Hadley opens it.

A few months back I did a little extra child proofing by putting the door knob covers on all the doors we didn't want the girls opening.  It turned out to be a bit premature, so Mama took them off while I was at work one day. 

They ended up being more of a hassle to us than a preventative measure for the girls as they had yet to figure out the mechanics of the door knob.

That all changed the other day. 

It was just about bedtime and the girls were winding down.  After their bath, we put a hair band on each of them to keep the hair out of their eyes.  Hadley decided she was done with hers, and Brynne agreed shortly thereafter. 

I saw Hadley walking toward our bedroom.  She paused at the door, holding the two hairbands in her hand.  Brynne began dancing around so I turned to watch her.

A minute later I heard the bathroom door shut.  The master bathroom door, which is obviously off the master "suite", which can only be accessed by going through our bedroom.  I assumed the wind from an open window had closed it, but as I walked toward our room I noticed our door was open - wind doesn't open doors.

Hadley (while her sister created a diversion) had opened our door, opened the bathroom door, opened Mama's drawer in the bathroom, and returned the hairbands to their proper storage location in anticipation of using them again after the next bath.  She walked out as if nothing had happened, informing me that she was "all done".

The closing of the door, I believe, served three purposes.  First, we've taught them to pick up after themselves and always leave things/places nicer than they found them, which includes putting stuff away in the proper location.  Second, they have learned to always close doors.  Third, she was covering her tracks.

I guess it's about time to put the door covers back, but I have a dilemma.

If I reinstall them, Brynne won't have the opportunity to figure out how to open a door yet.  If I don't reinstall them, the odds are very high the girls will now have free reign to rooms that are not supposed to be accessible to them.

As I see it, I have three options: 

1 - Cover all door knobs to keep them in their quarantined area. 

2 - Cover no door knobs and give them unlimited access.

3 - Cover only those doors that lead to unsafe places so Brynne can work on opening the other one - which leads to the hall closet.

If I knew anything about blogger technology I would include a vote button here, but since I don't, all I can do is ask for your comments.  What do you think I should do?

PS - for those of you that are new to reading my writing rambling, the embedded links are three of my personal favorites from last summer and fall, which just happen to fit in here, I think.  Hope you hop over to them and read a bit of my "old" stuff.