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Cooler weather means more time outside. And by “cooler”, I mean 89 degrees. First time painting, and then water hose and slides for cleanup.

Painting

O'Keefe Inspired

Cleanup After Painting

Swim Party

Children’s Museum, parking ticket, snacks, walks to the park, swings, looking for lizards, feeling the rain fall, splashing in mud puddles, reading, slides, Mother’s of Multiples club swim party, watermelon, pushing and shoving, soft touches, kisses, bed time, good weekend.

Xavier's First Birthday

Last weekend we took our third birthday trip to San Antonio this year, this time in celebration of my nephew Xavier’s very first birthday. Monkey cupcakes, two bouncers, a piñata, a water table, individually labeled lunch sacks for kids, yummy food, family, friends, and fellowship. My brother and sister-in-law can throw a party, you hear me?

The sweltering heat helped in that it assured a solid afternoon nap for Mateo and Harper (and Mommy and Matou!). That evening, we ordered takeout burgers and congregated at Grandma Yoyi’s house and watched all five nieces and nephews play together. Mateo was up until 8:00 p.m. hanging out with his night owl cousins, but despite the activity, Harper was all “EXCUSE ME! IT’S 6:30 AND I HAVE GOT TO GO TO BED!”

We took the kids to their first dental appointment shortly after they turned fourteen months. Because there’s nothing as fun as holding your child’s arms down while a stranger pokes foreign objects into their mouths. While you take pictures with the other hand. Hello? BLOG!

Mateo @ Dentist

Teeth are such a hangup for me that I DREAM ABOUT THEM. Of my two recurring nightmares is that my teeth begin crumbling inside my mouth as I’m either trying to communicate or receive important information, and I lose the ability to enunciate. The other one is that I’m in a plane crash and I have to keep passengers calm and triage them by the severity of their injuries. I’m never injured. And at least once, I have dreamed I was in a plane crash and my teeth are falling out while I’m trying to care for the injured. I KNOW, RIGHT?

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Sea World season passes: $138
Gas to get to San Antonio and back: $47
Plastic Pool from the grocery store: $12

Grandma’s homemade tortillas on a Saturday morning, playing with cousins, meals with grandparents, lots of bubbles, lots and lots of walking, and swimming in the back yard: priceless.

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We placed a bookshelf in front of the fireplace in the living room, and typically it might look something like this:

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In an effort to minimize stuff, we keep the other 40+ books we have put away and rotate them out, keeping less than 15 available at any one time. Throughout the day, the books (and the bookshelf, for that matter) garner lots of attention as shown here:

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A few weeks ago, we would come home from work to find a very lean looking bookshelf like the one below. Which we found a little odd because WHERE WERE THE BOOKS? Not feeling like searching the house high and low for books, and forgetting to ask the nanny if they were being collected elsewhere, we’d put out a few more books.

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But if you peek over the top of the bookshelf, there’s a dark abyss. And I’ve previously mentioned Mateo is fascinated with putting things “away”.

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And a light went off in our collective mama heads. Anticipating the logical conclusion, I grabbed the camera while Jennifer pulled back the bookshelf to reveal this:

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Last week was Spring Break for half of the earth, and we actually landed on the itinerary of some friends who were coming through town from Dallas. Which is more of an effort than many of our pre-kids friends have made and they live less than twelve miles away. Ouch. Do you need a rag to wipe up the hurt feelings I just threw up all over your monitor? Come visit and I’ll give you one.

I’ve known Sam (right) since we were both hyper-competitive, cocky, self-absorbed young professionals in New Orleans. And then we grew up. Ish. Alicia (left) is a loyal reader and bee charmer who had the patience and wherewithall to settle Sam’s ass down. Lucky Sam.

We played in the back yard and visited for about an hour, catching up on the recession’s impact on the job market, what it’s like for them raising two adolescent boys, how kids these days are coddled and never given the opportunity to be independent and self-sufficient thinkers, learning styles, and the elasticity of property values. Which is to say that we sounded EXACTLY LIKE OUR PARENTS.

Quite a departure from a decade ago when we were making plans to see a band at Howling Wolf or Tipitina’s or The Mint, sushi at Ninja, or fine-tuning the recipe for summer beer at the weekend summer annuals. Good times, both old and new.

Over the last couple years, I have sold countless items on Craigslist. That 65 inch projection screen HD television we had in the ‘burbs that wouldn’t fit in the house when we went urban? SOLD to the Mexican family that came streaming out of a pickup truck. And they didn’t even have cable. The first receiver I ever purchased? SOLD to the surgeon who wanted a little music in his garage workshop. The beloved jumparoo that gave us five or ten precious minutes to pee and change a load of laundry? SOLD to the grandma who wanted something fun for when her grandchild comes for a visit.

Oh, we’ve bought used – for SURE. Just a few days a go, Jennifer brought a bag of kids clothes purchased at Goodwill. We’ve purchased clothes from the mom’s of multiples garage sale. And we’ve purchased used toys from family’s in our multiples group and from our neighborhood group, like this laugh and learn Learning Home we bought for $20 (and retails for four times that).

Learning Home

But I have never before PURCHASED something off of Craigslist. Until last week. We purchased a playhouse and climb & slide from a family that lives in the burbs near Jennifer’s workplace. This photo shows one at a church (the photo the seller sent us). Theirs was never used outdoors and so it was in particularly great shape.

playhouse

It takes up quite a bit of our postage-stamp sized urban backyard, but it’s a nice home alternative to them staying indoors all day or having to head to the park. Just another “station” for these growing and increasingly mobile and brave miracles. Here are a few pictures of the RJBs enjoying it in our backyard after Matou set it up yesterday morning.

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My biker dude dad and his wife sent the kids Harley Davidson Build-A-Bears. I’ve only ever seen Build-A-Bear studios from afar, and found myself inching towards the opposite walls, because that many bears and that many kids makes me kinda nervous? The bears they sent were docked out in leather jackets and orange Harley bandana’s. I’m not sure if they were purchased that way, like a Meal Deal at McDonalds, or if, gasp, my dad and his wife went in and built them this way. And if that’s the case, I have a completely different view of my dad and his wife, including What Were You Smoking?

Which is probably the same thing I could have asked Jennifer AND THE NANNY when I came home to them playing gangsta dressup with with the kids. Introducing GangstaTato and GangstaCita, photos courtesy of Matou. Don’t mess with dem, yo.

Whuzzup Yo

Gangstacita

COMING NEXT WEEK: I’m going to do a three-, maybe four-part series on airline travel and over-night stay suggestions based on, wait for it, our SINGLE EXPERIENCE. But that’s the beauty of the internet: anyone can be an expert. Why three-, maybe four- parts? Because all that written on one post is painfully long, and because I have a short attention span, and because traveling with infants takes a lot of parts, at least when it’s more than one, and because I wanted to be detailed enough to be a decent resource, at least in part, for someone who wanted an overview that they could tweak from. Stay tuned.

Dear Finn & Iggy,

Every time we finally get used to saying you are so-and-so months old, you go off an get another month older. And now as of today, you’re ten months old, which is the same as 43 weeks and 5 days old, which is the same as WHERE DID OUR BABIES GO? Matou and I are just stood still by the thought of it but we can’t do that too long because by then you’ve crawled past us and we forgot to close the gate at the top of the steps.

Though we did baby-proof the house, you’ve employed yourselves, pro bono, of course, as quality control experts set on testing nearly every inch of furniture, cabinetry, and anything else you can find at 35 inches and below. On a scale of First through Third Place, we’ve been a bit humbled by our Thank You For Participating ribbons. All the big structures are secured, doors, cabinets, drawers, stairs, are accounted for. But we have missed things like that felt pad that came loose from the bottom foot of the end table, or that piece of dried mud that got dislodged from a shoe, or that ONE SINGLE LAMP CORD that’s visible – you WILL find it. There are times, Mateo, when we find you underneath the dining table, sitting up with an object in your pincer grasp pleading with us “You see this Cheerio? This could have been a gum wrapper or cardboard or a nail! But since it is a Cheerio, I will EAT this Cheerio.”

Dining protests are manageable, though we are experiencing some resistance on that front. Earlier, it was resistance from Mateo in transitioning from pureed food to cut up food. Now, Harper, you’ll start out strong, but when you don’t want any, you lock it down! We’re working on this. Mateo is happy to step in and eat the remainder of your meal, but we need you to get some nutritional value, too. In the meantime, your newest menu items have included yogurt and pot roast and chicken and ground beef and tofu and vegetarian “meat” and tiny bits of cheddar cheese. All this self-feeding is great for promoting independence but I’ll be really honest, it’s gross and slimy.

Profuse diarrhea and projectile vomit affected me less.

You’ve been pulling up to standing for a while now. We’re trying to find objects or areas of the house where you can practice this and your newfound desire to cruise.

Standing

No sooner than we were getting use to that, but you are now both crawling. I had hamsters as a kid and I used to LOVE watching them in their tanks and tunnels for long periods. Watching you two crawl around from item to item, or even better, towards us is SO MUCH BETTER than hamsters.

This month, you went on your first airplane ride. The trip to New Orleans was 55 minutes in the air, but I probably spent 10 times that amount of time over the course of a month getting ideas from other parents, planning out logistics, and making packing checklists. The planning paid off, but it was that much sweeter since you were great travelers.

GoGoBabyz

A couple weeks before we went, we purchased a jogging stroller. Not only would we need it for the Mardi Gras Half Marathon (Matou ran that one) and 5K (you two and I ran that one), but we knew we’d take it to the park here in town, too. I’m sure we’ll buy you lots of stuff over the years, but this one will go down as one of my all time favorite and practical purchases.

The race was at 7 a.m. on Sunday, February 1. Which is usually when you’re finishing up your breakfast and playing for a couple hours before taking your morning nap. But you were champs for the race, seemed to be warm and comfortable on the chilly morning, and you even came in first place in your age division.

At The Race Start

While we were there, your Aunt Susan hosted a party at her house and we got to see lots of family and friends. Many were meeting you for the first time. It was a quick three-day trip, but it will always be your first plane ride.

On January 19, we went in for your 9-month checkup. Mateo, you were 29 1/4 inches long (80th %ile) and 21 lbs 15 oz (75th%ile). Harper, you were 27 1/2 inches long (50th%ile) and 19 lb 13 oz (60th%ile). You are growing splendidly and we are proud.

Mateo, you are a couple weeks ahead of your sister in the crawling department. You have taken to crawling up and down the stairs that go into the living room. However, you also seem to think you can crawl down the stairs head first.

MISCHIEVOUS

This works fine with the simple two steps, but makes my blood pressure rise when I start thinking of the stairs that lead downstairs. We’re working on teaching you how to go down backwards now. And just when we’ve made progress on that, I find you climbing up the bookshelf.

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Changing your diaper has become a workout. But we are very desperate sneaky and figured out that you love your toothbrush so much, if we give it to you to hold, you will have entire conversations with the toothbrush and we can change your diaper without you even noticing.

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That’s the good part. The bad part is that you don’t want to let go of your toothbrush after we’re done.

Piercing Blues

Harper, only a couple weeks after finally rolling over, you have taken to crawling. You are very deliberate in your methodology – lift hand high, lift knee up and over, repeat. It’s adorable.

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Standing is one of your new favorite activities and you also find this hilarious. Equally adorable. You are clapping, still dancing, and giving high 5’s.

Really?!

At some point in the last couple weeks, the back of your first earrings came off. We have no idea where it is and that really sucks. But rather than let the earring fall out, we replaced it with some pearls one of your grandma’s gave you. The problem is, we can’t get you still enough to unscrew the other earring back to replace that earring with pearls. And we forgot this fact when we went to church on Sunday, you with one gold stud and one pearl.

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Storytime

We’ve made some changes to the landscape of the house in the last couple weeks. First, we sold the baby grand piano. Which we know you’ve noticed because you seem to be loving all your new crawl space. We also moved some soft play shapes to the play area downstairs. And, just yesterday, we purchased a used playhouse/climb-n-slide thingy from a family off of Craigslist. What with spring and summer approaching, it’s a little something to play on outside. In short, our home has become ALL ABOUT YOU. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Yes, all this change and it’s not even matching the rapidity of your growth and development. It’s such a blessing to watch your adventurous spirits, but we’re already missing our little babies.

With all our love,

Mommy & Matou

More Photos!

The Aforementioned

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