a tuesday night.

It’s Tuesday night at 8 p.m.  I am lying on the floor watching the twins play.

Carrie, who has methodically crawled and climbed on every piece of furniture I’ve allowed her to crawl to and climb on, is cruising along our coffee table trying to, very nonchalantly, get her hands on the large black remote control.

I am watching her side-step along the table toward the remote, while simultaneously watching Ellie writhe on the floor. Miss Ellie has to be very motivated to want to crawl and, coincidentally, very few things motivate her.  She has crossed about eight feet of floor space in our family room through a series of rolls, pivots and shuffles.  Along her path, she’s stopped to study fuzz on the floor, blinking lights on the receiver and to plant her face on the carpet while sticking her rear as high up into the air as possible, creating a human pup tent.

And at this very moment, watching Ellie give her face rug burn, I am comforted by the fact that I have twins.

When you have one baby,  you compare your child to other children. With one, I imagine you wonder if you’re doing something wrong and, invariably, congratulate yourself for something you had nothing to do with. The joy of twins is that I know I’ve raised both girls almost exactly the same.  They have faced the same challenges, they have had the same opportunities and they share the same genetics (pro or con, who knows). And yet, with so many things similar, they are nothing alike.

Ellie ate first, Carrie crawled first.  Ellie rolled over first, Carrie rolls over most. Ellie is more calm and patient, Carrie is more… um… dynamic?

I’m sure there will be plenty of other times where one child does something before the other. But for those of you out there currently wondering why your baby isn’t crawling/walking/rolling/scooting/cruising as far or as fast or as frequently as another baby, hopefully I can offer you some comfort there are some things (many things, even) that as a parent that are far outside of your control.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie Parenthood is of Steve Martin watching his son run headfirst into the walls with a bucket on his head.

Yeah, I expect my kids will probably do ridiculous things like that.  I suspect there will be times that I will be somewhat embarrassed even.  And of course, I am sure I will document those embarrassing moments on my blog because, well, I want my kids to know that what they do has consequences.

So yeah, Carrie is right now screaming at the remote control that magically (thanks to mommy) moved to the other side of the coffee table.  She is slamming her little fists of rage against the coffee table, incredulous that her calculations of distance and time to said remote were so off.

And Ellie, well, she’s been rubbing her face into the carpet for about five minutes now.  I think it’s time for bed.

three things: dancing emily-style

It has become apparent to me today that Frank and I desperately need dance lessons.

This is not just for us – it’s for everyone who has to watch us dance.

And it’s not because of Frank.  Standing at 6’9″, Mr. Frank can cut a rug seven ways until Sunday.

No.

If you know me, and you know Frank, then you know that the source of our dance move mojo… issues… is me.  And here is my amateur diagnosis of what goes wrong on the dance floor…

thing 1: rhythm

A major element of dancing is rhythm.  You know, keeping a beat.  It’s a fundamental element of dance. As in, required. Oddly enough, my inability to keep a beat (and carry a tune and sing & clap simultaneously) was a leading factor in my decision to end my orchestral career after 8 long years of torturing a variety of dedicated musical professionals. Tonight, for example, there was a song playing and everyone was clapping along with it.  Some people were even stomping and clapping.  Me?  I was clapping.  Was I clapping at the same time as everyone else? No. And I certainly wasn’t stomping at the same time as everyone else.  As a matter of fact, I probably wasn’t even dancing to the same song as everyone else on the dance floor.  It probably looked like I was having a stroke.

thing 2: mah moves

I think that dance class would be beneficial in helping me develop more than four moves. “What are your moves, exactly?” you might ask.  Well, generally my “moves” involve looking at the people dancing near me and trying to do what they are doing. If I can’t do what they are doing, I do some sort of variation on aggressively stepping to the left and right, twitching, anxious hair adjustments and grinding on my husband’s leg.  The last dance move has been banned in some of the more conservative states in the Union, but my lawyer is appealing on grounds that I can’t help myself.

thing 3: leadership skillz

If you thought that my lack of rhythm or any dance skillz at all would’ve stopped me from trying to lead on the dance floor, then you’d be wrong. I have serious control issues that manifest themselves in trying to take over during slow songs.  Frank, being the alpha male-type that he is, often fights me for control.  Lucky for him, I also don’t have a good sense of balance, so usually he can regain the lead while I am trying not to fall on top of the cute 80 year old couple doing the foxtrot next to us. Our struggle for the lead has resulted in a lot of clenched smiles as we hiss at each other “one-TWO-three-FOUR” and “NO! ONE-two-THREE-FOUR!!!”

So… any suggestions on where to take dance lessons?  We still have three more weddings this year (although one is tomorrow, so we are probably too late on that one).

fuzzy logic…

Anyone who tells you that they operate just fine on less than five hours of non-consecutive sleep for days at a time is a liar.

But there is a remedy for the no-sleep baby blues: Diet Coke.

For anyone who knows me at all, you know that have had a love/hate relationship with Diet Coke.

I hate all of the nasty stuff in it.  I am positively certain that Diet Coke is probably one of the worst things I can put in my body.

But!

I LOVE how much work I get done while drinking Diet Coke.  I love how zippy I feel.

I’m not addicted, though.  I can quit whenever I want to.

Sure, you might snort at me and say, “Sure, Em, I believe ya.”

But really, I can stop whenever I want.  I don’t get headaches when I am off The Sauce (my pet name for Diet Coke).

And I’ve stopped before.

Cold turkey.

But for now, I am worshiping at the alter of The Sauce.

For as cute as the twins are, these sisters are not fond of long stretches of sleep in any consistent pattern. So if I’m going to be useful during a work day, I need Diet Coke.  Preferably in a 32 ounce container.  And, if I’m being picky, I like a wider straw – it gets the Diet Coke in faster.

I’d do an IV drip, but the IV accessories don’t really go with my outfits.

I have my priorities.

the one about “The Entity”

Haunted house, much?

Oh, where to even begin?

I suppose that first of all I should preface this post with a warning that my family is just a few bananas short of a full bunch.

That being said, we think our house might be haunted.  Or maybe we’re crazy.  Or maybe it’s a little bit of both.

I submit the following items to you as evidence:

Evidence A: For a long time, I’ve said to Frank that I think we have electrical issues in our house.  I’ve changed the same light bulbs multiple times in a few short months – and then haven’t changed them since in over a year.  Our dishwasher started on fire.  Our built-in microwave stopped working the first two weeks we lived here (and is now the happy home for our tortilla chips and breakfast cereals – don’t judge – we make due with what we have!).  We have light switches that go no where.  Well, that last one is probably more of “user error” than anything else.  Whatever.  Is it electrical or is it… a haunting??

Evidence B: The night I came home from the hospital, but while the girls were still in NICU, Frank had a very strange dream.  In his dream, he heard the bells on our front door jangle, which means that someone opened the door.  Still dreaming, he thought it was me coming home, but then he became aware that I was still in bed with him.  Starting to get concerned, he heard footsteps climb our stairs, walk through our bedroom door and stop at the foot of our bed.  Frank says that in his dream, he felt like someone was menacingly standing over our bed, staring at us.   Before Frank could do anything in his dream, he heard the ice-maker in our freezer start producing ice.  In his dream, he went downstairs and there was ice pouring out of our freezer and filling the kitchen.

Evidence C: My mother-in-law and my mom have been staying with us to help with the girls when Frank is on trips.  One of the first times my mom stayed here, she had a vivid dream of someone standing over her bed, watching her.  I’m not sure whether the “someone” was evil or not – but it doesn’t matter.  It’s always creepy to have someone staring at you while you sleep!

Evidence D: We had a chandelier installed in our kitchen about a year ago.  Within a week, four of the six bulbs burned out.  Sure, this is more of an addendum to Evidence A, but the lights didn’t start burning out until I came home from the hospital.  Perhaps I brought an entity home with me from the hospital?  Never you mind that I was staying in a brand new wing of the hospital, but hey, you never know.

Do I think we have a ghost living in our house?  Eh, probably not.  I think we have some electrical issues and some family members with vivid imaginations.  But just for fun, we’ve named this creepy people-watcher “The Entity” thus ensuring that no one will ever want to babysit our children.

So, who wants to sleep over and find out if I’m right??

the shortcomings of the interwebz

The interwebz is a great tool for communicating sight and sound.

The girls at 2 weeks.

You can see our twins and observe how cute they are (I’m biased, I know).

You could hear the twins, too.  If I was cruel, I would record all of the twins grunting and crying so that you could enjoy their vocal stylings.

But I am not cruel.

But, oh, how sad I am that the interwebz is not a great tool for sharing smells.

Frank bathed the girls tonight and put on some yummy nighttime lotion on their tummies and legs.  He brought them down to me, all fresh and swaddled and smelling like delicious little babies.  And I thought, I wish I could post this glorious fragrance on Facebook.  People would check my status just to enjoy it.

Side note, I wish that the TV had smells, too.  I’ve been watching copious amounts of the Food Network (and by copious amounts, I mean, I haven’t changed the channel except to watch E!) and have often lamented that I cannot smell the dishes that are being created.  Even worse, I cannot taste them.  But I digress…

Alas, I cannot post smells on Facebook.

Although, it’s better this way.  While my girls smell fantastic right now, these young ladies can toot with the best of ’em.  Toots are not something that you would probably enjoy smelling as my Facebook status.

Maybe the interwebz is smarter than I thought…

100 joys (88-90)

Another day, another chance to rack up a few more joys before the end of the year!

joy #88

Frank’s enchiladas!  Oh, sweet heavens to Betsy – they are SO good!!  And tonight were Frank’s best enchilada’s yet!  Now, I must confess, the above is not a picture of his actual enchiladas.  I lack the skill and self discipline to 1) take an appetizing food picture and 2) stop myself from diving in so that I can find the camera and snap a picture.  Just trust me, his enchiladas are outstanding and I could eat them all day long.  And since there are leftovers, I just might…

 

joy #89

Godiva.  Heaven on earth.  Especially when you belong to their club where you get a free truffle once a month.  Holy cow.  We had a dinner guest this evening who brought a box of chocolates from Godiva.  Frank and I tore through that box like we’d never seen chocolate before – it was SO good!  It’s like having an adult Disney World in your mouth – so much fun, you can hardly stand it!

 

joy #90

Listening to NPR brings me joy.  Seriously, it does.  I don’t know what it is about NPR’s microphones, but all of the reporters sound the same.  A subtle lisp on the “s” sound and a slow, steady, deliberate way of speaking that says, “What I am saying is LIFE changing.  Listen carefully.  Once you hear about Joe the donkey in Brazil that carries cocoa beans, you will NEVER be the same.”  Listening to NPR makes me feel the same way I do when I pick up a leather bound book in a mahogany librarythe distinct feeling that I am being enriched and improved.  But just to be sure, I try to balance my NPR time with a little bit of conservative talk radio.  You can never be too careful!  I remember in one day, I heard a report on conservative radio about a study that was done regarding teenagers and how biased and horrible the study was, and then I flipped to NPR and heard a vastly different type of report on the same study.  I don’t know who is wrong or who is right – I didn’t care enough to research it – but let’s just say, I listen to both channels with the same level of cynicism.  Gotta be fair and balanced and all that jazz.

 

100 joys (#71-80)

What a wonderful Christmas we had!  I’m still recovering, so please forgive me for the lack of pictures.  I will also post a 25 week babies update tomorrow and, if I get my stuff together, there may also be a belly pic included, too.  Consider yourself warned: the belly is on the verge of epic (although, not quite legendary).

joy #71:

Frank was home for Christmas!  It was a little bit touch-and-go, but Frank was never called up to fly and so we were able to spend the entire holiday together.  It was such a wonderful blessing!  In the morning we went to my parents’ house to open gifts, then off the Frank’s parents’ home for lunch, and then back to my parents’ house for dinner.  It was so much fun to be able to do all of these things with Frank and it just made the whole holiday all the brighter.

joy #72:

Frank’s good friend from high school, Garrick, and Garrick’s girlfriend Kelly (sweetest girl ever), stopped by Frank’s parents’ house and gave us gifts for the twins.  They gave us a Dr. Suess book, movie and then “Thing1” and “Thing 2” tees for the babies.  It was such a perfect gift – Frank had been calling the twins exactly that for a while and we are excited for them to wear these shirts in a few months!

 

joy #73:

Every year, Dr. K (Frank’s Dad) dresses up as Santa.  I think the older kids might be on to him, but it was cute to see my youngest nephew look at him with terror amazement this year.

 

joy #74:

Yes, we had a white Christmas this year!  It was really a nice treat, especially since the roads were pretty dry and clear.

 

joy #75:

My mom made 20 lbs of prime rib this year – as per usual.  And it was soooo delicious.  The above photo is not her prime rib – I forgot to snap a picture.  Does it matter, though??  It was delicious, amazing, heavenly prime rib.  Nothing says, “Happy Birthday Jesus!” like a ton of red meat.  And twice baked potatoes.  And warm dinner rolls.  And mayonnaise salad.  Yeah, you might be judging me a little bit for loving mayonnaise salad, but I don’t care.  The only thing less healthy than mayonnaise salad is just eating the mayonnaise straight from the jar.  Thank goodness for lettuce leaves, right?

 

joy #76:

Yeah, that’s right, we did it.  We went to the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale today.  Frank was in desperate need of shoes for work (read: he no longer had tread left on his other shoes!), so we ventured out to The Mall with the rest of The World.  And I must say, it wasn’t half bad.  And, combined with the sale and coupons, we saved about 80% on a pair of shoes for him.  Victory was had.  Joy to the world, indeed.

 

joy #77:

So, as someone who has been CRAVING Papa John’s pizza, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like Domino’s Pizza tonight.  I mean, I have been eating Papa John’s about once a week – that’s how bad it has been.  But since I had a gift card for Domino’s Pizza, we figured we’d buck the trend and try it.  OMG.  I knew that Domino’s was re-working their pizza recipe (apparently they realized their pizza sucked) and their new pizza is FABULOUS!  Forget you, Papa John’s!  I’m loving me some Domino’s Pizza!  Even Frank was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the pizza, too.

 

joy #78:

To celebrate Boxing Day, we boxed up all of our Christmas decorations and put them away.  Yes, that’s right, we are sitting in a Christmas-free zone right now, folks!  And I love it!  Christmas, and all of its trimmings, are wonderful up until 11:59 p.m. on December 25th.  As soon as the last carol has been sung, the last pound of prime rib eaten and the last present opened, Christmas feels instantly stale to me.  Instead of merry Christmas decorations, it feels more like clutter.  For the last 7+ years of our marriage, Frank thought I liked having the decorations up until New Year’s Day.  Truth is, I’d start taking them down Christmas night if it didn’t feel like I was violating some sort of sacred holiday law.  When I told Frank last night that I would love nothing more than to take down the decorations, his eyes grew wide and a smile spread from ear-to-ear.  So happily today we put everything away and it feels like we are living in a new house.  I love it.  Bringing in the new year in a fresh house is a delight, and dare I say, a joy!

 

joy #79:

Yeah, that’s right.  I’ll admit it.  Not only do I LIKE naps, but I LOVE them.  I need them.  There is no shame in my game.  These kids (and the holidays) darn near wore me out.  I took a strategic Christmas night nap from about 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., allowing me to be a descent human being to the rest of my family for a few more hours than normal.  I took another strategic 2 1/2 hour nap between shopping and taking down decorations so that I would, again, be a descent human being to my hubz.  I have NO idea how I am going to make it through the work week, considering how important these naps are seeming to become.  I am sure that I will survive, though.

 

joy #80:

I love reading people’s Facebook statuses.

I love the mundane updates: “Just ate dinner. Yum. “

I also love the vague updates: “Thank God that’s over!”  What’s over?   What happened??  Usually three or four people comment asking for specifics.  Their inquiries are often unrewarded.  The people who post updates like that WANT you to wonder.  So whenever you see that kind of vague update, they are probably referring to a herpes outbreak.  I mean, what else could they possibly be talking about?

Last, but not least, I love the social commentary status updates.  Like this one: “How low can reality TV go? Bridalplasty. Yep.”  It makes me feel good that I am friends with people who recognize the bottom of the reality TV food chain.  It is because of people like this that I think, “Hum, I should probably turn this TV show off because it is not socially acceptable to watch this…”  Who said Facebook couldn’t be an integral part of my moral compass??