Miranda: I wish I wasn't a bug.
Me: You aren't a bug.
Miranda: I know but if I was a bug, I would wish I was not.
Miranda: Because then the Mosquito Hawks would come and get me and eat me and I would die.
Me: Only if you were a mosquito.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Miranda: I wish I wasn't a bug.
The boy who has eaten at least three bowls of cereal every morning for over 4 years today said "I don't want cereal this morning." When asked why he responded, "I'm just not into cereal right now."
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Miranda's light saber is red which apparently means she is Darth Vader. Now everyone wants to fight her. Not sure if this is bad or good.
And yes, we had our first, and probably not last, light saber injuries yesterday. Miranda attacked Parker, hurt him on the neck which caused him to hurt Elizabeth who hurt Miranda. Or something.
Last night at bedtime, Elizabeth out of the blue said, "Daddy, isn't it interesting that when you were a kid you were the youngest person in your family, and now you're the oldest person in your family?" I thought this was pretty good.
We then went on to discuss the relative merits of being young and old. Which led Miranda to say, "Daddy, if you died, and then some magician made you be a little kid in another family, that would be pretty cool."
There were too many ways to respond to this, so I ended the discussion with a kiss and a hug, which is one of the many advantages of being the oldest person in the family.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Elizabeth: I'm scared I'm going to have a nightmare tonight.
Me: You came into our bed last night and Miranda you were there the night before so you need to stay in your beds tonight.
Elizabeth: (crying) but what happens if I get scared?
Me: Why don't you get in bed together. You can just sleep in the same bed and make sure the other person doesn't get scared.
Miranda: Well, it's because me and Elizabeth don't really like each other that much.
Elizabeth: And we don't want to sleep together.
Wake up. Take shower. Make lunches (god damn trash free lunches).
Take kids to school.
Drive to downtown Oakland to get my debit card that I lost and someone found and returned. Amazing!
Go home have breakfast.
Go to Bootcamp
Sit in car for a few quite moments.
Pick up girls from school.
Go to swim lessons.
Go back to school to get friend Caroline for playdate.
Eat, clean kitchen, do laundry (including ted and lion who were gross.)
Go back to school to drop off Caroline and pick up Parker who was at chess club.
Take Parker to swim team practice.
Take girls to choir class.
Go to twins club support group meeting. Regular leader is on crutches. So I'll be telling all the parents to be how great it is to have twins.
Go to sleep.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Parker: Mom, I want you to pack me a no trash lunch.
Parker: Do you know why I am asking you that?
Me: For Earth Day?
Me: So I just have to do it tomorrow?
Parker: No, every day! Every day should be a no trash lunch day.
Me: Really? (sigh)
Parker: Yes, Aurelia and Sadie do it every day.
Me: You don't have to do what all the other kids do. Let me tell you about peer pressure...
Parker: But Mrs. Sears says it's important and I want to do it. Every day.
Me: Ok. You will have lots of containers then. No baggies, no snacks with wrappers. No granola bars.
Parker: That's fine. Mrs Sears said to use containers. Oh and bananas are ok because the peels are compostable.
Me: (Sigh.) Ok, I'll do it tomorrow.
Parker: Thanks Mom!
This post is really just for my mom.
At horse class there is a lady who rides after us. I've never talked with her until today. She asked about Miranda and her love of horses. I told her a bit and said I hope it isn't a lifelong love because its expensive. She laughed and said "yes, ballet would be cheaper." She added that ballet was her business so I asked about it and told her about my childhood. She told me she did some work with SF ballet so I told her I knew some people with them. She knew them. So I mentioned Michael Shannon aka Michael Tubbs. She looked at me shocked and asked "you know him??? Wow." And then spoke of her knowledge of him in Russia when she worked with Bolshoi. We talked about him for a while. So I told her about the time I took a class with Barishnikov. She exclaimed, "I did too!" Then she talked about the struggle LA had starting and keeping a ballet company. So there we were, her in full riding gear, me sitting on the steps of a barn, talking about all this while Miranda was posting and trotting.
Parker's second baseball game. Michael continues to believe he actually learned some stuff in spring baseball camp. His form looks good at least.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Spent a beautiful Sunday morning at a big park in SF that we wanted to check out. Kids had fun, and Rachel and I enjoyed being annoyed by all the oblivious, self-satisfied rich people in the city. And then we went home to Piedmont.
Parker and I have been playing a lot of chess recently, and he's beating me about 20% of the time these days. I never really cared for chess much, but I've come to enjoy it quite a bit, and it's definitely fun playing with Parker, who takes it very seriously, and is a crafty player. I usually beat him either because he made a mistake, or because he gets so focused on his strategy and he forgets to pay attention to mine. I'm hoping we keep playing for years.
Elizabeth has also taken an interest recently, so we are playing through the levels. She's on level six, having just tromped me on level five this morning. She gets very angry when she loses or makes a mistake, and she often mounts single-piece offense, but she's a feisty player and if she continues with it I think she'll be a force.
I've never been a sudoku player, nor had I ever heard of Ken Ken, a similar game, but Parker is on a Ken Ken bender and it's hard not to get pulled in. So this morning, while Rachel slept and the girls watched Annie for the umpteenth time, Parker and I played Ken Ken.
First he made me a 3x3 game, which he used to teach me how to play. Then he asked me to make him one. At first I said no because I wasn't sure how to go about it. But then as I sipped my coffee, I figured it out, so I made him a nice 5x5 game. He enjoyed that so much I made him a 6x6 game, which was hard to make and solve. We ended up working on the six puzzle together, and it was super fun. It's tricky to make them solvable. I am going to work on Parker's 5x5 puzzle he made me tonight but I am worried that it is unsolvable.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
When people learn about Parker's math abilities for the first time they ask me how I taught him all that stuff or 'made him like that.' If I only had one child, I might think more that I had anything to do with how he is. But since I do have other children and no actual biological tie to him, I'm pretty sure I had almost nothing to do it. My father or sister might have something to do with it, but not me.
I tell them that from an early age, he would just "figure things out" and ask questions that we would answer. If he figured something out that had a name, like when he figured out the powers of two, we would tell him about exponents or powers only to tell him that what he was thinking about was something that others thought about.
Here is an example of him doing this stuff on his own. This evening, he brought a homework sheet to Michael and asked him to figure it out. Michael did and then Parker asked Michael to make one up for him. Michael wasn't into it, so I did. I made it slightly harder than his and this pleased Parker immensely. He figured it out in no time despite the fact that I gave him no numbers (like he did for Michael.)
Friday, April 20, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Three days wearing clothes picked by her awful parents.
Zero pee accidents for Elizabeth.
Took zeke to the vet today.
He doesn't like the vet.
I don't anymore either after learning what the costs of things at the vet really are.
Took Parker to dentist today.
Has one cavitiy on "defective molar" whatever the hell that means.
Parental failure in my book.
Taking myself to doctor tomorrow for pre-hysteroscopy appointment.
I've had a camera in body before and it wasn't good.
Sounds fun, doesn't it?
Suppose to be 80 degrees here this weekend.
I like hot.
Parker has turned into Huggy McHuggerson. That boy can't stop hugging us.
Neighbors have finally decided to believe me when I said they could come jump on the trampoline whenever.
Looked out the window today and there they were jumping away.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I've taken Miranda to about 7 horse back riding classes and I've decided I don't like it. I don't like getting the horse ready. I don't like how the people talk about the horses. I don't like the people that ride horses. And I don't like how the horses are made to work for our entertainment. I don't really know anything about horses and maybe they enjoy standing around being manhandled by various people over and over but they sure don't look happy. Though if I saw a happy horse I probably wouldn't know it.
I hope this horse crazy phase ends soon.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Now that Miranda's main behavioral issues are a thing of the past, it seems Elizabeth has stepped in to make our life miserable.
She has always been a "mean girl" (we remembered noticing it when she was just over a year old), but lately it's been really bad. She is exceptionally mean to me in particular, but also to MIchael and her siblings. In general she is sweet to her teachers and friends, but it has started to pop up with friends too now (she had someone over the other day and basically ignored them). She argues, talks back, complains about everything, never seems to enjoy anything, and is generally a real pill. This is all exacerbated by the fact that I get comments like these at school (I got two today)..."Elizabeth is so friendly!" and "She was the first one to hug me...you are so lucky to have such a nice kid!" At her parent teacher conference, they just went on and on about how wonderful she was. I just sat there and said, "I have no idea what child you are describing but she doesn't live at our house."
At home, she acts like a 15 year old girl pissed off at her parents. As if I told her she couldn't see her boyfriend anymore. I am literally dreading when she actually is 15 and I can't just pick her up and throw her in her room anymore.
In addition to the meanness, she has started (again) to have pee accidents. She has one basically every day, but yesterday she had three. THREE! The first was at home but the second two were at a park (where there were toilets!) during an otherwise lovely family picnic. After the first park accident, Michael cleaned her up and rinsed her undies and we stayed, but after the second, we just gave up and went home. It was so annoying.
We really have no idea what to do about either issue.
The other day after one in a long line of tantrums about nothing of consequence where Michael had to physically remove her, I had a calm talk with her about her behavior. I said that it seemed that she was really angry a lot. She said she was but couldn't tell me what about. I told her it had gotten so bad that we were going to move to a no tolerance rule and privileges would be taken away after any time she argued with me about something or was mean to me or someone else.
For the peeing, I told her that I would be picking out her clothes to wear each day until she got a hold of the peeing accidents. This is like torture for her. Picking out her clothes and changing clothes is something she looks forward to. Her outfit today was ok, but I plan to make it fairly unpleasant for her this week so she actively tries to figure out what is going on and puts a stop to it.
It's all really unfortunate and highly frustrating for her and us. But we really don't know what else to do.
When I was having trouble with Miranda, I met with my friend Maria who is a family therapist who also has twins plus one. We talked about a bunch of things, but at one point she asked if I was a "functional snob." This was after we discussed my intellectual snob family and husband. I thought it was a fitting description and it's sort of stuck. Michael brings it up from time to time when I start to complain about some person who can't do x, y or z. He reminds me of my functional snob tendencies. It's usually not a positive observation.
Then, the other day, we were talking about the kids and how they can do so many things on their own.* We chalked most of it up to genetics and just who the kids are, but Michael actually gave me some credit saying, "If you weren't such a functional snob, the kids probably wouldn't be so able to do so many things so well."
*Last night Michael and I were "done". I had a long week with the kids at home for spring break and Michael was just tired. So...after an annoying dinner, I announced they would be on their own for bedtime. They needed to just get it going and we went to hide in the TV room. And you know what? They did. Jammies, teeth brushing, Parker read to the girls and then in bed. (Michael did kiss them good night.) Elizabeth even cleaned up her room.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Recently swear words have been a topic of conversation here. Since the kids routinely hear us swearing, I was pretty amused by the following discussion.
Parker: Mom, you know the words like f words? How many are there?
Me: How many swear words are there? I'm not sure. A lot, I guess.
Parker: The s word is for stupid right?
Me: No, its for Shit. Do you know what Shit is?
Me: It's like poop. Its just another word for saying Poop.
Parker: Is there a P word?
Me: I don't think so.
Parker: I thought it was for Phooey.
Parker asked to give me a piano lesson yesterday. I said sure. So he started writing some music. I told him he should write down on regular paper what he wanted to teach me. He didn't like that plan so he was going to teach me to read music so he wrote down every kind of note, rest, and notation he could think of. I asked him if he learned all that on his first day. He said no. I told him he was smarter than I was so he needed to teach me less than what he learned. This was challenging for him. So I suggested he teach me some scales. He thought that was pretty lame, but agreed. We did the C and G scales and he taught me the correct fingering. Then we did some five finger patterns starting with C but then skipping 5 notes and doing another one.
At one point he started goofing off and playing nonsense, so I told him the lesson was over since I couldn't concentrate with him doing that. He became very apologetic and promised to stop so we continued the lesson.
In the end I think he wondered why mommy was so stupid.
I got the kids these fancy sonic care toothbrushes after their last visit to the dentist about 6 months ago. They beep every so often and shut down after 1 or 2 minutes depending on the setting. I didn't know there were two settings at first, but when I did, I changed all the brushes to the 2 minutes setting.
But then I started to notice that Parker only brushed for a short time so I went to his brush to check it. The way it is, I couldn't tell which way it was set, but I put it on 2 minutes. So then the next time he brushed, it was short again so I went through the whole thing again. Finally, last night after he clearly only brushed for a short time, I told him to bring the brush to me. I thought it might be broken since it was shutting down so early. But then I realized it was on the right setting so I explained the problem to him. He said that he didn't like brushing so long so he just stopped after the second beep (at one minute) and manually shut it off rather than waiting for all 4 beeps for it to go off automatically. Problem identified!
Thursday, April 12, 2012
We are watching the neighbors dog for a couple days and Miranda is in heaven. They just left a couple hours ago and she has already given her a tour of the house, taken her on a walk, taken her to the dog park and picked up her poop. She is trying to show me she can take care of a dog.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Girls went to the dentist yesterday. For some reason, they love that place. This is the fifth dentist I've taken the girls too. First one was when we didn't have dental insurance. It was a pediatric place, but they didn't seem to be able to handle three kids and one adult very well. Second place was my dentist who turned out to be a real asshole blaming me when he cut my lip with a tool when I flinched due to lack of numbness. Dentist three was one recommended by friend but seemed to like the kids waiting in chairs for long periods of time and also enjoyed rescheduling our appointments minutes before they were suppose to start. Fourth one said Elizabeth had four cavities but then couldn't fill them referring us to another different dentist who confirmed she had zero cavities. This one is super nice to the kids, didn't make them wait, worked on them at the same time, and weren't too condescending to me. Plus it's a block away from our house. Miranda seems to have the better teeth, but both were good despite the total sugar overload on Sunday for Easter.
Now that Parker isn't scared of the Star Wars he was interested in some star wars legos. Luckily he only had another poker chips to get a small set...the death star and an imperial fighter plane.
Let's hope we didn't just create a monster.
He's also asking a lot of about when Darth Vader was a good guy.
"Did he wear all black when he was a good guy?"
"Was his name Darth Vader when he was a good guy?" (This was hard to answer without giving away the story.
"Are the storm troopers his children?"
"How old was he when he became a bad guy?"
"Why are some guys bad?"
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Eli (at the dinner table): Mommy, how did the very first person get alive?
Me: What do you mean?
Eli: If the first person didn't have a mommy or daddy, how did they get planted?
Me: That's a good question. People believe different things. And there are two main answers.
Michael (eye rolling and snotty comment about how really there is only one explanation...)
Me: Some people believe that people were animals a long, long time ago and slowly changed into human beings. Like first they were a bug and then changed to a frog and then something bigger and then like a monkey and then a bigger ape and then us.
Me: And some people believe that there is someone named God who created the first man and woman.
Eli: But how did he do it?
Me: He just did.
Eli: But where did he come from if he didn't have a mommy or daddy?
Me: Another good question.
Sunday, April 08, 2012
The girls went to a birthday party today at Head over Heels, the place where Elizabeth did gymnastics. She was very anxious about going and almost didn't. She didn't want to see her coach or anyone else she knew, but I promised no one she knew would be there.
She went somewhat reluctantly and refused to wear a leotard, but had a blast once we were there. She practiced some old moves, climbed the rope to the top freaking out many parents who hadn't seen her do it at the last parties there, did flips on the trampoline, and had great form on the trapeze.
Elizabeth and Birthday Girl April
Parker was invited to a party in a couple weeks that has a Star Wars theme. When he opened the invitation (that came in the mail), the look on his face when he saw the words STAR WARS was disaster. He gave it back to me without saying anything and just shook his head. Parker doesn't know anything about Star Wars and for some reason it freaks him out. He wants nothing to do with it.
I emailed the moms of the kids to ask how star wars-y it would be. And how scary it would be. She wrote back immediately explaining how not scary it would be. I talked to Parker about it and he wasn't totally convinced.
Michael and I also decided that he didn't need to be afraid and that he should just watch it to see what it was about. Miranda and Elizabeth wanted to watch too so after our egg hunt this morning, the family sat down to watch it. There were many pauses to explain things, which is fine since it's a confusing story. No one got scared or melted down and the garbage compacter scene was the only one that was questionable in terms of making the kids anxious. Parker watched the whole thing and seemed to be most concerned with who was going to go to jail for killing other people and whether the good guys or bad guys won the "war". They also wanted to know what was real or not. Were light sabers real? Were guns real?
I think we're going to make it an easter tradition. Maybe next year we'll do Empire Strikes Back.
Parker is digging the new song he's learning, so he played it over and over for about 15 minutes today, at different octaves and at different speeds. He's still getting the kinks worked out - in fact, you can see him attempting to work them out here. This is about 10 minutes into his session. I like this song.
We took the kids to the mall yesterday. Parker had been saving up his poker chips for a while now and decided that he wanted to use some of them to buy a lego set. We had gone to the Lego store in the mall to buy a present for a friend a while back and he remembered and wanted to go there again. Elizabeth and Miranda also wanted to go and Michael was up for the adventure too. So we all drove out to Pleasanton to Stoneridge Mall. The Lego store did not disappoint and each kid picked out something. Parker got a nice light house lego set that should take him a while to put together. Elizabeth picked out a key chain and some figures. Miranda picked out a "girls" puppy washing set.
Then we went in search of the other thing Parker remembered about the mall...a pretzel dog. This mall didn't have a food court so in order to satisfy five different food requests, we had to walk around a bit. But hot dog on a stick, panda express, and wetzel's pretzels did the trick. We got lemonade from each place. We sat at tiny table eating our disgusting food and made silly faces.
On the way back to the car, we stopped at a kiosk with watches where each kid picked one out. Elizabeth seems to be able to tell time (or at least be able to read a digital watch) these days so we were trying to encourage her to keep getting better at it. Miranda picked out an analog watch which she doesn't know how to read at all. Parker asked for one because he wanted to know "how long he had at recess each day."
The whole trip door to door was only about 3 hours, but that was long enough and we were pooped, I had a big head ache and the kids were full of mall food. No need to do that again for at least a year or two.