Posts Tagged ‘Catherine’

Hum for the fishies…

Monday, April 28th, 2014

As of April, it’s warm enough to get back in the water, especially the hot tub outside Sarah’s condo. Time to resume teaching girls to swim!

While filling the recycle bin a few days ago, I skimmed a parenting mag that reminded me about humming. As in, humming is a great tactic for a kid to put their face in the water without getting water up their nose.

We practiced humming over dinner, I demonstrated in the bathtub and girls practiced, and then we brought our new skills to the condo pool. To help girls see how it’s supposed to work, I made a short video.

Here’s Mama Bob humming for the fishies:

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

On the upside, girls can now hum and — very gingerly — put their faces under water. We clap and cheer each time they do!

On the other hand, they also expect real fishes. Over the weekend, while we were swimming in Bellaire’s competition lap pool, Sam suddenly went from standing in the gutter to tumbling head-first into the deep end. Bill and I were right there and Bill scooped her up just a few seconds later.

After a very-startled Sam finished coughing and sneezing out water, I asked her what happened. She said that she had been trying to see the fishes — leaned over with her face right over the water — and slipped.

Oops! I guess it’s time to order a set of diving fish from Amazon. And fortunately, Bellaire’s much shallower “family frog” pool will open on May 3rd.

Christmas people

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

We’ve been reading Clement Moore’s, ‘Twas the night before Christmas, as illustrated by Tomie dePaola, and Olive, the other reindeer, for about ten days. We also watched “Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer” a couple of times.

We never said that Santa would come here. But we did point out that Tuesday night *really was* the night before Christmas.

Regardless, the girls made some connection. When they woke Wednesday morning, instead of agreeing to go to the potty, Cate said she wanted “to go out front.”

Once we insisted, both girls pottied promptly (which isn’t always the case) and when we opened the bedroom door, they went straight to the living room. On the coffee table, next to our little balsam fir tree, they were delighted to find a pair of plush baby elephants from the Zoo, and 8-10 new “brick” (Duplo) people.

[All of the brick people that have come with their sets are male, which is limiting. So we sucked it up and paid for an all-people-all-the-time 20-piece set, that included 7 female figures. That’s still a dismal gender ratio, but we’ll make do.]

We also opened stockings, which held chocolate “Crisp Kringle”s, chocolate coins, mandarins, and tiny peppermint canes.

After a few pieces of chocolate, some quick frozen waffles and chicken maple sausage for the girls, and coffee for us grown ups, we pottied again. We swapped jammies for red snowmen dresses and set forth to Conroe.

Bill’s niece, Charlotte, and her new husband, Steve, drove in from Virginia for the holiday. Sam and Cate enjoyed meeting and playing with their daughter, Justice, who’s just 5 months younger.

After opening and sharing presents, the three toddler girls ran around on the golf course, while cousin Sarah, Bill, and I tagged along. Sam then asked Gram Nancy to take them riding in her golf cart again, please, and Cate insisted that the go all the way to Gran’s playground. Much swinging and climbing ensued.

[photos to follow]

Back at the house, two overtired girls convinced me that they wanted to stay and nap at Gram’s, instead of driving home. However, after half an hour of lying on the mattress, the floor, a pillow, a big kid bed, the mattress again, (lather, rinse, repeat), I decided that we should bail and take them home. I was sad to miss dinner with the Odales, but two unslept toddlers were likely to make things tough all around.

Forty-five minutes later, I woke to find us somewhere along IH-610, with Dad at the wheel, in the midst of a fine circuitous rolling nap operation. Girls slept another 45 minutes and were chipper by the time we got home.

Once home, Cate and Sam fell immediately into playing with their new toys. They sat at the little table (thanks, Gram!), and played with their new people, both Duplo and Fisher Price. Here’s some video to capture that interaction:

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Regarding Santa…

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Two years ago, I joined BAMOM, or, the Bellaire Area Mothers of Multiples club. I’ve both read and posted in their online forum, and I’ve both bought and sold through their online classifieds, but I haven’t yet been to a meeting.

For Halloween, they hosted a really nice, simple party at the City of Southside Place club house. There were snacks, crafts, and a photo shoot with a giant spider. There were also other twins and triplets in cute costumes.

However, the girls especially enjoyed the state of the art playground outside. When BAMOM announced their holiday party would be the same format at the same venue, we knew we’d enjoy it.

Auntie Em even brought the girls cute snowman dresses! So on December 1st, we got dressed for the occasion and went to check out Santa. Sam and Cate were so eager to party that they barely sat still for photos, and not at the same time:

Cate in her snowman dress

Sam in her snowman dress

Both girls were eager to check out the party. But after a quick circuit and pausing just long enough to enjoy a two-bite brownie, or in Cate’s case, lick the minty icing off the top, they took off to the playground.

And they’re off!

Tether swings




Sam resolutely contemplating sliding



“Santa” with Lorelei and her family

Sam and Cate were amenable to sitting and having a snack while watching the proceedings, but neither had any interest in meeting the man in the red suit.

Sam climbed all the way up, and then, all the way back down this ladder, barefoot.

Sam enjoyed spinning “dizzy” on the flower stamen-like spinner.

Cate spent a long time swinging really high. Later, when Sam was ready to swing, Cate wanted to push her.

First family vacation: visiting Miranda, Rebecca, and Ben!

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

As our girls approached two, and began occassionally to let us sleep 6 or 7 hours at a stretch, and I contemplated weaning once and for all, Bill and I decided we were ready to attempt traveling with children.

That said, we weren’t quite ready to brave airports and TSA checkpoints, so we opted for a car trip. When we considered destinations that are a 2-5 hour-drive away with people we’d want to see, the obvious choice was San Antonio.

So on Friday, Nov 8th, we headed out to SA and spent the weekend with our friends Ben, Rebecca, and their daughter, Miranda. They’ve come to visit us before, and our girls were excited to “go see Miranda’s house.”

The three girls played together Friday night in our hotel room, and Saturday and Sunday at their house. Miranda was part hostess and part Big Sister, showing the girls around, sharing her bricks, teaching them how to flush the toilet, and reading to them.

When I asked the girls Sunday what their favorite part of our trip was, both girls reported that “playing bricks with Miranda” was the best part.

Along the way, we got to catch up with Rebecca and Ben, and enjoy a lovely home-cooked meal.

Sam and Cate are two!

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Somewhere along the way, we managed to celebrate that on October 11th, Cate and Sam turned two. Auntie Em, Nane, Gram Nancy, Aunt Sharon, Baba Jean, Uncle Chris, and cousins Sierra, Izzy, and Alles all came over to help us celebrate. Thanks all, for sharing our birthday week! (click for larger)

Sam and Cate, excited to have a party!

Fountain girls!

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Amy observed in August that we haven’t posted any girl photos in ages. It took a few weeks, but thankfully, Bill was able to resolve the hard drive issue in our home server, and I have not yet identified any missing content.

In the meantime, I also acquired a big, beautiful monitor for working with digital photos. It’s my first desktop monitor in more than a decade, and I love it. All I need now, is more rest and spare time to upload photos.

In the meantime, here’s a pair of photos I really like. For September, we did “birthday photos” at Super Slidey Park on West Gray. It was really, really hot, and the girls enjoyed refreshing themselves at (in) the water fountain. (As always, click for larger)

Cate and Sam couldn’t wait to use the water fountain



Catherineism #15: Hey, Mom!

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Sometime earlier this year, after the girls learned to stand on their own, and after we started sleep learning, they got into the habit of pooing at nap time. Cate, in particular, continues to have a knack for waiting until after we’ve tucked her in to stand up in her bed and poo in her diaper.

Early on, Cate would cry to alert us that she needed a new diaper. But as she’s grown more verbal, and as she’s ascertained more of what goes on around here, the pattern has changed.

At some point, we showed the video monitor to the girls, and explained that we could see them even when we weren’t in the room. Around the same time, Cate stopped crying for a diaper change.

Instead, she’d just stand in her crib quietly and wait for some adult to notice and come change her diaper. I like to monitor the room audio closely until I’m sure they’re both asleep. I look at the video only occasionally, and three times, I found Cate standing quietly waiting for a diaper.

Finally, I encouraged her to please call out and let us know so that we could come help more promptly. I also gave her some examples of what that might sound like.

Tuesday morning, she took my suggestion. I had left girls in beds and was thinking about showering. Nane was in the kitchen, and Bill was in the office. Suddenly, Cate hollered out:

“Hey, Mom! Cate change poo!”

She was loud enough and clear enough that not only did Nane hear her on the monitor, but also I heard Cate clearly from the next room!

Catherineism #14: up and down

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

As we explore new places with the girls, I’m trying to give each place a unique, descriptive name. For example, we go to the “grocery” rather than the “store.”

Likewise, each park and playground gets a descriptive moniker:

  • “bayou park” has excavators and front loaders,
  • “spray park” and “dog park” are both at Ervan Chew
  • “super slidey park” is the playground for all at the Multi Service Center, and
  • “up and down park” is the toddler playground at Spott’s Park, which has a seesaw.

The last is Cate’s favorite. She asks to go to up and down park every single day, usually before breakfast. One morning this week, she opened her eyes in bed, looked up at me, and asked for up and down park before she even said “good morning!”

Sunday afternoon, we made a family ouying to Bike Barn. Partly, Bill needed to collect the climbing pegs for his mountain bike. But mostly, we wanted to let the girls roll around the store on little 12″ frame Trek “Hot Rocks” bikes, and try to figure out pedaling.

As we drove to Bike Barn, I heard Catie singing to herself in her car seat. I heard the tune of “Wheels on the Bus” but with “up and down, up and down” which our bus songs haven’t had before.

When I asked Cate what goes up and down, she replied, “pedal bicy(cleta).”

Well, yeah. Bike pedals go up and down. But when did she put that together?!?

Catherineism #13: Alphabet variation

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Cate has begun singing a lot during the last few months. Her first song was, “Miss Mary Mack.”

She then started singing along to Woody Guthrie’s, “Car Song,” and before long was singing, “Lullabye” and “All right for now” with us at bedtime.

Sunday afternoon, the girls and I played in the bedroom for a little while before dinner. At some point, I heard Cate singing to herself.

I tuned in to hear her finish singing the alphabet song. I hollered for Bill to come listen, too, and then asked Cate to sing it again.

Cate started over with, “A, B, C, D,” etc. But when she got to the middle, I was surprised and amused to hear this:

“L, M, N, Go Pee”

Ha! I’m not at all sure that she’s always sung it that way, but it sounds like potty learning is super salient. Too funny!

Houdini-naked wet Cate

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

As we’ve continued potty learning, our bedtime routine has evolved a little. We used to potty the girls right after dinner, and then put them in diapers for the reading-singing-sleeping process.

During the 4 months we’ve been using potties, Cate has apparently become accustomed to getting out of wet diapers and into dry diapers promptly. Whenever she poos, and increasingly when she pees, she will tell you, “Cate new diaper, now.”

Monday night, we pottied after dinner, got into jammies, read a story, pottied a final time, then sang a song and put girls into beds. But a few minutes later, Cate asked to go potty a third time.

Leery of a possible stalling tactic, I told her no. I said that we had already pottied for the last time, and she was welcome to use her diaper. Cate whined briefly, but I told her it was bedtime.

Moments later, she announced, “Cate peed!” Convinced that she couldn’t have had much pee left, I told her that was great and urged her to go lie down anyway.

Cate complied. Sam was already lying down. I left the room so that they could fall asleep.

Around 10:30, Sam woke up crying. Daddy Bill went in to soothe her, and she went back to sleep. Cate was still and quiet.

Around 11 pm, I went in to get ready for bed. I used the soft backlight from my iPhone to illuminate each crib and check on the girls. Sam appeared comfortably asleep.

However, Cate was huddled in a tiny ball, with her arms and legs tucked underneath her, suggesting she was cold. On closer inspection, I realized that the light from my phone was bouncing off her shiny, bare, bottom.

Apparently, after I exited, Cate unzipped and removed her sleep sack, pulled off her ladybug jammy pants, and slipped out of her wet diaper. She set them all aside, curled up, and went to sleep.

Unfortunately,sometime during the three hours between her bedtime and mine, she peed again. The way she was curled up, it soaked her belly and sleeve as well as the sheet.

Rather than waiting for her to wake in the middle of the night, and perhaps wake her sister, we cleaned her up. I gently lifted her out of bed and gave her a dry diaper and new jammies, while Bill stripped and remade her bed.

Once Cate was dressed, we cuddled while Bill finished the bed. Fortunately, Cate woke only for the briefest of moments and went right back to sleep.

I’m still leery of stalling tactics. But the next time Cate insists that she needs to pee, I’m going to facilitate her doing so.