Sunday, July 7, 2013

7 is heaven

A couple of weeks ago, Drew and Harper turned 7 months old.  Part of me wonders where the time went and the other part wonders how I existed before they got here.  (Then I remember that I had a lot more sleep and free time back in the olden days...but I wouldn't trade the sweet kids for the time and sleep.  Or at least, not too often)

Our babysitter takes vacation a couple of weeks a year, and one of those weeks was the week they had their "7 month birthday."  I stayed home with the kids Monday, Thursday, and Friday and Darrell took a turn on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I really enjoyed spending time with Drew and Harper and they really are such good kids, that it was pretty easy.

But it also is a lot of work...I almost forgot how "on" I have to be all day.

And especially now that they both roll over.  Harper is really good at back to tummy; she can occasionally surprise herself by getting from her tummy to her back.  She has started enjoying tummy time, but once she is done, she wants to be on her back yesterday.  Drew, however, is a professional roller.  He rolls all over the place.  Unless he decides that rolling is overrated.  Then he scootches around.  Gone are the days when I could just put them both on their playmats on the floor and know they were safe.  Drew somehow ends up underneath the playmat, pretzeled in the playmat, or just plain feet away from the playmat.  He loves to find new and dangerous things to put in his mouth.  Like the ottoman or the laptop cord.

They are chatty, both with each other and with the adults in the room.  It is so cute to see them roll onto their sides, facing each other, just chatting away.  They do this most often if they are left alone.  They talk so quietly to each other and just smile away.  They really love each other.  Then there are the times when they just want to be heard.  Drew loves to squeal.  Harper recently discovered da da da da da.  She says it when she's happy, when she's sad, when she's tired....pretty much all the time.  The only time they don't talk is when I am trying to record them.  They sense the video and stop everything.

Drew is super ticklish and loves it.  He gets the biggest grin on his face when I gently tickle him.  He giggles with joy when the tickle bug attacks his tummy.  He kicks, kicks, kicks when I scrub his feet and toes in the bath.  And, when I forget that his back is super ticklish and tickle his back like I love mine to be tickled, he squirms and giggles.  Harper could take or leave being tickled.  But, if Drew is getting tickled and having a good time, she suddenly loves it, too.

 They still are getting used to the whole idea of eating food.  We feed them oatmeal and fruit puree for breakfast and dinner.  Harper still can't get enough.  Most days, I feel like if I had another hand and spoon, we still couldn't keep up with her.  If she thinks she isn't being fed quickly enough, she plunges her fingers into her mouth, so it really is a mad dash to keep her as clean as possible.  Drew is starting to like food more.  He still routinely shudders at the first taste of each meal, but then anxiously awaits the next bite.  He likes to squirm a little more than Harper and will almost lay down in his high chair as he eats.  They both are quite taken with the tree outside the kitchen window and it is sometimes a competition between the tree and the food, to see which gets the most attention.

Drew loves to be a helper.  He has almost always waited patiently while Harper gets fed or changed first since she is the more vocal one.  He still is very good at this.  A few times when Darrell has worked late, I have had to feed them both solid food.  Harper will have no part in sharing me, so Drew sits in his high chair playing with toys.  He recently started to try to pull up his pants while we get him dressed or after a diaper change.  The other night, he even started rubbing his head while I was shampooing his hair.  If Harper is sad, he rolls over to be close to her, and not-so-gently tries to soothe her.  He holds her hand or "pats" her cheek.  I'm not sure Harper appreciates it now, but know that she will love having an empathetic brother as they get older.

Harper loves to smile, smile, smile.  Her big, toothless grin makes everyone around her smile.  She also loves to laugh.  But many times, she does an airy laugh, which almost sounds sarcastic.  I don't have any idea how she learned to be sarcastic!   She also is learning early to be a cook.  During our little staycation, I made brownies and cleaned the kitchen and put the kids in their high chairs.  I gave each of them a silicon spatula and Harper just loved it.  Drew liked his, but wanted Harper's since she was having so much fun with it.  I think she will be a natural at cooking, with her love of food!

I sure love these kids...they truly have enriched my life!

Dear old lady at the Chick-fil-a,

Thank you so much for the crusty eye you gave me the other day.  I didn't realize that my crying baby could possibly distract someone from reading the nutritional information.  Thank you for overlooking the fact that I was actively trying everything I could think of to calm him down.  When you continually scowled at me it made me feel so much better about finally going out to eat with friends I haven't seen for years (literally).  Had I known that one of my two babies (who, by the way, had been super calm and happy for the first 75 minutes we were there) would distract you in the family seating know...the one RIGHT next to the children's play area...I would have sat in the "Adult Dining Room."  Or better yet, I would have gone to a restaurant that doesn't cater to children.  I'm sorry that for the less than 5 minutes that he was grumpy all you could do was look at me with disgust instead of realizing that a seven month old can't say, "Mom, I'm having a hard time."  I guess next time we go out (which may not be for awhile since this is only the 4th time we have eaten at a restaurant as a family since the birth of our twins) we will be sure to provide all the other restaurant patrons with earplugs.  Or maybe I'll just remind the annoyed that they were babies once upon a time and they should give me a break.  Because at least I'm not THAT mom who just allows her kids to kick and scream and rant and rave endlessly while sipping another glass of Chardonnay.

With much appreciation,

Last week, in history

So, from an historical perspective, last week was pretty major in my family's life.  Like, the family I grew up in.

First of all, it was the thirty-thirteenth anniversary of my birth.  Hello...perhaps the single most important event in my family history.  Or at least on that particular day.  I don't really have any memories of that first day, but I do have many fond memories of the celebrations that followed year after year.  I always got to choose what the rest of my family would eat on that day...I guess I ate the same thing, too.  I had fun birthday parties on my 3rd birthday and the even numbered birthdays after that.  My mom would decorate the dining room with colorful streamers as I got older. 

Thirty years ago the last week, when I was only thirteen, my family moved from El Paso, Texas, to Germany.  My dad was in the Air Force and had moved over in April, leaving my mom with 5 kids, a cat, and a dog, and a house to sell.  We sold the house and traveled to Utah and Idaho to visit with grandparents who we likely wouldn't see for about 3 years.  We began our trek on July 2nd, flying from Salt Lake to Washington, DC. Yeah...flying with 5 kids (aged 13, 11, 8, 5, and 2), a cat, a dog, and about 538 suitcases.  My poor mom must have felt like putting us all on the plane and then sneaking off.  We had an overnight stay in DC at my mom's cousin's house.  She drove us past some of the sights, but I don't remember much.  The next morning, we caught a flight to JFK and then had to switch planes (and maybe terminals...I only remember going up a long escalator).  We arrived in Frankfurt on July 4th and drove the 90 minutes or so to our new penthouse apartment where we could sleep off the jet lag.  Or not.  It was stinking hot...there was an unusually hot summer and no air conditioning.  My parents bought the last couple of box fans that existed at the BX (probably not, but I remember there weren't many).  We met some of the families that lived nearby and had a cook out.  The night seemed to last all day, with the sun going down closer to 10. 

Also thirty years ago, the BX was the site of another historical moment.  My parents bought a microwave.  Now, it wasn't the first microwave my family got.  But it was the last.  And it wasn't the last because my mom hated it.  Au contraire, mon frere!  It is because my mom LOVES it.  Yes, they still have a 1983 microwave.  And just like so many other of the technological advances of the past century, it is HUGE compared to microwaves of today.  I think I have an end table in my guest room that is smaller than my parents' microwave.  And that is not hyperbole.  Using that microwave not only threatens your life, it takes longer to cook than if you had started a fire with green wood and sans matches.  But, it is a well loved piece of Ingermanson history.  I tried to find a picture of a similar model on the internets, but I think photography was discovered after the microwave was manufactured.

And so, there you have it...a brief look at my family history.  My parents should be so proud, since they are currently missionaries focusing on Family History!