Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wild Things

The word wild has gotten to be a bit cliche these days, no? Let's be honest, most of the time we use the word "wild," we don't mean it. For instance, when someone has "Wild Cherry" something, it is flavored in a science lab and not by a naturally grown fruit. And when one describes another person as a "wild man," they typically mean they are unpredictable or out of control, not that the person has gone native and ceased wearing clothes, taking showers or speaking human languages. Last but not least, Buffalo Wild Wings is fun and tasty, but not wild. I'm pretty sure they aren't even based in Buffalo. Anyway, today, Micah and Mal got their taste of something truly wild.

The twins were invited to their friend Tessa's second birthday party at the Jacksonville Zoo. I took the morning off work to help usher kids around the park and ensure Rachel did not go insane. The first task was not too hard - I came equipped with a double stroller, a Baby Bjorn backpack carrier and two healthy arms to carry kids. However, the second task was not so easy. Rachel was flustered before we even entered the park due to Malorie exploding her dirty diaper all over her fancy yellow bloomers. Thus, every picture you see of mother and daughter, you will notice Mal's diaper showing, and mother wearing an extra worry wrinkle.

Aside from the mess in the Zoo parking lot, our wild adventure went pretty well. Micah and Mal got to see lions, penguins, elephants, snakes and the infamous Jacksonville Jaguars. Malorie even got to feed a giraffe. Micah, for his part, was a crowd favorite all day, eliciting comments from passers by. He spent most of the morning in my arms, sucking his thumb and watching people and animals while wearing his uber-cute zoo outfit. After lunch in one of the zoo gardens, the party ended, and Micah and Mal were both as tired as I have ever seen them. Neither kid made it to the car before falling asleep.

When we got home from the zoo, Rachel and I expected our wild adventure to be over, and in a way it was. In the true meaning of wild, as in exotic animals, things were no longer wild. But the rest of our day would still be wild in that cliched, not really wild way. See both kids had new tricks to debut for us. When we got home from the zoo we laid Mal in her bed to finish her nap. About ten minutes later we heard some noises from in her room, so we opened the door to find our daughter had sat up all by herself in her crib, and was playing. Wild. Then, later in the afternoon, I gave Micah his bottle, and he held it all on his own and ate the entire thing without my help for the first time ever. I may occasionally rally against using the word wild in situations that don't merit use. But, the only word I could think of as my son ate without my aid was "wild." Overused or not, today was wild, I tell you, wild.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Poem in Lieu of Party

Tonight, at this exact time, I was supposed to be driving home from Atlanta. Rachel and my Godson, Jackson, was having his second birthday party there. We were stoked to go see him and his parents, our good friends Paul and Nicole. Rach had the bags packed and I had an I-Pod playlist created for the journey. Tyson was booked with a dog-sitter and we even had directions to circumvent the traffic from Freaknic - the annual roving Spring Break party in downtown Atlanta. Then, a fussy, feverish boy cancelled our plans.
Fortunately for Rachel and me, Micah was not the sick kid. Unfortunately for birthday boy Jackson, he got an early present of sickness. And so, the Klug kids were not able to meet their demi-sibling and visit The Peach State for the first time. But, since we had cleared the agenda for the weekend already, Rachel and I spent it doing pretty much whatever we wanted to here in town. Coming into the weekend, I was pretty excited to sing rhyming songs to a toddler, so I have pent up creativity. So, like that creepy teenager who skips the prom to write a poem, here is my quick rundown of the weekend in sing-songy verse. Nicole, feel free to sing this to Jackson if you want, to make up for all the dumb songs I didn't get to sing him this weekend.

Two Klug kids were set for action,
then the trip just lost all traction.
Jackson's fever shut it down,
and made poor Rachel really frown.
Friday dinner and still no moon,
stalled by playing with a spoon.
We spent the night with Pat and Kat,
and Mal Pal acted like a brat.
She stayed up late, loudly weeping,
all while her bro was soundly sleeping.
Morning, pancakes from a can,
then went swimming and got a tan.
A peaceful lil' Saturday night,
Followed by Sunday morning light.
Got churched up in our normal row,
and Micah's naps ran really low.
Found out the babies like this box,
and Tessa's party really rocks.
Cranky babies went to bed,
and on Hamburger Helper we were fed.
So, our weekend was still pretty tight,
But wish we could have spent it with Jackson White.

Happy Birthday Jackson.

P.S. Micah and Mal Pal reached the equal time point this week when they turned eight months old. They have now spent more time with us on the outside than they spent in Rachel's womb - I just found that interesting.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Here Comes Trouble

We have all the preparations done. The baby gates are bought, the outlets are plugged and the cabinets are baby-proofed. However, it has always been my firm belief that Rachel and I are in for loads more trouble than we could ever expect once the kids get mobile. For instance, when I was a toddler, I ate a stick of deodorant. Took it right off of a bathroom sink and ate it. Poison Control alerted my family that despite the disgusting, pine tree fresh scent in my mouth and the extreme salivation, I would survive. I'm sure if I dug deep enough, equally disturbing and disgusting stories about toddler Rachel would surface. Now we are left to wait for the payback for our tormenting of our parents and relatives.

Well, back to our worry about the day that the kids discover forward movement. Ummm, that time has come. Micah began the fledgling practice of crawling today, and has not stopped since. This video does not do him justice, as he is already discovering the entire living room. In the past 12 hours, he has chewed on more dog toys than Tyson has, and that is not a good thing.

Malorie, for her part, is getting more and more anxious to move as she watches Micah go. She gets up on her hands and knees and lurches back and forth several times before collapsing and then scooting backwards in frustration. However, I'm sure that true to form she will soon be crawling better than Micah, as it seem the twins teach each other new tricks daily. Either way, a monumental shift has occurred here this week - there goes our serene, stationary babies, and here comes trouble.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter in Klugsville (By Rachel)

Once upon a time in the land of Klugsville there lived two sweet, adorable babies named Micah and Malorie. Although Micah and Malorie were twins, they were very different. Micah was a brute. He was loud, rambunctious, and wacky. Mal was dainty. She was sweet and poised just like a princess. They were the best of friends and very popular amongst the land. One of their most dependable friends was their dog, Tyson.

This particular weekend was Easter. It was Micah and Malorie's first Easter in Klugsville. They began the festivities on Saturday by going to church for an Easter Egg Hunt. Everyone at church knew Micah and Malorie and were anxiously anticipating their arrival. As they strolled through the front doors, they were showered with gifts, hugs, kisses, and love. They played games and even met the real Pontius Pilate. When it was time for the hunt, they were offered special privileges due to the fact that they were not old enough to actually pick up eggs.

Tyson stayed home to guard the house. Dogs were not allowed in church.

After the hunt Micah and Malorie came home to prepare for Easter. They had guests arriving and wanted the house to look perfect. They picked out their best Easter dress and made sure all of their spit up had been cleaned.

Tyson got a bath... his Easter scarf remained in his dog basket.

On Sunday morning the twins were in great spirits. They got dressed and went to church to celebrate the Lord. He had risen! Malorie sang her Alleluias (during the announcements) and Micah laughed (during the Gospel).

Tyson stayed home. He sat in his chair looking outside, wishing he had gotten an Easter walk.

When Micah and Malorie got home from church they realized the Easter Bunny had come! He left them baskets filled to the brim with goodies. Tyson did not get a basket, and he wasn't allowed to bark at or chase the bunny.

When their guests Uncle Phil and Aunt Sue arrived Micah and Malorie were again showered with love. Everyone dined on avocados and mangoes and thoroughly enjoyed each others company.

Tyson sat on the couch and watched.

Finally, Easter weekend had come to an end. As Micah and Malorie were splashing in the tub getting ready for bed, they reminisced about the wonderful weekend through ba ba's and ga ga's. By 7:00 they were fast asleep.

Once the kids were in bed, Tyson realized he was still awake! He sat on the porch with his parents and realized now was HIS time. He had been patient and finally rewarded the way a good dog should . His mom got out his Easter scarf and gave him a new "pizza". Indeed, it was a Happy Easter for all in the land of Klugsville.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Daddy's Girl

There is not a day that goes by that someone doesn't comment on the fact that Mal looks like me and Micah takes after Rachel. Micah has his mother's height, blond hair and impatience. Mal's got my brown coif, tiny feet and appetite for sweets. Usually, the person in the crowd making the observation says some thing like, "oh, she's just Daddy's little girl!"

Well, this week, Daddy's little girl has been sick. Snotty. Sleepy. All together sad and sucky. So, on Thursday Malorie was excluded from the weekly playgroup that she, her mother and brother have been participating in for the last few weeks. Luckily, I had the late shift at work, and so Micah and Mom got to go to the play group while sick little Mal and Daddy stayed home.

Staying home with my infant female prototype did not phase me in the least. Don't get me wrong: I love Micah, but he is currently in the infamous "Velociraptor" phase, where he shrieks at the top of his lungs all the time, pinches everything he can reach with his grubby little fingers, and generally is mean as all get out. Basically, he has become a boy. Mal, on the other hand, is a study in patience, silence, and serenity. When Micah screams, Mal watches intently. When Micah grabs, twists and yanks, Malorie smiles and plays coy. So, if there were one baby that I had to choose to watch for a few hours during my rest period before work, it would be Mal by a landslide.

During our Daddy/Daughter day together, Mal and I took a nap (twenty minutes longer than Mom ever allows), watched a few cartoons (she does not like Handy Manny as much as Micah, but I still like it the same), ate some spinach for lunch (we set the record for the most times singing Popeye the Sailor Man's theme song in thirty minutes), and the went for a walk (Mal held my hands the whole time. I loved her more and more with each step).

Micah and Mom got home from the playgroup just in time for naps, and Mal was still sick. Snot running, eyes watering, and absolutely still suffering. Mom sucked out Mal's nostrils with the mean, blue snot sucker, made sure Mal didn't have a temperature, and ensured the house was quiet enough for solid baby slumber. These were all things Daddy would not have done, as I was intent on teaching Mal to pet Tyson instead of following the usual daily Mom prescribed pattern. Although Mal's afternoon with Daddy didn't make her feel any less sick, oddly enough, it did make me feel better. Under the weather or not, Mal Pal is still without a doubt, Daddy's little girl.