Monday, April 23, 2007

The makings of a bag lady

I no longer have to wonder how a bag lady gets her start. I believe there's one in the making right under our roof.

It started innocently enough with a bag fetish. Gift bags, grocery bags, purses and totes. Anything she could chuck full would do. Knowing her Grandma Butterbean has always taken a liking to a nice bag (we're talking shopping bags here), I wasn't too concerned when it first started. And let's face it ... kids like taking things in and out of other things.

However, it's now gone mobile. What was once a leftover gift bag or two filled with stuffed animals is now overflowing and gotten wheels. First it was her babydoll stroller. Trusty Mr. Hopper use to get taken for rides, then came a blanket, then a stuffed bear, a pair of sunglasses, a baby bottle, a toy laptop computer in the basket below. The evolution has been both quick and mysterious. It leaves you shaking your head.

After the stroller grew short on space, the grocery cart annex came into play. First there were the toy grocery items that came with the cart ... plastic broccoli, fake fruit and a cash register. Then she went Wal-Mart Supercenter ... greeting cards, socks and books. The cart is now a mound of miscellaneous items only she is allowed to touch.

A shrine to the word "mess," the stroller, grocery cart and two brown grocery bags now take up a sizeable area in our home, yet I don't dare suggest we pare down her possessions or even worse, organize it. The most fascinating part is that she has a mental inventory of everything.

Unable to look at the mess anymore I sorted through the rubbage during a recent nap. Hoping to thin out the merchandise just a bit without my intrusion being detected, I managed to sneak out junk mail from two weeks ago, an empty sippy cup from only God knows when, a lone dirty sock and a pair of pajamas that had already seen her bed.

I'm curious to see how long this phase lasts, or better yet, how it evolves. In the meantime, whenever I find I'm missing something, you can only guess where I start my search.

'Liv the Brave' and other tales from the pediatrician's office

We all survived. I had my doubts as our appointments (yes, that's plural) with the pediatrician approached. Alivia had her 18-month well-child check-up, and Trace and Alysse both needed to be seen for their two-month visit. I figured I'd save a trip and just schedule them all at once to take up a full hour of the doctor's day. As the day grew closer my nerves grew fewer.

I've learned in my limited experience that 18 months is a precarious age. Somedays everyone can be a friend, while on others a tiny toddler this age cries at the mere mention of a stranger, so Alivia's visit alone was going to be a crap shoot.

Forewarned the babies would get four shots each, the twins were a guarantee my eyes would tear up as the needles hit all four of their tiny little thighs. I long ago realized no matter how convinced you can be these vaccinations are necessary evils, your heart breaks each time your child cries at their delivery.

The unexpected came with Alena. Preparing her for the trip, I explained earlier in the week that SHE would not be approached by the dreaded doctor lady. "The doctor will look at the babies," I told her, "and Alivia will get a shot too, but the doctor is not going to bother you a bit." Hoping to allay her fears that she was going to get weighed, measured and poked, I grossly underestimated her response.

After being led to exam room five, I quickly realized Alena wasn't concerned about Alena, it was her babies she feared for. As I began to strip the twins of their clothes, she began to cry ... upset that her babies were going to be handled and/or harmed by the nurse. Laying them on the examination table brought tears, the trip to the scale brought even more. And so it went.

Liv the Brave on the other hand was a blessing. While not quite understanding the motions she was being put through, she willingly laid on the table, sat in the funny seat-like scale and quickly opened her mouth at the doctor's request. When shot time came I put my cheek against hers, bracing myself for her tears. Much to my elation, she didn't even realize she had been given a shot. While there was a quick tensing of her diaper donning body, the only eyes that filled with tears were mine.

By the time our hour was coming to a close, Alena agreed to "go potty" with Dr. Thind as her escort, Alivia had a circus-themed bandaid "boo-boo" to show dad and the twins were vaccinated against a myriad of unthinkable diseases. Leaving the office nine shots, a few growth charts and numerous tears later, we all managed to survive and even made appointments for another visit.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Eight weeks and the world's a better place

Just eight weeks ago they made their way into the world. First Trace arrived, followed just eight minutes later by little miss Alysse. In an instant they could bring a smile to your face, and in eight short weeks a few funny faces and some baby talk will put a smile on theirs.

He's a prince. Small and patient ... already realizing that to try and out do the squeaky wheels in the house (who take the form of three little drama queens) isn't worth the effort. He knows mom won't forget him. A tiny little miracle with bright eyes and a wrinkled forehead. He holds all the potential in the world and promises not to disappoint.

She's a beauty. Round and happy ... already anticipating her membership in the girl gang that's sure to become the Scott sisters. She watches and waits, then makes her presence known. Perhaps the sassiest of them all. A minute blessing with big eyes that stare up at you and dark hair as smooth as silk. She's guaranteed to bring joy to each life she touches.

They are amazing. Not only as a pair, but as individuals. The instanteous love a mother feels when holding her baby for the first time is overwhelming. To think this love could be doubled seemed unimaginable, but they managed to do the impossible and each day since has only gotten better.

A "wonder," grandma called them when meeting them for the first time. The best description yet for what I once didn't understand, but now can't imagine living without. In a mere eight weeks they've made the world a better place, and I can only dream about what lies ahead. Happy eight-week birthday babies!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Two little hands behind the wheel

The Easter Bunny made a stop by our house this past weekend. He brought the usual baskets and candy, along with other little treats for the believers in our house. But the little "hopper," as the girls call him, managed to lug into our garage an 80-pound battery-powered Jeep Hurricane as well.

When the two little pairs of eyes first caught a glimpse of the "new truck" they weren't quite sure what to make of it. I'm not sure they knew exactly what it was at first. After a few moments Alivia decided she needed to get into the passenger's seat, leaving Alena behind the wheel (which was actually a good thing since Liv's stumpy little legs don't quite reach the gas yet).

Once in their seats, they were content to just sit still listening to the radio. Yes, anything with a radio that tunes to country music is okay by Alena's standards. Dad then gave it some gas and like magic it moved.

Realizing she could control this piece of machinery herself, Alena got a bit timid. Realizing they could cruise behind the wheel ... just the two of them ... Liv fell in love.

With three drives now under their belts, the girls are now just wishing for warm weather to stay so they can get their new truck out for daily spins. While I'm not quite sure the world's ready for these little hands behind the wheel, they are ready for the adventure.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Things you never thought you'd say

It's not until you hear yourself asking "Please take the sausage out of your belly button," that you realize kids make you say things you never thought you'd hear coming out of your mouth. Never in my life did I ever think I'd utter those words.

It was Alivia that brought them to my lips as she took the piece of sausage link off her plate and began trying to stick it into her belly button as she lifted her shirt at the breakfast table. Who would ever look at their plate, surveying its contents, and decide their belly button was someplace the sausage might belong? Only our 18-month old.

As I made the request, she looked at me and grinned. She knew it didn't belong there, but, hey, why not give it a try. And if nothing else it made her mother cringe. Yet, my first request created a challenge, as she tried just a little harder to get it to "fit."

After realizing it wasn't going to go in, as she first thought it might, her curiosity was exhausted for the time being and she gave up, putting it back on her plate. Let this be a lesson to all ... don't ever eat Alivia's leftovers.