Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Very Victorian Christmas

The kids were supposed to go see Santa at our school Christmas party, but it was cancelled thanks to a healthy dose of ice and snow. They don’t know who this Santa character is, but they see pictures of him everywhere, and people keep talking to them about him. Because they don’t like strangers, and because our friend Bill, who the kids know, was going to be Santa, we thought we were golden. No such luck. We may still try to pay way too much and take them to see mall Santa. Slim chance. Just in case, I PhotoShopped our kids’ heads on the bodies of twins sitting on Santa’s lap. The result is odd.

Fake Keillor and Emaline with Santa.
I am working on creating silhouettes of the kids. In sketching them out, I noticed the Keillor is starting to look a little older than Emaline. I wonder if this trend will continue.

Guess Who?
I am very excited that my children have chosen a favorite book. I know it is their favorite because we have to have two copies of it and we have to hide it from them so they don't destroy it. In 1977, my aunt bought me a book that became one of my all-time favorites. Maurice Sendak's In the Night Kitchen features a naked Mickey saving breakfast by flying to the Milky Way and pouring milk into the batter of the bakers who bake until dawn. The Schmookies love it as much as I did. When we get to the part where Mickey cries, "Cock a Doodle Doo," Keillor tries to mimic him. They love to find the moon on every page, and we must read the book at least twice before bedtime. Once I do the narration and Aimee does the voices; next we switch. Wrapped in the favorite blankets, each on a different lap, they know when to turn the pages and when the story is sadly over.

Monday, December 13, 2010

One Year Ago

A year ago, the kids were eating apple sauce (or at least learning to). They spent a lot of time on their backs, and didn't do much talking. Boy, a lot has changed.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Animal Noises

We have been practicing with animal noises: the cow says, "moo"; the horse says, "neigh"; the cat says, "meow," that kind of thing. We thought it was time to share what our kids can do with the world. They are not the best, but they try really hard.

Twin Rangers

Continuing with our video library, here is a recent gem recorded December 11. Happy Trails...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Peep Eye

Emaline and Keillor play Peep Eye

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


It seems like in the past couple of weeks, Emaline's vocabulary has exploded. She is saying new words every day. While Keillor is a little slower to learn new words, poor guy, he is trying really hard.
Here's what we've heard for sure. She/They can say and identify the following facial features:
TEETH--I think Keillor is the one who says "teeth."
The can identify and say the following foods:
Other seemlingly random words and phrases:
TINA (comes out as Mina)
ELLIE (Tina's dog)

Our trip to Birmingham for Thanksgiving was both fun and exhausting. We will never take I-75 home again.

The kids were great in the car. We Cracker Barrelled it to keep them full of rich country food. Emaline only threw up once.

Once in Alabama, they got to visit two sets of grandparents, play with dogs and cats, eat pizza, ride trains and tricycles, attempt to swim in the lake, drive a wheelchair, and get bunches of hugs and kisses.

Sharing an antique train at GaGa and GeeGee's house
Taking a spin in GaGa's wheelchair.

Playing piano with Mommy

Posing like a male model

Playing Connect 4 with Grammy

Eating pizza

Riding a tricycle with Mommy

Looking at the lake

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The point of keeping the Babes in Mauland blog was so that we would make sure to document the development of the twins--also known as the Schmookies--and to share with friends and family. Then a strange thing happened: they required much more interaction, which left much less time to share. We haven't even written in our journal in I don't know how long. The fact is, all of this is a cop-out, an excuse. We have time to watch TV, so we should have time to blog about the Schmookies.
Since I last updated, we have seen some big changes in the kids. Keillor, in an effort to protect himself from his sister, has begun sharpening his teeth with a file.
In retaliation, Emaline refuses to let us cut her nails, and by nails I mean the steel nails she had implanted to she could look like Wolverine.

We hear other parents talk about how their kids sleep until 7:00, 8:00, 9:00 a.m. "It's so nice to be able to sleep in," they say. Our kids wake up anywhere from 5:30 to 6:00 and proceed to yell at each other and call out for "Mommy" and "Daddy." This would be so much cuter at 7:30.
We have tried earlier bedtimes, later bedtimes, first and second dinner to make sure their bellies are full. They are just early birds. I blame their mother.

The pediatrician says, "As long as they are eating," and "Toddlers are just really picky," and "My son won't eat most foods either." We should feel like, OK, no big deal. So our daughter will only eat oatmeal, grapes, and Cheerios. So she'd rather just drain a sippy cup of milk than eat anything at all. The doctor says it's normal. The thing is, though, we can't just relax and let her eat what she'll eat. We have to stress out about it and try to make her eat other foods; you know, the green ones that grow from the ground. I think they're called vegetables. Wait, maybe vegetables are those things you throw onto the ground and say, "Uh oh" to. I forget.

We thought that being twins, our kids would learn to play cooperatively, to share and enjoy each other's company. To pinch and bite and pull hair and steal toys from one another. Wait, that's the reality. They do cooperate sometimes. For example, Keillor will slam him finger into a cabinet. While I am comforting him, Emaline will pull a knife out of the open dishwasher I was unloading--I mean Aimee was unloading. One trips in the playroom, the other is making a toilet paper pile in the bathroom. Cooperation.

Let's talk words, first. Here's what we hear consistently: of course, Mommy and Daddy (and variations of both), Nana (for banana), Uh Oh, Doggie, Ellie (our sitter's dog), Mimi (the mother of a girl they go to daycare with), My Milk (Emaline only), No, No, Bye Bye, Hi, Hey, PawPaw (Keillor only).
Emaline is getting good at mimicking us. I might say, "Let's go," and she'll try to say it.
Keillor is getting to where he only wants to eat with a spork. He likes to stab the food himself and feed himself. He will refuse food we try to feed him, but when stabbed with a spork, he will gobble it up.

I have to go to a meeting now. Maybe I'll force myself to find time later.
The Schmookies read to themselves

Thursday, August 19, 2010

An end to summer

The start of the new school year meant the end to my summer with the twins and the return to the mayhem that is morning at the Mau house. The kids wake up way too early—Emaline is not above waking up at 5:30 and jumping on her bed yelling until everyone is up. Breakfast is sometimes a test of wills. The post-breakfast, pre-departure play/scream time is my favorite.

Keillor is going through a phase where he wants to be up at our level so he can see everything and touch it. It is not enough for him to play the “point and boop” game once in a while—this game involves Keillor pointing at something, Aimee or I carrying him over to it, he touching it, and we saying, “Boop!” He now wants to be up high all of the time, especially in the morning when we are trying to get ready. He is not above a floor-beating tantrum.

Emaline is content to play by herself in the morning, but this sometimes involves her trying to stick her fingers in cabinets, close herself in rooms, climb on bookshelves, and various and sundry other acts of daring do. She has more bruises than a banana in a kid’s backpack.

Afternoons are also back to being hectic. We not only have to get dinner ready, but we have to think about how to alter or modify dinner so that the twins can eat it, too. In some cases, we have to make two dinners. Our goal is for everyone to sit down together and enjoy one meal. Our reality is that we have had very few warm meals in the last few months. Last night was an exception. By the grace of God, they both enjoyed bean burritos and ate theirs as we ate ours. This means that we will only be eating bean burritos for the rest of our lives, or until tomorrow when they decide that they don’t really like them. There’s always oatmeal.

The most fun of the day remains bath time. Emaline used to be scared of the tub, but she is finding that she can not only put up with Keillor’s constant splashing, but also enjoy a little splashing herself. They both love lying on their backs with their ears under the water listening to tapping on the tub or water running. Usually, Keillor begins flailing around like a madman, laughing maniacally. We bought an inflatable cover for the faucet so that they wouldn’t hurt themselves on in. They popped it. They also find other ways to injure themselves in the tub, most of which involve slipping and hitting their heads.

Keillor sees a cow
They started trying to climb into and out of the tub themselves. Not fun for us.

Emaline wants to dance
Speaking of climbing, I never mentioned the trip to Shakertown. Shaker Village was hosting a craft fair, so we brought the kids. They liked the craft part—wanting to grab everything they could—but we really enjoyed watching them dance and climb the stairs.
Emaline meets a goat

Keillor is about to get butted by a goat
A family of bluegrass musicians played under a tent, and the kids just loved it. They bounced and ran, smiling and yelling. We then took them into one of the Shaker homes and let them run wild. Keillor just wanted to go up. He climbed one set of stairs, but wasn’t finished, so he climbed another, and another. When there were no more, he got really upset, even though he was so tired he couldn’t stand up. Emaline could not match his speed, but she was OK with bringing up the rear.
Climbing the stairs
Right behind you
Enjoying the Shaker lifestyle
Wide open spaces

Maybe now that summer is over and I am back at work, I will find time to sit down and journal about them again.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Our trip to the Explorium

This summer has been so hot that just walking to the car draws out buckets of sweat. Staying inside all day, however, makes me want to pluck out my eyes. I have been trying to find new ways to entertain the kids and get out of the house. Trips to the grocery store were a novelty at first, but they are hit or miss with the double child seats. The best are at Kroger where the kids can ride in a car with real horns and steer the cart themselves. We spent way too long at Kroger getting compliments on behavior and “aren’t they just the cutest” from middle-aged women.
I thought a trip to Toys-R-Us would be fun. I needed to get some child safety latches for the cabinets, and I figured they must have really cool carts for kids. Wrong. They had regular old shopping carts. I didn’t bring the stroller, so I carried the kids around the store—well, just to the safety aisle (we didn’t stay long). Like a cartoon cat eating a fish, Emaline had the shelves picked clean in seconds. When the cashier asked if we found everything we were looking for, I told her, as only my mother would, that I was looking for a store catering to parents and children to have proper accommodations, and that I was sorely disappointed.

Later that day, Aimee said that the Best Buy next door had shopping carts with Geek Squad cars attached to them. Yea, Best Buy. Boo, Toys-R-Us.

Having stocked up on groceries, I made the decision to take the kids to downtown Lexington to the children’s museum, the Explorium. I had been to the museum about eight years ago with the PLBKs from the Manchester Center. They loved it. They, however, were elementary school kids.

We had discussed going to the Explorium several times already. We had gone to the website to check it out. We made ill-fated plans with the Webbs. We just never actually took the kids. First, the price is $7 for everyone one year of age and up. Second, most of the exhibits were designed for older kids. Third, with nap times, meal times, and cranky times, we have a limited window of opportunity.

Last week, the temperature reached 150 degrees. The heat index was 3,000 degrees. Our weatherman, Bill Meck, looked more like a lobster than ever. We needed a diversion, or as Jason Stackhouse would say, “a divergence.”

I made sure the diaper bag was well-stocked with fruit, milk, Cheerios, animal crackers and goldfish, and we were off. One of them slept on the way there. I don’t remember which one—they are twins after all.

One parking deck, one pedway, and two elevator trips later, we were at the Explorium. The tween at the counter asked “How many?”

I said just me and the babies.

She asked how old they were.

I said, “One,” knowing their policy.

She said, “It’s $7 for kids one and up.”

I said, “They’re eleven months and 29 days old.” I’m going to be lying about my kids’ ages for years to come, but I hope that I will remember the first time I lied to save $14. I then added, “We may not be here very long. This is an experiment.”

Knowing I was full of diaper fruit, she charged me $7.

Kids in the stroller, we made a quick tour of the main floor of the museum. I then parked the stroller next to the infant to three-year-old gulag, released the beasts, and commenced playing. This tiny corner of the Explorium was a wonderland for the twins: new toys, a three-tier water table, a train table, steps that weren’t cordoned off, and other kids.

Emaline ran around like a squirrel. Keillor found another boy with his mom, and promptly made his way between them.

Bumble Keillor conquers Mount Carpet
After our probationary stage in the kiddie corner, we went out into the great museum. Released from bondage, Emaline looked like a pinball bouncing from exhibit to exhibit. Not as sure on his feet, Keillor moved more slowly, still wide-eyed.

Kid Commandment #1: Thou shalt splash
Emaline meets herself in a giant mouth
They visited a giant mouth, rode a tractor, picked vegetables (Keillor tried to eat plastic corn), jumped on a Big piano, played with bubbles, visited an adobe house, walked on the moon, smelled perfume-scented flowers and much, much more. I had little heart attacks as I imagined them falling down stairs, being abducted, or pooping.
Keillor finds a new virus

Nearing lunch time, I had to make a decision: take them to Cosi and let them come back to the museum later or take them home. While we were having a swell time, I’m glad we went home. They were pooped (figuratively).
This one doesn't have a horn like the last one

On our way out, I planned to go back to the ticket counter and give Miley Cyrus the other $14 I owed her, but she wasn’t there, and it would have been weird trying to explain to someone else how I had cheated the system but wanted to make amends. Next time.
Emaline tries to make one small step out of the crater

Speaking of next time, the Explorium is definitely a two-parent job. Mommy will be invited in the future.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Letter to Meijer

Having children seems to have made me a more concerned citizen.

I sent this letter to the corporate offices of the Meijer grocery store:

This morning I brought my twin toddlers out on a grocery shopping trip. We headed straight for Meijer (Lexington, KY - # 184). Upon arrival, I spotted three carts with seats for two children. However, upon closer inspection, I saw that all three of the carts posed serious safety hazards for children. Two of the carts were missing part of the seat belts, rendering them useless. The third cart had two seatbelts, but they were knotted and missing the device for tightening them. There I was with two children and no way to safely shop with them. I had no choice and went to Kroger.

If I were a litigious man, I would have forgone this letter in favor of a more drastic route, but I like Meijer and want to continue shopping there.

I therefore request that this dangerous problem be remedied immediately.

Please let me know when the carts have been repaired and are once again safe for children so that I will know when I can return to Meijer.

More from Daddy Daycare

The following is a letter I sent recently to the Cracker Barrel corporate office:

On a recent trip from Wilmore, KY to Alexander City, AL, my wife, our one-year-old twins and I stopped at a Cracker Barrel outside of Nashville. We knew the restaurant was equipped with baby changing tables, and that the store was kid-friendly. What we didn’t know was how much everyone in our family would enjoy the stop.
In order to understand how exceptional our meal was, you need to know that our daughter is the pickiest eater I have ever encountered. She eats so little, and has such a limited palate that some days she will only eat oatmeal and Cheerios. Our son would eat a tire if seasoned properly, so we knew he’d enjoy it.

We ordered a veggie plate for them to split. They like to eat with their hands. Not only did they polish off the veggies, but they also ate from our plates as well: carrots, corn, apples, chicken, peas, macaroni and cheese, and, of course, biscuits and cornbread. They devoured the food. A lot of it ended up on the floor, but, like I said, they’re only one.

A dozen wet wipes later, we took them into the country store to check out the toys, apologizing to the waitress for the mess. They really got a kick out of the little dogs that walk on their own.

After the meal, they slept like champs.

On the trip home a week later, we stopped the Barrel again with similar results.

Thank you for making a 400 mile road trip with twin toddlers not only bearable, but fun.
Who knows? Maybe I'll get a coupon or something. We used to get to Aimee's mom's house in about seven hours. Our first trip with the babies took 10 hours. This last one was somewhere in between. The stop at the Barrel was good for everyone, though.

The 'bama trip was fun, with relatively little screaming in the car. The worst part was Central Standard Time. The time change had us up anywhere from 4 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. every day.

Keillor lounges with his mommy

In Alex City, the kids went swimming every day. Keillor even tried to actually swim, but like a Mau, he sunk. One afternoon, Keillor snuggled up to his mommy in a pool lounger. I think that was Aimee's best hour of the whole trip. They also got to wander around Grammy and PawPaw Dee's big yard. Keillor got a scrape on his knee when he fell. We rubbed some dirt in it and told him to shake it off.
In an attempt to win her brother's vacated senate seat, Emaline poses with the American flag.
In a trip within a trip, the twins got to see their great grandparents in Alabaster (the city, not the rock).
They also got to visit with GaGa, GeGe, Cousin Seth, Aunt Rita, and Uncle Joseph--we sure sound Jewish, don't we? Is that rude? Emaline played with GeGe's antique toy piano, which apparently is no longer a toy. Oops.

Emaline at a seafood restaurant on Lake Martin

Playing in the pool with their cousin Seth requires no water.
Keillor goes grocery shopping in Grammy's giant yard, while Emaline cares for her empty stroller

Summer with Daddy continues with many food experiments. Today they ate an entire plum. Yesterday they had Lima beans for the first time. They also had Muenster cheese and spicy black bean burgers. Still, for some reason, their favorite food lately has been infant oatmeal. Go figure.
Today we made a trip to Wal-Mart. I wasn't sure how I was going to cart them around, but we found a cart that holds two kids. It kind of looks like a love toilet from SNL painted blue and attached to the cart. It is also for children ages 2-6. Since it was the only thing available, and even though one of the straps was broken, I told the kids to tell anyone who asked that they were two. They had a ton of fun. One lady said, "It's so nice to see a man taking care of the kids." I told her, "That's what my husband says." OK, so I didn't say that, but I should have.

They are learning all kinds of tricks. Some of them I may have already shared.
Trick # 26: Slamming fingers in cabinets with a child lock.
Trick # 27: Pulling the drain out of the tub
Trick # 28: Stealing food from each others mouths (that one just happened when Emaline put her hand in Keillor's mouth, removed an animal cracker that he had shoved in there, and ate it herself).
Trick # 29: (also today) Stepping off the lower deck and experiencing a greater appreciation for gravity.
Trick # 16: Eating dirt.

Emaline is mastering "bye bye." Keillor has learned "nana." He kept yelling it at me and pointing to the banana on the counter. We'll see if it sticks.
They are also becoming little acrobats. Emaline has pulled herself off the floor by grabbing onto the table. She is also quite the tumbler. As I type this, she is behind me with her head on the ground and her butt in the air. A few minutes ago, Keillor was doing the same thing and the kitchen was filled with a sour outhouse smell.

Shoes have also been an adventure lately. It's no secret that Keillor is the bastard son of Barney Rubble. This has made finding shoes that fit him nearly impossible. When your feet are as wide as they are long, maybe slipper socks are the best bet.

Still no consistent walking from Keillor, but the other day when I dropped him off at daycare, he walked back to me--at least six steps. When he realized what he was doing, he fell. Now that Emaline is faster than he is, he may have to figure this walking thing out once and for all.

Keillor takes a break from singing in the tub to pose for the camera.

Finally, while playing in the tub, Keillor launched a depth charge--three, actually--that necessitated the immediate evacuation of all toys. We should have seen it coming when he earlier sounded his underwater air horn with great vigor.

People ask me how I find time to blog when I am home with the kids three days a week. I have two words for you: benign neglect.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer with Daddy

Just as our baby journal entries have become fewer and farther between, so too have my blog entries. Maybe this is a sign that we are spending so much quality time with the kids making memories, that we don't have time to write them down. Maybe we're just exhausted.
This morning, after Emaline waved goodbye to her mommy and Aimee left for work, Emaline started crying. Then in a move of solidarity, Keillor joined in. Here I am beginning my day alone with my two children, and both of them are crying that their mother is gone. Eventually, I calmed Emaline down with a sippy cup of milk, and Keillor forgot what he was crying about as he dismantled the bookshelf. They might have this great bond with us that connects us all as a family, but how quickly and easily they can be distracted.
I have been home with them since Tuesday, and in that short period of time, we have had some adventures, from fingers getting caught in cabinet doors to the extrication of obstinate bowel movements. We have taken car trips, played in the pool, read books, tried new foods, and played hours of peek-a-boo. We even tried bathing the dog. I would like to have gone on walks with them, but it is hotter than Satan's sauna out there, even in the morning.
Peek-a-boo is a family favorite--"Where's Keillor?"

Taking all of the books off of the shelf makes destroying them easier.

Emaline is more interested in animal crackers than swimming

Keillor wants to drink all of the water

They sure love each other

Emaline loves to swing. At the park with Daddy

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

One Year Down

June 2 saw the start of their second year of life. As I sit here at the kitchen table with Keillor in my lap trying to play with the computer, feet propped up, just like his mommy, I am amazed at how much my life has changed, at how much of  a better person I want to be. Enough about me.
Emaline is walking on her own. She is no champion sprinter or anything, but she can stand up and swagger like a proper toddler. She is master of multiple surfaces: linoleum, hardwood, carpet, decking, and even grass. She wants to walk on porcelain  (the bathtub), but this scares her mommy.
Emaline walks over to play with her toys
While she is a walker, she is nowhere near as fast as her brother, who crawls at breakneck speeds throughout the house. He can move from the kitchen to our bedroom in the time it takes for me to get milk out of the fridge. The other day, a guest had left the bathroom door open and the toilet seat up. Once he knew we were distracted, he jetted for the bathroom. Aimee turned around and in a flash had stopped him from diving into the toilet.
Emaline plays with her new drum.
Summertime is outside time, and Grammy bought the twins a deluxe water fun park with an alligator pool, elephant shower, and giraffe...I'm not sure what it is really--it's like in a cartoon where if Yosemite Sam shot the giraffe in the neck with buckshot and his neck sprung a leak. He carries a six-shooter, doesn't he? Elmer Fudd then. Emaline is still traumatized after going under a couple of times, so she sits outside of the pool and plays with the water. Keillor likes to get buck naked and splash. Also, since he has discoved his boy parts, he likes to tug on his penis with one hand and splash with the other--multitasking.

Pool time
The Webbs gave the twins a great birthday gift that allows for water play but lets Emaline stay dry. They tried out the water table yesterday, bringing out their favorite tub toys.
Speaking of toys, one set of Alabama grandparents stopped by for the weekend. GaGa and GeGe (don't ask) brought homemade rocking horses for the kids. My father loves projects, and with grandchildren, he is having a blast in his workshop building wooden toys. The rocking horses look like expensive antiques. The kids are a little too small for them now, but horse racing season is just around the corner. They'll be ready for the Keeneland fall meet.
Emaline cries as Keillor steals her plastic kitty cat

While it has not arrived yet, the Arizona grandparents (my mom and stepdad), have ordered the twins a workbench. They have one at daycare, and both are into all the tools as much as GaGa. One might say they are gaga about the tools. One might.
Their second birthday cake, a mommy and daddy original (that we copied from a magazine)
On the food front, Keillor is eating everything he can put in his mouth--except birthday cake. He had chicken nuggets yesterday. He is officially an American boy. Emaline has become quite picky. She might love blueberries one day, but won't touch them the next. She likes chicken, but doesn't like the breading. She still wants to eat baby food, but doesn't want to be fed. Are we raising a diva? As for milk, we have made the transition from breastmilk to formula to cow's milk mostly successfully. They like the vitamin D milk, but don't like how cold it is. We are supposed to be transitioning to sippy cups.
Keillor uses a sippy cup, even though he would prefer a bottle
Keillor can drink out of a cup, no problem, and he will, too, until he sees his sister drinking from a bottle. She doesn't seem to have figured out the sippy cup. This will be a frustrating process. We just have to keep reminding ourselves that very few adults still drink out of bottles, so eventually our kids won't either.

Emaline eats birthday cake with GaGa. Keillor prefers to look at the plate.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Phrases I Never Thought I’d Say to Another Human

Poor little thing. You have bumps all over your fanny.

Let’s keep our hands out of our vagina.

Keep your hands out of your doo doo.

Just let me put this vaseline on your bird.
Oh, don’t wipe it in your eyes.

Why won’t you just snuggle with Daddy?

Let’s not eat leaves. No, no.

Stop playing with your penis and drink your milk.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Puking Baby, Walking Baby, Clapping Baby, Dancing Baby

Monday morning when I got Emaline out of her crib, I noticed some kind of dried goop in her hair and on her jammies. I figured it was snot or drool. No biggie.
We started breakfast uneventfully. The oatmeal was mixed and heated, the milk was ready, the babies were half asleep, we were half asleep. Emaline would not even open her mouth to eat any oatmeal. She has been picky about what food she would eat, what food she would spit out, and what food she would even accept into her mouth. Most food she likes to squish around between her fingers and rub into her eyes. We found out the day before that she would eat waffles. She likes using her hands. As I was heating up a waffle, gave her some milk.
She drank the milk with purpose, barely stopping to breathe. She was a milk-drinkin' fool. She drained it. I cut up the warm waffle and put it on her tray. As I was backing away, this fountain of milk came spewing from her mouth. Sparing any more raw details, we went through a few clothing changes before her retching spell was over.
Aimee spent the morning at home with Emaline (I came home at lunch to relieve her). No more vomiting during that time. Instead, lots of snuggling. Our daughter is the independent one of the twins. Keillor loves attention, thrives on it. Emaline would rather explore and experiment on her own. Until she gets suck, that is. Then she is more clingy than a blanket fresh out of the dryer. Mommy and daughter bonded.
As I said, Emaline is independent. She is also determined. Right now, she wants to learn to walk. She practices every chance she gets. We have documented six independent steps in a row before either grabbing onto the nearest piece of furniture or falling on her butt. She has two weeks from today to walk before her first birthday. I can't believe they are almost one.
While Emaline is practicing walking, Keillor has been focusing on rythm (no vowels in that word, hmm). He has learned how to clap. Sometimes we have to remind him by clapping for him, but then he remembers and can do it on his own. 
 Both babies are starting to realize that music has a beat you can move to. When we sing to them or when a song comes on, we sometimes catch them bobbing their heads or swaying to the rythm. Very cool.