Author: Lala
•Sunday, October 16, 2011
[From Carl]
I'm sitting here writing a blog post instead of attending church right now because we are basically all sick.  I'm not feeling much myself, but the kids have had a pretty rough few days, and now Lala's feeling it too.  The good thing is that the girls are mature enough to just try to get back to sleep at night, rather than simply crying all night about feeling crummy or having a clogged nose.  Once again, their being good sleepers makes things a lot better for us.

Mikelle got sick with a cold first and started coughing a lot, and now she seems to be getting better and Rianne is the one feeling really bad.  We make zero effort to keep infections from spreading between them.  They chew on the same toys anyway (and bottles, and spoons, and socks), and are always together (climbing on each other, often).

The kids are babbling up a storm lately.  This morning we were laughing because it looked like Mikelle was giving an animated speech, complete with hand-chops and standing on a soap box (actually, a diaper box, but close enough).  Lala thought that reminded her of me. Rianne has always been a few weeks behind on most development milestones, but she has been making the babbling far more intricate as well.

They keep changing.  When we decide one is shy and the other bossy, they change it up.  For a while it looked like Mikelle was taking over the role of "petitioner for redress of after-meal cleanup grievances", but now I'm not so sure.  Rianne still defends herself by biting Mikelle, but we usually stop it first.  Mikelle has the past few days gotten in Rianne's face a lot and thinks she's a cushion to bounce on, or lie on, or poke.  Of course they always follow each other (and us) around.  Both of them are really good at walking, and Mikelle especially likes to take off exploring when we let them out of the stroller.  They are no longer so obsessive about putting everything in their mouths, which makes outings far easier.

We got a lightweight folding side-by-side double stroller, which is really what we need now.  It's something practical for Lala to use (she couldn't even get the really big stroller we have into the car, so she couldn't really go places).  I, being rather stronger, can still take the kids and the stroller on the bus by myself, since it's really just a matter of arranging all the stuff to carry so I can do it with two arms (putting one kid in a harness makes this possible).  We have been going out basically every afternoon - the mall is our friend.  The kids get very bored if we try to just stay home.  We're pretty intimidated by winter - how will we get out so much? 

It's getting close to November, which means that the Philippines is coming up soon!  I'll be in Las Vegas for a conference the week before we leave, and Lala will stay with friends in Maryland while I'm gone.  Basically, nothing will be very routine for the rest of the year.  We got some "Peapod" tents for the girls to sleep in when they're not at home.  Lala had the girls successfully use them for the afternoon nap when she visited a friend last week, so I think that will work out.

It's been busy times, even with the move behind us.  It seems like every time we turn around someone sends us a bill saying we need to pay more money than we'd agreed on (Verizon internet, rental office (twice), doctors, yikes).  With the upcoming travel and the move, it's been kind of hard to make a budget that reflects reality.  We'll just have to see where we are come the new year I think.  I guess with a family "in flux" is kind of our normal state.
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