This blog post is ridiculously long. I actually started it a year ago. A year ago! And I worked it on at least once a week since then. Just reading it all the way through took several hours. I’m breaking into several parts 1) so I don’t crash the website where I post my blog, and 2) so I don’t bore anyone to pieces by reading it all at one time. Enjoy?
The twins celebrate their second birthday. When James is asked how old he is he says “2.” Julia begins the day by answering, “2” (said “twooooooo!”), but quickly changes her mind and decides to begin saying “3.” Clearly she’s already envisioning acquiring a fake ID by the time she’s 6.
For the first time they get to watch Sesame Street that day and they immediately become enamored. While viewing, Julia prefers to lie on the sofa in weird positions and yell “Elmo” whenever he’s onscreen. He’s the Norm of the toddler set.
|Watching Sesame Street with Papa and Gaga|
Before Christmas, when Gaga sings Santa Claus Is Coming to Town she mentions that Uncle Michael is coming then, too. After that the twins add “Michael” to the chorus of the song (Santa Claus and Michael Are Coming to Town).
My parents and Michael visit us for Christmas and the babies are standoffish at first because they haven’t seen their uncle in a year. At first Julia covers half of her face whenever he’s in the room like she’s playing peek-a-boo, no doubt reasoning that if she can’t see him he can’t scare her. Later Julia hugs Michael and he reads to her and she likes getting him to ride the horsey and zebra with her to Jingle Bells. James warms up to him just in time for him to return to Alabama.
|Uncle Michael rides the zebra while Julia jubilantly rides the horsey.|
After my family leaves, the twins continue to refer to the dining chairs used by my family at Christmas by the occupant’s name during the visit. Julia keeps wanting to climb on “Gaga T” (Gaga’s chair) and when I finally put her in her own chair for breakfast, she fumes and doesn’t want to eat. Later she climbs on Gaga T again and once there calls for me again and again because she can’t actually get down herself. I enjoy this little game so much I end up hiding all the dining chairs.
James and Julia go nuts when they hear Jingle Bells while on their horsey or zebra, and if they’re not already on them they’ll rush over and then ride them furiously. Julia requests this song by saying “Genko Ball.” They back off on riding during the verses and then bounce again excitedly at the chorus, adding in the “Oh!” in the song. They also love sitting on their horsey and zebra and requesting Raffi Christmas songs. God help us all.
The twins see houses with Christmas lights close-up for the first time. When we visit Christmas Tree Lane in Palo Alto it’s a wondrous and confusing experience for them, especially Julia who runs up to a lit wire frame present in someone’s yard, yells “present!” and tries to carry it home.
After Christmas, I subject the twins to a Santa Diaper photo shoot, and we exchange holiday gifts with Kelsi, Drew, and Ari, and Rachel, Matthew, Raelle, and Rivven at our place, and then all eat at La Fiesta.
|James and Julia in their Santa diapers|
|Wait, what is Julia wearing?|
James surprises me by saying “Happy New Year.” He remembered it only from hearing it once the day before while at dinner.
Papa and Gaga visit off and on as always, though this time they because of their travels to the Caribbean and the East Coast they are away the longest stretch yet - 6 weeks. When Bubby visits in February she surprises the twins by suddenly showing up at Cooper Park where they are playing. (Mark took her straight there from the airport.) They don’t seem to recognize her at first in her sunglasses, but when she removes them they are all smiles. (See video.)