Friday, December 30, 2005

Magical Morning

The boys woke on Christmas morning to see the tree lit up and a train rolling around the tracks. Apparently, Santa had set it up in the middle of the night. And that made him hungry so he ate almost all of the cookies we had put out for him. His reindeer must have been hungry too because they ate almost all of the carrots. J and D were so excited to see all their presents and to see what Santa had brought them. D just now told me that his favorite toy was the Woody doll that he got that has a guitar and a real pull string. He's sitting next to me as I type this singing the theme song from Toy Story. J just told me that his favorite toy is a globe that has a joystick that maneuvers an airplane around and tells about different parts of the world. Funny, I thought his favorite toy was the train and that D's favorite was Buzz Lightyear. It was interesting watching them that morning. Everything that D opened J wanted and when he didn't get the same thing he stood in the middle of the room and lowered his head. He looked so pathetic and I felt really bad for him. I remember that feeling - wanting something so bad and not getting it, wishing it was yours. Of course, it wouldn't matter what J got as long as D got something different then that's what J would want. But seeing his little sad face made me think it's happening to J too soon. He's too young to have that feeling already. Once the excitement of the day wore off a bit J was fine and really happy to play with his train set.
The best Christmas present I got that day was that D decided he was done with diapers and didn't want to wear them anymore. And that was that - he hasn't worn them since. He's had a couple of accidents but only in the first few days. Since then, we've gone to the Uncles' house for the day and a playdate at an indoor playplace without incidence. He's still wearing a diaper at night but the rest of the time he's in underwear. I'm so proud of both of them.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I put a spell on you

Taken Saturday, December 10th just before we headed out for the SFVMOMC holiday party.

Potty Training

J has potty trained himself. He decided last week that he didn't want to wear diapers anymore and, for the most part, he hasn't. See, at our 3 year appointment the pediatrician told them that they're now big boys and that big boys use the potty and don't wear diapers. I let it slide because I am of the philosophy that they'll do it when they're ready. But, J is an interesting kid - he's very aware of pleasing others and it is extremely important to him to live up to others' expectations. So after a few days passed, he did exactly what the pediatrician told him to do. D, on the other hand, doesn't give a hoot about what other people think and seems to have gone in the opposite direction. He was really close to being potty trained but now that J is, he seems to have absolutely no interest in it. He's perfectly happy in a diaper and doesn't really care that J doesn't wear one. I plan to work with D over the holiday break but if he doesn't get trained, it's ok. They move to the preschool side of the daycare the first week of January and he'll get it. I just am fascinated by the way it seems to be playing out. It's like having my own live case study!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Snow Day

I'm a bit late in posting about this but, oh well. Last Saturday (12/10) I took the family to the feature animation Holiday party. For the last 3 years we've had parties that cater to those with children, with many different activities for a variety of ages. This year, they trucked in snow. There were several spots throughout the plaza area that had piles of snow and one spot had a large pile over several bales of hay and the kids were sliding down the "hill" on discs. This was the first time J and D have seen snow. J was especially enthralled. I imagine this is what was going through his brain - "What? You can make it into a little ball and hurl it at someone's head? COOL! And - it gets slippery and makes people fall down? AWESOME! My favorite things - throwing things at people and watching them fall down." He's so much like me it's scary. T - if you're reading this, I just can't help it. It's funny when people fall down.
Anyway, the boys had a great time playing in the snow and then they discovered the hill with the disc hurtling down it 150 miles per hour and that's what they wanted to do next. So, T took them to the top of the mountain and they waited for their turn. I stayed at the bottom so I could catch them before they hit the street a block away. No, I am not overreacting!! We told the boys they need to hold on really tight but of course the first bump they hit, they let go. But, being little kids who like to fall down, they thought that was fun. They went down the hill 4 or 5 times and then we convinced them that it was time to get some dinner. They munched on grilled cheese sandwiches and then we found out that there was prime rib inside the ABC building so we abandoned the sandwiches and headed indoors. On the way to the dining room, there was a section devoted to story-telling and the story-teller was already hard at work. The boys and I sat down to listen and T went hunting for the meat. After we ate, we found the boys' friend from daycare, F and they all played for a while. Then we discovered the craft table, where J then discovered scissors and that is where we spent the remainder of the evening. J cut up his piece of paper into as many tiny slivers as he could while D peeled off the backing from the mitten stickers, stocking stickers, heart stickers, etc. and put them on his face. A colleague of mine snapped a photo of that and I'm looking forward to seeing how it turned out. Finally, at 9:30pm we told the boys it was time to go and we headed home. What a night!

Monday, December 05, 2005

3 years

I took the boys to the Doctor today for their 3 year check up. J weighed in at 27 pounds and is 36 1/4 inches tall. D is a whopping 25 pounds and 36 inches tall. When I first went into Dr. Shulman's office for their 1st checkup, I think J weighed around 6 pounds and he was 2 months old. D was probably just over 5 pounds. We went to Dr. Shulman's office once a week for the first month, then it went down to every 2 weeks, then once a month. Even after we got through those critical first months, we were in and out of the doctor because the boys got sick so often. D has had pneumonia 3 times and has been hospitalized twice; J has had croup several times and was almost hospitalized for it once. Today, the Doctor said "either you're seeing someone else or the boys' health is very good". We've only been to the office once since their 2 year check up. What a difference! They're on track developmentally and while they may be small, they're feisty and smart and doing just what 3 year olds should do. And that is the best birthday present I could have asked for them.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Template Parenting

I had what could possibly be the best parenting day ever. First of all, let me preface this post by saying that I went out Saturday night and had a few drinsk . . . oops, I mean drinks. So when I went to bed late Saturday night (think early Sunday morning) I was really expecting to have one of those foggy, headachy days when the kids seem to whine extra long and extra loud. Especially since D was running a fever Saturday evening. So, maybe it was the low expectations. Anyway, J crawled into bed at 5:30am but fell right back to sleep . . . and stayed there until 7:30am. Ok, I haven't stayed in bed until 7:30am in years! What a luxury! We went out to the living room and put in a movie which he watched quietly while I leafed through a magazine. Yes, you heard right. I leafed through a magazine!! D joined us early in the movie and since they were being so sweet and mellow, I gave them an extra nutri grain bar. What a treat, right? Then J helped me make the waffle batter and I made waffles. After breakfast, I took them to the Farmer's Market. T's friend Step had dropped by to watch the Eagles game so I figured, what the hell - let's get out of their hair and after we shop at the FM, I'll take the boys to the playground as a reward. They were so good at the market - helped me pick out zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, apples and green beans. They only fought one time but otherwise stayed close to me and listened so well. There was a big bounce house with a rock wall and slide at the FM so we took the groceries to the car, then walked over to the bounce house. J hopped into that house and immediately went for the rock wall. He navigated that wall like a pro and before I knew it, was down the slide and running back for more. It was amazing to watch. D required a little more help. He tried to do it on his own but got scared as he reached the top. I had to go in and help him up the wall a few times but then he "got" it. Frankly, I don't blame him for being scared - that wall was steeeeep!! And when there were other kids at the top it swayed and it was a little disconcerting, even for me. Anyway, they did that for 30 minutes and then it was time to go. They protested for a while but I explained that they got to go up one last time but that their time was up and we needed to take the groceries home and have lunch. Once I got their shoes back on, both of them wanted to be carried. So, I hoisted J onto my right hip then leaned down for D to hook onto my left hip. As we were walking away from the bounce house a woman sitting on the lawn with her infant said "way to go, girl - bravo". I gotta say - it made me feel so good. Sometimes it's so hard to stay patient and of all days, yesterday should have been the worse but instead, it was the best. We went home and T had lunch ready for us. After lunch he and Step took the boys for a drive - code for you need naps!!! I took off for Target and spent the afternoon picking out accessories for my new office. The rest of the day passed uneventfully but just as peacefully. Part of me is really skeptical - like what the heck happened that I could manage things so well yesterday when other days the littlest thing will have me tearing my hair out? I don't know but I hope to take this day and use it as a "template" for the kind of parent I want to be everyday.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Happy Birthday D

Dear D,
You reluctantly entered the world three years ago today. You were not ready but J was anxious and so the decision was made for you. Your dissatisfaction was expressed with weak cries and whimpering - and it was music to my ears. You gave us a scare the next day when your lung collapsed and you had to have a chest tube inserted. But, you are fierce and determined and were so even then. We used to do kangaroo care with you and you absolutely loved it. I would unbutton my shirt and the nurse would slide you in, then I'd cover us with a blanket and you would nuzzle deep into my chest, curled up like a little kidney bean. That's why we started calling you "the Bean". And when it was time to put you back in your isolette, you would resist - your little fingers grasping to hold onto my skin, your face straining to stay next to my chest. I'm sorry I couldn't keep you there forever.
Sometimes I would walk into the NICU and find you with your finger on your chin, squinting through your eyes as if to ask skeptically, "what is that?". While J wanted to explore his surroundings enthusiastically, you were more wary. And today, you are by turns shy and outgoing, determined and unsure, afraid to change and quick to change. You're a bit of a mystery and I think you like it that way. Your sense of humor is quiet and smart. You're independent but sometimes just need your momma or daddy. Your memory is unbelievable and you have been known to hold a grudge for hours - but then, sweetly you will forgive us, tired of being mad and the energy it takes, with a simple hug.
My little Bean - my excitable, smart, funny, fierce, determined, cautious, lovable Bean - Happy third Birthday.
I love you.

Happy Birthday J

Dear J,
It was 3 years ago today that you quietly entered the world. Not breathing, not crying. I held my breath waiting to hear you - finally after D was born, I heard you. I'll never forget the enormous relief I felt when I heard those weak cries and whimpers. And now, you are 3 years old. I can't believe how fast these years have gone. Over the 2 months that you were in the NICU, your personality began to emerge. Your eyes were always open - those big round eyes wanted to see everything. You always seemed to be asking "what is that?", always straining to see your surroundings. The nurses would frequently take pictures of you because those big eyes would be positively comical in your tiny little face.
And today, your eyes are still enormous and so expressive - dark brown just like your daddy's, rimmed in the thickest, curliest lashes. And you often ask "what is that?", just as you always seemed to when you were a newborn. I love the way you want to hold my hand when we're sitting on the couch watching a movie. I love the way you throw your arms around my neck and kiss my cheek and say "I love you". I even love that you don't want me to leave when I drop you off at daycare, the way you wrap your arms around my leg and bury your face and say "don't go to work". Sometimes you come over to me and just kiss my hand or my leg and then you look up at me and smile. You like when I wear lipstick and want me to kiss you so you'll have some too. And what a helper! Whether it's emptying the dishwasher, running the vacuum, putting the groceries away - you love to help.
So, to my sweet, loving, affectionate, curious, energetic, helpful, wonderful J - Happy 3rd Birthday.
I love you.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Mary really gets around

When we were driving around Boston, the boys were entertaining us by singing "Mary had a little lamb". First D sang the song, well the first line of the song not the entire song but it was on key and he had that line down. Then J joined in but J's version is a little different. For one thing, it's much louder and not necessarily on key - not because J can't sing but because J has a quirky sense of humor. And another thing - his song lyric went like this "Mary had a yellow man". Like I said, J's funny. Anyway, so they're singing away back there when suddenly D yells out "NOT LIKE THAT!!!". J keeps singing the same way with the same lyric but even louder and D yells again "NOT LIKE THAT!!!". And so it went on and on until D ended up screaming and J screamed back and then suddenly there's tears and I suggested maybe we should come up with a different song to sing.
A few days after we got back to LA, as we were driving home from school, J started singing "Mary had a little lamb" with the correct lyrics and tune. He paused briefly and during that pause D chirped "yeah, like that!".

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Pin Signing

Here's me looking slightly sheepish as I wait for the first people in line - the ones who've waited 3 1/2 hours for this!!

3 hours of Fame

Back in July, the CL gang sent out an invitation to all of FA to pick up a CL maquette and re-cast him into a new role - whatever we wanted. I picked one up and finally figured out what I would do - 2 days before he was due. I decided to make him into an out of work actor. After all, his movie is over and the kid's gotta find some work. So, I found green-rimmed sunglasses, a khaki visor, a green backpack and a miniature phone. I created a script to hang out of his backpack, made miniature acting books and trade magazines, made headshots and even created a miniature resume - complete with real and fake credits. I was real-ly proud of my effort and thought when I handed him in that I would never see him again. Well, it turns out that D-land loved all the maquettes that FA did and decided to choose 4 to have commemorative pins made. My little chicken was picked and on Saturday, October 15th I got to go down to D-land for a pin signing event. It was a great experience. First, to my surprise, there was a line of people waiting for the event to start who had been there since 6:00am. They were so excited about the pin, about meeting us (the designers) and about the character. It was very uplifting to see the positive response about a character whose movie isn't even out yet. We signed for 3 hours and had a steady group of people during that time. Some wanted to take our pictures, some wanted pictures with us, some wanted their pins personalized, some wanted us to sign their autograph books. All were enormous fans of Dney and their enthusiasm is contagious. It's invigorating to be around that level of Dney love - it reminds me of all the things that I love about working here.


on the way to school this morning:

What are you doing, J? (D)

Picking my nose. (J)

Oh. (D)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Four of us

The Wedding

. . . was spectacular. There was such a great attention to detail but not in an overwhelming way that made you feel like you were watching a "production". Just wonderful details that made the ceremony seem so intimate and personal and yet, we were part of it. For instance, one of my favorite parts was when the Reverend asked that everyone who pledged their support of this marriage to please show that committment by standing. The couple faced us as we all stood and watching their expressions as they absorbed the love that surrounded them was beautiful. Another favorite moment was when they each lit a candle from the unity candle, then walked down the aisle to light the candle of the first person in each pew who then passed the light down the pew until all the candles were lit. It was lovely. I was videotaping the ceremony for Eddie's mom, Chick which was good because I was able to disconnect from the emotion for a little bit. Later, at the reception, I was so emotional - just tearing up over every little thing. I guess it's because I've seen this couple together and apart, together and apart and I didn't think they'd ever get to this day. To see them together, so committed and to be witness to the partnership was really special. Anyway, on to the reception. Oh - one other special touch. When we exited the church, we were given sheet music wrapped up like a cone and inside were rose petals that we were to throw to the couple when they emerged. I later found out that every sheet of music was to a different love song. I really wish I had kept mine.
The reception - really fun, fantastic food, amazing wine, great music. T gave a great toast that made us laugh and cry. Eddie and Elizabeth danced their first dance to a Springsteen song "If I should fall behind". Yeah - I was a puddle during that. I don't know what else to say. Everything I write seems inadequate. I don't have the words to describe how I felt when I saw them dance together. I just don't have the words.
Look at a picture.

Friday, October 14, 2005

We're back!

It was my intention to post throughout our vacation but I just didn't make it. So, that means there is a lot to catch up on. Since I did post about the family reunion, I'll start with the next event which was the BBQ at the Reinoso's. It was wonderful to see these guys, who've been friends since high school, gathered on the deck with their respective spouses and kids, watching the game and swapping stories. A really fun day.
The next evening we went to the Hagey's (another friend from high school) for dinner. That was a stressful night for us because J and D (especially J) were absolute bullies to their kids. My theory is that since the boys always have each other to knock around that they're used to more rough play than kids who are only children or just not used to rough play. And it seems that if a kid doesn't "fight back", that J just gets rougher and rougher. That and we need to limit their sugar intake. Too much ice cream makes J a very naughty boy.
The next day we headed up to Andover, MA to visit our friends, the Tenore's. J and R are practicing Muslims and it was the first day of Ramadan, so we weren't sure what to expect and wanted to make sure we weren't keeping them from anything. We arrived just before sundown - perfect timing! - and R laid out a feast on the table. First, we broke the fast with a sweet, cold soup with fruit in it. Next, a large bowl of chicken soup with pasta and meatballs was put in front of us. Then, the main course: fried chicken drumsticks, chicken curry, jasmine rice, and baked haddock. It was utterly delicious. Finally, we finished off our dinner with tea and cake. Then the boys and their daughter, C, gave chase around the house. C took the early lead - the girl is fast and J maintained a good distance behind her. D brought up the rear and got lapped once or twice. We had a talk with the boys before we got there about the importance of sharing and being kind to C so they were much better than they had been the night previous. The next day, the Tenore's were kind enough to take us through Boston for a quick tour and walk around at Harvard Square. Then we were off for Hyannis to catch the ferry to Nantucket.
Next up - Nantucket with special devotion to the Eddie/Elizabeth wedding.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Memorable Quotes

"Uncle T - I think J is wearing too much makeup." - Cousin Joci to T after discovering J covering his face with lipstick.


Just returned from the Rappold Family Reunion. It was really nice to have all the families together for the first time since we've all (well, most) had kids. Watching E and Joc show their cousins their playroom made me wish we could be a little closer so we could get together more often. Jam adores baseball and desperately wanted J or D to play with him but they are just too young still to know what to do. And Jam's quite good with the bat! He looks like a little pro.
It was the first time many of us got to meet our cousins' children and it was really neat to get the kids together to see the similarities. Billy Rappold's little boy Nicholas looks just like him and has an affinity for bugs. As Billy was taking him out to the car to go home, Nicholas was talking about the various bugs we were likely to see at night, why they come out at night and what they might do to us (bite us and leave pimples on our faces).
Joc reminds me so much of D with her deep brown eyes with the sloping lids, contemplative demeanor, quietly observing the action around her. E is all girly personality - already seeming like a girl I wanted to hang out with in high school - smart, pretty, and confident but still a little girl. M and S - so grown up. M is driving now and in her junior year of high school, still dancing, getting more beautiful by the day. Everyone agrees, she looks like Memmie more and more every year.
Bill and Pauline were there with Amanda, Paul and Elizabeth and their girls Madeleine and Mikayla.
Aunt Nancy and Uncle Matt were there, also and it was the first time all the children of Henry and Betty Rappold were together in some 8 years. I only met Henry once and Betty twice but as I reflect on the evening I think they would have been really proud to see their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren together today. All these different lives from all over the country came together to honor them and to celebrate family. It was really a lovely thing to be a part of. Memmie would be so incredibly proud of her grandchildren and even though she is no longer with us, her spirit lives in the souls of her children and grandchildren. I feel really lucky to have married into this family.

PHL - Nonstop

Whew! What a long day that was! We left our house on Thursday, 9/29 at 9:30am, caught the bus at the local airport, checked in at the airport and were at the gate by 11:00am - and had 2 hours to kill. Finally, we got on the plane and we were so lucky because we had an extra seat and it really came in handy! D slept for 4 hours on the plane - almost the entire trip. J slept for nearly 2 hours and then sat on T's lap to color and look at books. They did remarkably well. We didn't get to Grandfather's house until nearly midnight and then they were so excited that they didn't go to sleep until 1:30am. We all took naps yesterday! We're having a really nice time. Today is the Rappold family reunion at Janine's house. That's all for now - more later.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Nautica Malibu Triathlon - Sunday 9/25/2005

I completed my first triathlon! We arrived at Zuma Sunday morning at 5:30am. I set up my transition area, applied the body glide, took a group photo with the rest of the Dney Tri Team and then walked around chatting with fellow teammates. I felt surprisingly calm even as I looked out at pretty big waves. We headed to the beach for 7:00am greeting by the race director then watched the elites head out at 7:15am. My wave wasn't until 8:00am so I went back to the transition area, did a shot of gu then headed back to the beach to contemplate going into the water for a warmup. At 7:50am I went into the water - damn it was cold! 59 degrees! Yikes. So I went in and dove under a few waves just to feel the water, feel the current, get used to the shock. Then back onto the beach to wait for the cannon to signal my start. I lined up toward the back of the pack and on the left. 8:00am - BOOM!! and here we go! I ran out to the water, there were people everywhere - nowhere to dolphin because I'd get kicked. Dolphined a couple of times, dove under some big ones and then finally had fairly calm water and started to swim. Rounded the first buoy quickly and came up to the second one pretty quickly, too. The third buoy seemed to take forever but once I rounded that it was time to turn back into shore. As I swam into shore I kept looking over my shoulder for a big wave to either ride in or dive under. Unfortunately when the big wave came I couldn't make up my mind about riding it in or diving under it and mother nature made the decision for me when that big, bad wave crested on top of my head and spun me around like the spin cycle of a washing machine. Finally, I managed to get my head out of the water for a giant breath and then started swimming again. I kind of caught a little wave that propelled me toward shore and I realized the water was shallow enough that I could start running. Except that I could barely feel my legs. Everything was pretty numb. Did I mention how cold the water was? Anyway, finally got out of the water and started shuffling through the sand. It's hard to run through sand when your body is numb and you've just swam a half mile. Somehow peeled my wetsuit off my body and got my cycling jersey on, then helmet and sunglasses, socks and shoes, got the bike off the rack and off I went. It sounds so fast as I write it but it took me 6 minutes. Nothing eventful happened on the bike - it just took forever. You know, rolling hills blah blah blah. People passing me constantly. Then finally, I'm back in the transition area racking the bike and taking off the helmet, then off I go again for the run. My goal was to complete the whole race in 2 hours 30 minutes. When I looked at my watch after the bike I realized I was really going to have to run hard to make it. Well the first mile felt like I was running on concrete pillars - everything ached and burned. But at the first mile marker I started hitting my stride and feeling comfortable. I passed tons of fellow Dney tri teamers and hearing "Go Team Dney!" as you pass them really spurred me on. At the 2 mile mark I checked the watch and realized I was going to have to run really fast to hit my time goal. I kicked into high gear and before I knew it I was nearing the finish line. The finish area was lined with people cheering and when I came through they started yelling "Go Dney" and that just made me sprint home. I crossed the finish line with a time of 2:28:19! My 4 mile run equaled 42 minutes - that's the fastest I've ever run 4 miles. It was awesome! I can't wait to do it again.
Goals for next year:
1) Shave 1 minute off the swim
2) Shave 2 minutes off T1
3) Shave 15 minutes off the bike
4) Shave 2 minutes off the run

That'll get me closer to 2:10 and then hopefully the following year I can beat 2:00.

More goals for next year:
Besides Nautica, 2 other triathlons.
LA Triathlon - maybe Olympic distance??

Fundraising note: I raised $1775.00 for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Dney Tri Team together raised $168,000.00!!


That's what J calls me now. MOM! Like he's 13 and he needs some money to go play video games with his delinquent friends. I'm too young to have a 13 year old. T is a little amused at my reaction to this new development. I suppose I would be too, if it weren't for the fact that it's happening to ME! I have noticed that if I don't answer J right away that he reverts to calling me Mommy. But that's probably not the best way to handle it. The thing about J is that he has kind of a wicked sense of humor and is getting quite a kick out of calling me MOM! So the best approach is probably just to ignore it and he'll eventually start calling me Mommy again and then all will be right with the world.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Triathlon Picture

I love this picture.

Thank God Tanja didn't snap a picture of me struggling to get out of my wetsuit.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Beach Boys

Memorable Quotes

Heard on the way home from the mall last night:

Don't ever bite me. Ok moon? - Dean

Don't talk to me. I'm talking to Daddy. - Dean to Jack

Saturday, September 17, 2005


I don't have anything really to say. But I feel guilty for not writing anything since September 4. It's not that our lives have been especially quiet lately, it's just been exceptionally busy and I haven't had the time to chronicle the funny, weird, maddening events of our lives. Plus, it seemed so trite to write about the mundane suburban adventures when so many people have been displaced with just the clothes on their backs. The President addressed the nation last week and it was the first time I was able to listen to one of his speeches the whole way through. Of course, I was just listening to him on the radio so I didn't have to see his facial expressions as he worked his way through the difficult text. The speech was fine but it was just delivered too late. At any rate, I can't really write about it in a thoughtful, diplomatic way and that's not what this blog is about.
The boys are doing well although, Dean's going through a phase which is not at all attractive. He's become very - well sensitive, I guess. He just loses it without any warning and then all is lost. Even Jack has tried to help him but that just makes him more mad. Last Sunday when he woke from his nap he just sat on Tom's lap and cried for an hour and a half. Tom and I were acting like flustered waiters - can I get you some milk? some yogurt? some applesauce? do you want some water? juice? PLEASE TELL ME!!!!! Finally, I asked if he wanted a sippy cup and he half wailed, half cried "yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh". Affirmative??? Now that's something I can work with. So after he sucked down a cup full of rice milk, all was right with the world. That bipolar thing is tugging at the back of my brain - I swear! But those moments really aren't that often. Jack climbed into bed this morning, wrapped his arms around my neck and exclaimed, "I love you mommy". That's what it's all about. Bedtime with Dean is one of my favorite times of the day. He nestles into my arm to read books and then when it's time for him to climb into bed he turns to me with his lips pursed ready for kisses. And I can't help but lay my head next to his and tell him over and over what a good, sweet boy he is and that I love him sooooo much. He smiles and says "ok".
Life is good.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


I haven't written about Hurricane Katrina and the devastation along the Gulf Coast, especially New Orleans, because nothing I say can possibly describe the gravity or enormity of the tragedy. The entire city of New Orleans is wiped out. It and the surrounding towns are under water. The floodwaters reached the rooftops and still haven't receded because they haven't been able to repair the broken levees.
How in the world could this have happened? There was warning that a category 5 hurricane was due to hit the gulf coast. There was a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans and yet there were thousands upon thousands of people left in the city. People who were then told to take shelter in the Superdome - where they ran out of food and water within a day or two and the conditions became so unsanitary and unsafe that they began using the stairways as bathrooms.
And where was our President? What of Homeland Security? FEMA? Our Secretary of Homeland Security claimed in an interview on Thursday, Sept. 1st that he had no idea that people in the Superdome were out of food and water. How is that possible when I read about it on the internet on Wednesday?
It makes me sick. And when this administration is questioned on it's slow, inadequate response they divert the question and accuse Democrats and the media of politicking and politicizing. Everything about this President and his corrupt administration is too little, too late. I don't know if America can afford another 3 years of this.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Night Out

Last night was our friend Rishika's birthday dinner at a nice little Indian restaurant in West Hollywood. We took the motorcycle!! I had reservations about taking the motorcycle - mostly because we haven't finished our will. But, we did it anyway and it was glorious. Snaking through the canyons, smelling the eucalyptus, the wind blowing around us - feeling like we escaped the responsibilities of parenthood for a brief moment. You can see it on our faces, those smiles that broadcast our happiness. There have been other examples of it. Like when we went to Mexico for a wedding and the bridal couple thoughtfully arranged for a babysitter so we could have an evening out in San Miguel de Allende, just the two of us.
Do you see what I mean? Those smiles say so much. Yeah, that was fun.
Anyway, I seem to be getting off topic. Last night was great fun, visiting with friends we haven't seen in a while, enjoying great food and finishing off the evening with a cool ride through the canyons.

Happy Birthday Rishika! Thanks for giving us a reason to escape the valley, if only for a few hours.

Can Kids be Bipolar?

Seriously, I wonder. Last night as we were leaving daycare, Dean was screaming at the top of his voice. For a skinny little kid he sure is loud. So he's screaming and Jack is trying to calm him down which only makes him more mad. Finally, I crank the stereo to drown out the noise (Gwen Stefani seems to calm the beasts) and the back seat quiets. Until we get home when Dean starts crying and I don't know why. We get in the house and he's just crying and crying. Everything I say to him only makes him more mad and more upset. I literally start wandering around the house and into the backyard because I don't know what else to do. Suddenly, he's quiet and then he announces, "I happy now. I not crying."

Did someone slip him some paxil when my back was turned? Can I have some?

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Watching Airplanes

One of our favorite ways to wind down in the evening is to watch airplanes before putting the boys to bed. We go out onto the deck and the boys arrange the furniture just right, then we lay down and the boys climb on top of us. We talk about the stars we see or the way the moon looks and then we wait for the airplanes to fly over us. Monday night I was doing solo bedtime duty and we hadn't done this ritual in a long time so I suggested we head outside and the boys were happy to oblige. I laid down, Dean climbed up on my left side and Jack perched on my right. We talked about the stars and watched for airplanes. We saw a little one that was taking off at the private airport to the east of us. Then one of the big jets came in from the west, heading towards Burbank airport. I told the boys, "look, here comes a big one". Jack looked at me, put his finger to his lips and whispered,"shhhhhh. You have to be quiet. That airplane berry, berry loud." So earnest. So sweet.

A Valiant Effort

We went to a birthday party at the El Capitan theater on Saturday for a viewing of "VALIANT" followed by ice cream at the Disney Studio Store and Soda Fountain. We arrived at around 3:40 and sat next to the birthday boy while the theater organist played Disney tunes. At 4:00 the pre-movie show was supposed to begin. Unfortunately, they were having technical difficulties with the organ (it's supposed to lower into the stage) and were delayed by 20 minutes. Thus, the pre-show didn't get started until 4:20. You see how this is playing out? The actual movie got started somewhere around 4:50. By then, the boys were not that interested in watching a movie. We made it through about half the film before finally giving up. We then headed next door to have the birthday celebration with ice cream sundaes for all. Just walking in the door was a treat. Ahh, the smell of waffle cones being made - reminds me of the old days working at TCBY. Anyway, after waiting for a little while they pulled 3 tables together and we ordered all the kids ice cream sundaes. Dean takes his ice cream eating very seriously. That kid was on a mission to get to the bottom of his dish. His spoon was in constant motion and at the end, there was barely a dribble on his shirt. No sticky ice cream hands, no pools of dairy on the table - it was fascinating to watch. Jack - not so much. Our waitress brought over a plate to put under his dish because there was so much ice cream pooled around it. After the ice cream had been eaten, the birthday boy opened his presents and after the oohing and ahhing, we left. It was a nice time but I don't think the boys are ready for the El Cap.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Wondering what I did?

Well, hang onto your hats folks because - it's pretty darn exciting. First, I stayed at work until 6:30pm. Then I took work home with me and sat on my couch reading - work. Boys got home at 8:00pm and were limp, sandy, sticky noodles.

Then we went to bed.


Friday, August 26, 2005

Life's a Beach

So my husband just came by to switch cars with me so he could pick up the boys and go out to the beach. He told me he doesn't know when he'll be home what with traffic and all and that I should enjoy my free evening. Isn't that nice?

I don't know what to do with myself! Should I go to a movie? Should I call a girlfriend? Should I have a drink? Should I have a Six Feet Under marathon since I've only seen episode 1? See, I feel like I should do all those things - make it an all-nighter!! But, what I really want to do is go to a bookstore and browwwwwse at my leisure. Have a cup of tea, curl up on a sofa and read. But out of my house so there's the illusion of being social without having to talk to anyone. It sounds glorious. Except that I'd wind up slumped over asleep with drool spilling out of my mouth and some poor Barnes and Noble fellow will be assigned the task of waking me up.

Too many prospects!! Paralyzed with indecision!!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Birthday Wishes

Happy, Happy Birthday Tom. I love you so much. Thank you for making me a better person and for being such a wonderful daddy to Jack and Dean. To my greatest friend, love and partner - I love you.

Friday, August 19, 2005


Thursday, January 2, 2003
The boys are breathing on their own. Jack gets nipple feedings twice in a row, then one tube feeing, and so on. Nipple feedings are bottle feedings that teaches the baby how to suck, drink and breathe at the same time. One of the complications for preemies is that they’re too weak to suck and all their strength needs to go to gaining and maintaining weight. So, they’re given tube feedings until they are strong enough to suck but it requires a lot of energy so it needs to be done gradually. Jack weighs 5 pounds 2 ounces and the next big step for him is to increase his nipple feedings to every feeding. Hopefully, that will be ordered within the next day or so. Once he has a few days of successful nippling, he’ll get to come home. Dean gets 3 nipple feedings per day and weighs in at 4 pounds 5 ounces. He’ll likely come home a few days after Jack since he’s not as successful with his bottle feedings. He just doesn’t want to do the work – he forgets to breathe and then his monitor goes nuts.
I wish I had written down all of the progress over the 30 days. There’s been so many milestones that I’ve missed.
Monday, January 27, 2003
Both boys are home now. Jack came home on Monday, January 13. He’s on an apnea monitor for a minimum of 1 month and then the doctors will re-evaluate. He’s also on 5 different medications: aminophylline (a medication that speeds the heart up and keeps the airways open), diuril and aladactone (diuretics), and sodium and potassium (electrolytes). They’re all given at different times of the day and in different doses. It’s a challenge to keep up and I’ll be glad when we can discontinue them. Dean came home on Thursday, January 16. He’s also on an apnea monitor but no medications. Secretly, I don’t mind the monitors even though they weigh 10 pounds each! But, I sleep easier knowing that they’ll go off if their heart rate drops or they stop breathing. We’re pretty much just camped out in the living room. It’s easier than moving all their equipment to our bedroom each night. Jack acclimated to being home pretty easily but Dean was a little upset. He kind of acted like he didn’t trust us. Now they seem to be a little more comfortable. Getting Dean to eat has been a bit of a struggle. He just can’t get latched on like Jack does. Finally, my mom suggested I nurse them at the same time and, unbelievably, Dean latched on without any problem. Now I nurse them simultaneously with every feeding and Dean seems to be doing much better.
This picture of Dean was taken on November 27, 2002. He's off the ventilator but still has the nasal canula for oxygen. Notice the size of the pacifier? It's a preemie pacifier. At this point Dean was receiving 3 cc's of half-strength breast milk. I held him for 30 minutes that day.

This picture of Jack was taken the same day. That's my hand on the left. I held him for 45 minutes that day. At this point he wasn't receiving any breast milk at all - just the fats and lipids. We were hoping that he would start getting some breast milk the next day.

NICU Part One

As chronicled in my written journal:

Wed. November 20, 2002
Jack is doing well. They took him off the respirator today and he’s only on 26% oxygen. He’s had 2 doses of indocin which will hopefully cause his pulmonary artery to close. He’s on dopamine to help his kidneys process the indocin. He’s receiving some lipids because he lost 4.5 ounces and they need to keep his weight up as much as possible. His color is good and he’s not being sedated very much. He’s a little jaundiced but he’s on phototherapy to break up the bilirubins.
Dean is still on the respirator. Yesterday morning his chest x-ray showed that there was a lot of excess air surrounding his left lung. That means there is a leak in the lung. They put a needle into his chest to extract the air which allows the lung to expand. Then later they did another chest x-ray and it looked much better. But, it happened again later in the evening and this time they had to put in a chest tube. It will be left in for a few days to allow time for the lung to heal. I’ll never forget the sinking feeling I had when the nurse practitioner came into my room to tell me. I thought the world had ended. Dean also has had 2 doses of indocin and is a little jaundiced so he’s on phototherapy, like Jack. He’s on about 44% oxygen but yesterday he was on 54% so this is an improvement. He’s more sedated than Jack because of the chest tube, they want to make sure he doesn’t pull it out.

Fri. November 22, 2002
I’m going home today and I’m so ready. I’m tired of having to ask for my pain medicine and being awakened throughout the night. I’ve gotten a lot grumpier since I moved to post-partum. The boys are doing well. Dean got a bath last night and now he looks really blond. He was down to 22% oxygen last night. His chest tube might come out today. He looks really good. Jack is really stable. He’s still off the ventilator and the nurse had him sucking on a pacifier last night.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

First Picture

Dean is in front and Jack is in the back.

Birth Story

My water broke at 4:30am on Sunday, November 17th, 2002. Tom happened to be sleeping in my room at the hospital because he had torn the bathroom apart and couldn’t sleep with all the dust in the house. I had been in the hospital since September 29th. My doctor had visited me the day before and was thrilled to see that I was hardly having any contractions and she felt that I would make it to December. Clearly, she jinxed me.

So, after my water broke, I called the nurse who checked it out and said, yep, you’re ruptured. She told Tom and I to try to get as much rest as possible because it was going to be a long day and she went off to call Dr. Reyes. Tom and I didn’t know what to feel – on the one hand happy and excited that we’d finally get to see our boys but also terrified because I was only 30 weeks, 5 days pregnant. Tom couldn’t relax because he was so worried about - everything. He went home at 5:30am to meet a contractor about the bathroom and to assess the damage. Remembering this, I can’t believe I let him go but I was doing ok at the time and I was in really good hands with the nursing staff so, I let him go.

By now I had started having contractions that hurt and they were coming about every 7 minutes. By 7:00am they were coming even faster and they really, really hurt. Since I had gone into the hospital when I was 23 weeks, I never went to the birthing classes so I had no idea how to cope with the pain. One of my nurses, Stacy, told me to softly hit my forehead with my hand over and over and over. So, I did. And cursed – A LOT. At 9:00am, Stacy came in to check on me and saw that I was in a lot of pain and that the contractions were about every 3-4 minutes. She announced that she was going to call the doctor to schedule the c-section. See, they wanted me to go as long as I could manage the pain because every second counts when you’re delivering that early. Plus, being in active labor increases the hormone that matures the babies lungs. Stacy came back in my room and said that my surgery was scheduled for 11:00am. I called Tom and told him to get his butt back to the hospital! He arrived at 10:25am, just as they were wheeling me down to get prepped for surgery. He kissed me as they whisked me away and then he went off to get prepped, too.

Once in the operating room, they put me on the table and had me sit up. While I curled my enormous belly over a pillow and the nurses held my hands, the anesthesiologist put a needle in my spine to administer the anesthesia. It wasn’t that bad and of all the medical things that were done to me, that procedure would rank nearer the bottom than the top – the top being the worst. Then, they laid me down and strapped my wrists down. The anesthesiologist kept poking me with needles from my lower belly to my chest to see what I could feel or not feel. Then my doctor came in with her assistant and they got to work. Tom came in at about 11:05 and Thomas Jackson was born at 11:06am. Henry Dean followed at 11:07am. Tom videotaped everything and remained so calm throughout. Dean was crying weakly but I didn’t hear anything from Jack. Each baby had his own team of NICU nurses and respiratory therapists. Finally, after what seemed like hours, Jack gave a little squeal. They wrapped them up and brought them over to me. Their little faces were about the size of apples. I got to look at them for about a minute and then they put them together in an isolette to wheel them down to the NICU. Jack weighed 3 lbs 5 oz and was 16 inches long. Dean weighed 2 lbs 13 oz and was 16 ¼ inches long.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Pregnancy Complications

I began having complications with my pregnancy in August of 2000. One day I just wasn’t feeling well. My pelvis felt low, sore and heavy. I called the doctor and she said to come in right away. But, I didn’t have a car that day – I had dropped it off at the dealer to get serviced and then I took the shuttle to work. So, since the Doctor’s office is only a block from my office, I walked. That was dumb. Anyway, she examined me and then put a uterine monitor on me for a while. It showed that there was some uterine instability. It was nothing serious but caused enough concern that she wanted me to go to the hospital for further monitoring. Ok, but I don’t have a car and while the hospital was only 2 blocks away from the doctor’s office, it didn’t seem like a good choice to walk there. Nor did it seem like a good idea to ask my husband to swing by and pick me up on the motorcycle. I called one of my coworkers and she drove me to the hospital. The nurses set me up in the room, put a big pitcher of water on my bedside table and strapped me to two fetal monitors and a uterine monitor. The babies were doing fine and Tom and I watched the uterine monitor anxiously. They did a urine culture and discovered that I had a bladder infection. They monitored me for a few more hours, then sent me home with some antibiotics and a drug called terbutaline which stops contractions. I was having Braxton hicks contractions which don’t hurt and aren’t labor contractions but if they happen often enough can progress into labor contractions.

I stayed home for 2 weeks. My doctor told me that if my perinatalogist said I could go back to work, then she would write the order. At my next perinatalogist appointment I was given the ok to go back to work, which I did the next day – Wednesday, September 11, 2002. On September 20th, my birthday, I wasn’t feeling well. I called my doctor because it felt like one of the babies was pushing on my pelvis. She told me to take it easy and call the next day if it persisted. The next day, I was having Braxton hicks contractions again so I called the doctor. She told me to take one terbutaline (which had been discontinued) and if I felt even one contraction to go straight to the hospital. I did what she said and yet, continued to have contractions so we packed up and drove to the hospital. Again, they hooked me up to the fetal monitors and uterine monitors and set a big pitcher of water next to my bed. They gave me a shot of terbutaline, which seemed to calm things down and we were sent home. This time I was told that I would not be going to back to work until after the babies were born. On Tuesday, September 24th I started feeling contractions again. I remember staring intently at the clock, watching the time tick away and counting every tightening I felt and hoping, hoping that it would stop. But it didn’t. My friend and neighbor, Kelly drove me to the hospital. This time, they weren’t fooling around. They inserted a catheter into my urethra and started an I.V. line of fluids to make sure I was hydrated enough. They strapped the fetal monitors and uterine monitor onto my belly and watched. I was having Braxton hicks contractions about 10 times per hour. They told me that my strip looked like a regular labor patient, which scared me. I was 23 weeks pregnant. My doctor ordered that I be put on magnesium sulfate, a smooth muscle relaxer that can calm the uterus and stop the contractions. When you’re on mag, especially high doses, your vision gets a little blurry, you feel a little sleepy and very, very hot. My room temp was lowered to 65 degrees and I was never cold. I kept all my blankets on the chair next to my bed so that my visitors could bundle up and stay warm. By Thursday, Sept. 26th they had lowered my dose of mag and were hoping to put me on oral medications by the next day. On Friday, Sept. 27th they moved me from the labor and delivery ward to post-partum and put me on oral medication. On Saturday, Sept. 28th they sent me home with orders to stay in bed and if I had 4 contractions in an hour I had to go right back to the hospital. Driving home, I felt very uneasy. I still felt contractions and was nervously counting them. I couldn’t relax. I kept drinking water and then I’d be up every hour to go to the bathroom. I didn’t sleep at all, just watched the clock and counted contractions. Finally, at 11:00am on Sunday, Sept. 29th I told Tom that we had to go back to the hospital.

Back at the hospital, they inserted the dreaded catheter and started the I.V. of magnesium sulfate and fluids. They strapped the fetal monitors and uterine monitor on my belly and told me the most important thing was getting to 24 weeks which was the earliest that the babies would be viable. They checked my cervix and found that it was still closed (good). On Tuesday, Oct. 1 they gave me a shot of beta-methasone, a steroid that helps to mature the babies lungs, and performed a test called fetal fibronectin, also known as FFN. A positive result from this test means that you’re 85% more likely to give birth prematurely. I was absolutely certain that my test would come back negative. They administered it in the morning and told me I’d have the results by 2:00pm. When my nurse came in with my lunch, I asked if she’d heard about the test yet. She broke the news that the result had come in and it was positive. I felt my face crumple. Then she did the nicest thing in the world. She came right to my bed, gave me a hug and told me that I had to remain positive. That every moment, every hour, every day mattered and that I couldn’t lose hope, that those babies needed me. She was such a kind nurse. The next two weeks went by fairly uneventfully. I stayed on mag, got blood tests every 8 hours to check the toxicity in my blood, still on the catheter, still unable to get out of bed for anything – not to shower, not to poop, nothing. My baby shower was cancelled – it had been scheduled for October 5th. My mom came out to visit anyway and she stayed with me in my room all day, every day. We did crossword puzzles and watched Oprah.
She left on the 10th.

On Sunday, October 27th, I woke up very late. My nurse chided me for sleeping in. I was usually awake by 7:30am and they’d bring my breakfast at 8:00am. On this day, I slept until 9:30am. I was in a lot of pain. My back was hurting and I thought it was from being in bed for 3 weeks. My nurses let me get into a rocking chair while they changed the bed. I felt a little better but was barely able to keep my breakfast down. They took my temperature and it was a little elevated. I got back in bed and noticed that my urine looked really cloudy and junky. I mentioned it to my nurses and they said they’d do a culture. Later, Tom came to visit and I felt worse and worse. My contractions started getting more frequent and painful and my nurse came in and announced that I was in active labor. She notified my doctor who came directly to the hospital and started ordering tests. First, she said I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything else in case I had to go into surgery. Then, she ordered an ultrasound of my gall bladder, kidneys, liver and appendix. The ultrasound tech couldn’t get a read on the appendix but he said the gall bladder and liver were fine. He barely touched my kidney area with the wand and I about went through the roof it was so excruciating. Um, I’d say there might be something wrong with my kidneys? She also had the tech do an ultrasound of the babies to see how they were acting. They were doing just fine. That was a relief. Given my upwardly mobile body temperature, the junky urine and the pain in my kidneys – it wasn’t a surprise to get the urine culture back positive for an infection. They put me on 3 different antibiotics, increased my mag and put an ice blanket on me to get the temperature down. My doctor had the anesthesiologist consult in case I had to have a c-section and she also had the surgeon come in. A hematologist (blood doctor) was called in and ordered several blood cultures. They took 7 vials of blood from an artery on my left arm and 7 vials of blood from a vein in my right. Meanwhile, the contractions continued getting more and more painful and more and more frequent. My doctor kept calling the perinatalogist to see if there was any other medication that I could take to stop the labor from progressing. Finally, he told her she could give me one shot of terbutaline but if that didn’t stop it, we would have to just see what happened. The nurse administered the shot in my left arm and within 30 minutes my contractions began to slow. An hour later, my doctor felt I was stable enough that she could leave. Finally, we settled in to get some sleep. We both slept fitfully but woke the next morning feeling relieved and that we really dodged the bullet. On Monday, October 28th they removed the catheter and told me I would have to request the bedpan when I needed to urinate. Believe it or not – that was a victory. On Tuesday, October 29th I reached the 28 week milestone. We felt this was a truly hard fought victory. My doctor ordered a second round of the beta methasone shots hoping that it would help the boys lungs develop faster. By Wednesday, October 30th I was beginning to feel like my old self again. On Thursday, October 31st I asked to get a tour of the NICU. They put me in a wheelchair and I got to talk to a nurse and see what the NICU was all about.

When I returned to my bed, the hematologist was there to tell me that I was severely anemic. My hg levels were around 7 and they should be between 12-14. If they couldn’t get them up I would have to have blood transfusions. To boost my hg levels, he ordered weekly shots of epogen, a red blood cell booster, as well as, 1800mg of iron per day. I called Tom to let him know that I may need a transfusion. He called my friend and neighbor Kelly who then organized a blood drive with all her friends. People I didn’t know or hardly knew came to the hospital in droves to donate blood just in case I needed a transfusion. That way I’d have “friendly” blood instead of the unknown. It’s at times like that when you find out what kind of friends you have and the generosity of the human spirit. My hg levels were checked daily and by the next week, I was out of the danger zone.

But, there was a new danger. Also on Thursday, October 31st I suddenly felt a little fluid leaking from me. The nurse checked it and it tested positive as being amniotic fluid. This meant I had a leak and that it presented the danger that the amniotic sac could become infected. They did an ultrasound to see how much fluid was surrounding the babies. They looked fine, plenty of fluid. The doctor said the sac could eventually seal over and that we’d just have to wait. The babies would be monitored continuously from now on rather than for a couple of hours a day.

On November 7th I received my final shot of epogen. On November 14th, I was no longer leaking fluid and the doctor determined that the rupture had sealed over. By this time I was having fewer and fewer contractions and they started lowering the mag dose. On Saturday, November 16th my doctor visited me and commented that I was hardly having any contractions. She said that they’d get me to 32 weeks, then discontinue the magnesium. I’d have to stay in the hospital but she thought they would deliver me at Christmastime when I’d be at about 36 weeks.

My water broke the next day and the boys were born at 11:06am and 11:07am.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Tale of Infertility

Tom and I started “trying” to get pregnant in July of 2000. That is, no longer actively preventing. Anyway, when I didn’t get a period in August I bought a pregnancy test. It came up negative. OH well, I thought – it’s just the first month. After a year, with still no period, I asked my doctor who nonchalantly replied, “it could take a month or it could take 18 months. You just have to wait.” I waited another six months and then asked to see a fertility specialist. She took some blood, asked some questions, did an exam and diagnosed me with a case of “arrested development”. It was her feeling that my reproductive development was somewhat stunted by a very athletic teenage-hood. In my case, the pituitary gland wasn’t getting the message to the ovaries to make the eggs. She ordered an MRI of my pituitary to rule out a tumor or blockage, as well as, a hysterosalpingogram, which is an x-ray of the uterus to make sure there was no blockage in the fallopian tubes. She also performed an ultrasound of the ovaries to make sure there were no cysts. All tests came back negative, meaning there were no problems with the uterus, pituitary or ovaries. Good news! Then she checked Tom’s sperm count. He had a somewhat low count and low mobility, which basically means they didn’t travel well.

So for us, the question was: How do we get Kelsi to ovulate? And, how do we get Tom’s sperm where they need to be? The answer: hormones for Kelsi and then, artificial insemination for Kelsi.

We started with Clomid, a medication in pill form that is designed to send a message to the brain to send a message to the ovaries to make eggs. The doctor didn’t think it would work since the trouble seemed to be my brain (no jokes, please) but she wanted to give it a try since it was the least invasive. I started my dose in January of 2002 and ovulated right on schedule after 14 days. But, we didn’t get pregnant. After my period (my first in over 18 months), we tried it again. After 16 days, I still hadn’t ovulated. 17, 18, 19, 20. Still, no ovulation. The doctor told us that she hadn’t expected the Clomid to work and here was the proof so let’s begin the injectable hormones. We did a little tutorial in the office so Tom could learn how to give me a shot and away we went with a batch of needles and little jars of hormones. Tom gave me shots daily for several days and I went into the doctor’s office about every 3rd day for an ultrasound to see how many eggs were being created. Nothing was happening. Doc was perplexed. She increased the medication. A few days passed and during one ultrasound she announced that I had spontaneously ovulated and it must have been due to the Clomid. BIZARRE!!! She liked me because I was a challenge. She told us to discontinue the shots until after I got my period, then start ‘em up again. We did as instructed and more ultrasounds followed. It was now the middle of April, 2002. After a few days with very little happening, she increased my dosage and monkeyed around a little with different medications. Then we started to see some eggs! First there were 2 that were growing at about the same rate. A few days later, a third one seemed to be catching up. A few days later, there was a veritable easter basket of eggs in each ovary with 13 in one and 15 in the other. She eased up on my dosage to keep the first 3 growing but to slow the growth of the other 25. Then one day she announced that it was time to trigger the release of the 3 eggs. It was still going to be a shot but with different medication. Tom and I were at a party in Woodland Hills and at 6:00pm sharp we sneaked off to a back bedroom to trigger the release. That was Sunday, April 28. On Tuesday, April 30, 2002 I drove to the doctor’s office with very precious cargo in my passenger seat – Tom’s sperm. I dropped it off with the doctor to be prepped and I killed some time in the drug store across the street. At 9:00am, I walked back to the office and was shown into a room. The doctor inserted the catheter into my vagina and injected the sperm into my uterus. Then I was left to rest for 20 minutes. Ok, so there was no candlelight or romantic music but at that moment, life was created and that’s magic. From then on, it was a waiting game. On Monday, May 13, 2002 I woke up, quietly walked into the bathroom and peed on a stick. Two faint blue lines appeared. I went back into the bedroom and whispered to Tom, “I think we’re pregnant.” After I had showered and dressed, I went to the doctor’s office for the blood test, then went to work. I told everyone in the doctor’s office that I had taken a pregnancy test that morning and seen two faint lines. Later, while on the one line with Tom, the doctor called on my other line to say, “You saw a FAINT line? You are very, very pregnant!” I clicked over to Tom and said, “we did it!”

Two weeks later, we went into the doctor’s office for an ultrasound to see if we could see exactly how pregnant I was. The doctor was pretty certain that we had more than one baby because my hcg levels were much higher than they would be with just one. Sure enough, we saw 2 sacs on the ultrasound which confirmed that we were pregnant with twins. Our due date was January 21, 2003. We were positively overjoyed and felt so very lucky. Even though we experienced infertility, the treatment worked for us and relatively quickly. Other friends of ours spent years exhausting treatment after treatment, not to mention their bank accounts so what we went through was easy by comparison.