Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Jack: Dean, I found some candy for you!

Dean: Thank you! (eats it) Mmmmmm, chocolate.

Jack: (whining) I want some chocolate.

Dean: Well, you can smell my breath.

Monday, November 27, 2006

'Tis the Season

. . . for tree trimming
Dean hangs it up
Jack looks for the perfect spot

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Adventures in Errand Running

Dean and I took off at 12:30 today to run a couple of errands. I had to return something to the party strore and wanted to go to the 2nd hand store to find boots and coats for our trip to PA. I should preface this post by mentioning that the car has been acting up - but that might ruin the surprise.
When we left the party store the car kind of protested as it started up. I thought we should just go home but I have a portable jumper in my trunk and I thought if it wouldn't start I'd be able to jump it, no problem. Yeah, right. Anyway, we headed over to the thrift store and found a pair of snow boots and a decent coat that fit Dean just perfectly. So, I bought them and 2 pair of mittens and then we got back in the car.
It wouldn't start.
I let it sit a moment and tried again.
It wouldn't start.
I got the portable jumper out of the trunk and popped the hood. I glanced around expecting some guy to come running over to help me but I must have looked fairly capable because I was left alone. I hooked up the cables, turned the thing on and hopped into the car expecting it to turn over without incident.
I checked the cables and tried again.
Called Tom. He told me to call AAA. So, I did. I told them that my car wouldn't start and they sent someone right over. He tried to jump it but it wouldn't start for him either.
I felt vindicated.
He said it was the starter motor. Great. He didn't bring a tow truck - just a van. Great. He called the company and told them to send a tow. They said it would be another 20 to 30 minutes.
Through all this, Dean just sat in his car seat and smiled at me. While we waited for the tow truck, we drew pictures on the magna doodle. Dean was very excited about the tow truck. He thought they might send Mater (from CARS) to help us. I told him that they probably would.
Tow truck arrives about 15 minutes later and Dean and I stood on the sidewalk to watch our car get hooked up. He decided that maybe Mater got a new paint job and I thought he was probably right. Then we hopped into the cab and the driver took us and our poor disabled car home. Dean ran into the house and told Tom and Jack that he got to ride on Mater.
It was 2:30.
It was quite an adventure.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

I am grateful . . .
  1. For my husband, Tom - the love of my life, my partner and friend. After all these years, I still learn more and more and without him I would not be the person I am today. He makes me want to be a better person.
  2. For my children, Jack and Dean whose health I will never take for granted, whose vibrant, sparkling eyes look at me with such unconditional love and trust. They have taught me so much about the resilience of the human spirit, about patience and kindness. And they made me a mom - the best and most challenging job in the world.
  3. For my friends - I'm so incredibly lucky to have people in my life who care about me and Tom and the boys. People who live just a couple of miles away and people who live thousands of miles away but still, friends whom I cherish and love whether we speak to each other once a week or once a year.
  4. For my family - for providing me with a foundation on which to build the kind of life I want to lead. For instilling in me a strong work ethic and for believing in me and supporting me as I continue to figure myself out.
  5. For my husband's family - for accepting me as a member of the family and for their loving support throughout the years.
  6. For my health, my job and my home without which life would be much more stressful.

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Belated Birthday Post

Okay, Okay I know - I'm really, really behind on my posting. But, I have a good excuse.
I got sick.
Wednesday, just 2 days before the boys' birthday and 3 days before their big birthday bash, I came down with a cold. Tom was gone for 2 days - in Vegas for a convention. Thursday, I left work early because I felt lousy. But, so much to do - so little time to do it and of course, I didn't rest. Friday morning I knew I'd have to go to the doctor because I was miserable. This is their birthday and I could barely manage to sing to them that morning. I took them to school and ran a bunch of errands then looped back to Burbank for my doctor appointment at 11:30. I say to him: Doc, my twins are 4 years old today, husband is in Vegas, big birthday bash is tomorrow and I got 60 people coming for the party. FIX ME!!! The prescription slips were flying. Off I went to the pharmacy downstairs and picked up my 4 scrips, then back home to get started on the BBQ for the party on Saturday. Thankfully, Tom got home at 3:30 and finished up the BBQ for me. I went to bed early and, while I was definitely not myself on Saturday, I put on a good face. But enough about all that.
Jack and Dean are 4 years old. I can't believe they're four. When I asked them how that happened they looked up at me and replied, "We had our birthday and then we were four!"
They arrived at the park for their party right on time and as they walked to the Pavilion, Dean in his Batman costume and Jack in Robin, they saw their Spiderman Bounce House. They were very excited. They took their shoes right off and scurried into the bounce house. There were friends from school, friends from our neighborhood and fellow twin friends. It was also an unseasonably warm day for mid-November so there were lots of flushed cheeks. There was a batmobile pinata that they were simply fascinated with. Every day when we drive home we pass a party store that has pinatas hanging out front. They always ask me to talk about them so I promised them they'd have one at their birthday party. This pinata had pull strings so rather than blindfold a bunch of 4 year olds and hand them a bat, you just line 'em up all nice and neat and they each get to pull a string. At some point one of the kids pulls the string that will open the door and out spills the candy. Then they surge forward and scramble to pick up as much candy as their little hands will hold. It was perfect. Especially since the 5th kid pulled the magic string so it was all over rather quickly. Within seconds there were lollipops in all their mouths. Then, we unveiled the Batman cake. The Dark Knight looks like he punches his way through the center of the cake. We all sang to the boys and then passed out the cake and ice cream. More bouncing ensued and before we knew it, the party people came to pick up the bounce house and it was time to go home. No naps, lots of sweets, lots of energy expended and presents to open - few meltdowns. They opened all their presents after an early dinner and we played a couple of games before bedtime. Dean kinda lost it for a while. I think he was so tired and he just couldn't pull out of the tail spin. But after a good night's sleep, he was feeling much better today. We played a lot of games today - they got 5 with no duplicates. It was really neat sitting down at the kitchen table and playing a game with them while we waited for our dinner to warm up. They are these kids now. They're not babies, not toddlers - kids. I'm so lucky - these boys who had such a rough start have grown into strong, healthy kids who are four years old.
Pictures to follow...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

5 more days

I tried really hard to post every day this month but I just couldn't keep up. Daycare called me Friday afternoon because Dean was running a fever. Friday was Jack's first day back to daycare since Wednesday. I thought we got lucky and Dean didn't catch Jack's cold but - no such luck. I was chatting with one of the daycare dads the other day. His son is almost 5 months old and he asked me how old were the boys when I finally relaxed? I told him I still haven't completely relaxed but that I stopped excessively worrying when they turned 3. He laughed. I explained that Dean had pneumonia 3 times and was hospitalized twice. That Jack is prone to whooping cough and that the breathing treatments don't really help with that. When they were 15 months old and in and out of the doctor for cold after cold, breathing treatments 4x a day, pneumonia and whooping cough - their doctor told me that they would grow out of it. And, for the most part, they have. It's just that they don't get very many colds during the summer and consequently I forget about the dry, hacking cough that precedes every cold that Dean ever gets. I forget the worry that comes with the flushed cheeks and glazed eyes. How Jack becomes extra affectionate and Dean inconsolable. But I've learned some tricks over the years. Tylenol doesn't work on Dean but it works on Jack. Motrin doesn't work on Jack but it works on Dean. Often, I have to alternate Tylenol and Motrin on Dean because one won't cut it. Jack can rally when he doesn't feel well but Dean broadcasts his misery all over his face. So while I am heartened by the realization that they have indeed grown stronger, I can't keep the old nagging worry from cropping up every now and then.

I took this picture last weekend and I just love it. They look so mature, don't they?

Jack eats a muffin while he waits for the superheroes to show up at Garret, Connor and Ryan's superhero birthday bash.

Dean is about to put his mask on - preparing to go on a secret mission.

Here are Jack and Dean with their hero - Batman.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Eight Crazy Days

Only eight more days 'til their birthday.

This was taken after my first attempt at nursing them simultaneously. Jack came home 2 days later but Dean had to stay an extra 4 days. Dean didn't like to work for his food - he preferred the stomach tube. That's the only reason he didn't get to come home with Jack. Have I mentioned how much Dean dislikes change?

This is Tom practicing kangaroo care on Dean. This picture was taken on Christmas day.

Did I mention the funny faces Jack used to make? I wasn't kidding.

This photo of the boys was taken just 3 days after Dean came home. I like it because it looks like they're trying to reconnect after their long separation. They were in separate isolettes and then later, separate open beds. I really wanted them placed together in an open crib but they didn't have one available for them. I think they would have developed more quickly if they had been together but, who knows? I do know that Dean nursed much better and much longer when he was nursing along with Jack.

Today, Jack is home with a fever, sore throat and headache and Dean is at school. They are getting really excited about their birthday and want everything they see on TV. They want the Little Mommy with daycare set, race cars with a glow in the dark track, cardboard bricks painted in primary colors, a McDonald's cash register complete with headset for taking drive thru orders, and pretty much anything else they see on a commercial.

Ahhh, marketing.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Vote for Pedro

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day 2006

I voted today. I have voted in every election since I turned 18 with the exception being the mid-term election of 2002. I remember lying in bed in the hospital 4 years ago and realizing that it was the first election that I would miss. Obviously, I had more important things to worry about then but once I got out of the hospital, I registered as a permanent absentee voter so I wouldn't have to miss another election. You may think I'm weird, but I get a real kick out of voting. This election I really took the time to learn all the issues, propositions and tried to find out as much as I could about the candidates. Even after all my research, I still feel like I either aced the test or failed it miserably but I feel really good knowing how hard I tried.
Instead of mailing in my ballot, I drop it off at my polling place on election day. That way I can get my I VOTED sticker and feel a little more connected to the process. For the last 2 elections, I took Jack and Dean with me to drop off my ballot. Many of my neighbors are poll workers and it is a nice opportunity to visit with them and they like to comment on how much the boys have grown. I love that. It makes me feel like I live in a small town. But beyond visiting with my neighbors and getting my sticker, I want my boys to witness the act of voting. I realize they don't understand why we do it and how it matters but some day, they will. I hope they'll ask me questions about the issues and candidates, the Republicans and the Democrats and what it means to be an Independent. I hope they'll take this right seriously and realize how hard our ancestors fought for it. We haven't always had this right and we've come a long way, baby.
So yeah, I know you may think I'm a little overzealous about my election day feelings but as I dropped my ballot in the box this morning, I felt proud.
I hope you voted today, too.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Little Animals

This was their first Halloween. Dean is the giraffe and Jack is the croc. They saw this picture the other day and wanted to know where those costumes were because they wanted to wear them!

Aren't they cute?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Wild Side

We had our friend Brian and his girlfriend Tempany over for dinner tonight. She used to be a nanny and Brian is amazing with kids so it didn't take long before the boys were showing them all their tricks. In a 3 hour period Dean was in 3 different costumes. When he was dressed as Peter Pan, Brian pretended to be Captain Hook and Jack pretended to be a dragon. It was pretty fun to watch their little improvisation and Tom videotaped it but I'm too tired to put it on you tube. Maybe later. Anyway, the following conversation took place tonight over our ice cream and strawberries. Please note: this conversation came out of the blue and Dean started it.

Dean: I'm on the Wild Side. (he said ominously)
Tempany: What do you do on the wild side?
Dean: (Pause) I eat.
Tempany: What else do you do?
Dean: I just eat.

He eats. He just eats.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

November 4

We're only 13 days away from their birthday now. In real time, the boys are being little pistols and are seriously close to having all their Halloween candy revoked. Why do they always seem to act up around their birthday?

This is me and mom on October 4th, the day before my cancelled baby shower. That was the most I was able to sit up because whenever I was propped up higher, I had more contractions. I only sat up long enough to eat, then had to lay back down. See all the monitors on me? One to monitor the contractions and then a monitor for each baby to monitor their movement. The magnesium sulfate made me and the babies sleepy.

This photo was taken just 4 days before I delivered. By now I had stopped leaking fluid and was having hardly any contractions. I was able to get out of bed to use the toilet and I didn't have to stay completely flat when I was in bed. My hg numbers had come up to normal levels and my doctor was amazed at the difference. She had lowered the dosage of magnesium sulfate and I felt better than I had in several weeks. I was more positive than ever that I would deliver the boys close to full term.

Friday, November 03, 2006

14 days

Once the boys were home from the hospital we spent a lot of time on the couch with them - holding them, staring at them, snuggling with them. I love this photo of Dean and Tom. This was taken just a few days after Dean was home and he looks skeptical. It took him a while to get used to us.

This is such a sweet picture of Tom with Jack. It looks so peaceful and yet illustrates the exhaustion of a new Dad.

Jack made really funny faces all the time. Most of the time when we visited him in the hospital the nurses would have a new polaroid posted on his isolette because he made such funny faces.

Doesn't he have a wise face? He was not ready to be born. While Jack would be making faces at the nurses Dean would be looking around with a frown on his face wondering how on earth he got here.

Grandma used to love putting her chin close to their faces so they'd root around and try to suck on it. Jack fell for it every time.

Here's Grandma with a sleeping Jack and a wide awake Dean. No wonder I never got any sleep! Jack loved his pacifier and was a good sleeper as long as he had his pacifier. But, sometimes he'd lose it during his nap or at night and then he couldn't soothe himself back to sleep. Plus, he preferred to sleep in our arms and would be completely knocked out until I tried to lay him in his crib.

We used to do Kangaroo care in the NICU and Dean still loved it once we got home. The first time I tried Kangaroo care with him he just burrowed down as deep as he could go. When it was time to put him back in his isolette, his little spidery fingers would try to grasp onto my chest - to stay just a little bit longer. Oh, it broke my heart. Because I would have kept him there just as long as he wanted to be there.

I love looking at these old photos. These pics are scanned and that's why the quality isn't very good. I forget what it was like when they were babies and going through these old photos really brings back the memories. It also brings back the fear that was simmering underneath our hopefulness. I remember trying to always concentrate on the good news and not dwell on the bad.
We are so very lucky.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

15 days

We are only 15 days away from the boys' 4th birthday. The next 15 days will be a walk down memory lane with some pictures and memories from the past 4 years. Four years ago today I was on my 39th day in the hospital and recovering from a wicked kidney infection that nearly resulted in the boys' very early birthday. I was 28 weeks and 2 days pregnant and getting weekly shots of epogen to boost my hg count (red blood cells) from a meager 7 to a healthy 12. I was still on magnesium sulfate but, thanks to my kidney infection, no longer had the dreaded catheter. I had just learned the day before that I was leaking some amniotic fluid so the babies were being monitored 24 hours a day instead of a couple of hours each day. I took every day as a blessing and spent my days talking on the phone, reading books or watching television. Tom visited me every night and had dinner with me. Despite my gestational diabetes label, I had a 1/2 gallon of ice cream in the freezer by the nurses station and almost every night Tom would bring me a small cup of it. It was Denali Bear Claw ice cream - dark chocolate with chocolate covered cashews and swirls of caramel. I remember it clearly. The boys moved a lot but their activity really spiked after I had my ice cream.

This picture was taken on September 15th, just 9 days before I went into the hospital. I have to look on my home computer for some belly photos from the hospital.

Here is an ultrasound done on July 23rd at around 15 weeks gestation. I think Jack is on the top and Dean is on the bottom. This was before any preterm labor and I was absolutely positively going to carry them to term.

This was a frequent occurrence after they nursed. I knew I should lay them down and either take a nap myself or do some housework but they were so soft and snuggly and warm. I often fell asleep like this. Jack is on the left with the pacifier. I always thought I had little skinny babies but they don't look so skinny in this photo. They were about 6 months old here. They still fall asleep on me but now they're almost 4.

I have warned them that when they turn 4 years old Daddy and I will not stay in their room with them until they fall asleep. Tom's pretty good about getting out before he falls asleep but not me. Half the time I'm falling asleep as I read their books to them. There goes Mom - noddin' off again. Part of me doesn't mind it so much (Dr. Ferber would be disgusted) but it's kind of nice to snuggle up with them and listen as they tell me all about their day. Jack's always the first to fall - Dean's like a dog, he has to flop around until he gets comfortable.

I miss them today.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


The dynamic duo visits the pumpkin patch and try to pick out the perfect pumpkin.

Dean playing the role of the little red-haired witch.

The dynamic duo is ready to take on all trick-or-treaters who dare to ask for candy.

Jack guards the Great Pumpkin.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Damn Dog

She likes cats. Not like she wants to play with cats. She wants to eat cats. Particularly my friend Kelly's 4 month old kitten who has now been chased up the tree twice. This morning at 6:30 she was so desperate to get a neighborhood cat that she broke her leash. Her leather leash. I chased that damn dog all over the neighborhood and the only reason I caught her was because she gave up on the first cat and instead chased Kelly's cat up the tree - then tried to climb it.
Damn dog.

Moving on

Dean: Mom? Um, Disney is getting old for me so now I'm going to work at Scooby Doo. And when I see you - I will say hi.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Concrete Thinker

This is my phone conversation this morning with the woman in charge of renting pavilions at Lake Balboa:

Me: Hello. My name is Kelsi and I'm interested in renting a pavilion for a birthday party.
She: For what date?
Me: November 18th
She: Oh, I'm sorry but we have a 30 day policy and you have to make your reservation 30 days prior to your reservation and we must have your payment 30 days in advance. But Pavilion #3 is available and you can have it on a first come, first serve basis.
Me: Oh. Well, I can move my party to the 19th. Can I rent a pavilion on that date?
She: I'm sorry but all the pavilions are booked on the 19th.
Me: Well, you know even though today is the 19th there are still 30 days until Nov. 18th.
She: Well, we do it by the date, not by the actual number of days.
Me: Can we just pretend that I called yesterday?
She: If I do that for you then I have to do it for the other 50 people who come after you.
Me: Not if I don't tell anyone.
She: Alright, I will break the rules just this one time but you have to understand that it's just this one time and that you can't tell anyone about it.
Me: I promise I won't tell anyone.
She: And you have to give me the payment today and we close at 5:00 and I close the office from 11:30-12:30 for lunch.
Me: ok. What does the pavilion rental cost?
She: How many in your party?
Me: I don't know yet.
She: Well, I need a number because the cost is based on the number of people.
Me: Ok, around 50?
She: For a party of 1 to 250 the cost is $75. If you want a moonbounce then you have to add $20 for the permit and you have to use one of our approved vendors.
Me: Great. Can you give me a list?
She: Well you have to use one of our approved vendors.
Me: Right. (Pause)Do you have a list of approved vendors?
She: Yes.
Me: Can you fax it to me?
She: Yes. Do you want to reserve pavilion #3 for Nov. 18th?
Me: Yes. I will bring the payment to you after lunch.
She: We close at 5:00.
Me: I'll bring it before then. Thank you very much for your help. I'll see you this afternoon.

Two hours later in her office . . .
Me: Hi S_____, I'm Kelsi and I spoke with you this morning about renting a pavilion for a birthday party.
She: (blank stare)Did you talk to me?
Me: Yes, it's for a rental on November 18th.
She: Do you have a reservation?
Me: (Pause - could she really have had that many calls from a Kelsi this morning?)Yes, here's the paperwork.
She: Oh, yes. I have it here. Kelsi?
Me: Yes.
She: And you don't want a moonbounce? Oh, you do want a moonbounce. That'll be an extra $20.
Me: Yes.
She: Your permit will be mailed to your home.
Me: And I need to have that with me on the day of the party, right?
She: YES, you have to have it with you.
Me: Ok, great. Thanks so much for your help. I really appreciate it.
She: Mmmhmmm.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Some Pictures!

That's Dean, I mean Batman, in the cage with Sanka, I mean Tikka. Oh - the dog's name is Tikka now. Jack, I mean Robin, has locked them in. He he he.

The boys and their sister watch Teen Titans together.

That's Peter Pan there. Yes, the boys are just not themselves lately.

And of course, Captain Hook. Isn't he formidable?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Name Game

We've been playing the name game in our house as we try to come up with a new name for Sanka. Dean has been adamantly opposed to changing her name. Have I mentioned how much that kid hates change? Anyway, in an effort to convince Dean to change her name Tom told him that Sanka isn't a good dogs name because it's a kind of coffee. Then Dean proceeded to have the greatest argument (to date) of his life with his dad because IT. IS. NOT. COFFEE!!!!!!
But, he finally conviced him and then they decided that her name would be Shasta. I know what you're thinking. Don't go there. IT. IS. NOT. A. SODA!!!!!!!!!
But, Shasta isn't really rolling off the tongue for me. And now the latest name is Tikka. I like this name because it reminds me of Indian food. Mmmmm - tikka masala. But I digress. And it's different enough from Sanka that I won't be trying to call her Shanka or Sasta or Sasha.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Dinner Conversation

Dean: Hey Mommy. Guess what? I have something for you.
Me: You do? What is it?
Dean: A costume! And you know what you can do?
Me: What?
Dean: You can come to my work and then I will take it out (demonstrates how he'll take it out) and I will put it on you (more demonstrating). And it will be a surprise.
Me: A surprise? I can't wait!
Dean: But, but I will tell you what your costume is. I will tell you.
Me: What is it?
Dean: (Pause for effect) Batgirl!!
Me: I get to be Batgirl?? Oh, that's great!
Dean: You can borrow it. (Nodding so I'll understand) You can.

Our Girl

Sanka came to our home yesterday at around 10:00am.

We love her.

She is sweet and mellow and already adopting us as her charges that she needs to protect. Jack is still a little nervous around her but he also loves her and wants so badly to not be afraid. I have a feeling that once he gets over his fear, she is going to become his best friend.

She's a little nosy when it comes to the kitchen and twice I've caught her trying to get something off the countertop. But, she's easily corrected and I think we'll break her of that pretty quickly. Last night while we ate dinner she kept coming into the dining room and nosing around. Tom and I took turns leading her back into the living room onto her bed and after the 5th or 6th time, she understood that she wasn't allowed to come to the table while we're eating. I'm sure we'll have to do it again tonight but it probably won't take 5 or 6 times. She slept in our room on her bed and didn't get up at all during the night. I slept in the boys' room just for the first night because I was concerned that they would wake up and come into our room, forgetting that we have a dog, and get scared by her.

Dean calls her his sister and sometimes his batdog.

As we drove away this morning, Tom was sitting on the front porch with her in front of him watching us go and the boys yelled out the window that they loved her.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Now with more sugar

Is it bad that the main reason I want to make brownies is not so my kids can have a special treat but so I can lick the bowl?
And the spoon?
I'm suddenly grateful for all those times when my mother selflessly handed me the beater, the spoon, or the spatula and let me lick to my heart's content. Then she sat the bowl in front of me and I'd use my fingers because there wasn't enough in the bowl for the spoon to scoop out.
And yet, I can't help but wonder . . . how many times was she off in the kitchen surreptitiously licking every drop of delicious cake batter (or brownie or cookie batter) while I napped or played innocently in another room?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

It's a Girl!!!

And she'll be ours next Sunday. Isn't she gorgeous? She's about a year old and is the sweetest girl. She's unbelievably gentle and mellow, especially for a puppy. Jack even walked up to her and stroked her head.
We're still working on a name for her. She looks to be pure German Shepherd but there may be some rottweiler in her.
We're so excited!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Lesson

I've heard a lot of stories of my Grandpa Jack over the past week. For instance, he never raised his voice or his hand to his kids or grandkids. Instead, he used some unconventional methods to get his point across. One of my favorite stories is that of my mom who in the midst of a temper tantrum found herself soaking wet because my Grandpa dumped a glass of water on her. Not surprisingly, it stopped her tantrum. I heard about how my Uncle Dave used to pretend to be asleep so he wouldn't have to go to church and Grandpa would pour water in his ear. I heard that rather than yell or hit his children, the worst thing he could do to them was tell them he was disappointed in them. My mother said she'd rather have been beaten than hear that. One time when I was smarting off to my grandma, he just looked at me and said "Kels.". That's all he had to say. I shut my mouth.
His patience was unending. I wish I had inherited it but I didn't and so I have to work at it. But somehow, knowing that Grandpa is watching over us I feel like I'll have some extra help when I feel my patience waning. I hope.
When he quietly slipped away from us on Friday night I was surprised at how peaceful I felt. Of course I felt sad too but he was surrounded by people who loved him. I'm so glad I went when I did. It's so important to say the words you feel to the people you love, especially during a time like this. And that's the other lesson that I take away from this experience. It's important to tell people how you feel. And tell them often. And I don't mean just telling someone that you love him/her. I mean it's important to tell people how you feel. I whispered in my Grandpa's ear that I love him very much and that I will never forget how he and Grandma took me camping, took me to the park and took me to the zoo. I told him that I will soon be able to take Jack and Dean to the miniature golf park and that I'm pretty sure Jack will be the one to get mad just like his mother used to and throw a club. The thing is I have a head full of happy memories of things we used to do but I had never told him what those things meant to me until the day he died. From now on, I want my loved ones to know what they mean to me and how I feel about them.
What about you?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Going Home - Addendum 9/24/06

I booked a flight to Indy for this Thursday, 9/14. Grandpa is getting worse by the day and I need to go home to see him and give my mom a much needed break. I'm not taking the boys with me because it would be just too much of a distraction and would add more stress. So, there won't be much posting happening in the next week or so.

Addendum 9/24/06:
Grandpa Jack died peacefully on Friday, September 15th at 10:42pm surrounded by his daughter Melinda, sons David and Monte, grandson Nathan and myself.
I'll write more later once I'm able to compose my thoughts. He was one of the kindest, gentlest people I've ever known.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Grandpa Jack

My Grandpa Jack isn't doing very well. Mom called last night to tell me that he's only lucid about half the time, is easily confused and is starting to fail. She arranged hospice care for him and is doing everything possible to make sure he is comfortable. I am sad and feel helpless. My Grandpa Jack is a kind but mischievous man who has never said an unkind word about anyone. When I was a little kid he used to delight in teasing me, the cat, the dog and anyone or thing that would give him a reaction. My brother was always a better ping pong player than me, even though he was 3 years younger. Grandpa would tell him to give me an "ephus" when we were playing. I'm making up the spelling of the word just as I'm sure Grandpa made up the word. Anyway, an ephus is when you set up the ball so your opponent thinks they have an easy slam but there's a wicked spin on it and when you try to slam it, it just flies straight out and you miss the table every time. If I played ping pong with Grandpa he would serve me an ephus every single time because I fell for it every single time. He loved watching me get mad and try to hit it harder and harder. He also liked to take me to the local miniature golf course. I used to get pretty frustrated there too and I was known to throw my club around. He loved it.
He is fiercely loyal and adored my Grandma. He cared for her as long as he could and was never the same after she died. I think he simply hasn't wanted to be here without her.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Dean the Wave Master

This is Dean. He's holding a feather. He's yelling at the waves but they don't listen.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Bizarro World

When I arrived at daycare to pick up the boys last night I could tell just by looking at Dean that he was coming down with something. That kid can't hide a thing. But we had big plans last night. We had to go to our Congressman's town hall meeting. Our friend Peter is running against him and we wanted to be at the town hall meeting both to see what it was all about and also to be there for Peter who was hoping to have people asking questions of his opponent that would draw some attention to himself. Wow. Long run-on sentence. Anyway, first the boys and I met Tom at the Arby's near the high school where the town hall was to be held. There was a large woman in a wheelchair in front of us at the restaurant. I heard her complaining about the access ramps to the restaurant and various other things but was just ignoring her. Then it was our turn to order and Tom asked for 2 small roast beefs and an order of chicken tenders. The cashier asked if we wanted the 4 for $5 and Tom asked what that was. The wheelchair butted in and said that we wanted the 4 for $5 - trust her. Then she told Tom to get out of her way so she could get by. Yeah, she was a gem. Tom told the guy we just wanted the 2 roast beefs and the chicken tenders and as he was saying this a toddler in the restaurant started crying. The wheelchair yelled ENOUGH!!! at the little girl. The father of the little girl told the woman that she was just a baby. The wheelchair went on a rant that children shouldn't be out but that they should be at home and that the woman was a bad mother. Tom told the cashier that we would take our food to go. We went over to the other family that was being harassed by this terrible person and we told them it was ridiculous and they agreed and said that she was mentally ill. I don't know if this woman was mentally ill or just miserable but I wanted to hurt her. I wanted to belittle her and demean her and I wanted her to be removed from the restaurant. I wanted the police called. But I have two little boys who look at me as an example and I needed to remain calm and remove us from the situation with as little trauma as possible. And on to the town hall. It was another weird thing that I can't really put my finger on. There were strange, muttering people wandering in and I looked at Tom and said this is a weird night. He agreed and called it bizarro world. We went into the town hall and sat with Peter for a few minutes but Jack was fidgety and Dean started to feel hot so we got up to leave just after the Congressman answered the first question. When we got home I took Dean's temp and it was 100.7. He has no other symptoms - just the fever. Today, they're both running fevers with no other symptoms and the good news is that once they get motrin in their systems, their spirits really improve. I hope this is just a little virus and that it moves through the house quickly. I've got way too much going on to get sick.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Superman Clothes!

Thanks Grandma!!!
Superman Shoes!

We love you Grandma!!!

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Zen moments

Superheroes ready to party at Frank's costume birthday party.
Dean enjoying his sand race car.

And Jack enjoying his tub time.


See? They're really cute. And I did a pretty good job on those bats if I do say so myself.

By the way, the naps seemed to do the trick. They each slept almost 2 hours and their attitudes improved immensely for it.

We were supposed to have Uncle Julian and Uncle Peter over for dinner tonight for an early birthday celebration for daddy but daddy is fighting a cold and doesn't feel well so we had to postpone. So, instead of having filet mignon for dinner we had lipton cup-o-noodles and peanut butter crackers. Poor daddy. Jack helped me make dessert so we also had brownies and ice cream. Then Jack and Dean played in the front yard with the neighborhood kitty and I managed to get a little video of them. It'll be loaded up soon. The boys and I went for a walk around the block and when we got back they played together in the backyard. It was by far the best behavior we got out of them all weekend!

the trolls

Who swapped out my sweet, loving children with the tantrum-throwing, maniacal trolls that spontaneously combust at the suggestion that they may not get exactly what they want exactly when they want it which is NOW.

Lest you think I just lock them in their rooms without entertainment, here's what we've done so far this weekend:

Went to a birthday party where they got to run around with 40 other kids in an indoor playplace which was air conditioned thank-you-very-much and filled with things to climb on, in, under and over. They were fed pizza and juice and cake and ice cream. They went on a treasure hunt with a pirate - a cute girl pirate and then got their faces painted. J was spiderman and D was batman. On top of that, they got goody bags filled with toys and candy. Then, because they were so hopped up on sugar, we went to the mall where they could run around the indoor playground and burn off aforementioned evil substance. Despite all this fun, there were frequent flingings to the floor, by them - not me but don't think for an instant I wasn't tempted. Finally, we headed home the long way in an effort to get them to go to sleep. It worked but it took much longer than I anticipated and still involved some screaming. I won't mention who was doing the screaming.

And today? Well, we hit Target at 9:00am where I promised them I would buy a face painting kit so I could paint their faces like batman and spiderman. Alas, Target doesn't carry face painting kits but I saw some batman pajamas and the boys fell in love so I bought those. But, they wanted toys. And again, much floor-flinging commenced. In the car we go and I ask them if we should go somewhere else for the face painting kit and they whine yessssssss. So, off to Michael's we go. One small meltdown because D's shoelace became untied. THE HORROR!!!! But, disaster was averted and we went into the store. A quick rant about the state of customer service??? PUHLEASE people, look your customer in the eye especially when you're giving a woman with two melty downy preschoolers the bad news that you don't carry face painting kits right now because it's not the season for them. The season??? What the hell season is it that requires someone to paint their kids' faces? Isn't that birthday party season? Isn't that kinda all year long? And by the way, nobody gives a rat's @$$ that you want to take boxing lessons. What they want is to know where the freaking face paint is.
So, we head over to the party store just a mile down the road. They have face paints but no book of samples. I take it anyway with the assumption that I can wing it. Ok, so this part was probably not that fun for J and D but I had to get them out of the house because we sold the jogging stroller today and they would really lose it if we sold it while they were there. We went back home and I painted their faces - both chose batman and they looked really cute. I took a picture and I'm glad I did because shortly after we were finished Jack melted down and was put in his room in a time out where he proceeded to mash his face into his pillow. There's a lovely imprint of a bat on his pillow now. Then it was D's turn to lose it and he went in for his time out. Seriously, it was insane. We had lunch and then there was more whining - J was hungry (huh? didn't you just eat?) and wanted to eat candy, go to the park, blah blah blah. I told them we were going to go for a little ride in the car. Park, Park, Park???? We'll see. J threatens that he's going to be sad, he's going to cry. I tell him it's ok to cry and it's ok to be sad but right now he needs to try to calm down a little and find a way to be happy. He tells me he loves me and now I see he's trying so hard. 3 songs later he and D are asleep and we're pulling into our driveway. That was at 1:00pm. It's now 2:30 and they're still down. Let's hope that's all it takes.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

All's quiet

Finally, after an hour and a half of struggle - J's napping. When he's 15 and trying to sleep in until noon I'll be there every 15 minutes - jumping on his bed, kicking the wall, poking him in the eye and various other places, pulling open the curtains, jumping onto the floor - I could go on and on.
Yesterday was a great day. We got up early, packed up and went to the beach. The water was beautiful, calm and clear and warm enough to be in it without a wetsuit. I've never experienced Zuma like that. We saw dolphins and even a sea lion. While T played with the boys, I went for a swim with some other Tri Team members. We swam for about 1/2 mile and then I did some bodysurfing. I dried off and went for a run but not before snapping these pics.
I really wish I had taken a picture of the water, it was so beautiful. When I got back from my run, we took the boys down to the water and let them play around. D is still afraid of the surf so he wanted me to hold him. I did and we walked out into the water a bit but everytime a wave came in he would scream and cry so I gave up. I put him back on the dry sand and he wagged his finger at the ocean. Yeah, that'll teach it.
J seemed to love the surf. He'd try to jump over the waves as they'd crash in and he learned how to plant his feet so he would stay balanced. Then we had sandwiches and cupcakes and soon it was time to go home. They were both asleep by the 3rd song and slept another hour and a half once we were home so Mommy and Daddy got to take a nap, too.
Today our friends came home from their vacation so T went to pick them up at the airport while the boys and I went to the farmer's market and Costco. They were so incredibly good at both places. So, I bought them new costumes.
For some reason the pictures aren't loading. So, I'll try to put them in a separate post.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Dance Fever!

Dancing Kids

WARNING!! It's really LOUD!
I took this video of the boys on Sunday morning.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Goodnight Kisses

Me: I need goodnight kisses.
D: I don't have any more.
T: You ran out of kisses?
D: Yes. Climbs off the bed and scoops up imaginary kisses from the floor and puts them in his mouth.
T: Did you find some on the floor?
D: Yes. Comes to me and gives me a kiss. I hug him and tell him I love him just as he wipes his mouth and flings the kiss to the floor. That was an old one. Pthhhht.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Parenting while sick

Daddy had to go to Vegas on Wednesday for a convention so, naturally I got sick yesterday. I laid down in my office for an hour and a half trying to get the energy to get in the car to pick up the boys. Finally, I managed to get there but was afraid that I wouldn't be able to get out of the car without barfing. So, I called daycare as I idled on the street and asked if they would please bring the boys out to the car for me. Being the best daycare in the world, they did just that. I had put my seat down as far as it would go and was willing my stomach to stop churning when the boys approached. In they climbed and looked at me curiously and asked if I was sick. I said that I was and got out of the car to put their seat belts on. As we drove away, J suggested that maybe I ate too much at lunch and that's why my belly was hurting. I nodded and said that was very possible. Then D chimed in and thought that maybe I needed to drink more water. I agreed with him that it was important to drink water. Then I told them that they were very good suggestions and that I really appreciated their concern and that now I was going to put on their superhero music because I couldn't really talk anymore. On we went - me with gritted teeth and a tarzan popcorn bucket on my lap, them singing along to the spiderman theme song.
Thankfully, we made it home without my having to make use of the tarzan popcorn bucket. A big grateful shout out to TIVO for capturing a new episode of the Teen Titans which the boys could watch over and over. Ah, my TV babysitter - so helpful, so loving, so free - well, except for the $68 per month I shell out. Anyway, I laid on the couch while they watched the TTs kick some Slade booty and after the 2nd episode was over I finally began to feel a bit better. Did I mention what good little boys they were? So thoughtful and kind and easygoing? As I lay on the couch and watched their little faces, so completely absorbed in the graphic imagery that is TT, I marveled at their being. Do you know what I mean? They're here. How many years did I wonder what it would be like to have children; what would they look like, sound like, who would they be like? It is so much better than I could have ever imagined it.

Friday, July 14, 2006

J and the Duck

T was reading books to the boys before bedtime one night when this conversation took place:

fart sound
T: (looks at J) What was that?
J: A duck.
T: Are you sitting on a duck?
J: nods
T: What do you say?
J: 'Scuse me duck.

D and the Button

This exchange happened just a few nights ago as we were getting the boys ready for bed. Let me set the scene a bit, shall I? Boys are in their pajamas and we are armed with their toothbrushes. It's already past their bedtime. I've got J and T has D. That line reminds me of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - but I digress. I'm brushing J's teeth and I hear the following conversation between T and D:

T: C'mon buddy. I have to brush your teeth. Open your mouth.
D: You have to push the button.
T: Oh. Which button?
D: This button. (Points to a button on his pajama shirt)
T: Oh. Ok. (Pushes button and adds a sound effect - boooop)
D: (Just looks at him)
T: (Pushes the button, again with sound effect - booooop)
D: (Just looks at him)
T: (Pushes the button again with louder sound effect - booooop)
D: It's not working.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th

We spent the afternoon at the Sullivans and most of that time was passed in their pool. Their very hot 94 degree pool because it's been freakin' hot in the valley for the past month. While it wasn't exactly refreshing it was very relaxing. Think jacuzzi without the bubbles. Anyway, it was a great opportunity to work on the boys' swimming skills and we actually got D to swim with a vest on without us supporting him. Once he got over his fear that kid just tooled around the pool. At one point he passed one of the guests, a girl named Maggie who's about 10 years old and he said to her: So, you're swimming by yourself? And she replied: yeah. He nodded his head knowingly and said: Yeah, me too. J was jumping off the side of the pool and into my arms. Well, he would hold onto my hands and then jump but he got water splashed up in his face a few times and he just snorted it out of his nose, wiped his eyes and said "again!". He even put his whole face in the water a few times.
We got to the Sullivans at around 3:00pm and were in the pool by 3:30 and with the exception of taking a break to eat dinner, were in there until 8:30pm. Not surprisingly, the boys fell asleep on the way home.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Can you believe this??

Could they be any cuter? I don't think so . . .

This is the Bean after he ran through the sprinkler last night.

And the Jman who refuses to get his face wet.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Happy Anniversary

Today is our 7th Wedding Anniversary. We celebrated by going to breakfast at the Hideaway Cafe in Malibu, met up with Eddie, then went to the Cross Creek Shopping Center where we let the boys play in the playground for a while as we waited for the haze to burn off, then headed out to Leo Carrillo beach. D fell asleep on the way out to the beach but woke up when I tried to lay him down on the blanket. He was too excited! We had been talking about the beach for days so there was no way he was going to sleep through our beach date. We've been reading Curious George Goes to the Beach for the past two nights so the boys had all kinds of ideas about what we'd be doing out at the beach. We really only managed to build sand castles. It was too windy to throw the frisbee and too cold to swim in the water. J asked D if he'd like to go down to the water with him and D agreed. Off they went and we watched to see how close they'd get. We were very surprised when J backed off first and D went all the way to the water's edge. They got more and more brave and were soon sitting in the wet sand digging with their shovels and when the waves would come in they'd hop up and run away. There was one time though when they waited just a bit too long, or maybe they didn't hear the way because they were so engrossed in their activity, but the wave was a big one and the water came rushing up to them. They got up to ran but J was a bit ahead of D so he got away. D got a little panicked while giggling at the same time and he lost his balance and fell. The water washed over him a bit - just enough that his swimming suit got wet and he had his face in the water for the briefest of seconds. He got up crying but seemed more concerned about his shovel which was starting to wash away. A lady standing near him grabbed the shovel right as I got to him. Mostly, he was cold. The water is probably around 67 degrees. I took him up to our blanket and we put a towel around him. We gave him a drink of water to wash the salt and sand out of his mouth. As soon as he warmed up he shrugged off the towel and headed back down to the water. They played in the sand and the surf for 2 1/2 hours. They collected shells and rocks and piled them in buckets. D found a seaweed rope that he carried around. J and T went out into the tidepools to look for crabs and other sea creatures. We watched parasailers, windsurfers and surfers navigate their boards in the surf. We watched people flying kites and laughed as they dived into the water. We saw two really cool planes that looked like motorized gliders. We watched pelicans in formation skim the surface of the water looking for food. We shooed away the pesky seagulls who hovered over us expectantly. Finally, when the wind picked up again and the sun hid behind the clouds, we headed home. They both fell asleep on the way but then J woke up as we pulled into the driveway. T and D took naps and J and I started dinner. He's such a good helper. As I was picking out garlic from the basket he asked what was I getting? Then he answered his own question. As I was cutting it he commented that I was cutting it into little pieces. I asked him what was the word that I use when I want to cut something into really little pieces. He thought for a second then replied "MINCE!". I hope his curiosity about cooking continues as he gets older. I tell him everything that I'm doing and why and he seems to retain a lot of the information. Anyway, D and T woke up and we all ate dinner. As a special treat, we went to Cold Stone Creamery for dessert and met up with Peter and Julian. It was good but we felt so stuffed afterward and decided it's really too much sugar. We got home at 8:15 and the boys took quick baths and then T put them to bed.
What a day!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

Dear T,

I knew you would be a good father when I saw you playing with the McArthur kids oh so many years ago. The way Rox adored you and the patience you showed with her and her brothers. Mostly, the pure joy you exhibited just to be around them.

And now, with our own kids you seem so relaxed in your fatherhood. At ease and confident in your role as their dad. Firm when you need to be but most often you sit back and let them learn and solve problems on their own. Even when they are at their whiniest, you are patient and I so admire that trait in you.

What I'm trying to say, and I'm not sure that I've managed it very eloquently, is that I love you more than ever. You are my best friend, my partner, a wonderful father and you just got up so I have to go!!

I love you.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Oh, one more thing

I forgot to mention the phone call I got while in the Italian deli. T called me (he stayed in the car with the boys) and put D on the phone. D told me that I was taking too long and that I was going to have to take a bus home. J chimed in and said a school bus. Then D, hearing that I wasn't quite getting what he was saying, told me it was just a joke.

T claims he didn't put them up to it.


It's 9:30pm and the first time I've sat down, besides to eat dinner, since 3:00. We took the kids to swimming lessons this morning, then over to Target to get swim vests, then to Hometown Buffet for lunch, then I had to go to the Italian deli to pick up a few things for our picnic tomorrow, then we went home. We had to drive a little out of our way because we were trying to get J to go to sleep and he was fighting it. We finally got home around 3:00 but I had to go back out to get groceries. I got home at 5:00 and, after putting the groceries away, it was time to make dinner. And I also had to start the chicken for our picnic tomorrow. We're having a backyard picnic at the Sullivan's with another family. We're all bringing stuff to eat, and then we'll all relax poolside. Thus, the swimming vests that we had to pick up at Target. We wouldn't have gotten them but the Sullivan boys have them and so our boys think they can do the same things as the Sullivans but they can't because they don't have vests on. Now - they have vests, too.
Swimming lessons went really well this morning. Both boys are becoming more comfortable in the water, especially with the floating. The teacher today pushed them a little by making them swim out to her - they really just glide to her but it was a big step forward for them. We have one more lesson in the therapy pool then starting July 8 we start the new "term" and can hopefully have their lessons in the therapy pool but it's a crapshoot. The therapy pool is a lot warmer - 90+ degrees as opposed to 83. Not that 83 is cool, not by a long shot, but D really needs the pool a little warmer since he hasn't any meat on his bones.
Speaking of meat - that kid won't eat. All he wants is warm milk and suddenly I'm having flashbacks of 2 years ago when I was trying to wean him or, really, any time in the last 3+ years that something has interrupted his comfortable routine. That kid does not like change. NOT ONE BIT. And drama??!! Oh yes, he is prone to the drama. Can't imagine where he got that from. ahem
Poor J has been sick for the last few days; fever off and on and I finally had to give him 2 breathing treatments today because he was sounding rather wheezy and I could see him pulling for air. Halfway into the first treatment I could already see that he was breathing easier. And after the first one was completed, he wasn't pulling for air anymore. Seeing that reminded me of when he was first born and in the NICU. They had to work so hard to get oxygen because their lungs were so premature and you could see the effort in their necks and chests with every breath. It's hard to believe they were ever that small and that sick. Looking at them now, I count my blessings everyday. It could have been so much worse and there were many, many things that could have gone wrong. We're incredibly lucky.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

J's Sick Day

When J woke up this morning he emitted a seal-like cough, then started crying. Both T and I moaned "oh no" and I scooped him up and held him while listening to his raspy breathing. When I picked him up yesterday his voice was a little raspy so I'm not too surprised by this development. Especially since D had a touch of it early in the week. J told me he felt hot, then cold, then hot again. His cheeks were a little flushed and his eyes were a little glassy. We took D to school then we went to work so I could pick up my computer. I had some cheerios at work so he sat on the floor and ate cheerios and drank orange juice while I went through my emails. I also had a big pad of vellum paper so we went to the supply room and picked up some colored pencils and markers and he went to work on the paper. He was being so good that I was able to get a lot of work done and we didn't leave until nearly 11:00am. He's asleep now and I put the humidifier on in his room so hopefully that will help his cough. Whenever he gets a cold it always seems to turn into this croup-like cough and of course it's always worse at night. It's so deceiving because he's been acting pretty good, not that sick really but then tonight his breathing will turn raspy again and then that damn cough will hit in the middle of the night. Hopefully the humidifier will prevent it tonight. I think I'll keep it running even after he wakes up from his nap.

Friday, June 09, 2006

D, The Comedian

Recently, I was looking through my closet to find a dress to wear to a wedding that T and I were to attend. I pulled out my navy blue halter dress and put it on. I went out into the kitchen where T, D and J were sitting at the table having a snack. "What do you think?" I asked. D turned and looked at me and asked where were my shoes?
Me: You want me to put on the shoes?
D: Yes.
Me: Ok. (and off I go, obediently)
D watched and waited until I was out of the kitchen and then cocked his head to J and said "follow her".

And J did.

T told me this story and we laughed and laughed about it.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

morning conversation

J: why your cheeks red?
Me: Because ladies put pink stuff on their cheeks so they look pretty.
J: are you pretty?
Me: I don't know. What do you think?
J: yeah, you pretty. Oh, what dat stuff in that pink thing?
Me: that's mascara. It makes my eyelashes look long and thick.
J: I want some.
Me: if I had eyelashes like yours I wouldn't need mascara. Your eyelashes are so long and thick already.
J: I will give you my eyelashes and I'll have yours.

4 day weekend

I admit that in the past I wouldn't have been that excited for a long weekend. Worn out by the work week and wary of planning too many activities for me and the boys knowing that it might result in a meltdown or end in frustration, I tended to not plan anything and then we'd sit at home bored which would result in a meltdown followed by frustration. However, as this past weekend approached I was excited about our plans. Not because we were doing anything particularly exciting but just because I would get to spend the time with my boys and without realizing it, I maintained an "open to anything" mindset that kept me from getting frustrated. On Friday morning, we went over to the Sullivan's to play then went to lunch with them. Following that, we went to costco where J and D were positively angelic despite the fact that they hadn't yet napped. I thought they'd fall asleep on the way home but they didn't and when I asked them what they wanted to do next, they said they'd like to go to the park -- so we did. Where they played and played, together and separately, and made friends with other park-goers. And then, because you have to - they got ice cream.
Saturday morning (7:30am!) we headed back over to the Sullivan's to babysit E. T joined us at 2:00 after spending the day cleaning our house (THANKS!!) and while E napped, we stuck our feet in the swimming pool. Sunday morning we went to the Farmer's Market, as usual, where I shopped and the boys bounced in the bouncy house. Then off to the Sullivan's again and we walked over to the Greek church for their annual Greek festival. It was hot and the boys were really tired after not taking naps for 2 days so it wasn't much fun. Way too crowded and the Sullivan's (and we) were a little cranky. We didn't stay too long and then headed over to Uncle Peter's and Uncle Julian's house. Peter's dad is in town and we visited with them awhile before heading out to Dr. Hogly Wogly's for some yummy Tyler Texas BBQ. Monday morning, Peter, his assistant Seth, his dad Dave and T left at 9:00am for the Canoga Park Parade of which Peter and Dave were a part and T was the driver. Julian came over around 10:00am and we headed over to watch the parade. We got settled at around 10:45 but didn't see Peter et. al. until 1:00pm. It was so hot and the boys were tired but they were so patient and blared their little trumpets when they saw Peter. I ran out to the car with the boys so Peter could do baby kisses - he's a politician, after all. As soon as they were gone, Julian and I packed up and headed out. The boys took their first naps of the weekend on our way home! They're so close to giving them up. After we all had lunch together, Peter and the gang left and we headed over to the Sullivan's for a BBQ. We hopped into the pool and the boys practiced their paddles and kicks and J is getting pretty brave in the water. Too brave.
Anyway, after lots of food and homemade ice cream for dessert (we made that) we headed home for baths, stories and bed.
The next day, when the boys were complaining about having to go to school and wishing we could all stay home, I felt - for the first time - like joining their chorus.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

the weekend, belatedly

It's really scary that it's only Tuesday and I can't remember what we did on Friday night.

Saturday, well that's another story. We took the boys to swimming lessons where J did everything his girl teacher asked but wouldn't go near his boy teacher. And D cried. He sat on the step, the very top step, and cried.

Yes, they got ice cream anyway.

Then Saturday afternoon we went to the dog park to pet big dogs (in an effort to get them over their fear of dogs) and then to their favorite store - Target. It's their favorite store because that's where all the batman and spiderman stuff is. Whenever they see a batman or superman doll - oh, sorry "action figure" they always say it came from Target. They've learned to recognize that familiar "target" and say that's their favorite store.

Sunday we went to the Strawberry festival in Oxnard with our friends, the Sullivans. There we ate lots of fried foods and then feasted on a strawberry pizza. Yes, strawberry pizza - it's baked dough with cream cheese frosting topped with sugared strawberries and of course, whipped cream. J was in heaven. Then over to the Sullivans for dinner.

And now - I gotta go pick up those little munchkins.

Friday, May 19, 2006

A Belated Mother's Day Post

Until I became a mother, I had no idea how your child could make you feel such a myriad of emotions. Pride one moment when they finally master the art of using a spoon and absolute frustration the next when they refuse to do so. Overwhelming love that makes you feel like your heart will break into a million pieces to indifference when they whine that they want more cheerios. I didn't understand sacrifice until I became a mother. I was slow to realize that when I had my children, I dropped to the bottom on the list of priorities. I lost the freedom to go out for a cocktail after work or to spontaneously go to the movies with my spouse - now those things involve planning and a lot more money. I can no longer fit four people in my car because 2 spaces are taken up by enormous car seats. I can't swing by the grocery store after work to pick up dinner for the night. I can't go out for a run with my coworkers after work or go on the Tri-Team's group bike rides on Thursday evenings. I fall asleep when I read a book now, often while I'm reading "Hop on Pop" and the boys have to nudge me awake. But oh, it's so worth it. Seeing their faces when I arrive at daycare - so excited to see me, scrambling over so they can give me a hug and rub their dirty smudged faces all over my crisp white shirt. Talking over each other as we walk out to the car and they tell me about their day. J getting in the car first so he can pull my lipstick out of my purse and D crying because he wanted to bring his stuffed kitty home with him and would I please go back and get it? Walking in the door with them firing requests and questions at me that when I answer always gets the question "why?" back. The sound of their feet slapping on the hallway floor every morning at 6:00 and then folding them in my arms so we can sleep together a few more minutes. Getting to sneak out every now and then while they're still sleeping so I can get a shower only to have them stumble into the bathroom as I'm toweling off with an emotional mixture of betrayal and joy on their faces. Hearing J giggle in his sleep is one of the most wonderful sounds I've ever heard. Listening to D sing Baby Beluga is the best music to my ears. Being their mom is the best gift these boys could ever give me.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Magic Word is Ice Cream

The boys had their first swimming lesson on Saturday morning. How did it go, you ask? Well, after much coaxing we got them to sit on the step with their feet in about 1 inch of water. The instructors tried to get them to come to them but NO WAY. D actually emitted this sort of deep, primal scream nearly caused everyone in the vicinity to stop and stare. T took off his shoes and sat on the side of the pool with his feet in the water and managed to get them to the next step. So they were sitting in an inch of water and their feet were submerged up to the knee.
They spent almost the entire lesson that way.
Finally, when the lesson was over and all the other kids got out, the instructors asked if the boys would go in with them. No. But, D did finally sit on Lizzie's lap and then she got him to sit next to her on the lower step so he was submerged up to mid-torso. When J saw that, he agreed to sit next to D.
Then, they got ice cream.
We told them that they'd get ice cream next week if they went into the water with Cory and Lizzie and kicked their feet. Sadly, I won't be there to see it because I'll be at the Mother's Day Brunch but ice cream is a powerful motivator and I'm confident they'll do what is necessary to get it.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Where a kid can be a kid

Last night Uncle Julian picked up the boys so T and I could attend a Mehndi party for our friend Rishika who's wedding we are going to tomorrow and Saturday (long story). When Uncle Julian got the boys in the car he asked what did they want to do? D said, "I wouldn't mind going to Chuck E. Cheese".

Yeah, you read that right. I wouldn't mind going to Chuck E. Cheese. Y'know, if that's what you were thinking? I wouldn't mind it at all.

So, that's what they did. Uncle Julian is so cool. They get to spend Saturday with Uncle Julian too so that we can go to the 2nd wedding. The boys asked me this morning if Uncle Julian would be picking them up from school tonight and I told them no, that it would be me. oh. they said with much disappointment. WHYY?????? with a bit of a whine. It's ok, I don't take offense. I feel the same way about not getting to go to another Mehndi party tonight.

Monday, April 24, 2006


We sold the boys' cribs and dresser last weekend. When asked if they wanted a room decorated with sports stuff or animals or outer space they said they wanted outer space!

They start swim lessons on Saturday morning at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center.

This is a lame post but all I have time for.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Saturday night Amanda came over so we could go out to Fish and Brooksie's house for dinner. It was so nice to get out for an evening. Expensive even with the free meal since Amanda's very pricey but worth it! We had a great time with Fish and Brooke - great wine and the food was excellent. Sunday morning our friend Step came over and we all squeezed into the Hyundai - well, just me between those two enormous carseats. We went up into the Angeles National Forest to have lunch at the Hidden Springs Cafe. Then drove to Switzer's to go for a hike. The boys were little troopers on that hike over big boulders, across little streams and along treacherous terrain - well, treacherous for 3 year olds. It was so beautiful with those tall oak trees and the rushing stream. J loved throwing rocks into the stream. D liked slashing at the thorns with his stick. I think this will be a regular hike for us. It's a great way to expend some energy (not us, them!) and also gives us an opportunity to introduce nature to the boys.

2 stoplights

We were just 2 stoplights from daycare when D announced that his tummy wasn't feeling well. And then he lost his breakfast. Again. Again. Again. Great pools of curdled milk and banana muffin bar on his clothes, in his seat. Ugh. This is so my least favorite part of parenting. We got to daycare and got a change of clothes from his cubby. M brought me a roll of paper towels and a bucket in case D got sick again. I cleaned him up and changed his clothes. I happened to have 2 moist towelettes in my car so we each used one. Within 5 minutes he was saying he felt fine and wanted a banana. I told him he would have to wait until we got home. J went into the daycare and I put D in J's car seat - one of the benefits of having twins. When we got home D sat on the couch and watched spongebob while I took his car seat out of the car and cleaned it up. When will car seat makers create a car seat that is easy to take apart for the purposes of cleaning it?? Don't they know how hard it is to get the belts out when they are covered in puke? And the belts don't just come out - it requires a screwdriver to take off the back plate to reach the . . . oh, it's just too annoying. Anyway, apparently he just got carsick because he's been fine since we got home. He ate a piece of banana bread -- I know what you're thinking . . . what's with the banana theme?? What can I say? I made banana bread last night and on Saturday when I took J to the grocery store I asked him what kind of breakfast bar he wanted and he wanted the banana muffin bars. I digress - then he ate 2 bowls of cheerios. For lunch he told me he wanted a quesadilla and chicken noodle soup. I made that and sliced up some apple for him. He ate half the apple, most of the soup and took one bite of his quesadilla. Now he just fell asleep watching Bambi. I can finally get the car seat cover out of the dryer and put the car seat back together. JOY.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


We had a lovely visit with my mom. First of all, she brought them spongebob pajamas and that is gold to those two. She discovered the joys of trying to get J dressed in the morning -- by the end of the visit she was referring to him as "Hef" 'cause the kid would live in his PJs if he could - well, actually he does because it's just not worth the fight to get him to wear only daytime clothes so he's usually wearing his pajamas under his regular clothes and the second we get home, he strips 'em off. Whattayagunnado? Anyway, they loved having her here! The two nice days that we had, she took them to the park and they had a picnic lunch. They made cookies with her and got high on sugar on a daily basis. They are now going through rehab because their mean parents don't give them anything. I'm putting money away each month for their therapy bills.
One morning as I was getting dressed, mom came in to tell me that J went outside to go pee (he likes to do that - makes him feel like a man) and when he came back in he said to her, "When I pee I make smoke and I breathe fire!" That's J.
So, we had a great time and the boys are detoxing nicely, not just from the sugar (I'm kidding, but I'm not) but also from the wonderful attention and devotion that they received from Grandma. That's really the best part.
Mom if you're reading this - thank you for taking time off from work to come out here to give us a hand. Sorry you got sick! I do so appreciate how hard you try to be a part of their lives and please know that we talk about you often - about your visit with us, what they did when you were here, the things they made from cookies to puppets. You're an important part of our family and we love you very much.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

he's just fine

D's surgery went very well. He only had the right hernia (they checked for one on the left) so they only had one repair to do. Thursday was kind of a tough day for him - he was in some pain and when the motrin/tylenol combo would wear off, he was pretty miserable. But on Friday morning he was acting a lot better and didn't need the pain relieving combo - just motrin. Today we went to the Farmer's Market, where he jumped in the bounce house for 15 minutes then we went to Balboa Park where he played for 2 hours. You'd never know he had surgery a few days ago.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I was wrong. D has an inguinal hernia and needs surgery. We meet with the surgeon tomorrow so he can take a look at the misbehaving bowel and determine when to operate.

Stay tuned . . .

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Had to go to the emergency room Saturday night with the Bean. T noticed some swelling in his right testicle as he was getting him ready for bed. He was sick one day last week - frequent coughing and 8 hours of vomiting, then a low-grade fever. I paged the doctor then hopped on my friend the internet to do some research. From what I could tell on WebMD, he either had a twisted testicle (requires emergency surgery), an inguinal hernia (requires surgery), or a hydrocele (might require surgery). None of it looked good. We called our neighbors to stay with J, who thankfully was already asleep, and we went off to the emergency room. Apparently, 9:00pm at the emergency room in Tarzana is a very good time to have an emergency. Good information to file away later. Anyway, we got to see a doctor fairly quickly and he was concerned that it may be either the twist or the hernia. So, they called in the ultrasound technician. I curled up with the Bean to try to get him to go to sleep and about a half hour later, the ultrasound technician came in. D slept right through it. Doc came back in and said that it wasn't a twisted testicle (whew!) - it probably is a hydrocele which is when a little tissue seeps into the testicular sac and then fluid accumulates around it. At worst, it may require surgery but most likely, it was go away on it's own. We have to call the pediatric urologist on Monday and do a follow up with him. Today I checked him and the swelling has definitely gone down.
We won't know if he'll need surgery until we meet with the urologist but judging by the difference in swelling, I'm hopeful that he won't need it. There were funny moments throughout that evening as T and I questioned D about his testicle. We've determined that a 3 year old makes a very poor witness.

Monday, February 27, 2006


I got to sleep in until 8:30!! That's 2 whole hours! Then we went to Weiler's to have breakfast with Uncle Peter and Uncle Julian. The boys were extremely well-behaved and ate a ton of food - and they had already eaten breakfast at home so I was surprised. Then we went to the Farmer's Market. I didn't really need to buy much there but we went anyway because there was a petting zoo with llamas, a pig, some ducks, some bunnies, a mama sheep and her babies and a goat. We got to see the babies nursing from the mama sheep. That was neat. Brought back some painful memories though! Then we went to the other side of the market where there was a giant bounce house with a rock climbing wall and a slide. The boys went in there with Daddy assisting and they had a ball. D still needs some help getting up the rock wall but once he's up, he's fearless. It was a fun morning -- especially since it seemed like all they did was fight with each other on Saturday. I don't like it when they fight and I'm afraid I don't handle it well sometimes. It is just so nit-picky what they do to one another and I find myself telling them to just leave each other alone but of course, they can't. And it's such little stuff like one of them was saying "no" in kind of a sing songy way and it absolutely drove the other one crazy so he starts screaming and the whole time I'm thinking - just ignore him. It doesn't have to drive you so nuts! But then when the one realizes how much it drives the other one crazy, he does it louder and longer until it's now driving me crazy! You see what I mean? So, I really like it when they're getting along and being good to each other. I have to figure out a way to make that happen more often.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


That's how many teeth J and D each have. 10 on the top and 10 on the bottom. They had their first dental appointment today. We've been prepping them for a few months now but even with that preparation, I am amazed at how well they did. She was able to do a complete examination on both of them, complete with whirring instruments and bright overhead lights. She's really happy with their teeth and said they're teeth are better than 90 percent of the 3 year olds she sees. Their jaws are developing normally, there's no overbite with either of them, and they're nicely spaced although D's are a little tighter. We treated ourselves to In 'n Out afterwards - well, that was more of a treat for mommy and daddy although J does like their french fries. They took very late naps today and didn't wake up until 7:30pm for J and 7:45pm for D. So, naturally they didn't want to go to bed at 8:30pm. I'm afraid we're losing the afternoon nap with them. Maybe not D but definitely J. It's 10:00pm now and they're both sitting on the couch next to us. Hmm - I just looked down at J and he's asleep! Not D though. He's busy playing with his Stanley colorforms.
Tomorrow my uncle Layne is dropping by with his friend Paula for a short visit on their way through town. I haven't seen him for 2 years and it's been nearly 3 years since I saw Paula. I'm looking forward to seeing them. First, we head to the Farmer's Market in the morning. I'm trying to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables and also support local farmers. The produce is so much better there and there's really no change in the price. Most of it is organic and I feel better about the boys eating organic foods. Now if I can just reduce our intake of animal protein, I'll be really happy. My cholesterol is far too high and T's is moderately high so that's my motivation. However, T is (and so am I) a carnivore. This isn't going to be easy!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cousin M

I'm really behind in posting about our visit with C, J and M but you'll forgive me since I've spent nearly every day since they left with a feverish, whiny, clingy boy draped across my body. D was hardest hit though J certainly didn't get by unscathed. However, when J gets sick, he can still manage a smile. He isn't so needy. But D, who T has referred to as "Keanu" for his melodramatic flair, is so miserable when he's sick. One evening he woke up around 10pm and started crying so T brought him out to the living room. He moaned and kicked and screamed that he wanted his mommy so T gleefully handed him to me. He proceeded to moan and kick at me and when I asked him what was wrong he angrily whined, "I'm tiiiiiiiiired". To which I said - ok, what do you want to do? Him: Iiiiiii waaaaant toooooo gooooooo toooooooo beeeeeeeed. Me: ok, my bed or your bed? Him: MY BED!!!!!!! Me: off you go, can't get you there fast enough, why the heck did you get out of your bed in the first place???? - ok, I didn't say any of that but that's what was floating through my mind. So, you understand, right?
Well, here it is. We had a fanfreakintastic time with C, J and M. First of all, M is the most easygoing kid; very few meltdowns, goes to bed easily, naps easily - I'm so jealous. Plus, he absolutely fell in love with D and walked around saying "D?" whenever D wasn't in sight. J got a little jealous that M wasn't as enamored with him. I think his feelings were a little hurt but we didn't make a big deal of it. I was especially impressed with the way C and J handle M. I've never seen my brother be a DAD and it was really cool to see how instinctive he seemed to be. The first day we all had together we went to Travel Town to ride the train. Then we went into Griffith Park to have a picnic lunch and let the kids run around. Next, to get them to take a decent nap, we took a long drive through Hollywood, West Hollywood, West LA and Santa Monica until we got to Venice. There we walked the boardwalk to look at all the crazies and then went out onto the beach to gaze at the hazy ocean. Then we went to Marina Del Rey for dinner at C&O Trattoria for the yummiest Italian food. The next day was Super Bowl Sunday and we had Fish, Brooke and Eddie over for dinner. They left the next day and the fevers started the day after that! I'm so grateful that J and D didn't get sick until after they left. Especially since the last time C and J were supposed to visit (before M was born) D was hospitalized for pneumonia. The time before that was when I was pregnant and they were going to come out for the babies shower and I was hospitalized with preterm labor so they didn't come out. They did visit after the boys came home from the hospital but I was so sleep deprived and was just trying to keep it all together so I don't remember much. So, you see we haven't had much luck when trying to get together! Maybe that's what made this visit especially sweet. I will post pictures as soon as I get them loaded.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


This picture was taken
in our cabin in Idyllwild.

This photo of D on left was taken when we went for a 2 hour hike in Idyllwild. He walked the whole time and pretended to hack away at all the thorns, just like Prince Phillip does in Sleeping Beauty.

This photo of J was also taken while on our hike. J wanted to be carried alot but whenever we got near a large rock or boulder he had to climb it. The bigger the rock, the better.

J was asking us how to get in there.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Tell me what you want, what you really, really want

The other night as we were driving home from daycare, J started saying that he wanted to be a girl. He said he wanted a "gina" - he always forgets the first syllable "va". Then he started singing as loud as he could,"I want a gina. I want a gina!" over and over. Soon, D joined in singing the same thing as loud as he could. When there was a break in their singing, I said, "hey guys. If you had a vagina you wouldn't be able to stand up to pee." *silence***********************
D: Well, he started it.

Edit (2/7/06)
I was re-reading this post over T's shoulder one evening and I suddenly realized that most of the people who read this blog are members of my family and I got a little embarrassed as the word "vagina" jumped off the page at me. Here's the deal: we use the correct terminology in our house for all our anatomical parts. I don't want the boys to ever be embarrassed at the words or be afraid to call "it" what it is.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

One of those embarrassing moments

One of J's favorite movies is the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. His favorite part in the movie is when the gum-chewing girl turns into a blueberry after chewing a piece of gum that is still being tested. This particular gum is like no other piece of gum in that when you chew it, it's like eating a 3 course meal. Unfortunately, Wonka hasn't gotten the kinks out of it yet and it always goes wrong at the dessert course. In this case, when she gets to the blueberry pie she starts to blow up into a big ball and turn blue - turns into a blueberry. Recently, T took the boys with him to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. While he was waiting in line, a very, very large man got in line behind him. He started making small talk with T - oh, twins huh? how old are they? - you get the gist. J looked at the guy and said, "You big!". Then he looked at T and with a scrunch of his nose remarked, "Daddy, he a blueberry!!"