JACK: 1st born twin, helpful and athletic, loves playing video games, handball and soccer.
DEAN: just a minute behind Jack, dramatic and funny, loves Legos, watching TV and practicing writing.
DADDY: loyal and patient, loves watching football, has a weakness for sweets, prone to sarcasm.
ME: high strung and anxious, loves martial arts and cooking with friends, also prone to sarcasm. Seriously.
KATE: the border collie, energetic and smart, loves catching frisbees and chasing balls, also enjoys chasing cars.
WOLFIE: newly adopted bichon-poodle mix, sweet, submissive, loves dog treats and sneaking food out of Kate's bowl.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.