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.