Saturday, May 26, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Overheard Conversation

Dean: Um, Jack? Have you seen Shrek the Third?
Jack: No.
Dean: Me either.

Subtle guys. Real subtle.

Quick Swim Update and more

No pictures to show today because, well I was so dang excited by what I saw that I couldn't bear to step away for the brief moment to grab the camera from my purse. Jack actually stood on the bottom step, put his face in the water, pushed off and kicked his legs until he reached the instructor about 8 feet away. Dean is no longer afraid to put his face in the water. The instructor is still working on getting his legs straight out behind him but he is opening his eyes under water and is much more comfortable with getting his head wet. Amazing.

In dog-related news, I've been taking Tikka for an hour-long walk or run every day since Monday of last week and she's doing very well on the leash. We've seen all kinds of animals on our walks - bunnies, ducks, blue herons, squirrels, dogs, geese - you get the idea. Well, today we saw a fox. Now, you people know where I live, right? A fox!!! It was cool.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What a difference . . .

From this

To this:

Yup, that's Dean with his face in the water and his arms straight ahead reaching for the stairs. You might ask him what his favorite part about swimming lessons is. The answer? Putting his face in the water. No kidding.

And, here is Jack reaching out with long arms and legs. Tonight there was nothing but smiles and giggles.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Action Shots

Fluffy White Cloud

I recently began a meditation class that is offered through my company. Every Friday, I go into a conference room with 20 of my coworkers and we learn about meditation with a 10 minute meditation in the beginning and 10 minutes at the end. It is enormously helpful to me - the one who internalizes all stress until my body breaks out into hives. My teacher stopped me one day and told me how much better I look, so much more relaxed. It has been wonderful.
On Mother's Day, Dean woke up on the wrong side of the bed. He was grumpy and out of sorts all day. After lunch, we laid down to take a nap. I got Jack down without a problem and then worked on Dean. He was so angry, there was no reason - he was just mad. He wouldn't lie still, he just couldn't calm himself down. So, when I was at the brink of frustration I remembered how much better I feel when I meditate and could I apply that in this situation? I hugged him and asked him to lie down with me so I could hold him. I whispered to him, quietly, to close his eyes and feel me hold him tight. I spoke softly that with his eyes closed I wanted him to imagine he could see a big, white fluffy cloud as it floated against a beautiful blue sky. I continued whispering to him about the cloud that it was the softest cloud he ever felt and that he could almost touch it if he thought about it hard enough. I told him to imagine that he could sit in it and then lay in it and feel it's softness all around his body. I quietly told him that this cloud was the most beautiful white color and that it loved him.
He was snoring within 5 minutes.
Later, when he awoke, I took him with me to the grocery store. He mentioned that he didn't take a very long nap. I said that it wasn't that long but it was a good nap. What were you thinking about as you fell asleep? - I asked. He smiled and said a white cloud. I asked him if it helped him to calm down and he replied, yes, it helped him to stop being so angry.
Yes, it helped him to stop being so angry.

Hip Hollywood Night

Saturday night we got a babysitter and went out for an early anniversary present. Well, that wasn't how it was planned but Tom toasted me at the restaurant and we realized that we probably won't be out again together before our anniversary and I'll be in Indy during the actual date. So, we went to our favorite sushi restaurant and had our favorite things - spicy tuna on crispy rice cake to start followed by seared albacore. Mmmmm - Eddie? Jealous?
Then we tried a few new things - spicy tuna roll with seared albacore on top with a tower of fried onions. Spicy shrimp on a rice cake - too sweet. Salmon sushi and yellowtail sushi - my mouth is watering as I type. We remembered that we have been going to this restaurant for over 10 years and it has really changed in that time. Not the food, but the customers. It was not even 6:00 and the place was packed. I looked around and there were a lot more 'hip' twenty somethings than I remember seeing before. They even have valet parking now.
Anyway, from there we went to Pinkberry. It's a frozen yogurt place that originated in Westwood (i think?) and was so hip that there were hour long lines just to get a cup. I recently discovered that there was one in the Valley so we went there for dessert.
Not my thing. Too tart. I was expecting more of a TCBY type of thing but it's nothing like that. The best part of it was the oreo cookie pieces that I put on top.
After our dessert, we went to a play in Hollywood that our friend Mark directed and his wife was playing the lead. We haven't been to an off-broadway play in a really long time and I forgot how small the stage is and how close the audience is to the stage. But, it was a great play - really well written and well acted. Clever, sad, funny, sweet. After the show, we chatted with our friends for a bit then drove home - past the long lines waiting to get into the coolest club, past the drunks stumbling along the street, past the new buildings, stores and restaurants that we'll probably never step into - home to suburbia.


Day 3 of swim lessons was a much different experience for our Dean. He did not like the going underwater part - not one little bit. Between him and another kid, there was much crying and screaming. So much that his teacher told him at the end of the lesson that he was going to need to leave his screaming voice at home the next day because it really hurts her head.
She said it in the same quiet, matter-of-fact tone of voice that she says everything.
Day 4 was better with some crying but little screaming.
Day 5 there might have been a yelp but by the end of the class he was putting his head in without being prompted and even tried to open his eyes a couple of times.
Jack loves it. He skips to the jumping towel and his legs kick up when he jumps in.
It is amazing to watch them get over their fear. Their teacher told them that this experience would teach them not just to swim but that they could be afraid of something and conquer that fear. It's going to be great for their confidence.
Last night in the tub I was able to pour 2 cups of water on the top of Dean's head without a fight. It has always been a monumental pain in the tush to wash that kid's hair but not anymore.
I can't wait to see what happens tonight!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


That's what Jack looks like after he puts his face in the water. Soon he might even do it with his "windows" (eyes) open.

Dean is obviously delighted.
They both put their faces in the water. They both went under water. Neither was very happy about the under water part. Jack doesn't mind getting his face wet and will put his face in the water even when told he doesn't have to. Dean doesn't like getting his face wet at all but is being remarkably calm about it.
The teachers are incredible - soothing and calm but firm.
Tonight is lesson 3. I can't wait!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Bees and Blossoms

Ever hear of the Build A Bear Workshop? It's a place where you can pick your own teddy bear (or stuffed dog, horse, cow, etc.), stuff it and then choose clothes to go along with it. You get to name it and even get a birth certificate when you leave. Dean chose a cow, named it "Mooch" and picked out a nice bumblebee costume for him. One night, when he was supposed to be putting on his pajamas, Tom wandered in to find that he was trying to put on Mooch's costume. Despite Tom's insistence that it wouldn't fit, Dean persisted. Well, what do you know - it fits!

Look what grew in our Peach tree!! Jack climbed up there so I could get a picture. Well, actually Jack climbed up there because he loves to climb things and he looked so cute surrounded by the blossoms so I made him perch there until I could get a picture.


Coming soon . . . new video of the boys practicing their "rad moves".


Thursday, May 03, 2007


Dear Jack and Dean,

I woke up a couple nights ago and couldn't fall back asleep. I went out and read for a bit, finally felt a little sleepy, and went back into bed. Guilt strikes at the strangest times -- most often at night when my world is calm and peaceful; the dichotomy of the dark, still night against my racing mind. Uncomfortable memories invade; times when I spoke too harshly or lost my patience over something trivial. Instead of pushing away the pain, I invite it in and go further back in my memory to when you were infants and I was an overwhelmed new mother.

It wasn't what I expected when I was pregnant.

It wasn't what I expected when I would visit you in the NICU those first few days and weeks. When you were too tiny to even touch because the stimulation was too much.

It wasn't what I expected when I brought you home with the monitors and medication.

When I was in the hosital visualizing what it would be like to have my two infant sons at home with me, I didn't see monitors attached to your chests or small vials of medications waiting in the refrigerator. I never imagined you being premature.

I find it interesting that these emotions come up two weeks before Mother's Day. A reminder that we're all human and that no matter how hard we try, we'll make mistakes and it's ok. The realization that the same feelings of inadequacy that I felt, the same overwhelming pressure to be perfect is universal to all Moms ( and probably Dads too but I'll let them fend for themselves).

Having you has changed me in ways I never could have imagined.

Watching you learn and grow, seeing your personalities develop, is a gift I didn't expect.

I love you.