Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oh the wailing

Last night Tom put the boys to bed. He readied their toothbrushes, read the books, did the requisite chatting, then said good-night.
Then the wailing started. Dean, over and over and over, "Daaaaaaddddeeeeeeee". Repeat. Again.
Next, Jack comes out complaining because Dean called him a name. I told him that Dean was just cranky (totally bipolar last night) and he should just ignore him. He goes back in the room and then he starts wailing, "Moooommmmmmmeeeeeee". Repeat. Again.
All together now. . .

So. I go in, they scramble to me as I climb onto the bed, each trying to get as close to me as possible and if full body contact isn't an option, any body part will do. There are arms wrapped around my torse, legs wrapped around mine, heads buried into my chest. I don't know where one child ends and the other begins.

Why are you so upset, I ask? Dean answers first. "I'm sad because I just don't know why things have to change? Why does the moon have to come up every night? I just want it to be daytime". Whoa - where to start? I tell him that night time is when his body rests so it can keep growing big and strong. Sleeping allows his brain to rest and grow so he'll be smart and kind. I tell him that change is a wonderful thing and that each day is another opportunity for him to grow, to learn, and have fun and that he should enjoy every single day.

Then Jack starts crying. What's wrong, I say? He tells me, "I just don't want anyone to ever die." Ohhhhkaaaay. Another doozy. I tell him as gently as possible, "Everyone dies. Dying is a part of life and there's nothing we can do to change it. The best thing we can do is enjoy every moment of our lives, cherish our time with our loved ones, and have fun with our friends."

We fell asleep. Jack with his head nuzzled against my chest, his arms around my waist, our legs intertwined and Dean spooning him with his head tucked into the back of Jack's neck, his arm resting across Jack's body with his hand lying on my hip.

Oh, I love them so much it hurts.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Evening Conversation

Dean: Um, Jack?
Jack: Yes?
Dean: Well, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Jack: A dad!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday and I just got this email from my mom.

Dear Kelsi,
Wow, it's harder to believe that you're 38 than it is to believe that I'm 58! I mean, how could I have a 38 year old child?

It seems like only yesterday that we were walking through Eastland Mall, you a blue eyed, curly blond haired little toddler and I overheard a woman behind me say "Oh, I always wanted a curly blond haired baby. All of mine were bald." I just looked down at your little head bobbing up and down as you were doing your best to keep up - you were "too big" for me to carry - or so you thought and I thought, yeah, I really am lucky - but I'd be just as proud of a bald headed one!

Was it really 35 years ago when I told you to put on your raincoat before we went somewhere? For whatever reason you hated that little clear raincoat with pink raindrops and matching hat. You asked "Why". I said because it's raining outside. You ran to the door and because the rain had just stopped you said "It ain't raining outside". To which I replied "It isn't raining outside" in an effort to correct this bad habit you had picked up. You then countered with "Oh, you was just kiddin'?" I know you've heard this a million times but I love the story!

Watching you and Jeff Redick duke it out in the sand box when you were 5 while his mom and I watched from the kitchen window. Then, just as suddenly, threw your arms around one another's shoulders and walked off - whatever you got angry about over as suddenly as it started.

Then, later on watching as you competed in gymnastics and diving with determination etched on your face. Wearing your Jordache designer jeans with pride when all the other girls were wearing Gloria Vanderbilt. All the while understanding deep in your heart that I couldn't afford to give you what the others had - blazing your own trail all the while.

And the day you left for CA. Oh, the day you left. I felt like my heart ceased to beat. I couldn't breathe. But yet, I knew, or felt like I had, anyway, prepared you to go your own way.

And now here you are, a confident, self-assured mother of the cutest twins I have ever seen. Respected at your place of employment, by Tom, your friends, neighbors.

I am so very proud of you. I just can't believe that I have a 38 year old daughter. Where has the time gone? CHERISH EVERY DAY.

Happy Birthday.

I love you.


Thanks Mom. I love you, too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More from the Archives

March 23, 2005:

Dear Jack,
Have I mentioned how devoted you are to helping me? Last night I was washing my hands and you pulled the towel off the counter and had it draped across your hands, just waiting for me to finish. As soon as I turned the water off, you said, "here Momma, dry". On laundry day you gleefully sort the clothes into piles and help me put them in the laundry basket. Then you trek out to the laundry room with me and throw the clothes into the washer. You wouldn't dream of making me carry the empty laundry basket - you hold one end and I take the other. You march us right into the bedroom and put the next load in the basket. I guess this helpfulness is a byproduct of your thoughtfulness. I feel like we're partners sometimes. Just you and me, tackling the dirty house and dirty clothes. It's a wonderful character trait - I'll try not to exploit it!

I love you.


March 22, 2005:

Dear Dean,
Your new favorite movie is "The Lion King". We've watched it almost every night for the last week. When I can't sleep in the middle of the night, I hear "Circle of Life" cycle through my brain. Daddy and I went out to dinner on Saturday night and I was able to make 2 references to the movie through the regular course of conversation. Anyway, you love the movie and it captures your attention completely. But, you are afraid of the hyenas. As soon as the first hyena scene comes on, you curl your body into mine and twist your face into my chest. I ask you if you want me to turn it off but you say, "NO". It's gotten to the point now that you anticipate the scene coming and start grabbing for my hand to pull my arm around you more tightly. It gives me such a warm feeling to know that you feel safer in my arms. I hope I will always be able to make you feel safe.

I love you.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Another from the Archives

A note I wrote to Jack on March 9, 2005:

Dear Jack,

You are such a thoughtful boy. Whenever you get something for yourself, whether it be your milk or juice or a cracker, you always bring one for Dean. Every morning, the first thing you want is a breakfast bar. So, we go into the kitchen and open the cabinet where we keep them, I hand the box to you and you pull one out. Then you look at me and say "Dean-na?" and pull one out for him. Then you go to Dean and say, "here Dean-na!" and give it to him. It's so charming, but what makes it even more charming is the way you say Dean's name. Well, this morning we went into the kitchen to get your breakfast bar, you pulled one out for yourself and Dean, then we went into the bedroom where Dean was getting his clothes on and you said, "here Dean!". That's the first time you said his name without the "na" on the end. You're growing up so fast. Slow down, love.

I love you so much.


From the Archives

A note that I wrote to Dean on February 17, 2005:

Dear Dean,

The other night I was sitting on the couch and you were very intently placing stickers on my face. There were a few on my cheeks but most ended up in the same place, time after time, on my forehead. You had a very concentrated look on your face with just a hint of a smile. It took great focus to peel each sticker off the paper and place it on my face. I started laughing and you stopped working at the sticker you were trying to remove and looked up at me and said, "dis funny?" with the sweetest look on your face as if you had no idea this was a funny thing. I said, "yes, this is funny" and you started laughing - then put another sticker on my forehead.

You are such a sweet boy.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007


The boys will enter kindergarten this time next year. Last year at this time I thought "thank goodness I don't have to worry about school yet". Well, now is the time to start thinking about school for next year. I've talked to the daycare owner at length about this issue and her advice was to research my neighborhood school. Go visit, go to the open houses, etc. Private school is out of the question due to the cost. After school care is obviously a factor since I work until 5:00 every day. It was all a little overwhelming. On the one hand, I am grateful that the boys will be starting school together - this little twin team. Even if they're in separate classes, they'll still see each other before and after school and at lunchtime. They're less likely to be picked on since they'll protect each other. On the other hand, the thought of these two little boys in a sea of other, older kids just scares the crap out of me. It is so easy for them to become lost. I have a year to get used to the idea. In the meantime, I did a lot of research on It turns out that my neighborhood school is ranked 8 out of 10 and is one of the best elementary schools in my area. That's good news! This particular school also participates in an after school enrichment program in which kids can get extra help with reading, math and science or be involved in sports and recreation activities, arts and crafts, and music and drama. It also provides a safe place for children after school is over until their parents can pick them up. An added bonus is that my neighbor's daughter is one of the teachers there and has been since her own children attended. I am beginning to feel a lot better about this and even a little excited for this next milestone. I called the school today and found out that they will have an open house in August '08 for incoming students so we'll be able to see the school, meet the teachers and administrators, maybe some of the other parents, etc. The boys are always asking me when are they going to kindergarten? What is their school like? What does it look like? Several of their friends from daycare have started kindergarten so they're very curious. They also expect that they'll reunite with their friends when they start school, not realizing that they're all attending different schools and will be in different classes. I've told them that they're so lucky to have this year to be the "big" kids at the daycare and that their teachers are going to be spending extra special time with them this year to get them ready for school next year. This will be good - to have them in a public school, to have them close to their home in their neighborhood, to know that they'll have opportunities to explore creative and physical activities - I feel a lot better.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Long Weekend

I have so much to tell you! I really wanted to have pictures to go with this post but I was too tired to upload the photos and besides, it's so unbelievably hot here right now. It's just sick. But the weekend - it was delightful! Other than the wretched heat and burned up television - delightful.

Friday the boys came to work with me. First we visited the cereal bar where they ate bowls of cocoa puffs - food I would never allow them to eat at home. Then, they each took a cup of lucky charms, or charmies as Jack calls them, back to my office. Along the way, we stopped in the coffee lounge (aka Caffeine Patch) to pick up a couple of bananas - which I ended up putting back later because, really, fruit? Puh-leeeze. There's cocoa puffs! And charmies! Then, I found a tv w/ dvd/video player and wheeled it into my office. The boys and I ambled down to the library and grabbed a couple of movies, came back to my office and they curled up on my couch to watch. Is it any wonder they love coming to work with me? We stayed until after lunch and then, since I had wrung out all patience and quiet from them, we headed over to Colleen's house. We spent the afternoon visiting while the kids played, then hit the pool in the late afternoon. Jack was swimming really well and even Dean tried swimming in the jacuzzi.

Saturday was World Food Day #2 with Peter and Julian. This is something Peter and I want to do on a regular basis - we pick a cuisine from another part of the world, pore over cookbooks to decide on our menu, do the shopping and all the cooking together, enjoy our meal together with Julian, Tom and the boys. Our cuisine this time was "Tapas". We had grilled pork brochettes marinated in a turkish spice blend with lemon zest and juice, olive oil, parsley, and garlic, broiled dover sole presented with a drizzle of fried garlic, chicken tenders served with a sauce of plums, raisins, apricots, hazelnuts, pine nuts, and walnuts, mixed bean salad (fava, green, and peas) served cold with a dressing of olive oil, garlic, and mint, and potatoes mashed with heavy cream, camembert cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Dessert was 3 different flavors of sorbet - mango, coconut and chocolate. It was AMAZING! So delicious, fairly healthy (except for the heavy cream and cheese) and surprisingly simple. We are researching cuisines for World Food Day #3.

Sunday we headed back to Colleen's house for an afternoon of swimming and eating. Again, Jack was doing amazingly well in the pool. He's becoming more adventurous. Dean is perfectly content to float around in his swim vest. There were so many people there that we felt it was safer to have Dean in a vest and besides, he's so much happier that way. When Dean is ready to swim, he'll do it. But right now, he just doesn't care and all I want is for him to be safe and to enjoy himself.

We had no plans on Monday. I was in the middle of finishing up the work I had started on my closet (love to purge!) and Tom was cleaning. Suddenly, there was a high-pitched whine coming from the living room. Tom asked me where the sound was coming from then lunged for the power strip into which our television was plugged. The sound ceased. Then the odor hit me. Not a good odor. Tom took the television outside to test it. Sure enough, that was the culprit. We turned on fans and opened windows and doors. Did I mention it was nearly 100 degrees? Ugh. As if on cue, Colleen called to see if we wanted to come over to help eat her leftovers and swim in the pool. Thank you! So, we did. We left windows and the back door open, fans blowing and the air filter at full blast, and left. When we got home last night the smell was gone and the house was only 97 degrees. Yeah. Anyway, at Colleen's, Jack was swimming from the steps to me and back again. I told him I wanted him to start doing that so he would get used to getting back to a safe place. That way, if he ever falls in he knows that he needs to look for the steps or the side. It was really great to see him getting more confident. Even swimming completely underwater and diving his head down far so he can get deeper in the water.

Finally, we got home last night with just enough time for the boys to have baths and go to bed. It's safe to say they were absolutely exhausted from the weekend. For the first time in weeks , Dean stayed in his own bed all night long. As for me, I couldn't keep my eyes open past 9:30.

Anyone got a spare TV?