Sunday, December 28, 2008

Packed like a mini-van

I know what you're thinking... Could my girls BEE any cuter?
No. No, they cannot.
They are simply the cutest little Bees ever.

They also shared their cutest with my parents during our infamous visit to Albuquerque this October. Brad and I packed up the mini-van and brought our girls on our first big Family Vacation. We drove to Midland/Odessa for a night with my sister Diane. After one night with Auntie Didi and her ridiculously cuddly dog Murphy, we packed up the car again to head to Albuquerque.

*Note: When I say, "packed up the car... I mean it. We packed 2 pack-n-plays, sheets and blankets for the girls, girl clothes, our clothes, coats, baby backpacks (quite large), a box of toys and coloring books, a bag of fun car activities (water color things and the like), diaper bags, movies for the car, food and drinks. How people survive without a mini-van is astonishing to me. I'm simply baffled by the anti-mini-van sentiment... oh... I'm off track. Back to our regular blog...

We packed quite a few activities into our visit to Albuquerque. We went to Children's Museums, Fall Festivals, parks... the girls had a great time. They also enjoyed just playing in my parent's beautiful courtyard. They're pictured above sitting on a bear named... I can't remember the name... but my parents have a few "named" bears in the garden. I'm pretty sure that they name the hummingbirds, too...

It was our last day in Albuquerque when I fell and broke my arm. It seems like ages ago, and yet... only a few months. The picture above was taken about 5 minutes before the Big Fall.

The girls had a great Halloween this year. Grandma Gail sent Bee costumes, which fit the girls perfectly. My good friends came over for dinner with their baby boy and a few in-laws.
The girls really, really didn't understand the Trick-or-Treat process. They were completely confused as to why Melissa wouldn't let them in her house. (This is where we go to play, right? Why won't she open the door?). The confusion intensified when Mel handed the girls each 2 pieces of candy. They have NEVER seen a package of candy before, but Ana's instincts kicked in. She held onto her treasure until the next house. When she was offered 2 MORE pieces of candy at the next house, she quickly trusted Daddy with her candy stash.

Keira's favorite part of Halloween was giving candy to the kids visiting our house later in the evening. "MORE KIDS?!" she would shout (*pronounced "Moah kids"). She is extremely social and thought that a zillion kids coming to her door was the best night ever. The next morning she woke up asking for "MORE KIDS?!"

Oh... I almost forgot... we also had a BAMOM Fall Festival. Good thing I didn't forget that. It is like forgetting to pack the 7 hours of Curious George episodes on your iPod before you leave on a Family Vacation. That... would be a cross-country tragedy.
*For some, knowing the words to at least 14 episodes of Curious George IS the tragedy. At least Brad and I can say "Thank you window mon-khey!" to each other.

Yes. October, like the mini-van, was packed to the brim.
It was a full month... and worth the ride.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Order now and get your free seizure

I fell off the blog-wagon for a little bit. I'm afraid life caught up with me for a few months. It caught up to me, tackled me and then spat in my face for good measure.

After breaking my arm, I thought to myself, "2008 really sucked."
The afternoon of the DAY that I had that thought Ana had a seizure.
3 Doctor's appointments, 1 EEG and 20,000 tums later - we find out that the Doctors can't find anything wrong.
That is a good thing.
My pediatrician said something that I've hung my hat on these last few months - "Everyone gets a free seizure." With that, as long as Ana goes a year without a seizure, we're probably home free.

2 days after Ana's seizure, my dad had a stroke. I told him that he was a copy-cat and shouldn't try to take Ana's thunder, but he wanted to go to the hospital, have tests and a good chunk of stress, too! (He kept asking about Ana while he was going through all of this - silly man).
During the same week, my sister broke a few toes and my mom missed her 3rd root-canal.

Now that everyone has recovered from Oct-Nov, I can safely say that we're all okay.
We're lucky.
I feel like the H family has dodged a few bullets this year... and I'm so, so glad that we're all still okay. (I'm not leaving the house until 2009, but whatever).
Ana is great, Dad is great, I'm going to physical therapy a few times a week, Brad is starting to play again, Diane hasn't broken any additional toes and Mom's mouth is almost worth as much as my car.

I'll update the blog with actual FUN stuff that has happened the past few months.
Not all of 2008 sucked.
Not all, indeed.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Underrated Non-Dominant Arm

So, I broke my arm in two places during our "Let's Relax" vacation.
There is a story, but that is not important right now.
What IS important is the fact that - my arm is broken.
Awesome pink cast.
Not awesome lack of finger movement.

Considering that I have 2- 2 year olds, this is not good at all. I remember an episode of one of the super-twins shows where "Kate" says that her biggest fear is being injured and not being able to take care of her family. I now understand that statement. I am so fortunate to have a husband who has embraced fatherhood and who can pick up where my duties fail me, a sister who comes over just to make sure that I can lift my girls out of their cribs and countless friends who offer help.

Gratefulness out of the way - this blows.
My current nemisis' are ziplock bags, sippy cups, the button on my jean capris and deoderant on my right underarm.
My coworkers are working on writing on my cast. I've told them that I will only accept haiku and limericks about broken arms. I've received quite a few so far... some are even rated "G".

Answers to questions: Sandia Peak, Yes it hurts, 6-8 weeks and Yes - it sucks.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Family 0, Ike 2... if you're keeping score, that is...

On the Tuesday before Ike, Brad and I found ourselves on the Kemah Boardwalk with the girls. We live so incredibly close, but we've never taken the girls there to run around.

It was a beautiful night. The boardwalk was almost empty.
Ana made her mosquito bite bleed and the wonderful girl at the Kemah Inn gave her a band-aid. So nice.
We went to the Candy Store to buy another Monkey (to replace Ana's precious Monkey should anything happen to him). No monkies that matched, but we managed to sort through all of the kitty stuffed animals.

I made a mental note to go back and get a kitty for Ana.
I ran to a store to check for another possible Monkey and when I came back, Brad was feeding the girls fudge. Big hit.

We watched a little girl play in the fountain.
We walked on the boardwalk and felt the evening breeze.
We watched a pelican eat a few fish.

The family had a great time. We vowed to try to make it down to the boardwalk every other Tuesday or so. Maybe every Tuesday? Sure!

Less than a week later the boardwalk is in shambles. (photo credit: Daniel Kramer)

So... if you're keeping score... I went to Galveston... 7 days later - GONE.
I went to Kemah... 4 days later - GONE.

I'm now in fear for Austin... we went there during the hurricane...
And by the way... I never made it to the store to buy that kitty for Ana...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Landscaping by Ike

This is the extent of our tree damage. Our fence will be repaired by Brad shortly.
We're going to wait to have someone look at our roof. There are other people who need contractors more desperately than we do!

Stacia and I walked around our neighborhoods yesterday and today. We saw that people have their sense of humor more intact than their fences.

During our walk today we were offered hotdogs and a drink by a family without power. I am always tempted by a good hot-dog (who isn't), but we thanked them and made our way back home. There are so many families in this small community who lost everything. Their belongings are out on the curb waiting for the trash pickup. Devastating. Again, it reminds us that we should be thankful for so much.

I miss the girls terribly. I'm just about over my cold and am ready to have our house full of squealing and giggles. It is too quiet in here... even with Fergus meowing at me every five minutes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happy, Thankful and Listening to the Sounds of Recovery

As I type this I hear helicopters fly overhead. This is a constant sound as news crews and rescue workers travel. Fire truck and police sirens now. Ike left his mark.

When we evacuated from Rita (pre-children), I packed photos and momentos, computers, cats, nick-nacks, whatever would fit in two cars. While surveying my house before the Ike evacuation, I just saw “stuff”. It is cliché, but everything is just stuff now. My main priority was packing enough food, clothes and entertainment for my kids. Getting my cats into 2 cages was also high on my stress list.

I am now at home. We don’t have water, our roof needs to be replaced and our pool is a funky shade of teal with shingles and whatnot at the bottom… and I couldn’t be more relieved. I am so lucky. I’m so surprised that my house is still here and so sick that some of my friends are going through so much.

My goal this week is to work and stay out of the way of rescue and relief workers. I have gas in my car and food in the pantry. I have enough water in the bathtubs and in containers to last for awhile. I’ll go to a friend’s house in a bit to upload this post.

*hammering sounds… more tarps going on roofs*

It is good to see the best come out in people. The worst is visible, too… but thankfully it isn’t rampant. I’ve seen the kindness of strangers and neighbors. I’ve seen coworkers show up at work to feed people. I’ve also seen the bad – the streets are dangerous. Emotionally charged drivers are distracted and upset. They run through intersections whose lights were taken by Ike.

*neighbor at the front door… he left replacement slats for our fence… salvaged from someone else’s fence… so nice!*

I miss the girls – They’re safe in Austin. Ana and Keira will play with their cousin until there is enough gas, water and safety to come home. Meanwhile, I’m boiling water to clean out the fridge.

I’m lucky to have my home and my “stuff”… but not for the reasons I would have wished for before kids. Now, I’m thankful that my girls have a home to come back to. I’m thankful that I don’t need to find temporary housing for my family. In fact, I’m just thankful for my family. They’re safe and sound. And that is all that matters.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Quick thoughts... and body functions.

Looks like the house might not be flooded.
We don't know about wind damage
It's the girl's 2nd Birthday
Let me state that last one again... It is ANA AND KEIRA'S 2nd BDAY! WHOOHOOO
We can't get back to our house for 48 hours
The cats are FREAKING OUT
Fergus peed on Tracy's guest bed
Ana threw up in the middle of the night
Fergus peed on ME as I slept on the floor in the middle of the night.
All of the cats tried to get into the closet
Cats were awake all night.
Many of my friends lost their homes, etc.

I'm lucky - I'm in Austin with power and A/C. I am drinking hot coffee. The family is safe.

Please keep Will, Dom, Vanessa, Tibonne and everyone in your thoughts.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ike is beating us like we're Tina.

A week to the day from my last post (fun on the beach), I sit and wait as the ocean takes my home. There are so many emotions... there is my "who cares, it's just stuff" emotion conflicting with my "I really don't want to deal with this" emotion.
It is 8:35pm. I think there is already water in my home.
I also think about work... Ugh... I'm so worried about work.
I worry about my friends and their homes.
I worry about the Cuipers - and I'm so thankful for their hospitality and love.
I worry for my girls. Why didn't I move ALL of their toys upstairs? Why?
I wish I could just take my kitties and daughters home. I want to pet Fergus in his cat box, put the girls to bed in their own beds, see Chad on the chair and lay down on the bed with Kije.
I wish that so much.
I wish.

Most of my emotions are all over the place.
At the same time as I morn for my normal life, I am grateful to be safe and sound with my family. I think of my good friend's wife, who is starting her battle with cancer this week.

I'll update everyone later.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

... File is Saving...

When Brad and I were dating in High School we found ourselves in the middle of a perfect moment. We had a great day at school and were walking across the grass practice field on our way to the parking lot. The sun was setting as we walked and held each others hands. We didn't know at that time that we would spend the rest of our lives together, but we KNEW that we would always remember each other. Brad told me at that moment that it was a perfect High School Memory. I saved that moment deliberately. Our Perfect High School Memory is made even more perfect knowing that it happened over 20 years ago and started a lifetime of happiness.

On Saturday we inadvertently created the Perfect Family Memory.
We brought the girls to the beach for the first time. The weather was perfect. The water was perfect. All in all a perfect day.

We parked on the beach and set our belongings on a ridiculously expensive beach chair. The girls were very distracted by all of the sand. Walking on sand is fun... hey... playing with the sand is fun!

It was Keira who first noticed the water, but Ana who walked in first.
Let the squealing being.
Ana squealed often out of sheer joy.

The girls progressed from walking into the water to wanting to be part of the waves in no time. The Hubby and I picked up the girls and let the water splash on their bellies.
After awhile Brad sat down in the water to play with the girls.

Ana decided that she needed to run freely in on the Beach. She ran up and down the beach tirelessly, only stopping to play in sand or point to a bird. So much squealing.

We didn't want to leave. It was the perfect day.
I'll file this day into my "Perfect Family Memories" in my mind. I hope I have more room in there...

Friday, September 5, 2008

C is for cookie and that's good enough for me... I guess.

Ana licked all of the butter from my toast the other morning.
And then she put the toast back on my plate.

The same day she sneezed on my plate of food while I ate a wonderful dinner at my sister's house.
I ate it.

What has happened to me?
My mom used to tell us stories about how we would chew on a cookie and hand it to her. She said she would always eat the mushy cookie. "You HAVE to," she says. "The child is trying to SHARE," she says to our protests. As young adults we would hold back our gag reflex and flinch when she would tell the stories of a mother eating a mushy cookie.
"No way," we said.
"Too gross," we exclaimed as we united against her.

And so I stand before you. I have eaten the licked toast. I have eaten pork with a lovely maple-and-sneeze glaze. I rarely make it through a meal without someone touching my food or taking my fork from me.

I'm not sure if I've eaten these things out of love for my daughters or respect for their self esteem, sadly. I think it is laziness and apathy. I've given up on my privacy and my food.
And with all of this talk I'm not at all grossed out.
In fact, I'm in the mood for a cookie...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mother Superior? Hardly.

This is what my life used to be. Feeding, changing, cleaning, sleeping.
Our Mothers of Multiples group just had a membership drive. More than 7 new pregnant moms showed up seeking knowledge and comfort. They asked questions, took notes and absorbed what I was saying as though I were teaching before a final exam.
"How do you feed two at the same time?"
"What double stroller will I need?" and then the "I'll NEED MORE THAN ONE STROLLER?!"

My girls are almost 2 years old.
Somehow I became the mother of experience. How did THAT happen?
My days are not spent shackled to the changing table (how you can have 2 kids but change 4 diapers in a row is annoying and interesting all at once).

Now this is what my life is.
Enjoying my girls enjoy life. I'm the ambassador to the world.
Today we met a good friend at the mall for some "free" goodies from a store. (If you're reading this, I'm expecting you to blog about your scone pan... Who registers for a scone pan?! LOL!)
We ate bland food at a kid friendly establishment.
The girls napped.

After the nap we ran to my sister's house for good food and fun. We chased the girls around the house and played by the pool.
My sister's kids are now 14 (twins) and 16. She is the voice of experience to my ignorance of what is to come.

I've completed 2 years. I know there is more to go... but I feel like I've accomplished something.
We've entered a new phase.
And I love it.

Funny thing today:
Ana has a HUGE mosquito bite on her leg. I kept telling her not to scratch it.
She would respond with a cute, "Ana... no scratch it."
Ana, please don't scratch it.
"Ana... no scratch it."
So, finally she said, "Ana no scratch it. MONKEY SCRATCH IT."
With that she took her monkey's paw and rubbed her leg frantically.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A, B, C and the rest of em

Believe it or not - Keira knows all of the letters of the alphabet.
She can't sing the song (Ana can sing from A through D... very cute), but she can point to and say every letter.

She even knows the signs for all of the letters (She needs my help moving her little fingers to do "m" and "n"... "i" is pretty impossible at this stage).
I'm totally impressed with my own kid.
(*keep in mind that this blog is for my girls to have written documentation of their childhood... and to brag to my family... )

Keira's love of books... obsession really... has brought us to this point. I have wonderful neighbors, family and friends who donate used books to our cause. Our library is enormous and used each and every day. The current favorites are: Nursery rhymes & Skeeters Alphabet (thanks Gary), Red Riding Hood & the pink nursery rhymes book that is falling to pieces (thanks Lee and Deb)... and of course, the touch and feel ocean series... (again thanks to Lee and Deb).

Keira reads from morning to night. When she is done with a book, she asks for the "other book". (oddah book?)
The girls are learning so fast. I hope I can keep up.

By the way, I'm currently reading 5 books: The Toddler Whisperer, DragonFly, The Mother Tongue, Lamb and a vampire book. I crave my reading time, even though it comes in fits and starts now-a-days. I'm glad we share the passion for books. I can't wait to browse bookstores and libraries together.

No comment

We're a spectacle... I get it.
People can't help themselves when they see twins. The must stare and comment.

90% of the time I welcome the questions, looks and comments. Our girls are beautiful. I'm proud of my entire family and love to show them off.
It is that other 10%...

There are people who perhaps didn't enjoy the process of raising children, have bad attitudes towards children, are lost for words so they say something stupid or they shop at a certain mega-store that attracts idiots.

I'm starting this post because of a rude comment a woman made today at a certain mega store that I have a love/hate relationship with (I mean... they have EVERYTHING there... but the clientele is unimaginable.)

I was looking for flour when two flip-flop wearing women strode by. The bigger one rolled her eyes at my girls and said in an abnormally loud voice for all to hear, "No COMMENT."
She apparently thought the room was stale and said it AGAIN.
She was trying to be funny. I get it.

First, if you said that to ANYONE else in a store - wouldn't that be considered rude?
I don't care that she doesn't want kids... in fact, 99% of the rude-commenting, Mart-shoppers tell me "Better YOU than ME!"
Well... yes. Clearly.
Clearly better me than you.

Mrs. Flip-Flop comic is clearly just an example of the 10%.
During the same Mega-Mart outing I was distracted by massive amounts of socks and noticed an elderly woman staring at me and my girls. She softly told me that she had been staring at them for a long time. They're beautiful, she told me. Yes, why yes they are... thank you.
Keira looked back at her and waved. It was sweet.
It made up for Mrs. Flip-Flop and her lovely attitude.

I'm sure I'll find a need for the Mega-Mart again this week. There are always diapers to be purchased, random ingredients to search for and fruit to be handled.
I'm sure I'll hear something ignorant... but at least it is something I can count on.

The photo above was taken at the Satern-V building in between 2 stages of the restored Satern-V rocket. It is amazing to see and attracts visitors... and so do we.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Speaking in sentences.

By the way, Ana says, "Pickin' the nose."

Very nice.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Goodnight Babyhood, Goodnight Gorilla

I saw my friend's twins today. They're about 6 weeks old. I held onto them and remembered how my girls felt in my arms. Tiny, helpless. Snuggly. Tiny.

I came home today to my girls watching the Olympics, jumping and being silly. Keira "reads" books to us.
"Blllbbllblblbl. BLBLBLBLblbllbbl."

Both looked through "Goodnight Gorilla" a few times and pointed out the balloon, monkey (ok, Gorilla), Lion and "mommy sleeping - shhhh" at the end.
The girls are so big.

CJ has so much to look forward to.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dear Liza, dear Liza.

I need to add an update to my previous post...
The girls did not, in fact, piddle on the carpet.

The potty has a hole in the bottom.
I mean... a HOLE.
I don't ask a whole lot from my potty... but a hole??? REALLY?

The picture of Keira (above) pretty much sums up how I felt about that hole.

By the way... I just heard Ana singing the word MOOOONKEEEEEE. (it is 8:31pm)

Happy Little World sans Piddle

When I go to get the girls in the morning they're sometimes sitting facing each other... legs dangling out of the crib... chatting away.... their own little world.
Even though I made them I'll never know their little secrets they share.

Keira thinks Ana is really funny. Even this evening Ana played "where did Ana go" with the blanket on her head. Keira was laughing almost uncontrollably as she took the blanket off Ana.
They just stared at each other and laughed. Even though I was playing the game with them... I was somehow not included in their world.

I found them in their cribs this morning touching their feet together through the slats of the crib. Another special moment for them.
I'm so glad I have twins. So glad. I'm happy to see them in their little world laughing with each other. I hope they always share that.

Don't get me wrong... having twins has it's hard moments, too... which is why I'm going to clean little girl piddle off of the carpet.
It is hard to potty train two at once... so, I'm left to chasing a naked girl as the other sits on the potty... and then I spend time cleaning up accidents... and I can still hear them chatting on the baby monitor. I think Ana is singing the ABC song... Keira is just singing...

They're in their own little world and I will clean mine.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Something hits the fan

Mommy - "Ana... It is time to get up..."
Ana - "Ana PooPoo."
Mommy - "Ana PooPoo?"
Ana - "Daddy PooPoo."
Mommy - "Daddy PooPoo?"
Ana - "Keira PooPoo."
Mommy- "Keira PooPoo?"
Ana - "Fan PooPoo."
Mommy- "Fan PooPoo?! You have no idea how funny that is."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Zipper Rosary with 4 Hail Marys

The Hubby put the girls down for their nap at 1:30pm. I watched from the nannycam. I saw Ana handing The Hubby stuffed animal after stuffed animal. He'll carry her animal entourage upstairs and put each one in her crib.
I knew each passing of an animal to Daddy was followed by a cute "Tan-Tao" (Thank you).
Monkey? Tan-tao.
Mouse? Tan-tao.
They climbed up the stairs and out of the view of the nannycam.

A little while later The Hubby called me at work.
The girls didn't want to nap.
Hubby went in the room to check.
Keira naked.
She had removed 1 shirt, 1 pair of pants, 1 diaper and all of our confidence that she could be confined in clothes.

We're petrified.
We're holding onto our zip-up one piece footy sleepers and are praying that her nimble little fingers won't figure out the zipper.
Please God... please don't let her figure out the zipper.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Three days after my college graduation I packed my apartment, dropped off all of my belongings at my parents' house and headed to California to help my sister with her new twins. I spent my entire summer getting up in the middle of the night for feedings, changing diapers and more of the same for Eric and Sean. I cried the entire plane ride home - I already missed those sweet boys.
A few memories stick with me: How sick Stacia looked, how tired I was and how cute the twins and their brother were. Sean had a hysterical cry that would make a grown up panic.

Due to crazy family schedules, Sean was in my care once again for a few days. He is now 14, so he is pretty much self sustaining. The first night he wanted to stay out late with his friends, but I played the part of the grownup and made him come home by 8pm (his mom's rule). I was glad to have his mom's rule as an excuse to have him at the house.
I took Friday off to take Sean to the rock climbing gym. The Hubby and I showed Sean as much as we could remember from our rock climbing days. He was a natural. The workers kept asking Sean to join the local climbing group. I was so proud.
We spent our evenings watching movies that probably aren't fit for a 14 year old (I'm still working on my parenting skills... I'm sure his parents will figure it out when he quotes those movies... and it will be another proud moment for me...)
On Saturday he humored us by coming with us to the Dog Show. My twin girls were wearing matching pink outfits and received all of the standard attention that twins receive when they're out and about. Sean smiled as people asked the standard questions of my twins. Being a twin, he is used to all of the questions and looks. He enjoyed his time as a singleton.

My brother-in-law came home early from his trip. While Sean was at a friend's house, Pat came by to pick up Sean's clothes. The Hubby and I already had the evening with Sean planned... we were going to eat dinner and watch "Nacho Libre" - probably pausing the movie to run to the kitchen for cookies. When Pat left with Sean's belongings, I felt a little cheated and sad. I had already planned to have Sean another DAY! I know that Sean lives close, but to get 1:1 time with him is rare... almost impossible. I loved having alone time with Sean and I realize that I should try to take time off of work to spend 1:1 time with Matt and Eric, as well.

Time is passing so fast. The boys will be grown and gone soon. It makes me sad to think how soon they'll be gone. It seems like he was that hysterical baby not so long ago and now he is this wonderful young man... and I feel like I'm still sitting on the airplane crying because I miss them so much.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Enlightened? Check. Illuminated? Got it.

My father, who tries really hard to be serious -but can't, would come home from work every day tired and ready to "chill". We would ask him, "Hi Dad - How was your day?"
The response was always the same:
"It was a day like any other day, which enlightened and illuminated our times."
We would laugh despite not understanding the meaning.

Today typified a Sunday for us...
I woke up at 6:30 to take a shower, feed the cats, prepare for the girls.
Girls wake up at 7am.
We eat breakfast and prepare to go "bye-bye".
The Hubby and I take the girls to one of our area memberships (zoo, museums, whatnot).
Today we went to the Children's Museum. The girls ran around like maniacs trying to see and touch everything, which is perfectly acceptable in the Children's Museum.
We eat at a kid friendly restaurant... today's choice was Luby's (hey... you can't knock the booster seats on wheels and immediate food)
We put the girls down for a nap.
When they get up we run to the store... Target was the choice today.
We get home and eat... today's dinner was strawberry pancakes made by The Hubby (his new specialty)
Bath, play and bed for kids. Play time included 4 rounds of "Baby Bumble Bee" - a stinging rendition prepared by me.
The Hubby and I run around the house and clean as much as possible before we start our week.
I'm updating my blog and running an imagery script in the background for a current project.
Once I'm done, we'll watch a little TV (tonight's selection is a Jack Black movie) and I'll crash.

Boring? Probably.
It was just a day like any other day.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Independence and Dependence

A few quick highlights:

  • Ana loves to feed Keira little snacks. Very cute.
  • Keira can't say her name, yet... she calls herself "Ahwah".
  • Ana can say Keira.
  • 4th of July was awesome. We went to Stacia's house for burgers and cousin watching. The girls LOVE to watch their cousins play.
  • K.T. was here on the 5th. We went to the Aquarium (awesome) and back to the Cuipers. Awesome day. Felt rushed. It always does when K.T. is here. The girls napped in the front room while we chatted and looked at the renovations. Awesome day.
  • Today was the Multiples Splash party at Moody Gardens. Wow - what fun! We played in water for a few hours before we came home and crashed. The whole family napped.

More details to come... just wanted to replay the last week.
The Hubby went to the Symphony tonight.

Symphony update:
The other day The Hubby and I took the girls to the science museum. The Hubby really, really wanted the girls to play on the giant hill that is part of the Miller Outdoor Theater. We walked up the hill and saw the sign for the Symphony... could they be just getting ready for the 4th? Nope - they were rehearsing! It was the best day to go - there were a ton of old friends playing sub and offstage positions. We wandered down to the front during a break. Theresa was there with the biggest smile. We were able to chat with Steve, Alan, Dave, Phillip, Nancy and a few random trumpet players. It was really wonderful to see everyone. I think it was great for The Hubby to chat for awhile and see the rehearsal. It was nice for me, too. I think we both walked towards the museum rejuvinated a little despite the heat. We are ready for The Hubby to go back to work, but we are still appreciating the time we're able to spend as a family.
This July 4th is the only Independence Day we will be able to spend as a family until The Hubby retires.

More photos and updates to come... including a retrospective of all of the idiots tell me I have my hands full with twins.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Honey. I'm home?

When I walk through the door after work I never know what I'll see. Perhaps the house will be clean and everyone is outside playing. Usually there is a great deal of laughter and the entire downstairs is in shambles.

I know that we all go through periods of "creative parenting" when we get bored, but The Hubby takes it to new levels. I've walked through the door to see tennis on the Tennis Channel and the girls chasing balloons with homemade rackets (The Hubby glued paper plates to paint mixing sticks).

The other day The Hubby chased the girls around upstairs while quoting Jack Nicholson from The Shining.

"Honey. I'm HOME."

The girls would yell and squeal as only girls can and run from him.
Pretty soon Ana picked up on what he was saying and joined in with her impossibly small voice, "Honey. I'm HOME."

Today was the Men's Finals at Wimbledon. The Hubby had the girls shouting, "NO NADAL! YES FEDERER!" like good little tennis enthusiasts.

These are the moments that you don't imagine as you're expecting your child and planning your future. You think of the logistics and perhaps you'll think of the "special" holidays (Christmas and the whatnot), but you don't think of these moments... the moments when you walk in the door and don't know what you'll see.

The moments when your sweet 1 year old children quote The Shining.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

35 weeks and 5 days.

35 weeks and 5 days.
That is how long I carried the girls. They were born at 35 weeks and 5 days.

In the multiples world it is one of the first questions people ask.
Order of quesitons from a parent of multiples:
What do you have? Girl/Girl? Boy/Girl? Boy/Boy?
Are they identical or fraternal?
How many weeks did you carry them?

This question isn't meant to judge the length of time any one woman carries any number of babies - it is simply a way for us to identify with the length of the pregnancy and the level of prematurity (if any). I'm not sure why we ask, now that I think of it... I think I'll stop asking people...

You always need to consider that the "normal" singleton is born somewhere around 40 weeks. Twins CAN make it to 38, but most don't.
Having twins is extremely hard on your body and on the babies growing inside.
Most mothers of twins hit the size of a full-term pregnancy at 30 weeks (as I did). I believe I measured at 53 weeks when I delivered... it wasn't pretty.

I'm lucky to have made it to 35 weeks 5 days. My girls were slightly premature, but did not have any lasting impacts. They were little, mind you... but we're no tower of people either.

This post is for CJ, who hit 35 weeks 5 days with her twins today. She is at home waiting for delivery on the 7th, but every day until then is a bonus for her and her babies inside.
I forgot to thank CJ last night for all of the good memories that she brought back to me. The waiting, the planning, the uncomfortable belly, the STUPID remarks people make, not being able to reach the open car door and the wonderful anticipation of delivery.
I'm writing this post almost in tears. I'm so happy for my sweet new friend who will have the most amazing experience in her life soon... and I'm so sad that I'll never have any more children.

We have our happy family of 4. I'm very lucky.

By the way, here are the order of questions from people who DON'T have multiples:
1) Are they twins?
2) Are they identicle?
3) Are they natural or artificial?

Lady, I'm pretty sure they're real.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Keira :: 20 months

Keira is our friendly child. She will share everything with anyone (unlike most toddlers her age). If Ana wants Keira's toy/milk/anything, Keira will hand it right over with a "THAN TO!" (translated "Thank You")

Favorite activities: Watching "Signing Time" and pretending like she is doing sign language, taking a bath or playing with the airplane toys. (Going "bye-bye" is also big)

Favorite clothes: She doesn't care about clothes, but she does love jewelry. She is a big fan of earrings.

Favorite foods: Keira is such a good eater. She will eat almost anything you put in front of her. I would have to say that her favorite foods are fruits. She will beg for more cherries or strawberries. She also loves yogurt.

Favorite drink: Drinkable yogurt.

Least favorite activities: She hates to be put down when you're holding her. She just melts sometimes.

Least favorite clothes: She doesn't really care.

Least favorite foods: I can't think of anything she dislikes...

Least favorite drink: ... again... a blank.

Funny facts about Keira: She loves to suck her thumb and rub her neck when she is tired. She always says, "essyboo" and we have no idea what it means... we'll have to ask when she gets older. She has a funny nervous laugh when she is very tired or about to melt down.

Ana :: 20 months

Ana has developed the "little mommy" personality (which is funny that people say that, since The Hubby is just as loving and attentive as any mommy...)

Favorite activities: She carries her "babies" everywhere. Every moment of her day is spent making sure that she has one stuffed animal or another in her arms. She feeds her babies or wraps them in blankets over and over and over. "Where da baby? Oh, hi baby. Hi baby."
She also loves the pool and hanging from anything. She is our little monkey.

Favorite clothes: She still LOVES the monkey shirt that Auntie Didi bought. She pulls at all other clothes ("Off! OFF!") and asks us to put the monkey shirt on. (We bought another monkey shirt as a backup)

Favorite food: Pasta, bread, sweet potato pancakes

Favorite drink: Milk

Least favorite activity: Brushing her teeth. This is a nightly activity that pains everyone involved.

Least favorite clothes: If it isn't the monkey shirt, you better check yourself.

Least favorite food: Yogurt

Least favorite drink: Drinkable yogurt.

Funny facts about Ana: She will hug us really, really tightly (think Koala) when she doesn't want to do something. She walks with one arm swinging higher than another. She likes to hum and squeel.

National Treasure

The Hubby and I have discussed how much the girls have changed. We are making a desparate effort to remember and document every moment of the girl's lives. Our motivation stems from absolute love of each child and the knowledge that these are our last children. We got one shot at parenthood. No Learning-From-The-First-Child wisdom, No Appreciate-The-Little-Moments of the treasured second child. None of those "Have One Child at a Time" parenting techniques.
My boss has a saying. (My boss has many sayings, but most are not appropriate for this blog)
Anyways, my boss says that those who don't try for a second child after their first are cowards. Today he gave me a "pass" on this rule and explained that we're doing everything "all at once". (When I told him we were having twins, he threw his head back and cackled "Instant Family!". It was only funny until he realized that he was going to have to do my job until I was back from maternity leave...).
Where was I?
Oh, yes. Treasure the moments.
I'm going to try to make sure that I post each child's favorites and least favorite anythings often. Not so much for you, Constant Reader. No. Not so much.
I hope that this record, this journal, will be their treasured babybook.
It is true, it seems. All that I do is for my girls. They are my everything.
And I treasure it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Close, but not the Borg

This morning I asked Ana to say "hi" to Keira.
I asked her to say "hi" to her sister.
"Hi Sister, " she repeated. Keira looked at her with a loving smile and said, "ANA!"
These are the happy moments all moms want... but they are especially meaningful for a parent of multiples who wonders if their kids will be close. Beyond close. Inseparable?

I'm often asked if they have the "twin bond" or share ESP or something crazy.
Actually, for awhile I wondered if they knew each other existed. They were very polite to not fuss if the other one was upset, but they themselves didn't seem particularly bothered if their twin was having a massive meltdown. They eventually noticed each other.

A few months ago we wondered allowed if they knew that they were two separate people. They called each other "Ana" and seemed genuinely confused when I asked them to point to Keira. In fact... they still don't seem to get that...

They became the collective. Not a "1 of 2" kind of thing... more of a 1 year old lack of understanding of other people kind of thing. I think. I am comforted and distracted by the collective of Ana. They spend their days calling each other Ana and asking for things for Ana. It is really all about Ana-the-collective. Who's milk is this? Ana.

I realized how close they were getting the other day when Mark and Kate came to visit. Ana slept late, which is unusual. We brought Keira downstairs to play. When she woke up, Ana was just distraught. She was looking in Keira's crib and crying hysterically. She was scared to death that Keira wasn't there.

Tonight The Hubby and I listened as they babbled in their cribs way past their bedtime. We can recognize each voice. Who is gurgling? Ana. Who is trying to learn to gurgle? Keira. What are they becoming? The collective, I'm sure. Ana.
I hope they always have this bond. And I hope they go to bed soon and stop gurgling.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

They mostly go out at night. Mostly.

Another week has come and gone.
Both girls are getting their back teeth in... so, they've been a little (a LOT) fussy. A lesser mother would say they were a pill. They're a pill.
I laugh because I've been out of sorts this week. So often you can't feel change. I can feel the change this week. Each girl is growing so much. Putting sentences together, getting teeth and seeing "2" in their future.
The Hubby and I went out for our 11 year anniversary and left the girls at home with my sister (who I am so thankful for). It was a milestone for me - not the girls. Last night was the first NIGHT that Hubby and I went away from the house. Silly, but true none-the-less.
I wanted to yell to the world (oh, constant reader) that my girls are growing up and I'm not ready... but mostly... mostly I wanted to share this video.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Groundhog Day

"The same things every day slowly kill us off." - Ernst Bloch, The Principle of Hope (1959)

I've waved the white flag and called for help. I can't keep up the pace of a full-time job, twin girls and working on my photo project... along with getting sick every 2 weeks, tending to sick girls and countless house/kitty projects. I waved the white flag to The Hubby with the hope of some relief.
"I'm in GroundHog day", I explained.
Every day is the same. I wake up, girls, work, girls, clean, eat, bed. If I'm lucky, I work on my massive life-time achievement photo project, extra projects around the house or get to read 2 pages of a book before I collapse.
My Hero came to my rescue. He has taken over cooking for the short term... and the towels, sheets and whatever else needs attention. I just need a short term relief from the routine in order to FINALLY build my health back to a reasonable level (ever since the pneumonia, I'm just walking a thin line of health).
The Hubby has been making dinner... not just spagetti or the easy way out... He has made an asian dish with coconut milk, a beef stir fry with oranges and pineapple and is on his way to culinary awards.

So, that brings me to today. The girls are down for a late, late nap. The Hubby is working next to me and I'm about to catalog and process more photos.
I can't wait to see what is for dinner.

Last night Ana asked for a Fork.

She mispronounced it.
That is all I will say.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Good heart and 3 teeth. No shirt!

Update on Ana's heart appointment - She does NOT have a hole in her heart.
Apparently, she just has a really, really loud heart... (and she also has mine).

Funny thing this weekend. I had a friend over for a playdate with her twins. I was marveling at the teeth that filled their little mouths. Wonderful teeth. Teeth that can chew things. Oh to have kids with teeth... Well, Ana cut 3 teeth THAT SAME DAY! I'm thinking of inviting my friend to live with us until both kids get caught up on their teeth count. It is a little sad to see Ana loose the Beaver-look that she had going on.

More on Ana:
She has fallen in LOVE with a blue monkey shirt that Auntie Didi bought for her. It was an oversized boys shirt, but Ana can't go anywhere or do anything without it. (At the doctors office, we had to put the monkey shirt on an actual stuffed monkey animal to console Ana during her EKG, Xray and ultrasound). So imagine Saturday she can't find her shirt. "Where shirt?", she asks in her ridiculously tiny voice.
"Oh, sweetie. The shirt is in the laundry. Sorry about that."
"No shirt? No shirt. No shirt. No shirt"
This went on for hours... except Ana forgot to use the "R" in shirt.

Yeah. My lack of parenting skills really shined when I didn't correct her all day.
No shirt. I wouldn't shirt you.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Am I supposed to know if yaks Moo?

So, Keira and I had our first fight.
You see... she has this alphabet book. Each page has a letter and images that start with that letter. A has an apple, etc. "Y" had a picture of a Yak.
Keira pointed to the Yak and said, "Cow. Moo!"
I lovingly pointed out, "No sweetie. That is a yak. See? It has looong fur and horns. I have no idea if it moos. It might. Anyways, it's a yak."
She looked at me like I was a raving idiot, pointed back at the book and said, "No, no! Moo! Cow!" and turned the page to Z.
I sat in silence for a moment.
Was that our first argument?
That was it?

And she thinks I'm an idiot.
I still have no idea if it moos.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

So I took time off... sue me.

Ana, Keira and cousin Quinn
I know, I know... I've been busy... OK?

Here are the updates

Hubby - B is doing MUCH better with his palsy since he has started using the apnea machine. Apparently people need a good night's rest with higher levels of oxygen. Who knew? We're using his disability time as family time. I'm getting really used to seeing him at night... it will be extremely hard to give that up.

Me - Since I've had the girls I feel as though I'm always chasing the clock, burning the candle at both ends, self eating watermellon... whatever you want to call it. As soon as my alarm goes off, I'm trying to keep up with the billion things that will happen before the day's end. Of course, this leads me to "night time Mommy". "Night Time Mommy" likes to stay up late. I've never been a night person, but the freedom I get after 9pm... when I get to eat dinner... it is just amazing. I want to read, watch tv, stay up too late... and then... well, "Morning Mommy" just hates the hayll out of "Night Time Mommy".

Girls - They're getting SO BIG. Big needs to be defined as growing up... both girls are still hovering at the 21lb mark and are almost 20 months.

Ana - Ana is SO CLEAR when she speaks. New words happen daily, with the latest being table, water and puppy. I really can't stress how clearly she speaks. So cute. Her favorite toys are her monkey, penguin, baby dolls in the stroller and small towels which serve as blankets for all of the above. Her favorite activity is gymnastics. She'll hang from just about anything. Including the stove. Which doesn't lock. You really only need one time to learn that lesson...

Keira - Keira is still facinated with books and movies. She has taught Ana how to wrongly say "movie" ("MOO-NEE"). This is where that twin speak comes into play, I believe. She is quite possibly the funniest little girl ever. She makes funny sounds, has the oddest dance ever and laughs at almost anything. Her latest life lesson was that you can, indeed, fall into a pool. (Good save, Daddy)

I'm sorry for taking a long time off, Constant Reader. Hubby's palsy took a little out of us already this year. We've also said goodbye to too many family members this year. They will always be part of us. I'm looking forward to telling stories of my "crazy Auntie Joan" to my girls when they're ready for it... which will put them into their 20s to reeeeally be ready. This year also brings good news to friends and family as I watch the closest people in my life bring new wee ones into the world. Good thoughts to Jenn, KT, Sheri, C, CJ, Trish and Linda and the wee ones they're bringing to this wonderful world.