Friday, March 28, 2008

March 30, 2006

I'm not sure when I will have time to post again, so as we are stuck in traffic on the way to the river I thought I would work on this post, a post I've been dreading. Dredging up the past. A past that is not far enough removed to be just "a thing of the past" but far enough away that some dredging is required.

March 30, 2006. Almost two full years ago. A day like any other day. As a pregnant woman carrying twins, I spent a good deal of time engaging in a few very important activities. Going to the bathroom a thousand times a day. Sitting down to rest, and catch my breath after my morning shower. My afternoon Yoplait and Oprah break. And of course the never ending visits to the perinatologist. Now, gynecological exams are never high on the list of fun things that women do, but after 26 weeks of high risk pregnancy, and almost a year of fertility treatments, I was a little blasé about undressing, scooting to the edge of the table, and throwing my feet into the stirrups.

It had been weeks and weeks that I was suffering from back pain. Excruciating back pain. I was working on party favors for my (now) sister-in-laws wedding shower, nothing overly strenuous, I was filling wine glasses with jelly beans. I remember sitting at the table, filling a couple and then having to get down on all fours to relieve the pressure on my back. But no big deal! I was carrying TWINS for goodness sakes. I should expect some discomfort right? I was seeing an acupuncturist, and a chiropractor, and I was “swimming” several times a week. (I use the term swimming loosely, because in reality, it was floating, or treading water, or slowing moving from one end of the pool to the other. It was the glory of being weightless for a short time.) Everything I did took effort, all I could think was I have another 15 weeks of this. It is definitely going to get worse before it gets better. I would literally go to the bathroom, sit back down on the couch, get comfortable, and then I’d have to get up to go to the bathroom again.

In hindsight, the constant urge to urinate, the pain in my back, I was having contractions. I should have said something to my doctor, but I don’t complain, I just assumed that this was all part of being pregnant with twins.

Ah, back to the 30th. I had a routine doctors appointment scheduled so I trudged over to the doctors office, sat in the waiting room, threw my legs into stirrups. We did the usual things, ultrasound, internal, external, heart beats, yada, yada, yada and then something was different.

“Why don’t you get dressed while I find a place for us to talk”

Can you hear the axe falling?

“your cervix is shortening”

“I’m concerned”

“Let’s send you over to Labor and Delivery and have things checked out”


Wait one minute, this is not in the plan. I have a very clear plan here. I am leaving to drive by myself to Sacramento tomorrow, they are throwing me a baby shower, I’m not going to miss that am I????

“Let’s wait and see, I’m not going to make that call without further tests”


Funny I wasn’t concerned about the babies at this point, I was only worried that I was going to ruin Shelley’s party. I was already thinking, okay, maybe I can’t DRIVE, and certainly not by myself. Maybe I could fly. Yeah, I could fly.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The First Day of "School"

The boys are still asleep, but I know it won't be long now. I've been very busy this week getting ready to go to the river. (okay, Evan woke up just as I was finishing that sentence. It's now a day later and I'm hoping to get through a post.)

Today was our first Mommy and Me class. I've been dreading anticipating the start of these classes since we enrolled months ago. It's for two year olds, and yes, I know the boys are not yet two, but they are close enough.

I've We've been struggling with Evan in some situations over the last few weeks. He got frightened in music class, in our sensory workshop, and he's been going through some serious Mommy separation anxiety. So much so that for the last week I haven't even been able to leave the room with out him howling and crying, I've even had to put him to sleep at night a couple of times. (That NEVER happens, Daddy ALWAYS puts Evan to sleep, and that's the way Evan likes it.) So, because of all of that, I've been worried that in a tiny classroom full of 18 two year olds, we might have thermo-nuclear meltdown.

My fears were met with this...

They dove right in and started painting. I didn't even need to show them what to do. Evan picked up a brush and started painting the newspaper, and then the paper in front of him, then his face, then me, he laughed and enjoyed every second! This picture of Ryan doesn't capture the fun he was having, but he did have fun. Ryan REALLY enjoyed the outdoor play time. He took this (what the boys called a frog) around the playground about 100 times. They were both surprisingly at ease in this environment, they moved from activity to activity and tried everything. They wandered around the room and found new and exciting things to explore. Outdoors they didn't even seem to need me. I did catch them look for me, and then resume playing. I'm so proud of them, they really handled themselves like little champs. I guess it's just another sign that they are growing up...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Scarred for Life or An Empty Page in the Scrapbook.

We had a fun weekend. Our friends Dylan and Tyler turned two and of course we HAD to be there for the big bash. It was really fun, there was a petting zoo and everything! We really didn't show a lot of interest in the animals, I think there were just too many other things going on. Both boys bounced from one thing to another and back again, which is so un-like them. Usually we have the most amazing attention spans, and are quite focused on our tasks. They weren't the only ones, all of the kids seemed to be running in every direction! What fun! Happy Birthday Dylan and Tyler!!!!

I feel a bit guilty, we didn't do anything for the boys for Easter. It just didn't occur to me. I know here we go with the bad mothering again! I briefly thought it would be fun to dye eggs with the boys, and then just didn't have time in our week. Plus, we had very few eggs. Then I started reading all these blogs, (sure fire way to make you feel inadequate, read other good mothers' blogs) about their Easter egg hunts and all the fun their kids had. Slapping self, "Bad Mother". The intelligent side of me says, they will not remember this, it will not scar them for life and it's not a big deal. The emotional side of me says, oh, darn, I missed a photo opportunity, now, their baby books are going to be missing their egg hunt pictures from 2008. The intelligent side of me says, the boys had way a lot more fun at the beach. The emotional side of me says darn it, I suck.

On the good mother side, we had a wonderful morning at the beach. Neither boy wanted to have anything to do with the water at first. Evan actually asked to go about 3 minutes after we got there. After some walking, picking up rocks and throwing them in to the water, we warmed to the idea of this beach/ocean thing. Okay that's putting it mildly. Scott had Ryan and I had Evan and we were all standing just inside the high tide mark. As waves rolled in, we'd let the boys feet get wet and then we'd say "Jump" and we'd jump over the waves. We did this over and over and over and over. We'd also pick them up and carry them like an airplane over the water and they'd reach down and splash in the water and squeal with delight. This lasted over an hour. My feet were frozen, the boys were wet to their hips and armpits, they were happy. Until we tried to get them to leave. We did the 5 minute warning, we said goodbye to the waves, and we had lots of tears and screaming as we walked back to the car. Evan cried in my arms "WAH-WAH, WAH-WAH" while pointing to the ocean, desperately trying to get free from my death grip. If I had let him go, he'd have slid down the cliffs and jumped head-long into the ocean. I guess we are going to have to add the beach to our regular outings, I could use some volunteers!

We (I) may have failed to fill Easter baskets of love, but we certainly filled the day with it!

P.S. I promise to do better next year.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Talk to the Animals

I've been told time and time again that once the boys start talking, their language will just explode. Well I think the fire has been lit.

It's just amazing, it feels like everything I say gets repeated back to me. It may be immediately, or it'll pop up days later in conversation. Currently much of their language is combined with or solely signing, but it's great to know it is there, bubbling at the surface.

Singing at mealtime has always been part of our routine, recently while getting Ryan's sweet potato fries out of the toaster oven I started singing the old song "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off". You know..."You say potato, I say poTAHto, you say tomato, I say toMAHto, potato, poTAHto, tomato, toMAHto, let's call the whole thing off"

A few days later, I poured out Ryan's potatoes on his tray, and said "Here are your potatoes" and then I sat down to feed Evan.

Evan signed "More"
I asked "More what?"
He signed "potatoes"
I handed him one of Ryan's potatoes, "Here you go honey, potato"
He signed "more potato"
I gave him more
He said "aught" (hot)
"yes, they are hot, blow on them"
He signed "more", signed "potato" he said "aught"

This went on for awhile. Finally he modified the word he was saying slightly to say "ong" The light went on in my head. Ding, ding, ding...

Today we went to the Wild Animal Park. We went to see the lions on a whim and we were really lucky. The three lion cubs were out and active. They were pacing in front of the glass, and we were three of only 15 or so guests experiencing the fun. We were pressed up against the glass and as the little lions paced they would walk right past the boys at their eye level. It was so awesome. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I watched my boys interacting with the cubs. They would reach out and put their hands against the glass as the lions passed by and squeal with delight as they tumbled around with each other.

At one point the cubs had been away from our particular viewing area for a few minutes, and as they came back Ryan said "Hiiiii, Kitty" Clear as day. I was shocked I asked to myself (as I so often do) did you just say "Hi Kitty?" a man a few feet away chimed in "I heard "Hi Kitty" I heard him say it!"

Let the flood gates open!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Laundry Anyone?

I always know I have a serious laundry issue when while desperately trying to get the boys dressed, I spend 15 minutes saying to myself...
"That really doesn't look TOO bad, does it?"

Monday, March 17, 2008

Good Mom, Bad Mom, Other: The Quiz

Here's a little quiz based on my day.

1. Kids dressed in Green for St. Patrick's Day.
a. Good Mom
b. Bad Mom
c. Other

2. Kids out the door and on the road to the Aquarium by 8:30, even though our play date cancelled.
a. Good Mom
b. Bad Mom
c. Other

3. Feed Ryan all of the fish out of my fish taco because he seems to finally be tiring of Dino Bites.
a. Good Mom
b. Bad Mom
c. Other

4) Didn't slap the woman who scowled at me and my children, who were making a bit of a fuss, and said to her friend, "We HAVE to sit outside" as she looked behind her to where I was standing well within earshot.
a. Good Mom
b. Bad Mom
c. Other

5) Let Ryan eat nothing but Tater Tots and a Tortilla for dinner.
a. Good Mom
b. Bad Mom
c. Other

6) Encourage bad behavior by laughing at it.
a. Good Mom
b. Bad Mom
c. Other


1) B- Bad Mom. Sure the boys were in Green, but here's how that happened. Realized after both boys were dressed that it was St. Patrick's Day. Luckily Evan already had on green. Changed Ryan's shirt, feeling like a Good Mom. Gave Evan meds, he spit out a little Septra on his green shirt, thought oh well, that's not much, I'll wipe it off after I get this Prilosec in to him. Evan spits out most of the Prilosec all over his green shirt. Curse under breath. Feeling like a Bad Mom. Change Evan's shirt in to the last green shirt in the drawer. Leave him in red socks, even though his shirt is blue and green...Bad Mom.

2) A-Good Mom. Although I may need to be more creative since by 10:30 they were both signing "go" I guess they are getting bored.

3) B- Bad Mom. I've not been able to entice my child to eat anything but Dino Bites for the past 6 months, and now he is getting tired of them. Oh what to do since he won't eat anything else either.

4) C- Other. Good Mom for not being hauled into the pokey for assault. Bad Mom for letting an unhappy, cranky, woman bother me so much that I wanted to slap her. Bad Mom for hoping Ryan would have a meltdown so I could take him outside and sit him right next to her and let him shriek.

5) C- OTHER. Man I tried. The whole story is, we went to CostCo to do a little shopping. (if you can ever just do "a little" shopping at CostCo) They were sampling this chicken, pre-cooked strips, you know for salads or pasta, etc. I gave Ryan a little sample, and he LOVED it. Now remember, this is just sliced chicken breast, sauteed in an electric skillet at CostCo. He ate his piece, my piece and then asked me (with signs) all down the next aisle, "More, Please" and he'd grin and say. "yum" which comes out more like "ee-um". So being the good mother, I circled around again and got him a couple more pieces, and picked up a 20 pound bag for home. I thought to myself "SCORE" another food Ryan will eat, and BONUS it's not fried! We get home, I make the dang chicken, and some tater tots to go along with it (it's been a while since he's had tater tots and I thought I'd give him a treat since he was eating non-fried chicken for dinner) and guess what happens, I know you can. SHRIEKING, yep. He kept signing Chicken, and saying "Bok, Bok" I kept trying to get him to understand the logic that this was the same chicken, that not 30 minutes ago he was excitedly gobbling every sample he could get his little hands on. No luck.

6) B-Bad Mom. Ryan's new favorite word is No. And it is so darn cute when he says it that I can't help but laugh and encourage him to say it more. It's clear he isn't 100% on the meaning yet, here's a typical conversation:

Me: Ryan, Are you ready to go?


Me: No?


Me: Do you love Snoopy?


Me: (laughing) NO? Oh, that's too bad, Snoopy loves you.




Me: (really laughing) NNNNNNOOooouh


Ev: Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, no, no, no, no. NNNNNNOOooouh

Me: (Laughing so hard it hurts)

We can go on like this all day.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lorikeet Landing...on Daddy

Preemie? Who you calling a Preemie?

While our stay in the NICU was stressful, to say the least, there were some things that we are happy to take away from the experience. If we had to have an NICU stay, we were fortunate to encounter a wonderful group of families that were also living through this frightening time.

It was always shocking interesting to me that there weren't more parents at the bedsides of their critically ill infants. There was no place else I could be. I was compelled, drawn by an unseen force to be right there with my babies, every possible moment, of every day. I know there were some that had to go back to work, or care for other children and that must have been agonizing. I also know there were some that just chose to stay away for other reasons, and I wonder about those babies almost every day.

As hard as it is to be in a NICU, with all the lights and beeping, studies have proven that for critically ill infants, contact with their parents (or even another loving human -cuddler) can aid in overall health improvement, significantly. NICU's around the world encourage Kangaroo Care for preemies because they have found both the babies and parents respond favorably. Just a parents mere presence bedside can help a preemie relax and calm down. I experienced this first hand many, many times during our five months in the NICU. There were days when one of our boys was having a tough time, brave nurses would let me hold the breath holding peanut, and for the entire time he was on my chest, his breathing would regulate and stabilize. Or in the weeks before we could touch our boys, the sound of our voices reading or singing through the portholes would always seem to calm them down.

Oh, but I digress...There were a few families that were ALWAYS at the beside of their child, or children. Because we were all sharing a common experience, and because we were all the same kind of dedicated, persistent, engaged parents, we all began to bond. The bonding didn't really start until we all made it out of "A" nursery. "A" is where the very critically ill babies live, the baby to nurse ratio is 2:1. These babies have loads of procedures, lots of "episodes" and require vigilant monitoring. Back in "C" and "D" nursery, the babies are presumably much more stable, in open cribs, off of oxygen, and don't require the hourly stat checks. Back in "C" and "D" the parents are also more stable, we are, sadly, old hands at this NICU thing. Once your babies are back in "C" and "D" you are anxiously awaiting the "go ahead" to take your little bundles home. There seems to be no time at all, but still, much more time for bonding.

Those families we saw every day, and every night have now become some of our great friends. We still share that special bond, we all have similar shared experiences, and therefore approach much of our parenting in the same manner. We are/were able to commiserate in a way that most parents cannot. Battling insurance companies, and pediatricians for Synagis, to keep our babies safe from RSV , navigating the host of specialists, doctors appointments, follow-up clinics and all the other things that come with having a premature infant.

We finally got together with a few of our NICU friends on Friday, it had been a while since these three families had been together all at once, and wow was it fun! Try getting 5 under twos to pose for a picture, notice, my boys are the only ones not sitting still for the camera. Lilian and Lealand were born in June, Haedyn was born in May, and My boys were born in April, almost exactly one month apart for all of them! (By the way, Lilian, Lealand, and Haedyn all went home before Ryan and Evan!)
Saffron said that I tired her kids out and so she had to carry them to the Elephant Overlook. Don't know what she's talking about, we do this "workout" at least once a week!!!!
Haedyn enjoyed climbing and walking along the benches with his mom Nina.

It was really nice to get out with our friends. It is always so inspiring to see just how well all of these kids are doing considering what an incredibly difficult start they had. I say it's partly because we were all engaged and present everyday in that NICU, and everyday since.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Did you ever have one of those days?

Today was it for me.

The boys are sick, colds, with coughs. So we've been avoiding our normal group activities, OT, Music Class, etc. in an effort not to infect the rest of the world. In not doing our normally scheduled activities, that leaves a few extra mornings that need to be filled with activities. This week we've been to the Aquarium, Quail Botanical Gardens, The Zoo and we've even spent a morning wandering the horse trails.

Today I wasn't really sure what to do, I just knew we had to get out and do something. I woke up feeling sub par, my throat was a bit scratchy, and my ribs hurt. I'm sure I got kicked or something but I'm really not sure how they got hurt I just know it's hard to take deep breaths. So knowing all of these things, it makes perfect sense to head to the Zoo.

The only downside to the Zoo is that there aren't a lot of places to let the boys out to walk, which kind of defeats the purpose of getting them out to tire them out. (But being that they are both a bit under the weather it's not a bad choice.) I guess the other downside is that this means I spend most of the day pushing around 53 pounds of baby, 35 pounds of stroller, and a couple of pounds of miscellaneous stuff, like lunch. That's close to a hundred pounds! Granted it rolls, but no matter how you look at it, rolling 100 pounds up hill, is a chore. Plus along the way, you have to stop and look at what ever is along the path. That means starting up hill from a dead stop. About half way though our morning I decided that I would NOT come home and run on my elliptical, this "hill workout" was more than enough.

The boys enjoyed their ride, we got out a bit at the Children's Zoo, and then settled down for lunch. This is where a nice day turned.

I went to the snack stand window, asked them to heat up Ryan's meal of choice, Dino Bites, and I was met with resistance. "HUH?" Now, I've been going to the Zoo and the Wild Animal Park for at least a year now. Once, maybe twice a week. And for the last nine months, I've had someone in a snack stand heat up Ryan's Dino Bites. And for the last nine months I've only had one encounter where they refused, I then walked a few steps to the next stand and they obliged. This time I was told no way, no how, impossible, health code, microwave settings, rules, blah, blah, blah. I then pointed to my adorable boys and said, "Just last week, right here, I had these heated up, Friday! Never ever had any problems, now how am I supposed to feed my children???"

Well the unyielding inflexible nice lady gave us 4 chicken tenders for Ryan to eat but absolutely refused to heat up ours. Many of you are aware that Ryan is a picky eater. He really only consistently eats Dino Bites and sweet potato fries. And he is a brand snob. He'll eat other Dino Bites, but he does have his favorite brand and that brand he eats with gusto.

We sat down to eat, Ryan took one bite of these chicken tenders, chewed it for a while and spat it out on the floor. He looked at me and signed chicken and said "bok, bok". Of course I said "right in front of you honey" And with all his earnestness, Ryan looked at me and said "NNNO" tossed half of his chicken on the ground and repeated, "NNNO" With no alternative, I told him "Eat your chicken honey!" (I also lectured him on not throwing his food on the floor) Then the crying shrieking began. and it continued. and continued. Here is the point where if I was a mom of a singleton, we would have left immediately. But as I was desperately trying to get Evan to eat his lunch, Ryan sat and shrieked. All I could do was suggest to him that it was all right, and he had a perfectly good lunch in front of him and all the crying in the world wasn't going to change that chicken into something he'd eat.

It was a miserable lunch. People looking at us must have shook their heads and thought what is wrong with that mother and why can't she control her child. I did get sympathetic looks from a mother of twin three year old girls, but I was too busy trying to regain control to notice disdain or other.

The icing on the cake of this day, I made my fajitas for dinner, sat down, took a bite, the salsa had gone bad. Argh!!!

All is not lost, I just finished a bowl of sunshine.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Quail Botanical Guard

We went to the Quail Botanical Gardens today. A while back we took the boys with our friends Philip, Meredith and their son Tobin. Back then, it wasn't the best place in the world for the kids. They were barely walking and all of the interactive things for toddlers were just a bit above their level. I knew it was a place that we'd have to come back to some day because it's a really nice place with a wonderful children's garden. They have programs for toddlers/preschoolers almost everyday, bubbles, a play house, and lots of water activities.

Today was music and story time. We arrived in time to play in the "Seeds of Wonder" garden for about an hour. 45 minutes of that hour were spent doing this:

I think I might have a Garden Railroader on my hands. (Stop laughing Jeff and Beckie)

When we sat down for music time, Evan wanted no part of it. (This is starting to be a trend with him) There were about 40 kids so it was a bit overwhelming, but not for Ryan. While Evan and I hung out around the corner, but still in full sight of Ry, Ryan sat down, front and center, transfixed, mesmerized, spellbound.
Evan came around near the end when she sang the 5 little speckled frog song. Something about frogs for this guy, he gets this obsession from his dad. (someday ask Scott about Buford)

One of the really fun activities, or at least an activity that is supposed to be really fun, is this station set up for the kids to re-plant a succulent. There's a big table full of dirt and trowels, kid's dream right?

Okay, I should stop here and say, I am very Type A, very anal retentive, I like things neat and orderly. (um--that was BC--Before Children) I always have a plan, and I like order, it calms me.

But I'm different now. (stop laughing, I am!)

While it would make me crazy to have this table full of dirt in my house, in a situation like, um at a garden, outside, where the idea is for kids to experience nature and stuff, I'm good with it all. The boys had bubble juice all down their fronts mixed with dirt and who knows what else. What-EV-ER! (Besides, I had a change of clothes in my bag)

So, the reason for my confession, It's a good thing I had children that have forced me to lighten up, or I may have ended up like this lady...We are at the potting table, and this volunteer is there to instruct us, help us, etc. First I hear her say to another little girl "NO, NO, NO--you must FIRST put your name on one of the large pots!" Okay, I grabbed the pen and quickly spelled out E-V-A-N on one pot and R-Y-A-N on the another. Whew.

We carefully picked out two small plants and carried them over to the table, actually we tried to carry them over to the table, but I guess we weren't doing it right, the volunteer snatched the pots out of the boys hands and placed them in the dirt table. Ryan promptly tried to dump out his little plant, to shrieks of "NO, NO, NO" Then the volunteer took his pot, his plant and his trowel and finished the re-potting for him.

She then turned her attention to Evan, who was trying to shovel dirt into his pot, most of it was getting on him and the ground. She looked at me and said "do you want me to do it for him too?" I gulped hard, took a deep breath and said..."no, I think he's having fun" "Well, O-Kay? We are about to get really busy down here" she replied.

What I really wanted to say was..."look lady, this is a children's garden full of kids, and the whole idea is for them to experience things, get dirty, make messes, not for grown ups with their own agendas to do things for them. If they get dirt all around the floor, on themselves, whatever. That IS the point." I didn't say it, I thought to myself, "she's a volunteer, she shouldn't be dealing with little kids, she's a volunteer." I was brought out of my calming mantra by an audible exasperated sigh, I came to in time to see Evan dump a huge pile of dirt on the floor.

We were then ordered instructed to place our pots on wall and pick them up before we leave for the day. Ryan proceeded to grab hands full of dirt from the adjacent planter and put them in his pot. (of course, he didn't get to actually pot his own plant so he decided to do some potting on his own, gotta love this kids initiative.) We were then sternly chastised. "NO, NO, STOP IT." It was at this point that I grabbed both boys hands and took them away from the mean lady to a quiet part of the garden where we could grab clumps of dirt and put them where we wanted.

I thought about complaining, or suggesting that this might not be the appropriate assignment for this lady, but hey, she's a volunteer. (See, I have changed)

In spite of this one volunteer, we really had a nice time and we will be back, hopefully on a day when the Botanical Guard is off duty.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Family Fun Day

We took the boys to Sea World today. Ryan, Evan and I went for the first time a few weeks ago, and it was quite a challenge. There was a lot of getting in and out of the stroller and me lifting one then the other boy to see, or try to touch, in short it was a little exhausting! So today, two adults and two kids, piece of cake!

I decided to mark the special occasion by paying $5.00 for a tray of 4 fish to feed to the dolphins, yes, that is $1.25 per 2 inch fish.
Evan actually touched the nose of a dolphin and seemed to enjoy getting up close and personal.

On the other hand...
What you can't see from this picture is that Ryan is actually screaming and pushing as hard as he can to get away from the dolphin!

While Ryan didn't like the dolphins, Evan didn't like Wild Arctic, the Penguin Encounter, the Shark Encounter, anything that was dark or loud.
The first time we were at Sea World, we were looking at the Sea Lions as they howled for fish, and I said out loud to myself, "Someone needs to brush their teeth". I looked down at the boys and they were both doing our sign for brushing your teeth.
It's a real reminder that they understanding everything we say, and we'd better be careful.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Dancing Fools (or Music that Makes Me Smile)

Two years ago tonight, Scott felt the boys move for the first time. They had been moving around lots and I felt them, but Scott never seemed to be able to feel them before this night. The boys would be kicking and moving around and I'd yell quick, come feel, and by the time he got over to my belly, they had settled again.

We owe this special moment to Alison Krauss and Union Station. Scott, our friend Philip and I really enjoy their music and had tickets to see them perform. (I should mention that we all have very eclectic tastes in music and our ipods house really interesting mixes of musical genres, mine is now littered with an alarmingly large collection of kids music) Anyway--Alison Krauss is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE artists. I could listen to her everyday. If you've never heard her, I highly recommend it. After all I, VERY pregnant with twins, in excruciating back pain, still went out, walked several blocks (without stopping for a nap), sat with a tennis ball between my aching back and the theater seat for two hours, just because I HAD to see her again. Mind you I had seen her just the year before in Northern California, with a then very pregnant Shelley, but I had to see her again. (and I say her and I really mean them, because each member Union Station is an amazing artist, really such a talented group of musicians)

So I'm sitting, not exactly comfortably, enjoying the concert when all of a sudden the boys become dancing fools. They began to kick and move like CRAZY. I quickly grabbed Scott's hand and placed it on my four stepping belly and he finally felt it. That really strange, freaky feeling of something alive moving inside my belly. The boys really responded to the music. When AK and US played an upbeat song, the boys danced like there was no tomorrow, and during the slower numbers, they calmed down. I had never felt them so active before and I was thrilled that Scott was finally able to feel them move.

The boys still seem to enjoy Alison Krauss and Union Station, or Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, or just Alison Krauss. (or just about any music) But every time I listen to their music, I smile with the memory of that special moment.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Last Ditch Effort

I'm so drained. Feeding Evan is exhausting. Our goal is 100 calories per Kilo per day. He's almost 11 Kilos, and that's a lot of calories for a kid who doesn't swallow anything he has to chew.

The last few years days have been especially difficult. Evan's been throwing up a ton. He's been fighting me like I'm trying to feed him worms or habenero chilies. There have been meals where I'm not sure if I'm wearing more than he's ingested. We have these good runs where for weeks at a time he'll eat like a champ. He was eating 9 ounces of yogurt and baby food in 15 minutes, and then for no reason he'll just slide back into his old routine of fighting and barfing.

I'd like to believe that it's because he's growing and his prevacid dose needs to be adjusted and then he will be fine again. But deep down I know there has to be something else going on, right? I can say teeth, or a cold, but come on, really? He's almost two years old, he has not outgrown the reflux, like most children do, he's not swallowing ANYTHING he has to chew. He chews stuff. He seems to really enjoy trying to eat food, but when it comes to swallowing, he just spits whatever it is out. Sometimes what he spits out is so pulverized that it's smoother than his purees.

We go to Occupational Therapy once a week, for an hour, but I'm not sure it's doing any good. The improvements are so small they are almost invisible to an everyday caregiver. And with the improvements come the mudslidesbackslides, which are painfully obvious.

We saw GI today. Our doctor is out on medical leave, so that buys us a bit of time to try one last ditch effort. We are switching from Prevacid to Prilosec, sometimes people have better luck with different drugs. I'm not optimistic. I'm concerned that in my efforts to keep my babe out of the hospital, I might be subjecting him to 2 more months of pain, suffering and possible esophageal damage. What do you do though? The last thing you want to do is have your baby child sedated and frightened by an overnight stay in the hospital, a scope shoved down his throat and tissue samples cutout of his little body. Especially this boy who is so afraid as it is. I can't take him near a nurse without him crying his eyes out and screaming, hands flailing-- finished. go. please. It's heartbreaking. I just have to try everything before I subject him to that, don't I? I hate this second guessing, I hate not knowing clearly what to do, I hate that I cannot fix my baby.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Somedays are good, and some are bad.

You figure out which is which.

We had a wonderful weekend with Boppie (Scott's Dad) here. Saturday, the boys went to soccer, and Home Depot, Mommy got time to work out without worry that someone was going to wake up and raise her heart rate in a whole different way. There was lots of boy time. Boppie played with the boys while Daddy dug trenches for new sprinklers. (We are planting some fruit trees in the back yard, fruit, that I hope someday my children will eat.) Mommy got some uninterrupted time to think about and work on the invitations for that impending second birthday party. (Someone should remind me next year not to design invitations that require me cutting out 300 circles. I thought I was doing something super simple, HA.) Most importantly Boppie and the boys got some great bonding time.


Yesterday, we met our friends Elizabeth, Aviel and Coby at the Wild Animal Park. It was really fun, and the boys were on their best behavior. Aviel and Coby are about a month younger than Ryan and Evan and it's really fun to watch the kids interact. Coby and Ryan seemed to want to play together, but they were a little unsure. There was a lot of circling and following, only to have one boy run the other direction when actual interaction seemed just about to happen. Aviel is so incredibly verbal. She's amazing, quite a parrot. She uses words like running and swimming appropriately, and clearly to someone other than her mother. Elizabeth says it's hard having one talk so much, it makes her realize how far behind Coby is!

That is one of the challenges with twins. Comparison. How do you not compare when you have two kids the exact same age. When you have one at a time, I think you forget a lot, It's harder to do the direct comparison, environments change, your parenting skills are refined, and having an older sibling makes a huge difference for the younger child's development. I think it is easier not to compare when your twins are not identical. My boys are so distinctly different in appearance, temperament and strengths--I find I start to compare them and then I quickly remember they are individuals.


After naps on Monday we had a special Sensory Workshop put together by our EI teacher and our OT. It was supposed to be 4 families, but 2 canceled so the group was small. The point is, all of these kids have eating issues, playing with food is a great way to bridge some of the fear that these kids associate with eating. There was cornmeal, pudding, rice crispies, food puzzles, food books, fake and real fruit, all to play with experiment with. Great messy fun! We also made smoothies, something we've done with Melinda here at the house. For some reason Evan lost his marbles when the blender was turned on. He is not usually afraid of noises, but something triggered this (over)reaction. I could see him start to tremble when the blender came around and thought uh-oh, but I never imagined his reaction would be He screamed and cried and cried and screamed. He told me he was finished, and he wanted to go through his tears. He would not let me go anywhere near the table with the blender. He did not want to play on the playground, but he found some comfort in walking around and around. He cried in the car on the way home, but once we were home, he was fine.


Evan threw up three times today. Just when we think he is doing better he has days like this. Days when every bite is a battle royale. Days when I am in the parking lot at OT grabbing at blankets and sweatshirts to catch the projectile vomiting that comes out of nowhere. Days when I am reminded why I carry two changes of clothing on my back at all times. Days when my baby is crying and telling me he is finished and I am crying and telling him he cannot be finished, he just threw up his entire dinner.

We see GI again on Thursday. I just don't know what to do. He's been on Prevacid for almost 2 years, he should have out grown this by now. What do we do? Do we scope him? Do we put our already frightened to death of doctors baby in the hospital overnight, sedate him, and stick a scope down his throat, when 99.9% of the time they find nothing wrong? Do I hope he is that .1% and gamble that we can find something that can make him better? I'm thinking probiotics and acupuncture, and all other suggestions are welcome.


Is there anything more wonderful than watching kids explore their environment? Roll around in the dirt and just laugh? Stop to have a wrestling match? Run carefree? This is one of the most amazing things about being a parent. Seeing the world through the eyes of a child, or two.

Monday, March 3, 2008

40 is the new 30.

I'm 40 today.

I really don't feel like it's possible for me to be 40. I can't believe that I've been married for almost 15 years. or that I graduated from college 18 years ago. or high school 22 years ago. or that my boys are almost 2. Where does the time go? How is it possible that I could wake up one morning and be 40?

I don't feel like I should be 40. Wasn't 40 once considered middle aged? Is it possible that my life is half over?

Two or three years ago, before the constant sleep deprivation, I didn't feel my age. At 38 I felt 28 or 30. I stayed up late, got up early, worked out like a maniac, ate what I wanted, lived a go, go, go life. Now? Well now I stay up late, get up early (and sometimes all through the night), workout some, eat when I can, and live a go, go, go life.

What's changed?

Two toddlers!