Saturday, August 30, 2008

Last one home is a rotten egg.

Two years ago, we finally brought Evan home from the hospital. One Hundred and Forty Seven days after his extremely early arrival we were overjoyed to finally have him under our roof.

There was still trepidation. He was still on an apnea monitor, and we were given emergency oxygen. Was he really ready? Were we? There were mixed emotions. What about Ryan, poor baby, would he be okay, would he miss his brother?

We were going, no matter. "Aunt" Julie and "Aunt" Tina, walked us down to the car, and away we went.

(you can see me in the background, even as Julie is walking out of the NICU, I'm saying one last goodbye to Ryan, even though I'll be seeing him in the morning, I can barely leave)

Evan in his car seat, riding home, with a smile.

First steps into the house.

Dearly departed Samson, checking out the "thing" Mommy brought home..."hmmm, something tells me I'm not going to like this."

Is there anything better than a cuddle on the couch with Daddy?

It's hard to believe it's been two years. It feels like they've always been here. That my house has always looked like a cyclone hit. That I've always had their smiles first thing in the morning and the last thing at night to warm me and fill me with love.

On this anniversary I thought I'd list a few of Evan's sayings. These days there are many but these are my favorite:

Two funny guys
Pickle puss
Hi goose
Evan RyRy go
More Neigh
Hockey Puck
Good Job Ev-an
No more monkeys jumping on bed (as he's jumping on the sofa, and I am counting to three)

Two years bring on a lot of changes, thank goodness the NICU's and apnea monitors and oxygen are all behind us now. The worries over language development, gross motor and fine motor development are subsiding as each passing day brings (sometimes shocking) mastery of skills.

Two years of love and laughter filling our home because this guy finally decided to come home.

Poop in the Potty

Yep. We've had our first successful poop in the potty.

Yeaaaaaah EVAN!!!

Last night he said he had to go poop. Off we trotted to the potty, and there we sat for a very long time. I could see he was pushing and trying to poop, and after a little while, he left a nice Hershey's Kiss sized poop in the potty!

We took pictures, but I've thought twice about posting on the blog...kind of gross, no?

Days 3 and 4: I don't want to sleep in bed

Ryan has only climbed out of his crib once each of the last two nights.
I think we may have (knock on wood) fixed this problem.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Day Two: I Don't Want to Sleep in Bed

After last nights hysterics and knowing that tonight Ryan couldn't get out of his room and find his way out of the house and on to the busy street outside our house, I slept in bed. Scott took over Ryan duty, from the couch.

Ryan woke up on cue at 10, caught him on his way out of his crib and I coaxed him back to sleep, in bed. He slept there peacefully until about 3:30 AM when, as Scott reports he climbed out of his crib and was attempting to get out of his room. Scott put him back in bed, told him to stay there. There was crying for no more than about ten minutes and all was quiet.

This is what we found this morning...

For those of you that don't recognize it immediately on sight...he's reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. (or as Evan calls it, yell-ouw Pot-t-ter)

So, we assume, after realizing he couldn't get out, and we were just going to put him back in to bed, he settled himself down to read a little.

*I should have mentioned yesterday that in his antics of climbing out of the crib, he was very rarely alone. Sometimes one Snoopy joined him, sometimes two, sometimes it was two Snoopys and a Pooh.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How many calories do you burn...

...putting a 30 pound child back in to his crib?

I'm sure, when the number is somewhere between 120 and 1000, you burn off enough for an extra big bowl of sunshine, right?

Between the hours of 10 PM and 1 AM last night I picked up Ryan and tossedplaced him gently back into his crib about once every two minutes. I stood at his door while he tossed his leg over the side and hopped right out, and opened the door, for three hours. I slept (and i use that word loosely) on the floor outside his door from about 1:30 (give or take) until 6. (I'm tired)

He started this behavior while we were on vacation. He found out he could easily get in and out of the porta crib. So instead of self soothing, like he's done since birth, he's cried, and cried, and climbed out of his crib to come find someone. I thought he might not do it once we returned home. I thought wrong.

Sunday night I think Scott stayed in the room with Ryan after he climbed out for the fourth time. Last night I knew I had to nip this in the bud right away. Thus my vigil.

Today I stopped at the Depot and got two new door handles. I installed one on Ryan's door before naps. One should never try to install a door handle on a few hours of sleep. I had most of the original hardware off, when I went to work on the handle on the inside of the door. And the door shut. And the handle came off. And I couldn't get out. After a couple of panic filled moments I MacGyver'ed my way out of the room, installed the door knob, and now the boys are asleep. So far, not a peep from a VERY, VERY EXHAUSTED Ryan.

...and I'm looking for big boy beds.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Friend

I've seriously been a slacker with my blog, and I have a lot of things to say. We just returned from a lovely vacation with the family and I've got lots of funny stories that I'd better get written down before I forget them.

(In fact, excuse me while I write a few notes to myself. first real time out. nannies house. more bike ride please. pa-pa-chute. failure to sleep. climbing in and out of cribs.)

I've come out of my quiet spot, to write a few words about my friend. Our friend.

I've mentioned my obscure sport, kayak polo, well it's how I met my friend Albert. He was living here at the time and when Scott and I started playing the game, Albert was one of the first people to welcome in to the group of crazies that make up kayak polo in the US.

Albert's personality was bigger than he was. (and he was of above average height) He always had a smile on his face, a story on his tongue, and warmth in his heart. He was the guy, the guy who knew everyone. The guy who had more friends, and people to see, than anyone else I have ever known. His heart was so big I'm shocked it fit inside his chest.

Albert had many physical talents. In addition to kayaking, he played handball, hockey, lacrosse, tennis, and he taught himself to play the piano a few years ago. Everything he did, he did with a passion, an did it to a very high level.

Albert moved to San Francisco a few years ago, but he visited us often. Many times when he was in town, he stayed with us. Before we had kids, we had our piano in the "music room". This was also known as Albert's room. He was the only one that played our piano regularly. (I've mentioned that I'm a slacker) He'd sit down and plunk away. Sometimes we'd have a few people over and we'd be sitting around talking, and laughing, and the next thing you know, Albert would be playing the piano. He wasn't the greatest, but he worked hard at it, and he was passionate.

In 2004 I competed in the Canoe Polo World Championships in Japan as a member of the US Women's team. Albert was on the Men's team. I was in Japan for four weeks, three of them spent with Albert. The teams would share meals together, bus rides, sightseeing adventures, walks to practice, we basically lived together, the two teams. Some of my fondest memories of Albert come from this time. Albert was great helping me train. He'd sometimes call just to find out how training was going.

While in Japan, Albert was a bit of a celebrity. He resembled famous a sumo wrestler, named Waka-no-hana, and everywhere we'd go, people would giggle, point, and stare. Albert also loved to eat, and the Japanese appreciate a good eater. The people who ran the ryokans we stayed in loved that Albert would take third and fourth helpings.

One of the boys favorite songs is, "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and it reminds me of Albert. One day we were making the walk from the pitch back to our ryokan, ans Albert started to sing. "I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again..." He got lost in the words, and the group of us tried to remember them, and then, we struggled to figure out who sang the song! Many times since his illness was revealed, as I've sat singing this to the boys, with John Denver's help, I've thought of Albert and this moment in Japan.

We were able to visit Albert in December. He was in good spirits, looking thin, but his personality was the same. He was up beat, and he was confident he was going to beat the cancer. He was diagnosed with Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (many tumors, largest golf ball size) Brain Metastasis (about 2 dozen tumors larges golf ball size)Bone Metastasis and Spleen Metastasis. He was given, at best 4-7 months to live. A few months into treatment, he had doctors shaking their heads as the tumors in his lungs and brain had all but disappeared. It looked like this long shot might just come in.

In July things turned again, his cancers began progressing again, and on August 20, 2008, he finally succumbed to his cancer.

My heart is heavy for the loss of our dear friend. The world is a little less bright without Albert's smile to brighten things up, and a little quieter, with out his laugh.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sadness renders me silent

A friend of ours is sick. We've known about it for a while now. Almost nine months. It makes me sad almost every day.

It's hard for me to fathom how someone so full of life, so vibrant a human being, so loved by everyone he knows, could be suffering so.

We had a moment, a fraction of time where it seemed like he was going to beat the beast that is cancer. His tumors were shrinking, he was feeling better. As suddenly as his diagnosis, and remarkable improvement, he has taken a turn for the worse.

I want to blog about it, but I don't want to eulogize him. I want to do something, but what?
I pull up his blog everyday and worry that today will be the day, the day that through all of my optimism, and hope, the worst will be there in black and white.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I've been trying to blog, but ...

...I have no good excuse.

I've been trying to blog about the trip the boys and I took last Thursday, we met my Mom and had an amazing time in San Juan Capistrano at Zoomars Petting Zoo. We first took a walk around the Mission, and then headed across the railroad tracks to the petting zoo. It was really great. We started in the giant pen that had dozens of rabbits and guinea pigs. It was a little overwhelming for me, but the boys seemed to enjoy it. Until they caught a glimpse of the little train. I'd have pictures but I can't get them off of my phone. Lets just say they rode, and there were some tears when they had to get off. After the train, we fed the horse and goats carrots. According to Grandma, Ryan was chased by three goats. I was too busy fending off my five to notice. She said he did fine. He was offering them a carrot, and then got a little spooked, he ran, they followed.

I also have pictures on my phone of the boys riding in a little red Jeep. It was a big hit too.

We really had a great time with Grandma. The boys see carrots and say "Neigh eat car-car" and "Feed" followed by "Choo-Choo". A week later, they are still talking about this trip. We have to go and do this again. Fun was had by all.

I've also been trying to blog or at least post pictures of Sunday's little detour to the local CAT headquarters. In front of the building, they have these just sitting there, begging little boys to climb in them and have their pictures taken!

I hope I'll start breaking this posting dry spell soon. I think it has something to do with getting ready for vacation, and maybe the fact that the boys have been exercising their "two-ness", and maybe another topic that I will touch on, maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pay it Forward, Part II: The Winner

As provided by, the winner is:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-08-07 13:36:05 UTC

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Congratulations Lindsay!!!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Two weddings and a NICU

Two years ago, we had an addition to our family. No, not a baby or a pet. If I'm being perfectly honest, this addition came into our lives many years earlier. October 5, 2002. That just so happens to be the date we had two more additions to our family. Wow, this is getting confusing.

Here's what happened: Back in October 2002, Shelley, Scott's sister, married Todd. Therefore, Todd and Cassie (Todd's Daughter) became a permanent part of our family, whether they liked it or not.

On that same day, Scott's brother, Eric, decided to bring a "date" to Shelley's wedding. Okay are all of your warning bells going off. Who brings just a "date" to his sister's wedding. Yeah, the entire family was a twitter. If it wasn't the upcoming nuptials being discussed, it was this mysterious "date" Eric was bringing.

To shorten the story by about 10,000 words. Mary came to Shelley's wedding, fit in perfectly. Did not miss a beat, on the dance floor, or keeping up with this sarcastic, crazy family. She survived the wedding, and the three week European vacation with the entire clan, we decided to keep her and she's been with us ever since. (can't shake the girl)

So, now back to TWO years ago today, Eric and Mary were married.

Two years ago, Ryan and Evan were still permanent residents of the Infant Special Care Center.

Two years ago, a sobbing Mother walked was dragged out of the Infant Special Care Center, to catch a plane to Oakland, to drive to picturesque Healdsburg, to participate in Maric's very special day. (oh, everyone in our family has combined names. Shelley, Todd and Madison= Shoddison. Scott and Janice = Scanice. I don't think we've come up with our name including the boys. Have I mentioned that this family is oddcute?)

I wouldn't have missed it for the world, I sat there holding my babies, the thought of being away from them for more than a few hours, was killing me. You see, until this day, I had never gone a day with out seeing my boys. I'd been with them, EVERY. DAY. for four months. I made the trek to the hospital each and every day for four months. I sat by their beds, every day for four months. I KNEW they'd be safe. I'd made sure that our primary nurses were on duty for the weekend. We were going to be back Sunday morning. It was only one day.

In the world of the NICU, one day could be critical. In the NICU, one hour could be critical. You just never know. In one day a preemie can go from stable to critical, it changes that quickly. The only reason I could leave those boys, and go on plane, (where I'd be unreachable) was the knowledge that our primary nurses would be with them. They were the only people that knew those better than us. (Well, they didn't know them better, but they knew them and they have far more medical training than Scott or I, so really, they were safer with them than anywhere.) Funny, it still makes me sweat just a little to think about leaving them in the NICU alone.

It was really good for us to get away, to be with family, celebrating. The ceremony took place overlooking a vineyard, there was great food, dancing, laughter, and lots of love. The bride was gorgeous, the groom handsome. There was nary a dry eye in the place during the ceremony.

Scott and I spent a full day, breathing. Not focused on skin color, or numbers flashing on a monitor, or how many ML's someone ate. We were able to focus on the end game. We were able to recharge, relax and gear up for the home stretch.

Most importantly, we were there to share this with two very special people...
...and the boys were just fine.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pay it Forward, Part II

A while back, Swistle had a massive group Pay it Forward contest. I held a contest here on my blog and entered a bunch myself. Well I won! Lucky me won Emblita's
contest and on Friday this great package of "Icelandic Stuff" arrived on my door step.

Look at all the cool stuff. There's soap, and postcards, (which are beautiful, and make me want to go to Iceland some day) there are Tattoos for the boys, magnets, a really beautiful book on trolls, yummy Icelandic licorice, napkins depicting the classic wool sweaters of the country, (there are a lot of sheep in Iceland) and possibly the most valuable, or the item that will get the most use? The ponytail holder.

It was great fun to get this package in the mail. It was a difficult Friday, and so it's arrival brightened up my day.

So, now it is my turn to Pay it Forward.

Simple, leave me a comment. (Make sure I can contact you if you win)
Answer the question, "What is your favorite Children's book?"
I will randomly select a winner.

Contest ends Wednesday, 12PM Pacific. If you do not have a blog, or do not want to host a contest, enter anyway. Just Pay it Forward in your own way...Do something special for a neighbor, a friend, or for an unsuspecting stranger, Or I'll be happy to pick another winner for you to send a fun little package to. For those 5 regular readers that did not enter the last contest. Please enter this one. I'd love to send YOU something to brighten your day.

In the last 24 hours

I woke up one morning feeling crafty. Or rather, after our trip to the Children's Museum, with Grammie, I decided that I needed to make capes for the boys. They always enjoy playing with them and after looking at the $30 price tag, I decided I could dust off my crafty hat and make capes.

I started with a trip to the local fabric store. I purchased several remnants thinking that they
would be more than adequate. We'll with the boys not all that happy to be shopping for fabric, unless they were ripping the information label off the said remnants, I failed to check all the details on the labels, like width. So, almost a yard of fabric, that is only 22 inches wide, not exactly a cape makes.

I made a return trip on Saturday, sans boys, and purchased an armload of stuff, to be crafty with.

So, in the last 24 hours I've made:

Two black capes.

Two red capes complete with collars.

And you can just see under Ryan, two frog pillows, with zippered removable cases.

It was fun to dig out the old (VERY OLD) sewing machine and get some of the old creativity flowing again. And the boys have some fun things to show for it. Stay tuned because I have another project I'm going to start tonight.

Friday, August 1, 2008


So I'm a little behind on posting, but a few weeks ago we had a really fun play date with our friends Dylan and Tyler.

We played with books,
with sand,
with chalk,
with crayons,
with paintbrushes,
with trucks,
with each other!!!

Lindsay posted some cute pics of the boys having lunch together.

The boys had so much fun, and all played so well together, that Lindsay and I lost track of time (we actually had several uninterrupted conversations, can you believe it?) it was almost noon before we realized how late it was, and it was WELL after one before we left. Ryan and Evan slept until I roused them out of bed at FOUR!!!! AND, they didn't have any trouble falling asleep that night. I guess four hours of running around with your buddies can be exhausting!
Come to think of it, Lindsay, we need to do that more often.