Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rainy Day Fun

I've been neglectful. What can I say, it was Christmas time. I was busy.

My boys love jumping in puddles.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What to do, what to do...

Lately the boys have been talking about a boy in their class.

They never seem to have anything good to say about this little boy.

I gather he is a little bit of trouble.

He may have some issues.

B took the phone out of my hand and broke it.

B took the pink towel away from me.

B took the camera I was using and put it in the paint so I couldn't use it anymore.

B knocked over my bucket, and Ryan's too.

B does crazy stuff.

Now, B seems like a sweet kid. He is on the younger end of the class, so some of his behavior may be that. Even though the boys complain about his actions, they still say good morning to him with enthusiasm. Their statements are all matter of fact, they never seem upset by it, but it is long in the past by the time I hear about it.

I struggle with how to approach this situation. I've considered asking the teachers what is going on. I've suggested that if what B is doing upsets them, they should avoid playing with him, however it seems that B seeks out trouble, and again, they don't seem overly upset.

My concerns are that I don't want this behavior rubbing off, and I don't want things to escalate.

I don't think this kid is a bully, he just doesn't know how to play appropriately. He is highly verbal, maybe I should just have Evan talk to him!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A scar is just a scar

So, today we had our post-op VCUG and renal ultrasound. We were supposed to have it a month after the surgery, but Children's is so backed up that we had to wait three months for this appointment. (this is relevant, I promise)

Ryan and Evan have been coughing since, well, like September, so did not even think about the ramifications of a cough, and administering laughing gas to my boy. Okay, I did, but I thought that I could clear his lungs enough with a little Albuterol, like I did last time. No problem.

Well, not so much. When the nurse listened to him she could barely hear air moving he was so congested. Yeah, I felt like a total negligent mom when she asked me if we had seen a doctor for this cold. No, we haven't. If I ran to the doctor every time one of these boys had a cough, they'd have to give me a job. I generally treat at home. I have my own stethoscope for goodness sakes, I know what junk in the lungs sound like. I KNOW what blue lips look like. Any---Way....

No Nitrous for Ryan.

My options, reschedule. (and wait another 3 months) or let him go through with the procedure with no sedation. Here's bad mom number two moment. Aw heck, let's just go for it. He'll be fine.

And he was. Totally.

There were tears, and he was scared, but he was wonderfully brave, and he still managed to laugh, joke and make me laugh during it all.

And then we had spicy noodles with chicken for lunch. And sticky rice with mango. And lots of hugs and reading.

Oh, yeah, and his reflux is gone, his surgery worked, and aside from another ultrasound in a year, we are free. Free of meds, free of Urology clinic, free of annual VCUG's (with or without nitrous)


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The funny papers

Me: I'm noting that in my brain
Evan: you cant note it in your brain because you don't have any paper
Ryan: or a pen

Scott: (after looking at a particularly high credit card bill, and totally joking) That's it, no Christmas presents for anyone this year.
Evan: (running in from the other room, hands on hips) WHAT!!!! NO CHRISTMAS PRESENTS!!!!!

Ryan: (Holding up his arm between his chair and the wall) I'm impeding Grandma.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A collection of stuff

So, this is just a collection of miscellany.

We go to the zoo often, but some days it strikes me just how lucky we are.

Seriously, how lucky can we be to see these amazing creatures any time we want. SO. COOL.

And, we can learn all about things like rattlesnakes, from a safe distance.

Apparently, we've also been paying attention to all of the things we talk about at the zoo and at home.

When asked, they told me that they were in their chrysalises.

This is one of the many outfits Ryan has picked out for himself. I love his unique sense of style!

This kid was sleeping so hard and looked so peaceful, I couldn't resist, and the flas

Ryan created this catcher's mask out of paper and flexible train tracks. Clever!

Evan decided that this Knight's costume looked more like catcher's gear. He was kind of right.

Ryan was really proud of his Stanford Football field. Note the S in the middle, and Hoover Tower in the bottom left corner.

Evan practiced making an S for his football field...

...and then made this drawing of Ben Roethlisberger. (that's a 7 on his chest.)

Ryan has been full of it in the last few days.

This morning Evan walked into our room with his guitar, Ryan said "Are you going to play us a little tune?"

Evan was whining a little bit, okay, a lot, and Ryan said to him "Why are you always so dramatic in the mornings?"

In the car the boys were hysterically laughing over some inappropriate potty talk, barely able to get the words out of his mouth Ryan says "My belly hurts from laughing so hard!!!!!"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Future Foodies of America or It's Time to Rethink the Children's Menu

My Mother in Law has been in town (more on that later) and today we had to take her to the airport so she could continue her tour of grand kids in Sacramento. We decided that a trip to Balboa Park on the airport would be a great way to end our week of fun. Our goal was the Reuben H. Fleet Museum, but as we pulled up there were three school buses unloading what looked like thousands of school kids. Much to my boys disappointment, I opted for the "let's just walk around the park and play" approach. (Note to self. Never go to Balboa Park on free Tuesdays, ever.)

We played, walked around and then decided to stop for lunch. At the Prado. Carol and I decided to split some appetizers, and the boys chose Macaroni and Cheese off the kids menu. The boys happily got started on the mac and cheese when it arrived and were eating well. UNTIL...

Our appetizers arrived. Apparently, my kids like

panko crusted jumbo lump crabcakes (Evan)
diced jicama-lime slaw, avocado-serrano chili puree, chipotle aioli


crispy calamari fries (Ryan)
tossed in a sweet & spicy korean soy bean chili sauce, napa cabbage slaw

much better than Mac and Cheese.

Carol and I basically shared one crab cake and about ten calamari fries, some garnish and the complementary flat bread.

I love my little foodies.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I took this picture because it was so cute they snuggled in to read. But. Wow! The boys really look alike in this picture. Like Twins!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween 2010

This year, the boys participated in their first ever Halloween Costume Parade at school. I use the word parade as loosely as possible, it was more like a bunch of confused kids dressed in costume walking around the courtyard a few times. It was really super cute. Ryan and Evan had fun, but as you can see in this picture, not everyone was as happy.

On Halloween, we went to our friend's house for our annual dinner, cupcake decorating and trick or treating extravaganza! I love these kids almost as much as my own. I've known them almost all of their lives, and I've watched them go from fragile little things to amazing, a-ma-zing, boys.
When we get together it is always chaos and whirlwind of little boy energy, and it is ALWAYS a joy.

To say these kids were extremely excited for Halloween is an understatement. There was spinning and dancing at dinner, there was a noise level to rival a playoff game at the Staples Center, and there was a frenetic energy that had the whole house vibrating.

I was calm however, I was holding the baby. (sigh, watch out Linds, I may just take her home one day)

We took this same picture last year, with much less success. The difference between 3 and 4 is amazing.

We also had more success in the actual trick or treat process. No one ran into strangers homes, or up their stairs, although I do think there were a few feet inside doorsteps, but that was just the crush to get at the candy bowls, and who can blame them. Seriously cute four four year old trick or treaters full of excitement and joy, made my heart swell at almost every door. About half way around the block Evan was done.

I found out it was because he really wanted to go back and eat his cupcake. The cupcake decorating went better than last year too. I was holding the baby, so I have pictures of that. But this year no one dumped the entire container of sprinkles on one cupcake and the other all over the floor. There were some really cute creations, and they tasted good too!

So good it almost knocked Evan's glasses off!

Ryan was decidedly against frosting. He just shoved candy corn and candy pumpkins into the cupcakes. What'cha gonna do?

I put two very tired boys straight to bed, and nary a peep was heard from either all night. We (Scott and I) are still recovering as I'm sure our lovely hosts are too.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Patch 2010

I realize it's been a while since I posted pictures of the boys. They are getting so big and grown up. I need to do more pictures, more consistently, just more.

We took a class field trip to a local Pumpkin Patch, a couple of weeks ago, and the boys, and their classmates had a blast.

Not evidenced by Ryan's face here, but there was a fun hayride.

A cotton seed hill to slide down. (on a side note, I loved watching the multiple sets of twins sharing the saucers, lots of the kids tried to share, but it seemed that the twins were the most successful. It's all that womb sharing, it comes in handy.)

And then there was the pumpkin picking.

I swear they had to touch every. single. pumpkin. twice.

But ultimately we were happy with our choices, and we had a really fun morning with our class.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Genetics are funny

A few years ago my cousin asked me what it was like to finally have a BLOOD relative. To see my features reflected in someone else. I hadn't really thought of my children in that way. I think I was just too tired to think that deeply.

Lately, I've noticed little bits of genetics cropping up. Not the obvious stuff, like looks, but little things, odd things that make me laugh.

When I was a child, I loved vinegar. When we made Easter eggs or salad dressing, I would lick the measuring spoon. I know. Totally weird.

Ryan, loves vinegar. I made some pickled cucumbers, and he loves them, but what he loves the most, is drinking the pickling juice. That HAD to come from me.

Evan was changing his clothes and I happened to look at his shoulder, and he has a little bump on one shoulder. Just like me.

Evan's new favorite breakfast is fried egg sandwiches. When I was pregnant and right after the boys were born, I ate two fried egg sandwiches almost every day.

Ryan is turning into my difficult sleeper. He seems to have a tough time falling asleep, and when he wakes up in the middle of the night or some crazy time like five in the freaking morning, he cannot go back to sleep. I'm sorry for that one bud. You have no idea how sorry I am.

Oh, and believe me there are Scott genes in there too. Oh, boy!

Ryan LOVES ketchup, crushed red peppers and very spicy food. That totally, totally, totally comes from Scott.

Both boys have a passion for baseball hats. Their collection is rivaling Scott's.

Both boys, but especially Ryan, are very athletic. Naturally. That's Scott.

And then there's the stuff that comes from both of us, and the boys had no chance, poor things.

Competitiveness- WOW. This one is off the charts. Sorry guys. It is getting so intense that we are having lots of discussions about how to be a gracious looser, or not play at all. It's not just the normal stuff either. We compete over everything. Who gets in the car the fastest. (this one has led to tears on many occasions) Who sleeps the longest. Who gets dressed the fastest. Who eats the fastest. It's always important who wins. I'm trying to use this to my advantage, but working on the gracious looser aspect is making it a wash.

Love of sports- I'm not sure they could be any more sports crazy. CRA-ZY I tell you. I think I spend 80 percent of my day explaining the complexities of any given sport. Which reminds me I need a lacrosse expert soon. We were in the pro shop of our ice rink today, and Evan started pointing to all of the hats on the wall and naming the team and the city. If he didn't know it, (there was only one) Ryan did. I hope we aren't wasting valuable brain space on this kind of knowledge, but it IS pretty cool to have a kid who can name almost all of the NHL logos by sight, oh and don't even get me started on baseball or football.

I understand what my cousin was getting at. When you see yourself reflected back at you, it's unbelievable. It's funny, and odd, and sometimes just plain magical, and it always takes my breath away.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Epic Fail

So I just had one of those Mommy Dearest moments. I've never had one before. I feel like a real shit. I just want to cry I feel so, so, bad. ARGH.

I was in the Ryan's bedroom for no more than, 3 minutes. I was looking for some 4T pants for Evan and switching out which drawers they belong in. (I still can't find the jeans I was looking for and I have no idea where they are.) Again, super short time, boys were getting ready for bed, something they are perfectly capable of doing unsupervised.

I return to the living room to hear something about lotion not coming off, and find Ryan and Evan in the bathroom, COVERED, in Ryan's $18 a jar lotion. It was a full jar, it is now about half empty. Ryan had almost an inch thick of lotion on his legs and feet, his foot was in the sink as he was trying to wash it off. Yeah, this stuff does not just wash off, that's the point of it.

Evan's hands were, well, totally white, as he had done the majority of the application on Ryan's legs, and he had gobs of lotion on his hands and in between his fingers.

There was lotion on the tile, on the carpet, and on the couch. Have I mentioned that this stuff is super thick, oily, greasy, staining thick, stuff.

I LOST IT. I yelled. I admit it. I yelled. I made Evan cry because I yelled.

And then I cried, because, I made my baby cry, and I didn't know where to begin cleaning the mess up. I'm still shaking I'm so upset.

I gave them their snacks an put them straight to bed, partly so I could clean it all up, and partly for their own protection.

I can sit here an justify my actions, the end of a long and very difficult day that had multiple timeouts, and bodily injuries to each other. Lots of boy fights and just bad behavior. Scott gone all weekend so I had no respite, and will have none until Saturday, and knowing this is going to be a long week for him at work, which means a lot of long nights alone for me and the boys, after a weekend of no respite. But I know people have it much, much worse than me, husbands that are gone on tours, or consistently work late, or are just not in the picture. I know that one weekend is and shouldn't be a big deal and I REALLY shouldn't complain or use it as an excuse for MY bad behavior, but it's all I have.

I was a bad mom tonight. I yelled at my precious boys. I fell like a shit.

I was also a good mom, and I apologized for over reacting. I explained that what they did was not acceptable, but neither was my reaction, and I was going to go sit in timeout until I felt like being nice. (or stopped beating myself up about it, whichever comes first.)



On a lighter note, which I think we totally need to end are a few things that have been said around here that have made me laugh.

Evan: when I fart in bed, I cover it up with a blanket so I don't smell it.

Evan: Ryan do you love me
Evan: Yes, I love you but I don't like your behavior.

Evan: My last name is Babe Ruth Ostrem
Ryan: My last name is Joltin' Joe

Evan: I love you mama
Me: I love you too sweetie.
Evan: Thank you for loving me.
Me: (on the floor in a puddle)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Do NOT Blink.

Today, as I was preparing dinner I thought about how nice it is to have twins. They play so well with each other. I gazed out into the living room where the two boys were sharing a blanket and a book, and smiled. Oh, those early years, they were tough. EXHAUSTING. But now, just look at them, best friends, so sweet with each other. Almost brought a tear to my eye.

Then I turned around to put something into the pan, and the scene went from idyllic to every one in time out NOW! In less than a blink of an eye.


It's so nice to have twins.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stop the presses

We are on night three of wearing underware to bed. Nights one and two went perfectly, but please, think dry thoughts for me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks

My kids are sports nuts.

Seriously crazy about sports.

I know, I know, apples, trees.

They have been asking to go to a baseball game recently, since baseball is our new passion, from where this sprouted up, who knows, but at least 100 times a week I am asked if we can go play baseball. I am happy to oblige, but I am getting a little tired of getting hit with come-backers!

Sunday we went to the Padres game, for several days, it was all the boys could talk about. How many days until we go to the Padres game? Is tomorrow the day we go to the baseball game? I want to go to the baseball game today. Remember when we went to the baseball game last year? I was pretty relieved when Sunday rolled around.

I just loved this shot of Evan walking with Scott, his mitt under his arm, the cuteness kills me!

While the Padres were busy losing to the Giants, in a truly pathetic offensive performance, MY BOYS were tearing it up!

When the Padres designed their new ball park (PetCo Park) they created this wonderful family friendly environment, where you can picnic, play ball, play in the sand, or on the park play structure, not to mention roll down the big hill. It's only five dollars to get in, and if you have kids, who generally take three hour naps, and you are attempting to push them way beyond to go to a baseball game, it's nice that you can cut and run if things start to go south, and not feel like you've wasted a ton of money.

One of the highlights of the Park at the Park is this miniature baseball field, where all kids can "play" baseball. You stand in line to take an at bat, and run the bases, and you can play in the outfield as long as you want. Generally there were about 30 kids in the outfield, so really amusingly chaotic!

Unfortunately I only had my little point and shoot so these pictures do take some imagination to get the full effect, but oh, my goodness, these boys had fun.

This is Ryan up to bat, he took two at bats and made SOLID contact with the ball both times, hitting the ball well in to the field of play.

I'm always shocked a little by their athleticism, and their fierce determination. (not really)

If you look to the right of this picture in the middle you can see Ryan running the bases. I think he might have been thrown out at first, but it did not matter to him, or any of the other kids out there, they just kept tagging him out, and he just kept running.

On a side note, none of the kids complained that hey you are out, so get off the field. That's pretty cool, and great sportsmanship on the part of all of the older kids out there that actually know the rules! YEA KIDS!

And here Ryan is crossing home plate, with his brother ready to greet him!

Evan also had two at bats, and he did make contact both times, one was a foul ball, but he ran it out anyways. And the second at bat he hit a serious line drive that was not caught by any of the 20 kids attempting to play defense.

If you have good eyes you can just see the ball leaving the bat in the picture below.

And then nothing, except his new "real Padres" hat falling off his head, could stop him from running around the bases. (look closely and you can see the hat on the ground and Evan turning back towards it)

I SWEAR, I have no idea where he learned this, oh shoot, wait I do remember. My bad. As the play was at home plate, Evan crashed into the catcher full speed, attempting to score. You can barely see him as the catcher was about three years older, and maybe a foot taller than Evan. But there, was my kid barreling through the catcher to home plate.

And there is the catcher on the ground, and my kid still standing.

Ryan really seemed to enjoy playing in the field, amongst all of the kids, older, bigger, the better. He'd run after any ball that got hit ANYWHERE on the field, he and at least 20 of the 3o kids out there. SO FREAKING CUTE, all of the kids out there!

He also told us about his friend Matt Brown (name changed to protect the innocent) He said "Matt Brown and I played baseball, he's my friend" I guess, he and Matt shared a moment out there on the field? I love that he was out there making friends. Sigh.

(maybe one of those kids is the mysterious Matt Brown?)

Evan, all he wanted to do was play first base, and first base he played, sort of, well, he stood there, and he looked really cute.

What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Can't wait to do it again.

Oh, and while we did not have to cut and run, the boys were in bed by 5:30 and slept basically through until morning.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First Day of School 2010

It's so hard to believe that it has been a year since the first EVER first day of school. A year ago I was in a panic, afraid that my kids would be crying, and sad. They were fine, had a ton of fun and never looked back. They had a wonderful, successful year where they made lots of friends and learned so much.

We had a wonderful summer, but I think we were all ready to go back to school. After three weeks of Ryan's "inactivity" we were all going a bit stir crazy.

This morning I gave the boys their Schultuete which were filled with books, cars, and a little Lego car.

Ryan insisted on building it immediately (after breakfast). He has an amazing ability to put these things together. He worked on it alone for a few minutes and was doing a great job following the directions. This piece is for a 5-12 year old, so it was a bit difficult, however he mostly needed help making sure the pieces were all secure. Evan, after he finished eating also wanted to build his. His attention span is not as long, or as focused as Ryan's, but he managed to work long enough to get his car together. They were both pretty excited and proud of themselves.

We made it to school and attempted to get the obligatory "First Day of School Photo", however the boys were not exactly co-operative. I have five other pictures with one or more boy looking in one or more direction! This, was the very best of the lot, and well, there was a line growing behind us!

Ryan made pictures for his teachers this morning, and he was very excited to present Mrs. C with his art work. I love that he thought of this all on his own, and set to work with out prompting. Such a big boy.

Evan walked in and went straight to work. The boys are so happy and comfortable. This is the same class room they were in last year, and Mrs. C is one of their teachers from last year too. I can't wait to hear about all of their adventures this year.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

100 plus

A few days ago, I completed my 100th Bikram Yoga class.

When I took my first class in January, I never thought it would be something I would enjoy. I really dislike being hot, and I sweat easily, which can be uncomfortable. Throughout the last nine months I've learned a lot about my tolerance for discomfort, and a few other things.

One of my most difficult postures is savasana, or dead body pose. You lay flat on your back heels together toes fall apart, arms relaxed at your sides with palms up. Your eyes are open, and your mind is calm. You are supposed to stay perfectly still, in both mind and body. If you know me, there is no doubt why this pose is more difficult for me than, say, standing bow pulling pose.

Calming my mind, stilling my body...Ha! But balancing on one leg while the other leg is up over my head, I'm getting better at that! I have seen improvement in all of my practice, and depending on how many classes I make a week, it is considerable.

Working on my mind, is and I think will always be the most difficult part of my practice. It's hard to check everything at the door. The kids, the house, the to do list. And then there are the distractions in the room. The people who fidget, who talk, who do not follow proper etiquette before, during and after class, I fight my judgements. (which are also to be checked at the door!) I fight the disappointment when the teacher is not one of my "favorites". All these things are in my mind, and hindering my mind body connection. I know I cannot improve my practice without quieting my thoughts.

Bikram also stresses patience. (which is another area that I need lots of work in) While patience in class is great, patience in my life is even better. Bikram makes me a better parent. The more classes I take, the more patience I am able to bring to my everyday. The noise, oh the constant noise, around me doesn't seem to penetrate when I am actively practicing. It is almost like I have a little force field of calm, where from inside I can laugh at the din, instead of feeling it touch every raw nerve.

I love that not only am I working on my strength, and my flexibility, but I am also working on my character while practicing Bikram yoga. Bikram says it is a full body work out every time you take a class. For me it really is a full body workout, head to toes, bones to skin, inside out.

I just hope that sometime in the next 100 classes I find a way to calm my mind, if even for 20 seconds at a time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

and Exhale....

All went well on Friday. Ryan was in and out of surgery in less than two hours. They found all that they expected, scar tissue consistent with grade IV reflux. They re-implanted the ureter and did not expect anything but total success.

My boy was such a trooper. Here he is in the waiting room.

I missed the best shot of the day because I couldn't get my camera out fast enough. When it was time, the nurse took him by his hand and walked him down the hallway. Ryan looked back, smiled, and was off. I will never forget that image, I just wish I had it to share.

Here he is being rolled from recovery to his room. He was so sweet, just after I took this he reached out to hold my hand. Not easy to walk along side a bed moving quickly down narrow hallways!

In his bed, being silly. He was such a brave boy. Only shed a few tears, once when he moved from the gurney to his bed, he said it was because he couldn't see me anymore, or my theory is he hurt himself a little bit during the move.

He was in a considerable amount of pain the first few times he tried to get up, and when he tried the first time to pee, but otherwise, he was content to have us read. So, from about 3PM on Friday until he was released at 11 AM we read, and read, and read.

By Sunday it was difficult to keep Ryan from popping out all of his stitches, and today, I feel like it's going to be a long, long three weeks.