Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shut Up

Max and Madeleine have moved up. They are no longer members of the 'Tweenie' class but are now toddlers. Egad, where has the time gone!? As of Tuesday they are going to school from 9 am - 10:30 am on Tuesday and Thursday. They are in a class of 18-36 month olds but my littles are by far the youngest there at 20 months. They other students look GIANT and have more words than I could possibly count. Instead of doing vague signs for all done they say, "I'm done playing with the glitter now". Holy. Toddler. Words. Batman.

Okay, so the teachers assure me that my babies are ready for this new class. Perhaps I'm not. sniff. I have noticed that they have been a bit clingy this week. No big surprise as they are in a new class (same teachers, same classroom, different classmates), I'm now tutoring every afternoon, and they are growing into independent toddlers. When they are in the class they seem to enjoy it. They do the typical exploring and chattering about what they are seeing, playing with, mouthing, etc. I have noticed, however, that Madeleine is taking a bit of time to warm up to new situations. She has become somewhat of a shy girl.

This morning I was chatting with one of the teachers and Madeleine was literally hiding in my leg. She has standing facing me (or my leg, that is) and her face was buried in my jean. The OT, that she knows well bent down to talk to her, presumably to make her more comfortable about coming into the new class and playing. I heard Madeleine utter something but I didn't catch the specifics. Christy stood up and said, "oh my, I'll give her some time to warm up." Then the OT and teacher told me that Madeleine had actually said, "shut up" to Christy. "Shut up", shut up. Um, I don't think so. Excuse me, but my child doesn't EVER hear those words! Nobody talks to her that way, Michael and I don't say that to each other. WTH?

It must have been a mistake, I apologized. I don't think the teachers believed me when I said that it was impossible for Madeleine to have said that. Oh my. I just got a glimpse of what is ahead. You think you can control your child's environment but really you only can to an extent.

For the record, she did NOT say 'shut up'.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Trip to the Aquarium

On Monday, Michael had the day off (as it was President's Day) so we joined hundreds of other Seattle families and wen to the Aquarium. Boy oh boy, do my kids love fish! Max particularly had a great time talking about the fish. It was a little crazy there but exciting nonetheless.

Here is a shot of the fishy with teeth. The kids couldn't stop talking about the teeth on this fish!

Here's a shot of the twins in the JellyFish circle.


Okay, this video cracks me up. It cracks up Madeleine too! Max was so excited about seeing the fishies and the "sharky" (we don't know where he came up with that one!) that he didn't have total control over his body. No fish were harmed in the filming of this- just Max's pride. video

February 21st

It is important to me to write about February 21st 2006. It is the day when Michael and my life changed forever. Of course there are a lot of those "life changing forever" days but this one is important.

It was a Tuesday. I was having my bookclub over that evening. I was 18 weeks pregnant and due for our Level II ultrasound that afternoon. I planned my bookclub evening because I was going to find out the genders of the babies that day and I could do the unveiling at my bookclub. It was a day of celebration. Earlier the previous week I took a poll in my classroom about what they thought the babies would be. boy/boy, girl/girl or boy/girl. That seemed like the most important thing at the time. It would make my pregnancy more real. It would tell us more about what our future would be like.

Michael and I went to the clinic. We waited in excitement. The tech asked us if we wanted to know the genders before she announced that Baby A was a boy! Max. Soon after we found out that Baby B was a girl. It never occurred to me that there was more information to learn that day. I didn't think that their would be something wrong.

Michael and I had discussed the possibilities. We wanted to know if our baby had Trisomy, Down Syndrome, cleft lip/palate or anything else. It is strange, you wonder if your child will have Down Syndrome but you never wonder if your child will be missing a bone. We had no idea.

After waiting too long for the radiologist we began to wonder. The doctor came in to the examining room and bluntly explained that baby B seemed to be missing a bone in her lower leg. She said that it would have "a major impact on the baby's life." We had no idea. We didn't know what that would mean for Baby B, for Max, for us.

In tears we were shuffled to another office on a different floor to meet with the genetic counselor. It was not genetic but they recommended an amnio to be given the next day.

It wasn't until that Friday that we would learn the word and the implications of Fibular Hemimelia. Those four days were agonizing. Tears flowed freely. I couldn't move, couldn't think, couldn't remember. I was paralyzed by this. That is when you realize what it means to be another. I couldn't bear the thought of losing a baby I had never met. I couldn't deal with the idea that anything would be less than perfect.

Madeleine is quite perfect. I'm so glad that we got this information before she was born. I'm so glad that I was ready to accept her as she was.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Three-Legged Dog

As my friends know I'm not a big fan of kids watching TV. As a teacher I have seen so many kids be absolutely addicted to television and it kind of makes me sick. I could go on and on about how I think it contributes to ADHD and such but that is another post.

With that said, I don't really promote TV in the house for the kids, but with the 'everything in moderation' thing we got going on it isn't banned either. My kids seem interested in a television show for about 2-5 minutes and then they are off and playing, which I am thankful for.

Okay, so yesterday one of the kids picked up the remote and pushed a few button.s We were watching the Today show (which we watch every morning) and the TV suddenly jumped to a cartoon. It was Clifford, you know, the big red dog. Madeleine got really excited to watch the doggies on TV so we left it there for a minute and to my fascination they had a three-legged dog on there. I mean, a cartoon of a dog missing a leg!?! Hmmm, not sure how to react to this kind of thing.

As a watched the cartoon I thought that perhaps they were portraying the dog as a guest and that all the other little dogs would learn to see past his differences but nope. We was just a character on the show. The actual episode had a Valentine Theme and the three-legged dog was helping the poodle find something to give to her owner-friend.

What do you think?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Too fast- with pictures

Madeleine as a new born. Her little onsie didn't even fit her.
Holding her head in my hand
Maxy giving the peace sign- letting Momma know that it would all be okay.
Max in his "too big" onsie. This onsie is from the gap and is their 0-3 size.

Too fast

I'm feeling sentimental. I started going through the M's clothing to give away to friends and charity. They have/had so many clothes because we have so many generous people in our lives. As I was separating the clothes into three piles (1. give to charity because it is ugly or stained, 2. give to friends who are expecting, 3. save because I will always want the reminder of how small my babies once were) I was struck by waves of very powerful emotions. Okay, I know that sounds strong and maybe a little cheesy but seriously that is how it was.

My tiny twins were so so small. They were fragile and weak. They were floppy and soft. They actually grew inside of me and then came out (imagine that!). When they arrived at 34 weeks they were basically still fetuses and there were not many clothes that would fit them. Thanks to my friend, Joy, who gave us two adorable "Under the Nile" sleepers and to Nordstrom for carrying the brand "Little Me" in preemie sizes. If it weren't for those sleepers my kids would have been in doll clothes.

So, the other day as I separated grown out garments I remembered how little they actually were. I thought about how they have grown in so many ways, physically(of course), emotionally (kind of), and socially (extremely). I am so completely blessed.

As I was nursing the two of them last night (yes, we still do that.) I was shaken by the length of their bodies. They are no longer babies (sniff) they are small people (sigh). And, they will continue to grow. There is a picture of me holding Madeleine's head during her first bath and it (as in her head) literally fit in my hand. I will never have that back.

A word to my friends who have small babies or who are expecting (as in pregnant) or who are future expecting (as in not pregnant yet but someday will have a tiny baby in their arms): enjoy enjoy enjoy! Take pictures. Make feet and hand prints. Shoot video. hold your baby. hold your baby. hold your baby. When you wake up in the middle of the night and you are ragged with exhaustion remember that this is fleeting and you won't always be able to hold your tiny baby as he/she sleeps.

Now, why was I complaining about sleep?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Everything in Moderation

Two posts in one day?!? While the kids sleep- ssshhhh....

Turns out that my kids have heard the rule "everything in moderation" except when it comes to something 'toddler-ish' like wanting everything your friend, Tegan has, or refusing to stop flinging applesauce or yogurt around with your spoon. But I digress...

It was a desperate Sunday when Michael and I learned that the kids (especially Max) enjoy mints. We were at Best Buy scouting out IPods (since mine is broken- grrr) versus the microsoft knock-off MP3 player when there was a comcast table set up with a bunch of swag (or is it shwag?) including squishy comcast turtles for when you are stressed and need to squeeze something and small water bottles. But clearly the most desired of product: a little box of mints that read 'comcast' on them. I picked one up thinking that the kids would like to shake them and hold them while we shopped. Oh no, they insisted for the box to be opened as if they knew they contained something like candy. I regretfully opened the package and doled out the mints. Much to my surprise they loved them and repeatedly did the more sign with their hands while murmuring "moh moh moh moh" at the same time. Now Michael and I actually buy mints for them for in the car when they will not bend to fit into their car seats and we have to do a little bribing, um, I mean positive reinforcing. Now we need to teach them that mints are like vitamins, you get only one at a time.

Diet Coke. My kids like Diet Coke and ask for it by name. blush. I was a different person before having the twins. I was the self-righteous woman who had ideas of how kids should sleep, eat, be potty trained, be educated and so on and so on. Now I do anything, almost, to minimize chaos. If that means giving my kids a sip of my diet coke so be it. I never ever (!) thought I'd give my children soda. I don't even really like it, I only have it once in a while. But geez, they enjoy it so much and they whine for it so much.

Everything in moderation, right?

Sweetney

It was only a matter of time until I had to mention one of my most favoritest blogs. If you haven't already you need to check out Sweetney.com. Seriously, it is the funniest and most clever thing you will read all day. If I want a good 'laugh out loud' read I go to Tracey Gaughran-Perez's blog. There, I find humorous tales about Truman, the pug, and her lovely five year old daughter. Tracey makes me laugh like few do (okay, my husband makes me laugh like this too. That is why I married him.)

A little background:
I went to high school with Tracey. Yep, she was two years older than me (graduated in 1988) and was actually in my sister's grade. She was friends with Wendy (Wendy is my sister) but I like to think that we were friends too as I attended a few concerts with my BFF, Martha, Tracey and Marie (my BFF's sister) and I had been to her house, you know, the important stuff. Anyhoose, a few years after high school I totally lost track of Tracey as I did with most of my 'friends'. I heard from her a few years ago and then got in touch with her hilarious blog.

This is what I found on there today that made me crack up...


Oh just try to keep me away from political jokes!

And this...

Thank you, Tracey, for making me laugh.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Woah!

Who knew so many would respond! I have to address these here.

You mean, I'm not theonly one who vacations in Ohio!? LOL. My husband took me to Ohio for our anniversary in August - fun to tell people you celebrated your anniversary in romannnnnnntic... CLEVELAND!

Woah, that is romantic, I myself, have never been to Cleveland- I'm a Columbus girl.

Okay - I'm a sucker for these things.4 jobs: attorney, paralegal, grocery store cashier, KFC employee4 places lived: Seattle, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Columbus, OH (YES - I visit OH for vacations too!)4 vacations: Vietnam, Argentina, Hawaii, Europe4 favorite foods: brownies, pizza, sushi, pasta (all varieties)4 places I'd rather be: home (instead of at work), Hawaii, Denver (visiting my sisters), Columbus, OH (visiting my dad and friends)

Haha Anna! You worked at KFC? I bet it was in Ohio! What did you
do there? You know, my BFF and I call that Kentucky Fried Kids, oh wait, no
that was the KinderCare next door to the KFC. But Martha knows all about
KFC, she lives next door to a BRAND NEW ONE. Applications anyone?

4 jobs: leadership development trainer, home study consultant, florist, grocery store bagger4 places lived: Texas, Florida, Iowa and Texas again4 vacations: Hawaii, Europe, Mexico, Colorado4 favorite foods: red wine, chocolate, turkey dinner, frog-eyed salad4 places I'd rather be: at Lake Austin Spa relaxing, Sitting by a fireplace in the mountains reading, Snuggling with Sabrina and JT, at our new house! ;)

What the hell is a Frog-Eyed Salad? :)

Thanks Friends, keep 'em comin!


4 things- you have all seen this, right?

Okay, so I'm trying to catch up on my updates. This was emailed to me. I have received it as an email before so I will 'blog' about it, if you will.

The questions (and my answers):

1. Four jobs I have had in my life?
Teacher
Research Assistant
Nanny
Sales associate

2. Four places I have lived
Seattle, Washington
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Montara, California (coast of San Francisco)
Poitiers France

3. Four places I have been on vacation
Mexico
Holland
Belgium
And... (drum roll please...) Ohio!

4. Four of my favorite foods
Avocado
Cheese
Cookies
Tomatoes (when they are super sweet and grown in my mom's garden)

5. Four places I would rather be right now
on the treadmill
somewhere sunny and warm, I hear New Zealand is nice this time of year
San Diego (with Marthie)
Holland (with Esther)

6. Four friends or relatives I think will respond first
Michael (hint hint)
Marth
Brooke
Anna


Your turn....

Goodnight Moon



Since their almost infancy this book has been a favorite of Max and Madeleine. We have two copies. Due to my post partum haze I cannot for the life of me remember who gave them to us but thank goodness they did. It is a book that never seems to get 'old'. Certainly the twins have other favorites: Max's current fav is Hop on Pop by Dr. Suess. Madeleine is partial to the Good Dog Carl books by Alexandra Day. We love books that label things, Richard Scarry being another preferred. However, no matter what the current number one is we always go back to Goodnight Moon.

The Ms almost have GNM memorized. I do have it memorized. We are now getting to the point that they can finish the lines. "In the great green room there was a telephone and a red ______ (balloon) and a picture of a cow jumping over the ______ (moon)". The cutest thing is that when we get to the "old lady whispering hush" both kids know to whisper "hush".

Today Max surprised me, as Madeleine is better at this game than him. I read, "A comb and a brush and a bowl full of _____" it is suppose to be 'mush' but Max said, "juice". Ha Ha! which makes waaaayyy more sense to a 19 month old in the 21st century than mush.

The kids are trying to nap now. I just went in and check on them and Max is literally hugging his copy of GNM. I love that my kids love books. I love that they see the value in them and that they are growing up knowing classic text (even if it is Dr. Suess).