Sunday, January 15, 2012

Friday, November 11, 2011

22 things I've done

So, I have dipped my toe in,  here and there,  in the blogging world that is and recently stumbled across a challenge to write 22 things I've done. It was fun to think about. It's so easy to slip in to the "I'm a mom" mode, but truth is, I am more than that. I hope I will continue to live a life that inspires my boys to explore, take risks, and fully embrace life. I also hope I can rekindle that part of me that has quieted over the last several years.
No particular order, just random recollections.

1. Experienced  and survived a category 5 Hurricane in a small bathroom with my parents, sister and a crazy cat. Andrew was a life changing event on so many levels. Camped out in our house for 3 weeks without power and then our family splintered. Debbie moved in with David's family, I moved in with my friend Petra's family and mom and dad left Miami for good. Life's never been the same.

2. Rode an elevator with Kevin Costner in a south beach hotel I was living in for a short time. Missed an opportunity of a lifetime when he asked about where I was going and what CD's I was bringing to our party. Elevator stopped, I giggled and got out before I could say "Hey, wanna come to our party?"

3. Got a Masters degree from FSU. Really? Me? Yep!

4. Been skinny dipping more times than I care to admit too.

5. Gave birth to 2 healthy, full term twin boys at 37 1/2 weeks! That was an accomplishment and a blessing.

6. Spent a small fortune trying to have said babies. Best money ever spent! What a bargain actually.

7. Met my husband at Floore Country Store while I was on long extended vacation with suitcases still in back of a car. At the time I was jobless and homeless too. No job? No home? No worries, just travel  and if lucky, meet husband. Best things have happened to me when I was jobless and homeless!

8. Traveled to Bora Bora on our honeymoon and stayed in over the water bungalows. Dream come true.

9. Been up close and personal with LAVA! Hiked the Kilueau volcano on the Big island, more than once. sizzle, pop, sssss, steam. Awesome!

10. Flew over same volcano at night in a piper. GORGEOUS!

11. Speaking of flying, flew in a small Cessna plane over the New River gorge in West Virgina with a nearly deaf 79 year old man who liked to keep old coffins in his hanger, for $15 bucks. Cheap thrill. I actually think it was less than $15 bucks, but you wouldn't believe me. Reminded me of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

12. Back packed in Europe. So many amazing things happened on that trip. 2 highlights: paragliding in the Swiss alps and spending an evening in the Hauf Brau house in Munchen with the 42nd infantry division  veteran survivors who helped liberate the Dachau Nazi concentration camp in 1945. It was the 50th anniversary. After a SOMBER and emotionally draining day at the camp, I can't think of another moment in my life where I felt so proud and happy to be an American. It was probably the only time I have really enjoyed drinking beer too.

13. Went ice climbing in Alaska. Invited in to the home of "Daniel Boone" to drink coffee, get out of the cold and sleep when my friend Krista and I broke down in the middle of nowhere Alaska and had to wait 6-8 hours for a tow truck to arrive. Good people are everywhere and I seem to find them.

14. Swam with dolphins in a natural and educational setting. Volunteered with the Hawaii Marine Life fund for a year to give information about marine life in Hawaii. Kayaked across Kealakekua Bay as the dolphins swam around us.

15. Ate a raw opii right out of the water, bleh! Don't recommend it.

16. Lived in San Antonio, Florida population 426 as a child and currently live in San Antonio, Texas population 1.33 million. Cool eh?

17. Played trumpet in the marching band. Very proud that our high school band got to march in the Orange Bowl parade!

18. Camped out for U2 tickets!

19. Cut my nieces umbilical cord when she was born! I was the first person aside from the doctor to see and touch her.

20. Driven across country 4 1/2 times as an adult. It's my dream to visit every National Park. Just love driving. We live in a beautiful country. Sometimes driving makes the world  seem smaller even though it takes so much longer to get from one place to another compared to flying.

21. Paddled with an outrigger canoe team in Hawaii and California. Survived paddling I should say and consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to experience such an amazing sport since I am not a natural athlete.

22. Won a middle school talent show doing the robot. Yep, you read that right, the robot. Go figure.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Twin poops

Poop. It's what's on the agenda. It's my life. Day in, day out. I've got too much with one, and not enough with the other. We've got a hider and a crouch er and one who paces, runs wild and moans until the job is done. From morning til bedtime, I appear to have poop on the brain. Did you poop? Who pooped? Some one's missing, must be pooping. Someones CRANKY and needs to poop. Someone is sooo happy, they must have pooped. Someone has had WAY too much juice today, ewwww poop! Honey, you really need to eat this. It will help you poop. OK, you can have a Baba but only because I snuck some poop medicine in it. NOOOO touchy touchy until  I wipey wipey ( OMG, I seriously need help). Oh no, diaper stays ON! You pooped AGAIN? Now when was the last time YOU pooped? Did you poop yesterday? Are you done pooping? YEAY! You pooped. Oh, baby I am so sorry this pooping thing is so hard for you. Yes, everybody poops. Where is daddy? He's going poop.
I started this a few weeks ago and didn't finish. Classy post don't you think? I am going to post it tonight to get it out of my draft box. In the last few weeks we have had more dialogue and less mommy monologue about poop. Yipee!  " I goING PooooP Mommy! I MAKE poop mommy. I go sit on poTTy chair? Henwi, you go poop too? Change diaper. Diaper saggy." Yep, that's my stimulating life! I am thankful today I have twins and not triplets.
Talk is cheap.  Potty training? Can I hire out?

ok, now a little sleep so I can wake up super early and work on my "a week in My Life" challenge. More to come!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Drama. Rhymes with Llama. Llama is a fun word to say. Go on. Say it. Llama. Now say Llama Llama
DUCK! I'm waiting....
Tag, you're it!

You are probably scratching your head, scrunching your eyebrows and starring at these words in this post thinking, what the heck is she talking about. Don't worry. You will figure it out, eventually. I think?

We like llamas around here. We especially like the book "Is Your Momma a Llama?" I could tell you all the merits of the book from my professional opinion, or I can just tell you, we like it. It was one of the first books when the twins were around 12-13 months where they started interacting and learning to be dramatic when reading. The book starts out like this "Is your momma a llama I asked my friend Dave?" And the response is "no, she is not is the answer Dave gave." Well, the boys started to anticipate, get excited and imitate us when we would read it to them even at that young age. If we'd insert a long enough pause, they would purse up their little lips, shake their heads and say "no, No, noooooo." It made Chuck and I giggle. It made us beam with pride. It became a game we'd play in the car too. As we were driving, Chuck would look back in the rear view mirror at each of the boys and then say "Henry, is your MAMA a llama?" Henry, on cue would then light up, shake his head and say "no, NO, noooooo." It became one of our first little dog and pony shows, you know the kind of parental show off routines we all like to par take in.  The boys learned they can get A Lot of attention by being dramatic and expressive.
I especially like reading "Llama Llama, Red Pajama" to Henry because baby llama doesn't like to sleep ( hmmm, like Henry)and his momma tells him stop all the llama drama (hmmm, like Henry), don't have a tizzy, sometimes momma is very busy.  He just laughs at me. Stinker.

There are a number of children's  Llama books, and true, we've read most of them. They are all great books. Before you begin thinking to yourself, OK big deal. We get it. You like the Llama books. We know, we know. Your kids are drammatic and cute.  I'll let you in to a little secret. I am not really writing about the llama books today. Llama is a CODE word. It's a secret club I belong too. So, I started reading these books not so much on their literary merits, but because I was compelled to read them. I had no choice. I was drawn to them.
I happen to know a number of women who burst out laughing or crying  when you say Llama or  send them a random picture of llama or even a video. Take your child to see a llama? YOU had BETTER send a picture!
It's not that llamas are cute or appealing. They're not. Somewhere, somehow, a llama became a mascot so to speak for a group of women, blessed with an odd sense of humor and burdened with infertility.

The llama arose like a phoenix from the depths of collective despair and served a multitude of higher purposes. Having a bad day? Failed cycle? Another BFN? ( Big fat negative) Hormonally out of whack? Out of money? Adoption failure? Bedrest? Preecclamsia? NICU?  You name it! ( Talk about drama. ) The llama had a purpose. Distract. Amuse. Annoy. Repeat. It was a token of affection, an olive branch, a virtual hug.
While there is no doubt I love my little baby llamas and all their dramas,  this,  is a SHOUT OUT to my Vet girls who shared the power of the LLAMA when I needed it most. I am so blessed to have found you all.

Click on the video below for an absolutely mind blowing, annoying and strangely addicting song. Consider yourself  warned though.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Twin time

You know, yesterday the boys were 23 months old. How can that be? It sounds cliche, but it seems like it was just yesterday....Where is the pause button? It's going too fast! I want to sit here and look, listen and hold them. Aside from our little Henry who refuses to sleep at night, this time is magical. They learn so quickly. They have such capacity for love, humor and wonderment. My cup just runneth over. There is absolutely nothing better I can think of then hearing one of them say, "I yuh you mommy"as they grasp their sweet arms around my neck and shoulders.
I am going to embrace every single day of this final month, before they mark their 2nd birthday. It seems at 2, most people start speaking of their childrens ages in generalities. Children are now 2 years or maybe 2 1/2. But, we stop marking time in months once a child reaches 2, as a general rule.
In the beginning I marked time in days, 3 day or 5 day embryos. Then there was the 7 day blood draw for what purpose other than to torture myself, I never figured out. There was that longest 2 week period of my life, hit repeat dozens of times, as I waited for confirmation of life. During that 2 week time frame there was the ever constant inner debate about how many days until I can pee on that stick of course.  Eventually,  we kept time in weeks. 6 weeks, heart beat. 12 weeks we can disclose. 15 weeks, sex. 24 weeks viability. 30 weeks, increased positive outcomes. Come on 36 weeks for twin term. Bam! We made it to 37 1/2 weeks. I am proud of that accomplishment. Weeks, even days were very important. I could tell you how we obsessed about every  week's appointment and held our breath each time we had our sonos or stress tests or labs. But, that doesn't matter any more. We made it!

So here I am thinking, 31 days until we hit the next big phase. I know they will always be my babies. 2 is still a toddler, but they are emerging as little independents!

This may sound crazy, but I have no desire to rush potty training. It's not that I like changing poopy diapers or spending so much money on things that are filling up dumpsites. I actually love that frequent connection throughout our day when we change diapers. Think about it. When you change your childs diaper, you are making eye contact and talking. You are imitating facial expressions. It's a silly time. When it's over, it's usually a time we get a quick kiss or hug. I love it! I realise I am a bit odd.
Here are some other things I love at this moment. I love that I can just look at one of them and make them smile. I love that I can convince them that just about anything is exciting with my words or actions. HEY, let's go get a  pitcher of water so we can fill up the birdbath. "YEAY. buhbaf...come on buds. time fo baf." I love that they can hear a door open at different times of the day and they know it's their daddy walking in the door. They will stop what they are doing, look at me, say "I hear that?" SMILE and call out "daaaaaddy!" I love that they think ringing the door bell ( " I do ding dong") or playing on our bed ( "I play bed mommy") is the happening thing to do.

I love how they discover how to have fun on their own and then share it with me. "Look! I pay guitar." as they pull out my non stick frying pans and hold them like rock stars. They have learned how to turn over their bus climber or cozy coupe cars, put a sheet over them and make a great hiding tent. "I hiding. 1, 2, 3."  I love how August will give Tigger kisses, hugs and airplane rides. Henry will put a small Woody doll on a riding Zebra and say "yee haw towboy!" If I wasn't in the middle of making dinner right now, I might bore you with annecdote after annecdote of utter cuteness. Currently they are sitting in their little blue chairs watching Lightning Mcqueen. I wanted to take a picture, but August waved his little hand at me and told me "no, no mommy. Move." Apparently, I got in his way. Sigh. SO independent.
I will end it here for now, since I don't have much time before my rice burns and I ruin dinner.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Naked truth

I was born in to a modest family. I don't remember much nudity growing up. As a matter of fact, I recall that it was very important to my mother that I keep my body covered, especially when it came to picking out bathing attire. Bikinis were an absolute NO. Tankinis? That would be a NO as well. Maybe it had something to do with an exposed belly button? I don't know. My best friend will attest to the fact that I did not particularly like my mothers conservative view on swim wear. She will also tell you how I would leave my house in a dull one piece only to do the quick change in to one of her bikinis/ tankinis or one of mine that I conveniently stored at her house, once I was out of parental range. She will also glare at me as she recalls how one time I forgot to leave one of those bikinis behind at her house and when it ended up in our laundry I BLAMED the incident on her. It was HER bikini after all. Katy reminded me this evening that we had to sensor pictures and remove any incriminating ones with me wearing said bathing suits so mom wouldn't find out. My mother thought for a few years that Katy, who is  by far, probably the most honest, considerate, conservative and modest person I know, was a BAD influence on me. Mom knows the truth now and Katy has forgiven me. I think?

Living in Hawaii helped to decrease my modest tendencies. It's not uncommon to walk around Costco or  KTA ( grocery store) in a bathing suit, maybe a pareo wrapped around your waist, sporting a pair of cheap, but oh so stylish "locals" ( flip flops ).  I learned the art of dressing/undressing in a variety of public settings when I was paddling ( outrigger canoe ). It was not uncommon for me to leave work for practice, arrive in my casual work clothes, change into my running or work out clothes only to remove those and put on my bathing suit and paddling shorts for practice and then put on something dry once practice was over, often in the front seat of my car, at the back of my car or if I was lucky, maybe in a small public bathroom I could duck in to if there were a number of people around. Truth of the matter is, no one really cared. There could be 8 cars, trucks lined up on the street before practice and we were all doing the same thing.

It was also during my time in Hawaii that the girls I was working with formed a group called the "Pinky Club." We were adventurous. We were brave. We liked the moonlight. Seriously, if you lived in a place like the Big Island where there was an active volcano in short driving distance, an isolated natural oasis  right along the ocean called the hot ponds, heated by Pele herself that offered the most incredible view of a moon rise over the surf between swaying palm trees, wouldn't YOU sneak in after dark on full moon nights, drink champagne and strawberries and skinny dip? Forget modesty!

By the time I moved to Texas, I was a bit older and my modest habits started returning. I sported a bikini for a year or two, but then as often happens when we get happy and comfortable and our metabolism starts down shifting, I started wearing those dang one pieces again. I entered in to a more traditional day to day life with nary an opportunity for public dressing or undressing.

Then a funny thing happened. We started trying to have a family.  It was a long bumpy road of planned this and planned that, unexpected this and that, hormones, shots, ice packs, heating pads, procedures, surgeries, appointments, ultra sounds, sonograms, upsets, and disappointments. I think I was in a constant state of undress in varying awkward positions in the presence of some doctor, nurse, technician, medical assistant, student and maybe a even a custodian or electrician for 5 years. Of course my husband was usually there too. Now before you think I am going to bum you out, have no fear. We got the most amazing end results. But along that journey, I discovered, it really is impossible to be modest when you are desperately trying to have a baby.   I didn't care WHO saw what or where as long as it meant they were going to  help me have a baby. Period. If I saw someone who looked even remotely competent in an elevator, I was prepared to bare it if they could get me a baby.

Whether it was perseverance, a miracle, gobs of money, finding the best people or a combination of all,  we have August and Henry. It really is a testament to my lack of modesty that they are here I suppose.

As you may have read in my earlier post, I bring the boys in to the bathroom while I shower. I may have mentioned in another post that August has a particular enthusiasm for being naked and will run around the house patting his tushie gleefully exclaiming, " I naked. I naked Mommy." He also has discovered he has a penis and lets me know each time we change diapers that he has a penis. "Penis. I have penis mommy." Yes, Auggie I know you have a penis. Boys have penis'. I try to end that conversation quickly. I am not really prepared to go on. My life flashes before my eyes as I think, oh Crap! I am a parent. I am responsible for guiding, protecting, educating this much time do I have before I have to answer those tough questions?
Apparently not long.
This morning as I was getting ready to jump in the shower, August looked up at me and said "penis mommy." Yes, August,  I know. You have a penis.  " No. Mommy? Penis?" I know. Yes. Penis. "MOMMY. Penis?" And he motioned to  my towel as if to say "  Where the heck is your penis? August, mommy doesn't have a penis. Little boys and daddy's do. I am getting in the shower now. I have some thinking to do. Mommy is thinking...crap  They are growing up way too fast! And I am truthfully  feeling really naked.

 Oh yeah, and where did I put my "Mom" bathing suit with the swim skirt?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


My poor boys. At only 22 months, they have been therapized. You'll have to excuse them. Their mommy is a speech pathologist. Of course I beam with pride when I hear them speak. I have diligently been counting their words, adding up their morphemes, observing their social development and analyzing their speech sounds since day one. They have an amazing vocabulary and are speaking in sentences. However, I have a sinking feeling that all this talking they are doing may not be exactly what I had in mind...
It is really cute that they sing the ABC's, twinkle twinkle, jingle bells and an assortment of other tunes. Of course I have taught them the correlating signs for these songs so my babies look Italian as they sing and move their clumsy little arms and hands while we sing. They know the names of just about every vehicle ever invented, a wide assortment of zoo and farm animal, foods, instruments, colors, letters, numbers, shapes, tools, you name it. They learn language quickly and easily. That's not the problem.
You see, I thought I could reduce those toddler tantrums and melt down behaviors if I could improve their language use. I cleverly thought, why not teach them to say "no thankyou" when they don't want their yogurt or juice cup or whatever it is they decide at the moment they don't want. I have tried to instill the ole, food and juice stay on the tray and we say "no thank you mommy." Here is what I get instead: " NOOOOOO thankyou mommy" as thing one or thing two tosses the sippy cup across the room. Or I get,  "no thank you. no thank you. no thank you. Uh OHHHHH! What hApPENed?" as one of them throws the macaroni on the floor and then as I reach down to pick it up they drop some more right on top of my head and sweetly say " I sowi mommy. I sowi." They have the language. Not sure about the appropriate use.

I also thought,  OK, instead of them whining, screaming and getting so frustrated as independent minded toddlers so often do, I will teach them to say " I need  some help." You can still whine, scream, cry and be frustrated while clearly saying  over and over again, "I need help. I neeeeeeed help. I NEED help. I need some HEEEELP ahhhhhhhh.!"

They are obviously boys, but have also inherited some amazing bodily function skills from their daddy. August is quite the burper and they both are blessed with melodic gas. It didn't amuse me much when daddy did it pre babies, but now I am out numbered. I figured I might as well start teaching them some manners in this area. SO, August burps and I give him the look. He looks back at me sheepishly and says "scuz me mommy. I buuuuup." Hard NOT to crack a smile at that right? Then there is the ever frequent TOOT. Suffice to say, I never imagined I would I really would engage in the "who tooted? Somebody tooted! Did you toot? Are you my little tooter?" conversation. Really? WHO AM I? Anyway, we also practice saying "scuz me. I tooted." Great right? Well, guess what happened the other day? A certain someone who doesn't like to make a big deal about tooting, actually tooted and August looked her straight in the eye, gave her the "look" and said "moooomy? I hear that."  Super.

I used to like Bob the Builder,  but I had to send Bob off on an extended vacation. I might ship him out to Siberia soon. Henry really likes Bob the builder. I hear about it all day long and sometimes in to the night.  " I like Bob builber." Cute isn't it? This can  turn in to "I like Thomas train. I like Mickey Mouse. I like Daisy Duck. I like Mommy. I like Daddy. I like Nana. ect." That is it will turn in to that sweet game when Henry good and well feels like it. Most days though, it's " I like Bob builber. I like Bob Builber. I LIKE Bob Builber. Bob ba builber. Bob Builber. Bob Builber, ahhhhhhhhhhh!" I think he does it on purpose because he knows I am just fishing for him to say I like Mommy.

My guys are VERY social. August knows no stranger. I model saying hello, good morning, thank you and your welcome when ever we are out and about. So, the other day I had to go to Sprint. Miss Carla started helping us out.  She didn't have much opportunity to help others. Luckily she thought the boys were cute ( and they are) and it wasn't very busy. "GoooooMoorning.HI MISS CARLA! MISSSSSS CARLA. Miss Carla WHATCH DOIN? THANK YOU MISS CARLA!" Mommy quietly said , ok. Shhhhh. Miss Carla is working. She is helping other customers now.  Didn't matter. "MISS CAAAAARLA! You working? Thank you Miss Carla. WAIT. WAIT MISS CARLA. HELP cussomers. Come here Miss CARLA!" As Miss Carla attempted to help other customers, Mr. Travis came out to assist me with my phone. "HI MR. TRAVIS! Mommy phone CAPUT."    I had told them we needed to go to Sprint because my phone was caput. I thought it sounded cute when they said it in the car. Maybe it helped that they were so loud and vocal? I did get a new phone that day.

Finally. I do try in all earnest to use positive reinforcement and avoid the no's and don'ts whenever remotely possible, which isn't often quite honestly. But, August loves to take his diaper off and run around naked. I will say to him "Oh Auggie, diaper stays ON." To that I get,  "Mommy, diaper stay ON!" as he rips it off and runs thru the house patting his little booty and squealing "I NAKED! I NAKED MOMMY!" Henry on the other hand loves to climb out of his high chair and bed. I say in my calmest, most soothing mommy voice, Henry, it's bedtime. We STAY in bed. He likes to repeat what I say "Mommy I stay in bed." Seconds later, he stands up, gets the Henry gleam in his eye, hoists his leg up and over the crib rail and tells me "Mommy, STAY in bed." August, ever helpful will scold Henry and exclaim "Lay down Henwi. Stay in bed. Mommy pow pow." Sigh....Affirmatives and positive speech reinforcement? A little pow pow or swat to the booty? What was I thinking? They are 22 months old. No great therapy techniques are going to change that fact.

Ohhh Mommy. You have good intentions.