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.