Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Riding the Bench

I used to worry when my kids shied away from something. I would want to pressure them to keep trying. I was afraid that because of their fears, they would miss out on fun that every kid has - like carousels, big parachutes, and jumpy houses. I would strategize how to desensitize them to the scary things and plan in advance for birthday parties and music classes. I would laugh nervously at the other mothers and feel self-conscious.

Uhm, then I got a brain and loosened up.

And guess what, so did my kids.

I recently realized that I loved cuddling with Tyler on the sidelines when the clowns got a little too close. That it was so much easier when Drew chose to sit on the bench on the carousel than trying to supervise and satisfy 3 kids (the animals they want are always far away from each other).

As I sit back and relax, I observe that my kids are adventurous, brave, and a little wild - in their own ways, on their own time. Not every one likes roller coasters, and guess what? They still enjoy life.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Animal Girl

There are no dolls in Ella's bed.

But there are 2 monkeys, several dogs, a tiger, a lion, a cow, and lots of bears.

She loves animals.

She takes care of them, talks to them and sets them up in all kinds of stories. When she meets a real one, she can't wait to touch them. She wants to know where they sleep, what they eat and what you call them when they are in a group.

One day she will have her own and she can't wait.

Monday, March 29, 2010




It is amazing how much they remember. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot to this zoo, they both yelled, "let's take a picture on the big lizard!" We have been to this zoo about twice a year for the past 3 years. And they remember taking a picture on the lizard.

They love to look through our photo books and they amaze us with the details they remember. Ella can point to the side of a picture and say there was a butterfly there, or after this picture we got ice cream. Some things I don't even remember.

Their memories make our little adventures seem all the more important and special. Im glad it is all sinking in.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Matching toothy grins.

Speaking of teeth, Tyler has his 1st dentist appointment tomorrow. Lucky for him, he can watch his big brother and sister go first - who happen to LOVE the dentist. Unlucky for the dentist, Tyler could care less about brave role models, stickers, prizes, dinosaur puppets, or any other antics these fantastic pediatric dentists come up with.

He is his own man, and he will not be swayed. Especially when it comes to haircuts, doctor exams, clipping his nails, or cleaning his ears -and Im sure the dentist will be added to that list.

I'll stay positive (pack my ear plugs) and hope for the best, but as you can tell, Im not optimistic.

Poor dentist.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Return of the Mask

Spring brings warm weather, budding flowers and Drew's allergies. And when Drew gets allergies, he coughs and wheezes. The asthma word is thrown around and my head starts to spin.

I hate medicine. I hate to feel like Im altered in some way, and I hate to think that my kids are being changed by medicine. I don't trust pharmaceutical companies or the Academy of Pediatrics, not 100%. But, I also don't want my active, happy little boy to feel like he can't breathe. I worry about not giving him medicine, I worry about giving him too much.

Did parents in previous generations go through this? Maybe they trusted doctors more and just did as they were told. Maybe today we know too much, there is too much information available. Whatever the case, all parents just want to make the best decisions possible for their kids - and the struggle with what is the best is just part of the game.

In the meantime, Drew straps on his little dragon mask like the trooper that he is.

Man, I love this kid.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring time - it is only natural to want to clean, not just clean, but purge.

We have way too many toys. On the spectrum of households with 3 kids, we are probably in the middle. I've seen lots more, I've seen lots less - still our collection seems too much for me. In theory kids need so little. Art supplies, books, balls, blocks, maybe some figurines. But see once I start that list it is hard to stop - what about cars? Play kitchen? Dolls?

And then there is the problem of how many of each. We can't have one car, heck not even 3 would suffice - so how many? I struggle with what toys to have 3 of - one for each kid so not only will the fighting be reduced, but so they can have fun. Then I wonder if that is excessive, shouldn't they learn to share and take turns? Isn't that one of the great lessons of having brothers and sisters?

So, I have a plan:

1. Purge :: anything broken, missing pieces, or left to gather dust must go.

2. Organize :: gather toys into bins that are easy for the kids to access. Once in their bins I should be able to tell if we have too many of that category (cars or balls for example) Books for big kids here, board books there, seasonal books away.

3. Prioritize :: Toys that are plastic and make noise are not ideal toys, only the most loved will stay.

4. Find Homes :: Every toy should have a designated space, that when put there leaves the rest of the house feeling uncluttered

That should be easy enough, right?

Ill let you know...but don't hold your breath!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Welcome Spring

Although the landscape is still brown and muddy, we are finding bits of spring. A little bud here, a new green sprig there.

My mother has always delighted in nature, and I got the bug from her. Im happy to report that my 3 are following right along in our footsteps and it is awesome to have new partners to share the seasons with.

And I have to note, that although this urban life we lead now is not my first choice, the parks and nature centers are awesome. There are so many for us to chose from and it is easy to lose ourselves in the woods for a few hours.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Little Things

Sometimes when you're not feeling well, the littlest things can make you feel better. In Tyler's case, the little thing was actually a big scooter. He insisted on holding it in the car, making me laugh the whole drive!

Yes, sometimes it's the little things.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Our Own Team

It is officially official - new baby is a BOY.

They told me he was a boy a few weeks ago at around the 12 week mark. Honestly, I was doubtful. That was pretty early. And, I can't stop thinking that it is a girl. I have been hesitant to go through the clothes and all the names I like are girl names.

So much for mother's intuition. The technician was performing the routine ultrasound this week and I asked her to double check. She laughed at me. She knows, she has 4 boys!

My bathrooms will never be the same.

But, of course I am excited, we all are. Between Mike's brother's 3 boys and ours, we will have our own hockey team!

Submit name suggestions, we are at a loss here!!

image from Norman Rockwell

Thursday, March 18, 2010


These days very few people ask if Ella and Drew are twins and we rarely hear a comment. It used to happen several times a day and I would complain about going to the mall because of all the gawkers
Now as we walk through the zoo or a park and we see a double stroller with 2 sets of matching teeny feet, I find myself missing that stage. There so special about twins, especially babies.

This stage of being twins is all about playing together, sharing everything, and driving each other crazy. They know each other so well and it shows in little ways. Reserving a favorite toy, trading peas and carrots, reading books to each other.

I enrolled them in the same preschool class again for next Fall. I just can't imagine separating them, yet. And I think they agree.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Miraculous Me

My body and I haven't always had the best relationship. As long as I can remember, I have criticized it for being too lumpy, too wide, just not good enough. I ate too much, I ate too little, I could honestly say I didn't like it.

Then I became pregnant with twins. From the get-go, the doctors warned me that my little 5'2 body may have trouble carrying two babies to term. Somehow, someway I believed my body could do it, but of course I had my doubts. As each week passed my body proved itself up for the challenge and I believed more and more. And then this short little body, which had grown quite large, delivered 2 healthy babies into my arms at 37 weeks and 4 days, no scalpels required. It was then I realized that my body was capable of so much more than I had given it credit for. My body was good, better than good - it was awesome! Over the next year it nourished those twins without a drop of formula and helped them grow from teeny babies into walking, talking healthy people. I was amazed. I was stunned. My body was a miracle.

Before we caught our breath, I was pregnant again. And once again my body amazed me. This time chasing 2 toddlers while growing a new life. Did I mention we lived in a walk-up apartment?! Through the next year of nursing, I would pause and look at my 3 children and thank my body for the best gifts of my life. I didn't just appreciate my body in a new way, I loved it. I loved it despite the stretch marks and the parts that never quite returned to where they were supposed to be.

Now pregnant again, the doctors discovered that I have a new antibody that may begin to attack the baby's blood supply. This could result in pre-term delivery and or blood transfusions for the baby. Or it could result in a completely normal pregnancy and a completely healthy baby, only time and lots of blood tests will tell. My first reaction to this news was to be angry at my body. It is supposed to grow, protect and nourish this baby - not attack it! Then I was confused, how could my body have created 3 awesome kids and now let me down? Yes, I was disappointed in my body. I felt betrayed.

But then one day I looked at the 3 faces my body already gave me. I was reminded of how awesome my body could be. I know now that I need to trust my body and more than anything - believe in it. So each night as I lay down and my mind turns to worry and despair, I stop. Instead, I say "thank you" for the miracles my body has given me and I ask for just one more. I remind myself that this body - that I am strong. I focus on the hope and the possibilities and I allow myself to picture my new healthy baby tucked snugly in my arms.

ps. no need for worry, my blood tests so far, every 2 weeks, have shown really low numbers - too low to be harmful and I have consulted with a perinatologist who is following my pregnancy

Monday, March 15, 2010

Working Man

One benefit of working from home is that you can wear your boxer briefs and white T's on business calls.

Actually, the only one he calls from this phone is his Nonnie. He was telling her about seeing the clowns from the Circus and how when he grows up he will be a "real Circus Guy!"

What every mother wishes for her child!

Don't you just love the hand on his hip? And the fact that his knees are wider than his thighs?

Friday, March 12, 2010


This is the average distance between Tyler and Drew at any given moment. Closer if Tyler could manage it.

And by the way, the rest of us were wearing T-shirts at that very moment.

Kids are quirky, I tell ya!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Meadows

We pass them daily, a big expanse of meadows nestled in the shadows of one of the biggest cities in the world. But once you get inside (despite the NJ Turnpike and commuter trains rushing past) you feel far away from the crowded urban life.

For the kids, especially Drew, the Meadowlands are a magic place with taller than possible reeds, murky waters, and an endless path to run. For me it feels like a little hidden gem of sunshine and fresh air, well, as fresh as it might get around here!

ps. Drew took this last picture - natural talent, no?!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Big Fun

The Ring Master and 3 clowns from the Ringling Brothers Circus visited our library - what a treat! They did a few tricks and told us some behind the scenes facts about life in the circus. Did you know they still travel by train and it is over a mile long?! Fascinating...

Anyway, Ella and Drew sat right there and loved every minute - clapping, yelling, and smiling big. Tyler sat with me at the edge of the room. He was a little skeptical and skeptical for Ty translates into ornery. You know that brief moment of silence after a crowd answers a question? This time that moment was filled with Tyler yelling, "NO!" at the top of his lungs.

Ringmaster: Do you like the Circus?
All Kids: YES!!
and just as their answer died down...
Tyler: NO!!

At the end of the show popcorn and juice were given to all the kids. Of course they had to eat theirs immediately, and as a result we were the last family there. As we walked down the hall a door opened and out popped the Ringmaster and the clowns! We walked down the hall with them and into the parking lot. Tyler was sandwiched between 2 of the clowns chit-chatting away. It was priceless.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

You're Out!!

Outside that is...

and thank goodness for that!

Swing sets, trampolines, bike riding, digging for worms and sidewalk chalk.

We can't get enough!

oh, and this outfit? I take full responsibility for the legging-like pants, but the hat and snow boots are all his doing!! Just looking at him was enough to make me laugh all afternoon!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Fever

We found Spring this weekend and we were oh, so happy!

We were especially excited to see our little friend back.

Welcome back Spring!!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Weird Science

His funny moments make all the tyrant moments seem not so bad.

We'll keep him.

ps. look at me, I won something!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ladies who Lunch

She sat across from me at the table while the boys raced cars in the other room. For a minute it felt like we were out to lunch, just her and I.

Her eyes lit up as she chatted about her job at school and who she played with. She retold an entire book while happily munching her ham and cheese - hands flying and eyes widening at all the exciting parts.

I was struck with the notion that she is my little girl. All pink and sweet and growing up too fast.

Wish I could freeze that moment in time.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Hey there little Guy!

I have just begun to feel you move, it happens enough now that I know it is you. Tiny little flutters and twinges to me, but Im sure you are kicking, flipping, and punching your little heart out in there.

Do you know what you are in for? 1 crazy loving big sister that will hug you so tightly you'll burst. 1 of the sweetest big brother's ever who will teach you to ride a bike or tie your shoes with never-ending patience. 1 big brother who will wrestle and chase you until you both collapse in giggles.

I should know by now to not even try to guess what we are in for, but I do anyway. Will you be like her? Will you look like him? Will you have dimples or curls?

For now I will be content with feeling your tiny kicks, reminding me that you are, in fact, on your way.

picture found on google images...I can't decide if it is so cool or so creepy...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Little

E & D went back to school day after a 2 week stretch of vacation, snow days and sick days. They were excited. Although I miss them, it was fun to be with my little, who isn't so little and won't be the little for much longer.

We went to the grocery store where he promptly removed his favorite snow boots and ran through the store in his socks. He also removed gazillions of heavy cans from the shelves and sang Jingle Bells at the top of his lungs for the majority of the event.

When we finally arrived at the check out and loaded our opened, half eaten items onto the belt - two of the workers came over to our cart.

"We missed you guys! Where have you been?"

I looked at them, then looked behind me, looked back at them and slowly closed my gaping mouth. "Are you talking to us?"

"Of course! We love seeing this crazy little guy!"

My thoughts exactly.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Out of Woods

Well, at least on the edge.

Drew is doing well, although still popping out some cute little hives on his face, elbows and legs. Benedryl is doing the trick for him, although I do detest giving medicine to my little ones.

Ella is still coughing, but thankfully the fever is gone. The dry air of winter has tamed her curls a bit, but the fever and its accompanying sweats brought those ringlets right back - a little silver lining. We are waiting for her disposition to return to normal, sometimes I wonder if the antibiotic she is on was mistakenly filled with teenage hormones.

Tyler woke up on Sunday as Polka Dot the Clown. It is both funny and sad. He is covered from the tips of his ears to his teeny toes with a Roseola rash. He isn't itchy or uncomfortable, although he did spend considerable time in the tubby "me wash polka dots off!" His cough has worsened slightly, poor little guy sounds like he has been smoking since birth. One plus is that my usually obstinate kid is a dream patient. He LOVES medicine, blows his own nose, and he remembers to throw the tissue in the garbage. What more could a mother ask for?!

We will return to the land of the living this week - get us out of here!!!