Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Deadly Sin

Greed:Very Low
Envy:Very Low
Pride:Very Low

Discover Your Sins - Click Here


The Christmas tree went down for its year-long nap last night. Spencer will miss his friend. He was constantly hugging and kissing it. Maybe he'll be a tree-hugger when he grows up? I can hope!

My Little Tenor

Alex is pretending that the soap dish is a keyboard. What song he is singing is anybody's guess (probably something from the Wiggles).

Friday, December 28, 2007


I'm not feeling very inspired to post about Christmas this year. I wish we could do it over again without the stomach virus. Spencer came down with it the day before Christmas Eve. I succumbed to it late Christmas night. Unfortunately we didn't know it was a virus until too late, so my mother and friend came down with it, too. Merry freakin' Christmas!

I planned our Christmas schedule so that we could be at home together for a quiet Christmas day. I thought that I would see my sister and her children on Christmas Eve and could exchange gifts then. That didn't happen. We still haven't exchanged our gifts. We're getting together tomorrow at Mom's. I guess I should look at it as though our celebration has been extended. I'm sure all the children will enjoy being together tomorrow, and I'll finally get to see what's in my stocking!

I had to drag Spencer out of bed at 9:30 on Christmas morning. I'm surprised he's actually smiling in some of the pictures. My neighbor snapped him a little later, falling asleep, half his body on the couch, the other half on the coffee table. Poor guy. He's feeling a lot better now and enjoying all of his new toys. His big gift was a learning laptop. Alex would like to steal it from him. He was playing with it on Christmas day and Spencer was trying to take it from him. Alex kept saying "Alex....Alex." He was trying to tell Spencer that it was his toy! Alex also tried to steal his cousin's new Thomas the Tank Engine book. He's hardly put down his new Gordon train that came with his big gift, the Take-Along Thomas Tidmoth Sheds. That boy loves his trains!

I snapped a few pictures while the boys were emptying their stockings. That's about all I had the time and energy for. I think we're due for a better Christmas next year. You hear that, universe?!!?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Beth's Babies

I first heard about Beth, single mother of quads, when I was pregnant with the boys. She was featured on 'Oprah'. Her story continues to be an inspiration to me. If she could raise quads on her own, surely I could raise twins on my own! Beth recently updated her website. Her quads are 3 1/2 years old now. She talks honestly about her joys and struggles as a mother, bread-winner, and a "self." This is a beautiful slide-show of the quads as they've grown. I especially appreciated Beth's choice of music for the slide-show. I've listened to these Jack Johnson songs countless times, but never realized how much I relate to them as a single mother of multiples. Thank you, Beth, for your example!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Our Family Has Grown

We adopted a stray kitty that showed up on a fellow Freecycler's doorstep. She is beautiful, sweet, and gentle...a special Christmas gift for Alex, Spencer, and me. I have named her Tevy (teh-vee), which means angel in Cambodian. Her name fits her personality and will remind us that she was a Christmas surprise for us.

Tevy spent no more than 10 minutes under the coffee table after arriving at her new home. She moved to the arm of the couch, where she laid down to survey the room and intermittently nap. Spencer petted, hugged, and kissed her. Alex lifted her legs to inspect her (checking for screws like he does with all of his toys, I think). Later when she was on the floor Alex sat on her! All of this Tevy took with patience and gentleness.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Letting The Curves Take You

This was sent to me by a friend. I do not know who the author is, only that it is true about so many aspects of my life.

Trying to maintain control in this life is a bit like trying to maintain control on a roller coaster. The ride has its own logic and is going to go its own way, regardless of how tightly you grip the bar. There is a thrill and a power in simply surrendering to the ride and fully feeling the ups and downs of it, letting the curves take you rather than fighting them. When you fight the ride, resisting what's happening at every turn, your whole being becomes tense and anxiety is your close companion. When you go with the ride, accepting what you cannot control, freedom and joy will inevitably arise.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Dear God

Please teach me how to ignore the booming bass of my new next-door neighbor's stereo, which makes my windows rattle and gets under my skin even more than Spencer's whining. Either that, or please make me deaf!

Friday, December 7, 2007

My Funny Madelaine

My sister shared an anecdote about her children that I just had to pass along. My nephew Cole, like Spencer, has GERD and is sensitive about certain foods.
Noah was in the kitchen having a snack last night when I heard Maddie telling Cole, "Don't go in the kitchen. Noah's eating cottage cheese. You'll throw up." And then she popped into the room to advise me, "Don't worry Mom. I gave Cole a global warning!"

Monday, December 3, 2007

Spencer Looking Sharp

Taken at Grandma's on Thanksgiving Eve.

One Of Those Days

I'm tired. I don't want to be a mommy today. I want the day off.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Twelve Days of Christmas

These guys have the joy we're supposed to have this time of year. Sure brings back college memories of Chamber Singers and madrigal dinners.

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days of Christmas

Ally's Play

I just observed something about Ally's play that I've never noticed before. He often plays by himself. We (his therapists and I) have always thought the he perseverates on cars and trains because he likes the wheels and mechanics. What we haven't noticed is that he is engaging in pretend play with the vehicles. They are always facing each other or him (yes, the toys have actual faces), and he makes them "talk" to each other! I thought he was just babbling gibberish to himself, but today I heard them tell each other "Come on!" and call each other by name (Toby and James). I think he was even trying to make them kiss after I kissed him! He also says "choo choo" and makes the whooshing steam sound.

I know I'm always talking down the boob tube, but I think the Thomas the Tank Engine video actually helped teach Alex this kind of play (watching "Cars" at his Aunt Chappy's last weekend probably didn't hurt either). That doesn't mean I'm going to let him watch more television, it just means I won't feel so guilty when I do.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Potty News

Spencer went pee-pee on the potty! Spencer went pee-pee on the potty!!! I sat him on it after bath (I've done this once or twice before). I told him to push out his pee-pee. First he pushed out some gas and tooted, then I told him to push again (and made a hissing sound) and he did it! He actually understood what I meant and he did it! He's also been telling me when he's poopy, and when he toots he says "poopy." I guess it's time to start reading up on potty training. Woo hoo!

Friday, November 30, 2007

What a voice!

Alexander's Diagnosis

We made another visit to the developmental pediatrician today. The boys have been seen bi-annually by this practice since just before they left the NICU. At their last appointment four months ago Dr. T suggested that Alex might fall under the autism spectrum and that she would like to keep a closer eye on his development. Today we visited again, reports from his various therapists in hand. After inquiring as to my observations about Alex's development, attempting to evaluate him (he was very difficult to engage), and reviewing the reports from his therapists, Dr. T delivered the expected diagnosis: PDD-NOS.

As Dr. T explained, reaffirming my already strong beliefs, the diagnosis changes nothing. Alex is still the same child. The diagnosis is simply a tool to help Alex get the services that he needs. I know Alex is going to be fine. He may always be different, but he will learn how to get along the best he can in this world that expects everyone to be the same. What matters is that he is healthy and happy. What matters is that Alex knows that he is unconditionally loved, and that he always believes in and loves himself.

A Day in the Life of a Mom

Forget my youthful dreams of singing at the Met. This is awesome! All you moms must watch it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Temper Tantrums and The Boob Tube

Sometimes when Alex is having a temper tantrum the only thing I can do to calm him down is to turn on the boob tube. This really bothers me. I want to be able to calm him down without numbing his brain. What did mothers do before television was invented?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Snotty, Snot, Snot

Spencer had his adenoids removed on Thursday. The procedure went well; the doctor was able to remove them without any bleeding. Spencer is a trooper. You would never know he just had surgery.

His adenoids were so enlarged that they were almost completely blocking his airway. Hence his decreased vocal quality (it was his speech pathologist that first pointed us in the direction of the ENT). What does having his adenoids out mean? Well, my rambunctious, sweet, wild child is going to get LOUDER. It also means that a dam of sorts has been removed and he will be draining mucus from his nose for awhile. Yuck! But hopefully it will mean a lot less sinus infections and snotty noses in his future.

Maybe this will be Spencer's first Christmas without a snotty nose!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Testy Two-Year-Olds

How does one find that balance between being too restrictive and being too permissive with a two-year-old? How do you find the place that allows him to explore and learn self-moderation but doesn't put him in danger and drive you, as his parent, crazy? And then how do you do it when you have TWO two-year-olds, that either work in cahoots or go in completely opposite directions? Why can't there be two of me, and why can't they both be a little calmer, less reactive?

Yesterday I came downstairs to find them both in the kitchen (gates do no good anymore). Spencer was having a condiment party (time to buy a refrigerator lock) and Alex was covered in oven grease. Both the oven racks were on the floor and judging from his appearance he had climbed INTO the oven!!!! (I bought an oven lock but because of the way the stove is made it won't work).

Today Spencer broke a nightlight. I'm upstairs trying to vacuum up the glass, and up comes Alex, crawling onto the landing, right into the mess! I finally get it cleaned up without any injuries, and downstairs I go to find Spencer in the fridge again, trying to drink ketchup from the bottle.

Have I mentioned that Spencer can get through any gate or door? He's like Houdini! I've been yelling a lot lately, and I hate it. I hate yelling. Then I cry because I'm so frustrated and scared that they're going to hurt themselves, and then Spencer cries because he doesn't like to see me upset. And Alex withdraws. As if Alex needs to withdraw any more than he already does. Spencer gets so much attention because he demands it, and Alex, who needs the attention so badly, gets forgotten.

This was just supposed to be a quick, light-hearted post about the wiles of my two-year-olds and now I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes again. To be honest, I'm scared. Scared that Alex will retreat further into himself and become full-blown autistic, scared that I'm going to start yelling and never going to stop, that my children will be afraid of me, won't be able to trust me.

Okay, I'm tired. We all have a cold. "Weeping may remain for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." A Bible verse from my religious days that always help me remember that things will look better after a good night's sleep.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Halloween Pictures

This is all I've got. I don't think I mentioned that Spencer broke my digital camera. I need to buy a new battery and some film for my Olympus. The camera phone only takes good pictures if my subject isn't moving much (i.e. does not take good pictures of two-year-olds).

Saturday, October 20, 2007


You know that old saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."? Have you ever thought that maybe some of us grow our own lemons? I mean, just look at me. My life looks like such a mess, and a lot of my problems are because of things that I've had control over, foolish, impulsive decisions I've made, life-changing turns I've taken on a dime. I don't just have my own lemon tree, I have a grove!

But the saying still applies. I may have grown the lemons, but they still make damn good lemonade. I can't live my life regretting my mistakes. I have to try to learn from them and make the most of what I've ended up with. Everything that has happened in my life, whether or not I had control over it, has made me who I am today. Crazy, mixed-up, joyful, optimistic, sensitive, moody, happy, loving, cock-eyed, life-embracing me. I wouldn't trade a drop of it for the world. My lemonade is sweet!
Up on the watershed
Standing at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize
Till your agony's your heaviest load
You'll never fly as the crow flies
Get used to a country mile
When you're learning to face
The path at your pace
Every choice is worth your while

'Watershed' by the Indigo Girls

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sandra Boynton for Christmas

Susan from The Book House was discussing her favorites this morning on The Roundtable and mentioned Sandra Boynton's new books with CD's of music. I love Sandra Boynton, and have made it a point of collecting all of her books (although Spencer keeps destroying them, board books even!). "Philadelphia Chickens" was Susan's favorite. It features a cow playing a saxophone on the front cover (how perfect for Spencer who pretends everything is a saxophone, and for Alex who loves cows).

I don't think I'll post a wish list here this year, at least not an one. I'm trying to get away from all those big companies and support my local economy. But here's a hint to friends and family who might be wondering what Alex and Spencer would like for Christmas: The Golden Notebook in Woodstock and The Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza carry Boynton's new books with CD's. I'm sure the boys would both enjoy having one of their own. Wink, wink!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A New Era

This is a blog. This is a blog about me. This is a blog about me and my twin boys. This is a blog about trying to keep things simple, focusing on what is important, seeing the silver linings, and enjoying the simple joys life offers every day.

Life as a single mother to two-year-old twin boys is HARD. I remember the first time I thought being a single parent was hard. It was when I had pneumonia and pleurisy last spring. Just after their second birthday. Any correlation? Hmmm...

I love being a mother. I love my sons. They are fascinating, challenging, wonderful, bright, beautiful, frustrating, amazing little boys. I love taking care of them. But I've been trying to learn to take care of myself as well. My cup will run dry if I keep giving out but never replenishing. My life can't be about my boys; it has to be about us. All three of us. So here I am, with a new blog. A place where I'm going to be a little more honest about my thoughts and feelings than I have been on my other blog. I was always very positive there, because I wanted it to be a source of encouragement for other parents of preemies. Here I'll be dumping and venting more, but all for good. Because sometimes you just have to get that stuff out so you can see the positive side of things again.