Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Even my husband will admit that I was an even-tempered pregnant lady. I don't have any funny stories about crying about Panera not having the soup I wanted or similar silly situations. There was the night when we took the babies home from the hospital. They cried unless they were being held, so I stayed up all night holding them, with crazy tears running down my face the whole time. I couldn't have even told you why I was crying - I was thrilled to finally have two perfect, healthy babies, but I was powerless to stop. Wow. What a night that was. But before and since that episode, which must have been thanks to postpartum hormone changes, I've been pretty in control of my emotions.

Until we dropped down to one feeding.

The other night Ray was watching the last Star Wars prequel (the one where Luke and Leia are born) for, oh, about the 4 billionth time. When the Emperor gives the orders to assassinate the Jedis, I turned to Ray and said, "This movie is so sad." He gave me a confused "Okay..." By the end of the movie, I was full on crying. At Star Wars.

It's not just Star Wars. Everything seems extra sad now. Commercials... Today Show segments... weaning itself.

After their second birthday we'll drop the last feeding. And that will be it. Sigh.
Pin It

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ham and Bean Soup

For Thanksgiving my mother-in-law made a ham, and miracle of miracles, Veda ate it - and liked it. A lot. (Remember that this is the formerly anemic child who refuses any and all meat.) There were plenty of ham leftovers, so we went home with a couple of freezer bag portions of the ham. But what to do with the frozen ham? Soup!

The problem with cooking these days is that it's practically impossible. If Linus isn't climbing the windowsill to chew on the pebbles in the potted plants, Veda is insisting on "helping" me cook - and by "helping", I mean trying to climb the oven door or reaching for a hot stove eye. Actually, both of those things (and more!) are probably happening simultaneously. So my cooking has been simplified, simplified, simplified. This is a recipe that's all about taking lots of shortcuts, but packing in lots of flavor. The kids love, love, love it, and I do, too. Soup is such a great lunch when the weather is cold, and it's one of the rare things that the kids will eat just about every time I offer it. Without further ado, one of our new favorite soups:


1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced   (or find mirepoix in the freezer or produce section at the grocery store to replace
3/4 c celery, diced             the onion, celery, and carrots)
3/4 c carrots, diced
1 clove minced garlic
1 1/2 c cooked ham, diced
15 oz. can tomato sauce
2 cans mixed pinto and great northern beans (or one can of each) - do not drain
4 c chicken broth
2 c water
1 Tbsp Better Than Boullion Chicken paste


1. In a stockpot, saute the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic in olive oil until the onion are translucent.
2. Add the ham, and saute until the ham begins to brown (caramelize) a bit.
3. Add the tomato sauce, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pot as you do so (deglazing).
4. Add the rest of the ingredients (beans through Better Than Boullion), stir, and simmer for 30-45 minutes.

When we run out of ham leftovers in the freezer, I'll probably try making this with Field Roast "sausages". Mmmm.
Pin It

Friday, December 2, 2011


This morning our family was happy to board the Three Rivers Rambler Christmas train. Linus and Veda are pretty obsessed with trains these days, so getting to ride on  real, live train was a special treat.

Waiting on the train in the chilly winter air was cold business. Thank goodness for puffy coats.

It wasn't long before the snacks got passed out. Teeny little Veda nearly ate this entire bag of cookies.

Me: "I love you sooooooo much!" Veda: "Down!"

The handsomest man on the train.

Here Veda is saying, "CHOO CHOO!".

Chicks dig the hat.

Who showed up on the way back? SANTA! Here Linus is trying to be brave while Santa hands him a little snowman.

After Santa visited, we got pretty sleepy. Thankfully, this resulted in less squirming...

... and more cuddling.

Pin It

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our Read-Aloud Advent Calendar

We started doing a read-aloud Advent calendar after I saw the idea in Family Fun magazine. If you're not familiar with what a read-aloud Advent calendar is, here's how it's done: you collect 24 Christmas or winter-themed books, wrap them up, and allow the child to unwrap one each day in December leading up to Christmas. Then you get to read the books together as they're unwrapped. Even as infants, Linus and Veda enjoyed it, so I know that they're going to have a blast with it this year.

Linus and Veda's granny was very generous last year in getting us started with our Christmas book collection, and the rest of the books are books from my childhood. Some of those are *ahem* pretty fragile, so we'll have to be very careful with them. If we still needed more books, the library would be my next choice.

Here are the books Linus and Veda will be unwrapping this year:

  • Funny Felt Faces (pub. Sandy Creek)
  • 10 Trim-the-Tree'ers: A Holiday Counting Book by Janet Schulman
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schulz
  • The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
  • The Sweet Smell of Christmas (Golden Books)
  • Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney
  • Frosty the Snowman (Golden Books)
  • The Berenstain Bears Trim the Tree by Jan & Mike Berenstain
  • Yes Virginia There Is A Santa Claus by Chris Plenal
  • Nutcracker by Hoffman & Innocenti
  • One Snowy Night by Butler & MacNaughton
  • A Sesame Street Christmas by Pat Tornborg
  • The Night Before Christmas (Golden Books)
  • ABC Is For Christmas (Golden Books)
  • Santa's Runaway Elf by Jean Lewis
  • Troll's Twelve Months of Christmas by Jill Wolf
  • Jingle Bells (Golden Books)
  • The Very Special Night by Ruth Odor
  • The Santa Claus Book by Eileen Daly
  • The Animals' Christmas Eve (Golden Books)
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Golden Books)
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas (Golden Books)
  • Santa's Toy Shop (Golden Books)
  • Christmas Peekaboo! (pub. by DK)

Pin It

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our "It's the Thought That Counts" Advent Calendar

Today I would like to share with you an important lesson learned. Sometimes Pinterest lies. What am I talking about? I saw an adorable Advent calendar on Pinterest made out of twine, socks, and clothespins and thought, "I can do that!". I rounded up the materials, worked on it for a couple of evenings, and voila - here's the result. It started out above the fireplace. But, no. Just no.


In retrospect, I think it would look (somewhat) better if I had done something more monochromatic, but darnit, that wasn't what was in the picture!

So if you come over to my house and wonder why I'm drying socks in the playroom, that's the sorry back story.

Next year I'll be making something else.

That's the unfortunate part of this post. The cheery part of this post is this list of the toddler-friendly activities I'm stuffing in those socks. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Christmas Dinner at Nana's and Granny's
2. Make a gift for Daddy
3. Watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
4. Make a hand print ornament
5. Color a Christmas picture
6. Make a craft
7. Watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special
8. Write a letter to Santa (obviously with a lot of help)
9. Make Christmas-colored play-doh
10. Attend a local high school's Christmas choral concert
11. Attend a local high school's Christmas band concert
12. Learn "Let It Snow!"
13. Drive around to see the lights
14. Drink eggnog
15. Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas
16. Finger paint with Christmas colors
17. Drink hot chocolate
18. Make grandparent gifts
19. Learn "Jingle Bells"
20. See Santa
21. Go to a Christmas parade
22. Make Christmas cookies
23. Put up our Christmas tree
24. Visit elderly relatives
Pin It

Thursday, November 24, 2011


The follow-up appointment for Veda's testing was yesterday, and the official word is that all of the results were normal. So that means no tethered spine, no celiac, no CF, no million other things that could have been wrong. I was afraid that we'd be told to go through another round of testing, but it seems that we're through, at least for now. Our new prescription is to feed Veda enough calories for one and half toddlers. Did you just say, "Good luck with that!"?

We'll be going to see a dietitian in December to get some new strategies for sneaking more calories in her, and I'm hoping to get a professional opinion about how to address her finicky eating habits while also not enabling pickiness. I've also been concerned about finding the balance between doing what has to be done to get enough calories in her for proper development and not overriding her innate ability to walk away from food when she's had enough.

We're certainly relieved to know that everything seems to be in order with our little lady. Thanks for thinking of us and sending positive vibes our way.
Pin It

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pee Pee in the Potty

A while ago, I wrote that I anticipated Veda would be potty ready in the near future. Then the strides she made in that direction more or less disappeared after our trip to the beach. The potty talk resumed, though, within the last month, so a couple of weeks ago we all packed up and made a family trip to Babies R Us to make the all-important potty selection. Since I knew that a potty adaptor seat could be a safety issue at some point (I was picturing me having to chase somebody down and leaving another somebody perched precariously atop the big potty), we went with a freestanding model. The potty sat in the bathroom, just building some curiosity in the kids without any other real interaction. Well, unless you count all of the playing they did with the removable cushy seat.

Then last weekend Veda tucked a roll of toilet paper under her arm, lifted the potty lid, and indicated that she wanted to try it out. She sat there for about 15 minutes and did a little reading in the meantime, but it wasn't really *ahem* "productive". The other interesting development from this little anecdote is that Linus was overcome with jealousy when Veda was on the potty. He wanted to try it out TOO!

Clearly these kids are ready to get going. We now have two nearly identical potties side by side in the bathroom. As of last night, we've initiated pre-bath potty time. I added it at that point in our daily schedule because I think I'll be able to be most consistent with a time when we're already getting stripped down anyway. BONUS: Instead of kicking and screaming when it's time to head to the bath, last night we couldn't run to the bathroom fast enough when I announced that it was potty time.

Oh, and let the record show that THIS guy was the first of the two to pee pee in the potty. Not what you expected, huh?

We'll continue on with pre-bath potty time as we get the hang of sitting on the potty and understanding what's supposed to happen on the potty. More on the next step for us later.

**Disclaimer: Yes, I am aware that there's a two (or three) day strategy. I'm training two at a time here, so we're going the slow and steady route. That's that.
Pin It

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Veda and I rolled out of the house this morning at 5:45. That would be a.m. Yeah, it's been a while since I've been up at that hour. At least on purpose, anyway.

Waiting in the radiology department, we watched the last half or so of the Tinkerbell movie and waited for the numbing solution that was placed over possible IV sites to do its thing. When we went back to get the IV started, we stayed in a holding room stocked with toys and a tv. Here's Veda sporting her IV bling.

By the way, the drug used to sedate her? Propofol. I bet the medical community is 150% percent ready for people to forget about Propofol and its connection to Michael Jackson. Moving on...

I was allowed to hold her until she was put to sleep. I'm not sure that I can tell you why, but watching your child going under is "unsettling", which the doctor and nurses warned me of. She went from crying to being still and limp within a matter of a couple of seconds. Then I had to place her on the gurney, give her a kiss, and walk away. It was scary, and it was hard.

According to the nurses, most kids who wake up from Propofol are disoriented, silly, and dopey. Not Veda. She was cranky, grumpy, and mad. The protocol is that the kid wakes up, says cute coming-out-of-anesthesia-type stuff, drinks something, and goes home. Veda, on the other hand, kept ripping her O2 monitor off, maintained a grumble cry, and fought away all attempts at consoling her with stuffed animals, cartoons, and stickers. Long story short, they eventually gave up on her drinking anything and let us leave.

Luckily, getting out of the hospital changed her mood, and by the time we made it to Shoney's (which serves breakfast all day on Tuesdays), she was ready to eat. She licked a lot of syrup off of French toast (and ate exactly zero bites of French toast) and shoveled in half of a biscuit, gravy (which she ate with a spoon), some eggs, and some fruit

So minus the whole MRI thing, it was a fun mommy-and-me morning. And that, Veda, is the story of your MRI. I'm so glad this morning is over and so glad that you came through it okay.

While I couldn't get her to look at the camera for a together shot, I think what was going through my mind comes through anyway: I wouldn't trade this girl for anything.

Where was Linus this morning? At home with Granny. This is the first morning he's ever woken up without Veda. My mother-in-law said that he didn't want to leave the nursery without Veda and kept looking for her around her crib. Melt.

Pin It

Monday, November 14, 2011

Update on Little Miss

We've knocked out just about everything from the lab work and testing to-do list.

Four vials of blood taken? Check.

Contents of two stinky diapers squished into unmercifully skinny lab containers? Check. (At least they provided gloves.)

X-ray of a tiny hand? Check.

Sweat Chloride test? Check. In fact, here's a snapshot I took of Veda wearing the pack for the test while we passed our morning away in the Family Resource Room. I was grateful to the lab lady who gave us the code to this "secret" room. It got us out of the third-hand-smoke-stinkin' , mange-scratchin', tuberculosis-riddled general population.

There was no real crying, but plenty of puckering up during the electrode-requiring portion of the test. Hence the puffy eyes.

So far, no calls, which is probably a good thing. The general rule for the office is no call unless the results are abnormal. The thing I thought was most likely was celiac, but nobody called after the blood work for that, so I guess we're in the clear. Our big follow-up appointment is coming up next week, so we'll get confirmation that everything was normal then.

The only thing that's still on the checklist is the MRI. I had a small freak out when I learned that she would have to be sedated (i.e., put to sleep) for about an hour to have it done, but with a little time, I'm freaking out less. This MRI will be checking for tethering of her spine that could be obstructing her intestines. That's tomorrow, so put some positive energy out there for us in the morning.

Her appetite has decreased pretty sharply in the last couple of weeks, which is discouraging. I know that it's normal for kids to go through fluctuations in the amount of food they eat, but when she was barely gaining anything even when she was eating like a horse, it's kind of hard not to worry about what this little phase is going to do weight-wise.

On a positive note, there are some developments in progress in the potty training arena. More on that later.
Pin It

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Christmas List - Year 2

Last year I wrote a short list of cool toys the babies had on their very first Christmas list. It turned out to be one of the all-time most popular posts on this blog, so I thought it might be fun to make it an annual thing. I'll try to avoid the really obvious stuff and make this more of a fun, not-everybody-is-talking-about-this-toy list.

Without further ado, here it is:

Some Cool Stuff from Linus and Veda's Christmas Wish List

1. Pirate Sandbox - Having a sandbox as a kid is cool. Having a cool boat to play pretend with in your yard makes it even cooler. I'm also digging the built-in sun shade. Not digging that it doesn't come with a cover, but that can be remedied somehow, I'm sure.

Product Details

2. Melissa and Doug Magnetic Fishing Set - Veda has been OWNING her peg puzzles lately, and Linus is pretty good at them too (when he actually sits still long enough to work on them). This puzzle adds another dimension of motor control to the puzzle game. And also, I love Melissa and Doug toys so much. They're super high quality and always cute. It's more like the stuff we grew up with, as opposed to all of the dime-a-dozen plastic crap being manufactured now.

Melissa & Doug Deluxe 10-Piece Magnetic Fishing Game
3. Retro Play Kitchen - I must have looked at every play kitchen available on the Internet before I landed on this one. Isn't it GORGEOUS?! The Amazon reviews are great, and it sounds like if there's ever a problem, KidKraft has great customer service, a rarity these days.

4. Kumon First Steps Workbooks - This year we'll start working on preschool skills. Former teacher me wants to tell you that young children learn best and develop the healthiest attitudes about learning through play (not drill-and-kill, not lecture, and not flashcards). At the same time, I like having a little structure to get me through the days.These handy little activity books seem like the perfect addition to our current arts and crafts time. In addition to the cutting paper title, there are also titles for folding paper, pasting, and coloring. In case you can't tell from the picture of the cover, these books are incredibly colorful and cute.
Let's Cut Paper! (Kumon First Steps Workbooks)

5. Season passes/memberships - Who says that kids have to only receive things for Christmas? Getting a membership to your local zoo, children's museum, amusement park, or aquarium will provide an entire year's worth of fun. Bonus: You don't have to find room in your house to store adventurous outings.
Pin It

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Our DIY Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker Costumes

When I was a kid, store-bought costume choices were limited. There was half of an aisle of costumes at Walmart. Not that that applied to me, because my mother always made our costumes, by which I mean that she actually used a sewing machine.

At the time, I thought it would be pretty nifty to don one of those ready-to-wear costumes. But looking back on it, knowing that my mother put so much time and work and, well, love into our costumes makes my Halloween memories even more special. And while I'm throwing some much-deserved appreciation my mom's way, let me also tell you that she made several costumes for me during the high school years for theatrical productions and the like. I think I had her thiiiiis close to sewing a Little Women-esque dress for me, though thankfully she thought better of my "Just to school" response when she asked where I would wear it.

That's what was on my mind when I decided that homemade costumes are the only costumes for us. Unfortunately, I'm not quite as skilled with a sewing machine as my mom is. No matter, though. The costumes I devised for this year require ZERO sewing.

A few words on costume selection: I determined that this year would very likely be the last year that the costumes would be MY choice. No doubt, next year Linus and Veda will have opinions of their own. So I knew that I had to make this year count. My criteria? 1. I wanted something with a twin theme. As much as I hate talking to strangers about having twins, I love their twinness.  2. I knew it had to be the thing that I would otherwise always regret that they had never dressed up as. 3. I wanted to make their dad smile. The perfect fit? Boy/girl twins Luke and Leia. Their Star Wars-obsessed father loved it.

Oh, and another thing to love about homemade costumes? Almost everything you'll see here on the materials list will be used again, either for other crafting projects or for future wear.

Now, the Materials List:

fabric tape for temporary hems (though I might use fabric glue if I was going to do this again)
belt-size strips of brown felt
hot glue gun
toy light sabers (our tiny ones were actually M&M dispensers from the checkout lane at Toys R Us)

For Leia
white turtleneck, at least two-three sizes too large (teeny Veda's was a 3T)
white tights
brown crochet hat (Veda's is from The Ribbon Retreat)
two large brown silk flowers (also from The Ribbon Retreat)
brown ribbon
two alligator clips

See his left sleeve? Use more tape than you think you need. Then use some more.

For Luke
white t-shirt
karate jacket (ours was purchased on Amazon)
beige leggings, sweat pants, or khaki pants
Pin It

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Things You Did Today 2

The babies were safely in their high chairs, so I turned back to the stove to whisk our cream of wheat.


The neighbor must be locking her car.

honk...........honk. honk....honk.... honk.honk.honk.....honk

Slightly annoyed, I opened the door to find the source of the noise. Nothing. Back to the kitchen.

honk....honk...honk..honk......honk. honk.....honk

At this point, I was thoroughly annoyed.


Imagining this going on for the rest of the morning (and the dog barking at the noise the enire morning), I started to consider calling the police to complain.




I turned to look at the babies and noticed.... hey, Veda is holding my keys.

And pushing the buttons.
Pin It

Sunday, October 16, 2011

21 Months Weigh-In

This week Veda and Linus went back to the pediatrician to get an official 21 months weight on the books. (A 21 months appointment is not part of the typical pediatric protocol, but our pediatrician requested that we make one. So no, you didn't forget to schedule one, winky face.)

The results?

Mr. Linus is up to 23 pounds. The nurse didn't do a length measurement, but according to our growth chart, he's at 32.75 inches. No concerns about Linus. His weight is in the 3rd percentile, but being that that's still within the range of normal and he's maintained his approximate position on the curve for a while, no big deal.

Veda was up to 18 pounds, 13 ounces. I was feeling pretty good about it while we waited to speak to the pediatrician. But then here's an overview of how that conversation went:

Dr. B: (same practice we usually go to, but not the ped. we see most of the time)  Hi, I'm the third pediatrician out of the last three pediatricians you've seen who are worried about Veda's failure to thrive.

(insert boring conversation about Pediasure/Pediasmart here)

Me: I'm all for addressing something that's a reasonable concern, but is it possible that she's just small? I didn't crack 100 pounds until I was in college.

Dr. B: It isn't just that Veda isn't on the chart, it's that she's so far below the chart and so far below the curve she was on when she was an infant. I want to send her to a gastroenterologist to run some tests. I'm concerned that she may have malabsorption issues.

Me: How invasive is this testing going to be?

Dr. B: I think they'll start with some bloodwork. If she tests positive for celiac disease, they'll want to do a biopsy through a colonoscopy.

Me: When you say malabsorption, what exactly are we talking about?

Dr. B: There's a wide range....

At this point he suggested cystic fibrosis, which he also benignly suggested as a condition that would require treatment for the rest of her life. Well, uh, yeah. FORTUNATELY, I'm not having a big 'ol freak out about that one because *phew* one of the many, many, many tests that were part of the IVF process was testing to see if either the husband or I are carriers. WE ARE NOT. I like this doctor, and I think he's a good doctor. But I do think that was pretty insensitive to suggest. He's human, though, and I guess everybody has verbal missteps sometimes.

So we're going to see a pediatric GI specialist for testing. Dr. B got me to agree to it with the dangly carrot of seeing a dietition while we're there. I like the idea of seeing a dietician because it checks something else off the list of BUT WE'VE DONE ALL OF THIS STUFF TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM, and between the anemia and failure to thrive, my confidence in my ability to meet my children's nutritional needs is a little on the sorta shakey side.

Future Veda, when you read this, I want you to know that I'm really, really sorry to be putting you through all of this poking and prodding. It just kills me to see the puckered look you give me when you get stuck - the look that says, "Why are you letting this happen? I trust you." We're doing this because we need to be sure. It would be awful, terrible, horrible to get years down the road and find out that you had some untreated condition that affected your development.

You should also know that you are getting to eat lots and lots of ice cream.
Pin It

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Things You Did Today

This morning while I was getting Linus dressed, Veda discovered the small box of doughnuts the husband had left on the back of the couch when he went to bed. I found her with two doughnuts in her lap, exactly one bite out of each one. She was savoring a piece of glaze left on her lip, her expression tied up in the way pretentious people do when talking about wine. The best part is that as I approached, she actually picked up the doughnuts and handed them to me.
Pin It

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Portrait of the Artists at 20 Months

As of last week, the husband has finally arrived home from The Year in New Mexico. To celebrate, we took a little trip to the beach and stayed at a resort with an indoor water park. Let me tell ya, for people with small children, it's pretty much the best thing ever. An added bonus: I think Veda may now be over her fear of all bodies of water that aren't her own bathtub.

It's Veda with me IN A SWIMSUIT. Am I the bravest woman in the world, or what? (Never mind that it's from the back and I'm wearing a skirt.)

Linus building a sandcastle with Daddy

The last couple of months have been, true to what all of the experts say, a language explosion. They say lots and lots and lots of things now, and their signing has also picked up. Not only are they saying more in general, they're also talking to me more about things that aren't going on in the immediate present (Linus especially), so it's fun to get to hear what they're thinking about. By the way, what they're thinking about is often a train. Choo choo!

Most of their speech is still limited to single words, but every now and then a short phrase will come out. When the husband got home and handed a new toy to Linus, Linus said, "That's cool!". He's been saying it ever since, and according to Linus, just about everything at the beach is cool.

Back to the signing - I am more and more glad that I decided to do ASL with them. How amazing is it that at not even two years old, they're already bilingual (more or less - they know the signs for most of the words they speak)? Being a bit of a language enthusiast myself, I've gotten hooked on learning ASL since we had such a positive experience with the baby basics. I'm looking forward to using finger spelling as they begin recognizing letters and learning to read since it will reinforce and enhance their learning.

Books are still a favorite activity, but their interests in that area have changed a bit. They're now less interested in books with stories (though they do still have stories they love to hear again and again) and more interested in books with word labels and "Can you find the ________?"-type books. They love sitting in my lap and finding all of the bananas or airplanes or cows on a page.

They're also art enthusiasts now... crayon and play-doh media mostly. Every morning we crank up our kiddie music station on Pandora and get down to the important work of dancing, coloring, and sculpting balls and snakes. Things often go downhill after they decide to do a play-doh tasting. They know they aren't supposed to eat the stuff, so they'll start out by sniffing it. Then when they think I'm convinced they're just smelling, they'll do tentative licks. This quickly advances to full-out bites. I'm pretty sure that most kids taste it once and decide that it's horrible. Nah, not mine. They'd eat the whole jar if I'd let them.

Veda is on her way to being ready to potty train. I'm still reading up and deciding what strategy I want to use. As a first-timer, I'm extremely intimidated by potty training. I'm sure than in retrospect, I'll laugh at myself for how worried I am about getting it right. In the meantime, though, I feel like I need to have a thorough plan since I'm doing this with two of 'em. As much as it freaks me out to think about both of them potty training at the same time (which I think is entirely possible since they do EVERYTHING at the same time, by their choice), I know that Linus hasn't shown many signs of readiness, and it hurts me to think that he's going to feel left out. With all of that said, it may still be a couple of months before we officially start with Veda. I just know that when I little lady starts telling you what's in her diaper, she's close.
Pin It

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Good News

All of Veda's tests came back within normal limits, so HOORAY! The pediatrician is satisfied for now, but wants to reevaluate at 21 months. In the meantime, I've got orders to give her Pediasure. Since I'm me, though, I searched out an organic alternative - Pediasmart (which he approved). Drink as directed? Ha! Not our little Veda. But she's very polite about it. She'll take the sippy from me, taste it, and then "absent-mindedly" leave it somewhere around the house. I don't think it's because the stuff tastes bad - she's just never liked ANYTHING except for human milk and water. Seriously, I have the only kids on the planet who spit out juice. Next up, I'll try a smoothie with strawberries and bananas. That goes with chocolate, right?

Several people have asked me what failure to thrive is. Dr. Google has plenty to say about it, most of it scary, of course - that is his way, after all. As our pediatrician put it, it just means that she isn't growing like we would expect her to. And bless the man for telling me that it's no reflection of my parenting. Even though I know that in my head, it still feels good to hear it.

Pin It

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

18 (19) Months Well Appointment

First, the stats:

Linus: Weight - 21 lbs., 10 oz. (5th percentile)
          Length - 32 in. (25th percentile)

Veda: Weight - 17 lbs., 10 oz. (Not on chart)
           Length - 29 3/4 in. (5th percentile)

Both babies are meeting all of their developmental milestones on or ahead of time, for which I'm very grateful. Let me say that again - I'm VERY grateful. We got lucky with these two, I tell ya.

Physically, well, we're still deep in Failure to Thrive territory. I think that if you'd never seen another 19 month old, you'd look at Veda and think she's the pinnacle of health. She's energetic and clever as can be. But... she's so tiny. I suspected that at today's visit we'd get some orders for testing, and *sigh*, I was right. As much as I hate to put her through it, I know that it needs to be done. Today she gave a urine specimen at the pediatrician's office. Perhaps you are wondering how such a specimen is obtained from a little one, and the answer is URINE BAG. The nurses strategically tape a bag around her girly bits... and then we wait. And in our case, we waited... and waited... AND waited. Veda was extremely curious about what THAT thing was, but she did NOT have to pee, by golly. We pushed her sippy, washed her hands, and even stood her up in the sink with water running around her legs, but still NOTHING. What finally worked? The been-there-done-that nurse on staff put a warm bag of something (?) next to her bladder under her diaper. Ta-da! I've never been so glad to see a bag of piping hot urine.

The urine sample showed traces of white and red blood cells. That could mean that she has a chronic UTI (which can be a cause of Failure to Thrive), or it could just be some irritation due to the method of collection. The lab is going to do some further testing to decide which one.

We've also got orders to do some lab work at Children's to test for a whole slew of stuff.

75% of me (the calm, rational part of me) thinks that she's just an itty bitty thing, and that's just how she's meant to be. I mean, have you seen me? I'm not exactly robust.

25% of me (the crazy mama bear part of me) is scared. I'll leave it at that.

As for Linus, the pediatrician is slightly concerned that he's dropped fairly significantly in weight from his curve on the chart. I think it's just because he's an a-mile-a-minute toddler. Nonetheless, he shall also be tested for anything that Veda tests positive for, just in case.

Sorry that there aren't any pictures with this post. Alas, my camera is still with the Mr. in Albuquerque. I shall definitely make up for the last month's lack of photos when it returns.Bwahahaha!
Pin It

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Portrait of the Artists At Seventeen Months

A few things:

The pacifier only comes out at nap time and bedtime now, but when one of the babies is upset now, the other will search out a paci and put it in the crying twin's mouth. How sweet is that?!

Remember Linus telling the dog to shut up? That still happens sometimes, but now they're both shushing her. Veda even leans down to do it. It's incredibly cute.

A few weeks ago, they became little furniture-climbing monkeys. This means that all of my out-of-their-reach safe spots are now not-so-safe. Other parents of twins used to tell me this got easier. They were lying liars who tell lies.

I've said before that we're immobilized by their mobility. It's so hard to go anywhere, because all they want to do is run away. If there was only one of them, it would be manageable, but with two running in two different directions, it's dangerous and exhausting. I'm looking forward to them figuring out that they need to stay with me.

A few weeks ago I brought the basketball pump inside so that I could add air to their inflatable bouncy pony. Turns out that it's the greatest toy ever. It now lives in the toy basket.

Linus is such a smart little guy. Every day he takes on these little projects with objectives that aren't clear to anyone but him. He'll grab a couple of objects and work on fitting them together, tapping them... it's a process that takes a while, and if there's an interruption in his work, a tantrum ensues.

The Little Engine That Could has finally been overthrown as official favorite book. The new reigning favorite? Olivia goes to Venice. Veda brings it to me approximately once every fifteen minutes. I'm not sure that they're old enough to get the dry humor of the Olivia series, so it must be the artwork. And they also enjoy the "bong bong" sound effect near the end.

Speaking of humor, Veda now laughs in all of the right places in Blue Hat, Green Hat. If we're reading it at bedtime, she'll take the paci out of her mouth, laugh, and reinsert it. Ha!

Linus's kisses used to be bites. Now they're licks. Eh, at least they don't hurt anymore.

They're more into dancing lately. The dancing involves a combination of wiggling and spinning. Yeah, it's pretty cute.

Both babies have become more interested in "helping" me, Veda more so. They love putting their toys in the toy hammock at the conclusion of bath time, and I always get lots of help when it's time to transfer the laundry from the washing machine to the dryer. Veda brings me a kleenex if I tell her I need to blow my nose. This is actually quite helpful, as my nose runs like a spigot in the morning thanks to all of the allergens out here, and inevitably I'm nursing Linus when it happens.

It's hard to believe that they're seventeen months old - that's almost and year and a half! I hate that this is all going by so fast, but I'm also looking forward to the eighteen month mark, when apparently a whole new world of stuff will happen.

Pin It

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Snapshots of Cute Stuff 6/9/11

I was thiiiiis close to packing up the Jumperoos. They take up a lot of room in our apartment, and the babies are too tall for them. Then again, they're good for keeping the babies safely corralled when I need to take a shower. The babies aren't content to stay in them very long with nothing else going on, but add in a Signing Time dvd, and they're good. And there's also the hilarity of this:

Arts and Crafts time has been getting more interesting, by which I mean that they actually DO stuff now when I haul out the crayons or finger paint. Obviously they still put everything in their mouths, but not as much now. We're making progress. I'm soooo eager to start play-doh, but maybe they need a little more time to be ready.

This one's a little old. It's from Mother's Day. The hubby tried to take me somewhere nice. Maybe this sounds like a bad idea from the outset to you, but Linus and Veda are exceptionally well-behaved babies. No kidding, I got stopped no less than three times at Target the other day because people wanted to tell me how GOOD they are. That doesn't count the number of times I was told how cute they are. Anyway, back to this little story... It was a disaster. I ordered spanakopita for them (this was a Greek place), and they crumbled it all over the place. They were loud. They were dropping silverware on the floor. Long story short, I ended up taking Veda outside while the hubby boxed up our dinner and paid the check. Oh well, credit to the husband for trying.

Here's Veda at the zoo. What you're not seeing is the extent of her enthusiasm for the flamingos... any bird, really. Every time we see birds, hear birds, or read about birds, she furiously signs bird. I'm such an advocate of signing now. It isn't just about the communication. It's obvious that it's also helping them learn about the world around them. At the zoo, they are so much more into the animals they know the signs for. So cool.

Linus has developed an obsession with lining things up as of late. He does this on the side of the bathtub, and he lined up pieces of food on a sink in a hotel we stayed in. That was a little weird. Funny, but weird. I'd give him a piece of banana, carrot, etc., and he'd walk it over to the sink and space it just so in order. 

Here's Veda's big ol' size 3.5 sandals for the summer. We had to try on every pair of sandals in the store before we found a pair narrow enough for her. Seriously, she's the tiniest person ever.

A photo of Mr. Linus from our trip to White Sands, NM. With the sun beating down on us and the snow white sand reflecting it back up, he still refused to wear either his sunglasses or his hat. 

Veda with Daddy, looking off camera at Mimi.

Linus is such a pointer. Here he was excited to find an ant walking across the sand.

It was hot. So stinkin' hot.

We stopped for frozen custard, which the kids love. Naturally, they had to be stripped down.

My husband and Linus in Carlsbad Caverns, which boasts the biggest cave room in the Western Hemisphere. Something like that. He also wears his sunglasses at night.

If you haven't been to New Mexico, it's hard to understand how much uninhabited area there is. Here we are in the middle of nowhere, which is where the real Smokey the Bear was found. I look fatter than I deserve, but it's necessary to post a hammy vacation picture.

Also from Carlsbad Caverns. The formation behind me looked like a monster, so this is my scary face.

This has been Snapshots of Cute Stuff.

Pin It

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Guest Post

Today I'm the guest poster over at Rookie Moms with an article about activities to do in Albuquerque with young'uns. Ch-ch-ch-check it out:
Pin It

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Portrait Of the Artists At Sixteen Months


You've become so much more YOU lately. Putting your paci in backwards for laughs, pointing to the trash can when I ask you what you did with your hairbow (and, yes, you had), giving us your sly little smile that says you know exactly what's going on... it's clear that there's a very clever, very funny girl in there.

Your favorite activity by far is reading, and your favorite book is The Little Engine That Could.You ask me to read it several times a day, each time with a humble grin that begs me not to break your heart by turning you down. Your favorite food is cheddar bunny crackers, which I know because you do a little jig in your chair when I pull the box out. You're also quite the girly girl, eager to get dressed in the morning and curious about your accessories. When I put a hairbow in your hair (which is in a very awkward stage of growing out), you usually pull it out, look it over, and hand it back to me so that we can repeat the process.  

It's more clear every day that you're no shrinking violet. At your Baby Bounce class the other day, you climbed to the top of a ramp and ran down as fast as you could, using an unsuspecting little boy as your brakes when you reached the bottom. Bonus points for making it look like a hug. You stand up for yourself and what you want, and I'm so happy to see that. That's going to be important in this world.

While you don't say all that many words, you're a surprisingly effective communicator. The words you do say regularly are mama, dada, and thank you (which melts my heart). Other words have come and gone, but those are your favorites. You sign so many words: more, want, finished, sleep, bird, dog, fish, cheese, bubbles, and train. Sometimes it takes a few attempts, but you can usually communicate what it is that you want.

Truth be told, little Veda, I must say that you've handed me my fair share of mommy worry. You're a tiny little thing - only 16 pounds in a wet diaper, not even on the growth charts. If it weren't for your big personality, I'd worry more. The words "Failure to Thrive" are looming over us right now, and I'm feeling a lot of pressure to rescue you. And even with all of the spunk that just oozes out of your pores, you're still deep in the throes of separation anxiety. You want me in your line of sight at all times. You're still sleeping in the bed with us at night, which I suspect is at least in part due to a fear of the dark since you do just fine napping in your crib during the day. But can I tell you something? I'm happy to have you nestled in beside me at night, and I'll be sad when this cosleeping moment in our lives is over.

You've got spunk. You're smart, funny, and fierce. You're our little firecracker, and we're quite taken with you.


I know that there's no way you'll remember this, but when you were a newborn, I thought my work was cut out for me. You had colic. And I mean that you OWNED colic. Phew! We tried it all - swaddling, rocking, swaying, shushing, vibration, riding in the car, probiotic drops, mylicon, gripe water - with minimal success at best. And now you're this easygoing, sweet, loving little guy. Who knew?!

It's hard to explain, and maybe all mothers of sons feel this way, but it feels like such a privilege to be the first love of your life. Look at that sweet face. You're going to be such a handsome man, and more importantly, I know that you're going to be a GOOD man. Being able to cradle and cuddle with someone who's going to dwarf me in a few years - it's a little surreal. 

You're the dog's #1 fan. Little Mimi might be sleeping on the couch, maybe just trying to relax, maybe observing all of the chaos that goes on in this little apartment, when you suddenly tackle her with one of your enthusiastic hugs. We're lucky that she's such a good girl. A lesser dog might growl or hide, but Mimi lets you do your little boy thing. It's clear that she loves you, too.

You've also been twirling socks lately. We've no idea where you got the idea from, but night and day, you're on the lookout for socks to twirl - one for each hand, please.

As for favorites, it's hard to pick yours out because you're such a laid-back little man. You'll at least try just about anything I put in front of you, and you're more than happy to let your sister choose the books most of the time. It's not that you don't love reading, too. Au contraire! When I sign that we're going to be reading books, you waddle over to my lap with a contented grin, eager for the cuddling and stories. Sometimes I think that your easy-going nature is in part thanks to your devotion to your sister, because it's clear that you love her.

Maybe that's the best word to describe you: loving. And what could be better? You're such a wonderful little boy, and I'm so lucky to be your mommy.

You have a curious nature that inspires you to play with your toys in ways the manufacturers never thought of. It makes us proud to see you using a spoon to play with your magnets or fitting blocks through the holes of the play kitchen's refrigerator. Your scientist father is beside himself with anticipation.

You are also a man of few words. Mama, dada, share, and shut up are your favorites. As for signs, you're more expressive there. You can sign ball, shoes, more, finished, sleep, bird, bubbles, dog, and fish.

When you're all grown up, I promise to try my very best not to be meddlesome or one of those mothers who can't let go. But if I slip up sometimes, please forgive me. You're Mommy's little man.

Pin It

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Drive-By Sharing

A couple of things Mr. Linus has been up to lately:

1. Drive-By Sharing - As I've told you before, share is my little guy's favorite word. In a drive-by sharing, he speeds by Veda, says "Share!" as he grabs whatever toy she happens to be holding onto, and makes a quick getaway.

2. This next one is both hilarious and embarrassing. Most of you probably know about our LWD (that's little white dog) named Mimi. She's definitely a high-maintenance kind of girl. Since we've been living in an apartment, she's driving us absolutely nuts with the barking. Seriously, she barks at EVERYTHING. It usually starts out with, "Mimi, please stop barking." Then, "Mimi, PLEEEEEASE stop barking." "Mimi, HUSH!" "Stop it!!!!" And finally (dun dun dun!!!), "SHUT UP, Mimi!" Guess what Linus has picked up on? Yep, his new word is shut up. And he says it only to Mimi. Tonight, though, I was noticing that he's also picked up my bewildered sentiment. Tonight when he was imploring Mimi to shut up, he sort of walked around her with his head hung down just chanting it quietly over and over - "Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up". My fifteen-month-old says shut up. *Sigh* I thought I had more time!
Pin It

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter and Stuff

The blog is now private. I know that makes it a little bit of a pain to get to, and I thank you for being patient.
But now... it's Easter and Stuff! Sort of a special edition of Snapshots of Cute Stuff.

First up, a few treasures I found in our Plan B camera. Here's Veda covered in blueberries. It's practically identical to a photo of me covered in cupcake thirty years ago. It's pretty amazing how much we look alike if I do say so myself.

This was our first try at finger painting. As you might have guessed, they mistook the paint I set out for grocery store-type samples.

This is the recent stuff. Check out Veda making a park appearance decked out in all her pink wear.

Easter baskets. Contents: Eggs (duh), sand toys, matching cards game, Signing Time dvds, Teeth are Not for Biting book, beach ball, and sidewalk chalk. No candy!

I can't get this one to rotate, but here they are in their little coordinating outfits tearing into their baskets. Well, digging out the Easter grass anyway.

This is how you "hide" eggs for a couple of one-year-olds.

Coming out for the egg hunt with Grammy and Grandad


Veda was more interested in seeing how far she could walk away from us before being recaptured than in finding eggs.

Pin It