Tuesday, September 26, 2006

September 26, 2006

Way back when, during the days of the NICU and daily trips to and from the hospital, I mentioned that Faith does everything Grace does, only a few days later.

Well, she has stayed true to that statement.

Gracie has become a pro at rolling over. In fact, like her mom, she likes to sleep on her side, giving us all the more reason to keep her sleeping in her car seat at night (the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development recommends all babies sleep on their backs until age one). She just flips over all the time with ease.

Faith has been staying on her back, contetedly. Until now.

Todd and I were standing in the living room, talking about something, while the girls laid on the floor nearby. Devin was being his usual self, bouncing around, trying to interrupt us.

He succeeded when he said, "Mommy! She rolled over!"

Without glancing down, I said, "I know. Grace rolls over a lot now."

He replied, "No! The other one!"

I looked down and, sure enough, there was Faith, quietly lying on her tummy.

Geniuses. Both of them.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

September 23, 2006

Just another day in paradise...

On Tuesday, the girls turned four months old and that meant another trip to the doctor's office. So on Thursday the 21st, I took them in for their check up.

They are doing so well! Faith is exactly ten lbs and 21.75 inches long. Grace is ten lbs, 12 oz and 23.5 inches long. Both are finally on the charts for their true age (four months) and for their corrected age (two months). Faith is in the 8th percentile for a four-month-old and in the 80th for a two-month-old. Grace is in the 15th for a four-month-old and in the 95th for a two-month-old! Woo hoo!

Both girls passed their physicals with flying colors and even did some cooing and talking for Dr. Trexler. She was very impressed. I'm telling you, they're geniuses.

Earlier today, I left the two girls lying on the family room floor while I went into the kitchen (we have an open floor plan, so I was essentially still the same room with them. Don't call CPS). I was talking to Todd, with my back to the girls. In mid-setence, though, Todd interuppted me and said, "Did you leave her on her tummy?"

I turned around to find Grace on her belly. Apparently, Wednesday's roll-over wasn't a fluke (like we thought it may be, since she didn't seem to have much interest in doing it again). We rolled her back onto her back and she flipped right back onto her tummy. We turned her over one more time and got smart -- the video camera! As soon as I get it figured out, I'm going to use Video Egg (thanks for the idea, Meg!) to post the amazing images of Grace rolling over. No baby in the history of babies has ever completed such a feat. :)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

September 20, 2006

Houston, we have a roll-over

It's official -- my girls are growing up! Today, while we were having floor time in the living room, Gracie rolled over from back to tummy and then again from tummy to back! We are thrilled by her obvious brilliance and are excited to see what kind of rocket-scientist-like stuff both she and Faith come up with next.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

September 16, 2006

For those of you with kids, or kids in your lives, go hug them now

I just got the news that a friend, and fellow MOM'S Club member, of mine went to wake her 20-month-old daughter up this morning, but instead found her lifeless in her crib. The little girl had been suffering from seizures most of her life and it seems that she likely had a seizure in her sleep and suffocated.

When she went to bed last night, there was no indication that anything was wrong. They were on their way to a playdate at the park when my friend made the horrible discovery.

Please pray for the Long family. Their suffering is enormous -- more than I can fathom.

And please, go hug your kids and tell them how much you love them. Life is precious and fragile and can be taken from us at any time. No one knows God's plan and while He always knows what's best for us, it's not always clear to those of us on Earth as to why things happen. Live every day like it may be your last.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

September 14, 2006

Happy Birthday, Butch. You're officially in your 30s. Scary.

A series of musings from me. Nothing exciting...

The girls are cranky and seem to like nothing. They don't want to be in their swings, their cribs, their car seats (although they sleep in them at night and love them then, thankfully), their bouncy seats, their play gyms or anything else. They only want to be held. They are either awake and crying or asleep for a few minutes at a time. It's enough to make Todd and me looney.

But there's just so much to love! When they are in good moods (it happens every so often!), we get the sweetest smiles and the most adorable coos from the girls. They both give us a breathy, "Hi!" or say "Ah-gee" (see, Gene and Linda, they're already learning your name!) and sometimes a giggle or too. It makes up for all of the crying, screaming and seeming hatred for any and everything other than me.

Devin is such a little boy now. This morning, he has managed to play teeball and golf in the front yard, eat everything in the house (yoghurt, strawberries, grapes, carrots, Goldfish and two bean-and-cheese tacos), tear up my latest issue of "Parenting," drink my Diet Coke, usurp the girls' new (well, new to them) play gyms and find a lot of joy in the words, "Pootie" and "Booty." Not words bad enough to punish for saying, but not words that you really love hearing from your three-year-old's mouth.

We're working on a new "rewards and consequences" system. We have a dry-erase board on our fridge that has two columns: one for stars and one for Xs. When Devin does something good, he gets a star. Consequently, when he does something bad, he gets an X. Once he gets to ten of either one, there is a reward or a consequence. Ten stars equals some sort of treat while ten Xs means something gets taken away.

Yesterday, he reached ten stars and got lunch at Sonic. We wiped the slate clean last night and have managed to amass five Xs already today. He's trying very hard to catch up to the Xs with stars so he can get a reward. We'll see.

Todd's getting a little restless at home, but that bodes well for me because he keeps finding projects to do. He finally refinished the chandelier in the formal dining room, rearranged the formal living room, re-painted the kids' bathroom (one side with a blue wave for Devin and the other side with pink and yellow flowers for the twins) and spot cleaned the carpets. He even refinished all of our bedroom furniture, which is gorgeous now. It was pretty to begin with, but was starting to look dated. Now it's all satin-finish black with wrought-iron hardware. So pretty. We just need to find a headboard for the bed. That'll come with time, I guess.

I love being married to Todd for a zillion reasons. First of all, he's easily the funniest person I have ever met. It's great to go through life laughing. There's never an end to his silliness and I never tire of the way he sees the world. For example, in kid-friendly neighborhoods, there are often signs that say, "Slow -- Children at Play." To me, that says, "Go slowly -- there may be kids in the street." Todd sees it completely differently, though. He sees it the correct way, of course, but he also likes to muse over the fact that the kids in those particular neighborhoods don't run very fast. You know, "Slow children at play." See what I mean?

I love Todd for his depth, too. He's not just this goofy, silly guy. He's got a lot of conviction and excellent ethics. I'm proud to be with someone like him.

And finally, I love that his family means more to him than anything else. He just lives for Devin, Faith and Grace. He dreams up ways to make them all happy, whether it's playing ball, going for a bike ride or rolling around on the floor.

And, being an excellent artist, Todd is always creating things for the kids. Devin's nursery was Raining Cats and Dogs, with giant, cartoon-like kitties and puppies falling from a rainy sky. Now Devin has a Hot Wheels room, complete with seven-foot Hot Wheels logo and orange Hot Wheels track chair-rail moulding. And you've seen the photos of the girls' room.

Along with fun, custom-painted rooms, Todd is also always making posters and photo montages of the kids. Just last night, he sat down at the computer and came up with a new rock group starring Faith and Grace -- the Sugar Honey Girls. Using sayings from two of their onesies as their hit singles, he created a promotional poster of this new musical sensation and even formed a production company (SPIT UP - Sugar Princesses in Training Unlimited Productions). All of this in a couple of hours. We'll have this printed out and will hang it in their room in a poster frame.

The Hot Wheels Wall in Devin's Room

The Sugar Honey Girls

Yep, life is good. Precious (albeit loud) little girls, a spirited son and a talented and hysterical husband. What more could I ask for?

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11, 2006

Where were you?

I was sitting in my bathroom, putting on my makeup and getting ready for work. It was pretty late in the morning, but I worked for a company that allowed me to roll in any time I wanted to. Ahh...the days of the dot-com.

I had the morning news tuned to the Dallas FOX affiliate when I heard the network break in with news of a crash or explosion at the World Trade Center in New York City. I immediately left my bathroom and ran to the TV to watch the horror unfold. Reporters were already speculating on what had happened and I was furious that they were calling it terrorism so early on. No one knew that the first plane to hit the building was a passenger jet -- no one was 100% sure if it was even a plane. So why would they be saying so early that it was terrorism? Not long before September 11, 2001, PGA golfer Payne Stewart had died in a plane crash in which the aircraft lost pressure and went on auto pilot, eventually crashing as it ran out of fuel. I was sure that something of a similar matter had happened. No one in the world is evil enough to actually hijack a plane and crash it into on the world's tallest buildings.

But then, as I was yelling at the FOX news reporters, a second airplane came into view and a huge explosion errupted on my screen. I was stunned. I sat there, silent, my mouth agape, not being able to comprehend what I was watching. Certainly this was just a reply of the earlier event, but how could it be since now both buildings were burning? I must have realized what happened the same time the FOX newsroom realized it, because as I screamed an expletive, so did everyone on TV.

I called Todd on the way to work and he hadn't heard the news (he left his house very early every morning to drive to Fort Worth for work). He and his co-workers turned on the TV in their office and watched the replays over and over again.

I got to work to find that I was only the second one there. Most everyone else had opted to stay home, while a few co-workers trickled in. I tried to get on my computer for the latest update, but all Web sites were bogged down. I couldn't get on any of them -- local or national.

Then, as I sat and pondered the meaning of what had happened, news of the Pentagon came through the radio. Then Shanksville. I thought to myself, "No one is safe."

A co-worker ran in and said, "One of the towers fell." I just couldn't comprehend what that meant. The towers are each like 110 stories tall. A tower that size could never fall.

But it did. And minutes later, the remaining tower fell. I buried my head in my hands and sobbed. I was scared, sad, mad and confused, all at the same time.

Those of us in the office decided to go down to the bar atop which our office sat (we worked in a hip part of Dallas called Deep Ellum) and ask if we could watch their TV. They agreed and even provided us with beverages as we watched in terror. Finally, my boss called me on my cell phone and said, "Everyone just go home." We did.

Where were you?

Our show of solidarity.

On a much lighter note, here's a Devin's Doozie for you

Last night, as his is usual ritual, Devin came out of his room long after he should have been asleep. He hollered down at Todd, who was in the kitchen setting up the coffee maker for the next morning.


"Devin, Daddy is busy. He's fixing his coffee."

*Long pause*

"What happened to it?"

And finally...

We got our first giggle out of Grace last Tuesday, September 5. I was wiping some stray milk from her cheek and she started to cry. When I looked down, though, I realized she was smiling. It wasn't a cry -- it was a laugh. Apparently, she likes to be tickled!

Peace. Please.


Monday, September 04, 2006

September 4, 2006

Happy Labor Day! I hope that everyone is having a great time enjoying their day off and the "fruits of their labor." Whatever that means. :)

So much going on here and yet, so little. I have tiny bits of news here and there, but really nothing huge to speak of.

First, the kiddos. All are doing well. Faith and Grace are growing like weeds. Grace is a bottomless pit who eats whatever Faith doesn't finish. Faith is still smaller, although also gaining. It's been a month or so since they've been weighed, but I'd estimate that they are around 11 (Faith) and 12 (Grace) lbs. It's getting harder and harder to carry two infant carriers!

Devin is doing well, too. We are officially potty trained, going days now with no accidents (knock on wood). It's just in time, too, since he starts religious education this week at church. It's the Good Shepard program which gives younger kids the chance to learn about the Mass and the basics of the physical chuch like the altar, the ambo, the vestments, etc. It comes highly recommended and we're very excited about it!

And I'm doing well, too. Life has been a little stressful around here, needless to say, giving my Zoloft a run for its money. Some days I think it's working, while others make me want to call my doctor and say, "Prescribe something stronger." Post-partum depression is one heck of a strong illness. It really sticks around and plays tricks with your mind. I have to wonder how long this will last, because I'd really just prefer to feel normal without medication.

The job hunt is going well for Todd. He had an interview that went very well last Thursday, although I am not convinced it's the right job for him. He's in touch with former employer Accenture and should hear from them this week about some positions they have here in their new San Antonio offices (which were supposed to open on the 1st!). I would really like for him to work for Accenture again -- they are a great company to work for. We'll see what God has in store for us...we're trying to keep the faith.

Last night, Todd, Devin and Uncle Brian went to San Marcos to hear Uncle Brian's favorite band, The Derailers. Apparently, a good time was had by all! Devin danced for the entire two hour set and even asked a little girl to dance. They had a blast, just the boys.

That's about all for us. Thrilling, huh? To add some excitement, here are some photos. :)


Da girls


Gracie Too

The girls' room -- a work of art by Todd. It's fun being married to an artist!

On the left side of the window is a quote from Cinderella that says, "A dream is a wish your heart makes..." The right side finishes the sentence with, "When you're fast asleep..."

Grace's bed with her name and life-size Tinkerbell

On the wall over the side of her bed is the quote from Disney's Alladin that says, "Let me share this whole new world with you."

Faith's bed with her name and life-size Tinkerbell

Guess who just had to get into a photo?

The sign on the girls' door

Smiley Face Faith

My kids

Faith and Grace

Devin and Uncle Brian at the Derailers' Concert