Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Everything You've Ever Said (Or Will At Some Point...)

This is for my mommy friends, those who will some day be moms and even for the occassional stay-at-home dad out there (Kurt Berkes, that's for you...).

Take the time to watch. You will not be disappointed.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Cathing Up with the Pruetz Family

This week has been an exciting one in the Pruetz house. With the addition of our latest four-legged friend, we've spent a lot of time outside, teaching the canine to "do her business" in the grass instead of in our formal living room. It's a work in progress.

Tuesday the girls went back to see Dr. Trexler, since they were not able to get their one-year immunizations at their last appointment due to the double ear infections they both had.

Both girls were weighed, with Faith coming in at 17 pounds even and Grace at 17 pounds, 7 ounces. Faith is 26.5 inches and Grace is 26 inches. This marks the first time Faith is longer than Grace!

Both of the girls rank under the 5th percentile, still, when corrected back. They are continuing to gain weight at a regular rate, but Dr. T was hoping that they would have "caught up" by now. She's a little concerned about how small they still are, especially considering how much they eat! (As a side note, we went to Chuck E. Cheese with the MOMS Club on Monday and a fellow mom stopped by our table just to tell me that she'd never seen such small being eat so much food. I had to return to the salad bar three times!). We're going to keep an eye on them and have the twins weighed again in a month. Their slowed recent weight gain may be because of being sick for so long...

Tuesday was also Todd's 39th birthday. After our marathon doctor's appointment -- things take so much longer when there are two -- we came home and put the twins to bed. The combination of being up at 6:30 that morning, thanks to our barking dog, missing their morning nap, getting shots and taking Tylenol to ease the pain meant a four-and-a-half hour snooze for both girls.

During that time, Devin and I prepared for Daddy's celebration. We made a chocolate marble cake and frosted it with fudge icing. Then Devin decorated it with various colors and forms of sprinkles. He had a really good time both decorating the cake and sampling his wares.

Diabetic coma, anyone?

Strategically placed candles (the strategy is still a mystery, but apparently there was some)

Around 3:30 the girls got up from their naps and Todd's parents arrived. They just love our kids and immediately got down on the floor to play with them. Here is Dorothy, the baby whisperer, with the girls.

Grace is standing and Faith is sitting in Dorothy's lap

Grace, Dorothy and Faith

We had Todd's favorite dinner of pollo rellano, spanish rice and bean-and-corn salad with salsa dressing. We ate in the dining room on the good china and enjoyed good conversation and fun.

We opened gifts and Todd got a CD and some cash from his parents, a DVD and an iPod from me and the kids, and an iPod stereo/speaker system from ZZ. He raked it in!

We dug into the cake and ended our night. It was a fun time and I think we ushered in Todd's 40th year of life in style.

Since then, we've just been hanging around the homestead. We've been trying out some gyms around here for Devin to take gymnastics. There is one very close to our house, but it's a gym for serious gymnasts and not for little boys who need to run off some energy. If Devin wants to compete when he's older, we'll probably go to that one, but for now, we're enrolled at Flip City where Devin is learning to do handstands, back walkovers and other fundamentals of gymnastics. He's loving it and we're very happy with our new activity.

Soon he will start Vacation Bible School and then a summer program at a local church. He's very much looking forward to both.

The girls are being as cute as ever. Their latest trick is to put their hands way up above their heads when you say, "Ta da!" to them. It's hysterical and they are a hit at any gathering.

They've also discovered the stairs. They actually discovered them a long time ago, but they are just now realizing that they lead somewhere. Faith is completely attracted to them and can hardly control herself. And when Gracie sees what Faith is doing, she is always right behind.

And they're off!

Erin Pruetz: 2007 Mother of the Year

By the way, that's squished banana on Gracie's bottom. I'm not that bad of a mom! :)

And finally, today is a year since the girls came home from the hospital. I recall that day like it was yesterday -- how happy I was and how terrified I was, all at the same time. I look back on the weeks following their arrival and how difficult it was. Neither would sleep for more than a few minutes at a time, especially at night, and everwhere we went, the heartrate monitors had to go with us. They were small, frail and enough to make my head spin. We went weeks with only 90 to 120 minutes of sleep each That's not uninterrupted.

But I was so happy I couldn't stand it. My girls were safe, they were healthy and they were home. I was drunk with happiness (some of that was lack of sleep, I'm sure) and despite a very bumpy few months, I wouldn't have changed it for the world.

And now, a year later, my girls are beautiful, personality-filled angels who bring me elation every single day. They walk (well, cruise...close enough), they talk, they follow simple directions and they snuggle. They feed themselves, they are best friends and they love a good adventure. Oh the joy they bring me...

Here are some pictures from June 23, 2006.

Faith and Grace - around 5 pounds each

I need a picture of me holding both of them today. It's a much different picture!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Because I Don't Have Enough To Do...

Apparently, I'm bored. I don't actually believe that I am bored, but why else would I do what I have done? Why else would I get a puppy? I have three kids, two of whom are still only crawling and one of whom is about to enter Pre-K...but, for some reason, I believed that I needed a little more to do.

I alluded to it in one of last week's blog entries and yes, it happened. We now have a dog.

I've always loved Welsh Pembroke Corgis (actually, the plural of Corgi is Corgyn...but I refuse to use that. It sounds stupid). I've always thought they were adorable, with the body the size of a Basset Hound, but the legs the length of a Chihuahua. The big, pointy easy and the inquisitive fox-like face have also always gotten to my heart.

We started talking about getting a dog a few months ago, saying that we would put it off until the girls were a year old. Once that date started nearing, we started talking about what we would get. A mutt? A German Shepherd? A Pug? A Corgi?

Of course, my vote was for the Corgi and I started to contact breeders and rescue operations in the area. I didn't get very far until I check the local newspaper one day and found someone in the area who was selling full-bred pups for much less than everyone else wanted.

Todd contacted Debbie, the breeder, and she sent us some photos of her three males and two females. The puppies were so cute and one of them had these big, round eyes with a sad look on her face. I told Todd, "That one looks like Grace!"

He was sold. He told me to break out the check book -- we were going to get a Corgi.

On Thursday, we contacted the breeder and agreed to meet her in Boerne (another Texas Hill Country town whose name is not at all spelled the way it sounds -- Bernie) midway between where she lives in Kerrville and where we live in San Antonio. We were going to meet at the Home Depot on Saturday at 4:00. It was all set.

But I got to thinking about how much fun it would be to surprise Todd when he got home from work on Friday. Wouldn't the look on his face be priceless if he walked in and a puppy met him at the door?

So I called the breeder back and she told me that picking the dog up on Friday would actually be better for her. She said she'd talk to her husband and call me back to let me know what time.

I stuck by the phone all afternoon and evening, worried that Todd might answer it and realize our plan. Finally, I couldn't wait any longer to bathe the kids, so I walked away from the phone for a few minutes.

Wouldn't you know it? The breeder called and left a message, which Todd got. She said, "How does 11:00 on Friday sound?" The gig was up. Todd knew what I was doing, but I guess it's the thought that counts, right?

So I packed up all the kiddos and we drove to Boerne. I got out of the car and took a peek into the bed of the breeder's pickup truck. In a small kennel were two precious puppies -- both girls. One was red and white while the other was a tricolor of red, white and black.

I thought it would be a difficult decision, and it sort of was. But my favorite Corgi is a red and white and there was one right in front of me. I knew I'd found our dog.

I paid for her, got her AKC papers and packed into the car. We drove home and were greeted by a number of our neighbors who wanted to see the latest Pruetz. All afternoon, in fact, we had guests in and out, ready to meet our little fuzzball. She was a big hit!

We named her Zoe and she's a perfect addition to our family. She plays so well with the kids and wants to please us. She's learning the rules and is even doing well with housebreaking. We're crate training her but she's not exactly thrilled about it. She howls a lot at night and sleep has been an elusive thing. Here's to hoping she learns to love her crate...soon.

Corgis are herding dogs and she definitely has the instinct to herd. She nips at the kids heels (and even at Todd's and mine) and "steers" them in the direction she wants them to go by sidling up to them and nudging them. It's pretty cute, although we're trying to curb the nipping, as we don't want her to get too rough with the kids.

Here is a photo of our littel girl, the day we brought her home at eight weeks old.

Our puppy's full American Kennel Club name is Zoe Love Eyes Play Play Nipper Girl

Moving On...

Today was Father's Day and we celebrated how lucky we are to have Todd. We let Daddy sleep until 10:30 and then I went out to get some breakfast tacos (a San Antonio delicacy!). We hung around, played with the kids and the dog and enjoyed the nice, unseasonably cool weather we're having.

Todd grilled steaks tonight while I made mashed potatoes and asapragus. We dined on a real "man's meal" and thanked God for the blessing we have in Todd.

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there. You're a special breed.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Devin's Doozie

It's been awhile since I've posted one of these, mostly since Devin has so many, I can't keep track of them long enough to write them all down.

But today was an extra-good one that really deserved remembering. It also helps that he only said it a few minutes ago.

After we had finished lunch today, Devin laid down on the floor next to the kitchen table. When I asked what was wrong he said, "I think I ate too much. My legs won't work. I can't walk."

"Oh dear," I said, "I guess we won't get to do any of the fun things we have planned for this weekend." Devin doesn't know it yet, but we're going to likely get a puppy on Saturday.

He replied to me, "'ll get better."

And then wistfully, with a far-off look in his eyes and with an element of distance to his voice , he said, "It will get better...someday."

I nearly spit Coke out of my nose.

Twins are Interesting

Okay -- that may be the dumbest of all titles. But the truth is -- it's true! As my girls are getting older and more social, I am seeing more and more interesting things about them. These interesting things strike me as interesting because they are so different from what it was like when Devin was this age.

The most striking of all of the things I've noticed is their need for me. I'm the mommy and they need me for a lot of things -- for assurance and support and love and diaper changes and all of the other things that come with mommyhood.

But one thing they really don't need me for is playtime. They don't need me because they have one another. Just last week, I sat on the floor and both girls immediately crawled over to me. Faith crawled into my lap as Gracie stood next to me, holding onto my shoulder. We laughed, snuggled and played for a moment, but soon the twins got tired of me and found one another more interesting. Before I knew it, the girls were sitting next to me, playing while I sat and looked on.

Now that it's at the top of my mind, I see this happen so often. They cry when the other twin leaves the room, not when I leave the room. They light up when they see the other. They speak their own little language as they sit directly across from one another and pat one another's heads, tickle one another's feet and just enjoy being in the company of their sister.

I wasn't any sort of psychology major in college, but I did take a social psych class in which we talked about the dyamic of three. You may not know it by this particular name, but you've undoubtedly experienced it at some point in your life.

Can you recall a time that you invited your two very best friends over to play? And, at some point, the other two ganged up on you? Most likely, they left you out of a game or conversation or they told you that whatever they were doing only involved two people and you'd have to wait your turn. A turn that never came.

Well...when it comes to my girls, I'm the third. I'm the kid who gets left out of the game, never to recieve a turn. I'm on the outside looking in.

It breaks my heart a little, because I have so many plans for the three of us. Are they going to help one another pick out clothes for their first dates (when they're 30) without me? Will they turn to one another for advice and not me? Oh sigh...

But in the grand scheme of things, I am so very happy about this. My girls are best friends. At only one year old, they already turn to one another before anyone else. They love one another's company and even find ways to communicate with each that is far beyond anything that we can understand. I really do love it, despite a little ping in my heart when I get left out of the group.

Such is life with twins, I guess.

Monday, June 11, 2007

My Summer Vacation...

Last Wednesday, the three kids and I left San Antonio and headed to the island town of Galveston, a coastal town south of Houston for a family holiday.

I grew up in Galveston. Well, on a penninsula just east of Galveston, in Crystal Beach...but that's not really the point.

The point is, that I have been going to Galveston my entire life. My parents and grandparents owned a house down there, right on the water, and we'd spend endless days there during the summer.

The house wasn't much to speak of. Built the year I was born, in 1976, it had the basic comforts of home. Electricity (although after Hurricane Alicia in 1983, the electricity only worked sporadically), a full kitchen (a tricky fridge couldn't be held open for more than a few seconds, though, as it would lose its temperature), a long dining bar, a couple of bedrooms and a front porch that spanned the width of the house.

We didn't have a phone or a TV. We had a microwave for awhile, but again, Hurricane Alicia did her number on it and after that, we just kept it around as a bread box.

The linoleum was orange and yellow and was throughout the whole house. The only bathroom was done in a lovely shade of avocado green (indcluding the toilet!). We did have a bathroom downstairs (the house was one story, but was on stilts and had a storage room on the bottom level), but the toilet was reserved for my dad and grandpa and the stall shower was a breeding ground for praying mantises and other creepy crawlies.

We had a few ceiling fans, but my tall grandad (tall by my midget-sized family's standards, at least) stretched a few too many times and knocked off a couple of blades, so none of the fans were complete. One fan only had one blade. What was the point???

The barstools made hideous creaking noises, as they had premarturely rusted in the salty, humid air. The windows stuck in the moist environment and the air conditioning worked much less than 50 percent of the time.

I know it doesn't sound like it, but our beach house was heaven on earth.

My happiest memories were spent in that house, doing nothing and doing it well.

Mornings would bring me out of the room I shared with my sister and onto the porch where my mom and dad would be sitting, hand in hand, just chatting. The smell of coffee was stronger at the beach, somehow, and I still can't inhale the scent without it taking me back for a moment or two.

We'd have breakfast and harrass my dad to take us to the water slide. This slide was absolutely nothing compared to today's standards, but to us as kids, it was wet, cold and fun...all we needed during a Texas summer.

After the slide would be a snow cone at the adjacent shack and then back to the house for lunch.

A good nap always followed (something about the beach always made us sleep so well) and then we'd head down to the water to play in the surf, build a castle and collect sea shells.

Back at the house was the traditional chips and dips and to this day, Fritos and cream cheese is still an absolute delicacy to me.

Mom and Nana (her mom) would begin with dinner, which was usually burgers grilled by Dad and Poppa (mom's dad), baked beans and some freshly sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper.

But the best part of the day was after dinner. As the sun began to set, relieving the beach of the blistering heat of the day, we would set out for our nightly walk. As cooler breezes blew in, it was almost as though you could feel the world renewing itself, settling down for the night and resting before taking on another day.

I must have walked up and down Crystal Beach a thousand times with my mom, dad, sister and grandparents...but I never remember getting bored. It was the same houses, seaweed, the same driftwood, but somehow, it was always intriguing.

After a good, long stretch of the legs, we'd return back to the house for some quiet time on the porch. Just us, sitting, talking and laughing in the night breeze. In August, we'd watch the Leonid Meteor Shower and when we weren't doing that, we were singing or telling stories. My dad would often sing Mo Bandy's, "Cowboy's Ain't Supposed to Cry," and I'd immediately burst into tears. To this day, at age 31, I still can't help but get teary-eyed when I hear it. If you were at my wedding, you know what I mean.

We'd all get into our bed, sleep to the lullabye of the waves crashing only feet away and wake up only to do it all over again.

It was bliss. It was perfect. It was the very best part of my childhood, along with every Christmas Eve I can remember. Of the six of us (my family, plus my grandmother and grandfather), three are gone and the house was sold when I was in high schoo. But my family and our beach house all live in my heart and I am reunited with them every time I visit Galveston.

So taking my kids down down there was very special for me. We went two years ago, when Devin was two, and it was wonderful then. But adding a couple more children to the legacy of my youth makes it even better.

We joined my dad, stepmom, her four daughters and their families (for a total of 20!) in Galveston for a few days of fun. We spent a lot of time at the resort pool and beach club and lounged in the sun, grilled out and slept in (sort of).

Todd was only able to take Friday off, so he flew into Houston after work on Thursday and it was great to be reunited with him. The kids just loved seeing him, of did I.

We took turns taking Devin to the pool and to the beach while one of us stayed with the girls during their nap times. It gave each of us some good, quality time with Devin while the other got some quiet time back at the house. It worked out well.

The girls, however, were not impressed with their new environment and barely slept the whole time we were there. Todd and I had a balconey off of our bedroom and we took turns rocking the girls to sleep out there, hoping the ocean's dull roar would do the trick. It did and while I was pretty tired the whole time I was there (their need for rocking usually came around 3:00 a.m.!), I couldn't help but love holding my little ones in my arms, just as my mom and dad did with me when I was little.

Saturday night we grilled out at the pool and afterwards, as the girls got sleepy, my dad offered to take them home while Todd, Devin and I stayed back. He said, "Go take a walk on the beach. It's important."

He's right. A walk on the beach doesn't sound like much more than a nice idea, but the fact of the matter is, it's a part of my history and something my family did without fail every night we were down in Galveston. It meant so much to me that Devin, Todd and I were able to walk along the surf as a family and that I got to pass along that legacy. I can't wait to go back when the girls are old enough to go, too.

My dad knows me really well and I appreciate his thoughtfulness so much.

We returned, tired and crispy, yesterday afternoon. It seems that Faith and Grace are getting back into a good routine and Devin looks like he just arrived from Hawaii or something -- he's so tan!

My ankle is feeling much better, although it still hurts when I overdo it or twist around too quickly. I'm staying away from the Vicodin, too. ;)

Here are some photos, courtesy of my dad. I had some others of the rest of the family that I wanted to put in here, but I couldn't get my computer to cooperate. So here are just a few of the many.

Dad got into a picture! He's usually the one behind the camera!



ZZ, Brian and Addison


Presley and Kaelin

Amanda, Devin and Todd. What is Todd doing to that poor shark? :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Rest of the Story

I promised to share the remainder of the my-life-is-better-than-fiction story and here it is.

After we left the ER on Friday, we dropped off my prescription for painkillers. We got home and I realized that I had a painkiller left over from my back problems a couple of months ago, so I took one.

I took a quick nap and we headed out on our way to Yoakum. My foot was hurting pretty badly, so when we picked up my prescription on our way out of San Antonio, I took another pill.

Very, very bad idea.

About 15 miles down the road, I started to feel sick to my stomach. I asked Todd to pull over so that I could get a snack. I figured the medicine wasn't settling well.

I grabbed a bag of Chex Mix and we were on our way.

But the nausea only got worse. And worse. And worse. And...


I threw up all over the car. I had a bag to puke into, but I mostly missed and it went all over the car and me. Todd pulled to the side of the road and I hopped out and cleaned up using just about every baby wipe I could find. Todd fished another t-shirt out of the back of the van and after I changed in what may have been the nastiest bathroom ever, we were on our way.

I was feeling much better and even sipped on water. But soon, the waves came again. This time, though, it was much worse. It was like I was as drunk as I've ever been. The ground felt as though it was heaving around me and throwing me from side to side. I couldn't even sit up straight and closing my eyes helped momentarily, but soon gave way to the feeling of being tossed around on a ship in a storm.

We pulled onto the two-lane highway that we take into Yoakum as I tried to keep another round of puking at bay. It wasn't meant to be and this time, the puke came fast and furiously. I didn't even have time to grab a bag. I just motioned for Todd to pull over and roll down the window.

So there I was, at 65 miles an hour, throwing up out the passenger's side window of our Kia minivan.

Of course, at that rate of speed, the projectile does not go straight down, but rather back -- and that means a completely redecorated automobile exterior.

Luckily, that was the end of the vomitting, although we all needed a shower when we got to Todd's parents' house since some of the puke also came into the window and slapped the whole family in their respective faces.

What's the moral in all of this? Narcotic-based painkillers are easy to over-dose on. Take it from me -- you don't want do to this.

The rest of our weekend was good. We saw the Yoakum Tom-Tom parade on Saturday morning and on Saturday afternoon, we went to the festival where we looked at vintage cars, watched weiner dog races and played on the playground. Todd even judged a pork bbq contest!

We headed home on Saturday night and had a nice, relaxing rest of the weekend. So far, so good and no ODing of any kind.

Here are a couple of photos we had done of the kiddos recently. Faith is on the left and Grace is on the right in both photos.



Saturday, June 02, 2007

As the Stomach Churns...

Why the title? Because it seems I'm living in a soap opera, that's why.

Just as the twins finished their antibiotics for ear infections and Devin neared the end of his antibiotics (which, by the way, were so "heavy duty" that our pharmacist told us not to pour it down the sink because it could harm the ecosystem. And I'm putting this in my child's body???), I thought to myself, "Well maybe we'll all be healthy for awhile."

I'm here to warn you: Don't tempt the fates.

Around 10:30 yesterday morning, I took the girls upstairs for their morning naps. As I was coming downstairs to get some work done and spend time with Devin, I misjudged our stairs and took a spill. I slid down a couple of steps (three or four at most) and landed on my bottom without much grace (the virtue, not the child). In the process of doing this, though, I also twisted my right ankle in a way that made it make a crunching noise so loud it echoed.

I yelled. Loudly. Not only out of pain, but out of fear, too. I sat on the stairs and screamed out for a few seconds before I told my very frightened toddler to please bring the me phone. I was panting from the pain and I was very lightheaded, but I managed to call Todd. When he picked up, all I could say was, "Todd, come home. I think I broke my ankle." I hated to look at my ankle, but I did and I was shocked to see how swollen it had gotten so quickly.

My fantastic husband hopped into his car and headed home. At that moment, the phone rang. I saw that it was my friend, Sheena, and I picked it up and told her what was going on. She helped to calm me down and Devin, being the precious little thing that he is, brought me his "boo boo ice pack" from the fridge. I hobbled to one of our living room chairs and sat down. I called my neighbor, Susan, and asked if she could watch the kids while Todd took me to the emergency room. She immediately came over and soon after she arrived, my doorbell rang again. This time, it was my friend Leslie. Leslie had apparently talked to Sheena who had told her what was going on with me. Leslie was in her car, so she rushed over to make sure I was taken care of as I waited for Todd to come home.

You know how I talk all about how I have such incredible friends? This is a perfect example. Susan has three kids, Sheena has three, including a newborn and Leslie has three, also, with a six-month-old. These women are busy with their own lives, but they dropped what they were doing to make sure I was okay. How could I ask for more?

Anyway, Todd got home and we trekked to the emergency room. By the time we got in there, I was feeling pretty sick to my stomach and even a little faint, so I was taken into a room very quickly. Vitals were taken and I was taken in for three x-rays.

Turns out my ankle was not broken, although it was very severly sprained. I was sent home with some Vicodin and a big, ugly brace.

The ankle is still pretty swollen -- in fact, it's more swollen today than it was yesterday. And it hurts pretty badly. I'm a little concerned, truth be told...I've never had a sprain feel this painful.

The weekend goes on from there when we headed to Todd's hometown of Yoakum for their annual Tom-Tom Festival. In my next post, I'll write more about the festival and my not one but two puking incidents in the car ride there.

Sounds like something to really look forward to, huh?

A soap opera. I'm telling you. But you can't make this stuff life is way better than fiction!

Have a great rest of the weekend...