Monday, January 29

Alex's Locks of Love...,

After 4 long years of beautiful brown locks with perfect golden highlights, it was finally time to cut Alex's hair. Today was the BIG day. And WOW! They cut off 10" - which is alot when you're only 36" tall.

We had talked to her about Locks of Love and how they would take her long locks and give them to another child who couldn't grow hair. She could grow it long again, we explained. But it would take a long time.

She was excited about helping another little kid who didn't have their own hair but we weren't really sure that she understood that meant her hair would have be cut. Short.

Dave was convinced that it would be harder on me than it would be on Alex. I wasn't quite so sure. But she was a trooper!

And lets not forget adorable little Rachel, whose hair grows at a snails pace. She got prettied too.


Saturday, January 27

Out of the Mouths of Babes...,

At almost four, our oldest says to her little friend, "Come on in Analina. We've got a lot to catch up on."

What in the world could they have to 'catch up on' at 4 years old. And - WHO talks like that?


"May I have a drink?" Alex asks nicely and then pauses for just a moment before adding, "Before I DIE?!"


Again, our eldest to mommy, "Why are you putting makeup on you?" and before I can reply she continues with, "to make you a new woman?"

Friday, January 26

People say "You'll Know"

‘They’ say you'll know when you're done having kids. But I didn't. I didn't have some sudden revelation that two was enough. Nothing like the feeling of KNOWING with every fiber of my being that we wanted children. Knowing, feeling and wanting children strongly enough to seek extensive, cutting-edge fertility treatments at the cost of a year's salary to make it happen.

No. I didn't just know. In fact, if I could, if we were younger I think we would have had another. We vacillated on the topic for literally years. But, as time passed, both Dave and I came to love the dynamics of our existing family. Just the four of us, oh yes, and the dog. Another child would certainly rock the boat and change the dynamic in some unknowable way.

And then there was the thought of 'starting over.' The endless sleep deprived days all melting into one long night into one long day - no sllleeeeppp. (OH GOD how I needed sleep.) That piece was the hardest for me.

The pregnancies, even with the variety of scares that they presented, were both wonderful. The babies moving inside of me - first just feeling them move and later watching them roll over and stretch - was the most amazing thing of my entire life. Nothing will ever top that physical experience. For me it was an indescribable awe.

Even the births were relatively easy. (shh! Don't tell the girls any of this. I won't be able to hold the guilt over their pretty little heads later in life.)

It's when I think of the wonder of the pregnancies and the experience of the births that I once again begin to vacillate. I would love to experience that again. But it's the follow-up that kills me. It's those early days/weeks/months that slam a mother right between the eyes. (Wow - I am not a pretty person or even a very nice one without sleep!!) If I could somehow figure out a way to have a third and survive that early phase....,

But. No. Enduring the fertility treatments, shots, doctors visits, exams and possible heartache again...

We have two incredible little girls. At 38 I had Alexandra Lauren, a medical miracle with the help of an egg donor (OH so infertile me). At 39, we had another miracle, this time God stepped in directly, and Rachel was conceived naturally. And, while we think about having more – I think we’ve been blessed more than we could have ever hoped. But if I could, if we were younger...


Tuesday, January 23

Swan Lake - The Beginnings

OK seriously. Is there anything cuter than a room full of 4 year olds in dance class?

Alex is LOVING this. Note the pink tie around her waist - that was her own little accessory idea. Oh so fashionable :-) Rachel anxiously watches her sister's every step wanting to know "when is it my turn to ballet?"

We were also excited to find that Alex's little friend, Kimberly (the girl in the multi-colored dress and black tights) is in the class too. They are INSEPARABLE!! It's all so very cute.

Monday, January 22

Irrational Irritation

What to do when you're not anywhere near your peak fitness level and your DH decides to train for a marathon.

OH, what to do.

Well, clearly irrational irritation isn't the answer - although it maybe unavoidable. At least for a few days while the idea takes hold and the self-imposed pressure to match his physical fitness level passes. Until then it’s best to bite your tongue and be supportive.

I'm trying to focus my attention on the fact that I'll have the hottest husband in town by June. Tone and taut. (Yummy) And not on my little love handles or rippling thighs. Who knows - maybe a little bit of that motivation will rub off and I'll get a little more physical too. If not - I'll be happy for the hot hubby :-)

Sunday, January 21

Our Budding Chef

Oh yes. Alex will be a great cook - for people who can't smell (I've heard that if you can't smell you can't taste all that well either)

Her latest creation: Sweet potatoes w/ marshmallows and brown rice on a hamburger bun - with KETCHUP!

YUMMY!! Yep - that's her loving every bite!!

Thursday, January 11

HELP!! They're Winning!!!

Any mom with young kids knows what I mean when I say, "Help! They're winning!"

It's a day when the kids are a step or two ahead and I'm playing catch up all day. I start to pick up the breakfast mess and, before I'm done, hear a splash in the bathroom - "Oh, that can't be good." and off I go to investigate. After changing the youngest, who was soaked after the tupperware container filled with soapy water spilled down the front of her, I begin mopping up the floor when....,

Yeah. It was one of THOSE days.

We had syrup in the hair, a bloody facial injury, a previously well organized dresser emptied onto the bedroom floor, a hard wack from one to the other and back again, two girls soaked with water and covered in liquid soap, ink pen on the kitchen table, hugs and forgiveness from one to the other and back again, a perpetual mess in the living room and on the kitchen table, and on and on and on.

And all of this before NOON!!

I finally escaped the house for a few hours - Kidsville, you are my savior!! Followed by lunch and nap time. Glorious nap time!!

Conversations with a Walrus

Wednesday, January 3

The Day We Side-Stepped a Tragedy

I never felt so small, so helpless or so failingly flawed as a mother as the day that we landed in the emergency room and made it past triage. When my youngest was just 14-months old she made her way into my room & nightstand and worked the top off of a 'childproof' bottle of Tylenol. She was out of our site for less than 2 minutes, but when I found her she was sitting in the midst of a pile of pills. Because she was in a stage of answering "YES!" to everything, there was no way of knowing if she had actually eaten any.

After immediately calling poison control, we learned the terrifying fact that just five Tylenol pills can kill a child with no warning symptoms. By the time the signs are there the liver can be irreparably damaged.

The absolute lowest moment? The social worker coming to have the 'chat' and talking about a possible visit to our home for a 'safety check.' It seemed as though someone was confirming that I was a horrible mom who shouldn't be trusted with children. I knew she was doing her job - a noble one at that - trying to protect children from real abuse. I knew all that - but my guilt for not watching my daughter closely enough, for allowing this to happen seemed to over ride any appreciation that I had for the social worker or the reality that accidents happen. I simply felt horrible – like the worst mother ever!

After four hours of holding my little girl while they took blood and she drank charcoal mixed with chocolate milk and hoping and praying that my little girl wouldn’t suffer long-term damage – we learned that no Tylenol was found in her blood stream. She hadn’t consumed anything. She was fine. I held her and quietly cried as she snuggled and slept on my chest. It took me a long time to feel like a competent mom again.

That was the day that I learned that having children was like carrying your heart and soul outside your body.