Thursday, May 22, 2008

We made it through the first year!

On May 10th, our babies turned 1. We had a lovely party with friends and family, who came to celebrate Jordan and Taylor and us all making it through the first year as a family.

I ordered these cool personalized bibs from and they came out great! We loved them and have now added them to the drawer of keepsakes that we are saving for the babies when they are older.

Uncle Brian tames wild Thing 1 before the party begins. Doesn't she look wild? Thanks to Uncle Brian (or Buncle, as we like to call him after I switched the B and the U when referring to him. Get it?) for color coordinating with Taylor and Jordan on their big day!

Auntie Lisa helps with Jordan, the wildest of the beasts. We ordered the shirts online, too. Don't ya love 'em? It was so great to spend the weekend with Lisa and Robyn, who came up from Boston to spend some time with us. They had not seen the babies since they were 3 months old and we moved from CA. Lisa is the lucky lady who flew with me and the kids from CA to Boston. And she lived to tell the tale. We talked about the flying experience and how we both kept telling ourselves: "We will never see these people again" and "Every second that goes by is one second closer to the end of this journey." There were some "interesting" moments during the flights, as you might imagine!

Thanks to Auntie Cindy for making these awesome birthday cakes for the kids. This one is a turltle. Check out the licorice toenails! Such detail! And very yummy, too! Thanks, Cindy!

This giraffe cake was pretty awesome, too. The colors are dyed coconut. Isn't the neat? Anyone want to place an order with Cindy for their next party? She did an amazing job!

Here are the cupcakes that Mama Chris made, simply because she felt like a slouch if Aunt cindy was the only one to bake for the twins' first birthday! The kids each had one of these to dig into. You will see more of these in a bit, but they will not look this good!

Thanks to Auntie Robyn for being the grill master during the party! She made some pretty awesome burgers and dogs for the masses to gnosh on. Thanks so much, Robyn!

Enjoying the sunshine and a few brewskis.

Hail, hail the gang's all here! Even Jordan and Taylor's great-grandmother made it to the party! And she seemed to have a damn fine time!

Taylor and Jordan check out the cupcakes. At first, they were not sure what to make of them. They were hesitant. They were cautious....

And then the sugar started to hit and they were psyched! Look at that face!

Jordan got messy and enjoyed his cupcake thoroughly.

I have never seen someone suck a cupcake until it was gone, but that is exactly what Taylor did. Once she tasted that sugary icing, she was not putting that thing down for anything in the world and she wanted to make sure no one tried to take it from her. Enjoyment would be an understatement, I think!

Check out those frosting hands!

A family picture to commemorate the big day! We made it through the first year! Hip Hip Horray!
Thanks for this huge bag of mess-makers, I mean blocks, Uncle Ray and Aunt Jenn. (And they gave us TWO bags of them!) You know what they say about pay-back, right? I can't wait to shop for your kids for Christmas!

I love this picture of Jordan playing with a ribbon from one of the presents. He just looks SO happy!

They love their new riding zebra that we got them for their birthday. Our first mistake was only getting one and thinking they MIGHT be able to take turns and share. Mom, we're one. We ain't gonna do no stinkin' sharing!

Jordan tries out the walker/riding Lion from Auntie Lisa and Auntie Robin. The kids LOVED this! And it is so perfect to help out with developing their walking skills.

The shirts the kids wore for the party. They got dirty, but not anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be after such merry-making!

The post-birthday party bath. Taylor is tired and Jordan is ready to go another round. The mamas just want to pass out in bed!

G'night everone. Thanks for an awesome birthday. We had a blast and are so, so tired!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Relay For Life

On June 20th and 21st, Chris and I will be walking in the Relay for Life. This event is a fundraiser for The American Cancer Society. Although many of you were asked a few years ago to help us raise money when we did the Avon 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk (3 days, 60 miles and one of the most moving experiences of our life.), I am reaching out my hand and asking friends, family and strangers to sponsor either Chris or myself (or even both) once again.

Cancer has had a huge impact on my (Penny's) family. On November 20th, 1991 my mother lost her battle to breast cancer. When my father died, he had prostate cancer. I have also had many aunts on both sides of my family battle AND WIN the fight against beast cancer.

Currently, my second to the oldest brother has skin cancer which spread to his lymph nodes. His prognosis looks good! He had surgery last week, during which they removed the rest of his lymph glands and did not find any more cancer. The only areas of concern are some spots on his lungs and groin which were visible on a CT scan. In a few months, they will rescan and see if they can see cancer in those areas. My uncle on my mother's side is currently battling bladder cancer. This fight is not going as well. A few months ago they removed a tumor the size of a golf ball from his bladder. A month later they removed another one. Unfortunately this one was the size of his fist. At this point his doctors decided to remove his bladder. That surgery went fine. However the tube that brought the urine to the bag outside of his body needed to be fixed. He entered the hospital (fortunately) the night before his surgery. That night he began to have difficulty breathing. The cancer is now in his lungs. He has had a few set backs but we are all staying positive.

Needless to say cancer is big and bad in my family and I find the need to do what I can to help with research. If you feel you are able to do so, please sponsor me. If you can not afford to sponsor me , please consider participating in some way at a cancer fundraising event in your area.

Please feel free to donate in any amount. No amount is too small. I thank you. Chris thanks you, and my family thanks you! Please feel free to make donations using the following links:

My home page is

Chris' home page is

Thanks again! We will post details of the event here once it is over!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! We had a nice day here that involved lunch out at a Chinese buffet, a trip to the park, some more fun time with Aunties Lisa and Robin (who were visiting for the weekend), and some nice presents from the moms to each other. Thanks, Penny, for the facial gift certificate! I can't wait to make the appointment and get me some pampering!

One year ago today, we brought our babies home from the hospital, after a 4 day stay, post c-section. May 10th and Mother's Day were a few days apart last year, obviously! We were quite a spectacle, me being wheeled out on Mother's Day with two newborns. People were oohing and aaahing, and we got our first glimpse of the freak show we would become while in public. People love to ogle you, and sometimes make nice comments and sometimes act like total freakshows! We prefer the nice comments!

Anyway, while it was a lovely Mother's Day this year and last year, I am also painfully aware of Mother's Days in the past when I felt depressed and so sad, in wondering whether I would ever become a mother. Our journey to parenthood was a long and difficult one and, while going through it, we had no idea how or when it might end, and whether that ending would be a sad or happy one. I am also aware of all the women I know in real life and via message boards and blogs online, who are still struggling to become mothers through various avenues. I know the pain of cursing pregnant women, Hallmark cards, and Mother's Day commercials in your face every place you look. Ugh!!

I hope that all women who want to be mothers are able to celebrate Mother's Day at some point in the (near!) future and that the hurt of infertility does not always hurt so acutely.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Birthday!

HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY, to our lovely lovely babies! One year ago you came into our lives in a whirlwind and it has been go, go, go ever since.

We had a great birthday party today with friends and family. We took lots of pictures that I will try to post very soon. It was tons of fun, the kids got some great presents, and the weather was gorgeous for a BBQ on the deck. Thanks to all who came to help us celebrate and thanks to all the gift givers for their amazing generosity. The kids have already started having fun with some of the loot!

It has been a long day, so I will stop here. I just wanted to get a post in on May 10th to say Happy 1st Birthday to our gorgeous babies. Thank you for bringing such joy into our lives, the likes of which we never knew before!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

An anniversary

Dear dad,

It has been ten years today since that awful day when you died. Ten years? That seems so totally unfathomable to me. So much has happened to our family in ten years that if you popped in today, I fear you would hardly recognize us. I am so sad that you will never meet Taylor and Jordan. They are amazing little creatures, even when Jordan is shrieking and Taylor is awake so much at night. You would have loved them and you would have been such a great "Grampy." I truly feel my kids are missing out by not having you in their lives.

Thank you for being such a great parent to me and for teaching me how to be a parent. If I can manage to be half the parent you were to me, Jordan and Taylor will be lucky little devils.

I miss you every day and I still cry when I think of you and all the things you have not and will not get to be a part of in this world. Some days I am mad at you for never quitting smoking. You were so healthy in other areas of your life. How could you keep smoking and killing yourself slowly, so that you left us when you were only 49 years old? I forgive you and I know you were addicted to the smoking, but it just sucks so much. And it hurts that you are gone.

We have a cardinal that visits us daily and I started calling him "Bill." Is it you or maybe your spirit? The bird seems so intent on getting our attention by flying into the windows and sitting right outside on the branches. The bird is always around and seems to be watching over us. Oh, and the bird is a cardinal and you were a red head. Dad, is it you? I really want it to be you, watching over us.

It has been a long ten years in some ways. I can't believe I have not seen you in ten years. I miss your funny sayings (Ba-ding, Ba-dang, That's not even a little bit funny, Six of one, Half dozen of another) and I miss your jokes and I miss talking about Seinfeld with you.

I love you, dad. And I miss you like we just lost you yesterday. Peek in on us on Saturday, if you are not too busy. It's the twins' birthday party that day and I would love for you to be there.

Love always,

Monday, May 5, 2008

News in the world of baby bottles

Here is an FYI for any parents reading this blog:

Babies R Us is issuing store credit for all baby bottles containing Bisphenol-A (BPA) - that includes Dr. Brown's, Avent, Playtex, Soothie, Breastflow, you name it - so that parents can buy new BPA-free bottles.

Many thanks to Jude for giving me a heads up on this hot button issue. I called our local Babies R Us and the first woman I spoke to said they were only taking the bottles back with receipts. Well, after a year of use, we hardly still have the receipts. I said I know other stores are taking the bottles back without receipts. So, the first woman gave me to another woman, to whom I had to ask the same questions. Woman #2 said they will take all the bottles back, for full store credit, without a receipt, as long as you have the nipples, rings, lids, etc.

Awesome news!! I am BRU bound on Friday when I am in Burlington for a training. We have a lot of bottles, so this is very good news for us!

Too long since my last post!

Crap, where has the time gone? It has been several weeks since my last post.....sounds like I am going to confession. "Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It has been three weeks since my last confession. Here are my sins!" Thank you, Catholic school!

So, we have been busy and sick. Story of our lives.

We all came down with some pukey ickiness. Jordan had it the worst. Following that worst night ever with Taylor screaming all night long, we had Jordan's worst night ever a few weeks later, with much puking whenever he laid down. We went through an uncountable amount of crib sheets, pajamas, and changing table covers. Our poor boy. We ended up taking turns sleeping with him on the couch, so we were all propped up. The next day he was mostly fine, although Penny stayed home with him as he could clearly not yet go to daycare. That was a Sunday/Monday.

By Wednesday night, we thought the rest of us had escaped it. Wednesday night, Taylor started puking, although she did not have it as bad as Jordan did by any means. I was sick on Thursday and was home with both kids. Miserable, miserable day. There should be some rule that if the mom is sick, she should be relieved of all duties. And perhaps a Nanny 911 type should be whisked in to help! Penny also felt likle crap on Thursday. By Friday we were all on the mend, more or less. For now, the puking is over and we are grateful. Did I mention how much it sucked to live in a house with a washer, but no dryer, when your kids are puking their guts out? Um, does!

Over the weekend, Penny and I went to a scrapbooking event called "Scrap for the Cure," which was a fundraiser for Relay for Life. The kids stayed home with a babysitter from their daycare center. We had tons of fun and we are so glad we were able to get out. However, having to pay for both an event/outing and a babysitter makes for a very expensive day out. It was worth it, and I hope we can get out more in the future. Although maybe long whole days out are a bit much for the budget.

We are having Jordan and Taylor's first birthday party on Saturday and we are very excited. Some friends and family will be attending and it promises to be a blast. I hope the weather is good, so we can BBQ outside on the deck. I can hardly believe it has been a year since the little monsters were born. This time a year ago, I was 36 weeks pregnant and waiting around to see what was going to happen next. Those following along at home may remember that we ended up having a c-section scheduled because Ms. Taylor (AKA Baby A) was transverse and would not flip around!! Mr. Jordan (aka Baby B) was breech, but may have flipped around if Taylor would have cooperated. She did not cooperate, so a c-section it was.

We will have a picture post of the birthday party early next week sometime! And probably some comparison photos, too. A little "THEN" and "NOW" perhaps.