Meet Gracie and Luke, our six-year-old twins!
We waited for them forever and can't remember life without them.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cow

A cow says "Moo."

You know it.

I know it.

Gracie knows it.

Lukie knows it, too. Lately, though, he has developed amnesia or, at least, is stuck on his new favorite word.

"Lukie, what does a cow say?" I ask.

"Cow," he replies.

"No, what does the cow say?"

"Cow."

Not to get how exactly this is going, you have to picture how Lukie is saying cow. Do this: Make a hard and fast "k" sound, followed by the "ow" sound by rounding your mouth as wide as you can and bringing your lips together. Make sure to draw out the "ow" sound for a second or two. Try it a few times.

Now you know what Lukie sounds like.

Everytime we have this conversation, it tickles Daddy no end. He thinks it's hysterical that Lukie is insisting on a cow saying "cow." Lukie is joking with us, because he giggles and laughs whenever we say "Nooooo, a cow says 'moo!'" He thinks it is the funniest thing in the world.

Thank goodness he still knows the important stuff.

"Lukie, what does the horsey say?"

"Neigh, pblt," he replies. (The "pblt" sounds are the raspberries he blows to show the horsey snorting.)

"Lukie, what's this?" I ask, pointing to the horse.

"Cow."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Heading toward Normal

I'd forgotten what life was like when it was the 4 of us together. Night time, for example, was not incredibly stressful as it has been for me lately. Back then, Daddy and I used to bathe Gracie and Luke and then we would lay on the bed together and sing to help them go to sleep. Most nights, I would hold Gracie and Daddy would hold Luke. Some nights, they would fall asleep in our arms. Other nights, they might be put to bed slightly awake. Either way, night time was a lot less stressful. Two parents can do amazing things together.

The last couple of nights, Daddy has been coming home with us to help with bed time. Two nights ago, he took pity on me and my hopelessness with house cleaning. He cleaned the entire kitchen counter in under 30 minutes! Why can't I do that? Then, he entertained Gracie and Luke while I made dinner. They still tried to "help" me, but it wasn't with the same "please give me attention" intensity that has permeated our lives for the last 6 months.

We ended both nights with baths and I packed Gracie and Luke into the car to drive Daddy back to Grandma and Grandpa's house. Gracie and Luke were both asleep before the second track on More from Pooh Corner.

There is something about having a healthy Daddy around that makes everything better. Gracie and Luke are happier, smiling more, loving more, silly more. I can feel it too. When Daddy is around, I'm not as anxious and trying to anticipate the next awful thing that will happen. I can be calmer knowing that he is there to help me.

Today, the movers are moving our 8 huge wood storage pods of stuff back to our house. Daddy is overseeing it all. Starting today, we have 19 days to get it all unpacked, sorted, stored, used, thrown away, or donated. Because on July 15th, we will officially move back into our house. The four of us together again.

There it is! That light at the end of the tunnel again. It gets brighter every day!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fun Places to Play 2

Boxes are much more fun than slides, swings, or pricey playhouses.

See?





Also, pools are way fun! Look at the fun Gracie and Luke had on Father's Day.


More fun with spray bottles

Just some video to make you laugh.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A new friend

Grandma Rosi has an obsession. It isn't crazy, really, it's just an obsession.

She likes to buy dogs for her grandchildren.

Mikey is Victoria and Antonio's dog.

Melodia was Mariah's dog.

And now, Oreo is Gracie and Luke's dog.

Grandma Rosi had good intentions. She wanted to help them feel more comfortable around dogs and thought buying a puppy would help.

Meet Oreo:

Yes, that is Gracie's Piglet toy in Oreo's mouth. Here's why:



He's so tiny, he fits in my hand easily. Gracie and Luke are obsessed with him, but still aren't sure if he is safe.

Only time will tell!

Biting

I work with preteen and teenage girls. For the most part, they are happy, silly, fun creatures. I love how smart they are and how they attack problems head on. It is truly inspiring.

The downside is that I also get to see what happens when things go awry. The thing that frightens me most is when they hurt themselves in order to relieve stress or calm themselves. You've seen it on the news: cutting. Some girls who are in extreme circumstances cut themselves to relieve the stress or anxiety they experience. It is truly frightening to me that girls would do this.

After the day care teacher talked with us about Gracie and Luke's stress levels, I started paying closer and closer attention to their behavior. In the last 2 weeks, a disturbing trend has developed. Gracie gets very frustrated and may hit or bite Luke. If one of us sees her and stops her from hurting him, she immediately bites her own hand or arm. In the beginning, she never left a mark. In the last few days, though, this has changed. Yesterday, she bit herself so hard that she broke the skin.

At first, I responded to this by grabbing her and saying, "No, Gracie! That hurts! Don't hurt yourself!" Which usually resulted in her biting herself again or trying to hit me. She was clearly frustrated and upset, but did not know how to let it out. As the behavior escalated and she started to bite and hit herself, I started to get more and more worried. I did some research on the internet and read some opinions that the biting might be for attention. The more I give her attention for biting herself, the more she does it. They suggested redirection or picking her up, holding her in a bear hug, and saying, "Gracie, I'm not going to let you hurt yourself. Mommy loves you," and then taking her to read a book together or something else.

Last night, she hit and bit Luke very hard. She broke the skin on his back through his shirt. When I picked him up to console him and told her that wasn't nice, she immediately made a fierce face and bit her own arm. I put Luke down and held her with her arms at her sides. "Gracie, I'm not going to let you hurt yourself. Biting hurts. Mommy loves you. How can I help you feel better?"

She struggled a bit, but I was able to grab a book nearby and redirect her attention to the book. We were awkwardly sitting in the hallway, but Luke joined us and we were able to enjoy the book with no further fallout.

This biting thing has me on edge. I realize it may just be a phase, but I can't help but think about those teenage girls cutting themselves. Did they bite themselves as toddlers? Is Gracie's behavior a sign of something to come?

I don't know and it's scaring me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Possessed Toys

I hate clowns. Ever since Poltergeist, I can't stand them. They terrify me. Most likely because I think everyone of them is possessed and waiting for me to drop my guard long enough for them to attack.

Lukie has this car that was given to us after the fire. I don't turn it on very often because, frankly, it scares the holy moly out of the Twinsies and me. When I do turn it on, I am facinated by the music that comes out of it. What the heck is that music? What is the voice singing? I'm not sure, but it must be a demonic song. It must be.

The car has a wheel on its undercarriage that allows it to spin around in circles and get itself out of corners. Its doors open and close on their own and the eyes and tongue (yes, it has eyes and a tongue) move of their own accord as well. In all, it is a singing/spinning, door flapping monstrosity of a car.

Possessed.




The good news is that Gracie and Luke are not taking the demonic possession of one of their toys lightly. Every time the car starts up, they kick, throw and pummel the thing until I take pity on it and turn it off.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Busy Day

I took my life in my own hands today and took Gracie and Luke out on a walk. In the real world. Where there are streets. And speeding cars. By myself.

Did I mention the cars?

My Baby Center weekly update suggested taking them for a walk and watching what they would do. First, I am not into torture. It is important to state that. I also know that my children are predictable in their unpredictability. Something will go wrong and it will inevitably involve Lucas.

I decided to try and minimize the damage by thinking the walk out carefully. I decided to have them "drive" their cars so that they were focused on the cars instead of that, WHOA! Look at that shiny thing!

See? That's what it is like.



They did really well, until, as expected, we turned around to head home. That is when Luke decided he did not want to ride his car any more and Gracie agreed. They held hands for about 30 feet before Luke was distracted by something and Gracie caught site of a flower. They took off in opposite directions and it was that moment when I had to make a split second decision.


Twin moms will understand this decision. Which one of them is in more imminent danger? In our case, the answer 99.9% of the time is Luke. He has very little impulse control when it comes to shiny things and the chances of him dashing out into the street were high. So, I looked toward my running daughter and determined that she would not make a dive between cars to cross the street and took off the other direction to grab Luke. After catching him, I carried him, the two abandoned cars, and eventually, held Gracie's hand until we got back to the apartment building.

In all, it was pretty exciting. I think it wore me out more than them!

We also spent 3 hours playing with Grandma Rosi's new puppy, Oreo. Well, technically, it is Gracie and Luke's dog, but since Grandma Rosi is paying for him and he is living at her house, it makes him her dog. Gracie and Luke are still trying to decide if they like Oreo. He is the size of one of my hands and mostly just shakes and licks people. Good times!

Hair!

I'm so glad I have Lucas. I don't have to worry about what to do with his hair. I cut it. I wet it. I comb it. Done.

Gracie, however, has thick straight hair that requires styling. Why? Because if I don't, she looks like Cousin It from the Addams Family!

I've been searching the internet for cute little girl hairstyles and instructions. I need them. I have short hair and I don't like to mess with it, so I have NO hair skills at all. I've found a few sites out there and am saving them here for anyone else who would like the help.

Videos on French Braids and Messy Buns (we aren't there quite yet)
http://www.youtube.com/user/CuteGirlsHairstyles

Cute Girls Hair Styles
http://cutegirlshairstyles.blogspot.com/

Hair Between My Fingers
http://www.hairbetweenmyfingers.blogspot.com/

Gracie is sporting flipped ponytails in her hair today. If she sits still for a minute, I'll try to get a picture!

UPDATE: The picture.

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's like herding cats

The first time I heard the phrase, "It's like herding cats," it took me a few seconds to picture the idea in my head and see how it applied to the situation. Not surprisingly, it made absolute sense. Cats have their own agendas. They do what they want to do, not what you hope they'll do. Cats will sidestep you quickly if you try to direct them where you want them to go. They might even bite or swat at you if they get really annoyed.

Getting my children out the door is like herding cats. First, all they care about is food. See? Cats. I hear the word "cracker" within the first 5 minutes after they wake up. It's like clockwork.

"Good morning, my Lukiloo! How are you this morning?"
kiss. kiss. snuggle. snuggle. kiss.
"Cracka? Cracka? Cracka? Cracka?" This continues until I get up and get the requested cracker.

"Good morning, my Gracie-Lu-Who! How are you this morning?"
kiss. snuggle. kiss. kiss.
"Agua? Agua? Agua? Agua?" This continues until I get up and get the requested water.

We'll watch Barney for as long as they can while I get dressed. It is then that the herding begins.

"Okay! Diaper time. Lukie, let's change your diaper! Do you have potty? Let Mommy change your diaper. Come here! Lukie, come on. Diaper!"

I usually end up going over and picking him up. Raggs the Dog usually keeps him occupied long enough for me to get the diaper changed. Then, the process is repeated with Gracie. If there is poop in her diaper, Oh, Good Gravy! I have to chase her around the house.

"No, no, no, no! No poo poo! No poo poo!" she says as she runs from me.

Diapers changed, we move on to the next task.

"Okay! Everyone get your shoes! Get your shoes. Gracie, where are your shoes? Lukie! Shoes." This one sided conversation continues until I go across the room, sit down on the floor next to the shoe basket and choose their shoes for them. The kicker? They love to put shoes on and will do it for a half an hour while playing. But when I want them to put on the shoes, they won't!

Next, we need to make it to the stroller. The stroller is the safest way to corral wandering cats toddlers.

"Okay, let's get in the stroller."

"Cracka?" says one twin.
"Agua?" says the other twin.
"Papa?" says the first twin.

"If you want to see Papa, let's get in the stroller! Oooh! And Tio Martin and Grandma. Stroller? Stroller, where are you?!"

It starts again.

"Cracka?"

"Agua?"

"Come on, let's go!" I say in a cheerful voice.

"Beeeen? Beeeeen?" A twin falls on the floor. "Beeeeeeeeeeeeen!" the twin wails.

"Where's your binky, Lucas?"

"Beeeeee? Beeeee?" cries the other twin.

"Gracie, where's your binky?"

After 5 minutes of looking and crying, I go to the Binky Drawer. Crisis averted, twins are settled in their seats (with seatbelts...and binkies).

"Okay! Here we go!" And off we go, Twinsies leaning out the side of the stroller trying to reach walls or rip leaves off of plants.

Occasionally, we have to stop for a thrown binky or a dropped shoe, which is amazing because it is 47 steps to our car. I know. I counted. How can they manage to reak so much havoc in such a short distance?

On the days when I bravely choose to leave the stroller in the car, Lukie gets held and Gracie holds my hand (and has to be reminded to keep holding it).

Once we get to the car, I have exactly 2 minutes to get everyone strapped in and get the car turned on so Barney can sing. If not, the crying commences.

"Oh! Truck!" says Gracie, hearing the trash truck coming down the alley.

"Yes, truck," I reply distractedly, trying to strap her in.

"Ooo! Ooo!" exclaims Lukie, trying to turn around in the stroller so that he can catch a glimpse.

"Agua?" says Gracie.

"You can have some water at Grandma's house, Gracie."

"Aaaaagua?" she begins to wail.

"At Grandma's house," I sing.

"Noooooooooooo! Aaaaagua!"

"At Grandma's." I close her door and reach for Lucas.

"Ooo! Uh. Uh."

"What are you looking at Lukie?"

"Uh. Uh."

"Use your words."

"Uh." I look up and see a plane.

"Oh, an airplane. Hi, airplane!" I buckle him in and dodge the books Gracie is now throwing at me.

"Let's go!" I say and climb in. Barney turns on and off we go.

This process is repeated when we arrive at Grandma's house. Only occasionally do I have to chase one of them down the street as they go looking for the lion statues or the dogs.

Cats. It's like herding cats.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Way Back When-sday

It is Wednesday, right?

Just thought I'd take a moment to remind you what Gracie and Luke looked like last year at this time.

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Remember Gracie's Spiky Hair?

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Let's Play Where's Waldo?

Let's play Where's Waldo the Twinsies? Can you find them?




What's that in Gracie's shirt? The saw from Lukie's Handy Manny Fix-It Saw. She was obsessed with putting it in her shirt for some reason. It would fall out and she'd put it right back in!


Lukie rediscovered the Learning Rabbit and has been walking around with it for the past 2 days. He won't let anyone else (Gracie) play with it.


Just some of my favorite pictures from the other morning.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Second best $2 I've ever spent

A blog I read to help me figure out what to do with Gracie's hair suggested that I let her hold a spray bottle while I work on her hair. So off I went to Target and bought 3 spray bottles: 1 for me, 1 for Gracie, and 1 for Lukie. There are few things that I buy 2 of and the spray bottles were definitely on that list.

When we got home today, I gave Gracie and Luke the spray bottles to play with so that I could start dinner. It didn't take long for them to be soaking wet! Amazingly, they hate it when I pour water on their heads in the bathtub, but they love spraying themselves in the face.









Monday, June 15, 2009

All Girl and All Boy

They were born on the same day, less than a minute apart. They can play with whatever toys they want and we don't care which color binky they have in their mouths.

Sometimes, though, you can't fight genetics.





Many thanks to Tio Freddy for starting Lucas on his way to juvenile delinquency. Fred, you can be the one to bail him out of jail when he throws rocks at other stuff!

P.S. I did Gracie's hair! ALL BY MYSELF!

P.S.S. Scroll down to see Daddy dancing!

Word a Day

Words are coming fast and furiously here in our temporary abode. Gracie and Luke fluently understand anything said to them in Spanish or English. When they come up with new words in Spanish, I don't usually catch them. My Spanish is minimal and I don't have enough experience with it to pick it up when my 21 month olds are trying to say something new.

However, the English words are flying around here and are coming from both Gracie and Luke at an alarming rate!

New words recently:
outside
chicken
book
I do!
Yay!
bus
sunshine
truck
apple

I love when they use a new word and surprise me. It is so much fun seeing how happy it makes them to communicate with me. We still have plenty of grunting from Lucas, but they are trying more and more to use words.

Another cool trick (that I must get on video) is the animal game. I can hold a book open and say, "Lukie, where's the cow?" and he will gleefully point at the cow and shout, "Right there!" (it actually sounds like "riiiidaarrrr") "Gracie, where's the giraffe?" "Right there!"

It is seriously fun!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

An apple doesn't fall far from the tree

Daddy's cousin, Patty, celebrated her 50th Birthday this weekend. We partied all day and I captured this after things really got going.



Here's how Gracie and Luke got so tired:




Friday, June 12, 2009

Celebrating our Second Un-Birthday

2 years ago today, I was 23 weeks and 4 days pregnant with Gracie and Luke.

2 years ago today, I was having contractions (not the Braxton Hicks kind).

2 years ago today, I had an appointment with Dr. Hartford and he made me sit for 20 minutes having my contractions monitored. The machine did not register any of the contractions I felt.

2 years ago today, Daddy drove me home. I was scared and worried and waiting for the results of a test that would supposedly tell us whether I would go into labor in the next 2 weeks.

2 years ago today, I lay on the couch and the contractions did not stop. They got stronger and started to get closer together.

2 years ago today, the nurse called to tell me that my fetal fibronectin test came back positive. I panicked.

2 years ago today, when the contractions started to feel like the worst cramps of my life, Dr. Hartford had Daddy drive me to Huntington Memorial so that the nurses in Labor and Delivery could monitor my contractions.

2 years ago today, Dr. Hartford discovered that my body was in preterm labor. He was gruff and pessimistic and he scared the crap out of me.

2 years ago today, Dr. Hartford fought to stop my contractions and keep Gracie and Luke from being born. He was successful, kind of.

2 years ago today began a battle that would continue for 12 weeks and 2 days. On our side, Dr. Hartford, the best OBGYN in the universe (God sent me to him), magnesium sulfate (the medicine that kept my uterus from contracting), the Perinatal High Risk nurses who monitored me, held my hand, made me laugh, and held me when I cried.

2 years ago today could have been Gracie and Luke's birthday. But because we had Dr. Hartford and his team on our side, I can happily say that today is Gracie and Luke's UnBirthday.

Dr. Hartford,
Not a day goes by that I don't look at Gracie and Luke and think of you. You were pessimistic and helped me keep focused on my goal: growing my babies. You were exactly what I needed. My very own kick in the butt. You started out as my doctor, but by the end of the summer of 2007, you became my friend. You sat and talked with me about mundane things. You explained all of the technical stuff that was going on. You treated me like a person and not just a patient. We will be forever grateful to you for fighting for us.
Happy UnBirthday to you, too!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

From the "Makes Me Happy" Files

The other morning, Gracie and Luke decided to use the kitchen as a race track. Well, actually, it was more like a "I'm gonna chase you!" track. By the time I got my new fangled camera set to video, most of the running was over.

I caught this and it made me giggle, so I'm sharing it with you.
(Please ignore the crazy state of the apartment, I keep cleaning and cleaning, but don't get anywhere!)

video

I'm on a mission to catch more!

Oh, and new words:
mail (as in Gracie must have a piece of mail when we retrieve ours from the mail box)
up (as in the opposite of down)
cheese! (when asked to smile for a picture)
bus
sunshine (Gracie has become a parrot lately!)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Sneaky Peeky at Casa de Uribe

Our contractor, Gary, heretofore known as the Most Excellent Contractor Gary, did a crazy fast job early on to get our house turned back into a home. Within hours of receiving our keys, he had the old carpet torn out, the stuff left behind by the Evil Moving Crew moved to his warehouse, and an electrician working on our dangerous connections. He thought our house would be ready by May 25th, but as happens in the contracting world, delays with carpet, the electricity, the gas, and a whole host of other problems have pushed back the move in date. In all honesty, some of the delays have been our fault. We decided to have new windows installed (we have a week and a half until they come in) and we decided to upgrade our cooktop and install a microwave/hood unit. Those should be installed in the next week or so.

Frankly, I'm not concerned with the delays. I'm all for them! I'd much rather that we not be cleared to move back in until July so that I can finish up summer school and have time to unpack our crazy amount of belongings.

One happy thing we did was to hire Ed's cousin, Mario, to redo our landscaping. You may remember Mario from Nana's new garden. He tore apart Nana's front yard and created a beautiful landscape last summer.

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Well, he came to our house, sized up the burned ivy and trees and decided to create a totally new yard for us. He tore out all of the ivy roots and the new sprouts, created a leveled and beautiful landing in the back of the house, and hacked the ugliness in the front and created a new walkway for us. It is gorgeous!

our new backyard


See the left side of the tree? The black part. That's where it caught fire.

Some of my new, supposedly, drought resistant foliage.

Our new walkway connecting the carport and the stairs to the front door.

A view from the street.

The landscaping is beautiful and Mario has promised us a month or so of upkeep to maintain it. While he was working on it, he had several people stop and ask about getting a quote. We are his "floor model."

The inside of the house is pretty barren, but pretty nonetheless. If you've seen pictures pre-fire, you know that the inside of our house was a combination of yellow (aka Creamcake) and sage (aka Brazil) paint on the walls. We went for a more neutral palette this time and Ed is really happy with it. Our new carpet is a frieze in Espresso and our new laminate flooring is Summer American Cherry. Both are gorgeous and make the house totally different.

The Great Room (aka dining and living room)


a view of the den and hallway to the master bedroom

Master bedroom with our illegal baby alcove.

I can't wait to see what it looks like with the new windows, new window treatments, and our killer new cooktop.

See that light? The end of the tunnel is getting closer and closer!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Can I see your license please?

My car is in the shop and our rental car is a compact Dodge Cobalt. Normally, this is not a big deal. However, I rely on the double stroller to get us in and out of the apartment and to the parking lot safely.

News: Graco DuoGliders do not fit in the trunk of a Cobalt. (Just in case you were wondering.)

It has been a nightmare getting Gracie and Lukie into the apartment because they get to be FREEEEEEEE! One day, I let them walk ahead of me and, oops, the security door was propped open. By the time I caught up, Lukie was less than 12 inches from the edge of the pool. My heart stopped. The next day, they took off as soon as I opened the security door. Gracie ran straight across the parking lot and Lukie ran through the cars. I caught Lukie first and stuffed him in the car. Then, I took off after Gracie. I still get shivers thinking about it.

We won't get my car back for a few more days, but I needed something to save me from the trauma of the trips back and forth to the car.

Enter Gracie and Lukie's new rides:




This is how well they worked!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Obsessed with stickers

Stickers are fun. You have to admit it. There's something about picking the best sticker from the sheet, peeling it off and putting it in exactly the right place. When I was a tween, I was obsessed with Hello Kitty, the Little Twin Stars, and My Melody. I saved and saved so that I could buy the $4 book of stickers and then I NEVER used a single one. I just stared at them. Weird, I know. I'm sure I will have at least one child as weird as I am. Well, hopefully!

After the last fun morning with stickers, I bought a mega pack of Winnie the Pooh stickers. I'm not all that excited about character stickers any more, but Gracie and Lukie have discovered Winnie and they really like him and all of his friends. They even know which character is which.

This morning, Gracie found my stash of stickers and we spent 45 minutes carefully peeling and placing stickers on the Twinsies hands, faces, legs and feet.


In case you are wondering why there are no pictures of Lukie and his stickers: 1) he won't stay still long enough for me to take the picture and 2) he ate them.



We went out grocery shopping a little while later. I discovered stickers on Gracie's face and legs.

Quick note to self: Stickers must be removed within a half an hour of placement or they will hurt!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gracie dresses herself

I dressed Gracie the other day in a happy and fun orange and white shirt and leggings. She looked adorable.

Apparently, she thought she was under dressed.


Yes, those are granny panties Gracie is wearing as a hoodie. Yes, they are mine.

When I called out to her, she took off running to avoid having me strip her of her new outfit.


I post these pictures and take on the embarrassment of you seeing my undies, not because I enjoy posting pictures of my underwear on the internet, but as a warning.

PUT YOUR LAUNDRY AWAY!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Stressed Out Toddlers

I hate Parent Teacher meetings. I hate them when I'm the teacher and I have to share concerns with parents. It is always difficult to share something I am seeing in the classroom with one or two people who aren't in the same environment with us. Some parents want to work with me. Others think I am insane. "Not my Tommy (or Julie)!"

Tuesday, I realized I hate Parent Teacher meetings when I'm the parent, too. No parent wants to hear that their child is a biter, a hitter, or suddenly wakes up crying hysterically from a nap. Imagine getting that times two! Only, for us, it is much worse than just the normal growing pains of being 21 months old.

Teacher Joanne thinks Gracie and Luke are stressed out.

My initial reactions was "What?!" Who's ever heard of toddlers being stressed out? What do they have to be anxious or stressed over? They get hugs and kisses, all the crackers they can eat, bubbles in the bath tub, tons of toys to play with, Mommy to snuggle with at night and to hold them when they are scared, Grandpa, Tio Martin, Tio Freddy, Tio Joey, and Daddy to play with them inside, outside, on the slide, Grandma to make them sopita and teach them fun new words, friends at day care, trips to the park, Barney in the morning, Barney at night, Barney in the car. I'm thinking that sounds pretty stinking fantastic to me! Where are the stressors?

Teacher Joanne went on to tell us about how Lukie wakes up screaming from naps. That never happens at home. I don't know why he does that there. She told us that he is inconsolable and will cry for me "Momma! Momma! Momma!" over and over for 30 minutes or more (Please, stab me in the heart one more time. I don't think you got me the first time). He will fling himself on the floor and cry and cry. There is no stopping him until he is ready to stop.

He's not the only one who she thinks is stressed out.

She is concerned that while Luke's emotions are over the top, Gracie's emotions are suppressed. Teacher Joanne shared with us that Gracie will try to console Lukie, petting his head, saying "Shh, shh" like I do, and when that doesn't work, she will cry out in solidarity, and then walk away when she can't help. She said that she sees Gracie wanting to share her emotions, but will hide them away so that Lukie can get the attention he needs. She worries that Gracie will continue like this and get sick from not letting out her worries/anger/fears.

You have no idea how devastating it is to have someone tell you that your toddlers need professional help. I'm at a loss. I'm not sure how to proceed.

Because here's the kicker: All these behaviors she sees at day care? We NEVER see them at home. Sure, Lukie cries when he doesn't get his way, but it's a fake cry with no tears. Distract him and it goes away. Sure, Gracie will try to console Lukie. We hug her, too and tell her Mommy/Daddy is there and everything will be okay. The waking up screaming? Never happens here. The crying for 30 minutes? Never happens here. Gracie hiding her emotions. Nope. Never happens here. In fact, she usually falls to the ground and cries when she doesn't get what she wants. Sometimes she bites, hits, or runs away, but she always expresses her frustration somehow.

Our family has been through a lot in the past 7 months. When I think of all of it and how stressed out I am from the long, frustrating list, I can understand that my emotions and exhaustion might be too much for Gracie and Luke. In fact, since Tuesday, I've been watching everything I say and do with them. But how can Teacher Joanne be sure that they themselves are "stressed out."

She suggested that I contact a therapist who does "play therapy" with children. She believes that Luke and Gracie need an outlet for their stress and play therapy might be able to help them. She thinks they are in a place where they are definitely showing some normal behaviors, but she is very concerned about the other behaviors she is seeing.

As a Mom, and a free thinking person, I'm stuck.

Honestly, I think she's off her head. I think they are two little kids whose Mommy and Daddy leave them at day care 4 days a week and they'd much rather be at home with people they know and love than at a stinkin' day care (no matter how nice it is). I think they are 21 months old and are learning that their world is bigger than they originally thought and they have little to no control over it. I think there is something else going on there that Lukie doesn't like and that is why he behaves so emotionally at day care and not at home.

But, then again, I'm their Mommy. As their Mommy, I don't want to fail them in any way. If they truly do need help, I want to get it for them. I'd do anything for them. Anything. Even if it means that I have to suck it up and call a therapist for my 21 month olds.

So, sometime next week, I am going to call my medical insurance representative and see how we go about this. How we go about getting mental health appointments for my babies. To see if we can destress them.