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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Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving

Gracie, Lukie, and I hung out most of the day waiting for Daddy to be done with dialysis. While we were hanging out, I attempted to make a Paula Dean cheesecake. Alas, my cheesecake refused to bake all the way through. It did not help that Gracie and Lukie wanted my attention. EVERY. MINUTE. OF. THE. ENTIRE. DAY.

When Daddy got home, we got ourselves dressed and headed over to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Thanksgiving. Tio Freddy, Tio Joey, Tia Adriana, and Calvin were there, too, to celebrate Thanksgiving. They were waiting for us to eat, so right after we arrived, we sat down for turkey, ham, homemade mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, biscuits and more. Lukie and Gracie were kind of interested in the food, but not quite sure about all of the new foods. Gracie took one bite of ham and declared herself done. Lukie ate a little turkey and a biscuit and decided he was done. We let them down from the table and the spent the next 15 minutes or so tearing up Grandma and Grandpa's house.

They wore sandals because it was unseasonably warm.
Like Gracie's outfit? She wouldn't let me take the pants off when we put the dress on.

Biscuits? Hmmm.....

Biscuits, ham, and what???!!

Here, let me get some gravy for you!

Gracie didn't stop talking through the entire meal.
At some point, they decided they were hungry, but only for food on adults' plates. They snuck back time and time again for a biscuit, a bite of ham...Whatever they could sneak off a plate or talk someone out of.

After some dessert, Gracie and Lukie had a bath and we headed home around 7 pm. We were all tired and Gracie and Lukie went right to bed.

We had a fun Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Finally, A Family Portrait

For quite some time, I've wanted to have a family portrait done. There are very few pictures of me with the Twinsies and only two of Daddy, the Twinsies and me. The last time we had Gracie and Lukie's pictures taken, we went to Sears. Actually, the last two times we had their pictures taken, we went to Sears. The first trip was easier than the second. There's something hard about walking 13 month olds and trying to take pictures.

This time, we went to a different place. A Place That Will-Not-Be-Named. Our experience there was terrible. Part of the reason was the horrible traffic caused by everyone and their duck driving out of town for Thanksgiving, making us 30 minutes late for our appointment and reaching into the "I don't want to listen right now" part of our evening. Part of the reason was that Gracie and Lukie wanted to run around. And, part of the reason was that our photographer would not take a picture unless everyone was smiling. Dude! Two year-olds don't smile all the time. Get over it! I have.


Long story short, I needed an alcoholic beverage after the thing was over. For all the trauma we went through, there were only 10 usable pictures. Here are 3 of them:


Mommy, Daddy, Gracie and Lukie



Lukie and Mommy



Gracie and Daddy


While we were waiting for our pictures to print, we went to Red Robin and had french fries and other dippable foods. I had an iced tea instead of the Pina Colada I was craving.

I don't think we will be going to have our pictures taken again any time soon.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Corn? For breakfast? No. Not really.

The other day, Daddy let me sleep in and when I finally came out for breakfast, I found an opened can of corn sitting on the counter. This was weird, because:
a) We put our food away (Right, Daddy? We don't want roaches!)
b) It was 9 am. Who the heck opens a can of corn before 9 am?
c) It was a can...half filled with corn. Did I mention that?

Now, you may be wondering why this is so important to my life. As I made a pot of coffee, I asked Daddy what was up with the can of corn. He told me a story I could hardly believe. Apparently, Gracie and Lukie kept asking for something that sounded like "Pocky. Corn. Corn!" Daddy, not quite awake, asked Lukie to show him what he wanted. Lukie took him into the kitchen and after an exhaustive search, pointed at the can of corn. Daddy thought the boy was strange, but opened the can of corn and gave Gracie and Lukie each a bowl of corn. Lukie dove into his corn. Gracie just played with hers.

Flash forward to tonight: Gracie and Lukie arrived home from Grandma's house already dressed for bed. It was still fairly early, so I made some popcorn and the Twinsies and Daddy sat on the couch to watch "Dinosaurs" (Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs). The three of them sat there happily, watching the adventures of Manny, Diego, Sid, and crew, munching on popcorn and drinking water. They were totally adorable. The Twinsies each had 2 bowls of popcorn.

Sitting on the couch in our Christmas jammies,
eating popcorn and drinking water.




Totally engrossed in the movie.



Two hours after we put Gracie and Lukie to bed, I was sitting here checking out the happenings on Facebook and Daddy was watching television when all of a sudden, he says to me, "I am so stupid! They weren't asking for corn. They were asking for popcorn."

Huh? What is he talking about? I thought.

"The other day. The can of corn. They weren't asking me for canned corn, they wanted popcorn!"

"How did you suddenly realize that?" I asked him.

"They were saying something that sounded like 'pocky corn.' They were trying to say popcorn!"

He started to laugh and laugh. For some reason this tickled Daddy.

Anyone up for some Pockycorn???

Gracie Lu Who - Oh, What to Do?!

Lukie loves to cuddle. He isn't always the best listener, but if you want to get his attention just tell him "Okay, Lukie, bye bye then! I'm not going to play with you if you won't listen. Bye bye!" and walk away. That gets his attention right away.

But Gracie Lu Who is a different story. If you won't let her do something or won't give her something, she'll either get it herself (even though you told her no) or she will pitch a fit of epic proportions. These fits are so epic that I am always sure the police will be knocking on my door any minute thinking she is being ripped from limb to limb! There is no calming her. As long as you continue to say, "No" she will scream, cry, throw herself on the floor, hit you, hang on you, and act as if the world were coming to an end.

She's a challenge. Sometimes I stand there and stare at her as she writhes around on the floor when I take away the box of Goldfish she was dumping all over. I don't get it. I truly don't.

Being two is really hard. I get that. You think you can do so many things and all these big people are telling you:

"No."
"Later."
"Not right now."
"Sorry, kiddo."

It is understandably frustrating to a little kid who is used to the world bending to your ever whim.

So what to do with Gracie Lu Who? Oh, what to do?

Here's my new game plan:
1) When Gracie gets crazy or is a bad listener, I will take her aside and give her a moment to calm down. I'll speak with her calmly or ignore her until she calms down.
2) I'll use the power of distraction. Distracting Gracie sometimes works, so I plan to use it to my advantage.
3) I'll use short, easy to understand sentences to tell her what I expect before we go places. So far, the phrase, "No street" has helped enormously as we exit the house and start to the car. She will repeat it to herself as we walk to the car and will remind Lukie if he passes the car.
4) I will discover what wakes her up at night and do my best to make sure that it doesn't happen any more. The less sleep Who gets, the crazier and worse listener she is.

I'm hoping some of this will help. Frankly, I'm feeling superchallenged by my once 3 lb 7 oz baby girl. Being small seems only to have brought the fighter in her out into the world.

Good gracious! Can you imagine what she will be like as a teenager?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

There's something in the air

And no, it isn't something smelly!

For the past month, I've been itching to start decorating for Christmas. Normally, I can wait until Thanksgiving, but this year, there is something different in the air. Something fueling my need for Christmas to hurry on its way.

Maybe it is because we are back in our home. Maybe it is because Daddy is home with us, or maybe it is because Gracie and Lukie are already showing signs of loving Christmas. They know who Santa Claus is. They sing Jingle Bells (they are learning it at school). They rock out in the backseat of my car listening to KOST and their full playlist of Christmas songs (Yes, they already started with 24 hours of Christmas songs!). They love the decorations in the stores and if we don't walk past the prelit Christmas trees, Gracie will make sure to remind me.

I don't know what this feeling is, but I like it. I like feeling optimistic and excited and anticipatory. I haven't felt this way in a long time. I can't wait to see Gracie and Lukie's faces when Daddy and I finish putting up the lights. They are going to love the Christmas tree!

Yes, there is definitely something in the air...hope.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dinner and an Interview

Tonight, we went out to dinner at Islands to celebrate Daddy being home from the hospital. All Gracie and Luke kept asking for was "Chicken Nuggets!" The entire trip in the car, we carried on a conversation about chicken nuggets, "shensch shies," and dip. Dip is the new incentive to eat in our family. If it can be dipped (and sometimes even when it shouldn't be), Gracie and Luke will eat it.

Gracie and Lukie shared the Tiki Tenders and Daddy and I enjoyed salads. We had a great time! And of course, while we were there, we took a little video with our Flip camera.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Reunion

I haven't written much of late. Primarily because we've been in a state of upheaval. Last Tuesday, Daddy was admitted to the hospital with a very high fever. They kept him until today. He had lots of I.V. antibiotics, watched a lot of movies, and was generally bored.

While he was gone, my job was to keep the home fires burning. Suddenly, I had to get Gracie and Luke ready to go to Grandma and Grandpa's house in the morning. I had to get their clothes ready and their lunches ready. I had to make sure they took their baths and I read them books. And I had to sing them to sleep every night. My workload suddenly doubled and I had flashbacks to six months ago when Gracie, Lukie, and I lived on our own for 5 months while Daddy was very sick in the hospital.

We survived the past week and while we could continue doing this a bit longer, we are all happy to have Daddy home.

Tonight, we were so happy, that we baked cookies with the dough that Mrs. Shaw made for all the faculty and staff today. We now have a dozen chocolate chip cookies and blissfully ate 1/3 of them before bath.

Gracie and Lukie cuddled with Daddy on the sofa and ate their cookies.


Wait, look closer and you'll see:


What is in these things? They are so good!






Lukie's cookie became a smushed mess, but he didn't seem to mind.

We are so happy to have Daddy home! Stay well, Sweet Papa!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, we thought we had lost everything.

One year ago today, the Sayre fire brought destruction and sadness to Oakridge.  Many of our friends' homes were burned to the ground.  They lost everything.

Today, Oakridge is slowly rebuilding.  The club house has framing and 80 of 500 homes burned in the fire have been replaced.

Tonight, the winds are strong like they were that night, but this time, there is no sign of fire.

We will never forget that night, the terror, the worry, the helplessness. 

We will never forget.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Cousin Natey!

Gracie and Lukie's cousin, Nathan, celebrated his 3rd birthday on Friday.  I can't believe he is already 3!  I remember when his age was still counted in months and he visited me in the hospital with his mommy and daddy!

Nana drove all the way out to our house to pick up Gracie and Luke so that they could go to Nate's birthday part.  The party was at Chuck E. Cheese and all I kept hearing about was the chocolate birthday cake from Gracie and Luke.  Nana couldn't stop telling me how much fun all of the cousins had together at Nate's party. She especially emphasized how much exercise she got chasing them around and lifting them onto the different toys.

Cousin Nate, we can't believe you are already 3!  Thank you for sharing your birthday with us!

Brandon, Nathan, Gracie and Luke.

See those ponytails?  They lasted all day!  It was picture day at preschool.

Happy Birthday, Nathan!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

What did sick Mommies do before DVDs?

When I think back to my childhood, I don't remember my mom being sick. I'm not saying she wasn't ever sick! Nope. I just don't remember it. There were 3 of us and I'm sure that when she was sick, we all just played together (or tore the house apart - Since I don't remember it, I have no clue which is true!). I have no idea how she did it.

I've been home since Thursday. At first, I planned to stay home only Thursday to take care of sick Twinsies, but as I headed home Wednesday night a familiar achy, chilly, yucky feeling came over me. Sure enough, when I got home, I had a fever. My fever made me #3 of the Uribes who had fallen sick. I took Tylenol, but it hit hard. I was down for the count.

Someone forgot to tell Gracie and Luke that Mommy was sick, too.

Toddlers can't help being demanding when they are sick. They are little, they want their mommy, they want that cracker - no, that cracker - no, that ONE! When you give it to them, they decide two seconds later that they really didn't want it in the first place and throw whatever it is you just gave them right back at you.

It's frustrating, period. Add to that frustration one sick Mommy and it becomes frustrating, exclamation point!

So what saved me? Elephants, Barney and dinosaurs. Literally.

We watched Barney and had some juice. We watched Ice Age, Dawn of the Dinosaurs, twice and had more juice. We watched Barney's Great Adventure and took naps. We watched Thomas the Tank Engine and ate some Goldfish crackers. We went outside for about 10 minutes before crying brought us back in (Lukie, not me!).

I honestly don't know what I would have done by myself without those DVDs. I was miserable and so were Gracie and Lukie. For some reason, those DVDs helped us get through the worst of it.

So it begs the question: If I lived 40 years ago, before the dawn of DVDs and videos, what would I have done? I was so sick and so unable to function. What did moms do? Seriously. Help me here. I would have locked myself in my room and let my toddlers take care of themselves.

Okay. Maybe not.

All I have to say, whether you believe in letting your kids watch T.V. or not, is Thank You for Elephants, Barney and dinosaurs! Thank You for electricity! Thank You for the T.V.

Thank you!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I will remember this day

I'm too sick to be witty.  I feel like I'm ready to pass out.

I just want to make sure to record this. 

Lucas just told me, "I love you, Mommy."

It was the first time. Ever.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What to do when they are sickie-poo?

There is nothing like the feeling of helplessness you get when you see one of your children sick. You want to wave a magic wand and help them feel better. You want to make the fevers go away. You want to make the sneezing and coughing to away. Most of all, you want the smiles and hugs back. You want your child back!

Gracie has been sick since last week. She's had fevers on and off over that time and Dr. A assured us on Friday that it was just a virus. We've been doing our best to help Gracie rest and feel better, but Gracie has a stubborn streak and she only wants to do what she wants to do when she wants to do it!

This morning, I heard her crying at 5 am. Granted we've just had a time change, so in Gracie's head it's still 6 am, but I digress. I heard her crying at 5 am and Daddy told me to leave Gracie in her room. He thought she was just awake and wanted to be out of her bed. So, I went to take my shower and left her in her room (I'd like to say that I was very torn here. She was making a mewling-crying sound and I wanted to go get her. However, when I do, she cries more and tends to wake the neighborhood up.).

About 5 minutes after I got in the shower, I heard the unmistakable sound of Little Who in our bedroom. Crying. Daddy must not have been able to stand the sound of Gracie sad either. When I finally came out of the bathroom, I discovered Gracie AND Lukie in our bed. It was then that I realized what happened. Lukie was so awake and happy that he must have woken up first and climbed in bed with Gracie, thus waking her up. It is the only explanation. Poor Gracie.

When I took her temperature, it was back up to 102.4 degrees. She was fever free yesterday! What happened? Needless to say, we have to call the doctor again. But what do I do? Daddy has dialysis today and I have to work. Should I stay home or have Gracie go with Grandma to the salon where she can cuddle and sleep in Grandma's big chair?

The lesson I keep being reminded of is that it is no fun being the working parent. It is especially not fun if you are the Mommy and the working parent. Every instinct in me says that I need to be at home with Gracie, but the practical side of me says I only have 7 sick days left and I need to reserve those for when I am horrifically ill.

So, what to do?

This is where I say: I need to go buy a lottery ticket.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our First "Real" Halloween

Technically, yesterday was Gracie and Luke's third Halloween. However, I'm going to think of it as their first "real" Halloween.

Their first was when they were almost 2 months old. They didn't do much. Certainly, there was no trick or treating. There was crying and pooping and eating. Your typical newborn evening.

Their second was last year. Both were sick and trick or treating started after their bed time. We did not make it to a single house. Not really Halloween either.

This year, they wore their pirate costumes and I worked for 3 days to get them to say "trick or treat." It still didn't sound like "trick or treat" last night, more like a "trik r ree." Their "thank yous" were spot on though and that made everything just fine!

Here they are. Notice there are no hats.
They would not wear their hats, no matter how we tried to bribe them.


Gracie's pirate girl costume was really pretty and was of much better quality than Lukie's. Not sure how, though. We got both of them at the big W.


Lukie's costume was supposed to be a 2T (Just like Gracie's),
but it was so small that he kept flashing his tummy at everyone.


Here is the pirate crew all together for a picture.


Papa doesn't know it yet, but his pirate pantaloons have already torn in the seat!

Here's a picture of all of us together. I opted to wear kitty ears so that I wasn't the odd one out.


We went out trick or treating about 6 pm. There was hardly anyone out and about. Even more surprising were the number of totally dark houses. On one block, only four houses were giving out candy. There should be a rule that you can't have a pumpkin or decorations out unless you are participating in trick or treating. It isn't fair! We finally found a block where people knew us and had fun. When Gracie and Luke realized that people were putting candy into their candy bags, they wanted to go to every house!

Gracie and Luke loved this ghost. He popped out of the pumpkin and would disappear after he scared you.


Gracie and Luke said "thank you" every time someone gave them candy. Without being prompted!


We lasted for about an hour before I realized that Gracie Lu Who was getting very tired. Given that she was still not feeling 100% from her virus, we did well. We stopped back at Grandma and Grandpa's house to change into Halloween jammies and then packed ourselves into the car.

Only 3 minutes after this picture was taken, Gracie was asleep!


We had a great time! It was amazing to be able to take our own children Trick or Treating, especially when for so long we thought we might never be parents. It was a beautiful memory!