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, May 23, 2010

Words to Melt Your Heart

Words are amazingly powerful. Some words have been spoken to me that have never left my memory. Good or bad, they have left a mark.

Even though they are only 2 and a half, Gracie and Luke have already learned the power of words. They have learned how to ask for what they want, tell each other (and us) when they are not happy, and how to tell a story. Many of their words are spoken and taken for granted. I don't remember my conversations with Gracie and Lukie in the car yesterday, but I most certainly remember the first time each of them told me that they loved me. Each time they tell me they want a kiss and a hug or they say, "My Mommy!" my heart simply melts.

Last night was one of those kinds of nights. We had a long day yesterday and Gracie and Luke had a hard time waking up after our drive home. After lots of cuddles and drying of tears, they each got a few of their favorite toys from their room and came to sit down with us. Lukie and I cuddled in the rocking chair while Gracie say with her Daddy on the sofa wearing her princess crown, a sparkly necklace, jammies, and her Snow White high heeled shoes. Diego was playing on the television and when the music started at the end, Gracie stood up, put her arms out and said, "Dance with me Daddy!" I watched the emotions play across Daddy's face. It was clear that this was one of those times that four simple words would be etched in his memory. He held Gracie's hands and they danced on the sofa, all the while, tears glistened in Daddy's eyes.

Gracie's words, spoken so sweetly, were powerful and cemented a bond between Daddy and daughter. Darn it, they simply melted our hearts!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Bee Sting

Two weeks ago, Gracie got stung by a bee.

For the third time in her life.

She's 2 years and 8 months old.

I, on the other hand, have never been stung by a bee. *knock on wood!*

She was pretty traumatized by the bee sting and while I remembered to get the stinger out and give her Benedryl and Motrin, I forgot to do the baking soda paste on the sting. Thus, all of the venom was left in her arm.

By the following morning, her arm looked like this:


It stayed like that until Wednesday. It was pretty scary for me. Gracie just hated it because it hurt. We are practicing a new line for bees when we are in the yard or the park:

"NO BEE! GO AWAY, BEE!"

Do you think that will work?

Bouncies are fun

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Terrified of Bath/Bed/Sleep

When you are a child, there is nothing worse than being kept from the action.

Mommy's in the kitchen making dinner? You want to see what she is doing.
Daddy is washing the car outside? You want to be in the suds helping him to clean.
Mommy's using the computer to distract herself from Dora and Diego on the television? You'd much rather be sitting on her lap pushing the buttons and destroying the operating system.

Bed time is like that. Mommy and Daddy take the little ones in their room snuggle them into bed and head on out. If you are 2 (or 2 and a half), you have to think that Daddy and Mommy must be swinging by the chandeliers or something! Heck, it has to be better than lying in bed with the lights off. (Quick aside: this book is great!)

Lately, Lukie has been really fighting bed time. He knows the order of our evening: dinner, bath, books, bed. The minute dinner starts, he begins making his feelings about bed known.

Lukie: Mommy, I don wanna go to bed.
Me: I hear you kid! Nobody likes to go to bed. But Mr. Sunshine is getting ready to go to bed and you need to get some sleep.
Lukie: No! Mr. Sunshine stays awake.
Me: Sorry, buddy, Mr. Sunshine needs his rest too.
Lukie: I don wanna go to bed! (crying, kicking, mayhem ensue)

The sad part is that this is usually 2 hours before we put them to sleep. He gets anxious and cranky, true signs that he does need his sleep. The tears are spontaneous and, for a while, I thought they were fake. Lukie is a great fake crier and I was sure that his nighttime tears were just that: fake.

But they haven't been. His tears, and the fear he has, are real. I don't know where they are coming from, but they are definitely real. It's hard for me to say that my son is afraid of things. He's such a tough guy and a "manly man" (go ahead and ask him!). However, there is something about night time that terrifies him. He thinks there are spiders in his bed, monsters coming through the window, and goodness knows what else waiting to snatch him. It has gotten so bad, that I've put the kabash on any teasing at night time. Daddy likes to tease Gracie and Lukie that he is going to get them or that the grasshopper outside will get them and, frankly, that is just making the situation worse.

It isn't that I want to keep Lukie in a bubble of nothing-will-hurt-yous. That's just silly. But there is definite terror in Lukie's tears and that worry/concern/anxiety needs to be addressed. No mother likes to see their children frightened. Especially when they are little.

Off to slay some monsters!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Snuggles and Cuddles

Gracie and Luke have never been cuddlers. When they were newborns, they would do that whole snuggle-with-their-booties-in-the-air thing for a little while, but they wanted to be laying sideways or on a bed. I kept waiting for babies who would crawl up into my lap and snuggle with me, but Gracie and Luke are busy. They have places to go and things to do. Snuggling with Mommy and Daddy has never been too high on their to do lists.

But recently, things have been changing. I wish I could pin point the cause, but rather than analyze it, I think I am just going to enjoy it. Many times over the last few weeks, my non-cuddlers have wanted to snuggle. Whether it is to sit on my lap, snuggle in the rocker, or give tight hugs, Gracie and Luke want to be near us. Snuggling and cuddling have finally led to my favorite thing in the world: Twinsies who fall asleep on their Mommy. I thought it would never happen, but finally, they seem to trust us enough to fall asleep on us.
And, let me tell you, this is bliss.

I love the snuggles and cuddles and "I love you, Mommy" whispers. Total and utter bliss.

So after a day when they have broken every crayon, colored on the windows and hardwood floors, hit me, hit each other, refused to eat and run out into the street, a snuggle or a cuddle makes it all better. Those "now" moments really know how to erase all the bad in the day.

Thank goodness.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Little Helpers?

Gracie and Lukie love to help. When they are at their craziest, all you need to do is say, "Gracie and Lukie! I need your help!" and they'll come running.

After some crazy behavior during a brief shopping expedition, Daddy decided Gracie and Lukie could "help" him wash his scooter and his car. He made a good effort getting everything set up and had a good chance of keeping them occupied. He had lots of things on his side:
1) water (always a happy thing for Gracie and Luke)
2) bubbles (seriously one of their favorite things)
3) something they could clean at their level

They had a blast! Look at our little helpers go!







Maybe they are learning too much from Dora and Diego

Barney used to be Gracie and Luke's favorite show. Easy enough. Songs, elephants, fun-loving dinosaurs. Nothing to worry about. Nothing to scare them, just happy songs.

Sometime in the last 6 months, they stopped asking for Barney and everything became about Dora and Diego. We sing Dora songs and Gracie and Luke tell me stories about the animals Diego has saved. All of a sudden, they are using Spanish words again. They repeat after Dora and Diego during the shows and, occasionally, throw out a VĂ¡manos!

Recently, they learned the word "abre." Dora and Boots told a gate to open and got everyone to say "ABRE!"

"Say, 'abre!'"

As with all things Dora, this phrase has become a part of our lives. You will never guess where. Just try.

Go ahead. I'll wait.

I was changing Gracie's diaper a few days ago and needed to use a wipe to clean her thoroughly. Unfortunately, Gracie does not like to be cleaned and will close her legs very tightly to prevent the diaper changer from getting all the nooks and crannies cleaned. Usually, she and I play a cat and mouse game:
Me: Gracie, open your legs.
Gracie: No.
Me: Gracie, Mommy needs to clean you very carefully. I will be very, very gentle. Please open your legs.
Gracie: No, Mommy.
Me: Gracie, I will be very gentle. Do you want me to show you gentle?
She'll open up a little and as soon as I start cleaning her legs, she will close them right back up.

So, the other day, we are starting our usual Diaper Dance and, instead of busting out with "No, Mommy", Gracie said, "Say, 'abre', Mommy."

Me: What?
Gracie: Say, 'abre!'

Daddy was sitting there laughing his head off. He thought it was hysterical that Gracie was making me use Spanish to tell her to open her legs. Awesome.

So, I said it and...tada! I got to clean her up. The bad news is that she won't let me change her diaper anymore with out saying 'abre' about 15 times.

Thanks a ton, Dora.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lukie Said WHAT? #1

Okay, let's see how you do!

Lukie Said WHAT? #1

He's singing something, but can you guess what it is??


And, just for fun!

Every mom is special, but these...

Gracie and Lukie are healthy. The illnesses we have endured with them are nothing compared to the battles some moms face every day.

Seven years ago, I was fortunate enough to help start a St. Jude Math-A-Thon at my school. In the years, we have participated, we've raised a lot of money for the children there to receive treatment. We think about those kids every moment we are raising the money. The people we forget are their moms. Luckily, the children don't.



Happy early Mother's Day to the moms of all children struggling with disease and illness. May your day be filled with laughter and joy.

Monday, May 3, 2010

He said What?

I've decided I'm going to start a new game. The game is called: "Lukie said WHAT?"

I swear, I sit in the front seat of the car listening to my son talk and I have NO clue what the heck is coming out of his mouth. Sometimes, Daddy can translate and other times we look at each other in complete confusion.

Part of the challenge is Lukie's habit of making one syllable words become two syllable words. The most common victim/word is the word "there" which Lukie pronounces as "dey-er." He also uses the "ya" sound in place of the "L" sound. So I hear:
"Yook, Mommy! Yook!"
"Yet me, Gracie. Yet me."

He also has a habit of saying words in a particular order. "Mommy, I want the odder one car." instead of "Mommy, I want the other car."

It's a lot to keep up with and, sadly, I'm not fluent in "Lukie Language" enough to translate. So, instead, we'll play, "Lukie said WHAT?"

Watch for our first installment tomorrow!