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

.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Daddy and Tio Joey's Big Day

In about 12 hours, the day we have been waiting for will be here.  Tomorrow morning, Tio Joey will go into surgery so that the doctors can remove one of his kidneys.  That kidney will then be transplanted into Daddy.  It's a big, huge day for them tomorrow.

We've been very anxious, trying to catch up with lots of things, recording Daddy singing lullabies for Gracie and Lukie (apparently, I don't sing well enough), and trying to just enjoy one another.  The road to recovery is going to be long and difficult for Daddy and we wanted to make sure to get as much in as we possibly could.

But tonight, in preparation for the big surgery, we celebrate Tio Joey.  He has gone through so much to make tomorrow possible.  He's changed his diet, lost 35 pounds (weight we did not think he had to lose), and spent hours traveling to see doctors for test after test.  He never hesitated when Daddy asked if he would be tested;  none of the tios hesitated.  They all volunteered to give Daddy a kidney.  That amount of love cannot be quantified here or anywhere.  They are simply amazing.

So tonight, we want to say "thank you" to Tio Joey for giving our Daddy a second chance at a good life with us.  We love you, Tio Joey!

Tio Freddy, Daddy, a fierce Lukie, and Tio Joey celebrating Daddy's 40th Birthday

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Third Birthday, Gracie and Luke!

Sunday morning, September 5, I heard some stirring in Gracie and Luke's room. So, I got up, snuck over to their door, and opened it.

"Happy Birthday, Gracie and Lukie!" I said, turning on the light.

"Yay," shouted Gracie, jumping up and down on her bed. "I'm three! I can ride the roller coaster!"

"Yay! Yay! Yay!" came from Lukie's side.

Thus began our day long birthday party.

The day was totally fun and full of excitement. We took Gracie, Lukie and all of their cousins to Adventure City (not by ourselves, we aren't that insane!).

Despite the crazy number of people there, we rode all of the rides (some more than once).
Lukie driving a fire truck.

Gracie and Bianca driving a rescue wagon. Love that smile, Gracie!

Emmie taking Uncle Mike for a spin. She was such a crazy driver.

My three year old cutie!

Emmie and Nathan on the planes.
Hailey and Auntie Ten Ten volunteered to take Gracie and Lukie on the roller coaster. They were so excited! It was all they could talk about.
Lukie and Auntie Ten Ten waiting for the ride to start.

Gracie and Hailey rode the last car. I think the reality of the roller coaster was starting to set in for Gracie.

Gracie holding onto Hailey for dear life as the roller coaster took its first turning descent.
The verdict: "Mommy, I don't like that roller coaster. It was scary."

We tried to get them to go back on, but I think roller coasters are out for the foreseeable future. At least we got pictures!

We finished our trip to Adventure City with the mini cupcakes that Gracie, Lukie and I made the day before. As requested, they were cupcakes with sprinkles inside and out. Everybody loved them and there weren't any left! We also opened presents and Gracie and Lukie were totally excited to see Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Dora and Diego Beanie Babies, cool new drawing boards, a dinosaur, a unicorn, and money!! Gracie informed me that she would like to use her money to buy a jeep. "One I can ride on, Mommy!"

We all headed over to Portillo's in Buena Park for Italian Beef Sandwiches (Daddy was very happy) and finally headed home. Gracie and Lukie had an amazing day and they were so thankful for their cousins, aunts, uncle and Nana who came to celebrate with them.

Now, they want a party so that everyone can come play Candy Land!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Countdown and A Plea

In 6 days, Daddy and Tio Joey have their big surgery.  Early in the morning, September 15th, Tio Joey will be donating one of his kidneys to Daddy.  We've been counting down the days for a long time and now that it is almost here, we are so excited!  Nervous, but SO excited.

Daddy is already thinking ahead to after the surgery.  In October, we will be participating again in Step Out to Fight Diabetes, the annual walk in Santa Clarita to raise money to find a cure for diabetes.  Daddy's fight against diabetes has been long and hard.  Diabetes has gotten in some pretty good hits against Daddy, but he is not down and out yet.

Usually, by now, Daddy's team has raised a lot of money, but this year, donations are down.  He has a personal goal of $3000 and he's only raised $175.  It is so sad to see that number and know that in the past he was able to encourage more people to donate.  We are hoping to encourage everyone who reads our blog to Step Up and help us fight diabetes by sponsoring Daddy and his amazing brother, Joel.  You can sponsor, Daddy or Team O.L.E. (One Legged Ed).  Or, you could even join our team!  We'd love to have you AND you'll get a cool shirt.

To donate in Daddy's name, click here.  Please help!  Every penny counts!  Thank you!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

And tomorrow, the world changes

This night, 3 years ago, I lay in my bed at Huntington Hospital knowing that it was my last night alone. The next day, Dr. Hartford planned to deliver Hermie and Iggy and I remember laying there overwhelmed with it all. Twelve weeks I had been in that bed, twelve weeks of tears, worry, anger, joy, loneliness. I was so ready for them to be born, anxious to be out of the hospital and to meet the two creatures who had been doing somersaults in my belly for so long.

I've been thinking back to that night a lot lately. I was so wired, I could not sleep so they gave me Benedryl and Ambien. I kept the TV on for a while in hopes it would lull me to sleep. A few days later, I would not be able to sleep for other reasons, but as I think back on that night, I realize I was an entirely different person.

Someone, no one I know, once said that you don't truly become a woman until you become a mother. I scoff at this every time I hear it said again. What a ridiculous statement! But I now realize, that for me, it was absolutely true. I was still an immature person. I may have been 35, but I was not an adult. I did not truly become one until I sat there next to my too too tiny babies and watched them fight for breaths in the NICU. The night before they were born, I just wanted them born for selfish reasons. I was tired. I was done. I wanted out. I wanted to meet them. When I eventually got to be there with them in the NICU, I felt like the worst person on the planet and kept saying over and over again that I should have fought to keep them in my belly a bit longer.

I've been looking at pictures and videos of them often over the past few days. They are not babies and it makes me so sad. I hate to even call them toddlers. They don't "toddle." They run. They jump. They wrestle. They fight. They sing. They love.

I am so scared to see them grow up. I am worried that they won't want to cuddle with me or want to share hugs and kisses. I am worried because I know this can't be this wonderful forever (despite all of the crazy 3-year old drama they are inflicting on us).

I guess I'm just going to have to record every moment in my memory and remember that this won't last forever. So today, as they spent their last day as 2 year olds, we baked birthday cupcakes and I let them frost every one, no matter how many times they put their butter knife into their mouths and then into the frosting. We went to Target and had ICEEs and I rigged the hose so that it dribbled water onto their slide so that they could have their very own water slide. We rolled around on the floor and giggled because Lukie had a seriously stinky booty and he wouldn't let me change his Pull-Up. We shared kisses and hugs and made up songs.

What a such a wonderful way to celebrate the last day of being 2! I shall never forget it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Seriously Un-Cool

Tiny Town is closed.

What? Why? The Horror!

I just discovered it and now it is gone. I can only blame the Recession and the owner of the building who no doubt raised the rent or some anonymous parent who sued them and bankrupted them. Who knows what happened?

We are devastated. We had to talk about it all the way home.

"Mommy, Tiny Town is closed?"

"Yes, Gracie."

"Forever, Mommy?"

"Yes, closed forever, Lukie."

"Why is it closed, Mommy?"

"I don't know, Gracie."

"Did they go somewhere, Mommy?"

"I don't think so, Lukie. They just closed."

"Oh, no, Mommy! No more jumpies!"

"I know, Love. It will be okay."

"But Mommy, where are the jumpies?"

"Mommy, can we play at Tiny Town?"

"No, sweetheart, they are closed."

"Forever?"

"Yes, forever."

Silence.

"Mommy, can we go to Old McDonalds?"

"And get chicken nuggets and trench tries?"

"Yeah! And play on the climbing thing and go down the slide?!"

"I'm going to have dip with my chicken nuggets."

"Me, too!"


Maybe they won't miss Tiny Town as much as I will, after all.