Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Dollar

Tonight, Daddy and the Twinsies went to Starbucks to surprise me with a drink. While they waited in the drive thru line, a man approached the driver's side window and asked Eddie for a quarter. Eddie told him that he did not have any cash and could not help. From the back seat, Lukie asked Eddie what the man wanted. When he told Lukie, he was very worried. "Daddy, he can have my dollar. Call him back, please."

So Eddie called the man back and offered him Lukie's dollar. At first, the man did not want to take it when he heard it came from Lukie, but Eddie insisted Lukie wanted him to have it. After the man left with the dollar, my amazing children talked about how there are people who need our help. They don't have homes. They don't have clothes. They don't have food. We need to help them because it is the right thing to do when you have a home, clothes, and food.

Every day, I talk with Gracie and Lukie about things like this and, most times, I think they forget about it the minute their attention is taken away. Apparently not. Tonight, I hugged Lukie when he told me about the man. It wasn't just that I felt proud of him. It touched my heart that my little guy saw someone in need and did not ignore them. He embraced them in the only way he knew how. ♥

Saturday, October 27, 2012

From the other room

Somewhere, in Gracie and Lukie's room, Optimus Prime keeps randomly making his battle noises. Not long enough for me to find him and make him stop. Just long enough to freak me out.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Let me start by saying that I failed in the picture department.  I wish I had them, but there were too many kids and I only had my phone.

Gracie and Lukie had their first gymnastics class today and they had so much fun!  The teacher is great with little ones and he kept them active and giggling the entire time.  They ran backward, forward, made tables out of their bodies, made bridges!, and walked on the balance beam. The class ended in the giant foam pit.  Lukie's favorite part.

They did very well for the first half of the class, but about 30 minutes in, the class became more individual and, as I expected, they started acting up.  We had had a talk about behavior before class, and we had to have another at the end.

What made me happy was their absolute joy in the class.  They loved every moment and I will never forget them trying to do the splits.  It was fantastic!  We have 3 more weeks of classes before we decide whether or not to renew.  I have a feeling I will be saving up our money to allow them to continue.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Can we get a big sister?

Among the conversations we have had in the car is one about siblings.  Gracie and Lukie are fascinated by the idea of more than two children in a family.  They are still trying to grasp the idea of siblings not necessarily being twins.  I've had to explain, more than once, about two babies in a mommy's tummy versus one.

We've also had discussions about other ways for children to come to a family.  We found our way into a conversation about adoption last week and about foster families.  They were very sad about the idea that some children don't have mommies and daddies.  They asked a lot of questions about foster families and the children.  They were very concerned about homeless children and about them having a place to sleep.

They started asking me a few days ago if they could have a sibling.  Specifically, a big sister.  I stared at them for a few minutes and then asked why they wanted one.  Here's what they said:

"Mommy, we were thinking that we could ask one of the homeless children to come be our big sister.  That way, she would have a place to live and we could take care of her and she would have food to eat.  She could also take us to the park."

"Mommy, do you think one of the homeless children that does not have a mommy or daddy would like to come live with us?"

Can your heart break while it is swelling with love?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Morning Child vs. the Non-Morning Child

Gracie is a morning child.  She is always the first to wake up and because she is loath to be awake alone, she generally wakes someone else up to keep her company.  About 60% of the time, that lucky person is me.  She'll wake up 30 minutes or an hour before I really want to be awake and crawl into bed with me.  She'll start a conversation about how she wants to go see her cousin, Bianca, or how she is going to be the pink Power Ranger for Halloween.  Sometimes, she whispers questions to me or asks me about things that have peaked her interest.  Other times, it's "Mommy, will you come to the bathroom with me?" or "Mommy, I'm hungry.  Can we go get our breakfast and watch Dora?"

Lukie, on the other hand, is not a morning person.  If Gracie is absent from the room, he will sleep for an hour, sometimes two hours more.  One time, Gracie and I decamped to the living room and I closed his bedroom door on the way.  My boy slept until 11:14 a.m.  Clearly, he needed sleep.

The 40% of the time I am not the person Gracie wakes up, it is Lucas who gets the friend in his bed.  She'll climb up his ladder to the top bunk, cuddle next to him and start her conversation.  I can never hear what they are saying, but it definitely wakes me up.  The murmur of voices and eventually the sounds of Legos and cars being played with will being me to consciousness.  I often try to pretend I don't hear it, but it does not last long.

Gracie and Lukie look forward to the weekends.  The weekends are Ssssss days.  Days that start with "S" are days we get to Sssssleep in.  We used to only make it until about 5:30 a.m., but nowadays, we often make it until 7 a.m. before I have children crawling into my bed.  School days are a little more challenging.  Kindergarten is wearing Gracie and Lukie out.  I mean, fall-asleep-as-soon as-your-head-hits-the-pillow worn out.  Monday morning, I wake up early to take a shower and then I wake them up to get ready to go.  Monday and Tuesdays, they are usually awake quickly and we can get moving.  Around Wednesday, it takes a couple of tries to get Lukie out of bed.  By Thursday, he starts to cry because he is so tired.  By Friday, I have to go back multiple times and employ Gracie to help Lukie find his slippers.

It kills me to have to get them up this way.  I wish that I did not have to drive so far for work, maybe then, they could get a few more minutes of sleep.

Tonight, Gracie has decided that we are having a slumber party.  She's chosen the living room for our sleepover. I'm predicting that they will make it until 9 p.m. before they ask me if they can sleep in their beds.  Then again, how awesome would it be for us to make the memory of sleeping together out there?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

God, Angels, and the Devil. Oh, my!

One of the reasons Daddy and I chose a Catholic school is because we wanted Gracie and Lukie to learn about God.  To be honest, on our own, we haven't done the best of jobs.  Catholic school, however, makes it a daily thing.  Every day, Gracie and Lukie learn new songs about God and the blessings we receive, they learn about the world and how God created everything.  With these lessons, of course, come questions.  More questions than I was prepared for.

To date, I have fielded questions on whether God is a man or a woman, where God is, what God looks like, whether God made the sun, Earth, and moon, and when God was born.  It has been interesting for me.  How do you take complex ideas and break them down for a 5 year old to understand?  The good news, for me at least, was that I stuck to the truth (or Catholic teachings, which ever you prefer) as much as I could.  Some people think God is a man.  Some people think God is a woman.  Others think God is just God.  He's not a man or a woman (This was Auntley!  Those B.V.M.s are so progressive!)  God is so big he is everywhere, all over the Earth.  No one knows what God looks like.  Each of us can picture God the way we would be comforted to view him.  I got creative with Creationism.  I'm a proponent of Evolution.  I think it is silly to think that the world was created in 7 days.  Rather, I believe that God started it all: the Big Bang, the development of life, etc.  However, God's version of 7 days is not like our experience of 7 days.  Seven days to God is more like billions of years to us. The explanation of when God was born was a tad trickier. Instead of trying to explain that God has no beginning and no end, I explained that I wasn't alive when God was created.  That God has lived for so long, no one knows.

It wasn't until they learned the song I've Got the Joy Joy Joy Joy Down in My Heart that things got more challenging for me.

"If the devil doesn't like it, he can sit on a tack.  Sit on a tack, sit on a tack. If the devil doesn't like it, he can sit on a tack.  Sit on a tack, sit on a tack...." (imagine this over and over)
"Mommy?" came Lukie's voice.  "Who is the devil?"
"Oh, um, the devil used to be one of God's angels."
"Why isn't he an angel any more?"
"Well, he decided that he was just as important and powerful as God. He told God that and God said, 'Nope.  I'm the Father and I am the most powerful.  I created you.'"
"Was God mad?"
"I think He was frustrated that one of His angels was trying to talk back to Him. When the devil would not change his mind, God told the devil that he had to leave Heaven and the devil was even madder.  He was so mad, that he tried to talk other people into thinking that they were better than God.  He told them that they could steal things and hurt other people. This made God sad."
"Mommy, is the devil still alive?"
"He was an angel, honey, they don't die.  He just lives in a place called hell with all of the other people and angels he convinced that they were better than God."
"Mommy?" came Gracie's voice.  "Will the devil hurt me?"
"No, baby. He won't hurt you.  The devil likes to try to talk people into doing mean things."
"Like hitting friends and being a litter bug?"
"Yes, kind of like that."
"What about stealing and killing people?"
"Most definitely.  The devil tempts people.  That means he tries to tell them that they should do mean things so that they feel better.  Even though they know that God wants us to be kind to each other, the devil convinces people to be mean."
"Mommy, will the devil try to make me mean?"
"He tries every day, sweetheart. Whenever you want to hit your friend or use mean words about them, that's the devil trying to convince you to hurt people.  But, when you choose not to, that is you deciding to fight against him.  Sometimes, your guardian angel will help you."
"What's a guardian angel?"
"Oh, it's the angel that God sent to protect you.  They watch over you and try to help you make nice and kind choices."
"Who's my angel, Mommy?" asked Lukie.
My mind worked frantically. 
"I think it's my Daddy, your Grandpa.  He's your guardian angel."
"Where is he, Mommy?"
"I'm not sure.  Maybe he is sitting on your right shoulder."
"Right here?"
"Yep, right there."
"If I pat my shoulder, will I hurt him?"
"Nope.  I don't think you can hurt an angel."
"Who's my angel, Mommy?" came Gracie's sweet little voice.
"Hmmm.  I think it is my Aunt Loretta.  She's your guardian angel."
"Is she my angel because she died?"
"I think so."
"Are the dinosaurs sitting on my other shoulder?"
"The dinosaurs," she repeated.  "Are the dinosaur angels sitting on my other shoulder?"
"Yes!" exclaimed Lukie.  "That's where they are!"


A few days later, Gracie climbed into my lap.  "Mommy, I don't want a dead person to be my guardian angel."
"You don't?"
"No.  If you are dead, then you turn into a zombie."
I tried to take that in.
"A Zombie?"
"Yes.  I want the dinosaurs to be my guardian angels."
"OOOO-kay, then.  Why don't you let God know that?"

Daily, there is a new question about God.  I'm doing my best with them and I hope I'm not messing this thing up.

Oh, one other side effect of all this God talk and trips to Mass?  Gracie serenades us with songs from Mass every day.  Last week, it was her version of Alleluia.  Last night, for 3 straight hours, it was the Lord Have Mercy version they sing at our church.  I'm pretty sure she is not singing the right words for part of it.  I can't make any of it out.  No worries, though.  She doesn't mind.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Birthday PAR-TAY

Gracie and Lukie have long asked to go to Disneyland for their fifth birthday, but when it came to it, they just wanted a party with their friends.  We planned a great time at Scooter's Jungle in Valencia and everyone had a blast.  We purchased cupcakes with balloons and messages of "Happy Birthday" on them and a giant sheet cake on which was printed 5!  Alas, these were the only balloons at the party.  There is a worldwide shortage of Helium at the moment.  :(

Sadly, I did not get a lot of pictures at the party, but my sisters and my mom may have some pictures to share.  A great time was had by all and Gracie and Lukie have a room full of Batman, Hello Kitty, Angry Birds, and Barbie to remind them of their big day.

I leave you with this video of the best toy ever.  They were having way too much fun racing on these little scooters.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Big Bikes for Big Kids

Last night, Gracie and Lukie informed me of the following:

"Mommy," said Lukie.  " I want a big kid two wheeler bike that goes really fast!"

Gracie followed up with: "And I want a big kid two wheeler Barbie bike with a little bike for my Barbie."

This was a tad overwhelming for me.  Somehow, I thought I would wait until Saturday to give them their presents.  Instead, I left work early today, picked up Daddy and made my way to the store.  There, we found the perfect bikes: A pink Barbie bike for Gracie, complete with sparkly streamers and glitter gems that she can attach whenever she wants and a green Hot Wheels bike for Lukie, featuring a revving handle and working RPM gauge.  They were completely perfect.

I bought them and brought them home to hide them.  We had to take Gracie to the dentist about her extra baby tooth and after the dentist we finally came home.  They were a mess the entire ride.  They kept asking and asking me what I got them.  What presents did I buy?  How many?  Oh, good gravy!

We pulled into the drive way and I readied my camera.  They jumped out of the car and ran to the hiding place.  Squeals of happiness and excitement sounded in the air.  They completely loved their big kid bikes!

Lukie and his Hot Wheels bike

Moments after they discovered their bikes.

Gracie and her pink Barbie bike.
They hopped on and after only a few minutes, they started to get the hang of it.  Occasionally, they hit a point where they forgot how to move their feet or a section where the asphalt was uneven.  They could have kept going for hours if the sun hadn't gone down.

I'm so very happy we bought them these bikes!

Golden Birthday = 5!

You want to make a kid's day?  Wake them up singing "Happy Birthday" to them.  Smiles all around this morning for my two big Fives.  (We shall ignore Gracie's epic nose bleed upon waking.)

There shall be Hello Kitty and Angry Birds cupcakes for school and Picture Day for Gracie and Lukie's Golden 5 Birthday.

My how they have grown.

Gracie - Less than 5 minutes old

Lukie - 24 hours old

3 weeks old

5 Years Old!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

4 years and 364 days

We have been so looking forward to five. I mean, countdown every day, "Is that a long time, Mommy?", "Are we almost five?" kind of looking forward. With all the build up, the excitement level has reached its boiling point.

Our last night as 4 year olds did not start well. Tears, mean words, tantrums. Then, we discovered Lukie's completed homework was lost, so we had to copy Gracie's pages so that he could redo them. We discovered we were supposed to cut out A words to paste on the letter A in our folder. Not surprisingly, there are only so many A words in the junk letter mailings from the past few days. More tears, more frustration. At 8 p.m. I called it a night.

We cuddled on the floor of their room and read The Bear Snores On and The Kissing Hand. We kissed each other's hands so that we could keep each other close and I shut off the light. Good-bye, 4.

Monday, September 3, 2012


It was quiet in our house.  No Twinsies yelling.  No hitting. No Gracie bossing Lucas around. Suddenly, I heard the pitter-patter of feet and the refrigerator door opening and closing.  I found this scene out on our front porch.

Just a brother and a sister enjoying some cheese on a Monday morning, rocking and chatting.  No cares in the world. Just love.

Monday, August 13, 2012


The anticipation for today has been overwhelming: a countdown, questions galore, uniforms.  It could not come quickly enough.

Please meet the newest members of Mrs. Flores' Kindergarten classroom!

I'm sorry.  I keep laughing at this picture.  It was hot, it was taking a long time for things to get started and Gracie was getting grumpy.  That's her Justin Beiber backpack on the ground.  She was done.

She was much happier before we left Abue Rosi's house. Can you believe how big they are?

I plan to interview them when they get home today.  We'll see how that goes!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Shopping for school supplies - Independence Style!

Last night, after a snack to return my lovely almost-5-year-olds to their normal selves, we braved the store to buy our school supplies.  Gracie insisted on pushing her own cart.  Lukie was too tired and asked if he could sit in the seat, so I pushed his cart.  With reluctance, we proceeded.  In the future, Gracie's goal will be to work on not running into the back of people (my ankles!).  She loved the independence of pushing her own cart and putting her own school supplies into the basket. She also loved all of the praise she got from complete strangers:

"What a big girl you are pushing that cart!"

"You are super strong to push that cart all by yourself!"

My favorite one came as Gracie pushed her cart, filled with bagged purchases, next to me as we walked to our car. A woman and her daughter were walking toward us.

"Mommy!  That cart is moving all by itself."

"Oh, my goodness!  Ma'am, is that your cart?  It is going to go into the street!"

"Look, Mommy, the cart has feet!"

Monday, July 16, 2012


This summer, Gracie and Lucas have been learning to swim.  I purposely registered them for a program that had a daily swim lesson.  Before the first day, they were terrified about the swimming without their trusty floaties.  But, as I suspected, they gained confidence and with it came the ability to swim without their floaties at all.

A few days ago, we held a ceremonial "Throwing Away of the Floaties."  It was grand.  There are no pictures of it, of course, because we threw them away directly into the disgusting black trashcan.  Lucas hesitated for just one minute when he went to throw it away.  It can be intimidating to give up something that has kept you safe and allowed you one of your major opportunities of freedom.  But in the end, both floaties were consigned to the garbage dump.

Following the ceremony, we headed over to the pool, where my lovelies swam for 3 hours, basking in their independence and the lovely water.

They stayed close to the side of the pool, after all, they usually have a swim instructor close by.  When I got into the pool with them, they were much more courageous.  They swam unaided back and forth between the steps and my position 15 feet away.  Their pride was palpable and it made me realize how quickly they are growing up. 

In a few short weeks, they will be starting Kindergarten and every day seems to bring some new thing they can do or want to do on their own.  It makes me so proud to be their Mommy!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Our First Day of Summer School

I've waited 5 years for today.  Today was the day that Gracie and Lucas got to come to work with me.  It was their first day of Summer School.  I planned our morning carefully to get us out of the door in record time.  I was very impressed by how hard they worked to get dressed and ready to go.

We arrived a little early and snapped this picture:

And this one

 And this one

We never did get a truly perfect photo.

At the end of Camp Mustang and Afternoon Athletics and After School Care, this happened on the way home.

And then there were the impressions of the day:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mean Words

As I headed into their room for the third time tonight, I told them exactly what they had lost.

"Guys, I told you that if you did not go to sleep the first time, there was no jumpy place tomorrow.  You did not go to sleep, so no jumpy place.  Good night."

I turned off the light for the third time and closed the door.  I made it 10 feet from the door and it opened.

"I wish I didn't have a mom!" said Gracie and ran back to her bed.

Rather than react, I replied, "Okay," and closed the door.

As I headed into the laundry room, it occurred to me that I should be upset.  I should feel like a knife was thrust in my heart.  I should feel as if my baby girl has ripped me in two.  Instead, there was nothing.  None of the feelings moms have shared time and again as their children have said equally horrible things.

"I don't love you any more!"

"You're not my mommy any more!"

When I thought about it from Gracie's perspective, her words made sense.  She was frustrated about going to bed and then having the jumpy place taken away.  In her four year old mind, she wanted to hurt me and so she said words she thought would just that.  Her friends say things like, "You aren't my friend any more," all  the time.  Her words were designed to do the same thing that her friends mean to do: to express her frustration with words, hurt momentarily, and be friends again.

Does she really wish she did not have a mom?  No.  Just 10 minutes earlier, she was hugging me as if her life depended on it.  She says these things not really understanding the reality of them.  Are they hurtful?  I guess they would be if I truly believed she meant them.  But she doesn't.  She is using the only weapon she things she has.  I could act hurt and tell her how mean her words were, but that would give them weight and I don't want her to associate her words with the ability to hurt me.  That would result in her using them more frequently and in the future.  If I shrug them off, she will forget about them and is less likely to say them again.

I'm sure she will say these things when she is 8, 9 , 10, 11, 12...I have years of them ahead of me.  The key is not believing that she means them.  She may feel as if she means them in the moment, but a short time later, she will regret them and want to take them back.  She's already shown this to me in the past.  She will come to me 10 or 15 minutes after she does or says something awful, hug me and apologize to me for what she said.  I hug her, say thank you, and we move on.

As a mom, one of the most important things I can do for my children is demonstrate the ability to forgive.  Some day, when I am gone, Gracie will think back to a day when she said, "I wish I didn't have a mom!" She will either cry and be devastated for having hurt me, realize what a horrible thought it was and wish she had me back, or she will laugh at herself for her diva drama and be thankful that I was there to hug her and move on.

Someday, her words will hurt me.  I pray that I will continue to stop and think before I react so that I can see her words for the frustration they really are.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Daddy's helper

Unbeknownst to me, Lukie has been helping Daddy get his scooter on and off the lift. He is so proud of himself for helping his Daddy.

For the record, you should probably make sure that you are not in Lukie's way if you want to remain healthy!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Four year olds are twisted creatures

Gracie and Lucas have been driving me insane the past few weeks.  I'm sure a lot of it has to do with their schedule being disrupted.  Abue Rosi has been in Mexico for the past week watching over Abuelita. So they have been with Daddy at Abue's house in the morning.  We are also counting down the days until the end of pre-school and the sun has been going down later...there is a lot going on.

The problem is that they have been creep-a-zoids. They have been hitting each other and destroying our house, being rude to me and doing exactly the opposite of what I ask, and sometimes demand, that they do.  Even Daddy has complained about their behavior.  We've been at a loss.  What do you do with two four year olds who are are acting rude and awful?

The twisted thing is that they will do what I want...if I tell them not to do it. For example,

"Lukie, don't you eat that broccoli.  No. Don't you eat it!"

Lukie shoves the broccoli in his mouth and laughs maniacally.

"Doh!" I say, inwardly pleased that my son just ate something he swore he would not eat.

The last two hours they were awake tonight, I got them to do everything I wanted by telling them NOT to do it.

"Don't you wash your hair!  No....don't you do it!"
"Don't you put those toys away.  Nope, not those toys.  No, don't do it!"
"Don't you put your jammies on.  No...don't put them on!"
"Don't you clean up your room!  No, don't put that away.  Don't you clean!"

As long as I followed everything they did with "Doh!", they kept doing what I wanted them to do.  It was nice not to have to fight with them, but it was a pain telling them NOT to do everything.  The thing is, they've been frustrating me so much that I'm willing to try anything, no matter how annoying.

Four year-olds are twisted creatures.  Yes, they are.

Today's Self-Dressing Brilliance
Gracie is wearing a shirt, shorts, and her dress from Chichen Itza.  Lucas has on 3, yes, 3 shirts, and shorts.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Dressing ourselves

For the past month or so, we've been getting dressed before we go to Abue Rosi's house in the morning.  Usually, we can get away with me setting out Gracie and Lukie's clothes.  Occasioanlly, they refuse to wear what I put out and they insist on picking out what they want to wear.

Here are some of the results:

It boggles the mind.

Crazy kids who hurt my eyes

Because dressing yourself is always a good idea.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Heard around our house today

"Mommy, when I turn 7 can I be a rock star?"
"Sure, Gracie."
"Mommy, when I turn 6 and my tooth falls out, can I play basketball?"
"Sure, Lucas."

Friday, January 27, 2012

Playing Pretend: The Spaceship Version

The other day, I posted this as my Facebook status:
Captain's log:
Star Date: January 25th 2012
Today the Federation Star Ship Sorrento encountered heavy solar winds on our way to Planet Abue Rosi. First Mate Lucas found himself fighting off enemy star ships. Communications Officer Gracie helped the captain and the first mate navigate the solar system. We arrived safely. Our mission will continue this evening. Captain out.

That morning, I packed the kiddos into the car and decided to play with them.  I did a countdown: 5-4-3-2-1 Blastoff! We played the entire way to Abue Rosi's pretending we were shooting mean aliens, flying quickly around dangerous space ships, avoiding horrible solar winds. We giggled and laughed and had a great time.

Sometimes, the best times are when your Mommy can be silly with you.

Monday, January 23, 2012


For as long as I can remember, Lukie has stored all of his very special toys under his pillow.  It started with a car or two and has progressed to a serious pile.  What gets to hide under his pillow varies from night to night.  Sometimes, it is cars.  Occasionally his Bakugans. Almost always: his ninja sword.

Last night, he woke up three times crying.  Usually, this is a sign that he is sick, but after I made him comfortable for the 4th time, I decided to check under his pillow.  This is what I found:

1 T-Rex
6 cars
2 bouncy balls
3 quarters
Optimus Prime - small size
Bumble Bee - small size
Ninja sword - full size

Lukie and I need to have a conversation about the lumps under his pillow.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A milestone

Do you know what this is?

It is the first time Gracie and Lucas wrote their names in the right order!  We usually have letters all over the page, but this time, they went in the right order.  I'm so excited!  I want to have them write their names so that I can preserve them for all time.

Baby Alyssa, Nino Joe and Tia Marci's daughter, is the recipient of this piece of history. Guard it well, little Alyssa!

So beyond proud!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Who needs a playground?

There are two playgrounds at this park. Gracie and Lukie would rather play on the sidewalk. This is why I dream of a real house in a real neighborhood for us.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Angry toe

Only Angry Birds can take care of the Angry Toe.

The reason I married Daddy

And today in the car:

"Mommy, did you marry my daddy?"
"Yes, Gracie."
"Because you loved him?"
"Yep, because I love him."
"And because of his mishmash?"
"Yes, and because of his mustache."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sometimes, 4 year olds have interesting conversations

Stick with this.  It's fascinating.

Last night, when I picked Gracie and Lukie up from Abue Rosi's house, the following conversation occurred from the backseat of my car.

Lucas: "Mommy, where does lava come from?"

Me: "Volcanoes."

Lucas: "Where are the volcanoes?"

Me: "Oh, lots of places.  There are some in Hawaii.  You can walk right next to them."

Lucas: "Mommy, where does lava come from?"

Me: "Hmmm.  That's an in-TER-esting question. It comes from underneath the ground.  It comes up through the volcanoes to the land."

Lucas: "But why does it come up?"

Me: "Well, it comes up to make new ground for us to live on and grow things."

Lucas: "To grow things and live on the lava?"

Me: "Yes, but we don't live on the lava when it is hot.  We can live on the land after it gets cooler and the lava moves away."

Gracie: "Mommy, I don't want to live on lava.  I don't want to be like that man."

Me: "What man?"

Gracie: "Remember, Lukie?  That man who fell in the lava?  And it burned his legs?"

Lucas: "Oh, yeah!  Remember he fell in the lava and it burned his legs and the mean man came and took him and turned him into a robot?"

Me: "Wait, what?"

Gracie: "The man who fought the other man and then he fell in the lava and then a man came with a space ship and took him to a place where they turned him into a robot.  Remember, Mommy? He was a mean man! And then, remember the other man fought with him and the mean guy in the black with the scary face shooted lightening at the other man and the robot man picked him up and threw him over the side like this? Whoosh!"

Me: "What are you nuts talking about?"

Lucas: "Remember, Mommy? The robot guy.  What's his name? He's scary and tall and the other man takes off his mask and he's not mean any more?"

Me: "Are you talking about Darth Vader?"

Lucas: "Yeah!  That's it, Mommy!  Remember Darth Vader fell in the lava and it burned his legs and the mean man who shoots lightening out of his hands finds him and turns him into a robot? I don't want to fall in the lava and have to be a robot."

Me: "Honey, you aren't going to fall in the lava.  First of all, I wouldn't let you get that close. Second of all, Darth Vader is in a movie.  It's Star Wars. Remember, Luke Skywalker? Movies are pretend.  Remember?"

Gracie: "So, we won't fall in the lava and get burned and have to have robot legs?"

Me: "No, Gracie, you won't."

Lucas: "Mommy, I don't want to go to Hawaii."

Me: "We aren't going to Hawaii.  Why don't you want to go to Hawaii?"

Lucas: "There's lava there and I don't want it to burn my legs."

Me: "Oh, Good Gravy. Lukie, the lava is not going to burn your legs and we aren't going to Hawaii, we are going to Mexico and where we are going in Mexico does not have any volcanoes and it doesn't have any lava. So you are safe."

Gracie: "Did you hear that, Lukie?  There aren't any volcanoes in Mexico and you won't burn your legs!  See, you don't have to worry!"

Lucas: "I don't want to be a robot like Darth Vader, Mommy."

Me: (sigh) "You won't, Lukie.  Darth Vader is just pretend."

Lucas: "Mommy?"

Me: "Yes, Lukie?"

Lucas: "Can Daddy beat up Darth Vader with his robot leg?"

Me: "Absolutely, honey.  Daddy can totally beat up Darth Vader."

Lucas: "Good. Daddy can beat up Darth Vader and I won't fall in the lava."

Me: "That's right."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Things heard around our house

Lukie: "One, two, three, four, five, six, seben, eight..."
Me: "What are you doing, Lukie?"
Lukie: "I'm counting my dollars."
Me: "You mean your nickels?"
Lukie: "No, these are dollars. I am counting my money to see if I have enough to buy a Toyota."
Me (struggling to hold back a laugh): "A Toyota?"
Lukie: "Yes, I need to have a car for when I'm big. They cost $20 hunn-red dollars. I almost have enough money."

Thursday, January 5, 2012

About Daddy

The past year has been truly difficult for Daddy.  In September 2010, he had his kidney transplant and the surgery was successful.  Unfortunately, there were all kinds of complications that happened afterward: blood clots, digestive system issues, infections.  It felt like he was in the hospital for most of 2011.  He would come home for a few weeks and be back in soon afterward.

When I look back on the year, it is not through my eyes as his wife.  Instead, I can only see the year as Gracie and Lucas did.  The older they become, the bigger their world is.  When they were a year old and Daddy was in the hospital, they had me, Abue Rosi, and Abue Juve every day to distract them and fill their days with happiness.  When they turned two, they missed him and asked about him, but they were easily distracted. At 3, they asked so many questions about Daddy.  What was he doing? When was he coming home? Why was the doctor making him stay at the hospital? They had so many questions and it was increasingly difficult to answer them.  How do  you tell a 3 year old that their Daddy has an illness that is not going to go away and has the potential to get so much worse?

I think the last 5 months have been the hardest.  This summer, Ed was out of the hospital for about 9 weeks.  We were together every day and it was really fantastic. Then, in August, Ed went in to have a filter removed from his leg.  During the procedure, the camera that the doctor was using to locate the filter punctured his vein and caused him to bleed internally.  I was there when the doctor came in to talk with him. Ed almost died. 

It is unbelievably hard to write that statement.  We almost lost him. I held Gracie and Lucas tightly for the next few days, uncertain what life held for us. They had so many questions this time, but this time, they were scared.  They had just spent weeks with their Daddy and their love for him was/is huge.  There were tears and worry that I would go away too.  Daddy was in the hospital for months this time and since he's come home, he hasn't been the same.  He's had more complications and his frustration at not being able to be an active father increases every day.

Three days ago, Daddy came home after having been in the hospital for a week and a half.  Tonight, he returned to the hospital.  Each time, it is harder for Gracie and Lucas.  Each time, I see them become more anxious and afraid.  I wish I had answers for them and that I could reassure them that Daddy will be well soon.  The truth is, I have no idea what is next.  No idea whether he will be well tomorrow or at all. I'm scared and I have no answers.  All I can do is hug them close and make sure they feel as safe as possible.

On Facebook today, someone posted a quote that stuck with me and I'm going to hold it close:

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

I hope Daddy knows how strong he can be.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

This Year's Motto: Life Moves Pretty Fast...

Ferris Bueller said: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

The past two days, this quote has been in my head and when I logged in to our blog today, I realized that I haven't been stopping to look at life at all this year.  There is so much that I should have recorded and I haven't.  My memory is bad and I hate that there are things that happened this year and I won't be able to share with Gracie and Lucas.

2011 was not a kind year.  I feel like the past 4 years could be designated that way, but when I stop and reconsider it, I realize that I have something special that I did not have 4 years ago: Gracie and Lucas. Despite all of the frustration, tears, and frustration of the past year, the joys of having Gracie and Lukie here with me have made everything so much better.

2012 has a lot of things to look forward to: a family vacation, my 40th birthday, and Gracie and Lukie's 5th birthday. There is so much more. The plan is to come back and post more frequently, even if it is something short. We have so much going on and I don't want to forget a single thing!

Happy 10th Birthday!

There's nothing better than bringing cupcakes and having free dress on your 10th birthday! These two were so excited that they kept r...