Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Busy, Busy Week

It's been a busy, busy week. I was in Denver for work last week - and before you ask, no the snow really wasn't that bad. Yes, there was about 8" of wet, wet snow that came down fast and furiously. But, for the most part, it came and it went, and the roads were fine for the afternoon drive to the airport.

It seems like the kids had a good time while I was's the story in pictures.

Grandma got here last Thursday. On Friday afternoon, Morgan learned to blow bubbles.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Grandma decided to try potty training. It was a valant effort, but not much success. However, Morgan did make a stinky in the potty late this afternoon - and she was very excited by the whole tube of M&Ms that she earned.

We've talked to the daycare, and they'll continue to work with both kids when they return to school next week.

While I was gone, they had plenty of fun doing the routine stuff with Grandma, including taking baths:

And, when Grandpa got here on Thursday, he was hauling Rufus with him. Rufus is a wooden horse that Aunt Sherry had started for them a LONG time ago. Grandma finished it up, and Grandpa transported him. The kids figured out a way to share the horse. (This is one of my new all time favorite pictures, too.)

I made it home just in time for the school halloween costume party. I'm judging these costumes a success since most people knew what they were supposed to be (especially when they were together).

And, today was really the FUN day for our family. Both sets of Grandparents were here. We started the day at the Deanna Rose Farmstead - a great old farmstead that a neighboring city has set up. It's FREE to the public and very wheelchair friendly. So, it made for a great early morning trip.

Then we came home, and the fun really began. This was Tanner & Morgan's FIRST pumpkin carving. Now, Grandma Crazy Woman (appropriately named) believes in doing things the fun way. And, if you are going to carve pumpkins, you have to get in the spirit. She did so by bringing funky hats for everyone - and a silly ghost that the kids danced with (to the song "I Want Candy").

Then, the fun began. Here is Morgan when she first sees the "guts" of the pumpkin.

Helping Grandma Crazy take out the guts:

All four participants:

Helping Grandma Z:

(Yes, we spent most of the afternoon only seeing Morgan's hat.)

Playing in the pumpkin guts:

Pleased with the results

Tanner & Morgan with their first Jack-O-Laterns:

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Brave Woman

I'm off in Denver for work this week. The kids can be quite a handful themselves, so we decided to have Grandma Z come in & help out this week. Grandma doesn't come out very often - so we decided to take the kids out of daycare for the week. They are staying home with her this week. I think the kids liked this idea. Grandma came in very early on Thursday morning. On Friday, Morgan told us "No, I not go to school. I stay home with Grandma."

Not only is Grandma tackling two 2.5 year olds this week - she decided to tackle pottytraining as well. We started last night - we spent about 45 minutes on the potty pouring warm water over private areas trying to encourage success on potty.

We got nothing but giggling toddlers.

We put on diapers for the 3 minute transport downstairs. When we got downstairs, both diapers were SOAKED.

This morning, same routine. Except after we gave up on potty time - Morgan wet her Elmo panties (and outfit).

I'm told this scene repeated itself several times today.

Grandma is one brave soul.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Twin Halloween Outfits

Ok - we've got our Halloween outfits for this year, but I'm just curious as to what some of our other twin friends out there are using for your twins. And, yes, I totally play into making them a pair!

First Halloween, my kids were pumpkins...not such a wise idea since Tanner had really entered his liver failure at that point. He kind of matched his pumpkin.

Second Halloween - we did a cat & a dog. I made those outfits - I think I had about 60 - 80 hours of time wrapped into them. What was I thinking?

Third Halloween (darn, I can't believe this will be their third Halloween) - we're doing Pebbles & Bam Bam.

So - what are your kids going to be for Halloween?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fall cuisine

It's fall...and one of my favorite fall foods is caramel apples.

Now, Randy & I are pretty paranoid parents. We both work full time, and quite frankly, we have a hard time keeping up with work, the kids, and general household items - let alone take on some monumental making caramel apples.

Never fear...that's where our neighbors come into play. On Saturday evening, they brought over homemade caramel apples for the kids. And, not just the kind where you buy the pre-made caramel in flat round disk and then wrap it around the apple. The real stuff where you heat up the carmel and then dip the apple into it.

Here are some pictures of the kids enjoying their treats.

Tanner, obviously very excited by the apples:

Tanner, trying to figure out how best to eat the apples.

Morgan, trying the apple

But then deciding, that really, isn't the point of all this just the caramel?

Now, the mistake that we made was giving them the carmel apples after supper. The sugar in these here apples kept the kids bouncing off the walls until after 9 p.m. (their bedtime is around 7 p.m.).

Also notice the new haircuts in these more hippie babies.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Super Heroes

The last few weeks have had Randy & I feeling somewhat like super heroes.

No, no, no - we aren't donning any capes and playing any funky bedroom games. But, we've learned (at least in the mind of a two year old) that our kisses are enough to make things "all better". It is totally amazing to me how a pile of tears can turn into a smile when mommy or daddy kisses the owie. How the pain is apparently completely resolved with a little kiss. And, it's even cuter to see them kiss each other's owie - or kiss mommy & daddy's owies.

Is it too much to ask that I'll always be able to make things better for them with just a simple kiss?

It's My Favorite Place, Too

We got off to a late start this morning. Instead of taking the kids into the gym, we decided to take them to the park before we did our weekend shopping trips. The park is the kids favorite place to go (remember our vacation to St. Louis), so they were very agreeable to this idea.

As we started to leave, the kids were playing around on the bike rack. It made for some really neat pictures (I won't tell you how many I took to get these two, though).

When I sit here and look at these pictures it's easy to see the joy on the kids' face. The pure happiness they take in the small things - the small pebbles of rocks, the swirly slide, climbing on a bike rack. Their shrieks of delight and laughter are still rolling through my memory. And, that's when I realize, the park is my favorite place, too.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Something's Missing

Tonight was bath night. After daddy wraps them up in their towels, the kids are sent out to be diapered and PJ by me. Tanner was first out tonight, and Morgan was close on his heels.

Morgan watached as I started to put Tanner's diaper on. It was slowed down by the fact that I was fighting an ingrown toenail, and she squatted down to examine his penis closely. She cocked her head from side to side and studied it intently.

As I started to put his diaper on, she stood up, bent over at the waist and started looking at herself... She'd squat a little, look closer, spread her legs, and examine even a little harder. I'm guessing she noticed that something was missing.

(She's going to kill me when she gets older.)

A Fun Age

I'm really enjoying our kids right now....well, beside the inability to control their emotions which results in sheets of tears at simple requests. The kids are able to communicate their needs and wants fairly well now, and they are at the super cute age where they want to do everything that you do.

Like try on your shoes and shuffle around the living room.

Repeating phrases

Crouching down to examine something...just the way that you did.

The funniest thing that I've seen in a little while was our children trying to mimic me winking at them the other night. I would wink, they would blink. I'd wink again, they'd blink harder. You could even see their little brains working...maybe if I lean sideways and blink, that will work.

Their final verdict, covering one eye while blinking seemed to be an equivalent. I just wish I'd had my camera.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Overheard this evening:

Morgan: "Daddy, I said right now! Three, four, five, six...."

Hmmm...I wonder where she's heard that (or a slight variation thereof).

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Walking for a cause

This weekend, the family & I participated in the 1st Walkapooloza here in Kansas City for the American Liver Foundation. We (as a family) were also intereviewed by the local news station & Randy's mother (Tanner's living liver donor) was interviewed by the local talk radio station.

During my short 30 seconds of fame, the message that I wanted to get across to people is that liver disease isn't reserved for people who have drank or done drugs to abuse their body for a lifetime. Liver disease affects people who have lived a healthy life...and it affects innocent children.

This weekend, our team, Liver Families & Friends, walked for the children who are affected by liver disease. These are the faces of liver disease:

Our son, Tanner - Biliary Atresia, Transplanted 02/2005

Janna - Biliary Atresia, Transplant 08/2005

Alexander - Alpha One, Pre-Transplant

Tyler - Biliary Atresia, Transplant 06/2000

Ali - Alpha One, Transplant 04/1992 (Sorry Ali & Michelle, I realized when I got home that I hadn't gotten a new picture of Ali!)

None of these kids did anything to deserve the sentence they were given - and yet each of them is such a great example of how to take your licks and keep on going. I, for one, felt honored to walk for them.

It was a beautiful, sunshiny, great weather day. Our group totaled 19 people - and we weren't the largest group (I don't think the ALF counted children under age 15 - we had 6 of those). This was the first walk, so there were a few organizational things that were lacking (like a loudspeaker for opening ceremonies) and it was a smaller group than I would have thought.

Here is Ellen Shank, the lady who interviewed Grandma on Wednesday and kicked off the walk on Saturday:

The walk was along the rivers of Brush Creek, better known as Flush Creek here in KC. Pretty, yes. But, when we get a lot of rain, the sewers overflow into the creek, and it ends up being a stinky mess. That combined with the geese droppings everywhere, and well, it really probably wasn't the most sanitary of places for liver transplant patients. But, pretty, yes, it was pretty!

Along the route, they had up different liver disease facts. Some of them hit a little too close to home:

At the finish line, they had pizza & pop ready to go, a great little band from St. Louis, a quiz on the liver disease facts, and a bounce house for the kids. It was really a good time. Here's a picture of part of our group eating pizza & listening to the band (minus about 6 of our walkers).

We knew it was time to go home, when we found this in our stroller.

Special thanks to everyone who walked with our group. Tammy & Janna drove all the way up from Wichita to walk with us. My friends, Bob & Lori brought their kids, Andy & Zoey and walked with us as well. And, our neighbors Sandy & Sidney joined us, too. It means so much to Randy & I that our friends took the time out of their busy schedules to come support our cause. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.