Sunday, December 16, 2007

Carroling the new-fangled way

Since many of our friends and family are scattered across this great country, we thought we'd do our Christmas Carroling a bit differently this year.

We'll start out our set with one of children's favorite Christmas songs - Frosty the Snowman.

Oops...guess we'll have to work on the lyrics for that song. Let's try Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer...

Much better! Now we're rolling....Jingle Bells...

An encore presentation of Here Comes Santa (check out history for Morgan's solo version yesterday).

One more quick song...

And, finally, Christmas greetings from our home to yours. May you have a safe & warm holiday season and be surrounded by family & friends.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


For some reason, my kids have just started to get the whole concept of a "joke". Yesterday, they came home from preschool with their first official joke.

"Where did Tigger look for Pooh?"

"In the toilet!"

Except Tanner forgets to hold out on the punch line....and Morgan's joke goes something more like this - "Tigger looks for Pooh in the toilet!"

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Flip That Flopped

We are under contract on a new home. We're excited - it's a Flip that Flopped. We know that we paid only about 7% more for the house than the current owners did. And, since then, they have finished 2100 sq ft in the basement, redone the kitchen, and redone the bathrooms.

The good news is that their is relatively little to do after the move-in. We need to install ceiling fans, paint Tanner's & Morgan's bedrooms, install adjustable shelving in the closet, and replace a few appliances (the one they installed were C H E A P).

We have a few outstanding issues to resolve - radon, sump pumps, and window screens -but nothing major that should hamper things.

The home is MUCH larger than what we really need - but it's in a central location with a huge backyard.

The packers will be here on 12/26, and we'll be loaded on 12/27. Our stuff will arrive at the new house between 12/29 - 12/31. What a way to ring in the new year, huh?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Not the World's Best Negotiater

Setting: Just prior to naptime.

Characters: Morgan, Daddy

"How long do we have to take a nap for today, daddy?"

"Mmmmm....120 minutes."

"Oooohhhh, that's a long time.... Can we take a nap for 2 hours instead?"

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

From the Mouths of Babes

Setting: Sunday after nap. Prior to nap we had explained to Tanner & Morgan that the house was going to sell.

Morgan: "Mommy, I am going to be very mad at you if you sell me."


The decision to move / sell our home wasn't an easy one. And, the actual selling of the house has been difficult. Randy has taken it really hard - and rightfully so. Our blood, sweat, and tears are in that home - quite literally. It's a home that we designed and built - and we thought we'd grow pretty darn old there.

It hurts - and I have a small heartache. But, what I can't beleive tonight is that I haven't shed any tears yet. And, then it donned on me - I don't remember the last time I cried.

Oh, I've cried at Extreme Home Makeover and a few movies - but cried over my circumstances, our lives...I don't remember the last time. I think back to Tanner's transplant - I don't remember crying then.

I do remember crying the first few weeks that the kids were born - about Tanner's health circumstances, his PDA, wondering if he were going to make it. I remember crying in Randy's arms in our garage at the uncertainity of it all.

I remember curling up in a ball in our office when we found out about my mom & dad's accident when Tanner & Morgan were 3 weeks old. I remember bawling - fraught with fear - a whole range of emotions.

And, those are the last tears I remember...

I'm sure I would be a wonderful case for a psychologist - if only I had the time, energy, or money...

Sunday, November 11, 2007


With only 9 days left on the market, our house sold yesterday. And, it sold for 97% of our listing price - so I feel like we got a good deal.

Our closing date is December 27th. That's six weeks - but we also have to find and purchase a home in Denver in that time. Not to mention that I am traveling for the next 3 weeks straight (2 weeks to Denver which will help with the home purchasing stuff).

But, it's not just that - it's all the other little (and big) stuff. Finding a new daycare for Tanner & Morgan, changing addresses, utility accounts, selling some stuff, finalizing with the movers, getting new cell phones, packing, unpacking. It's going to be a busy 6-1/2 weeks.

I don't think it's all quite sunk in yet. This house has so much sentimmental attachment, but it just hasn't hit me yet. I don't know if I've already dealt with that when we decided to list the house - or my brain is too busy making to do lists to worry about it.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I'm Ashamed to Admit....

I used google today to verify something that my three-year-old was telling me. Morgan sat at the dinner table tonight and spelled her name in Sign Language. Now, I learned sign language in about 5th grade as part of my brownie troup - but I could not remember it (specifically the letter g).

I can just see the show now - "Are you smarter than a 3 Year Old?"

Saturday, October 27, 2007

At the Pumpkin Patch

Tanner & Morgan convinced us to make a trip to the pumpkin patch. We weren't going to since we had already done Jack-O-Laterns with Grandma, but our Jack-O-Laterns had an early demise.

So, here we are at the farm that we bought our pumpkins from this morning.

Friday, October 26, 2007

And the winner is....

Where is the strangest place you've hidden things before showing your house?

I'm going with underneath the computer scanner lid....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How do you...

convince your 3-1/2 year old daughter that girls don't pee standing up?

Please...this has been going on for waaayyyy too long now.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I Hate Cell Phones

Warning: Rant ahead.

I hate cell phones. Granted, they are handy at times. Say I'm in Target and I need to call my mom and see if she's been looking for something, I can make a quick call. It's handy when I'm out of town and need to stay in touch with my family. I even like the peace of mind knowing that if my kids need me, they can reach me at any time.

What do I hate about cell phones? I think it's the fact that it implies urgence. There are so many times when the situation doesn't call for that.

I absolutely refuse to call customers on their cell phones. I'll have Sales Reps say to me, "call them on their cell phones, they'll answer their cell phones". But I'm not calling for something urgent - it can surely wait until they are back in their office. I don't like people asking me to call them on their cell phone - again, it's not urgent - I'll leave a message. I figure if what I have to say is important enough or interesting enough, they'll call me back. Right?

I hate talking to someone on their cell phone. The coverage is often lousy, you can hear people talking in the background or wind blowing - it's distracting, it's too difficult to talk to them.

I think driving and talking on the cell phone is unsafe (particularly without a hands free device). I don't want to be responsible for someone else's misfortune.

I don't have to be availbe to work 24 / 7. It's healthy to get away from work folks, really, it is.

Really, folks - a personal conversation while you are grocery shopping? It's not only rude to the person on the phone, but to the other shoppers as well. And, don't even get me started on having a conversation while you are checking out / having a secondary conversation with a cashier. Seriously people - can it really not wait?

I like talking to people, and I literally seem to spend about 6 hours a day on my phone talking to people. I enjoy hearing from our customers and working with them...just don't call me on my cell phone.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I had a garage sale this weekend - and it was much different than I had anticipated. I expected that the hot items would be kids clothes & toys. So not the case - but all of the household stuff is gone. That was a big relief.

So, I decided to do something charitable with the clothes. We hand down Tanner's clothes to my nephew, Brayan, but we can't find anyone to hand Morgan's clothes down to. Morgan has some beautiful clothes - and way too many. Most of them are really in great shape.

I contacted a children's shelter to see if they would accept the clothing. They only accept NEW clothes! Really? I love hand-me-down for my kids - and you won't accept them? What? These are really nice, outfits (pants, shirt, sweater, socks, headbands - OUTFITS) that are mostly Baby Gap, Gymboree, or boutique brands...Does that seem totally wrong or what?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Big Brother

Yesterday, Morgan came home with some scratches on her leg. She proclaimed that "Ethan did it."

This morning, on the way to school - I hear Morgan & Tanner talking.

Morgan: "Tanner, Ethan scratched me."

Tanner: "I'm going to tell Aiden." (Aiden is his best friend at school.)

Morgan: "Yeah, let's tell Aiden."

Tanner: "And then I am going to spit on Ethan."

WHOA. (insert sounds of screaching trucks coming to a halt here)

I did explain to them that hitting / biting/ spitting / kicking were not okay, and that I was sure Ethan had only accidnetally scratched Morgan.

But, deep down, I was really proud that he was protecting his sister.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Too Cute

Good news: We've had some interest in our house lately. We've got one couple who we believe have been here two - maybe three times - and possibly another who is interested.

Bad news: You have to vacate the house when they want to tour it. 95% of the time, this will occur between 1 - 2 p.m. For those of you with toddlers, you know what time that is, right? Naptime.

My solution - ICE CREAM. I mean, really, even when they're tired and cranky, it's good enough bribery to keep them behaving somewhat. The Dairy Queen is somewhat close (8 miles), it'd take almost exactly an hour, it was safe from the rain showers, and the opposite direction from the race track.

The best part of the whole trip, listening to Morgan talk about going to "Dairy Cream".

Saturday, September 29, 2007


One of the stark realities of being submerged into the medical world, is that we've been introduced to too many children who have left this world way too early. Liver disease isn't pretty. It's sometimes hard for me to realize that if Tanner had been born a generation ago, his odds of survial would have been around 20%. It's still hard to realize that even today, a child with Biliary Atresia chances of survival are around 80%.

When we were first submerged into this liver world, three families surrounded us with love, warmth, understanding, and friendship. Two of those families, Aiden's and Anthony's, had very similar stories to Tanner's. They were little boys, born with Biliary Atresia, had liver transplant when they were under 1 year old, and have done well since then.

The other, was Haley's family. Aiden's mom and Haley's mom were very close - and the four of us would often chat on AOL Instant Messenger. Haley's story was very different - she had Autoimmune Hepatitis, and she wasn't diagnosed until she was in childhood.

Haley had a love and compassoin for the other little kids touched by liver disease. She had a true compassion for them - and she reached out to them in the most special way. Haley was a gifted singer and songwriter - she wrote songs for these kids. Beautiful, relevant, funny songs. Billy Rubin talks about bilirubin being a mean fellow and turning her skin yellow, Prednisone talked about the ill effects that this commonly used steroid can have on our liver kids, and Hots! was written for Aiden who used to enjoy McDonald's French Fries after his regular lab draws. But, my favorite song is Everywhere - which talks about her strong faith in God, even through her illness.

Haley had so much spunk. She had a massive brain bleed in February 2005. During surgery, they shaved part of her head - and when she saw it, her comment was "You should never let a neurosurgeon cut your hair." This girl was flooded with hats that people sent her to wear while her hair grew back in. And, what did she do? She shared them with other kids who didn't have hair (many of them cancer patients). She sang at fundraisers whenever possible.

Two years ago on Monday, October 1, Haley lost her fight. At the time, she was just a little over a month away from her 12th birthday. I still remember when I first heard that she'd gone home to heaven. It still hurts me, two years later - I can't imagine the pain that her family endures on a daily basis. Haley's legacy continues in a foundation that her parents started in her honor - The Haley Vincent Foundation. Through this foundation, they send out care packages to kids who are in the hospital due to liver disease and transplant.

I don't talk about it often on this website, although I really should. Organ donors save lives. If Haley had gotten a transplant, she might still be with us here today. I could list a long list of names here - all children who died waiting for a liver transplant or from complications from getting their transplant after they were too sick. These are children - not people who have abused their livers through drink, alcohol, or drugs. There are over 90,000 people waiting for an organ donation right now. Please consider being an organ donor - and make sure that your family is aware of your decision. To find out more about organ donation, please go here.

Angel Haley, we still miss you, girl.

Friday, September 28, 2007


This is the conversation that Randy & I overheard tonight as the kids were enjoying the last of their bath.

"Tanner, do you have a sore on your penis?"

"No, I don't have a sore on my penis. I have a helmet." (I have no idea where he got this from...)

"You have a helmet?"

"Yes, that is where the butterfly* bit me...and drank my blood."

So, my next question - at what age do you make boy/girl twins quit taking baths with each other?

*Now, the butterfly part I get. Whenever Tanner has to have his blood drawn for labs, they use a butterfly needle. We tell him that the butterfly is going to bite him and then drink his blood. Yeah, I know, whacked out & a little weird, but it prevents him from crying during lab sticks.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

This Sucks

You know it can't be a good sign when the day you put your house on the market, the stock market drops over 200 points, it's the first day of school, and it's over 100 F outside. It's now been six weeks, and we've only had FOUR couples tour the house. That's disappointinly low.

And, I knew it would be really, really hard to try to maintain a "show" home with two three year olds in the house. That has been difficult - incredibly difficult. But you know what's worse?

Having people come through and critque your house. Randy & I designed this house - giving so much thought into the location of everything in the home - making sure it was laid out to be easily lived in. It's very well constructed, with behind the scene things that you don't get in normal houses (radiant floor heat, whole house audio system, a light switch to turn off/on the Christmas lights). It may not be the most architecturally intersting house you'll ever see - but it's a comfortable home that is easy to live in.

So my point? Oh yeah, getting there, when they fill out the survey on their tour, it's a personal assualt when they write something like "didn't like the layout at all" or "it would be great except for the staircase".

And worst of all? As my husband said this weekend, the house doesn't even feel like it's ours anymore. As per all the shows / books / websites on "designing your house to sell", we've decluttered, hidden the toys, and removed many of the sentimental things in our home. Our wedding pictures are stored away - pictures of the kids. Trust me - it's nice to kick back and relax in an incredibly clean home - but I just wish it felt like ours.

So - if you've got some "sell the house" vibes out there - please send them our way.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Preview of Halloween 2007

During our Open House today, we took the kids shopping for their Halloween costumes. I was resigned to letting them pick their own costumes - and I was tickled when they actually did chose a "twin like" costume.

Monday, September 03, 2007

It can't be good...

when you hear a loud crash, screaming & crying from the boy, followed by - "I'm sorry, Tanner, I'm sorry, Tanner!"

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Tanner has a horrible fear of dogs. We think it may have stemmed from our neighbor's German Shepherd who passed away last year. This dog was wonderful with children, but her wagging tail had a habit of knocking Tanner over a time or two.

So, it shouldn't of surprised us that Tanner was frightened of dogs. But, we didn't realize how terrified of them he was. When we went to Denver in July, Tanner spent the day with Aunt Sherry. Well, more specifically with Aunt Sherry's kitchen counter. He was so scared of the dog that he wouldn't get down off the countertop. Morgan, our animal lover, absolutely adored the dog. She spent the day laying on the floor, petting Huney, and feeding her Scooby snacks.

So, as Randy's trip to Denver approached, Morgan kept asking if he would get to see "Aunt Sherry, Uncle Al, and Huney". And, when we called Daddy in Denver, she always inquired about Huney.

Early Tuesday morning, the kids ran upstairs to say hi to daddy - even though he was in the shower.

Morgan's first question was "Daddy, did you bring Huney home with you?"


"Where is she?"

"In the closet."

In the next instant, the shower door was open and a terrified Tanner was hopping in the shower with Randy - pajamas and all.

Monday, August 27, 2007


"Mommy....did you know M&Ms have chocolate in them?!!!"

I love this girl.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Friday's conversation...

Morgan: "Mommy, why are you wearing those shoes?" (referring to my dress shoes)

"I have a meeting, honey, and mommy has to dress up and look nice. Do I look pretty today?"


"Why not!?!?"

"You're not wearing pink."

Friday, August 24, 2007

Come On, Four!

The age of three is by far the WORST age we have encountered (so far). I really didn't think two was all that bad, and at least they weren't waking up through the night. It just hasn't seemed like for the last three months that both kids can be happy at any time. And, the's enough to drive me crazy.

This morning was a prime example. Tanner is always the first up - he's awake when I come downstairs to get them up. So, I get him out of bed, we go to the bathroom and then wake up Morgan (who is not a morning person). I get out their clothes, and Morgan asks to wear a dress.

"Morgan, your dresses aren't clean. How about a skirt?"


I pick out a T-shirt/short option and a T-shirt/skirt option. "Why don't you chose which one you want to wear?"

"No." (Arms now crossed on the floor in front of me and big pouty lip sticking out.)

"Morgan, you can chose what you want to wear from these two outfits."

"No, I want to wear a dress!"

"Please choose, Morgan." (Trying to keep my patience...)


"Fine, I'm chosing."

She jumps through the air and snatches at the skirt. Of course, since she procrastinated too long, that isn't an option any more. She falls onto the floor, a heaping, sobbing mess.

And, that doesn't touch the conversation regarding going to the bathroom, going upstairs, eating breakfast, or watching Mickey Mouse. I don't cave in to the behaviour, because if I do - that only reinforces that when she does this, she'll get her way, right?

Is it just me who is crazed by the age of three? Or is there a parenting secret out there that I don't know about?

And, other twin parents - did/do your twins fight? How do you handle that? It's so difficult to take something away from one as a punishment (i.e. TV or a toy) when they share so much and are together all the time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

On The Farm

At least once a year, Randy & I try to take the kids to his Uncle's House to spend some time on "the farm". We managed to sneak out last year for an anniversary. At that time, the kids got to chase after the cows, and we snapped this picture.

It's amazing how much the farm changes from year to year. They've had a lot of rain this year. It's much greener, the green, short vegetation you see in this picture is as tall as the kids are these year. There is no lack of feed, so the cows are further away from the house. None the less, the kids had a blast doing all the "fun" things on the farm.

Morgan was SO excited to see the cats. Thank goodness for cousin Joey who worked for weeks to tame a couple of kittens so Morgan could play with them.

Tanner helped feed & water the cats.

Then, he was ready to do other fun things. Like ride in the big red truck...

"Driving" the yellow tractor:

Where's Morgan? Oh, yeah, with the cats...

Checking out the combine:

Walking the farm with Uncle Randy (love this shot) :
Taking a 4-wheeler ride out to the pasture to see the cows (see all that green behind them, that's the same pasture from last year's picture):
And where was Morgan? Still with the cats... she didn't spend the ENTIRE time with the cats. We did pry her away for a few minutes to check the combine and ride out to the pasture. But 90% of the time...yep, she was with the cats.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Because it's too cute

We spent the weekend in Western Kansas (which is somewhat like "Upstate New York" - anything West of Kansas City is "Western Kansas"). We spent the night at Randy's Uncle & Aunt's home (also Tanner's godparents) after a cousin's wedding. This is the uncle that my husband was named after and his wonderful wife, Elaine.

The kids got to spend time on the farm, sitting in the tractors and trucks, riding four wheelers, petting cats, and going to see the cows. But the cutest thing ever, was the fact that the kids just couldn't quite remember who's house we were visitng.

When asked where we were staying, they always referred to it as....

Uncle Randy and Unc-Elanine's house.

Pictures to follow.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

She May Be Nagging a Little Too Much

My mother-in-law is a devout Catholic. Oftentimes when we call in the evening, Grandpa will tell Tanner & Morgan that grandma is "at church".

On the way home from the grocery store on Sunday, we drove by a church. Here's how the conversation went from there:

Morgan: Mommy, that's a church, Jesus lives in Church!

Mommy: Yes, dear.

Tanner: No, Mor-dan. Grandma lives in church.

Dear Blog,

Umm...hi, it's me. I'm sorry, I haven't been neglecting you. You see, things have been busy. Really, really busy.

Remember that whole job thing? Well, I think I finally got it figured out. As much as we really didn't like the thought of moving, the opportunity is just too good to pass up. It really came down to the fact that I can't do this job in Kansas City. I would have to go back to a job in a related field, but with completely different hours and priorities. This job is fun, I enjoy the work, and I think I add value to the company.

The decision process wasn't easy. I took the advice of a friend who told me to "pray for roadblocks". That's what Randy & I did. At first, we saw many roadblocks. The company didn't want to pay me what I wanted for the move - that went away. We were concerned about selling our house and having two mortgage payments - the company allowed us not to move until after the house has sold. Randy's change in jobs - nearly every company he has applied to has expressed interest. We worried that my mom wouldn't be able to come visit, but she's had some health issues lately which will even prevent her from coming to see us in Kansas City.

Today is the day that we put the house on the market. This house was built from the ground up by Randy,I, and my family. I know no one else will appreciate the blood, sweat, and tears that went into this home. Will they appreciate all the little things that we did to make the home easier to live in? Will they know that the corner near our master bedroom door is where the kids have spent almost all of their timeouts over the last two years? Will they see the fact that the last two ballusters on our railing are different from the previous ten? Will they appreciate the cost or labor that went into building the playground and putting the rubber mulch underneath it? Will they realize how much the willow tree has grown from the small tree we planted six years ago? Will they know the Ash tree in the yard was planted for Tanner and the Maple for Morgan? Will they know the beautiful pink Crepe Mertle was planted in Angel Haley's memory?

And, as much as I know moving out of this house will be the third most difficult thing I've probably done, I'm kind of looking forward to the future, too.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Randy & I have debated for a long time whether or not we should put the kids in separate bedrooms. Until now, we've held off through a variety of methods that included separating them at naptime, punishment, and plain old bribery.

Over the last few months, the length of time between when we put them down and when they actually went to sleep has gradually increased. As of the middle of last week, it was averaging about 1 hr 30 minutes. That's right folks, 1 hour and 30 minutes in their bad chatting and frolicing. Many nights, we'd have to go in and threaten punishment or referree fights that broke out.

So, we made the plunge last night and put them in separate bedrooms. Thirty minutes after they were in their beds, they were fast asleep.

The problem with them going to sleep so early?
They also woke up early...5 a.m. to be exact.

We're keeping the separate bedrooms, but adjusting their bedtimes.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

And it only gets worse...

I've commented before on how three is worse than two (the age, not the number of children). It's only getting worse, as demonstrated by these two examples.

Morgan has now decided that "I'm big now". To her, this means that she can now get out of bed by herself. Yes, for over 3 years, Randy & I have had the children convinced to NOT get out of bed unless we come into their room and tell them they can get up. Twice today, Morgan has come upstairs without crying out or asking for us to come get her up. Hopefully the boy hasn't figured out this trick.

A few minutes ago, Randy asked Tanner to let him help blow his nose. "No, daddy, I'm big enough to do it by myself".

Three...going on thirteen.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

He's Got Some 'Splainin' to Do

My husband just got a letter in the mail from a small school district in Western Kansas. The letter reads:

Dear Mr. ____,

The special education records for your child, Corey, are no longer needed by the (Uniform School District). The physical destruction of these records will take place after 40 days. You have a right to a copy of the data within the records.

I think he's got some explaining to do...huh?

Friday, July 06, 2007


Well, I think the roles in our family have been pretty well set. And, watching them the last few days have only confirmed our suspicions.

Morgan is our leader. When in a classroom setting, she always wants to make the teacher happy. She's the first in line, and hangs on the teacher's every word. She's going to be the kid who asks the teacher for homework.

Tanner is going to be the class clown. Even now, when he is the youngest in the classroom, he's hard at work at it. Ever since he's been in daycare, people have always said "everyone loves Tanner". How could they not - he's the class clown, always cracking people up and getting them to laugh.

His latest stunt...he's calling his teacher Cookie. He'll walk in every morning, giggling, and shout out, "Hey Cookie".

((sigh)) I have a feeling I'll be spending a lot of time in the principal's office.

Monday, July 02, 2007

But you should see the other little girl...

Doesn't that just look absolutely painful? No, she didn't real beat another child up, but Morgan had a brawl with the sidewalk at daycare today. I have to admit that I'm cringing whenever I look at her right now. I'm going to go take some Tylenol now...

Friday, June 29, 2007

A Trip to Denver

Well, while nothing is set in stone yet, I have agreed to go to Denver for 3 days to check out the locatin - cost of housing, daycare, etc - and see if we decide that our family is ready to relocate.

It's a difficult decision, but what really ties us to Kansas City is our home. Randy & I built this home with our blood, sweat, and tears - and leaving that behind is difficult. We have nearly two acres of land here - enough room to spread our legs, and lookout our window in the morning without having the neighbor waving at us. We have really good neighbors right now (except for Crazy George and his toothless bear) - friends for our kids to grow up with. Our home is close enough that my mom can still come visit for the day...since staying overnight isn't an option for her as a parapalegic.

Denver opens the door for more opportunities. Randy's sister is in Denver, and his parents are actually closer than they are to Kansas City. The cost of living is higher, but so are the salaries. It will be a tough decision, but now, it's mostly our decision to make.

And, on the flip side, if we don't move to Denver, the company needs me to go to Australia for 10 days. Anyone want to watch a set of three year old twins for two weeks?

Spelling Bee

Tonight Morgan was sitting on the floor when she said, "Morgan is spelled M-O-R-G-A-N"

I asked her to repeat it because I was quite astonished...

"M-O-R-G-A...b - c - d - e - f - g - h - i - j - k - l - m -N!"

Well, mostly right...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hanging by a Thread

I've talked several times about the upcoming change in my career seems to finally be coming to a head.

I received this e-mail from my boss this evening:
I need to talk with you tomorrow about what we have come up with for you. Its all good as far as I am concerned.

I think Randy is more anxious to know what the outcome is than I am...I don't know if I want to know...denial can be a good thing, right?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Never Underestimate the Boy

We often underestimate what the boy understands, and then he will suddenly astound us with his knowledge.

Tonight, as usual, I was putting the kids in their pajamas. Our kids bedrooms are in the basement of the house, so it's cool, and we always dress them in long sleeves. I chose their Christmas pajamas from last year - one says I Love Mommy & one says I Love Daddy.

I asked Morgan, "What do your pajamas say?"

Morgan: "I love M-O-M - I love mommy!"

Me: "Tanner, what do your pajamas say?"

Tanner: "I love ATM."

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Out Done

I think Morgan's song may have been out done by a liver friend of ours. This child is not a native English speaker but is taking English in his preschool class. He came home singing about the Itchy Bitchy Spider.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Shake It

SometimesOftentimes, Randy & I regret some of the things that we teach our kids. Last night was one of those times.

We've taught the kids bits and pieces of different songs. One of their favorites is this one. Except, since we didn't want to teach the kids the word booty, we would substitue other things...leg, arm, you name it.

Last night, as I was helping Tanner on the potty (you know where this is going, right?), I hear Morgan singing....

"Shake shake shake...shake shake shake...shake your penis...shake your penis".

(Burying head in hands...)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Lola and other cute things kids say

I don't know where Tanner has come up with it lately, but he's taken to calling daddy "Lola". And, he knows it's funny. He'll come up and start talking to "Looo-la" and then start giggling so much that he can't continue.

Morgan has quite a few lately.

"Mommy, there's a flea!"

"Honey, that's not a flea, it's a fly"

"No, mommy, that's a flea."

"Morgan, let me wipe your nose it's running."

"My nose is not running, it just has snot coming out of it."

And, of course, if we laugh at her, we get this:

"Mommy, don't laugh to me!"

Saturday, June 09, 2007


You know how they give people a chance to "pre-board" when flying - people who need additional time to get down the jetway or with small children?

Is it just me, or do these people always take the first rows of seats in an airplane?

And, shouldn't they offer a "post-board"? If you need extra time to get on the plane and all the people have to wait for you, shouldn't you have to wait until all of those people have gotten off the plane before you get off the plane? I mean, it just makes sense right?

Hmmm....maybe I've been flying too much lately.

Friday, May 25, 2007


The last few days have been hard...for several reasons.

I am still really worried about my very little nephew. He continues to have a lot of breathing problems and had a PDA to complicate things. I guess there was a little part of me that said "oh, he's a 29-weeker, he'll do just fine". After all, the survival rate for 29-weekers is a whopping 92%. Yeah, I know - 92% isn't that great, everyone wants a 100%, but in my little world of preemies (80% for 27-weekers) and liver transplant (national 3 year survival rate of 85%), that doesn't seem so bad.

I always knew that the steroid shots I received during my pregnancy benefited my twins. I got the shots about 5 - 7 days before the twins were born, so they had plenty of time to work. Even thought they were born at 27 weeks, they were never on a ventilator. People in the medical profession never believe me - 27 weekers just don't get by without being on the vent. Our Neonatologist who was there when we delivered the twins has told us that it is his easiest 27-weeker delivery to date. He was only at the hospital for 1 hour after they were born.

So, I always knew I was lucky - but I guess I never realized how lucky we really were. Now, I watch my little nephew struggle to survive, and it breaks my heart. For him, and for my brother and sister-in-law. The preemie world is not an easy one - and even though it is "short" in terms of real time (55 days for Morgan & 73 days for Tanner), those are still the longest days of my life. Heavy sigh...

On top of all of that, there is a lot of stuff brewing at work. When I took this job two and a half years ago, I did so for good reasons. Tanner was very sick, and we knew he was going to need a transplant. I needed a job that would give me a lot of flexibility, including the abiity to take off for a month or two when he had his transplant. I had worked for this company before, I knew them, they knew me. It would be an easy transition, and I knew I would have the flexibility I needed (other key employees had needed time off for personal issues). When I took the job, I figured it would be a short-term thing, and I'd re-evaluate in a few years.

Well, the few years is up. The re-evaluation is setting in - about this job, this company, where I am in my life, and where I really want to be. I could stay doing exactly what I am doing today, living exactly where I am, and earning exactly what I earn and continue. It's a good income, and I love helping our customers, but it's difficult working remotely.

I can stay with my current employer and move. I've been told that I can "set my own position" and tell them what I want to do. There is a meeting in two weeks that will determine what opportunities are available and whether I'm more needed in Denver, CO or Knoxville, TN. This would mean that I'd be moving up...there are even rumors of potential ownership in the company. But, that would also mean moving many, many miles. We do have family in Denver, but it's horribly expensive. We hear Knoxville is a lovely, cost-effective town - but family would be over 16 hours away by car.

And, all of that would mean that my husband would have to give up his great job with great benefits at a company he really likes. It took him several years to find this job once we moved to Kansas City, so asking him to move again doesn't really seem fair to me. Plus, our house. We literally built this house ourselves with my dad's help. That means we cut the boards ourselves, did the concrete work, nailed the nails - all of it. We have a much lovlier house than we could ever afford otherwise.

So, if we stay - what do I do? I don't have a lot of interest in my original degrees (yes, I actually have not one, but TWO engineering degrees). I love the construction industry - but working in the daily grind of a construction or engineering firm just doesn't sound appealing right now. I could go back to school - but for what? I feel like if I go back to school, it could be so that I could earn more money and benefit my family more. That limits my selection to just a few degrees - and I'm not sure I want to be a pill counter, a bean counter, or a doctor.

I think the pill counter (pharmacist) could easily replace my income, and it might be able to give me more flexibility than the other jobs. It's something I can literally do anywhere and make good money. I can do nights and weekends, possibly go to an as-needed basis and take summers off when the kids are school-age. It could be a good thing...

I'm probably best suited for the bean counter (accountant). This is a bit more appealing, but I really don't think I could earn more money doing this. So, I'm not sure that it would get me anywhere. Getting my MBA or some kind of management degree on top of my engineering degree would probably be a better bet.

The doctor - that is something that would take years of education and a huge education bill. I'm just not sure I'm willing to bite that off at this point. I would love to be able to help others, but I just don't know if I have the passion or energy to do that right now.

So, if you've stayed with me through this entire post, give me some insight. I know there are other bloggers out there who have struggled with the balance between home and work. Trying to find a good balance that pays the bills, satisfies them professionally, and gives them the flexibility to take care of their family. How did you do it?

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Last night, we welcomed the newest member to my family - my nephew, Brayan Donald. I have been so excited that my "little" brother and sister-in-law were expecting. My sistter-in-law had the perfect pregnancy - she was working, and things were going very well.

And then...yesterday morning at work, her water broke and she went into active labor. They werent' able to stop her contractions, and Brayan was delivered last evening somewhere around 7:30 p.m. He weighed in at a mere 2 lb 7 oz - but was 15-3/4 inches long. By my best calculations, Brayan was about 29 weeks gestation - born 11 weeks before his due date.

He did well for awhile, but they did have to put him on a ventilator this morning. They've been adjusting the settings, and he's down to room air on the ventilator, so that is a good sign. My guess is that he'll be on it a few more days before they try to take him off of it.

I'm so sorry for my nephew because he has a long road ahead of him - pricks, pokes, tests, eye doctor appointments - it's not fun at all. And, I feel so badly for my brother and sister-in-law. No parent should have to go through the NICU roller coaster, to have to learn about blood gasses, ROP, PDA, Apnea spells, Brady spells, anemia, RDS, or any of the other things that goes along with it. I think my brother and sister-in-law are shell shocked right now. They had no reason to think my sister-in-law would go into premature labor...and it happened so fast.

I'm going to go up and spend a day with my sister-in-law in the NICU on Tuesday. Lend some support, and hopefully some knowledge. I also checked my Mommy's box, and found 3 preemie outfits I'm willing to part with. That combined with the six I picked up at Children's Orchard (a resale shop), and he should be set for the near future.

The good news...this little boy is part of a lineage of fighters - and I know he'll be just fine. Welcome to the family, Brayan.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Sign that My Kids Might Watch too Much TV

We've been working with Tanner & Morgan to use their manners. To us, this includes saying "Please" and "Thank you".

Today, Tanner came up to me and asked: "Mommy, can you help me?"

"Tanner, I need to hear the Magic Word"

"Meeska....Mooska...Mickey Mouse"

Ok - not those magic words.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Bad Guys

The Bad Guys have invaded our home. I'm not exactly sure where they came from, how they got in, or where they stay, but our kids are convinced they are here...they are everywhere. In the closet, behind the curtain at the photography studio on Saturday, any time lights are turned out...

At first, I thought this might be a new ploy to get us to stall out bedtime. But whenever I go downstairs to handle the bad guy crys, both children are crying. And, not their fake we want attention cry, but real tears streaming down their cheeks crying. They awake in the middle of the night, crying out in fear, and when asked "what's wrong", we get the "bad guy" as the problem.

I'm not sure how to take care of these "bad guys", but it's breaking my heart to see my little ones so distraught. If anyone has suggestions, please share!

Friday, May 04, 2007

He's a Sneaky One

The kids turned three, and we decided it was time to enforce some tough love. That's right - pottytraining, cold turkey!

Well, not completely cold turkey. Morgan has done well with the potty training thing for quite some time. She recently (and gratefully) mastered pooping in the potty. However, she LOVES her Pull-Ups and would prefer to wear those over regular underwear anyday. So for her, not too much of a change.

Tanner has been doing pretty well with pottytraining the last few months. He'll surprise us and stay dry when we do things like go to St. Louis or Disney World, but wouldn't stay dry around the house or at school. We decided to stick with pull-ups for awhile, and that we would make the hard push after their third birthday.

On Tuesday, I put Tanner in his Cars underwear, and packed 8 outfits including an extra pair of shoes, and shipped him off to school. When we picked him up on Tuesday afternoon, dry. Repeat that scene on Wednesday. New underwear but same clothes on Thursday (a slight poopy accident). Completley fine on Friday.

The Boy is a sneaky one. He's led us to believe this entire time that he wasn't fully pottytrained, where deep down, I just don't think he wanted to let us know that he could it. I think it was his way of controlling us...(Or maybe I've just been watching too much Dr. Phil...)

I'm on to you, Mister...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


"Morgan, you can't pee standing up!"

"Why, Daddy?"

"You're a setter, not a pointer. Girls must sit to pee." (Said in a somewhat flustered voice)

"Why, Daddy?"

This is the third time we've caught Morgan standing to pee in the last 4 days. We have stools strategically placed at the base of the toilet - she will stand on those and then lean forward and put her hands on the top of the toilet lid. This puts her at about a 45 angle - and she pees away. Amazingly, she hasn't peed on herself, the toilet seat, or the floor during this process.

In other amazing news - Tanner went to school in big boy underwear today - along with about 8 changes of clothes. He came home in the original outfit that he wore. Go, Tanner!

Monday, April 30, 2007

And now that that's over....

For the last three years, I've been carrying around all the extra "baby" weight. Nevermind the fact that I'm actually heavier than I was the day I delivered my twins. Yes, I know...I'm a stress eater. Do you know what the last three years have been like for me?

Pre-babies, I joined Weight Watchers and a gym - worked out and lost 57 pounds. I felt MARVELOUS. I even kept it off for quite some time (about 2 years)...and then I got pregnant. Now, ironically, my OB says I might have had twins because of the weight loss. (Since I've recently found out there are sets of fraternal twins in both of my paternal great-grandparents lines, this theory may have been blown out of the water).

So, starting tomorrow, it's time to get back down to business. Watch what I eat, control my portions, eat more real food (and less processed food), go the gym, and get to the point where I can chase after my kids instead of aiming at them with rocks from the back deck (Just Kidding...)

It's time for this baby weight to come off! So if I'm grouchy the next few weeks, you'll know I'm actually behaving myself.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Birthday Letter to My Twins

Dear Tanner & Morgan -

Happy Third Birthday! I can't believe that you are turning three tomorrow. It just doesn't seem like enough time has elapsed that my itsy bitsy babies have become full-fledged little kids.

Tonight, we weighed you - like we have every 3rd or 4th night since birth (some habits die hard). You weighed in at 27 lb 5 oz (Tanner) and 27 lb 7 oz (Morgan). This is over 12 times your birth weight. At first, this didn't seem such an extraordinary thing, but then I started considering that if a "normal" baby born at 7 lb had done the same thing - they'd be an 84 pound three year old. So, this is actually a pretty extraordinatry accomplshment. You've also both grown from around 13" to just under 36".

Do you remember where we started this year? I didn't - until I took a peak at this picture:

I saw that and I thought, was that really a year ago? Where did my babies go? You don't look like the toddlers in that picture. This past year, you have accomplished so many milestones. In June, you started preschool...and in October, we went one step further and put you in two separate classrooms. Morgan, you are now fully potty-trained, and Tanner, you are pretty close. You guys pretty much dress yourself each morning and are opininated enough now that you actually have to help assist me in deciding what you want to wear.

Morgan, you have grown into a sweet, beautiful child this last year. Oh, don't get me wrong, you still have your stubborness, but underneath that hard shell is a very sweet center. You watch after others around you - especially Tanner. Just this past weekend, you helped Tanner get up and then brushed him off afterwards. You love your brother so warms my heart. But, your love extends beyond your've been known to stop us in the middle of our day to tell us "I love you, Mommy" or "I love you, Daddy" and at Aunt Sherry's wedding this weekend, you turned to her and said "Aunt Sherry, you have the most beautiful dress."

Oh my, and you are smart as a whip. You are so determined to be in "Pre-K" that you keep telling us that you are going to be FOUR instead of three so that you can start pre-K. You know your entire alphabet and can count consistenly to about 20. On top of that, you've started to sound out letters and can identify starting letters for almost any word we can throw at you.

Your concentration is astanding for a child so small. You will sit and work on something for a VERY long time...until you figure it out. It doesn't matter if it's helping daddy with work...

Or helping him tie his shoes...

Or playing with Grandma....

You have the determination and will power to sit and work at things for over an hour...where most kids your age (well, at least Tanner) give up after only a few minutes.

You are very observant, and mommy and daddy have to constantly watch what we say around you. Earlier this year, you told your teacher that "my mommy has to go to jail". All because I told you it was the law for you to wear your seatbelt, and if you didn't wear it, mommy would get in trouble.

Just a few weeks ago, your daddy & I splurged and took the two of your to Disney World. We knew that we would have fun, but Morgan, I never knew how much fun it would be to see Disney through your eyes. You absolutely lit up when the characters came around, and the look on your face when Mickey Mouse brought your birthday cake out...well, it pretty much made the whole trip worth every single penny.

I know, Morgan, that we have many battles in front of us. How do I know this? Because, trust me, I put your Grandma Crazy Woman through the same battles (ever wonder what made her Crazy?) But, I just want you to know that I love you from the bottom of my heart, little girl. I promise to stick through the tough times...and help you grow into a beautiful, strong, smart woman. I'll be there for you in the hard times, and I hope that I'll be able to support your decisions as easily as your grandparents supported me. I love you, Morgan Olivia.

And you, Tanner Anton, you have developed into such a different child this past year. I'm not sure who gets the credit for all of that - but you are not the same little boy that you were a year ago.

Oh, don't get me wrong. You are still my sweet little boy who loves a good hug...every single morning when you get out of bed, you run towards me and throw yourself into my arms for a good morning hug. You wrap your little arms tight around my neck and give me a good squeeze, and some mornings for good measure, you'll even through in a kiss.

But you have blossomed so much...

A little over a year ago, we started you in speach therapy. At almost two years old, you barely had more than 15 words - well below the norm. We knew you had been delayed for awhile. Your speech has blossomed, you have so many words now. And, while they aren't all so clear, most of the time you do a pretty good job of getting your point across.

I think one of the biggest factors in your chnage has been preschool. We started preschool in a toddler room that you shared with Morgan. A funny thing happened one day, Morgan stayed home and you went to school by yourself. The teachers told us that they saw a whole new Tanner. A boy who came out of his shell and talked, laughed, and played with the other kids. Two months later, we put your and Morgan in different classrooms when you moved up to the "big kid room".

That was a big turning point for you and your sister. No longer did you give in to her got to make your own decisions. It didn't take you long to decide to apply that philosophy at home as well as school. You also started to initiate some of the fighting that happens occasionally between you two. (Ok, who am I kidding, regularly happens...)

I have to admit, your father and I have been secretly amused by your new found confidence. Morgan no longer bamboozles you by taking your have been known to outright take things from her hands. And, occasionally, we've caught you instigating the fights and trying to get your sister in trouble. We're actually a bit relieved to see this fiesty spirit.

And, you became all boy. Tractors and cars are a thing of passion for you. I think you are anxiously awaiting the day you get to help Daddy mow the yard. Whenever he mows while you are supposedly napping, I will go downstairs and find you sitting in the window waving to Daddy every time he drives by on the mower.

Like any good boy, you love getting into messes. There have been several times when we've found you head to toe in whatever strikes you...

Easter egg dye...

Cheesy Dipping Sauce...

Occasionally, we see glimmers of a class clown inside of you. Whenever you do something that you know explicitly you should not be doing, you try to avoid trouble by giving us your little grin and your infectious laugh. While it does work occasionally, mom and dad are starting to wisen up.

And recently, we've seen a glimpse of serious Tanner occasionally. Serious Tanner comes out whenever speech or phystical therapy is involved...or whenever any of the Disney characters tried to visit us at Disney land. It is strange to see my little boy who used to be so people happy, having stranger anxiety now.

And, at the ripe old age of three, I think your strongest asset is still your courage. You just don't give up...whether it be speech or physical therpay or learning to do something that your sister is doing...even when things aren't on your side, you don't give up. I know that life hasn't dealt you an even hand, Tanner, but I am so proud for the little person that you have become against these odds. I am so glad for your ability to love and laugh through it all. I am so glad for the light that you have brought to my life. I love you, Tanner Anton.

To both of my twins...I sometimes find it very hard to be the mother of twins. It's not an easy game. You're told not to compare the children...but you can't help but do that a little. It makes you worry sometimes...and it makes you ferociously proud other times. Sometimes it's hard to share my love and time, equally. I hope that is something that your father and I can work on this that you can each have personal time with Mommy & Daddy. That's been kind of tough to do the last three years.

I love you both so have taught me so much about being a mother and a better person...about what is really important in life. Thank you.

Happy Third Birthday, Tanner & Morgan.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Disney Detox

We are home from Disney and slowing getting things unpacked and put away. I'm on load 6 of 8 for laundry. I even snuck in a quick trip to Target to pick up a few necessities. We're headed out again on Friday for a wedding, so no need to stock the house just yet.

It's good to be back in our own beds, but the kids have been heartbreaking. A sample of our conversations:

Morgan: "Mommy, I don't see the Magic Kingdom."

Mommy: "No, honey, the Magic Kingdom is in Florida, it's far far away, and we can't see it from here."

Tanner: "Can we go to Florida?"

Morgan: "We're going back to Florida in TWO WEEKS."

They've talked about the Princesses and characters all day today. We've also discussed with them multiple times that we can't spend all of our time in Florida, but they really don't get the whole concept of money yet.

We do hope to return to Disney sometime in the future - hopefully during an even less busy time of the year - maybe when it's even a bit cooler. The kids had so much fun, and it let Randy & I act like a kid for a little bit, too.

I'll close with one of my favorite pictures of the kids - we took this one on the play area at the hotel just hours before we left. Excuse Morgan's hair...I didn't pull it back in a barrette that day.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Disney - Day 5

As today drew to a close, Morgan walked hand-in-hand with Daddy down the hallway singing “It’s a Small World After All…”

We finished today in good style. We started by taking an alternate route to the Magic Kingdom (via Epcot). We wanted to see what would be required when we went from Magic Kingdom to Epcot for dinner, and it also gave us the opportunity to ride in the front of the monorail. That was really neat, and the kids had a good time (although the driver could have been a bit more cheerful – guess he needed more coffee).

We started the morning off by heading to Toon Town inside of Disney – this is where Mickey’s & Minne’s houses are located. The kids got a kick out of touring the houses.

(Minnie’s refrigerator was stocked with cheese.)

We tried playing on Donald’s Boat – but Morgan right now has a phobia of getting wet. Of course, she got splashed as we entered the boat – and was D.O.N.E.

Then we hit the character area in toon town and met three princesses – Snow White, Cinderella, and Belle. Another replay of the other day – while Tanner won’t have anything to do with the full characters, the “face” characters he hugs and laughs and talks with it. It’s amazing how he transforms.

Then we went through the Mickey’s Philharmagic 3D show. This was just incredible, and probably one of my (and Tanner’s) favorite shows. They go through many of the favorite songs of their different animated flicks – all done with incredible 3D affects (they even pipe in the smell of apple pie at one time & splash you with water to add to the effect). It was really, really neat.

We hit It’s a Small World. If you couldn’t tell – it was one of Morgan’s favorite rides because “it wasn’t dark and scary”. She has sang that song off and on during our entire day of trip. She asked to go on it again, but was side-tracked by Cinderella’s Carousel. After that, we headed back to Toon Town and did a loop around the Magic Kingdom on the railroad before heading to Epcot.

At Epcot, we really only went for the meal. We’re still having a hard time convincing the kids that Chip and Dale are two Chipmunks, not just one Chipmunk named Chip and Dale. This was especially confusing when they both showed up at our table at the same time.

Oh, wait, you don’t see Tanner in those photos…yeah, that was because he was glued to his seat.

He did smile, wave, and blow them all kisses. He even played Peek-A-Boo with Mickey. We had a late reservation, and we got a lot of character interaction out of it. Pluto tried to eat Morgan’s ice cream for dessert, Mickey played with both her and Tanner, and the chipmunks were probably by our table a half a dozen times. Each time, Morgan had to hop out of her seat and give them hugs. When asked tonight who her best friend was, she replied “Chip and Dale”.

Then we made our 16th bus ride of the week back to the hotel. The kids took a short nap, and I started packing us up. We came in 5 checked bags, it looks like everything will fit in those same five bags to go home in.

We had dinner again at the cafeteria here in the hotel (I never dreamed we’d eat there 3 times this week). Then we walked around and viewed the animals, let the kids play on the playground, and then spent some time in the lobby while we figured out transportation for tomorrow morning.

While the kids played on the playground, it gave Randy & I a little time to reflect. We know the kids aren’t going to remember much about this trip – but we certainly are. This trip was a time for us to hopefully relax and find some peace with the last three years of our lifes. Our trip departing on Monday seemed appropriate – Monday was the day that I started having problems with my pregnancy. Just two short weeks before the kids were born – way too early.

We fought through the NICU – we’ve battled the liver transplant – subsequent egg allergy ~ and all of the emotional baggage that goes along with that. It has not been an easy road…and there are still days that it is very overwhelming.

During the parade on Thursday, as I stood there with Tanner on my shoulders, I couldn’t see his face. But I could hear him laughing, calling to the princesses, and waving – I could feel his smile. That’s what this trip was about – letting ourselves experience happiness. And while happiness to a three year old is seeing princesses, happiness to thrity-something year olds is having children healthy enough to enjoy it all. Thank you, Walt Disney World, for letting us experience that.

We head back home tomorrow mid-day. The kids are already asking when we’ll be back…after all, this is the Happiest Place on Earth.