Monday, November 10, 2008

I Blinked

I'm not sure if it was the way that Morgan looked at me the other night, cocked her head, and then started telling me a story about school...

or Tanner telling me the other night that "I don't like change!" (SOOOO like his father)

or looking at different kindergartens* for next year...

but over the last few days, I looked at my children, and I didn't see toddlers anymore. I didn't see little kids...I just saw kids. Kids who make their own decisions, take care of many of their own needs, children who have these vivid imaginations. And I realized that they aren't my babies anyomore...they're my "kids".

* Yes, really, looking at kindergartens. Our school district offers "school of choice" which means that we don't have to go to our "home school". We'll be enrolling at another nearby elementary school. Sign-up begins 11/17. Can't believe that kindergarten starts in 9 months. GULP.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween - Take 5

Take 1 - 2004 - 6 months old (Pumpkins)

Note to self: Orange is not a good color for a kid with profound liver disease.

Take 2 - 2005 - 18 months old (Cat & Dog)

Note to self: Killing yourself for 2 months to make their costumes may not qualify as time well spent.

Take 3 - 2006 - 2-1/2 years old (Pebbles & Bam Bam)

Note to self: Don't try elaborate hair things on fine, toddler hair.

Take 4 - 2007 - 3-1/2 years old (Minnie & Mickey Mouse)

Note to self: The themed Halloweens can't continue forever - although they are darn cute.

Take 5 - 2008 - 4-1/2 year old (Pterdactyl & Pink Dragon)

Note to self: Halloween was made for kids - our first year of door-to-door trick-or-treating and they had a blast (they were almost as entertained by our trick-or-treaters).

Final note to self: They grow up really, really fast.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Things they say...

Tanner: "Hey mom, do you still have that cage you used to keep us in when we were little?"






Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Things not to tell your four-year-old....

Tanner was crying in bed last night. I went to check in on him & see what the problem was. He was upset because he didn't know when his birthday was...

Ok, folks, his birthday is April 30th - he has a good 7-1/2 months left until his next birthday. So, I told him about all the fun things that we had left to do before his birthday - visit to Grandma & Grandpa, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Disney, and Christmas! Oh, and maybe we could host an elf this Christmas**....

That was around 8:30 p.m. last night - Tanner was still awake at 11:30 p.m. TERRIFIED by the thought that we might have an Elf come to stay with us... I should have expected this from the kid who was terrified of Mickey Mouse.

** I find the idea of hosting an Elf to be so much fun - and I followed Catie's story long before she became an angel.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Calling all b/g twin parents...

So, at what age do you have to start giving your boy / girl twins separate baths?

Have I missed the boat? Our twins are over 4 years old, and they are still taking a bath together - we get them dressed in the same room (they dress themselves, we just apply sunscreen before they put on their clothes). We've had some interesting conversations about our private part and penises, but nothing too uncomfortable yet.

Just curious...

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Beginning of a New Era

Today was the beginning of a new era. Randy would begin staying home with Tanner & Morgan during the days - although we'll maintain them in a church preschool for three half-days a week.

So, without further ado, "first day of school" pictures.

Tanner's first day of school picture - always my kid who will smile for the camera.

Morgan, not quite so cooperative with the camera.

But finally, a cute picture of them together on their first day (and look - I didn't even dress them in coordinating clothes!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Seven signs you are south of the Mason Dixon line...

1. There is a Cracker Barrel at every exit along the freeway.
2. Winn-Dixie is the grocery store chain of choice.
3. Humidity level is at "wilt"
4. There are two flavors of tea - sweetened and tea for northerners.
5. The side dishes offered at dinner are all fried - fried okra, fried green tomatoes, fried pickles.
6. Alligator is an entree choice.
7. All y'all is used to refer to a group of people.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Listen to your mother...

My mom & I had the following discussion last night (with my dad on the other line of the phone)..

Grandma Crazy: "Well, you know, the only reason I'm watching the Olympics is in the hopes that Michael Phelps is going to come out of his swimsuit one of these times..."

Hmmm.....interesting.....very interesting....

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Summer Tradition

Watermelon, fireworks, lightning bugs, late nights, long days, mowing the yard, swimming - those are my childhood memories of summer. So, taking my kids to swimming lessons, feels like I'm sharing a part of my history with them.

Tanner loves to submerge his head underwater while waiting for his turn...

Morgan likes jumping into the water - but she freaks if she gets her ears wet.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

For the record...

Overheard tonight in Aisle 26 at Sam's Club...

"Tanner, you'll always be my best friend."

Yeah....they're that cute.

This is for the stay at home moms...

Randy & I were doing some number crunching today. You see, about 4 years ago this next week or so is when I went back to the workforce - leaving my kids with our nanny at the time. We kept the nanny until a month after their 2nd birthdays, when they entered daycare world. Their first 18 months were at wonderful daycare in Kansas - and the the last 7 months have been at 2 daycares here in Colorado. Okay daycares - but certainly not up to snuff with our Kansas daycare.

At a birthday party this weekend, someone made mention to Randy about 6 years of daycare and how they were excited to not pay that anymore. It made Randy & I think - what had we paid for daycare the last 4 years?

We're budgeting kind of folks...I've put every bill into Quicken for at least 10 years. So, this was easy to figure out...even if it was a little shocking.

$79,367.92 for daycare for the last 4 years

Now, $25,000 of that has been "tax free" in our childcare cafeteria accounts. What did we have to earn (before taxes) to shell out that amount of money (after taxes)?

Are you sitting down....

$111,435.48 over 4 years - or $27,858/year.

We're both engineers...but that is still a ridiculous amount of money when you think about it. And, that doesn't include all of the "extra" costs associated with working (like more meals out because you don't have time to cook, more gas, more vehicle cost, more clothing costs, etc).

So - for all of you stay-at-home moms out there, I hope this gives you an idea of how much childcare for two is worth...maybe you can ask for a pay raise?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Mommy & Me

Morgan had yet another birthday party seems like "5" is the age at which all of the kids have a big party. Since she's in the class of kids that are turning 5, she's had at least 3 - 4 birthday parties in the last 5 months.

So, with Morgan & Daddy off at the party, that left Tanner & I to do our own thing. We decided to go shopping - Tanner is my most awesome shopper. He is patient, stays near the cart (even when he is walking), and even participates in the shopping process politely ("Mommy, I think Morgan would like this shirt - it's cute!").

What did I learn today? I'm totally jealous of those with singletons...


Friday, July 25, 2008


Overheard in an Old Navy changing room:

"Daddy, I hope you aren't going to take off your underwear, too. We don't want anybody to see your penis."

(Yes, that would be the girl...Daddy will no longer allow 4-year-olds to accompany him when trying on new clothes.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Favorite Twin Pix

I think most of us will admit that we tend to read blogs of people that we have something in common with - I love reading twin blogs, especially boy-girl twin blogs. I always enjoy reading Matthew's column - and he has a contest for a double stroller going on right now. While we are on the edge of not needing strollers, we do have a Disney vacation coming up in December in which we will need a good, lightweight stroller. And, if we don't win, I still always smile when I see these pictures...

I'm throwing in a few pictures here - just because I can...

First, my favorite - "Tale of the Two Twins"

For those of you who know us, I'm sure you'll attest to the fact that there probably isn't a better picture that more accurately portrays our children's personalities.

And, then there is the "I had that!" picture...

Which, of course, should be followed with a double time out...

But, it's not all bad - twins have a special bond, too...

When they were infants & we would lay them near each other, they'd always end up nose to nose.

And, like they've always said - Twice the Love...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Neurosurgeon Update

Back from the neurosurgeon. I am very happy to report that he is much better than the neurologist. The neurosurgeon didn't know who the neurologist was - just that he was a new resident.

Tanner’s cyst is large for a cyst in this area – but not atypical of other cysts that they see in the brain. The cyst is pressing on part of the brain (maybe it was brain stem) that controls visual stuff – but since Tanner doesn’t seem to have any visual problems, he thinks that it has been that way for a very long time. He said if this stuff happens young enough – kids tend to compensate for it, and he thinks that may be the case with Tanner. The cyst is not blocking the channel for cerebral fluid between the ventricles. As long as it does not grow, does not cause any hydrocephalus, or vision problems – then we’ll continue to monitor it.

We’re doing a follow-up MRI in 3 months. He was going to do it in 6 months, but this cyst didn’t show on previous ultrasounds (from Tanner's NICU stay) – so he is concerned that it may still be growing. So – we’ll do a follow-up MRI in 3 months (mid-October). If Tanner develops any other symptoms that it may be growing (dizziness, unexplained vomiting, vision changes, hearing issues, or headaches), then we’ll be back at his office for some kind of treatment (probably surgical).

He said that typically they don’t “remove” the cyst – they drain it by puncturing multiple holes in the side of it so that it doesn’t reinflate later on. Access to the cyst is typically by ERCP through the nasal passages.

And, a final note – he doesn’t think that this is cancerous. It doesn’t display any of the classical signs of a cancerous tumor, so he said he was “very, very certain” that it wasn’t cancerous. However, they can’t be 100% certain unless they do a biopsy.

I was kind of hoping that the MRI could be after Disney trip in December, but that would be 5 months – so we’ll probably aim for mid-October. The good news is that we’ll do the MRI first thing on a Monday morning – and then we’ll see the neurosurgeon later that morning for a follow-up. We’ll know something that same day (which makes me very happy).

St. Louis called this afternoon - they agree with the diagnosis from the Denver doctor. They were even willing to let us go up to 6 months without follow-up. They also believe that the dizziness is not related to this cyst - and it was found incidentally.

Thank you for the prayers and continued support.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's a Twin Thing

I updated about Tanner's condition in my last post, but I'd be forgetting half the story if I didn't talk about Morgan, too.

When you have twins, you have a pair. They are the same age - so typically they get to do the same things and spend so very much time together. Mine have only physically been apart a handful of times - they spend more time together than they do with either one of us.

As we explained to Tanner what an MRI would entail, Morgan was listening intently. She had many questions - how long would Tanner be asleep and would we be with him (she did not like the fact that Tanner was in the MRI by himself). Due to the timing of the MRI, we had to physically take her with us to wait in the hospital.

As I went into her classroom to pick her up on Wednesday, one of her friends had a pretend otoscope up to Morgan's head and was "looking at her brain". She also asked if pictures of Tanner's brain would be considered an x-ray.

When he was in the MRI, she had lots of questions - why, how long would it take. When we went back to his room while he was waking up, she was very distraught that Tanner wasn't awake yet. In fact, she kept asking to sit beside him - and when he did start waking up, it was probably due to the fact that she kept rubbing his back.

She continues to ask many questions about why Tanner needs the MRI. And, Friday morning when she woke up, she was crying. When I asked her what was wrong, she said that she was very worried about Tanner. We've said nothing in front of them, I can only guess that she has picked up on our mood.

We see the bond they grow older, they do things more independently, and there are times when they want to be by themselves. But, we also see this level of concern and care, frequently, too. Morgan always wants to hold Tanner's hand when we're out and about - and when they leave each other's company at daycare, they always leave with a hug and a kiss. I'm somwhat envious by that closeness that they have - and I hope that we are able to foster that love so that they'll always be built-in best friends.

How to get doctors to listen

This is my 200th post - wow - I wish I had something more fun to update on...

When I look at this picture - it's hard to imagine all that is going on in that head of his...

Tanner had an MRI on Wednesday without and with contrast. Preparing your 4-year-old son for an MRI is not such a fun thing - but I have to admit, he was such a trooper about it all. We explained to him that the doctor was going to take pictures of his head with a special camera. We told him he'd be getting an IV (how many 4-year-olds know what an IV is?) and that he'd be asleep when they took the pictures. We also told him that he couldn't eat anything after breakfast.

Wednesday morning, I went to work late and made him waffles, bacon, & yogurt from breakfast. He asked for a snack a few times - but generally was pretty good about not eating. (We were really amazed, Tanner is our eater and will graze all day if given a chance.) Instead of lunch, Tanner got to go to Target and pick out a new toy. He was absolutely shocked that he would get a toy - we've never really indulged him like this beforehand.

At the hospital, he did pretty good. We waited over an hour in the waiting room - and then they took Tanner & I back to get things started. It took 45 minutes to get his history before we went back and he got the laughing gas. It was worse being stranded in that little room than anything else.

After the MRI and while Tanner was waking up, the neurologist came in. Now, let me state a few facts. We got a very quick appointment at St. Louis' insistence with the nuerology staff. When you do this - odds are that you are going to get the newbie or the runt - and neither one may be a good fit for your circumstance. We got the newbie. He came in and told us that this was a cyst (better than cancer), and that it was pretty large. When we asked him what that meant, he said "I don't know, I've never really seen anything like that. You've got an appointment with the neurosurgeon next Monday at 11:30 a.m.".

We went home - and were briefly elated by the good news. Not cancer! Yay! On Thursday, Randy went to pick up a copy of the MRI and results (as "medical parents", we like to keep copies of these sorts of things - especially when coordinating care in different locations). Then - we looked at the MRI.

He's got a really large cyst - 2.7 cm - nearly round. They'd classified it right now as a pineal gland cyst. The pineal gland is only 8 mm - about the size of a pea, while his cyst is nearly the size of a marble. Having no good avenues for information, we turned to our friend, Google.

Pineal cysts are actually quite common (good news!) and usually they are asymptomatic and don't need to be treated (yay!). But, they are usually much, much smaller (less than 1 cm). Everything that I saw that referred to a cyst of this size required surgical treatment (either drainage or removal). And this cyst - smack dab in the middle of the brain - not easy to get to... So, the nightmare started again.

On Friday, we woke up determined to get some answers - because we both knew that we couldn't make it through the weekend without some answers. We are so very blessed to have a transplant center that takes the best care of us. Even though Tanner's liver functions are 100% normal, and this isn't a "liver thing" - St. Louis has been beside us the entire time. They've done research - and they are currently having his MRI reviewed by their radiology and neurosurgery team. Very comforting since we know that St. Louis is one of the top Neurosurgery teams in the United States.

But, I also decided that we were being seen in Colorado - and they needed to give us the same level of care. I managed to get ahold of the Neurosurgeon's nurse on Friday - I explained to her what had happened, that we had been given very little information, and how unimpressed we were with the neurologist. She was wonderful - considerate, helpful, and she promised we would talk to someone today.

The neurosurgeon called Randy Friday early afternoon. He had only had a brief chance to review Tanner's MRI and he hadn't measured it himself. At this time, based on the information he had, he is leaning towards monitoring it in the short term - but we'll know more on Monday. He feels strongly that this is only a cyst - and is not cancerous. He does not think it is related to the dizzy spells that Tanner has been experiencing (they are mostly resolved now).

We've able to take a deep breath this weekend - but we know this fight isn't over. And, we also know, that regardless if it means traveling to St. Louis or Baltimore or staying here in Denver, we're going to do what is right for our son.

Through all of this, Tanner continues to be my hero. He held perfectly still for the CT, he hardly complained about going without food for the MRI, and he was (as he always is) the ideal patient. He continues to laugh, smile, and give us his "moon hugs" and brings us so much joy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Breaking the silence

It's been a long few months, and this certainly isn't the kind of post that I wanted to break the silence with. However, it's 10:30 at night, and I need to let it out somewhere.

Last Thursday morning, Tanner woke up and couldn't walk. We found him at the base of his bed crying because "the bed made me fall down". Since Tanner's blood sugars have been running low, I immediately took him to the kitchen and started pumping him with honey, orange juice, and other sugary substances.

We decided to go ahead and take him to the ER. They ran a few tests - and agreed with us that it was probably hypoglycemia and to call our general practicioner or transplant group to get a glucometer and start monitoring him.

Friday morning - same symptons - but this time we have a glucometer, so I take his blood sugar and it was 93 - which is completely normal. Back to the ER. They did some neurological tests - and recommended that he see a neurologist. Although, his conditioning was improving and they didn't think that it was urgent.

Same symptons on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday - but gradually getting better. Today, however, our transplant coordinator Penny called. She really stressed the importance of having him seen sooner rather than later. With much persistence and begging, we scored an appointment for this afternoon.

At the appointment, Tanner had the doctors stumped. They felt like this might just be a simple viral infection - but wanted to do a CT scan "just to make sure". They didn't think they'd see anything on the scan.

By the time we made it home, they had seen a pocket of cerebral fluid in the middle of the brain and they want to do an MRI as soon as possible. We've got one scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.

I'm scared - scared shitless, quite frankly. Google is not your friend in circumstances like these - and my google searches aren't revealing anything nice. They are revealing things like tumors and cancers - I've been through a liver transplant. I don't want to have to go through anything else. I'm hurting...I don't enjoy being the mom with a chronically ill child - we don't hide Tanner's transplant, but we don't want to let it define him. It was "easy" going through the liver transplant with a sick baby - who couldn't voice their opinions, who you didn't have to explain procedures to. I spent an hour tonight explaining an MRI to my child - how will I explain additional tests and procedures that may come along. How do you explain to a child that they are sick?

I'm praying that it doesn't come to all of this - but I'm scared shitless that this isn't headed in a good direction.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Nemo Got Tanked

My kids don't watch a lot of TV. They are 4 years old - and the only full length movie they have ever watched completely through is Cinderella. But Disney & ABC are offering their Family Saturday Nights, and Nemo was on tonight.

My kids were so excited all week that they could watch Nemo. They sat through the entire thing, and when it was over, they were so excited that they asked to call Grandma.

The first words out of Tanner's mouth: "Grandma, we're watching Nemo. Nemo got tanked!"

How can you help but laugh?

PS...Yes, I know, I've been deliquent on posting...hopefully more soon.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

3rd Anniversary

Dear Tanner,

Can you believe it's been over three years since you got rid of that Dirty Rotten Liver?

I've been struggling over a week to write this letter. Three years is such a milestone in the liver transplant community. The rate of graft (liver) failure after the 3rd year drops significantly and the risk of complications drop significantly. It's like we can finally sit back, take a deep breath, and just enjoy.

This year you started taking your Prograf (immunosuppressant) via pill instead of liquid form. I can now keep an extra pill or two in my purse - and it's very simple to give you your medicine without too much fuss. You've also started to protest taking your medicine occasionally - but a threat that you have to call grandma usually alleviates that.

You've only had 14 lab draws this year (compared to 21 in 2006/2007 & 47 in 2005/2006). There has actually been a few times when we've forgotten to have your labs drawn - and the only "redraws" were for irratic Prograf levels. Your liver numbers have been rock solid - that old liver is doing good! (Speaking of the old liver, grandma continues to do very well and proclaims that she's gotten more out of the whole transplant than you did.)

Your daddy & I have grown somewhat lax this year - another indiciation of your overall good health. We no longer put shopping cart covers on when we go to Target - and we aren't quite as obsessive compulsive with the hand sanitizer anymore. We don't even put down the plastic placemats when we go to a restaraunt anymore.

This new found "freedom" has allowed us to do so many fun things. My favorite had to have been Disney World - seeing your face light up when you got to meet the princesses was so much fun. I can't wait to take you this fall when you hopefully won't need a nap - and aren't terrified of the characters.

What do I know after all this time? That there isn't a single day when I take your hugs for granted - and that I'm not grateful for the fact that you're still here. I know all too well that not all families are as lucky as ours. Sometimes it's very difficult to feel so indebted to your grandma - and to know that there is no way that we could adequately repay her or every confess our true thanks - but I hope when she sees your sly little grin and experiences your "World's Best" hugs - that she gets to experience a small piece of the joy that we do.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Raining Fire

Any ideas on what it means when Tanner says he's going to "rain fire down on (insert name here)"?

I'm not sure where this comes from - but whenever someone hurts Morgan, Tanner walks around proclaiming "I'm going to rain fire on him!"

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Is it wrong...

if I chuckle when the kids talk about the Dam Road?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Obviously not a football home...

We put the kids to bed tonight during the 3rd quarter of the "big" game. Now, while I usually do watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, I was forced to watch the game while icing down my knee.

After the game was over, I heard Tanner still talking in his room. I went in, tucked him in, and he asked me where daddy was.

"Daddy is watching the football game."

"He is?"

"Yes, the Giants won."

I tucked him in & left the room.

Tanner erupts in tears...

"What's wrong, buddy?"

"The Giants are coming - don't let them get me!"

Thursday, January 31, 2008

An open letter to Mr. President

Dear President Bush -

I have been a long time supporter of the Bush family. I was even one of the (unpaid) staff members for your father's campaingn in 1992. Even while your poll numbers have dropped, I've still been very respectful of your choices and decisions.

However - today, I am extremely frustrated and upset. Today, you came to the Mile High City to particiapte in a fundraiser for Bob Schaffer. I understand that it is the leader of the incumbant party's responsibility to help raise funds and support other party members. I applaud you for doing your duty.

But, whomever planned the event and your departure from the fundraiser for RUSH HOUR traffic - and planned on shutting down major routes during RUSH HOUR traffic is an IDIOT. My normal 15 minute commute took 1 hour and 45 minutes.

You are more than welcome to visit our city - but please don't shut down the interstate / roadways during rush hour traffic.


Someone who will NOT be voting for Bob Schaffer this fall

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It's a Bird - It's a Plane....

No, it's a post!

I'm going back and catching up some on the last month of my life that I seem to have lost. As we've slowly unpacked, Randy & I realized today that it had been over a month since we took any pictures of the kids. So - an update on life here...

Christmas. I think Christmas in the eyes of a three year old has got to be one of the better Christmases. These kids truly believed in Santa Claus - enough so to overcome their fears and sit on his lap (our first trip to Santa, too!).

We had a really good Christmas, although it wasn't the best for Tanner & Morgan. Yes, Santa Claus did make it to our house. And, while the upstairs Christmas tree was decked out on Christmas Eve...

The downstairs wasn't nearly as festive...

Tanner & Morgan opened all of their gifts (a. aren't the matching monkey pjs cute? b. yes, Tanner got a Cinderella for Christmas, that's what he asked for, and Santa doesn't follow typical gender rules).

And, then they were promptly packed for our impending move. The good news is that when they got to our home in Colorado - it was like Christmas all over again.

The 27th was Tanner & Morgan's last day at preschool. I can't tell you how hard that was for all of us. We had pizza brought in for lunch that day - and had also brought oreos. However, we were facing a large snowstorm and had to pull them out before they actually got to share the Oreos with their friends. I would post a picture of Tanner & Morgan with their best friend, Aiden - but I don't have permission to post his photos.

I will tell you all that Aiden broke my heart. When I picked them up from school, it was right at the end of naptime. Tanner got up and got his stuff - and gave Aiden a hug. Aiden then asked his teacher if he could give Morgan a hug. When that was done, Aiden came up to me and asked me if I was taking them home. I told him yes - and he asked if they were moving to Colorado (again, I told him yes). Then, he asked me if I would bring them back again - because he would miss them and they were his friends. What can you say to such a sweet kid like that? Aiden, buddy, Tanenr & Morgan still miss you.

And, the teachers who cared for these two...what can you say? You don't even realize how attached you are until it's time to go.

Here is Tanner with Ms. Mandy - while Ms. Mandy wasn't around for too long (I'm guessing about 6 months) - I think Tanner won her heart. I remember after one of her first few days, she came up to me and asked "what the heck had happened to that kid?" With all the information she had been given about Tanner (egg allergy, etc) - no one had mentioned his liver transplant until she saw his scar. Ms. Mandy set a lot of good boundaries for Tanner, but still did so with warmth and compassion.

Then, there is Ms. Melonee. She came about the same time as Ms. Mandy. These women were so wonderful for Tanner. Ms. Melonee was especially fond of Tanner - in fact I think I heard "favorite" tossed around from time to time. Tanner was spoiled so very much by Ms. Melonee - she & Ms. Mandy made special desserts for him & they even cooked in the classroom with 20 pre-k kids (lord help them!). She also struck a real soft spot with Randy & I. Ms. Melonne was working toward her Civil Engineering degree. She struggled (as both of us did, too). We can't help but have a ton of respect for someone who was working their way through college and not giving up. I couldn't have asked for a better role model for my children.

Ms. Keighley was there from the first day of Tanner & Morgan's time at school. She cared for them in their toddler classroom - and then continued to have them in the Pre-K classroom. She had two boys of her own - and through everything she went through, she was always there. She was a constant, steady force - and it was somethign that was so very important to me in their preschool upbringing.

Poor, Ms. Tomi. When we signed up for preschool, we met with the director and gave them a list of our requirements for Tanner & Morgan (egg allergy, liver transplant, etc). However, when we arrived for the first day of school, there was a new director - and none of the information had been relayed! So, we gave Ms. Tomi a long letter of everything the kids needed - she never batted an eye. While she was never one of the primary teachers for either kids, she was always there and provided a lot of love and support for the kids (and mom & dad, too).

We were so blessed to have found such a wonderful daycare that cared for Tanner & Morgan for 19 months. We have a good school here, also, but it's still been a difficult transition. The new daycare seems to be excelled academically - it's exceptionally clean. The teachers are wonderful - most of them have been at the school for over three years. They even have several male teachers, which I think is a good influence for both kids. But, they don't provide lunches (this has become a bear of a chore) and it doesn't have a large outside area. The kids aren't getting enough energy burnt off during the day - and we are definitely feeling the effects of that at night. We will probably keep them there another 2 - 3 months, and evaluate our other options after they are 4 years old.

After a bone chilling month here in the Mile High City, we finally caught a break in the weather this weekend. We took the kids to a couple of different parks this weekend. You could tell they were so excited to burn off the energy. And, they fell asleep promptly tonight. Here are some pictures from today:

(Doesn't it look like they are plotting in the one below?)

Randy & I are hopeful that in a few more weeks, the house will look & feel more like home (we've made good progress - but we've still got some boxes that need unpacked). I think putting some of our ideas in the house will help, too. On tap - finishing off a space downstairs for a real office (and not a bedroom that is usd as an office). We surveyed the yard this afternoon - it needs quite a bit of TLC. The good news is that is appears to have a full sprinkler system. But, we've got lots of work to do - repairing or replacing part of the fence, removing a large amount of dead leaves, killing grass that has grown in the river rock areas, replacing some grass/sod, and leveling out the play areas). Eventually, we'll need to replace the deck boards on the deck - but we've probably got a few years for that. Hopefully I'll be able to update soon with some pictures of the new house.

Finaly note - if you haven't received our Christmas cards yet - it's because we haven't sent them! We'll send out letters soon with new address information - maybe we'll make it in time for Tanner's transplant anniversary...

Have a great week, everyone!