MORE BEACH TALK

While we were at the beach our air conditioner went out that Tuesday. “Hot car” now had a new meaning at 108 degrees. Firestone fixed it before we went to the beach so we took it back and luckily, they fixed it again! They let me know they could not fix it again and we would have to take it to a dealership next time it goes out.

Now that we had our car cool again we could comfortably head to the outlets. The children enjoyed sweets while Grammy and I went shopping. The guys would take the children to the little rides they have outside the shops. Since the twins do not understand that these rides take money it worked out well. We quit shopping a little early so that we could keep the twins on their nap schedule.

Julian loved putt-putt. In fact he loved it so much he did not want to give his putter or ball back at the end of 18 holes. We had a great time putting. Natalie was not as interested in putting, but she enjoyed running from hole to hole and cheering on everyone else. I tried to get everyone else to play again during the week but they were too golfed out from their tournament.

I think the twins have really been making great advancements during this trip. Julian is now counting (we had 36 steps to count to get to our condo) at least to 10 and they are talking so much more. Julian would want to know “Where is Grammy? Where did she go?” Natalie is talking so much more too. She declared, “This is my water” when we were in the pool and Julian looked at me and said “This is Inna’s water!” Inna is what he calls Natalie. I think they are so funny! They really enjoy each other and it is a blessing to all of us seeing them interact.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

MEMORY LOSS

This weekend marks the anniversary of our embryo profile selection where we sealed Grant and Maria’s fate to get out of the freezer. I remember how excited I was to get profiles and how Jeremy and I laughed as we went through them. At some point, we had to get petty when picking through the 40 that were before us and specifically remember tossing one aside because the husband was a hair stylist (not that there’s anything wrong with that). We had “the giants” as out front runners…the 6 foot 5 inch bohemian hockey players and then somewhere near the bottom of the short list was profile #1200, special consideration for VSD with 13 embryos. Upon prayer and a very clear answer from God, those 13 embryos became ours. I remember looking at the profile and suddenly feeling very connected to them and prayed that we would be prepared to be the parents of at least one of those 13.

A year out I’m happy that I’m no longer hopped up on artificial hormones…I have my own that are doing a fine job at keeping me on the edge of insanity. I’m assuming this is a normal reaction to parenthood. I do know that part of my brain was removed during my c-section. When working on my mid-year review I could not remember what I accomplished before maternity leave. I managed to put a few things down and hope that at my year-end review I’ll have a few more substantial results to list. Again, I think my memory loss is another side effect to parenthood. I went from “pregnancy brain” to “mommy brain”…it’s a progressive memory disorder, to which I believe there is no cure.

Grant and Maria are doing well; both are growing like weeds and I’m hoping that at our 4-month appointment in a few weeks that we hit the growth chart. Grant is supremely laid back, but still has his moments. Maria has different needs and is pretty vocal about her desire to be held. I’m careful not to label them as “easy” and “difficult” because I don’t want them to end up stuck in some box. They are just different. From what I hear from other twin moms they will go back and forth between who is needier. Who knows…when they start walking Grant could become the aggressor and mow her down in retaliation for not getting held while we were tending to her during these early months. They are who they are and hopefully God will give us the patience, wisdom and endurance to foster their healthy development…even if I have lost my mind.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

WHICH WAY THE WIND BLOWS

Last Wednesday, we had a tornado come through Connecticut. This is a big deal for two reasons; one, we usually don’t have tornadoes in this part of the country, and two, there was just one a month ago in the southern part of the state which left a lot of damage.

I hadn’t heard the tornado warnings, but I was keeping an eye on the sky. It was getting increasingly darker, and I was driving in my convertible with the top down. I had to run a couple of errands, and was heading to the library to pick up Joel from a program he was attending. Ryan and Chad were at home, because they were tired from shopping all morning. I had promised we would go swimming once I had picked Joel up. Once I finished with my errands, I went to the library and was looking through a new knitting book when I first heard the thunder. A few minutes later, my cell phone was buzzing; it was Ryan saying my neighbor wanted he and Chad to go there because of the storm. I thought it was a little bit much, because at this point I still didn’t know about the warning. I told Ryan I was getting Joel and leaving in a few minutes, and to tell my neighbor that.

When we were leaving the library I thought it was exceptionally windy, and we hurried through the rain to the car. As we are heading down Route 4, my cell phone rang again, and it was my neighbor. She called to see where I was, and told me a tornado had touched down in Torrington, Thomaston, and was headed our way. I told her I was half way home, and called Ryan to tell him to get himself, Chad and the animals into the cellar. We spent a few hours there, watching the path the storm was taking on the news as it was tracked.

We were lucky, we didn’t have it touch down in Burlington, I think because we are at a higher elevation. The tornado touched down in Bristol and Plainville, and left a lot of damage. The irony and the reason that I’m blogging about this is that the path the tornado took was right down the street in Plainville that we had lived on before moving to Burlington. The apartment complex we lived in for 6 months while building our house also had a lot of damage. The house we had lived in is directly across the street from a town park, and the park was on the news because it had a lot of downed and uprooted trees which ruined the tennis courts, baseball fields, playground and buildings there. The damage is so bad it is closed to the public.

There is a restaurant on the corner that was a tavern in colonial times, and it had a few trees with limbs down, one of which fell on a passing car. Luckily no one was injured. The chimney on the restaurant was destroyed from the falling tree limbs. There were several houses on the street that had huge trees uprooted. Some of these trees had to be over 100 years old, they were so large in diameter. The house we had lived in had a large tree limb fall onto the roof between the two dormers. The tree it came from was so large that the limb itself is the size of a tree. My father had planted two maples in the front yard when he built the house approximately 60 years ago. It was upsetting to see this, and I was glad we didn’t live there anymore. I hope the current owner doesn’t remove the tree because this happened. It would change the look of the yard and the tree has sentimental value to my sister and I.

It is funny how a decision you make in life can affect you later. I never thought I would ever be glad we had decided to move to Burlington for this reason.

BEACH BABIES

On Monday we started our day at Broadway at the Beach and the twins loved running around. They partially loved the dog they saw. I think it reminded them of our dog, Farrah. We ate lunch at Johnny Rockets then went back to the condo for the kids to sleep. Brian and his Dad went to play a par three golf course and by the time they got back, Brian’s Dad was sick. We think he may have gotten sick from the food from lunch.

So we let Mom and Dad rest while Brian and I took the kids to the beach. They were very excited to get to the beach. Once we laid the towel out and sat down they both started doing the sign for “all done” and saying all done as well. They had to tell us in two different languages, just in case we did not get the first one. It was so windy that their floats kept flying away and Brian would have to chase them down. That alone was a sight to see! Brian and I tried to get the kids to like the sand and the water, but before long Julian was saying “No beach, no water!” and “Bye bye car” So now every time we ask Julian if he wants to go to the beach he says “No beach!”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

SLEEPLESS IN CT

It is hard to believe the summer is more than half way over. Yesterday my two oldest sons, Ryan and Joel, finalized their packing for a week at Cub Scout Camp for Joel. Ryan will be going as a Den Chief and Lifeguard. This is the second year for both, and they were very excited. Same as last year, Chad (my youngest son) started with the “I’m going to miss you”, and would burst into tears. This would set Joel off, and then he would cry how he would also miss all the animals, naming each one. I should send the dogs off with him to camp; Harley (2 yrs old) would have a ball fetching all the sticks in the woods, and Caesar (the oldest at 15 yrs) would help Ryan lifeguard (the dog loves to swim). My husband Jim is the Cub Master for our Pack, and will stay overnight 3 out of the 5 nights. I think he is as excited to hang out with the guys around the campfire after all the Scouts have gone to bed. He has made friends with some of the Dads that I don’t think he would have otherwise had the opportunity to do so.

It was just Chad and I for the rest of the day, and as a distraction we ran a couple of errands and had a movie night when we got home. Everything was great until it was actually bedtime. Chad was sad again, and took a while to settle down and fall asleep. It was after 10pm when I finally got into my room to watch the news. I started to work on Karen and Brian’s wedding sampler, and around midnight decided to turn out the light. I had trouble falling asleep as well; the house is just too quiet without everyone in it. As much as I don’t like Jim’s snoring, I need the noise to fall asleep.

After a couple of hours, Harley started to whine to be let out to potty. When I went to get out of bed, I noticed that the moon was full, and was bathing the yard in so much light that it looked as if someone had turned the outside floodlights on. It was breathtaking at 4 am. Once I let the dogs back into the house and had them settled, I tried to fall asleep again, but there was too much light from the moon shining into the room. I hope the same doesn’t happen tonight, otherwise I’ll only get 2 nights sleep. Good thing Jim doesn’t stay for the whole week. This is like having a baby and waking up every few hours for a feeding. I’m getting much too old for this nonsense.

As much as I enjoy the quality time I’m able to spend alone with Chad, I do miss the others. It is a reminder to me that each year they are gaining a little more independence, and will one day not need me. Ryan will be entering 9th grade when we return to school, and before I know it, will be thinking about colleges. I’ve had that thought creep into my mind very often since we went back-to-school shopping last week. When I saw the displays of items for dorm rooms, it was a wake up call for me. How did this happen? It really does seem like it was only yesterday that we were excited about him starting kindergarten, and now this Fall I will have my Chad going there and Ryan in High School. I’m much too old for this.

ON THE BEACH

A few days before our beach trip I went on a women’s ministry retreat with my church. The women who teach children’s church or Sunday school have a get away for fellowship and a small Bible study. We went to the mountains for the weekend. I ate so much junk food that I just knew I would not be able to fit into any of my clothes for the beach! I had to leave early so that we could leave the next morning for the beach. Brian wanted me home to make sure that he loaded the car correctly.

I got home that night and loaded the car and then could not sleep since I had had two glasses of sweet tea (with caffeine) and I never drink caffeine! What was I thinking? I texted my sister and my sister-in-law, who was still on the church retreat. Of course they were asleep at 2am and did not text back. So I laid in bed with anticipation of our beach trip!

That morning we got up and everything went great, we were on the road by 8:30am. We only made one stop to let the children run and play while we ate lunch. The children fussed at times, but overall I thought they did fine. At 3:30pm we met Brian’s parents at the condo and unpacked. Then we decided we would venture out to eat seafood. As we were walking out the door I asked Brian’s Mom if she had her book. That is one thing I have learned from her, always have a book handy, because you never know when the boys will want to stop to play a few holes! She got her book and we were off. After dinner we went for a walk on the beach and took a few pictures. The children referred to the beach as a “sand box” and wanted to be held the whole time.

After our walk Brian’s parents and I went to the grocery store while Brian went back to the condo to take the kids to the pool. As Barbara and I were picking out our food I got a call from Brian. I was sure he needed help deciding which suit to put on the babies, but no; to my surprise he was calling because he had run out of gas! He was stranded at another grocery store, which he was lucky to have been able to pull into; however, he did not know where he was. His Dad went off to get him gas and try and find him. That left his Mom and I at the store. This would not have been a big deal, but our books were in the car! We could only shop for food for so long. It took his Dad a while to try and find him, because no one could seem to tell him exactly where he was. His Dad could not figure out how he ended up in that part of Myrtle Beach when he was just trying to get gas. Why would he even let it get that low? I will not tell you how many times this has happened to Brian, but this is the first time with the kids. We finally got home and changed and headed to the pool and lazy river. Unfortunately, the lazy river was closed as well as the hot tub until the next day. What a start to our vacation, but we were all there in one piece!

A FAMILY REUNION

A few weeks ago, my sister and I hosted a get-together for my cousins, the children of my Aunt who died recently. It was a big deal to us, because we had never spent quality time with them as adults. I know this may sound strange, but my cousin Jimmy lives in the Midwest, and has for most of his adult life. Although he would come back East to visit, we never saw him except for the occasional funeral. It is really sad when you think about it, but I think the same thing is probably true of many families. We said we would all keep in touch at her funeral, and now was the time to make good on our word.

Cathy had spoken with Jimmy and he mentioned he was coming back East to pick up some belongings from Auntie’s condo. The suggestion was made that we try to get together for dinner, and when she was telling me, we decided to host it at my house. My cousins had said not to fuss, and of course we didn’t listen to them. I hung up the phone that morning, and proceeded to clean the house from top to bottom, including washing the floors. Yes, the preparations do sound like when Marti and her family came to visit. Thank God I had purchased new towels when she visited. We decided upon the menu, divided up the dishes on it and the tasks associated with the preparations, and set to work. A few days later we realized there was a bit of a glitch with scheduling, but we managed to find a time that worked for everyone.

The day of the party, Cathy came over to my house in the afternoon to bring the dishes she had prepared and help me with any last minute details. Everything was going according to schedule, until I got the bright idea to set out Peppermint Patties in a candy dish that had belonged to Auntie. This in itself would have been fine, if I had realized the table that the dish sat on was low enough for Harley (my 18 lb Cocker Spaniel) to help herself to a treat! She was very ladylike in the respect that she took them one at a time, and left some for others (not like anyone would want them)! This actually was a good thing, because I thought I heard her in the cat bowl, and realized what was up when I went to check on her.

At this point, Cathy had already left to meet my cousins at her house. I called the vet, and she said it was a large enough amount (of course) that I should induce vomiting. Just what everyone wants to do prior to hosting a party! I found the hydrogen peroxide and headed outside to give Harley the prescribed dose. She wasn’t too pleased, but quickly found a stick and wanted to play fetch. It was the funniest thing; you see her running, she pauses as it surprised (probably about how her stomach suddenly doesn’t feel so good), and then the next thing I know there is a stick at my feet, with a pile of something else next to it! I cleaned it up and waited for my guests to arrive.

We were fortunate to have a beautiful evening, and we ate our meal on the deck overlooking our pond. There were about a dozen of us, and everyone had a good time. My nieces had to leave early, but my cousins stayed until after midnight. We were having such a good time talking and sharing stories that we lost track of the time. All in all, we felt the party was a huge success, and we promised we would stay in touch and do this again. Hopefully over time we will create some shared memories. If the success of that gathering was any indication, we are off to a great start.