They think a lot. I mean all the time. Non-stop. The wheels are always turning.
Grant followed me into the bathroom because as a parent getting to pee alone is off limits. We had the following conversation:
Grant: Why you go potty again?
Me: Because my bladder was full.
Grant: Why?
Me: Because I drank a lot of water.
Grant: Why you do that?
Me: Because I was thirsty.
Grant: Why?
Me: I don’t know.
Grant: Why you go on the potty?
Me: Because it wouldn’t be good to have pee and poop all over the house.
Grant: That not fair.
Really? No fair? I can’t give an explanation on that line of thinking. We seemed to be following a linear thought path, but it somehow derailed into “that’s not fair.”
They can throw some curve balls and also let me know they are really paying attention and absorbing everything. Discussing Easter the other day I explained that Jesus died and came back and we celebrate. Maria looked at me with expectant eyes and said “Chawie with Jesus.” She was recalling the death of our dog and how we explained that Charlie had gone to heaven to be with Jesus. It took me a minute to respond. I gathered myself because I didn’t want her to expect to see Charlie on Sunday. I said that yes, Charlie went to be with Jesus in Heaven, but that after Jesus died he came back for a little bit before he went to Heaven. It was the best I could do without getting into a deeper theological discussion with an almost three year old.
They will also try to use your logic against you, especially at bedtime.
Me: It’s time to be quiet and go to sleep.
Maria: But it’s not dark yet.
Me (silently cursing the time change): No, it is not dark, but it’s getting dark and it is bedtime now.
Maria: No comment, but provided a disapproving scowl.

And sometimes we end up in places I’m just not ready to go yet. This was tail end of a conversation between Jeremy and Grant.
Jeremy: Because I can’t be in two places at once.
Grant: Why?
Jeremy: Because I’m a temporal corporeal being.
Grant: Why?
Jeremy: Because my mom decided to have sex about 33 years ago.
OY! I suggested that maybe next time he just say because God said so.

Brae and Sienna-isms


1. A few weeks ago, I took Brae and Sienna for an impromptu getaway to the beach with my sisters-in-law and mother-in-law. Brae was so excited to go to the beach and play with his little cousins. As we were packing up the night before, I asked him what he was most excited about. He looked at me, wide-eyed, and in a very solemn voice said:

“Mommy, I need to go and find Nemo and bring him back home.”

And then he walked away.


2. This last weekend, I was driving to the grocery store with the kids. Sienna is just starting to talk more and more, but sometimes only I know what she is saying. As we were pulling up to the store, she points out the window and yells, “Mama! Da da brrrr!”

I smiled and said, “Why, yes, honey, it is a bird! Good girl! Brae, did you hear that? Sienna said ‘It’s a bird!'”

Brae piped up and said, “No, Mommy, she’ didn’t. She said ‘Da da brrrr.'”


3. The kids had a day off from school one day, and Tygh and I had to work. So my dad and stepmom drove up to watch the kids for the day. My parents divorced when I was relatively young, and my dad re-married when I was about 8. My stepmom, Cindy, did not have biological children. It was just me and my younger sister. Neither of them have much practice in little kids, let alone diapers.

As I was giving Cindy a tutorial on how to change Sienna’s diaper – and Sienna was being quite a good prop – I told Cindy that, unfortunately, Sienna likes to poop about mid-morning. I would be at work, so Cindy would have to change her poopy diaper.

Cindy looked at me, puzzled, and whispered, “So …. what do I do with her after she poops? Do I just stick her in the bathtub or something?”


4. This next story is perhaps one of my proudest moment as Brae’s Mommy. Especially after our whole episode earlier this year with the owners of his play gym calling me about complaints received from other parents about Brae’s behavior.

I took Brae grocery shopping, and we passed by an elderly man (probably in his 90s) in a wheelchair, kind of hunched over, not looking or talking to anyone. Brae left my side and marched right up to the old man and said (in a rather loud voice): “I like you. You’re my friend. You can borrow my legs.” And Brae walked away.

There were tears in my eyes, and in those of bystanders watching.


I’m afraid we got a glimpse into our future. Yes, the time when parents become dumb and the kids become the smart ones. Both Grant and Maria have recently figured out how to give us the “Duh! How could you be so stupid, Mom and Dad” look.

Grant: While conversing before bed the other night, he mentioned my parent’s pool. I said that it had its winter coat on and that Granddad would have to take it off. Grant said that the pool needed more parts and Granddad would fix it. I proceeded to ask if Murphy (my parent’s Shi Tzu) would help Granddad with the pool. Grant stopped talking; looked at me and scrunched up his nose as he shook his head and said “Murphy is a dog.” Duh!

Maria: After getting dressed on morning, Maria showed Jeremy the kitty cat on her shirt. He said he thought it was a rabbit, but placated her and said yes, I see the kitty cat. Later on when he was changing her he realized that it was indeed a cat. “Oh, it is a kitty cat.” Maria looked at him and didn’t verbalize anything. Her facial expression clearly said “Duh, Dad! I told you that this morning.”

My crystal ball tells me that in the future I will not enjoy these little exchanges as I do now. The day will come when my children declare me dumb and will wonder how I ever survived thus far.

They told


Last week, I got perhaps one of the best text messages ever.

It was from our donors. They finally told their twins, Sienna’s full-blooded siblings, about Sienna.

Sienna’s full-blooded siblings are from the same group of embryos that she is. They are now 12 years old.

The twins have known who Sienna is since she was born. They have sent her gifts on Christmas and on her birthday. But, it wasn’t until last week that they finally knew who she is.

Some have asked why it took our donors so long to tell their kids about Sienna. Sienna is now nearly 2 years old. We have an open adoption.

I have never questioned, or passed any judgment, on our donors’ decision to wait. I’ve always trusted that they would know when the right time was to tell this very important, and somewhat complicated, story about Sienna’s origin and what it means to them.

So, now they know. And, apparently they are over the moon. Our donor said that they would hop on a plane now if she let them.

That gave me (and still gives me) the biggest smile. This is why we did open adoption. For moments like this. Obviously, Sienna is too young to know about any of this. But it’s always nice to know (and one day meet) more family and more people who love you.

So, I told our donors that Oregon is beautiful in the summertime.




Now that Grant and Maria are talking all the time (and I mean ALL the time) we have some entertaining conversations.

On the way to church:
Grant: I want to drive garbage truck.
Maria: G drive purple garbage truck.
Grant: I don’t want to drive purple garbage truck! I want orange truck.
Maria: No, G drive purple truck.
And he proceeded to whine about this for the next ten minutes as if Maria’s declaration of truck color left him no other options.

Upon getting out of bed:
Grant: Rita told me not to stand on my head.
Maria: G no stand on his head no more. He can’t walk.
This was a recap of a conversation I had with Grant and few nights ago over standing on his head and injuring himself to the point where he couldn’t walk and wouldn’t be able to play t-ball or soccer.

Speaking of t-ball anytime someone sees the kids right now they often comment on how big they are. Grant always replies “I play t-ball!” He’s very excited about being signed up to play in the spring.

Getting out of the bath after opening the drain:
Grant: Mommy, save me! Turtles are going to get me!
Me: Turtles?
Jeremy: I told him about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who live in the drains.
Grant: Turtles are going to get me.
Me: They are good turtles.
Grant: No, Mommy. Save me from the turtles.
Me: Jeremy, I hope he doesn’t need therapy for this.


People often ask if Grant and Maria get along and Jeremy’s common reply is that they are both best friends and arch enemies. Thankfully, we see the best friend side more than anything. They are like a security blanket for one another, which is something we saw from very early on. When they were as little as six months, the childcare workers at church commented that they always kept an eye on each other making sure both were still there. Here are some other recent “best friend” moments.

Often when we pick them up from the church nursery they are playing together while the other children are orbiting around them independently. One week, all the kids were hanging out near the door sensing their release while Grant and Maria were wrestling one another on the floor.

Taking advantage of an unseasonably warm winter day, the kids and I were playing golf in the front yard. Maria’s technique needed a bit of help as noted by Grant’s declaration “No Rita let me show you how to do it.” (Rita is his version of Maria)

In music class they get to ride the train, which is a large Rubbermaid container of instruments. They will only ride if sitting next to each other and it’s not uncommon for Maria to direct where each one of them sits.

Another time in music all the kids where standing close to the teacher. Grant was standing a little bit in front of Maria and she gently had her hand placed on his shoulder while they listened intently.

Maria had a round of diaper rash that caused a great deal of discomfort while getting her cleaned up from an explosion. She was crying when Grant came in leaned right in her face and said “It’s okay Rita.”

They clearly love and care for one another. They definitely have their moments, but for the most part they look out for each other and use each other as a source of learning and comfort.

This is Me


My boss has started a teambuilding exercise in our department. She brought in a psychologist who gave us a couple of personality tests and then discussed the results with us.

In a nutshell, this is what the personality tests said I am:

“Warm, sympathetic, and helpful. Personable, cooperative, and tactful. Conscientious and loyal; value security, stability, tradition. Focused on the present; makes decisions based on experience and facts. Uncomfortable with conflict; work hard to make sure it doesn’t occur. Focused on the needs of others; often uncomfortable with personal analysis. Usually seen by others as sociable, enthusiastic, energetic, organized and traditional.”

So, yup, that’s Me.

That’s Me as Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Co-worker, you name it.

That’s Me.

And that is Me (granted, in my high school senior photo – just for fun – gotta love the 90s).
senior pic


I talk about the challenges of raising twins, but there are also those sweet and silly moments that remind me of just why I do what I do….
I had a rare dinner out with friends after work one evening and got home around 7:00. Jeremy and the kids were finishing dinner when I arrived. Upon walking in the kitchen, Maria declared with a ketchup stained face “I missed you, mommy!”

Maria is often the one who takes longer to go to sleep. One evening at about 8:40, I heard her pleading voice. Upon entry to the nursery, Grant was passed out snoring and she was swaying back and forth requesting to rock. I picked her up and took her to the rocking chair. She smiled and commented on my glasses as she reached up and started running her fingers through my hair. She continued quietly for a few minutes. I told her I loved her and she replied “I love you, Mommy.”

Grant and Maria heard me getting ready to leave one morning a little after 5:00. I went in and turned on their music, offered hugs and kisses then left the room. They continued a conversation that went something like this:
Maria: “G stop making noise; I’m trying to sleep.”
Grant: “No.” (singing continues)
Maria: “G, stop trying to wake up Daddy.”
Grant: “I’m not trying to wake up Daddy.”

I took the kids to the zoo on Sunday. On the way home there was an in depth discussion between Grant and Maria over the brown bear. When we pulled into the driveway Grant looked at me very seriously and stated “I need to talk to Daddy.” “Really?” I said. “Yes, I need to talk to Daddy about the zoo.” He confidently walked into the house and started telling Jeremy all about his zoo adventure including the brown bear.

Jeremy and I came home from a much needed dinner date and the kids were both settling into bed. We went in to say goodnight and give hugs and kisses when Grant declared with a huge smile on his face “I’m so happy to see you!!”

I’m thankful for these moments that make me smile and refuel me for the next challenge.