Monday, September 28, 2009

Thank God you're so cute...

"Thank God you're so cute..."

How many times have I uttered this phrase in the last 2 years? Too many to count. Usually it's followed with something like "we would have returned you to the manufacturer months ago". Of course I don't really mean it, but Lord does it help that they are sooo darn cute.

To celebrate the cuteness in my life, here's a fun list of some recent cute happenings:
  1. Daniel and his "I'm going to back up at you and yell "knee" until you pull me up onto your knee and read me a story.
  2. Ben is now able to say sounds something like "Danell".
  3. Ben screaming "D" whenever you chase him...meaning that you should chase Daniel instead.
  4. Daniel now says "love you" if I say it first.
  5. Daniel's squeal when someone comes to the door.
  6. The boys insisting that Daddy kiss Mommy too (and not just them).
  7. Daniel insisting that you take him for a "walk" too whenever we walk with Ben holding onto our hands.
  8. And pictures like this:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Heart Faces - "Blue"

This week's theme over at I Heart Faces is Blue. I immediately thought of this great photo of Daniel from our summer vacation. He just loves wearing his sunglasses.

What's your favourite fall activity?

The Question of the Week over at Multiples....and More is "What's your favourite fall activity?"

In a recent post, I told you how much I was looking forward to fall. It really is my favourite time of the year. I just wish it wasn't followed by months of cold and snow.

My new favourite fall activity (now that we have kids) has to be apple picking. There is a fabulous orchard not too far from us and they have great things going on all fall. They stack hay bales for the kids to play on, have tractors with wagons to take everyone out to the orchard and even have a market with lots of great produce. It's such a great day.

A few years ago, one of my cousins organized a family apple picking day just for the "cousins and their kids". We lived in NY so couldn't go when it got started but were thrilled to go last year for the first time. The weather was just perfect...sunny and around 18C (about 65F for you Americans). Here's a pic from last year.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another anniversary

One year ago today we were told that Ben had Cerebral Palsy. It was exactly one week after his 1st birthday. I gave the details of that day in an earlier post.

As I look back now, I would say that we were pretty blind-sided when the neurologist asked if we knew that Ben had CP. Being accountants and not medical-professionals, we didn’t even know what CP was. We knew that Ben was very delayed but I really think we thought it was just a lingering preemie issue that would eventually resolve.

The first few months were filled with anger, sadness and an overwhelming need for more information. I felt like I was a hamster in a cage going round and round on a wheel. I would go online and read everything I could about CP, its effects and its treatments. This would usually result in severe crying displays or outbursts of anger and “why-me’s”. The only thing that would have any sort of calming effect was seeing Ben himself. He is such a happy child that to see him would automatically lift my spirits.

The next stage for me was one of denial. Ben seemed to be making progress. And I went back to MY original diagnosis of “this is a just a lingering preemie issue”. Ben had his first MRI in January and I thought for sure that it would show nothing. Alas, I was wrong, It showed that Ben has PVL. A very large percentage of infants with PVL will develop Cerebral Palsy. I think this brought me out of the denial and back into reality.

After this, I think followed acceptance. I was still often sad. Especially when seeing other children (especially twins) around the same age as the boys. I was still bitter. And I still felt “jipped” out of the normal baby experience and even the normal twin experience.

But this is slowing getting better. Mostly likely because Ben in doing so well. He now crawls on all fours, can get in and out of sitting, can pull to stand and even cruise (with help). I think maybe the hardest part of getting the diagnosis last year was that we still didn’t know much of what Ben would eventually be able to do. We didn’t know if he had speech or what cognitive delays (if any) we could expect. We didn’t know where he fit on the severity scale.
We now know that he does have speech (I think he now has over 70 words). We also know that he's pretty smart too. And on the severity scale, he's not exactly mild but not moderate either. If I was describing a steak, I'd say he's medium-rare. And even though we'd love it if we could say his CP was mild, we're pretty happy about where he is.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I Heart Faces - "Completely Candid"

This week's theme at I Heart Faces is Completely no posed shots. Not that there's much risk of that around here. Two-year-olds haven't got a clue how to pose nicely for a photo. To change it up, this is a photo I got of my nephew without him even realizing it. I love it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Two years ago

Two years ago:

I had yet to meet my sons.

I was yet to be a mother.

I didn't know that Daniel would be my scamp and Ben my heartbreaker.

I didn't know that they would both have blue eyes.

I thought I would never be thin again.

I had no comprehension of what sleep-deprivation truly is.

I didn't really know what Cerebral Palsy was.

I had never experienced the joy of hearing a child call me "mama".

I didn't know that Daniel would love tomatoes and Ben would love "neigh-neighs".

I swore I would never "sleep-train" my child.

I didn't know what an amazing father my husband would turn out to be.

I couldn't imagine how sleeping til 8am could be considered "sleeping in".

I didn't know that Daniel would call Ben "Den" and that Ben would call Daniel "D".

I had no idea that the first year of their lives was going to be the hardest one of mine.

I didn't know that they would spend the first 8 weeks of their lives in hospital and not at home with us.

I didn't know that they wouold make me laugh so much.

I had no idea what worry really was.

I would never have thought that my Ben would have to work so hard but would be so amazing.

And lastly, I had no idea that in less than 24 hours I was going to meet my darling boys and be changed forever.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


So much of this blog has been about the boys. And that's fine...mostly. But before the boys, there was US. Just Clarence and Cary. No Daniel and no Benjamin. Of course, we couldn't imagine our lives without them now. But sometimes we try it out for a few days. Like when we went to Bermuda in June. And like we will next week when we get away yet again on our own.

I would say that Clarence and I have a fairly strong marriage. We've been together for 6 years and married for 3. We do have some things that we need to work on though. Hopefully the next week will help with that. I don't expect that it will fix everything though and I do plan to get us into some couple's counselling sometime soon. Now don't be alarmed. That doesn't mean that we're not doing well. It just means that we're not doing as well as I'd like.

You see...I was married once before. For 8 very long and mostly unhappy years. I get what happens when you don't fix the problems when they're small and you still actually love the person you're with. When the problems get big and you no longer love that person...well, that's just a bit too late.

So to celebrate our little mini-vacation next week, here's a photo of us on our very first holiday together back in 2004. This is US on Edinburgh's Royal Mile.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


As I was watching Daniel and Ben play together today, I noticed that the differences between them (development-wise) weren't as pronounced as they used to be. Six months ago, all the pictures that I have of them playing together looked like this:

Basically, Daniel was usually sitting (sometimes standing) and Ben was laying on the floor. God, how I hated that he was always lying on the floor.

But, that's not the case anymore. He has come so far in the last six months. He can now pull to kneel, pull to stand, crawl on all fours, w-sit, get into w-sit, climb a few stairs and cruise (with a spotter). How amazing is that! Just six months ago, all he could really do for gross motor was army-crawl, roll-over and sit unassisted. It shocks me how far he's come in the last six months.
And this doesn't even take into consideration all the stuff that he's figured out for fine motor and speech.
So now, my pictures look more like this:
Isn't that awesome?

Katy's Beliefs

I've been having a hard time figuring out what to post about lately. Well, Katy over at Bird on the Street, posted this list and I thought it was great and needed to be shared. I hope you enjoy it!

Don't you just love #20?