Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I Love Onions

It amazes me.  It just amazes me.  Children have school personas and home personas that are as different as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  A teacher's experience with our children is often a far cry from what we parents experience at home.  Sometimes I think if I just had 8 or 9 more kids I could use that "group peer pressure to behave" that I'm always hearing happens at school.  Or sometimes I just think that kids should all win an academy award when they turn three years old.  Their ability to act is unparalleled and I swear my kids would beat out Meryl Streep if they were both nominated for "Best Faking of a Tummy Ache."

Last week and this week they learned about vegetables.  A few days ago they learned about potatoes and made mashed potatoes in class.  Then all the kids voted whether it was yummy or yucky.  My kids, who sometimes will take a couple bites of mashed potatoes but won't usually eat it, liked it.  It didn't surprise me too much because mashed potatoes are sorta close to French fries and my kids have been exposed to potatoes before.

The mind-blowing experience I had yesterday came when I picked up the boys from school.  While in school they tasted onions.  Not just any onion -- raw onion.  The teacher gave everyone a bite of red and yellow raw onions.  And you know what?  Both kids liked the purple onion and Jeff said he liked the yellow one too. 

Seriously, kiddos?!?!?!  You refuse to eat sugar and lemon covered carrots for dinner?  You take a bite of a potato latke covered in applesauce only after I beg you and bribe you with a donut?  We get into a fight about tasting a sweet potato that ends up with me locked in a bathroom crying on the floor?  And yet you say a raw onion is YUMMY??? 

Maybe I'll just offer to make dinner for the teacher every night if she comes over. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

All Joy And No Fun

This book is one of my new favorite books.  I got it a few months ago, read it within a few days, and started reading it again this week because I needed it again.  The premise of the book is this: There is so much research about how parents affect their children; this book is about how children affect their parents.

The writer talks a lot about the stress, isolation, depression, anxiety, feeling of wanting to run away from home some days, marital strain and a whole slew of other things that children bring.  It's all those nasty emotions that parents feel and aren't supposed to talk about because we're constantly told things like "children are a blessing" and "parenthood is the best job."  

Thank goodness for technology that allows me to call or video chat with some friends when I just need to vent about my life.  I have a few friends who let me say what I want to say no matter how un-P.C. it is to say it.  To most of the world I complain that my kids threw a fit about having to get into the car on the right side instead of the left with an chuckle.  I joke that my son will grow up to be an award winning actor because he is an expert at pretending he is sad or that his tummy hurts.  I laugh about the fact that my days are filled with making up inane puppet shows and reading the same book four times in an hour.  But the reality is that most days it sucks.  I don't always cope well with staying home so much.  

I can tell my support system that I'm stir crazy being cooped up in an apartment for weeks on end because it's just too hard to take two toddlers anywhere in the winter.  I can call and complain about how tired I am trying to juggle shopping lists, school schedules, doctor appointments, dentist appointments, vet appointments, my own medical appointments, paying bills, cleaning the house, cooking dinner, finding sitters, budgeting, planning a wedding across the country, car maintenance, and more while trying to make a name for myself in my profession in a new city, I can tell them I'm depressed that I don't have a career anymore.  I can call them crying when I'm locked in the bathroom because listening to one more tantrum over what color bowl he got for his snack is going to put me over the edge and make me do something I regret.  And you know what they say to me?  They say, "Yep...parenthood can suck some days."  They never tell me that the years fly by so fast and one day I'll look back on this and miss it.  They never tell me that I'm so lucky that I was able to have kids and I should be grateful.  They never tell me that these are little children who are only three and can't control themselves.  And they never tell me that other people have survived what I am going through and survived with less support and resources so I shouldn't be complaining.  They understand that my life is breaking me at that moment and being grateful is not an option.

When life is calm I do think of all that I have.  I was able to go through the surrogacy process with support from my family and friends.  I had a great surrogate and an amazing lawyer who helped me through so much.  I was lucky enough to have two healthy, smart children.  At times I can be grateful.  But remember that children do a lot to a parent.  If any parent seems unhappy, remember that parents deal with lost income and careers, lack of sleep, constant stress, limited time, loss of social relationships, marital stress, and possibly more emotional issues like medical treatment for children, major financial issues or mental health crises while trying to juggle everything life throws at them.  Parenthood is rough and I'm a big believer in saying so.

In another 20 years when the boys are out of the house and have (hopefully) left the nest and are making it in the world on their own two feet I'm sure I'll say that I miss the old days when they were three years old.  Everyone seems to hit that point.  Memories are selective, right?  But for now I believe in being honest with my feelings.

And then, just when it seems like this journey is no fun, something joyful happens.  When I'm feeling like just can't give any more Aaron decided to draw some pictures.  He made family portraits of his grandparents, his uncle, his brother, and his daddies.  Pretty amazing to see there is some awareness of the world around him.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Making Friends

Last week Aaron came home and said something about Kendall and David, two of the other students in his class.

All of a sudden my heart skipped a beat!

I got very excited to hear about these other children at school.  There wasn't much to say.  Being three and a half doesn't lead to deep conversations about life goals or even plans for the weekend.  Usually conversations are about liking someone's shoes or someone sneezing.  That's a pretty exciting day for someone who is just over 3 feet tall.  But it was exciting for me to see that there was an awareness of the other children at school even after school was done and we were home.

The next day during pick-up I watched the children start to say goodbye to each other.  Some of the kids yelled "Goodbye Aaron and Jeff!!!" as my boys waved goodbye or responded with, "Goodbye!  See you next year."

We are still working on time.

Today Aaron stayed home from school and I dropped Jeff off by himself.  I think both Jeff and I were a little freaked out.  He seemed sad and maybe a little scared.  The idea of a cupcake for one of the assistant teacher's birthday's perked him up, but I still worried how he would do without his social butterfly brother by his side.

As I left the classroom I saw the lead teacher in the hall waiting to pick up some other kids from the school bus.  I let her know I thought Jeff might be a little overwhelmed today being at school without his brother and she told me that she loves watching the two of them because there is an interesting dynamic.  She said they often do their own thing and choose different activities in the classroom.  Sometimes they wind up together but that's because they want to do that activity, not because they have to be with each other.  On the playground, however, is when they are together all the time.  They play together.  The teacher said that was opposite of most kids who know each other because the playground is less verbal and kids who are shy can play with a stranger without talking.  Regardless of the reason, I loved to hear that the boys have time together and time apart in school.

Because one of my boys demands so much attention all the time *cough cough Aaron cough cough* I'm excited to hear how Jeff does today in school on his own.  I hope the teacher has some time to give me an update.


I heard what happened at school today.  Jeff was happy when I picked him up.  I asked the teacher how it went and this is what she said...

"Jeff was fine today.  No tears.  The only time he was a little bit sad was during circle time.  I said there were only 11 students here and I asked who was missing.  Jeff teared up a little and said, 'My brother is home sick.'  He then got Aaron's name tag and put it in his circle time spot so he could pretend Aaron was there." either the teacher makes up amazing stories or Derek and I are raising boys who, although they fight constantly, really care for each other.  I'm going to go with the latter and start dusting off a shelf for our "Parents of the Year" trophy.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Today was the day.  I was ready for it.  I was excited.  I wasn't going to cry.  My kids were starting their first day of public school with an awesome team of teachers.

Derek and I drove the boys to school.  Derek had to hurry off to a meeting so I walked the boys in by myself. The boys were excited to show me where their class was.  They remembered the hallway from yesterday but missed the room.  Pretty impressive for a 3 1/2 year old in my opinion.

When we got in, the teacher showed them their pictures on their cubby holes attached with velcro.  Each one had to take his picture off and put it on a cut out of a school bus with his name.  The school buses were located on the other side of the room.  The boys’ eyes lit up when they saw this task.  They found their names on the paper school buses and looked excited to check in at school.

That’s when I lost it.  I really think they were tears of joy, not sorrow.  I am excited to watch them grow and learn and gain independence.  I am excited for what school will teach them.  I am excited to see how they develop.

Next, they checked in with Stephanie who would let them pick one of several activities for the morning.  As I was leaving I saw Aaron picked the water table.  He had seen it yesterday without water in it and was looking forward to playing with it.  It was a small table filled with toys and water and bubbles.  Stephanie had helped him put on a smock and as I left I saw him walking towards the table.  I waved goodbye and there were no tears from him or Jeff, just a big smile as Aaron tackled this new adventure.

While the boys were in school I cleaned the house a little, watched some TV, called a doctor, got a haircut to prepare for the wedding and took my first Uber ride.

When I picked them up from school I was tackled with big hugs.  I found out Jeff had picked the kitchen first.  He told me he cooked eggs and pizza and played with the water table later in the day.   They played outside, read "The Kissing Hand" and made some art projects which will be ready tomorrow.  I can't wait to see what they made.  The teacher said there were no tears from any of the kids. 

I think we all had a very good first day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Their First Teacher

It's about to start.  The day has finally arrived.  Today we did an "open house" at the boys' school for 45 minutes to meet their first teacher.  It was exciting.  I know a lot of parents get sad when their children go off to school.  Am I sad?  Maybe a little bit.  I sometimes think of the activities I won't get to do with them.  A lot of events are in the morning and the boys will be in school from 8am-12pm which leaves little time to do things during the week.  But I also think about all the opportunities they will get at school that I can't give them.  Plus, if I'm being honest, I'm excited to have some time to exercise, cook new dinners that take more than 20 minutes, read a book, maybe binge on some Netflix and work.  Work will be hard because of my limited time off between drop off and pick up but I'm sure I'll find a little bit of work here and there.

The class structure is pretty cool, in my opinion.  This is a program with three teachers (Kristin, Stephanie and Kayla) and 11 kids, half of whom have an IEP.  I love the idea of exposing my kids to kids with all sorts of different needs and learning styles.  I think a program like this is fantastic.

The day started with us walking in and Kayla saying hello.  Kayla met Jeff and asked him about the stuffed animals he had brought.  He told her that he had a snowman, a monkey and a panda.  Then Kayla asked him what his name was.  He wouldn't answer.  After a few seconds he signed, "I'm deaf."

"Hmmmm...," I thought.  "He's already playing the deaf card.  That was fast.  And that's usually Aaron's trick when he doesn't want to listen."

Kayla told us that she knew how to spell her name but not much else.  Still, it was cool that she knew about sign language.

Derek and I stayed with the boys and talked with the teachers for about 45 minutes.  We learned about the details of how the class runs, that they go outside every day, they have gym twice a week, etc.  As we were getting close to leaving a little boy from the class gave Kristin, the lead teacher,  a picture he had colored with a red marker.

"I like the red," she said as she signed the word "red."

"Oh, you sign a little in this class?" I asked.  I had secretly hoped that there would be a deaf student and interpreter in Jeff and Aaron's class.  The kids in this program can have an IEP for anything.  It could be a stutter or a physical disability or a behavior issue so a deaf student was certainly possible.

I come to find out that the head teacher was a deaf education major for a while before she switched to special education.  She said she used to go to deaf social hours and deaf events.  I think she is pretty fluent.  She uses a lot of signs in the class room which makes sense because of the various and unique learning styles of so many of the kids. 


I told her the story of  how Aaron's recent babysitter told him to do something.  He didn't want to listen so he signed he was deaf.  The sitter, who is going to an interpreting program, signed back to him and his response was, "You're pretty tricky, Kara!"  So my boys can't get away with pretending to not hear the teacher.  I couldn't have asked for a better placement.  

Today after the open house we had a big day of fun.  We played at an indoor play center and went out for lunch and ice cream.  The boys crashed in the car and it was hard to get two sleeping, 35+ pound boys from the car to their beds by myself.  They're sleeping from the long day and we'll see how things go tomorrow.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Let's put together a Top Ten List of living with toddlers...

10. They get food everywhere.  There is never a meal that doesn't make it onto the floor in some way shape or form.

9. Now that they're potty trained we spend half of our outings looking for bathrooms before they have an accident.

8. They always want the same toy even though we have 43,812 other toys within six feet.

7. We now have to watch "Animal Mechanicals" when I give them the choice of a cartoon.

6. They have learned what a dessert is and they want it...a lot. 

5. They have waaaaay too much energy for me at 6:00 a.m. and 6 p.m.  (and most hours in between)

4. I'm not allowed to sing.  Every time I open my mouth I hear "Excuse me.  Can you stop that?"

3. I still can't go to the bathroom alone most of the time.

2. They're pretty good eaters but I still can't go to any restaurant that doesn't have chicken nuggets, pizza, or mac 'n cheese.  

1. They have no concept of time.

It's the last one that is really getting to me.  I cannot wait until time has some meaning for them.  When I have to leave for work or bring them to a doctor's appointment or get them out the door for story time at the library they don't care that we have to leave NOW.  They can't leave until they have looked at the toilet paper roll (which they have seen before), the toy train (which they just played with for the last hour) and the speck of dirt on the floor (which is just a freakin' speck of dirt!!!).  By the time we get out the door I've lost half my sanity.  

I'm learning that I'm not a very patient person.  I am a professional who arrives to work early and plans out his day depending on how long it will take to accomplish each task. 

These two types of people do not get along.

Today the conversation was this...
Aaron: How long until we get to the play place?
Me: Not long.  About 6 minutes.
Aaron: That's not very long at all.
Me: No, it's not.  
Jeff: How long?
Me: About 5 more minutes.
Jeff: How long?
Me: About 5 minutes.
Jeff: But how long? (as if inflecting the word will make actually cause time to change)
Me: About an hour.
Jeff: But how long?
Me: Did you not hear what I said to you and your brother?  About five minutes.
Aaron: That's not very long.  That's just (counts on his hand) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Me: That's right.
Aaron: Daddy?
Me: What is it, sweetie?
Aaron: I'm waiting a long time.

Sometimes it's just hard to know that my entire morning will be spent going to the supermarket which is three blocks away.  It really is a trip that can take a couple hours.

I miss my pre-baby sense of time.  It really was pretty nice.  

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Daycare: The First Day

Case Study #1: A neighbor of mine has a daughter who is now 18 months old.  She is the sweetest baby.  I've known her for about ten months now and I think I've only seen her cry once when she banged her head.  About 6-8 months ago he put his daughter in daycare four days a week.  A couple weeks later he upped it to five days a week.  He told me to put my kids in daycare regardless of the financial loss I would take.

Case Study #2: A friend of mine who now has teenage daughters told me that she fretted about putting her kids in daycare after being a stay at home mom for a few years.  She put them in two days a week.  Shortly after that she upped it to four days a week.  She loved having her girls in daycare so much (they liked it too) that she then opted for the extended day two days a week.  She said it was glorious.

Case Study #3: A third friend of mine with two kids said, "Life gets so much better when they're in school seven hours a day."

Hmmmmm...maybe I should take the hint.

I have been toying with the idea of daycare for a while, but here in Massachusetts it is ridiculously expensive.  Daycare at any of the big facilities will cost me $1000+ a week for both kids - and that's if my boys go five days a week.  If they go less than five days a week it becomes more expensive per day.  I checked into some home daycare centers and between the fact that I just got a bad vibe from all of the providers I talked to except for one and it would still cost me $800ish a week it just wasn't worth it.  My mind, however, kept going back to the day in the park when I saw a group of kids with their teachers exploring bugs with a microscope and I thought to myself, "I can't give my kids that!"  Although 20 kids with two adults crammed into a room has some drawbacks, daycare can be filled with opportunities for Jeff and Aaron that I can't provide at home.  

The tipping point came when we got the email saying that the boys finally got into the public school's three year old program this fall.  (Hooray!!!)  We had been wait-listed for months and two slots opened up and were offered to my kids.  Starting this fall the boys are going to be going to school for four hours a day and I thought it would be important for them to get used to being in a school environment.

I made peace with the fact that even if I work while the kids are in daycare I will lose money.  It's OK because I'll be out among adults using my brain and they will "practice" being in school.  About two weeks ago I brought my boys to the daycare center for a "trial run."  The center allowed me to drop off my kids for about two hours to see how they would do.

When we got there Aaron and Jeff were a little suspicious of what was going on.  We walked into the classroom while story time was going on.  The director allowed me to stay in the room and play in a corner with the boys for a while.  I asked her how I leave and she said, "You know your kids best.  You figure it out.  There's no one right way to leave your children for the first time."

Jeff was OK with me leaving.  He is often happy playing by himself.  Aaron needed some more convincing.  I explained I would be right next door talking with the director.  I left the room and waved to both boys through the window.  Thanks to sign language I told them again I would be next door talking with the lady and I would be back in a little while.  Aaron accepted that.

I talked with the director for a few minutes and then, right as I exited her office, I heard the "Daaaaaaaaaaaaaddddddy!!!" scream from Aaron.  

"I need to just leave, right?" I asked the director as I started to get emotional.

"Yes.  Let the teachers do their job," she said.

I left and felt ecstatic with my hour or two of freedom and scared for my boys but knowing I was doing the right thing.  I sat down on a bench trying to figure out what to do when my phone rang.  It was the center director.  "Uh oh," I thought.  I had left the center five minutes ago at most.

"Just wanted to let you know Aaron is playing trains with his brother and another boy." said the director.  

I needed to hear that.  He was OK.  I could now go buy my sugar coated nuts without feeling guilt.  Well, I'd feel guilty for not eating a stalk of broccoli, but at least I wouldn't have guilt about dropping my kids off at daycare.

An hour later the center called again.  "Uh oh," I thought again.  "What now?"

A familiar voice told me, "The teachers are taking the kids to the park.  Is it OK if we take Jeff and Aaron?  They really want to go."

Phew.  Not a crisis.  Everything is OK.

I got to the park right around the same time the daycare center arrived.  I saw my boys holding a long rope with rings with 18 other kids to help keep them together.  It made me excited to see them be a part of a class and sad that I wasn't there for them.  I stayed back for a few minutes and watched them play in the park.  Eventually I sat down on a bench and after a few more minutes Aaron spotted me and ran over to me.

We all walked back to the daycare center.  The boys didn't want to give up their pinnies but the director said she would keep them in a special spot for the next time the boys come.

I was told Jeff cried once when everyone lined up to go to the park.  It was probably just because of all the commotion.  Besides that he was fine.

Both boys survived their first day of daycare.  More importantly, I survived.  They were not thrilled with their experience, but they didn't meltdown either.  I'm now trying to get all of their paperwork and medical records in order so they can officially go to daycare a few more times before school starts.  It's the beginning of a new stage, soon: school.  Life without me.  Life outside of the house.  A set schedule.  Friends.  More play dates.  Exposure to different superheroes, candy, and bad ideas from peers.  It can be nerve wracking having your children grow up, but in the end that's what we all want.  We want our children to grow up and be a part of the world and I'll remind myself of that every time their world gets a little bigger and my role gets a little bit smaller.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Best Three Year Old Joke

A few months ago I called a wise friend of mine who has twins who are about five years old now.  I was having a rough few days and asked her how she made it through the terrible twos.  She (and others) had warned me that the threes are worse.  

She said, "Do you know what they call a three year old?" 

"What?" I asked.

"A two year old with a year of experience."

Yep.  That sounds about right...but only on some days.  My boys certainly have their moments that are aggravating beyond belief like throwing a tantrum because I gave them a blue plate instead of a green plate.  Or worse yet the scream because they asked for a purple band-aid and I actually gave them a purple band-aid.  Call the cops and throw me in jail!

And yet some days I have great days with my children.  (Although I should clarify that "great" is a relative term.)  They are able to amuse themselves for long periods of times, now.  I'm actually able to read books, read more than three sentences before hearing someone yell, "Daaaaaaaaaaddy!" and write a blog.  Now that we have figured out to give them the exact same number and type of trains there are 90% less fights about who gets which "chugger."  And even those days when I'm out of green plates and a boy has to have a blue plate is often not a big deal.  They are learning self-control more and more every day.  

They are also learning to team up against me which I secretly love.  One day I took away some trains and Jeff broke down crying.  Aaron told Jeff, "Don't worry, Jeff, I'll get your train back for you."  I was so close to giving in...but I stayed strong.  I wanted to reward them helping each other, but I knew as soon as Jeff got the Thomas train and Aaron got the Percy train there would be fights again.  It was hard to say no to such cuties.

Speaking of self-control, I do believe we are now potty trained.  Hooray.  I see my Costco bill magically shrinking since we won't need $100 worth of diapers every month.  Aaron has been potty trained pretty well for a couple months.  I give credit to Derek who was fearless enough to tackle it when I was away for 48 hours.  Jeff got potty trained for a day or two (I think) and then decided since he mastered it he didn't need to do it any more.  Once again, success came when I was out of town for 48 hours and my in-laws were here.  I have spent the last week or some mostly homebound looking at pee and poop.  It's quite the spectacle.  When one boy goes poop the other has to come see it.  If poop remains that exciting to them I'll either have future dog walkers, toilet paper manufacturers, or GI doctors.

The other big news is that I have had a hard time finding and keeping a great sitter with a schedule that works for me so this week we are going to do a trial run at a daycare center.  Daycare in MA is ridiculously expensive but I'm ready to take a small, financial loss in return for some hours off, getting myself back into my profession and giving my kids a chance to experience a group.  We have done play groups and the boys do well there so I'm not very worried about daycare.  I talked to them about a place with a lot of toys and teachers and boys and girls but daddies aren't allowed.  Aaron seemed scared but Jeff said, "Don't worry, Aaron, I'll play with you."  

For the last two weeks they have been sleeping on a spare queen size mattress together.  Some of my friends are impressed that they will be near each other.  I guess I should feel proud that I'm doing something right.  They are standing up for each other, consoling each other, and sleeping next to each other without a fight.  Plus, if I'm going to brag a little more, sometimes they eat their vegetables first.  I'm pretty proud of the fact that they will hold off on their noodles to eat their broccoli.  

They just got accepted into a public school program this fall for 3 year old kids which is another reason to test out the group setting with daycare.  Even though I'm looking forward to being able to run an errand 23 times faster and watch more Netflix (sorry, Derek, but it's true), I'm already freaking out a little bit that I won't have them home with me all day every day.  However, when I feel that fear I just remind myself that I miss my career, there are only so many hours a day I can watch them play with trains, and someone will read them "Please Mr. Panda" 17 times a day and it won't be me!  

These three years have been hard.  The lack of sleep, the "loss" of my career, a move to a new city where I don't know anyone, never having time for Derek, the tantrums, the boys' constant fighting over toys, the fear that I'm doing everything all wrong...but I'm just starting to feel like I'm doing OK and all the mistakes I have made over these last few years are overshadowed by the successes.  I see Jeff and Aaron's personalities growing stronger and stronger.  I see Aaron's empathy and excitement for life and Jeff's incredible math skills and sense of humor.  I think we will all survive the threes.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Six Months Later...

I just looked at my blog and saw that my last entry was six months ago.


Clearly my goal of documenting my kids' lives isn't going so well.  People are right when they say that parenthood doesn't get easier or harder -- it just changes.  In some ways life is so much easier.  The boys have a lot more language, a little bit of focus, they can play by themselves, they can (sort of) dress themselves, they are learning to use the toilet, etc.  But for every step forward a new challenge emerges like they develop stronger food dislikes, they play rougher, and they want to put on their own diapers!  When I am home with them there is more laundry to do, more dishes in the sink, more fights to break up over who gets what train and more toys EVERYWHERE!  Like my friend says, "You know what they call a three year old?  A two year old with a year of experience!"

I'm not sure how to catch up on the last six months of life but I'll try with a quick list.
  • I got to spend Thanksgiving with my family for the first time in 20 years since I'm now back on the east coast.
  • Aaron and Jeff got to celebrate Hannukah and, by the end of the eight nights, they had learned a lot of the Hebrew prayer.  It fascinates me how they pick up language.  They did not, however, like potato latkes which makes me wonder if they're really my children -- or human.  Who doesn't like potato pancakes?!?!?
  • I read a book!  Yes, believe it or not I actually had time to read a book.  It was called I Heart My Little A-Holes and it was brilliant.
  • I found a babysitter.  She worked for me for about 6 weeks and she was great.  I got time out of the house and the opportunity to go back to the interpreting world.  Then she got a full time job at a daycare center because she was awesome and I lost my sitter.  We miss you, Constanza.
  • I'm performing again.  I'm in a show that is opening soon called "Old Jews Telling Jokes" and it is so nice to feel like I have some of my old life back.  Derek is amazing for helping me make the 7 show a week schedule work.  After feeling like I was under house arrest for the last three years it's nice to go out and do something that reminds me of my B.C. (Before Children) life.
  • The boys turned 3 last week and we had a great bowling and pizza party.  We had about 22 friends and family come to the party.  It was nice to see that we know people in our new hometown who could come out to celebrate with us. 
  • I managed to make photo albums of the first two years of the boys' lives.  Organizing photos is a never-ending, overwhelming job but I'm only a year behind now.  Hooray me.  I think I deserve a medal.  (And by medal I mean chocolate.)  
I'm sure there is a lot more to tell but I still have no memory of what happened last week let alone last month or last year.  We are busy looking at schools, considering buying a home, planning a wedding (yes, it will be official this fall), playing with trains about 12 hours a day, struggling to get Aaron to nap ("He will NOT drop his nap, he will NOT drop his nap, he will NOT drop his nap!"), getting Aaron to go to bed ("Go to bed, Aaron, it's 8:30 p.m." "Go to bed, Aaron, it's 9:00 p.m.!" "GO TO BED, Aaron, it's 10:00 p.m.!!!!!"), going to play dates and digging ourselves out from the snowiest winter on record here in Boston.  Hopefully I'll get some more pictures up soon as well as some funny quotes from the boys.  They're at that age when things that come out of their mouths are sometimes priceless.