Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you and your family a beautiful day filled with happiness and gratitude. ♥

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Cuddlebug: "You know what my problem is?"
Me: "you have a problem?"
CB: "yeah, I can't find my DS charger." (for his Nintendo DS)
Me: "isn't it supposed to be in your DS case?"
CB: "Some FOOL took it out!!"

I actually burst out laughing at that one, the way he says things cracks me up :).


Whenever I take Bitty to the bathroom (in public) he comments on the sign that says, "Women" (which he pronounces "woh-men"). I have repeatedly made a point to tell him that with me, he goes into the "woh-men" bathroom even though he's a boy, because I can't to into the "men" one, and that with dh or his brothers he can go into the "men" bathroom. I want him to understand that boys use the "men" one so when he's old enough to go by himself he won't just keep going into the "women" one out of habit.

We recently took the boys to a barbecue place where the doors said "Cowboys" and "Cowgirls" in addition to smaller signs saying "Men" and "Women." Dh took Bitty to the restroom and I could hear him shouting loudly, "Not da COWBOOOYS!! I WANNA BE A COWGIIIIRL!!!" (translation: "I see the 'women' sign over there and I want to go in there"). I wish I could have seen dh's face, hehe.

What's funny is that now whenever I take him to the bathroom he says, "woh-men... cowgirls." lol of course no one else has a clue what he's talking about it but it cracks me up every time :).


We were out and about on Saturday and Cuddlebug told me, "Hey Mom, didja know I have a fake name."

me: Really?
CB: yeah, it's Sparky.
me (stifling a grin): Sparky, huh?

Bearhug: I have a fake name too! It's 'Bearhug' (not actually 'Bearhug' but his real name). It's the same as my real name.
me: that should make it easy to remember. (lol, he loves his name)

Cuddlebug: yeah, so whenever we're in public, you should call me by my fake name.
me: ok.... why?
CB: because you never know when someone might try to steal your name.
me: you mean, like identity theft?
me: oh, ok. I'll try to remember that.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

To my angel... I love you

Today is six years since my baby angel's due date... it was two days before Thanksgiving that year too. We nicknamed him "Baby Turkey" because of the date. I call him a "he" but we really don't know for sure, as he was only 8 weeks along when he returned to heaven.

I came across this song and it says so perfectly what is on my mind (with the exception of "maybe there's a heaven"... I KNOW there is, and that I'll see my baby again). Until then, sweet angel, know that you are deeply loved and missed. ♥

I know how common pregnancy loss is, so this is for all the moms out there who have babies waiting for them in heaven. (((hugs)))


In my dreams, you are alive and well
Precious child, precious child
In my mind, I see you clear as a bell
Precious child, precious child
In my soul, there is a hole
That can never be filled
But in my heart, there is hope
'Cause you are with me still

In my heart, you live on
Always there never gone
Precious child, you left too soon
Tho' it may be true that we're apart
You will live forever... in my heart

In my plans, I was the first to leave
Precious child, precious child
But in this world, I was left here to grieve
Precious child, my precious child

In my soul, there is a hole
That can never be filled
But in my heart there is hope
And you are with me still

In my heart you live on
Always there, never gone
Precious child, you left too soon,
Tho' it may be true that we're apart
You will live forever... in my heart

God knows I want to hold you,
See you, touch you
And maybe there's a heaven
And someday I will again
Please know you are not forgotten until then

In my heart you live on
Always there never gone
Precious child, you left too soon
Tho' it may be true that we're apart
You will live forever... in my heart

"Precious Child" by Karen Taylor-Good

Monday, November 22, 2010

Magic Marker Monday: Thankful

From Bearhug:

I know what you're thinking, I had the same question.
Bearhug smiled when I asked him. "Yeah, they're so cute!"
me: "ummm... you mean girls?"
(confused expression)
me: "you mean baby chickens?"
(the smile is back)
(whew, what a relief! I'm so not ready for that!)

From Cuddlebug:

He really liked that pumpkin bread. He's right about the Kit Kats too, hehe ;).

I love his poems. Love'm. :)

From Little Bitty:

(please excuse the color quality, I had to play with the settings to get his drawing to show up as it was done in light pink).

I think I may be the bald one, since I'm a little shorter than dh. :)

His handwriting is amazing. A year ago he couldn't write at all. When school ended last spring, he could barely write his name, but anyone outside of his family and teachers wouldn't have recognized it. And now he's not only writing but his latest milestone is he can do both upper and lower case letters. Go Bitty!

For more Magic Marker Monday, visit 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Battle of the pants

A cold front came in a couple of weeks ago, bringing with it the annual "battle of the pants."

It is the daily struggle to convince a certain boy that shorts are not appropriate for 30-40 degree weather and that coats are highly recommended for such weather conditions, especially when one insists on short-sleeved shirts. ack.

At least the resident 9-yr-olds keep any complaints to a minimum as long as I quantify it for them:

NOT effective: "dress warm, it's cold outside."

Effective: "wear pants, it's 43 degrees outside."

As for Bitty, there is no logical argument that will work, so we go for distraction and bribes as we attempt to get pants on without prompting a full-on meltdown and then get him out the door before he has a chance to pull his pants off and go running in search of shorts.

Easier said than done. He's fast.

Most days we manage to get the pants on, but the coat... we're still working on that. We mostly have to settle for making him carry it or stuffing it in his backpack.

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Communication tip #318: Expressing displeasure

Let's say your mom buys you a new package of underwear. She was careful to buy Thomas ones (and was happy to find them in your size). Unfortunately the only ones available have a different design than the ones you currently have, rendering them UNACCEPTABLE.

How do you convey your displeasure to your mom so that she thoroughly understands, with no room for doubt, just how unacceptable said underwear are?

Do you:

(a) toss the entire package out the front door and slam the door shut
(b) throw the package into the refrigerator and slam the door shut
(c) open up the package, take the offending underwear out, and bite them
(d) all of the above

If you answered (d), congratulations!! You've successfully made your point! Ok, you made your point after (a) but now you've DEFINITELY made your point. There is NO possibility of misunderstanding. None.


In my defense, I was aware that different Thomas pictures might be a problem, but that's all they had. I decided to live on the edge and give it a try. Crash and burn!

Sigh... I was actually going to take them back until that last one, but once the underwear has been slobbered on, there's no taking them back. Let's hope he changes his mind.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

1 in 8 babies is born too soon...

Today is Prematurity Awareness Day.

To learn more, visit the March of Dimes by clicking the banner below.

Click here to read our NICU story (Cuddlebug and Bearhug were born 6 1/2 weeks early due to severe pre-eclampsia).

Here's a repost of my earlier prematurity awareness post:


Did you know that 1 in 8 babies is born prematurely in the U.S.? In approximately 40% of cases, the cause of premature labor is unknown, and it can happen to anyone. I have shared our story before about Cuddlebug and Bearhug's premature birth, but I think it's worth examining what a difference it makes when a baby is able to be born full term. In contrast with his brothers being born 6 1/2 weeks early, Little Bitty was born 1 1/2 weeks late. Being pregnant with him a full 8 weeks longer felt like FOREVER in comparison, lol, but of course it was well worth every minute because I knew he was where he needed to be (and unlike the situation with CB and BH, it was safe for him to remain in the womb).

What a difference those 8 weeks made! Here is a comparison of their footprints:

I scanned them all together so they would be proportionally accurate. Every time I look at these I'm just amazed at how tiny Cuddlebug's foot was compared with Little Bitty's. The size disparity between Cuddlebug and Bearhug was due to TTTS.

In addition to their sizes, here are some other differences we experienced between our twins' premature birth and the full-term delivery of our youngest. I only have my own experience to draw from, so this may not be applicable to everyone, but I'm sharing it to highlight some of the benefits of full-term delivery and why prematurity awareness is so important.

1. Being able to hold your baby right away. We had to wait 8 days before we could hold Bearhug for the first time, and 2 days before we could hold Cuddlebug. I was able to hold Little Bitty within the first few minutes after he was born. It was an amazing experience!

2. Being able to bring your baby home with you. Cuddlebug and Bearhug spent 22 days in the NICU before we were able to bring them home. Some premature babies stay much longer, depending on how early they are born and their health. Some preemies have medical challenges ranging from mild to severe, while others just need a little extra time to grow.

3. Getting a little more sleep at night. Like most newborns, Little Bitty woke up to eat about every 3 hours when he first came home. Because of their small size, Bearhug and Cuddlebug couldn't hold enough food in their stomachs to last 3 hours and needed to eat about every 1 1/2 hours. Add to that the fact that the effort they had to put into eating often wore them out before they were full, and sometimes we didn't even make a whole hour before they needed to eat again. That's a recipe for exhaustion for mom and dad (although well worth it of course!).

4. Less susceptible to illness. Cuddlebug and Bearhug needed 6 months of RSV shots as a precaution since they'd had respiratory distress early on. We had to be very careful about taking them out and having visitors. We were cautious with Little Bitty also, but the risk level for full-term babies is generally not as high.

For more information on prematurity, visit the March of Dimes. Did you know the March of Dimes is responsible for leading the call to develop Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU)? They also funded the research that led to the use of surfactant to treat respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). They have had many other successes as well, but for those two reasons especially, I will be eternally grateful to them!

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Friday, November 12, 2010


I was reading part of Cuddlebug's draft book report, in which he was supposed to list the main characters and write a sentence about each of them:

me: "Cuddlebug, this says, 'Nora is Linda's son'"

(having flashbacks to the days when he and Bearhug used to get "he" and "she" mixed up, wondering if we're somehow having the same issue with "son" and "daughter")

CB: "yeah"

me: "Linda's son?"

CB: "yeah"

me: "Nora's a girl, right? So shouldn't she be a daughter?"

CB: "I don't know how to spell 'daughter'"

LOL, I guess that explains it ;)

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Still the one

Today marks twenty years since our first date :).


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Things I want to remember about this week

Bitty is really into shapes lately. So ice cream sandwiches are "rectangles," hot dogs are "cylinders" and the new block toy he found at a yard sale yesterday is a "cube." :)


Cuddlebug and Bearhug are into old-school video games ("into" is putting it way too mildly, lol). They've been obsessing over the dates various systems and old games were first published and they are constantly asking me questions about which video games I played as a kid (umm, I didn't have any video games when I was a kid... so deprived!! hehe). They've been asking for weeks for an old Nintendo 64, because "we like old things, Mom, because they're new to us!" We lucked out and found one at the same yard sale where Bitty found his "cube." Dh, who is a major technology geek, is pulling his hair out trying to figure out why they want to play Nintendo 64 when they have a Wii. LOL


When Bitty asked me for ice cream the other day, I asked him if he'd eaten all of his dinner. He got annoyed and huffed,

"I not a dinner friend!!"

hee hee :)

Side note: he's using "I" appropriately more and more now, instead of saying "you" when he means "I." Not all the time, but we're about 50/50 now. Yay! That goes a long way toward making it easier for people outside of his immediate circle to understand him.


I've been looking everywhere for Bearhug's Christmas list (technically it was for both Bearhug and Cuddlebug, but Bearhug was the one who actually wrote it all down)... I wanted to scan it to share because it was so cute. #7 on his list was "a Christmas hug"... how sweet is that?


The number fascination that Cuddlebug and Bearhug have always had lives on... it's just taken on a new dimensions. They can tell me the number of pages in their books (and sort their book series by # of pages). Bearhug is into copyrights and makes a mental note of the copyright year of any book or tv show he sees (I didn't even realize tv shows had copyright dates until he started rattling off a list of them for all of Bitty's cartoons one day). Cuddlebug can tell you the release date (year) of every Pokemon game ever made and a whole range of other games too.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

First trick-or-treat :)

First for Bitty, that is.

[Warning: this post contains images of extreme cuteness]

Cuddlebug and Bearhug were anxiously awaiting sunset, since we told them they had to wait until it was at least getting dark to go trick-or-treating. They weren't much into costumes this year. I kind of suspect they wanted the black capes (which I made for them, pretty easy compared to Bitty's costume) just to play "stick-battles" more so than specifically for Halloween, but the holiday just gave them a convenient excuse to ask for capes :).

Bitty was oblivious. He couldn't have cared less about Halloween or trick-or-treating (as usual).

Then the boys saw some other kids starting to trick-or-treat - in broad daylight! - and we couldn't very well keep them in at that point so we relented on our "wait til it's dark" and let them go put on their capes and head out. They joined some of our neighbors and their parents and were already way down the street by the time Bitty and I got outside.

Bitty perked up when he saw his brothers running outside excitedly. I asked if he wanted to put on his costume and go trick-or-treating too. I may have mentioned that there could be "M's" on the trick-or-treat trail (he loves M&Ms).

To my surprise and delight, he said "yes" :)

So we got him dressed up and headed out. At first he didn't want to wear the hood, but I asked him to just wear it long enough for a picture (which he agreed to) and then he ended up leaving it on :).

We started off at our neighbor's house. Bitty knocked and rang the doorbell 5-6 times. After that I reminded him at each house "just once!"

When she didn't answer right away Bitty just opened the door and tried to walk in. (I'm glad we started with someone we knew, it was a good "practice" so we could work on proper trick-or-treat etiquette).

She offered him the bowl to look through, and he dug around looking for M&M's. When he couldn't find any, he turned to leave with no candy. She talked him into taking some Starburst.

Before going to any other houses, I took him home to have dh put some M&M's in his bag. I figured if he knew he already had some "M's" he might be more willing to take whatever kind of candy the other houses had. It worked (yay!)

After that, we headed out again.

He got the hang of knocking once and waiting patiently.

He kept saying "trick or treat!" to me as soon as he knocked or rang the doorbell instead of waiting for them to open the door, so I'd have to remind him to say it again (to the person answering, not to me), lol.

We passed a house with a "vomiting" jack-o-lantern which I thought was funny so I took a picture of it. Heh :).

After about 5 or 6 houses, Bitty was ready to go back home. He's not that much into candy so I guess he figured he had enough :). We caught up with Cuddlebug and Bearhug, who arrived back from visiting the whole neighborhood at about the same time.

Just because he was done trick-or-treating, Bitty wasn't ready to go inside. He took his scooter for a little spin before it got dark.

And then we went inside to check out the candy.


I carved the pumpkin for the first time this year (usually dh does it but he was busy looking for Halloween decorations). Not too bad if I do say so myself ;). I can't take all the credit though, Bearhug and Cuddlebug designed it. They each drew me a series of designs to choose from, so I used the eyes from one of Bearhug's designs and the mouth from one of Cuddlebug's designs. That super-original triangle nose was my contribution, lol.

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I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.


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